Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Home from Thanksgiving

I have been absent for more than a couple of weeks.  I went to my daughter's house for Thanksgiving.  It was wonderful, I got two weeks of time to spend with her in the evening after she got home from work and two weeks to spend with her four children.  Her husband works shift work, so I really didn't get to talk to him much, when he's not working (12 hour shifts), he is usually sleeping.

My daughter worked hard to make a gluten free Thanksgiving meal for me, and it was the best Thanksgiving meal I've eaten since becoming gluten free.  In the past, I just ate what I could, and sometimes eating things I shouldn't .  But this year I had an entire meal and it felt wonderful.

Now to get back to this blog and attempt to be more regular in my posts.

Today, I'm working on dehydrating a #10 can of peaches.  I love the way they keep in a small jar, taking up less room and they are great to just snack on.  They will last a few months.  The next project?  Dehydrating a large bag of shredded potatoes.  I have been out now for a few months and it's much more economical to do them myself.

Also, I am working on my children's scrapbooks and I really need to get some pages done.

Until next time.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Procrastination, or just a busy life?

The Write 31 Challenge

The Write 31 Challenge is over.  And although I spent quite a bit of time writing, I didn't get them all on my blog.  So I have read a lot of legitimate excuses for why others didn't get it all done, or why they didn't have time.  So do I have a legit excuse?

I mean, we all procrastinate, right?  I know I do, do you too?  Ok, I did have time with my grandkids, and a big hometown weekend (we have a huge celebration once a year here in town), with my Wyoming kids and grandkids home, and getting ready for that, and spending time with my kids and grandkids here, as well as doctor's appointments.  So do you think that's a good excuse?

Probably not.  As I said, I did have writing done.  I carry a small notebook with me, and I was writing furiously in that, idea after idea after idea, on what to put on the blog.  They all sounded great.  But the problem was they never made it into print.  Why is that I wonder?

Ok, let me just admit it.  I am a procrastinator!!!  Wow.  I don't feel any better after that admission.  But I know what to do about it.  I've read and read about this problem for years now.  Why, oh WHY do I still have such a problem with it?

I see other bloggers who write and some who write daily, and I wonder, HOW in the world do they do that?  And what's wrong with me?

So, my goal for this month (yes, I'm putting it in writing AGAIN), is to at least blog three times a week...and I'm already a week in and this is the first, now THAT strikes me as ironic!

Cross your fingers for me, ok?

Until next time.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Books I'm Reading - Day 7 of Write 31 Days

Book lists fascinate me.  I love to see what others are reading and find books I might want for my own lists.  I think you can tell alot about a person by what they read.  I regularly have four or five books going at all times.  I can't begin to list all of the one's I have read, some I have loved and read over and over, and some I forgot the minute I put them down.

So I thought I'd share what is on my nightstand (which is where I do all of my reading, before sleep).  I'm not sure how to get these to link anywhere yet, so I'm just going to list them.  Maybe one day I'll be good enough at this blogging experiment to be able to help you find them online.

Blog, Inc., by Joy Deangdeelert Cho

I'm about 10 pages in on this one and am really enjoying the conversations with other bloggers.  It is packed with information and how-to, as well as interesting biography.

For Writer's Only, by Sophie Burnham

I've read through this before, but this time I am taking a page at a time and really contemplating the blurbs about writing.  Great book to read if you want to take time to think about the writing process.

The Mammoth Hunters, by Jean M. Auel

I loved this series the moment I read the first chapter in the first book.  I am a history nut and ancient history is the best, as far as I'm concerned.  The story of Ayla, and her entire life is laid out and fascinating in it's scope.  This is a re-read, as I have the entire series and will keep it for life.

American Grit: A Woman's Letters From the Ohio Frontier, edited by Emily Foster.

Am over halfway done on this.  I have this one on my Kindle so I can take it with me.  So much history of how people lived and survived in the early United States. Will be keeping this one on my Kindle.

Plunder and Deceit, by Mark R. Levin

I have just started this book and so far it has given me food for thought.  I am very interested in politics and social studies in America, so this book is interesting.  Will let you know later what I thought of it.

What books are you reading right now?  Let me know as I might want to check some of them out.

Until next time.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Learning to Fix a Drip on the Faucet

"First you want to look carefully at the cartridge to see if there are any notches or anything to tell you which way it goes so you put it back in the right place."  Uh...yeah!  That's what I thought too when I watched the You-Tube video on how to fix a dripping faucet.  Then I sucked it up and got on with it.

The faucet had leaked since before Tom died.  It was just one of those things he put off until he had some time to get to it, and other things came first.  So, after he was gone, I stood in that bathroom one day and thought, "I wonder how much that is costing me in water?"  Funny how often those types of thoughts go through my head now that I'm on one fixed income.

So, I set my mind to fixing that darned leaky faucet - it was either me, or it - my house wasn't big enough for the both of us!

1. First I had to find the tools.  

That was an adventure all in itself.  If you had ever seen my husband's garage you would know immediately the scope of the problem.  After searching for a day (you think I'm exaggerating, but I'm not), I found what I needed (it was at that point, I decided I HAD to organize - which will show up in another post later).

2.  I had to get supplies.

I then went to the hardware store and found the parts to replace those on my faucet all by myself.  On my way out of the store I'm sure there were people wondering about that crazy lady patting herself (literally) on the back!

3.  I had to do the work.

I got home, turned off the water under the sink and started disassembling.  It was much easier than I thought.  I put everything back together, turned the water on and VIOLA!!!!  My very own indoor fountain!  Four foot high and as pretty as any you find in a well manicured French country garden!

After thirty minutes of getting the water turned off, cleaning and mopping up, I tried to fix that faucet again.  I read the instructions thoroughly this time before I touched it, and found where I had made a mistake.  I was sure this time I could fix it.

I even went to the computer and watched those You-Tube videos again.  Back I went to the sink to tame this monster!  When I got everything put together and turned the water on, I found to my elation that I not only didn't have a fountain, but the hot water turned off and on, and more importantly, NO DRIP!


I was on my way to being a full fledged independent Grandma!

Next time your faucet drips, make sure you gather your tools, get supplies and follow the instructions.

Until next time.

Does everyone's family magically multiply?

Does everyone have a family that magically multiplies?  When I was a young woman, I thought I would love a large family.  My mom was one of nine and my dad was one of six.  But I only had one brother, and no sisters.  I always thought four would be the ideal number of children.  The good Lord had other plans and four just wasn't part of it.

I would like to say they never gave me a minute's worry, but I don't like to lie!  Yes, they were typical kids and teenagers.  We had our share of scraped knees (baseball and softball), scraped knuckles (Tae Kwon Do), Concussions (baseball again)!  And one hyper-extended knee (softball).  And they had their typical teenage moments.  You know, getting stuck at the river in Dad's four wheel drive, or better yet, using Dad's four wheel drive to pull everybody else out... Prom...getting pulled over for racing on Main street (yes, it was and still is a small town).

But I would have liked more than two.  I have laughingly said over the years that the good Lord looked down and said "This woman has enough with the two that she has!"  But truly, they were good kids, never in jail, didn't get into drugs or anything like that.  Just typical teenagers, who grew up while I was busy trying to live our life.

They both went on to marry their own loves and have given me eight grandchildren.  Each of my children have four children of their own, which I find downright ironic.  But I won't complain because they are my life.

Ages 12 (13 next month, our first teen), 11, 9, 8, 6, 6, 3 and 2.  Little stair steps.  They are a joy, and a worry, as all children are.  Two have an incurable disease, one juvenile Type 1 Diabetes and one Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis.  But even with those, they are all pretty normal children.

The entire family, grandparents included, have all gone to watch baseball, softball, soccer, dance, choir and now band.  Four live in my hometown, four live 12 hours away from me.  I see the one's who live close three or four times a week, including Church.  The children who live far, either come home, or I go to them once every couple of months for a week or two at a time.  We also do Facetime and Skype now.

Eight beautiful beings the Lord brought into my life to fill it up with smiles and tears and frowns and those four little words I live for...

"I love you, Grandma."

Until next time.

Never enough time.

Time keeps slipping through my grasp.  I remember well those hectic mornings of hitting the snooze alarm just until that last second, attempting to rob every precious second of sleep from the day.  Then the groggy moments of waking up while simultaneously waking everyone else.

Coffee next...always!  And the real rush started - breakfast, dressing, getting the kids ready.  Did you forget your homework?  Do you have your notebook?  Did you remember your after school appointment?

Then the rush out the door.  The inevitable "Mom, I forgot..." on the way to the car.  Dropping off, managing traffic, sometimes with breakfast, most times without.  Busy days at work.  Donuts (or whatever was in the break room) at my desk.  Lunchtime was always a mix of trying to eat healthy (I know!!!  after donuts??),  and errands or personal stuff to get done, like bills.  Back to work - pick up kids - home - start supper!  Tom home at 4:30 like clockwork.  Chores in between it all, and supper and extra curricular activities.  More chores (usually laundry) after supper while everyone else was watching tv.  Then baths or showers, then bedtime, and I can breathe.  For a few seconds at least.  A few minutes of time for me before I fall into bed, exhausted.  In those moments, I remember thinking, "Someday I will be retired.  I will be home all the time.  I will have time to myself.  I will get things done.  I will SLEEP!"

That was then, this is now.

Alarm goes off, hit the alarm, although nowadays, I find it almost impossible to grab those 10 minute naps between the snooze alarm, so I just get up anyway. I don't sleep as well, sometimes 6, sometimes 7, sometimes 3 hours of sleep.  Get up, start coffee, get dressed.  I get 30 minutes of wake up time now, and prayer time.  And I'm off!  My days today aren't as hectic, but they are still as busy.  The kids are grown with families of their own, but I have grands and help out by staying with them, although it's to my benefit too because I love the time with them.  When it's time to go home, I go home now by myself.  Tom has been gone three years this month.  No 4:30 pm home time, no asking "How did your day go?"  When I get home, I still have to do dishes, do laundry, dump the trash, run the sweeper, keep the house, mow the lawn, weed eat the yard, keep the garden, sweep the driveway, vacuum the house, fix supper, pay the bills.  All of it now is my responsibility.

And in those few minutes right before I go to sleep when I can breathe, I think "Someday when the grandkids grow up, I'll have time, I will sleep.  But I will be alone."

Sunday, October 4, 2015

31 Days - Day Two

Ah, the joys of being a Grandma....until those days when you haven't slept but 4 hours.  Don't you hate not sleeping?  Tossing and turning until the clock says 12:30 am, 2:00, 3:30, and then finally 4:00?

What in the world has happened to my sleep patterns?  When I was a young woman, very young, I could go to sleep at nine or ten at night and sleep straight through twelve hours of time.  Oh, for those days!  Now I'm lucky if I get seven hours, that constitutes an entire night for me now.  Granted, I am a night owl.  Seldom do I sleep before 1:00 am.  But then I can sleep until 7:30 or 8:00 easily.  I used to think I would never be one of those people who can't sleep, or don't require as much sleep.  But here I am.

So, what does that have to do with being a Grandma you might ask?  Well, for one thing, this phenomenon seems to happen as we get older.  And from what I have been able to ascertain, scientists aren't quite sure why we need less sleep as we age.  And those years are creeping up on me.  Granted, I'm not sixty yet (only one year to go), but as the old saying goes, sometimes I feel much older.  Also, my grandchildren know when I'm tired.  Grandma gets 'grumpy' sometimes.  Yes, they can tell, as much as I try to stay joyful around them.  It might be that I'm just quieter, or I don't smile as much, or I'm not as physically active.

What is the solution?  I've come across a few.  Chamomile tea helps a little to get me to sleep.  A good foot soak with magnesium salts does a lot of good, or a bath is better.  The magnesium helps you calm and get to sleep and continues in your bloodstream to help you stay asleep.  It seems the pores in your feet are larger than most of the rest of your body, so the magnesium can be absorbed by the body easier. Also, computer use late at night, will ensure I'm up for hours longer.  So, cutting off the screen about nine, no playing on the IPhone, and turning the tv off helps.  I do read on my Kindle.  I don't have a white screen, but a grey screen and it doesn't seem to bother me as much.  Last but not least, is prayer.  I can start praying and usually fall asleep praying.  I heard years ago that if you fall asleep praying, your guardian angel finishes your prayers for you.  That's a comforting thought.  But something about praying helps calm me.  It works wonders.

I hope these tips help.  I know many of you are younger Mom's, but these tips will help anyone, so you might try them out on those nights when your energy isn't winding down with your mind.

Until next time.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

31 Days Writing Challenge - Day 1

I have just dabbled in writing to this point.  I decided I'm going to really try this, so I have joined the 31 Days writing challenge.  I don't have a recent photo of myself, so I'll have to look into getting something to put on my blog.  My focus is going to be Grandparenting and doing so as a Widow.  I know there are many out there who write blogs for Grandparents, but not many put it into perspective of having lost their wife or husband.  So I'm going to try to share what I can of my everyday life as a Grandmother.  Also to share my faith, and my journey as a widow.

Until Next Time.

A Grandmother's Poem

Grandma Doesn't Care by Judith Bond

I got some jam on her new couch,
But Grandma doesn't care.
I lost my toothbrush, dropped a glass,
My old jeans have a tear,
I tipped the cat dish on the floor,
My feet are always bare,
The way I look is a disgrace,
But Grandma doesn't care.
She's very busy, then she sees
The tangles in my hair
She gets the brush, I make a fuss,
But Grandma doesn't care.

When I am grown, and on my own,
When visits become rare,
I won't forget the love I'd get
When Grandma didn't care.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Monday is Wash Day

Somewhere way in the past, some woman decided that her work had to be ordered to get things accomplished.  And some woman decided Monday would always be wash day.  It spread, as so many things do, and for a long time, it was tradition.  I still do my wash on Monday.  Although I don't have to worry about ironing, which used to take up Tuesday and sometimes much of Wednesday, now I only wash on Monday.  If I have a small load I will do it on Friday also to get things caught up.

Tuesday has become my errands day.  It's the day I get out and run around town paying bills, getting groceries, etc.  I try to buy most of my groceries once a week, and only go back for small things in between.

So tomorrow morning, after coffee, because I can't do anything before, I will get busy and divide my clothes and wash.  I clean house in between loads, things like dust, run the sweeper, straighten the living room and bedroom.  

What is your schedule for Monday?   I would like to know.

Until next time.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

What I'm Reading

Every year I search out those blogs that post reading lists.  I love to see what others are reading and what they like and don't like.  It gives me ideas for the year.  So I'm listing what I am working on reading right now (I call it work because I rarely have alot of extra time, so it's work finding time to read!).

Right now I have on my night table:


An Echo In The Bone, by Diana  Gabaldon.


Theology and Sanity, by Frank Sheed

Ordinary Work, Extraordinary Grace, by Scott Hahn


The Feeling Good Handbook, by David D. Burns, M.D.

E-Squared, by Pam Grout

I'll try to list these at least once a month, perhaps more often as I go through so many.