summer 2011

summer 2011

Paul and I, all 16 kids and Ashley, Benjamin's wife...Christmas 2012

Paul and I, all 16 kids and Ashley, Benjamin's wife...Christmas 2012

Friday, February 26, 2021


 Jonathan's Covid test:  negative.  This leads me to another topic:  vaccinations.  This subject is so controversial in some of the moms' groups, that it's forbidden.  I have always vaccinated all of my kids, but there are some parents who have done research, or whatever, and that's their business.  

When there was first talk of a vaccine, I seriously leaned toward no way Jose.   not happening.  It was developed too fast, and frankly, I don't trust the government.  I don't care for Dr. F., he changes his opinions on which way the political wind is blowing.  Our own New York State governor has been an untruthful dictator, and is now finally being investigated, although you would be hard pressed to hear much about it, from the mainstream media.  He was their darling, never mind that he was so condescending and bullying. (and not keeping his hands or his sexual comments to himself, perhaps...) So trust for the government is just not there.  

But.  Then I started thinking that maybe, just maybe, I was being too skeptical.  I know, right?  Impossible!  Me?  Skeptical?  

I started thinking that perhaps this is a good thing.  I still do NOT support vaccine passports, or pressure to be vaccinated against one's will.  But if this will make vulnerable people more likely to get less sick, with less of a chance of dying, then maybe it's a good thing.  

I thought of a well known story:

Once there was a man stranded on his rooftop in a terrible flood, waters rising and raging around him.  A lifeboat came by, and asked him to hop in.  No, he said, I'm waiting for God.  A second boat came by, then a third, and the man declined.  Finally God shouted down, "What do you WANT?  I have sent THREE BOATS!"  

I thought of this story because I have been praying...praying that this virus goes away, that we can gather again, and travel again, that the old folks can be hugged and comforted and visited again.  Millions of us have been praying.  And the fact that the vaccine rolled out so quickly, while very suspicious, if you don't mind me saying, but also, maybe a blessing?  

I try to be open minded.  It's hard when you're bombarded with news, with agendas, with political slants, to find out what is really true.

One thing I do like about the vaccine so far is the hope it brings, the happiness.  

Today's agenda for me:  make a triple batch of cookie dough.  Pick Miss Char up from school and bring her to the hair salon, she is getting a crazy hair cut today, because I finally said she could, ugh.  :). Then I'm going out to our church, and baking those cookies, and making Buffalo chicken and barbecued chicken sliders, cutting up veggies for dip, and cutting up pineapple, cantaloupe, mini watermelons...for the youth group.   

Tomorrow there are calling hours for Paul's brother...

Thursday, February 25, 2021

well THAT was fun!

 Today was a beautiful day, and it has gone by too fast, so far.  I'm enjoying that the girls aren't back in school full time yet, even though they are busy doing work at home because it's nice to have them here.  I brought Jonathan in to the pediatrician's office to get a Covid test, stopped at the bank, then we went to the store...then got  a coffee, mmm.  

Home, ahhh home.  Dinner had to go into the oven, a nice roast of beef I got for $2.49 a pound...olive oil, then minced garlic, rosemary, thyme, salt, pepper, a bit of minced onions, and into the oven at 450 for fifteen minutes, then down to 325 to roast for a while.  I peeled red skinned potatoes, leaving lots of the clean parts of the skin on, for mashies.  Carrots roasting, with Brussel sprouts, it's smelling really heavenly in here right now.

After dinner went into the oven, Sonja, Jon, Camille and I took the pups for a walk.

(jeez, how many chins do I have?  Cam, though, is such a doll, she's so pretty...such a sweetie, too.  Miss Char didn't come with us because she was busy doing work (ha, watching anime!))

Paul's sister sent me these pics today...

Paul, when he was a teeeeeeny bit younger.  The original McDreamy, right?  A heartbreaker.  And his old doggie, Hoss...

So it was a really good day.  Jonathan called the dealership, but the lady I dealt with wasn't there, and is going to call him back.  He just wants to clarify what went on, not harass anyone.  Jon is a good kid, he told me about being on the plane next to a lady who was around my age, on the way out to Oregon.  Their flight got delayed again and again, and he took it in stride, which prompted her to ask him if he was a Christian, because he was so happy, she said.  They had a good time talking, she and her husband have a ministry of helping inner city kids.  I love that he made friends on his trip, a middle aged lady!

Ah well, it's good to have him back home again.  No one has to go anywhere tonight, so we can have a proper family dinner...)

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

beep beep beep forever?

 In the big scheme of things, a constant beeping isn't the worst thing.  

I would like to just say that I am fed up to HERE with the Mitsubishi Dealership repair department, and leave it at that, but what would be the fun in not telling the story?

It's not covered this time.  19,000 miles on the car, the emergency brake sensor emitting that beeping, and I was accused of tampering with it.   Not exactly ME doing the tampering, but she said we shouldn't have had work done on it by a non-certified dealer...she said, "Those pads look new, work was done."  Um, no one touched our car except for YOU GUYS!  (this is totally separate from the little banged up front fender, not related at all)   She was like that White House spokes lady, circling around and around. " It'll be $250 to check it out, but if you need the PART, which is $950, plus labor..."  Let me stop there for a minute, while my blood pressure goes back down, deep breath, okay.  

So for two hours we went back and forth, and I ended up walking out in tears, after telling her, "This is the nicest car I ever had...."  Yes, I drove back home in the beeping.  Over twelve hundred dollars to fix something that is NOT our fault?  

She is going to send the pics and the request to Mitsubishi, which will take a week or so, no sweat off THEIR ears.   She said they probably won't cover it, sorry.  

So here I sit.  I tried to get ahold of the service department of the place we bought the car (the service dept there was closed for 2020, because of Covid).  No answer.  I didn't call back later, because I didn't feel like it.  

I want it fixed, but I don't want to fight anyone.  I do not like confrontation.  I do not.  I am not mad, but I am frustrated, and I am disappointed.  I am very, deeply, thankful that I was aware, during the whole maddening process, not to be rude or mean to the lady at the desk.  She was pregnant, and very nice.  It's not her fault, I don't think anyway, and even if it WAS, I'm not going to be mean to someone.  I didn't give up pressing the issue, from every angle I could think of, but got nowhere.  

I do hope Mitsubishi does the right thing.  Because yeah, we can scrape together over a thousand dollars, but that thousand dollars would buy a trip to visit Kathryn when her baby comes, or pay the heating bill.  It happened to this very car back in the fall, I brought it in, they fixed it up, it happened to my daughter Mariel's Mitsubishi, they fixed hers no shouldn't happen in the first place, a person should be able to use their emergency brake, without BEEP BEEP BEEP.

This afternoon, Charlotte Claire, Camille, and I went on a little trip to the thrift store.  We had a big box of dishes we had cleaned out of the cupboards a bit ago, that we stuck in Jonny's room when we had our Valentine's Day party.  He's coming home tonight, so we thought to take care of it.  We also went in to the thrift store, and found some good things.  Char got a cute skirt and a top, I found a little girls's snow suit for either Kathryn and Darius' baby girl, which is coming in June, or Sam and Grace's baby girl, which is due in August.  It was FIFTY CENTS.  All kids clothing was on special for 99 cents, but most of the tag colors were an additional 50% off.  I got Wulf some pants and a few shirts too, because...50 cents.  I got a nice working Fisher Price play table, with batteries, for $3.99.  

We then went to Walmart for a few things.  Just chocolate, tortilla chips, some fabric...not much....then home, ah home.

Dinner is on the hob, chicken breast seasoned with ginger, garlic, salt and pepper.  We're making stir fry, with asparagus.  

Then this evening, off into the beep beep beeper, to pick up Jonathan at the airport!!!

And here's a cute pic of Miss Charlotte Claire and Sunny Sunster...

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

never a dull moment, edition # twenty-hundred-million....

"Mom, can you please come here?  Really quickly, right now?"  Well, it's a far cry from years ago, when they would just cry when they wanted mommy.  But there was urgency in Camille's voice, and since I am so calm cool and collected, my thoughts went straight to the dresser has fallen on her.   But it wasn't a dresser, nothing fell on her, but her knee partially dislocated, again.  Paul helped her up, and she limped out to the couch, some tears fell, and I winced in sympathy pain, as my knee dislocated when I was her age...and believe me, I would rather give birth in the middle of a street with no pain meds, than go through that.

Two kitties, two pups, and Miss Camille Anaya...

So, this fine morning, we were off to the ortho doctor for an x-ray.  Yes, it did partially dislocate again, and yes, she is facing surgery in a few months, unless something miraculous happens in the meantime.  Paul has great faith in the "Knees Over Toes" program, and we're going to try it.  She has to wear the brace for four to six weeks, but also has to do the strengthening exercises.  If the knee is still wobbly and loose several months down the road, or if it pops out again (I HOPE NOT!), then surgery.  

The good news is that there is an Aldi just a hop, skip, and a jump from this doctor's office, in a small city north of here.  So we went in there for bananas, apples, little cute oranges, some burger and chicken, lemon juice, lime juice, tortilla chips, milk, heavy cream, cheese, and chocolate covered almonds.  

Home, ah home....I let Camille choose whether to be dropped off at school or to come on home.  She has to carry a fifty pound backpack around school, because for some reason, it's only allowed to use the lockers for coats, not backpacks.  The dr. office printed us a letter that stated that she was there today, because these days, when one is absent, the state pressures the school to get negative covid tests upon return.  I'm not sure how strict they are about this, but we have the note just in case.  She decided to take the day.  Her grades are excellent, she'll catch up in no time.

And, she gets to go with me down to get the BEEP BEEP BEEP fixed on the car!  I've been driving around like that with it for days and days, today is the appointment to get the sensor fixed.  They have to actually fix it this time, because I'm going to put that emergency brake on before I drive away, and if it BEEP BEEP BEEPs, they will have to fix it again.

You can probably guess that we are getting more snow today.  More and more and more.  It just swirls around the house, coating the branches, building up in the driveway, ugh.  I do not like to drive in snow, I do not like it, Sam I am.   But I dislike BEEP BEEP BEEP even more, so I am not cancelling that appointment.  It's 45 minutes each way, blah...but shh, I might take Miss Cam to hasn't been in our area for very long,  it's a huge0 novelty, they love it for some reason. 

Dinner:  some sort of Chinese food, we bought to frozen veggies at Aldi that comes with the sauce packet, they like that and it's different.  We get stuck in the old food ruts.  Last evening, they had leftover pulled pork, I cooked up some burgers for Paul, then bacon and eggs...I had half a burger, two eggs, some bacon, and a bowl of shredded cabbage/carrots, with salt and pepper.  It was my only meal of the day...for dessert I had some of the low sugar, keto-ish pie I had made.  I should be skinny, I tell you.

Today is Miss Suzanne Eleanor's birthday!  Yesterday was Mariel's, but she doesn't like birthdays, so I didn't mention it ha.  

Anyway.  We're leaving again in an hour or so, I hope the snow stops soon!  I love it from my comfy chair, or to walk around in outside, but driving in it, not so much...especially when you can't see where you're going...when the lines on the road disappear...ugh.

Monday, February 22, 2021

and: even MORE snow!


Suri likes it!

Yeah I know, I yammer on about lake effect snow, but when you live in the middle of it...we're right in the yellow.  It's worse up east of the lake most of the time, or better, I should say.  The snowmobilers love it up there.  

So we had our pulled pork nachos for dinner, with Margaret and Adrian and the little guys, and Evelyn, and Emily over.  Only eleven of us, seems like a small crowd.  Jonathan will be coming home from his west coast trip, on Wednesday.  (that apple pie though...oh dear!  With the all butter crust recipe is 1 1/4 cup of flour with a dash of salt, for every stick( 1/2 cup) of butter, I cheat and use the food processor...but I gently toss the splashes of cold water in after removing it from the food processor...I don't use a recipe for the pie itself, I just mixed about 2/3 cup of sugar with about 1/3 cup of flour, and poured in some cinnamon.  I also poured a few capfuls of lemon juice onto the apples, to add some tartness to the Empire apples...)(I did not socially distance from this pie, but I did only have a smidgen.  Do not ask me was so good.  It calls my name much louder than cookies do...)

Our school here is planning to start more in-person learning, there's quite an aggressive re-opening plan.  It's good, for most kids, they need to be in school, need "normal", need interaction with other kids.  My girls though, would thrive with their present schedule, more laid back.  If they got rid of the masks at school and had more kids in the classrooms, then still stayed home a few days a week, well, they would be quite happy.  They love doing school in their beds in their comfy jammies.  I don't interfere with their methods, or make them sit up straight, no, I do not.   They're both on the principal's high honor roll, with averages in the high nineties, so their methods work.

The house is rather dark this morning, and shh, I love it.  It's like a cozy den, with the dogs, all fed and tired from their romp in the snow, snoring like angels on the couches.  The fake fireplace is humming, and the kitties are both asleep in here too, one on a chair, the other on the back of the couch.  Paul is working in his office, Sonja in her room, the little girls have yet to start their day.  It's a far cry from years ago, when morning meant diapers and bottles and sippy cups and washing bedding and giving baths, while getting hordes of children onto buses.  We had the first trip kids, then an hour later, the younger kids on second trip.  Some years we had ten kids getting on those buses.  Then the fun at home would REALLY begin, with all the little ones, ha.  But nothing was like those school mornings, getting them all out the door looking neat and spiffy, with their lunches, their snacks, their homework, their projects, their gym clothes, their musical instruments, their sports equipment, their parents' signatures on their weekly folders, (Oh the things I had to sign!  Yes, he could participate in the play, and I acknowledged I would be responsible for transportation.  Yes, she can go to the museum and the $10 is enclosed!  Yes, I looked at the report card!  Yes, I'm coming to the parent/teacher conference!)

I felt like a huge fraud of a good parent, truth be told.   My head was spinning, most days.  I couldn't possibly keep track of what each child was learning, each day, as well as keep up with dentist appointments (check ups every six months for all of us, then those pesky cavity appointments sometimes!), well child check ups, ear infections, sports physicals, orthodontists, then some broken bones thrown in here and there with the physical therapy appointments...)

So I would go to parent/teacher conferences, and hear about how good my kids were, how well they were doing, and the teacher would mention a specific problem they were working on, and perhaps say, "Well you've probably heard all about this, Mrs. W., and have seen it from the homework..."  I would nod, while thinking, if you think I actually have time to remember specific math problems...

When the kids would come home, all excited about doing the Native American project, I would be like, "You're in fourth grade?  Wasn't your sister just in fourth grade?  We have to do another longhouse?

One thing I did work hard on though, was asking each of them about their day, and giving them attention when they got off that school bus.  I did try.  I tried to parent individual kids, no color coded cups or assigned seating nonsense.  

When the whirlwind winds down, and you look at it from the other side, you only hope you did your best, and you know that if you could do it all over again, well, you would!  You would still accept each baby, straight from heaven, and love and cherish them all, as much as possible, but in retrospect,  so much more.

Sunday, February 21, 2021

apple pie...and real life...


Note to self:  a five pound bag of apples isn't quite enough for two apple pies.  Those are chunks of butter on top, before the top crust is added.  

There's a pork roast in the crock pot, for pulled pork this afternoon.  Margaret and Adrian, with Wulf and Tennyson, and Evelyn, are coming for dinner.  We'll have pulled pork nachos, with the works, and...pie!

Kathryn called from visiting Aaron and Riley in California while I was putting the pie crust together...I'm glad they visited them, on their grand tour of the west. 

Jonny and Aaron in San Francisco...Jon said it was 67, and he was the only one around without a coat on.  

I got out into the sunshine for a little bit, but it's still chilly out there!

And on a sad note, Paul's brother passed during the night.  I am glad we were able to see him yesterday.  

Saturday, February 20, 2021

puppies, dreams, and saying goodbye...

Don't you love how their front paws are on the lower step?  They do that on the couch, too, put their front feet down, their arms, and leave their legs, on the couch...they "stand" there, deciding whether they want to actually get up or not.

Last night, I had dreams about Paul's dad, his dad who passed away several years ago.  When I woke up, Paul told me that his oldest brother had a stroke last night, and was in the hospital...not doing well.  I told Paul that I just had a dream about his dad, and he said that he, also, had dreams of his dad last night.  We were able to go to the hospital and see his brother, hug his brother's wife, and his daughter, and say our goodbyes.   I feel super bad for my mother in law, down in Florida.  There's no way she's up for a trip to the snowy north, not at 91.   I wonder if while we were dreaming of his dad, his dad was up there  looking forward to greeting his oldest boy...

So we've had a sad morning, I feel bad for Paul.  His brother has been in poor health for years now, but that doesn't make it easy to say goodbye.

The girls are doing things today, Jon is still out west, Paul just left for the dump...when he gets back, it'll just be him and I, for a while anyway.  Margaret is coming over later with the little boys...:)

I'll leave you with some more snow pics...

The swing is resting on a few feet of's deep!

Friday, February 19, 2021

making and baking and cuddling up...

 Yesterday, we went out and about just to the grocery store.  The girls chose ingredients to make homemade Tokyo style ramen.  

Today, the plan was to make cream puffs, as per Camille's request.  I didn't help at all, she found the recipe, and is filling them with the cream she made, right now!

These are going to be hard to resist!  The house smells absolutely heavenly!

A random pic of Miss Kettler the cat, just because.    Cats find favorite places to sleep, and this is her newest perch, just keeping an eye on things.  

We have snow, you prob know that by now, because I talk about it incessantly.  It's deep and has a crunchy coating of ice on top.  But guess what?  We're getting MORE snow.
See that lake in the pic?  That's one of the most beautiful fresh water lakes in the world, Lake Ontario...with it's sandy beaches and from the east side, the sunsets!  It's also half in Canada, and it's a snow making machine.  When that polar air flows down over this lake, well, we get dumped on.  We live at the bottom of the "+" sign, as in "8"+".  Right in the middle of what will probably be a foot of new snow.

We're right smack in the middle of this one, in the white...

It won't really start until tonight, so we have a lovely afternoon looming, with just a small bit of snow gently dancing maybe we'll fit in a trip to the library, for the girls' last day of winter break.  I'll have to be home though, it's pool day, again, with Ben and Ashley and Anya and Elise!

As I was sweeping and mopping this morning, I was thinking of how fast time flies.  When you're young, the future stretches before you, and old people are old people, they've always been old.  The days are long, and those years seem endless.  Then, all of the sudden, you're on the other side of youth, you're one of the old people.  The prospective has switched entirely, it's like it absolutely ZOOMED BY!  Now that we only have four kids left at home, it's such a foremost thought in my mind how very temporary it all is.  Sonja K.,  18 years old, college student, is bright and fizzy, she's a light in this house.  I cherish the days and moments and outings with her!   We technically have no children anymore, as Jonathan is 16, Miss Charlotte Claire 14, and Miss Camille Anaya is 13!  They're all just moving on through.  

Oh dear, they look yummers!   

And, Sonja is home from work for the day, so we decided we may as well go on our outing...the younger girls are usually at school in person, on Fridays, when Sonja gets home early.  So we don't get out all together much anymore...

Thursday, February 18, 2021

just a wee bit quiet...

Today is quiet.  The girls are on vacay, and are still sleeping.  We are supposed to go out and about before the next round of lake effect snow rolls in, but do I wake them?  Or rather, do I want to get out of my comfy chair yet, and dress in bye-bye clothes and go out into the cold?  Maybe in a little while...

Yesterday, Margaret came over and worked from here.  She has a full time job, online, and two small children.  So she came here, and since the girls weren't here (Sonja had classes and work and was gone all day, and little girls were at their friend's house, Jon is still out west), it was a bit busy for me, but in a very splendid sort of way.  Wulf was happy to be here, he knows all the toys we have in the storage room, and at random intervals, he suggests we get something else out.  The purple car, the balance bike, the big dump truck, he wants it all.  I don't mind having a living room full of toys.  

So I had the freezer open to get something out for dinner, and Wulf grabbed the lunch box/cooler ice thing, which is hanging on his handlebars.  He has a washcloth on his lap in this pic, because he had just finished a freeze pop, a good treat for a cold winter's day.  He also has his backpack on, because he always has his backpack on.  He is a character.  The best part of the day was when we read stories.  We looked at some board books with real pics, and talked about things.  He's very curious, and wants to know everything about everything.  I also got to cuddle Mr. Baby, aka Tennyson.  

I do want to mention that a dear blogger friend, a new friend, Terri D., lost her beloved husband Joe.  He was supposed to come home from the hospital, it was to be just overnight, then a few days, then he suddenly took a turn's so very sad.   I'm not sure even what to say, I was shocked.  The saddest part these days is not being able to be there with loved ones while they're sick, it's just unimaginable.  

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

snow and more snow...

 Since the girls are on vacation, I took them out and about today...the county had a travel advisory, lots of snow last night, then some ice on top, but it was cancelled by 9:30 this morning.  Paul so nicely got the snowblower out, and cleared the driveway, and off we went...beeeeep beeeeep all the way down the road, YES, I KNOW, CAR!  The emergency brake sensor is ON!

(just a wee bit of snow in the parking lot!)

We went to a nail salon first, so Miss Cam could get the gel polish removed, she hasn't been able to get it off from our salon trip in Florida in January.  We walked over to the thrift store from there, and I found a few good toys, which I need like a hole in the head.  But a little Fisher Price driving camper, with batteries in it, fully working, so cute!  A Gund stuffed Black Lab puppy, looked brand new?  yeah, put it in the cart. A spiffy and clean non stick frying pan for $1.99?  okay.  Charlotte Claire found a pretty vase for the avocado pit she's trying to grow.  So fifteen dollars worth of fun.  I let them choose something to eat, they decided Chinese take-out.  Then, a quick trip to Walmart...the Valentine's Day chocolate was all gone, but the girls chose some lollipops.  We got some seltzer, a package of bacon, some ground beef, a bag of tortilla chips, some more fresh cilantro, and a gallon of milk.

Home, ah home.  Too bad the gallon of milk had a leak in it, what a mess.  

It's snowing out again, we're to get 3-6 more inches tonight.  The girls want to go to their friend Amanda's house for the night, and I am NOT keen on driving in the snow, ugh.  It comes with the territory, I know, but I do try to avoid it.

It's getting dark in here already, time to turn some lamps on, and start making dinner.  A few short months ago, it would have been dark already at this time, so the days ARE getting longer.   Dinner is taco salad, again!  I had some eggs a few hours ago, so I'm not very hungry.  I'm used to eating only one meal a day, but occasionally I'll have a "first" meal of eggs.  

You'd think I'd be skinny, but NO, I am not.  I do have to remind myself that although I'm not losing weight like I think I should be, I am maintaining a 70 pound loss.  That's not easy.  I could gain it all back in five minutes, if I let myself.  

Ah well.  Time to make that dinner...:)

Monday, February 15, 2021

a true vacation day!

 In the history of people who enjoy vacation days, I'm right up there near the top.  I've had a lot of them through the years, but mostly in the last few years.  Seriously, for like 25 years straight, it was all systems GO.  It was non-stop nonsense, Chaos Central.  

But today, the little girls are on school break, Paul had the day off from work, and we did not leave the house.  I offered to take them on an adventure, but they hemmed and hawed, so I started a project.  It's not rocket science, just a few simple flannel blanks for Kathryn's new baby, coming in June.

I made a big on and a smaller one, two-sided.  My sewing machine does amazing things, but I have no idea how to do most of it.  I plan on leaving it out though, and getting to know it better.  Technology is kind of scary to me, I mean, this machine remembers 30 different stitch commands!!  It embroiders all the numbers and letters, and has a whole potpourri of decorative stitches.  It sews beautifully, and I do love it.  I got it back in the beginning of the lockdown, well maybe around Mother's Day last year, used for $250.  It's smooth!  You can actually push a sliding lever to control the sewing speed.  It's pretty wowza.

Dinner:  leftover chicken breast, warmed in hot olive oil in the frying pan, with cauliflower rice (for me!), regular rice, I also had some shredded cabbage with carrots, fresh cilantro, fresh salsa, and various other toppings.  They all had theirs in tortillas...I'm trying to stay away from the carbs, but I did have some squares of chocolate with almonds, with my after dinner decaf.  sigh.

Ben and Ashley and the girls came over for dinner last night, along with Margaret and her two little boys (Adrian was doing college homework).  Emily came over for a bit too.  We had some roasted bone-in chicken breasts, cauliflower and broccoli, roasted Brussel sprouts with roasted chopped apple, and baked potatoes.  

We solved the worlds' problems while the kids ran around and played with the tons and tons of toys that Paul brought out for them.  Ride-ons, dollhouses, Barbies, was like the good old days for a few hours.

Jonathan called a bit ago from Phoenix, he actually FaceTimed from in the pool.  They're enjoying some sunshine, and there are orange trees at their hotel.  They went for a little walk, and found a box of "free for the taking" lemons under a lemon tree in someone's yard.  It's all very new and novel for us northerners, Darius is from Winnipeg!   No citrus trees there!

They're headed to Sedona tomorrow, then back up to Las Vegas for a few days.  They'll stay clear of the casinos, they're there for the weather, pools, hot tubs.  

I can't say that I'm tired of winter, not yet.  We are supposed to get a foot of snow tonight, and maybe some ice on top of that, making the roads extremely hazardous for tomorrow morning.  Sonja's college already cancelled classes, but the hospital won't be closing, so Emily and Mariel and Molly will still be going in to work, and Abigail will work her accounting job too.  I'll be praying for them.  Evelyn works walking distance from her place, but Benjamin will have to drive into work.  It's a bit different from when they were all little, and it was a snow day, and they were all safe and sound at home.  They grow up and are adults, but to mama, they are still little chickies.  

But I'm not tired of winter.  It's cozy and relaxing and I'm not bored yet.

Our nice new Mitsubishi...the parking brake warning bells have been triggered once again.  We had to take it to the Certified Mitsubishi Fixer a few months back because it we've avoided using that parking brake (the very same thing happened to Mariel's car).  We went through the car wash on Saturday, and accidentally set the parking brake.  It did disengage, but the car didn't get that message, and it BEEPS and BEEPS and BEEPS, the WHOLE ENTIRE TIME the car is moving.  Stop at a stop sign, phew, some again, and BEEEP BEEEP. I called the dealership, and they can get me in NEXT TUESDAY.  So, every errand I run, BEEEP.

The girls want to go on some adventures this week, we'll have to crank the tunes and scream at each other over the BEEEPing.  In the big scheme of things it's not a big deal, but it sure is always something.

Ah well.  I'm going to fill some pitchers of water in case the power goes out, it certainly will if I don't fill the pitchers, it's like insurance, right?  We have well water, so if the power goes out, no water for us.  

Sunday, February 14, 2021

"gal"-entines day? sure!


Well, today is Valentine's Day, but I learned something new:  yesterday was indeed Galentine's Day.  The girls had a party here, and well, I wasn't exactly invited, but I wasn't not invited.  I offered to host the party, and they agreed, so...:)

We had mini hot dogs in crescent rolls, chocolate dipped strawberries, cookies, raspberry brownies, hot out of the oven from Mariel (and Miss Camille), Buffalo chicken wing dip with tortillas from Emily, and some stove popped popcorn.  Chocolate:  Kisses, Twix, M&M's, the works.  

The girls picked names and each made a Valentine for whoever they picked.  We had glitter and glue and stickers, all the fun crafty stuff out.  They read the cards to each other, they have some talent!  We also went around the room and said what we learned during quarantine, and the responses were quite enlightening, mostly they learned to be thankful, to appreciate things, to appreciate being together, and to make good use of their time.  

We sang a few songs, and it all went by too fast.

Here are some random pics, I am no photographer!

The card making!

Charlotte Claire, don't you love the shirt?

Anyway, we had enough chocolate dipped strawberries.  I sent some home with some of the girls.  I only had one, and it was mmmm.  Those big blocks of white dipping chocolate bark, melted with three Aldi milk chocolate bars and half a bag of mini chocolate chips.  

In the morning yesterday, I made a double batch of muffins.  Half chocolate chips with those mini chips, and the other half blueberry.  With a sprinkling of sugar/brown sugar on top before baking, they looked pretty yummy when they came out of the oven.  The girls said they were pretty good.

A little later in the day, while Paul was ice fishing, we took a little trip to the big mall.  Sonja K., Charlotte Claire, Camille, and I, we got our steps in for the day!  We didn't buy much, but I let the two younger girls get bubble tea, and Sonja and I got coffees..and a bag for home:

My blog friend Linda drinks this every day!  It's one of the good things about NY, and sometimes you have to look a bit harder to find those things.  Our gov. is King Corruption, it's all coming to light.  When things started going better here after the "first wave", he had the audacity to say something like, "It was our hard work, it was not God."   Well you know, I looked for the bolt of lightening.  When someone is that proud, eeks.    

But anyway, we don't need to dwell on that.  I'm going to put some bone-in chicken breasts in the oven, bake some potatoes, and roast some Brussel sprouts with sweet potatoes and apple chunks.  We are going to church in the early afternoon, then some of the older kids will come over for dinner.  

So have a really really good day, and count those blessings!

Saturday, February 13, 2021

what a strange day so far!

 I had to get up early, on this frigid Saturday morning, which is no fair.  Our internet wasn't working, and the technician was to arrive between 8 and 9 this morning.  Paul was up at 5:18, to get ready to go ice fishing, of all things, brrr.  I was like NO WAY,  I need to fall back to sleep.  I eventually did, but it was that fitful sleep, full of horrifying scenarios of the internet guy banging on the door, and me being in my awful pajamas and no bra on.   At seven, I decided enough was enough, and got up and got properly dressed, made coffee, and tidied up the entryway, because we wouldn't want the internet guy to think we're slobs, would we?

Of course he came to the OTHER door, and traipsed through the house, good thing it was spotless, ha.  The dogs were locked in my room, barking their furry little heads off, but the teenagers just slept through it all.  

The internet is all fixed.  Paul texted me and asked me what was wrong with it, well, how would I know?  The guy climbed up the pole out front, fixed some things, used a little meter, chatted away about how he has a few more places to go to, and how cold it is out, and told me to have a really good day, and left.  It took almost an hour, so hopefully he fixed it good.

I had to drive Paul to work yesterday, he actually went into the office, because the internet was out.  After the girls got on the bus, I went out, all by myself, again.  I had a mission:  strawberries.  We're having a little Valentines party this evening, and we want to dip some strawberries in chocolate...Aldi had them $1.49 a pound, limit four, so I went to two Aldi.   I also went to the fabric store, oh how nice it was to meander there!  I didn't get much, but it sure was fun.

I really really wanted to go to Target, but we all know that things would just jump into the cart, and the total would miraculously be 84% more than it would seem possible.   

Home, ahh home, but not for long!  The groceries put away, little Valentine bags made for Anya and Elise, my swimsuit and towel packed, and off to pick Paul up from work, then bye bye, over to the pool to meet Ben and Ashley and those little girls, to swim for 45 minutes.  Lydia was with them too!  It felt fantastic to be in the water, it was the first time I've been to the Rec center since March.  We are going to try to make it our Friday thing.  

Home,, dinner was not made.  They said it was because they wanted it to be fresh and hot for me, but they were really just plonked on the couches on their phones.  We all pitched in and made some good din-din though.  I made burgers, Sonja cut up red onions and tomatoes, and got out the pickles, ect., Camille made both onion rings and tater tots in the air fryer.  I resolved to have only one of each, but eeks, I had a few more than that.  Swimming does make one ravenous.  Charlotte Claire decided to make herself a panini, which was fine with me.  She had been craving one...

I gave the girls some little bags too, with some chocolates...they enjoyed cracking into it while we watched a few episodes of...Grey's Anatomy.  I know, it's a horrible show, but...we watch it together.

Ah well...time to get moving, my fingers are cold, it's cold cold cold!  1 degree this morning! (-17.2C)...

But first, here's a cute pic of Kathryn and little Achilles, they visited Zion National Park yesterday in Nevada...

And Jonny...isn't it gorgeous there?

And Suri, keeping warm:

Keep warm!