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

Sunday, February 27, 2022

there once was an old granny....

 I remember chatting with old people back when I wasn't old yet.  I had all these kids, and they would tell me how they used to be in my shoes, but now they had grandkids...the general consensus was:  they were great and fantastic, but the best part was that you could send them home and phew, put your feet up.  I harrumphed BIG TIME at that!  little did I know!

This past weekend, I GRAMMA-ed.  The boys arrived on Saturday morning, with their extra clothes, and their jammies.  I hurried mom and dad out the door, no prolonged good-byes.  The kids will be fine, go have fun, leave before they realize you're leaving.  Plus, I kind of know how to take care of kids.

Well.  Seems I've forgotten some of it, like how tiring it is, and how I tend to lose my coffee.  The little guy is only shy of 18 months, and is more curious than is good for him, or for me.  Old me, who has to follow him around.  I thought we were baby-proofed, silly me!  

CRASH!  Me:  What was that?  Wulf:  Tennyson knocked down a plant.  But don't worry Grandma, I'll clean it up.  (Why would I worry, he's almost four, he can clean it up.  Not really.  I picked up the plant, and got out the little vacuum for them to fight over, as all children like to vacuum up dirt.)

(My poor aloe plant!)

They warned me that T. poops twice a day.  I rolled my eyes.  I am not a-scared of poopy diapers.  Well.  That little stinker put his hand down there, quicker than a flash, and oh my, I needed another few hands to deal with it.  I managed, but wow, am I out of practice?

Wulf likes to keep busy, and he's always got these good ideas of what we should do next.  Grandma, can we play with sand?  Grandma, can we play in water?  Grandma, can you take me outside, and can we put salt in the snowplow truck?  Grandma, can I paint?   For the record, he did play in water (a toy coffee maker, at the table with a towel and lots of water and little cups.  He may have helped himself to the dogs water, filled that toy coffee maker right up, before Grandma got to getting him some water.). I also took him outside, AND let him fill the back of his snow plow truck with salt.  I also played games, built towers, read stories, and sang songs.  

Wiping bottoms and noses and filling sip-py cups, the day goes by so slowly yet, oh my goodness, dinner time?  How did I ever do this?  I had made meatballs on Friday, knowing that both boys really like them, and they were super easy to heat up for them.  They had some pasta, too, but liked the meatballs better.  

This morning, Wulf helped me make waffles, and I cut up some strawberries.  Tennyson loved the waffles until he started having some strawberries, he liked those way better, so of course that meant he wouldn't eat one more bit of waffle, spit some out even.  harrumph.  okay.  

This whole circus takes some patience.  Tennyson feeds pretzels to the dog, snuggles up to Orange Guy, aka The Claw.

He somehow didn't get a single scratch this weekend.

(Orange Guy tries to start trouble with Sunny, but Sunny doesn't care.  They get along just fine)
Wulf on the deck with his salt truck...
Tenny loves bugging the dogs.  They don't mind, he makes up for it by dropping the best crumbs.
Grampa got out ice cream sandwiches.
They sure kept me hopping.  Tennyson went to bed like an angel.  But, he woke up a few hours later.  I rocked him for a bit, put him back down, and yes, back to sleep.  I still have it.

Wulf insisted on mopping both the kitchen and living room floors after Tenny went to bed, because apparently I had promised him earlier that he could mop later.  That boy doesn't forget anything.  He simply loves my new mop, squeezing the trigger and spraying floor cleaner everywhere, what's not to like?

He kept getting out of bed, so I talked to him, he said he needed warm milk.  Okay, I said, I'll make a deal:  I'll make you warm milk if you stay in bed and go to sleep.  He said:  Deal!  We dealt, and he went to sleep like a champ.  Ahh.

After a shower and getting in bed before midnight, knowing the boys would be up early, I was still awake thinking about things when, around one, Tennyson woke up.  dang.  He was pretty upset.  I got my cozy warm robe on, and my slippers, and wrapped him in his blank-ie, and came out here to my big comfy chair...we rocked and rocked, he finally fell asleep at almost three.  Sonja so nicely set the pack and play up here in the living room, I put him in it, and conked out on the couch from 3:30 to 7:30, not terrible, but YAWN, I do NOT still have it!

Today I made a yummy dinner:  the copy-cat Chik-fil-A nuggets.  I cut the chicken breast into small bite sized pieces, soaked them in dill pickle juice...then into some flour with salt and pepper, cayenne, a dash of ginger, and a few spoons of confectioner's sugar.  A dip into egg and milk, than back into the flour mixture, and onto a baking sheet (three of them, actually) with parchment paper, and lots of olive oil, roasted in a 400 degree good!  Evelyn was here, she roasted up some asparagus.  I put seasoned fries in the air fryer, and what a nice dinner!  Margaret and Adrian were here to pick up the kids, they stayed for a while...

The kids are off to the big city to their big concert, and Sonja is studying for a big test.  I need to go pack, as in 12 hours, we are leaving for the airport.  The kids will get home just before we have to leave, but they already packed for Florida.   

So I had a tiring but utterly satisfying weekend.  

This all being said, I am not sticking my head in the sand concerning world events.  I know what's going on, don't know what to believe or why it's happening, my soul aches for the mamas who have sons dragged off to war, and for the families and children and babies, for wives of soldiers, for grand parents, for the unnecessary wreckage of homes and businesses.  I saw footage of a gas station, cars lined up forever, to gas up and flee, and one of the cars was my exact car.  It's just so awful, and I don't understand why men are so hell-bent on destruction.  War.  It's detestable.   I just don't get it.... We have friends in Ukraine, one of our dear friends lived there for a while with her husband, and moved back to the U.S., but his family is still there...pray for them! 

Friday, February 25, 2022

snowy blowy Friday!

 ...but we aren't staying home, safe and sound.  We have to go out and about...the three youngest kids are going to a concert on Sunday, South Korean pop music,  TWICE, is the group.  Don't ask me, because it's not nice to say that it hurts my ears, but then I find myself singing some of it...blah.  But they're going with friends of ours, who are graciously driving down to New York City with them, and their three kids.  They have to show proof of a negative C test, so that's where we're going today.  Important stuff, to them. 

When they first started yammering about this concert, I let it go in one ear and out the other, because in my book, nope, wasn't even happening.  But then Paul remembered what it was like to want to go to a concert, and said he'd take them.  It turned out that our friends are taking them, but I still can't believe they're going.  They have earned the money themselves, and paid for their tickets.  They have been counting the days.  

There is also a huge church youth conference this weekend, so I'll be helping Emily a bit this afternoon, meals for 400!  Then tomorrow, little Wulf and Tennyson will be coming here for the rest of the weekend. I have to go vacuum the room they'll be in, and I still have to see if my stuff will fit in my backpack, as we're leaving Monday morning for Florida.

Yesterday, Sonja had the day off from school, so we went to a few places, then she had an appointment, so I went to a few MORE places, all by my lonesome.  The thrift store, where I got some grandkid clothes, a bin of wooden blocks, and a nice toy garbage truck.  It was so nice to just wander around in no particular hurry.  Then, to the dollar store!  It's all $1.25 now, but still, here's what I got:

The rich get their ice in the summertime, but the poor get theirs in the winter,  Laura Ingalls Wilder in Farmer Boy...  I always think of that when I buy nice sweaters, slippers, or Christmas items when springtime is encroaching (or swimsuits and sandals in the autumn).  These were marked $12.99, each has cocoa and coffee in it.  Since it's still really cold and wintery, why not?  (I also got a huge plastic canister of Halloween pretzels, and two bags of Reeese's Peanut butter cups with glow-in-the-dark wrappers...)

I cheated and didn't have to make dinner:  I bought the in-store fried chicken, then cut up some veggies and strawberries, and there's dinner, kids.  There's this disgustingly yummy lunchmeat that I had as a child, and bought occasionally through the years, and the kids really like, olive loaf.  It's like a bologna with sliced green olives in it, sounds awful, but it's actually good.  I bought that and a pound of store baked Italian bread (99 cents, can't go wrong!), so those kids ate sandwiches, too.  

We are leaving Monday morning, and I've just tried stuffing things in my backpack, it might work.  If I take a few things out, will I sorely regret it?  Should I leave the laptop home this time?  We aren't going to a remote island where there are no stores, so it's not like the end of the world, but for me to find something that fit me, well...

Anyhoo....things to do around here...and the girls are chatting goodbye for now.

Wednesday, February 23, 2022

projects and out and about....

 Oooh, another project!  Our downstairs bathroom needs attention...paint, and a new look.  I'm going to take down the wall cabinet, which was installed when we built this house, way back in 1990.  It's chalk painted, but.  I'm thinking some natural wood (like old pallet boards) for shelves, with just cheap brackets, spray painted black.  I'm thinking a new mirror above the sink, and some spray painted hooks screwed into a piece of pallet board, for the hand towels.  A few fake plants on the shelves, a new shower curtain, paint the door and trim....

Today, we went out and about a bit.  Target, swimsuits pieces were buy one get one 50% off.  I miss the days the girls could get both suit pieces for under ten dollars, but no, they are growing up, and bathing suits generally aren't sold that way.   Camille found one she liked, but Char didn't.  They are fun to shop with though.  I found a few good grandkid gifts, and got a few bags of Easter candy.  

We went to the grocery store just for a very few things.  I had wanted to get a roast, $3.99 a pound, but the pork chops were only $1.49 a pound, so I put the beef back.  I had already gotten chicken breast from Target, so we didn't actually need it.  I like beef best though.  

Now those chops are marinating in lime juice, salt and pepper, and rosemary.  I think I'll roast a few chopped sweet potatoes, and some Brussel sprouts.  I'd like applesauce too, but we only have a huge jar, and won't eat it all...I buy the unsweetened stuff, it's so good with pork chops.

I took the girls to Chick-fil-A, which they totally, not so much.  I got nuggets, saved most of them for Sonja.  It is yummy stuff, but I made the mistake of saying to Sonja, I can buy two huge packages of chicken breasts for what I spent for just a few things there...Yeah, she told me that I always say that, and why do I even go there?  That, my dear, is a good question.  I guess I like to bless them, but ouch-er.  She is a very tired girl right now, burning the candle at both ends in nursing school, so she can be a bit spicy sometimes.   Perhaps she is right, if I go there, I can just be quiet and not complain about the price.  The truth hurts.  

We went to Bed, Bath, and Beyond the other day, it's closing soon and everything was 70-80% off.  I got a beautiful quilt that was already marked down, so it was extremely reasonable.  Charlotte Claire got some new sheets, so soft, and I got some stuff for the bathroom we are re-doing.  I didn't go to BB&B very often, and when I did, it was only for sale or clearance stuff, but I did like to wander through there sometimes.  

This coming weekend, I'll be babysitting for Wulf and Tennyson while Margaret and Adrian go to a conference.  My other kids will be going too, so it'll just be Paul and I with the kids...two small children, how hard can that be?  

We're having atrocious weather, windy and the temps dropping rapidly.  We had a warm couple of days, most of the snow melted, now it's brrrr, and more snow on Friday.  I am certainly looking forward to Florida.  The forecast has sunshine all the days before and after our trip, but partly cloudy every day we're there.  harrumph.  I hope it changes.  I NEED sunshine, and want it too.  

We didn't pay to check a bag, so we're only bringing backpacks.  I'm not sure I can do it.  It's only from Monday to Friday, bathing suit alone takes up half a back pack, I am no small girl.  4 pairs of undies, an extra bra, shorts, two tops, three sundresses...a sweater?  My laptop, cashews and gum and wallet and water bottle...hmmm.  Can I do it?  Oh wait, a nightgown!  Hairbrush!  Vitamins!  Coffee pour over!  (Grandma has a Keurig:)). We can buy coffee and filters down there.  I did get the girls travel sized face wash and little bottles to bring their must-have hair gels and stuff.   A hundred dollars to check a bag both's not that bad, but do we really need it? 

Ah well...time to put those chops in the oven....:) 


Tuesday, February 22, 2022

pics from the past, and a huge happy birthday!


Mariel Joy, my 4th child, now all grown up and still so lovely...happy birthday!

Mariel is the second from the left, behind Suzanne in the blue this nice pic with all eleven daughters.
(How can I ever complain about anything, right?  Blessed, extremely blessed...)

The past...

Once upon a time, I only had ten children.  Emily was holding little Margaret, then Abigail, then Benjamin holding Kathryn with Molly Rose behind, then Mariel, Joseph Aaron, with Samuel in the back...

Aaron was a kindergartener in this picture, with his antlers on...(outside the black circle is cousin Thomas, cousin Michaela, and my sister-in-law Mary (she had ten children!).  I was holding Kathryn, and Margaret, Sam, and Molly were with me.  The back story here:  Emily, Abigail, Benjamin, Mariel, Joseph, and kindergarten Aaron were at school all day, I was home with Molly, Samuel, Margaret, and go to that party, I had to get the four little ones dressed and buckled into the Big Van.  It's rather noticeable that I was a bit fatter back then, ugh.  

I was fifteen when my sister got married...the feathered hair!
I think I was 14 in this pic, with the little girl we babysat for.

Three years ago:  Suzanne, friend Irene, Sonja K., Camille, me, Charlotte Claire, Evelyn took the picture...we had driven down to Florida to visit Grandma.
Margaret's wedding, ten of my eleven girls (Molly had to leave for work).  
Mariel, Sonja K., Abigail, Suzanne, Margaret, Kathryn, Emily, Evelyn, with Miss Camille and Miss Charlotte Claire in the front.  

Ah, what I day I had today...Grandchildren were here, and a grand-puppy, if there's such a thing.  Molly has a four month old chocolate Lab, with one speed, and it ain't slow.  There were games of hide-and-seek, setting up train tracks, coloring, and snacks.  I got a few hugs in, and read one story.  

It's quiet in here now, Camille is practicing the violin, and it sounds heavenly.  

I had the muffin ingredients all measured and ready to put together so Anya and Elise could help.   I got the idea and the recipe from Billie Jo at Afternoon Coffee and Tea, only I substituted blueberries for the raspberries and chocolate chips.  We got these into the oven right as Lydia came in the door with Molly and the pup.  

Tonight is activity club, which I do love.  I'm bringing play dough, coloring stuff, and "little things", which are the Calico Critters/Little Woodzeez.  

There is a lot of crazy stuff going on in the news.  Some people don't read/watch/listen at all, because it stresses them.  I just can't do that, I have to know.  But there's a fine line between being informed, and being consumed.  I don't want to be stressed by things I cannot control, either.  

Here is something interesting:  I made taco soup last night.  It was really good.  Some frozen chicken breast, I usually put it in a marinade when I freeze it, like lemon or lime juice/salt and pepper/olive oil...I put it in the crock pot, like five breast pieces.  When it started to cook, I cut it up with kitchen scissors.  I added chicken stock, then later I thinly sliced carrots and celery and chopped some red peppers.  I browned them up in a frying pan in butter, with some frozen corn.  All into the crock pot with a can of diced tomatoes, and a packet of taco seasoning.  It was really good, a few hours later.  Paul put Mexican shredded cheese on his, the girls at theirs with crescent rolls.  It would be good with tortilla strips.  It was such a tasty meal with such minimal effort.

Ah well...there are things to clean up and straighten, and what is dinner tonight?  I remember through the years, being so busy, and thinking, I have to make dinner AGAIN tonight?  I just made it last night!!!

Monday, February 21, 2022

when words paint the pictures...

 If my kids didn't mind the intrusion of me snapping pics, or perhaps if I was more motivated to be the pushy picture taker, memory maker...or maybe I'm just lazy.  But part of it is that my kids come over and relax, in comfy clothes, and don't necessarily want to be in the blog.  I don't know why, ha.

So I'll use my words.  Emily, Abigail, and Mariel came over for dinner...the pups LOVE when more people come, bark bark bark, wag wag wag.  Suri especially loves it, more people to pet her.  Margaret and Adrian were here with little Wulf and Tennyson.  Tenny likes to explore.  He likes drawers, and cupboards, and unattended drinks.  He also likes me.  He toddles over, puts his arms up, and how can I not pick him up?

Evelyn came over too, she took Sonja out shopping for a while.  Paul and I, and Jonathan, Charlotte Claire, and Camille were here.  So when Ev and Sonja got home, there were 14 of us.  I had plans for pulled pork nachos.  Margaret seasoned up the pork while I cut up red, green, yellow and orange peppers, red onions, and shredded some cheese.

I filled a big bowl with snow from the deck, filled that with cans of seltzers, oh we're fancy, it's like having ice.  (I didn't open the seltzers, just set them in there)

We sat around the table and solved the world's problems.  This picture surfaced recently:

If you look closely, you can see that Emily Anne was holding newborn baby Kathryn Grace.  Abigail and Mariel had matching homemade dresses (how on earth did I find the time?   Little Molly Rose had a homemade jumper on, too)...Benjamin holding Margaret, who was fifteen months old, fifteen months and one day.  Samuel was still two, wouldn't turn three until August (this was March of 1998).   
(Emily 13
Abigail 11
Benjamin 9.   (I had lost a baby at 12 weeks between Ab and Ben, then Ben was born the year after, due exactly the date of the loss, but was born a week early)
Mariel 8
Joseph 6 
Aaron 5
Molly 4
Sam 2
Margaret 15 months...
Kathryn day old...)
(So when Benjamin was nine years old, he was the oldest of eight kids...)
(Evelyn was born the next year in August
then Suzanne
Charlotte Claire
(three more miscarriages during, then one after Camille)
(I was a grand old 32 years old!  With ten kids!  After Kathryn was born, I developed a bad headache...which turned into a horrible migraine.  Paul had gone home, I was there with the baby, and my head hurt so badly...I rang the nurse, and asked for something...time passed, I sat there crying, no one came, and I was there with this new baby, this beautiful little girl, but my head hurt.  Finally, the nurse came in with acetominophin or whatever, and I asked her if she could take the baby for a bit, as my head was killing me.  As she wheeled baby Kathryn out in the bassinet, I overheard her say, "What in the H is she going to do when she gets home?  Ten kids!"  I cried even harder, because I was wondering the same thing.
I also wanted to scream out into the hall after that nurse, "EXCUSE ME, I am NOT a big BABY.  I just gave birth with absolutely NO pain meds..! (.but a migraine, oh dear, that does me in)

So THIS is why I love the quiet, and the down time, and sleep.

Anyway.  I had put this picture on Instagram, and it spurred some conversations.  It wasn't always easy for the older kids, it was busy and crazy...Emily used to get a book, and climb a tree.  She also took the kids on adventures, and they loved her so much...she had a following, continuously.   Mariel used to try to organize, make cleaning lists, and get mad when Benjamin and Joseph didn't cooperate.  

Paul expressed how he would like a do-over.  I would also like a do-over.  Wouldn't we all?  We all did our best at the time, but in retrospect, you see so clearly how you would be so much more patient.  I can't say I regret much though, I think ditching the housework for adventures was grand.  

Anyway.  Yesterday after our church meeting, we had lunch together with our friends.  Emily made her amazing butternut squash curry soup, made with coconut milk, Paul and I made stacks and stacks of grilled ham and cheese sandwiches.  Emily bought the ingredients, and we all gave donations to the youth fund.  It was great fun, and so nice to all be together. 

Today Paul had the day off from work.  He brought the pups and Miss Char on an adventure, a hike on some public land he's scouting for next hunting season.  Jon went to work, Sonja K. to class, so Camille and I rattled around here like peas in a big giant pod.  We did go out on the deck for some 50 degree sunshine, but then when it clouded over, brr.  Yes, I had a tank top and shorts on, I like that sun on the skin.

Paul and Charlotte Claire are home now.  Cam has practiced her violin, and is playing SIMS, Char just made fries in the air fryer.  I have chicken in the crockpot, there'll be chicken and gravy for dinner.  Life is slower now, than it was when we were knee deep in small children, but it does get speeding fast sometimes.  Tomorrow, Anya and Elise will come for a visit while their mama goes for an appointment.  Then, in the afternoon, Miss Anne and Mr. Davian will come for a visit while their mama has an appointment...we are going to set up some trains...:)

Saturday, February 19, 2022

how to spend your days, and going to Florida!!!!!!

 ...snow day well spent:

A single batch of cookies is so easy, after so many years of tripling the recipe.  These had a whole bag of peanut butter chips, and a whole bag of milk chocolate chips, plus a few mini regular semi-sweet to balance them out.  The house smelled heavenly, and no, I did not eat any.  
Miss Charlotte Claire, did you do this to Sunny?
We had the yummiest dinner!  I had Chik-fil-A nuggets in the airport when we were traveling back from Florida, and they were so good.  I decided to recreate them...a five pound package of chicken breast, carefully trimmed and chopped into small cubes, chunks...soaked in dill pickle juice for a bit, drained, tossed in olive oil, and dredged in a mixture of flour, with salt and pepper, and a bit of confectioner's sugar.  I wanted to air fry it, but there was too much, I would be making batch after I put it on parchment covered baking pans with lots of olive oil, and turned the oven to 400.  I did flip it and stir it up a few times, and was pleased at how crispy it got, and the inside was still tender.  I don't think I exactly nailed them, but they were really good, so much cheaper, probably healthier, and we at them with...knock off Chili's Chipotle Chicken Crisper sauce...(1/4 cup Franks red hot sauce, 1 cup brown sugar, a tablespoon water, a few tablespoons of butter, cook until boiling, let boil gently for a few,stirring the whole time,  it gets thick! ) Spoon that over your nuggets, mmmm.  not healthy, I know...but so yummy.  I had mine with cauliflower rice, but the kids had Basmati rice and there were seasoned fries from the air fryer.  I did snitch two of those, why are fries so good?   

....and, we are going to FLORIDA!!!!  Yay, I am so excited!  We are going to see grandma, just Paul and I and the two little week!  We're only going for four nights, but it'll be so nice.  

I have to say, I'm disgusted and disappointed with the Canadian government's response to the protests.  I saw a video of the cops on horses riding through a crowd and trampling people.  Arresting peaceful protesters, freezing accounts, threatening...hmm, free country?   I know that these times will happen, and there's not a heck of a lot I can do about it, but my goodness, it's alarming.  

Here in New York State, the government has decided not to enforce the vaccine booster requirement for healthcare workers, wish they had said that a few weeks ago.  They can't afford to lose any more of the health workforce.  A substance abuse center in central NY just had to oust their inpatient patients, due to all of the remaining nurses handing in their badges, sick of working in understaffed, unsafe environment.  We have the military staffing hospitals here, wings still closed, beds still closed, it's crazy.  

Things are opening up, slowly, hope they stay that way.  Norway has opened it's borders, no vaccine or testing required anymore.  

We just need to get the masks off the school kids.  You've probably all seen the memes about the hypocrisy of the elite visiting schools unmasked, and the school board members trouncing around maskless, while a regular parent in that same district gets tipped out of his chair and dragged out of a school board meeting (here in NY state, AFTER the state mask requirements were dropped...but still being enforced in schools)...  I mean, seriously?  If you have mask breaks in classrooms, kids taking them off to eat and drink, then putting them back on...little kids, touching them, tugging on them, breathing in them and dropping them....I cannot for the life of me think of a scenario where anyone thinks this actually helps anything.  And if it DOES prevent kids from getting colds and flus, well, what's going to happen to their immune systems when things go back to "normal"?  

Anyway.  The poor kids.  Lots of them say they don't mind.  Well, they've been TRAINED to not mind.  It's sad.

Going out and about and seeing peoples' faces again is wonderful.  If someone still chooses to mask, that's fine and dandy too, who knows if they have immunity issues, or fear, or are especially vulnerable, or just plan feel safer.  That's fine...

Well, I'm certainly not short of strong opinions today, am I?  I need to get busy around here...there are projects, believe it or not...

Friday, February 18, 2022

no school, snow day!!!!!

 Yesterday it was so warm and rainy, it smelled like spring!  Camille and I decided to go for a walk down the road...

Camille mentioned how gloomy it is...I agreed, said, "'ll be this way 'til probably June."  

It will get better, it'll get green and promising.  But not today.  Today, we went right back to winter.  My phone camera just doesn't capture the snow globe-ness of today.  

Huge snow flakes, it's actually beautiful.  The temperature dropped to 20 degrees before dawn, freezing the roads and the puddles and then snow started falling...we got a message that school was delayed for two hours, I told Miss Char to go back to bed...then school was cancelled, yay!!!  It's not the same excitement of past years when I had eight or ten kids in school, and they announced it was closed.  We didn't get a t.v until we had nine kids, we used to hear the school closings at ten minute intervals on the radio.  Then t.v. was a game changer, they were on a continuous loop at the bottom of the screen on the news channel.  Now, we get a text and phone call from the school, takes the fun almost out of it.  And, we have only ONE child left in public school!

But, that child has been longing for a snow day!  The last one she had was when I was in Florida and our flight got the time I got home that night, the snow day fun was long gone, I had missed it.

It's cold and wintery, but I am still enjoying the coziness.  I really love winter, and it's coming to an end, without having had too much treacherous travel.  Driving on slippery roads, or when you cannot even see where the road is, or in blinding snow, nope.  Each day of winter when I'm out and about and the driving is fine, I am so thankful.

Word has it that U.S. truckers are also planning some protests.   Our shelves are not so stocked as it is, will it get worse?  The bigger picture is that perhaps it will all work, and mandates will be dropped, borders opened, people will get rights back.  But, we might suffer in the short-run.  Grocery store shopping is shocking me, I see the price jumps, and I could cry, thinking about people who struggle so much, how are they managing?  On the one hand, I have this push in me to stock up on things, especially pet chow, because honestly, there are big empty spaces in some dog and cat food shelves.  Then I think of me having five bags in reserve, and some innocent guy going to get a bag for his hungry hound, and...none there.  It's too sad, and these are just the pups...what about the kids?  

I know, I know, it's not all doom and gloom.  Miss Kettler, our old kitty, the mama cat, is a purr-er.  She loves me, and loves to sit with me.  She's a huge pain in the rear, she's the one who prefers peeing in the hallway to her kitty litter sometimes, but she's so sweet.  She will also not hesitate to swat/scratch/bite any small child who looms over her, but I still love her.  

Sonja got home from the hospital yesterday, right as Cam and I were coming home from our walk.  I asked her if she wanted to go to Target, and yes, she did.  She needed a break, and some fun.  We got cat food, dog food (only one bag of each), toilet paper (only one!), chicken, and...fake tulips.  Aren't they pretty (first pic)?  I also bought Easter candy, not tons, just a few bags...

Then, to make it even more fun, we went through the McDonald's drive through.  They get the $1 McChicken, we got medium iced coffees for $1.49 (and they were really good!), and I got the McDouble, didn't eat the bun, and the 20 piece nuggets so we could bring some home to Charlotte Claire, who was home from school, and not happy that we went and had fun without her.  We don't go to McD's very often, so it's a treat when we do.  We didn't get fries, we TRY to be healthy ha ha.  The bottom line:  it tastes good.  :).  

The college closed too, Miss Sonja has the day off!  Cinnamon buns are going in the oven, the snow day is going to be amazing!!!!!

Thursday, February 17, 2022

writer's block?

 Yesterday I wrote some of a post, three different times.  The result was a disjointed pile of word vomit, even more random than usual.  

My life just isn't that exciting!  Yet, it's never boring to me!  Yesterday morning, I had been sitting here in the comfy chair, when Abigail texted me.  She works from home now with her book keeping business, and has to go into the city now and then to get her mail, and run errands.  She asked if I'd like to go along.  Um, of course!  Just getting to spend one-on-one time with the older kids is nice.  

We took a quick look in the thrift store, she's looking for some sort of storage thing, but we came out with a toy bubble-blowing lawn mower, and three brand new white electrical switch plates.  

She needed a few things in Aldi.  I like how people just randomly give you a cart and wave away the quarter.  It was given to me!,  the nice lady said.  It's only a quarter, but it gives people an opportunity to do a good deed.  (The carts are all locked up, you put in a quarter to release one, then get the quarter back when you return the cart.  It keeps the parking lot free of loose carts, and if homeless people want a cart, at least they pay a quarter for it.)

In the afternoon, out and about again, this time with Emily.  There's work going on this weekend at our church property, so we're serving some meals.  We've gotten pretty good at planning and shopping for these things, and it's quite fun.  (Brekky sandwiches on Saturday, taco salad for lunch, pulled pork, Mac and cheese, and broccoli for dinner, brownies for dessert, Sunday brekky pancakes and sausages...with oranges, bananas, cookies for snacks). This is only a group of approximately twenty, so not too difficult.

We're trying to plan a trip to visit Grandma in Florida soon.  We'd like to bring Sonja K., she is having a most stressful time in nursing school.  It's challenging, she does like it though.  She likes/hates it.  We were thinking of going when the other kids are in Norway.  But, the tickets are as expensive during break as it costs round trip to Norway!  (the kids have fundraised for a lot of their trip)

Cold coffee in the pot nine days old...this is only two hours old, but jeepers.  I don't even have small children anymore, but I do have two very spoiled Labradors.  They were barking their heads off at Sonja's friend who was picking her up for class, I made them lie down and be quiet.  They think they're smarter, and know better, and keep doing their little muffled barks...they just can't seem to help themselves.   Anyway, I gave them nice chewy bone treats, and they were so busy with them, I decided to mop the floors, as I had already swept.   Their usual:  as soon as I start mopping, they start walking around where I just mopped.  

Anyway.  By the time I put some blankets in the dryer, wiped down the counters, mopped...sat back down, and oh yeah!  I never finished my coffee! 

Justin T. , what a guy.  He totally accused a Jewish Conservative of supporting people who wave Swastikas.   wow.  What, pray tell, is he accomplishing by holding on to his requirements?  Just give it up, Justing, give it up.

The fringe, he says.  I think most of us are the fringe.  I honestly hate politics, because of the way we're wired, to be people pleasers.  It takes diligence and zeal to go against that in oneself, to be honest and upright and seek to please only God.  So then you have these people, who would do or say anything under the sun to be looked upon favorably, to get elected, to get power, to keep power...they stray so far from the truth, most of them.  They're not consciously being evil, but I do think that when men taste power, it corrupts.  

Then we, the fringe, just want to live our lives in freedom....our boring, uneventful lives...:)

Tuesday, February 15, 2022

another day, another post...


Just some chocolates, and some Rice Krispie ones!

It's been snowing like crazy here for a while, the big fat lake effect flakes.  Tomorrow though:  sunshine and temperatures OVER freezing!  

Today has been a stay-at-home day.  I've swept and the middle of sweeping, Margaret face-time called me, so I could say hello to Tennyson.  I showed him the doggies, and gave them treats so they could crunch them, and showed him the kitties, and talked to him a bit...then I ended up in my comfy chair, totally forgot about sweeping.  Paul works from home, he was getting a coffee, saw the broom and dustpan abandoned in the middle of the floor, said, "Take a break from sweeping?"  um, no, just got distracted.  He doesn't care at all, but dang it, I try to look busy ha.  It's weird, he works and I don't, and I don't really do too much sometimes, shh.  

I did finish sweeping, I mopped, cleaned off the stove top, steam cleaned the oven, ran the dishwasher...we wash dishes by hand because we have such hard water the dishwasher coats the dishes in white...we do have a water softener system, and an iron filter.   Doing dishes by hand just is better for us with our water. So we just put them in the dishwasher to dry, it's a big expensive drying rack.  I run it every once in a while just to keep it a CLEAN drying rack.

I puttered around, organized the craft baskets and cleaned out my activity club stuff, packed what I'll need for tonight, cut out some hearts for them to decorate treat bags, and made my Rice Krispie treats.  I washed some towels, washed some dishes, and and and.  

There is a dinner dilemma.  I don't know what to make, and I just don't feel like making it.  We don't have enough eggs, so that's out.  Paul and I are mostly low carb, and the girls just had after school snacks (Asian buns, steamed).  We have some leftovers, but blah, and I have ingredients to make different meals, but blah.  I'm just lazy.

Our two cats are mother/son.  She had so many kittens before we caught her between batches and got her spayed.  We kept one cute little Orange Guy.  He is way bigger than her, and he's a bully.  He is also fixed, so they should get along, but he will just jump at her, bat at her, sit beside her and swat her.  He might just want to play.  In any case, one thing I've told my girls is:  never marry a guy who isn't nice/respectful to his mama, because he'll treat his wife badly too.  So the other day one of the girls said, never marry a guy like Orange Guy.

Here are some random things I'm thinking about:

1.  Artur Pawlowski is a Polish Canadian preacher.  He was arrested 11 days ago for preaching to the truckers, a 20 minute sermon, in which he reminded them TWICE to keep things peaceful.  He is in a maximum security jail, 23 hours a day solitary confinement, arrested for inciting violence.  um, what?  Tyranny in Canada.  Justin T. has said himself that he admires China, admires their dictatorship.  

2.  Masks in school need to go bye-bye.    

3.  The shelves in the stores here are definitely lacking.  I went into the Dollar General the there day, and oh my, the food shelves were almost bare.  Walmart yesterday, the Valentine's candy was pretty much gone, and many other items just not there or in small quantities.

4.  Hilary C. did some very underhanded things.

5.  We probably won't be able to get a camper this year, but I'm thinking about buying a new I can stand up in, and that fits a super duper air mattress.   I mean, 7-10 thousand dollars > a hundred dollars.  

6.  We have THREE 3-day weekends of camping booked, two of them are sites on the water, up on Lake Ontario this in June, one in July, and one in August.  The older kids have sites too...:)

Okay, enough of this, I have to go make something for dinner....

Monday, February 14, 2022

happy valentine's!


Chocolates look so enticing.  I didn't have any, but the girls said they were good.  I do admire them.  Shh, I did have like ten Hershey kisses though....have to stop buying them.

The water problem is fixed, at least for now, a new pressure switch, and a new shop vac.  We had wanted/needed one for a while, but it became imminent with all that water leaking, so thank you local hardware store for being open on Sunday morning.  

Random grandkid pics:

Anya with her daddy, our oldest son, Benjamin
Elise and Anya

and...Tennyson, who helped himself to the bottle of syrup.  Um, no.  

This fine cold day in February, with a high of 15  (-9.4c) but feels colder with the wind, I'll be going out and about.  Tomorrow we are having a Valentine's party for the activity club, and they will need some prizes, and I am making some cupcakes, so I need a few supplies.  I'll also get a few groceries for the week, since I'll be out.  I'm trying to minimize my out-and-abouts, as gas prices are UGH.  

There is a nice chuck roast with potatoes and carrots in the crock pot, which I love love love, and I love love love that dinner is already made!  It will start to smell heavenly in here soon.  

Yesterday, Jonathan went to a Super Bowl gathering at Ben's house.  There was a snack contest, and Jon won...because he made chipotle chicken crispers with a copycat recipe from Chili's.  He used fresh chicken breast, and made it all from scratch, in little batches in the air fryer, with two kinds of sauces.  I had to hold back, he had to do it on his own, for the contest, and believe it or not, I can tend towards steamrolling.  

 Emily had taken Charlotte Claire and Camille and their friend Amanda to an Asian food market.  They came in the door with noodles and egg rolls and all sorts of treats, some of which they prepared and had for dinner.   

The Super Bowl....well, I am no football fan, but I did watch part of the game.  I root for the underdogs, but I didn't care too much who won.  The commercials were so-so.  We tend to mute all commercials, don't watch much t.v.  We didn't have any special snacks, I had a baggie of leftover popcorn from the other night when we had some of the older girls here...homemade stovetop popcorn, in coconut oil, with butter, oh dear, my favorite.  I can only make it once in a while, because it's too good.

I've been feeling kind of disconcerted lately.  I can't put my finger on it.  Maybe it's a middle age thing, but I think it's more promptings from God to be more serious about the inner life.  It's important to remain hopeful in all that we go through, chastening and trials are a part of life, and not meant to discourage us, but to test our faith.  Life isn't all sunshine and rainbows, you can feel one way or other, maybe people don't respect you, but to keep your heart pure, and seek only approval form Him who judges righteously, then there is peace.  It's a fight, and we fight not against flesh and blood, but against powers and principalities.  

It's possible to go through an entire day, and lie in bed, and think, how have I been faithful today?...and draw a blank!  That is a total waste!  We need to walk wisely, and redeem our time.   Ask God for help, He will most certainly give it!

Anyway,  we're still debating our new flooring here.  The kitchen tile needs to be replace, we would like the waterproof wood-like planking, but I think it will look stupid next to the different wood (laminate)  in the living room, and that it would look fantastic to replace it all at the same time, and go right down the hall with it...the hall which still has the original carpet...(AND, we have a cat who occasionally pees in the hallway, which...infuriates me.  Not at the cat, she is a sweetheart, but at the smell!  She has a litter box, and she goes outside, but sometimes she just squats daintily, and pees on the floor. ) So, I want to rip up the carpeting immediately, I don't even care if it's just plywood until we figure it out.  Paul wants to get flooring just for the hallway, but it all has to match...doesn't it?  We can't have patchwork flooring.  They don't make the stuff we have in the living room, anymore.  He thinks we can match it "closely enough".  I am dubious.  

I'm of the mind that we save up until we can do it all, but maybe I'm just stubborn.  Our living room floor is still fine, so....can two different wood floors co-exist, as there are two wide doorways connecting kitchen and living room...?  Then the hallway connects to the living room, so if it matched the kitchen flooring, it would be true patchwork...ha.  

Oh, the the conundrums!  If money were no object, what would we do with ourselves?  Life would be borrrrring.    

Ah well, off we go...Camille's violin is at Emily's house, so I'll stop there to get it and drop them off something nice for Valentines day....

Sunday, February 13, 2022

never a dull moment...

 This fine cold Sunday morning, I thought I'd take a shower before heading to per usual, I soaped up my face with my special face soap (it was $3, over a year ago, but it's so soft and pure, just macadamia oil and goats milk...)...I turned on the shower, and...nothing.  No water.  I turned the sink on, nope, just a few drizzles that were in the pipe, so I tried to at least get the soap off my face.  

I wandered out to the kitchen,  Paul was making coffee (we keep water in Britta pitchers), and blissfully anyway, a burst pipe, and lots of water in the basement.  When he hets home from the hardware store, we'll assess the damages, but I think I'll be cleaning up a mess soon...bye for now, but first, some pictures.

Tennyson loves his vacuum cleaner...
Margaret made some cookies!
On the deck, grilling in the cold!

$3.99 a pound, so good!  Tasted like summer!!!!  (It's my absolute favorite!). Evelyn roasted asparagus, and made fries in the air fryer...amazing.  

And a random picture of six of my girls, from Sam and Grace's wedding:  Margaret playing the guitar, Evelyn, Sonja K., Charlotte Claire, Camille, and Suzanne...

Off I go to help with the mess....

Friday, February 11, 2022

a day at home....

 Since Camille and I went out and about for the whole live-long day yesterday, today seems like a good day for catch-up.  We Target-ed, we Price-Choppered, and we library-ed, then went to her hair appointment.  She has these natural curls, these huge she wanted some looks nice.

I haven't had my hair "done" in three years.  Actually it's either three or four times total, in my life, that I've gone to a place to get my hair cut.  Only once I had it done at a nice place, with highlights and root touch up, that was fantastic, but how can anyone afford this on a regular basis?  I just buy a box, for seven dollars, and I take my own scissors, and snip a little here and there, and I'm done!  

Today, I swept, mopped, washed dishes, straightened up, wiped down counters...yesterday morning I shined the appliances and cleaned the microwave.  Such fun and excitement! 

We had a fun and easy dinner yesterday, a cheat of a dinner.  I bought the store fried chicken, then we made a huge salad.  The kids really like it.  

Today, however, we're having a not easy dinner, I'm making chicken pot pies.  I don't like to make them too often, they'll get too used to them, and not appreciate them as much.  I might make a sugar free pumpkin pie too...mmm.  I've got the pie crusts in the refrigerator, here's my recipe:

2 1/2 cups flour, and half teaspoon salt, whirr it in the food processor.  Add 2 sticks of butter, sliced up, pulse like 8-10 times....add ice cold water, just a bit at a time, tossing with a fork until moist, but not too wet...this makes a double crust pie, but since the top can be smaller, I always manage to make this recipe twice, and get five crusts for two double crusted pot pies, and one pumpkin pie:). I refrigerate if for a while...(the food processor is a game changer for pie crust.  I learned the hard way NOT to put the ice water in, do that manually).   

For the pot pie, I cube up aprox. 5 pounds of chicken breasts, today the package was 4.3 pounds.  I put it in the refrigerator with some lemon juice, salt, pepper, ginger, and rosemary.  I'll toss it in flour, and brown it in olive oil, then add the one qt. chicken broth, a few chicken bullion cubes, and simmer for a while.  You can add sliced carrots and celery, or frozen veggies, or even cube up some potatoes into bite sized pieces, and add those, whatever you like.  I thicken mine with a combination of corn starch and flour.  This seems to make just enough for two pot pies.  I cool the chicken soupy stuff for a bit before dumping into the crusts.  On the top crusts, I put salt, pepper, and rosemary...I bake them on parchment covered cookie sheets to catch that bubbling over gravy.  

Pot pie in the oven:  heavenly.  I made this when I had Covid and couldn't taste or smell.  It was depressing, but I so food oriented, I still enjoyed it...from the anticipation of it coming out of the oven, to the first bite...the texture was good!  I KNEW it tasted good, but that was about it.  I am so very thankful that I have gotten taste and smell back.  I am pretty sure it's not 100%, but I'm still glad.

Here's some good news:  some of my kids are going to Norway for Easter!  

And, that's all that's going on here today.  

Thursday, February 10, 2022

being free, and other excellent things...

 Is the very word freedom exciting for you all, or is it just me?  So many things about that word...taking your bra off at night, going off on your own, eating/drinking/saying whatever you's the most essential concept, something we should all value.

Freedom can go too far, and for that reason, we need to be faithful and obedient to our own consciences, to what God whispers to us.  I was thinking last night, when I couldn't sleep, that no matter what we own,  we can't take it with us.  No way, no how.  So we spend our fleeting lives gathering what we can't bring into eternity.   So in a sense, we have to be FREE from all these things things that glitter and ensnare, because they are truly temporal.  

(When Abigail was three, she had a little purple purse that she just loved.  She would get upset if she had to put it down, she said, "When Jesus comes back, I want to bring my purse when I go with Him."). Um, honey?  I hate to break it to you...

Anyway.  We all know that there are better treasures to seek here in our days.

Angie asked me about fairness.  I am no expert, but I'll say that with 16 kids, I couldn't possibly be fair all of the time.  So I would find myself saying:

1.  Sometimes you get something and your sibling didn't, so share if you can, and maybe next time they'll get something and you won't, and they'll share with you.

2.  Be happy for your brother/sister if they get something nice, one of these days you'll get something random.

(I have a friend who had a large family.  I had come across something really cool that one of her kids would like, so I offered it to her to give to that child for Christmas.  She declined.  She said she would have to get everyone else another gift, to keep if fair.  I was absolutely stunned, I never gave an equal amount of gifts.  I'm not saying she was wrong, but she inadvertently cultivated the idea in her kids that things should be equal.)  

3.  Life isn't fair.

4.  I love you all.

There were times I would find good things, bring them home and toss them to the kids, and maybe one didn't get something, so I would give them a hug, and tell them, "next time!".  oops.  But it's life, and they know I love them.  That is the bottom line.  I want them to know that I value each of them.

I do specifically remember wanting more of my mother's attention, as an adult.  I had six siblings, and she would spend lots of time with my SIL, and my sister, and my brother and his wife...I didn't always like sharing her.  So honestly, I don't know what I'd do if I worked, because it's a part time job keeping up with my kids, even though most of them are grown up.  I like to answer them right away if they text, and to call them/face time when they want to talk, and just keep in touch with them all, as much as I can.  I do love this part time job, and am thankful I have the time for it, as it's one of life's greatest joys.  

And speaking of freedom, I am working on giving that to them...they can raise their kids how they want, and make choices in life...I can give an opinion if they ask me, but oh my goodness, I am finding so much busy-body-ing in me, and I don't want to be like that.  

Today, Camille and I are going out and about.  We're going to the grocery store that has the sirloin steak on sale for $3.99 (my absolute favorite, and these days, not too much more pricey than we only have four kids left at home,'s doable!).  We'll get some dog chow, and bread, and a few other things, then she has an appointment for a hair cut.  

Last evening, I babysat for little Tennyson so his mama could go to a youth meeting.

(his daddy, Adrian, brought Wulf with him and went to Winnipeg for Adrian's grampa's funeral). I asked Tennyson once, "Where is Wulf?"...he stopped in his tracks and looked all around, and I felt bad.  Ten is only 17 months old, but is so sharp.  He's also cuddly and sweet, and he's also like an octopus, so many arms grabbing so many things!  He was an angel for me last evening though.  I do like being Grandma.  I had also spent time with Anya and Elise yesterday...played a little Paw Patrol, and a matching game.  They made lunch all by themselves, got out the plates, asked if I wanted "a lot of peanut butter or a little", and which kind of jam...such good girls. (I chose PBJ out of the list Anya presented...)

Ah well...there are toys to pick up, and things to do....

Wednesday, February 9, 2022

cold coffee ...

 When you're a busy mom, cold coffee is part of life, if you're so lucky to even find where you put your mug down.  I don't actually mind cold coffee, I'm just glad when I pick it up and there's actually some left in there!  But, lukewarm coffee...ugh.

I don't nuke my coffee, even if the microwave is clean and shiny, with no sauce splatters.  If it heats up my coffee, it heats up all the hidden specks, and they go on the top of my coffee.  This is science.  I cover other things that I heat in there, but I'm not putting plastic wrap on my coffee.

One trick is to use a travel mug, but nah.  I have done this when it was really cold in January, it does keep it hot, but retracts from the relaxing coffee-at-home experience.  I do preheat my mug, by either wasting too much water from the sink, running it until it's nice and hot, then filling my mug while I get the coffee into the pour over basket, or I just heat extra water in the kettle, fill the mug to heat while I get the pour over ready.  (duh, right?)

In any case, I sat here for a bit this morning and had my coffee, then got up to do some housework...vacuumed, mopped, straightened things, let the pups out then back in and wiped off eight paws...then sat back down for just a minute, and ahhh!  There was coffee left in my mug!

I'm out the door in fifteen minutes to visit Ben and Ashley and their little girls.  I have some things to bring them, who knew how much fun it would be to have grandkids to shop for?  I try not to spoil them, but it's SO hard!  You know me, I love love love toys, but they don't really need them.  But some new shirts, and new hair things...why not?

Camille is living the life, by the way, my smart little home-schooler.  She's come into the kitchen for her tea.  She has a beautiful cup and saucer (from the thrift store), and has a stroopwafel to have with it.   Off she goes in her comfy robe, to her room, to do her school work.  She'll practice that violin for at least an hour.  Charlotte Claire, on the other hand, has chosen to stay in "real" school.  She is on the high honor roll, and she actually likes school.  She likes the structure.  She does come home and teach Camille everything, especially geology and history.  

Ah well, have a good's sunny and bright here in central NY state, and I like it.  Winter isn't half bad when the roads are clear and the sun is out!

Tuesday, February 8, 2022

all the ruckus...and the things I like...

 Yesterday was one of those days where I did nothing yet it was busy.  I swept and mopped and did laundry, washed dishes, and the usual picking things up and straightening things out.  I didn't leave the house, but I did talk to Margaret, and Kathryn, and Abigail, and Sam.  I texted a few of the other kids, too.  Sonja left for nursing school, came home and had lunch, did some work, then went to the hospital for clinical.  She doesn't have a car, and I have a nice new car, so guess who ends up without a car?  mm.  hmmm.

Sam almost brought Grant up here, again.  The daycare situation is dire:  another child in his class tested positive, so Grant is automatically out of daycare for ten days.  Grace had a baby at the beginning of this school year, little Ruth, she used up her time off. (Grace is a teacher)  Samuel does not get paid when he takes a day off from work.  So, Sam was going to drive Grant all the way up from Virginia to stay with me for a while, but Grace's dad, bless his kind heart, heard of this and said, nonsense.  I'll watch him!  He only lives a few hours from them, so it works much better.  The bad part is that you pay ahead for daycare, they make the rules, and you don't get reimbursed.  So they're paying big money for not having him there, yet not getting paid when they stay home with him.  

Anyway.  I do have a very busy schedule today.  I have to call the orthopedic surgeon to schedule Camille's surgery.  The office called yesterday and wanted to do it next week!  All off the sudden, Omicron is dropping off the charts, and the hospitals can do elective surgeries again.  Well, Camille has to many plans to be able to fit it in next week, as the recovery is long and hard.  (Her knee has dislocated three times, so she's do to have a cadaver tendon put in place to hold that knee tight)(she can choose to use one of her own tendons from her other leg, but that's much more invasive)

I thought I'd steal from Billie Jo,  the things I like, the things I don't like...

But first:

The things I love:

1.  The gospel.  I am absolutely apprehended of the hope of salvation, that God can do such a work in me, that I can be freed from the sin that so easily entangles.  My deepest longing is to actually live a life that is pleasing to God, to be an example, so that others draw near to Him, and can experience such a hope too.

2. Unity.  I love when people get along with each other peacefully.  

3.  My friends.  I am blessed with a group of friends, an enduring fellowship, years of getting together in goodness.  

4. Paul.  My husband is a conundrum.  He's not extremely social, yet he cares so much for people.  He works so hard, is honest to a fault, and he lives to please God in all of it.  He takes good care of himself in that he works out every day, eats clean and healthy.  He's not strong and opinionated, he weighs both sides.  He's very peaceable.  He has learned to sleep on a problem, and pray about things.  He has a wicked sense of humor, and is lots of fun.  He LOVES the grandkids, and spoils them.  He gets out all the toys when they come over, and frequently buys new ones from the Dollar General.  As in any marriage, it's not always sunshine and roses, as we are sometimes on different wavelengths, but he is truly patient and forgiving and sometimes when someone is good when you KNOW you're being difficult, it wakes you up, ha.  

5.  The kids.  How can I sum up in one paragraph?  I can't, so I won't, same with the grandkids.

Things I like:

1.  Food.  Steak, grilled burgers, taco salad.  I like chocolate, and I like coffee.  I like when I shake the cream up, so it's foamy on top.  (I do not like when someone puts the top on too loosely and I don't check before shaking it up)

2.  The pups.  They are a royal pain, yet they are so hilarious and people-like.  I think they like me too.

3.  Grocery stores.  I like them here and there and everywhere.  On vacation, love to check out the Piggly Wiggly, Publix, WinCo, Fred Meyer, Safeway.  Locally, it's Aldi, Tops, Price Chopper.  I like looking at the weekly ads online, to see if it's worth going to get beef...sirloin steak is $3.99 a pound at P.Chopper this week, so I'll definitely go there.  Otherwise, mostly it's Aldi.

4.  Target, Walmart, thrift stores, online marketplace...

5.  Planning things.  My latest plan is in cahoots with Cheryl, my sister.  We are planning a weekend Getaway for our friends, 12 of us, at a huge Airbnb with a hot tub, on several acres of property, with a lake view, and lake access, and a pond...I budgeted $30 each for meals, and am planning some good ones!

6.  The feeling of bare feet in sand, and that first moment of stepping into the water...ahhh.  Bare feet in grass, too, with the sound of a lawn mower, and that smell of freshly cut grass.

7.  How chocolates, nice chocolates, look on the top, that smoothness...molded chocolates impress me too.

8.  Rocking babies and small children.  Extra points if they fall asleep in my arms.  

9. I'm torn on the cats, they belong in both the "like" section, and the "hate" section, even though there will be no "hate" section.  (they knock things off the counter that they are not even allowed on, they meow to come in, then saunter as slowly as possible, or change their mind altogether, only to meow again a few minutes later.  

10.Fun.  I like to have fun, anywhere from a bit of fun, to TOO much fun.   As I mentioned on one of the blogs I visited, I like to laugh until my stomach hurts, but unfortunately, that happens to me at inappropriate times...imagine laughing through an entire funeral, and a calling hours, and a solemn and beautiful wedding.  It's not actually funny.

11.Traveling!  In the last two years, I've gone to Florida,(like six times)  Oregon twice, California three times...and before that, Norway, Ireland, France, Dominican Republic, Jamaica, then of course several different states.  I always like to explore new places, but I always like to come home, because I do love home.

12. That Canadian convoy!  Go, Canada!  

Things I don't like:

1.  Kids getting yelled at in Walmart.

2.  Seafood, except for haddock, preferably breaded and fried.

3.  Ketchup, mustard, mayo...I know, I am Ms. Pickypants.

4.  Hearing stories about broken bones or accidents.  I WILL faint.  I mean, you're watching a football game, someone falls and twists a limb backwards, and they show it OVER and OVER again.  Really??!

5.  Backbiting.  I wish I could say that I've never ever done it, because it's awful.  I do however, have hope to be awake and aware, and never do it again.

6.  Cancel culture.  Let's just agree to disagree, and let those who have different ideas just have different ideas, okay?  

7.  Lying in the "news".  Remember the story of the border guards whipping the immigrants?  It wasn't true.  The "whip" was actually the reins for the horse.  Even Pres. Biden condemned it, without verifying the truth.  I'm still waiting for them all to apologize to that border guard.

8.  All of the censorship... 

9.  Hippies who grew up and decided the government is actually caring and trustworthy.

10.  When servers have to mask to wait on unmasked guests.   It's appalling.  Also when you see the plethora of politicians unmasked, lying when they get "caught".  No one would care, if they hadn't just ranted about how important it is to mask.

11.  "The View".  nope.   

12.  Dirty floors.  This one has been challenging, as I did have 16 kids, and once upon a time, they all lived at home.  We had no dogs in the house back then, just inside the door, then when Camille turned two we got that sheepdog...but still, it was so hard to keep the floors clean!  I also hate sticky.  Imagine, having so many kids, and hating sticky.  I would sit there with them while they ate, and wash their hands when they got too messy, therefore teaching them that we don't just get all yucky when we eat.   I didn't SAY that, I just taught them by keeping them clean.   They grew up into neat eaters, at the table.  I couldn't have crumbs and mess all over the house!  And believe me, our house was a mess sometimes, but not from sticky and crumbs, just toys and clean laundry and of course the laundry MOUNTAIN in the doorway of the laundry room...

13.  Pill-y blankets or sheets.  'nuff said.

14.  Driving in the snow, walking in winter when it's icy.  

15. Being fat.  I thought once I decided to lose weight, it would be a nice downward tumble into small sizes, but it's been years and years of fighting, maintaining, losing,'s not like you can just lose weight, then eat what you want.  I don't like being so absorbed by it, but I have to, or I'll gain that 70 pounds back.  I do try to keep quieter about it though, it can be so damaging to daughters...

16. Cold feet.  I've reached that point in the winter where I could say a lot of things about it, but I'll be done...but shh, I can't wait until spring!

I'm done for now, I've started and stopped here like twenty times.  I've gone to Walmart for a new clock, and a new rug over by the door (Jonathan came in with something oily on his boots last week.).  Miss Charlotte Claire took a day off from school, shh, and Camille came along too.  We got fun things too, like fruit snacks and seltzers and some one dollar shirts for some little granddaughters.  Then, the thrift store where Char found Zara jeans new with the tags, and some other nice clothes.  

Now, home...ahh, home.  But, I've got to get up and make dinner, because it's Activity Club night, and Lydia is being dropped off here to go with me....meatballs tonight.

Random pic:  Sonja's hair...pretty, right?

Have a good day!