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

Tuesday, February 28, 2023

gadding about...

 ...Yesterday, Miss Cam and I went out and about.  Target, where I had an order pick up, a $15 Target gift card if you spent $50 on certain home items.  The big package of store brand trash bags is $14.99, so two of those, which we buy anyway, may as well add in another twenty worth, and get the gift card.  I got lavender hand soap refill, and some Method Lime and Sea Salt cleaner (total splurge!!!), a few boxes of sandwich bags, napkins, and some floor cleaner. 

Of course we didn't just pick up the cleaning supplies, no, we had to walk around and see what we could see.  I bought some shoes for some grandkids, and an inflatable unicorn snow tube, knowing from experience that these are thick and strong, and last for years, in the pool, it was clearance from $20 to $6.  We got some seltzer, and some Easter chocolate (the Reese's were buy one get one 25% off, which isn't a great bargain, but...)

We went into Old Navy, Cam found jeans for $5, and picked out a few tank tops.  I found a winter coat for $2.97. 

Aldi, for the usuals...bananas, berries, coffee beans, cream, eggs, lime juice, a box of cereal, bread, tomatoes, onions...

We did NOT buy the Aldi coloring book, but Camille thought it was hysterically funny, all of your Aldi favorites to color. 

Home...ah,home.  Time to put everything away, then sit and put my feet up, but only for a small while, because Charlotte Claire needed a trip to the town clerk to get a certificate of residency notarized, for a college class.  What I didn't realize was:  she also has to have it signed by the COUNTY clerk, which is in the small city, 20 minutes away.  We googled their hours, open until five in the winter, so off we went, arriving at 4:45.  The clerks' office WAS open, but the financial officer leaves at...four.  At least we had a nice drive together, never mind the wasted gas.  I wanted to beat the snow...because we got quite a bit last evening, through this morning.  

School was delayed by two hours, Char was thankful for some extra sleep.  I fell back to sleep too, until 7:30, was nice.  Paul got up and ran the snowblower, cleared out the driveway because Sonja had to go in to class.  

It's snowing out now, big fluffy beautiful flakes.  We have to make yet another trip to the city this afternoon to get that paperwork taken care of.

Also this fine afternoon:  two grandchildren are coming over, with their pillows and blankets and pajamas!  Wulf and Tennyson are coming!  Margaret and Adrian are taking a quick trip down to Washington, D.C., 7 hours south of here, to get Margaret's passport renewed.  It expired without her realizing, and she's taking Miss Char on a trip to Norway next week for a sisters' conference!  All the plane tickets bought, and a cabin reserved, conference fees paid...she's tried to get an appointment in Buffalo, or Connecticut, Vermont, NYC, with no luck.  This is the first opening, tomorrow morning in D.C.  

Life is interesting, and I'm glad I can help with the boys, also excited to have them come over.  

I have a date with Grace to go to the pool tomorrow afternoon with Grant and Ruth, not sure how that'll work with Wulf and Tenny too...might be fun, might be a disaster, ha.  

Last night for dinner, I made taco meat, and cut up chicken breast, sprinkled with lime juice, and browned in olive oil with salt and pepper, for fajitas.   

It's staying light out for longer, I love/hate it.  Yes, partly hate, because I am a burrower, a hibernator, I like to be snowed in.  The darkness is cozy, comfortable. I also like driving on clear roads without the threat of a sudden white out, and wandering about the yard in bare feet.  So nice weather if joy, but I love wintertime too.

Ah well.  The news is interesting these days.  Prenatal deaths are at a record high in Singapore, a leading epidemiologist from Hong Kong, along with others, have determined that China released Covid on purpose, from a lab in Wuhan.  Murdaugh seems guilty:  even if someone else magically appeared down near those kennels and killed his wife and son, he testified that his dogs didn't bark.  The time frame for that to have happened, not very likely, and given that he's lied about so many things, well. Studies are showing that masks helped:  not at all.  A new Sorli paper confirmed that the morality the vaccinated coronavirus-infected groups was 14.5% higher on average than the morality of the non-vaccinated corona-virus infected groups.  (after all that coercion!)  Biden is bumbling along, Kamala is still excited about YELLOW SCHOOL BUSES!, and in general, most politicians are still corrupt.  

In the midst of it all, there are still God fearing people living their lives, not letting it all bring them into anxiety, fighting their battles and resisting sin.  

Sunday, February 26, 2023

you just gotta love it...

 ...or be miserable.  

Winter.  Fogging up my windows and freezing my piggy toes.   I decided to put my pretty spring wreath back up.
The snow covered branches, so lovely.

This young lady visited the back yard with several of her friends.  We've had a mild winter, she looks quite well fed and healthy, for a February doe.

The family went off to church this fine Sunday morning, I had to stay home because...TMI, tummy issues. I'm hoping it's not the start of the stomach virus that's been making the rounds, but in any case, I had to stay home.  

The girls had the audacity to beg me to make chicken pot pie, as they piled out the door.  I was supposed  to make it on Friday, but spent over four hours on those cabinet doors, sanding and painting. They all put in a good day's work too, on Friday, installing insulation in the cabins at church, Cam worked organizing the kitchen. They were so disappointed when they came home and NO POT PIE.   Then yesterday, I went with Paul to work on the house we are fixing up.  He's laying flooring, I'm painting cabinets, trim, and more trim.  We put in a good day's work.   Home, ahh home, the girls were off to a gathering, Sonja volunteered at the Special Olympics, so it was just the two of us.  I cooked up some bacon, then chopped up peppers and onions, sautĂ©ed with sliced breakfast sausage...removed from pan, scrambled some eggs, then dumped those peppers, onions, sausage, right on top...a yummy brekky-dinner.  

So, since I actually don't feel so awful, I washed up some dishes, put in a load of towels, got out the food processor, and made some pie dough.  That's chilling in the 'fridge, the pot of pot pie filling is cooling on the stove.  (It's actually so easy to make:  I had chicken breast frozen, cut in little pieces, salted and peppered and with lime or lemon juice, just browned that up, added chicken stock, then some chopped celery, and a bag of frozen mixed veggies.  Sometimes I dice up some potatoes, or use fresh carrot slices, but nope, not today.  I thickened it all up with a flour/cornstarch and cold water mixture.). For the crusts, I put 3 cups of flour and a dash of salt in the food processor, gave it a whirr, then added 2 and a half sticks of butter, pulsed it a few times until there were peas-sized butter chunks...dumped it into a mixing bowl, tossed some cold water in, stirring it with a fork, then formed two bigger disks for the pot pie, and one smaller one for my sugar-free pumpkin pie...:)(If you only want the one two-crusted pie, it would be 2 1/2 C flour, and 2 sticks butter)

(Sugar free pumpkin pie: 15 ounce can pumpkin, 2 eggs, 12 ounces evaporated milk, or a mixture of half and half, milk, heavy cream. 1 teas. cinnamon, 1 teas pumpkin pie spice, dash of ginger, half teas calls for 3/4 cup of sugar, I just added less than a half cup of granulated monk fruit sweetener.)(I am NOT saying this is healthy, but I enjoy it once in a while, carb-y crust and all)

I hope I'm not actually sick, and can go to the pool tomorrow.  It's helped me so much.  One of the ladies there has one artificial knee, and said that swimming helps so much, her replacement knee hurts more now than her other bad knee.  It's helped my hips and my knees.  It didn't fix them, but the movement helps blood flow, it's like magic how much it helps.  

Well,  the pot pie is in the oven, the pumpkin pie is in the oven, and Camille is making a strawberry layer cake.  She has made chocolate dipped strawberries, and is dipping pretzels in the leftover chocolate.  

It smells good in here....:)

Friday, February 24, 2023

may all your dreams come true...

 ...I hope not!  I was so relieved, upon waking up this fine morning, that it was only a dream!  Because:  I ate SO many cookies.  There were chocolate mint, and strawberry, and cheesecake cookies, crunchy ones and creamy ones, a huge platter of cookies.  I tried every single one, and believe me when I tell you:  I could taste them.  They were so good, I went back and ate all the ones I had tried.  In my dream. 

There's only one explanation for this:

We're distantly related!

The pool was wonderful and amazing this fine wintery morning.  The drive TO the pool wasn't fun, but it was exciting...trailing a few vehicles behind the snowplow, noticing the other lane was snowy and slippery.  We had all this ice, then some snow on top of it, eeks.  The trees are sparkling now, as the sun has been peeking through the clouds.  It's beyond beautiful.  The wind in the trees is making a million little clanking noises as the ice coated branches dance.  

We finally sold our old minivan yesterday.  It passed inspection in July of 22, but needed the power steering fixed.  Our mechanic didn't think it was a good idea, as he would encounter rust, ect.  It was still fully drivable, but we had my smaller car, and the truck, and decided to sell it. Well, we finally did.  We listed it cheap ($2,200), and sold it to the nicest family for $1500.   The guy knows a mechanic, and also knew what to look for, the van had a brand new exhaust system right before we stopped driving it.  It only has front AC, and the driver's side window will go down but not back up again.  He seemed undaunted. In fact, he was jubilant. He acted like he won the lottery. He kept saying how expensive minivans are, and he couldn't touch one for under five thousand, and he was so glad to find this.  

His fiancĂ© was so excited that the rear hatch closes with the push of a button, she actually jumped for joy like she was on The Price is Right.  The van does have bells and whistles, leather seats and automatic doors, front and rear seat heat, swivel captain chairs for the middle row.  It's 2008 though, with a lot of miles.  I am happy for them, glad we were able to give it to them for a very decent price, and you KNOW I am praying that it lasts for them, and they get plenty of good, safe, use out of it.  (When they left to go to the DMV with the title to get the plates, I filled a bag with goodies for their kids, and left it in there after I cleaned up the van a bit.)

I painted cabinet doors for a few hours yesterday, with primer.  They are ready to sand and paint, this afternoon.  It's relaxing work, I can talk to my sister on the phone, or listen to encouraging stuff.  

Our dinner last night:  the kids had leftover lasagna, I made burgers for Paul and I.  Almond flour/flaxseed muffins with blueberries, for me, for dessert.   I can't say they're delicious, but they're okay.  They were better with chopped apples and cinnamon.  

I tweaked a recipe for Almond flour bread from Allrecipes:

1 1/2 cups almond flour

1/3 cup flaxseed

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

Separate bowl,

beat 4 large eggs, add

1/4 cup milk, almond milk, or cream (I used heavy cream)

2 tablespoons olive oil

(I added a few tablespoons of monk fruit sweetener, and a tablespoon of brown sugar swerve), put them into muffins (it made 12 mini muffins, and 9 regular cupcake sized muffins).   6 or 8 fresh blueberries in each one, then sprinkled with the cinnamon/sugar shaker.)

Bake at 350 for 12 minutes for minis, aprox. 15 for larger ones.

They're not bad, but I'm wondering if eliminating the flax seed would make them better.  It's not a big sweet bakery muffin, but if you're low carb, it's something satisfying with your coffee.  I've doubled the recipe (with no added sweeteners) and made a nice big loaf of it before, it's nice sliced up with butter.  

The kids, when I bake these things:  Its smells so good, looks so good, and tastes so yucky!

Anyway.  Kathryn will be having her baby in the next few weeks, cannot wait!  A tiny newborn!  

Have a good afternoon, my friends!

Wednesday, February 22, 2023

nap time....

 ...I don't want to brag, but I don't take naps.  Watch, next thing you know, I'll be the napping queen, because if you say you'll never do something, well...I'm not superstitious, just a little stituous, ha.  

But this fine snowy afternoon, wow, I could almost doze.  I didn't have a hollowed-out night, I had an I can't fall asleep for the LIFE of me night.  Then, awake before dawn!  This is vacation week, I don't have to get up to see  Miss Charlotte Claire off on the bus.   I did get up and go to the pool though. 

After the pool, shh, I came home and my butt was drawn to my chair like a magnet and steel.  Then I meandered out to the kitchen, and made a lasagna for dinner.   It's all ready to bake, sitting there under foil in the refrigerator, wow, I love having dinner made ahead of time.  I heated up some frozen barbecued meatballs for the girls, washed up some dishes, vacuumed, did a load of laundry, then mopped the floors.  Now, magnet and steel, again.  

It is snowing out here today, giving the house the Christmas-y glow, that winter brightness, and it's so cozy.  Winter is looooooooong, here in New York state, but oh, I do enjoy the indoor days of cozy.  Afternoon coffee, the fake fireplace, the pups snoring, nice.

I had gray checked valances in the kitchen, but wanted a change. These sheers were like seven dollars from Target.  Charlotte Claire is handy with the drill, she put them up for me the other day, as they called for new black curtain rods.

I like them.  They'll be perfect for framing the summer sunshine.  

Camille is working on editing her book, Charlotte is doing homework, and Sonja is doing work, and starting on her resume, as graduation is coming up soon.  Paul is working, and here I sit. I have things to paint, and to sort and clothes to take out of the dryer.  But honestly, it hasn't gotten old yet, the being able to choose what to do next, as opposed to always having to be busy.  

One of the ladies from the pool asked me how many kids I still have at home.  Only three.   Only three?  How many do you have?     Now, this is the question that turns me from a regular lady to an anomaly, makes me grow horns.  She said she has so many questions, so I told her, "We never had color coded cups or towels, didn't raise the kids like it was an institution, they are all spoiled, and we always ate together at the table."   

One of them said, "You look so young, you think you'd be old and run down."  hmmm. I FEEL old and run down, ha.  But my life has been so lively and fun and fulfilling and rich and blessed, why would that run me down?  Yes, there were tired years, busy years, but oh dear, so completely rewarding! 

Yesterday, Kathryn needed a few things from the store, so yes, I would go along and help her with the kids, gladly!  Char and Cam came along too.  Today is Mariel's birthday, so I had to get some gifts.  (Can you believe my #4 "child"is 32?!).   

Rhys can chitter-chatter you right into letting her try on the hats.  She likes hats.  I asked her if she wanted to buy it, she nodded yes. 

We went into Aldi for a few groceries, then to the thrift store.  I found a brand new Eastpack backpack, bought it for Lydia.  Camille found really nice jeans, and Char got a study review book for one of her college classes, 74 cents.  

The kids were pretty done, three places was one too many, but we let Rhys walk in the thrift store. She is so funny and cute.  She's going to be a big sister in a few weeks, can you believe it?


Tuesday, February 21, 2023

well, just phew....

 Yesterday morning, I put a nice roast in the crock pot.  I sprinkled it with two packets of gravy mix, pepper, minced onions, and some fresh chopped carrots and red skinned potatoes.  Sunday afternoon after church, ahh, dinner is DONE.  

Saturday evening, I made cookies. Before I added the chocolate chips, made some just rolled in sprinkles, and some with mini M&M's.  

Sunny and Orange Guy on Saturday....

Sunny and Kettler, aka Mama Kitty, or Old Kitty,  on Sunday...

I don't know why it tickles me so to see the animals get along, they actually like each other.  

This fine morning, after going to water aerobics (yay me, I keep going!), it was time to go pick up a stove for a house we are working on.  Char and Cam came along with us, we got some painting done.  Char went around with the drill and removed old curtain hardware.  She also helped Paul tear up some old flooring, and carry in the stove, and carry out the old one.  We put in a good day's work, the girls have earned some money, and phew.  I'm tired.  

Thankfully, there is enough leftover stew, I don't have to make dinner.   We also stopped at McDonalds on the way home, for the girls.  I just got a Diet Coke, because I actually love leftover beef stew.  I never thought I'd say this, but:  get the McDonald's Ap!  There's always something good, today we got free medium fries.  Not that fries are good, but the girls like them once in a while. it is Tuesday, and I'm going shopping with Kathryn and her two little goes speeding by sometimes!  This evening is activity club, kids are on school vacation so we're doing a big all-together, pajama party themed, go to different stations party.  I'm bringing all the little Calico Critter miniatures and houses, and my nice popcorn popper.   Lydia is being dropped off here so she come with me. of the comfy chair, and into some bye-bye clothes....(I may be lazy, but I don't wear sweatpants and slippers to the store yet, ha.)

Friday, February 17, 2023

....doesn't EVERYONE?

 ...have their end tables on their coffee table on a Friday night?  

It all started the other day when Sonja decided to repaint the top of a table in her room...I started looking critically at my end out came the chalk paint this fine afternoon.  These tables are old, like me.  I bought them when I was a senior in high school, with my babysitting money.  By the time we were married, we also had classic 80's floral couch and loveseat, bought on payment plan, with babysitting money...all paid off by the time I graduated.  Yup, always me with the lofty goals.

The tables are pine, and were stained and polyurethaned, for years.  Then I discovered chalk paint.  They're gray for a while, but I like them white better.  They were getting stained, dingy, and needed refreshing...I was only going to do the tops, but...why not do the whole things?  They need a coat of varnish or wax when they dry all the way.

I decided in for a penny, in for a pound, may as well paint the lamps.

This is a "before". I found the pair of lamps a few years ago, wood and unfinished, brand new, at the thrift store for just a few dollars.  I haven't liked the gray chalk paint look for a while I opened up the black chalk paint, and, oh no!  It was solidified.  So I cracked open the Sherwin Williams Urbane bronze in satin finish.  

Propped up on cans of crushed tomatoes, classy all the way.  They need another coat, but I like them.

Chocolate covered strawberries!  The chocolate has a few of the after-Christmas discounted chocolate Santas I bought for 32 cents each from Aldi, along with some white almond bark.   I did sample, and oh dear, yum.  

I went to the pool this morning, in the snow, and it was lovely.  I realized that my left hip hasn't been acting up at night the last few nights, hopefully the swimming is helping.  Sometimes just getting the blood moving, the muscles feels fantastic to go.

My son Joseph lives in a little house in town, with his wife, Bethany, their two pups, and their kitty cat.  I stopped to visit him after the pool, and it was downright wonderful to just sit and talk to him.  I brought him some cherries, a few strawberries, an orange, some Reeses' hearts, and a bag of pistachios.    

Charlotte Claire is on school break!  Yay!  Sonja isn't though.  Not sure what fun things we'll do. It's certainly not like the old days, when like ten kids were on school break!  But it's still Char's break, and we'll do some fun things.

Ah well, time to put that final coat on these tables....

Edited to say:  I don't publish anonymous comments, unless I know who you are, like my sister, ha.  So just leave a name!  

Wednesday, February 15, 2023

not taking it for granted...

 ...Pool this morning, then home in the 65 degree sunshiny day, to clean the car.  Perfect weather for it.  Then, I mopped the floors in here, straightened a bit, then sat in the comfy chair for just a little while...then picked  Charlotte Claire up from school, and dentist.  Then, grocery store for:

What?!  It was $2.49 a pound!  I also got some chicken, fresh Italian bread, some muffins for the girls, a jar of peanut butter, some coffee and tea, a huge package of paper towels that used to cost 12 bucks, for $17.99.  I did buy some half price chocolate, and a box of sugar free frozen fudge bars.  

Then home...I cut up the chicken, half into little strips for dinner, cooked them up in a frying pan in olive oil, salt and pepper, garlic powder, onion powder.  I cut the rest into little chunks and froze it in lime juice ,salt and pepper. Camille cooked a pound of linguine, and made homemade alfredo sauce.  I made some cauliflower rice.   It was a good yummy dinner.

It's good to be back in the routine of going to the pool again.  Of course it's not too terribly difficult to get out the door on a February morning when the sun is shining and there's no ice to slip on.  We'll see how I do when winter comes back for a visit.  

When thinking of a title for this post, just another day popped into my head, but it wasn't JUST another day, it was a fabulous day.  I got to go into the waiting room with the girls for their dentist appointment, instead of waiting in the car and having them go in individually, talking to the receptionist on the phone, because Covid was extra spooky in dentist's offices.  (I saw the receptionist in the store during all that, and we chatted...). It was fabulous because Charlotte drove and did well.  Camille finished writing her novel and is looking into editing/publishing it.  Sonja is in the homestretch of nursing school, Kathryn is having a baby in just a few weeks, and so on.  

Anyway.  I'm tired enough tonight.  Have a good evening. 

Tuesday, February 14, 2023

happy and sappy...


Margaret made these cookies...
I love everything about cut-out cookies.  Open the tin, take a whiff, mmm, that bakery smell, and they look so lovely.  I don't eat them anymore, but I do admire them.

Last night was one of those hollowed-out nights, the sleep totally scooped out of the middle.  I woke up around four...went to the bathroom at 5:08, which is always chancy, because of wide awake!  Somehow, I did get comfortable all over again, somehow I did fall into a deep and amazing sleep, only to discover it was 6:47, time to get the heck up and see Miss Charlotte Claire out the door!  I thought of staying in bed, but Paul gets up early anyway, and it would just wake me up, then he starts I got up.  My eyes are a little blurry and my brain a little fuzzy, but that's life these days.  Why oh why do I fall into such a nice sleep when it's morning?  You know what I mean, you close your eyes for one second and are in dream world again.  Char said it happened to her yesterday, she woke up, then closed her eyes and dreamed that she didn't have to brush her teeth, so she could stay in bed longer.  Her own brain, lying to her ha.

Anyway.  I'm up.  I washed up some dishes and did some tidying up, but here I am in my comfy chair.  My coffee is gone, and I'm thinking of getting up and making the second cup...

Paul put a chuck roast in the smoker yesterday, oh it was good. I sliced all up, and we had it Chipotle style.  There was rice, chopped peppers, onions, tomatoes, cilantro, sliced limes, tortillas...I had mine with some crunched up lime tortilla chips, I don't like eating those but they're SO good. 

 I had picked Char up from school, with Camille, and we went to the library, as Char wanted to get The Lord of the Rings.  She's turning into a reader.  I got a few books, I don't like to read too much of the inside cover and ruin the experience.  If I start reading it, and it's word vomit, I'll just put it aside.  There have been books I've plodded through, just to see what happens, and what a waste of time.  

The girls and I started watching "The Last of Us", just the first two episodes.  I watch it and despise the government for being so controlling, it's not much of a stretch.  

oops.  What can I say? I wasn't paying attention.  Sometimes I really shake up the cream, and add it in the beginning so the coffee can drip into it, makes it yummy....probably makes no difference, actually.  What a mess though.  At least it's just coffee, not something stinky and yucky.  

The sun is shining today, wonderful weather for February, unless you just bought a snowmobile.  March can have some treacherous weather, but some nice days too.  I'm thinking there may not be too many terrible driving days left in the season, but who knows?  Maybe we'll get slammed.  

I'm sorry I don't have anything more exciting to write about today.  As for Valentine's Day, meh.  True love is spectacular, and I'm super thankful for Paul.  He's a good guy, he's funny and he's serious and responsible, and takes super good care of himself, and of all of us.  He's really talkative sometimes, but mostly not.   Marriage is something you tend to settle in to, it's not the tingly excitement so much as the years unfold, but the camaraderie, the respect, the good solid friendship that is so special.  Paul is true and genuine, but also...he's a guy, and guys drip coffee and don't wash frying pans very well.  :)

Anyway....have a very nice day!

Monday, February 13, 2023

sunshine and grumpy Monday...

 Not really grumpy...just the old hard-to-get-out-of-bed thingy.  The house was rather in shambles this fine sunny morning, as I was too pooped to clean it all up last night after everyone left. I made good old fashioned stove top popcorn, and the pan was sitting there, along with all the bowls.  Toys are still strewn all over, but I did sweep the floors.  The grandkids played outside yesterday, and it's muddy out there.  They were out and then in, even taking their shoes off when coming in, lots of mud found it's way in.  The dogs helped with that too.  

Anyway.  It was great fun, but greatly busy, too.  I made cupcakes on Saturday, and frosted them yesterday:

Some are mini, some are regular sized.  I made just the right amount of frosting this time, so I didn't put the leftover frosting bag in the refrigerator, thinking we would surely use it, and nope.  

We had the most excellent burgers, it was so nice out, I grilled them.  Margaret and Evelyn made sliders with bacon and blue cheese, tomatoes, onions, lettuce, cheese, a variety...I made some bigger burgers too, for bigger buns, or for me, with no bun.  We had some fries in the air fryer, too, well, not me.  

We got some sunshine, and it was awesome.  There were big plans to have all this charcuterie, and snacks, later, and no one was hungry.  Margaret brought over beautiful heart shaped frosted cookies, and Kathryn brought chocolate chip cookies.  I don't eat those things, but I had made some of my low carb peanut butter cookies, so I was happy.  Adrian went to the bakery and brought a dozen of the most beautiful donuts, which of course they cut up so they could sample them all.  

We had popcorn, and some blueberries later, and not the other snacks.  

Grandchildren:  they are precious.  They have energy, and when they come here and hang with cousins, they are loud and happy.  Grandpa runs and runs around the circle with them, it's hilarious.   When it's quiet time, he'll turn on Bugs Bunny on his phone.

 Grant, and Ruth in the front, Paul holding Rhys, and Achilles.  Wulf and Tennyson were there too, and Lydia and Ophelia had come and gone already.  

Achilles and Sonja K....Margaret made him an Anglerfish cookie.  He is rather obsessed with Anglerfish. (Aunt Sonja and Aunt Evelyn were such good aunties yesterday, taking kids out to play on the swings, and playing with them in the house...Ev brought these cute little paint sets with miniature easels, we had a whole painting/coloring table going on before we ate)

I got up this fine morning and went to my water aerobics class. It's nice to be going again.  I feel better, but   am still falling apart. If I walk gingerly so as not to aggravate one hip, that knee will be unsteady, then out of the blue, the other knee will give out a little, dang. My lower back is a symphony of complaints, have to lean over so carefully, if I twist one way or the other while leaning over, it screams.   So I keep moving, and being careful, and am thankful for my mobility, and hopeful that the aerobics will help.

Today's agenda:  finish cleaning up.  I swept and did dishes and cleaned up a little, but there's a little more to go.  I don't mind toys, I don't mind kids, I don't mind crazy, but ahh, sometimes the quiet is nice. 

Ah well....the sun is shining, I'm going outside for a bit...have a really nice day! 

Thursday, February 9, 2023

reveling in it...

 Rain!  I love a good dark rainy day!  It's so cozy in here I could just dance, except for then I'd have to get up from the comfy chair.  It could be better, I could have already put the chicken stew on the hob (aren't WE British today!), smelling it's richness, I could have baked a fresh batch of those low carb peanut butter cookies, and more of the kids could be here, that always makes things even better.

Jonathan isn't feeling the greatest, hopefully it's just a quick virus, and he's back on his feet...18 years old and halfway across the world, he'll be fine...but.  

Yesterday's adventures were enjoyable...Camille has a Barnes&Noble gift card, but didn't decide on anything.  I mean, you can library for free, and if you don't like the book, don't read it.  I know authors and stores and employees have to get paid, but $18 for a paperback book?  I actually get a lot of books from the thrift store, fifty cents or a dollar, then I donate them back, so win/win, they get paid twice.  

Camille, Char, Sonja...

Sonja read this whole book to them.

We went to Aldi so I could return my beloved black electric tea kettle.  I bought it for myself for Christmas for 30 bucks, didn't save the receipt, and got a measly ten bucks back for it.  It totally stopped working yesterday, the base of it just malfunctioned and wouldn't go above 68 degrees.  I had saved our old glass kettle, so back out to the counter it went.  

Target:  we like to stop at Starbucks there, their blonde roast iced Americano with heavy cream and no sweetener.   It's pricey, but so good.   We didn't get much in Target, a package of chicken, some packages of razors that were marked from $19.99 to $5.99, some seltzer.  An Old Navy opened nearby, so we went in there.  I got matching shirts for Lydia, Anya, and Elise, for $1.49 each.  I bought Grant a new shirt, and Ruth a cute little romper thingy.  The girls found a few things too, it all came to $28.  Not too bad.

Home....Grace had already arrived here with Grant and Ruth, Samuel had class, so they were coming for dinner.  Steak, waffle fries, onion rings (in the air fryer), and broccoli spears.  

Our county is still publishing the Covid data weekly.  If you can see those numbers, five unvaccinated are hospitalized, and twenty-two vaccinated.  It's almost as if the vaccine doesn't work!  The side effects though, ugh, especially for those who were boosted, too.  The actual VAERS data is distressing, so many heart attacks and strokes, myocarditis in young people...the doctors who had really good success in early treatment, as opposed to hospitalization and remdesivir treatment (and ventilators!) were silenced and threatened with losing their medical licenses, now it's coming out that they were indeed correct.  

Yeah.  But what can you do?  Spy balloons and laptops and our silly V.P., laughing at yellow school buses and Venn diagrams, while men prance in women's locker rooms and get all the trophies.  

But here in my comfy house, with the rain falling on the metal roof, and the dogs snoring, and the second cup of coffee just as good as the first was...ahh.  I feel better for having gone to the pool yesterday.  It's hard to to go when you haven't in a awhile.  You walk out of the locker room in your big granny bathing suit/dress, all the way across the pool room to access the entrance ramp, many of the class members already there in the circle, glad to see you, you hope ha.  They are a nice group, a few new faces now, too.  

Outside of my comfort zone, once again, but I KNOW if I go regularly it won't be such mental gymnastics to get out the door.  Camille came with me, didn't love it, but didn't hate it either.  Paul said, "It'd be better if she swam laps." Um, I got her out the door to the pool and she got in and moved, and it wasn't altogether easy for her physically, not to mention being there with the old people ha.  But then Paul gets up at six and swims laps for half an hour on the days he's not going to the gym or rucking down the road with a backpack so heavy I can barely move it on the kitchen floor to sweep under it.  

So next month will be busy, I have to do my three day heart monitor appointment at the beginning of the month, then Miss Kathryn will be having her baby boy, then Camille will be having her knee surgery.  Charlotte Claire is going to Norway with Margaret, so I'll be helping with Wulf and Tennyson, as Adrian is in college and cannot skip any classes.  

I'm thankful for each day.  Have a good one too!

Wednesday, February 8, 2023

well, I did it!

 I went to my water aerobics class this fine morning!  Camille actually came along too.  She's still having some trouble with her "surgery leg",which is now her good leg, it doesn't bend all the way.  It could be like that forever, she could possibly work past some scar tissue.  She's having surgery on the other knee, the one that dislocated while she was recovering from the original surgery...leaving her in two knee braces.

Anyway, she accompanied her old mama to the pool, to work those knees.  Her next surgery is in March, and she wants to be able to move more, and strengthen them.  

I had a little visit with Ashley and little Declan today, after the pool.  Coffee, conversation, and a sweet chunky grand baby, what's better than that?

In a few minutes, I'll be leaving to pick Miss Charlotte Claire up from school, we're going on an adventure...the library, the book store, maybe Target....I've owed them an outing since before the car started acting up.  Sonja is home from college for the day, the sun is shining, and it's warm least 40 anyway.  

So off we go....

Monday, February 6, 2023

the calm AFTER the storm...


Grace made this scarf for me!  It has pockets at the ends so I don't have to keep track of mittens!  I can push the cart with this, and not freeze my hands!  It's such a beautiful color too, and Grace said the yarn was on sale, so that makes it even better.  Grace is a very nice daughter-in-law!

So the weekend was a hopping busy one.  It was also extremely rewarding and amusing and amazing.  

Wulf in the blue jacket, Grant (Spiderman shirt), Tennyson with the light saber, and Rhys...
Tenny with a toy gun, yes, he shot me.
Grace ordered this Angler Fish shirt for Achilles last week, he LOVES it, and it glows in the dark.
Ruth, Grant, Rhys, Sunny....

We could add some to this:  
1.  Only take what you'll eat.
2.  Wash your hands.
3.  I'm counting to ten!
4.  Who ate all the cookies?
5.  Because I said so
6.  In a minute...!
7.  If I have to get up!!!
8.  Leave him alone!
9. Leave her alone!!
10.I said...NO!
But also:
1.  I love you.
2.  Don't grow up so fast
3. Stay pure and good!
4. Hug me!
5. Call me!
(ha, for when they grow up, or even TEXT ME!)
Tennyson looking out the window, and Orange Guy.

Sam with his little Ruth, Wulf, Grant, and...Tenny can FLY!

Little boys have energy!  It's a good thing they're so cute!
They built a pillow fort in the kitchen, Wulf and Grant were in there hunting for bears.
Sunny, sleeping through it all, on her Cookie Monster toy.

They all went home yesterday, and was SO quiet.  

This fine morning, I went to Target with Kathryn, Camille, and little Achilles and Rhys.  I got some Hershey Kisses for the candy jar, a birthday present for Molly, some shoes for Rhys, some onesies for her baby brother who will arrive next month, seltzer, and a cute little bread box.

Five dollars!  Now Suri can't steal the bread! Well, she can probably open this...

Anyway, a quiet afternoon at home after putting away the groceries (we went to Aldi too, and I ran into Price Chopper because they have sirloin steak for $3.99 a pound)(That's not much more than hamburger...and it's so good...let it rest to room temp with salt and pepper, I used garlic salt and everything bagel seasoning, heat up the pan, add small amount of olive oil, sear that steak!  Flip, sear, lower temp, cook for a bit, add a big chunk of butter and some rosemary (I have a rosemary plant I haven't managed to kill yet), brown that up a little, pour right over the finished steaks...mmmm. I microwaved some frozen broccoli spears from Aldi for 2-3 minutes, then browned them up in the pan.  

This post was written in fits and starts, that's how life is sometimes.  It's chilly in here, I'm in my comfy chair with a warm blanket.  Paul is on a work call, Sonja and Char are doing homework, and Camille is working on her novel, editing.  Sometimes I really really like winter.