Friday, October 16, 2020

Emptiness and Fullness


‘Tis the season” “this too shall pass”

It’s a season of empty and full

Empty gardens, full larders

It’s a season of emptiness inside of me too.

A waiting on test results for my dad. You sure can’t hurry the medical system.

A phone call this morning, “mom, I’m not sure what to say.”

And I also don’t know what to say—the things we warned of are now happening and we are told we should not “enable”—so we commiserate but that’s it.

I look inside and have no answers, I need to leave it all with One who has all the answers.

My heart is full…

Two anniversary celebrations, one from our oldest who was married nine years ago, the other celebration is for an eight year anniversary. Nine years ago we were blessed to  add our first daughter-in-law.  Eight years ago today I met a feisty little two-year-old in a far away municipal building. A little girl whose picture we held for almost a year before we met. Though I had loved her for a long time (you can love a picture, you know) I was still a scary stranger to her.

My heart is full…

I have a husband who loves me and loves our children.

I have children and grandchildren to love on.

I have work that I love- a hobby that can actually support itself.

But all that cannot fill that other empty feeling…that takes Someone much bigger.

So I turn to the mundane tasks, refill the kombucha jar with strong sweet tea, bake bread and rolls for lunches, empty the dishwasher, and pray. I am thankful that my hands can do those tasks without my brain actually engaging…tho the dishes might have ended up in the wrong cupboards.

A year ago, I could not have imagined all that we would see and do in that coming year. We stayed at home except for my “essential” workers. And it was a blessing, we pulled closer as a family sitting in the living room having a more relaxed church. It was a time of learning to do family.

  As I sit now and look forward to the next year, I can’t help but worry pray that we can find joy in the next year as we did in this past year.  Joy in the little things. I pray that I can hold on for the duration.

Sunday, October 11, 2020

September Recap

It was the month we got back into the school routine "for real".
Shekinah also has been honing her hair-styling skills. Her My Generation dolls both have long hair. Then she decided to do my hair, I normally do not check the mirror afterward, but when she takes my phone and then laughs uproariously at the pictures she takes--I wonder.
I am also hearing that the "tough" summer routine I had her do---math and typing classes--paid off . yaay!

They do keep my on my toes, one of them came out of the bathroom very concerned and said "Mom the toilet is smoking." I few hundred possibilities went through my mind as I checked up on the toilet.

Silly girl!

This dog watches me very closely, she has learned that when I bake bread, I brush egg on the loaves before I bake them. I used to dither about what to do with the little bit of left-overs. Put 'em in the fridge and they get lost, throw it out--wasteful! So I started microwaving the left over and eating it--until the dog started following me around with a woeful look in her eyes. She needs the calories, I don't.

In early September we celebrated our 34th wedding anniversary and hubby and I went away for two days. It does get easier to do that after the kiddoes grow up a bit. We found inexpensive lodging in Wilkes-Barre, PA. The internet informed us of a nice hiking area called Seven Tubs Nature Area. 
It was a bit chilly and we had the place to ourselves for a good part of the morning.

No, we do not do selfies very well.
He even brought me flowers!

On Labor Day weekend we attended a local craft show with our leather items.
It was held in the concourse of a baseball stadium- we were back lit so the photos didn't get great.

I'm looking forward to the next three which will be inside.
I'm busy punching holes and stitching, Faith is concentrating on school right now so it's just me.

Yes, this pattern gets punched one hole at a time! I know there are 6-hole punches, but only the super-expensive ones get good reviews. 

I just had to try a back pack...and now I really want to make a couple more...Let's see October 31 (the next show) is 3 weeks away. There are other things I should be doing too, like cleaning out some corners. I did manage to clean the windows where we took out the air conditioners on Saturday. It is so satisfying to clean a window that actually needs cleaning!
I also have Adoption News ( 4 times a year newsletter) to get put together, but some of the topics I need to discuss are so dark and heavy. Wayward and wandering children, school issues (not ours) and other deep topics make me want to hide out with my leather and make beauty and function.
Not all the topics are heavy, but "hurt people- hurt people".
( I slept better after a certain someone finally answered his phone after ignoring texts for days)

I was privileged to help serve food at 3 events in the past three weekends. I didn't go out looking for that side job, but a lady from church does cooking at events and she asked for help last year at an event.
I like to see good food get consumed, but it is almost ridiculous how fast hours of work gets consumed in about 15 minutes....well not that fast, but almost!

I must say the huge group of ladies probably was the most appreciative of the work the food entailed.

Open air weddings and flexibility were the norm for this year.
I think I'm very glad I am not in charge of any wedding this year.
I am very glad that I have a God that is in charge of this year and His plans for the next years/days are much better than any plans I have.
Sometimes I take a huge shaky breath when I say that though.

Parker was very pleased with the praying mantis that grandpa brought home on his shoulder.
Hudson wasn't so sure he wanted to get too close.
No, Parker did not grow long hair, Shekinah posed just perfectly.
One Saturday morning at 3AM we got a call from our electric company telling us we were out of electricity and it would be back on at about 9AM. Thanks guys.
We got ready for our women's event, by flashlight and  gas lamp light.
Boiled water for tea on the gas ring on the porch.
We went out on the street later to see this contraption...the wire runs from one transformer to the next.
I guess our street is fairly safe from saboteurs.

Then more critter control. A hive of yellow jackets took up residence behind the siding. We've swept up hundreds and they still keep flying. The dog alerted us to how large the problem was when she started being very interested in the wall on the inside of the house. I first thought she smelled a mouse, but she actually acted afraid of the wall...glad we figured out it was bees, I thought the dog had a problem.
It is interesting watching bees, I saw them taking stuff into the hive...well down my sweeper hose...but I wondered what it was- it was too big for pollen. I was informed that it was probably a spider for the purpose of feeding newly hatched bees. Said spider is kept alive but anesthetized so it is good food for baby bees.  The world in an interesting place.


Sunday, August 23, 2020

The Summer of 2020

This summer has been a long one. I enjoyed a lot of it. This little one has been
a joy. She likes her "gu-gu" and her "grandma". For whatever reason I have been "gu-gu"
to this little one and her older brother. "grandma" is her other grandma.

She's easy to babysit and hasn't gone through the stage where I was only tolerated like most of my grands have done at one point or another.
The other necessity for this summer was a new set of swim suits for the girls and
for the first time--myself. Hopefully these last for three years like the last set did.

After finally finishing the patio we had a stretch of hot and humid weather and really
didn't feel like using it.

Then the past two weeks were blissful.
I think I should try to come out here for my morning devotions, but
somehow the kitchen table still works the best.
This girl has spent the summer honing a new skill...
well actually a few--one was a cartwheel- no it's not perfect but she has worked hard.
I'd love to share the video she made when learning the skill,
 "Even you, at any age can learn a new skill"

Trash can sitting isn't one of them, but a decent level of typing proficiency and 
I broke down and bough Times Tales download and I think we have mastered those
pesky times tables once and for all.
We had a small scare when a raccoon decided to spend the day in our garage acting very out-of-the-ordinary. After it hid behind a pile of salt bags, and wouldn't come out we/he took drastic measures.

As of this summer we know much more about "universal precautions" than at
any other point in history.

Ohh and stay tuned for an announcement from Once Mine Boutique in BlueBall.

A great summer project...splitting ice with hammers, looking for treasure.

Then suddenly it's August 8 or 10 or something and
 I FORGOT to register my home schooled student!!!
You get a letter in the mail.

We are trying to play more board games...The Logo game is a new one for us.
We're learning new things.

And since our youngest has never slept in a tent...outside, we needed to do that this past weekend when the older kids were away.
She snapped a picture of her sleepy old parents.
Because Saturdays are still not a day to sleep in!

"We aren't going to bring in any caterpillars this year."
Until we did.
Then two more came in with the food for the first ones.
This one snuck in with a tomato that I brought in in the we didn't have to feed him.

Sunday, June 21, 2020

So Far in June

We spent a weekend at grandpa's cabin with 
no internet and no phone service unless we went to town.

Hope honed her photography skills with some semi-willing siblings.

I'm not sure what was happening there but Shekinah often gets those kinds of looks from her big sisters. They are good for each other.

Somebody read most of the Mandie series and set off on an adventure one day.

We had VBS and the craft for the boys was leather boxes with a baseball stitch.

Daddy made a splash pad/pool with an erupting fountain.

Because of the wonderful virus the grandkids haven't even been over to see it yet.
We had two birthdays....a 10th (her's not mine)

and a 15th!
In keeping with distancing things, both girls blew out their candles by waving objects at the candles. (Might actually keep that tradition)

And we started a patio in the formerly wooded area in front of the house.
I spent Saturday afternoon learning the intricacies of using Quik-crete.
I worried I might not be able to crawl out of bed this morning, but I was pleasantly surprised.
The goal is for the girls and I to do a few blocks a day until all 49 are completed. 

A block is this shape.

Events from this past week reminded me to appreciate the time I have with loved ones.
 Life can change so quickly--Love well.