Friday, December 16, 2011

...Almost Christmas

What brings you the "Christmas Spirit?" Is there really such a thing? Some people "need" snow to "feel" Christmasy; or need to "hear" certain songs of the season. As Christians, how are we supposed to "feel" at Christmas time?

Many years ago, I found that only things that pertain to my faith in Jesus Christ really gave me anything that resembled the "Christmas Spirit." So called "Christmas Music" playing in department stores the day after Halloween doesn't cut it for me. Neither do the decorations that soon follow. Salvation Army bell ringers are annoying and I pay them to stop ringing for just a few seconds ... (kidding!)

I had a long talk with myself about the things that make up "Christmas" for my family, years past and present, prayed about them and asked the Lord to help me sort out what was for His glory and what was just for my love of the winter season. So far this is how I've been lead:

1. Writing a Christmas letter to my friends and/or designing our card = Christmas Spirit
2. Searching for the perfect tree out on our tree farm = Love of Winter
3. Organizing gifts I've purchased all summer/fall to be wrapped = Christmas Spirit
4. Checking the mailbox/side steps for online purchases that have been delivered = Christmas Spirit
5. Art projects with children at elementary schools this time of year = Love of Winter
6. School concerts; especially my granddaughter's and daughter-in-law's ...where they still sing of the birth of Jesus Christ! = Christmas Spirit
7. Choir practice; cantata performances = Christmas Spirit
8. Planning the meals/get-togethers with family - Christmas Spirit
9. Baking - Love of Winter
10. Opening cards/letters from friends - Christmas Spirit
11. Decorating the outside and inside of our home - Love of Winter

...and the winner is: Christmas Spirit, sprinkled with doses of Love of Winter - sanctioned by God through His Saving Grace, first seen by shepherds who had none of the above but left the manger praising Him; and who has blessed us here in the northeast with the winter season to be enjoyed but not worshiped.

I am reminded of the portion of a verse in Corinthinans: "and these three remain, hope, faith and love; but the greatest of these is love." We seem to focus on "love" and neglect the other two. Why? I don't know... anyone can have "faith" by definition, but the Christian faith is the only one with real "hope." No other religion can provide the hope of a happy "ever after." Some allude to the possibility of one ... if you work hard enough in this life and the next; but Christianity is the ONLY one that offers it free and clear, just for the trusting and asking. It's Biblical. It's real. It satisfies the soul as no other religion can do. I learned this years ago and hope you, dear reader, have this understanding, too.

Been riding on the coat-tails of your parents faith? Let go, step away and begin this walk on your own, right now! Find the Real Christmas Spirit that is waiting just for YOU... a personal gift from God through Jesus Christ. The very best way to celebrate Christmas! Not sure how? Message me @ppitcher@nycap.rr.com

Merry Christmas to all of you and may the light of our Heavenly Father shine upon you this holy season, reminding you of the Cost of Christmas. It cost Jesus everything so everyone, thank him right now!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Home, Sweet Home!

We had an amazing trip to Costa Rica! It was not without it's foibles ... pushing us to truly rely on God for answers since man did not seem to be coming through!

An uneventful drive to www.pillars2.com to stay with our friends, Nancy and Lamont who graciously fed us and took us to the airport after breakfast.

Our flight was on time when we arrived but by boarding time, it was obvious it wasn't going to stay that way. The plane was there and everyone had disembarked, we thought. For some reason, there were still elderly people on the plane and I'm guessing only one skycap to escort each one off? The cleaners couldn't begin their job (not that they did a very good one) until the last passenger was off... meanwhile, we waited.

Finally boarded and waited again! Then a thunderstorm delayed us and by the time we arrived to meet our plane in Atlanta, our 1 hour layover turned into a "missed our plane by 25 minutes." ... or so we thought. No one seemed to know! Our next flight wasn't even on the monitors! After MUCH discussion as to who was to blame, the airline or the weather, we were finally given hotel and meal vouchers and then they realized that our flight had never left, but was postponed til the following morning! However, even that was messed up as one person said the flight was 5:45 AM and another said 7:00 AM ... So we got to the airport 2 1/2 hours early (international flight) and found out it was a 7:00 AM flight ... we could have stayed in bed and asleep for longer than 3 hours. BIG SIGH! This was all a not so gentle reminder that "it is not about us." Many others were inconvenienced as well ... we made the most of it; making friends with a woman who spoke no English and making sure she got to her hotel and turned her over to people who spoke Spanish better than us :-)

We managed to get to our conference JUST in time for Bill to speak! He had just enough time to pull out his laptop, go over his notes, find a translator and begin. He did a very good job! He spoke on police ethics and it was well received. I spoke next with the wives of police officers, and Bill was told I was "over the top." ... I guess that means I did a good job :-)

We thoroughly enjoyed our time there. The hotel was a classic, old style but nicely maintained. www.hotelamericacr.com Great food and pleasant staff. We were on the 2nd floor. The rooms have no AC but each had a fan and open louvered windows way up high ... you needed to keep them open but then you could hear all that goes on in the hallway... and they could hear you!

While we were there on Saturday, Bill's 92 year old dad (back in the States) had the opportunity to fly to Washington, DC to see the WW2 Monument!! Richie Lindmark, a former Sunday School Student of Dad's, helped organize the local contingent and "chaperoned" the group down and back. He posted pictures on Facebook and we got to see them Saturday night. We were both in tears and found ourselves having to explain it to our friends with our limited Spanish! YIKES!

When the conference was over, we rented a car and bravely made our way out of the city of Herredia (near San Jose) and over the mountains and down the west coast along the Pacific Ocean, traveling to Quepos/Manuel Antonio National Park to www.hotelparador.com Wow!

Met with a cold washcloth for our faces and a cool passion fruit drink (non alcoholic) to sip ...we followed our bellhop to our upgraded room overlooking the monkey trail/ocean view and immediately saw the monkeys playing in the trees :-) It was raining but we didn't care! In fact, it rained all but about 6 hours for the two days we were there and we still didn't care! Good food, good music, a nice pool (for when it only misted out) and pretty neat hiking trail that was absolutely soaking wet (but we had umbrellas) and did I mention the food? We hiked down to the beach when the rain stopped for a few hours and swam in the Pacific Ocean ... warm water with cool currents (probably from all the rain) .. did I mention the food? :-)

I was concerned with all the rain; mudslides we saw on the way down ... and sure enough; we had to wait in traffic on the mountain for over 2 hours for them to clear a BIG one ... 12 ambulances left the mountain but only 3 had their lights on. We're not sure how many were hurt/ killed but he rocks were HUGE; one the size of our living room. We did not see any damaged cars, so figure only the workers were affected. Prayed a long time for these workers.

The same rain that poured on our conference and vacation is the same rain that eventually formed Hurricane Rena. We were home by then with very minor delays and a warm welcome back at www.pillars2.com a delicious supper, great company and a good night's sleep! We slept in the next morning, breakfasting with our friends and returning home later in the afternoon.

It was a great week sharing with other Christians, encouraging them in their walk with the Lord and in the Word!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Excitement!

Such plans we have! Bill will be a guest speaker in Costa Rica at a Christian Law Enforcement conference and I will have a few minutes to speak with the wives of the police officers, as well. This means we have to pack.

1. No checked baggage - we just don't want to deal with it
2. Buy new carry on for me - Bill gets the old one :-)
3. Cram stuff into every nook and crannie - I'm good at this
4. Soap the zipper on the old one to make it run smoother - Hey! It worked!
5. Sit on Bill's suitcase to close it - good thing I have not reached my desired weight
6. Find time to brush up on Espanol - Uh oh
7. Clean house so if we die no one sees how messy I really am - double Uh Oh
9. Try to figure out TSA's rules about liquids/gels/aerosols - what is my lipstick considered?
10. " " " " " - what is my deodorant " ?
11. " " " " " - what is my sun screen stick " ?
12. Wait patiently for Bill to come home from work - I'm getting antsy
13. Remember where in my gigantic bag I put the Dramamine - (_____left blank intentionally)
14. Pray for good health, good travel, open hearts and relaxing schedule - should be #1, eh?

Thank you, Lord, for this opportunity to share with other Christians in Law Enforcement and help us to be good ambassadors for You.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Negative!

That title pretty much sums up the conversation I had @3:30 with the surgeon's office! It was nice to breathe and smile again at the same time :-)

Fifteen minutes earlier, though I was rather distressed. It seems the hospital tells you to call your doctor's office the next day for the results but the results are often not in, yet. What's a person to do? Just keep calling and feeling sick each time they pick up the phone? The office said that often the reports don't come in for two or even three days and she understands just how stressful that is for people. I felt sorry for her having to deal with frightened people over a telephone.

Just as Bill was getting ready to leave for his class at church, the phone rang. Bill mistakened the caller from my friend, Deb, but I saw the caller ID and knew it was the doctor's office! Longest 1 second of my life was bringing that phone to my ear and lips.

So, to wrap up a very stressfull end to summer, let me say I'm thankful for your hugs and prayers (some of you knew about this earlier) and well wishes and I want to remind all of you women to ALWAYS check yourself every month, and ALWAYS schedule a mammogram, and ALWAYS know that God is in control, even if you aren't!

Have a great finish to September and I'll see you when the laundry is done and I'm finished with my pie! That could take some time!

Summer's End

In my last post, I stole, I mean, borrowed a "no whining" sign from a blogging friend. I'm trying to hold to it.

The only REALLY good thing about the end of summer is that autum arrives with all her beauty and bounty; and we can eat apples and things made of apples (which includes drinking cider.)
And we can make/eat pumpkin pies, eat pumpkin cheese cake and decorate with pumpkins.

Another pretty good thing is I get to substitute in my favorite schools, again; and get paid for it, too!

Being able to take a walk in the fields or in the woods without sweating is another good feature but it takes me awhile to get used to wearing long pants again. With all the eating I mentioned above, I better get to it.

But this autumn has been different. I am preoccupied by finding a lump in my breast and though I have prayed, had tests, had my surgeon think it was not cancer; had a biopsy (yesterday) and should have the results today, I find myself with a sick stomach and a headache. I waited until after 1pm to call the surgeon's office for the results but they are not in, yet. So I am writing to pass some time and vent some thoughts.

Finding this lump to begin with was a bit strange and almost humorous: I tried on my new "body shaper" and put it on backwards ... yes, you may laugh! When I tried to get it off, it got stuck and squashed "the girls" like nothing I had felt before except a mammogram!! Well, I managed to get out of it, spin it around and put it on correctly. Trying to take it off again, resulted in more squashing but I finally figured out how to w/o any further discomfort. (I was suddenly reminded of my mom wearing girdles.)

Anyhow, the next morning, during my shower I discovered this lump. I had checked just two weeks earlier and found nothing so this was a complete and frightening surprise. I scheduled a mammogram and ulstrasound through my GP who thought it was a cyst. The mammogram did not show anything! The ultrasound showed something but was not definitive.

It's biopsy time. Honestly, it took longer for the paperwork to be done than it did for the prep and surgery! First off, the hopital had me down for the wrong breast.... uh... no, it's my RIGHT one; the one with the lump in it!! Happily, the Dr's info was all correct so the red faced nurses corrected all the wrong info and it went all the way to the top. A very nice hospital staff, though and friendly, calming (also humorous) nurses in the OR.

And guess what? Halfway through I realzed I could see a reflection of my surgery in a small area of the overhead light!!! I watched him poke around, wipe away some moisture, (no blood because they had already cauterized the little vessels) and then suture it! When I could feel the tugging, I decided to stop watching but that was it! In and out!

I'm hoping and praying this is it; that there is no need for further tests. I've been this route before and each time I wonder if "this" time it is the big "C"... My God knows, and he has been my ultimate source of comfort during this time. It's is amazing how and when he chooses to send me "special" comfort! Passages of Scriputre that come to mind, hymns sung in church and some that just float into my head; friends contact me out of the blue; family members need a baby sitter for the weekend (really took my mind off of it!)

The worst so far, though, is that I had to be without my husband for all of this time, but God carried me through. My blood pressure didn't even go sky high! Bill was in training in New Hampshire all while I had my mammogram/ulstrasound and first visit to the surgeon; but he was with me for the biopsy and he's here with me, now. Actually, he's always with me... even when he was 5 hours away. That is the kind of relationship we have and I'm going to give God ALL the glory! Some day I'll post how He brought us together...such a cute and wonderful story!

Well, I need to get laundry done, biopsy results in or not. I'm waiting until @3 to call them back. I think I can do that.

Needing to end on a humorous note and not being able to think of anything, God just allowed my husband to turn to me and say: "We are entering the Snapdragon phase of our lives." I said nothing, but looked at him with raised eyebrows. He continued, "Part of us has snapped and other parts are dragon." HAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!! If you identify with this statement, please leave me a comment!!!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Oh the SHAME of it!



I decided to get serious about blogging last year and kept up with myself fairly well; then sunk to a new low this past spring. It's been a few days since April 25th and not that my life is so interesting that anyone has missed any thing, but some of you get a good laugh (or cry) and just a knowing smile out of the antics I post and I hate to disappoint people! I am ashamed of my self. (anyone laughing, yet?) Thanks http://www.theimperfecthousewife.blogspot.com/ for the inspiration!





Bill and I buried ourselves up at http://www.grandviewminigolf.com/ and finally surfaced for air, only to find it was still raining. ENOUGH! We are trying so hard not to whine because other states have had it much worse than us. But we opened for business the end of May and made as much all Memorial Weekend as we did on one day last year. It was cloudy and cool the next weeknd and the one following that, it rained both days. Last weekend we had nice weather and finally had some business on Father's Day. FINALLY we can pay our bills! I hate leaving people hanging like that, especially since some of them, like Cal's Printing and DeJong Septic let us take the goods before paying! (Well, DeJong delivered, actually ... and they also take away ....)




We're hoping for a nice weekend (to make up for this past week) and, since it's graduation weekend (here in upstate NY) AND my birthday, we are having some special specials! Graduates play free and so do my friends! We also get to eat cake!


I did have a good laugh last weekend. It seems that Mooch (aka Kittykittykitty) realized the mini golf was opened for the season and came running over to visit; only to lie down (as usual) on hole #18 (unusual) and block the putt. What was so funny was, as the ball hit her in the butt, she didn't move. She didn't even flinch. She just laid there like the Queen Kitty that she is and we had to remove her so this family could finish their game...if they could finish their game as they were laughing so hard no one could breathe! Kittykittykitty (as I like to call her) was oblivious to the laughter and had the nerve to return to #18 to lay down AGAIN! She finally found wandrered off on her own hopefully to chase some mice, a local red squirrel or to intimidate still another cat from entering HER property. Sheesh!! I feel like I'm opening a petting zoo!



Monday, April 25, 2011

Ramblings or Rumblings ... just not quite sure.

It's raining
It's pouring
The old man
is getting sick and tired of this weather.

Yeah, I know it doesn't match up with my other poetry ... in fact, there's no rhyme nor meter to make it work even a little bit. *sigh*

Just wanting spring to come "for real." The peepers have been driven back once ... My mom said they had to be driven back 3 times in order for it to be spring, but she lived in central NJ and I don't. I SAY they only have to be driven back once!

Warmer temps promised this week .. oh, that's right, if you have warmer temps you have to have rain! I told a friend this morning that I would settle for gray skies and dry pavement.

I'm sure all this damp and chilly weather has been the reason for my creative writing block. I can't even be funny about bad weather. Have you seen any "smileys" in this post? No. You haven't. I'm not smiling. I almost did in the 2nd paragraph, but it was replaced by a *sigh*.

I'm not posting a new poem until the sun shines warm upon my face and NO rain falls upon my fields... and until one pops into my head. That's how they happen, you know. I never really plan them. I have had a new title for one, but the words just haven't materialized ... LOL (kidding). I really didn't laugh ... but really DO have a new title waiting for inspiration.

It's most always God who inspires me in one way or another ... he uses people and nature over and over again. I say "most always" because I'm honest. Sometimes it's just me, but those poems never seem to "gel."

I believe all talent is from God. How you use it depends on you, and you can be influenced by other than Godly things. It breaks my heart to see God given talent being unused, misused or worse, abused. Everyone has talent. Ask Him what yours is and then use it for His glory. It can be life changing, mind boggling, very rewarding and will most likely make you smile :-)

Oops!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Meow!


What’s this I see
on my hillside tree;
a bud so soft and gray?
I’m surprised it popped out
without giving a shout
on this crisp,
not quite spring kind of day.

What’s that, you say,
tree buds aren’t gray?
Then give me a hint if you will,
and identify that
which feels like a cat
and bursts forth every year
on my hill!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Brownies from Scratch

I can't tell you the last time I made brownies from scratch. Isn't that terrible? What kind of a mother/homemaker am I to have relied on Duncan Hines Brownie Mix all these years? Oh, once in a while I would switch to Betty Crocker's Brownie Mix, and rarely *insert your store name* Brownie Mix. Why, I even splurged at times and got the Duncan Hines DELUXE Brownie Mix. But today is different. You see, yesterday was our son Chris' birthday and since he was about 12 years old, has requested brownies for his birthday; brownies with powdered sugar on top. He hasn't requested them in years and in fact, I think the last time we made brownies for him on request was back when he turned 21 and was just finishing boot camp in South Carolina. I relegated the baking to our niece who was living with us at the time. She eagerly purchased good 'ol Duncan Hines and set to work mixing and baking and sugaring. It was delicious looking when it was all finished and we carefully packed it up and placed it inside my carry on bag for the flight to South Carolina. Can you see where this is going? No you can't! We arrived in South Carolina around midnight after leaving work, and a VERY long delay due to thunderstorms only to find our "reserved" rental car was nowhere to be found. We called our rental agreement people and complained and was told to go back to the counter and have them call. We were given an "upgrade" from a "full size" sedan to a "sport utility" ... well, that sounded nice enough but it had a gazillion miles on it and sounded like the nuts and bolts that held it together weren't doing a very good job. It also used dual definition for the word "shocks." We had no choice. I don't remember the hotel. I only remember falling asleep, exhausted and ready to see our son who had overcome some nasty boot camp illness/injuries just in time to graduate :-) Though we couldn't have contact with him, yet, we were allowed on the grounds where they were assembling in their companies. He was in Delta and we thought we spotted him. Took pictures of the whole group and then realized we were in the wrong company. Ooops! They all look alike with their uniforms and tanned faces and necks :-) We went to graduation and spotted him with his outfit ... he was the one limping but only slightly! Our eyes followed him and him only. After graduation we were able to join him for dinner at the NCO dining hall and a walk/ride around the base. He took us everywhere and showed us everything. We got to go to the commissary where he purchased a flight bag. Now, since he was finally allowed off base, we offered to take him anywhere he wanted to go. "You name it, Chris, we'll go there!" What did he choose? Ready for this one? WALMART! He could see it every single stinkin' day he ran. In the freezing rain, in the regular rain, in the high humidity of springtime. He wanted to go to Walmart. So we did. I don't recall any of us buying anything there, but he enjoyed all the colors besides green and tan. We drove passed the zoo and thought it would have been nice to go there but I guess boot camp was zoo enough for Chris! We found a very nice area near a pond and some ironwood trees where we could take some pictures and sit quietly to talk. Oh, yeah .. and eat brownies! He was sure surprised; not once but twice. Sadly, our niece did not realize and we did not check but the Duncan Hines Brownie Mix contained walnuts. :-( Oh, Chris, we are SO SORRY! He does not like nuts (still doesn't) but he managed to find his way around them and so enjoyed his birthday brownies and it was just a few days after his real birthday! On his real birthday, he was busy experiencing the tear gas room (gag). Since it was his birthday, they gave him (and his buddies) cake to eat first ... there was a whole lot more than just tears leaving those poor boys according to Chris, except for him. He forced himself to keep it down. Good boy! Just like his Daddy! *ding* .. really! The timer just went off as I was typing the last sentence. I can't believe it took me 45 minutes to type this. They do look and smell REALLY good! So, 'fess up folks, let me know how many other lazy bone cooks are out there substituting box mixes for the real thing. I KNOW I'm not the only one! PS ... my pancakes are from scratch lest you think I'm a total lazy wife and mother!

Thursday, March 31, 2011

No Joke! April 1st is his birthday!

A few things have changed since I posted this 3 years ago. First, our baby granddaughter is now 3 1/2 and just as cute as a bug in a rug. She talks a lot ... calls me Grammy Obble Gobble or just plain "Gob" for short. I call her my "Gobble Girl"; and Bill (my husband) suggested I call her "Goblet" LOL!!! Her mom and dad have bought a house up the road about 1 1/2 miles from us so we get to see them more often. It's still Chris' birthday today and happily, the snow storm forecasted is only going to be a few inches. Whew! Chris was thinking he did NOT want more snow on his birthday, of all days, even though it is April Fool's Day :-)


His Birthday is April 1. He was due on April 3rd, but God's sense of humor prevailed! Happy Birthday to our son, Chris! I fondly remember asking the nurses if there was any chance of me having my baby in March .... they all laughed! It was about 3 minutes to midnight and I wasn't even close! At 1:16 AM, he was born ... no C-Section like the doctor thought! My supposed 8 pound + baby turned out to be 7 lb 3 oz and was quickly scooped up by his Dad. I still remember the pride in his Dad's face as he gazed down at his 2nd son... this beautiful, blue eyed baby boy with blonde hair already showing on the top of his head.


We began making our phone calls ... the first one to Mom Lester, who promptly said, "You better not be fooling me!" "Mom!" I replied, "It's 3AM! I don't play jokes at 3AM!" To which she replied, "I mean about it being another boy!" We all had a laugh and I assured her he was indeed a boy and was beginning to resemble my dad .. who had died a few months earlier. He still does! Mom and Dad Pitcher were barely asleep, having gone out for the evening only to come home and find cousin Marie babysitting for little Billy. They were quite excited and relieved to know baby Chris had arrived quickly and safely. Bill got to go home after 3 but I stayed in the recovery ward for a few hours and cuddled my precious new little boy. He was born on a Sunday; the Lord's Day, and I sang hymns to him as lullabies, as my mom had sung to me.


The following day was filled with well wishers coming to the hospital to see him. Grandparents, Aunts and Uncles, Cousins, friends and neighbors. Lots of flowers from family and church graced the little bedside table. Bill came back and had a delicious dinner prepared just for us by the hospital ... Prime Rib! They also gave me a single rose to make our "dinner table" more beautiful.


We brought him home on Tuesday to the delight of his big brother ... who checked on him constantly until bedtime! At one point, he almost tipped over the empty bassinette trying to find him! Doesn't seem possible that the years have gone by so quickly ... but now he is married and a daddy of his own little blonde haired, blue eyed baby girl! How we love them and wish we could see them more often. Time has a way of getting IN the way. May our heavenly Father hold them tight; guard their days and every night; show them His Love and remind them of Life; the one He paid for; the one sacrificed.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Working Vacation (part 2)

We left the Fletcher family on Sunday afternoon traveling to Virginia Beach; checking into an Econo Lodge right on the boardwalk. Now, I have to tell you, I'm not a fan of Econo Lodges but the description sounded ok and it was going to be cheaper than our usual Quality Inn. Well, we slept ok once we got past the noise of the elevator right outside our door but in the AM decided to check out and head for the aforementioned Quality Inn. Whew! There is something nice about the familiar and this makes the 3rd time we've stayed here; on the 4th floor, overlooking the ocean.




Our dinners were delicious and at 3 different places; all seafood, of course :-) Crab cakes, scallops, shrimp, etc. Rockefellers down by Rudee Inlet is our favorite but each year we try to find one more place we have not been. This year it was Bubba's on the north shore. Fun and picturesque.





The beach was beautful and the water was cold. Very cold. Bill went in up to his knees. I went in up to my ankles. Lots of teeny tiny shells this year, probably dredged up from the inlet where they have been working all year. Interesting operation with a lot of the pipe work underground.


The weather was warm upon our arrival and the next day (after the fog wore off) but then it turned cooler ... still walked in the wet sand but the next day it was socks and snkeakers for the feet and fleece jackets for our bodies! We enjoyed our indoor pool with it's warmer than warm temperature ... not sure why it was so warm but there was no complaint from us!






We were able to visit Thomas, Rene' and their children. Just too much fun! Thanks, Rene' for the delicioius brownies and icecream! We also had the chance to visit Aunt Barbara and Uncle Bob, with their granddaughter Olivia to entertain us. She did a very good job and is an undending source of fun and pride for them. We met up with our niece and her husband, Cindy, Brandon and the boys Perry, Bryan and Braden at their new home in Newport News. Brandon is in the Army stationed at Ft. Eustice (they moved from Ft. Drum ... much snow to not much snow!) and treated them to dinner at Cracker Barrel. We had such a good time and was entertained mostly by Braden trying to get the pins out of the board, leaving only 1. He did it several times but not when the camera was rolling. LOL!!!



We headed for home by stopping for the night in Ocean City, MD .. on the boardwalk. The weather was not cooperative but the hotel was very nice and their pool was NOT across the street! Warm and inviting .. we spent awhile there after our chilly walk on the boardwalk in the morning. They gave us a late check out since we arrived so late. We finally got underway and reached home before midnight.


Whew! Fun as always but it's good to be home :-)

A Wonderful Afternoon and Evening



Yesterday Mom Pitcher and I had a wonderful afternoon and evening visiting her hometown, swapping stories with her cousin, Avis, who treated us to delicous chicken salad sandwiches and then a trip to the Odyssey Book Store across from Mt. Holyoke College to meet author, Saloma Furlong.




Meeting Saloma was a special treat for me as I have been following her blog and subsequently her story that she has written and published: "Why I Left the Amish". She was exactly the way I percieved her from her writings online. I told her we are like old friends who hadn't had the chance to meet before!

I have not read her book, yet, but from the excerpts she has shared and comments on her blog, I can know without a doubt, it's not going to be your average autobigraphy! Leaving her family and the only way of life she had ever known took incredible courage and I'm going to have to stop my own story here so I can begin reading :-)




Winter's End

Winter’s End

The sun streams warm upon my face
and spring birds tickle my ears.
My hat has wiggled itself from my head
and warm mittens have disappeared.

Puddles of cold water gather
where snowbanks were once piled high.
Mud clings to my shoes as I muddle on through
to play on the swings and slide.

Crocuses peek through the crusty, old snow;
a promising sign of spring.
Wispy clouds in the sky are flying quite high
no surprises this day, they’ll bring.

Though winter is fun with its sledding and skating;
It’s sure a delight to find spring patiently waiting!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Working Vacation (part 1)




The snow flurries are dancing past my window but the robins cheerio'ing their greeting woke me this morning. This can only mean one thing: Spring is just around the corner! I know, I know ... the calendar already says "spring" but in the north country, we must wait just a little longer. Some of our biggest snow storms have occured in March!

We have just returned from our annual "Let's find Spring!" vacation to Virginia and we weren't dissapointed. We stopped in Gettysburg, PA the first night, finding a pretty awesome sunset and sunrise the following morning.
We travelled on to Spotsylvania to spend a few days with missionary friends of ours. My husband, a long time police officer and martial arts instructor, had 3 demonstrations for their first "Home Safety Fair" and the weather was just perfect! We enjoyed our visit immensely, especially Brenda's good cooking!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Vacation!

We just returned from a vacation looking for signs of spring. We found them and can assure all of our northern friends that it truly is on the way!

Monday, March 14, 2011

I WON!

I could hardly believe it! My blogging friend www.joyfulchaos.blogspot.com used "Random Generator" to pull my name/number for the subscription to the Amish Family Magazine! I am really looking forward to reading them and trying out some of the recipes :-) Thanks again, Mary Ann!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Blogging Give-Away

Another nice give-away from my blogging friend http://ajoyfulchaos.blogspot.com/ who has a terrific true story blog. She is very interesting, informative, and can also make me laugh on a drizzly winter day :-)

Friday, March 11, 2011

Socks 'n Boots


A little early, I know, as spring is not for another week and a few days; but the warmer, rainy weather was just begging for me to post this little favorite of mine, sure to bring back memories for many:



Socks ‘n Boots

Splishing, sploshing,
squishing, squoshing;
my boots are singing
this fine spring day

Wishing, washing,
fishing, sloshing;
Mom’s not singing
this fine spring day

For my stinky,
soggy socks are
stuck in muck
this fine spring day





Thursday, March 10, 2011

21 Thoughts Before Bedtime

1. I've been neglecting my poetry... and my housework. Both will survive.

2. Friends are buried under 24 inches of snow up north and I felt a bit guilty with only 10; but only a little.

3. Taking a working vacation and hoping for good weather so we can enjoy a taste of spring; then headed to the beach.

4. Planning my garden and hoping to start it inside. Mustn't forget to water it.


5. Remember those 10 inches of snow? Well it's mostly about 6 inches of slush, now.


6. Remember our friends with 24 inches of snow? They have flood warnings every day.


7. Our friends are safe but their friends have a mess to clean up. Been praying for them, though I don't know them.


8. I love my husband. We were chosen for each other and our relationship is based on God's love, not our own.


9. Humans have been disappointing humans since shortly after time began but God does not disappoint!


10. I need to work extra for a few weeks to pay a dental bill. Kids, brush and floss your teeth!


11. Grownups, brush and floss your teeth and make sure your kids and YOU go to the dentist regularly!


12. Erika has a short boogie board in the garage right in plain sight that keeps reminding me of summer.


13. There are snow shoes protruding from a snowbank outside our back door reminding me that summer is a ways off. Belle's saucer is next to them just to drive the point home!


14. Working at school today, reminded me how blessed I am to have had well behaved (for the most part) children to raise. Now they are successful adults :-)


15. I am also reminded how blessed I was to have been raised by a mom and dad who thought manners were as important as breathing.


16. Thinking, how is it that God in all of His majestic splendor in Heaven would want to bother creating the likes of us... knowing full well how we would treat each other and Him as well?


17. Amazed that God, being eternal and having infinite knowledge of all that He created, chose to create me, in particular, and give me such a blessed life!


18. Grateful that our perfect God, seeking to have a relationship with us; more than just being our creator, provided a way for us to be forgiven of our sins, promised a Comforter and an everlasting life with Him!


19. Thankful that a Sunday School teacher took the time to lead me into understanding what it takes to be a true Christian; one who not only "believes" in Jesus Christ but who is trusting in His finished work at the cross.


20. Many people don't agree with me but according to God's Word if it weren't for His shed blood, there would be no forgiveness of sins.


21. My final authority is not mine but God and His Word.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Anticipation

What’s that sound?
My sleepy brain awakens
to the patter outside
on my window.

It’s sleet; how neat!
Now contemplating
the hour and hoping
it continues;

For 6 AM
is winter’s magic hour
when decisions are made
for school buses!

Will school be closed
or just delayed?
My brain chooses to return
to sleep!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Birthday Tribute to Daddy (part 3)



My junior and senior years in high school found me, my nephew Ricky and some of our friends working for Daddy. I worked afternoons and evenings. It was tough. It certainly was not as much fun as when I was little. Daddy was exhausted; burned out; physically ill. Years of smoking was catching up to him and the summer of my junior year found Daddy so ill, he could not work. He could not breathe. He was hospitalized with emphysema and they were not sure he would live through the night. Helplessly and hopelessly terrified, all I could do was work. I went to see him the next night; a Tuesday night and sat with him while he struggled for air. I remember the All Star game was on and he didn't have a clue...that was not like Daddy.

I don't remember who worked for me. I do remember going back to work and essentially firing the afternoon cook...one who demanded his pay, when the paymaster was at death's door. The only worker who did this, he threatened to quit and I told him it might be a good idea! He did. Then, alone, I cried. My older brothers, Bill, a postal worker who took on the morning cooking and Jack, a worker at IBM who took over the books for Daddy both said it was ok ... that it was probably a good thing since all the others had agreed to a late pay envelope. His type was not needed in our diner family.

David S, a long time summer employee, who had left just a few weeks before for a better paying job found out Daddy was in the hospital and that we no longer had an afternoon cook. He offered to come to work from 3 -9 and didn't want to be paid. Jack would have none of that and hired him on the spot. Dave helped us through those weeks of summer and Daddy slowly got better, returning to work, grateful for the support of his family and friends.

Sadly, times were changing. It was difficult to watch what was once a lovely and lively diner, begin to crumble financially. Sadly, it wasn't just us. Our resort town of Cairo didn't seem to have the draw it used to. People were looking for more exciting places to eat and take vacations. Daddy never said anything but he didn't have to. I helped him do payroll and realized that as he filled the pay envelopes for the cooks, waitresses and dishwashers; paid the bread man, the milk man, the meat man and the egg man, he was leaving what was left for our family. It wasn't much. It wasn't long before he knew it was time to sell and he put the diner on the market.

When I was 18, I had saved enough money for a down payment on a car. I was looking in the paper for a used one and thought I found it: a 1965 Volkswagen Beetle. It took the paper into the diner kitchen to show Daddy. I never saw him look like this before, his face was red, his eyes were, too .. and then he sobbed. He choked out the word, "No!" Recovered enough to speak he said, in a controlled but somewhat angry voice: "Don't you remember? I'm supposed to buy you your first car!" Instantly I remembered my childhood scrapbook picture, his promise to me, and blurted out before my own tears took over, "Daddy, I don't want a pink convertible!" I hadn't thought about that pink convertible in years! We hugged each other at that counter in the diner kitchen and I told him I understood. Things were different; times had changed and everything was really ok. He then told me that he did NOT want me driving a "death trap" beetle but we could go car shopping.

Daddy was now closing the diner on Mondays so on that very next Monday, we answered an ad for a 1969 Opel Kadette Station Wagon; such a cute little car and only a year old. Traded in by it's owner because it was a little too small for his liking, it was just right for a college bound girl with lots of church youth group responsibilities. I could also reach the gas pedal! It had a standard transmission! Daddy didn't have time nor patience to teach me how to shift, but thankfully we lived in the country and the back roads soon recognized the sound of me grinding gears! The same back roads that just a few years earlier found my sister, Barb, teaching me how to drive! Though Daddy could not buy me my car, he took over the payments after I made the down payment. It was more than I had hoped for! Daddy gave me his best and I was so very thankful!

Daddy sold the diner in 1971 but what was to become of the man who always worked? What now? He refused to work for anyone being so independent all these years. So, he was content to sit in his chair by the window. He finally had the chance to read more than just the daily newspaper and read he did! Everything interested him and there was always a book or two waiting by his window.

Daddy took pride in his family and especially enjoyed the company of his granddaughter and her guitar, though she had no idea he was listening! He had the undivided attention of Mommy perhaps too much so, becoming cranky and demanding at times and with his health beginning to deteriorate, needed to have oxygen on a daily basis. For respite, Mommy took great delight in going shopping with her daughters and grandchildren! Daddy took great pride in my sister's ability to cook and manage restaurants. He taught her well and she enjoyed serving the public as he had done.

In 1974, Daddy gruffly told my then, boyfriend, Billy we were too young to get married all the while stifling a smile that soon spread across his face. He loved Billy. He loved that Billy loved me and loved his own family. He knew that our marriage was one made in heaven and Daddy was not about to argue with God! He gave me away to my handsome groom on a grand June day and danced at our reception. I had never seen him dance before. There is a first for everything!

It wasn't long before Daddy was able to take great delight in reading stories to his little grandson and watching him play and grow. He enjoyed the letters from Cary and Carole, even traveling to Arkansas to visit them. Their family was growing and he enjoyed reading of the events of their life that revolved at that time around their growing, little boy, Ethan. He enjoyed visits from Bill and Jack, now with grown families of their own, eager to hear stories of their successes and of the things he missed while being too busy during their growing up years.

A few regrets of course, but at 73 Daddy realized the forgiveness he had through Jesus Christ and this made such a difference in his last years. Comfortable, now, with who he was; where he'd been; that "the sins of his youth" had been forgiven, at 75 Daddy suffered a stroke late one night. After one last "talk" with his children, with only his eyes, he spoke volumes to his boys. Then sweeping his only good arm, he motioned to his son-in-law, my husband, to come closer. He reached out to Billy and with power that could only come from God, himself, grabbed his hand and pulled himself up to search his eyes. Billy, 'replied', "Dad, I'll take good care of her, you know I will!" And with that, Dad relaxed his grip and slowly sank back to his pillow. That was the last time I saw those beautiful blue eyes.

Daddy went home to be with his Savior the next evening; leaving a legacy of hard work, pride and love behind. Thank you Lord for my daddy...remembering him on the 108th day of his birth, February 16, 1903.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Birthday Tribute to Daddy (part 2)


We had nice, large tables in the dining room of the Rockface Diner and since we weren't busy at 3:30 or 4:00 in the afternoon, it was a great place to do homework and school projects. My friends were invited to come to the diner to work on school projects as well and Daddy would feed them, too.

He felt school was extremely important and talked often of my going to college. I would have to work hard and save my money. My brother, with the help of a friend went to college in the 60's and Daddy really wanted that same opportunity for me. His plan was to buy me a car for my 16th birthday, with the understanding that I would continue with my education. When I was little I decided it was going to be a pink convertible and even cut out a picture of one for my scrapbook.


Weekends were difficult as Daddy worked 7 days. I always wished there was some way he could be home with me during the day. I don't know what we would have done, really, but it would be our decision and not one already made by this business of "work." One day stands out in my mind above all the rest. We awoke in the morning to a sudden snowfall. I was already dressed for school when the radio announced that school was closed. Daddy was ready to go to work and the snow was continuing to fall, heavily. I remember being a little nervous about Daddy driving to work and prayed that God would keep him safe. God kept him safe and brought him right back to me in a matter of just a few minutes. It seems that his car and others in front of him just couldn't make it up Aratoga Hill! It made no sense for him to keep on trying so he returned home and called the diner to talk to his workers. No one there wanted to try to venture home, though home was where they really wanted to be. He decided that if the day workers could make it in, the night workers could go home, if they could. If not, they could sub for the ones who couldn't make it at all. There would be no cook as this was Daddy's job but this worked out fine as there wasn't a whole lot of customers looking for dinner, anyway. Short order was the order for the day.

I got to keep my daddy all morning, something I had never done before! Usually, He skipped breakfast but he couldn't resist having pancakes with Cary, Mommy and me! He went to work in the early afternoon after the plows and sanders had taken care of the roads. Funny thing is I don't remember what we did all morning. I guess it was enough for me just to have him home!

I remember two times, though there were probably more, that Daddy found someone to take his place at the diner and took us on vacation in the springtime. It was absolutely thrilling for me to ride with him all the way to NJ, watching snow melt along the NYS Thruway near Kingston; the forsythia begin to bloom on the Garden State Parkway in Union and warm air would greet us on Werstville Rd. in Ringoes where he would spend the night with us at the farm of family friends. Sadly, he had to leave us there in the morning, so he could be back to work in time for the dinner hour but it was just one more time I got to have him almost to myself! He enjoyed his brief "daycation" with our friends, often commenting how he wished he could stay on the Hill and Drake Farm just a little longer. Sometimes he would come back to get us but usually, time and a replacement worker would be scarce so our friends, the Drakes or Aunt Jane and cousin Barb from the little river hamlet of Andalusia, PA; near Philadelphia...another lovely and delicious vacation destination, would drive us home a week or 10 days later. I loved our spring vacations but I loved my daddy more.

As I got older, times were changing. Progress was making it's way to our area and a 4 lane highway being built, literally by-passed the diner. In fact, they called it the Cairo "by-pass." Business dropped off as tourists in the summer time drove right past the road that lead to town. Long distance truckers just kept trucking, not even knowing the diner was around the bend on that little access road. Locals still came by and that was good, but not good enough and as business dwindled, so did our income. I was old enough to understand, but too young to do anything about it. My lunch money was kept in the change box in Daddy's desk drawer. I just took my quarter every morning; 35 cents when I was a senior. I also got an allowance each week. One day, I simply decided to use my allowance for lunch money and never said a word; ever and I realized there wasn't going to be a car for me when I turned 16.
to be continued

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Birthday Tribute to Daddy




Daddy was much older than most men, being already 50 years old when I was born. He had always wanted a baby daughter, having had 2 sons of his own and finished raising a step daughter and was raising a step son. He had also always wanted his own diner.

He grew up the youngest of seven children of Albert Andrew-Alverson and Alice Elsie (Bunting) Lester in Accord, NY. His parents, hardworking, urged their children to be the same. Leaving school after 8th grade, he worked several jobs always being drawn to diners. He married much too young, tried an unsuccessful stint in the Army, then returned to face his responsibilities. He had a wife and two young sons and was always looking for his place in this world. I have gleaned information from old newspaper articles and know that as difficult as life was for Daddy, God was there the whole time, protecting him from others and from himself. He had a plan for him and nothing stands in God's way. Daddy, successfully this time, joined the US Army and served overseas during WWII as a cook, saying "No one in my unit ever got sick when I was cooking!" My brothers, Bill and Jack also joined the US Army, serving in different capacities during the same war. Though difficult at times, they all grew to love him, even working with him. My brother Bill also found himself leaning towards cooking in diners and owned one for a short time with the help of Daddy. In the late 40's Daddy co-owned the Rockface Diner in Cairo, NY with the Rose brothers whom he knew from his Army days. By the early 60's, Daddy had become the sole owner of the diner.

We started our working years there, eventually wandering off to other local establishments but we knew where our roots were. My brother, Cary and I knew no other way and had nothing to compare it to. We had no choice but to compete with the diner and make the best of it. If you can't beat 'em, join 'em and in our teen years that's just what we did as our sister had already done.

But what was it like to have a daddy who worked 14 hours a day; 7 days a week? Growing up in Sandy Plains, we all woke together in the morning and Daddy tucked me in at night. We didn't get to play as afternoons were meant for naps; his, not mine! We joined him at work on Wednesday evenings, as that was shopping day for Mommy. The grocery store where my brother was now working was across the street from the diner. We would have our groceries delivered there and then enjoy a table reserved for us in the dining room and all the sights, sounds and smells a diner had to offer. The waitresses were called to pick up their orders by listening for the buzzer. One buzz was for the dining room waitress; two buzzes for the counter waitress; three buzzes was for me. Happily, I would hurry into the kitchen where Daddy would have prepared my supper and Mommy's, too! I was never allowed to eat it there by him, but I could have my dessert there ... most always home-made chocolate cream pie. Dad would take breaks at the counter where that very pie was made earlier in the day by our baker. It was also where Daddy read the paper, had his supper ... and I had my pie. I would also have the chance to watch Daddy make mashed potatoes in the big mixer, and I would be a big help to him by adding chunks of butter! Mommy and I would enjoy our supper and converse with those who wandered over to our table. Usually, I would hear 3 more buzzes a little later and would scurry to the kitchen to find Daddy smiling with some quarters in his hand for the jukebox. I could choose any songs I wanted as long as I gave at least once choice to Mommy!

Homework was done at that table many nights, especially as I got older, staying after school and then needing a ride home. I could walk to the diner, but walking home was 3 miles and would have been most often in the dark so that was not really an option. Instead, after cheerleading practice I would wander down to the diner, arms laden with notebooks, text books, etc...back packs were not cool in the 1960's. There I would spread out at our table and work away. Sometimes, teachers would come in to eat... and find me busy! This was good for my reputation as my grades were not stellar! At least they knew I was trying. They also knew that Daddy was too busy to help and in those days, many mothers had only an 8th grade education...something they were trying to change.

To be continued...

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Generous Blogging Friend

A blogging friend who, without realizing it, prompted me to share my poetry. She has a wonderful story to tell.

http://aboutamish.blogspot.com/2011/02/giveaway-of-copy-of-why-i-left-amish.html


Sunday, February 13, 2011

Choosing

Limerick style ... just a little fun poem for the L-O-N-G month of February!

Erika and  Queen Anne

I like summer better than winter
with AC instead of a heater;
when my brain doesn't freeze
and my cold nose can breathe
with my nostrils not sticking together!


Photobucket

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Winter Vacation


Frosty faces;frozen laces
children skating on the pond;
sleds competing; saucers spinning
wildly down the hill and beyond.

Snow flakes falling; north wind blowing
winter down each un-scarved neck.
Friendly shoves with snow caked gloves, now
homeward they begin their trek.

Smiles beaming; cocoa steaming;
soothing to their snow stung smiles.
Shower warming; outside storming;
more snow gathering for awhile.

Now they sleep; dreaming deep of
kings and castles, mountains; then
awaken, hasten, breakfast chasing
to capture winter once again.


The week after this one coming, many children and educators will have a week off from school. It was meant for a "recuperation" time so that all the little sniffles, sneezes, coughs and wheezes would go away; all the stomach viruses would, too, hopefully.


I have many friends and acquaintances in the education field who feel the best place to recuperate is any place there is no snow or temps below 50 degrees! Y'all have fun down south, but I'm waiting and hoping for at least one BIG snow storm before spring begins to peak through the clouds. March will be here before you know it and THEN you will find me hastening spring's return by heading south.


Will you be going anywhere special? Praying safe journeys for all my traveling friends :-)

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Pricker Bushes


I mentioned pricker bushes a few posts back and said it was for a another story. Well, thanks to my friend Anne, I came across the picture to go with the story. LOL!!! There isn't much of a story and I don't have a poem to go with it but... Once upon a time there was a hill behind Anne's house and a bunch of kids from church who wanted a "winter weekend." So we complied. One of the featured activities was sledding on Morgan's Hill. It was an interesting hill, with bumps and a few little turns and a rocky drop off at the bottom that we never actually reached, but a nice long ride nonetheless. Well, after a few trips down which made the track nice and fast, it was my turn again, and for no good reason, other than it was going to be her turn next, Anne screams, "Peg! Look out!!" Since there was no danger in front of me, there had to be danger coming up behind me so I did the most sensible thing. I bailed from the sled as soon as I could, giving absolutley no thought to where I would land. Anne just happened to have her camera on hand and when she arrived, safely by sled .. she took my picture. She was laughing so hard, I can't believe this picture didn't blur; but it didn't so you can all see what I looked like climbing out of the pricker bushes :-) End of story! Well, not really; I got even with Anne when she was wearing her bunny slippers LOL!!!! but that's another story...

Making Do

Winter Azure Sky



Cloudless sky,
deep azure
Seamless ice,
hard frozen
Hatless child,
log sitting
Lace-less skate,
loose fitting
Smile-less owner,
quick thinking
Hopeless scarf,
unraveling
Useless threads,
skate lacing
Scarf-less boy,
fast skating!



A different style of poetry ... I never know how the words are going to form.

Another giveaway on my blogging friend's site: http://ajoyfulchaos.blogspot.com/?spref=fb I really enjoy her blog!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Mr. Groundhog


Oh, what will he do
on the 2nd day
of the month with the fewest days?

Will he scurry right out
and give a big shout
to frighten his shaddow away?

Will he peek o'er the edge
of his hole in the ground
and look to see if it's clear?

Will he blink and look tired
or be bouncing and wired
and start running as fast as a deer? (I doubt it.)

Well, today is no problem
as the skies have snow in them

so pop up and party away

From morning til noon
but remember this June,
from my garden stay far away!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Mittens or Gloves?



Mittens or gloves is the question

the answer to which I am certain

lies on the inside

where fingers and thumbs cry

for comfort, warmth and protection!



Working in the school district full time for over 20 years has allowed me the opportunity to view first hand how parents dress their children. Now, why would parents send their kids to school in the wintertime, knowing there was outside play at recess, with no snowpants, no boots, no hat (or hood on their jacket)and only stretchy gloves, if any, for hand protection? Poor kids used to have to borrow mittens/gloves and hats from the teacher or nurse's office and then stand where it was plowed and just watch the other kids play. What great memories those kids have ... NOT! The rest of the kids would be building snowmen, playing King of the Hill on the snowbanks and making forts. They weren't allowed to throw snowballs at each other but we managed to find a way to play snowbaseball and got away with it and it was my idea! Don't tell the principal.

My memory helped me understand the importance of good winter clothing and I definitely remember back in highschool wishing I had my mittens instead of my gloves; my wool socks instead of my nylon/cotton blended ones; my hat with little ear protectors built in and my real boots as opposed to my sneakers which were way cooler but definitely not practical .. and my mom did not know I left the house in them, heh, heh, heh! Oh, wait .. the jokes on me :-(
My own daughter in love came to play the other day with our 3 year old granddaughter, Belle, who had on snowpants, a warm hat that fastened over her chin, boots and mittens. Her mommy had a jacket, athletic shoes, no hat and nothing for her hands!! Then she complained about winter time. Helloooooo!!!!! Since I was working, she borrowed my snow boots and mittens and had a great time outdoors with Dad and her daughter, sledding and snowshoeing. Another daughter-in-love dresses very similarly for winter but doesn't complain. She also doesn't play in the snow as she and our son have no children, yet...

A couple of days later, we had our other granddaughter, also dressed for winter, over to play in the snow and had equally as great a time and I didn't miss a thing because it was Sunday after church! The sky was just beautiful and I hope my pics turned out on this page the way they are supposed to. Her mommy, our third daughter-in-love couldn't come but if she could she would be dressed for it as she has snowpants, boots, hats, mittens and now some of our snow shoes so they can trek around and take pictures. I think I'm going to invest in some winter gear for the other girls :-) The family that snowshoes together, drinks hot chocolate together and that sounds mighty fine right about now!

Meanwhile, back to my rant ... parents, dress your kids and yourselves for the weather. It's Feburary! My final words go back to my poem: Mittens are always warmer than gloves since your fingers get to hang out together and share
body heat. I even slip my thumbs out of their little home to be curled up inside my hand and sometimes I even drive the car that way! Just sayin' .. .around our house, mittens makes the difference between happy hands or miserable grandmommy!


End of rant.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Snow Day!

When roads are slick

and sidewalks thick

with ice on a weekday morn;






When radios say,

"No school today!"

when suddenly sleep is done;

When breakfast is eaten

and a shoveled path's beaten

to the shed to fetch the sled;



Then hills in all places

announce winter races

where everyone wins in



The End!




It never fails to amaze me the amount of energy a child (and some adults) have when they realize there is no school due to snow and/or ice! Neighbors of mine would be up at the crack of dawn, which in the winter around here comes close to 7 AM, and would be putting their skiis on top of their station wagon and be ready to go as soon as the last child gulped down their breakfast! Sometimes the car would be ready the night before in anticipation of a "snow day."

I really don't have room to talk, though ... snow days off from school would have me into my snowpants at almost the same time so I could take advantage of the new fallen snow on our community hill before the other kids got there! I liked making the "track" for the saucer and made sure it didn't go into the pricker bushes. Pricker bushes remind of another time but that's another story .....

Things haven't changed much and though I don't regularly go sledding, there is still something pretty magical about waking up to a winter wonderland and hearing Tom and Steve on the radio announce that the schools are closed! I work for the school districts and though I may not get paid for snow days, I get to breathe the cold, crisp, clean air as I help shovel and the anticipation of playing with my grandchidren in the snow is worth a whole lot more than a pay check!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Winter Life

Under boughs of evergreen
beneath cold dirt you'll find
little rooms in tidy nests
for critters of every kind.

Grey mice and squirrels; chipmunks, too,
seek shelter from winter's air
They burrow a furrow and line the end
with some of their soft, warm fur.

They venture out on warmish days
and skitter across the snow
to search for food and stretch their limbs...
then it's back to the evergreen boughs.



Saturday, January 15, 2011

Winter Statue






Winter Statue


Eye lashes gathering

Cold nose breathing

Red cheeks feeling

Pink tongue catching

Swirling flakes of winter

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Good Reading

Another poem is on the way but first, I wanted to share a blogging friends offer of a give-away. She writes very well and loves to make new friends; now having over 700 reading her blog! Check her out:

http://ajoyfulchaos.blogspot.com/2011/01/giveaway-just-because.html

Friday, January 7, 2011

It Finally Snowed

It wasn't a humdinger of a snow storm, but you could measure it! Six inches at last measure and it's still lightly snowing. The schools stayed open and the busses were only a little bit late this AM. No one has much trouble unless they are going too fast, have poor tires or have someone in front of them matching that same description.

I slid back down the driveway this AM; of course it was not plowed or sanded. I managed to get a running start and was able to quckly check traffic before sliding out into the road. That was it, though; the rest of the way into work today was easy. I forgot I had to be outside for bus duty in the afternoon, though .. and left my boots in the car! I survived.

I think I may make an apple pie tomorrow .... saw a picture of one on another blog and that did it for me.

About Amish: A January Deal... and a Question

About Amish: A January Deal... and a Question

Such an interesting woman and a great offer on her book. She's appearing throughout MA, VT and VA this winter/spring.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Happy New Year!



Happy New Year, everyone! We had a great New Year's Eve at the Glen Glade Country Store with old and new friends; sharing food and playing games. Managed to get home in time to watch the crystal ball drop in NYC to announce the end of the old and the beginning of the new. We updated our facebook statuses, kissed and went to bed. Woke up in the morning to the same dishes and what not ... boring by some people's standards but not to us :-)



Well, I told some people I was going to do it ... so here goes: Poetry time! (short and sweet)



Playing In Winter

Snowsuit stuffing
Huffing, puffing;
Boots too big for little feet

Mittened fingers;
Fuzz balls linger
at the tips where fingers meet

Scarf wrapped 'round;
Hat pulled down;
Two eyes, one nose now showing

All ready for
the opened door
to meet cold wind now blowing!