Saturday, February 28, 2009

SWEET Sunshine Deliveries!!

Sunshine Deliveries!

According to our teens I fetched the mail from our postbox a day late today. They always seem to begin to grumble or get after me if I choose to skip a day or two, driving out to get our rural mail delivery awaiting us at the post office in a small town nearby.

Without another option to obtain regular postal service nearer to our new home, driving is necessary, that is unless our grass cutter tractor machine could get us there when better weather conditions arrive. (wink)

Why drive daily when I don't have to? All the more reason they say for them to get their own driver's licenses because "mail time" is their favorite time of day around here! It has become the largest "mother faux pas" when this mother doesn't want to run on out by the noon hour to appease their curiosities. Honestly though - how can I blame them, without friends or family nearby. A piece of mail makes our days brighter, sunnier, and filled with sweetness like nothing else the past few months.

Living in Ontario does seem to have its perks and one of them (for the teen's sake, laugh) is knowing our postal offices are still open on Saturday morning in this province. Joining us this morning was of course our "chief mail fetcher", our youngest daughter who willingly volunteers to run with the keys to see who could be sending us some sweet loving, or who might only be looking for a payment with the typical monthly bills waiting there. LOL With an eagle eye, she seems to segregate the mail well in a jiffy even before arriving the few steps back to the vehicle, and/or confidently entering the post office on her own if a package alert notice arrives. The ladies in the office have remarked about her often to me, little miss sunshine making their day with brief visits where confidence oozes and an infectious smile is left behind in her quake.

Happily - I wish to report there were many loving bits of mail awaiting us all today, plenty of sweet loving in fact with grandbabes sending their special loving thoughtfulness via notes and drawings, something for everyone and even something from their mommy for me too. :-) (Thank you Therese)

I will always treasure my special deliveries from our little ones, always. They mean so much to me! Take a looksy, these were mine today;

Thank you so much for making my day dear grandbabes!
Love and hugs to you my sweets!

I was also very surprised to find a brown bubble envelope package addressed to me, wondering what it could be. Was I expecting something? Had I ordered something and lost track of its arrival? Opening it up shortly afterward filled me with warm sweet sunshine which sent me beaming and bursting with a grateful heart from my insides out! I was so tremendously touched in a deep heartfelt way after realizing that it was something from my friend Donna, a dear sweet (SWEET!) woman!

What a perfect blessing this gift is for me right now Donna, with such incredibly perfect timing attached to it. I was very touched with your choice of ;"In conversations with God", the Lenten and Eastertide daily meditations book because I know without a doubt, it will be of valuable assistance this Lent to offer me that well needed "fill" upon my soul with all its heavenly encouragement. Thank you so much friend, I have much gratitude to offer back to you and have obtained much (sweet sunshine) from you today with this surprise package. Thank you so much!

And here is today's readings from this perfect book!

On Donna's website she hosts this quote on friendship;

“Oh, the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with a person; having neither to weigh thoughts nor measure words, but pour them all out, as they are, chaff and grain together, knowing that a faithful hand will take and sift them, keep what is worth keeping, and then, with the breath of kindness, blow the rest away.”

Dinah Mulock Craik

And what a friend Donna truly is!
I am so thankful to have her in my life!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

She made my day brighter than bright!

Waiting for me on my bathroom counter after writing the post below last night was this "brighter than bright" absolute blessing. How did she know what it would mean to me? Likely she didn't have a clue, but just the same I felt happily touched by an angel.

How do you carry your cross?

Welcome to Lent 2009

When a conversation enables a person to catch a quick glimpse into another's window of personal intimate heart pockets, it's not surprising to find all carry a cross of some kind. Oh sure, there are usually no two ever alike and intensity levels no doubt range anywhere from light to out of this world heavy duty, depending of course on the nature of the cross composition.

A question of deep interest in my mind is;

How do you carry your cross during times of great stress or deep sorrow when afflictions almost seem so enormous, too monumentous and almost far too much to bear?

As I read and participate in offering prayer for those personal and very private intentions favorite homeschooling boards I frequent, every request presented is very important no matter how large or small it may appear to the outside reader.

Since everyone naturally tends to cope differently when issues become all too much to handle without fielding out for prayer warrior assistance, some easily begin to show emotional distraught right down their sleeve where it begins to slide to the tip of their big toe, while others seem to keep their composure and act icy cool amidst the obvious crosses they must carry. Of course both could likely be hurting inside and of course both will involve various tolerance levels before one reacts to the heaviness subsequently creating shoulder drooping moments. So, if you were driven to type such a request for others to view, just how do you try to carry your own cross then?

Today, Ash Wednesday marks the entry into the world's

best opportunity for a spiritual awakening.

Lenten Prayer

Almighty and everlasting God, you have given the human race Jesus Christ our Savior as a model of humility.

He fulfilled your will by becoming man and giving His life on the cross.

Help us bear witness to you by following his example of suffering and make us worthy to share His Resurrection.

We ask this through Lord Jesus Christ, you Son.

As a candid peak into my day, here are some heartfelt thoughts I wanted to share, not for any sympathetic replies or responses, rather simply to offer a true intimacy into the heart of someone who wants so badly to keep a smile on my face (even if there are tears in my eyes at times) even if/when uninvited crosses get the best of me, like today for instance.

I find I have a great personal desire to remain above all things open each day, intent on listening for possible holy whispers (hopefully) with sweet cheerleading messages, those accompanied by a chorus of angelic voices resounding in heavenly harmonies echoing right down into the interior canals of both ears.

I never want to be so busy as to not practice being still enough or unable to hear and listen out for possible messages sent to me by my guardian angel, who perhaps sits resting gently next to me, embracing me tenderly as I attempt to grasp their content.

I want to be open to hear, open to act, and open to accept all trials, joys, sorrows or tribulations in my life ahead, no matter the level or degree of difficulty. I may need help, but no matter what, I want to be able to say "Yes", and "Thank you" even if I may not like what I hear. Okay truth be known - maybe I won't say thank you immediately (smile), but I will pray on that so eventually I can do just that in time (and even if it might seem to take a lifetime...wink).

I want to be humble and stripped of my pride - deeply grateful in all manner, no matter how hard, no matter the multitude of forks falling from the sky to send me into a tailspin or an involuntary meltdown, just continuing to trust all which has already been ordained anyway for my good along the way.

I want to continue being able to walk the walk set before me as best as I possibly can, and please God; continue to practice what I can so easily preach to my own children. Even though it feels like my husband and I are walking through a desert of sorts right now, having recently moved to a completely new geographical area without family or friends to lean on, I want to be able to appreciate this time for what it is; a time to grow in character, in wisdom, and in heart towards that ultimate trust required through faith for the days ahead.

Today I walked up the aisle and waited like all the other parishioners for my turn when our priest would administer the black ashes from inside of his small vessel onto my forehead. While in standing in line, I happened to look up and catch a glimpse of the cross above and center on the altar. Ha! was my first instant thought! My life is so easy compared to that scene before me!

At last it was my turn and I took my place in between our two youngest children, kneeling together in unison at the altar railing. I took a deep breath to ease up on the muscles tensing up in my neck. Breathe baby breathe!

As the priest drew nearer, I submitted myself while closing my eyes, tilting my forehead way up high at the same time while gesturing into position. I could feel my brow knit together as I concentrated greatly on the meaning of this day. What timing because suddenly I also felt the sensation of our priest's thumb move gently up and down my forehead, creating the symbol and shape of the cross for me to wear. I felt a small trickle of loose ashes land on the tip of my nose. I also felt an odd and deep sense of peace wash over me like nothing else I had ever remembered this day before. Ashes to ashes, dust to dust....the reminder today was fitting on just how especially simple life really is. And yet, it almost never happened. Could it be I thought, God wanted me to respond to grace by attending mass even when I first hesitated after hearing the warning of more snow tonight and a caution warning the roads could be wet and possibly slick? Had I not realized a message was likely sent for me to acknowledge, or was I just plainly too busy with other things to keep me in another world so often filled this day by invited distractions. Dumbstruck I returned to my pew and pondered all these thoughts.

  • Could it be our Lord knew how heavy my heart felt tonight as the children and I attended mass together to leap out of the gates and into the forty days of Lent without my husband attending with us because he was in the hospital instead quite far away?
  • Could it be he just knew how badly I was missing my husband this particular day in a strange and unusual way? And that I was unknowingly bottling up much unknown and yet discovered emotion deep inside the recesses of my heart with each passing hour, that is until I was in the midst of our drive towards the church....and then it all hit me. I just missed my hubby a whole lot today. I missed not being able to call him on the phone just to distract me each crazy day this week when I so dearly needed to, or just for a moment to hear his soothing voice and tell him how much I loved him. Wouldn't you know it, two blocks from the church I felt the sting of fresh new tears well up in my eyes and an overflow trickle fall down my cheek. Yep - that was it. In the busyness of the few days since he had left to become an in-patient for week#3 - today I was really missing him a lot.
  • Could it be he knew how terribly busy my week had been thus far, continually making important lists of things demanding immediate attention in our home, multitudes of telephone calls to address pressing issues with subtrades, dealing with the snow blower that went "kaput" so the 1 ½ feet of snow still leaving me with spinning wheels in and out of our very large and long driveway. Or maybe about tending to that burnt out break light on my vehicle after almost getting clipped the other day by a bumper driver behind me seemingly magnetized to my vehicle. Or trying to figure out how to save my blog when my template changed accidentally, how come the HTML wasn't co-operating and why was it such a mess still (work in progress folks,bear with me here). Or while out driving a son to his very late night ice hockey playoff game and trying to enjoy it without being able to share the great news with my hubby around midnight last night after an overtime shift was required and the game ended still at a tie to gain another point towards the finals. Or the worst dread - finding out someone has a cold started and my hubby CANNOT get that! Oh just a few "little things" like these and more...
  • Could it be that he knew I was way out of my league today coming down off of a wild headache, completely out of my element with the remnants of exhaustion from not sleeping well this week with my hubby gone?
  • Could it be he knew I let "worry" fill my heart, and "fear" creep into my throat when I know that is not coming from trusting him at all? Could it be I lost the trust I try so dearly to have faith on?
  • Was I just filled with a miserable and brief poor-me moment, or was this all real and just not fun at all for me today? What a wimp I seemed to be already before lunchtime this day, and yet I was very clearly not able to discern and filter all the emotions until I was walking up that aisle when I realized that "I" am not in control of all of this. I can't be in control of all of this. My husband is not in control of all of this and can't be either. So what's left? I needed to resubmit to the will of God of course!

The hour is late as I type this up, probably too late again for my weary mind, heart and body badly in need of much rest. How many coffees did I drink today when the caffeine hit me and I began to babble like an idiot when I usually take decaf instead? Hmmmmm, oh dear.

Ultimately, there is only one thing I need to acknowledge and that is this day was perfect for a discovered thirst to be quenched, and for my very soul to obtain great peace. The crosses I've been carrying are huge, those my husband are carrying are greater than my own, but still nothing can be compared to the cross of Christ, the very same one he had to carry on the road to Calvary.

Sure I miss my husband and he's having his own times being away from his family while in hospital too. Sure it's been a crazy and stressful week for me. I am allowed to feel the way I did today. But there is a difference tonight. I am at peace. And I know it won't take me quite so long to drift off into dreamland here very shortly because of it.

I am not in control here, HE is and I am so very thankful for that acknowledgment right now. Oh Captain my Captain, lead me on! Oh....and thank you for allowing my knuckles not to require attention to peel them off of my steering wheel after driving home in a snow storm with our ashes intact on our foreheads......(wink)

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Little known secrets of winter living in the east

Little known secrets of winter living in the east

There are little known facts for westerners when roaming or moving to eastern parts of the country.

Sure, during peak winter seasons most folks remember the differences in possible harsher weather conditions here, but only those who are natives in these parts are wisest by ensuring proper body gear is nearby at all times. When we are out driving around, we can honestly spot a tourist or someone new to the area just by the way they dress for the outdoors. Those silly westerners who can't seem to sport a hat and (gasp) a scarf for wrapping around their mouth/nose in a jiffy when weather warrants the swift action for protection in a hurry learn fast. That is speaking from experience folks, an absolute truth!

Stock up on your winter woolens

Frostbite is a little talked about topic here, but with plunging temperatures already experienced for our own family, it happens! And wow it happens all too quickly if any epidermis is exposed on purpose. Protect those phalanges folks; wear gloves or have them with you at all times!

The weather may be colder but the sun seems to shine a great deal to perk up anyone's spirits. Don't let it fool you though because there is hardly any moisture in the air here during these times, and frozen nostril hairs fast become the telltale to the reading on the thermometer. At approximately -20 C, nostril hairs begin to freeze and the entire interior of one's nose becomes frozen on contact with the first breath of air outdoors. Scarf anyone?

While we're on the topic of nostrils, no one told us about the incredible issues surrounding indoor and outdoor effects on the body with the dry humidity. In fact, if you've ever experienced dry nasal passages to the point of painful breathing inside your nostrils, the discovery of nasal sprays is a daily relief from the problem. Buy a case. You'll never regret it!

Oh buy cases of these things before
you literally suffer from ignorance!

Also a relief item due to the same origin dry air problems are dry eyes. One doesn't live here long during summer or winter peak seasons and not experienced extremely dry eyes. There are eye drops to ease the problem of having to blink constantly to "water" dry eyelids and keep from the discomfort lying there. Buy a case! Maybe half a case then...laugh.

This is about a winter season's worth for us :)

Okay, I have mentioned this sweet and mighty helpful windshield washer liquid before. I cannot stress it enough over how living in the east requires gallons and gallons of this windshield washer fluid. I saw this stack and figured - yep, next year that will be about how much we'll need to stock up on just to maintain a clear/clean windshield. Buy several cases folks. You'll cry if you run out....and have to stop on the side of the snowy banked roads to splash the last of your water bottle, or even coffee (!) just to see through your windshield the rest of the way home again. No kidding either!

Enough said; Stock up!

Last but not least today in my helpful hints for those living in the east (or those thinking of moving here), be sure you stock up on many bags of salt. Keep a bag or three in your vehicle for if/when you get stuck anywhere while traveling, or just for the additional weight to assist in hassle free road-weary transportation abilities. We keep several bags in our garage just to be sure we have some handy at all times just in our driveway for the ice build up over time. Don't live at home without it!

Okay, one more final thing. Back home while living in the west we were able to resort to using our garage interiors for added storage of liquid items; car wash and window supplies, yard liquids, huge water bottle storage and so forth. Here no liquid can be kept inside of a garage unless you want it to explode when it unthaws! Be careful what you choose to store in your garage over here; No Christmas decoration or other rubbermaid bin storage of items neatly stacked on top of organizational shelving materials, unless you want mold to grow inside when everything begins to thaw, and lastly, be prepared to replace every single bicycle tire tube in the spring if you leave them on the floor of the garage...and with that, it becomes costly. Be wise and bring everything inside.

We currently have an extra washer/dryer stored in our garage and one of the most helpful hints from the moving company was to fill the washer drum with an entire gallon of windshield washer fluid so it wouldn't freeze and crack inside. It will take two hot water rinses to get rid of it, but well worth additional heartache in the end not to have to lose it in the process. Great tip.

There you go. I hope something helped you out here today or maybe even enlightened you for adding a few items to your shopping list in the days to come.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Moving right along...buttons, facebook and snow again

Moving right along...
buttons, Facebook and snow again

My mammoth project to get my craft room/office completely organized in due time just didn't come to fruition quite like I expected. Instead, if you're reading this you can see what happened when I took a quick java break to keep up my steady rhythm (caffeine, laugh) and how I was suddenly panic stricken and desperately side-tracked to get something back in order here on my blog.

It was a crazy night, and why not. What would a little dullness do for me anyway? LOL

Today, I'm still plugging along in the same room, working hard but there have been a few distractions with content rediscovery in there.

My fabulous button collection is so exciting and fun for me to keep admiring. Smitten by an older woman's button stash when I was a little girl, these remind me of her.

Some of my very favorite things keep popping up before me and my knees grow weak for just a moment while I enjoy touching, feeling, smelling or just reminiscing over them. I've got so much to share with you in the days to come, things uncovered and photos snapped.

My hand wants to run my fingers through them and enjoy the moment delighting in such things. Oh boy, I was sunk for a time....I was.
As if that didn't distract me for long enough, in between while taking water or java breaks (before the blogging template disaster) I found quite a few friends pop up suddenly on my Facebook email requesting me to become friends with them. I was distracted again, but I did have a blast getting back in touch with some old pals, or writing on walls of new friends from the blogging world.

It was our older married children who first insisted we get Facebook savvy to keep connected (in yet another way) outside of emails, instant messenger and cell phone five favorite offers, oh yes, they wanted us on there too.

So we signed up and the rest is history. Since then, we've become in contact with multitudes of extended family, cousins round the globe and almost all our nieces and nephews. My husband's 83 year old mother is even on Facebook and loves the worldwide window it offers her from the comfort of her own home. And then, our children's friends asked us to be friends with them, the highest compliment that left me touched. Love all those people to bits myself, and now we have Facebook together. What a sentimental mommy I am huh, but I truly love watching all our children's friends grow up and keep in touch with them as they journey out on their own?

But, okay, enough of a plug here, if you haven't got Facebook yet, give it a try sometime. You may find it to be fruitful in your life as one way to keep in touch with those you love, admire, revere or just hold longtime friendships with. :-)

Last but not least, we have had a great deal of new snow here in the past 48 hours. In fact, if I were to take out a measuring yardstick, it would read something around 1 1/2 feet!

Naturally we've had to instill snow removal and clean-up around the property and wouldn't you know it, the snow blower went kaput! No such thing as dull here is there?

Okay, back to my project....just later than anticipated due to things beyond my control.... (snicker, snicker)

Friday, February 20, 2009

One of those nights.....

Currently under construction!
(and not by choice)

You know when the evening is yet (ohhhhhhh) so young when the accidental click of a wrong button makes your entire blogging template disappear. Poof! Gone!

Stay tuned folks as I attempt to remaster my three column blog - that is when/if I can find it on my hard drive. Until then, I think I'll just play around and see if there's something new to tempt me towards a whole fresh new look.

Meanwhile, Week 2 for my husband's respiratory rehabilitation hospital stay is now complete. He is currently and very happily attending our son's ice hockey playoff game tonight, two younger children on either side of him behind the glass inside the concession stand area holding his hands. Not being able to enter the actual crowd seating area inside the arena itself due to the cold air offering sore breathing intakes, together they watch from inside the general lobby area near the concession stand where it is so much warmer.

How can I tell my hubby is home?
He becomes eager to unpack his basic toiletry items and let everything sit just like this on the bathroom counter for the next two days until his return to hospital, AND have a "SCENTED" deodorant back to use. The hospital remains a NO-SCENT zone, not even for his Old Spice smell.

As for me - I "was" sitting here happily playing with my blog after recently acquiring a satellite internet system in our rural country new home area when all of a sudden, one very slow click led to another, and BOOM - I had a whole new template appear on my blog! Perhaps it's my subconscious playing tricks on me as I was just very recently thinking of creating an uplift here, or perhaps it's just going to continue being one of those nights....laugh. Either way, I'm deleting, adding, changing and VERY under construction here.

Apologies in advance for confusing you when you first came to visit, and hope you all understand the (mess) quandry I am experiencing - ummm - not by choice. :-)

Blessings on your weekend!

See you soon...

Thursday, February 19, 2009

List making; and having to deal with building trades

List making
and having to deal with building trades...

Nightly notes must be penciled in my
daytimer before retiring and falling into dreamland...

Living in a new home this time around has proved to be interesting in many ways.

The entire time we lived in our former home, it was still known by the family before us when anyone in our rural country asked which home was ours. No one identified the home as our surname's, only theirs. It was one strange thing to us, something that never disappeared. There came a time however when I began to correct anyone referencing it as "The ___'s Home", when I would simply say, "No, it's our home with a big wide grin on my face".

This new home of ours was never previously lived in by anyone. The builder hadn't had the opportunity to sell it with the sudden change of real estate in the current recession, so instead he opted to turn it into a model home to gain exposure to other possible home sales.
I thought for sure we'd grown beyond our home being known for another family, something I was more than happy to shake off when moving here, but now I find the "locals" call it by our Builder's name instead. Crazy how I am always correcting people....still to date. It must be something people living in eastern regions do to recall folks living in the area or something, kind of nutty.

Our first few months in our former home were filled with daily visits from multiple trades as we completed interior and exterior renovations. Many months we awoke to someone at the door, and often before 8am. It become greatly tiresome to either remain alert to strangers inside, or wait on them to arrive the day they announce they will be coming, and then don't.

Thoughts of living in a new home filled my mind with contentment, especially the part about not having any too many trades on the property basically until the spring when we tend to the outdoor issues still remaining on the list. I was wrong. I was so wrong.

We opted to have the basement finished before moving in. It was. With the deadline so near to our moving dates, we knew the whitewashed walls were all that was possible beforehand. In other words, we knew we would have to paint them all in time, and pushed the whole idea away until such a time as we would be ready to tackle this mammoth job one room at a time. My craft room/office was one of those rooms remaining at a standstill with almost everything piled high in the center of the room. The plans for this room's paint details accelerated greatly when we realized moving the book shelving would be too difficult later on, so the room is already painted and I can continue to settle one more room.

I can handle one room at a time. Very good. In the past few weeks however, I didn't expect;

  • The heating pump to blow on our radiant basement floor heating, causing us to be without hot water for a weekend and a call made for an emergency visit from the heating company.
  • The deluxe home stereo tuner device included in the home and used as the main flooring music system had an issue with its internal computer. Two visits later, the problem was discovered after we couldn't turn it off. Wow, do I ever miss the music flowing in all the speakers around the entire main floor, our bedroom included.
  • A huge ice built up in two areas of the roof, growing and culminating at the eavestroughs. One section gathered so much ice it heaved the roof shingles and when the weather warmed up, we had water pouring down the garage wall. The roofing company visited twice, clearing the ice and caulking everything down again. Meanwhile one whole section of the garage the pets live in require the wall torn off, insulation pulled to dry out and everything replaced to avoid mold from growing in there.
  • After two visits again from the heating technician, the beeping sound we've endured for the past two weeks ended up being a faulty pressure release valve on the gas meter. I am awaiting the gas technician to correct the issue so the beeping noise halts.
  • We had a gas leak in our gas dryer in the laundry room. All valves were replaced.
  • We had mice in our kitchen under the sink, only three to date, and found out (through repetitive calls made to expedite the issue) the sump pump pipe area into the home never had any caulking around it and a large gap is now filled and secured to keep out pesky rodents.
  • Instead of purchasing a wine fridge to enclose an allotted hole in the center of the kitchen bar area, instead we opted to purchase a kitchen cupboard with drawers. After two months it arrived and it was then the installer discovered it was too big. He carved it down and was particularly determined to make it fit; being that another cupboard for our basement bathroom was the wrong size before we moved in and was delivered this day too. With great surprise and much shaving and cutting, he slid it into place, only to discover the wooden facings were stained the wrong color!
  • Two huge rounded window transoms have their seals broken and are in need of being replaced.
  • the glass shower doors have never showed up. A shower curtain suffices and the order with the company has been canceled.
  • A few faulty plumbing leaky fixtures were in need of replacing. The basement bathroom temporary sink had to be installed due to the improper sized cabinet delivered initially. We had company coming and needed that room ready. There are still remaining issues for this room to be completed.
  • Many light bulbs were burnt out in the house and around the exterior of the house; flood lights way up high in the soffits were too high for my hubby to get up there. The electricians came to repair a few areas in the house, along with cabling issues from missing cables in walls.
  • The alarm system company had to come over twice to settle an issue with the wrong doors monitored where the alarm would set itself off every time and ruffle our feathers when the telephone rang for security purposes and identification was required. Funny to find the monitoring station still had the builder's information so HE was getting the calls at first. Oops...but not our fault.
  • We were just notified our builder only obtained an "occupancy" permit and never a "final", though he is contesting it and asked to have a copy of the letter sent to us, the home owners. be continued I suppose.
If it sounds like I'm belly aching, maybe I am. Things seem to become complicated for us when other more pressing issues are requiring utmost priority and attention. I don't like waiting around for people who don't show up, or can't commit to a time of morning or afternoon on any given day. I have much on my plate and loathe "time wasters" I have no control over. It seems such a time waster to anticipate their arrival, thus offering some unavoidable frustration to me in the end. ugh!

Good news though.....

A "before" photo

Our carpeting issue was resolved for our exercise room after pricing out a rubber flooring and almost having heart failure over the price quote (cough, choke, laugh). Yesterday the carpet layers arrived amidst the furnace technician's timing of several hours, and another trade's presence, to install the final product.

An "after" photo of the same area last night

All set up and ready to sweat!

Last night all hands were on deck (after the night before when all were on deck to remove everything from that room) to replace items in the room, hoisting them up rather than pulling or pushing on the wheels provided for on each item.

Today, the room is complete, save for the painting of the walls and the certainty of where the items should go for a great functioning workout area. Everyone can now get back into shape again after being snowed in for the bulk of our time here thus far

I assure you this list is ongoing and much I haven't even mentioned the details of. I'm hoping and praying everything settles down a bit so I can concentrate on more important things in our lives. At least, I can hope can't I? :-).

Today's Goal

Today's goal is.... get this "before picture" (ahem - oh blah) below into position for a new photo op no later than tomorrow later in the afternoon before my husband arrives home from the hospital for the weekend.

It seemed more organized when still in the moving boxes!

I just LOVE my happy and cheery room with its "celery ice" painted walls.

The white trim and faux white wooden blind offer a nice contrast to the bright color. This room also has there the added and very unexpected additional benefit of obtaining the extra overflow library shelving when we discovered how much smaller our library is in this home compared to our former one. I love to be organized. The shelves will help me out with that area in this room for sure.

And on the topic of moving....I just have to throw this in; I hope I don't have to move again for a very, very long time!

It's when viewing photos like this one that I wonder if everything looked so much better when it was all still inside of the multitudes of boxes they were hauled here in with? I almost get so overwhelmed that throwing everything back into the boxes seems to become a very fine idea. But I shall not. I shall press onward and get my beloved escape craft room/office in fine shape. I'm drooling over all the possibilities of having my sewing machine, serger, office area, and everything else accessible for my bits of mother culture and mother/child crafting time.

Stay tuned when I will soon be able to present the completely overhauled and organized room to you - after a great deal of sweat (and frustration) reigns high for me over the next 24 to however many hours it takes.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

Wordless Wednesday

We are officially online again...

An aesthetically pleasing choice spot for the dish?
(Ha! Not a chance and there wasn't another option for our property)

They said this was where the angle must be, up that high to get through our trees. Supposedly they tried to make it blend into the sky.

Dial-up was NOT an option and this is not super high speed either. Hope no one does anything to the satellite where our internet signal comes from or we're toast! But, to be thankful of course - that we are, online again...
woot, woot


Tuesday, February 17, 2009



Beautiful sunsets are on their way again...


In February there are days,
Blue and nearly warm,
When horses switch their tails and ducks
Go quacking through the farm

When all the world turns round to feel
The sun upon its back --
When winter lifts a little bit
And spring peeks through the crack!

~Dorothy Aldis

Sibling influences

Sibling Influences

Their oldest sister-sibling not only surprises us with her early morning visit.

Another adult-child of ours also leaves her mark on highly impressionable younger siblings with a series of sudden strong desires to work alongside of her on logic puzzle breaks during schooling hours.
Would someone please tell me - as their oldest sibling unwinds and takes a few minutes to work quietly at one of her favorite pastimes, how in the world can a mother argue with all the now influential motivation provided for younger siblings begging to participate in these same brain tamers during schooling yet? (wink) She even shared with them to keep them rolling along....

The Family

The Family

...In the Family
...husband and wife, adults and children,
brothers and sisters accept one another
as God's gift and give each other the life and love of God.
In the family the healthy and sick stand by each other.
Young and old speak up for one another.
They try to solve problems together
Lastly, the family is also the place where everyone can experience
mutual forgiveness in an atmosphere of love.

~ Pope John Paul II

Served to mother ..... with love

A perfect end to a perfect day!

A perfect end to a perfect day

I omitted to include the ending to our perfect day HERE, not by choice but more from still being in a state of overwhelming bliss when posting the blog writing. (smile)

The timing was perfect when the telephone call came announcing the arrival of the movie "Fireproof" which I had ordered several weeks ago. My husband and I picked it up during our lock out period of time (have to read the writing HERE to find out what that is all about) and made plans to watch it later that very evening together. When the younguns were tucked in and prayers were said, the rest of us settled in to watch the film. What a wonderful way to end a great day, and not a dry eye in the room!

If you haven't seen this movie yet, RUN to catch it. Tracy over at Pinewood Castle has a terrific write-up about the film, and I promise you no disappointment for anyone young (mature teens) or old previewing it. There are topics to hit any married couple, but there are learning tools and curves for singles to use for future reference points. Loved it!

And just when we didn't think something else could capture our spirits, already high from the memories of the day, my husband opened the card from me below.

Salt and Pepper? Sorry, I won't tell...because you have to see the film yourself to know just what that is all about.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Love filled our air, how about yours?

Love filled our air, about yours?

They worked like busy bees making this day very special for us

Valentine's Day is such a Hallmark seasonal occasion, a gigantic consumer money grab for the most part when prices are jacked up way too high and people spend way too much money, or at least that's what some folks might exclaim. Dare we admit - we actually like it.

In fact, this exact day has a history for my hubby and I. It is the day when St. Valentine and the flying Cupid attempted to strike both of our hearts while attending a Knights of Columbus Valentine's Day dance at our parish. Oh, but they had help. My hubby's sister played a part that night, oh yes she did....laugh.

Yes, that's right. We attended the same parish, but rarely did I see him, the big brother of a friend, because he was already working and that encompassed much out of town commuting included in the type of career he already had.

Yep....for years and years, we fussed up this day using our homemade heart crafted placemats and made a simple meal of spaghetti and tossed salad. We hardly seemed to eat this meal so the children used to think it was a special occasion each time we ate it. But the surprise of all surprises came when our oldest daughter begged her daddy to tell her the story of that particular (cupid) dance night when we were heart struck for one another. Obligingly he appeased her every year and predictably shortly afterwards she would break out clapping and giggling over it all. In her imagination her daddy became her knight in shining armor, the man who wooed over the challenge of obtaining his princess bride (well eventually) and that soon became a standing bedtime story once each year between her and her daddy as he cuddled and sat next to her bedside tucking her in.

This year with the hospital stay in progress, we weren't quite sure what my hubby would be up to after a long week of extensive physical and mental challenges experienced the week before.

The festivities began a day ahead with breakfast consisting of
heart -shaped pancakes on red winter themed plates.

Before we*could* plan anything at all, our oldest daughter commanded us into action by telling us we had to depart for the afternoon and not return until 5pm precisely. She and her cohorts (siblings) had plans and that was all we needed to know. "And don't you dare take my little sister into another room and beg her to divulge the details to you" ;she said.Off we went and little did we expect the actual events taking place at home while we were away.

My husband always insists on some type of
flowers for me but it doesn't HAVE to be this exact day.
St. Valentine hit us hard and for that we celebrate every day of the year. :-)

My hubby's likes to honor his girls too this day,
oldest daughter was also included

Entering the house we were greeted by the two youngest and they asked for our coats so they could hang them up. We were then escorted to our bedroom. Our bedroom we thought? Hmmm.... not quite what we had envisioned. I guess we had no idea what to think, maybe perhaps just a simple meal for everyone at the dining room table. Not so though, so not so!

As I've mentioned before, the biggest seller to us for this present home was having the master bedroom on the main floor for my husband to conserve his energies by not having to head up a nightly set of stairs. An office sits nearby and spoils of spoils, a fireplace graces the bedroom to keep him warm and cozy on days when his circulation doesn't co-operate with him and body chills require warming up.

Our bedroom was set up like a restaurant with a table, two chairs, several candles all aglow, fireplace ready to light, music filling the air, handmade poster on the bed frame, a menu for our dinner selections and soooo much more! Wowza! They really know how to surprise us!

Four servers entered and exited the room, acting as
waiters and waitresses at this fine dining establishment.

Each of the four children still living at home served a different course of the meal, complete with kitchen towel wrapped over one arm to serve the items onto the table. Love definitely filled the air as our restaurateurs served us and catered to our every need. From filling the water glasses, to a brim filled glass of bubbly grape juice, we celebrated this wonderful day in style.

Our menus on the tables indicated what we
would be served this day
; so cute!

The meal was selected to suit our personal palettes and absolutely delicious. While we dined in the quiet ambiance filling our bedroom, the children ate pizza and drank root beer sodas in the kitchen. So funny!

Later in the evening, there were treats for all...

Well done our sweets. Well done! Thank you so much. What a memory you made for your parents this day.

And the story continued when our youngest daughter said;

"Daddy tell me about the Valentine's Dance where you and mommy started to like each other"....

The Prayer of St. Valentine

Dear Lord, who art high in the Heavens,

Giver of Love and Passion,

And He who strings the heart’s cords,

Lead the Lovers this day, February ten plus four.

The day during the month of two,

When the date is the perfect number of God

Greater two souls and two hearts.

Some Loves are fleeting ,

But that which is built on you will never fail.

So guide the Lovers to know what is to be.

Your truths the Lovers’ mouths should speak,

For Your truth is that which is honest to the heart.

Only this, then, should pass over the red lips of the Lovers.

Your art, the Lovers simply a medium.

It is only with True Hearts that You can create a Masterpiece,

So let the Lovers remember that their Soul’s Desire

Is the one for which You light their Fire.

And let it be You who creates the Art of the Lovers;

The art of two into one.