Thursday, June 30, 2022

Thankful Thursday

I had expected to begin my day bright and early over at our daughter's as I waited for the kiddos to wake up. After that, I thought I'd have them all day while their mama worked, but...little Leah has been a real night owl this week, waking up in the middle of the night and staying up until it's about time for Mama to get up or go to work. Mama isn't getting much sleep at all. She's exhausted. She asked if she could have today off since she wasn't scheduled to work originally, but asked to work. So, an unexpected "day off"...I'm thankful for that!

And now I have time to link up with blogging pal, Rebecca Jo @ Knit By God's Hand for Thankful Thursday. I'm thankful for that, too, because cultivating an attitude of gratitude is one of the major priorities in my life.

So, let's take a look at what I'm thankful for this week.

** Everything worked out for our daughter and s-i-l concerning the hearing about their niece. The mother was trying to slip a custody agreement by them that would have left her with primary custody (and therefore control of all money from the late father's estate) but would have left our daughter and s-i-l open to being stuck with custody (and no financial support) if she felt like not being a mom for a while. She also wanted child support from them! So yes, very, very thankful the attorney was able to get the case dismissed before it even began.

** The property taxes are paid for another year.

** My appointment with the breast surgeon was...nothing. She just reviewed my mammogram and sonogram results with me. Again. Restated that I have to have another sonogram in October and then meet back with her to discuss it in November. She said the cysts are so small you can't feel them and she couldn't even see them in the mammogram images. I think the whole thing was about my PCP passing me over to her for managing that particular issue. 

** We've been so good for so long when it comes to going out, spending extra, etc. that we decided to treat ourselves tonight with Chinese take-out. An obscene amount of Chinese take-out to be exact, but we couldn't make up our minds what we wanted and we both love Chinese leftovers so we just got all of our favorites. It was such a treat and so delicious! (And will be for a couple of more days!)

** I have an official date. My training for the new job begins next Tuesday.

** After a week of getting near daily text updates from the church about new Covid cases among members, the reports have finally stopped and everyone is on the mend and none were seriously ill.

** I'm thankful to have dodged the Covid bullet.

** The way God continues to lead me to great Bible studies, challenging me, and being patient with me when I am slow to learn...or rather, slow to let go of sinful ways and get my obedience on.

** The ever-deepening faith, peace, and joy that are the result of the changes I make.

** Predicted big storms continue to miss us.

** I finished a journal yesterday and get to start a new one today. I love a new journal.

** I haven't been spending very much time online this week...and I don't miss it.

** Of course, as always, I am very thankful for each one of you! 

Monday, June 27, 2022

The Simple Woman's Daybook

Just for today...

Outside my a perfect summer day, sunny with a predicted high of 76 degrees. After yesterday's crushing humidity, it's very welcome. I'll be able to get Colton and Leah outside to play today.

Thinking about...having the kids all week again. My daughter is training for her new job again this week and today she and her husband have that hearing about their niece. (Pray for a good outcome there, please?) Since I am the main childcare for her until she starts her regular afternoon shift. So my own training is on hold. I'm hoping to begin on July 5 if my daughter is done with hers. My mom is stepping in while I have an appointment on Tuesday afternoon and our s-i-l's mother is taking them for a while on Wednesday for the same reason.

I am thankful...I missed church last Sunday because of Father's Day. Since then my phone has been blowing up with updates to the church's prayer chain about more and more people who have tested positive for Covid. Yesterday they cancelled Sunday school and I opted to stay home this week, too. Maybe it will feel safe next week.

I am mom's home and yard as it was when my paternal grandmother lived there. The big trees in the yard that were brought down by the tornado in 1976. The old apple tree with the big branch that went straight out then straight up, that would hold 4 or 5 kids playing horse. My cousin's little clubhouse that was really an old tool shed and how much we girls always wanted in, but weren't allowed. Inside I remember Grandma's rocking chair with the arms carved like swans and my late grandfather's red leather chair and ottoman that opened to reveal small toys. The ever present scent of Camay soap and tomato soup and Ritz crackers from the cracker tin for lunch. The tin "monkey swing" hanging from the beam in the basement. The mattresses on the floor beside the iron twin beds in the kids' room upstairs...just in case any of us fell out of bed. It was a good house to grow up in.

In the kitchen...thanks to my grandson, lots of peanut butter sandwiches. He is on a kick right now. Also, lots of grilled meats and veggies...fried zucchini, "crack" zucchini, cabbage steaks, salads.

On this week's agenda...

  • Monday: Babysitting
  • Tuesday: Babysitting and an appointment with a breast surgeon. I had an abnormal mammogram a couple of months ago. A sonogram showed I have a complex cyst in each breast. The consensus was to just do a follow up in 6 months and keep an eye on it. Then I got a call to schedule this appointment. I'm not sure why.
  • Wednesday: A gyno appointment and maybe our son-in-law's mother is going to keep the kids that day.
  • Thursday: Babysitting
  • Friday: Babysitting
  • Saturday: I'm not sure, but it's 4th of July weekend.


Saturday, June 25, 2022

Sunday Stealing: If...

Welcome to Sunday Stealing, the meme where the questions are stolen, but credit is given. Thanks, as always, to our hostess Bev, who finds the questions each week. If you like what you read, why not join in the fun? 

Stolen from the book "If"

1.  If you were to be granted one wish, what would it be?  I would wish for my grandchildren to grow up healthy and happy in a world that is safe and full of opportunity.

2.  If you could spend one night alone with anyone in the world who is currently alive, whom would you select?  My husband. If he's not available then just send my grandchildren over.

3.  If you could spend one night alone with anyone in history, whom would you choose?  I've said it before and I'll say it again, Teddy Roosevelt. The man was just larger than life and lived life full-tilt enjoying it no matter where he was or what he was doing. He would have some pretty amazing tales to tell.

4.  If you could physically transport yourself to any place in the world at this moment, where would you go?  Maybe Greece. Or Italy. Or Spain. Those are the top 3 places I'd love to see.

5.  If you could have lived through any war in history (without actually fighting in it), which would it be?  I really don't want to live through any war, but if I have to choose...the Civil War, I guess. I'm interested in the history of that time so it might be interesting for that.

6.  If you could eliminate one type of insect permanently from the earth, what would you get rid of?  Ticks. Most bugs serve some purpose in nature. I can't think of one for ticks.

7.  If you had to eliminate any single type of animal forever, which would you choose?  Snakes! I know they serve a good purpose and it would change the world if they were gone, but yeah, don't care. 

8.  If you could have an elegant dinner alone with anyone presently alive, whether you know them or not, who would you want it to be?  I can't think of anyone other than maybe my husband. I'm not really the elegant dinner type. I'm pretty casual and don't love being fancy-schmancy at all. 

9.  If you could alter one physical characteristic of your mate, what would it be?
  I don't know...maybe his weight, but only because it would be healthier for him, not because I have a problem with his weight.

10. If you could change one thing about your childhood, what would it be?
  I would have had the chance to know my birth father and half-siblings.

11. If you could have any room in the world become your bedroom, which room would you choose?
  Either of these would more than do!

12.  If you could alter one thing about your physical appearance, what would it be?  Definitely my weight.

13.  If you could have stopped aging at any point in your life up to the present, how old would you wish to remain?  I'm good with now. It takes us women a while to grow comfortable in our own skins and with who we are. I like this time of my life and wouldn't want to have missed it.

14.  If you could suddenly possess an extraordinary talent in one of the arts, what would you like it to be?  I have always wished I could sing.

15.  If you could have permanent possession of any single object in the world, what would you want it to be?  A beach house.

Friday, June 24, 2022

Saturday 9: Better Now

Saturday 9: Better Now (2018)

Unfamiliar with this week's tune? Hear it here.

1) In this song, Post Malone tries to assure his ex that he's better now ... but he's not. He's still hurting. Have you recently told someone you were fine when you weren't?  No, I can't say that I have.
2) He and his girl were so close he introduced her to his extended family, and now his aunts and uncles wonder where she's gone. Have you remained close to an ex's friends/family?  I never had an ex that it had gotten to that point with. I married young.
3) He sings that he never meant to let her down. What about you? Have you recently encountered anything -- big or small -- that didn't live up to your expectations?  You mean other than the politicians?

4) Post recently announced he will soon become a father for the first time. Do you know anyone who is currently expecting a baby? Nope. I think Leah's our family's last baby until her generation grows up and starts having babies. All my friends are in the same shoes.

5) Before making it big as a musician, he supported himself as a wedding DJ. Think back to the last wedding you attended. Did they have a live band or a DJ?  A DJ. I can't remember the last time I attended a wedding that had a band. I suppose cost is a consideration. It's too bad. We had a live band when we got married. Guitars, drums, keyboard, lots of brass. They played everything from polkas, to Big Band, to country, to rock. They were amazing!
6) Not satisfied being a successful musician, Post has branched out and introduced his own rose wine, Maison No. 9. Will you replenish your beer/wine/spirits this weekend? No, not this weekend...or any time soon. We always have a pretty good stock of wine from our trips up to the wine country along the PA/NY border.
7) Post Malone has more than 70 different tattoos. He designs them himself and is so into ink that he has tattooed his friends. Would you trust a friend or relative to do your body art (tattoo or piercing)? Or would you go to a licensed professional?  I don't think I'd want a family member or friend to do it...just in case something went wrong. I wouldn't want to have it become a problem between us.
8) In 2018, when this song was popular, Sears filed for bankruptcy. In the 1970s, Sears was known as the place "Where America Shops." As of 2021, there were only 23 Sears stores left. Did you ever shop at Sears, either at the store or through the catalog?  Of course! They were one of the main places my parents shopped and most everyone else in the family did, too, because my aunt worked in a Sears catalog center, so....discounts! Then when I got married my hubby liked shopping there for tools. I don't think we really slowed our shopping there until the kids were teens, so the early 2000's.

9) Random question: What's your favorite way to spend an evening at home alone?  Playing around on the laptop, watching a chick flick that Tim would hate, maybe reading a good book.

Thanks to Sam @ Saturday 9, for the music and questions.
If you enjoyed your visit, why not join in here?

Thursday, June 23, 2022

Thankful Thursday

Welcome to Thankful Thursday! I'm linking up today with our hostess Rebecca Jo over at Knit By God's Hand. There aren't any rules, we just share the things from the past week that we are thankful for. So, if you get inspired by everyone's lists, please join in the fun. There's always room for more gratitude...and another friend!

This week I am thankful...

** I have been babysitting my two youngest grandchildren this week while their mom trains for a new job. We've been together all day each day. Tomorrow is the last day. I have just loved having them all to myself and soaking in each sweet memory as they just keep growing and next year Colt will be in kindergarten all day and Leah will start preschool. These days are precious.

** My daughter reports that the people at her new job are so nice that her anxiety, which has often proved to be crippling in job situations, hasn't reared its head at all!

** I, too, am going to begin a new the same place as my daughter! She sang the praises of the place and people so much and encouraged me to apply so I finally did this past Monday. I would probably be training now, as well, but they've been understanding of the fact I have to babysit my daughter's children while she trains. I am going to be working in a memory care unit again, which I absolutely loved and have missed. The big change is that I'm going to be a caregiver rather than an activities aide. I'm starting part-time to see if I can physically handle it. If I can and I enjoy it, I may ask to go full-time...which I can do with only 4 days per week.

** One of the elders at my church tested positive for Covid this week. He has Parkinson's Disease so it's a big concern, but thank the Lord, he is doing well and his case seems to be fairly mild. Praying it stays that way.

** The pastor friend I mentioned last week has left this world. He never regained consciousness and once the ventilator was removed he slipped away quickly...just as his family asked everyone to pray he would do. The faith and strength of his wife and sons have brought so much comfort to their church and friends and family. The obituary actually said: 

Rumor has it that Jeff K died on Sunday, June 19, 2022. Don’t believe that for a single second, because right now, as you are reading this, he is more alive than ever before. Jeff’s Lord and Savior, Jesus, has taken him home and he is most assuredly alive and well. 

How cool is that?!

** Peaceful days in these crazy times. There are so many examples each day in the news of how we are not guaranteed a safe and peaceful tomorrow or even a tomorrow at all. Tough economic times highlight how quickly our relatively luxurious way of life (compared to much of the world) could disappear.

So I am thankful every single day for the things we take for granted...clean drinking water, plumbing and running water, reliable electricity, plentiful food (even though it might not be what I want), more than enough clothes, medical care, a safe home, the freedom to vote, express my opinions, own a gun, read what I want, and worship as I choose.

** Our son-in-law's parents paid to have an attorney look over the papers the mother of their niece had drawn up and wanted them to sign.

If you remember, the niece is the 4 year old daughter of our s-i-l's brother who passed away in April. The mother had been out of the picture for the most part, having walked away 2 years ago. She came back as soon as she heard. She has been fairly decent about letting the family see Sarah, but she has also gotten her hands on most of the stuff left in the house and the money that should go to Sarah.

Anyway... the attorney drew up some papers on their behalf because (and I don't really understand this) the mother was basically trying to get child support out of our daughter and s-i-l!!! If she and her attorney agree to the new papers it will end there and hopefully they will get to see their niece. (They have realized they are in no position to take her in.)  If she refuses the new agreement papers, they will have to go to court. It's a mess so I'm really glad they have an attorney on their side.

** Just like every week, for all of you. I am so thankful and appreciative of the beautiful and inspirational post some of you write, the funny things others of you share, and always, always, always, I am thankful for your friendship, support, prayers, and wise words.

Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Summertime Wednesday Hodgepodge

Join in the fun here.
1. Something you learned from your father? My dad had two rules that were pretty much the guiding forces of his life and they've definitely influenced me. 1) If you don't have something nice to say about someone, don't say anything at all.  2) If a job is worth doing, it's worth doing well. I wish a lot more people followed those rules these days.

2. Do you like onions? Raw or cooked? How about onion rings? What's something you love to eat that calls for onions?  I only like onions when they are cooked (onion flavored things are okay). Since I am from southwestern PA, I love pierogies and if you're going to eat pierogies, they need to be served with butter and onions fried in that butter. Oh, and yes, I like onion rings...if they are cooked until they are good and crispy.

3. It's officially summer (in the Northern hemisphere)...your favorite and least favorite things about the season?  My favorite thing is that there is so much to do and yet the pace is slower and more relaxed. My least favorite thing is the heat and humidity.

4. When you think about the summers of your childhood what are two or three things that come to mind?  Being outside all day and only coming in at night when the adults made us. All the kids in the neighborhood hanging out and playing together. I hate that it's so rare to see kids outside playing these days. I also think of the two weeks I spent at my grandparents' home every summer...playing in the creek, hunting fossils, going to amusement parks.

5.  A hot mess, the heat of the moment, beat the heat, if you can't stand the heat, catch heat, in a dead heat...choose a 'hot 'phrase and tell us how it applies to your life right now.  I'm going with "hot mess." The temperatures are back in the 90's this week and I'm babysitting my grandchildren while my daughter trains for a new job. It's too hot to play outside so we are stuck inside watching movies and trying to stay amused. They have stuff everywhere! Today was a lonnnng day, but one down and only 2 more to go! LOL

6. Insert your own random thought here.  Well, I am going back to work. I got the call that my background checks came back okay today so I'll do my drug test and paperwork on Saturday. I will probably do my training days next week.

What will I be doing? I'm going back to a nursing home, though a very exclusive private one this time. The atmosphere is soooo different than the last one I worked at. Everyone is so friendly and nice and you can tell people actually enjoy their jobs. I will be in the memory care unit again, but I won't be an activities aide. They didn't have any openings right now. I'm going to be a caregiver, basically, an uncertified nursing assistant. It will be very much "hands on." I'm only going to be part-time, working daylight every other weekend and then one or two afternoon shifts during the week to get my hours. It won't be too bad and I'll still have lots of time for Colton and Leah, which was my big concern.

Monday, June 20, 2022

For Today...

Outside my window: Partly cloudy skies and continued cool temperatures. Today's predicted high is 71 degrees. The flowers continue to flourish. Lilies and roses are especially lovely this year. I had to take down my hanging basket with the cucumber and tomato plants. It just wasn't doing well. I put the pot inside a larger pot, really drenched it (even though I've been watering 3x per day!) and moved it onto the deck where it receives far fewer hours of direct sunlight and it has popped back to life. Last night I also took down the hanging basket of red, white, and purple trailing verbena with the hope that the same treatment will perk it up.

On my mind: The same things on everyone's mind these days...inflation and rising gas prices. I'm doing what I can to stretch each dollar. I don't worry, per se, I know God is in control, but I also don't believe God expects us to just sit back when he has given us wonderful minds and bodies to do the work of living. We are told to be good stewards of the gifts we are given so I am trying to do that. Being frugal, trying to get the family to not be so wasteful, doing without some things we've taken for granted, but are in reality luxuries, making do, being content with what I have and being at home more.

I am thankful: We were able to get together as a family yesterday and celebrate Father's Day with a simple, homecooked meal. I made meatloaf, roasted and seasoned potato wedges, and corn-on-the-cob with homemade chocolate chip cookies and ice cream for dessert. It was a beautiful day so we ate and visited on the deck and later all of us but our son-in-law and my stepfather went for a walk around the neighborhood.

I am remembering: the men in my life who have been cast in the role of father. I have had an adopted father, a stepfather (though he came along when I was in my 30's), a grandfather who served as a father figure during my earliest years, and in the last few years, my biologic father has joined the cast. None of the men were  or are affectionate "daddy" types. They were good men, but flawed. In one case absent. In another, overbearing and controlling. Even the grandfather who was better than all the rest, was the one who manipulated things so that I never knew my birth father until I was 55 years old. It's all left me with rather conflicted feelings when it comes to Father's Day.

In the kitchen: As mentioned, lots of cooking from scratch and since it's summer, lots of lighter foods, fresh foods...veggies and seafoods. Last night we had grilled skewers of shrimp seasoned with the Maine Seafood Seasoning I bought in Bar Harbor back in 2019 when we visited during our cruise. We had corn-on-the-cob and sliced veggies with peppercorn ranch dressing with the shrimp. It was delicious!

I have enjoyed: going to used book sales. I went to a HUGE one on Friday with a friend from high school. It was fun to look at the books and nice to catch up with her. After all the clearing out of stuff I've done, I restrained myself and only bought one bag of books and a couple were cookbooks and a couple were for the kids. I also found 3 good devotionals and picked them up so I'll have them when I need to start a new one. The sale Saturday was at our local library and not nearly as big. It's run by a handful of retired teachers and librarians (my mom is one of them) who want to support the library, but are not as energetic as they once were. It was "sneak preview day" so I paid a $5 fee to get in and have first crack at the books...well me and about 20 other people. Again, I was pretty restrained and only came home with one bag of books, about half of which were for the kids.

On this week's agenda: I am planning to go today and put in applications at a few places. Then I will be babysitting Colton and Leah all day Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday while my daughter trains for her new job.

Leaving you with this thought:

Saturday, June 18, 2022

Sunday Stealing

I'm taking a chance and answering the Sunday Stealing questions on Saturday evening with the hope I'll be able to get around and visit everyone before tomorrow is completely over. I don't really know how the day will play out, though, as I'm having the family over and making dinner in honor of Father's Day.

Thanks to Bev for taking the time each week, even on holidays, to find questions for us to answer.

Stolen from Danielle Selander

1. If you could live in a house shaped like anything what would it be?  Sometimes I think a dome house would be pretty neat, but on the whole, I think I'd just like my house to shaped. Round would present a lot of decorating challenges, I think.

2. What do you think is in outer space?  Planets, stars, meteors, galaxies and most likely some type of life.

3. Where is the most wonderful place you’ve ever been?  My most favorite place in the world is Chincoteague Island, VA, but I have to admit that the place that left me in jaw-dropping awe the first time I saw it was....Disney World. Not today's Disney World, but Disney World/Epcot of 1984. Disney World was still relatively young at that point and Epcot was just a couple of years old. I remember being right at the rope when the park opened waiting to be let in and I was as giddy and excited as any of the little kids around me.

4. If you were invisible for a day, what would you do?  Nothing special, just relax and do what I want to do without constant interruptions from our daughter and grandkids.

5. What is the worst smell in the world?  The inside of a hoarder's house.

6. If you could, what animal would you be?  Someone's pampered pet pooch.

7. What is the greatest thing ever invented?  I'm going to say the internet, though it may also be the worst thing ever invented as well. It is definitely a double-edged sword and it's value or cursedness lies in how you use it. Either way, it opened up the whole world to everyone.

8. What is your favorite word? Why?  Shenanigans. Why? It's just fun to say.

9. Who is someone in history that you’d like to be friends with? Why?  Teddy Roosevelt. I can't think of anyone else who lived or seemed to live every day, every moment fully engaged, pedal to the metal, and all-in. He seems to have loved everything thing about life, every minute of life, and never lost his sense of wonder and adventure. 

10. If your pet could talk, what would it say?  If Daisy could talk she'd say, "I love you, Mom. You're my whole world. I don't ever want to be away from you and....SQUIRREL!!!!" Jasper would say, "You bore me, human. Feed me."

11. Were there dinosaurs on Noah’s ark?  There must have been some smaller ones included since we have animals alive today that are not much changed from the dinosaurs. Others like alligators/crocs and sharks could have survived in the flood waters, I suppose. But even given the size of the ark there's no way the really big fellows could have fit.

12. What makes you cry?  Most often it's something emotional at church. After that it would be things that hurt those I love and death. Other than that, not much. I am not really a crier.

13. Have you ever played a joke on someone? What was it?  I'm sure I did when I was younger, but I couldn't tell you what it was. I'm drawing a blank tonight.

14. What’s the hardest thing you’ve ever had to do?  Accept that our son did not want us (or any of his family) to be part of his life.

15. What is the most important appliance in your house?  Right now it's the air conditioner!

Friday, June 17, 2022

Saturday 9: Yesterday

Saturday 9: Yesterday (1965)

Unfamiliar with this week's song? Hear it here.

Chosen because June 18 is Paul McCartney's 80th birthday. 

1) Paul McCartney sings that yesterday all his troubles seemed so far away. Can you recall a time when your life seemed carefree?  When I was a kid with nothing more pressing to do than go to school, go to church, play, and explore the world around me. My family all kept me very sheltered from the unpleasant and difficult things in life.

2) He has always insisted the melody to "Yesterday" came to him in a dream. Did you dream last night?  Science says everyone dreams every night, so I supposed I did...but it's a rarity that I remember any of my dreams.

3) The lyrics were inspired, in part, by the death of Paul's mother when he was 14. Thirteen years later, he named his daughter Mary after her. Are you named after anyone? If you're a parent, did you name your children in honor of anyone?  I'm not named after anyone. My son's middle name is my grandfather's first name, which is spelled Allen, because it was his grandparent's last name. (There is supposed to be some connection to Ethan Allen.)

4) Over the years, Paul has performed on bass, acoustic and electric guitars, keyboards and drums, but not the first instrument he owned: the trumpet. A present from his dad for his 14th birthday, he exchanged the trumpet for a guitar because, "you can't sing while playing the trumpet." Have you more recently a) exchanged a gift, b) donated a gift you didn't want to charity or c) regifted?  I rarely, if ever, exchange anything and I can't remember regifting anything recently so I guess I'll say donated since I've been purging my stuff lately.

5) Paul grew up seeing how much his dad enjoyed placing a bet and then listening to the horse race from his favorite armchair in the living room, so he took his salary from making the film A Hard Day's Night and surprised his father with a racehorse. After father and son proudly watched Drake's Drum win at Liverpool's Aintree Racecourse, the horse retired to Paul's farm in Scotland. If money were no object, what gift would you give a loved one?  I'd pay off our daughter's home or have a big, modern kitchen added on to my mom's house...she has the tiniest kitchen you can imagine and she does all this canning and cooking and baking. It would be nice to give her lots of room to do it.

6) Paul is considered one of the world's wealthiest entertainers, worth an estimated $1.2 billion. This month, as he approaches his 80th birthday, he is winding up a 16-city North American tour, during which he performs 30+ songs in a 2 hour, 40 minute show. If you had all the money you needed, would you continue to work? Or would you kick back and relax?  I would not! I would probably do volunteer work for a cause I care about or maybe dabble in books or antiques as a hobby, but I would definitely not have a job I absolutely, positively had to go to every day.

7) Paul first joined the Beatles when he was recruited into the band by John Lennon. They met as teenagers when Paul showed up at a church picnic where John's band was performing. Paul recalls pedaling over on his bike to hear them, his guitar flung over this back. When did you most recently ride a bike?  Several years ago on vacation...unless you count the exercise bike. I do that a couple of times a week.

8) Paul met his first wife, Linda, at a London club and then again four days later when she was a photographer at a press party for Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Heart's Club Band. Think about one of your romances. Where did you meet?  I met my husband at work, before that I suppose I met everyone at school or in college at a frat party.

9) TV journalist Barbara Walters played matchmaker for Paul and his current wife, Nancy. During the summer of 2007, when Paul was vacationing in The Hamptons, Barbara repeatedly and intentionally invited them to the same parties and picnics. Have you had any success in a matchmaking scenario -- as either the matchmaker or one of the dates?  I'm the one who put my sister-in-law and her husband together.

Join in the Saturday 9 fun here!

Likes & Dislikes (and Friday Photos)

Things I like...

- Used book sales! I went to one with Mom last weekend. I'm going to one with a friend from high school today. Tomorrow is the one at our local library.

- Rubber chore boots and clogs. Best things ever for slipping on my feet to walk over to our daughter's home through the often soggy (because it's more yard than road) alley behind our houses.

- Cool things in the sky. I got these photos of the sky last night.

Before the cool clouds, there was this cool (yet weird) color to the sky and air. I didn't get out to take photos of that. This is one my daughter took. There is no filter used. It really looked like this.

- Cucumbers. I could eat them till the cows come home.

- Seeing lots of bees this summer. They had been conspicuously missing for quite a few years.

- Leftovers for breakfast. I'd rather eat "breakfast food" later in the day.

- Cozy mysteries that include recipes. Some are way too complicated, but I've found some keepers.

- Ozark Mountain insulated cups from Walmart. They work as well as, if not better than Yeti and for a fraction of the price.

- Blueberry Muffin flavored Kit-Kat bars. Sooooo yummy!

Things I don't like...

- The cat won't stay off the kitchen island and knocks anything sitting on it off onto the floor, then bats it around until I have to fish it out from under something.

- Super-duper high heat and humidity.

- Hearing bad news. A pastor we've known for years had a major heart attack last week. The surgery to put a stent in the blocked artery that caused it went well, but he has never woke up from it. Yesterday his son shared that testing has shown extensive brain damage. The doctors don't expect that he will ever wake up. He is a couple of years younger than me.

- The current economy.

- Feeling like you can't trust the government or the media to tell you the straight truth.

- Pouring money into our 401K so we don't owe the IRS at the end of the year, but knowing that right now, that money is pretty much evaporating.

- Black licorice (but Mom bought Key Lime Pie, filled Twizzlers the other day...they are da bomb!)

- When my faith isn't what it should be on a matter.

- Saying goodbye.

Thursday, June 16, 2022

A Hot, Sleepy, Thankful Thursday

Hi! I'm linking up today with blogging pal, Rebecca Jo over at Knit By God's Hand for Thankful Thursday.

This week finds me thankful...

** I get to spend a morning with my granddaughter. Her mommy called at 12:00 last night saying Leah was hysterical and crying for me. I had her come over and sleep with me. (Sleep being a slight exaggeration since she didn't fall asleep until 1:30 or a little later and woke up before 6:30.) I slept less than she did because she was super-duper restless...even for her. But we've had a nice morning watching Frozen II and eating pancakes. (Please excuse any typing mistakes in this post. I probably nodded off.)

** For air conditioning! I've said it before and I'll say it again. Temperatures are hovering in the 90's with the heat index into the 100's. Yes, indeed, I do unashamedly LOVE me some air conditioning.

** My "baby" girl got a job! She is jumping through all the necessary hoops right now and has to go through training next week, then she'll be working 3-4 evenings a week at local nursing home.

** I am also wanting to find a job to help out with this crazy inflation going on and one of the places I'm planning to apply is the nursing home my girl is going to be working at. But what I am thankful about is that I can put it off another week so I'm available to keep Colton and Leah next week while she trains. The kids' other grandparents are not in any emotional shape to take that on. They are still reeling from the death of their eldest son, they are not getting along well, and yesterday, on her birthday, our son-in-law's mother learned her mother's cancer is back. So, yeah, I'm glad I can be there when needed.

** For getting a long needed job finished. I finally finished going through everything in my office today. I organized all my greeting cards, putting them into clear zip-lock bags by category; rounded up all the old, out of date electronics and cords to donate; tossed boxes and bags that were emptied; kept two copies of the photo CD our son and his wife gave as favors at their wedding, gave a copy to our daughter, and my mom took two copies...the rest I tossed (I shouldn't need 15 of them after all these years); went through a huge stack of photos (gave up and tossed them into a large box already full of photos to sort later); took a big stack of note pads over to my daughter's house for the kids to write on; and cleared off my desk.

** We've left the bedroom door open the last three nights and the cat leaves us alone! However, when Tim gets up he has to pull the door shut then or I will be awakened by a cat landing on my head.

** I got to visit with an old friend from school when she dropped off some books for the book sale.

** Aldi's had frozen root beer float push ups. So yummy!

** Also yummy, I found my popsicle molds and made my Nana's special summer treat...fruit cocktail popsicles. They are just as good as I remember.

** A bag of really nice books from the sale Mom and I went to on Saturday. My favorite finds...probably the nice copies of The Black Stallion and The Black Stallion Returns. I loved that series when I was a kid (yes, I was one of those horse-y girls) and I am hoping maybe Leah will grow up to be a reader. I don't think it's going to happen with Colt. Our older granddaughter is a reader, but as you know, we don't get to see her so I can't share. I hope that changes one day or that Leah will be a reader...otherwise I've saved and collected all my favorite books from my childhood for nothing.

** The yummy, homemade strawberry-rhubarb preserves my mom made and gifted me. My favorite!

** And last, but not least, I am thankful, just as I always am for each one of you!

Monday, June 13, 2022


The Weather...  It's 9:50 P.M. and the temperature is 82 degrees, humidity is at 75%. We are on our way to highs in the 90's on Wednesday and Thursday. 

Listening to...  the hum of the A/C and American Pickers on the television.

Reading...  Trick or Deadly Treat: A Fresh Baked Mystery by Livia J. Washburn.

Watching...  still working my way through Hoarders and Hoarding: Buried Alive. I find that I am fascinated by the psychology of it.

Loving...  that I'm making progess with organizing all my stuff. I'm thinning out the collections...donating, giving away, or tossing...a lot of stuff. Today I found that I shouldn't have to buy Scotch tape for at least 5 years. I found rolls and rolls of the stuff that I've probably bought at Christmas for wrapping, then tossed it in a drawer and totally forgot about it. (In the back of my mind is getting rid of things before I wake up and find myself a hoarder! lol)

Feeling...  Disgusted with the current administration's indifference to how much people are struggling. It's a pinch for all of us, but those who live paycheck to paycheck are having to make really hard decisions..."Do I put gas in the car and go to work, or do I put food on the table and feed my kids?" "Do I pay the rent/mortgage but let the utilities go unpaid or pay the utilities and risk eviction?" "Do I go see the doctor or buy gas?" I do trust that God is in control, but that doesn't mean we just sit back and watch life go by. We have to work within His will to help ourselves when it's called for.

Thinking...  about the places where I want to apply for a job.

Celebrating...  that Colton, who has always been terrified of the dentist and hysterical at appointments, made it through his appointment last Friday with flying colors...even though he had to get a filling and get a molar pulled!

Grateful for...  air conditioning when it starts to get humid. I have a hard time breathing at times in humid conditions and the A/C helps a lot.

Enjoying...  all this staying at home and trying to live more simply and frugally. It's the bright side of inflation and high gas prices.

A quote to share...

The Weekend & A Shift in Thought

We had a pretty quiet weekend around here. Tim worked on Saturday and I was up early and on the road with Mom to West Newton's library. They were having a bag sale on used books and a jewelry sale at "drastically" reduced prices. Who are we to say no to a book sale or drastically reduced jewelry?

I spent $8 and came home with a bag of books, which also included a read-along book and CD of The Little Mermaid (Leah is very into Mermaids right now), DVD's of the first two Pirates of the Caribbean movies, a DVD of Space Cowboys for Tim, a pair of Christmas earrings, a sweet turquoise leather bracelet with slide charms that spell L-O-V-E and a leaf, and a classic Avon brooch that is a gold bow you change the dangling charms on for each holiday.

We were home by lunchtime and the rest of the day was spent on laundry, reading, and a visit from the kids. Supper was meatball subs. We sat out on the porch swing for a bit and then Tim was ready for bed and I watched some television.

On Sunday I went to church and Tim worked on fixing our riding mower (Megan had run over a steel bar last week and broken some part. The part came quickly from Amazon, but Tim hadn't had time to fix it before that. He also got the solar light caps Mom gave me for the deck put on. It rained off and on part of the day and then got icky muggy so we stayed inside all afternoon and evening. The kids were in and out, though.

One of the things I did while staying inside enjoying the A/C yesterday was search online job listings. With gas prices rising and the cost of everything else going up, too, I am feeling guilty about being at home and Tim having to bear all the burden. 

I am thinking I will apply at a couple of the nursing homes in the area, including the one Megan just got hired at. I have some of my certifications and my Covid vaccines are up to date so if I got hired it's possible I'd actually start before her! If I go there, I'd be looking at being an aide/companion. 

Another home I'm looking at needs someone for transportation. It would be driving residents to appointments and activities. It would be daylight and mostly Monday-Friday, but it would be full-time...and their ad said nothing about what it pays. The other one pays $14.50 to start and would be part-time, which I'd rather do, at least until the grands are in school full-time.

Aside from looking for a job, I'm really trying to cut costs where I can and live more like folks used to....simply and frugally. I admit we haven't really lived like that all the time over the years, but I do grasp the concept having grown up with it. It was simply the way of life, how everyone did things back then. 

When my daughter looks at me and says they are doing without and living simply because they only went out to eat one time last week...I cringe. She views going out once a week as real deprivation and doing without. When money gets tight it never crosses her mind to cut luxuries like Disney+ or things like it. Our son-in-law won't even consider trying to break his chew habit and that costs him nearly $100 per week! It makes it very apparent that we dropped the ball showing our kids how to be self-sufficient. We know how, but we didn't pass it on. 

I think it's probably the same for many my age (57 and the tail-end of the Boomers). We were blessed to have grown up during this country's safest, most prosperous times. Most of us never really had to do without or make-do. If something broke we didn't fix it because the money was there to buy a new one and that stretched into burying our kids under a mountain of possessions that were taken for granted. We also bought a new one when nothing was wrong with the old one except a newer, more exciting, one came out. Fueled by marketing and the media, we wanted it ALL and we were told we could have it and thanks to loosey-goosey credit, we could have it NOW and pay later!

Anyway, the economy has me searching for a job and going back to things I grew up with...not eating out, simple meals, less meat and more veggies, homemade treats, little to no recreational shopping, doing things at home or that don't cost much if anything, etc.

Now I'm wondering, is the economy changing the way you're living? Are you cutting back or changing how you do things? Do tell. I'd love to hear!

Friday, June 10, 2022

Saturday 9: Let Me Love You Tonight

Linking up with Sam and the gang at Saturday 9 for some musical fun...and today's song choice definitely brings back some fun memories. Pure Prairie League was the first concert I ever went to back in 1981.

Saturday 9: Let Me Love You Tonight (1980)

Unfamiliar with this week's tune? Hear it here.
1) Pure Prairie League was a country rock band signed by Casablanca Records in 1980. The label, known for disco hits, wanted to expand their client roster in case disco died. (Which it did, and Casablanca ultimately went bankrupt.) Disco can be a polarizing topic among music fans. Do you love it or loathe it?  I still love it! Admittedly, I have to be in the mood, but when I am I love to pop in a CD or ask Alexa to play some disco, crank up the volume and dance my way through house work or jam driving down the road.  

Weird FYI: My junior high school used to make us learn disco, polka, and square dancing in gym then participate in dance contests. The winners had to show their skills in front of the whole school. My partner and I won first place in disco.

2) In this song, lead singer Vince Gill encourages his girl to hold him tight. Who did you most recently hug?  My granddaughter! She is on a kick right now where she likes Nanny better than everyone and always wants to be with me.
3) Vince Gill left The Pure Prairie League in 1982 and went on to be a solo success. Tell us about a job you were glad you left.  Um...all of them. I wouldn't have left them if it wasn't time for one reason or another, but leaving the nursing home right before the pandemic lockdown began was probably the one I was gladdest about. I had the worst boss ever at that one.

4) He says his favorite song is the country classic, "He Stopped Loving Her Today." Do you often listen to country?  I go through phases. There are some I will listen to at any time (like Toby Keith) but these days I have to be in the mood to listen to the genre in general. The country stations are programmed into my car radio, but I listen to 70's and 80's stuff more.

5) Vince joined The Eagles on tour after the 2016 death of Glenn Frey, taking over Frey's guitar solos. Do you have a favorite Eagles song?  Either Take It Easy or Hotel California.
6) Vince met future wife, singer Amy Grant, when she performed on his Christmas TV special. Have you ever had a workplace romance?  I met my husband at work.
7) In 1980, when this song was popular, The Love Boat was a hit. Have you ever taken a cruise? If yes, where did you go?  A cruise was the last vacation we took back in 2019. We sailed out of Baltimore and spent 10 days going up the New England coast, over to Nova Scotia, and back. It was our first cruise. I never thought I'd like a cruise, but this was a smaller ship and while there were kids, there weren't a lot. I loved it! I'm pretty sure had I gone on one of those massive party ships with thousands of kids that sail to their own islands in the Caribbean I would have hated it and be poisoned on cruises forever. 
8) 1980 also gave us the Post-It Note. What did you most recently write on a Post-It?  I have no idea, but probably a note while doing a Bible study.

9) Random question: You find yourself one of three strangers trapped in an elevator. Would you rather the other two people be a man and a woman, two men, or two women?  One of each sounds right to me. I'd worry about how two men might behave and women can be rather whiney or catty, both of which drive me nuts. Perhaps with one of each we'd balance each other out, keep calm heads, and either come up with a plan or pass the time amicably.

Thursday, June 9, 2022

Thankful Thursday

I'm linking up with Rebecca Jo @ Knit By God's Hand on this rainy Thursday morning for Thankful Thursday.

Things I am thankful for in this moment...

** A slow, rainy morning that matches my energy level after a rough night. I just didn't sleep well for some reason and am not feeling terribly energetic or motivated this morning. So, it's nice to have a morning where that's not required. lol

** Colton lost his first tooth while here yesterday afternoon. So special to be with him for that and see his excitement.

** Streaming television rather than cable. There are pretty much endless choices. It opens up the world. I'm currently watching (while I'm typing) a documentary about Corrie ten Boom. So inspirational!

** I've already picked 2 cucumbers and multiple tomatoes from the hanging garden basket I bought back on Memorial Day weekend. There are many, many more tomatoes coming. The 2 cukes may be it, though as the tomato plant seems to be taking over and choking out the cucumber plant. Anyway, fresh veggies from the "garden!"

** With gas prices at $4.99 (a bit over $5 at some stations) God continues to provide.

** A letter from my father and a note with my first check from the family for continuing to see Angel, one of my clients from the agency.

** Inspiration and creativity in coming up with dinners as I seek to cook at home and spend less.

** My granddaughter ALWAYS wants to be here with me.

** Knowing rain was due again last night I decided to tackle our yard with the push mower (Megan ran over a steel rod with our mower last week and while the part has come, Tim hasn't had time to fix it) and seeing me doing so, Megan fired up the riding mower they brought from her late b-i-l's and helped mow. It's older, doesn't run perfectly, and doesn't do as good of a job as our mower, but it did the job and I'm grateful for the help and that the job is done.

** Neighbors I have known literally all of my life. It's true that new people are beginning to move into the neighborhood as the older people pass away or move to live with children or in nursing homes, but I am still surrounded on all sides by people who have always been here. We have always been like a big family and growing up, I called the generation that is gone now, the one of my grandparents, by Aunt and Uncle. You didn't call adults by their first names back then, but I knew them too well to call them Mr. and Mrs.

** Life is good and God is in control.

** All of you, my sweet blogging friends!


We are experiencing an unexpected thunderstorm that has cooled a hot, humid day down to a comfortable 73 degrees. Tomorrow and Wednesday wil...