Saturday, February 28, 2015

Snow Blanket

Currently, snow still covers the area, though roads are clear and we did go to school every day this week.  Though I accomplished little in the housekeeping department, I did do some fun crafting during school cancellations.  Too much time and I get too many crazy ideas.  I recently received Margaret Bloom's new peg doll book and the little dragon first caught my eye.  To me, he looked a lot more complicated than what I've done to date, but I decided to give it a whirl.  On his back is a little pocket.  Here, the pirate is perched on top, but actually, he can ride inside the pocket.
So, this took awhile and whilst I stitched and dreamed up a story about this little pirate PeeWee.  I decided to write the story and send it to Giddy-Up, who along with his Mama, was suffering some serious cabin fever.

For whatever reason, Giddy-Up is averse to letters. Reminded me of my teacher friend's child who would have nothing to do with crayons or pencils. At the end of kindergarten, he still marked his  name as one backward initial.  And..... he has a doctorate in astrophysics.  Margaret just had black stitching for a closed eye. While I liked that overall look better, Giddy-Up likes faces with all their parts.  

 Peg dolls with no faces hold no interest for him. I figured he'd prefer a dragon with open eyes.
   In addition to the story, I included tiny markers, with a challenge from PeeWee to find the letter "p."

What you can't see in the picture is a tiny snap hidden behind Smoke's ear and in his pocket, so he can be attached to strings and be launched into the atmosphere.
Also, in the above picture,  you can't see the uniform requirements for operating a dragon.

This was a most entertaining Playdate.  Giddy-Up has never favored dress up either.  Once in awhile, he's allowed his girly cousins to adorn him in cape and crown, but that's about it.  Oh my, what an about face this week.
Hello Fairy Godmother Bride!

My sweet Mr. Smiley was enthralled with all these shenanigans.

 He drew the line when it came to the costumery.  "You aren't dressing me up like a fairy."
Headed to the hospital this morning, where Auntie GLou has been fixed up with a picc line and will need antibiotics daily to combat the staph infection she encountered.  Spent last evening with Mom. She's hanging in.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Thaw, Freeze, Rinse, Wash Repeat

Nothing like a steamy sauna in the bleak midwinter.

I was given a incorrect time by someone who remain unnamed.  So, for an hour, the kidlets played basketball. Do you know how to play basketball?  Well, you throw a basketball, chase it, and whoever gets the ball gets wrestled to the floor, again and again.
 It was fun to watch my three swim. Bean and Antebellie performed well. Missy Bugg, well that sweet Bugg had a great time and got lots of good exercise.
 Giddy-Up kept getting redder and redder, till I took off his shirt. Sadly, that wasn't an option for me.

I love this picture of him and Baby Boy.

Rae-rae said he went to bed at 6:30.
 I ran home from school on Friday, to grab supper from the crock pot and run to visit Mom while Aunt Tish got out for a bit. I heard some weird noise from the back porch. I went back there and water was poring over my washing machine and all over everything.   Fuss and Bother.  It burned up at least one part that we ordered today and then we'll see .
Then Handy Man got up to noise at 4:30 Saturday Morning. Another busted pipe.
 I love this man for so very many reasons, but this is certainly one.  This ol' house could've floated away before I would have slunk down in this hole- eeewwwww!  That was  bit easier fix, once he found the leak- which, bless his heart, wasn't in this hole after all.
Auntie G-Lou is, of course, fairly miserable, but is having a far better recovery than her siblings that have gone before her, for which I am most grateful.
Another delay tomorrow.  

Thursday, February 19, 2015

We Are All Froze Up

Wind chill today puts us at 20 below, so no school again.  I love planned days off school, but these unexpected ones just don't do as much for me.  I always have so much I could and should do, that I never know what to do.  My Handy Man is more faithful to go to work than a postman.  He just doesn't miss, and I'm not nearly as efficient in his absence.
In addition, I'm a bit emotionally drained.  At first we only had a delay yesterday, so I thought my students would have a substitute, while I did the waiting room vigil for Auntie G-Lou's surgery. I had no plans, since we hadn't been in school since Friday.  I waited till six a.m. to be sure we weren't going to cancel, then ran to school to get my ducks in a row in the dark, blowing snow.  The last thing I did was open my mail to print the sub notes I had made at home the night before, and there was the notice of cancellation.  Oh well.
I headed down the hill to the hospital, but got a phone call half way there that my sister was having another major heart attack. I did get there in time to give her a squeeze before they moved her to surgery.  She was in a lot of pain, so that surgery wasn't going to come a minute too soon.

I have a need to tell this story, because it makes me wonder how many of us go about our daily business and don't realize the impact our words and actions have on others.  Even when we have no idea, or intent to inflict pain on someone.  I'm writing this to myself as much as anyone.
So, the nurse, a handsome young guy, tells us as they are wheeling her to surgery, "It will be four to six hours. The doctor will come to tell you how things went after the surgery(exactly how it went down with Kaye, walked right to us in scrubs), but remember (with much emphasis), it will still be two hours before she's back in the room."  Which I took to mean, "Do not harass me about why she isn't back in the room for you to look at fifteen minutes after surgery, I'm busy."  Yeah, I know the drill, sadly, this ain't my first surgery rodeo.
At about 7:30 he comes to the waiting room to say they are in (her chest), that heart rhythm is still off.
At 10:30 he comes to say they are on the last graft, it should be an hour and a half, the surgeon will speak to us, and.."Remember, she will not be back to her room for up to two hours following the surgery."
Yes, we got that the first time.
So, at 11:30 I start watching for that pot to boil, 12- nothing, 12:30 nothing, 1:00, we're all now on the edge of our chairs.  I had already decided, since both of her daughters were present, that I was not going back to see her after surgery.  I already have too many ICU/CCU horrible scenarios in my mind and did not feel the need to add to my library.  And while with all your heart you are wishing to see the smiling face of a successful surgeon, you are also trying to prepare yourself for the worst. Not one single time from when they wheeled her way from us till completion did we call, or seek out, or bother Mr. Not so Friendly Nurse Man in any way.
So, how did it go down? - Mr.Nurse, not the surgeon, walks solemnly in the waiting room and says, "I need you to come with me." "Take all your things, they aren't safe here."  Aunt SuZQ says, "We'll stay with the stuff and let the girls go (Auntie G-Lou's kids)."  That         , ahem, I really want to call him a very ugly name, but will refrain, nurse says, "No, I want everyone present."  Then turns and heads to the CCU. And we know she is either most sincerely dead, brain dead, or some other horror.  So I'm trying to wrap my mind around this, my poor little niece is already doing that quiet sobbing and he walks us, not to a conference room, where I expect to be taken, but to her room and there she is, as alive as you or I.  It took me a full minute to realize she wasn't dead, as she was way pale and not moving a muscle. Ughhhhh.  As soon as it registered in my brain that she wasn't dead and my head stopped being fuzzy cotton and his words were reaching my ear, I realized she was in just about as good a shape as anyone could hope to be after two major heart attacks and open heart surgery. Thank you Jesus!
I picked up my bag, and walked right back to the waiting room and collapsed in a chair, at which point someone walked up, big smile and asked me if I belonged to G-Lou.  It was, in fact, the surgeon, who was not in scrubs, but appeared to be ready to head out the door, elated to tell that though things started rough, his exact words, "All's well that ends well."
Thankfully, before making a big scene and a total fool of my hysterical self, I tried to process what had happened.  My best guess, Mr. Serious Nurse Man falsely assumed that protocol was followed, we had already seen the surgeon, and had no idea we weren't aware of the successful surgery.  I still believe he could have at least smiled at us, or said, "She's back in her room, I will take you back for a minute."
Back to the whole paying attention to where you are and what you say. You may, or may not know, that I think it is my responsibilty to feed the world, so I went packing two pans of my fairly famous warm cinnamon rolls through the blowing snow that morning. One pan for the nursing staff and one pan for the waiting family.  In our waiting time, it was apparent there was another family in distress.  A woman, I'll say fortyish and her mama.  I imagined her Daddy was back there somewhere.  When she walked by, I offered her a roll.  She declined but sat to share her story. It wasn't her Daddy, but her husband and it did not look good.  They were not able to reduce the sedative from surgery without sending his blood pressure through the roof. Oy Vey. I was able to say I understood that heartache, as I was just there with my brother a few short weeks ago.  She took a deep breath and hesitantly asked what happened to him.  It was my joy to share that he was was good, really good, driving and taking care of himself.  She sobbed.
So, I need to pay more attention to how my actions affect others and I would rather be guilty of doing good, then causing more stress.
Okay, happy thoughts.
Ol' Mother Hubbard discovered that you could enjoy a candlelight Valentine dinner at our local White Castle and asked if we'd join them for a romantic evening.  Too fun.  White Castle was likely my very first dining out experience as a child and Handy Man and I  still stop there once or twice a year. So, we dressed for the part and it was a big time.  I made big, tacky,  glittery corsages for the girls and a boutineree for the guys.
 It was white table cloths, candle, flowers, a cutie patootie waiter,  and much laughing and

good timing.
Now you know it's special when I buy new make-up!  That only happens about every three to five years. I'm not so big on make-up, but this was a hot Valentine date, don't ya know? So my glasses, blouse and glasses had to all match up. I wore earrings- this was serious business now.

It turned out that a little lovey of mine is taking swim lessons and was coming to spend the night so he could go to the swim meet to see his cousins swim the next day. His mama dropped him off to  me at White Castle.  He thought this new experience was fine dining at it's best.

Ol' Mother Hubbard did not think my pictures showed her best side and insisted they never find their way to this space.  Hence, the reason you see an unusual number of piks of me, taken by her. I'm just not going to be fussy about my fat old face today!

Stay warm ya'll. I have to move from in front of this heater and do something productive.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Day Two of Snow and Ice

We actually had President's Day off, but would not have gone anyway.  Ol' Man Winter finally decided to pay us a visit.  I imagine we will at least have a delay tomorrow, when it is going to get really cold.
So, I'll stir up some fun memories of our Valentine Ball.
Every try to have  big Valentine Fun time with no red dye?  It can be done.
 Ceece was playing with the special effects of my new camera which is a Nikon D3300.
 Time for some smooth dance moves.
 A partner change.
 Push Ups?

 All the comments during these photo shoots crack me up. "No, turn your head the other way."  "Get your head in the hole."

 Wee Will looks serious and Giddy-Up looks like the arrow found its mark.

Ahhh, happy for some smiles this frosty morning. 

Auntie G-Lou will head to surgery at 7:30 in the morning.  I appreciate prayers on her behalf.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Love is in the Air

I do not know why I find these silly things so entertaining.  I suppose because young and old all step up to stick their head in to get a picture, and young and old laugh themselves silly in the process.  Then I stick it on iPhoto and play a slide show and we all laugh our selves silly again.  A lot of bang for your buck in the good time dept.  I will add some more pictures of the big Valentine dance and head shots, but for this Valentine's Day let me say, I love that smiling cherub Handy Man.  I'm happy to wake up beside him. I'm excited for our hot date to the WC lounge.  I'm blessed to have such a helpmate as he is.

And this boy, well, he makes my heart sing.
He is the dearest, sweetest child.  Look at those dancing eyes.  Mr. I Can Walk Around the Furniture, say, "Mama," and "Nite, Nite," wave bye and sign more and wrap me right around his tiniest finger.

Big Brother is coming this evening, after the hot date, to spend the night, so he can see his cousins swim tomorrow.
Speaking of hearts, Auntie G-Lou has suffered quite a major heart attack.  They were able to place a stint immediately, and hope she can have a few days to recover from that before doing big surgery.  She is my mom's primary caretaker, so my family, on several fronts, is once again in need of prayer and direction.
I hope a little sweetness drops into your day.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Too Much New

No playdate pictures this week.  My camera has been hinting of trouble. I thought maybe the battery was just worn out, so I ordered a new one, but that was not the problem.  This was the last focused picture before its demise.
 Those chickie girls have decided spring must be on its way and are laying like crazy.
 You can still use the manual focus on the camera.  Well, it still snaps, but looking focused in the view finder and being focused are two very different things.
It is very telling of my age that I expect things to work for twenty years.  I still have the deep freeze we bought used when we married A. Long. Time. Ago.  I have the frig on the back porch we bought when we moved here.  I really don't understand the joy of new appliances.  I hate my latest stove and have no affection whatsoever for the latest washing machine ( yeah, 1st world problems I know).  Perhaps the silver lining is I won't have to dislike them long, as they won't last long.
So far this winter, my car, my iPod and my camera decided they'd had enough.  Ugh.  And this iMac, which to me should still be in infancy, isn't breathing too easy either.  I always fret over purchases for myself.  Handy Man has routinely harassed me about that old Passport for three years.  Thank the Lord,  she kept going, never left me sitting anywhere till I drove her to the car lot and bid her a fond farewell.
I likely would have driven that car till the wheels fell off, but when there was a light on, no mechanic could figure it out.  I had her to three different places for two weeks each last year, so it wasn't for lack of trying.  Sometimes when a person would ride with me, they would comment about one light or another being on.  As all of them were red or green, I just laughed and said my car believed in keeping the Christmas lights on all year.  This winter she added some new noises and glitches and when the tire guy said the rims or whatever, I'm not a car kinda of girl, were so corroded they were messing with the tires, I figured it was time to do the dreaded deed. I dislike buying cars more than buying appliances.  
I looked and looked, decided on one, but then decided I wasn't paying that, then looked and looked some more.  I finally found what I thought I wanted through CarMax, but it was in Illinois.  They shipped it here and we bought it.
So, a camera.  Probably I would've just bought a point and shoot, but a few weeks ago at Missy Toddles first birthday I tried to use my sister's new point and shoot, ahem, a totally different critter.  The Handy Man knows how much I enjoy my pictures and he wasn't hearing about a point and shoot.  So now I have a red car and a red camera. So, spending no more spending money will be my Lenten promise.