Friday, May 22, 2015


School is out, and I am busy. Busy keeping up with the Bumper, busy knitting my second sock, busy making a hat and booties for a friend's daughter's baby, busy writing two short stories and a novel. I have been so busy that blogging has slipped way down on my priority list. I find that I miss it. So here I am back again.
The Bumper is also busy. She is busy painting, dancing in the rain, playing, running in the mud and just being a kid.
Nana is busy putting in the garden, emptying her office of twenty years, and trying to adjust to being retired.
Busy is good. Busy keeps me from being bored or dwelling on unpleasant thoughts, busy also prevents silly arguments and fruitless battles of will, but busy can have its downside. I have been so busy I have neglected my prayer time, the time I spend reading the Bible and being in the Lord's presence. It occurs to me that I shouldn't be quite so busy that I forget Jesus.  Yet once entered into I find busyness takes on a life of its' own. This summer I want to find balance between busy and still. Between construction and contemplation. No small feat when caring for a little person who wakes up busy and doesn't stop until she goes to sleep.  This weekend will be spent in busyness with friends and family, but I a going to try and slip away and be still for just a little while.


Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Thank Heaven for Little Girls

Have a girl people told me when my late husband and I expressed our desire to start a family. Little girls are so sweet people said. Raising girls is so much easier Nana's friends said nodding their gray heads in wisdom. I have come to the conclusion that the people who say such things have either forgotten what is like raising small children or have never had children.

The Bumper is indeed a sweet, loving, sympathetic child, but easy? No. She is also quite independent, strong willed and loud. She loves to be out of doors, she loves running, jumping, climbing and swinging. At her school playground she can often be found playing with the boys because they like the same things she does. She learned how to jump from a swing when she was three years old. The Bumper still can't pump on a swing, but she sure can jump out of one! I am convinced I am not going to get out of her childhood without at least one trip to the emergency room for a broken something.

Right now her favorite activity is gardening with her Nana. Both Nana and I encourage this because we want her to know where her food comes from and gives her a positive outlet for her energy. The Bumper likes it because she gets to make "dirt angles" and to swim in the mud after she waters the plants.

A while back a Mennonite friend of mine gave me some of her little girl's outgrown and nearly worn out dresses. She was concerned because I was still dressing the Bumper in trousers and she was three, but after watching the Bumper play she understood-- the Bumper is hard on clothes and frilly dresses will not stand up to her level of activity. I was a bit confused, but she said "Trust me, you'll need these." Sure enough she was right. All of a sudden this year the Bumper is in love with dresses. She wants  to wear them almost all of the time, but she also wants to do all of the running, climbing and mud swimming she did before. The dresses have saved both our tempers and the washing machine. They are one step up from the rag pile, and meant to be played in the way the Bumper plays. She can twirl like a princess and still climb trees.

Easy? Nope! A contradiction? Yes. I wouldn't have it any other way.


Monday, May 4, 2015

Meatless Monday and Knitting Victory

I may be repeating myself here on this edition of Meatless Monday, but for out church picnic on Sunday I made an apple crisp. It wasn't just any apple crisp, it was vegan. It was from the Post Punk Kitchen and Isa has yet to fail me. Her recipe did not disappoint. I usually cut back the sugar in her desserts because I find that her sweet tooth is a little sweeter than mine. I did not tell anyone that it was vegan, since it did not contain any of the most popular allergens, I just put it on the table and walked away. This may be my pride and vanity speaking, but I was tickled that there was none left over at the end of the picnic. Nana even told me that the man sitting next to her raved about how yummy it was and when she told him it was vegan he asked her to explain so she said no animals were used or abused in the making of this dessert. It is nice when my family supports me!

Now on to other news. I have (dramatic drum roll please): finished the sock! Yep, I can hardly believe myself, but it is done and it looks like a sock and it fits! I am so pleased and I feel such a sense of accomplishment I can hardly contain myself. Just so I can keep up the momentum I have already cast on its mate. This counts as part of Meatless Monday because I used a nylon-polyester blend yarn. I am starting to feel like a real knitter.

p.s. Now that I have finished a sock both Nana and the Bumper are requesting a pair. What have I gotten myself into?

Monday, April 20, 2015

Spring, Sprang, Sprung

I had all these plans to write blog daily: meatless Mondays, and Friday focus and all that, but then I got sick. I am talking lie down or fall down sick, for nearly three weeks. I love springtime. I really do and I have lots of lovely springtime pictures to share, but winter must give me annual amnesia because I always forget that spring is when everything thing blooms, and as pretty as the blossoms and flowers are it also means nature is out to get me. I have nasty seasonal allergies so until we get the first good spring rain shower every time I venture out of doors my eyes turn red and itchy and I sneeze, sniff and cough constantly.  As far as I am concerned that does not make for great blog fodder. Neither does breaking my left pinkie toe. I was helping out a neighbor and whacked it on a chair.
On the up side. I have been writing more on my novel. I finished a hat for a friend and started making more baby hats because the Bumper saw fit to confiscate the last batch and use them for her baby dolls.
I spent the last days of February and most of March eagerly awaiting Spring. I had my camera at the
ready and I was going to promptly put  the pictures of all the pretty flowers on my Blog, but it seems that no sooner did I take them the weather changed and now the trees are all green with nary a blossom in sight!  One day bare branches, the blossoms and the day after that BOOM green trees.

Last Saturday, April 18th, would have been my 6th wedding anniversary. Even though we went to a birthday party for one of the Bumper's friends, the day still felt a little sad. I couldn't help but reflect on my wedding day. A more perfect one I could not have asked for, warm, full of spring flowers, a celebration with friends and family. I remember how we held hands and sang our favorite hymns, how our friends and family rallied to provide the decorations, and the music for our first dance. One of our friends, who has also passed away even organized games for the guest to play.  Then I remember what we became after the verbal abuse started, and my husbands illness grew worse. It was not until near the end, that I finally began to understand what a toll his illness took on his mental state, his health, and our marriage. It makes me sad, and yet even more grateful for the Bumper's health.


Friday, April 3, 2015

Friday Focus - Good Friday

The sky is gray; the clouds are heavy with rain. Rather perfect for Good Friday, I think.  Christians throughout the world, will to varying degrees, remember and meditate on the Passion and Crucifixion of Jesus Christ. As a Catholic I am called to fast and abstain from meat today.
When I was a child, I bristled at the thought of calling this Friday "good". What could possibly be good about the death of Jesus? It wasn't until I got older that I understood.  His Death, so our sins could be forgiven, before Resurrection. The crown of thorns must proceed the crown of glory. Our Good Friday sorrow turns into Easter Joy, a joy that lasts for all time.

Here are some suggested ways to "celebrate":

1. Read the Gospel accounts in the Bible : John: 18:1 -19:42, Matthew 26:1 - 27:66, Mark 14:1 - 15:47 and Luke 22:1 - 23:56 (KJV)

2. Watch The Passion of the Christ if you are so inclined. I personally find the movie too focused on the gory violence which speaks to me more of Hollywood than a true respect for Christ's suffering.

3. Attend Good Friday service if your church offers one.

4. Read The Dream of the Rood - a 7th century story of the Crucifixion from the cross' point of view.


Thursday, April 2, 2015

Randomly on Thursday

1.Today is Holy Thursday,  as part of our preparation for Easter Sunday we will commemorate the Last Supper in a special way at church tonight. First we will read Exodus 12:1-8, 11-14, Psalms 116:12-13, 15-18, 1 Corinthians 11:23-26, and John 13:1-15. Then the priest will wash the feet of some of the parishioners ( in a parish as larges as ours it would be impractical for everyone to have their feet washed so usually it is members of various volunteer groups). It is a time for us to reflect on the importance of the Holy Eucharist and on our service to one another (and the world at large) as brothers and sisters in Christ in imitation of our Savior. The altar is stripped bare and the statues removed, we depart in silence, all that is left is the core of our faith: Christ crucified  for our sins to rise again on Easter Sunday morn defying death and becoming our salvation.

2. We are hosting Easter Sunday supper this year, which means Nana and I will be frantically trying to get the house "company clean".

3. The weather was so nice today, Nana and the Bumper spent the whole afternoon outside.

4. I opened all the windows to let in the Springtime air and drive out the mustiness of winter.

5. There will be very little crafting or writing getting done over the next few days unless I am determined to get up very early or go to be very late.


Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Tidbits of an Ordinary Day

It is such a relief to finally start feeling better! I volunteered at the Bumper's school this morning, I made sure to have a cup of coffee before hand. A group of twelve four year old has a LOT of energy and I needed to fortify myself. I really do enjoy volunteering, but I can only take so much. There is a reason after all that I am not a pre-school teacher. They did a unit on dinosaurs. There was lots painting, coloring, and building going on. The children were all energetic and very happy. I think it takes a special kind of person to deal with that many small children on a daily basis. I have nothing but respect for teachers.

After my stint at the pre-school this morning I came home to finish up some house work and maybe get a little crafting and writing done. Having a project or two or three on the hop keeps me very satisfied and creatively happy. It took me a long time to realize this, but if I don't have something to work on I get frustrated irritable and depressed. I finished the third baby hat and started the fourth. Hopefully  I will be able to mail them all out in a couple of weeks.

The day was warm enough for the Bumper to spend some extra time playing outside with her friends from school. I didn't mind, after being in bed for a week and a half I enjoyed the fresh air as much as  she did. Spring is fickle, so I try to take advantage of every opportunity to be outdoors.

We are half-way through Holy Week and headed for my favorite holiday: Easter. This year we are having some friends over and I am going to try my hand at making hot cross buns.