Monday, March 21, 2016

Lazy Weekend

I spent a very relaxing weekend at home with the Bumper. We stayed in most of the day, watching movies, playing dolls, and putting together puzzles, Saturday except for in the late afternoon when I decided a bit of fresh air seemed in order. We wandered over to the local school yard where the Bumper happily climbed, swung, and slid; until raindrops splattered our faces and we ran for home. She won. I am still recovering from a cold, but the Bumper had no mercy and ran full tilt.

Sunday was Palm Sunday. I normally enjoy the recreation of Jesus triumphal entry into Jerusalem, followed by a reflection on the passion and crucifixion, but I discovered yesterday that an empty stomach, a head cold and a hot church are a bad combination. I nearly passed out right in the middle of service! Fortunately a quick trip outside in the cold air, made me feel much better and I was able to take Holy Communion. Still it was embarrassing and I hope not to make a repeat performance anytime soon.
Palm Sunday also marks the end of  Lent and the beginning of Holy Week and Easter. I thought about what my small sacrifices might have meant in the larger scheme of things. While it isn't much, I am still glad to provide an example of cheerful sacrifice for the Bumper. She is watching, even when I don't think she is. After church I headed over to my knit and natter group, but no one was there. So I sat in my car and knit by myself listening to the rain fall. I can't recall when I have had a more peaceful two hours.

Yesterday was the first day of Spring, and this morning ice covered the car. Oh well, it is better than last year. I am hoping the cold snap will be brief and we will have a warm Easter Sunday. Of course here in the Mid-Atlantic anything can happen weather wise and usually does!


Friday, March 18, 2016

Sleepy and Slow

This morning was one of those mornings. The kind where I get up too late and run around in circles trying to get the Bumper out the door when she has emphatically stated she does not want to go to school. She was tired and I was tired and rather than get into a power struggle I slowed the pace way down. We had a breakfast of cold cereal, much to the Bumper's dismay as she prefers a hot breakfast and the Bumper pulled out all the stops on the go slow chart. She wanted to do everything except get dressed for school. I let her. I went about as though she were not there, putting things away, and starting my morning work routine. In between times I manged to get her dressed in her school uniform. I then told her if she was sick, by all means she ought to stay home--in bed. She decided she would much rather go to school. It was an hour late, but we went.

I understand her reluctance. For some reason the time change hit all of us especially hard this year; and we were all out late last night celebrating St. Patrick's day, which made getting up this morning very difficult.  Still I had to be firm and make her go. I was glad I did; because as soon as we got to school the Bumper perked up. We walked in on her teacher asking what Easter is really about, instead and the Bumper slid into her seat, like a ball player heading for home base, hand waving wildly in the air shouting "Jesus!".

Enthusiasm is a good thing.


Thursday, March 17, 2016

Happy St. Patrick's Day

Photo courtesy of The Garden
This year we are all about the green on St. Patrick's Day. On most days where the Bumper goes to school and I must admit I was unprepared. I simply grabbed the only green shirt she owned, and called it done. Well I "forgot" the Bumper is now going to a Catholic school; and they take 'wearing of the green to a whole other level! Next year I will know better.

While our family does have Irish in it on my mom's side, it is back a couple of generations. We haven't made much of St. Patrick's in years past, but this year Nana is making corned beef and cabbage, boiled potatoes and Irish Soda bread.  I will be making tofu scramble for those of us who do not eat meat, not traditional but very good. We will be headed over to a friend's house and we are celebrating in memory of another friend who passed away four years ago. Our late friend was second generation Irish American and very proud of her heritage. It is in her honor we are having  a small party tonight. There will be no raucous drinking, or singing, just good plain food shared in thanks with friends. Given that one of the cornerstones of Christianity is sharing what we have with others I can think of  no better way to honor St. Patrick.


Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Reading in Bed

Enough already! I am seriously sick of being sick! I feel like every other blog entry goes something like this: Hi, I'm back. I was sick. Today I took a walk. Six months later. Hi, I'm back. I was sick. So on and so forth. Urgh. On the other hand being bed bed ridden  does have it's compensations. I got to catch up on my reading list. Here is what I have been reading in the last couple of weeks or so (honestly I've been sick so much I've lost track of time)

1. Booker T. Washington: Black Leadership in the Age of Jim Crow by Raymond W. Smock.
 This was one of my Black History Month Reads. It turns out I knew next to nothing about this pre-civil rights era leader and founder of the Tuskegee Institute

2. 12 Years a Slave by Solomon Northrup.
 To find a narrative written by a man who had been born free and sold into slavery is nothing short of a history buffs dream. It did not disappoint.

(Yes I know we are well into women's history month, but I have been sick so a little slack is warranted.)

3. Susanna's Dream by Marta Perry
An Amish romance. Well written, not heavy on the mushy stuff.  The story focuses on family connections and community, while the romance is in the background. Great if you like that sort of fare, which I do.

4. Missing Your Smile by Jerry S. Eicher
Another Amish romance, I'm on a roll here, again well written and it deals more with faith issues, plus reading romances written by a man offer a different perspective.

5. Dragonfly in Amber by Diana Gabaldon
This is the second in the Outlander series and I am hooked. I am such a sucker for historical fiction. The writing is fast paced, intricate and character driven with enough history to keep it fresh and interesting. A little graphic in the sex department more my tasted, but I just skip over those parts if I find them disrupting or repetitive. 

6. The Mill on the Floss by George Elliot
A classic that has been on my to read list forever, because it is one of those works of literature that as an English major I'm supposed to have read but hadn't gotten around to reading. Getting used to the style is the hardest part, mid-nineteenth century affectations get on the nerves of this post Hemingway reader. It does make me very grateful to have been born in the twentieth century where my options as a woman are far less limited.

So what is on your book shelf, or night stand or bathroom counter dear readers?



Friday, March 4, 2016

Randomly on Friday

Right now Mother Nature is laughing at us. This morning we woke up, much to the Bumper's delight, to a blanket of white fluffy snow, and by this afternoon it was gone. Her school, much to the Bumper's dismay, remained open; so she had only a few minutes to make a mini-snowman, eat her syrup snow and pelt me with snowballs on the way to the car. Since it was my volunteer day in the school cafeteria I stayed at school all day. Because we are still in Lent the kids were served macaroni and cheese with a corn muffin and carrots. By the end of lunch time I felt sorry for the poor little carrots as they all got left behind while the kids took only the trays with the pasta.

In keeping with our Lenten theme of Meatless Simplicity the Bumper ate left over  cheese pizza from yesterday's lunch, I ate a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and Nana ate soup. After standing on my feet all day preparing and serving food the last thing I wanted to do was come home and cook. Friday and weekends in general we keep it pretty informal, sometimes we even just grab some tortilla chips, salsa, popcorn, and maybe hot dogs (not during Lent of course) for the Bumper and Nana, and a veggie burger for me and we sit in the living room and watch a movie together.

This weekend we are looking forward to a play date with one of the Bumper's friends and I hope to get to my knit group to enjoy some crafty me time.


Thursday, March 3, 2016


Bare Trees
I've reached the point in the year where I am restless. I am tired of winter and ready for spring to be here. I am ready to go outside for walks and to soak up some sunshine. I am ready to send the Bumper out with her Nana into the garden and flowerbeds to begin Spring planting. I will gladly take allergy medicine just as long as I can leave my jacket, scarf and gloves behind. We have had unusually mild winter, which makes it all the more aggravating and I know winter is not done with us yet. Sure the calendar says there are only three weeks until the first day of Spring, but last year we got a snowstorm on that day, so I'm more than a little skeptical.
I just love a white picket fence

Spring also means the feast of the Resurrection is close at hand and our Lenten fast will end. I am looking forward to a family get together and singing Alleluia in church. Until then we have lots to occupy us including an auction fundraiser at the Bumper's school, Stations of the Cross and Meatless Fridays.

To get rid of some of my restlessness the other day I managed to go for a walk. The day was warm and sunny it felt so good to be outside. As I sit typing this the temperature  outside has dipped to uncomfortably just above freezing. I am glad I got out when I did-- before the next round of stormy weather.

Hope you are enjoying yourself wherever you are and whatever your weather.
Does anybody else get restless this time of year?


Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Works in Progress Wednesday

This is what I am currently working on:
I thought two at time would be faster-- it isn't

 A pair of socks for my sister.

This is taking longer than I expected

A scarf for my sister- the Pattern is Hitchhiker and is available on Ravelry

The Granny Stripe blanket from Attic 24

It is impossible to be sad working on this blanket

A Christmas dishcloth that will most likely be finished next Christmas.


I am a very slow crocheter and knitter, but the only way to get faster is keep crocheting and knitting (that's my story and I'm sticking to it).


Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Screeching to a Halt - Lent Interupts the Busy

This must be the season of busy. I am busy, the Bumper is busy and Nana is busy!  I am writing on my novel, crocheting, knitting, housekeeping and volunteering at the Bumper's school. The Bumper is full time in school and most days stays on the playground for an hour afterwards. On Thursdays we go to our local library for the Lego challenge and she builds stuff. She has also been attending birthday parties for her new classmates. One of them was a very girly tea party. The Bumper liked dressing up, but she did not like having to sit still for so long. She prefers to be active.

Our February weather had us going topsy turvy one day it would be sunny and warm enough to leave our jackets at home the next day a snowstorm. The Bumper liked the snow storm best of all. She crammed all her favorite activities into one day. She ate syrup snow, had a snowball fight and built her first ever real snowman. February also marked the beginning of Lent this year. We ate pancakes for supper on Mardi Gras, this has become a family tradition and one the Bumper heartily endorses. The next day was Ash Wednesday, and the Bumper got ashes put on her head for the first time, she thought it very funny and said we all looked silly. She then asked if it was okay to look silly for Jesus; I said yes.

This year our whole family is participating in the Lenten disciplines of prayer fasting and Alms giving. The Bumper is learning the Lord's prayer, which we have been reading and saying together at night, Nana and I have given up our morning coffee and sweets. I am making the time to read my Bible in the morning and to go to church one extra day during the week.

 The Bumper is excited to see how much money we can put in our Lenten Rice bowl to go to Catholic Relief Services. (The money I would have spent on coffee and treats is going into the bowl).
Since this is the first year the Bumper is aware of what is going on, Nana and I are trying extra hard to practice what we preach and to do so with cheerful hearts. It may not seem like much, giving up coffee, sweets and no meat on Friday, but we are demonstrating the value of  spending time in prayer, self discipline, and thinking of other people's needs.

Little things can make big things happen.