Saturday, June 25, 2022

End of June and it's Daylily Day

 It's the end of June and my Daylilies have bloomed! 

Thank you all for your suggestions on how a fat old lady can possibly rise from the sand while on the beach.  All the suggestions were great, but after discussion with my daughter, I am taking my heavy director style chair with arms and we will just walk to the parking lot to stash it in the car before walking to restaurants and such. 
I have less than 48 hours before we leave on vacation so today I need to do laundry and pack. I did empty my closet and dresser (what a project!) and discovered I have an entire summer wardrobe I had forgotten about since two years ago and it still fit. 

I am shell shocked by the Supreme Court decision on Friday. I was in high school in our small community before Roe vs Wade. When a girl from a wealthy family got pregnant, she would visit an "aunt" in New York or go on a "family vacation" to Mexico or the Caribbean. Everyone else either dropped out of school to marry a willing boyfriend or had to wear a girdle so the school would not find out and expel her. I know two girls, one in my class and one in the class ahead of ours, who hid pregnancy from their parents who then put the babies up for adoption without the consent of the girls (parents could do that if you weren't 21). The girls were not even permitted to see the babies. One girl did go to a Catholic home somewhere. I don't know the details because she was silent and withdrawn when she returned to school "from mono" and really never spoke to anyone at school again. 

I also have a friend whose daughter was raped in college during her junior year. A stranger climbed in a second story window during the night and assaulted her.  It is a long story which results in a pregnancy. When she found out, she attempted suicide and was hospitalized on a mental ward. After release, she decided to get an abortion. Fortunately this was following Roe and she had the opportunity to make a choice with her supportive family and, just as importantly, the time to make the choice. With the time that Roe bought her past the first six weeks, she decided to carry the baby and put it up for adoption. Then, at the child's birth, decided to keep the baby. She was not pressured into a hasty decision she might have regretted.

I would like to add that the serial rapist, who broke into other college girl's apartments was apprehended. A woman in law enforcement whispered, behind closed doors, that she needed to consult an attorney if she was keeping the pregnancy. The family visited their lawyer and discovered that if she assisted in the prosecution, she would have to get a DNA test on her baby daughter. And those test results would give him parental rights in our state. His parents could even use his visitation rights to take the infant to the prison to see him.  Needless to say, she cut all contact with law enforcement despite their pleas for this evidence. 

I never thought this would be the world I would leave for my granddaughters. One family has the financial resources they would need if necessary. I need to work hard to make sure options are available for all our other granddaughters. 

Tuesday, June 14, 2022

Summer's Here, Weather or Not We Are Ready For It

I had to do a quick post. Every time I open my page, I see a little boy in a winter hat. That was because it was the first of June. Now that it is two weeks later, our temperatures will be in the 100's the rest of the week. 

The brewery is open! Today we are steeping Red Raspberry and Green Tea. 

These temperatures were brought in by big storms last night Derecho Winds, I am told. They were loud! Lots of sideways rain, we had 2" in rain gauge in an hour. Lots of trees down, lots of wires down, lots of roads closed, lots of homes without power. But no one injured.  

The family health problems are all in a holding pattern. One of my daughter's doctors is off on an Alaskan cruise. Co-gramma is home for now. Friend is visiting Cleveland Clinic twice this week. 

It's almost Day Lily Time!!!

I do have a new problem that maybe some of you can help me with. I am going to a beach for four days. We will be parking the car for the day and all restaurants, activities and the beach are within walking distance.  I have a great chair that is awkward and weighty I would have to lug everywhere. I have been practicing sitting on the ground and I'm all good there. But I can't get up without holding on to something more substantial than my skinny little daughter, or granddaughter or baby grandson. Does anyone have a recommendation? I am just spitting ideas, but has anyone taken a folding cane to the beach? Or an even better idea?  I have prime so I can make a quick order, but hate to waste my money on things that won't help. 

I fought my husband about cutting these pink spireas back last year.
 He was right. They looked even better before the storm. 

Tuesday, June 7, 2022

School's Out

School's Out! This is the annual switch of the daily grandchildren where my toddlers are generally home with their teacher moms while the elementary students need entertained while office manager moms are at work. 

This year we got smart and purchased season passes to a local amusement park last fall.  We gifted the passes at Christmas and it does work to exhaust the kids. Unfortunately it works to exhaust us, too.  We generally try to eat a big breakfast, get there about 30 minutes before opening, walk to the kid's section and do all their favorite things until 1:00 p.m. By then the park is more crowded, it is warmer, we are hungry and we got back to the car and eat our picnic lunch and head for home. 

This bunch found out it was Burger King's Birthday when mom had a school in-service day.

This little guy has had several sleepovers since our co-grampa has had some very serious health issues. Between both parents work schedules and since they live out of town, he has been a temporary boarder. 

We started the "garden". I buy these half grown tomatoes for next to nothing from the Amish and they keep us in tomatoes all summer. Usually. This year I did not look closely at the tags. Two are cherry tomatoes.  I took a trip yesterday to see if they had any left (it took us this long to notice) and thank goodness they did. We now have a tomato orchard of 5 plants. 

A little note on the driveway behind the orchard. This is where my neighbor Peggy lives.  She and Jack were here when we moved into our "starter" home 43 years ago. Jack passed away about 15 years ago and Peggy is in her late 80's. We removed the picket fence and landscaping between us so I can run back and forth with leftovers or in case she needs help. She loves keeping an eye on our tomatoes! I have told my husband we will have to buy her house if it is ever sold so we can pick a neighbor as wonderful as her. 

Grampa built this guy a sandbox to match Gramma's since he will be home this summer. 

I have had two, count them, two childfree days so far in June. Last week I reorganized the pantry. I do not think the before photos adequately shows the chaos of the shelves. The new and improved version has moved the snack items to the top where children can't reach them.  I rotated this unit and was able to get rid of another smaller unit when I reorganized. Amazing what I can do without my little helpers. 

Today's job - one small cabinet! 

I did not take a photo of the cupboard "before", but once I sorted out the 1,000 partial packages of cupcake wrappers and consolidated the 1,000 containers of sprinkles, this is what the cupboard looks like now. I will be baking cupcakes for every bake sale and/or cake walk going forward.  (cupcake wrappers in a storage box in the pantry.)

I am hoping, going forward, to go out to lunch with friends on my summer "days off".  I am also going on "vacation" at the end of the month. My youngest daughter and her special friend rented a vacation home out of state for the week. He has been suffering some health issues for a few months that are still being investigated and can no longer go. We are uncomfortable with a single mom with two toddlers traveling that far for that long, so Grampa will be doing childcare at home while I help with childcare on the road. 

I had a wonderful surprise package from my blog friend Betsy who just returned from England! She brought back souvenirs for my virtual cruise on the QM2!  Thank you so much for thinking of me, Betsy. The kids are just over the moon! And so am I! 

I do want to thank everyone for their prayers for my daughter who had Achilles surgery. It turned out a little more complicated than expected, but she was healing well. Then . . . she developed a blood clot in her ankle. On a Friday night. On a weekend. Instead of hospitalizing her, they sent her home with prescriptions she was unable to fill because of something about the drug and urgent care, finally getting an order from a different doctor for a 3 day prescription that they had to pay $300 out of pocket. The next weekend (Memorial Day) she began her cycle and was hemorrhaging. This was another challenge since I guess no women under the age of 50 ever took a blood thinner? Trust me, the weekend was an uproar and I had to go up to their house almost 2 hours away just to shop for supplies for her. Once people went back to work on Tuesday, she had some tests and they have found a mass in her uterus which was biopsied and we are awaiting the report. She is having another vascular ultrasound on her foot this week. She has been able to maintain her hemoglobin levels 2 points above transfusions. So any continue prayers in this ongoing mess are appreciated. 

The good news is that she completed her doctoral dissertation and has it submitted so she can graduate at the end of July. 

If we are counting, co-grampa currently in ICU, daughter who is dealing with lots of issues and boyfriend visiting several specialists due to ongoing health issues are on our family prayer chain. Whew. 

Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Church and Graduates

My youngest son was baptized after mass on "Sign Up Sunday" for CCD classes at our old church. Our oldest of the five was a first grader and I did not get her signed up. When I arrived at the door of the classroom the next Sunday, I was told there was no room for her in the class. We drove home, I looked in the phone book under Catholic churches and called the first one whose name began with "A". The director and first grade teacher were at my house that afternoon with forms and activities she missed that morning. When I got a call on Monday from the first church to apologize for a misunderstanding, I had already switched our membership. 

The next Sunday she and I arrived for mass. Afterwards I was walking her to her classroom when I was stopped and told the church was having a breakfast to celebrate something. I confessed I had not brought any money and was told - there is no charge. Our parish is a little country church that does not have an attached school (anymore, kids my age actually attended the two classroom school back in the 60's before the diocese closed it). I knew we had landed in the right place, where God was more important than money. 

Two years later I was the first grade CCD teacher, a position I loved and enjoyed for 20 years. Year 21 I arrived at church on Sign Up Sunday with my crayons and the director, who can talk me into anything, sat in my pew and said she was moving me to the confirmation class. Yikes. I taught the now called PSR confirmation class for 8 years, retiring when my first grandchild moved to Ohio. About 5 years later I succumbed to begging and returned for another 4 years in the confirmation game. 

By then things were changing. Our churches became sisters and twins and were matched with different other churches along the way. We were no longer just a little country parish, we were lumped with larger churches who didn't like our ways. Everything became a "charge" or fundraiser.  I began to call our parish the red headed step child (does anyone say that anymore?) I do still sit on a board at a catholic church in town that we were sister/twined with maybe 15-20 years ago. They lost our parish but kept me, lol. 

Then came the elections in 2015. All the sudden the little country church became very political. I was uncomfortable with the name calling on Facebook. I was a nicer person then and quietly unfriended former church friends.  I sat by myself in the back of church and resigned from most church activities, including the ladies group where I had served as an officer for over 25 years. I still baked ridiculous amounts of pies for church functions and did grunt work when called by certain people, but I was not an active part of this community. 

Covid. As a church, many of the members felt this was a hoax and masks were an infringement of rights. They did begin sharing mass on Facebook so I have attended from my recliner for the past two years. I have been totally absent in activities. I have really struggled with this. 

Last week a church friend I respect contacted me. She and I used to do a lot of small breakfasts and dinners and projects behind the scenes. She wanted to revive a former activity we did where we invited our graduating seniors and their families to breakfast on a Sunday in May. Of course I said yes. We are a small parish and our first count was 2 graduates, parents, grandparents, priest and deacon for a total of ten. After they heard it was Mary and Maria (you know, we are catholic), the number grew to over 40. She and I do these things out of the love in our hearts, not for money or donations.  Here is what we came up with. (sorry some is eaten - even with a Jessica helping, we were busy!)

One of the things I have missed most is the fellowship. Well, first the kids, but second the fellowship. We had time before the breakfast for some long talks. Unfortunately I heard lots of hurt and sadness from others, too. I am not sure if there is just a meanness in the clergy or just general tactlessness where people in power don't realize how what they are saying is affecting people. As much as I was hurt by words and actions of other parishioners, the words and actions of church leaders toward others is much worse.  I will be sticking to the Facebook services for now and will be praying for people who are very hurt.  

Miss Merry