Saturday, February 20, 2021

Still Winter


Still winter. I was trying to pose moving targets in front of drifts next to our very clean driveway that Mr Merry obsessively keeps clear and ice free as possible for daughters and daughter in laws who drop off children.  I can't remember what day this was. We had 14 inches of snow last Sunday/Monday and then 3 inches on Tuesday, I think.  I look at my phone and there is no snow in the forecast, but then I look out the window and see snow falling.  Today (Saturday) it is bitter cold, but no snow. I just saw that there is a storm headed our way on Sunday night. Since the joke here is that snow is in the forecast, one to twenty inches depending on conditions, I guess I will just cross my fingers that they don't have to cancel schools. 

Mr. Merry has been very busy with his snow blower. We have a neighborhood of special circumstances, two neighbor husbands headed to the ER. One was released with restrictions, the other went to a nursing home, but was transferred to a larger hospital. We want to make sure elderly driveways are cleared, too. Just in case. And he does a few different patches of sidewalk (starting with our corner lot which has three houses worth of sidewalk) to make sure children can get to the bus stops safely. He started with a cough last night so I am grateful for the day off so he can stay indoors and try to get a handle on it before it gets worse. 

Gramma daycare numbers have increased with the addition of one, two or three more grandchildren depending on the day.  One of our co-grandparents has been diagnosed with a rare cancer and we are working out arrangements. We have a kindergartener in one school district, mom teaches at another district, one has preschool either two or four mornings a week and then there is a 2 year old.  Dad works third shift in law enforcement and sometimes has to stay over or attend court in the morning. And they live 45 minutes away which plays havoc with dad getting home, mom leaving for work, putting the kindergartener on the bus and Mr Merry and I putting two other grandchildren on the bus at our house. I am not sure what we have come up with yet. 

Last week we just kept the 2 year old for a few days and Mr. Preschool came as a drop in.  There were some snags so we are still tweaking.  When my daughter dropped off her preschooler and baby last week, she remarked that the group around the table looked familiar.  In 1986 I was feeding breakfast to my own 2nd grader, a 5 year old, a 4 year old, a 2 year old and a 1 year old.  Fast forward to 2021 and I am feeding breakfast to a 2nd grader, a 6 year old, a 4 year old, a 2 year old and a 1 year old.  You might notice there is no space at the homeschool table for gramma.  She is too busy in the cafeteria cooking and cutting food items into bite size pieces.  After grampa heads the bus stop with the older two, I get to sit down and have a cup of coffee with my slower breakfast eaters.  

Our state is currently registering those 65 and over for vaccines. Everyone I know over 65 is on multiple lists at hospitals, health departments and drug stores.  However the amount of vaccine is so minuscule that no one has been vaccinated.  I heard that the list at the hospital in my town is around 1500 and they are receiving 100 doses a week. So that is 50 people when you count the first and second shots.  Since we are 64 and can't register, I am thinking I will have to revise my June 1 projection to maybe August 1?  I know I am dreaming.

As you can see, my prayer chain is pretty full with neighbors, family and also the people in the southern part of the country dealing with these horrible effects of the storm. I have friends in Tennessee and Mississippi as well as my family and my husband's family in Texas. Our hearts and prayers go out to all suffering at this time.  

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Still Winter

Overnight Mother Nature blessed us with fourteen inches of fresh snow. It is enough to close us down, another blessing. I don't have to worry about my adult children driving to work or the poor school bus drivers trying to pick up grandchildren out of snowbanks.  My teacher daughters have an extra day to catch up on the in-person, virtual, zooming and whatever else they are trying to cram in. 

My dear sweet husband not only was out by 7 a.m. to start up the snow blower for our driveway and walk, he also worked on the elderly neighbor behind us, helped another neighbor do his driveway so he could get to his correction officer position, and cleared my favorite neighbor's drive and sidewalk and took her trash to the curb. I sent him one street over to a church friend whose husband was moved from a nursing home to the ER last night and is being transferred to a larger hospital today. She can't visit him at any of the facilities, but he did clear what he could in her stone drive and plowed a path to the trash so he could take it to the curb and her puppy could get out the backdoor. He is now spent for the day. Even a snow blower is hard to push that heavy snow. 

My prayers are with all the friends and families in the southern states who are not prepared for this winter storm. And also with all the necessary workers taking care of what needs to be done. I hope that Mother Nature takes a kinder action for the rest of winter! 

We were supposed to get a big storm again tomorrow night, but now I am hearing only three inches. I hope that guesstimate is true! 

Friday, February 5, 2021

Well, It's Winter

Two of my five adult children were unemployed at the end of 2020 due to jobs permanently eliminated at their place of business due to the pandemic. My middle son found a position in Mid-January that looked very promising with a high pay rate, great medical insurance and a day shift. it would even allow him to put his children on the school bus before leaving for work. 

Unfortunately the workplace was very dark and damp with poor lighting. The position involved heavy lifting while in an awkward position and his co-workers left some things to be desired. It was not a place he could see himself working for the next thirty years. 

He had put in resumes EVERYWHERE in our community and our local hospital called him during his second week on that job.  He is now working as a maintenance worker at the hospital, days, and loves his new job.  The pay scale is much lower, but the working conditions are so much better.  He had some serious health issues in his late 20's and has some permanent heart damage.  I am resting easier with the new job too. 

Going back to work means that we are now responsible for feeding his second grader and kindergartener breakfast, then meeting the school bus which now stops at my driveway. At least that was the plan.  The boys arrived on Monday and school was cancelled for snow. Then Tuesday, school was cancelled for snow.  The boys did attend school on Wednesday and Thursday, but last night we got several more inches of new snow in a winter weather warning, followed by a winter weather warning for cold temperatures and high winds.  You guessed it - school was first delayed two hours and then cancelled. 

If you are keeping count, this week we had the boys for THREE days all day versus breakfast and bus.  I think I have been hoodwinked by Mother Nature!  I really can't complain. My other mothers are teachers and have been home with their own children so it hasn't been additional children during the day, just different children than usual. 

We are enjoying our Pandemic Pantry and don't plan to leave the house again (except my hubbie and his snow blower) until sometime next week. 

Tuesday, February 2, 2021

Clarifying My Word of the Month

I want to thank everyone for their kind comments about my Word of the Month: Bedroom. There were a few things I left out of the post that some had questions about. 

We actually redecorated the bedroom almost two years ago. Since we have lived here 40 years with the flea market bedroom, it is still a new beautiful sight to wake up to every morning! I am still very grateful every time I see it. 

I can't share an "after" picture because we have had two grandchildren join the family since then and I have had to add a crib to the room to separate them for naps. However, I can't see the crib when I wake up in the morning, so it doesn't affect my line of vision. 

The other thing that doesn't affect my line of vision is the clutter on those shiny new shelves. I have the lower ones filled with things I don't want babies to touch and the top shelves filled with things that will break if the babies touch them. The clutter doesn't affect me in the morning because everything in a distance is just a lovely Monet painting until I put my glasses on. 

I am hoping that within two years the room can go back to what it looked like two years ago. 

We did not go with the pink barn doors for the closets. First, my husband despises the barn door trend in houses. I prove his point often in one of my children's homes where the door slides, but is not attached at the bottom. I always pull first before I remember to slide.  Second, I talked him into a pink dining room and he feels we have enough pink in the house. Third, I changed my mind the minute I made the board. We still have the mirrored sliding glass doors on the closet that I was so in love with in the 1980's. I would like double doors that open out into the room once we get rid of the crib that would block them from opening. 

I love doing "vision boards" and did not start this one until we ordered the furniture. Here is the vision board for my utility room which has been tacked up on the wall for a while now. I heard a rumor that we may be back to this project this spring. I have already made some changes in my mind, hence the photo of my pandemic pantry shelf with clothespins. 

Monday, February 1, 2021

Word of the Month - February 2021

This month I am choosing my "Word of the Month" at the beginning of the month instead of the end of the month. And in keeping with my theme of stay at home comfort while waiting for the vaccine and salvation for our country - I am picking something that make my heart sing:  "Bedroom". 

Here's the back story. Two nineteen year olds with a baby, we purchased our little "starter" home in January 1979.
As if by magic, we grew to a family of seven in only seven years! It was a pretty tight fit. 

We inherited three floors of memory furniture when my grandmother and great aunt passed away. I couldn't bear to part with the shallow, sticky drawered dressers and saved them all for my children someday. 

The pieces weren't "real" antiques. They were factory pieces from the teens and twenties that I had pretty fond memories of in my grandmother's house. My thought at the time was that my children (who actually would not have those memories) would want them. So we lived with two hope chests, four dressers, a Victorian vanity and a creaky four poster bed that creaked.

Of course my children did not want most of the pieces, so our bedroom was cluttered with wall to wall furniture with clothing piled on top for access. Finally in 2018 I decided it was time to be grownups. 

We contacted an Amish furniture builder and had him build this lovely bedroom set with big drawers and custom measured to fit the room (this is not how it is positioned in the room, I was not home when it was delivered).  

Since it takes over three months over the delivery date they promise (we have played this game before), we were able to completely renovate the room from floor to ceiling. My handy husband replaced the forty year old hollow core doors with lovely solid paneled doors and even built a small bookcase for me behind the door. 

We even had outlets moved to behind nightstands (instead of under the bed) and the television wires put behind the wall. And he painted the room a lovely "Dresden" blue with white enamel accents. The photo below is pre- new carpet. It is the corner I see every morning when I wake up. 

This month I give my gratitude for our bedroom. 

Miss Merry