Saturday, November 30, 2013

a good kind of crazy

Wednesday night we took an internet sabbatical as I began sanding down the floors in the study (meaning we couldn't get to the computer), restaining the wood, and then putting on a sealer. (It was quite funny being in Lowe's on Black Friday purchasing polyerathaune and Liquid Plummer while everyone was buying gifts and Christmas decorations.) This morning we headed to Staples to see about getting a rubber mat to place under the plastic floor cover we had (the plastic allowed dirt to get underneath and simply ground it in the floor), but they only had door mat type things. The salesman suggested getting expensive shelf liner to try, but Bobby decided we'd go with the doormat instead. I'm pleased with the space it covers, and if we can get one end to finish uncurling, I think (hope) we're going to be very happy with it. My goal is to sweep/vaccumm there every night (or at least every other morning?) in hopes of keep the floor in a better condition. But judging by the amount of wheel tracks on the rug already (as opposed to lining the edge of the plastic floor protector), I think we may have made a very wise choice.

AND we learned that they now make stain wipes. :) Think baby wipes coated in wood stain. I tried one last night in our bedroom on a section where the shower chair rubs the the stain away, and the color not only matched perfectly, but it also went on easily and was dry by this morning. We're hoping to do the other two spots tonight and Monday morning. (We have to work around usage times in those areas!)  For a small spot, this was definitely the way to go. SOOOO much easier than messing with a can, brush, and wipe rags!

I know this isn't how most people spend the holidays, but for us, it was perfect timing to do a job that sorely needed to be done. I didn't think to take before pictures (but just imagine a circle in front of the desk where my chair, his chair had worn through the varnish and into the wood, as well as pock marks), but if I can get my camera batteries charged I'll try to take after pictures. It made for a crazy few days, but it was well worth it!  And to top it off, Bobby got his Christmas present early, and we now have a wireless router in the house. :) I still don't have everything set up, but we're getting there!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

accounting

A few days ago one of my aunts posted something on Facebook about how holidays were very hard times for many people, and we didn't need to forget about those people. And as I thought about the struggles they were facing (she's out of work due to health issues and working on getting disability, Uncle Don lost his job at the mines, her daughter has been diagnosed with MS, four years ago at this time her mother was murdered by a nephew on drugs, etc) I couldn't help but think about the number of people who are grieving during this holiday season when everyone around them is rejoicing.

I have so much to be thankful for. I have been blessed in so many ways. And yet I recognize there are those, while just as blessed and loved by God, are deeply hurting when everyone around them is festive and ecstatic.

A friend of mine recently wrote a post on that subject: When Sorrow Begets Gratitude. A young girl left a comment, stating how she found nothing to be grateful for in the unexpected death of her brother. And I think that's the rub. So often the pain overrides the joy, the hurt is so great that we only see the dark forrest surrounding us instead of the beauty of each indvidual tree. Some of those hurts take time to heal. We don't use our broken bones until they're mended, and a broken heart is not that much different.

We're called to weep with those who are weeping. That's not always easy to do. But I am thankful that Christ said his very purpose in coming was to help those who are hurting. And while I rejoice in that this morning, I'm also petitioning for those who feel as if help and comfort are very far away. I'm praying that as their minds and hearts calculate the hurts in their hearts, that God's Spirit will comfort, and help them to remember and count the blessings, however small they may be, that they will have small glimmers of hope to grab onto, that even if the blessings don't currently outweigh the bad, that they'll at least be enough to stop the tears and give a pause to the crushing anguish.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

telephones

Most Saturdays we get a 15-30 minute from two of our great-nephews. They're about 3 and 4. Today they "discovered" the telephone (yes, we still have a land line) that is in plain sight on the kitchen bar. They've walked by it multiple times, but maybe it was too close but yet still too high from their eye level. But for whatever reason, they saw it today, were greatly puzzled, and wanted to know "What is that?"

Within five minutes of that conversation, the telephone rang, which it has never done in their presence before. Their eyes got very big, and widened even larger when I picked up the receiver and said "hello."  And then things got a little interesting. It was for Bobby, who had been playing in the toy room and was trapped there by all the toys scattered around his chair. I asked our pastor to wait a minute, told the four year old "Do NOT touch that" and left the room knowing he most likely would. Within the few seconds it took to scoot toys and Bobby to head toward another room, they not only had the phone, but were talking to our pastor and HUNG UP! For some bizarre reason, he stayed on the phone a few more seconds and it didn't disconnect. Thankfully!

So then they headed to the study where Bobby was, and I could hear the questions: Is that a phone, too? Are you talking to someone Uncle Bobby? and I'm in the other room trying not to laugh. I finally corralled them back into the living room, but I fear our playtime got a little loud, making it next to impossible to hear. But they walked by both phones a few times the rest of the time with their little heads cocked to the side, as if trying to figure out this strange contraption that had a funny coiled tube attached to it. I had never really considered the fact that our landline phones are obsolete and a bizarre antique to today's young kids.

It's official. I am ancient and I'm not quite 41 yet. (And I can smile while typing that!)

Friday, November 22, 2013

not quite an epic failure

I ventured out on a limb this afternoon and tried to make fudge for tomorrow's now-not coming company. I've never been very successful with fudge. Today's batch was one of the two I've made that solidified correctly (it didn't break the bowl and it's not too soft).
But it's still not Aunt Pat's fudge. Every year for Thanksgiving and Christmas, Aunt Pat made fudge with walnuts. I love my Mom and Aunt Linda, but nothing held a candle to Aunt Pat's fudge. It was heavenly.
She died during my second year overseas, and I miss her hugs and smile and...yes...her fudge. It seems so trivial, but it's always like there's a tiny something missing. 
But I do have her recipe now, so hopefully in a few weeks I will bravely stand in front of the stove and attempt yet again one of the foods that my memory holds high on a pedestal.
Meanwhile, I've still got a little cleaning left to do.

Monday, November 4, 2013

my cup overflows

Tuesday is election day for Wake County.  Even though two of my precincts will be closed tomorrow (only my Garner city residents are voting, what we'd call "Garner proper" back home), I'm still very thankful to work with a group of people who care about the voting process and are willing to put aside party differences and opinions for a day and a half to ensure who have a totally fair election.  While I'm not crazy about the long hours (we get up at 4am so I can head out the door 6am and I won't be home until around 9pm tomorrow night, provided we don't head to Waffle House for supper then), it is nice being able to work four times a year at something I think is important AND get paid for it.

Monday marked the day that 15 years ago a certain someone asked me to marry him.  And I must say, Part III of this life has been quite wonderful. I love and appreciate him more now than I did then, and I would have never dreamed that was possible.

And...I love my church family. We are a family. We're not perfect, we don't always see eye to eye or like everything each other does, but we ARE family. These last two weeks I've been amazed and awed at how well we work as a body, how people are gladly willing to pitch in and do things when and as they can, from the youngest to the oldest. And the most awesome thing?  We can only do that because of the One who has changed us by His love.

I'm still in shock that it's November, so I haven't started my thankful list, though I have thought about it. Maybe one day this week I'll get around to posting it on the side of my blog. But until then, I hope you're rejoicing with me in the One whose "mercies endure forever."

Happy Tuesday/election day!

cows

Not too long ago I learned about this thing called miniature cows.  I've teased Bobby that if he wants cows, then that's what we'll get. The reality is, the last thing I need or want is something else to take care of, and I do think he's right that the cost of the animal upkeep probably would cost more than you'd make in sale price. But we got to see some of the miniature Herefords during the competitions at the state fair.
 The above photo is of a Momma cow. The girl was having a very hard time getting it to go where she needed it to be (the cow wanted its calf and OUT of the ring!) and the judge behind her had to give her a hand.  I have a hard enough time maneuvering Buster's 57 pounds. I can't imagine having to herd or corral an animal that weighed 250. (And if you've never been around real cows, this full grown miniature heifer is 1/2 of the size of what a normal cow would be.) I think miniature's grow to be about 36" tall.
 
 This is a calf. Don't you just love their size?
 
 The judge walking among the calves, checking out their legs and body formation.
 
And the pair division, where you had both the Momma and the calf up for judging.
 
It seems like the first time I read about miniature cows they said they give about 1/4 of the meat of a normal cow. But I would think they wouldn't eat as much as a normal cow, either. Of course, you still have to pay for fencing, a barn, medicine, etc. I'm thinking a field trip to a farm in Wake Forrest is a good idea, at least just to see how much work is involved.