Sunday, February 23, 2014
"Can I jump on your bed?"
"Can we make chocolate chip 'tookies'?"
These were the questions from 3 year old Sadie who is on her way NOW to visit Grandma and Grandpa. She is bringing her daddy and they will meet Uncle Nate and Uncle Daniel here.
While the brothers hit the slopes Grandma and Sadie have a long list of fun things to do.
There will be pictures and stories forthcoming. For now I am off to the kitchen to make the traditional cinnamon rolls and other things.
But I will wait until Sadie gets here to make tookies.
Friday, February 21, 2014
"We've got an emergency here."
Knowing that my 87 year old aunt was driving from North Carolina to visit my 84 year old dad, I steeled myself for the news.
"Your aunt can't get her iPad connected to the internet."
Oh. Well, then.
I spent 20 minutes or so teaching my aunt the finer points of internet connectivity and reminding my dad where the password for his hotspot is. Some of us may be a little hard of hearing (ahem), so there may have been some yelling. But only the nicest kind as a means of helpful repetition.
Before a half hour was up, she was connected and Dad was relieved that he wouldn't have to spend too much time entertaining her.
Actually, pretty amazing siblings.
These siblings text each other.
They know how to use GPS.
They have Facebook accounts.
They spur each other on to learn new things.
They always make me laugh.
They enjoy life.
They are not afraid to hop in the car and drive a few hundred miles to see each other.
They are among the smartest people I know.
When they were growing up, they had no indoor plumbing. They didn't even have any electricity except what Grandpa generated himself using a kerosene powered motor to charge the battery bank in the cellar. The charged batteries were used to power the single light bulb over the kitchen table. Or the radio. Or one or two other things.
Grandma and Grandpa raised 5 kids. During the Depression. And I'm sure there were lots of emergencies.
But not one of them would have dreamed that a failure to connect to this amazing tool called the internet would be among them.
Thursday, February 20, 2014
I love the fact that we are actually living in town now and I can walk everywhere: stores, library, coffee shops, bank. So convenient. Yesterday as I was walking one of my friends joined me for a few blocks.
I can also walk to my volunteer work ( which I love). Yesterday I had the privilege of sitting with 2 women and discussing the Bible. Each chat was well over a half hour. They were grateful and I was blessed.
Most years our volunteers fire department makes an ice castle. This year's is pictured above. They cut the ice from Silver Lake and assemble the blocks in the center of town for all to enjoy.
At night it is lit with colored lights. When I stopped by the other day, there were dozens of snowmobiles parked near the castle. It was hard to get a photo without a person in it.
I'll be returning to take a picture of it next week, because a little princess is coming to stay with Grandma and Grandpa for a few days. I have a long list of fun things to do with three year old Sadie. We will be sure to visit the castle!
Tuesday, February 18, 2014
I am not a fabric hoarder by any stretch of the imagination. I do not buy vast quantities of fabric on sale and wait for the perfect project to pop up.
However, after decades of sewing, the scraps, well they do accumulate.
It is time to do something with the 'accumulation'.
I have made the above Christmas stockings for Nate and Michelle, for Daniel and Laura, for Josh, Sadie and Lainey (Jon and Kristi already had stockings). I enjoyed making all 7 (!) of these. So, in anticipation of new additions to the family someday, LORD willing, I will make more of these stockings this fall with my accumulated scraps.
I wrote this post last fall. No stockings were made. The fabric scraps languish in two (rather large) baskets.
I'm committed to down sizing my scrap stash, but I always work better under pressure. So I'm putting this out in the webiverse. Before we move again (our lease here is through September), I will use up the lion's share of my scraps.
Hold me accountable, K?
What projects do you need to get done? Any UFOs (unfinished objects) lurking in your closet, basement, back room?
Monday, February 17, 2014
We reversed directions and came back in December of 2013.
The weight of the moving truck on the way back north was 3,000 pounds lighter than it was on the way down. And we bought some living room and bedroom furniture once we got to Tennessee. Which came with us to Wisconsin.
How did we do it?
- Our former home had a definite Northwoods feel to it. Our new Tennessee home was more formal and well, new. Right from the get-go we got rid of some things that didn't 'fit in'. We sold a desk, a trunk and several smaller things on Craig's List.
- I volunteered at a women's shelter that also had a Thrift Store. They needed things more than I did. It was very gratifying to be able to let them sell my stuff and use that money to help people. Much better than allowing it to take up space in my closet.
- I read this blog. Although there is some Buddhist philosophy in it (which I don't agree with), there is a lot of common sense advice about how our stuff owns us.
- I informally participated in this project. Realizing now that I don't need a walk in closet full of clothes, I keep my wardrobe pared down to about 30 items.
- I basically stopped shopping. I've never been much of a shopper, but now it holds no thrill for me. At all. There are many better ways to spend my money. It is far more gratifying to use our resources to help others than to fill my closet.
- I set limits. How many dishes does one need? Will I ever feed 30 people at one time? Probably not, so the extra dishes went to someone who will use them.
- We got rid of one full filing cabinet. It was very full. Very. Those things weigh a ton. Or at least a couple hundred pounds.
- We switched out my piano for a clavinova.
- We sold a large computer desk and our patio set.
- We gave away our bed.
I could go on, but hopefully the above ideas are helpful to anyone who wants to bust their clutter. I haven't missed or regretted getting rid of anything that we donated or sold. Instead I feel a great sense of freedom. Our rental condo is 33% smaller than our former home, so I'm thankful we got rid of what we did.
How do you tame your clutter monster?
Friday, February 14, 2014
the view from our dining room
After 5.5 years of living in Tennessee, our house sold. For sale for two years, it sold 'suddenly' after our contract was up with the two separate realtors we used.
About a week after we were out of contract, Pat put our house on Craig's List. We had one call that afternoon, and another the next morning. We showed it to the second caller on Friday afternoon, and they returned the next day to look at it again. While they looked at it for a second time we had another call; a cash buyer. Pat asked the folks looking what he should tell them, they said, "Tell them it is SOLD."
Less than a month later, we closed and moved. We arrived 6 days before Christmas (who moves at Christmas time and who moves NORTH in winter...we do!).
Mom and Dad have also moved and are living close to my brother and sister-in-law.
It has been a busy few months.
We are now back in the beautiful Northwoods. Currently renting, we are watching the real estate listings to see if we will buy or build later this year.
The best part of being back? No, not the c-c-c-cold weather, we've had quite enough of that, thank you very much.
The best parts?
Attending the church where our youngest son is Associate Pastor.
Living a hop, skip and a jump from the kids.
Living in town where we can walk to anything.
Reconnecting with old friends.
Jumping back into teaching Bible study and piano lessons and volunteer work.
And so much more...
Sunday, September 22, 2013
Regular blogging fell by the wayside the past few years, for a number of reasons.
But I have felt a tugging to return to it, for my own sake, whether anyone reads this or not.
Blogging kept me accountable. These past few years as Mom has declined into Alzheimer's Disease, my blogging mojo, such as it was, took a hiatus.
Now that Mom is in Memory Care and Dad has moved close to here (they are about 15 miles from us), the daily checking up on them and helping as I can has diminished to =2-4 times a week.
Knowing that this time was coming and also knowing that it takes an average of 14 months to sell a home, we put our home on the market last year. We have been on the market for about 18 months and so far only one ridiculously low offer.
But I am confident of GOD's sovereignty. In the past few months, my brother has taken a job in middle Tennessee, in a town where Mom and Dad once lived. Dad, especially, loved it there.
He plans to return there at the beginning of next year and has found a beautiful facility for Mom close to him. My brother and his family will provide welcome support, as we have for the past five+ years.
Our plan is to return to our beloved Northwoods, our home of 30 years, where we will be much closer to our children and grandchildren
When our house sells that is.
For now we wait. And keep the house clean.
Waiting is hard work. It feels as though we are treading water at times, not moving forward or backward, just keeping our heads above water.
But I don't believe that GOD intended us to live 'just keeping our heads above water'. He gave us life, to be lived abundantly and I intend to utilize this space to record the abundant life that HE has blessed us with.
John 10:10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.