Friday, April 22, 2011

Preparing for the hunt

My sister hosts a family and friends Easter egg hunt at her house each year.  I used to do the same for K-'s siblings, but they've gotten old enough to think that Easter egg hunts aren't so cool anymore.  Since I have a bucket full of eggs, I go ahead and stuff them each year for the family hunt.

326.  That's just in case you were wondering.  I'm sure that I've lost a few here and there, but overall I believe that I've retained the number that I've collected.  That's why I have the X's on the eggs.  I used to let the kids keep the eggs, but I found that they were getting tossed at the end of the season.  Why not reuse?  The kids know to shell the eggs, snap the pieces back together and to go ahead and dump any X'd eggs in the bin for refill the following year. 

Hey, it works for me.

My sister has everyone bring a contribution to add to the already started pot of Stone Soup.  Yes, it does have a real stone.  I know that I've touched on her tradition before, but there is seriously not a pot of Stone Soup that I haven't liked.  This year, I'll be tossing ham, carrots, potatoes, barley and soaked mixed beans to the pot.  (Just in case someone forgets their thing, I bring extra.  It's habit.) 

We're so excited!  Rain may come and we are thinking of suiting the kids up in rain coats and soccer cleats, but we'll have a great time!

Smiles in my day:
-  Though the day started out a bit rough with, "Mom, I just puked," after an hour, the bit subsided.  I was able to talk to the nurse at her pediatrician's office who said that the stomach virus that she had tended to come and go a few times before it was completely gone.  Good to know.  Prefer it to be gone.  Yuck.  Still, other than an hour of major action, K- has had a little bit of a "squeezy stomach" all day, but has successfully taken items in and has not had the horrible stomach ache or high fever of last week.  The nurse predicts that we're seeing the end.  Hallelujah!  Even as I type, I'm happy to say that the "squeezy stomach" (ref: Junie B. Jones) has completely subsided. 
-  Getting the eggs all stuffed.  Tattoos, hair ties, stickers, dinosaurs, Sillybandz, suction cup balls, spikey balls, tops, marshmallow bunnies, slinkies and buttons (pins).  Tried to find something for everyone.
-  Hubs took the day off tomorrow so that we can spend the day together as a family.  :)!

We're excited about spending time with family this weekend.  I hope that all of you have a fantastic weekend!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

What would you have done?

Last night, I didn't sleep that well.  They were calling for the potential of overnight tornadoes and frankly, those are the kind that frighten me the most.  I stayed up, watched the radar, knew when the storms were to start and slept a few hours before that.  I woke up at 2:45 AM (body alarm) and soon enough, a tornado warning crawl came across the screen.  It wasn't for my county, but it was for a county south of me that my friend lives in. 

My friend has M.S.  She suffers from neuropathy in her feet and for her to get up and get moving takes about an hour just to get all the right parts going in all the right places.  She can't just jump out of bed and run. 

So I called her at 3:15 AM. 

"Cj, I'm so sorry to call you in the middle of the night, but there is a tornado warning for [your] county." 

I tossed back and forth in my mind for a minute of what to do.  Here's the discussion that I had with myself:
-  Cj has MS.
-  She can't move that well.
-  She's in the middle of the country, on a hill away from close contact with neighbors and there is no tornado siren where she is at.
-  I didn't know if her partner was there to help her.  (Turns out he was.) 
-  She has three dogs to gather up and haul down with her.  She wouldn't leave them upstairs. 
-  I wasn't certain where the location was that the circulation was, but to boot up my computer and give it a run on Map Quest was me losing precious time for her to be contacted.
-  The storm was moving 55 MPH, which is kind of hauling at a pretty decent pace.

On my way to work, I called Cj to see how everything was.  She was at the dentist, but I did talk to her partner.  I asked him not to hate me.  He said that they didn't at all and that his friend ended up calling about an hour after I did for the very same reason. 

"At least you know that there are people who care about you!" 

He said that there was a tornado that touched down south of them and when I Map Quested the circulation location, I found that it was 4-5 miles away from their house.  Moving at 55 MPH, they wouldn't have had much time to act.  Cj's basement steps are kind of condensed and short.  It is difficult for her to navigate them anyhow, but squishy spaced steps are not run-down-them kind of steps. 

Cj e-mailed later (calling me darling) and said that she was absolutely not mad at me for phoning.  She had ear plugs in that muffled everything.  She would have never heard a tornado coming. 

I don't regret having called her.  I told her that had she gone by way of Mary Poppins and I knew that a potential tornado was coming towards them and didn't call and warn them, I wouldn't have been able to forgive myself. 

What would you have done?

Smiles in my day:
-  It looks like our collard greens are coming up.  Spike (our iguana) will be so excited to have garden veggies again.  (You think I'm crazy?  He begs for tomatoes when they are on.) 
-  I functioned surprisingly well, considering the lack of sleep that I had.  Perhaps I need less sleep than I'm getting.
-  K- and I have a date to stuff hundreds of plastic eggs tomorrow for our annual family Easter egg hunt.  We'll stuff to see if I need more.  I can't recall how many I have, but I believe it's something around 400 or so.

Have a great day!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Tales from the Trenches: God provides.

My sister and I decided to do a bit of a seed swap this year.  She's a little low on funds, we're being a bit more conservative and I just re-ran the seeding bit with last year's seeds.  Mine came up, but just in a quantity that I needed.  I might have one or two extra plants, but not like the 80 tomato plants I had the one year.  Because of that and the fact that my sister was about a week and a half behind my planting, I told her to seed heavy.  She now has probably 100 little seedlings. 

"What am I going to do with all of these?" 

I told her that we'll be having a canning clinic.  I know that she wanted to learn and my one cousin approached me for lessons in canning.  It isn't hard, but it is something that you must stop, think, take time and follow every step.  Well, that and everything needs to be spic and span. 

I told my sister that God gave her a sum and I encouraged her to instead of giving all but 5 away, plant them all over.  She has flower beds that can use some height in the back.  She has a step-type hill area that they planted the tomatoes in last year.  That worked well for them.  I told her that our goal is to get her to put away as much as she possibly can. 

Their house will be eating many tomato based meals, if my prediction is correct. 

Her peppers haven't come up yet, and neither have the ground cherries.  I told her that we'll do the same with those.  Can, freeze or otherwise preserve. 

She swapped some seed potatoes in exchange.  I have them planted, but haven't seen anything yet.  Soon and very soon she tells me.

I'm entertaining a cold frame near the house for a patch of lettuces for the iguana this next year.  (Test run it on the iguana, then do fully for us.)  I don't know if I'll get Hubs to run with that one. 

In the meantime, I'm going to suggest that she sell some excess plants at the end of her drive with an honesty box (she lives in the country) and donate some to the local jail that grows produce for the Meals on Wheels program that provides meals to seniors who wouldn't otherwise be provided with balanced nutrition. 

How has God provided for you this week?  Being Holy Week, we should be a bit more in tuned with how we are always taken care of even if, as I told my sister, it wasn't the path that you originally had in your head.  Any surprises that God had pop up in your garden of life?

Smiles in my day:
-  The ability I have to openly rejoice with everyone without worry of being put to death for it.

Have a great day!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

The 50 MPH start to spring soccer season

Just check out those new soccer cleats and know that it rained a lot yesterday.
If K-'s hair wasn't pulled back, she would be doing what blondie is doing here.  But!  Look at girlie running for the ball like no tomorrow! 

We didn't quite know if soccer season was going to begin today.  We had a few inches of rain yesterday and thought that the field might be unplayable.  It wasn't unplayable, but it was like running on a sopping sponge.  My daughter?  She loved making a point of running through the mud puddle on the field.  She had so much mud in her shoes that it started chunking off in sheets. 

She wore a little head wrap because the 50 MPH winds with the 55 degree temperature made for a risk of ear ache.  She happily wore the head wrap.

She had a great time and was happy to get back into the game.  This year, she has progressed.  Her dribbling has improved and she runs the right direction this time! 

For these few weekends (next week excluded), we're running swimming on Saturday and soccer on Sunday.  I can tell you that at this point, K- is exhausted.  She missed three days last week while she was busy doing the sick kid thing.  She has run her leggin's off and did swimming for an hour to boot.  This evening she provided us with a lovely tired breakdown as a result. 

Once she sleeps and catches up on that which she lacked (either the stomach ache, the vomiting, the cough or me continually taking her temperature kept her up.)  Soon, she'll be caught back up and all will be right with the world again.

Until then, we have some clean soccer cleats drying on the downstairs freezer.

Smiles in my day:
-  K-'s return to health.  Whew!
-  Being able to stop by the mom and pop farm market for some produce.  I had a meatloaf in the crock-pot for us and was able to bring some really great vegetables home to make a mixed steam side dish with.  The yellow squash didn't turn out as I hoped (no taste and tough skin) but the snap peas, broccoli, carrots and little red skins did the trick!
-  I got my favorite sweet roasted red pepper hummus and sea salt chips from the market.  K- and I have to watch.  We've been known to eat the whole thing in one sitting. 

Have a great day!