Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Just My Wednesday

It's so hard to find time or anything interesting to say on this blog, but I don't want to abandon it.

My days are so full and happy that I don't have much time for being sad, and those times when I just can't bear the way I feel are becoming fewer.  I doubt the day will come when I don't miss Mike and just wish I could share something with him, but there is a lot of beauty and goodness to be experienced, and I'm doing my best.

I've been promised that this is not the normal weather for the area by more than one person.  There is nothing to do but laugh about it and put on a few extra layers.  Days like today are cold but nothing like the way it felt when it was below freezing AND with snow and a howling wind.

Every morning I look at my weather app on my phone as I reluctantly crawl out of my warm bed - second alarm.  This morning I saw 26 degrees feels like 19.  So I knew how to dress.  But when I got down to warm up the car, it was snowing again.  Whatever!

It's nice to get to my "job" and hear greetings and get hugs and snuggles - warm snuggles.  Graysen always greets me with her latest fantasy - this time a castle in the den - and Kate just wants to hug and say Hi.  It cheers me up immediately to walk into the warm house and get my first cup of coffee and just listen.  And see who has the best hairdo

Once breakfast has been served or found to have been already eaten, we go upstairs to play a little and dress if it's a school day.  On stay-at-home days, we might not bother to dress until later (if at all). 

 Graysen's wardrobe is extensive, and Emily talks with her the night before and lays out different outfits, but when the time comes to dress, it's nothing remotely like that.  If it's not the purple dress and striped tights, she won't even discuss it.  After I reminded her that she wore the purple dress Monday and to pick something else, she didn't understand the reasoning but decided to go along with it.  This is what she chose.

 I thought it was pretty good and very cute, but when I sent Emily a picture, she said the pink dress was really a shirt and she probably needed leggings with it.  What do I know?!

Very reluctantly, she allowed a pair of leggings (pants?) to go on over the tights and ended up with a look that pleased everyone!

So early lunch - of which Graysen ate nothing and Katherine ate and ate and ate.  I turned around once near the end of the meal, and Katherine had her sippy cup turned upside down and was placing bits and pieces of her vegetables in the indentation on the bottom.  I'm still not sure how she made it stand up by itself.

This girl will eat just about anything and lots of it.  

Emily and Ryan have a refrigerator full of healthy food.

But this is all I could see every time I opened the door!

The girls played while I cleaned up the high chair and under the high chair and anywhere within throwing distance of rice.  

Graysen has a big imagination and has no trouble concocting elaborate stories and dramas by herself.

I don't even want to know the story on this.

I'm glad to see Katherine playing by herself and staying out of Graysen's way.  She loves the new dollhouse Santa brought her.

Then it was time for school, and that's the busiest time of the day for me:  Coat, boots, purse, keys, phone, gloves for me.  Coat, hat, boots, gloves, hair combing, face wiping for the girls.  Sometimes finding 2 shoes that match or 2 gloves is a big deal, so I start 30 minutes early.  

I've gotten pretty good at buckling them both in in less than 10 minutes!  Those straps are hard to do with coats and wiggly arms and legs and sometimes toys or food to contend with.  I always sigh with relief if we're in the car and on our way with 10 minutes to spare.  Time to enjoy the beautiful drive.

No matter how these mountains look, they always cause me a moment of sadness because Mike just loved this view, and we talked about it so much.  But now Graysen has started discussing it with me, so it makes it easier.

Graysen has one friend at school that she talks about constantly, Brooklyn.  Brooklyn obviously does the same with Graysen.  It's so sweet to watch them arrive in the mornings.  This is after 2 days' absence.

They go into the barn first thing every morning for us to sign them in and wait for everyone to get there before they go to their classroom.  Monday, one of the goats had gotten in, and it was a big production to get him out, and then Wilbur the pig started pushing open the door.  Lots of shrieks and giggles.  They were cold too!  

Blowing kisses.  I would not like to have the job their teachers have of keeping up with all those hats and scarves and mittens and coats.  They play outside every day and have to be prepared for it!

Katherine likes to stop and see the goats and chickens before we head home.  On the way home, we talk about nap time and being sleepy and getting her bottle and snuggly blanket, and she agrees with everything.  

But once she is tucked nicely in and I leave the room, it's party time.  I check the TinyCam app once in awhile (it's so tempting to just watch it all the time), and she never settled down.  I didn't hear a word from her, but she rolled around, fed her empty bottle to her bear, walked around, bounced on the bottle awhile and threw it on the floor, threw toys on the floor, bounced around some more - for nearly 2 hours.  Just as happy as could be.

At 2: 10, I knew I wasn't going to let her go to sleep and sleep for only 30 minutes, so up I went to get her and start all over dressing for the trip.  Whew!

After school, we went over to my place, and they had a really good time playing with the new dollhouse and cleaning supplies that Santa left here.

And Graysen is sweeping out the bunk beds.  She then went on to mop them.

Then Emily came to get them, and here I am.  Quiet time.  There is never enough time though, to accomplish everything I want to, and I'm about to fall asleep.  My reading material tonight was "No Drama Discipline" and "The Paris Wife," a book Debby sent me about the first wife of Ernest Hemingway.  One book interesting and necessary and the other one really good.

I'm also watching "The Crown" on Netflix and loving that.  I didn't get to watch any tonight, but this weekend will be a good time for that.

I should finish my sewing project this weekend and have some pictures to post then.

There is promise of a rise in temperatures in the next few days, and I'm going to rejoice at 48 degrees!  My electric bill doubled from December to January, but there has been a lot of fireplace use and heat going on.

The full moon was beautiful tonight.  I copied these pictures from someone on the Snoqualmie FB page.  I would love to see something like this in person one day.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

It's a Lovely New Year

I love clean slates, and what better way to start the new year than for a beautiful white morning to wake up to.

I have no desire to get out in it, but it is so pretty to look at and enjoy the quiet and peaceful day.  Right now, there are no sounds at all, just complete silence to contemplate where this new year is going to take me.

I am so thankful for comfort this morning.  I was cold when I got up, but in just minutes I had the living room cozy with a fire and the smell of coffee.  I thought about putting on the red plaid flannel pajamas that Karen gave me last week - we all matched Christmas morning.  I did put on Debby's blue sheep fuzzy socks she sent along with my sparkly snowflake shirt and old green (paint-stained) velvet pants.  I think I'm perfectly dressed for the morning!  

If anyone asks me what I want or need, I'm always at a loss, but I'm lucky enough to have family and friends who know exactly what I want.  I'm savoring so many of the gifts this morning.  Comfort Zone Tranquillity (2 l's) shower cream and body lotion,  A lovely new planner and journal that's going to make this coming year MINE!  I'm going to be so organized and less frazzled.  Thanks to Rosanne and Debby for these perfect gifts.

The one gift that's already saved my sanity and lots of time and one I think I won't be able to do without:

Emily and Ryan have about had it with my never knowing where my phone or keys are, so they gave me this!  

This neat little gadget can be programmed into your phone to locate anything you might misplace, and I can't even remember how many times I've used it already - twice within 15 minutes of activating it.

It comes with 4 tiles, but I only need two right now.  I have one on my keychain and one in my purse in addition to the one programmed into my phone.  If I have any one of the three (and even I have trouble losing all 3 of them at once), then I can find the missing one.  A click on my key tile finds my phone and a click on my phone finds my keys.  One or 2 click from my purse find either of the other 2.  

Emily also is using 2 of them and has my information in her phone, so she can keep track of me at all times - or at least my possessions.  The nice thing is getting in your car and clicking the tile on the keychain and never having to dig in your purse to find out if you have your phone with you.  

I may be overly excited about this little gadget!  

I want to write about so many things that have happened lately (the Nutcracker, for one) and the new things in the coming year, but taking the time to do it really messes up my vow to  be more productive.  Maybe I can do a little of both.

One of the sweetest Christmases I've ever had! 

And one of the saddest.  The memories are sweet though.

Looks like yet another record album!

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

New Life Starts Now

I wish it could be that easy - to start over without regrets or sadness or pain, but I think those things are a big part of what makes us.  They aren't as easy to take as happiness and contentment, but hopefully I can find a good mixture of those things going forth.

I did not post that last picture and Christmas greeting.  While showing me something about handling photos, Emily saw that one of Graysen and realized how easy it was to post it here.  I saw that I liked it though.  It expressed more of the pure joy of the season rather than the times when we would be just overcome with sadness.

I hope I'll sort through my pictures and come back with more time and remember these past weeks.  I can't remember when I've had more highs and lows.  The girls and I always listened to a radio station in the car that played Christmas songs only.  We usually sang all the way back and forth to school if we heard something we knew.  It never failed though that there would be that song that brought back memories of happier times or songs that just expressed what I was feeling.  Sometimes I would turn the radio off immediately, but other times I would just let the tears come, and I think I needed that.

Graysen has seen us cry, and she knows it's because we miss PopPop, but it doesn't upset her.  We never want her to forget him and how much he loved her, but we are going to try to stress the happy times they had - the pictures and videos and stories - and I think that will be a good lesson for us grownups too.  

His first meeting with each granddaughter.  He adored these girls and was amazed by everything they did and said.

Sunday, December 25, 2016

MURRY CHRIMMUS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Freezing My Ears Off

Not to mention toes and fingers and everything in between.

It's so hard to think about writing anything right now.  Just such a hard time at Christmas.  But the weather has been quite a distraction.

I'll post just some pictures that I took last week in no certain order and probably can't even remember where or why I took them.

It snowed off and on for a while last week but was supposed to end Friday morning.  Instead it came down hard for hours, several unexpected inches.  We still got to go to the Nutcracker in Seattle Friday night though because there was no snow between Snoqualmie and there once we got out of town.

 This is when I first noticed it.  No one told me - it's very quiet!

The second little blizzard covered the balcony and blew over the chairs.  Stella/Molly briefly investigated because there were birds hopping around eating the seeds I left out.

Pretty soon she was back in front of the fire licking her paws.

Emily and Ryan's deck.  On the table is the pottery bunny I brought from Montgomery almost completely covered up.

 The steps to my apartment on the right.  So far, so good.  No ice.  It's just hard to convince me to walk in that much snow.

The first day I drove, I had to clear the windshield.  My neighbor had worked on clearing all the snow and ice off the first day, but this accumulated again.  I opened the garage door, and the first thing I saw were the old Alabama tags.  They made a perfect snow pusher.  It didn't take scraping because it was so fluffy, just a little pushing.

I was really feeling sorry for myself the morning the car doors would not open.  Ryan said to pour hot water over the keyholes, and I Googled it also and ended up taking a pitcher of hot salt water and a lighter to heat up my key if needed.  The water did the trick.  Although it was hard, I feel like I made one more step in getting used to doing things on my own.  

We spent a lot of time inside naturally, and I found Emily and Graysen making cookies one day when I went over.  Graysen did not want to eat the cookies at all - not even a taste.  She just wanted to make them and roll the dough in sprinkles.

Vintage cookie cutters.  I remember these from when I was not much older than Graysen.

Emily is also wearing one of her grandmother's aprons.  I'm not sure where the flower came from.

Katherine certainly has no qualms about eating the cookies though and stands and yells kee-kee in the direction of the cookie plate.

 My little Christmas.  It was hard even opening the boxes, and there is not much room, but I did a few things that made me happy.

A family joke.  I had a nurse come over Sunday from my insurance company for a routine visit, and she had me do memory tests and dementia tests in addition to blood pressure, etc.  Once when I left the room, I came back to see her standing and looking at the mantle, but she was nice enough not to mention this.

Just a table for the girls to look at.  No particular order or sentimentality to it.

The house on Steller Way.  I love the mantle.

Finally, 3 too-long videos of our first excursion into the snow.  Excuse my lack of enthusiasm and comments.  The girls were thrilled, and that's all that matters.