During April 2018 I will be blogging about my memories as MOM OF 6 from A to Z . These challenge posts will also be found at Creation and Compassion http://marcyhowes.blogspot.com/

Saturday, August 31, 2013

I Can Do Hard Things

This past July my siblings and my parents and as many of our family members who were able all gathered in Wyoming for a family reunion.    We spent several days traveling together and enjoying picnics and barbeques and pizza, and nice hotels with comfortable beds and swimming pools and free breakfast buffets.  We also visited several historical sites important to our family history of handcart pioneers who traveled west to find a better life for their families.   We had the chance to pull handcarts up a rocky, dusty road, and to imagine what it might have been like to be traveling in this way, pulling all that we owned in a handcart.  We experienced the open Wyoming wilderness and imagined what it must have been like to face the cold and storms and blizzards that stranded many of the pioneer travelers.  We visited the little mountain cove where some sought shelter from the blizzards.  We visited sites where many lost their lives.   We saw small log cabins that were similar to the homes where our ancestors lived out the remainder of their lives.   

 My brother and sister who planned the events of the week had chosen a theme for our reunion:  I CAN DO HARD THINGS THROUGH FAITH IN JESUS CHRIST.  We gathered several times during the few days that we were together to listen to stories of courageous ancestors and other pioneers who bravely faced hard work and heat and cold and storms and snow and hunger and starvation and illness, and even death, because of their belief in Jesus Christ and their faith that they were doing what the Lord wanted them to do.  We heard of other courageous people who sacrificed  their time and food and clothing and physical health in order to rescue the stranded pioneers.  We were all reminded several times during the reunion that we can also do hard things, just like our pioneer ancestors did, as long as we keep our faith in Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.

This has been an interesting summer/fall in my life with some pretty life changing events for me. 
1.        I started working full time for the first time in my life.
2.       My “baby” has left home and gone off to college. 
Neither of these events is something that I have looked forward to, and to tell the truth, I’ve been just a little bit unhappy with what life has given to me right now.  I’ve always wanted to be Mom, have mostly 100% loved being Mom, and haven’t ever wanted that to change.  Of course I’m still a Mom, but life won’t ever be what it was when my children were small and growing up.  So, this is my hard thing right now. 

As I mentioned before, this summer at the reunion we were all told several times that we can do hard things, just like our pioneer ancestors did, as long as we keep our faith in Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.  So, I will try to keep a positive attitude and do my best at figuring out what exactly I’m really supposed to be doing right now, and having the courage to do it the best way that I know how.  I’m grateful that my children and my DH are all doing good things.  I look forward to the future and know that many exciting blessings and events will come our way.   I can do hard things, and I can be happy!

Friday, August 30, 2013

Staff Meetings and Co-workers

One of the best things about my job is my co-workers.  We are just ending a very busy period at my work, and so today had our first department staff meeting for a month or so.  We normally have a department staff meeting for an hour every Friday afternoon, but during our peak busy times we pass on the meetings.  Today's meeting was especially nice as one co-worker who has been on maternity leave brought her brand new six week old baby in to meet us.  He's a real cutie, that's for sure, and has won the hearts of all of the grandmas in our group.  We will especially enjoy having his mother back to work next week! 

Another visitor for our meeting was one of our beloved co-workers who retired a few months ago.  She's looking good and has obviously spent some quality summer time out in the sun.  It was good to visit with these sweet ladies and enjoy a few treats as we shared experiences of the past months and planned for the upcoming weeks at work.   Not all of our staff meetings are as laid back and enjoyable as today's meeting was, but I can honestly say that I work with some of the greatest ladies around. 

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Time to Ponder

Time to Ponder

For the past few weeks I have had more solitude and quiet time than ever before for many years.  Though I have often been tired, it is good to have time to ponder my life, my hopes and dreams and goals.  My values.  Hopefully I have been using this pondering time wisely.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Spray Starch

One of my favorite memories of my Grandmother is sitting in her kitchen and watching her iron.  Back in those days she would mix up a starch mixture and sprinkle it onto the clothes and linens that needed starching, then roll them up and store them in a plastic bag for an hour or so until she was ready to iron.  The smell of the freshly ironed shirts and linens is one of my favorite scents to this day. 

My Mother would go through a similar process with her ironing.  She had a big Ironrite brand pressing machine that she could use to press tableclothes and sheets and pillowcases, and even jeans and shirts.  It was a wonder to watch her iron, and she must have spent hours ironing each week when I was small.  Permanent Press clothing was a wonderful development for my Mother, and the ironing required of her was greatly reduced as the years went by.  She was still wonderful enough to iron many of my clothes even when I was in high school, as I enjoyed a nicely pressed crease in my slacks.  I owe a lot to my mother for all of the ironing she has done for me over the years!

When I first met my DH, his preferred wardrobe was mostly jeans and polo shirts or t-shirts or permanent press sport shirts.  His first job when we were married had a fairly laid back dress code, and I don't remember doing a whole lot of ironing as a newly-wed.  However, that changed when we moved back east.  One of the companies that he worked for had a more professional standard of dress, and we invested in business suits and 100% cotton dress shirts.  And I learned the "joys" of ironing 100% cotton dress shirts.   Needless to say, I also learned the joys of spray starch.  My favorite is Faultless Premium brand professional spray starch as it leaves a nice, fairly heavy starch finish with a minimum of the flaking often found with other heavy starch sprays.  I also learned of the ocassional joys of a professional laundry service for about $1.17 per shirt!

When I took a quilting class several years ago, the instructor shared a recipe for homemade spray starch similar to what my mother and grandmothers must have used.  As she is constantly quilting, she uses a lot of spray starch and the recipe saves her quite a bit of money, but the homemade spray starch does tend to go bad if you try to store it for any length of time.  So, I still buy my spray starch.

Over the years I have ironed countless shirts, not only for my DH, but also for DS1 and DS2.  I have taken some pride to see that they each had a clean white freshly ironed dress shirt to wear to church eash Sunday monring.  Today the company where DH is employed has a more casual dress code, and he is back to wearing slacks and short sleeved sports shirts to work, but he still prefers a 100% cotton, freshly ironed, heavily starched shirt.    And I enjoy the convenience of spray starch, and the wonderful smell of freshly ironed shirts!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Double Rainbow

This evening I spent some time out in the garden pulling/chopping down more of the weeds that surround my poor little tomato and squash and carrot plants.  Dark clouds were rolling in from the west, but off to the east I enjoyed the beauty of a large and colorful double rainbow.  I have seen many varieties of rainbows off and on over the years, but it has been a long time since I have seen such a large and colorful double rainbow.  As I looked carefully I thought I could see traces of even a third and fourth rainbow.  Of course I had no camera to record this spectacular event, but It was a wonderful sight, and I spent almost an hour working under this beautiful rainbow before the dark clouds reached our neighborhood and the rain forced me to grab my trimmers and a few tomatoes and retreat inside.  

This time of year can be exciting, and sometimes stressful and even a bit scary as we and our children head off to new opportunities and adventures at school and even at work.  We need to remember to look for the rainbows and dwell on the promises for a bright day and a bright future as we face the oportunities and challenges, and sometimes the rain and the darkness that life brings.  Sunlight will surely come again, as will the rainbows, and as will our Savior, Jesus Christ.

 11 And I will establish my covenant with you; neither shall all flesh be cut off any more by the waters of a flood; neither shall there any more be a flood to destroy the earth.
 12 And God said, This is the token of the covenant which I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for perpetual generations:
 13 I do set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between me and the earth.
 14 And it shall come to pass, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the bow shall be seen in the cloud:
 15 And I will remember my covenant, which is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and the waters shall no more become a flood to destroy all flesh.
 16 And the bow shall be in the cloud; and I will look upon it, that I may remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is upon the earth.
 17 And God said unto Noah, This is the token of the covenant, which I have established between me and all flesh that is upon the earth.
Genesis 9: 11-17

Monday, August 26, 2013

Library Books

So, sometimes I just get a bit lazy and spend a day reading.  I usually have more library books stacked up next to the bed than I will ever have time to read, but I can almost always find something at bed time or on a restful Sunday afternoon to fit my current mood.  Last night I stayed up a bit later than I should have to read Zucchini Pie: Granny's Recipe for Life  a recent novel by Susan Alyworth.  It was a good, relaxing, and uplifting read, and has the added bonus of a bunch of scrumptious recipes.   What good books have you read lately?

Saturday, August 24, 2013

National Waffle Day Excitement

Last night DD1 informed me that today would be National Waffle Day, and suggested that we have waffles instead of the traditional pancakes for our Saturday brunch.   So this morning after checking my email and facebook I pulled out the waffle iron and warmed it up, then mixed up some waffle batter.  I also mixed up some nice brown sugar syrup and set in on the stove to boil, then thought, "I wonder what the wonderful world wide web has to say about National Waffle Day?"  So I hopped back on over to the computer to see.  I found a cute video with clips from many different movies that mention waffles, but I don't approve of some of the language I heard, so I won't share it here, but I also found a link to some great Waffle Recipes.  About this time I happened to glance into the kitchen and saw flames shooting out around my boiling over pan of syrup!  I jumped up and turned off the burner, moved the pan off of said burner, then grabbed a box of baking soda out of the cupboard and doused the flames.  Then the fire alarm went off. 

Gentle readers; please do not do this at home.  Please watch your syrup while it is on the stove.  And please, put a nice big box of baking soda near your stove where it can be grabbed without a second thought.  It really does work.  I also had a big 12 lb bag of baking soda from Costco sitting on the counter since I had recently used it to fill the little 16 oz box and hadn't yet returned it to the store room downstairs.  But all I needed to douse the fire was the little box.  And also notice, the fire alarm did not go off until after  the fire had already been extinguished.  Please be vigilant and careful whenever cooking.       

I have just finished scrubbing and cleaning up all of the spilled and hardened brown sugar candy off of my stove top and all of the baking soda off of the burners and the burner drip pan and even underneath the burners.  I ended up cleaning all of the burners and drip pans and the entire stove top and underneath, just because I was already cleaning, of course.  So, part of the Saturday chores, though not really intended to be done today, are done.   My blessing in disguise.  May you all have a happy National Waffle Day, and be careful and safe while cooking your waffles and your syrup.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Friday's Fave's

My Favorite quotes from Facebook this past week:

Everyone of us is more beloved than we can possibly understand or imagine.  Let us therefore be kinder to one another and kinder to ourselves.
            Elder Robert D. Hales

Keep trying.  Keep believing.  Be happy.  Don’t get discouraged.  Things will work out. 
            Gordon B. Hinckley

If you don’t have time to pray and read scriptures, you are busier than God ever intended you to be.

“Be thou humble; and the Lord thy God shall lead thee by the hand, and give thee answer to thy prayers.”
            D&C 112:10

It is the immutable law that the more you give away, the more you receive.  You make a living by what you get, but you make a lifetime by what you give. 
            President Thomas S. Monson 

Nothing is going to startle us more when we pass through the veil to the other side than to realize how well we know our Father and how familiar his face is to us.
            Ezra Taft Benson

Counsel with the Lord in all thy doings, and he will direct thee for good; yea when thou liest down at night lie down unto the Lord, that he may watch over you in your sleep; and when thou risest in the morning let thy heart be full of thanks unto God; and if ye do these things, ye shall be lifted up at the last day.”
            Alma 37:37

Do not educate your children to be rich.  Educate them to be happy, so when they grow up they will know the value of things, not the price.

How we speak to our children and the words we use can encourage and uplift them. . . They come to this earth ready to listen.
            Rosemary M. Wixom

Success is not Final.  Failure is not Fatal.  It is the courage to continue that counts.
            Winston Churchill

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Text Messages and such

Thirty five years ago when my BFF and I loaded our clothes and books and dishes into her car and headed off south to college, we didn't have computers or cell phones.  I had a beautiful bright blue manual Smith-Corona typewriter, a White brand sewing machine, and a bright orange wind up alarm clock.  I probably had some electric hair rollers, an electric hair dryer and a curling iron.  Those were my appliances.  I did not have electronics.  My parents wrote me letters once a week, usually on Sunday evenings and mailed them off the next day.  It was good to get their letters mid-week as a pick me up and something to look forward to.  I tried to answer their letters regularly, but I'm sure there were weeks that I missed.  Ocassionally I would call home, like when I realized that I was way over my head in my Chemistry 105 class and needed a shoulder to cry on, but most of our communication was through the mail.  I headed off to school, and though I missed home and my parents, I forged into my new life and adventures with little input from or reporting back to home.

In today's world of instant communication, it's a bit harder to let go when the kids leave home.   I think that all of the older kids had cell phones when they left, and I know that they all had access to computers and the internet and email.   And now most of us have access to skype too.  I try to keep my intrusions into their new adult lives to a minimum, while at the same time letting them know that I love them, support them in their new lives and goals, care about their triumps and struggles, and that I am available to help if needed and able.  I'm sure that sometimes in the past I have been a tad bit too interferring, and at times not involved or communicating quite as much as I should have been.  It's a delicate balance to judge.

This week has been a bit different for me as DD4, our youngest child, begins her first week living away from home.  I have no children at home to prepare for school, rouse in the mornings, help prepare lunches for, or drive to school and other activities.  (At one point we had children in four different schools!)  The first week of school has been very hands off for me this year.  It is a very new experience to not send the kids off in the morning and then quiz them on it all later that afternoon while snacking on milk and cookies. 

Today was the first day that I actually called and talked to DD4 for a few minutes, as  I don't want to interfere too much with her adventures with her new roommates and classmates, but we have texted and/or emailed one another at least daily, usually several times a day.  I'm sure it will taper off as the weeks pass, but for now it is a blessing to have such instant ways to keep in touch, to know that she is doing ok, and that she has received the small package of items that were left behind when she moved . . . even though she was more excited about the expected package of text books that has not yet arrived!!

So, to my dear children . . . how am I doing???   And to other parents out there, how and how often do you communicate with your Young Adult children???


Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Home Grown Tomatoes

Tonight's tomato harvest.

I didn't grow up eating home grown tomatoes.  The elevation of my hometown makes it an area with a rather short growing season, prone to both early and late frosts.  I only remember my Dad tryng tomatoes in our garden once, and they never did ripen.  But this year, my dear sister who happens to still live in my hometown has been producing home grown tomatoes!  In fact, she had ripe tomatoes even earlier than I did this year.  See her lovely tomato plant?  She picked her first tomato on August 10th, a day or two before I picked my first one.  I have had several more ripen since then, and tonight we had fresh tomato sanwiches for dinner along with our leftover lasagna and green beans.  Ahhh, the blessings of August and hopefully several months to come.  Gotta love those tomatoes!

Dear Sister 4's lovely red tomato.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013


No, this will not be a post about Imelda Marcos or other ladies who have huge collections of shoes.  Nor will it be about how certain types of shoes tend to make a woman's legs and calves more beautiful.  When it comes to shoes, I go for the simple, comfortable ones, usually black or brown leather that will not easily scuff and that can be worn with almost any outfit.  I don't own a large collection of shoes, and I prefer low heels and shoes wide enough to comfortably accommodate my wide toes.  I am grateful for the shoes that I do have, that protect my feet and allow me to walk in safety and comfort all of the places that I need to go.  Tonight I was mowing lawn in an area that sports a particularly nasty weed with particularly nasty and thorny seeds.  In the past I have tried to mow the lawn there with my comfy rubbery croc wannabes, and have regretted the decision as the nasty thorny weed seeds have attached themselves all over the bottom of the shoes, and sometimes into my skin.  Tonight I wore my old, sensible K-Mart bought Cobbie Cuddlers with nice thick soles and leather uppers that not only cushion my big tired feet, but protect them as well.  I often like going bare foot, but mowing the lawn is a time when I am particular grateful for shoes.

Monday, August 19, 2013


The raingutters along the front of our house have been sagging for quite some time.  Several winters ago I had hung our traditional Christmas lights along the gutter in the front of the house, and heavy snow and ice created quite the weight on the gutters.  They started to sag, and then pulled away from the roofline where they had been nicely anchored since we have owned the house.  The son of one of our dear neighbors noticed the sad condition of the raingutters the following spring, and enlisted the help of one of his friends to reattach the gutters to their proper place.  I was very grateful to both of these young men, as DH has an injured rotator cuff and cannot lift anything higher than his shoulder, our own sons both live out of state, and of course I would not know where to begin with such types of repairs, even if I were physically capable of handling them myself.   

 I haven't hung Christmas lights on the raingutters since that time, but the ice and the snow still tend to collect on the raingutters, and this past winter they again were dislodged from the roof line and have been sagging in front of our front windows all summer.  Last week our dear neighbor approached me with the offer that he and his son would like to come over and again repair our dear old raingutters.  And sometime in the past few days when I have not been home, they did so.  The raingutters look great.  The house looks much better and a lot less like some careless homeowners hang out here.  We try to keep things up fairly well, but haven't done a very good job this year, so I'm especially grateful, once again, for wonderful neighbors who care and who gracefully serve us.   

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Good Roommates

Yesterday morning after breakfast DD4 loaded her boxes of carefully and lovingly packed books, dishes, clothes and other personal treasures into DH's car, and DH, DD1, and I drove her the one and one half hours to her new home away from home at college.  The dorm  apartment where she will be living for the next nine months is an older dorm, but appears to be comfortable enough for a dorm, and is the least expensive option of campus housing available for freshmen students without being obligated to buy a meal plan.  Yes, DD4 will be responsible for cooking her own meals, washing her own clothes, and finding a part time job, all along with adjusting to her first year of college classes.  She's pretty much on her own.  Along with her 5 roommates.

We were able to meet and get somewhat acquainted with two of DD4's new roommates, and briefly met one other.  Two of the six had not yet moved in by the time we finished helping unpack and made a trip out to purchase essentials such as a new bathrobe, a power strip, and enough groceries to last a few weeks.  But the others seem to be good girls with similar interests as DD4, and I feel good about her situation there.  It comforts a mother's heart.

During all of my college years, I never did move into an apartment  with all strangers.  My freshman and sophomore years I lived with my best friend from home, one summer I lived with my older sister, another year with a cousin, and another summer with my younger sister.  I always had good roommates.  We had some fun times together, and generally respected each other and each other's property, and had very few problems with any of them.  (The exception being one roommate who stuck me with a huge long distance phone bill.  There is something to be said for personal cell phones I guess.  :)     I still love and admire and respect my former roommates and have recently been able to reconnect with several of them via facebook. 

But, my senior year, I had the best roommate ever, and we're still roommates!  Yes, during my senior year of college DH and I were newlyweds.  It was a fun year setting up our home in our little rented house, learning to tolerate each other's little quirks and differences, and looking forward to the birth of our DS1, who was born just days after my graduation!   We've lived in numerous different homes in our moves across the country and back, and are still adjusting to the different challenges and changes that life brings our way.  Even though one or the other of us will sometimes retreat to another room to sleep to avoid keeping the other awake with a reading light, or, (heaven forbid) a louder than usual snoring,  DH is a wonderful roommate, and I'm grateful that he's mine!

Friday, August 16, 2013

Friday's Fave's

Here are a few favorite quotes from facebook this past week:

When we want to speak to God, We pray.  And when we want him to speak to us, we search the scriptures.    Elder Robert D. Hale
Chop your own wood and it will warm you twice.    Henry Ford
By becoming the answer to someone’s prayer, we often find the answers to our own.  Dieter F. Uchtdorf
If people sat outside and looked at the stars each night, I’ll bet they’d live a lot differently.  Calvin from Calvin and Hobbs.
You’re braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.   Christopher Robin from Winnie the Pooh.
Heaven on Earth can be created at any address.  Greg Olsen (?)
And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord, and Great shall be the peace of thy children.  3 Nephi 22:3.
Let us never forget to pray.  God lives.  He is near.  He is real.  He is our Father.  He is accessible to all who will seek Him.  Gordon B. Hinckley.
There is no mistaking a real book when one meets it.  It is like falling in love.  (?)
Prepare and Send missionaries.  I hope that if at this conference I make no other point, I have made this one, that you sen your boys on missions.  The minute the come into your arms, you begin to teach them.  President  Spencer W. Kimball.
Develop mission-mindedness in children. In recent years nearly every time I see a little boy, I say, "You will make a great missionary, won't you?" You plant into his mind a seed. It is just like plants and other vegetation. It grows and grows, and if a father and a mother talk to their little boys, particularly, and their little girls, about going on a mission-when they are infants, almost-that little seed will grow and grow and they won't need to say anything about missionaries when they get a little older. The boys plan it. - Spencer W. Kimball

Thursday, August 15, 2013

River Parkway

Yesterday after I left work DD4 and I had some errands to run . . . eye doctor, library, craft store etc, but afterwards we had a little bit of time before the sun went down to visit one of my favorite places in our area, a hiking and biking trail that runs for miles alongside the river that runs through our metropolitan area.  Back when DD4 was a toddler, DS1, DS2, and DD3 were in Junior High School.  They are all close in age, and were each one grade apart.  They all three had the same 9th grade Biology Teacher who every fall had the tradition of assigning his classes to assemble an insect collection as their first project for the year.  We do have a fairly large backyard where we could find a fair number of insects, but the assignment specifically required that the students find a wide variety of insects, which meant visiting a wide variety of locations in order to collect said insects.  So, every fall we went out in search of insects, usually with all six children in tow.  One of our favorite places to visit was the river parkway trail which has boardwalks over a large swampy area filled with all sorts of interesting wildlife, including insects. 

 DS2 and his friends later starting riding their bikes along the trail on many hot summer afternoons, and sometimes the younger kids and I would also make the trip, at least for a mile or two down the trail.  Sometimes we have taken a picnic along, and I haven even taken cub scouts and young women's groups to the parkway for hikes and activities.  As the older children have grown and moved away from home, DD4 and I have spent many summer evenings searching out parks and other places to hike and take photos and just enjoy the long summer evenings.  The parkway trail has been one of our favorite places to return to time and again, but for some reason we have not visited there yet this summer, until last night.  So as the red sun set in the western sky behind the haze of distant wildfires, we again hiked a part of one of our favorite trails as one of our last hurrahs for the summer, the last summer before my last child leaves for college.  Bittersweet, but beautiful, all the way around. 

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Thrift Stores, Dollar Stores, and Discount Stores

In preparation for her eminent move from home to college dorm, DD4 and I have been doing a bit of shopping the last little while.  She has been quite careful with the money that she has received as gifts and from babysitting, and has been able to purchase quite a few nice things to help her with setting up housekeeping and entering the adult world of the college campus.  Of course much of the credit goes to our choice of shopping locales.   The set of beautiful stoneware plates that we both love came from a thrift store, as well as an almost like new quality saucepan and an awesome old fashioned hand held can opener that I would trade her for in a heartbeat.  (They just don’t seem to make can openers like they used to.  Has anyone else noticed that lately?) 
The dollar stores provide many varied options on basic kitchen needs in a quality that will well serve the college dorm kitchen.  It’s so much fun to shop there and know that you can walk away with quite a bit after paying just a little.  Just think carefully before throwing everything in the cart, because the $$ can add up quickly, and many items can actually be found for less at the grocery store next door. 
Many very nice brand name clothes can be found in the thrift stores, and I think the selection there is much better than at any of the local malls.  And the discount stores are also great places to find bargains on items that you just want to have brand new, like sheets, and other unmentionables.   Just a bit at a time, and we just may have DD4 adequately prepared to face the exciting world of college life on her own!

Monday, August 12, 2013

Thirty Years

Thirty years ago yesterday, DH and I were married, not only for this life, but forever, as long as we keep the covenants and promises that we made to God and to each other.  It has not been an entirely blissful marriage; those belong in fairy tales.  It has been a very good marriage, and has lived up to my hopes, dreams and expectations.  Of course I have not been immune from grumbling and complaining at times, as I will be the first to admit that I have a tendency to do that.  However, while growing up, I hoped and dreamed of a good, kind, faithful and hardworking, intelligent man who would someday love me, marry me,  and be a good father to my children.  DH has been that and more.   He is faithful, fun, hardworking, intelligent, patient, and very good looking!

 We did not have a grand celebration to mark the day, after all, it was a Sunday.  Usually we will go out for dinner or a movie to celebrate, but we don't do that on Sundays in our family, and that's the way we want it.  Besides, we have already taken two family trips this summer and have stretched the budget to its limits.  So, we went to church and had a quiet afternoon and evening resting and eating and visiting with DD1 and DD4.  We received happy wishes from the rest of the children via phone calls and internet, and from many other friends and relatives on facebook and even via US Mail.  Perhaps the greatest compliment was this comment posted by DD3 on her facebook page:  

Happy 30th anniversary to my wonderful parents! They are truly an example to me of what it means to be dedicated to one another through thick and thin, and because of that example I won't settle for anything less. I love you both!
 To top off the day DD1 also presented us with tickets to go and listen to Manheim Steamroller in concert this coming December!  Manheim Steamroller was the music of choice in our courting days whenever we were traveling by car, which was actually quite often the summer that we met and then later the summer that we were engaged.  So it is a very fitting and lovely gift which we will more throughly enjoy come December.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Lunch Breaks

I've now been working full time for one whole week.  This is my very first full time job, a bit of an adjustment for an old(er) lady like me who has always considered herself and her job title as "Mom" first and foremost, even though I have been working part time in my present job for over eleven years.  It has been a bit of an adjustment in more ways than one, and not so different in my others. 

Perhaps one of the best perks of working full time is my "new" lunch break.  As a part time employee I was officially entitled to one 15 minute break during my work day . . . just enough time to visit the rest room, stretch my legs, and maybe grab a quick snack to eat on my way back to my desk . . .eating at the desk is strongly discouraged as we have quite a bit of public traffic in our work area.   I now have a full thirty minutes of precious personal lunch time.  It has been wonderful to take my lunch outside and sit in the warm summer air (the office is usually a bit too well airconditioned for most of our personal taste, especially for desk work) under the trees, watching mothers bringing their young children to play in the fountain and listening to the sound of flowing water.  I now have an entire half hour to sit in solitude, in the fresh air and sunshine, to stretch, relax, and just think or not think.  This is not a luxury that stay at home mothers have.  They are always on the job, cooking, fixing, serving, cleaning up, refeering, coaxing, etc. etc.   How long has it been since I had a true lunch break?  I may have rewarded myself with a lunch break sometimes while I was in college, but even then I was often eating on the run between classes or on my way to work.

The biggest problem with my wonderful outdoor lunchbreak?  I can't see the time on my cell phone while sitting outside to know how much longer I have left on my precious break.  Perhaps I'll have to learn how to set the alarm . . . . 

Monday, August 5, 2013

A Healthy Glow

I have been blessed to enjoy a nice little walk to work most days lately, and as a result have also been blessed with a nice healthy glow once I arrive.  (I was informed long long ago that true ladies never sweat nor perspire, but instead, they "glow", just in case you weren't aware of that little fact.)  So while the other sweet ladies are shivering in the early morning air conditioning, I am sitting at my desk, comfortably glowing in the same air, at least for a few minutes until my glow has faded and I am forced to don my sweater.  If I forget to bring my sweater along on my early morning walk, I either must sit and shiver with the other sweet ladies or else borrow a sweater from the collection in our office coat closet.  

The website at MedlinePlus explains that perspiration or sweat is clear, salty liquid produced by glands in your skin.  "Glowing" is how your body cools itself off.  Sweating a lot is normal when it is hot, you exercise, are anxious, or have a fever.  Sweating too little can be life threatening because your body can overheat.  I'm grateful for a body that functions properly.  I'm grateful for a "Healthy Glow."    

Friday, August 2, 2013

Crown Molding (and issues with blogger)

So, I've been pretty negligent about posting my gratefuls lately.  And then blogger was acting up and the only way I could figure out how to get into the area to compose a new blog post was to upload a photo.  And then I could very carefully write a blog post (such as the previous one about bees and ladybugs and butterflies), as long as I didn't try to navigate using the arrow keys.  

Well, I don't have a very good camera and my phone photos are not acceptable to show off to the general public, but today I broke down and took this phone photo of the beautiful crown molding in the corner of our dining room between our entryway and our living room so that I could have a way to get in and write a blog post.

And then low and behold, I can now get in to the blog creation area of blogger without uploading a photo!  So what's up with that?  And now blogger isn't even liking my inferior phone photos and will not load them onto the blog.  I guess I'll keep trying, so check back later to see the beautiful crown molding that is the subject of this post.   I know that my computer is getting a bit up there in years, but I still like it and want to keep using it for a while still . . . anyway . . .  It still appears that the mouse won't click into the screen, but I can use the arrows.  And so even though I can't load the picture, I can write the post.  So, here it goes: 

A little more than 17 years ago we bought our current home, the first home we have ever purchased in our nearly 30 years of marriage.  We did a lot of striping of wallpaper, pulling out of old carpet, moving off walls, replacing of doors, caulking, sanding, painting etc. etc.  The children and other extended family members helped.  A lot.  Every day after school we all worked on the house.   I believe that we spent Christmas Eve of that year painting.  It was a very busy time. 

One of the things that my DH insisted on was installing crown molding in our entry way, dining room and living room.  He spent a lot of time selecting the molding pieces (three different moldings--two for the base and then another on the top) cutting them just right, installing, and painting them.  Initially I was not as excited as he was about the crown molding, but he wanted to do it so badly, and I must say that he did an excellent job.  Some days when I am tired I just sit down and look up at the beautiful crown molding that represents a labor of love from my dear DH.  It adds a touch of elegance to our otherwise rather ordinary, very lived in home.  I can sit and rest from a busy day, and feel a bit of calmness and peace while gazing at our still elegant and beautiful crown molding.  I love it.  Isn't it great?