Monday, April 23, 2018


Yesterday afternoon I was invited to go to the park with my daughter, her husband, and my little grandson. So often we cross paths and don't connect, but yesterday I went along. And I took my camera. While our little one explored the playground, another little one arrived. He looked at me, I looked at him, and we both thought the same thing. "I think I know you." It was Enzo, one of my little friends from work. It was a good afternoon. I'd been to church, seen my brother, and gone to the park.

I try to keep myself as busy as possible, because down time leaves me lonely and aching inside. I work, I go to church, serve in Sunday school, visit my brother every other week, attend my CoDA meeting on Mondays, and visit the pottery studio, but sometimes when I crawl into bed at night, I find myself just wanting to go home... This is one of those times.

I wish that it was simple, with no complicated issues clouding the way, but it isn't. It's not a matter of grudge bearing, unforgiveness, or me being selfish. Often what looks like unforgiveness or  selfishness to an outsider, is actually anything but. Deep inside I want what was, or what I thought was. I want to be blissfully unaware and naive. And then again I don't because that doesn't solve problems, it only perpetuates them.

Tonight I am teary and broken. The next couple weeks are going to be painful. I'm not sure I'm ready but I don't know what else to do. I pray to God He will carry me through, or reach through the heavens and lead me in a different direction if that is His will. I never wanted to be alone, but there are moments when I feel very much so. Tomorrow is a new day. There will be little ones looking for me. There will be hugs and kisses, and I will be renewed once again. What would I do without this job?

Sunday, April 22, 2018


Playing along with my sister Priscilla.

Reading ... Currently reading The Great House of God by Max Lucado. I'm about halfway through a book that could have taken a couple of days but has taken more like three weeks so far. This is partially due to my napping through lunch hours and feeling generally miserable the last week or so.

Playing ... Playing with babies mornings and afternoons, doing online jigsaw puzzles at night when I should be reading that book. :0)

Watching ... Watching children grow. It's pretty amazing how fast the little ones grow and learn. I don't watch much television, but I did watch Pirates of the Caribbean with my kids last weekend.

Cooking ... Cooking lunch for children. Goulash, grilled cheese, veggie lasagna, chicken salad, sloppy joes... and banana bread. I don't cook much at home unless you count toaster waffles or yams in the microwave. I have been making a lot of tea lately...

Calling ... Usually Rachel, although I should give the hairdresser another call.

Crafting ... pottery, just pottery

Loving ... I'm loving the sunshine and warmer temperatures this weekend. Even the grass is happy. It turned green today!

Disliking ... I dislike being sick. I am sick and tired of being sick. I fear I will be getting better just in time for allergy season to be in full bloom. Oh, dear!

Celebrating ... That Jesus loves me and has a plan for my life.

Feeling ... I'm feeling tired and achy at the moment, and my nose itches, which is a bit disconcerting because of how dry it's already feeling from all the blowing and wiping I've done the past few days.

Listening ... Listening to my computer whir and the water tank click. Just looked up Rich Mullins on youtube.

Wanting ... A week off work to play.

The Barn Collective

Old and new.

Unless one is Amish, the barns going up today are cold and made of sheet metal. This is an old barn, a familiar one with a chicken coop around the back under a shed roof.

Across the road is a new barn. On Easter Sunday it  was just a gravel pad. I hear the new structure ran into some turbulent times during a recent windstorm, but that didn't stop construction for long.

Now we have a nice.... barrier? wall?  Well, it ain't pretty and the drainage issues are already wreaking some havoc on the neighbors. (I liked it better when it was old apple trees.)

I think there's a ball game over at Tom's The weather's finally spring-like.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018


I often feel the urge to write, but today the words don't flow like they did a few years back. I know in time the words will return, but today...

My days blur together. I arrive at the daycare early and stay til supper time. I hug as many little people as ask, and a few that don't, cook the food, and keep the kitchen clean. It's a decent job. It earns me enough money to get by, provides me with much needed love and affection, and keeps me busy doing something worthwhile.  I like it. Perhaps I even love it, but I still find myself longing for a week to wander the countryside with my camera, to sit on the floor with my grandchildren, or to eat a leisurely lunch with a friend. It's a different life than what I had four years ago, different from what I expected life would bring. And it's okay.

I'm making a difference. Perhaps there are those who wouldn't think so, but to a small child away from his or her mother for hours on end, I am making a difference. When a little one reaches for me or crawls into my lap, I am blessed with the privilege of wrapping him in my arms and rendering comfort. I am not mommy and I cannot take her place, but I can offer love, security, and friendship and I think that is pretty important, even if  one little girl did tell me, "We hate goulash." ha ha!

Sunday, April 15, 2018

The Barn Collective

I dug up a couple old pictures this week. My camera (although I've been dragging it around with me) has not been terribly prolific lately. I chalk it up to the gloominess of a New York spring and my job, which keeps me from gallivanting across the county.

Somewhere out in the drumlins of Wayne County I snagged these photos. It's those rides with my brother that occasionally produce a photo or two.  I'm not sure the location of the first barn, but the "ghost barn" and silo are at the foot of the Brantling Ski Slope in Sodus, NY.

I'm staying home today. The cold that began it's slow and sneaky attack last week, is in full bloom today. Guess I'll have to catch the sermon online.

The Barn Collective

Friday, April 13, 2018

My Best Friend

One day last week, on my way home from work, I was feeling teary and alone. "Lord," I said, "I don't have a best friend anymore, and I need one." He answered with a gentle reminder. "What about your sister Rachel?" he inquired, and I had to agree that she is very likely my present best friend. When I got home and turned on my computer, I found she had been messaging me at the very moment I'd been telling God I didn't have a best friend. How is that for an answer to prayer?

I was supposed to me the Cabinetmaker yesterday afternoon, but our plans changed. I knew my sister was going to be home alone for a few hours, so I gave her a call. We decided to meet up, grab a few tacos at QDOBA, and work on a puzzle. It was a good idea. Tonight she sent me another message. "Working on the puzzle..." it said, and so I went over to help her finish.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

To Sleep or Not to Sleep?

I wanted to write something, just to let you all know I'm still here, but I have nothing clever or important to share. I don't even have any fantastic photos to share. It's been a "normal" week aside from being awake for what felt like the entire time last night. Every time I'd doze off certain thoughts would return and my heart would start pounding, waking me up again and again. So, tonight I am tired, even though I took a nap on my lunch break. Perhaps I'll turn off the light grab my book (a paper one), and try to sleep better tonight.

Sunday, April 08, 2018

Follow the Leader

I was the lead teacher for the "Runners" class at church today. It wasn't a total surprise, but I hadn't technically "agreed to it" ahead of time either. Mostly I was feeling overwhelmed when the request showed up online. I never answered,and secretly hoped someone else would fill in. No one did. Ha ah!

Thirteen 3-4 year old children and two teen helpers. I took the easy way out and we watched the video because I didn't look at the lesson ahead of time. We all survived, even me. I didn't have time to play blocks and build a tower with Grady like I did last week, but he still told me he loved me. How's that for a reward?

Spending an hour with a roomful of small children is not a difficult task for me. These little people, most of them, look forward to being at church. They're glad to see their friends, to play with the toys, sing a song, and watch a video. They color a picture, eat a little bag of cereal, and run around the table. Nothing too hard about that.

The Barn Collective

I borrowed a photo today. Spring is coming, eventually, and I've been thinking on new places to visit.

I've never been to The Apple Farm in Victor, NY and it looks like a cool place to visit. (The barn is from their website.) A fire destroyed their store a couple years back and I'm not even sure if the barn remains. It's a little bit of a hike from here, but also close to Ganondagan State Historic Site, which is directly across the street from where my dad's Aunt Harriet used to live.

Meet us at Tom's.

Saturday, April 07, 2018

Today Was Good

It was a rather nice kind of Saturday. There were no appointments to rush off to, and nothing terribly important to complete. I didn't sleep in, but I didn't get up terribly early either. I made it to both the bank and the pottery studio.

Having a key to the studio is interesting. I let myself in to a dark and deserted building, warmed by the firing kiln and smelling like clay. I did a little of everything today; wedged some clay, glazed some pots, trimmed a few cups, and flopped some bowls. Here and there a few other shelf renters trickled in and out. It's become a comfortable place with mostly comfortable people. Stress and tensions melt away when I am there, and this is a good thing. I stayed a few hours and left feeling relaxed if not prolific.

On the way home I decided to stop and visit my sister. The puzzle we'd started Wednesday evening waited on her dining room table. She offered me a cup of tea while we finished putting it together. I didn't overstay my welcome, and headed for Wegmans and hour or so later. The Barefoot Lumberjack was on his way to Wegmans too. We met in the parking lot so he could retrieve a few tools he's left in the back of the vehicle I'm now driving.

I hadn't intended to take a nap today, but not long after my return home, I curled up on my bed and drifted off. I'll probably be awake all night doing online jigsaw puzzles. Ha ha!

Rachel and I had our picture taken at church last week. I'm sporting my allergy face from Saturday's visit to the zoo. Today I bought some new medicine to combat the pumpkin I turn into when the molds and pollen start flying. I hope it starts working soon so I can get my eyes open again.

So... Yeah.

Trying to think if anything newsworthy happened with me this week... other than picking up a toddler slide and meeting my sisters for dinner.

I didn't go to the pottery studio. Perhaps that will amaze you, but I have plans to go today, after I go to the bank. I have bowls to glaze.

I had a few teary moments this week, but my days are always filled with clamoring children, and hugs and kisses. I got to thinking about the Bucket List I made ten years ago and how small pieces of it are coming true in unexpected ways. Perhaps when I come home this afternoon I'll take some time to revamp it.

The weather is wild. There's a battle being waged and it's bringing a bit of wind. I trust that spring will win in the end, the snow will melt away, and there will be flowers. Humph. Sounds a little bit like life, doesn't it?

Have a great day!

Thursday, April 05, 2018


“Do not judge others, and you will not be judged. For you will be treated as you treat others. Or For God will judge you as you judge others. The standard you use in judging is the standard by which you will be judged. Matthew 7:1-2

Those are some sobering words.

Wednesday, April 04, 2018

Wind, a Runaway Slide, and a Dinner Date

A potpourri of weather, that's what the radio said. It was windy but pleasant when I went out for lunch this afternoon, but a few hours later the gusts were brutal and snow was dancing in the breeze. Lots of wind damage out there today. Six tractor trailers were flipped in the Rochester area! Crazy!

On my way home I picked up a runaway kid's slide... It was blowing into the neighbor's yard from the driveway of a vacant house where it spent this past winter. Yes, I took it home for my grandson, but last night I'd messaged the owner to ask her about it. She hadn't answered my note yet, so I sent her another telling her I'd "rescued" it. It didn't even need to be washed. It was already clean from the recent rain. Number Nine thinks it's fine.

This evening I met my sisters for dinner at Proietti's. Once upon a time, when we were little girls, Prioetti's was a pizza shop. There was an open counter where the cooks rolled, and hand tossed the pizza dough. It was fascinating to watch and that pizza crust was the best around. I haven't had anything like it in a long time. The owner was there at the restaurant this evening so I asked him if he still hand tosses his pizza dough. I think one day I'll splurge on a good old fashioned pizza, close my eyes, and pretend I'm back at Proietti's with Mom, Dad, and my sisters for an evening out.

Sunday, April 01, 2018

The Barn Collective

Since I'm good at pushing the limits on these games, and since I have not a photo of the entire structure, I give you a small fraction of a barn. I'm loving the silo.

Plucked from my parents' slide collection, Dad wasn't going for the barn when he took the picture. He was looking to capture the dairy farmer (his Uncle Joe, in the bowler hat), the farmer's three sons (Dad's youngest cousins), and my dad's brother, my Uncle Art.

Uncle Joe, when I was a little girl, lived on a dairy farm in Caneadea, NY. (Caneadea is a town in Allegany CountyNew York, United States. The population was 2,542 at the 2010 census. The name is from the natives and means "where the heavens rest on earth.")  I always love that little bit of information... I'm not sure this is the farm I remember. Do farmers take their cows and move?

The Cabinetmaker and I drove past Uncle Joe's old farm a year and a half ago, but the trees hid the barn from view and neither of us were brave enough to go knocking on the door of the present farmer's house in order to get a closer look. 

I heard Easter dinner is at Tom's house this year. Come on over!

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Saturday Was Good Too

I had an appointment with our counselor this morning. Life is a challenge but I feel like I'm making progress. Sometimes I forget that progress is the name of the game, and yet it's happening just the same.

I was invited to the zoo today. It was bright, sunny, and dry, with a crisp bite in the air. A beautiful day for the zoo. I drove my own vehicle and met them there. I've missed out on so many trips here and there. This one was a gift, a bit of time together that put something back into my soul, something I hardly knew was lacking.

Nine, when freed from the confines of his stroller, found running about and splashing through a puddle to be great fun. He's hard to keep track of so his freedom was short lived.

On my way home from our outing, I stopped at the pottery studio, because that is what I do these days. I can't go into Wegmans anymore without mud on my clothes. Ha ha!

Friday, March 30, 2018

Good Friday

The daycare was closed today. They NEVER close that daycare. But they did today. I guess miracles still happen.

My alarm went off as usual and I got up like usual too, but instead of going to work, I went to drop my car off for some repairs. I was told it would likely take the better part of the morning. A few hours, maybe. More time than it would take to eat breakfast in the little diner across the street.

My friend Brenda met me for breakfast. It was a short, but sweet visit. When she left I gave up my table for incoming customers, moved to the counter, and called my son Dave. I walked down the street to his house, let myself in, and spent the morning with The Trio. Lucas snuggled up beside me and I sat with my arm wrapped around him for a good long time. We both soaked it in. Him because I don't see him much, and me because he's nine and probably won't want to snuggle his grandma for too much longer. Maybe my grandchildren love me as much as the kids at work after all.

When the vehicle was back in working order, and a new inspection sticker graced the windshield, I headed back to Webster and met my favorite Bethany for lunch at Panera Bread. We need to meet like this more often.

Before rush hour traffic could descend upon us, I took a drive to the pottery studio to pay my shelf fee for the month. I stayed to trim a bowl and left soon after. Perhaps I shall make a return trip tomorrow. We'll see.

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Pie Dish

It's wet and rainy. Not a great day for outdoor pictures, but in spite of that I took my little bowl out to the back porch and took a few photos. I'm still very pleased with this little creation. It makes me smile and I'm sure I'll be making many more like it. I already have one on my shelf waiting to be trimmed and fired.

Tomorrow afternoon I need to go back to the studio and pay my monthly shelf fee. The money will eventually come out of my bank account, but at the moment I am waiting on a new bank card. It's been an interesting month without my debit card which I cancelled four weeks ago because it went AWOL. The new one never showed and so it was cancelled also (today) and another new one ordered. It's like living in the "old days" where cash was the way to pay.

Tomorrow morning I will wake up at the usual time and head off to get my vehicle repaired and inspected, catch a light breakfast at the little diner where my boy works on weekends, and do lunch with my favorite Bethany. It's kind of nice having a day off to plan something. Maybe I'll even take pictures of my food. Ha ha!

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Bits and Pieces

* My Minnesota family has come and gone. It hardly seems possible they were here just last night... How can it feel so long ago already? I didn't take pictures this time. Not many anyway. Just a few at the restaurant on my birthday.

* My sweet brother is having a struggle again. He took a fall on Saturday and although the doctor can't find anything wrong, Tim is having trouble walking. I didn't get out to see him on Sunday. Another meeting kept me away, but Rachel went. She sent me a "selfie" of her and our big brother.

* I don't have much else to share. This week finds me tired and a little overwhelmed. I am thankful for a short work week as the daycare is closed on Good Friday. I won't be sleeping in because I have an appointment to get my van fixed, but I hope to catch up with myself as I catch up with a few other things too.

* I stopped by the pottery studio after work and found a few of my glazed pieces waiting. Pleasantly surprised by how they turned out. I'll have to take a few pictures when I can get outside in the natural light. Not sure what the chances are of sunshine this weekend, but even rain looks good on pottery.

Sunday, March 25, 2018

The Barn Collective

Yesteryear in Angelica, NY...

Tom, I wish there was a better photo of the barns, but I suppose if not for the family members, there might not be a photo with a barn in it at all.

Visit Tom.

Thursday, March 22, 2018


It was my birthday but rather than getting older, I got younger instead. It all started a few years back when I didn't want to be 45... (see here) Today I caught my oldest son at 36 on my way back to 30. He'll be 37 in September but I've already done that. Twice. Ha ha!

I came home from the daycare to find the house brimming with children. It was awesome. Five grandkids in one room. What could be better than that except ten?

This evening I went out to dinner with my Minnesota family and Little Bear and I ate steak. Oh, yummy!

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Chaos, Cars, and Cookies

Painful. The last couple weeks have been painful. Last week I was pushed to my limit. I was already emotional and the words of a complete stranger left me in a torrent of tears. I felt defeated at the time but the good Lord knew I needed a good long cry in preparation for this week's drama, which I won't get into here. I will say that although I don't like all the commotion, I believe I am learning to deal with it in healthier ways.

My vehicle went in for an inspection on Monday and did not pass. A few repairs and a new tire toward the end of next week should make me safe and legal again, albeit a few hundred dollars poorer. Ha ha!

It was my turn to bring a snack for Treat Day at work. I signed up for the week I couldn't forget... and brought in Birthday Cake Oreos and milk. I don't know anyone who doesn't like Oreo Cookies, and hey! March is a great time for a birthday party. Dontch'a think? Too bad they aren't gluten free.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Home Alone/ Bits and Pieces

* I was substitute teacher for the three year old class at church this morning. There were eighteen little ones and I had two helpers who know more about running the class than I do. It was a good hour. There were no major catastrophes and everyone left smiling.

* I met the Cabinetmaker for lunch after church. We exchanged vehicles as mine is due for an inspection which is difficult to schedule working 7:30 am until 4:30 or 5 pm. I came home after lunch. Perhaps if I had my own car I would have gone back to the pottery studio this afternoon, but I stayed home, mostly alone. I'm not entirely sure how I feel about that.

* Tomorrow I go back to work and into the arms of a dozen or more little ones who will clamor about my knees looking for a bit of attention. I will make Sloppy Joe's for lunch, and hopefully have some time to snuggle my little friend Jonah who is rather attached to me. He cries when I leave the room. Poor little guy! Ha ha!

* In the evening I will go to my CoDA meeting and hope someone shows up beside myself. Last week there were two of us and I was the meeting leader. How about that? Good thing it isn't too hard to read out of the leader's manual. It was a good meeting in spite of small numbers.

* Later this week Minnesota is coming to visit. I am excited, and a bit apprehensive at the same time. Family dynamics are a little strained... I am attempting to step back and let my kids work out the details while being available at the same time. I don't know if I'm doing things right or not, but I'm trying. Perhaps I should charge my camera battery. :0)

The Barn Collective

Another barn from my drive home from church last week. State Rd. Webster, NY. It's kind of sad to think of all the barns that have been lost through the years. Those metal pole barns just aren't the same as these old beauties.

Stop over to the Barn Collective. If we can get enough of a crowd maybe Tom will cook up a bunch of flapjacks! It's maple syrup and pancake season!!!

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Busy, Busy

It's been a busy week at work. My cape is a bit tattered. (My superhero cape, ya know?) Some days I feel a bit like Wonder Woman. Hey! I even got that stack of food put away, and let me tell you, getting everything in the freezer is nothing short of miraculous.

I'm still reveling in the attention of small children. They fight over me. Ha ha! Who have thought? I love them all. I have so many little friends and every day I snuggle new little ones who (maybe) will fight over me in another year or so.

I left this little sculpture on my boss's desk a couple weeks ago. Told her it was a self portrait.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018


I've spent my life loving little ones, and if God will grant my petition, I will spent the rest of my days doing the same.

Several days ago I found this photo hiding in my computer. It's a short drive back to 1979 when I seldom wore shoes. I preferred to wear my socks out on the street and driveway. My mom was a certified daycare provider and someone decided she would be a perfect candidate for an advertisement for new daycare moms. Thus the photograph. One of these children was a visiting neighbor.

The little guy in my arms if Jeffy. He was two, wild, and rascally. We loved him! Mom watched him from the time he was a year old until he started kindergarten. He would have turned 41 years old in February but a late March snowstorm closed school and Jeff went out on his snowmobile for an afternoon of what should have been teenage fun. Instead he had an accident and suffered a serious head injury. He died 26 years ago today when he was just fifteen.

I didn't know Jeff as a teenager. In my mind he's still a preschool child wandering about Mom's house with his "ratty afghan," but I think of him every year when those last winter storms of March dump a foot or two of snow on us and snowmobiles buzz down the road and across the fields. Somewhere his mother is aching as she remembers her sweet boy.

I looked at the photo a day or two ago and thought how I haven't really changed all that much from my own fifteen year old self.  I still hold and snuggle little ones in the very same way, they still know I love them, and I think somehow or other I actually turned into my mom.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

The Barn Collective

Perhaps our snowstorms are over for the season. Then again, perhaps not. One can never be totally sure, can they?

Last week I took my camera to church so I could catch these two barns in snow. I have a tendency to be redundant when it comes to barns, especially good looking barns that I pass often. (Here they are before... one and two.)

It's Daylight Savings Time at The Barn Collective. We're up "early" and in need of some coffee.