Coffee Chat: Oh My

Come in and have some coffee.  I keep trying to get down deep enough into the freezer to find those Banana Doughnuts I made early in the month but doggone if I can find them.  The freezer continues to burgeon with foodstuffs.  I had hoped to have made some dint in it but I haven't really.  There is a bag of ice in there but every time I take it out, John says "Oh no!  You're not going to toss that gourmet ice are you?"  He means it.  I put it back and shuffle stuff around a bit more and open up a space just about big enough for one jar of something and immediately we have one jar of something to go right into that spot.  So no dint, no doughnuts...but we do have an abundance of ice.

We've had  some weather here abouts.  Nothing touched us.  Indeed we'd never have known it was more than a typical winter rain had it not been for the local weather men and the routine beeps of hazardous weather reports on the TV.  The few branches that blew down were dead ones that had been hanging on for no reason we understood way up in the tops of trees and even so there were few to deal with.  The latest news reports say that the two day storm total was at 18 tornados touching down and they were still investigating areas with damage to try and determine how many more.  They were suspecting we had 22 at least.  There were deaths about 100 miles south of us and a loss of homes.  

The only recorded incident in our county may have been a tornado. I haven't been able to find any reports of it but Mama told me about it.   A 96 year old woman was sitting next to a plate glass window, when the window imploded and part of her roof was ripped off.  She had no injuries.  Her family found her standing in the kitchen.  She told a reporter, "I was a mite shook up for about a minute."   I should guess so.  And I'll just bet you she moved a lot quicker than she normally does, too! The local paper does mention this today and declared it a tornado.  This woman's home and another on the property, as well as a barn, were damaged.

I have posted this in various posts but will repeat it:  There will be no more Questions, Answers, And Comments posts.  They take up a lot of time which I might use to be writing other posts.  Also, I want to be more timely in my replies to you all.  So...If you ask a question or I want to get back to you on a comment, I will be replying in the comments on the same post.  Just be sure to check back for answers.  I am not ignoring anyone who asks a question.  Every now and then one of you asks a question and it sparks a post (like Becky's about making yogurt, which I answered via a full post this week), but for the most part comments and replies will be made in the comments section of individual posts.

The struggle of keeping track of days is a very real one when you live with a crazy schedule like ours. If John worked the same days each week it would be easier but he actually works seven days, one of each of the weekdays all through the four week monthly cycle. To complicate matters these past two weeks he added in two half days and has taken off a day in the next week...So any hope we have of grasping the schedule is always shaken up hard by adding in more odd days.   I either wake in a dead panic thinking I've slept past 5am or am shocked to pieces when the alarm does go off at 5am.  We are constantly looking at one another asking "What day is it?" because even looking at the calendar isn't much help if you don't know where you are.  Thank goodness the cell phones and computers have a date on them!  You'd be surprised what a huge help that is.

Days, I forget.  Dates tend to stick hard in my mind...not always the correct date, nor necessarily the date that is coming up right away, but dates when we have appointments or an event of some sort.  The trouble is that it might be a couple of weeks away but when I awake I automatically go right to that date...and that is the date I think it is in my head until I orient myself with a calendar.  You'd think that would be enough.  No, I must reorient myself repeatedly all through the day.

Yesterday morning I was sure it was Wednesday (and it was) and that today would be Friday (obviously a grave error on my part).  Somewhere between the two I'd completely left out the day the carpet was meant to be installed (Thursday) but perhaps that was a bit of intuition?  It turned out they cancelled and rescheduled for Friday. That was good because I was worn out after sorting out the guest room and then starting on the music room.  Muscles ached and I was wondering just how it would be possible for John to do that clearing before the men showed up at 8am Thursday morning.  When he called to tell me that they'd asked to change dates, I was only mildly put out.  I had a hair appointment and fun planned for Friday, but I was also glad.  I'd been working my way around the music room stripping pictures from the walls and moving the children's music equipment and wondering just why on earth he had put that in that place and why there was a box of CDs here when they were all meant to be in the record cabinet in the living room, when he called and told me of the change.  I sighed heavily and said "Well good then!  I'll just quit clearing out this room and leave it to you tomorrow!"  Since I'd already cleared the guest room I'd had quite enough of that sort of job.  The living room is already piled up with stuff from those two rooms.

I was sorry to miss my hair appointment but I have set up another for next week.  John has the entire week off (another source of our daily confusion is when he has these long blocks of time off) and he can go roam about Home Depot while I get my hair cut.  I won't get to play about in the stores as I'd intended because unless we're roaming the aisles of a DIY store or standing in the automotive aisle at Walmart he thinks shopping is no fun.  And when I'm in the automotive aisle I'm inclined to agree with him!

So the hair appointment was rescheduled but not for sure since the girl whose calendar it was is supposed to have a meeting the morning I rescheduled for and I was all set for us to work on the clearing out of the music room.  John came in from work last night and said "What do you have going on next week?"  "What?...I haven't made any plans except to get my hair cut on Friday and that's a maybe.  And we'll be out of town one day."  "Well the carpet didn't come in.  They can't lay it on Friday after all, it will have to be done next week."  Oh boy.  I'm not that upset but the pantry closet is piled high with things I'd thought sure I'd empty out Friday afternoon.  That means it's off limits until sometime next week.  And the living room...Lordy!  Well they'll come some time next week and we'll just endure because doggone I am not going to move all this stuff back so I can move it all out again next week!

I was out running errands yesterday when I passed a yard with a hedge of quince along one side.  Oh I do love the glorious coral quince blooms.   Granny had all sorts of winter blooming plants in her yard: forsythia, quince, something called Winter dogwood  which is apparently a very old fashioned plant.  She was always bringing in a branch of something to force blooms.  She did love flowers but she preferred garden flowers and not hot house sorts.  I guess I got my love of flowers from her but I will indulge in carnations and chrysanthemum blooms  for the house.

I'd noticed this week that the Japanese Magnolias were blooming (some call them Tulip Trees and others call them Japanese Tulips).  In the South, we know full well when those trees bloom it is time for another deep cold snap.  Sure enough, this weekend we're slated to be back down in the 20's at night.  This is fine with me.  I do hate the silly Japanese Magnolias are always spoiled by cold because they are very pretty, but...peaches, peaches, peaches.  We NEED those cold hours to make peaches.

I was thinking how lovely that quince was and decided I ought to ask John to get me a quince for my birthday since he's been asking me what I want.  I tried to determine where I'd plant it.  There's the problem.  Where I'd like to have it is too hard to dig.  Where I'd have to plant it would only be in the way of his mowing.  I wish I could tell you how often he cut down the coral rosebush before I finally got it moved to a better spot!  That's something else I'd love to have: more rosebushes.  But then we're right back in that cycle of where I could plant it out of his way and in an area that I could easily dig up myself.  Sigh.  Since I'm on the subject of Quince I am especially fond of the coral because it's what I'm most accustomed to seeing, but have you seen the white Quince?  It's really lovely, too.  I haven't seen them anywhere but in photos in magazines however.  Here in this area, everyone seems to have the coral.  I believe there is also one in red, as well, but again, I've only seen it in magazines.

I have a garden of sorts this year.  The crocus I'd planted a few weeks ago are coming up very thick in the pots.  I spied my very first daffodil bloom yesterday in one of the flower beds.   Though they are supposed to be disliked by deer, apparently chipmunks and squirrels like them very well.  I seem to have about ten out of 50 odd bulbs planted over the last three years.  The forsythia has two tiny yellow bells hanging on the branches.  There are sad looking pansies out there, as well, but one happy yellow face was peeking over the edge of a pot today. They will come into their own just before the weather turns off hot and flourish.  On the front porch, in a small pot are six romaine lettuces, a cabbage and a celery that are doing right well.

Indoors I've got a lovely ivy that has grown and grown, three African violets that are blooming away and an amaryllis that is getting ready to bloom any moment.  It has literally grown inches each day.  There's also an orchid that is setting buds but I don't expect to see it bloom until later next month.  It does my green heart good to see live plants thriving all about me.  On the shelf at the kitchen sink I've a bit of ivy that I'm rooting and two leaf lettuce butts that I set in water two days ago that are looking rather fresh.   I noted in a magazine  from the end of the year that houseplants are 'in' once more.  It's more than bamboo but back to maidenhair ferns and sansevierias.   This suits me fine.  I've had fewer houseplants but I really do like something green and thriving.  It just seems to be good for the atmosphere as well as the air quality in a home.  Not to mention that nurturing  a plant and watching them respond to light and water is a wonder.

My homemaker's heart is absolutely loathing all the mess about me in the living room at the moment, lol.  I want to get up and clean and clear the spaces but there's no place to put it until the carpets are done so I might as well close my eyes.  To keep myself from creating more chaos by hiding things where we can't find them, I've been trying to mentally rearrange the guest room.  I like having my sewing table in front of the window.  It allows me to have much needed additional light.  I know that the wall where the bed is now, is the only place that it can reasonably go.  Otherwise it's got to be on the living room wall which seemingly has NO insulation to deaden sound, making that room too noisy for guests if the head of the bed rests there.  So it doesn't really leave me a whole lot of 'rearranging' to do.  I think I'm going to move the antique sewing machine over on the opposite side of the bed and open up the floor space a little. 

I'm trying to decide if I'll just move the dresser down on the wall (centered to the bed) or put the big old chiffarobe on that wall and the dresser next to my sewing table.  Or if I'll leave well enough alone and put all right back where we have it at present (with the exception of shifting the bed and antique sewing machine.  There are two outlets on that wall behind the dresser right now and we can't get to either one of them.   I wonder at times about the planning that went into this house,  but I am glad that they put at least one outlet on every single wall in every room except the bathrooms.  Those two bathroom outlets are centered over the side of the sink which is terribly inconvenient.

I was laughing to myself as I read through the old February blog  posts the other week.  I constantly say in February that I did nothing in January.  I didn't do much of anything this January either, really.  But I've decided that January must just naturally be a down month to recover from the year past and the holiday rush and to really plan hard for the year I'm in, so it's okay to get very little done.   I am gung ho ready to go for February Which I guess is great since carpet is pushed back to next Wednesday, February 1.  A great way to start out the new month. 

John wasn't upset about the carpet installation being moved.  The guy was perfectly honest that it was his own fault.  We do admire anyone who can own their errors.  But there was more than that.  He was very insistent that we had to spend the day out today.  He'd been telling me all week how sorry he was that he was working so much, etc.  Now mind you all, I haven't felt neglected in the least.  John's always attentive enough.  But nevertheless he was joyful last night when he set up the new appointment and then turned to me.  "NOW I can take you out tomorrow without anything preventing it!"  Well all righty!  We planned to go out to eat at a pizza place we enjoy that as a lovely all vegetable pizza.  As a side, we would also go by to renew my license.

This whole process has been such a pain this time around.  When I applied for my Driver's License in the state of Georgia at 15, I had to show a copy of my birth certificate.  Well this year, I have to have my birth certificate, social security card, divorce papers, marriage certificate, two proofs of address, etc.  This is all part of proving I am a U.S. Citizen.  I carefully went over the list of must haves and compiled the items.  I had to go to the bank to take some of the needed documents from a safety deposit box.  Somehow, despite my care, I failed to pick up my birth certificate.  I had it out.  I undoubtedly picked it up and put it back.  Sigh...But I didn't know this until today.

There's also an online process you must go through.  I had done that yesterday afternoon when  I got home.  As near as I can tell, doing that saves me about two minutes of time, based upon my experience today.

First was the darling old woman in the car next to me.  She had on a red shirt and red lipstick and was impatiently awaiting the girl who was with her, who was making sure she had locked up the car.  The old woman had a walker but absolutely ignored the ramp and picked up the walker and walked up the steps.  The girl with her held onto her arm on one side and I quickly came up the steps right behind to brace her if need be.    We were all greeted at the door by one of the workers who'd watched us and was delighted at the sight of this spunky woman.  We all went to the counter and the older woman was apparently going through the same renewal process as I.  She didn't have a birth certificate.  She'd lost her social security card.  She'd been in yesterday and had gone to the social security office today and brought the letter stating that she had a new card coming.  She wasn't ugly.  But she wasn't happy either with the trouble, because she didn't really understand why all this was necessary after all this time.  Well, neither do I!  But the woman was a delight, truly and obviously amused every one there.

They finally got her settled to do the paperwork and I was ignored.  Apparently the clerk determined I belonged to the woman, lol.  I said I'd filled out paper work online and was given a 'fast pass' which is really irrelevant if you've one employee doing intake and none working on fast pass folks, isn't it?

The old woman sat down next to me after a bit and told me that her birthday was this Saturday.  She meant to have a real party of it.  She asked me to guess how old she was.  This is always a sticky thing, agreed?  Guess too young and they know you are being coy.  Guess too old and whoo boy!  I played it safe and suggested she might be 73.  I was pretty sure she  was at least 75.  Well I was wrong, but had guessed on the flattering side.  She will be 87 on Saturday.  And then I heard all about her six children, three handsome sons and three beautiful daughters, about her two living siblings (out of ten, of which she was the oldest).  I heard about her brother and his retirement and she was just launching into her sister's life story when they called her to the main desk.  From there, she amused us all with her gentle fussing about still not having all the documents needed etc.  but they went ahead and offered her a temporary license so she'd have an unexpired one in time for her birthday.

And then, after nearly 45 minutes of waiting, it was my turn.  I went happily to the counter thinking I was well prepared and discovered the birth certificate was missing and groaned.  I get to do this all again tomorrow, lol...Oh well.  It was worth it to meet Mrs. Carson and see her in action.  Gracious I hope she has a very happy birthday come Saturday!

John is a gracious man.  He didn't berate me in the least for not having all my stuff together.  Nor did he roll his eyes when I went running back into the office to pick up my wallet, which I'd left lying upon the counter.  I'm sorry we wasted our time at the DDS office but he kept a very pleasant attitude all along the way.  We went on to eat our dinner (a wonderful pizza called Gramma's Garden) at a pizzeria where we enjoy the food and the quietness of the place.  We talked and talked.  One thing I love is when John will ask "So how's it going with you?  Is everything all right?"  And how pleasant it is to be able to answer truthfully that all is well with me.  Sometimes I can't say that but today, I truly could.  I'm in a happier place in my life than I have been in a long while.  I've stopped letting certain people and their drama rule my life and have told them so.  I'm happy in a creative sense at the moment.  We're in a happy place in our marriage and in our lives overall.  These little dates of ours with time to focus on one another are nice and I deeply appreciate this man I'm married to.  There were many years he didn't care to go out due to time and money conflicts and his own personal issues.  Not having been accustomed to being dated at any point in my life, it is a revelation to me that a married woman can enjoy a date with her husband and have it feel like a date. 

Well the time has flown this afternoon.  I should send you home before dark and you'll just barely make it.  Talk to you later!


Dawn said...

I had to laugh, because I am also trying to work around a bag of gourmet ice in my freezer. I have to tried to suggest a few uses for it, but it remains in the freezer.

Anonymous said...

Your stories charm me Terri. Mrs. Carson came alive to me and I found myself saying a little birthday prayer for her and hoping that I will have a similar spunky spirit at that age (minus the walker haha). My dad will be turning 87 next month and he's doing amazingly well. Very healthy and very independent. We consider him blessed! I know exactly what you mean about dating your husband. Sometimes when I read about you and John I am reminded of Mike and I. Like you,we enjoy our little errands and dates so much...more than ever. Thank you for the lovely read.

beckyathome said...

I LOVE it on the rare opportunities I get to have time with Rob. Those times are so rare for us. We treasure them. I know most people are empty nesters by my time of life, but we have had children for over 30 years now. AND, of course, got another one 3 years ago, lengthening the kid time even more. I don't regret it, because we are doing what we feel the Lord has put before us, but still long for every moment I can get with my dear husband.

He has broken one of his teeth and now has to go have a root canal in the morning. Poor man, what an awful way to spend his birthday, which was today. I told him we would celebrate later when he felt better. Hopefully, they will put him as right as rain in the morning.


Chef Owings said...

Mom always crossed the day off on her calendar.Pop worked like your Hubby.

I just found your blog and you are a joy to read. I too usually don't do much in January.

I made a dent in our freezers and then filled them back up ..sigh.
Chef Juls Owings

Lana said...

We are completely mixed up on the days of the week right now with hubby at home every day! Every day seems the same except watching our live streaming church service on Sundays. But, like you two we have had some wonderful opportunities to spend time together and for that I am thankful after being told he would never wake up from the coma. I am thankful too for our first responders, including John, who played such a key role in my husband being alive today. More than once I saw EMT crying on my way in and out of the heart center day after day. What a heart wrenching job he has and I am thankful for John and all his fellow workers where ever they may be.

Your story of Mrs. Carson is like my Dad and his cane. Before it he walked very slow and unsure but after he got it he clips right along and the cane hardly ever touches the floor. It reminds me of the Winnie the Pooh cartoon where Piglet can ice skate as long as he is wearing the earmuffs but if he takes them off down he goes.

I have no luck getting pansies to bloom. A few years ago I found that a local family owned greenhouse has 6 packs of violas every fall and once I switched I have been very pleased. They are covered with flowers most of the winter. I know they can be hard to find though.

Thanks for the chat!

Terri Cheney said...

Lana, Being an EMS worker is indeed a hard job emotionally...I know John will appreciate your thanks. And I know how deeply grateful you are for each new day with your husband, too. John and I still talk of my own crisis and we are very appreciative of every new day. I love the Winnie the Pooh reference, lol.

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