Sunday, December 13, 2009

decisions, changes & trailer toffee ...

Since I'm on FaceBook so much, I tend to forget about blogging. Oh well.

The pace of life is ever moving ~ changing direction ~ swirling like a dust devil @ times. More & more, I am learning to look for ~ sometimes create ~ moments of quiet ... time with Father. I'd go absolutely bonkers if I didn't slow down from time to time.

Last month, I spent 2 wks in TX with the folks. Aunt Deloras (Dad's baby sister) visited for 8 days, so I was there to help with meals, driving, etc. It was such a joy to be there ~ spend time with the folks as they read Scripture, prayed, worshiped spontaneously. Dad's cancer continues to invade their lives ~ he is getting weaker &, since I've come home, requires increased pain meds. Dan, Laura & Jacob arrive there tomorrow night. I don't know if Dave & I will get to be there before Dad goes Home. We continue to trust Father for His perfect timing.

As a result of my undefined schedule, I'm no longer working @ Edible Arrangements. I certainly understand that they need someone who will simply be there ~ not wondering if I'll call in & dash off to TX. So, I'm among the ranks of the unemployed ~ again. Thankfully, the Lord provides for us thru Dave's job & I don't have to work. We'll wait until later to see what Father wants me to do.

This gives me time @ home to get projects done, laundry & care for my family. I am enjoying the time. Father is so gracious to me!

On the fun side, Diane ~ my fabulous neighbor ~ brought over a bit of Trailer Toffee for us. It was gone in a flash! When I called her, one of the boys answered. I said, "Tell your mom I want the recipe." When Diane called back, she was laughing bec. he told her, "Miss Deb called and said she wants the rest of it." So, here's "The Rest of It" for Trailer Toffee:


Trailer Toffee

Preheat oven to 400°.

You need:
1 cookie sheet
35 saltines
1/2 C butter
1/2 C brown sugar
2 C (16 oz) chocolate chips
1 C chopped nuts (your choice!)

Here's what you do:

Spread 35 saltines out on cookie sheet

Combine butter and brown sugar in sauce pan. Boil 3 min. Pour brown sugar mixture over crackers & spread out to cover them.

Bake @ 400° for 7 min. Spread 16 oz (2 C) chocolate chips on top (I like dark chocolate). Sprinkle chopped nuts over part or all of chocolate (almonds, pecans …). Put in fridge until cool. Break into pieces & serve, gift, enjoy!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Prelude to a Recital

When you were little, did you ever stand on an adult's feet ~ maybe your daddy, an uncle, cousin or older sibling ~ and as you stood on their feet, you held hands and "danced"? Actually, the adult was doing the dancing, but you heard the music, felt the movement, laughed and delighted in the dance. If you were anything like me, you asked to "do it again" when it stopped and when you were together again, you couldn't wait to dance. It was your own special time ~ your own special dance that no one else shared or knew.

As I have watched my in-laws during this year of change (move from CO to TX, cancer discovery & diagnosis, making decisions), it has been like watching them dance. At first, I thought I recognized some of the steps and would hum along. But, somewhere along the way, I couldn't hear the music anymore and the steps didn't always make sense. It was then that I realized they are each standing on Father's feet, holding His hands, and letting Him teach them the dance ~ their own special dance that no one else could share.

And so, it would seem that Father is beginning the last turns around the room. The music will begin to swell as Dad becomes more and more familiar with the music he hears. The final crescendo will end his dance here ~ we will weep with joy for the magnificent finale while at the same time crying tears of sorrow that the dance has come to an end.

But, that's just our side of the event! At the crescendo, Dad will make his entrance into the Grand Ballroom where Father will present him to all the other dancers. Dad will put his feet on the floor and give his first solo dance for Father while all the others sing along, swaying to the music that they can all hear ~ the song of heaven, the praises of our Redeemer.

We are beginning our approach to Dad's final dance on earth. I still can't hear the music, but I know Dad can. There are tears, laughter, sweet peace and calm ... as Dad gradually begins to move closer to Father's toes ...

Every one of us should be dancing! Father teaches us all the same steps ... just not necessarily in the same order. If you aren't sure of the steps, lean in, closer to his chest so you can hear the song. Learn to feel the tempo, to hear the phrasing of the melody as He moves His feet under yours, holding your hands, teaching you the dance He has choreographed just for you ... can you hear it ... hmmm-hmm-hmmm ...

Sunday, September 27, 2009

It's fall ... in more ways than one!

Fall came this week ~ cooler temps, cloudy skies & rain. But, summer came again yesterday & has decided to stick around another day or so. The sunshine, warm breeze & warmth are welcome!

Our old fence fell this week! YEAH!!! The new fence isn't done yet. I know it's been delayed bec. of the weather, but it's disappointing that the weekend came & it's not done. I'm hoping it'll be complete by the end of tomorrow. An actual privacy fence! A double gate to the back yard! We have been dreaming of this for years!!!

The boys' shower wall got smashed up a bit this week ~ on purpose. There has been a leak, so I tried to get it to the point where all the plumber had to do was come in & fix it. Yeah ... that didn't go as planned. With my tennis elbow, I didn't get it all smashed. But, using a crow bar & hammer was therapeutic! I found a different plumber than we've been using for a few years. Reasonable rates & good work. Besides fixing the shower problem, he took out the two old sinks (boys' & our bathrooms) & installed the new ones I've had for several months. Now I have to find someone to fix the hole in the wall!

It's all costing more than I had hoped. Phooey! I know that the Lord will provide every penny ~ & I'm grateful for my new job which will certainly help toward this! I'm praying it will all be done before Dave gets home from this round of travels.

Today, Dave & his dad are flying to Paris, France for a week with Dan & Terry in Normandy. I pray it will be a time of blessing for them all. I know Dave will be exhausted when he gets back ~ emotions, time change, jumping right back into work. So, I also pray the Lord will give him strength, endurance & good health for the weeks ahead.

Friday, August 28, 2009

End of summer ...

Without the various home projects this summer, I don't think I would have made it thru the summer months. There were long, dark days of debilitating depression. Only having stuff to do got me out of bed most days ~ at least I got out of bed every day. Med adjustments & other helps have allowed me to get back on track. Still adjusting to some of the changes, but doing MUCH better.

Besides getting the office/guest room done, I hired a painting crew to do the entry, living room, stairway & upstairs hall. The colors went from dark green & multiple colors of butterscotch to beige with a pink tint. SO much better! I knew I couldn't do it myself & was grateful to have it done by a crew.

After getting the living room painted, Giles & Joe helped pull up the 20+ yr. old carpet. The hardwood floor underneath is FABULOUS! No refinishing required. What a blessing! Dave didn't know about any of it, so he was REALLY surprised when he got home from 3 wks of being on the road.

While Dave was on the next trip, my precious neighbor painted our bedroom for me. (I was diagnosed with tennis elbow, so I can't paint, crochet or reupholster like I enjoy doing. Altho, I did finish her other chair & then got the sofa done while they were on vacation for a wk.) Again, after having the room painted, Giles, Joe & Emily helped pull up the old carpet from the bedroom & hall. LOTS of staples to pull out! Again, the floor is in fabulous condition. With the furniture rearranged (bed in the same place ~ no choice about that), curtains, coverlet & throw rugs, the transformation is amazing! Again, Dave didn't know & was pleased with the change when he got back.

Last Friday was our 28th anniversary & Dave REALLY surprised me with my gift. He had been planning to take me to Shelter Cove, CA since Feb. when he was out there. He wasn't going to tell me until a few hours before the flight left, but decided he needed me to get things ready bec. he had to be away on a job (Obama town hall in Grand Junction!). I was very glad he told me! Having lost nearly 20 lb, I had time to get clothing that fits (as opposed to belting 3+" at the waist!). We had a great time ~ quiet, foggy (which was fine with us), good food, talking & even sightseeing. What a delightful vacation & gift!

Now I can focus on getting things done around the house again. The basement STILL needs to be cleaned up. My neighbor is going to help re-do the two upstairs bathrooms (another project Dave doesn't know about!). And, I'm trying to be more diligent about picking up & cleaning ~ not my strong suit, that's for sure. Having tennis elbow & ligament problems with my left foot have really cramped my schedule & plans, but I know the Lord will get me thru this too.

Maybe I can be more consistent with updating my blog ...

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Changes ...

Last week I faced major revelations about myself & my marriage. Still processing it all & adjusting. That's the thing with growing ~ there's always changes to deal with & they aren't all pleasant/easy. Still have my "moments", but am learning to process & make the necessary changes.

I also colored my hair after a year of "embracing the gray". The package said "auburn brown". It should have said "funky burgundy"! I'm getting lots of compliments on it, but it's really red! Almost copper. Weird. Hopefully it will fade a bit. I'm also letting my hair grow out ~ tired of the "pulling hair out by the roots" look & having hair glue on everything I lean against.

The office/guest room has been painted new colors. Yeah for "oops" paints @ the hardware store! Only $10 for 2 colors & they weren't used up! Now to get the furniture back in place.

The $85 sofa bed is newly recovered with fabric that was only $115. Still, that's a great bargain. I will get a new ($200) mattress for it before anyone sleeps on it. Once the furniture is in place in the office, we can put the sofa bed up there. The free chair is only half recovered with fabric that was only $5/yard. Hope to have that done next week.

Yesterday I helped my neighbor finish recovering one of two chairs. I also got the ottoman done. We'll get to the other chair & couch later. Her husband was surprised & pleased with the results. I was there 13 hours! Whew! But, we are working together & both of us are learning lots!

Today, Arthur will paint the garage floor. YEAH!!! Joe & I will dig holes & plant three trees in the back yard.

Off to the hardware store for gloves before digging the holes. Gotta keep these pretty hands soft. Yeah ... right. I'm just really a girl about it all & don't want blisters!

Other changes are in the works, but I'll keep that secret for now ...

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

A sense of accomplishment!

The garage is almost done. Arthur said he'll paint the floor for me ~ since he has experience from doing it at the shop. I'll clean the floor well so it's easier for him to do & the paint will last longer.

The handyman that I hired last week got some great things done! The old, weary, leaning awning structure off the back porch got taken down!!! He also took down the old (8-10 years?) satellite dish & then made the step I tried to do last summer. With the "Welcome" stepping stone in it, it looks wonderful! What a blessing to have these things done & crossed off the list!

The sofa bed is reupholstered! YEAH!!! It looks great, if I do say so myself (& I do!). After getting the cover stapled on, I unstapled the seat back & put 2 layers of batting on & then restapled the seat back cover. It looks much better now ~ the old fabric texture was telegraphing thru the new fabric, but the batting took care of that problem. The cushions were a bit troublesome, but with the help of fabric glue, I was able to get them together & then sew the seams. It's not perfect, but it does look very nice.

No more projects until after our trip to TX. Dave has a job down there on Sat., so we'll drive down, leaving Thur. afternoon. That means I need to start getting things ready to go ... oil change for the pick up, laundry, audio books, etc. I want to get the office painted & the sofa bed up there, but that will have to wait until next week.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Shopping & trolling ...

Dave will be gone a lot this summer ~ for weeks at a time. So, I've started getting projects lined up to keep my busy ...

The futon in the office needs to be replaced for when we have overnight guests (or Dave has a cold). I figured a sofa bed would be the best solution. I found one at the Habitat for Humanity Liquidation store for $85. The fabric, although on sale, was more expensive than the sofa bed! But, since I saved so much on the sofa, I rationalized the fabric. In truth, I'll probably replace the mattress too ($200) ~ there's something creepy about sleeping on a used mattress, esp. when you don't know where it came from. (All together now, "ewwww"!) Here's the funny thing about the sofa bed ~ all three of our sons remember my folks having one exactly like it when they lived here (5 yrs ago) ~ even the same fabric.

There are a few rooms plus the stair well & upstairs hall that need to be re-painted. I found 3 gallons of "oops" paint at a couple different stores paying $2 to $5 per gallon. Even if I need more than one gallon to finish a room, it will still have been a significant savings.

I want to organize my tools in a small (19" x 40") space in the garage, so I made a work table from scraps from the shop. I neglected to measure the space before I made the table, so I had to borrow the circular saw from the shop to cut it down. Oh well, at least the legs were far enough from the edges that I could cut from each side to make it fit! I'll use leftover floor tiles on the top & paint the rest of it. It's about 32" tall, so I can actually work at the table. I also want peg board & hooks to hang my tools. A full sheet costs $16 at Home Depot, but there was a damaged sheet (cut off 5+"!), so I only had to pay $4. I won't even use all that I have ~ well, I may get dowels to cut & insert in the holes to make a board to hold my sewing thread spools (just thought of that!).

Once a year, our city allows the residents to put out "junk" to be picked up by city trucks ~ broken fence posts, mattresses, old lawn chairs, etc. People have been trolling the neighborhoods, picking up what they want from the various piles ~ "one man's junk is another man's treasure". Well, I wasn't really trolling ~ I had to drive past the pile taking Dave to/from work. I found a chair ~ it has great "bones"! It will be the new desk chair in the office. All I need to do is recover it & put on new wheels. Today, I found fabric that was 50% off the sale price, which was 50% the retail price (do the math ~ that's really 75% off the retail price!). It's beautiful & was about $5 a yard.

I also need to clean, etch & stain the garage floor, fix a couple of steps I started last summer (may sub that out ~ depending on if I go for cement or paving stones), plant some shrubs & 4 trees (will need help digging the holes), fix the screen door (needs new screening, which I now have), & hopefully, Dave will help me install an evaporative cooler when he's off for a week this month. Oh wait! He just called & may have to make a trip to Dallas for a job. Rats! That means I'll have to spend more money to sub that out.

Busy days ahead! I am grateful Father has provided time, energy, finances & creativity to get it done. I will need to be steadfast to get each one done, rather than almost done (which is my norm).

Now, if I can just get my pulled muscles to heal ... (don't ask!)