Monday, November 11, 2013

It's a wonderful life

Today was a wonderful day. That's right, wonderful.  Not just good, not great - wonderful.

I had the day off for Veteran's Day so my dear husband took the day off as well. After taking Austin to school we cuddled up on the couch in the living room.  Our living room couch, or upstairs couch, is so big and cushy one can not help but feel relaxed and content when sitting on it. It is extra long, extra wide, and has a nice tall back.  Any day that I am able to sit on this couch is a good day. So, there we are, me on one end of the couch, hubs on the other end with our feet touching in the middle. The wood stove is going, so it's toasty warm and the fire looks great. We have some quiet music on and we are drinking coffee. C is reading and I am going back and fourth between reading and messing about on my iPad. Hadley, our kitten, is curled up by C. Pollie, our older cat is resting on the back of the couch near me and Khaleesi the Corgi is sleeping on the floor. Then it starts snowing these huge pretty flakes. 

We take a break from relaxing so C can add more wood to the fire and start warming some apple cider with mulling spices. While he does this, I put a turkey in the roaster. We read some more, then I took a nap with the pets while he played video games. 

When I woke up, we went to the basement to watch a few episodes of A Game of Thrones. Then we ate our turkey dinner and watched a few more episodes (we are finally caught up and I am eager for season four.) Now, C and Khaleesi are sleeping in bed with me and the cats are running through the house playing. The chickens are tucked into the coop, Ashley is safe in her dorm at school and Austin should be home soon, then I will drift off to sleep too. 

I really needed a day like this one. I have lots of ok days and plenty of good days, but a day this perfect is rare. It reminded me of how blessed I am. Early in our relationship, when we dreamed about our future, we imagined a cozy little house with a fireplace and a couple of polydactyl cats and a Corgi. We imagined our daughter in college. We have those things now, after years of work and lots of struggling. We didn't quite imagine we'd have a teenage boy or chickens and we sure hoped we'd be in better financial shape, but everything has worked out and we are where we are meant to be for now. 

The next time I have a bad day, I will be able to think back to today and I know the memory will bring a smile to my face. 

Friday, November 8, 2013

Pumpkin flavored life

I love pumpkins. I love the way they look, I love the way they smell and I live the way they taste. I even love the way they feel when you put your hand in to pull out the seeds. 

I have been known to go a little pumpkin crazy in the fall. I buy everything pumpkin flavored. This year I even grew my own pumpkins. So far this year I have had pumpkin flavored:

Ice cream
Egg nog
Coffee syrup
Sandwich cookies
English muffins

I have also roasted up lots of pumpkin seeds to eat. I haven't made a pie yet, but I hope to soon.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Open doors

One of our daughter's friends moved in with us about a week ago. They have been close friends for a few years. We obviously like him too, or we wouldn't have opened our house to him.

As people find out about him living here, we get a lot of questions. Most want to know why he is here. The answer I give is that things weren't going well at home and he needed a place to stay for a while. I'm not going to give anyone his life story; it's not my story to tell.

We have also been asked if we trust him. It seems to me that if we didn't trust him, we wouldn't be letting him stay here. Why would anyone ask that?

Others have warned me that if things aren't good for him at home, we shouldn't butt in because that is just asking for trouble. *sigh* I have so many issues with this. We are not stupid. It's not as if we marched into his house and took him without his mothers permission. I've spoken with his mother. She knows where he is and agrees that they need to be apart from each other for a while. And really, how is helping out a kid in need "asking for trouble"? We tend to feel the opposite, that ignoring a kid who needs help is really asking for trouble.

If you've known us for any length of time, it shouldn't surprise you that he is living with us. We have always helped out friends of Ashley's when they needed help. We had the elementary school counselor ask us a few times if she could give our number out to parents who needed a little help. We have watched kids after school who otherwise would have been home alone, we have watched kids in the morning before school so they weren't home alone. We have had two other kids live with us for short periods of time while things were rough at home.

We do these things without many thank you's and without complaining or asking for recognition. We do these things because we can, because we have a little extra room at our house, in our wallets and in our hearts. We do these things because we need our daughter to see that helping people isn't always easy or fun, that you help even when it's inconvenient for you and that you do so without asking for anything in return.

Monday, December 31, 2012

2012 reading year in review

2012 will be over in just a few short hours. I've taken some time tonight to look back over the books that I have read this year. 

66 books
24,243 pages
8 Non-Fiction books
58 Fiction books
6 books that featured Sherlock Holmes, non of which were written by Conan Doyle  (1 book by an author with the name Moriarty)
2 series: The Hunger Games and the Mary Russell series
1 book about Marie Antoinette
1 book about Mary Todd Lincoln
31 books that were published in 2012
Oldest book - And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie, 1939

2012 goes out with a bang!

Our dotter is having a New Year's Eve party tonight. Currently, there are around 25 teenagers in our basement.  The music is pumping, the Mt. Dew is flowing and the pickles are being tossed around the room. There is a steady stream of kids coming up from the basement to use the bathroom, no doubt thanks to the Mt. Dew.  The hubs and I are sitting on the living room in front of the fire listening to NPR, playing cribbage and taking breaks now and then to snack on homemade mac and cheese, taco dip and veggies and to read a bit. There is no place else I would rather be to ring in the New Year.

Instead of reflecting on 2012, my head is in 2013 already. Our dotter will be graduating form high school a year early and heading of to college at the fresh, young age of 17. We will be empty nesters and ages 36 and 38. We've always been parents together, the dotter was 2 years old when we met, so we have never been  together as just a couple. That will be a new path for us. I'm looking forward to it, but it is scary at the same time.
I'm going back to school myself (again). I received a promotion last January so I took a year of from school to get used to all of my new responsibilities. I start up again in two days. Another thing that I am looking forward to but afraid of all at the same time.
I'll be taking a vacation with my parents this year. Just me and my parents. The last time we took a vacation together was 1986, when I was in 4th grade. Neither mom or dad has flown before, so it's a big deal for them. We will be going to New York and Vermont. Hubs, dotter and I enjoyed our trip out east so much that I decided to do it again and share it with my parents. Again, excited but scared for this experience.
I strongly feel that 2013 will be a year chock full of tests; tests of patience, tests of relationships, tests of loyalty and tests of finances, just to name a few.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

It's one of those nights

Have you ever been too sad to go to bed? I hadn't been, until tonight.

I'll share what is on my mind, maybe getting the sad out of my head and onto this blog will help.

An old friend is at home with his wife and daughter waiting to die of brain cancer. This makes me think of other friends that I have lost in the last few years. Pat, Russ, Glenda, Carson and Jere have been on my mind these past few days. Russ and Glenda each left behind children, and Pat will leave behind a daughter.

The Newtown, CT shooting last week took so many innocent lives. This tragedy inevitably bring guns to mind. I have known two teen boys who took their lives with guns that were easily accessible to them in their homes.Would they still be dead if they didn't have those guns at their fingertips?

I'm also thinking of another young life that was lost just a few months ago, Avery. She died in a car accident, her teenage sister was driving the car. This family has so much healing to do and so many mixed emotions. I cannot imagine the pain.

A close friend who is a cancer survivor is waiting to find out if she has cancer again. Now, because of the coming snowstorm, she has to wait even longer to go back in to find out her fate.

My husband's employer is laying off 600 people. We don't know if he will be one of them. If he loses his job and we can't make up the income, we will sink. We know that he could find a job somewhere and we are prepared for the possibility that we may both have to have second jobs, but living like that will wear on our relationship and our family. It's hard to not know what the next few months hold.

One of my teachers from Junior High just passed away. My mind wanders back to that time in my life and I miss Glenda even more.

As I sit on my cozy couch, in front of my wood stove with my laptop, my husband and daughter nearby, I should be overcome with gratitude for all of the blessings that I have. I know that, but tonight my mind is stubbornly dwelling on the losses.