Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Spring is on the way

My son had a practice baseball game Monday night. When we got to the field at 5:15 p.m., the temperature was around 45 degrees. The game started around 6 and by 7 it was 41 degrees and windy. I gave up trying to cheer and went to wait in the warm van. By the time the game was over it was 37 degrees and my son and my husband (who helps coach the team) were frozen!

But signs of spring are all around me.

My daffodils are blooming. My son brought one in to me this morning. Very sweet!

We treated ourselves to lunch out this afternoon at Wendy's. We drove to the state park that is about 10 minutes from our house and ate there. On the way I noticed some of the trees have buds on them. It was still a little chilly, so we ate in the car, but got out afterwards. I sat at the concrete picnic table and watched my son skip rocks in the lake.

The high today was around 57. Tomorrow it is supposed to be around 64 and on Thursday 67! We are expecting some rain, but it'll be nice just to have some warmer temps!

I'll try to forget that Saturday overnight is going to be back in the 20s, with a high on Sunday of 46. I'll just take the warm days when I can get them!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Gee, I should blog more often

I'm pretty good about reading blogs, but not so great about writing.

Some of the things that have been eating up my time lately include:

1. Keeping up with housework better. After coming back from WV, I was a little down and my little bout of depression certainly did not help my work get done. I'm doing better about it this week.

2. My husband bought me red roses for Valentine' Day! I was shocked because money is tight, but the $15 bouquet he got from Wal-mart was beautiful!

3. For another Valentine's present, my husband and son cleaned my living room (decluttering, dusting, vacuuming), hubby cleaned the toilets, and swept and mopped my kitchen! Their hard work has really encouraged me to try to get over my blues. This week has been drastically more upbeat.

4. Cooking, cooking, and more cooking! Gosh! I didn't realize how much we ate out until we cut back on it. Last night while the guys were gone to baseball practice I made Old Fashioned Apple Cake. It was really good. It calls for 2 cups of sugar and I think next time I'm going to try to cut down to 1 1/2 cups. It was super sweet. I used Gala apples. Maybe that has something to do with it.

I also rewarded my guys for all their cleaning by making what is now our absolute favorite way to have chicken: Amish Style Oven Fried Chicken. This chicken is consistently good. I've been using a whole chicken cut up for the recipe. Next time I think I'm going to just get legs and thighs for a change. Those are the pieces we seem to like the best.

5. Homeschooling! We are hoping to finish up by the 3rd week in May and things have been going good with meeting that goal. My son is doing great!

Okay. There's a post! I feel better now!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

A meme for me

I grabbed this from Angela because, like her, I wanted to post something, but am not feeling very inspired!

1. Make a list of things you can see without getting up: My entire living room because I am on my husband's laptop on the love seat.

2. Favorite football team: pro - Atlanta Falcons (I really don't watch professional football, but that's who my hubby roots for!); college - West Virginia University!!!

3. What are you wearing now? Black knit pants, short sleeved blue shirt with my favorite yellow sweatshirt over it.

4. What color is your bedroom? Just painted yellow last fall! It's cheerful!

5. What’s the last thing you read/are currently reading? Just finished reading The Hiding Place by Corrie ten Boom, am getting ready to start Alice's Tulips by Sandra Dallas. I've read both books before. I need to get to the library.

6. Do you nap a lot? No.

7. Who was the last person you hugged? Evan.

8. What’s your current obsession/addiction? I'm really motivated with cross-stitching lately.

9. What was the last thing you said aloud? "That's cool!" in response to my son.

10. What web sites do you always visit when you go online? The blogs I keep up with.

11. What was the last thing you bought? Bottled water, chips, and chocolate milk on the ride back from WV from a convenience store while hubby was walking the dog.

12. What are you listening to right now? My son playing MLB on his Playstation. He just beat me a few minutes ago and is playing solo before time to take his shower.

13. What is something you wish you could do more? Visit family in WV.

14. If you could have any super power, what would it be? The power to teleport.

15. What is your favorite weather, and why? I like sunny days with just a hint of chill in the air. I love being outside on days like this when it's not too hot, but it's not cold.

16. What time do you usually get up? I try to be up by 7:30 a.m.

17. What is your most challenging goal right now? Exercising and eating right.

18. Say something to the person who tagged you: Nobody tagged me, but, Angela, thanks for the idea!

19. If you could have a house–totally paid for, fully furnished–anywhere in the world, where would you want it to be? I know it would be a farm somewhere in West Virginia or in northern GA.

20. Favorite vacation spot? West Virginia to visit family. I also like stopping in Tennessee --- the Pigeon Forge/Gatlinburg area.

21. What is your favorite children’s book? The Little House series, even though I never read it when I was a child. I only read it a few years ago. My favorite little, little kid's book is Goodnight Moon. I read that to my son every night for YEARS! Even though I have packed up a lot of his little kid books, that one is still on his bookshelf.

22. Name one thing you just can’t resist no matter how bad it is for you: Fast food. Sometimes it's just so convenient, it's hard not to fall into that trap.

23. If you could meet anyone famous - dead or alive - who would it be? Corrie ten Boom and her entire family.

24. Have you ever met anyone famous? If so who? I can't remember meeting anyone famous. Guess I would remember it, if I had.

25. If you could have any job in the world , what would it be? I'm already doing what I want to do --- stay at home, homeschooling mama.

Monday, February 9, 2009

I am incredibly unmotivated

We got back from WV last night. It was a fast trip. We left early Thursday morning. Quick trips like that EXHAUST me.

Maybe that's why today has been so hard.

I exercised. For the first time in about 2 months. That's progress.

I homeschooled my son. We actually got more done with that than I had planned. He has a Language Arts test tomorrow that I still have to type up. Rats!

I unpacked our bags. Everything went into the hampers, so I have washed 2 loads of clothes and will wash another load or two before bed.

I cooked brunch for my son and I. Bacon and eggs. We ate late this morning, because I got caught up in unpacking. I also made peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for lunch. What a gourmet I am!

I balanced our checkbook, made a menu, and wrote out a store list. We are really low on groceries.

I thought about going grocery shopping. I put off grocery shopping until tomorrow.

Sadly, that is the extent of things I have done.

I have things from my grandma's house that I have to unpack, but I don't feel like doing that today.

I have to help my son study for his Language Arts test on modifiers.

Mostly right now I just feel like going to bed.

Ever have one of those days?

Monday, February 2, 2009

Yummy Strawberry Cake

I saw on Stephanie's blog that she hosts a First on the Firsts encouraging people to share something they've made from scratch for the first time. I've been trying to add some new recipes to my table lately, so I thought joining in with Stephanie's venture would be a good encouragement! Here's my first entry!

Okay, it was supposed to be Blueberry Cake, but my husband doesn't like blueberries, so I changed it. Instead of 1 1/2 cups of blueberries, I used 1 1/2 cups of strawberries.

I happened to get the most scrumptious fresh strawberries ever! They smelled fabulous, they looked fabulous. Hey, isn't it winter? Right. That must be why they were so expensive.

When I saw the cake on Randi's website, I knew I'd have to give it a try. I enjoy baking cakes, but have only used fruit in cobblers. My husband's not a big fan of cobblers. This cake seemed like a good choice.

I had to look at the recipe a couple of times to be sure I wasn't forgetting anything. Still I managed to overlook the part that said to mix the sugar and cinnamon together before sprinkling it on the cake. I sprinkled them on separately and I didn't do a great job at the sprinkling, but the cake still tasted wonderful!

So, this cake was a first for me, but it definitely won't be the last time I make it!

Check out Stephanie's blog to share your Firsts on the First!

Except next month I'll try to get the date right!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Going on

This weekend has gone on even though thoughts of my grandma are always there. We've had some errands to run, getting ready for our trip up to WV on Wednesday to go to my grandma's wake and funeral. My son started baseball practice last night. I sent my husband and son to Walmart today and I'm here cleaning up the kitchen and getting ready to cook lunch.

It's all so incredibly normal and I feel a little guilty about it.

I feel guilty because she's gone and my life is going on. I know that sounds crazy. She was 89 and even though we didn't think she'd go so soon, it wasn't as if we didn't know it would happen in the near future.

My life will, of course, go on (Lord willing.). I have things to take care of like a home and family. My husband and son will still do the weekly stickball this afternoon. We'll watch the Super Bowl tonight. Well, they will and I'll sit there and cross-stitch and pretend to be interested.

Tomorrow morning my husband will go to work. I'll school my son and probably be aggravated that I have to pick up 20 pairs of socks off the floor. I'll do laundry. I'll cook meals and wash dishes. Life will proceed as normal.

But in the back of my mind all week, I'll remember that she's not there anymore. She's not in that house in Beckley going about her day. I'll think about the fact that there's no one to call anymore and check on at that phone number. No reason for me to send cards that read "To my Grandmother" to her address. No reason to remind myself to pick up the phone on December 3rd every year to wish her a happy birthday.

I'll never hear her say my name again. Never get another card from her. I'll never again be able to ask her what it was like to be a wife and mom back then. I'll never hear her talk about her life or try to convince her to pull out those pictures so I can see her and my grandfather at the beginning of their life together. I'll never hear her use those unique expressions she has that no one else ever says.

And those special moments when I realize that this woman and I who share a middle name also share other traits won't happen anymore. I won't be able to discover anything else new about her.

It's difficult, but I draw some comfort from the fact that she lived these moments too. She was a wife and mom who lost family members and had to go on. She was a caretaker who had to make the best of things.

Even when the worst things were happening to her, like losing her daughter just a few weeks ago, and dealing with the uncertainty of her own health, she'd say "But you have to go on, Tina, because what else can you do?"

She's right. What else can you do? You go on, praying to ease the pain that losing her has caused. You pray for your family who are dealing with all the details. You thank God that she lived to the age of 89 and thank Him that He let you keep your grandma for so long.

You prepare for the little rituals, the customs of saying goodbye to her. A wake, a funeral, a graveside service. The meal at the church she was a member of for so long aftewards with family.

You tell stories, you spend time with family. You cry, you laugh, you cry some more.

Then you come home. You cook meals, do laundry, school your son, pick up socks.

You go on, remembering her, because what else can you do?