Babies’ Shower

Long ago, or today it seems like so long ago, we had a shower for Jessica, our oldest daughter. Those two weeks would have probably been a season of a reality show if we would be a family of any importance, or self importance as some of them are. We could have titled the episodes, “wedding,” “shower,”,” birthday,” “track meet,” “trip” and “Lent begins.” O yes, and I forgot the little kids wrestling meet thrown in the middle. We could have been up and down Interstate 94 several times with footage of the landscape, but I am getting off track. I found the pictures of the shower decorations and want to post them.

Victoria planned the event and created the decorations, though she left them for us to sort through and put up while she was at her son’s wrestling tourney. It was a logistics nightmare for a short time, and I felt like I was a Maypole with the rest of the workers spinning around me while I stood still observing. I did manage to get these pictures taken and a little of the food prepared, but as for setting up anything, especially tables, I can take no responsibility. I did, though, save the majority of the table cloths and some of the plastic utensils which I will stock up to my frugal living plan. Now I have more clutter for my house, but there was less contributions to the land fill, so I feel better. We also emptied out most of the paper plates and plenty of cups from my stash of picnic items, so that helped with eliminating clutter, which leads me to a wash out in that department.

I should give a shout out to Paulina and my sisters and the others who were there helping set up, they did a wonderful job, and in fact when we finally showed Melissa, the librarian some of the items that confused us, she knew exactly what they were and what to do. I must have skipped a few of the Dr. Seuss books and so I was rather out to lunch about what things were. Also it was great that we were able to use the area of North Dakota Farmers Union. It is where Jessica works and they have a great area for things such as this.

Back to the shower: Since this was a shower about baby twins without a gender identity at this time, Victoria used the theme of “Thing One and Thing Two” from Dr. Seuss’s The Cat in the Hat.  The invitations also suggested that guests could give a book and there were many of those. Victoria had a stash to put with the center pieces. It was great. She should have been the elementary teacher with all of her creative ideas. I suppose owning a Day Care she is using her talent, but she should be designing items on the side. Scattered throughout this post, you see the different center pieces she put together for the even. To the side here is a shot of Jessica, the mother to be, with the cake that she ordered from someone she knows in the area. Now that was a creation of wonder also. How do people do these things amazes me.

cake

candy bar

And don’t ask me for the how, I am clueless. There was also a “candy bar” beside the cake table. Victoria had labels to match some of the candy. We left that for Aunt Alvina to coordinate. As a Head Start Supervisor, we figured she would get the connections better than we did. O yes, no one wanted the center pieces and they were almost headed to the garbage when my sister the librarian saved them to use in her library for Dr. Seuss Day. Hurrah!! Hopefully she is able to use them for more than one time, but I have been afraid to ask if they were destroyed or saved. I was just grateful that I didn’t have to step in and salvage them.

The Snows have invaded!

Snow geese

Today as I was heading to track practice in Linton, I saw a plethora of birds overhead. They were geese moving from southwest to northeast. As I followed them with my eyes I looked to the side a and found the field to my right was full. It made the field look snow covered. On the way home we saw a mixture of snows and Canadians in a sunflower field hidden basically in the stubble. Oh how I wished I had brought the camera. I did manage to get the picture above on the way north. Happy Spring to you all!

Beware the Ides of March

Sunrise this morning

I think the omen suggested in the title was a day ahead for me. Yesterday at 7 p.m. I was supposed to be on a zoom meeting with the delegates from our conference going to our General Synod this June. I have literally not been sleeping because I haven’t taken a class this year, and it is time to renew my Pastor’s license. I always feel so precarious because I have not done many of the classes that were offered years ago. Some of the licensed ministers in our conference were given a certificate for work completed and thus could apply to take steps to complete the course work necessary to reach ordination. I on the other hand have a major in religion-philosophy as part of my BA degree of 1979, but in all honesty that counts for nothing today, except that I depend heavily on what I learned in those classes. At any rate, I missed the meeting last night because…well because life happens and I just forgot.

I spent all day Monday trying to sort out the papers that I had for our (my 3 sisters and me) KALM campsite business. I know one thing, I have to change the vouchers that I invented, and we have to use them better. I found out that I didn’t even pay myself back for the pick up insurance in March and I didn’t pay myself for the filing fee for running a business in the state of South Dakota. I am a bit upset about that last one because it is supposed to be filed online, but instead of allowing for a bank draft, which worked for the first few years, they insist on a credit card, that we do not own. So it means use my credit card then forget I put it on there, grrrr!!! Live and learn.

Tuesday I was in Hazelton filling in for the 5th/6th grade teacher who was with his wife and children while their baby is in the hospital of pneumonia. Wow. After we had track practice to get ready for the indoor state meet at the end of the month and we took the time to hand out the uniforms and sweats to this group. It was after 6 when we got home and after 6:30 before we started supper. I think I was still at the table cleaning up at 10 after 7. Since I knew I had to come to the office and be at the Nursing Home to lead services, I vegetated in the rocking chair watching The Voice and working on baby afghan #2. I am not real sure that afghan #1 will get to one of the twins or be donated with the church quilts. If I get the #2 one finished in time, I will make another one with newer yarn that isn’t such a mismatch of colors. I really like them to match better. On the other hand, the older yarn is so much softer. Who knows how it might turn out.

My happy moment for the day is that the service at the home went well, and I was able to have a nice visit with our member who has been there for a long time. She has been feeling a bit under the weather, but was able to get out of her room today and that was great. I was also able to get tonight’s services put together fairly easily and the best part was that I down loaded the form to request my license to be renewed and I completed my part in about 10 minutes including gathering up all the papers that need to be sent in with it. Now if the right people are here tonight, I can get the signatures on the contract and have someone fill out the church board part of the request and we are set. Except the part about waiting for the answer of if it passes or not.

Geese on the long jump runway

One other thing that I found some time for today was to drive out to the lake and take some more geese pictures. It is so funny how they have invaded the track and field complex. They didn’t even scare and fly away when I pulled up close to the long jump runway and started taking pictures. I think the man driving past in his pickup was more mixed up about what I was doing than the geese were. Well this is all for now. Hopefully I will be able to spend tomorrow going crazy trying to figure out my church mileage to complete our personal income tax information. Yikes I did such a good job of putting that all in one place my first year. This year I have it in a booklet, in my calendar and on my phone. Perhaps this next year, one spot should be enough. OK, I am finished for now, and remember to Beware the ides of March…..

Back to winter, again

Gift from Paulina

What a weekend! We thought that we would be spending time at home getting some things accomplished, maybe getting to the message for church a little early, and instead we got a phone call on Friday night asking us to please come and get Paulina from the airport in Bismarck. Apparently when they went to the airport, they were crowded and no one figured on her coming back with them. They also had some sort of glitch in Orlando and ended up in the airport over night instead of staying in a motel nearby. What a thing to be in a strange place, tired and have all your luggage and not being able to sleep because you were not sure what was going to happen. It sounds a bit to me like there needs to be a leadership change in the group in terms of the adult advising it. The only thing that I could tell Paulina is those going into teaching received a hands on education of why the adult needs to be mature and they know more about how to treat students in their care. End of that lecture. She brought us this little Minnie Mouse ball to put on our van antenna. I put it on the crochet hook because I don’t want it to blow away or be faded by the sun or ruined by the snow or rain. Roger thought it would be a great toy, so I have to keep it away from her too.

The shop this evening

At any rate there was a storm coming into the area yesterday and today, and so we were a bit leery about getting on the road. We made it to Bismarck fine and by the time we picked up Paulina and Katie, the snow had let up. Jessica left Jamestown as we were leaving McDonald’s and we met at the truck stop in Steele. It was really nice of her to brave the elements for a sister and friend. Paulina hopped in the driver seat and Jessica curled up in the back to sleep on the way back to Jamestown. Today Jess said she could feel the babies drop. I sure hope they hang on for their duration to grow and develop as needed before they come out to meet this cold world.

In between inside and outside door.

Well, this morning was even worse in terms of weather. It did not snow much overnight. I would know because I wasn’t finished with the message for today and pulled one of those write until I can’t hold my eyes open, sleep for an hour or two then wake up and write some more than sleep, and that is how I made it to 7:30 a.m. and was about to do the last half a page and the prayer when James looked out the window and said it was time to call for a road report. A dial to 511 and a text to one of the farmers, and we had determined there was no travel advised in our area and so the phone tree was enacted to call off church. What a deal. The rest of the day was spent watching Hallmark movies, taking cat pictures and alternating between knitting and crocheting and eating.

Roger

I also had a hard time keeping Roger off my lap. She is really having a hard time staying warm as of late. I think maybe it isn’t so good for her to be in Sophia’s special thyroid food so much. [Evidence is in this picture. I am finding her sitting on the heater vents quite often.] I will have to make sure she eats more of her own food. Speaking of food, I am currently so stuffed with taco soup that I can barely sit, but it was really good. I guess I will go back to the chair by the TV and work on the afghan some more.

De-clutter/Reduce/Repurpose or Move it out 1-10

I keep reading these lists of what to eliminate in order to get rid of all your clutter. They vary anywhere from 25-100 thing to throw out. I can’t say that I agree with many of them. Actually, the more digging I have been doing, the more I have been finding the value of hanging on to certain things. It seems that the past two weeks, I have been more than thankful for the many things that I keep around. I do agree that certain things should be rearranged or organized better, and some should be eliminated, though I don’t see that all things should be tossed into the garbage. Some of them should be donated or repurposed. Well, you can probably guess what is coming. Here are 10 ideas I have of what to do with the extra stuff hanging around your place.

1–Old Towels: Some suggest donating them to animal shelters and that is a good idea. Here we use towels until there is not much left and then I end up cutting them into squares to be used as scrub rags. I did notice a post someplace about cutting them into strips and weaving them into rugs. I might try that one sometime.

2– Shoes: I was always taught that shoes mold to your feet and shouldn’t be passed on like other clothing. I also wear mine until there is not much left, so they really need to be tossed out.  I am not quite like the stereotypical woman when it comes to shoes. I have a shoe rack that holds 9 pair and seldom have more than it can hold. When I bought a new pair for the wedding, I checked the rack for some to remove. I found a never worn pair to donate and a worn out pair of tennis shoes that was ready for the garbage. Hurrah, that was my toss out for the day, but not before I salvaged the shoe strings. I always find those helpful in sewing projects, or if they are not in the best condition, they end up in the garden cabinet and are used to tie up the pepper plants in a wind storm.

3–Clothing: I have not done a serious purge of my closet, but I did a few drawers earlier this winter. Socks, unders and such. I mostly tossed what was worn out, had elastic showing. I did find some never worn items that will be donated. I also have a pile of about 10 pair of socks that I just plain don’t like. They will become a snake for the door in the near future. I will post on that when it happens.

4–Old Eye glasses: Recently I realized our eye Dr. place takes old glasses. What a relief. James and I gathered up about 7 or 8 pair between the two of us. I also cleaned out several of the glasses cases and included them. Hopefully they will be able to help someone. It felt really good to be able to remove something that will be of value to someone else. And, the best part was because we turned in so many, they refilled two of our glasses cleaner bottles for free.

5–Paper and notebooks: This is one that really gets me when I see suggestions to throw away extra notebooks and paper. Instead organize them and place them either in a designated desk drawer or a shelf where you can locate them. Recently I also found lots of little note pads which I stacked up and put on the edge of my desk for future use. Drop one in your purse and put one beside the phone with a pen for taking notes. If you really want to get rid of the extras and you have full notebooks, drop them off at your local elementary school. Teachers can always find a use for paper.

6–Pens and pencils: Sort before you toss. Dry pens and pencils too short to hold belong in the garbage, but all the rest can be used at sometime by someone. If you don’t need all that you have, find a place to donate them. Again schools are always an option.

7–Food: So this might not be a donate area. This is a reduce. James and I have been trying to limit the amount of food we have been purchasing and using up what is already in the freezer or on the shelves in the pantry or the cellar. The positive of this is that we have been eating less junk food and the freezer is finally not a problem to close. We might even be able to defrost it by summer. Ha!!

Digital:

8–Apps: Before we left for Tennessee, I realized there would be no pictures taken with my phone or iPad unless some of the memory was freed up. I began by eliminating at least one of the games that I never use.

9. Pictures: Pictures take up most of the storage on my phone. We downloaded what was on the iPad to the computer and burned them onto CD’s then I erased them from both the iPad and the phone. I would back them up onto the cloud, but I need to take the time to clear that of an App that should not have backed up on it.

10. Computer files: We needed to take the lap top in for a virus check, which in the long run was a good plan. Because I was afraid of losing files, I finally put the important items on a zip drive and now I have them with me to use at home on the lap top or in the church office if need be. It was actually nice this past Wednesday in the office to have access to all of my sermons and bulletins for reference when I was trying to plan the rest of the Lenten services. And the laptop now has lots more room for other files, like the new track season.

So, that is all I have for now. I am looking at the clutter on my coffee table and looking forward for when it is empty. Currently it holds a pile of papers that need to be organized into a neat little list for the income tax person. My plan is to have that turned in by Monday afternoon. Hopefully I don’t get side tracked. It actually isn’t a problem and is rather fun to do once I get started. Now if I would just finish here, I could get to it.

Still winter here

This morning

This was the view from our van this morning as I joined James in heading to school. I had agreed to substitute for the elementary special education teacher today, so we were off early. It is still snowing and more is expected over night. Ah such fun.

Last night in Tennessee

Tonight is our last night in TN. We started the day by taking Paulina to the TriCity airport. I keep looking up what the tricities are and only get that it is in Blountville and services Johnson City, Bristol and Kingsport. One place says that is for northeastern Tennessee and southwest Virginia. Another says it serves Tennessee, Virginia, Kentucky and North Carolina. I guess now I know what it is for. It is a bigger airport than Aberdeen, but not as big as Bismarck, and might I say the security was more difficult the closer we were to home, interesting.

Paulina really didn’t want us to leave because she was not looking forward to a long day alone. She was headed for Orlando through Charleston, which she said was a pretty big airport. There she had to grab her unchecked suitcase which would likely be stowed underneath and run to another gate to make her connection. Her report later was that she had to run, she only had a 30 minute lay over and the flights were tight. So we stayed with her until it was time to go through security. She made it without the pat down but the man there waved a wand over her head and teased her about how her top up pony tail nearly touched the top of the detector thing that you have to walk through. Later in the day, I saw several women with the same top pony tail in the mall.

wow just found this draft. I must have fallen asleep before I could post this.

We spent the day driving back to Knoxville because we had to be there early for the flight out in the morning. We stopped at a mall along the way and shopped a bit. We ate there at a Chick-filet then picked up dessert from the Cheesecake Factory. I had mine in the morning as breakfast, not really a good idea as I am not that fond of sweets early in the morning. It was the key lime flavor.

Musicians all over Market Square

After we checked in the man at the desk recommended that we go to Market Square and we did. We happened to hit the night of their Mardi-Growl celebration. Adie managed to find the residue of it just as James was saying, “Don’t step in that dog poop.” She got some on her shoes, but not as bad as some of the other tracks indicated others were hit. I will leave you with a few pictures of that place. Wish I had posted this earlier, but then couldn’t have used any pictures as they were taken with the little Canon and no way to download them during the trip. Catch you later!

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