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!

Spring is here!!

Flowers on campus

I didn’t take any pictures of spring today, but a couple of weeks ago, I had to write the ministerial contribution to the local paper. It was the week after we returned from the trip to Nationals to watch Paulina. In Tennessee the flowers were blooming and I took some pictures of them, so I will share both the pictures and the story here.

Recently my youngest sister, my husband and I took a trip to Tennessee. We went to Eastern Tennessee State University in Johnson City to the National NAIA Indoor Track and Field Competition to watch our daughter participate in the weight throw. I was expecting sunshine and plenty of warm weather and so packed cropped pants and t-shirts and light jackets, we were going south, after all. Much to my surprise and chagrin, we woke the first day to snow and ice on the tarp over the outdoor pool. Of course I had not done a good job of checking out the geography of the area, and I ended up slightly chilly as a result.

We could see the Great Smoky Mountains through most of the trip. We saw them as we drove from the airport in Knoxville to Johnson City and again when we left in the airplane to return home. Sadly we never actually had the time to enter the park associated with them or do any serious touring. At least I was able to snap lots of pictures of the countryside as we drove along. Some highways were lined with trees others were walls of rock and some were ditches similar to ours with the difference being that they were filled with daffodils in bloom. Not many of the trees were sprouting leaves, but the flowers were blooming and the grass was green. It was a sure sign that spring was closer than the cool air was indicating.

This morning when I opened up my devotional booklet it instructed me to read from Isaiah 55: 10-11. “For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return there until they have watered the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth, it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and succeed in the thing for which I sent it.” (NRSV) The words in this passage are another reminder of spring and all that God does for us in terms of providing the seasons and the conditions that allow for growth of plants and grains to give us food for the body and growth of God’s word to give us food for the soul.

As spring approaches our area, take some time to experience the wonder of God’ creation as the grass turns green, the trees show their leaves and the flowers break out in bloom, and as you do be sure to give thanks for all the blessings you have been given.

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.

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.

Home to see the geese

Geese are coming home.

Geese are coming home.

When we were jut about home today we could see lines and lines of Canadian Geese circling in front of us. As we got closer to the open water just south of Herreid, we saw hundreds sitting on the ground and more coming in to land. We stopped to take some pictures, but with only the little Canon and no zoom the shots were not that great. I will share the best of what I have and hopefully find some time tomorrow to take some good versions of the 2017 north migration. I will also find time later this week to post a few more of the Tennessee pictures. Just like I told James for two weekends, as much as you anticipate something in a blink it is over and you are at home feeding the cats and looking out the window. Well, we are in the middle of Lent, and so I have plenty of church work to do as well as some personal and business. Just hope we find the energy to get it all finished. Then add to that the track team practice will start on Wednesday without me, oh well, I think they can handle it.

What an Awesome day!!

Sunrise Feb. 21, 2017

Sunrise Feb. 21, 2017

Today was an absolutely beautiful day for February 21 in the northern edge of South Dakota. I woke around 5 a.m. as usual let the cat in the bathroom to eat then went back to bed and turned on the local news station. The television had been on the I Love Lucy show and was she at her best today. The tore up a banner to crawl off a balcony that she had been trapped on because she was trying to get a look at some celebrity. Wild antics that is for sure. Anyway, not the point of the post. I fell back asleep and woke to my phone going off, one of the schools needed a substitute. Hmmm. I had already missed the ride so I said no. When I called James to ask where he was, he was close enough to come back, but when I called the lady back, she already had someone. Hurrah! So, that was that and time to get up and get to work.

Sophia relaxing

Sophia relaxing

Roger on the deck

Roger on the deck

I started the day by putting on some sweats and slipping into some shoes and grabbing the camera. Wow was the sunrise pretty. The first pictures I took were without the card in the camera, so run to the computer, get the card and start over. I don’t think I missed much. I never checked the high temperature today, but it was pretty nice. I hung some clothes on the line and let the cats outside off and on. They were so happy to lay in the grass and run around that I had a time getting them back into the house. I even turned off the furnace and opened some of the window. Perhaps the most of what I did today was to eliminate some of those pesky spotted flies that we call Attic flies. What a pain they are. They only come out in the winter when the heat is on. I think it will be mandatory to spray the attic next year like we did two years ago.

Mostly I was happy that I feel much better today. I could barely walk on Sunday afternoon after I tried to lift the laundry basket out of its hamper area. My knee was bad enough from this weekend and my back wasn’t great, but that twisting lift did me in. I got to the chiropractor as quickly as I could on Monday, and it was even better than I had hoped. Somehow she gets me randomly talking and I mentioned that my stomach is bothering me and that I have so much pressure under my ribs. Short version is that after checking a few things she gave me an idea of what it is and suggested probiotics for now. I may after the wedding and the trip to Tennessee go and check it out further, but for now, I have hope that I will be feeling better and that it isn’t some major thing that needs surgery. Yipee!!

img_9011I ended up doing all the laundry including my church robe and I even hung out James’ new suit pants. They have a crease in them from the hanger and the plan was that with the snow melting below them the humidity would ease out some of the creases. Not so much, so I will be doing a bit of ironing on Wednesday before everything gets packed. Thursday we are heading north to Jamestown and about 7 p.m. that night we will have rehearsal then at 6 p.m. on Friday Jessica is getting married to Tony. First off, I can’t believe that I am old enough to be married and have children and now the second one is getting married. How old do they want to make me? OK, so you are as young as you feel? Ha!!

I also, the time between laundry loads, did some reading of background information for the scriptures this weekend, yes I am doing the service, and it is scary, but it will be fun scary and a bit more exciting than having to console a family at a funeral, but scary in the sense that it is an unknown sort of thing, and well, I guess that means doing a little more research and a little more digging so that I know what I am talking about and what I am doing. (The run on sentence was for the scary effect, Ha!) If any one hears me rehearsing they will think I am crazy, but then I won’t feel like a fool when I am reading away and wondering if I am doing it right. Of course we will work out any of those kinks on Thursday night so no big deal. It might be fun to have a more front row view than a person normally gets at a wedding.

I remember our wedding, being a total wreck up until the day, and then I was a fitzer during the pictures, but after walking down the aisle and getting to the front of the church what I remember most is hanging on to James because he was shaking like a leaf. Pretty much I spent most of the ceremony trying to hold him up and keep him calm; it was crazy. Wonder which one of these two will be shaking and which one will be holding?

Oh yes, besides the reading and the laundry, I did a few items of clutter cleaning today. It is starting to feel like we are getting one or two corners available for use around here. There really isn’t a dent in the basement, but there is just a good feeling around the edges. I will post more details later. It is so exciting that I have three  large boxes on the counter that are being filled for the wedding, and for the baby shower the next day. (Of course in our family we never do one thing at a time, but this makes really good sense in terms of traveling time.) I am hoping to leave two boxes behind with most of the items inside. There are one or two things and the third box that I do want back, but I am happy to know that some things are leaving this house never to return. YAYAYA!!

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