Foggy day, foggy sinuses

Well Monday isn’t much better in terms of the sinus/sore throat/can’t breathe situation. I woke this morning worse than Saturday, or so I felt. I was up yesterday at 5 a.m. and never did sleep until after midnight. I have been miserable since the last of the pills wore off on Saturday. I am hoping to get some today. I tried at the local pharmacy place, but not the kind I like to use and I am too stubborn to try something different.

This morning the sun was shining and the sunrise was actually fairly pretty, but when I looked outside at 9 a.m. I was shocked at what I saw. A massive fog had moved in and it was really thick, but so bright that it hurt your eyes to look at it. Actually today everything hurts my eyes, they don’t stop watering. It feels like the mucus is so tight behind my eyes that they are nearly popping out. I know this is really an appetizing and wonderful blog to read, NOT!!

I was planning to skip out on track practice today, but I am thinking if we are outside, I probably can’t germ up anyone. I am also supposed to sub tomorrow for the computer teacher, so I will try to pull it together to fulfill that obligation. I am really hoping to get a few more sub dates this spring to help reload the savings account since I found out what the synod trip is going to set us back, yikes. We will probably be doing one of those credit card roll over things which is so not advised by the money experts, but sometimes you do what you must. I just know there won’t be any crazy purchases or wild trips in our lives after this.

Enough of this wailing and gnashing of teeth. I better take a hot shower and head north. Maybe I can catch a nap in the van before practice. Sitting up seems to be the only way I can sleep. No just to make sure that I wait until the van is parked before I take the snooze. Catch you later. O, by the way the sunrise picture at the top is from a couple of weeks ago, but it was nearly that pretty early this morning, too.

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…..

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!!

Sun dogs!!

The whole scene

The whole scene

Today as I looked out the kitchen window to the east I noticed this rainbow hanging sideways in the sky, and then my brain kicked on and I thought, “Sundogs!” As I grabbed the camera and headed to the east door, I realized it was two and not just one, and I was happy the short lens was already on the camera, so hopefully I could get the whole effect in one shot. Just as I quit shooting and closed the door, I looked at the window in the camera and read the dreaded words, No Card! Once again the smart card was left in the computer and so I had to run upstairs to find it and replace the card then retake the shots, which as always don’t turn out quite as nice, but I get, what I get and here is what I have.

img_8970img_8972I also took shots of each individual sun dog and this is what I have here first the one to the left and then the one to the right. I tried to crop off the propane tank and the clothes line, but was not able to get rid of the garden in all of the photos. I guess this is what the back yard looks like so we will just have to endure. I keep thinking that some day I should pull out the oil paints preferably before they dry up, and try to capture some of this, but with all of nature, it seems that we are never quite able to copy what we see and even the camera never quite gets the color the same. I often wonder if that is an accident. I am beginning to believe there really aren’t any accidents, but that life is mostly directed. Scary thought isn’t it.

Shortly after the photo session, I turned on the radio and began putting together some breakfast. As I was listening to the local station, the early segment of Dairy Queen Trivia hit. They read a question and if you are the first caller with the correct answer you go to their station and pick up a token to go to the local DQ for an ice cream treat. I have done it a few times, but have only picked it up once because I rarely am in that town anymore, but it is fun to try to get the correct answer. Well today I won. I was the second caller and the first person was wrong. The question was: In what southern city is there a museum with the original trolley car from a Street Car Named Desire. The first lady guessed St. Louis. WRONG!! It is New Orleans. Anyone who read the book, or especially taught the book knows that Blanche came to New Orleans to visit her sister on that street car, and drove her brother-in-law crazy, and ended up in a psych ward, and sent the career of Marlon Brando to great heights. So, that was my literature/movie lesson for the day.

I should get off the blog and get to more work. So far today I have answered e-mails, tried to maneuver a website that was a pain, and sloughed a job off on my husband and youngest daughter. I also picked songs and delegated the church secretary to contact the guest musician, then I read the lectionary for Sunday. Next when I should have been working on the order of the vows for my oldest daughter’s wedding coming up at the end of February, I began to ponder what to say to her and her soon to be husband as they are on stage wondering when they can sit down or go to the bathroom or have a smoke break….I am wondering that too, but I began to think about what I really would say to them, and it just started pouring out. Once upon a time, twice actually, I bought myself a recorder to just speak it and then write it when I listen to the play back. Well that didn’t work out so well because I never used them and now they don’t work.

So in order not to forget, I high tailed it to the computer and now I have nearly a page of thoughts in pretty good order for that night. I will work to make sure it gets said without dragging out, and maybe I will print them the long version for reading some day when they are bored or tired of life or each other, or just plain frustrated and want to say, “Why did we do this anyway?” I was there a couple of times, but it never lasted too long, at least not long enough for me to say it out loud. Now that is not to say we don’t have disagreements, we have lots of those and sometimes they are way loud, perhaps that is why we live at the edge of town, but for us getting it all out is better than acting all nice and “honey, sweetie.” That would actually scare us and probably our children too.

Well, so as not to bore any of you any longer than I have, I best get back to it. I still have minutes to type, research to do for Sunday, and hopefully start to put some of that on paper, a bulletin to complete and …. some knitting/crocheting or organizing to complete. I also noticed that I am gravely lacking in the frugal ideas posts that I so sincerely promised to do on a consistent basis this year. Hmmmm I will have to conjure one up for this evening. Take care and hope you were able to accomplish some things today!!

Jan. 17, 2017

Sunrise Jan. 17, 2017 from my side door.

Sunrise Jan. 17, 2017 from my side door.

For six years beyond our mother’s passing we have watched the sunrise and set. The brilliant colors this morning are a testament that life goes on. She also strictly forbid us not to print poems or tributes to her after she was gone, but I am doing this anyway. She also wanted no funeral, only a memorial in the funeral chapel, and I point blank told her funerals are for the living so they may grieve. I think her big concern was the cost to us, but we managed.

She also didn’t care about the flowers sent for her funeral, but would rather have had them prior to her passing. I kept buying her rose bushes, but we never got them growing and blooming. There is still one in her yard that is a pain to clean and mow around, and if I trusted myself to transplant it I would, but I don’t want it to die.

Yesterday we gathered at my house for soup and botched bread (she would have laughed at me) and in our own way, though we didn’t speak of it much, we remembered that weekend of her passing. We each have our own story of how we were told, most stressful, some expectant.

I will never get over not spending New Year’s Eve with her that last year. It was the first time since we moved to this area that we did something with friends. James accepted the invitation in a neighborly gesture, and I was beside myself, but not sure how to bow out without a fight.

I am pretty sure that I went to her house earlier that day. We were all (her, Glenda and me) working on a puzzle in the living room of all places. She kept leaving to go on her oxygen. She told Glenda of these vivid dreams of walking through a beautiful garden with her mother, holding hands, and she was a little girl again. The story of that dream gives me more hope than almost anything else I have ever heard.

I used to dream of her, but don’t much anymore. My daughters do. One day one of them called me and asked what the thermostat was set at in her house (my sisters and I were given that house and still have it pretty much as she left it). That daughter, Victoria had a dream with grandma in it and she said her house was too cold. It was winter and we had the thermostat on something like 55. James and I went to check if the furnace was working and the pipes were ok. Her kitchen sink used to freeze up, but it was ok.

Thinking about her today and trying to count the years, I for some reason couldn’t do the math. I was so frustrated, I kept counting it out the way I do in terms of some one’s grade in school or where I was working. Paulina was a sophomore in high school, so 2 years more of high school, 2 years at BSC now 2 years at UJ should make 6. I kept looking at the date on my heading: Jan. 17, 2016 and the math didn’t work. I finally realized that I had the wrong year on the heading, and have since changed it. I realize that some things just make me too upset to think correctly.

Tonight I will watch the sunset to see if it is a pretty as the sunrise. I know that no matter how beautiful the sky is for us to see, those who see it from the other side see a beauty we can only imagine. The song that our family has sung or listened at funeral’s since my great-grandfather Jacob Fuehrer passed away is “Beyond the Sunset.” Someday we will get to join them all there, what a wonderful day that will be.

The lyrics of that song written by Virgil Brock and Blanche Kerr Brock end with this as the fourth verse according to the hymnal we use. “Beyond the sunset, O glad reunion, with our dear loved ones who’ve gone before: In that fair homeland we’ll know no parting: Beyond the sunset, forevermore! Is there anything else we can ask? I don’t think so.

Dec. 30: Results of the storm and some animals

Sunrise yesterday, Dec. 29th

Sunrise yesterday, Dec. 29th

This morning sunrise happened at 8:21 p.m. The days are starting to get longer, and yesterday the sun was shining with a little heat, which around here is both good and bad. The sun hits the pavement and warms it pretty well, but if the wind pushes the loose snow across the road it begins to stick on and so as the temperatures drop, you have an ice build up. That is where we are now in terms of roads. The plows go out, the sun comes out, trucks and cars drive and seem to wear it all away, but a little breeze in an area with snow filled ditches and start all over again. I didn’t mean to complain about the roads, I was just stating a fact of life in our area. I wanted to catch a picture of the sunrise, but the one I took at 8 a.m. didn’t turn out because for some reason the bright orange never comes through, and later about 8:25 there was a cloud cover and no evidence of any sun in the sky. Oh well….

Sophia mad because she cannot go outside.

Sophia mad because she cannot go outside.

Today will likely be another day of figuring out what to do in an effort to tidy up some of what piled up during that two days of survival mode when the power was off. None of us were in any jeopardy of not existing, it was just annoying that you couldn’t see much because of the lights off or limited and you surely didn’t start any major projects of any kind mostly because of that and the lack of water at one point. Basically any real work was accomplished outside and I was not so much about shoveling or any of that. With the weight of the snow doing any hand shoveling was dangerous and could lead to heart attacks and death, which from what we heard might have been the case for an elderly man in a town close to us.

img_8900What I wanted to show off today was a few of the pictures we have been collecting along the way of our week. Paulina was out with the camera on Wednesday and captured some shots of things including the hawk that keeps returning in search of a bite to eat.

Hawk in the tree

Hawk in the tree

She is always taking close ups of trees and flowers and such. I usually try for the “big” picture so everyone can see the scope of what is happening. I probably get that because I was a lover of landscape painting. I so wish that I could get that drive back. I guess I never did that on my own it was only when I was in a class and forced to work on it for certain periods of time. Maybe that is how I get the “luscht” back.

Trees with shadows falling on the snow

Trees with shadows falling on the snow

I have been taking pictures to look at shadows and colors and have something to use if and when I ever desire to paint again. I don’t know how many times I have bought the supplies, but never do anything with them. One year I gave everything to Victoria thinking she would carry on, but with three children and a daycare, it is not a priority. Good grief if I with a part-time job and plenty of free time don’t pick up a brush, how is she supposed to do it.

Another hat almost finished.

Another hat almost finished.

And besides, I have been concentrating more on needle work type of items. By the way, I can post later on what I was working on yesterday when we headed for Bismarck. Hopefully I can get that finished today. Mostly the power going off prevented me from getting at the sewing stack that is piling up, though I cannot blame it all on that. I have had enough time, just not the ambition. Ha!! Too many computer games to finish off. So, enjoy the rest of the pictures and have a great ending to 2016.

Dec. 24. Foggy morning

Just after sunrise on Dec. 23, 2016

Just after sunrise on Dec. 23, 2016

The picture to the side is actually from yesterday morning. I couldn’t believe how foggy it was when I first looked out the window. It also took a long time for the fog to burn off. In fact when we drove down town to get the mail and go to the bank, I was really surprised that it was still foggy at 1o a.m.

Paulina and I had a super full day, so I tried to get up a little early to get going. I had planned that we were going to make cut out cookies to put in the goodie bags that we were going to give out after the service. As it turned out Paulina said we should use the pineapple upside down cupcakes that she made yesterday, but there were not quite enough so she made 2 double batches of banana bread and we cut and wrapped some of the slices for in the goodie bags. The bags included a few peanuts, a cutie, some chocolates and a couple of little candy canes. It wasn’t much, but just the idea that it was something to remind them of growing up in the church.

It was good that Paulina came up with those other plans of what to put in the bags. I worked all day to get the counter cleared to roll out the cookies and never really did. I wrapped and wrapped and wrapped some more. I didn’t know that we had that many gifts let alone that many to still wrap. Ironically, I ended up wrapping my own. Ha! I still have two to do, but we won’t be seeing that group for a few days, so I have some time. Maybe Paulina and I will get at the cookies.

Sophia and Roger snuggled in my bed when we got home from church.

Sophia and Roger snuggled in my bed when we got home from church.

For now, I think it might be time to crawl a little deeper into the bed between these two crazy cats. They are both curled tight into balls of fur at this time, and Roger is also tight against me. It actually feels pretty good tonight. My fingers and legs have been aching lots today. I think it is related to some change in air pressure in connection to that winter weather thing headed our way. Hopefully it will all go away after it hits. That is the thing with arthritis, it sure lets you know when the weather is changing. and my ankle that was broken is the worst.

OK enough. Merry Christmas to you all.

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