Sunday, March 4, 2012

Spring in the Midwest

Well, pre-spring to be exact.  All of us who live here in this region of the country know that means severe weather and we've certainly seen way too much of it this past week, with terrible devastation and loss of life.  So much and so many to pray for  . . .  a fellow from the Weather Channel joined last night's news, with a commentary on how our mild winter has contributed to this very volatile weather pattern.  (My wise husband told me we needed a harder winter but I wasn't hearing it. Turns out he was right -- again!)  Yes, I do wish I understood more about weather.

Anyway, on Friday morning I talked to my dear Gena Gayle and she asked if we had received hail - we hadn't.  Here are some photos she sent me - Ramsey is just a mere 13 miles away and this is what they had --

This is Gordon's photo of his drive home from work. At some point, he even pulled off the road and under a tree as he feared the hail might break the windshield of his truck.  He said some of the hail was egg-sized Oh my goodness!

This photo shows hail they picked up at their house! Again - OH MY!   Especially considering that according to Gordon, these were not nearly as large as what he had encountered a few miles away on his drive home!

What's really fascinating to me is that all this was happening there around 7:30 am.  I know exactly what time it hit as I had left church and was hurriedly walking the few blocks to our new home, watching the sky darken and hoping I could make it before the storm hit.  There were a few giant rain drops, but I made it safe and dry and nothing really signifcant followed --- here that is!

And here's their second round of hail, this one closer to mid-day.  Again, just those few miles to the south, it did cut loose here and rain like the dickens but we had nothing like this! 

So . . . what's going on with me . . . I know I sound like a broken record, but we've been so ridiculously busy I can't tell you!  I honestly don't think there's ever been a time when I had more on my plate.  We work at the new house all the time but things are really showing progress now.  I've taken a lot of pictures but of course the camera is at the new house.  It's so hard to remember to bring it home, and then finding the time to connect all the hardware and upload photos -- well, as you see I just haven't gotten around to it.  But I will.  I am humbly surprised when people tell me what they read on my blog - I can't believe ya'll keep tuning in when I'm so bad about updating.  But one day soon . . . I keep saying we will find a 'normal'.  One of these days.

In house news -- all cabinetry has been painted (kitchen, bath and built-in bookcases), along with all ceilings and the walls in all rooms except the kitchen and one large basement wall.  Countertops have been replaced. All carpets have been removed and precious Linda and Gena helped me with one of the nastiest jobs possible - scraping carpet padding from hardwood!  One room looks great, one okay, one not so great - those two rooms are awaiting professional evaluation.  I have spent a full week painting doors and trim but I'm getting so close.  Flooring for living/dining rooms, kitchen and bath were scheduled to begin this week but postponed - and that was a hidden blessing for me, buying me some extra time.

In sewing -- plans are underway at Jackmans for a baby extravaganza in May and not this past week but the week before, I spent some time working on that.  I finished an adorable snuggly bunny blankee and floor quilt so far and there's more to come. I also finished a darling (and simple!) little girls dress.  Zach's ordination to the priesthood will be May 26th and this week he made his final decisions for vestment trims so we will be getting that order placed and I shall soon embark on all that holy sewing I have yet to accomplish!  In in my spare moments I am considering old and new options for teaching  . . . more on that when I figure it out myself!

Like I said, there's just sooo much right now!  Reminds me of a comment made several years ago when I was complaining about having so much to do - someone who knew me well told me I wouldn't be happy if I didn't have too much to do.  Kind of shocked me at the time because I hadn't realized that about myself but it is oh-so-true!

In closing, it is with a heavy heart that I say goodbye to my beloved friend John.  A great man, an inspiration for always.  And to Sue - dog lover exquisite and step-mom to my dear cousins.  Eternal rest grant unto them O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them.  Prayers for Bob B, Dave, John F, Bob H, Jack & Betty and Nick, and for the scary things happening on a politcal level.  And especially for the peace and grace of God on each of us, that we can find Him in every moment and circumstance of our life - be it joy or grief.  I am thankful for Kyle's safe return from a business trip to the east coast.

God bless you all!
Love, Janis

Sunday, February 5, 2012

I've Been Away

. . . in more ways than one.  Since my last post at Christmas (oh my goodness!), we've been crazy busy.  After the holidays and my birthday, I had a couple of weeks of serious work at the new house, then took off for a trip of a lifetime - a cruise of the Southern Carribean with my dear cousin Gena Gayle, and my sorta cousin and aunt - Kendra & Judy.  Really by blood, they are only related to Gena but they are truly family to me.  I grew up admiring Aunt Judy and giggling at Kendra with her spunky personality and delightful sense of humor.  They are still all that and more and we had an incredible time!
So I'm swiping pictures off Kendra's facebook page - she won't mind! :)                                              

Here we all are - Gena, the ship's captain Luciano something (can't recall his italian name), Aunt Judy, me, Kendra and Cruise Director 'Goose' (how would you like to be called Goose?!)  
The natural beauty of Grand Turk - aww!
Here we are at Jimmy Buffet's Margaritaville - also on Grand Turk. It was fun and pretty!
Gena & me
It was truly a memorable trip. We all had so much fun, not only because of the remarkable cruise experience but most especially the pleasure of reconnecting.  There wasn't a moment we weren't talking and enjoying each others company, sharing memories and stories -- lots and lots of giggles and just a couple of tears here and there. 

Yes, I know, I still can't believe I did it either! So unlike me. It's something I never thought I'd do even under the best of circumstances and it took more than a little courage on several different levels.  But I'm glad I did.  I'm even thinking I may go back to teaching at Jackmans to try to save enough pennies to do it again someday . . . I recognize I've come a long way . . .

Anyway, I'm now back to the crazy busy world I left here in Fayette County.  Since returning I've been working long and hard on the new home (like Randy did all the time I was gone - Eek!).  We are finally able to see some visible progress.  For so long it was only the not-so-fun things that had to be done but weren't noticeable.  New siding is now up, we added shutters and Randy & John finished the deck this week.  I started painting, have almost all the ceilings done and one room with color on the walls - woohoo!  In that same room we removed the carpet to reveal the wood floor -- which will take some elbow grease but is going to look great.

I'm using the weekend to sew on priestly garments and baby-sat last night with Kyle's new puppy Toby.  Yes, I haven't even mentioned that . . .

Toby came home (from 2nd Chance Animal Rescue) on December 29th and he's doing so well.  Kyle, Meg and all of us are so thrilled.  Hold on -- Rusty says "thrilled" is a bit over-the-top for him.  He's very tolerant, but he does from time to time grow weary of Toby's exhuberance and puppy ways. ;) 

On that note, I will close for today and get busy with all the things that await.
Prayers of thanksgiving for the birth of Colton.  Prayers for Bob, Tracy, Dave, John, Jack & Betty. Best wishes to all of you for a blessed weekend.

Love, J