Monday, February 18, 2019

2-18-2019 Monday- 12:15pm

Good afternoon!
Once again--a ton of pictures from both Leah and myself.  I'll try to have them in some kind of sequential order, but I am draggin' today.  Or should I say a little more than my usual draggy self--LOL!
Oh, and if you're not interested in the pictures you can skip to the bottom for some more of my life...the memoir stuff.  ;)
The girls crack me up digging holes to get to seed or grass after it snows.
The two coveys exchange members now and then...
...but they are never all here at the same time.
Okay--funny!  I took a picture to show big the snow pile has gotten...
...and a little while later... came a front loader... dump more snow behind the garages!
Can't see the first and most of the second floor apartments over there anymore.  The snow was missing us for a few years but not this year!  LOL!
Ian said he had a surprise for me.  
I told him I had a surprise for him, too.
I had ordered him some kids jigsaw puzzles!
...and Cars.
There are three small puzzles in each box.
Ian had worked on finishing up his valentines at home for his party last Thursday.  Pictures to follow when I get to Leah's pics and a video.  Sorry--too tired to move them around--LOL!
Dagan came over on Tuesday to fill the seed bin.  The Prius was totaled so they needed to buy a new car.  The Galant started up with a new battery.  I was going to take Ian after school on Friday so they could go car shopping...but that was cancelled because Leah already found a car.
In Des Moines, Iowa.
She wanted a small SUV type of vehicle so they'd have more room.  As it was with the Prius it would only hold two adults in the front and the two car seats in the back.  If her bother Aaron wanted to go out to dinner with them they had to take two cars.
BUT--Leah wanted a hybrid again.  Better for the environment.  And they wanted a used one.  That was the nearest one.  The dealership agreed to drive it 250 miles to Minneapolis and meet her half way.  They'll be doing that tomorrow.  Leah will drop off the rental car in Minneapolis.  The new vehicle is a 2015 Toyota Highlander Hybrid.  Can seat seven!  Whoohoo!
I talked to Ian on the phone when Friday was cancelled and he told me my surprise was a crayon heart.  He assured me it will still be a surprise...even though he told me.
When he came over Saturday I found out how Ian does surprises now.  I got a valentine, but NOT with a crayon heart.  It was a heart he had colored and Mama had cut it out for him.  He put it on my refrigerator for me--LOL! 
I assure you there is a valentine envelope under all the magnets and that's the heart he colored above it.  Ian obviously loved my new magnets I bought to put up his artwork.  (I put cards and other assorted stuff up on the frig, too.)
Leah says he does things like this now for surprises.  Like he'll say he is going to get ready for bed and put on his train pajamas and then come down with a different pair on--surprise!
Ian and I spent all day after lunch putting together the puzzles.  I had him work on the Nemo ones and then surprised him again with the Cars puzzles!  We cuddled up in my chair and watched Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel and then an episode of Mighty Machines all about snow removal.  Then it was time to go.  Another fun Gramma Day!
Meanwhile--the Galant died again.  Dagan had a friend come over who knows about cars and they found a bad wire to the battery.  Only $7.00 to replace it.  It's running again!  So, now we hope it is fixed and will keep running.  :)  They have really had a time of it lately!

Ian and I had just watched one of these big snow blowers on Might Machines.  This morning was the first time I have seen one here!  I knew something strange was happening because I saw grouse and sparrows dart away across the sky and rabbits fleeing for their lives.  I ran to the window to see this huge machine coming down the sidewalk blowing snow across to the snow piles.  It stopped.  I grabbed the cell phone to take pictures.
He got out to try to pull up the orange pole that was put in to show where the sidewalk to the building is.  Yes, he was in a short sleeved t-shirt and it was -2 F...-25 wind chill.
He pulled and pulled.  No luck.  Threw up his hands...
...pulled up his pants... back into the snow blower...
...continued to inch his way along the sidewalk...
...and part of the grass, too!
Spraying snow all over the snow piles along the way.
Almost looked like a huge water hose...
...but that was snow blasted out and over.
This is where the orange stick ended up.  Can you see it in the middle of this picture of the side of the snow pile?
Didn't take the girls too long to return.
Man--between the rabbits and the grouse they have really dug up my pretty snow drift--LOL!  Rabbit poop like confetti--ROFL!
Okay--I asked Leah to get some pictures of Ian working on his valentines!  He was still getting over pinkeye and the cold/cough.  
Oh, and he told me he wants to grow his hair out long like Mama's so he can tie it up so Liam doesn't pull on it.  Will there be a man-bun in Ian's future?  LOL!
The crayon hearts were attached to that card with a circle of red washi tape.
The card says "Hope your Valentine's Day is colorful!"
When you pull off the crayon inside the heart outline it says "Color Me!"
Ian learned a lot about assembly line craft/card/art projects--LOL!
Leah had a brilliant idea.
Being new to writing, Ian was having a hard time knowing where to write on a blank piece of paper.

So she took a post it note that is sticky on the whole back and cut a rectangle for him to write inside.
A lot of work. 
After he signed them all... 
...he put the cards with the crayons inside...
...and then folded them up and sealed them with the tabs.

The bigger heart stamp was under the flap.

Kind of fat with the crayons in them but the tape kept the crayons secure.

He had 24 of them to make.

Did a really good job!
Well, I did finish week four on the book last week.  Took me three different days to write about the memoir part.  Let's just say that from graduation (1968) to when I was married to Jerry and Dagan was born (1974)--OMG!!  Was one crazy roller coaster ride!  It started with being raped a month after graduation.  Kind of changes your life trajectory, shall we say.  I wrote something one day on my blog when I was reviewing a movie.
Rape and Love
It messed me up more than I knew.  I was wounded, aimless, suicidal and self-destructive.  Trying to pull myself together.  My escape--learned how to drink, smoke grass, pop pills, and swear.  Didn't think another living soul cared whether I lived or died.  Was deeply, deeply saddened and yet touched to my core by human beings.  Looking for purpose.  Even tried running away to Canada to start over and join a commune.  (On our way north we heard that somebody was murdered at the commune so we changed out minds about our destination--LOL!)
Helpful Hooker (Running Away To Canada-Part One)

Innocents On The Road (Running Away To Canada-Part Two)
Was even a vagrant in Anoka the summer after Canada.  Had several jobs: waitress, sales clerk, factory, bindery, pet shop...and lived in many places.  (People wrote me in pencil in their address books--lost count at around 30 in the early 90s).  So many stories.  Many different people and circumstances...many different lessons.  I have felt since I was a child that I was on some kind of spiritual quest.  Many of my spiritual lessons were hard earned.  Tough but wonderful.  Silver linings I couldn't see sometimes for decades.  Having a sense of humor, optimism, and living in the present moment has gotten me through.  I always found things to laugh about--even if it was sardonic much too often.  Was focused on survival and the big questions--the whys. 
Oddly, when I thought my life had reached the worst end ever...being unable to support myself any more with my body being a daily pain trial...that has turned out to have a silver lining, too.  I have had the most peace and moved the least in my entire life since I have become disabled.  Truly turned out to be a blessing!  Nothing better than calm, boring days of joy and gratitude.  :) :)
So, until next week...look for the silver linings...look for the lessons that are the gifts from the hard times...appreciate any love in your life...keep laughing.  That's the only advice I can give you today--LOL!  ;)
"Life is a shipwreck but we must not forget to sing in the lifeboats."


  1. Comment to get comments. :)

  2. Hi Rita - what a lovely Ian time. He worked hard making valentines and they are lovely and then Nemo and Cars puzzles and some of his favourite characters to watch. Bird seeds and snow blowers. Lots of outside action. Hugs.

  3. I'm glad to hear Dagan and Leah were able to get a new car and get the other one repaired. Through the years I have had more headaches from cars! They can really get expensive and cause problems. It sounds like you and Ian had some good Gramma time Saturday. Those kind of days are so special and important for you and Ian both.

    You are making progress with writing your memoirs. It must be difficult for you writing some of them but maybe it can be healing too. I know I've spent a lot of my life just trying to survive and those difficult days can sure leave some scars but they can strengthen a person too.

    Take care of yourself Rita and don't get lost in one of those snow drifts! We had a big snow last weekend and another one coming tomorrow night. This has been quite a winter for all of us I think!

  4. It has been a hard time for everyone up there. I love the story of Ian becoming quite the surprise guy. And also glad to learn that they will have another good car, very soon. It was a long post but very interesting. That fat guy didn't need a coat, did he? :-)

  5. That is a lot of snow.

  6. I'm glad the car situation is settled and secure. Cars are such a trial at times! Family times are sweet, and y'all have so much fun :) I'm happy for you that you've reached healing in your journey. It can be hard to look back on hard times :(

  7. I loved the Valentines Ian made, and what a clever idea for Ian to sign his name.
    Lots of snow.....even here in CA....but in the mountains.

  8. Had Leo giving me a hug as I read this he liked the clip, said the little boy was so cute, I explained that was your grandson he said a boy spending time with his nanna is wonderful because no one loves you like your nanna.

  9. WOW - you've been busy! That's a lot of writing (which I haven't read - I've been dealing with taxes and tonight I'm going to hand stitch and relax). Something to look forward to!

    Ian did such a great job on the valentines! That's a LOT of work and focus for such a young guy. You can tell he has had great role models. :) They are quite wonderful!

    The guy in short sleeves - I guess you can get used to anything. That certainly wouldn't be me!

    Rest! Stay snug. We're getting a storm tonight. I don't know if hubby is coming home or not. Always an adventure!

  10. Ian is just wonderful working patiently to create all those valentines. What a special and wonderful little boy he is! Your early sadness prepared you for gratitude, that's a lovely idea. I find your tales of your early life powerful and moving and involving, and I'm full of admiration for your courage, Rita.

  11. What a good time with Ian, I bet his heart crayons were a real hit with his classmates! More snow headed this way tonight, we will get more than you...but the cities will get dumped on again!
    I liked your last quote very much :)

  12. Your blog post "Love and Rape" is extremely powerful - I'm glad you had the courage to write about such a horrifyingly difficult experience. What I admire most is your positive attitude, which - I'm certain - is what saved you. You could have easily been destroyed emotionally.

    I appreciate your words that there's "nothing better than calm, boring days of joy and gratitude". After enduring a lifetime of chaos, I can relate to that.

    Wow! All of that snow has made me shiver!!! Right now, all Tennessee is getting is ENDLESS rain.

  13. That is some snow you've got there!! Ian did so well with his Valentines and writing his name - clever Leah!!! It is late here and we are heading to our caravan tomorrow morning. Having some time with our grandchildren and son! I started to read your memoirs but realise I need more time - I don't think what you went through is meant to be speed read!! I promise I will come back and read them! Meanwhile have yourself a good week and hoping there's no more snow!! Huge, Chrisx

  14. I love Ian's Valentine's.
    You've had the most interesting life to put it mildly. I'm so glad you have silver linings. xo. Wendy from

  15. So much snow - I love Ian's Valentines!
    You have been so busy!

    Have a great rest of the week dear Rita!
    Hugs, Susi

  16. That's a lot of snow! I'm so glad the critters have you.

    The Toyota Highlander is similar to the small SUV Michelle and Alex bought a few years back. Their's seats 7 too but it's not a Hybrid. I hope all went well with them picking up the new car.

    Ian's surprises are too cute — I love how he thinks! He would have loved playing with those puzzles.

    I wonder if Ian will stick with his plan to grow his hair. He'd look cute with a man bun. Leah is a great Mum...I love that she is letting him grow it. A lot of Mums would probably put their foot down and say "No, you're not." I was glad I let Reece grow his out one year...his hair, his choice.

    The crayon Valentine hearts are they were a hit with the kids. Well done on assembling them all, Ian.

    Clever thinking of Leah to use a 'signature guide'. Bradley has one that is credit card sized for when he needs to sign at the doctors/hospital etc. He keeps it in his wallet. I just place it where he needs to sign on the paperwork and it makes it a lot easier for him.

    I've read your 'Rape and Love' post before from your other blog but read it again. Brought tears to my eyes. I'm so glad you lived to tell of the experience and, as I wrote in my comment back then, the term 'soul comforter' truly suits you, my friend. I will read the other posts later today and maybe email you a response or talk about it in my letter. I will just say that I totally get the blessing of calm boring days. I must look for those silver linings more often, I think.

    Love and hugs from Oz xo

  17. Ian's valentines were beautifully done! I bet each recipient was SO happy to receive it. You've had quite the life experiences. I didn't know you went through and has overcome so much in your life. I am so happy you persisted through them, and are here to share them.


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Have a really great day! :) :)