"These happy golden years are passing by, these happy golden years." Laura Ingalls Wilder

Thursday, January 31, 2008

I'll Be Back (hopefully)

AFTER WINTER. Maybe sooner if we have a winter thaw. Today is the fourth day of school closures due to more snow. My kids and I are fine all snug at home for the day. We have food, electricity, water, and board games to play. If you don't see a post for a week ... send in the troops please. This is Mrs. Mac signing off .. TTFN (ta-ta-for-now)

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Yes We Have ...

SNOW! According to the local weather gurus, this latest winter storm has dumped the most snow in the past fifty years! We got about two feet in a day and a half ... that's on top of the 10 inches last week ... on top of the already compacted foot. Yesterday I spent about three hours doing my best to compact the snow on our driveway before plowing some of it. With this much snow ... where to put it is the question? Just getting out of the garage was difficult with four wheel drive ... and coming back from picking up my grandbaby my four wheel truck got stuck on a snow berm. Being a 'manly' woman ... (as my daughter calls me) ... I hiked from the street to the house with baby in arms ... grabbed a snow shovel and dug out the truck ... a nice neighbor came over to help. That hubby of mine! Just where was he?? In San Diego on a vacation day with friends! (And he complained that it was raining ;( ...poor baby!) Of course, all of the school districts took a snow day. Let's see, all last week Nathan was home sick with a cold ... and now a snow day ... I'm so looking forward to him going back to school tomorrow ;) ... he's been bouncing off the walls (me too).

Photo: My front yard and plowed driveway ... btw, that nice plow job is courtesy of my very nice neighbor ... he came and cleaned up my attempt. My time spent: 3 hours. His time spent: 5-10 minutes with his bobcat.

Friday, January 25, 2008

A Death With or Without Closure? (Update below)

Yesterday I had a message on my answering machine from my bio dad. He never initiates a call ... always says he was just about to call me after he answers my phone call to him (once every three months or so). So to hear his voice on my recorder saying, "this is your old man, give me a call tonight" ... left me thinking someone had died. And sure enough, his wife (my step mom) of 30+ years had died after a lengthy and painful case of stenosis of the spine ... plus she and been a heavy smoker her whole life. She apparently removed her oxygen mask during the night, as that's how he found her in the morning. Soon the coroner and sheriff's department arrived ... and a short time later a (medical) university van arrived and took her body away. You see, she and my bio dad have made arrangements to leave their bodies to science. I'm not sure why ... just don't want to pay for a funeral ... or ... have some great humanitarian quest to help the med students. I rather think it's the first suggestion quite frankly. When I finally returned his call he was finished with the arrangements, had plans of working today, and didn't want me to send flowers or a sympathy card. There's to be no memorial service ... nothing ... she's just gone ... no closure ... nada. I mentioned if he felt sad or lonely to give me a call (we live in different states so I can't just go pay a visit). I'm sorry ... but I need closure. I'm going to respect his no flowers or card wishes ... but I am going to write him a letter. If nothing else, I can find a bit of closure myself by doing so.

Update: Last night I gave my dad a call and we must have talked over 90 minutes. This was the longest conversation we have ever had (we have only seen each other three times since 1990). He was able to give me more details about their final arrangements that made more sense than just casually hearing for the last ten years that they are leaving their bodies to science. The university does have memorial services a few times a year and family members are invited to them. The deceased are given a memorial plaque somewhere on the grounds in a specified area where ashes are buried. He went on in detail how caring for her had been very difficult and mentally draining on him and how much pain she had been in and all the medications and surgeries she had endured. She was a character of a woman ... always opinionated and bossy with a fiery temper ... he is laid back to a fault. With all of her brassiness, I do, however, believe she had an enduring love and belief in Jesus. And I pray she is at peace with Him now.

Rest In Peace
July 1, 1927 - January 24, 2008

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Mr. Mac Is Pulling The Plug

... no, not on life support silly, just his day job. Can't believe it, but his retirement is in the extreme countdown phase. He soon will say goodbye to the PD and hello dear family that I have missed for the last two years, except for occasional visits. End of watch date is set for May 9th. His locker count down clock must be sensing it's usefulness is about over. I'm beginning to prepare to live on his pension by paying off any outstanding bills and learning to just say no to items that call out to me from the shelves at Walmart ;) Looking for ad matches and coupon clipping will by my new past time. I've already begun limiting my extra trips to town to conserve gasoline. Mr. Mac is not ready to sit at home on our front porch rockers. He plans on getting another job for about five more years. This is definitely gonna require some adjustments.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Green Thumb?

Yesterday on my shopping adventure, I spied the 75% discount rack at our local Target store. There, out in front, were boxes of Chia Garden Herb kits on sale for $3.98. Now being that there will be no local farm veggies for quite some time, I decided to try my green thumb at growing windowsill herbs to liven up my winter dishes. If this method proves 'fruitful' I may just have hubby build me a small green house or cold frame to extend the outdoor growing season. As it is, I only have two south facing windows needed to grow indoor seedlings. Just think how big this cottage industry could get!

Here's another example of windowsill gardening:
Another after Christmas deep discount ($3.00 @ TJ Maxx) ... kit included bulb and bulb jar. This is a fragrant paper white bulb I planted about two weeks ago. It's just about ready to bloom. Did I mention the second south facing window is in my bathroom ... guess that narrows my valuable herb garden space ;) There are many bulbs you can 'force' to grow including hyacinth.

If you are interested in brightening up your winter windowsill and can't find a bulb jar, you can use a small (approx. 6 inches tall) carafe available at a craft or kitchen store) as shown above. Directions can be found here

Bulbs may or may not be easy to find this time of the year. Last time I checked at Walmart a few weeks ago, they had oodles of hyacinth bulbs at just pennies a piece.

BTW, I didn't put my paper white bulb in cold storage ... just filled the jar with water and within a few days it started to sprout. Hope you try this fun project. I'll post a few progress pictures as my herbs start to grow and the flowers bloom.

Photos: By Mrs. Mac ... all copyrighted ... except the Chia Herb Gardening one ;)

Baby It's Cold Outside

Beautiful ... but cold
Cloud free skies
Lots of sunshine
No picnic today
Better bundle up baby!

Suffering from a case of cabin fever, Mrs. Mac went on a little (kid free) outing yesterday. With unusually cold temps, she made her way from the warmth of her home nestled in the mountains of North Idaho to snap nature photos, purchase sewing supplies, and bring back snacks for the kids. What a grand adventure ;)

Copyrighted photos taken by Mrs. Mac on 1/21/08: A frozen Lake in North Idaho, icicles hanging from a rocky outcrop, icicles hanging from Mrs. Mac's garage, her backyard picnic table ... not in use today, part of her self-plowed driveway, last night's moon rise ... what a gal that Mrs. Mac ;) ;)

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Weekend Agenda

To Do List:
  1. help finish up college scholarship applications with Ann
  2. finish sewing bedroom drapes
  3. clean hard surfaced floors
  4. laundry (always)
  5. watch the grandbaby part of Sat. & Sun.
  6. take myself & the dawg for a hike
  7. bake cookies
  8. ponder turning 50 next month (oiy vey!)
  9. decide what (career) I want to do when I grow up (& don't have kids at home) ... aah never mind
  10. pray hard and devise a plan to somehow get to church ... if not ... have a Bible study at home.
  11. call the folks

Friday, January 18, 2008

What I Do For Fun On Thursday Nights

Granny's Slumber Party:

Where: Granny Mac's Home
When: Every Thursday Night (Until your mommy graduates dental night school)
Time: 4:30 PM 'til ?
RSVP: A day in advance
Bring: Diaper bag, formula

On Thursdays I keep my grandbaby overnight because his mommy has night school and his daddy gets off work at 9:00 PM. They both have to be at work very early on Friday mornings.

Currently I'm watching "Wonder Pets" (The new "Barney") ... this episode is all about going wee, wee ;) I think WP is very cute ... but watching more than a few episodes is punishment for this granny ;)

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Moose On The Loose

Over the past several weeks I have personally spied four different moose just 25 feet from my dining room windows. One cow and calf together ... a bull ... and a 'youth.' At the first sighting my dawg was out roaming our property, and when she cautiously tried to inspect mama and baby (with raised fur and tail) ... she was given a little warning charge from said mama (my dawg is not too bright, eh). I am forever checking outside when it's time to take out the trash. I'm wondering how many times the moose visit at night when I'm not watching ??. We sometimes have the hoof prints of a mini deer & moose freeway trotting through our snow. That does it! My bedroom drapes are going up this week ... lazy or not!

(Stock moose photo ... I'm not CRAZY!)

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Diminishing Talent?

What was is no longer in me. There was a time in my life when I could just muster up enough imagination to simply create something. Be it sewing from an antique dress pattern ... arranging flowerbeds .... or baking a gazillion hand decorated Christmas cookies. My last great effort was spent on designing and furnishing our new home. However, I think my light bulb is growing dim. Oh, I still subscribe to home decorating magazines ... but no longer do I rip out pages for my idea scrapbook. I still enjoy ooohhhing and aaahhhing over magazine spreads showing plates and dishes brimming with yummy looking food. To be honest, I don't know the last time I've even tried to make a dish from a magazine. I've fallen into a pattern of making meals that are standard, tried and true meals my kids will eat. No fancy dinners served on China dishes with crystal goblets. No getting out the vintage silverware that belonged to grandma. Why? It's just too much work to hand wash all the finery. My new motto: Keep It Simple. It is becoming harder and harder for me to expend brain cells on creativity. I still have curtains to finish up and walls to decorate at home ... but getting it done is like pulling teeth ... OUCH! My midnight oil is running low.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Baby's "Booty"

With the arrival of my first grandson last March, this grandma has begun to outfit a home nursery with: playpen, car seat, diapers, formula, etc. It's like starting all over again. Last week the roads were in poor condition from the snow ... and son-in-law could not make it up the hill to pick up Jacob (some days I have to pick up the baby from his daddy at the local bar's parking lot (hee, hee) which is the closest area with plowed morning roads). I kept the baby overnight and said I would drive him home in the morning. Well, I forgot I didn't have a car seat yet when making this statement. Ann had to leave late for school so I could drive my 11 year old Nathan to the bus stop (minus the baby) ... Now all that's missing is a proper high chair. I'm sure next payday, that will be on my shopping list.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

What I Did On My Snow Day

My hibernation is over and ... and yet ... I'm still ... nestled at home. There is a great hush just outside my front door. It quietly descended through the night.

Ring, ring went the phone at 5:49 AM ... I must have turned off my alarm by mistake ... but now the phone is ringing. Ann's boyfriend is calling to inform me that there is no school today due to snow. I ponder for a moment about whether or not I should get up. Yes, I must go shovel the snow off the top of our heat pump before the thermostat kicks on. On go my boots. I grab the snow shovel and trudge through the back patio to said pump. Scrape, scrape, scrape. Just in time. I'm not sure what would happen if it turned on with all the snow piled up ... but it would likely burn out the motor. I start raising the shades. It's still dark outside but the neighbor is already using his Bobcat to push snow here and there. First his driveway ... then our common gravel driveway. Next Ann informs me that he has shoveled and pushed all the snow off part of our driveway. Enough so I can get the cars out. The circle drive section will just have to wait until we have a thaw. Through most of the morning we had satellite tv and internet reception. Then by 1:00 PM both are out. Again ... on with boots, coat, gloves, hat and scarf ... along with a cobweb duster to clear the satellite dishes. The tv dish is on a 6 foot pole but getting to it I must trudge through knee deep drifts. The internet dish is on the back edge of our garage roof. For this one I need a ladder. Steady now ... there ... we now have a connection. It's a blessing to be warm and snug at home with my children. And I am very appreciative of the neighbor that cleared the ten inches off our driveway. The weather outlook for tonight is more snow ... possibly 3-4 more inches.

With free time on my hands, I flipped through about 15 old photo albums searching for a childhood picture of each of my children. I then got out our wedding album and searched for a picture of Mr. Mac and me. Yesterday I purchased five frames: 4 shabby chic cream 5 x 7 frames and one shabby chic black 8 x 10. With supplies in hand I scanned, enlarged, enhanced, cropped, and tinted five pictures a beautiful sepia tone. The framed pictures are now hanging above my headboard and finish the wall behind our king size bed.

Today has been a productive stay at home day. If I get out tomorrow, I'm off to the sporting goods store to buy some snow shoes.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008


Happy New Year wishes to everyone. I'm sleeping for a week now that my company has departed. Be back to posting more silly thoughts in a few days.