Sunday, March 21, 2010

In Memory of My Step-Father

He passed away, quite unexpectedly this past Wednesday, and everyone is devestated.  My mother has lost, in her own words, "My very best friend."

I remember the first time I ever met him.  He was so quiet and reserved, I asked my mother if she thought he would survive our rather loud, and often obnoxious family.  He did; and offered so much to it.  He had no children from his first marriage, and my brothers and I were grown (or nearly so in my younger brother's case) when he and my mother met, so his first up-close interaction with babies were when the grandchildren were coming along.  Some of the early experiences will live on forever in my mind.  He was always very careful about his own, and my mothers health, and was so unused to the frequent, little things kids go through (the odd, unexplained fever; runny noses; small rash - that sort of thing), that mom and I often had to assure him that the children were indeed going to be okay.  I'll never forget calling their house to have mom meet me at the emergency room when Ri fell and busted open her shin.  Mom was out, running a quick errand, so I had to tell him what was going on, and ask him to tell mom which hospital to go to once she got home.  I tried to assure him that Ri would be okay, and that I only needed mom there to watch the other children so I could go back in the ER with her.  I can't remember how he notified mom of what was going on, but he managed  to beat us both to the hospital.  He was nervously pacing in front of the emergency room doors when I arrived.  Needless to say, he insisted on staying. He did well with the children though, even watching them on his own a time or two (when I was having another baby :D).  Being a university professor, and as such, quite comfortable around young adults, he began to relax and enjoy the children much more as they grew older.  He and Ri were particulary close; they would sit and talk about everything, and occasionally debate issues through e-mail.    Being an amateur photographer, he also helped her out when she began to show an interest in photography.  Not too long ago, he took her to the university's library to allow her to pick out some books on photography.  She's such a book lover too, that she was just awed by a library with "Nine whole floors of books!".  I am so glad she had that special day with him.
I don't expect much time on the computer in the very near future.  I addition to making arragements (jointly with the university), we are going through what seems like mountains of paperwork and files.  We are extremely grateful for all the help we are receiving from some of his colleagues at the university.

He will be greatly missed.


Thursday, March 11, 2010

Around the World, in Eight Hours

Well, maybe not the whole world, but it sure seemed like it.
In an effort to reduce the number of times I had to be out of the house, I planned to do all of my running around yesterday.  So, after leaving our little town, I ran errands working in a counterclockwise direction through the three cities that surround us. We did some banking, stopped by my cousin's to exchange some herbal remedies, and dropped in the education store in the small city just south of us.  After all that, we went to visit Grandma in the mid-sized city to our east.  Then, we moved on to the fairly large city just north of us for lunch, Beenie's guitar lessons, and a stop at the health food store.  Of course there was a little irony in the fact that we passed through the drive-thru at Krispy Kreme on the way to the health food store, so several of us sat in the parking lot there, eating what was decidedly not good for us while Kay and Bree ran in and picked a few things up.   And don't worry, they got a chance to eat donuts too :).  Finally, we returned to our little town, went to the library, and made a quick dash into the drug store on the way home.
Now, I don't absolutely have to go anywhere until Sunday - yay!


Monday, March 8, 2010

It's true...

The way to a man's heart is through his stomach.

A few weeks ago Superman was over here (surprised, aren't you :D), and Ri made The Best Chocolate Sheet Cake. Ever.   We serve this cake warm, as in it barely gets out of the oven and we frequently burn our mouths on it warm.  At any rate, she made it and he couldn't get enough of it.  After the first bite, he slapped his hand on the table, groaned something totally unintelligible, then patted her arm and declared (after his mouth was no longer full), "She's a keeper."  Eloquent, huh?

Life skills are quickly becoming (or maybe they have already, for the most part, become) a thing of the past.  Until some of Superman's friends actually met Ri, they were convinced he was making her up.  They were certain she was too good to be true.  Ri was confused by this and asked why.  Turns out it was because they couldn't believe he found a girl that was not only pretty, and smart, but was also able to cook, clean, sew, do other crafts and handwork, and took care of our lawn.  Now, not only do they believe him, but they keep trying to get him to share when she bakes him something.  He's all honesty too when he tells them he's selfish, and that they need to find a girl of their own to bake for them. 

All in all, Superman is bearing up well.  He's holding his own with all the questions about courting, why she (or all of us for that matter) wear dresses all the time, about her being homeschooled, and why she has such a large family.  He's also already gotten several questions on whether or not we're Mormon (not).  Hey - we warned him.  My favorite has been one he told us recently.  It was yet another question about what courting was, and when he explained it, the guy asked him why he would bother with all that. He told him that Ri was worth the effort.  Sweet, isn't he?

And I agree, she is a keeper!


Friday, March 5, 2010

The Ickies

But, it could be worse.  They could be throwing up.  Some of the comments on another blog I read were talking about this very thing.  How little it sometimes takes to make a mother happy - case in point - no throwing up.  Sniffles, coughs, headaches, etc., it's all okay, as long as there's no throwing up in the picture.  Not that I can't handle it, I can.  I doesn't even make me want to throw up, but it's still disgusting, and the quantity of laundry one goes through on one of those weeks is enough to bring the best of us down.
So for now, although people are feeling cruddy, all is still good.


Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Snow, snow, snow,....

A few hours ago - trust me, it's deeper now.

Yep, snowing again.  That makes the 5th this winter.  One wasn't much of anything, kind of typical for around here, and one snowed a lot, but at least melted off the roads quickly; also more typical for this area.  Then there were our two really big snow storms; lots of snow and very cold temps that kept it from melting off secondary roads - read, big headaches.  With all this stuff coming down and lower than normal temps, we've had parking lots with piles of snow in them since before Christmas.  Definately a memorable year.   For the last one, the girls could only dredge up enough excitement to throw a couple of bowls out on the deck to catch snow for snow cream, they didn't really want to play in it.  This time they all whined when they heard the forcast last week, and would be complaining more right now, but they are stuck inside with head colds, and not feeling up to much anyway.  Well, 3 are sick, the other 2 are much appreciated helpers, and nobody even thought about snow cream this time.  I'll think they've had their fill for at least a couple of years.

I haven't abandoned my plans for menus, I just couldn't do it this week; too busy looking for different varieties of chicken soup.  Ri insists that chickens must hate us by now.  It's a good thing I stocked up on whole birds when they went on sale last month.  :D