Thursday, January 31, 2013


Ahh, the last day of January and we have one month under our belts already this year. Time seems to fly by faster the older we get. It seems as though we were just celebrating Christmas. 

Now Valentine’s Day is fast approaching. The stores can’t seem to display holiday merchandise early enough. Seriously, I think I saw employees at Wal-Mart setting up Valentine displays a few days before Christmas!

This week has been extra busy for us, as Phil had a wound treated for healing difficulties and the doctor put a cast on his foot. The doctor had put some cushioning on, then felt-like padding, a long thin stocking, a long thick stocking, and finally a very thick cast stocking that looked like it was knit by hand. 

After he soaked it and put it on Phil’s foot, he smoothed it down and it hardened within minutes. Then the doctor fitted a walking cast boot to Phil’s leg to complete the ensemble. 

Voila! Instant FrankenFoot! 

At home, Phil likes to lumber around and make sound effects as he takes a step forward with his big cumbersome appendage…”Boom! Boom! Boom!”

All he needs is a big black lunchbox the size of  a Samsonite suitcase, and he could be Herman Munster. 

Well, if he were a few inches taller. And if he were green, and had a flat head. And his hair was jet black. And if he had little electrode tubes on the sides of his neck. 

Okay, so I guess it’s too much of a stretch. He’s just my favorite man, Philip, with a very bulbous FrankenFoot. 

And I hope he heals quickly, because I know how difficult it is being laid up with a cast on your leg. 

Speedy recovery, Phil!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Here's To You, Gram ♥

We all have someone in our lives who’s had a big influence on us, helping to shape and mold us into the person we are. One of those people for me was my grandmother, Claire Amoling. 

Today marks the sixth anniversary of her death, and while I miss her so much, I keep thinking of so many memories I have of her, memories that make me feel good inside. I thought I’d share just a few today.

When I was growing up, I remember Grammie coming over to visit on a Saturday morning, and she would always bring a dozen donuts and a half gallon of milk. Of course, you know we kids loved to see Grammie anyway, but we were kids, after all. ;)

I remember when she would babysit us, and my four siblings and I would go out in the backyard to play a game we called “Accident.” We would gather any large item we could find, be it bikes, trikes, wheel barrow, and even an old shopping carriage. Then we would arrange ourselves sprawled out and “mangled” with the items on top of us. That was the “accident.” And then call for Grammie to come see, whereupon she would always exclaim, “Oh my! What happened?”

I will never forget when I was very small, facing her with her holding my hands, and her letting me "walk" up the front of her and flip over. She was a lot of fun, truly. 

I remember going to her house for the weekend, just me; Grammie and Grampie took one grandchild for a special weekend alone with them. When it was my turn, Grammie had made green beans as part of supper, and I hated them. I wouldn’t eat them and she refused to let me leave the table until I did. I sat at that kitchen table for an hour. Gram finally took the plate away and let me go. I laugh about that now; I’m sure she’d be pleased as punch to know I love green beans now. 

When I was a young mother, Grammie taught me how to make wonderful gravy, using the gooey flavorful caramelized meat juice on the bottom of the roasting pan. Oh, did she ever make the best gravy! 

Those are just some of my memories of my beloved grandmother, but I think the way I remember Gram most is just her in her kitchen, cooking. She loved to feed people. Her house always seemed to smelled like roast beef and cucumbers (in her salad). 

To this day, whenever I smell either of those, I think of Grammie. It’s like getting a little hug from her that makes me feel cozy and warm and just so good! 

Thursday, January 17, 2013

♫ Let It Snow! ♫

Well, today is the day we were *supposed* to get the new mattress. Actually, it was first scheduled to be delivered yesterday, the 16th. But Tuesday, the day before, the delivery company called me to say that the driver had called in sick for the next day.

So it was arranged to be here today instead. Now we all know how badly Phil and I have been waiting for this new mattress, wanting it, longing for it; nay, dare I say…desperately waiting with minnows in our mouths. That’s “with bated breath,” for those of you who aren’t aware of my literal way of seeing the humor in things.

At seven-something this morning, I was woken up by the phone; the delivery company. They needed to reschedule *again* because of the bad weather. Now it will be delivered next Monday. Urg.

At the time, it was raining lightly outside, and I couldn’t understand why the delivery would be cancelled for rain.

Now, however, it is snowing; there‘s about ½ an inch out there. And there is a winter storm warning. We are expected to get 2-4 inches. Forgive me for comparing, but coming from eastern Massachusetts, where our winters are usually laced heavily with snowfalls accumulating an average season total of 28-43 inches, getting two to four in a “storm” is nothing.

If this was back in MA, it would barely register a blink of the eyes on the news. We’d be lucky to get a plow out to our street unless there was at least 4-5 inches. Schools don’t close unless there is more than that. Businesses stay open, town offices are open, and people go about their day. Half the time we didn’t even wear boots.

But here, according to Phil, people panic if there’s even a skiff of snow across the road. I’ve seen it here, too. Caitlin told me that yesterday people were cramming into Wal-Mart, where she works, to frantically buy up milk, bread, and other staples.

So, I guess I can’t really blame the delivery guy for refusing to deliver our new mattress to us. He probably grew up somewhere down here, and isn’t used to “all” this snow. It’s just another four days until it arrives now. -sigh-

I’ll try to contain my snickers at the panic. Okay, forget it-- the weatherman actually named this snowfall. It’s called Winter Storm Iago. And I just heard a snowplow! ~Peace

Monday, January 14, 2013

Meggedy Peggedy

This morning as Megan sat at the kitchen table organizing some things and I was bustling about washing dishes and countertops, she said to me, “Christmas is coming up soon!”

This has been her cheerful refrain daily, since…oh, about the day after Christmas. 

Christmas Day was just twenty-one days ago. Three measly weeks. And it is not coming for 351 days. Over eleven long months away.

I just gave her my usual response of, “Yep, but not until December.”

Life with Megan can be difficult at times, patience-testing, often very funny, but always interesting. Because of her having Down syndrome and how it affects her cognitive development, some concepts are harder for her to understand, like time. 

Thus, even though we just had Christmas, she’s already talking about it for this year. I’m sure when it actually arrives, she will be well prepared.

Megan’s somewhat “skewed” pronunciation of words has kept us in stitches plenty of times, too. Just the other day, I called out a caution to Caitlin as she headed out for a walk, “Don’t talk to strangers, and if anyone tries to steal you, you know where to kick!” 

Before Caitlin could respond, Megan shouts, “Yeah, in the clutch!”

Another day as she held something sword-like in her hand, I pretended to sword fight with her, and she thrust hers at me, saying, “Crochet!”

I’m not sure what she would have used the word “Touche” for. Perhaps if we went out on the lawn to play croquet? ;)

I just love that girl! ♥

Thursday, January 10, 2013

♫ It's Hammer Time! ♫

“Honey, would you get me the cheese and the hammer?”

When do you ever hear “cheese” and “hammer” in the same sentence? It’s not uncommon in our home, as strange as that may seem. -snort-

The thing of the matter is, it makes sense when you know why I would ask for a hammer along with the cheese. 

We buy our cheeses primarily at a warehouse membership store, Sam’s Club. At anywhere from $2.20-$2.80 per pound, depending on current dairy economy, mozzarella cheese is less expensive for a five pound bag from Sam’s than what we would pay for it at the local groceries or Wal-Mart.

So we buy that five pound bag each month for the pizzas and calzones I make for the family, thankful for the savings. 

But buying in bulk for the month necessitates freezing, and freezing a big bag of mozzarella cheese means it turns into a large thick rock-hard lump.

Thus, the hammer. I put a towel on top of the frozen cheese and hammer away at it. I will continue this little bit of extra work because it is worth the savings for our family.

Two other words in the same sentence that just *might* be heard in our house are “sheets” and “wire-cutters.”

You see, my bed is somewhere around twenty years old. I’m sure just about everyone has had the experience of owning an old mattress and knows how uncomfortable that can be. It’s not something we think about until the situation becomes so bad that we can’t ignore it.


And that is where we are, with the mattress sagging, and the old wires inside it working their way out, the little loops on their ends catching on the sheets and clothing unexpectedly. It certainly puts you in a quandary when you try to get up from sitting cross-legged on the side of the bed, only to be held captive by a mattress wire hooking into your pant leg.

Thus, the wire-cutters. ;)

However, soon we will not be hearing those two words in a sentence anymore; thanks to the Christmas gift from my father and his wife, we will have a new mattress set arriving in just six days. Ah, how glorious that will be! No more rebellious little wires, and many good nights’ sleep to come.

As for “Honey, would you get me the cheese and the hammer?” I’m guessing that one will be around as long as we like pizza and calzones. ~Peace.