March 2017

March 2017

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Feeling Sleepy

This morning I'm feeling sleepy.  I slept well last night, but think getting up early is catching up with me.  During Spring Break, I slept an extra 30-45 minutes in the morning.  I'm also still adjusting to Day Light Savings time.

Jonah is also sleepy these days.  Yesterday's morning nap was 5.5 hours!  Then after barely 1.5 hours, he was ready for his second nap, which was two hours.  I've always said that Jonah seems to need an incredible amount of sleep, but this week's nap schedule has been amazing.  At first I thought he was  just catching up from lost naps last week.  But now I agree with Papa and think Jonah's going to have a growth spurt soon.  (He's currently in the 70 percentile for height and weight.)

When Jonah's awake, he continues to be extremely active.  He's always on the move and still athletically inclined.  He also loves bouncing to music.  It's no wonder he needs a lot of sleep!

Tomorrow I have both boys, so I hope I'm not as sleepy.  I also hope Jonah continues his long naps schedule.  That way I can spend more one-on-one time with Elliott, who I've only seen for about five minutes in the last two weeks.  I'll never understand how people handle more than two kids at a time!


*15 Grandma Days until Easter Break*

**39 Grandma Days until End of School Year**

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Preparing For Hospice Care

Yesterday the head nurse in mom's wing at Bethesda called.  If mom loses another six pounds, which she easily could do this week, we will be talking about hospice care.  I was so hoping we wouldn't get this far.

Over 15 years ago mom had bypass surgery and her life expectancy was a maximum of eight more years.  Mom did a good job of staying fit, exercising and eating healthy, for many years after her surgery.  Nevertheless, her cholesterol levels have never been in the preferred range.  And then around the time she was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease, she quit exercising.  That was eight years ago.  As a result of her inactivity, she has had numerous falls and blood clots.  In the last two years, she has gained approximately 50 pounds and developed congestive heart failure.

So it stands to reason that the family expected a heart attack would take mom well before hospice was needed.  I suppose it still could.  But since mom's journey has been much longer than any of us dreamed, I'm preparing for many weeks of helping dad through mom's hospice care.


*16 Grandma Days until Easter Break*

**40 Grandma Days until End of School Year**

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Catching Up On Sleep

Over Spring Break, Jonah's family drove to Disney World.  They split the drive over three days each way to make it easier on the boys.  However, Jonah does not sleep well in the car.  The longest nap he took was 45 minutes.  And then while they were in Disney World, he often didn't take a morning or afternoon nap.

Jonah clearly missed a lot of sleep last week and is now catching up.  Yesterday he slept 3.5 hours in the morning and three hours in the afternoon.  And this morning he's again working on a long morning nap.

Watching a toddler who takes good naps certainly makes the job easier. Nevertheless, I feel as if "my wings have been clipped."  I can't leave the house on a whim.  And I can't start a major project because I never know when Jonah will wake up.  That's why I frantically pushed through my to-do list last week.  And why I'm, for at least a few days, enjoying catching up on my own down time.


*17 Grandma Days until Easter Break*

**41 Grandma Days until End of School Year**

Monday, March 28, 2011

End-of-School-Year Countdown

Jonah arrived around 7:45 A.M. today.  He went down for his morning nap at 8:00 A.M., which is right on schedule for grandma's house.  He's now been sleeping 1.5 hours.  I was worried that after a week of vacation, Jonah would be a mess today. But, so far, things look good.

I'm now counting down to the four-day Easter weekend and the end of the school year.  I love my grandsons, but I enjoy the freedom I have when I'm not watching them all day five days a week.  Let the countdowns begin!


*18 Grandma Days until Easter Break*

**42 Grandma Days until End of School Year**

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Update On Mom

Mom will be 80 years old on April 8, which is less than two weeks away.  She has said for years that 80 would be her last birthday.  If mom continues on her current course, she may not see her birthday or much past it.

The psychiatrist will see mom tomorrow.  Mom isn't sleeping at night and wants to sleep late into the morning.  She fights being woken at 11:00 A.M. so she doesn't miss a second meal of the day and can start her medications.  She's eating very little and beginning to lose weight rapidly.  She's also in a wheelchair because she refuses to stand or walk.  No matter how weak, however, mom is still fighting, verbally and physically.  She's yelling at and hitting anyone who tries to help.

After visiting mom last Wednesday, dad said, for the first time, that mom would be better off gone.  Today he said it again.  I came to that realization after mom's diagnosis eight years ago.  Maybe God's been waiting for dad's acceptance. However, that seems rather cruel since mom's now been stripped of all her dignity.  I just pray mom goes peacefully in her sleep, and soon.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Coming To An End

Tomorrow is the last day of Spring Break.  I'm praying Jonah will be good and tired on Monday.  It would be wonderful if he took his usual-for-grandma's-house long naps.  If he does, I plan to rest too.  I feel as if I've been going non-stop for nine straight days.  And, yet, I still have so much to do.

Except for a new valance, I did complete the makeover of the boys' room.  And I may be able to make the valance later today or tomorrow.

I finished assembling the new bookshelves for the hobby room this morning.  They look great, but now I want to reorganize some of my craft supplies.  I made a quick run to JoAnn's today for more decorative containers.  I think I'll pick away at that project throughout the next week.

We just finished setting up the new exercise room downstairs.  I was hoping for more floor space, but what we have will do.  And when we replace the old television and stand with a wall-mounted flat screen with DVD player, we'll gain a few more feet.

I am happy with what I accomplished in the home office.  It's cleared of paper clutter and much more enjoyable to be in.  Now I have to strive to keep it that way.

One big project I didn't even start was going through all my clothes.  At this point, it's doubtful I'll get to it in time for the April 2 MS Garage/Bake Sale.  Especially since I'm the sole baker for the event!  Nevertheless, we already have more than a truck full of other items to donate.

So Spring Break is coming to an end, but the projects aren't.  At least the nearly four inches of snow we're currently getting will delay the yard work.  There's always a "silver lining."

Friday, March 25, 2011

More Sifting, Sorting, Organizing

This morning I continued tackling the hobby room.  The bookshelves arrived today. Once they're assembled, I can finish that room.

Yesterday the new queen mattress was delivered.  So I also stripped the twin bed this morning, which means I now have another pile of linens to wash.  We plan to move the queen bed upstairs this evening, so I need to iron the bed skirt this afternoon.

I did take a break today to shop my favorite store, JoAnn's.  I have a 25-percent-off-everything coupon that's good for unlimited visits all weekend.  I got the cupcake boxes I need for next weekend's MS Garage/Bake Sale, and material for the new valance in the boys' room.  Of course, I got a number of other things also.  And unless we get snowed in, I think I'll just have to go back before my coupon expires, especially since I now have more room :-)

Thursday, March 24, 2011

March "Me Day"

Today was a "Me Day."  The goal was to do fun stuff most of the day.  I started with a morning of paper crafting.  I had several cards to make and gifts to wrap.  So much fun!

In the afternoon, I went to the salon for a cut and got a new "do" in the process.  I then grabbed a coffee at Starbucks before heading to the spa for a facial.

It was a fun day even with winter's return.  The heater's back on and the crop pants and sandals are back in the closet.  But I honestly don't mind the return of cold temperatures.  I wasn't ready to tackle the gardens and lawn anyway!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Two Big Projects Completed

This morning I completed two big projects in the home office.

I finally shredded all the no-longer-needed 2010 business documents.  It seems that project could have been completed sooner.  However, I was dealing with a large pile of papers and a small shredder.  I shredded two-thirds yesterday and the remainder this morning.  

The bigger task was organizing the files of completed home improvement projects.  I consider myself an extremely organized person, but I've been remiss in this area.  I think I put it off so long because I couldn't decide on the approach.  I finally just bought a large three-ring binder and page protectors.  This morning I spent nearly three hours going through files, folders, and envelopes, sifting out what really was important.  Now everything's in a white binder clearly marked -- Home Improvement.  

I think I'll treat myself to lunch out on my way to the recycle bin :-)

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Ghost Town

Jim and I must be two of the few who didn't leave town for spring break.  I ran several errands yesterday and traffic was minimal and lines were short.  I was especially surprise when I had lunch at St. Louis Bread Company.  That eatery is always busy, but not so yesterday.  I think only a quarter of the tables were occupied.

Then we had dinner at Lone Wolf, which is similar to Bread Company.  It was 6:00 P.M. and we were the only customers!  Lone Wolf is usually at least half full.

This morning I ran more errands and experienced the same thing.  I had no problem making a left onto Manchester Road, which usually is impossible.

It's like a ghost town around here and I'm enjoying every minute!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Busy, Busy, Busy

I was sitting here wondering why I'm so tired.  Then I remembered that I've been going nonstop for several days.

I moved all the games and books from the closet in the boys' room to the downstairs playroom.  I then moved all blankets and sheets to the cleaned out closet.  The boys' closet is now our linen closet in addition to holding all of my out-of-season clothes. Previously, blankets and sheets were stuffed under beds and in a cedar chest.  The new arrangement makes them much easier to access.

I also moved several pieces of furniture from the boys' room to the playroom, making space for a larger bed. When the new mattress arrives next week, we will be replacing the twin bed with the queen from the basement bedroom.  Through Craigslist.com, I have someone picking up the old queen mattress late this afternoon.

Over the weekend, Jim moved all the furniture out of the downstairs bedroom to paint the floor.  It's the first step to transforming the space into an exercise room. Therefore, in addition to cleaning, sorting, and organizing, I've had triple the laundry, washing all the linens that were on the queen bed.

The boys' room used to have a train theme.  It now has a Disney theme with Elliott's approval.  That means I changed all the art work.  This poster from Allposters.com is the main attraction.   I also exchanged lamps with the Mickey ones that where in my hobby room.

Today I continued tackling the hobby room, removing more Disney stuff.  I still haven't decided on a new theme. However, I did finally decide on the bookshelves that are on sale at Target.com.  They'll replace the super cheap storage I'm currently using.

Sometime this summer, I plan to have both rooms painted.  I also want to add crown molding, and trim around the windows and closets.  After last year's master bathroom renovation, I hired a company my designer recommended because Jim was busy at work.  They did an excellent job of painting and trimming the master bedroom for an extremely reasonable price.  And it was great having the job done in two days instead of taking two weeks when Jim could grab time in the evenings and weekends.

There's still plenty to tackle on my "To Do" list.  I just hope I don't run out of energy before getting it all done!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Three Pounds Down

Two weeks counting calories and I've lost three pounds.  I'm very happy with that progress.  But I'm also frustrated and angry with myself.

My food intake at meals hasn't changed much during the last two weeks.  What has changed is my snacking.  I'm now forcing myself to count snack calories and not just grab and go unconsciously.  Clearly, a handful of M&Ms or a couple of cookies will pack on pounds no matter how healthy my meals are or how much I work out.

I need to remember that I can have an orange, for example, for half the calories of a handful of M&Ms.  And since an orange takes more time to eat and has fiber, I stay satisfied longer. Of course, there will always be times when I feel I need chocolate or sugar.  But it'll also always be a trade off for a lower calorie meal or more exercise. That is if I always want to comfortably fit in my favorite jeans!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Color of Spring

Yellow is the color of spring.  I'm just now realizing this.

Around here, the first things to bloom are the forsythia bushes.  Thursday, for the first time this year, I saw a bush in full bloom.  It was covered in bright yellow blossoms.

I'm also beginning to see clumps of yellow daffodils.  Our crop is on the north side of the house so needs a couple more days before bursting.  But soon our yard, too, will have a spring jolt of yellow.

With this new yellow realization, I now think my prom dress was a very appropriate color for a spring event.  It was yellow taffeta covered with white lace.  I wore it to three proms.  My first was sophomore year when I was dating a boy a grade ahead of me.

I still have that dress. It's hanging downstairs next to my wedding dress.  I guess I do find sentimental value in some things after all!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Slow Start

It was a rough night.  First it was too hot even with the window open.  Then around 3:00 A.M., I started with intestinal discomfort.  As a result, my spring break is off to a slow start.

Fortunately, I was able to thoroughly clean one bathroom late afternoon yesterday as well as steam clean the kitchen floor.  So I'm not too far behind.  I did, however, reschedule the designer's visit.

At this point, I don't know what I'm suffering from.  I'm hoping it's just too much cabbage.  When I had leftover cabbage for lunch, I didn't know I would be having a traditional Irish dinner with the Jorgensens at a local restaurant.  Pray God that's all it is and I'll be back at full speed tomorrow!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Too Hot For March

It's supposedly only 72 degrees right now, but I'm sweating after taking Jonah for a walk. The predicted high is 78.  I find anything in the 70s warm, so temperatures nipping at 80 are hot.  The 10-day forecast is for a 5-6 day stretch in the 70s, then back to the 50s.  It's typical midwest weather.  I've lived here all my life and still find it annoying!

Spring break starts at 2:30 P.M. today when Emily picks up Jonah for his one-year well visit.  My plan for tomorrow is to clean bathrooms and move all the boys' books and games downstairs. The designer is coming in the afternoon to measure the hall bathroom for the remodel.  But before the day begins, I hope to have slept an extra hour, which is how I think all vacations should begin :-)

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Our New Play Room

Once Jonah became mobile, we started spending more of his waking hours in the basement TV room.  It's a kid-friendly area with lots of toys.  It's a place Jonah can play and rarely hear the word "no."  The TV room has become our new play room.

When we began putting the basement back together, I added two bookshelves to the play room.  Now toys are displayed and no longer in a large bin.  Jonah can see and reach them easily.  The higher shelves hold some of Elliott's toys.

There's also more floor space in the play room than anywhere else in the house. Jonah loves pushing his shopping cart and vacuum cleaner with the only obstacles being toys he's pulled out.  And, when papa's around, he gets rides on his tractor.

I didn't have the play room when Elliott was a toddler.  His toys were all over the house.  I was younger then which is why, I suppose, it didn't bother me.  Now it would drive me crazy!

I'm very grateful for our new play room.  And I think Jonah is too :-)


*1 Grandma Day until Spring Break!*

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Winter's Last Hurrah

I'm looking out the patio door at snow.  We got three inches yesterday much of which fell Sunday night.  It caused the morning closing of some highways, which forced several schools and businesses to delay the start of their day.  It, hopefully, was winter's last hurrah.

Much warmer temperatures are already quickly melting the snow.  The prediction is mid-70s for Thursday, so that should take care of any lingering piles.  Already I can see large patches of green grass.  It's so refreshing after months of looking at a dormant lawn.

It was announced today that the Rockwood School Board decided to extend the school year by only one day.  The 2010-2011 school year allowed for five snow days, but we had seven. I'm not at all surprised by the decision.  If students had to make up two days, the last day of classes would be May 31, the day after Memorial Day.  I suspect there would have been a lot of missing students that day.


*2 Grandma Days until Spring Break!*

Monday, March 14, 2011

Digital Magazine Magic

I made the mistake of drinking coffee after 5:30 P.M. yesterday.  I believe I was functioning on old time, feeling it was only 4:30 P.M. and ignoring the reset clock. As a result, I got little sleep last night.  Around 1:00 A.M., I grabbed my iPad and began to play.  I decided to check out the digital magazine that came with my free Martha Stewart Living app.  At the risk of sounding old, I was blown away!

The virtual experience begins with the full-screen image of a peony on the cover.  When clicked, it's a time-lapse video of a single pink bud unfolding to it's full beauty. Amazing! The magic continues with the peony story inside the magazine.  There's text, of course, but also an audio of Martha explaining how her peony garden came about.  But what really took my breath away was the panoramic view of the garden I got by gliding the full-screen image side to side.

With my Martha Stewart Living app, I can now purchase future digital issues for $3.99 each. I'm certain a digital subscription isn't far behind.

I'm a bit of a magazine addict.  Unfortunately, with all that's been going on, I'm currently at least three months behind in my reading.  That means I have a tall stack taunting me daily. I need to seriously move into digital subscriptions.

Plus I would then have more room in my suitcase.  I used to always travel with magazines because I could toss them when I was finished, lightening my load.  Now I can go green and just carry my iPad and its charger.

I do feel badly for the printers, however.  They're just another industry on the verge of becoming obsolete.


*3 Grandma Days until Spring Break!*

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Happy Birthday Jonah!


Today is Jonah's first birthday.  He handled it beautifully.  Waking from a nap to a house full of people didn't shake him at all.  He also didn't mind sharing his gifts with his cousins. And, best of all, he thoroughly enjoyed his first piece of cake.

It's hard not to compare Jonah to his brother, especially since they're so different.  Elliott is intense, extremely sensitive, and a worrywart. Jonah is relaxed and laughs easily.  He's simply a happier human being, taking everything in stride.

Happy first birthday to our happy boy!


*4 Grandma Days until Spring Break!*

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Food Bargains

My errands today included a trip to Schnucks.  It was the last day for their split chicken breast sale, which normally sells for around $2.50 a pound.  The sale price was $0.99 a pound!

Any time I find split chicken breast on sale, I stock up.  I cook at least one package every week, using Ina Garten's recipe.  It's so simple and the chicken is super moist. I use the meat for soups, pasta dishes, sandwiches, or just to eat as is.  And the skin and bones make perfect chicken stock.

After hitting the meat aisle, I shopped for popcorn.  I was thrilled to find Orville Redenbacher's Gourmet White Popcorn on sale!  It's our favorite popping corn and rarely discounted.

Next I headed to the cereal aisle.  A bowl of Multi-Grain Cheerios is a fast low-calorie breakfast that tastes good.  One cup plus a half cup of skim milk and a half cup of berries is just 210 calories.  Staying on my diet, I was prepared to pay close to $4.00 a box.  Instead, it was on sale for just $2.50 a box!

All in all, it was a very successful trip :-)


*4 Grandma Days until Spring Break!*

Friday, March 11, 2011

Old Toys

When we emptied the storage room, we found a box with two old toys -- the Big Loader Construction Set and a McDonald's Play Restaurant Set.   Both are the original versions.

I was hoping one or both toys would keep Elliott busy for at least an hour today.  No such luck.  He was bored after about 30 minutes and that's just because it took 20 minutes to put together the Big Loader Set!

The latest version of the Big Loader Construction Set sells for just $15 on Amazon.com. Our McDonald's Set is in poor condition, so not worth much. Therefore, both toys are examples of stuff I've held on to for no good reason. Purge!


*4 Grandma Days until Spring Break!*

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Less Clutter

Once a year, I clean out cupboards, closets, dressers, and storage.  Every time, I feel I'm purging without mercy, getting rid of all things no longer used or needed. Nevertheless, every year I end up with a large pile for our annual MS fundraising garage sale, or to donate to a charity, or to simply throw away or recycle.

I know the biggest reason I always have excess stuff is because, as time goes by, things lose their value.  Things I thought I had to hold on to for sentimental reasons, or because I might need them some day, eventually are no longer worth the space they take up.

And then there are always things that have been replaced with an improved model. Or things no longer needed due to advanced technology.  In other words, there will always be stuff to purge, which lifts my spirits :-)


*5 Grandma Days until Spring Break!*

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Lenten Obligations

Today is Ash Wednesday and the beginning of Lent.  Lent is 40 days long and a time of preparation for Holy Week.  

As a child, I remember giving something up for Lent such as chocolate.  Then in my teens and young adult years, the church began encouraging acts of preparation such as attending mass more often or saying the rosary daily.  Two obligations, however, have remained constant.

First, Catholics 14 years and older are obliged to abstain from meat on Ash Wednesday, Good Friday, and all the Fridays of Lent.  This has always been an easy obligation for me. Today I'm having clam chowder for lunch and noodles with either olive oil or a tomato sauce for dinner.

Second, Catholics "between" the ages of 18 and 59 are obliged to fast on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday.  That means one moderate meal, two small meals, and no eating in between.  In recent years, I've found this Lenten rule tougher to accept.  

For some time now health professionals have been recommending we eat a little every few hours rather than consume larger amounts three times a day.  Personally, I've found this practice extremely helpful in keeping my weight down and eliminating low blood sugar headaches and fatigue.  Therefore, I am happy that I am now released from the Lenten obligation of fasting.  Finally I can honestly say I'm glad to be 59 years old!


*6 Grandma Days until Spring Break!*

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Out of Commission

Between moving and hoisting boxes in the basement and picking up Jonah yesterday, I have a pain in my mid back.  I worked out late yesterday, but found I couldn't do most of the cardio in the 30-Day Shred.  The jumping jacks, butt kicks, and jump rope moves were extremely painful.

Today I'm debating whether to not work out at all or to just do the squats and abdominal exercises, which aren't painful.  I think I could do the stationary bike as an alternative, but it's still buried in the basement bedroom.  In the meantime, I'm continuing to sort and organize stuff in the storage room.

Truthfully, we don't have nearly as much stuff as most people I know.  If we did, I would be so stressed.  I've always liked things neat and tidy.  And, as I get older, it's even more important to my well being to minimize and organize.  For the first time since moving here over 25 years ago, I know exactly what's in the storage room and it makes me so happy :-)


*7 Grandma Days until Spring Break*

Monday, March 7, 2011

Nothing's Easy

My husband is a prince.  He worked hard all weekend on our storage room and it wasn't easy.

We agreed that it was a good idea and time to stain the concrete floor.  Sounds easy and the application was.  However, getting an acceptable color was a nightmare.  We first tried a marbled blue/green which turned out puke green.  Next we tried a marbled grey/black which turned out solid black.  We then decided to just go solid tan.  Jim got the can home only to find it was outdoor paint!  So back to Lowe's for a marbled light gray which is an acceptable solid light gray.  Thank goodness we only paid for product and not labor!

Next Jim started building the shelves.  Certainly shelves from a boxed kit are cheaper than custom made, but there's still a "price to pay" in patience and time.  Of course, like the stain, assembly of the shelves was supposed to be "easy."  Well, by the time Jim built the third set, it got easier.  But it was never "easy."

Over the years, Jim has successfully completed many home projects.  All of which were supposed to be "easy."  It's never true.  To quote Jim -- "nothing's easy."


*8 Grandma Days until Spring Break!*

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Counting Calories

Today I decided it's time to get serious about losing eight pounds by Memorial Day. That means I need to start counting calories.  After years of testing a variety of weight-loss methods, counting calories has been the only thing that works for me.

Four years ago, with the help of MyFoodDiary.com, I lost 25 pounds that I had been carrying for a long time.  Then two summers ago, we traveled to Disney World, Mexico, and South Korea during a three-month period.  I gained five pounds and never lost it.  Then over the last several months, I added three more pounds. Clearly I'm on a "slippery slope!"

In general, I eat healthy.  Since losing the 25 pounds, my cholesterol levels and blood pressure have been ideal.  And I don't think that's due to the weight loss.  I honestly think it's due to the fact that I eat more fruits and vegetables now.

I also continue to practice portion control at every meal.  So how did I gain eight pounds? Eating too many sweets!  And I don't mean desserts.  In fact, I'm good about not having dessert too often.  And, when I do, I keep my portions small, usually giving half to Jim.  No, the biggest problem for me is eating sweets, especially cookies and chocolate, when I'm stressed.  So here's my plan.

First, no more bringing candy into the house.  Second, prepare for stressful eating with easy to grab healthier snacks such as yogurt, pre-popped popcorn, pre-cut vegetables, and fruit. Log all meals and snacks on MyFoodDiary.com.

Put into practice, all of the above should do the trick.  Let the battle begin!


*9 Grandma Days until Spring Break!*

Saturday, March 5, 2011

More Fun Less Work

Yesterday, after Emily picked up Jonah, Elliott went with me to mom's bank and then ours. When he asked why I have two banks, we talked about all the jobs grandma has.  That list included taking care of Jonah and Elliott added himself. However, I now find Elliott more fun than work and told him so.

Elliott feeds and dresses himself, and hasn't worn diapers in years.  He also plays alone for long periods of time without getting into trouble.  Best of all, we enjoy doing things together. Recently papa has been taking Elliott on discovery treks through the woods in our backyard. And he and I are having fun playing Legos.

The difference between "watching" Jonah versus Elliott was especially evident yesterday. Jonah was crabby all afternoon and only took an hour nap after a lot of screaming.  In between changing diapers and keeping him out of trouble, I offered food of which most of it he threw on the floor.  I'm really hoping he's teething or coming down with a cold.  I'm praying this isn't a new facet of Jonah's personality!

Earlier in the week, Elliott called to ask if he could sleep over at grandma's house on Friday. I'm glad he likes staying with us.  Now we're all watching Saturday morning cartoons after a pancakes and bacon breakfast.  Yes, five is much less work than one!


*9 Grandma Days until Spring Break!*

Friday, March 4, 2011

Radon Poisoning

While we're concentrating on the basement, Jim decided to test for radon.  Well, wouldn't you know, we appear to have a problem.

The recommended next step is to retest one or two more times to confirm. However, I'm thinking once is enough.  Which means Jim now has to drill another hole in the basement floor and run a pipe to the attic or outside.  Thank goodness I have a handyman for a husband!

There always seems to be something that needs fixing when you're a homeowner. But it's good that we're getting a number of things done while we're still able-bodied and not on a fixed income.


*9 Grandma Days until Spring Break!*

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Living With Clutter

I'm trying to be patient while Jim finishes the basement, but today I'm feeling extremely anxious.  I hate clutter and disorganization!

The foundation specialists finished last Thursday.  Over the weekend, Jim filled all the cracks, saving us $1,600.  He also sealed the basement floor.  This morning the electrician put the basement refrigerator and sump pump on their own circuits. Next, Jim will stain the storage room floor.  As soon as it dries, we will add the new shelves and I can start clearing and organizing the clutter everywhere else in the basement.

I should just be grateful that Jonah's play area was undisturbed during this whole ordeal. But enough is enough.  I can't wait much longer to "roll up my sleeves" and do a thorough cleaning!


*10 Grandma Days until Spring Break!*

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Zappos.com

I wear double-wide shoes that cannot be found in local stores.  So many years ago, after I became comfortable shopping online, I googled wide-width woman's shoes.  That's how I found Zappos.com.

The shoes they offer are not inexpensive.  But anyone with feet issues, including an extremely wide width, knows they will not find comfortable shoes in discount stores.  Every now and then, I can find a single wide-width shoe in a chain store, but it's never truly comfortable.

Now I finally have a variety of styles to choose from.  And Zappos.com's customer service cannot be beat.  Shoes arrive in 1-2 days.  There is no charge for shipping and handling, and no sales tax is applied.  Best of all, if the shoes don't work out, a return UPS label can be printed from their website for free return shipping.  And they accept returns of unworn shoes for a full year!

I am not being paid for this promotion, but I cannot recommend Zappos.com highly enough. In the last couple of days, I've placed orders for several pairs of spring/summer shoes to try out in the comfort of my own home.  It's a beautiful thing.


*11 Grandma Days until Spring Break!*

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Hello March!

In recent years, March has become one of my favorite months.  One of the obvious reasons is the official beginning of spring on March 20, which means warmer weather has arrived or is very near.  It also means spring break.

When I had school-aged children, spring break wasn't something I looked forward to.  During the pre-teen years, it meant finding things for all of us to do.  When the kids were in high school, it meant frustration over dealing with different sleeping and eating schedules.  The most challenging, however, were the college years when our tranquil "empty nest" was invaded.  But now I gleefully look forward to spring break as I do snow days.  Spring break, once again, means freedom.

March now also contains a special birth date.  Our second grandson, Jonah, was born last year on March 13.  Since Elliott's birth date is Valentine's Day, we had hoped Jonah would be born on St. Patrick's Day.  But he just couldn't wait that long. Nevertheless, I'm guessing Jonah will be happy to see displays of shamrocks, at least while he's young, knowing it means his birthday month is here.

So March has become a happy month for me and I'm glad to see its return.


*12 Grandma Days until Spring Break!*