I made my weekly jaunt to Dillons to partake in my Seniors Moment (aka the senior’s discount granted by virtue of my spouse being over 60 – but now that I think about it I think I’m eligible now anyways as of last October because I’m officially over 55). Anyway, as I was discarding some empty water bottles from the van into the recycle bin, I noticed our cherry tree blooming. Just a few days ago it didn’t show any evidence of buds but now they are all over the limbs.
I also found my old hummingbird feeder and a package of the nectar concentrate mix yesterday. I cleaned everything thoroughly, mixed up a small batch and placed the feeder outside my upper patio door, which I sit near in my current home office setup. I haven’t seen a hummingbird yet, but it’s only been twenty-four hours. I’ll need to switch out the nectar today as it got up to the mid-80s and was very sunny yesterday and will be so again today. My back patios are not in the shade so the nectar will go bad quite quickly. Once I move upstairs to the spare bedroom, that won’t be a problem, if I hang the feeder outside the upper east facing window.
While on my first conference call of the day, I heard strange noises coming from my front yard including on my roof. I surmised, since I could not get up and check, that the lawn service had arrived that we contracted last week to power wash the house, refresh the landscape mulch, haul in some dirt to fill in under our huge black oak tree and seed that portion of the front lawn. The finished the house scrubbing within an hour or so and will be back this afternoon to complete the rest of the work.
The very first email I read this morning in my fourth Monday of sheltering at home and work from home contain this call to fast and prayer this Friday (which also happens to be Good Friday):
This Friday, April 10, I invite you to join with me and many others from around the world in fasting and prayer that the COVID-19 pandemic “may be controlled, caregivers protected, the economy strengthened, and life normalized.” The principle of fasting transcends denominational and doctrinal differences and is practiced by many world religions including Buddhists, Christians, Muslims, Jews, Hindus and Taoists.
A Husch Blackwell Partner, Kansas City, MO
I’ve added this as a reminder to my calendar as an all day event this Friday. It’s been ages since I purposely fasted and prayed so I will probably do a juice fast. I will also research some appropriate verses to study and prepare appropriate meditations and prayers from.
37 “If there is famine in the land, if there is pestilence, if there is blight or mildew, locust or grasshopper, if their enemy besieges them in the land of their cities, whatever plague, whatever sickness there is, 38 whatever prayer or supplication is made by any man or by all Your people Israel, each knowing the affliction of his own heart, and spreading his hands toward this house; 39 then hear in heaven Your dwelling place, and forgive and act and render to each according to all his ways, whose heart You know, for You alone know the hearts of all the sons of men,that they may fear You all the days that they live in the land which You have given to our fathers.
1 Kings 8: 37-40
Join me this Friday for a day of fasting and prayer for all.
Sunday afternoon, once my Texas offspring recuperated from the long drive and boundless energy of the eighteen month old grandson, Derek suggested we play a game. He had brought several with him from home, a few with short play times (as little as five or ten minutes) and more complex board games that require more setup and explanation. I’d previously played Camel Up and Parade, neither of which I was in the mood for. 5-minute Dungeon I want to try before he heads back to Texas.
Derek suggested we play Pandemic, which I’ve been wanting to try for several years. While the grandson ran Royna ragged, Derek, Rachelle and I played two games of Pandemic. Kudos to my offspring for suffering through the first game and my steep learning curve.
Yesterday, while Rachelle and I braved shopping at Costco, Lowe’s and Target, my son, daughter-in-law and grandson drove safely but surprisingly quickly up I-35 from North Texas to Northeastern Kansas. They made only one stop, for gasoline at the southernmost KTA (Kansas Turnpike Authority) rest area. This is an amazing fete considering my grandson isn’t yet eighteen months old (that happens on the 9th day of Christmas next year).
Parents sleepy but Grandson wide awake last night
The consequence, however, of a baby who sleeps for about nine hours on a family road trip is predictable (see photo above). By early evening, Derek and Royna were dozing on our new sectional while Senna wanted to explore all the strange new environment of our home. Interestingly, he’s not overly interested in the Christmas tree or the presents tucked underneath. Rather, he found one of the Costco boxes to be endlessly entertaining as well as an impromptu piano lesson from Rachelle which introduced him to a new noise maker he could easily reach.
Enjoy the shortest day of the year because I’m looking forward to the longest, darkest night of the year – every amateur astronomers dream.
Today, my son, daughter-in-law and grandson are driving here from Texas. They left before dawn and we anticipate their arrival late this afternoon.
With the help of my daughter, who arrived earlier this week, my main floor living area is mostly baby proof. And the new furniture was delivered Thursday afternoon. And Friday, Rachelle setup the Christmas tree and last night over home-made pizza we decorated (or rather she decorated because she’s the artistic one).
Rachelle and I will spend part of the day shopping, taking advantage of her Costco membership to stock up on food she can eat (corn allergy) and for the rest of the family as well. While I have a Christmas goose in the freezer, I need to plan for other meals and sides. Instead of just Terry and I to feed, I’ll have three to four times that many to provide for.
So we are ready for family gathering and making new memories until we once again scatter back to our nests for the new year.
My daughter landed early and safely very late Tuesday evening but didn’t step off the plane until Wednesday morning (technically a couple of minutes past midnight). Despite arriving at least fifteen minutes ahead of schedule, no gate crew could be found once the plane taxied to Terminal C. I kept my self from dozing off in the cell phone parking lot by leaving the car turned off despite temperatures in the teens. Rachelle finally called me and I navigated the surprisingly congested orange cone maze of construction that is the remaining two terminals at KCI to retrieve her before she froze to death. An uneventful drive home through Platte City and Leavenworth found us back at home by 1:30 a.m. My alarm goes off at 5:18 am.
Unsurprisingly, I ignored my alarm and slept an extra hour. I had convinced myself that Wednesday was the department gift exchange so I absolutely had to drive to work. I realized mid-morning that the gift exchange was Thursday so I could have worked from home. However, it was a mixed blessing, my absentmindedness, as it gave me the opportunity to take a late lunch and shop for my daughter at Trader Joe’s on Ward Parkway, about 10-15 minutes south of where I work. She has a corn allergy and many products at Trader Joe’s are safe for her to eat. And I found that of the two Trader Joe’s stores in the KC metro area, the one on Ward Parkway was larger and much easier to access than the one I visited last Saturday in Overland Park.
In the midst of my second system upgrade of the week, my son called me to warn me they had changed their minds and were planning to drive up from Texas to visit us in Kansas for Christmas. My brain halted. Upgrade on hold. What?!?!
Our house, which we’ve lived in since February 1999, has never been baby or toddler proofed. In that year, 1999, you may remember, the one where everyone was panicking about Y2K, my children were in third grade and sixth grade (starting middle school in fact). So definitely no need to protect them from getting into drawers full of knives and kitchen utensils, nor from electric outlets and chemicals stored under the kitchen sink.
I’m really trying not to panic, truly I am.
My daughter flies in from Seattle next Wednesday at midnight. She will stay for ten days. That has been planned for weeks now. She was going to have the guest bedroom. Now, unfortunately, she will be relegated to an air bed in the cavernous great room or sleeping with me and/or her dad in the master bedroom. Terry and I tag team sleeping anyway because I am a morning person and he is a night owl. And we have a king size bed that all three of us could sleep in with room to spare.
So my son, daughter-in-law and grandson will have the guest bedroom.
Today I’ll shop for my daughter at Trader Joe’s because she has an alergy to corn. Fun fact (not so fun for her): Corn is in almost all processed and packaged foods and does NOT have to be listed on the ingredients.
Tomorrow I won’t be able to shop because we are under a winter weather advisory for 2-4 inches of snow from Sunday at 9 am until Monday at 6 pm. So I’ll have absolutely no excuse not to clean and baby proof my home.
A week ago I was dreaming of today, waking up in Texas, snuggling with my nearly 18 month old grandson. I woke up to something completely different and totally unexpected. Brace yourselves, this is going to be a very long post . . .
Instead of a warm home filled with happy family and the wonderful smell of baking goodness, I find myself sniffling and shivering in a cold, mostly dark, mostly empty house.
A view of my ceiling where what little heat I have in this ‘great room’ is languishing.
It all started this past Monday the 25th. I fell asleep in my recliner in my cavernous and often chilly ‘great room’ which has a nearly twenty-foot ceiling. I woke up because I was shivering, yet I could hear the furnace fan blowing. I got up and stood on the vent directly over the furnace (located underneath the entryway by the steps leading to the upstairs bedrooms). The air coming out of the vent was cold. I woke up Terry on the way downstairs to the basement, where we tried various troubleshooting techniques with the furnace but ultimately gave up. I left a voice-mail with our heating repairman and went back to sleep wrapped in a throw. I called again a few minutes after eight o’clock and they assured me someone would be over to check the furnace that morning. I made arrangements to work from home.
The repairman arrived sometime between nine and ten in the morning. I escorted them to the basement and woke Terry up to monitor them. I had many meetings and conference calls schedule, so I retreated back to the great room, which doubles as my office until I motivate myself to clean out the second guest room. After an hour or so, the repairmen left, not having found a cause but oddly the furnace began working again on its own. I returned to my conference calls, despite a scratchy throat and an increasingly congested sinus cavity. By four o’clock I could barely keep from coughing and shivering so I took some Mucinex and went up to the guest bedroom for a nap.