Monday, August 3, 2015

Grasshopper Days

Grasshopper Days

For today, Monday, August 2, 2015

Outside my window...  sun.  That blazing yellow orb we miss so much in winter.  But now?  We're from the Pacific Northwest.  We're used to "June-uary", followed by about six weeks (if we're lucky) of summer, and then a quick turn into fall.  Right now I feel like I'm on about my third summer in one year.  And here's the thing about that:

We are

You see, I've been conditioned all my life to sort of drop everything and make full use of every sunny day.  And let me be clear, by "make full use" I mean "go outside and play".  Because hello eight or nine months of rain, right?

So, it's been pretty much non-stop sunny and hot since May.  Which means you know what I'm getting accomplished with all my free time this summer?

......................  ..... ... . . .. . . . .      .           .

Yah, about that much.  You?

Hearing...  a breeze in the trees, Praise-the-Lord-and-Hallelujah, because... see above.

Pondering...  I'm having issues.  I'm kind of a organizational neatnik.  I like things relatively clean and tidy.  And the problem is this:

Yes.  Welcome to my house.  Would you like to come in?

Please.  Keep your shoes ON, because GLASS.  And SPLINTERS.  And dust and mess and *shudder*.

Praying...  waiting eagerly "with" our missionary friends who are in Thailand (better medical care than Myanmar) and about to have their first baby (see their blog here),  for our neighbor's daughter driving coast-to-coast across the country, and for sanity and momentum for the window project.

Thankful...  for the sunny weather during our construction project (whew!), for my family, jobs for Wyatt and Tate - did I mention that already?  Wyatt and Tate - the two of my boys that are the most competitive - are now working for competing grocery stores.  Because, of course.

Wearing...  jeans shorts, light blue tank top, flip-flops.  Shoes?  Too hot.  We're approaching Hawaii-status (where "formal wear" = "socks").

Creating...  did I mention the summer formula?


Started a new quilt.  Cut strips to make the blocks.  (Not even complicated.)  Have made eight out of twenty-five blocks.  Could probably knock out the other seventeen in an afternoon.

Yah, I'll get right on that.

Going...  already been.  Walmart and the grocery store.

I have a love-hate relationship with shopping.  I gather my lists and my ambition (and maybe a helper) and go out to Conquer Shopping.  I get the things we need, and get inspired to make different things, and fill up my cart.

And then...

there's the whole unloading and putting away to deal with.  And that's AFTER stowing six gallons of milk and who knows what else in the fridge already.

And of course, then it's time for lunch and the boys are STARVING.  But I got smart this time.
Winco's sub sandwiches to the rescue.

Reading...  just finished a whirlwind of reading...
* Same Kind of Different As Me, by Ron Hall - interesting fiction, two men from different worlds (rich white art dealer/homeless black "modern-day slave") and the intersection of their lives and faith
* The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls - a memoir of her childhood.  While I admire her tenacity and personal strength, I wanted to slap her parents until my arms fell off
* The Gift of Fear by Gavin de Becker - a GREAT book.  How to tell the difference between (helpful) true fear and (unhelpful and distracting) unwarranted anxiety - great advice and information about personal safety.  Especially for women, but helpful for just about anyone.
* Girl At The End Of The World by Elizabeth Esther - VERY interesting, about her childhood in and escape from a Fundamentalist Christian cult.  Interesting to me because the church I grew up in was NOT as extreme as that, but began to have some some uncomfortable similarities.  (We left.)
* Cut Me Loose by Leah Vincent - a Jewish version of EE's book.  Very hard to read - how she hit rock bottom (promiscuity, cutting, suicidal).
* Am waiting on Kara Tippet's The Hardest Peace.

Looking forward to...  ummmmm, FINISHING the window project.  We are making progress...

Breaking out the glass:

We hired a guy from our church to help (SO GLAD we did!) and he got the new framing in really quickly.

Next day, new windows in:

Yes, there are three where there was one.  Building codes.  A window that big would need to be safety glass.  And that would be crazy-expensive.  Therefore, three smaller windows.  Fine by me, as I just want the LIGHT.  Kerry wanted to raise the bottom of the windows so all the windows in the living room will be all matchy-matchy even.  Fine.  Just keep the wideness of the space, because LIGHT.

Wyatt holds the ladder so Tate won't tip.  Tate holds the window in place.  Zach is doing something with a drill - probably screwing the windows to the framing.

Kerry is shimming from the inside.


In the kitchen...  yah.  Something.  Because I'm so motivated (not) to cook when it's hot.  Tonight?


In the learning rooms...  blessed nothing.

Around the house...  boys who are adjusting to a month of no screen-entertainment.  No computer gaming.  No watching videos.  Etc.  Kerry has offered three "dispensations", because he himself is balking.  And they want to watch the last Terminator movie they haven't seen.

Otherwise around the house... dust, dirt, destruction/construction.

And probably because things are in such chaos, I've been motivated to do some cleaning out.
Found this:

Twice Tate went to Sign Language Daycamp.  And LOOK!  They made shirts both years.  Yes, he's adorable, but we won't be saving the shirts anymore.  It think it took approximately ONE WASHING for the transfer to start deteriorating and coming off.  *sigh*  But he sure is cute :D

The Mother Load...  whew!  The biggest load off my mind was getting our (medical) insurance re-sorted out last month.  I really hate dealing with it, but we're good to go for another few months.  Still on my list...
* make progress on the quilt I started and abandoned in the heat
* fill out paperwork for Tate for free lunch (not that we care about the free lunch, but THAT qualifies Wyatt for free book-loan at the community college - SCORE!)
* have "calendar summit" with Kerry
* water the lithodora we planted along the top of Kerry's rock wall
* help Gunnar invite some boys over for a beach day/pizza/movie on Friday
* arrange to get together with my friend Ginny and her boys
* help Wyatt plan ahead for what classes he needs at the CC
* rake leaves - the trees are dropping leaves early because they're so dry
* take photos and list car on craigslist - yes, we're selling a FABULOUS 1979 Buick Regal - it could be yours!
* sort out Kerry's dresser (i.e. remove wishful-thinking-jeans)
* scrub kitchen/mudroom floor *sigh*
* hmmm, there was something else that felt urgent and is now escaping me... 

But I look down the street and see this:

That's water, not sky.

and you know what I would rather do?  Yah.  Go to the lake.  But my parents have guests for a couple days, so we're out of luck!

Noticing that...  teenage boys eat a lot.


Something to remember for later...  when we go out for our morning walks, sometimes Gunnar will still hold my hand.

A favorite quote for today...  

Forgiveness is a wondrous thing
when it arrives at the right time.

We had a guest preacher yesterday who preached a fascinating sermon on forgiveness and the phenomenon of Christians offering forgiveness to those who've hurt them, but who continue to be unremorseful and unrepentant.  Lots to think about.

One of my favorite things...  sweet tea :D

A Bible verse(s) for today...  
Colossians 3:13  ... Forgive as the Lord forgave you.
1 John 1:9     If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

A few plans for the rest of the week...  both Tate and Gunnar are being recognized for "Milestone Achievements" at CAP tomorrow night.  That means they're getting important promotions.  I just LOVE taking photos in the Guard Building (/sarcasm) because the fluorescent lighting and concrete walls create such a fabulous scenario (everyone looks like they're swimming in toxic green sludge) but I will try to get photos and report back :D

A peek into my world...  laugh all you want, but temps in the eighties (and even nineties!) are a crazy heat wave to us, so we do this with family and friends...

I think I spent more time IN the lake than OUT of it - hallelujah!


Wilma said...

Julie, I just enjoy your posts so very much. Most of the setting for the The Glass Castle was in Welch, WV, which is about 35 miles from where we live. I agree with you, I would love to slap her parents too. The town now is in a very poor socio-economic area. As I've said before, we live in a mountainous area. My husband used to drive to Welch to do residential appraisals for out of town companies. They would always question when he said it would take an hour's travel, one way! He would then explain that the road is two lane, mountainous and curvy with little passing opportunities. Usually a big coal truck impeded the speed.

The need for a modern highway is great. There are plans for a four-lane highway which would extend from Huntington, WV to Bluefield that would open up those areas so affected by the mechanization of coal. I don't think I will see it in my lifetime, Thank you for letting me ramble, but I did want to get my two cents worth in about Welch, WV.

Herding Grasshoppers said...

HI Wilma!

Thanks for the background info :D Yah, it sure sounded like a difficult place to live - especially for a family like hers. But then, it's all about the people. The woman's story just broke my heart and angered me, that her parents should have so little concern for their kids' well-being. Arrrrgh!

Hope you're enjoying your summer,


Choate Family said...

I loved "Same Kind of Different as Me". Except I think I went through a whole box of tissues when I read it. Can't wait to see the finished product on your window, and I'm sure you are looking forward to the chaos subsiding soon :-)