A Dress Appointment

Today after my class I drove to the library to pick up Mercy. There was a huge white bag taking up the whole back seat of the car. She got in the car and ate the lunch I’d packed her while we drove to Tyler, the nearest town with a bridal store belonging to the chain where she’d bought her wedding dress.

I knew exactly where the store was, because I’d driven past it a jillion times and in fact I’d taken Mercy there to get a dress years ago when she was maid of honor in a friend’s wedding. The only problem was that when we got there, the store was gone!

Frantic GPS-consulting followed, and we eventually found our way toward the new location. Mercy called ahead to let them know she’d be late for her fitting. We found the shopping center where the store was located, and I was very confident about finding it since I go to that shopping center quite often. However, it is a huge place and we had to drive up and down each row before we finally found the place we were looking for!

The reason for the fitting is that Mercy wants a minor alteration to her dress, so that meant she had to try it on and let the two very nice seamstresses do some pinning. As a seamstress myself, it was interesting to watch.

Afterward, we went to the nearby World Market to pick up a goodie or two and then went through the Starbucks drive-through so Mercy could get a cold coffee drink for the drive home. It was a nice mother-daughter outing.

This evening, we went to pick up our new ceiling fan . . . again. The first one we got was defective, so we’d been waiting for the replacement to arrive. This time it worked! Walter spent the entire rest of the evening putting it together and installing it. Now we have a functional fan in the living room again, just in time for this weekend’s triple digit temperatures . . .

Beds and Dreaming

Last night I had a very vivid, realistic dream in which I fell asleep while teaching a class. You can imagine my relief when I woke up this morning and realized that it was only a dream! I promise you, despite being very sleepy, I did NOT doze off even once during my class this morning! I did, however, take a much-needed nap this afternoon. I would love to get to the point where I start sleeping better and waking up rested.

Mercy and Jasper had an adventure this afternoon. Mercy and Daniel had found a great deal on a mattress set a week or so ago, and had paid for it, but the problem was getting it from the store and then having a place to put it. So last night, Walter hitched the trailer to the van and after Mercy got off work today, she bravely drove the van to the furniture store. Jasper went with her to wrangle the mattress and box springs.

They made it back here with everything intact, and hauled the new bed set into our guest room, which now kind of looks more like a storage room. Daniel won’t have their future apartment until a week before the wedding.

My day involved driving to Walmart twice, walking around the lovely air-conditioned track in the gym, and getting Jasper to help me reroute my watering hose to use the “right” spigot. It was a bit of a project, but everything’s fine now. I should have some ripe tomatoes soon!

I also finished reading a book to Jasper that he has really enjoyed. Due to his dyslexia, he listens to a lot of audiobooks but I also still read to him. I don’t mind. I’m totally okay with having a seventeen-year-old who begs me to read to him.

I also knitted a few rows on my new project. I’m waiting eagerly for a color change. The suspense is killing me!


Memorial Day

Yesterday (Sunday) was Lina’s birthday, so in the afternoon we started a video chat and Flynn also joined in. In this house, we took turns talking to Lina, who was spending her last birthday in Africa. Next year we can help her celebrate in person!

Since I had done so much cooking on Saturday, there was little to do in the kitchen and I could enjoy chatting with Lina and working on my new knitting project.

Today we all slept in at least a little, since no one had to work (well, not at their paying jobs). I continued to work through my very lengthy to-do list. I’m making headway! I had to run some errands and Lucy came with me for this afternoon’s foray to two different craft stores. I took advantage of sales to buy more lights for Mercy’s wedding.

Since it is Memorial Day, I got a fire going in the grill before supper and grilled some hamburgers and hot dogs. I got fancy with the hot dogs and wrapped each sausage in bacon before putting them on the grill. They were a big hit!

I tried cooking corn on the cob in the slow cooker for the first time, and that was also successful. I was kind of sorry I didn’t get to eat any (corn being one of the many things I can’t eat).

While the family enjoyed more homemade ice cream, I went out for my walk and watched the beautiful almost-full moon as it rose. I never tire of looking at the moon.

Tomorrow I plunge back into the final four days of my class. Today was a nice little break.

For All the Saints

For All the Saints

William H. How

For all the saints, who from their labors rest,
Who Thee by faith before the world confessed,
Thy Name, O Jesus, be forever blessed.
Alleluia, Alleluia!

Thou wast their Rock, their Fortress and their Might;
Thou, Lord, their Captain in the well fought fight;
Thou, in the darkness drear, their one true Light.
Alleluia, Alleluia!

For the Apostles’ glorious company,
Who bearing forth the Cross o’er land and sea,
Shook all the mighty world, we sing to Thee:
Alleluia, Alleluia!

For the Evangelists, by whose blest word,
Like fourfold streams, the garden of the Lord,
Is fair and fruitful, be Thy Name adored.
Alleluia, Alleluia!

For Martyrs, who with rapture kindled eye,
Saw the bright crown descending from the sky,
And seeing, grasped it, Thee we glorify.
Alleluia, Alleluia!

O blest communion, fellowship divine!
We feebly struggle, they in glory shine;
All are one in Thee, for all are Thine.
Alleluia, Alleluia!

O may Thy soldiers, faithful, true and bold,
Fight as the saints who nobly fought of old,
And win with them the victor’s crown of gold.
Alleluia, Alleluia!

And when the strife is fierce, the warfare long,
Steals on the ear the distant triumph song,
And hearts are brave, again, and arms are strong.
Alleluia, Alleluia!

The golden evening brightens in the west;
Soon, soon to faithful warriors comes their rest;
Sweet is the calm of paradise the blessed.
Alleluia, Alleluia!

But lo! there breaks a yet more glorious day;
The saints triumphant rise in bright array;
The King of glory passes on His way.
Alleluia, Alleluia!

From earth’s wide bounds, from ocean’s farthest coast,
Through gates of pearl streams in the countless host,
And singing to Father, Son and Holy Ghost:
Alleluia, Alleluia!


In the Kitchen

Today was the first Saturday I’ve been home in three weeks, so I wanted to do all the things. My to-do list was very long! I only made it about halfway through the list, but I’m actually pretty happy with that.

Several items on the list were kitchen related, so I roasted and cut up a fifteen-pound brisket, boiled two dozen eggs and then used them to make egg salad, roasted some pecans with coconut oil and curry powder, baked a batch of brownies for Mercy and Daniel to enjoy on their living room “movie date,” and made homemade ice cream, which meant cooking the custard and then taking it out of the freezer and beating it several times. Whew!

I also took Lucy back to Walmart to exchange the pants she bought last night, did some housework, took a nap, and spent a very frustrating hour rewinding a skein of yarn. Oh, and I also talked to my dad on the phone, went for my walk and watered my plants.

Mercy and Daniel stayed for supper and then I cleaned up the kitchen. Mostly.

Broken Promise

Today, Mother Nature promised me rain and then didn’t deliver. When I was out shopping at Aldi this afternoon, the sky was filled with dark clouds, and the sound of thunder filled the air. We need rain so badly, and I was really looking forward to it. However, soon after I returned home, the clouds moved off and we got no more than a few stray drops of rain. Grrrr! So I had to water my plants after all. Normally we get a fair amount of rain in May, but not this year.

I had my class this morning, during which my students were dismayed to learn there is another whole week of class left! At least they get a three-day weekend thanks to Memorial Day.

I walked in the gym again and I think that’s going to be my strategy for the foreseeable future. I miss being outdoors, but I don’t miss the heat and humidity. I find I can walk much faster on the air-conditioned track, which means I get a better workout. And adding distance is a lot easier too—I just have to add one or more circuits around the track!

This evening Lucy and I went shopping at the “old” Walmart we used to go to before one opened much closer. She needed to find some work pants that “our” Walmart didn’t have. It’s so weird going back to the old store. It’s been totally reorganized and I don’t know where anything is anymore.

Lots of things on my “to-do” list for tomorrow . . .

A Rite of Passage

Today I took my youngest son to the credit union to open his own checking and savings account. It’s hard to believe this is the last time I have to do this! Now all he needs is a job to keep that account healthy.

Today’s class was the student favorite—where they get to make (and eat) a peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwich and write about the process. When I have a lot of girls in class, they sometimes refuse to eat the sandwich. I did not have that problem with an all-boy class!

I also ran some errands and started a sewing project. This evening it was still very warm so I took my walk early, while the university gym was still open, so I could take advantage of their air-conditioned track. It’s the most boring walk in the world, but I was able to keep up a good pace and did not get too hot. I’m sure I’ll walk there more often over the coming months.

A Routine Day

Well, today was definitely lower-stress—for me, anyway. My husband had to get up at 3:00 and be at work by 4:00 to train some new employees who work the 4:00 a.m. shift. He got off “early” this afternoon but had still worked over ten hours!

Meanwhile, I just had my class to prepare for and teach. One of my students came early for some catch-up instruction. I am loving this all-boy class.

This afternoon we had to take our brand-new ceiling fan back to Lowe’s. I had ordered it online and we picked it up on Sunday, only to find out that it was defective. When Walter tried to install it, he discovered that the motor did not spin freely. So they took it back with no problem, but then I had to come home and re-order it, which means another week of waiting for the living room to have an overhead light and airflow again.

I struggled with a headache all day today—once a common occurrence but now very rare and very unwelcome. Hoping to wake up feeling better in the morning . . .

The Coffee Flood of 2018

So, sorry about not posting last night. I was cramming for today. I had my paragraph class to teach this morning, and a presentation to give at our writers’ meeting tonight. Our fearless leader, Vickie, contacted me on Sunday to let me know her husband was in the hospital and thus she would not be able to lead tonight’s meeting. So I had two days to come up with something to say!

At the same time, I did not want to miss my watercolor time either—and it’s always the same day as the writers’ meeting. So I worked very hard last night and this morning to do my grading and class prep and pull stuff together for my presentation also, and by lunchtime my class was over and I could go to my watercolor thing with no guilt.

I’m not sure why I keep going to the watercolor sessions. I do not do it enough to ever get better, but I still enjoy it and I still have hope that at some point I will magically acquire some skill. Today there were just four of us, but one of them was an actual professional artist who had some great tips for us. It was relaxing and enjoyable, even though Lucy had borrowed my watercolors and not returned them to my art bag, so I had to borrow our hostess’s paints.

I had realized rather belatedly that since Vickie wouldn’t be at the meeting this evening, it would be up to me to provide coffee and water and snacks. Now as you know, coffee is not my thing. We have a coffee maker and a coffee grinder but I do not interact with either device at all in the normal course of events. So I asked Jasper to clean up the coffee maker for me. Then I packed it in my big basket with all the accoutrements and some snacks. I received instructions on how to make a pot of coffee. It seemed simple enough.

The first bump in the road came with the realization that the library had double-booked our meeting room. I couldn’t get in to set up before the meeting because another group was already meeting there!

Then, when we did get in, and I set up the coffee maker, it became obvious that the cord would not reach to any outlet in the vicinity. By an amazing coincidence, our chaplain, Jerry, had an extension cord in his car, so within a few minutes I was in the coffee-making business . . . or was I?

I filled up the reservoir, put in the coffee filter, turned on the coffee maker—and disaster ensued. Coffee spurted out everywhere except into the carafe that sat waiting for it. Jerry started giving his devotional and I looked over and saw the coffee maker sitting in a lake of coffee. I had to rush over to do something before we had a coffee waterfall onto the carpeted floor.

Fortunately, I had brought a hefty stack of paper napkins with me. I needed almost all of them. While Jerry spoke, I was sopping and mopping and throwing away the sodden napkins every few seconds while the infernal machine continued to spew out piping hot coffee. I realized what had happened. The plastic basket which holds the filter (and lets the water out only through the hole in the middle) had not been put back into the coffee maker when Jasper cleaned it for me. So the water dripped through the filter all over the place.

When the machine finally had sucked up all the water and spewed scalding coffee out all over the counter, there was enough in the carafe for maybe two or three cups of coffee. I wiped and wiped and wiped! And after all that, only one of my six victims was brave enough to actually drink the coffee. Everyone else opted for water.

Needless to say, I was not at my best when it came time for me to speak. I was, as Anne of Green Gables would say, “well in body although considerably rumpled up in spirit.” I blundered through my talk and that’s about all I can say about it. Everyone was very kind.

All Creatures of Our God and King

All Creatures of Our God and King

Francis of Assisi

All creatures of our God and King
Lift up your voice and with us sing,
Alleluia! Alleluia!
Thou burning sun with golden beam,
Thou silver moon with softer gleam!


O praise Him! O praise Him!
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

Thou rushing wind that art so strong
Ye clouds that sail in Heaven along,
O praise Him! Alleluia!
Thou rising moon, in praise rejoice,
Ye lights of evening, find a voice!


Thou flowing water, pure and clear,
Make music for thy Lord to hear,
O praise Him! Alleluia!
Thou fire so masterful and bright,
That givest man both warmth and light.


Dear mother earth, who day by day
Unfoldest blessings on our way,
O praise Him! Alleluia!
The flowers and fruits that in thee grow,
Let them His glory also show.


And all ye men of tender heart,
Forgiving others, take your part,
O sing ye! Alleluia!
Ye who long pain and sorrow bear,
Praise God and on Him cast your care!


And thou most kind and gentle Death,
Waiting to hush our latest breath,
O praise Him! Alleluia!
Thou leadest home the child of God,
And Christ our Lord the way hath trod.


Let all things their Creator bless,
And worship Him in humbleness,
O praise Him! Alleluia!
Praise, praise the Father, praise the Son,
And praise the Spirit, Three in One!