Getting Things Done

There are times, most times for me, there are more things that need to be done than hours in the day to complete the tasks. I have been home for three days. There was the market lambs to take to the sheep sale on Friday, then to go to the sale on Saturday. Sunday was separating sheep, the ones I will sell from those I am keeping, trimming sheep hooves and deworming. I am selling some adult sheep at a special sale on October 1, and need to have them separated and marked so my husband can load up the correct sheep on Friday to deliver to the sale, for October 1. Shopping for groceries and bills to pay were done on Monday. Tomorrow I will be going back to my daughter’s to assist during the week, only to return late Friday, for a special sheep sale on Saturday at which I have four sheep consigned to sale. In the evenings I have been sewing baby blankets for my grandsons. A busy four days for sure.

The only way I can accomplish my tasks is to prioritize them as well as multi-task. I can clean and cook, and have laundry going. My husband assisted with working the sheep, getting the task done quicker than if I was doing it alone. We divide and conquer some tasks, like him going to town with the bills to be paid and checks to deposit, while I clean, cook, get paperwork together and sew. Some of our tasks are done together, and some separate covering more ground in less time.

The list was long, but everything was important and finished. I like getting things on “the list” done. Although some of the items my husband could accomplish without me.

I do not like for my husband to feel neglected while I am away. I am cooking a stew and a pot roast for his lunches and dinners. His laundry is washed and put away. The house is clean, dishes washed, ready for him to be a bachelor for a few days.

Since I am the one who does the sheep, it would be difficult for my husband to sort out the ones going to the special replacement sale. He is good about doing the feeding while I am gone. But, there are some tasks that would be very difficult for him to do alone.

The task of finding the registration papers for the sheep, would be a challenge. He would have to enter the office, my spot in the house where I keep everything important. The office is for our finances, my writing, all things related to sheep and livestock, along with my craft and sewing supplies. It is the one room in the house that the door is always closed. My husband calls it my chaos room.

With instructions via the phone, very detailed instructions, he would be able to find the binder where I keep the registration papers. Then he would have to read each registration paper so I could tell him if that was the paper needed for the sheep going to the sale. Being home, I have gathered the correct registration papers and placed them in a spot, outside of the “chaos room”, so he will find them to take with him when he delivers the sheep on Friday.

Before I leave tomorrow, I want things to be in place for him while I am gone. Can he cook? Yes, he can. But he works all day, does my chores and his chores. Dinner is nice when it can be warmed in a microwave. We do work at eating healthy meals to keep our health strong at our ages. Can he do laundry? Yes, he is capable of doing laundry. I do not want him to have to do additional work. I want things in place as they always are when I am home, because I love him. I work to make his daily life easier because of love.

What does he do for me? A lot. He helps me with the sheep when I need an extra body or extra hands. He does the heavy jobs around the place. He also keeps the vehicles running and operating in a safe manner. When I need a bale of hay moved, he is the one to do it for me. When I buy grain for the livestock, he unloads the grain with me. He is the main financial supporter of the family working nine hours or more a day.

We are a team, each doing their part and assisting the other, to have things go smoothly. We together, have everything ready for the days I am helping my daughter.

amtolle

August 2022 Endings

Photo by Ray Bilcliff on Pexels.com

August 31, 2022 last day of month. I sit in my small office and ponder the month, the summer and this year so far. There are many things to be thankful for in my life.

The rain is falling, a much needed rain with the drought we have been having this summer. The grass has begun to turn green from the last rain, with this rain it will continue to grow for a few more weeks.

I enjoy rain storms, watching the lightning and hearing the thunder. Afterwards, everything looks so clean, smells fresh and is brighter. It seems easier to face the rest of the day, and tomorrow, and the future once the sun comes out and I see and smell what the rain has taken away, and what is left behind.

I have looked back at this year, and realize this is the year of change. I was blessed with the visit from my grandson, Mr. J. He will be a teenager soon, and there will come a time he will be too busy for a summer vacation with Granny. We had fun at the fishing hole, working with the animals and riding horses. Another summer blessing to join the other memories we share.

I was blessed with a visit from my daughter, her first visit to my house since I moved to Texas. We had a blast remembering the horses and rides of yesteryear as we watched her children ride the horses. The children learning about the sheep, and my grandson sitting on PeeWee, my favorite ewe. A grand time we had with a visit to my youngest daughter, her sister, with great food, games played by all, water games and conversation. A house full of laughter and good times. A blessing for sure. There are plans to continue to get together at least once a year.

The year has been focused on one major change in our family, a huge blessing. Every family member has been excited, helping with any necessary items, and constantly praying … the arrival of triplets. My youngest daughter is pregnant with triplets. There has been baby formula purchases by many family members since baby formula was hard to find, and limited in quantity that can be purchased. We as a family has come together like an army to help with the needs of the triplets and the parents.

With the end of August, the arrival of the triplets is close, September 14. I will go to my daughter’s home on September 11 and stay until I am not needed. It will be a few weeks at least. I may not be able to post much during my stay.

The other change, we are working on moving. My youngest daughter lives 2 hours from us. We want to spend more time with them and helping them. I have been working on getting our place ready to sell. Looking at properties in their area. Moving is a huge task. I cannot just buy a house, as I have approximately fifty head of sheep, eight dogs, and five horses to relocate as well as us. I need a place that I will not have to do a lot of work before the animals arrive. A task to find. Moving is in the future. I know everything will fall into place when I find the right place at the right time.

A year of changes and many blessings, with more blessing to arrive. As a family, the blessings have rained down on us this year, but not without change and at times struggles just like after the rainstorm, the sun comes out and all is clean, fresh and ready for the day.

amtolle

“The Box”

Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels.com

A red Budweiser case box sits on a shelf in a closet. The box shows wear from many moves the past two decades. On the front is an index card labeling what is inside, “Research Paper”. This box is special, a trophy. Not stylish or fancy to put on a shelf and admire for its beauty, but a trophy nonetheless.

Recently, when my oldest daughter, Mrs. J, was visiting with me and her younger sister, Mrs. E, she asked,”Mom do you still have your research paper?”

Mrs. E instantly responded, “Mom is never going to get rid of that, it is too special.” She was not joking or being sarcastic, but serious about the value of the box. A value I did not know they had for an old worn box full of papers.

Mrs. J asked, “Can I see it sometime Mom?”

“Yes, when you come down next time for a visit, I will get out the research paper.”

This research paper is from college, a class required for graduation with an associates degree.

Colleges have stories about teacher and classes, this class was tough, grueling and not fun. Mrs. Ackrey taught the class, and it was a challenge. She was very particular on the steps, resources and how this research thesis was presented. Mrs. Ackrey had four Phds and was working on another, she was qualified on teaching students how to write a research paper that taught the skills to write a masters or doctorate thesis, the purpose of the class. The research paper written and presented to her was the total grade for the class. Because of the importance and amount of work required, I did not load up with the 18 to 21 credit hours I usually carried a combination from three colleges. I took a bare minimum of credit hours to get government financing to assist with the cost, 12 credit hours.

The first day, we were handed the syllabus and given a list of supplies needed, including 5 legal type notebooks, index cards, and post it notes. She went through the syllabus with us word by word. Everyone was to understand and be aware of the requirements for the class. For homework we were instructed to think about a subject for the research paper that had to be at least 25 pages in length. Leaving class that night, I knew what my topic would be – horses. I had a lot of books, magazines and personal experience with horses, as a topic, my research paper would not be so difficult.

Second class meeting opened with us voicing ideas for a subject. Mrs Ackery was quick to shoot some down due to not being a large enough topic to meet the required number of resources and pages. She stated some topics that were common for research papers in her class, and others that would meet the requirements if a person choose to do the research. Before class was over she looked at me, said my name, “You can not do a research paper on horses. In this area, you are known as an expert, and choosing the subject would not require you to learn the process sufficiently. And I will not accept you doing a paper on any animal.” My topic shot out of the water before I even started. Ok, now the work of picking a topic as we were to have a topic chosen before the next class.

Choosing the topic to do research on was difficult. The minimum of 25 resources from the following required: 1-5 books read cover to cover, 10 or more magazine and newspaper publications, at least one video interviews or movies or documentaries, 1-5 person to person interviews, and limit of 10 internet sources. What was I going to choose?

The movie, “A Beautiful Mind”, about John Forbes Nash Jr., a famous mathematician, was just released to VHS video. I had heard it was very good to watch. One of the topics Mrs. Ackrey mentioned was schizophrenia, a hard topic she said to compose, but a lot of resources. I would combine school and a movie night with the family.

My topic chosen I was ready to begin work. I had one semester to do research, work two jobs and care for four children and their various activities, and get this paper written and bound to present for a grade.

Remember the five legal size notebooks, one notebook for each chapter. Index cards were for quotes. We were to have a introduction quote, table of contents, an introduction, five chapters and a conclusion, resource appendix. We could not do research in the class meetings, that was for instructions on how to write our rough draughts, chapter by chapter, and typing of the final research paper.

In one semester, for one class I read four books, cover to cover. I was at the library with my children, me in the reference area, them in the children’s area. I read at work between waiting on tables, read and took notes while my children did their homework. My children experienced with me the research and writing of this paper. We watched the movie three times, then I read the book, “A Beautiful Mind” written by Sylvia Nasar. I had the resources and was putting the information together chapter by chapter. In total I had over 35 resources listed and quoted in the research paper. My hand written chapters were turned into the teacher on time, and I went over her notes in detail.

Now to type it all together. Christmas was fast approaching, and I had cut my hours at work in order to do this research paper. I am very proficient at typing and understood how to type the research paper in the format instructed. There were three fellow students who paid me to type their research papers. This was allowed, you could have someone else type your research paper as long as they were noted on the title page as being the typist. I did not get my research paper typed and bond on time. I was late in presenting it the teacher. Those that I had typed their research papers for, were on time and presented on time. I had to travel to the school where she taught to turn my paper on the last day of acceptance. This translated to I needed to make an “A” on the research paper because I was so late in turning it in, I would just get a passing grade.

Two weeks after turning the research papers we would have our grades. For the first and probably only time in her life, Mrs. Ackrey was not ready to hand back the research papers with the grades. She told the class she would need an extra week due to a situation she had to deal with. We would continue with moving the last week up one week.

The day arrived, we were to get back our research papers with the class grade. I had been praying for a passing grade, not wanting to have to take this class again and put off graduation.

She started the class saying our grades were late in being given due to having sent a student’s research paper to the board of directors to review and later meeting with them to discuss the paper and action. In my mind I thought someone had plagiarize another’s work, which meant expulsion from the college.

She continued tell the class a student had turned their work in late. When I read their work, it was beyond excellent, beyond excellent. I had my husband read it, and the director of this campus. They concurred with me to send it to the Board of Directors. I also sent a few copies to colleagues at other colleges and university who teach on the subject. All came back with the same conclusion – the paper is definitely a master’s thesis and could be a doctorate thesis.

The students and I were puzzled, if this paper is so great, just give it an “A”, why take it to the Board of Directors.

In conclusion, she stated anytime an exception is made in a course syllabus it must be made by the Board of Directors, she could not do it on her own. By the syllabus, the student would be entitled to a “D”, but this thesis is way above a “D”. I must make every student aware that an exception has been made and why. Putting the research thesis that she was holding on the table, he looks at me, state my name “has written a doctorate quality thesis without any format mistakes and it should be published. The Board of Directors and I agree that she should receive a B grade for this amazing work. This thesis has been scrutinized by people in the top of that field on information and presentation and all were amazed that a student, who is in their second year of college wrote the thesis. She has over 35 references, She read four books, I saw her read them at work between waiting on tables. She has a family to take care of and works I know of two jobs. Some of you did not put any effort into your papers. And those of you who had her type your paper, the format was flawless, I hope you paid her well.” Then she laid three more research thesis on the table, those that I had typed. “You can come up and get your papers from the table.” and she started laying others on the table. When I went to pick up mine, she told me “I hope you publish this, it is truly that good.”

I had never been praised for my work as I was that night in the classroom. Within the box is a copy of the research thesis, all my notes, all my note cards, the seven legal notebooks, and a couple of letters from the people she sent the thesis to for review. I never published it, as I thought I would use it in another class if needed.

The box sits on a shelf in my closet, a story within itself.

amtolle

Searching a Path

Photo by James Wheeler on Pexels.com

When I lived in Colorado and rode horses in the mountains, we would start out on a path or trail. Later in our ride, we would leave the path in search of a way to reach a certain peak or area.

In life, we start out on a path of our parents’ choosing. As children we do not make the decisions that affect our lives, our parents to. As we mature, leave home and beg the searching for our way to reach a certain dream. We begin making the decisions on what we should do or not do. Now the responsibility of where our path leads us is our own choosing.

I have shared stories of my past and learning as an adult I was adopted. Then a family relative learned they were adopted as well. I was asked not to share my family past history as the family relatives did not want someone to learn who they were and what may have been said. So I stopped writing my past stories.

I feel I should share my life history with others. I know I have gained encouragement and hope by reading or listening to someone else, and that they have overcome the unpleasant or traumatic event in their life. So, there maybe someone, somewhere that needs to see a full story of how a person overcame the challenging events in their lives.

I know I am not the only person to be molested as a child, but for years I felt I was, alone and no one else had ever been treated that way. Learning that I was not the only person to be molested, helped me to not be ashamed and to speak out.

When you think you are the only one that has had something bad happen to you, you blame yourself. “I must be bad or something is wrong with me and that is why bad things happen” are the thoughts that go through the mind.

By sharing my life story, I hope to reach others and let them know they are not alone. I want those around me to maybe have some understanding as to why I think or behave the way I do. Sharing also helps with my healing. I am no longer hiding those things in my mind and heart, I am getting them out into the light so I can continued to be healed.

There are still things that I am working through from my childhood. How do I overcome the bad situations that have happened to me, with an inward strength from above. I do not do it all by myself, I have a God who cares and helps. Sometimes that help is in a message from another person. The important thing is you are not alone.

We are quick to share the joys of our lives with others. We should not feel like we are alone when the bad things happen. Good or bad, we need others to share it with.

Thank you for stopping and reading.

amtolle

A Gift

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

The post “The Calculator” brought back some memories, some not so pleasant but also awakened a realization. As we travel forward we see our life in a fog, but looking backwards things are clearer and at times we have eagle vision. I realized after writing the post and reading the comments made, I do have something to be proud of, a gift from the Creator.

We are all given gifts. Some people recognize these gifts from the Creator, and excel in life using the gifts. There are a few who never see the gift they possess from the Creator. It has taken me almost a lifetime to see the gifts the Creator has given me when He created me.

The majority of my life, I have considered the gift the Creator gave me to be a hindrance and sometimes a curse. From an early age I showed that I was smart, learned quickly and could put what I learned into practice and expand on what I had learned.

My love for mathematics started before I was in school. I remember watching my dad at the dining table using a ruler to measure lines on a blueprint of some building, writing those numbers down on a legal pad, and adding them up. I would watch, more entranced with what he was doing than any television show or cartoon. I learned my numbers and how to add sums at the dining table, with little answers to my questions from my dad.

When the time came for me to be in school I could count to a hundred, as double digit sums, say my ABC’s and read small words. I remember the trip to the school with my dad. It was almost Thanksgiving when we went to visit and put me in school. Why I was taken after the school year started, I do not know. We went to the office, dad filled out some papers while I watched. Then the lady showed us the kindergarten room. The room was round, apart from the main building. When we entered the room, it was dark as some of the kids were watching a movie, some were playing and talking, a few were literally running around the room. Dad talked to the teacher and then we left. I was to start school the next week, on a Monday.

My first day of school, I remember it so well. My dad was proud to take his daughter to school. I was dressed in a new dress we had purchased that weekend. The dress was white with yellow and blue stripes forming a plaid pattern, new shoes that were white with black, and new socks. I thought we were going to the kindergarten room, and I remember where it was, when I started heading that direction, dad said we needed to go to the office first as the principal wanted to talk to us.

My first trip to the principal’s office, one of three visits I made in my school years. We went the office, the lady my dad spoke with and filled out papers showed us a room near her desk. Inside was the principal she stood and shook both our hands. For the first time, an adult was acknowledging me. She asked us to sit down and she sat down.

” I hear you are a smart young girl.” started the Principal. I just nodded my head yes. In the following minutes she asked me to say my ABC’s, count, do some sums, and read from a small book about a bunny. I only read two pages before she said “that was enough for now.”Looking to my dad, “Mr. Varbel, you do have a very smart young girl. She knows too much for kindergarten as most of the children do not know their letters or numbers yet. I think we need to put her in first grade instead of kindergarten.”

My dad’s response, “Ok, that is fine.” Looking at me with a smile and pride in his eyes, “You are going to be in first grade, a first grader because you are so smart.”

The principal stood up, “We let’s walk her to class, I am sure she is ready to start going to school.” She lead us to the first grade classroom, knocked on the door then went in. We waited at the door for the teacher to meet us. There were children sitting in desks, they were all looking at us, at me. The principal spoke quietly to the teacher and gave her a piece of paper. Then the teacher bent down to say hello, and her name. ” I guess we need to find you a desk. I think I will have you sit at the front of the class in case you need help.” Before leaving with the teacher, dad said good-bye and do your best, then handed me a pencil from his pocket, “I think you are going to need this.” Speaking to the teacher, “Let me know what she needs for supplies and she will have them tomorrow.”

The teacher asked a boy to move to another desk, and said “this will be your desk.” Then she introduced me to the class, and the math lesson continued. A girl sitting across the isle next to me, gave me a piece of paper with a smile.

I began first grade at the age of five years. A year to two years younger than the students in my classroom.

The gift of being able to learn, my brain as I call it, has enabled me to learn facts and knowledge with relative ease. I was a straight A student in school and did very well in college. But it was also something my mom and other students made fun of and put down. One very often heard phase from my mother was “You think you are so smart because you get A’s, but you know nothing.” I grew up learning that A’s did not mean you were smart, it only meant that you got A’s in school, nothing more. Yet, I worked very hard to have A’s on my report card, my dad was proud of my A’s and my hard work, every report card was a time I could make my dad proud, and see his eyes twinkle.

Today, I still fight a low self-esteem put there by the negativity of my mother. But I am finally proud of the gift the Creator has given me. Like my dad, I see this gift with pride. Because I am able to learn, I have been able to make decisions, face life’s challenges with an answer and instill in my children and grandchildren a love of learning. I am no longer embarrassed or ashamed of having a high IQ, or having knowledge, but instead will share the knowledge to help others better themselves or find a solution to a problem.

I do have other gifts the Creator has given me. What gifts have you received? Are you proud or ashamed of the gifts the Creator has given you?

amtolle

The Calculator

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

This coming week many young people will be heading back to school. The beginning of a new educational year. Their parents have been busy getting school supplies, school clothes, and other necessary items for their children.

I remember always looking forward to returning to school. I love learning. I enjoyed the classroom where I excelled. The classroom was a place where I could be myself, not worry about upsetting my mother. I may not do things right at home for my mother, but in school I was free from her constant disapproval. My father was always proud of my academic achievements.

I did not have many friends in school, actually only one or two the entire time in high school, and they graduated before I did. My last two years of high school, I was alone during lunch time. But it did not matter if I had friends or not, I had books, knowledge and learning.

The purchase of school clothes was simple, three pants, four shirts, undergarment, and a package of socks. When I started junior high, a P.E. uniform was required. These clothes had to last all year long. I would not get any other clothes until the following school year, with the exception of Christmas. At Christmas we all got a new package of socks, and if I was blessed a new shirt.

School supplies were the bare minimum for the year. The first day of school was just a pencil and notebook. I was to write down all the required notebooks and supplies from each class. The following weekend we would go shopping for the supplies. I remember my sophomore year, I was required to have a certain calculator to use in chemistry and geometry. My mother said “no, that is too expensive.” (Later I learned this was a lie.) So, for chemistry and geometry, I took scratch paper from home to solve complex mathematical equations with a pencil and my mind. Just before Christmas, I received a letter from my chemistry teacher to give to my parents. All school correspondence to my parents was seen first by my father. The letter stated that I need the calculator for class, it was required. I was called into the room my father used as a home office, door closed with my father and mother inside.

Now what is a child supposed to do? My father would not tolerate any untruth from me, and I am a terrible liar and poker player. My mother would be mad at me if I told the truth. I also knew that the truth would cause an argument between my parents. My father asked the question I knew was going to be said, “Why did you not tell us you needed this calculator?” Looking at the ground, not daring to look at either parent, I replied my mother’s words that it was too expensive. “How much does it cost?” my father asked. Keeping my eyes staring at the floor I replied with the cost. My father dismissed me, after I closed the door the argument began. That Christmas, in my stocking was the calculator, the only gift I received that Christmas.

Home was a difficult place. While I got along great with my father, I was always in turmoil with my mother. School was the place to get away from my mother.

Every year when school is beginning to start and I see children and parents purchasing school supplies, this memory comes forward. Yes, I became very good at chemical equations rounding the answer to five places behind the decimal. I was able to do the calculations as fast as the older students with their calculators. I used a lot of scratch paper, a forest worth. And every year, as I watch children and parents get school supplies, I hope a child does not have to go through what I did for a calculator.

amtolle

Done and Delivered

Yesterday I delivered the old dresser I have been working on. The hours of sanding by hand, cutting wood pieces to replace the broken pieces, and brushing with varnish has produced a beautiful heirloom for my daughter and her children.

This wooden dresser is fifty years old or a little older. The dresser was used by my parents when I was a small child. The dresser has traveled to many states, including being in Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado and Texas. For years it has set in storage, without a purpose. Now the dresser has had a facelift, been restored for the use it was initially created.

The wood is oak, and of high quality. It is hard to find oak or any type of wood board that does not have a knot located in it somewhere. There is no knots in the wood used to create this dresser. Knots in wood are created when the tree puts out a branch. In order to get wood without knots, the wood has to come from the inner part of the tree trunk. There are not very many trees that reach the size before being harvested to produce wood boards without knots.

Like ourselves, this dresser is not perfect. The travels and life have left their marks on this old dresser. There are dings, scratches and stains that I was not able to remove without damaging the dresser to disuse. Each ding, scratch and stain tells a story, the story of life, the places and experiences. Each imperfection gives this dresser character, makes it unique and shows the strength of the dresser.

Our dings, scratches and stains show the same type of story. We have had experiences in life, some good and some bad. These imperfections give us in part our character, make us unique, but more importantly shows us and others our strength. We had the strength to endure, change, move forward and overcome, leaving an imperfection to give testimony to our life story.

This dresser being used by three boys will surely get more dings, scratches and stains in the coming years. But it will also carry a story of once being used when I was a child, how Granny restored it, and how it continues in their lives.

amtolle

August Beginnings

Photo by Susanne Jutzeler on Pexels.com

August is beginning and the mark of summer ending with the grandchildren preparing to start school in a few weeks. There will be no more visits with grandchildren until Christmas break. The softball season is over, and other sports practices been going on for a few weeks. The distance apart makes if difficult to attend any games, but we like to keep track on their achievements.

I have been putting the squash from my small garden up for later meals. We eat some and I freeze some. The work of growing food. The tomatoes and bell peppers do not produce fruit in the heat of summer. Once the temperatures start to drop, they will set fruit for a late harvest in November.

In the part of Texas where I live, people plant two gardens, a spring garden and fall garden. The spring garden has been struggling in the heat. Squash produces well in the heat as long as it has water. The tomatoes, bell peppers will produce when the temperatures drop. The brussel sprouts will begin to grow their fruits vigorously with the cooler temperatures arriving at the end of August. Pumpkins will continue to set fruit and grow until the first freeze in mid November.

In a couple of weeks I will plant radishes, onions and maybe some potatoes. These vegetables will grow well in the cool temperatures until we get a hard freeze in January or February. Cabbages do well in a fall garden.

The lambing for summer is done. Due to the drought, the sheep market is flooded with people selling their ewes and rams because winter feed prices are going to be higher than last year. People selling now, means there will be fewer lambs born in the fall. Less lambs born in the fall means fewer lambs for sell in February and March when the lamb market prices are usually high. I am currently breeding my ewes for fall lambing. I have faith I will be able to continue to purchase feed through the winter and hopefully make a good profit in February.

August is the time to settle down and do projects that were interrupted with visits from family. The grandchildren go back to school, and I go back to work building and repairing the shelters for the animals this winter. Projects that improve our place and home.

August is also the time to start the gifts for family and friends. Considering I did not plant cucumbers this year, I will not be making pickles and relish for Christmas gifts. I will have to make the Christmas gifts this year. One of my projects to get completed in August is the leather crafting work table. My husband wants to make belts for the grandchildren. I will need to have the leather work table done for him to be able to complete his Christmas gifts this year.

Another project is to finish some quilts I started last year for the grandchildren. I am going to set up my quilting frame in the spare bedroom, now that there will not be any visitors until Christmas. I hand stitch all the quilting on my quilts. A task that requires time and patiences of placing each stitch in the right place. When the quilts are completed, they are heirlooms for my grandchildren and future generations. Before I die, I want to have completed a quilt for each grandchild. Some have their quilts, but I have a several more to make and complete.

My year is marked out in months for certain activities and events. August is the beginning of work as the season for playing with family is over until Christmas time.

amtolle

Triplet Update

This week I was honored with the invitation to attend an ultrasound appointment with my daughter who is pregnant with spontaneous triplets. Spontaneous triplets are conceived without any assistance from fertility drugs or treatments. They were wanting another baby, and was blessed with three.

According to the CDC, triplets happen in 1 out of 10,000 pregnancies. Majority of triplets are conceived with the aid of fertility treatments. Becoming pregnant with triplets without the assistant of fertility treatments is more rare.

They are 28 weeks in gestation, the beginning of the third trimester. Being able to view the ultrasound and see my grandchildren was thrilling. They are crowded inside, moving a lot. They are doing very well. Each baby weighs a little over 2 pounds, total is over 7 pounds. I was able to hear the heart beats of each baby. We were also able to see and hear them practice breathing.

As a mother in the 80’s and 90’s, I only had two ultrasounds during my four pregnancies. Being able to see my grandchildren during this visit was a blessing beyond measure. These three grandchildren bring the number to fifteen grandchildren. I am blessed.

Babies and mom are doing well. We are looking forward to their delivery in September. Prayers and positive thinking are appreciated.

amtolle

Short Visit

“Distant makes the heart grow fonder”

My oldest daughter and her children have been visiting for the past five days. When planning vacation time, five days seem like enough days to spend time with us and with her sister. When making plans for this visit there was discussion on the children riding the horses, going fishing, playing in the water, seeing lambs and other activities. They arrive and start visiting, the days fly too fast and soon it is time to return home.

We were able to ride the horse one day. The children were given short lessons. My desire was to teach them to ride and have fun. But an one hour ride is not much time to learn or to ride. The temperatures were very high, over 100 degrees fahrenheit every day. The riding was done in the early morning hours, for the health of the children and the horse.

We spent a day with my other daughter and her family. Enjoying playing card games. The children played in the water, and the adults got wet from not so well aimed water fights. There was good food and conversation. But soon the clock said it was time to return home. A few chores needed done. And everyone needed some rest due to a busy day.

We built and painted wind chimes and bird houses. These items will go in my front yard near my little happy spot of a garden. I need to put a sealer on the bird houses. I have already put the sealer on the wind chimes, and I will hang them after they head home. Little reminders of their short visit.

We did not make it to the lake to go fishing. Fishing is one activity everyone enjoys. But the day only has so many hours to play in, and there were not enough hours for fishing. We will have to go fishing on another visit.

Everyone is quiet as we say good-bye. Desires and emotions are divided. They want to return home to their dad, their animals, and activities, but are sad to leave us as well. I know they need to return home. I am sad to see them leave. Children grow up fast, time passes quickly. There is never enough time to say and do the things the heart desires.

We have pictures and memories of this visit. Things to share with those back home. Treasures to hold in our hearts. Bonds built stronger with experiences shared.

amtolle