February Photos

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Monday, February 18, 2002 - Food Taster for the Court

Last Monday, Hannah and Aaron came to see us.  After visiting a while, Hannah took Victoria and Aaron with her to the grocery store.  That’s one of Victoria’s favorite things to do--go with Hannah--and she can often be heard asking Hannah, “Do you think you need to go to the store today?”
Tuesday, I tried to e-file Joseph’s tax return, but no matter what I clicked on, I wound up on a page of instructions and explanations with the following remark:  “It has never been easier to e-file your tax returns!”  But I never did find the page where one types in all the pertinent information.  I finally gave up; we’ll let our tax man (or lady, as the case may be) do it.
Hannah is making the cutest outfit for Aaron for Easter.  She’s smocked the top of it, and it turned out neat as a pin, although Hannah is fussing and fretting over it, afraid this and that isn’t quite right.
Wednesday I finished Lydia’s lavender dress.  It is low-waisted, and the skirt has three free-hanging tiers of thin lavender with a faint pin-stripe and tiny pink flowers, with narrow white Cluny lace at the hem of each ruffle.  The princess-style bodice is of narrow seersucker; there is a gathered sash of lavender broadcloth, and the sleeves are lavender with large pink and mauve roses with moss green leaves printed on it.  The Peter Pan collar is of thin white with a fine pinstripe and tiny lavender flowers, as is the piping between skirt and bodice; and there is piping around the collar and a small bow at the neck from the same material as the sleeves.
That done, I started sewing Victoria’s dress.
Victoria was excited all day long Wednesday, because she knew that after church the children her age would be passing out Valentines.  It’s almost as exciting as Christmas presents, it is.  She carried Valentines for her little friends to church in her fabric-covered Valentine box, and after Caleb and a couple of his friends helped her dole them out, she brought it home again, heavily laden with Valentines other children had given her.  She ate enough candy to sicken a full-grown moose, I’d venture to say, but didn’t have a single ill effect from it, near as I could tell.  When I suddenly noticed how much she’d eaten, I told her to put it away until the next day.
She closed her box and giggled, “Yes, I’m fat enough for tonight, I guess!”
Larry and Joseph worked for David from 7:00 a.m. till 3:00 p.m. Thursday; that was one of the first poured-wall jobs they’ve had this year.  Perhaps they will work again Tuesday; we’ll see.
Lydia and Caleb had Valentine parties at school that day.  Lydia’s partying got cut short, because she had to go to the dentist at 3:00.  She had her teeth cleaned, and she has to go back another time to have a cavity fixed.
That evening, my brother-in-law, John, brought Hester, Lydia, Caleb, and Victoria Valentines from him and Lura Kay:  a tiny teddy bear pin for Hester, a calculator pencil box for Lydia, a tiny lantern for Caleb, and a little stuffed Dalmatian for Victoria.  I declare, my sister thinks Valentine’s Day is on a par with Christmas, she sho’ ’nuff does.
One afternoon while I was sewing, Victoria was in the middle of my bed playing with her stuffed white cat.
“Do you want to pet my kitty?” she asked me.
I petted its head.
Victoria quickly turned it around.  “Oh,” she said, “He only likes to be petted on his back, because that’s how I trained him.”
She has a big imagination.  She’s funny.
Victoria’s birthday is coming up, and she is counting down the days.  She asked when Aaron’s birthday was.
“April 24th,” I told her.
“And mine’s on the 24th!” she exclaimed, pleased.  “But mine’s February,” she emended.  Then, “Will I always be older than baby Aaron?”
“Yes,” I replied.
“Is that because I got borned before he did?” she queried.
I just heard on the radio that Nebraska has a few fish species that are threatened or endangered.  The names of two of them are ‘Lost River Sucker’ and ‘Short-Nose Sucker’.  Do you think that the reason the first fish is endangered is because he can’t find his river?  Or is it because he himself is lost?  It all depends on how you look at it:  Lost-River Sucker, or lost River-Sucker.
You will be glad to know I am not planning to discuss the name of the latter fish, nor the reasons for his endangerment.
We were looking at a Moody Bible Science video that thoroughly explained the cycle of water...rain, evaporation, and so forth.  There were many beautiful pictures of waterfalls, lakes, mountain streams, oceans, rainbows, snow...
“Are there ever snowbows?” asked Victoria.
Larry was working on a pickup for Tom, Teddy’s boss, in our garage.  I went to the door to ask him something--and there he was, lying on the creeper under the pickup, sound asleep.  Working for David wears him plumb out.
That evening, I made two loaves of zucchini bread from zucchini I’d shredded and frozen last summer, one loaf for Lawrence and Norma, whose eleventh anniversary was that very day, the fourteenth; and the other for my brother and sister-in-law, Loren and Janice, who were having their 34th  anniversary.
Larry took the bread to Lawrence and Norma, and he brought back a batch of Valentine cookies Norma had just made for us.
Teddy ate supper at Amy's house, and also brought home Valentine cookies, along with brownies.  Amy gave him a big stuffed golden retriever puppy, its tawny fur soft as can be.  Reckon that will suffice for the puppy he’s been longing for?
The four younger children and I took Loren and Janice their zucchini bread.  Bullet, who has never forgotten us since he was little (really!!  He was once little, believe me!), greets us with joyful enthusiasm while Loren halfheartedly tells him not to do whatever it is he’s about to do (such as lallop off Victoria’s face until I shove him away), then makes funny faces at us and says, “I try really hard to make him mind me!”
Janice immediately sliced the bread and gave us all a piece, which wasn’t exactly what I’d intended, but they are always so generous...  As we were leaving, Loren asked Victoria if she liked her little red boots and her red and white socks with the gold bows and red and green jingle bells.  She nodded an affirmative, and trotted down the steps, jingling all the way.
“I used to like red boots and jingle bells when I was a little girl, too,” said Loren, and the kids all went into peals of laughter.
He had his best day of work ever Friday, despite his neck hurting.  He’s been going to a chiropractor every other day.  After the treatment, it hurts him quite a bit, but by the next day it is better.  His neck has been bothering him ever since he fell some time ago on their porch.  Shortly thereafter, he hit his head on the mirror on his motor home, hurting his neck again.  (His head didn’t fare too well, either.)  In spite of the pain he’s been in, he is still doing extraordinarily well with his selling, but he does not look forward to working in the big cities, because driving in all that cutthroat traffic while looking for unfamiliar addresses causes more troubles with his neck.
I commiserated with him, because my neck hurts, too, on account of old injuries and arthritis and intractability.  Two of the things that helped me most--Menthacin and Arthritis-Strength Absorbine--can no longer be found in this uncivilized outpost of a burg.  Loren gave me a small bottle of Joint-ritis.  I think it does help, but not as much as Menthacin or Absorbine, both of which combined Capsaicin with Menthol.  The stores still sell Absorbine, Jr., but it contains no Capsaicin, so it doesn’t help nearly as much as Arthritis-Strength Absorbine.  I recently tried Arth-Rx, which cost me a pretty penny ($19.95 for 3 oz.) (!), but it has something in it called Methyl nicotinate ([-!-]  Am I rubbing Nicotine on myself??!!!) instead of Menthol.
Right now, my last resort, and what helps the most if my neck hurts so much I can’t seem to get anything accomplished (a frustrating turn of events), is to first rub pure Capsaicin on it.  This doesn’t do a lick of good, unless I am piping hot, in which case the Capsaicin promptly goes to work and burns like fury.  Otherwise, I cannot tell I put anything on at all; so I follow it with Icy Hot, after which my neck looks and feels as if I’d gotten a raging sunburn.  Still, that’s preferable to the pain.
Okay, I’m all done griping; you can wake back up now.
That night, we watched a film about the wolves that have been brought back to Yellowstone.  It was an interesting, exciting story, with wonderful photography, and I like the wolves; they remind me of Aleutia, our Siberian Husky; but my sympathies are wholeheartedly with the ranchers on the outskirts of the Park who sometimes lose a calf or a lamb or a kid to one of the wolves.  People who put animals--especially ferocious animals like the wolves--ahead of people and their livelihoods are so very wrong, and they always seem to think they are so very right.  In the Bible, God promised His people that He would not let the ‘beast of the field multiply against them’, but would cause them and their flocks and herds to ‘dwell in safety’.
(Just another little sermonette, gratis.)
In spite of my adamant belief about all that, I love wildlife and beautiful scenery, and was quite enjoying the film, when all of a sudden the stupid narrator informed me that the elk had ‘evolved’ into the creature he is now--fast, elegant, head held high--because of having the wolf as a predator all these gazillion years.  The theory of evolution is so flawed, it’s surprising that supposedly intelligent people ever spout that nonsense.  I ranted and raved about it for a little while, just to let the children know what I thought of that, and why and wherefore and in-as-much-as-how, and then we continued with the film.
Give me Moody Bible Science videos over National Geographic any day, in spite of National Geographic’s superior quality of photography and filming!  Things in the world of video have improved a lot since the Moody tapes were made.  But the subject matter in them will always be timeless and new, because the main object lessons are from the Bible, which will never be outdated or obsolete.
I finished Victoria’s dress Thursday night; it is dark teal green with tiny pink and dusty rose flowers printed on it, and there is a border print with big roses all the way around the hem.  I had just enough of that border print to make a V-shape with it on the front bodice.  There are ruffles over the shoulders, and another set of ruffles over the sleeves, and they are hemmed with ruffled dusty rose lace.  The sleeves, cummerbund and sash, top yokes, and stand-up collar are of rose jacquard satin, and there is a net underskirt with a narrow band of rose satin that hangs down about an inch below the top skirt.  The short sleeves have an inverted pleat at the hem, and are trimmed with a small dusty pink ribbon rose with green leaves, in the center of which is a tiny pink fine-net rose.
Friday, Larry and Joseph worked for David again.  Home early, they both took a looong nap...3 hours.  After supper, they worked on the pickup in the garage.  Larry hopes to complete it today.
It was 54° that afternoon.  We went to Wal-Mart for thread and gold trim for Hester’s navy-and-dark-green-plaid-with-gold-threads sailor dress I’ve started sewing.  I also got some gold fabric to make gold piping to go around the big sailor collar.  I’m about half done with it now.
After returning home, I made some zucchini bread.  Thursday’s bread, you see, had smelled scrumptious, but that’s all anyone got to do (except for the pieces Janice gave the littles): smell it.  And zucchini bread seems like a treat, this time of year.  When it was done, I took a couple of warm slices to Mama and Dorcas.
Mama has been eating pretty good lately.  A bottom front tooth broke off a couple of weeks ago, and the edge made her tongue a bit sore; but she insists that it will be fine.  She is not at all inclined to do anything about it, since she is fairly certain that the dentist or orthodontist will tell her that she needs to have her bottom teeth removed and false ones put in, just like what was done with her top teeth two or three years ago.  I think that was a lot more traumatic for her than she let on, and she doesn’t want to go through it again.  Indeed, I don’t know if she could survive it.  We worried about whether or not she was strong enough for such a procedure back then, and she is even frailer now than then.
So, for now, I think Mama is probably right:  we should leave well enough alone.
Saturday afternoon, we went to the offices of our tax accountant, who has moved into a big fancy building that we are helping pay for, to sign a couple of papers so that they can e-file our taxes, which costs an extra $25, which will pay for one ceramic drawer pull on one of their oak filing cabinets.
Upon our return, Hannah called and offered to bring chicken and rice with cream of celery soup for dinner Sunday; mouth a-water, I accepted.
I had started making peach cobbler for supper, but discovered I didn’t have any brown sugar, so Dorcas said she could go to the store for me.  Then she asked if there was anything else I needed...and before I knew it, I’d given her the whole list.  While she was gone, the broccoli finished cooking.  I added creamed corn with the intent of creating corn chowder, complete with potato flakes, onions, and spices.  That’s when I remembered:  I didn’t have any milk.  I made it anyway, hoping Dorcas would return quickly.
She didn’t, and everyone’s stomachs were making accumulative growly noises, so I spooned the stuff into bowls...several of us took bites...and that’s when we learnt that it did indeed need milk, just as I had thought.
Allow me to advise you:  do not put loads of onions chips and celery seed and umpteen hot spices into broccoli and creamed corn and expect anything worthwhile without milk, please.
I scraped it all back into the pan again and Teddy went off to the store for milk and more mashed potato flakes, just in case I needed them.  But he decided to get himself some food for his lunch while he was there, so Dorcas made it home before Teddy.  They’d been at the same store at the same time, and hadn’t even seen each other.
Larry, who must have been getting starvelous, put the milk into the soup and added more potatoes; and, sure enough, that soup wound up bearing a vague resemblance to corn chowder, after all.
In the meanwhile, I had started making lemon cheesecake bars, as the brown sugar for the peach cobbler hadn’t come home yet, and I was hungry.  Then, when the brown sugar arrived, I made the peach cobbler, too, since I’d already begun with it.
The cobbler turned out absolutely perfect, but everyone had already eaten half of a ham and cheese pocket (selective food rations are in place around this joint), creamed corn/broccoli chowder, lemon cheesecake bars, Ritz S’mores crackers, and chocolate fudge sandwich cookies (the latter two, compliments of Teddy), and they were stuffed.
So there in the refrigerator sits the yummy peach cobbler to this day, by far the better of all the desserts, with only one small bite out of it, courtesy of the chef, who does double duty as a food taster for the court, so as not to inadvertently poison the king, nor the princes and princesses, nor yet the courtroom jesters, of which there are a few, and which cannot sometimes be distinguished from the nobility, since the royals and the railleurs are so closely related.
(What was that I just said?)
After that, I made three big bowls of jello.  I wanted three different colors, such as strawberry kiwi (pink), lime (lime), and berry blue (blue), but Dorcas said it looked like most of the jello on the store’s shelf was gone, and what was left had been thoroughly shuffled through; so she got strawberry, strawberry kiwi, and cherry.  Ah, well; I do like those flavors okay, but I also like the aesthetics of not only the contrasting colors, but the contradistinction of the flavors, too.
Into the strawberry kiwi jello, I put chunks of pineapple; into the cherry, peaches; and into the strawberry, pears.  Then I made enough crushed graham-cracker- crumb crust for five pies, but left it all in the bowl and put it into the refrigerator.  The next day I would stir it good and proper, until the ‘clods’, as Caleb once called them, were broken up (but not too small).  I would mix four cartons of cream cheese with four cartons of sour cream, add enough powdered sugar to make it taste mmmmmmm, good, and then combine the jello, the graham cracker clods, and the cream cheese/sour cream.  And there we’d be, then, with everyone’s almost-favorite dessert.
I say ‘almost’-favorite, because although they tell me when they eat this Jello Amalgamation that it is their favorite, they will say the very same thing when I make Dairy State apple pie some day.  And they’ll repeat themselves again when I make strawberry/rhubarb pie (without cooking the strawberries, thank you), and again when I make pumpkin pie.  So it just depends on what they are eating at the moment, I guess.  Or perhaps on how hungry they are right then.  Or maybe how bad the main course tasted, by comparison.
When I finished the jello and its varied components, I was sleepily thinking of feather pillows and fleece blankets when it occurred to me that I still needed to move the multitude of tiny pearl buttons on the sleeves of the dress Victoria was going to wear the church Sunday as far to the edge as I could, so that her arm didn’t feel as if it were being squished into a tourniquet.  The dress is the dark green taffeta and velvet with white Venice lace that she wore to the Christmas program.  I sewed it for Lydia six or seven years ago, I think; and Lydia’s arm was considerably more slender than Victoria’s is.
I also let the hem out of a red dress with tiny hearts all over it.  Lura Kay gave it to Victoria last year for her birthday.  I put a row of narrow white rickrack over the crease left by the hem, and then sewed wider rickrack behind the new hem, so that it looks like small white scallops at the bottom of the dress.  Then, at the high waist, I pinned a bow of gross-grain ribbon with a red ribbon rose and green satin leaves in the middle.  I didn’t really add all that much, but it looks quite cute, if you ask me.  (You did ask me, didn’t you?)
Meanwhile, Larry worked long and hard sweeping and mopping the floors.  They look much better, and now we need more Armstrong cleaner.  It does clean fairly well; but there is no reason to wonder why it is called ‘Armstrong’ cleaner:  it’s because one must have singularly strong arms when scrubbing with the stuff; it certainly doesn’t do the scrubbing itself.
While waiting for my iron to warm up, I grabbed a rag and scrubbed the walls in the hallways.
“Why haven’t you taught your kids to keep their hands off the walls?” I asked Larry.
“Because then they fall down too much,” he replied without a moment’s hesitation.
hahaha  He’s got a point, you know that?
After all that baking and cleaning, I struggled out of bed Sunday morning with some difficulty.  I washed my hair; got dressed--all but my jacket, even down to my jewelry; blow-dried my hair; opened the door--and discovered Lydia standing there, ready to tell me that she had a headache and a stomachache and didn’t feel well enough to go to church.  So I stayed home with her.
About that time, Hannah called to tell me Aaron had the flu, and she would be staying home with him.  Before Sunday School, Bobby brought me the chicken and rice and cream of celery soup.  I put the chicken into the oven.
I poured myself some coffee and started putting dishes into the dishwasher.  Then I ran out of coffee and merely filled the coffeemaker with water, adding no coffee, for some unknown reason choosing that particular time to cut down on caffeine intake ...and you should have heard all the disparaging remarks when, between Sunday School and church, the family came traipsing home, Teddy and Larry both wanting a good strong cup of Folgers.
After they went back to church, I poured myself some ‘coffee’--and forthwith learnt just exactly what all the griping had been about.  I added a spoonful of Folgers instant crystals to it, and then had myself something that could actually masquerade as ‘coffee’.
During the last three evening church services, several of the young people have given testimonies, telling about giving their lives to the Lord, and requesting to be baptized at the baptismal we had Sunday night.
Hester gave her testimony last night, and was baptized.
Earlier, Robert had an announcement to make:  he opened an envelope, ceremoniously pulled out another envelope...the people started to grin...he removed a beautifully embossed card...looked up and smiled...opened the card...extracted a small square of thin tissue...
“These are the sorts of announcements that come with a Kleenex,” Robert informed us, holding up the bit of tissue for everyone to see, “especially for those who are emotionally overwrought after reading the announcement.”
He read the announcement:  It was an invitation to the wedding of Larry’s cousin James’ boy, Andrew, which will be in only two weeks.  He is marrying Jane, the girl who until last week stayed with Mama most nights.
We will be having several weddings in the upcoming months; at least four, maybe five.
And now, the washing machine, the dryer, and my sewing machine are all clamoring for attention, so I’d better go see what I can do to appease them.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Monday, February 11, 2002 - How Firemen Climb Ladders

Tuesday evening, Lydia had another Jr. Fire Patrol meeting.  The children learned proper ways of climbing ladders (you wrap your toes around the rungs and go shinnying up feet first, foot over foot, following with your hands, pushing yourself upwards, hand over hand; this method keeps you from bonking headfirst into any lurking overhead trap doors and accidentally sticking your head right into a smoke-filled cavity) and descending them, too (what you do here, is, you lean far out of your upper window, grasp a rung of the ladder you must climb down, and pull yourself headlong out of the window, then clamber down the ladder headfirst, keeping your toes wrapped tightly around the upper rungs so you don’t suddenly turn a somersault and land ker-thunk right on the ground, thus keeping your head safely down out of any possible smoke, which, as you know, rises).
[Please do not take my word as gospel for these General Climbing Instructions; you might wish to take a quick refresher course at your local fire station before you light your bedroom on fire and climb down (or up); some firemen have been known to give disparate directives.]
The children were also taught how to make a ‘chair’ between two people by each person clasping one of their own wrists and one of the other person’s, so that a third party can sit thereon and be carried.  Lydia, being one of the smaller fifth-graders, got the honor of being the rider.  She then tried helping to carry another girl, but that didn’t last long, as the girl must have weighed at least another third more than Lydia, and Lydia nearly seated herself on the floor by accident when the girl seated herself on Lydia’s arms.
Next, they were shown how to carry people on a blanket, with three people on each side of the coverlet, rolling down the edges to make ‘handles’.  Once again, the girl in the blanket was quite a bit bigger than Lydia, and when she rolled sideways right toward Lydia, the silken edging started unrolling in Lydia’s hand, and she had to clutch it with all her might and main and hang on for dear life to keep her friend from landing ker-splat on the floor.
Lydia turned in another handful of ‘fire hazard’ slips.  These are papers on which are listed fire risks the child has found, the address where the peril was discovered, and what was done to remedy the situation.  Lydia is bound and determined to win the prize for the most slips turned in, since a couple of her brothers have won, and the reward is usually an uncirculated silver dollar.  I tell you, it’s a wonder the entire force doesn’t show up at our front door, notice of condemnation in hand, after reading how endangered and imperiled our lives are, on account of the considerable jeopardy of conflagration we of Forty-Second Avenue perpetually present to public and private population alike.
Thursday, Victoria and I traveled hither and yon all over Columbus, conducting Very Important Business everywhere we went, which is a Very Good Thing To Do on bright, sunny Thursdays early in the Cold, Cruel Month of February.  First to the grocery store...then to the car wash to wash the poor ol’ dirty Subdivision...  But the silly carwash moneygrabber wouldn’t take a twenty, and twenties were all I had.  So off we went to the gas station, where I put eleven dollars worth of gas into the Subdivision, in order to get back a five and four ones.  That gave me the correct amount of change to give the vehicle a first-rate wash and wax, and an underwash, too.
We’ve had several slushy, soggy days since that snow last week, and most of the cars around town are all muddy and bemired...but now you ought to see the Suburban glowing in the dark!  Woooooeeee.
But you should have heard my remarks to other unconcerned drivers, as we tiptoed along in our immaculate, unsullied Suburban.  Or maybe you shouldn’t’ve.
“Look out, you maniac!” and “Don’t you dare drive through that puddle next to me!” and “Stay back, you mud lolly!” and “Quick!  Hand me a paintball gun!” and “Noooo!  No splashing!” and “Somebody get me a mud blaster; I’ll get ’im!” and on and on.  Victoria giggled at all my mandates and threats.
We sashayed daintily all the way to the post office, clear across town, muttering threats and warnings like an ominous thundercloud all the way, Victoria still giggling.  There, I finally got a refund for some money I lost in a stamp machine--another of those moneygrabbers--a couple of weeks ago.  (“Did they pay you for mailing those letters?” asked Victoria, a bit puzzled over that.)
We arrived home, miraculously with our shine still at High Sheen.
Later, as I was relating the details of our excursion to Larry, I groused, “...and that eleven dollars didn’t even bring the tank to half full!”
Larry had the perfect solution:  “I’ll put a smaller tank on it,” he said sympathetically, “and then eleven dollars will fill it fuller.”
Is that scientific?
Lydia, Caleb, and Victoria decided to do their Valentines Thursday after school--and we had just enough…well, almost enough left over from last year, so we didn’t have to buy any more.  For Victoria’s last Valentine, I cut the picture off the back of her Valentine box, and then made an envelope out of white paper.
We’d no sooner taped it shut than we discovered we would have had enough in the first place, because I’d accidentally made two Valentines for one boy.  We put a stick of gum into each envelope, pressed the flap against a damp cloth, and sealed them.  Victoria thinks this method of sealing a pile of envelopes is entirely inventive and ingenious.
Lydia made herself a new Valentine box with the box her new boots came in; Caleb used the box from his new tennis shoes (they’re waterproof, and leather, besides; and Caleb thinks they’re the cat’s meow).  They wrapped red foil wrapping paper around them, cut a hole in the top, and adorned the boxes with gold foil hearts and animal stickers.  Caleb enlisted my help in cutting out the letters of his name from the gold foil, and then I helped Lydia hot-glue ruffled white lace around the mailing slot she’d cut in her box.  Victoria doesn’t need a new box; the one I made her last year with ruffles and shirred fabric covering it is still just like new.  She carries it with her everywhere she goes, often sitting down to open it and rearrange all the Valentines inside it.
One day, I pulled several stacks of material from my fabric closet, then went downstairs to my pattern file and chose an armload of patterns, the better to combine favorite bits and pieces of pattern designs.  I have now cut out six dresses--two each for Hester, Lydia, and Victoria--for Easter.  One is a yellow dress for Victoria to wear under the mint green and yellow dress Amy crocheted for her when she was born.  The dress, being of an open crochet stitch, has grown right along with Victoria, I do believe; and, with a ruffle on the dress underneath, it should be the right length.
It takes me a while to cut things out, because I am using scraps and pieces of this and that, trying to coordinate fabrics I already have, so as not to have to buy much.  I needed only two-thirds of a yard of lavender seersucker, that was all, and it cost two dollars.  Not bad for six new dresses, eh?
Larry and Joseph spent a day and a half working on a pickup belonging to Teddy’s boss, putting in a clutch.  Work has not picked up yet, nor will it until March, probably.
The young woman who used to stay with Mama during the night, Sunday through Thursday, is soon getting married, and she needed more time to prepare for her wedding, so Dorcas is now staying with Mama every night but Saturday.  She also stays with her from 12:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, and all day Saturday.  On Sunday afternoon, she stays from 2:00 p.m. till 7:00 p.m.  Dorcas and Grandma both are happy with this arrangement, I think, for Dorcas likes to stay with Grandma every bit as well as Grandma likes her to be there.
Esther’s mother, Sarah, stays with Mama most mornings from 8:30 to 12:30, Monday through Friday, and another girl stays with her from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, and all night Saturday night.  Lura Kay and I take turns staying with her during church, and now and then Janice or a couple of other ladies take a turn.
Friday evening, Larry and Caleb went off to the store and brought back a dozen Krispy Kreme doughnuts shortly after Dorcas had gone to Mama’s house.  I happened to know that Janice was there, too, so I trotted three doughnuts to them, leaving one extra doughnut for Larry, Teddy, and Joseph to scuffle over.
Saturday, there came up a first-class, A-one blizzard, with winds gusting up to about 45 mph, and snow coming down so hard that, right at first, the flakes were going  straight through the cement.  (Larry said they were melting, but I know better.)  We bundled up and drove to Wal-Mart for the aforementioned lavender seersucker and some pictures I’d had developed.
Leaving Wal-Mart, we drove out on Shady Lake Road, just for the fun of it.  The snow was coming down in buckets, the wind was blowing like everything, and visibility was only about half a mile or so.  I took a video of the stormy countryside.
By evening, it had tapered off, and there was only about an inch of snow on the ground--or rather, on the northwest sides of everything, where the wind blew it, and where it stuck good and proper.  Sleet and snow found the gap in our front door and totally coated the inside door and knob.
That afternoon, I cut some high-loft batting and the backing for a small quilt, just the size for a doll, that Hester wants to give Victoria for her birthday.  I sewed it all together, turned it, finished the last little hole--and realized I should have sewn a ruffle around the edges.  Too late.  Ah, well; I certainly wasn’t going to take it all apart and redo it.  But I outline-stitched the picture--Papa, Mama, and Baby teddy bears with blocks and toys and such like.  It turned out quite cute in spite of the missing ruffle, if I do say so myself.
That done, I was just getting all enthused about launching into one of those dresses I’d cut out (that’s my favorite part of sewing, I think: starting on a brand-new, just-cut-out garment) (maybe because I’ve made no mistakes yet?), when Lydia enlisted my aid with a collar she’d cut out for Victoria.  So I helped her make a cute, pink-flowered collar with hearts machine-embroidered on it.  I reluctantly let her use my sewing machine, and then was glad I did, for she was very careful with it, and did an extraordinarily good job for the very first time...and the seam was even curved, which is a difficult thing for a first-time seamstress to execute.  The  first time I sewed a curved seam, it looked like I’d executed it, all right.
We made a little sailor-type bow for the front of the collar, hiding the snap under the knot.  It turned out so cute, I was glad I’d helped her with it.  Soooo... all I got done of my own projects was the cutting out of about eight pieces of fabric.  Nevertheless, I am convinced it was a day well spent; wouldn’t you agree? 
Saturday night, Larry cut Joseph and Caleb’s hair while I curled Hester, Lydia, and Victoria’s hair.  It was the Forty-Second Avenue Beauty Salon, in full gear.
Sunday marked the one-year anniversary since my nephew Robert Walker started in the ministry (last year Sunday was the 11th).  Hard to believe a year has flown by already!
Larry is fixing waffles as I type, and it’s beginning to smell a bit waffly in here, which is making it hard for me to concentrate on what I am typing.  Also, I’m liable to drool on the keyboard if I’m not careful.
And now he is telling me that he needs to go to the store for some milk, and will I finish the waffles...  Mmmm!  I sho’ ’nuff will!
Back later...
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And now it is Sunday night, and I have just returned from staying with Mama.  Bobby, Hannah, and Aaron are here.  Hannah is playing the piano, Larry is singing soprano, and Bobby is singing tenor.  Larry is holding Aaron, who is grinning at me over Larry’s shoulder.
Well, goodbye!  I’m off to play with my little grandson!