|Keeping the home fires burning this evening|
Even though one good day deserves another it doesn't often happen. Yesterday was a welcome reprieve from the funk I've been in. It was the sunshine. It's gone today, and so is my good mood. I've eaten hummus on naan and several wonderfully sweet grape tomatoes, had my meds, done today's jigsaw as a form of meditation, read a few blog posts (including several from a blog I found today), and have grown increasingly anxious about the lack of firewood in the house.
My anxiety increased with the onset of snow, as forecast, and the near certainty that the forecast of freezing rain this afternoon would prove correct. And us with only two sticks in the house. When I mentioned that we needed more wood in Toad blew up, angry and saying "Just give me a minute! Damn woman!" when he hadn't brought any wood in all morning, before the snow started around noon. He finally made a big show of slowly putting on his boots, thick gloves, heavy coat and tuque, casting disgusted looks at me, and then went out the door and tossed in four sticks he had left on the porch from yesterday. He said "That is all I can do.", removed all his winter items, and sat down, complaining of his back hurting. (He's been complaining about his back since Tues evening when I returned from getting my injections and complained about my back hurting.) Not good. I offered to go but he yelled at me and said he would do it, but "Just give me a minute!" I waited for around ten minutes, meanwhile cooking the meal for the chickens, and then went outside to fetch wood myself.
Now I'm gasping, just in from fetching a wheelbarrow full of firewood and bringing it inside, stacking in the wrought iron stands. I also brought in a plastic bin full of bark pieces I'd gathered, to use for kindling. He refuses to do this, though quickly uses all the bark that I bring in. I'm so frustrated! One more wheelbarrow full and we would have both wrought iron stands fairly full. If I recover my breath before the freezing rain starts I'll go out again since Toad probably will not. It is 2:00pm.
2:30pm Firewood update: He must have felt guilty about my difficulty breathing (continued) because when the chicken's spaghetti-potato-corn-peas-carrot soup was ready, and I had placed it on the woodstove so that we didn't forget to take it to them, Toad put his winter garb back on and took their soup to the chickens. He came back with one stick of firewood from the woodshed. I risked asking if, while he was still bundled up, he would please take the wheelbarrow out and fill it one more time, and told him I would bring it in, so that we could finish filling the second wrought iron stand. He gave me a disgusted, exasperated look but did as I asked. I went outside and schlepped the sticks into the house while he stacked them. I felt so much better with the stands full of firewood! Then I put another stick in the woodstove, wiped up the melted snow from the floor where the snowy wood had been tossed, took some photos of the wood and, finally, sat down to rest and recover my breath. Eventually.
It's 3:00pm and still snowing. Very pretty. Very wintery. My chest still hurts from trying to breathe during and after fetching the firewood from outside. Stupid asthma. I'm still short of breath. Toad went to bed as soon as the wood was stacked. I need to lie down myself. Aren't we a pair!
It's 4:10pm and still snowing. Instead of lying down I practiced French via Duolingo, with Tommy sitting on my chest and left arm. I now have a 92-day streak going and, being obsessive compulsive, feel compelled to keep it going for as long as I can. Again. I once had a very long streak, well over 300 days, that ended when we had a power outage for several days with no Internet access. Since that time I've had a few streaks but wasn't diligent about keeping them up. Until now. So far today I have done three strengthen skills exercises and have done them fairly well, only making around six mistakes whose corrections teach me something each time.
I made us a nice meal of chicken breasts (sorry, chickens), mashed potatoes, crusty rolls, corn, and peas and carrots. Just as I was plating it my daughter (D) called, wanting to Skype because the box I sent Monday had arrived and the boys had seen it and wanted to open it. She said that they hadn't wanted to eat after seeing the box, and when she told them that if they didn't eat they couldn't open it they still wouldn't eat. D then told them that whoever did not eat would just have to watch his brother get all the surprises in the box. They both began eating! Haha. She wanted me to be able to see them open it and get their reactions to the surprises inside. So I quickly plated the food, then got on Skype for her to call me on it.
Unfortunately the laptop she uses downstairs for the boys to watch videos during meals and to Skype me on has stopped working, so she had to use her cell phone and it didn't have much charge left. She says that Skype really uses a lot of the battery, so it would have to be a fairly short Skype visit. It turned out to last nineteen minutes and we were lucky to get that much time because halfway through she said her phone was down to 5%. I was able to see and hear the boys as they opened all of the surprises. The stuffed animals were on top. Grandson T (GT) really liked the stuffed bunny; Grandson C (GC) had some chocolate on his hands so wasn't given the lamb yet. Empty-handed, he said "I want a different toy!" D pulled out the paper heart cups and saucers. They three loved those heart cups and saucers. GC wanted to hold the package of cups and said he wanted to drink out of one. They were excited when she held up the Valentine's Day sticker books and both yelled "Stickers!". D quickly put them aside for another time, as she had done with the cups and saucers. They both liked getting two packages of chenille stems/pipe cleaners and would have opened them but D set them aside for later, too. There were two sets of colors, with each boy getting one of each set to have a large range of colors.
When GC saw the lettering stencils he was fascinated by them and didn't want to give them up, so kept them on his tray. Both boys loved the red round tins with the LED candles in them. D held up the tins and asked "What do you think is in them?", to which GC replied "I want to open it!" Right, Mama! GC remembered how to turn the candle on and said "I love it!" They had a great time taking off the lid and putting it back on, several times in a row; GC almost set his aside and then, unable to resist, opened and closed it one more time. He turned his attention back to the stencils, so D opened the package and asked which one he wanted; he chose the green one. GT chose the yellow one. Perfect! She got them each a sheet of paper and a crayon, showed them briefly how to use the stencil and they had a blast drawing the shapes. GT proudly stated "I made the banana!" after using the ellipse stencil. GC made letters. D showed him how to use the line stencil and turn it, draw a line, then turn again and draw a line. She asked what shape he had made and he said "Triangle!" His brother then wanted to make a triangle, too, so she showed him how. She's going to get out the colored pencils for their next stenciling session, as it will be easier for them than using crayons.
GT wanted to hold and look through the Goodnight Ocean
book as she showed them the books and read the titles; they both commented on the books ("That's Elmo!" and "Trains!") and will enjoy hearing them read, probably this very evening. D read part of my note to the boys, then asked GC to read the sentence "I love you!" He looked at it and then said, looking at me, "I love you a lot!" So sweet! He wanted to hold and read the note. I asked the boys if they were happy and GT enthusiastically said "Yeah!" It makes me happy to make them happy.
We didn't get to say goodbyes because the phone battery died and our visit was abruptly cut off, but my heart is full from the time we had together. I get weepy when I think of how much I love my children and my grandchildren, and how much I miss being with them.
Our snow changed to drizzle around 5pm, before I started making our dinner. The snow plows have been by a few times, scraping the roads. They whiz by so fast that it makes my head spin. Wouldn't want to be in their path! I have no idea of how slick it is outside and no desire to step out and see. A freezing rain warning is in effect.
It's 8:32pm and I'm off to check email, FB, read a few more blog posts and watch and/or read something from the library.
French Lesson Sentence of the Day: Je pense à mes enfants. Meaning: I think of my children.I'm Reading: Death At La Fenice, by Donna Leon (halfway through)Photo(s)/Capture(s) of the Day:
|Today's jigsaw puzzle|
|Snow falling shortly after noon today|
|Jangle the Rooster on inside of back door lets me know each time the door opens and closes. Good for keeping track of Toad and pleases my eye as well. His outward side has a colorful metallic sheen and says Bienvenue|
|Jangles from outside, reflections and all|
|Wrought iron stand with birds, turtle and firewood.|
|Woodstove corner, Bienvenue "Toad" indoors for the winter|
|Bully Dove #1|
|Bully Dove #2|
The ring-necked doves do not get along peacefully at all, so they must be in separate cages to keep them from fighting. They look so sweet, coo beautifully and often, and are gentle to handle. Toad used to have dozens of these doves, having allowed them to breed freely, but now, via attrition, we are down to these two males.
|Lonely Lovebird Popper|
|Reaction to the box lid just folded back (my note in D's hand)|
|Pipe cleaners (chenille stems); bunny & paper cups on trays|
|GT perusing Goodnight Ocean; GC listening to D read title of I Can Move|
|Opening the round red tins|
|GC holding up the LED candle he turned on, "I love it!" he said.|
|With lettering stencils|
|Freezing Rain Warning |
|Weather Forecast in degrees Celsius|
|Weather Forecast in degrees Fahrenheit|
|Tommy curled up in a bed (overdue for a wash!) on the sofa|
|Snow has stopped, now drizzling, a.k.a. freezing rain|