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I Like Grapes

September 8th, 2013

It has been a very full summer... @ 12:54 am

Current Mood: tired tired

So much has happened that it is hard to know where to begin.

Laura is married to ravendurf (aka Brendan)- a civil marriage that she neglected to let us know about in time to attend...and she is almost 4 mos pregnant.  Which is wonderful, except  the nimrod she is married to is not exactly ready to step up and be a father.  So... We very well may have Laura moving back in with us in the next few months.

One of my foster daughters- (Dee) is going to be moving home as well.  This puts the adoption on hold, as she is basically coming home to die.  She has a terminal kidney disease, and there is no treatment for it.  We have already contacted hospice, and at least she won't be alone.  That was/is my biggest fear.  That she be all alone when she goes.  I know I am writing very academically about it.  The tears will probably come after she passes.  Right now, I am focusing on getting her here alive, and then making sure her last days are filled with love, joy, and laughter.

Megan is pregnant with another Practically-Perfect-Grand baby, too- a little boy that they are naming James Christopher.  He is due to make his arrival on his oldest brother's birthday; November 3.  I am hoping he comes a few days early, and is born on *my* birthday, Oct. 30.  :0)

Steven's mom has been in and out of the hospital, too.  Her general health is failing.  I don't know if we will get another year with her. (Honestly? Not such a big loss for *me*, but for Steven and the kids? Well, that is another story.)  At any rate, it is just one more thing, if you know what I mean. *sigh*  I am soooo tired.

Matthew was baptized again today.  The church lost his records, so he had it re-done.  He did fine.  He was a little leery of getting his face wet again, but handled himself very well.  I was proud.  Then a friend threw a small (30 people)! party for him afterward at her home, and we left just in time for Steven to go to work.

I am going to go to bed myself in just a few minutes.  I drank some of the punch before I knew it had diet soda in it.  Have had the headache from hell since we got home...So-

I hope all is well with all of you.  I will catch you up on more of "As Her Life Turns" soon!


June 1st, 2013

(no subject) @ 06:00 am

Current Location: The kitchen table
Current Mood: awake awake
Current Music: birdsong

S'been crazy.  Good, but crazy!

Let's see...Kaitlin just turned 6 years old.  She called me and said, "Nana, I am all grown up now.  I remember when I was small, when I was 5.  I was such a baby then."  *giggles*  That child is hilarious! :0D

Samuel is about to turn 3 years old.  He is funny, too.  I sing him the Bill Cosby song ' Mom is great! She makes us chocolate cake!', substituting Samuel's name for 'Mom', and 'He tastes like chocolate cake' for the rest. (I nibble his neck and tickle him).  He very indignantly informes me that 'Samuels NOT taste like shocit (chocolate) cake Nana.  Samuels taste like Samuel!"  *snert*  Funny little boy-bee!  He is getting so big!

And best news of all is we are expecting a new Practically-Perfect-Grandchild at the end of October!  The baby's due date is my birthday, October 30th!  Exciting news!! *big happy Nana smile*

The adoption process is moving along.  We have the first half of the homestudy done.  We passed all the personal part- ie background checks, finger-prints, physicals, etc, but had a few minor house issues to fix. One of those is the yard.  We have 2/3 of an acre, and much of it is overgrown with berry bushes, and english ivy.  So, we have hired a herd of goats (yes, goats)! to come and graze it all away!  The only little problem with that, is they were busy until the end of June.  So, we wait until then to finish up the yard.  After that, the process should be fairly easy, and move ahead quickly.

Matthew is in college now.  He is taking his basics, and hasn't decided on a major yet.  I am very proud of him.  It was not easy for him to do all the prelim work, but he managed to do it by himself, with only a little help from his Dad and I.  He has come so far from the sickly baby that we were told we be little more than a vegetable. *harumph snert snort*

Our Laura is in a serious relationship with a mild mannered young man named Brendan.  She says she is in love.  *sigh*  As far as Steven and I can tell, it is the most passionless relationship EVER...But!  She is the one living it, and we respect her and her decisions.  My Grandmother used to say, "Small children, small problems, big children, big problems."  She was so right!!!!

And that folks, is all she wrote!  I am well, and feeling like my old happy chirpy self.  Steven is becoming more and more like who he was before the war and the PTSD.  Our relationship is stronger than ever, and life is good.  I hope it is for all of you, too.

Here is the latest recipe I made.  Old Fashioned Tapioca Pudding.  Easy and Delicious!!

1/3 c tapioca pearls, soaked for 3 hours in 3/4 c cold water in 1-1/2 quart pan
Add 2-1/4 cups milk, 1/2 tsp salt, and 2 egg yolks (lightly beaten) to tapioca. (after it has been soaked).

Heat over medium heat until boiling, stirring constantly.  Simmer uncovered over very low heat for 20-30 mins, or until thickened, stirring now and then.

In the meantime, beat the egg white with 1/2 c sugar and 1/2 tsp vanilla until soft peaks form.

Temper the egg whites by adding a little of the hot tapioca mixture to it,  then add it all to the pan.  Fold the egg white,sugar mixture in, and continue simmering for 3 minutes.  Remove from heat, and let cool for 15 minutes.

Serve warm or chilled, plain or with fruit. ( I used fresh cut up strawberries). Yum!  Makes about 3-1/2 cups.

January 26th, 2013

(no subject) @ 10:07 pm

Current Location: The kitchen table
Current Mood: cheerful cheerful
Current Music: Elektra soundtrack

I am slowly but surely getting better.  I still have some pneumonia in the lower left lobe, but it is smaller, and I am feeling better.  So, say Yay! :)

Just a quick Kaitlin story-  She was telling me about princesses and the like, and informed me that all princesses have pink blood. *laughing* Except for werewolf princesses (of which she is one).  They have pink and red blood.  *snert*  That kid cracks me up!

Have a good day tomorrow!  I intend to. Ciao fer now- d'getting better Gina

January 21st, 2013

Pneumonia is not fun @ 07:21 pm

Current Location: The kitchen table
Current Mood: bone weary
Current Music: the fish tank

I am still fighting off the end of the pneumonia I caught 3 weeks ago.  Today is the first day I have really felt up to doing anything.  It completely has sapped my energy.  *sigh*  Not a good time for illness, as the home-study had to be rescheduled for next month.  I cried about that.  It feels like I have been waiting so long for these birdlings...

Here is the chocolate bread recipe I promised to post.  I am sorry it has taken me so long to do so.

2-1/4 c flour
2 c sugar
3/4 c cocoa powder
1-1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1-1/2 c whole milk
1 c vegetable oil
3 eggs
1 tsp good vanilla extract
2 c chocolate chips (tossed in 1 tbsp cocoa powder so they don't all sink to the bottom of the bread).

Mix wet ingredients together.  Add dry.  Fold in chocolate chips.  Pour into prepared bread pans, and bake at 325'F for 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 mins.  Let cool 5 mins, then remove to cooling rack to finish cooling.  Wrapped well, the bread stays fresh for about a week.

I am going to go and slowly finish up supper.  We are having navy bean soup with ham,  home made bread, and citrus cake for dessert.  Have a good week everyone.  *waving from Portland OR*

December 24th, 2012

Christmas Eve @ 02:41 pm

Current Location: The kitchen table
Current Mood: accomplished accomplished
Current Music: Sinatra Christmas

It has been a busy day so far.  I have made chocolate fudge, peanut butter fudge, krispy candies, oreo bon-bons, and sugar cookies.  I still have 2 pies and 2 loaves of chocolate bread to bake.  Steven has a pork tenderloin in the crockpot- we are having shredded pork enchiladas for dinner, with rice and beans.  The Missionaries will be here for supper, and will spend the day with us tomorrow.  We bought a nice 8 pound rib roast for dinner, and I will make 2 pans of yorkshire pudding to go along with it.  We will have the 'fixings' too- mashed 'taters, sweet taters, peas, string beans, tomato relish, pickled peaches, and rolls.  Oh! and gravy of course.  Cain't have the pudding without good gravy! 

Matthew is so excited...*smiling*  He is like a little boy- counting his presents and talking non-stop about the games he hopes he gets...Sometimes it is a little sad that my 26 year old son is still a little boy, but at the holidays it is more of a joy.  His excitement is contagious.  I can't help but be happy because he is so much so!

Well, my break is over, so I better get busy again...I hope you all have a wonderful holiday however you spend it,  and that you are surrounded by the people you love and who love you back.  Merry Christmas, and a very Happy New Year! 

~ Gina

December 20th, 2012

S'been one of those days. @ 03:39 pm

Current Location: The kitchen table
Current Mood: annoyed annoyed
Current Music: Matthew's cartoons

Today is the start of Steven's vacation, and we were paid yesterday- so...that meant busy today.  Dog and cat food needed replacing, cat litter and dishwasher detergent, toiletries, and a few groceries all were necessary.  I was up and dressed by 0830- I came downstairs, and.....waited.  *sigh*  Steven was still in his sweats, playing on the computer.  I cannot tell you how annoying that was.  So, he finally gets showered and dressed, but by now it is noon, and he is complaining about how the day is already half gone.  *grrrr*  I am now on edge myself, waiting for the explosion that I can feel building in him.  PTSD sucks.  Living with someone with PTSD can suck too.  Anyway, after he has his melt-down, he is exhausted, so we picked up the dog and cat food at the feed store, stopped by the used book store to drop off a box of books, and came home.  He is upstairs napping, and will *fingers crossed* feel more like himself when he comes down.  Then he will have to eat, and we will have to finish up.  And I am tired.  I will be glad when we can both relax.

December 19th, 2012

Yesterday and Today @ 07:22 pm

Current Location: The kitchen table
Current Mood: cheerful cheerful
Current Music: Christmas

It snowed yesterday. Big soft flakes that floated down.  Nature's confetti. *smiling*  I watched it while I drank my coffee, listening to the wind and soaking in the silence.  It was beautiful, and very relaxing. A very good start the day.

I made out my gift lists, checking what I had down on paper with what I had in the boxes next to me.  Much more than I thought we had!  The children will make out like bandits again.  *big cheery smile*  I am glad.  The grown-ups are all getting home-made gifts this year.  I have pickled garlic and asparagus for Megan and her husband, along with a tin of candy that I will make just before we ship it.  For Laura,  I have apple butter and blackberry jelly, and a tin of goodies for her significant other.  Matthew is the only one we are buying gifts for; he knows that there is no actual Santa Claus, but he is still child enough to be disappointed if there is nothing in his stocking.  It is cute.  Steven and I are giving each other gifts of time.  I asked for him to schedule more time that we read aloud to one another, and he asked for a weeks worth of foot massages.  *laughing out loud* works for me.  He can read while I rub his feet!

I baked 2 loaves of bread today, and put another 2 into the freezer for next week.  I also made cinnamon roll dough, puff pastry dough, and pie crust for next week.  Those are in the freezer, too.  I made pizza sauce for tonight, and made pizza dough.  I sliced up the vegetables already, and grated the cheese.  I will put everything together after Steven gets home from work.  That gives him some time to decompress, and eat the pizza hot from the oven.  I love the pizza stone we bought at the Goodwill!

Tomorrow we will get the guest room ready for company, shave the sheepdog, and go and get groceries.  The Missionaries just called and asked us to go to the Temple with them tomorrow.  There is a Christmas program.  It sounds fun- I will talk to Steven about it after he gets home.  It will be beautiful at any rate, and it's free!  Free is always good!

And that is all she wrote at this point.  I hope all is well in your worlds.  TTFN!  


December 16th, 2012

(no subject) @ 07:40 am

Current Location: the couch
Current Mood: feeling human!
Current Music: the fish tank

Wow. Steven brought the flu home from work, and it has been a doozey! Both he and I have been sick as dogs for a week now,  I even missed church last Sunday! Eeek! *laughing*  We are trying for Sacrament this morning. No way can I sit through three hours of church-ness today.  I will have Marsha or Paddi bring Matthew home.  I know he will want to stay.

Kaitlin called me last week and told me she wants an 'Ogre Tooth' for Christmas! *snert giggles* Where the heck am I going to find one of those? I asked her, and she calmly replies, "Oh, poppy can catch me one. He is a werewolf after all."  So, we have ordered a replica cave bear tooth and are sending that AS the ogre tooth!  Johnny wanted a velociraptor claw, so we bought him one of those, and Samuel gets a pull-along duck.  Kids!

Have a good day all y'all!  We will probably be resting for the majority of the day. ttfn!

December 10th, 2012

S'been a looong time... @ 06:01 pm

Current Location: The kitchen
Current Mood: cheerful cheerful
Current Music: Celtic Women Christmas CD

I have been hiding from myself and just flowing with wherever life decided to take me.  It has been exhausting and lonely- and yet very therapeutic at the same time.  I had to learn to be alone, and find my peace there.  I haven't written a single poem or letter.  I haven't told a single Kaitlin story or even laughed out loud very often.  I have been in every corner and nook and cranny in my head, and have dusted it all.  I feel like I have grown, and that this time for me has been very much worthwhile. 

Of course, life still happened while I discovered myself.  Samuel turned 2, Kaitlin, 5, and Johnny, 8.  Laura got engaged, and Meg and her family are tentatively moving to Wisconsin sometime this year.  My mother-in-law has been in and out of the hospital for major broken bones and amputations, so I or Steven have been with her.  She has finally moved off the mountain and now lives in the high desert. We are working on getting her out here by us.  It will be much cheaper and easier for us to take care of her if she is closer.

Steven is still at the VA, but is no longer a cna. He is a cardiac tech and is enrolled full time at school.  I am in school too.  We are waiting for the state to call us for a home-study to be done.  We have taken all the classes necessary for adoption, and are waiting patiently for our new batch of birdlings to fly into our nest.

I sing with a church choir now, and am loving it.  We also go to church together as a family.  It began for Matthew- he needed something, and asked us to go with him.  It has brought he and his father much closer.  The animosity that I lived with daily between the two of them is no longer living in our home. Another blessing this year has brought us.

The baby we were to adopt never happened.  The momma ended up keeping her and dropping out of school.  She is living in a small apt in the middle of Everette WA.  The baby has been in and out of the system since she was 5 months old.  I imagine she (the young mother) will eventually lose custody. *shrugs*  I am glad to be out of the drama and mess.  My heart aches for Eleanor, but...hopefully she will grow up in a family that will cherish her.  I pray for it every day.

I hope that all is well in all of your worlds.  I'm sorry if you needed me and I have been unavailable.  I had to fix myself before I could help any one else.

Happy holidays to all of you.

xoxoxo ~Gina

April 25th, 2011

irrational rationality @ 10:14 am

the words never change

just the melody here and there

a note dropped or added

as whimsy desires

you forever singing

bass notes like a bull seal

on a beach

I cling to the rocky cliff

warbling my song

a small sparrow or wren

often not heard

above the roar of the sea

or the throaty sad cries

of sea birds as they wheel and turn

their faces towards the sun

life is here now today

with both feet planted

in reality

happy is for fairy tales

and little girl's stories

I'm content with contentment

and a feeling of peace

and harmony

is that enough for you?

I Like Grapes