I've been intending to write this post for the past 2-3 days now and finally am getting around to actually doing it. I've had it in my mind what I wanted to write but then, something else would come up, or someone else was using the computer, or the phone would ring, or I had to leave to attend a meeting at church or something else, again and again and again.
But now, here it is almost 2 a.m. and finally, no one else around, no risk of an interruption of the telephone either and with yet another day almost totally down the tubes for me, I think I can gather my thoughts together in a semi-coherent style to put them down in writing.
Maybe. Cross your fingers on that!
So what's been happening anyway?
Well, for openers there was Easter and of course, church, the Easter Breakfast at church, kids and their baskets and all that stuff. Plus there was also Easter dinner here with Mandy, the kids, my son and his girlfriend, Elizabeth too. And much of that also means a whole lot of time in the kitchen for you-know-who, don't 'cha?
Saturday, I baked 4 loaves of Swedish Limpa Rye bread plus a round almond filled coffee cake and two pans of sweet rolls too. One batch of the sweet rolls had a Lemon Curd filling and the other batch, blackberry-lemon curd. All three of the sweet breads turned out good for me, as did the rye bread and they went to church then for the Easter Breakfast.
Here's some photos of my baked items -just to offer up proof positive that I did this!
First up - the Swedish Limpa Rye Bread -which I do love, especially fresh from the oven, still warm, slathered with real butter. (And, I wonder why I have a weight problem, huh?)
Saturday night, although I was achy tired, I had been having difficulty the latter part of all of last week falling asleep and there was no exception then Saturday night either. Finally, I fell off to sleep around 2 a.m. but woke up shortly before 4 a.m. to go make a visit to the bathroom. When I returned to bed, Miss Maya was awake and wanted to know what time it was. I told her it was way to early to get up as it wasn't yet 4 a.m. and she then confessed to me that she had been out of bed while I was in the bathroom and of course, had been doing a quick search downstairs then too for any trace of the Easter Bunny having been here. She was quite disappointed to tell me that he hadn't been here then so I had to explain to her reasons why he might have been delayed in getting around to our house.
I told her that he might have had more baskets than he had initially figured on to drop off and that might have slowed him down or perhaps he ran out of gas or even had his vehicle break down and had to lose time to get it fixed. All kinds of problems ya know that could have set him back on his schedule. Then I also told her that she needed to think about the fact that she and Kurtis hadn't always been really good little kids and who knows, but maybe the Easter Bunny wasn't even planning a stop at our house after all. Plus, I informed her too that if he was on his way to our house that he definitely would not stop here if he knew there was a child awake cause he won't come and leave any goodies where the kids are still awake, ya know.
Boy, I wish you could have seen how quickly she grabbed up the covers and flipped over on her side, eyes tightly closed to invite the sleep to return to her! Just too doggone funny!
By the time I left for church -as I was going to help get things on the table for the Breakfast that was going to be served between the 7 a.m. and the 10 a.m. services -the kids were both enjoying having discovered their Easter baskets after all!
The Breakfast -at first -looked like not many from the early service were staying to eat and that perhaps we wouldn't get a good turnout for it, but then gradually those planning to attend the 10 a.m. service plus partake of breakfast started to show up so I think we probably ended up serving 60-70 folks a really good breakfast!
After church, I came home and headed straight to the kitchen to get my ham in the oven, potatoes ready (easy-peasy cheaters -boxed scalloped potatoes with cheese), asparagus, corn and a jello vegetable slaw too that the kids made fun of when I put it on the table. All three of my kids absolutely love the old movie, "Better Off Dead" and especially the one scene where the young man's mother had made some green, goopy concoction that appeared to walk off the plate and across the table and so, my son and Mandy both had a field day comparing my jello slaw salad to that mixture in the movie. It wasn't quite that gross and tasted fine -even both kids actually agreed with that aspect to my jello salad at any rate. Of course, no small children would go near it but I never expected any positive response from those two over that dish anyway!
After dinner, Mandy and the kids went up to my son's house for an Easter Egg Hunt that Elizabeth had planned for them and her ltitle guy, Ryan. Boy, talk about some excited children when they returned home from that. Each of them had a big plastic trash bag filled almost to the brim with oodles and oodles of little plastic eggs that they would open and find either a toy or a little piece of candy then inside the egg. Nice fun for them, yes but a nice mess to behold after they popped open all those eggs!
Oh well. Only little kids once during your lifetime. Right?
Monday, with no school that day and Mandy had work, all three of the kids therapists were here Monday afternoon to work with the kids -and also, to have some crazy and fun conversations then with me and with Mandy when she got home from work. There was a small catastrophe though pertaining to those eggs from Sunday from the egg hunt when, on Monday, Mandy discovered that one of Kurt's eggs contained a page of little stickers but she didn't get anything like that in any of her eggs and wow, you'd have darned near thought the lack of one silly page of stickers was an "end of the world as we know it" type of event! It definitely made for good fodder from the kids one therapist -Miss Randi- to work on the aspect of we all don't get the same type things information with Maya!
Later in the afternoon, Maya even got a phone call from a little girl who used to live up the street from us but who had moved last fall to York, PA. Seems she was here, visiting at her Grandma's house and wanted to know if she and Maya could get together and play. So, as a result, Tori came down here for a while and when she left, Maya went to her Gram's house with her then and spent the night there!
It was really neat to see how happy and excited Maya was at the prospect of doing a "sleepover" with Tori and to realize just how far Maya has come now -thanks to all the efforts of all the many therapists who have worked with her long and hard over the past six years since we had the initial intervention and began services with the local agency! Actually, seeing how far BOTH these kids have come thanks to the therapists, is such a blessing. Truly a Godsend, for sure!
What was really neat about Tori coming down here for a while to play with Maya on Monday afternoon was the fact that two of Maya's therapists were here then and they could each then observe for themselves how well Maya did interacting then with Tori! Good to see the fruits of their labors, for sure!
Tuesday afternoon, I had an appointment in Philipsburg to get my taxes done -not exactly my idea of a fun thing, ya know. I took all my little income forms and such and headed off to find out if I was going to need a small business loan to pay the IRS but I lucked out in that I only owe them $83 and another $7 on top of that for our local income tax then too!
But even so, it kind of irks me the way the tax process is run. I know, first-hand, that if your employment is of a very low paying variety and especially if you have dependents, when you file, you can almost guarantee then because of the way the tax laws operate, that you will get a full refund of what you paid in and in most cases then, also get back MORE than you paid in too! I know, that may come as a shocker to some folks but trust me, as one who qualified for that aspect of a windfall via the IRA, you have to already be living on below poverty level wages so it really isn't that big of a windfall after all.
However, I got to figuring before I went in for my appointment though that my income -which I receive for some services rendered and which comes to me with no deductions from it -is not very much -actually it only amounted to a mere $680 for all of last year -but once you earn over $600, you have to file a tax form on that figure. Well, having glanced at a tax workbook and seeing that the standard deduction was like $7,800 I was kind of hoping that by filing that my little earnings would be "equalized" so to speak because of the standard deduction and I wouldn't have to pay anything. Well, turns out that it wishful thinking though because part of the fee I had to pay for taxes was either $48 or $52 (I don't recall now which figure it was) for a "Self-employed business tax" right off the top anyway!
Sheesh! The IRS gets you coming or going, don't they?
But in another little wild hair kind of dream I had about the IRS, I was thinking wouldn't it be nice if they paid me! Sure, why not? If I was entitled to this $7,800 plus change deduction as a standard and only earned this small amount, then why couldn't or shouldn't I then get the balance then between the deduction and my income -just like other poor people do when they file and get all they paid in back plus extra? Hey, the idea made sense to me!
Just wasn't something that would wash with the IRS though. Drat it anyway!
I'm not really grumping that much about what I do have to pay as it isn't as much as I owed last year, so that's a good thing, isn't it?
Tuesday though was really the craziest day out of the last few days here though as the weather here was really wild and strange.
About 11 a.m. Tuesday morning, I happened to glance out the window and to my shock, there was a mess of stuff falling from the sky! Rain, snow, sleet -maybe even some hail mixed in there too -but it was really pelting it down too, very hard and fast! This storm stuff lasted not all that long -perhaps 10-15 minutes or so, I think and then, suddenly it was gone and the sun was shining really bright and nice. Hmmm. Gonna be a decent day after all, I thought! Boy, turns out I was wrong about that too!
Several times during the day all of a sudden, we'd have another blast of winter strike and in a short amount of time, it would pass and then sunshine would return and then, a little while later, back to the wintry mix all over again! As it was, I did finally manage during one sunny period around 3 p.m. to take Sammy out for a short walk but boy, I was bundled up like you'd have thought there was a true blizzard or below zero temps here! The sunshine, when it did appear, still didn't do much to raise the temperatures in the process so the temps were a lot lower feeling than they really were due to the wind chill factoring in there plus it was a raw cold -the kind that goes straight through you, clean to the bone, ya know! (And that plus the fact that I tend to freeze it seems at the drop of the hat, you better believe I was all bundled up when Sam and I ventured out!)
We splurged for supper as Mandy called the kitchen up at the local Moose and ordered food from there. Our neighbor's daughter is the cook and boy, she puts together a really great cheese steak hoagie -which I ordered -plus, you should have seen the size of the steak salad Mandy got! Holy rip! If that was a small salad, I don't think I'd be able to handle trying to eat a large steak salad there! Mandy couldn't even finish all of her small salad, that's how big it was so trust me when I tell you then that it definitely was an order in which we got our money's worth!
After supper, I crashed in the recliner in about 10 minutes after I sat down there. But about 8 p.m., Kurtis woke me up to show me his big news event of the night! Seems he has had a "wiggler" tooth -front and center, upper -and tonight, it popped out so he was really excited to come and put his face right up in mine, mouth wide open, to show Grammy this gaping hole there now!
After that, Mandy ended up having to answer a kazillion questions from both the kids about the impending visit tonight -probably anyway -from the tooth fairy! At least, I don't think Kurtis is afraid to put his tooth under his pillow like Maya was! Way back when she began to lose her teeth, she told Mandy to put her tooth under Gram's pillow because she didn't want some fairy flying around her head while she slept!
And those things -the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy -all things that before we know it will be things of the past as the time of their belief in these things will soon be just distant memories, won't they?
Sad on one hand to realize this and yet, so nice to see how quickly they are growing up, maturing and turning into the person they will ultimately be some day.
But for right now, most of the days in this house with these two younguns are still more than a bit on the crazy side and you know what?
I wouldn't want it any other way!