Here it is - over a month now since Christmas and almost a full month whizzing by as the end of January is coming up in just three more days and I am just as disorganized as ever! No changes made in that aspect of my life!
It's been quite an interesting month though, I do have to say that much for it.
The grandkids -Maya and Kurtis spent a week with me from Christmas Day until New Year's Day and that made the holiday week extra special. But it also showed me after they returned home how quiet this house is without them here and how boring it can be then too at times.
Don't get me wrong now as I have discovered since they moved 18 months ago now that there are lots of times I really enjoy the peace, quiet and solitude of living alone. Just don't care for it ALL the time. I do like the fact I can come and go as I please and not have to worry about being home in time for the school bus as the kids return home and also, I can have my very own, weird sleep schedule too -go to bed as the sun comes up if I want or hit the sack ultra early in the evening too on those rare occasions when I just don't feel like staying awake. (The drawback to retiring ultra early though is that I don't sleep through until daylight but instead seem to wake up and be unable to fall back to sleep around 1 or 2 a.m. so it doesn't work to try that avenue to maybe revamp my sleep schedule to more normal hours. Whatever they might be.)
Christmas Eve, my older grandson, Alex, was here and he, my son, Clayton and his girlfriend, Chantel and I all went to the late night service at church. My son's annual visit to our church and a move he make to try to keep peace with old Mom, ya know. It was a beautiful, candlelit service with many of my favorite Christmas carols -including the church's traditional opening song done by the church choir as they sing it a capella from the narthex and that is my personal old favorite Swedish carol, "Lyssna." Brings back so many wonderful memories to me of Christmases many years ago and hearing my grandfather sing this song. He truly had a beautiful deep bass voice and I suppose that's a big part of why I love hearing a good bass voice singing!
Saturday after Christmas, the grandkids and I were going to make a run over to Walmart but ran into a few problems getting out of town that night. When I opened the car door I noticed the dome light didn't come on and I reached in and pulled on the light switch and got nothing! Uh oh! Dead battery? After looking a little closely though I realized that when we came home from church Christmas Eve I had done something I very rarely do and that was I had left the keys in the ignition but hadn't completely turned them to the off position so that had drained the battery. I came in and called my son to have him come down and bring his jumper cables -which he did -and in about short order, he had the car running. Said the drive to Walmart (about 20 miles) should be enough to charge the battery completely but had me take the cables with me just to be on the safe side.
So off we went!
And once in Walmart, it was a bit of a struggle to keep the kids from pestering me to go to the toy department which tells me that nothing about these two has changed in that respect.
Got the few things I needed and we headed back to the house but about 2 miles from Walmart, out on Interstate 80, I heard this really loud noise and then, the car just was not handling right so I managed to get it pulled off to the side just beyond the an entrance ramp to the Interstate and tried to call my son for assistance. That's when I discovered my cellphone was dead too!
Seems I had not made the required number of calls on it in November so it needed to be reactivated but, lucky for me, it would allow me to make an emergency call to 911. And so I did that and the 911 operator connected me to the State Police and in no time at all, a state trooper pulled up behind me and together, we checked the situation on my car which it just so happened to be my right front tire had blown out! Lovely!
The trooper was kind enough to change the tire for me -put the donut on and tossed the old tire which was really gaping with the hole the blow out had made! But we made it back home and then, the next couple of days I was stewing about what to do with the tire situation. My ex-son-in-law located a used tire in the size I needed and brought it down to me but I had to take the car into the shop where he works the next day because the tire needed to be mounted. It was during that process that the son-in-law realized this tire wasn't exactly the best as it had problems with the belt separating but he said if I took it easy, it would work okay till he could locate a better tire or I got a new one.
the thought of getting a new tire was a bit of a big concern for me as of course, I was in my normal financial status -broke!
And then as suddenly as this spate of bad luck had come my way, it all got resolved through the generosity of someone I've never met in person but which whom I have communicated for several years now. This man is a minister in a Lutheran church located someplace in Southwestern Arkansas and I had met him via my interest in local history as well as family tree information as his grandparents had lived about 4 miles from where I live and he had spent a great deal of time during his summer vacations as a child with his grandparents so he knew a good bit about this area and was interested in learning more about the history and also, of his roots. Through his kindness and generosity, within a week, he had sent me a check for a lot more than I needed to purchase one tire, but instead, I was able to get four new tires on my old buggy!
Boy, it is sure amazing how nice my old car rides when it has four brand new tires on it!
As the month progressed, so did the arrival of more of the real winter weather - snow, freezing rain, sleet and very low temperatures too became the norm for this time of year. And with the cold, that brought with it another worry -will I run out of oil to run the furnace and keep the old house warm?
I thought I had applied for the fuel assistance program here but as it turned out, when I called in to see about getting fuel delivered, due to a mix-up with what the receptionist at that office had told me, apparently the fuel program folks had never received an application from me!
Wonderful, just freaking wonderful to have to putsy around trying to fill out a form online to get it accepted and approved while my fuel tank gauge was sitting almost on empty and that was pretty much the status of my checkbook too -very close to being empty!
After several hours of fighting with the online form, due to overlooking one of the rules of setting up a password for my application, and trying every freaking password I could think of to use or that I have previously used over the years, I realized that the password had to have the usual of one letter in caps, be at least 8 characters in length and contain at least one number but it also had to contain one special character too and it was that aspect -something I had never encountered previously in setting up any password -that had kept me fighting with the application. Finally got the darned form completed and submitted and waited for the approval.
Then, two days after submitting the form, I woke up that morning to find a slip in my front door from the oil company telling me they had delivered 100 gallons of fuel oil to me and that it was paid for. So I thought it was oil coming to me from the fuel assistance plan but discovered a week later when the oil delivery guy showed up again and dumped more oil -over 100 gallons - into my tank and I asked him where this came from and he said this was my delivery from the fuel assistance program! Oh really -then where did the 100 gallons I had received a week earlier come from, I asked and he said it had been ordered and paid for by an anonymous person -a friend or neighbor -and he smiled, saying apparently I have some good neighbors who really like me!
WOW! This was such a blessing to get both deliveries and now, I should be good to go with steady warmth in the house for at least 6-7 weeks, maybe even a little longer than that if I don't mess with the thermostat or if the weather doesn't get too terribly cold very often -like not dump 3 weeks solid of temperatures in the minus 18 degrees and lower -much, much lower when the wind chill factors get included such as we had last winter here!
So anyway, as a result of these events this past month, I am feeling very, very blessed, indeed! My nerves have calmed down considerably thanks to the generosity of others -some even unknown to me. And I've been busy too doing more embroidery work again since my innards aren't feeling all jumbled and tangled up and the hand holding the needle became pretty steady again.
I completed a very pretty table topper -in a diamond star shape -made with red cloth and embroidered completely with white floss. A very pretty piece, for sure. Sorry -no photos at this time because my camera isn't working so when I am able to get a new camera I'll be sure to take some pictures of that piece and post 'em. Then, with that piece done, I started another embroidery project -a table runner in red cloth and with the stitching done all in white floss too. This one is a winter church scene on each end of the piece and is also a very pretty item too!
Now I'm working on a table topper called "Matroshka" and it has two figures on each side, dressed in what I would call Russian or Polish traditional peasant garb -very colorful -and should be really cute too when it's finished.
And so, those things, plus of course, the lovely Avon orders, have been keeping me pretty much out of trouble for this month anyway.
Maybe getting back to keeping busy between baking bread, stitching and reading a book in between breaks in the other action will all serve to keep me occupied and start me moving more towards balance in my life.
It could happen, ya know!