6:56am “Just in from walking Blue. Too cold a day for a flannel pj walk. Now I know. Sun is just coming up now. It started sort of dappled and is hot pink and lavender now. Kinda gorgeous. More hot pink now. I still have my coat on. Time to wake up my oldest son, but the sky and writing to You. My wind chimes chime.” I send the email and then step outside to my backyard deck, to try to capture with a mere photograph, the amazing beauty I watched unfolding. For not the first time, I find myself wishing I could see further along the horizon, without houses in the way, as Blue looks through the sliding glass door, longing to be outside with me. I head back in and begin to wake those two tired boys. Opening my oldest son’s blinds to let some light in, and mentioning the beautiful sunrise. He groans, to let me know he heard me and is getting up…eventually. When I return to the kitchen the sky has changed again. Warm golden hues followed the initial display of fiery color. Fleeting color at that. Hours have since passed, both boys are at school, and we aren’t even left with blue overhead. The sky is white today. The wind blows. My chimes chime. Just two days remain in the first month of the new year.

January 30, 2014

So, there was a little hostage situation here last night…
My youngest son, age 10 in fifth grade, asked for the yardstick to measure the dog’s long, fluffy tail. When I didn’t immediately hand it over to him, he began taking items out of the pantry one by one, reading their labels aloud, stacking them on the kitchen counter as he stockpiled hostages. Along the way he found the yardstick and Blue did NOT want his tail measured, so my boy resumed taking pantry items hostage. Not just the extra food, also batteries, straws, flashlights, lightbulbs and the broom. Then, since I made white chicken chili yesterday, and the crock pot found itself surrounded by other hostages, that boy blocked his captives off with the yardstick and declared the crock pot hostage too. What?! The crock pot was an innocent bystander! Just sitting on the counter, minding it’s own business, after working hard all day, when it found itself surrounded by hostages and a crazed madman brandishing a yardstick about. Too funny really, both in the moment and as hindsight. Love him. The older boy too. He had his own smiling, trying to get my goat, way of pushing buttons last night. His grin said he knew he did too. My narrowed eyes didn’t convince him to move because my grin gave me away. He showered. Such a simple thing, but heaven forbid it be one. Thursday morning now. The sun rose. Both of my sons rose too, even though they were still rather tired, grumbly and wanting more sleep. Oldest is delivered to school and youngest is en route. Blue has been out twice. Time is 8:30am. I stayed in my flannel pjs and am making coffee now. Errands and cat duty and miscellaneous whatnot will all fill in the hours until those two boys who hold their mother’s heart return home again. I may have agreed to make a chocolate cake last night to free the hostages. I sort of think I did. I better make one, to appease that crazed madman, age 10.
~Janean

January 30, 2014
There is a new moon tonight. The second new moon of January 2014. There are two super moons this month, on the first and thirtieth, but actually, there were three because of the full moon in the middle. I have a feeling “moon effect” had a little to do with the antics at my house last night. The rest was a very creative, witty and hilarious way to avoid bedtime.

hostage situation

My ten year old son just said to me from the kitchen, “I have the olives as hostage, until you tell me where the yard stick is.”
(I’m laughing in reply.)
“I took the olives first because I know you like them best.”
“I took the whole pantry hostage.”
“No more large pitted olives from the pearl company.”
“No more mini moos half and half”
“No more honey, grade A.”
(A longer list goes here that I didn’t all type.)
“Tell me where the yardstick is and you’ll have all these objects back.”
“No more cake mixes, Mom.”
(Oh…there’s more…it’s not bedtime or anything. Maybe I should give him the yardstick?! He wants it to measure Blue’s tail.)
“Let’s see what else I should take for ransom…”
“I have the battery charger on ransom.”
“No more white distilled vinegar.”
“Where’s the yardstick?!
(Answers his own question) “Oh. Found it.”
(To the dog) “Hey, Blue, can you lay down?”
“No more mini marshmallows.”
“No more dark chocolate.”
“No hot traditional salsa. Even though I don’t see anything hot about it.”
“No more brooms.”
“No more measuring cup.”
Me: “That’s to measure Blue’s food with.”
10 year old: “Well, you’ll have to guess now!”
This is where the pantry hostage taking standoff ended at 9:27pm. That is when I walked into the kitchen from the family room to see all the items he held hostage from the pantry stacked on the counter. Tomorrow is soon enough to shove them all back in. By 9:41pm my youngest son was tucked into bed with his covers all straightened out from last nights acrobatic sleeping and the bedside light on. Never a dull moment. I’m so glad!

January 29, 2014

mom stuff

Children both to school.
Dog walked.
Big sigh breathed aloud.
Wednesday today.
All day.
Thankful for a quiet house.
My chance to recharge.

January 29, 2014
9:32am
a twitter poem
*chirp*
Today is the first day back to school after the weekend, plus two “snow days” with no school due to sub zero temperatures and double digit windchill. Six snow days were used this January and 2014 is still young. February, March and April are yet to come. It’s winter weather in Illinois, anything can happen!

This morning’s sunrise gave the illusion of warm in shades of gold and orange. I checked my weather app AFTER stepping back inside from walking Blue. Weather status at 7:30am, “-1*F here, feels like -23*F.” The really crazy thing is being out with Blue this morning, it didn’t feel THAT cold. Dogs paws didn’t hurt. He walked on all four around the mini block. I checked the temp again just now and it’s “warmed up” to zero and feels like -23*F. Indoors is best. Thankful for heat and money to pay the bill when it comes due. My boys of course are thankful for sleeping in, no school and another day at home. Blue has since fallen back asleep. Dog is love seat zzzz’ing in his favorite spot. The house is momentarily quiet, even with all of us home on a Monday. Good morning.

January 27, 2014
9:33am, and my youngest son just woke up

fairy tale light
as the sun rose
this morning
over the sidewalk
woman shoveling
dog chewing
on thorny stalks
the Peace rose
now dormant
long ago planted
by the front door
serene woman
wild and crazy dog
they snow play
after the work
she throws the ball
for him to chase
children sleeping in
it is Saturday
thankful for home
for Heaven above
the woman and dog
were there
under the sky
as the crescent moon
tucked into bed
and the sun rose
washing the earth
in fairy tale light

January 25, 2014

Facebook “Friends”

It all started by reading a Facebook status that said, “Sometimes even the people you love need to be unfriended.” I simply wrote, “Thankful I’m still here.” A mutual friend commented, “Me, too, Janean. But, I have had to unfriend a couple for language too.” This is where I probably should have just liked her comment and let what instead happened next disappear like a puff of smoke. Instead, I wrote…
“I have my moments of “could have been a language violator.” I understand though. I figure “free to come and free to go” and am praying through the hurt of those who went from my own “friends list.” My true friends know where to find me. We’re programmed into one another’s phones and know the way to each other’s front door. We hug hello and goodbye and in between we talk, laugh and heart share. In person communique is better than online every time. I am thankful for the Godly examples of the many women I’ve met through church. I know what faithful prayer warriors they are and how mightily they prayed my family through a storm, while weathering storms of their own, often with gale force gusts, rated F4 and category 5. Online channels have their merits, for an initial meeting and keeping in touch, but in person is better because you can hug and read faces, which say more than most status updates ever could.”
Perhaps I said too much. Perhaps not enough. This whole topic of unfriending and blocking strikes a nerve that’s raw. There is hurt there. Life is about choices. “Free to go” should always be a viable option. Thankfully, it is. An older gentleman I worked with years ago often quoted this wisdom from his mother, “There are three sides to every story: yours, mine and what really happened.”
God sees the overview and knows what’s in our hearts. He knits us together with the people we need and He directs our paths. Watch out for the potholes, road blocks and pits. Sometimes these things we view as obstacles actually protect us, from the things we cannot see ahead. Other times they help us grow deeper roots of Faith to help us stand against the mighty winds. Trust God and He will see you through. He sent His Son to die on the cross, to forgive the sins of a fallen world. Grace. There is grace and forgiveness to cover our humanness. Praise God. Praise Him for the little things and the BIG ones. Praise Him in song, in words, sometimes spoken aloud, other times typed in an email, tweet, blog post, even on Facebook.
Facebook. Brings me full circle. Ugh. Stupid Facebook. Part of me wants to ditch Facebook World completely. I still may, but not quite yet. I’m thankful for the people I am connected to, whether we interact much, or not. I hop on and hop off, reading, “liking,” and commenting. Sometimes saying too much. I’m me. It’s how I’m made. Typing forums are dangerous for me because words have a way of pouring out. Honest words, from the heart. I’m not perfect, no where near, never have been, never will be, never was. I’m just a human woman, with the tendency to be a chatterbox. I try to follow my mother’s advice, “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.”

January 25, 2014