An ice cream sort of day

The time has been flying by. We spent the end of last week in San Mateo with our kids. The main reason for going was to see our grandson graduate from prekindergarten, but he was too ill to make the ceremony. His mom and grandpa went, though, taking pictures and picking up his diploma. He was happy to see pictures of his classmates who have become good friends.

Although our daughter had signed up to bring strawberry sorbet to the post graduation party, she had yet to get it two hours before the event. I got on the phone and called all the local ice cream shops to find that there was no strawberry sorbet. Finally, calling a national chain, in downtown San Mateo, I located some. The store clerk did not think she had as much as I wanted, but Terry and I headed there anyway and found that the store did have enough. The clerk was so kind, and when she didn’t have enough to fill the fourth container, she offered Terry a bowl of any ice cream they had. He was pleased as he loves ice cream. He chose sea salted caramel.

After dropping the sorbet and my husband at the preschool, I headed to Leeya’s school to pick her up and spend time doing something she would like which was going to another ice cream store and getting mint chocolate chip on a cone. It was just an ice cream sort of day.

The sorbet, it turns out, was used in the punch. Jennifer said it was very good, but very sweet. I almost wish I had been there to try it.

Summer days

I found some cushions and pillows, on sale, and further discounted on Cartwheel, at my neighborhood Target store. They work very well on the garden bench my son-in-law built  late last year. 

The cats enjoy the cushions, too. 

As you can see in the photo, our sunny days have arrived.  I open the curtains in the morning when we first get up, but as the sun travels around, I close them so as to keep the living room cooler. The tree has leafed out and casts a lovely shadow. 

Summertime, and the living is easy. 

I’ve lost my multi-tasking mojo

But I think we’ve discussed this before. Listening to three conversations at once has never been difficult. I could work with one student while knowing what every other kid in the classroom was doing. Reading a book while attending a meeting, and keeping track of both, was no big deal.

Yesterday I made a bit of a mess for myself while trying to do just TWO things at once. I worked in the backyard for an hour or so, came in and took frozen bread dough out to thaw so I could make cinnamon rolls. I did a few indoor chores while waiting for the dough to thaw then put together a pan of rolls, set them in a cold oven to rise and went back outside to work on cleaning the patio.

Terry came and went. His mother had run out of checks and yet still had bills to pay so wanted him to take her to the bank. Banks no longer issue counter checks, but out of kindness, hers did issue two certified checks and didn’t charge her the usual $10 fee. She ordered more checks, something I can do online for no charge. Bank of America charged her $26.

Terry joined me, when he returned, in moving patio furniture back into place and that’s when I realized I could smell the dough that I had put aside hours before. Have you ever over-inflated yeast dough?

Fortunately for me, the rolls tasted okay even if they looked a bit wonky.

I realized that making rolls AND cleaning the patio were two tasks at one time and one didn’t get done very well. My multi-tasking mojo has left me.

You know you have too many clothes

…when your closet collapses.

We have lived in this house for 36 years. The sounds it makes are pretty familiar. A cabinet door, a water faucet, the oven switch. They all have their own sound, and after all these years, I have come to know those sounds as well as I know my own sighs and groans. This afternoon, while I was at one end of the house, in the family room, and Terry was midway down the hall in the office, we both heard an odd sound. I yelled out for him to see if he was alright because it sounded like he had fallen against the closet doors. Remember, every part of the house has its own sound, including the closet doors. No, he was fine. He thought something had fallen on the roof. We both checked out back because occasionally a tree branch will fall onto the roof, but this time all appeared to be fine.

As we came back inside, I mentioned to him that I thought something (or someone) had fallen into the closet doors. I stopped back at the family room to resume whatever it was I was doing. Terry went to check the closets. One of the cats had been sleeping on our bed, but he said the cat was now gone.

I heard a muffled voice from the back of the house, like someone was inside a closet. Upon investigation, sure enough, there was Terry trying to get the closet doors off of our bedroom closet so he could get our clothes out. The rod had collapsed and all of our clothes were on the floor.

We piled the clothes on our bed, which we realized the cat had probably vacated when the clothes fell and banged against the closet door. The cat was no where to be seen. Terry checked the situation and thought he had tools and supplies to fix the rod.

While he was doing this repair, his mother called. She is 96 years old. She had taken the sheets off of her bed, put them into the washer, and now they were in the dryer. She wanted help getting the sheets back on the bed. She wanted Terry’s help, to be specific.

Now, she has never called him to help make her bed. She has a companion-driver during the week as well as a housekeeping service. Don’t these people usually take care of her laundry and bed-making? Terry didn’t know. He couldn’t understand why she took the bed apart without figuring out a way to get it remade. He told her he was busy trying to fix the closet and she would have to wait. Wait is not in her vocabulary. I can tell you right now, I know all about narcissism because this woman is the picture you see when you look up the word in the dictionary. She said she would call the younger son.

Now, both sons live in the same town, but both would have to drive to her place to help her make the bed. I suggested Terry tell her to ask one of her neighbors to come help her. She lives in a condominium complex with very close neighbors. They could just step out of their unit and right into hers. No, she didn’t want to bother her neighbors! That blew me away. Bothering people has never seemed to bother her.

Terry got the closet fixed and all of our clothes are back where they belong–hanging inside the closet. Just as he finished, the cat came out of hiding to eat and to look at me like I had turned his world upside down.

Now Terry is at his mother’s making her bed. The younger son could not come until late this evening.

Third year school wrap up 

Last week I completed Year 3 of school chaplain. I got this new pin for my uniform: 

These are the four first grade classes with their certificates:

Some of the classes made thank-you notes for me and drew pictures:

As you can see, my red hair was memorable!

The teachers gave me lovely gifts and notes, too:

An owl for my porch:

A pot of tulips (my favorite flower):

And a Whole Foods gift card so I can buy delicious items for my summer lunches away from school. 

Next year I will be working with a new set of teachers as these are all going in other directions. I will miss them as they are all good teachers and really nice people. 

When the calendar opens up

Once school days are over for me, I have few obligations each week. The days of the calendar are wide open and ready to be filled. Since he knew this was my first “free” week, Terry decided it would be a good time to fill in a day with the colonoscopy the doctor had ordered at his physical a few weeks ago. She also ordered a heart scan, but he could drive himself to that appointment. A colonoscopy requires a driver–that’s me.

We were up early this morning as he had to finish the “prep” and be at the office by 8. Although he was using the same gastro doc as before, the location for the procedure had changed. Neither of us had done a trial run, but we knew the general vicinity of the place. We gave ourselves a half hour to get there, due mainly to commuter traffic, but once we found the building, we had no idea where the actual location within the building was the clinic.

We parked on the north side, walked through this large skyscraper (for Fresno that means 6 floors), and didn’t see the office we needed. After asking for help, we found that the office wasn’t IN the building, but on the outside. Glad we had started early as we walked in right at 8. Because of the location, I had to move the car to the south side of the building once Terry was settled in.

All went well, and the doctor spent maybe 45 seconds telling us how very healthy Terry is and to continue with what he does. The next guy wasn’t so lucky. The doctor was with him and his wife for about 15 minutes.

After showing him all the pictures, the doctor declared, “You have to eat more fiber. That means lots of fruits and vegetables.”

The guy mumbled something about taking capsules to which the doctor replied, “you would need 60 of those capsules a day to get the fiber you need. Do you really want to take 60 capsules of anything a day?”

The patient and his wife mumbled some more and the doctor said, “your mother died from this, you should be concerned. Healthy eating is your best medicine.” More was said, but I lost interest as I was pretty sure the doctor was talking to the wall. The patient would continue to do what he wanted. I’ve seen too many of these cases.

After they left, with Terry still recovering in the bed, I looked at him and said, “see, all that healthy eating pays off.”

Community storytelling project

Saturday morning found me across town at a branch of the Fresno County Library. I had signed up to record a 15-minute conversation about agriculture and how it has changed over my lifetime and what the future holds. My conversation was with Bob Rodriquez who is the agriculture writer for our local paper, The Fresno BEE.

I know Bob, of course, through his writing in the paper, but I am also connected to him through social media. We exchange tweets every now and then. A few years ago I noticed that cotton was being harvested a different way than I had ever seen. I tweeted a question to Bob about what kind of machinery was doing this as I was only seeing the end result. He sent me a link to a video that demonstrated the new cotton harvester. I was mesmerized and made a point that year to be out in the fields during harvest season so as to get a closeup, and photos, of this amazing contraption. You see, I go back to the day when cotton was hand-picked by humans. I wrote a blog post about cotton picking.

I also know Bob through Fresno High. Although I never had her in my classes, his daughter was often on my radar. She faithfully brought her check for the yearbook at the beginning of the year. She passed through our hallway and bought cookies from us on many mornings. She was bright and engaging and funny. After I retired, his daughter friended me on Facebook and I have kept up with her educational and career pursuits over the years. She continues to be bright, engaging, and funny.

Here we are, getting set up to record our session. The woman seated in front of us is an employee of the library who was learning to use the equipment since we were the first ones to record. She had a series of questions she asked about our backgrounds with ag and the changes we had seen and what we saw happening now that could impact the future.

The final question was about our hopefulness for the future. Both Bob and I are hopeful for the future of ag in California, but we are concerned that people are losing track of where their food comes from and how farmers struggle to get food and fiber to us. There could come a time when all of our ag products will be imported because other countries will grow it cheaper and in larger quantities. That concerns us because those other countries may not have the ability to keep food safe.

The recording will be edited and archived both at the local library level as well as with the California State Library.