Tuesday, November 30, 2010

We're in!

We did it!

By the end of Thanksgiving weekend we were living in our new home. We moved in right between two major snowstorms, but we made it!

I can't take pictures inside the house yet because we are unpacking and there are still a lot of boxes in every single room.

I will give you this one, though -- it's our barn. Tim is threatening to replace this rather old and amazing door but I am lobbying hard to keep it. I think it adds a lot of charm to the place! (So what if we can't actually open it???)

- Catherine

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving to all!

In America, today is Thanksgiving. What was once a one-day event (officially instituted by Abraham Lincoln)  has turned into a mega-weekend of eating followed by more eating, then shopping and probably some decorating for Christmas. 

I'm concentrating on Thanksgiving and the meaning of the day, and I'm going to let the rest of the weekend take care of itself.

I'm thankful for love, the source of which is our Creator and Redeemer, God Almighty.

I'm thankful for family, the earthly connections that ground us.

I'm thankful for friendship and the balm of knowing whom you can count on.

I'm thankful for laughter and the medicine it provides for the soul.

I'm thankful for tears and their healing power.

I'm thankful for freedom and those who ensure it every day with their service to our country.

Happy Thanksgiving!

- Catherine

Monday, November 22, 2010

Mother Nature loses this round

The Great Moving Blitz has begun!

On Saturday it began snowing. By 10:00 a.m. I'd changed from my sneakers into my snow boots.

We started moving anyway.

The new sofa and loveseat were delivered.

In the snow.

We brought over some of the smaller pieces of our furniture plus the living room rug.

In the snow.

Number 7 flexed his teenage muscles (which are quite powerful) to lift heavy items while also finding time to roam with the dog around the new property.

In the snow. 

(I made them come in the back door afterward.)

My office was transferred from one house to the other.

In the snow.

I had a conversation over the back fence with our new neighbor.

In the snow.

Today is Monday -- Mr. Satellite TV is coming this afternoon at 2:00 to move our service.

He'll be arriving in the snow.

I must admit the fir trees out front are quite pretty.

As of last night, there was a discernible seating area in the living room.

The old rug looks like it was made for the new house and our other (old) pieces look wonderful and fit right in too. I'm so excited I hardly slept last night. By the end of the holiday weekend, despite stuffing our faces with turkey and trimmings, we will be living full time in our new home.

I am so thankful, I cannot describe it. I loved this place from the moment we laid eyes on it, and beyond my expectations it has become my dream home. I've lived in many different houses in my life, and have loved most of them very well, but this place surpasses all. It's like this house was waiting for us.

 - Catherine
PS -- hubby is already planning the chicken coop he intends to build next spring. Horses, chickens, dogs, cats, and one murdering parrot fish. It will be quite the menagerie on our little farm!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

On hold -- and not on hold.

Well, we're getting ready to move. Finally!  The wood floors are done, the carpets are clean, the paint is dry, and the beds are in the bedrooms.
The schedule?

Just keep moving until we're done.

No, we actually have something more specific in mind.  This weekend we move everything we can in boxes. Next Friday -- Black Friday -- we move the big items (hopefully with a little help from our friends). By the end of Thanksgiving weekend we will be done.

We will.

Or heads will roll.

The satellite TV guys are coming on Monday to switch our service to the new house.

As I write this, I have been trying to negotiate a moving date with the cable company (internet and phone) for the last 45 minutes. I am on hold. For the umpteenth time.

The first time I called, I discovered that there was an option to "hold without hearing further messages."

"How refreshing!" I thought.

Then I found out that "holding without hearing further messages" means that they hang up on you.

So when I called back, I didn't pick that option. And I ended up hearing some kind of 1960s-style happy music for the next 20 minutes. Then when I finally did get someone, they had to transfer me. Another hold and happy music.  Then when I got someone else, he took down my information and then put me back on hold for another 15 minutes while he set up the appointment.  More happy music.

I think he must have been doing something else during that 15 minutes.

And now, voila! I have a date for the cable change -- nine (!) days from now. The earliest they can come is Saturday, the 27th.

Maybe it's time to switch service providers . . .

- Catherine

Update of #8

In yesterday's Hodgepodge, at #8 where we are asked to write something random, I noted that my Mp3 player had died inexplicably. 

This morning it resurrected itself inexplicably.

The agoraphobic catfish is still dead though. The parrot fish looks smug so it might have been murder. Either that or starvation because the poor cat fish didn't ever want to venture out of his little cave -- I blame the parrot fish for that too.

I think he's a bully fish, when all is said and done.

- Catherine

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Hodgepodge Wednesday


Thank you to our weekly hostess, Joyce, over at from this side of the pond!

1. What is the most amazing weather you've ever seen?  Well, I once drove through a hailstorm so bad that I thought my windshield was going to crack.  I’ve never seen anything like it!! It wasn’t pleasant, but it certainly was amazing to have hail that large and strong.

2. What is a sound or noise you love?  I love to wake up to the sound of a steady rain coming down. We have so little of that kind of rain in Idaho. I also love the sound of a Mourning Dove on a summer morning.

3. Do you like seafood? What's your favorite seafood dish?  I grew up at the Jersey Shore – I love, love, LOVE seafood, and one of my fond memories from childhood is going to the seafood market down at the docks with my Dad.  My current fave is Chilean Sea Bass. But I have lots of faves, depending on where I am in the world.

4. What part of your day requires the most patience?  Hmmm . . . that’s a tough one! I’d say that late afternoon at work requires the most patience because I am already thinking about cooking dinner and what we will be doing that evening.  It's hard to stay on task at that point!

5. What's your favorite shade of blue?  I don’t have a favorite shade of blue. It depends on whether I’m wearing it or using it as a decoration, I guess.

6. Do people underestimate you?  I would say they probably don’t. I’d say that “overestimate” would be more like it.

7. When was the last time you had butterflies in your stomach?  Singing for the Pink Tea fundraiser last month.

8. Insert your own random thought here:  My mp3 player inexplicably died on me yesterday. So did the agoraphobic catfish in our aquarium.  Coincidence?  Or conspiracy? You decide . . .

- Catherine

Monday, November 15, 2010

Just to give you something to look at

I've been in Canada this weekend, visiting my daughter (Number 4), her fiance (Number 4.5-to-be) and his family.  4.5-to-be's family live in one of the Toronto 'burbs, in a lovely house on a quiet street. They have been perfect hosts and it's been a terrific visit.

Because this is my first trip to the area, we spent the better part of one day of my visit in the city of Toronto, walking around, seeing the Christmas decorations, and drinking coffee from "Timmy's." (That's Tim Horton's for those of you non-Canadians).

Here is my favorite (favourite) picture from that day.

More to come!

- Catherine

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Adventures in Semantics

If the adjective is "nifty," then why isn't there a word "nift?"

Just wondering.

- Catherine

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Hodgepodge -- the NEW Wednesday meme!

1. Do you think you're more like your mom or your dad?  It’s not clear that I am more like one or the other. I can see traits of both.  I certainly do not look like my mother’s side of the family – I am very much my father’s daughter, physically. (So much so that people would look at us strangely when my mother introduced me as her daughter.)  But I think I am just about equally both sides of my family in personality and emotional makeup.

2. Do you like roller coasters?  No. Here's the deal: I’m okay on the climb. I’m okay on the drop. It’s that first curve after the drop that I find so excruciatingly unpleasant. And all the curves thereafter. 

3. How did you name your blog and do you now wish you'd thought about it maybe another five minutes before you hit publish?  Would you change your blog title if it were not a huge pain in the derriere? (French makes everything sound a little nicer doesn't it?)    

That's a lot of questions!

I named my blog "Time and Tide" after the fictional publication for which The Provincial Lady writes. The first two volumes in The Provincial Lady series are total hoots if you are into British humor. They were written in the 1930s, by the way.

I don’t think the blog title is hard to change in Blogger, actually. But I wouldn't want to change mine anyway. I like it because it is reminiscent of the shore, where I grew up. And because, after all, Time and Tide wait for no one. 

4. What is the best wedding gift you received? Not married? Didn't get any gifts? Then what is the best wedding gift you've given?  The best wedding gift I received – I can’t think. It was 10 years ago. And 30+ years ago. (I've been married more than once.) I do remember the best shower gift from 10 years ago because I'm still wearing it. It's a heavy fleece bathrobe, completely disreputable-looking after 10 years of being dragged around the house all winter, every winter.  But it’s the warmest thing on the planet, I swear, and I will NEVER give it up.  (Thanks, Kit!)

5. What is the one bill you most hate to pay?  Medical -- after the insurance company has graciously agreed to pay 80% of only the amount they actually allow per item on the bill.  Sheesh!

6. Is the glass half full or half empty?  To be fair and balanced in my outlook . . . it depends.

7. What is your favorite word? Okay okay. Calm down. How about one of your favorite wordsEtymologically speaking, one of my favorite words is “serendipity.” To me it sounds happy. To me it sounds exactly like what it means.

8. Now, this is where you insert one random thought of your own...maybe something that struck you as funny, something that recently had you scratching your head in confusion, something that annoyed you a teensy bit, something on your to do list, something you are looking forward to, whatever. As long as it is in keeping with the friendly tone we've all come to know and love on Wednesdays then we're good. Don't make me get out my wooden spoon.

Why must calcium tablets be so incredibly large? I can barely get one down at a time!

If you, dear reader, want to play along, all you have to do is answer the questions on your own blog and go to Joyce's blog to link up (click on the Hodgepodge button at the top). Be sure to also use the Mr. Linky to read the blogs of others and leave a comment or two -- this is how we have our online coffee klatch. And you may meet new friends (that's how I met Joyce, after all)!

Thanks, Joyce!  I love this new meme!   

- Catherine

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

My Huckleberry Friend

Moon river, wider than a mile,
I'm crossing you in style
One day.
Old dream maker, you heart breaker
Wherever you're goin'
I'm goin' your way.

Two drifters off to see the world
There's such a lot of world to see.
We're after the same rainbow's end,
Waitin' round the bend,
My huckleberry friend,
Moon river
And me.
 -- lyrics by Johnny Mercer

I'm sure many of you are already humming along to this very popular song from the 1960s. The lyrics don't make a lot of sense, but the dreamy quality of both the words and the music make it a very lovely song.

I hadn't heard it in in probably a decade or more until tonight, when it came over the speaker system at Barnes and Noble.

My mother loved Moon River when it first came out in 1962. She purchased the sheet music -- both the movie version and, later, Henry Mancini's stylized arrangement for the piano. She sang it all the time. She played it all the time. This song is actually one of my earliest memories -- listening and watching as my mother practiced and practiced and practiced the music. (Mancini's piano arrangement contains a wickedly difficult last verse.)

When Moon River invaded my peaceful browsing at Barnes and Noble tonight I had an instant visceral reaction. Unexpected grief boiled up to the surface. It was hard to breathe. It was harder still to keep the tears in check. In that nanosecond, I was transported back to our tiny, pine paneled living room, my young and beautiful mother at the spinet piano, singing in her clear alto.

Such small moments on the journey.

- Catherine

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

I'm scratching my head

I'm at a conference, which will be ending tomorrow.

A couple of things have made me scratch my head in the last few days:

This conference offers the usual presentations and also features small discussion groups that are held around conference tables in small rooms. 

Which I try to avoid because I am . . . An Introvert.

Imagine my amusement when I saw on the schedule a small group discussion session entitled For Introverts Working In an Extroverted World.  I wonder if anyone actually went to the session.

I just saw a commercial on TV for an asthma medication -- a systemic med that is supposed to keep asthma under control. The "small print" part of the commercial subsequently states that this particular medication can increase the risk of death from an asthma attack. 


- Catherine

Monday, November 1, 2010

One Year

Exactly one year ago today I said goodbye to my mother's life on this earth.  Luella Leeming Schanck Ohl was a complex woman with impressive strengths that made her unique.  She became one of my dearest friends in all the world. I miss her humor, her intelligence, her drive and yes, even her shortcomings and fears. They made her so human.

Mom was pretty much comatose on the last day of her life. She didn't open her eyes once all day and she didn't move a muscle all afternoon -- except once. I was sitting quietly with her, talking about how easy the transition would be when Jesus came to take her home, and how I would miss her so much. She stirred gently at the sound of my voice and then reached out her arms for me. It's a memory I will always treasure. Four hours later she breathed her last.

One year.

A year of difficult "firsts" and a year of grace and blessings in disguise.

- Catherine