By Mrs. Happy Housewife on June 3, 2010 11:57 AM
To my Dearest Love,
Today is our Fifteenth Anniversary and I love you much more than I did then. I loved you with a childish love, irrational and selfish; I love you now with a purer love, refined by adversity and maturity. You are my golden dawn and my silver moonlight. You are my true north and I am hopelessly, boundlessly, eternally devoted to you.
Happy Anniversary to my best friend, my knight-errant, the Captain of my ship.
By Mrs. Happy Housewife on April 12, 2010 8:59 AM
It is very sad when a blogger must be reminded by her son to post. It's not really that I forgot, though; I've just been so occupied lately.
Spring fever has hit me and I keep thinking all the time about planting and growing.
Also, I've been terribly busy outfitting my rapidly-growing children. But I only enjoy shopping in theory, so let's return to the topic of planting.
I have this wonderful husband who actually buys me dirt. Buying dirt is an activity my children still find perplexing, but it is impossible to do anything much with all the sand we have lurking beneath the surface in this neighborhood.
In addition to all these seeds, I planted my Grand-MIL's amaryllis bulbs. Now, she said they were amaryllis, but it seems many bulbs of the Amaryllis family are erroneously called "Amaryllis". All I really know is that these bulbs grow lovely flowers.
This is what the flowers looked like when the plants bloomed back in April of 2006.
So, it's not that I've forgotten y'all. I'm just busy at the moment cleaning the dirt from underneath my fingernails.
By Mrs. Happy Housewife on April 4, 2010 10:42 AM
"Here is the King of the Jews, the Prince of Peace, the King of Kings, JESUS"
By S, December 2006
I'm home this Easter morning. A family member has come down again with the Spring Plague that is going around. I'm home and there are so many other places I wish I was.
I wish I was in church. I wish we had a church. I wish I wasn't in constant pain. I wish I didn't have to take medicines that cloud my faculties. I wish I was not so impatient. I wish I didn't cry at the drop of a hat. I wish I could spend just one day healthy.
I wonder if Christ had wishes, that night in the garden, the night he sweated blood.
How much did he know about what was to come?
Did he know just how much he was going to suffer? Was it the pain of torture that hurt him so or the betrayals and abandonment? Which was worse: the nails or the broken heart?
I don't know, but I do know that when he exclaimed, "It is finished," on the cross that it wasn't. It was far from finished.
The story didn't end on the cross, in the darkness, in the midst of a coming storm. It looked like the end, but things are seldom as they appear.
And as much as we are persuaded that the story ends with sunrise services, with frilly dresses, with fancy brunches, with pastel eggs, with fluffy bunnies, that is not the end either.
The end has already been revealed; it is no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. The end is no more pain.
Today is not the end; it is the remembrance of things past, the celebration of things to come. Today is the reminder of Christ's promise to those who take up the cross and follow him.
Our story doesn't end alone in the dark; it ends with jubilee.
By Mrs. Happy Housewife on March 25, 2010 7:14 AM
Our backyard is ajacent to a trailer park. No offence against people who live in trailers, but that park is a continual source of problems. Usually, it's petty robbers. The largest problem was the teenage serial rapist. Thankfully, he's in jail now. But, we're back to robbers now. One neighbor was cleaned out. Another neighbor had a broken fence to repair, but nothing stolen.
Then, there's our house.
Two bikes were stolen.
But, I'm not that upset. One bike was much too small for my rapidly growing son. The other bike had such a brake problem that multiple people were not able to repair it. Both bikes were headed elsewhere. They just made it to "elsewhere" a bit sooner than planned.
I am a bit peeved that a fence slat is broken and my husband will have to repair it.
That someone entered my domain, however, makes me downright livid.
This is my home and my yard. How dare some pipsqueak bike thief enter my realm! I'm considering my options: gun, viscious dog, barbed wire, electrical fence, attack skunk. What do you recommend?
Perhaps, I can learn falconry like the boy in "My Side of the Mountain" and train one of the lovely hawks that like to watch the Dawn rise while perched on my back fence.
By Mrs. Happy Housewife on March 17, 2010 6:52 AM
Have you received your 2010 Census Form? Be sure to fill it out and send it back. Census records have always been an important part of genealogy and I want my descendents to be able to look me up in 72 years.
At my house, we have 2 White Puerto Rican guys, 1 White Puerto Rican girl, and 1 plain ol' White girl. In truth, we're a bunch of ethnic mutts here at my house - something we're proud of but something the census, unfortunately, does not capture.
So, here's my Census 2010 addendum:
1 male Spanish/French/Basque/African or Puerto Rican Indian
1 female Irish/Scottish/English/German?/American Indian
married with a boy and a girl
The census asks what color our skin is but I think the bigger question is whether America is a melting pot or salad bowl. I was taught by a teacher in high school that we are a salad bowl, but I am sure now that America is a melting pot. Why else would my little Puerto Ricans eat Colcannon on St. Patrick's Day?
By Mrs. Happy Housewife on March 12, 2010 10:47 AM
Much like Emma Woodhouse in Jane Austen's "Emma", I love to make plans. I don't always follow them, but I sure do enjoy making them. Schedules and routines are some of my favorite plans to make and what better way is there of finding new schedule ideas than peeking into the schedules of four moms with a total of thirty-five kids.
The moms linked below have kindly offered a view into their lives and detailed their daily schedules:
By Mrs. Happy Housewife on March 3, 2010 7:01 AM
As of July 1, 2010, all Puerto Rican birth certificates will be invalid. This is because of a law enacted by the government of Puerto Rico last December.
It seems it was a common practice for Puerto Rican schools to retain a child's birth certificate while the child was in attendance at the school. Some criminal groups saw those unguarded collections of birth certificates as a way to easily provide illegal Hispanics with American birth certificates, as all Puerto Ricans are born Americans. After many schools were robbed, the government of Puerto Rico decided invalidating all birth certificates and issuing new ones was the only way to prevent fraud.
The new birth certificates will not be available until July 1, 2010 and will cost $5. The fee will be waived for those over the age of 60 or for veterans.
Those living outside Puerto Rico (as does my husband) will need to write the Puerto Rico Office of Vital Statistics on or after July 1, 2010 to request a new, state-of-the-art birth certificate.
More details are available in this PDF from the Puerto Rico Federal Affairs Administration.
By Mrs. Happy Housewife on February 19, 2010 9:58 AM
Monday we participated in the GBBC 2010 and enjoyed ourselves much. This was the most I have exerted myself since my brain surgery in November, so I was very tired afterwards. We stayed in our own neighborhood and didn't travel the local trail, as we usually do. Because of this, we didn't spot as many birds as in past years, but I think we still did well.
By Mrs. Happy Housewife on January 8, 2010 8:10 AM
After H got home from work yesterday, we went to visit his great-aunt, Titi Pepita. The photo above is from four years ago, when she flew here from Texas. Back then, she was still able to play basketball with my kids. You might remember my mentioning her before. She's 104 this month and as fit as a fiddle, save for her hearing aid. There was a big scare a while back when she caught pneumonia and was very near death. At that time, I asked for your prayers. Y'all must have caught God's ear because she recovered and is as chipper as before. She is always happy and high-spirited. Even yesterday she was jolly, though H's grandmother who recently passed was Titi Pepita's best friend since childhood. Her vitality amazes us all.
Well, Titi Pepita is flying back to Texas tomorrow to see her sickly daughter and I'm sure she'll be detained by some ignorant TSA agent. If Joan Rivers is a danger to security, what will they think of a short, old lady from Puerto Rico who can't speak much English and can't hear? I just hope they don't confiscate her hearing aid as an incendiary device.
Titi Pepita says she'll return later this year and we look forward to seeing her again.
After visiting with Titi Pepita, we happened to drive by a hole-in-the-wall BBQ joint we have passed for ages. It always smells delicious from the road and we say each time we pass that one day we'll have to stop there. Well, yesterday we made a u-turn and seized the day. Let me tell you, the BBQ was as delicious as it smelled. The people inside were so pleasant, too. They even gave the kids free drinks while we waited for our to-go order. It turns out that the place is run by an ex-football player from the Buccaneers (Go, Bucs!). We tried a combo of pork, beef, sausage, BBQ beans, potato salad, fries, and their special sauce. All was so, so good - much better than the chain BBQ place, Sonny's. I was rather sad to let go of the leftovers so that H could take them to work today for lunch. If you find yourself near the Tampa International Airport, stop by Jazzy's BBQ. You will not be sorry.
By Mrs. Happy Housewife on January 1, 2010 10:16 PM
I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and New Year's. We managed to have a good holiday (as you can see from the children's glee shown above) despite illnesses and a death in the family.
If you follow my Twitter, you already know that my husband's last grandparent passed away right before Christmas. This is the same grandmother who gave me so many craft materials over the years, including the plastic canvas S used recently. After her death, all of her crochet yarn and metal hooks were brought to me, as she had requested. I also have many other items she had given to me over the years. I feel honored to have so many of her treasured things about me and I'm happy that she is once again at the side of her beloved husband who passed nine years ago.
Between her death and my brain surgery, I seem to have been slapped with the truth that we are all here for but a moment. It's not that I didn't take death seriously already, it's just that death is brushing too closely by me lately.
The night she passed away, H and I were sorrowful. We had not visited her as much as we should have. But while it's true that we should have made more time for her, I knew that we had always brought her a lot of joy and had worked hard to give her a close relationship with two of her eleven great-grandchildren.
Sometimes your best is not all it should be, just all it could be.
A post like this usually ends with a plea to spend more time with those you love, but I won't tell you that. Until Death comes riding down your street, such platitudes are empty. I will tell you, though, that regrets are many and days are few. Too many die with "I wish.." on their lips, but Carmen died with joy. I hope when my time comes that I do too.
By Mrs. Happy Housewife on November 30, 2009 12:42 PM
Look what I got this weekend. H and S built me sewing cubbies and I am so glad to finally have a place for everything and everything in its place.
I was also productive. I whittled three large Rubbermaid containers, a laundry basket, and a baker's rack down to what you see in the cubies.
Even though my sewing desk is in the family room, I now feel as though I have a real space of my own in which to be creative.
On the top, you see candle holders from H last Christmas, a basket for my camera, the Royal Game of Ur we made, the children's woodwind instruments, my nature study box.
In the middle, you see cloth, a round tin of pants' patches, a square tin of trims, a picnic basket of ribbons, my white sewing basket, my brown crochet basket.
On the bottom, you see a picnic basket of quilting pieces, a crocheted bag of buttons, my craft books, a pink bag of crochet pieces, a hat box of cross stitch and embroidery thread and hoops.
I'm really excited. Can you tell?
H also built cubbies for S's bedroom closet, which made it possible for S to finally clean his room. It turns out there's a floor in there. Who knew?! Sorry, no picture.
And for a finale, H and D built this late yesterday:
Nope, not a furniture crate. It's the frame of a window seat - with lots of storage space. Ever since H built our family room, I have wanted a window seat in this spot and soon I'll be able to sit and watch the birds visit our birdfeeder. The storage space will, of course, allow me to hide a multitude of crafting materials. ;)
I have no idea what made H so industrious this weekend. I suppose it must have been the turn in the weather. Whatever it was, I sure do appreciate it.
By Mrs. Happy Housewife on November 23, 2009 1:56 PM
Since I'm still recovering from the whole brain surgery thing, my sister-in-law invited us over for Thanksgiving. My neighbors heard and surprised us by ordering Thanksgiving for us so that I won't have to leave the house. Isn't that so sweet?
My post-surgery update:
My stitches are out and the Dr says my incision looks great.
My hair, where they shaved my head, is growing like mad. The rest of my thick hair covers the area.
I left the house to get the stitches out and was very happy to go home again. I was really dreading going somewhere for Thanksgiving. That's why my dear neighbors bought us a cooked dinner.
H is back at work but D is in charge and watches me better than a Mother Hen.
If I bend over, it feels like my head will explode. So, I don't do that.
I can't really spend much time at once on the internet, but I am at Twitter.
By Mrs. Happy Housewife on November 14, 2009 2:05 PM
This is my first time back on my computer since my surgery. I am still in great pain and am waiting to decide whether the surgery was worth the agony. I spent four, unpleasant days in the hospital. Since coming home, I have spent most of my time sleeping or watching TV. I haven't felt well enough to even read. The family has doted on me greatly and I have enjoyed having my husband home with me all these days.
The surgery was harder than I expected. After opening me up, my neurosurgeon was surprised to find my arachnoid membrane to be opaque and discovered that my trigeminal nerve was surrounded by scar tissue. It appears I must have had Meningitis as a child. The surgeon said it looked as though glue had been squirted all around. He removed the scar tissue and separated the trigeminal nerve. He also sectioned the nerve to cause numbing so that I won't received so many pain signals.
Right now, I have the pain from the trigeminal neuralgia and the surgical pain, as well. My jaw keeps popping out of place. My numb eye leaks and needs eye drops. It's difficult to open my mouth to eat. I have to be careful when I swallow because part of my throat is numb also.
I do feel a tiny bit better each day and hope I will eventually think this was all worth it.
My surgical tape fell off yesterday and we all got our first look at my wound:
D said it looks like she sewed me up (and she didn't mean that as a complement) and S cried for the first time of this whole ordeal. The one good thing I can say is that my long thick hair covers the wound perfectly. With my hair down, no one can tell I was a patient of Dr. Frankenstein.
Another good thing is that I received three bouquets of lovely flowers and that many kind people have called to see how I am.
I hope I will be able to return to my blog more and that my health will continue to improve.
By Mrs. Happy Housewife on October 31, 2009 2:56 PM
I'm not at the hospital and I didn't have my surgery yesterday. A few minutes before they wheeled me into the O.R., another patient had a brain aneurysm and my surgeon had to rush to fix her. My surgery was bumped for six hours, but my surgeon realized he would not be at his best after hours of delicate brain surgery and decided to move my surgery to this Monday morning at 10:30. So, I get to spend one more weekend at home, in pain. I don't mind, really. I want my surgeon to be at his best. No one wants a brain surgeon with tired hands. I just feel bad for the other patient and hope she is doing better.
By Mrs. Happy Housewife on October 29, 2009 9:23 PM
My surgery is tomorrow at 9:30 a.m. H has promised to post a short missive here afterward to let y'all know how I'm doing. Thank you all for your prayers. I am positive that everything shall go well. It has to...I just started reading a new book. It would be rather inconvenient to not be able to finish it. ;)
Until I "see" you again, here is a beautiful video:
When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.
Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul.
My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!
My sin, not in part but the whole,
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!
For me, be it Christ, be it Christ hence to live:
If Jordan above me shall roll,
No pang shall be mine, for in death as in life
Thou wilt whisper Thy peace to my soul.
But, Lord, 'tis for Thee, for Thy coming we wait,
The sky, not the grave, is our goal;
Oh trump of the angel! Oh voice of the Lord!
Blessèd hope, blessèd rest of my soul!
And Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight,
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,
Even so, it is well with my soul.