Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Talk on a Tuesday

The Chairman is burning some late-night oil at the workplace and I don't feel like going to bed yet, so will do a late-night chat fest with you!

Have you seen those memes that say that someone is just done with 'adulting'.  That's kind of how I felt this past week.  Last week I noticed our water softener didn't seem to be working.  I went and kicked the tank a few times to see if that would help.  Then Googled it and it seemed like we had a salt dome issue.  So the Chairman and I dug through the salt and brine in the tank and discovered what Google said would be the issue.  But as I turned around I asked the Chairman, 'why is there a big puddle under the water heater?'.  Oh no.  A call to our plumber and some pictures and texts were exchanged and two days and nearly $2000 later we have hot water again.

Then the HVAC guy had to come to figure out why we were having condensation problems in certain rooms.  That was fixed and thankfully it was a little less than $2000.

So I've relished in the new stove/oven.  I've been literally cooking on all four burners.  I've been keeping the oven humming along.  Today's fare included three loaves of pumpkin bread, hamburger buns for at least two meals and also some dinner rolls.  I feel like I just gained a pound by typing that sentence.

A friend of mine just made this cute sign for me.  I really am happy with it.  And the saying is mostly true.
I have this spatula that I absolutely love that came with my Bosch mixer.  I tried to find a replacement for it to no avail.  In desperation I contacted Bosch via email my predicament and within ten minutes a lady responded saying she knew exactly what I was talking about and they just happened to have one sitting in her office so she sent it to me FOR FREE!!!  It is already safely nestled in my kitchen drawer just three days later.  Talk about service!

So I've been cleaning out kitchen cupboards and that led me to the basement and I started to go through boxes and tubs and looked in scary-dark corners of the "dirty room" and ended up with four huge bags of trash, a mid-sized SUV filled with treasures for Goodwill and then some other things we may use later or to sell.
 I was so glad to run across this again.  When our little premature baby died back in 1996, someone gave this to us just a few days after she had passed away.  For some reason, having her name etched on this little china box made her seem more real.  It was way more comforting to me than some flowers that were fading.  I'll always be thankful for their thoughtfulness.

Tonight I posted a picture of our old living room area rug.  Immediately there were people clamoring for it.  One lady that seemed the most interested and willing to pay full price said she'd meet me this week.  So I looked up her FB profile and I see it was a nice family.  Then I see some more details and I realize she has a little girl fighting a horrible cancer battle with her eyes!  She's blind in one eye now and may lose the sign in the other despite being cared for at Sloan-Kettering.  After we had agreed upon the price, I contacted her sheepishly and said I had been doing some FB stalking and saw what they were up against and to please leave the wallet at home.  She was incredibly gracious and we continued our 'chat' online.  I can't wait to meet her.  And I hope she brings little Julia along so I can tell her how brave I think she is.

Life is truly not for the faint of heart.  I think being aware of other's struggles is such a positive thing really.  It makes us feel less alone when we are going through them or makes us thankful that at present, we are healthy, happy, and hopeful.

So this is enough.  This week promises to be full of special privileges and visits.  I don't want to be looking sleepy so I better go catch a few winks.  Thanks for listening and for your cyber friendship!

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Feeling hot hot hot...

Hello there!  I was busy this morning clearing out cupboards.  There's some in the garbage pile.  Some in the Goodwill pile.  Some going downstairs to the 'dirty room' as the MYP call it to wait and see if I need it again.  I'm sick of filtering through stuff I don't use all the time.

Why am I doing this?  Spring cleaning?  Well it is spring and I like things tidy.  But no.  The catalyst is because I got a new stove/oven this past week.  It's kind of like getting a new throw pillow in the living room and suddenly drywallers and paint experts are coming in to redo half of the house.

Last week I had a lot of bread orders.  And part-way through one day the oven just chirped and shut down for the second time in a month.  I texted the Chairman and may or may not have used the word "HATE" and yes in all caps.  He was home about three hours later and we both had come up with the same oven choice of all that is on the internet!  I took that as a good sign and whipped out the credit card and bought it sight unseen.  It was delivered and so far it has churned out many a delicacy from dense, whole grain bread to fluffy-white dinner rolls to molasses cookies to brownies to baked pork chops with dressing.  You get the idea.  I'm so very happy so far.

My mom texted me that I was more happy with this new oven than I would be with a car.  She knows me well.

So!  Lets get out of the kitchen.  I was quite unwell a week ago.  All signs pointed to a possible peptic ulcer.  Then I realized I was drinking a bit too much apple cider vinegar every day and probably was causing my own misery.  Lesson learned.

I was driving by this guy yesterday and he was driving a bit too slow in the left lane and seemed kind of zoned out.  I started making the assumption that he was probably on some form of a drug and that's why he was driving so sluggish.  I get to a place I can pass him and there he was with one of those dollar-store wooden back scratchers in his right hand and he was basically giving himself a nice, relaxing back scratch in the left lane.  Take it home boy and do it on your La-Z-Boy!

We got a packet about graduation this week.  There was a waiver to sign for the parents so that they would behave at the graduation properly.  Really?  If I refuse to sign it can I get all crazy during the pomp and circumstance?  I have a hunch the Chairman wouldn't allow me to get too wild.  The one thought that came to mind though as soon as I was reading all the material was that truly the days are long and the years are short.  We missed the first nine months of this child's life but I don't think that is the reason why the time has felt so short.  Sniff.  Waah.  Blubber.  Snort.

Well this is enough for now.  See you next time!

Monday, March 13, 2017

Monday Musings

Well hello there!  It's Monday and I'm going to Muse!

We are getting some serious snowfall today.  I was out running a bunch of errands like any non-sane person would do on a very snowy day.  I got to wondering what people do for small talk when you live in an area where the weather never changes.  At each and every stop, everyone I talked to mentioned the weather - for good or bad.  The roads.  The beauty or awfulness of snow in March.

One of the stops was taking Lisi to the vet.  She's had this weird lump on her side that is slowly growing and I was suspicious of cancer.  Well the initial report came back that there are no cancer cells.  Hurray!  And the secondary report from the vet was that she thought Lisi was incredibly loved and gets plenty of attention.  I think someone should tell Lisi that when she gives me the stink eye for not walking her the moment she thinks it is time.

I'm very talented.  I hope you were aware of that.  The past week I cut myself pretty bad not once - but twice on the same finger.  Lets just say as soon as I said 'oh no!' as I stood by the kitchen sink, two of the MYP took off at break-neck speed for a bandage and cream and the other ran for the stairs and simply yelled back, 'do you need to go to the ER?  I'll drive if you do.'.  Just a hunch but I don't think she should look into nursing as a career.

We had friends over yesterday for a meal.  It always makes my heart glad to share our home and meals with those we care about.  However, right after everyone left I realized there were mouse guts on the rug of the door they all walked through.  It's slightly horrifying but I'm glad that the cat caught another mouse.  And I'm glad no one stepped on it and walked through the house with mouse guts on their shoes.

Linda's Luscious Loaves has been a busy business the past weeks.  I had to go to the health food store today to buy rye flour, molasses,  and caraway seed in bulk.  I'm glad people think it's tasty anyway.

I have a half of a pig coming to me within a week.  Well actually, it's been to market and will be coming home jiggety-jig.  So it will be in white butcher paper.  I digress.  Anyway, I have one big chest freezer that is almost full and two refrigerator freezers stuffed to the gills.  So I need to be disciplined and stop going to the store and bringing more food into the house so I have room for Porky.

Last year I very randomly filled out a NCAA bracket and the word last night was that I tied first place with my brother.  I had no intention of doing it again but when I'm tied for first place and my brother is involved... I'll be filling out another one this year for sure.  Sibling rivalry is alive and well!

This is enough.  Lets look for a few pictures.  Have a good week!

Lisi is glad she doesn't have to wear a back-less gown waiting for the doctor

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Trying to look up

How are you?  It's been awhile since I sat down for a little chat.  I hope you are doing ok!

How am I you ask? (well that's presumptuous of me to say that)  I'm just kind of melancholy.  Blue.  Sad.

Maybe it has to do with the fact that my stomach has been rumbly for a couple days and I feel a bit achy.  But it more so has to do with the sad news of several untimely deaths.  More sickness.  And other little bits of news that don't cheer the spirit.

My family is not very large.  I never had 1st cousins.  And so my aunts/uncles were quite limited.  Recently, we had a wonderful privilege of having someone special come to the area for just a few days.  It was as wonderful as we anticipated.  But then when someone you love is near after being away for years, you really miss them.  I know that sounds strange, but the sadness was genuine and real after he left.  But he's not just my uncle, he is an uncle to many, many others.  I saw him hug my mama goodbye and I keenly realized again he's not just her brother - he's a brother to many, many others.  It is a dear privilege to have him in our family.  But with all that privilege there's a sense of loss too.

I think of so many that are in 'distant lands'.  I think of them but I also try to remember the mothers and fathers and sisters and brothers and nieces and nephews.  There's a tremendous cost, but thankfully beyond that there's bountiful blessing beyond my understanding.

So as Eeyore said in one book, "I was so upset I forgot to be happy".   So once my belly stops rumbling and my body stops aching I want to look beyond myself.  I want to avail myself of the Comforter.  I want to count my blessings.  I want to be thankful for health.  I want to be thankful for my dear family and dear friends.  And I want to think about how maybe I could cheer or encourage another through a note or a visit.  That's the best way to get out of the doldrums - to think of others before yourself.

So here's a few pictures from my camera roll.

So that's enough from here.  I've got some 'funnies' that I'll share next time!  By then I won't have my head so deep in the sand.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Thursday Thoughts

I keep thinking I'd like to have a visit with you but there never seemed to be a time for it.  Well now no excuses!  The Chairman called that there's an accident on the freeway so he's working late.  The MYP are also all gone for various reasons.  So this is my chance!

I was just shopping today and noticed yet another mother with a little babe in the cart.  The whole time she was pushing the cart she was scrolling through Snapchat.  I thought she was looking up a coupon or something - but no.  I so wish I could have walked over and told her to pay the little one some attention, but I don't like confrontation.

I currently know eight people in various stages of fighting the awful disease called cancer.  It seems like every time you turn around you hear of another friend, neighbor or family member.  Is it the food we eat?  The air we breathe?  The phone we carry?  What in the world is making cancer so prevalent?  And as I said before not too long ago, I hate no man.  But I do hate cancer.

I recently purchased some Marmot brand lightweight khakis to use for walking, yard work, etc.  My dear, sweet daughters were looking at them and then they started calling them the "Zookeeper 5000's".   I asked, "why are you calling them that?"  They said they looked exactly like what zookeepers would use and they are the "5000's" because they're name brand.  Plus they look like they could hold a lot of monkey treats.  Kids have such a way of humbling you.

I just spent a couple days chalk painting an end table to get it up to date from 1994.  I love how it has turned out.

When I get in the car to go to a regular destination I go to each week the screen comes alive and tells me exactly how long it will take to get there.  It's kind of spooky and neat at the same time.

Dogs are such a joy.  Such a reward.  And so beautiful.  Just look at that face below!  But I think the thing most people don't think about when getting a dog is the poop-scoop clean-up duty that drastically needs to be done after the snow has melted.  I wonder what she's thinking as she stands there watching me scoop all that stink?  Good thing she's cute.  Or I'd sell her to the lowest bidder.
And then there's the cat.  This morning as I was quietly reading I heard a weird, frantic fluttering on the back window.  I hop up and see our cat with a huge mourning dove in its mouth.  I don't think he realizes they are a sign of peace.  I could see the sheer terror in the bird's eyes as he was frantically trying to get away.  I open the door and there's feathers flying everywhere.  So I whopped the cat on the head and off the dove flew.  I've saved at least six birds from death so far.  For some reason the cat kills and eats rodents, but birds he brings alive to the window so I can thump him on the head and he releases them.
Aren't old pictures just the best?  I mean how often are you going to see matching plaid vests like that?  Meeshka!  By the way that's my siblings, my sister's husband to be and his younger brother that always hitched a ride to South Dakota.  
So I'll look at my pictures and see what's on the camera roll:
happiness is a ukulele with a friend

happiness is celebrating a friend turning 40 with her sweet daughter

happiness is an indoor climbing wall 

i like this

I've been doing a lot of this lately

One of the MYP sent this meme to me.  For some reason it tickled about every funny bone inside of me
So this is enough!  Happy weekend to you!

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Well it's Wednesday

Greetings from the Chairman and Co.!  How are you?  I'll try to just have a few bullet points for you today of things that have rattled around in my head.

* Our winter has been a complete bust if you desire snow.  We hear glowing reports from other areas of the country but seem to fail to get anything significant here.  So we stare at brown lawns and hope for an early spring.

* I wish there was an emoji for a person smiling with a tear because that's how I feel very often.  Son #1 just asked for me to send him four pictures representing stages of life and so I went digging through the photo albums.  And I was smiling with tears once again.  I mean seriously, if you have little ones, don't blink.  However, I am so so thankful I love the little ones -  now big ones just as fierce.

* The Chairman and I snuck away for an overnight last weekend.  The last time we went somewhere alone was ten years ago so it seemed time.  I figure next time we go we might be grandparents and I'll be using a walker.  Or not.  We both agreed it was too long so maybe, just maybe, it'll be in five years instead of ten. 

* On our way home, I received a couple texts asking/informing us that a couple extra teenagers would be coming shortly.  So we went from utter peace and solitude with us two to a house of five teenagers and a lot of chatter and commotion.  And do you know what?  I love both just the same.  This picture actually has six since we invited another over for Sunday.  😊

* I ran to Aldi yesterday,  on Valentine's Day, to pick up a few things and noticed a buzz around the flowers.  I saw there was a two/one special on flowers and they were $1.99!  So I bought them and brought them home and texted the Chairman to save his few nickels.  I'm so cheap romantic like that.  Not a bad bouquet for $1.99! 
* I had a great privilege just a couple days ago.  My friend and I were both moved to go visit our friend that was nearing the end of her journey.  We just didn't realize how soon.  We got there and saw that she had labored breathing but seemed comfortable enough.  She couldn't respond to us much but we said a few things.  As I stood there I realized whatever I said would be my last words to her.  Whatever you say seems so insignificant.  Words truly fail.  Thankfully the Spirit does not.  The text came just two hours later that she was gone into eternity.  I personally never heard her complain though life wasn't very easy for her.  I'm thankful for people like her that will continue to influence me long into the future.

So this is enough.  I would add a few little 'funnies' I saw this past week, but it doesn't feel like the time nor the place.  

Have a great week ahead.  Will touch base with you soon!

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Words on Wednesday

I'm sitting here in my fuzzy-blue bathrobe and it is nearly 11 in the morning.  Don't judge.  It's just that I've gotten a lot accomplished and it is warmer than clothes.  However, I think a shower is in order as soon as I've typed some prose.  I've made coffee.  Fed a few people breakfast.  Fed the dog.  Fed the cat.  Made five loaves of cracked wheat bread.  Looked at Facebook a couple times.  Unloaded and cleaned out under a bathroom cabinet.  And swept the floor.  Riveting morning, eh?

I've been on a rampage to get some unattended things taken care of around here.  Yesterday was the mudroom.  I'm ashamed to say we've been here about eight years and it was a mess above the cabinets.  I cleaned and sorted and purged and found old pieces of candy from 2014.  And now it looks and feels much much better.  So today I'm doing under sink cabinets in the house.  It's amazing how I've been getting a literal bag of garbage from each room.  Lovely.

I was making a kale/kefir/hemp and chia seeds smoothie the other day.  Son #1 asked, "what did you do that makes you feel you need to punish yourself with something that gross?"  He had a point.

Did you know my name is something special?  I read that it is the trendiest name out there - ever!  Apparently in the late 50's and early 60's many many people chose the name Linda for their baby because of a couple songs that were written.  I'm on the tail-end of the trend.  When I was younger, I must admit I didn't like my name much at all.  The older I get the more I like it.  And today I can say I really am glad that's my name.  Thanks mom and dad!  Even though my name doesn't begin with a "K" like my two siblings or that I'm not named after any family member.  I'll get over all that after a few rounds of therapy.

I took a dog breed selector quiz and it said that I was a perfect match with a golden retriever.  Go figure.  I told Lisi that so she appreciates me a bit more.

How often do you go out with your spouse?  I'm talking about those with MSC (many small children) or MYP (many young people)... do you have a date night once a week/month/year?  The Chairman and I may be sneaking away for a day soon.  I'm not sure why but I'm excited and nervous at the same time.

So that's about all there is from me this week.  Not too riveting but I do think I better get a shower done before the MYP come home and want to admit me to an old folks home.

How we walk with the broken speaks louder than how we sit with the great