Friday, May 30, 2008


You know the Cascade commercial that shows the sparkly clear glass and then there is the 'ting' sound effect? That is our house right now. In random order this is what has been accomplished: vacuumed and dusted everywhere. Reduced clutter in the girls' room (count 'em - 24 stuffed animals on their bed), cleaned all the bathrooms top to bottom, tweaked up Trevor's room so all his published books from school are filed safely away, filled the birdfeeders, ran vinegar through the coffee maker so it doesn't flash 'self clean' anymore, cleaned out the toaster oven and wiped it all down in and out, same thing for the microwave, changed the beds on everyone (even the girls bunk beds which is a pain), except Trevor's (his done recently), finished doing the basement clean-up (kids did a fairly good job last night), moved the piano about 6" (no small feat since it is about 2 1/2 ton), wiped down the oven (although it wasn't really too dirty), scoured the laundry tub so there are no more yellow streaks, picked up Lisi's toys in yard, mowed the front half so it didn't look shaggy, put the lawn edging back by the impatiens, four of Duane's shirts ironed, and the laundry all done up, and I think I'll leave it at that. I still have a few things to do like shower (!), and walk Lisi. And I have this urge to go to the bathroom that I keep forgetting to do...

The broker guy comes in three hours to take pictures of our pad. Still is almost surreal that this is happening. But we have lots of signs that are telling us is best for us and for that, we're again thankful for a guiding presence.

Time for lunch!!!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Cluck-cluck (addendum)

The van drives up and out pops little bright-eyed Ella. And trailing her is her mother with an egg carton! With ten eggs! Strange-colored eggs. Almost a robin egg blue, but not quite. I smile and say thanks! After taking Ella back to the chicken ranch (not to mention a stamping garage, acres of organic gardening, hundreds of twittering birds, and a scrappy little dog named Joey ), we mosied over to the chicken coop. And there they were! ALL 16 of the chickens. I couldn't spot our 'wanderer' from last week, but to me, they still all looked like they were missing a bit of IQ. I guess God didn't intend chickens to be smart. Otherwise they wouldn't taste good going down in egg or chicken breast form.

Which leads me to the scrambled eggs I fed the family this morning. They were just awesome. YUM. Fresh! I feel like a granola cruncher now.

And now off to the tasks at hand. Mr. Real Estate Man is coming tomorrow afternoon to get our home listed. I run a fairly tight ship around here, but I do need to tweak and change and clean and make it show-ready by tomorrow afternoon. So no Lazy Linda days for the next while.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008


Well the call just came in. We are moving (if all the numbers work as they should)! We'll be about 20 minutes from our current home. A bit more wiggle room in the house, garage space for the vehicles, a flat yard to bat the ball, and a very good school district. We had planned (and already had staked) out a home to build, but this deal was too good to pass up. It happens to be only 1/2 mile from our lot, so if we would ever choose to build, we'd be right there!

So, this summer will soon become very exciting, scary, and busy.

We do know we'll miss where we currently are. Exceptionally good neighbors who have turned into friends, and memories of our entire married life so far (nearly 14 years!).

So any out there that have moved, please share any tips you might have! We might need them.

Saturday, May 24, 2008


Would you like fresh eggs she asked? Man, would I ever! I had them from your friend a few months ago and they taste so much better than your run of the chicken-mill egg. Well I'm thinking of getting a few chickens and you could have some of the eggs when they come. Great! I'd love that. Popovers, fluffy omelets, lofty bread. I can just picture it now. The chickens come. Oh Linda, they are so nice. I really like having them around. They are really tame and starting to lay eggs. Why even Ella can just walk around in the coop and they don't even bother. Sounds neat! We'll have to come see the chickens real soon. The phone rings a week or more later. Hi. We have a soccer meet to go to this weekend. Any chance you could come out to our place while we're gone and get the chickens in the coop for the night? Sure that sounds fine. We'll be around and try to get out there before dark and get them put to bed. We drive into the yard. Oh look! There they are. They're so cute (except for the couple bald spots on two of them). We look and make clucking noises to them (why in the tarnation do you feel compelled to do that to a chicken or moo to a cow for that matter?) Well I do and so I cluck away. Then after a few minutes it is time to get down to business. There is a lovely coop and sixteen supposedly willing chickens to go into their little roosting spot. So I go in and fill the feeder. Make sure there is ample water. Then look around and see only one chicken is in the coop. Hmmm. You can't call a chicken like a dog. If you chase them all you're going to hear is a loud 'SQUAWK' feathers to boot. So I decide to quietly walk towards the feathered fowl and see if they venture to the coop. A couple do! I'm in business. So I walk the other way and three head into the coop and two come out (bad math problem going on here). Ok, walk the other way, walk the other way, walk back. Get frustrated and start to yell. Ooops. Squawking and feathers. Walk away exasperated. Are those stinking eggs worth it? Oh yeah! I'm supposed to gather the eggs! Breakfast in the morning! I go back into the coop. I look. One golf ball. And ONE.. count it... ONE egg. And now NO chickens in the coop. Really bad math now. Ok. Duane? How do you get chickens in a coop? He looks at me with disdain. You better call the chicken owners and see what they do. I hear lots of snickers. Guffaws. Tee-hees on the phone. Walk slowly. Carry a board or shovel to keep them from running past you they advise. Uh-huh. Throw bread into the coop and they'll come. So I try the new revised plan and it is working! Chickens are a runnin'! I'm not even clucking. Quietly they all plod towards the coop. Except Mr. White Meat chicken (not a layer) is kinda being mean to little hen girl. Then I look! Fifteen (count 'em!) are in the coop. All but one. Um Rob? What do I do? I have only fifteen in the coop but one isn't going in. I walk this way and Duane walks that way. She climbs under a fence. We try another option. No luck. Has anyone told a chicken how dumb they are? Good grief! We walk and try and coerce and finally I start to cluck again. But Mrs. Hen isn't planning the coop is for her tonight. So after about ten minutes I decide she's going to be coyote bait if nothing else. Is that ok Sarah? Yeah, she's only worth $2, but she'll probably live through the night. So that wrapped up our fun at the farm tonight. Fifteen safe little hens. One outside wondering how in the world she's sitting there waiting for the door to open with all her friends inside. I feel a twinge of worry. But I have to remember... it is only a chicken!!! I'm hoping for a dozen eggs next week...! And maybe a privilege of chicken-sitting again!!! Or maybe I'll just stick with Ella (a resident of the chicken ranch)

But then...

Even if I don't always 'feel' like putting something on the blog it isn't fair. I thoroughly enjoy reading some of them of people I know very well and people I hardly know and people I have never met but share a same faith which encourages. I've gotten news about babies born, kids' accomplishments, silly anecdotes, and deep insight. And so I'll continue. Becuase I enjoy others blogs I should do my 'fair share'. And sometimes there is a story that I can't wait to post on the blog. And sometimes the puppy does something so incredibly naughty that it needs to be shared. And sometimes my three children are in a picture that is too priceless.

Thanks to all you cyber-friends for being there!

Friday, May 23, 2008

Blogging Blase

I'm thinking of throwing in the towel on the blogging thing. For one, it is just one more thing to think about doing. For two, I'm not a creative person with lots of new, fun, exciting things to report on. For three, I'm not sure anyone reading really cares that I cleaned the house two days ago. For four, reading boring blogs isn't conducive to time well spent for me or for others. And for five, I'm not begging for people to come crawling to me on the comment page asking me to "please keep up your blog! don't stop! we love your family and your life!". And so dear faithful readers, I'll see what moves me in the next days, weeks, or months. Maybe I'll keep it up. Or maybe I'll sign off sometime with a finality. Anyway, happy Memorial Weekend to you (whoever you are).

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Random things

I type fast so I don't mind doing these. And for some reason, people like to read them! Imagine. And really, I'm not a very exciting person. Oh well, here goes nothing.
What I was doing 10 years ago?
I was happily married yet desperately wishing for a child. We decided shortly after that adoption was for us. Oh and I was in the throes of training our new puppy Lincoln who turned out to be one wonderful companion.
Five Snacks I Enjoy:
Not a big snacker, but if you pushed me it would be: almonds, popcorn, fruit of any kind, red licorice (shhh...I have a hidden bag) and does this count? black tea every afternoon.
Five Things On My To Do List Today:
take Lisi to the dog park, stop at the library and explain why Trevor lost a book, laundry, clean out the van, give Lisi a bath in the yard, water the gardens, buy milk at the gas station... (wait! I didn't stop at 5)
Five Things I would do if I were a billionaire:
I don't like hypothetical questions. But here goes: go somewhere warm every winter, give a bunch away (if it was legit money), get a daily massage, have a personal shopper and cleaning person, use it wisely so it wouldn't change who I am or how I affect others.
Five jobs I have had:
stay at home mother, comparative shopper for Target, Auditor for Target, Purchasing Asst. for Schwan's, Dietary Aide at a nursing home
Five of my bad habits:
Checking e-mail too often, riling up the dog and then telling her to settle down, getting irritated when the kids trash the basement, wishing I could talk to someone but not picking up the phone, not reading first thing in the morning
Five places I have lived:
Watertown SD, Marshall MN, Richfield, MN, St. Louis Park, MN, and Waukesha, WI!


They say a picture is worth a 1000 words, so I won't have to write many. Have kept busy the past while. Field trips, new baseball schedule, a visit from my nephew Nathan before he joined the staff in IL, birthday party for our little friend Minzie, and silly fun. Trevor propped Lisi for the picture of her. Can't wait for school to get out! But it isn't until June 12th for us. Better get on with my day.

Sunday, May 18, 2008


Got my beds planted. Did it very simple and plain this year, but hopefully, there will be some color very soon. Found this on another blog and thought it was interesing...

I am a

What Flower
Are You?

"Mischief is your middle name, but your first is friend. You are quite the prankster that loves to make other people laugh."

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Shark Boy

We called him that for fun. You see Trevor had his bottom center adult teeth come up behind the baby teeth. Baby teeth didn't get the hint. They stayed. So Trevor had a back-up pair of teeth! I got tired of the bizarre look they brought. Dentist Lady said six months ago that they would eventually fall out. They didn't. So today I picked him up at lunchtime and off we went to the dentist's chair. They numbed him and gave him his novocaine shot (all they while he was distracted watching Scooby Doo on the TV). Two pliars twists and out they came! So he left with his teeth in a bag and gauze on his gum and I left with $95 per tooth lighter in the HSA. And I had a nice one-on-one afternoon with my boy. We got lots of flowers planted. Then the girls came home from school and peace no more!

There's hopes for the tooth fairy tonight. Tonight, she won't blow it (I hope).

Wednesday, May 14, 2008


They try to make it appealing. Soft music, dim lights, and cozy white robes. I'm not talking about a spa. I'm talking about the Breast Care Center at the local hospital. Every year I go with trepidation. My wonderful mother has fought this rotten cancer twice. I've lost my dear sister-in-law. I have several dear friends that have fought it with all their might. And so I want to go. And today I did. And the music was soft, the lights dim and the robes cozy. And I was nervous. During the manual exam, the nurse tries to be casual and talk about weather and what I do for fun. Then you step up to the GE Medical Systems machine (made right here in Waukesha). Two scans on each side. One of them feels like our garage door came down on my chest. Don't breathe she says. Don't worry, I don't think I can anyway. Whew! It is done. Please wait here until the radiologist looks at your scans before you can get dressed. I'm alone about 5 minutes. I frantically thumb through a "Martha Stewart Living". Her life looks perfect. Nurse returns with a smile. You look perfectly normal and can get dressed. We recommend coming back in another year. Congratulations! I go back and get my clothes out of the locker and head down the hall of the hospital. I feel a tear. I'm blessed again with a good scan. I'm thankful for health and strength. I pass a man in a wheelchair. He looks sad as they push him and his IV pole. Another old lady is sitting there waiting. I'm not sure for what. I feel almost too lucky. And so, today was great. The sun came out.... and I think of those who have abnormal scans where there is a moment in a room where you are told, 'you have cancer'. This time it isn't me. And so I'll rejoice. And I'll think of the very dear ones that are fighting it and hope I can somehow be an encouragement to them.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Mother's Day 2008

Someone told me after our terrible struggle for children that we were lucky. Why I asked? Because you yearned for, waited for, longed for these little souls. And now that you have them, you will not take them for granted. You will not forget what you went through to get them. And now eight years later, I have to agree. But then I have not sat in the seat of an accidental baby 'just happening'. And I know all mom's love their babies as ferociously as I do. But this one thing I do know is that even though I have disappointment in behavior, frustration at the lack of listening, sadness over their struggles, etc., I have a deep, heartfelt thankfulness many many nights I tuck their little bodies into bed. Rayna, Trevor, and Mira are all miracles in how they came to be. They all bring a very special and unique gift to make our family what it is. They are a pack. A team. A bundle of noise, confusion, and delights every day. I love the quote from the "Olivia" book. "You know you wear me out, but I love you anyway". And so to my dear little children; thank you for being you and thank you for the opportunity of being the best mom I hope I can be to you.

I will post some pictures. A couple are from yesterday when daddy and the kids came home with some surprises for mommy. The latter ones are from this morning. Now grant you I was frantically getting dinner together for 16 before we left for meeting, so the shower hasn't happened and the hair is all ka-flooey, but the smiles are precious and worth sharing.

Thank you to my dear husband for making my dream of a mother possible. Thank you to my dear mom and mom-in-law for being great examples of a good mother, and a Happy Mother's Day to all my dear friends.

Friday, May 9, 2008

From Lisi

There's funny and then then there is not funny. I really blew it this time. Last night I had a great walk with the two big important people in my life. The lady that loves me and yells at me then stopped at a neighbor's house. The people that live in that house are great. They take care of me when the big ones around here drive away in the van without me. They let me go into their house and can you believe it? They even have a jar of treats for me in a special cupboard in the laundry room. And they are such saps. If I walk into their house and go sit in front of that cupboard they always give me a treat. And they are much bigger and tastier than the ones that lady that loves me and yells at me gives me. So we stop at that house and we both walk into the kitchen. I checked for crumbs, peeked into the garbage can that was left out and did some awesome sniffing. Well I got bored. Do you have any idea how much those tall people called ladies talk? You'd think their voice would quit working. I tried to listen, but it was boring. It was about how the week has gone (great for me!), how the kids are doing in school (what is school? I only know a little bit about 'the bus'), and the Mother's Day plans on Sunday (I think I have a furry mom, but I don't remember. I just treat that lady that loves me and yells at me as my mom). They talked and talked and talked, and so I decided to quietly go around the corner and look for something interesting. And there it was! Tissue paper! I love to shred. Newspapers. Brown grocery sacks. Kleenex. But I've never got my canines on tissue paper. It got gummy and pulled apart just deliciously easy. And then a scream happened. It was Jake one of the cute boys that lives there and leaves the crumbs. I looked up and here came the lady that loves me and yells at me and she was crazy-frantic. Yelling, grabbing me by the scruff of my neck, and then (horrors!), she jerked on my training collar (super hard mind you), and whisked me out the door. And then the lady that loves me and yells at me looked very, very sad. She was holding the tissue paper and some blue thing inside of it. And she stood there quietly talking to the other lady and it was serious and I could tell it was very bad. Well come to find out, I just almost destoyed a Mother's Day present from little Joe (another crumb maker) that was to be given to his mom on Sunday.

I heard through the door the big (too talkative) ladies talking. I think Joe was going to make another one today at school. The big lady that loves me and yells at me brought the one I kinda ripped up (hey, I love moms! I didn't mean to do it.) home with us and tried to fix it. I felt bad and laid on my rug looking sad at her. We puppies have no self-control. Sometime I'm going to try to figure out what that means.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Dishwasher problem resolved!

Maybe! In April I posted a problem with weird white film on my dishes (esp. glasses) that wouldn't come off. Well!!! Mr. Soft Water came today to test our softener and lo and behold it has been out of commission for almost six weeks!!! Yippee! (weird lady... she is happy her softener is dead). No! I'm happy that my dishwasher is ok. It has just been begging for good water for awhile now.

And by the way... thanks for all the great suggestions. I'll keep them in my pea-brain for a later time.

Birthdays and decapitated chickens

Will post a couple pictures from the past couple days. I had a very nice birthday at my folks. My favorite peach pie was the birthday cake! They invited another fellow blogger family and here's the kids playing around the table with stuff Grandma pulled out. Plus the usual birthday shot. Duane isn't in it since he's taking the picture!

And then there's the chicken. Lisi is mostly outside now (her choice). Just recently she discovered a big plastic garbage sack in the basement that I filled with 'extra' stuffed animals. I'm sure most you other parents out there realize how they accumulate. Well all the kids have a bunch in their bedrooms that are favorites. Then there's the extra 87 that are here just because we've acquired them through the years. Anyway I digress. Lisi found the bag and nearly every day she sneaks downstairs and brings up another treasure. I chew her out (not much) and then take it away from her. Today just happened to be a chicken she was trying to decapitate. I really should be more firm, but there is hardly anything cuter than a 5-month old golden puppy tiptoeing in the kitchen with contraband.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Many many years ago...

(about 3 months)
(1st birthday!)

A baby was born to the Rowland's in Milwaukee on May 4th. She was 7 lb. 2 oz. 21" long at 11:26 am.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Memory lane...

Hey Laura I. Wilder... look what I found! I'll post both of our sophmore pictures side by side.

You wrote on the back: "It's really been a lot of fun getting to know you better. Hope we can stay best of friends. Love, Brenda" I'd say 26 years counts for something!