Tuesday, September 30, 2008

I got bombed!

Hi from your ol' pal Lisi. You know the biggest guy that lives here? Well he told me he'd take me for a late walk tonight. Boys oh boys I was pretty happy about that. The big lady that yells at me but loves me anyway was gone a lot today and I'm full of pent up energy. So off we went for him to exercise and me to sniff the countryside. We got just a bit away from home on the path when I saw something dart across the path. It looked like a black and white kitty (you knew we dogs see in black and white, not color didn't you?) But then the big guy started running. And he yelled 'FRONT' at a really weird time. Well I went up to say a quick hi to kitty before I went back to the big guy and PEEEEEEEEEEEEEE-YOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOUUUUUU! That kitty wasn't a kitty. It was a skunk! And it had the awful audacity to, are you ready for this? Spray me! A beautiful show dog! A golden retriever with golden locks. That now smell like skunk. Quite honestly, it really isn't bothering me at all. But you should see the big guy. He looks really troubled. I keep trying to get close to him to bring him comfort, but he keeps walking away with a really pained look on his face. Maybe I should try harder and get closer still. The lady that yells at me but loves me anyway came outside and really was thinking it all was very funny. She said something about soaps and baths and stuff but I hope she's too tired to tackle me and my stinky fur tonight. Whooooeeee! Living in the country is all it's cracked up to be!

Grandma A's Apple Cake

1 cup sugar (I use less... maybe 3/4 cup)
1/4 cup butter or shortening
Cream those together.
Add: 1 egg

Mix together: 1 cup flour
1/2 teas. nutmeg
1/2 teas. salt
1 teas. cinnamon
1 teas. soda

Add to sugar mixture. Then add 2 cups chopped/peeled raw apple. And chopped nuts of you like.

Put in greased 8x8 pan. Bake 15 min. at 350 and then 30 minutes at 325. Cool.

Caramel Sauce

1/4 cup butter (don't use margarine)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup Carnation milk

Bring to boil and stir constantly about 5 mninutes until thickened.

When serving, drizzle warmed caramel sauce over the cake. Enjoy!

Weeds and wedding dresses

My first question. Why are there weeds? Seriously. If you took the world's population and then the total amount spent weeding whatever they do - their personal garden, a commercial patch of carrots, a rice paddy... that is a really, really lot of time wasted weeding. We read in the bible about tares in the wheat. We read about weeding things out of our lives. But why even have them? Do birds eat something of the weed that they need and thus it fills the food chain need? And another thing. We have some distinct weeds here and I pick them year after year. But you know what? I don't know their names. I know each weed variety would have a real name attached to it. But I have the rhubarb-looking one that can get HUGE and it is nearly impossible to pull up. Then there's the one that has wide leaves but the root - although it seems harmless and not deep - because it has crept a lot underground causes it to be really hard to get out. Then there's the dandelion or thistles which I actually know their name and try my best to get the root out in its entirety or it'll just come back in a matter of weeks. So enough blabbers on that. I just don't know why we can't plant things and not be distracted by stuff that wants to come in and take away from the beauty of what really should be there.

And wedding dresses. Mine has sat in the back of the girls' closet since about 1994. I never had it professionally cleaned. I never even put it under some fancy paper to preserve it. It just hung there on the hangar that was handy when I took it off. And there it is. Well, the girls - mainly Rayna has decided she loves to put on the skirt part of it and sashay around pretending she's really fancy. Is it ok for her (them) to play with it? Is that sacrilege? Should I be keeping it for my 50th? Should I harbor vast and deep sentimental feelings for it since it is a reflection of a life-altering decision I made that was one of the best choices I made? I love my husband and value our marriage. But the dress... well somehow it doesn't seem all that important.

On a side note: I think it fits lots looser today than when I wore it many years ago! Maybe that had a tone of bragging. Sorry about that.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Monday madness

Not really. But it sounded exciting anyway.

* If you want a clean house, don't invite families over with a combined total of 10 children and add tortilla chips to the mix. But they vacuum up nicely anyway.

* On a side note, I get a very high degree of satisfaction having people over. The cooking doesn't scare me (although I wouldn't be considered a gourmet cook... it usually is quite edible).

* The dog has eye and ear infection. So after loosening up the wallet, we left with the necessary medicine. But no swimming for a week. I haven't broke the news to her yet.

* Kevin wouldn't go up front to do the presentation with Rayna last Friday. It was supposed to happen today and R. was nervous he'd get cold feet again. I think you'd call it stage fright. That wouldn't be in Rayna's vocabulary. She LOVES to perform.

* Our painter comes a week from Wednesday! Doing the girls, T's, and our bedrooms. Plus the girls' bathroom. Hooray! And the colors will be just great (I hope).

* It is gray and dreary. And we got our first 'snow plowing' flyer today.

* I dearly enjoy my niece and her husband. But there is a drawback. They simply make me feel old. They have a new home that is almost complete. We went to see it and them for the first time in nearly a year last Saturday. They've done lovely things and have accomplished much already with that and more important things in life. And I still think of a skinny little girl with spiky blonde hair and a ready smile. Come to think of it, that's still her only she's in her 20's. And it makes me feel old.

* Back to food. I made my Gma A's apple cake with caramel sauce again. Man-oh-howdy I like it. The sauce that you put on top of the cake is just... well yum.

* I finally paid for my aforementioned-fresh-from-the-farm-we-just-were-buthchered chickens yesterday after meeting. So now I need to thaw one and see how he cooks up. Didn't want to eat something I hadn't paid for!

Enough already.

Friday, September 26, 2008

A thousand words...

because no pictures. We were just finishing up our shrimp scampi over angelhair pasta for supper when Duane says, 'hey look outside!' And there was this brilliantly colored hot air balloon floating along. Then! It's coming down Mom! Can we go find it? Sure! So we all jumped on our bikes and pedaled the mile+ away and saw the people get out of the basket. It actually ended up being the balloons' owner, his wife, and two tiny boys ages 3 and 2 (I doubt they were in seatbelts). They kept the fire going and the balloon all full until they walked it across the street to a huge grass lawn. Then slowly they brought it all down. Was my first time to see it all so close! Then our three plus some of the kids from the place that lived there helped take the air out of the balloon, helped roll it up and helped get it loaded back into this truck-camper-like thingy. But what was so neat is they really wanted the kids' involvement and they all felt so big and proud to help in the dismantling of a huge hot air balloon. Cool! It's like we're in Albuquerque! (and no I didn't spell check the spelling of Alberquirky).

So I'm guessing that was only about 150 words! A fun evening nonetheless.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

A couple more things...

I think I'm addicted to putting small furniture items together. So far I've done all of Trevor's bedroom set, two side tables for the girls' room, and a shoe rack. Today I put together a little pantry thing to have in the garage. If you follow the steps it works out dandy. And the sense of accomplishment is great. So much of my day consists of continually doing the same thing... folding clothes, slicking up the house, keeping the kitchen floor from looking like a bomb went off on it... you mom's know what I'm talking about.

I made a very yummy coffee drink this afternoon. I'm down to one Tazo Awake teabag and don't want to be completely out, so for my afternoon jolt, I blended together some cold strong morning coffee, a few ice cubes, a scoop of vanilla ice cream and a drizzle of caramel. Well it was just yum. And I made bread today and used leftover oatmeal from this morning. It turned out really nice and soft. But don't think I'm some foodie elitist. D. didn't come home for tonight's meal and so we partook of hotdogs (horrors!), beans out of a can (which gave T. great delight in the result of eating beans), hash browns out of a bag (Rayna's all-time favorite), pickles, and sliced apple. Urp!

But I wore off some of the damage by playing T. a game of soccer until he complained I was changing the rules (I was beating!), and then we jumped on the trampoline for a bit.

Trevor's Dr. visit today was A-1. He's 60% for height and 75% for weight. Sounds like a baby visit, eh? I can't believe the weight thing though as you can see each of his ribs nearly. Dr. D. said that he's very muscular. Of course!

I ordered my annual pair of fleece slippers from LL Bean today. In a bright blue for something different! I hate cold feet. I'm still snickering over Anita's camelhair-filled comforter. Whoooeee that sounds like a real nose-itcher ot me.

Back to food. Do any of you mom's have any great after-school snack ideas? The kids all walk in the door just ravishing hungry. They eat lunch very early and by 3:30 act like they'll keel over without any nourishment immediately. I've run out of ideas.

Tomorrow painter lady comes to give a bid and color ideas. I'm excited to see it all done.

So a full weekend ahead of us which is just like I like it!

Overnight waffle recipe per some requests

1/2 teas yeast
2 cups flour (I used half whole wheat)
1 T sugar
1/2 teas salt
Combine these ingredients then add:
2 cups milk
6 T melted cooled butter (I replaced w/some canola oil to make it less fattening)
1/2 teas vanilla
Cover with plastic wrap overnight at room temperature (I set mine outside in the cool evening)
Preheat griddle (oil if necessary)
Add two beaten eggs.
Bake and enjoy!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Another one...

Your Autumn Test Results

You are a dynamic, vibrant person. You aren't afraid to pursue your passions.

When you are happiest, you are calm. You appreciate tradition and family. You enjoy feeling cozy.

You prefer change to come slowly. You need a long transition period when your life changes.

You find love to be the most comforting thing in the world. You feel at peace when you're with your loved ones.

Your ideal day is active and full. You like to keep busy with your favorite things, and you appreciate a routine.

You are very impatient. You spend more time waiting for something than actually enjoying it.

Nothings again...

* I feel like I have a full day ahead of me and do accomplish a lot of tasks. Yet, it never seems like that much at the end of a day.

* Calling lots of people for this or that. An appt. set up with the cabinet people for next week. We need to get the island done and storage for the back entry! Winter is coming soon and I need a place to put all the 'stuff'.

* We have a wood stove in our great room. From my internet research, it is a 1977 Vermont Castings stove. I need to figure out if it is all in working order. I printed out the owner's manual off the web. Isn't the internet great for research?

* Like overnight waffles. Last night I asked the kids what they wanted for breakfast. Mira said she wanted waffles. Well I came downstairs and wondered how to do them fast. Then remembered a yeast recipe that has the batter sit out overnight. I threw it together (a very easy recipe) and yum! They were great! And easy. Our morning rush isn't probably atypical. But it is crazy-busy for about 1/2 hour before they leave.

* Trevor has his follow-up appt. tomorrow. He's doing just great. I don't hear the annoying cough or him doing this weird 'clicking' sound to keep his nasal passages open. He breathes like a normal person!

* The girls want their new bedding washed and put on the beds already. I might do that today. The painter lady comes to give her ideas/bid on Friday. I can't wait for it all to be done!

* Lisi is staying home better! So maybe we'll be able to forego the invisible fence. I'd rather spend that money on something more useful. Like a vacation!

* I'd love to go somewhere warm this winter. But the cost seems really high when I check around. Ugh. Any ideas out there? Anyone want to come with us? Hey! If you reeeeallly like us, you'd buy our tickets just to have our company!

* I feel old. I was moving a mirror from one of the bathrooms and it was kinda tilted under my face and horrors! A dropping skin under my chin! It looked really, really bad from that angle. I feel young inside. But I'm middle-aged. And my face shows it. Not to mention gray hair...

* But that sounds depressing. And I'm not. Life is good.

* I made a yummy and super simple bean dip to go with our tacos last night. It is 1 can refrieds, 1/2 cup salsa and 2 T taco seasoning mixed together. Spread in pie plate. Add 1/2 c. sour cream and spread on top. Then 1/2 cup mexican cheese. Refrigerate until serving. Our kids really slurped it in.

* Speaking of food! We have chickens. Fresh from the farm chickens. My redheaded angel's husband (see earlier post) called saying we should come right away. And I brought home 8 of the finest cluckers you could imagine. I missed all the blood/gore scene. I just have some smooth, white fowl in the freezer. And I got a dozen eggs too! I wonder if any of those unlucky clucks laid the egg and then CHOP went their head! No, I think they are different chickens. But on the ride home I was thinking 'which came first the chicken or the egg?' I had both! I still need to pay for my goods.

* I cut a toenail too short and it bled and now it hurts really bad. I think on that note I've completely run out of anything meaningful to say. Come to think of it, I could simply delete all I've written since none of it is worthwhile to spend time reading.

Enough already.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Fishing with Fred (and family)

No, not Freddy the fish (see earlier post). Fred. Our friend, Fred (and Patty and girls). They invited us to bring the kids over to fish in their pond and stay for supper. A great time with them as usual. R&T both caught little bluegills and something else (I can't remember the name). They really had fun. Fred and Patty's girls were a big help in keeping the hooks out of someone's eye, hair, or some other body part. Lisi went along and wrestled with their collie puppy for about four hours straight. To the point of sheer exhaustion.

Back to Fred and Patty though. I don't think they'll read this (I'm not sure they are blog hopper-type people). But I want to say how much they mean to us. When we went through our tremendous sadness with us losing our baby and countless other losses, they never came to us and said, 'why don't you think about adopting?'. They had these lovely little girls before us and finally after much thought and prayer and a clear feeling that adopting was for us, we went to them and asked them about their journey to bring their girls home. Fred said, 'I was hoping you'd ask'. And thus began a very wonderful and scary journey to bring Rayna home. We had the usual ups and downs with the paperwork chase and they calmly encouraged through each step. They wrote a fantastic letter to the People's Republic of China to say we were fit parents (I hope they still think so!). Patty handed me a sheet with a name of a home study place the very day I prayed desperately that I wanted it 'just handed to me and then I'd feel it was a real sign we should do it'. She had no idea she doing something incredible that day. They showed us (and still are showing) by example the utmost love they have for their girls. And now we have our family. And their now-teenage daughters are still lovely, wonderful and kind, and are such a good example to our three.

So there you have it. I could write little tributes to other friends in our town too, but will save that for another post some day!

Saturday, September 20, 2008


To see if it still is Thursday at 2:18!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Squash thoughts

I hate cutting up raw squash to bake it. Especially the butternut variety which happens to be my favorite. I always have visions of losing two fingers or worse when trying to get through the impossibly tough skin. Then there is the eeew factor of the seeds/slime in the center. I usually just scoop it out with one of my stronger spoons. But it still gives me the willies for some reason. Not as bad as raw chicken (to me the absolute worst)though. And then I was thinking, there is no way I'd be going through all this effort for squash if it weren't for my family. Duane is by nature a very healthy eater. He likes low-fat, lots of vegetables, light on sugars kind of food. And so for him, I try to make sure we have vegetables or salads at nearly every meal. So for that, I'm thankful that I have a family to share my vegetables with. I'm sure I eat much healthier because I'm trying to please a husband and get my kids to the point where they like squash. Rayna and Trevor have been good eaters from day 1. Mira is a different story. Kinda weird since I read once that breast feeding is good for babies as it introduces them to different tastes before they even eat solids. Well it did no good in this family. R&T were not breastfed and they are nearly adventurous with their palate. Mira... well if it isn't something she's seen and knows she likes, we have to beg, plead, and push it in her mouth in order for her to try something new. Goodness! I do like squash though. Especially with a touch of vanilla, cinnamon, and brown sugar mixed in with a bit of butter. Yum! It'll go good with the snapper I have waiting for supper.

And now I need to walk. Because some very yummy cinnamon rolls are rising and I have every intention of eating at least one!


Why does coffee that sat in the pot for a bit taste 'old'? I had some leftover from yesterday. It's just coffee grounds and water. How complicated could that be that it would taste bad? Well blech. Old coffee.

Last night I was dizzy. Like really dizzy. Like the room is spinning dizzy. And my belly hurt. I'm not sure the dizziness caused the belly to hurt - or the belly was fighting a virus which in turn was making me dizzy. All I know is 9 hours of sleep slept away the dizziness. Note: I said dizzy, not ditzy!

Part of the girls' bedding came already. We all like it! Now we have to call the painter. Since I have several rooms, I'm going to have it done for me.

The weather for this week's conv. seems to be perfect. Wish we were there too!

I got a training collar for Lisi. I'm scared to use it. But I need to figure out how to make a bit of an impression when she leaves the lot. Is much, much better. But still there are a few times she can't help herself.

Trevor gets an A+ for the morning. Popped up and was completely dressed. Asked to get his breathing treatment out of the way. Didn't complain for breakfast, got on his shoes quickly and smiled as he headed to the bus stop. When I kissed him goodbye I said, 'you're an A+ kind of boy today'. He liked that. Rayna was near a B- (LOTS of complaining on getting out of bed, the clothes, etc.), and Mira... well, lets just say she might be in detention. I call her crabby-pants sometimes. And today she lived up to it. A long week I guess...

And why does this posting list it as being Thursday at 2:18 pm??? It is Friday! Or did time stand still and I don't know it?


A mouse. A teeny weeny one in the garage walking slowly. He looked sick. I yell for Lisi to go 'get em!'. She does and bites the mouse. It squeaks and dies. Then Lisi lies down next to it and keeps looking at me like she did something terribly bad. Now I have to put it on a shovel and wing it into the vacant lot next door, but Lisi keeps looking at it like it is her friend. Could I mention again how she's not the brightest of the litter?

And me! I used to pick up mice by the tail when I was a kid. Never bothered me. Not at all. I even loved watching our cat Misty eat mice from head to tail. I have a fond memory when my Anderson Grandparents were there and telling my dear Grandma to come out watch Misty eat the mouse. She'd start with the head (and the pertinence therof) and end with the tail sticking out like a toothpick. I thought it was neat. My poor Grandma looked ill and I just delighted in seeing her look pale watching the mouse being devoured. Kinda disrespectful, no? But I loved her to the core and she knew it. And now, they make me queasy. Mice. Ick. Where's the chair and the broom???

Still posting as of Thursday,9/18 at 2:18!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Found it!

The girls are sharing a room in our new place. They have the biggest upstairs bedroom which happens to have a full bath right in it. At some point, we thought Mira would have her own room. But right now, they both think it is dandy to be together (that's all they know). So I was worried about decorating the room. Rayna and Mira have very different tastes in decor. So when I was playing around on a website and they BOTH said they liked this bedding...http://www.pbteen.com/gift/thm/thmgrl/thmgrlhrt/index.cfm I just went ahead and broke the piggy bank and ordered it last night. The girls each picked out a different color for sheets (M wanted blue and R wanted the pool). And I even ordered a monogrammed throw pillow for their beds. Fun! They already have their names in white letters to put up on a wall. I'm thinking a limey-green that is in the print for the walls to go with the white woodwork and bed sets. It is shipping out tomorrow already! Happy day!

A tight-wad I am

But do you put a price on medicine for a child? I went to the pharmacy to pick up the one medicine they called in for Trevor. It was a tiny bottle of 30 chewable Singulair. That'll be $126 please. Gasp slightly under my breath, swallow hard, and ask meekly, "$126???" Yep. That's what they are. So I'm basically spending 99% of the cost on research and development and also for some good television advertising and glossy print ads in periodicals. For dumb. I wish there were a generic. I know I'm glad that Trevor is on the mend. But THAT much for some silly pills? Thankfully, I do have a bag of free samples for the other stuff he's needing to be on this week.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Dr. visit

Sitting there in the waiting room, the nurse comes in and asks Trevor what is wrong with him. He looks at me with a bit of alarm and isn't saying anything. Then he says to me, 'what do I say?'. Um. Trevor. We're here for something wrong. Tell the nurse what you've been feeling. He thinks another couple moments. 'I have a sore throat'. What??? I ask him, your throat is sore? Yes, when I cough. The nurse asks if he's been coughing. Trevor says, yes a little. I'm about levitating off my seat. A LITTLE? Listen my dear little son, you've kept two conventions up at night with your coughing and gasping to the point of wretch. So then he says, 'can you tell her?'. Ok, but tell me if I'm not saying something right. We get all the pertinent details out and wait maybe one more minute and in walks Dr. V. I've never met her. She asks some of the symptoms and makes nice small talk. I'm a bit nervous. I'm thinking Trevor is acting pretty good. I don't hear the chest wheeze and rattle. What if she thinks I'm a hypochondriac and bring my kid in for any little thing (which if you know me is utterly untrue). She pulls out her stethoscope. Listens to the heart and then has him do the deep breathing. Again, I think I hear nothing. She listens to about six spots, calmly takes it out of her ears and then looks straight at me and says, 'he has an unbelievable amount of wheezing and rattling in his lungs'. Why didn't you bring him in sooner? I look at my feet and quietly say, 'I didn't think it was too serious'. She says sternly, 'breathing is a good thing and he hasn't been breathing very well'. I just muttered 'oh'. Then she says, 'how long has he been congested?'. Oh about six years. SIX YEARS? YOU'VE LIVED WITH NASAL CONGESTION FOR SIX YEARS? (Again barely a whisper) yes... Then she told me it was a very good thing I brought him in. He has a terrific case of allergies/asthma. The pneumonia seems to be gone. So he's on about four different medications to get this under control - some oral and some through respirators. She did give me a nice big shopping bag of samples to use. So that was nice. Maybe she felt guilty for the stern lecture. Maybe she felt pity for me since I said we have a super-high deductible and it would all be out of pocket. Or maybe the closet was simply full of samples. Nonetheless, we came home with our goods and the coughing is subsiding. We're to have a follow-up at the end of next week and also she highly recommended me taking him to an allergist. She repeated it three times. I think she thinks I'm either stubborn, a tight wad, or a nut case. She wished us well to have a nice day!


Our old place had the closing this morning. Met the new couple that will be there. Three adorable triplet babies that are just 7 months (2 girls/1 boy) That mommy looked really busy. And the family looked just really nice. So I left there feeling good for having a check in my purse. And especially to know there will be some happy baby chatter in that house again.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Bathroom Banter

I cannot leave this one alone. Our bathroom job at conv. It is just mind-numbing fun. A hoot! Great jokes that are a gas!!! Whoooeee we laughed. I think I made a few ladies almost uncomfortable as they were just trying to go about their 'business' and hearing us cleaning ladies just yucking it up outside the stall. But fun it was! And it smelled nearly like daisies when we were done (no small feat when you have about 300 ladies plus assorted kids traipsing through doing what people do).

Random thoughts or quotes gleaned from our fragrant days together:

Your business is our business.

This job stinks.

Toilets R Us.

High fiber cereals work wonders.

Why wait so long and do THAT much all in one sitting.

One shower didn't have water one day. I thought a sign 'Dry Clean Only' would have been fitting.

The toilet bowl cleaner we had ate pantyhose. I was dumb. I ruined two pairs. By Saturday, I was wearing yucky clothes and plastic aprons.

Air freshener sprayed liberally gives the illusion of cleanliness.

My girls and a few extras LOVED to work with us. I think mainly it was the praise given to them by others... that went a long way.

I hope I can do this job for years to come. It is honestly a lot of hard work. But with a great team and a clean 'end' result, it is very rewarding.

Hope this wasn't too much detail!!!

Saturday night

9:00 - Look for kids after the lights are blinking at us in the dining shed. Time to clear out and head to our beds.

9:05 - Quick stop in bathroom, grab books from mtg. shed. Head to camper.

9:10 - Visit with Malory's mom. Talk up a storm until 9:55. She tucks in Malory in our camper (Malory wanted to sleep with us Sat. night since Rayna slept with them on Friday night)

9:58 - After much wiggles and giggles, I turn out the light on the girls. They all say goodnight.

10:05 - Mom? Malory says she doesn't feel good. I manage to get to the other end of the camper quickly. Pull her down from the bunk and ker-SPLASH, YUCK, GUCK, EEEEWWWW I can't look. Puke. Wretch. Vomit to the nth degree. Breakfast, lunch, supper! All mixed up in one terrifically terrible mess of a pile at the foot of our bed.

10:07 - Linda, I feel better. Can I go back and sleep on the bunk. Um... no. What if you get sick again (highly likely since I feel like I'm seeing a week's worth of nourishment on the floor swimming gently). Lets go take you back to your mom.

10:30 - Dropped off Malory. Got a bucket of Mr. Clean and some air freshener. Head back to camper. (Did I mention how absolutely grossed out Duane was? He bolted out of the camper like a rat off a sinking ship. Anyhoo. Get the mess cleaned up. Duane gladly marches it all (one sacrificed towel) to the burn barrel.

11:00 - Crawl back into bed. My hands still smell a bit like yuck. I washed at least three times. But the smell is there. Yuck. I keep them down by my knees as I try to go to sleep.

11:10 - Trevor is coughing. Lots. Really bad. Whistles. Worse and worse. He stops. He starts.

12:00 - 3:15 - Listening to Trevor cough. Get water. Try the inhaler. Wheezes. Coughs. Misery.

3:20 - Crying sound. Mom, I can't breathe. I leap up and try to help. Feeling helpless. I stare at him. Hold him. Rub his hair. Try to settle him so he can breathe better. Figuring out who I could borrow a vehicle from in the dead of night. We need ER. A knock on the door. An angel! And she was. In red hair and pj's. Do you need Denver's nebulizer? I do. Please. Now. She comes. Calms me and Trevor down. Puts in the medicine. Gets it started. He breathes. He relaxes. We quietly visit and watch him. It was sooooo helpful. A friend in need is a friend indeed. Thank you Sarah again!

3:30 - She leaves the machine with us.

5:00 - I use it again at Trevor's urging. Sit with him. Feeling sleepy. Very sleepy.

7:00 - Wake up suddenly after two hour's sleep. I need to shower. Pack the camper.

8:00 - Blow fuse in camper for using microwave and toaster simultaneously. You can't do that! Ok, sorry.

8:30 - Trevor pukes. In the kitchen sink.

8:45 - Trevor having breathing problems. Dry heaves again.

9:00 - Dr. Ross comes and says the pneumonia is most likely gone. But he's asthmatic.

9:35 - Realize I'm still in my Adidas sweatshirt and not at all ready for meeting. Duane frantically gets ready. The girls hair combed by the lovely niece mentioned earlier.

9:45 - They all leave for meeting. I watch Trevor sleep. Slick up camper. Load up stuff in bags.

10:10 - Wishing I were in meeting. Trevor looks very tired.

10:20 - He wakes up looking a bit better. Could you sleep in the meeting shed? I think so.

10:35 - Walk to the meeting shed. Sit down. Duane smiles sweetly at me.

10:36 - He pukes (Trevor, not Duane). I hold the pillow close. It sounds... gross. But not much coming. We tear out of there.

10:45 - Back at the camper I'm pacing. I want to hear the speaker! Trevor? Could you possibly just lay down in the dining shed? Please? I need to hear this man. He's so helpful. I need it. I think so Trevor says.

10:53 - Duane comes out during a hymn. Is everything ok? Should I stay with him now? No, just go. I think we'll try the dining shed.

11:00 - We settle in and listen. It is sooo good to be there. The room is dark in the dining shed. It is quite frankly cold. The folding chairs were wobbly. They looked about 48 years old. But they held our bottoms. Trevor slept. I shivered and listened. And it was so good. And right. And I needed to be there.

12:00 - T. goes back to the camper after I wake him. I eat a quick lunch.

1:15 - We're on the road for home. Missing the 2nd meeting. But we have a sick boy and a very, very tired mother.

But... it was worth it all.

Conv. aftermath

* The camper is unloaded! And a lot of it is already in its respective place(s). I did run three loads of laundry through. Stinky wet towels, dirty undies, and some puke-laden pillows.

* The meetings held all they intended to... and more. So much more. I can't belive how much we hear some familiar things, but each time it is more special, wonderful, great.

* And the atmosphere of just being there is so uplifting. "Found among the faithful" popped into my head one day.

* And I'm thankful for so many good, dear, wonderful friends. Each unique and bring something to a friendship that another could not. Our area has rich blessings of good people.

* I was told in no uncertain terms how much my niece reminds them of... ME! All I can say is I'm highly flattered. This aforementioned niece is about as neat of a package as you can get. Kind, beautiful, intelligent, sweet, funny, and great. I have about two of those qualities, so maybe we are a bit alike. I do think though I can make a better loaf of bread than she can, so maybe that is my selling point.

* It rained while we were gone! The grass that was 'deader than doornails' is showing some fresh life again.

* Freddy (earlier post) survived our absence. But he certainly was glad to see me wander by the bowl!

* Lisi is limping. Too much fun at the doggy lodge again. I think someone got the best of her today. She's exhausted.

* Duane is back in the saddle at work again tonight. He did all he could to be up there with us. The timing of the week was rough, but he did it. And now it'll be a tough few days ahead too. But he doesn't complain and I admire that in him so much.

I have to do separate posts on two other things...

Monday, September 8, 2008

Monday matters

* Duane has my camera, so no pictures for anyone today. He needed it for work this weekend.

* He's super-busy. Frantic-busy. Working 'til all hours busy. And this is the week of convention. And that is usually how it goes. But somehow, we make it.

* The camper comes tomorrow afternoon! We rented one again. A 31' motorhome. Makes for a nice place to visit, sleep, eat breakfast. I usually shower with the girls in the bathrooms. Good visiting that way! I'm one of those people that even likes to visit through the bathroom stall! Some call me LaFern. She is a great-aunt of mine that is still living. She lost her voice some years ago. I think mainly because she used up her allotted words in life. A dear lady though.

* Did I say how much I love convention? I even love my bathroom cleaning job. It can be a big P-U, but it is a good stink. My co-workers are real work horses too.

* It is funny how much harder our new school is, yet the kids love it. A lot. And they are making friends fast. Nice ones. Need I say again how glad I moved simply for the school.

* Subdivision picnic was on Saturday. Refer to an earlier post: younger couples in their late 30's, stylish, mostly pretty, and drive very nice cars. I tried not to have spinach in my teeth when I talked to others.

* Trevor almost pinned me down last night. Scary! My 8-year old can almost take me down. But he still has utter respect and listens when we give direction to him. Did I ever say he's my best worker? If I have a job, I always want to ask him since he rarely whines about doing a job. Mira is the next one. She does heavy sighs, acts as if she didn't hear me, etc. Rayna... she's the queen of getting out of work. She'd rather sing. Or walk around in a costume. Or be curled up with another book.

* Fall is in the air! Cool nights and this week looks like cool days too.

* Lisi is showing signs of... improvement? I can do bike-runs with her and she (mostly) responds to commands to get closer.

* So today will be laundry, slicking up the house, a stop at Walmart (no Target super close to us right now), Kohl's, grocery store, and library. Plus a possible haircut for Trevor, and the beginning of packing. We were in IA and needed warm-weather clothes. This is a new season I think.

Happy Monday!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Thursday thoughts

moving day
neighbor kids at old place
1st day 2008
the bus!

* Searching for hours for the library books was somewhat helpful as I kinda know where everything is and in which box. But! I can't find my hand mixer. I've searched and searched and cannot locate it! So I had to drag out the big mixer to make a small batch of cookies. Ugh.

* It is raining! The first time in a long, long time. I hope it awakens the dead grass. I transplanted some stuff from our old yard yesterday that mean something to me. Rhubarb, raspberries, purple coneflower (from S&T's wedding 2 years ago), daisies, and flowering flax (reminds me of SD when it blooms in the morning). I hope they take hold. This rain should help.

* School is going great for the kids. The come home very happy and very tired. There's more homework this year in the new school. Mira said the other night when I put her to bed, 'mom? There's not so many troublemakers in my room this year. In fact, there aren't any.' I told her maybe she would be the troublemaker and she giggled and said it wouldn't happen.

* Trevor is better! I think what he had was asthma that turned into pneumonia or vice versa. I have a physical scheduled for him in two weeks. They should be able to tell me what it is. But the meds are working and he isn't coughing and has a glint in his eye again.

* Trevor has twin 5 1/2 year olds across the street that think he walks on water. He likes that.

* How often should I change the kids' sheets? I realized today it had been a couple of months (I'm being honest here!). That made an eeeeuuuuu factor. So I'm doing all the beds today. It maybe isn't fair as I like to change ours at least every other week. Hmmm.

* I feel guilty for enjoying my quiet days again. I get soooo much done without the kids around. And then I feel really ready to see the bus come around the bend. I think I'm a better mom with a break in the day. Now to figure out how to not have them all try to talk at once when they get off the bus!

* Bread rises so nice on a rainy day. I have two lofty loaves waiting for the family to devour.

* It feels like home here now. I'm not sure what happened. Maybe it is just the time getting used to it. But after being away in IA and coming back here, it just felt like home. I like that.

* I keep thinking of what was shared when we were in IA. If we have a bad thought about someone or something, replace it with a good thought, a phrase of a hymn, or something positive. The bad thoughts will flee. I needed to hear that.

* The presidential race looks like it could be interesting! I'm going to try to not get riled up about it this time because even if I do, it won't change the outcome.

* I smell fall in the air. It scares me since I don't like winter really at all...!

* I think this is enough.

* I hope to post some random pictures from the last little while.

Freddy Four

One member of our family that I continue to not communicate about is Freddy. His legal name is Freddy Four. Our kids named him that nearly four years ago. Freddy was delightful to the family until the first week was over. Then he became my fish. Freddy is a sturdy fellow. Loves to get all worked up when we put a mirror next to his bowl and he flares out and tells 'the other guy' that this is his turf and get out! He races to the top at each feeding and now graces the shelf next to my kitchen sink so I can watch him deliriously swim around while I'm working. I sometimes wonder what the life expectancy of a betta would be, but as far as I know, this one should be a Grandpa by now! I threaten to the kids that I'll flush him some day. But to be honest, I kinda like the guy. He swam over in the move sitting on a neighbor boy's lap. No worse for the wear! Anyway, that will probably be the first and last post on something as silly as a fish. Unless we have an obituary to write some day...

Monday, September 1, 2008

The end of summer

So we're at the eve of school starting tomorrow. I'm filled with bittersweet feelings. Once again, my three dear little kids will head off into an unknown school year mixing in with the masses. They'll be in a new school and need to meet new little friends. Luckily for them they are quite outgoing and should do well. I spent an hour going through their incredibly long lists of supplies. And!!! I didn't forget anything! Whoooeee. I was sure there's be something missing. Oh, but one goof. I got Trevor a green ruler and it was supposed to be clear. Do you think his teacher will wrap my knuckes (or worse, T's!) with it?

Trevor was desperately sick in IA. And it had nothing to do with dirty underwear. I digress. Anyway, after dealing with chronic wheezing, coughing, shortness of breath, I took him in today. Most likely pneumonia. Thanks a lot Marla and family! I should have been thinking. So he's on an antibiotic for the first time in his life and got an inhaler as well. Already he's more spunky and getting the glint in his eye again. He apparently had only 25% capacity for breathing when they checked around noon! Scaries.

Iowa was rich and full and incredibly wonderful. I got reacquainted with my 2nd cousin and family after a 10 year absence. I got to see my 'old' friend from little girl days. I got to laugh with another fellow blogger who I've known since she was a babe in her mother's arms. I got to visit with some people that I regard as true saints. I got to hear things that will encourage me for years to come. I was chastened with some thoughts. I got to oversee our three plus another friend fill up napkin cups. It was adorable watching them take their jobs so seriously. I got to hear the kids say after sitting for four solid days that they wanted to stay just for one more meal, one more hour, one more day if possible. That was a joy.

I said goodbye to my uncle. He's leaving again for the land he loves. He's not ours and even though he's been 'away' for most of my life, it still makes the heart ache to see him go. He does so much for so many and for that we are thankful.

I love the sound of crickets. This new home we are in has some qualities I really wouldn't choose if we built a home (namely the beautiful, dark quarter-sawn wood floor that shows the teensiest-weensiest fleck of dirt). But! It has this screened in porch off the kitchen (that I'm sitting in right now) and it is lovely. Wonderful. Peaceful. And I hear crickets. And the dog snoring at my side.

For all you Lisi lovers (and some of you Lisi tolerators), she loved the doggy kennel experience. We take her to Duane's cousin's kennel. Not your normal-run-of-the-mill kennel that they sit in until their loved ones come back. This is doggy dream world! They have a schedule. Eat. Sleep. Play groups! Lisi was with the puppy group and they romped and wrestled and played themselves into a stupor. Then they go back to their respective spots and sleep and eat and do it all over again. This kennel is a bit like a spa place. They sell essential oils for your dog! They do doggy massages. They do aromatherapy. I kid you not. It almost makes my stomach hurt. When we got home she really wasn't anxious to get out of the van. She was thinking the doggy day camp was more fun. But! She's been nice today. Not naughty. Not devious. No nipping! She doesn't know that she's in for some Boot Camp this week. Once the kids are off to school, I'm going to make a concerted effort to get her to understand a few basics of life.

I need to go back to our old pad this week to get my rhubarb and raspberries. And possibly some perennials. I can't wait to dig up my new garden next spring.

Time to pull down the lunch boxes and get them filled!

Happy school year ahead!!!


So I open Trevor's suitcase to take out his dirty clothes and lying there are five very bleached white pairs of undershorts.

Me: Trevor? Come here.
Trevor: What?
Me: Come here I said.
Trevor: (comes over) What?
Me: Why are these all here?
Trevor: What here?
Me: Your underwear. They all are clean!
Trevor: Yeah?
Me: Didn't you change them at all when we went to Malcom?
Trevor: No, I never had time.

You go take a shower right now! And change your underwear!!!

p.s. Lani: I'm still laughing over the big yellow underpants!!!