Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Happy Birthday Mom

She's 70 today. And she wouldn't mind me telling you that. She is who she is. The young 26-year old that brought me into the world. The absolute best guide, teacher, mentor, cheerleader a girl could ask for. And now I consider her a very dear friend. I've said this before and it bears repeating. She was/is the perfect mother. She guides and encourages without meddling. Has offered up silence in times that decisions weren't always the best. Taught me a love for cooking and baking. Taught me how to love others before yourself. Showed by example what it really means to be a helpmate to your spouse and a keeper of the home. She loves without end. She's a survivor (early cancer caught twice). And we're thankful for her unwavering love to her husband and our father. We're thankful for her complete unbiased love to us kids. And we're thankful for the outpouring of unbiased love she shows to her grandchildren. She has always had a home so open the doors hardly had latches. She loves to share with what she has. And the Spirit in her has much to give...

Happy Birthday Mom! Love you lots.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Thankful post

I'm feeling a bit grumpy, so I'll try to write a few things I'm thankful for:

* I'm not sick anymore! A quick 24-hour bug struck me in meeting on Sun. am. I slept through 4 naps that day and got back in the saddle yesterday again.

* I didn't have to yell at the kids to do their homework tonight. They did it and started to do their reading too. I like peace.

* A friend dropped off a fresh loaf of bread since she knew I was under the weather. It felt so nice to know someone cared about me. It's the little things...

* Lisi got an A++ for her efforts at obedience class yesterday. She did lose all composure when we went through the role-play of the UPS man coming to the door. She was certain the 'package' was for her. And she forgot all sensibility and obedience.

* It is lighter later. And today it thawed a bit! If you sniff really, really hard and face south during the noon-day sun, you can almost feel spring! Almost... well not quite. Wishful thinking here...

* The Chairman. I'm still thankful for his loyal dedication to me and to our family. He's just a rock.

* My sister! Today we had a shopping/lunch together. I wish I could see her more. She's quieter, but one-on-one she can really let 'er go. And I like that. She's at such a different stage than I am in life, yet only 4 years separate us in age.

* The electrician. He brought a new 'can' for our kitchen to try and I'll have a brighter work space very soon when he replaces all the dim wits I mean bulbs around here.

* And for the kids of course. They've been just really wonderful to be/have around all week. Maybe it is their ages... or I dunno. But they really are a blessing and I'm glad tonight I feel that way. For Rayna: for her happy-go-lucky nature. She's almost always with a ready smile. For Mira: her utter silliness and smartness wrapped up in one package. For Trevor: for his diligence at school and being a help at home. And for being such a budding artist. He drew a gorgeous parrot tonight after I told a story about a silly dream I had.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

From the Big Lady...

She lied. Lisi that is. The burp. It was all fake. I personally was shocked as she's never taken food from the table. And she still hasn't. I found the rest of my cookie tonight on a ledge.

I'm relieved that we still do have control over our pooch. I guess I'll leave the story for laughs...

The cookie mystery

She never suspected a thing. It was the greatest thing. You see the big lady that yells at me but loves me anyway made cookies this morning. There were these black things in them. They looked like dead flies. But she was eating a couple right out of the bag. So maybe not. Anyway, they were coming out of the oven. And there they were. YUM! I don't ever get cookies, but if I did I just know I'd like them.

Today there is an extra little person here. She is shorter than I am. Makes a lot of noise and even stinks sometimes. The big lady here likes her for some reason and they have fun together. I think she called her Ella once. Like... 'ELLA, NO! or ELLA, GET DOWN!'. Well that little person started making a racket in the living room. The big lady had a cookie in her hand. She sets it down at the edge of the table and leaves for the living room. Is she dumb? Doesn't she know I have no self-control? And so I did what any reasonable dog would do. I snatched it right then and there and you know what? Cookies are sooooooo good! It barely grazed my teeth, but I know it was delicious. Better then those stale dog treats she gives me.

The big lady comes back into the kitchen. I'm sitting on my dog bed so pretty. Innocent. Sweet. She looks at the table. Then walks to the island. Then back to the table. Then to the living room. Back to the kitchen. She's not saying anything, but there's a weird look in her eye. 'Where is it?' Where did I put it. She looked at me once, but I just blinked softly at her. And then it happened. OOPS! I burped. A big one came out of nowhere. Then she moved in on me. Opened my mouth with force and smelled fresh cookie. BUSTED! She muttered something about me being naughty, stupid or something. And then she walked away. SCORE! Lisi - 1, The big lady - 0. For cookies that is.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Google Game

This is fun. How it works: Go to Google. Type in your first name and then the rest of the question. Take the first thing that corresponds. They can get a bit wild or weird...

1. Google (your name) needs: Linda needs mental help.
2. Google (your name) looks: Linda looks like she's having a good day already.
3. Google (your name) likes: Linda likes to crack the whip. (so true!)
4. Google (your name) says: Linda says I've got opinions! (really???)
5. Google (your name) wants: Linda wants to be alone.
6. Google (your name) does: Can you crush the wasteful mean wardrobes before Linda does? (what?)
7. Google (your name) hates: Aunt Linda hates chameleons.
8. Google (your name) can: Linda can fly!
9. Google (your name) goes: Linda goes vertical. (no clue)
10. Google (your name) loves: Linda loves life. (how sweet)
11. Google (your name) smells: Linda smells of spices. First taste is dark chocolate then a light chili flavour kicks in. (too funny!)

Ok now peeps. Back to work!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Michael Alan Rowland

We're so proud of him...

Someone special

Is staying with my brother and family for part of the time of her recovery. She was in a terrible bus accident some time ago and is recuperating from surgery. We enjoyed her so much and wish her a speedy recovery so she can get back to doing what she loves so much.

And the trip home

We are tired as tired can be. Thanks to an airline, we had to switch our flight to a 'red-eye'. It left LAX at 11:30 their time and got here by 5:00 our time. It wouldn't be so bad with adults. But the kids kept falling asleep at each point of the journey (the van to the airport, the rental car shuttle, the airport waiting area, the plane, getting off... you get the picture). Mira about through a duck-fit about half-way through. Poor kid. And she and Rayna are fighting fevers too. Mira's broke today. Rayna is still near 103. So they were troopers. Trevor was the only 'lucky' one to get to school today. He slept a bit this morning and then purposefully (is that a word?) got dressed and went on his way.

So the joy of the journey for me is usually when I get all settled back into my nest. Lisi is back at home. The kitchen has provisions again. The bread bakes and the washer spins. I just hope this coffee does wonders for me the rest of the day...

Can you tell I'm tired? I'm not feeling all that witty!

The next days

We spent several days with the brother that picks on me but loves me anyway, his dear wife who I consider a sister not by blood but by fortune. We are so lucky for her. And their three boys who are as different as could possibly be. We enjoyed their hospitality and the fun we had together. We saw an IMAX film called 'Animopolis'. Also went to the Harlem Globetrotters! And to Coronodo Island for some beach time. Our friends were married there and so I thought it fitting to show them we were there on Valentine's Day no less! (are you impressed M&M?)

To California we went!

We flew out on Wed. night and got in there kinda late. To a hotel directly across from Disneyland. Spent all day there (our 2nd time there). We had great weather, not too bad of crowds, and a lot of fun. Trevor was selected to be a part of the Darth Vader show which was neat. I'll post a few of our day...

And by the way, if I hear the "It's a Small World" song another time I'll run screaming to the sunset. The ride is supposidly new. But it goes on forever and the song gets maddening after the first four minutes...

Space Mountain is still just an awesome ride! All the kids really liked it. Especially me!!!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

25 things on the Chairman and Me

This is kind of like the 25 things - except there are pre-decided questions and it's about you and your spouse, not just you. Stolen from FB.

♥ What are your middle names? Michael and Kay
♥ How long have you been together? married for 14
♥ How long did you know each other before you started dating? well his parents actually knew my parents when we were tiny. But after we met in '92, we'd talk every week or so... then it evolved.
♥ Who asked who out? I asked for his phone number because I could tell he wanted mine but wouldn't ask (p.s. I had NEVER done that before)
♥ How old are each of you? 43 ( me) 40 ( him)
♥ Whose siblings do/ did you see the most? mine.
♥ Do you have any children together? 1 boy and 2 girls (plus one daughter that passed away as a preemie)
♥ What about pets? of course! Lincoln and now Lisi
♥ Which situation is the hardest on you as a couple? renovating/decorating the house
♥ Did you go to the same school? no
♥ Are you from the same home town? no
♥ Who is smarter? The Chairman is (but I can multi-task waaaay better)
♥ Who is more sensitive? both in different ways
♥ Where do you eat out most as a couple? Um. Qdoba?
♥ Where is the furthest you two have traveled together as a couple? China
♥ Who has the craziest exes? neither
♥ Who has the worse temper? He'd say me.... but... oh ok. It's me.
♥ Who does the cooking? Me. Almost always except when something is put on the grill.
♥ Who is more social? me
♥ Who is the neat-freak? me. But certain things (like a disorganized office really sets him off)
♥ Who is the more stubborn? Oh boy. Heated question. I say the Chairman and he'd say me. So we're both stubborn!!! (my dad called me bull-headed)
♥ Who hogs the bed? maybe him, but not much. Hogging the bed doesn't bother me. But don't you DARE breathe on the back of my neck. Egads.
♥ Who wakes up earlier? Me
♥ Where was your first date? Champaign IL when I was on an inventory trip for Target
♥ Who has the bigger family? i have more siblings..he has the larger extended family as his mom is the youngest of 9
♥ Do you get flowers often? No
♥ How do you spend the holidays? usually with either his or my family
♥ Who is more jealous? probably me
♥ How long did it take to get serious? over a year really. But in hindsight, I kinda just 'knew' he was it. But I didn't want to scare the thoughtful Chairman!
♥ Who eats more? him
♥ Who does/ did the laundry? Me
♥ Who’s better with the computer? probably me. Or not? I dunno! I goof around on it more. He uses it more for functional, work-induced things...

Silly socks and other mundane things

* Eight year old boys go through socks like babies go through milk.
* Getting a 11-11 match of socks in the laundry is nothing short of miraculous.
* After buying yet another dozen pair for three kids, you'd think that would take care of the problem....
* It is terribly windy today. BUT! The warmth can't be beat.
* The Chairman showed me last night. I really like it.
* I still like blogging a lot. Some thing it strange to be so 'public', but there is so much I don't say that actually is private.
* It is colder in California than it is in Wisconsin right now. I hope it warms up.
* I wonder if Mickey Mouse will remember us from last time?
* Last year we left the day after Lincoln died. It was nice, but bittersweet. I'm glad we have a sweet furry friend waiting for us to come back home this time.
* I had a plumber here for 11 hours yesterday and 2 today. He was... well not overweight. So I wasn't given the royal plumber views. He was... well friendly. We are now sporting a new 'direct-vent' water heater with an extra gas line for a fireplace.
* Work guys bring in a LOT of dirt. They try not to but they do. I wonder if they think my floors always look this dirty?
* This is enough. More later... the absence doesn't mean my heart isn't fond of you....

Sunday, February 8, 2009

The way mom's smell

Tucking the girls into bed last night... leaned over to tuck one in.

Daughter #1: mmmmm. Mom? I love how you smell. Let me smell you again.
Me: Really? What's it smell like?
Daughter #1: Just like a mom!
Me: But do you know how all the other mom's smell?
Daughter #1: No, but I love your mom smell.
Daughter #2: I know what mom smells like.
Me: What's that?
Daughter #2: Well... fancy, but not very fancy.
Me: Thank you. I think.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Who's first... or fifth?

I "won" a homemade gift by leaving one of the first 5 comments on another person's blog, now I'll see who my first 5 are.I'm thinking I might knit a sweater for everyone...what a joke! Lucky you! The first five people to respond to this post will get something made by me!My choice. For you. This offer does have some restrictions and limitations:

1- I make no guarantees that you will like what I make!

2- What I create will be just for you.

3- It'll be done this year. (might be a little while)

4- You have no clue what it's going to be. It may be a story. It may be poetry or an article on properly cleaning your face before a masque. I may draw or paint something. I may bake you something and mail it to you. Who knows? Not you, that's for sure!

5- I reserve the right to do something extremely strange. The catch? Oh, the catch is that you must repost this on your blog and offer the same to the first 5 people who do the same on your blog.The first 5 people to do so and leave a comment telling me they did win a FAB-U-LOUS homemade gift by me!Oh, and be sure to post a picture of what you win when you get it!So....who will be the first 5 people?????

** Remember I just cut and paste the above. There is NOOOO way I'd draw a picture for anyone. Or properly cleaning your face for a masque. What in the dickens is that? Anyway, I'll think of something!

Good luck!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Twenty-Five Things about Me

I'll do it here instead of on FB. I'm not sure why... I've done other similar things on here before, so some might be repeats.

1. I'm the youngest of three kids. And I was/am the loudest. My mom once said in passing that they thought of 4 kids until I was born.

2. I was born in the same hospital as Duane. St. Joseph's in Milwaukee. Only I warmed the bassinet 3 years before he arrived.

3. We moved to Watertown, SD when I was 6. It was a great place to grow up. You had to have deep roots (figuratively and really) to make it out there. But I'm thankful that was where I came from.

4. I grew up with a ton of privilege. And it had nothing to do with money. It was the love of parents, great trips all over the US each summer, many out of state conventions, and having workers over very, very often.

5. I love dogs. You know that already. We had Bingo when I was a kid. A collie/shepherd mix. We had a great 'show' where he'd don sunglasses and a t-shirt and would eat off of a spoon. Stupid? Yes. But great entertainment. Lincoln and Lisi are the ones since married life. I want to say that Lisi will be our last dog so we can go visit our kids in college or wherever they end up in life.

6. I worried sometimes in my early 20's that I'd never marry. I was in a great situation as a single person in Minneapolis. But I wanted to love and be loved. And then I met Duane in '92 on a raft trip in Utah. The rest is history.

7. I loved my Grandpa Anderson in particular. He was just a wonderful man in many ways. Tighter than white on rice with spending money, but a giver to the nth degree in personality and care. I never tired of going to see them even as a teenager. I loved all of my grandparents and the influence they left behind.

8. Losing our baby daughter in '96 was a very sad and soul-searching experience. Watching this incredibly tiny baby struggle for life was almost more than I could bear. I wanted the tubes and paraphernalia removed so she could just rest. And after three days, that was about the only option we were given. She left a tiny imprint on my heart that will always be there. At very unexpected times I cry over losing her.

9. Adoption is indescribable nearly. I never knew instant love until I met our daughter and then son. Before we brought them into our lives I wondered if the love was the same as with a biological child. It is more than the same. In some ways, better.

10. I've moved 8 times (plus dorm changes in college) in my life. All the changes were for good, but I always tend to look back at the old places with fond memories (esp. our last move)

11. I worked for Target headquarters for 6 years and then out of the district office here in WI for another 7. I miss the discount.

12. I am a SAHM. And I'm thankful I can be. I sometimes think about doing something part-time. But then the kids have a 1/2 day or get sick or someone is coming or we're having company, or... and then the desire leaves.

13. I had a tooth pulled. It was dreadfully infected. And I can't describe the hurt. So now I have a 'fake' tooth in there and it works wonderfully. Yet, feels... oddly fake.

14. I'm blessed with friends. Old ones. New ones. Young ones. Elderly. Each bring something unique to me and I'm glad we're all so different.

15. The Chairman and I are a team. He works outside the home and I do everything else. (tee-hee) Well not really. But almost. I find it fascinating that when you're married to someone you just don't get tired of being around them. Love is a wonderful thing.

16. I love naps. Teeny-weeny ones. About 2:00 or so. So please, don't call. I ususally read something for about 10 minutes, snooze for 6 minutes and then I feel like conquering the rest of the day.

17. I love country music. Old stuff. Classic country they call it. I really sing loud in the car if I'm alone (or even with the kids, but they soon tell me to quiet down.)

18. I bake bread at least twice/week. Any kind. White, whole wheat, some with lots of 'stuff' in it, and cinnamon rolls/coffee cakes. Yum. I'm not on a low-carb diet.

19. Walking daily has kept my weight down for the past 6 years. I believe in portion control and exercise to keep me in check. I'm 15 lbs. lighter than my wedding day and thankful for that.

20. I have an uncle and a nephew that both are workers. I love what they are doing and hope that they know we are supporting them as best we can.

21. And I have some wonderful nieces and nephews as well. They have become good friends as they have become young adults.

22. I miss my sister-in-law. She lost her battle with cancer in '06. She said things through the years I'll never forget. She was spunky. Interesting. Smart. And a giver. I wish she wouldn't have had to leave us so soon.

23. I don't like elevators, flying in airplanes, and roller coasters. I'll do it, but it isn't great fun for me.

24. I wish sometimes I were more outgoing. If I told some that I was shy they'd laugh and hoot and snort. But new people scare me. Once I have it all figured out, I can really let 'er go.

25. Whew! I made it. And I'll probably think of a very obvious something I'd have loved to add to this list. But I won't. Because it was only 25! I'll leave the rest for you to guess...

Wednesday, February 4, 2009


As he helps me make up our scalloped potato and ham supper he chatters away. Then there's a pause. Then. 'Mom, I have a question'. Oh boy. A hard one if we're alone and there's a pause... What is it? 'How are you pretty if you are old?'. It took me less than a second and then I knew what to say.

Old people are beautiful. I saw two today. One is in the hospital. The other, her 90+ year old husband of many, many years faithfully and lovingly at her side. I went to have a wee visit to encourage. But they did at least ten times more for me. In a situation that they'd rather not be in, they only said positive. About the nurses, about the care, about the workers, about those who come to their open home for the Sunday meeting. About young people. And above all, about their thankfulness for knowing what is right. It was cheerful. Uplifting. Encouraging. And it was nothing less than utter beauty. I love them. Dearly. They are pillars of strength in their frail bodies. And I'm so thankful to be near some that are so beautiful.

Stolen again...

Rules: Use the first letter of your name to answer each of the following questions. They have to be real. . .nothing made up! You cannot use any word twice and you can't use your name for the boy/girl name question.

1. What is your name: Linda
2. A four Letter Word: look
3. A boy's Name: Logan
4. A girl's Name: Lindsay
5. An occupation: librarian
6. A color: lavender
7. Something you wear: Long Johns (I eat them too!)
8. A food: lemons
9. Something found in the bathroom: Lysol (PU!)
10. A place: Los Angeles (we're going soon!)
11. A reason for being late: lost
12. Something you shout: Look!
13. A movie title: Lord of the Rings
14. Something you drink: lemonade
15. A musical group: Led Zeppelin (don't ask me a song though)
16. An animal: lemur
17. A street name: Lake Drive
18. A type of car: Lincoln (hey, not our dear old dog... the car)
19. A song title: Leader of the Band
20. A verb: love

Monday, February 2, 2009

Monday musings

'Twas a good weekend....

* Alone-time with the Chairman on Friday night (that sounds so... well, non-romantic!). We did some shopping. Kids at a school thing.

* Celebrated my mom-in-law's birthday with some others that included my mom and dad. We were 15 in all around the table(s). I love having people over.

* Enjoyed time with the ex-neighbors last night. The game didn't have the end result that I was kinda hoping for. But I had no real emotion vested either. I must add though that I forgot a very, very important fact after our time a week ago with these aforementioned people. Ask the men who was on the victory team when we finished a marathon game-playing time. There Mike! I did it!

* I worked today! For a friend. Putting together cards. If you know me at all, you know I've been vehemently opposed to such silliness. But I didn't have to create anything. I simply cut 75 of this. Stamped 10 of that. Simple! I can do that. I hope she doesn't fire me right away.

* Lisi did awesome at obedience class. But Pup-eroni treats in the pocket can be very motivating. Stay tuned. She may have a story to tell soon. On the dog front (you non-dog people probably hate these posts), she LOVES hide and seek in the yet-unfinished basement. Throw a ball and as she retrieves, go hide. It was a good hour of fun tonight. For her, and for me! Quietness. :-)

* It was nice to get a report card home that was way better than I wildly anticipated. Kudos to that kid!

* I need a massage. Like really need it. Or a chiro treatment. My shoulders ache. It has a 'hot' spot on one side. It's been a year. Am thinking I should get one again... but I'm such a tight-wad I hate spending money that isn't eaten or worn.

* I'm realizing how utterly dull my life is right now.