Sunday, May 31, 2009

Notes about nothing

* Just a couple photos from the past weekend.  We loved having LEP here!  She came and just followed me around for three days.  I think she'll enjoy her quiet apt. back in the south very much.  She was a great help in helping me do a top coat on the basement wood.  Thank you L!  She' my youngest niece.  A delight.  I loved her fiery temper as a little kid.  Pouty if you will.  Would get mad at big brother and kick her shoes off and march off down the hall.  I was amused and slightly put off that maybe my sister should come down with some stern discipline.  And now I have a daughter who gets irritated at her big brother and pouts and storms off and I feel I'm eating my just dessert.  I take courage in the fact the big one has turned out so nicely.

* We have tadpoles.  Lots of them.  Too many.  And they're getting frisky in the bowl.  No legs yet.  But the tails are becoming more defined.  I tried to take a picture but it is completely nearly impossible.

* I feel a twinge of guilt.  After g.m. today I was talking to someone and they were saying how great they felt when summer hit.  They had their kids with them 24/7.  They could stay up late and sleep in.  Just aimless summer days.  I'm looking forward it with lots of fear great anticipation with a touch of worry.  You see someone in this family loves to be entertained.  Told what to do.  Wanders mindlessly if there isn't a plan.  An agenda.  Some thought of going somewhere or someone coming over.  For that certain person it is hard just to 'be'.  Then the crabbies start.  But it'll be good too.  I think.  I hope I can get a blasted moment of silence once in awhile.

* I have a sore foot.  I've limped a lot today.  I "googled" it.  Plantar fasciitis they call it.  And wowser it hurts.  I strained it trying to outrun a guy about 20 years my junior last week in sandals.  I was a bit put off when the description said it is common 'for those in middle-age' to get it.  Oh help.  But I am.  Cough.  Yikes. 

* My window boxes are starting to show color!  I love them.  When they get full and lush and a bit prettier to brag about, I might post a picture.  They look cute on the Cape Cod front of our house.  Cozy!

* Our basement project is almost done.  Just carpet on Tuesday and a few minor things that I hope our kind carpenter doesn't forget to return to do.  

* Two weeks until Lisi's big test.  I'm already nervous.  I haven't been working with her at all much.  We'll cram a bit in the morning before we go in.  

* I'm starting to even bore myself.  When I see on the map how far away people come from to read this it is almost embarrassing.  Sorry folks... 

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Trip to IL

A great time was had in southern IL.  I have some pictures, but not all that I really wanted to take.  

Lets see.  The most important thing to say is we were so glad to see NP.  It is nice to see contentment.  

We enjoyed the hospitality given to us bringing in a family of five.  Our kids enjoyed their kids.  A lot.  

We realize that the culture in southern IL is somewhat different than that of WI.  Not in a bad way.  Just well, more laid back.

I am so glad we had the opportunity to visit a local small-town buffet after morning meeting. That was a true 'flavor' - literal and figurative of the locality.  We don't have harvard beets, bread pudding, or fantastic fried chicken in our buffets.  And... (I won't steal Ethel's thunder), but you should have seen the threads on a few of the people.  One leisure suit in particular brought a lot of thoughts and a few quiet snickers.  The white socks were a nice added touch.  

And so without further adieu, here's the pictures in complete random order. 


This photo was posted without permission*

We went to Ethel's house.  I've known her for a very, very long time.  In fact, I must share a little story about the first time I met her.  Her parents called to come to my grandmother's one time when Ethel would have been about 7 and I was maybe 8.  They came over for a visit on a Sunday afternoon and then pulled out their hymn books and started to sing lovely hymns to her. Ethel was sitting there quietly and I was staring at her.  Her kind parents brought joy and a cup of kindness to my Grandma back in the early/mid-70's.  Then some years later I'm living in Minneapolis with Ethel's bestest friend.  Ethel is a free-flowing kind of girl.  I'm a non-free-flowing girl.  I almost don't like her. She's earthy.  Dresses in looser clothes.  Late.  Spontaneous.  Basically everything I'm not.  I was polite, but not overly nice.  I couldn't even call her a friend at that point.  We both marry within a few years of each other.  Start families.  And connect.  And communicate.  And visit each other's homes.  And become friends.  Fast forward to this past weekend.  My nephew is in their area.  I inquire about coming.  Not only is the door open and the welcome mat dusted off... it is wide open and the welcome mat is nearly flying in the breeze.  We visit.  Reminisce.  Share Tazo Awake tea (that she specially bought for me I think).  Watch our children romp and play.  Share deep hearty laughs.  A few tears.  Talk about life and death and children and spouses and fears and joys.  It was just so nice in every way.  And so... this tribute is for a friend.  Someone I knew for so many years, but only in the last 10 allowed myself to really 'like' her.  And I'm so thankful I did.  Thank you Ethel for your hospitality!  I'm thankful for your friendship...

Baseball Season '09

Monday, May 25, 2009


Memorial Day picnic.  My son on 1st.  I didn't get out!  More on weekend when my eyeballs aren't crossed.  But as a preview, it was a good one!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Keeping It Real

Borrowed from another blog.  The beauty of blogs is that you can post the cute.  The funny.  The sweet.  The 'ahhhh' moments.  But sometimes life isn't all about the perfect and wonderful.  Maybe I'll try to post some icky stuff so we don't look so put together.  

* My gardens still are full of weeds.  And quack grass.  And rocks.  And the flowers I planted in the window boxes have been blasted by the rotten wind here and they look just shell shocked.

* Where we are now is windy.  Not just your ordinary breeze.  We're talking wild wind.  Irritating at times.  And often bone-chilling.

* The kids are into making a fort in the lot next door.  They almost without fail leave all their 'tools' out there in the field and rush off to something else.  And then to make matters worse, when they do bring it all in, they bring in approximately 1/4 acre of mud with them back into the house.

* No one likes to do work around here.  Well the Chairman and I do. But the kids balk, whine, complain, and downright cry at times about chores.  I actually don't ask much out of them I don't think.  And then when I do I almost cringe before asking knowing there will be loud complaints on who did what and how much and how mom isn't fair for asking so very much more out of them then the others.  I think I need to go back to chore charts or this summer will  be nothing but yelling.

* One very dear worker said to me once that the parents she knew that had the most control didn't raise their voice.  Oh boy.  I remember those words when I'm in a loud mood.

* Kids always want to find you when they feel sick.  And that sometimes includes puke in carpeting.  At 1 in the morning.  That's what I saw this morning.  Trevor heard the commotion and came out of his room to see what was happening and without thinking I said, 'good morning honey!' at 1:07 am.  Then I said, 'no wait, go back to bed.  Sorry I woke you!'.  And my d.d. #1 is lying in my bed with a fever and a belly ache.

* After being cooped up for most of yesterday, we came home to a dog that wanted a walk and wanted it NOW.  So after asking the kids if they wanted to bike with us while the Chairman and I walked, they said no.  We return after a quick 25 minute trek and look over at the yard and it seemingly seems peaceful for about 4 seconds.  Then yelling.  Then one child comes over screaming that another child jumped on their stomach.  Lovely.

* Two of our three kids have allergies.  One gets over them as soon as the trees bud out.  The other is miserable with them.  Congestion.  Coughing.  Wheezing.  Sneezing.  Ick.  I'm going to an alternative-type person tomorrow to see if they can do anything first.  Then if not, I'm back to the pharmacy again.  

* The laundry is in piles all over the living room.  And I haven't showered at 10:30.  But there is fresh bread and I've done other things, so I hope that counts.

* Oh did I mention dust?  So thick on the office furniture that when you move something you see the outline?  I hear that comes with projects in the house.

So there you have it.  Keeping it real.  But yet... still... one happy family!  (usually)

Keeping it real...

Stolen from another blog.  The beauty of blogs is that we can only post the good.  Which maybe isn't a bad thing.  

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Friday, May 15, 2009

Basement project

hard at work

the basement
the fireplace
hard at it (our builder guy who also happens to be a friend, a painter, and two Russian stone guys

We are still in the midst of a terrible mess basement remodel (ok, enough of the strike through). Since we had thus and such here to do this and that, we've had the builder-types take care of issues that we had with the main part of the house (i.e. lighting, wall color, drywall repair, etc.) Right now I'm down to only three extra people in the house. The Chairman keeps telling me I'm going to miss them when it is all over. Anyhoo. Here are a few photos...

Lani wondered where everyone was. Well since it is spring a lot of us are outside working. I've inherited a 2-year old large yard with neglected ill planned garden. And so I've spent hours a lot of time trying to get weeds out of it. While pulling and yanking and grunting and ripping I've had some thoughts.

* If you're not where you're supposed to be, you're a weed. No matter who you are.

* Nothing can substitute for a good daily weeding. Otherwise it is a miserable chore.

* Pulling up huge roots after neglect can affect the good things around it.

* Soft soil is a pleasure to work with.

* Trying to take care of a garden beyond your ability or time constraints results only in something ugly to look upon.

* All of nature has a part in a healthy garden i.e. worms.

* The dying time of winter is vital for new growth.

* The decay of last year's growth can feed the tender shoots coming on.

* When plants are first put in the ground they are fragile and need to be encouraged a lot to grow.

* Some weeds look exactly like a perennial to me. I can't tell, but time will...

* The root system is almost always much greater in proportion to what is seen.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Mother's Day

the 'moms' with their kids
the friends

I've been reading on FB and blogs about how wonderful the Mother's Days were.  Mine was no exception.  From someone who desperately struggled to become one, I never take Mother's Day for granted... I am fortunate and I know it.  And that's what makes it such a blessing. 

We had Dad and Mom D. over for dinner along with friends*.

* I did not get permission to post this picture.    Me bad.

I feel a bit sorry that I didn't get one of just the three kids and I, but we were rushing out the door... and I honestly never thought of it again.  Oops.

Arbor Day at the D's

Rayna telling dad what to do
my mouth open as always...
so sweet
the men
happy girl

The Chairman was at a tree place picking out some things for our yard and came home with three baby Black Hills Spruce for the kids to plant.  It was cute watching them scurry out to give them water yesterday.  I heard one of them call their tree 'Spike'.  

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Hot Pursuit

Yep.  She spoke too soon.  I will admit.  I read the blog.  Don't you think my stories are funny? Well I love seeing what the Big Lady writes.  And I'm sure she enjoys reading what I write.  I hope so anyway because I've figured out how to get on here again.  Do you faithful readers remember that "Lisi was behaving and so there were no stories to tell?".  Well HA on her!  

Today was a special day.  The little people that make huge messes and the guy the Big Lady refers to as the Chairman on here were all aflutter this morning.  They kept making a fuss over the Big Lady.  I saw gifts.  Cards.  Even the absence of fighting with the little snot-nosed ones. And the Big Lady was just in a happy, almost thankful mood.  And today they were dog sitting! You see some very kind people that live nearby come and get me out of my prison when my people are gone for a long time.  And so today they were helping the helpful people by letting their dog out.  Oliver is a golden like me with very long legs and he can actually outrun me.  So the Chairman and Big Lady take me with them and we go let Oliver out.  We wrestle and cavort and carry on in true doggy fashion and then we head for this huge open field on a walk.  Wow what a day.  Perfect weather in my eyes... 50 degrees.  A friend.  My two favorite people.  And an open field that has gophers, a swamp, even some icky frogs.  We had a blast racing around.  And then I saw them.  People.  Across the way in their yard.  Throwing a ball.  I wagged my tail and heard (I'll say faintly) the big lady say, "Lisi No!" (you see I wasn't on that nasty leash).  I wasn't going to go but then I saw something.  Small.  Furry.  Tail twitching.  Could it be?  Was it?  You've got to be kidding!  A CAT!  A real cat.  Outside in the elements.  Enjoying the outdoors.  And wanting a good chase I'm sure.  And so I ran.  Foolishly mind you.  The Big Lady was a hollarin'.  The Chairman did a big whistle.  But I was after a big ol' gray cat.  I rushed up to the people.  The lady screamed.  One of the boys grabbed the cat.  The man stood there in disbelief.  Then!  The cat jumped down.  It had a HUGE back like it needed chiro work.  The tail was unbelievably big.  The sounds coming from it sounded like a hissing snake.  I crawled sideways up to it wanting to be a friend.  The cat didn't need a friend like me it seemed.  And so I turned around and made sure the people liked me.  And then there he was.  Huffing and a puffing.  And he had my leash.  The Chairman wasn't impressed.  He gave heartfelt apologies.  Made some small talk about yards and baseball and such and then as he got back to the Big Lady (that quit yelling at this point), he said, 'well she just failed the Canine Good Citizen test just now.  And the Big Lady muttered something to the effect that there needs to be a lot more work done.  Oh good grief.  I'm a dog.  I chase things.  Especially cats.  And believe you me, I doubt they have a cat running across the room when I'm being tested.  How great would that be!  

And it is.  Another episode from me... Lisi!  I hope the Big Lady isn't too disappointed that she spoke too soon.  

Saturday, May 9, 2009

i am bored ,but i would like some dill pickles and/or some waffle w/ ice cream on top w/ sprinkles 
Linda's dauhtter
Rayna Debelak

I find this in my google reader tonight... silly girl.

Friday, May 8, 2009


* I'm still staining.  And boys-oh-howdy I'll be glad when it's done.  I see the light at the end of the tunnel (I hope it isn't a train coming).  But!  It is pretty and will be worth it.  (the Chairman though is slightly troubled about a couple of drip spots he found on the doors...)  And the Chairman is most appreciative of my diligent efforts.  

* If Spring isn't your favorite season, what possibly could it be?  I LOVE spring.  Yesterday and today are perfect.  Sun.  Light breeze.  Ideal temperature hovering about 73 1/2.  Ahhhh.  

* I can't lose my extra poundage.  I referred to it over a week ago.  I've been a bit more diligent with watching my intake and exercise.  Then in the morning I run to the bathroom and shed every article of clothing I have on, even spitting in the sink for a good measure (well not quite) I get on the scale and... (sigh).  I think it has to do with 44.  I refuse to give up though.

* I did the hardest (5 dark stars mind you) sudoku today.  It was that or staining... 

* I had my Mom's Muffin Day with Trevor.  It was so sweet.  A snack (why yes it was muffins), a little reading from each child on why they love their mom (insert bleary-eyed Linda here), and then we decorated a flower pot together.  He let me hug him, but no kisses in front of the 'guys'.  

* I wish Lisi had a story.  No actually, I'm glad she's been behaving herself.  But it would be fun to type one up again.  And for goodness sake, I couldn't write fiction... or could I?

* Soon the baseball games start.  I can't wait.  I think I like it more than T.  But maybe not.  

* There are five (count 'em), five different people from our area getting married this summer/fall.  Must be the water.  

* Yesterday was the funeral of someone I know that died.  She was barely middle aged.  Another one that succumbed to cancer.  I couldn't stop thinking of her family and dear friends yesterday. She meant so much to so many.  And that is part of the reason I wrote my birthday post. Because I'm still in time.  My sister-in-law left us at 44.  This whole year will be very special to me just for that reason.

* Now back to the boards I go...  

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Because it's fun

Here's a survey for mom's. Copy and paste to your blog and then "x" each thing that describes you.
What kind of a cook do you consider yourself?
(x)I’m chef material - is that bragging?  Maybe not chef... but a good homey cook!
( )Nobody complains
( )sometimes it turns out
( )people beg me not to cook
( )what’s a cook?

When do you wash the dishes?
(x)Right away
( )after the last meal of the day
( )the next day
( )I leave them until someone else does them

How do you decide what to make for meals?
( )open the cookbook and point to a recipe
(x)ask family members what they would like
(x)I plan my meals ahead of time
( )pull a packaged item from the freezer
( )call for delivery

How often do you do laundry?
(x)every day
( )at least once or twice a week
( )I send it out
( )never. I just buy new

At what point do you vacuum the floor?
(x)everyday before the floor really has a chance to get dirty - the kitchen anyway.
(x)a couple of times a week just to keep the big chunks from be obvious
( )when I can’t walk without the soles of my feet being covered in crumbs and dirt
( )never

Do you dust?
( )yes, everyday
(x)once a week - bit Mira is the one who usually does it
( )when company is coming
( )no, it will just get dusty again

Do you make your family members do chores around the house?
( )everyone has their daily lists
( )once a week we split chores
(x)the kids have certain chores they do - but it isn't all that much
( )no, I do it all

Do you pick up the kids’ toys?
( )yes, always
(x)I sometimes help them
( )no, never
( )I don’t pick up, I just throw

What do you do after the kids are in bed?
(x)more work around the house
(x)read a book or take a bubble bath - computer time?
( )exercise
(x)spend time with husband
( )go to bed

How often do you and your spouse go out on dates?
( )every week
( )once a month
(x)at least once a year - it is really a bit more than that... but I wouldn't say monthly.
( )what’s a date?

How do you buy clothes for your family?
( )brand new every time
(x)brand new and secondhand - the secondhand means hand me downs... I don't do resale shops
( )always secondhand
( )we always get hand-me-downs so no need to shop

If you had a day to yourself, how would you spend it?
(x)clean house - sad, but true
( )shopping
( )get together with friends
( )go to a Day spa
(x)stay home and do whatever I want

Would you like to go back to work?
( )yes! I need the break
( )some days
(x)never. This is my job and I love it.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Birthday buying

He's great in most every way.  Perfect for me really.  Steady.  Sure.  Caring.  Loving.  Devoted. Loyal.  All those wonderful adjectives and even a superlative.  But challenged when it comes to stores.  He isn't a shopper.  Almost hates it (but I don't like that strong word).  Well if it involves cars and major purchases for the home he's all over it.  But small incidentals... well, no.  I buy everything for him except the ties.  I was even called the 'pants lady' once because I kept buying and returning until we found the right size and fit.  

I digress.  So I look forward to birthdays with joy and a bit of fear mingled in there for a good measure.  Because, well... you just never know!  This year was wonderful.  I got a beautiful hanging basket for a hook outside in plain view of the kitchen.  And another multi-colored pot that was just what we needed.  And then the other things the kids all picked out.  It was sweet. A fish plate.  A water bottle.  An exercise outfit.  Nice.  And then I opened two shirts - both in a shade of red (the Chairman likes me in red).  The first one was very pretty and nice.  The 2nd... well the tag said it was a Such and Such Brand with the word "woman" under it.  And it was a size 1X.  :-)  How great is that?  He thought it looked a little 'big', but the one that said 2X looked even better (well I should say!).  Then he was worried it was maternity.

Rayna kept giggling and wanting desperately to tell this to me when they got home.  Checking out there was some confusion with running a credit card through the machine and then 'dad said you can tell I don't shop much can't you?'.  She thought it was hilarious.  

And so their kind efforts don't go unnoticed.  I love what they do for me.  

Monday, May 4, 2009

Happy Birthday!

To me.  I'm 44.  Some try to hide their age.  I can't really.  My hair doesn't allow it.  Or my siblings.  Or my parents.  Or my kids for that matter.  But you know what?  Having birthdays and getting older are better than the other option.  Not being here enjoying what life can bring. It isn't reality to think we won't age.  The next generation won't let us.  

And so today was nice.  It started out with me making the kids' choice of buttermilk choc. chip pancakes (just a few chips mind you).  Then they all scurried off to school and work and the laundry heap was waiting.  And some plants that needed attention.  And the dog who needed walking and some practice cram-training before the 1:00 class.  And the house needed to be slicked up.  Messages returned on the basement project.   Just another day.  I appreciated some calls.  Lots of FB messages.  And I felt sorry.  Because it was such an ordinary day.  And then the phone rang.  It was the Chairman.  Do you want to go to lunch?  Well I did, but the dog class starts in about an hour so it wouldn't be very long.  Lets go out for supper with the kids.  But his call made me happy.  He's been (too) busy at work.  So his gesture was very sweet.  And then after supper (which I ended up making - chicken, basil pasta, carrots/broccoli, sourdough baguette, and fruit chased down with a cupcake) the kids and the Chairman made quite a fuss. And the walk after was great.  And the game of PIG.  And then I realized I am blessed.  I'm where I wanted to be years ago.  This little family that is ours is something very special.  The husband that first chose me and than I him is sure, devoted, and loving.  And so this is going to be a great year.  For that reason and that only would be enough.  But I know there are many more blessings and trials that may and will come for the next year.  But that is life.  And I'm 44. And I'm thankful.