Monday, September 28, 2009

Pictures and a post

Look at this mom!
Still injured... not
Aaron Rodgers ... I mean Trevor before the run
boys will be boys...
getting soaked before the run

* Mira lost her first tooth. In true independent Debelak fashion, she pulled it out on her own at school. I yanked like the dickens tugged on it a bit that morning as it looked pretty loose and well being the tidy kind of person I am wanted it out. But it wouldn't budge. So Mira says to me, 'I'll pull it out today ok mom?'. Sure. And she came home with the biggest grin and a tooth necklace (and another sparkly bracelet from someone).

* Rayna lost yet another last week too. So the tooth fairy made two visits in two nights!

* Trevor participated in a 'cross country meet' for grade schoolers in this area. He ran a mile in pouring rain. It was fun to watch a bunch of squirrely boys 9-10 years old lined up in pouring rain ready to run. We were all soaked to the skin and after we ate we all piled up snuggling under cozy blankets.

* The love affair with crutches hasn't died after 2 solid months of listening to the 'click-click' (think nursing home walker sounds) in our house. I looked at her a couple days ago and asked how in the world she got her leg so fat to look like a cast. (It was 13 pairs of socks.)

* I am dealing with the aftermath of a cold. Pretty much done for except for really bad night coughing. I googled it and you know what I found? That you should put Vicks Vapor Rub on the bottoms of your feet, put on cotton socks and go to bed and you won't cough. I was skeptical at best. But tried it and you know, it works??? Weird. I got really hot feet too.

* We have wedding #4 coming this weekend. The couple is cute as can be. The day will be lovely I'm sure. And it'll be fun to be with a bunch of people we love again.

* I'm having a roadblock with meal ideas again. I want to do more fish/seafood, Asian, or even chicken dishes that are light and kid-friendly. Help!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Guilty pleasure

It's a guilty pleasure. In fact, the Chairman called as I was finishing up my hike. "Where are you" he asks. Um. At such and such park. I just had a hike and ate lunch and it was really nice. "Well that's what I'd do if I could". And so it's a guilty pleasure. I feel guilty that I can do it and he's working diligently to keep our assets a bit higher than the liabilities. The picture above wasn't taken by me, but it is nearly identical to where I sat and ate my lunch. What's missing on that picture is the wet dog waiting for the next stick to be thrown.

But anyway, back to the woods. I went there because there is a lot of commotion here. The landscapers are nearly finished outside. But they are noisy and in front of most of the windows. The carpets are still damp from yesterday's cleaning. So I don't feel compelled to march around the house that much. I did make a bit of bread and a cinnamon roll thingy that the kids will devour after school. But back to the woods. I go there because, well Lisi loves it there. It's like she's going to the... (insert your favorite place ever). Quite frankly, as much as I enjoy it, I doubt I would pack up my PB&J and head to the woods without her. I'd feel 'weird'. Scared in a way (not that golden retrievers are good guard dogs). And maybe part of the joy for me is seeing her so happy.

I love the crows 'cawing' in the woods. I love the crunch of acorns under my feet. I love the damp smell of decaying pine needles. I love seeing little chipmunks chitter and scamper away as I get nearer. I love being in a place walking for 1/2 hour and not seeing another person. I love the perfect 70 degree temperature with humidity (really... I do love humidity). And I love the fact I have my health to enjoy days like today. So I don't feel guilty. I feel lucky.

Monday, September 21, 2009


* Yes. It hit me last night. A cold. Sore throat. Itchy and runny nose. Even a slight achy feel. Yuck.

* But! Our family pictures were taken yesterday. By this talented lady. Some 'normal' family shots. And some creative too. Picture an antique red wagon with a sloppy and slightly impatient dog sitting in it with three kids pulling and pushing it. I can't wait to see them.

* Landscapers are hard at work outside the window. Putting in the front yard stuff finally. Was hard to decide. I hope it works out.

* Carpet cleaners come on Wednesday. We used to hear it wasn't good for carpets to be cleaned. But a carpet expert came a few months ago looking at a seam we were fussing about in the basement and his take was that cleaning was actually good for carpet. Since we've lived here 13 months and never had them done yet, I think it's time.

* And I give blood on Saturday. It was too convenient. And they asked too nicely. And they said something about my blood type being so desirable. And I could also mention a free pint of Culver's was thrown in for an incentive too. :-)

* Switching to cable phone for our land line tomorrow. Have heard mixed results with them... but it was a good $25/month savings. That would be nice.

* I threw out a huge bag of old file stuff. Do we really need statements from our utility company from 2003? It was very liberating.

* A couple Mira'isms today. She was trying to tell me about the curriculum meeting in her room and called it the 'Corinthian' meeting! And then she was trying to tell about something expiring and said it was 'perspiring'. I said... really? Maybe it was!

* Back to colds. Why do we need the virus? And what makes the nose run like it does? Is there a real purpose to it all or just to annoy us and make us realize that really, life can be miserable sometimes.

* No gourmet dinner here tonight. Recipes from here that were kid-friendly. Will have to up the ante tomorrow night. But I'm sick, remember?

The family jumps on the trampoline. The dishes are crusting over. Time to take action...

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Thursday thoughts

- It hasn't rained since 2007 I don't think. A mere exaggeration. But it is bone dry here. Like when I threw the football to Trevor yesterday (I might add I did some pretty admirable spirals), the grass 'smoked' when the ball hit it. Yikes.

- And why did the Archie people think it a good idea for Archie and Veronica get married? Rayna got a subscription for her birthday. They are married (Betty is crying in the background) and the last page says now there is a baby coming in the next issue. What happened to the silly teen stuff? Good grief!

- Family pictures coming. To have Lisi in them or not. That is the question. Some think dogs are... well... dogs. Stinky, hairy, get in the way things. Others love to see them. Hmmm.

- I have knots. Not in my laces. On my back and neck. I saw a chiro this week. On to the massage this afternoon. I hope it helps. It is... ouch.

- Gourmet dinner thingy with neighbors this weekend. It's a Mediterranean theme. I'm to bring a creme caramel brulee. I can cook. But as I referenced before... more good home cookin' stuff. Or Italian. But Creme brulee? It includes ramekins, superfine sugar, and sieves. Yikes!

- Trevor has braces! The lost expander at wedding #3 gave the orthodontist an incentive to just move forward. And! He can't lose them! tee-hee.

- Wanting to dress up my window boxes for fall. Any suggestions? I'd like to have something not living so they don't freeze on me in two weeks. Sadly, the flowers in there are looking old and tired.

- Pesto cavatappi with chicken for supper! I imitated a dish from Noodles which is now a family favorite. Yum.

- Landscaping in the front of the house is finally coming! Today they kill grass. Next week they plant. Hooray!

I think this is boring enough.

Sunday, September 13, 2009


Never mind Trevor. He's doing what boys do when they see a camera.
Popcorn with Nathan in the camper!
So happy for time together.
Most of you know where we were. It was just awesome. Really. Some thoughts while away:

* Well first, Lisi thought I was selling her to the puppy mill when I sent her away on the doggy boarding van. The look in her eyes was just so confused and sad. I picked her up at break of day from the doggy shuttle (for real! they have one.) She's very happy to be back lying on the garage floor again.

* Laundry aplenty! I think 7 loads in all. I'm half-way through I think.

* I saw a big brother pushing his younger brother in a wheelchair. The younger brother is going through major discomfort and change for his long-term good. It was touching to see the kindness of a brother. I got an incredible lesson in observing them.

* The bathroom duties were just like last year. I had a great partner in the plunging. Our little girls were extremely helpful and happy with their jobs. They wouldn't do at home what I asked them to do here unless I gave lots of verbal threats. The difference? Recognition from others. We all love it. Even the very young.

* This convention was extra-special for lots of reasons, but one because two family members were there that usually are not. One lives (too) far away. I miss her already. Another lives only for others and isn't free to just come over. It was so nice to be together.

* The camper worked slick. We still are very happy with it. Maybe another camping trip this fall yet. Then button down the hatches for winter.

* The kids thought it was heaven on earth. And it is. For all of us. At one point I looked around and saw almost all the people I really love all in one room. It can hardly be better than that.

* The readership count on this silly blog plummented during our time away. Something tells me most the readers were with me. And after leaving yesterday, I realized some I hardly spoke with. And I wish I had!

* There's much to do. And so I go...

Monday, September 7, 2009

Labor Day Lazies

I should be 'laboring' right now. But I'll get at it soon.

* Most impressed with the Chairman. For the 3rd time I was thoroughly surprised. Maybe some day it won't surprise me. But not yet. He's... well... just great. I'm so lucky for him for lots of reasons.

* Three weddings down. One to go. Each are completely unique in their own way. Even though we're attending four in two months, they all are exciting. This last one was for a man I've known basically my whole life. It is so neat to see a guy at age 42 finally with the one right for him. He just beamed. Looking forward to the one in October too!

* We are now camping people. And it is really stressful fun! Getting it all figured out is a big deal. And learning about water pumps and hitches and extra brake thingys all add to the mix. But we took it for a 24 hour trial and it was just great fun! I remember camping a lot as a kid. But my folks did the work and I was the one wandering around checking out the outhouses while they set up and started supper. Now I'm making the supper and my kids are wandering around. The overly-bred, sometimes brilliant dog came along. And! No stories for her to share. She was just... well in my humble opinion, flawless in her behavior! Really! Like she always went camping! We ended up not even having her tied up as she was just content to hang out by us.

* We wanted to have an abode for convention(s) and for Door County and for a couple other times each year. But really, I was wondering why people camp? It is LOTS of work. Getting stuff packed. Making sure you have the right stuff. Then once you're there you have to start working again. Then the accommodations (even in the nicest of units) isn't like home. It is smaller in every way - the bed, the kitchen, the table, etc. And you're hauling water. And you've got dirt between your toes. And it gets cold at night. But you know what? It's worth it. Every little bit of effort. The memories are priceless. And... since the Chairman came from a non-camping family, I'm most impressed he was all for it!

* And so this week will most likely turn out to be just awesome again. It is every year. And I think this one will not fail either. I look forward to bathroom duty again! Kinda. Sorta. Maybe. Depends on how much fiber is served.

Friday, September 4, 2009


The Chairman of the Board of the Debelak Discourse (Duane) would be remiss to not comment on the past nearly 15 years of matrimony with the Editor and Publisher (Linda). With November 5 rapidly approaching, a brief review of the relationship may be appropriate.

The venture began innocently enough. Back in 1992, while exploring summer trip options, Dr. Jensen mentioned a five-day rafting excursion on the Colorado River being promoted by some of his extended relatives (Jane R. et al). As I can be uncomfortable in large groups in a non-boardroom setting, I was reluctant to commit. Unbeknownst to me, this apparently caused consternation with my future brother-in-law given travel logistics. Eventually, a commitment was made, and Mark and Matt graciously picked me up at the Denver airport (then Stapleton) and drove me (now temporarily nicknamed Denver) to Green River, Utah.

The initial meeting between the Publisher and Chairman was blemished when I called my future brother-in-law by the wrong name. And I was not overly impressed with the watermelon shorts, the sunhat, and the hands on the hips pose of the future Publisher. After several days, opinions began to change. A mental note was made over her car (Acura Integra), her job (Target Auditor), and her education (college but not overly enamored with it). The moment of clarity occurred at the first rapids.

The tour guides on our three-raft expedition suggested some of the more adventurous travelers could traverse the rapids feet first. As we lined up for the passage, somehow I ended up just ahead of the Publisher. I was impressed by her calmness and how she, despite the roar of the impending rapids, could continue to talk in such a relaxed manner. After plunging through the rapids and occasionally going underwater, I was relieved to discover I was unharmed. I then noticed the Publisher looking somewhat addled. The standard "are you OK?" query was met with silence. As we swam/drifted to the sand bar, a brief moment was necessary for the Publisher to recompose. At this time I concluded that, while she may be firmly in charge most of the time (estimated to be 99%), there may be times when I could provide support and encouragement. Later that evening, I noticed her combing her hair at the rivers edge and the previous troublesome hands on the hips imagery no longer resonated. I then realized that maybe I would not live in my parents basement for the remainder of my days.

While I began to notice the future Publisher in a more positive way, I'm afraid I did little to impress. My attempts to engender admiration were limited to worries about the safety of my new extended-wear contacts, retrospective pondering over how I could have lost my credit card in the MSP airport, and complaints about constipation. On a positive note, the Publisher appeared to enjoy witnessing a rousing unscripted fight I had with Mark (which is inevitable after several days of travel).

Uh oh. This 15 (+2) years in review is going to go on way too long. There may be time for additional segments of the review in the years ahead. Overall, the end of the review is very positive. The challenge remains the same, the song remains the same, the love has grown and the respect has deepened.

I love you Publisher/Editor/Reporter/Cartoonist!!!


It's a guilty pleasure. And a very simple one. Once the kids are in school, I thoroughly enjoy having lunch alone. I can eat leftovers be creative and please only myself (and maybe a wee bite to the pooch). I peruse the paper. And on days like today, enjoy the outdoors at the same time. I do know when I have talked to older ones that have lost a spouse, eating alone is dreadful. And I can see that part of it too. But at this stage of my life, no one is spilling. No one is pushing. No one is burping (or worse!). No one interrupting. And no one complaining about the menu. And so I enjoy the guilty pleasure of alone-time. Because very very soon the bus will come. And then I'm so happy to see their dear faces. Put out the snacks. And feel renewed because I. Was. Alone.

This was my lunch today. Leftovers thrown together. But I must share my very simple corn black bean salsa recipe.

Corn Black Bean Salsa

1-15 oz. can black beans
1-10 oz. can Ro-Tel tomatoes (with lime juice and cilantro)
1-8.5 oz. whole kernel corn
1/2 cup chopped onion
Shakes of Tabasco sauce or finely chopped hot peppers

Mix up and enjoy!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009


My first day without someone with me in nearly three months! And so I did what every other lady with free time would do. I put on my shoes, got the keys and went to the mall nearby county park. I took a huge hike through wooded hill and vale. A treacherous path down to a lake and threw sticks at the pooch for a long time. I find it amazing that she can actually smell for the stick in the water. Amazing. And her other gift is to come up to shore and shake the excess water on me. But anyway. Then we went over to the dog park which is within the county park. Tis a large fenced in area. I figured on a weekday it wouldn't be so crowded and it wasn't. But there were still about 18 big, sloppy people dogs there anyway! Some observations:

* People reflect their dogs or the dogs reflect the people. I'm not sure which.

* The overweight people have overweight dogs. The skinny have skinny...

* Alpha-positioning isn't only for dogs. There was a lady there that felt it was her place to be the alpha-person. Hands on hips. Speaking with authority. The rest were showing signs of submission. I didn't see anyone lie down and reveal their own belly though...

* Friendly dogs have friendly owners. To the point of almost too much of a muchness. One gent came over and visited with me for at least 20 minutes on his wheaten terrier. I made the mistake of asking one question. And that's all he needed.

* Lisi had the greatest time with a chihuahua. Now let me tell you, this dog "Olive" looked like the Taco Bell dog. But she was quite charming. And could run like the dickens. And how I got Lisi to start going after her was to say, 'go get the kitty'. (I didn't let the owner hear that.)

* The dog people get sort of a confidence in themselves when around others with dogs. I know for a fact I wouldn't have said two words to those people had I ran into them at the grocery store.

* And there is a sort of an unspoken club with the dog people. They don't say, 'goodbye'. It was see you later. Like in tomorrow we'll be back! (I won't.) I think I'm in the group now. How about that!

* And when I was leaving... one lady said to me, 'good bye Lacey and Lacey's mom'. For some reason I corrected her. It's Lisi, not Lacey. REALLY? I thought I knew you! You're Lisi's mom! Um. Yes. Do I know you? Yes! I'm such-and-so's friend. I was there for the Canine Good Citizen training. Don't you remember me? No. Sorry. But thanks anyway! See you soon!

p.s. In reference to the earlier post about yesterday... we all are fine. Physically and mostly mentally. No worries for you out there. We just have some things to contend with within our walls. Thankyouverymuch.

First Day 2009-10

smiling big because someone (I honestly don't know which one) 'tooted' right before the picture.
the line-up at our driveway
these are the neighbor twin boys, not ours. so don't be confused that we have more children.

Last day of summer...

at the local dam
something he loves to do
hmmm... is their spot better than mine?
look! a bullhead!
Rayna thinks it is kinda gross. Mira even puts her own worms on!

It was to be a great day. Each child picked out their favorite thing for one of the meals. Then we took some neighbor boys to the nearby dam to fish. After about 5 minutes (and no fault of his own) a neighbor boy dropped Trevor's pole. He was sobbing. Loudly. I got scared wondering what in the world had happened. Then he told me. Relief swept over me. But then the kids were thinking of swimming to get it. Um. No. The very kindly neighbors came over with an apology and money for a replacement.

Then it got worse. Way worse. I called it a simply perfectly awful dreadful day. It isn't blog fodder. Just so you know our lives aren't all about happy smiles and fishing holes.