Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year

... to all of you!  As I laid in bed frustrated by the snoring listening to the echoing silence this morning, I was thinking about this past year for us personally.  It was a year that will not be remembered for always.  We didn't have a significant change in our lives.  We didn't lose a loved one, have a child brought into our lives, move, get desperately sick, or anything else.  We just lived.  Went about our business.  Enjoyed the kindness and friendship of others.  And loved our family.  Ordinary days and an ordinary year.  That's a good thing.  

Our computer is fixed!  You see our mouse was dying.  It didn't squeak anymore (ok, bad joke).  So I went to replace it.  But it was an all-in-one thingy and since an unnamed child in this household kinda sorta bent the usb thingy that you plug in, both the keyboard and mouse were now irrelevant.  So thanks to the store with the yellow sign, we're in business again.  And it's cheaper than buying a new computer that's for sure.

Three years ago at this very moment, I held our first golden named Lincoln as he was put down.  He suddenly succumbed to cancer and there was no choice.  I cried more than I ever thought I would as his paw draped over my arm.  Our entire family bawled driving home for the suddenness of it all.  It was sad.  And those of you that have been loved by a dog know the feeling.  When we lose a loved one, there's an aching gap that gets more bearable with time, but doesn't go away.  When we lose a pet, it hurts, but if there's another, they fill that empty spot.  And for all the stories - frustrating, hilarious, and just plain stupid, I kinda like dog #2.  A lot.

The house sure is more quiet without our son here.  We get him back tonight.  I miss his heavy body leaning into mine for a back scratch at night.  I miss the fracas he brings when he riles up his sisters (well sorta anyway), I miss him gulping down a couple glasses of milk without his adam's apple hardly moving.  Sons.  They're great.

Our snow is about gone!  Has been nice to have a little intermission in this winter.

Noticed this is post #625 for me.  Is that significant?  I'm not sure.  But it sure sounds like a lot.

Happy New Year to you and yours from me and mine!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Monday Musings...

Or not.  It's already Thursday.  But I have an excuse.  We've been away.  We left on Monday actually.  Headed north to the Dells with two other families that extended to four and a few more.  (We're fun like that.)  We are fortunate for that type of amusement just shy of two hours away.  We rent a condo.  We bring enough food to stay through a weeks-long blizzard.  We eat.  We squeeze into our swimsuits after eating.  We ride down slides. Talk endlessly (especially me you Mean Older Brother), and we squabble over how high the thermostat should be at night (more on that in a bit).  For our kids they always say it is the 'best trip ever'.  And for them, it probably is.  For me?  Super nice I'd say.  But the bed the Chairman and I shared was like rolling from side-to-side in a hammock.  It was wonderful to be back home in our own hard as a rock firm bed.

Anyway, it was nice.  One of the the guys we went up with has been a friend of ours, well, since about the day we got married.  And he's funny.  With one-liners.  But his forte (I don't know how to do the accent thingy on that) is people watching.  And water parks leave you with your eyes bulging.  It's kinda like sitting at the mall in the atrium watching people walk past in their underpants.  You see all the things you shouldn't.  You see tattoos everywhere and I mean everywhere.  You see moles that should be checked.  Toes that have fungus.  And well... never mind.  So Mr. S. was great fun to sit next to as we watched the waves come crashing in at the wave pool.

And then there's the chicken farmers.  They came too.  They are delightful.  Fun.  Spunky.  Interesting.  Spiritual.  And just plain nice.  They didn't bring their chickens.  But I did hear a couple cell calls on telling So-And-So to be sure to check on them.  I sure hope so as we're waiting for eggs again.  Mr. Chicken Farmer decided the heat was too high in the condo the first night so basically turned it off and the rumpled people staggering out of their rooms almost without fail - complained about how cold it was.  So night number two, he left it warm and he was hot and the rest of us were not.  Group dynamics... usually someone loses.

And so the splashing and fun is over.  Back to the washer and dryer.  And walking the dog and various other mundane tasks such as making another batch of the Chairman's Granola.  He's looking nervous that the bag is empty.  Our son is gone until tomorrow.  You see he thinks Mr. Chicken Farmer walks on water and you know what?  He really does!  But just in winter.  They were to spend some time sitting in a tree shooting innocent living things and then ice fish until their hands are numb.

I didn't hardly pull my camera out of the bag.  I might scrounge up a cell phone picture or two once I'm not feeling lazy.  So all these words should maybe equal a picture or two.

Off to the mundane on a Thursday...

Friday, December 24, 2010

Thankfulness

Some of you I've known all my life.   Some of  you I've known just awhile.  Some of you I've never met.  Some of you I see often.  Some of you are so very far away.  Some of you live and give for others and that is your life.  Some of you tend the needs of your own family.  And some of you are alone.

But because you read the mundane, the silly, the serious, and the stories the dog has penned, I consider you all friends.  And with that I want to wish you a good holiday season.

Tomorrow, our home will be filled with people, the smells of simmering spaghetti sauce, good conversation, and a few laughs.  We have much to be thankful for.  For family.  For friends.  And for you.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Christmas thought

Mira was given a project at school on how to have the Best Christmas.  She wrote about gifts and food and going places and typical Christmas ideals.  But she adds at the end:

 "You should also think of your loved ones who have passed away, but they are safe now."  


Childlike faith is touching.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Warm thoughts

They walked in and looked like characters out of a book.  They had common names.  But uncommon in their looks.  Well common if you're from the deepest woods of northern Wisconsin.  Both were thin.  Looked like they were in their late-40's or maybe just had their 50th birthday.  She had a well-worn fleece shirt with a thread-bare shirt underneath.  Her hairstyle worked really well in 1978.  He had a cap that covered (I'm guessing here) a mostly bald top with straggling gray hair that reached the collar and maybe even below.  They came to look at our wood stove.

You see there's this fantastic tax credit if you buy a wood stove before the end of this year.  So the Chairman got down to business and started to do full-force research.  That isn't a burden to him.  He loves to research things.  After some time, he narrows down the choices to two models of a manufacturer.  That's where J&B (names not given to protect their identity) step in the picture.  They drove approximately 40 miles in snow to come make a suggestion as to which stove to purchase to replace our current one.

And do you want to know what happened?  He walks in and pauses.  Oh you have a Vermont Castings!  It's a Vigilant model.  Yes that's true.  He turns and says, 'did you know this is the best model they ever made?'.  Um. No.  "She's a beauty" (I guess our stove is a girl then.)  Then he proceeds to measure and sweat over the stove (literally) as he's checking out pipes and measurements and brick work and other important elements in replacing a wood stove.  Then he starts in again.  Wow, this is a nice stove.  It looks like it hasn't been used all that much.  It sure puts out a lot of heat doesn't it?  Boy, this one could last another 10 or 15 years the way it looks.  Then he continues to measure and tell all the reasons why it would be prohibitive right now to replace it.  There's pipe issues.  And adding an additional row of bricks to stay within code.  And thus and such.  Then he turns around and says, "I think this one is really nice."

So.... Mr. J who came up to sell us a new wood stove has now just convinced us to not replace it.  Wow.  He gives some suggestions on what works to give optimum heat for our particular model.  He and Mrs.  B. proceed to get their shoes back on.  And then I'm feeling sorry.  For them having to drive back home in a now heavy snow.  They didn't sell a stove.  In fact, we weren't going to give them even a dime.  Because he said we didn't need to.  As he walked by the island he saw six loaves out of the oven.  Wow.  That looks so good.  I haven't had homemade bread in such a long time.  Say!  Could I send you home with a hot loaf?  Please?  Don't wrap it tight as it's still hot.  The grins were like the Grinch's.  It ran all across their faces.  And so they left.  With a loaf of bread.  And no sale.  And they seemed happy for it.

We are happy too!  Even though there would be savings by purchasing now, we really saved by not doing anything.  The stove is toasty and right where it belongs.  And now I'm up for names.  Since Mr. J. referred our stove to a "she", I think a naming contest is in order.  I was thinking we could call her "Hottie" or maybe "Hattie (not so risque!) the heater.  Or???

Just goes to show you.  Beneath their facade of back-woods northern roots, there's a pleasant honesty.  It left me with a warm feeling (pun intended).

Monday, December 20, 2010

Monday Musings

I'm back and I know you'll be able to tell it's not the Chairman because I use simple words.  My goodness.  I'm not sure what got into him.  He's a walking thesaurus.  I think he wanted to get that in writing as he was asking me the other day if people understand why he's called the Chairman.  I said I thought so.  But he wasn't so sure. You see he's not much into himself.  I know because I live with him.  And so he had concerns that people would think he's a Chairman of something and trying to brag about it.  Well he's the Chairman here and that's all that matters.

Computer problems.  They stink.  And make me crabby.  Our main computer needs to have about six mouse clicks to get it to where it should go.  It won't download an attachment.  And some other stuff.  So I haul the CPU in to meet up with some Geeks (no derogatory word - that's what they're called).  And the kind lady runs it through a battery of tests and says all is well.  No charge.  Thankyouverymuch.  And I bring it home.  Plug it all in and voila!  It still doesn't work right.  Computer problems.  They stink.

Remember this post?  Well it's that time of year again.  Time to get wood.  I'm a bit smarter this year than last.  I am ordering it to be delivered on the day the kids are out of school.  Free child labor!  And it's "only" a cord of wood.

We're gearing up for holiday festivities here!  Festa Italiana!  Spaghetti with all the trimmings.  Eggplant.  Shells.  Wish some others would be able to join us too!  The count will be about 35.  And the food will be just wonderful.

I was recently promoted!  Or not.  I had to make booklets for all the teachers this morning.  It used one extra brain cell than the laminating takes.  And I managed.  Next thing they'll want is me to be the superintendent!  Without pay of course...

We went to a super-great play on Saturday.  It's put on by the same crazy guys that are in Door County each summer we're up there.  We had second row seats.  Fun to hear the kids giggling.  Lots of funny one-liners.  Like one that said, 'I'll pound your head down so far that you'll have to unzip to blow your nose'.  And that wasn't the best one.

My mean older brother is visiting a favorite uncle way down south.  They're in the same area we were at 14 years ago.  I wish I were there too.  The people there that we call our friends couldn't be nicer.

Yesterday I had a thought about valuing things.  You see I was single until 27 when I met the Chairman.  At times I thought I might always be alone.  And then he came into my life and it has been rich and full and interesting and nice and lots of other nice adjectives.  And a couple moments of not-so-nice adjectives too.  But that's life.  I value where I am.  If I hadn't had that experience of loneliness in my 20's, would I really value what I have?  Same with kids.  If we hadn't struggled and lost little ones, would I really value the three we've been given?  I'm not so sure.  And so when we have lean times.  Sad times.  Lonely times.  Maybe it is all for our greater good.  We'll value it more than we would otherwise.  So each experience is good in its own way.  And almost always for a purpose.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

4TH MESSAGE FROM THE CHAIRMAN

We may have a situation here.

Multiple potential threats and issues have been identified.

There may be a need for me to address the blog readership.

My unofficial boycott of social networking and the blog scene appears to be a complete failure.  Despite my lack of posting for well over one year, the blog readership has increased.  Apparently, my contributions are irrelevant to readership demand.

More troubling, in diverse situations, I have keenly picked up references to "The Chairman."  These comments are made while I am quietly and peaceably struggling to go about my paradigmatic routine.  This means the title reference is no longer just relegated to the blog.

As I have not referred to myself as Chairman outside of this blog, the whole concept appears to have taken on a life of its own.  As readership has grown, there may be a general lack of awareness over how the title came to fruition.

About 32 months ago, I recognized a need to assert certain guidelines in blog content.  I took on the title of Chairman of the blog simply to provide strategic direction and sporadic tactical scrutiny.

Specifically, in real life, I do not hold the title of Chairman of anything.  I have no equity ownership in any business involving people.  I am not seeking self-elevation by title misuse.

Some have suggested that I should have chosen the title of Chief Executive Officer (CEO).  But this would be completely unrealistic.  The title of CEO implies active control.  I do not have active control over the blog.  Over 99% of blog content is provided by the Publisher/Editor.  I do not censor a blog entry before posting.  Rather, I am just happy that the Publisher/Editor has not censored me.

Which leads to another question.  Why do I not read the blog?  Well, I do not read any blogs.  If I did read blogs, I would definitely read this one.  I might even become an active reader.  On occasion, the Publisher /Editor will call attention to a post.  Typically, I may request a verbal summation.  More importantly, I prefer unique content that is not intended for the larger audience.

As I appreciate self-initiative, I am pleased the Publisher has found success in her venture.  Blog readership has increased and operating expenses have not exceeded revenues.  Good job Honey!

Hopefully, this particular blog post will diminish any perception that I am seeking self-aggrandizement.  As Chairman, I declare that the current management structure will remain unchanged for the forthcoming year... or at least until the next board meeting.

Sincerely,
The Chairman




  

Kitchen tips 50.5

Back in my college years, the most basic classes were called "Principles of Accounting 101" or something like that.  This is probably going to be half of the most basic thoughts.  So I would give it a 50.5.  Here goes nothing.

Cooking.  I enjoy it immensely.  I was born with an interest in recipes and food.  My first memory in the kitchen was at the ripe old age of about 3 standing on a plastic chair in the kitchen helping my mom make brownies (from scratch of course).  Mom encouraged the interest.  Usually she didn't mind the extra mess - although I got an e-mail this week describing the utter disaster I left behind after making a project of whoopie pies as an early teen.  Since I was single for quite some time, I didn't really need to cook for anyone until I married.  I only had made sandwiches for the Chairman when we were dating.  One funny thing he said a few years ago was that he figured he could live on sandwiches if that's what it took.  (He has no interest in the kitchen really.)  And I had no clue what to do with meat of any kind.  Roasts scared me.  Stuffing a chicken?  Oh my.  In fact on one of my first tries, I lost a bandage off my finger in a bird that I recovered after it was done.  Ick!

Mom was and is a great cook.  We have no super-strong ethnic ties since the family has been in America since before the Mayflower came or something like that.  So it was just good midwestern fare that was hearty, wholesome, and homemade.  My mom-in-law is a full-blooded Italian.  And with that goes a love for things with flavor.  Lots of garlic.  The spaghetti sauce and eggplant are to be envied.  After 16 years of marriage, I've gotten very very close to making it as good.  (And the only way I'll share the secrets is if you marry a family member, ok?).  The other influences come from others.  We live in an area that loves to have each other over.  The cooks here are outstanding.  I'd be happy to eat a Tony's pizza at their table.  But usually it is a full-blown super-yummy affair.  And I keep fighting a few pounds because of it.

We rarely eat out.  I think it is because the Chairman works long days and usually has lunch somewhere and is anxious to just get home and relax.  The children have school schedules.  And I'm frugal.  With a family of five, even a fast-casual place such as Panera or Noodles can set you back $30.  But I don't mind.  As long as I have an idea what to serve.  The family occasionally helps.  The Chairman loves spinach salads.  Healthy and light fare.  He's not your typical meat/potatoes guy.  Last week his request was for salmon again.

I shop at the warehouse club (but be sure to check pricing!).  I have no problems shopping at the store where you put a quarter in to get a cart.  In fact I was there yesterday and stocked up on some basics at quite the savings.  I look at ads.  Our menus often revolve around what's on sale.

I don't use mixes much.  I do like to have a few cake mixes on hand.  And daughter #2 LOVES shells and cheese out of a box.  I like to know what we're really eating.  I like to throw ground flax in any baked good.  It's healthy.  And no one is the wiser it is in there.  Usually it is cheaper and better making it yourself.

I have a fully stocked pantry.  Overflowing freezer.  You never know when the next natural disaster will strike do you?  But that helps in planning.  So when I have a brainy idea for making thus-and-such and need a can of tomato puree.  Well, voila!  There it is.  I have the luxury of being a 'housewife'.  Well actually I'm the wife of the Chairman, not the house.  But you know how that is.  So I can plan earlier in the day for the evening meal.  I can get it started at 2 since bedlam strikes at 3:35 when the MYP burst through the door needing attention.

Bread is a constant here as most of you know.  The MYP are spoiled rotten in thinking that is 'normal'.  The Bosch has been great.  In fact, dough rises as I type.  And some sweet potatoes are about to boil over on the stove.  I've tweaked my bread recipe for the Bosch.  I love it 98% of the time.  I do have one beef.  When doing smaller amounts, the ingredients spin around the center and don't get mixed unless the spatula gets involved.  Other than that, it's great.  Granola is most always on the cereal shelf.

So since I can't give out the spaghetti sauce recipe or I'd be booted from the family, I'll share one of our family favorites I serve here often and to others as well.  Our kids started to call them 'blow noodles' when they were very little and actually still do.  It actually is penne pasta with an olive oil/garlic on them.  Here goes:

"Blow Noodles"

1 - 1lb. box good quality penne or mostaccioli
1/2 cup or more of extra-light olive oil
5-6 cloves of minced garlic (fresh is best)
1 teaspoon or more of Penzey's pasta sprinkle (can use just basil too)
1 or more teaspoons salt
black pepper to taste

Cook pasta al dente.  Do not overcook.  
Simmer garlic and seasonings in olive oil for 5 minutes (be careful to not brown it)
Pour over cooked pasta.  Sprinkle generously with freshly grated parmesan.

Serves 6-8.  

As I said earlier, I'm no gourmet cook.  I'm not even as good as many of my friends are.  In fact, if you have great shopping/cooking/baking tips please comment!  I have much to learn.  

Monday, December 13, 2010

Lucky Dog!

I know a lot of you think I'm just a pedigreed ally mutt.  And maybe I am.  But I'm special too you know.  Even some nice boys that live by me think so!

Wow!  What's this!!!

Nice toy, eh?
You see a couple days ago the phone rang.  The big lady that yells but loves me anyway picked it up and talked to someone.  Then she said, "Lisi!  Someone is coming to see you!".  Well I got my name anyway, but that other stuff I didn't understand.  She forgets my brain is a dog brain sometimes.  Anyway the doorbell rang!  I love that.  It means someone has come to see me!  The big lady lets this small person in and he shyly smiles at the big lady and then at me.  And oh boy!  What is he holding?  It looks like a fantastic toy!  For me?  The big lady talks with this boy and then they hand me the bright red toy.  The little boy says 'Merry Christmas Lisi!'  It's a tug.  And a ball.  And a rope.  All in one.  Oh my.  It's been great.  I carry it with me to wherever I go.  We retrievers like to... well... retrieve.  And carry things from one place to the next.  Makes us feel important.  And needed.  And busy.

I might add that these neighbors of ours don't realize that I'm a world-famous author of riveting stories.  Maybe I'll have to let them in on our little secret.  That I'm more than just a super-friendly, drop-dead gorgeous dog.  I'm famous!  And loved by millions lots of people all over the world!

Monday Musings

My little field trip group I mentioned last post

Reality in the mudroom 

Decorating gingerbread

King of the... big ball

Queen of the 'horse'


Always happy (except in the early morning)

sledding fun

The Chairman, children, and charmed dog 

What I found on my mirror that was written
by a 'friend' of ours... who is named after
a city in Colorado

Glass markers are great fun.  We found this
when we were going to bed last night.
Here we go again!  The weeks slip by quickly.  Sometimes I wonder if I'm redeeming the time as I should when I see how time goes by.

The laundry piles up quickly.  Especially in winter.  And especially when the clothes are bigger than they used to be.  Our 16-year old machine keeps plugging away.  But there is a rust spot on the drum that I have to make sure wet clothes don't sit on...

I have fallen in love with the piano all over again.  I'm so thankful that I took lessons as a kid.  I'm so thankful for being able to play all of our hymns.  And I'm thankful for good thoughts that come when I'm playing.  And I'm thankful for kids that know the words and sing along absentmindedly while they are doing something else.

The weather is frightful.  Well actually just real cold.  And windy.  The howling winds at the door hearken me back to the prairies of SD.  The wind basically howled about 300 days/year - in winter or summer.  And there was an extreme coziness to knowing we were safe and snug inside while the blizzard raged.

They called it a blizzard here on Sunday.  But it wasn't a blizzard like I remember.  We still went where we wanted to go.  And we could see a good mile away.  A 'real' blizzard is complete white.  Right outside the window.

We're big into "Yo Mama" jokes here.  And the MYP keep saying, 'mom!  Listen to this one!!!'.  Here's a few and I quote:  Yo mama is so stupid that she tried to put her M&M's in order.  Yo mama is so fat that when she sat on the beach, Greenpeace threw her in.  Yo mama is so fat that when I wanted pigs in a blanket she got back in bed.  Yo mama is so fat that when she got on the scale it said, 'one at a time please'.  I think you get the picture.  At least we've moved beyond just basic potty humor.  Or not.

The younger of the girls got to go to the Milwaukee ballet and see "Nutcracker" last Friday.  A pretty nice field trip I'd say!

Am planning on a cooking post very soon.  And maybe a few choice recipes.  Will see what develops.  I do have to make nine dozen cookies by Friday morning for a cookie exchange.

Lisi keeps telling me she'd like to post something today, so I better call this a done deal.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Festive Friday

Well actually it isn't.  Festive that is.  But it's the holiday season, right?  Was thinking of adjectives with the letter 'f'.  But somehow fantastic seemed over-the-top.

So yesterday I boarded a bus with approximately 45-5th graders, two 30-something teachers, and about 12 parents (all mom's but one) and headed to the city's museum.  It was a very pleasant day.  You see son #1 asked in the sweetest way if I'd come.  Hey, he's 10 1/2.  Soon he won't be asking me to be with him like that.  I went and am glad I did.  I was assigned to four of them - one being aforementioned son.  The two girls in the group were basically sugar-coated cotton candy in sweetness.  Very nice girls.  Smart.  Respectful.  Thankful.  Son #1 was told beforehand that if he started to act a bit out of line that I'd give him a 'look' and that meant to knock it off so I wouldn't have to embarrass him.  But you know what, I never 'looked' at him that way.  But boys-oh-howdy, Nick got the look.  You see Nick was the other boy in the group.  A redhead.  An identical twin I might add.  But after a day with him, he and his identical aren't so much in my book.  At a glance they are, but once you get to know them, the identical stuff disappears.  Anyway, Nick was as good as Nick could be.  At one point I was teasing him about patience and two quotes popped out of his mouth.  The first:  'you get patience when you are like 12 or something' (I might mention that he's 11 and needs to work on that quickly before his next birthday).  The other:  'I'd like to learn how to be patient, but it takes too long'.  Classic.

I find the lunches that the mom's packed for children fascinating.  Most were the usual ham/cheese or PB&J.  One girl ate a couple slices of sausage, THREE of those thick soft sugar cookies with thick green frosting, and a fruit roll-up!  Another munched some pretzels and stopped soon after as she was getting 'full'.  Yes, interesting.

And then it snowed!  Well only about 3" or so.  I hardly want to admit this:  I am enjoying winter this year.  Maybe it is because I have my go-to super warm room by the wood stove (wave to LIW!  Yes, I'm rubbing it in).  But as much as I love a sunny, warm night in June, there's something to be said about it getting dark at 4:15 and the snow falling and the waffles sizzling at suppertime.  Yes, cozy.

Very randomly, I pulled a book off the library shelf titled "Smile" and showed it to Rayna.  It was a newer book and the author's first name was "Raina".  It is a graphic-art (think comic book) book about a girl losing her two front teeth and then follows her story from about 5th grade until she graduates from high school.  It's actually a very good read and I recommend it.  But why am I telling you all this?  Well Rayna came running to me and showed me the names of the family:  the main girl was Raina, the little sister was Amara, and the mom's name was Sue.  It was wildly coincidental.  And really neat too.

So Lisi has an itch.  Fascinating isn't it?  Well dogs aren't so bright.  If it itches, they scratch and lick.  And the more they scratch and lick, the more it itches.  And soon the hair starts to come out where they scratch and lick and then it gets red and sore looking and oh my.  So I rubbed anti-itch cream all over it and put on her lamp-shade collar and walked off to do something.  About 10 minutes later I go back to where she was and she's standing there like a cow.  Didn't move.  Paralyzed about the collar on her head.  Acted like she couldn't move or sit or lie down.  So she stood there looking at me with the saddest eyes.  So I physically pushed her to a down position and there she laid.  Not moving a twitch.  But the lesson was learned.  And now she's leaving her terrific itch alone.  For now.  Until it itches again.

Well that about sums it up.  You know when you're talking about your dog's itches that it is time to go.  Hope your retinas aren't bleeding yet....

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Not a creature was stirring...





Not even one of the many young people (or dog)!  Ahhh.... nothing like a trip to the library on a cold winter night.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Monday Musings

The fire burns.  The bread rises.  The dog wants a walk.  And the shirts need ironing.  Mundane Monday.  I like it in a weird sort of way.  But as I was picking up yet another pile of "Archies" and putting them on the shelf I wondered how much time I really spend doing that.  Would it be 15 minutes out of my year just picking up "Archies"?  Life is a lot of repeating.  Ironing the same shirts.  Folding the same clothes.  Feeding the same people with the same familiar comfort foods.  Sameness.  In a good sort of way.

Do you use cookbooks?  I think I've touched on it before, but I really don't.  I do pull down my worn Betty (not my mom!) one once in awhile for something.  But usually I google.  Allrecipes.com is still my favorite.  I need a simple cake recipe.  Voila!  Here are 2,387 to look over.  Who rated what the best?  Well there it is!  And so.  No more cookbooks.  I have two boxes in the basement brimming with cookbooks I have acquired or received as gifts.  What to do.  Keep?  Give to a needy person that looks like they could use some help with their cooking?  Give to Goodwill?  I dunno.

And.  Do you ever want me to post a recipe that was a home-run-I-can't-believe-you-haven't-made-this-before kind of thing?  I don't want to become a cooking blog.  Or a dog blog.  Or I'm not sure what kind of blog this is.  A blah one.  Like today for instance.  I should have called this Mundane Monday.

Yesterday was brimming with good things.  Good fellowship.  Good people.  Good singing.  Good food.  And a very good time.  Ah yes.  It was good.  I love this area.

We got the snow we wanted!  Well not enough.  But 4" was enough to start the base of the fort.  And a few good snowball fights.  And some dragging your sibling around the yard with a sled fun.  And a crack in the forehead with a snowboard "fun".  But more would be nice!  (Don't pelt me with a snowball for saying that!).

Finally.  I'm a lurker.  I like google reader so I can stalk check in on people.  I have a lot of feeds.  Maybe too many.  But lots of people are sensible enough to not post anything if they have nothing to say (I haven't realized that truth yet).  So I don't waste tooo much time at it.  But I hardly comment on blogs.  Maybe you want to know I'm stalking looking in on your happy lives.  Should I comment more?  Should I ask those of you wasting precious moments looking at this one to comment?  I dunno.

But I do know the dog is "tapping" at the window.  She's ready to go.  And since it was her birthday yesterday and we did absolutely nothing about it but leave her for nearly 12 hours... I should go.  Not to mention the potluck after the sing was just. plain.  yummy!  And full of calories...

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Happy Birthday to me!

my first night home
cute little bugger wasn't I?
I still like naps
I tried glasses, but they didn't make me smarter
my good side
nothing else to say except... dog tired

here's my best friend Mavrick

the big lady taking yet another picture while I try to sleep
Yes it's my birthday!  Can you believe it?  I'm three years old today.  And what a ride it's been for me and for those people I live with.  I don't remember life before the big lady that yells or the big guy that's always there or those little people.  In my doggy-brain, I've always been here and that's ok.  I've grown by leaps and bounds.  I've been very very naughty.  I've been very good too you know.  Even passed my therapy dog tests.  But the big lady never takes me anywhere to cheer people up except to the woods to chase deer and turkeys (which is just the best anyway), rides in the car to do errands.  Camping.  And if I'm really lucky, go see my cousin-dog who is enormous and nice.

I hope I have a lot of good years ahead of me.  Right now I'm in my prime.  I don't have sore bones.  I behave myself right properly (the big people here might not always agree), and I know my place.

The thing about this birthday though is that I'm alone today.  Well most the day.  The big lady arranged for some really nice people to come over and take me to their house to play with their dog.  But I can't complain. The big lady that yells is with me most all the time.  She's a softy.  Despite all her rumblings about how tough she is on me, it isn't really true.  We cuddle.  And snuggle.  And wrestle.  And play hide-and-seek.  And... life is good.  Thanks for being such loyal readers to my stories.  I hope I can cause a great deal of mischief so that another one can happen soon!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Thursday's thoughts...



So they predict a little snow on Saturday.  I will probably irk some people, but I'd like a few feet, not inches.  Why you ask?  So the kids can work on a fort that they've already lined with grass and supports in hopes of a big dump of snow to really make it 'sweet'.

Bing Crosby croons that this is "the most wonderful time of the year".  Well I think mid-June is about the most wonderful time for me.  My feet are warm.  The sun is out for hours.  The garden is growing.  And the kids are out of school.  But I'm not Bing Crosby.

To stay warm these days though, there's only one word to cure it:  Smartwool.  If you don't know about this company, look it up.  Their products are toasty to a "T"!

I rearranged the living room again.  Well not a major overhaul, but tweaked and switched and so forth.  It makes it all feel so new and clean and fresh.  I'd like to do our bedroom, but it really doesn't 'work' another way.  And moving our bed would give me a hernia that would follow me to my grave.

Three people in our Sun. morning group are having a birthday today!  Considering we're only about 23, that's pretty interesting.  All three are special.  One is our elder.  I'll post about him some day.  He's gifted in so many ways I don't want to write about it until I've got the appropriate words.  He's done so much for us personally as well as our 'field'.  The next one is a dear lady that has been lovingly caring for her very older husband for many years now.  She loves him to the core.  He is not communicating much with her these days, but that doesn't stop her from still showering him with love.  There's such a lesson in that.  The last one is defecting to a new group.  It is not something of their own choice.  It was planned for them.  We are sad, but know changes are good and necessary.  This guy is the one that our son thinks walks on water in hip boots.  This guy is the one that took our son to a very memorable trip to Canada last summer.  This guy would give you the last dime in his pocket if he could.  And he makes anyone comfortable.

Yes, people are all so special in their own way.  It's really wonderful how everyone is so unique, isn't it?

I think I told you about our friendly UPS man.  Well I see him daily on my walks.  He always slows down the big brown truck to wave.  Well a couple days ago I was off schedule and wasn't out when he was going by.  I happened to be in the front window looking out and he paused to wave and off he went again.  Maybe he has a crush on me.  (tee-hee)

Monday, November 29, 2010

Monday Musings

John relaxing and Laura car shopping

So glad this guy could come visit!

Dad telling a story on his 80th

Family time

the cook working hard

the table filled with goodness

Happy 80th to my dad!

Family minus the mean older brother who I miss...

They love her... like a lot

I wouldn't believe it either

this young couple is sure nice
the grandkids present that day...

We had a week of people and privilege and potatoes.  It was delightful in every way.  One sad thing is the actual Thanksgiving Day, I pulled out my camera to take shots of the people present and their was no memory card in there.  Big disappointment.  But the day wasn't.  I'm thankful for two families.  Mine by birth. And mine through marriage.

We got company from Kentucky and Illinois.  It was just great having them here.  But it is just as nice to say goodbye knowing they are where they are supposed to be and want to be.  And better still, content there as well.

We ate turkey again on Saturday with my dad and sister and family.  My dad blew out candles for his 80th.  He was happy.  And we were too.

I spent some time this morning finally labeling all of Lisi's stories.  I've got them under her picture.  I do realize she's more popular and interesting than this big lady...

It's amazing how quickly the laundry pile grows, the dust bunnies emerge, and the food levels fall when you aren't doing what you normally do during a normal week.  I have some catch-up to do today.

So the musings will have to wait....

Lisi on the Loose

Yep.  That's me!  A free dog finally.  Away from the demands of the big lady that yells but loves me anyway.  Away from all those small people here that kick balls that disturb my rest.

A day like yesterday is very predictable at our house.  The family all leaves in the morning and they are gone for a couple hours.  If the big lady takes me for a walk early that morning, that means they are gone for good (or until suppertime).  If she doesn't, then I'll get a walk with the big guy after they eat.  It's a narrow window of opportunity as they usually leave again in the afternoon for awhile.  I don't like those days, but the people I live with sure do.

So off we went for the woods - the big guy and I.  He's so great.  He doesn't talk and carry on when we're walking like the big lady does.  It's more mature and reserved.  We got into the woods where the smells are rampant.  Deer.  Turkey.  Squirrels.  I love it there.  We were walking quite awhile and then he disappeared.  The big guy.  Well actually it wasn't his fault.  He was doing what he normally does.  But there were some things I needed to sniff.  Like a long time.  And by the time the big guy got out of the woods, I was no where to be found.  I didn't mind.  I did my business.  Minded my own business.  And then I suddenly felt lonely for my family.  Where'd he go?  Oh no!

I started to run.  Through the woods.  Through the field.  I couldn't find him.  So I did what any smart pooch would do.  I ran to the biggest, fanciest house on the street.  I figured they'd be able to afford dog food if I had to live with them forevermore.  I started to play with their dog.  The lady there that doesn't yell called her dog to come in.  And then she yelled!  I tromped into their house too and she wasn't too happy.  But hey!  I need to live somewhere you know.  The lady was talking to the man.  The kids were all excited.  And so was I!  This place was nice!  And I was even on carpet.  I bet they aren't as mean as my family who keeps me on wood floors all the time.

But then she grabbed my collar.  I heard her say, there's a number here.  Get the phone!  And then I heard her talking to the big lady that yells.  She hung up the phone and just like that there was the big guy!  I was so happy to see him.  I lied.  I didn't want to live in the big house.  I wanted my people back.   The big lady that yells.  The many small people.  And the steady big guy.  So I jumped in the truck and came home and took a very long nap while my people went away for part two of their day.


(ed. note:  Lisi lost her id tags in the woods a few weeks back and so I just recently had a friend monogram her name/number on the collar.  Lucky we got it done when we did or she'd have been sitting in a pound somewhere)  

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Happy 80th to Dad


They are called daddy, dad, father, papa, the old man, the parental units, and lots of 
other titles.  To me he has always been 'dad'.  And a very good one at that.
He's 80 years young.  The number is hard to take in as he's full of life.  He has a memory 
that puts me to shame.  An enthusiasm about the future.  The next adventure.  And the 
hope of seeing someone around the globe that he loves as much as the next one.  
He obviously loves his family.  But to him 'family' means about anyone.    

And so.... Happy Birthday to my dad.  Glad we can spend it 
with you today! 

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Marriage and Mashed Potatoes

Mr. and Mrs. J. L.  

We had the honor of witnessing these two people take their solemn vows last night.  The Mrs. I don't know all that well yet.  But in the next 50 or so years, I look forward to her presence in our extended family.

The Mr. I've known since he was a wet-behind-the-ears kid at the ripe old age of say... eleven.  He was the oldest of four.  The only son.  And he carried on family tradition of having opinions (some of them strong I might add).  It has gotten him places in life already.  He's got a business.  A lot of friends.  A super sense of humor.  A great personality.  And opinions.  I might add that I like him a lot.

He blended in with his family as a kid for me until a wedding.  This wedding took place just a few months before ours.  We happened to be sharing a table with him and his grandparents and a few others I don't remember.  And he muttered.  And complained.  And whined.  He was about 13 at the time.  You see the food line wasn't moving fast enough.  It was boring sitting at the table.  And a litany of other travesties that he felt in his little heart just wasn't right.

Finally we get our turn for the wedding feast.  I personally thought it was lovely in every way.  Mass quantities of food at events such as these are hard to make perfect.  So we take our full plates back to the table.  And the good looking early teen is still muttering across the table.  Finally I ask, "what's the matter?".  There's no potatoes!  What?  There's a lot of choices!  We don't even need potatoes, do we?  "Yes" he emphatically responded, "You always have potatoes".

So I glance at the Chairman and he looks at me and we both said without speaking that we better have potatoes on the buffet table when we marry three months hence.  And we did.

I remember all this as I walk up to the buffet table last night.  Hmmm.  Has anything changed?  I wonder if he still wanted potatoes for his own wedding.  And there they were!  A big, steaming pan of potatoes.  And boy were they good.

We wish them many, many happy days ahead.  And I sure hope they got a very good potato peeler in the gift pile.

the original four...
* Special thanks to A. for letting me snag these photos.  

Monday, November 22, 2010

Monday Musings

Some far-away relatives just left.  To me they are young people.  We don't see them as often as we would like to.  The thing about this couple that impresses me so much is that they've gone through a lot.  Sadness.  Hardships.  Deep unfathomable loss twice.  And they have such a resigned spirit about it all.  Even a thankfulness.  Inspiring?  It was all that and more.

And we're gearing up for a wedding!  Actually, not gearing up at all.  But probably need to make sure some 'fancy clothes' are ready for the family to wear tomorrow night.  Yes, a Tuesday night wedding!  How unique is that!  It'll be great fun.  And special.  And really neat that these people aren't moving away from us.

I'm sure you're all riveted and pacing and wondering what happened to my cell phone.  Right?  Well fine.  I'll tell you anyway.  I don't know what happened to it.  The window of opportunity to lose it was about one and a half hours and 2 stops.  Seems logical that I'd find it easy enough.  Or not.  Lying in bed the night after it all happened, I realized that I had my hands full of stuff while I was cleaning out the van tossing garbage into the garbage bin.  And... I think my phone was in the hand when I did the throwing.  And the garbage men faithfully came and took our rubbish away early the next morning.  So all the times I called my number I imagine the landfill pile was ringing.  Hope it scared away a buzzard if nothing else.  I've already got a replacement.  I'm glad for that.  But sure wish I hadn't lost (or tossed) my other one!  Ugh.  So much for the flawless record of not losing stuff.

Will you all be devastated?  I don't think you need to sit by the mailbox waiting for our holiday card.  Wanna know why?  We still look like last year's picture.  And last year's was pretty nice since a real photographer took it.  And we have this blog.  And Facebook.  And we see most of you quite often.  And it'll save me time and money (that I can spend on phone replacements!).  If you really want an update, stop on by and take a picture.  Ok?  Not saying I don't love to get yours though!

I think this is enough.  Maybe next Monday will have more musings.  Until then...

Friday, November 19, 2010

Don't forget me!

Hi everyone!  It's been a long time again.  I just wanted to share some pictures the big lady that yells but loves me anyway took this past week.  I hope you don't get the idea that I'm loved.  Or that I get a lot of attention.  Or that I'm (cough) spoiled.  I'm not.  I really suffer around here.  I don't get enough walks.  I eat bad kibble. And I rarely get treats.

I try my best to please this family I'm responsible for.  I walk without a leash now!  I sniff out smells and romp in the ditches all the while making sure the big nice guy or the big lady that yells are close to me.  I come home and rest in the yard until I get so lonely I can't stand it (usually a minute or so).  Then I go to the back window and just tap-tap lightly to have them let me inside to my bed.  The big lady got me this nice dog bed that is super-comfy.  I spend a lot of time there in the corner watching her.  And now I've started something kinda cool!  Have you ever heard a dog purr?  Don't confuse me with a stupid cat.  I'm not that low.  But I've started this purring thing.  I purr when the meals are over (you see if I did it while they were eating, the big guy would get mad).  They then think to look at me in my malnourished state.  I purr when those little people come over and give me hugs.  I purr when the big lady that yells rubs me just in that right spot above my eyes.  And so it's rewarded.  So I have resorted to purring.  A lot.

I overheard the big guy here tell the big lady that yells that I'm becoming more and more like someone called "Lincoln".  I heard his name mentioned a lot when I was really little.  It was always, 'why can't she be more like Lincoln'.  Or 'Lincoln never behaved that bad'.  Or 'We sure miss how calm Lincoln was'.  Well I don't know who "Lincoln" was, but he was a really, really good guy and now I'm starting to be compared with him! How good is that!

I do have one complaint though.  I don't get enough bones.  I'd like a new one every day.  But somehow the big lady doesn't get it.  I stand by the shelf in the garage.  I look at her with moon-pie eyes.  And she mutters something about having enough and goes inside and shuts the door.  And so I go back to the deck and tap-tap on the window.  And lie on my bed.  And wait for the next hug.

Sigh.  Life is ruff.
I suffer from lack of affection

So please feel sorry for me

Did you say you'd send me a bone?

Well I'll just wait for the package then...

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

I'm the ding-a-ling...

I am neat like that.  Practical.  Organized.  Reliable.  Dependable.  But not infallible.  So yesterday I needed to head out to take son #1 to the orthodontist.  Grab my phone and keys.  Tell daughter #1 (who was sick at home with a belly ache) that I have my phone.  Call if you need me.  And off we went.  Pick up son from school.  Drop off son at the appointment.  Stop at the gas station.  Back to the orthodontist office.  Read a People magazine cover to cover (current issue I might add!).  And then out he comes.  Tooth in hand.  New bracket on another with some serious looking wire to hold the whole business together.  Get our card for the next visit.  Make some nice small talk with the kind lady behind the desk and off we go!  Drop off son back back at school and return home to the slightly sick daughter.  A few hours go by.  Then someone wants to text on my phone.  "Where's your phone mom?".  Should be in the van.  It isn't.  Call the phone.  No answer.  I start to panic.  Where did I last see it?  Call the gas station.  No luck.  The ortho. office is closed by this time.  Fret.  Stew.  Worry.  Feel irritated.  But with myself mainly.  Stoopid!!!  Sleep fitfully.  Wake up and rush to the orthodontist office which is closed.  Beg the attorney fancy-pants on the fist level to call my cell as I'm certain it is in the waiting room.  No ring.  He even unlocks the door to check the office.  It's pristine.  Neat as a pin.  With no cell phone in sight.  He looks at me with a glimpse of disdain.  I'm certain he's thinking I'm just another ding-bat middle-aged mom that can't keep track of siccum.  I resent that feeling even though it is justified.  Back to the van.  Drive slowly home in defeat.  

So where does that leave me?  Without a phone.  I'm not married to it or anything.  But still!  I don't lose things.  Oh wait.  Yes I do.  I just did.  Something of value.  So we'll wait.  And hope that some person of good scruples sees my phone and calls the number that is listed as 'Home'.  
And on a completely unrelated note... one of our many young people pulled out a card table and a 500-piece puzzle.  I can't stay away.  The Chairman did the edge pieces.  And then I plowed into it like it needs to be put together by yesterday.  I'm almost done.  I know I can't go to a casino as I make private vows with myself.  "If I just fine this one piece, I'll quit and go get something else done".  But I don't.  I find that piece.  Then want to find the next one.  The joy of the piece perfectly fitting into its place.  So I'll sit and finish the puzzle.  And wait for the phone to ring.  I hope it's for me!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Monday Musings

You'll probably think I have ADHD or something after this post.  I hardly want to call it "musings" since I haven't "mused" about any of it too long.  In fact, most of it isn't even in my head.  The fingers will determine the words you read.  Riveting, eh?  Yeah, I didn't think so either.

Saw a video recently of a bride slapping wedding cake all over her new groom.  It was supposed to be funny.  I think it symbolic of something sad really.  A lack of respect.  For the day.  For the groom (or the bride if he does it to her).  And maybe you slapped buttercream frosting all over your spouse the day you said "I Do".  Well I didn't.  Still don't like it.  Blech.

Our kids discovered Nutella!  Actually, I finally bought some.  And they love it.  Wish it wasn't so pricey though.  Am in another slump.  What to make every evening to feed the masses here.

And so our balmy November changed.  The Chairman said yesterday in the car, 'this day has November written all over it'.  Gray.  Spitting rain at times.  Bone cold.  At least for me.  The wood stove kept it cozy in here.  Did I say I love it?  Wood heat is way-warmer than forced air.  Trust me.  I know.  I even took my wool socks off!  Last night I was thinking it was about time to start yelling at the kids to get to bed.  Felt like 9:28 or something.  I looked at the clock... 7:13.   Dark I say!  But in about five weeks the days start getting longer!  We can do it!

The weekend was special.  Most of you know we gathered to honor a dear man that died.  I had the privilege of helping out with the luncheon.  And the abundance of food, assistance, and care made me step back in awe.  It was almost like a glimpse of convention.  Deeply thankful I am.  For making my 'job' easy that day.  But for the Spirit that people shared to make the day not so sad.

So yesterday we all sat down for our main meal.  Dear son #1 is sitting on the aforementioned super-special I love this with all my heart exercise ball.  Actually, I previously had declared that they were to stay out of the kitchen!  Don't sit on it while you eat!  I've even been known to give it a hard kick towards the basement stairs and watching with a little thrill as it bounced its way to the regions below.  Anyhoo, mid-bounce a knife smeared with butter gets loose.  Bounces on the table.  Then down onto the Chairman's black dress pants leaving a nice little trail behind.  (If you know the Chairman, you would know this would be highly irritating to him.)  He hops up and gives a yell.  Son #1 is looking sad.  The Chairman goes to change.  I start in on a diatribe about sitting on a ball during dinner. And while the Chairman is getting clean trousers the knife slips again and smears butter on and under the chair, the table, and the floor.  Ugh.  Just another day in paradise!

We have a hymn we sing around the piano at times.  The title and the first line of the chorus is, 'Lord I want to be a miracle'.  Well Mira seems to think it was written just for her.  And so last night she was belting out, 'Lord I want to be a Miiiiira'.  Oh help.

The van is full of groceries that need to be unloaded... better call this a post.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Ding-a-ling

This morning I was back at the flying buns and racing sausages place.  It wasn't nearly as entertaining.  Coincidentally, I was there once again for funeral provisions.  When you know a great lot of people that you love with your heart, you witness a lot of people facing the end and then have funerals to attend.  But I'd never for an instant wish I didn't have to experience the loss and pain of losing loved ones.  Because their lives make us richer.  In life and in death.

So I am meandering through the aisles getting the necessary goods.  I soon realize that a lot of people are on their cell phones.  I heard about the plans for a dinner party.  I heard a lady arguing with whom I assumed was her husband about the kind of mixed nuts to buy and how many.  And I watched a few mothers with young ones.  Talking and talking away while their little one, two, or three year-olds were just listening.  Sitting utterly bored.  Or fussing.  And the mothers kept talking on their cells.

One I watched in particular chatted on and on and on.  I know this as she was shadowing me through the store.  She had an adorable little boy about two and a baby that I have no clue what age since it was in a car seat with the flap closed on top.  We both leave approximately at the same time.  She gets off the phone just long enough to put her goods in the trunk of her car and as soon as she sat down, she pulled out that phone again and started to text or call someone again.  It looked very sad to me.

When our many young people here were wee things, we had a cell phone.  Mind you it was a big one.  With no texting ability.  And we used it very rarely.  Times have changed and I must admit, I have too.  I enjoy a text message.  I call others more frequently.  Why not?  It's nearly free.  But back to the point at hand.  When our babies were old enough to flip around to face forward, I remember lots and lots of trips pointing out stuff going by.  Looking in the rear-view mirror and seeing rapture on a face.  Listening to babble.  Seeing them interact in their baby ways with their siblings.  And if the ruckus got too great, turning on Raffi or Elmo and singing at the top of our lungs.  I cherish those memories.  The 'baby' is only 8 and I miss it already - those precious toddler years where you have all the answers and the world is new.  It is sad to see some moms that chatter about what so-and-so said in nauseating detail (sometimes with a bad word or two interjected in there) while their kids sit there in an emotionally lonely state.  Maybe they don't do it all the time.  But I sure see it more than I used to.  I wasn't a perfect mom.  I'm still not.  But mom's need to be there to listen.  To teach.  And to share in life.  Even if it is at some place as mundane as a big box warehouse store or driving down a familiar road.

(excuse me while i get off the soapbox again...)

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Tuesday's Tender Talk

Since he is heavy on my mind, I might mention this first.  Our area has a pillar that is losing strength.  But only in a physical sense.  This man is elderly and yet, one of the most childlike people I have ever met.  Since I've known him, he has always been a very tender man.  He loves children in a special way.  Just this past year at our convention I saw him get down on a level with a boy about five years of age just to talk to him.  He would ask children questions.  And then he would really listen to their answers.  His testimony both verbal and non-verbal was one of thankfulness.  He served for our country as a young man and loved to tell stories about that time in his life.  And he had a very open home.  For years and years.  Many times we were invited to their home for a Sunday dinner.  I think every time we sat down, it was a delicious roast beef, perfectly mashed potatoes, and creamed onions meal.  The food was what you'd call comfort food.  But the home was comfort.  The two people within have always been comfortable to be with.  I was treated as a special granddaughter even though we have not one drop of the same bloodline.  Yes, a pillar is losing strength.  We are sad.  And yet, we are thankful.  For pillars amongst us that have held strong.

So we are enjoying lovely fall weather in the upper midwest.  It is almost mid-November.  In just four months it'll be spring!!!  Sorta.  We'll take what we can get.  I still can't get my brain wrapped around the fact we changed time.  I look very zombie-like by 10.  And at 5 or even before, my eyes pop open.  I thought falling back and getting the extra hour would make us not so sleepy.  Not so for this little lady.

The Chairman is as busy as a beaver in dam-building season.  We're thankful for his steady job.  Wish it wasn't so crazy at times.  But he handles it with finesse.  And somehow still makes time for the family too.  He's neat like that.

This morning I stopped at that funky grocery store where you pay a quarter to use their cart.  Haul in your own reusable bags.  And fill your cart with goods that are somewhat cheaper than the typical grocery store.  I'm cheap frugal like that.  I tend to think I'm kinda with it.  Can get things done in a hurry.  But the check-out lady was NOT to be reckoned with.  She was speedy-quick.  All business.  And had me in and out of there unceremoniously within a minute or so.  My stuff was all dumped in the next cart and I had to bag my own stuff over on the little counter-thingy.  But wow.  She was fast.  And stern.

I have a lot of tuna on hand.  There was a deal and so I thought I would get six cans.  I need to start using them.  I thought of the classic-Minnesota-tuna hotdish.  Mira was home alone with me for a time yesterday so I said, 'hey!  Would you like to make tuna casserole with me?'.  What?  TUNA?  Then she wrinkled up her pretty little lips to a sneer.  Kinda looked like Calvin (of Calvin and Hobbes) looked when he was talking about something really gross.  Then she said, 'why would I ever want to make something with tuna?  YUCK!'.  And so we didn't make tuna casserole.

My mom gave me really good, practical advice once that I remember every once in awhile.  Like when I have a canker sore.  Once when I was a teen at home I asked her, 'how long does a canker sore last?'.  Her response was, 'they last until you think they are never going to go away... and then they do'.  And so.  I think mine is going to go away soon.  Hopefully, real soon.

I think this is enough.... for now.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Sunday snippets

Dad, Aunt Julie, and Marion
I'm early!  No Monday musings from me this week!  You see the many young people here are all presently occupied at the very moment.  Tomorrow is a no-school day and I have a terrifically hard time writing a blog post with people around.  Really!  I can relate to actual real-writers that must go up in a cupola or off to a cabin to pen their books.  I would have to also.  I'm just a schlup of a mom that writes on this blog because... well... I like to.  I may have lost some of you.  So back to the business at hand.

Above is a picture of three people I admire.  Respect.  Love.  They have, or will turn 80 the month of November.  One happens to be my own father.  He possesses all the qualities a good dad should have.  If he has met you, he really likes you.  And I do mean that.  He reaches out to those in need.  And so it goes.  I've waxed on about him before, so will stop at that.  The middle lady is my mother-in-law's sister.  Or better put, my Aunt.  She is a gem.  Didn't have a very easy life at the get-go.  Raised four children that are all unique and great in their own right.  Has children and grandchildren that I would call friends of mine.  Was a loyal wife to a husband that had character with a capital 'C'.  And we miss him.  But beyond all that natural stuff, she cares for her soul and for others' be it in this country or in other lands.  We've witnessed it and feel deep admiration for her care on so many levels.  The lovely lady on the right is someone we meet with each week.  She is a walking proverb of knowledge that makes you think deeper.  She readily gives advice.  Is a tough German and a business woman since she lost her husband 8 years ago.  She misses him.  They were the Laurel and Hardy team of our city but it wasn't all fun and laughs.  They cared about the stranger.  And because of that, some people found peace.  I could go on.  But I'll leave it at that or she would be really mad at me for saying nice things.  

Last Friday was our 16th anniversary.  And we spent it by inviting those closest to these three wonderful people to come to our home (with a dish to pass!) and we ate, blew out candles, and enjoyed the company of loved ones.  It was a surprise to 2/3 of them.  And it was special.  Maybe even a favorite anniversary day for us.  Because our home was filled with those we admire and respect and love.