Thursday, January 28, 2010

Thoughts while walking...

* The sun is brings warmth no matter the temperature or wind.
* You need to plan ahead for the situations that may come. Today the situation was wind. Brisk out of the northwest. So we planned to be heading that direction while in the trees. And we wore our warmest gear.
* There's beauty even in the bitterness. Today I was walking across the pond and there was layer upon layer of air bubbles trapped beneath. It was just beautiful.
* The sound of a chirping wren in the winter is cheerful. I take it for granted in the summer.
* Sometimes there is someone (or a dog in my case) that depends on your faithfulness and constancy. And we must go and be and do even if it isn't all that pleasant.
* The bitterness and cold is just a season. And it is necessary in order for rebirth and growth.
* It doesn't pay to complain about the cold and dreary days. It doesn't change it. And it may even drag down another's attitude.
* The view of home and the warmth of it is really something to look forward to once the journey is done. And it was worth it. All of it.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Library Science and Humble Pie

The saga continues. After checking the list again on-line after returning 'all' the books, I see we have another one on the loose. I should have known "Captain Underpants and the Wrath of the Wicked Wedgie Woman" would be trouble simply because of the title. I question the kids. Well again "Nobody" read it. And "Didn'tSeeIt" did too. So I march into the library. Instead of stopping at the counter to speak with "Yvonne", I went to the shelf. And there was a copy! The very one! Or so I thought. Did you know the library has three copies of "Captain Underpants and the Wrath of the Wicked Wedgie Woman"? Well it wasn't the one we checked out. "Yvonne" smiles knowingly at me and says, 'we'll just renew it. They usually show up'. So I feel irritated and smug at the same time just knowing that it was at the library since there was no chance it was at our house or in the crevices of the van.

It still bugs me. As you all may know I despise missing things. I look, but not too hard. It's at the library and they goofed. But it wasn't. And they didn't. You see I pulled off the sheets of our darling children's beds and voila! Tucked under the comforter of Child #1... "Captain Underpants and the Wrath of the Wicked Wedgie Woman"!!! So. I am grateful I didn't say bad words to "Yvonne". I'm grateful for a found book. And I'm wondering if the library is a source of all my gray hair?

So the bread rises. Panic set in. No bread in the house? Oh boy. Debelak's could live by bread alone it seems... at least the kids think so.

Yesterday was just miserable walking. And a pleasure at the same time. Biting wind that you're glad to get out of when it's over. If it weren't for the dog... I wouldn't be doing it.

Wasted too much time surfing FB pictures yesterday. So I must be doubly-productive today to make up for it.

Until next time...

Monday, January 25, 2010

No school day...

I think their teachers are doing up report cards for the quarter. Or maybe they are dancing down the halls. But no matter, the kids are home today. So they do what most kids do... they build up forts. This time it is on the landing. And they aren't squabbling about who had the best squatters rights, so that's a success. I actually think they're playing their DS's in there... but soon it is time to get some work out of them so we can do something more fun later today.

The wood stove is cranking and my feet are warm again.

My iron is low. So the American Red Cross sent me off with all my iron-less pints still coursing through my veins.

We enjoyed the hospitality of my niece and husband this weekend. Our dogs had ridiculous amounts of fun together. They play themselves into a stupor and then get up and do it all over again.

The Chairman will be MIA a bit this week due to work. We'll miss him.

Trevor did a basketball try-out thing on Friday. He did relays and outran all of the other 29 kids. You know the saying that your chest swelled with pride? Well mine did. I felt it.

We're soon off for the library with every last book in the bag. I hope "Rose" is in a good mood today.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Just because...

... I found these on the floor in the girls' room and they brought back some happy memories.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Dog Smarts

So how smart are they? I'm full of random thoughts so if you bear with me (or keep reading) we both might find out where this post will end up.

We've all seen them. "My (insert dog breed) is smarter than your honor student". Really? Now I'm a dog aficionado as much as the next guy (or in my case gal), but I don't care how smart your little whatever is. It is NOT smarter than an honor student. We take great joy that our children are slightly above average or actually future honor students since you asked. When I tuck them in I hear "I love you". They take out the garbage when asked. They sing wonderfully. And they share their little wonderful lives with us. The dog? Well even with a few certificates of accomplishment under her collar, she has no real agenda. Her day is comprised of sniffing around, eating, and waiting for someone to tell her what to do. Oh sure she's affectionate. Sweet. Rewarding. But lets face it... they're pretty simple. And not honor student material. I think people that have those stickers are not parents of children. When we had Lincoln sans kids, he was elevated to a higher level than he deserved. When we brought all these babies into the house, he was relegated to being a dog. But a well-cared for one at that. I still am impressed that I made time to walk him (and the Chairman too!) every day even with babies.

Today I needed to do a run to the post office. Then thought since I'm right by a nearby lake she might as well come and we'll go hiking. She does know the 'go for a ride????' phrase and hops in with enthusiasm but no clue where we're going. Which makes me wonder; does she think every time pull out of the driveway without her that we're going to the dog food store, the woods, to see her friend Mavrick, or the vet? Is that why she looks so sad? Oh boy. There they go again. Heading to go hike in the woods and I can't go. Meanies. Or... does she just not think... I must admit I take her to the place I get her food. Dogs are welcome. In fact, at a dinner table a few weeks ago, a good friend of mine stated with unwavering passion that she thinks it's 'dumb' for people to take their dog to the store with them. I just looked down at my plate. Well I do. Why? I dunno. I enjoy her company. Lisi acts like it's fun. She goes completely bananas behaves herself quite well. Last week one lady was so impressed that Lisi looked at the open bin of bones, then looked up at me and didn't touch a one of them as I didn't tell her she could (cough-cough... a little dog training paid off). So where am I going? I dunno. Maybe I'm disappointed she hasn't been naughty and there hasn't been a story to write. But that's a good thing, no?

Well enough random mind wanderings for the moment.... if enough of you are patiently reading this drivel...

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Words for Wednesday

As you can see we have yet another little beating heart in our home. This is "Beanie" the blue betta. He joined us a couple days ago. You might remember "Freddie Four". He lived to the ripe old age of 4... wanted to live up to his name I guess. He was red. This guy is blue. He gets real big and thinks he's the big guy of the tank when you put up the mirror and threaten his solo existence. Fish are... well kinda dumb, yet soothing.

The other two fish are still alive thanks to Rayna's diligence!

I enjoyed my dad and mom coming to just be here yesterday. We had a lovely lunch out, a good game of Scrabble, and a good visit over donuts and coffee. Sigh.

Mira told me yesterday that she did something 'naughty'. So I want to reward the confession, yet terribly interested in what it was. I ask... and I hear that she and 'A' another classmate and friend of ours went and took a book in the bathroom at recess time. Then the little truants just stayed in there until recess was over. And you know what Mom? No one noticed! Well guess what my dear. You go OUT for recess even if you don't want to. And thank you for telling me.

I love nighttime routine. Actually, sometimes my tired body hardly wants to climb the stairs to do tuck-in duty. But then I'm rewarded night after night. A back scratch request from our son. A hilarious joke from a daughter. A desire to share or snuggle from another. I'm not sure when the 'tucking in' is over, but for now it is a very special time. And it is an absolute necessity no matter where we've been or what time we get home.

The Chairman is busy. Like busy as a beaver busy. And that's busy. At work. A lot of work. Almost too much to handle. But the future looks a touch less busy which will be good. But for now, we're hankering down and just glad for whatever time he has at home. I guess it better that way than wondering what to do. But I see the vital need for a dad. Another confidant. Another helper. Another parent. He helps, shapes, encourages in ways I don't or can't.

And so Lisi is peering in the window. Her face looks sweet, yet it is very serious. Why in the tarnation haven't you taken our walk yet? Let's go!!! Go!!! I need to go! Like really "go". So we will. Go.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Happy Birthday!

To my much older sister...

She's a gem. Really. Tends to be quieter, but can laugh uproariously at things that tickle her fancy. She's been a keeper at home for years even though she could have used her education. But what she has to show for it is a happy husband and three grown children that are wonderful in their own ways... Her welcome mat is out on the front step and well used. Her example is one to admire. And... she's my friend and confidant. Happy Birthday to you!

Monday, January 18, 2010

My mind wanderings...

But not much more. It's almost a half-a-bubble beyond mundane. But not quite. Just back from a great walk. Actually, I feel like I was on the elliptical for 1/2 hour. I did a major portion of the walk in calf to knee deep snow. Did you really want to know that? I didn't think so. A great past weekend. Ideal if you asked the kids. They had friends or something happening from nearly the moment they got off the bus on Friday until bedtime on Sunday. For them, happy sigh. For me? Well happy sigh too. Somehow friends and blessings go hand in hand. I did a self-treatment for what I believe was ringworm on my hand. Gross? Yep. Did you really want to know that? I didn't think so. But I'm sure glad for good OTC things that work. The itch was ferocious. Oh. You didn't want to know that either. And I've been harboring a sore elbow since November. So today I finally broke down and got a brace to use during the day-to-day activities until it starts to not hurt. Ow. TMI? Maybe. And my mind has been preoccupied with Haiti for obvious reasons. We're thankful for word from there that those we think of there and love without really knowing are getting help. And we hear from other corners of the earth. This age of technology make people seem not so far away. And that's really neat. Oh! We have two new little beings here at our house! Nope. I didn't break down and allow hamsters. Two measly goldfish. Rayna is so happy. For right now anyway. If they keep living I am certain they will be my fish. I hope not. Sunny and Goldie. They've survived their first 36 hours here. Makes me think of Chester and Hester. My fish in my college years. They even graduated with me... as they lived for 5 years! I must like nurturing. Which makes me think the bus is rolling in very, very soon. And off to nurture I must go. But first, I might match a few socks. Riveting post? Hardly.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Trevor's presentation day...

Just because...

She hasn't done anything very naughty...

a friend had a birthday!

Some special guests...

Pictures of 50th reunion

A picture's worth a thousand words. I have been doing words by the thousands, but no pictures. So here you go... this is the 50th anniversary over the holidays in no particular order.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Library Science

I think that's what their degree is called. I had a run-in with one such graduate today. You see it all started about 7:30 this morning. I had a nagging feeling that a book or something needed to be renewed. So I go to our fabulous on-line library site and look at the list. Yep... a few needed renewing. Oh wait! What is this? "White-tailed Deer" is still out there? And it's overdue by 3 weeks? I took that one back... or did I? I march up to T's room as he was getting ready and demand some answers. Where's the book? I look around his room. Mention things about keeping track of what we check out. He says the only place he read that one was in the living room. I ask the girls. They cough up 4 books - none of them being "White-tailed Deer". I go downstairs. Quickly make breakfast and send them out the door. Ok. Things like this make me crazy. I hate fines for no good reason. I don't even like the perception that we don't know where stuff is. And so I go on a vigilant hunt. I comb through T's room a 2nd time. I go through the girls stuff in their room. No book. It looks messy in their closet. Their drawers are a disaster. And so I bring up two big bags and purge, sort, and clean. I look through the living room. I even lift up the sofa with one arm! After that I head to the van. Clean out some dirty wrappers. An empty cup. No book.

After school, off to the library we go. (But first a stop at the bank and let me tell you watching three kids go in with their saved up money is quite charming. One even was holding her pink piggy bank for the banker to count out.) I drop 24 of the 25 checked out items in the slot. Then I stand in line. "Rose" was finishing up with another patron and then she says, 'yes?'. I have a problem and go on and explain to her that I was certain the book had been returned two days before the due date. She looks up my account. Yes, it is still under your name. Are you SURE you didn't leave it in your van or something? I had two ladies come in this week just sure they didn't have the book and guess what? It slid under the seat! I'm sure that's what happened. Well, no actually I don't think so. You see when I return books, I know exactly how many I had on my account and actually count them as I push them through the slot (a bit obsessive-compulsive I know). She blinks at me. Then isn't wavering. Well I'll just copy down the number for you and you can go see if the book is on the shelf (fully not believing that it was in the building). I head back to the proper area. I know it well as my enthusiastic hunter-wanna-be heads there often. I look for about 30 seconds and voila!!! There's the book! I march back all business to the counter. "Rose" looks up at me while checking out another man. She's kinda chewing him out for a fine. Library Science majors must have wanted to be something else. But then it didn't work out. They've got a tendency to be stern. I was hoping for a big smile. An acknowledgement of shame. Nope. I just get a 'oh you found it'. And then she proceeds to remove it from my account and in a moment of weakness she even took the fine off too! It must have been my smile. Or not. But anyway, that's my story... (pun intended). And I had to make an apology to our son in the parking lot for accusing him of not keeping track of his books!

Just because...

Here are the Rules:
Use only one word answer the questions.

1. Where is your cell phone? mudroom
2. Your hair? messy
3. Your mother? example
4. Your father? positive
5. Your favorite food? everything
6. Your dream last night? weird
7. Your favorite drink? coffee
8. Your dream/goal? living
9. What room are you in? living room (sorry, two words)
10. Your hobby? baking
11. Your fear? loss
12. Where do you want to be in six years? here
13. Where were you last night? bed
14. Something that you aren't? quiet
15. Muffins? blueberry
16. Wish list item? insurance
17. Where did you grow up? South Dakota (I broke the rules again!)
18. Last thing you did? dishes
19. What are you wearing? crocs
20. Your T.V.? none
21. Your pets? Lisi!
22. Friends? many
23. Your life? good
24. Your mood? content
25. Missing someone? yes
26. Vehicle? Sienna
27. Something you're not wearing? hat?
28. Your favorite store? Target
29. Your favorite color? turquoise
30. When was the last time you laughed? recently
31. Last time you cried? today (good, sappy/happy tears)
32. Your best friend?(s) I love them all (I'm sick of one word)
33. One place that I could go over and over? walks
34. One person who emails you regularly? dad
35. Favorite place to eat? at a friends house (ok, phhhbbbttt on the one word)

Like a friend, I'm not going to pick 6 people, so if you're name is on my blogroll... GRAB THIS AWARD and pass it on!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Just another Mundane Monday

There was a popular song "Manic Monday" when I was in college. I think mundane fits me better. I like Mondays. Someone else in NE does too. But I don't work out of the confines of these four walls. It's just me and the sometimes over-excited dog again. The pile of laundry. The needs of filling cupboards. And I like that. Really. Mundane isn't bad. To me it means the absence of something bad.

I can't wash as big of laundry loads as I used to. The pants, shirts, etc. are bigger now. I remember the baby days... I could stuff a week's worth of clothes for two kids in the machine! Or maybe I'm not remembering properly. That happens. You just simply forget how it was. Unless you have pictures. Sometimes I wish I could step back in time and watch myself say 16 years ago. Or 8. Or 30. Would be weird really.

Happy news came from afar yesterday! A baby. Not just any old baby. A gift. An adoption. When I hear of a baby, it makes me feel good and happy. When I hear of an adopted baby, it is exhilarating and awesome. It makes my eyes get watery. Once you've been through a paperwork pregnancy (or two), you're now part of a 'club'. Of those that waited in faith. In anticipation. In complete gut-wrenching worry. And when it actually happens, you are so happy your feet feel like they're on the moon. Every day you wake up it feels like your birthday again. Really. Very fortunate parents! That's how I view adoptions. Yes, the baby is fortunate, but the parents are moreso. Lucky doesn't work to describe it. It isn't luck...

And then there's news of another someone that went far, far away from home and kindred to go and help others. I love the technology we have so we can see and follow in the journey. It warms the heart...

Speaking of warm, I drug the thermometer to see what the temp was in the living room. Eighty degrees! Wow... I love the stove. But I've said it before. I love the silence of the furnace not running either.

Can I toot my horn? The Chairman said I should say it... but you know me, shy, humble, meek... can hardly do it. Oh sure I can. He said... now get this! That the stacking job on the wood was 'like a professional did it!!!!'. Whoot! Toot! Ok. I tooted the horn.

Back to more serious stuff... I do think there is a bit of a NY's resolution I want to try to adhere to. If you don't have anything good to say about someone, don't say it. I'm gonna try hard on that. There are some that live that way and they are refreshing to be around.

Mundaneness calls. So without further ado... I do.

Friday, January 8, 2010

"Wood you like to know?"

It's not my fault I was born a Taurus. My dad at times (in desperate frustration) would say to me, 'why are you so bull-headed?' Um. Because I was born under the sign of the bull? Um. Because of genetics? Um. Because that's me? And so... it proved itself the past day.

Yesterday I had a bit too much time on my hands and decided now was the time to get wood. We had a few week's worth yet, but might as well call, right? The woodstove is working wonderfully and don't want to be caught short do we? So I check on-line some pricing and then actually call the place we used last year. They could do my special request - 2/3 oak, 1/3 mixed. Proper mixing you see as we need the mixed for starting and the oak to burn long and hot. I digress. I might add as a bit of background that we were about an inch and 5 mph short of a real blizzard when I called. Oh sure! Here's the price (sounded good), and we can deliver that tomorrow. Well... ok I guess. Sure. If the storm is done. It will be? Ok. Seems a bit soon, but oh well. Then I get nervous. Oh boy. The Chairman likes discussing things like this. But hey, no big deal. It's just a humongous pile of wood. We can deal with it. And so I tell him (in passing) that they are delivering it. When? Why? The weather is terrible! There's ice out there! We don't need it for a month! Why didn't you ask me? I (trying to practice meekness) say I'll call in the morning (that being this morning) to tell them not to bring it. So promptly at 7:45 I call. Give an explanation that we really don't need it this soon. I don't have help. It's icy out there, etc. Hang up and about 2 minutes later they call back (not a good sign). Hello Linda? The truck is already loaded and we need to bring it. We wouldn't normally, but we loaded your 'special blend' and it's waiting to go. Ok. Oh boy. I need to tell the Chairman. He's not happy. He stares at me. He looks at the log racks. And mutters something about liking people to ask his opinion before making decisions. Says I would help you today, because I like stacking and the exercise. But work and duty calls and off he goes.

And promptly at noon the truck comes. Not just any old truck. A dump truck. A big dump truck very, very full of wood. "Hank" or whatever he's called (but Hank fits since he's wearing a huge coverall do-hicky) asks where to dump it... does his business. Says, 'wow, that's a lot of wood!', collects his check and off he goes. And I looked at it. Ohmyword. That's a HUGE pile. And so I pulled on my gloves in the 15 degree weather and started to stack. And stack. And stack. Luckily the three log racks are in the garage out of the wind. But still. And so I stacked some more. Trying to properly do it like the Chairman would like. (He even called at one point and said, let me do the last rack.) When the kids came home I went in for some caffeine and encouraged them to come out. And bless their little beating hearts... they rallied to the cause and we got done! And it was good and proper and stacked neatly. And I learned a good lesson on being bull-headed. Learned that asking advice from the other one in the home is a good idea. And learned that there is a huge reward for hard work when really... it is your right and proper duty to do since you made the mess in the first place.

So without further ado, I'll go enjoy the warmth of the stove. I earned it!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

So what have I been up to?

Not much really. I'd love to really get on the big lady's bad side and see her get worked up. But for now I'm just waiting for my next walk. Or some kind of food morsel thrown my way. Or a good game of tug. But since it is cold and gray, I better hunker down for a long winter's nap.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

The "Joy" of Shopping

Yep. I still don't like it. Yesterday, the Chairman asked if I would go to such-and-such mall in the area to check the sale racks for some items he likes. Today wasn't a jam-packed full day so I thought I'd oblige. Most wives would say, 'Wow! He WANTS me to go to the mall!!!'. I look at it about as exciting as needing to go to the dentist. And so I went. And made some quiet observations about the mall and the people inside of it. Lots of moms and babies and ladies ready to have babies. I remember feeling (more) sad when we were wanting kids and being there. Some good parenting. Some awful parenting. And some in between. I'm not sure where this comes into play, but there was this (slightly ditzy) mom in a store in front of me bragging loudly that her nearly 2-year old son wants to wear a certain type of hat so he looks like Michael Jackson. Really? He wanted it? Or did you??? And so... mall behavior. I pass a lot of stores. Why? Because no one is in them. I don't like going into a store if no one else is there. Too much pressure. People watching. What is she looking at? She's heading directly to the sale rack. Cheap lady. I wonder why her hair is like that? She must be older than she looks with that gray hair. And so... the shy-side of me (yes! there is one) doesn't go in. Unless someone else is there. And then when you do go in, 'Hi! How are you today?'. Do you really want to know? I have a slight ache on my left foot. I think it came after my walk yesterday. You see Lisi and I were racing around the pond and I was over a ditch and didn't know it and my foot came down hard on a rock. Other than that, I'm pretty good. Glad you asked!'. Why do they ask? Just say hi if nothing else. Don't make me respond with the obligatory, 'fine... and you?'. I know the one lady that asked me only did it so she can keep her job. She was about 22, bottle-bleached hair, dark lipstick, funky clothes, and thinking that I was an old has-been just trotting through. So then as they ring up the purchases for the Chairman... 'didn't you see the fleece? It's 50% off right now. Did you happen to see anything you like?'. No thank you. Today we're running a special! Could I interest you in a water bottle? It's 50% off with every purchase! Um. Do I look thirsty? Did you know I have a shelf at home with about 10 water bottles of various sizes, shapes, colors. I don't want a water bottle. Thank you. (Just ring up my purchases and let me leave!!!) I do think that some people like the banter. Those people could probably be described as friendly folks. I must not be. Friendly. But I think I am. It just comes off as kinda fake when they're trying to get another dollar or two out of your pocket.

And so... I'm off. With a new purchase adorning my body. You see I found these awesome fleece-lined wind pants for winter walking. And they were on sale for a brag price. So it was worth it. Kinda-sorta. But when it's 15 degrees with a stiff 10-15 mph wind out of the northwest, it'll feel good to have something on the hinder.

So... joy of joys. I'm done shopping!

ed. note: the Chairman isn't a demanding guy. I actually went at a mere suggestion, not him telling me to go. He often tells me I should be getting stuff for myself (how good is that?). And... I think he likes shopping for clothes just a little less than I do.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Random Ruse

Well I'm burning back on just one end. And it is better that way. I'm a closet control-freak. Like to keep the house in order. The laundry done. The kids spit-polished. And order in my mind. But it was worth it. All of it. I should post a few pictures. The family time was great (even my mean older brother wasn't quite as mean). My sisters... their children... my parents. Happy sigh. I feel like I won the lottery being brought into this family.

Thinking this morning of New Year's resolutions. I haven't made any in my life. I read about them. Hear about them. But usually they are something related to weight or relationships or junk food, or you name it. Me? Obviously the best resolution is to daily put first things first. And then everything after that will fall into place. I'm thinking a do-able one would be to not pick my nose in public or trim my toenails with an audience. I think those two will be mine this year. I can handle that.

But I do see wisdom in a fellow-blogger and friend. I do not want this computer junk time to get in the way of more important things like reading or listening to our many small children or having a quiet conversation with the Chairman. I did have a few the past week(s) questioning the wisdom of a blog. The necessity of it. And really, it isn't necessary. Or maybe all that smart sometimes. I do it simply because I enjoy writing. I feel like I'm talking to friends (maybe not fully realizing that someone in Bangladesh might be reading). It is an outlet for me. I don't air out dirty laundry (or try not to). I don't reveal struggles within our walls that are serious. I try not to reveal too much about our children's lives or my relationship with the Chairman. But I do try to paint a picture of reality here. And it is an outlet for me. Plus... Lisi will surely have a few more tails tales to tell.

Last night we brought in the new year with a great group of people. I think I've said it before, but we are beyond fortunate for good friends. I didn't have a drop of relationship overlap with any of them. But they feel like family. And I love that.

And so... Happy 2010. Will see you around!