Friday, February 26, 2010

Happy Birthday to my Mom!

She's the best. I know lots of people say that about their mom. And you are welcome to do that because that's how you feel. But that is how I feel. Truly. She is and was the best. She was my first memory. She lovingly worked with my stubborn strong nature and encouraged me to channel it in positive ways. She is one of the most giving and selfless people I know. I may be biased, but this is true. She's a helpmate in the deepest sense. She loves her family. But she loves others too. Always thinking of those in 'lonely corners'. I think it comes from her upbringing. She was the granddaughter of a blind man. She helped her Grandpa as a little girl and never stopped living for others. She's fought cancer twice and won. And so we are thankful. For a mom that is a shining example of what I could and should be. And so... happy birthday to you... my mom and my friend.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Just because it's funny!

** Special thanks to my sis-in-law for posting this first!

Monday Muse

It's been awhile for the musings. Mundane was getting... well mundane. Can't have that can we? Or we'd lose some good readers for sure.

Hmm. Where to start? Actually, I don't premeditate my postings. It's just a stream of thought that pours into my fingertips. Sometimes good. Sometimes bad. Sometimes worth the read. And mostly not.

We have a new dishwasher! I never knew the passion involved in kitchen appliances. I posted on FB that a suggestion would be welcome! Well lots of suggestions later left me desperately confused. The Chairman and I visited. Looked. Shopped briefly. And the purchase was made. I'd tell you what we now have, but I'm not going to. You'll just have to stop by for a visit and see for yourself! I hope it lasts longer than 3 years.

Speaking of purchases. I did something I now regret. A few years back we had talked of a new mattress. We looked very casually. Then one day I saw a 'deal' in the paper and went and Mrs. Saleswoman was very thorough and convincing and I signed the paper. It was bliss. A combination of pillowy softness mixed with a stable firmness. We both loved it. Until last year. If you do the math it is about three years old and we have huge divots on the spots where we sleep. It is a 'no turn' mattress and it is begging to be turned. However, there's this pillowtop thingy that isn't conducive to flip. So... we had Mr. Smokes-A-Lot-With-A-Small-Ponytail Inspector come and 'measure' the divots. Take pictures. And now we wait to see if Retail Organization will give us a deal. Replace it. Give us a full refund (wouldn't that be great?). And so I woke up with a sore neck. The Chairman is highly dissatisfied. And I won't be making another major purchase without his research capabilities first. So! Here's another can of worms for you! What mattress do you recommend???

The weekend's events were very sad and comforting at the same time. We saw raw and deep loss mixed with more comfort than can be humanly understood. We feel for the family. So much it hurts. And desperately hope that the pain of loss can be lessened with time. I marvel at the Spirit of giving and caring that people show forth. It is again inspiring.

I love it when I whip my hair back into a quick twist ponytail and am told my hair 'looks nice' over breakfast. It makes me feel all shy and silly and in love all over again.

I like it when big snowstorms miss us. They predicted a doozy to hit last night and today. And well... it ins't coming. Hooray for easier walks!

And so I must go. On the path and into the woods. Early yesterday morning a woodpecker and I had some good eye contact. And man-oh-howdy can that bird really go at it! Amusing actually.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Wednesday Words

Today I'm consumed with feelings. Of sadness. Of care. Of life. There was a sudden death. I'm not directly connected, but yet I am. It is affecting some I deeply care about. Little children are affected. A now single father. And so no matter how far removed, you hurt too. And I've been keenly thankful for a Family that cares. We've received it. And now we can give it. Many hands can lighten burdens.

The Chairman's verdict is still out. Actually, he keeps urging me to really say what I want. Talking about the aforementioned dishwasher. So far, clean fingernails still... but we'll be taking the plunge very shortly. It's kinda funny. No matter how 'perfect' something is, there are always pros/cons.

I got a surprise today. You know those FB messages that come to your inbox stating that someone else commented on something you commented on? Well this one baffled me. So I go look it up and "I" commented on the size of a fish in TX in October. Well... I didn't. But I have a fisher-wanna-be that must have been impressed while he was snooping on my account. So! If I make a comment to you... chances are it's from me. But if it seems suspect, well then it isn't! p.s. I'm not talking about the Chairman

I found the perfect recipe for that yummy cinnamon butter served at Texas Roadhouse. It is just YUM on hot homemade bread toast.

The two men in my life (the Chairman and the son) brought home a nice bouquet the night before V's Day. It still makes me smile.

I hear the bus....

Monday, February 15, 2010

Clean fingernails

Yep. It died. The dishwasher. The "old" dishwasher that was purchased by previous owners of this home in the fall of '06. And it decided for a second time to protest the stinky dishes being put within. So it left some scummy water in the bottom and then for a good measure decided to melt some wires on a control panel. "Jeff" the eager repair-guy came out and surveyed the damage. Revealed the issues. He even called "Chicago" to see about the cost of parts. I didn't know "Chicago" had one number. But anyway, "Chicago" gave the info he needed. Then he told me the cost of repairs would range in the $300's. Cough. Sputter. Did you see a money tree in the front yard? And nothing against you "Jeff", but we saw you a mere 18 months ago for a completely other issue. Plus what gives me the heebies is that 'Consumer Reports' doesn't give a good report on the Kitchen Aid repair chart. So... what to do. What to do. Have "Jeff" order parts. Have "Jeff" rewire the entire unit? Or... take the plunge into the world of appliance research?

So for now I'm enlisting the cheap child labor. In fact yesterday one of the many small children here said, 'this is just like the old days mom'. Another said, 'it's fun working like this together'. And so we will... until the Chairman does his proper research. And until the Dawn bottle runs dry.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Nosiness and other nothings...

Not sure why I've been thinking about this lately. But people are generally very curious. And talkative. I will say I've been guilty of enjoying a bit of good gossip at times. Lean in when someone speaks softly. But usually people don't lower their voice to say something good about another.

Life has its chapters. I turned the pages on mine slower. I did accomplish my four year's bachelor's degree within the four years. But personally, I took the slow road. I didn't really date until my 20's. Didn't fall in love until the Chairman rafted down the Colorado with me. Even though in my late 20's... still dated two years (wait a minute... that was the Chairman's doings, not mine!). Yet my cautious self was comfortable with the time period. During that time, 'when are you going to get hitched? Is your goal to be married by 30?'. You know, things like that. Then a very, very painful loss of a daughter. And other losses. 'Are you going to have a baby pretty soon?' 'How many would you like to have?' Painful questions. Yes, we'd love to have a baby soon. How many? Well that's out of our hands. Two blessed adoptions. Utter love. Then one day someone said, 'do you have just the two?'. I've heard that many times since when people inquire about children. Just two. Isn't that enough? Then we had the third. It went from 'just two' to 'my, you have your hands full'. Yep! And we're juggling besides!

Now at this chapter, the questions have nearly ceased. But really, now is when the hard questions should come from within. Are we doing what we need to do for these young souls? Are we making good life-long choices for them and for the family? Are we making good memories so some day we can all say 'those were the good ol' days'. Is the relationship I have with my spouse, extended family, friends, and a stranger what it should be? I hope so. But as another blog so eloquently posts each week, this is a "Lesson Learned". I want to be mindful of others.... realizing their chapters maybe don't mimic my own. And they are writing their story. And I am writing my own. And hopefully when the story is one day told after I'm no longer here would be that it is rich and full and has a good ending.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Finally Friday...

The cookies bake. Gingersnap with blackstrap molasses in them. Kinda dark, but nutritious (or so I think). And the kids eat them. I've done a lot of cooking just now. Bread of course. Blueberry muffins, fish, chicken soup, eggplant and spaghetti sauce. Not to mention about 3 salads. Yum. Good thing I like cooking and my kitchen.

It's been one of 'those' days though. The kind where you see a hole at the end of your sock on the big toe and you think it isn't a big deal. And then it is irritating all day long. Then you're looking for ginger and you spin and spin the spice rack (all the while realizing you should have ran to the bathroom before you started the latest project) and finally you spot it tipped over behind the rack. And then the two cracks on your fingertips hurt every time you touch something. And the hands are raw from being dried out too much. And one fingernail ripped and is too short and it catches every time you comb your hair. That kind of day. But I'm trying to keep a nice spirit....!

We have very special company here for a few days. One of them is a dear, dear old man. He is enjoying the wood stove even more than me. He gives encouraging words every time I add more wood. It's hot in that room, but he seems to be wanting it that way.

And one sick daughter. A bad cold I guess. We have three very distinct children. The one home with me today is completely self-entertaining. To the point I go ask, 'want to play a game?'. No thanks, I'm busy. Ok... but then she comes around for a frequent hug and goes off on her way. I like that about being a mom. Nurturing. I learned from the best.

Which makes me think. My folks should be nearly waking up tomorrow... very soon on the other side of the world. Deep envy creeps in when they go to Hong Kong. Some day... some day... I want to be there for the annual there too!

We get the UPS and FedEx guys in our subdivision each day. And it coincides with my daily walk. FedEx just roars past. Mr. UPS not only waves on his way by, but if he realizes I haven't seen him, he slows down and frantically waves until I do. He's stopped here a few times. Super-friendly guy. If I have a choice, UPS will get my business.

The gingersnaps beep. Not real riveting here, but felt like visiting with you all... whoever you might be!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Munday Monday some More!

walking over the fish tank...
no, the Chairman and I didn't go to the Caribbean with our coffee...
I like Trevor's face. True-boy fashion...
Happy Birthday Grandma!
The guests of honor...

Very nice past weekend! Actually, we're very happy the Chairman is back in Wisconsin. He was looking inside of a courtroom in NYC last week. Don't worry it wasn't anything he did wrong. Actually, he was verbally supporting a report he worked on. I think it went well, but he's a modest sort of guy.

We went to a local museum we have a annual membership for. But it is soon expiring. And it was something to do to entertain these young, energetic minds. Was nice!

And we had company over. I love the way the house feels with friends in it. Warm. Happy. And! We also celebrated Mom D's birthday!

I'm plowing through some scary parts of our house. Deep, dark corners of the basement. Boxes that have never been looked at since we moved. I am filling bags. Some to Goodwill. Some to test the mettle of the garbage man's back. It's a wonderful feeling. And I have a ways to go.

I have a child that only wants to wear about three things in her over-stuffed drawer to school. She's in a dither if they are dirty. How can I reasonably convince her that the other choices actually work and look nice as well? Ugh.

We've already bought a replacement goldfish. So far, so good....

I got a snail-mail letter today that just made my spirit soar. It was from a very elderly lady and it took her a lot of effort and time to do it. It's going in the 'keep file'. I sure hope I'm nice to "young people" when I'm older. I guess I better start right now...