Friday, April 30, 2010

Mind Surfing

Kinda like channel... except we don't have that appliance. So this is it...! Just took these pictures moments before I started to type. Enjoying all the sights, smells, and sounds of spring. The birds have been persistent again and here's nest #3. Poor little house finches. That's the name of them... so why not nest on the door? Have taken the (world's luckiest) pooch to three different parks with bodies of water in three days. She's most appreciative. In fact she made her little 'purring' sound last night just for walking by her. Saw two more play structures going up in our neighborhood today. The question I pose is: why do people keep buying them? I hardly ever see the neighbor kids on theirs unless they have people visiting. I know there's money involved as we looked into it at one point in our lives. But we opted instead for a dangerous trampoline that the kids love and use a lot. But some are scared to death of them and probably with reason. Mira finally lost her 2nd tooth. With some verbal encouragement and a good tug with dental floss... it flew across the room. The tooth fairy brought some bubble gum and some quarters stacked up after the 3rd day... And why are dandelions considered so bad? I'll admit, we have a green-treated lawn. But the bright yellow buds just scream of spring. Too bad they eventually get so ugly. It's been a very dull week. Maybe my fault, but maybe not. Have kept busy with 'life' here. Today's caramel-pecan rolls rose up b-u-t-ful today. Must be humid. Yum. My much older sister was telling me maybe I have a thyroid problem since my mom and her both have mild cases. I was wondering too since I haven't been able to shed a few pounds since Florida. But maybe the bread/rolls are the culprit as well. But! I'll find out soon at my Dr. appt. I switched doctors. You see the one I was seeing also has children attending our same school. Am I paranoid to not want her being my doctor even though she was good and knowledgeable and thorough? Or maybe I should have kept her and just raise my skirt some evening during a school program and have her look at my rash or whatever. tee-hee. High deductibles will make you do crazy things. And then there's pictures. I realize I haven't printed any off since 2008 - much less put them in books. Shudders. That sounds like a winter project to the nth degree. So don't you go thinking my life is completely in order. I have some faults too you know. Looking forward to a great weekend ahead. Hope yours is too. And now... static. The mind is empty.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

I don't work

The question was posed innocently enough, but as always, caught me off guard. I called for an annual appointment. "Are you still not working?". Yes that's right! I'm not working. But it pricks me just a tiny bit. I don't work. Nope. Idle. Just waiting for time to pass. I did work! Can I tell you about those days? I started babysitting first chance I could. Worked in high school scooping up slop and putting it into old people's mouths. Washed their dishes. And I loved it. Worked at a turkey plant. A place hanging window parts to paint. Various jobs with Target headquarters doing sometimes important (and not so important) duties. And now, I don't work. But I do! And all of you SAHMs know this. I know it. But we need to feel justified. Cleaning and cleaning and cleaning. Washing faces, towels, floors, empty drawers, dishes... you name it. Filling the cabinets with food. Putting on healthy, homemade meals day after day after day. Answering calls. Paying bills. Tending the sick. Weeding gardens. Writing a note to a lonely one. And that doesn't even touch the happy husband, the cherished children, or the ditzy dog. "They" are my job too. Making sure they're heard, fed, helped, loved.

I do take 'me time'. I love scouring FB for pictures. Looking at some dandy blogs that encourage me. Walking with our dog every day. And at those moments, I'm not 'working'.

And so... the answer is I don't work. But I have the best job there is.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Mostly Monday

Because I might be writing about some other day....
  • This weekend at the girls constant nagging request, we changed up their twin beds back to bunk beds. They had them at our old house. Then the novelty wore off. Their new room is roomier (an intentional play on words here) and so they had twin beds. But then they wanted a change again. They're like their mom. Rearrange! Switch things. Make it feel new. So the Chairman with his tools and an eager-beaver son and a big lady that was trying not to yell and voila! Bunk beds and a rearranged room!
  • In all the moving and switching around, son #1 got in his craw to make something happen in his room. He found a plastic tub I had dumped in there when we moved. Is full of baby cards. Notes. Precious things from China. Even the card that came with the first flowers the chairman ever gave me on Feb. 15 of 1994 (a very funny and long story to share some day). And a notebook. It had Winnie the Pooh on the cover. Started out in handwriting that was very neat and tidy. Said that it was April 11 and in six days we would be beginning our journey to China to get Rayna. And then I wrote that I would detail all my feelings, emotions and thoughts as we went day by day through the trip and continue when we got home so that one day Rayna would know how much she was loved and wanted from before she'd understood. And that was it! One page. Rayna brought it to me. Immediately saw the irony. We laughed and laughed. And I love the last line in the notebook. "I now need to organize your dresser and make sure all your clothes are clean." I'm still doing that... so maybe that's why I didn't continue the journal.
  • And then Mira came down. Feeling a bit gypped. Lots of lovely cards for daughter and son #1. Less for daughter #2. I think people's pockets were getting empty since we kept adding to the family in rapid-fire. And probably also rightly assuming we had hand-me-downs. She then crawled up in my lap and batted her beautiful greenish-hazel eyes and said so very, very sweetly. "Mom? Who do you love best? Is it me?" Um. No sweetheart. It is your dad. Without him there'd be no you or your brother or sister. She jumped off and said, 'I knew you'd say that... you always do.' At least I'm consistent!
  • She's got a bean project. Plant three beans in a clear cup and watch them grow. I've enjoyed it more than her. I never realized that there is about 10 days of things happening below the surface before you see evidence of life. I love that thought.
  • Enjoyed a bonfire last Friday night. The kids fed it dry leaves. I made the dreadful mistake of not having marshmallows to roast. They're on the list for the next fire. But the sounds of frogs croaking coupled with the crackle of a fire. Ahhhh.
  • And! The library gremlins are back taunting me. A call from the kids' school this morning. Hello how are you? We just wanted to let you know we got a call from the Sussex library. The school library book that Mira checked out and had been missing turned up at the Sussex library. The $4 that Mira paid for the missing book will be returned to her and you can pick up the book at anytime from the library. Um. We don't use that library. So it is library science! I just don't get it...

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Thursdays thoughts...

Making jam! Strawberry freezer. A good deal on berries at the local warehouse store. They're deep red and it's setting up nicely. Two loaves of bread rising, so that's a pretty dandy combo. If you want me to post the 'usual' bread recipe, let me know... it's in the oven about 3x/week here.

I was at another funeral yesterday. The fifth in four months. I think that's a record for me. No, I am not reading obituaries in the paper and seeing if there's free lunch. I may be desperate, but not that...

Rayna went singing today at a nursing home with her class. That wasn't the highlight though. They were going to go to McD's for lunch! She couldn't stop talking about how exciting that part of it would be. (we need to get out more)

Lisi and I hit the road this morning. A few errands for me and then we went to the local lake. Took a big hike. And had a picnic lunch (well I did anyway) on a bench. Chased up some geese, gave four turtles reason to scurry off their rock, and enjoyed the sunshine - although a bit cool on the edges. I keep telling her she's one of the luckiest dogs out there. I do think she knows it.

Trevor is digging a hole. A throw dirt up over your head hole in the field next door. Now he stands in it and just his head peeks out. I'm not sure the reason, but it is giving him a real purpose in being right now. Boys... gotta love 'em.

Mira's made out her birthday list for July already. You may remember crutches were on last year's list. She still has them going nearly daily. You'd almost think something was wrong. Now this year she wants a full supportive leg brace like someone had in school. I jokingly said to her, 'do you want a wheelchair too?'. And her eyes grew big, 'could I???'. I hope she's a nurse or doctor some day.

Washing bedding today. It has been weeks months since I've done the kids beds right properly. Yikes.

Enjoyed celebrating Rayna's day on the 20th. Her special supper request this year was burgers and homemade french fries. I found a recipe for some on and they were just absolutely scrumptuous. Yum. maybe fattening too.

Speaking of which, since we've lived here for nearly 2 years, I've only unpacked 3 recipe books. Otherwise, I use some favorite sites and voila! Twenty-six recipes for banana bread. Kinda neat!

I think this is way enough...

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Ten years ago...

Presenting... Ling Zhong aka Rayna Lin Debelak!

Instant joy...

Chunky monk... had her 4 days at this point

On the plane home!

Today... our wonderful daughter

the inseparable three

Ten years ago on April 20, 2000 dear Rayna was placed into our welcoming arms. "Gotcha Days" are special to adopted kids. But I think in some ways they are more special to the moms and dads. We remember the unspeakable feeling, the sounds, the smells, the gut-wrenching emotions. A day to never, ever forget. Our life will be forever altered from this moment forward. And it was.

Now ten years later. It seems like so very much longer. And it seems like yesterday. The beginning of our journey in parenting. We are thankful. We are fortunate. We are even lucky. But mostly, we're blessed. For this day. And for the days that followed that brought a brother and a sister.

One of my favorite books given to us with these words:

There are those who think families happen by chance
A mystery their whole life through
But we had a voice and we had a choice
We were working and waiting for you

No matter the name and no matter the age
No matter how you came to be
No matter the skin, we are all of us kin
We are all of us one family

So here's to you, three cheers to you
Let's shout it, "Hip, hip, hip, hooray!"
For, out of a world so tattered and torn,
You came to our house on that wonderful morn
And all of a sudden this family was born
Oh, Happy Adoption Day!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Mundane (you know)

Yep. We have three pretty robin-egg blues in one tree. I actually stole this picture on the web. But it looks exactly the same and I didn't want to haul out the ladder and the camera and put forth effort for you all to see the nest with eggs. So you'll have to believe me. Saw them as the landscape guy came to check over the stuff they put in last fall. Great service I'd say. In fact he saw some grass coming through the mulch and said he'd be back to spray that. I thought I was going to do that tomorrow, but if he really wants to, well I can't take away that joy can I? Or maybe he thinks I'm such a fun person to be around... or better yet he has a crush on me and is looking for any excuse to come back. Or not.

Just back from a little walk. A very odd thing happened in the woods. A squirrel fell off a branch way up high right in front of Lisi with a resounding 'thud'. She gave chase. Squirrel ran up the tree chittering away. Lisi missed a huge opportunity. Squirrel - 1, Lisi - 0. She's too embarrassed to tell you about it.

Had company over yesterday. I love the before company. The cooking. The getting the house all 'tinging'. I love the during company. Friends. Good conversation. And good food (hopefully anyway). I love the after company. The memories. The leftovers. The mostly clean house (except for a wee bit of vacuuming).

Tried to do my hair a different way. And oweee... it hurt. Literally. Why is that? My hair naturally flops to one side so I was trying to show it who was boss and it revolted. So maybe I better leave well enough alone.

I've got a few pet peeves. One is watching someone videotaping that I don't know and then they swoop the camera side-to-side and I realize I'm on their tape. I'm not sure why it bugs me that I'm preserved on some tape on a shelf in who-knows-where, but it does. I don't like leaving hair in a motel garbage can either. I'm not sure why it bugs me, but it does. I don't like song lists on blogs. Especially when I'm looking at them right after I tuck the kids in and they yell, 'what are you doing mom???'. And I still don't like wind chimes (sorry to you out there that do...).

I can't wait to get out the camper. And feel hot. And have sand in my flip flops. And see dirty s'more-rimmed lips over the glow of a campfire.

Enough dreaming. Back to the mundane laundry pile...

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Happy Birthday Sis!

Happy Birthday to a very dear sister-in-law. She loves my mean older brother without reserve. She mothers my nephews in a way only a loving mother can. She is a true friend to those she's near. She's smart, witty, extremely creative and artistic, and won a battle with a life-altering condition with grace and strength. She's a role-model to our oldest daughter who also shares the creative gene... and I could go on.

And so... Happy Birthday to a real JEM!

Thursday, April 15, 2010


In completely random order. I posted some on FB, so look there if you want to see more (which most would not and I completely understand...).

A gorgeous day coming on again. But it is super-de-duper windy.

The taxes go to the PO this morning! Never too soon you know...

What do I do with a LOT of chives? One can only eat so many potatoes.

Feels good to dig in dirt again. Did I say I love spring? Ok... guess I did.

Did I mention our poor luck with minivan rear windows? We had ours shot out a couple years ago. Then when we were in FL a brick was tossed at our latest van in a very safe neighborhood driveway. After some quick calls, the Chairman had it all fixed up the day we got home. For stoopid.

The kids are happily back into their routines at school. And the Chairman works very hard and bikes when there is opportunity. I am so happy to be back home again.

Lisi was suffocating yesterday. While working outside yesterday, she insisted on crawling up in my lap several times. Once completely fell asleep. Um. Lisi? I need to weed over there now...

And so I must be on my way...

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Vacation Tails

Hi everyone! It's been awhile since I've been able to get on here and tell you about my life. You see the big lady that yells but loves me anyway hogs the computer. Either her or the boy that lives here. He loves to play something where a warrior walks around. I don't get it. But I'm a dog I'm not supposed to. I think the big lady wrote something this morning on here. I think it was about a vacation. I saw a bunch of open suitcases lying by the stairs and 'PU'. It must have been hot there. I've heard her on the phone telling people about warm sun and beaches and being seasick. And it just doesn't seem fair. Because I was on vacation too! And I know you're more interested in my vacation than theirs aren't you? Well???

The big people here take me with them when they go in the camper or for short visits to see my friend Mavrick, but most of the time this

is where I go on vacation. You can read all about it. It's great! We have eating time. We have rest time. And lots and lots of play time. It's all predictable and we dogs like it that way. So this morning the queen lady that helps run the place was talking to the big lady. They're related you know. And the queen lady was telling some stories about me. I tried not to listen, but I overheard her say that I was the most social dog they've almost ever had. I can't figure out why she's surprised by that. Have you seen the people I live with? Yep, social! I'm a golden. We love others... dogs, people, cats (for a good chase), you name it. I romped and played and wrestled and carried on with all of my 'group' there. And! Better still we made a playground. The queen lady was telling the big lady that we dug holes. Of course we did. We're dogs. That's what we do. Dig. And so someone started it (I won't say who) and then one by one we all took a turn and made a HUGE trench. It was so big we'd disappear and then all you'd see is dirt flying out of this hole. It was just great fun. But... this is where the queen lady said something bad. She said that I was involved in something naughty. You see there's a couple of dogs we don't like in our group. And so if they tried to get in the hole we'd chase them out of there. They weren't cool like my friends were. So we would chase them away and continue digging and playing in our new underground trench. This went on for nearly a week. I think the queen lady and the king pin that run that place should actually give me something for starting a playground there. Come to think of it, she did. This place is fancy. Have I said that yet? There's a nice little counter of treats and bones and toys and stuff and I was sniffing and looking and shopping and finally the queen lady got the hint. I heard her ask the big lady, 'do you think Lisi wants a bone to take home?'. Are you nuts queen lady? Of course I do. So the big lady gave me the signal and I grabbed the biggest ol' bone you could find on the shelf. And off we went. The end of vacation with my friends. Sure I didn't have sun and sand and surf. But I had behinds to sniff and trenches to dig. And wide open spaces to have fun. Now it is time to rest up from vacation. I don't think the big lady is today by the looks of her piles.

Stream of thoughts...

By now some of you would know we just returned very late last night from the Sunshine State. It lived up to its name with glorious sun-filled days in the 80's. It was very, very nice. And I. Am. Exhausted. My mean older brother didn't live up to his name. He was almost nice the whole time. Oh sure he had some fun with me, but who doesn't? His lovely wife lived up to hers. His three great sons were great as always. Our lodging went from a roomy house to a two-bedroom suite to a one-room with two queens. The last night I slept sideways on a queen bed with the girls and came to find out that M rides an imaginary bike throughout the night. Sometimes my head was the 'pedal'. Deep sea fishing and T didn't work well together. He lost breakfast not once but three times and fished the last 15 minutes before we headed back to shore. 'Grunter fish' really grunt when you catch them. The sun's rays are piercing on the water. We have burns to show for it. Disney is ridiculous amounts of money. Cape Canaveral was worth the money. And the time with friends (actually relatives) on Sunday was priceless and probably the high point of it all. Thank you to the K's! Your family is inspiring. Our flight was delayed last night, but only by an hour. When I see the red 'delayed' on the board, it makes me queasy. The kids traveled like real champs. Eating out more than three meals in a row isn't fun. I'm not an 'eating out' kind of person. After awhile, it all looks and tastes the same. My tennis elbow has almost completely recovered. I think that means I didn't work much for a week. The bread is rising. The groceries are bought. The dog is happily home from the kennel. And so if any of you have a family of any size, you'd know the monster laundry pile starting at me. So off I go. Pictures will follow sometime...

Sunday, April 4, 2010

The annual photo(s)...

Our handsome guy in his first suit (he requested!)

This shot - albeit so-so was the best I could do after hollering a bit...

Sisters (with a terrific sun glare at the bottom)

Sugar and Spice and sometimes nice...

A cute smile with a lot of smugness...

And... The Chairman and his wife

We try to take pictures every morning before our sp. mtg. And so here's this year. Seems the older they get, the less cooperative they become. So I'm yelling... 'SMILE!!!' which only makes it somehow worse. So... WS? You're not the only one...

And by the way, the day was just. plain. wonderful. In every way.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

You found it!

So here we are! Feels kinda different. Like wearing a new pair of shoes...

Friday, April 2, 2010

New Blog Name...

Just a start... and if any of you have suggestions based on our family, our location, or our life, throw them out there. This was decided in mere moments. But I think the last name should be removed. Easier to do that than go private. Just sayin'...

Self-esteem issues...

... or not. I woke up to this on the kitchen counter.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Thoughtful Thursday

We've got a 'special' invite this coming weekend to some the home of our friends. So I stirred up a super-simple frozen pie. Almost feel guilty it's so simple. But it's tasty. And light for after a wonderful meal. It's actually going to be an Indian meal. Yum. The granola is also baking. Have been tweaking the world-famous-highly-requested Chairman's recipe. Trying to keep some spice in his life. Or not. It stinks here. Like really stinks. Like it's manure-spreading season! It lasts a couple of days. Remember a previous post about wanting to be a farmer? Well I don't even mind the PU smell on the fields. Really. It's natural, right? The weather is warm and that makes the kids' immediately thinking of a way to make money. Well not really, but they love love love to have a lemonade stand first chance they get. And this was their first chance. So some very watered-down lemonade got in a pitcher. A request for some disposable cups and they sloshed off with the wagon to the corner. The people kept stopping. It was 50 cents a cup. But oh no! "I'll take three". Hands them $3 in crisp bills and says "keep the change". Can you believe it mom??? They sold out within 10 minutes and came tearing for the house to find more goods to sell. I'd have just given them two dirty quarters and went on my way feeling satisfied I made some kids happy. These folks are trying to outdo the other in niceness. The proceeds are being donated to the school cancer fund. We've been directly affected by cancer. An acquaintance is fighting it hard right now. It's for a good cause. And no post could be complete without something related to the dog, right? Well she thinks it's hot out. Like very hot. Like I gotta find shade and quick hot (when it's 50 degrees out). So she's not enjoying our wonderful spring days as much as she should. Spent a good part of yesterday in the garage on the cement floor. But! We were missing her receiver collar for the invisible fence. I looked and looked and looked and looked yesterday. You know how I cannot stand missing things? Well this was driving me bananas. Asked the kids. Get a glassy-eyed stare back. I dunno they say in unison. Think about where we last saw it. I even about cleaned out the garage top to bottom yesterday in hopes of it turning up under a scooter or inside a rollerblade. Nope. E-mailed the company for replacement cost. $225? You've got to be kidding. So I started to search again and VOILA! It was wrapped in a beach towel that was tossed up into a cupboard when I was frantically cleaning the mud room a few days ago. WHEW! And better still, all the library books are back safely on the shelves with 'Rose'. And soon we get quality family time. I hope it is anyway. My mean older brother and his lovely wife and great sons will be a part of the quality family time. I hope he isn't too mean. Because I'll really let him have it if he is...