Monday, August 30, 2010

More Musings on Monday

Gary and Alonia celebrating 40 years of marriage

"Camping" in the screen porch

Just a couple shots of the past couple days.  We were privileged to share in a celebration of a 40-year marriage last weekend.  We are honored to say we were included in the celebration because they felt sorry for us we're related.  This couple just ooze with class and the party reflected their tastes.  The Mrs. has fought a valiant battle with a cancer.  The Mr. has been extremely supportive of her to the point that it is inspiring.  I'm sure that support is a portion of the reason why she is winning the battle.  And we're thankful for that.  And for them.

Last night it was hot.  You see we haven't run the a/c for a few days again.  And it is.  Just.  Plain.  Hot.  So as the girls were winding down (brother was off again to his chicken-farm friend), I suggested that they could go 'camping'.  I didn't have to say it twice.  Out came the bedding and the pads and the plans.  I'm not sure when they finally fell asleep, but really, who cares, right?  Lisi enjoyed the company.  Mira said at one point in the night she was tucked right by her sleeping bag.  You see this dog has no carpet/bedroom privileges, so that was probably pretty neat to have a little kid sleeping by you for once.

And tonight is the night before the last day of summer.  Happy sigh. Heavy sigh.  I don't wish my children away.  But I don't wish them to stay by my side either.  They have an excellent school (Blue Ribbon of Excellence I might add!).  Great teachers.  Nice friends.  And so they'll be off to new challenges, friends, and fun.  And I'll have the fresh bread and jam waiting upon their return.  Or popcorn.  Or some cookies.  Or tell them to get a bowl of cereal out.  Some day they'll be away.  Much further.  Doing bigger things.  And I'll remember these days.  These 'good old days'.

Someone asked about the fruit fly trap.  I just take apple cider vinegar and put it in a narrow glass.  Take sheet of paper and make it into a cone-shape and put it into the vinegar glass without it touching the vinegar.  Make sure it is tight on the edges.  The fruit flies love the stuff and fly down to get it, but don't know how to get out again (they're not too bright you know...).  So far, so good.  Sorta.  I had to throw out a very scary looking nectarine that probably had a billion fruit fly eggs on it.

This is probably enough.  I don't want your eyeballs to start bleeding.

Friday, August 27, 2010

The meaning of home

Summer 2010 - visiting Gpa and Gma R.

I crawled into the crisp, pale blue sheets.  Smelled the familiar smells.  Surrounded by the familiar sights on the wall.  Listening to my parents quietly share their thoughts as they always have before their time of quiet.  I was a young girl again.  In South Dakota.  No responsibilities.  No worries.  Not a care in the world.  I'd wake up to parents that loved.  A cozy house.  And breakfast lovingly prepared.  Planning out another summer day.  Probably needing to pick beans.  Do some chores.  And then run off with my braids straight off behind me looking for the next adventure.

But here I am.  A middle aged lady with gray hair.  A husband that loves me.  Three children that are just great kids.  A dog.  A home.  And a wonderful life that has meaning.

Some call it 'going home' when they go visit their parents.  I've always struggled with that.  I was 'going to dad and mom's'.  But home is here.  Home is where my own family is.  And I think that is healthy and right.  But there is something special about your first home.  Memories are awakened.  Feelings come back.  And a thankfulness for a foundation that started the building blocks of choices.

I sometimes mention about being privileged.  Being blessed.  I speak of the past.  Parents.  Siblings (even my mean older brother).  Grandparents.  Dear friends.  And a lot of opportunities to be in right places doing good things.  But I also speak of the present.  And have a deep, unwavering faith that the future will also be good.

And so.  It felt good to be back 'home' again.  And it also felt good to be back home again.  It isn't a place.  It is a feeling.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Time for Tuesday

Not that I'm counting the moments the days until the kids go back, but we're down to just one week before the alarms need to be set.  I'm not real good with transitions.  I don't like moves.  Changes to routine.  It's that way when summer vacation comes.  And then it is that way when school starts.  A change.  And in the fall, ominous quiet.  It's been a dandy summer in every way.  Fun.  Friends.  Privileges.  And on top of that great weather.  A good rain by night and perfect sun by day.  That's been typical.

But I can't sleep in.  No matter the time I go to bed, once it hits about 5:45... blink!  I'm wide awake.  I envy people that can lie in bed and sleep in the morning.  But don't talk to me about anything important beyond 9:30.  I'm about 2 sheets to the wind (pun intended).

And the fruit fly battle ensues!  As soon as tomato/peach/pear/younameit season comes, the fruit flies appear.  I need to get out my cider vinegar contraption and show them who's boss.

The other night we were meandering back from a walk and out of the corner of my eye I see it!  I very good-sized coyote!  We have heard them.  Listened to them yip-yip-yip, but never really saw one in action.  I like that about living out of the city a bit.  The neighbor roosters/sheep/cows really like to give 'er at nighttime too.  We almost don't 'hear' it anymore.  But when someone comes over they usually mention something about the farm.

Got some new blinds installed yesterday.  The two not so brilliant guys that came to do them looked at the three rooms they were going to work in.  One of the rooms has three distinct double-hung windows.  The guy says, 'so we're putting two blinds in here?'.  duuuuh.  No, three.  Oh!  Here's my other page.  Common sense isn't so common.

The Chairman is going to get on his padded shorts and slip into his bike shoes and ride his bike to... Chicago this Saturday.  Actually, they'll drive a bit south and then go.  But it'll be nearly 70 miles in one day, so that's no little jaunt.   For some reason, I really like that he does stuff like that.  I'm all for not lazy.

Well, the three younger people here are thinking it is time to put some nourishment down the hatch.  So this is as good as it gets today.  After that, I get to crack the whip and get some chores done.  But first I think we all will need to cuddle and chat about the day.  I like 'packed days' like that.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Fragrant Friday

Well because peanut butter cookies are baking.  So I have less than 9 minutes to create thoughts worth reading. I do have a question.  Why do we put those criss-crossy things on peanut butter cookies?  Would they taste the same without those tell-tale marks that you're eating a peanut butter cookie?  I'm thinking of dipping one side with chocolate to fancy them up a bit.  Not sure why, but it seems like a good idea.

Today is son's last day of band camp.  A pretty clever idea.  All the 5th graders in our school district go.  They went from learning which way is up on their instrument to actually playing a little 'concert' today for the teachers! Son's instrument of choice is a trumpet.  Now let me tell you, those things are ear piercing loud.  The enthusiasm far outweighs the actual sound (so far anyway).  We can only hope it gets better.

I hit a bird this morning while shuttling the kids to camp.  Was just a grackle, but now I've killed two things this summer... a humongous turtle and now the bird.  It never feels good.

I could tell you that Lisi got a nice bath and haircut yesterday, but I won't.

The kids are spoiled blessed with privileges.  Seems that nearly every day something fun is happening.  Two days in a row this week they were pulled at break-neck speeds behind a boat on tubes.  Sleepovers here and there.  Well in 12 days the party is over.  And mine will begin!  (I didn't say that.)

I'm going to a Pampered Chef party on Monday.  Anyone need anything?  Or something that you think I couldn't live without?

Here in the fine Dairyland state, there is a huge demand for the state park camping places.  You see yesterday, I had to book for our annual Door County trip since it was 11 months exactly until we go again.  I call the literal moment they open.  And as I hemmed and hawed over which sites the lady says on the phone, 'hurry, they are going right now'.  You've got to be kidding!  There are people as crazy as us trying to book sites 11 months early?  Yep.

I had a lesson this week.  It really is better to give than receive.  I felt it.  And it was wonderful.

There's about three places I'd love to be at right now.  But soon it'll be our turn to go....

The timer is beeping....

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Something I read today...

We enjoy warmth because we have been cold. We appreciate light because we have been in darkness. By the same token, we can experience joy because we have known sadness....

Friday, August 13, 2010

Just because...

More fun than a barrel of monkeys." Has anyone ever stopped to think how cranky, if not downright vicious, a barrelful of monkeys would be, especially once released from the barrel?

If you lend someone $20, and never see that person again; it was probably worth it.

I had to hit him : he was starting to make sense.

What if there were no such thing as a hypothetical situation?

Remember the world is a big place. Even if you're one in a million, that means 1000 people in China look exactly like you.

There is not enough time to do all the nothing we want to do. 

Any child can tell you that the sole purpose of a middle name is so he can tell when he's in trouble.

Guy goes into a bar with a duck under his arm. Bartender says, "Where'd you get the pig?" 
Guy says, "This is a duck." Bartender says, "I was talking to the duck." 

Nostalgia ain't what it used to be. 

Just because I have a short attention span doesn't mean I

If I want your opinion, I'll give it to you.

You never know how many friends you have until you rent a house on the beach.

I have an inferiority complex, but it isn't a very good one.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Wild Wednesday

Well actually not too wild.  But it's been busy for sure.  Seems like we and everyone else are cramming a lot of stuff the last weeks before the routine of school hits.  It's been so muggy here I almost (gasp!)am looking forward to (gasp again!) fall.  If you know me, you would know that fall isn't my favorite.  And winter is a half-notch under fall.  But that might change.  I like hot and humid.  But tonight on my walk it could be cut with a knife.  Am feeling almost overwhelmed with privileges.  Lots of places to go.  People to see.  People coming to see us.  And it makes me happy.  I just don't want to take these wonderful days for granted.  The poor Chairman is working a lot.  But he said that after this bout of busy, it'll be better. Again, he doesn't complain.  He's neat like that.  A little trivia for you (since you read this not for informational purposes, but for mindless knowledge).  One of the ladies above was with the Chairman and I when we met in Utah in 1992.  Isn't that interesting?  She was there before any of this wonderful life began.  And speaking of the picture above... I did more corn.  And I'm done!  Nearly a meal/week for 2010/2011.  I think that's enough.  Well I'm tired of doing it anyhoo.  The kids were great help again.  Hooray for helpful kids!  Mira was digging through my drawers.  Well, not those drawers.  But my bathroom drawer that holds my 'stuff'.  She pulls out this lotion that I have.  At some point I must have told her that it was lotion to make you look younger.  So she starts to smooth some on her cheek.  Then asks, 'how much did this cost?'  Oh I dunno.  Maybe $9.  'And if I use it, will it make me look younger?'  Um.  Sure.  Maybe 7 instead of 8.  She giggled.  Pulled out her 2nd tooth on top yesterday with a slight tug of floss.  The Tooth Fairy is a bit delayed this time.  Our 'little boy' has now crossed the 90 lb. weight line.  And climbing.  He's gonna be a big guy some day.  Nearly up to my neck at the ripe old age of 10.  I told him when he gets bigger than me he still has to listen!  And!  He wanted to shoot a furry friend.  Eating breakfast this morning we look out and there's this 'thing' in the yard.  We run out to investigate.  Lisi goes into a panicky full-bark mode since she's so clueless what to do in a real life somehow.  This brown thing hissed.  Chattered.  Got up on his (or her) haunches and wouldn't back down.  Even gave the ol' mutt a good chase.  And after I got bored with staring at the beady eyes we came in and googled it and realized it was a woodchuck!  I of course started chattering the 'would chuck could chuck wood' rhyme until the kids pleaded with me to stop.  And so I should really stop.  This entry.  For real.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Fast-coming Friday

Fun with a friend for a day...

The weeks are flying by... seems like we're on countdown until school starts.  Not until the 1st of September, but still!  We have things we'd like to do first.

Yesterday, our family went to Six Flags.  Duane and I hadn't been there in 17 years (we were young, dating, and so in love then).  Now we are middle aged, married, and so in love.  I digress.  The three MYP here hadn't been there.  Last year they had read their number of books and earned a pass to get in.  By the time I noticed it, it was too late.  So this year we made it the last week before expiration.  We weren't the only ones.  I think half of Chicago and 3/4 for Milwaukee area were there.  It was very crowded.  Like annoyingly so.  But we got on a lot of rides.  One in particular made my head and innards swim.  Unfortunately, it was right before we were going to stop and eat.  Ick.  Spinning and swirling all at the same time isn't good for middle-aged women.  Rayna had her eyes closed the entire time.  The Chairman said 'no thanks', I'll wait it out with Mira (she wasn't at the 54" height requirement).  The roller coasters are fun.  But waiting nearly an hour for a 3 minute ride is really, well, dumb in my book.  So we stayed until late and brought home three tired kids and a few memories to boot.  

Did I talk about the mosquitoes?  Oh now I remember.  They still are fierce.  Hungry.  Unrelenting.  The neighborhood sent out a blanket e-mail wondering who wanted to pay for spraying their yard.  Well I'd love to.  But not into chemicals so much.  And you know what?  By September they'll be a distant memory.  So for now I dash to the garden and frantically look for cucumbers and tomatoes and peas and beans and other assorted yummies.  I LOVE summer sandwiches with all the juicy freshness inside the fresh (homemade) bread.  

Zinnias!  Two years ago after we moved out here I admired a neighbors flower border.  I'd look and wonder what they were.  Figured it out and decided to border my new vegetable garden with them.  And I am so happy every time I dash out to find some produce.  The butterflies they attract are really neat too!  

Looking forward to another big privilege tomorrow to witness something very wonderful.  Lots to again be thankful for... but not the mosquitoes.  Did I tell you about them?  Oh yes, I guess I did. 

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Hygiene 101

Yep, still having 'issues' here.  Although it isn't a boy this time.  I got through three large loads.  Five nicely stacked piles of clothes for each family member.  One of the stacks has not one fiber of undergarment there.  I ask the child in question... "I just forget!".  Ugh.

I love a great deal!  I'm cheap frugal like that.  Well I was getting some tickets on-line for Six Flags and on a whim, typed in a promo code name up in the small box and yahoo!  It worked!  Saved $10/ticket just.  Like.  That!

Speaking of deals.  I got new running shoes for 75% off and they were just the ones I was wanting.  Just wondering what to do with all the money I saved?  Or not.

Thirty meals of fresh, frozen sweet corn are in the freezer so far.  Hope to do nearly that many the next time.  Yum.

I'm kinda wishing I was somewhere else the rest of this week.  I know they'll all have great days without me.  But still...

Garlicky clam sauce simmers.  Fresh basil from the garden.  Comfort food for the Chairman you know.  Being half-Italian does that for you.  Somehow I always manage to serve stuff like that on a Wed. night.  I hope our friends don't mind.  Maybe they'll pass out breath mints beforehand.

I've procrastinated enough....  time to work again.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Mundane Monday Musings

I haven't had one in awhile, so it feels good.  Back to mundane.  I did bake bread this morning.  Was a humid day, and it rose like I thought it would.  Yum.  Also got bills paid, a couple loads of laundry done.  Fed the MYP a couple of meals.  Checked FB a "few" times.  Wrote a some e-mails.  But really, didn't do much.  The kids bicker.  I need to give them some jobs.  Or go play with them.  That always elevates the mood.  Last night Mira cried herself to sleep.  You see she and her sister have bunk beds.  It is time for the upper bunk resident (M) to go down and let the lower bunk resident (R) go up.  Change is good sometimes.  And sometimes not.  She'd be a dyed-in-the-wool personality if we let her.  I need to freeze sweet corn.  That sweet, crunchy sweetness tastes so yummy in the winter.  That sweet, crunchy mess is so sticky on my floor.  But it's worth it.  Maybe tomorrow.  After I'm done feeling lazy today.  A pillar left has gone on.  She had fullness of days.  And very special to many, many people.  I just found a baby card she sent to us when Trevor was born.  She loved his name.  She loved that he was here.  And she loved us... and so many others.  I'm glad for good examples of what it means to be kind.  Our lawn needs a goat.  With the combination of rain, warmth, and time, we have a hay field.  In fact, Lisi's special rubber ball is lost somewhere in the depths of green.  Our trusty friend who comes to mow for us (no we're not lazy, he likes the extra 'job'), is coming today.  And at lunch between the little murmurs of complaint that led to all-out crabby-pants, milk got spilled... twice.  Kids.  Gotta love 'em.  So the mosquitoes are hungry. Like really, really hungry.  Whatever eats a mosquito must be very full right now.  Anyway, last night after my walk,  I look a couple yards away and see one of our friendly neighbors out with a new lab puppy.  I meander down there for a look-see and visit.  I meet "Harley".  Lisi sniffs her over.  But what was so hysterical was the guy that I was talking to was bareback at dusk in a mosquito infested yard.  He wanted to talk so badly about how good his new pup was.  Where they got her.  When... and so forth.  And while this friendly banter is going on I'm watching this guy dance around.  Swat all over his unclothed body.  Crazy dance moves if you will. It got very, very funny.  And finally he held up one finger (like wait one moment), and fled like a crazed man for the safety of his home.  He almost forgot the very special pup we were just talking about.  I stood there with my 44 DEET Repel feeling very smug and thinking very hilarious thoughts. Well that about sums up the mundane moments of this Monday...