Thursday, September 30, 2010

Thoughts from the table

I hesitate to write this because I might be the envy (pun intended) of some.  I had another massage this morning.  You see along with my good looks and great personality (cough-cough), my dad generously passed down the trait of having knots in the upper back.  So I met up with T.  the boss-lady of the place (I guess you call them a masseuse) who goes about her business with utter professionalism, skill, and efficiency.  I must be getting mighty comfortable with her as we did the normal pre-massage banter as to what to do and I pulled off my Keens and was about to disrobe right then and there when she said quickly, 'I'll be right back!'.  So I slip onto the table face down and in she comes.  Asks if I would like the table-warmer on.  Why sure!  It was sublime.  Just the perfect amount of heat for me (most would think it was roasting).  And then she began.  You fall into a weird trance-like state when they get going.  Your eyes just close on their own.  Time is completely irrelevant - which is an amazing thing if you know me at all.  At any given moment I could tell nearly tell you to the minute what time it is.  I digress.  And so my mind wanders off.  Well first it made a mental list of what I needed once I got to Target.  Then after I got that all filed away in the proper recesses of my brain I just listened quietly to the "Muzak".  It was very African sounding today.  Except for the occasional honk of a fake duck.  I wasn't impressed today with the choice.  The duck got annoying.  The clattering of some fake wooden instrument as well.  And do people really sit in little rooms recording that?  Or is it all computer generated?  I dunno.  So T. silently worked her magic.  Pressed those knots down until they cried mercy and disappeared.  And then about 15 minutes (or so... I have no idea really) before my time was up, the wonderful steaming 10 oz. mug of coffee I had this morning started to haunt me.  I had to go.  Like pretty bad.  But I forced myself to think of thoughts of the Serengeti (hey, it was African-sounding music, remember?).  Desert.  Vast wastelands without a drop of water in them.  And finally she said 'you're all set'.  You bet I am.  I'm about to make this a water-table.  And out she went.  And I scurried into my duds and raced down the hall to use the facility before she walked up with a big smile and a full water bottle.

And so a very full and wonderful weekend is coming up.  And it won't be so full and wonderful if I don't do some preparing.  At least I'm relaxed!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Wandering Wednesday Words

I've been alone today.  All day.  In fact, I don't think I talked to anyone after the Chairman and the children went off to work and school.  Well actually, I talked to the dog on our walk, but she only grasps her name and the few basic commands.  So I have some words floating in my head.  Speaking of the dog.  She caught a rabbit the other day while I was gone.  How do I know?  Well all that was left was the head, shoulders and two tiny little paws in the front.  The rest was just plain gone.  In her belly I reckon.  Ick.  Have the house nearly to a 'ting' today.  We have our turn at the rotation tonight.  Special friends coming for a special reason.  I love having a turn for many reasons.  One not so important one is that it causes me to clean some things I don't ordinarily.  Like the toaster oven window.  Now really.  Do you think anyone is going to do a white-glove test on that?  Of course not.  But it makes me feel better.  I ordered new bedding for our bedroom.  Was a good sale on-line.  In just a few days the doorbell rings and here they are!  I nervously showed them to the Chairman and... he like them!  I've been doing more and more on-line purchases.  So many companies offer free shipping.  You can price-shop.  I found a new griddle that we really needed for $20 less than I could in a local store.  Plus I could read lots of reviews to know which one was best (making the Chairman very, very proud of me).  And... we like it!  I wish we could hang sheets here.  You see this neighborhood isn't all that keen on fences.  Or clotheslines.  So I've been doing it makeshift in the screen porch.  Do we look like rednecks?  You bet!  But the sheets sure smell dandy.  Just re-reading what I wrote is making my eyes glaze over.  So if I'm bored, well certainly all you loyal readers are too.  Besides, the groan of the bus engine will soon be here.  And so this is enough of the wandering words.  On a Wednesday.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Dog in a Tree = Whoof!

Today started out slow, but it got better.  And then worse.  Almost scary-worse.  Hi there everyone!  It's me Lisi.  Have you missed me?  Have you?  Have you?  Have you?  We dogs like excitement like that.  Like "Get the ball!  Get the ball!  Get the ball!"  I think you get the picture.  The big lady that yells but loves me anyway and the nice big guy all got into their van this morning with all the little people and away they went.  They leave me out on my own these days.  Well kinda.  I have that icky collar around my neck that makes that scary beeping sound if I get too close to the edges.  So I just stay put on the front step or in the garage or wherever my fancy takes me.  I like being free like that.  They were gone forever and a day.  Or maybe ten minutes.  I don't know because, well, I'll let you in on a secret.  We dogs aren't real good with time.  All the time for us is 'now'.  And that's all that matters.  You people should learn from us and quit worrying about things that don't matter.

But!  I was lying in the back yard and here they came!  Whoooooeee I love those people.  Well most of the time except when the big lady yells at me.  They all burst asunder out of the van and disappear in the house for just a little bit.  And then!  They all came out again!  With jackets and comfortable shoes and oh my!  We're going for a walk.  A real walk.  Not just a get you around the bend for a bit.  So off we went.  And we went a long ways.  Into the woods.  I chased all kinds of rodents.  Saw some neat things.  But the smells.  Oh my.  I was a burr-ridden mess.

When we were nearing the end of the path in the woods, the big lady that yells but loves me anyway took me to the pond for a drink and a little swim.  But where was that nice big guy?  And the little people?  Big lady says, 'go find daddy!'.  And away I went!  I raced down the wooded path and what?  One of the young girls here was up in a tree!  The big guy was watching her and coaching her where to go.  It looked really really fun.  I hadn't thought of exploring up in a tree before!  That's where those pesky squirrels go up and chatter down at me!  It looked like I could do it and so you know what?  I climbed up that tree.  It was at a nice angle and so I just trotted up and was even a full branch higher than that little person below me.  But then.  My doggy brain was saying, 'what in the world are you doing up here?'.  You're in a tree!  You're a dog.  And my legs started a shakin'.  The big guy was looking alarmed but didn't know what he could do.  And then it happened.  I slipped.  And oh no!  Coming throooouuuuuggggghhhhh... knocked down the girl and WHOOF.  Then I landed flat on my back.  Lucky for me it was nice tall grass.  Took the wind right out of me.  I laid there for a minute.  The slight alarm in the big guy turned to cold fear.  So I thought I might make him feel better and stood up.  Shook the humility away.  And off we went.  Lucky for the little girl, she was fine too.

So.  If any of you are lucky enough to have a wonderful dog in your life, please tell them that trees aren't all they're cracked up to be.  In fact, they could crack your noggin'.  Or a rib.  Or worse.  I think I might have learned my lesson.  Or not.  We're living for the moment, remember?

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Squeaks and Eeks...

We're having quite the discussion here at the ranch.  You see the girls have shared a bedroom since nearly day one.  This house has room for them to be split up.  Some days they really want to have their own space.  Other days they are inseparable.  So I casually bring up the fact that maybe we could get that near-empty room going... and used for one of them.  Well it was just nearly like Dec. 7, 1941 if you know what I mean.  Both want to move.  Both want a new bedroom set.  Both want... well you get the picture.  The funny thing is that their own bedroom actually has a bathroom attached.  Ample room.  A large closet (without a light I might add).  So!  I was perusing on-line tonight and saw a bed I love.  But it is stinkin' expensive.  So I'll look at the picture awhile and hope that it goes to 80% clearance.  Or not.

And now we move on to mice.  Today I was filling a bird feeder in the garage.  And just as I reached the bag I see little black, rodent-like movement.  If I was a cartoon I would have stood on top of the shelf and screamed.  I didn't.  But I did gasp (I think).  And so we pull out a trap.  Armed it with peanut butter and a few of those delicious seeds that he or she were trying to get at.  Walk into the house.  Come back out a few minutes later and peek just out of curiosity and see a tail.  Ick.  I yell for the very helpful son that lives here.  He gets a shovel.  A bag.  And quickly disposes of Mickey.  Well!  So I said to him, maybe we should set another one just in case.  More peanut butter.  A few more tasty seeds.  Walked into the house.  A few minutes later I need something from the garage.  Peek out of mild curiosity again knowing full well that there was hardly enough time.  But sure enough!  Minnie!  (disclaimer:  I know someone named Minnie and she wasn't in our garage).  Oh boy.  A family.  I set another one and as this incredibly riveting blog entry is being typed, there isn't another one in there... yet.  (just peeked.  There's a FROG in the trap now!)

Halloween must be coming.  I walked past the office and saw a witch in there... 

Wishing once again I was somewhere else.  A lot of dear people I know are at this place.  Wearing galoshes I hope.  Word is that it is wet there... like sopping.  But it'll be good days nonetheless.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Wandering thoughts...

The cold medicine must be leaving my system.  My brain is starting to fire on more than one piston again.  Or maybe not.  But I can feel like I'm on the uptick of this doozy.  It wasn't a fun one.  And luckily, the family is still spared except for a few stuffed noses.  Was thinking this morning that most my close interaction is with the dog during the day.  And she never gets a cold.  Or do they?  I could 'google' it to see if dogs can catch colds from people.  But I'm a bit lazy for that today.  I've been known to vacuum up Polly Pocket shoes.  In fact, I almost feel a bit of satisfaction hearing it slip underneath the suction.  I'm nearly there with the latest craze - bendy bands or whatever you call them these days.  I can't believe people actually spend money for glorified colored rubber bands that lie flat in shapes of footballs, states, flowers, you name it.  Then kids (hopefully not too many adults) put them on their wrists and they look like wrinkled rubber bands.  Ugh.  I'm happy to say that I haven't spent one nickel on them.  But somehow, our kids are 'trading' with friends.  What I don't understand is how they negotiated the first trade since their inventory was "0".  Hmmm.  There was a dog loose this morning.  'Abby' was her name.  Less than one lick of sense in her.  A yellow lab with a few drops of stupid mixed in.  She ran into our garage like she owned the place.  Captured her, looked at her collar id tag, and walked her back 1/2 mile back to her rightful owner.  I sometimes think ours isn't too bright.  But being around that one made me think ol' Lisi isn't too bad.  So I think I mentioned cleaning out the fridge and freezer.  Did you know I found four partial packs of hot dog buns?  Always just two in them.  And they were crusty.  So I threw them.  And you know what?  I'll do it again.  Save old buns.  Not sure why.  Always think that there'll be meatballs or meatloaf coming soon.  Usually doesn't happen.  So the task today was the oven.  It was gross.    I do a lot of cooking.  Baking.  You name it.  And with constant use comes some debris and dirt.  Took me nearly an hour and a half.  But it looks "ting" now!  Was thinking though as I was scouring with a pad and some good elbow grease... a lot of what we 'housewives' do doesn't show.  Like cleaning ovens.  Watering plants. Emptying out the vacuum bag.   Ironing.  Emptying the dishwasher.  You can't immediately see the job done.  But if it isn't, then it is obvious that something isn't being tended to.  That's kind of like some of the most important parts of our lives really.  What we do behind the scenes isn't really all that noticeable - until we aren't doing it...  if you know what I mean.  And right now it is apparent to me that it is nearly mid-afternoon, and I haven't showered.  And soon there will be other people here and they will take note.  So I must let these wandering thoughts wander off...

Monday, September 20, 2010

Mopey Monday

They warned me.  Some friends last week.  Careful.  Don't get too close.  We have a cold.  And me in my pompous and cavalier thinking wasn't worried.  I'm healthy.  I feel good.  I exercise daily.  I eat well.  I take vitamins.  And now... I have a cold.  It's a doozy.  Started out with a mild sore throat.  Then the 'tickly' feel in the nose that took off with gangbusters.  Last night I didn't know which to wipe first.  My tears pouring down or my nose.  So I did both together.  Gross?  You bet.  Then after the nasty virus has wreaked havoc on the upper sinuses, it moves on to the lungs.  Fills them with gunk.  And then the coughing begins.  Yuck.  Poor me.  

The family is so far unscathed.  I must be doing a dandy job of keeping my hands clean.  Or they have powerful resistance.  The girls seem a bit stuffed up.  The Chairman waves at me across the room.  He even shows affection in his eyes from afar.  But then yells from the back entry that he's leaving without his usual peck.  I wouldn't get near to me either.  

Cold medicines work well.  As soon as the time has elapsed to take it again I know it.  The sneezing fits start. The nose drips.  And the body feels yuck.  They tell you to drink lots of fluids, right?  So I have some tea here that is called 'Bedtime'.  I'm not sure why.  Must have a few leaves in it that come from some certain plant.  But it seems like an oxymoron.  How many of you can drink a big mug of hot tea and then sleep all night?  Not me.  

Well I've shared my mopey feelings enough.  Time to get moving again.  The family still needs to eat.  They need clean clothes and a tidy house.  At least I think so...

Friday, September 17, 2010

Keepin' it Real

It wasn't peaceful.  This morning.  Well it started that way.  Heard two of the many young people here hitting the showers just when they should.  All three came down somewhat cheerful.  And then it all collapsed.  Two accused one of cheating as they played a quick game in the living room.  Breakfast wasn't what was on their plan.  Combing hair was an utter fiasco with one of them - the one who refuses to have loose ponytails or 'bumps' in her hair.  I have explained it until I'm blue in the face that her hair 'wants' bumps.  It is fluffy on its own accord.  But she wants it painfully in place.  Tight.  And very, very flat.  (insert heavy sigh).  So I try to put in two pony tails.  Pretty soon she's running in place.  Face is blotched up.  Tears.  A few yells.  The Chairman is irritated.  I'm just plain angry.  And the sweet little girl is just plain cantankerous.  Now we're three minutes until the bus arrival.  She's frantically trying to put on shoes.  Get her pressed leaves.  Find her lunch box.  She gets out the door.  I turn around.  Another child is going bananas.  I can't find this and that.  You aren't helping me!  The groan of the bus engine as it slowly drives by without one of our children.  She runs frantically out the door.  Misses it.  Starts to just cry LOUDLY on the front lawn (luckily, we have no real close neighbors).  So I go outside and direct her to the bus stop up the hill which is somewhat close.  She runs up the hill and successfully gets on.  Whew.  Another morning.

And on top of all that, I'm fighting a cold.  A sore throat.  My nose wants to tickle.  I keep telling the virus it isn't real and it won't be stopping at this residence thankyouverymuch.  So we'll see who wins.  Me or the virus.

I need a new bird feeder pole or something.  You see suet is very desirable to dogs that aren't too bright.  Smells like bacon grease or something.  So she sits by the feeder and leans waaaaay up trying to get a lick.  The birds don't want to compete with her.  And so a higher pole contraption is necessary.

I spent two mornings in school laminating this week.  Did you know you can ruminate while you laminate?  Ok.  That was lame.  But I am enjoying it.  You see I'm not stuck in a closet doing this.  I'm right where all the teachers come in to do copies.  I lean in to listen to see if I can glean any insider information.  I have a big picture window overlooking the library.  I can see one of the many young people that live here working at the computers.  It's kinda fun really.  But.  My mean older brother tried to take the wind out of my sail.  Did I ever say how mean he was?  Well right after I mentioned being the "official laminator of Richmond" I get a text message.  "We get gov't money to hire a mentally challenged person to do our laminating at work.  The job must be perfect for you." (or something like that).  See I told you.  He's mean.  But I love it anyway.

And there's still warts here.  We've done battle with one big toe here at our house for nearly a year.  I see progress.  But now I fear I have one.

On a whim, I started to clean out the fridge last night.  Had been awhile you know.  Well I started and one thing led to another and nearly two hours later every shelf, drawer, and glass shelf was removed and scoured.  It 'tings' in there now!  But I am ashamed to say that I found something in there with an expiration date of April of '10.  Hey, at least it was '09!

Hoping the day gets better.  It should.  Off to the car dealership now.  Need some maintenance done on the buggy.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Stream of thoughts...

friends at convention

Aren't they cute?  They were all on a bed at one end of the camper.  I just pulled the camera without warning and said "smile"!  I just love all these young girls.  Can't wait to see what they all become when they grow up.  I'd share a boy picture too, but they were moving too fast.  And usually there was a football involved somehow. Goodness they were good days.  But I've already said that, right?  I'm just getting through that incredible laundry pile.  And!  There was a couple small victories.  One, everyone had dirty clothes right down to the undies.  That hasn't happened the last few times we've been away.  You see changing underwear takes time.  And you wouldn't want to miss anything!  The other victory was that all the socks came home and are matched waiting to be put away by their rightful owners.  One mother a couple hours away won't be so lucky.  You see her son walked away from our camper and this sock 'leaked' out from his pants.  I called him to get it.  No, it isn't mine. Yes I think it is!  No... it isn't.  And I just remember it was still lying out in the grass as we pulled away.  I thought I wouldn't - but I am.  I'm missing them.  The kids during the day.  The summertime freedom of schedules.  And well, just plain summer warmth.  I washed the last of the swimsuits for awhile (sniff).  Now we have the frantic signing of papers, feeding breakfast, making lunches, combing hair, checking homework, yelling if they remembered their instruments, library books, all within about 1/2 hour in the morning.  And it starts up again at 3:30.  But I have supper ready ahead of time.  My own, homegrown squash is part of the menu.  Very satisfying indeed.  And did I mention I have a job with a real title?  I'm the Official Laminator of Richmond (our school).  Apparently there were some issues last year with people not properly respecting the laminating machine.  And now!  No one can touch it but... (cough, ahem) ME!  I have several hours to be in there each day the next few days.  Start of school you know.  I was going to impress them of my abilities and knowledge this morning when I went to meet with a teacher.  But just as I drove up, I spilled coffee all over my khaki skirt.  Lucky it was 'coffee colored'.  Gomer Pyle.  Well I'm off to wash the camper down.  It won't be so sad as we get to use it one more time before the snow flies!  I'm so happy about that.  And for friends that like to camp as much as we do.  And for my life.  And for the Chairman.  And for the many young people here.  And even for the dog without too many smarts...

Monday, September 13, 2010

Monday musings

I'd show you my laundry pile, but I won't.  Somehow it would seem weird to go into the laundry room and take photos of unmentionables.  But take my word for it.  There's a lot there.  And I need to hit load #3 as soon as I'm through procrastinating typing an entry here.

Most of you would know, we just had the highlight of the year.  It all started first with a funeral.  And then four days of complete joy.  With the exception of a few, most of the important people in my life are all thrown into one building, listening to life-altering thoughts shared.  It is hard to describe.  You know that feeling.  And now we're home.  And happy to be here.

I still had bathroom duty.  And you know what?  I think it is the most rewarding job there.  I have a great partner in crime.  Between us, we have three daughters that are big helpers.  And I'm nearly ashamed to say that one elderly lady came up, gave me a big hug and literal kiss on the cheek and said I was willing to take the 'lowest place'.  Actually no.  We get a ton of recognition for the place smelling like 'Fresh Rain'.  Air fresheners can take you a long ways.  Well that and a good scouring with a toilet bowl brush.

Lisi came home from the kennel refreshed and happy.  But she was just biting at the bit to go walk.  So we went and it took longer.  You see she had a backlog.  All the disgusting things she sniffs along the way had been happening the whole time we were gone.  So lots to process in the doggy brain.  Or something like that.

I got a new phone!  Well sorta.  It's coming.  You see my cell phone has been fickle to say the least.  Just loses power.  Went into our local office and they will send a free replacement.  Just.  Like. That!  They say they have the best service - customer and coverage.  And today I'll believe it.

I've 'mused' enough.  I need to move instead of muse.  Or nothing will get done.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Meaningful Monday

So another week begins.  And it is meaningful.  You see someone very dear to our family died last night.  He's the father of my sister-in-law if you can follow that.  But I've actually known him all my life.  I spent two different trips whitewater rafting with him when he was an older man.  He was a quiet, steady influence.  He had fullness of days.  Was well accomplished in his natural life.  Had a large family that was a joy to him.  Loved others.  Liked things with motors.  But beyond the fullness of days, he had a fullness of Spirit.  I always felt safe to be around him.  The last years he really didn't say a lot.  But the words had weight.  The firm handshake had feeling.  The eyes showed love.  Just two weeks ago I happened to be at his home.  I tried to convey to him what he and his family meant to ours.  His quiet response, 'Oh I have nothing to be proud of'.  And then I said, 'well we have a lot to be thankful for', and he said to me, 'I have so much to look forward to'.  He said those words in a wheelchair.  With a blanket keeping his frail body warm.  Looking at the natural side, he had nothing to look forward to.  But on the other side he had everything to look forward to.  I was thankful for being near someone with such a vision.  Thankful for those moments that won't be forgotten.  And now he's gone.  And what he was looking forward to is now his.  Sweet release.

Yesterday my family was together.  Well those of us near enough to be together.  And the ones that weren't able to be with us - well we talked about you - in a good way.   My much older sister has a very worn welcome mat.  And they like it that way.  The door is always wide open for others.  The house is cozy.  The time was sweet.  Lisi even went along.  I could even post a picture or three.  I'm sorry to say I don't have one of my much older sister and her great husband.  Just dogs.  Kinda pitiful.
Lisi and her friend Mavrick

Dad loves dogs

Homemade ice cream.  Yum!

Anyway, this week is shaping up to be one of the best of the year.  Most of you know what I mean.  As dear Jack said, there's so much to look forward to.  And we do.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Five years later...

Trevor made the front page of the newspaper the first day of kindergarten.  I was thinking about it this morning after reading about a lot of you "mom's" watching your babies go off into the big world for the first time.  He was a little boy.  Had just turned five.  And going to an all-day kindergarten.  To be truthful, it was gut-wrenching hard.  You simply miss them with you.  You wish you could be the one that taught them everything in life.  And in some ways, you still do.  But.  They go.  Their worlds expand.  They learn reading, writing and 'rithmatic.  They learn to get along.  They learn about naughty kids.  They make new friendships.  And they learn that home looks very sweet in the afternoon.

My 'little boy' is now 10.  The top of his head reaches my collar bone and he's growing by leaps and bounds.  I loved him at five.  In fact, looking at this picture, I miss that little five-year old.  But I love him moreso at 10.  And will love him at 15, 20, 25, 30 and all the years in between.

The ordinary days really aren't ordinary.  These souls we are entrusted with are growing and changing before our eyes.  The little time we have with them is short.  Priceless.  And ours for now.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Wistful Wednesday

Nothing like good friends!

Happy tubing day!

One of our beauties...

Just about ready to sink...

First day 2010

And so it is wistful.  This Wednesday.  The bus came as promised.  They got on with a mild dose of enthusiasm and away they went.  The house is too quiet.  But I'd be lying if I didn't say I was enjoying it a lot bit.  I'm trying to pack a lot into today.  Bread baking.  Cookies.  Laundry.  Slicking up the house.  Grocery shopping.  Why?  Because I'm alone.  Then it hit me as I raced through the aisles at the local grocer.  I could be doing some of this tomorrow!  I'll still be alone.  Takes awhile for my small brain to wrap around that concept.

But the summer was super!  In every way.  Trips.  Friends.  Sleepovers. Good weather.  I'm glad for the memories.  The pictures.  And making the most of the moments.  Yesterday, we were invited to the lake for tubing fun.  A couple-hour visit turned into an all-day affair.  It was just wonderful.  Kind of a grand finale for summer.  Happy sigh.

At the aforementioned grocery store I saved $38.50 on a $70 bill.  A good website combined with double-coupon day led to the good deals.  Even the checkout lady was impressed.

Sweet and sour chicken on the menu tonight.  A low-fat version I found on the web.  It's no accident that our kids just love Chinese food.  Middle child keeps asking when we can have it again.  It's fun to make them happy with the simple.

A storm blew through last night at 1:00.  I should know as we had to shut up all the windows and break down and put on the a/c.  Sideways rain can do that to you.  And then I laid down and my brain said, 'you're not going back to sleep for awhile'.  And I didn't... for two hours.  There's a part of me that almost enjoys that quiet time.  I can remember people very far away.  Maybe someone nearby that is sad.  Or facing something very hard.  It's actually very comforting and you almost lose yourself in thought.  And then morning comes.  So I think I deserve a nap.  Without a door banging.  Or a knock asking where something is.  Or a fracas breaking out.  But I miss them.  I can't wait to hear about their day with some warm bread and jam waiting....