Monday, November 29, 2010

Monday Musings

John relaxing and Laura car shopping

So glad this guy could come visit!

Dad telling a story on his 80th

Family time

the cook working hard

the table filled with goodness

Happy 80th to my dad!

Family minus the mean older brother who I miss...

They love her... like a lot

I wouldn't believe it either

this young couple is sure nice
the grandkids present that day...

We had a week of people and privilege and potatoes.  It was delightful in every way.  One sad thing is the actual Thanksgiving Day, I pulled out my camera to take shots of the people present and their was no memory card in there.  Big disappointment.  But the day wasn't.  I'm thankful for two families.  Mine by birth. And mine through marriage.

We got company from Kentucky and Illinois.  It was just great having them here.  But it is just as nice to say goodbye knowing they are where they are supposed to be and want to be.  And better still, content there as well.

We ate turkey again on Saturday with my dad and sister and family.  My dad blew out candles for his 80th.  He was happy.  And we were too.

I spent some time this morning finally labeling all of Lisi's stories.  I've got them under her picture.  I do realize she's more popular and interesting than this big lady...

It's amazing how quickly the laundry pile grows, the dust bunnies emerge, and the food levels fall when you aren't doing what you normally do during a normal week.  I have some catch-up to do today.

So the musings will have to wait....

Lisi on the Loose

Yep.  That's me!  A free dog finally.  Away from the demands of the big lady that yells but loves me anyway.  Away from all those small people here that kick balls that disturb my rest.

A day like yesterday is very predictable at our house.  The family all leaves in the morning and they are gone for a couple hours.  If the big lady takes me for a walk early that morning, that means they are gone for good (or until suppertime).  If she doesn't, then I'll get a walk with the big guy after they eat.  It's a narrow window of opportunity as they usually leave again in the afternoon for awhile.  I don't like those days, but the people I live with sure do.

So off we went for the woods - the big guy and I.  He's so great.  He doesn't talk and carry on when we're walking like the big lady does.  It's more mature and reserved.  We got into the woods where the smells are rampant.  Deer.  Turkey.  Squirrels.  I love it there.  We were walking quite awhile and then he disappeared.  The big guy.  Well actually it wasn't his fault.  He was doing what he normally does.  But there were some things I needed to sniff.  Like a long time.  And by the time the big guy got out of the woods, I was no where to be found.  I didn't mind.  I did my business.  Minded my own business.  And then I suddenly felt lonely for my family.  Where'd he go?  Oh no!

I started to run.  Through the woods.  Through the field.  I couldn't find him.  So I did what any smart pooch would do.  I ran to the biggest, fanciest house on the street.  I figured they'd be able to afford dog food if I had to live with them forevermore.  I started to play with their dog.  The lady there that doesn't yell called her dog to come in.  And then she yelled!  I tromped into their house too and she wasn't too happy.  But hey!  I need to live somewhere you know.  The lady was talking to the man.  The kids were all excited.  And so was I!  This place was nice!  And I was even on carpet.  I bet they aren't as mean as my family who keeps me on wood floors all the time.

But then she grabbed my collar.  I heard her say, there's a number here.  Get the phone!  And then I heard her talking to the big lady that yells.  She hung up the phone and just like that there was the big guy!  I was so happy to see him.  I lied.  I didn't want to live in the big house.  I wanted my people back.   The big lady that yells.  The many small people.  And the steady big guy.  So I jumped in the truck and came home and took a very long nap while my people went away for part two of their day.

(ed. note:  Lisi lost her id tags in the woods a few weeks back and so I just recently had a friend monogram her name/number on the collar.  Lucky we got it done when we did or she'd have been sitting in a pound somewhere)  

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Happy 80th to Dad

They are called daddy, dad, father, papa, the old man, the parental units, and lots of 
other titles.  To me he has always been 'dad'.  And a very good one at that.
He's 80 years young.  The number is hard to take in as he's full of life.  He has a memory 
that puts me to shame.  An enthusiasm about the future.  The next adventure.  And the 
hope of seeing someone around the globe that he loves as much as the next one.  
He obviously loves his family.  But to him 'family' means about anyone.    

And so.... Happy Birthday to my dad.  Glad we can spend it 
with you today! 

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Marriage and Mashed Potatoes

Mr. and Mrs. J. L.  

We had the honor of witnessing these two people take their solemn vows last night.  The Mrs. I don't know all that well yet.  But in the next 50 or so years, I look forward to her presence in our extended family.

The Mr. I've known since he was a wet-behind-the-ears kid at the ripe old age of say... eleven.  He was the oldest of four.  The only son.  And he carried on family tradition of having opinions (some of them strong I might add).  It has gotten him places in life already.  He's got a business.  A lot of friends.  A super sense of humor.  A great personality.  And opinions.  I might add that I like him a lot.

He blended in with his family as a kid for me until a wedding.  This wedding took place just a few months before ours.  We happened to be sharing a table with him and his grandparents and a few others I don't remember.  And he muttered.  And complained.  And whined.  He was about 13 at the time.  You see the food line wasn't moving fast enough.  It was boring sitting at the table.  And a litany of other travesties that he felt in his little heart just wasn't right.

Finally we get our turn for the wedding feast.  I personally thought it was lovely in every way.  Mass quantities of food at events such as these are hard to make perfect.  So we take our full plates back to the table.  And the good looking early teen is still muttering across the table.  Finally I ask, "what's the matter?".  There's no potatoes!  What?  There's a lot of choices!  We don't even need potatoes, do we?  "Yes" he emphatically responded, "You always have potatoes".

So I glance at the Chairman and he looks at me and we both said without speaking that we better have potatoes on the buffet table when we marry three months hence.  And we did.

I remember all this as I walk up to the buffet table last night.  Hmmm.  Has anything changed?  I wonder if he still wanted potatoes for his own wedding.  And there they were!  A big, steaming pan of potatoes.  And boy were they good.

We wish them many, many happy days ahead.  And I sure hope they got a very good potato peeler in the gift pile.

the original four...
* Special thanks to A. for letting me snag these photos.  

Monday, November 22, 2010

Monday Musings

Some far-away relatives just left.  To me they are young people.  We don't see them as often as we would like to.  The thing about this couple that impresses me so much is that they've gone through a lot.  Sadness.  Hardships.  Deep unfathomable loss twice.  And they have such a resigned spirit about it all.  Even a thankfulness.  Inspiring?  It was all that and more.

And we're gearing up for a wedding!  Actually, not gearing up at all.  But probably need to make sure some 'fancy clothes' are ready for the family to wear tomorrow night.  Yes, a Tuesday night wedding!  How unique is that!  It'll be great fun.  And special.  And really neat that these people aren't moving away from us.

I'm sure you're all riveted and pacing and wondering what happened to my cell phone.  Right?  Well fine.  I'll tell you anyway.  I don't know what happened to it.  The window of opportunity to lose it was about one and a half hours and 2 stops.  Seems logical that I'd find it easy enough.  Or not.  Lying in bed the night after it all happened, I realized that I had my hands full of stuff while I was cleaning out the van tossing garbage into the garbage bin.  And... I think my phone was in the hand when I did the throwing.  And the garbage men faithfully came and took our rubbish away early the next morning.  So all the times I called my number I imagine the landfill pile was ringing.  Hope it scared away a buzzard if nothing else.  I've already got a replacement.  I'm glad for that.  But sure wish I hadn't lost (or tossed) my other one!  Ugh.  So much for the flawless record of not losing stuff.

Will you all be devastated?  I don't think you need to sit by the mailbox waiting for our holiday card.  Wanna know why?  We still look like last year's picture.  And last year's was pretty nice since a real photographer took it.  And we have this blog.  And Facebook.  And we see most of you quite often.  And it'll save me time and money (that I can spend on phone replacements!).  If you really want an update, stop on by and take a picture.  Ok?  Not saying I don't love to get yours though!

I think this is enough.  Maybe next Monday will have more musings.  Until then...

Friday, November 19, 2010

Don't forget me!

Hi everyone!  It's been a long time again.  I just wanted to share some pictures the big lady that yells but loves me anyway took this past week.  I hope you don't get the idea that I'm loved.  Or that I get a lot of attention.  Or that I'm (cough) spoiled.  I'm not.  I really suffer around here.  I don't get enough walks.  I eat bad kibble. And I rarely get treats.

I try my best to please this family I'm responsible for.  I walk without a leash now!  I sniff out smells and romp in the ditches all the while making sure the big nice guy or the big lady that yells are close to me.  I come home and rest in the yard until I get so lonely I can't stand it (usually a minute or so).  Then I go to the back window and just tap-tap lightly to have them let me inside to my bed.  The big lady got me this nice dog bed that is super-comfy.  I spend a lot of time there in the corner watching her.  And now I've started something kinda cool!  Have you ever heard a dog purr?  Don't confuse me with a stupid cat.  I'm not that low.  But I've started this purring thing.  I purr when the meals are over (you see if I did it while they were eating, the big guy would get mad).  They then think to look at me in my malnourished state.  I purr when those little people come over and give me hugs.  I purr when the big lady that yells rubs me just in that right spot above my eyes.  And so it's rewarded.  So I have resorted to purring.  A lot.

I overheard the big guy here tell the big lady that yells that I'm becoming more and more like someone called "Lincoln".  I heard his name mentioned a lot when I was really little.  It was always, 'why can't she be more like Lincoln'.  Or 'Lincoln never behaved that bad'.  Or 'We sure miss how calm Lincoln was'.  Well I don't know who "Lincoln" was, but he was a really, really good guy and now I'm starting to be compared with him! How good is that!

I do have one complaint though.  I don't get enough bones.  I'd like a new one every day.  But somehow the big lady doesn't get it.  I stand by the shelf in the garage.  I look at her with moon-pie eyes.  And she mutters something about having enough and goes inside and shuts the door.  And so I go back to the deck and tap-tap on the window.  And lie on my bed.  And wait for the next hug.

Sigh.  Life is ruff.
I suffer from lack of affection

So please feel sorry for me

Did you say you'd send me a bone?

Well I'll just wait for the package then...

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

I'm the ding-a-ling...

I am neat like that.  Practical.  Organized.  Reliable.  Dependable.  But not infallible.  So yesterday I needed to head out to take son #1 to the orthodontist.  Grab my phone and keys.  Tell daughter #1 (who was sick at home with a belly ache) that I have my phone.  Call if you need me.  And off we went.  Pick up son from school.  Drop off son at the appointment.  Stop at the gas station.  Back to the orthodontist office.  Read a People magazine cover to cover (current issue I might add!).  And then out he comes.  Tooth in hand.  New bracket on another with some serious looking wire to hold the whole business together.  Get our card for the next visit.  Make some nice small talk with the kind lady behind the desk and off we go!  Drop off son back back at school and return home to the slightly sick daughter.  A few hours go by.  Then someone wants to text on my phone.  "Where's your phone mom?".  Should be in the van.  It isn't.  Call the phone.  No answer.  I start to panic.  Where did I last see it?  Call the gas station.  No luck.  The ortho. office is closed by this time.  Fret.  Stew.  Worry.  Feel irritated.  But with myself mainly.  Stoopid!!!  Sleep fitfully.  Wake up and rush to the orthodontist office which is closed.  Beg the attorney fancy-pants on the fist level to call my cell as I'm certain it is in the waiting room.  No ring.  He even unlocks the door to check the office.  It's pristine.  Neat as a pin.  With no cell phone in sight.  He looks at me with a glimpse of disdain.  I'm certain he's thinking I'm just another ding-bat middle-aged mom that can't keep track of siccum.  I resent that feeling even though it is justified.  Back to the van.  Drive slowly home in defeat.  

So where does that leave me?  Without a phone.  I'm not married to it or anything.  But still!  I don't lose things.  Oh wait.  Yes I do.  I just did.  Something of value.  So we'll wait.  And hope that some person of good scruples sees my phone and calls the number that is listed as 'Home'.  
And on a completely unrelated note... one of our many young people pulled out a card table and a 500-piece puzzle.  I can't stay away.  The Chairman did the edge pieces.  And then I plowed into it like it needs to be put together by yesterday.  I'm almost done.  I know I can't go to a casino as I make private vows with myself.  "If I just fine this one piece, I'll quit and go get something else done".  But I don't.  I find that piece.  Then want to find the next one.  The joy of the piece perfectly fitting into its place.  So I'll sit and finish the puzzle.  And wait for the phone to ring.  I hope it's for me!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Monday Musings

You'll probably think I have ADHD or something after this post.  I hardly want to call it "musings" since I haven't "mused" about any of it too long.  In fact, most of it isn't even in my head.  The fingers will determine the words you read.  Riveting, eh?  Yeah, I didn't think so either.

Saw a video recently of a bride slapping wedding cake all over her new groom.  It was supposed to be funny.  I think it symbolic of something sad really.  A lack of respect.  For the day.  For the groom (or the bride if he does it to her).  And maybe you slapped buttercream frosting all over your spouse the day you said "I Do".  Well I didn't.  Still don't like it.  Blech.

Our kids discovered Nutella!  Actually, I finally bought some.  And they love it.  Wish it wasn't so pricey though.  Am in another slump.  What to make every evening to feed the masses here.

And so our balmy November changed.  The Chairman said yesterday in the car, 'this day has November written all over it'.  Gray.  Spitting rain at times.  Bone cold.  At least for me.  The wood stove kept it cozy in here.  Did I say I love it?  Wood heat is way-warmer than forced air.  Trust me.  I know.  I even took my wool socks off!  Last night I was thinking it was about time to start yelling at the kids to get to bed.  Felt like 9:28 or something.  I looked at the clock... 7:13.   Dark I say!  But in about five weeks the days start getting longer!  We can do it!

The weekend was special.  Most of you know we gathered to honor a dear man that died.  I had the privilege of helping out with the luncheon.  And the abundance of food, assistance, and care made me step back in awe.  It was almost like a glimpse of convention.  Deeply thankful I am.  For making my 'job' easy that day.  But for the Spirit that people shared to make the day not so sad.

So yesterday we all sat down for our main meal.  Dear son #1 is sitting on the aforementioned super-special I love this with all my heart exercise ball.  Actually, I previously had declared that they were to stay out of the kitchen!  Don't sit on it while you eat!  I've even been known to give it a hard kick towards the basement stairs and watching with a little thrill as it bounced its way to the regions below.  Anyhoo, mid-bounce a knife smeared with butter gets loose.  Bounces on the table.  Then down onto the Chairman's black dress pants leaving a nice little trail behind.  (If you know the Chairman, you would know this would be highly irritating to him.)  He hops up and gives a yell.  Son #1 is looking sad.  The Chairman goes to change.  I start in on a diatribe about sitting on a ball during dinner. And while the Chairman is getting clean trousers the knife slips again and smears butter on and under the chair, the table, and the floor.  Ugh.  Just another day in paradise!

We have a hymn we sing around the piano at times.  The title and the first line of the chorus is, 'Lord I want to be a miracle'.  Well Mira seems to think it was written just for her.  And so last night she was belting out, 'Lord I want to be a Miiiiira'.  Oh help.

The van is full of groceries that need to be unloaded... better call this a post.

Thursday, November 11, 2010


This morning I was back at the flying buns and racing sausages place.  It wasn't nearly as entertaining.  Coincidentally, I was there once again for funeral provisions.  When you know a great lot of people that you love with your heart, you witness a lot of people facing the end and then have funerals to attend.  But I'd never for an instant wish I didn't have to experience the loss and pain of losing loved ones.  Because their lives make us richer.  In life and in death.

So I am meandering through the aisles getting the necessary goods.  I soon realize that a lot of people are on their cell phones.  I heard about the plans for a dinner party.  I heard a lady arguing with whom I assumed was her husband about the kind of mixed nuts to buy and how many.  And I watched a few mothers with young ones.  Talking and talking away while their little one, two, or three year-olds were just listening.  Sitting utterly bored.  Or fussing.  And the mothers kept talking on their cells.

One I watched in particular chatted on and on and on.  I know this as she was shadowing me through the store.  She had an adorable little boy about two and a baby that I have no clue what age since it was in a car seat with the flap closed on top.  We both leave approximately at the same time.  She gets off the phone just long enough to put her goods in the trunk of her car and as soon as she sat down, she pulled out that phone again and started to text or call someone again.  It looked very sad to me.

When our many young people here were wee things, we had a cell phone.  Mind you it was a big one.  With no texting ability.  And we used it very rarely.  Times have changed and I must admit, I have too.  I enjoy a text message.  I call others more frequently.  Why not?  It's nearly free.  But back to the point at hand.  When our babies were old enough to flip around to face forward, I remember lots and lots of trips pointing out stuff going by.  Looking in the rear-view mirror and seeing rapture on a face.  Listening to babble.  Seeing them interact in their baby ways with their siblings.  And if the ruckus got too great, turning on Raffi or Elmo and singing at the top of our lungs.  I cherish those memories.  The 'baby' is only 8 and I miss it already - those precious toddler years where you have all the answers and the world is new.  It is sad to see some moms that chatter about what so-and-so said in nauseating detail (sometimes with a bad word or two interjected in there) while their kids sit there in an emotionally lonely state.  Maybe they don't do it all the time.  But I sure see it more than I used to.  I wasn't a perfect mom.  I'm still not.  But mom's need to be there to listen.  To teach.  And to share in life.  Even if it is at some place as mundane as a big box warehouse store or driving down a familiar road.

(excuse me while i get off the soapbox again...)

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Tuesday's Tender Talk

Since he is heavy on my mind, I might mention this first.  Our area has a pillar that is losing strength.  But only in a physical sense.  This man is elderly and yet, one of the most childlike people I have ever met.  Since I've known him, he has always been a very tender man.  He loves children in a special way.  Just this past year at our convention I saw him get down on a level with a boy about five years of age just to talk to him.  He would ask children questions.  And then he would really listen to their answers.  His testimony both verbal and non-verbal was one of thankfulness.  He served for our country as a young man and loved to tell stories about that time in his life.  And he had a very open home.  For years and years.  Many times we were invited to their home for a Sunday dinner.  I think every time we sat down, it was a delicious roast beef, perfectly mashed potatoes, and creamed onions meal.  The food was what you'd call comfort food.  But the home was comfort.  The two people within have always been comfortable to be with.  I was treated as a special granddaughter even though we have not one drop of the same bloodline.  Yes, a pillar is losing strength.  We are sad.  And yet, we are thankful.  For pillars amongst us that have held strong.

So we are enjoying lovely fall weather in the upper midwest.  It is almost mid-November.  In just four months it'll be spring!!!  Sorta.  We'll take what we can get.  I still can't get my brain wrapped around the fact we changed time.  I look very zombie-like by 10.  And at 5 or even before, my eyes pop open.  I thought falling back and getting the extra hour would make us not so sleepy.  Not so for this little lady.

The Chairman is as busy as a beaver in dam-building season.  We're thankful for his steady job.  Wish it wasn't so crazy at times.  But he handles it with finesse.  And somehow still makes time for the family too.  He's neat like that.

This morning I stopped at that funky grocery store where you pay a quarter to use their cart.  Haul in your own reusable bags.  And fill your cart with goods that are somewhat cheaper than the typical grocery store.  I'm cheap frugal like that.  I tend to think I'm kinda with it.  Can get things done in a hurry.  But the check-out lady was NOT to be reckoned with.  She was speedy-quick.  All business.  And had me in and out of there unceremoniously within a minute or so.  My stuff was all dumped in the next cart and I had to bag my own stuff over on the little counter-thingy.  But wow.  She was fast.  And stern.

I have a lot of tuna on hand.  There was a deal and so I thought I would get six cans.  I need to start using them.  I thought of the classic-Minnesota-tuna hotdish.  Mira was home alone with me for a time yesterday so I said, 'hey!  Would you like to make tuna casserole with me?'.  What?  TUNA?  Then she wrinkled up her pretty little lips to a sneer.  Kinda looked like Calvin (of Calvin and Hobbes) looked when he was talking about something really gross.  Then she said, 'why would I ever want to make something with tuna?  YUCK!'.  And so we didn't make tuna casserole.

My mom gave me really good, practical advice once that I remember every once in awhile.  Like when I have a canker sore.  Once when I was a teen at home I asked her, 'how long does a canker sore last?'.  Her response was, 'they last until you think they are never going to go away... and then they do'.  And so.  I think mine is going to go away soon.  Hopefully, real soon.

I think this is enough.... for now.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Sunday snippets

Dad, Aunt Julie, and Marion
I'm early!  No Monday musings from me this week!  You see the many young people here are all presently occupied at the very moment.  Tomorrow is a no-school day and I have a terrifically hard time writing a blog post with people around.  Really!  I can relate to actual real-writers that must go up in a cupola or off to a cabin to pen their books.  I would have to also.  I'm just a schlup of a mom that writes on this blog because... well... I like to.  I may have lost some of you.  So back to the business at hand.

Above is a picture of three people I admire.  Respect.  Love.  They have, or will turn 80 the month of November.  One happens to be my own father.  He possesses all the qualities a good dad should have.  If he has met you, he really likes you.  And I do mean that.  He reaches out to those in need.  And so it goes.  I've waxed on about him before, so will stop at that.  The middle lady is my mother-in-law's sister.  Or better put, my Aunt.  She is a gem.  Didn't have a very easy life at the get-go.  Raised four children that are all unique and great in their own right.  Has children and grandchildren that I would call friends of mine.  Was a loyal wife to a husband that had character with a capital 'C'.  And we miss him.  But beyond all that natural stuff, she cares for her soul and for others' be it in this country or in other lands.  We've witnessed it and feel deep admiration for her care on so many levels.  The lovely lady on the right is someone we meet with each week.  She is a walking proverb of knowledge that makes you think deeper.  She readily gives advice.  Is a tough German and a business woman since she lost her husband 8 years ago.  She misses him.  They were the Laurel and Hardy team of our city but it wasn't all fun and laughs.  They cared about the stranger.  And because of that, some people found peace.  I could go on.  But I'll leave it at that or she would be really mad at me for saying nice things.  

Last Friday was our 16th anniversary.  And we spent it by inviting those closest to these three wonderful people to come to our home (with a dish to pass!) and we ate, blew out candles, and enjoyed the company of loved ones.  It was a surprise to 2/3 of them.  And it was special.  Maybe even a favorite anniversary day for us.  Because our home was filled with those we admire and respect and love.  

Friday, November 5, 2010

'Til death do we part...

The setting was a grassy parking lot in Green River, Utah.  It was early morning.  We shook hands as my 2nd cousin introduced us.  I vaguely remembered the name as my parents used to live in the same town.  He had very striking dark Italian features.  A full beard like an English professor would have.  And he was very quiet.  An intellect is what came to mind immediately.  We were embarking on a near week-long whitewater raft trip down the Cataract Canyon and needed to go check out our waterproof gear in the shop.  While we did that I remember some muttering about a misplaced credit card in an airport.  But other than that, not a whole lot of interaction.  Until day 3.  He was somehow getting on 'my' raft a bit more.  He playfully tossed me off of it a few times.  We started to talk.  And my initial impression was confirmed.  He was super-smart.  He was respectful. Had a serious side.  And quiet.  I wouldn't call it a love at first sight; but an 'I've known you a long time' feeling.  By the end of our venture down the Colorado river, I (well I'm almost feeling like blushing) liked him.  I was at the 'tender' age of 27.  I was actually content where I was in life.  And then there he was.  Not what I was looking for at that point in my life.  But I'm convinced we had guidance without realizing it.

We dated for over two years (if you know the Chairman, you know he likes to do a LOT of research to even buy a toenail clipper).  And then we became a 'happily ever after'.

Now, sixteen years later.  Joys.  Sorrows.  Wonderful memories.  Ordinary days.  But always love.  Always respect.  Always reliable.  And always there when I need him.

Happy Anniversary to us.  We are in it 'til death do we part...

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Tuesday's Musings...

Important details about the laminator...
My mean older brother still thinks that those that laminate must have the intellect of someone that has a special challenge and is granted the job only because the business, school, or enterprise feels sorry for that schmuck and lets them play along with the plasticky stuff.  Well!  Today I spent a good-long while hunched leaning over the laminator.  And I started to notice all the very pertinent instructions.  It looks serious.  And is it ever not challenging.  On a side note:  laminate is in the spell check.  But not laminator. It is highlighted as a misspelled word.

So today is election day.  If you know the Chairman.... well never mind.  We won't get political on here.  But one thing I find very intriguing is the radio ads.  Yesterday while doing some errands I had a station on and was bombarded with one ad after another.  How many people actually change their minds on who they are voting for the day before election because of an ad with some sweeping music in the background?  Not me.

Another case of dirty clothes here that snuck by without notice.  As one of our unnamed children left frantically for the bus yesterday, the Chairman asks, 'didn't you wear that yesterday?'.  Yes, but I didn't get it dirty!  Did you wear it to bed too?  Of course!  So my clean laundry pile won't be so high this week I reckon.

I'm on a rampage.  Once again trying to declutter.  I went through a few boxes in the 'dirty room' in the basement.  Three bags going to Goodwill.  Six to the safe arms of the sanitary service, and a few things put into places of usefulness.  I still have a bunch of boxes left from our move in '08.  For me to get rid of stuff in here that isn't used is as good as losing a few pounds on the scale!  Really!  And btw, I'm not losing pounds on the scale.  I worked in the kitchen and found waaaay back in one drawer the bestest paring knife that I had misplaced!  Talk about a thrill!  Yes, my life can really be dull (pun intended).

We're an over-privileged people.  We get to be with others here and there.  And it always involves some delightful meal, snack, or what-not.  And so we eat.  And enjoy.  And not lose a pound.

This weekend, we are going to have some special people here.  Details and photos to come.  I promise.

Monday, November 1, 2010

That's what friends are for...

It was the worst day of my life. I had come home from the Children's Hospital. It was day three.  Needed to take a quick shower. Regroup and head back to the NICU where our micro-preemie was lying there fighting for her life. The Chairman had to run into work for a moment and then the phone rang. It was one of the doctors. The scan results had come back. It wasn't good. Amara had the highest grade bleed on the right side and the next to highest bleed on the left. You and your husband need to come in, but there is little left to do but make some decisions. I was completely alone. I called the Chairman. He understandably was devastated. We talked and exchanged 'love yous' and he was coming home immediately. I sat there for merely a moment or two and the doorbell rang. My heart sunk. I had just heard that our daughter was probably not going to live. I didn't want to talk to anyone.  But when I went to the door, there she was.  An angel in human form. I welcomed her and her 2-month old and 3 year old into the house. She had some food for us. But the timing wasn't an accident. She was directed here. Because she had gone through tragedy exactly the same - she had lost a baby girl. The exact month but five years earlier. She had at one time been exactly where I was. No one could be a more perfect source of help than her. Instead of planning the color of the baby room, she helped guide us as to what to do about a funeral. Where to bury this little baby. How to face others. We talked. We cried. She encouraged.

When we went through the other losses, she'd call. Just to see how I was doing. When we thought seriously about adoption, she and her great husband encouraged us through each step. When we we received our referral, she threw this massive baby shower (while expecting her third beautiful daughter). She was one of the first I told when we had the hope of a son. In fact, her youngest and our son are only five days different in age.

And this weekend we celebrated their 25 years of marriage. Friends. Someone you can count on in good and bad times. I am thankful for them. And for many others that make this journey of life bearable, pleasant, and wonderful.
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