Monday, May 30, 2011

Monday Musings

The MYP here went off on their bikes to visit some friends a mile away.  So the house is quiet for a moment.  I think the blog posts might be less frequent in the summertime.  I have a terrifically hard time writing anything when a fracas is breaking out just behind me somewhere.

They are complaining of the heat.  Those brilliant little cherubs that live here.  Really?  Complaining that it is 79 degrees?  And it is nearly June?  And in three months the days will be shorter and cooler?  Really?  Oh for goodness sake.  Good thing they live up here and not down south I say...

The Chairman is golfing.  No he isn't that kind of guy that golfs often.  In fact, he might go once or twice a year. But there were a lot of people going and he likes to be included.  Usually there's a hilarious story after that makes it worth his while.  Then we hope to go to a lake or something.  Because it's "miserably" hot.  Not to me it isn't.  No sirreee.

I think, thanks to Mavrick, I lost a pound with all the walking.  Lisi is feeling gypped now.  She thinks there should be another dog here to entertain her small brain.

So today is Memorial Day.  And I'm thankful for vets.  Especially my father.  I think if he hadn't gone to serve in the Korean war, his life would have been much different.  He said once that he needed to 'get things right' before he was shipped out.  He did and things have been right ever since for him.  So I'm thankful even for wars when good things can come about from them.  Like me for instance!

I love the feeling when the vegetable garden is all planted and the flower beds filled and it is warm and sunny and we await the new growth.  Happy sigh.

The other night it just happened that it was daughter #2 and I alone for supper.  I asked what she wanted to do. Go out to eat?  Eat something at home, or???  She said, 'you know what I want'.  And I did.  You see her favorite food of alllllll time is... (insert collective sigh here please), Kraft Macaroni and Cheese.  No, not the ordinary one that is bright yellow.  It is the Three-cheese shells one that is a paler form of the imitation cheese.  Made with only two tablespoons of butter, a bit more milk, and not quite all the cheese packet.  Really.  Then as she ate an enormous plate-ful (with some apples to keep the system moving) said, 'mom, this makes my taste buds just dance for joy'.  Ick I say.

Another quote that just came out of the mouth of a babe child this morning was, 'if it's fake, it's pretty, right mom?'.  I certainly must be teaching them right priorities.  Or not.

Well this is enough.  Maybe too much.  

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Dog-gone Good time

So the Big Lady that yells but loves me anyway said some magic words the other night.  You know the "M" one?  Well that's the name of my bestest friend ever.  And he came to visit me!  His two people stopped and dropped him off and better still, they brought a bag of dog kibble that Mavrick eats.  But the Big Lady was her nasty self and didn't share it with me except for a couple morsels that fell to the floor.  

Anyway, a fun time we had!  The Big Lady usually only gives me a walk or maybe two a day.  With Mavrick here, we had three walks.  AND!  We got to go to the dog park.  It was a dog-gone good time.  I think the Big Lady will help me and post a picture.  See it below?  Well people have a misconception about dogs.  They think that we like to go to dog parks to socialize with other dogs and sniff their behinds (gross) and stuff like that.  You know my favorite thing?  I like to hop up on the picnic tables in the dog park and sit next to dog people.  I was especially fond of this guy in the picture.  I started showering slobbering him with kisses.  Big Lady says for me to stop.  The guy said, 'Oh I don't mind, I like kisses'.  Girlfriend nervously giggles next to him.  And so I decided to give her some competition.  I leaned in.  Kissed him a few more times until he decided to scratch my ears.  Then I forgot all about kissing.  I think the girlfriend was getting a big jealous too if you know what I mean.  She was a brunette.  I'm a blonde.  And we are all over that romance thing.  

But back to Mavrick.  We walked and played and shared dog beds and slept and got up and wrestled some more and then just like that, in drove that white car again.  And away my big friend went.  I was kinda sad.  But moreso, I was dog-tired.  You know a couple days of non-stop fun will do that to a dog.  
These girls took us for a walk

See that big galoot?  He always has to be leashed because Big Lady
didn't want him to disappear

Ok now just a little polling... who's cuter... Me???

Or him?  He's my bestest friend, but I still can be competitive, right?

Big Lady worn out after three walks and lots of doggy time

We did a LOT of this 

Doesn't it look fun?

The Big Lady that yells but loves me anyway and the nice Big Guy gave me a great walk tonight.  So I'll just lie around now and wait for the next time I get to see my bestest friend.  I sure hope it is soon.  

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Rain and a chance of something interesting

Yes, it's raining here.  But you came to read something interesting.  Can't promise you that.  But I can promise  you that it'll be raining here all day.  Funny thing is I was just out and about.  Nearly every store I visited had a clerk that mentioned something about the dreadful weather.  Yes, it is freezing   cool out.  Yes, it is windy.  But no, I can't complain about the rain.  You see it is spring here in Dairyland.  It is usually green here in Dairyland in the spring.  So... it rains.  Always has, always will.  When the kindly clerks wanted me to agree, I just nodded along (because I'm the fitting-in kind of person).  Or not.

But I disagree because my zinnia, bean, squash, and carrot seeds are quietly softening under the earth I just placed them in yesterday.  Actually, daughter #2 did the placing.  Son #1 did the hoeing.  And I did the oversight.

I love tending to living things.  I wonder if that's even why I like baking bread.  Yeast is living and it's needing just the proper amounts of this and that to thrive.  I love feeding birds.  I love taking care of the family.  And I love my houseplants.  To the point that they get big.  And then they need to be separated or something.  I nurture them to huge-ville.  I have a great big baby spider plant from mama that needs a home.  Plants aplenty I say.  I read it's good for the air quality.  So all the extra-bad smells that come after high fiber meals might be neutralized, right?  Oh never mind.  We're not like that here.  I'm kind of a recipe for disaster when I go to the nursery.  You see all those cute little flowers need tending.  And I nearly cannot help myself from wanting to bring too many home.  Problem is we have a budget.  And limited space.  So I better just stay out of those dangerous places for awhile.

So Lisi rode along this morning during our rainy-day jaunt.  We get home.  I unload everything.  She continues to sit in the van looking at me.  And as I type, she's still there.  Just sitting at me looking like she wants to tell me something.  What???  Does she wish she ended up somewhere else?  Does she want to just go for a drive again?  Does she want to just have some different place to wait out the un-ending rain?  Or the most probable... she doesn't even know why she's sitting there.

I skipped an important event this morning.  Each year our school hosts a "Volunteer Breakfast".  I sent in my regrets.  Why you ask?  There's something that makes me squeamish about a room full of people that do soft clapping for you doing a slacker   vital job like laminating.  And bringing in cookies and bars to help expand the waistlines of the teaching staff.  So I once again am a no-show.  My self-satisfaction is enough thanks.  Thank you very much.

This morning a person from Poland ended up here on their Google search for "a happy birthday thought for my elder sister".  Hope they found one!

So out in the freezing rain to get the last peppers planted.  But who's complaining?

Monday, May 23, 2011

Monday Musings

I bet my mostly nice older brother is shocked.  His little sister had nothing extra to say for an entire week.  Shocking?  Maybe.  But I've been a bit under the weather.  Nothing serious.  And the weather is fine.  Just a late-spring cold of all things.  If you're interested, you could come over and cough with me today.  Hoping some fresh air and sunshine scare it away for good.

Think I'll get some planting done in the flower beds and garden.  There's much to do and I have scarce begun.  Except for weeding.  I just go out and pluck here and there while playing with the kids or wrestling with the dog.

She's still killing.  The dog that is.  Mice mainly.  But she gave chase to a cat again with that look in her eyes.  I don't think she'd kill a cat though.  Or would she?  I think one good scratch on the nose would cure her zeal.

I've been missing my late sister-in-law this week.  It is soon five years since she left this earth.  I saw a lady last week that reminded me of her in looks and actions.  Then I came home and remembered a lot of different things she said or did.  And I missed her.  Again.  Yes, life goes on.  But the loss still lingers.

Daughter #2 informed me this morning that she was wishing her two front teeth would come in further.  And then proceeds to tell me that she isn't using them until they completely grow in.  I said, well your arms and legs aren't completely grown, and you use them!  I've enjoyed a deeper meaning in that thought...

And baseball season is in full swing (pun intended!).  Two games under our stretchy-black belts.  A tie and a win.  And can I be honest here?  Baseball is boring.  Well not that boring.  When your own kid is up to bat it is exciting.  When the snacks in the bag next to your camp chair are tasty, it is exciting.  When the person you are sitting next to is interesting or informative, it is exciting.  When the runs are coming in, it is exciting.  But otherwise?  Not so much.

I wrote a thank you card for each of the kids this week.  I thanked them for their birthday gifts and something about them that I love.  We preach to them about being kind and thankful and nice and yet after I wrote all my birthday thanks to others; I realized I didn't express thanks for those I'm closest to.  And really, I should be most thankful to them.  So I set them on their little pillows and funny thing, I got three verbal 'thanks mom for the card' comments the next morning and they are prominently displayed on their night stands.  It's the little things...

And just a couple weeks of school left.  Any great tips out there on motivating kids to do their jobs?  I don't want to get hoarse yelling for 12 weeks...  although I'm kinda good at it...  just sayin'...

Monday, May 16, 2011

Monday Musings

Yep.  Better get this done before the bus brakes squeal to a stop at the corner.  Remember this guy?  
I think Gumby was his name.  Super-flexible.  That's how I feel.  You see the massage saga continues.  I have now eight extra ones to use in a couple-months time.  Sounds ideal?  Sorta.  And not really.  I do want to use them since I've paid for them.  I want to cancel my account, but if I do, I lose the pre-paid ones.  So I've had two massages in a week.  And I feel like Gumby.  "Julie" even said I responded well whatever that means.  I paced out the next one for 10 days from now.  Hopefully I have a knot in my neck or back somewhere so she has something to focus on and not make me so loosey-goosey.

Daughter #2 had her spring piano recital.  Can I boast a bit?  I don't think she hit a wrong key for both songs.  And I should know.  I heard them 3,257 times in the past two months.  I'd post the video, but I'm nice like that and won't.

We were gone for 24 hours this weekend.  And we returned to a house that was 62 inside.  So the furnace was turned on.  What gives.  Isn't it mid-May?  brrrr.

We celebrated another achievement for a dear niece.  The house was teeming with her friends and family and a fun time.

Psst.  Another bit of family news.  We hear distant bells ringing.  Wedding bells!  I'm wondering if Kentucky Fried Chicken will be served at the reception?  

My scariest childhood fear came to fruition yesterday.  We were in a public building.  Stopped at the restroom on the way out.  The stall was super-small.  You had to literally stand next to the toilet to shut the door - which I did.  I got settled in to to go but then the automatic flusher flushed.  And then it didn't stop.  Water rose up without warning and my backside got completely wet.  It immediately overflowed the bowl.  Water is pouring all over my legs and feet.  I'm stuck next to the toilet and can't get the door open.  The water is running fast.  Daughter #1 one stall over yells, 'mom?  are you ok?'.  I yell, 'NO!'.  My fancy Sunday-go-to-meeting slings are drenched.  As are my feet and ankles.  I grab my bag, open the door and slosh out.  Luckily.  Luckily!!!  It was "clean" water.  And I decided that I didn't need to "go".  **ick**

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Wandering Wednesday Words

It feels muggy.  And a storm is a brewin'.  Spring!  The two-lips are purdy.  The daffy-dills are yellow-y.  And all is well.  I love the feeling of warm feet after six months of icy toes.  Happy sigh.

I do think I should maybe sign up for Breadmakers Anonymous though.  This morning I got out the ingredients and started the bread dough.  Why you ask?  Well the weather just felt 'right'.  I have no need for the five lofty loaves that just came out of the oven.  There's three in the freezer before these five.  But it felt like a good day to bake.  And so I did.  And we've got enough bread for awhile now.  I'm just hoping it isn't muggy tomorrow.  Or I hope I resist the urge to pull out the yeast.

So the painter lady is here.  The lady that turned our house into a home.  The lady that upon my urging, turned our master bedroom into a 'baby blue' room and then changed the color after reasoning with me (and cashing my check).  I didn't make suggestions.  I told her ballpark what we were thinking and let her run with it.  She helped decide daughter #1's color.  She then looked at (as my friend called it) the 'blood red' bathroom.  Remember that one?  The one that took four coats and it still was ugly?  That one?  The one that the Chairman politely said, 'we could get used to it maybe'.  You know, that one?  Anyway, it's going to "Cavern Clay" as I type and I must say, I better put my paintbrushes away.  Better to let people do what they do best.

So the in-ground sprinkler people have been here a lot.  And they love Lisi nearly as much as we do.  To the point I am glad I know where they live because if she disappears one day, I'd suspect them.  They have waxed on and on and on about her nature.  Her big paws.  Her sweet face.  Last night she laid on the ground next to Mrs. Irrigation Lady and had her head shamelessly on her lap while she worked along.  I could have been jealous.  And to think they don't even know that she blogs!  Yes, she's a talented pooch.

I have four nephews and two nieces on my side of the family.  Three are graduating this spring - one with a master's, one with a bachelor's, and one with a high school degree.  All three of them are whippin' smart.  Life is really neat.  You get to love these little kids and then witness them growing up and accomplishing something.  But the thing that makes them really nice is that they are making good choices along the way.  Neat I say.

Anyone hooked on Words with Friends?  I am.  I love words.  And putting things neatly in their place.  So if you have an iPod or an iPad or an iPhone... go find it.  If words are your thing.  Wandering Wednesday Words...

Monday, May 9, 2011

Musings from the Mutt

Well that's not exactly true because I'm a pedigree.  Came with fancy papers and all.  That's what made me expensive and valuable.  But hey!  I would have been that way anyway.  How many dogs do you know that can blog?  That's right.  Not many but me!

I was a little worried.  The Big Lady that yells but loves me anyway is acting all busy and didn't seem like she was going to put anything on the blog today.  Well it's Monday and I know that's an important day here at the Chairman and company's site.  So I'll try to help her out a bit

The family here has made a big fuss over her.  They have been saying things about a 'birthday'.  And then right after that, they were all huggy and lovey and taking pictures and stuff yesterday again.  I'm not sure what the fuss was all about, but I was thinking they could share a little love over here too.

But!  We've had people here at our place.  There's been a big truck and a lot of cars and people working all over the yard.  That's not the exciting part though.  The exciting part is that these people eat lunch!  Bologna sandwiches.  Chips.  Granola bars.  It's all good.  And they feel sorry for me love me enough to give me bits of this and that.  Problem is I have the runs not felt so good since eating too many goodies.  Oh well... it's the price you have to pay for tasty bits.

Well I think I hear the truck coming again.  Hopefully more bologna sandwiches.  Or if I'm lucky, maybe roast beef.  I'll do whatever it takes.  Until the Big Lady yells and tells me not to act so shamefully.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

A happy mother...

If only I could have seen into the future.  As long as I can remember, I wanted to be a mom.  Not just any mom. A mom that was loving and devoted and caring and nurturing and funny and spiritual.  I had that in my own mother.  And I wanted to have the opportunity as well.  For a time it didn't seem possible.  I wasn't sure for a bit of time if I would ever marry or have children.  Then we had loss upon loss.  And the possibility of being that mom I always wanted to be was elusive at best.  But I couldn't see the future.  If I could have just had a glimpse of the above picture and be told that 'in 2011 these will be your children', I wonder how I would have been.  Would I have been less desperate?  Made less vows?  Loved other people's children less?  Maybe.

I think a veiled future is for our greater good.  We can't see ahead.  But we have today.

And today I have a spouse that is a wonderful father to our children.  I have three very unique and special young people I don't take for granted.  And I have the opportunity to be... just... mom.  It is better than I could have ever hoped it to be.  Even the crabby, nothing-goes-right days.  Really.

I'm not the perfect mom like I thought I would be.  I do try to love and care and nurture and guide in a spiritual way.  And I'm doing the best I can.  But the future is theirs.  And they are not 'mine'.  They are a gift. And it makes me one very happy mother.

Happy Mother's Day to all you wonderful moms out there...  from this one here.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Wandering Wednesday Words

So I called the massage place where I go to see if I can cancel membership.  If I do, I lose the nine 'backed-up' massages.  So they are freezing it for 3 months so I can work through the ones I have sitting there.  Then (don't tell them I said this), I think I'll cancel the membership.  Need to button down the hatches a bit you know.  But what I think might work is to simply call them and be placed on hold.  They had the same utterly relaxing music going while I was on hold as when I'm lying there belly-down on the table.  Would save a few pennies.

Son #1 came into the kitchen this morning with something to say.  "Mom!  Did you know in 416 weeks I'll be going to college?"  Ugh.  That doesn't sound so far away when he says it like that.  Glad he's planning.  Hope he's saving up for it too.

Enjoyed a "muffins with Mom" this morning with daughter #2.  It's always such a special thing to go to their turf and sit in her seat and really see/hear/feel what they do every day.  As we were sitting there waiting for it all to start, she leans over and whispers, 'it smells really different in here today with all you moms here'.  I hope it was a good thing.  Or maybe the bowl of glue at every table.

I was told recently I have an accent.  Yes, a Wisconsin accent.  I don't hear it.  And was actually denying that I had any form of speech differentiation.  But at the airport in San Francisco, I heard someone talking and turned around quickly.  They sounded like me.  I'm not sure what it was.  And I don't remember what was said.  But it sounded - well, familiar.  And it was.  They were sitting a few rows up on the same plane... bound for Wisconsin.

And as a lot of you know, today is my birthday.  We had the 'gift opening' last night because unfortunately, the Chairman has a very full plate today.  And I'm very ok with that.  It is a sunny day.  I have my health.  My family.  My extended family.  And friends too numerous to count.  I have found it thrilling to read the FB messages coming in.  All of my friends on there are special for a different reason.  And I like that.

After a very, VERY cold baseball game last night, I opened my gifts.  My family was good to me.  I was touched by their efforts.  I like birthdays.  And I like May 4.  Instead of thinking of youth fading, I like that I can pause and count my blessings.  Because they are many.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Monday Musings

As most of you know, we are back from a trip to the "Golden State" of California.  We spent the first few days with my mean older brother and his lovely family.  And as a super bonus, we also had my dear uncle there for two days.  Those days were precious.  My mean older brother did not live up to his name.  And in fairness to his 'lack of meanness', he will now hold the title of 'mostly nice' older brother.  Seems fair enough.  Leaves wiggle room for a touch of mean.

We then headed north.  Stopped at two nice beaches for some play time.  Looked at beautiful countryside as we put miles under our belts.  Then stopped in San Luis Obisbo for the night.  A special nephew is graduating this spring and has chosen Cal Poly as his school of choice.  And from my observations, (not that my opinion matters one twittle), a good one.  The surrounding area is very neat.  Mountains.  Ocean.  Nice weather.  Decent young people walking about.  A quiet campus.  And hopefully, some good education.  On north we went to San Francisco.  We spent three days there.

I could tell you that the Golden Gate is an incredible sight.  The croaking sea lions at Pier 39 entertaining.  The Chinatown experience riveting.  Lombard street is still very crooked.  And the sourdough bread is still chewy.  But that's not what you come read this fodder for.  You'd like what really happened.

Like the time we were driving into downtown one morning and a SFPD car pulls alongside of us.  Speeds up.  Slows down.  Then Mr. Officer is making a gesture at me (no, not THAT one).  I glance over nervously.  He's motioning very widely about a seat belt for daughter #1 who is sitting between us in the front seat of the Suburban.  I nod and point down to the lap belt.  He smiles and waves, and zooms off.

Or the time I mention to the Chairman that even though the vacation has been really fun, that it hasn't been very romantic or allowing us any time alone... and he responds, 'well that's fine.  It doesn't bother me at all.'  (well thanks a lot!).

Or the time that daughter #2 pushed a shopping cart out of a store very quickly.  Too quickly.  She rammed the Chairman's back ankle.  He's dancing.  Daughter #2 starts to jump up and down.  I see blood trickle down her chin.  She bit a chunk of skin out of her bottom lip.  Starts bleeding profusely.  And so we quickly head back to the hotel for a bit of ice and regrouping.

Or the traffic jam on the Oakland Bay Bridge.  We were to have dinner with some friends of ours two hours east of the Bay.  We get very very stuck in traffic.  We sit and sit and wait and sit and watch people and sit and wait and worry and sit some more.  But finally.  Finally!  We move a bit and the Chairman makes up for lost time and get to our destination only 15 minutes late.

Or the 'musical beds' that we played for the last three nights.  The double beds didn't like two adults sleeping in them very well and they protested and so did we.  I ended up sleeping near son #1 who thrashed, kicked, and whacked throughout the night...

Or the flight home with a mother that was worse than the one going out.  Seriously.  She was just.  plain.  nuts.  She was insisting that her two toddler's car seats be installed into the plane seat (now really, if the plane were to crash, would they save the children?).  They were mondo-huge.  Husband was a weasle-y sort that didn't want to rock her boat.  Kids screaming.  Mother yelling at anyone that would be within ear shot.  She bonked the head of the guy sitting the row ahead with one of those mumbo-jumbo things.  And she kept fussing and fixing and going on and on.  Let me tell you this went on for over a half-hour.  She was nearly hysterical.  Weasle-y husband walks away.  Gate agents, three flight attendants, and reasonable people that sat nearby tried to talk reason into her.  And she finally gave up on one of the seats.  And we took off 10 minutes late.  cRAzY I say.

Or the humongous hot spot that Lisi licked on her leg while she was kenneled.  She is very appreciative to be back home on her bed.  Chewing on her stuffed toy.  And waiting for a hand-out.

And so am I.  Not chewing on stuffed toys and waiting for hand-outs... although that would be nice.  It is nice to be home.  Like really really good.  After about one day I can hardly eat restaurant food.  I miss our bed.  I miss our dog.  I miss our friends.  And even miss making bread.

But it was a very, very good trip.  One of the best since we've had our kids.  In fact, the Chairman said just as we were nearing home the other night, 'hey kids?  You all get an A+ on this trip.  You all did great!'.  Now mind you the Chairman doesn't have a super-easy grading scale, so that was huge.  And nice.  And kinda summed up Spring Break '11.

Here's a few photos in case you're interested...

On the hill above my mostly-nice brother's home

Mocha - begging queen

One of my favorite moments... music with family

A very special uncle

hiking with our neighbors that live one mile from us...

the ladies on the hike

B U T ful!

this wasn't staged!  at Pismo beach

Cal Poly

SF trolley

Golden Gate!  It was BRRRR chilly there!

Lombard Street

barking sea lions at Pier 39...


enjoying her Chinese lunch in Chinatown!

An awesome family

Good friends...