Monday, August 29, 2011

Monday Musings

Well I'm not alone again.  In fact, the MYP are actually getting along.  I'll keep you posted if a fracas brakes out while I'm still trying to do a blog entry.  The musings don't appear to be very interesting today.  In fact, not sure what's worth musing or not.

Everyone likes to hear about saving money though, right?  Well after talking to a school-friend's dad, and making some connections with Mr. Helpful Insurance Guy, we basically saved $200/month on our health insurance.  Don't get too excited.  It still is a lot of nickels.  It still covers only major, major stuff.  But when you are self-insured, this is a big deal.

The other day, we went to a local air show.  "Tony" was the wing walker.  He wowed the crowd.  But in my humble opinion, he's just plain nuts.  I wonder what kind of son that would be to raise?  This picture isn't mine.  But it is the very same guy.  Nuts I say.
Got our campsite booked for 11 months from now!  Yes, it's a big deal since the sites disappear before your eyes on a map when you are booking it the very minute it is up for booking.  Glad that's done for another year.

This time of year is splendid for BLT's.  If you are from our fine state, you probably know about Nueske bacon.  If you don't, Google it.  It is The Best Bacon Ever.  And I don't say that because I personally know people with the last name of Nueske.  It is.  And it is worth every penny.  Top that Best Bacon Ever with homegrown tomatoes picked 5 minutes before they are lying on your sandwich.  A big leaf of crispy lettuce or spinach or whatever other form of crunchy goodness you choose.  A slather of low-fat mayo (never, EVER Miracle Whip (gross in my eyes) on homemade whole wheat toast.  And YUM.  Hungry yet?

I miss everyone.  No, not everyone.  But we haven't had g.m.'s here for three weeks and there's some faces there that I'd like to see again before too long.  The funny thing, they aren't people that I was thinking that I would miss.  They are not from my age-group or stage in life.  And in some ways, I'm glad I miss them, because it means they mean something to me.

Tomorrow if all goes as planned, there will be six kids here that I'll be responsible for.  The ages will be 6, 9, 9, 11, 12, and 12.  Will it be fun?  For sure.  Will it be crazy?  At times.  Will it be neurotic?  Possibly.  Will I still like them when the day is done.  Absolutely.  

Update:  Child #2 and #3 are pushing the buttons on each other.  Child #1 is trying to referee with little success.  Time to blow the whistle...  

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Because I'm alone again..

and have time for a thought or three.  You see the MYP here are just perfect children.  They are honestly like cherubs in kids clothes.  And people from far and wide want just their own taste of such perfection.  Or not.  Actually, they hadn't had an overnighter with a set of grandparents yet this summer and school starts next week.  So off they went again!  I wasn't quite ready this time.  I'm not dancing on the beach.  Or even smiling a whole lot because they are gone.  But it will be nice to have alone-time with the Chairman.

But... as "perfect" as they are, they aren't.  Through the gift of free texting on an electronic device, they have already sent umpteen messages about a squabble that broke out between the two "perfect" daughters.  I heard what they had for lunch.  And I'm about to turn my cell phone beeper to off.

Health insurance.  What a incredible poor way to spend money.  And lots of it.  You see we are basically self-employed and on an individual plan.  The super-high deductible rates just went through the roof again.  And we are healthy forgoodnesssake!  So we are starting to shop.  This time under the influence of a guy that does this for a living.  I'm hoping to save a couple nickels or more.  

Stinging nettle.  It is not your friend.  It... well... stings.  Badly.  Enough to cause a welt.  And itch in a very scary-hurt sort of way.  I researched it on-line.  Did you know people cook this stuff up and eat it?  Or make tea out of it for medicinal purposes?  Really?  You mean years ago someone got terribly burned on this stuff walking through the field and thought, "I bet this would taste real good if I cooked it up for supper".  Weird I say.

I'm at war.  With a striped gopher.  Right now it is Big Lady - 0.  Striped gopher - 1.  Bought a trap.  Set the trap just as I thought I was supposed to.  Trap doors closed.  Bait gone.  And so was the gopher.  Will have to try again.  He's causing quite a mess on a part of our yard.  And for some reason, the highly intelligent dog isn't responding as intelligent as she should be.

Did you know what really makes the Chairman have dreamy eyes?  Well actually there are two things.  Number one is the smell of garlic/peppers simmering on a stove.  It could be in the form of spaghetti sauce or even something as simple as fajitas.  And number two is the result of an afternoon cleaning out the garage and organizing all the shelves.  That my dear peeps was just like love-inducing potion.

I'm hot.  No, not "hot".  I'm in my mid-40's if you didn't know.  I'm just plain hot.  And the a/c isn't on despite the humid 89 degree day outside.  But it's supposed to cool down tonight, so why waste energy, right?

Monday, August 22, 2011

Monday Musings

Well to be honest, I never did put on a bikini top and sarong and dance on the beach (if you're wildly confused, see previous post).  In fact, I was dreadfully boring during my alone-time.  Lisi doesn't think so though.  She got a lot of walks.  I worked in the yard with her at my feet all the time.  And we went shopping.

I realized while they were gone that this point in my life revolves completely around my family.  The phone rang more than several times.  With the exception of the dentist calling to remind me about some back-to-school appointments, the calls were all for the... kids!  Not sure this is completely healthy, but I do have a hobby, right? Don't I blog once in awhile?  And I love my family.

Have you noticed that this year that there are a lot more butterflies that flutter by?  I've seen a very varied lot of them in many colors.  Pretty!

As I kid I never 'got' the comment when people would say that they 'love to eat'.  I thought food was simply to keep our bodies alive until we felt empty again.  But now I love to eat.  Especially at this time of the year.  Fresh everything.  Yum.  Yesterday, we were at the home of our native Indian friends.  We delighted in all their yummy dishes.  Driving home, son #1 said, "I think that is the best meal ever".  Kinda neat when you have an 11-year old kid that loves curry and all that goes with it.

We need a new window treatment in our master bedroom.  You see the icky vinyl shade the previous owners put up as a temporary fix decided that enough was enough and it will not roll up.  At all.  But the Chairman would like something that doesn't 'rattle' when the windows are open.  I am strongly considering a Roman shade because the Chairman is Italian.  Or not.  But they do seem to have all soft sides going for them.  The window is huge - 69 wide by 68 tall.  So my choices are limited.  Any suggestions will be seriously considered.  I think.

This weekend on one of the adventures I had alone with the dog, we saw a lady with an ankle bracelet!  No, I'm talking about the gold chain that is enhancing a little butterfly tattoo on her leg.  Apparently, this lady made some bad choices at some point.  Strapped to her ankle was a monitoring bracelet.  It looked kinda big and serious and very, very embarrassing.  The ironic thing was she was coming out of a liquor store.  Hmmm.  Maybe if she'd stay off the booze, she'd make better choices.  But I've not walked in her bracelet flip-flops.

And this week we saw pictures.  Not any pictures mind you.  Pictures of a tiny baby.  Pictures of adoring and very exhausted parents.  And pictures of a "big" sister looking down at this tiny new baby brother.  Adoption is just beautiful.  We know.

We're going fishing today.  With some extra boys.  And each and every time we've gone to this fishing spot, something dramatic happens like a snapped line.  Broken pole.  Or an injury.  I can't wait...

Friday, August 19, 2011

Lonely... or not

If just but for 24+ hours.  For the first time ever in our parenting lives, the Chairman and the children left.  They are off on a fun water-filled adventure.  Because of the sleeping accommodations and the traveling companions, it made sense (to me anyway!) for me to stay back.  Saved booking another room.

So I have 24 hours completely alone (unless you count the four-legged furry friend that shadows me each day).  What to do.  What to do.  What to do.  Or what not to do.  I will not raise my voice.  I won't be settling any blood-inducing disagreements.  I will not cook a four-item supper.  I will not mop the floor one more time today.

But I will nap.  I will eat just what I want.  I will play my Words with Friends with friends.  And I will read.  A lot.  But first I will nap.  And then I'll try to come up with something else not to do.

Then they will come home.  And their tired little faces will be beautiful.  The Chairman will be extra-charming.  And I'll be refreshed and happy and thankful for the noise and the mess and the food consumed.  Because they are my family and I love them.

But first...

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Just because...

My mostly nice older brother just sent this to me.  Taken with his cell phone at a parents orientation meeting at a reputable university.  I'm thinking this parent either was up too late, has no interest in higher education, or just happened to wander in the double-doors thinking there'd be free ham sandwiches.  Anyway, thanks mostly nice older brother for the chuckle.

The camper went away again tonight.  Funny thing how I get attached to things.  That camper has only had two years in our family and I feel a distinct attachment to it.  Always feel sorry to see it go off to the storage place until the next venture.  Lucky for it and for us we have two adventures yet to go before the snow flies.

We can't complain about the weather.  I was wondering about small talk and what people say when the weather is perfect.

My tomatoes are humongous.  Well the plants anyway.  But the tomatoes themselves - although somewhat large, are slow to turn deep cherrry-red.  There's a nasty weed somewhere in my garden because every time I come out of there I itch like the heebie-jeebies.  And then it gets all red and serious looking.

We are down to the last two weeks of the kids' summer.  Are they happy about it?  Not really.  Am I?  Not really. Sorta.  There's always that melancholy of sadness when the house is empty again for eight hours/day.

I really don't like to see family that lives far away.  And we have more than several in our family that live beyond reach nearly.  Like you see them twice/year at best.  And I don't like to see them.  Because... when you do see them, you have all these overwhelming feelings about how much you miss them.  You share genetics.  And thoughts.  And hilarious times.  And serious talks.  And then they are... gone.  For a very, very long time again.  And you feel lonely.  Because someone(s) you love live far away.  I know it would be much harder if they weren't where they should be.  They all have bloomed where they were planted.  But it's hard once again to say goodbye and be left with wonderful memories of wonderful people.

We've really pulled one of the MYP's legs here...   You see the other night, daughter #1 needed to come downstairs to tell me about an itch or something trivial.  When she was going up I told her to tell daughter #2 that she, daughter #1 was going to sleep in our bedroom.  She added, 'I'll get my pillow too to really fool her'.  So she went up and got her pillow and peeked her head into daughter #2's room and said, 'I'm going to sleep in mom and dad's room tonight!'.  Daughter #2 came unglued.  WHAT?  She came downstairs.  Tears pouring down her little cheeks.  She was talking loud and fast through her tears about us favoring daughter #1 and how unfair life was. I felt guilty for laughing at her incredible reaction.  Then I quickly told her it was a joke.  Daughter #1 was snickering.  And Daughter #2 was flooded with relief that she wasn't missing out.  Silly kids.  Silly mom.

This is enough my dear peeps.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Monday Musings

Well one of the MYP just came downstairs.  Still wearing her Sunday morning convention best.  I asked, 'did you sleep in that?'  Well yes!  I shouldn't have been so tired when I tucked her in.

You always hear people say, 'it was the best one ever'.  And I will echo that sentiment.  For us personally, it was the best one ever.

I overheard someone call the oatmeal "porridge".  I was looking for the three bears, but didn't see them.

I think people south of the border talk with a southern accent.  Or maybe ours in dairyland is noticeable?  I dunno.  But I could hear a distinct difference.

There were a few little kids that I saw there that were painfully cute.  If someone would have asked me if I wanted one, I would have taken them up on it.  Lots of examples of excellent parents.  And lots and lots and lots of young people that are just lovely.

I had a visit with an old friend.  And yes, she's old.  Well maybe not as old as me by a few months.  What amazes me about this old friend is that it is as if time is never in the way.  We go a few years without seeing each other.  She's in a different spot in life - about to be a grandmother.  I'm dealing with elementary/middle school.  But she's still her.  I'm still me.  And hopefully, we might some day share a mattress in the old lady's quarters.

During the convention, I heard via a voice mail some of the best news possible that involved some very young children.  It looked like an impossible situation.  But it wasn't.  What a joy.

A search on the feed was for "All Chairman IT companies" came in from Mumbai, India.  I know they are pretty smart over there, so hope I helped them.

Lisi had another enjoyable stay with her new kennel people.  The kennel lady even brought her right back to our house when we returned.  How good is that!  And better still, she said Lisi was a 'gem' and did 'absolutely nothing wrong'.  Well of course, didn't I tell you that already?

Well I must traverse over Mt. P.U. with the help of a "Tide", so better get on my hiking boots and get going.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Monday Musings

Well first off, Happy Birthday yesterday to my mostly nice older brother.  He's less than one year of another big milestone.  Guess you can look at age in different ways... birthday candles on the cake are half-lit or half-unlit if you know what I mean.... Even though he's nearly 50, he still is just a young guy that was mean to me but loved me anyway.

I had a privilege yesterday.  And I'm certain this very special Grandma doesn't read blogs so I can say nice things about her.  I had over three hours alone with this young soul of 87 years.  And after our time together I felt refreshed by her influence.  She faced an incredible loss in her husband this year.  Moved from the home they shared for 50+ years.  Let go of the responsibility on Sundays to a younger family.  And she doesn't complain.  She said the new place was quiet.  The food was ok.  The flowers pretty.  And the people nice.  She could have shared for her three hours on all the things she lost.  But she didn't.  She just brimmed over on what we do have... and it made me feel small.

I'm still in my pajamas.  Now mind you they aren't all that bad.  I purchased them in the last couple years.  But according to our MYP here, they are NOT appropriate attire for driving kids to school (even though they cover more than some clothes do).  I pretended I didn't hear their protests and drove them off to their morning summer school.  But was told in no uncertain terms that I must drive only to the edge of the parking lot in case anyone would see me (through the tinted glass mind you) in my pj's.  They couldn't have gotten out of the van fast enough.  (tee-ee).  Isn't that my job to keep them humble?

We've had some squabbles over milk here.  You see the Chairman likes to drink skim to keep his manly figure cholesterol down.  So I usually have that in the fridge along with 1 or 2%.  Well we were out of the non-skim choices, so I poured a glass for one of the MYP here and there was protesting.  I don't like the taste of it.  It isn't good.  I want the other milk.  Well drink it!  It isn't that different.  I'll get more of the other the next time I go to the store.  She does with reservation and goes off to do whatever.  I eventually sit down with my toast and take a sip.  It tastes funny.  Like it is about two days short of becoming cottage cheese.  Look at the date on the jug.  Uh-oh.  I don't want to drink it...  and here I made her!  I did go and apologize to her.  She giggled.  And as yet, hasn't been felt ill.

Looking forward to the rest of this week more than I can say!  I already know it's going to be wonderful.  And that is saying a lot.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Uninspired thoughts

And my favorite time of the day this week is when I can go to bed.  Not sure what's come over me, but I've been tired to the bone this week.  Maybe the summer's busy days are catching up to me.  Maybe having three MYP running through the house when you are forty-something isn't the best timing.  Maybe it's the weather.  You can always blame that for something.  I took one of the MYP to piano lessons last night.  And you know what I did for the 30 precious moments of alone-time?  Took a nap.  Until. the neighbor lady was yelling 'ABIGAIL' at the top of her lungs (and no, it wasn't WS doing that).

Another fun blog hit.  This time someone from Tasmania was searching out 'bad cooking mama'  which happened to be a blog post title at one time.  I hate to ask why that mama was bad.  Or maybe her cooking?  Maybe she was trying to cook a Tasmanian devil?  (sorry)

One of the MYP here has a cold.  Go figure.  Sore throat.  Runny nose.  Sneezing.  In the summer?  Odd.

We have company!  A very nice teen I'm related to.  But he sleeps on... so maybe we won't see him until tomorrow.

Lisi came in last night looking guilty and smelling very strongly of tomato plants.  Seems she feels it is her responsibility to rid my little garden of all rodents.  Kind of a toss-up if you ask me.  Trampled tomatoes and no bunnies?

The MYP are all registered for the next school year.  Since two are considered now middle school, they only have a homeroom teacher.  The youngest was assigned to a classroom of a group of 20.  There are approximately 15 boys and 5 girls.  And all three classrooms have that same ratio.  We must have bucked the trend having a girl that year!  And the very weird thing is that the reverse situation is for middle child.  He's surrounded by girls in his grade.  Helps in the popularity department!

Lots more wonderful things coming in the next week.  Can't wait!!!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Monday Musings

Looks like Lisi posted before me this time.  Oh well..  Some day, I'm going to have to inform her that I'm in charge of this blog and not her.  She's bossy like that.  

We had company!  From far away.  This family's line-up of kids nearly mirrors ours exactly.  The mother of this tribe is someone I've known since I've moved to the dairyland, but didn't know her.... if you know what I mean.  But she left feeling like an old friend.  I hope she feels the same!  The goof-ball at the top-center isn't part of either family, but was here too.  And he feels like a part of our family.  If you know what I mean.
taken with threats given

how they really wanted to be

nice family (dad was out flying the friendly skies)
Summer school has started!  And I'm alone for three hours each morning for the next two weeks.  You see our school likes to do this thing to get the kids 'jump started' into the next school year.  As I watched all the other mothers driving their little cherubs to school this morning, I was wondering if they were doing it for free babysitting or if they truly were concerned about the educational welfare of their children.  I might admit it is a touch of both for me.

Some other friends of ours just welcomed a little 5-year old boy into their family today on the other side of the world.  Thanks to the gift of technology, they posted pictures of them meeting the little fellow.  And once again, my heart swelled with utter joy seeing the magic of adoption happening.

The school supplies are all bought.  The registration for this coming year is tomorrow.  But I'm not wishing away summer.  We still have exactly one month to soak up some very humid sun.  We still have a few places to go.   And we still have some zucchini to pick.

I'm running out of words.  Amazing isn't it?