Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Monday Musings (plus one day)

Sorry for being MIA.  I know so many of you depend on the Musings to start your week right.  Hope you were able to handle yesterday without me.  You see I've been busy.  Very busy indeed.  And I'm taking time out of my busy schedule to get some thoughts penned typed frantically because I'm loyal like that.

So in light of our past holiday I'm thankful.

Thankful for food in abundance.  We hosted Thanksgiving.  People brought what I requested and a whole lot more.  And I'm thankful that I was so busy that I didn't overeat! 

I'm thankful for the 'extras' that came to our Thanksgiving Day gathering.  And I'm especially thankful that the Chairman's family feels just like my own.  
I'm thankful for the Chairman.  And that he so willingly helps get our home ready for the extra 40 people that came to share the day.  (But I'm not so thankful that when he follows me home Sunday night he calls my cell to inform me that I'm "weaving in your lane").  tee-hee

I'm thankful for this niece.  I'm thankful that she is a wonderful example of what a young adult should be to our daughters.  I'm thankful that she has found a perfectly suited mate for life.  And I'm thankful we get to attend the wedding in one month!
I'm thankful that these two are my parents.  

I'm thankful I met these young people.  They were all very nice!

I'm thankful that dad just celebrated his 81st birthday in good health with an optimistic outlook of the next venture.
 I'm thankful for my family once more.
I'm thankful for very dry firewood that warms us from the inside out.

I'm thankful that my oven didn't die until the day after Thanksgiving.  I ran the self-cleaning feature after a spill-over and ka-BLAM!  The thermostat blew.  I'm hoping it is fixed yesterday very soon.

And I'm thankful we are a part of a way that plans to have shepherds or shepherdesses stay with us in our homes.  We appreciate the influence they bring.  And we appreciate the fact that we can read life-altering things and play spoons all within the same evening.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Monday Musings

I must be getting old.  I remember as a kid hearing grandparents or other older people saying how fast time goes by.  I feel that way now too.  These Mondays roll around pretty quick!

"Special time" with the MYP is really a neat thing.  I had the luxury of taking just the girls with me on a shopping and lunch venture this weekend.  Don't get me wrong, I love my son dearly.  Just not at the mall.  He's miserable.  He complains (and sometimes pokes) until we all are miserable.  And misery doesn't like company at the mall.  So he stayed home and played with friends and we shopped and had a leisurely lunch.  It was like I envisioned when these young girls were wee little things.  Sweet times with sweet daughters.  Happy sigh.

"Special time" with a son is altogether different.  He and I do active stuff together.  That's when he talks the most.    Last night was no exception.  We headed out for a long walk in the dark.  I was entertained and intrigued by something he shared about a neighbor.  Said that they were all playing outside a few weeks ago and he saw Mrs. Neighbor pole dancing with friends at her house.  I'm not sure what alarms me more.  That my 11-year old son knows what pole dancing is?  Or that Mrs.  Neighbor was actually pole dancing since she's well, not the pole-dancing type or shape.  Or that he and some neighbor boys saw it peeking in a window.  And finally, that it happened approximately three weeks ago and he finally shared such titillating stuff.  Wow.

While at the aforementioned mall I got sucked into a demonstration for a free product that turned into a state-fair type demonstration for a super-de-duper slicer that can cut off your fingertips in record-breaking time.  I came up with a number in my head that I would spend if it came to it.  The number made it.  I bought with the daughters' urging.  And now I'm soon going to be the lucky winner of a lot of bandaged knuckles.

I saw a fellow in the checklane at the store this week.  He bought the smallest turkey possible.  A can of sweet potatoes.  A can of jellied cranberries.  A couple potatoes.  A box of Stovetop.  A jar of turkey gravy.  And celery (that must have been salad).  I'm not actually sure what to say about this except that traditions are deeply ingrained in our lives whether we know it or not.  I almost invited him over to our house since we'll be many and the gravy will taste better guaranteed.

I got our semi-annual holiday card already ordered!  And yes, Lisi will be on it again.  Since some of you are more interested in the dog than us.  Or maybe she's cuter anyway.

Saw a couple quotes in a book that I'd like to share (since my musings are a bit dull and I've run out of fodder):

Be kind to your friends.  If it weren't for them, you'd be a total stranger.

Wisdom is knowing what to do next.  Virtue is doing it.

A sharp tongue and a dull mind are usually found in the same head.

Willpower is the ability to eat just one salted peanut.  

On Thanksgiving Day, we acknowledge our dependence.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving.   

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Thursday's thoughts...

The fire burns in the stove.  Toasty-warm toes.  Thankful for very dry wood this year that is dense and kicks off some serious BTU's.

Two of the MYP came downstairs in the past several minutes with reports of strange noises upstairs.  One said it sounded like a 'wheee-woo, wheee-woo' siren.  The other said she heard a 'boing-boing'.  I would go up and investigate.  But my mothering instinct says it is simply another delay-tactic opportunity.  I'm tired so they need to go to bed.  Right?  But tomorrow if I see a rabbit with a set of lights on his back, I'll know I found the reason for all the noises up there.

Tonight I'm thankful for Goodwill.  Lisi got three new "monkeys" (stuffed animals she LOVES) for a bit more than nickels.  She's very pleased.  One is actually 'Snoopy'.  Seems kind of sacrilege for her to be chewing on another dog.  I found two new skirts.  One was an Ann Taylor Loft for $4.99!  Then after that stop, I decided to go more high-brow and stopped at the Dollar Tree.  I'm classy like that.

Tonight's menu consisted of meatloaf, homemade mac & cheese, squash, and fruit salad.  Why am I telling you this?  Well the meatloaf was actually a bit better than the run-of-the-mill uninspired meatloaf.  In fact, since I love you all so much, I'll link it for you  right here.  I'm no gourmet cook.  But I am a cook for a family and when they all like something... well it must be mentioned.

Do you recall the quandary I was in a few days ago?  You know the hole that the dog deemed necessary in our front yard?  Well thanks to the suggestion of a loyal reader (thanks HH!), I went out to the back 40 acre and brought up some of the morning 'deposits' that Lisi had made and set them on the repaired hole.  She was utterly baffled.  I think in her mind she thought I was setting her up to do her business in the front yard right under the tree.  Luckily, she took matters in her own paws and continues to go out in the back lot.  And even more luckily, the now-filled hole is still level (with a turd on the top mind you).

Since we have a boat-load of people coming to eat turkey with us next week, I need to start getting my ducks in a row.  Oh wait, we're not serving ducks.  So they don't need to be in a row.  But the dinner rolls need to be.  As well as the MYP sitting spit-polished waiting at the door.  Or not.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Monday Musings

Did you know I actually take notes some weeks to be sure that I include thoughts on Monday Musings?  I'm cool like that.  This week?  Not so much.

I was amazed, flattered, and slightly humbled.  This past week this lovely specimen of literary excellence had passed over 50,000 views in its lifetime.  I mean really?  Monday Musings are mostly mundane.  But to keep slightly humble, I need to remember there are innocent victims out there.  People like the one from a couple days ago.  He/she Googled "how to praise the Chairman" from a remote place in India.  Well, no use stopping here for tips.  I'm not really good at positives for some reason.  And so this Chairman doesn't get all the praise he deserves.

Sleepovers are not for sissies.  I'm not talking about the un-named child that went to the sleepover.  I'm talking about the poor siblings and parents that deal with a sleep-deprived child after the sleepover.  Lets just say that about two hours before the 'normal bedtime', this child got a one-way ticket to the bedroom and told in no uncertain terms that the next time we want to see the child is at the breakfast table.  It worked.

I awoke very early yesterday morning and headed for a brief Sunday-morning walk to clear my head of unnecessary clutter.  What to my wondering eyes did appear was a street full of pumpkins!  Since I'm such a neat blogger, I ran back to the house for my camera.  Took a couple shots of the pumpkins crossing the road for evidence.  But as I look at the picture, it looks like a bunch of pumpkins filling up a roadway.  Hardly worth the effort to download.  So just pretend you saw it.  Why did someone do that you ask?  No clue.

Lisi is 112% better.  In fact, she has been doing some naughty stuff like insisting on digging a hole in one of our garden beds in the front of the house.  I filled it up.  Yelled at her (even though it was pointless).  And the hole reappeared.  I'm worried she's going to kill the tree nearby.  Why does she keep digging in the exact same spot.  Stoopid dog.  I just realized that the 3 1/2 pills routine I must poke down her throat twice/day is going to go on for an entire month.  Oh well.  Beats having a dead dog.

I sent the who-brings-what list for Thanksgiving this morning.  We are hosting again for friends and family.  I love opening our doors to others.  But figuring out in a fair way who should contribute what makes me queasy.

I almost said something to someone yesterday.  It was something they would have found interesting.  And even informative.  But as I was about to say it, I realized it wouldn't make that person feel better.  So I didn't share it.  Have been thinking about that since.  I am a talker.  I know that.  It is my weakness at times - saying too much.  I need to learn how to only share things that will make people feel better.  Or more thankful.  Or encouraged in their journey.  That's a lot more profitable than sharing just because I could share.  I'm glad for the lesson.  I hope to get better at this.

Mused out.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Thinking Thursday thoughts

I'm sure you all are hitting the refresh button wondering in near-agony the fate of the pampered pooch.  Well I'm happy to report that she is regaining her strength and back to her mischievous ways again.  She actually wanted to walk.  She has a light back in her eyes.  And she pulled most all the stuffing out of "Clifford", her latest toy.  Medicine does wonders.  She acquired a tick-borne disease along the way.  It tested negative for Lyme, but it is some other tick-gift as her blood told us so.  Funny how when your dog or child is sick that you just wish they'd act 'normal'.  And 'normal' can be somewhat annoying, but that's what you want.  And for all you non-dog people out there, I will refrain from saying more about this for now!

I'm not addicted to any vice.  Or so I thought.  Today I decided to not make coffee since the Chairman is away and it seemed like a lot of work to make some just for myself.  My headache this afternoon proves it is an addiction or something like that.  Rats.

Speaking of addictions.  I love Words with Friends.  As one friend said recently, it is almost addicting.  But today I had even something better!  I had Lunch with Friends.  It was nice.  And it didn't challenge my pea-brain as much as the Words does...

Yes, the Chairman flew the coop this time.  When I leave, I go to big cities and enjoy being pampered and eating and visiting with friends.  When he leaves, he drives an unbearable amount of time (for me, not him), eats what he can grab, and takes pictures and notes and makes observations of land, buildings, and chicken coops (well not really) and comes home to write gigantic big reports for important people in suits about what he saw and what the numbers crunch out to be.  Did I tell you ever that he's a lot smarter than I am?  Oh I did?  Well, anyway, it is still true.

But what is funny is that when I left I was all a-flutter.  Made sure some meals were made up in advance.  Made sure the house was clean to a 'ting'.  Made sure the laundry baskets were empty and the ironing all done.  Made sure the kids were reassured about 27 times where I was and when I would return.  When the Chairman leaves, he makes sure to speak to each of the MYP individually.  Grabs a few things and stuffs them in a bag.  Kisses me a couple extra times and he's off!  Yes, the absence sure differs depending on who leaves.  Not sure what to say about it other than this observation.

And yes, it snowed yesterday.  And this morning for that matter!  But I'm glad of it.  If  you are a daily walker like me, I'd much rather be pelted with snow than rain.  Just my two cents worth.

My thoughts are getting thoughtless...

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Sick as a dog

Well I should be.  Because I'm sick.  And I'm a dog.  And the picture above - albeit cute, isn't me.  I think the Big Lady that yells but loves me anyway would go find one of those water bottle thingys if she thought it would make me feel better.

Yes, this is your good friend Lisi.  I don't feel so good.  The Big Lady has been looking at me all suspicious-like for the last couple days.  And she has reason to.  You see I don't feel very peppy.  It hurts me when I try to stand up.  So I lay down and stay put.  Even the thought of a walk just doesn't do it for me.  So the Big Lady keeps looking at me until she reaches for the phone.  She's talking to the Big Guy with a soft heart.  I hear her say that she will call and make an appointment right away.

And off we go!  We get to the office.  I slowly get out of the van and head inside.  They weigh me (in front of a crowd mind you), and take me to a room.  The very cute doctor-lady comes in.  She feels me all over.  I kinda hurt, but I purr for her.  She laughs.  And sticks this thing up my hinder.  I feel like I'm losing all sense of decency here.  I mean, really?  Then they take me back and stick this needle in me and pull out a lot of warm, red stuff.  They bring me back and say they'll call with results.  But the doctor thinks I act way older than I should!  The Big Lady keeps telling me to act my age.  Now when I do, they say it's too old!  No pleasing these people.

We go home.  The Big Lady and the Big Guy talk next to me.  The Big Lady is petting me in all the right places.  It brings some comfort.  Soon it is bedtime and I stumble to my bed.  Soon the littlest of the small people comes down from her bed and lays next to me.  She is crying.  Big Lady is telling her that I won't die.  WHAT???  Does she think I'm dying?  Oh I hope not yet!  I know life is short... but come on!  She reassures the little one that I'm not dying.  I get an extra hug and then I'm alone for the night.

Today was really weird.  Big Lady keeps looking at me.  After a phone call, she takes me outside.  She's holding some weird contraption.  It has a spoon at the end.  She keeps demanding me to "GO POTTY!".  Why?  I don't have to go.  I'm thinking I might try since it is sleeting out and it might make her happy.  I start to squat to go and she rushes in with her spoon!  What in the world???  I lose my urge.  Then she's yelling at me to "GO POTTY" again.  And again out comes that spoon thing.  What is she doing?  I think Big Lady is loopy sometimes, but this is just.  Plain.  Nuts.  I refuse to go.  Can't a dignified pooch like me have some privacy?

So we go back to the doctor.  Get some pills.  And we are home.  She still is looking at me kinda strangely. I'm nervous I might have to really 'go'  and she'll be chasing me around the yard with her device.  She's a weird one.  But she loves me and I love her and when the love is deep enough and real enough, you put up with some quirks.

ed note:  Lisi has started to be extremely weak in her back legs for two days now.  Took her in for a Lyme test that came back negative.  But her blood work shows some off numbers like it is probably a tick-borne disease.  So she's on medicine and we are hoping for the typical nutty fur ball to be back with us soon.  FYI... catching a 'sample' on a female dog is harder than it seems.  I've still not had an ounce (pun intended) of luck.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Monday Musings

Well I'm back!  And as you probably noticed, the Chairman took liberties while I was away.  I know you don't have to wonder if it is he or I that is writing prose on this blog as his words are usually look-up-in-the-dictionary kind and mine are... well more on a 4th grade level.  Anyway, I found humor in his high octane discourse and am appreciative of his appreciation.

With great trepidation, I left my family in the rear view mirror and headed to the Windy city last Friday afternoon.
Met up with friends from a past life of mine.  And some new ones.  Ate Thai food.
 Ate a yummy brunch.
 Started to do serious shopping on Michigan Avenue.

(the Coach bag is not mine)

And shared delicacies such as Wow Baos (sounds like wow bow)

and three hours over hot fondue pots

We even took the time to look at high places above us

And speak of higher things around the table or in our pj's back at the condo.

One evening at the condo, I went out of the room (actually to the bathroom if you must know) and heard the banter going on in the other room.  Happy conversations about this or that.  And I was transported back to the years before I became Mrs. Chairman.  Living with roommates that loved what I loved.  Living with roommates that enjoyed chatting about the mundane.  Living with roommates that made me laugh.  I loved that cozy, back-in-the-day feeling.  Yes, those were 'good old days'.  I'm so glad I married a bit later so that I could experience a life of shopping and friendships and crowding in a kitchen.  And I'm thankful for the people that were a part of it.  But I'm also thankful for the life I now lead.

People don't change.  We used to talk about men and situations and our jobs.  Now we were talking about the power of our prescription reading glasses, thyroid medicines, and other unmentionables.  But we are who we are.  And some day when we all are sharing bunks in the old ladies quarters at convention, we still will be friends.  I like that thought.

As I drove in the garage last night, the MYP piled out of the house.  They gave me long, warm hugs.  The Chairman was thankful I was home safe from the utter-danger of the big city and the roadways.  And the big hairy dog did her typical 'ba-rooooo' to celebrate her happiness.  Yes, life is good.  And I hope I remember that as I muddle through the piles of stinky unwashed clothes down in the laundry room...

Friday, November 4, 2011


Alert! Alert!  I would like to put out an APB on my wife.  She was last seen traveling towards the Chicago Loop.  Ostensibly, for some sort of "ladies weekend" or whatever.  Meanwhile, I am in the house with no wife in sight.  How did this most unusual situation develop?

Several decades ago, I recognized a need to make one major decision that would allow me to transition from a simple life as a kid to a somewhat simple life as an adult.  To foster the image that I turned out to be a responsible adult, I would need to attach myself to a very capable female companion.  Thus, while older and burdened with more responsibility, I could continue to live life as essentially a big kid.  One month after my schooling was complete, I met a fiercely independent woman that was perfect for the position.  Clearly capable of running a household, I foresaw that she would tend to the children while I would roam free.  The plan worked for years.  I was able to travel the continental 48 states at will while I had confidence the home front was protected.

But now the tables have turned.  I am the one at home while she is roaming free...in Chicago no less.

At the risk of sounding patronizing, I would like to raise a practical question.  How does being raised on the prairie of South Dakota prepare oneself for the dangers of the urban environment?  In the big city, especially Chicago, danger is everywhere.  One moment all can appear to be well.  But danger is just around the corner.  Just recognizing that danger exists is not sufficient.  Proper evaluation of each risk is essential.  It is possible to be distracted by some minutiae, label that as a threat, then leave your rear flank exposed to an actual menace.  In Chicago, a small sample of the potential threats could include a group of roaming youth looking for a "free" ipad, a Dave Matthews Band tour bus expunging waste, or Rahm Emanuel with a steak knife.  The complete threat count is overwhelming.

Honey, if you are reading this, if you feel unsafe in any way, you can be assured that I have a capable rescue team in place that can be on location within 90 minutes.  If you choose to "go it alone," I will respect your decision.

For the record, I don't want to suggest to the readers that the Publisher is with the "wrong element."  While not residents of the Badger State, I have had the opportunity to evaluate a couple of the women through the years and I must say I hold them in high regard.  As an aside, one is strangely knowledgeable about Elvis.

Well, I am not sure how to conclude this post.  Someday looking back, this could be mildly humorous.  But I am writing this in real time.  I don't know how this turns out yet.  My wife is currently MIA.  I can assume all ends well, but that is only an assumption at this point.  I feel like I am starting to ramble.  My life feels somewhat unfocused.  I need some direction.  Oh, if anyone sees my wife on the streets, tell her Happy Anniversary for me.  Meanwhile I will just wander about the house.

All for now,
The Chairman

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Thinking Thursday thoughts

And darkness was upon the face of the deep.  Or covering the morning sun.  But wow... it is dark in the morning!  I think this all changes on the weekend.  Then it'll be a LOT better!  It'll be deepest darkness about 20 minutes after the bus returns the MYP.  Late-fall.  Gotta love it.

He came home two days ago.  Son #1.  Said he just felt tired all day and then laid his weary head down on the island while he sat and picked at his after-school vittles.  Hmmm.  Not the son I know.  Within two hours he was fast asleep on the sofa with chills and a 101.5 fever.  So I had mother/son time yesterday.  And I loved it.  I love feeling his near-100 lbs. resting on my lap.  I love (kinda anyway) hearing about the gun that has bullets that spread apart to give you the best advantage when hunting.  And I love hearing the 'thank yous' when he is recovering and starving and no matter what you place in front of him, he devours it and says it is the best ever.

The Chairman got a flat tire coming home the other night.  His car has something called 'run flats'.  That means even though you have a flat tire, you can continue to drive on it for some time.  Why not make all tires like that and once they 'pop', you just keep going rather than paying $$$$ for replacements.  They don't ask me these questions.

Remember Mr. and Mrs. October?  Well Lisi was feeling pity over the utter grief that Mr. October was feeling since Mrs. October was already 'gone home'.  So he gave him the same treatment.  May they rest in peace.

Words with Friends is a dreadfully addicting game.  Unfortunately, I have eight games going right now.  Some I win.  Some I lose.  But I just can't help myself.  When the iPad 'dings', I just have to look and see who played what.  I'm hoping to wean myself back to about three games instead of eight.  I need less friends.

Speaking of friends.  I'm flying the coop.  This hen is off the nest and heading out to do this:

Or maybe not quite.  But I am meeting up with 'old' friends.  Actually, past roommates that I lived with.  We are going to have a weekend together.  A bit of shopping and a bit of exercise mixed with a lot of talking and a lot of eating.  Am I looking forward to it?  Of course!  Am I feeling an anxious twinge about leaving my family at home? Of course!  In the near-17 years of our marriage, I've never really done something like this before.  It's all new territory for me.  Maybe I'll like it and want to fly the coop once a month.  I doubt it.  You see the coop is where I roost.  I love the little flock coming under my wings for a touch or warmth or protection or the assurance that I'm still there.  I love being a mother hen.  I love the rooster.  And so I'll go and enjoy and be thankful that the coop is still here when I return.