Tuesday, July 31, 2012

I'm sad...

I'm sad.  Tonight Big Lady sat outside and ate her supper with me.  The rest of the people here went away on a boat.  But Big Lady coughs and sneezes and is a mess.  So she stayed home and kept me company.  I even posed for her and let her have this sweet picture of me.  

Usually, I am full of the dickens and like to tell you about it.  I love to be a silly mutt.  That's the nature of we golden retrievers.  We turn into old men/ladies in kid clothes.  But not tonight.  I'm sad.  

Tonight the Big Lady told me something that is very distressing to me and to her too.  My bestest friend Mavrick has been missing for almost six days.  Actually, we are kinda-sorta related.  But I think of him as my friend more than anything.  We have spent lots of time together at my house and his and in between too!  A few days ago he went missing.  His Big People are very worried.  Did someone take him?  Did he get sick and go off to die?  They don't know.  Lots of people are looking for him.  So that is a good thing.  But the bad thing is that he still is missing and his family wants him to come back home.  We hope he does, but there is always the chance that he won't either.  
Lots of people have thoughts about their pets - as to whether they go on to somewhere else when they die.  I just heard the Big Lady reading an e-mail to the nice Big Guy.  It was about a very special dog in Mexico.  The Big People love this dog more than anything.  But they don't think she will go to heaven.  I like what that Big Lady said down there in Mexico.  "Well she might not go to heaven, but she won't go to hell either!".  My Big Lady sometimes offers me very special things to eat or fun places to go because she says, "this is about as good as it gets for you".  Well I'm thankful for all that and she knows it.

But for now.  I'm still sad and worried and uneasy about my missing friend.  I just thought I'd let you know.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Monday Musings

I can't ruin my clean reputation.  Or maybe the record of musings on a Monday.  I'll muse a bit and then take the panting dog out for a walk before the sun gets too high.

Today is the first day of summer school!  We enrolled the MYP because I need alone time the school they attend likes mass participation to get the kids in gear.  And to help refresh their memories that 2+2 does indeed = 4.  They will be gone mornings for the next two weeks.  Whooeee!  (Don't tell them I said that.)

So here they are in all their beauty.  Japanese beetles.

My research shows they came from Japan (imagine that!) with a shipment of iris bulbs in 1912.  Don't ever say I only entertain and not inform.  After an alarming call from a relocated friend after my post last week, (thanks KG!), I went out to inspect the yard and trees and discovered a serious problem.  Traps and spray were purchased and now we have bags full of them and sick looking ones left on the lace-like leaves.  Ick.

Just because you were wondering, I will inform you that I have washed 29 towels in the last two days.  Thank goodness for large capacity and low water usage.

Asthma stinks.  Unfortunately, one of our MYP fight it constantly.  He is under the care of an allergist, but it usually flares up this time of year.  Beyond all the breathing issues, is the simple fact that insurance companies like to bump up a rate 50% because one child has it.  Heavy sigh...

Last week I had a proud mom moment much to the chagrin of the two MYP with me.  I sat in the orthodontist office and after scanning the latest People magazine, I lifted my head and looked around.  On the bulletin board across the room my eyes stopped at one of the pictures.  "Look!"  I told the two with me.  "That girl looks just like 'daughter #1'!"  I jumped out of my seat and walked across the room.  Behind me a voice quietly says, "Mom?  That is 'daughter #1'".  One of the MYP says quietly, "wow".  The other snickers.  I slink back to my seat and realize another mother waiting in the room is grinning broadly.  Yep.  A proud mom moment.

Well back to folding towels and walking the pooch, and making sure kitten doesn't run away.  And eventually picking up some MYP after their first day of classes.  I'll try not to look too refreshed when they jump in the car.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Sunday Summary

Everyone is out of the house or taking cat naps.  
So I might just do a Sunday summary.  Come to think of it, I don't remember blogging on a Sunday.  Maybe it will seem different somehow!  I hope so.  Couldn't be worse.  Heh heh.

We made our annual pilgrimage to the door.  Not just any door.  Door County.  The "thumb" of Wisconsin if you think we look like a left hand.  About three hours northeast of us.  This year was a bit down in numbers. Usually we hover around 75 of our nearest and dearest friends.  This year we were a paltry 60....

So what is it like filling up a campground with about 60 of your friends?  Simply wonderful.  That's why we return year after year.  The 'kids' are getting bigger.  The toddlers and babies of yesteryear are now well into or hitting their teens.  Some have passed the teens.  But they still return because it is just fun.  I like them all.  Such a nice group of young people that are growing into their places.  (sigh)

There's lots of this:
And this:
And this:

And this, this, and this!

It can be bright and sunny!

Or a relaxing gray:
And friends galore:

We watch plays that this company puts on several evenings we are there.

Ok enough pictures and links already.  Since I love you so much, I kind of kept some mental notes I wanted to share with you:

*  Camping.  It is simply silliness.  You haul everything into tents or campers.  Sleep on funny beds.  Cook in highly inefficient manners.  All in the name of fun.  But fun it is.

*  Even in the midst of a large group of our friends, the MYP always managed to come back to our campsite looking for food like baby birds.

*  Parents that camp with little ones are generally a relaxed bunch.  I saw a group of kids on a rocky edge that looked almost dangerous and the mother was just chatting away without a care in the world.

*  Speaking of kids.  I saw a little blond-headed boy with red Keens on his little feet that were so cute it made my heart puddle a bit.

*  I may have mentioned this before, but it still gives me pause.  The campground we are in have private showers (thank goodness!), but it is unisex where you have the sinks, mirrors, and electricity.  So one morning I was elbow to elbow with a man about my age.  He finished up shaving, then put on cologne, his deodorant, combed his hair, and added some gel.  Then brushed his teeth (with a double swish I might add). Packed up his gear, and headed out to start his day.  Not that I was watching or anything...

*  Since humility and meekness are some of my strongest suits, I probably won't tell you about the 50 yard dash challenge one of my friends wanted to do.  Or more importantly, the outcome.  However, my legs have paid the price now on day #3.  But oh so worth it... :-)

*  And now a mountain of PU awaits in the laundry room.  When you are camping, what you return with that is clean is dirty.  And what you return with that is dirty is REALLY dirty.

*  I missed our new kitty and the old pup more than I care to admit.  I think when you are a SAHM with pets, you are just used to them being around.

Not sure if I'll 'muse' tomorrow.  We have a special nephew here from CA.  And my brain isn't firing on all the pistons quite yet.

A special shout-out to the person from San Antonio, TX that found the blog by searching for 'homesick for South Dakota'.  Not sure if this will help you get out of the doldrums, but don't say I didn't try!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Monday Musings

Not much extra time to muse, but I can't leave you hanging for too many days or the readers will get restless.  Or maybe you just don't let your lives revolve around the Chairman and Co?  I can't imagine...

Cats are not dogs.  Don't try to make them dogs or you will hate them.  Well some people hate them even if they were like dogs.  So be it.  They come to you when you call only if it is convenient.  In fact, I caught him rushing my way until he saw I was looking.  Then he screeched to a halt and looked the other way.  Doors should be open in a cat world.  They meow to get out.  But you open the door and they just sit there.  Yes, he's frustrating.  And terribly cute.

Camping isn't for sissies.  It entails lots and LOTS of preparation beforehand.  Maybe it really doesn't.  But it does for me because I like things all organized and certain before I venture out.  Once you are actually 'there', then it's all good.  Visits.  Campfires.  Good food.  A few plays.  And a bit of sunburn.

Children like structure.  And routine.  And traditions.  No matter the age.  It must make them feel secure.  Come to think of it, so do I!

I'm fighting some icky beetles that think my sweet potato vine and zinnias make good meals.  They are black with an iridescent back and clump together.  Not sure how to kill them, so I flick them off and give them a ride of their lives.

My garden is producing with gusto.  Zucchini to challenge the best of friends.  Cucumbers the size of my arm.  And the tomatoes.  They are coming on.  And oh my!

Daughter #2 figured out how to wake board this week!  (I like my 'stop, stop, STOP!')  Like the Chairman wouldn't know that the first time... Son #1 figured out how to get out of the wake when wake boarding.  And me?  I figured out that I am a good spotter, thankyouverymuch.  I'm not a water person.  Period.

I better start musing about other things now.  Or maybe not muse but get my backside in gear.  Talk to you soon!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Thursday Thoughts

Ahhh.  The joys of summertime.  For the MYP, it is just one big sleepover.  Either here or there.  For the Chairman.  It means that he still has to go into the office and do duties to keep the pennies rolling in to pay the bills.  For the Chef?  It means a lot more vacuuming, putting vast amounts of food out, and keeping the MYP from getting overly lazy.  It is going very fast.  And I am very tired.

Yesterday, we went from three kids to two kids to five kids to three kids again.  And now one of the three isn't ours.  And one of ours is away.  Sometimes even I get confused.

It RAINED!!!  I believe the first time since we got our kitten on June 3.  So you can look at the calendar and see how dry it has been.  After g.m. last night, people stood under the overhang watching the ferocious storm in a giddy sort of way.  And the smell.  Mmmmmmm.  Better than dryer sheets.

Speaking of weather.  It was hot this week.  Like 104 degree hot in the afternoon.  Daughter #2 had a soccer camp.  They don't reschedule soccer camps.  They continue just as planned.  Here was her face after day #1.
Yes I'm really a nice mom.  I let her have a popsicle after that one.

There was a baby shower a couple days ago for this lovely lady.  Our area hasn't been blessed with a lot of babies lately, so we are tickled pink!  (pun intended)

And!  We had a surprise call this week!  Someone we really hold dear was in town!  And we got to have him and his parents for supper.  Neat!

Dog and kitty wrestle a lot of their time these days:  Sometimes I'm fairly sure that Lisi is just going to bite kitty in half.  But then he makes a noise and she immediately backs off.  Unfortunately, I think he is going to think he's boss very soon.

Thought out... and we are off to piano lessons and looking for cleats, and picking zucchini (anyone want some?), and so forth.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Monday Musings

Well I had a nice post all set and ready to go last week.  Then I started to get sleepy while reading it and realized it really wasn't all that fit to go to the presses.  Don't want to bore my peeps mind you!

I will say this.  What we were getting ready for last week was a camping birthday party.  I had promised the MYP here that this year was going to be different.  No sleepovers.  No extended times of party where me, as the mother, feels almost overwhelmed.  Yes, we were going to just go somewhere for a few hours and return with happy, tired MYP.  And then I opened my mouth.  I thought a camping party would be fun.  The only caveat is that I don't think about how much work really goes into these slight-of-mouth suggestions.  The Chairman happily obliged in getting the camper out of storage.  And taking it to a state park a half-hour south of here.

The verdict overall?  A success! (said in utter fatigue).  Actually, we had seven lovely soon-to-be-ladies and 3 soon-to-be really nice guys in adjoining sites (thanks mom and dad!).  I was incredibly impressed with these M(multiple)MYP.  I love them.  I can't wait to see what path they will choose and where they will end up when they are responsible adults.  For now, we love their growing bodies and minds.  And enjoy their sweet, unique natures.  Except...

... at 12:53 am.  It was still too rambunctious in the camper (I was in a tent with a nice teen helping me rope the troops).  I found out that 12:53 is my personal 'witching hour'.  I think I scared the willies out of a couple of the "sweet" MYgirls.  In fact, I hear it became dinnertime conversation with their families.  On a side note, one of our very own MYP was also involved.  So I can't feel all high and mighty that ours never do anything wrong.

One of the birthday requests was a mic.  She's been very busy preaching to the empty seats.
 We are leaving the kitty Simba outside for longer periods of time alone.  All 3-months of him.  I have no clue how safe it is.  Or if he will run away or not.  So far, no close calls.  But he definitely thinks he's big stuff and feels the outdoors is his domain now.
Cuteness overload.  Yes, they really do like each other that much.
 The baseball season is winding down.  After a tournament, the team placed 2nd.  I think winning a consolation for 3rd almost sits better than losing the last one and placing 2nd.  My opinion anyway.  It was pretty somber around here after the loss.
Receiving a 2nd place medal

It is dry here.  Like headlines of 'SEVERE DROUGHT' in the paper.  We are not used having no rain for a very long time.  Everything is brown except where the sprinklers go.  The crops are shriveling.  The sky is hot.  And we have literally no control over the clouds.  It almost makes me feel thirsty.

Wish I could leave you with something to make you chuckle or snort or even blow some coffee out your nose.  But nothing comes to mind, so we'll have to leave the humor for another time.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Monday Musings

I have to admit that I snicker a little under my breath when I read a status update on FB on how utterly busy someone is.  Really?  If you were that busy, why are you on FB?  But that's me.  So snicker all you want.  Except I'm not on FB, but posting another mundane musings.

You see we are in birthday mode again.  Today it is this charming girl's birthday.  She hit double digits. It catches my breath.  Because she is the one I bore after five losses, there is always a moment of reflection on this date.  A healthy and gorgeous baby girl.  I felt blessed to the moon and back because we had already felt our family was happily complete with her older siblings.  And we are blessed.  She's a smart, sensible, funny, wise, and sweet young lady to be.  I'd post a deliciously cute picture of her as a baby, but your babies were probably the cutest to you too, so I won't bother digging one out.
She said this was the only thing she really wanted - a bible/hymn book combo.  See?  I told you she was wise.

Her favorite mac & cheese for lunch
Tomorrow we are going on an adventure with MYP.  And I stress many.  It hopefully goes all as planned.  I've got the willies as to if it will all play out successfully.  But it entails a campground, and lots of young kids high on sugar.  Wish me well.

We have been spending a lot of time doing this the past week.  It's been quite fun.
tee-hee.  I've always wanted to post a picture of a friend in a swimsuit.  I think I'm being kind with the choice of this one.

Relaxing for a bit.
I tend to think I'm an honest person.  In fact, I hope that would be a living testimony.  But I must admit something.  In the 147 degree temperatures we had last week, I didn't walk a couple of the days.  So my saying I walk "every day" wasn't truthful.  Another thing I mentioned within the past months to the point of nearly bragging was that I keep my weight off for this and that and such and blah, blah, blah.  Well BLAH!  I've put some poundage on around my waistline because I haven't been walking.  Yikes.  And guess what?  Lisi put on six pounds in the past month as well!  So we both will need to step up to the leash now the next while (or after the next adventure is through).

How are the cat and dog getting along these days?  Well mostly like this:
So it is nice.  But the kitten now thinks he is a cat and wants to be outside stalking birds and climbing trees and not bothered by people calling his name even though he has not a lick of sense about road danger.  I've been so annoyed with him this morning that I almost hoped he'd run away so that I didn't have to wonder what we will do with him when we go on vacation next.

Remember I said I was busy?  Well I am and so I must let this be all the musing for today.  While my fingers typed out thoughts I was actually thinking of some things that need to be done.  I'm a multi-tasker like that.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Thoughts on a Thursday

I just got back from a very early venture with the pooch since the heat index will be 147 degrees or something like that.  It was my lucky day because today is garbage day!  Why do you ask?  Well you can learn a lot about people by looking at their rubbish.  No, I'm not into dumpster diving.  But I did see one neighbor is drinking far too much diet soda.  Another seems to be having quite unhealthy eating habits.  Another orders pizza at least once/week.  And another eats lots of black beans.  But one thing I did note.  No matter how fancy the house - how beautiful the people.  Their garbage all stinks the same.  Take that any way you want to.

Do you ever get a notion to quickly clean up a toilet right before bed?  Then leave up the toilet seat after you scrubbed it all down to let the cleaner with bleach do its thing?  Then stumble in the dark to use the facility and nearly give your backside a bath in bubbles and bleach?  Nah, me neither.

I always get a little more-than-normal emotional on the 4th of July.  Eighteen years ago after the fireworks, the Chairman asked me to be the Chairman's Wife.  I never knew that's what I'd be called one day.  I never knew what a blog was.  I never knew what the unknown future would bring us.  But I am thankful I said 'yes'.

Six years ago today, after the fireworks all were silenced in the very early morning hour, my sister-in-law lost her battle with cancer, but won the victory.  We still miss her.  A lot.

Yesterday was to be a happy day celebrating the birthday of this wonderful country of liberty.  But there was a pall.  A young man suddenly lost his life to a tragic accident.  I only saw him as a young boy.  Knew his mother when we were younger girls.  From what I can tell through FB and others that knew him better, he was one of those young men that are special.  Though the day seemed very somber, I am thankful that we feel a keen love for others and have the opportunity to weep with those that weep.  It can help those in the deepest of sorrow, and it definitely does something for others standing by far or near.

I'm thinking thoughts about needing to get one of the MYP out of her bed so she's actually dressed for piano lessons.  I'm also thinking about assigning some jobs for the other MYP that aren't going to piano lessons.  I'm thinking of giving Lisi a soft rub right above her eyes as I head over to the piano to play a bit.  That usually gets them awake without crabby thoughts.  It's my little secret.

Thanks for the chat again...

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Hot Dog!

Hi there!  This is Lisi.  Some people are eating hot dogs to celebrate our country's birthday.  That's not what I'm talking about.  I'm talking about me!

They call these the dog days of summer.  I don't think that's accurate.  It is so hot out there that there is nothing a dog could enjoy.  However, the Big Lady that yells but loves me anyway kindly takes me on an early-morning venture.  The nice Big Guy takes me out way past dark because he's so nice.  So at least I get two walks a day even in this oppressive heat.

I'm not into math.  But I heard them saying something about 'triple digits' all week.  I'm not sure what that means, but I do know it is best for me to stay strategically located on the cool kitchen floor next to the vent blowing out a touch of October. 

I don't think cats like it this hot either because that little gold fur face they have here has been spending his time in the basement on an old rug sleeping his life away.

So I'll just keep resting with him and dreaming of winter days like this!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Hope was given...

... to us tonight.  From a young man who will soon be turning 18 on the 18th.  He beamed and said, it will be my golden birthday!  His name is Joe.  And just through happenstance, I heard enough to actually give me the shivers on a blazing hot evening here in Dairyland.

You see we were taking a boat out on its first voyage with us.  To say we were rookies wouldn't do it justice.  We were floundering there on the dock like a fish out of water (terribly dreadful pun I realize).  And then there he was.  A short-of-stature young man with a ready smile.  He yelled across the dock, 'can I help you?'  Well of course you can.  Joe hopped in and gave the Chairman a few tips that we hadn't known before.  He settled into the drivers seat and took us out to sea the middle of the lake.  Then the Chairman took over and we settled in.  I just could tell something was different about Joe.  I asked a leading question and then he opened up.

He was leaving in three weeks for San Diego to begin a career with the Marines.  He would have burst the buttons off of his shirt if he had one on.  He mentioned his upcoming birthday.  Then he mentioned his family. His very special and unique family.  He pointed them out on the water.  He couldn't join them because the boat only had room for nine.  He was one of... 21 children ranging in age from 3 to 28.  He beamed when he pointed out his father and his brother that had deepest ebony in color.  Yes, they are my family.

I asked him, 'are you adopted too?'.  "Yes I am.  I was in several homes until my mom and dad took me into their home when I was five."  They gave him a hope.  They gave him reason to be excited about his upcoming golden birthday.  And they gave him a future by encouraging him to go serve our wonderful country.

When we returned to the launch site, he rushed over to help us.  Soon I heard his family's boat coming in.  I heard his mother barking military-like orders to approximately eight children who cheerfully rallied to help.  Joe disappeared to do his duties and returned to make sure we were all taken care of.  An 18-year old without the slightest of attitude.  In fact, a pleasant, bright-eyed young man.

Just meeting him and seeing what a happy life he has had and the bright unknown ahead made me thankful for those who are willing to open their hearts and homes to adopt.  We adopted for completely different reasons.  We adopted because we desperately wanted a family - not because we were helping out a formerly abused or troubled child.  That takes it to a different level.

Anyway.  His name was Joe.  And I'm so glad we crossed paths tonight.

p.s.  I Googled the family and came up with this: http://www.jsonline.com/multimedia/photos/135767783.html and this  http://heavenhouse.vifonline.org/index.php/obrien-story

Monday Musings

Trying to motivate MYP on a mundane Monday... the vacuum was pulled out.  A feeble attempt to push it, but then fatigue overtook him/her and the Archie comic book beckoned to be read.

Yes, such is summer.  After some feverish busy days, it is nice to just 'be' today.  I know people don't read blogs to get climate updates, but I'm starting to feel nearly anxious about our lack of rain.  It's a tinder box out there in our neck of the woods.  The lawns are crunchy-tan.  The forecast promises very sunny skies with lots of heat and little or no precipitation.  Makes me thirsty just thinking about it.

I found myself sleepwalking the other night.  I was trying to put the kitten out of a room I was in and was chasing him around chairs.  But I was actually rummaging around our toilet in a little room and managed to nearly brush the pictures off the wall and clunk my head on the door frame.  After the 'clunk', I came to and realized my utter silliness.

There were extra MYP coming and going for sleepovers last week.  I don't think we had a 'normal' night the past week at all where it was just five of us sleeping in our respective beds.  The joys of summertime I guess.       Hard to take in we are nearly 1/3 the way done with this lack of schedules.

Most importantly though... it is the CHAIRMAN'S BIRTHDAY today!  Happy # 40something!  I will admit something.  I robbed the cradle.  You see the Chairman is three years younger than me.  Is that odd?  I thought so when I realized it after exchanging a few phone calls.  It bothered me when we were dating.  And it doesn't totally bother me now.  He's a very, very good guy.  And I'll leave it at that.

brother was sleeping off the latest sleepover when this was taken
the Chairman and the Chef
The Chairman's parents were here too and I wanted to post of picture of them since if it weren't for them, there would be no wonderful Chairman.  But it didn't turn out very well and I like to have a good relationship with them... so no picture for you!  My Italian mother-in-law kindly brought over some good spaghetti sauce for her son's birthday meal.  It was a gift to both of us really!  

This is enough musing.  Enjoying summertime because...