Friday, September 28, 2012

No news is good news...

You've all heard that saying, right?  Well it's been pretty quiet from my corner of the doghouse.  Hello again from Lisi!  I've missed talking to you.  You see the Big Lady that yells but loves me anyway has been hogging the computer again.  She loves to write things on Mondays and Thursdays.  She's always doing something.  Paying bills, checking Facebook for the 367th time, or looking at something else.  Well it is my turn!

Usually, I write up something because I've been unusually naughty or gotten into some kind of trouble.  Well, for once I want to just write about how good I am.  I'm actually quite humble, so this will be a challenge for me.

You see since that little cat has come to join our home, he's upped the ante.  I hear the Big Lady that yells but loves me anyway saying, 'sweet Simba', or 'Good kitty!', or 'you're such a honey'.  Ugh.  Last night when all was quiet and just the big people were sitting together talking, the usually nice Big Guy looks at me and says, 'you stink!'.  Then he went on to say (can you believe this?), 'I don't think I've ever smelled Simba.  He's really clean and takes care of himself.'  What a traitor!  Well I don't have one of those fancy cat tongues like Simba has.

See how nice I am by sharing my dog bed?
Yes, that curious cat has some good qualities.  He keeps bringing home mice.  He snuggles and purrs with the people and with me.  And when the people all leave, they've been letting him stay outside in the garage or yard with me to keep me company.  I like that.  But don't tell them I said so.
Sometimes he acts as if the bed is his and all his!
Yesterday I worked really hard at being good.  When it is time for piano lessons, the Big Lady that yells but loves me anyway usually lets me go along.  We then go exploring new places while the girl is busy.  Yesterday, Big Lady forgot my leash.  So we went without it and I was super-good.  How do I know?  Well the Big Lady that yells but loves me anyway kept telling me.  She said I didn't forget my doggy classes.  She used hand signals.  She used words I understood and I really had fun showing off to her and to other people how classy I am. We saw some pretty sights!

When we got home, Big Lady told me we needed to go out and find a missing football.  She said, 'where's the ball?' in her excited way.  And I ran right over to the tree where it was hanging in the branches.  I waited and finally Big Lady figured out what I was doing and that I knew where it was.  She gave me lots of sweet scratches for that.

So life goes on.  Big Lady and Big Guy continue to reward my good behavior by giving me a daily walk.  They let me explore and sniff like we dogs so very much enjoy.  We still play hide and seek.  I still get a tidbit after every meal.
Looking for that elusive mouse that Simba always seems to get
Hmmm.  Where did that squirrel go?
 I can't complain since I've got it about as good as it can get.  Especially now!  I have the bed all to myself for my next nap!  Thanks for the chat!  Good night!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Thinking on Thursday

Lets see if I can pen a thought or two.  Ten minutes until the big yellow bus roars in and drops off the MYP.

Just had a flyer in the mailbox.  "Life is too short to clean your own house."  Oh yeah?  Well, life is too expensive to have someone else do it.  Actually, the MYP are great help (with a big stick in my hand) when I ask them to have their rooms tidy.

Here's a random question... what does the tooth fairy do with the teeth collected?  You see there is one that is wondering what to do with the little baggies.  Do I throw?  Keep forever?  Pass them to the next generation when the time is appropriate?  Hmmm.

Someone dropped by from St. Louis on the blog.  The reason they came was they had done a Google search "I am a Chairman's Wife".  I am so glad it said "a" and not "the".  Because I am THE Chairman's Wife, and I am pretty confident I am the only one.  Last I checked anyway.

Speaking of the Chairman.  I don't often wax on and on about his good qualities because I don't want you envious of my chosen one.  But one thing he is very good at is complimenting me about meals.  Last night we were scurrying around because our study was to be here.  So I threw out burgers and some other mish-mash of stuff and he walked in and said, 'this looks so good'.  Really?  Why thank you.  I'm not as good at complimenting as he is.  I know that.

I did see a lady crabbier than I am.  I was in Costco this morning.  Mrs. Crabbypants was about 60.  Mr. (not so) Crabbypants was close in age.  And for the life of me I couldn't see what Mr. (no so) Crabbypants was doing wrong, but Mrs. Crabbypants was taking issue with everything.  He couldn't steer the cart right.  He couldn't unload the goods to the check lane to her pleasing.  He couldn't load the car properly.  Then as they got in the car, I overheard her say, 'WHERE'S THE $20?  WHAT DID YOU DO WITH IT?'.  I think when she took her vows, instead of 'in sickness and in health, for better or worse...', she chose to say, 'I'll fight to the finish'.  Poor Mr. (not so) Crabbypants.

I better call this enough thoughts.  Not much today, but I figure you weren't ready for another picture of the cat or dog.  (tee-hee)

Monday, September 24, 2012

Monday Musings

I'm one of the few that like Mondays.  I know 95% of the reason is because I don't work outside the home.  Quiet is finally restored after a lot of commotion for a couple of days.  The other 5% is because of musing...

Since none of you showed up to help me stack wood, I did it myself (said the little red hen, said the Big Lady).

The parenting magazines tell you that as parents, you should go on a date once/week or at the very least, once/month.  We've gone on real dates approximately once/five years.  And now I know why.  Daughter #1 had a babysitting gig a couple days ago.  She was paid $15/hour! Is that normal?  I am glad I haven't called a sitter much because the sitter would have really looked at me oddly when I would have handed her/him a $10 and thought it was good.  I'm thinking with that kind of pay I should wipe some noses and entertain some small fry!

I did have a job this weekend!  I worked at the concession stand for the football team.  Let me say this.  Concession food isn't for the faint of heart.  Literally.  Health food it ain't.  But I had a blast working there anyway.

So son #1 and I needed to go to the eyeglass place.  After 11 1/2 months of faithful use, the frames had simply had enough and broke.  We had been in there about five minutes when another couple came in.  'Does anyone in here have the gray Honda out front?'.  My immediate thought.... this isn't going to be good.  They are not calling out for the owner because they admire the styling or want to know where to buy one for themselves.  Um.  Yes?  It is ours.  They proceed to tell me the van was just hit by a driver leaving the lot and she drove away.  But!  They had her license plate number.  So the police were called.  Accident reports written.  And then after all that was accomplished, I called the Chairman.  I didn't want him to have a stroke until the details were finalized.  An hour later, the local police department called to say they found her (no valid license), and she was unaware that she hit my van.  *sigh*.  I think a citation or two was issued.  And now I have a nice scrape on my van's rear to show for it.  The silver lining is that the eyeglass lady felt so sorry for the situation that she gave son #1 a free replacement frame after hearing of the accident.

I'm embracing fall this year.  Don't ask me why.  I remember leaving our fall annual privilege as a kid and looking sadly out the window at dry corn fields thinking that all joy was over.  Now comes cold, dreary winter with blizzards and snow and dark and school.  Well actually, it was the truth.  But this year (so far anyway), I've enjoyed donning my fleece and slippers and making pumpkin bread.  Please don't remind me of this post come mid-February.

Simba is still nearly averaging one mouse/day with a collar/bell around his neck.  I'm thinking once we take that off he should get two/day without the noise distraction... He's gotta earn his keep you know.

And finally.  This comic made me smile yesterday.  You see, I have an irreverent niece that has always liked to wiggle the back flap of skin on my arm and say, 'lunch lady arms'.  Apologies to any of you that work in the educational food service area. Zits Cartoon for Sep/23/2012

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Thinking this Thursday

Here we are again.  Another Thursday.  I'm not sure I'll always have Thursday Thoughts like Monday Musings.  But this week there's some material.

The big news at the Chairman's Chalet is that Mr.Tomcat in Training has lost his title.  He's now... well... just Simba.  I watched a youtube clip of the procedure and almost felt scarred.  He came home very agitated with me.  Kept walking up slowly and meowing very loud and demanding.  Finally he settled down and slept awhile.  And then wanted to eat huge volumes and start a wrestling match.  So... it wasn't too bad I guess.  At this moment I have no idea where he is.  He was insistent on going outside to look for mouse #7 even though we're to keep him indoors for one week!?!  If you won't tell the vet, I won't either.

just home

not real impressed

back down to business this morning
There's a saying that we are to give our children two things - one is roots, the other is wings.  Well I always like to exceed things and went for the third.  Humility.  After the bus came the other day,  Simba decided to follow the neighbor lady home from the stop.  I had the mistaken idea that I could just run out in my pj's, periwinkle fleece bathrobe and fuzzy slippers.  I'd call him, and he'd race back and jump into my arms and we'd come home to share a cup of coffee together.  Well, he ran into a neighbor garage, then on top of their boat, and then out into the field where I was chasing him (when the bus went by), and then up the 50' tree.  At that point I was highly irritated.  So I came back home and after a shower and readying for the day, I look out and see him slinking home with mouse #6.

This week I had a dermatologist appointment.  The PA told me with a slight apology in her voice that I'd have to take my clothes off to my unmentionables and put on a gown and wait for her.  Ten years ago during the throes of childbirth, I was asked if some interns could come in and watch the process.  I gritted through my pain 'sure' since it didn't seem like a big deal.  Well at one point I looked down and it looked like the local college volleyball team had put on scrubs and lined up for the show.  So... one nice 30-something PA looking at my moles is no big deal.

I'm weird with money savings.  I get cheap thrills (pun intended) by saving 39 cents making my own foaming hand soap.  Just take your current bottle, put in about 4/5 water and a tablespoon or two of liquid soap and a drop of essential oil if you wish and swish it gently together.  Voila!

The crock pot is my friend again.  This week so far has been loaded baked potato soup and bbq ribs.  Mmmm.

Tomorrow the dump truck comes!  And he'll be dumping off a big pile of firewood for the stove.  So I'll have my work cut out for me for sure...  anyone willing to come over and stack it is surely welcome!  (I think I hear crickets...)

Here's what I looked like at day 1 of bathroom cleaning last week.  This is pirated off of another blogger
who didn't get permission to post this.  (tee hee)

Monday, September 17, 2012

He lived to serve...

To the general population, he was a nobody.  He was unnoticed.  He was now just a very old man in a very weak body.  But to so many of us at different times and in different ways he was everything.  He was rich in Spirit.  He was utterly fair and unbiased.  And he had a wonderful sense of humor.

In the fall of 1996, our baby girl died after three days of fighting for life.  We called him.  He was soon coming to shepherd our field, but he needed to finish up one privilege in Minnesota.  He kindly took our call. He kindly shared sympathy.  And he said with certainty, that a funeral was very necessary even though this baby hadn't met anyone outside of the hospital.  To this moment, I am thankful for his wisdom.  Although it was a hard experience at the time to stand there accepting sympathy from our multitude of friends and family, it was a balm that still soothes.  He told us at the funeral that Amara was in heaven because she did not sin.  Because of that thought, heaven has always seemed closer to us.  And we're thankful.

Throughout that year, he came often.  He said little gems at our table that have been a guide for us these past sixteen years.  One that I will share.  He looked at the Chairman and I.  He said, "I am sharing this not because I think you need the correction, but I am sharing this because I think it is good advice.  When you make friends with others, do not get too thick with just one other couple your age group.  Reach out to the old.  Help and encourage the young.  Invite all age groups to your home for meals.  It will help them and it will help you and unity can be strengthened."  We have never forgotten that.  And yes indeed, it is wonderful to share life with all generations.

We had the incredible privilege at being at his funeral.  The timing was no accident.  Everything about it was perfect.  I overheard one of the funeral people that was assisting say, "this is unbelievable".  Well maybe to her it was.  But to us it was very real.

For those of you that couldn't be with us, I will say just a few things.  The messages shared by the brothers was so right.  The hymns sung were lovely.  And the utter quietness of the thousand was such a tribute to a gentle man that loved quiet.  We all filed past at the end.  We all stood outside in a large group in utter silence.  The sisters and brothers filed out last.  The brothers that were pallbearers placed him gently in the rear of the white hearse.  And in the continued quiet, the hearse slowly drove away.   One of the older brothers slumped.  One of the middle-aged ones grabbed him and gave him a hug and strength to bear.  It was such a beautiful picture.

There is a huge gap.  But the beauty is that gaps are filled.  More rise up to fill those gaps.  But the very sweet and special influence will permeate this state for years to come.

Monday Musings

I think I said a week ago that Thursday wouldn't have Thursday Thoughts because I wouldn't be thinking about blogs or mundane things.  And I was right.  But I didn't know just how right.  I'll be penning another post on that. 

Yes, the best one yet.  It always feels that way and I think it is supposed to.  I had the privilege of hugging a 90-year old and I telling her I loved her.  She immediately had tears and said that the older she gets, the more her Faith is a joy and the more others mean to her.  This lady has many children and countless grands and great-grands.  Yet, she always makes me feel like her granddaughter.  I love that because I no longer have a Grandma.

Daughter #1 launched forth into the teen bunks this year on her own.  We thought maybe two nights would be enough.  She looked at us like we were a bit loopy when I mildly suggested she might be better in the camper for the weekend.  Letting go... it's a very odd feeling when in your heart, your children are still babies.

I had the privilege of keeping the women's bathrooms clean, tidy, and usually smelling fresh with some other willing volunteers that I appreciated.  There is something uber-strange to get dressed up in your Sunday best and then go into a building and proceed to clean 20 toilets, four showers, and empty countless trash cans.  By day 2 I actually changed before I got the gloves and apron on.  The cleaner you keep a place, the more people want to do their part in keeping the standard high.  I like that about people.  I wish I could share a picture or two of our 'business' there, but I just have a hunch some ladies would think it strange for me to take pictures in a restroom.  

I loved our days.  LOVED them.  But as we neared home, I was feeling guilty.  Why?  Well I was so happy to be getting home again.  Then it hit me.  I shouldn't feel guilty.  Being happy in your place is exactly what we are supposed to be.  So as I pulled up the flannel sheet, turned off the light, and sighed contentedly, the guilt was gone.

The pets.  They survived quite well.  I actually was afraid Simba was going to be road kill while we were away.  But he was there waiting for us with joy rushing out of the garage door and down the street as soon as we drove in.  Cats are warm and fuzzy like that.  Lisi?  She had her head tucked under my arm all the way home from the kennel making purring noises.  This morning she started in again like we had been gone for 3 1/2 years.  No wonder people love dogs.  They are good for your self-esteem.

We came home to a plugged black water tank on our camper.  If you are familiar with campers or rv's, you know what I'm talking about.  Luckily, I enjoy plumbing.  And our problems are flushed away!  PU

Mouse #5

Simba figuring out what the problem might be with the pipes

Found these this morning.  They are blooming where they were planted the old buds were tossed
And finally, Wednesday is the big day.  Think the cartoons will tell the tale...
If you have come back from special days like we did, you have an inkling of just how much is on my to-do list today.  So back to the mundane and no more musing...

Monday, September 10, 2012

Monday Musings

So early this morning Mr. Tom Cat in training was out and about.  Son #1 says, 'Mom?  why is that van stopped out on the road?'.  I look out.  The lady looks like she's carrying something.  She gets in the van and drives off.  Uh-Oh!  Cat is missing.  Five minutes later the phone rings.  We found your cat out crossing the road.  So I jump into the van (in my Pj's mind you) and drive off to rescue Mr. Tom.  Lady van driver looks at me with a smile and slightly-narrowed eyes and says, 'my sister's dog died on that road so I was worried.'. Well honestly, we are too.  But what do you do with a cat that howls to be out?  He's caught four mice so far (leaving the last one in the garage split in two with the head almost severed (you asked for details, no?)

We had a nice weekend.  It involved a high school football game. (win!)
Watching soccer for daughter #2 with daughter #1 (tie!)

Missing son #1's football game because it conflicted with soccer game...(win!)

Putting together four new stools for the kitchen counter.  It involved my friend the allen wrench again.  And I must admit that I put the whole contraption on upside down the first time and had to re-do 16 very small screws (insert sigh).
I wouldn't have posted the above picture other than that I found it on my camera now while I downloaded...

Lisi was very impatient with my project and tried every distraction tactic she knows.

I spread some joy at Target this weekend.  At the store, daughter #2 and I were walking by some lounge chairs.  You know the kind that look like this:
She pulls it off the shelf and unfolds it and then says, 'how do you sit on it?'.  So I say brightly, 'you sit on it just like this!' and I sit down on it and it collapses to the floor.   At that moment, a very suave-looking 20-something year old walks by.  He glances down at me in my puddle of humility, gives me a huge grin, and wanders off.  However, it was so incredibly funny to him that he came back around the corner to peek at me and see if the old lady got up again (all the while with that huge smile on his face).  Humble pie.

Then there were other parts to the weekend that were so helpful and encouraging and there are no words or pictures to sum it up.

Did you know sweet potatoes can go bad?  One smelled a bit 'musty' when I peeled it.  Then I cooked it up with a bunch of others.  Then I mashed them and put some butter and brown sugar and vanilla and a touch of cream.  Put it all in the nice serving dish and it smelled... musty.  I tasted it.  Musty.  Ick.  One bad potato can spoil a bunch of them.  If you want to think deeper on that, you are welcome to.

I was put on hold and some really jazzy hold music came on.  I put it on speaker phone and the MYP all came running to see why mom was listening to such fun stuff.  Then one of the MYP asked, 'when we put people on hold, do they hear that too?'.  Um.  No.   I guess I haven't put anyone on hold lately to find out.

Please don't keep clicking refresh on Thursday to see if I've posted Thursday thoughts.  You see my thoughts won't be about blogging or Thursdays or anything like that this week.  But Musings will be here in another week!  Hopefully, they are more profitable than these were today.

Well I best get out of my pj's in case the phone rings again with someone else claiming to have our cat.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Thursday Thoughts

So I should have all the time in the world now that the MYP are away for about nine hours.  In all honesty, the day goes very fast.  And I do get a lot accomplished.  The after school is a marathon of practices for piano, football, soccer, and what-not.  

Can you tell that I nearly had to threaten the MYP with their birthright to get the following picture on the first day?  I had suggested that someone had their kids hold up the number of fingers for the class year, but that was met with a collective groan.  So I gritted through my teeth and told them to smile.  It was a one and done picture.  So if you wish it weren't so blurry, well, it's the best I have.  But I am happy to report all three are happy with their schedules, teachers, classes, etc.
This cat is going to be the death of me.  I resolved three months ago that I wasn't going to get emotionally attached to him.  He's just a cat.  He'll be outside most the time.  He's independent.  And if he doesn't make it, he doesn't make it.  All until he purred into my ear.  And crawled on my lap and settled in for a nap.  He meowed a certain way to go outside, to eat, or to get ready to attack something.  Last night when we got home from our study, he took off out of the garage and went missing.  It was time to bring him in so he wasn't supper for the local coyote.  I looked and looked and looked.  The Chairman looked nearly as hard.  To no avail.  It was late.  I was frustrated and worried.  Where is the little puddy?  Finally I got out the LED bike light and got on my bike.  And two doors down there was this gleaming of eyes peering at me.  I got closer.  He crouched.  Then "OH!  It's you!  Where have you been all my life???' and came running out.  He even let me carry him on his first bike ride home.  Stoopid cat.

On Labor Day, we took a couple boats and launched them forth in the deep blue sea of Lake Michigan.  What fun it was!  Especially when the tempest raged upon the angry deep.  It felt a bit more safe in the confines of the river.  But nonetheless, here are a few that joined in the fun!

And finally, this was completely pirated off another site.  Corny jokes.  I don't have any of my own to share, so I'll just let you laugh at someone else's expense.  Or whatever...

What do you call a cow that just had a baby?

What do you call exploding underwear?
Fruit of the BOOM!

Why was the baby strawberry crying? 
‘Cause his mom and dad were in a jam.

What did the buffalo say to his son when he left for college? 

What does a mermaid wear to math class? 
An algae-bra.

What does a nosy pepper do? 
Gets jalapeƱo business.

Why did the orange go out with the prune? 
Because he couldn’t find a date.
What do you call a retired cowboy?

What did 0 say to 8? 
“Nice belt!”

What do you call a fake noodle? 
An impasta!

Did you hear the news about the corduroy pillows? 
They made headlines.

How do you organize an outer space party?
You planet.

What did the fish say when he hit a concrete wall? 

Proton: I think I lost an electron.
Neutron: Are you sure?
Proton: Yep, I’m positive!

Why do melons have big weddings? 
Because they cantaloupe.

What is the definition of a farmer? 
Someone who is outstanding in his field.

What did the mayonnaise say when someone opened the fridge? 
“Close the door! I’m dressing!”

What do you call a boomerang that doesn’t work?
A stick.

What did the judge say when the skunk walked in? 
Odor in the court.

Where do sheep go to get their hair cut? 
The baa baa shop.

Why did Beethoven get rid of his chickens? 
They kept saying “Bach-Bach-Bach!”

Monday, September 3, 2012

Monday Musings

stripe labor day holiday fashion fashionable trend hot dog clothing style food anthropomorphic satire
Ok.  I'll admit another bit of cheating going on.  I 'penned' this post on Sunday night.  Why you ask?  Well at the moment, the only noises I hear are from a sleeping kitty and dog.  And an errant firework outside the house by some revelers celebrating the end of summer I reckon.  

Question for you.  If I bring something to the table such as a witty post at random times, am I entitled to something?  Like an all-expense paid visit to one of the places that visit this blog from a faraway place?  I just got a hit from Surbaya Jawa Timur.  I had to look it up.  Since I'm nice, I'll link it for you here.  And yes, I'd like to visit there once the ticket shows up in my mailbox.  

Thirty years ago tomorrow, my sister married her husband.  You hear about in-laws being like out-laws.  Well this in-law is about as good as an in-law could possibly be.  And I truly mean that from the heart.  He's not only a rock of stability, but also a rock of kindness.  

I love hearing when babies are born.  I'm a bit edgy until I hear the wee one is safely in the parents arms.  But I'll admit something.  After the baby is born and we know he/she is doing ok, I just love to hear what they have chosen for a name.  I love names.  I love hearing the new babe's name.  If this child has an older brother or sister or eleven older brothers or sisters (MJ!), does the name "go" with the older ones?   If this child is the 2nd son or daughter born to the family, is the name chosen something they liked but not quite as much as the older child's moniker?  On a side note:  the Chairman had a huge say in the names of our children.  Once he heard a name and liked it, there was no turning back.  Hence, we have R, T, and M.  I still like their names so he must have done good. 

So tomorrow is back to school for the MYP.  It is bittersweet.  As the big yellow bus roars away, I'll be doing a happy dance... through tears.  

But until then, we will be relishing the last day of summer together as a family.  Hopefully without much work involved! 
And... just because.