Friday, December 27, 2013

'Twas two days after Christmas...

... and all through the house, not a creature was stirring... not even the dog.  It's been a great week so far.

We've had Starbucks
And baby holding

And visits from people we love doing silly things

And normal things
And yoga
I found yoga so very relaxing.  Why?  Because the MYP were participating and not in a din of commotion for 20 minutes...  (heh heh)

There's been a funeral of an elderly uncle where we got to meet some blog readers (hi to you!).

We got a phone call from the ski hill medical staff saying there was a man down and it was our son.  Lucky for him and for us it was a mild wrist injury that should now prevented by guards...wrist guards that is.

There's still a week ahead of special things to be had.  My mostly nice older brother and family is soon to be here for a couple days.  I anticipate a wonderful time with the exception of the moments when he picks on me mercilessly.

I'm not certain of a Monday Musings this week due to the fact that we will have guests.  So for now, this might have to do.

And finally, we had a family photo taken this am right before we left for the funeral.  Here we are in all our glory.  Or not.

I hope your week has been as wonderful as ours.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Monday Musings

He touched me gently.  He spoke my name softly.  He looked deep into my eyes.  Then he said those not-so magic words.  "There's flooding in the basement!"  That midnight cry brought me to awareness very quickly.  I grabbed a fleece jacket and slid in my faithful Crocs and headed downstairs to stare at the seeping water with my beloved.  Ugh.  Wet boxes filled with things we don't use.  Old carpet soaked with water.  Furniture that needed to be lifted to higher levels.  Three hours later we crawled into bed and slept fitfully.

Lucky for us it stayed in the storage room and the laundry room.  Lucky for us we were home.  Lucky for us we know a master plumber who lives very close.  Lucky for us he could come on a Sunday.  And lucky for us he didn't show us the plumber body part that many do (I checked).  The waste water motor is now replaced and water is now at the level it should be at.  That's about all I know about what the problem was.

Yes, a strange Sunday indeed.  We never-ever miss being with those we love on a Sunday.  This one was peculiar on so many levels because a snowstorm hampered our desire to go.  That and the fact we were not to shower with the water problem and a plumber coming shortly.  Strange indeed.

We recently celebrated a birthday with this happy couple that happens to be our relation. I just love grown men that love to be celebrated.  It was so fun to see him so happy.

He might be happy because this is his grandson.  Isn't he just the cutest little thing?  That's his daddy close to the same age.  He also has other adorable little grand-babies scattered around the country.
So it is the holiday break!  We are looking forward to a week ahead of time with special people for special reasons.  Time with family that is literally driving across the country to see us (and some others too).  Time to play games and eat extra food and feel deep cozy feelings with those we love.  

And!  My shoulder is almost at 90%!  I am able to wave it around without too much trouble.  I still haven't buckled up my ski boots yet, but I'm mentally almost ready!  But first, I might take a nap...

In case you wondered, I have no holiday pictures to send out as of yet.  Maybe they'll say "Happy New Year" this year instead...

Friday, December 20, 2013

Just once more...

Some thoughts as I slipped around on the ice walked today in a random order:

* Just once more I would like to look deep into the eyes of our baby daughter in China and whisper once again that we will love her for always.

* Just once more I would love to hear my grandfather say to me, 'sit down girl and tell me something' and then share my life with him as he would interject bits of wisdom and large doses of humor.

* Just once more I would love to sing "Hallelujah" with the concert choir of my college days.

* Just once more I would love to sit on a raft floating down the Colorado river and see the Chairman for who he was.

* Just once more I would love to study the face of our premature daughter without the obstacles of wires, tubes, and machines.

* Just once more I would love to be in front of the judge vowing I would be the Mrs.  Chairman until death do we part.

* Just once more I'd like to share a bedroom with my older sister and tell her to stop breathing on my neck.

* Just once more I would love to walk into the Woolworth store that my dad managed and share a little bit of my school day with him and then wander to the candy counter and look longingly.

* Just once more I would love to sit in my cubicle at the Target store headquarters and be a someone that does actual work and not just housework.

* Just once more I would love to drive my '66 teal Chevy Nova.

* Just once more I would love to feel my daughter move within me when I was expecting.

* Just once more I would love to be in my old meetings in SD, MN, and WI with all the ones that fed and encouraged me.

* Just once more I would love to climb the big pine tree in front of my grandparents house with my dad just above me.

* Just once more I'd like to sit in the rusted '65 Mustang and dream of the places we'd go if we could just drive. 

* Just once more I would love to ice skate in my hometown with the air temperature being -25 without the wind chill factored in.

* Just once more I would love to be a little girl sitting on my mom's lap as she talked softly and erased all my little-girl cares.

* Just once more I would love to sit in our own living room with our three babies on my lap reading "Brown Bear" or "Go Dog Go".

* Just once more I would love to sit and visit with my sister-in-law.  

I think this is enough.  As I thought and typed these out, it didn't make me sad.  In fact, it made me grateful for how full my life has been and for all the moments we are living today that I'll one day wish I could do just once more.  

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Therapeutic Thursday Thoughts

However, I doubt it.  I'm not a psychologist.  Although I took tons of psych in college to help boost my GPA.  I'm clever like that.

Hmmm.  Where to start.  Lets check the phone for pics.
The MYP love to take pics on my phone.  Here is a panorama of where we live most all the time.  I like it because the house actually looks clean.  

There also is  a war between certain daughters as to who gets to be on my 'lock screen'.  

We attended daughter #1's high school choir concert.  It's a good thing I was wearing tights and not socks as they would have been blown off.  Wow.  The abilities of these young people are amazing.  And since I recognized a lot of the numbers from my choir days, I had to resist breaking out into song.  

Here's one I took at the dollar store:
Mouse traps set up right next to the kitty food and collars.  Me thinks you need a different cat if you have to buy mouse traps.

We do a little gift exchange just between our immediate family of five.  I asked our son what he was thinking of asking for and he said 'I don't know.  I have everything I need.'.  I nearly cried.  

Speaking of him,  Yesterday, he was vacuuming the kitchen area for me and was about half-way finished and said the funniest thing ever.  "I'm not going to vacuum under the table since it will just get dirty there again anyway."  Well my dear young man, that basically sums up a normal day for me.  If that were the case, I would no longer do laundry, dust, make meals or empty the dishwasher.  Because it just is going to need to be done again anyway.  

It finally dawned on me just the other day.  This is the last week before the holiday break.  I stared at the calendar and finally said to the MYP lined up at the counter eating... 'you don't have school next week'??? Duh mom.  

Here was a little of my morning entertainment yesterday.

Better call it a wrap here.  Hope it was better than a therapy session...I know it was definitely cheaper.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Monday Musings

I gotta admit.  This is me.  I'm not sitting on our roof  since it was -6 when I got up.  It's all relative though since there is no wind chill.  

 We've been dealing with the sickies around here.  Daughter #1 came down with a fever and it lasted exactly 24 hours.  I find the human body very fascinating.  Go up about three degrees and all you do is sleep.  The weather around here can go up and down 30 degrees and life goes on.  Daughter #2 got a rumbly tummy and turned into Dizzy Gillespie (I actually had to go look up who that was - some famous trumpet player from forever ago).  I digress.  She woke up Sunday morning still seeing her room swirl.  I was working on about 6 of my 8 pistons, so laid low the rest of the day.  I even did this!
And when I had completed my little 250 piece puzzle one piece was missing.  I was frantic searching high and low until one of the MYP gave me a sinister grin.  I may or may not have choked that child for hiding the last piece.

It is skiing season again!  The Chairman and the two (at that time) healthy MYP went already.  Conditions are good on three runs on the little hill near us.  I am garnering up courage to try this coming weekend.  Hopefully my shoulder stays attached to my arm this time.

This morning I saw this clip.  I predicted the results, but I still want to believe otherwise.

Someone posted on FB the question:  what makes you happy?  I have been thinking about it often since.  My list consists of baking yeast anything.  Cooking for company.  Walking on a warm, cold, or snowy day with my favorite dog.  Sitting on a chair reading with a warm kitty on my lap.  Spending time with my immediate or extended family.  Being around a table with good friends sharing life's stories.  Giving of anything - simply my time or something I have made.  Yes, these all make me happy.  But joy?  That's another list.  

Mused out.  See?  I don't feel as crabby now.  Because I gave a little of my time to muse.  Hopefully this ties me over as I scrub the kitchen floor and fold the mountain of clean clothes that awaits.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Wintry Wednesday Words

Biting.  Frosty.  Brisk.  No matter how you say it, I'm talking about cold.  It is definitely winter out there. I dress really classy  warm in the wintertime.  As noted by this picture of my leg/ankle as I read yesterday morning in my pj's and housecoat.
I have enjoyed the wood stove and all the heat it churns out.  I haven't enjoyed my walks and nearly refused to go yesterday.  Then she walked over and glared at me.  So I donned my coat.  It's a cheerful color but I notice in this selfie (that Lisi photo-bombed) that my eyes sure don't look cheerful.  Lisi's eyes are full of love and anticipation though...
I'm kinda ashamed to admit this, but I'm very glad we only have one holiday concert to attend for the MYP and it happens to be a high school one which is a good thing.  In the past we have sat through three choir and a couple of band concerts in a short span.  Meeshka.

Because of time and circumstance, the Chairman has worked basically night and day for a couple days now. Kinda hard for me to yawn on the phone and tell him how tired I am when he's slept about six hours in 48... Luckily the future looks less intense.  

Back to the subject of Christmas carols.  Who is Parson Brown?  And why are they needing to pretend their snowman is Parson?  I had to look it up.  It was a Protestant minister that would travel around and marry people.  Listening to the lyrics it makes sense.  The kids would stand before the "parson" and they'd pretend he was marrying them.  Don't ever underestimate the educational purposes of this blog.

We often hear about days where everything goes wrong.  Well yesterday was one of those days where everything seemed to go right.  I don't think we think about that enough.  I called and a replacement phone will be on the UPS truck this week for one of the MYP.  I had to run errands and did some exchanges and came away with much MUCH better deals than the original.  I made several food items that were sumptuous and the MYP said as much.  Even all the socks had matches while doing laundry (it's the little things you know). 

And speaking of things to pause and appreciate.  Lets be thankful for basic liberties and justice that we have and don't appreciate in this country.  Some people I know and love are experiencing real upheaval where they are living and serving.  We hope for the best possible outcome.  And that would be that they feel peace within as well as without.

Think this is enough words this Wednesday... 
"How much is that doggy in the window... the one with the waggly tail?"

Monday, December 9, 2013

Monday Musings

Here we go again!  It suddenly became real winter here in Dairyland.  Only in Dairyland would you see an article in the newspaper that they were going to use cheese brine to help salt the roads in winter.

Son # 1 was MIA the entire weekend.  He found the chicken farmers much more appealing.  And much to my unbelief he acts like he hardly missed us.  At all.  Imagine!

This past weekend some friends of ours taught us how to play Texas Holdem.  I'm thinking if times get very lean I could always head to the local casino to help with the budget.  Or not.

I've got a slight weakness for Christmas carols but one that I heard last week made me wonder about something.  Does Bing Crosby croon "I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas" in warmer climates?  Wouldn't that just be wishful thinking?  What about "Let it Snow" with lyrics that say "oh the weather outside is frightful, but the fire is so delightful, and since we have no place to go, let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!'. Wouldn't that sound strange in south TX or Hawaii?  And yes, I have too much time on my hands.

Two of the MYP are teens.   I really like teenagers and totally love ours.  They really can make you feel silly and ridiculous and completely dumb in a heartbeat.  One was with me on a walk last night in the snow.  He/she said that I didn't know anything.  I promised I'd probably seem smart again once they were moving out of the house.  The irony is that this same teen that told me how utterly unintelligent I was last night was asking this morning if he/she should wear boots.  If the lunch was made.  Where was the science paper that he/she printed? Mothers of teenagers.  A thankless and rewarding position.

We used to do a cookie exchange for many years around here.  I was making those little powdered ball cookies with ground up pecans in them and was missing the exchange.  I miss the brunch we had together.  I miss the humongous cookie assortment we came home with.  But I don't miss the sugar and fat that came with it.  Who am I kidding?  Yes I do miss the sugar and fat.

Here's a couple funnies one of the MYP showed me last night:
I've done this.  I couldn't believe one of ours didn't do the extra credit so it would be 104% instead of 100...  my bad.

Actually our MYP don't really talk back.  I think it is imperative that we listen and they feel heard...

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Feelin' Funky

Yes that's me!  I'm feeling funky.  Not this kind
Or this

A bit more like this
Or this

I find it interesting how one little letter can change the word.  I wish I had an extra 'N' and lose the 'K'.  Get it?  Funny instead of funky.

I'm not alone.  I noticed on FB yesterday, many shared the same emotion.  Friends are telling me as well.  Why you ask?  I think it is major post-holiday letdown coupled with just incredibly ugly weather we are having here in Dairyland.  

You see it has been like walking around in a pot of pea soup the last two days.  Foggier than a frog if a frog were foggy.  It is either raining or thinking about raining or just insulting us by spitting on us as we walk outdoors.  Lovely.

I'm harboring some deep envy for those north and west of here as they post beautiful pictures of very deep snow.  I wish that were here quite frankly.

So peeps what am I going to do?  Well first I will take a brief nap.  Then I'll go walk the dog.  Then I'll make a batch of this stuff.  It is just terrible for you in every way so I plan to wash it down with a kale smoothie.

I cannot be a Debbie Downer.  You see we have a small party planned for tomorrow as it happens to be a certain dog's birthday!  It probably won't be quite as big as this one.  If you are a parent, you know where this picture comes from.

That being said, I will go turn my frown upside-down.  I hope you can too if you are a Grumpy Grover like me.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Monday Musings

Whew!  I kept getting "Service Unavailable.  Error 503".  Maybe Blogger thinks I've blogged enough.

Actually, today is a day I could go without blogging.  I honestly have very, very little to offer up on my muse today.  If you want me to be honest, I'm kind of in an after-holiday funk.  I would hate to alter my cyber-personality of lively wit, utter joy, and continual thankfulness.  Yes, the kitchen floor needs to be vacuumed yet again.  And the laundry pile diminished.  And the supper ideas figured out.  I'd actually like to curl up in the fetal position and suck my thumb read a book or something.  But duty calls.

Why is it that when you do the cooking you never overeat?  I guess it is a good thing to host a holiday such as Thanksgiving because this isn't needed:
... not that I'd wear pants or have a fat pair hidden away someplace.  

We did have a nice time with some more relation.
Displaying photo.JPG
This guy suggested we do a shot together.  I love all the photo-bombing going off in the background.  This guy wasn't very sure of me some years back when he first entered our lives.  In fact he now almost suggests he really wondered about me since I was quick to heckle him with friendly banter.  However, he's shooting verbal darts at me faster than I can return them, so I consider that a compliment.  He chose to marry into the family and we are thankful.

Here they are in all their glory.  
So today is Cyber Monday!  Doing big shopping today?  I'm not.  I keep looking through the deep stacks of paper ads that are coming in the mailbox and can hardly think of a thing I need.  Good thing since the MYP sure do.  Let dreamers dream I say!  

Well as I said, duty calls.  Even on a Monday.  I promise more musing next time!

Friday, November 29, 2013

Feeling thankful because...

... the pressure of Thanksgiving is over.  After a 5:30 wake-up yesterday, the turkey turned out.  The extra dishes delicious.  The pies were plenty.  With just under 40 people, we needed plenty.

... for very few leftovers.  I like turkey, but not for days on end.

... the blending of families and friends is flawless.  Part of it is due to the fact that there are some very nice personalities involved.  But a bigger part is that there is an inner working that makes these aforementioned family and friends more than nice.

... our home can handle the crowd and that people want to come.  I'm thankful the Chairman had wisdom to show me this house he peeked at six years ago.  The wide-open spaces can handle extra tables and bodies and make it a dwelling place for others.

... a simple thing like good weather so that it was easy for travel.

... parents that relocated to our state so they can share in days like yesterday.  We loved to travel out to the prairie, but this makes it all a bit easier.

... the Chairman and MYP pitch in and really make it easy to have others over.

Photo: What they'll be most thankful about tomorrow is not having to work! 
... the Chairman and MYP left to go shopping and I'm alone for awhile today!  With a dirty house.  Actually, not too bad, but I'm glad to clean in the deafening quiet.

... the festivities aren't over!  We need to go out to celebrate dad's birthday and see some more family.  

... most of all I'm thankful I feel thankful.  I can't imagine going through life without feeling indebted and grateful to others.  It brings an inner peace that can't be explained.

See you on Monday!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Monday Musings

I just realized it is Monday and I haven't mused!  I should maybe wait until 11:53 some Monday night to post (if I could just stay awake that late).  Then I'd see how valuable I really am not.

Lets see.  Our very own high school football team won the championship game again this year.
 I consider myself partially responsible for their victory since I followed them to Madison to cheer them on.  Or not.  It certainly was fun.  And it was fun being with a group of our friends there as well.  And it was cold.  Very cold.  Did I mention it was chilly sitting there?  I did.  Yes, it was cold.  Brrrr.

Because of circumstances, I ended up spending nearly five hours in a mall on Saturday.  If you know me at all, you would know this clearly takes me out of my comfort zone.  I'm not a shopper.  No sirree.  Daughter #1 could have spent another 3 1/2 days in there without batting an eye.  I finally plopped down on a soft chair in the middle of the hallway with some other distressed men.

I did find some boots!  Isn't that exciting!  They were just the boots I was looking for.  Soft, supple leather.  A beautiful stitching that mimicked a quilt pattern.  The price?  $437.50 on sale!  What a bargain!  If you know me, you know I quietly put those precious boots down and wandered off...  And just so you know, other than a few smaller purchases for our daughters and a birthday purchase for my dad (Happy Birthday to my dad!), that was it!  That's ok.  My black and off-white vest are all I wear in the winter.  Let me rephrase that.  I do wear other things with the vests...  (heh heh)

Thanksgiving!  It's such a wonderful holiday.  It is based solely on thankfulness.  And friends and family.  And gluttony of the belly.  Wow.  What a wonderful holiday indeed.  This one will be celebrated at the Chairman and company.  We anticipate just a few under a hundred.  Or about 40.  It'll be a full house.  Cozy if you will.  I just need to know how early to get up to stick my hands deep in the nether regions of an ill-fated turkey.  

So Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!  Remember...

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Happiness is...

... a warm puppy.  My aunt gave me that book years ago.

I have a real one now.
please forgive my thinning grayish hair
Happiness is...

special people that come to visit.  So thankful for them and their willingness.

Happiness is...

lots of good friends and an excuse to see them all because one good friend came back to visit from far away.  They all are incredibly good cooks as well!

Happiness is...

having a warm place to sit by on a cold November night.
Happiness is...

things that tickle my funny bone.

Ed note:  I actually like all our relatives.  But it still was funny.
this actually does happen but Lisi gets no sofa privileges or put in a crate.  And I sure hope I don't look like Opal.
Happiness is...

thinking something tragic happened and it didn't.  Long story short:  The Chairman had to work overnight at the office downtown in the big city.  The Chairman fell asleep in the wee hours of the morning on a couch.  I tried to contact the Chairman four times this morning and received no answer.  I took a shower thinking the worst.  I'll sure miss him.  I'll have to move.  Relocating the children will be hard.  How in the world will we manage without him!  I love him so much and would love to hear him snore once again.  My love.  Died tragically in the night by some terrible person.  Then the phone rang.  He was ok after all.  The mind is an amazing and crazy thing.  

It's nice to dwell on what happiness is on a dreary, cold November night.  

I hope you're happy too!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Monday Musings - POST # 1000!!!

Who'd a thunk?  Six years and five months later, I'm still chatting along on this even though it began with just an experiment to see if I knew how to post on Blogger.  Six years and five months... I took a peek back to see what has happened over the past years.

* I started out blogging using our names and had a different title.  I switched some years ago because it made me more comfortable on the web.  Plus I didn't want our family to get too famous.  (snicker)

* I have blogged for over half the life of our youngest.  Sometimes I wonder if that is a good or bad thing, but the good outweighs the bad in my mind.  As long as I keep the boundaries firm and only write what they allow.  If I continue for another six years and five months... well lets not go there or I'll need to get a tissue.

* We moved to a different side of town and I was able to journal the changes we made to our new home and the feeling we had in the transition.

* We lost our dog Lincoln and in our sadness found a puppy within a month.  Little did I know that she wanted to be a writer too.  A cat joined the party as well and he thinks he's boss.

* I have had the opportunity to write little tributes/memories of some we have lost over the years.  It was a balm to my wounds.  There have been weddings, births, sickness in those we love.

* We have stayed relatively healthy through the years.  However, I have experienced a rotten kidney stone and a torn rotator cuff.  We have also had a broken arm, a chin blown wide-open, and most recently a trip to the ER with a child that wouldn't move his limbs.

* When this blog started there was no thing called Facebook or Instagram.

* I have made some wonderful cyber-friends through blogging.  I hope some day to meet you.

* I actually wish I were a better blogger.  I look at the Pioneer Woman and her incredibly beautiful pictures, delicious food and witty writing with envy.  I think my head would get too big with the popularity.

* I didn't realize the Chairman would actually write on here.  Even though it makes me nervous, it makes my heart swell with love for him when I see he's posted.

Yes, we have gone through lots of changes.  But really life has stayed the same.  The Chairman and I are still a team.  The MYP are growing and maturing before our eyes, yet inside they are still them.  We have gone to the same place each Sunday for now-19 years.  We are blessed with good families on both sides and have a wide circle of friends that all offer unique and wonderful ways of sharing life and caring for us.

What is the future of the Chairman and company?  I honestly don't know.  Sometimes I think the weekly updates are almost too much for you or I.  Then Monday rolls around and I can't wait for our one-sided conversation again.

I guess my goal is this.  As long as I am blogging I hope I can bring you something to make you laugh.  Or to encourage you.  Or to make you feel more thankful.  Yes, there are moments of sadness, anger, and disappointments that I don't blog about, but that isn't edifying for you or for me.  Yes, life is challenging but the good always outweighs the bad.

'Fair are the prospects all ahead...' 

Here's to another 10 or 100 or 1000 posts.