Friday, March 29, 2013

Good Friday!

And good it is! I'm typing this up on my iPhone because I feel I should have had some Thursday Thoughts and didn't share them. The iPhone has been a wonderful tool for mapping, finding the next rest stop, looking up the location of Three Mile Island and figuring out where so and so lives. Not to mention playing What Word.

Right now we are meandering or rather racing at break-neck speed on the Pennsylvania turnpike. The Chairman is in control of the steering wheel. He keeps telling me he trusts my driving yet I've never got out of the passenger seat yet. :). The MYP have sufficient distractions to make the miles go by quickly. Oh and some fighting too.

I have seen a couple WI cars and
crane my neck very far to see if I know them. The probability is minute but the thrill if it were the case would be mind numbing.

Our final destination is the nation's capitol once we get through wearing out a welcome mat of some friends of ours in Maryland.

We lucked out and have this awesome pet sitter that has texted the latest information of our furry friends and even a picture. So that's kinda neat!

Well back to idly chattering to the Chairman to keep his mind sufficiently working. I'm nice like that.

More later...possibly even a bit of musing on Monday. I'm loyal like that.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Monday Musings

It's a thrill every spring.  The first robin.  I usually call out to whomever is near.  "LOOK!  A ROBIN!!!".  This year the family looked mildly curious.  It is a thrill.  We have survived winter.  To me, the robin is the first sign of spring.  They think there will soon be worms.  However, I think they jump the gun a bit.  It's still cold with some snow on the ground.  Do they come back earlier than necessary to get dibs on the nicest tree or the cutest red-breast?  I dunno.  If I were a robin, I'd still be down south another month.  This is a picture taken on the first day of spring before our walk.  Yes, it was that cold...

Cats.  Love them or hate them.  I thought they were completely independent creatures when we took the responsibility of another pet.  And actually they are when they want to be.  However, our indoor/outdoor cat has an internal time mechanism that rivals the atomic clock.  At precisely 6:37 am the soft meow begins outside our bedroom door.  If I don't get up immediately, I see an extended arm and paw come under the door feeling to see if someone is nearby.  It was cute the first couple times.  Now, especially on a Saturday morning, it is very annoying.  Then I get all soft again when I walk into our bedroom just now and see this on the floor...

I proudly tell people that I don't mind the MYP growing up.  I am embracing the change and am enjoying them become young people.  However, my heart skipped a half-beat when we were walking past the boy department and straight into men's to find the newest pair of dress pants, shirt, and tie.  He's turning into a young man.  Sniff.  Boo.  Wait.  I don't mind them growing up.  Or that's what I tell people...

Yesterday, we were at the Chairman's parents for dinner.  Along with us were his nieces and nephew and their children.  It had been years since we were together like that.  I forgot to do a dressed up picture, here is how the grandchildren and greats all looked after a few hours.

Then there's this picture:
It makes my eyes glisten.  You see both of these boys came into their families by the same circumstance.  Ours took a tremendous interest in his new little cousin.  He held him and fed him and rocked him and loved on him.  He knows 'that was him' almost 13 years ago.  A little new person.  A little soul.  Brought into a family because of a desperate love and need for a son.  I love seeing new little babies and have always loved being around them.  It is a joy.  But babies that are adopted into their families.  Well that takes it to a different level.  I think it is called rejoicing.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Windy Wednesday

No, not me windy.  The weather.  It's the first day of spring!  The forces that be don't realize that the calendar says that.  I read that last year it was 83 degrees here.  Today?  Not so much.  I woke to 7 degrees with a -9 windchill.  

What do people in perfect climates talk about?  You see when I go into any place of business and check out your purchases, the small and friendly talk is almost without fail - the weather.  Maybe it is because I look so dull that shopkeepers can think of nothing else.  I dunno.  But the 'sure is cold out there' comments greeted me wherever I went yesterday.  
I posted a wedding picture of my parents yesterday on FB because of their 53rd anniversary.  In fact, here it is!  
my mom looks like she's taking this step very seriously
There were 43 'likes" and 16 comments.  Way more than my typical cat/dog fare I post at times.  So I get it.  People have a lot more pull and interest than our furry friends.  That's ok.  I can handle it.  But please don't tell Lisi and Simba.  

Here are both sets of my grandparents.  I had the unique experience of not having cousins.  We had a set of grandparents on both sides that we never had to share with other kids (except for dear children that lived near them).  I think I was nearly 10 when I realized kids actually shared their grandparents with other families.  

I just read in the paper that Hostess has been sold to some private equity groups.  Soon the Twinkies, Ding Dongs and Ho Ho's will be back on the shelves.  Be still my beating heart.  Actually, it will stop beating if you eat that stuff.  I can't say I missed them.  However, don't mess with Oreos.  Heh heh.  

Speaking of food, should I offer up some recipes and/or tips in the next weeks?  I just made a homemade brownie mix recipe this morning.  Super simple.  Will have the MYP see if it passes the test after school. 

I must soon go brave the frigid winds of the west because it is windy on this Wednesday...

Monday, March 18, 2013

Monday Musings

Love Mondays.  Love Musing.  It's kind of weird living your life with the blog always in the back of your mind.  It makes you pause when something is done, said, or thought.  Blog worthy?  Maybe.  Maybe not.  I like it because it encourages me to enjoy the ordinary.  Like this morning for instance.  There was a need for a tangible amoeba.  Last night he made up the grape jello all on his own.  Got the little flags constructed for identification.  Fruit for the parts of amoeba I learned about years ago but have since forgotten.  Then it wiggled and jiggled to the school science room and hopefully a good grade.  
I'll throw in the dose of cuteness.  Picture taken I think on Saturday.  
And then there is this.  An old picture found on the ones I recently received.
This was taken a long time ago.  See that little fellow with the green jacket on his mom's lap?  That is the Chairman.  See that boy in the brown coat right next to him?  That's my mostly nice older brother.  At that point about forty years ago, they had no idea they would be brothers-in-law.  Most of the rest of the ones on that picture are now my relation through marriage.  Anyway, life is funny like that.

See this picture?

That family came out from WI to visit us in SD on their way to somewhere else.  That little girl in her daddy's arms lives only a little over a mile from us.  Her daughter is in the same classroom as our youngest.  The boy in the middle is a nice middle-aged man in our field who tends to share a light-hearted joke often.  The cute blonde on the right is married to my brother-in-law's brother (got that?).

I think the lesson to me is this.  Be nice to everyone.  You never know what will happen in the years to come.  That little kid could some day be a spouse to one of your children.  He could have the open home you go to each week.  He could be the one that takes you from the nursing home to g.m.  You just never know!

This weekend we celebrated this lady's birthday!
Her extended family is literally all on the other side of the world.  But we aren't.  So we can celebrate with her.

Since I'm showing pictures.  I could show you this one.  A sweet young couple.
 Or this:

This lady gave me wonderful advice years ago.  She's a gardener to the nth degree.  Like her yard and plants could be featured in any magazine.  Seriously.  One time I asked her why her house plants look so nice.  She said as one having authority, 'don't be afraid to prune.  Cut off anything that has anything dead looking on it.  Then the plant can put its energy into new growth and life.'.  After she said that, I didn't know if we were talking about plants or life in general.  But it works for both and I'm thankful for people that live like that (with pretty plants to boot!).

Think I'm mused out.  The pelting snow outside isn't very amusing though.  I thought it was spring, but the skies don't think so...

Friday, March 15, 2013

Friendly Friday

I'm not sure why the 'friendly'.  But it's such a nice word.  

Will start out with a couple pictures.  My mostly nice older brother sent a file to me of old pictures from my folks.  I especially like the third one.  Makes me smile.  I'm thinking we weren't too enthused about packing the camper for the next venture.  

little kids are just plain cute

always loved animals since I was a wee one

yes, winter was real in SD....
I could show you the other 362, but I'll spare you this time.

Google Reader was just given a terminal diagnosis.  This pains me.  I've jumped ship to "feedly".  But I'm not happy about it.  If you don't know, these RSS feeders can be programmed with things you like to read (blogs, news, etc) and then it is all in one place.  Saves a ton of time.  Especially when you have 91 blogs you follow.  I'm trying to whittle them down a bit.

I've been dreaming of a Roomba.  You know those vacuums that just do it themselves?  We have dark wood floors.  It looks like this after I vacuum.
We have lots of dark wood.  You know how hairs and lint and dust show up on black clothes?  Well that's our kitchen in some ways.  Ugh.

Leftovers.  My family isn't real keen on them.  I try to cook just enough what we need.  Or reinvent them (i.e. pork roast turned into shredded bbq).  So I spend most my noontime eating the dregs left behind from the night before.  I guess that's ok.

I was listening lately about the water that goes down the drain one direction in the northern hemisphere and one direction in the south.  What happens at that very point between north and south?  Does the water just sit there?  Does it just whoosh away without any directional movement?  Or do none of those people have plumbing?  (yes, I have time on my hands to think of such).

Speaking of time.  I need to redeem it.  Lots to do and a lovely weekend ahead.

And in case you're very worried about my sore shoulder... it's on the mend!  I can lift it sideways now almost 6"!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Lisi on the Lam

You've heard the expression - 'there are two sides to every story'.  Sometimes when there are candidates running for an office a question is asked and then both give their own answers.  Today it is time for both sides of the story.  I have my thoughts.  I know Lisi would want her voice heard as well.  So here goes:

What happened on Tuesday morning?
Big Lady:  I decided when I woke up that I'd like to head to the nearest Trader Joe's.  They have reasonably priced, healthy foods that are sometimes unique and interesting.  So I got showered (thankfully), dressed, and headed out the door.  When I left, I propped one of the garage doors open so Lisi would have in/out privileges and threw her a treat before I got in the van.
Lisi:  The Big Lady that yells but loves me anyway got dressed in a way that means we aren't going for a walk right away.  She marched right past me grabbing lists and keys and opened the garage door in a way that means she's leaving.  As an afterthought, she threw a treat at me.  The bucket is getting low and the treats stale, but she doesn't care.  Off she went.

What happened next?
Big Lady:  I was looking forward to my little outing.  First up was Trader Joe's.  Then I needed to find some volleyball pads for one of the MYP here and then I was going to make a couple stops just for me.  Browse a clothing store that sells nice things for reasonable prices.  Hey, I even had a coupon along.  I just pulled into the parking lot of TJ's when my phone bleeps a text.  "Guess who's at our back door?"
Lisi:  I waited until that van was out of sight.  Then after about three seconds I got bored.  That rotten cat was sleeping inside somewhere.  I've sniffed all the corners of the property.  I wasn't tired.  SAY!!!  Sasha!!!  They took care of me on Sunday when my people were gone!  They love me and give me treats!  I think I better go see what's going on over there!!!  So I headed down the driveway, took a left, and walked across the road and past two houses and here I was!  I better go look in the window to see what is happening!!!  SASHA!  MY chocolate-goodness bestie!

And then?
Big Lady:  Oh no.  I've just gotten to TJ's and I'm 20 minutes from home and that rotten dog ran to the neighbors.  I text back "I'll be home in an hour.  She can stay there with you or you can take her home and lock her in our garage.  Sorry!"  Mrs. Kindneighbor replies, "Don't apologize.  We love having her!!!  They are ripping around outside.  We really do love it tho when she is here... so it's not a bad issue for us :)"  (yes, she really said that).  I'm feeling torn.  I need to go get that rotten dog.  I'm mad at her.  I can't shop with a spirit of relaxation.  So I hurry through the store hoping I get what I wanted.
Lisi:  The door opens and out comes Sasha!  My dear friend!  And that other big lady that hands me treats all the time!  I love you so!  Why isn't my Big Lady as nice as you?  We go tearing through the yard like crazy.  I'm so glad I came!  Wheeee!  Life is good!  Finally, we settle into the mudroom with a bucket of water and relaxation.

What did you do next?
Big Lady:  So I left TJ's and got one more brief stop done to get the needed volleyball pads.  Then another in and out to return some shoes that another one of the MYP didn't need.  Then instead of wandering around enjoying the soft music and sniffing pretty candles, I tore for home to recover our rotten dog on the lam.  I drove straight to the neighbor house and rapped on the door.
Lisi:  We relaxed awhile in the mudroom and then wandered around the house.  This place is fantastic!  It's big and roomy and the big lady lets me go anywhere I want not just on wood like they force me to do at home.  A knock at the door!!!  Sasha and I go rushing to see who came!!!

Big Lady:  The dogs come bounding out.  Lisi is looking at me confused like 'what are you doing here???'  I hand over a token gift of appreciation from TJ's (a nice pump soap thingy and jelly beans).  We chat and I apologize and Mrs. Kindneighbor waxes on and on how sweet Lisi is.  I'm ready to wring her neck (Lisi's, not Mrs. Kindneighbor) but can't since I wasn't there when the transgression happened.  I make some small talk and load her up in the van and head for home.  The fun is over... almost.
Lisi:  BIG LADY!  She's not yelling!  But why in the world did she come here to this house?  I'm doing just fine here.  I've got my friend and treats and a big lady that doesn't yell!  She doesn't seem all that mad.  She's talking politely to the other big lady.  They are laughing and my Big Lady tousles my ears every once in awhile.  Then she says "go for a ride?"  Well finally she's taking me!  I hop in and the ride is immediately over.  We are home!  Oh well.

Anything else?
Big Lady:  I fed Lisi mid-afternoon and was getting ready for our walk when I realized that Lisi wasn't staring in the back window like she always does.  Just when I was ready to whistle for her my phone bleeps again.  "Lisi saw us drive by and came for another visit.  :)"  Now I'm mad.  I'm ready to yell.  So I go marching over all business-like and before I even get to their driveway, Lisi comes barreling out looking all sheepish and guilty.  I take her home.  I get out the invisible fence collar and she goes cowering in the corner.  I put it on and refuse to walk her for awhile to make a statement.  After a wee bit I can't help but feel sorry for her and off we go.  However, she is sporting her extra collar these days 'just in case'.
Lisi:  My suppertime has been mid-afternoon lately.  It's delicious every time!  Just as I finished I saw Sasha's van go by.  Sasha was leaning out the window!  I must go play with Sasha again!  And so I raced after their van and my friend got out and we had our second romp in the snow.  Until... I saw the Big Lady that yells but loves me anyway.  She's not looking happy.  I run up to her.  I try to look sweet and innocent and repentant.  She's not buying it.  She leashes me up and takes me home and puts on that horrible red collar that beeps and worse.  My fun is over.  For now.  Until I get a chance to go again.

Editors note:  Sorry this ended up being so long!

Monday, March 11, 2013

Monday Musings

Since I know it is the first thing on all of your minds, I better get it out of the way right now.  My arm is better.  My arm still hurts.  I think I'm moving it more.  I think the pain is unbelievable when I move it.  I don't think the doctor was talking through his hat (not that he had one) when he said three weeks at minimum.  Instead of calling up and paying for physical therapy, I've been "you-tubing" and found some stuff that I can work on my own.  Plus lots of hot showers.  Plus a massage scheduled this week.  Ouch.  Someone I used to respect came up to me yesterday and said, 'now you'll know to stay away from youthful sports since you are an old person' or something like that.

My mother-in-law and mother both have come to our aid.  My in-laws thoughtfully asked what they could do to help and came over with supper Saturday night.  My parents brought me a 'care package' yesterday.  Friends have asked to come help cook, clean, or comb my hair.  I'm thinking I should milk this for all its worth.  But I'm too stubborn, proud, or self-reliant for that.

"Her children arise up, and call her blessed" The MYP woke up and felt very blessed.  You see I lost my voice during the day on Saturday and it started coming back yesterday.  Why do the MYP feel blessed?  It's really hard to bark orders at those sweet young people when you have no voice to do it.

The time change.  I love it and hate it at the same time.  I remember when the MYP were babies and toddlers it was brutal.  Little ones don't understand that they need to go to bed even if they don't feel totally tired.  Come to think of it, it's the same now with the bigger ones.  And the mornings... it's like they go to bed as little lambs and wake up as little grizzlies.

We have neighbors that like Lisi.  A lot.  Since we were going to be gone awhile yesterday, I gave them the opportunity to take Lisi for a walk when they took their chocolate lab.  After, they took her to their house for awhile to hang out.

See?  I told you they like her.  They even send pictures to keep us updated how she's doing.  Anyway, Mr. Kindneighbor decided Lisi should get back home before we return.  He walks her in the driving rain back to our garage.  He pats her on the head, says goodbye in the garage with our propped door and goes back home.  Within five minutes, Lisi is looking in their back window.  Mr.  Kindneighbor decided to let her win.  Or he didn't feel like getting soaked to the skivvies again.  Naughty Lisi!

And finally, this was texted to me last night.  It sums up how the car rides have gone with a cat and then with a dog. 
Someone posted this video this past week.  It touched me.  Because we are in the trenches of parenting these days.  It's a wonderful reminder that this is only temporary.  And we will miss it desperately one day.  I'll post in case you are interested.

I think that's all I've got to muse today....

Friday, March 8, 2013

Just because

Can you tell I've had some time on my hands?  I can't iron or make bread or vacuum.  So might as well surf the web for silliness.  

My arm hurts.  A lot.  In certain positions I want to yell out "OUCH".  But I don't because I'm so good at suffering in silence.  Or not.  So my hair is a mess.  And the house will be one soon if I don't rally the MYP to help out after school.  

Yesterday, I was trying to find something soft and easy to put on.  I was standing in the closet with one of the darling MYP that live here and I said, 'I think I'll wear this ugly sweater today'.  The cherished child said, 'which one?  For you, every day is ugly sweater day.'  Thanks my sweetums.

I promise... next week I won't post so often.  Hopefully I can iron and vacuum and get back to reality.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Date night

It was going to be a nice little date for the Chairman and me.  We had an opportunity to go to the local ski hill on adult night which is always on Wednesday.  Normally, we have an uplifting evening.  But this week it is on Thursday.  So we went.  

First run went so nice.  The breeze blowing by us.  Lots of fresh, powdery snow under the slick skis.  We chatted again on the chair lift going up.  Then on the second run down.  My ski got caught on something.  Or not.  Or maybe I was just trying to do a criss-cross applesauce for fun.  Nonetheless, there was a yard sale. In skiing terms that means that there are various parts and pieces of your ski equipment left behind.  I just remember the split-second thought 'this isn't good'.  I reached way out to catch myself.  Ouch.  Big Ouchies!

Immediately I had terrible shoulder pain.  I slept fitfully.  I couldn't raise my arm at all in certain positions.  Lucky for me, Dr. Zhu (a highly attractive Asian orthopedist) had an opening right away.  X-rays confirmed no bone damage.  However, there is rotator cuff issues.  Pulled muscle.  Here's a sling for a few days.  Take lots of ibuprofen.  Start these exercises so your shoulder doesn't get stiff.  And see you in three weeks.  If it doesn't get better, we'll move on to MRI's and possible surgery (which I doubt will be the case).  Right before he left, he was ready to write out an 'excuse form' so I don't have to work for the rest of the week.  Silly me told him that I don't work.  What was I thinking???

I'd have shown you my lovely face, but my hair is dreadful.  Have you ever tried to comb it with one hand/arm?  It isn't pretty.  Nor am I.  So I'll go lick my wounds.  Or rather tend my shoulder.  And if I give you the stiff shoulder in the next few days, don't take it personally.  It's my problem, not yours.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Pudgy Pup

We've heard the ways people call it.  The 'freshmen fifteen', or the 'middle-age spread' or sometimes they are even quaintly called 'love handles'.  They are trying to say it nicely.  Well this morning, my vet lady talked on the phone with the Big Lady that yells but loves me anyway and called me... "chubby and overweight".  Ugh.

Hello!  This is Lisi.  I've been away.  This morning after a brief walk with the Big Lady, we headed to the vet's office.  I'm not your typical dumb mutt.  I love the vet office!  There are treats in there and lots of people that love dogs and one even said this morning, 'I sure love this one'.  I'm glad Big Lady heard that so she can appreciate me a little more than she does.

Big Lady said goodbye and off I went with another big lady.  She put me in a crate thing for a bit and then soon it opened again and there was this nice lady.  She got down and I gave her kisses.  After the kissing was through, she started to look in my eyes and ears and touched some private places and listened to my heart.  Then she checked some skin things that are growing by my eye and neck.  After a couple of shots that I barely feel, she picked up the phone and called my Big Lady.

They chatted about my excellent health and the weird skin things and then... she said it.  "Lisi has put on about five pounds.  She's starting to look a little chubby".  Oh boy.  Now I'm mad.  You'd think her being a lady and all that she'd know we are sensitive about our shapes.  I've hit middle-age.  It's tough.  And I'm much to sensitive to say, 'well have you looked at your own rear-end lately?'.  I didn't, because... well I can't talk.

Then the lady was listening to my Big Lady and I heard her say, 'cat food?'.  Oh no.  Big Lady ratted on me and told the vet that I've been snitching cat food in the morning.  You see they give that hot-tempered, orange-headed rotten cat a little bit of some juicy food out of can every morning.

That dumb cat isn't smart enough to eat all of it and the Big Lady that yells but loves me anyway isn't bright enough to make sure I don't lick the bowl clean.

The vet-lady told my Big Lady that it is very high in protein.  And it is very high in calories.  So I'm getting fat on savory shreds of goodness.  I think my gig is up.  I think Big Lady is on to me.  I doubt I see any more savory shreds in my future.

I was groomed this morning.  Don't I look pretty despite my extra cargo?  And do you think I look fat in my yellow scarf?  Please say no...

Monday, March 4, 2013

Monday Musings

Hmm.  Not sure if I have anything amusing to muse...  

This past weekend, we went skiing.  I captured this iPhone shot on the lift.  You see the Chairman and a friend and I were heading up together.  Well I hesitated and well, you see I didn't make the chair with them.  So I had a private lift up.  It was a gorgeous day for sure.  
Saw this online yesterday.  I LOVED the parachute days in gym class at McKinley elementary a few decades years ago.  
I saw this comic yesterday.  
It reminded me of the time I was walking our dog Lincoln some years back and he was sniffing another dog's backside.  I glanced up at the owner and told him, 'I'm sure glad we don't do that'.  He looked at me very uneasily and rushed off with his dog.  

It was the girl in pink's birthday this past weekend.  We were glad to have her come over and share a part of her day with us.  I caught them in a gymnastics routine in the basement off of some very tired mattresses.
 There's still lots of wrestling going on.
You cat haters will enjoy this.  I was thinking of the similarities between cats and snakes this past week.  They both have sneaky tendencies.  Both have similar eyes.  Mouth shapes.  They eat rodents.  The cat tail twitches like a snake's body.  I don't think they are that far apart on the animal chart in some ways.  However, cats are soft and love to purr and get cozy.  I haven't seen a snake do that lately.

I've often thought that dogs aren't too bright sometimes.  But let me tell you, Lisi knows her cars!  The other day we were walking while waiting for piano lessons.  All of the sudden, she jerks the leash and starts to run with me following.  What in the world...?  Going by was a car that was a white, Acura TL that was exactly like the one that sometimes brings her best golden friend, Mavrick.  She was frantic.  As it drove away she kept looking at me like, 'WHERE ARE THEY GOING???'  The rest of the cars were completely ignored.

I find it amusing that people love to post pictures of sushi on FB.  Here's what's for dinner!  Or something like that.  There must be a bragging right if you eat sushi.  I haven't seen anyone lately posting a picture of their meatloaf and mashed potatoes.  I might try it and see if anyone is impressed.  

I held back this morning.  There are red warnings flashing again about an impending storm coming tomorrow.  I didn't tell the MYP that there was a potential of a snow day.  See?  I'm learning.  

Well it wasn't amusing, but at least I mused this Monday!