Monday, December 29, 2014

Monday Musings - late edition

I've been a bit preoccupied, so today's Monday Musings are a late edition.  I have limited time even now, but can't let this Monday go by without a bit of Muse.

My heart is full.   I have been blessed with many, many people coming through our doors and enjoyed a welcome mat at other places as well in the past week.  Most of them were relatives.  Some are friends that feel like family.  One of the biggest blessings in my life is that I have two sets of family.  The Chairman's family and then my family.  We spent Christmas Day with the Chairman's side and the following day with my side.   Both special and wonderful in their own way.

My stomach is full.  In fact, I think I may have felt a touch of a hunger pang yesterday, but then it may have been gas.  Between busy family events, we had one meal with just the Chairman and I and I had a banana for lunch.  And that was almost too much.

Our home has been full.  We thoroughly enjoyed two overnight visits from my mostly nice brother and family.  At one point I was almost ready to elevate him to the status of 'just plain nice' brother, but he failed a couple times.  Might be a year before I get a chance to test him again.  We thoroughly enjoyed a table full of relatives last night.  And we throughly enjoyed an overnight visit from my niece and her super-nice and tall husband that live in the Sooner state.  And now we are thoroughly enjoying having some extra young men from our state and another state that are hanging with my nephew who didn't want to board the plane today with the rest of his family.  We also are thoroughly enjoying the company of a local girl in town that feels like my niece and spends a lot of time here.  Her duffle bag looks packed for more than one night.  In fact she told me with a huge grin, 'you never know how long I'll be staying!'

I think you get the idea.  There is a lot of people coming and going.  Towels and bedding to wash.  Pots to fill with tasty food.  And great conversation between.  The rest of this week promises to offer up much more.  I might sneak a nap sometime between now and New Year's Eve.  I might even sneak a nap on New Year's Eve.  Think anyone would miss me?  I love New Year's Eve, but it makes me queasy that I can't go to bed at 10:15 like I usually do.  I hope the appetizers are worth it.  Oh wait, I'm still not hungry.

I may just put on some photos and call this a Muse tonight.  I just might jump in my pj's, curl up in the fetal position on my bed and suck my thumb.  Just kidding.  Well about the thumb anyway.

I hope your holidays have been full of nice things and your waistbands stretchy too.

p.s.  We had some family photos taken on Dec. 26.  If you do the math, you might understand that holiday pictures did not get sent.  Will see if it happens.  Or not.



















Monday, December 22, 2014

Monday Musings

Welcome to post 1,113!  No, nothing significant about that number.  Just something I noticed as I settled in for another installment of "Monday Musings".  As mentioned before, this week promises to be jam-packed with family (from near and far and both sides of the tree),  fun, food, and the feeling of being too full.  

Having lots of people come into your home makes you do things like dust cold-air returns and wash your hot pad holders.  Yes, there's lots to do.  Even before bed:

These were posted somewhere this past week.  For some reason it is funny to me.  Maybe because I have teenagers and hear lots of school stories.  However, don't get me wrong.  I think teachers should be highly respected.  
Advertising is getting smarter and irritating all the time.  When you go research something online for a gift and then that item keeps popping up here and there, people wonder why you are looking at something.  

I spent most of Saturday with daughter #1.  I love alone-time with the MYP.  I love hearing stories I wouldn't ordinarily hear.  I love having lunch with just one teenager.  I love just quietly riding along.  I love hearing the soft-spoken jokes.  I love the pleasant ways she has.  The black/white parent/child overlapped into shades of gray.  I think that's called friendship.

On the back front.  Thanks for your suggestions of people and places and ideas to help.  I met up with a chiro last week who did an adjustment and x-rays.  He was ok, but wanted me to come back three/week for the next month etc.  I honestly feel better after one adjustment and doing exercises/yoga.  So.  He's not getting my business.  On a side note, using Icy Hot before bed makes your bed linens smell like a nursing home.

Our little "Styles" keeps swimming along.  We have this goldfish that I would like to be rid of.  I actually Googled "humane ways to dispose of goldfish".  Then as I read about putting him in the freezer it made me feel sorry for him, so he'll continue to swim along here.  They say he needs 10-30 gallons of water and he's in a 2-gallon fish bowl.  I hope he doesn't start protesting.  

It's a bit sickly here at the Chairman and Co.  Son #1 ate his breakfast.  Then after he brushed his teeth I heard the tell-tale sound of losing breakfast.  I went around the corner and said, 'uh-oh'.  He looked at me.  "I think I drank my milk too fast.  I'm good" and headed off to catch the bus.  I'm keeping my phone handy today.  Daughter #2 is home with a 101 fever.  Lovely.  

As she was returning upstairs just now, I told her, 'you should read our study.  It's about Zacharias and Elisabeth.  She asked, 'were they good parents?'.  Yes.  'well maybe you should read about them and learn something too.'  Get any closer you fever-induced smarty pants and I'll smack the sass right out of you.  I'm sure that is an example of good parenting.

Well tonight at dark o'clock my slightly nice older brother and wonderful family will be flying to the midwest to be with our extended family.  Looking forward to this winter break and all it will bring.  I may or may not blog before next week's "Monday Musings".  

Have a wonderful holiday with those you love.  

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Thoughts this Thursday

How's your week going?  Mine is going by too quickly.  Here it is Thursday already!  A week from today we'll be having a few less than 100 people in our house.  Or maybe 35 people that are Italian, married an Italian, or just plain like Italian people.  I can smell the garlic already.  Heh.

Speaking of food!  We had a cookie exchange a couple days ago.  We used to do it every year and then we kinda fizzled out.  Then some of us decided we need more fats and sugars in our lives and wanted to do it again.  Friends did not disappoint.
 Another friend shared this recipe for focaccia.  It is very yummy and full of gluten.
I saw this on my notepad.  I have no idea which of the MYP wrote it or why, but maybe that's a good lesson for all of us some days.
I called to schedule my annual mammogram yesterday.  Just as I started to set up the appointment, Simba decided to do some serious caterwauling because he wanted to be picked up.  "Denise" asked, 'is that a cat?'  Yes.  I said 'oh he's just an indoor/outdoor gold tiger tom'.  Then "Denise" said, 'that's just what we had!' and proceeded to basically describe our Simba.  So we shared kitty tales back and forth and approximately seven minutes later she says, well maybe we should start setting up an appointment for you!  At the end I found it interesting that she asked if in the last 30 days I traveled to a country that has Ebola...

I went to see a local chiropractor yesterday.  There was a free consultation so I thought why not since he's only 5 minutes from me.  As he was doing his examination he asked, 'do you do yoga?'.  Um no.  You're extremely flexible!  Well maybe my body might be, but don't try to change my mind anytime soon...

We are in the holiday season of Christmas concerts.  Our high school (as many of yours I'm sure) puts on an incredible show of talent and music to the ears.   Last night did not disappoint at all.  In fact, the top boys of our high school sang a song I had never heard of.  It is called "Bui Doi" and it is from the musical "Miss Saigon".  It is a song of the Vietnamese orphans after the war.  Between the music and the lyrics I was stricken with tears.  Part of the reason is because anything touching can make my eyes wet.  And the other bigger part is that once you've adopted one of these precious souls, your heart is soft for the others left behind.  If you want to hear a version, here's one that I found on YouTube.

And finally, a friend of mine shared a quote she saw that I like.  "Live in such a way that if someone spoke badly of you no one would believe it".  I better start practicing.


Monday, December 15, 2014

Monday Musings

Ugh.  I shouldn't have blogged on Friday.  I could skip this Monday Musings due to lack of content but then the week would feel a bit 'off'.  Maybe I'm a bit 'off'.

Three of the family members were able ski on Saturday in too-warm of conditions.  As son #1 and I walked last night, we both agreed that foggy and 43 in December isn't ideal for us.  We might need to move north.

Any tips on getting rid of a chronic lower back ache?  I'm all ears.  I've tried chiro.  Stretches.  It isn't bad, but always there.  Ok.  I'll stop complaining about my near-50 year old health.

I see a reader popped on from Ethiopia today.  A shout-out to whoever you are!  I must admit that approximately once/week I look at the locations of the lookers.  I like thinking of 'you all' - of those I know who you are!  And then there's those of you I'd like to meet some day!

Wondering if the following is true:

If so, then what I fear most losing is our cat and dog.  So I'm not so sure.  I think the Chairman and the MYP would be first, but they don't sit in boxes or sleep upside down in completely adorable ways.  Or maybe they do and I'm just not looking.  I took this messy picture of my frying up eggplant for upcoming festivities.  But look in the background...  :-)

Did you ever buy some Ginsu knives at the state fair?  You know, these kind?  
Well my 22-year old one was getting dull so I found a way to get them on-line!  At least I hope so.  I sent my credit card info to an unknown seller.  Will see what happens.  I love them for so many reasons.  Not the unknown seller, the knives silly.  

I think I'm Mused out.  I promise not to blog on Fridays so the Mondays can be more (a)Musing!


Friday, December 12, 2014

Frosty Friday

An action-packed Friday night here at the Chairman and Co.  Well actually not.  That's why a blog post on a Friday night!  Why you ask?  Well I didn't do a 'Thursday Thoughts'.  However, someone did from 'out west', so I didn't need to.  Heh.

Frosty Friday.  I may or may not have grabbed my phone and ran outside this morning in my purple fuzzy bathrobe and sheepskin slippers to take a few shots of the frost.  I may or may not have caused the guys working on the house next door to stop pounding on the roof and turn around and look at me until I returned to the house.  The strange stares were worth it.

Speaking of work men.  We had a part that needed to be replaced on our furnace.  With Google's help I figured out the exact part needed.  Called for service.  $260 for part/trip charge/labor.  I asked if I could just order the part and called "Tim" direct that works for the company.  He said he would stop by.  He installs the part, asks me for my bbq rib recipe that was in the oven, and then left without charging me a thing!  You can bet your bottom dollar I'll be using the company he works for the next time I need a bigger job done.  And I'll certainly ask for "Tim" even if he does charge me.  And I hope his ribs turn out.

I updated my "blogs I follow" list on my page thanks to the urging of a faithful reader.  However as I was updating it I came to realize just how many people have quit blogging.  Like lots and lots.  Some day that will be me.  I'm just not quite ready yet.  There's a couple more stories to tell.

Like the experience this week of one of the MYP losing a 4-month old laptop.  I earned my stripes and gray hair.  Aforementioned child inquired on the bus and at school.  Finally, at hour 8, he sees it lying on a table in an empty room.  He texts me and says he's 'relieved'.  Well I should hope so.  You see laptops are mandatory at our high school.  Otherwise, we wouldn't be sending one.

Or the experience of sitting in the passenger seat as daughter #1 drives in the dark.  She's doing splendid except for some lurching (happening on my right foot as I sit there without an extra brake on the floor).

Or how about the last child not yet mentioned?  She's been watching the cat too much.  So one child gives gray hair, the other a foot that twitches, and the third a heart attack.  I hope I survive this parenting gig.
I made homemade croutons this week.  It was a mistake because I don't think I will ever buy them again.  Speaking of food.  I've come to love whipping cream in my coffee.  My expanding waistline isn't thanking me.  

Well ski season is about here!  The local hill is blowing snow but unfortunately couldn't open tonight because it is too warm.  We're one of those weird families that hope for freezing temperatures.  Maybe next week.

Well I think this is a first to blog on a Friday night!  I've got a hunch that Monday Musing might be missing or minuscule!  Happy weekend!

Monday, December 8, 2014

Monday Musings

Can I let you in on a secret today?  I can?  Well here goes.  I feel lazy.  I feel unmotivated.  I feel like crawling into a cocoon and not coming out for a few days.  In fact, I (gasp!) don't really feel like blogging.  However, the usual tasks await and I will continue plodding along.

The other day, I was alone in the house except for one child who was in bed sick.  I could have done so many different things with my alone time.  What I chose to do is what makes me happy.  I love baking.  I made a pie, cookies, and some dinner rolls.  Yes, I did have some people coming over, but really I did it more for me than for the company.  Some craft.  Some read novels.  Some eat bags of chocolate.  I guess my 'happy place' is in the kitchen.

I've had some spots on my face that my general doctor wanted a dermatologist to look at.  So after waiting a couple months, I finally got in to see him.  This doctor of dermatology graduated from the University of Iceland in Reykjavik.  Do you sense the irony I did?  Dermatologists often deal with skin damage as a result of the sun.  Maybe I should do some research, but my hunch is the sun doesn't shine all that much in Iceland.  Maybe he was a flunkie and that was the field of choice since no one else wanted to go into dermatology.

All silliness aside, he was excellent.  He seemed to be about my age.  Had a slight accent and walked in with a beautiful mop of gray hair and perfect skin.  He's a pretty good billboard of skin care.  I had the obligatory full-body scan.  There's nothing like sitting on some butcher paper in a gown that doesn't tie up the back and having a perfect stranger with perfect skin look for suspicious moles and what-not.  He did freeze off a couple spots off my face that were pre-cancerous.  You don't have to send get well cards quite yet.  I am healing nicely.

This morning, son #1 asked me to check to see how long the freezing rain was going to continue.  I plopped down with my smart phone to check.  However an email came in I needed to respond to.  I peeked at Facebook.  I looked at the calendar to see if I had anything pressing this morning.  Pulled up the news to see if the world had ended yet.  Then as I set the phone down, he says, 'well?'  'Well what?' I ask.  'How long is the rain going to last?'  Um.  I didn't check.  Then he proceeds to tell me, 'you are just like that old lady in the comics yesterday'.  Thanks!  Which old lady?  Then he told me and here she is.
688e5f5053e10132afba005056a9545d
Well since I feel lazy, I don't think I'm going to blog any more.  And since the MYP will be coming home within an hour and I have a slightly long list to tackle before they come, I best get started.  I'm thinking daughter #2 wouldn't be too impressed if I told her her basketball jersey was still wet in the washing machine before her playoff game in two hours.  

Happy Monday!  Hopefully I can be a bit less lethargic the next time your eyes glance this way.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Therapeutic Thursday Thoughts

Why therapeutic?  Well because we are on the mend here!  One of the MYP came home from school yesterday acting very sluggish.  I chalked it up to her wanting to get out of a couple jobs I was assigning.  She asked to nap first.  I went in and checked.  101.5 fever.  That's a good way to get out of chores!  And thankfully, the fever broke and she's on the mend.  I kinda like having one child home alone.

This was my view by my feet this morning as I read.  I may be biased, but I still think they are cute.  Tomorrow is Lisi's birthday!  I may or may not make her a mini meatloaf birthday cake.
Across the street where they are building a house is a van of one of the workmen.  It has this bumper sticker.  For some reason it makes me smile every time I go by even though I like soccer.  We are surrounded by SUV/minivan soccer moms in suburbia here.  And I saw the guy get out of the van and he had a 5-day facial hair growth around a 5-year old shaggy beard.  He definitely isn't a soccer dad.
Rectangle Sticker
I've been reading in different places all the ways drinking water can benefit a person in so many ways.  I've been trying to drink a lot more than usual.  I'm pretty sure the reasons it helps people lose weight and fight depression is all you think about when shopping is where the nearest restroom is and how fast you can run to it.  

Our furnace made some weird noises the other night.  After going down and listening to the 'clunk-clunk' and whacking it on the side a couple of times (just because it seemed like the thing to do) I started to Google where the noise was coming from.  I discovered our zone damper motor's plastic teeth had given out and we need to replace the actuator.  Following me?  Google is amazing like that.  The actual part costs approximately $80 on line.  The repair guy charges close to $250 to fix.  I would try to do it myself but there's a special tool you have to have to repair it.  Companies are clever like that.  I called for service.  They scheduled us for three days out.  I asked why and the lady replied, 'because you have heat and some people don't.'  Ok then... 

We meet with someone each mid-week that looks amazingly a lot like Tweety Bird's Granny.  If you need to look that up, go ahead.  She kinda acts like her too.  She's a very dear and sweet lady who has weathered the loss of a husband and a son.  She is a self-proclaimed stubborn German.  She loves to quote the wisdom of Solomon and is a walking proverb in her own right.  Last night she told me there is never a reason to feel depressed.  She said, 'just look at me.  I'm 84 and could be depressed.  But I'm not.  I wake up and tell myself that today is going to be a good day.  And then it is!  You know how to do that Linda?  You just look up and then look ahead.  It's a simple as that.'  Amen dear lady.  I just love her.  

Well that's enough therapy for today.  I have bread ready to come out of the oven.  And since I have one of the MYP home, I just may sit and play games with her.  I've been keenly aware the past while that these will some day be the 'good old days'.  These teenagers are just as lovable as when they were toddlers.... usually.  Heh. 

Monday, December 1, 2014

Monday Musings

Just two creatures are stirring.  But no mice.

Happy Monday!  It's back to peace and quiet here at the Chairman and Co.  What a wonderful past week it was.

* Love privileges and special people that encourage us to be better than we naturally would be.
* Thanksgiving was a feast.  We spent it on my side of the fence this year.
The "T's" working on the Tom Turkey
Gab session
Celebrating #84!
Sugar-coated sweetness and smarts
Daughter #1 having fun.  I look kinda bundled up.

* We left the MYP on Thanksgiving night and drove away and didn't get them back for three days.  I now have a deeper respect for those experiencing an empty nest.  The house felt big and quiet and lonely.  I missed them more than I care to admit.  The Chairman and I had a lovely dinner out to belatedly celebrate 20 years of wedded bliss and blessing and sometimes bleak days.  It was nice to have all that uninterrupted time.  However, it was wonderful to have the growing flock all pile back onto the nest again.

* I've been working on a little volunteer project for the school that turned into nearly 15-hours of work.  Thankfully I turned it in this morning and hopefully the "tennis elbow" I am feeling from continual stapling will subside soon.  Feeling body parts hurt makes me crabby.
1st grade common core math books being disassembled.
* I saw this and smiled.  I didn't shop one iota on Friday.  However, I'll surf the web today but I doubt I click 'add to cart'.  
* Last night I got a call from our neighbor.  "Shut your big garage door!  There's a 'person of interest' the police are looking for!"  So I shut the garage door and locked the other doors and watched out the window as a cop car was shining a light all over our neighborhood.  I'm not sure who the 'person of interest' was, but it sure was interesting.  And I had no desire to head out on a walk in the dark either. 

* Well that's a wrap on my Musing.  I need to research Annie Sloan chalk paint and fold a pile of laundry and walk the dog in -10 degree wind chill and knead some bread and so it goes... riveting isn't it?  

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Tuesday Musing

Ugh.  That doesn't have a nice ring to it.  Tuesday Musing.  I've been beyond busy for a couple of days now.  For wonderful reasons.  I just realized on my way back from a walk that I didn't even pick up yesterday's mail.

In light of Thanksgiving this week, this will be a thankful Muse.

~ I'm thankful that it snowed yesterday.  It means that our local ski hill will be open before too long.

~ I'm thankful that as I raised up my arm to wave at a neighbor  that as I "ally-ooped" that I didn't land on my keister.

~ I'm thankful afresh for my health this week.  It has been very real to me if we don't have our health, nothing else really matters.

~ I'm thankful that we are celebrating a birthday this week.  This one if for my dad who is turning 84!  He was born on Thanksgiving morning in a farmhouse in rural Minnesota.  This year his birthday again falls on Thanksgiving.

~ I'm thankful that though we are spending this holiday with 'my' family, I'm glad I wish I was spending it with the Chairman's family too.

~ I'm thankful calories do not count on Thanksgiving.

~ I'm thankful the guys building the house next door don't mind a four-legged golden spectator.

~ I'm thankful that the reason I've been busy is because there is a perfect plan of a ministry that is homeless.  Yes, they need homes, but more so, we need them in our homes.  We need the encouragement and thoughts and even laughter to be shared over a meal, game, or serious study.

So this will have to be enough for the Musing this week.  Because of thoughtful relatives, I may just be alone most of Friday.  And for that, I am thankful!




Thursday, November 20, 2014

Thorough Thursday Thoughts

Do you know how hard it is to come up with unique 'th' adjectives?  Well this post will hopefully be 'thorough'.

I've been on a purge, throw, or donate mission the past week and more.  We have an unfinished room in our basement that has been neglected for six years.  Well I did another drop at Goodwill this week.  And as I glanced through the opaque bag as I was leaving, I realized that one of the many bags I dropped off was full of... garbage.  Garbage to Goodwill!  I'm sure they'll be surprised when they open that prize.

The third week.  The third grocery store.  The third lady.  The third comment about my hair.  This time the lady said that she liked how my hair was 'swooshed up'.  She was wondering how to handle her long hair and then thought my way was a good idea.  Maybe I should start wearing hats.  "Hello?  Do you like my hat?" (any parent would know that from 'Go Dog Go' book).

I actually get queasy over spontaneity.  And this week I went out of my comfort zone.  I got a text from a friend one evening asking if I would like to join her the next morning to head into the city to do a few things with her.  My first reaction was 'no'.  Then I thought, 'why not?'.  So I threw caution and my insecurities to the wind and jumped in her car.  It was most pleasant.  I even made a small request to stop at the Italian grocery store so I could get more goods for spaghetti sauce.

Then we had lunch in a place I had never been to.  The soup was called 'shrimp bisque'.  It was a party on the palate.  Yes, that good.

While we were in the Italian grocery store I got a call.  "Hello?  I don't know who you are, but do you have a golden retriever?"  Um.  Yes.  "Well I don't know what subdivision I'm in, but I am framing a house and your dog is here with us."  I remarked, "she must have smelled your lunch!".  He chuckled.  Then I told him to just tell Lisi to go home or drag her across the street back to our yard.  He seemed fine with that and we shared a laugh together and I hung up.  When I got home I found Lisi in the house.  So Mr. Construction Worker must have opened the door and just let her in.  Unless Lisi grew opposable thumbs while I was away.

If you take selfies on my phone/camera, you can be assured they will be posted:
If you know the heart and thought of a golden retriever, you would know that food is the most.  important.  thing.  Always and forever.  I finally took a picture of the morning routine.  Simba gets a small spoonful of wet food.  Lisi, having finished her breakfast of kibble goes and waits for Simba to get done so she can lick the bowl clean.  She always waits until the cat is finished.  I think that's pretty polite for a dog that thinks food is the ultimate goal in life.  

And finally, it is cold here still.  Like minus-something windchills by day.  However, because of age and circumstance, I have my own way to deal with it.

Happy rest of the week!  I hope this was thorough enough. 



Monday, November 17, 2014

Monday Musings

Time flies when you're having fun.  I'm not sure how much fun I'm really having, but the Mondays sure roll around quickly.

What to Muse today...  well maybe I'll get the weather news out of the way first.  It's cold here in dairyland.  We were single digits this morning.  We got enough snow Saturday night to need a shovel.  And the cat is cranky.  He keeps going outside thinking maybe, just maybe spring is here.
I met a new neighbor that is in the process of building a home across the street from us.  He waxed on and on about Lisi and how he's so impressed the way she stays in our yard and seems so sweet.  Then I mentioned we also have a gold cat that likes to be in and out and is a great hunter.  He said, 'well my lab Trinity will just love to chase him!'.  I reckon this guy isn't really into cats.

Circumstances caused me to be alone on Saturday.  Daughter #1 was working the whole day.  The next two were going into work with the Chairman to handle some files.  So the Chairman asks me Friday night, 'if everyone is working, will you be alright to be alone tomorrow?'.  Hm.  Well.  I'll try my best to figure out what I should do in the utter peace and quiet.  Yes dear, I think I can handle it.  Heh.

As I pulled out a new phonebook out of the mailbox the other day, one of the MYP asked me, 'what is that?'.  Um.  A phonebook.  And I am not making this up.  'What's in it?'.  Ah yes.  The generation of Google searches.  

Do you use emojis?  Our MYP use them to convey feelings often.  
This picture reminded me of the above: 
So we were sitting around Saturday night supposedly having some quiet Saturday evening reading.  It was a bit distracting to see two twin mattresses hauled upstairs into the room.  
There was yoga earlier in the day...
Some day the Chairman and I will be saying, 'remember when...'

Swedish meatballs.  I don't remember my mom making them as a child.  But I do remember serving them up at Jenkins Nursing home where I worked as a dietary aid in the kitchen.  They looked and smelled delicious.  (yes, I just said something good about nursing home food).  I was allowed to have any leftovers after the trays were filled.  Then we went to IKEA a couple weeks ago.  They serve Swedish meatballs in their cafeteria.  Yum.  So I came home and Googled a some copycat recipes and morphed a couple into one recipe.  The result was just delicious.  A shout-out to Sweden and their meatballs!  Much, much better than lefse or lutefisk...  (hoping to start a small riot on here)...

Happy Monday!