Thursday, May 29, 2014

A thousand thoughts this Thursday

Just kidding!  You think I have a thousand thoughts in my head right now?  Well actually I might, but they aren't all for public consumption.

The feel-good endorphins are raging here.  The weather is completely ideal.  The grass is mowed.  The flowers and garden have been watered.  Supper is started.  So after I type this up I reckon I might go sit on the deck and sip some iced tea and take a deep breath of idyllic peace.  Until the MYP traipse in the door and wonder 'what's for snack?'.

However, someone just tried to make me feel not so good.  It almost worked.  Remember my love affair with Aldi?  Remember my previous cart experiences with Chuck E Cheese coins, etc?  Well another one just happened.  I'm walking out with two bags and decide to pick them up and put my cart back.  Up walks a man and woman.  He says, 'hey can we have that cart?'  'Sure!' I say.  He takes it from me.  He starts to wander towards the doors.  I look at the lady he's with.  She shrugs her shoulders and says, 'we don't have a quarter' and also wanders toward the doors.  That was that!  I was left holding two very heavy bags of goods and no quarter.  'HEY!  IF THERE'S NO QUARTER, WHERE'S MY THANKS???'  But it is too nice of a day to feel robbed of my coin.

Here's a couple pictures from the past few days:
not fighting like cats and dogs
I'm a little dismayed because Lisi garners much more appreciation for blog posts than I do.  It's probably because she's cuter.

I've always liked cats.  Here's proof.  This is Smoky - my first kitty.

Daughter #2 has been working on the stage crew for her school's middle school performance of "High School Musical".  She says it has been very stressful having everything staged and set by the time the curtain is pulled back again.  I wouldn't know.  I wasn't talented and involved as a stage crew member.
no neck injuries resulted from this picture
Twenty years ago this week my Grandpa died.  He was a man from a small town in Iowa.  His parents were both blind and he and his brother were raised in a very unique situation.  He married my grandma and raised two wonderful 'kids' and stayed true to his vows until the end.  He always put 'first things first'.   I loved to sit and talk with him.  I loved to hear him tell funny stories.  I loved how much he loved other people.  I loved his gift of writing.  And I loved how he loved me.  I've been looking at some throwback Thursday pictures lately, and came across this one:
Never mind the fact I'm chewing on my finger
I just ate a few too many cheese balls.  So I better walk a bit after I sit and soak up sunshine.

Monday, May 26, 2014

My friend came!

I keep staring at her, and she doesn't get up off her chair to give me another walk.  Sigh.  What a lazy Big Lady!

Hello!  This is your old pal Lisi!  I realize I have been calling myself an 'old pal' for some time.  I'm starting feel the old part in my bones more than I used to.  You would think the Big Lady that yells but loves me anyway would just give me more kibble and extra treats knowing that sometime she won't be able to do that anymore.  I doubt it happens though because sometimes she calls me 'fat'.  I think that's called verbal abuse.

I just had a wonderful 24 hours.  You see the Big Lady that yells but loves me anyway said that most-wonderful "M" word.  My friend Mavrick was coming!  And he did!  It was wonderful.  We sniffed each other on both ends.  We wrestled a bit.  We begged for treats together.  We took a wonderful hike through the woods.  And we laid side by side and took delicious naps.  But all good things must come to an end.

Soon I saw Mavricks Big People starting to load up their things.  Mavrick is so lucky because his Big People don't seem as tense and ornery as the Big Lady that yells but loves me anyway.  They seem so patient and kind all the time.  I hope the Big Lady takes notice.

They told Mavrick it was time to get in their car.  "DON'T LEAVE MY FRIEND!  We still have a couple holes to dig.  We still have to settle our last wrestling match.  We still have a cat to chase.  (Don't tell Mavrick, but I still want to steal some more of his dog kibble.).  And up he went.  I got up on my back legs trying to get in.
I hopped up.  Do you think they would notice if I sat real quiet?
They see me!  If I smile real big will they let me go?  Please????
Oh no!  Here comes the Big Lady!  She's not even yelling!  She's yanking me by my collar!  What a brute!
I dug my back paws in hard.  Nothing doing.  She did one swift yank and pulled me out of their car.  See?  Even Mavrick looks scared.

So here I sit.  Staring at the Big Lady that yells but loves me anyway.  I probably would miss her tomorrow morning.  She stays home with me most all the days.  After everyone goes in a car or a yellow bus, she gets down on her knees by my bed and rubs all those special spots.

Even though she has some really annoying quirks.  Even though she never-ever seems to give me enough treats.  Even though the walks sometimes aren't long enough.  Even though she pokes pills down my throat.  Even though she yells at me sometimes (admittedly deserved), she loves me anyway.  So I better stay back so she doesn't feel too worthless.  Because we dogs are loyal.  And that's why she loves me.

Monday Musings

Sorry I'm a bit late.  In case you didn't know, this is a national holiday.  Memorial Day.  My dear belated Grandma always called this Decoration Day.  I was slightly confused as a youngster.  What were we decorating?  She took it seriously.  She knew of those that had died in past wars.  Seems now we look at Memorial Day as the official kick-off to summer and a good day to eat barbecue.   It's been nice to have a stay-cation this weekend.

And it was nice to have company come as well!  Thirty years ago I was sleeping in near-empty dorm room and had just finished my first year of college.  My slightly nice older brother was to graduate from that same university in a couple of hours.  The dorm room phone rang.  My mom was euphorically yelling into the phone.  'SARAH IS HERE!!!'  In my sleepy state I say, 'huh?  what?'.  'SARAH IS HERE!  The baby is born!'  OH!!!!!  I was on clouds as it was the best possible thing.  I always loved babies.  But having them born in your own family and the first baby born since I was 19 years before and oh my!  It's been wonderful every since.  Really....
She's made some very good choices all through the years.  Sitting by her side is one of them (no, not the pip-squeak photobomber on the right).

I've got a couple of non-paid endorsments to offer up to the readers of the Chairman and Co.  You see our family has been hit with a bit of a recession just like a lot of other folks.  Instead of hiring out window washers, and lawn mowers, etc., we are taking care of business ourselves these days.  The MYP have been always sometimes willing to help as well.  A couple days ago I realized we needed a clearer vision when looking out the windows.  We took off the screens and washed the windows from the inside and outside.  And how?  With a damp Norwex Enviro cloth and a dry window cloth.  And that was it!  No streaking.  It went so quick!  No chemicals or paper towels or whatnot.  And no, this isn't a paid endorsement.  

Another item that has proved itself is the men's Costco dress shirts.  The Chairman has about eight different ones.  They wear like iron (whatever that saying means).  They rarely need an iron!  And their price is a reasonable $17.99 for a quality shirt.  And if some high-level management from Costco is reading this, you can send my endorsement check to... (oh never mind).

Last night I had to (ahem) use the water closet in the night.  It struck me how utterly quiet it is during the night when the birds are so loud during the day!  I'm glad they don't know a thing about the night shift.

And!  With all this perfect weather, we have no mosquitoes here!  Yet.  

And speaking of creepy-crawlies.  Last night I woke up a couple times in the night feeling something.  I thought it was a dream.  I continued to sleep then woke up again thinking something just wasn't right.  I touched my arm and then I knew... a rotten tick.  Luckily, he hadn't tasted my blood quite yet.  But that kind of took my sleep away for a wee bit wondering if he had any friends that had joined us in bed.

Well I'm mused out.  It's a holiday you know and I think I need to relax some more...

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Words this Wednesday

It's time I let you in on a secret.  You see it is 4:49 on this fine afternoon and I have not showered yet.  I did manage to brush my teeth.  However, the rest of me doesn't feel that squeaky clean.  It's been one of those days.

Actually, in case you're interested, I didn't die from my illness.  Thanks for your concern.  Last night after I went to bed, I felt the plague being lifted and I woke up without every fiber of my body aching.  That's worth something, eh?

I got a frantic text this morning from our resident high schooler saying she had forgotten the 2-liter bottle that was absolutely mandatory for her science class today.  So I hopped in the van in all my non-showered glory and ran it to school.  I may or may not have been wearing a dirty "Life is Good" shirt that said, 'These are the good old days' on the front when I took the absolutely mandatory for science class bottle.  The teacher had the last laugh however, as they didn't even use the absolutely mandatory for science class bottles today at all.  Grrrr.

I was a sower today!  I don't like sowing.  Well to be honest, I don't like sewing either.  Might have something to do with that word.  Or the effort needed to make something happen.  Yes, I got most of the garden planted.  I thought of that hymn we used to sing around the piano.
Over and over, yes, deeper and deeper
My heart is pierced through with life’s sorrowing cry,
But the tears of the sower and songs of the reaper
Shall mingle together in joy by and by

While I sowed these teeny-weeny natural seeds I was very thankful for those that sow more important seeds.  I don't know even a measure, but I'm sure sometimes they are sown in tears.

Why does my chive plant think it can take over the garden?  And why do I need so much chives?  One can only eat so many potatoes.  And catnip.  If you have a cat, please plant this stuff.  It is just like marijuana for cats.  And it is hilarious watching Simba all googly-moogly upside down on the catnip looking like he's higher than a kite.

Got some pots planted

window boxes done!  

my 'selfie'.  The MYP said that moms should not take 'selfies'.

I've noticed that blogs that have a wide-audience often have a 'guest blogger' write a post once in awhile.  Any takers?  Oh wait, maybe my wide-audience isn't wide enough.

Was talking with the MYP today after school about a situation.  Then I just said, 'we really only have one shot at this - you the kids and we the parents'.   One of the MYP spoke up and said, 'too bad you're not like the bald eagles that lay eggs each spring and can do it better each year'. Yes.  Too Bad.  Or not.

Well, it is officially time to shower.  Like six hours ago.  P.U.  

Monday, May 19, 2014

Monday Musings

Kinda how I'm feeling today.  Yesterday I woke up to a sore throat and tickly nose.  By noon, I started to feel like I was going to fall asleep standing up.  By 4:30 after sleeping 3 1/2 hours I felt like I needed another nap.  By 8:30, I was ready to crawl into bed again.  And I woke up this morning wishing it was bedtime.  It feels a bit like a cold with some achy added in for fun.  By the way,  I can't wait to take a nap.  I think you get the idea.

Not much new otherwise.  We enjoyed going to a bridal shower this past weekend.  Nice to be surrounded with friends and good food and cheer!  Here is daughter #1 creating a bride dress out of toilet paper.  The 'bride' is her cousin's cousin, but it isn't her cousin.  How's that for mind-boggling?
Some of the young ladies present:

Spring is springing forth here!  I have more to plant and waiting (im)patiently for a friend to come till my vegetable garden so I can go forth to sow.  I hope it is good ground.

See out there on the trampoline?  

They are some YP, but not part of the MYP.  You see yesterday when I awoke from my very long nap, my family was gone to g.m.  I looked outside wondering where Lisi was.  There on the trampoline were a couple of neighbor boys sitting on our trampoline with Lisi below.  They were waiting for the MYP to return from g.m.  They come under the veiled reasoning that they want to play with son #1.  However, both of these boys are in daughter #2's class and somehow they usually figure out a way to get her outside to play with them too.  Tee hee.

Well if I want to get anything done today, I better get going.  Hope this isn't my future...

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Wishy-washy Wednesday

Not sure if this will turn out to be funny or sad.  Interesting or boring.  Worth your time or not.  So I better get started.

See this beautiful picture?
That is the picture of approximately $400.  Son #1 fights mold-related allergies that cause asthma.  It is a terrible disease but I'm thankful for medicine.  However, I am not thankful for the cost of the inhalers that run $180/month.  Yes, you read that right.  Each puff is close to $6.  We had our annual appointment with his allergy doctor I have grown to appreciate.  I may have mentioned that I was considering encouraging our son to take his medicine every other day to keep costs down.  I may have mentioned that insurance is non-existent for us except for catastrophic events.  I may have mentioned we are a family of five.  I may have cried as I was sitting there.  Just kidding!  I didn't stoop that low.  However, Dr. Allergy returned to the room with the next few months of samples for us to help off-set the cost.  Doesn't hurt to be be a squeaky wheel sometimes.

Cats tend to be a bit petulant at times.  You know, crabby.  I think Simba took it too far right before breakfast as he tried to give me the bird.  Yes you read that right.  He tried to give me the bird.  Not just any bird.  A living feathered friend.  He was meowing through clenched teeth trying to bring this little fowl into the house.
You probably think it has a sad outcome right?  Wrong!  I sent out Lisi to distract the cat and he turned his head fast and unclenched his jaw and away flew our little feathered friend!  Bird - 1.  Cat - 0.

When should children give up their 'blankies'?  We have a child here near the age of 12.  She has two yellow blankies that she's had since birth.  She said if the house would catch fire she would grab her bible, her phone, and her blankies.  I asked how much they were worth to her?  She wasn't backing down even when I reached $100,000.  I guess you would call them priceless.  However, I was urging her to think about putting them in a box somewhere.  She didn't agree....

Here's what the schedule looked like last night for after school driving.  I had to write it down to be sure I didn't leave anyone stranded.  Thankfully, the rest of the week is wide-open!  Hooray for suppertime!

At the recent funeral, I was asked to take this picture for someone.  I'm glad I did.
These five are 100% Italian.  One is my mother-in-law and the others are all her siblings.  It was really neat to see them all interact and be together.  Two of the brothers weren't happy to have to stop eating  cookies for the camera.  Heh heh.

One thought we heard at the funeral about this dear lady was her way of entering a room.  She wasn't the 'here I am!' kind of person.  She was the 'there you are!' kind.  I always want to remember that as I often feel I come across in the 'here I am!' way.  Yes, even though I am a long ways down this road of life, I still have lots to learn.

I also have lots to clean.  My goal is to get the house cleaned from attic to basement and a bit inbetween.  I need to get to the 'washy' part of this wishy-washy day.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Monday Musings

Well good day to you!  I'll Muse a bit, but it will be a bit brief.  This will be a 'better day' because we are not going to a feast.  We are going to a place of mourning.  And it will be a 'better day' because we will be surrounded by people that love others, by hearing about things that matter beyond this life, and by paying our respects to a lady that radiated cheerfulness.

Yesterday was Mother's Day as you all know!  I'd love to report that I received a tray with breakfast in bed and a rose draped across the plate, no chores to face, and a day of utter and complete peace and relaxation.  However, life isn't always what it seems to be.  After unloading the dishwasher and making whole-grain triple-berry pancakes for my loved ones, I got ready for the day and combed some other heads of hair and then the Chairman got deservedly riled up.  You see he put forth good effort to try and ensure the MYP had what they needed for the big day.  Then they were so preoccupied with 'getting ready' that the gifts and accolades didn't happen before we needed to leave.  It wasn't really picture perfect.

However, once we settled down at his folks for dinner and the afternoon, something 'clicked' and it became a bit more picture perfect.  Here's some proof.

yes they are growing

girls always like just one more selfie
There's another secret I haven't divulged on the Chairman and Co.  I feel it is time I owe it to you the readers.  You see the Chairman has another woman and I don't really mind at all.  You see she gazed into his eyes first.  She held his hand first.  She tussled his hair first.  She made sure all his needs were met first.  And best of all, she loved him first.  And I don't mind.  At all.
We have read over and over on FB about everyone having the 'best' mom.  That seems impossible, but does it?  You see maybe everyone has the 'best' one just for them.  I know I did.  Even though I'm nearing 50 and have been at this parenting gig for quite some time, I often do a thought check when considering something.  "What would mom do?"  I'm glad for a patient, kind, dedicated example of a loving mother - today and in my earliest memory.  What an awesome benchmark.

Saturday, we had picture-perfect weather.  Since we are such thoughtful parents, we wanted to ensure the MYP could enjoy it in all its beauty.  So after we mowed the yard and lot, we hollered encouraged them to pick up rakes and make sure the extra grass clumps were put into the wheelbarrow and thrown into the ditch.  In their world we were just one or two commands short of it feeling like they were in basic training.  However, with a little encouragement and a bit less hollering it went very well.   We're thoughtful parents like that.

Then they moved!  Ha!  I jest.  Well actually two of them did move.  They decided over breakfast that child #1 wanted child #2's bedroom.  So after some negotiation, lots of commotion and activity and some audible groans, I went upstairs to see the conundrum.  Wowsers it was a just shy of a cataclysmic disaster in my eyes.  You see I have just a tinge of OCD and can hardly handle things out of place.  Take two bedrooms and completely disassemble them and their contents and I'm just a car-ride away from going to the loony bin.  After the Chairman and I helped at the end with the biggest stuff, it looks quite nice and I think everyone is quite pleased with the results.  Whew!  Nothing like the eve of Mother's Day hauling two different desks into two different rooms.
Well time is wasting and I must go.  Glad I had time to Muse with you before a very busy day ahead.  

Friday, May 9, 2014

Feral Friday

Why feral?  Wild cats usually come to mind.  We must have something wild out there as our tomcat that loves to be cuddled came back late last week with an injury and possibly wounded pride.  After watching him limp and seeing something get progressively worse on his leg, I finally took him to the vet and discovered he has a bad leg infection due to a bite.  He was given strict instructions to stay indoors for at least three days and behave himself.  That's like keeping a lion in a small cage.  After day 1 1/2, he went outside because I couldn't take the constant meowing and dirty looks.  He was 'hunting' the fish right before he got the boot.
Speaking of animals, if you have one minute, you can watch Lisi's favorite thing to do lately.  Hide and Seek!  I tell her to wait out of sight and go hide an object and then give her a release command to find it somewhere.  Not that riveting, but a weird talent she has.

A few weeks ago, daughter #2 was to write a small summary of what she would like to potentially do with her life.  She decided to write it up in poem form.  I try to not brag, but I'm impressed an 11-year old can do this.  And yes, her continual goal is still to be an ER nurse.  Maybe some day I'll tuck it in a card as she graduates from nursing school.

If you can stand the sight of gushing blood,
  or wash a wound in soapy suds,
If you can wake up with sirens blaring,
  or help a patient and be caring,
If you can help someone live in just a couple of minutes,
  or get them what they need with no sort of limit,

If you can be ready for anyone coming in,
  and apply stitches to someone's cracked-open chin,
If you can calm down a patient and say, "it's okay",
  and give them hat they need in any sort of way,
If you can heal someone's heart and not take credit,
  but keep in mind that you still did it,

If you can never give up on someone who's dying,
  and keep on working without crying,
If you can cheer someone up that is in great pain,
  and help someone up who has a cane,
If you can watch someone walk away,
  and know that you saved a life that day,

Then, you can be a nurse some day!

Speaking of that child... they just had a volleyball tournament last night.  They made it to the championship game and lost.  I honestly was disappointed as I thought my raucous cheering would have helped.  But the girls?  They were thrilled with 2nd place.  Lesson learned by mom.

Speaking of mothers... Happy Mother's Day!  I could get all schmaltzy again and say how thankful I am to be a mom to the MYP.  I could say how much I value the example in my own mom, mother-in-law, and others.  But I won't this time.  I will leave you with this and hope you all have a wonderful weekend.  I know what I'll be doing!

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Taking time this Tuesday

More work beckons, but I'll stop to type a line.  I felt a bit disjointed yesterday for some reason.  After re-reading my Monday Musings I honestly feel it is not up to the standards you would expect from the Chairman and Co.  I'll try to be better.  Promise.

Last Saturday (the last day I was 48), I had family come see us!
my big sis and I

just a hunch, but I think little sister purposely cut off big sister

they get credit for my existence and for patience with a stubborn little girl
We had lunch at a nice restaurant and then took a drive down memory lane.  You see I was born in this fine city.  I lived here until I was the ripe old age of six and then we moved west to the prairie land of South Dakota.  My parents (and my sister and I) wanted to see where we used to live, so we drove by the old houses and neighborhoods.  This was the first place I called home.  It looks smaller now than it used to.  I have a vivid memory of taking my new doll buggy after birthday #3 or 4 and proudly walking down the sidewalk.

 Here is home #2 that we moved to when I was about four.  It boasted two extra bedrooms and a large garage.  Jill Johnson lived next door in that two-story you can see.  She and I ate a whole bag of marshmallows once to see if we could get fatter.  I remember feeling quite ill.
I also remember swinging a baseball bat in the garage one day and smashed the light bulb to smithereens.  My dear and most patient mother came around the corner and said, 'what happened?'  I remember saying, 'the light bulb just exploded when I was in here' all the while holding a baseball bat.  I don't remember getting scolded for lying, but I do remember hearing her quietly telling me about being truthful as we cleaned up the shards of glass.  I also remember late-night games of kick-the-can in the street and getting bit on the face by two mean german shepherds that lived a block away.  Luckily it didn't ruin my shot at beauty school.

Bald eagles have been spotted in our neighborhood for the first time!  Exciting stuff.  I hope they don't eat Simba some day.  Then I won't think they are so cool.

Dogs are getting smarter in these parts too.  This one just drove to Costco.  (note:  my camera shadow and wisp of hair)

And I saw this recently.  There's something about young boys and crazy ideas that I find completely amusing.

And finally and most importantly, the dear relative that we love passed away last night after a terrific struggle with cancer.  She just turned 67.  We will miss her as dearly as she was.  This photo was taken when she traveled to Texas to be with my sister-in-law who also was fighting cancer and doctoring there.  Now both are gone and the losses are real.  

Well I've taken enough time of your time on this Tuesday.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Monday Musing

This was one of my first text messages yesterday.  
Indeed.  I had a birthday.  And yes, that number wasn't a joke.  It actually is no laughing matter.  How did I ever get to be 49?  Meeshka!

I think age is just a number though.  Inside I feel quite young.  Outside, I don't look so young.  But emotionally, I feel secure and loved and very content and that's what really matters I think.

One of our daughters returned from a birthday bash Saturday and in her excitement was saying, 'my friends and I were all sitting around reminiscing about our childhood'.  Sounds sweet doesn't it?  It sounds way more funny when it came out of the mouth of an 11-year old.

I'm not big on gifts.  In fact, it almost makes me nervous to open them for some odd reason.  The Chairman and the MYP were doing lots of whispering and drove off at random times without me and presented me with an assortment of goodies that they had heard me say at one time or another that I needed.  They all must have been listening as I received three sweaters and three spatulas!  It makes me smile.

A gift that meant even more to me was this:
 And this:
You see while I was doing some pre-bedtime chatting with the girls last night I heard a clatter of dishes.  Then water running.  Then more commotion.  I come down and son #1 (earning his title for sure) had emptied the dishwasher, reloaded it, wiped down all the counters and organized the mudroom.  Be still my heart.

I need to come up with an Asian casserole for the school's teachers before tomorrow at 10:45.  I looked at the listing of contributions and it looks quite cheesy (well we are from Dairyland you know) and heavy.  So I had volunteered to do something light and spicy and Asian.  Well good grief.  I may have bit off more than I can chew!

Well that's about it.  I tried to upload a video of Lisi playing hide and seek, but it isn't working.  Phooey.  Oh well, no one would probably like it more than me anyway.