Thursday, July 31, 2014

Thoughts this Thursday

Maybe I should keep my thoughts to myself.  I lost of a lot of my self-esteem the other day when stopping by Facebook to see if anyone else's life was more interesting than mine.  Do you know what came up as an ad (assuming it is a targeted ad) just for me?  "Learn How to Blog!!!"  Good grief!  Don't you think I know already?  I have been wondering if I still have "it" since readership continues to plunge.  It is especially bad in the summertime.  Wonder why?  Heh heh.

I found a pedometer that was gifted to me a couple years ago.  I put it on yesterday early afternoon and had 7,301 steps by bedtime.  I'm going to get crazy and wear it all day and see the number of steps I have taken.  Hopefully, they are all in the right direction.  

I would love to get a Fitbit.  Just not sure if it is worth the money and it would soon find a place in my nightstand.

Son #1 has been missing in action for several days this week.  No matter which of the MYP is missing, it seems like a quasi-vacation.  There's less squabbling.  There's less food to cook.  There's less laundry (until the precious one returns to the nest).  There's less of a lot of things.  But with them all here there's more.  More lively discussions.  More calling out for 'shotgun'.  And most importantly, more satisfaction in seeing them all in the nest again.  

I've enjoyed the 'girl time'.  We did a shopping day.  We did a nothing day.  And there was a day that they worked for me!  They cleaned and organized my closet.  It was really wonderful except the sarcastic comments on my lack of style and deplorable choices found in the dark corners.
When I have time to sit and surf the internet, I almost always find myself heading to or some other food or recipe site.  I found a new one last night that caused me to stay up to late.  It is called  Have fun!  If that's your thing.

Yesterday, our new neighbors moved in across the street.  I'm thinking I'll have to put the binoculars away now.  I've often grabbed them to see what the workmen were up to.  Seems it might be a bit awkward if the new residents saw my face pressed against the window with some high powered binoculars.

The Chairman has been working some deplorable hours this week.  Two times he got up at 3:00 am and left very, very early.  There's that jingle that Folgers has done for years, 'the best part of waking up is Folgers in your cup!'.  I set the timer for the coffee machine and it doesn't do much for sleep when you keep waking up and smelling hot coffee at 3:35.  At least I don't have to drink it that time to get the day going.  I'm so thankful for his efforts for us.

Did you know if you have a dog, you never-ever eat alone?  Here was my view yesterday.

So today the sun, moon, and stars have aligned.  Or rather time and circumstance.  Do you know what's exciting?  I'm alone!  I'm alone almost all the live-long day!  What to do... what to do.  I just may plan my entire day around the simple fact I want to take a nap.  If I get one of those, the rest is just bonus. 

Monday, July 28, 2014

Monday Musings

There's a Danish proverb that says this:
I'm so very thankful they didn't feel that way. 

We had some extra-special guests come to our home this weekend.  They spent hours and hours in the car.  They came from my home state of SD to visit us before going to an orchestra camp in dairyland.  I feel better for their coming.

Years and years and years ago I was a tween with tight Pippy Longstocking braids living in SD.  There was a young man a bit older than my sister that went to college with her.  We would see each other at convention and frigid-cold ice skating parties.    

Years and years ago I finished college.  I took my first white water raft trip through the Grand Canyon and he was also a part of that wonderful experience.  I then moved to the big Cities and ended up being in the same Sunday gathering with him.  We met together for six years.  We had much in common including our love for numbers and sensible things and discussing life  .I was an independent career woman.  I considered him a good friend.

At that time, I was in a not-so-good living situation with a roommate and didn't know how to resolve it.  The phone rang one day and this gal I knew mostly by name and not much else asked if I would join her to live together and share expenses.  It was an answer.  A good answer that I'm still thankful for.  We lived together for three years.  She was talkative and spiritual and cared for any and all - including me.  She encouraged me in right ways when I wasn't strong enough myself.  I considered her a perfect roommate.
When I married and moved away, I missed our near-nightly discussions about life and serious matters.  Two years later, my friend and my roommate married each other!

Years ago, we flew home from China.  We landed in Los Angeles and as soon as we cleared customs with our beautiful daughter, we walked into our hotel and she was sitting in the lobby waiting for us.  There were tears... of joy and relief and exhaustion.  She was the first one on US soil to hold our little baby:
A few years ago we saw each other again.  This time there were five children between us all close in age.  They were little cuties.

Here they were yesterday: (the cutie on the left feels like our daughter, but is a friend that was with us)
And here is the family:
I'm glad for the time we had.  I'm thankful for good influences in my life.  And I'm grateful the road wasn't too long.  I hope it isn't another eleven years before our MYP see each other again.  They quickly became fast friends.  I just wish the road wasn't so long between them and us.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Just some words...

Life isn't perfect.  Sometimes maybe it seems that I portray life here at the  Chairman and Co. with rose-colored glasses.  I hope not.  Here's just a few reasons it isn't so perfect sometimes:

* Our computer is sick.  Very ill.  I spent til midnight the other night running this and that on it.  Basically what the checkups said is to pick up the CPU and throw it out the nearest window.  I just might pretty soon.  And just a side note.  If your anti-virus is flashing red at you and you let your subscription expire, you may have problems.

* Japanese beetles are eating anything green in our yard.  I have sprayed and it seems to help.  But not totally.  They are ugly and irritating and hungry and seemingly 'in the mood' to make more beetles.

* I have a canker sore.  My grandma once told me that canker sores feel like they are going to last forever and then suddenly they are gone.  I'm still in the forever stage.

* Our car has a small dent near a wheel well.  I didn't do it.  It appears a nearby car did it in some unknown parking lot.  Two estimates were done yesterday.  One for $121.  One for $685.  Hmmmm.  Wonder which one I should use?

* The dog stinks.  And I worry I might be allergic to the cat.   My skin issues disappeared when we were away camping last week.  No, there's not a chance we would get rid of him.  I'm way attached.

* This is for the MYP, not me.  Back to school supplies are everywhere.  The Sunday ads were full of bargains.  Summer is only half-over....

*  My middle name is Kay.  Not Grace.  We go to a certain home each Sunday.  Well sometime in the near future, we will be going to a different place.  Next door.  They are building a new home next to where they currently live.  The Chairman and the Elder were over there looking at the building site.  I was all excited and rushed over on a little path to join them.  I had just looked over my shoulder at Mrs.  Elder to say one last thing.  And then I fell;  In spectacular fashion with Mrs. Elder, Elder, and The Chairman all watching me go down with unbelievable lack of poise.  I received two dirty hands, a dirty spot on my skirt, and a bit of wounded pride.  Now days later I just have a couple sore muscles left to contend with.

I don't want you to feel motivated to send cheerful cards and thoughts of joy so I'll maybe add that life really isn't about small irritants or glorious falls.  It is about having time with parents.  Children with grandparents.  Friends planning to come and stay this weekend.  And other extra-special privileges.  The weekend promises to be very full and very wonderful.

Happy Thursday!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Monday Musings

((Waves))  Hello there!  I missed you all!  Really!  It's been a very hectic couple of weeks but now I see some open spots on the calendar which makes my heart Mary.  I mean merry.

I may just have to bullet today to get more out there with less words.  So here goes:

* I survived not one, but two birthday parties.  I hosted not one, but two birthday parties.  I think you saw some photos of the first.  Here's the second.  I served a spaghetti dinner all fancy-Nancy in the dining room (their request).  Aren't these sweeties lovely?

* Then we packed and labored and loaded the camper for Door County.  One night I mentally added how many of our friends were there and I came up with 58, so for bragging purposes, I will say 60.  We had adjoining sites and perfectly cool/warm weather and not a drop of rain.  I think it could best be described as the best trip there yet.  Why?

* The MYP are way more independent than seven years ago (go figure!).  And so, the Chairman and I had alone-time which is wonderful.  We biked and took a great couple-mile hike and visited and sat by the fire and so forth.

* We have nice friends.  I could go on and on about how much they mean to me, but they might blush.  I love having people in our age-group and other MYP in the same age-group as ours.  We are walking through life side-by-side and sharing in so much.  But more than that, they are not just good people but Spiritual.  They encourage me even in a state park.

* Several times at a meal or during quiet time at the fire or whenever, we would see one of our MYP's friends or a bigger teenager come and sit and eat and visit with us old duffers.  For some reason, it made my heart Mary, I mean merry.

* We came home to very happy pets.  They were well cared for by a in-home pet sitter.  I'd give you her name, but I don't want to lose first dibs on her.  Simba hopped in when we got home.  I think he wished he would have gone.  Or not.

* It's getting hot out.  It's actually getting hot inside too.  I can't wait until the thermostat hits 86 so I can turn on the a/c.  I'm guessing I'll have to lie with one leg outside of the sheet tonight.

* We have a very ugly virus on this computer I'm using.  I've spent a little way too much time trying to get it off of here.  I may or may not have succeeded.  To say it is irritating is an understatement.

* Since coming home I have been very thankful for a high capacity washer and dryer.  The smoky smell on the sweatshirts is kinda nice.

* The Japanese beetles should go back to Japan.  They are eating the garden faster than it is growing.

* This will have to do this time.  I didn't want to let another Monday go by without Musing.  Happy week ahead!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Monday Musings on a Tuesday

Just doesn't have a good cadence to it.  Tuesday Musings.  I'm sorry I let the incredible masses down yesterday - looking for a bit of cheer or entertainment or encouragement.  I'll see if I can make it up to you.  Or not.

As I mentioned lately, July is a super-busy month.  Well maybe I should say summertime as a whole.  There's gardens to tend.  Yards to mow.  MYP to feed.  Places to be.  And birthdays.  Have I mentioned the insane unplanned birth dates in our family?  Well two down and two to go in the past two weeks.

I was thinking about the birthday tomorrow related to me the mother.  Obviously it is nothing but a Mira-cle she is here.  We are thankful.  I lost a lot of sleep on worry while carrying her.  I saw our ob/gyn every two weeks and two different high risk perinatologists weekly for ultrasounds for twenty-four weeks.  I ate very carefully.  I laid down at every opportunity since we were worried she was going to come out too soon.  I swelled up like a beluga whale at the end and fit only a pair of Birkenstocks that were quite attractive at the last union meeting we attended before she came.  Then I labored having her for three hours and finally our Mira-cle was here.  So who should the party be for?  Her of course!

You see daughter #2 has wanted a wonderful birthday this year.  I allowed her to have a school friend party for the first time.  That compounded with her actual day that is tomorrow with gifts and cake and the added joys of another party with friends of ours coming later this week.  Do you know what that means for me?  W. O. R. K.  She's a great tween now.  My baby who is smart and funny and sporty and tender is twelve years old tomorrow and she's been worth every effort.  Well maybe not the stubbornness, but she comes by it honestly.

One of the birthday party ideas was to do a 'Color Run' activity without the running.  Basically, just grab handfuls of paint powder and hurl it at your closest friend.  It involved several pounds of cornstarch and paste food coloring and water and lots and lots and lots of time.  It needed to be sifted just one too many times and so it wasn't used for the first party.  Maybe the second.  It sure was a lot of work to have four large bowls of colored cornstarch now sitting in our basement.... 

Please don't send me a get well card anymore.  And definitely no sympathy cards are due the Chairman.  I've been sick.  Like feeling really icky with a cough/chest issue/one-cough-away-from pneumonia feeling.  I coughed and hacked and barked and wheezed through the 3rd fireworks.  By the fourth, all I wanted to do is curl up in the fetal position and suck my thumb for awhile.  Well maybe not quite.  I did sleep a good portion of the 4th.  The Chairman took the MYP out for supper and I sat on the deck with my date:

Well I best be on my way.  Our daughters both have birthdays this week - July 9 and 10.  I have a few more gifts to buy.  One more party to plan.  And life to live.  We soon leave for our annual camping trip with about 75 of our closest friends.  See you next Monday! 

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Thursday Thoughts

Will get a thought or two down before I head out for a walk with the sweet dog and then ready ourselves for a fireworks bash downtown.  No, I realize it isn't the 4th of July.  But the city we are closest to always does their big show on the 3rd and the suburbs do theirs on the 4th.  That way there's pyrotechnic displays two nights in a row for this Dairyland!

I always knew you blog readers were smart.  However, I tend to feel threatened if the readers are actually lots smarter than I am.  That proved true when a recent text came in "did you mean emanate rather than emulate?".  It was related to a recent post.  He was right and I was wrong.  And I'm trying not to feel threatened by brilliant readers.

We've had a sick cat on the premises.  No, it wasn't our beloved golden boy.  It looked just like this:
However, the cat that was in our backyard for an entire day had a clear discharge coming from its nose and mouth.  It would spit and hiss and carry on when Lisi came close.  But it wouldn't leave our yard and eerily would come back on the deck looking very ill.  We tried about everything to get it away short of whacking it over the head with a broom.  Finally I called animal control and they handily netted the cat and took it away.  I felt kinda bad because as soon as that cat saw the crate it desperately wanted to get into it.  Meaning... it was probably some one's pet.  Hope he finds home again!  And hope he gets rid of whatever ailment he has.

Speaking of sick, I've had a weird chest cold that makes my voice worse and worse.  Today I can hardly talk.  I mentioned to one of our sweet daughters that I doubted I could talk tonight when we are with friends at the fireworks.  She said, 'and that's bad, why?'  

Yesterday we celebrated the Chairman!  He said he had a nice birthday and I hope so!  
sometimes I can't believe they are all mine...

especially him!
and look at these two... it wasn't just luck that they are our daughters
Tomorrow, July 4, it is 20 years since the Chairman proposed.  We were in Minneapolis and had finished watching a local fireworks display.  I'm still glad I said 'yes'.  Very glad.  I was thinking of this song I liked the other day that Kenny Rogers sang (over 20 years ago).

All my memories from those days come gather round me
What I'd give if they could take me back in time
It almost seems like yesterday
Where do the good times go?
Life was so much easier twenty years ago.

Yes, I would love to go back in time and feel what I did then.  Yes, life was so much easier in some ways.  But it is so much better now.  My love and respect for the Chairman is deeper.  I have been blessed with the MYP.  I have grown to love the area where I live.  I have made life-long friends that have helped me through the ups and downs that life has thrown at us.  Twenty years... and hoping for 120 more.  

Happy 4th of July!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

It's all about power

As we peered up into the skies we saw lots of bright lights.  Electric currents were surging through the atmosphere above us.  And suddenly there were no bright lights or electric currents surging through the wires of our home.

Little did I know after Musing, how exciting life would actually get!  After making sure our little guests were safely deposited back to their parents, we came home and started supper.  A storm was a-brewin' and we knew it would be a doozy.  It seemed wild and crazy and Lisi was panting like her life was soon going to end, but it wasn't as bad as some storms we have had.

I was feeling at my breaking point of heat and humidity so I started to turn on the a/c.  Just as I did, the lights flickered once, twice... then that was it.  The house became eerily quiet.  And dark.  And super-de-duper hot.  Well actually it was hot before the lights went out because we run the a/c when it is really, really hot.  Not just hot.  See?  I shouldn't have been messing with the a/c so early in the season!

The Chairman arrives for supper.  Since I had most of it done already, we ate what was available by candlelight.  It makes the sloppy joes seem to have much more finesse when you eat them by candlelight.  They tend to be a bit more sloppy too.  The kids brightly said, 'lets play a game!'.  So in the dim light offered up by a couple weak candles and the fading sun, we played a few rounds of Texas Hold'em.  Then I went off to the car and the peace and quiet to charge my phone and get some cooler air in the garage.

We go to bed in the hope that it will suddenly be restored in the night and wake us up with fans blowing and lights on and electronics beeping.  I woke up to utter silence still.  Rats.  I start thinking about my fridge and freezer and the umpteem hours I have spent buying, harvesting, preparing, and what-not all the foods in the cold spots.  Ugh.  I sure hope we don't lose them.  A friend nearby offers up a shower.  You see those with wells need power to pump that water through the spigot.  I was thinking as I was getting clean at my friend's house how strange it all was.  If you would have told me that one day I would be standing there showering at S's house I would have told you that there were rocks in your head.

A neighbor stops by.  She heard we won't be restored until 11 pm tomorrow night.  I panic and call a few friends that had said they had generators.  Plans are made.  I race off to a nearby gas station and buy up 60 lbs. of ice.

We return home and walk into the garage and the garage door lights pop on!  LET THERE BE LIGHT!  And 60 pounds of crystal-clear ice!

I think we need to have a party!  For power!  And to use up 60 lbs of ice...  so stop on by!