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! 

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Thought-provoking Thursday

Just kidding!  I'm not deep and wise like that.  This will be the same shallow Muse that usually happens on this page.

I've been wishing death upon something and I don't think it is proper for me to feel that way.  You see approximately a year and some odd months ago, one of the MYP really, really wanted some new fish.  I thought we would just get a couple of goldfish at the local Walmart to appease her desire.  And so, "Harry" and "Styles" joined the family.  Fifty-four cents later and lots of water down the drain, they still are swimming and I wish they would die.  In fact, when I changed the water yesterday, I hardly let it sit long and it was chilly enough that they would have wanted a jacket, but yet they swam on.  ((sigh))

Even Simba is trying to induce a heart attack.
Do you read obituaries in the paper?  I have lately and I've come to enjoy it.  I remember the saying that old people read the obituaries every day to make sure they're not listed.  Yesterday, there was a fascinating lady that died in her 90's that immigrated here from Poland.  She married her husband just before the outbreak of WWII, lost two daughters during the war while her husband was fighting.  Then her 8-year old son and husband immigrated to our area and she followed a year later with another son.  Her husband died of an accident by age 35 and she struggled with many jobs to support her then four children.  The obituary was informative and written in a way that made me wish I could have met that lady.  

I've got this handy-dandy calendar up on a wall in the kitchen to keep track of the family events each day.  However, I get an "F" this week.  I got all dressed up for the honor roll breakfast a day before it happened.  And yesterday I took daughter #2 to her basketball game and it was already half-time as the game started an hour earlier than I thought it did.  I don't think I'll get the "Mom Award" this week.  

Good-riddance to some goods on its way to Goodwill...

And then there's this picture!  Our house with a brilliant sky in the background.  My neighbor sent it to me while I was sitting in a gymnasium the other night (made that game on time!).  Wow!  And to think I don't like the month of November.

Did you know Aldi sells dreadful little cookies that taste exactly like Girl Scout Caramel Delights?  Now you know and your hips will not thank you for the information.

See?  I told you it wouldn't thought-provoking.  I try to be honest if at all possible...

Monday, November 10, 2014

Monday Musings

Well hello there!  I didn't forget it was Monday and I need to Muse.  It's been a unique day for me.  In all my 49.5 years, I have never attended a g.m. on a Monday morning!  Then it seems strange to stop at the store and continue on like it is a normal Monday.

But Muse I must.  The other day I was going through the self-check at the grocery store.  All of the sudden this lady walks away from her lane over to mine.  "Excuse me could I say something?".  I turn around and say, "well I guess so!" kinda sorta fearing that I may have cut her off with my cart by the meat counter or something.  She smiles broadly and says, "I really think your hair is beautiful!".  Well thanks!  Considering that I'm obviously very au natural that was nice.  It made me realize that I need to compliment others too when something strikes me.

I've tried a couple different recipes lately.  Here is one for fish tacos.  And here is one for Hawaiian ribs.  I cheated and used some pre-breaded tilapia in my freezer from Costco that I didn't know what to do with.  Both recipes were actually super simple and good.

We just signed up daughter #1 for drivers training in a couple months.  For some reason, the Chairman and I looked just like the parents of this excited girl in these strips.  

Yes, the joys of parenting.  I may have blogged this before, but it somehow seems relevant and bears repeating - when your MYP are MLP (many little people), the challenges and struggles and problems are all smaller somehow.  When your MLP turn into MYP (many young people) they seem to be bigger and more nerve-wracking.  When they are MLP, you are physically exhausted.  When they are MYP, you are sometimes emotionally exhausted.  You simply cannot throw in the proverbial towel.  You cannot walk away.  You must be there and parent these growing minds and bodies.  

Please don't get me wrong.  I am not complaining and the MYP have been respectful and a joy to raise.  But some days I wonder what I'm doing.  Some days I wonder if they'll grow into nice adults.  We both only have shot at this - they as young people and we as parents.  Thankfully, I have the Chairman at my side and we have wonderful avenues of help from family and friends and most importantly, from the Best source.  

Then there's pictures like this that I just had to take yesterday.  Our daughter and her friend.  They are splitting images of each other in personality and size and giggle capability.  She's just another niece in my heart.

Well Lisi is back to her full rambunctious health again and is pawing at the front door waiting for me to come walk her.   I'll leave you with this...

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Keeping it real (pets edition)

We have a couple furry friends that share our days with us.  Regular readers will know they are a special part of our life.  They offer up unconditional love and an occasional mouse on the front doorstep.  We are smitten.  I mean just look at them:

However, pet ownership doesn't come without a cost.  Food.  Vet bills.  Boarding.  You name it.  But there are other issues.

I tend to like a clean house.  Lisi and Simba have limited house privileges.  But we still deal with muddy paws and cat and dog hair and worse.  This week Lisi has been sick.  Like I have to run out to the field to 'go' right now!  However, the other night she was sleeping on her bed in the kitchen.  The night was approximately eight hours.  She had to 'go' but no one was up.  I think you know what happened.  She spent two more nights in the garage and still had problems.  Major ick.

If anyone ever asks for my advice about getting a pet, I usually say 'don't do it'!  There is constant work.  You'll be tied down.  You'll have expenses.  You'll be continually cleaning your house to keep it neat and free of hair and dirt and sometimes worse.

However, there are rewards.   They are sweet and soft and loving.  Each and every morning as I sit and read I have company.  One is on my lap purring and one at my feet.  The house never feels empty when I'm home alone.  My feel-good endorphins just surge when I lay on the rug and pet one of these sweeties.

Today I was at the nearby grocery store picking up a few items.  Across the way I see a neighbor lady and her husband I meet several times a week walking.  She walks up to me and says with a smile, 'where's Lisi?'.  I said, well she's at home and she's been sick for a few days.  "Meg" whirls around and yells across the freezer aisle, 'Mike!  Lisi is sick!!!'.  Mike scurries over and asks for details.  They think Lisi is the 'cat's meow' (pun intended) and they don't even know she writes stories!  Heh.

So today I'm making up rice, chicken, pumpkin, and plain yogurt concoctions to stop this vicious cycle (mess) of tummy trouble.  If you are feeling thoughtful or generous, you could always over and help a bit!  And if you are thinking of adopting a pet,  just give me a call.  I will tell you the harsh realities and utter joy of having them.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Twenty short years

Twenty short years.  That's what it has been.  It also has been twenty long years.  Life is funny like that.

Today we celebrate 20 years of marriage.  The Chairman and I.  Twenty-years ago I had never heard of blogs or thought of my beloved as a "Chairman".  Yet here we are.
And here we were then.  November 5, 1994.  Stillwater Minnesota.

I'm not a romantic.  I don't hardly know how to swoon.  I'm not swept off my feet by flowers or chocolates or gushy cards.  However, on a day like this, it does make me pause and think about my love.  Since leaving the land of 10,000 lakes and relocating to dairyland, I've changed in some incredible ways and yet have stayed the same.

The Chairman has taught me many things.  He's taught me how to reach out to others more.  He's taught me to appreciate diversity.  He's taught me to get out of my comfort zone to try new things such as skiing or enjoying football.  He's taught me to be more adventurous in my eating and cooking.  And he's taught me how to love and give without reserve.

Twenty-years ago, we had no idea the path we would travel.  We didn't know about the deep losses and joys and everything in between.  We didn't know how our unique family would come to be or that we would have furry friends sharing our lives.  I didn't know how much I would love to live where I do and love the friends that live here.  But we did know this..  we knew we would love each other.

In our vows, the judge had us recite that we would love each other 'as long as we travel life's pathway together'.  And we have.  And we will... 'til death do we part.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Monday Musings (part 2)

Never before in the storied seven-year history has there been a two-part Musings.  I hope the readership is not disgruntled when I revert back to one Musing/Monday in the future.

* There is much I don't know yet about our new computer.  My mostly nice older brother has been a source of help.  But don't tell him I said something almost nice about him.

* I realize I'm a bit off, but I have to admit I like the time change.  I don't mind it dark at night.  It seems more like an adventure like we live near Nome, Alaska or something.  I like the cozy family suppertime.  I like that we all glum together in the living room by the wood stove in the evenings.  Call me crazy, but I've grown to love all the seasons.  Even polar vortexes.

* I am completely sick of meal planning.  I love to cook but am weary of the new ideas.  I asked each family member to come up with three ideas each and now I have a list to use.

* The other day I realized I feed or plan meals for others 16 times/day when you take into account there is a Chairman, three MYP, one dog, one cat, and two fish.  Not to mention houseplants...

* I put together a new desk for daughter #2 this week.  It came in three ginormous boxes.  It involved more parts and pieces than I realized.  I threw in the towel before I started.  And then I decided to move the towel and look at it.  Step by step I got it done in about eight hours over a period of three days.  I felt a sense of accomplishment that I haven't felt in a long time.

When I was in second grade, I wanted to eat my Halloween candy at school.  I wasn't sure how to pull it off as candy was strictly forbidden in school back in the stone ages in my day.  So I took matters in my own hands.  I had some of these:
I scratched off all the "S's" off one side.  Put about 20 in an old orange pill bottle I found and took them to my teacher and said I needed to take one very two hours for "allergies".  She would call me up to her desk and hand me a 'pill' and then I would go out in the hall and chomp down my candy with smug satisfaction.  It went off without a hitch until my teacher called my mom and asked what my "allergies" were.  Such a delightful memory.  And so very naughty!

Fish water tastes better than the regular stuff:
If I was expecting, you would say that I have been 'nesting'.  However, I am past the age of adding to our brood.  But I have been cleaning out closets and unfinished areas and dumping lots of unnecessary things into the trash bin or the pile for Goodwill.  It was a great delight to clean out the area where I keep the pet medicines and cleaning things.  Lisi acted like she was about to get shot and the cat scurried out of sight upon the first creak of the cabinet door.

the trifecta of horror
See this picture?  It was taken by my new friend in Iowa of me visiting with friends I knew from before.  That isn't why I'm sharing it.  See the little cutie in the light blue jacket?  She was Ms. Crabbypants because she thought we were visiting too long and her shopping was going to be too abbreviated.  I'm  just glad to have this for a funny memory some day when she's 24.  

Well Monday Musings (part 2) will have to finish. If I'm ever going to get the yard cleaned up and some more accomplished before the busses roar in, I better get moving on this Monday.

Monday Musings

I feel like I have more Monday Musings material than I should.  Don't want to bore the masses so will try to sum up the past few days with bullets.  No, I don't plan to shoot you.

Mini vacations are a must.  We don't do them enough.  We were gone approximately 15 hours on Saturday to the Windy City.  If felt like we were gone on vacation somewhere by the time we returned.  It was wonderful in every way.  Why?

We saw these two:
And all of these.  I love the feeling you get when you meet a 'stranger' and they feel like an immediate friend.

We ate some of this:
Took some pictures at the "bean":

And we shopped Michigan Avenue.  In my mind it is expensive there.  And it can be if you wander into Burberry or Gucci or Louis Vuitton.  We only peeked inside and did our shopping elsewhere.  

I had my first experience here:
We were at Ikea four hours and it wasn't long enough.  Yes, that's son #1 in front of me.  We shopped and enjoyed our free meal if we spent $100.  The couple in front of us ordered 17 plates of salmon so that the store would pay for it.  Not cool...  

Yes, mini vacations.  They are perfect because after a long day of pounding the pavement, you can crawl into your own bed and call it a great day.  

There may be a Monday Musings part 2 coming...