Monday, December 21, 2015

Monday Musings

Good Monday Musings!  I will just post a little brief one today.  I checked my "notes" page on my phone and haven't written anything down since I last blogged.  Must be that there's nothing in my brain worth sharing.

Well this happened this morning.  As he handed over the paperwork for his temporary drivers license I kept thinking that it wasn't very long ago we were eagerly awaiting his birth.  It wasn't that long ago that he was saying 'oh oh mommy' in the quietest tone from another room.  That meant he had dumped a bin of flour, pulled out all the toilet paper, or tipped over a plant and there was dirt all over the carpeting.  
Life with all these teenagers is fraught with emotions.  I feel like I'm staring at the emojis some days.  I am seeing happy, really happy, sad, angry, distraught, sick, and loving within minutes of each other.  And enough about me!  Heh...  

I just saw this on my camera roll.  The other night I was trying to get one of our daughters out of my bedroom so I could go to bed.  Another of the daughters captured it for the ages.  Apparently she didn't want to leave. 
Please stop running out to your mailbox every time the postal worker comes.  I don't think we will be getting holiday cards out this year.  I figure we've sent them each year for the past umpteen years and your bulletin board is full enough.  So if you want to see us this year, look at last years picture and squint a bit.  And then imagine that we look a year older (and hopefully wiser) and the MYP are an inch or - in some cases five inches taller.  Thank you for your understanding.  Next year one of our MYP will be getting her senior pictures (gasp!).  I am hoping we could get a few family shots then as well.

So this week ahead will be full days of family, friends, food, and fellowship.  My side of the family will all be together with the exception of two who are called to be elsewhere.  I loved this quote because it kind of sums up my feelings this year.  

I hope you have a wonderful holiday season and will stop by next Monday to Muse a bit before the New Year rolls around!  

Monday, December 14, 2015

Monday Musings

Hello there!  About four different times in the past week, I was about to Muse and then got way-laid somehow.  I'll try to keep this brief and interesting and encouraging and funny if that's even possible.  I noticed on my stats that last month there were over 3,075 page views.  That makes me amazed and humbled and surprised all at the same time.  Thanks for following our journey through this wonderful experience called life!

A painter-lady just came with her lackey helper.  She told "Corey", "this is Linda.  It will smell amazing here pretty soon because she's a good cook.".  I'm tempted to go burn something on the stove and see how "Corey" reacts.  Heh.  I marvel how Lisi acts like they both are her best friends in the world and this will be the best day ever... and the cat slinks to the basement to be sure he's safe from danger.

Not everyone feels that way about my culinary expertise.   As one of the MYP ran into the house after school the other day she yelled, "it smells like vomit in here!  What is that terrible smell?".  Um that is what will soon be your supper.  Apparently Parmesan cheese and puke can come across the same way with the olfactory senses.

I must admit I'm not an electrician.  We got new light fixtures for a bathroom.  I "Youtubed" it and had 145% confidence I could do it.  I pulled down the old ones, ate some humble pie, and called a talented friend that showed up in a moment's notice.

We were at the mall on Saturday.  Crazy I know.  But the people watching was fantastic.  I did feel thankful for something.  I was thankful that my parents didn't force me to sit on Santa's lap.  Children are taught all the year long about stranger danger.  Yet, parents plop their children to sit on this old, hairy strangers lap before a crowd and bright lights and then told to smile.  Almost all of the kids I observed were screaming their heads off.  Smart children I say.

I did tell the Chairman that I sure would love to have little kids around again.  I look at the little 3-8 year old kids and remember how fun they were.  One of our smart-mouthed teenagers overheard this and said, "why?  so you wouldn't fail the second time around?"  (On a side note I must say I really am enjoying these teenage years too.)

I was at my local Aldi a couple days ago.  So was "Jim" (I like to put names in quotes for some reason.)  Anyway, "Jim" had a battle axe of a wife and both were in their mid-60's.  She was the most passive-aggressive lady I've ever witnessed.  "Jim, go pick out a pizza.  It doesn't matter which kind." So "Jim" goes and picks out a pizza and brings it to their cart.  "Why did you pick out that kind?"  A couple aisles over.  "Jim" tries to pick out something and was once again berated.  Poor "Jim".  He didn't look happy and I'm certain "Mrs. Jim" wasn't happy inside either for the way she treated him.

We are having record-warm days here in Dairyland and it is making a lot of us cranky.  We have had a couple days of rain.  If the temps dropped about 30 degrees this would have been 12" on the ski hill.  Instead we are squishing worms when we walk in the dark of night.  Ick.  I'm ready to move north.  And please, don't call me crazy.

I don't understand addictions.  But I think I came close yesterday.  I made that caramel puff corn.  If you don't know what it is, look it up.  It is horrible in a very delicious sort of way.  It is like "Lays" potato chips only multiply that by 1,000.  You can't eat just one or two or a handful.  They are horribly addicting and you want more.  So please don't look up the recipe and make it. Your thighs and your arteries will thank you.

A nice guy we know had a dream and made it come to reality.  He's converted a truck in to an adorable coffee shop on wheels and invited us all to come taste and see before he left for the sunny south.  Oh to be young and full of dreams!  He's going to do well.  I just know he will.

this man has been my elder for 21 years and I witnessed him having his very first cup of coffee

 Our nice guy had a successful hunt and now is successfully cooking us a meal nearly once/week.
 Our nice girl headed on her first maiden voyage to visit her cousin for a couple days.  I may or may not have stalked her on "Find Friends" until she arrived safely.
 Even Santa needs a potty break.  He was just returning here.
 The other night two of our MYP were missing.  However, two other MYP wanted to come.  It's a good thing we really like all these MYP (many young people).
I didn't keep this brief and for that, I'm sorry.  Happy new week to you!

Monday, December 7, 2015

Monday Musings

See?  I still can Muse on a Monday!  I promise not to be outrageous or controversial.  Since I last had my fingers tickle the keyboard, I've been sick (insert a collective 'ahhh too bad!').  It was just a 24-hour bug of the room spinning when I would open my eyes and in turn feeling quite nauseous.  There's a couple silver linings in being ill.  One.  You really value feeling good once the sickies have past.  Like you feel like jumping over the moon even if you're not a cow.  I was in such a happy mood the next day.  Also, if you have children, you can see what they actually can accomplish without you involved.  I had supper kind of lined up and the MYP finished it all off and put it on the table.  Nice.

There's been a lot of icky news in the world lately.  It seems the older I get, the less I'm tuned in to what's happening out there.  And do you know the result of that?  I feel better.  There's so much to distress.  To discourage.  To pull at the heartstrings.  And there is very, very little I can do to change the outcome for less-privileged people.  But there is one thing I can do.  I can tend to the needs of the ones closest to me and make a difference there.  So that's what I'll keep doing.

Speaking of which.  I've once again struggled with my job.  No, I don't have a paying job.  And that's my struggle.  I sometimes wonder how to react when people say, 'oh, you don't work?'.  Um.  No.  Not at all.  Thanks for asking.  But I started to think about what I do here for not working.  Here goes:  cook, baker, launderer, house cleaner, chauffeur, physiologist, nurse, referee, interior designer, plumber, electrician, general handy(wo)man, pet caregiver, accountant, clothes shopper... I'll quit since you get the point.  No, I'm not trying to justify my unemployment.  I am glad to see that I have job security and love the benefits.

So Lisi celebrated birthday number 8 recently!  After she ate and did her business, I had her come in and pose for a picture.  She is such a goof.  All I did is grab my reading glasses and took a picture. She would have sat there for 20 minutes like that if I asked her to.
She had a very rough day on her birthday.  She laid on my legs and relaxed on her dog bed and got a can of wet beef/cheese/bacon dog food for her supper.  I think she would have lapped it up if the can said, 'garbage scraps'.

There was also another birthday.  Our friend Mr. Chicken Farmer turned 50!  They've been dear friends of ours for 21 years.  If Mr. Chicken Farmer only had one dime left in his pocket, he'd give it to you.  That's the kind of guy he is.  I'm glad for good friends.
Well my Musing brain is empty (no shock!).  So until next time!

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Tuesday Musings

I could title this "Tuesday Talk", but I still like Musings.  And musing.

I would have blogged yesterday, but the day got away from me.  Then when I was thinking I could sit down and let the fingers do the talking, the internet went down.  It wasn't just us.  It was a full-blown outage in the area.  Someone said it was due to Cyber Monday.  But the MYP panicked.  It's amazing how reliant they are for the internet for on-line homework.

I'm in the middle of a wallpaper removal project.  No job is as frustrating and oddly satisfying as peeling wallpaper.  It helps if you don't like the wallpaper you are pulling down.  It keeps you motivated.  I "Googled" ways to remove it and the best one I found was with a half/half mixture of fabric softener and water sprayed on.  It's working and I smell "downy fresh".  Ha.  The wallpaper installer must have had a wry sense of humor.  It was super, super hard to remove the paper behind the toilet due to extra paste.  But please.  If you are every planning to sell your home in the future, do the next homeowners a favor and not install wallpaper.

Speaking of home projects.  Our furnace was hesitant to turn on this week.  I was thinking I'd have to install a new thermostat, but I took ours apart and cleaned contact point and voila!  It works again.

I have to cook venison.  Actually, son #1 says he'd like to do the cooking.  I have no problems cooking chicken, beef, pork, turkey, salmon,  shrimp, or what-not.  Venison?  Not one lick of experience.

So the cat nearly got skinned alive this week.  Not by another animal, but by the Chairman.  He likes Simba.  He'll even stop to scritch him under the chin when he walks by.  But the cat walks on our vehicles in the garage.  And it has tested every fiber of his patience.  We just ordered a little 'shocking mat' that seems to take care of the issue.  If you see our cat with curly hair, you might want to let me know to turn the power down a level on the 'shocking mat'.

And in case you think it's all raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens around here... I'll just tell you about the other night.  We had a lovely Sunday and that evening two of the MYP said they'd come walking with me.  It started out nice.  We were admiring some of the neighbors holiday lights.  Then an accusation happened.  It was retaliated.  Things got heated and soon both were in tears and I was chewing them both out for rotten behavior.  It was one of those precious moments parents don't remember once their children all move out of the house.  I probably will too.  But it was almost laughable how fast it turned from a very good experience to very bad.

Well this is enough for now.  I would like to say I'm half-way done on the paper peeling project before the family returns home.

Hope your week is going well!

these two...

I know I'm biased, but they are so cute together

fresh wheat delivery means...
it smells delicious in here

looks fun doesn't it?

Friday, November 27, 2015

The fullest I've felt...

There was an old Hefty commercial that talked about Fred and Freda Fuller after a huge dinner and one of the lines in it said, 'it was the fullest the Fullers had ever felt'.  I think they were trying to impress upon the audience that they could stuff Hefty garbage sacks really full.  Anyway, I feel like Freda.  Just full.

Full of thankfulness for the following:

~ A dishwasher - I ran it a record four times on Wednesday and I think three times yesterday with the crowd.

~ Butter - I went through about three pounds of butter in two days with cooking and baking and on the tables.  Anything fake here in Dairyland would be thrown out the window.

~ Close grocery stores - I made two dozen cupcakes.  Cupcakes that don't have baking soda in them are actually transformed into hockey pucks.  I had to go find another bar of German chocolate to make them the second time.

~ An open concept home.  Nearly eight years ago, the Chairman happened to be biking by our home when it was for sale.  We were just days away from building the home we had designed with a builder.  However, the Chairman walked inside and envisioned this one full of family and friends on days like we had yesterday.  So we gave them some dimes and nickels and made it our home.  It handles crowds well and I'm glad we shared the same vision.

~ Food - who doesn't like food?  Thanksgiving is all about eating with wreckless abandon.  The stakes are high.  People want the food both delicious and plentiful.  I'm glad that the feast that was spread met every need.  And I'm glad I like to cook.

~ Friends - I had a crazy thought yesterday.  I wanted to text friends and tell them why I was thankful for them.  My friends probably thought of me as a bit schmaltzy, but that comes with the package.  I got a lot of thoughts sent to this one and that but ran out of time.  I am thankful I did run out of time.  Why?  Because I have many friends.  And that makes me thankful.

~ Family - We had both friends and family with us yesterday for the big day.  I love the quote that says, "friends are the family that we choose for ourselves.  It was very evident yesterday.  Lines are blurred as far as blood.  It doesn't matter if they are friends or family.  They are all loved.

~ Willingness to change - anyone that knows me knows that I don't like change.  However one change that has happened to me over the years is what seems normal for holidays.  I was raised with an extremely small extended family.  I had no first cousins.  One grandparent died when I was six years old.  So our Thanksgivings would sometimes be only seven or at most, ten.  When I became part of the Chairman's family, holidays included extended family.  Italians like to talk.  Loud.  And sometimes it seems there is more talking than listening.  I'm glad that the very big gathering seems normal to me now.

~ A happy son.  Thanksgiving morning I get a text.  "Got one".  I knew immediately what that meant.  They were about the happiest two words son #1 ever texted.  He shot his first deer.  He was standing pretty tall after that happened.  Well actually, he's standing pretty tall anyway.  Goodness teenage boys can grow!

So that's about it from this corner.  I'm still full.  Full of happy memories and a few extra calories from my annual piece of pecan pie.  I hope you have lots to be thankful for too.  Picture overload following:

Monday, November 23, 2015

Monday Musings

Good morning!  Or afternoon or evening or whenever you happen to be glancing at the Chairman and Co.  I'm not sure how much I'll Muse.  Depends on when the timer goes off to make the dough into rolls and bread.

After I had some thoughts last Thursday, the MYP and I headed into the city to do a return and shop a bit at some stores.  It was a brutally windy night.  We parked in the middle of the parking lot away from all cars (and lights) since I wasn't wanting a door ding.  We ran hurriedly into the store.  One of the MYP had an uneasy feeling being in there.  Suddenly, there were flashing police car lights and a lot of excitement next door.  So being the safety-conscious mother that I am, we all went over there to check some bargains and see if there was something worth looking at.  Sure enough.  One guy in handcuffs.  Lots of police people looking serious in their blue uniforms.  Apparently a theft had just happened.

We leave and get home just as the Chairman returned from work.  I see a message light flashing on the home phone.  I listen.  The Chairman starts saying, 'what is he saying???'  Apparently I left the car unlocked in the parking lot in our hurry.  Apparently there were three suspects, not just one.  Apparently the two suspects were running and tried the door to our vehicle to hide in it from the police.  Apparently they jumped in to hide.  Thankfully, the police saw them.  And apparently they are in custody and we didn't have extra passengers on our way home.  Whew.  I may or may not have thought this might be something to blog after it was all said and done.

Our high school team made it to the championship game!  We wanted to go cheer them to victory and so we did.  We were not effective because victory was not won.  However, we had a very suite (pun intended) deal.  It just happens that daughter #2 is friends with Mr. Bigshot's granddaughter in the place where the championship game was held.  Like there are books written on him.  He's often mentioned in our local paper.  And he has an office overlooking the entire stadium with a balcony, sofas, and other luxuries.  We know this because we were escorted in to meet him and other important dignitaries.  They gave us wristbands and an open tab to enjoy in the suite.  It afforded us to watch the game in a perfect climate rather than the snowy, frigid temperatures out there with the minions.  It all pays to know someone.  Heh.

it snowed! 
I am so very guilty of this:
I like this:
 This morning I looked outside to see if the bus had come yet.  It seems Simba was helping son #1 watch for it.  He's such a golden-retriever of cats.
I like to think I've taught our MYP something about bargains.  However, daughter #1 showed me she's far-exceeded my frugal ways.  She found a pair of Cole-Haan's that had a regular retail of $268 for... a penny.  Yes, a penny.  That's all she paid for her latest shoes.  I couldn't tell her they were out of her price range.
So I have a lot of ducks (or rather one big turkey) to get in a row before Thursday.  I'm so glad it is coming soon.  I'm so glad we can host it.  I will be so glad when it is over.  I didn't say that, did I?  Heh.

Happy Thanksgiving!
Image result for thanksgiving quotes

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Thursday Thoughts

A bonus Muse this week!  Actually, I'm waiting for a painter lady to come to give me some advice.  And there are gingersnap cookies in the oven that have ten minutes left.  Lets see how far we we can go!

I'm seeing lots of posts about the upcoming Thanksgiving.  It makes me thankful and nervous at the same time.  You see we often host the big day for a lot of extended family.  When loved ones come to the Chairman and Co. home they say very kind things like, 'this is a lot of work', or 'we really appreciate you hosting this for everyone', or 'it sure is nice how everything comes together', or 'your house looks so nice'.  Compliments, schmopliments.  I always retort with, 'oh, it's easy', or 'we love to do this', or 'it's easy to do with a nice family'.  But behind the scenes, I'm kind of a basket case.  I worry about the turkey and dressing being done on time.  I worry about lumpy gravy.  I worry if everyone will remember what they are bringing.  I worry if I made enough potatoes.  I worry someone will see the smudges on the oven door and wonder if I've cleaned since the last gathering.

I saw this picture today.  It made me smile since there's a lot of Italian blood in the gene pool.  Don't worry.  We eat turkey and all the traditional fixings.
I read this morning that if you're in a pinch, you can cook your potatoes and apples in the dishwasher to help with the Thanksgiving dinner prep.  I'm thinking if you are resorting to that, you should start preparing a bit earlier.

We have some men in our area that are ones that care for shepherding our souls.  However, the next two weeks I think one of their purposes is to mess with our minds.  Our midweek time together is on Tuesdays and if that doesn't really mess up your thinking, nothing does.  Whew!  I even was going to put the garbage out on the wrong day.

I made broccoli-cheese soup last night.  The recipe was highly rated online.  It got only two thumbs up out of five here (and I wasn't one of them).

The painter lady came.  People like her boggle my mind.  She was holding about a gazillion (or less) color options on these strips.  She kept saying, 'don't you see the difference in these?'.  Um.  No.  They both look like white.  She said it was a 'no brainer'.  Glad she feels that way because she left here with me feeling like I had no brain.  Or eyes for differences in color.

Well tomorrow we are heading to the state capitol to cheer our our high school football team to victory (or so we hope).  The weather promises to be extremely cold, windy, and a strong possibility of snow.  I plan to look a bit like this:
Image result for funny wisconsin cold weather

Well that's a wrap for this Thursday's bonus.  Have a good rest of the week!

Monday, November 16, 2015

Monday Musings

Well hello there!  Did you miss me?  I left Dairyland for a three-day weekend.  Like I mentioned recently, it was years since I last flew off the nest and went to find my own fun.  I could write pages and pages about my time up in the 10,000 lakes, but really the only ones it might be interesting to is me and maybe my mom.  So I'll just try to put it succinctly.

* Riding alone in the car for close to nine hours (including both directions) is most pleasant.  You can listen to whatever you want or relish in the utter silence.  And you may or may not pick up a doughnut and coffee when you get gas.

* I returned to the place where I became Mrs. Chairman.  That was in the Stillwater Historical Courthouse (1st one in Minnesota).  It still is beautiful.

* I walked into the room where we married and stood on the very wood where I nearly fainted while we said our "I do's".  I was honestly a bit overcome with emotion.  Twenty-one years later there I was again.  Completely happy and thankful for my choice and his choice in marrying.  Thinking of all that has happened with bringing our family to us.  Thinking of those that were in that room that are no longer with us.  And not knowing the unknown future before us.  I was just so glad to get back there and had to call the Chairman and tell him I loved him and our choice.  Swoon.
Where the table is - is where I made my vows til death do we part
* I'm not good with alone-time in a strange city.  I had four hours to kill until I needed to meet up with my friends.  I walked around a lot of stores.  Stopped and sipped some tea.  Then didn't know what to do anymore since it was dark out so I parked in a lot and crawled back to the back seat and took a nap.  Lame I know.  But then I was able to stay up until dark-o'clock with my friends.

* We celebrated on of our friend's 50th birthday.  But really, we were celebrating long friendships.  We were a diverse group.  Some single.  Some married.  Some career people.  Some volunteer people.  Some non-working people.  We hailed from IL, WI, MN, SD, KS, and CO.  And the beautiful thing is that it didn't matter our vast differences.

* Being gone twenty-one years makes a huge difference in roads and landmarks.  I kept thinking of that phrase, 'you can't go home again'.  I was utterly dependent on my GPS to get from point A to point B.
We all lived at this place at one time or another
* I got my first massage in nearly two years.  One of the many friends came with a massage table and shared her talents with us.  It was sublime.

* Only in Minnesota do you see this. I miss Ole and Lena jokes.
* I got to basically do a double-header of friendship visits since I stopped on my way home with another friend that used to like to live by us but decided another place was calling.  I don't blame her!  I loved where she is now at.  It just seemed so wonderful and peaceful and I can see she's surrounded by friends that care for her.  So the mom in me had an easy time to drive away - seeing her smiling as she waved me off.

* I was back home at the Chairman and Co. about a half-hour before the rest came home from g.m.  I was texted right before they arrived, "what's for supper?".  Nothing like feeling needed!  It sure was lovely to see these people and these pets.  They all looked cuter (and some of them taller) than when I left.

* I found it fascinating because as soon as I was home it was needful to be the cook and the counselor, and the time manager and the laundress, and the seamstress and the sweetheart all at once.  I love the many hats I need to wear here.  And even the full-blown meltdown about the unfairness of life was almost delightful to be a part of.  Almost.

So happy week ahead to you!