Thursday, January 29, 2015

Thursday Thoughts

Hi!  It's me again.  A few thoughts rolling around in the gray matter today.

I sat down to research something on-line.  Do you go into that internet induced time-warp like I do sometimes?  I am going to quickly print off a recipe for XYZ and then pretty soon I'm watching a 60 second video of somebody being spit on my a camel.

I did however read something recently that was interesting.  They said that one way to combat illness isn't really by washing (however I think hygiene is huge).  They said lotion!  Put lots of lotion on as a barrier to viruses.  Intriguing.  And even if I do get sick, I'll have soft skin anyway.  Heh.

According to some FB posts I read the other day, it must have been "National Chocolate Cake Day".  I didn't eat any cake, but I did have about three oatmeal-chocolate chip cookies.  I guess that doesn't count.  I'm wondering if there was a "National Eat Brussel Sprouts Day" how many would take pictures of their vegetables?  Hmmm.

With daughter #1 taking drivers ed, it has caused me to think about the way I drive a bit more.  How do I follow the laws while she's watching me?  I've been chastised a few times, so I guess not real good.  I pulled up some practice driving tests for our state and I just barely passed.  How many of you know exactly how many feet away from an oncoming car before you dim your high beams?  I didn't.

While I was surfing the we the other day, I came across this article.  It was about having a third child. Yes, having the third unplanned child join our family added to chaos, sleep deprivation and expense, but we wouldn't have it any other way.  Like my wise older sister said after she had her third child, 'it feels like we're all here now!'.  Amen sister.

You know my love and appreciation for the Aldi stores, right?  I've always been a bit partial to my very own local one.  Seems so very well run.  Clean.  Friendly people (that know me nearly by name).  And...  FREE QUARTERS if you need one for your cart!  This cup has been there for a couple months.  And yes, there are quarters to use.
I just returned from the Children's Hospital.  Some of our friends had a little baby boy born with a heart defect.  If you want to follow his story, you can find it here on FB.  He's a dear little baby fighting a very big battle and he's made some victories already.  The parents are showing a strength and a love for their little one that is to be greatly admired.  As you walk the enormous halls with children being pushed in wheelchairs or look at all the little ones lying in intensive care, you realize that having healthy children should not be taken for granted.  And once again, going to visit someone gives the giver so much more the the receiver receives.  
Well that's enough thoughts for today.  I need to accomplish a few things before I head off for yet another meeting at the high school to help one of our students think and plan for her future.  Life is moving at warp speed.... really!  

But before I go, here's another bit of adorable for you.


Monday, January 26, 2015

Monday Musings

I'm so ashamed.  I almost completely forgot to Muse today.  It wasn't a typical Monday.  I got up early as usual and ushered the MYP and the Chairman out the door.  Then I left to meet my "big" sister for lunch.  "Big" is in quotes because she's smaller than I am.  She's less gray.  Maybe even a few less wrinkles.  However, her heart is big, so maybe that's why I can call her big.

I wish all ladies could have a sister.  They are such a joyful mix of friendship and constancy and encouragement and realism and familiarity of feelings wrapped up in one person.  I also had a visit with my faraway sister-in-law on the phone today which was a balm to me.  I'm so fortunate for these two sisters.

A few days back, I took these two imps to the mall for some shopping.  They are exactly the same size and it was just almost too much to watch them giggle and talk and interact while we shopped.  
I just found this on my photo stream.  Someone took a picture of an ordinary moment.  I love it.  ... "as long as I'm living my baby you'll be".
I've been just a bit 'blue' off and on today.  You see in the fellowship we are in, we not only know, but just plain love a lot of people.  Like a lot of people.  Because of my age and the various states I have lived in, I have the privilege of knowing a lot of people.  Like a lot of people.  Like in the thousands.  I say this not to brag, but in thankfulness that I share the same love of important things with so many.  And that we can share in each other's joys and sorrows.  However, lately, it seems like many have had some very unfortunate events happen.  In our area alone we have a shattered foot, a shattered wrist, dreadful burns, repaired eyelids, a dementia diagnosis, and a newborn baby boy born with a serious heart defect that has survived the first of several surgeries.  On top of all that, we just received word of a death and another serious diagnosis.  Life is beautiful and wonderful and lovely.  It also hurts very deeply in a natural and emotional way.  I'm so very thankful tonight for the privilege to hurt along with others.  And hopefully be moved to rise up and help others too.  

Then there's the Chairman.  I read once that if your significant other is invisible to others on social media that it is a good thing.  However, I saw this picture recently and it made me smile.  It kind of sums up the Chairman and I.  I'm so fortunate for him.  
I think this is enough Muse for this Monday.  I'm tired and drained and ready to call it a day.  I mean just look at the emotions I've been through this Monday!  

"Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it."

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Way-late Wednesday Words

It's just 10:00 on a Wednesday night.  For me, this is 'way-late'.  I'm usually about ready to flick off the light about now.

One of the MYP presented me with a lovely gift yesterday.  He said, 'you don't have to get up in the morning for R or me since you don't have to make lunches'.  Really-truly?  It's finals week here so they've been home by 11:00 every day.   I've enjoyed the extra half-hour in the morning compliments to a thoughtful son.  

The other day I asked one of the MYP about my advice.  I said, 'can you think of any piece I've given you that is really, really good or really, really bad?'.  There was a slight giggle and this response, 'well usually when you are giving advice I try to tune you out'.  How's that for a parenting confidence booster?  

Her sister gave me this advice, 'you sound really ornery when you yell out our names from low to high pitch.  Why don't you say it from high to low.  It sounds nicer.'.  And really, she's right.  Try it!

I posted this gem on FB.  As I was talking to our son in his room before bed he said, 'do you know the nice thing about being a guy?'  I had no clue where he was going with this.  So I said, 'no.  What is it?'.  'Guys just don't have stress like girls do.'  That, my friend, kind of sums up a lot of things.  

We've been doing some practice driving around here.  I'm having a major struggle with something.  No, not having full control of the steering wheel.  My struggle is that when I look over to see my dear daughter driving, I just picture an adorable chubby little baby that was just here a few years ago.  I try to mention it and receive a sweet smile and a slight eye-roll.  Time is moving too quickly.  

Last night I went to pick up son #1 and a neighbor boy off the ski hill.  I was feeling a bit frustrated as they were not at the loading zone at the exact moment I drove up.  My patience was tested for 5, 10, 15 minutes.... and finally I hopped out of the van and stood a bit away from the chair lift hoping to get the attention of at least one of them that it was time to come home.  I see a lighter-green coat.  I start waving the 'come over to me' wave.    I kind of think I made some young guy a bit uneasy out on the ski hill as well...

Is there anything wrong with having breakfast food for supper?  I hardly think so but I have a young person that doesn't agree with me.  We've been boiling down sap into maple syrup here.  I sure would love to pour that over a dutch baby tomorrow.  Well not a real-live Dutch baby silly, but a yummy pancake in a skillet dutch baby.

Speaking of maple syrup and perfect timing!  Our newspaper published a recipe someone requested from Outpost Natural foods for a salad they serve.  I read the recipe and thought it was a bit odd, but wanted to try it out.  It is deliciousness!  It seems to be too much salt, but the sweet/saltiness of the dressing makes it terribly addicting.  You're welcome.  I changed the canola to olive oil.  And we use Earthbound Farm "Power" greens from Costco.  It makes 2 cups of dressing to keep in fridge

Spinach Salad with Maple Vinaigrette Dressing
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
3/4 cup maple syrup
3/4 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon sea salt

baby spinach or "Power" if you want to take it up a notch
onion
dried cranberries
sugared, roasted nuts (I keep a mix of walnuts/almonds/pecans in freezer)
feta cheese

Lisi and I discovered a new path yesterday.  She's really a great walking partner and she really, really loves to pose.  :-)  Happy rest of the week!  


Monday, January 19, 2015

Monday Musings

Well here we go again!  Another Monday and another Muse.

There quite possibly will be some cranky and slightly frustrated people here in Dairyland.  You see if you are aware of the NFL, you might know there is a football team in a smaller city north of here.  That aforementioned team lost a very heartbreaking game yesterday or so I'm told.  To put it in perspective, Saturday I was trying to buy some more Annie Sloan paint from a nearby little store the lady had Green Bay Packer nails, earrings, a huge ring like she won a past Super Bowl, and a sweatshirt on.  I made the mistake of asking her if she thought 'we' had a chance on Sunday.  She looked at me through narrowed eyes and said, 'Aaron told us to relax at the beginning of the year'.  Well relax they did at the end of the 4th quarter and we know how that turned out.

Did you know there is a term called 'free range children'?  Kinda like free range chickens if you ask me.  However, I do think children have bigger brains than bird brains (well usually).  There's a couple that is in trouble with child protective services somewhere out east for letting their kids walk to and from school and to and from a park.  Maybe I don't know the full story, but life sure is different than when I grew up.  If we could see the neighbor's house through the blizzard and the wind chill was above -20 that was good enough to don our snow boots and trudge off the 1/2 mile to school.

Speaking of free range.  This happened.  A temporary license to practice driving her parents to the world of white knuckles and stomping imaginary brakes.  So far, so good.

And then there's these two people.  Who send pictures like this that make me giggle.  My parents love to travel and see others and enjoy the sights.  It's obvious in this picture.  They also sadistically sent weather forecasts.
Sometimes I worry about being a crazy cat lady since I like our golden boy as much as I do.  But at least I won't need to go for therapy.  

You know you've been married awhile and have a slightly boring existence when you text a photo to the Chairman with a picture of the new recycling bin:
And finally, there was recently some controversy related to my last post that I decided to remove to alleviate concerns of insensitivity.  You see I was sharing some private matters that a reader felt was over-dramatizing a recent medical concern.  I wrote all I did out of love for those that support me and as a memory of what I was feeling at the time.   In no way do I want it to seem that my minor scare can compare to others dealing with much bigger concerns.  :-(

Sorry for the little content on this Musings... there's always next time.  :-)

Monday, January 12, 2015

Monday Musings

Hello there!  Long time, no chat!  You see I had some family members tell me over the holidays that maybe once a week is enough for the Musings.  I had muttered something about feeling like I had little to share some days and that was the advice.  I'll try and keep it once a week, but I might miss you too much.  Will see.

What's happened since we last visited?  Cold.  Bone-jarring cold.  Like I can't feel my forehead when I'm walking outside cold.  Lisi seems unaffected by the bitter temps in that she still wants her walks and then runs back to her bed in the kitchen.  It is a bit more temperate now and looks better as the week goes on.  It's all relative though.  I ran out to the mailbox in my pj's this am and as I got back in the house I was thinking, 'it must be pretty nice out today!'.  The thermometer said 9 degrees...

Today daughter #1 begins her first day at driving school.  Where has my dear little black-haired baby gone?  Well away forever.  But a lovely young lady has replaced her.  And that's nice too.  We had an extra young man here over the weekend.  As we all filed in and sat down yesterday morning in our meeting I looked to my right and saw all four of them sitting in a line.  I got that feeling of your heart in your throat.  It's really a privilege to be with these teenagers.  

Yesterday, we ate out with some friends.  I glanced over at the other table and saw this.  I would have taken a 'better' picture, but trying to get teenagers to cooperate in a public place for a picture can sometimes be challenging.
If you know me at all, you know that my ability for creativity and craftiness is about a -27.  I actually dared myself to hop back on Pinterest last week (during the brutal and boring cold spell) and got the chills (not from the temperatures but from my lack of abilities).  Pinterest is just way too much cuteness and cleverness and crafts for my structured, engineering-like brain.  Someone please come decorate my house!  I digress...

Anyway, I have heard raving accolades about Annie Sloan chalk paint from friends and relatives.  So I bought a sample-size of burgandy and slapped it on my Goodwill chair.  After a couple rub downs of clear wax, here is the result.  I might move along to a couple other projects.  The Chairman is doing full-blown research on what colors to choose.  Heh.
Did you know we live in the same state that the Green Bay Packers are in?  Just in case you are wondering, they won yesterday.  

I got our "Happy New Year!!!" card sent out a few days ago.  If you didn't receive one in your mailbox and are wishing you had a hard copy of it, let me know your address.  I have a few left.  

A new gas station opened up a couple miles from here.  'Why on earth is she telling us this?' you ask yourself.  Well this isn't just your average corner gas station.  This gas station sells lots of food items - one of which is their specialty.  Donuts!  And let me tell you, they are deliciousness.  Since they were running an awesome special on half-dozens, I may or may not have bought up about five extra boxes (equates to 30 donuts if you're struggling with the math) and threw them in the freezer.  The rest of the family may or may not know about these extra boxes...  however if I ate 30 donuts in the next couple of weeks, I would invite you to come visit me in the heart or diabetes wing of the nearby hospital.

This was happening last night in our house.  

video
It reminded me a lot of this video.

Well I think the cat has worms again.  So off to Amazon I go to place an order.  Happy Monday to you!  Maybe I'll see you later this week.  Maybe not... but first, maybe I should do some housework.



Monday, January 5, 2015

Monday Musings

Well hello there!  Long time, no chat!  It almost seems longer since our days have been busy since the last Muse.  We had more family and new friends and festivities and of course, food.

Some young men came spend some time here.  It was really fun to have them.  Young guys might not totally know it, but they can be very, very amusing to listen to.  Especially coming from the vantage point of a middle-aged mother.  Heh.
One of daughter #2's besties came for a couple days.  They both are experienced skiers but wanted to learn how to snowboard together.  And that they did.  Sugar-pie sweetness are the M&M's.  Well mostly...
New Year's eve was spent with a house full of good friends.  




no, Lisi didn't go.  But she was feeling festive anyway!
We finally got snow!  There was no white Christmas here, but there will be a white January it seems.

I finally got my get-up-and-go and joined my family on the local ski hill.  It causes a surge in feel-good endorphins once you get out there... as long as you don't fall and tear your rotator cuff.



Last night Lis was doing this to me.  I call it the dirty dog stare.  It translates to, 'get your rear off that chair and walk me!'.
And so I did.  In this weather.  Don't ever say I don't love her.   And yes, it did feel like -24.  Every last negative degree.
I heard a young guy at Costco the other day say to his girlfriend/wife/someone, 'hey look!  Five pounds of Cutie clementines!  Can you imagine buying a bag this big?'.  Um.  Mr?  We can go through a bag like that in approximately one hour.

I heard an ad again for a product I cannot fathom buying.  If you send in $54, you will get a star named after you!  Seriously?  People buy that?  I was considering having people send me money and I could name a dust bunny after them.  Maybe I'm on to something...

Theracane.  Did you know what that is?  Well here is the link.  This is not a paid endorsement.  However, if you can handle the sight of a geriatric product in your home and suffer from knots in your back/neck/otherwise, please don't hesitate to order.  The reviews speak loudly and I give it a two-thumbs up as well.

After nearly two solid weeks of family and friends and fun and food and fatigue, one of the MYP looked at me and said, 'can you tell me when we are going to do something really fun next?  I'm not talking about just playing games at home with the family or something like that, I'm talking about really fun.  When will that happen again?'.  Um.  My dear teenager, please let me take a nap first and then we'll talk.

At the end of a year and the beginning of a new year, I find it easy to pause and consider.   Consider all the good things I have.  I'm not talking possessions.  I'm talking blessings.  Many years ago, I met with a man that often spoke about the importance of counting his blessings one-by-one.  I've often thought of that since and I'm thankful he shared that and I'm also thankful that if I try and count my blessings one-by-one it takes so long that I forget where I started.  This group clad in blue is one of the reasons I feel blessed.

Think this is enough pictures and Musing for today,