Monday, June 29, 2015

Monday Musings

Is it Monday already?  It is?  And this week is the 4th of July, right?  Why is the clock spinning faster than it normally does?  Ahhh... summertime.

Lets see.  The last time we chatted, a few things have happened.

The sheriff came to visit us.  You see someone here happened to fall for a ploy to call 911 and he/she did and then when it went through he/she hung up.  Then the return call was hung up on.  And then the local sheriff came to see if there was distress.  I had a nice visit with Mr. Law and Order and we had a learning experience out on the driveway about calling 911.  Meeshka.

There are incredibly huge things happening in the world and in our country right now.  Yes, I have a FB account and yes, I enjoy looking at it frequently.  However, I'm not enjoying the feeder lately due to political banter and ponder pulling the plug on social media (with the exception of this blog of course!).

We have been bestowed the unearned titles of 'Aunty and Uncle' to our dear friends.  There was a celebratory open house for the recent graduate and we were invited to attend.  I was asked to be fitted with a sari and wear that for the event.  It took me at least three zones away from my comfort zone.  I stood there in their hallway getting my sari put on and pinned.  After it was all done I felt a bit like a cross between a Barbie doll and the Statue of Liberty.  The Chairman thought I looked lovely.  And I must admit, this REI/Eddie Bauer-dressed lady felt kind of regal.
this is the length of the sari skirt!  please excuse the cat that was cautiously sniffing it.
It was fascinating rubbing elbows with so many from a different culture.  Although all speak English, there's a distinct accent.  There's unique foods.  And there is stunning beauty.

We had a extra-special weekend too because of these guys.  Because we are blessed with so many nearby friends, we only get this privilege a couple times a year.
Then there was this picture taken after our gm yesterday.  And that's not all the young people that were there!
The flowers are lovely this time of year!  I take the same pictures year after year and it is usually the very same flowers that are re-blooming.  I have been loving that thought.  Even though it isn't the exact same flower that was seen years ago, it is just as pretty today because it is coming out of the same root. 

So we have three birthdays coming up in the next nine days.  That leads me to believe I have a wee bit of shopping to do.  Not to mention listening to some grandiose party plans.  I hope I get a nap sometime between it all!  Happy week ahead! 

Monday, June 22, 2015

Monday Musings

There's a raging storm outside right now.  So if I suddenly disappear and quit typing, you'll know I'm in the basement.  Oh wait, that's not how it works.  Well anyway, lets Muse!

 Last week while our wood floors were being coated, we were homeless, so these kind people took us in.  They shared with us pizza and doughnuts and fresh garden goodness.  We spent most of the day on the patio just quietly visiting.  I'm so glad they took us in.
You know those scary prison escapees out in NY that haven't been captured?  Why in the world do they put on the newsfeed that they are getting closer to capturing them?  Wouldn't you want to keep that quiet until they actually were captured?  Nothing like telling the opposing team your next move.

So it is birthday season here at the Chairman and Co!  Four birthdays in the next three weeks.  It started with this birthday.

I don't want to get too schmaltzy because I think Son #1 does read this blog at times (unlike his father) and teenage boys tend to not like schmaltzy and he may or may not just shove me over to the couch or a nearby chair and then push me down harder in a very non-loving way that teenage boys do.  But I will a bit anyway.  He is now 15.  He was a gift given to us as a little 8 lb. + baby who has grown and blossomed into a kind young man.  He has a memory of an elephant and can name about any of our friends and who they are related to in our area.  He is a math whiz.  He loves to fish, hunt, fix something.  And he loves to pester his sisters to the point of annoyance.  But most importantly, he has already figured out what really matters in life.  I often catch myself thinking how incredibly blessed we are to have him as our son.  Even if he shoves me into a corner of the couch when he doesn't know what else to do.

We had a pile of teenagers here over the weekend.  Let me tell you - teenagers eat more than toddlers in case you didn't know.  I'm glad for nice young people  that live around here.

I'm also glad that we get to have "Irish Twins" for three weeks.

Then there was Father's Day.  Be still my heart.  Who are those people next to the Chairman?
So one of our daughters and I were shopping and saw this hammock.  We've never had a hammock and we thought, 'wouldn't this be a fun Father's Day gift?'  It was at a brag price of $70 from a fake-higher price and it was the perfect color to match our other outdoor stuff.  We got it and presented it to the Chairman after his bacon-wrapped tenderloin Father's Day dinner.  He looks at it and snickers.  Then smiles.  Then laughs out loud.  He doesn't like it.  I can just tell.  He then said, 'this is just one step away from the coffin.  This is the kind of gift you give people when you know they can't do anything else.'  I am starting to feel hurt.  The MYP were eagerly telling the Chairman all the reasons why he would like a hammock.  The put it together and drag him outside.  He likes it...

Well this is enough for now!  We pick strawberries tomorrow.  It'll be a blast pulling the MYP out of bed early for that.  Trust me.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Monday Musings (+1)

Hello!  I didn't forget you!  In fact, as I went to bed last night (Monday) I felt a bit distressed (not depressed).  I hadn't a moment to blog!  So without further ado.

Summertime is busy.  Especially with friends and family and a social immediate family.  We like it that way, but then sometimes important things like blogging take the back seat.  I was marveling how different life is from one week to the next.  I was humming along in my solitude and would wait for the bus come roaring in by 3.  Yesterday I drove from point A to point B to point C and D and E and F and G and then had to return to point E and then back to G.  Got it?  I hardly did either.  But thankfully, everyone got to where they needed to go.

So we had our area-wide graduation for our friends.  Aren't they lovely?
There was a big picnic to honor all these lovelies.  But there was a problem with the picnic.  There wasn't near enough time to talk to everyone I wanted to despite being there for over four hours.  So many people... not enough time.

Then there's this sweetie.  She was the balm to my very aching heart about 18 years ago.  Her parents so willingly shared her with me/us when our arms were empty after losing our baby.  I had the privilege of babysitting the little smarty for several years.  She was then what she is today.  A spunky, sweet, and very kind young lady.  As I told her mom at the picnic, you have every reason to be very thankful and even a little bit proud.  Congrats to you A!
Then there's this dear one.  She's our niece.  I say that with boldness because she calls me her 'white Aunty and Uncle'.  She came to this country as a teeny little girl as her father is a brilliant man and a corporation in our area wanted him here to help solve world problems.  Or maybe better explained, make better ultrasound and MRI machines.  Her mother is a dear friend of mine.
Anyway, the family kindly asked if we would join them for a delicious dinner of Indian fare at their home before the graduation celebration.  So we partook of mutton and other delicacies.  Many years ago their traditional Indian fare seemed somehow very foreign.  These days, it seems almost normal.  But it isn't just normal.  It's delicious!  Then off to the graduation ceremony.  Don't let her wide-smile fool you.  This girl is a 4.6 gpa smart.  

 Son #1 helping her pin on all the high honor achievements :)

the family

another family that loves her

Then we are in the midst of this.  Getting our hardwood floors refinished.  We have to have all furniture and dogs off for 48 hours (Lisi doesn't appreciate this).  No rugs for a week.  The mess makes me almost testy.  I need deep breaths to overcome my OCD in wanting everything back in its place.  We will survive.  I hope everyone else does in my crankypants ways.  My parents were very kind to offer us a place to go with dog in tow for the day today! 

So it is strawberry season here and I need to get some berries picked.  And son #1's birthday and Father's Day all this week.  And then there are three more birthdays and another celebration and what-not in the next weeks.  

There's a saying about the barrenness of a busy life.  Well in this case there's a bursting of people and privileges in a busy life.  Maybe, just maybe I'll be able to Muse next week actually on a Monday!  

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Frothy Friday (minus one day)

ed note:  ok I goofed.  Because it is the last day of school it feels like a Friday.  Thanks to an observant reader that loves to point out when I am wrong  Heh!  

Mmmm.  Sounds like a good cup of coffee with froth.  But instead it is just lots of rain on the window.  I don't think that's froth.  But "Drippy Friday" doesn't sound as clever.  I just had a blog hit from Norway by someone searching for a photo of "rain raining".  Hope they saw something wet here.  I'll look at my camera roll and see what I can show you.

I love to sit and just enjoy the green

She's such a baby.  As I was sitting and enjoying the green she thought it was an opportunity to nap on me.

Ok, this was a bit too crazy.  But she said she wanted to try it.  And so she had about five jumps before I pictured her and I at urgent care getting a cast on.
I'm glad I have friends like this

Son #1 got part of an early birthday.  He is loving the fishing/kayaking

A nearby lake is so pristine...

This was a reality.  Daughter #2 saw smoke in the ceiling of her classroom and alerted her teacher.  Firetrucks came as the students stood outside.  An a/c unit had melted wires.  No students were hurt in the process.

Eggs from relatives have been deliciousness.  I marvel at the difference in yolk color from standard eggs in the store.

A rainy day.  However, please draw your attention to the geranium.  I have never been very successful with them before.  Yay me!

There's nothing like a new 'monkey' to make your day feel good.
And so, in two hours two of the MYP are done with the school year.  By noon tomorrow, they all are done.  I can't wait to show them the chore lists they'll be getting.  Heh.  I promise, there'll be lots of fun thrown in too.

See you back here on Monday when we Muse!

Monday, June 8, 2015

Monday Musings

Ahhhh summertime, summertime, sum-sum-summertime!  It's almost here!  The weather feels like it is here.  The yard and buds and blooms and birds make it feel like it is here.  But we go by the school year and as of Friday noon, it is finally here!

I told the MYP this morning that we need to all sit down and discuss self-imposed limitations on electronics.  Decide how we will handle chores, and have each of them put 3-5 items on a bucket list of what they really, really want to do this summer and 1-2 of them can cost money and the rest should be basically free.  (I'm frugal like that.)

One of my friends put on FB that she was signing off for summer.  She wanted to focus on her young family and enjoy all the moments.  It pricked my conscience.  I admire that immensely.  I wish I could go "inactive" and come back September 1 to see if everyone is still posting pictures of their lunch and adorable grandchildren.  I probably won't go "inactive", but I'll definitely not be checking status updates as much.  Blogging might continue, but maybe not regular Monday-morning programming each and every week.

In case you are wondering, I celebrated National Doughnut Day.  One of the local gas stations/convenience stores has utterly delicious doughnuts (really, you should try them!).  They texted me that they were offering a free doughnut on NDD.  So I went and got my freebie.  I then picked up another dozen to let the MYP indulge and freeze the rest.  I just wish NDD was monthly.  Then again, maybe not or I would be buying fat pants.
Isn't this neat?  They even were celebrating my birthday too!
We had a table full yesterday.  I enjoy sharing our home and our food with others.  However, after planning a meal, I don't like thinking of a dessert.  Say!  Son #1 made crepes a month or so ago and he did a right-dandy job, so I asked if he wanted to do it again.  He did and this time filled them with a choice of gelato flavor and drizzled with homemade chocolate sauce.  I think we've got a plan now for awhile.  Ha.

I love our pets.  I love love love our pets.  However I don't love them for one reason (besides needing to continually vacuum up dirt/hair).  I don't like having to find arrangements for their care when we are away.  I don't like the thought of them wondering where we are.  I don't like the feeling of being in a beautiful place with my family and missing the two furry creatures we left behind.  So if you want to come house/pet sit, I have a 'golden' opportunity for you!  (pun intended)

The Chairman and I left the other night for a walk.  I was about a block from home when I looked down at my feet.  The Chairman looked at me like I had lost my last marble.

Our newspaper had a recipe - if you call it that - for making cold coffee.  Take 3/4 cup of ground coffee and let it sit in a jar with two cups room temperature water.  Let steep for 12 hours.  Strain in a coffee filter and store in the fridge.  Then take 1/4 cup of this strong joe and add 1 cup of milk, cream, water, or what fancies you and voila!  Iced coffee for a fraction of the cost of the gas and money to get one at a coffee shop.  I have mine steeping as I type.

We have seven of our friends graduating this year.  There will be a city-wide picnic this weekend and I am looking forward to it so very much!  I love our local young people.  This year is especially poignant as our firstborn would have graduated this year too.  Hard to take in how time passes so quickly.  I notice there is a distinct differences in the faces of parents of newborns in the hospital and the faces of parents standing by their graduates.  Not saying they look 'old', but I am saying there are a lot of little faces washed, clothes cleaned, lunches packed, discipline given, wounds tended, hugs needed, prayers offered, and worried lines grown on the faces of parents that have successfully helped their young people to this point.

Well this is maybe enough Musing for this Monday.  I have a few miles I'd like to walk.  I intend to wear the same shoe on both feet.  Happy week ahead!

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Bonus Post

Well hello!  It's your lucky day!  A bonus post this week!  I was actually thinking I'll just stick with Mondays, but I feel like a little musing on a Thursday.

It's lilac season here at the Chairman and Co.  They are spreading their fragrance all around.  I thought it smelled so good outside that I cut some branches that needed to be trimmed anyway and brought a large bunch inside.  They permeated the entire kitchen with their perfume.  To the point it made me want to sneeze.  So much for bringing the beauty of the outside in.

I have a love/hate relationship with the vegetable garden.  I won't use the word hate, but I'm not happy.  I needed to replant a bunch of squash and cucumber seeds.  Then I realized I plum-forgot to plant my potato seedlings.  So I had to sneak them in on the edge.  Now the weeds are popping like crazy.  I wish I could just stick to flowers.

I mean look at this beauty!  It's just a peony bush that my mother-in-law brought over some years ago and stuck in our dirt.  I love fuchsia.  And I love my flowers - both perennials and annuals.  I find myself walking the yard often watching them grow before my eyes.

So I was doing a bit of decluttering and purging today.  I got through the "Tupperware" cupboard and the dish towels/cloths.  One of the MYP took my picture it seems.

Then I decided to tackle a cupboard in my bathroom.  I knocked over a full bottle of Nyquil that didn't have its lid on tight and bright-red, sticky gunk ran all over one shelf and dripped down all over my extra set of sheets.  Yuck.  As I was trying to clean up the mess I wondered how they clean up crime scenes.

There's a lot of claims about how wonderful Norwex is for cleaning.  I agree with most all of them.  But I need to add a claim that probably hasn't been said.  I think Norwex has kept our cat from getting his neck wrung.  You see the Chairman likes a clean car.  And a cat likes to walk on a clean car.  And so I peek out very early in the morning and quickly wipe it off with a wet cloth and buff it dry with the purple one.  Don't tell the Chairman my secret.  Or the cat's neck might get wrung.

This came anonymously today in the mail!  What is it you ask?  A get well card with an enclosed tissue from a 'blog stalker'.  I almost thought I figured out who sent it and then I didn't.  So a shout-out to whomever didn't want me to 'suffer in silence' over my last virus!  Thanks for making me smile.

TOMORROW IS NATIONAL DONUT DAY!!!  Why am I shouting?  Well I'm not ashamed to say that donuts are nearly my all-time favorite food.  AND!  I got this text today!  A free donut for frugal me?  Wow.  Don't diss Kwik Trip donuts from the gas station.  They are deliciousness.  Honest.
Daughter #1 is about six weeks from her drivers test.  We've done more and more practicing.  She seems happy about it.  My knuckles... not so much.

Well that's about enough for the bonus round of blogging this week!  Happy June days to you!

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Monday Musings + 1 day

Well I didn't Muse yesterday.  Seems nary a peep missed it.  That's ok.  My feelings aren't too hurt.  I just didn't take the time.  My day started quickly and soon it was dusk.  So today I Muse.  On a Tuesday.

The end of last week the Chairman asked if I wanted to go to a suite.  Oh my love!  You want us to have alone-time!  And a suite no less!  I immediately envisioned a two or three room suite with room service and pampering to boot.  Then he added it was at a baseball game with about 15 other people.  Oh.  Well sure!  We went and enjoyed incredibly nice seats and a roomy living space and a buffet of Mexican food along with the obligatory baseball fare of hot dogs and brats.  The Chairman worked the crowd while I sat next to daughter #1 so I could steal her cotton candy.  

sweets in the suite

taking in some baseball

the obligatory selfie

It was Star Wars night and Darth Vader came and posed for me
On-line ordering can be a risky business.  I threw caution to the wind and ordered some new stools for our kitchen island.  The order was delivered so fast it seemed like they had already pulled it from the warehouse before I confirmed my payment.  In less than 36 hours, three boxes were delivered.  And not only were they what I wanted, but they exceeded every expectation of quality.  I hope I'm as lucky next time.

Cooking for the Chairman is extremely rewarding.  He's appreciative of most every meal and says so.  The MYP?  Not so much.  Some days they love it.  Like a taco or spaghetti or homemade pizza night.  This week I heard the comment, 'everything you make just tastes too homemade'.  Um.  Isn't that a good thing?  So we all sat down and listed off options and favorites and hopefully I don't disappoint the masses so much.

Bedtimes around here vary.  In fact, I almost beat some of the MYP to bed some nights.  It does seem though that they love to have alone-time right before bed.  That is if I can keep my eyes open.  Last night I was lying beside one of our progeny and was trying to get away so I could go brush my teeth and call it a day and I heard this comment:  "I like that feeling when I feel loved."  I think that short sentence sums up some of the the most preciousness of life.  Very well said my dear.  

I saw a bunch of funny 'thank yous' you could send to teachers at the end of the school year.  One resonated with me.  "Thank you for not mentioning that I sent the exact same lunch to school every day for an entire school year".  Well it is somewhat by choice with one of our MYP.  One of the biggest reasons I am soooo glad for the school year to end is to not have to get up at 6:00 and make three lunches in rapid fire.  
It is three years tomorrow that this little furball joined our family.  On that car ride home I tried not to look at him.  I wanted that little kitty to be my daughter's cat and not mine.  I did not want to love him with the same fierceness that I love our dog.  Well I failed miserably.  And I'm ok with that.

 So back to the yard I go.  It is hard to stay inside when there are things blooming, weeds popping, and the scent of lilacs filling the air.  I hope your week smells lovely and is beautiful.