Monday, August 31, 2015

Monday Musings

Well hello there!  It seems like forever ago since I last had a chat with you all and yet it seems like yesterday.  Time is a weird thing sometimes!

Today is the last official day of summer before school starts.  The MYP are celebrating this by sleeping in.  I know!  I know!  I should have them get up because tomorrow will be worse when the big yellow bus roars to the stop at 6:42, but so be it.  It's their last day of summer!

There has been an algebra packet sitting on the dresser in one of the MYP's bedrooms.  It was given the last week of school this spring and was to be completed by the start of school this fall.  And yes, not one computation has been completed on the aforementioned packet.  I'm thinking I may have to strongly encourage some pencil pushing in a wee bit.  Why do today what you can put off 'til tomorrow, right?

I think one of the worst things an adult can say to a young person (unless they are starting 1st grade) is, 'are you excited for school to start'?  Kind of sadistic isn't it?  The question I have been asking kids and young people is this, 'what did you do this summer that was your favorite?'.  That usually causes faces to light up.  Then since I'm a bit sadistic, I then follow it up with the 'ready for school???' question.  I'm nice like that.

We have another licensed driver in the house!  Yes, daughter #1 came home with that sheet that says she's now legal to drive.  It opens up a brand-new scary world of seeing a part of your heart drive away without you protecting and guiding.  I feel like a mother bird watching her baby fledge off the nest the first time.  However, it comes with benefits.  So far she's picked her brother up twice from different places.  I may like that once my nerves settle down.

One day this past week was National Dog Day.  One morning I was sitting on the dog bed with Lisi on my lap and then realized later it was NDD.  Well for us, it was just an ordinary morning of pampering and love.  She's spoiled stinky-rotten in a good sort of way.
But she has a dark side.  Last night I saw her walking towards the garden.  She stops.  Looks back at me sitting in the screen porch.  Then slowly she walks into the garden by my tomatoes and starts eating!  HEY!!!  She came out of the garden when I yelled at her and finished off the last one she had already grabbed.  So that's why I'm not getting any tomatoes to ripen!  Rotten tomato-loving dog.

The Chairman and I are still enjoying our gazillion-probiotics-per-sip-homemade kefir each and every morning.  I fill it up with goodness of hemp, chia seeds, ground flax, and a drizzle of maple syrup.  It must be somewhat important to me because I dreamt last night that a blog reader knocked the glass jar over at convention and I was really irritated but knew I should be kind.  Don't worry, I won't hold it against you.  Dreams are weird.  Or maybe it's just me amped up on drinking too much fermented milk.

We had another delightful day of prepping last Saturday.  These two are nothing but giggles and silly while we were there.
Yesterday, the girls and I went to the last subdivision at our local "Parade of Homes".  It isn't a nice parade where old cars honk, marching bands play patriotic songs, and cheap candy is hurled into the crowd.  It is a place that lobs feelings of insecurities about decorating, dissatisfaction about your own home, and a dwindling feeling that we just aren't that fancy.  Oh well.  It is home.  And that's all that matters.

Finally, there is an event happening with my extended family tomorrow.  And my heart will be there at the airport gate.  The odor of fresh and deeper sacrifice is beautiful.  "Fair are the prospects all ahead"....  I'm glad he likes beans and tortillas.  But more so.  I'm thankful he's willing and wanting to go.  

Happy week ahead!

Monday, August 24, 2015

Monday Musings

So here I sit.  
In a Honda dealership waiting for my trusty van to get fresh oil circulating through its engine and move tires to different places so they don't wear down too quickly.  I'm blogging on my iPhone so excuse any typos.   The TV is alarming about a plummeting stock market.  But I don't care!  It's a beautiful day!  I had a very early morning mammogram appointment that was all clear.  Come back in six months!

The past week was filled with making the most of moments.  I could tell the MYP were almost startled that I was ok with hopping in the car to do this or that instead of a lineup of post-it-notes with jobs assigned.  Summer is soon over.  I am realizing how quiet the house will be in a week and I don't want to wish I had done this or that with these growing people.  We hiked and shopped and sipped expensive coffee and wrestled on the floor and had friends coming and going.  Once again I'm thankful for the struggle we had to bring these children into our lives because the Chairman and I don't take these days for granted.  I catch him studying maps of faraway places because he wants to make memories in other places before these many young people fly the coop.  

We also are in the season of preps.  We love these days and what is to come even more.   Even if it means there will be paint in your hair for the next three months.  

I just walked into the showroom and a guy was going to come ask me if I wanted to buy that car but he turned around.  He must know the Chairman makes all those decisions.  Plus I love my trusty van that hauls many, many young people and a dog and dressers I buy off of Craigslist for a reasonable price.

Well thank you for occupying me while i wait for the van to be done.  I'll listen to the worldwide concerns of the plummeting markets and feel an inward thankfulness for a healthy body, a Chairman that comes to sit with me in my nerved up state out of love, and our MYP that should be out of bed but won't be until I get back home.  And for you...  

Intense games that involve slapping
Eggplant project
window shopping (heh)

Be still my heart...

we called ourselves "Prime Time Crew"

Monday, August 17, 2015

Monday Musings

Were you worried?  I'm running a bit tardy today!  I was meandering the aisles of our local Costco and it dawned on me, "I haven't blogged today!".  Do you want to know what triggered that thought in the middle of Costco?  I saw a lady walking in calf-height rain water in the parking lot and she looked really annoyed.  It would be more blog-worthy if I had taken a picture.  Hopefully these words are worth the picture of the annoyed lady.  I notice that 143 people stopped to view the Chairman and Co. to see if there was new prose.

I think part of the reason for not blogging earlier is that there is very little material in my gray matter today that is worth sharing.  We are in the dog days of summer.  There's just two weeks left before the MYP hop on the big yellow bus.  They groan each and every time I remind them (sometimes daily) of the upcoming schedule.  I'm nice like that.

One of the highlights of our past weekend was that we attended a wedding.  It seems (at least locally) the thing to do is a barn wedding.  They are beautiful and I find it very appealing (read the previous post about my dream to be a farmer's wife).  However, the temperatures were quite toasty and there was absolutely no way the bride or groom could get cold feet and not make their vows.  Fortunately for us, this sweet young couple will live just a few miles away from us.

Approximately a month ago, I had a terrific scare while walking Lisi.  Some neighbors have two bull mastiffs.  Since they acquired the second one, they seem to have a protective pack-mentality.  They've scared the bejeebers out of me while walking as they hide behind trees and then race out and stop just short of their invisible doggy fence.  Well a month ago while their owner was watching, they came through the fence and attacked Lisi and drew blood on her leg.  I was concerned - well actually very mad.  The owner was asking if Lisi was ok and I said I wasn't sure and walked off.  Control your ginormous dogs, sir was what went through my mind.  Well last night, they came out again and were going to go after Lisi and the Chairman put out his arms and started growling and went after the one that was ready to attack Lisi.  Apparently, the bull mastiff got scared and ran away (all while owner lady was watching).  So the story isn't finished yet.  And I have no plans to walk anywhere near their house in the near future.

I spotted this at the Italian grocery store.  I married into the family and I can attest, that sometimes it does get loud.  

The MYP love to take selfies on my phone.  I think it's time for a look at what I found today.  It is apparent that son #1 is wiser than his sisters.  

I'm frustrated.  Almost ashamed.  I do not like my vegetable garden and it doesn't like me.  I pretend it isn't out there except to go pick a cucumber or two.  It has been an A+ dud of a garden.  I even had son #1 go mow down one end of it so the weeds didn't look so fierce and the neighbors start talking.  I plan to either not even plant anything next year or just build elevated garden spots and put in a couple tomato plants and a cucumber and squash and call it a day.  To not completely ruin my reputation as a gardener, I do like to pamper my flowers and will let you see them and not the disaster out back.

Well I better call this a post.  Sorry it was more of a mundane Monday Musings.  That's what you get sometimes...

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

A fair deal...

That's right.  It was the fair, but really, it wasn't that great of a deal.

Yesterday, I took our two daughters that are mostly darling and a friend that is mostly darling and off we went to the dairyland state fair!  Our tickets to get in the fair were half-price.  That was the last we saw of a good deal.  The rest was pretty much expensive in my frugal mind.

Fitz loved the fair!  If you are a newbie reader, Fitz is my fitbit.  I put on eight miles and exceeded all his expectations for once.  I'm not so sure how today will pan out.

I tend to think of myself as just an average eater.  We do tend to eat "lighter" at our house with not a lot of heavy or fried foods.  I looked around and the food choices were crazy-bad.  I did end up finding some slightly-better options, but came home after 8 and a half hours with a stomachache.  And to answer your question, I did not eat these.
As you can imagine, the fair here in dairyland has a lot, I mean a LOT to do with milk and cheese and Holsteins.  When you live in this area you kind of sorta think of it all as normal.  So I was walking around looking at it as if I was visiting from Alabama and it was kind of fascinating.

I spent some time in the barns because deep down inside of me, I secretly wish I were a farmer's wife.  I wrote that as a life goal in first grade and I think it is still there.  I don't think the Chairman has any plans for a career change, so I'll just walk around on my own and enjoy the sights and sounds and smells (I think it smells lovely) of the livestock.  These fair cows are nearly pets.  I watched a beautiful black angus get a shower and he blinked slowly (and seemingly lovingly) at his young teenage owner.
 Our fair is famous for the cream puff.  I stood in line for approximately 10 minutes for mine.  It basically is a simple cream puff filled to the brim with sweet whipped cream (the real deal of course) and sprinkled with powdered sugar.  Based on my 5 seconds of research, over 400,000 were sold last year.  They are good, but I wouldn't write home about it.  Maybe just blog...
Then there's the milk house!  For 25 cents you get a glass of milk.  Regular white isn't an option.  But you can get root beer or strawberry or banana or chocolate milk!
 Here's some cheese winners!  The sizes of the chunks are worth noting and according to some more five second research, these chunks are worth a bit of money.

The girls enjoyed rides at the midway or whatever you call those things that are transported there on semi-trucks, put together hopefully correctly, and plugged into some humongous power source.  There's flashing lights and naughty pictures and you're thrown around until you are dizzy and feel like retching.  At least that's what they told me.  I held their purses.

A few observations.  Carnie-rats or whatever you call them are not to be seen.  I'm not sure if they are trying to clean up the image or what, but it seemed to be college guys/gals running the rides.  I'm wondering where all the carnie-rats went to?

Some people should not ride those swinging chairs.  Especially when the person tries to exit the ride brings her swing with her and requires the man in charge to pry the seat off her bottom like it was super-glued on.

You know those websites that show the "people of Walmart"?  I actually like the Walmart nearby here and rarely see the "people of Walmart".  But I found them yesterday!  Each and every one!  The people-watching nearly made my eyes dry out because I didn't want to blink and miss the next sight!  I try to keep this blog family-friendly, but I just might take it down a notch or two and show you this.  It actually looked worse in person.  I wouldn't call her "My Fair Lady" or even the "Fairest of the Fair".
So there you have it.  My fair deal.  That wasn't so fair.  But it was very memorable!

Monday, August 10, 2015

Monday Musings

Well here we are again!  Those of you that have been to places like we have been know the sense of busy and urgency getting ready to go and the busy once you return.  You see the place we were at was a family reunion!  Except this one is better than most because there are so many there.

This year there were lots and lots and LOTS there at this family reunion.  I had a lot of blood relation at this reunion but there were also more people there that I am not related to by blood.  But they are family and in all honestly, there's not a lot of difference in feeling for others whether you share the same genetics or not.  It's all wonderful.

At this reunion, we are all so different in size, shape, color, age, yet so very much the same.  That cannot be put into words.

This reunion had old, middle-aged, young, and very young.  In fact, there were lots of young.  Like in the hundreds.  Several nights these young people were gathered together to sing and as I walked by it was just as if it were angels.  Really.  It's hard to keep dry eyes when you walk by this lit up building and see all these young people sitting together in unity and singing.  It makes one very hopeful and encouraged for the future.

At these reunions, we see some of the same people we have known since we were wee little kids.  I met many new ones this year.  It's all so good.

I enjoy a few social media places during normal weeks.  It is fascinating to me how utterly disinterested I am of all of that when I'm away at these reunions.  It honestly doesn't even come to mind.  I think that's a good thing.

The food and the accommodations were very good.  But the bread that was shared was even better.

I had to giggle one day when son #1 came to the camper and asked, 'don't we have any cheese curds?'.  You know you're from Dairyland when you say things like that.

We witnessed a couple of births at this reunion.  As you can imagine there was joy unspeakable.

So now we are back to the responsibility and the reality of life again.  We have only three weeks before there are pencils and books and teacher's dirty looks (well we hope not anyway!).  We have some things on our bucket list we need to check off yet.  We also have a lawn to mow and a garden to tend and a house to clean and groceries to buy and about nine loads of laundry to do before we sleep again.

The mighty Simba wasn't so mighty right before we left.  He got in a fight and wasn't the biggest Tom in town.  He received a deep puncture wound on his leg.  He's going to be ok, and the gaping wound is healing, but the vet it would take some time.

I'll leave you with a couple pictures.  I don't take many at these reunions because for some reason, it all seems so sacred and doesn't seem the time nor place.  However, one day I returned to my camper and Grandma was in there directing these unbelievably precious and beautiful grandaughters as they sang the Korean national anthem.  It was simply cuteness overload.

So is this.  Daughter #2 had a blast entertaining and enjoying these three.
I'm a bit partial, but I think these two are pretty nice too.
And this is my view as I type...  I think he missed us.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Monday Musings

Well hello there!  It's still quiet here but I'll soon be blowing 'reveille'.  It's sometimes fun to be the bad guy.

Saw this in the Costco flyer.  I can't believe they didn't call me up for an interview.  Maybe it's because I don't make a living doing this.  Or maybe I don't look successful like this guy.  Heh.

I caused a terrific groan when I said brightly in the car yesterday, 'just think in less than a month you will be in school again!'.  Someone said quietly from the back seat, 'that's not a way to put us in a good mood'.

Daughter #1 is still texting me funny pictures.  This one came in right before bed the other night.
The Chairman took the 'day of rest' quite literally yesterday.
So did Lisi.  Sugar-pie sweetness.

We had some very strange weather last night.  We were basically between two humongous storms.   The sky turned green and gray and rosy-pink and back to gray again in just minutes.

Last week we had the honor of throwing a send-off to this lady.  It's the one on the left, not the right.  That's me and I don't think I'm going anywhere.
I want to say some schmaltzy things about her but she doesn't like the attention to go her way too much.  But guess what?  She's moving this week and so she can't throw a shoe at me real soon!  So here goes:

This lady was a helper in our area the year daughter #2 was born.  I vividly remember the wonderful feeling (and help!) when those two ladies would come and stay with us.  They'd rock babies and push them on the swings and help with the meals and so forth.  With three kids three and under, I felt sometimes overwhelmed (can you believe that?).  But not with them around.  

Then she needed to stay in our area and her home base was just a mile plus over the hill.  We were politely friendly but not in a deep-friendship, caring way.  Time went on.  I asked if she wanted to pet sit our golden furry friends and she said yes.  She came and was a help with that many times.  She helped me with yard work.  She texted a question here and there.  Soon the relationship morphed from a polite friend to treating her like a daughter or a niece.  She was growing and developing and accomplishing before our very eyes.  We would text funny things that happened to us during the day.  And sometimes we would text when terrible things were happening during the day.  We have been in close contact for quite some time now.  I would call that a very dear friend.  And now she is moving on to a new chapter in life.  An opportunity came up and she is taking advantage of it.  I'm so happy for her.  But I will also feel the vacancy of her leaving.  Yes, we are not to cry because it's over, but smile because it happened.  I will smile for her - for all she has attained in getting to this point... but selfishly, through tears.  

Here are those that came to say goodbye.  There were probably about 100 more I could have invited, but the house holds only so many... 

So we are anticipating a very full and wonderful week ahead.  Maybe we will even see some of you!  Until next Monday...  thanks for stopping by!