Monday, September 28, 2015

Monday Musings

Blogger tells me this is Post 1177.  So little to say, so many posts.

Well we have had just sublime weather here.  Cool air mixed with warmth by day, and chilly evenings and brilliant sunshine.  I'm wondering if mum sales are lagging this fall because the summer flowers are still in full bloom.  I intended to get some for my window boxes, but I hate to pull out what is still living and thriving.
taken this am
As daughter #2 came down and plopped down on the barstool for breakfast, I said, 'it's going to be 80 today!' and turned around and saw this.  Apparently she doesn't check the forecast before dressing.
So the moon has hardly been looked at by so many people simultaneously as last night.  I am not into astronomy and can hardly identify the north star.  But this was pretty neat.  I tried taking a bunch of photos on my iPhone and well lets just say, this is my story.
I immediately thought of two moon songs when I sat out on the deck watching the whole thing unfold.  One was:

I see the moon and the moon sees me, 
the moon sees somebody I'd like to see.
God bless the moon and God bless me,
and God bless the somebody I'd like to see.

Another one was;

I see the moon, the moon sees me,
Under the shade of the old oak tree.
Please let the light that shines on me, 
shine on the one I love.

Over the mountains, over the seas,
back where my heart is longing to be.  
Please let the light that shines on me,
shine on the one I love.

You see when we were in the excruciating waiting period for going to China to bring back our daughter, I was out walking one evening with Lincoln (our first and slightly smarter golden retriever).  I looked up and saw the moon.  Then I realized the same moon that gave me light was also shining down on a little baby I loved but hadn't met yet who was waiting in a too-small bassinet.   I started to sing it quietly to myself and had tears streaming down (good thing it was dark out and that dogs can't talk).  It as always a comfort to me.  And when we finally made it to China and we were riding in a bus in the dark one night, I looked up and saw the moon.  Then I looked down and saw this beautiful baby resting her head on my chest and I quietly said in my mind "thank you".

However all isn't just sweetness and sugar.  As I was leaning over on the deck last night peering with the binoculars to the skies, I heard a voice of the aforementioned beautiful baby behind me say, 'what are you doing?'  I said, 'looking at the moon!'.  She replies, 'which one?'.  Smarty-pants.  Mine must have been drooping.

Yesterday, we had family time.  It's always nice to all be together.  Well not all together.  Some are in CA and OK and Mexico.  But those of us there were all together I guess.  However, the ones missing should have had itchy ears.

Living with teenagers is wonderful and humbling and frustrating and hilarious and worrisome and joyful.  Lately, they've enjoyed insulting me quite often.  That's ok.  Because I have the Chairman.  I try not to toot his horn too much because he wouldn't want me to.  But I must say he is so sweet at compliments.  His parents must have trained him right.  Yesterday as we were riding along in the car he looks over and says, 'I really like your hair that way.'  And I should have looked at him with soft eyes and replied quietly, 'thank you.'  But I didn't.  I said, 'this way?  This is how I do it most all the time!'  He replied, 'well it's good then that I like it that way.'  The poor dear.  I felt sorry I didn't reply with soft eyes and a word of thanks.  Next time I promise I hear something positive I will say 'thank you'.  I cannot figure out why that is so hard to do.

I cleaned the clutter off the piano and changed things up a bit.  It's cheaper than buying new furniture.  Heh.

 Well that's enough aMusement for today.  I have plenty on my to-do list, so better get started.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Love/dislike relationships...

Have you ever walked to the computer with the intention of finding a recipe and then 20 minutes later walk away from the computer and realize it never entered your mind to actually find the recipe you were looking for?  Yeah, me either...  Goodness.  Technology is so wonderful and so awful at the same time.  

However it is wonderful because I get to blog!  For me maybe.  For you?  Maybe not so much.

Another love/hate relationship I have is with Amazon.  They taunted and tempted me with Amazon Prime to get a better deal on a horrifically expensive graphing calculator that one of the MYP needed for classes.  So I signed up and now with One-click here it comes!  I have only gotten "exciting" things like new mops and slow cookers.  But scary I say.  I love the convenience.  I don't like the sneaky ways they get you to One-click.

As mentioned in an earlier post, I have a love/dislike relationship with gardening.  Vegetable gardens and I are not such good friends.  Now flowers or plants?  Love them.  I don't think I've told you much about Ferdinand.   

He's occupied my side porch for the past four and a half months.  He hasn't once shed his loveliness on the porch.  Or wilted.  Or gotten brown spots that Boston ferns often do.  So now it will soon be colder and I'll need to bring him inside.  The trick is to keep him happy and to find a spot for him.  He's mammoth.  

Then there's the pets.  I saw this lately:
It's kind of accurate... except for the potty in the house.  Lisi is just at that perfect age of just kind of "getting it".  The other night while we were eating, I thought she needed to just go to her bed and lay down so I just waved my finger that way and she immediately walked over and laid down. She just knew what I wanted without any words or action hardly.  I love that.  However, she's soon eight.  She has a growing lump on her rib cage that is starting to seem questionable.  Her vision isn't what it used to be.  She's getting more fatty tumors.  At some point down the road, I will be writing a very, very sad blog post with tears streaming down my cheeks.  I love her so.  And I dislike the fact that I like these silly pets so much.

Then there is parenting.  I love, love, love being a mother.  But oh me oh my.  There was an email that came early this morning that had news that was majorly disappointing to one of our young people.  There were tears and words of disappointment and more tears and distress.  I knew I wanted to be a parent.  I knew I would love it.  I knew it would be wonderful on so many levels.  What I didn't know is that the pain or disappointments your children feel are so real it almost physically hurts.  I dislike that.  (On a side note, in the big picture, this isn't too big of a problem.  So hold the phone calls... just teenage stuff)

So.  That's life.  The good and the bad.  The love and the dislike.  Kind of like these blog posts.  I'm sure some of them are loved.  Some are disliked.  Oh come on!  They all are loved...  heh... so the Chairman's wife says.  

Happy rest of the week!

Monday, September 21, 2015

Monday Musings

I'm so ashamed.  I desperately want to please the masses with a Muse, but I don't feel aMusing.  Oh well.  Don't want to ruin my reputation as a diligent blogger so will throw a bit of Muse for the masses.

Very little has happened since I last blogged.  I cooked and cleaned and did yard work.  Say!  There's something to mention.  I looked at my dreadful vegetable garden that I don't enjoy one iota.  It was taken over with weeds.  So I did what any reasonable person would do.  I weeded mowed it all down.  Seriously.  I got out the push mower and just mowed it all down except for the catnip (Simba is wild over that), the asparagus, the rhubarb, a couple tomato plants that are still bearing, and the raspberries.  The rest?  It's gone.  I've never felt better.  And I have resolved that tilling and planting and weeding isn't going to fit into my schedule come spring.  I'm thinking a few elevated boxes for one cucumber, one or two tomato plants, and that's that.  Less stressful that way.

We are in the midst of a gorgeous fall.  The grass has never been greener at this time of year due to perfectly spaced, ample rain.  The leaves are just starting to turn at the edges.  And the air is crisp by night and warm by day.  It's perfect.  We headed out for a delightful family hike yesterday.  Here's a couple pics.

Then we got home and Lisi stared at me.  And stared at me.  And I realized she wanted to go for a walk.  Oh good grief.  But you see, walking is her social media.  It was like she hadn't been on Facebook that day since lots of doggies had walked past and she hadn't been updated of their status.  So off we went again just her and me.
And do you know who was happiest about that?  Fitz!  Yes, I haven't stuffed my Fitbit to the back of my underwear drawer with all the baby teeth quite yet.  In fact, Fitz has kept me motivated to try to overachieve.  He's been quite the nice pal sitting on my left wrist.  But no matter how awesome I do, the next morning I wake up with 0 steps again.  He's demanding all right.  But really I think that's kind of sums up life.  We could be doing great and wonderful things one day.  But that isn't the current day.  If we are kind, or put first things first, or share, or whatever the day before, that doesn't really count for today.  Each day is really a new beginning.  With Fitz and other things that are more important.
Daughter #1 is still sending silly things.  Here's a few of the latest:

Ok.  This is enough.  Sorry all this lacks.  I promise (maybe) to not blog this week so regularly scheduled programing doesn't suffer too greatly.  

Friday, September 18, 2015

Freewill Friday

Freewill def:  done of your own accord.  Yep, no ghost writers on here today.

Not sure why I feel like blogging today on a Friday.  I may or may not regret this since I will 'need' to blog again on Monday so the masses don't miss the Musing.  Oh well.  Here goes.

Last Monday I wrote that I was going to do laundry and buy groceries and thus and such.  Well to make a very, very long story short, I needed to also figure out how to get a tire off our camping trailer.  It has randomly gone completely flat on us at various places.  After a couple hours research on line, at least four phone calls to various authorities about tires (three of them giving me completely false information), I FINALLY figured out the equipment needed!  Then we needed to get the trailer up high so that the tire in question would be off the ground.  Then we needed to get the tire to the tire shop (and they fixed it for FREE!).   Then we needed to get the tire back on the trailer which needed to be pulled yet to a higher plane.  Anyhoo!  The tire is fixed and I went back to normal programming of laundry and making food for the masses here.  The Chairman had to work (nearly) night/day so it was up to me to figure it out.  I liked this cartoon.  Kinda sums up marriage sometimes.
The other day I was out walking along with Lisi on the bike path and suddenly I hear heavy breathing.  Then I hear a man right behind me say, 'right behind you!'.  I scream.  He almost screams.  Poor guy was trying to warn me he was running up behind me but it kinda freaked me out more than if he would have just run past.

One of our neighbors has a remote control... ready for this?  Lawnmower!  It's kinda like an outdoors Roomba vacuum.  It's odd and I personally think a normal lawnmower works better.

I went grocery shopping yesterday when I was hungry.  Not a good plan.  Our cupboards and fridges and freezers are fully stocked for the blizzard of 2015.

A mom of one of our MYP's friends was in a fairly bad car accident this week.  She'll be fine, but she's banged up pretty bad.  She was driving a mondo-huge SUV and that probably saved her life.  She was crossing a lighted intersection after it turned green and was t-boned.  Makes me look both ways before I cross the street now.

Daughter #1 was at the doctor's office for her bi-annual physical.  The pediatrician was concerned about her growth since she's nearly the shortest in her classroom and on the growth charts.  So a bunch of blood work was drawn to be certain there isn't a reason.  Personally, I think the reason is genetics since there are definitely shorter genes in the gene pool.  I did think she looked cute in the backless gown.  Heh.
Our pediatrician asked me cautiously how life was going now with three teenagers in the house.  I responded as I usually do, 'I like teenagers!' and she looked at me with a shocked face and says, 'in my 19 years of practice, I have never heard a parent say that'.  Well I like to be different!  And really, that's really a sad statement.  You don't bring children into your life and home because you like babies.  You bring them into your life and home because you want to share life with these growing people.  Anyway, I'll get off my high horse now.

And!  After that I had the consult with the orthodontist.  Son #1 is getting braces on for the second time.... to the tune of $6000.  I asked for the rock-bottom price Mr. Moneybags OrthoGuy could muster since daughter #2 is getting her tinsel-teeth within the year as well.   I kinda swallowed hard when he told me the price.  Then he adds with a smile, 'but this is drawn over a two-year period'.  Oh great.  That makes me feel better.  And so much for new living room furnishings for the next, oh, many years.

Well happy weekend ahead to you!

Monday, September 14, 2015

Monday Musings

We just returned last night from being away for five days.  Time is such a strange thing.  When we were gone, the time went at a strange, warp-speed.  Yet, when we return home it feels like we've been gone for a very long time.  I think so much of it has to do with mind-set.  When we come apart and rest awhile, our mind, body, soul, spirit do also.

So it was bathroom duty x (I think, but who's counting?) 10 years.  This year the "Loo Crew" was quite a bit smaller.  That's ok.  My partner in crime is a dedicated hard-worker.  The two teenagers that were our assistants pulled their fair share.  And so the 17 toilets, six showers, and a multitude of sinks and carpets were kept as clean as we possibly could do it considering the crowd.

With slightly-flushed cheeks, I'm embarrassed to say that we received more compliments and accolades of thanks for our job than I ever remember.  You see what we do at these feast days is a very public job.  Unless you are wearing diapers or Depends, we will most likely see you - and you will see us if you are female or an underage little boy.  I appreciate the verbal and written notes of thanks for a job well done (pun intended).  But it makes me think of so many unseen jobs taking place on those grounds.  People are getting up hours before the sun does to peel carrots and potatoes.  People are hunched over a washing machine making sure all the rags and towels are clean.  There are trash bearers.  There are sweepers.  And above all else, there are those that are spending hours and hours in the quiet to be sure to bring the true message we need to hear.  We all are helpers together.  Here was something I found on the bathroom wall right before we were leaving.  Thank you for your thank you.  It was so unnecessary but so appreciated.
See this picture?  That was taken five years ago.
Here are a couple shots that were taken this year.  Don't tell me time doesn't fly.
On our way home we saw Mr. Peanut!  I'm not sure where he was going.  Maybe to find the wienermobile at a baseball park.  That way all the food groups would be represented.
Simba stayed home and a neighbor checked on him from time to time.  Cats are cool like that.  We left Lisi with her "cousin" and they seemed to do right-dandy together.  As soon as we arrived they seemed to want to show us that they are excellent at tug of war.
As we headed for the last hour home, I crawled in the back because, well, I kinda missed her.  I think the feeling was mutual.  
Well back to the realities of life.  The washer spins load number three.  The lawn needs mowing.  The flowers need watering.  The groceries need buying.  And some MYP need to be picked up at this time or that.  I'm a bit distracted right this moment as a hummingbird is flitting around the window boxes just in my view.  It is the first time I have ever seen one here since we moved here seven years ago.  I'd take a picture, but have you ever tired to photograph a flitting hummingbird?  

Happy week ahead.  We have so incredibly much to be thankful for.  Especially a better, grander view.  

Monday, September 7, 2015

Monday Musings

By right I shouldn't have to blog today!  It's Labor Day!  A freedom of labor!  However I'm on load #2 with the laundry, I emptied the dishwasher, made pancakes and bacon for the Chairman and Co. (plus one neighbor boy), vacuumed the main floor and mopped the wood.  Just another day for me as the "labor" never ends.  I remember hearing of a baby girl being born years ago on "Labor Day".  How clever is that?

Anyway!  We have a day off and then a couple normal days and then we have a wonderful, promising, enriching-days-ahead kind of a week.  That means that the laundry baskets must be emptied so choices can be made.  It means that ducks must be in a row and teachers informed and papers put on hold and the camper loaded.  And just in a micro-flash, in will all be over and we will be back here blogging again wondering just how time could go so fast.

We had a wee taste of fellowship the other night.  This lady has been working in India for 42 years until her visa could no longer be renewed.  I asked her at the table if there was anything about India she didn't like - i.e. food, living conditions, etc.  Her face lit up and she said, 'I loved everything about India'.  I love that.  And we walked in the door of our friends to spend time with her and her sweet niece - after about 13 seconds, we became dear friends.  I love how that works.

So school is in full swing here.  The MYP have come home with positive reports of their days and teachers and friends.  Lets see if the enthusiasm is still there say... February.
Jr. and Soph.

As a parents, we are aware the MYP are growing and changing.  It was very evident when FB told me I had a "memory" from 2009.  I looked at it and wowser.  It was the first time we took out our camper.  The MYP were definitely younger.  What scares the willies out of me is that in that same time-frame from now they will be all way out of high school and probably one or two living elsewhere.  Boo.  Wah.  Sniff.  Blubber.  Time... please slow down.

We had a neighbor friend here overnight.  He's a good kid and since he has no siblings, he likes to hang around here with the din of commotion that is usually part of a normal day.  I love talking to these other young people.  They are interesting and funny and love to be heard.  Today he was telling me his mom doesn't cook.  At all.  I had made kefir-laced pancakes (I hope his digestive tract can handle!) and bacon for us all and he said he couldn't believe how delicious they were because he usually eats Lego pancakes from a box.  I tried to say that his mom is talented probably in other areas and he said yes, she's really good at making bows and fancy things.  So we focused on that.  We each have our happy place and I'm quite thankful mine is in the kitchen.

I saw this picture this week.  We had several of these behmouth station wagons growing up.  I think one time we jammed ten people in it and headed off without a care or seatbelt to be found.  I think my slightly nice older brother and me often had a very different vacation than the rest of my family sitting up front because we saw everything backwards and tried to avoid eye contact with the guy right behind us.  We'd talk and sing loudly and give each other noogies on the head and when things got really cRaZY he'd push my fuzzy-braided head down to the floorboard and hold me down until my shrieks would irritate our parents.  Such deliciously wonderful memories.

Here is something else I enjoyed:

Well back to laboring around here.  Don't feel sorry for me because I intend to take a leisurely nap soon after.

Happy week ahead!  Mine will be happy, but more so, it will be full of joy.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Therapy Dog

Yep that's me!  Don't you remember?  I became a certified therapy dog at the age of one!  And guess what?  The Big Lady that yells but loves me anyway has never taken me anywhere to help people.

Hello!  This is your old pal Lisi!  It's been awhile since I've had any say around here, so I think it is time to have another chat.

There are a lot of needs here at this place I live at.  In fact, I would say my proverbial supper dish is full here.  That is why I cannot go visit nursing homes, hospitals, or schools.

There are some smaller people that are getting to be bigger people that spend time with me out in the yard throwing balls to me.  I think the Big Lady that yells but loves me anyway tells them to get outside once in awhile and uses me as an excuse.  They drag me along when they get the urge to jog.  And then there's the Big Guy that doesn't yell.  He leaves nearly every day in a little car and is gone a very long time each day.  When he comes home, he eats at the round table with the family.  I try to get myself positioned on a nearby rug and snort and purr to make sure they remember I am close by and my whole purpose of existing here is to get a morsel from the Chairman's table.  Or something like that.  After the meal, he usually puts on clothes that smell like grass and woods and then I get excited because I know he's going to say, "Lisi?  Walk?" and then we are off for some silent therapy in the woods.

Then there's the Big Lady that yells but loves me anyway.  She's my main concern and my biggest challenge as a therapy dog.  She writes sweet and affectionate and funny things here on the blog.  But do you want to know a secret?  She can be moody.  She can yell (let me tell you!).  She can cry (thankfully, not very often).  And she can become very, very silent (which usually means something isn't right).

For example last night she was basically doing all of the things I just mentioned.  She had bones to pick (isn't that clever of me?) and it just got worse and worse.  She came out to the screen porch and I could tell she was near tears.  I got up close and put my head on her lap.  I kept nudging her with my head to pet me.  I just know that'll make her feel better.  Then after she seemed tired of that I started licking her knees.  I know that sounds gross to you and it probably was gross to the Big Lady, but she started to laugh.  So I kept licking.  Then she finally said, 'enough Lisi!' but I could just tell she wasn't quite feeling her normal peppy self, so I got real close to the sofa and sat down and leaned all my heavy weight on her legs.  I thought my mere presence would make her feel better.  I listened along to the Big Lady talking to the Big Guy.  I have no clue what they were really saying because my vocabulary is limited.  But I could tell the Big Lady was starting to feel lots better by talking to the Big Guy.

Some say that dogs are dumb.  And maybe in some ways, we are.  I do have enough sense to know a red tomato from a green tomato and just recently got busted from eating them in the garden.  I have enough sense to know when I need exercise or the people that live here need exercise.  And most importantly, I have a sense to know when someone is sad or mad or just having a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.

I think I've earned my doggy kibble this week.  And I might just highlight some of the work I've done this week in pictures.
sitting so pretty

lap therapy for Big Lady
C'mon!  Let's get going!

I'll show you the way!
Deeper in the woods... feeling better yet?
I love when she wants to get close

Whew!  It's been ruff around here!

So there you have it!  My life as a therapy dog for the nuts around this place.  Maybe the next time you see the Big Guy or the Big Lady that yells but loves me anyway that I deserve a couple juicy new bones.  Thank you.