Monday, October 24, 2016

Monday Musings

Greetings!  It's getting later into this Monday and I haven't Mused.  I have a huge pile of laundry to fold but I'm putting all you sweet peeps before that.

Camping is such a blast.  And so much work.  If even for a couple days away.  And each and every time it is worth it.  It was nice to have friends join us again this year!

I always am fascinated about sharing the shower area with fellow-campers.  I lucked out early Saturday morning as this smart camper brought in a portable heater.  That took the edge off.  As I was drying off another older lady came in and said to me, 'you are the bravest lady I've ever met'.  Oh?  Well you showered this morning with it so cold!  I was hoping it was for a more noble reason than stripping down to my birthday suit in 30 degree temps.

Fall camping in Dairyland can be wet or chilly or both.  This time it was just chilly the first evening.  But we were sissies and had an electric site and an electric blanket besides.  So you true campers can scoff all you want.  The skies were blue, the leaves were oranges, yellow, and green.  And the air crisp.

We had a delicious breakfast and then headed off to hike.  After about an hour of wandering along trails and climbing on these cool ledges, we continued along and that's when I very ungracefully rolled my already weak ankle.  It was a lovely sprain and it took all my power to get back to camp.  Then I sat my behind on a chair and watched the fire and took a nap and pretended that all was well despite my swollen ankle.  Thankfully, some other friends came and brought me a wrap to help brace it and then I could actually function better.

Of course the highlight of the whole weekend was the fellowship on Sunday morning and an added bonus of lunch out with friends from that area.  I forgot to take a picture of the sweet family, but trust me, they're nice folks.  The Mrs. was actually on the raft trip back in '92 when I first laid eyes on the Chairman and he on me.  

So!  The camper is winterized and sadly, tucked away into the storage barn until next summer.  So bring on winter!  Really!  I have the wood lined up for the stove and wool socks in the drawer.  And I have a few MYP that would like to ski.  

I just noticed an ad that popped up on my computer.  They are pretty clever most the time but this one was disturbing.  "The best exercises for getting rid of that unwanted double chin and neck fat".  I'm wondering if the computer knows I've put on a few pounds or if a family member Googled it for me.  Heh.  Will see what my doctor says tomorrow when I go for my annual.  

So happy week ahead to you!  We've got a busy week ahead.  I'll slowly limp away.  Sorry for all this lacks.  

Monday, October 17, 2016

Monday Musings

That's right!  Not much to Muse today!  It's been blissfully warm here.  But now the wind is whipping around and I think fall is coming back after summertime temps today!

It was beautiful when I went walking today.  Here was one of my views.  I can't believe at one point in my life I told people I couldn't stand fall.  What was ever wrong with me.  I mean really!
So the catering gig went over ok I guess!  I got lovely comments (unless they were just trying to be nice).  And possibly a couple more gigs forthcoming.  I almost was 'cooked out'.  Almost I say.  But not really.  I still love all things kitchen.

Yesterday after our morning time together, most of us were visiting in the kitchen and I looked over and saw this.  Luckily, I happened to have my phone in my jacket pocket.  That lady is incredibly spiritual and wise.  We will miss her when she heads back to the other side of the world to her home in a few weeks.

Someone we dearly love just relocated to the other side of the country.  There were so many times today I thought, 'I wonder if she's on the plane', 'I wonder if she's looking down at our state right now', 'I wonder how many were at the destination when she got off the plane?'  'I wonder if she's content tonight'.  'I wonder if they'll know how wonderful she is'.  I know there were a lot of 'Yes's' to my wonderings.  And for that, I'm so grateful.

We intend to do some fall camping this weekend!  Hopefully, there's a story or two.  And hopefully, it doesn't entail freezing our tails off. 

Without further ado.  Lets look at what's on my camera roll!



and I was...

I kind of felt like this... (sorry MYP!)

how the MYP felt today when I asked them to help with some yard work

for goodness sake's - yes!

Lisi wants to be fed three times/day now.  And each and every time she will not eat until I rub both sides of her face and nuzzle her on top of the nose.  Then she'll start.  Simba has a huge list of demands because, well, cats are just like that.  And I have to say I don't mind one bit.

So happy week ahead to you!  

Friday, October 14, 2016

Feasting Friday

I'm not sure if this is a bonus Muse or simply a replacement for this Monday.  It's quiet here at the moment, so will take a few moments to let the fingers do the talking.

Feasting you say?  Why that adjective?  Well I've been cooking on all four burners and both ovens.  My sweet friend, aka Chicken Farmer's wife is hosting a camp this weekend and kindly asked if I wanted to cater for the event.  Dinner for 30 at noon and another 25 for the evening meal.  She gave me the menu and I'm following it mostly.  It's been fun and laborious.  I do love cooking and baking, so it's been quite a fun week for me!  The freezer is completely full of the goods and I can't wait to serve it all up tomorrow.  Hopefully it all tantalizes the taste buds.

I just bought new sheets.  They're called "Velvet Touch" from Costco.  If you want to feel like a baby nestled in your mama's arms, then these are for you.  If you have a tendency to get hot at night, these are not for you.

One of the MYP asked this week if I'd do laundry for him/her.  They mentioned it had been awhile, yet there were not a ton of clothes in the basket.  However, there were... count 'em... 26 pair of underwear.  Meeshka!  No wonder the plea was desperate.

We had a couple of doctor visits this week.  The follow-up on the foot surgery is going A+.  Thankfully, she's able to walk almost normally and the scars are slowly fading.  The other appointment was with an allergist for an asthmatic son.  As he was about done he inquired if we wanted to try a new medicine since it was free for a year.  Seriously???  With no insurance coverage for incredibly over-priced medicine, this was Christmas in October to say the least.  I think Dr. Allergy almost looked nervous when I about leaned over to give him a hug.

Our high school now does 'career planning meetings' for the freshman and their parents.  It was somewhat informative but I find it somewhat humorous and horrifying that these 14-year olds are just trying to figure out who they are as people (through sometimes rampant mood swings) and are being encouraged to try and figure out what they want to do for the rest of their lives.

So a couple days ago there were sirens.  Lots of sirens and flashing lights.  I take a look out the window and see seven emergency vehicles at the neighbors.  Long story short, the neighbor man of only 56 died in bed of a heart attack.  Later that day I saw his wife walking slowly around the neighborhood with a friend or sister or someone close to her.  It was hard to shake off the feeling of how dreadful it all would be - your healthy husband mowing the yard the night before and now gone in just an instant.  Life can change in a moment.  I think the Chairman has appreciated the fact that I've been so appreciative of his presence this week.

just a few of the things going on here
growing teens + wood stoves = instant naps

cool cat city

Monday, October 10, 2016

Monday Musings

Greetings!  It's a beautiful, fall day out there and I need to go enjoy it.  But first I'll let my fingers tap away at the keys and see what words come out on the screen.

I just read an article, "Eight things you should NEVER do to your cat".  Of course I clicked it (click bait anyone?) and I do seven of the eight things listed.  Don't tell Simba because he thinks I'm the cat's meow (pun intended).  I snickered when I read you should never, EVER let the outside alone.  Simba would think I'm weird following him around all night as he hunts.

I got yelled at last week for making three-bean white chili.  I may or may not have had a lapse in judgment and served it right before the girl's choir concert.  I may or may not have secretly thought it was all quite hilarious.  Thankfully, there were no 'incidents'.

Last weekend, the Chairman, myself, the youngest of the MYP, and Lisi headed into the city for a hike near a river.  It was quite lovely!  We traipsed around a park area that was remote, wandered down some streets where the houses are really, really close together, and continued by huge high-rise condos at the lakefront of Lake Michigan.  It all was quite enjoyable and interesting.

Lisi loves adventures like that and seems to really shine as she's in these different places.  She got lots and lots of comments and compliments from people as we walked past them.  One guy looked at me and smiled sweetly and said, "so pretty!" to me.  I smiled back at him and then he nods toward Lisi and adds, "the dog".  He must have figured I thought he was talking about me.  Oh well.

I claim to be a country girl living in the city.  That is somewhat true.  But there are certain amenities about living in a city.  We happened to be walking past the Italian grocery store I really like and so I ran in to grab a few things I like getting from them.  It's really neat when one of the older Italian owners is the one to serve you.  I think I had "Joe" this time.  He always has a ready smile.  Then from there I told the Chairman I needed to stop at the Indian grocery store a little further out of town.  So I ran in for some more spices and paratha.  They play their native music over the speakers and I was the only one that wasn't Indian by birth.  Felt like a quick trip to Bangalore!

So I've been busy cooking today!  And I don't have a clue what I'm serving my family for dinner.  You see I've been offered to cater for my friend again.  Two batches of cookies done, chicken pre-cooked, and I'm moving on to the pumpkin bars soon.  But Lisi keeps glaring at me so I better get outdoors for a bit first.

Happy rest of the week!
So pretty!  Looks like spring!
Lisi was totally at home at the coffee shop
He must be from the south.  We like it unsweetened around here. 

Thursday, October 6, 2016

It's just grilled cheese

I just saw her last weekend.  She's just an ordinary, middle-aged woman.  But to me many years ago, she wasn't ordinary.  At all.  I'm so glad this memory came back to me.

It was a dreary, fall day twenty years ago.  The family had gone home.  The flower bouquets had died.  The thank you cards had been written.  The baby things were mostly packed away.  And I sat there at the kitchen table and I was feeling grief overtake me.  Then the phone rang.

"Would you like to come over this morning?  I'm not doing anything and was thinking maybe you would like something to do."  My first inclination was to say, 'no'.  I wanted to wallow in my grief.  I wanted to feel sorry to the core that our little premature baby had died.  I wanted to shut out the outside world.  But for some reason, I said 'yes'.

I walked upstairs to their little upper-flat.  It wasn't much but to me it was a special place.  The door opened with a ready smile and there she was - my kind and thoughtful friend.  We went into the living room and there was her little boy playing on the floor.  We made small talk and then she asked me how I was doing.  She wanted to hear details about our too-brief time with our baby Amara.  She listened intently because she cared.  I poured out my words and heart and tears to her.  She listened and sympathized.  Then it soon was getting to be lunchtime.

"Could you stay for lunch?".  I guess so.  I hadn't planned on it.  Then she said these words, "I don't have much in the house so it's just grilled cheese."   Even though it was thin, white bread out of a bag, it was exactly what I needed and wanted.  I didn't want to go home and eat lunch alone.  I hungered for friendship and kindness and that's exactly what my wounded soul needed and received.

Because of that experience and many others through this journey of life, I have learned that it really isn't how lovely the meal.  How pretty the house.  How beautifully you're dressed.  Sometimes when "it's just grilled cheese", that is just what someone needs.

 Her kindness is not forgotten.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Tuesday Musings

Greetings from Dairyland!  I just returned from a few errands - one of which was a quick run into Aldi.  They are under construction as they are creating a full-service, in-house bakery (is that proper to do two-dashes next to each other in a sentence?).  I had two items on my Post-it note.  I came out with an IKEA blue plastic shopping bag overflowing with necessities.  Feeding teenagers will make you do that.

One thing you may or may not need to know about me is a ritual Lisi and I have after I return from somewhere.  She barks at me in the garage and then I have to give chase.  We run around the car about three or four times playing hide and seek.  She waits and then I come from the other side and I yell and we carry on in joyful silliness.  This may or may not be the reason we are not invited to neighborhood functions.  Heh.

The MYP and I just returned from a glorious weekend "up north".  I told someone that it was actually one of my favorite weekends ever.  I wish the Chairman could have been there too but sometimes work gets in the way of plans.  My soul was enlarged and refreshed.  I was able to visit with a lot of people that I wouldn't ordinarily get to visit with.  The four MYP in our car were really wanting to visit about good and sometimes serious things for quite awhile as we were returning.  And the drive up and back was beautiful.  I do love our state.

I heard from more than a few about them being blog readers.  As usual, I worry about that because it makes me feel self-conscious for some reason.  Then there was the lady that came up to me and looked very serious.  She said, 'I have to tell you something.'  Oh no - I'm thinking.  What did I do?  She said, 'I haven't been reading your blog lately...'  Oh really!  The first thing that popped into my head and what I said was, 'oh good!  Now you have time to read more profitable things!'.  She laughed and said she'd come back and read again sometime.  But I won't count on it.

I'm sure there are regional differences within this country with the food served, the accent spoken, and the general atmosphere.  I noticed that there is lots and lots of butter on every dining table - not to mention cheese plates overflowing with goodness.  The testimonies in this more rural location of our state told of crops and grape vines and horses and worn-down paths that people said gave them thought of more serious things.  Interesting.

Can I say that I'm sick of the upcoming election theatrics?  Not to mention the candidates.

Yesterday, was senior picture day for our senior.  Since we had our friend and photographer booked, we all dressed in muted colors and showed up for some family shots as well.  I think it all went as good as possible and now I wish for instant gratification and seeing the pictures.  It was fun to be an observer as our petite, precious daughter was getting her senior photos done.  It goes without saying that my mind was transported back to the very first picture we had of her as we desperately waited for travel approval to go to China to bring her home.  In some ways, I wish I could have seen into the future to yesterday to see what she's become.  How I stood afar with my heart bursting because I love her so fiercely.  Thanks isn't enough for what she's brought to our family.

So time to look at my camera roll and see what I can share.
Dairyland showing her color

these two... the one on the left is a YP but not one of our MYP but she feels like one of our MYP... make sense?

lining up 

he isn't a toddler anymore...

nor is she... isn't Lake Michigan lovely?

street scenes

river/city scenes


for sure!
Happy Tuesday!