Monday, October 23, 2017

Monday Musings

Greetings!  So what's new on your end?  Oh really?  I wish you'd speak louder so I could actually hear you.  

Lets see.  Well I was actually alone for a large portion of this past weekend.  It was oddly very nice for about the first 12 hours.  Then I got bored and kept following various family members on Find Friends and wished I was with them.  Then I resorted to Snapchatting one of the MYP very, very often which was fun for me and helped alleviate her boredom riding in the car for 24 hours as well.  Thank goodness they all returned and my heart was happy as we all shared our weekend around the table last night.  

I decided on a whim to rearrange our bedroom completely while the Chairman was away  I found not just dust bunnies but South Dakota jackrabbits behind a couple of the dressers.  I used to think of myself as a decent housekeeper.  Not anymore.  

The positive in the rearranging is obviously everything is clean again.  The negative is that we had to switch sides of the bed.  So that's weird.  And when I wake up I feel like I'm somewhere else until the cobwebs clear.  

The other night the dog goes bounding out the back door and barks her fool head off.  I was standing in the garage and suddenly there was a terrible pungent skunk spray smell.  I audibly said, 'oh no!'.  Then in bounds Lisi.  I check her all over.  Thank goodness for skunks that miss their target.  

It suddenly feels quite chilly around here!  I just saw a map that says we are to have a cold winter and an average amount of snow.  I sure hope so.  I like winter too.  But before it hits, we are soaking up some of fall's beauty.  

I got to babysit for our friend's little baby the other day for the morning.  He's three months old.  He's just perfect.  He's got these amazing long eyelashes.  And he has such a ready smile.  For just a couple seconds I pretended to be a Grandma and it felt really fun.  You Grandmas must really love your role.  

When I was cleaning out some drawers in my bedroom I found the positive pregnancy tests from nearly 16 years ago.  I never had thrown them out.  And I still didn't.  That's probably really weird of me.  But even though she's soon taking driving school, I love to think of the hope I had of her years and years ago.  

We have a little hamster at our house for almost a year now.  One of the MYP really wanted him.  She actually paid for him with her own money and assured me that she would be solely responsible for him.  She'd feed him.  Change his bedding.  Give him treats.  Well the past couple months he has become my hamster.  I feed him and give him spinach.  And I let him run all over my lap and carry him around the house.  He's a cute little bugger.  I just wonder why all pets suddenly become the mom's pet?  Or maybe it's because I secretly like it.  I'm kind of a nurturer on steroids.

Yesterday it was twenty-one years ago that a little tiny baby was born.  I never forget that date because it was the day I became a mama.  I suddenly realized that being a mother makes you feel a part of your heart is in another body.  She passed away three days later and when she did a tiny little hole in my heart was born.  A NICU nurse I recently talk to said that if she were to have been born today she would most likely would still be alive.  I don't wish for that because I have faith to believe there were other plans for her.  I have faith to believe that there also were other plans for her future siblings that came after her.  For that, we are just thankful to have been led through all the experiences that were ours in growing our family.  

So back to mundane Monday chores.  See you next time!

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Tuesday Talk

Greetings!  I think all of the MYP are working away at homework.  The Chairman took Lisi out for walk #2, so I'll sit and visit with you since no one else is around to listen.

Where did we leave off?  Oh yes!  Camping!  We had wonderful reservations at an amazing park just two hours from here.  The forecast looked not just like rain, but buckets of rain.  The fellow-campers and I were group texting about it and the consensus was to pull the plug on the camping venture. 

So!  We since there was so much rain going on outside, we went to a waterpark.  Seems like an oxymoron somehow.  We went with a few other camper wanna-bes.  Had delicious food we carried in.  Super-fun games.  Enriching visits.  Then we went to another of the camper wanna-bes home and had a few more games, delicious food and an enriching visit.  Here we are at the table.  Well here they are.  I usually take the pictures.
The older of the MYP caught a ride to Minnesota.  I was so very happy to receive this picture.  It makes my heart smile.  I was so glad for them to be able to go.  And I was so glad when the flock all landed back on the nest again.  It seems our supper table times are more and more precious.
We have a banquet coming in two days at a high-ka-flootin country club for the high school tennis team.  I never know what to wear, what purse to carry, what to say, how to act when I got to these events.  I always feel like a country mouse that went to the big city.  I'm glad the Chairman is good at these things and I can just stuff my face full of salad.  You can take the girl out of the country, but you can't take the country out of the girl.  Or middle-aged woman.

Usually people like to look at pictures and floor plans of super-big houses.  I am totally enamored with small houses.  Tiny houses.  Living in a camper for a year.  I'm weird like that. 

I like ironing.  There I've said it.  Most the people I know don't enjoy it.  I thoroughly enjoy the whole process and lining up the pressed shirts with military precision in the closet.

I like getting groceries too.  Actually, I have enough food in the house right now to feed us all for at least three months.  I need to stop buying and cooking up what we do have. 

One week from today we go through the whole senior picture process all over again.  Last year it was a BIG deal.  There was planning of hairstyles and outfit changes and locations and the timing of the sun.  I asked about it for the one this year and he said he thought he had a shirt that might work.  And that was as of a big deal as he thought it needed to be.  Sons can sometimes be easier.

Well this is probably enough talk this Tuesday. 

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Words this Wednesday

Greetings!  Can you tell I sound different?  It's just the congestion talking.  I had a doozy of a cold.  I thought it was actually the flu but took a few on-line quizzes and they kept saying it was a cold.  No matter I'm on the mend but still am annoying the Chairman by coughing at night.

If you find something you really like do you have the urge to just buy another so that you have a backup?  I do it often.  This morning I just discovered my favorite (and yet in good shape) slippers were at a brag price on Amazon and so I just ordered them even though I won't need them until the winter of 2019. 

I have a lot of friends.  This is true in real life, but right now I'm talking about Instagram and Facebook.  I only accept friends that I know - or know their family.  I've think that some of the people I am "friends" with that I don't know I'd really like if we didn't live 500 miles apart from each other.  I sense a common goal in life, the same interests and humor.  Maybe we'll meet some day!

I make cinnamon rolls a lot.  Lately, it's been a LOT due to orders, needs, etc.   A couple tricks for you as far as frosting if you care.  I usually add at least two tablespoons of maple syrup to the frosting ingredients.  Try it.  I promise.  Also always always add a dash of salt.  A splash of cold coffee is always fun too.  And!  To keep the adults children from fighting over who gets the middle pieces, put the nicest looking rolls in the corners and add a little bit extra frosting over the dry corner area.  Problem solved.

One of our teens just went on a prescription.  I picked it up from the pharmacist and she said "this medication might make her moody or irritable"... and I said "she's 15 so how will I know?"  And we both threw our heads back and laughed and laughed. 

Our number one son sent this picture the other night.  My first response was "oh deer".  I asked if he was going to be done hunting for the year and he looked at me as if I lost my mind.  Maybe I have.  I guess there's always the elusive big buck out there to get. 
If you're a friend of mine on Instagram, you've already seen this picture.  It happens very frequently here.  I just can't figure out how an 8-pound cat can have such power over a 75-pound dog.  But he does.  Don't worry... I shoo the cat off the dog bed to his own cat bed and all is well. 
When my dad was living and people told me that this or that about me reminded me of him I would sometimes cringe.  Or say "oh boy".  Now since he has passed away when people say something I did or said reminds them of my dad I just feel so thankful inside.  I think it is a way for me to feel close to him even though he's gone.  Grief is such an uncharted territory.  Most days are really really normal.  And then there's the day where I am doing something he would have liked to do.   Or hear something that I know he'd love to hear.  And I so wish I could pick up the phone and text him about it.  Or visit across the table and watch his eyes twinkle as he told about someone he recently was with.  I miss him.  Sometimes a lot. 

The other day it was beautiful.  It was what you would consider a perfect fall day.  Brilliant blue skies, colorful trees, and perfect temperature.  I picked up my phone and tried to take a picture.  I was certain it would be amazing.  I got home and looked at the pictures I took.  They were ok, but nothing special.  Really the reason they weren't amazing pictures was that you couldn't see the whole picture.  You couldn't feel the sun, see the brilliant blue and smell the dying leaves.  I'm just so so glad that some day we'll see the whole picture.  And for now, I'll enjoy the glimpses we do see.

Happy rest of the week to you!  We have a potentially memorable weekend planned.  It could be really really wonderful or really really awful.  Stay tuned! 

Monday, October 2, 2017

Monday Musings

Ok I lied.  I didn't type this on Monday.  I set it to post on Monday morning because I didn't want to say Sunday Musings because that's weird.

What did people do before cell phones and texting?  I actually should remember this myself since I vividly remember getting my first cell phone 17 years ago.  We have one of our MYP returning from a special place and we have been texting quite often tonight on the logistics of when/where to meet.  For the life of me. I can't remember how we did it before.  Maybe we just didn't go anywhere.

I'm pretty much totally responsible for feeding my family of five, plus one cat, dog, and hamster.  I find that if the house is stocked with plenty of food and I have meals planned out I'm in a much better mood.  There's even bonus good-feelings if I actually have meals prepared and waiting in the freezer.  Yesterday, I did up a large batch of clam sauce and coconut curry.  I was almost giddy as I saw the completed meals sitting there on the stove.

There's an old country song that has these lyrics, 'life's about changing nothing ever stays the same...'.  and really that's true.  Babies continually change.  Growing teens are going through major decisions and burgeoning independence.  As parents, we go from being the center of the universe to these little souls to a place to check in with when they need it.  Marriages need to continually adjust to the different phases life throws at us.  My dear mom is going through a major experience with my dad now gone.  The house is too quiet.  The supper table has one plate set.  Yes, life is full of continual adjustments from birth to the grave.  I'm still trying to negotiate through this wonderful journey of life.  I think the best way to handle all the adjustments is to just appreciate today.  Because tomorrow will be different.  Sounds good, right?  I may or may not have cried just a little when I waved off one of our MYP for an extended weekend a couple states away.  😬  She sent this photo which warmed my heart.  The eldest in my brother and my families.

We enjoyed Lake Michigan this afternoon.  It was so pretty if you closed squinted your eyes you would have almost thought you were in the Caribbean.  However, there was a brisk wind so not really.  But it was pretty anyway!

Well this is enough.  I'm off to retrieve the last nestling very soon from his weekend away.  Have a great week!

Monday, September 18, 2017

Monday Musings

Well hello there!  We are just back from our special days away.  Once again impressions were made.  Friendships strengthened.  Joy restored.  New people met.  And a clearer vision what really matters.

There's just something about a home convention.  You get to go a few times beforehand when it is full of bugs and spiders and dirt everywhere and in a couple weeks it is all ready and the anticipation is high.  Then we all gather.  It seems year by year I know more and more to the point I could almost name 80% of those there.  There's something really nice about that.

I stood on the grounds with more than several and and had a five or ten minute visit.  As we chatted I desperately wished they could come home with us and stay several days so we could continue the visit.  There's never enough time.  

I was once again a member of the "Loo Crew".  I think it is now the 10th or 11th year I have gotten to walk around with a plunger in hand looking for trouble.  I had a secret giggle when someone tentatively came in while we were cleaning and said, 'can we use these?'  I loudly said, 'oh yes we're open for business!'.  Then I realized how punny I was.

People stop me on the grounds to thank me for doing the job.  I appreciate it.  But the job isn't really all that hard.  Dirty?  Yes sometimes.  Rewarding?  Definitely!  And really, how many go up to the ladies in the salad department and tell them how lovely they did for each meal?  Who contacts the guys that get up at dark o'clock and thank them for peeling potatoes and carrots.  Who tells the guy driving the old blue pickup to the dump that they appreciate him taking stuff to the burn pile?  Yes, I think I'm thanked way more than I should be.  There's so so much hidden effort and sacrifice to make those days so rich and possible.

The food?  Oh my!  We go to be spiritually fed.  And we richly were.  We also were naturally fed as well.  For some reason every meal was just delicious.  Maybe it is because I'm usually the sole cook around here and it is so nice to sit down to a meal already prepared.  Maybe it is because I'm hungry for not snacking between meals.  Maybe it is because Wisconsin really knows how to cook a good pot of spaghetti.  Maybe it is because I'm surrounded by a throng of people that emulate joy.  Or maybe it is just good food.

Due to circumstances due to a high school sport, I had to return for one day.  I have never wanted to not be home as bad as I did that day.  Thankfully, I could listen in to what I was missing and I could hardly drive fast enough to get back up there again.

We brought home an extra teenager to deliver to his home.  I liked what he said.  "I used to be an introvert and didn't want to talk to people.  But then I realized I won't get to know other people if I just stand there and don't say anything.  So now I'm trying to just go up to other people and visit even though I'm not that comfortable doing it.  It makes me feel better doing it though."  I think at 17 he knows more than a lot of people.

So we are back to normal living again.  I always feel bad for the Chairman as he really has to put it in high gear the week before we leave and immediately upon returning home.  Last night he slept about six hours.  I asked if he was tired this morning and he cheerfully says, 'no, I'm fine!  I hope you have a good day'.

I have had a good day.  But there is lots done and more to do.  Hope you have a good week!

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Talk on Tuesday

Well hello there!  How about a little chat this Tuesday?

I took our car in this morning and just as I was driving into the driveway of the dealership it dinged and said 'maintenance due soon'.  I'm timely like that.

I was wondering what a video would look like as I stood talking to "Xia" (yes, that's his name) and was trying with my tongue, lips, and throat to mimic the sound that comes every once in awhile from the front left tire.  His eyes glazed over and of course they couldn't find it the source of the occassional rattle.

The temperatures have fallen around here and of course my feet are like two blocks of ice under my ankles.  Low blood pressure isn't good for warm feet.  Thank goodness my feet are warm 12 weeks of the year anyway.

Today I went into Costco very hungry.  I was just going to pick up two things and rush back out.  One hour later and $210 of a cart laden with groceries I got out of there.  I may or may not have purchased a 4-pound tub of animal crackers.

I just saw a post on Facebook of all these pictures of moms jumping up in the air or making over-delighted faces over the first day of school while their children all stood nearby looking grumpy.  I'm sure some of them were staged.  But some were not.  I wonder how those kids feel of their mom being so glad for them to be gone.  My hunch is that they never struggled to get their kids in the first place.

Today was the first day that all three didn't leave for their first day of school.  Daughter #1 leaves tomorrow for her first day of classes at the nearby college.  Son #1 and daughter #2 started today.   I think these annual pictures are a very nice to have and also a stinging reminder that time marches on.
How's your insurance plan?  I hope it is better than ours.  Since the Chairman has no insurance offerings through his place of work and I can offer up nothing except a bandage for a skinned knee since I'm a stay-at-home mom, we have to search for insurance plans that don't break the piggy bank.  Well the last letter was the last straw and so we are switching companies again.  It always makes me squeamish and I hope this one works for us for awhile.  Someone should do something about medical costs.  Meeshka.

Got to spend a meal with this great crew a few days back.

Have I mentioned Lisi is showing her almost 10-year old age?  😒

We took her to the city and she loved hanging at the coffee shop with lots of admiring onlookers.

The last first day with two of them.  
This is enough.  I've got some coconut curry simmering on the stove.  Need to make sure all the trimmings are ready when the troops gather round the table.  Happy week to you!

Friday, September 1, 2017

I was hangry...

Well it's over thank goodness!  I did what most middle-aged people do and signed myself up for a colonoscopy.  To put it mildly, I didn't really want to do it.  I don't like even skipping a meal and the thought of basically skipping nearly two complete days left me queasy.  I chose to do it because of family history and wanting to just know what's going on down below.  

So how was it?  I'll try to give a condensed version.  The prep was a mind game with myself.  As soon as I knew I couldn't eat any more solid food I was starving.  I was preoccupied with food.  I watched with complete envy as family members absentmindedly noshed on this or that.  Everything - and I do mean everything looked mouth-watering delicious.  I continued to drink my broth, eat my jello, and down 64 ounces of Gatorade mixed with powder that had a sole job to blow out your colon.  And let me tell you it did it's job.

Finally FINALLY! my sweet mom and I left for the appointment.  I felt almost giddy that it was finally happening.  They checked me in and I got dressed in the lovely back-open hospital gown and the iv was started.  Dr. Staff came in to chat about the procedure.  (It wasn't lost on me that Dr. Staff was soon going to be holding a rod.)  He asked if I had any questions or concerns.  I said no.  But inwardly I was thinking, "let's get this show on the road as I want to go home and eat everything in the fridge and pantry!".

The cute little blonde nurse got me and pushed my hospital bed into the room where the procedure was taking place.  I noted it was freezing cold in there.  She asked me my name and my birthday.  I wondered if she was planning to send a gift?  I was watching the bag of water drip through the iv into my arm and I worried I'd need to go to the bathroom.  But that worry was taken care of as soon as she pushed in two little syringes of sleepy juice.  I tried very hard to try and remember what it felt like going 'under' but I didn't have time.

The next thing I know is this nurse is trying to get me to sit up and get in a wheelchair to go home.  Now mind you the procedure was over an hour and a half before.  The Dr. came to give a recap of how it went.  I had gotten dressed.  They had administered more glucose water since my blood pressure was so low.  After I was settled into the car I basically have little or no recollection of anything for the next 10 hours.  That sleepy juice blew out my short-term memory and all I wanted to do is sleep.

So I did not empty the fridge or pantry.  I slept off the anesthesia.  I was loopy.  And I didn't care one iota where I was.  Then I woke up and looked around the dark bedroom.  The Chairman snored away next to me.  I was home!  I felt fine!  Hooray for life!

Except for rampant gas pains (sorry if too much info) and a terrific appetite, I had no after-effects from the roto-rooter experience.

The lab report came back.  I had one polyp that was removed.  It is the kind that likes to turn into cancer some day.  They want to see me back to go through this wonderful experience in five years to make sure no other growths appear.  So I'm glad I went.  Maybe I'll just gorge myself the next five years to ensure I don't feel hungry the during the two-day fast.

Happy Labor Day weekend to you!

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Saturday smiles

Greetings from the Chairman's wife!  It's been awhile I know.  I do think of you!  Life has been rich and busy.

We said goodbye to a favorite nephew that lived with us for a couple months.  We felt like a family of four young people and then after he left it often felt like someone was missing.  Well he was and we still do miss him!  Here he is with his dad and my mom.

We took a little venture to IKEA for a couple new furniture pieces.  We got home that night and I took pictures and listed some old stuff it was replacing and had three offers within a half-hour!

A few weeks back we had four special days away.  I love how I feel when those days are done.  You just feel like you could about handle anything and you just feel so refreshingly clean even though the showers are not at all like you have at home.

We all took a DNA test in our family and it is spooky-accurate.  It told us about relatives we already knew.  It told me that I have a daughter that just took the test.  It confirmed our nationalities  - although it said I was way more Norwegian than I thought I was.  I still don't like lefse though.  I hope you'll forgive me.

We are gearing up for the next school year.  This year only two are in the local high school and one ventures off for new prospects at a local college.  Thank goodness she chose to live at home or I'd be hanging onto her ankle as she walked down the driveway to go away.  Or not.  Or honestly almost yes.  The Chairman would stop me because he doesn't like scenes.

Two days ago the doorbell rang and I looked out front and saw a box that said "fresh seafood".  Well it was fresh alright.  The eyeballs were looking at me when I took the lid off the cooler inside.  I quickly put the lid back on and then walked away and had a big shiver.  It was crawling with huge lobsters.  I panicked and called the Chairman.  He laughed and said he thought he knew where they came from.  So then I knew it wasn't just a prank being pulled on me.

I cook beef and pork and chicken and fish and venison and vegan for goodness sake.  But I do NOT like cooking things that are moving or that have claws that pinch or that have eyeballs looking up at me.  Every animal has feelings and I keep my distance to the living thing by buying packaged meat.  Thank goodness for a willing, cheerful and save-the-day son that took over.  He Googled a few things and followed insturctions and soon there was lobster on the table.  It was a lovely gift but I sure hope they never do that again.

And so begins my colonoscopy prep.  I'm three days out and just realized I'm not to be eating any fiber.  What if I get constipated?  HAHAHAHA!  😂   I've been reading a lot on-line trying to figure out ways to cheat.  You see I'm slightly frightened by the fact I'm not to eat any solids for two whole days.  I keep reminding myself I could go 40 days without food but it isn't very reassuring.

So I purchased lots of drink options.  Broth.  Jello.  I want to think I'm royalty since I'll be on the throne so much.  Heh.  Ok.  Bad joke.

Well this is enough chatter today!  We are gearing up for a sing here at the Chairman and co. tomorrow!  I'm not exactly how it will go or how many are coming.  But I do know once it is over we will wonder why we didn't do it sooner.  Our friends will make it very special.

Until next time!

Monday, July 24, 2017

Monday Musings

Happy Monday from the Chairman and co!  Maybe you're not reading this on Monday though so good day to you too!

We just returned from our annual camping trip to Door County.  If you don't know where Door County is just pick up your left hand and look at your thumb.  Now picture close to the end of your thumb and that is where it is located in Wisconsin.  This year approximately 60 of our friends were in various campsites in the state park.  No fights broke out this year.  Ha!  Actually, it is a wonderful time of fun, exercise, smoke in your eyes from changing winds and profitable visits.  The most valuable thing I packed was itch relief cream due to mosquitos that would make Minnesota jealous.

This year was very different than other years.  We were missing one of the MYP due to work.  The other two were missing due to too many friends and sleeping at different campsites.  They did touch home base when their bellies were empty at suppertime.  Otherwise, we'd wave as they biked by.

The Chairman and I had a lot of time together like empty-nesters.  It was very nice to be honest. And the camper didn't reek of sweaty clothes this time.

There were lots and lots and lots of teens.  I must take after my father as I really really like talking to young people.  Well any people to be honest!  I had several good visits swaying in a hammock talking to them.  And I know some other parents that had some great visits with ours too.  It take a village.

Then there's "Gracie".  Poor poor "Gracie" a little girl we don't know.   She was in the campsite behind us for one day/night and she has a mother that let her scream and cry and writhe on the ground all the while her mother was negotiating with her.  "Gracie do you want this?  that?  the other thing?".  All "Gracie" probably wanted was some strong boundaries, a bit of food, and a bed.  Thankfully "Gracie" and her parents moved along soon.

Then there's the economics professor from South Carolina that the Chairman and I caught up to while biking.  He started saying things about my beauty which I thoroughly thought was lovely sketchy.  Then he spoke of his classes and his students and about the political atmosphere in this country all the while we biked away a mile or two.  We came to our turn knowing he was to go on straight.  He says, 'I feel like I'm not done talking with you yet!' and proceeds to turn into our campground with us.  Uh-oh.  So I quickly mention how we had plans as soon as we got back to our campsite with the 60 other friends we were camping with and he seemed utterly disappointed and said, 'well I guess I will have to double-back and leave'.  We cheerfully waved him off and raced to our site looking over our shoulder.

Then there's the bathrooms.  The showers are quite pleasant and warm.  Then you take your stuff to a room with sinks and mirrors to finish up.  Standing next to a shirtless, middle-aged man shaving and combing his hair is kind of like being in the men's bunks at convention - not that I've been there or anything.  But it's just so weird.  So I try to not make eye contact and comb my hair and brush my teeth quickly.

Then you return home and think all is well and you hear your now barely adult daughter had purchased a ticket, rode the train to Chicago and shopped for a whole day without your knowledge.  "I knew you'd be too worried if I did it so I thought I'd tell you once I was home again."  I kinda-sorta freaked out and said, "what if something went wrong and no one knew where you were?".  Oh!  I told several people - just not you.  I guess it is better to ask for forgiveness than permission sometimes.  Secretly, we're kinda proud of the fact that she negotiated her way to the windy city without an ounce of help, had a great time, and came back with a pair of designer shoes that she paid only one penny for!  She's even more frugal than I am.

So here's some pictures etc. from my phone.  Happy week ahead!  I'm off to replace the door lock on our camper.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Monday Musings

Can you believe it?  Monday Musings for real!  I hope you know how much I love you because today I'm busy as a bee.

We leave for camping soon.  Very soon.  Excuse me as I probably repeat this every year.  Camping is a.  lot.  of.  work.  It is kinda funny as some years back I had to plead and talk and nearly convince the Chairman that camping was such a sublime experience.  Now I'm the one dragging me feet and he's all enthused.  It may or may not have something to do with the fact that I de-winterize the camper.  Fill the tanks with gas.  Clean it top to bottom.  Grocery shop.  Prepare a lot of the meals in advance.  And try to be certain that nothing is left behind we need.  Not that I'm keeping track or anything.  Honestly, the Chairman usually pulls an all-nighter or even two to make certain he can be away from his desk.  So I think it's pretty fair as I get to go to bed at night.

If you ever use a pressure washer, I highly recommend a Briggs and Stratton that I was able to borrow from a friend.  I also highly recommend wearing some sort of footwear as the stream of water can sheer off skin on your toes.  Not that I would know or anything...

I dislike Japanese beetles with a passion.  We are at war with them right now and the beetles are ahead 1-0.  

Teenage girls are drastically different than teenage boys.  We hosted some boys for son #1's birthday last month and they all showed up kinda as they were.  We hosted some girls for the daughter's birthdays last week and they texted like crazy for days before on who was wearing what and came all 'glammed up' for their dinner.  Love them both for different reasons!  Maybe I'll throw in the pictures for reference!  Personally, I think both ways are adorable.

Here's my sweeties taken on the day of (and also the day before) their birthdays.   Eighteen and fifteen!

Don't hate me but I don't really struggle a lot with my weight.  However I was making a somewhat diligent effort to lose a couple pounds lately and they refuse to come off.  So I've scheduled a colonoscopy.  I figure that ought to do the trick.  Stay tuned.  I'm sure I'll have a blog post after that experience.  

Through various conversations with some family members and friends I've been more aware that people are fighting many battles we are hardly aware of.  I'm thankful for those that share a bit of their experiences so that we can think of them or better still entreat on their behalf.  Sometimes it is almost overwhelming the needs out there but I'm again so thankful that every need will be supplied.  If you start thinking of someone more than normal, just let them know.  It might make all the difference to them.  And if not, at least you can feel better for trying.

I've currently cooked up lots of taco meat, made homemade spaghetti sauce and now I'm off to make zucchini bread.  My happy place is in the kitchen so I'm hoping to get back there so my mood improves.  

Happy week ahead!

Monday, July 10, 2017

Her story

I have blogged in the past about the incredible and life-altering experiences we had with both of our adoptions.  Words fail for the gift we received in our first two young people.  We are forever indebted and forever thankful for them for so many reasons.

As most everyone knows, with adoptions comes uncertainty, worry, and incredible joy.  When I gave birth to our last child fifteen years ago yesterday -  really the emotions were almost the same.

When I thought I might be expecting I purchased the cheapest tests I could find.  I quietly took it one morning and all the while "big" sister that was just past two was wandering around the bathroom asking two-year old questions.  The second line appeared.  I went to talk to the Chairman.  His first reaction was "oh no!" because for us that meant most likely another miscarriage, or a D&C, or worse yet - a pre-term birth.  We had five experiences already so what would make this one different?

I was considered the high risk of high risk mothers,  My OB/gyn referred me to two excellent perinatologists that I saw bi-weekly until they felt it would only need to be weekly,  I would get knots in my stomach before every appointment and received pictures of our growing baby after each time I went.  That was a comfort and I would stare at them between the appointments.  I nearly always pushed in the double stroller of the older sister and brother and fed them snacks as we waited for the doctor.  Yes - uncertainty and worry.

My heart would sink just a little when people would say, 'you adopted your children so now you will have one for sure'.  There were no guarantees and I didn't even wash baby clothes or buy diapers until the due date was just days away.

My due date came and then three days later I knew sleep wouldn't be coming.  I stayed awake all night.  By the dawn's early light I went outside and walked and walked and walked.  My mind was in a different zone.  Finally I told the Chairman what was happening because I knew he would go into full-blown action once I whispered "it's time".

We had only three hours in the hospital before our black-haired baby was born.  The Chairman and I looked at each other when she cried and then so did we.  We cried for her safe arrival.  We cried for the big sister that was already in heaven.  And we cried for all the ones that didn't make it.  Yes after uncertainty and worry, there was joy.

We named our baby Mira because to us she was a mira(cle) to us.  We named her Mira because it echoed the name of her older sister Amara that was with us just three days.  And we named her Mira because it means 'wonderful' in one language and 'peace' in another.

The biggest gift this little baby by blood gave to us was infallible proof that the way you feel about your children doesn't matter if they come to you through the gift of adoption or through the gift of life.  As we stared at these three souls we were given, the love and devotion we felt - and still feel towards them - was exactly the same.

Somehow it has always seemed 'easier' to write about our adoptions because they are more unique. Everyone has a birth story.  But for us, this story has been unique like our adoptions.  As the Chairman and I look back to those years we are now so incredibly thankful for the uncertainty.  The worry.  And yes, even the losses.  Because it has brought us to this point where we know the souls we have been entrusted with are exactly the ones that should be here with us.  And for that and for them - we are thankful,

sheer joy

she made it safely!

my arms and heart were overflowing
And now our 'baby' holding our friends precious 2-day old 

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Red/white/blue Musings

Greetings on this 4th of July!  I just had a most miserable walk.  It may or may not have something to do with the fact I drank 18-20 oz. of iced tea shortly before I left.  Whew!  I made it back just in time.

I noticed that so many have their American flags displayed today.  It looks so nice!  We have a cape cod-style house and it just 'looks right' to have ours displayed all 365 days of the year.  I wonder if people think we're extra-zealous about the 4th holiday?  Or maybe they think we're super political.  Or maybe they just think we're too lazy to take down our flag like some are too lazy to take down their Christmas lights.  Or maybe I was just bored and over-thinking the whole flag thing.

We aren't going to the fireworks tonight.  The reason is we went to the big ones in the big city last night.  And tonight the two working guys want to be in bed by 9 so they can hop out of bed when the alarm sounds at 5:15.  I won't argue with their thinking.

I was quite amazed again and the huge crowd.  One article says that it draws nearly a million people.  And those "million people" all drive cars so it is quite exciting when we are leaving.  I digress.

I am amazed that so many get out of their chairs and drive downtown and park and walk blocks and blocks and blocks and sit for several hours noshing on snacks waiting for darkness to fall.  And then the booms and ahhs and brilliant lights fill the sky.  It all seems so simple in our technology-driven world.  It was just nice to see large families gathered together waiting for the tradition to start once again.

Twenty-three years ago tonight the Chairman looked deep into my eyes in the middle of Minneapolis Minnesota and said 'will you be the Chairman's wife?'.  Actually, he simply asked me to be his wife which I said "yes" without hesitation.  I created the "Chairman's wife" title just to make me seem more important.  Heh.

My toe is 89% better!  Thanks for asking!

The cat is 75% better!  Thanks for asking!  He came down with some weird fever/respiratory thing.  I vacillated between thinking - let nature take its course or utter worry about 'my toddy-toddy'.  I would have taken him to the vet yesterday but they were closed and he's on the mend.  I'm glad I saved $200.

Someone said the two happiest days of a boat owner's life are the day he buys the boat and the day he sells it.  Today anticipation was high to go have fun on the lake.  I stayed back to get some things done here before I joined them and got a text 'there's a problem'.  Uh-oh.  So no boating time today but thankfully we have friends with beautiful ponds and rope swings and the day was not ruined.

I'll take the time to see if there is a picture or two to post.  Happy 4th!!!💥

He read the directions and she did the haircut.  😱

the Chairman celebrated birthday #49 with cheesecake!

a nephew and the dog


pre-fireworks games