Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Words this Wednesday

I'll try to make my words few.  I don't think anyone likes reading too much these days. 

The other day I was wishing I had a new hairdo.  Most of my friends also have long hair and I was thinking it would be fun to spend a few hours together sometime and each of us help the other come up with a new hairdo or two.  Definitely lunch would be included.  I might just ask a few trusted friends to see if I'm still on my rocker with that idea.  Some do spa days.  We could just bring a dish to pass and some hair pins! 

I am OCD in case you were interested.  I have such a love/hate relationship with puzzles.  We started a 500-piece one the other day.  I was getting so close to getting it complete and went to bed.  Woke up at 3'ish with some heavy things on my mind and wandered out to the living room to finish it.  Only took until 4:30 and I was also able to mentally sort out some of the heavy things and went to bed.  I have another one ready to start.  I'm scared to because I will once again work until it's done. 

However!  I did just put a Rubik's cube back to it's colorful order!  Youtube is amazing.

Have I told you about the Instant Pot?  Oh I have?  Can I gush again about how much I love it?  Venison roast is fork tender.  Homemade macaroni and cheese is creamy, delicious, and done in just minutes.  Soups?  No matter the kind, they are delicious.  Honey sesame chicken?  Oh my!  And I just steamed up nearly a dozen farm-fresh eggs and the shells slipped off with ease for a big bowl of egg salad after just a few minutes.  You'd think my house would be spotless for all the time I'm saving.

Speaking of food.  I kind of like to bait and switch on Facebook just to get a giggle out of some comments.  I sliced up some liver yesterday for our dinnertime meal.  It came from a convention meat day and I knew the quality would be good.  Well my Facebook friends are quite passionate about liver in a really, really bad way.  But what's not to love?  There's first bacon fried.  Everything is good with bacon!  Then some onions done in the bacon grease.  Then you add the lightly dredged liver.  It was actually almost good.  I eat it because my iron levels struggle to be in the normal range.  And the flavor takes me back to my growing-up years when we would sit around the table and watch my dad eat it down like it was delicacies for a king.  There is one caveat.  I ate some of the leftovers this noon and it wasn't quite as appealing.

Our son just ordered eyeglasses off the internet for literally a fraction of the cost of ones you can buy at an eyeglass store.  If you see him running into walls, that probably means they sent the wrong prescription.

Yesterday our dear Lisi celebrated her 70th birthday.  Or tenth if you count it in people years.  She's aging before our eyes.  She groans even with joint medicine.  She sometimes doesn't want to hardly go on our daily walks.  She's already outlived Lincoln - our first golden - by four months,  I hope we still have a year or two with her.  Yet it is hard to see our sweet golden girl show signs of aging.  She probably is thinking the same thing about me.

I've been made aware of late about someone that passed away.  Someone that is struggling with a new diagnosis.  Some that are struggling with their marriage.  Some that have added a new baby to their family which brings joy as well as exhaustion.  I so wish I could "fix" or "help" the issues others are facing.  But all we can do is tend our own garden.  And hope our branches go over the wall. 

Chat with you later. 

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Thoughts on a Thursday

Bonus muse week!  I hope you're as excited as I am!

Have you seen the sunsets lately?  I'm guessing you have since that is what's been on my Instagram feeder.  I've lived 52 years and six months and I think the sunsets of late have been some of the prettiest I've ever seen.  And yes, I took pictures of them too and they never look as pretty as the naked eye.

I haven't checked much about the locations or quantity of peeps looking at this monotonous blog lately.  I did though yesterday and saw that there were readers hopping in from Canada (has winter hit there yet?), Cambodia (wow!), Italy (the Chairman's ancestors!), Sweden (my ancestors!), France (shouldn't they be eating crépes?) Norway (more of my relatives!), and Brazil (that's one huge country!).  I love to see that not because I think for one nano-second that I'm popular.  I love to see that because we all are struggling through life together no matter where we are living.

Remember when I said I love teens?  HAHAHA!  I do.  I really do.  But some days I'm about ready to throw in the proverbial towel.  No not really.  That was too dramatic.

What was dramatic though was a set of missing keys - well actually two sets of missing keys.  One has been missing for a few weeks.  The other was missing for just an hour until they couldn't be located and I was reduced to tipping over sofas, crawling on my hands and knees looking at all the dust bunnies that have accumulated under some large pieces of furniture and digging through some rancid garbage "just in case".  As moms do best, I found not one but both sets of keys after a few hours of looking.  Made me think of the woman sweeping the house for the lost coin.  Now we are back to the house rules of hanging the keys on the hooks the moment you walk in the door.  Whew.

We went to the annual check with our allergy doctor.  Have I told you how much I like him?  Well I do.  He saw our son when he was in horrible respiratory distress as a wee little boy and immediately knew it was serious.  He promised me that the breathing issues would get under control and he has done a marvelous work in prescribing what we need but not too much.  He also is wonderful in the fact he knows we pay for every medication out of our own back pocket and is always looking for a coupon or deal to help alleviate the $200/month cost of the medications.  Last year we got an entire year of medicine free.  This year he said it isn't so good.  I was thinking $100/month would be helpful.  No!  $10/month!  Have I said how much I like him?  Ok, never mind.

The other day I made a quick stop at Walgreen's.  Their slogan is they are at the "corner of happy and healthy".  Well the ones I was around were at the "corner of sad and surly".  Poor things.

So we are back to picking out senior pictures again!  I must say it really is neat seeing all these amazing pictures of someone you love. 

Happy rest of the week!  We may or may not see you on Monday.

Monday, November 27, 2017

Monday Musings

Urp!  Did you eat too much last week?  I tried not to but how often are you sitting before a full-blown turkey dinner on a Thursday noon?  We hosted it again this year for a smaller group (22) and someone kindly said, this is all so delicious.  I (always awkward with compliments) said, "oh, it's not a big deal since I like cooking".  Then the persons says, "well does your lunch always look like this on a Thursday?".  Um.  No. We had a mix of family and friends and I think that's my favorite kind of group.

When putting away groceries I bought last week I realized I had 18 pounds of butter in my outside fridge.  That's the equivalent of two big newborns.  No wonder my midsection keeps growing.  Oh that and pecan pie.  Someone had to eat the last three pieces.

The day after Thanksgiving I needed to go to a lab with our daughter for blood work.  As I sat there in the room I realized something really neat was happening.  You see sixteen years ago on that very day (the day after Thanksgiving) I was approximately eight weeks pregnant with her and was again losing all symptoms of pregnancy even thought her heartbeat was strong.  I couldn't bear to think of yet another miscarriage.  They checked my estrogen level and realized it was "dangerously low" and prescribed me something to try and keep this little soul alive.  Well it worked and sixteen years later to the day I was sitting next to this young lady.  Life is sometimes very neat like that.  I gave her a hug when we got out of there and she thought I was being a bit over-gushy.  If only she knew how desperate I felt 16 years ago...

We had some dear ladies here with us recently.  One of them cooked up a delicious Korean meal for us. 

I needed to order some shoes last night for one of the MYP.  The coupon code wasn't working and then the lady told me it doesn't work on this certain brand of shoes.  Well she did some magic then said cryptically (since all calls are monitored and recorded) maybe you might like to try to order them again.  Voila!  The coupon worked even for this brand.  Thanks Talisha!

Speaking of nice things.  I was at my local Costco last week.  A man with his little boy were checking out and had a princess birthday cake.  They seemed excited about the impending party.  Then the cashier tells him they only accept Visa.  His face drops and says his wife never told him that.  He would have to take his toddler home and get the different card and return.  He was all polite and I sincerely felt sorry for him and the inconvenience.  Then two employees call him back.  "Sir?  We'll just buy the cake for you.  That way you don't have to come back."  They took money out of their own back pockets and bought the princess birthday cake.  He almost cried.  So did I.  I love witnessing human kindness.

Today is my dad's birthday but he'll always remain 86.  This is the first time in my 52-years that I haven't been able to celebrate with him or tell or text him happy birthday.  I think these "firsts" are what make losses a touch harder.  But I can't say I'm really sad today.  More so I'm thankful.  I love one thing he said the most when he talked about more serious things.  He so very often said, "we must keep the standard".  He said it to me when I was young and carefree.  He said it to me when I was struggling about things that should be important.  And he said it to me within this past year.  It's good advice I don't want to forget.

Well that's probably enough from me.  Happy week ahead!  I'd like to have something to drink, but I better not touch her apple juice!

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Wednesday Words

Well here I sit killing time at a car dealership waiting for an oil change to be done.  I’ll redeem the time by blogging!  The receptionist keeps sneezing so I think I’ll switch seats.  Hold on.  😷

So have you ever considered how many times you repeatedly do things?  I realize some are (or should be) daily.  Then there’s the mundane.  I was walking the other day and wondered how many  walks Lisi and I have taken together.  I think it’s roughly 3,560 give or take a few.  No wonder she’s so predictable when when we go.  And no wonder my body just knows it’s time to go each day.  

Another is unloading the dishwasher.  It seems to always need unloading.  Thank goodness I have help.  I do have a spoon with some stuck on stuff and I keep leaving it in hoping one of these times it gets clean.  It’s been a week now.  I’m ambitious like that.

I pack lunches every day for the MYP.  I love the random texts that say “thanks for my lunch!”.  It makes it worth the effort.  I do enjoy putting in random things or lots and lots of something to get a text that asks if I’ve lost my marbles.  Some moms put in love notes. I put in random things to get a hilarious text later.

I don’t like middle age because I am constantly needing my reading glasses.  I have four pair and it still isn’t enough because all four end up in the same room and I’m squinting in the kitchen trying to read a recipe.  

We had our semi-annual visit with some special ladies this past week.  The first time they come for the year I’m always wound up wanting it to be really nice.  Well as they were walking up the sidewalk I opened a kitchen cupboard and the butter dish came crashing down and broke into 1000’s of pieces all over the counters, floor, you name it.  That was surely an ice butter dish breaker!

Can I toot our son’s horn?  He’s so well rounded.  He fishes and golfs and guts deer he shoots.  He is kind to the littlest kids and the elderly and runs chainsaws to bring down large trees.  He cooks and bakes and comes up with clever ideas to decorate little centerpieces with twine.  I love our visits and the fact a 17-year old guy still sends me funny memes and throws me onto the sofa when I’m sassy.  His creative and caring mind is all him.  We’ve had little to do with it.  And we are again thankful he’s ours.

The Chairman and I “floated” last week.  It’s a zen-like place where you go into this little pod and lie there in a water solution with approximately 900 pounds of Epsom salts.  You then float in perfect temperatures and a darkness level you choose and soak your cares away.  I’m a bit ADHD and thought after a few minutes it was dumb and I wanted out.  Then I relaxed and time stood still and I couldn’t really feel my limbs and then suddenly it was over.  When I met up with the Chairman to see how his soak went he was all enthusiastic.  I still think massages are better.

Well hopefully I’m out of this waiting room soon.  I just heard the sneezing receptionist nonchalantly say that the reason “John” is going to be late is because he’s caught up in traffic as a pedestrian just died where “John” was driving.  Life is fragile.  

Happy week ahead! I’ll post some pictures once I get home. 

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Tuesday Talk

My my my.  How times have changed.  Years and years and years ago I was a teenager walking home from school at the edge of a prairie town in South Dakota.  The wind was often blowing strong and the backpack was heavy.  I trudged on and was so very glad to walk into the warm and always welcoming house.  There was absolutely no communication between my mom and me from early in the morning until the late-afternoon.

Today there is constant communication.  Just a few minutes ago our sweet and spunky teen was walking to her driving school class and said it was too far to walk.  It was cold.  She was tired.  I just responded with appropriate emojis but didn't budge to go drive her since it was only five blocks to walk.  Finally there was a three-word text.  "This is abuse".  Goodness that made me laugh!

I went to the dentist today.  I was concerned as it had been awhile.  I also was concerned as I have super sensitivity on each side and was convinced I had one or more cavities.  As my hygienist was working her magic with the sharp metal tools she asked quietly, "you must like chia seeds too!".  Oops!  Then she said a bit later, "you must floss and do exactly what you should do because your tissue health is excellent!".  Well.  I last flossed several months ago when there was an apple peel stuck between two teeth.  That must have counted.  Is it lying to tell her otherwise?  I think not.

Did you know Linda is the trendiest name of all time?  I just read that this week.  I always knew I was trendy!  Or maybe my parents had a premonition.  Or maybe they had no clue what to name this third child and just looked at the number one spot and didn't look further.

I was shopping with one of our daughters recently and saw a couple ladies acting just a bit "off".  They were dragging two huge baskets stuffed with clothes and didn't show an interest in trying on anything.  I then noticed some of the clerks were just milling about near the front doors making idle chit-chat about nothing but keeping an eye on these two ladies.  I told my daughter we were leaving.  I sensed something was going to go down.  As we walked outside there was the getaway car.  I could just tell.  No license plate.  Blacked out windows.  And just idling by the front door.  Well moments later there were a LOT of police cars.  I hope they learned their lesson.

This past weekend we had two family parties.  One was for one of the younger ones of the extended family.  The other was for one of the oldest ones of the extended family.  Between the two parties was five cakes.  How in the tarnation am I to at least maintain my weight with five cakes to choose from in just two days?  I won't even mention the Mexican food choices or the lobster and clam sauce.  Oh my.

We have some wonderful extras coming tomorrow to share our home with.  How many of you look at the bathroom rugs or towels and think they look gross and buy new before the special people arrive?  Well today I did.  Life is hard on bathroom rugs and towels.

The Chairman and I celebrated anniversary #23 this past weekend.  We almost went out for a wonderful dinner at a nearby nice restaurant.  Then I realized I had some special grass-fed steaks a friend gave to us.  And sauteéd mushrooms.  And garlic pasta.  And delicious butternut squash.  And asparagus.  And salad with balsamic vinaigrette.  And so we dimmed the lights and ate at home.  It was better than the restaurant.  I'm certain of that.  And I'm certain we picked each other 23-years ago for all the right reasons.

What is it about babies?  I got to have another bit of time with this little goon.  He's only four months and wormed his way into my heart.  When I look at their bright eyes I just can't wait to see what they'll be when they grow up.  And I can totally picture how much your heart would feel like exploding if you became a Grandma.  I know I have lots of time yet, but if I squint, I can almost see what it would be like.

So happy week ahead to you!  Thanks for the visit.  I always look forward to this.

Monday, October 30, 2017

Monday Musings

Greetings!  How's the weather over there?  Here we have a brisk wind out of the northwest at about 15 and snow showers are intermittent.  I kinda sound like a weather woman don't I? 

Looking forward to the time change?  I'm one of those weird ones that don't mind dark evenings.  I think it's because the scale of cozy goes up from about a six to a nine.  Unless the MYP are fighting.  Then it's a -27 and the night feels long.  Of course our MYP never disagree.  Yeah... right.

Anyway!  I saw a shower curtain advertised in Bed Bath and Beyond yesterday.  So?  You say.  Well it was just for Thanksgiving and had all these cute little sayings in fall colors.  That my friends is what you call disposable income.  Holiday shower curtains.  I would put it up and leave it up until the 4th of July.  I hate taking ours down to put in the laundry.  Feels like no matter what kind of clip you have it's like wrestling with a pig in a tub trying to get it off the pole. 

I recently needed to fill a prescription and was just fascinated at the humongous line at the local Walgreen's.  There are lots and lots and lots of people on prescriptions.  And not one person was chatty in the line nor did they look happy.  I'm guessing prescription medication makes you grumpy.  My take anyway.

We got one of those envelopes you never like to see.  A notice of toll violation.  Uh Oh.  We forgot to pay many months back and they took a picture of our license plate.  Two of the fines was our error and one wasn't legit.  I called the IL tollway number expecting to be on hold for 37 minutes and then have to go through 23 steps to get a human that speaks in human tones.  Well I called up and after two options I was talking to human.  He was pleasant and within about 10 minutes he removed not the one but all three fines and told me to have a nice day.  Will wonders ever cease?

I was thinking of situations we see other people in.  And I was thinking of our reaction and how it makes us feel. 

There's the situation where we see a need.  We offer and extend help.  The help is well received.  And they feel better and we feel better.  A great feeling! 

There's the situation where we see a need.  We don't offer to extend help.  No help is given.  They don't know they could feel better and we do know that we should have done something and are left with remorse.  A bad feeling.

There's the situation where we see a need.  And there is absolutely nothing we can do to help so we can't offer any.  We still see them in their needy state and we just feel so sad for them.  An awful feeling really - unless we realize that sometimes it's out of our power and we leave it to the one with All power.  Then a very awful feeling can be changed to "I've done what I could". 

Well that's all that's been rattling around in my mostly empty head.  I hope yours is filled with more than this! 

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.