Thursday, November 27, 2008


This poster was on my wall for years when I was a kid, along with a poster of Snoopy holding a tennis racket saying, "It's amazing what a kiss on the nose will do to your opponents concentration." Every night before I went to sleep, I'd read this prayer over and over, so that 20 plus years later, I can still remember almost all of it (with a little help from Google search). It still is a prayer that flits through my mind when I am feeling blessed.

Thank you, God for each new day you give to me,
For earth and sky and sand and sea,
For rainbows after springtime showers,
Autumn leaves and summer flowers,
Winter snowscapes so serene,
Harvest fields of gold and green,
Beauty shining all around,
Lilac scent and robin sound,
Stars that twinkle high above and all the people that I love. Amen

I have so much to give thanks for this year..... my husband being home, not heading out for deployment; our fantastic, wonderful, AMAZING son and daughter; our home, our dogs, our friends and family......Life is good, with all it's twists and wrong turns, I'm grateful for every moment.

Props to the Big Man Upstairs.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

I Am A Copy Cat

I am a copy cat. Not the super annoying kind, repeating everything you say until you just want to scream. More like the subtle kind, where you don't even know you are being copied until you come into my house and there it is.

I have been going down to my sister's house a couple of Thursdays a month during the school year to babysit. And while the boys are napping, I read her magazines. Sunset, This Old House, Real Simple. I look forward to that moment of sitting down on the couch and reading about gardening or how to make an outdoor sink or finding a good recipe for soup, while the boys sleep and Nemo flops out on the floor. It's a moment of zen on a very crazy day!

So, when my kids are selling magazines for school, again, and I am tired of my boring old magazines, I kept thinking about how much I love my sister's magazines.

Thus, I now have my own copy of Sunset sitting in my living room. The hard thing is, I hadn't read my copy when I went down to her house and saw her copy sitting there. If I read hers, than mine is actually a waste of money! It was wicked hard to resist.

And somehow, not as satisfying! I don't like my copy version. Turns out, hers is better. Or maybe it's the fact that I've just spent the morning with two monkey nephews I adore, with more time chasing them after nap, and I like my routine of red couch, good magazine, quiet house.

We'll see after I get my first This Old House. If I'm going to do a copy right, I'm going all the way!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Hey, It's The Beagle Bunch

As previously mentioned on this very witty blog, I walk almost daily. The same way every time. So, it stands to reason that people are not surprised to see me. Once a fellow walker that I kept meeting, asked me my name because, she said, if we are going to keep meeting like this, we might as well be friendly.

That is life in a small town! I smile at everyone I walk past, nod and usually say good morning.

For months, I have been walking past a construction sight. First it was just me and Emma, but now it is me, Emma and Sarah. I usually just smile and nod to the construction workers, but I've been expecting one of them to say something to me.

You know, some sort of shout out for being a foxy lady! A "hey, hot stuff" or a "how you doin'?"

Today is the day. A guy is working close to the fence, it would be impossible for him to not acknowledge me as I drag my Beagles past. Yep, this is the day! I can tell as he drops his load of tools and looks at me and smiles.

I'm ready to be politely flattered, but uninterested. I'm not ready for what he actually says.

"Hey! It's the Beagle Bunch! Morning dogs!"

And you know what? That greeting made my morning.

Friday, November 14, 2008

What's In Your Pocket?

My pockets are usually clutter free. Sure, on occasion, I have been known to stick my drivers license or military id card in the back pocket of my jeans, forget about it, then tear the house apart looking for it while everyone is waiting in the car...but that hardly every happens anymore, since my husband bought me a wallet and encouraged me to use it through guilt.

And in my winter coat I'll have my gloves and possible a travel packet of Kleenex. Sometimes shopping lists and cough drop wrappers find their way to a comfortable place in my pockets to end their days....but generally speaking, my pockets are empty.

Before my son's shower last night, I watched him empty his pockets: his wallet, several pens, a giant calculator, empty wrappers, folded up was like watching a magician pull things out of a hat! He just kept pulling his hands out of his pockets with new items to pile on the table.

I can't say anything though. Since we got our puppy Sarah, I've taken to stashing treats in my pockets so I can reward her for good potty. I have to have quite a few though, so Emma can also have one. I've taken off my hoody sweatshirt and flung treats all over the kitchen. I've reached into a pocket of my walking jeans and found a crumbled mess.

But nothing beats putting on my good jacket at work, reaching into my pocket, and pulling out dog treats. Yep. I even take them to work with me. You never know when you'll find a dog who needs a treat!

Or it could just be I forgot to take them out.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Here's To D's Halloweens Past

Growing up, there were a few of my early years that dressing up for Halloween and trick or treating went hand in hand. Then things got weird and dressing up was required to be Biblical and we'd spend time at church, being churchy. My husband and I knew we were going to do the whole thing: costumes, candy, trick or treating from door to door. Halloween is fun!

Our sons first Halloween was not exciting. He was 2 months old, and the hand me down ghost pj's were too tiny, so I just put him in his snoopy PJ's and answered the door for trick or treaters with a regular baby. People still oh'd and ah'd over him. He was pretty darn cute!

But after that first one, we dressed him up for trick or treating. When he was one, we put a red cowboy hat on him and called him a cowboy. It was also the time when his daddy always wore a cowboy hat, so people asked if he was dressed up as daddy. He was nervous for the first couple of houses, then when he realized that it was candy being dropped in his pumpkin bucket, he was ready to walk the entire neighborhood. By nights end, his bucket was dragging on the ground behind him, but he would not let us help him carry it. Smart kid. That night we, as his parents, realized that his trick or treating was treats for us too!

When he was 2, I had these cool frog overalls that he finally was big enough to wear. Add a green hooded sweatshirt, with googly eyes on top, and he was a cute frog. When he was 3, it was the worst year. He was old enough to give his opinion on dressing up, but too young to actually help with an idea. Everything I suggested was met with I put him in black pants and a black turtle neck, and that night he agreed to be a pirate. Added a red scarf at his waist, and it was all good.

When he was four, he was a bat. At five he was a scorpion. And yes, I made every costume. The scorpion's legs and tail were a challenge! At six he was a werewolf. At seven, he was wild about Steve Irwin and went as the Crocodile Hunter. When he was 8, he went as a zombie. That actually turned out to be a foreshadowing of his current passion: planning for a zombie war!

Nine saw him as a mummy, ten was a very creative Swamp Thing. When he was 11 he went as his favorite TV show character, Earl, from "My Name Is Earl"....every picture from that year has his eyes closed, because that is a running joke on Earl! When he was twelve, he was a fantastically dapper 1930's Gangster, complete with a fedora and tommy gun.

And for this last Halloween, just days ago, he was a Cereal Killer. Very cute, very clever, and very him.Just before the big night, he told me, he's pretty sure this would be his last year for trick or treating. I understand. I do. His Dad and I agreed we wouldn't set an age limit on the night, since we believed each kid would on their own, know when they were too old for trick or treating. I'm just not sure I'm ready for him to be that old!!

So, here's to the cowboy, the frog, the bat. To the zombie, the mummy, the swamp thing. To Earl and the gangster and the very cute cereal killer. I loved making every costume, loved seeing D smile while trick or treating, loved having a big bowl of candy I could casually pick through for good yummy things while he was at school!

Here's To L's Halloweens Too

Having two Halloween's under my belt, I was ready to tackle L's first one as a 3 month old baby. I put her in a regular outfit, but it was a bit "country" and since D kept asking what Baby was dressing up as, I said a country and western singer. She was pretty cute in her blue jeans!

When she was one, we got a clown costume from somewhere. I know she's going to read this and freak out, since she has serious issues with where her clothes come from. I don't remember where I got it, but it fit perfectly, so, hello little clown! It was also the only year we did face paint. That was a hassle! And it was before I realized how creepy clowns are. I'll never do a clown costume again!

When she was 2, I took her brothers green sweatshirt I'd used for him to be a frog, took off the eyes, and put flower petals on instead. She was a pretty purple flower. At three, she knew exactly who she wanted to be. Actually, from that year on, she had an idea for every costume! At three she was passionate about "The Wizard of Oz" and she went as Dorothy. I was pretty excited to actually crack open the sewing machine and make a blue and white checked dress. It was beautiful! And we found red shoes on clearance to go with her outfit. Perfection!

At four, we had a silver dress to make into the tin man, since she was still wild about Oz, but instead, she asked to be a fairy princess. When she was five, she was Glenda the Good Witch. I was dreading the next year thinking she'd be the Lion or the Scarecrow. She surprised me. At six she was a ninja. That was the only store bought costume of my career, and the last! I was sad to not make her outfit, making her an individual, and completely unique.

When she was 7, she watched Shirley Temple as Heidi, and read a little kids abridge version of the story, and loved it, so Heidi went trick or treating with us. At 8 years old, she loved Annie. She owns the movie, and the soundtrack, and of course, that meant she must be Annie. I admit right now, that red dress would have been impossible for me to make. My Mom to the rescue! Sleeves are my sewing downfall.

When she was 9, she was fresh off of reading Little House on the Prairie, and was wild about Laura Ingalls. She even had hair long enough to braid! It was a very exicting day in our house, because L let me do her hair! Then she was 10, and had watched "Grease" about ten times. She was very specific with her idea. She wanted to be Sandy on the first day of school. White shirt, yellow skirt, yellow sweater. She looked so cute!
Now she's 11, and she still loves Grease. She went as Rizzo, also from the first day of school, with her Pink Ladies jacket. I loved hearing her talk to one of her friends about how some other girls at school also had a Pink Ladies jackets, but hers was better than theirs, because Mom made it, and it actually said Rizzo on the front.

I love that she loves her costumes. I love that she has unfailing belief that I can make anything she wants to be.
She's already planning to go as Frenchy next year, but Frenchy after her beauty school fiasco with the hair dye. I'll keep my eyes open for a pink curly wig!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

This Is It

At the end of Nick and Nora's Infinite Playlist, Nora asks Nick, "Are you sorry we're missing it?"

And he replies, "This is it."

It reminded me of a story my husbands grandmother likes to tell of how when E was barely 18, engaged to me, and getting ready to ship off to boot camp, he went down to visit with her. They had a great time talking and he really showed off his love for cars by talking about the kinds he would love to have.

His grandmother was quick to point out that getting married so young, he would not have money to buy those dream cars.

E didn't hesitate to say I was worth more than the cars.

I loved that Nick said he wasn't missing anything, because their relationship was what was real and important.

And that is why Nick and Nora will be at the top of my favorite movies. That and Micheal Cerra is so cute and funny.