Tuesday, June 30, 2009

A Four Bag Walk

Almost every morning, except Sunday's upon which I follow God's advice of it being a day of rest, I walk the Beagles. Or they walk me. However it's happening at that moment depends on how tired Emma is, how strong Sarah feels, and if they smell something that might be construed as food.

Or might not. They are Beagles after all, and are not picky about what defines 'food'.

I always grab some plastic bags for picking up dog business. It's so not cool to leave that in someone else's yard when I don't even want it in my yard. If I run out of bags, I have been known to walk back to the scene of the crime with a bag and pick it up.

I try to always have too many bags! In general, I take three. This morning I grabbed four and thought, that will be too many. Sadly it was not.

Sadly, what the bags are for is a nasty stomach turning business. I think I might be more acquainted with Emma and Sarah's poop than I was with my own babies. But it's got to be done.

And I'm all for saving a few cents and going with a cheap box of bags. Once I tried to be even more frugal and use old grocery bags....but they are too big. Four of those suckers stuck in my pocket make for a weird bulge or two. I currently have a never ending box of bags I hate, loathe and despise.

They are white. And what happens to white things when they get, let's say, wet? Yep. See through.

So not only am I carrying several bags of dog crap, I am carrying several see through bags of dog crap.

I will never stray from my black bags again. Never. Saving a little bit of money is not worth the horror of these white bags.

The never ending supply of white bags. So, on that side of things, having a four bag walk is a very good thing! Got to use those suckers up.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

I Was Wrong

I really hate to be wrong. Honestly, who likes it? But on Tuesday night, just a smidge after 7 PM, I was proven wrong.

And I have never been so happy to be wrong!

For the last fourteen years, starting with my own firstborn, I have guessed right as to the gender of a baby. Sometimes I have been swimming against the tide in my assertions, but in the end I've been right, so there all you wrong guessers!

I base my guess on a feeling I get when I think of the Mom to be, or sometimes I dream of the baby and I just know. There's no scientific, old waves tale, ring swaying tricks I use. Just one day it comes to me and that's all she wrote.

This year, I've had two pregnant sisters, at the same time. I announced very early on that I was keeping my guess to myself. The pressure was too much! But I told my husband I thought A was having a girl and L was going to have a boy. Since they both decided not to find out the gender, we have had a long couple of months!

I wavered about a month ago, with my girl guess. I dreamed of A having a big healthy girl and we were all like, awwww, then out pops a boy and the doctor said, 'where did he come from?'....but I didn't second guess myself and stuck with my original guess.

So on Tuesday night, when A and B welcomed a little boy into their family, I was never so glad to be wrong! He is so cute and awesome and wonderfully his own person and he completes their family perfectly.......I once again fell helpless in love with another nephew.

And L accidentally found out at a recent ultrasound....she is having a boy! So, wrong on one, right on the other. It's all good!

Monday, June 22, 2009

To Grate Or Not To Grate

As much as I love tacos, and I do love tacos, I have always hated grating cheese. It's a time consuming chore and I am actually a lazy person. It always made the prospect of yummy tacos slightly less appealing because of the work.

When bags of shredded cheddar became so available, I stopped grating my own cheese. I can get a pound of shredded cheese for $2 at the commissary. You just can't beat that deal!

My cheap grater sat in the cupboard gathering dust and rust. I finally threw it out in one of my spring cleaning frenzies where I firmly ask myself if I have any intention of using an item. If the answer ranges from no way to a wavery maybe, said item gets donated to the thrift store. Or my own garage sale depending on what time of year it is.

Over the years it has occasionally come up that I don't have one. I haven't needed one really, so it's been no big deal.

Until recently, when the big brick of sharp white cheddar was in need of some grating, and the horror that resulted from not being able to do the grating was intensely shocking. But really, two thirteen year old boys aren't going to make me run out and buy a grater.

Then I was the person who needed to grate some cheese.

Guess what I now own once again? Yep. A cheese grater. Next spring I will try my darndest to remember occasionally, very, very rarely, sometimes I do actually want to grate some cheese. I'll try not to let myself get carried away and get rid of the thing again.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

In Honor Of Randy

Randy is the Dad in my life.

The first time I met Randy, my husband, our four month old son and myself had flown home from New Jersey for Christmas....and for my Mom's wedding! It was a little weird thinking how he was going to be part of our family and I had not met him before.

But my sisters gave him two thumbs up...in fact, one sister introduced him to Mom! If that doesn't scream approval I don't know what does.

For the last thirteen years, Randy has been the Dad in my life. He jumped into this parent thing feet first (or was it head first?) with three almost grown daughters and one grandson, one son in law....and he did it with grace.

I can count on him for corny jokes, the best bbq chicken ever, and a willingness to help any one of us, any time. He's a rocking Grandpa to all of our kids (four grandsons, one granddaughter, and two more babies on the way!) and he even has taken care of a certain spoiled Beagle while I was at Seaside.

One of my favorite things about him is that he drives a school bus. I've had so many other school moms tell me that my dad drove their bus for a field trip, and he is so cool.

I know. He is pretty cool. Thanks Randy.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Don't Mess With A Classic

If you love Footloose, and frankly, who doesn't, you might be upset to know about the remake. I am. So upset I've refused to read anything about it. How can you take Footloose with Kevin Bacon and remake it? You can't! You just can't!

But if you loved the movie, you might have loved the soundtrack. You might have had a cassette tape of the soundtrack that you listened to constantly in your little pink boom box. You might actually still have that cassette tape and you might be considering taking the Sleepless in Seattle soundtrack out of your stereo and putting the Footloose one in.

Or is that just me?

Friday, June 19, 2009

Where Have All The Good Spoons Gone?

Where have all the good spoons gone
And where are all the knifes?
Where's the good silver spoons
I need for my cereal?
Isn't there a dinner fork to use to eat my meal?
Late at night I toss and turn and dream of what I need
I need a teaspoon
I'm holding out for a teaspoon 'til the end of the night
It's gotta be strong
And it's gotta be round
And it's gotta be dry and clean.
I need a teaspoon
I'm holding out for a teaspoon 'til the morning light
It's gotta be sure
And it's gotta be soon
And it's gotta be right for my mouth
Somewhere after midnight
In my wildest fantasy
Spoons are just beyond my reach
There's spoons reaching back for me

Isn't this a question everyone has pondered? How have I gone from having 24 spoons to only having six? It makes breakfast an adventure if the dishes aren't done the night before.

But seriously, where are they? All the dishes are here so they haven't run away together......

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Why I Hate Raspberry Jam

Actually, maybe I should call this 'why I love strawberry jam' because there seems to be only one reason I hate raspberry jam! It's the seeds. I hate those raspberry seeds! Sure the flavor of raspberry jam rocks, but the seeds that get stuck in your teeth make it too terrible to eat long term.

I prefer Smuckers seedless strawberry jam. Seedless strawberry jam? Yep. I also hate globs of fruit in my jam.....or plum skins in a homemade plum jelly that I remember as being the only time in my life (first grade to be exact) that I almost quit eating PB&J. I seem like a jelly kind of girl, but I hate the texture of jelly.

It's so jelly-like.

In an effort to be penny wise, I was shopping the sales at our local grocery store. I usually go to the commissary, but it was too far away, and I only needed fruit, milk, bread, and jam. I stood in front of the jam for five minutes, debating. Jelly is on sale, but gross. Strawberry jam was also on sale, but I could see globs of strawberries. Organic jam was on sale, but it only offered raspberry or blackberry.

I usually buy two kinds of jam: one for me and the kids (Smuckers all the way) and some kind of all fruit, no sugar stuff for my husband.

But buying two kinds of jam at a regular grocery store is expensive. So I grabbed one jar of organic raspberry, and everyone agreed it tasted good.

It did. I had toast with jam for breakfast.

And immediately regretted it when I felt a seed stuck in my molar. That is why I hate raspberry jam. It lingers on, even after you are done with it.

I can hear you all saying I should look for a seedless raspberry jam. Sure, I could. It's right there at the commissary. And now the truth is out. I just like strawberry better.

So suck on that all you raspberry jam lovers! Just so you know, you've got a raspberry seed stuck in your teeth....right there.....okay, you got it.

Kidding. You don't. You better find a mirror.

Friday, June 12, 2009

When I'm An Old Lady

I will wear capris with embroidered sea shells or flip flops on them.

I will have numerous pairs of elastic waist "lounge" pants with matching tunic shirts.

I will get a big sun hat, the kind that ties under my chin, and I will wear it for gardening, for walking, for going to Seaside.

I will not cut my hair short, instead I will keep it long, and usually braided and when my arthritis is too bad and my darling hubby can't comb out my hair, I will ask my daughter to come over once a week to help me with it. This is her only warning of what is to come.

But if I ever start feeding birds, a creature as previously mentioned I can not stand, but if I do feed them, and start calling my kids to say I just saw a yellow feathered, purple spotted, ten toed tweet-tweet (pretend this is a real bird and that I'm actually looking at a book of birds so I know which one to tell the kids I saw), it's time for an intervention.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

How To Tell If It's Saturday Morning

It's very simple really. Where are Emma and Sarah? In the kitchen watching Dad make waffles? Then yes, it is Saturday!

Is that for us?

Resigned to waiting....

But keeping an eye on the waffle maker!

Before any animal rights activists start harassing me, these pictures were taken after the dogs had shared a waffle square. They just love waffles! And pancakes. And toast, doughnuts, cereal, yogurt, eggs, bacon......Um, they might be chow hounds.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Lunch Surprise

I was listening to my kids tell their friends about horrible moments of discovery with school lunches involving chicken and the questionableness of some of it's pieces (my son said he used to love school chicken until he got a huge bite of tendon and that was the end of that love affair), and I said they should let me pack their lunches everyday. There would be no surprises then.

Ha, they exclaimed!

How about when it comes down to the butt of the bread and I turn it over, crust side up, smear it with PB&J, and sandwich it together so no one can see it is the butt. They are like, yummy sandwich until the first bite. Then it's what the heck is wrong with this sandwich? It's the butt!

And their friends were in agreement with them. That is like the most cruel and unusual thing to do to a kids lunch.

Huh. I didn't tell them their first clue should be if all the crusts are trimmed off the sides of the sandwich. That's me, feeling a smidge guilty since I know how much they hate crusts and I've just given them a sandwich that guarantees crust in every bite.

I noticed today, they still went with the hot lunch. They'd rather risk a unchewable piece of chicken than get a bread butt.

They must have noticed the loaf of bread on the counter was almost gone. I think it's down to the last three pieces...and the butt would make four. Perfect!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Skirt Times

I have my sister to thank for my love of skirts as a wardrobe staple. I saw her wearing a jean skirt in the summer time and I thought she looked super cute. What was stopping me from getting a jean skirt? Or a black skirt? Or two more jean skirts? Or.....I now own over thirty skirts. Some are just for work, but many are for casual wear.

Plus, I hate shorts. I have a chubby girls fear of crotch bunchage. You know, when the inside legs of a pair of shorts ride up into the crotch area as you walk. I hate to see that on anyone, but if I even think it's happening to me, I want to die!

When I started wearing skirts in the summer I truly found happiness. I remain as cool as if I'm wearing shorts, but only have to worry about a skirt being too short if I bend over....

I have actually gardened in a skirt. That is how devoted I am!

Add to that the fact that I loathe and despise pantyhose, this new era of bare legs is just right for me! I do wear tights in the winter, and I will wear jeans on cold days, but in the spring, summer and fall, you will find me almost every day in a skirt.

Tomorrow I'm wearing capris though. I'm going down to Seattle to play with my nephews, and that usually takes a lot more active playing than a skirt can handle!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Flower Power

I do love flowers. They have some kind of crazy tractor beam that pulls me in. I can't walk into a store without first looking at their potted flowers for sale and thinking about how pretty that would be in my own garden.

For five years I worked on my garden at my old house. I loved it! I had Dahlias, Peonies, a Clematis to die for, Lilies, Daisies, Bachelor Buttons, Columbines, Asters, Marigolds, Pansies...I was insanely proud of all the flower beds I'd hacked out of the grass by myself.

Then we moved. And the one flower bed here was sad and pathetic and the inside of the house took all my focus. I lost my drive. I did a little bit, even dug out a new flower bed, but never really did much else. I planted things every year, but wasn't surprised if they didn't survive.

But this year, five years later, I went outside in the spring and just started working. I weeded, I dug things up, moved things around, realized I will never be free of that climbing rose no matter how many times I dig it out so I might as well train it to grow up and not out, and discovered, my flower beds are rocking the spring look.

I can go outside and see the millions of irises I dug up, broke up and moved around, the Irises I call Grandma's creek Irises because my Grandma has them growing around her creek and I got them from her, the Columbines I have been cultivating, moving the new starts carefully to other parts of the garden, my Sweet Williams that took over one part of the garden are now spread out around the whole house, the Daisies that make me think of my Grandma D because I have a hint of a memory of my uncle telling me those were her favorite flowers, the yellow Rhodies I bought when I was at a super plant sale with my Mom and are supposed to bloom in time for memorial day weekend but never seem to, the Hydrangea that my daughter gave me that has actually never bloomed but hasn't died either so I keep it, about half of the 150 bulbs I bought through a school fundraiser and planted with my daughter actually made it through the winter, the huge Dahlia my kids wheeled out to me in a little red wagon for my 32nd birthday.....

It's funny to me how after five years, I love my garden. So many of the plants are tied to memories, I hadn't even realized it until this year.

But, I've been giving considerable thought to the fact that the garden wears it's spring clothes lovely, but it's summer wardrobe is a bit bare. I might actually have to do some research on summer blooming flowers! Gasp!

Summer blooming, drought resistant flowers. I still tend to forget to water those babies!