Wednesday, December 29, 2010

I'm Glad Christmas Is Only Once A Year

I'm glad Christmas is only once a year.

I'd get sick with the excitement and anticipation if it was more than once. About midway through December, I suddenly get hit with the joy that is Christmas. I am giddy with the thoughts of watching my loved ones open something I picked out just for them.

If Christmas was more than once, I'd take it for granted. I wouldn't sit and take a breath and enjoy the heck out of it. I wouldn't be overwhelmed with love as I sing my favorite Christmas hymns. I'd just sing it or bake it or wrap it cuz I had to; not because I want to.

I never want Christmas to be a chore! I want to celebrate each year with child like happiness that it is Christmas. Christmas! Even now, as I write about how gleeful this season makes me, I feel my excitement rise again. I have 360ish days to wait. I can't get carried away so soon!

And, Christmas seems to be the only time I find it morally acceptable to have a bowl of M&M's sitting out 24/7.

I'd never stick to my 'diet' if I had that candy bowl accessible year round.

Even now, I think a handful of M&M's will pair perfectly with my lukewarm coffee....


Saturday, December 25, 2010

How I Found Out What I Was Getting Before Christmas

I had a suspicion, since I'd asked for something for my birthday, then changed my mind. Then I said no, really, I'd like it for Christmas.

I saw one at the exchange and shortly after that my husband excused himself to buy something.

But the real reason I know is because, even after I gave my husband a wad of receipts he'd left on the table and said are there any in here that I shouldn't look at, he left a different wad on the table. And I, being me, wanted a clean table and do not believe stacking the things from the table on the stairs, or the desk or the book shelf is an acceptable way to clean, so I was making a pile of garbage, and one of recycling and the next thing I know I have receipts in my hand that belong in the Christmas envelope.

The ones on top are mine. I bought these things for the kids, I want to save the receipt just in case. But then the next one, I was like, what is that?

Who spent that much on one item? What is it? OMG.

My present.

So. Husband. I don't know if I'll post this, but I had to vent and I don't want to vent on you and ruin the surprise you are getting me.

It's a Wii.

And now, if I'm wrong, you've really pulled on over on me. I love you anyway.

UPDATE: It is a Wii!!!! And I love, love, love it! Surprise or no, it's just what I wanted. Thanks, babe!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

What Christmas Means To Me

Christmas is a time of celebration and joy. It's family and loved ones. It's gathering around a table piled heavy with good food. It's laughing so much you have no arm strength.

It's seeing your kids greet each gift with gratitude and thanksgiving. It's watching your dog go crazy with excitement when she sees her stocking is full. It's sitting next to your husband, so very grateful that he is next to you, watching the kids and the dogs, not deployed somewhere hot and sandy.

Christmas is traditions. It's cookie baking, it's tree hunting, it's lights strung on porches. It's a living room strewn with torn wrapping, it's candy wrappers rolled up and stashed on tables, it's a new music CD playing softly as the day unfolds.

It's all these things, and Love.

Without Love, there wouldn't be a Christmas at all. Yep, I'm talking about God. After all, Jesus is the reason for the season.

You know what I'm talking about!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Christmas Cheer Recipe

Christmas Cheer Recipe
By Clementine Paddleford

Take a bushel of tinsel, sprinkle well throughout the house. Add two dozen stars and one graceful Christmas tree. Take a generous spray of mistletoe, an armload of holly and a full measure of snow laid in curved hills along the window sills. Toss in a Christmas carol, and season well with good will and friendly laughter. Light the candles, "one for adoration, two for celebration." Let the first burn brightly, and may those you love be near. The yield: ONE HAPPY CHRISTMAS.

Sometimes when I read something, my heart almost sings with joy; my mind shouts out 'exactly!' and I am buzzing with pleasure. This is how I feel when I read this. If I could have written it, if I'd had the idea, it would be almost a twin of this piece.

Thank you, Clementine Paddleford. The recipe is perfection.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Christmas At Our House

Behold, the perfect tree...
according to us, that is!
The nativity at a kid level....
my kids loved setting it up all by themselves when they were little.
Doesn't everyone have a picture of dogs visiting Baby Jesus? No?
Well, they should.
These Beagles look great in green!

I love my "I love my blanky" snowman!

Yes, Santa, please tell me:
have I been naughty or just naughty enough?

Just a kiss before he goes.

If only I had an outlet unused in this outlet unfriendly house,
I'd use the night light out of this Christmas candle!

Dogs at Christmas, who wouldn't love that?
Am I ready for Christmas?
Yes and No.
Yes, because I'm excited to watch nephews open presents and my own kids eyes light up as they unearth the treasures their stockings hold.....
No, because I'm not done shopping, I haven't baked a single cookie, and there are only 7 more days to listen to Christmas music!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Think Happy Thoughts

Thinking happy thoughts to calm myself down in a moment of anxiety has led me to one conclusion:

All my happy thoughts are food related!

And now I'm hungry!

A coke and french fries. Buttered movie popcorn. Cherry pie. Swedish pancakes. Homemade spaghetti sauce. Garlic bread. Cold cream of wheat.

The list is endless.

And I don't care if many of my "happy thoughts" are food. I'm smiling and happy. Wasn't that the point?

I rarely follow those happy thoughts up with actual food. Except, this morning, I'm thinking cold cream of wheat sounds like a little piece of heaven!

Thursday, December 16, 2010


When I think of starbursts, I think of two things. One, a tin that sat on my grandmothers coffee table that was full of the candy and two, my sister who goes through a bag and picks out all her favorite flavors, then 'shares' the rest.

We all have our favorite flavors, though, and if I was to pick out my favorite it would be orange, yellow and pink. Not red. Red can go away completely and I'd be a happy camper!

Weeks after Halloween, our communal candy bowl had dwindled down to the rejects of candy and there at the bottom was a handful of yellow sunshine. Starbursts!

I saved them from being tossed in the trash with the rest of the ick candy and put them into my purse where they were promptly lost at the bottom of that black hole bag.

Until today, today when I'm almost desperate enough to eat a candy cane (worst candy ever, BTW), today I see a hint of yellow when I'm digging in my purse hoping to find a butterscotch candy or even a tick tack. Instead, I find three starburst candies.

I blew the purse lint off the wrappers and settle back to savor those yellow squares of perfection.

Thank goodness for a purse that hides the things you didn't know you wanted until just the right moment. It also hides the things you desperately need, but it's a purse. It's not perfect!
Starburst Fruit Chews

Monday, December 13, 2010

E. T. Is Not A Kid's Movie

Why does the world think it is?

I can not be the only kid who saw it and was freaked out of her mind. That movie was scary!

First off, E.T. is an ALIEN. He is super weird and creepy looking. He has a red glowing finger, he can make Elliot feel drunk at school, he has a weird whispery voice that only hillbilly serial killers should have, and he's kind of dying.

Second, he's lost. Come on! Wasn't that one of your childhood fears? To be lost and separated from your family?

Third, Elliot in his underwear and those government men in hazmat suits. Enough said on that whole creep fest.

I saw the movie in a theater, after walking through a dark alleyway with my Mom, Grandma and sisters. We were late, so we had to find seats in the dark, after the movie was started. And all I could think about was we had to walk back to our car through that same dark alley, only this time, I was scared E.T. was hiding in the shadows.

I saw it again at 14 and my feelings hadn't changed. It's a scary movie.

Also, since I'm contrary, the more everyone LOVES a movie, the less likely I am to also love it. Unless it's like Sleepless in Seattle or My Fair Lady or Annie. Come on, who doesn't love those movies? Those movies rock!

And what do those movies have in common? That's right! No creepy little alien dude waddling around crying for a phone call.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

And Then I Dropped It

I was walking up and down the aisles of our local Goodwill, when something caught my eye in the glassware section:
It's lovely! It's perfectly retro and I love it! Is there more? Yes! right behind it is it's mate.
And two shelves below those, are two more!
And farther away, two more! Six glasses!
I only had my hands to carry things because I tend to fill a cart with items, but I knew I had to get these glasses. I rushed back to the front of the store, got a cart and rushed back, hoping no one else had spied my treasures. No one had! I carefully stored them in the cart and walked on, and two aisles over I saw a bowl to match the glasses. I was giddy! The glasses were 69 cents each and the bowl was $3.99, steals!

I was so proud of my finds, I thought of them all the way home. I couldn't wait to get them out and wash them off and show them to my husband when he got home.

One of the downsides to having three dogs, is when you come home, you've got three dogs dancing around your feet, trying to get your attention and if you happen to trip a little and drop a bag, oh well. And if the bag has glass in it and you immediately know something has broken, oh well oh well oh well.

To my dismay, when I got inside, this is what I saw.
Crushing heartbreak!

I tell myself, I still have the set of six glasses. That was a super great deal. And I will use the glasses more than I would use a bowl.

But, oh! The disappointment!

Now, besides my life long search for a fairy tale book I owned as a child that disappeared during of our many moves, I think I will be searching glassware at thrift stores and antique shops for this pattern....and that idea is oddly calming.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

I Keep A Pretty Clean House.....Just Don't Look Up

I keep my house pretty clean. I like to live in a swept, dusted, de-cluttered house. A place for everything and everything in it's place.

Just don't look up.

Because I am so focused on the things I see, I never think to look up, up, up to the ceiling and the corners of the high walls....where cobwebs love to lurk.

The house will be cobweb free, then bam! One day I happen to glance up I see it. A huge webby cluster in a corner. Then another in a different room and then a huge one that stretches from a corner to the ceiling fan in the master bedroom.

The worst part is, when I finally see them, I am never in the right place to grab the broom and knock 'em down.

So.....come on over and enjoy my clean house, with it's sparkling sinks and it's swept floors, but if you look up just know, there is a place for everything and even cobwebs have a place.

Until I have the broom handy.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Bad Pie! Bad, Bad Pie!

Making pies has never been something I was nervous about. Making crust is something I was almost born doing. And I will admit here, I am a bit vain about that fact. What's the big deal? It's flour and salt, mixed with shortening and cold water.

Done and Done.

No mystery there, folks.

But sometimes it is a bit tricky. If you are tired, and maybe had a margarita or two, you might turn out a pie crust that not only doesn't look right, it does not feel right, or worse, taste right.

I tried to console myself with my Mom's words, "the harder it is to roll, the worse it looks, usually means it's delish."

In this case, that was not true. It was awful. The crust was tough and flavorless and the apples were crisp and uncooked.

Looked good though. Which makes it the worst kind of pie! Looks lovely, tastes like poo.

Okay, not quite poo.

Poo probably has more flavor.

Bad Pie!! Shame on you!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

What I Am Thankful For

It's Thanksgiving and I am full of thanksgiving!

I was momentarily wearing my cranky pants, but when my husband got up and started washing dishes for me, I quickly realized that I am a very lucky lady.

I Am Thankful For:

my husband, my kids, my dogs

my family, my friends

my house, my furnace, my electricity
(especially in this snow & ice)

my food cupboards full, my bank account decent

my country, my world

and my God who made it all

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Band-aide Wrappers Dream Of Flight

Haven't you noticed that? When you tear a band-aide wrapper off and try to drop it into the trash, it suddenly decides to fly. Or at least float around in the air.

I'm not sure if it's the idea of going into the garbage that makes it fly, or if it's always been a life long dream, but I do know it is true.

Those darn wrappers float and flutter and avoid the trash with all their might.

And when they land on the floor behind the bathroom garbage can, they inevitably stay there until I give the room a scrubbing.

Did no-one else notice when they let go of the wrapper that it did not make it to the garbage? Or are they like me, and did notice, but wasn't wearing the proper gear (rubber gloves) to reach down behind the can and way too close to the back of the toilet, to pick it up?

I've taken to wadding the wrapper up to give it some weight to fall right into the trash.

But darn those two little plastic pieces I peel off the back of the sticky. They are the true dreamers of flight!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The Disinfecting Queen

I have been a slight germaphobe since the great stomach bug of Christmas 06. Or was it 07? We've actually had several Christmas flue bugs that spread through our family like wild fire. But the first one was the worst.

It hit everyone. Hard. Aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents. We all went down.

And ever since then I have been a huge fan of Clorox Disinfecting Wipes.

I know, these days we should be worried that we are wiping out the good old germs and letting new super bad germs threaten us in their place, and I don't know if the wipes actually prevent any of us from getting ill.

All I know is that after kids have thrown up on the dining room table, or their most favorite spot the floor, I find that the wipes give me peace of mind. The wipes allow me to keep my table, to not drag it outside and burn it as hazardous waste. The wipes let me keep walking around the house, use the facets and the TV remote, all without a full body hazmat suit complete with gloves, booties and goggles.

This topic is at the top of my thoughts because I've just had several sick kids, and puke has been all over the house.

The Clorox Disinfecting Wipes have been at my side these last few days. I think I need to make a holster for easier carrying! I am the Queen of Disinfecting. There is not a surface or handle or place where hands touch that hasn't been wiped down daily since this illness struck.

Even the toaster and the the handle to the clothes dryer.

Everything is wiped and Nothing is left alone. The Queen has spoken!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Thank You, Belatedly

I mean to post this yesterday, but how fast the day goes when I have good intentions!

All I want to say is, Thank You to all of our Veterans, both young and old, well and injured, front line or side lined.

I love my country. I love my freedom. And I'm smart enough to understand that we are free because a few years ago, our countrymen FOUGHT for freedom. And a few years after that, we fought to help keep others free.

Could we honestly live with ourselves if we hadn't gotten involved and stopped Hitler?

I so appreciate the men and women who've fought for us, who are fighting for us right now.

So, Thank You! Words aren't enough, prayers are appreciated, and respect is deserved.

My gratitude does not begin and end in one day. I feel it every day.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Who Turned Out The Lights?

It's shocking how much we depend on electricity. I take it for granted, that when I flip the switch, the lights come on. Or that my oven will start heating up with a twist of the dial. Or that hot air will blow out of our heating ducts thanks to a hard working furnace.

A few days ago we lost power for a little bit.

Maybe an hour.

It's the end of the world! No joke, some people at the office ventured this theory. Jesus is coming back! Also, not joking, a real theory spoken yesterday. Hmm. I said I was hoping that if it was Jesus, he would take us in an instant, not make us sit around in the dark wondering if we were just the ones left behind.....

Since I had nothing to do at the office without power, and I really wanted to use the bathroom without the aid of a flashlight, I drove home.

And even though I knew we were without power, I still flipped the switch when I walked into the bathroom!

I felt better when my daughter ran in from school and did the exact same thing. Turns out flashlights were also being offered for restroom visits, and she opted to wait.

I was glad for the sunshine, so we could see, but it was odd to think no radio, no tv, no computer, no phone, no idea what to do.

I kid. I had elaborate plans to settle myself in a comfy couch and read a good book until the sunshine faded to dusk.

Then the power came back on.

Back to the old grind of checking email, watching TV and working my fingers to the bone on bazaar projects.....

Maybe the day after the bazaar is done, I'll pretend we lost power. No noise, just me, a cup of coffee (or three) and a good book.

Sounds like a plan.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Orange You Glad

I am actually. I love oranges. I feel like winter is their time to shine. Their lovely sunny orange color gives us a splash of beauty in the gray weather. The first bite just bursts into your mouth and you know you are tasting sunshine.

I love eating oranges.

But, getting to the fruit is not so much fun. I can't throw an orange into my lunch bag and peel it at work. I hate having the juice squirt all around, I hate having my fingers stained that weird orange peel color.

I can take the time before work to peel my fruit, and bring it to work in a dish. I am usually not that prepared for work. Running late most days, don't you know.

So my lovely oranges sit on the counter, waiting for me to have the time to eat one.

There is cheer on the horizon! It's holiday time! That means bags of easy to peel clemintines!

Seedless only please.

Monday, November 1, 2010

I've Got The Day After Halloween Candy Sick Blues

Yes, that is melted chocolate in the corner of my mouth.

Yes, this mound of candy wrappers are the spoils of my feast.

Yes, I ate candy for breakfast.

I'm a firm believer in having some hair of the dog that bit me, and since I went overboard last night on candy, more candy this morning will help even things out.

Or we could have just gotten an amazing haul from our trick or treating adventures and I know if I don't eat my share now, there won't be any good stuff left when I get home from work tonight.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Logrit, Logrit, How I Love Thee

As kids, one of my sisters stubbornly refused to say 'yogurt' and instead said 'logrit'. It's actually one of my favorite memories. I love that we come by our stubbornness honestly, it runs in the family, and the more pressure put on us to cave, the less likely it is that we will.

I grew up with yogurt in my house, but as a grown up on my own, it fell by the wayside. Yogurt was kids stuff. Then we had kids and it was all about 'gogurt' and weird fruity cereal flavored stuff.

Now we are all older, and I find that I love yogurt and miss it desperately when I don't have one every day. It makes breakfast or lunch or snack time so much better. I've stopped my incessant need for strawberry only (much like my jam only that is still a strawberry only zone), and have branched out to all fruit except blueberry. Never blueberry. I eat fat free, all natural and after the first week, I fell in love with it. It's not yoplait by any means, and I really like that!

There is no yogurt in my fridge today. It is a sad, sad day.

I'm too busy to get to the store, so more sadness for tomorrow. The fridge will still be logrit free.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

How Do You Like Your Eggs?

Staying home sick as a kid, I immersed myself in Perry Mason and The Rockford Files. And while Perry just didn't do it for me, Jim Rockford sure did.

It wasn't just his TV show, James Garner rocked my movie world as well.

I loved his movies with Doris Day, like The Thrill of It All and his old westerns, particularly Support Your Local Sheriff and as a grown up, I fell in love with with his portrayal of a soldier in the classic WWII movie, The Great Escape.

But the role he played that I can watch over and over and over and still swoon is Murphy from Murphy's Romance. When he tips his hat back, I go weak in the knees.

One of my favorite movie lines of all time is at the end, when Murphy tells Emma he'll only stay for dinner if he's still there for breakfast and Emma asks how does he like his eggs.....

James Garner, how do you like your eggs? I'm good for anything except poached!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Happy Birthday Husband!

Today is my husband's birthday. He is 36 years old today. I'm not afraid to say it, I am the older woman. I am older than him by two months. Shocking, I know.

But we were in the same grade and he was so cute and funny and when he turned his charm on and focused on me, I was a goner.

Happy Birthday, Babe. You are still too charming for my own good!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Bazaar Procrastination

My daughter is going to DC for spring break.

Yes. My 13 year old daughter is flying to DC with a group of kids and teachers from her school.

I said no when she first asked. Her dad said no. It's expensive, she's so young.....then she cried her girl tears and Dad caved. Um, don't you think it's a great opportunity for her? Fine, I cave too. Just because the idea of flying cross country at 13 would have made my 13 year old stomach heave until it was empty, doesn't mean my own daughter feels the same.

She has busted her backside, earning money. I'm so proud of her determination!

We'd given thought to her making things (sewing or something) so when the opportunity to share a table at a local bazaar came up, I said sure.

Yikes. For the last two months we've been bazaar crazy. Knitting and sewing and planning and procrastinating.

Yes. Procrastinating. Because my daughter and I share the same gene that tells us not to worry, we have plenty of time to finish something and then suddenly the end date is days away and we are scrambling to finish our projects.

Technically, only one out of four projects are done and the bazaar is a few days away. And yes, instead of working on something right now, I am blogging.

Bizarre procrastination indeed!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Learning To Drive

It's a right of passage for every young person, one that I was dreaming of and counting down the years to for years before I was even 16. I remember my first drive, with the Omni and it's stick shift and lurching through every stop sign trying to figure out the clutch and shifting, my Mom sitting next to me, giving instruction and encouragement.

In all my learning, I only remember her being upset that I was hugging the edge of the road and the ditch that ran next to it...which if you ask her today, I'm sure she'll tell you that still makes her nervous when I drive.

I've been looking forward to my first born learning to drive. I have! I imagined I'd be a cool cucumber, calmly giving tips and never yelling 'stop, stop, stop!'

And suddenly it's now, and my son is learning to drive and I'm not always as calm as I thought I'd be. My biggest issue isn't him, it's the other idiots driving around us. Don't they know my heart is driving? They need to exercise extreme caution!

I find that I have to battle some desire to jump out of the car and pound on windows, screaming things like "what's wrong with you?" and "It wasn't your turn at that four way stop!"

In spite of that, my son is driving us everywhere, and he's doing great. I'm very proud of him and even if at times I want to cry with disbelief that he is actually old enough to sit behind the wheel, to put his arm on the back of my seat as he backs out of the driveway, to adjust the mirrors to his proportions, well, that's just the price of motherhood, isn't it?

One I'll gladly pay.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Tales Of The Porta Potty

Who likes 'em? But when you have to go, and there is one in all it's blue glory, you thank the good Lord it's there.

Seeing a line of porta potties at a crowded event does make you feel better. You'll still have to wait, but at least it's not going to be so long you seriously consider walking into the bushes and using nature's facilities.

At my daughters last cross country meet, at one of our local country parks where a little bathroom services the whole area, I was glad to see the porta potties. And after drinking my water bottle while I sat around waiting for her race to start, I knew I needed to make use of one of those blue havens.

I did a scouting walk around, checking out which line had shorter wait time, which porta potty had a sign that actually clicked over to the red "occupied" sign, and I finally make a well informed choice.

It was a porta potty. I held my breath and did what I needed to do. But as I was standing up, pulling up my pants, a little girl started yanking on the door. Um, I'm in here. I reach out to make sure the door doesn't pop open, even with the lock on, but I'm too late.

All of her yanking made the whole door jam and door lock wiggle enough to pop open. There I am, standing with my underwear up, thank God, but my pants not. I pull the door closed but it's too late. I've flashed everyone.

Okay. Well. Things happen. Who cares, right? Well, it turns out I do.

I will employ my huge family gathering bathroom rules from now on when dealing with porta potties.

1. Go to the Bathroom in Pairs.
2. Have your Partner Guard the Door while You are in the Bathroom.
3. Return the Favor and Guard the Door for your Partner.

Following these rules will prevent little children yanking your door open. If your partner does her job right!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Music Memories

Hearing a certain song can transport you back to another moment, and no matter where you are in reality, suddenly you are standing on the smooth wooden floors of your New Jersey apartment, the sun is shining, the windows are open bringing in a sea breeze and Tom T Hall is blasting from your new CD player.

Okay, that specific memory is mine, but the other day I heard a snippet of The Day That Clayton Delaney Died, and I swear I could hear the ocean water rolling along outside our apartment.

The same can be said for certain Amy Grant songs (Fat Baby anyone?) and I am in our blue station wagon, singing along loudly, while we drove three days to our new home in Arizona. Jolene by Dolly Parton has me smelling my Grandma's perfume and hearing her and my Mom talk as we drive Grandma's car into town. The Statler Brothers singing their album Holy Bible reminds me of my mom putting their record on and all of us cleaning the house like crazy. Michael Jackson's Beat It instantly has me at the roller rink, racing around and around and around, the breeze blowing my bangs off my sweaty head and the skates rubbing blisters, but I couldn't slow down when the awesome MJ was playing!

I may have zero musical talent, but I do have an extreme appreciation of all kinds of music, and the awesome thing is, so did my Dad. When I read letters he wrote to my Mom, so many of them were about the current record he was listening to, or a certain song he was totally digging. His taste was eclectic, and I love that!

Every time I hear Barbra Streisand, I think of him writing about Uncle Art bringing a Cat Stevens tape to listen to on their fishing boat, but not getting much play time because, "I bought a Barbra Streisand tape and I've about worn it out already, but I love it for the music keeps me reminded of when I was home."

I know exactly what he means.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Real Vs. Fake

In these modern times, we have so many fake things that compete with real, and usually the real is way better than the fake.

Sour cream and Imo.
Butter and I Can't Believe It's Not Butter.
Bacon and Sizzelean.
Sugar and aspartame.
Heinz 57 and all other kinds of ketchup/catsup.
Maple syrup and Maple flavored syrup.

Wait a tick. Not so fast.

There is No Way real maple syrup with it's thin consistency and tree sap flavor is better than Log Cabin maple flavored syrup.

No way.

When I have a pancake or a waffle or french toast, I want a syrup that sticks, that tastes a bit like heaven.

And I've got to say real maple syrup just doesn't cut it.

I'd eat dry toast before I let a fake butter touch it. I'd give up bacon completely if sizzelean was my only choice (btw, do they even sell that stuff anymore?). But give me the sweat sticky goodness of Log Cabin authentic maple tasting syrup any day and I'll say thank you very much!

Friday, October 22, 2010

From Sticky Fingers To Muddy Paws

I had a dream. I dreamed I would have 6 kids. Then I had my first and thought, well, maybe just 4. Then my second, and it turns out this baby having business was just not going to work out for me.

So I moved on. I have two awesomely awesome kids and if I'd had four or six, I don't know that I would be the good Mom that I am. But that part of me that longs for baby to hold and cuddle and love and snuggle, well, that has never stopped longing!

The answer to that was a puppy. I know, it's not for everyone, but frankly, I am a huge fan of dogs and getting our Beagle puppy was just right. Then we got another puppy. Then to make things that much more crazy, we let our daughter have one too.

I am the proud Mom to a 15 year old son, learning to drive, a 13 year old daughter, in love with piano, and three very lovely dogs.

I have less sticky finger print marks on our TV (only an occasional 'hi' written in the dust on the screen) but I traded those in for muddy paws leaving perfect prints on my fresh mopped floors.

I do miss those sticky finger days, especially when I watch my son's hands turning the wheel of the car, or my daughters fingers dance up and down the piano keys, and in my minds eye I can see their baby dimpled fingers reaching for me....

But then one of my crazy lovely dogs will come over and put her muddy paws on my leg, look at me with her big brown eyes, and I'm back in reality, firmly cemented in the present, with a mop in one hand and Mr Clean in the other.

I love all my kids, from the tops of their heads to the tips of their toes....or tails.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The Dangers Of Comfy Pants

Comfy Pants should come with a warning label.

It should be known far and wide that comfy pants are so comfy, you will want to wear them all day when you are lounging around the house on a lazy Saturday. Next you will come home from work, kick off your heels and peel off your tights and slid into your comfy pants, since you are just hanging out at home.

The next step on this slippery down hill slope is wearing them out. You will wear them to drive through the bank. Run to the library. The grocery store. Dinner out.

The next thing you know, you are sad when your one pair of comfy pants are in the dirty clothes and you start dreaming of having two pairs so you will never be without.

This my friends, is a dangerous place to be.

But it's so comfy!!!

Monday, October 18, 2010

My Mother's Biscuits

My Mother's biscuits are the bomb.

They are the best biscuits I've ever had. Hands down. No exceptions.

Going to eat at her house, if she says she's making biscuits, it's like, oh man oh man oh man, it's my lucky day!

I've tried to make them myself. They are simple baking powder biscuits. I can follow a recipe. I can do this.

But I can't! No matter how I try it, following the recipe exactly or playing fast and loose with the measurements, my biscuits are just a sad imitation of my Mom's. After all these years, 17 married one's in fact, I am finally close to accepting defeat.

No one can touch my Mom's biscuits.

And that is why I'm sitting here eating my fourth (!!!!!) cold biscuit. She sent some home with the kids last night and I knew, I KNEW, I would be eating them for breakfast.

Oh man oh man oh man!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

I Hate This Old House

And I used to be it's number one fan!

When that magazine came to our door, I couldn't wait to flip through it's glossy pages, see it's lovely redo's, dream of changes big and small in my own old house....

It's been years of living in this old house that I love, years of getting This Old House periodical, and years of just the basic remodels being done.

The final straw came yesterday when I read the cover of the latest issue.

"Install A Wall Niche."

Install a wall niche? Really? This magazine is not preaching to my level of grade school choir! I'm still holding out for a real hand rail leading up the stairs and actual tiles to cover the hardibacker that lines my kitchen walls.....There is no way I'm going to make a hole in my wall when I've been working so hard on covering the ones the house came with!

I can finally admit it. This Old House is full of dreams I had for My Old House when we first got it. I still dream of those things, and I know one day, some day, I will have this old house put to rights, but until then, I am sick of This Old House.

I want a magazine based more closely to my reality.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

I've Tried It And I Hate It

Sushi. It's hip and happening.

I'm totally hip and happening.

I like rice. I don't like raw fish.

Apparently, a California roll has crab instead of fish. I like crab. I do not like imitation crab.

I like cucumbers. I do not like avocado.

It was going to be a 50/50 crap shoot whether it was good or bad.

I probably would still be a sushi virgin except we had lunch brought to our office, and there was some sushi, and some comments were made about me not trying it (as in, I'm a chicken!) and I am not a chicken.

I am adventurous, as previously posted.

I tried one.

It tasted like a beach smells.

I can now say I've tried it, and I hate it. The only problem is, this was sushi in a clear plastic box, from the local grocery store. I was quickly informed that "real" sushi is so much better.

Crap! Another challenge! I guess I've got to try it one more time before I can say it's not really for me!

Of course, this challenge of chicken-ness could all be in my head......

Cluck, Cluck!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Goodbye Old Fort

When my son was 8 or 9, we bought him a wooden play structure, a fort if you will. It wasn't fancy, we never got the slide or the rock wall we dreamed of, but it had a rope ladder and a steering wheel and it was good. My son is a kind enough big brother that more often than not, his sister was climbing on it too. They would have elaborate play times in it, adventuring all over in their imagination.

Even the dogs loved it! It had a rope swing that the dogs would make made dashes at, tugging and swinging back and forth.

It hasn't been used in a while, by kids or dogs.

It was sitting on the back corner of our property looking sad and lonely, literally rotting away with neglect.

My son said I could give it to my nephews. I asked my sisters and I got a taker. But it's actually a daunting task to move a play structure without taking it apart, and no one wanted to take it apart! So there the fort sat, waiting.

Then today my sister said she was ready for it. A spot was cleared at her house, my husband would be home with the truck, we would move it. So we did.

I was in the middle of cooking dinner and didn't want it to burn so I did not see it get loaded up. I did not drive down the alley's of the next two blocks to come to a stop at my sisters house. I did not see R and T's joy at having a fort in their back yard.

And my husband said the boys were beyond joyful!

I keep telling myself the fort has gone to a better place. It is going to be loved and used and keep going on its adventures with two very clever little boys....

Apparently my husband was right when he told my sister I was going to cry later.

I so am.

Goodbye Old Fort, you served us well. Give R and T some awesome memories, but please, keep your splinters to yourself!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Who Knew I Wasn't Going To Like It?

I should have, that's who.

I know myself well enough after 36 years of living in my own skin to know that as lovely as the picture might be, as perfectly as the extra veggies going to seed on my shelves will find a way to be eaten, as tasty as the name implies it will be, if it calls for sweet potatoes AND cauliflower AND onions AND garbanzo beans AND tomatoes, I probably won't like it.

I like most of those things on their own. With butter. Or cheese. Or cooked down until I don't recognize it (that's why I love ketchup!). But all together, with a liberal dash of hot curry powder, to replicate a dish from India, well, I shouldn't be surprised that I didn't like it.

But, here's the thing about me, I am actually adventurous. I do try new things and I like to taste new foods. I guess I will remain surprised every time a recipe I try doesn't quite live up to how I imagined it would taste.

I think that's why God made McDonalds, right? So when one of my adventurous meals is a complete and total fail, and I'm not feeling the love to start over on a new meal, the kids can still eat happy.

This might be why, on new meal nights, they are very eager to hear how the first bite is.

Is it good?

Yes? Oh. Okay.

No? Awesome! Cheeseburgers for us tonight!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

October, You Are Not Summer

October, you are not Summer. Why are you acting all sunny and warm? Why are you making it so hard to really transition into fall?

Oh, don't get me wrong. You are lovely! Beyond lovely, actually. You are a ray of sunshine perfection!

But, you are not summer. You are supposed to be colder and wetter and darker.

I am going to work without tights! And no jacket! Short sleeves, bare legs, in October!

No way is this the way I imagined October. I mean, in your sister month of September, I forced myself to not get out the tights. I said to myself, wait until October 1. I will be wearing tights and sweaters from now until April, wait just a bit.

So I waited, toughed it out, and now you, October, have the audacity to be full of sun and warmth!

Thank you.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

How Classic Am I?

I love classic country. I adore it. I would listen to it 24/7 except I also love the White Stripes, Toby Keith and Brad Paisley, and Eminem. Got to mix it up.

But the cable company's classic country music lineup has shaken me to the core.

Those awesome hits being played are NOT my definition of classic country.

They are the songs of my childhood! From the 80's! That's not too long ago!


That was like 30 years ago?


I am officially classic.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

That Bag Of Pasta Is Calling My Name

I have a bag of pasta, leftover spaghetti noodles actually, in my fridge.

I mean, come on, who doesn't?

I was going to use them and the last of the spaghetti sauce in a little leftover dish called "baked spaghetti" but in a terrible twist of fate I thought I was adding a can of plain diced tomatoes to the sauce to build it back up but in fact I dumped in a can of tomatoes and chilies.

Chilies do not go in my spaghetti sauce. And I am not a good enough chef to figure out how to save that lovely sauce turned really odd into something good.

So now I have a bag of pasta in my fridge. And it is loudly calling my name. Every time I open the fridge I hear it.

Take a bite.
You know you love cold noodles.
Don't think about the carbs.
Take a bite!

So far I've resisted. The problem being, the bag is clear, I can see all those lovely noodles stuck in a cold clump and instead of being repulsed, I want.

It's the same part of me that only wants to eat cream of wheat when it is cold and congealed.

I am very picky about meat (don't dare try to give me a piece of chicken with a suspect stringy thing in it) and I don't like onions, tomatoes, or brussel sprouts. But give me cold pasta (or actually any grain) and I am in heaven. To each his own!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Soups & Stews & Spaghetti

The changing of the summer into the fall is not my most treasured time. I love fall. I love summer. I love winter. I love spring. But the ending of summer, that I hate.

I've been trying to find reasons to rejoice, as I force myself to tie on tennis shoes instead of slipping on flip flops, as I fold my capri's and find the dreaded jeans, as I close my bedroom window at night because it actually got too chilly for me.

It was the chilly night that got me thinking about soup. Soup is not a summer food. Neither are stews. And lets not talk about how my beloved home made spaghetti sauce is brutal to make in the heat of summer. (I've done it before as a requested birthday meal and can attest to the brutality of it!)

But it's not the white hot sun of summer, is it? It's the softer, warm sun of fall. It's a crisp evening walk and the smell of colder things to come. It's the perfect time to pull out my recipes and put aside all the salad ones I didn't make and dig through the soups and stews that I want to make. Spaghetti doesn't need a recipe. I've been making it for 17 years. I've mostly got it memorized!

Last night I made chicken and dumplings. I'm not sure if this is a soup or a stew, but it doesn't matter. I'm eating it for the dumplings.

And it was good.

Welcome fall! You've got a lot of good things going for you.

I'm still refusing to pull out tights until the first of October.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

It's A Spider Morning

It's 7:30 in the morning, the kids are gone to school, exercise is over and I was sitting down to enjoy my coffee when I heard Olive and Sarah making weird upset barks. Yips. Not their usual frenzied barking.

I open the front door and start to step out to see if they are okay, when a big something falls straight down in front of my eyes. I jump back in the house and it is a big spider (not the biggies that roam our house emerging from under the couch to casually stroll across the living room, but those regular big ones that live outside). It almost touched me! Like it was right, RIGHT, in front of my eye.

So, it's slowing dropping to the ground and I think it's coming in on this side of the door, I've got to get it out. I grab a book and decide to just whack it. I'll kill it and feel slightly bad, but whatevs. It's just a spider. I whack it, smashing it between the book and the door jam, and it disappears. No spider guts on book or jam.

I look down, there it is, just laying on the porch. I stomp my foot by it, nothing. It's dead. I walk out, the dogs are super upset about the squirrel (I think it's been eating nuts in our yard again) and as I walk back in I think, that spider does not look smashed. I hope I didn't injure it but leave it alive.

I get the book and nudge it.

Oh yes. Hurt bad, but not dead. It does a broken leg dragging scrabble thing and I feel terrible. I have to kill it, put it out of it's misery.

That second smashing was so awful.

I don't even like spiders. What is wrong with me, that the older I get, the less I am inclined to smash things?

Monday, September 20, 2010

It Was The Spider's Fault


A spider made me drive so crazy, almost onto the sidewalk.

See, I was driving home from work, minding my own business. I had no idea that while I was working, a spider decided that the perfect place for a web was between the antenna and the windshield. I did not notice until after I'd rolled down all my windows and was zipping along, singing with the radio.

It wasn't the spider, exactly, that got my attention. It was his shadow bobbing up and down on the passenger seat that alerted me to my uninvited passenger. I started looking for the cause of it, and I may have been swerving onto the shoulder before I saw the spider outside of the car.

A frantic rolling up of the window almost saved me but for a gust of wind that knocked the web down, flinging the spider into the open window, which may have resulted in eeps of squeaks from me before I safely secured a spider free car.

Upon which I realized I was moving from the shoulder, and the sidewalk was looming.

I was lucky to have a clear roadway to correct myself with no witnesses.

But I just want to have it be known. It was the spider. I don't usually drive like that.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Crane Flies Are Pure Evil

I hate crane flies. They have those creepy dangling legs and they bob around the room, weaving in and out of eyesight. They have no concept of personal space and all too often are way too close to me.

Last night, after some girly screams, my husband tiredly killed three.

Tonight, just as the last few minutes of a dinner I grudgingly cooked were coming together, I found a crane fly in my dinner.

It was floating in all it's disgusting glory, ruining dinner.

I said it.

Ruining dinner.

I am not starving enough to eat bugs.

Luckily, it was just a sauce that goes over the chicken. So it was just pennies worth of ingredients that I tossed out.

And luckily, my husband took pity on me and ordered pizza. The rest of dinner can easily go in the fridge. Tonight I don't have to keep cooking, amidst the threat of a crane fly invasion.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

10 Things I Like About Me

Everyone is quick to judge themselves. We could all toss off a list of 10 things we hate about ourselves in the blink of an eye.

It's so much harder to make a list of what we LIKE about ourselves! I think like list should be mandatory. Everyone should make a list and tape it to their mirror so they see it, every day, every time they gaze upon their reflection.

I'm not trying to promote big headedness (the serious problem of thinking you are super fantastic until your head is too big to fit under a hat, let alone a bushel). I am well aware of my faults and flaws. Some days I just need to have a reminder from myself to be less critical....

It's usually a day filled with hormone crazies, but isn't that the day I need it the most?

So here goes.

10 Things I Like About Me, in no particular order:

1. my hair
2. my freckles
3. my toes
4. my calves
5. my shoulders.
Golly, this is harder than I thought....
6. my nose
7. my lips
8. my girls
9. my tattoos (I'm counting it because I love to see them on my skin!)
10. my curves

Whew. Double Whew. Whew times 10.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Toodles To The Summer That Wasn't

Summer of 2010, I miss you. I miss the way it should have been. There were not enough hot days, river days, spritzing water days. There were not enough BBQ nights, drinking beer nights, tiki torch nights. There were not enough slow sunny mornings, porch sitting mornings, coffee and a doughnut mornings.

Although, not having a doughnut was probably good for my body, it was bad for my soul!

I've barely turned around to look at the time, and Summer of 2010, you are slipping away. You are almost out the door! I'm not ready for fall!

I'm only accepting fall because I have no choice. Inside, I'm kicking and screaming, holding onto the last of summer with all ten fingers.

I think we will throw some logs in the fire pit and roast hot dogs for dinner. Cook up ten ears of fresh corn. Smother everything in ketchup or butter and eat ice cream for dessert. Bid Summer of 2010 a bon voyage, with lots of well wishes and thanks for the camping trips we took, the birthdays we celebrated, the good times we enjoyed the heck out of.

Even if it's raining.

Even if it's 55 degrees out.

That's why we have jackets with hoods! Isn't? For our Pacific Northwest Summers!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

The Blackberries I DO Want

By my previous post, one might think I want those big, hulking, common blackberries that one can find growing on every side road in America.

Not so, my friends. I am a blackberry snob.

I want the little wild mountain blackberries, the ones worth their weight in gold...times 100.

They are that good!

And that hard to find.

Those precious tiny drops of heaven are what I really want. I will settle for the other when the little ones are scarce.

I have searched hither and yon, lagging behind my Mom, searching for the distinctive trailing vine of the Rubus Ursinus. It's back breaking work, with treacherous footing, and the threat of bears is actually pretty real, and I'd go right this minute if someone called to say they'd found a patch.

Some people are aware of what poison ivy looks like. For me, it's the little wild mountain blackberry. I'd know that prickly vine anywhere.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

The Blackberries I Don't Want

The blackberries I don't want are the suicidal ones. The kamikaze berries that leap off the vine and fall into my hand or onto the ground. The ones that can not bear to be attached to that prickly harness one more second.

Those berries are suspect to me. I don't like how eager they are to be trod upon or eaten.

I like the ones that take a little bit of a tug to free. The ones that have a bit of a tartness to them.

I am going to drown them in sugar anyway, so tart is okay.

The soft jumpers are no good. They feel bad in my hand, I can only imagine how awful their texture will be in my mouth.

No thanks. I'll stick to the berries that want to live. Having to fight a little to get them makes them taste all that much better!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Remembering Nine Years Ago Today

It is so funny how time does make things easier to bear....the images we saw nine years ago were so devastating, I never thought I could think about it without crying.

And I must admit during a SNL tribute show to the 2000's (I know, right, that was just last year, why a tribute?) but they talked about 9/11 and I was moved to tears. Who doesn't remember Mayor Giuliani and Lorne Michaels on stage, surrounded by dusty fire fighters and paramedics and police, and making a joke that we all chuckled at. It really felt like we had been waiting for permission to laugh, and now it was okay to start finding things in life to enjoy again.

It's easier to bear, but I have not forgotten.

Especially when I was looking through old photographs with my husband and we found a picture of us, with the New York skyline silhouetted behind us, the Twin Towers standing tall and proud.

No, I will not forget.

I am raising children who will not forget.

The lives lost on 9/11 and in all the battles since then will be remembered by me and mine.

Friday, September 10, 2010

I Have Been French Kissed By Olive 100 Times Too Many

I love dogs. I know that on occasion, in their excitement, I might get a lick to my face that comes dangerously close to my mouth. I don't love dogs that much.

But Olive has got some kind of super bionic tongue that no matter how I tried to avoid it, I end up with it darting into my mouth.

It is as horrible as it sounds.

And yet, when she looks at me with her lovely brown eyes, and her big foxy tail starts to wag, I can't resist picking her up for a cuddle.

Which will usually involve her tongue.

So it's my fault really.

But she's so fluffy and cute!

It's a catch 22.

One that I will continue to fall onto the side of "ewww" because she is so darling and has some sort of super cuteness powers that make me love her even when she's chewed up my hairbrush and flip flops and licks a bit too much!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

It's The First Day Of School

And I feel sick to my stomach as always. I thought once I was done with schooling for myself, I would never feel that way again. I hadn't counted on empathy pains on my children's first days of school.

As I was laying on the couch this morning, queasy as all get out, nervous as a Beagle getting her nails trimmed, my daughter started our school year off with a bang.

Where's her ASB card? The one she needs to have on her person every day at school? Five crazed minutes later, I find it in a pair of discarded jeans on her bedroom floor. Whew. Well, at least I don't feel so queasy any more. Getting up and doing something energized me.

She leaves and I decide the best thing for a mostly unqueasy stomach is, you got it, buttered toast. And just as I was sitting down to enjoy my treat, my daughter texts me.

Um, she left her summer homework at home. Could I bring it up to the school? Like, before first period? Like, now?

Like, I was trying to get my breakfast! Like, I'll totally scarf it down and speed walk up to the school with unbrushed hair and teeth. It wasn't as embarrassing as I thought it would be.

Plus, by the time I got home, the adrenaline rushing through my system after that don't be late to school walk has got me feeling pretty fine.

The worst part of all of this is tomorrow is my sons first day of school. Hello queasy stomach. I knew you couldn't be gone for good.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Is It Possible To Walk 3 Dogs And Not Look Crazy?

And the answer is, nope. The three dogs to one person ratio makes you look totally nutso.

Doesn't help at all that the dogs are pulling your arms every which way, and when they appear to be walking nicely, they are really weaving a cats cradle with their leashes, hoping to catch your legs up....

I am speaking from experience, so I can say it's crazy.

Let's not even go into how many doggy clean up bags I have swinging heavily as I try to hold the leashes and the bags and figure out how many blocks it is until the next garbage can.....

Even crazier, I'd walk my dogs right now if I could, baggies, tangles, super dog powers, and all!

Friday, September 3, 2010

I Have Yet To Grow A Sunflower

I have tried for years to grow sunflowers. I love seeing their tall stalks, their yellow sun faces, nodding in the breeze.

I want one.

Or a whole package of seeds planted in my flowerbeds.

And yet, not one has grown. Years of planting the seeds and not seeing anything sprout has led me to believe that I will never grow sunflowers. At first I thought it was me. I tend to just tear open a seed packet and sprinkle them over dirt, give it a slight raking over, and soak with water. Not exactly according to most directions.

So this year I carefully read the packets. I planted everything by the rules. My veggie garden is going gangbusters, so I obviously can plant seeds that grow.

Just not sunflowers.

Now I have moved beyond tossing out seeds, beyond following instructions and have started researching why my seeds aren't sprouting....

Ah Ha! I thought the squirrels in our yard look particularly fat and sassy!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

It Skips A Generation

I love dogs. Intensely. My Mom isn't as fond of them, but my Grandma has always shared my passion with me. We've joked that some things skips a generation....

And I've found what has skipped me and landed on my son.

As a kid, I remember my Mom moving furniture around the house, rearranging couches and chairs and hope chests and usually it was all by herself and it never mattered what time it was. If the urge to change things came on, it was changing time. I grew up knowing I could move anything I wanted if I just used my leg muscles. An adult now, I don't really move furniture. Only when I have to, like with the addition of a lovely piano.

But guess who I called to help me figure out how to squeeze that music box in my living room? Yep. My Mom. Queen of furniture arranging! And I have not varied from that arrangement for the last couple of years. It is perfect.

Last night my son came downstairs and asked if I remembered offering to trade desks with him. Um, yes. Before that monster of a desk went up to his room, before it took two men to get it up there, I did offer to trade the roll top desk in my room for it......Was that offer still open? I guess, but how on earth will that desk come downstairs at 10pm?

He'll do it with Dad.

How does Dad feel about that? My gracious husband said sure, and after we emptied desks, moved enough dust around to make the air thick with it, shoved furniture out of the way and scratched up walls, the desks were switched around.

I fell asleep listening to my son moving things around in his room upstairs and it was a nostalgic feeling. It reminded me of being a kid, listening to my Mom do the same thing.

Mom, met your first Grandson, furniture mover extraordinaire!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Pardon Me, There's A Snail In My Salad

I understand that growing your own veggies leads to all sorts of dirt and bugs that you wouldn't ordinarily find on your grocery produce. And I thought I was totally cool with that. This is not my first year of veggie growing, after all. I've seen things and still eaten my veggies afterwards.

Until now. A few weeks ago I was making a new recipe, a lettuce salad with chicken and a Thai dressing. I have so much lettuce in our garden and the weather was warm, so it's perfect. I've got all the lettuce soaking in a huge bowl, and as I take them out I even give them a rinse.

My next handful of lettuce to be rinsed felt weird, like it was a big mess of clinginess. I looked down and dropped the handful in the sink. It was a poor snail, now very waterlogged and not good looking.

I scooped him into a cup and asked my son to take him outside wherever. Come to think of it, I have no idea where the snail ended up. I tossed out some of that lettuce in the sink because it was weirdly slimy, but continued on with my rinsing and washing and drying and spinning.

All with the snail utmost in my thoughts.

When it came time to eat dinner, I could barely do it. The dressing tasted fine, but it was so heavy it made all the lettuce and chicken roll up into a sticky slime ball. It was very snail slime-esque.

I continue to eat my lettuce almost every night at dinner. I'm very proud of how lovely it looks. But on the inside, I'm crying a little. That snail will haunt my love of salad.

Needless to say, now every leaf of lettuce gets a thorough inspection in the garden patch. There will be no more snails drowning in my salad bath. I hope and pray.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

It's Come Down To This....

The final choice as to how my day is going to shape up.....

Should I go wash the dishes and fold the laundry and sweep up what looks like an entire dog made out of dust bunnies.....

Or should I reheat some coffee and sit down on my big comfy couch and read my book?

Decisions, decisions!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

I'm Feeling A Bit Mother Bearish

Isn't this cute? A Mother Bear and her Cub, all sweet and nice and loving.

The thing with a Mother Bear is that she does not like to be poked with a stick. And whoa be it to the person who dares to poke at her child with a stick.

Fierce is the nicest word to describe it.

I feel just a bit Mother Bearish right now. And as you often find out as a human mother, this is something I just have to let my child work on. I want to run in with guns blazing, eyes glaring and teeth gnashing, but I won't.

I am going to daydream of those things though.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

I Love John Cusack

I love John Cusack.

I loved him before he stood in his trench coat holding his boom box over his head. Although, that was pretty awesome! Go Team Lloyd!

I have loved him ever since I was 10 years old, in the 5th grade, and saw The Journey of Natty Gahn. Sure, that movie was kick ass in it's own right, but John Cusack in that fedora was super dreamy.

What can I say? I'm a sucker for a drifter in a fedora.......

Saturday, August 21, 2010

My Dad's Favorite Cake

For a lot of people, knowing that your Dad loved German Chocolate cake and asked for it every birthday, is no big deal. It's like knowing your favorite color is green.

But my Dad died when I was four years old and I don't really know that much about him. I recently told my mom how much it means to me, how the best gifts she's ever given me, are stories or tidbits of information about him.

Like when she sees a certain smile my son gives in a picture and she says that is so your Dad, I am thrilled.

For me to learn that he loved a cake I find positively disgusting is actually a really cool thing.

It's the cake my son picked for his special birthday treat.

This is not a sad post. This is a post rejoicing in family! It's funny how generations are all bound together by more than looks.....and I find that completely wonderfully awesome.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Please Come Back Bats....

The mosquitoes are killing me!

I never really complained when you came into the house and hung on walls or swooped around ceiling fans. I may have been freaked out of my mind, but I wasn't mad. I swear!

I never killed you or asked anyone to kill you. I tried to get you out of the house as safe and unharmed as possible. Even set you down outside away from where the dogs could get you.

In return for all that niceness, I have certain expectations of you. I except to be able to sit outside at night and not get eaten alive by mosquitoes.

And let me tell you bats, you are missing out on some good bugs. The mosquitoes this year are the size of baby elephants and could feed your family and all your in-laws too.

So, please, Bats, wherever you went, please come back. I truly miss you.

Or, I truly miss being bug bite free. Pass the calamine lotion please.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

What Do You Do When....

What do you do when someone friend requests you on Facebook and his name is familiar and you have 7 friends in common and you can find his picture in your old high school yearbook but you are pretty sure you never talked to him and you can't dredge up any memories of actually having been in contact with him at all in real life....

Seriously. What do you do?

Worse, since all 7 friends we have in common are actual friends outside of Facebook, you start to wonder if your memory is going and you had classes with this guy or maybe he knew one of your younger siblings and he hung out at your house and you just can't remember.....


Maybe it's too early to be looking at Facebook and you need to drink more coffee and kick start your brain before making any life changing friend request decisions......

Now that sounds like a good plan!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Mom Senses Came With The Membership

Fifteen years ago today, August 16, I joined team Motherhood.

And as I look at my son today, I can not believe he was that little meowing baby, with tiny fingers and toes and a slightly misshaped head, that danced when he heard the Simpsons theme song that first night of his life.

Man, he was darling. Took my breath away just looking at his sleepy eyes and his bubble gum checks.

When his sister was born, I marveled at the fact that,yes, indeed, for reals and trues, she was a girl. A daughter! With massive amounts of dark hair capping a perfect chubby faced sweat pea. The bliss of holding her is indescribable and the fact that she loved to bite from the day one is something that makes me laugh now!

I know, some people wonder how they could love a second baby as much as they love the first, but I never wondered. I knew I would love each child of ours with the same fierce love.

And I have. Bit harder now, when they are growing and wanting a little less of my Mom sense to tingle when something is wrong....but that's what happened the day he was born. I got Mom senses and I can't turn them off!

That extra sense I didn't know I had and the stretch marks I wish to heck I didn't came with the membership to team Motherhood.

Best thing I ever joined.

Friday, August 13, 2010

I Miss Liquid Manure

Right-o. I never in a million years thought I'd say that, but I do miss liquid manure.

Now, to truly understand what I'm talking about, you have to be from a dairy town or a farm town. You have to remember driving down the two lane road and seeing liquid brownish green gunk being sprayed on the fields. You have to have smelled that smell so much, it became synonymous with 'home'.

Then you have to drive down that same road, through those same fields, and smell whatever the heck they are putting on those fields now. It's not good, old fashioned manure. It smells like a cross between dead, rotting carcasses and rank diarrhea.

It's permeates the car, it gets in the back of your throat and you can taste how awful it is....

So, you betcha. I miss liquid manure. I'm thinking of starting a petition to bring back that heavenly scent! Who's with me?

Thursday, August 12, 2010

I Am A Mother Of Teenagers

Holy Toledo!

How did my kids get to be teenagers while I am still so young?

Today we heard a preview for a movie we'd given thought to seeing, but it's rated pg-13 and I started to tease the kids by saying too bad you are not old enough.....

My husband softly said both kids are teenagers now.

I literally looked like this:

And screamed accordingly.

I'm just saying it was shocking.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

I Will Never Yell Bingo

But that's okay!

If I was playing Bingo (big if since I do not like to play games) and I got a Bingo, I would just ignore it.

And instead of feeling embarrassed about that quirk, because it's not a supposed situation....I have played Bingo as a kid and never won even when I could have, I have decided to embrace it. So what if I don't yell Bingo?

I am 36 years old today and will no longer be shackled by my lack of desire to yell Bingo!

I'm too busy yelling other things.....

Be Careful!
Dinner time!
Have a good day!
What were you thinking?
Crap to heck!
Emma! Sarah! Olive!
Stop Barking!
There's a Moth!!

I may be Bingo-less by choice, but I like to think my life is one big win!


Monday, August 9, 2010

I Never Feel More Like Suzy Homemaker Than When....

I have filled the freezer with provisions.

After spending an hour pouring over recipes and making a two week menu plan, then going through the cupboards and making my grocery list, I shop the commissary for bargains and deals. Granted, being the commissary, it already has bargains and deals, but like every store, it will clearance or mark down items.

What I really want is chicken on sale. I know. I hate raw chicken. But if I can get lucky and find it on a clearance sale, I will buy it up.

Yesterday was my lucky day.

Or unlucky because I really do hate dealing with raw chicken.

As I stood in front of the chicken, looking at packages and prices, I discovered boneless skinless chicken breasts on half price sale. Yippee! I grabbed those packages. On an even better sale were packages of chicken tenderloins. Usually I avoid these because of that weird tendon thingy that turns my stomach, but for $1 a pound, how could I walk away?

I couldn't. I bought lots. I came home, put it in the fridge and cooked dinner. Then I wanted to sit down and read book number 76 of the year, but I couldn't. That raw chicken was calling to me. I chopped it up (pulling that horrible white thing out of every single piece) and cooked it. Now I have the freezer stocked full of cooked chicken, ready to toss into a stir-fry or roll into a chimichanga at a moments notice.

I feel like a domestic queen! A slightly nauseated one, since all that raw chicken was really not nice, but still, a queen!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

The Joys Of A Camping Life

I always wanted to love camping. The idea of sleeping outside, cooking over a fire, smelling woodsmoke and burned hot dogs and the scent of the wild outdoors all pleased me.

The actual doing, not so much.

Turns out, I am a puss-puss baby. I like my comforts. I like a soft bed and two pillows and a place to sit that is bird poop free....

When my husband and I bought our tent trailer, I was thrilled. A real bed! With room for pillows and blankets and a mini fridge and lights and it was a dream come true.

The first year we had it, I counted the times we used it to make sure we were using it well. I didn't want it to be a frivolous purchase. After we took it to Alaska and back, I knew we were hooked. Camping in a new place every night takes on a whole new wonderful meaning when you aren't setting up a tent and blowing up air mattresses...when you just pop up your trailer and all of your things are stored ready and waiting.

We have turned into a road travelling family. We love the camping life! A new place every night, a new adventure around the corner.....and it's not just about what we see. Our CD player broke during this trip, and instead of the kids just plugging into their ipods, we all talked; we joked; we laughed until we couldn't breath (that might have just been me and it scared the kids but they shouldn't be so funny!); our son became our very own book on tape and read a couple Sherlock Holmes to us....

Smores and campfires and giant moths and bats swooping over our heads and pit toilets that suck toilet paper in and magnificent views and hidden covered bridges and driftwood shaped like a fork are all part of the joys, but by far, the most joy filled part is just spending time with the family.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Seventeen Years Ago Today....

Seventeen years ago today I did something that changed my life forever, for the good and for the better.

I said, "I Do."

When you find the right person for you, it's the right person for you whether you are 16 or 36 and all the years between and all the years to come....I'm glad we were smart enough to know that way back then and not waste a moment of this wonderful life we've been given.

Husband of mine, I love you.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

A Windshield View

Every family road trip will find me peering out the windshield, camera at hand, waiting for the perfect windshield view to take a picture. I'm looking for a picture that will stand alone in our scrapbook of the trip, one that will define what we saw and did.....

We started our trip off with lots and lots of typical Seattle/Tacoma traffic....

We crossed over into Oregon on our favorite huge bridge into Astoria....

A side road off Hwy 101 that called to us, saying ocean views this way & delivered as promised...

Breathtaking views of the Oregon Coast, that made us fall in love with the ocean all over again...

A view of my sister and brother in law's finally working trailer lights.....

The Avenue of the Giants....Redwoods so tall it's impossible for words to describe.....

Possibly the only straight stretch of Hwy 1......

Or our first view of the Golden Gate Bridge, complete with fog.....

I have too many choices this time! Too many different aspects of our trip! And I can honestly say, having too many memories I want to hold onto is definitely not a bad thing....
It is a sign of a trip well traveled.