Friday, September 30, 2011

My 14 Song Playlist

Due to popular demand I will post my Songs I Just Love Playlist to satisfy everyone's curiosity....and by everyone, I mean my sister who asked!

In no particular order, especially since I love to shuffle:

Brand New Key by Melanie Safka
I Don't Believe You by Pink
So What by Pink
No Children by The Mountain Goats
Hallelujah by Rufus Wainwright
Whole Wide World by Wreckless Eric
Jar Of Hearts by Christina Perri
It's The Little Things by Sonny & Cher
I Got You Babe by Sonny & Cher
A Bad Goodbye by Clint Black w/ Wynonna
She's More by Andy Griggs
Hello Mr. Heartache by The Dixie Chicks
Sweet Emmylou by Joey & Rory
It's A Heartache by Juice Newton

I just need to add a few songs by The Avett Brothers and some by Great Big Sea, and then I'll be set for months and months and months!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

On Music Playlists

After downloading every CD I could find in our house (and making a list of the ones I couldn't find but know I own...Beyonce's Single Ladies I am talking to you), I threw songs willy nilly into playlists on my iPod. Classic Country, Older Country, Country Girls, Country Boys, Oldies, Rock (which my daughter has pointed out can't be too Rocking if most of the songs come from the Shrek soundtrack), Songs I Just Love and Songs For Tears (because who doesn't need a playlist of songs that are guaranteed to make you cry?).....

My daughter told me I would get so tired of my Songs I Just Love playlist and I would regret it. Well, not so much. I LOVE those songs and would listen to that collection exclusively except then I feel guilty for the days and nights I made my daughter help me download all those other nice songs that turns out I don't love as much.

My son was saying I have 600 songs and I only listen to 20. I rushed to assure him he was so wrong. My favorite playlist is 14 songs long.

I do try to listen to other songs. I will try an album and get one song into it, and think, this is not quite what I was in the mood for. Turns out I know myself pretty well. Songs I Just Love is what I'm in the mood for!

Or sometimes Songs For Tears. I so enjoy a good Where Have You Been song.

Now I must stop thinking of playlists and iPods because I should be getting ready for work and now all I want to do is plug in and sort songs into new playlists such as Country Songs From Childhood or Songs That Make Me Want To Dance, or Songs For Romantic Candlelit Dinners.

I need a day off of work to work on this!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Somebody Hates Me

How do I know? Well, someone brought my kryptonite to the office and left it sitting in a communal dish, to share with our fellow coworkers.

Candy Corn.

My goodness, how I love candy corn. I can resist it in the store. I can walk by its lovely tri-color triangle shape and while my mouth does salivate, I do not pick up the package. But if someone else buys it, and opens the package, and the candy corn is there, open to air and ready to be eaten, well, I won't be able to resist.

If I break, and a I will because it is freaking candy corn, one piece is not enough. Handfuls are not enough. The entire bowl is not enough.

I am a Candy Corn maniac.

It's the first taste of fall, it's the start of October, it's the promise of Halloween.

And it's waiting in the office break room, just waiting for me to get a quarter cup of coffee and think, "You know what? One piece would go smashing with this coffee!" and the next thing I know, I've shoved a handful in my mouth and taken a handful back to my desk. Shameful, really, my lack of character when it comes to candy corn.

Somebody hates me, and showed it by bringing something I can't refuse. And guess what? The feelings mutual. I hate the person who brought my can't resist candy weakness!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Goodnight, Summer! Goodnight, Summer! Goodnight, Summer!

We're going to leave you now.

Or are we?

September is drawing to a close, we've hit our first official date of autumn, and Summer seemed like it was on the way out the door with some cold, wet, gray days....

And then bam! Summer threw the rules out the window and blasted us with some gorgeous hot weather, albeit a little muggy, and a day so hot it didn't cool off at all through the night.

I'm loving every minute of it! I'm going to wring out the last of the hammock swinging, the front porch reading, the sunshine sitting, and the blissful feeling that a day of warm sun provides.

That does mean the housework will be put on hold again. There will be time (all too soon if I believe the weather reports) to mop the floors when the sun isn't beckoning me to venture forth.

I've got to venture forth while I can!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Pied Piper Of Dogs

I am the Pied Piper of our Dogs.

When they get released from their crates in the morning, the first place they run is to find me in our bed. If I am up, but lets say, using the facilities, they will sit outside the bathroom door, sometimes patiently, sometimes scratching at it to hurry me up.

They sit at my feet when I do the dishes. They curl up close to me when I read my book. They stand outside the fence when I weed the veggie garden. They sprawl out in the grass next to me as I stain the fence. They rush the car when I pull into the driveway after work.

Once when we were camping, I got up in the night and Olive pushed open the trailer door and followed me to the restroom. I was a bit surprised to see a little Badger peering around the door jam. I sure got a kick out of not needing a leash for her....she never left my heels the whole trip.

But in the mornings, that is when my sirens call is the most noticeable. When I make any move that might be construed as getting up, the dogs leap out of bed. They watch me with intense eyes, follow me around the house, sit next to me at the table, and if I saw the word "walk", whoa be it if I do not immediately follow that up with tying my shoes and finding some leashes.

I don't mind. Unless it's a day I am not walking....then their sad eyes and hang dog faces make me feel sooooo guilty! We've had a great run of walking weather, but they had better prepare themselves: winter is coming!

And I can't Pied Piper the dogs on the Wii. They don't like to stand on the balance board.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Grandma Makes The Best...

Grandma makes the best chocolate chip cookies, lemon squares, rye bread, dilly beans, blackberry pie, blueberry cobbler, brownies and a superb pasta fruit salad. When I was newly married, living on the East Coast while the rest of my family stayed West, I desperately wanted Grandma's brownies. In my own baking experience, brownies came from a box, but I knew that wasn't how Grandma did it. Her brownies were from scratch.

Scratch! That was a puzzler for me, but I tried and failed and tried again and now have a from scratch brownie recipe of my own that I love.

But what Grandma makes the best, at this turning fall time of year, is caramel corn.

It is scrumptious. I don't need any other dessert, I don't need candy at Halloween, I don't need a sticky ball of popcorn. All I need is a ziploc bag filled to the brim with handfuls of Grandma's loose caramel corn, saved just for me.

What a treat it was to see her caramel corn at a family party yesterday, and have her tell me a baggy or two would be coming home with me, to know I would not have to wait until Halloween for my favorite treat!

There are some good things to be said about fall coming, and Grandma's Caramel Corn is at the top of my list!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Chasing Shade

As I begin my fence staining project, I'm not confident I'll find any shade as I work. I am starting at noon on the west side (read full sun side) of the house....and the first section of fence is in a very sun filled place. But I can see if I can just get past the first gate, I will be sitting in the shade of a big tree.

It looks like a mirage from where I sit in parched, prickly, hay colored grass.

I keep plugging away, slapping stain on pickets, gently brushing daddy longlegs off posts and slowly, slowly, slowly moving towards the promise of cool shade.

When I cross over to the other side of the gate, it is even better than I imagined. Dark and cool, shaded, with a breeze that springs up like magic and I am not quite so miserable.

But the thing with shade is it is transient. It moves. And I'm moving. And we aren't actually moving at the same pace or in the same direction.

Once again I'm in the sun, praying the sun block I slathered on won't come off with hours of baking and sweating. I look ahead....if I can just get past the second gate, I see a patch of shade waiting!

My goal is less a countdown of fence pickets left to stain, it is more the idea of working in the shade. Now that is motivation on a hot day!

Monday, September 12, 2011

A Disservice To My Future DIL

I might be doing a disservice to my future daughter in law. It just depends on how she feels about ironing dress shirts. If she loves it, then it's okay. If she hates it, well, um...that's going to be tough.

My son's wardrobe consists mainly of button up dress shirts. And they all need to be ironed before they are worn. I usually iron once a week, when I've got a sizable pile of 10-14 shirts, and I just turn on the TV and iron.

Not that I like to iron. I actually hate it. But it's got to be done, and when he's dressed in his outfit of choice, he looks so handsome, the ironing is worth it.

I had thought to have him iron his own shirts, but the one time I tried to teach him (and remember, he and I do not do that very well) I got frustrated and said I would just do it. It's easier for me to whip them out and less chance he'll burn his fingers or the house down.

I've started to give serious consideration to the fact that I will be sending him out into the world mostly clueless as to how to iron a shirt.

Well, boot camp or a wife will take care of that. I just have to keep doing it until one or the other arrives on the scene!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Ten Years Gone, But Not Forgotten

Ten years gone, but not forgotten.

September 11 seared images into my mind that I will never un-see. I read stories that I will never un-read. I felt such horror that I will never un-feel. When I see those towers with their plumes of smoke, I immediately sink back to that September morning when I turned on the TV, like ten years have not gone by and the shock at the tragedy unfolding is still fresh.

I think it would be worse to forget.

I will not.

Not just the attacks, but on a personal front, I will always remember my husband coming home and putting on his uniform, of me stuffing things into his spit kit and encouraging the kids to write or draw a picture for Daddy to take with him, of watching him drive away and not knowing where he was going.

There are people who lost their lives through the attacks, there are people who lost their lives running in to rescue others, there are people who lost their lives in the last ten years fighting a never ending war, and each one of their lives is important to remember.

The world doesn't stop when grief strikes. It can't, otherwise it would never go again. But I really feel that September 11, 2001, the world froze in shock for a several moments.

And it when it resumed it's spinning, it was changed. We were changed.

I will walk out into the dew wet grass this morning, I will lift my eyes to the sun rising, and I will pray for loved ones lost, loved ones left behind. I will pray for wisdom and strength for leaders. I will pray for safety and protection for soldiers. I will thank God for the blessings I have.

Ten years gone, but never forgotten.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

The School Bells Are A Ringing

And I am so sad!

I have never been one of those Moms who counts down the days of summer, eager to have the kids head back to school. I hate school. Yes, still, after having been out of school for 19 years, I hate it.

I dread the first day. I feel anxious and nauseous and you'd think I was the one who had to go. I've never taken a first day back to school picture, partly because it's a day of mourning that I don't want to remember. It's not a widely held opinion, possibly only held by me, but for me it is and always will be, a sad day!

Today is the first day of high school for my daughter. High school! Last night I helped her pick out an outfit, I ironed her clothes, and we discussed how she should do her hair. We looked up the bus routes, only to become wildly confused (Route 27 is the Old Route 3 and that sort of thing) and then we were extremely thankful that we could call her bus driving Grandpa for help. She wrote the route number on her hand, and taped to our back door a list of do not forgot items.

This morning, her dad woke her up before he left for work, just to say have a good day. I skipped my walk so I could be here all morning to give encouragement and do whatever I could to calm her nerves. Before I was ready, she was putting on her backpack, getting her water bottle out of the fridge, and waving goodbye as she left for the bus stop.


Now, who is here to calm my nerves? Thank God for a cup of strong coffee and some yummy buttered toast, because all I can think about is I have to do the first day of school thing all over again tomorrow for my son.....but at least it should be easier. I ironed all his clothes yesterday and he only wears his hair one way!

Friday, September 2, 2011

So, This Is 37

I am 37.

I could focus on the downhill slide to 40. I could peer into the mirror and look for wrinkles. I could spend time worrying about anti-aging creams and lotions and fillers.

I could do all that and more, but why?

I am 37. So what? I am a spring chicken!

I am young. I am strong. I am alive and I am happy!

When my cousin turned 40 a few months ago, I watched her at the party, wondering how it feels to be 40. She is the first of the grand-kids to hit that milestone. She looks the same as always (thank God we share very good genes!) and I could imagine her smile saying, "Come on in, the water's fine!"

I'm up to my knees and I have to agree. The water is fine. Perfect, even!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

The Creature Looking At Me

10:00 PM is my witching hour. It's the time of every night that my mind and body start crying out for bed. I drag myself off the couch to do my one night time chore.

While my husband makes his lunch, gives eye drops to one dog and crates all three, turns off the lights and locks all the doors, and carries cups of water up to our thirsty kids who are in need of tucking in, I set up the pot of coffee so all he has to do is push the button on on the next morning and enjoy a cup of my super strong coffee.

I was pulling the coffee out of the fridge when I casually looked out the back door window, not expecting to see anything but the boys' project truck.....but there was a creature in the cab of the truck, staring at me through the truck window.

Holy Moly.

It was freaky with it's big eyes and tiny mouth. It looked like a opossum! In the truck! Staring right at me without blinking or moving! Frozen in what I can only hope is as much fright as froze me!

I called to my husband, a casual "there is something weird in the truck" kind of calm comment, which being the much worked on and worried over project, he quickly came to see. He stood behind me and the creature disappeared.

Oh. Um. Hmmm.

I moved him to stand a bit away from me and the thing was back! My husband and I started laughing because the second sighting was much clearer.

Not a opossum.

Just the reflection of our monkey cookie jar that just so happened to be at the right spot to appear to be in the truck cab. I'm not too proud to admit that the reflection creature's image is burned into my mind and it's pretty close to the scariest thing I've ever seen.

A opossum would have been preferred!