Thursday, June 30, 2011

Cold Weather Wins

It is 50 degrees outside right now. And it's raining. Everything is wet and kind of cold.

I closed all the windows yesterday when it became clear that we were in for a cold, wet day. I put on my sweatshirt and long pants and socks. I weakened and said maybe would should turn the heat back on.

The kids gave me a pretty good imitation of myself, declaring our furnace off for the summer. Including the warning I gave to anyone who thought they might turn on the heat, just for their showers.....

So I wore winter pajamas to bed and was warm and toasty.

Until I got up this morning. BRRR!

I figured I'd warm up as I exercised. I did. I was hot and sweaty and considered, briefly, of turning on the fan. Thank goodness I did not. Because after a bit, I was back down to really, really, really cold.

And the thought of taking a shower in that walk in freezer we call a bathroom was so horrific, I caved. I turned on the furnace.

Cold weather, you win. I can only force myself to believe summer is here for so long, when I'm faced with the physical proof that it is not,

Goosebumps and chattering teeth = turning on the least long enough to take the edge off!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

A Sign Of Summer

A sure sign that it is summer, or that I am going to force it to be summer whether it feels like it or not, is that I have turned the furnace off.

Yep. The heat is off at our house, as of June 25.

The windows are open, even though my daughter posted on facebook that she was sooooo cold.

It might not be hot, it might even be hovering around just warm, but I am determined to treat the end of June like the start of summer.

Is my winter quilt off my bed? Well, no. I like having the fan in the window blowing chill air in all night long, and it's actually a tad brisk. I've kept the quilt on, but last night I did think it was almost time to fold it up and store it in the bottom of my closet.

Sprinklers and Popsicles anyone? It's going to hit 70 today, I just know it!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

The Teaching and The Learning

My son and I are an awful lot alike.

Except when it comes to my teaching skills and his learning from those skills. It's not even that we are oil and water and just don't mix.

We are more like gasoline and a lit match. Explosive.

It could be that we are too much alike, and his frustration is my frustration and we feed off each other. Whatever it is, the only thing I successfully taught him was how to use the toilet like a big kid.

And that was one of the hardest experiences of my life.

His learning to drive is the second hardest, beating learning to tie his shoes and riding a bike by about a million gazillion points.

He is a good and cautious driver. He is safe and smart and attentive.

I am a terrible direction giver.

By mutual consent and an epic 'pull the car over, good I don't want to drive with you' fight, we have moved Dad into the lead driving instructor. Makes me a little sad, because it is proof that I am not as calm, cool and collected as I thought I was. It has become very apparent that I am none of those things when it comes to my kids. I am passionate about them in a wildly intense way.

To the point that driving around with that much intensity sitting next to you in the passenger seat might possible be stressful.

Sorry, my first born most like me child, but the good news is I have never gotten a speeding ticket or a fender bender. I like to think that you'll take after me in that way too!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

One Of Us Is A Fickle Thing

Is it Time or is it me?

Some days Time drags on so slowly, one hour feels like three, and nothing is happening to warrant a slow in, I am not having fun, let's fast forward to the fun stuff.

But then we get to the fun stuff, the stuff I want to take my time with, to savor and enjoy and Time flies by faster than Superman, as in, faster than a speeding bullet.

Tonight our daughter graduates from eighth grade. Two years ago, when our son left middle school behind, it was exciting. High school on the horizon! Now it's our youngest, and it's not quite as exciting.

It's always been that way for me. The oldest going first, forging the way, and each new step is so thrilling. Then our youngest starts to make those same steps and my excitement is bittersweet.

I can think this is the last day in preschool, or elementary school, or middle school. This is the last moment I have a baby, a toddler, a pre-teen. But it's the other moments that slip by that I would really like Time to slow it's roll, like the last moment a snuggle up was asked for, the last time blankie made an appearance, the last time little legs claimed exhaustion and begged to be carried.....

Those are the moments I really would like to have Time slow down on. Not just a slow down, but maybe Time could tap me on the shoulder and whisper in my ear, "This is the moment you want to remember."

Because, I, in all my fickle glory, tend to race through those moments with my thoughts on what will happen next.

I think I felt Time tapping, and I know I heard a whispered reminder. Watching my almost 14 year old daughter gracefully move through a crowd of her peers, her confidence and poise and all around loveliness shining bright, this is a moment I want to remember.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Emma Has Been Ill

Stop the presses! Stop everything! Nothing should be getting done until Emma is back in the Beagle glow of good health.

I think it's harder on me as a Mom when the dogs are sick. With the kids, they have voices and are able to articulate what is wrong. With the dogs, if one doesn't come running for dinner, then something might be wrong.

And when you find the one who is skipping dinner, nested in your bed, and you turn on the lights to see if she's okay and your first thought when you see her drooping eye lid and excessive drool, is Oh My God, she's had a stroke, and your next thought is her non-drooping eye is jacked up and you start to make emergency calls to the vet because with animals, you just don't know.

Did she eat something toxic? Is this the aftermath of a seizure? It really looks like a stroke. What do you do for a dog who has had a stroke?

All those thoughts, and of course the worst ones (what if the vet says there is no hope) ran through my head as my husband and I bundled our almost six year old Beagle into the car, leaving our two kids at home with the other two dogs. Everyone was worried, except Emma, who was just in terrible pain.

Our vet checked us out and sent us on to an emergency care office because we needed to get some tests run ASAP to rule out things like toxins, strokes, and seizures. My husband kept saying she was going to be okay, and I said if the vet tells us we have to put her down, we aren't doing it tonight.

We are two sides of the same coin, he chooses to be the sunnier side, and I naturally fall onto the gray sky side, but that's part of why we're still working after 20 years!

It was a stressful night, but when we got the good news that it's just an eye condition that can even affect people, we were so relieved. Not that it's "just" an eye condition. It is a terribly painful thing where Emma's pupils have shrunk down to pinpoints and don't react to light and she was virtually unable to see. We got home at 11pm, with two kinds of eye drops and a bottle full of doggy pain meds.

No medical marijuana, and my husband did ask.

I haven't gone home at lunch on a work day in quite a while, but I am this week. Just to make sure Emma is okay, and to give her some eye drops. She's on the fence about whether seeing me is a good thing. On one hand, good because she gets her lunch at lunch time, on the other hand, bad because she hates, hates, hates her eye drops.

Stressful, worrisome, and I still wouldn't trade my dogs for anything.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Terrorized In My Own Home

I am being terrorized by a crane fly. For reals, yo.

I was sitting here minding my own business when I felt some tickling on my neck and chest. I thought to myself, self, don't freak out. It's just wisps of your long hair wisping around in the breeze.

So I brushed at it, and realized instantly my hair does not have a solid body and legs and wings. I batted it away in the time honored tradition of crazy slapping hands and panicked body contortions, to discover as it bopped away it was a Crane Fly.

Imagine screams here.

In my rush to get it off me, I knocked one of those legs off and it was stuck on my shirt. Imagine more screams now.

I sat here with my heart pounding, feeling like I've been contaminated when I heard it buzzing around on the table. Literally on the freaking table.

The only things close to me to use to kill it were my book, my daughters wallet, the phone and my coffee cup. I didn't want to have bug guts on any of that, so I didn't kill it.

But that means it's loose somewhere. Flopping around, at least one leg lost, and I feel that where it had touched my bare skin is on fire. Like it's got an infectious disease that it has passed on to me.

Or it could be from the insane amount of scratching I just did.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

I'm Dog Crazy But Not Selfish

On Sunday, after church, my son announced that he needed to go to a book store to find a birthday present for a friend. He came home, researched on the computer and knew what book he wanted. We drove 20 minutes to the mall, only to discover that I was right about it having a book store, but wrong about which book store it was.

And it did not have the book he wanted.

That did not stop us from looking all around, up and down, over and under the store. We love books and could have spent tons of money, but all of us were being responsible. So we left empty handed and went across the street to the used book store.

And the first book I saw, I wanted. I tried to put it down, but I couldn't. It was the perfect book for me and I wanted it very much. But I wasn't there to buy books, or if I was I should be buying a book for Father's Day.

Ah-ha! I could give this book to my hubby for Father's Day. I know he'll like it as much as me......but I couldn't do it. It would be like Homer giving Marge a bowling ball with the name 'Homer' engraved on it....we'd all know the book was really mine. That's a terrible kind of gift to give!

Instead, I hugged it close to my heart and bought it with a grin. I wasn't sure what price it was, but after a brief flip through of the pages, I knew I'd buy it even it it was $50. Luckily I didn't have to face that decision! It was $7.50 and I gladly paid it.

Literally a picture of book of A Thousand Dogs. I love it. It is mine.

And the real reason I couldn't give it to my husband for Father's Day is not that it is a book perfect for me. It is that I could not wait until Father's Day, until after the giftee had looked through it, to read it. I came home and sat down on the couch with my book of dogs and I enjoyed the heck out of it!

To finish the story, my son found the books he was looking for. It was a happy day for all!

Friday, June 10, 2011

The Last Meeting Is Bittersweet

I have been a PTA member since my son started Kindergarten. I remember filling out my first membership form, writing my first check out to the PTA for membership dues, voting for the first time (for playground equipment that years later when the school was remodeled/rebuilt, got trashed as unsafe!).

When my daughter started Kindergarten two years later, I started a new phase as a PTA member. I was vice president. I remember being asked to run and saying, "Sure!" then having a thousand million reasons why I should have said no. First and foremost, I had no idea what a vice president for the PTA did, or actually, any idea what the whole board was doing besides giving the membership choices on playground equipment.

I was sick with worry all that summer, but in September I stepped into a role that I had no idea I would love so much. Since that worrisome first step, I have sat on a PTA board every year for nine years. I went all the way through elementary school going from VP to Treasurer to President, back to Treasurer (my favorite job!) and then headed over to the middle school where I was secretary and this final year, President.

I have loved my years with the PTA, not because of the state and national works, but because at my school level I could see the good we did. I helped raise the funds to purchase an entire new playground to go with our new school. I ran concessions for movie nights, family fun nights, pumpkin carving nights. I had a hand in getting a new book to every student who attended our book reading night. I saw first hand how much a new shredder or a new laminator were appreciated by the staff. I sat in the library year after year and saw the shelves filling up with books I helped bring in with our twice yearly book fairs.

And last night I sat in that library and adjourned the last meeting I will attend for PTA.

It was bittersweet. It doesn't seem possible that I am done, but at the same time I am ready for a break. It's been a great, wonderful journey and I've loved almost every minute of it. I'm going to miss it, except for the nights I'm scrambling to get my agenda together and the meeting starts in 30 minutes. I won't miss that!

Next year I will have two kids in high school, no PTA, but there is a Booster Club........

I've got all summer to recharge and think about joining that!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Eating A Brownie For Breakfast

Last night my daughter made brownies for dessert. They are good, and I ate one after dinner.

This morning, I poured my cup of coffee and saw those brownies. You know what's great with coffee? A brownie!

I took a biggish middle piece (I hate edge pieces and holy smokes, don't get me started on how truly disgusting a corner piece is...unless it's a corner piece of cake covered in frosting.....) and took a bite as I walked to the computer to check emails.

And promptly inhaled a large crumb of brownie and started coughing and gasping and my eyes were watering and I was not having a good time. It was so bad my daughter asked if I was okay.

I'm fine, honey, just being punished for eating a brownie for breakfast!

Don't worry. I'm fine and after I stopped coughing, I finished my brownie. My coffee still felt like it needed a brownie companion!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Just Gets Better The Second Day

I am not too shabby in the cooking department. I make a great spaghetti sauce from scratch, my meatloaf is the best thing ever and just yesterday I improvised with a beloved recipe when I didn't have all the ingredients.....and I made it better!

I tend to not do fried foods because, first off, that grease is hot and snappy! I do not like to get burned, even for delish food. Second, but of much less importance, fried foods are not so good for you. I'll do fried chicken for special occasions (mmm, fried chicken, might have to put that on the menu for this month!) and bacon, but for goodness sake, bacon is so freaking good. How could I give it up? Even if I was a "vegetarian" I would still sneak bacon on the side!

So when I saw a recipe for taquitos, I was very hesitant. It's fried. It's filling a flour tortilla and rolling it up and not having it come undone in hot oil. It's complicated. But in an effort to stem our insane urge to eat out, I try to find dishes that will make us feel like we've had a treat but without the whole throwing money away thing.

Well, OMG, I bet you can guess how this story goes! These things have turned into a family favorite! I don't even follow the recipe anymore. I tweaked it until it's not even the same thing, except that I love the picture that came with the recipe, so it is taped into my cook book. I love to eat one at dinner when they are crispy and hot and the cheese is melting out of them.....

But, honestly? I think they just get better the second day. Cold. Straight from the fridge. Just me and my guilty pleasure standing in the kitchen, the dogs dancing around me with hope in their hearts. Sorry, girls, it's too good. I'm going to eat it all.

But first, I'll put it on a paper plate and take a picture for posterity. This batch turned out superb! I want to remember the pleasure the first bite is.
This love of a cold taquito might have something to do with cleaning the house (dusting, sweeping, mopping) for hours and forgetting to eat something at lunch time. By the time the floors dried and I went into the kitchen I was a smidge delirious with hunger.

Only a little bit is the result of delirious hunger. My taquito is really better the second day!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

The Shoes I Want Versus The Shoes I Should

Today I got ready for work and the shoes I want to wear had stopped calling my name. It was more like they were screaming my name. In crazy high decibels that almost were too high for my human ears. I picked out a cute outfit and the shoes insisted they would be perfect with it.

They were right.

The problem is they are open toe, high heel, sling back. Not exactly office material.

But they are so darn cute!

My daughter and I found them on clearance for $20. And since we wear the same size, it's like I'm saving money when I buy a pair that the two of us love. One pair for two people. (I'm trying this logic out on my husband to see if it he is convinced! I'm not sure that he is.)

I put the shoes on. I took them off. I put them on and walked around the house. I took them off. I put them on and looked at myself in the mirror and yes, they went with my skirt like they were made to be paired together. I took them off.

And in the end, I went with my nice, sensible work heels. Not to high, not too drab, easy to walk two blocks up hill and back when I have an errand to run.

But all day long I thought of the ones I left behind. The shoes I wanted to wear!

I think it's time to go out on a date, dress up a little, wear my lovely new shoes..... Now that is logic I know my husband can get behind!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Does It Really Count?

I brought back a ton of salt water taffy and other assorted candy from Seaside. It has filled a giant bowl normally reserved for popcorn almost full to the top.

My husband suggested he was going to limit his intake to four pieces a day, to pace himself and allow a chance to savor the candy, to really enjoy it.

Good idea! I can do that too!

That being said, I ate TEN pieces last night. It was just so freaking good, I went a little nuts.

Today, I am back on the four pieces of candy band wagon, but hard candy doesn't really count, right?

It's like totally the lowest form of candy. You wouldn't count a tic-tac as candy, would you? And since it is NOT the soft, chewy delicious taffy I am craving, I say it doesn't count towards the 4 piece limit.

Now to see if I have anything besides peppermint in my purse!