Friday, December 28, 2012

Why I Haven't Been Writing

In this last month of holiday prep, I've been busy with the usual things.  But I've also been working very hard on this last Christmas stocking.....

Every moment that I have to sit, I'm sewing.  And when I'm sewing, I'm watching TV.  And when I'm watching TV and sewing, my mind shuts down to any thoughts other than stitches and thread color and the suspense of GH.  If I have a blink of an eye idea of a post to write, I have forgotten it by the time I get up to stretch and do the other things in life that must be done, like cooking dinner or laundry folding.

As hard as I worked, on Christmas morning this was what I was doing:
And while it is much closer to done, it's not done.  All my free time is still devoted to the stocking.

Wishing everyone a Happy New Year a few days early.....if I'm staying up that late, I'm probably going to be sewing and not too interested in the ball dropping!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Sprinkle Me

It's Christmas Eve morning, and I am awake and starting to plan
My kids and my hubby are still in dream land.
The coffee is on and the oven is heating
The dough is chilled and ready for rolling
Cookie cutter shapes line up in a row
Santa, angel, reindeer, wreath with a bow
The dogs are awake and sniffing around
And know a small cookie will make it's way down
The aroma of baking will rise through the air
The mess I will have with sprinkles everywhere

It's Christmas Eve morning and the carols softly play
The glow of the tree lights is making me smile
The excitement and joy of this magic moment
Is why I wake up early year after year!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Self Checkout Leads To Divorce

I am a huge fan of the new self checkout lanes at our local grocery store.  Honestly, some days I just don't feel like chit-chatting and my vocabulary consists of a series of grunts.  Those days self checkout saves me from appearing like a crazed hermit come down from Mother Mountain.

My kids like self checkout.  My husband likes self checkout.  We are a family who loves to help ourselves.

That is, until my husband and I do self checkout together.

It is a sure cause of an argument in the store, and suddenly we are like that elderly couple bickering over if those apples were really galas or jonagolds.  The red light on our station starts flashing and the computer voice tells us we need the clerk to come help us.  And also, put our item back in the bag because it feels like we are trying to steal it.  My checks are burning, my husband is frustrated and I always end up abandoning him to crack silly jokes with the clerk on duty.

I pretend that I do not know that man.  He's just some no account drift I suppose.  Definitely not my husband.

After numerous mishaps with us as a couple at self checkout, we have decided for the sake of our marriage that self really does mean single, and we will join the line for the cashier.  It's really made for a much more peaceful shopping trip.

We're still like the elderly couple bickering over galas or jonagolds, but at least we don't have a red light flashing over us!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Keeping Normal

Friday my kids came home from school, with so many friends the house was pulsing with noise, but my kids stopped to ask if I'd heard the news.  I'm pretty well known for not watching or reading the news, but even I knew about the horrific top story on every one's minds and hearts.

As the evening unfolded, their friends told stories of their mother's texting them during the school day to say, "I love you".  A mom came by our house and paused a long planned party just to hug her child.  My kids questioned why I didn't text them, or stop the party so I could hug them.

Honestly, it didn't occur to me.  I send them off each day with my love and good day wishes, a text would be unusual.  A hug less so, but in the joyousness of the party, I didn't want to stop their laughter.

I firmly believe that one of my jobs as their Mom is to keep their lives as normal as possible.  We all know bad things happen in the world, but this place here, this home that smells like buttered popcorn and dogs and teenagers, that literally shakes on it's foundations with rollicking good times, this is their haven.  This is where they can come to when things are stressful and they know we will listen, love, understand, support.

Tragic events make me want to hold them tighter, to smother with love, but I will maintain this level of normal.  The party will go on, their laughter will ring out, unusual thumps will shake the whole house. I will quietly thank God for my blessings and pray for those whose lives have been changed forever.

And on Monday, I will send my kids off to school, with my love and wishes for good days at school and all my prayers.  Just like always.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

It Depends On The Weather

As I left  the office to walk to the hospital, yes I am healed up enough to walk again!, a co-worker said, "Take your time," with a wink.  I laughed and said, "It depends on the weather, ha-ha-ha," as if the wet cold rain and cutting wind would have a say in how fast I walked.

Dear friends, I lied.

When I am in the mood to mosey, the rain, the wind, the cold, none of that matters!

I felt like taking it slow, armed with my umbrella and layers of clothing, I mosied.   Yes, my tights clad legs suffered, but the rest of me enjoyed the heck out of the walk.  I avoided looking in the mirror when I got back into the office, though.  I didn't want to know what kind of rats nest the wind styled my hair!

Messy hair is a small price to pay for walk of contentment.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Breaking Rules

Today I wore a black headband in my hair.  Now, that isn't earth shattering news but it does break a personal rule I have strictly followed for as long as I can remember doing my own hair.

I've always liked my socks to match each other and my outfit.  I never wear pink and red together.  And my hair "pretties" match my clothes.

Today I am wearing a brown shirt and a black headband.  I couldn't find the brown one (does one still exist in this house?) and I was late for work.  I grabbed the black and left.

My hair looks great, but I am very aware that I'm wearing the wrong color.  The next step in this rule breaking streak will be unmatched socks.

Well, if it's laundry day and the only clean socks are the ones in the unmatched basket, that doesn't count.  That's just good housekeeping.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Putting Monday To Bed

I have tried to rejoice in Monday.  I have tried to be thankful for Monday.  I have tried to count my blessings on Monday.  But the sad hard truth is I hate Monday.

So I'm going to put this Monday to bed and try my rejoicing, thankful, blessing counting best on all the rest of the days of the week.  Tuesday feels better already!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Moving And The Importance Of Teenagers

I have helped my parents move 3 times in my adult life, and each time I have said this is it.  This is the last move until we send you to a nursing home.

And yet, yesterday found me helping them move again.  This time I did not say it will be the last time, mostly because I really do think it will be the last time.  When you walk into their little Hobbit House, it feels like the perfect fit.  It's warm and cozy and shines with all the hard work given to it in the last few weeks, and I can see them living there forever.

I was apprehensive heading into the moving day because I was the only sister able to be there to physically move things, and I have a ankle I don't want to make worse, and two out of three sons-in-law had to work, and we were basically counting on 5 teenage boys and two girls.

It was the easiest move I've ever helped do!  I only carried small boxes in, the boys did all the heavy lifting including the freezer and the china closet, and the girls unpacked boxes like pro's.  We could not have done it without our wonderful group of kids and friends.

As I watched the boys wrestle a slippery couch into the room, and the girls unwrap box after box of fragile pretties each individually wrapped in paper, I thought this is one of those great things about kids growing up: their adult sized help!

Friday, December 7, 2012

Christmas Joy

Back in the day, my parents signed us up for roller skating lessons.  I'm not sure how it came about but I have a vague idea of my Mom not being able to roller skate and not wanting that childhood horror to be ours too.  I am not now and have never been a joiner.  At the age of six I once sat through an hour long art class, refusing to make a dinosaur out of clay because I was uncomfortable in the situation.  The fact that my parents risked it again and put me in lessons amazes me.  What if I'd just stood at the rail, not willing to move?

Turns out that wasn't an issue.  I was a roller skating fool!  I'd fly around the rink, face sweaty, feet blistered, heart happy, 80's pop music giving me wings!  Fun doesn't begin to describe what I had when I was roller skating.

The year we got roller skates for Christmas stands out as one of the best ever.  We were back home, visiting family, staying at a Grandma's house.  I remember waking up and going into my parent's room, sitting on the edge of their bed and putting those skates on right away, sleepy and not all the way awake but very happy.

As a Mom, I look at those skates in a different light.  I've always been awe-struck that my Mom found two pairs of roller skates, that fit us, second hand.  It was, as she loves to say, a God thing.  Money was tight back then, but I didn't  know it.

I had a pair of roller skates of my very own!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Children Laughing, People Passing

My Christmas stocking making career begin with our son's second Christmas.  I wanted him to have a nice stocking, so I decided I'd make one.  I picked a verse and sketched the drawing and cross stitched my heart out.  I did the same two years later for his sister.

Then I hung their finished stockings side by side and realized I should have decided on a universal size, because one was tall and skinny and one was short and fat.  My sense of perfection could not live with that, so I redid their stockings and have based every stocking I've done since then on that second set.

I have made 8 stockings since then, plus sewn together 5 others, front, back, lining, and trim, usually doing that last bit on Christmas Eve.  I do like to procrastinate.

This year I am working on my niece's stocking.  Picking the right song took her mom and I weeks, finding the right fabric was just about impossible, but here it is, 19 days till Christmas, and I have pulled out the threads and started over twice and whenever I am sitting in a quiet moment, I hear snip of the song I am sewing.....

Children laughing
People passing
Meeting smile after smile........

It's a good thing I am a fan of Christmas music!  It is stuck solidly in my head.

This post inspired by prompt #5 at Mama's Losin' It!

And I'm linking up with Tid Bit Thursday over at Papa is a Preacher.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

The Shoulds Are Pressuring Me

The Shoulds are pressuring me.

I should do some housework, I should sort some laundry, I should clear my crap off the table, I should get my veggie tray ready for tomorrow night's party....

Those Shoulds are really a pain in my rear.

So, I am going to do one of those things, at this moment undecided as to which one is most important, but one thing will get done, and then I'm going to sit down, put my feet up and honestly, fall asleep in front of the TV, all before 9:00.

The Shoulds are going to take a backseat and let the Musts drive for a bit!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Almost Back To Normal

My walking boot is gathering dust
And my ankle brace is under the couch
Day two of two nice matching shoes
And tights unsagged by velcro tapes
I'm almost back to normal
My ankle is healing up great!

Monday, December 3, 2012

And I'm Back

My husband and I decided weeks ago to take the first weekend in December as our weekend, and we'd get away and do something fun and not at all responsible....

It was a fantastic time, trying new food, seeing James Bond do his cool spy thing, shopping for Christmas gifts, and just enjoying a few days of us time.

I'm going to hold on to that wonderful feeling as I head into Monday and real life, and as my husband asked, remember it at 5:30 tonight when I'm tired!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

There's A Hole In The Jammies, Dear Liza

Tragically, one of my favorite jammie pants has sprouted a hole.  More accurately, a hole has worn in.  And since they were fine, albeit threadbare in spots, last night, and today they are ready for church (holy, get it?) I blame my nighttime coughing.

For last night's episode of coughing was spectacular in the thrashing and the tossing and the turning.

The pants couldn't hold together through that tribulation.

I thought I might patch it up, but sadly, that spot is super weak and slightly see through.  It actually might be past time to retire these beloved pj's.

I know one thing I'll be asking Santa for!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

A Funyun By Any Other Name

A Funyun is onion ring shaped
And onion ring colored
But not onion ring flavored
Which is the great attraction

A Funyun by any other name
Would still not taste like onions
For which I am thankful
I dislike onions

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

'Tis The Season For Chaos

There is that space of time, between the tree decorating and the moment the rest of the house is decorated, that is pure chaos.....
 The tree looks lovely....
The rest of the house is stacked with boxes.
I'm not proud of this mess, but I'm sure not moving very fast to get it sorted and put away!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Ah, Bliss!

This wonderful bunch of kids just makes my heart burst with happiness!

Christmas Tree Hunt 2012

Friday, November 23, 2012

Crazy, But A Matched Set

Yesterday was a glorious feast of delicious food and laughing family......

Today poses the question: what should I do?

I should clean the house.  I should get the Christmas tree corner cleared out for the tree that will join our family this weekend.  I should work on the mountain of clothing we picked up out of the mouse poop room.  I should plan what I am cooking for dinner.

I should.

But I'm thinking of throwing caution to the wind and venturing out into the shopping mess.  I know, I know!  I never go, I hate the whole black Friday stampede, but I didn't know until last night that the thrift stores also put on some sales for today.  Like 50% off all red, pink, green, blue and purple tags.

How can I pass that kind of deal?

And it turns out, I've got a thrift crazy husband who thinks the same as I do.  We're going to gulp down some more coffee, get dressed and see if the thrift store is as packed as the usual retail stores.

We're crazy, but a matched set!

Thursday, November 22, 2012


Bring on the turkey and ham and jello
Bring the rolls dripping with butter
The mashed potatoes and the sweet potatoes
And the black olives for little fingers

Bring on the laughter and giggles and smiles
Bring the long funny stories
The jokes and the punnies
And the joy of family gathered

Bring on the prayers of Thanksgiving
Bring the counted blessings and good tidings
The wonder of the glory
And the grateful hearts full of praise

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

There's Never Just One

 Weeks ago, we discovered a mouse was hanging out in our kitchen.  Specifically, oddly, our dish drainer.  It  did not venture down the counter the other way to nibble on the crackers or bread.  It stayed right around all the clean dishes.

Once that horrible discovery was made, I may have taken everything out of our cupboards and washed it all in a bleach bath and then washed it again in regular suds just to be sure it was Clean with a capital C.

We used duct tape to block up the hole the mouse was coming through (because, yes, that's how we roll) and I promptly stopped thinking of the mouse.

Last night my husband went upstairs to visit the kids in the bonus room.  He sat down on the couch, glanced at the side table and realized that what covered the table top was not crumbs.  It was mouse poop.  Mouse poop all over the table, the sewing table, the floor, the furniture, the boxes, and one entire empty dresser that was turned into a mouse apartment complex, complete with a drug store drawer stocked with loose tums.

Now, we didn't see a single mouse.  But based on the amount and the area covered, it is not just one.

Honestly, is there ever just one?  I don't think so either.

My first thought was we should abandon the house.  Grab what we can and leave the mice the rest.  That turns out to be impractical, so we're going to do some traps and see where that leaves us.

Currently, every noise I hear, I am positive is a mouse.  I miss the old days when every noise was a zombie!

Monday, November 19, 2012

A Faint Tickle

A faint tickle in my throat, on this day of torrential downpours, has left me worried.  I do not want to be sick for Thanksgiving!

It didn't help that my boot is NOT waterproof, instead it acts like a sponge and I had to go run up to the hospital twice.  Run being figurative....I drove and carefully walked across the parking lot.  My foot was wet and cold and I was kind of miserable.

I thought of tying on a plastic bag to keep the water off somewhat, but here's a confession: I am vain.  I do not want to look silly and the boot is silly enough.  A plastic bag would push the level of silly past my breaking point.

So my vanity led to a wet foot and I'm sure it didn't help that dreadful, faint tickle.  I'm off to drink some hot tea and stay out of the rain!

Saturday, November 17, 2012


The shelves that usually hold Hostess products are eerily empty, as if an Apocalypse is coming and people are stock piling the food that has the longest shelf life.

I haven't eaten Twinkies in quite awhile, but now as soon as I can't, I want one!  After perusing eBay, and seeing how many bids there are on those yellow cakes of pure yumminess, I can tell I'm not the only person jonesing for just one more taste.

A lot of 40 individually wrapped Twinkies has 22 bids, bringing the price up to $230.

Yes.  Not a typo, not a misplaced decimal.

Two hundred thirty dollars.

I haven't reached the point where spending that much money on a snack cake seems like a good idea. 

Give me a few more weeks in a Twinkie-less land, then I might change my mind....

Friday, November 16, 2012

So I Changed My Clothes

Today I got up with determination.  I had things to do, places to go, appointments to keep.  I was first in line for the shower (shocking!) and enjoyed the heck out of the hot water.  I headed out to physical therapy and then to another doctor's appointment (things are all looking good) and then I did what I really wanted to: estate sales!

My sister joined me and we may have sat in the car at the first sale, scoping it out and watching how other people entered the sale, pretending that we were coffee-holics and had to drink as much as we could before we started 'picking'.  But we found some fun things (Star Wars Pez and vintage staplers) and it was worth the case of nerves we felt at the start of our shopping.

At our last sale, I saw three table top Christmas trees and I liked them.  I knew exactly what I'd do with them.  But at $2 each, I hesitated.  I asked if they would take $1 each, but it was no deal.  That's cool.  I didn't want to spend $6 on trees, so I left them behind, paid for my step stool and went home.

And of course, I could not stop thinking about those darn trees!  I thought about it, counted out my shopping money, thought about it some more, then changed my clothes, put on my red coat, and went back to the sale.  I drove past slowly, doing a sale drive by, and the trees were still there.  I parked, walked in, picked them up, and handed over $6.

The old lady, the same one who said no to making a deal with me, asked if I wanted to look around some more, the house had lots more things, as if I hadn't been trying to haggle with her just a little earlier.

Granted, I also changed clothes so I could stop by the office for a bit, but I knew when I picked out my outfit, I wanted to sneak through the sale without anyone recognizing me.  That's totally normal right?

Thursday, November 15, 2012

A Comfort Of Things

What brings me comfort?

Morning Coffee: I'd be lost without that hot cup of joe warming my hand
Warm Socks: when the weather cools, thick socks rule
Smelly Dogs: surprising how much I love their smelly wonderful smell
Buttered Toast: this needs no explanation, if you've eaten a piece of toast slathered with butter, you know
Good Book: one that calls to me when I'm working and hates to leave when I turn the last page

Tomorrow is a day off....and I've got some comfort plans.....

This post inspired by prompt #5 at Mama's Losin' It! and I'm linking up with TidBit Thursday at Papa is a Preacher.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

A Pause

I read my sister's blog just now and decided that the cranky complaints that I'd felt like airing will remain silent.  There are things in this life that I will celebrate tonight.

Like the fact that dinner was the same old same old, us sitting down at the table, eating and talking and it was a blessing, a gift, a moment that I am thankful to have.  I will give my teenagers a kiss and a hug, and will listen to them talk of school assemblies and too much homework and plans for the evening and I will breath a prayer for others who have lost these moments too precious for words.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Late Night Brownies

My son likes to cook dinner and bake treats, but his planning leaves a lot to be desired.  He doesn't realize how long things will actually take and that's how we usually end up eating dinner at 8:30.

Tonight he announced that he would be baking brownies.  Yum!  We wholeheartedly agreed with this plan since we hadn't had brownies in ages and he makes the best ones.  But as time ticked by, and dinner was over and cleaned up and he was upstairs doing something that was not brownie related, I said to my husband I guess we won't be having a dessert treat.

He chuckled and said our son would come down at 9:30 tonight and start baking.

It was actually only 8 when he came down.  And now that they've cooled down, we've all enjoyed a late night brownie and a huge glass of milk.

Totally worth the wait!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Last Night

Last night, when I could have been at home in pajamas, scaring myself with zombies, I was actually hanging out in Seattle with my husband.  Like a date, but one with slight restrictions: we don't know exactly when it will be over and we have to stay in a certain general area.

See, we've raised two music loving kids.  And they love going to concerts.  Back in their young childhood, it was The Dixie Chicks and Kenny Rogers, tagging along with us at fairs as we tapped our toes to our favorite songs.  Now days, they've broadened their taste in music and concerts are held at slightly creepy joints (at least they are as seen by Mom eyes) and always in Seattle.

So we drive them down, see them stand in line, and then we go have dinner and sometimes hear some music of our own or see a movie.  It's kind of fun, except it's a late night.  I don't mind a late night when I don't have to work the next day, but no such luck for this morning, when the alarm sounded and it felt like I'd only had a few hours of sleep.

It felt like that because I'd only had a few hours of sleep!

But all of the tired is worth it when we pick the kids up and they are full of stories and laughter and enjoyment.....we listen to them talk the whole drive home and it always makes us smile.  Around our yawns of course!

I didn't need to see zombies last night.  I did a very good impression of one today!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Saturday Morning Itchy Feet

It's a crisp, frosty Saturday morning and I've got itchy feet.
I've got the urge to roam, to explore, to get out and go adventuring.
It's a cool, fresh Saturday morning and I've got the wandering bug.
I've got to shake my boots free of the home dust, slip on my Foster Grants, and point the car towards the rising sun.
It's a perfect, lovely Saturday morning and I've got to fly.
I've cleaned the bathroom and started a load of laundry and put away dishes and now I've got some free time to burn.
It's a crisp, frosty Saturday morning and I've got itchy feet.
I'm gone!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Well, Darn.

This week I went back to my podiatrist, fully believing I'd hear good news, and would be released from the drag that is my walking boot cast.  I even packed my left shoe, so sure I'd be leaving the office with two shoes on.  I imagined stopping at my car to store the unneeded boot before returning to work with good ankles once again.

That was not quite how it went.

I kind of slipped again, and even with my boot on, I felt my ankle pull in a not nice way.  In my defense, that boot has zero gripping tread, so when it met a smooth surface, it skittered out from under me.  The ligaments are not tightening up and my foot is still swollen.  I have the measurements to prove it.

Well, darn.

Two more weeks in the boot, physical therapy twice a week, and then maybe I'll be back in matching shoes again.

I think the worst part is when I put the boot on this morning, it was a comforting welcome, usually reserved for a wonderful pair of fluffy socks or a perfect pair of comfy slippers.  I don't like how much my ankle liked getting back into the boot after a night of unrestrained rest!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

I Never Want To Go

I never want to go to the ocean floor, Mars, or Australia.

The first two are understandable.  I don't like the great, dark, unknown that is the bottom of the ocean; I dislike dolphins and whales and am not wild about Martians; I can't stand not breathing fresh air.

But Australia is so lovely, I should want to go there.  I did want to, before I had a son who discovered his love of science....and by science, I mean the study of scary, deadly, creatures. He couldn't get enough of one book in particular, and he checked it out from the library over and over and over and asked us to read it to him at bedtime.

I still shudder.

It was cut and dry, no gruesome stories, but the fact that most of these deadly creatures resided in Australia started to make the Land Down Under seem a bit to much for my taste.

I know and understand the local banana slugs, spotted owls, opossums, and geoducks.  They are weird, but they aren't trying to get me.  At least, I don't think they are.  I actually give them a wide berth too!

This post inspired by prompt #2 at Mama's Losin' It!

 And  linking up with Papa is a Preacher for TidBit Thursday.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Why You Should Do Dishes With Your Child

Tonight was just a regular night in my house.  I hadn't told the kids to do the dishes, so the dishes were not done.  Things were, shamefully, tense and I might have started to lose my cool.

Then my daughter came out to dry dishes as I washed.  She started talking about her day and I literally felt myself cool down.

Sure, washing dishes is a chore, and I should be more on top of the kids' chore list so I don't have to do those darn dishes myself, but there was something so old time soothing about her and I standing in the kitchen, working together and talking....

Everyone should take the time to do dishes with your child.  It's actually a very good thing.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Glorious Sayings

There is something glorious to be said for
Cleaned out laundry rooms
Bright again blinkers and headlights
Dried and put away dishes

There is something glorious to be said for
All the little things that get done
Not by me, but by the hubster
Under applauded but so very appreciated.

Monday, November 5, 2012

My Mind Has Other Plans

It's a delightfully cozy morning, tucked in bed with three warm little dogs, before the alarm goes off, knowing I had time to fall back asleep and enjoy the last bit of rest....

But my mind had other plans.

Specifically, to go over and through and analyze every moment of the zombie show from last night.  I flipped my pillow, I rolled over and disrupted peaceful dogs, I stretched and curled and tried to think of other, less freaky, things in the dark hours of the morning.

And then I heard it.

The shuffling walk of a zombie.

Right outside my bedroom door.

That's it!  I'm up!  And every light in the downstairs is on and I'm on my second cup of coffee and the dogs are still sleeping in bed.

Turns out it wasn't a zombie after all.  Huh.  I could have sworn it was!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

I Love You In The Fall

Daylight Savings Time
I love you in the fall
When we fall back
And gain an extra hour
And 6:30 in the morning
Greets me once again
With dawn's lovely glow
But I dislike you in evenings
When I leave work in the dark
And I hate you in the spring time
When I wake up less one hour
But Daylight Savings Time
I love you in the fall
This first 6:30 morning.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Watching My Stories

I'm not sure how old I was when I watched my first soap opera.  9 or 10?  I didn't grow up in a soap household, but at one Grandma's house, we weren't allowed to pour our own cereal or milk, but we were allowed to watch whatever we wanted on TV.

I'd watched "Mad Max" and "Are You In the House Alone?" before I hit double digits.

There was that sad mid day event that all children used to know about: when cartoons ended and the TV was full of boring talk shows, game shows, and news.  But All My Children caught my attention and I was enthralled and impressed.  Five days a week? A new hour long show?  Wow, those actors are amazing!

I'd sneak in a peek of Santa Barbara after school.  I'd watch AMC and One Life to Live on days I was sick.  But the one show that has held my attention and love far into the years of adulthood is General Hospital.

I did quit all soaps when my son was a baby, reasoning that his baby brain was processing more than I knew and Sesame Street might be better for him than love triangles and long lost never knew about psycho killer brothers.

When the kids hit school age and I had some kid free days, I'd go in waves of watching.  There are months of time, even years, when I do not watch at all.  Then I see a clip and I catch a story and suddenly I am into it again.

I am late on the TV news front though.  I just now figured out that Jason getting killed wasn't part of an elaborate story ruse for him to take some vacation.  He has really left the show.

I had no idea I was one of those kinds of watchers.  Pass the tissues.  I think I'm going to cry.

Friday, November 2, 2012

My Go To Skirt

Faded denim skirt
Bought long
Length shortened
Worn in
Worn out
Worn perfect
14 years of wearing
It hides its age beautifully

I'd be wardrobe lost without it!

Thursday, November 1, 2012


Laughter trickles down the stairs
Until the house is Flooded
With joyful noise.

This post inspired by Mindful Writing Day 2012 and prompt #3 at Mama's Losin' It!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Pumpkin Business

Taking a tip from my sister, with time running out and the weather acting up, we bought our pumpkins at the grocery store instead of going to the pumpkin patch, wandering around in the rain, caking our shoes with heavy mud, and always finding the perfect pumpkin.

A pretty good pumpkin can be found down at the store, sitting on bales of hay.  Not perfect ones, and especially not if you wait until the night before Halloween.  Turns out the pumpkin pile is pretty picked over by then.

But we found four that would suit and after dinner, we got down to business.

The kids still hate the pumpkin guts and I may have helped one of them clean theirs out, just like when they were little.....

Getting down to the serious business of designing the perfect carved face.

Then end result looks pretty good......

But this is why I really do pumpkins: 

These little fellows have been roasted and toasted and drizzled and salted and we may have feasted on them when they came out of oven, too hot and burning fingers and absolutely delicious!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Today Is His Day

Today is my husband's birthday, and I am ashamed I say I thought it was tomorrow. It took me hours to realize that today was actually his day.

We celebrated yesterday, with cake and too much ice cream, and this morning he was gone to work before I woke up.  I was into my work morning before I thought, hmm, today isn't the 28th.  Oh no!

Luckily, he isn't bothered by that sort of thing.

Dinner of his choosing and watching TV as a family was his birthday wish, and it was no hardship for us to fulfill.

Happy birthday, babe!  You are the best!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Pancakes Are Perfection

Pancakes are golden discs of perfection
Giving a dash of special to ordinary mornings
A must have staple for weeks of camping
And in a pinch a quadrupled batch
Feeds 6 teenagers, two parents, and three dogs
With two lone pancakes left over
Which turn out to be a perfect toasted lunch....
Especially since we are out of bread.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

From Mild To Worse

I may have been stomping angrily through gravel, mud, and rain
To drag in the empty trash can from the alley, a job that I do not claim
And I may have fumed and muttered and maybe even growled
Not watching where I placed my foot and down it was I went
Of course I landed hardest on this hurt foot of mine
And scrapped my hands and bruised my shins but I jumped up again
I went about my days ignoring the twinge and ache
I even walked 1/2 a mile uphill all the way
Because I would not slow and admit that I was flawed
Three days later, still it throbbed so to the doc I went
He took one look at my newest hurt and he said
"You've done more harm than good, wear this big boot instead."

This post inspired by prompt # 1 at Mama's Losin' It!
And linking up with TidBit Thursday.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

What I Will Do

What I will do
Is take a deep breath
A calming, soothing,
Long suffering breath
I will pick up the pants that are never picked up
And put the junk back in the junk drawer 
And toss out the 4 empty shampoo bottles
And realize that this will never change

I will pick up and put away and toss out
And love these folks that I share my life with
These messy, irritating, wonderful, darling folks

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Raising Second Hand Kids

I grew up on hand me downs and thrift store clothes, and it was always a good thing.  New clothes to me are new clothes to me, regardless if they weren't brand new from the factory.  I still feel that way as an adult, which is why half of my work skirts are from the thrift store.

My kids don't mind either.  My son looks for vintage ties to add to his collection and he found a pair of dress shoes that fit his idea of perfection.  My daughter has shopped for shirts, and dresses, and costumes and while she won't let a piece of second hand silverware pass her lips, she loves to find the perfect outfit at the thrift store.

I was shopping by myself the other day, and I thought I might just scope out the racks of dresses.  I've had an idea of upcycling a maxi dress into a skirt, but I didn't see a pattern I loved.  I did find a gorgeous black lace sheath dress that I thought would be perfect for my daughter for homecoming.  She wasn't there to give approval, but for $5, I was willing to risk it.

It's the best $5 I've ever risked.

She loved it and looked unbelievably awesome in it!

The same day I brought her dress home, my son returned home from work, triumphantly holding up an old metal phone sign for his room that he had salvaged from the dumpster.  I've never been more proud!

Monday, October 22, 2012

A No Good, Very Bad, Totally Rotten, Day

First thing this morning, after I put my ankle wrap on and slipped into flip flops, I tripped as I climbed the stairs to wake the kids.  Tripped, broke my flip flops, and hurt my hurt ankle.  Okay, shake off that bad start and think happy thoughts.

As I'm trying to get to work on time, I realize that I don't know where the car keys are.  My son drove it last and likely the keys are somewhere in his room.  Or in his pockets.  Maybe he has them right now?  I'll take the truck.  Not the usual truck, which is out of gas, but my son's truck, the '66 I have never driven before.  I handle it just fine, only grinding the gears once, when disaster strikes.  The passenger door swings open and one of the packages I'd planned to zip down to the post office at lunch, falls out into the road.  I quickly pull over, but not quickly enough.  The car behind me has run it over a little.  And as I watch, the next car drives right over it.  I run out and pick up the box, and as much of the loose packaging as I can and get back to the truck.

I'm late, and feel a little like crying, but I am a big girl and I straighten my spine and go to work.  At lunch, I drive the devil truck down to the post office, and mail off my undamaged boxes and reminded myself that the door opening could have been worse: I had a total of 6 boxes that could have fallen out.  I get back into the truck and it doesn't start.

It is out of gas.

Okay, that's okay.  I will walk home, and find the car keys and it will be okay.  As I start to walk, it starts to rain.  I pull out my trusty purse umbrella, only to remember (as it fell down onto my head) that it doesn't stay extended.  It's only a 10 minute walk home, but it is 10 excruciating minutes because my ankle is hurting worse with each step.  I eat a quick pb&j sandwich (comfort food at it's finest) and I call my sister to beg a ride.

Before we go back to work, we get a mocha.  Things are looking up.  It's got no where to go but up, right?

My husband calls on his way home to tell me the drivers seat in the family car has gone from being slightly hinky to totally jinky and a bolt that holds the seat to the cab has snapped off.

At that point I said this is God's way of telling us we should go out to dinner.

I must have been right, because this pizza is the best I've ever eaten!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

The Pews At The Front

What is it about the pews at the front of the church that make them unappealing to most of the congregation, myself included?

I know from a childhood spent in the second row, it's very hard to look around when you are up front.  Everyone behind you knows the exact moment your attention wanders. It is impossible to casually look over your shoulder to check the clock at the back of the sanctuary.

I know those things shouldn't matter: I am not at church to catalog what everyone is wearing or to make sure my one hour of church service is dutifully time stamped.  Those empty front rows bother me.  We are crammed into the back of the room, as if we are afraid to sit too close to the front.

And yet, I try to imagine myself moving from my usual half-way back pew, and I can not.  Mostly because my attention does wander, sometimes, and I like knowing only about half the people in the sanctuary will be aware it.

I'll be staring at the other half.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Bite Off More Than You Can Chew

Within the first week of moving into our 100 year old house, my husband tore this out of a magazine and taped it to our fridge, where it has stayed taped for the last eight years:
It will probably stay there, exactly like that, until the paper turns brittle with age and falls apart on its own, to remind me that I may have cried every day of that first week, wondering what on earth we had gotten ourselves into, but we kept on chewing and it is now a quirky house I want to grow old in, and have the kids pack us up out of and move us into a nursing home.

There is another possibility for that bite that is too much.  As the great Frank Sinatra says, in my favorite song of all time, he ate it up and spit it out.  Because you know you're going to get that awful piece of unidentified meat that you chew and chew and chew and holy smokes, it's the worst gristly bite in the known universe, and frankly, you've got to spit it out.

Use your napkin.  It's totally okay with me.

This post inspired by TangledLou's invitation to party as an audience!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Raising Midnight Kids In A Sunset Town

This small town I was born in and love and adore and choose to move back to and raise my kids in, is not where my kids feel destined to reside.  It's a shocking idea to me. I can't remember a time I didn't desire this town and all the family history nestled in the heart of it.

But, my goal for my kids has always been for them to find their dreams and go for it.  I knew, way back with that first half formed prayer that this newborn baby would love life to the fullest, that what made my life grand might not be what makes his and her life grand.

They have bigger dreams and the bright lights of the city gives fuel to their drive.

I know I'm going to cry when they take off, but by golly, I'm going to bursting with pride too.  Look what this Sunset Town Mom has helped shape!

Two of the best Midnight Kids around.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Wishes And Horses

I am going to turn my wishes into horses,
And ride them to the finish line.

Someday the horse will be a rip snorting bronco,
And I will be counting down the longest 8 seconds of my life.

Someday the horse will be a broken down old nag,
And I will get off and lead it on with promises of carrots and apples.

Someday the horse won't be a horse at all but an ostrich or a rhino or a sloth,
And I will decide to take a rain check on that particular horse.

I am going to turn my wishes into horses,
And ride them to the finish line.

Inspired by prompt #5 at Mama's Losin' It!

And linking up with Papa is a Preacher for TidBits Thursday.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Last October...

Last October, my sister Amy at Love That Bee said she was going to blog daily.  It wasn't a challenge for me, but I accepted none the less.  After all, any thing she can do, I can!

So I started writing daily.  And I loved it. I kept it up past October and as the months ticked by, I was surprised that I was still finding time and material and enjoying it.  I loved finding other blogs to join and I still remember the very first post I ever read by Judy, it was about a dog and I was hooked.  I'd never thought to comment on someones blog before, but I started to on hers and it opened up this great community of bloggers that I visit daily.

What have I been doing this last year?  I've been writing, because I can't help myself and my purse is a wasteland of scribbled thoughts on scrap paper to prove that to be true.  It's not always literary, and  it's not everyone's cup of tea, but it's mine and I am so glad my sister spurred me on to find this part of me I had only been tending half-heartedly!  I may have slowed down from daily to (right now) about once a week, but  that's just because real life reared up and needed attention.

I had wanted to blog daily this October, but that just couldn't happen.  That's okay, I have filed away some wrinkled papers with bits and pieces of ideas for the moment when I can dream them out into full grown posts.  And that is why I love writing!  A word or two winds its way into my attention and I trace the thread to the end.

Thanks, TangledLou, for writing of her last year of blogging and inspiring me to do so too.

And thanks to my sister, for doing what sisters do best and challenging me!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

A Gal Could Get Used To This

Having my husband home 27/7 is something I could get used to very easily....

His alarm isn't blaring at 4:45am, mine is the one to wake us up at the decent hour of 5:45.  We eat breakfast, lunch and dinner together.  Mochas have been known to make surprise appearances on my work desk. The dishes are washed and errands are run without me.  We've caught up on our favorite shows, and we sometimes stay up late just because we can.

I'm looking at this silver lining of his recovery from surgery, and I'll be honest, it's moved past silver and it's looking pretty golden.

I could get used to this house husband thing!

Monday, October 15, 2012

What Every Modern Car Should Have

I have discovered, thanks to riding around in my son's '67 and my husband's '70 pick up trucks, that old school treasure: floor vents.

With a handy move of my foot, my good-not-sprained foot, I can open a vent that allows fresh, cold air to blast onto me.

I could use that in our modern family car, and by modern I mean a '99 Tahoe.  Too often I am hot, or partially car sick and I need cool air blowing on me.  Opening the window means my poor daughter suffers with the wind wiping past me to hit her.  Turning on the AC seems a bit extreme in 58 degree weather.

But the miracle of the floor vent is cool air right on me, no hassle or worry.  It's a luxury that should never have been made obsolete.

I shudder to think how I will handle hot flashes in the future.  Maybe I'll take to riding around in the convertible all the time.  Top down and no worries about floor vents or windows or AC!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Thursday Happenings

This is what I've been up to today.....
Two weeks ago, I almost took a tumble as I left the hospital after one of my husbands test.  I caught myself before I hit the pavement, and figured I was fine (no scrapped knees this time!) Last week, after my husband was finally home, and I was doing more than just sitting by his bedside, I realized my ankle hurt a bit.

Oh well, I'll just power through it.  Ice it a bit, take a few tylenol, call it good.

Except, it wasn't good, and the pain went from bearable to excruciating as I walked.  So I went  to the doctor. I was told to ice it, take some ibuprofen, and come back if it still hurt.  I realized I had to come back when I wanted to cry as I walked down the hill to our office.  After the xray showed nothing wrong, I was sent downstairs (man, I love where I work) to see the podiatrist.

Today I learned that there are several grades of sprains, mine being a simple grade 1, but due to the ligaments being so loose (sickeningly loose), I now have a wrap bandage thingy to wear for an entire month, complete with laces and velcro.  

The good news is that since I was wearing black today, it matched my outfit perfectly.  The bad news is, I don't have enough black to wear for a month.

I'll worry about that on Monday!

Monday, October 8, 2012

The Trouble With Supernatural

My daughter has spent all summer watching episodes of the show "Supernatural."  It has never been a show I watched, not because it was too scary.....back in the day I never missed The X-Files, although I changed my  viewing habits when I started to wonder exactly what a sixth month old baby absorbs as my sixth month old baby stared raptly at the TV one Sunday night.  Turns out, he absorbed a love of horror films and has helped his sister find her love of the same.

My daughter has watched episode after episode, and gives us a synopsis of each, and sometimes I have come home from work and find that she'd been crying because the show was that sad.  I understand.  I still tear up when I think of the last episode of "Angel."

I don't object to the material of the show, or the nightly recap of a show I have never watched, or the emotions she has tied up in these two brothers.

No, what I find troublesome is that she now has a dream car, thanks to the brothers, and she wants a '67 Impala so badly, I'm sure she can taste it.  Before she started watching "Supernatural," she wouldn't have been able to pick out a '67 Impala from a sea of Toyotas.  Now, she is a fount of knowledge concerning this dream car, and can be found searching Craigslist on the off chance that one can be found for an affordable price.

FYI: it can't be found!

It doesn't have to be '67 Impala, but it should have two doors, and the same muscle car shape and the cute '69 Dodge Dart I found was knocked out of the running because it was too cute and had four doors and a vinyl roof and my daughter knows exactly what she wants......her Dad is so proud!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

My Thank You Speech

I'm sure it's not just me, but most people carry around in their mind the thank you speech they'd give if they won on Oscar.  Not that I'm doing anything to win an Oscar, but, you know, I've got a thank you speech on deck, ready, just in case it's needed.

Since I'm feeling full to the brim with thanksgiving, I'm going to break it out.

I want to thank God, the Big Guy Himself, who makes all things possible.
I want to thank my Mom for everything, for chicken soup that is good for the soul and tummy, for little treats to uplift my spirit, for phone calls, texts and hugs to let me know she had my back.
I want to thank my Randy for sitting in the parking lot of two hours waiting for the tow truck to get my broken starter car home.
I want to thank my in laws for visits at the hospital and starters being replaced and how blessed we've been that their visit home happened to be a time we really needed them.
I want to thank my sisters for texting me, for visits, for making me laugh when I was stressed and worried, for much needed Dr Pepper and for bringing a book I had forgotten I was desperate to read.
I want to thank my kids for being great kids, for taking care of things at home, for funny jokes at dinner that made my nights sweeter.
I want to thank my Grandparents for calls and visits and love, for making this family so good from the start.
I want to thank all our friends and family that have prayed with us, worried with us, rejoiced with us.
If I missed anyone, don't feel missed.  I'm thankful for every person that has been with us this last week, in thoughts or in deeds.  Thank you!!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Home Sweet Home

After a bit of emergency surgery (it had been set for Monday but Sunday morning found our hospital calling in the surgical team to get it done asap) and a wonderfully gruesome picture of what they found that was causing the bleeding (from here on out referred to as a 'nubbin') and a few days of drug bliss-ed recovery, my husband is home!

There really is nothing like the power of home, even in its unswept, unwashed, undone state.  It is home and it is were healing rest can really begin.

For me my husband dozed on the couch, I curled up on the love seat across from him and napped.  I've missed hearing his snores as I drift off to sleep!

Saturday, September 29, 2012


I am home right now, a brief pause between hospital visits, to help my daughter get ready for the homecoming dance.  I've played with her hair (a novelty here!) and did her make up, advised her on the right shoes and whether she should take a sweater.

And as soon as she says she's ready, we are off to visit her Dad up at the hospital, because before leaving for a dance, she wants Dad to give her a thumbs up.

He's doing okay, with surgery scheduled on Monday, and so ready to be home.  Thank you everyone for all your thoughts and prayers.  Much appreciated!!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Finding Jello On The Bright Side

Today I was sitting in the hospital cafeteria  looking out the windows at a zen sand garden, with its rake lines and little rocks, and I could not figure out how it is raked.  It had no doors leading to it and it's on a little balcony on the second floor.  I sat and drank a soda and snacked on chips and pondered the whole baffling mystery, instead of what I could have been doing.

Today I could have been sitting there, worried out of my mind, as my husband goes through a series of tests. Six years ago, on Christmas Eve, I told him he was not allowed to go home and go to bed because I didn't think he had the flu.  He had to go to the ER, and it is a testament to how weak he was, that he did not argue with me and went meekly to the hospital, where 11 units of blood later, we knew he had a GI bleed, but where and what have always remained a mystery.

On Monday of this week, he said he thought he was having the same thing happen.  So we began another adventure over the last several days, to the doctors, to the lab, to the doctors, to the lab, to the surgeons, to the hospital, to the doctors, to the lab, to the hospital, to the surgeons, to the doctors.

And as he has gone paler and weaker, I have tried not to worry.

Today I just sat and stared out the window and while I didn't find any zen exactly, I didn't spend two hours worrying either.   I know I have God to thank for that worry free wait, and all the people who have been praying for us.

As more prayers are answered and could be worries are solved before they become full fledged, I know we are very blessed.  My husband has more tests set up for tomorrow, but this time around, they have found where he is bleeding from.  Next step, stopping it!

But I'm not going to worry about that.  I feel pretty confident that if God has the whole world in His hands, and I know that He does, He's got this itty bitty bleed under control too.

The bright side of all of this is my husband can eat all the jello he wants, and since he is mad crazy for jello, he wants as much as he can get.  At the hospital, a jello cup was such a wonderful treat, we couldn't help but laugh.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The First Day Of Fall?

I am shaking the wrinkles
Out of packed away sweaters
And folding up summer capris
The furnace switch has been
Flipped back to on
To keep our mornings warm
The calendar proclaims
It was the first day of fall
On Saturday, September 22
But by my own schedule
It's fall when I pull out the tights
And I'm holding off 'till October 1.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Like A Good Neighbor

Our neighborhood isn't one for block parties or social gatherings much beyond nodding to each other and an occasional meet up at the shared fence.

But we are good neighbors....making sure homes are secure when vacations are taken.....leashing run-away dogs and walking them fact, my first introduction to one of our neighbors was an early morning, me in my pajamas, him on the back porch, holding our little Sadie and telling me he'd found our puppy.

We've commiserated over parking woes and neighborhood break-ins and we've shared fire works on the fourth of July and huge amounts of fresh ripe cherries.  We're neighborly.

Friday morning I left the house, late for work, in a hurry, and as I drove away, I realized that it was garbage day, and our can was still up by the carport.  Oh well, it was too late for me to do anything about it.  Next week would have to be two cans.

But when I arrived back home that night, our can was out in the alley with all the other cans.  Maybe I hadn't noticed it this morning?

Our neighbor came over later to ask if it was okay that when he noticed our can was missing from the group, he dragged it down for us.  Was it okay?  Oh, yes!  Beyond okay, even.  Feel free to bring it out any Friday we forget.

After all, it's what any good neighbor would do!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Where's My Vanessa?

I usually avoid reading 'working mom' magazines or books because it never seemed to be written for me, with sad stories of feeling torn between work and kids and how to do it all.  I'm not trying to do it all, I'm just trying to do enough. And truthfully, most sounded too boring to read.  Today at work, as I opened mail, I saw a magazine that caught my eye, with big words proclaiming it had a schedule for working Moms who are feeling tired and burned out.

Hmm.  I'm feeling tired and burned out and the dirty mirrors in the bathroom are proof.

I flipped the magazine open and read a short article on little boys and puppy love and I was hooked.  I know, it had nothing to do with working mothers, but I'm a sucker for puppy love stories.  I flipped further and started an interview with a mother of three kids, who is a real estate mogul and who is helping build some sort of sports complex.  

How does she do it?  

She gets up at 6 (I'm up at 5:45).  She drives 8 minutes to her spin class (I walk 30 minutes with three dogs).  She gets the kids breakfast of non sugar cereals (as I guiltily shove Lucky Charms at my kids).  She goes to work and works hard (I hear ya, sister).   But there are things that are out of her control and she has a hard time keeping up with (preaching to the choir).  So she employed Vanessa to do the cooking, cleaning, errands, and kid chauffeuring (wait, what?)

This brought my reading to a screeching halt.  This is the 'how does she do it and do it so well' interview the working moms magazine decided to highlight?  

Where's my Vanessa?  Why don't I have a Vanessa?

I sure could use a Vanessa.  Although, knowing myself uncomfortably well, I'd spend all my early morning hours putting a spit shine on the house so Vanessa wouldn't see how we really live.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

If It's Free....

If it's free, I want it.

Doesn't matter what it is, I want it.

A free box at a garage sale is my idea of a treasure chest, a broken, drawer-less dresser on the sidewalk is a must have (and it took up residence in my laundry room for 5 years). If you offer it to me for free, I will take it.  This is how I once ended up with three couches and an accordion I have yet to learn to play.

But the thing that I struggle to resist the most is a free dog.

Oh, no one  has to remind me that dogs aren't really free.  They come with so many expensive needs!  And no one needs to tell me that I have three dogs already.  I'm well aware of that fact when I'm walking them!

But it's free!  To a good home!  I've got a good home.....

I will be strong.  I will resist.  Or, truthfully, my husband will resist.  He says three's the limit for us.  And logistically, I'm not sure where I could squeeze a fourth crate into the kitchen.  I'd have to get rid of the table.....the table I got for free and love dearly.

So, nope.  The good home will have to be found elsewhere!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The Power Of Mom's Meatloaf

The power of Mom's can almost turn a vegetarian away from her vegetarian ways, just by looking at it.

All I did was ask my daughter to check on it as it was baking; how did it look?

Delicious, she replied.

This warmed my Mom heart to know that while she has turned away from her meat eating ways, it is not because I made disgusting food.

She's said  no thanks to bacon without a quiver.  She's passed fried chicken without a second of longing.  She's cooking with tofu and loving it.

But the sight of my meatloaf gave her pause.  Ah, the power of  Mom's meatloaf!

Monday, September 17, 2012

First Illness Of The Last Year

My son has always dragged home any virus that was making its rounds through the school, and this last year of school is no exception.  He started last week with a little headache sinus pressure thing going on.  The weekend saw him feeling less and less chipper, and by last night he was dragging.

I knew today, before he even got out of bed, that he wasn't going to make it to school.  I've got him tucked up in bed, water and tylenol within reach, and I'm about to leave for work.

I'm minutes away, and he is 17 years old, but I guess I will always want to stay home when one of my kids is sick.

He does have strict instructions to call me for anything, and I'll be home at's not the same as being downstairs and able to hear him if he needs something, but it will do.

Besides, knowing him as I do, he will sleep all morning and won't even notice if I'm here or not!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Movie Quotes

When I was younger, my sisters and I came up with the movie quote game....we should have patented it since now you can buy a game that is the same idea. Basically, we'd take turns trying to stump each other on quotes from movies. And back then, we had our brains stuffed full of them!

I have fond memories of giving the quote, "Run, Forest, run!" and one of my sisters was completely blank. In her defense I think it was in the morning. I seem to remember her standing by the toaster, and mornings are not her best time!

My kids, my son in particular, love this game. Unfortunately, I'm running out of brain space, and my kids are not, so I often can't think of a quote, and too many times am stumped by theirs.  It doesn't help things that as they have grown, they are drawn to obscure, independent films, most of which I have not seen.

Give me a good old tried and true classic, and I'm about 33% positive I'll be able to guess it.

Now, ask me if I can rattle off celebrity baby names....sadly, that I can do!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Taking Time For My Bad Habit

On occasion, I will indulge in my very bad habit.  It's terrible and awful and I just enjoy it so much.

On occasion, my husband will bring home a cigar and we will sit on the front porch and share it.

It's bad, I know.  But nothing makes me chill and zen faster than front porch sitting, and if a cigar happens to pass between us, all the nicer.

In the dusky fading evening light, feet propped up on the rail, dogs sitting with us, watching the neighborhood slow down, it is one of my favorite places to be.

Might need to get a warmer sweatshirt on....these September evenings have turned a tad chilly!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Speaking Of Mugs

I might not have realized that I have a personal coffee mug at home, but at work, that goes without saying.  When I had a beagle mug, no one questioned that it was mine.  When I had a mug with photo's of my children, no one thought twice that I kept it at my desk and not in the staff kitchen.

Sadly, both of those mugs have met the broken handle fate, and while they wait for super glue to fix what ails them, I have had to resort to bringing a different cup to the office.

It is not as cute as my beagle cup or as sweet as my kid cup.  It is plain, white, with a blue band, and always reminds me of a mug from a diner.  Therein lies the embarrassment.

It could be a cup from the communal coffee mug shelf at the office.  But it's not.  It is mine.  I keep it at my desk, I wash it myself and never leave it sitting around taking the chance it could be used by another.  I have had several uncomfortable moments when I wanted to wash it (by myself) and a co-worker kindly offered to wash the cup for me.  Then I stand there waiting for it to be washed, so I can take it back to my desk, to be kept in wait for the next days use.

Tonight, it was washed by another, and it was put in the dish drainer, because that is were all the other mugs were hanging out.  I had to finish up some other things at my desk so I left it in the kitchen, for a brief, agonizing minute.  I worried the entire time that someone was picking it up to use.  As I walked out the door, I picked it up and put it in my purse.

Weird?  Possibly....

But tomorrow morning I will walk back in, withdrawal my mug from my purse, and fill my cup up before I walk to my desk.  This might work out pretty well!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Of Spilled Milk And Ghosts

My daughter has crazy dreams while she sleeps (she gets it from her father).  Almost every morning she comes downstairs with a new, weird dream to describe in great detail.

Last night she dreamed she was in her room getting ready for bed.  A middle-aged (perhaps bordering around 50) lady was in there with her, carrying a glass of milk.  The lady made it very clear that the glass of milk was hers, and Leah had better not touch it.  The lady went around the room, touching things, talking loudly, and making snide comments.  Then she set the glass of milk on the dresser, gave Leah a defiant look, and knocked it over.  Milk was dripping down to the floor, making a mess.

Leah woke up frantically thinking she better clean the milk up, forgetting that she doesn't own a dresser (a post for another day) to have milk dripping off of  in the first place.  She woke up more and realized she could hear the dripping sound.  It wasn't milk, but it was her open window, with rain blowing in and making a big mess.

When my daughter told her dad and me this story, my husband was quick to suggest the lady in Leah's dream was our resident ghost, and she was upset that my daughter could so carelessly let the rain pour into the house...

At which point I kicked him squarely in the butt.  I am easily freaked out, and I have just barely recovered from a recent experience of being alone in the house and finding a towel and the shaving cap lid in the bathroom sink, knowing full well I hadn't placed them there.  The look on his face was clearly, "Why'd you do that?"

Well, because, the kids really believe our house is haunted.  And I kind of agree.  And I can't agree because I will have to move out and find a new house!

-Postscript from Leah-

We kids don't just think the house is haunted, we know. It's the generally accepted theory as to why my room is a bit on the creepy side, why we hear random footsteps in the house, why, when you're alone,you don't feel alone.

We, or at least I, am not afraid of the ghost. She has given us nothing to fear.

Although, when I'm trying to sleep on a school night, I do not appreciate her invading my dreams!

It's 50 Shades of Unsettling!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

My Country, 'Tis Of Thee

This is the first patriotic song I learned.  I was 6 years old, in the 1st grade, and singing this song made my little red, white and blue heart swell with an emotion I couldn't put a name on.  It is still my favorite and I wasn't above singing it as a nursery song to my babies.  All morning I've been thinking of the words.

My country, 'tis of thee,
Sweet land of liberty,
Of thee I sing;
Land where my fathers died,
Land of the pilgrims pride,
From ev'ry mountainside
Let freedom ring!

At six years old, I understood that fathers did die, that bad things did happen, that life wasn't all Saturday morning cartoons, but this song made me feel pride and hope.  It still does.

Today marks eleven years since 9/11.  That morning and all the events that dominoed to our life, our little four person family life, are still crystal clear, down to the feel of the carpet as I sat on the floor watching TV, stunned and.....just stunned.  I've written remembering posts before, here, here, and here.

This morning, the fifth verse of my favorite song seems very appropriate.  Granted, it was written for Washington's Centennial (the president not the state) but I like the words so much, I will carry them in my heart today.

Our joyful hearts today,
Their grateful tribute pay,
Happy and free,
After our toil and fears,
After our blood and tears,
Strong with our hundred years,
O God, to Thee.

Bad, terrible, horrific things happen, but I thank God for the spirit of life He gives, that keeps us going, on and beyond.  I have moved on and beyond, but I will not forget.  I thank God for that too.

Monday, September 10, 2012

The Thing That I Saw This Morning That Was Scary

I guess I am predisposed to dislike this time of year because I am very aware of the darkening of days.  As I walk my dogs at 6 a.m. the dawn is further and further away.

I do not like the dark.  While I relish the early morning day-lit walks, I dread early morning dark walks.

I hear spookier sounds in the dark and I see freakier shapes.

I'm always on alert for other dogs running loose.  We once had a very bad big dog experience, and this morning in the dusky start of sun rise....

I saw a big dog.

Like the rabid dog from "To Kill A Mockingbird," this dog stood splay legged, head down, a block and half and across the street from us.  It was big and dark and seemed to be staring into my soul.

I gripped the leashes tighter while my three girls remained oblivious.

We got closer and closer and the dog remained where it was, menacing and odd.....

And then we were passing it and the dog was miraculously transformed into a regular garden variety lawn chair.

My imagination runs wild in the dark....

Or maybe, I need new glasses!

Friday, September 7, 2012

This Is My Mug

I have a mug.  I was not aware I had a personal mug, until someone has used it several mornings in a row and it hasn't been waiting for me and my morning cup of joe.....

Hands off buster.

This mug may have been a gift from you, but it is mine.  It holds an immense amount of coffee, fits my hand just right, and is the one I reach for every morning.

Out of the twenty odd mugs we own, please pick out a favorite of your very own.

I promise I won't use it.

I have my own.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

When I Was Younger

When I was younger, the last "first day" of school was so exciting.  It was another step towards freedom and leaving childhood behind.  It was a leap towards adulthood, it was the start of making my own decisions.

When I was younger, I never thought if my Mom was sad or watched me leave and thought of me at age 5, on my first "first day" or if she wondered where time had gone to suddenly have a 17 year old in place of her baby.

When I was younger, I didn't know what being a Mom was like or that the last "first day" is kind of hard, and watching my son leave on his last "first day", for a brief moment, I felt his warm little five year old hand in mine, felt the nerves of the first day of Kindergarten, felt perplexed that 12 years had gone by so fast.

I sure hope my smile and kiss goodbye was calm and confident as my Mom's had been all those years ago.  I hope my son left having no idea that I was reaching for the box of tissue as soon as he was gone.  I hope he hit the halls of school, feeling the same joy as I did, when I was younger!

This post inspired by prompt #2 at Mama's Losin' It!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012


Mornings are very chilly
Where are my mittens?
Evenings are hot and stuffy
Turn the fans on high!
This is why I don't like September
Contradictions in a single day's weather.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

School Supplies

It's not just about pens and pencils and paper and binders.  It's about having the really important stuff on hand, like coffee and creamer.....

My kids aren't big breakfast eaters, so the first day of school won't see me making a special breakfast of eggs and bacon and pancakes, but I can make sure everyone (even me) has a treat on the first day.  Now we can all start school off on the right, and hopefully less grouchy, foot!

Friday, August 31, 2012

Today's Good Beginning

I have no explanation, but this is what I saw this morning 
when I went to get in the truck:
I took it as a good sign!
60 cents just waiting for me (and garage sales this weekend!)

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Inright, Outright, Upright, Downright

I've taken a break from walking the dogs in the morning.  My runners knee was acting up again, and I know from past experience, being dragged by three dogs does not help my knee at all.  Once it felt better, my lazy started acting up too, and the lure of a cup of coffee and a good book was too hard to resist.

But I woke up this morning, determined to walk the dogs.  I'm doing it.  Knee felt good, lazy was pushed the the background, and I harnessed my beasts and told myself to just walk a mile.  That's it.  Just one measly mile.

At the half mile mark, I wished I didn't have a time constraint, that this wasn't a work morning and I didn't have to be anywhere by 8, because I wished to keep walking, past the one mile goal and on down the trail.

I'd forgotten what walking in the early morning brings to me.  It's not just about exercise, it's about peace.  There is nothing else going on, hardly any cars or people, I can hear the birds and watch the sun start to unfurl.  Almost home, I started singing an old Sunday school song in my head (not out loud, because the morning was too peaceful for that kind of racket)......

I'm inright, outright, upright, downright, happy all the time......

I'll be the first to admit that I haven't been happy this last week or so.  It's the end of summer, end of vacation, end of my favorite season.  It's the start of school, my son a senior, my daughter in drivers ed, and I've been on kind of a bummer trip.

This morning, I feel renewed.  Walking: it's not just good for your cardiovascular's good for your soul!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

A Tale Of Lost Sons

My daughter suggested that lost wasn't the right word to describe the situation, but I said what else would you call it when you go upstairs in the morning to tell something to your sleeping son and he isn't there, none of the boys are there, and the car is still in the driveway and he isn't answering texts or phone calls and you have no idea where he is.


Or misplaced.

Because after a 20 minute (slight) freak out where I went back upstairs and turned on all the lights to make sure I wasn't missing him under a lump of covers and went outside and looked in the car in case he is like his dad and sometimes falls asleep late at night in the seconds after he turns off the car before he opens the car door and left a message for him to call me because this wasn't cool at all, after all of that, I took a deep breath and thought where on earth could 4 teenage boys be at 7:30 in the morning on a day they can all sleep in?

If they aren't sleeping upstairs, where else could they be sleeping?

And just like that I remembered they had told me the night before that they were going to camp out in the trailer.  I knocked on the trailer door and heard sleepy mumbling.

Whew.  Not lost.  Just forgot where he was.

I told him to ignore all 7 texts, 3 missed calls, and one voicemail.  Every Mom gets to have a freak out or two, and this was one of mine!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

I Get Knocked Down

Today, as I struggle to get ready for work, feeling weak and tired and not a little bit sick, that song from the 90's keeps running through my head....but only two lines of it because that is all I know....

I get knocked down,
But I get up again.

Sometime in the early hours between Sunday and Monday, I got hit with a terrible fever.  Chills, aches, the whole nine yards.  I might have even talked some nonsense, asking my husband to not tell my Mom I was sick because she would take my covers.  Which, to my husband, made no sense at all, but to me, it made perfect sense.  My childhood high fevers were spent shivering without covers and sometimes even a cold bath to get the fever down.

Today I feel better.  No fever, just the general feeling of having been run over by a convoy of semi trucks.  As I make myself presentable for work and plan dinner for tonight and try to remember the kid's schedule of the day, I'm just trying to get myself back up again.

I get knocked down,
But I get up again.

Nothing a triple shot mocha won't help, I'm sure!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Breath, Dogpatch Style

For days I have sat at our computer desk and smelled an odd smell.  Not good, but not terrible.  Not findable either.

Today I was in the kitchen, and pulled the beater out of the cupboard and smelled that odd smell again.  Only more potent.  

I immediately flashed to the vent that is in the wall, connecting my cupboard and my computer desk in a smell, sound, and sight way, and thought, oh this is not going to be good.

I called my husband out to investigate (because it was that bad) and he got down to sniff the cupboard.  His determination?

It smells like hillbilly breath.

Not sure when he became that acquainted with a hillbilly, but he insisted that is exactly what the smell was.

But he cleaned out the cupboard of it's onions and potatoes (some, I'm ashamed to say were in liquid form) and he threw them away outside and I stood in the kitchen kind of gasping for fresh air.  

My husband has always said we aren't too far removed from hillbillies, and based on the taste that lingers in the back of my throat and my nose, I'm guessing if someone were to have an unfortunate encounter with me, they'd smell hillbilly breath.

It's not me, I swear.  It's the cupboard.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Sunshine Smiles

Take my kids, dogs, and hubby
Take my wine, coffee, and money
But don't take my sunshine

Give me hot rays a'raining
Give me grass dry and browning
Only let me have my sunshine

Take my damp Spring, Fall and Winter
Take my warmish days that hinter
And leave me my sunshine

Give me bright warmth for basking
Give me garden jobs for tasking
So I can revel in my sunshine

For the sunshine grows some glory
That my soul craves so surely
Summer days so sweetly charming
I can't stop myself from smiling

This post inspired by prompt #3 at Mama's Losin' It!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

44 Down

44 Down
Four letters
Opposed to,
Dogpatch style

Li'l Abner
I love you
I know all about
Sadie Hawkins Day
Yokumberry tonic
Stupefyin' Jones
Dogpatch, USA
And the answer to 44 down!

My childhood filled with movie musicals
Has paid off big time...

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Most Days

Most days, I'm happy that my kids have so many great friends.  Most days, I'm thrilled that our house is the hang out place.  Most days, I'm pleased that our home is an open house and friends are in and out like immediate family.

Most days, I like it.

But the other days, I'm not as happy, thrilled or pleased.  Days when I walk into our all ready messy, cluttered and hard to use mud room/laundry room/back porch and see this:

I know that bikes have a chance of being stolen here at our house (last count: 5 stolen), and I do not want another one to be taken, especially a friend's bike, I squeeze my way around the bike to get to dog food, shoes, and laundry.

This is actually the second day of the bike hanging out in the house.  Today is not most days when I'm happy, thrilled and pleased.  Today, I'm kind of wanting the bike to get back to wherever it should actually be!

But I also know that the owner of this bike is days away from moving out of state, and this bike won't be in my way too much longer.....I'm just going to let it hang out as long is it can.  The owner is welcome to do the same.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Back From Vacation

This was me, just yesterday,
campfire, coffee and book

Now back to the regularly scheduled work day....
I'm not sure I'm ready!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

10 Things I Love About Him

1. His perfect baby hair swirled cowlick on the center of his forehead has grown out.  When I see his hair flop towards his eyes, I am always amazed.  That cowlick meant business.
2. He is so funny and creative and he always makes me laugh.  Tacked to the bulletin board is a drawing of an octopus with the words "Historically Truthful Account of Octopi" and every time I see it, I chuckle.
3. He taught himself to play guitar and impresses me with the tunes I hear him strumming.
4. He is passionate about movies and loves to find obscure films, watch them over and over, get the family to watch too, and analyze every detail.
5. He has a kind heart.  He is nice to little cousins and pain in the rear dogs.
6. He's not embarrassed to hug or to be told "I love you" in front of friends.
7. He is a snazzy dresser, his style is his own and he rocks it.
8. He is so like me, sometimes it's like gasoline and a lit match, but more times than not, it is PB&J.
9. He's filled my house with boys and made my old dreams of having six kids underfoot a reality.
10.  Seventeen years ago today, he made me a mom and changed my life for the best.  I held him in my arms, looked at my husband and said, "I am falling in love." I never knew it would feel like this, but I am oh so glad it does.

Happy Birthday David!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Last Week Of Waiting

Seventeen years ago this week, I was starting the last week countdown until I would have a baby.  I had no idea...this first baby was due Aug 26 and everyone says first babies are late and I just assumed I had weeks to go still.

So I spent this last week doing nothing to get ready.  I had zero nesting impulses.  The crib was in pieces, baby things were jumbled all over baby's room.  I had packed a sour grape sucker and a book (a book I tells ya!) in my "going to the hospital" bag.  I'm still not sure why I packed a book for labor and I never ate the sucker!

The only thing ready for the impending surprise birth was my heart and my arms.  My arms to hold and to rock and my heart to love like I had never loved before.

It was over a month after our son was born before his crib was put together.  Turns out tiny newborns are okay with tiny bassinets that fit just right next to Mommy's bed.  Being perfectly ready is overrated anyway, I'm sure!