Thursday, May 31, 2012

7 Random Facts

One Lovely Blog Award

Lucy gave me the One Lovely Blog Award and I am very thankful!  
Now to list seven random facts about me:

1. My son found me reading "Becoming Sisters Wives" as I was watching the show "Sister Wives." What can I say? The Kody Brown family is fascinating to me!

2. Is there ever an episode of "The Waltons" that doesn't make me tear up?  So far, I haven't found it. Even the one I just watched with the Mamma cow bawling for her lost little calf had me reaching for the tissue.

3. I have a personal rule against going out with my hair wet.  Due to the length and the weight of my hair, getting it dry takes some time, and often is the reason I am late.  I'm not opposed to heading off to work with damp hair, but if the ends of it are making my shirt wet, it's too wet!

4. As a kid, I heard a joke that Willie Nelson had died because he was 'playing on the road again'.....I didn't get it was a joke and was very upset that he was dead.  I can laugh about it now, but it wasn't funny at the time!

5. Having dogs that can tell time is very inconvenient when I want to write and they are tapping my leg telling me it is their supper time.

6. My sister and I once spent a weekend with my racehorse owning Aunt and Uncle.  I will never forget being back in the stalls, meeting horses, and picking the one we wanted to bet on.  Our pick lost, but it was all so much fun!

7. I have seven tattoos.  If I had a little extra money and a solid design I loved, I'd be getting number eight in asap!  I did like my sister's idea of three waves, for three sisters at the sea.....but only two out of three of us are into tattoos.  I'm not sure if a tattoo for three sisters would be as good if only two got it!

And now to pass it on to a few Blogs I follow........

Which is actually random fact #8: I suck at picking and choosing! Since I've agonized over every blog I follow, trying to decide, (I am embarrassed to say)  for an hour, my daughter suggested I just say thank you and post this so someone else in our family can have access to the computer.  And that is what I'm going to do!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Good Times At The Sea Side

Glory be for sand between toes
And wind burned noses
For shovels and buckets and sandcastle building
For taffy and popcorn and late movie watching
For swimming suits that never dry
For laughing so hard we almost cry
For little kids and big ones too
And one baby's debut
Here we are again
One wonderful weekend a year......

Thanks for all the well wishes!  
Our trip was great!

The original five who started this trip so many years ago, and ended it on Monday morning, taking our last beach pictures on the Prom and vowing we'd do it again the next year and the year after......
And that's exactly what we've done.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Taking Off

The car is packed
The dogs are sad
Because they can not go

The house is clean
The love note signed
Because we leave Dad too

It's just the girls and kids
With two hubbies thrown in
It's off to the seashore we go

The sea and sand and fish and chips
And tilt-a-whirl and taffy
Wait there for us to find

A four day jaunt of blessings galore
Laughter and joy and good times
This trip we hold so dear, 10 years in a row

Thursday, May 24, 2012

The One Reason I Won't Be Late

One Seaside trip, I was famously late getting to our meet up because I was painting my toenails.  I thought I had plenty of time to do it the morning of our trip......turns out I do not.

Ever since then I try to get that part of my trip planning done days in advance.  Last night while my daughter and I watched "To Kill A Mockingbird" (seriously, best book ever and the movie is pretty darn good too) I picked my color and did my nails.

I won't be late this year because of a last minute desire for toe nail sparkle.......I might be late if I have a blogging idea!  Those things can be slippery.  It's best to write them down when they come dancing by!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Waiting For The Windshield Guy

In preparation for our beach trip, I asked my husband to pretty please set up a time for our windshield to be replaced. It had gone from a tiny crack to a huge, embarrassing, sight hindering, blemish, and there was no way I was going to drive 6 hours with it that way.

There is nothing like waiting till the last minute, and that is of course, what my family likes to do.  So here I sit, two days before we leave, waiting for the windshield guy.

I've got a four hour window to wait and three dogs who live for scaring the beejesus out of visitors and a preschool graduation I am missing.

I have used this time for loads of laundry, vacuuming the couches, cleaning the kitchen, planning a minimal mess dinner (tonight we grill!), and making my famous planning/packing/prepping lists.

Still, there are a lot more things I'd rather be doing, number one being watching two little nephews do their end of the year preschool program.  I think it's the same program I have seen for the last few years, but it is still adorably cute and the boys are charming and sweet and I am missing it very much!

Monday, May 21, 2012

The Job Of Licking Envelopes

Whenever I lick an envelope, I always think of George Kastanza's fiance dying from that very thing.  I just licked an envelope and I feel like I might be poisoned.  My husband says it's all in my head, thus it is his job to lick all envelopes.

Or buy one of those wet envelope sealer things.

He's just going to keep licking em.

But what about when I am at work?  He's not there to lend a lick.....luckily our office has invested in pre-gummed envelopes and I usually don't have to taste adhesive.  When it is unavoidable, I lick fast, risking little poison but tremendous paper-cuts!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

School's Out

Today was the last day of teaching Sunday School this year.  

All I can say is, "Whew!"

I survived another year in grade Pre-K.  My creativity and patience were both wearing thin, and my desire to sit at an adult sized table was large.  

And while I know right now I am ready for summer break, I also know that in August, I'll be looking for the sign up sheet, and asking for the same class again.

My husband thinks I'm nuts, and that might be true.  I do enjoy the time spent coloring, reading my favorite Bible stories and listening to little voices tell me "God" is the answer to everything.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Let The Countdown Begin

It is less than a week until our annual trip to the beach.  The trip where my sisters and I and our Mom, and a few husbands and all 8 of our kids, pack up our cars and drive 6 hours to our spot at the ocean.

This will be Baby R's first trip, and it will be our 10th trip.  You'd think it would get old, since we do the SAME thing every year, down to what we eat for dinner the first night, but it doesn't.

I'm still as excited as the first time, when it was just my sisters and I and my two kids, crammed into our car, waving goodbye and hitting the open road.  Maybe more so, since I know how good the fish and chips at Norma's are, and how wonderful the sand feels under my bare feet, and how much fun we have late at night, after we put the little ones to bed and the older folks visit and laugh until we can't move.

I've looked at the forecast, and it's full of rain showers, but that is how it always is.  And we like it that way!  You can't say you are a true PNW beach lover if you can't love it in the rain.

Seaside 2006

We make look like this while we're enjoying it, but as you can tell by the grins on our faces, we are loving it!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Work Boots

I try not to be all sentimental and mushy.  I hate sappy feelings.  But when it comes to my children....well, sometimes that glob of melty emotions can not be helped.

Take yesterday for instance.  My son and husband returned victorious from their shopping trip....their clothes shopping trip.  I knew that this would be one time that my husband would be a better guide then me, for picking out pants and shoes, because these special items are actually for our son's first job.

He needed tough working pants and serious work boots.  When he came home, he opened his box to show me the new boots and I was surprised.  Those boots are huge!  Man sized!  How on earth are they going to fit my little guy?

Perfectly, it turns out.

Sometimes, it is hard to believe the the tiny, baby foot that I could cup in my hand is ready to head off to a job, work boots and all, driving a car no less!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Don Williams Sings The Anthems Of My Life

Don Williams rocks.

Most of you are doing some head scratching and wondering who that is.

Just one of the best country singers of all time! Not even joking, I would pick him over Conway. And that is saying a lot because I love, adore and revere Conway Twitty.  So many of the songs Don Williams croons just zing right to my heart, fill me to the brim with warm goodness, and pretty much sum up my feelings in some beautifully worded lyrics.

....It must be love, it must be love, I fall like a sparrow, fly like a dove
You must be the dream, I’ve been dreamin’ of, Oh what a feeling, it must be love....

....And I’m gonna stay, right here ‘cause I’m in rhythm with your mind
Tune out the world and rest my head 'neath the shelter of your eyes......

....You placed gold on my finger, you brought love like I’ve never known.....

....But I believe in love, I believe in babies, I believe in Mom and Dad, and I believe in you.....

.....Lord, I hope this day is good, I'm feeling empty and misunderstood
I should be thankful Lord, I know I should,  but Lord I hope this day is good.....

....These are the ties that bind, the little things you do that please me so,
the way you always understand, when simple joys bring peace of mind.....

....But I knew there was you all the while, and it’s been worth every mile....

....Till the rivers all run dry, till the sun falls from the sky, till life on earth is through, I’ll be needing you.....

There are lots more that I'd write about, with some of my favorites having a 'lay down beside me' spooning kind of theme, but my daughter asked me not to embarrass her or gross her out.  And she also asked me to write about her, so I'm knocking two requests out with one home run swing!

Don Williams: he sings the anthems of my life.

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

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

We Are The Reason There's A Sign

When our dog Emma was a puppy, an only, spoiled rotten, puppy, we took her with us everywhere.  Thanksgiving and trick or treating, mocha runs, camping, hiking, picnicking, and in the case of my husband, the library.

After he told me he'd taken Emma into the library to pick up a book,  I was shocked.  Dogs aren't allowed in the library.  Well, he reasoned, there is no sign saying she can't.  Puppy Emma took a few more jaunts to the library with my hubby, always without me because I was positive dogs shouldn't be in there just for fun.

The library trips ended after a librarian asked if Emma was in training.  My husband said yes, of course she was in training.  (We are responsible puppy owners, after all.) The next question was to what service was Emma being trained, oh.   She is being trained to the service of not piddling on the floor?

Not going to cut it, and Emma was asked not to come back.

I can't help but wonder if we are the reason for the signs now posted on both sides of the library entrance: Service Dogs Welcome with a picture of a dog wearing a service vest.

Nah.  I'm positive we aren't the only dog crazy people in town.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

I Don't Need No Stinking Patches

I don't need a patch.  I don't need a merit badge or anything thing that labels me as one of the gang.  More specific, I don't need anything that requires sewing on.

But my husband does.

It started out so simple: he needed his name tapes and other patches sewn onto his Coast Guard uniforms.  I could do that.  Easy.  Then they went from pinned on the collar crows, to tiny little scraps of material that still had to be pointed exactly right, only sewn onto collar tips.  I could still do that, and apparently I made it look easy because now I've got a huge patch to sew onto his club jacket. 

Yes, I've moved beyond military uniforms, and now I have the honor of sewing patches for my husbands motorcycle club.  

It is as much fun as it sounds.  

With the Coast Guard, I used to worry that I wouldn't have the tapes lined up perfectly straight or the company insignia would end up slightly off center.

Now I worry that I will sew over some important part of the club name.  This is a good worry to have.  Maybe it will keep me from rushing through the project.....which is how I usually sew. 

Faster, faster, faster!  Too fast.  Better rip those last stitches out......

Monday, May 14, 2012

Can't Write, Weeding

One of my favorite lines from The Simpsons, and there are quite a few lines that I love and use in my daily life, but the one that applies to tonight perfectly is a take on Homer saying, "Can't talk. Eating."

Can't write.  Weeding.

Which is why I am too exhausted to do much more of anything except sprawl out on the couch, with my feet up, and pretend to read a book,when actually I am almost too tired to even hold it up.

Maybe there's a Simpsons rerun on instead!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day

I am so grateful for these two little monkeys who call me Mom!
They've changed my life in ways I never dreamed of and they've made it a thousand times better in every way.  

My son at 6 months

My daughter at 8 months

Happy Mother's Day!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

I Am Not Winning Dog Mom Of The Year

It's a short story, very simple really, but it has rocked the worlds of my three pooches.

When I was doing laundry, somehow one of their stuffing-less toys got into the wash.  It is so old, it no longer has a head or tale, just an empty tube of furred indestructible material.  It is, rightly so, the  favorite toy.  It is loved and tossed high in the air and tug of warred over and snuggled with at night.

But I washed it.  Accidentally.  When it came out of the dryer, clean, I was shocked.  I hadn't realized it was that dirty before, but it's after photo is brilliantly clean.....that is, if I had found the camera and taken a picture.

As it is, you'll have to take my word for it.

So I tossed this washed toy back on the couch, in the pile with the other toys that are being hoarded and take up a full sized person spot, and I became disturbingly aware of how dirty the other toys were......

So I took them all and washed them.

Apparently, part of the love of these toys is their dirtiness.  The girls are not pleased.  They have sniffed their freshly laundered toys with much disdain and unhappiness.

This does surprise me.  Based on their love for diving into a pile of hot from the dryer clothes, I thought they liked clean things.

Their accusing eyes have corrected me of this wrong idea.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Adventure Cooking In The Land Of Vegetarian

My daughter has never loved meat.  She'll eat it in some things and like it in others and flat out refuse it if it looks questionable.  And then a few weeks ago, she said she'd like to become a vegetarian.

I kind of laughed and said she had to do a lot of planning and learning and she disappeared for hours and came back down with some very well thought out ideas.  I said her next hurdle was convincing her dad.

He was, of course, against it. He was, of course, right, when he said it sounds like more work for me.  But after listening to her explain, and arguing in a friendly sort of way, he conceded to let her move forward in this new lifestyle.

I said it wouldn't hurt us to try some meatless dinners, besides the old standard of homemade mac and cheese, so my daughter and I poured over my cooking magazines, and tore out everything that looked good (and she tore out a few that didn't, I hate mushrooms) and the adventure began.

I'm not sure how this is going to work, though, since she hated the rice and beans meal, which her brother was quick to point out was very good with the sausage I'd added to the meat eaters plates, and I wasn't too keen on tonight's dish of zucchini parmesan, but the rest of the family had seconds and there is only one tiny little spoonful left in the baking dish, so it's okay, and the spring veggie pasta dish needed quite a bit of tweaking before I attempt it again.

And as much as I thought I didn't like meat, I do.  When I took my "rotisserie chicken" out of the crockpot to take the meal over to my new niece and her family, I couldn't help but steal a piece, and it was so delicious!

My daughter's plan is to cook a few meals on Sunday, and freeze them into individual servings, so on nights when the meal plan is chicken with a side of steak and a huge helping of meatloaf all smothered in sausage gravy, she has another option.

She did decide on an exception: she will still eat my spaghetti sauce, meat based and all.  Thank goodness!  It's my favorite special dinner to make. Christmas wouldn't be the same without spaghetti for dinner!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

My Motherhood Moment

This is a real person in my arms.  This downy headed, chubby cheeked, newly born baby, is a Real Person, who will grow up and have dreams and hopes and loves of his very own.

And I have the great privilege, the honor and the joy, the responsibility, of helping shape how he grows.  I want him to grow strong and tall and full.  Reaching for the sky with aspirations, roots soul deep to keep him steady.

As the years go by, this fragile, little, unknown babe, will be known and not known to me, will be understood and then not so much.

But in these first minutes of meeting, I know all I need to know.

I love this baby.

That is the moment I really began to understand what this thing called Motherhood is all about.

This post inspired by prompt #1 at Mama's Losin' It!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

It's What's For Dinner

The kids and the hubby
Have taken off for happening events
And I am at home
Comfy pants and relaxing
I know before I leave work
What I want for dinner
It's just me and the three dogs
Chilling on the couch
Watching a movie
And a big bowl of popcorn
It's some for me,
One for Emma, one for Sarah, one for Olive
Some for me
Round and round until
The bowl is empty

Buttered Popcorn:
It's what's for dinner.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

I Am Not....

I am not a Boy Scout or a Girl Scout, or a Bluebird, or any combination of the above that might have a motto of preparedness.  But I have kind of learned my lesson.

This will be a post of confessions.  First up: I didn't have time to shave my legs today.  So I picked a beloved long skirt.  It came from a thrift store about ten years ago and I love how comfortable it is because (second confession): it has a drawstring waist and I love not having zippers and buttons constricting me.

I walk to work on this lovely day, full of sunshine and smiles and I arrive on time but as I bend down to put my yogurt in the fridge I hear an ominous rip.

Which I ignore, stretch down even further to find a slightly empty spot for my lunch treat,  and hear a worse rip.  And then my skirt sags away from my waist and feels like it might hit the floor.  I casually, but quickly, get a grip on it and make my way to the bathroom.

Upon entering I discover that my draw string has severed connections with itself, and I no longer have anything holding my skirt up.  I dig through my bag, praying for a safety pin, but no such luck.  I almost never have a safety pin at home when I need it, I sure as shooting won't have it in my purse for an emergency like this!

At my desk, I jerry-rig a paper clip to cinch my skirt in, and I then I sit and pray for the hours to sped by so I can walk home at lunch.

First thing I do when I get home: let the skirt fall off.  Second thing: feed the dogs their lunch.  Then I make my own lunch.  After that I fix my skirt, good as new.

I have decided I can't always be prepared, but I will change it slightly and always have a safety pin in my purse.  That being said, I was almost late back to work trying to find one!  I did, and it is in my purse and I hope to never have to use it.

Monday, May 7, 2012

A To Z Reflections

I'd known fellow blogging friends were going to do the A to Z Challenge, but I didn't know if I really wanted to commit to that.  A letter a day?  I hate the letter 'J'.  That would be a tough day....and I'm not wild about 'K' or 'Q' either.....

Then April 1st rolled around and seeing all the clever 'A' posts got me excited and inspired and I knew I could do that too.  So I joined up.

I loved it!  Visiting other blogs, commenting on posts that intrigued me....not to mention my own blogs comment numbers jumped up!

I didn't plan in advance.  I'd wake up and think, "Today is the letter --" and sometimes inspiration hit immediately, sometimes I pondered it all through the day.

I had so much fun doing this challenge, and I missed it when it was over!  The first day after the challenge ended, I sat down to blog with no clue what, how, when, where or why to write!

I'll do it again next year, absolutely!  But I will give the letter 'Z' a lot more thought.  I enjoyed every "Zippity Doo Dah" post, but next year I want my 'Z' to  And I sincerely hope that doesn't make me a bad person!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Out Damn Weeds!

I don't know where I was last summer, but I obviously was not taking care of my flower beds.   They are a disaster.  And that is not an exaggeration.

This is about 1/8 of the beds I have, but I can assure you, they all look like this.  I started trying to weed, but have ended up having to dig things up to get all the weed roots, and even then, I can tell it's a lost cause.

I'm half tempted to just let it go back to grass and have my husband run the mower over it.  

Actually, with the way I feel about it right now, I'm way beyond half tempted to do that!

Friday, May 4, 2012

I'm Back On For Wins

I have had a gut feeling about whether every baby was a boy or a girl since my first born, and I have been right every time except for 3 years ago when I guessed a girl for my sister's third and he turned out to be a wonderfully perfect boy.

I should have changed my guess because I had a dream a few weeks before he was born, and instead of a girl, he was a boy.  I woke up and thought, "She's having a boy," and then I thought, "Don't second guess yourself," and I was wrong.

So for this last baby, my youngest sister's third, I've felt like it was a girl.  Just had a feeling.  But, I wasn't confident in that feeling after my one wrong feeling.  About four days ago, I dreamed that the baby had been born and I got a text from my Mom saying, "It's a girl!"

I decided to go with it.  I made my final guess and it was done up in pinks and frills........

It's hard to tell in this unisex hospital blanket, and she also looks identical to her big brothers, but I was right.  I'm back on for wins in the guessing baby game!
Welcome to the family baby RJC!  OhCho is going to spoil you rotten.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

My Perfect Mother's Day

I wake up when I want
Not when the dogs bark
Or the kids knock

I have no household chores
The dishes are washed
The trash is tossed

I want to sit on the front porch
With a good book for reading
And a mocha for drinking

I need a card from each kid
And that means the dogs too
Printed all over with 'I love you'

I should go out to eat
Since I can't lift a finger 
To figure out dinner

I will stop by my Mom's 
To tell her she's awesome
I am because she is a very good Mum.

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

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

First Love

This is the true story of first love, of meeting on the school bus at the age of 14, of going steady and holding hands, of proms and pep assemblies, of the B dinner for two and a movie at the old theater.  It's the story of two kids who felt older than their years, who came together like perfect connecting puzzle pieces, who knew that to say yes to this big adventure was a forever kind of deal.

I can remember in our early dating life, trying to picture us together at our 20th reunion, and I could not see it.  Not because we weren't digging each other, but because we were still getting to know each other.  I can pinpoint the exact moment the scale tipped to the heavier, better, side of knowing.

It was the 4th of July, and my guy showed up at my door for our date at the parade and fireworks later, with an eye patch and his Mom.  His eye was scratched, he couldn't drive, and to keep our date, his Mom was our chauffeur.  Being all of 16 going on 17, I should have died of mortification.

Instead, I took his hand happily, proudly.

Later as I sat with his Mom on a blanket and watched him light off fireworks (he was being careful he said, but considering he had only one eye and it was dark, I was worried) I felt a surety, a wholeness, a sense of belonging when I looked at him (eye patch and all) and I knew.

I knew then, and 21 years later, I still know.

He is the the other half of me, to have and to hold, for better or for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish.  He is mine and I am his.

And for everyone who said we were too young (and considering that we were 18, that was almost everyone) I say, "Your mother was a hamster, and your father smelt of elderberries."

True love watches a guys favorite movie hundreds of times and even after that many viewings, can't stop laughing when he quotes from it.  21 years and counting!

This post inspired by TangledLou and all the somethings she's up to!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

The Sun In Her Eyes

When we moved into this house years ago, we upgraded from a round table that sat four to a rectangle table that can seat 6 easy and 10 if you really love your neighbor.  We also upgraded from eating in the kitchen to a real dining room.

After so many years with a round table, having a 'head' of the table felt odd, so the four of us sit two by two across from each other.  We do have our spots, and only for guests do we give up our white knuckled grip on our reserved seat!

My daughter has always sat facing the outside door, with it's lovely old fashioned glass window, but during certain times of the year (namely spring, summer and fall) it catches all of the sun's glory. Those lovely rays of sunshine fall exactly on her face, and she is blinded.  She's tried moving her chair to the left or to the right, but it is no use.  Her spot is a sun spot.

I would always tell her I was so sorry and offer to trade spots or move her chair to one of the ends of the table, but we are set in our ways kind of folk, and her spot is her spot regardless of blinding sunlight.

When company is over, we sit wherever there is a spot.  There are no rules on those nights, and so it happened a night ages ago that one of my son's best friends sat in my daughter's spot for dinner.  He quickly held up his hand to cover his eyes and I thought, oh no!  We can't let a guest suffer!

And so an idea came forth that still hangs around to this day:

The apron curtain!  It hangs on the door year round, sometimes up, sometimes down.  My daughter is quick to point out that I never thought of it for her, when the sun was in her eyes....  True.  I don't know why I didn't think of hanging something up there years before!  Just tired I guess.

It is an apron she sewed herself, that I love dearly and was loath to dirty up in real apron duties, so I think that should count for some good Mom points!

PS This is not an example of blinding sunlight coming in.....currently we have a huge, ugly rain cloud hanging right over our town.  Otherwise, it would be ablaze in sunshine!