Sunday, December 29, 2013

The Abyss

As I'm standing on the brink of 2014, my toes curling over the edge, heart pounding, stomach in nervous contortions, I'm not sure if I'm looking into a new adventure, a grand ride on the roller coaster of life, or if I'm about to step off into an abyss, doing a perfect swan dive as I clench my eyes tight and pray for a soft landing and no scary deep sea monsters at the bottom.....

The thoughts of a dark abyss turned my mind's attention to a known unfathomably chasm in my own house.  In previous years, my husband has had to do many plumbing projects in our bathroom.  It's gotten so that he's done so many, pulled the nails out of this little kick board so many times, that it no longer wants to stay connected to the wall.  

So every day, when I use the facilities, I am staring right into this horrible abyss.  It's full of thick cobwebs and I swear to goodness, something furry that I am loath to investigate.  I just push the scale up to the loose board and it sort of props itself up enough. 


I do not believe in making new years' resolutions.  I don't make bucket lists.  But the first thing on my 2014 to do list is to dig some nails out of the junk drawer and hammer this board back tight to the wall.

Or maybe first thing on my to do list should be to organize the junk drawer.  I can never find what I'm looking for when I finally wrench it open!

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Our Christmas Report

Christmas Eve pajamas....a must have for every well dressed kid on Christmas morning!

Olive is positive Leah needs help opening gifts.

Sarah figures out her stocking....sadly it was empty by the time she did!

Emma is pretty sure the big present has her name on it.

It may have been a quieter Christmas this year, with my husband out to sea and my son moving out, but it was still magical to wake up (or actually, be woken up!) by an excited daughter who cheered and grinned with every opened package and immediately tried on all her new clothes and gave 99% of them a thumbs up!  

My best gift this year?  It was when my daughter turned to me and said, "You're a pretty cool Mom." 
I know I am.....now don't you forget it!!

Monday, December 23, 2013

The Eve Of The Eve

It's the Eve of the Eve
The start of parties galore
Of cookies and laughter
And torn wrapping paper
It's carols and family
And small children dancing
Eyes full of twinkles and
Hopeful Santa wishes
It's home and it's joyful
And it's all I could ask for

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Paper Counting

Over the last few months, I have gathered paper at any garage sale I wandered through.  Various sizes of index cards, foam shapes, stickers.  If the price was right, I bought it.

I am the craft Aunt.  The one who would rather pull out glue and paper instead of playing a game.  I've crafted my way through all the nephews sleepovers and when I used to babysit regularly, after nap time was craft time.

So for Christmas last year, at my sister's advice, I gave them boxes of paper, glue, markers, and tape.  This year, I'm doing the same thing, times five.  I know I have 1,000 sheets of white paper.  So that is 200 in each box.

And yes.  I counted.

My daughter said that was silly, that their Moms would just dump it all in a box for sharing and it is not worth counting each page.  True, very true, but for that moment, on Christmas day, when they open their boxes, they will know it is even Steven, equal and fair, right down to how many stickers each boy gets.

Or rather, I will know it.  And that makes me very happy.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Sweater Envy

For two days in a row, I have been on the receiving end of some very serious sweater envy.  It feels really nice when something you are wearing (and love) is found to be as drool worthy as you thought it was!  

At the bank, the teller raved about my (very tasteful) snowflake Christmas sweater.  It looks so warm and perfect for the season!  Where did I get it, if I don't mind her asking?

I don't mind.  Value Village.  This past spring, I happened to hit a sweet sale: all sweaters 50% off.  I love cardigan sweaters and I love super sales and I found some wonderful deals, that I then had to wait six months to wear.  Snowflake sweaters don't wear well in spring time!

But when I pulled it out from the depths of my furiously jam packed closet this week, I started to second guess myself.  Snowflakes?  Really?  Seems almost too close to ugly sweater territory.  I tried it on and remembered why I bought it!  It's warm and cozy and cute and fits just right.

I don't mind sharing where I got my wonderful sweater....but it won't help the teller buy one.  At Value Village, clothes are usually one of a kind!

The next day I wore a sweater my sister loved.  Where did I get it, she asked.  Oh, um, remember the garage sale we were both just at?  And I went back later?  Um, there.  It was just waiting for me and my 25 cents to come along!

She may have scored two perfect pyrex dishes and lids, but I got a drool worthy sweater.  It seems pretty even!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

The Reasons I Can And The Reason I Won't

Since my husband is out to sea for another 40 day patrol, and the kids were gone with friends, there was no one here to tell me it was too late or they were too tired or didn't I just want to watch TV instead of doing some late night shopping.....

All reasons why I can throw on a jacket, grab the keys, and do some Christmas shopping at 8:30 PM on a Saturday night.

It was all going so well, too.  I found everything on my list, there were no lines to wait for anything, I was on a roll.

Until I got out to the parking lot, the dark, wet, rainy parking lot, and my hands were full of bags because I didn't want to hassle with pushing a cart back inside, and I walked to my white Chevy Tahoe, pushed the unlock button on the key fob in my hand, opened the back door and put my stuff down on an empty seat, that before I'd gone into this last store had been full of shopping bags.

I've been robbed, I thought, with a sick sinking feeling.  And whoever did it was super stinky, because my car still smells like them.  I looked to the steering wheel and saw two car fresheners hanging there.  And they were thoughtful thieves too, trying to mask their bad odor!

Or, this is not my car.

No, this is a white Chevy Tahoe, parked exactly the same direction as mine, in the exact same spot as mine, only one row over.  

I quickly pulled my bags out, shut their car door, and walked over to my white Chevy Tahoe, with all of it's bags of gifts still inside, and no horrible stench, and got in, locked my doors and got the heck out of there.

The reasons I can are clear; the reason I won't go shopping that late again is because in the dark, all white Chevy Tahoes look alike.

It's a pretty common car in these parts!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

December Love

My favorite season is summer, but it is closely followed by December.  I love the season of giving, the Christmas music, the family gatherings, the trees and cookies and the love.

But mostly I love the lights.

I must have a moth soul because if it's bright and shiny, I'm drawn to it like a flame!  It could explain why I love Vegas so....

I love lights on the tree, and around the house and seeing the glow of lights on a dark, cold night makes me grin.  It makes me want to bundle up, hold tight to three dog's leashes, and walk with my honey through our neighborhood, oohing and aahing as I go.

And when we wind our way back home,  we can have copious amounts of hot cocoa with marshmallows and snuggle under a blanket with the glow of the tree lights warming our hearts.



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

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Paperclips For The Paperless

We are going paperless
So please ignore the pile of paper on my desk
And in my inbox
And my to be scanned box
And the leaning tower of registrations about to topple off the shelf
And the mounds under my desk
Because we are going paperless.

I can't wait.  I'm sick of all the paperclips we use to hold paper we don't talk about together.....

I scoop handfuls off my desk morning, noon, and night.  I pick them up from the loving embrace of the carpet beneath my desk.  If I move anything I find clips hiding, shirking their clip duties.

We're going paperless, don't you know!

Saturday, December 7, 2013

A Mother's Hearing

Today is Super Saturday.  That means it is the first Saturday of the month, and our local hardware store (over 100 years old) has a 20% off everything sale.  My husband and I had a list of things we needed and wanted (my list started with the free popcorn and moved on to the free cookies).

As I was munching my popcorn, standing in the kitchen housewares aisle, drooling over the brightly colored spatulas and flour sack dish towels, I heard it.

The sound of coughing.

Now, a regular Super Saturday finds the Hardware store jam packed, but today was also the Santa Parade and a celebration of our small town holiday season, so the store was filled to the brim with shoppers.  And colds abound in this winter season.

But I heard a cough in that sea of people and I knew who it was.  I left the aisle I was in and aisles away, found my son sweeping spilled popcorn.  He works at the hardware store and I try not to embarrassingly seek him out when I am there, but that cough...

He's good, just getting the cold everyone has and I waited till he stopped home for lunch to feel his forehead for fever.

It makes me wonder, though, this cough that will still wake me from a dead sleep, and even in a crowd of people I recognize it as his, in 30 years will my Mother's hearing still be as keen as it is now?

I can hope.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Thanksgiving From A Procrastinator

My house may have shoes and dirty socks strewn about in every room,
Clumps of dirt and sawdust liberally sprinkled on the floor,
Books piled high upon the stair,
Paper, school work, work work, scratch work, everywhere,
Dirty dishes and dirty clothes and words written on dusty shelves....

But if my house was clean and perfect, neat and tidy and sparkling clean,
I would be living all alone,
And I would miss my lovely family that keeps my house so slightly messy.

I am thankful for the mess,
And my kids and dogs and husband that put it there!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Rainy Day Choices

On very rainy, windy days, when the weather laughs at the joke that is my umbrella, I must choose.

Do I hang on to my hat, protecting persnickety, cowlicky, curly every which way but tame bangs?

OR

Do I hold my skirt down, protecting my modesty?

It's the hat, every time!

Friday, November 1, 2013

Why I Stayed Up Late

Last night I was up past 11.  That is past my bedtime, past the hour my common sense kicks in and says 'hey, don't forget you have to work in the morning,' past the time I should be doing the dishes.

And yet, there I was, standing in the kitchen, washing dishes at 11 pm last night.

It wasn't because I took 6 teenage girls to Seattle to trick or treat.....and it was because I took 6 teenage girls to Seattle to trick or treat!

On the way down, only one girl was spending the night.  On the way home, everyone was having too much fun to call it a night, and I heard a chorus of, "Mom, is it okay if we all sleep over," and I said, "Of course!" and we drove back to our house and as they started their million trips up and down the stairs, taking turns washing off Halloween face paint, raiding the kitchen for milk, I realized I did not have any clean silverware.

And then I realized when you have no silverware sitting in the silverware tray, that tray looks awfully dirty and gross, and while some of these girls have been at our house so long I consider them part of the family, some are newer and I really don't like to make a dirty first impression.

So I washed the trays.  Then all the dishes.  Then dried and put dishes away.  I smiled as I looked at the gleaming silverware drawer and then I started wondering if washing dishes at 11 pm followed a normal thought process.  Of course it did, I reassured myself.  Anyone who saw that grimy, empty tray would have done the same thing.

I hope!

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Note To My Younger Self

A note to my younger self, in two words:

Don't Worry

What good did all the worry do me?  Not one thing.  I borrowed troubles, I sweated the small stuff, I worried things down to the bone.....  If I could go back in time and give myself a note, not only give myself a note, but make it a note that I would believe with my whole heart and start practicing right away, it would be those simple words.

Don't Worry

Followed quickly by:
Be Happy

Finger snapping optional.


Inspired by prompt #4 at Mama's Losin' It!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

And 10 Months Later.....

Ten months after I was frantically trying to finish my nieces stocking for Christmas 2012, and sadly, had to admit defeat to time, as blogged about in this post, I have finished it.

In plenty of time for Christmas 2013.  Whew!!


And in plenty of time for me to start procrastinating the sewing project of 2013!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Rays Of Sunshine

The way to start a morning off on the wrong foot is to start it by pulling a disgusting clog out of the drain so you can shower without standing in water past your ankles.  Add to that, spilling an entire warehouse store size dog food bag right after opening it.

Those two things started to push my before 7:00 AM morning into bad day territory.....

But for my daughter who told me the dog food spilling wasn't bad, dogs will eat anything, even dusty food, and did I need any help, and would I like some toast?

I laughed because she is right: our dogs will eat anything, all I needed was the dust pan, and yes, please, toast, with so much butter, more butter than she would think a piece of toast could hold.

And suddenly, my day had rays of sunshine, and the day was back on the right foot.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

The Way I Like Them

If my Grandma's cookie jar isn't full when we come to visit, she pulls out her frozen cookie stash and serves us ice cold cookies.  I've never really understood the concept of having extra cookies to freeze until now.  I'm still learning how to shop for a party of teenage girls vs the way I shopped for a party of teenage boys!

Weeks ago, I had a plethora of  extra cookies.  I filled the cookie jar and still had so many cookies.  I decided to freeze them, an experiment, to see if they were still okay after a freeze.  My other option was to let them sit on the counter and get old and stale and finally go to the great garbage can in the sky.

Throwing out perfectly good cookies seems like a sin.

I froze 2 gallon bags filled with chocolate chip cookies and discovered something about myself.  I like frozen cookies.  I like to have a frozen cookie after dinner.  I like to have a frozen cookie with my coffee.  I like to have a frozen cookie pretty much any time of the day.

So when I had an abundance of cookies again, I put 8 in the cookie jar and froze the rest.  Both of my kids responded with, "What's with the frozen cookies?" and I smiled as I replied, "I like them that way."

In most things, I am ruled by my mother heart and set aside my own wants in order for my children to have theirs, which is how I've eaten too much tofu and watched too many scary videos, but in this one thing, I'm not budging!

I like my frozen cookies too much.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Fall's Cereal

The best part of our walk
Is the half block under the tall oak trees
The heaps of golden red orange leaves
Our feet kick up a delicious
Snap Crack Pop
The girls put their noses down
Plowing leaves over their heads
Leaves swish up my ankles
Tails wag
Smiles abound.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

The Bear Facts Of Life

Bears are scary.  Those claws and teeth, their territorial possession of any land they are on which you might accidentally walk into, their desire to eat the same berries that you wish to pick....Yep.  Scary beyond all reason.

As a kid, I had some defining moments with bears, but all without actually seeing a bear.  Once, when berry picking with my Mom and siblings, she thought she heard a bear and hustled us back to the car, except for myself, who did not want to be hustled until she said the dreaded words, "I thought I heard a bear," and then I hustled myself right into a sticker patch and got all the scratches one might expect from that.  Another time, my Mom and sisters saw a bear in a neighbor's field, going after their pig, and the lady of the house came out and shot it with her shotgun.  Said bear was hanging in the barn for any who wanted to see.  I did not.  Next, a bear got drunk in an apple orchard, and the call went around the community for all to come see it's funny antics, and I did not go.  I refused to go.  A drunk bear?  Are you insane?

Those three brushes with bears gave me a life-long fear.

As a grown up, I have camped all over bear infested country, and I have seen black bears and baby grizzly bears and survived.

But every night when camping, I know a bear is sitting in our campsite, waiting for me to move, so it can come over and ask me how I'm doing.

I might have also read too  many "drama-in-real-life" articles where bears tore open campers to drag people off into the night.

All of these memories were brought to the forefront of my mind, when my Mom casually mentioned that my aunt saw a bear when she was out walking her dogs.  12 miles from my house.  Sure, she was out in country section of our hometown, but all I could think was BEAR!!!  Too close!

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

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

A Perfect Storm Of Reasons

The problem with buying luxurious bedding is that it has created the most wonderful, cozy nest imaginable and when the alarm clock blasts its rude tones, all I can manage is to extend one arm to slap it quiet.  When it sounds again, I know it's time to get up, but the sheets and comforter become a perfect storm of reasons why I should hit snooze one more time.

And maybe just once again.

The only thing that made me get up this morning, sort of on time, is knowing I had to wake up my daughter and take a shower before anyone else beat me to the bathroom.

So I got up, and carefully smoothed the covers back to rights and promised myself that I would be back tonight closer to 10 than 11!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Puzzle Party

In our many garage sale adventures this last summer, I bought a puzzle.  I was taking a big chance on it, as it was open, and old, and it promised more than 500 not inter-locking pieces, but I bought it anyway.  How could I pass up a "historic puzzle" of the front page of The New York Times from December 11, 1936 when Edward VIII renounced the throne?

That's right!  I couldn't!

But then it sat in my dining room for weeks because I'm not actually a huge puzzle person.  I bought it to resell in my shop, but I can't do that unless I know there aren't any missing pieces.  

Yesterday at church my sister asked if I wanted to go to some estate sales.  Yes, I did, but I was so tired, the drive to them seemed super exhausting.  Instead, I saw my puzzle and suggested that my puzzle loving sister come over and we'd put it together.  

She brought her puzzle board, just in case we didn't finish in time, I could move it off the dining room table.

When we opened the box, I thought this was a mistake.  It was a front page of a newspaper, for crying out loud!  Tiny font, tiny pieces, and many fake edge pieces.....  But we invited our mom over and we all started working.  My daughter put on an old movie and did her homework with us and we laughed and talked and teased my son that he should stay and join us.

And then we were in the home stretch.  We had about 20 pieces left, but we'd been working on it for hours. Mom had to go home.  My sister did too, but she's a crazy awesome puzzle person, and those last pieces were going in on her watch.  My daughter came over and the three of us had a moment or two of worry that we were missing a piece, and then suddenly we had three pieces left and three spots and we each put one in until it was a finished puzzle and we whopped and hollered and clapped!

Puzzle parties: that's where the fun is at!


And yes, it's the next day, and the puzzle is still out and put together.  I'm going to enjoy looking at it just a little bit more!

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Six Word Saturday

So many errands, more coffee please!

Friday, October 11, 2013

Doodle-De-Doodle-Die-Day

I can not remember a time I did not doodle....when the edges of my notebook pages and borders of bulletins weren't a mass of swirling, twirling lines, when a curve turns into a mouth and two dots makes eyes and coils of hair twine down to join frogs on lily pads and beagles with floppy ears....

While I took notes at school, marching between the lines of writing were all manner of geometric shapes and girls with updo's and shaggy haired dogs.

Even now, give me a pen and paper and a boring moment of forced stillness and my paper is doodle-de-wonderful.  I sit at work, caught up, waiting for the phone to ring and fill my scratch paper with doodles, over which I cross-hatch until there is nothing left to identify it as a drawing.

After all, I'm grown up, a professional.  I can't have notes I pass to the doctors be filled with knights and dragons and maidens picking wildflowers and borders of hearts and butterflies.....


Thursday, October 10, 2013

Rainy Day Exercise Temptation

The trouble with rainy day exercise is that I do it indoors with the TV on.  And at 6:00 am there are mostly infomercials on and I love infomercials and I start thinking about how much I desperately need this wonderful invention....

How can I live one more minute without this glorious contraption?

Which is how I ended up with an 'ab roller' years ago.

I have stiffened my resolve and I did not reach for the phone to order.  But it was very difficult to find the will power to do so.  I hope I don't see that commercial again tomorrow!  I can't guarantee I'll remain firm a second time.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

World Class Juggler

I've been pretty tired lately, and having a slight sinus cold hasn't helped.  But I have powered through it; haven't missed work and kept up with the house and even walked the dogs in the evenings.  I was sure I was keeping everything together, running smoothly, and had become a world class juggler.

That is, until last night's dinner.

Or rather, the lack of dinner.

I remember pulling dinner out of the freezer and preheating the oven and sitting down for the next 40 minutes, confident I was cooking and had time to take a moment to do nothing at all.  Only, it turns out I'd forgotten the part where I put dinner into the oven to bake.  I walked into the kitchen and saw dinner thawing but not cooking and knew I was done in for the moment.

I ordered pizza.

I think I'm still a world class juggler.  I picked  up milk and bread on my way to get the pizza....and I remembered to put the milk in the fridge when I got back home!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

The Woes Of Purse Gum

I've given up chewing gum.

Not for health reasons or for jaw pain or fear of pulling out fillings.  No, I'm done with gum because I spilled my last pack in my purse, and pieces floated around in a sea of debris, and many pieces unwrapped.  Those unwrapped pieces sank to the bottom and wriggled their way into cracks and turned into a giant gummy mess.

A gummy mess in a purse is not as fun as it sounds.

I dumped everything out, tossed stuck together receipts and washed $3.79 in change to make it less nasty to hand over at garage sales and made the firm resolution: I will not carry gum in my purse.

Unless I spend that $3.79 on one of those plastic jumbo cases of gum, with a snapping closed flip top.

Now that's an idea with merit!

Monday, October 7, 2013

I Can Explain This Mess

I have just made the shocking discovery that my car looks like a crazy person owns it.

Sometimes when you pass a car, and you glance in the windows and see that it is full of stuff, not boxes or bags like a move or a shopping trip, but mounds of clothes and household items and empty fast food bags, and you wonder what sort of person does that to a car, how can you drive with all that junk?

Well.  That's my car right now.

I'd taken it for granted that my tinted windows would hide my mess.....

They do not.

In my defense, I'm in the process of moving new inventory into my vintage booth, and I've just finished with a booth at a vintage market and those two things are colliding in the back seat of our family car and meals have been a rushed on the go staple.

But that side glance into a crazy person's car, and realizing it was mine has been a real eye opener.  I'm cleaning it out tonight!

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Understanding Ruth

The story of Ruth and Naomi is an old one, a Bible story told to youngsters seated in short chairs.  Ruth says to her mother in law, "Wherever you go, I'll go too."  As a kid, I like the romantic part, when long before Bruno Mars said it, Ruth said, "Boaz, I think I want to marry you."  But the other part, where Ruth follows her mother in law away from her family home and all she knew, that I never understood.

I'm lucky in the mother in law department.  I've got a nice one, a kind one, a giving one, but would I go with her wherever she went?  Trust me, she's been to some wild places and I tend to be more of a homebody!  For 20 years it seemed like all we had in common is we love her son.

But then life got hard and sad for all of us and suddenly I knew what Ruth was thinking.  It isn't blood that ties us as family, it is love.  And that love will lead me to do all sorts of things I never thought I could, just because I saw a way to help, a need to fulfill, a hand to squeeze when things were rough, and a person I could be friends with.

I never made it to visit my mother in law in Morocco, I can't visit Baghdad, but her next post is Ireland.  I'm going to start saving my pennies right now to make that happen.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

I Write

My purse is littered with half written ideas
Sheets of paper, folded and creased
Crumbled and worn from rubbing
The dregs of my purse:
Loose change, paper clips, hard candy and
Unfinished ideas
Some take flight, stuck to an envelope
Handed over the post office counter
Written thoughts winging their way to freedom
Retrieved by the postal clerk
A To Do List, he said as he handed it back
A to do list, indeed
I drag them out, blinking and stumbling
Into the light of day
And I think,
Oh, I remember now,
I write.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

What She Learned

My daughter has become very busy this school year.  And since her car is not quite ready for prime time driving, our options are she drives our family vehicle to school and I take the old pick up OR I drive her to school and continue onto work.

Both options have draw backs.  I don't love driving the pick up; it literally has holes in it where I can look down and see pavement.  But I also don't love having to leave the house at 7:15 to get her there on time.  We do half and half and on the days I drive her to school, we are both trying to get ready in our bathroom at the same time.

Our wonderful 1905 house only has one bathroom, and it is a narrow weird one at that....but hey, we've got indoor plumbing so I'm not gong to complain!  When my daughter and I need to get ready at the same time, it's a synchronized dance around the bathroom sink and mirrors, taking turns with the flat iron, brushing teeth, doing make up, and talking.

This, I said to my daughter as I scrunched up my curls with my hand, this is how I did my hair back in the 90's.  I'd let my hair dry to just barely damp, then soak it with spray gel, then scrunch and scrunch the curls as I finished drying them on low.  Then for the final piece of early 90's hair magic, I'd curl my bangs in two directions.  One half curled down over my forehead, but the other curled up and bigger over my head, all said as I mimed the whole process.

My daughter just stared at me.  That, she said, couldn't have been a good look for anyone.  And has your hair always been that curly?

I looked in the mirror and realized I'd scrunched all the curls into super curls.  I grinned at her.  That is the power of scrunching, never underestimate what it can do for your hair!

If only I'd had some spray gel!


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

Friday, September 27, 2013

Haunted Proof

Proof that our house is haunted:



Or.....it's proof I need to dust more!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Monstrously Large House Spider

Ever since a moth once flew up into my face as I took my bath towel off the hook, I shake my towels out before use.  I hate moths and may have screamed like a crazy person.

I never thought I should shake out all other's towels but after yesterday I might have to.

I'd just wrapped my towel around my hair and moved on to the next step in my getting ready routine, when a towel fell off a hook behind me.  I turned, startled, and bent to pick it up when I realized that sitting on the towel still hanging, the towel dangerously close to my head, was one of those Monstrously Large House Spiders.

I stepped back, as far back as I could, but our bathroom is like a long, narrow hallway, there isn't too much room to back up.  I slowly inched past the MLHS and got out safely, even though it did turn as if it was watching me, and I called my son who is now a rescuer of spiders, instead of a killer them.

Rescue it, fine, but get it out of my house!

After the MLHS was removed, I went back into the bathroom and gave every towel a shake, and the shower curtain.  No other spiders or moths popped out, but I can't rid myself of the feeling of tiny bug eyes following my every move every time I step into the bathroom!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Oh, Right, It's Monday

When my alarm went off this morning, it was with one of those disorienting moments when I just don't understand why the alarm is going off.  What day is it?  What time is it?  Am I late for something?  Should I still be sleeping?

My sleep foggy brain finally alerts me that it is Monday and I have to work and I need to get out of bed right now to make sure my daughter is awake and I need a goodbye kiss before my husband leaves for work and so I do stumble out of bed; wake sleeping child, kiss husband goodbye, pour myself a cup of coffee and sit.

Because while I know it is Monday, and work awaits, I'm just not that into it!  I'm giving myself a few minutes to drink my coffee and try to adjust.

It would help matters immensely if this wasn't the worst pot of coffee I've ever made.  I must have been really tired last night as I was counting scoops!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Remembering

When we lived in New Jersey, we lived close enough to New York City to see it across the water.  We'd been making our way on the Jersey shore, when my mom and sisters came to visit for Christmas.  There was nothing for it but to pile into a tiny car and go exploring, and while my husband said he was absolutely not going to drive us into the city (he did it regularly with his job and wasn't a fan of the traffic) we took some wrong turns and ended up in the city, driving right beneath the Twin Towers. 

I remember craning my neck and trying to look up, trying to see exactly how tall they really were in person, and being unable to fully comprehend it, they were so freaking tall!  It was amazing!  We drove around and ended up in a park where we enjoyed a view of the back side of the Statue of Liberty, and the fantastic skyline that is New York City.  It was my favorite part of the day.

Two kids having the time of our lives.




Today is a day to remember, and not to forget.   For the first time in years, I can look at this picture and smile.  That was a great day, this was a great view, and those towers were really fantastic.

My moment of silent remembrance is right now, late at night.  I know this was exactly the time when I was laying in bed, listening to my kids sleep, praying like I'd never prayed before.  I still pray like that.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

School Daze

This first day of school is different than the last couple of years.  This one is quiet.  This one is calm.  This one is just one, and as I woke up our daughter, our 16 year old junior in high school daughter,  I will admit I felt the welling up of tears....missing the troop of boys that made our house shake as they all rolled in before school started each day for years and years....

But I'm going to embrace this change.  Finally, the baby of our family, brothers little shadow, finally she gets to have our undivided attention, be the center of our circle on a first day of school.

After the numerous hugs and kisses she got today as she left the house, I'm not sure she'd think that kind of focus is a good thing!

This post inspired by prompt #4 at Mama's Losin' It!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

47 Bug Bites

I was going to wax poetical about 47 bug bites being the definition of a great time camping....

Except 47 bug bites itch like crazy.  I woke myself up twice in the night, scratching at angry welts.  And even now as I sit here, I'm aching to reach down and give three on the back of my calf a good, hard scratch.

But, 47 bug bites are worth it for a good weekend.  I swear.  Or at least, I'll swear that in a week when the itching has stopped!

It was a weekend of blackberry picking, impromptu dance parties, summer homework, smores, tractor rides and tractor driving, and so much fun.  There is nothing like watching Grandma and Grandpa walk down from their house to have blueberry pancakes with us around the fire.  It is literally priceless.









We've already marked our calendars for next year!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

The Poetry Of Prayer

There is a poetry in prayer
A sweet sound to God's ear
The prayers I say, the prayers I think
The prayers I breath in and out like air
The words well up in my soul, flow from my heart
In joy or sorrow or thanksgiving
Praise or adoration or need
A rhythm of words
Of heart felt desire
Of love and peace and hope
Glory to God in all things
In all ways

Monday, August 26, 2013

You Know What They Say About Blessings And Disguises....

When my son calls in the late hours, it is never a good thing.  It usually involves the car and some variation of its barely held togetherness coming un-held.  So when the phone rang at 9:30 pm, it was no exception.

I left the house in under a minute, wearing old work clothes that I'd never usually wear out in public and arrived on the scene wondering if we could just get the car to limp its way home.  We could not.

Our adventure began!

We called our roadside assistance to get a tow and we settled down to wait for an estimated hour.

Now, if you've never been stuck in a car late at night with your 18 year old son who you miss very much and hardly ever see anymore, with his cell phone dying and your cell phone being held in reserve for the tow truck to call, well, I highly recommend it!

Under the starry sky, in our dark car, we talked and listened and talked and even though our roadside assistance failed us and never actually sent the call on to the tow truck company and it made our "one hour" more like two and I didn't get to bed until 12:30, it was a very nice time, one I am so glad to have had!

Friday, August 16, 2013

18 Years Ago.....

18 years ago, exactly at 8:31 in the clear light of morning,
We met.
Dr. Roberts held you up, and said,
"It's a boy!"
And in that instant
The love I'd known for you for the last 8 months
Paled in comparison to the love that exploded in my soul.
I marveled at your perfection,
The obvious intelligence shining in your eyes,
The promise of joy unparalleled.
I held you and drank you in,
Barely able to share you with your Dad,
So content to feel your weight in my arms.
My life became infinitely, wonderfully, complicatedly, amazingly better,
At exactly 8:31 AM, 18 years ago today.


Happy Birthday David!

Saturday, August 10, 2013

The Difference In A Year

Last September, I was a barely turned 38 and if anyone accidentally said I was 39, I was quick to say they were wrong.  I was not even close to 39.  Don't even whisper that wrong number in association with me!  I was just 38.

But as with every year, as the months ticked by, the idea that the next, bigger, number was ahead of me started to not be so awful and by the end of July I was mentally reminding myself that I am not 39.  I am still 38.

Until tomorrow! Tomorrow, 39 awaits me.

But the day after tomorrow, please don't refer to me as 40.  I need to get the feel of 39 first!

Monday, August 5, 2013

Never Too Old

Long legs long ago said goodbye to footed pajamas
Hands that no longer bring Lambie to bed
A mostly grown full size person
But when she asked
"Can I sleep with you?"
Mom and Dad part
And our baby climbed in
Comfort needed,
Gladly given

Sunday, August 4, 2013

A Life Well Done

My father in law passed away Monday.

That night, as I fitfully dozed, I dreamed we were back at the cabin in the mountains, where we had just spent a wonderful family vacation a few weeks ago.  We were all seated at the big dining room table, but he was standing on the porch, the door wide open, the brilliant Eastern Washington sun blazing behind him.

He half turned, looking over his shoulder, and asked his wife, "Did I do okay?"

I woke up crying.

He did so much better than just 'okay'!  He'd met his perfect partner in his wife, and for 41 years their strengths and weaknesses complimented each other as they lived life fully, with many wonderful adventures to their name. He had three sons who are three really good men, and I'm not just saying that because I married one.  His sons are a testament to him and his kindness, his love, his integrity, his urge to learn new things and the need to see what is over the next ridge.  They are good fathers because he showed them how it was done.   His four teenage grandchildren have been blessed to grow up knowing him, listening to his stories, laughing at his jokes, and loving every minute of time spent with him.  His newest grandson, just a few days old, will know him too, because each one of us has memories we treasure, and can't wait to share.

His faith, his words and his deeds touched so many people, all around the world.  

And I, well, I was lucky enough to have been called family.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Of Dryer Lint And Toilet Paper Tubes

I have an accidental start to hoarding.  Let me start from the beginning:

A few years ago, I decided that at the very least, I should be recycling the paper tp tubes, but at the best, I'd be saving them for crafts.  I mean, how many times have we gone to our cupboards to put together eight binoculars for Sunday school, and there were no tubes to be had?  I know, right?  All the time!  Since I am frequently the changer of the toilet paper roll, I started setting the tubes aside to put away later.

Later turned into never and occasionally I will do a clean sweep of the bathroom shelves and recycle all the tubes I find.

Dryer lint and I go way back.  When I was young, I'd read of an artist who used dryer lint as her medium.  This made perfect since to me because dryer lint can be the softest shades of pink, purple and gray.  Lovely!  I wanted to start my own art form, based on stealing all the lint, but that was ix-nayed by the parents!  As an adult, I don't like it.  I hate pulling the trap out.  But I do, and since I'm half lazy, I leave the trappings in a small basket in the laundry room, referred to me as the laundry garbage but really it was just a nice basket to hold toys that somehow ended up empty by the dryer and was commandeered into service.

So I have two piles of accidental hoarding: toilet paper tubes and dryer lint.

Imagine my great joy when I discovered that someone else had two piles of the same and instead of stressing that she was starting to go nuts, she stuffed the lint into the tubes and called it fire starters! So I took a tube of my own, stuffed it with lint, and thought, "Yep, that will catch fire fast," and then was super disturbed that I am hoarding a basket full of flammable stuff and then wondered if this genius lady has a pet because my lint seems to be half made up of dog fur which seems like something I won't enjoy burning.....

Yet I have taken all the tubes I found and added them to the lint basket.  I'll never know for sure unless I give it a try!

Friday, July 26, 2013

Hope

Hope is my lifeline
When things are wrong
I grip that rope with all my strength
No chance of letting go
For what is life without Hope of better things to come?
I don't want to know

Sunday, July 21, 2013

We Slept With The Windows Open

We slept with the windows open

Letting in the cool night air
The early morning sun
The cries of the gulls

We slept with the windows open

Snuggled under covers
Letting go of outside cares
Peaceful moment in a busy world

We slept with the windows open

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Right This Very Minute

Sixteen years ago right this very minute
I was awake and waiting
Daddy was snoring on a fold out couch
I touched my baby belly
Wondering who you'd turn out to be: Leah or Jacob
Today would be the day we'd meet
I just knew it
4 weeks shy of full term
You arrived as perfect as perfect can be
And you haven't stopped making us smile
Today right this very minute
I'm waiting for you to wake up to start your birthday celebration!


Post inspired by my Daughter's 16th birthday and prompt #2 at Mama's Losin' It!



Linking up with Papa is a Preacher.


Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Toothpaste Cap Blues

Years ago, I switched to a slightly more expensive toothpaste, not because it has fantastic promises of anti-cavity, anti-gingivitis, and whitening thrown in to boot, but because it had a flip top.  In my family, a screw on cap for toothpaste is the worst.  I might be the biggest culprit in this, but I'm not the only one, who forgets to screw it back on after use.

In time the toothpaste tube sits in a puddle of sticky blue gel and the lid has rolled off the counter to hang out in no man's land, behind the toilet.

But the lure of a sale price and two coupons caused me to buy a different kind of toothpaste and I groaned when I opened the box to see that darn screw on cap.

I'm afraid it's just a matter of time before the cap is gone and the tube starts it's downward slide to the garbage.  Honestly, an uncapped tube of anything that sticky seems to have a magnetic force that attracts every single stray hair and fluff of dust in the room.  

But it only cost me 88 cents....so I'd probably do it again next time too.  We can learn to screw the lid back on.  I hope!

Monday, July 8, 2013

I Can Feed An Army

It has become painfully clear lately that all my go to recipes are designed to feed an army of teenagers: mostly grown, very hungry, teenagers.  The painful part is that since graduation, I don't have an army to feed, which is why my daughter and I ate fajitas three nights in a row.

It's leftover central in the fridge, and even tonight, as I was making homemade mac and cheese, I told myself to cut it in half, instead of 2 cups of milk, I only need one.  It's simple math on this one, and yet I didn't do it.  What if the recipe doesn't taste as good when it's not in its full glory?

I guess I'll change when I get sick of leftovers!  Currently I have mac and cheese to feed us for another night and have some for lunches too.

I can feed an army, but I've got to relearn to cook so I can feed just a few.  I think it's easier said than done!

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Squeaks and Squiffles

Give me a smallish sized pebble,
A sock with a wrinkle,
A scuff so deep it's see through,
But save me from a squeaky shoe.

I'll take an invisible splinter,
A rubbed hard blister,
A strap that's hard to buckle,
But save me from a shoe that squiffles.

For every step I'm taking,
A squeak that keeps the rhythm,
A squiffle that taps the timing,
I'll tiptoe through my walking.

I have no music talent
Except on days I'm wearing
Those dreadful squeak-o-ramas
I could be a band's percussions.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Man Cannot Live On Bread Alone

It's jam making time again and my Mom and I made a whopping big batch of strawberry.  I've eaten jam for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks.  I've used it on biscuits and toast and vanilla ice cream and on occasion had a tiny taste all by its self as I made a sandwich.

I'd have thought I'd get tired of it, but I haven't yet.  They say man cannot live on bread alone.....but give me some freshly made jam and I'll do my best!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

The Bermuda Triangle For Tupperware And Towels

My house is the Bermuda Triangle for Tupperware and towels.....once they come in, they are rarely seen again.  I don't mean to absorb these things into my own, but it just happens.

Take for instance, the Tupperware my sister Amy brought to my husband, filled with jello....that was like 9 months ago and I just put our leftover dinner in it.  I try to set them aside, to remember to return them to their rightful owners, but in moments of super cleaning, I forget why exactly I've got a large plastic bowl balancing on top of the coffee maker.

Take note, Lisa....weeks ago Mom sent home chicken noodle soup in your green Tupperware bowl.....it is slowly moving it's way from the top of the coffee pot to a shelf in my cupboard.

The towels, on the other hand, I am not sure where they come from.  Who is coming into our home and leaving their bath towels in the laundry?  I don't even try to return the those; I am that short on towels.  I will use every single one that drifts into our house!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Forks Need Not Apply

I'm doing something I usually reserve for the privacy of my own home.....where no one can see me doing this terrible thing of which I am deeply ashamed.....and yet, here I am standing in the office break room.....

Eating the frosting off a piece of cake.

No fork.  No utensils of any kind.  Just me, a piece of stale cake with scrumptious frosting and my fingers.

And it is soooooo yummy.  I'm going to take a swipe as I leave for home.  One for the road,you know!

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Six Word Saturday

Warm pavement under my bare feet.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

A Day Of Surprises Good And Not So Good

There are good surprises: like turning the page in the library book and your eye catches sight of something not word like and your mind immediately jumps to snot balls, but instead you discover this lovely pressed flower:
Then there are not so good surprises: like looking in the kitchen cupboards and drawers and realizing you are missing a lot of cups and silverware and after gathering your gumption, you venture upstairs to discover a cookie sheet, a popcorn bowl, 2 cereal bowls, 2 dinner plates, 4 coffee mugs, 8 forks, 10 spoons and 26 drinking glasses, all pretty disgustingly dirty:
 The worst being this cup of something that smells about how you'd imagine it might smell.....
 And this spoon which is actually a lot hairy then this picture shows......

I think I'll go look at the pressed flower some more, help restore my sense of goodness and beauty!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Our Sandy History

My Mom made a new best friend when I was in New Jersey.  My family started talking of a "Sandy" and didn't I remember her from church?  Her kids were around our ages? No.  I couldn't place her.

Then we flew home for Mom's wedding, which was held at Sandy's home.  I had a non-stop nursing four month old and I spent most of the reception lying on Sandy's bed doing just that, except for a brief moment when I stood in the bathroom and Sandy helped me sponge milk out of my new dress so it wouldn't stain (it didn't!).

That was the start of a glorious relationship, one that goes beyond my Mom having a best friend and becoming something more.....Sandy is family.  My kids call her Grandma and I have lovingly referred to her as a second Mom.

She's been there for our highs and lows.  She's helped clean and cook and celebrate and laugh and pray.  Oh, how she can pray!  If you've never been pulled into a Sandy pray hug, then you've never met her.  She's not afraid to hug or pray and often is moved to do both at the same time.

She's moved before: home nursing in the hills of Kentucky and mission trips to Guatemala, but this feels different.  Before, I always knew we'd see her again, this was her home base, but this move is a move of that home base back to her family roots.

I'm happy for her and wish her all the joy of going home to siblings and cousins and the stomping grounds of her youth.....

But there is going to be a Sandy sized hole in our family and she will be so very, very missed.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Well Rounded

There is something to be said for having a well rounded education.  My daughter is taking advanced math and science and literature classes and I know by her 4.0 that she understands the materiel.  But I've never been so proud as when she decided she would sew a skirt, zipper and all, and did in in the mater of hours.

She can whip up just about anything in the kitchen, she is helping her Dad rebuild her old car, and she isn't afraid of a sewing machine we'd never used before, an old pattern we'd found at a rummage sale, and the fact that I'd never sewn a zipper in my life and had zero advice to give her.

She's a learner and a doer and I'm very pleased that she tries anything that tickles her interest.  Well rounded indeed!

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Six Word Saturday

Love photo projects with my Mom!


Thursday, June 13, 2013

Six Random Facts

1. Our first meal as a married couple was pepperoni pizza at our local pizza parlor.  We'd just left our wedding reception and realized we'd been too busy shaking hands and hugging family to have eaten any of the food.  As we headed into town, pizza sounded so deliciously perfect, we stopped.  We sat in the restaurant and held hands across the table and we couldn't stop grinning.  Sometimes when I'm down there picking up our pizza order, I can see the ghost of those two joyful kids, and it is pleasing to know that we were right.  Us is a very good thing.

2.  I tuck his side of the blankets in tight all the way from top to bottom, while my side is loose and ready for dogs to slip under.  Even when he is gone, when I make the bed I tuck his side in just the way he likes it.  Our daughter recently tried to get into bed on his side and was horrified by how tight it was.  How can he even move? she asked.  That could explain why he spends most of his nights in the middle.

3.  When we roast hot dogs over an open fire, be it on camping trips or backyard adventures, he cooks both of our dogs. I get the buns ready while he slaves over an open fire, putting just the right burn on mine.  It started because we only had three hot dog sticks and four people, so while he and the kids were cooking the hot dogs, I was busy getting plates of food ready for everyone.  Sometime last summer we accidentally left a family camp out with several more hot dog sticks then we brought to the party; but I still don't cook my own!

4. We hold hands all the time.  There was a moment in high school that I realized my hand fit to his perfectly, like the finishing pieces of a puzzle, and we've never let go.  His homecomings become real the second our hands find each other.  When I picked him up at the train station just in time for our son's graduation, we hugged and kissed, and it was when we got back in the car, and my hand resting on the console was clasped tight with his, that I was happy.

5. When we moved to New Jersey, we spent a week living in a hotel, waiting for our Coast Guard apartment to be ready.  We had no choice but to eat out at every meal.   We'd drive in random directions each evening, eating at new places, missing our old familiar favorites.  I will never forget the moment we found a Denny's!  It was like a piece of home and our joy and excitement was unparalleled.  It served as a beacon of hope that we would be able to be at home in our new town.

6. He's a country boy at heart; he yearns for trees and fields and space from neighbors, but I prefer to live in town so we live in town.  I said I live alone too much to feel comfortable with the idea of bears spying on me through windows.  Human peeping Toms don't frighten me near as much as furry ones do, and after laughing (a lot) he bought this house on a corner lot, with views of our old high school and the valley leading into town.  We've made a good home here, one we both love.

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





Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Delicious Memory

The spicy burn of red hot cinnamon candy flashes me back to being 11 years old, the hot Arizona sun, the impossible blue sky, the scent of the desert, the shimmering heat, meeting up with a friend to buy atomic fire balls from 7-11.

I can recall exactly the way the sun felt as it pounded the top of my head, the sidewalk radiating heat up through my shoes, squinting my eyes as we walked, sucking on those jaw breakers, gasping for a sip of a big gulp.....

It's delicious: the candy and the memory.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Six Word Saturday


Open windows and warm sunshine: bliss.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

The Roars Of Change

The last few months have seen some changes, some challenges, some new horizons.  My company merged with a bigger company and my job changed.  My husband traded a shore side job for one out at sea, gone for 40 days at a time.  And this whole time we've been gearing up to high school graduation and half an empty nest and a newly licensed driver.

The changes in our life aren't softly singing.  They are roaring and ferocious and I've got to say, I'm exhausted.

Yet, as I came home from work and started mowing the lawn, I felt strong and capable.  I can do this.  I can kiss my husband goodbye, straighten my son's cap and gown, see my daughter take her first solo drive and survive.

Those changes haven't heard a roar until they've heard mine.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Dear Seaside

Dear Seaside,

Tomorrow we will be reunited.  I can't wait!  I'm not ready physically (still working on laundry and the house is a disaster for our poor house/dog sitter and I just got called to work all day) but emotionally I am beyond ready to drop our things off at the hotel and feel the cold sand under my bare feet, to spread out our beach towels and wrap up in blankets and give the kids shovels and buckets and kites and snack food as we sit and let the beauty of nothing to do soak  into our souls.  I'm ready for the laughter and the visiting, for the memories that will be added to our family lore, for the fun and food and salt water taffy!

Dearest Seaside, thank you for always being there and for always giving us a place to visit that is truly magically.

Love,
Me and Company


Monday, May 20, 2013

Sticky Floors

Sticky floors are the way of things due to kids, dogs, life, and it turns out, husbands.  I discovered the reason I have perpetually sticky floors when I walked into the kitchen and saw my husband spaying whipped cream in three cute swirls on the floor in front of our three dogs.

I, of course, asked what on earth he was doing, and his reply, reasonably, was that the dogs love whipped cream.

There you have it.  Those three random tacky spots, that catch the bottom of my shoe just enough for me to know that something icky had been there before me, are actually because I have three whipped cream loving dogs.  And one soft hearted husband who can't resist puppy eyes!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Procrastinating Gardener

I always have grand plans for my weekends; lists of things I want to accomplish.  Garage sale shopping, early morning walks, weed out the flower bed, catch up on laundry.  I usually get everything done except one horrible job that is so overwhelming, I just keep putting it off, as any good procrastinator would do.

My flower beds are once again a nightmare tangle of grass and weeds.  I can't seem to get motivated to go out there and tackle it.  I was able to say the weather wasn't very nice on my day off, but this last weekend was super wonderful and instead of weeding, I spent some time lying in my hammock with a a good book....

This is not a new problem for me.  I face it every spring!  This year's plan was to dig it all out and start fresh with sun loving, drought resistant plants (because not only do I not weed very often, I always forget to water my plants).....and by plan I mean I looked at a magazine and liked the pictures of hardy plants.  I've got some work to figure out what to plant and where it should go, but first, I better get the weeds out.

Sigh.  It's a vicious cycle.

Monday, May 13, 2013

I Am Not The First

When I was in the final weeks of my first pregnancy, I remember looking down at my belly and thinking, "Oh no, this was a mistake."  Not that I didn't want a baby, because I did, but because it suddenly became real to me that the little person rolling around inside, giving me the feeling that an alien was trying to burst out of me, was actually going to have to come out.

First time mother nerves.  Big time.

But I looked around and suddenly had the realization that every single person I saw had a mother.  I was not the first woman to do this whole thing.  That gave me quite a bit of comfort!

As I start planning graduation parties and college preparations and a baby bird leaving the nest, I had that same realization.  I am not the first mother to do this whole thing.  Thinking back to how my own Mom helped me move to California, and left me in a strange city, waiting for my husband to come home from a Coast Guard patrol, and did it all in a such a way that I knew she would miss me but not feel an ache in her soul that her baby was old enough to try flight on  fragile wings, I know that I can do this too.

I will smile and help pack and never let him know that when I look at him these days, all I see is the tiny baby we brought home only yesterday....how did 18 years go by so fast anyway?

Friday, May 10, 2013

My 10 Cent Dogs

I am crazy in love with a handful of things: my husband and kids and family, buttered toast, good books and dogs.  The dog part might cross over from crazy in love to obsessed.  When I first started to really shop in the local antique towns, I decided to limit myself to dog related items.  I was slowly building up my collection and it was cool.

Then I started garage sale shopping every weekend and discovered I didn't need to pay $8 for a ceramic dog when the chances were very good that I would find one for $1.  Last weekend, my sister and I were digging through a box of 10 cent items when she pulled out a bag of plastic dogs.  It's a pickers world, with finds going to the eagle eyed, but I wanted that bag of dogs desperately.  

It's cool, I told myself.  I probably grabbed up tons of stuff she'd wanted but I saw first.  All's fair, I reminded myself.  And yet, I wanted!

The wonderful thing about my sisters is that we know each other pretty well, and shortly thereafter, her bag of 10 cent dogs became my bag of 10 cent dogs and now they sit on my shelf, high enough to not be considered chew toys for babies or real dogs.  I love them! 


Wednesday, May 8, 2013

The Case Of The Missing Bread

The other morning I decided I would have toast for breakfast.  I got out my loaf of Dave's Killer Bread, which is seriously the best bread I've ever eaten.  I was thrilled to find it comes in smaller "60 calories a slice" loafs because I feel less guilt when I toast up two slices.  It's full of whole grains and nuts and my daughter likes it while my husband and son hate it.

I toast it, it was delicious, and when I got home for lunch, I decided to go bread crazy and eat a sandwich.  I reached for the bread and it wasn't there.  I looked by the toaster, I looked by the bananas, I looked in the cupboard and in the fridge and it was gone.

Half a loaf of bread disappeared  and as far as I knew, no one had been home between my breakfast toast and my lunch sandwich.  I looked in the yard for any evidence of the bag, as in, our dogs have been known to drag whole loafs of bread outside to gorge themselves and remnants of the plastic bags always remain, but no chewed up bag was to be found.  I went upstairs in case a kid was actually home, which has been known to happen when one didn't feel good and didn't feel like going all the way back to his house, he just crashed on the couch upstairs and I got a prickly feeling all morning that someone was in the house with me but was actually too freaked out to go upstairs to check, but this time I sent the dogs upstairs first, then slowly crept up the dark stairway (burned out light bulbs don't you know) and it was empty.

Okay, someone came in and stole our bread.  When the kids came home they laughed at this, and quickly pointed out that I should feel sorry for the person that needed that half loaf of bread so badly they didn't take anything else, and my son was quick to add, that bread is super disgusting so that poor thief actually didn't get a good steal at all.

I bought another loaf and life continued on, except for that nagging question of where that bread disappeared to....

Which, turns out, was  the saran wrap drawer.  Worse, I must have opened and closed that drawer getting out chip clips, sandwich baggies, tin foil, and never once noticed a loaf of bread.  Luckily, it survived its confinement in the drawer without any flattening and still will make a very nice piece of toast.

Case closed!

Saturday, May 4, 2013

A Thing To Scare Future Grandchildren

At my Grandma's house, she has two Swedish trolls.  She keeps them under a glass box and my kids were scared silly of them when they were small. Apparently, shriveled apple head trolls with shiny red eyes and bodies dripping with moss is a scary thing to walk past in a dark hallway.

I always thought they were kind of cute, myself, but then again, I was the kid who glued rocks and twigs and tons of moss together to make people.

My son is taking clay and ceramics this last semester of high school.  My china closet has many of his previous clay and ceramics creations, but this year, he has made my favorite of all time.

This is the thing that will scare my future grandchildren, with its one bulging eye, gleaming white horns, janky teeth and no arms.  I will put it under glass to  keep it safe.  Which, my daughter was quick to inform me, makes it seem more like I am trying to keep it from getting out to do harm.




 Six of one, half dozen of the other, I always say!  


Thursday, May 2, 2013

Don't Be Alarmed

Don't be alarmed, but there is something hanging from the inside lip of the toilet bowl that looks and moves and seems like a tail.

I know, I know!  That tiny space where water flows down the bowl isn't big enough for a thing with a tail that size, but I'm telling you, it looks like a tail.

It all started in the middle of the night, as all good stories do.  I got up to use the facilities and as I flushed, the handle let go of the inner workings of the tank, and flopped around uselessly.  Now this is a situation I know a little something about.  I've taken the lid off and hooked the arm back to the thingy so many times, I can do it half asleep, but when I took the lid off this time, there was no hook, no inner thingy with holes.   I did the next best thing at 3 in the morning.  I found a shoe lace in the junk drawer and tied one end to the flapper and dangled the other end outside the tank.  Whenever a flush is in order, pull the string up, the flapper pulls up, the toilet flushes, let the string resume its resting place outside of the tank.

My husband fixed it for reals when he got up at 5.

But when I got home from work that night, there was the tail, wiggling and wagging, hanging in the toilet bowl.  I told my husband something was not right.  I said it was broken or something.

I didn't want to say it's a tail.

I didn't have to.  My husband's first response was a startled one: it's a tail!  Then he realized it wasn't a tail.  Just part of the inner thingy that had worked it's way out of the tank, on a Saving Nemo type journey.

Now I know it wasn't a tail.  I know it for a fact.  That does not ease my concerns every time I look at the toilet.  It feels like it could have a tail in it for real, and whatever creature said tail would be attached too probably wants to bite!

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Z Is For Zoinks

I feel like Shaggy when he said, "Zoinks Scoob, we're out of scooby snacks!"

Zoinks fellow bloggers, we're out of alphabet and April and if you are anything like me, out of steam and low on ideas!

Zoinks! I'm going to try to use this word more often.  It feels good to say.  And also jinkies.  And yes, I did watch Scooby-Doo this past weekend.


Monday, April 29, 2013

Y Is For Yesterday

Unlike the classic Beatles song, yesterday all my troubles seemed close by and ready to pounce.  This week at work is going to be stressful with changes and mergers and yesterday I was pretty upset about it.  But the glorious thing about each new day is that it is a new day.  When I woke up this morning, I was not troubled by worries of the stress of new things.

Am I going to come home from this day, put my feet up and not want to eat leftover soup for dinner?  Undoubtedly!  But that is troubles best saved for after 5:00!  Right now I'm content with my cup of coffee and the promise of reading for 30 minutes before I get my turn in the bathroom to dry my hair and do my make up.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

X Is For X-Treme Sports

After walking my three dogs this morning, I came home feeling like our 1.5 mile walk had taken us ten years and every day was boot camp. Three dog walking should be classified as an X-Treme sport.  It takes extreme arm strength to keep them together and untangled.  I've got to be extremely agile to avoid tripping when they stop short and glob together to smell one super interesting spot right in front of me.  Plus there is extreme danger of leash burn when walking past another dog in a yard as I try to hold them to heel.  And if that other dog is barking....well....that moves from the X-Treme to the Completely Insane What Was I Thinking category!

By the end of our walk, after the huge Rottweiler tried to break his fence down to 'be friends' and the Mutt and Jeff team of a Golden Retriever and a Chihuahua barked their unflattering opinion of us (based on my girls' reactions to the barks, I think it was comments on their Mother and her lack of character), it was more CIWWIT.

But worth it.  The girls are sacked out on the couch napping and I feel like I've been to the gym for a whole body work out!

Friday, April 26, 2013

W Is For Well, That Was Different

For my 8 year old nephew's birthday, his gift from me was a two night sleepover at our house, just him, and he got to pick Friday's dinner, and watch all the movies he wanted, and stay up until  11, and have waffles for breakfast two mornings in a row.

His six year old brother has his birthday weekend next weekend.  And don't tell their soon to be 4 year old brother, but he will be getting the same gift!

Meanwhile, one of my other nephews started asking when his sleepover would be.  He would drop his baby sister off at our house before his swim lessons and he would ask when he could stay.  Well, I don't work on Friday, how about Thursday night after swim lessons?  He was pretty excited, let me tell you!

He arrived with his bag and settled in nicely.  Toys were everywhere, he quickly got the idea that at Oh-Cho's house, he could eat cold pizza at 8:30 at night if he wanted, and Oh-Cho is a sucker for a plea of 'just one more book' at bedtime so we read 8 books.  By that time it was our bedtime too, so Uncle Erik and I went to bed.

Now that all my nephews have graduated from playpens, they sleep on mattresses on my floor.  That way I know what they are doing (except that one time when one of them ate an emery board) and if they need me, I am literally right there.  My nephew and I made up his bed and read his stories and then we turned off the lights and covered him up and when I came back from changing into my pajamas, he was in our bed.

I put him back in his bed, laid down in mine, and suddenly had a squirming, excessively hot, little body pressed against mine, insisting that all the covers be pulled over us.  I decided to let him fall asleep there, then put him in his own bed.  And that worked out really well, for about an hour.  Then he woke up, crawled back into bed with us, and moved and shifted and all around thrashed about until he was using my arm as a pillow and tucking his cold feet against my legs.  I gave up and fell asleep and in the morning, two alarm clocks and three dogs jumping over him didn't wake him.

Well, that sure was different than how any other nephew sleepover has ever gone!  But, different isn't bad, and I'm going to carry this memory in my heart for years to come.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

V Is For Vanilla

I bake cakes and cookies and brownies and love to whip up a batch of waffles or pancakes, but all of those things call for vanilla.  And I'm out.  And I've been out for a month.  Or more.  It's my dirty little baking secret.

Bottles of vanilla are just one of those weird little things I never remember to add to my grocery list.  I never remember I need it as I walk up and down the aisles of the store.  I never remember I need it until I start to pull it from the cupboard and come up empty handed.

I'm really hoping that writing about how much I need to buy vanilla will help me to remember!


Wednesday, April 24, 2013

U Is For Underwear!

In my younger years, I was a member of every book club imaginable.  I loved book clubs more than I liked movie or music clubs, and my love is the reason my kids had an extensive library all of their own.  Some books are treasured by them and kept upstairs away from little cousins; others are treasured by me and kept downstairs to read over and over and over to those same little guys.

This book captured my heart with the first few lines.


"Zachary Zebra did not like buttons or snaps or sleeves or slippers or zillions of zippers.  But he did like... underwear."

Animals in underwear is just plain funny!  And who doesn't like a nice, comfy, fitting just right pair of underwear?  But the best part about this book is listening to the kids giggle as I say the word 'underwear' 38 times.

This book has been read by me for 17 years, and I'm still not tired of reading 38 'underwears' in a single sitting.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

T Is For Tenacious

From the first moment questions of "Am I?"
Turned to cemented knowledge of "I am!"
You have been loved
You've taken residence in my heart
Engraved, imprinted, fixed
The curve of your forehead, the slope of your nose
Every freckle counted and blessed
Years do not lessen my love
It's intense, tenacious, certain, unshakable
If you take anything with you from your childhood
Take my love
It's been yours from day one.

Monday, April 22, 2013

S Is For Seriously

Every work morning, my husband gets up at 4:30ish and starts his day.  He lets our three dogs out of their crates and they run to our room, jump on our bed, and quickly get into their reserved spot.  Every morning, with few exceptions, they can be found in their spots next to me.

This morning, as my husband kissed me goodbye, seconds before my alarm went off, I woke up enough to ask where Olive was.  I moved my feet back and forth under the covers, searching for the foot of the bed dog, and she wasn't there.  My husband said he didn't know.  I patted the two dogs on each side of me and could tell by their smooth fur that they were not the fluffy badger one I was seeking.

I got up and looked around the house: couches, chairs, crate.  No Olive.  I went upstairs to see if she had snuck up to be with the kids.  No Olive.  I put on my jacket and went outside in the dew wet grass and softly called her name.  No Olive.  I checked the alley and the streets and was starting to have worries of dog-knapping.  I sent a text to my husband.

"Babe, seriously.  Where is Olive?"

And within a minute of that text, I was sending one back to him that said, "Never mind.  Found her." And I didn't want to elaborate on the wheres and hows I found her, but he called to check on the great lost dog case of 2013, so I had to admit where I found her.

That lump of covers at the end of the bed?  Not a just a lump of covers.

Olive is found, in bed where she always is.

Seriously? I sure hope my losing a dog in our bed isn't an indication of how this Monday is going to continue!

Saturday, April 20, 2013

R Is For Rest

Relax
Ease up
Settle back
Take ten

It's Saturday!

Friday, April 19, 2013

Q Is For Quiz Me

I love the movie "Beaches." I love the music (still have the soundtrack on tape), I love the characters, I love Bette, and I love the line when C.C. tells Hillary that she knows everything there is to know about Hillary, and C.C.'s memory is very, very long.  Hillary responds with a soft reply that she is counting on that.

That sums up how I live my life.  I know all my sisters' stories.  I can tell my husband's childhood tales better than he can.  My memory is very, very long and I love to share it.  Go ahead....Quiz me!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

P Is For Puppy Pile

This morning as I was sleeping, our dogs swarmed me like always.  I lifted one side the covers for Emma, and the other side for Olive and Sarah.  One dog had been outside in the rain and was shockingly cold and wet as she curled up next to me.  As the covers cocooned down on us, I wondered if there was anything better than dogs snuggled close on a day you just aren't loving.

Even cold, wet dogs can make my morning better!  But I am about as dog crazy as they come.....

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

O Is For On Time

I'm a bit of a procrastinator, and not just for big projects and deadlines.  Nope, I'm the sort of person that sits and blogs when she should really be getting ready for work, racing against the clock to finish posting and still have time to put on make up.

Being on time is important and it is usually something I fail at.  For family events, when we are running late, I can blame the kids or the husband or even the dogs.  But on work days, it's all me.  

Today I am going to be on time (early even) but that means I must stop writing.  I still have to dry my hair, eat breakfast, find my dress shoes and my car keys and my water bottle and pack a snack and I better get to it!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

N Is For Northwest Spring

It's a wet, gray business
But when the sun breaks through
    blue skies and fluffy clouds
It's 47 degrees and climbing, with hopes of hitting 55
We break out the shorts and t-shirts
    goose-pimpled flesh and shockingly white limbs
We're celebrating spring!

Monday, April 15, 2013

M Is For Mine

Not only did my sister and I have a great time on Saturday (minus the dead car battery incident that she handle with common sense and gumption while I freaked out), we went out again on Sunday afternoon.  The sun was shining, her husband watched the little kids, and an estate sale close by was wheeling and dealing.  We'd never gone to a Sunday afternoon sale before and were very curious about how low the prices would be slashed.

It was like, wow!  We had our arms full and even a box or two, and we each paid $7 for our huge pile of treasures.  As I was standing there waiting for my sister to do one more walk through (making sure we didn't miss anything!), I stared at this old bicycle.  It'd been one of the first things I looked at, but I was there for smaller things and didn't want to spend all my money at the start.

I'd gotten such a great deal on my things already, I turned to the cash gal and asked, "Would you take $5 for that bike?"

Her enthusiastic, "Yes!" led me to believe they might have given up hope on selling it, and then I second guessed myself.  What if it was too broken for riding?  What if it was $5 wasted?  I rolled it over to the car and decided if it was trashed, the bike rack at the back could be salvaged.  Its hinge is still trap tight.

There is no way to describe my joy when my husband pumped up the tires that still held air, adjusted the seat to fit me, and I gave it a test run.  The brakes are solid, the gears shift nicely, and I am now the proud owner of a bike!

M is for Mine!