Friday, December 19, 2014

Where I Am From

I am from summer long skinned knees, and Band-aids peeling off and bicycles pedaling faster and faster.

I am from a long, winding road, a Grandview in every way.

I am from the Wild Mountain Blackberry, the hunt, the clothes catching, skin scratching thorns, the better patch is just over the next hill, the filled to the brim buckets, the more precious than gold pie.

I am from Ogres and the secret to safety: biting fingernails, humming, whistling, all at the same time, from Christy and Dan and Amy and Lisa.

I am from weak arms after side splitting rounds of laughter and furniture mover extraordinaire, as long as I haven't been laughing.

I am from Let's Go To The Movies and You Are My Sunshine.

I am from Jesus Loves Me and This I Know and faith just because it is faith.

I am from the one place that has never changed, from Grandpa coming in for tea, and Grandma in the kitchen baking, from a cookie jar never empty of chocolate chip cookies and tales of lutefisk and pickled herring.

I am from yearly sister trips to Seaside, the feel of cold sand under our bare feet, blankets and jackets for wrapping up in, and the way watching our kids play on the beach makes us glad.

I am from a place of love and pride, of senior pictures lining hallways, of fridge doors held together by Masterpieces, of the knowledge that my family is behind me, beside me, united with me, all the way, all the time.

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

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

What It Is, What It Isn't

Love isn't just some words I say
Reading them by rote off a page
Little kid anticipating a gold star
Trembling, hoping, Teacher recognize me!
I'm reading real good today.

It's not an accidental habit
An uncontrollable tick
A compulsion that overrides my brain
In thoughtless repetition
As everyday routine as breathing in and out.

I will take this fragile hopeful feeling
And I will grow it in the cold dark moments
Greenhouse style with humid warmth
So in the sunshine glory days
It will cover us both and we can't help but grin.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Moment of Perfection

That moment when you turn on your car, and the best song in the universe is just starting, and you turn it up louder than  you usually would because it is that good, and the sky is pale, pale blue with the sun throwing it's chilly day glow around and even though you've become one of the three little kittens and lost your mittens, the steering wheel isn't so cold you can't stand to touch it, and you can't help but smile because everything about this moment, in this day, is absolute perfection.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

The Fives Have It

Five things you don't know about me:

1. I take a lot of selfies.  I'll take a selfie on a family vacation because I know exactly the right angle that makes me look fantastic!

2. I'm crazy for vintage Christmas.  When eBay opens up, it wants to show me all the recently listed vintage Christmas things, and I usually let it.

3. I wear my hair up in a messy bun every night to sleep.  If I didn't pile it up high (crazy Kim Kardashian break the internet high) I die of heat stroke.  Even with the fan blowing on me.

4. I hate the word 'slacks.'  Consequently, you won't find any of those things in my closet!

5. I'm a terrible speller, the worst actually, but I read so much entertainment news, I had no problem at all spelling "Kardashian".....but I spelled 'consequently' wrong.

I know tons of stuff about:

1. Vintage (Christmas especially!)
2. Mac Davis
3. Walking three dogs at the same time
4. Forgiveness
5. Anne of Green Gables (I'm re-reading the series.  Again!)

I know nothing about:

1. Statistics
2. Mechanics
3. Training for a Triathlon
4. Raising more than two kids
5. The sanity of a one dog house

I believe in:

1. Don Williams
2. Love
3. Things I can't explain
4. My Mother senses will never stop working
5. Family

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

Friday, November 14, 2014

Show and Tell

As a child, show and tell was this glorious, wonderful, hideous day at school.  I'd search the house for just the right show and tell, the perfect treasure to share with my classmates, and most of the time I would not share it.  Getting up in front of the class was terror inducing for me!  But I never lost the joy of the hunt, and the hope that I might be brave enough to share.

Years ago, I bought this book about dogs, because it has a lovely page all about Beagles, and I love me some Beagles.

 But I also love me some books, so I couldn't bear to cut apart the book to look at the picture on a daily basis!  So instead, I put the book on my shelf and enjoyed the knowledge that it had pictures of Beagles.

Yesterday, I took a me day.  I had the day off and the desire to thrift shop, and the urge to drive far and away from my usual thrifting haunts.  I had a great time, pushing the cart up and down the aisles, piling the booty up, when out of the corner of my eye I saw a Beagle in the framed art section.

I pushed my way through two old people and scooped it up.  I didn't even think twice about the price ($14.99 is a bit spendy at a thrift store!) but I was so in love with the picture, I had to have it.

Because it is my book page, all framed up like I thought I might have done!  Now to find the perfect spot to hang it up....I mean, it can only sit at the table like a member of the family for a week before members of my human family might get tired of a dining room chair being claimed by a framed picture!

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

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Real Talk

I may not always say the right thing.
Actually, I know I won't always say the right thing.
I know I won't always have the right words.
I will make mistakes,
I will make huge mistakes,
That make you harden your eyes
And give me a well deserved glare.
But I promise I will always try.
I will always give of myself, over and above,
I will always love and support and care for you,
All ways, all hows, all time,
Because that is what Moms do.

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

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Day Three

It's day three with the dogs, in this terrible daylight savings time, terrible because they can't actually tell time by looking a clock, even a digital one, so they let their bodies rule their roosts.  Thus, it's day three of dogs barking at 5:00 AM.

They like to argue that it is only 5:00 AM because we archaically still set our clocks ahead an hour.  It's really 6:00 AM and I should know how much they want to get out of crate at 6:00 AM.

Isn't that just like a dog?  Always trying to turn it back on you, so you know how wrong you are while they remain supremely right.

Or maybe that's just my dogs.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Pop Rocks and Soda

As a kid, before this glorious invention of the Internet, where I can literally tap a microphone button and ask a question that I have been pondering (recent queries include "do slugs eat their dead?" and "what is sweetbread?"), before all this glorious knowledge that is at my fingertips just for the asking, things that weren't true couldn't be proven so without perilous risk to life and limb.

Take Pop Rocks and soda: this is a long held belief that eating the candy Pop Rocks and drinking a carbonated beverage at the same time would result in your insides exploding.  It killed that kid that only likes Life cereal.

I know it's not true.  I know Mikey is alive and well and probably still loving Life cereal because, truthfully, it is the best cereal ever.  

But am I willing to put this knowledge to the test?

No way.

Knowing something isn't going to kill you, a truth that goes against years of believing otherwise, isn't easily swallowed.

Besides, just my luck I would get sick on it and be the one person in the world that can't ingest that much carbonation!  Better play it safe, and avoid that experiment.

While I'm at it, I'll also skip Mentos and soda.  

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Long Term Knowing

Is blogging like being in a long term relationship?  The kind where you've been together for so long, you know every story before it's finished in the telling and you've heard it at least 10 times before.  You know the thoughts and opinions on things encountered on a daily bases because you've heard those same thoughts and opinions expressed all the time.  You've got nothing new to share.

I thought of that as I walked around in squeaky shoes.  I should blog about that, I thought, how much I absolutely hate squeaky shoes.  Oh, wait.  I wrote about that already.  Or  maybe I should write about getting a hole in my tights.  But I did that here and here and here too.  I could write about being cranky or how I turned that around to realize how thankful I am.  I could write about my kids or my dogs or  my husband or my sisters or my mom.

But I've done all that.  I've written all about all the things I think about, sometimes more than once.

So I guess my dear readers better strap in and get ready for some posts that they will know the ending to before I type the last word!  I'm feeling that old urge to write, and as I find my way, I might just repeat some.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

It's The Last Time

I recently read this article and I felt its truth all the way to my soul.  As my son grew up, he stopped trick or treating, choosing to stay home and hand out candy, but my daughter has been the opposite.  She has embraced every Halloween as joyfully as she did when she was a toddler.

Every year since she reached a certain age, a certain maturity, a certain height, I cringed when people asked what I was doing for Halloween.  I will admit to worrying about how others would react when they heard I was taking my high school daughter and her friends trick or treating.  Would they think the girls were too old?  That I should tell them to leave this night of childhood joy behind and be young adults?  Would they be turned away from doors with the admonishment that Halloween is for kids?

The thing is, she is still a kid. She plans her costumes, she embraces the fun and excitement of this night, she knocks on her great-grandparents door to show off her outfit, she says thank you with real gratitude. She is a high school senior this year, this last year of true childhood, and I know this will be the last time I take her out, with the car full of laughing girls and sugar flowing through veins. I am going to savor it.  I am not ashamed of wanting her to stay young as long as she can.

There will be plenty of years to come when she will be standing on the other side of the door, handing out the treats.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Not So Bitter

The twists and turns of life could make me bitter.
I could moan and groan and cry for want of what ifs.
The ways of things have not always been easy,
But I find that I can find the joy in living.

I'm so grateful for this magnificent talent,
I might not have the skills to play on key music,
Or cook a feast of gourmet magic,
But I can see every day's sunrise promise.

That's not to say I don't have rotten moments,
And times of wanting to throw a tantrum!
But deep inside I have a knowledge
That life is life and I can make the best of it.

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

Thursday, October 9, 2014

It's Laugh Or Cry

Last night I sent this text to my husband:

"The why's and how's are not important, just this awful truth: our dogs ate people poop off our living room floor."

In these true life experiences, often the choice is to laugh or to cry.  I'm going to laugh.  Sure, there was poop on the floor, and yes, the dogs found it before any of us adult type people knew there was a problem, but holy macaroni, this is going to be a darn funny story to tell for the rest of our lives!

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

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Right To Wear Yoga Pants

Yoga pants are my husband's least favorite thing I own.  In his defense, he doesn't like yoga pants on anyone.  I also felt a little like a cheater when I wore them, since the most yoga like thing I did was Wii related.  Yoga pants are really just sweat pants elegant cousin.

But now I have every right to wear yoga pants.  I am taking a yoga class.

My daughter started asking me to sign up way back in summer, it was something 'fun' we could do together.  I finally relented, hating the thought of it.  I hate school, I hate class, I hate being instructed.  The closer we got to the start of class, the more anxious I became.

And the first day of class, I was a cranky wreck.

That was weeks ago.  I still hate the build up to class, but then I get there and sit down and start getting into a calm zone and it's totally worth it.  I love the stretches and the poses and the time spent with my daughter.

Plus, I can wear my yoga pants with pride.  I've earned them!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Move Over Wilma And Marge

I think I've finally settled into my style groove; the sweet spot where the clothes I like are the clothes that look good on me.  It's a good place to be.  I alternate black and gray with pops of surprising color and I don't shy away from prints.

But I don't really wear accessories.  I don't usually add jewelry to my outfits.  I don't do scarfs or hats or pretty hair clips.  It's usually all about the clothes, but yesterday as I was getting ready in shades of blue, I saw this big yellow necklace.

Put it on, and loved it.

Put it on, loved it, and wished I had like ten more necklaces just like this one in different colors.

Put it on, loved it, wished for more, and had a thought tickle my mind about who always wears a big beaded necklace....

Oh, that's right.  Wilma Flintstone and Marge Simpson.

The fact that I'm taking fashion accessory advice from cartoon women doesn't faze me.  It's obviously a classic style!

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

The Color of Witches Tights

My husband made the announcement that the Wicked Witch of the West wore purple tights.  All witches, actually, wear purple tights according to him.  Or maybe striped.  But usually purple.

Was it a coincidence that today was the first day it was cold enough that I changed out of my all summer wardrobe and was wearing purple tights?


I wonder what he will say tomorrow when I pull on a pair of green ones?  Green seems more witchy to me!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

First Day Of Fall

We have been blessed with a wonderful warm summer, the second warmest on record, with 40 days of summertime being over 80 degrees.  In the Pacific Northwest, that is a big deal.

I'm not one of those people who complained that it was too hot.  I love the heat.  I love all the windows open at night, the hum of box fans bringing in fresh air, the need for meals that do not require cooking and the music of the ice cream truck cruising the neighborhood.

I look at Fall with trepidation.  I like it once I'm in it, but I tend to cling to the last few days of summer with all my strength, wearing sandals and leaving jackets at home.

Then the first day of fall hit, and it hit hard.  It was like a switch was flipped off and the sun went away; gray skies came and brought so much rain.  Everything is wet, the puddles in the driveway are turning into lakes and the gardening I need to do, the tucking in of the beds for the winter will be hampered by my lack of desire to go outside in this chilly mess.

And of course, the snails are out in force.  There is nowhere to turn without almost stepping on these little critters.  All over the steps, all over the porch, all over the flowers I was going to cut back.

Ah, fall.  Thanks for quitting summer quickly!

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

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Where There Is Hope

One of the first things my daughter said to me this morning is, "It is 9/11 today."

And I replied, "I was just going to say the same thing to you."

While many of the kids at her school will go through today like it is just any other day, there are the children like my daughter who will not forget what happened, who will remember details of the day that changed their lives.

I am not alone in thinking of this day thirteen years ago; I know so many other people are recounting where they were when they heard the news; they will recall with vivid clarity the sorrow and horror that the day brought; it might be 13 years but there are some things that never really go away.  We all move forward, we can't help it.  Life keeps going and one day we realize that we are rising from our pit of grief and taking a few steps towards a hopeful sun rise.

My thoughts today are sad, but I am grateful that I still find hope.  For where there is hope, there is strength to go on.  That sun rise is beckoning a new day.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

For The Love Of All That's Holy

As I bleary eyed stumbled into the bathroom at 4 this morning, trying to be quiet so the dogs wouldn't think it was time to get up and trying to not hurt myself as I could barely see, I was sitting, minding my own business, when my eye caught some movement.

No way.

There is no way there is going to be ANOTHER giant spider in the EXACT SAME SPOT as the previous two.

There's just no way.

I leaned closer and it moved.

There is a way.  

I have never been scared to enter my bathroom before, but I am now.  It has turned into a freaking spider habitat.

After I killed it, and went back to bed, I was wide awake, thinking of where they might be coming from and wondering if under the house is just a giant spider nest, similar to the movie Arachnophobia.  I wondered if I should call an exterminator.  If I called an exterminator, would the spiders living under the house move up to escape the poison and claim the rest of the house as their own?

Needless to say, I was awake for a long time.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Still Not Spider Free

My son had a theory that pulling down the ceiling would disturb a ton of giant spiders.  But after all was said and done, he only saw one.  Turns out, the others were just hiding and now that the dust has settled, they are trying to figure out what the heck has happened to their home.

Often, I catch and release.  I don't like killing anything, and that includes spiders.  They are just living their spider life, not hurting me, so I try to let them keep on living, albeit, not in my house.  But the last THREE giant spiders that have come around me have been too big, too huge, too freaking awful, too scary for me to catch.

The one in the living room, I could have caught it.  But it was super late at night, and I was half asleep when I saw it scurry across the floor and I panicked.  The one in the bathroom yesterday, well, it appeared that it and I had been standing on the same shower mat.  And that really got my adrenaline going and it was in a weird place where catching it was impossible and I was just out of the shower and kind of not interested in catching it and keeping it caught while I got dressed.  The one in the bathroom THIS MORNING was trying to hide under the scale (maybe it thought it wasn't being used too often?) but it's terribly long legs were sticking out!

At first I thought it was leftover debris from yesterday's killing, because it was exactly hiding where the other one had been, but then I moved the scale.

Nope.  Just another giant spider.

In terms of spiders, I think my son was right.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Living A Spider Free Life

So far this summer of me on my own has not been too bad; I've gotten projects crossed off my list and I've set my own schedule.  No one tells me they don't like dinner.  There are no sighs heaved when I decide to dust at 9:00 at night.

But that means there is no one here to tell me that a spider is not on me.

We all have had that unfortunate experience of walking into a spider web.  We do a frantic arm sweeping dance as we try to get the sticky stands off of ourselves.  If we are lucky enough to be with someone, we quickly ask them to look us over, check us for a spider lurking on our clothes, or worse, our hair....

But living alone means I'm doing the frantic dance with no audience except for the dogs, who just danced around too.  Apparently it's an inspiring dance move.  I double check myself, brushing off my arms and shoulders and hair....and for the next hour....or to be honest the next few days.....every breeze that tickles past makes me think I have a spider on me.

I know, I know!  I don't. I have showered and changed clothes many times.  Four days after a web encounter, that did not even have a confirmed spider inhabiting it, I think I can safely declare myself spider free.

I know all that.....but when a stray wisp of hair brushes my neck.....Spider!!  I have cut back on frantic dancing, and barely even whimper.....Maybe tomorrow will be the day I feel completely spider free.

One can only hope!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

S'mores For Breakfast

In the rare sugar cereal glory days of my childhood, there was the classic Fruit Loops, Fruity Pebbles, Corn Pops, Honeycomb, but the one I desperately wish I could still eat (because I will be very honest here, I still eat those sugar cereals whenever the coupons tell me too) is S'mores.

I'm not sure how long this was available, but I remember it clearly in the hot sunshine of our Arizona years, so I was 10 or 11....mid 80's.  And thanks to Wiki, I've learned that my memory is spot on!  This was an 80's only cereal.  Similar to squares of  Golden Grahams only chocolaty, with Lucky Charm marshmallows thrown in, it holds a super fondness in my heart.

I don't actually know if it was really that good or if it is tied up in my memories of sleepovers with my aunt and uncle: my sister and I sacked out on the fold out couch, eating bowls of S'mores and dreaming about the horses we'd see at the race track, because other than the cereal, the race horses were a very exciting event in our lives.

We sat in the stands and poured over the papers, randomly picking our "winners" based on names and colors and never actually picking a winner.  And since our aunt and uncle owned some of those beautiful horses, we also got to go back into the inner workings of the track and visit horses in their stalls and lean against white slat fences and pretend we actually knew a thing or two about racing.

It was a grand time!

I often wonder if I could taste S'mores cereal now, if I'd like it as much as I remember.  I do like Golden Grahams.  But I hate Lucky Charms.  And I like my chocolate to be real chocolate (I don't even want to talk about the part of my childhood where my Mom gave us carob and told us it was chocolate....BTW carob is never going to be mistaken for chocolate!)

All I know for sure is if I ever saw a box of S'mores (not to be mistaken for the more recent version "Smorz") I'd buy a box.  Just for old times sake!

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Home Improvement

I tend to start all my major do it by myself while my husband isn't here home improvement projects the same way every time:  I pick at it.  I start to peel up already peeling flooring and it just pulls right up.  Or I start to test the plaster ceiling that is separating from the lathe and it pulls down nicely.

So I go for it.  I do a big project.  I can do it.  It's easy!  Until it's not so easy.

Until the glue that holds the linoleum to the hard wood floor turns out to be stuck fast in about the middle of the floor.  Or the ceiling pulls down until the outer edges and it is still securely connected to the ceiling.

It's time to break out the scrappers, the crowbars, the tiny little picks to get every piece of the project out of the house.

All that to say, this is what my dining room looks like.

It's taking a lot longer than I thought it would!  Add the rickety ladder and my vertigo kicking in, this might replace the worst project I've ever done (previously held by my ripping up the linoleum from this same room).  This room might be cursed.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Someone's Worse Day

A while back, my sister and I happened to drive past my house as we went from one epic garage sale to another and she asked me what the giant pile of household items in front of my house was all about.  A free pile?

I did a u-turn and went back to see what she was talking about.

There on the grass by the road was a giant pile of stuff.  Not our stuff, and after a quick chat with the hubster, not stuff we knew how had come to rest on our property.  My sister and I waved goodbye and circled around the block to start shopping again, and as we rounded back, my sister said it looked like I wouldn't have to worry about dump fees or how to get rid of the junk, because someone was taking from it.  As we drove by, though, it became apparent he was not taking, but adding to it.

"Um, excuse me," I politely called to the guy.  "What are you doing?"  He preceded to tell me that he was putting his stuff there and when I pointed out that it was my house, he asked where I thought he should put his belongings and I got my husband.

Because what good are husbands if not to handle situations like an angry guy dumping all his things in our yard?

After some yelling and some more yelling, and all the neighbors pouring out of their houses to watch the goings on, the guy sat on the back of his car and cried. He'd been kicked out of his house, he had no were to go, no where to put his things, no hope.  And all the 'what the heck are you doing' questions stopped and a neighbor offered to let him store his belongings in his shed and my husband brought his truck around and they loaded it all up for him and helped him move.

It struck me again that we just never know what is going on in a persons life, and a day that seems regular to me might be someones worse day.....

Friday, July 25, 2014

Let's Talk About Dogs

I love dogs.

I know, this is no surprise to anyone who knows me!  I think dogs are just about the most wonderful things God made.  I love how cute they are when they nap on the couch.  I love how they joyfully dance around the kitchen on pancake mornings.  I love how they run out to greet me when I come home.  I love how a treat will entice them to do anything.

Except, maybe, a tiny bit less love for them when they turn into a pack of wild monsters every single day the mail man comes by.

That poor guy.  When we first got Emma, he would come inside our fence to deliver packages.  He would pet her and we would chit chat.  Then we got a second dog.  Little less chit chat.  When the third dog joined our gang, our mail man started throwing our packages into the yard and letting the pieces fall as they will.

After much thought and quit a bit of worry over Fed Ex guys getting nipped at, we changed the way our fence wraps around our house.  Instead of the race track circle the girls used to run around and around our house, now it is a decided C shape, with the newly built fence (and gates) completely cutting off their access to the front door and the side door.  They can chase each other halfway around and no further.

It was kind of funny the first time they came racing up to the newly built gate.  Their eyes puzzled, their noses sniffed it and sorted and couldn't find an answer to how to get through it, so they gave up and went back the way they came.

But even better was how much our mail man appreciates the dog safe zone!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Growing Pains

There's growing pains,
And then there are growing pains.

The slight bump of new life
The twinges and aches as parts of you move
To accommodate parts of him
Stretching, swelling, expanding
Until you think you'll pop

Yet that can't compare to
The wrenching tugs on your heart
Watching your beloved baby
Now so grown up and determined
Jumping head first
Without looking, without blinking, without pause

There's growing pains.....
And then there are growing pains.

Inspired by prompt #2 at Mama's Losin' It!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Sponge Shudders

I have a soul deep abhorrence of sponges being used for dish washing.  There is something about them that I find repellent beyond all measure.  At home, I use a wash rag for dishes.  It is changed at least once daily and washed in scorchingly hot water to sanitize it.

But a sponge?  It just sits there in all of it's stagnant glory.  I've heard it can be microwaved, but really, since the sponge I hate most is in the office break room, which one of my co-workers is going to be responsible for microwaving it?  That's right.  No one!

So I stick with my personal coffee mug and I joke about why I keep it separate from the rest of the mugs and I wash it out at the end of the day, with hot water, soap, and a surprisingly hardy paper towel, all the while that nasty sponge drips on the edge of the sink.


Monday, July 21, 2014

Our Standing Date

Since the start of lawn mowing season, my daughter and I have started a tradition that we follow to such absolute, that people have noticed.  We are expected to show up at a certain  place at a certain time, every week.

Monday, I come home from work, I mow the lawn.  I get hot and sweaty and a little emotional because when I'm mowing the lawn I tend to think introspective thoughts and sometimes that hurts a little.  So I come in the house, turn on all 3 bedroom fans, blast myself with cool breezes before I feel human again.  

Then we go go out to our favorite Mexican restaurant.  

I don't need to celebrate TGIF.  I need to celebrate ISM (I Survived Monday)!  And also, I hate mowing the lawn.  The chips and salsa are my reward.

So every Monday night, my daughter and I sit in the air conditioned restaurant, eating our favorite meals, and talk about our day.

The only good thing about it being so dry and the grass not growing: I don't mow on Monday and I don't miss our date night quit so much while she is France!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

The Garner Files

***In honor of one of my favorite actors, I am reposting something I wrote in 2012.  
James Garner will be missed.***

If you've read this post from the past, then you know I love James Garner.  
And now that I've read The Garner Files, I love him even more!
A good autobiography needs to include interesting anecdotes: check.
And a handful of intimate details you weren't sure you wanted to know about your hero: check.
It should also have a collection of fascinating photos that you can't help but look through before you start reading, several times while you are reading, and just a few more looks after you read the last line: check.
It should inspire you to revisit the movies and shows that made you a fan of your favorite actor in the first place: check.
If it also pulls at your heartstrings and grows your admiration of the man behind the actor, then it is a darn good autobiography!

And in chapter eleven, when he says my favorite movie, Murphy's Romance, is one of his favorite movies....and devotes 4 pages to it and includes the dialogue from the last scene which he considers one of the great love scenes ever which I quite agree with, then, this book is going on my must read again list.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Grocery Store Surprises

I got carded tonight at the grocery store.  I was surprised; I've been through this guy's line a hundred times.  I wasn't expecting it and I had to dig an embarrassing long time to find my ID.

After checking my date of birth, he asked how my day was going, other than not expecting to be carded.  I laughed and said it's been good, and now surprising.  He went on to say he really was surprised to see how old I was.  He never would have guessed.  I blushed furiously, hot and blazing red, partly due to being embarrassed and partly due to being pleased.

He said he thought maybe 29, but young enough he wanted to make sure I was legal.

Well, thank you very much, kind sir!

I'm going to be 40 next month.  I say that with pride.  I have never felt better, happy, more at ease with myself.  I'd pick 40 over 29 any day of the week!!

Friday, July 18, 2014

New Discoveries

I have often said I am not a huge fan of ice cream.  I'm not saying I hate it, and there are even hot summer evenings that I crave it, but over all, I wouldn't miss ice cream if it disappeared from the world.

Now, mashed potatoes is entirely different.

I am currently embarking a new adventure in my life: my husband is back at sea, my daughter is spending the summer in France, my son has moved out, so it is just me and the dogs living alone.  I stay up too late reading, I get up early to walk in the cool peacefulness of dawn, I laze about on the couch listening to classic country music just a little too loud, I eat huge salads every night for dinner, and for dessert: mashed potatoes.

I know, it is not a dessert.  But I would take a bowl of potatoes over a bowl of ice cream any day!  So after I eat my hearty salads, full of fiber, protein and lightly dressed with a light vinaigrette, after that I treat myself to a bowl of mashed potatoes.

As I was savoring them, licking the spoon and making sure every speck was consumed by me, I thought, this might be weird.

And then I thought, eh, who cares?  I love them!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Unstoppable Joy

I saw the sunrise today; I watched gray skies slide into shades of pink and yellow and blue.

I watched the morning stretch and unfurl and glow; I saw the promise of this day.

This moment, I thought, I don't want to forget; the unstoppable joy of a new start.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Getting Back To Health

My road to recovery from illness is always waylaid by my urge to get things done.  I have a very hard time resting and by resting I mean literally reclining on the couch not doing anything as the dust bunnies build a village under the dining room table and the dirty laundry becomes Mt. Everest.  I always push myself too hard and recovery takes longer because of that.

Which is why I went to work 3 out of 5 days last week, and came home sick on two of those.

But today I woke up feeling better.  The sun was shining and my ear wasn't aching and my cough was down to a manageable level.

I went to work full of enthusiasm, filled with joy at just being alive and able to get ready for work without becoming exhausted.  

That euphoria faded around 11:30.  Thank goodness I live close enough to work that I could come home at lunch and nap!  I still feel better, I am on my way back to good health, but I think I will skip the weeding I thought I might attempt this evening.

I'm trying to recognize when the urge to accomplish things is crazy.

I think weeding after my first day back at work in a week qualifies!

Friday, July 11, 2014

17 Years Ago Today

Today I am not spending it how I have for the last 17 years.  We are missing our birthday girl!  But I wanted to make sure she knows I am thinking of her.  I sent her birthday messages and love and then spent hours going through old albums and scanning pictures of her from birth to now.

When she woke up this birthday morning, she did not have a morning present from Mom and Dad waiting to be unwrapped or Swedish pancakes for breakfast, but she did have so many notifications from Facebook: tags and likes and comments and there is no doubt that she is loved and missed!

After I posted the album, I told my husband I thought it was one of my favorite projects I have ever done, and he agreed.  Then we both reached for some tissue....

Happy Birthday Leah!!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Now That's A Puzzler

For years, I had one of the old style library cards.  A tan card, with no design, straightforward lettering, and it was literally held together with packing tape.  I had to hold it just right for the scanner to read my number but with a little finesse it worked and I refused to upgrade to the slick, shiny, bright new logo'd cards.

And then I lost it.

I've misplaced it before; I have a tendency to tuck it into my pants pocket and walk to the library, then forget to take it out of the pocket when I get home.  Or I do take it out of my pocket and leave it with a mound of crumpled receipts that inevitably get swept into the garbage.

This time it was lost lost.

I searched the entire house, de-cluttering, checking every single pocket of every single pocketed article of clothing I owned.  Finally I had to admit defeat.  I knew the last time I had it was when I rode my bike to the library, and since it was such a lovely summer evening, I kept riding.  I had to face facts that it probably fell out somewhere along my ride.

I can't live without a library card, so I had to get a new one.  It's okay, I guess.  It works.

Currently I am experiencing a summer flu.  It's been unpleasant, I've missed days of work, and just when I think I'm feeling better, I wake up coughing and miserable.  I drag myself out of bed and think tea sounds divine.  Not Lipton's, though, so I reach way into the back of the cupboard to find something zingy or fruity and as I pull out the dusty box of cranberry pomegranate green tea, it's upside down.  All the tea bags fall to the floor.

I heave a sigh, wipe my nose, and brace myself for bending down to pick up the envelopes and my old library card.

Yes.  The card I searched for was actually tucked into the tea box, hidden away for months. that is a puzzler.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Today Is The Day

Today is the day.  It's finally arrived.  Today is the last Saturday morning that I will wake my daughter up for the summer.  Today she is off to France.

Her suitcase is packed, her back pack is stocked with books and snacks, everything is ready.

Except, not quite, me!

But I will act like I am and wave goodbye and cheer her on in this exceptional adventure she has been given. I'm so very proud of my brave, independent girl!

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Those Dreaded Words

After my daughter listened to a long and mostly boring story involving me being unhappy that people I know saw me in my yard working clothes: my least flattering yoga pants (here my husband asks if any yoga pants are flattering?) and a ratty old shirt fit for nothing else but dirty yard work or the rag bin, after that story, my daughter responded with those dread words daughters everywhere fear:

"You sound just like Grandma."

What?  I am shocked!  I never! agree.  

I remember listening to my mom fuss about being seen in her gardening clothes and it was so embarrassing for her.  But instead of being dismayed  that I sound just like my Mom, I thought of even worse words.

"She was right!"

Monday, June 2, 2014

Turning The Page

It is officially June.  I turned the calendar page.

It's not usually a momentous event; some months (like a birthday month) it is exciting to turn the page, but this time it was an event to stop and take notice of.

When I turned the page to June, a date three weeks from now is able to be seen, and on that day I will drive my daughter to the airport, see her off on a plane to France and not see her again until the end of summer.  It's a day I have known about and been planning towards for months, but it is now on the page of the current month.

It's shocking!  And exciting and a once in a life time opportunity and an adventure she will never forget.

Besides spending the next few weeks getting everything ready for travel, I'm going to spend some time getting fun in! I'm going to miss her like crazy all summer long.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

It Was Epic

This might have been our best trip to Seaside.  Ever.  And that's saying a lot because it was like our 12th trip.  We started out with three sisters and two kids and we've morphed into three sisters, one mom, two husbands, one teenager and six kids.

In one house.

It was wonderful!  It's the stuff of legends!  It's the sort of trip our children will remember and tell the tales of to their children.  Where else could they hear the sounds of their Moms and Aunts and Dad and Uncle and Grandpa and Grandma talk and laugh long into the night; where morning was a feast of pancakes and bacon served up at the long table; where the beach was a short walk to reach and the sun was shining and the entire day was spent digging and kite flying and playing in the ocean.....


Tuesday, May 20, 2014


I hear the seaside call my name
The waves a chorus of enticement
The wind a song of promise
The gulls chime in with invitation

And I am helpless but to answer

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

A Recipe for Contentment

Sit on the sun baked porch steps,
Book forgotten next to me,
Face upturned catching every ray of warmth,
Glass of ice water making a wet ring at my feet,

I am languid with contentment.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014


Since my husband is gone for great lengths of time, he and I make it a point to get away for a night or two when he his home.  Tomorrow is the beginning of one of our mini vacations.  I'm so looking forward to getting away, to exploring and shopping and dining in fine restaurants, to hiking and maybe bowling and for sure stopping at any garage sale we see.

But most of all, I'm looking forward to catching up on my sleep!  I stay up too late, I'm up too early.  The next few days will see me sleeping when I feel like.  I can hardly wait!

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Y Is For Yes

My daughter and I love going to Costco.  We savor our trips up and down the wide aisles.  We love saying funny things like, "Let's buy this tub of sour cream," and then laughing because there is no way we could used even a quarter of that tub before it goes from sour to spoiled.  That might only be funny to us!

The best part though, is the free samples.  We all know it.  We all eagerly converge on the food tables at the end of the aisles, checking out whether it looks good enough to try.  Today she tried the gluten free cookie, and I did not.  She said I choose correctly: it left a weird taste in her mouth.  We both skipped the gluten free granola and some kind of healthy nutrition bar.  But then we saw it.

Mini Tacos.

There was one left.  My daughter asked me if she should try it and I said yes.  As she reached for it, the lady put one more out.  Mine!   We stood in the aisle, sort of blocking people, while we tasted a little bit of heaven.  She said she could eat mini tacos every day.  I said we needed a box.

We texted Dad at home to preheat the oven, we were bringing dinner home.   Turns out, mini tacos are even better when heated in the oven!  Oh so delicious!

We almost always say yes to one sample we try.  This one just might be the best of the best.

Monday, April 28, 2014

X Is for iXnay and Amscray

Let's ixnay and amscray
And find a quiet spot
A cozy just for two nook
Were we can sit and smile
Talking not required!

Saturday, April 26, 2014

W Is For Where Has April Gone?

Where has April gone?  It feels like I just started the A to Z challenge, and yet here I am, at W, almost the last letter.  This month has flown by!

I've ticked things off my to do list, gotten a bit more organized, walked to work almost every day, found a yogurt I love so much I savor it as my daily treat, tried several new recipes for dinner, listened to more of my record collection, argued and won my daughter's right to re-take a vocab quiz, had lunches with friends,  enjoyed my 'date' with my Mom, just her and me, and all around tried my best to savor each day, rain or shine, knowing this moment, this day in April 2014 isn't coming around again.  I better get to it!

Friday, April 25, 2014

V Is For Vintage

I am a vintage junky.  I live for the summer weekends when garage sales are abundant.  There is nothing I love more than digging through a box for a hidden vintage treasure.  I search thrift shop shelves, on the hunt for a quirky gem.

I love it so much, two years ago I took the leap and opened my own booth in our local vintage market.  The best part of my venture is it pays for my hobby!  I can shop to my hearts content, knowing that I'm spending my own money.

I wonder what sales are going on tomorrow?  I'm giddy with excitement to find out!

Thursday, April 24, 2014

U Is For UGH!

This morning we woke up to discover we had no internet, no TV, no land line phone.  Nothing!  I may have uttered many groans of dismay.  I never realized how much we depended on those things to start our day.  Who knew what the weather held?  Or if anyone else had liked my Facebook status, or if I had holds in at the library or if this wasn't a storm related outage and more of an apocalypse situation.

We are finally back up and running and I can honestly say I will not be one of those parents who institutes a technology free week.  If I did that, I'd have to follow that rule. 

I really try not to make rules I can't follow!  

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

T Is For Tomato

My favorite sandwich is a BLT,  hold the T.  Which makes people laugh when I say it.  The thing is, I'm all about a good bacon and lettuce sandwich and those pesky tomatoes get in the way!

Love tomatoes in ketchup and spaghetti sauce and salsa.

Hate tomatoes on sandwiches, salads and bruschetta.

My Grandpa used to tell me I'd like them when I became a grown up.  Um, I'm going to be 40 this year.  I'm about as grown up as I'm going to get.  Still hate them!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

S Is For Sorry

I have Stared at this blank page for ages, trying to come up with my S word for today.  I tried Student awards, because we just watched our daughter accept Advanced French Student of the Year and AP History Student of the year.  I tried Secret Service because our Small town was crawling with them today due to the President's visit.  I gave the idea of Salad or Snape or Snuggle ups or Staying Oso Strong a go, but Sadly, they all sat like unmotivated lumps with the first Sentence.  So I have given up.

Sorry!  Today is not a day of literary genius for me!

Monday, April 21, 2014

R Is For Rachel McAdams

My daughter and I have super crushes on Rachel McAdams.  She is so cute, so lovely, so funny, so talented, and thanks to Google I now know only four years younger than me.   I've liked her for years, but last summer my daughter and I watched "About Time" and loved it so much, we watched it again.  And then we went home and pre-ordered it so when it was released to DVD, we'd have our own copy.

We discussed the move at length, dissecting the plot, analyzing the themes, agreeing that my first grand daughter should be called Kit-Kat and white isn't the be all color for a wedding dress. We forced a boyfriend and a husband to watch what I am sure they both termed a "girl movie."  We wiped away tears and laughed at clever jokes and enjoyed the heck out of it every time we see it. 

But most of all we talked about a certain floral pant that Rachel wears.  The moment we saw her in those pants, we both sighed longingly.  Those pants were so perfect.  But we agreed they aren't perfect for everyone.  Who else, but the very darling Rachel McAdams could pull off floral pants?

Not me.  Not her.  But that didn't stop me from directing her attention to every single pair of flower patterned pants we saw as we have shopped.  We joke, "Only Rachel," as we leave them behind on the rack.

Until I saw a lovely pale blue pair of pants, with tiny dark blue flowers, and I sort of bullied my daughter into trying them on.  Later, when I wandered by her dressing room and asked how things were going, she said they were good, she was getting the pants.  I asked if I could see (we have an understanding since she reached a certain age that I don't need to see the clothes, I trust her judgement) but this time I was so excited to see her in these pants, I asked.  And she agreed.  And I was right: she looks lovely.

From that moment on, these pants are called The Rachel McAdams Pants.  

I may be living out my floral pants dreams vicariously through her!

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Q Is For Quirk

A quirk of fate changed the path I walked
I stepped over the puddles and leaped the chasm
And kept going on in pursuit of my hopes
Later I looked back with whispered thanksgiving
For that unexpected detour put me right where I belonged.

Friday, April 18, 2014

P Is For Puppy

I've gotten to an age, a stage in life, that the urge to have another baby pales in comparison to the urge to have another puppy.

I have one husband and two kids and three dogs and I do not need another puppy.  I don't have the space or the time or even, honestly, the strength for four dogs.

Recently I had the puppy urge.  It passed, but not before I bought this:

When I am old, my house will be overrun with ceramic dogs.  My grandkids will be told not to touch, that isn't a toy, and when I finally kick it, my estate sale will be advertised as the sale for the avid dog lover.

I'm totally okay with that.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

O Is For Only

Since our son moved out, our daughter has become an only child who is doted on by her parents.

I never thought I'd be that kind of parent.  But I guess it's just a reverse order of how it was when our son was our only child, before his sister joined us on our family adventure.  Back then, he did rule the roost, but in the more subtly way that babies have of taking over everything and making bed time at 8 seem like the most wonderful idea ever and a day not covered in someone else's excretions a day to celebrate in grand style (McDonalds)!

Now days, our daughter has been known to suggest dinner (pancakes, please?) and I say sure.  She picks the movies we see as a family (no sibling to argue that it's a 'girl' movie).  She sits in the middle of the back seat so she can talk to us easily as we drive places and no-one complains that she is invading his space.  And when she asks if she can spend all summer in France, we say yes.

It will be only me and the dogs for huge chunks of the summer, but I'm okay with that.  I am so excited for her!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

N Is For Nary

N is for Nary
As in none
Not one

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

M Is For Made It

Sometimes I don't walk to work just for fun.  Sometimes both cars are being used by other family members and as I live so close to work, I get the privilege of being the designated walker.

Today was one of those days.  The walk to work was good.  The walk home at lunch was okay.  The walk back to work after lunch was energizing.  The walk home from work was relaxing.

Literally, as I took the last step to be in our carport, under cover, I heard a weird noise.  I looked out, and yep.  Rain.  But I made the trip four times without getting wet!  That is cause for celebration.

Monday, April 14, 2014

L Is For LOL

I don't know what to wear today, I say while heaving sighs and making a pile of clothes on the bed.  I think that one gray sweater, the short sleeve one, but I can't find it.  If I can't find it, I don't have a back up outfit planned.  Disastrous.

So the mound on the bed gets higher and higher as I take everything out of the closet, searching, searching, searching, and there at last, at the back of the shelf, almost falling off, there is the elusive sweater.

I shake out the wrinkles (and any hidden spiders), put in on, look in the mirror.

Is this really what I've been searching for?

Is this really what I want to wear today?

I don't know!  But I'm out of time and about to be late for work, the time for change is gone!

L is for LOL because I wrote today's post for "I" actually.  Hours later I have remembered that was the wrong letter.  Oops! And serious LOL!!

Saturday, April 12, 2014

K Is For Kin

K is for Kin
Of which I have a few
And today is a day of parties
Of which I have two
I will bake a cake
And wrap some presents
To give to my nephews
With many happy wishes
Then on to the in-laws
For a great turkey dinner
Who says Thanksgiving
Should only be in November?
A day full of Kin
Nothing could be better!

Friday, April 11, 2014

J Is For Jeff

Let me introduce to Jeff:
 Sketchy Jeff, to be exact.
 I have quite a collection of dogs; I don't usually name them.
 Nope, none of the other dogs have names.
But there was something about this weird little white dog that said, "I am Sketchy Jeff."

I bought him for 99 cents and I thought I'd put him in my vintage booth because I wasn't sure I liked him enough to keep. I put him on my shelf anyway, just to see how he fit in. At first I was a little skeeved out by how he stared at me as I watched TV. I don't know when it changed, but one day I looked at him and thought I like him. I like him a lot.

Sketchy Jeff is here to stay!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

I Is For Idea

Years ago, I had the idea that adding one more dog to the mix was not going to be a big deal.  Our daughter asked and begged and promised to care for and save up the money for her very own puppy.

We became a three dog family.

Walking three dogs is a bit trickier.  Three dogs barking is a bit noisier.  The fur three dogs shed is a bit more everywhere.  But all of that was manageable and had been for the last 4 years.

It was the vomit that has got me down.

The third dog got sick all over the couch.  And the love seat.  And once on me.  Over and over and over during a recent evening.  I might have cried a little.  I might have said the couch was dead to me and had to be burned.  I might have cried a little more.

Then my husband had an idea.

The couches are alive to me again, thanks to professional upholstery cleaners!  Best idea ever.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

H Is For Hard Headed

H is for hard headed
As in 'hard headed Swede'
Stubborn and contrary
Persistent and determined
If I say the sky is green
I will argue my statement
With unwavering, relentless dedication
Until I am green in the face.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

G Is For Grapes

I like the red ones,
My daughter likes the green;
Last week I bought green for her
This week I bought red for me.

The green were better.
Don't tell my daughter that.

I'll never live it down!

Monday, April 7, 2014

F Is For Friday

I don't want to be the person that constantly lives for the day that today is not, but I am counting down the days until Friday.  My husband is coming home this week, after almost 40 days out at sea, and while the actual day has jumped back and forth from the 8th, 9th, or 10th, he will for sure be home this week; he will be home by Friday.

So I will get up on Monday and Tuesday and Wednesday and go about my grown up responsibilities: go to work, fold laundry, feed the kid and the dogs, pay bills, and grocery shop.  But Friday...

It's Friday I'm In Love.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

E Is For Eek!

Biggish house spiders are the worst.  Well.  Not worse than bats flying through the living room or 16 inch rats living behind dishwashers, only one of which I've actually experienced.  Thankfully, just bats.  But biggish house spiders who suddenly appear right were you are, as if they are getting extreme chuckles out of the fright you have been given, those spiders are pretty close to the worst.

We have had a rash of sightings.  One when I was sweeping and lifted something off the floor only to throw it back down and jump and stomp when I realized I was pretty much holding a spider in my bare hand.  Then one crawled out from under the printer while my daughter was at the computer.  I had to come home to capture and release it because my brave, fearless, daughter was freaked out

The next day I found one in the bathtub.  I once again caught it and took it far from our house to let it go in the wild outdoors.

But now, actually, it has been in the bathroom for months, this plastic spider ring that has moved from three different spots all over the bathroom and hasn't scared me at all, well, now it startles me Every. Single. Time.

I guess I should move it, but there's nothing like fright to jump start you awake in the early morning hours.  Better than coffee!

Well, let's not get carried away.

Friday, April 4, 2014

D Is For Disguise

I may be going through the drive thru to pick up a breakfast treat for my daughter in my pajamas.  I may not have bothered to brush my hair.  Or my teeth.  Or wash my face.

But it's our spring break day, my one day this week that I don't work and we have a list of things we want to do, starting with a special breakfast.  By the time we decide we are hungry, we are starving.  I can't be bothered to take the time to fix myself up.

Instead,I employ my ready for the day disguise: I pull on a nice jacket, button it up to hid my pajama shirt, smooth my hair back into a messy bun and go.  From the car window, I look decent!  

Standing outside of the car, well, at least my daughter was the only one who saw me!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

C Is For Carry On

When I was a kid, I could listen to country or Christian music, and nothing else outside those homey fenced in boundaries.  I happen to love country music, so that was never a hardship.  Even though my husband and I are the same age, many of the songs that 'take him back' are completely unknown to me.

To make matters worse, my daughter is a music fiend.  She has such a wide range of likes, she often knows what song my husband is talking about!

Thanks to Supernatural, and a song that played once in the show, my daughter introduced me to Kansas and that wonderful class song, "Carry on Wayward Son."

I love it.  I mean, LOVE love it!  Sometimes when I am walking around, looking like I'm pondering deep, meaningful things, I'm really just letting this song roll around in my head.  

I just wish I actually knew more of the words other than the first line!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

B Is For Birthday Card

B is for Birthday Card
The one I didn't send
The one I keep forgetting
To my 9 year old nephew
Who doesn't need a phone call
Or happy birthday singing
But wants a piece of birthday mail
With every ounce of being
I should give up the hope
That I will ever be on time
And only buy Belated Birthday Wishes
Cuz that is how I roll
Every single year!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

A Is For Arlington

A is for Arlington, and Oso and Darrington, my home town and community, small populations, where we know each other or know we have friends in common.  I never thought we'd make headlines, national news, international news...but we have.

It's been ten days since the first sirens echoed through town, signalling something bad had happened.  The Oso Mudslide that wiped out a neighborhood and a mile of State Route 530 has devastated us.  The number of missing shocked us, and as the days have passed with no signs of life, the loss of hope has dragged us down, but it hasn't stopped us.

We are a community of helpers, of volunteers, of givers, of sharers.  If the shirt we are wearing is needed, we gladly hand it to our neighbor.  Sadly, we are now proving this very thing.

People all over the country have donated, have rushed supplies to us, and every single gift, every single prayer, is much needed and so much more appreciated.  Thank you isn't enough, but it is heartfelt, and deeply meant.

Donations accepted at United Way of Snohomish County and Cascade Valley Hospital Disaster Fund.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Tales Of Bakery

I haven't baked anything in quite a while.  Not even at Christmas.  It's been so long since I used the mixer, I had to wipe the dust off it before I could use it.  I had to dig through the odds and ends catch all utensil drawer to find the beaters.

I could say it was because I was trying to eat better, but since I've been buying a box of girl scout cookies any time I'm asked, and before that I was buying a 50 count box of chocolate chip cookies (and freezing them!), that is not really the reason.

It's partly the reason, though, because there is nothing like fresh baked chocolate chip cookies, with their ooey gooey goodness, and when they are still warm, I eat way more than I should.  And then the next day, I eat a few with my morning coffee.  And as a mid-morning snack, and a before dinner treat, and an evening treat as I watch my shows.....

The other reason is it is a lot of work.  After a day of work in the office, and coming home to cook dinner and cleaning up slightly, I'm usually too tired to do much of anything.  But last night the call of the cookie was so great, I baked.

I baked, my daughter sat on a chair in the kitchen, and talked, and I felt like I'd found a piece of myself that I hadn't realized I was missing.  I remembered baking cookies or brownies as an after school surprise for the kids.  I remembered dinners that I cooked that were only so-so and I redeemed it all by whipping up a sweet treat.  I remembered making and packing up cookies for so many camping trips, starting with the very first one my husband and I adventured on as still newlyweds.  I remembered drawing a chair up to the counter and having one of the kids assist me, carefully measuring flour and sugar, and having huge grins when I turned the mixer over to their small hands.

I'm not going to start baking every day, but I have promised myself I won't let months go by again.  There is nothing that says love and home like a freshly baked treat!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

To The Dog Walker

To the lady whose dog pressed his slobbery, wet nose against my leg in such a friendly way and left a drenched spot on my tights as we walked past each other, don't apologize.

It didn't bother me.

And it actually made me smile all the way back to work.

I'm pretty sure there's not many people who could say a slobbery mess left by a strange dog was a good thing.  But it was!

Monday, March 17, 2014

Almost Twinsies

We are almost Twinsies as we
Order the same dish for dinner
The same salad
Accept and decline cheese in unison

One would think it is because I raised her
That she would of course like the same things as me

But she eats all the onions 
I disdainfully pull from my salad
And I stir up my pasta so the cheese and sauce marry
She leaves hers as perfectly plated
As when it arrived

We're similar
But different.

I've done my job as mother just right!

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Air Held Promises

The morning was overcast, with dark gray pavement that told of recent rain; the promise of more showers was everywhere, most likely as we walked, but we felt adventurous, the girls and I.

We leaped out into our morning, and caught the rhythm of the early Saturday riser.

The people we met were just like us, wide awake, loving the wind that alternated between pushing and pulling us as we crested hills and cruised down valleys.

The air seemed to hold the promise of something other than rain.....


Monday, March 10, 2014

Fascinating Promises

There was a time, in the not too distant past, that our house was full of boys.  There was always someone staying over, not as a guest, more like family.  They were noisy, messy, always starving, pranking, daring, making me crazy, and I miss them all like I never thought possible.

The sad fact is that a group of kids, all the same age, same grade, all hit the same milestones at the same time.  They all stand on the edge of their nests, with eyes fixed on fascinating promises at the horizon and they take that step out into air, wings opening in the freedom of flight and the sheer exhilaration life.

We stand back and watch them go, with cheers and wishes and prayers and love.

If it all goes right, someday, there will be a knock at the front door, and when opened, there will be one of those brave, young birds, standing at attention, looking oh so sharp in his pressed uniform.....

I couldn't be more proud if he was my own son!

Saturday, February 22, 2014

I'm Doing This Backward

Now that is just my daughter and I alone, while my husband is out on the tugboat and my son has moved out, now when it's just us girls, now is the time for me to renew my membership at the local warehouse club.  She and I treat it as an event, an outing, a very interesting thing to do, and when we go, we go up and down every aisle, looking and checking and every time in the spices I say, "If only they had red curry paste," and my daughter says it with me because I literally say it every time.

We carry our bulk food purchases into our house in armloads, because we say no thanks to our purchases being packed in a bigger box, and the counter piles high with boxes of cereal and granola bars, bags of bread and bagels, various jars and cans of soups and whatnot (yes, this means candy) and if everything goes well and it is in stock, a brick of aged white cheddar.

Then I put things away and I moan over the fact that we bought too much and I don't have enough cupboards to hold it all and worry that we bought too much.  It is, after all, only the two of us.

I think I did this backward.  I should have renewed my membership a few years ago, when I had a houseful of starving teenage boys and a husband who packed a daily lunch!

This almost monthly shopping excursion is on my mind because I've given her the last package of crackers for her lunch, and the granola bars are down to a handful, and there is once again space in the pantry.  It must be time to make a list and then mostly ignore it!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

A Winter Trip To Seaside

Growing up, the idea of never having been to the ocean, never having had salty waves lap at my ankles, never breathed in deep of that wonderful tang that is the ocean, never sat on a sandy beach and watched waves crash over themselves in a race to the beach, made me feel weird.  I decided early on I could never live in a land locked state.  There is something soothing to my soul knowing the beach is just a hop, skip and a jump away.

My daughter has the same feel.  So when we asked her if she'd like to have a mini vacation over this past three day weekend, she said yes.  We asked if she had a hearts-desire vacation and she said yes.  Seaside.  It's a five hour drive down to the Oregon Coast, and we couldn't leave until Saturday afternoon, but the call of the literal sea-side was too much to resist.

We went.

It was stormy and rainy and cold and absolutely wonderful.

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