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.

Hmm......now that is a puzzler.