Saturday, May 31, 2008

it's all in your perspective

It's here. Today is the day the boys really left. I cried after we hugged and said goodbye, and those sweet boys just came back and hugged me again. I miss them already.

I just feel unsettled, as if my life were sitting inside one of those rock tumblers, bouncing around out of control, being flipped over and over, and getting banged up and bruised by everything flying around inside. It makes me feel like life is kind of scary. Everything seems to be changing this year.

Kids are leaving. Wages aren't keeping up with the cost of living. Au contraire. Groceries keep going up, and gas prices have doubled, but wages have definately not followed suit. And jobs are harder to find...not just for me for this summer, but for everyone I know. The last two summers I had a job without hardly trying. This summer, not so much. It's been two weeks and not even a nibble. Gotta try harder.

I really think I need to find a new permanent job, not just a temporary one, because every summer is going to be the same. I will always need to find a job for three months, and it's not always a for-sure thing.

Johnny said we should be happy that the boys are leaving. Less kids in the house, he said. He's excited because he gets the room to himself, I think. He's the first boy in the house to have his own room since Rob was born, 27 years ago. Wow!

But he's still chomping at the bit to get out of the house, too. Gee is excited about living in the dorm this fall. They all think it's a great deal when one of them "gets out"!

Ai. I'm not so sure.

Think about this, though. Just as the rocks tumbling in the rock polisher come out all bright and shiny, life tumbles us around and wears off our rough edges so we can be all smooth and shiny, too.

I just need to trust. The one thing that I hang on to, the one thing that brings me peace, is my faith. I've learned over and over again that the one constant in my life is my God. If I continue to choose to rest in Him, I know everything will be okay. It might not turn out the way I imagine it, but I know it'll be okay.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

sorry isn't the hardest word, goodbye is

The boys are leaving earlier than they originally planned. My sweeties (they're still my sweeties even though they're 20 and 27) are leaving a couple days early. They're taking off Saturday afternoon instead of next Tuesday morning. All of a sudden it's real. It's almost here. A day and a half left.

I have to focus on how excited I am for them that they get to spread their wings and see a little bit more of the world. I don't think momma birds feel like this, or they'd pull out the little flight feathers as soon as they see them sprout. But then the babies would be crippled and would never fly. That would not be good.

I want to make lists for them, and insist that they check them off and do each thing. I want to go shopping and buy everything I think they might need. I'm obsessing again, and I need to let it go. They'll be fine. How come I'm not ready for this? I've done it six times already. You'd think I'd have it down pat already. I think I've forgotten how to do it. :(

I started thinking about happiness, of all things. I think if people depend on having their kids around in order to be happy, they're going to be some crabby old stinkers. Ironically enough, this was in my in-box today: a post on the pursuit of happiness.

You can read it too, if you like, but to sum it up, I need to let go of what I don't have so I can be grateful for what I have, let go of grudges, let go of seeing myself as the center of the universe, and let go of the past and my worries about the future so I can enjoy today.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

loaner dog has gone home now...

Okay, Punkin's mommy came to get her tonight, the adopt-me dog is gone, and I can rest easy with just Augie Doggie and X-man tomorrow. Rest is the key word here, because Dee talked me into going for a walk around the block, and it's a mile around the block. That's a big block. I know.

Actually, a mile probably doesn't sound like much, but if you think about it, my job for the last two and a half years has involved sitting on my behind in a cushy office chair. Sitting. And I haven't done a large amount of walking. I'm embarrassed to say this, but I'll say it anyway. A mile almost killed me. I could barely pick my feet up by the time we got back home. I am OUT of SHAPE. I thought I was going to die, or at the very least, fall over sideways into someone's lawn and lay there with my legs sticking up in the air like dead little stumps.

I looked back at the house with longing in my eyes when we got to the end of our block, and Dee says, "Keep going!" She's so sympathetic. I was complaining about my legs when we got back. Does she care? No. "Buck up, mother!" she says. "You can do it again in a couple of days." And I probably will. LOL.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

l is for loser...

Today Gee had to work, and she asked me to do her one favor when Dee got home. One little favor. I had to make a phone call to see if a friend of ours had brought her yearbook home from school for her, and if so, I was going to run and get it. It's less than a mile away. Easy peasy.

She called me from work to remind me. Yep, yep. I'm going to do that, but Dee's not home yet, I said.

Dee got home...I could stop here, but I'll admit it. I didn't do it right away. Then I got sidetracked. Then I forgot. {:o[

Gee called about 9:30 when I was sitting in my room talking to Lewie. "Nope. Not yet," I said, when she asked me about it.

"Not YET? You mean you forgot??" Sadly, I had to admit it.

I hung up the phone. "Loser," I said to myself.

Lewie looked at me in feigned shock. "Really," he said.

"I was talking to MYSELF. About MYSELF!"

"I guess I don't need to call home from Wyoming, because now I know what you'll say about me when you hang up!" Boy, oh boy did he get some mileage out of that one!

Monday, May 26, 2008

a bittersweet day...

Memorial Day...a day to remember those who are gone, and a day to celebrate togetherness.

Today we celebrated family with a BBQ and bonfire, with all but one of the kids stopping by for a while to hang out. We had so much fun. We ended up with more than twenty people here...the more the merrier, I say. It was a nice mellow day...not stressful at all, even for an INFP like me!

Dee bought stuff to make s'mores with--oh, be still my little pitter patting heart. I haven't had s'mores for a couple of years. Lewie made me one, and I cooked another one in the microwave. Yes, I nuked it! It's not the same, though. You don't get that nice crusty outside. The one Lewie made was the best one.

I don't have the patience to hold that little stick over the fire until the marshmallow gets all brown. I like them golden brown and melty, and to get them like that, you have to keep turning them and turning them as soon as they start to smoke. I get fed up and just let the dumb thing burn.

The day was especially enjoyable because John did part of the cooking. (You know how much I like to cook these days.) He wanted to learn how to cook my honey's collard greens with smoked turkey, and Mugs' famous cornbread, so he took over that part. (Before you fall over, know that he had a date coming over and he wanted to make a good impression.) He even did most of his dishes! Wowza. That was cool! He needs to ask her over more often. Hee hee. They turned out great, BTW. Go, Johnny!

All I made were salads. I made Three-Bean Salad for my honey, cuz he loves that one, Mexican Pasta Salad, and Emeril's Sweet and Tangy Coleslaw. Mmm-mmm-mmmh!

This will probably be the last get together for a while where all the kids will be there, though, because this is the last week that the two boys will be here. They're leaving in a week to join Willy-boy, the one who lives 3 hours north who we hardly ever see. He got a job out in Wyoming, too. {:o[ (huge sad face) Happy that they have work, but sad that I won't see them much. Do you see what I mean by bittersweet?

Then on the flip side, last night we spent most of the night at the hospital with Mugs, who was not doing well at all. The staff did manage to stabilize her, and she's doing better, but it was a little scary for a while. She felt like she couldn't breathe, her blood pressure kept falling, her oxygen blood level was too low, and they couldn't figure out why. They finally figured out that she had fluid and possibly blood clots in her lungs.

We finally came home after they moved her into intensive care at around 3:30 am. *yawn* They are still treating her today, and she is holding her own right now. We were pretty happy that we didn't lose her. Prayers for her continued health are appreciated.

But on a truly sad note, Markus, a remarkable young man whose journey I've been following on Caring Bridge, passed away this morning from a very aggressive form of pancreatic cancer. Left behind grieving were his partner Mark, his parents and siblings, and a huge extended family. Cancer is no respecter of persons.

It's always so difficult to know just the right thing to say, but thinking about what they are going heart is full...

Sunday, May 25, 2008


I think this is one of the most beautiful things I've ever heard...k.d. lang singing Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah' - I found it over at free's site today. It's from the "Hymns of the 49th Parallel" album.

Now I've heard there was a secret chord
That David played, and it pleased the Lord
But you don't really care for music, do you?
It goes like this
The fourth, the fifth
The minor fall, the major lift
The baffled king composing Hallelujah

Hallelujah, hallelujah
Hallelujah, hallelujah

Your faith was strong but you needed proof
You saw her bathing on the roof
Her beauty and the moonlight overthrew you
She tied you
To a kitchen chair
She broke your throne, and she cut your hair
And from your lips she drew the Hallelujah

Hallelujah, hallelujah
Hallelujah, hallelujah

Baby I've been here before
I've seen this room and I've walked this floor
I used to live alone before I knew you
I've seen your flag on the marble arch
But love is not a victory march
It's a cold and it's a broken Hallelujah

Hallelujah, hallelujah
Hallelujah, hallelujah

Well, maybe there's a God above
But all I've ever learned from love
Was how to shoot somebody who outdrew you
It's not a cry that you hear at night
It's not somebody who's seen the light
It's a cold and it's a broken Hallelujah

Hallelujah, hallelujah
Hallelujah, hallelujah

must be something in the water...

I think it's raining...dogs, that is.

Last night, the kids were outside playing in the yard, and this dog showed up. He looked like a pug/beagle mix, and of course they were all concerned about him. It's exactly what I used to do. "He followed me home. Can we keep him?"

We didn't know what to do with him. Was he lost? Was he starving? Should we keep him in our fenced-in area until we find his owner? Just let him be?

Common sense would have said to just let him go and he'd find his way back home. I don't think common sense was talking very loudly, because we put him in the fenced-in area. I called the sheriff to see if he had been reported missing. Nope. I looked on craigslist. Nada. I called the vet clinic on his rabies tag. Closed till Tuesday. Oh, yeah. It's a holiday weekend.

He was yipping and whining out there. We shut the window. Then it started to rain. My sympathy gene kicked into overdrive. "We have to let him in! It's thunderstorming out there."

So now the dog is in the kitchen, yipping with this shrill, ear-piercing bark because he is behind the gate and can't visit everyone. The cats are flying out of the kitchen in a state of panic, clearing the gate with room to spare. Bedlam breaks out in the bedroom because Augie Doggie has started barking. The baby starts crying. (We were watching some of the grandbabies...the almost-three year old, the almost-two year old, and the one-month old.)

I can't take it! The dog has to go out. As soon as it stops raining, that is. Augie kept barking, so I had the brilliant idea to let him out of the bedroom so he could sniff noses with this dog. This way, he could see who was in the house and quit barking at him.

Not. He made a beeline for the kitchen, barreled RIGHT THROUGH the childproof gate, and tore into the poor little puggle. He chased him around in circles in the kitchen, chomping him every time he caught up with him. Okay, not such a great plan, I would say. I had to step in and threaten him with the squirt bottle before he let up.

When we finally let the puggle back outside, he started circling the house, looking for a place to get back in. He whined on the front steps for a while, and then we heard him barking in the back of the house. Then we heard scratching on the side of the house under the window. All of a sudden, we saw him bouncing outside the open living room window, trying to leap high enough so he could climb in. The cats sat in the window with their hair standing on end, growling under their breaths.

He finally gave up. I think he slept on the side deck all night, because that's where he was in the morning. Gee named him Ricky, and she tried to talk me into keeping him for her. Ummm, no! She's going to the U in August, and who's going to end up taking care of him??? You got it! Me... No. No way. End. Of. Story.

I had to quit feeling sorry for him and put my big girl pants on to take him to the humane society. I updated my craigslist posting to tell whoever might be looking for him where he was. Whew! That was close. Too close for comfort. NO NEW PETS. It's my new mantra.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

adventures in punkinsitting

What is punkinsitting, you might ask...well, if you have a bff who is going out of town for Mem-weekend and a soft heart, you might well end up being a punkin sitter as well. Punkin is a little doxie-poo, or weenie-poo, if you like. She looks a lot like our Augie doggie, but she has golden poodle hair and little dainty poodle feet.

It's very tough getting a new pet acclimated to the household environment. Augie was totally entranced with her at first. A girl! In his very own house, AND, she is his size. He was practically googly-eyed as he was sniffing around her, until she got tired of his nose up underneath her backside, and then she gave him a crabby yelp and a "snap, snap!" with her teeth. Mind your nose, there, Augie Doggie.

Punkin is quite the little princess, and she loves to be petted. She does not love, however, when the thugs cats swagger up to her with the cold stare they reserve for intruders. She can only take it for a short minute or so, and then she shrieks at them and pounces, chasing them halfway across the room when they freak out and run.

Frankie was the first one to catch it...she went after him before my bff even finished dropping her off. He was sitting staring at her, trying to figure out what this creature was doing sitting plain as you please in his living room. Punkin lifted her lips a couple of times to show her perfect little teeth, and then she let him have it.

BoomBoom was the next victim, although I must say he was asking for it. He came strolling across the dining room when Punkin was sitting under my chair minding her own p's and q's. BoomBoom sat down, laid his ears back, and just gave her a steady glare until she lost patience and gave him the business. He flew backwards about six feet, I swear, and now he gives her a wide berth when he walks by.

This morning, Tucker decided to test her mettle, and deliberately walked right in front of her and sat down. He didn't even stare at her. He was staring at the desk next to him as though it were the most fascinating piece of furniture he had ever seen...UNTIL she pounced. Tucker flew into action. He didn't back up one step. In fact he took a step toward her and, "Whack! Whackitty, whap whap!" on top of her head with a heavy right paw, and sat right back down, staring right at her.

I think Punkin met her match this time, because she kind of shrank back and lowered herself to the floor, laying her chin on the carpet and staring off into the other room. I'm telling you! Tucker is the Alpha Dude here in our little animal kingdom. Nobody messes with him.

Dogsitting is even more intense than babysitting. If nothing else, this adventure has totally reinforced my "no new pets" vow.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

yes, it's the year of the Cook!

David Cook! By 12 million votes! He was my choice out of the two that were left. I'm not sure why David Archuleta didn't win it...maybe his dad's interfering? Maybe everyone saying that he aced the finale last night?

It made me feel like the judges thought the contest was already over. That always gets my back up, so I'm happy that the Cookster won. Well, not just because of that. He deserved it. Actually, they both did, but I thought he took more risks. His willingness to be vulnerable probably garnered him a few votes, and his singing is muy interesante. Not the same old, same old.

I'll buy his CD when it comes out. I tried to buy some of his performances on iTunes tonight, but it kept telling me it couldn't process card payments at this time. Grrr.

It was very nice to see Michael Johns and David Hernandez on the show again tonight. Just like old times. Hehe. The Idol tour is actually coming to our town, but I doubt I can afford tickets. Too bad. Actually, I could probably buy the CDs of all the Top Ten Idol contestants for cheaper than one ticket to the concert.

Yeah, I'm trying to console myself. How'm I doing?

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

they're stretching their wings!

Boy, oh boy, am I doing a lot of letting go lately. You might be tired of hearing me whining about my boys leaving the state...well, now I get to practice letting go of my baby girl Gee.

Not only is she going away to college this fall (okay, only forty minutes away, but still), but right now she's off on over a week-long road trip with Caseman and T to Vegas and the West Coast! It's really hard to keep my hands off and not try to manage the trip for her, at least mentally.

You know how that goes...they want to drive straight through, and take turns driving. I want them to sleep someplace in a real bed every night. They want to go sightseeing to California. I get itchy to plan their destinations and have them go where I would like to go. I have to keep telling myself, "Just get a grip, Momma! Let them be."

But it sounds like they are having a grand time of it. What better time to go travelling than right after you finish high school? No responsibilities, no schedules, at least for the moment. I can't wait till she gets back and I can see her pictures. We are going to have a scrappin' good time, then!

Monday, May 19, 2008

seeing the everyday...

A big thank you to Gabrielle over at Design Mom. I won one of the subscriptions to "Seeing the Everyday" magazine that she was giving away for Mother's Day. Here is a link to a sample of what the magazine is all about...I wish I would have had this magazine when the kids were little, but I was probably too busy to take the time to read it.

Seriously, those little moments that happen everyday are exactly what the good stuff of life is made of. Those baby's firsts are so precious: first smile, first realization of the fact that they have toes, the first time they learn how to grip and pull their own hair, the first time they figure out how to kiss you.

And how about the practice times when your little one is perfecting a skill? The time they learn to whistle a whole tune, or when they tie their shoe without any help, and then completely forget how to do it, or when they want to help set the table, just because they know how.

Oh, be still my heart...those moments go so quickly! But we don't realize it because we are so busy with getting the next tasks done. If I could go back and say one thing to say to myself as a young mom, it would be, "Slow down. Go slowly and enjoy the little miracles that each moment brings. Savor each everyday moment as if it were the last. Enjoy the sweetness and innocence of your little babes."

Because pretty soon, they'll grow up and move away to another state to work at a new job and you won't be able to see their smiling faces everyday.

True story.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

more progress

I had a crazy, crazy day last know that my honey cleaned the house for me, and the kids gave me this Archiver's card, so I thought for a while about what I wanted from there. I keep thinking about how to customize my crafty area, decorate it and things like that.

Like Archiver's has this carousel thing for hanging, oh, clear stamps on, or packages of stickers...things like that. I want to put up a little tiny straight rod on the closet wall instead, and hang the stuff on there. I don't have enough table space for a carousel thingie.

The closet is getting there, by the way! It really is. I did a little more cleaning, and more rearranging of drawers and clothes and "stuff" but I'm still not done. I'll wait until it's finished and I'll post pics if I get brave.

But back to the crazy part...I lost my Archiver's card for a while, and I was going bonkers trying to find it. I knew I put it in a very safe place. I just couldn't find it. Same with my camera card. It got left in the computer, and then I took it out to put it away. STILL don't know where that is! Maybe I should pray about it. I always find my stuff when I ask God to help me. Is that too frivolous? I don't think so. God cares about every little thing I care about, cuz He loves me THAT much.

Whew. I found the Archiver's card, sitting out in plain sight in this cool little pen/tool organizer that I'm going to have sitting right on top of my desk in my crafty space. And today I went and spent it. I couldn't decide between the Crop-O-Dile Big Bite and the very cool Ranger Adirondack alcohol inks.

I got to try out the alcohol inks when this very helpful saleslady gave me a mini tutorial...that was it! I bought the ink...I think it was the Cottage Path set, but now that I'm looking at all the colors online, I wish I would have bought the Mountain Vineyard set. Well, I guess I have to save something for next time. I also found this cool tutorial online that gives you ideas of how to use them. How fun!

I'm now unemployed till August or until I find something (which I hope will come sooner than August), so between temporary job hunting, garden cleaning, and watching babycakes, I'm going to keep plugging away on my closet so I have a place to do all these cool crafty things. I get excited just thinking about it.

A little update about the boys: they all got hired out in Wyoming and will be leaving within two weeks. Huge sad face here... {:^[ I'm going to get lots of practice in letting go, I guess.

And one last word of wisdom [and this is a repeat word]:

Do not, I repeat again, do NOT try to cook quesadillas when you are blogging, and particularly when the Country Music Awards are on in the other room! I burned this one quesadilla severely on one side--TWICE! I peeled the burnt side off that sucker, put another tortilla on there, and BURNED THAT ONE, too! Three strikes and I would have been OUT.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

wacky web wednesday 05.14.08

It's my wacky web Wednesday post. Here are some of the crazy things I found online this week:

Some people just shouldn't be allowed to have come anywhere near kids. I found this at kirtsy:

Driver buckles up beer, baby sits on floor. The headline says it all.

Are you looking for a babysitter? Amy Winehouse is your girl. NOT.

And you definitely don't want to get any parenting tips from Michael and Debi Pearl, like this mother did. I can't tell you how sad it makes me, thinking of this little boy. Ai.

Here's a short quote from an article on the Pearls' website:

"The child has no social consciousness, so he does whatever he feels like. Dumping ...[his bowl of food]... is not a great offense for a six-month-old, but he will not always be six months old, and it won’t be cute for long. It will make you downright mad when he is three years old and flings a whole plate of food into your lap.

So we watch him, knowing his propensity to selfish compulsion. When he seizes his bowl with intentions of dumping it, swat the offending hand with a little instrument (light wooden spoon, rubber spatula, flexible tubing less than a quarter inch in diameter, or any instrument that will cause an unpleasant sting without leaving any marks)." Wow. If you go to their site, it looks fairly benign until you find these creepy little "gems," prescriptions for child abuse, in my mind. I hear that the book they published on child discipline has more of the same.

I know. Not funny. Horrifying, actually...but definitely wacky.

There you go.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

family fun for everyone

I was asked to review these new K'Nex Dueling Racers and a Rescue building set. My kids are a little older, now, so I was thinking that maybe I'd have to have the older grandsons over to play with these to see what they thought of them. Not. The boxes weren't in the house two days, and one of our boys, who shall remain nameless, asked if he could put them together for me. Well, if you know the boys, you know which one had a HUGE collection of K'Nex and Legos when he was younger. Yes, him. He couldn't wait to put them together.

The first ones he built were the Dueling Racers. He didn't have any trouble with them at all. He zipped through them fairly quickly, and then moved on to the Rescue sets. Not long after that, the youngest daughter asked me if she could build the cars...she was too late, but she still wanted to play with them. I think K'Nex building sets are timeless. They're like Legos. Even grown people want to play with them.

Speaking of Legos (or all leading building bricks, as the instructions describe them), there's one thing that was new for me about these K'Nex sets: now they are compatible with the Lego building blocks! I was excited! They have the little nubbins and holes that make them fit together with the Legos. How cool is that!

Talk about expanding your building capabilities. It's like buying two sets, really, because you can add to your Lego set, or add to your K'Nex set. The only downside is that the K'Nex don't stay together as well as Legos do. They have a little looser fit, and the big tote full of Legos was loaned out to one of the grandchildren, so I can't tell you how well they fit with them.

One side note that I noticed on the box is that if you get all the rescue sets, they give you a code that lets you get directions from their website so you can make a giant project using all the sets. Very cool! I love toys that are versatile. And of course, kids are always free to create and make their own building projects.

The kits say they are designed for ages 5 and up. So that would mean that kindergarteners can put these together. Hmmm . . . I guess that's about right, because these directions are great for readers and non-readers alike. In fact, non-readers might have a bit of an advantage, because they're used to interpreting pictures and such without having to have words to spell everything out. They even show you how many of which pieces you are supposed to have. The directions are step by step, in full color. They are intuitive and accurate.

I was tickled to try these out, and happy to share the experience with all y'all!

Monday, May 12, 2008

cell phone dilemma

So we've been looking at cell phone plans. We got these prepaid phones, but we end up using them quite a bit more than we thought we would. So we're still spending more than we would on a plan. However, if you get a plan, you are committed to two years of spending that much money a month.

I looked at the T-mobile plans, and found out that you can get unlimited texts for $14.99. My honey, however, is NOT a fan of learning new technology. I was thinking of the commercial where the mom takes the phone away from her daughter because she is texting too much, and everything was in text shortcuts.

I was explaining that there are lots of little shortcut words, like LOL. And that you could just make up your own spelling of things. Like if you wanted to say something with the "ate" sound, you could just type "8", so hate would look like "h8".

He stared at me for the longest time, and finally said, "I'd rather learn French!"


Sunday, May 11, 2008

i love you this much!

Thanks, crazydaisy, for the darling award. I love this.

My only problem is figuring out who to nominate. I'll make a list later...cuz it's Mother's Day today and I just want to be lazy. Yep, I'm that kind of a mom.

Will I take my daughter to the store on Mother's Day? Nope. I don't wanna. I'm a meeeeeaaan momma.

Will I cook dinner? Nope.

Will I even get out of my pajamas? Nope. It's gonna be a lazy, daisy kinda day.

But I will post this award today, cuz I think it's so cute.

momma's day...

I could hear some hustling and bustling when I woke up this morning, and when I went across the hall to the bathroom, there were some "Hey!"s flying down the hall. "Don't come out!" they said.

Soon there was a knock on my door, and down below here was the prize the girls brought in! (Along with a card and a gift certificate for Archiver's.) Yumm-o!

And my honey got up early and cleaned the house . . . mmm, what a peach! I love that man. He said he wanted me to be able to do whatever I wanted today without worrying about cleaning.

Except that what I really want to do is finish my closet. So in a way, it's still cleaning. Wait! If you think about that, I have found a situation where I actually like cleaning. No, no! Say it's not so! It can't be.

Now if the boys pick up their cigarette butts outside, my day will be complete.

Friday, May 9, 2008

good news...


My little Augie Doggie did so well at the doggy chiropractor! It was amazing. He got up when she was done and shook himself, and he hasn't done that for over two weeks. He had his happy face on, was wagging his tail, and actually jumped down the step to get into the room where they were going to clip his nails.

Thanks for all your kind words, good wishes and prayers. You know, when your babies get big, I think you just find new babies to take care of sometimes.

And the funniest part is, I had recommended this chiropractor to my honey's ex-wife, and guess who was just leaving when we arrived! Yup, you got it. Luvvy, his ex, and her little dog. It was hilarious. (They get along just fine, now. No worries.)

a hundred dollar giveaway?! yes!!

Bounce on over to the BlogginIn-Network and enter their contest for a $100 Target card giveaway! I love the blogoverse! How could you do this anywhere else?

Click on that nice green button (my favorite color, too!) and enter yourself, too.

How fun is that!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

my life as a yoyo

I think I'm destined for a life of zinging back and forth between two opposites. Dejection. Elation. Uncertainty and anxiety. Relief. Wow.

Let me explain...Ishared about how our Augie Doggie has been in pain for about two weeks. I think it might be an injury to his back...I don't know for sure. But he can barely walk, and he whimpers nearly the entire time he has to go out to go potty. So we decided it was time. Time to end his suffering, time to grit our teeth and let him go.

After we had decided yesterday finally that we were going to put him down, today my honey was having cold feet, and wanted to try bringing him to the doggy chiropractor. Yippee! A stay of execution. Now it may not help, but I'm sure willing to try. He is like one of my kids.

So, tomorrow morning, we're off to see the wizard, the wonderful wizard of dogs! (Pardon me for the pun...I'm just a little loopy right now.) And hopefully I'll have good news to report. Prayers for my doggie would be appreciated! Yes, I pray for my dog...God cares about every detail of my life. He knows when every hair falls. He cares about my family, and Augie is part of my family, too.

My kids will see the irony of my priorities. So how are the children, you ask? Fine. Wonderful. Now, let me tell you about the dog!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

spring frenzy

It's beautiful today. The weather is fresh, cool but not cold, mostly sunny. Minnesota in the spring is so unpredictable. Less than two weeks ago we had snow. Today, we had a potluck at work outside. Some people wore tank top "things" and it was comfortable. I'm not a tank top aficionado...well, maybe if I'm at home, working in the garden, in the back yard.

The day has turned grey and rainy, and it's supposed to hail and thunderstorm tonight. It's kind of a melancholy day. Life seems to be changing so quickly, and I'm not sure if I'm excited or not about it.

The boys got home from Wyoming, but I haven't really had a chance to talk to them yet. They came in quite late (or should I say quite early in the morning), Lewie went off to work at six, and Rob was still sleeping when I left. I'm anxious to hear how it went. Sounds like they had quite the adventure.

Gee is making plans for graduation. She's very ambitious. She wants to make her own grad announcements BY HAND, well by Cricut, partly, and I already know it's going to be a long haul. Then she'll be taking off on a road trip, and before I know it, she'll be making plans to MOVE OUT and start college.

Johnny is again making noises about getting his own place ASAP. We'll see. It might be soon, but then again, it might be later. There's no one pushing him but himself.

But sadly, I think little Augie Doggie's days are numbered. He has not been doing well for a while. He'd get up to go potty outside, eat a little something, and lay back down. Recently he has taken a turn for the worse. He barely moves at all. When I tell him it's time to go outside, he tries to drag himself under the bed to hide. I have to carry him up and down the steps, and he even cries when I do that. But otherwise, he just stands there and shakes, and his nose starts to run like it does when he's extremely nervous. He won't go up, and he won't go down.

I just can't stand to see him suffering. He's almost fourteen...we might be able to give him pain meds or something, but he really isn't very mobile. I keep hoping he'll improve, but I don't see it happening. I'm going to hate this. It's going to be really, really hard to have him put to sleep. He's been our buddy for such a long time. So, lots of losses, and the gains are difficult to see right now. No New Pets, though, people. I'm sticking to it.

I went to lunch with my friend Judy yesterday, and both of her kids moved out recently. She says she is still busy, but she gets to be busy with different things. She was cheerful about it. I hope I find my happy place, too!

Monday, May 5, 2008

coming up for air

It was a tough weekend. I thought the closet, a.k.a The Black Hole, was going to kill me! My feet were dragging, and my tongue was hanging out. I almost gave up. Almost. I don't want to speak too soon or anything, but I think I might finally be winning. The closet put up a mad fight, but I can see the pile diminishing.

Okay, it's probably a pretty obvious point, but I was trying to put waaaaay too much stuff into that space. It started becoming apparent to me when I had the entire bed--stacked about three feet high, mind you--full of stuff, four tall stacks of drawers and boxes in the hall, and a couple more tall stacks in the bedroom. I looked in the closet, and there was STILL more stuff to come out.

I heard something last week about weeding out clothes (I'm so sorry I can't give credit because I forgot where I heard it!), but anyway, it applies to my whole closet as well! The theory was that you pretend you're packing for a month long trip. Of course, you'd put all your favorite clothes in there, and anything that was left over was probably something you don't like and seldom wear. Why keep it?

I thought about that while I was installing shelves and hanger bars. Okay, I have a surplus. Why don't I pick out the things I MOST want to have in my closet? I'll figure out what to do with the rest of it afterwards. See, I always get stuck when I start sorting, because my mind goes in this vicious circle--I almost typed viscuous, but that works, too!

I can always pick my favorites's just thinking about getting rid of the rest of it that gets me. I get stuck in this rut: "I don't have room for that. I'll just throw it away. Oh, I can't throw it out. What will I do when I need that again? Where am I going to put it? There isn't enough space. Where could I put it instead? If I put it over there, I'll have to move that. Where will I put it? I don't have room for it."

And somewhere along the line, the voice changes. Instead of me talking to myself, I hear this scolding voice haranguing me, "You can't throw that away. You spent x amount of dollars on that. It's perfectly good. Someone could use that. You can't waste it. Reuse it. Recycle it. You have to find someone who can use it. And where are you going to put it in the meantime?"...and on, and on...

You get the idea. Yuk. So anyway, I prioritized the things I wanted in my space. In a perfect world, I asked myself, what are the only things I would want in my closet room? Clothes and scrap stuff. So I'm narrowing it down that way. I'm just not thinking about the rest of the stuff yet. I will deal with it, but if the closet/room is full of the stuff I really want in there, it's easier to keep out the stuff I don't want in there. So it's kind of like a Clean Sweep for my room.

Anytime one of those thoughts wants to sneak in, I just put my hand up. Stop. You know the ones I'm talking about. They say, "What about this piece of whatever? Where will you put it?" Oh, yes, never mind. I went there already.

Do you see what I have to deal with in my mind? At least in all things cleaning related. It's my worst enemy sometimes. It's kind of scary in here!

But I am making progress! I bought ClosetMaid shelf strips and brackets and got my shelves installed in one end of the closet. Top to bottom, side to side. I love them! In the other end, I put a hanger bar that goes from front to back instead of side to side. I don't have that many things that I hang up.

My shoe basket will go on the floor underneath the hanging clothes. I thought about shoe shelves, but I'm much more of a basket person as far as shoes are concerned. And then the rest of my clothes are going to go on the shelves or in drawers.

I moved my writing desk into the middle of the closet, and I'm so excited! I'm going to have a real scrapping space. Not very big, but it'll be all mine. The top of the desk folds out into a working surface. All my stuff will be accessible. It's not done yet, but I can see it in the distance.

I still have to clean out my desk and rearrange the "stuff" in the room that I didn't have time to put away yet, but the structure that is going to hold everything is selected and mostly in place. Some things are going to be extras, and if I can't figure out where to put them, maybe I'll just donate them. They'll make someone happy, maybe even another clutter-crazy freak like me.

Friday, May 2, 2008


The boys are off on a road trip to prosperity. Three of the boys headed out into the wild blue yonder yesterday, on their way to Wyoming in search of a good job (translated, one that pays more than what they're making now, so they can pay off their debts). It reminds me of the Gold Rush of the Wild West. Wagons, ho!

It's an adventure! And you know how boys pack, right? They're so funny. Throw a few socks and boxers in a bag, make sure they stock up on cigarettes (yukk) and Mountain Dew, make a last minute run for a little cash, and away they go.

Completely unlike the girls. The girls would have at least two outfits for every day they planned to be gone, and a couple of extra outfits. Just . in . case . They'd take all their hair/face/hands/feet necessities, as well as all of the possible things they might need when they shower. Razor, pumice stone, nail polish, hot oil treatment for their hair, eyebrow wax kit, eyelash curler, hair crimper, the works. The guys? I think they might have taken their toothbrushes. Maybe.

Well, I just found out that the boys are stuck out in the middle of South Dakota in a BLIZZARD! One to three feet of snow expected. A $500 fine if you get caught leaving town. Highways are closed. What do the boys have with that's warm to wear? Yes, you guessed it. Sweatshirts. I guess I understand that, because it is May, but still! Momma's freaking out, here.

Well, if they can find someplace warm to hole up for a day, the outlook starts getting better tomorrow. Here, check this weather forecast out.

Winter to spring in two days. And I thought our weather had wild mood swings!

Thursday, May 1, 2008

what's happenin'...

I took this meme from Diary of a Stay at Home Mom...

Outside My Window... squirrels hopping across the yard and tulips and irises poking up through the dirt

I Am Thinking...about the fact that three of my boys may be moving to Wyoming...way too far away.

I Am Thankful...for my children all being healthy and alive, especially in light of this week's tragedies.

From the Kitchen... Italian peasant food--leftovers from last night. Mmmmmm!

I Am leave for work shortly, as soon as Gee gets home to take over X-man duty

I Am Reading...The Red Hat Club Rides Again, by Haywood Smith

I Am Hoping...that this weekend will hold fair weather, that my Saturday project will be productive, and that our date on Friday will be fun. We're going to see a movie, I don't know which one yet, but I can't wait.

I Am Hearing...Baby Einstein's Neptune DVD playing in the background, X-man gabbing unintelligible syllables at Lewie, and the muffled sounds of the boys getting ready to leave for Wyoming. *sniff* No, actually, I'm very excited for them. This will be a grand adventure.

Around the House...the washing machine just finished with my white load, and the front door opened. Gee's home. Gotta type faster!

One of My Favorite Things...the smell of pulla baking (Finnish coffee bread with cardamom)

A Few Plans for the Rest of the Week...closet tackling on Saturday (actually, I don't know if it will be me tackling the closet or the closet tackling me), maybe a slight detour to Anchor Paper for paper purchasing for graduation invites, and after that, stopping in for Archivers make and takes. Yes! And homework help on Sunday.

I'm Feeling...a little overwhelmed right now. Like I told my honey, I just want to run away, eat ice cream, and scrapbook! Nothing else.

A Picture Thought to Share for the Day...