Monthly Archives: June 2008

WWC#41: Front and Back (summer haircuts)

Welcome to the Weekly Words Challenge, brought to us all by the wonderful & creative Tink.  It may be hard to tell from this post, but the words are FRONT and BACK

Tuesday of last week was the final day of the school year for my boys.  For years now, SuperDad & I have had an agreement with the boys; if they wish to, they can have a strange and weird haircut at the beginning of summer.  After all, it’s only hair, and it grows back by the beginning of September.  H-J\'s hair before the cutWell, H-J had been growing his hair longer this year than in previous years (no military style cuts for him!).  He struck a deal with SuperDad (I still don’t know why or how it came about) where SuperDad could give him any haircut SD felt like on the day after school got out. 

With 2 years to go until retirement, I’m thinking that SuperDad is tired of certain rules, because THIS was the sight on our deck last Wednesday evening…
H-J\'s summer haircut, front view
FRONT and BACK view of H-J’s summer cutback view of H-J\'s summer cutH-J is not so sure about this cut, but there isn’t much to do now but wait out the growing process. 

SnakeMaster had been told that he HAD to get a summer cut.  He spent some time hiding up in the climbing tree, but when he saw his brother’s new doo, SM decided he wanted a modified version. 
SnakeMaster\'s modified versionThis was not what I had in mind, but it is what he wanted.  Originally, I was just going for a nice military cut for him, just like EB here
MusicMan and EB watch H-J getting shorn
MusicMan also got his curls trimmed down into a boy man cut.

Oh, well.  It’s only hair, and it will grow back.  (MM’s curls will return in about a month.) 

My menfolk & I are off on vacation for a few weeks, seeing another part of the country and visiting my brother & his family.  Where??  Leave your guesses in the comments.  
My apologies – I probably won’t be able to access the internet and comment on all of your photos from this week (which I enjoy doing and will miss very much) …AND I’ll miss next week’s WWC  ::sob::  but I should be ready for WWC#43 upon my return. 

The dangers of opening mail after midnight

I should be asleep, but I’m not. 
Do you recall what started off a series of unfortunate events a few weeks ago?  I am referring to my little accident, when I backed into the post at town hall.

Well, tonight I was having trouble sleeping, so I worked on a bit of kitchen clutter – loading dishes left in the sink, putting away clean dishes left in the drainer, and then I started to go through a stack of mail (Friday & Saturday deliveries).  I tossed the obvious junk and then moved on to less obvious items.  Hmmmm… what’s this?  Looks like junk mail but better check…
It is an itemized bill from the insurance company for the Town, for over $6,000Look again at those pictures.  Very, very little of that damage is from me.  A bit of split wood.  Much more damage is from age, lack of care, and someone else long ago.  They are charging me for a whole new roof, plus labor. 
Oh, and there are 3 separate occupants that share this roof.  My guess is that I am being asked to replace the entire thing. 

I am sick to my stomach and spitting mad.  It’s 1:30 a.m. on a Sunday morning.  I should be sleeping, because I have to concentrate tomorrow:  the handbells are playing at the 10am worship service and the singing group I am in is recording a few songs afterwards for a music CD that the church is working on.  So I really need to sleep!    I’m leaving on a 2-week vacation in 30 hours (for which I am not yet packed).  I don’t have a lawyer, and this is not the sort of thing you call your insurance agent about at one o’clock in the morning.   

The only thing I can even be glad about right now is the fact I went back and took photographs to document the damage.   I think the pictures may very well be useful in this case. 


Well, I feel a little calmer just writing this down.  I’ll go pray for peace and wisdom and get some sleep before morning.  Thanks for listening. 

Bird Brain

Hello.  My name is Cleopatra.

The Queen on her throne

Yes, I have the name of a queen!  My humans treat me well, and one of them has even provided a throne for me to sleep upon.

However, some birds have not been treating me like the queen I am.
The mockingbirds have been MOCKING me!  Oh, the shame of it!

My mistress says they are only protecting their babies in their nests, but it has really gotten out of hand paw!  I have been repeatedly dive-bombed and scolded, and I have done nothing wrong!!  Sometimes I even fear going out the front door. And today a chipmunk ran across the front porch. It is all too brazen and a tough pill to swallow.   (Actually, the last chipmunk I swallowed came right back up.  It was nasty!  My mistress thought so, too – she even tried to imitate me.) mockingbird

A very naughty mockingbird (above) and the  lovely Cleopatra (below)  

I\'m ignoring you...

There are some other naughty birds outside my house, but they do not dive-bomb at my head.   I have discovered a nest under the lid of the propane tank!

the propane tankview under the lidI can hear the birdies inside (my mistress saw 4 eggs in the nest) but I cannot get to them.

Can you see the speckled eggs?

This is frustrating to me, as I do enjoy playing with birds.  I think my humans are not very happy about the nest because it is on top of the propane usage meter, which is probably becoming coated with bird mess.   It smells bad interesting in there to me!

bluebird nest amongst the lavendarAnd finally, there are the bluebirds.  They moved into this lovely home earlier in the spring and started a family.  It drove me crazy to hear the chirping when I could not get up to the nest!   When the baby bird learned to fly, my master became very upset with me.  He was convinced that I would eat such a tasty snack and when he found small blue feathers in the grass, he blamed me for the demise of a bluebird.  Good grief!  There ARE other cats in the neighborhood.  But I’ll never tell whodunit.
Now, the mother & father birds are back being very busy in this birdhouse.  Perhaps they are getting ready to have another baby?  I will be watching this situation very carefully…

Battle of the Bulge

Pearls Before Swine
Yeah, it’s sorta like that. 

mystery revealed

Inquiring minds wanted to know!

Inside this package…
I wonder what is in the Father\'s Day gift?

…was this book:



As requested by some of you yesterday, here is the recipe for my WWC-pictured “Volcano Cookies” (a dressed-up version of my childhood favorite, “mountain bars”). 

  • 4 cups Sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 cup (2 cubes) butter
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tsp. Vanilla
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 8-9 cups oatmeal

Sift the sugar and cocoa powder into a large saucepan.  Add butter and milk, and heat on medium-low, stirring often, until mixture boils.  Boil for 1 minute.  Remove from heat, and immediately add the vanilla and peanut butter.  Stir well.  Slowly add oatmeal, stirring often.  As soon as mixture is finished, use a cookie scoop to plop their warm gooeyness onto wax paper.  The cookies harden as they cool, so you want to work fairly quickly.  My scoop allows me to make about 5 dozen of these in a batch. 

To turn “mountain bars” into “volcano cookies”…. mix up a very small amount of buttercream frosting (basic butter & powdered sugar, and maybe a few drops of milk) and tint with food coloring (2 drops each, red & yellow).  The stiffer the icing,  the more it looks like a lava blast.  Less stiff icing will make it look like the lava is flowing down the volcano.  I tried it both ways, so you can decide for yourself which you prefer.

I like to use old fashioned rolled oats, because they are what we normally purchase… and because this way, you can claim a nice dose of fiber with every cookie you eat!   Some folks claim you can make these without the peanut butter, and you can…but if you do, you are missing a piece of the magic flavor.  Still, I know there are folks with peanut allergies out there… so do what you must.  (EB gave me great challenges with dairy and soy allergies for his first 4 years, so I do understand!)

These aren’t fat free or sugar-free, but they are EGG-FREE & WHEAT-FREE, and they don’t require heating up your kitchen oven. 

WWC#40: Chaos & Mystery

Did Tink know today was the last day of school?  Because what other words would be this perfect for today’s Weekly Words ChallengeChaos and mystery describe this day, week, and possibly this summer!

workspace chaos
CHAOS…I’d like to blame it on the flooded basement floor last week, but… um… it has looked like this for the past year…

I wonder what is in the Father\'s Day gift?
MYSTERY …but only to the boys.  SuperDad guessed immediately what was in the package. 


BONUS PICS:  “volcano cookies” made for end-of-year luau party in SnakeMaster’s class last Friday:

And the survey says… (AKA, more than enough fodder to start a conversation with)

Hi, my name is:

When I’m nervous:
I either talk too much or clam up.  If I talk, I trip over my own sentences.

By this time next year:
I’ll have plane tickets for a trip home to see family & friends.

Last night I:
played horseshoes with SuperDad.  Even though he won both games, I threw my very first ringer!!


Were you a planned baby?
Yep!  And only 14 months younger than my brother!

Were you the first?:
Clearly not.  I’m #3 of 4.



Do you have low self esteem?:

Are you happy right now?:
I prefer the word content.


Are you comfortable with the way you look?:
No.  I’ve struggled with my weight since adulthood.  Last week was a victorious 2-lb loss, but the battle is long and difficult and often demoralizing. 

Describe your hair:
naturally curly, brown with gray highlights


Ever been kicked out of a bar?
haha, NO.  But I can count on one hand the number of bars I’ve even been in!

Ever been arrested?:
Nope.  And no danger of it happening.


Do you prefer indoors or outdoors?:
When it is hot and humid, give me some good ol’ AIR CONDITIONING!  However, I love hearing the birds sing, being out for a walk or a hike in the woods, ocean winds and mountain breezes…  So I guess it depends on the circumstances.  I hate bugs, and mosquitoes love me. 

How’s the weather?
Currently cool enough to have the doors and windows open. 

Do you like walking in the rain?:
By choice, YES. 

Do you like thunderstorms?:
As an exciting display of nature, ABSOLUTELY.  As a courier of power outages, NO.


Are you a vegetarian?
No.  I’ve considered it, but I like to eat meat occasionally. 

Anything you absolutely could eat forever?
Uh, not forever..but my comfort foods include anything rich and satisfying.  Or chocolate.


Do you want to get married?:
Yes, I did.  Yes, I am.  Happily so.

Are you in a relationship?:
I’d call a 20 year marriage a relationship, wouldn’t you?


Where is your cell phone?:
In my purse

Your dream last night?:
I don’t recall having any dreams (but I didn’t sleep much).

Your favorite drink?:

Your fears?
Many things. A notable & humorous one would be MICE.  EEEEEEEK!!!!!

Where did you grow up?:
Everett, WA


Your life?:

What are you thinking about right now?:
The next question is ??  (and the birds are singing)

Favorite color(s)?
Blue…then red

When is the last time you laughed? :
last night

Last received call?
from my dad

Part 9: LIFE

Who knows the most about you?
my husband

Who do you blame for your mood today?:
myself, of course!  But my mood is quite pleasant, thankyouverymuch

What is making you sad right now?

What was the first thing you thought this morning?
It’s 2:30am…and I forgot to prep the coffee pot last night (so I did, and never went back to sleep)

Last person you went out to dinner with?
my friend Ping (she is introducing me to REAL Chinese food)

Do you drink lots of water?
Most days, yes. 

Are you a mama’s child or a daddy’s child?
I’d say I was mama’s.

The last website you visited?
myspace (where I got this survey from a friend)

How many piercings do you have?
one in each ear

Last person you went to the movies with?
Ping (we ended up seeing “Forgetting Sarah Marshall”…not our original choice, but funny)

What did you do/will you do for your birthday this year?
SuperDad took the day off and we went to the art museum. 

Today, would you rather go back a week or go forward a week?

What are you looking forward to right now?
vacation next week 🙂

Part 10: IF YOU HAD TO

If you HAD to dye your hair a color what color would it be?

If you HAD to get a piercing (not ears) what would you get?
I’d get a stand-in to do it for me.  No cartilage crunching for me!


Are you satisfied with your life right now?
I am content.   I’m looking forward to some future changes, but I am content with NOW. 

What is something that confuses you?
Racism…I wasn’t raised with it, and was SHOCKED the first time I encountered it as a junior-higher.  It still baffles me.  Aren’t people just people?  Sure, we are all different from one another, but other people are INTERESTING!!

Have you ever been on a plane?
More times than I can remember

Do you carry an umbrella when it rains, or just put up your hood?
A deliberate walk in the rain calls for an umbrella.  Normally, though, I just make a run for it, bareheaded.

Are you wearing anything you borrowed from someone?

What are you doing tonight?
Hopefully making dinner in a kitchen with electricity (another severe T-storm is forecasted…)

Can you sleep in jeans?
On purpose?  No.  Napping on the sofa?  Yes.

What’s your favorite possession?
tough question!!  My husband would suggest my computer…

What is the last thing someone bought you?
SuperDad bought me 2 tomato plants yesterday.

Do you trust people easily?
I do (unless I’ve been given reason to distrust).

Do you care what others think about you?

What do you look forward to in the next 3 months?
vacation & seeing extended family

Is there someone you want to confront?
Not that I can think of!

What were you doing at 10AM?
The last 10AM I saw was yesterday (Sunday).  I was walking into church.

Where do you go when you want to be alone?
The bathroom!  lol  (the mommy hideout)

How late did you stay up last night and why?
I went to bed at 9:30pm, because I knew the alarm would be going off at 4:40am.

Who were you with Saturday night?
SuperDad and the boys 🙂

Do you think you will be in a relationship 3 months from now?
Well, after 21 years, I certainly hope so!

When is the next time you’ll see your best friend(s)?
The ones who live far away?  Next year.  😦
The one I’ve made here?  This week sometime

What radio station do you listen to the most?
It’s rarely on (occasionally in the car) but then it is the local news or NPR.  For music, it would be a country station or contemporary Christian music or classic rock or easy-listening/best of ___’s.   I’m hard to pin down on this one.

Where is your father?

What high school did/do/will you attend?
Everett High School, and then later on, Seattle’s Roosevelt High School….a long time ago…

What were you doing at 11pm last night?

Who was the last person you talked to before you went to bed last night?

Is there anything that you are craving right now?
Breakfast.  I was going to make scones, but I sat down at this blasted machine instead.  Oh, well.  Oatmeal is healthier.

Have you riden in someone else’s car today?
I’m still in my pajamas!!  Yesterday, I rode in SuperDad’s car.  Does that count?

In the past 72 hours have you been under the influence?
I had a homemade margarita last night:  no ice, no salt.  My own personal recipe. 

What were you doing on Friday?
2nd grade end-of-year luau  🙂

Do you know anyone with the same name as you?
Yes, one of my best friends!   I met her in 6th grade.  But until moving here last year, I never met another person with my name.  Now, they are everywhere!   Strange…

Fathers & Sons

Father’s Day, part 1

Easter 2002, father & sons
SuperDad and sons, Easter 2002

SuperDad grew up with 3 sisters.  He had no brothers.  I wanted for him to have sons. 
We didn’t know any of the first three would be boys.  Despite having ultrasounds, we never could see any tell-tale signs.  And we were okay with that.  
I was THRILLED when MusicMan was born.  I was very pleased that Encyclopedia Blue was a boy, because now MM had a brother (and also because they were so close in age, it wasn’t long before the hand-me-downs went from one dresser to the other).  Before baby#3 was born, his older brothers were 100% positive that it would be a boy.  I was actually worried that they would be wrong, and therefore disappointed.  I shouldn’t have worried.  Humorous-Juniorous got us into the “My Three Sons” club. 
Fast-forward to my 4th pregnancy:  SnakeMaster had no trouble showing his parts to the ultrasound technician.  In fact, even the older 2 boys could tell SM was a boy by looking at that prenatal picture! 
I would go shopping with my 3 little boys and my big pregnant belly.  People would tactlessly ask (in front of my children!!), “Are you hoping for a girl?”  or even “Trying for a girl this time, eh?”  I was offended!  What did they think my boys were to me?  Chopped liver?!? 
One week before SnakeMaster was born, my MIL ventured, “You have done more than enough to carry on the family name.  You can stop now.”  My husband and I fleetingly considered having a 5th one just for spite!  But the older 3 boys had no such motives…they just liked having brothers.  That same week they asked me, “When are we having a 5th boy?”  choke, gasp 

We are no longer in the “My Three Sons” club (they kicked us out when SM was born).  We aren’t going for the basketball team; we have stopped at tag-team wrestling. 
A few years ago, the boys all had matching T-shirts that said, “It’s my brother’s fault.” 
SuperDad has one that says, “AS BAD AS THE KIDS”

He really is a super dad.  Happy Father’s Day!


Father’s Day, part 2

posing with my dad last night
kcinnova with Papa Smurf

My dad worked long hours as I was growing up, but he was still the one who often made my lunch to take to school in first grade (after that, I made my own).  He was also the one who taught me to drive…first an automatic, and then later a stick-shift (manual transmission).  I nearly ruined the clutch in his Plymouth Horizon Miser. 
He recently drove a big loop around the lower 48 states, in a personal mission to spend time with each of his 4 children and the resultant 10 grandchildren on their own “turf.”  I’m glad he did. 

I just mailed him a card thanking him for his visit and have sent him all the photos I took while he was here.  Happy Father’s Day, Dad!


Thunderstorm #2 of the evening is rolling in, so I’m going to post this before we lose power! 

An attitude of gratitude

I feel like I’ve done a lot of complaining latelyMadame Blueberry from Veggie Tales


It’s time to blog about thankfulness and an attitude of gratitude

One of the lessons from the Veggie Tales story of Madame Blueberry is that “A thankful heart is a happy heart.” 

dvd cover from Madame BlueberryAnother lesson is that money can’t buy happiness.  Money can buy things, but things don’t bring you happiness.  Madame Blueberry is surprised to meet other people who are actually happy despite a certain lack of money or possessions. 

Yep, I love those classic Veggie Tales. 
[Money CAN buy you a great DVD]

 So I’d like to practice a little gratitude right now.

Here are my GRATEFUL 8:

  1. I’m alive, and relatively healthy.
  2. I’m married to a wonderful man and we’ve been blessed with 4 terrific children.  
  3. We have a home to live in, and it even has air conditioning!  (True, not all of it works, but we still have the main part of the house that we can keep cool.)
  4. We own 2 vehicles, and we can still afford to fill their gas tanks.  With one busy teen already driving, and another one to do so within the next year, it would be convenient to have a 3rd vehicle…but I’m going to choose to be grateful for what we do have. 
  5. My husband has supported me -always- in my desire to be a SAHM.  He works hard so that we can live happily on “just” his salary.   Right now his job is not very pleasant, yet he continues to go to work each day, commuting those long hours and working even longer hours.  He does this in order to have a happy and peaceful home life.  (Why oh why do I ever complain to him about anything?!?)
  6. My kids are what people call “good kids.”  They are (usually) respectful and kind.  They get along well together.  We enjoy hour-long family dinners with constant discussion.  (True, there are often elbows on the table, interruptions, and talking with mouths full of food…we’re working on those…)
  7. Cable internet!!  After years of dial-up, we turned to cable about 3 years ago.   Granted, it has enabled my addiction but y’know?  It’s the shizz.  I am able to keep in touch with old friends and make new ones, too.  We can keep our long-distance relatives updated on our lives.  The kids can research projects without me driving them to the library.  And all this while keeping the phone line free for incoming calls.  It’s really amazing, when I stop to think about it. 
  8. I don’t know why I left this one for last…it should be at the top of my list.  As Bob the Tomato reminds us at the end of every classic Veggie Tales video/DVD:  “God made you special and He loves you very much.” 

I’m not going to tell you what or how to believe.  But I will tell you that because of Jesus Christ, my life has meaning and importance.  an attitude of gratitude

It is by God’s grace that I have forgiveness.  It is by God’s grace that I have been married to a wonderful man for the past 20 years.  It is by God’s grace that I got through a year of geographical single parenting while my husband was deployed. 

Life is full of disappointments, thrills, regrets, sorrow, happiness, love, and everything else you could name.  But deep down is the JOY I have in Jesus. 

What are some of the things YOU are grateful for?