Monthly Archives: February 2010

You’re only as think as you old you are


1) Raising teenagers is like nailing jelly to a tree.
2) Wrinkles don’t hurt.
3) Families are like fudge…mostly sweet, with a few nuts.
4) Today’s mighty oak is just yesterday’s nut that held its ground…
5) Laughing is good exercise. It’s like jogging on the inside.
6) Middle age is when you choose your cereal for the fiber, not the toy.


1) Growing old is mandatory; growing up is optional…
2) Forget the health food. I need all the preservatives I can get!
3) When you fall down, you wonder what else you can do while you’re down there.
4) You’re getting old when you get the same sensation from a rocking chair that you once got from a roller coaster.
5) It’s frustrating when you know all the answers but nobody bothers to ask you the questions.
6) Time may be a great healer, but it’s a lousy beautician.
7) Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.

February feelings

Hard to believe, but February is nearly over (mostly it’s hard to believe because we are so very far from Spring).  This week felt especially long… probably because it was the only week this month that the kids were at school for the entire scheduled school day ALL 5 DAYS!  Yes, it has been quite the month here.

I was awake most of the night, thanks to the wind. The steady winds of 25-35mph weren’t so bad, but those wind gusts over 50mph caused some rather loud noises and conveyed thoughts of losing power.   It’s the same storm that’s walloping New England and that wind is bitterly cold.

As I was picking up H-J from his “rehearsathon” on Tuesday night, his flute case popped open and all 3 sections of flute fell on the pavement. The good news is, the bent end of the mouthpiece was an inexpensive repair (only $25)… the bad news is, I have to drive in this wind storm to pick up his repaired instrument and it will take about 2 hours to complete this errand.

The newsletter has been proof-read and is being printed this morning. After the small group of us fold, seal, and label nearly 300 of them, we’ll be off to the Post Office (an adventure in itself — the rules have changed in the past 5 months and every month brings a new discussion with the Postmaster). THEN I can have a little free time again!

It might be my lack of sleep and my desire for a long nap, but this video made me laugh this morning.

Random Dozen: final February edition

Random Dozen #9 for me!

Hosted by:
Lidna at 2nd Cup of Coffee

1. Have you ever fired a gun or shot a bow and arrow?
I’ve done both, but only at targets. I think it would be fun to shoot skeet, but since I can’t manage to do it decently on Wii, it is probably not ever going to happen in real life.

2. Do you know where your childhood best friends are?
Thanks to the magic of facebook, yes!

3. Do you usually arrive early, late, or on time?
As a terrible procrastinator, I’m one of those people who is (nearly) always late. I think it is partly because I have a skewed vision of time, where I think I have time to squeeze in one more thing… when I don’t.

4. Are you more of a New York or California type?
Neither! Pacific Northwest, please!  If I absolutely have to choose, can I specify? I loved the Finger Lakes region of NY and there are several parts of California that I enjoy.

5. Do you have a special ring tone?
For my old phone, it was “The Mexican Hat Dance.” NO ONE else had that ring tone, so I always knew it was my phone that was ringing and it made people happy to “sing” along with it.  Now I have a cell phone that doesn’t include TMHD, and I miss it!
My home phone has some special rings for people calling in: my full-of-life brother’s household is Party Clap, my oldest son is Für Elise (the first song he taught himself on piano), my dh is Let Me Call You Sweetheart, my MIL/FIL are Home Sweet Home.

6. What is your favorite type of chip?
Tortilla chips

7. Best comedy you’ve ever seen is ….
Jim Gaffigan, “Beyond the Pale”  — I haven’t seen him in a live show, but the man makes me laugh. Cake!!

8. Have you ever cut your own hair? To quote Dr. Phil, “How’d that work for ya?”
As a child, I did it once and of course it was awful!  As an adult, I have done it quite a few times and saved plenty of money.  🙂   I still occasionally pay someone else to cut it, but I have no qualms about home haircuts. My husband cuts his own hair and he just gave the younger 3 boys their “trim” on Saturday night.  Our oldest son now cuts his own hair as well.

9. If you were going to have an extreme makeover, would you rather it be about your house or your personal self?
I would choose the house (then maybe we wouldn’t be selling it for a loss next year!).  That’s not to say I don’t need a total revision for my self (self being diet, exercise, and style — and when the exercise & diet have done their work, there is probably going to be need for other work).

10. Are you allergic to anything?
Work?  Hahahaha

11. Why is it so hard to change?
Inertia is a powerful force. Combine Inertia with Habit and that is one difficult boulder to move!

12. One last question dedicated to February love: CS Lewis said, “To love is to be vulnerable.” Please share one example of that assertion or share any thought you’d like to about this topic.
“We live, we love, we forgive and never give up.”

WWC twice over!

I missed the last Weekly Words Challenge, so I’m making up for lost time tonight with two week’s worth of words.

Last week’s words were PHONE and KEYS:

And this week’s words, in a nod to Mardi Gras, have been BEADS and COSTUME:

Mardi Gras Beads

BEADS of water on the windshield

Marching Band parading in COSTUME

Halloween Costumes

Much ado about everything

It’s nearing the end of the month — for me that is crunch time.  I won’t be around much until the newsletter is published and mailed.

So much is spinning around in my head right now.

Appointments, errands, meetings and deadlines are competing with reading, meditation, poetry and  photography.  Responsibilities are at odds with desires.

I want to devote time to writing and reading, to communicate and be creative.  Instead, I am feeling suffocated by paperwork, e-mail documents, and the needs of the people I love.

Winter has covered the world with a blanket of snow.  It is beautiful, yet I also see the damage caused by the heavy load — branches have broken off trees; limbs are weighed down, held captive by the weight of snow.

Giving and giving up

For some people, the days and weeks between Mardi Gras and Easter are a time of deprivation, of giving up something one holds dear (but not too important) — dessert being a prime example.

You want me to give up DESSERTS?!?!

I wasn’t raised in this particular tradition of Lent, although I have known a number of people who do give up chocolate or sweets, among other things.  That’s not saying that I shouldn’t give up sweets…

But I often wonder, why give something up if you are not going to replace it with something else? My own personal experience with dieting (and believe me,  I have plenty of experience!) is that if I just leave an empty hole — and empty space — I will soon fill it with something, whether that “something” is the item I just attempted to take away (sweets = diet FAIL) or something else (exercise, knitting, chewing gum).   Well, with 1-2 feet of snow still on the ground outside, I am not going to be doing a great deal of walking; I don’t know how to knit; and after an episode of TMJ, I now rarely chew gum.

So for those of you who have chosen to give something up for Lent, I’m curious:  what are you giving up and what are you putting in that empty spot?

And for those who do not observe the season of Lent, do you have any special ways of making the connection between giving to others (an external act) and making it somehow internal as well?

Do you believe it is important to give until it hurts  — or at least until you notice the difference in your life?

Friday 5: Fat Tuesday edition

One Week Later (note the igloo in the background!)

1. My kids went back to school on Tuesday, for the first time since February 4th.

2. Tuesday evening my husband called to tell me that he wasn’t coming home. No, nothing was wrong — but there was only one train left and if he took it, he’d get home at 9pm, and he needed to be at work early the next morning, which meant catching the 5am train.  He wisely chose to sleep in his office instead.

3. I’m kind of glad he wasn’t on the train where there is no phone reception, because by 6:45pm I was worried about EB (our 17yo) who wasn’t home yet, either.  He usually goes running after school but now it was late, even for him. He is supposed to run with a club –in a group– but he prefers to run on his own.  He also prefers to walk home afterward (we live 1.5 miles from school).  So I drove to the school, looking for EB along the way. I talked to people at the school (including the athletic director, even though the running club is not an official sport and therefore not under his administration). I drove home, looking for EB along the way. By then it was after 7pm.  Since my husband WASN’T on the train, I was able to call him on the phone.  He told me to call the sheriff.

3. So on Fat Tuesday –instead of eating & drinking– my other kids were getting their own dinner (can you say “find dining” ?) and I was on the phone with the county sheriff’s office. I assured them that No, he was not a runaway  (for which I am grateful). I explained that EB was a runner who perhaps got lost or got hit by a car or fell and smacked his head on the ice, possibly hours ago.  Yes, the mommy brain was running a thousand miles a minute.  At any rate, he WAS apparently a missing person (a missing child, since he was under 18) and it was dark and icy outside.  They promised to send an officer out.  At 7:45pm, I hear a door slam.  It could be the sheriff’s car, but I am near the door to the garage, so I open it and call EB by name… and he answers.  I ask, “Did the Sheriff bring you home?”  No, he walked home by himself… and why would the sheriff bring him home?

4. I call the sheriff’s office AGAIN, this time to say that my missing child has turned up on his own.  They had just sent a deputy to my house, so they call to tell him/her the status.  I’m a little surprised that the deputy doesn’t show up anyway, just to be sure.  Then I call my husband, to let him know that EB made it home safely. While EB is on the phone with his father (who is appropriately giving our 2nd-born the what-for), I am dissolving into tears.

5. After explaining to EB that, until further notice, he may no longer run alone and that as long as this weather holds, he must call for a ride home, I attempt to help him understand why his mother is a puddle on the sofa.  I explain that since he has been running alone, without identification, there is no way that the EMTs or emergency room staff –or the staff at the morgue (he looked startled by that one)– could know WHO he was. He tries to explain that he never once slipped in his running. I point out that just because he didn’t slip doesn’t mean that a car couldn’t hit him, that the roads are plowed only to let cars by, not give runners clearance.  Mothers are worry-warts, aren’t we?

Before you give me advice like get the kid a watch or get the kid a cell phone… please know this: he HAD a cell phone (trac phone) but never used it and let it expire. When he needs to call he just borrows someone else’s phone. He owns and wears a working watch (he got it for running).   It apparently never occurred to him to call us on Tuesday evening.  Yes, it may be that my son has the common sense of a duck.  (Don’t believe that? Maybe you’d better click my link.)

And guess what? It turns out that he was probably stretching in the hall between the gym and the locker rooms when I was at the school asking about him. It is likely that the athletic director walked right past him when he was called to the entrance to speak with me.

I went to bed at 8:15pm with a pounding head and a pounding heart.

Random Dozen: Olympic edition

Random Dozen #8 for me!

Hosted by:
Lidna at 2nd Cup of Coffee

“Although this begins with a salute to the Olympics, you’ll notice about half-way through these questions that I turn the corner and go off on another path as fast as a luge rounding a bend. Hence the name: Random.”

(My answers are in bold today.)

1. If you could compete in one Olympic event (not necessarily winter sports) what would it be?
Sleeping (that’s an Olympic event, right?)

2. Do remember a specific Olympic moment from the past?
Nadia getting a perfect 10 in gymnastics (yes, I am old) and Eric Heiden totally rocking the Lake Placid Winter Olympics in 1980!

3. Have you ever known anyone who competed in the Olympics?
No, but I’ve known some who probably could have!

4. If everyday activities were Olympic-worthy, which activity would you have a gold medal in?
I believe I answered this in question #1.

5. Do you know anything about your ethnic heritage?
I am at least 1/3 German, with some Scotch and basic Anglo thrown in for good measure. I’ve been told I have Italian traits, but I can’t find any Italians in my family history.

6. Do you enjoy sleeping late?
See question #1  (however, I don’t enjoy it when I am supposed to be up early, because that rather messes up plans for the day).

7. Have you ever performed CPR on anyone? Do you know how? (Yes, that’s two, I know. Whatevs.)
I’ve only performed CPR on the manikins they use for CPR class. I’ve taken the classes for both regular CPR and infant CPR, but it was quite a long time ago. My 17yo was supposed to take a CPR/AED class (for professional rescuers) on February 6th, but we were snowed in that day. I’m still trying to find out the rescheduled date!

8. Name one country you’d like to visit and explain why.
I’m going to name 2 countries! I’d like to visit Ireland because my BFF went there last fall and it sounded absolutely wonderful! I’ve also read a couple of Nora Roberts novels that nearly made me book tickets, so I’d like to think I will make it “across the pond” someday.  I don’t know if my husband would want to go, so it might be a ladies only kind of trip.
The other country I’ve been wanting to see, ever since watching Mamma Mia (thank you, Santa!), is Greece.  Do you think they’ll sing and dance there just for me?

9. Have you ever fixed up a couple romantically?
Not to my recollection…

10. What is the last book you read?
Most of my book reading these days is for my book club. The last book I finished reading was The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls. I’m in the middle of What is the What? by Dave Eggers.

11. Do you enjoy sleeping late? NO, YOU write the question! How’s that for random?? Here’s my question: “Do you know where you’re goin’ to? Do you like the things that life is showin’ you?” (These old song lyrics just popped into my head seconds ago!)
I am pretty sure of where we are going in another 18 months (if my husband does indeed retire then) — back to the area we lived for the first 2 years of our marriage.  Or perhaps he will stay active duty for a few more years and we will be somewhere else! When we married, I thought we would live in Eastern Washington for the rest of our lives. I never dreamed we would be moving across the country –or world!– every couple of years.  But I have to admit that I have enjoyed this adventure, despite the times that it has been difficult.

12. What is your favorite meal at your favorite restaurant?
I really have a hard time with this question! We rarely go out to eat, so I will just have to name a couple of memorable ones (thanks, Melli, for jogging my memory!)…

I love eating fish’n’chips on the dock at Ivar’s Fish Bar on Lake Union in Seattle.  I prefer this to eating indoors or even outdoors at the Ivar’s fish bar on the Seattle waterfront.
I had an incredible lobster bisque with Melli and Ella at Brio.  The Tuscany decor was a nice touch, too!
And speaking of lobster, I still have vivid memories of eating lobster at a mom-n-pop “shack” in Salem, Massachusetts, back in the summer of 1981.  The name escapes me right now (it was named after their granddaughter) but I do remember choosing my lobster from the tank in the entrance — freshly caught that day– and then eating it over a long supper looking over the dock while seated on benches in a humble “restaurant.”  It was the first time I’d ever eaten lobster (one of the very few times I’ve eaten lobster!) and it was SOOOOO good!!

Funny, these are all about seafood — but I grew up near Seattle and I love salmon! I usually serve it with lemon and cornbread.  It might just be for dinner on Friday!

What is it Wednesday (and an igloo update)

Last week I posted this picture

and asked what you thought it might be.

Here is the complete view:

Bundled cinnamon sticks on my kitchen window sill

Many of you guessed that it might be twine, but only Cheri guessed the complete package:  “Twine around a cinnamon stick? LOL!”

And do you see the white stuff in the background on the upper right?  That was a bit of snow on our yard back in early January, the remains of our December 19-20, 2009 “snow event.”

It’s been one week since SNOWMAGGEDON, Part II happened here. This is what it looks like outside my house this morning:

One Week Later (note the igloo in the background!)

Waiting for the school bus

It’s been 2 weeks since we last had garbage and recycling picked up. I’m hoping the trucks come today as scheduled.  (Yes, that is 2 solid inches of compact snow and ice on the end of the driveway, but since the shiny stuff is ice, I figure it is safer to leave it as a buffer than have a sheet of black ice each morning right where the kids stand.)

All that snow had to be shoveled somewhere…

…and with our temperatures still in the 30’s, it won’t be going anywhere for a while.

IGLOO update!

The completed igloo

SuperDad worked really hard on his igoo. Unfortunately, the blocks were no longer holding together by the end — he’d make a block of snow and it would fall apart. About this time he decided that if the Eskimos had known about thatched roofs, they would have used them!  SnakeMaster assures me that it is warm inside!
This picture was taken when it started snowing again on Monday. Luckily, that snow turned out to be “just a skiff” and the kids are back in school, albeit on a one-hour delay all week.

Why dragons have wings

As I have just learned from Thom and Quilly, our beloved blogging pastor, Dr. John, passed from this world to the next today.  John Linna loved his wife Betty, his family, his Jesus, trains and dragons.

If for no other reason, I think that dragons have wings so that they could carry Dr. John from Wisconsin to Heaven this morning.

Rest in peace, Dr. John — in the arms of Jesus, where breathing is no longer difficult for you.  I will miss you here.