Tuesday, July 31, 2007

My Main Street Cottage

...I think that's what they call homes that are too small for their stuff..cottages. if that's the case, then I really do have a "cottage".

The trouble is, I once read in my feeble attempt to 'simplify' that you should only surround yourself with the things you truly love...sounds good,huh? Well, I love a LOT. a lot. a really lot. Of things.

I don't 'collect' in the true sense of the word - however, I have found that I am drawn to certain country-ish items. Like the old window I bought at a yard sale. It totally rocks. It has chicken wire in 2 of the panes and a small window box. I'm not certain what I am going to do with it yet, but I know it will become something really, really cute!

I think that's why I like garage sales so much. In the past few months, I have become much more deliberate about what I purchase. It has to talk to me. It has to say, "oh, won't I look perfect in that corner?" So it's the thrill of the hunt that I'm after. And the thrill of the purchase, I can't lie. And maybe I do spend too much time, effort and money on my garage sale-ing, but it really is something I enjoy doing. I can love inanimate objects and take care of them and give them a good home. I am a good "junk-mother"

Happy garage-sale-ing to you. I'm off to check the papers for next week's "Big Adventure"!
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Monday, July 30, 2007

I'm pooped...

And I'll bet you're pooped, your loved ones are pooped and your kids are pooped and your pups are pooped. Seems we're a world of "poop-out" people & pups. I don't know how that all happened and for a while I thought it was just me....I seem to always be tired. When I wake up, I'm already tired. To think of actually being awake & functioning until bedtime, just the thought makes me tired...

I was in 7-11 the other morning getting coffee - my morning caffeine fix. I used to drink really weak coffee, with artificial sweetener and artificial creamer to give me artificial energy. But that doesn't seem to work anymore. And, it seems, it's not working for anyone else either. Along with the creamer, they are now carrying what they call a "Shot" - complete with the warning not to consume more than 2 a day! Yep, almost pure caffeine - to add to your morning coffee. In the cooler, there's a whole array of "energy drinks" that anyone can buy. And they do - young kids in school are needing to be more awake. "Rock Star" and "Red Bull" and "Full Throttle"...What's up with that? What are we doing now that we didn't before? What should we be doing that we aren't now? It's really worth some thought. I don't have any answers. I'm too tired to think right now.
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Have you ever gone to get something out of the fridge and stood in amazement at what you saw in there? I mean, it's not like I don't clean my fridge..I do. I throw away things probably before their time..that is..unless you're talking "condiments". Yes, I think I may suffer from a severe case of 'condiment shortage-phobia' or CSP as it is more commonly referred to. I mean, one never knows what flavor of jam on the toast will be good this morning. I want a variety. So, every time we go to the store, we see another new and exciting flavor of jam -think "Huckleberry-Pineapple" or "Peach Marmalade" - that would be so good on English muffins! Hmmm, about the only time we buy English muffins is when we have company and we're not sure of what type of breakfast foods they like. And why do they call them "muffins" anyway?

OK, so back to the condiments. It's summer here and I think if you've been reading these posts you know it's been hotter that usual. So we haven't been cooking much. When I say "we", I mean Randy, right? (Remember, I can cook, I just choose not to...) However, when I go to the fridge, it's full...of WHAT?? Yep, CONDIMENTS. 3 kinds of BBQ sauce, salad dressings that sounded good when seen in the market, 4 different types of mustard, mayo in glass jars, squeezable containers, low-fat, no-fat, and full of fat. Pickles, peppers, relishes, compotes, marinades and sauces. But, there's nothing to eat. There's no room for actual food. So, I open the door, look longingly and all the condiments, think how good they'd taste actually ON something..and decide it's all too confusing and go out and hit a salad bar or steakhouse or a burger joint - anywhere that has FOOD.

My daughter April once found a jar of jelly that was older than her daughter, Alyssa. Which, April soon deducted, (she's the "mathematician" in the family) had to be over 6 years old. At that time, it meant we had packed and moved across country 2 times with the same jelly. I was mortified...but, wait, is that Blueberry-Peach Compote?? Does anyone have an English muffin???????????
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Saturday, July 28, 2007

I thought I was through having kids....

OK, well, that's kind of misleading to all who read this blog. No, I am not expecting...well, I guess I am, sort of. I am expecting to have two new daughters this year. Yes, my family will grow by 4 feet. Both of my boys will be or have already proposed. One to Barb and one to Rachael. So now I will have 4 sons and 4 daughters. Wow. When God say "Go forth and multiply" I took Him seriously alright.

I am very happy about these 2 new additions. I feel both women are strong, smart, honorable and kind people. I just hope my sons can be as much of a delight to their new families as I feel these 2 new daughters will be to ours. So welcome to the chaos, the drama, the fun, the volume and the love that is our family. Welcome to Thanks-mas, to Irish pride, to get-togethers that keep us up laughing all night, to phone calls and emails. Welcome to little kids and big kids and In-laws that act like kids. Welcome home. Welcome to our home...on Main Street, USA.
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sweet dreams & God bless us everyone...

......that's what we say to each other every night before we go to sleep. The pups, Braxton & Lulu, are at the foot of the bed and all is well with the world. Then we drift off to sleepyland. Or at least Randy does. I, on the other hand, drift off to many different and far-away places. You see, I travel almost every night in my dreams. Sometimes to places I can distinctly remember the next morning, like Paris or Ireland, and sometimes to places that involve running to the airport late and trying to get on the correct flight, or driving roads that I'm not familiar while trying to find my destination. Deep, huh?

But it's always an adventure and rarely a bad one. I actually look forward to sleep each night to see where I'll go next.

I asked Randy last night as we were drifting off if he dreams like that. He just said he doesn't have time to dream, he needs to sleep. OK, I get that. Translation: "please be quiet. I'm trying to go to sleep".

Sometimes I wake up exhausted from trying to make that flight! But I do enjoy all the "travel". There are times when Lulu wakes me up and I just want to go back to see where my adventure ends. But alas, I have to wait until the next night to see where I go. Kinda reminds me of the book by Dr. Seuss, Oh, the places you'll go! Note to self: read that one again.

Anyway, here's hoping you have "sweet dreams" tonight. And, yes, God bless us everyone.
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Friday, July 27, 2007

An old fashioned Mom....

Yesterday, my favorite youngest daughter hinted on her blog that I was “technically challenged” – old fashioned,,,....WHAT?

Was I not the first one to have a butane curling iron so I could look ‘groovy’ camping?? Was I not the first to have a battery operated eyelash curler? (OK, well to be honest, it made me look as if I was always VERY ALERT (!) …....And, I had an Itty-Bitty Book Light BEFORE they had itty-bitty books!

Geesh. Like I don’t know about that InterWeb….. cordless telephones.. ..and that iPods are not those portable storage units that they advertise from the moving companies to store junk in…AND, speaking of junk..I know that “junk-in-the-trunk” is not necessarily what you’ve brought home from garage sales – so there.

I know it’s called a remote – not the “channel changer”. You guys remind me of that all the time. I know you can actually walk around while talking on the phone and that I should start to carry it with me instead of running to the room that it’s in every time you call.

Just remember one thing… I learned to TIE my shoe laces – not use Velcro. I learned to tell time on a clock with NUMBERS- not a digital read-out. And, I know that you can stop that awful “12:00” blinking light on the VCR by putting black electrical tape over it!

Not bad for a “technically challenged” Mom, huh?

“technically challenged” my as… um…my junk-in-the-trunk! Now off to bed and to use my CLAPPER to turn off the lights….
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Thursday, July 26, 2007

Alarm clocks and puppy kisses..

Isn't she cute? Her name is Lulu - or LuluBelle, or Lucy, or Lu, or "oh come on! It's too early!". Yes, this is a photo of my darlin' Lulu -my alarm clock.

One thing she doesn't get is that "dark 4:30am" looks an lot like "dark 5:30am". So I try the snooze - you know, the reasoning with a small dog in the wee hours of the morning. "Oh come on Lulu. You were just out a few hours ago..." or the "OK, OK, I'm awake. Now go lay down" The then kisses start. The ones that say she knows I've drifted off to snore-land once more. Kiss, kiss, kiss, kiss, kiss. OK, OK, I'm AWAKE!. She doesn't believe me. She stands on my chest and looks me straight in the eyes and I melt. Yes, through all my whining about getting up so early, I know she's my morning girl. She likes the azure blue sky of the very early morning hours. And the cool air, I'm sure. So we get up, Lulu and I, and head for the kitchen to make Randy's lunch. And Lulu sits patiently awaiting her thinly sliced piece of lunch meat. And we both listen to the coffee maker brewing our wake-up blend. And we go sit in the "sleepy chair" and steal a few more minutes until I really have to get up and start my day. And she goes back to bed and rests up for her day of guarding the home front. And all is well with the world. Better than a radio alarm clock any day.
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Wednesday, July 25, 2007

This is the Summer.....

....of my discontent. No wait, that's not right. This is the summer of my un-cuteness. My "I'm-at-the-age-where-I-shouldn't-care"-ness. You see, I'm normally pretty cute. However, this year I am working in a place with no air-conditioning (did I mention it's been hotter than usual?) and only 5 other employees. Big difference than the previous 500 people that may see me in a day. Anyway, they already know I'm pretty cute, so lately I haven't been wearing make-up to work. I don't see it as a good investment in my "make-up funds" to have it swelter off all day. That stuff's expensive! And the hair - let's just say without the heat of the blow dryer, it definitely has a mind of it's own - cowlicks that go not only north & south, but east & west. Blah. That leaves my "wardrobe". Because of the heat (I did mention that it's been hot, right?) I have been wearing crop pants and T-shirts. Yes, you read right - crop pants, Capri's.... The pants those girls with legs up to their necks wear so nicely. Well, suffice it to say, with my short legs ( more blue lines than a road map of Arizona) I guess I couldn't' think of any other way to make myself look more unattractive.

No, wait...Crocks! Yes, Crocks. Not only are they just plain ugly, they make them in bright colors just so the world knows how big your feet really are! But, hey, they are COMFORTABLE. Yes, they are. I have FAUX Crocks - (Frocks ?) - they claim that not only are they comfortable, and weigh mere ounces, but can be hosed off with your garden hose! (Do we have a garden hose at work??) Because with all the data entry and sitting I do all day, Lord knows I need my feet to be comfortable. I don't know - maybe I need Crocks for my butt.

OK, so fall is around the corner. I can wear WHOLE pants, make-up will not slide off, the hair, well maybe with a little action with the blow dryer, will behave. So look out world. One seriously cute Grammie is just around the corner!
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Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Tuesday, Pioneer Day in Utah
I got a call last night from my big brother, Larry. This may not seem monumental to you, but I think this may be the 5th. call I have EVER received from him. Not that he's a bad brother. Quite the contrary. He's the best big brother I've ever had! It's just that he lacks a certain "communication gene" that my sisters and I seem to have the market on. So when I hear from him, it's a real treat. Maybe that's why my Mom always made such a big deal about a call from Larry. The girls could do all the calling, the visiting, the card sending, the taking-care-of-the-aging-parents, but if Larry called her, whoa! He was the 'Prince among men'! Oh well. Now maybe I understand ...a little. Anyway, he called to firm up some plans to visit on the way to see his son in Idaho. This will be a real treat for me and Randy. Larry is such a great story-teller. We always have such a good time laughing and just being together. But as I age (did I really say that??!), I discover so many various assets of my brother that I didn't know existed. Like, he's retired but now enjoys (!) being a substitute teacher for elementary school kids. And not the rich, spoiled, too-many-electronic-toys kinds of kids. But regular, sometimes even poor kids- the kind that appreciate the kindness of teachers. And speaking of teachers, another part of my brother came out in that phone call. One that doesn't really surprise me,but one that delighted me none the less. He was telling me about his granddaughter, Emily, who has graduated from college and is off on her teaching career. Seems she'll be teaching in Arizona, far away from her Michigan home, but close to my brother, her Grandpa. In hearing him speak with such pride about her grace, her art of articulation, her beauty and her intelligence, well, it made my heart full. I was not only proud of her, but so proud of my big brother to share his feelings with me. Wow. What a 5 minute phone call on a Monday night can bring out! Remember that. Call someone and make their week. I know he made mine.
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Monday, July 23, 2007

Monday, Monday, oh yeah, it's Monday...

So the light was good for some early shots of the house. Notice the pup in the window? That's my darlin' Lulu. She stands guard over all that is hers..and all that she chooses to share with us!

Dax has gone home. the chicken's people have arrived back and the fish's 2 little boys now have them home as well. So, it's just us for this week. Ah, quiet. There's nothing like the sound of a pug on Pergo! Clickety, click..but, hey, the fish were VERY quiet!

Hopefully, there will come a break in the heat. Maybe some rain. After all, I did get the car washed, right?
Back to work, back to routine, back to packed lunches. Routine is good. Sometimes. And it feels right to know what's expected of you, where you need to be by a certain time, and that you don't necessarily have to make those decisions yourself. So, go back to work and don't think..hey that sounds pretty good!
Have a great day and remember, we're now one day closer to the week-end!
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Sunday, July 22, 2007

Hot, hot, crabby, hot...

Yes, I know Arizona is hotter. I know heat with humidity is worse like in the Midwest or New Jersey. But I'm hot. I don't like to sweat and I am.
Whaa, Whaa, I know.
But, I really am miserable in the heat. In thinking about "summer" one tends to conjure up romantic ideas of warm nights doing the dishes, then sitting on the back porch and seeing the lightening bugs and hearing the crickets while the stars shine down on you. Grandma & Grandpa in the porch swing. Cold watermelon...well the truth is, it's too hot to run the dishwasher, we don't have a back porch and even if we did, we'd get eaten alive by mosquitoes. There are no lightening bugs in Utah, and the crickets are too hot to rub their little legs together. We can't see the stars because of all the fires in the mountains and Grandma and Grandpa are too busy checking their email to do any kind of "swinging". The watermelon is overpriced and I don't really like watermelon anyway. So, bah humbug summer.

There. That's out of my system. Now I think I'll go take a nap under the vent of the water cooler...oh yeah, did you hear how much bacteria is emitted by swamp coolers?? Just FYI...

Saturday, July 21, 2007

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Saturday Morning.....

OK, so, it's early and I'm up. Maybe that's because it's cool now. It won't be for long. This is one of the warmest summers for a while. I'd say 'hottest', but with family living in Arizona, I really can't justify saying "hot"!

The pups are up and since I'm not only 'chicken-sitting' but 'fish-sitting' and 'Dax-sitting', I wanted to get an early start to my day.

Randy's already mowing the lawn, something he does just because after he waters and feeds all week, the darn stuff grows & you have to mow AGAIN!

Took a few early morning photos. The light this early is so beautiful! Then came in and uploaded & discovered the collage part of the program! Ah, a new toy! Fun!