Thursday, August 28, 2008

On the road again....




...oh I just can't wait to get on the road again.....
Me & Mr. B love, love, love road trips. And tomorrow, we're headn' off again.



Just to Denver. Morrison actually. Outside of Denver. Where the Red Rocks Amphitheater is. Lots of rock concerts. Lots of red rocks..beautiful,,,

Red Rocks is a geologically formed, open-air amphitheatre set in the Rocky Mountain Foothills. The amphitheatre's unique features include two 400-foot monoliths and a naturally occurring theatre set on a mountain stage. This setting, which seats 9,450 people in 70 rows, provides perfect acoustics and has attracted performers worldwide. The amphitheatre, completed in 1941, is part of the 818-acre Red Rocks Park, located 15 miles west of Denver. Red Rocks Park and Amphitheatre hosts nearly one million day visitors and concert goers each year from all over the world.(see pretty pictures..)







Can you believe this is where my Grandson's Hight School graduation was held?? Beautiful!!

It "normally" takes folks about 8 hours to make the trip. Yeah. They never met us. Not only does Mr. B actually drive THE speed limit, he pulls off to the right when crabby-road-hoggie-in-hurry-people tailgate.......

...I've been known to see something I've not seen before and shreek..."Oh! Can we stop there?? " Or...."look! a Colorado garage sale!" ......"Do you think that Wal-Mart has anything on sale??"



And, so ,yes, we take a long time...and getting to our loving destination...but we reallllly enjoy the journey...and isn't that what it's all about?
Have a safe and happy Labor Day week-end and don't forget to put away those white shoes....

...oh what the heck, forget the rules.......Wear 'em all year!
-me

8 years ago today......

...welcomed the most beautiful little girl into our family.

Emily Amanda..

She is now a beautiful, strong, confident, soccer-playing, ice-skating,swimming, energetic 3rd. grader.

Wow! Time files..

And 'Mr. B and me' will be there for the birthday week-end. Haven't missed too many of these..(it conveniently falls near the Labor Day week-end...)

So this year, we are celebrating her birthday with a private party on Friday night after we arrive. She will later have her "girly-girlfriend" party (other little friends are usually not around on because of the holiday, so Emily has her birthday PARTY the first week-end in September)

This year, they will be going to a "paint-your-plate" place in the mall.

Decorating dinnerware.. huh,,,sounds fun!

Last year, they all went and got manicures. totally F.U.N

Her Mom, my little-grown-up girl, April, has always done really fun and unique things for the birthday parties.

Cakes with Teddy Grahams in bathing suits, frolicking in a jello-blue pool on top of a chocolate cake..sleep-overs, skating parties, you name it.

So, Happy Birthday Emily...G-ma & G-pa love you very much!!

-me

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Shhhh!! Don't tell Mr. B....

...but Laurie at http://lauriescharmingdesigns.blogspot.com/ has given me this!!!





Yeah...about me and credit cards....

Not a good combination. Nope. Not good.

For whatever reason, I think "oh pooh. I don't have any cash...........I should CHARGE it!" ("it" being anything from a pack of gum to a ...car...) and with those famous last words, I , ahem, we decided to place me-self on a .................

Money Diet! I get dollars like calories...my alloted amount. I can use them all up in one day...or save (save? Save? what's save??) them and use them .....wisely.

ah huh. You betcha...

Have you noticed I'm not exactally a size 2??! Actually, I am a size 2..........................X!!

So that's how I am with money.

Sing along with me..."I'm just a girl who can't say no.." which explaines why I was married at 17 and had 4 babies before I was 25!!

But I digress. This is a fun award and I do so appreciate all the awards that I receive. And rather than just choosing one or 6 or 72 of you to get this award...I want you ALL to have it!

Now, go out there and charge up some ...good feelings!

-me

PS - Laurie is having a contest! She has done some of the most adorable birdies, paintngs and is all around talented! Stop by and see her at:

http://lauriescharmingdesigns.blogspot.com/

Monday, August 25, 2008

Ah yes, now I remember...






Artwork by Patricia Dorr Parker
......the birdie-babies have left.

As I round the corner into the back of the house, I automatically look toward the nest...

...first..to see MammaSweetieBird..

..then to see the babies...

When I looked at the nest today, I remembered they were gone...and suddenly was I really hit with "empty nest syndrome"..

Odd that I am just now feeling that syndrome.......

.....odd because I have 4 children that have left the nest...flown the coop...moved on with their lives...

And I don't remember being that sad then.....

Maybe if Georgie had cut classes, left full glasses of milk on the counter, stayed out too late and wouldn't pick up his room...

And maybe if Gracie had rolled her eyes when I asked her to do the dishes, and gotten a tattoo on her arm, and communicated by a series of heavy sighs and hair-flips...

Well, then maybe...

Seriously, I do miss my kids.

No seriously. I do. Really.

Guess we all move on with our lives....

...want that "grown-up" feeling of being able to do what we want when we want ...

....not have anyone say you can't have Oreo's and milk for dinner..

...And that would be me.

The kids just thought it was time to move out.

Huh.

Guess they grew up before I did.

Well, whaddaya know...

Hmmm.. I better get to bed. Can't stay up too late on a schoo..ah..work night.

Besides, my Fruity Pebbles will be waiting for me in the morning! I wonder if my favorite spoon is clean?!

-me

Sunday, August 24, 2008

What a great ending to a week-end...

...that started a little shaky.

First off, I wanted to say how extremely humbled I am to have had such an outpouring of support for my big brother, Larry. You have all touched my heart and know how grateful I am.

We spoke tonight and he is in great spirits.

Good for him.

I know that having a good attitude is something we all strive for in our daily lives, and it's easy when things are going our way, but it is so important to try to maintain that positiveness in the trying times.

As I suspected, the hardest part has been telling his children.

I knew it would be.

And that is something, if any of you have friends or Heaven forbid, family that is going or will go through something like this, remember, it's not always for themselves that they are saddened.

Let them know that you understand that that part is most difficult...

What's better to end a week-end that's so full of the unknowns- Gracie & George's first flights, and Larry's news, than to retreat into the "knowns" - watching one of my most favorite films,

Return to Me...


My favorite movies are "romantic-comedies" (which is redundant - romance is comedic - or should be.)

Anyway, this movie has it all - Irish brogues, 40's & 50's music, dogs, bicycles with baskets, flowers , gorillas, and love at all ages. Love for friends, for family, for each other and for animals. Love, love, love this movie. Old men, old women, young kids and Bonnie Hunt.

I like Bonnie Hunt. It never seems to me she's acting - just being herself - no matter what I've seen her in.

Anyway, Mr. B made BBQ ribs, I baked brownies, and we had a quiet, relaxing Sunday with our 3 loves, Braxton, Lulu & Bones, Grandma's cat. (Grandma's in San Diego with Mr. B 2.0)

Gracie and MammaSweetieBird have been making their way in the 2 yards today - Gracie is the only one who seems to feel the string of lights is her comfort zone -she lands and perches many times during the day.

Oh, she also loves to sit on the grapes - and she's so tiny, the grapes don't even mind.

We think Georgie's on his mission - yep, to spread the 'good word' and to find a honey of his own.

Who knows, maybe this time next year we'll have great-grand birdies!

Next week-end we are going on a 'road-trip' - me & Mr. B.

We love road-trips!

Driving to Morrison, Colorado to see the kiddos and the grands. DammitAndy's new house with Barb...our senior in Hight School, beautiful Alyssa and our precocious and pretty Emily, who will be turning 8. We'll miss Brian, who is in college in Arizona. But we plan of having a GREAT time!

So, have a great Monday, watch a great movie, hug a great person or furry friend, which I guess could be a man, and hopefully not a woman, (but far be it from me to judge...)

...and be grateful for very day you get to get up smile, and work and love...

-me

To everything there is a season...

I think I'm going to call this our Hummingbird Summer. From the first sighting of the nest, until today...flight!!


I'm going to put all the photos we've taken of MammaSweetieBird and then George & Gracie and make a photo album.


That way, we will always be able to look back and remember this summer - for all the good things.


We can do that you know.

Just remember the good times and choose not to dwell on anything that is not good. Anything that makes us sad. We have such accommodating memories, don't we. And that's probably a good thing.


Lord know I have blocked out years - too painful to remember except on those rare nights when the nightmares come.


But to find the good in a potentially bad thing - like with my brother.


The good is that, while going in for something totally unrelated, they discovered the spot on his lung. Being a 'rough-tough-old-cowboy' (and a man), he might not have known that anything was there to have checked out. No symptoms. So, this is all good. It is.


OK, so George left this morning at some early time after I spotted he and Gracie just starting their day. A few hours later, Mr. B noticed MommaSweetieBird buzzing around the pups laying in the grass. An unusual thing for her to do- she's seen them there before. When we made further inspection, we noticed Gracie, standing on the nest's edge. holding on with all (insert the number of toes baby hummingbirds have) holding on for dear life.


She started flapping her tiny wings, like hummingbirds do, but she was not flying - not yet. She really had a look of fright on her little face. She would preen and look and stretch, and flutter, but not let go - not all the way - not to fly. Not yet...

MommaSweetieBird would come in front of her - almost teasing - "come out & play Gracie" Then dart off.


Poor Gracie, would stretch her neck to her where MSB (MommaSweetieBird) would go - and when she'd be back. Watching...waiting...holding on...



Then more preening, more flapping, more holding on. Just couldn't take that first BIG step.
As we watched, we finally saw her flutter up and..............fly! Of course, it was only a few feet out of the nest ...but by gum, she FLEW!

We tried to capture this from a vantage point in the back room so as not to make her any more nervous...so the photos are not a clear as I would have liked.




But, there she was, in all her miraculous beauty - finely flying with MSB to the neighbor's large tree.

While watering he back yard, Mr. B saw Gracie come back by herself and sit on the string of lights...all be herslef...but not back into the nest.




So we said. "goodnight sweet Gracie. Say hello to George and your Mamma for us.

If you look closley, youcan count over about 4 -3/4 bulbs from the left and see her...

So, we close the chapter on "Hummingbird Watch 2008" - but we wll contine to monitor their flight plans!

Thank you all my sweet friend who are praying, thinking about us and celebrating with us. You are all a part of what I consider my "family" and I appreciate you , each and every one.


-me

Friday, August 22, 2008

I remember reading somewhere...


...expecting life to treat you fairly because you are a good person is like expecting a bull not to charge because you are a vegetarian...



My brother has cancer. Lung cancer. We found out today.

Somehow just typing those words hurts. I'd like to say I can't imagine how he's feeling tonight - but this thing is ...

..I can.

The hardest part for him was probably tonight. Having to call your children on the phone, long distance, and tell them you have cancer.

Just the memory of what I had to do makes me weep. At that time, Mr. B was my rock. He never wavered. He was always certain, not just positive, but certain I would be fine. That's all there was to it. I would survive and I would be fine. This was just a "speed bump"...

And he's that way tonight too. He knows my brother, the Kindergarten Cowboy, will be fine. We'll get over this speed bump.

And I believe him. I have to. We all have to.

And now that I am on the "other side" of that phone call we never want to get, I understand how my sisters and my brother felt when I had to call them. And I'm sorry my sisters have to re-live a call like that. And I'm sorry my brother had to make that call. And I'm sorry that I know what he'll be facing.

But, I am glad to have Mr. B and my sisters with me as we pray, cry, laugh and celebrate with my brother.

Please pray with us.

-me

Thursday, August 21, 2008

"It's all about faith, Georgie..."

Mom?

Yes, Georgie..
What are you doing way over there..

Just watching you Sweetie. Makin' sure you & Gracie are all right.
Are you coming back?

Of course. You need to eat don't you?
Well..I guess. But you're not around much anymore.
I know. It's almost time.

Time for what??
Time for you and your sister to leave....
Leave? Wha..whaddya mean leave...??
Time for you & Gracie to make it out here..in the world.

Awww, come on,Ma, it's not that late yet...
Almost, Sweetheart.
How do we leave??
Well, son, you just go to the edge of the nest, don't look down, and then you..............FLY!
No, seriously. Seriously????
Yes, George. Seriously. You and Grace need to go out there and fend for yourselves. Find other hummers to be around.
Gracie, get up. Are you hearing this?? I think she's gone bananas...she wants us to just ...just...fly!
Dude, I was totally sleeping. Leave me alone. It's nice and warm in here. And don't be so
pushy..geesh..could this nest BE any smaller??

I'm not touching you. You're just getting fat...
Mom....did you hear that?? Does this nest make me look fat???
Kids, stop it now. You need to listen. Carefully. You will both need to go to the edge of the nest..your legs will be a little wobbly..but just stand up...get your wings ready and......
How? When?? Whadday mean?? I don'.....
George! Be quiet and listen..Gracie you too. You need to just....go......just take that step...and let faith get you going..and keep you going............up and up...........
FAITH?? What's faith? I can't "see" faith? How do I know it'll hold me up? What if I drop right into Elvis' path, or in Junior's?? What about the dogs...??
George, stop. Listen to me.....can you see the wind?
No.
But you know it's there, right?
Yeah...
Well, faith is like that. You have to ..to.....believe....
But I'm scared...it's so far down...
I know. I was too. But you & Gracie will be fine. I'll be right here... watching.
Do we hafta go Mommy? I'm scared, too. I don't like this...
Yes, Gracie. You & George will need to go..soon. Flying is wonderful! You will be floating and soaring and buzzing! It's amazing! You can even "buzz" Elvis & Junior! They hate that, and....
Mom.??..
Yes, Georgie..
I think we can do it. I think we can. But.....
But what, kiddo....
Will we still be a family? Will we see you? Will you know we're OK?

Of course Sweetheart. Haven't I told you about the fairies and the angels that'll help me keep an eye on you two? They're the ones who've chased Elvis and Junior away when they go too close....
We will never be far apart. You'll just be flying.....with me...have a little faith...
OK, Mom.........but not today, OK??
OK, Georgie, maybe tomorrow.
Say goodnight, Gracie...
Goodnight Gracie...
-me

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Being sneaky is not for wimps...or "Can ya hear me now??"

Yeah, that's what I said...I was sneaky. And it's hard work...

Sending emails...calling with reminders...explaining what I wanted...and ..why...

Having an "objective"...doing follow-up...meeting deadlines...

No, I'm not talking about work here....

Nope, I'm talking about Mr. B's surprise birthday greetings...
.
Yep. Hard work. The sneaky part. Checking emails while looking over my shoulder to see if he was walking by...

Making those late-night long-distance calls...

Having to change the conversations in mid-stream because he came into the room...

Printing pictures out at 2 am....then realizing all the one's you just printed out, as you were slowly dozing off while waiting..had turned a mucky-ucky color because the ink cartridge ran out.

Ever tried to change an ink cartridge in the glow of your computer monitor and the printer's on-button light for the only light source??

I didn't think so.

It's hard work...being sneaky. (But Mr. B's birthday family-photos were TOTALLY worth it!!)
...but I'm just sayin'....

Sooo, at my REAL job today, I was a bit, ah, not-totally-concentrating?

Yeah. That about sums it up. Not reeeealy thinking. The old brain just a little sludgy.

Sleep deprivation and all..not to mention having to remember all the stuff I was being sneaky about..hard, hard work..being sneaky..

So I was a little rum-dumb.

Case in point..

I have the option to listen to headphones while I work (it's a very quiet environment) as long as I can hear the phone and respond accordingly.

Easy, no? One would think so.

So I get these new headphones that are the flip-over-your-ear with a little thingy to hold them on- I can't do the ear buds - the ONLY place I'm small is in ears.

Oh, and my ear-lobes.... pierced earrings stab my head all the time...(another story..)

...so I can't use those cool looking ear buds- and I don't want those 70's big ol honkin' headband ones..


And the phone thingy is wireless and just goes over one ear - I'm right-eared
...and you are..??

Anyway, I have a "system" now...the left ear has the music "one-headphone-thing " workin' - and the right ear has the phone earpiece..and potentially.......the customers.

I'm listening to music... la la la

The phone rings..in my right ear...

"Hello- yadda yadda yadda..."

Well, we - the customer in my left ear and I - have to wait while the computer pulls up something in her account... la la la

I apologize "sorry this is taking a minute..the computer is "thinking"...la la la ..

"Well, at least we have Kenny Chesney to keep us company..la la la"

"Huh?"

"this song - dontcha just love it.."

"what song??"

"Oh" sheepishly "you can't hear it, huh?"

"Ah..no......."

"Hmm.."

For whatever reason, in my sleep-deprived and sneaky-tired mind, I thought she could .....ah.......yeah...hear my music...ah...through my head....

Told ya. being sneaky is hard work.

And, bad for your brain.

Give your brain a rest today...and go listen to Kenny Chesney a little...in your OWN head..
-me

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Happy Birthday to Mr. B., Happy Birthday to you!

happybirthdayhappybirthdayhappybirthdayhappybirthdayhappybirthdayhappybirthdayhappy



Happy Birthday to the World's Best Brother-in-Law
from the
World's Best Sisters-in-Law
"he thinks my tractor's sexy.."


Once upon a time, there was this silly red-headed divorced crazy girl with blue eyes and four kids (!), a double-shift job as a waitress, no visible means of support, a junker of a car, a strong Irish family 2000 miles away and in the middle of everything all the time.


At the same time, there was this handsome blue-eyed son-of-a-boss (you thought I was going to say something else?) who was single, care-free and owed a darling green Jeep named Jennifer (should I ask??) He was the chef, the manager, the "bosses son". And he was NOT allowed to date the "help"....


But this silly red-head waitress and this handsome man became enamored with each other. Against the handsome man's better judgment and all common sense- and against the "rules" of "management" the handsome man started passing the silly red-headed waitress notes through the kitchen window.."want to go out...?"

Smiling, she nodded yes...and against the handsome man's better judgment and all common sense, and TOTALLY against the rules, they fell in love.



Fast forward to today - the handsome man is even more handsome, his blue eyes sparkling as he smiles, which is often. His laugh is contagious and true..



The silly red-headed waitress is now a gray-haired-counting-the-days-to-retirement (1040 and counting...) Grandmother..who is still totally enamored with the handsome man - maybe even more as his hair grays, and his blue eyes become even bluer, and those same little children that call her Grammie call him Papa..Grandpa, G-Pa...



And his blue eyes sparkle as he sees their smiles, hears their voices... and he loves their Grammie...




Today is Mr. B's birthday. And I have the extreme pleasure of spending another year with this handsome, blue eyed man. And against anyone's better judgment, this man lives and loves and laughs for all of us....




So here's to Mr. B, my best friend, my husband, the Grandfather to my Grandchildren and the best father to a silly red-headed waitresses' 4 kids.....






Happy Birthday Honey...We all love you..




-me

Monday, August 18, 2008

Whew....Is it Monday yet??

You know those week-ends where you do so much you kinda want to go back to work?

Well, pretend that you know....humor me....

If you did know, that's what our week-end was like.

Although, it was fun... Jeff & Rachael came over for...uh..not lunch...and not really dinner either.

They had already had lunch and it was too early for dinner and too late for our lunch which we worked through, so when they called we invited them to go eat, and well, they had already had lunch...and it was too early for dinner...so they said they'd come and watch us eat...

That's odd.
Yeah. I think so too. "Table for 4 please - 2 eater and 2 watchers..."
So they got an order of cheese-garlic bread and a side of Alfredo sauce while me & Mr. B ate our lateluunch/earlydinner.

The only trouble with that is, when it IS time for dinner, you're still too full from lunch.
So whadda ya do?? Have.......................PIE!

Yep, after the whole lunch/dinner thing, we all came back to our house and then decided to go have ...PIE.

But after we got there, we couldn't decide on what pie, so between the 4 of us, ordered 6 pieces of pie. At a whoppingly large cost. The waiter said (afterwords) "you shoulda just ordered one whole pie - it would have been cheaper and you'd have 8 pieces.."

Well, gee "thanks....why didn't WE think of that?? "
Oh yea, we woulda only gotten ONE flavor of pie...what's the fun in that?? So we each ordered a different flavor- then passed around bites.

Yeah, ya gotta love you family to do that ...share germs and all. And ya gotta love pie...

We do. Love pie. And each other.

Anyway, Mr. B and me went thrifting for some items for the back yard. Decided the Wild Wild West was .........brown....Hmmm....a little too brown for our tastes.

So while the theme is still western, we wanted a "splash" of color. And you know my theroy that every room (even outside rooms) need a splash of red..

So we picked up some brown benches and step stool-planter thingies and....painted them bright cherry colors. Because, while it might not be authentic, our Wild-Wild-West is colorful.

And who knows, if Miss Kitty had been asked, maybe Gun Smoke would have had colors too.

Lordie knows, Dale Evens tried to make the west pretty...

-me