Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Halloween memories

Let's join Annie for Time Travel Tuesday. This week we're traveling back to our most memorable Halloween. Did you dress up and go door to door growing up? What was your favorite costume?
Halloween was always a lot of fun when I was growing up. It was a neighborhood activity with everyone dressing up and going out trick-r-treating as a big group. We always made our costumes, or I should say my mom made our costumes. I can remember one year I was the Flying Nun. My mom was so creative. She used a white sheet and made the dress, and then took white poster board and made the perfect hat with the "wings." Another year I was a pioneer girl. It wasn't your typical Halloween costume, but I loved that era and my mom made me a bonnet, a long skirt with an apron and a peasant blouse. One year, we were short on time so I was a "lady ghost" -- the old white sheet with the eyes cut out, and then I wore a fancy hat, pearls, high heels, and carried a pocket book. Dressing up was the best part, but going out for candy was a close second. We would go for blocks and blocks, then come home, sort everything out and start "trading." My favorites were the Mary Jane peanut butter taffy bites. Still are!
I don't remember doing much for Halloween as a teenager, but when I got into college it was always fun to dress up and go to parties. Dan and I used to go to Halloween parties when we first met. Now, it's all about the kids, and that's a lot of fun, too! Dan has taken over the pumpkin carving, which is fine with me. We usually go to the pumpkin farm nearby, but this year I picked one up at the grocery store. Tonight one of the neighbor kids came over to help carve, then she and Emily made caramel apples. Then we all feasted on them while watching Dancing With the Sta

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Code Red

That was the front page headline for the Rocky Mountain News this morning. I won't bore you all with the sordid details. But the 8th inning rally was not enough to pull the Rockies out of the hole that was dug earlier in the game. Last night's loss was a bitter pill to swallow.
However,seeing a World Series game played at Coors Field was still pretty exciting!
Opening ceremonies. Carrie Underwood sings the National Anthem No matter how it turns out, at least we got to go to the dance!
And who knows? Maybe the Rocks will be the first team in MLB history to lose the first three games and still win the series. Ya never know. . .

Friday, October 26, 2007

Chocolate anyone?

HUGE sigh of relief. This morning I finished assembling the class basket for my daughter's school carnival which will be held tomorrow night. I got suckered into doing this. I agreed to be the room parent, "because all you have to do is make a few phone calls now and then," said the teacher, "and I have a helper for you." After I agreed to do the job, he said, "Well, there is the class basket for the carnival. Could you coordinate that?" And the "helper" is a dad who travels.

This is what I came up with -- for our class and the class next door because, well, I guess they have really smart parents who know better than to volunteer because no one would step forward to do a basket for that class.

I got lots of stuff donated and some money to buy extra stuff, and I put my little 99 cent glue gun to work, learned how to use that shrink wrap plastic stuff to hold it all together, and this is what came out of it (before I wrapped it all up with the shrink wrap).

"Life's More Bear-able with Chocolate" -- packed with an adorable chocolate-colored bear named "Snickers", a cuddly cocoa-colored chenille throw, a chocolate fondue set, three cookbooks on chocolate, the DVD "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory", cocoa mugs, a gift certificate to Godiva, chocolate syrup, chocolate cake mix, chocolate coffee, and enough chocolate bars to throw you into a diabetic coma. I have to admit, it was fun shopping for most of the stuff. And really tough to ignore the chocolate calling my name as it sat on my dining room table all week long. But now it's done! It felt so good to get that thing out of my house and over to the school.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Rockies 0 for 1

Last night's game was UG-ly. It was so ugly, our local T.V. station didn't even have any Rockies highlights. There were none. Beckett whooped us bad. All of Denver is walking around, shaking its head and groaning. But! It's only one game. And tonight's another. Go Rockies!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Totally snoggable

Today's a big day. It's Game #1 of the World Series. In case you haven't heard, the Colorado Rockies will be playing the Boston Red Sox. Even bigger, is that it's my husband's birthday. So tonight, we'll be camped out in front of the TV, having ball park food for supper -- brats, nachos and Guiness -- watching the game.

Meanwhile, Lynne has passed along this cute little treat.

So cute! Thanks, Lynne. I'll pass it on to all of my blogging buddies out there! You are all a treat to read, so feel free to grab this little guy and take him over to your place.
Tristi tagged me for this meme: “Ten Literary Characters I Would Totally Make Out With If I Were Single and They Were Real But I’m Not, Single I Mean, I Am Real, But I’m Also Happily Married and Want to Stay That Way So Maybe We Should Forget This.” I guess there's a word for this long definition. It's "snoggable," as in "That guy is totally snoggable." Leave it to Tristi. She's a corker. Well, let's see:
1. Heathcliffe in "Wuthering Heights" (what is it about the dark, brooding type?)
2. Rhett Butler, GWTW
3. Dennys Hatton , Out of Africa (Okay, I never read the book, but if he looks like Robert Redford, dressed in safari, I'm there)
4. The photographer guy in Bridges of Madison County.
5. Mitford's Father Tim -- (haha, just seeing if you're paying attention).
6. John Bourke as protrayed in One Thousand White Women
7. Darcy from Pride & Prejudice -- I'm totally stealing this from everyone's else's lists. I haven't read P&P, but this guy must be a hottie because he's on everyone's list!
8. I'm scanning my bookcases and finding very few books that would apply to this. Lots of books with memorable female characters. Now, ask me about snoggable movie characters and I could come up with an encyclopedia, but my literary tastes must run elsewhere. So, I'll leave this at #8. Dang it. This is going to bug me all day, that I couldn't complete this task.
Well, I've got a busy day ahead of me. This week has been all about appointments. Yesterday, it was the ortho for Luke, the vet for Abby, and today it's the eye doctor for Em. And I have a big project this week -- assembling the class basket for Em's school carnival. Our theme is Chocolate! and my dining room table is loaded with all kinds of chocolate stuff. (And it's ALL calling my name!) I'm off to Hobby Lobby to find a huge basket!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Good stuff in Bloggityville

Violetlady is celebrating her 105th post with a giveaway! If you haven't visited her place, jump on over. She's got some awesome music playing and it's such a nice place to visit. I am a bit biased because I'm very fond of violets -- the flowers and the hue:) -- lavendar, Rockies purple, violet -- can you tell?
"If you are a daughter, have a daughter, love a daughter" -- head over to Kat's place and check out the video she's posted. Oh my gosh, it's a message we all need to hear. And, if you haven't been to Kat's (now, who hasn't been to Kat's?) -- you'll love it. She's one of the sweetest people in Bloggityville.
If you're into menu planning, and trying to lose a few pounds (who isn't?), check out the menu plan at Kim's. Every single meal sounds so yummy -- and she's made it incredibly easy by including the WW points with each one! How great is that? Now, if I can't stay OP this week, I have no one to blame but myself. Thanks, Kim!
Finally, is anyone familiar with the site for "500 prayers for Luke?" I cannot remember how I got there, but it's a wonderful cause and would love to put a link here for this awesome little boy.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

10-20-30 Virus

This originated with Mary DeMuth over at Relevantblog. I found it at Mel's place, Actual Unretouched Photo. Quick, where were you ten, twenty, thirty years ago? Play along and help spread the "virus." Thirty years ago, I was attending my second year of college at the University of Northern Colorado. I was a resident assistant in a women's dorm and studying nursing. I was away from home -- but not too far -- making new friends, wishing for a boyfriend, then finding a boyfriend, then spending the next two years breaking up with the boyfriend. Still, I loved college life -- and all three of the majors I tried before settling on history and English. Twenty years ago, Dan and I had been married just over three years. We were both working for the same company, he was an engineer and I was in the corporate p.r. department. We both loved our jobs, traveled for work and pleasure, and spent weekends fixing up our small three-bedroom home that took me about two hours to clean, top to bottom. We had a great group of other "married-friends-with-no-kids" and we went camping in the summer, on ski trips in the winter, and belonged to a couple's gourmet dinner club. There was only one thing missing, and we wondered if it would always be "just the two of us." Ten years ago, I was a stay-at-home mom and our children were 8, 4 and 9-months-old. I was co-chair of the mom's group at our church, chauffeuring one kid to first grade, one to pre-school and oh-so-thankful the baby was sleeping through the night and not throwing up every bottle we fed her. We lived in a newer, bigger home that we are still working on fixing up. We took the kids camping as many times as we could in the summer, had the boys playing soccer and t-ball in the spring and fall, and took them skiing in the winter. I'm sure we did lots of other things, but that time is a blur for me. In fact, I can't believe it has been ten years since then, because it feels like it was just yesterday. If you want to play along with Mary’s “virus,” describe on your blog what you were doing 10-20-30 years ago. Link back to Mary’s blog (http://relevantblog.blogspot.com/).

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Go Rockies!

Wow! It's official! The Rockies are goin' to the Show. Most of America was sound asleep when the game ended last night at 12:30 a.m. But for Denver it was one of THE most exciting games we've seen -- for me, second only to the opening home game the year the Rockies started in Denver back in '93.
It will be a night to remember -- cheering and towel-swirling and broom sweeping with the best of them. Fans high-fiving each other and hugging like they were buddies watching the game in someone's living room, instead of complete strangers in a ball park with 50,000 plus people. SO cool to see Matt Holliday's home run. SO sweet to see Eric Byrnes put out at first base by the Tulowitzki/Helton connection for the final out, winning the game. What's that Eric?? You said the Rockies just got lucky those first two games??? Ha! Don't think so! The Rockies will go down in the post season record books for having swept Philly in 3 games and then Arizona in 4 to clench the National League Championship Series. And they did it with a team that has, for the most part, been groomed in Denver. That's what makes it so sweet, seeing these guys reach their potential right here in town, in an industry where there's so much trading around that it's hard to feel a connection to most of the players. It's been exciting to see them come into their own.
So, it's on to the World Series next week to face either Boston or Cleveland. Until then, Denver is painting the town purple! Woo -woo!, swinging the towel and waving a broom.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

This 'n' That

Okay. Now, where was I? Time has gotten away from me. Last week seems like a month ago. Monday and Tuesday were jam packed taking care of all the "normal" stuff that I usually do Monday through Friday. I spent Wednesday day and night with my aunt who had some out-patient surgery. On Thursday morning, Joe and I headed out to DIA at the crack of dawn -- before the crack of dawn actually; dawn didn't show up for another hour -- to catch a plane for a couple days of college visits in the northwest.

It was a whirlwind tour, but I did manage to catch a glimpse of some of the most beautiful country I've ever seen. It was gorgeous! We spent a day in Tacoma visiting the University of Puget Sound, and then traveled down to Salem, Oregon, to visit Willamette. Joe got to see firsthand two of the colleges that he's interested in attending, and I got to reminisce about my own college days, wishing they would let me enroll so I could have my own room in one of the dorms, buy textbooks and pencils and college sweatshirts, and spend hours in the library. (sigh)

Late this afternoon, we left the SeaTac airport and were fortunate that the plane was only half full, so we each got our own space to stretch out in the back with lots of pillows. Looking down on Puget Sound was like viewing a land of fantasy and enchantment. The clouds hovered just above the water, nestling in the various coves. The sun peaked through, making sections of the water sparkle, and Mount Rainier was majestic in the background.

As we flew over the Rockies into Colorado, the landscape changed but was no less spectacular. Snow dusts the highest peaks and the clouds settle into the valleys, the mountains poking through the top. We flew through some clouds, hitting a bit of turbulence, and I wondered why angels would choose to make these heavenly pillows their home. As beautiful as clouds can be, they whipped spatters of moisture on the plane windows. And it's cold way up there!

I'm glad the decision as to where Joe will go to school isn't up to me. I would be hard pressed to choose between either of the schools we visited. And there's still the option that he could go to a school in-state. It would be nice to have him close to home. But it would be great to have reason to go back to the northwest to visit him!

In other news . . . how 'bout them Rockies?! While Joe was spending the night in the dorms, I was in hotels, watching the Rockies win two in a row! (And since there was no one else to steal the remote, flipping channels between the game, "Pretty Woman" w/ Julia Roberts, and TNT's "What Not To Wear." It doesn't take much to please me:)

I'm looking forward to making the rounds and visiting some blogs! It may take a day or two, so don't give up on me;)

Friday, October 5, 2007

Mother of the Year -- not

Yesterday morning, the inevitable happened. It is just six weeks into the school year, and I was blundering my way down the stairs, when I heard the TV on the cartoon channel and the Girl-child was stretched out on the sofa, wrapped up like a burrito in her quilt. This is unusual because my kids are now school aged and have to use alarms and bells and whistles to be woken up in the morning. Hubby was in his usual position at the kitchen table, eating his Raisin Bran, nose in paper. "What's with . . .?" nodding my head in the direction of the living room. He didn't even look up. "She doesn't feel well," he said. "#@&," I thought, "There goes my day." My first reaction, as a Mother of the Year contender, is that she would have to go through my three-step plan to prove it. I felt her head. No fever. Second: Did you or do you have to throw up? "I might," she replied, rather hopefully, I thought. Step three: Get up and get dressed and we'll see how you do. Her reply, "But I don't feeeel good, and my stomach HURTS!" Later as she headed for the bathroom after two bites of toast and some orange juice, I called after her -- "And if you throw up, I want to SEE it!" I had to implement this part B to Step 2, because since the age of four she is crafty enough to go into the bathroom, make gagging noises, flush the toilet and come out to announce, "I threw up." Five minutes later I was on the floor, cleaning up the spot just inches from her target with Brand X paper towels that don't absorb a thing. And now, the tables had turned. "Now that I threw up, I feel better. So can I go to school?" "No." "But I'll miss the last day of unicycles in PE!" (Yes, this at a school that doesn't celebrate Halloween, but has a Fall Party -- how exciting can leaves and faceless pumpkins be? And they ride unicycles in PE) Then she tells me she also has a headache. "From when the chair fell on my head yesterday." So, now, I'm thumbing through the AMA reference section in my head, desperately trying to remember: Head injury accompanied by vomiting? That's not good. What if it's two days after the chair fell and it only weighs a few pounds? I'm searching her eyes to see if the pupils look weird -- her eyes that are such a deep brown that they're almost black and the pupils are lost. I'm looking back and forth, right eye, left eye, and she's all wide-eyed doing the same with me. Pupils are fine. We settle into our day, me determined to use every minute to my best advantage. This means laundry and putting photos in scrapbooks . At 1:00 Hubby comes home early and we turn on the baseball game, until the cable guy shows up and he and Son #1 are in and out of the house, up and down the stairs, trying to figure out why the picture skips and we only get half the channels I've been paying for the past six months. Hubs is on the 16-foot-extension ladder doing some touch up painting and Girl-child is halfway up the ladder behind him. I order her down and to the front room to do some reading. Minutes later she's lying with her behind on the sofa, head on the floor, book held over her head. And I'm thinking to myself, is this typical behavior (or a good idea) for a head injury victim? Chicken soup is consumed and ejected. "I feel better. Can I go to school now?" "No." By late afternoon she's fighting with her brother, playing the guitar and begging to go outside to play with the neighbor child. And I'm looking forward to the next day when she and EVERYONE will be gone and I'll have the house to myself. 2 a.m. -- In my dream I'm at the airport with Son #1 and he's being chased by Chinese Terrorists (Chinese??). Someone is tapping on my arm. "I threw up." I'm thinking I'd rather go back to sleep and face the terrorists, but I stumble to the bathroom where she has ONCE AGAIN missed the target. What is with this child? This morning she pleaded with me to let her go to school. Her stomach is fine, she insists. And don't tell the Mother of the Year committee. But I let her go. I can tell you this, only because I'm sure none of your kids go to her school and you won't turn me in. With instructions to go to the clinic if she feels at all queasy, I watched her skipping across the playground, smiling and waving at me over her shoulder. Kids are nothing, if not resiliant. And I may not get the Mother of the Year Award. But, for today at least, I get 99 channels. All to myself.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

An abundant life

Yesterday was a day that made me think about Father Weibel, the pastor of the church that I grew up in and still attend today. Father Weibel was the founding pastor at Nativity in 1958, the year that I was born. It wasn't until seven years later that my family moved across the country and started attending that church. Only a few months later I received my First Communion from Father, and later made my first confession with him. He was also present when I was confirmed. By the time I went to college, he had retired, but frequently came back to say mass in our parish and bless us with his words of wisdom. As much as all of these events were significant to me, what I remember most clearly were the times that he spent with us kids. On a summer day he might load some kids into his car and take them to see a Bears baseball game. He was easy going and good natured, even when one of the kids threw up all the ball park goodies in the back of the car. In the winter, Father loved to ice skate. One afternoon, he took me and my brothers and some neighborhood kids up to a nearby frozen mountain lake and taught us to play ice hockey. He took all the littlest kids on his team, and what we lacked in skill, we made up for in numbers and his expertise on skates. I remember all of us huddled around him, a tall figure dressed in his black pants and black coat with the white of his collar peeking out. The smell of tobacco, warm in the pipe that was always clenched between his teeth. Beside the lake was an ice house that served as the "indoor skating rink," where we could go to get out of the wind. The wind would blow so hard at times, we would hold our coats up over our heads to act as a sail, and we'd go screaming across the lake. Every so often, a train would chug along the tracks nearby and everyone would hurry over to that side of the lake to wave to the engineer. I wasn't thinking of Father Weibel yesterday morning when I dropped the kids off after school, or as I drove to Starbuck's for a Monday morning latte. The view across the Front Range was breathtaking. A hot air balloon hovered in the deep blue sky. The mountains looked so majestic. At home I settled into work, grateful for a day where everything was falling into place. As the day progressed, my emotions wound through a series of loops and turns and narrow roads. Early on came the news of the death of a young person in our community. I felt such deep sadness for her family, for her little brother who was one of my cub scouts years ago, and her father who coached my boys in sports. Later, I felt a bittersweet combination of sorrow and relief for my aunt who quietly passed on after months of illness. The kids came home from school and cross words about homework and responsibilities left me feeling discouraged and frustrated. And late at night, I was weary, yet full of anticipation for the baseball game -- that left me feeling exhilerated in anticipation of the playoffs later this week. Father Weibel used to tell us that God doesn't promise us an earthly life of happiness. He doesn't say, follow me and I'll guarantee your life will be rosey. He does assure us that our lives will be abundant. Our lives will be full and we'll experience gladness, sorrow, anticipation, fulfillment, anger, contentment, uncertainty, security. And through it all, he promises to be with us. I think about Rebecca and Lily, who have experienced all these things and now are at peace and living God's promise of eternal life. And I pray for those left behind, their families and friends, as we travel through this life and all it's abundance.