Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The Alphabet Game

I saw this meme on Gail's blog and decided to play along. Gail assigned me the letter "M". I need to come up with 10 things I love that start with that letter. 1. Marriage -- In particular my marriage. I'm married to a great guy:) 2. Motherhood -- It's the hardest job in the world, but I don't know what I would be without my kids. 3. Martinis, Grey Goose, straight up dirty with extra olive -- sometimes helps me with #2 ;) 4. M&Ms! With peanuts. Yum. 5. Movies -- I don't always remember what I've seen, what it was about, or even if I liked it. But I love going to the movie theatre, having the buttered popcorn, and catching all the previews and staying through the credits. 6. Marmelade -- on a toasted English muffin. 7. Mustang -- 1965, convertible 8. Massages -- Ahhh. 9. Mail -- personal letters and big, fat checks. 10. Memories -- the good ones. If you'd like to play, leave me a comment asking for a letter:)

Monday, September 29, 2008


Summer is typically the time when road repairs are at their peak, and this summer was no exception. It was particularly evident to me because the main thoroughfare in our neighborhood was being worked on. First the road was torn up so that some water pipes could be replaced. This took the better part of the summer. Now, the road is being resurfaced, a project that is still weeks away from being completed. I've been fairly patient with the whole deal. Some of the flag people have become so familiar with my routine and I with them. We recognize one another and wave and smile. I feel like I should add them to my Christmas card list. It wasn't too much of an inconvenience during the summer, when life tends to slow down a bit. But, since school is back in session, and I'm on a schedule, I'm on a mission and all of this roadwork is slowing me down. It seems to take for-EVER to get to the grocery store, the bank, the school, the church. I want to yell, "Be done already!" It occurs to me that much of my life is this way. It's not always easy to get from point A to point B without some kind of distraction or being redirected. Just getting from the sofa up to bed each night reminds me of the Family Circle cartoon with the little boy who is called home. He takes a circuitous route all around the back yard, climbing trees, crawling through toys, over play equipment. My route takes me to the kitchen where there are always a few more dishes to be put away, to let the dog out who by the way needs water in her dish, to pick up some stray items which leads me in yet another direction. If that isn't bad enough, it's the daily mental detours that literally drive me nuts. Trying to focus on one project, only to be drawn away to answer the phone, answer a question, settle a spat. Focusing on work when the laundry is calling, needing to clean the house when a friend needs a sympathetic ear. The priorities are simple enough, but the fact is that things need to get done, even the mundane tasks. There just aren't enough hours in the day. I keep thinking that if I can just have a clear path, get all the road blocks out of my way, then life will function smoothly and I can stay the course. If I can figure out what that course should be. At 50, aren't I supposed to know this?
In the meantime, I'll proceed as usual, slowing down for the detours, smiling (often through clenched teeth) at those who redirect me and know that it is just a matter of time before the repairs will be completed. And the crew will move on to the next street, ready to begin all over again.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Blog Award

Lynne, at Lynne's Little Corner of the World, presented me with this nice blog award. Lynne is one of my very first blogging friends. Now, I get to pass it on to 7 other people. I don't know if I can pick just 7, but I'll try to stay within the rules. If you're on my list, feel free to pass it on, too!
1. Xandra, at Heart of Service
2. Lisa, the Trail Boss
3. Barbara, at the Clark Homestead
4. Judy, at Anybody Home
5. Gail, at More Than A Song
6. Stacy, at Exceedingly Mundane
7. And, saving the best for last ;), Jen, at A Good Cup of Coffee

Friday, September 26, 2008

Friday's Fave Five

The idea behinda Friday's Fave Five is to look back over your week and reflect on the good stuff that 's happened. It's sponsored by Susanne at Living to Tell the Story. I've had a great week. Awesome week. What a great way to sum it up. Thanks, Suzanne! Five things that made this week so great: 1. Top of my list, my brother is home on leave for two weeks. It's done my heart good to see him with his wife and kids, sit around the kitchen table at his house or mine, surrounded by family, and trade stories. Today, I met him at the park where my nephew got to play, and Matt and I had Starbuck's and caught up some more on the past six months since we've been together. I could end my list here and call it a GREAT week. 2. I got a new laptop! My old one was giving me fits, and Hubs went out and found me a new one, got me all set up, and I'm good for another 1,000 miles. I love this thing. I can only liken it to having a good piano. The keys have a nice "hand" and I feel very smart tapping away. Who cares what's going on inside, I wouldn't understand it anyway, but I can do everything I need to do and it feels and sounds great, and I can play to my heart's content. Yep. I'm High Tech that way. 3. I got my hair cut! This is the third haircut in as many weeks, but it's finally right (a little shorter, a little shorter, a lit-tle shorter). I love it. Dawn, the stylist, is my new best friend. 4. It is Autumn in Colorado and that is all I need to say. It's beautiful outside. 5. Tonight is Girlfriend's Night Out. Kathy and I are going to a movie and dinner. I hope you all had a wonderful week, as well!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

What's on your nightstand?

Over at 5 Minutes for Mom, they're hosting a What's On Your Nightstand Carnival. The idea is to show the books that we're reading, so if you don't keep your books on your nightstand, than I guess you could call it What's On Your Coffee Table, or What's On Your Floor, or whatever. You get the idea. It's a fun way to share book ideas. I do keep my books on my nightstand, as well as various other places. Here we go. . .

(Yes, the wall is black. Thank goodness the rest of the walls in the bedroom are not. One of the areas that's on the to-be-painted list.) The Shack by William P. Young - I just finished this and it's a wonderful book. Not necessarily life-changing as some have proclaimed (at least not for me), but definitely thought provoking and even though I finished it a few days ago, it has stayed with me and I continue to mull it over, which is a definite requirement for my "great books" list. I was asked to review The Santa Letters by Stacy Gooch-Anderson, for a virtual blog tour. Stay tuned! I will be posting it tomorrow! The Invisible Wall; A Love Story That Broke Barriers by Harry Bernstein - This is the selection for my book club next month. I haven't started it yet. The book jacket tells the story takes place on the eve of World War I, in a small English mill town. The story centers around a young Jewish boy, Harry Bernstein, whose sister falls in love with a Christian boy. Harry is the only one in the family who knows of the affair and he must decide what to do, torn between the morals he's been raised with and what he feels in his heart. The last book on my stack is a story from World War II, called Those Who Save Us, by Jenna Blum. My stepmom, Carol, passed this on to me, and it's the story of a woman and her 3-year-old daughter, imprisoned in a concentration camp in Germany. They are liberated by an American soldier and go with him to live in Minnesota. The daughter, now a grown woman and professor of history, is telling the story. This sounds like a good story! Oh, and over there on the right, underneath my journal, is another book I'm reading. It's one of those that I read a bit here and there, take some notes, put it down for a while. It's called What Women Want; The Life You Crave and How God Satisfies. I read this with a friend over the summer and it provided lots of good discussion and some soul searching. Other than a box of Kleenex, two pairs of reading glasses and a stray Tums, that's what's on my nightstand this month!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Autumn on the prairie

I meant to post on Friday, to try to get some things written down after the week sped by in a blur, but here it is Sunday already Last week was indeed a short one, since the kids only had four days of school. (Don't even get me started on the fact that the teachers had an inservice day and it's only September). But it was a good week. Aunt Ann's surgery went well, and we spent the few days that she was here enjoying our time together. Other than taking the kids to and from school, I was at home all day, which was a nice change from my usual galavanting around. In the mornings I worked around the house, she kept her foot propped up and did some reading, and then we took a break for lunch. It was a treat to have the time to talk, uninterrupted, and we touched on many of our favorite subjects including books and family lore. It seems we're never at a loss for topics. The afternoon was much the same, with a break for tea.
On Friday, the kids, the dog and I went for a hike in the open space outside of town. I took the camera and while I was snapping shots, they were running with dog and keeping an eye out for other walkers and dogs, so as to keep Abby out of their way.
Fall is coming to the prairie. It's such a pretty time of year.
I don't know what this plant is, but the pods on it are huge and not quite dried out yet.
Reflections in the pond.
Yucca plants are all over the prairie. The flowers in spring are so pretty, but I think the dried pods have a beauty all their own.
Flowers After our walk, we stopped to rest and take in the view. If you look in the center of the photograph, you can see the path. Luke and Em are sitting on a bench that my Dad had the city put in, in memory of my Mom. It's a beautiful spot, one that attracts all sorts of wildlife, including hawks and various creatures of the four-legged variety. The mountain to the far left is Long's Peak.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Just for fun

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Monday, September 15, 2008

For today

For Today. . .
Outside my window. . .It's a clear, cool September day. I was driving home after I dropped Emily at school and saw two hot air balloons hovering in the sky, against a backdrop of soft, pastel mountains.
I am thankful for... My family pitching in to help clean the house yesterday.
From the kitchen...Turkey-Spinach meatloaf, mashed potatoes, squash for supper.
I am reading. . . The Shack by William
I am hoping...there are enough hours in the day to accomplish my to-do list for the day.
I am creating . . a pile of clean laundry out of dirty laundry!
I am hearing...Kenny Chesney on the radio
Around the house...some laundry to be done, I need to vacuum and get some packages ready to mail.
One of my favorite things...DH makes the coffee every morning, even though on the weekdays when he rarely drinks it at home. He makes it for :)
A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week. . .my aunt -- one of my favorite people:) -- is staying with us this week, recuperating from foot surgery. I've recorded a couple of movies for us to watch in the afternoons. We'll have tea and talk about books and have a lovely time:)
Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you. . . This photo is my screen saver. My brother and some friends he met in Iraq. Matt is coming home on a leave in a week and we're counting the days!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Lavender and Laundry

"We" have been painting again. Actually, I've been supervising and Hubs has been hard at work, transforming the laundry room from "it's a laundry room," to "WOW! What a pretty, lavendar, functional laundry room!"
Without further ado. . . Here's my laundry room, complete with folding area, hanging rod and shelving, all installed by my personal Handy Man. The clothes hampers wheel out and there are four compartments. I have never been able to limit my sorting to "lights" and "darks". I need a place for "whites" and "delicates." And, ideally, "jeans" and "towels." But, I digress.
On the opposite wall there is a clock (so I know when it's time to rush out the door and pick up the kids) and a yardstick hanging in a little holder made by a former Cub Scout (whatever happened to yardsticks? When I was growing up, there was always one hanging in the kitchen behind the door, at the ready.)
The baskets hold an assortment of cleaners, lightbulbs, gift bags (I know that's odd, but I find the best place to wrap a gift is on top of the washer/dryer. Lots of room there.) And on the shelf is a James Saltwater Taffy bank for all the change I find. (Someday, I'm going to cash it in and take a trip). Oh, and the jar of clothespins. Because, what laundry room is complete without wooden clothespins?
I love my lavendar laundry room. I wasn't able to convince Emily to paint her room lavendar. Hubs is easy going, but he drew the line at a lavendar bedroom. I think it's a pretty color for a laundry room, don't you? Not normal, but after all . . .

Monday, September 8, 2008

For today

For Today...
Outside my Window...It's a gray and rainy day. Quite a contrast to yesterday's sunshine and 80 degrees.
I am thinking...I'll work on getting the laundry room put back together. Hubs is building me a table and some shelves in there.
I am thankful for...a husband who likes to putter around the house and can make me things:)
From the kitchen...chili in the crockpot and corn bread.
I am wearing... jeans and long sleeves. It's cold today!
I am reading... 9 Sandpiper Way, by Debbie Macomber
I am hoping...I can escape the crud that everyone else in the family has had.
I am creating... an organized, pretty laundry room:)
I am hearing..."Sister Golden Hair" by America, on the radio
Around the house...Hubs is taking the day off, so "we" are catching up on chores today.
One of my favorite things... a fresh can of paint.
Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week...Back to School night for Em, soccer practice, not too much on the calendar.
Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you...Sorry, no picture. The camera is still AWOL.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Behr's Stable Hay 310E-2

I love this color. I would bathe in it if I could. If it were a drink, I would consume it by the gallon, and if it were a fabric it would be the only color in my wardrobe. That's how much I love this color.

I spent this afternoon coloring the walls with it. I'm starting in the loft, but I'm sure I won't stop there. It just makes me happy and calm and at peace. When I open the can, it looks like egg nog. Rich, thick, creamy egg nog. But when it's rolled on the walls, it warms up and becomes a soft, golden light. Like the color of wheat when it's ready to be harvested or the light in a Rembrandt painting. And then as it dries, it turns all buttery and soft. It's the color of sunlight in autumn or highlights in a baby's hair. It reminds me of my mother's kitchen, not because her kitchen was that color, but because it gives me comfort, just like sharing a pot of tea at her kitchen table.

If I could find my camera, I would take a picture of this color. But it probably wouldn't come out the same. Because on a computer screen you wouldn't get the warmth that comes from this color as it lies on a textured wall, touched by the sun. Just take my word for it. This color is heaven in a can of paint.

Monday, September 1, 2008

For today

For Today. . .

Outside my Window...is a beautiful Colorado September day. The sky is deep blue, the wind is rustling the leaves on the aspen trees, and the sun is shining brightly.

I am thinking... of the residents of New Orleans. Ironically, just this morning, my husband and I watched a This Old House epsiode about a house being rebuilt down there. I hope and pray that the efforts of the past three years won't be destroyed by Gustav.

From the kitchen...is the smell of blueberry pancakes, made by my daughter. She's only 11, but what a cook!

I am thankful for... my new home.

I am wearing...capri sweatpants and a tank top. Yes, I look lovely:)

I am reading... The Virgin of Small Plains, by Nancy Pickard

I am creating... "idea boards" with colors and fabric swatches to help me decide what colors to paint the rooms in my house

I am hearing... Hubs cleaning up the kitchen, the Today Show in the other room, my dog snoring softly at my feet

Around the house... we made lots of progress in the basement this weekend, getting things unpacked and put away!

One of my favorite things... doing the crossword puzzle in the newspaper every day. It's a good reason to sit down and relax for a few minutes.

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week... going to the Rockies game this afternoon, getting my hair cut tomorrow, Back-to-School night for my son, soccer practice for my daughter.

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you...

(Thanks to Peggy for hostessing the Simple Woman's Daybook!)