Monday, August 31, 2009

Monday, Monday

FOR TODAY, Monday, August 31, 2009

Outside my window. . .It's a bit hazy today, but the sun is burning off the moisture and it looks like it is going to be a nice, cool day.

I am thinking. . .that the coffee tastes really good this morning.

I'm praying for. . .a safe trip home for my son.

I am thankful for. . .my husband coming home tomorrow. He's been away for a 8 days.

From the kitchen. . .a full pantry, after my trip to Costco on Saturday. I'm planning meals for the week.

I am wearing. . . My UNC sweats and Zsa Zsa slippers.

I am creating . . .
a "new" corner hutch for my dining room. I picked one up at a garage sale several years ago and am finally getting around to refinishing it. It is in the garage, up on sawhorses in the early stages of being sanded.

I am going. . .to take my daughter to school in a few minutes.

I am reading. . .My Life in France, by Julia Child

I am hoping . . . to get my son to physical therapy and get back to pick up my daughter from school on time this afternoon. WHY don't I think about these things when I set up appointments?? This is the kind of thing that makes me feel like a scatterbrain.

I am hearing . . .my daughter getting ready for school.

Around the house . . .I'm caught up with the laundry!! (Do you hear the trumpets playing?)

One of my favorite things . . .my dog's soft, silky ears and the adoring look she gives me when I scratch behind them.

A few things this week . . . Hubs is coming home! and we're all going to the Rockies game tomorrow night. Daughter starts soccer practice, Son #2 has driver's ed, Son #1 is driving home from Tacoma.

Here is picture thought I am sharing . . .I love this kitchen!

For more Daybooks go on over to see Peggy @ The Simple woman's day book.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Friday morning

I took a walk around my neighborhood this morning and snapped a few pictures. This is an open space, just down the street from my house. When we were house shopping, we looked at a place that backs up to this area. So, this could have been my view, over my backyard fence!

Friday, August 21, 2009


A couple of months ago, some new neighbors moved into the house behind us. I don't think I would have noticed if I hadn't seen the "Sold" sign in their yard when I was out on a walk one day. We live in the suburbs, where privacy fences and trees work well for privacy, but do little for neighborly relations. Added to that, the houses behind ours sit much lower than the houses on my street, so its almost impossible to see into one another's backyards.

When the "new people" moved in, it wasn't long before my kids announced that they got a new chocolate lab puppy. Kids aren't held in by boundaries like privacy fences. Errant baseballs and curiosity have them climbing fences or peeking between the slats to see what's on the other side.

I soon learned that the new puppy's name is Charlie. I know this because Charlie would go out for his morning potty break at about 4:00 a.m. And once in the yard, Charlie liked to explore and wasn't interested in going back inside. So Charlie's mom would stand at the back door and call, "Charrrrr-lie," in a pleasant enough voice, but it still carried through our open bedroom window and into my sleeping ears.

Charlie is about three months old now and prefers being inside with his people, while they now want him outside. So he tells them in the only way he knows. He barks. And barks. The weather has been nice enough to have all of our windows open and the AC off, and last night his barking was getting on my last nerve. It was late, it's a good 10 minute walk around the block to their house, so I did the next best thing. I went outside, climbed up on a landscaping rock so I could peer over the fence and first beseeched Charlie to be quiet. Then, seeing Charlie's people inside their house, moving around just inside their open windows, I called, "Helllooooo!" in a friendly voice. Finally, Charlie's dad came out and seemed startled to see me hanging over the fence.

"Hi," I said.

"Hi," he said.

"We need to talk about your dog," I said.

"Okay," he said, no doubt wondering at this crazy woman hanging over his fence.

Our exchange was pleasant enough. He said they're trying to train Charlie. I explained it wasn't working, leaving him out to bark for 20 minutes at a time. We didn't come up with any solutions, but it was 10 o'clock at night and I was in my pajamas and perhaps we both just need some time to think about it.

For the sake of neighborly relations, I think I'll take some puppy biscuits over for Charlie later today and introduce myself. I'm not upset with Charlie. I think we're a lot alike in that we both just want to be heard.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

Farmer's Market

For more Wordless Wednesday go here.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Chit chat at the fence

Today is the last day of summer vacation for my two younger kids. Tomorrow, Emily will start seventh grade at the local middle school, and Luke will be in high school in his junior year. A couple weeks ago, I thought I had reached the end of my spool, I was so desperate for them to get back in school. But the past week has been full as we've tried to squeeze in last minute activities and get ready for that first day. The school supplies are purchased and in backpacks (old ones from last year, but they are cleaned up and all the stubby pencils and snack crumbs swept out). They each have new sneakers, purchased for our vacation earlier in the summer. A couple new shirts and new pairs of jeans, so they'll be presentable enough.

Yesterday, Em went to see the new, 3-D Ice Age movie with her friend. Luke and I played a round of golf with my dad. Dad thought it would be nice for the kids to learn golf this summer. After I whined and begged and pleaded and pouted, he finally agreed to let me come along, too.

I just started reading a book for my bookclub called Wednesday Sisters, by Meg Waite Clayton. It is set in Palo Alto, California, in 1968, the year that Robert Kennedy is shot and Neil Armstrong walks on the moon. Five women meet, become friends, and form a writing group. I'm always intrigued about this time period. I was just 10 years old, and it was such a pivotal time in not just the country's history, but women's issues as well. At the time I of course didn't have much interest in what was going on, but the fact that it shaped the world for my adult years and for my daughter's life, I sometimes wish I had a better awareness, while living through it all.

Everyone is talking about Julie & Julia. I absolutely loved the movie. In fact, I saw it twice! Not that I was planning to spend $10 twice in one week for a movie, but after seeing it by myself, I was with a couple of girlfriends who wanted to see it. It was equally fun both times. And, as is my habit with movies based on real events or actual people, I came home and googled Julia and Julie and learned so much about the two of them. I checked the library for books about Julia Child and, of course, they're all checked out, so I'll have to wait to do any reading about her. Meryl Streepe is fabulous and captures Julia's joie de vivre as only Meryl can. This joy of life seems to infiltrate the movie and I came away eager to get home and whip up something in the kitchen that requires a pound of butter, and invite all my friends over for dinner.

My dog continues to shed. And shed. And shed some more. Our being away for three weeks was quite traumatic for her. (Dan said, she missed her "pack." Does that mean I get to be the alpha female? I hope so, I love being in charge.) It's a long story, but when Dan realized that leaving her home with a house sitter the final week wasn't going to work (for Abby or the house sitter), we found a place for her to stay with "cabins" instead of kennels, "playrooms" instead of pens, and "campers" instead of canines. And a fancy name that was supposed to justify the sky high rates! When Dan told me we could check in on her via webcam during the day, I knew my vacation budget was going to be shot. But, I have to say, I checked that cam daily and my darling appeared to be very happy. We even got a thank you note and a stack of pictures from the camp director, when Abby came home. Other than shedding all over the house, she seems to have weathered the experience rather well. I would send her again in a heartbeat. She was given lots of attention and hugs, played nicely with others and even got a grooming. I think her vacation was almost as nice as ours.

Friday, August 14, 2009

My friend Becky

One of the unexpected delights that I've found through blogging is meeting some wonderful, wonderful other bloggers. Really, I had no idea when I started my blog that I would be interacting with so many other people and come to know and love them.

One of my favorites is Becky. She is the first person who commented on my blog. She's a thoughtful, spirit-filled lady, and I've learned so much from her.

Becky doesn't know that I'm doing this, but I just want to put in a little plug for her for a contest she's entered. She redecorated her bedroom as an anniversary gift to her DH, lovingly referred to as The Butler, in her blog. If she wins the contest, she'll get to finish off her project with a new rug.

Here's where you come in. If you'd like to vote for Becky's lovely creation, go here. And tell me it's not the cutest room you've seen!

Friday, August 7, 2009

On my mind

We're beginning the countdown to the first day of school. Only 12 days from today, the kids will be back in classes. Homework will take the place of afternoon t.v. shows, alarms will be set for early mornings, and I'll be faced with what the heck do I make them for lunches. They both have registration next week, they groan about having to go back, but at the same time they're bugging me to shop for some school supplies and a few new items of clothing.

We have a second family of robins in our back yard. They've taken up the previous occupant's residence on the drain pipe. They are growing fat and sassy and surely will fledge soon. The poor mom is wearing herself thin just keeping them fed.

I missed the first big blooming of our new rosebushes. Dan said the bushes were full of flowers when we were gone. I buy rosebushes as much for the names as for the color. Kind of like buying OPI nail polish. (Could you resist buying a lovely shade of pink dubbed You're Such a Kabuki Queen? Or a sassy Paint My Moji-toes Red? How about a plum Friar-Friar, Pants on Fire?) I love the hybrid tea roses and we planted several of that variety. There's the regal red of the Ronald Reagan. The buttery yellow Welcome Home has a yummy aroma and seemed appropriate for our new house. Tiffany is a beautiful lavender color with a sweet fragrance. I chose one climbing rose that has deep red buds and blooms a lovely orange and yellow. It's called Joseph's Coat.

Speaking of Joseph, our oldest will boomerang back to the nest in a few weeks. After two semesters in college, he has been living in the Tacoma area while drumming up business for a web design and management company he started. It's kept him busy enough that he's encouraged to keep going. And he's learning some life lessons about living on his own. So, he'll be rooming with us for a while, getting a roof over his head and three square meals a day, until we can fatten him up and he's ready to venture out again. If you have a business that could use some help in the web marketing area, check out Managed Designs.

I came home from our trip weighing * pounds heavier than when I left. On a good day, I've lost 3 of those pounds, but most days they keep peeking up and pointing their tongues at me, fingers wiggling in their ears. I often wonder where I can find the motivation to find a diet and stick with it, and am reminded from an old Weight Watchers meeting that motivation comes and goes, so if you wait for the next wave you're never really in control. You have to go through the motions and, to borrow a phrase from Nike, "just do it!" I found a quote today that hit home:
"People often say that motivation doesn't last. Well, neither does bathing -- that's why we recommend it daily."

On a final note, I'm really missing the shore. Summer has finally turned on the heat here in Colorado. What I wouldn't give for a day at the beach. So, I leave you with this. . .

Friday's Fave Five

I've been out of the loop most of the summer with Susanne's FFF. I love doing this list, because it gives me an opportunity to look back on the week and see all the goodness. Thanks, Susanne!

1. I have the paint rollers out again, ready to paint the main hallway. It involves an extension ladder and lots and lots of taping. I enjoy painting, but don't enjoy the prep work. My Friday Fave is that Hubs does all the prep work for me! It's all taped, sealed and ready to go for tomorrow.

2. An evening with a girlfriend. Last night we hung out at her house. Her family room was filled with teenagers having fun and we sat on the sofa in the living room and talked for three hours straight.
3. Beer Margaritas. My favorite new drink of the summer. It sounds gross, but they are so tasty. If you want the recipe, leave me a comment. I won't charge you for it.

4. Counting down to the first day of school!! We're less than two weeks away. Hallelujah!

5. My blogging friends who are faithful about posting. I have not been, so much, these past two weeks. But I love reading blogs and appreciate when there's something new.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Queen Anne's Lace

One of the things I loved about being back East is the abundance of Queen Anne's Lace along the roadside. I suppose it's considered a weed, but isn't it beautiful? Part of the name comes from the flowers' obvious resemblance to lace, but I learned through Wiki-ped that it's named for Queen Anne because some versions have a red flower in the middle which represents a drop of blood from when the Queen pricked her finger while tatting. I've never seen the flower with a red center, so I'll have to take their word for it.

Like carnations, Queen Anne's Lace can be died by putting the cut ends in water with food coloring. The leaves can cause severe skin rashes, so be careful if you try this! QAL is also known as Wild Carrot, because the root smells like a carrot. And, a teaspoon of the crushed seeds can be used for birth control. Who knew?