Friday, May 27, 2011

Friday Favorites

It's been a few weeks since I've joined in with Susanne for Friday's Fave Five.  As we come up on Memorial Day weekend, the kids are done with school and summer is here!

1.  Luke graduated on Saturday and turned 18 on Tuesday.  We had a houseful of friends and family at his party and he was "celebrated"  in style.  His was the first of three graduations in my family this year.  Two of my nieces are graduating in the next two weekends, so two more big parties!

2.  The weather was cloudy and wet most of the week.  On a walk earlier this week to the Open Space on the edge of town, I had the place to myself.  Except for these guys, who loved the damp weather:

3. Dan is checking an item off of his Bucket List this weekend and going to the Indianapolis 500.  He left yesterday with four friends, driving in one of the guy's huge RV.  They were like kids going to camp, giddy in anticipation of six whole days without parents wives!  Thirty years ago, these same five guys were heading off to the mountains for a weekend of tent camping.  In the years that followed, wives, kids and campers were added to the mix.  My, times have changed.

4.  On Tuesday, after a particularly trying day, I snuck off to a movie by myself.  Something Borrowed, a silly chick flick, but it was just the thing I needed.

5.  I'm looking forward to our drive through the mountains today, as we head off for the weekend to my niece's graduation party.  It will be a "girls trip" with Emily and my Aunt Ann.  Dan is in Indy, the boys have work or baseball.  We'll spend the weekend and be back late Sunday.

Any favorite moments in your week?  Enjoy the weekend everyone!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Flying the Nest

I visited the owls again this morning. I must have been there during the morning nap because the three chicks, who aren't so little anymore, were snuggled down in the nest and Mama Owl had found a branch to perch on nearby.  There just isn't enough room for her and her growing brood, each of them measuring about a foot in length.  In fact, yesterday, one of the babies stepped out on a branch to perch for a bit.  I could imagine him saying, "Everybody's pushing me! I want my own room!"

Reminds me of my own 'brood' of three.  We are fast approaching the time when our nest will feel noticeably emptier.  Our oldest is making plans to find his own place this summer and the Middle Child will be going away to college in the fall.  The Girl Child wishes she could move out, but at 14 she'll have to tolerate her hopelessly old-fashioned parents for just a few more years.

I wonder if Mama Owl has any idea what lies ahead.  Her instincts tell her that 'enough is enough, I've got to start teaching these kids to be independent.'  But does she remember what it was like to fend for only herself, eating when she happened to see a tasty field mouse running by, spending lazy afternoons snoozing on a tree branch, nights out on the town?  I wonder if she's yearning for those days.

Will she be a little confused when the day comes and the nest is empty and her job is done?  A couple summers ago, a family of robins took up residence on our back porch.  For weeks, we watched them, waiting for the eggs to hatch, then listening to the cheeping and then the ruckus as the mama bird worked all day to keep them fed.  I remember the day they flew the nest, the three of them lined up on the rafter.  I never got to see any of them actually leave, but I remember watching the last one who hung back for hours as he tried to make up his mind if he should go for it or not.  I was surprised that the mama bird was nowhere to be seen that day, although I imagined she must be in a nearby tree, coaxing him.  And then, there were no little chicks left.  And the mama bird came back with a big fat worm in  her mouth.  She looked a bit confused, as though she forgot that this was the day her babies were moving out.  Maybe her instinct for feeding her babies was so strong that she couldn't let it go.  She eventually dropped the worm and flew away.  I cried for her.

Will that be me someday, coming home from King Soopers to an empty house lugging two gallons of milk? 

Most days, I take it in stride.  I haul gallons of milk into the house, buy laundry detergent by the case, and fling shoes up the stairs when I'm tired of tripping over them.  (Those size 14 cleats do require a bit of a windup and a straight aim, and I'm getting pretty good at it).  But, admittedly, there are days when I feel like that Mama Owl and I long for a branch to sit upon, away from the chaos.  I just have to remind myself that it will come soon enough.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Friday favorites

I'm looking back over my week and finding five things that made me happy.  Linking up to Susanne at Living to Tell the Story, for Friday Fave Five!

*  Yesterday, it rained all day long.  It did wonders for the grass in our backyard.  It may not be so pathetic for the graduation party after all.

*  Today I had lunch with Kathy to celebrate our birthdays, which are just two weeks apart.  We usually try to schedule lunch in between our b-days, but life got in the way this year.  We had a delicious meal at PF Chang's (the Coconut Curry Veggies are my absolute favorite) and then went shoe shopping.

*  I stayed up late, two nights in a row, to read PW's new book. Loved it!  I've read most of the story on her blog, but the last section (which is new) made it worth buying the book.  Which I didn't buy, but received as a gift.  But if I hadn't, I would've bought it.

*  Oh!  This is exciting!  (Tiffany, you'll appreciate this). On Mother's Day I entered a raffle at Emily's softball tournament -- an easy raffle, where I bought two hot dogs and Cokes for Dan and I, so I was given a raffle ticket -- and I won an autographed Todd Helton jersey!  Which I promptly gave to my husband, because Todd is his favorite baseball player.

*  There were lots of good moments this week, so I'll squeeze the rest into #5.  Lunch with my dad, time spent with my mother-in-law, playing nerf guns with my nephew, getting the laundry caught up, and planting two new rosebushes.

How was your week?

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

AWOL . . .

But I haven't fallen off the face of the earth.

Just so you know, I haven't totally given up on my blog.  It's just that the past couple weeks I've been busy:

*  Checking out the baby owls at least once a day.  Now, they are so big that Mama Owl has to sit on a branch outside the nest.

*  Planting rosebushes, columbine, and daisies every place I can fit them in, and potted geraniums for the porch.

*  Praying over the back lawn every morning, that the grass seed we planted in the bare patches will hurry up and grow in 10 days.

*  Watching softball tournaments

*  Getting excited for my senior who is going to graduate in 10 days.  And trying not to get all wild eyed and gnash my teeth as I plead with him to please make sure he's met all of his deadlines and crossed the t's and dotted the i's.  I even stayed calm when he called today explaining we need to fed ex his final for his online class TODAY, so he'll have his credits in time to graduate.  The last two weeks have been one surprise after another.  I am going to party SO hard when this kid gets his diploma.

*  Working out at the gym.  Yes, you read that right.

*  Surviving my turn at being sick, following son's sinus infection and husband's bronchitis.

*  Trying to be the compassionate, kind soul that I'm NOT when other people around me are sick.

*  Reading The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton.  Loved, loved it!

*  Seeing "Water for Elephants" with my daughter.  Except for the scene where she sobbed uncontrollably (she can't stand it when animals are mistreated, even if they don't "show everything" -- Do you want to leave?  No, no, no), we both enjoyed it.

*  Capturing the beauty of springtime before it's gone and summer is here.

I have missed keeping up with my blogging friends, and will try to get around to everyone soon!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

A walk in the park

From now through July, our weekends will take on a familiar routine. Emily has started softball season and her team plays weekend tournaments pretty much every week.  Early on Saturday or Sunday mornings, I'll drop her at the ballpark for a two-hour warm up with her team and go look for a coffee shop.  I plan to do a lot of reading this summer:)

Yesterday and today we were in the town of Loveland, which is an hour north of us.  The community is an art lover's dream, a mecca of sorts for artists. Bronze sculpture is the most popular medium, and the city is rich with galleries and foundries.  Hundreds of pieces of sculpture are placed strategically throughout the town and in parks.

The morning was sunny and a bit on the cool side, but nonetheless, I got a coffee and enjoyed an hour or so walking through the Benson Sculpture Garden where more than a hundred pieces are displayed in a beautifully landscaped park. 

 A few of my favorites:
 Maude and Lottie by Cammie Lundeen

A child swinging on a rope.  It looks like it is attached to the tree, but it is free standing.
 Freedom of Youth by Rosie Sandifer

 Colorado Sun by Gerald Balciar

I just love this portly gentleman.
 The Actor by Dee Clements
(The plaque reads, "All the world's a stage. . . ")

 Great Blue Heron by Hollis Williford

I think this lady is delightful!
 Nocturne by Barbara Chen

 Best Friends by Linda Prokop

This piece is fittingly placed in the pond.
 Dragonflies in Composition by Jack Kreutzer

'Children' frolic in the Children's Garden.
 Circle of Peace by Gary Lee Price
This sprightly lad was another one of my favorites.
Keep the Ball Rolling by Jane DeDecker

When my kids were small my mom and I took them on a picnic to this park.  It was a perfect place for them to run and play.  I have such fond memories of that day.