Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Brain Dump

  • I start  my "new" job today.  I'm so excited!  I don't have any of the jitters that usually come with starting a job.  I know the women I'm working for and they are sweet and young and so happy that I've agreed to work for them.  They made a brand new office for me.  I know the job, so the learning curve will be minimum.  I get a paycheck!
  • I'm three rooms into 40 Bags in 40 DaysAlthough, this Lent, it's been shortened to 30/30, in light of having foot surgery at the end of the month.  Just as well, because I'm finding a lot less to purge this year.
  •  We've set up "pay day" for our household on the first of the month.  I love this new system, unlike getting paid every other Friday and having to remember, when's Payday? and adjusting bill paying accordingly.  Now, it's like having a bag of buttons every first day of the month, I spend them as needed, and when we're getting low on buttons, we quit spending them.  I know, it's probably not much different than it was before, but the fact that it lines up by the month, just makes it so much easier on my brain.
  • My oldest son just returned from a business trip to Dubai.  His hotel room came with breakfast in bed and a massage.  Good grief! There's no way a 22-year-old male could appreciate that the way this 53-year-old, very tired, mom could have.  I think I'll ask my new employers if they could throw in a massage now and then. What do you think?
  • For four days, I thought I lost my camera.  And then I found it, right under my nose.  Just in time to redo my blog header for March.  Can you believe that in just two days it will be March?  Me neither.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Food Adventure

 Today, I'm linking up with Dandy at Spontaneous Clapping for 52 Food Adventures.  She's made it a goal to try 52 new foods this year, and invites anyone adventurous enough to play along!

Today I went to lunch with some friends to a place called Lucky Pie Pizza and Tap House.  Gourmet pizza seems to be all the rage these days, but this place goes above and beyond what I've seen at other restaurants.  And it is DE-licious.

I had the Bruges pizza -- shaved Brussels sprouts (yes, Brussels sprouts), apples sliced paper thin, fontina, mozzarella, pistachios!, and olive oil.

Good, doesn't even begin to describe it.  I can't wait to go back with Dan and try the Alvin -- acorn squash puree, fig gastrique, maple walnuts and goat cheese.

Have you had any Food Adventures this week?

Monday, February 20, 2012

All mothers go to heaven

I come from a long line of mixed marriages.  As in Catholics wedding non-Catholics.

My mother was raised in a family with a Protestant mother and a Catholic father.  Those were the days when the Church insisted my grandmother promise that she would raise the kids Catholic.  Which she agreed to.  Every Sunday she dutifully sent her seven children off to mass (Grandpa was a fireman, and he attended the mass that his shift allowed) while she enjoyed time, all by herself, reading the Sunday newspaper.  My mother had nothing but praise for her mother's religious mentoring.  She claims that it saved her from the guilt that so many Catholics carry.  "Thank God for my Protestant mother," she would often say.

 As kids, when we came home from Catechism class all wide-eyed with sordid descriptions of hell or what would happen to us if we should bite down on the Communion wafer, Mom dismissed whatever the stern instructor tried to plant in our heads, and say, "Children can't go to hell.  And all mothers go to heaven, because God knows it's the hardest job on earth." 

My father converted to Catholicism when he married my mother.  Just between you and I, it never really "took."  For a number of years he attended mass because he felt a deep spiritual connection with Father Dresen, also an avid fisherman.  For a brief period of time he was a devout CAPE (Christmas-Ashes-Palms-Easter) Catholic.  But for the most part, my brothers and I were raised attending Sunday mass with Mom and going to Catechism, or CCD, which she taught for a number of years.

I continued the mixed marriage tradition myself when I married Dan.  He was a great sport about the whole thing, although he did make the priest blush when we went to see him to plan the wedding ceremony.  Peering down his nose through his reading glasses, Father Murphy looked over his notes. "Well, now," he said, "We have two options for the vows.  There's the long version and there's the short version."  To which my husband-to-be replied, "Well, Father, the way I see it, it's like a girl in a bikini.  You want enough to cover the subject, but brief enough to keep it interesting."  My heart stopped for a moment as Father Murphy turned beet red, and then it started beating again when he let out a huge guffaw.

It will be interesting to see what happens with my own kids. They all went through Catholic grade school (which, if my mother were at the Golden Gates, would mean automatic admittance for my husband), but it was our choice for a variety of reasons.  The main thing is that, as a result, they have a strong foundation in faith, and how they choose to proceed from here is up to them -- no matter what 'flavor' religion it happens to be. 

I suspect my kids will surprise me.  They're good at that.  They'll question and try different things, like my oldest son who, at one time, decided he would start his own church.  He loves an audience.  And like so many people, they'll go through those dry spells where they're sure they just don't believe in anything.  And that's okay.  Because whenever they say to me, "But I don't believe in God,"  I tell them, "You don't have to.  Because He believes in you."

Saturday, February 11, 2012


We just finished our second Week of Togetherness.  I told Dan, it feels like every day is Saturday at our house. Sure there are things that have to be done, but with all of us at home every day, things get a bit slack.  There's no routine, stuff gets left out, everyone is home for three meals a day and the kitchen never gets a rest.  It's like being in the movie Ground Hog Day, where at first it's kind of fun, but it soon gets really old, having every day be Saturday.

We're also sharing one computer which, as much as I love all my favorite people (see column on the right), it gets a bit crowded.  I find myself escaping to the library whenever I can, hauling my book bag and a cup of coffee, to use a computer over there.  (Remember the days when you wouldn't dream of taking food or drink to the library?  Ours has a coffee cart in the lobby.  Love it!)

However, things are slowly coming together.  We've set a schedule for Emily and her online classes.  She and Dan have worked out when she'll do her math, which is something they do together.  She's pretty self-sufficient at the rest of her course work and is going gangbusters with the program.  She's also helping her horseback riding instructor a couple days a week, feeding and exercising horses.  And we're going to volunteer at the local food bank one day a week beginning next week. 

Luke is settling in with school and work.  His classes are in the morning, and he works at least two full days a week and is on call the rest of the week. He also works with his pitching coach a couple days a week and helps with baseball clinics on the weekends. 

My part time job begins in about two weeks.  In the meantime, I'm going through my list of "things I'd like to do before I start working" and another list of "things I need to do before I have foot surgery in late March" because that will put me out of commission for a few weeks, as far as driving and getting around easily.  Lucky Dan will get to drive me to work.  And drive Em to her stuff.  So, there is a silver lining in every cloud.  His severance package will give him some time to figure out where to go from here, and in the meantime it is a blessing to have him home.  Today we rearranged furniture.  I think he's going to be ready to go back to work soon.

Even though Joe lives only about 15 minutes from us, it seems I don't get to see him enough (insert whine here.)  Isn't that the way it is, I complain about the way the kids move in and out, and then when they're out, I complain about that.  I lure him over with home cooked meals as much as possible.

In the meantime, I'm getting a lot of reading done. It's a great escape for getting away from all these people in my house that aren't supposed to be here 24/7.  Last week I read The Beach Trees by Karen White, (loved it), and I'm now back to reading New Mercies by Sandra Dallas.   I'm making great progress on my mom's quilt.  And for some odd reason, I have been keeping up with laundry like never in my life.  I think it's because whenever I find myself floundering around trying to find my place -- which is a lot these days -- I throw in a load of wash just to keep moving.  That has been a good thing. 

In the meantime, there is still loads of snow on the ground. It certainly adds to the cabin fever we're all experiencing.  I am already dreaming of tulips and crocuses and daffodils, and spending warm summer evenings on the back porch.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

After the storm

Our neighborhood got 20" of snow in about 36 hours on Friday and Saturday.  In typical Colorado fashion, the sun came out yesterday afternoon and the melting began. 

I love the way snow nestles in the limbs of the aspen tree.
Junipers bow to the weight of the snow.

"Well, that was fun while it lasted."

Friday, February 3, 2012

Friday Favorites

We woke up to a foot of snow on the ground this morning, and it's been snowing all day.  Nothing like being snowed in with all your favorite people (see column on the right).  Except for Joe, who is out in sunny Southern California.  (Little wave to Joey!)

I'm going to dig deep and find some good things about this week.  In spite of the fact that my DH lost his job of 33 years on Monday.  Yeaaaahhh. Who'd a thunk it would happen to us?  I guess NO ONE ever thinks it will happen to them.

The good news is:

1.  We will be okay. We WILL be okay.  We'll BE OKAY.

2.  Now that my daughter is home schooling, she'll have someone to help her with math, other than me.  That's a very good thing.

3.  I'm starting my little job in a couple weeks.  Which, hey, will at least pay for stamps and ice.

4.  I won't have to go to the office Christmas party anymore.

5.  We'll get a whole lot of practice at looking on the bright side, and we'll build lots of character.  Just what we need, a few more characters around here.

How was your week?

Hooking up with Susanne for Friday's Fave Five.