Friday, August 24, 2007

My Favorite Cartoon...

was Loonie Tunes. Wasn't it everyones? My favorite character, though, may be a bit different then yours. I adored the Abominable Snowman. "I will love him, and hug him, and call him George.", he would say in his goofy voice as he squeezed the eyeballs out of poor Bugs Bunny.

When I was first married I had a pet lop-eared bunny named George. He was sweet but he didn't last too long into the marriage. I found that taking care of a husband and a little cocker spaniel and a bunny named George was just too much responsibility. So he was shipped off to a classroom to become the class mascot. I can just picture some little chubby 3rd grader loving him and hugging him and wondering how poor George ever came by that name.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Of Cats and Teenagers

Random internet fact of the day: cats can only remember approximately 10 minutes worth of stuff.

Random MEH fact of the day: my cat and my two teenage sons have more in common then I thought.

People warned me that the teenage years were coming. When late night feedings had exhausted me, people with a knowing nod would say, “just wait until they are teenagers." During the potty training years, a.k.a. my cranky years, older parents would say, “if you think you are stressed now, just wait until the teenage years.” As my kids trotted off to elementary school and began thinking they knew it all, parents with teenagers would warn, “you think it is bad now, just wait until they are teenagers.”

I have to admit I never truly believed any of those naysayers. In fact, it irritated me that fellow parents were negating the hardships of the phase I was currently in while “warning” me of how bad it would be in the future. Was that supposed to be encouraging to me in some sick sort of way?

So here I am with two teenage sons and one preteen daughter. As an official "older parent", it isn’t bad at all.

When my kids wake up in the middle of the night hungry, they feed themselves. Not only is potty training a distant memory that now only causes me to mildly shudder, my kids actually clean the toilets for me. There is a bit of condesension in conversations with them, but usually just a raised eyebrow look from me is enough to curb the ‘tude. All in all, my teenagers are fun to hang out with and talk to and they pretty much take care of themselves.

But the memory lapse thing is a challenge for me. They can literally forget something I have just said in the excitement of whatever moment they are in. For example, I told teenage son number one to turn off the water after a couple minutes while I went on a run. When I returned to a flooded flower garden, the anwer was “oh, sorry, I just completely forgot.” He was on the computer. When I heard that teenage son number two forgot to eat breakfast and lunch, his reply was, “oh, sorry, I just forgot.” He was on xbox all morning.

It is just as well, I guess. I still like having them around and so it is nice that they need me for something, even if it is just reminding them of stuff. And when they go off to college I will always have the cat to remember them by.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007


It sounds dark and a bit morbid, but this is what it is apparently called. Popping off the dead blooms on my rose bush allows new fresh blooms to appear sooner then if I just let them dry up and fall off on their own.

As I performed this rite on my four little bushes the other day, my mind had nothing else to do but analogise it to my own life. There comes a time when a phase or circumstance or even habit of life needs to come to a close. Sometimes it is a quick death. Sometimes it fades slowly. Regardless, the bloom time is ending.

Deep thoughts for a Tuesday, I know. (: But I resolve to not hang on to old, faded and crusty blooms because new, fresh and fragrant blooms are preparing to bud!

Friday, August 17, 2007

A Favorite August Recipe

Freshest Blueberry Cobbler Ever!!!!! I made 2 yesterday. Easier then pie, which I also made 1 of yesterday.

Pick 8 lbs. of blueberries in the morning directly off the bushes.

Rinse and pick over them All Day Long until you think you are going to scream. Pull out 4 cups of blueberries and freeze the rest for later.

Melt 1 stick of butter in 8x8.

Mix together 1 c of flour, 1 c of sugar, 3/4 cup of milk, 2 tsp baking powder, pinch of salt.

Dump onto melted butter.

Add fruit (with some extra sugar)

Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.


Thursday, August 16, 2007

My Very Own Three Ring Circus

Late last night some friends of ours brought their dog by for a short visit. They are moving into a new house and so their little Sheltie, Mollie, needed a place to crash. She is a very sweet little mini-Lassie and my kids were thrilled!

Our big lab, Mr. T, was already tucked in his kennel when Mollie arrived, but kitty was so kind as to meet Mollie outside. Suffice it to say, it was not love at first sight. We brought Mollie inside and fed kitty outside. Through a series of barks and yips, Mollie finally succeeded in assuring us that Timmie was not in the well and that she would like to sleep in our room last night. (Yes, La Vida Dulce and Spaghettipie, you read that correctly.)

The rest of our night was uneventful but dawn broke the charm. C. and I took her out front to smell the roses so to speak, and she met Mr. T for the first time. Mr. T is very, very large. Sheltie's are very, very small. But fortunately, labs are notoriously happy and before anything too "interesting" could happen a distraction showed up in the form of kitty ready for battle.

Kitty and our dog have long since found a truce, but kitty is apparently a one dog cat. She proceeded to taunt Mollie mercilessly with slaps, dodging in and out for about 15 minutes. I fianlly gave up and rescued Mollie, carrying my dew drenched kitty to the back deck with her food. Mr. T, who adores all food but particularly cat food, promptly threw all training to the wind, galloped to the back and onto the deck, and in 1 second devoured her bowl. Kitty climbed the wall, literally. Mollie employed her communication method, telling us that Kitty was a meany and that Truck was gross and eating cat food.

Forget the three ring circus analogy, I feel like I have 3 preschoolers!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

The Best Advice

What was the best advice you were ever given?

This is the question of the month posted on a blog called La Vida Dulce. I have to admit, the answer didn't immediately come to me. I have received a lot of advice in my life and to find the best advice takes some sorting.

Only breast feed your babies.
Supplement with formula.
Never go to sleep angry.
Sleep! You will think clearly in the morning.
Lighten up.
Get serious.
Etc. and etc.

The best advice I have ever received comes from Scripture and through the diligence of my mother's teaching:

"Your Word have I treasured in my heart, that I may not sin against You." Psalm 119:11

The Scriptures I have memorized, especially as a child, come back to me at key moments. When I am listening, His Word protects me from making painful mistakes and guides me in the right paths.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007


Long, long ago in a land far, far away one of my favorite songs had lyrics that went something like this:

"just another manic Monday, wish it was Sunday, that's my fun day." (I hear you humming along!)

The lyrics aren't deep but the tune is catchy and when I hear it on the all-80's weekend, it takes me back in time. It used to fit how I feel on Mondays.

But now, with my husband taking Mondays off, that day is no longer manic. In the summer, we all sleep in. Big D and I might jog together. There might be some yard work or chores, but we try not to let it take too much of our time. We read, we play, we talk, we swim, we hang out with our kids. I don't blog. Big D doesn't email. Monday is my fun day!

That was how yesterday went. It was absolutely restful! And now it is Tuesday.

Just another manic Tuesday...

Friday, August 10, 2007

Friday Favorites

I think, starting today, I am going to make Friday my "Favorites" day on my blog. I may share a recipe, quote, book...we shall see and I hope you will enjoy a peak into things that qualify in my life as "highly regarded". And so here we go:

"Moderation in everything, even in moderation."

(I am not sure who to credit with this quote, but I believe it was a famous chef being interviewed on t.v. about perhaps a delectable dessert of chocolate. I was immediately struck by the simple insight found in that comment.)

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Motivated Running

This afternoon I put on my jogging clothes and headed out. As I did my warm up walking, I rehearsed in my brain all the reasons I run. For health reasons. Ok, but walking is still healthy. For the endorphins. That is a laugh...I wish I had the endorphin thing kick in even once but it hasn't at all!!! For the weight loss. That has been nice, but for all the months of running I have done I have lost only several pounds and not one change in my jean size. For the newly emerging muscles that have long lain dormant. I like 'em but still not enough motivation. To get away from the huge black flies that have picked up on the fact that a juicy warm person is in their vicinity. Yep! That was all I needed. Not only did I break into a pretty impressive jog, but I kept it up even after I left those flies in the dust because I knew that they were just biding their time, waiting patiently for their opportunity to annoy the tar out of me.

Big D. is home from work and he is heading out the door for his run. I told him if he wasn't motivated to run yet, he would be in about 3 minutes.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Dressing Up

I have never met a girl who doesn't love dressing up!

As a kid, my favorite outfit was a flowing mexican dress of black and silver. The skirt was absolutely fabulous for twirling! Just a few years later it was time for highschool banquets. And then during my college years I had the ultimate in dress up occasions--my very own wedding complete with gorgeous trailing dress and veil! For a little while I had a bit of a dress-up dry spell, and then like magic I had several friends ask me to be a bridesmaid. I agreed instantly, mostly because I loved them but also because I would get to wear long fancy dresses and strappy heels!

My girls are no different and they are really very creative. Some days they are spy girls and that is when the black boots and the hats come out. Other days they opt for the pathetic old west/frontier mom routine and they wear shawls and mother whole hordes of stuffed animals in their sod shanty. They have way more props then I ever did with all sorts of outfits and accessories that "work" for all different sorts of occasions. And when in doubt, they just improvise. For instance, my girls helped me make dinner the other night. We made stuffed ham and spinach pasta shells with a garlic white sauce--one of our favorites. So I tell them to go wash their hands and grab their aprons and a long 10 minutes later they show up ready to cook...wearing heels, makeup, hair done up high, and jewelry. Oh, and also their aprons. I was very impressed!

Well, I am off to make dinner...and to dig out my strappy heels and apron!

P.S. This would have been the perfect day to have posted a picture but I am still not there yet...just give me time!

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Family Dinner Insight

Sitting down to a family dinner is a big deal for us. It doesn't happen every night, especially in the school year, but we try and make it happen as often as possible. If too much time goes by without our time of connection, we have found that we all really miss it and get a little cranky with each other because we don't know what is going on in each others lives. The dinner table is where we get to know each other better.

A few weeks ago, we discovered something really cool, quite by accident, and because only 4 out of our 6 family members were gathered around a homecooked meal. Son M. and Big D. were missing.

As a side note, when Big D is gone it is real easy for me to announce that it is "cereal night" when the kids ask the inevitable "whuts fer dinner". And they are typically quite happy with that because it means there will be zero vegatables or fruits on the menu (unless you count Fruit Loops as a fruit, which my kids would) but anyways, please note that I had actually prepared a meal!

So there we are eating our meal and all is peaceful. No one burps. The lazy susan my dad made for us doesn't get spun around faster and faster so that all the food flies off. No complaints about the menu, miraculously. Things are going great! And then J. pipes up and says, "with M. and Dad missing, it sure is quiet at dinner time."

What a great observation!!

Our "conversators" were gone and we had eaten most of our meal in comparative silence. J.'s little insight was just what we needed to get the ball rolling. We had a fun conversation about how God had placed each person in our family with special gifts and unique talents and how important each of us was.

In our own little family we have a mover/shaker, a peacemaker, a thinker, a conversation starter, a drama queen, and a fun loving little butterfly. And that is only a part of each of the unique personalities represented! God is amazing!

Monday, August 6, 2007


It occurs to me that I may have friends and family and perhaps even complete strangers who would wonder/be concerned at my new hobby of gardening. It may not seem to be, well, ME. Here is a go at my explanation.

First Reason: though we love our house on the inside, it isn't the prettiest on the outside. We have a phenomonal view from our back deck and our front porch of wild flowers in the empty lot next door and then just beyond that you see sloping hills and the rich green of a farmland, and then surrounding that are a zigzag of woods. Not one house is in sight when looking west, north, or east! It is an amazing view from inside our 2 acres and looking out. But driving up towards the front of the house what you see is just a bit plain and in need of...gardening.

Reason B: I have embraced gardening as my new hobby because it is in my blood. My grandmothers on both sides gardened. I have sweet memories of visiting their homes and being awed by the lovely roses and old fashioned flower gardens placed in velvety green lawns. And my mother gardens mostly roses right now. Growing up we certainly had some flower gardens and she has aways had a great affinity with roses, but her main emphasis was a vegatable garden. Rows upon rows of corn, new potatoes, strawberries, tomatoes, green beans and a small orchard of apples and pears filled our table with yummy fresh food. There is NOTHING like new potatoes just dug from the dirt and slathered with butter and salt and pepper. Or tomatoes just off the vine!!

Reason 3: Having recently moved and having some extra time to invest in...something...I have picked up gardening and miraculously it is kind of working.

So basically, gardening was needed to up our house value, it is really pretty much genetic anyways, and I was bored and needed something to do. Problem is, I have always had a brown thumb with most of what I try to grow either dying or anything but flourishing. And it is really, really hard to enjoy something you really stink at!

Until now! I am finding gardening is working for me on several levels. I am not killing very many things, which is a huge confidence booster, but probably mainly due to the northern climate with more rain then is found in certain southern states (except this year apparently). It is healthy and fun to be able to work outside when it is not blistering hot, which it rarely is up here. And I am allowed to be creative! Creative in an arena that so obviously reveals God's awesome character and characteristics that whenever I garden I am inspired to think spiritual thoughts that are unforced and come effortlessly!

So that is my little insight into the current me and the why of my new hobby. You can stop wondering if I have a split personality with someone named Daisy who is 55 years old, wears a floppy pink hat, and who walks around with dirty fingernails muttering under her breath about manure and peat.

Friday, August 3, 2007

Biding my time...

To bide one's time is to wait patiently for an opportunity, so says Webster. The title of my blog came to me this morning as I thought through my upcoming year and the hint of wonderful new opportunities awaiting me.

I am not sure how consistently patient I have been, but for the past 16 years I have been biding my time. Please don't misunderstand me...I have enjoyed and loved being right where I was meant to be! The past decade and a half have been a whole series of opportunities! But starting this September I will have reached a serious milestone. I will not have a child in my home during the school day. I won't need to formulate, and then re-formulate lesson plans and field trips. I won't have to drag them with me on errands. I will have literally hours during the day that are kid-less.

I have to admit I have a strange mix of elation and apprehension at the opportunities that are just around the corner.

Do I get a job to earn some extra cash? Do I up my volunteer work at the church, and if so, in which capacity? How about the kids schools? The community? Do I actually become a conscientious housekeeper? Do I expand my culinary "efforts"? Do I start watching HGTV? Do I join the gym? Do I start to blog?

Thankfully, I am not at this milestone alone. I am reassured by Scripture that God has created me with a specific plan in mind and already has good works set out for me to do for His Glory. I commit here and now to patiently wait for Him to show me what those new opportunities are and to lean on Him for the accomplishment of them. I also have a loving and faithful husband who is looking forward to this new phase of life and encouraging me to embrace it. And I have some fun friends who are just a speed-dial or a blog away who share like interests and issues.

Reality is that this is just one milestone in my life. There are lots more ahead of me, which means lots of future opportunities opening up. Very exciting stuff!

Thanks for walking with me as I continue to bide my time.