Monday, December 31, 2007

New Years

New Years...it's always a mix of blessing and, well, not-so-blessed...

My first-born child, my only son, was born at 12:52 a.m. on January 1. We had to drag the doctor away from his New Year's Eve party to come to the hospital to deliver him. I'll never forget the nurses telling me not to push...the doctor will be here soon! I was already 2 1/2 weeks overdue, I missed out on my income tax deduction for 1981, I had to pay my insurance deductible for 1982 now...forget the doctor, I thought, I'm not waiting for him to be done partying! That was the best New Year's I've ever had.

Most, however, have been the other kind. My husband, self-employed business owner, stressing about year-end...working himself to a frazzle trying to get things wrapped up for one year before heading into the next...every. stinking. year. for the last almost 30 years. This year is no different. No coming home early. No spending extra time with the grandson, um, not to mention, the wife. These are the times when I hate being self-employed; when everyone else is getting off work early, and he's staying late, snapping every time the phone rings, the office staff swirling around him...he's busy! too much to do! year end!

bah humbug...oh wait, wrong holiday.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Brrrr!!!

I am freakishly cold today.
I cannot seem to warm up.
It could have something to do with the fact that it's raining ice outside and there's snow on the ground.
It could also have something to do with the fact that there are no blinds on the windows in my so-called "office".
I'd like to think it had to do with the fact that I've lost a million pounds and have no insulation on my body.
But that wouldn't quite be the truth.
I think it has more to do with the weather.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

It was a good day!

Today was SUCH a good day! I slept until 9:00, watched TV until 10:00, took a bath until 11:00 and then went out to lunch with my daughter. After that I came home, did some picking up around the house, started some laundry and got on the computer for a couple hours. I went to visit some friends in their brand, spanking, new house...(which is gorgeous and I absolutely love, Nancy!) then back home, did some more putzing around the kitchen and now I'm back online. I probably got more accomplished today than I do in a lot of days where I'm rushing and running around.

What made it such a good day? It was quiet. It was simple. There was no rushing, no pressure, nowhere I had to be and nothing I had to do. I'm wondering if it's possible to schedule such a day into my calendar once a week...just block out the whole day for me! Something to think about.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

blog suspended

So far this week:
*-my car broke down, was in the shop, and is now repaired.
*-i broke a tooth and have been to the dentist twice to get it fixed.
*-the painters showed up on monday and spent two days painting. i now have fresh paint in my living room/dining room, bathroom, family room, kitchen and breakfast nook
*-spent last Saturday doing shopping for my husband, who was in Bend, OR visiting his brother...which meant that my day to finish my shopping didn't happen
*-got the carpet cleaned in my family room

due to all of the above, i still haven't put up my Christmas tree, finished Christmas shopping, repositioned all of the furniture back into freshly-painted rooms or finished planning the menu for Christmas Eve dinner which is at my house. I also have four Christmas presents I need to finish making and a Christmas party to attend on Saturday. AND, of course, church on Sunday.

I am a wreck. I swore last year that I would not let another Christmas season come and go where I was stressed out and unable to enjoy it, and that is exactly what is happening. I don't know how I am going to get everything done, but somehow I will. This WILL NOT happen next year.

This blog is temporarily suspended until I have a life again. Whenever that may be. IF ever.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Reason for the Season

Is there a reason that the heater in your car breaks when it's COLD outside? I guess it would make sense that you don't use the heater when it's hot out...but seriously, it's COLD outside...and now, inside, too!

Is there a reason that the one time in the whole year your brother-in-law, who lives in Hawaii, comes to the mainland to visit his boys, who live in Bend, Oregon, a six-hour drive away, is the same weekend as your grandchildren's Christmas program at church, which you've shuttled them back and forth to Sunday School for practice for the last month, and promised them you would be at?

Is there a reason that the painter you have been waiting patiently for, for four months, finally has time to come and paint your family room, living room, kitchen and bathroom the week before Christmas, when you have twenty people coming to your house for dinner and you can't even set up your Christmas tree because it will be in the way and your sewing machine is set up on your desk, along with yards and yards of fabric, waiting to be made into Christmas gifts, and you have to clean it off and move your desk so the wall behind it can be painted and Christmas is only a week and a half away?

I must remember the reason for this season and not let these temporary inconveniences distract me. I love you Jesus.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

I'm back, somewhat!

I haven't posted in awhile. I've had lots of appointments and running around and changes happening in my life, again! Busy, busy, busy...too busy!

I don't have to be anywhere this morning until 11:00...dentist, yuck! Actually, I was SUPPOSED to be in Olympia at 8:30, but didn't make it on time and had to reschedule that appointment until this afternoon. All this running around, I hate it! I want to stay home.

On the bright side, I now have an hour to putz around my house. I'm cleaning and decluttering my desk, yet again! It seems to be a catchall for everything else that I don't know what to do with. Makes it kinda tough to get any sewing done when I can't find my sewing machine. Rumor has it that there are painters showing up here tomorrow and I'll have to move furniture...all the more reason to get my desk cleaned off!

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Wake up!


Proverbs 20:13 (The Message)

Don't be too fond of sleep; you'll end up in the poorhouse.
Wake up and get up; then there'll be food on the table.


My thoughts exactly.


Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Wild Weather

The last few days have brought us the most wild weather. I've read various reports showing our rainfall as being anywhere from 5-8.5 inches in the last two days. The wind was blowing gusts up to 50 mph and our power went out yesterday for about 7 or 8 hours. It took my son's girlfriend two hours to make the trip to work that normally takes her thirty minutes, because of a mudslide that closed the highway. All in all, it was a pretty darned excitin' day!

I pride myself on being fairly organized and prepared for whatever may come my way. I've often lectured my kids, telling them to be prepared "for when the big one hits!", and my daughter tells me every time, "We don't need to be, we'll just come to your house!"

I must say, however, that this time I wasn't so prepared. I always have a lot of food in the house, but yesterday was that quick grocery-shopping day...you know, where you need milk, bread, eggs, juice and a Diet Coke? All the stuff, well, maybe minus the DC, that people RUN to the store for when there's a looming power outage? Those people that I laugh and scoff at because I am ALWAYS ready for an emergency? Yea, well, I became one of them. Pitiful.

I DID have gas in my car. We always have water...there's a hot tub and a lake...both of which can be used to flush the toilets with...plus a hot water tank and a cold water holding tank, so water isn't an issue, and I always have at least a gallon of drinking water. I have cash, in the form of a jar I collect change in, and we can cook on the bbq. That is, when we have enough propane, which we were almost out of yesterday. We are also out of propane and firewood for our fireplaces, which left the house a bit chilly when the sun went down.

So, when the PUD originally said our power would be out for two days, I got a little frustrated with myself for my lack of planning, still I knew we would be fine. This wasn't a major emergency, and besides, our office had power and so did my daughter's house. BUT, if we did have a major earthquake or other disaster and didn't have power for a long time, things may have been quite different. I guess it was a good lesson learned.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Hawks

Way to go Hawks! It wasn't always pretty, but in the end they posted another W. We'll take it!
8-4 baby!
oh yea, how about that Lofa Tatupu? Did he have more yards than Alexander this week?

Friday, November 30, 2007

Good news/Bad news

I was working on cleaning my bathroom today, which is the job I most absolutely detest. The bus was coming to drop off McKenzie, so I hurriedly put the hand-held sprayer back into the slot by the bathtub, threw on my coat, shut the water off and ran outside. The bus dropped her off about 5-10 minutes later and we walked back into the house.

The bad news: I heard water running. It was coming from the kitchen; from a speaker in the ceiling. Not a place where water normally comes from.

The good news: We're planning on going to Seattle tomorrow for the weekend; a broken pipe and running water all weekend wouldn't be good.

I called my husband and he said to turn the breaker to the pump off and he'd be home soon. So I turned the breaker off, and got out a garbage can to collect the running water, and some towels to mop up the floor, countertop and cabinets that were soaked with water.

The bad news: We live in a two-story house, the kitchen is on the first floor.

The good news: The water flow seemed to subside after I turned the pump off.

My hubby came home from work, along with his brother, our all-around handy man, and pulled the speaker down from the ceiling, along with a bunch of soaking wet insulation. They got a lantern and a flashlight and peered into the kitchen ceiling/upstairs floor to see what they could see.

The good news: it wasn't a broken pipe, probably a broken drain pipe from my bathtub.

The bad news: They needed to cut a hole in the ceiling.

I protested...take the wood surround down from around the tub...please don't cut a hole in the sheetrock! Make sure that's what the problem is first! Oh, we have to, my hubby said. It's the ONLY way to dry out the sheetrock. I can repair it, his brother said...no big deal. Grrr...I've heard that one before.

The good news: it wasn't a broken drain...it was the water running out of the hand-held sprayer, which has a broken fitting, down under the tub. All they need to do to fix it is buy and install a new washer.

The bad news: I now have a hole in my kitchen ceiling.

The good news: It matches my messed up, wallpaper-free, need-texturing, need-painting walls, my water-damaged wood floors, and trashed-carpeted family room.

Christmas is how far away and how many people do I have coming over here?

Oh, and apparently, somehow I am to blame for this. After all, wasn't I the one using the sprayer to clean my bathtub? Remind me of that next time I decide to clean.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Project Runway

Does anyone else like to watch the show Project Runway? Now that we have cable again (that's another whole post) I sat and watched it for two hours last night...every show since the season started. Am I the only one that thinks some of those people are brilliant and some are just plain crazy? Some of the clothes they design and construct, in only a day or two, are stunningly beautiful to me, but some of them....oh my goodness! Still, I love the creativity of the designers. It's amazing and inspiring to me.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

awakenings

Several days ago an acquaintance of ours called to check on my husband after his knee surgery. She's not a close friend, just someone we know; a lady that my husband watches out for because she's had a rough go of it the last few years and is in really poor health. She lives in a travel trailer on the back of a piece of property that has a house in the front that another family, consisting of a mom, dad and four little girls, rents. I told her I hoped she'd had a good Thanksgiving. She said she had. She said that she had been hoping she would have enough money to buy a turkey, but she just hadn't been able to afford it, but it didn't matter. She said the parents of the girls both had to work, so the four little girls had come back to her trailer and stayed with her for the day and that she was just so happy not to be alone on Thanksgiving.

I was humbled. I had so many leftovers from Thanksgiving that my refrigerator was overflowing and here this woman, who I know, didn't have enough money to even buy a turkey. I wish I had known. There are people like her, each with their own story, all over my community. Each story is different, each unique; this woman had had a good job working for the Wash. State Dept. of Ecology, identifying and cleaning up hazardous chemical spills. Because of her constant exposure to toxic chemicals, she now has permanent lung damage. She also was involved in a horrific car accident, caused by the other driver, leaving her with permanent brain damage. In her late 40s, she is unable to work and survives on social security disability payments. She had a home she sold a few years ago because she couldn't afford to keep it, but the money she made from it was all spent by her ex-boyfriend, who took advantage of her mental confusion and eventually became physically abusive to her. She was given three months to live about seven years ago and told me that she's really not sure why she's still alive, but that God must have some reason.

In my lifetime, I've never know what it was to go hungry. I've never had to worry about having a roof over my head. And I've certainly never gone without a special dinner on the holidays. I feel a tugging at my heart to do something to help those in our community less fortunate than myself, but I struggle to know what form that help should take. I know I can't save the world, I just hope that I can make a difference in one person's life.

Monday, November 26, 2007

It works!

I bought oil for my sewing machine today. My hubby took the machine all apart and oiled it, put it back together and voila'!! it works great! That man is my hero!

Who would have guessed that you have to oil your sewing machine more than once every 23 years?

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Bella Boo


Bella came to hang out with Grandpa and Grandma tonight while her Mama, Papi, five sisters and brother, and three cousins went to the movies. My daughter and son-in-law are a glutton for punishment...or just love, love, love kids! I cherish the fact that I live so close to my children and grandchildren and can do these spur-of-the-moment fun times with them! Bella is a clown. She is such a fun baby to spend time with. She is the only baby I've ever seen that can actually make a walker go forward, not just backward! She loves any toy that lights up or makes noise and put some music on the stereo or computer and she dances away! She's chubby and happy and loved so much by all her siblings...she's just a joy to have around and I'm glad she came to see Nana and Grandpa tonight! :)

Saturday, November 24, 2007

The Day After

Friday. What is it some people call it..Black Friday? The day after Thanksgiving when the stores open at 4:00 a.m. or some other unGodly hour and people actually get up and go shopping? Are you kidding me?

My son's girlfriend went with her aunt and cousin this year, for the first time ever, and she said it was insane. They stood out in the cold and dark waiting for Circuit City to open so that her cousin could get a nano pod, and her aunt could get a fax machine. People were stealing stuff out of other people's carts and her aunt actually got hit in the face when someone got mad about something and threw, literally threw, an item.

Me, oh I figured I could go to the fabric store and all would be calm. I mean, really, it's JoAnn's right? Who could possibly want to go to JoAnn's when there's all that other Christmas shopping to do? Well, evidently, every person in a three county area that's ever even considered sewing. The "big" sale ended at noon and I got there at 11:30. All I wanted was some flannel, marked down from $5.99 to $.99 a yard, AND with the use of my 20% off coupon, leaving the final price at $.80 a yard, plus a few other odds and ends; possibly some more polar fleece. It was crazy. When I went in the door, I went immediately to the cutting counter and took my number...I09...the number they were on? G50 something...with 100 numbers in each letter category and the rest of the G's and all of the H's left to go, before we even reached the I's, that's over 150 people ahead of me! (Was that confusing?) Then, after your fabric is cut, you get into the line to pay, which wrapped 3/4 of the way around the store. There had to be at least 80-100 people or more in line, just to pay.

I almost left. I went back to my car, keys in hand, ready to leave...then thought about the $10 in gas I'd spent to get there and back, and decided I might as well stay and at least get my gas money back in savings. I was there for 2 1/2 hours and spent $60. I probably saved at least that much, so it was worth it. And, once I adjusted my attitude, it was actually really fun. I got a lot of fabric that I needed, and some craft items, too, most of which were 50% off. I came home and started to work on a sewing project I'm working on for a Christmas gift, at which time my sewing machine promptly died.

Argh.

**EDITED TO ADD: I forgot to mention, after I paid for my purchases, I realized they had neglected to give me the marked down price on the flannel and I then had to go stand in another line to get my refund!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

My Day

Today has been a busy and decidedly "different" kind of day for me. So far I:

1. Went to Evergreen Elementary School and watched my grandson, Josiah, run his first ever race...and WIN! Yes, he is the first grade Turkey Trot champion! Oh, such memories it brought back of watching his Uncle D, our son, run in XC and track races, year after year! He was grinning from ear to ear after he finished. (He did tell his mom yesterday not to buy a turkey, because he was going to win her one today!)

2. Took my husband to Olympia to have knee surgery. He went into pre-op at 11:15, surgery at 12:15, back out at 1:15 and on the road home by 2:00. Amazing efficiency!

3. Have two pies in the oven for Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow, and a list of things to do to get ready for our feast. Although it will be a pretty low-key event, given that I have to take care of the hubby for the next 2-3 days. I think this surgery thing is going to be harder for me, than for him...all he has to do is lay in his recliner and watch TV!

Happy Thanksgiving to one and all!

All together at last!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Gluten-free living

Some things I've noticed about eating gluten-free:
1. My hip no longer hurts, at all.
2. I have more energy.
3. I've lost two more pounds, for a grand total of 8, so far.
4. I WANT BREAD.
5. I WANT COOKIES.
6. I am more conscious about what I eat.
7. I feel a mental and emotional "fog" beginning to lift.

I know there are gluten-free recipes out there for bread and cookies, etc., but I have yet to find the time to explore that area. My doctor says that I should eat whole, unprocessed foods...pretty much meaning meat, eggs, fruit, veggies and nuts.

This is hard, very hard. But, judging from the way I'm starting to feel, worth every bit of it.

Friday, November 16, 2007

It's that time of year again!

Yesterday I went for my annual checkup. Fun? Not so much. Informative? Very!

I've had pain in my joints, particularly my right hip for years. My family doctor diagnosed it as tendinitis, same thing I've had in my elbow and my shoulder. For the last four weeks I've been going to physical therapy for it, and although it feels a little better, it's certainly not "cured". When I went in for my checkup yesterday, I mentioned my hip problem to the doctor's assistant, who was doing my pre-exam history, etc. It just so happened that she is a dietitian. After explaining all my symptoms to her, she told me I'm probably gluten intolerant and that I should be eating gluten-free. This is something my doctor recommended, also.

She also recommended a book to me, UltraMetabolism, by Dr. Mark Hyman, which I stopped and purchased at Barnes and Noble on my way home. After reading the first couple of chapters in the book last night and doing some research of my own on the internet, I've decided it's something I need to try. So, today is my first day of the introductory phase outlined in the book. This phase lasts one week, then I go on to Phase 1 and then Phase 2, which actually is supposed to last the rest of your life.

I have no idea how this is going to fit in with Weight Watchers, but I have a feeling I may need to drop that whole program; it remains to be seen. I know this is going to be very, very challenging for me. I have so much to learn and so many changes to make in my diet and eating habits, but my hope is that it will make me feel better and my joint pain and general achiness will go away. If it does, then it'll all be worth it!
I'm just wondering, though, are french fries gluten free?

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Library

Last night I went to the library. Have I mentioned how much I love the library? I remember when I was a kid riding my bike to the library, which was really just one small, dark room with no windows and shelves along the walls up as high as I could reach. There was a desk that the librarian sat at and I loved the little stamps she used, especially the date stamp that you had to change every day to show the date the books were due back. I wished many a time that I could work at that library. To be able to spend my time sitting and reading books and helping other people find books to read, too...ah, what a great job!

At times I would forget to return my library books, and there were always fines to be paid. After a couple of times of paying late fines, I realized that if I just kept the books long enough; say, several months, the librarian would feel sorry for me and not charge me a fine at all! The only problem with this plan, was that I couldn't return to the library to check out any other books, until I returned the ones that were already overdue!

So, last night a book that I had ordered a couple months ago came in, and I went and picked it up. On my way out the door, I browsed through the "free magazine" box and (jackpot!) found several Country Living magazines, just waiting for me to pick them up and take them home! Thank you whoever left them there!

Have I said how much I love the library? If they only had chairs as comfortable as Barnes and Noble!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

But still...

Isaiah 41:10 (NIV)

10 So do not fear, for I am with you;
do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.


It's hard not to be afraid sometimes. I'm nervous today. I have no control over events transpiring in my life. I know that God is in control. I've felt a peace the last couple of weeks that I have never known before.
But still...

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Whew...

I decided to take a day off from Weight Watchers today. No counting points, no logging what I've eaten; just a day to eat whatever I want, whenever I want it. I've begun to feel very oppressed by this whole thing, like I'm being punished or something, rather than learning to eat better. There is no meeting tonight because the facility we use is being used by another civic organization in town all week long. So, I weighed myself this morning, unofficially, and my weight is exactly the same as it was last week. So far today I've eaten a bacon, egg and cheese biscuit at McDonalds, a bagel with cream cheese, some chips and salsa, and a couple pieces of candy. Nothing outrageous...it was just so nice not to have to count out 12 chips and measure out a tablespoon of cream cheese. Ironically, I'm still on track to stay under the amount of points I'm allowed per day. Go figure.

Monday, November 12, 2007

football!

I haven't had much to write about lately, but I saw this and just had to post it:





Friday, November 9, 2007

Who'da thunk?

Saw this quiz thingy on A Place of Quiet Rest...who'da thunk I was this smart?

cash advance

oh, and I'm also rated "G"...saw that quiz on another blog, can't remember where though...
maybe I'm not so smart after all!

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Don't count your chickens before they're hatched...

I was pretty excited last week because I knew that my husband's payday was Monday AND my payday for babysitting for last month was this week. That meant EXTRA money to go Christmas shopping with! Then Thursday night rolled around, and as always, the unexpected. My son threw his back out, AND came down with a horrible toothache. He had gone to the dentist several weeks ago and had been told he had to have his wisdom teeth taken out. He chose to forgo that advice "until they bothered him". Well, it only took a few weeks and one of them started bothering him. This tooth was partially through the gums, and coming in straight. Evidently, though, it was horribly abscessed. By Friday morning, he couldn't even open his mouth, he was in so much pain. Combine that with his back and the poor guy could hardly see straight, much less stand up straight! I called one of the referrals he had been given and they informed me they were an orthodontist and didn't pull wisdom teeth. Before I could call the other one, my daughter reminded me of the dentist she had gone to in town, who had pulled two of her wisdom teeth. I called them and they happened to have a no-show and said to bring him straight in to their office. An hour and a half and $575 later and the wisdom tooth was no more! Emergency visit...extraction...stitches...I guess it all adds up. What can I say? Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

WW Update

I weighed in last night at Weight Watchers at the end of Week 2. The result? I lost 1.6 lbs. this week for a grand total so far of 5.2 lbs. Even better news is that I had to toss an article of clothing because it was too big, AND, I was able to pull a really nice black polar fleece 3/4 zip pullover out of my "too small" side of the closet and wear it! It's now residing in the "fits me now!" side. It still seems much harder to stay on program this time than it did the first time I went to Weight Watchers, but I'm using the fact that a dozen different people from my church read my blog and know what I'm doing as an accountability tool!

Some of my new healthy eating habits are rubbing off on my son, too. He's been watching me and trying to eat more moderate portions and better foods, and that's an awesome thing! I still have a long ways to go to get to my goal, but I'm a pound closer now!

Monday, November 5, 2007

Thanksgiving plans

So my hubby found out today that he has a torn meniscus and has to have knee surgery. He had his choice of two different days to schedule surgery, November 21st, OR next February. Because his $1000 deductible for the year is met on his insurance and because he's not interested in hobbling around on a bad knee for four more months, he's opted to have the surgery on the 21st. So, it looks like we'll have a quiet Thanksgiving at home this year, as the 21st is the day before Thanksgiving! Guess that answers the question of what we'll be doing this year. Hopefully I'll be able to cook a turkey and all the trimmings and take care of him, too!

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Christmas


Anyone else starting to freak out about the fact that Christmas is less than two months away?

Friday, November 2, 2007

Things on my mind tonight...

1. I'm tired of worrying. I want a normal life, not one filled with court dates and drama and stress to the point where that's become normal, because it isn't.

2. I sometimes think that people work too hard at Christianity. I keep hearing and reading about how the church is doing this wrong or that wrong, and this philosophy or that theology or whatever. Isn't it just about believing? I'm a sinner. God loves me so much he died for me. I believe it and accept it. What's so hard about that?

3. I want to live in the country. On lots of acres. With a garden. And maybe even a horse. With a house in the middle where I can't hear traffic, especially police sirens, cause they freak me out.

4. I want to live where more often than not it's sunny and I can plan an outdoor activity and the majority of the time be able to do it.

5. I've come to realize just how extremely important my family is to me. Nothing makes me happier than having my kids and grandkids all here, even if it's just to carve pumpkins.

6. I'm very tired and need to go to bed early.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Done.

I did it. I finally finished scraping the wallpaper off my kitchen walls. It may seem that this shouldn't have been such a big job, but it was. I decided to wallpaper the kitchen when we had our house built some fifteen years ago. The man we hired to hang the paper used a bit of overkill in the job. Although the paper was pre-pasted and only should have needed water to hang it with, he decided to go ahead and paste it again, just to make sure it didn't come down. I watched as he applied gallon after gallon of paste to the back of strip after strip of wallpaper, thinking all the while to myself, "Wow, that's going to be hard to take down some day!"

I was right. It was glued onto the kitchen walls like concrete. Typically, you can pull the top layer of wallpaper off strip by strip. Not so much in my kitchen. The biggest strip I ever pulled off in one piece was about 6" x 8"; most pieces were about 1" x 2". I tried just about everything anyone recommended and nothing helped. The easiest thing I found was to just drench the paper in hot water, let it soak for a good 5 minutes and start scraping. It's taken me about 3 months of working at a slow and steady pace to get the entire kitchen and breakfast nook done. Now I begin the task of repairing the sheetrock that was underneath the paper, but I must say, it feels really good to finally have accomplished a task I've been laboring at for so long!

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

I hate trying to lose weight!

Pictures like this do not help me whatsoever!

WW1 (Weight Watchers Week 1)

Yesterday was weigh-in day at Weight Watchers after my first week. I'll admit I was a bit nervous. I stayed on program all week, but was only able to do a slight bit of exercise as my hip is absolutely killing me. I starved all week. I don't remember this program being this difficult last time, and, frankly, I think that's because it wasn't. The program has changed since the first time I went on it and I don't get to eat as much daily...although there's a weekly "allowance" of extra points you can choose to use or not use. I tried not to use them, which is probably not going to happen again, because if I'm this hungry every week, I'm not going to last very long on this. I decided, instead, to divide my 35 bonus points up over the seven days in a week, and give myself an extra five points a day. It may slow my weight loss down, but if it keeps me on program and losing weight, it'll be okay.

So? The results...I lost 3.6 pounds. Seems rather anti-climactic. It's a long journey, that begins with a single step...er, pound, I know. But, somehow, I thought that I would have lost over five pounds, as hungry as I was all week.

So I had to rethink this whole thing. I'm not going to be able to lose the weight fast, I have to realize that. It's a process, a journey, as I said before, and if I can lose something, ANYTHING, week to week, I'll be headed in the right direction. I turn fifty next summer, and I intend to look fabulous! (Just call me Oprah. Well, okay, don't.)

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Something to be thankful for...


Last night I was able to visit with my four granddaughters again; my daughter's step-daughters. Although it was only for fifteen minutes, each and every minute was fun, treasured, and appreciated. All four of the girls greeted me with big smiles and a "Hi Grandma!" It was bittersweet when their mom came to pick them up and they had to leave. They clung to their Papi, "Please let me go home with you, Papi!" They gave me hugs and kisses and said "Goodby Grandma! I love you!" Definitely something to be thankful for.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Not Buying It

I finished reading "Not Buying It, My Year Without Shopping" for the second time a couple weeks ago. It's an interesting book written by author Judith Levine about the year she spent attempting to not make any new purchases with the exception of "necessities". In the author's words, "it's the confessions of a woman any reader can identify with: someone who can't live without French roast coffee or SmartWool socks but who has had it up to here with overconsumption and its effects on the earth and everyone who dwells there."

Although I found the author's political and religious viewpoints pretty much the extreme opposite of my own, and had to work hard to look past them, I still enjoyed the book enough to read it twice. She and her mate's views and attempts at defining what is a necessity and what is a luxury are humorous, yet give the reader much to think about. Are Q-tips a necessity? They have a diabetic cat which requires insulin...a total necessity in their eyes; to me, who even needs the cat?

No Impact Man has taken on a similar experiment, choosing to only purchase socks, replacement shoes, and under garments new for an entire year. The Compact, a movement begun in the San Francisco area, also has a similar goal. It's an interesting experiment, one which I might like to try some day, although I believe the author had more luck bringing her mate on board with the idea than I would.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Random Ramblings

I went to REI today while the hubby went to Fife and got new cables for the headsets on our motorcycle helmets. I found THE most awesome, comfortable shoes which I didn't buy, but intend to, next payday. I'm justifying the expense because my doctor says I need better footwear.

I need better footwear because I have tendinitis in my hip. Actually, this hip has bothered me for years. Yep, years. It's gotten so bad lately that I can't walk or do any exercise without it really, really bothering me. Now, after just about paying off my physical therapy bill for the tendinitis I had in my elbow, I get to start more physical therapy. The good news is I've paid the deductible on my health insurance. The bad news is it's the end of October. Hopefully, I'll be done with physical therapy by January 1.

I seem to have an issue with 'itis's...as in tendinitis in my shoulder, elbow, hip...I guess it's an inflammation issue. I'm doing some reading on changing my diet to try to eliminate it. We'll see if it helps.

Tonight we went to see the movie Dan in Real Life. Basically, I loved it. It was sweet and funny and just an all around good movie. No one got shot. Nothing got blown up. Some might call it a chic flick...I just thought it was a good "date movie". I especially liked the music.

I went and looked at a house the other day. (The day I got the ticket, which is where I was headed when I got pulled over.) Can't believe I actually went and looked at a house that was for sale. The house was nice: 2000 sq. ft. give or take, on two acres, but LOUD. It was just off the main road and every logging truck that went by hit the brakes on the corner and you could hear all the traffic. Exactly what I don't want. My hubby says he'll never move into a house that's already built. If we want to move, it has to be into a house we have built for ourselves. I know it's only because he has to have his "media room". I don't really want to sell my house, but if I could find something that was nice on some acreage, I might consider it.

Finally, we closed at the laundromat tonight for my daughter so she and her hubby could go "out". Their first date in almost a year. A misunderstanding over who was supposed to work ended up with no one showing up, so, being the manager, it was left to my daughter to go in and cover the closing shift. She was so disappointed after having found babysitters for all three kids and having planned this night out, so the hubby and I offered to go in when we got home from our movie. It was fun, but hard work. I never realized how long it takes to clean washers and dryers. Got a little freaked out over the guy sleeping in his car in the parking lot, but around 10:00 an apparent friend of his showed up with a beer in his hand, climbed into the car, and drove off.

I am so happy at the weather this week. It's been gorgeous out. Chilly, but oh so sunny. Perfect autumn weather. The leaves are changing and the neighbors have been having fires in their fireplaces. I love, love, love this time of year!

Friday, October 26, 2007

Grandma H.

My grandma never wore pants. She always wore "house dresses" with an apron over top and usually a pair of slippers. My mom told me a story once about my grandma that makes me smile every time I think about it. It was snowy and cold outside and my grandma put on a pair of my grandpa's overalls to go outside, I think to hang out the laundry, and the preacher came to visit. She was so mortified at being seen in my grandpa's overalls by the preacher, that she never wore another pair again, ever. I remember grandma having two "good" dresses. One was black and the other a silvery blue suit. If I remember right the suit was bought for her and my grandpa's golden wedding anniversary party. The black one was worn to church and funerals, the blue one to weddings. I don't really recall my grandma ever leaving the house very much. My mom or my aunts brought most of their groceries to their house after my grandpa retired. Grandma was always putzing around in the kitchen, baking bread, or cooking. Noon time was the big meal, "dinner", and as many relatives as were around would come to their house and gather 'round the big square table in the kitchen and eat. The youngest grandchild always had the seat of honor next to Grandpa and at least once a meal he would manage to pass the butter to someone in such a way that they stuck their finger in it. My grandpa died when I was 18 and my grandma when I was 23. They never knew my kids, nor my grandkids. I think about them often and hope they look down on me and watch over my family. I miss them a lot.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Note to self

Never, ever, ever, ever ever! put up wallpaper ever again!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Weight Watchers

Last night I started Weight Watchers. Well, let me rephrase that...I joined Weight Watchers, after which I promptly came home, bbq'd a steak and made a great, big, green salad smothered in ranch dressing. It was SO good! Today I started Weight Watchers.

I initially joined Weight Watchers six years ago and lost almost 35 pounds. I followed the program faithfully, and once I was to goal and became a lifetime member, I was asked to join the staff at our local meeting. In hindsight, it was probably a mistake. I no longer attended the meetings and the pounds started creeping back on. Within a year I had gained back about ten pounds. Eventually I went to work at another job and quit my Weight Watchers job. Now, six years later, I weigh more than I ever have in my life, even when I was pregnant. I'm not real happy about that.

So, once again, I'm trying to make some changes in my life that will be to my lasting benefit. (Lasting, that's the key word here.) It hasn't been an easy start. After that huge meal last night I woke up feeling puffy and achy and just generally lousy. I did good today, though, and stayed on program and right on my "points" target. I'm a little hungry, but I'm going to bed early, so I'll be fine. This isn't going to be easy, but I keep telling myself I have to do it, for my health. Maybe someday I'll even post "before" and "after" photos.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

just dandy...

I got a speeding ticket yesterday.
Just dandy.
In 33 years of driving I've gotten two tickets, including the one I got yesterday.
Lame.
A state trooper, driving on the Matlock Rd.; doesn't he have anything better to do, like patrol the highways? hello? He's a highway patrolman!
Almost as dumb as the article in the local fish wrap about the sheriff deputy sitting on a logging road because people had been dumping garbage there.
Huh?
Someone used our rental truck to rob a local farm store, they have it on camera, and the sheriff's department is too busy to do anything about it, but they can sit on a logging road in case someone happens to come along to dump some garbage.
Oh my gosh.
Taxpayer's dollars at work.
The trooper said I was going 60, my speedometer said I was going 51 or 52, seriously.
I thought the speed limit was 50. It was 45.
The first time I got a ticket, I cried.
This time I got mad.
I argued with him.
I don't think it helped.
But he did write it for going 50 in a 45.
So maybe it did.
Whatever.
It's still gonna cost me $98.
How dumb.
I try to obey the law and this is what I get for it.
and what is it with cops...are they all trained to be rude?

Monday, October 22, 2007

Done, at last!!!

You may have noticed that something on my blog has changed. That's right...my to-do list! Last weekend, while I was out of town, my hubby finally installed our laundry tub in the laundry room and now my laundry room is finished, at last! He did an awesome job with the caulking, which I feared would end up a mess, and it looks so professional. The new faucet is really nice, much better than our old one, but best of all is the fact that I finally got to cross that job off my to-do list!

Now it's time to finish scraping the wallpaper in the kitchen.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

I purged...

my closet, that is. And it was ridiculously painful. I'm getting rid of the clothes I own that I don't like. Not the ones that don't fit, just ones I don't like. What was painful was thinking about the amount of money I spent on all of those clothes. The really ridiculous thing is that I have more clothes left that don't fit me, than those that do. Weight Watchers, Tuesday night, I'll be there.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

I think sometimes that blog postings can make our life appear rosy and perfect, when they aren't. My post yesterday wasn't intended to make anyone feel bad, especially my dear, sweet daughter. It's just that this week was an especially hard week for me.

Most of my adult life I've been a stay-at-home mom. It wasn't always an easy choice. I have often wondered why God gave me the desire to work, when I've always felt his calling on my life was to stay home and raise kids. All around me my friends are working, most of them at really interesting, challenging jobs that leave them feeling fulfilled and valued. At nearly fifty years old, I often think I missed the boat somewhere.

I truly think that being a stay-at-home Mom is one of the hardest jobs in the world. There's no one to pat you on the back and say, good job! You changed three poopy diapers today! Way to go! You're such an awesome mom, you changed the baby's clothes twice today after she spit up all over them, and you! No one gives you a pay raise for doing a particularly good job, or just because another year has rolled around. This isn't meant to be a put down of women who work outside the home. Staying home and raising kids was a choice I made, for me. It was what was right for my family, and in no way do I think I am capable of, nor do I have the right, to say what is right for anyone else's family. One lesson life has taught me the last few years, however, is that nothing in life is certain. One minute you can be on top of the world and have everything you ever wanted, and the next minute it can all be gone, in the blink of an eye. I want to cherish every moment I can with my kids and grandkids. I don't ever want to look back and wish that I'd spent more time with my family.

It's just, like I said, that this week was a hard week. The grandbaby is sick and teething, and she cried all week. (Like Jeremy said, no fun at all.) I love watching my grandkids and spending time with them, but I'm not their mom and I'm not young, like she is. When the baby cries a lot, I can't comfort her the way her mom can. I get frazzled and tired, and by 5:30 Friday night I was done in. Twelve hours of sleep last night and a day out with my hubby has made a big difference in my attitude. Another twelve hours of sleep tonight, church and a nap tomorrow, and (hopefully) getting my hair done Monday, and I'll probably be a whole new person. Or maybe, just the old me. :)

Friday, October 19, 2007

My week

My week=baby crying, crying, crying, crying, crying, crying, crying...well, you get the picture. :(

My closet

I've been thinking a lot lately about clothes. I have a closet full of clothes, most of which I don't wear. Some of which don't fit, some of which are out of season (winter/summer), some of which I don't particularly like, but which are still in good condition, and some of which I just really don't need. I also have a rubbermaid tub full of clothes that are mostly too small. Most of them are in really good shape, because they were only worn a few times (!), and I don't want to get rid of them, just in case they ever fit again.

A while back I came across a blog called Little Brown Dress. The author designed and sewed herself a brown dress which she wore EVERY DAY for a year, with various accessories to mix things up a bit...a shirt underneath, tights, a sweater over the top, you get the picture. She found it liberating to not have to dig through a myriad of clothing to decide what to wear.

Our laundromat offers drop off laundry service. People can drop off their dirty clothes and we wash, dry, fold and bag the clothing, charge by the pound, and it's ready to be picked up later that day. We have several regular customers, mostly single men who don't like to do laundry. My daughter, who is the manager, was telling me last week about one of our customers who comes in once a week and always drops off the same clothing: six pairs of pants, six pairs of socks, six pairs of underwear, and six shirts. It's his laundry for the week, and I guess it's all he owns, plus the outfit he's wearing. She says it's the same thing, every week. Now how easy does that sound? Kinda reminds me of the underwear you can get with Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday...etc. printed on them.

Although I'm not looking to go to those extremes, I'm thinking that it's time to clean my closet. Do I really need to keep all of those clothes that don't fit? Do I really need to keep all of the clothes hanging in my closet that I don't really even like? I tend to be fairly neat and organized, and usually I keep my closet the same way, but, I think maybe it's time for a purge.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Laundry


The other day I wrote about ironing. Today it's laundry. I love doing laundry. Weird, I know, but there's something about doing laundry that I just really love. I hate cleaning bathrooms. I hate doing dishes. But I love doing the laundry. Especially when I can hang the clothes outside to dry. I actually don't even have a clothes line, but in the summer I lay my wet clothes out on the top of the hot tub, across the backs of lawn chairs and along the wooden benches lining our back patio. The hubby doesn't really like crispy towels, but whatever!

When the kids were small, my hubby used to try and help me out once in awhile by doing the laundry for me. It just drove me crazy. Everything would get crammed into the machine and nothing would be sorted. Pockets wouldn't be checked, and socks would go into the machine inside out. I always told him I appreciated the help, but if he really wanted to help me there were plenty of other things he could do, just leave the laundry to me!

When I was a kid and we lived in Iowa, my grandparents lived in an old house in town. I would estimate that the house was probably 100 years old. There was a basement, like most houses in the Midwest have, and if memory serves me right, it was made out of stone and was white-washed. (Do I remember right, Dad?) Anyways, my grandma had a wringer washing machine and I used to love to help do the laundry, although that only happened on rare occasions. She would fill up one of the big tubs and put the dirty clothes and soap in it and it would churn around and around washing the clothes. Then she would turn on the ringer and we would run the clothes through the ringer into the other tub, filled with rinse water. Again it would agitate and bounce around, rinsing the soap out of the clothes, and then the process would repeat itself...back through the ringer and into an empty tub. I don't think my grandma ever had a dryer. It seems like all of her laundry got hung out on the clothesline, summer or winter.

I have a really nice front load Maytag washer and dryer. They're really good machines and I really like them, but sometimes I think it would be fun to have a wringer washer like my grandma had.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Stupid is a mean word!

Last week McKenzie and I went to see the movie "Game Plan". I was pleasantly surprised and really enjoyed it. One of the lines in the movie I liked the most was when the little girl would say "Stupid is a mean word!". Reminds me of a rule we always had in our house when the kids were growing up...they were never allowed to call someone stupid. I liked that rule.

The only thing I didn't like about the movie...well, Disney seems to have a recurring theme throughout most of it's movies and I'm really not sure why...don't want to spoil this one, but if you see it, you'll know what I'm talking about. Someone really needs to have a talk with Disney.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Random thoughts...

Random thoughts...

1. I don't feel good. I felt "icky" Sunday night when I got home and I had trouble falling asleep. I finally went to bed around 1:00 a.m., unusual for me.
I was okay yesterday, but woke up this morning at 5:45 a.m. and again, feel "icky"...you know, foggy head, upset stomach, kinda dizzy, slight headache...not sure what's up with that.

2. Does anyone know anything about pruning roses in the northwest? Are they supposed to be cut back this time of year? Our rose bed has been neglected for so long, half the rose bushes are dead, the other half look awful. I think they're supposed to be cut back in the fall, but I don't really know.

3. The neighbors sprayed the morning glories on our joint property line and in the process half-killed several of our lilac bushes and a tree. I'm hoping they come back but not keeping my fingers crossed.

4. I love the northwest but wish it didn't rain so much. We were planning on going to Seattle to go out on a sailboat this Saturday and it's supposed to rain. Not my idea of fun. It would sure be nice to be able to plan an outing and at least have a good chance of having nice weather.

5. Pumpkin patch. Again. Mud. Yuck.

6. Our son is tearing down an old house on a piece of property for us. Rain. Mud. Cold. Yuck.

7. Why is it that some of our employees think it's okay to spend five hours cruising Myspace rather than actually work?

Maybe I need to go back to bed.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Weekend away

I'm home. From a wonderful weekend AWAY. I journeyed two hours south of this little hell hole town to the big city of Portland last Thursday to attend the Women of Faith conference. This is the second year I've attended this conference and I just love it. I ended up staying an extra night and spent a beautiful, sunny Sunday wandering around downtown Portland's "Saturday Market", until my friend Susan's feet hurt so bad we finally HAD to leave. I didn't realize how relaxing the weekend was until I got home and found myself not-so-relaxed again.

The best part of the weekend? I laughed. and laughed. and laughed. like I hadn't laughed in over 3 years. Anita Renfroe was at the conference...you may remember her "mom song" that I posted a few weeks ago. I didn't know she was going to be at the conference and didn't even realize she was the one who did the "Mom Song" when she first started speaking. She is absolutely hysterical. I believe she's going to be on Good Morning America, or one of those morning shows, tomorrow morning, AND she's also filming a Dr. Phil episode this week. I intend to buy her books so I can keep on laughing.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Got beef?

We got beef. 1/4 beef, actually. 110 lbs. I figure there's enough beef in my freezer to last me for the next year: 25 pounds of hamburger, a dozen or more packages of t-bone steaks, a couple pot roasts, a dozen or more packages of sirloin steaks, some stew meat, and some rib steaks. YUM! all locally grown. After it was butchered and processed it averaged out to $2.96 lb. I can't even buy decent hamburger for that at the store anymore, and even better, it's locally raised. I'm trying to eat more "local" foods and less processed, prepackaged foods from outside the Pacific Northwest. Next year I even intend to grow a garden! It'll be nice to make some use of the greenhouse that's been sitting in our side yard for the last ten years; other than as a storage shed for the patio furniture! It feels good to have a freezer full of meat for the next year, supplement with some "grown in Washington" chicken, and maybe a few fish out of the local river, and we're good to go! (More on that fishing thing later!)

I'm off to Portland today to attend the Women of Faith Conference, and I am so excited about going; partly because I love the conference, partly because I love getting out of town, and partly because I enjoy getting to spend time with my girlfriends! I'm especially touched by the fact that my son is coming home from work for lunch, just so he can get a chance to tell me goodbye before I leave.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Kenzie


Monday morning my granddaughter was helping me dump the recycling.

"Grandma," she said, "I pray every night when I go to bed. "

"You do?" I asked. "That's good!"

"Yep," she said, "and I help my mom with her work. Don't work, don't eat...that's what the bible says, right Grandma?"

Ha! She does listen!


2 Thessalonians 3:10 (New International Version)

For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: "If a man will not work, he shall not eat."

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Toe Car


Has anyone else who lives in the same town I do noticed the little lime green electric car that's been running around lately? My granddaughter, McKenzie, and I saw it the other day as I was driving up Mt. View. It's so cute! Seriously! It has room for one person and it has two wheels in the front and one in the back. We deemed it the "toe car" cause it looks like a big, lime green, toe. After doing some research on the internet, I've decided it must be an NmG (as in No more Gas!) It's manufactured by the Myers Motors Company and sells for around $36,000 new. It's completely electric and can be plugged into a 110-volt outlet to recharge it. Imagine no more having to purchase gas...no carbon emissions...only $10 of electricity (in our town) will get you 1000 miles of driving and it can go at speeds of up to 75 mph. The website states that while it drives like a car, its considered to be a three-wheeled motorcycle. I wonder if that means, as in Washington state, that you don't have to have insurance on it? While you may not get to Seattle and back, it would sure be fun running errands around town in it. I'm not sure I could handle all the attention, though. I about threw my neck out trying to look at the little green toe car when it pulled out behind me the other day!

Monday, October 8, 2007

Learning...

I've been experimenting with some different formats and learning how to change things up a bit. Hope all my editing and reposting isn't driving everyone crazy!! Sorry about that...it's kinda like rearranging the living room furniture...you get it set one way and it's good for awhile, then, sooner or later, you just gotta change things around a little bit, or a lot!

Another rant

Why is it JC Penney's can spend a bajillion dollars remodeling their store, but can't afford to pay for more employees? The Penney's store in our local mall was just remodeled, and in the process they eliminated several customer service stands. I had to stand in line for ten minutes today to pay for two items, along with five other people waiting to purchase items. I can't imagine what it's going to be like at Christmas time. Ten minutes isn't really that long, except, you would think if they can remodel their store, they can afford to PAY people to work in the store. It probably wouldn't have taken nearly so long if one of the customers hadn't decided that she needed to save 15% by using her JCPenney's credit card, which she swore was in her name, but she didn't have with her. As it turns out, it was in her husband's name, so he had to come and show his i.d., then they realized it had been canceled, BUT (!) no problem (!) they'd just open another account. Simply fill out the application, show your i.d., AGAIN, and they'll make a quick phone call and get it all set up. Several weeks ago, I was there shopping for drapes. When I asked the lady at the desk in the drapery department for some help, she told me she only sold CUSTOM draperies, and I needed to find someone else to help me. I finally found someone in the bra department who pulled out a catalog and tried to help me. Furthermore, WHY does Penney's have a beauty salon? I mean, really, how often when you wanted to get your hair done have you said, Hmm..I know, I'll go to Penneys, I know SO many people who have gotten such GREAT haircuts there!

Maybe I'm just bitter after my experience with the bed.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Seahawks

Arghahghahghghghg!!!!!

have they EVER played SO BAD????

Sad

Today I am going to a memorial service. It's for a little girl, just 15 months old; the granddaughter of a dear friend of mine. This is the 7th time in the last 4 years that a friend of mine or my children has lost a child, ranging in age from 1 day to 28 years. It is impossible for me to understand the reason for all of this, it is also heartbreaking and terrifying. I don't want to go, but I'm going to go anyways. Because it's the right thing to do. Because I love my friend, and want to help in any way that I can, even if that's only just being there.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

The farm

When I was a little kid we lived in a very small town in Iowa. Durant, Iowa to be exact, population at the time: 1,500. Our high school had around 300 kids in it, 75 of whom were in the marching band. It was a town of mostly German immigrants and their descendants. My grandparents, having immigrated to the United States in the 1920s, were on their way to settle on the west coast and never made it past Iowa, if I remember the story correctly.

This small town is surrounded by farms and in school there was a mixture of farm kids and town kids. We lived in the middle of both worlds; living on a farm for awhile and eventually moving into town. Riding the school bus when we lived on the farm was an adventure...we would see the dust it kicked up long before we ever actually spotted the bus. My parents didn't actually own the farm, we just rented the house from the owner, who was retired, while his son farmed the land. Our walk to the end of the driveway was short and on cold, snowy days we could stand in the kitchen or living room and look out the window to watch for the bus. When we saw it down the road at the bottom of the hill leading to our house, we would grab our books and run out to catch it. We had it easy, though. Often times the farm houses were built down a "lane" off the main road and those kids had to walk/run what seemed like up to a quarter mile sometimes, in order to get to the end of their driveway to catch the bus. Maybe it wasn't as far as it seemed at the time, because we were little kids back then, but it sure seemed like some of those lanes were pretty long; especially in those cold, Iowa winters. Sometimes the moms would drive the kids to the end of their lanes and sit in their cars so the kids could stay warm until the school bus came. If you missed the bus and your mom or dad wasn't too busy, they could usually drive you down the next road and catch the bus at a neighboring farm.

Bill, our bus driver, was a little crazy and often flew by our house without slowing down, only to slam on his brakes as he would see us running out to the road. One of our neighbors had a St. Bernard that was deaf and partially blind. The dumb dog would run alongside the bus, but wasn't able to judge distance very well and was hit by the bus on more than one occasion. He would bounce off the side of the bus and take off running, only to be back the next day. It was a good, simple life for a kid. We only lived on that farm for a year, maybe two, but I loved it.



Psalm 65:9 (NIV)

You care for the land and water it;
you enrich it abundantly.
The streams of God are filled with water
to provide the people with grain,
for so you have ordained it.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Ironing

Does anybody iron anymore?
When I was a kid my mom taught me to iron by starting out with handkerchiefs.
From there, I moved on to pillow cases and sheets, and then, finally to shirts, pants, etc.
I distinctly remember my mom standing in the basement of our house in Wildwood, Illinois, shaking water from a bottle with a cork in the top, punctured with little holes, onto my Dad's shirts and pants, then rolling them up, and getting them ready to iron.
I've never really liked ironing very much and avoid it as much as possible, except when it comes to handkerchiefs. For some reason, I really like to iron my hankies and bandanas and sometimes I still iron my pillow cases. I leave the shirts to the cleaners most of the time, though. Light on the starch, please!

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Rant

WHY is it that my EX-son-in-law is in Mexico on vacation, for the 4th year in a row, while he owes my daughter over $8000 in back child support, which he refuses to pay. Coincidentally, she has not had a vacation in six years.

Someday

I wish I knew how to knit. It's one of those things on my "someday" list. I used to crochet, but I wasn't very good at it. It took so long to get anything made and nothing quite turned out the way it was supposed to. I see lots of blogs on the internet written by people that love to knit, and there's something about a pair of knitted socks that just looks so cozy!

I love to sew, but have had very little time the last decade or so! lol I bought my sewing machine over 23 years ago when my daughter was just a newborn baby. I sewed almost all of her little dresses. Lately I've been working on catching up some of my mending so my sewing machine has been getting some use, although not a lot. Still, it feels good to actually use it. I'm hoping now that I have all these grandbabies, maybe my machine will get used a lot more in the next few years. I even looked at new sewing machines at JoAnn's the other day...I kinda wonder if the feeling I had was anything like what my hubby feels when he looks at new electronics!

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Self-employment

My husband and I own several small businesses and we also have some real estate investments. We have purposely invested in several different businesses, rather than putting all of our eggs in one basket, so that should things go south in one area, we don't lose everything.

My husband has been self-employed for most of our married life, and while that has been a blessing for us, it's also made some things in our life difficult. We have only taken one two-week vacation in the entire time we've been married. We seldom get more than one week of vacation a year. We have only had two pay raises in the last fifteen years. We have had one income tax refund in approximately twenty-five years, which totaled about $60 if my memory serves me right; but, we've been audited three times. My husband works an average of 10-12 hours a day, down from his average of 16 hours a few years ago, and it's not unusual for him to have to go in to work on Saturday for a couple hours. We pay for all of our own health insurance, (plus our employees) and have not had dental or vision coverage since I quit working for the State of Washington twenty-five years ago, when I was pregnant with our first child.

My husband says he wouldn't have it any other way. After having been self-employed for twenty-six years, he says he could never work for anyone else. He loves being accountable to no one and making all of his own decisions. His office is literally just minutes from our home, and he always says if he had to commute he would go crazy.

I, on the other hand, often wonder what our life would have been like had he continued working for someone else. Our entire lives are wrapped up in our businesses. I would love to leave this town and move somewhere else, yet realistically that will probably never happen, as it would probably take years to divest ourselves of our business and real estate holdings. I long for a simple, peaceful, country life, free of the stress and drama in this small (I'd like to say God-forsaken) town, and I'm not sure that's ever going to happen. My hope is that perhaps some day we can both have what we want...my husband, his businesses, and me, a home in the country, somewhere away from this small-minded community.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Grateful

Things to be grateful for today:

1. I got to see my granddaughters! Well, 3 of the 4, anyway. The youngest was sick with the flu, which seems to be going around. After not having seen them since June and having a bad week of missing them terribly, I was thrilled that their mom let me see them today, even if it was for only fifteen minutes. Oh, how they've grown!

2. Making plans to attend the Women of Faith conference in Portland next weekend with some of my friends. Yea, for a weekend AWAY!

3. A spur-of-the-moment trip to Cash and Carry to get supplies for our laundromat. Seems silly, I know, but I always get excited when I get to be involved in our business.

4. Time spent with my son-in-law, talking while driving, giving me a much better insight into his life.


Psalm 107:1 (NIV)

Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever.

Simplicity

Last night was interesting. My son and a friend were at the house and wanted to watch a movie they had rented, along with my husband. It took no less than 20 minutes for my husband to get the movie started. All his new-fangled equipment made it so complicated and difficult to start the movie. I, in the meantime, went into our bedroom, popped a movie in the VCR, turned on the TV and went to bed. Took me a total of thirty seconds. Ha! Simplicity rules.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

I love the Seahawks!

They won and won big!

23-3!!!

I was half wrong, but I don't mind. Way to go hawks!! and thank you for not giving us heart failure this week!

'hawks vs. 49ers

On a lighter note...today the Seahawks play the 49ers. Both teams are 2-1. I'm picking the 'hawks, (of course!) by 1. (21-20)

Your predictions?

Update later!

Saturday, September 29, 2007

the girls


I have seven grandchildren. Six girls and one boy. Four of them are my daughter's step-daughters. They live in the same town that we do. In fact, they only live about two miles away from us, but I haven't seen them in months. Their mother won't allow us. I miss them so much. I don't know when, or if, I will ever see them again, and I miss them so much, it breaks my heart.

Friday, September 28, 2007

The Mom Song

You may have all seen this before, but it's so worth watching again! Enjoy!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Faith


The message says it like this: "The fundamental fact of existence is that this trust in God, this faith, is the firm foundation under everything that makes life worth living. It's our handle on what we can't see."

How do people who don't believe in God live in this crazy world? How do people who don't have faith, carry on? It's hard enough for those of us who do.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Bella Boo


Isabella's newest tricks:

1. pulling grandma's hair
2. hitting grandma in the face
3. sitting on grandma's lap and throwing herself backwards trying to break grandma's collar bone and rib cage in the process
4. getting into EVERY cord and piece of paper she can get her hands on and putting them in her mouth.
5. pulling the books and cards off grandpa's bookshelf
6. crawling to the brick hearth on the fireplace and trying to pull herself up on it.

Just found out #1 granddaughter has the stomach flu and threw up at Awanas. Great. Guess who her babysitter is? This is after #2 granddaughter, Isabella, has had the flu this week, too. Not to mention their mother and step-dad coming down with it today. I will not get sick. I will not get sick. I will not get sick.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Made in China

Thursday I went to the library and picked up "A Year Without 'Made In China'", the book I had reserved quite some time ago. I finished reading it Sunday night. It was a quick read and I really liked it. Although I found myself questioning some of the shopping habits of the author, the book was humorous and eye-opening. I mean, in my opinion, it probably wasn't the best idea for the author and her husband to take their two small children to Target to go shopping for Halloween decorations, honestly thinking that it wasn't going to be a problem that they weren't buying anything "made in China".

My hubby and I started checking labels on some items we needed to purchase Saturday and almost 100% of the things we looked at were made in China. Even the Fiskars blade to my rotary cutter, which I needed to replace and figured was from some Scandinavian country, was made in China. When we got home, I checked out the labels on a couple of other purchases I had recently made for my granddaughter for her birthday and for Christmas. The result...one made in Hong Kong, one in the Philippines, and one in the good old U.S. of A.!

Now don't get me wrong, I have nothing against China or it's people. I admire the diligence and ingenuity that has brought them to the position in the business world they are at. However, I am becoming more aware of the way our country is becoming more and more dependent on foreign countries, of the U. S. jobs that are being lost to other countries, and of the impact on our environment that mass imports are causing, not to mention concern for the labor conditions in other countries that can enable goods to be manufactured, marketed and exported at such low prices. To be honest, it's an issue I've never thought of before now. I'm glad I found this book and read it and I can definitely say from now on I will be much more careful of what I'm purchasing. Although I don't intend to boycott China as the author, Sara Bongiorni, and her family did, I do intend to look more diligently for the "Made in USA" label. I realize I'm only one person, but I firmly believe that one person can make a difference in our world.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Update on the laundry tub situation

Okay, today my dear, sweet hubby took the tub back out of the cabinet and took it to work to find a saw to cut those two little knobby things off the front. Let's hope we can wiggle it back into place when he brings it back home.

On Saturday we went to Home Depot and got a new faucet for the tub, only to find out when we got home that it wasn't going to fit. :(

BUT, progress is being made, that's a good thing! My hope is that the hubby will bring the sink home with him and actually be able to install it into the cabinet permanently, minus the faucet. I'm thinking a trip to Home Depot may be in order tomorrow to get a new faucet. Keeping my fingers crossed!

In the meantime, I'm still scraping on the kitchen wallpaper.
Yes, the Seahawks won!

Would it be possible for them to do convincingly next time?

My daughter (with the heart condition) says she's going to take up watching tennis or golf from now on.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

new toys

My hubby bought a new toy. and I object.
As I've spoken about before, we have what is commonly referred to as a "bonus room".
this room is basically a small movie theater.
it has a 10' big screen projector tv. (yes, ten FEET)
it has three levels of floor, for your viewing pleasure.
it has black leather, recliner theater seats (with cup holders!)
it has butt-thumper speakers.
it has surround sound.
it has a VCR and a DVD player
it has a DVD changer that holds 400 movies, (yes, 400!)
it has a Wii game hooked up to the big screen
it has...well, you get the picture

up until this point all of our movies were listed on paper in alphabetical order. want to watch a movie, look it up on the movie list. buy new movies? update the list, print out a new one. easy, right?

nope, not to my hubby, mr. technology! he didn't like the paper list. he didn't like having to print a new list every couple of months to add the new movies to it.

i don't know what the new toy is called, let's just refer to it as the black box, shall we? want to watch a movie? follow these steps...

make sure the universal remote is on "Main"
turn on the power
push the dvd button
wait..give it time to warm up
the movie listing will come up..it's divided into genres...animated, comedy, etc.
scroll down thru the movies
find what you want
push the center button
voila, it plays!

want to take a movie out and play it on another dvd player? find the slot number on the list, wait unti it loads, push the open button, push the eject button and out it pops. Need to put the DVD back into the black box? Go thru the whole process all over again.

I'm looking for simple. This ain't it. Whatever happened to just finding the movie you want, taking it out of the case, popping it into the DVD and pushing the play button? That's simple.

p.s. the universal remote now also operates all the lights in the room. if it could only pop me some popcorn and serve it I might just buy into this whole nonsense.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Sara Groves

Thanks to Brit at Baby Ethiopia for sharing this video:
(make sure you turn off the music on my blog to listen to this)
I hope it moves you as much as it did me.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Laundry Room continued

Somehow, someway, my laundry tub has been re-plumbed. I managed to wiggle and jiggle it back into position the other day, past the impinging new tile, only to discover there are two little fat posts under the front edge of it, that evidently are supposed to have holes cut out for them so the tub sits flush with the counter, and stays in one place. There are NO holes being cut in my new tile counter, however. Sometime between this post and today the laundry tub plumbing was reconnected, sans faucet. Not sure who is responsible for this, but I'm not complaining, either. Except that it would have been easier to remove said little fat posts under the front edge BEFORE the tub was hooked up, rather than after. I think, however, that I will venture into the black hole known as our Big garage, as opposed to the small garage, which is attached to the house, which is ONLY supposed to house our cars, but, in actuality houses only the motorcycle and a bunch of junk, and find a file, which I will attempt to use to file down the fat little posts so that the laundry tub lies flush with the new tile counter top. Somehow, I will make this work. Then all that's left is to find the faucet and reinstall it, which, for some reason, unknown to me, was removed. Can't quite figure out how that one happened.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

thoughts


"When I go into the garden with a spade, and dig a bed, I feel such an exhilaration and health that I discover that I have been defrauding myself all this time in letting others do for me what I should have done with my own hands."

Ralph Waldo Emerson



Do I defraud others when I do too much for them? Do I deny them the pleasure of a job well-done, if I do the job for them? How many times have I denied my children the opportunity to learn and to grow and to accomplish, because I have undertaken a task for them, that they should have done themselves? even if it was done in the spirit of "trying to help". How does one learn the value and concept of self-discipline, if someone else is always taking care of business? Thoughts that make me go...hmmm.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Laundry Room

See that list on the right? down there towards the bottom? the one that says "Projects I am Working on"? Now see the one that says "remodeling the laundry room".

It's been there since I made the list almost three months ago.

It's been on MY list for 2 1/2 years. That's when we started remodeling our house. Why is it you can build an entire house in a few months, but you can't remodel one in 2 1/2 years?

This project actually started for two reasons:

#1. My hubby, in a fit of domestic endeavor, decided to vacuum BEHIND the refrigerator. The refrigerator is a side-by-side with water and ice dispenser. In his enthusiasm, he pulled the refrigerator away from the wall, unknowingly dislodging the connection to the water, which leaked under the solid oak flooring, unnoticed by anyone, until several days later, at which point the floors were wet from the bottom up, split and cupped. The insurance company paid to replace them. This was about 5 years ago and we finally decided to do something about it. It should be noted that in my house I consider the vacuum to be a "power tool", thus insuring my hubby will always want to participate in the use of it!

#2. We have what is commonly referred to as a "bonus room". When we built our house we placed the stairs to the bonus room in the garage, thinking that when our kids went to college they could come home and have their own apartment up there, OR, when if we retire, we could rent out the room as an apartment, supplementing our income and allowing us to have someone watch the house and do the yard work while we traveled. Bad idea. Every time we wanted to go up and watch a movie on the big screen in the bonus room, we had to go out into the dark, cold, always-messy garage. Basically, it went unused. Except when an adult child would move home and destroy it take it over. I wanted a hallway punched through from the main house, the hubby wanted a new big screen.

Naturally, the first project to get finished was the bonus room. The wood floors downstairs are still unrepaired/replaced. The insurance money is long gone. The refinancing money is long gone. So now I tarry on, doing the rest of the remodeling myself, as much as I am physically able to, one room at a time, my first project being the laundry room.

So far I scraped the wallpaper border, patched, sanded, textured and painted the walls, and chose and contracted for new tile counter tops. All that's left to do is to replace the laundry tub. Therein lies the problem. I've been waiting weeks and week for the laundry tub to get reinstalled. With the new tile on the counter and back splash, the sink no longer fits in the opening. It needs to have 1/4" trimmed off the side. My hubby won't do it and claims he will have his brother (one of our employees) come and take care of it, any day now. I'm still waiting and I've basically given up any hope of that ever happening. I'm trying to hire someone. It's all that's left to be done and my laundry room will be finished. I'm having problems moving on to the next room until it's done...it's not in my nature to leave a project unfinished.

At this rate, it may be another 2 1/2 years before this house is done. Then it'll be time to start over again!