Monday, December 31, 2007
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
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
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
*-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
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 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
Tuesday, December 4, 2007
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
Friday, November 30, 2007
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
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
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
Sunday, November 25, 2007
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
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.
**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!
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
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!
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
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
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
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
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.
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
Monday, November 12, 2007
Friday, November 9, 2007
Thursday, November 8, 2007
Wednesday, November 7, 2007
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
Sunday, November 4, 2007
Friday, November 2, 2007
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
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
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
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
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
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
Thursday, October 25, 2007
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
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
In 33 years of driving I've gotten two tickets, including the one I got yesterday.
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.
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.
It's still gonna cost me $98.
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
Now it's time to finish scraping the wallpaper in the kitchen.
Sunday, October 21, 2007
Saturday, October 20, 2007
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Maybe I'm just bitter after my experience with the bed.
Sunday, October 7, 2007
Saturday, October 6, 2007
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
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
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
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
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.
Sunday, September 30, 2007
Saturday, September 29, 2007
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
Thursday, September 27, 2007
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
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
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
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.
Sunday, September 23, 2007
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
Friday, September 21, 2007
Thursday, September 20, 2007
"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
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,
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!