Sunday, April 26, 2009

Tribute to "Rth" Day - By Bumblebee

Picture drawn by Bumblebee that says "I Love the Rth". It has a heart and a pretty good picture of the earth:

Thursday, April 23, 2009

What Has Been Happening Since My Last Blog Post

  • Jazzy (our 8 year old cat) died.
  • I read the second book in the Emigrants series (Unto a Good Land). Great read.
  • Spring decided to finally grace Iowa with its presence.
  • The Boy and I rode our bikes for 10 miles in one outing and I didn’t die or crash. (But my lady bits were numb and tingly.)
  • I ran 3 miles and realized that I have gotten sorely out of running shape this winter.
  • My baby brother turned 26.
  • I screwed my back up (again) but I think it is finally on the mend.
  • I attended five track meets and froze my ass off during four of them.
  • Bumblebee got a loose tooth.
  • I spent way too much time on Facebook and Pogo playing Scrabble.
  • Hollywood ‘overtexted’ to the tune of $290. She is now working that bill off one chore at a time.
  • The Husband got to grill our dinner because the weather is finally nice!
  • I attended a three day off-site meeting for work. It was so boring that I almost drifted into a non-reversible coma.
  • Easter came and my self-imposed ban on chocolate was lifted.
  • The Boy started voluntarily showering and brushing his teeth.
  • I went to my best friend’s little guy’s First Communion and spent time with her and the kids - something I don't get to do often enough.
  • It got warm enough to wear sandals without my toes turning blue from the cold.
  • We finalized our summer vacation plans by booking a lakeside cottage in Door County, Wisconsin.
  • My annual ‘sorrow day’ passed with only a small amount of sadness. I mostly thought of how content I am with how things are today.
  • My tulips, daffodils and phlox are all blooming beautifully.
  • It’s starting to get light out in the mornings AND stay light out past 8 at night!
  • I’ve neglected this blog, as well as everyone else’s. (I'm sorry!)
Happy Spring, everyone!!!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Out of Sorts

I'm having an out of sorts kind of day.

This morning when my alarm went off, I was surprised. I usually wake up a couple of times before the alarm clock. I glance at the clock, see that I have an hour or so before I have to wake up and I go back to sleep. But this morning I didn't. My alarm surprised me, and not in a good surprise kind of way.

It might have been because I stayed up until almost 11 watching my Tivoed Biggest Loser. My 4:44 a.m. alarm comes really quick following an 11 p.m. bedtime. Eesh.

Anyway... once I was finally moving, I kept having that paranoid feeling that something wasn't right. It started with me wondering if I forgot something as I was pulling out of my driveway on the way to kickboxing class. Do I have my shoes? My boxing gloves? Am I wearing my sports bra? (Because - oh my gosh, OUCH - if I'd forget that!)

I hadn't forgotten anything, but something felt off. Things weren't the way they were supposed to be. I even turned around to make sure a stalker wasn't hiding out in the back seat of my car waiting to murder me.

I couldn't figure out what was off. But then, I got it. You guys, this is going to make me sound like a loon, but it was the moon. The MOON! It was full and shining brightly just in my peripheral vision while I was driving. Very distracting, but in a sneaky kind of way.

It totally threw me off and for some reason made me feel weird and wrong. I felt better after class because my instructor beat all of the cobwebs out of my brain and the sun was up by then.

I am a geek. This we know. Further evidence:

Today I purposely parked on the top floor of our parking garage so that over my lunch hour, I could go out to my sun-warmed car and sit like a snoozing cat in the warmth while I finished a good book.

Ahhhhh.... It was so great. I finished the book Lottery by Patricia Wood, which is funny because I bought this book a long time ago, and I am on Patricia's email list. I'm even her facebook friend! (Which makes me amazingly jealous because she posts status updates about being on her boat in Hawaii all the time.) Anyway, the funny thing is that I thought I had read the book when I first purchased it. But I found it among my stacks of books on Monday and after inspection, realized that I'd never read it.


Of course I started reading it right away. And then I finished it while I was sitting in my sunny car over lunch today. It has a sad/sweet ending and I was blubbering like a goober. Then I had to go back to work.

So I looked like a damn goofball walking back into the office. But this isn't an unusual occurence.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Last Night's Unsuccessful Dinner and Other Miscellany

Time for another Tidbit Tuesday. Bits of stuff from here and there…

Sunday we got some more snow. About 5-6 inches of it fell at our place, but most of it has melted away already. During the day we decided it was a good day to hang out in front of the fire. Hollywood, The Boy, and I camped out there reading good books. It was a heavenly way of spending the day, so I won't complain too loudly about the snow. But I would welcome warmer temps any day now. Seriously... Any. Day. Spring? Yeah, it's time you woke up and took over. Quit sleeping on the job and make Winter go do whatever it does during it's time off.

Track started for Hollywood a few weeks ago. She had her first track meet last Friday and another one is tonight. I’d forgotten how miserable track meets can be. Sure, they’re fun to watch, but BRRRRRRRRRRRR…. Cold and windy. There is still snow in my back yard, so tonight’s meet should leave my nose nice and red.

Last week, the Husband was working in a Nebraska school - installing distance learning classrooms. He was wearing a black button up shirt and tight jeans. A boy came up to him and asked him if he was a famous bull rider. Ha! HA! Cracks me up. And, sort of turns me on at the same time. Who wouldn’t want someone who can ride a mean old bull?! Get out the ropes! Hmmm… I think I am confusing my cowboys here – bull rider or bull wrangler. Whichever. They both work for me.

When The Husband is out of town I like to experiment with my dinners. He’s a meat and potatoes kind of guy, so I try out different things when he’s gone. Last night I attempted to make Pad Thai. It wasn’t very successful. Hollywood was the only one who thought it was even passable. The Boy ate about half of his, just to be polite. Bumblebee, on the other hand, was not amused. “This is disgusting!” she announced. Her brother and sister admonished her for her rudeness, looking at me to see if I’d get mad at her. I don't like it when I spend half an hour or more on a dinner (after working all day) only to have the kids complain about it. And they know it. But I didn't get mad this time, because I agreed. Dinner wasn't so great. Later on, the conversation somehow veered towards death or dying. I can’t remember why. What I do remember is Bumblebee all of a sudden saying emphatically, “Yeah, well, something died here on my plate!”

The Boy and Hollywood valiantly tried not to laugh. I don’t usually tolerate the kids complaining about what’s for dinner, and what she said was pretty derogatory. But, in the end, none of us could contain our laughter. It cracked us all up and soon we were giggling like crazy. Bumblebee was confused because she told us she was referring to the shrimp in the Pad Thai that died. Still. It was funny. She ate an orange and some Bunny Grahams instead.

Ah… the joys of dinnertime conversations.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009


I grew up with five younger brothers. Every time Mom and Dad would announce a pregnancy, I’d hope that this would be the it - I’d finally get a sister.

And then the phone call would come from the hospital. “You have a new baby brother!” Mom would say. By the time my youngest brother was born, I knew not to hope for a Rachel. Of course it was a Zachary.

And while my brothers are great in their own ways, I never got to share girl things with them. It was sort of lonely. Somehow, God knew he needed to help me out with some things, and he gave me amazing 'girl' skills. I may have missed my natural calling in life, because I can braid, curl, cut, style, color, and even perm my own hair. With about a 95% success rate. (The failure was on Sun-In. Don’t use it. It’s bad.) I guess God figured He had to give me those abilities since I didn’t have a sister to help me out with those things. I’m also good with make-up. Which is pretty amazing since Mom never wore it – I just had to learn on my own. And fashion? Well… I love it. I have a knack for my own personal style and it’s one of the things I ‘get into’. So it’s interesting that I found my way to these types of activities when my family wasn’t about fashion or hair or makeup.

My family was all about soccer and hacky-sacks and socks that were so crusty that they stood on their own without a foot in them. It was turtles in the bathtub, pee on the toilet seat, and putting bottle rockets in a ground-squirrel’s mouth to ‘see what happens’. There were no sounds of dainty china cups clinking during a classy tea party. Instead you could hear the rhythmic whack-whack of a tennis ball being slammed against the garage door or a rowdy game of 1 on 1 at the basketball hoop. We didn’t play dress-up, unless you count the time I pretended Luke was a girl. I couldn’t help it – he had these amazing blonde curls! Nobody sat and listened to records with me, I was alone in my love for Michael Jackson and Madonna. My brothers were too busy taking rides down the stairs in sleeping bags.

Do you feel sorry for me yet?

You shouldn’t, really, because while I had an interesting childhood, my brothers are really pretty great. Over the past several years, as they’ve grown up and gotten married, I’ve gained sisters-in-law. Which is fantastic! Because now, the levels of estrogen almost match the testosterone. I’m no longer the lonely girl in a group of crazy boys. My oldest brother’s wife has been along for the ride for many years. They’ve been together since high school. Until a few years ago, it was just Kim and me against the boys. But then two more brothers married, and one is in a long term relationship. Now family gatherings aren’t only about soccer, football, and beer. Conversations can now be about fashion, celebrities, recipes, hair color, menstrual cramps, pregnancy, and chocolate. Most of my new ‘sisters’ live close enough to see often, and we have a great time when we see each other, but Girlie lives in California. I wish she lived closer. She has an amazing fashion sense and her shoe collection is to die for. I wonder what her shoe size is...

This is the worst Photoshop job of all, but I had to get Girlie in the picture! So we'll just pretend that it's raining and she's taller than all of us, though that's not the case. :)