Monday, June 28, 2010

okay, this is going to be a rant

Am I the only one who is pretty much sick and tired of reading blogs that just go on and on about how messed up they are and how depressed they are and how lousy the blog writer's childhood was and how hard everything is. And don't even get me started about bloggers who post pictures about their adorable grandkids and seriously, who wants to see pictures of other people's pets running at amazing high speeds?

Man, I'm so sick of that stuff.

Oh--one other thing--We need a name for our lil' brudder.

1090 part 2

How, how, how will I ever figure out the correct input in Excel in order to properly analyze linear programming data?

If that sentence left you scratching your head, wondering what the heck I'm talking about, well, welcome to my club. My math club. My math 1090 project club. Argh.

Friday, June 25, 2010

now why does that date sound familiar?

All day yesterday I kept thinking I was missing something. Every time I entered the date into a document or an agreement at work, I found myself wondering about that date. Why was June 24th a date I remembered? What significance did it hold? I knew it wasn't a birthday for any of my kids or their spouses or kids or Jack or me or our parents or siblings. But still, it seemed like I was forgetting something that made it a special day.

Today, as I was driving north, it hit me. The Cowboy Junkies were going to perform at the Arts Festival downtown on June 24. That must be why I remembered that date, and dang if I didn't forget to go see them. I love their music, especially "Sweet Jane." I find myself humming that song and thinking about our sweet Janey. I told myself that was the reason the date was familiar.

But still. That wasn't it. I knew the Junkies were performing on Thursday, but I hadn't noted the date as June 24th. Last night while I was forgetting to go to the concert, I did my best to stay away from my computer. No internet shopping, no blogging, no freecell. I needed to do my math homework, which is how I spent the evening.

The day before my ex-boss's last day at work, another attorney was in our office, working with my boss on an issue. The other attorney noticed the pictures on my boss's desk of his brand new, longed-for, eagerly awaited, adored, granddaughter and commented about the cute little girl, asking my boss her name. My boss, who had been under tremendous pressure for months, hesitated, stuttered, and said, "Her name is, uh, uh, her name is..." and his voice trailed off. Both Eileen and I called out, "Her name is Addie" and my boss said that was right, her name is Addie.

Tonight, when I checked out Facespace, I finally realized the true meaning of June 24th. It is the day when one great guy promised to stay with my one great girl eternally. It is the day they started their trip on the great adventure that is their life together.

I've watched those two together for the past six years. I've watched them become a couple and then become parents and then add more children to their family. I've watched them worry and enjoy. And I'm so glad to see them together, working, playing, talking, learning, laughing.

I've never been the mom or wife or friend who makes a huge deal out of stuff. I think I only planned one birthday party for my kids that involved more than a few party games or a trip to play laser tag and eat pizza and cake and ice cream. I don't decorate for holidays except Christmas, and as much as I like to see my old friend ornaments and such, I don't know if I'd even get them out if it weren't for Jr, who drags out the boxes and hangs the lights and decorates.

I'd like to be able to say that I remember all of the important events and milestones in life. I remember moments, like when Jessie tried on her wedding dress and like when she invited me to her first ultrasound and I saw Breanne for the first time. I remember many years ago, when I got my first car and had my first date with Jack and held my babies for the first time, but I seem to be losing yesterday and last week. I am blaming this on the stresses of life.

The point of this post is to say, "Happy Anniversary yesterday, Cory and Jessie." I hope you had a sweet day together and many, many more forever.


And Stu and Shi, if I didn't mention it, Happy Anniversary last May 10.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


That is the math class I'm taking this summer. Took my first test tonight. How bad could it be really. Only ten questions. I wasn't the last one finished. Would have been better if I'd worked through all 150 homework problems instead of only 126. But now Section 1 is done. My teacher reminds me of my gramma. Not her age or appearance, it's her gestures and phrases. Like when she says things like, "It's the same banana." Or, "Oh, dear, I just ran a red light." And she isn't talking about fruit or driving, but she uses these endearing phrases and she lets out these adorable little giggles. So like visiting with my gramma or playing blackjack with her.

Since I have so much homework, I haven't completed my list of household tasks for several weeks. There has been no dusting, no wiping off of the fingerprints, and no finishing of the laundry. Okay it may have been more than a few weeks since any dusting or wiping off has been completed, but I did buy Jack a big passel of new socks for his birthday so at least he has clean socks.

And then there's all the adjustment time at work. New boss, new assignments, plenty of existing assignments and seriously no time to work on my homework at the office. Attended two meetings today and came away with three pages of new tasks. So obviously I had to go back to my desk and my computer and my shopping bag at and place an order. I'd been spending a bit of time the past few days clicking around kohls' website and not so amazingly found dresses and tops and intimates and jackets and sweaters and a pair of capri pants or as my mom would say, peddle pushers. (which reminds me that it's way past time to begin riding my bike this summer.) And not only did I use my 15% off of everything coupon, but also my no shipping charges coupon and now have $50 in kohl's cash that I get to use between July 1-13.

I am always pleased to rediscover how very calming a lovely yellow cardigan feels before I've even put a hand in its sleeve and how exciting a bright blue ruffly vera wang dress can be and how much more I'm looking forward to getting dressed each day.

Monday, June 21, 2010

remember that one time

There may be some people who would argue this, but I try really really hard to be nice. I try to see the other guy's side. Waaay more than I should. Therapy may or may not fix this flaw in me.

But every now and then, I go along with the crowd, or maybe even lead the way, and do something mean or thoughtless to somebody else. And someplace along that way, I realize that whatever I'm doing is mean or thoughtless and I want so much to hit the life rewind button and stop this whole mess before it ever begins.

But obviously, I cannot find the rewind button.

Like the time in sixth grade when one of the girls in my class had a little notebook that she kept writing down stuff in and somehow the rest of us girls got the idea that she was writing stuff about all of us in the notebook. So we got mad at her. All fifteen of us mad at that one little girl. (She was very short.) I still feel bad about that mess. She and I remained friends all through school, we sat next to each other in band. But still.

And there was the time a bunch of us girls went to visit a boy who was interested in two of us at the same time. We walked to his house, rang the bell, chatted up his mom (I think), and convinced him to come outside to talk to us. And then, this is the embarrassing part, we gradually encircled him. Can you even imagine being a ninth grade boy, standing in the middle of a circle of ninth grade girls that were staring you down and intimidating you? Yikes.

And then there was that one time yesterday when, well, can I just say that I did something stupid and I so wish I hadn't done it? It's so fresh and painful and unbelievably not like me and I will never-never-never do anything like it again.

I am so human. And for as much as I say, I can be a very poor communicator.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

even though he doesn't read this

Today is Jack's birthday, and while he doesn't usually read my blog, I thought I'd give my three regular readers a chance to wish him a happy day. Nice, I know.

The following list is five things I love about Jack, and if you, too, can identify things you love about Jack, please feel free to post them in the comments section and I will forward them on to him. This is not simply a desperate plea for comments.

1. He can fix anything.
2. He still likes the challenge of figuring out how to fix stuff.
3. He listens to my crazy ramblings always. Seriously. All of the time.
4. He's learned that he doesn't have to fix everything for me. Listening is a perfectly acceptable form of fixing.
5. This one may end up being a rambler, but one of the things I love most about Jack is the part of him that isn't always apparent to everybody, but it's the part of him that smiles and laughs when I do something goofy, and it's the part of him that comes out with little jokes between us, and it's the part that sings just to make me smile. That is my favorite part of Jack.

Friday, June 18, 2010

this is why

It is so difficult for those who are allergic to pet hair to be in our house.

No, Virginia, gerber daisies do not have long hair on their stems. Unless the cat rubs up against them. And tips over the vase and spills the water.

The hair is everywhere. If I didn't like these animals so much. Seriously. But still.

back by popular demand (or requested in one comment)

My finest craft moment. At least for this week.

one seat

two seat

grape soda, dill pickle, marshmallow, pacific blue seat.
and table.

In case you're concerned about the comfort factor for the chairs (after exploring the uneven, perhaps even risky, texture of the tabletop--described by the artist as "bits of clearly intended character")--the tiles in the seat mosaics were laid somewhat more smoothly, and only edge pieces of the broken tiles were used on the edges of the seats, so while not smooth as a baby's bottom, they are nonetheless smooth and comfy to sit on, even if you personally have a sensitive baby's bottom.

Finally, the artist intentionally created one chair with somewhat larger pieces of tile and created the other chair with somewhat smaller pieces of tile because she respects that some people like chairs with large tiles and some people like chairs with small tiles. You may refer to these tile size differences as additional character. Which is a descriptive word often used when referring to the artist herself--as in, "she's such a character"

Thursday, June 17, 2010

credit where due

That GREAT! shot of JoJo was taken by Jr.

it isn't math but i'm still quite pleased

Remember this mess--

I picked up this rusted, torn-up bistro set at a yardsail a few years ago.

Recently inspired by these yardsail finds--

I picked up these tiles--

Which became these pieces...

And then became this mosaic...

Thus confirming that there is a craft project for everybody.

Or perhaps a work of art. And a lovely place to sip tea.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


Do you ever weigh yourself, having forgotten how much you actually weigh, and require a few seconds to catch your breath and remind yourself that the number is accurate and you're not nine months along, ready to deliver a seven-pound baby any day now?

Life was a bit stressful around here for a while so Jack and I began eating our way to comfort, which involved ice cream before bedtime (with Hershey's chocolate syrup and a brownie buried underneath the ice cream), cookies with our burgers and fries for lunch (have you tasted those freshly baked cookies at Burger King?), and other generally not-so-healthy eating with the accompanying lack of exercise or anything that involved more than remote control button pushing after slogging through another long day at work.

Then a couple of weeks ago, the sun started to shine again (figuratively, of course, because it is only June), and we decided it was time to get back to taking care of the only bodies we have.

However, I'm beginning to wonder if I should continue my every morning weigh-in. After avoiding the scale for a few months, I'm not sure if I like it when I am startled awake as our talking scale announces my weight in her snooty unidentifiable accent.

It always takes me a few seconds to focus and remember that even though the number is bigger than I remembered, it is headed in the right direction. But that scale is so dang sure of herself. Don't you ever want to just give her a little stomp?

Monday, June 14, 2010

oh jeez, what was i thinking?

After nearly 36 years of driving, I got my first ticket today.
Probably deserved many other tickets for many other offenses.
I've paid numerous tickets for other family members over the years.
Mine is a parking ticket.
I parked in the faculty parking lot at my school.
I'm not faculty.
How can there be no--NO!--available spaces in student parking lots during summer semester?
Why are there three or four almost empty faculty parking lots--not stalls, LOTS?
Shouldn't parking be based on driver age instead of student/faculty status?
In another week, half of the kids will stop attending class and there will be many available stalls in student parking areas.
If only I'd realized how precious my unspotted driving record felt before I parked in that faculty parking lot.

See, sometimes the stuff I feel bad about is really not such a big deal.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

small things that add up to weekends

These photos show a bit of what's been happening around here this weekend.

These are yard sail finds.

And this one shows some of the shopping and "crafting" that's been happening.

More yard sail finds.

Yard sail finds and "crafting"

Laundry. Of course.

Ball games. Of course.

Another yard sail find.
Can something be cozy and a bit creepy at the same time?

I bought a couple of these and those to plant.

One of these to plant.

And a final note.
Just know that if you have one of these
and it's following the commandments
(multiply and replenish the earth)--

You, too, will be spending time each year removing the young forest in your gardens.

And your lawn.

It is such an obedient tree...

Friday, June 11, 2010

sleeping pills and baby love

1. I need to stop commenting on the blogs of friends after 10:00 pm and after I've taken the ambien. Getting a good night's sleep is critical for me right now, so I take one of the amazing little white generic pills and doze off as soon as I snuggle down into my bedding. However, one of the side effects of ambien is, uh, what's the word that means you can't remember? Uh. Oh, that's right, amnesia. Seriously. Most of the time, I take my pill and head immediately to bed. Apparently though, sometimes I sit in my chair with my computer up and running and read blogs. And sometimes I comment. Or write on my own blog. But I don't remember doing that the next day. I was surprised just tonight to realize I'd commented on the blog of a friend. With typos and incoherent thoughts. So sorry. I will make a resolution here and now to close the compy after 9:00 pm.

2. Last night it happened again. Not the amnesia. Okay, well, yes, that happened, but I'm talking about earlier in the evening. Jack and I went to Jessie's last night so he could help her with some home repairs. Jessie held Cailin until she fell asleep and then handed her over to me, insisting I could put her in her crib anytime. But I didn't want to. I sat on the couch, holding that miraculous creature, smelling her baby scent, gazing at her soft skin and red hair, listening to her softly breathing, imprinting in my heart and mind everything that is Cailin. Tears rolled down my cheeks as I thought of the blessing of watching her grow and become herself and I was overcome by the love I feel for her. I have had that same experience with each of the wee darlings but I am astounded each time by the depth of my emotions for someone so tiny who is not a part of me but truly is a huge part of me.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010



leads to this:

and becomes more of this:

is that amazing or what?

And then, there are the Pots of Annuals 2010:

Familiar favorites that always delight.

Monday, June 7, 2010

two updates

Recent artwork from the whiteboard--
Breanne's heart people
Audrey's other people
Makes you wish you had a whiteboard, right?

BFF update--see for yourself the significant progress

Oscar waits in the bathroom, calling out to JoJo

He loves the kisses and ear nuzzling

Uh, note the ears--this is not a good sign

Jo can't believe he wants to be her friend

She keeps kissing not realizing he's done with the friendthing

Moments before the slap and tears