Monday, February 25, 2013

clutter update

This year is almost two months old and, well, you, my three readers, probably need an update on me and my resolution to de-clutter, right?

I'm certain you'll be most delighted to know that all of the clutter-collecting places in my house have been cleared, except for four--the cupboards in the laundry room (two of them, but I'm counting them as one thing of the four remaining); the linen/photograph stash closet in the hall (yes, this is another place that contains items that don't necessarily belong in the same place); the little closet in the study (not the regular closet, but the little one next to it in the corner, which makes no sense, really, who builds two closets in one room when one larger size would suffice, and then, who turns it into a craft/junk closet?); and the deep freezer (yes, it needs to be organized or at least cleared of the stuff that has a "use by date" older than say June 30, 2012 ).  Maybe I'll finish up the resolution this weekend. 

This morning at 3:00 I figured out why I keep waking up at 3:00.  Or at least I developed a theory, which involves Little Black Cat Weezer coming upstairs at that time to eat and visit quietly with Oscar and Millie.  I think I've been hearing her moving about and it wakes me.  Or, perhaps it's Gus barking and charging off of the bed that wakes me.  But either way, I may need to make a bit more progress on de-cluttering my brain so I can drop back off to sleep instead of hearing songs playing over and over and over, songs that I only know some of the words to, so I keep thinking them over and over while trying to figure out more of the words.  Ear worms.  Boo. 

Tonight, Jack mounted the tv in our bedroom on the wall so we could move furniture and then we moved the treadmill and the cardio workout exercise device back into our room.  (By we, I mean Jack and Jr.)  Now we can work out while we watch the tv.  Smart, right?  I think regular exercise may help with the mind de-cluttering and certainly can't help but aid in the slimming of my belly.  Not a stated resolution, but probably a good or even great idea. 

Sunday, February 17, 2013

beach or skiing

This weekend, life is in California.  And because Jr is part of it, there is beach time.

 She may be telling him what to do.  Or maybe not.

 Definitely the three biggest kids on the beach with the biggest stash of sandcastle-building toys building the biggest castles...

 She may or may not be jogging on the beach with a baby...
 Javelin?  Probably not...

 Someone's awesome uncle also brought a kite...

 Yes, they did bodysurf...without wetsuits...

 sometimes you need your mom to help with wave-fear...
See, this is the reason for this trip to Cali...

Friday, February 15, 2013

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Jack's relationship with food has changed in the past year.  So when he said he wanted hamburger gravy and mashed potatoes for dinner a couple of nights ago, I was all over making some gravy and potatoes.

Before I could defrost the ground beef, the phone rang.  It was mom.  She wanted us to join them for dinner at Golden Corral. 

If there's one thing my parents have always loved, it's a buffet.

For the past several years, mom has had someone in the family move the furniture out of the living room and their bedroom so the carpet cleaners can come clean the carpet, and while they wait for the carpet to dry, which apparently takes a few days, she and dad stay in a local hotel. 

This year's hotel choice has a Golden Corral in the parking lot.

If this all seems out of the ordinary, well, yes, I suppose they are the only ones I know who do this.  I could tell great stories from the entire evening, but mostly what I want to remember relates to my dad.

I don't think I've posted about the change in his diagnosis.  Seems there was a bit of a misunderstanding.  He doesn't have Alzheimer's.  He does have dementia.  I'm not even sure what that all means.

What I do know is that he was willing to ride in his new wheelchair to dinner at Golden Corral.  He waited patiently for mom to pick out his food and he was delighted while picking out multiple deserts with me.  On that night at least, they seemed to have moved into a new phase that included less contention. 

My dad reminded me so much of his mother.  I don't really remember seeing her up, moving around.  She was always sitting in her rocking chair by the front door where she could watch people walking by outside.  She often had a sweet satisfied smile, and my dad wore that same expression during dinner.


Last night Jack and I went out to dinner and a movie.  We saw Side Effects, which was entertaining and a good choice, even though I came away thinking I needed a piece of paper and writing device to keep track of all of the twists.  And I remembered again that I don't really like Catherine Zeta-Jones. 


Tonight, I made the gravy, which we had over bread, since potatoes are not good for Jack.  They're too starchy, too high in carbs, I think.  And well, we didn't have any potatoes in the house anyway.  I'm not sure how Jack felt about the gravy, but I thought it was tasty and filling and comforting.  Perhaps not the most nutritious meal.  But still very good.


Now I think I will go water my houseplants, clean out the catboxes, and toss a few things in a bag.

So I'll be ready to head out on the road trip with Jr and his friends early in the morning.

Yes.  To Cali.  Again.

I'll post pictures.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013


Tea party at gramma's:

Sunday, February 10, 2013

more about skiing

Okay, I know I've posted a lot about skiing lately.  How beautiful it is.  How good it feels to be moving my body in the out of doors.  The fun times with Jack and Jr. and friends.

Today another benefit occurred to me.  Skiing requires me to think about what I'm doing, to pay attention and focus.  And we all know I cannot do more than one thing at a time, so in a sense, skiing is like going to a movie.  It's a fine way to forget about everything else for a couple of hours. 

Four runs today with a bit of snow falling and a temperature of 16 degrees.  Didn't think for one second about taxes, or cuts in pensions, or work, or family nonsense.  Just like watching a movie.  While burning what must have been massive quantities of calories.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

things to remember

We've been home for a few days now.  I want to remember these things from our last road trip to California:

1.  The giggle that rises out of my belly while honking the horn all the way through the Carlin tunnels on I-80 near Reno.  I can't help myself.  The honking or the giggling.
2.  The elaborate meals Cory prepares.  Especially the pancake breakfast with homemade blueberry syrup.  Who does that?  Cory.  That's who.

3.  Speaking of things to see on I-80, how about this

All of the times we've sped past on I-80, all I could see was a lot of stuff that for some reason reminded me of The Goonies.  But this time, we slowed down enough to realize it is actually a Nevada State Historic Site, and according to the Thunder Mountain Monument website, "five acres jam-packed with exotic folk art and architectural oddities...created over a period of three Frank Van Zant, also known as Chief Rolling Mountain Thunder...who described his roadside art park variously as a museum, a monument to the American Indian, a retreat for pilgrims aspiring to the pure and radiant heart."  I think I want to stop and spend some time there next time we're out that way.

4.  I want to remember how strong I felt while swimming in the hotel pool with Jack and the girls.  I don't remember the last time I was in a pool, moving through the water, feeling like my muscles were working and my body was burning away the excess.  The water was cool when we got in, but just as I remember from swimming as a kid, it wasn't long before I felt so good.

5.  I wish I'd taken pictures to help me remember Jack pulling the girls' caterpillar tunnel over his head down to his feet while they laughed with him and joked about him turning into a butterfly, saw him splashing in the pool with the girls, or captured a shot of him climbing up the slide with Cailin close behind.  It is good to see him feeling so much healthier.

6.  But I did get pictures to help me remember our stroll to Breanne's school playground on a delightfully pleasant northern Cali day:

 Yes, it's a long drive, broken up by small treats if you look closely for them, rewarded by time with these guys.  Totally worth it.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

some things never change

Like the joy I feel when I knock on the front door and then peer through the side window to see little faces as they change from puzzled to recognition to delight as they mouth the words, "Mom, Gramma's here!" 

Or the happy satisfaction after waiting for the bell to ring, classroom door opening, students pouring out, watching as she leaves her classroom, walks a few steps, looks up, makes eye contact, her face breaks wide in excitement and her biggest smile and she bolts, into a full run, leaping into my arms, while exclaiming, "Gramma!  You're here!"

Or yesterday morning, sitting on the couch with the baby boy, cooing and talking and smiling, when Janie yells from the other room:

"IALKSDJAHF:D"  (unintelligible)
"I love you too."