Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Monday, May 26, 2014

not this one but certainly that one

I am not the one around here who mowed all of the lawns and cleaned all of the carpets this weekend.

But I am definitely the one who baked peach pie today, taking one to my dad, and sharing the rest with the family here.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

not just another day

Today my dad is 89 years old. 

He is still a kid at heart.

He told me this is just another day.  But next year, when he is 90, that will be special and we will have a big party.  I'm just glad he's still here and excited for the pie I'm going to make for him this weekend.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

the age of aquarius

Today on the way home from work, this song came on the radio and I was transported back to 6th grade when my older brother was in 9th grade.  Somehow, even though we were band geeks (or were destined to become band geeks), somehow, he was in a choir conducted by Mr. Flinders that got to perform at the Valley Music Hall in Bountiful.

They performed The Age of Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In, and the boys in the choir wore white pants and vests and perhaps even white belts and shoes(?) with solid color shirts. 

It was so cool.  I seem to remember them singing and swaying and I'm sure it was just like something from The Brady Bunch or maybe even The Partridge Family.

I don't remember ever feeling more proud of my brother.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

really gardening

I haven't planted a vegetable garden since we moved here in 2003.  Raise your hand if you can even believe that.  (Hint:  my hands are not raised.)  I'm just going to pause here for a second to let it sink in that I haven't had a vegetable garden for ten years.  How has that happened?  I cannot explain it.

Last weekend, Jack took my big ole monster tiller to the drummer's house and they tilled up a garden space and moved the dirt into raised beds that were just like my past veggie gardens.

This morning, the drummer called and asked if I wanted to come over and help him plant his veggies.  He didn't have to ask twice.  He told me the invitation to help plant was my mother's day gift.  I fell for it.

We planted cukes and squashes and beans and peas and tomatoes and peppers and even broccoli and yes, red potatoes.  It felt so, so, so good. 

I tried to get the drummer and his wife to pose with their farm implements.  He was too busy moving dirt.

He finally looked at me, at the same time that Whitney was turning on the hose in preparation for a water fight...


The water fight was narrowly avoided by both agreeing to let go at the same time...

The drummer was not sure this little patch will produce, but I told him to get rid of that negativity and get ready to be amazed by what these little plants will do.  Just wait for the happiness when he digs up a bunch of fresh potatoes.  And how cool is it that the nursery he bought these from sells peppers in four packs that contain one green, one red, one yellow, and one purple.  And seriously, my mouth waters just thinking about the homegrown tomatoes he'll see in a few months. 

Is this an adorable garden or what?  I cannot wait to see the results.

Friday, May 16, 2014

about blogging

There are a couple of things, okay, maybe three that I really like about blogging.

1. When my favorite bloggers post so I can read their stuff.  You know who you are, right? 
2. When I post, thereby documenting some event or thought or other thing in my world. 
3.  When I get comments.  Okay there I said it.  Apparently this is all about me.

Okay, maybe it isn't all about me, but I do really like reading your posts and your comments.  And sometimes writing feels really good.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

the gardens

While Jr and I were in California, the gardens exploded.  The iris are blooming, the tulips are lingering, and once again there are blossoms I do not remember planting but am loving.

And there are at least as many dandelions as things I've planted.  Holy cow do I need to weed.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

out of the blue

We walked down the stairs to the parking lot after work today, such a clear blue sky, sunny day. 

As we settled into the car, I asked Jack if eating carrots had ever given him hiccups.  I noted his puzzled look and continued, telling him that I'd been eating carrots at my desk and quite suddenly developed the hiccups.  He continued to look at me, still puzzled, as I told him about deciding to google the name of the company that is merging with our employer, and while reading about the merger partner, must have forgotten about the hiccups and they ended.

Jack wondered aloud whether carrots caused hiccups or if perhaps the internet, google in particular, cured hiccups.  We laughed together, and then with no warning, I felt the numbness beginning in my arms, the pain in my chest and shoulders, the inability to breath.  I could hear Jack, sounding far away, asking if I was okay, and could also hear gasping and low moaning, which, I suspected was coming from me.

Jack reminded me of the little white pills in my purse and helped retrieve them when I couldn't.  I heard him open the bottle and offer one of the pills to me.  I fumbled it into my mouth, under my tongue, and then waited for it to take effect, to calm, to ease.  It quickly did its job.

Silly me, thinking that just because the doctor gave me a diagnosis, I wouldn't experience that feeling again.  So glad I had the nitro in my purse.  Glad this thing, whatever it is, is a nuisance and not a serious health issue. 

Still not sure if I'll eat carrots again.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

on being a mother

All that Jr wanted for his birthday was to go to the beach.

So we did.

He and I left for California at three a.m. on Wednesday and got to Jessie's twelve hours later, just in time for me to pick up Breanne from school.  I wish I had my camera to get pictures of her surprised face and another of her sprinting to me, telling me that her mom had told her I was coming for a visit but she'd forgotten.  It was priceless.

The next day included shopping at Target, picking up kids from school, and dance class.  Again, pictures would have been such a good idea.

And then Friday was a day at the beach.  Just Jr and me.  It was clear and blustery and pretty much perfect.  We go to a beach where we walk up over a sand dune and hear the waves crashing before we see them.  This is the view from the dune when the tide was out and Jr was working on his castle.

The completed castle--with moat and tunnels.

The proud builder and his creation.  I don't know anyone who loves the ocean and the beach more than he does.

At the beach this time, in addition to all kinds of shells and sand dollars and crabs, we saw jellyfish.  Little, clear, quarter-sized, all the way up to this guy (who we put back in the ocean, only to learn later from the lifeguard that he was golden colored because he'd been out of the water too sorry jelly). 

On Saturday, we all went to the beach and Cailin rode with Jr and me.  Such a sweet face, sweet girl.

We were all happy--it might look like we were singing (something like, if you're happy and you know it).  But we weren't singing.  We were just happy.

Jr and I tried to teach Cailin how to blow bubbles.  I may be a world champion bubble blower.

Jr hasn't had as much practice at bubble blowing as I have (but he is a better sand castle builder)

While we were at the beach, we also saw black fins just past the big waves, diving up and down in the ocean--porpoises according to a woman with a camera walking by us on the beach.  I didn't get a shot of them, but I did get this shot of Jessie getting a shot.

Later, back at the house, I had to take this picture of Cailin and Leo at the computer.  I have a picture just like it but from over 25 years ago, of Stu and Jessie when they were about the same age, trying to play with our old Atari computer.  It felt so familiar.

There was also Phase 10 playing, Jessie and Jr and me.  I have such fun, funny kids.  I hope I never forget Jessie and Jr playing rock, paper, scissors to decide who would get skipped because I couldn't chose one of them over the other, and Jessie's squeal of delight and wicked laugh when she won and exclaimed that she NEVER wins rock, paper, scissors.  My, oh my, but we laughed during that game. 

At some point, I got this picture of the four of them, giggling and bouncing together on Jr's inflatable bed.  They love that bed.  And their uncle who chases them and plays with them (and calls them rats, which is what Jack used to do).  Again, it seemed so familiar.

 Of course, there were pancakes.  If you look closely, you might be able to sense that Jr has the attention of the kids (not sure what he was telling them), and you might even see the steam rising from the big pile of pancakes I made:

And then it was time to come home.  Sunday morning at three.

In my perfect world, all of my kids would live within ten minutes of my house.  But still I am so very grateful to have someone who is not only willing to make that drive with me anytime I am ready to go, but also makes me laugh and laughs at me for all twelve hours. 

I want to remember that road sign, somewhere in the Nevada desert that says, "Fog may be icy," and Jr laughing when I told him that sign was one of many with random science facts, put up just to keep drivers awake and entertained.  We suspected the next one might say, "The sun is hot."

And we wondered aloud why only certain bumps get warning signs, but none of those other bumps get warning signs?

I don't know, maybe driving twelve hours makes things seem a lot funnier?  I only know we laughed a lot out there in the desert and over the mountain passes as the miles went by.  And he had made yet another great play list of music (which he had alphabetized by song title, so it was very random and brilliant).

I know that many of my friends have kids who live so much farther away, some even oceans away.  I can only imagine how difficult that would be, even while thinking what great adventures are out there to be had.  Mostly I'm just glad Jr and I get to go as often as we do and that we have such fun together, and I'm so glad that Jessie always welcomes and includes us.

We came home and found Stu's family here with Jack.  They had dinner nearly ready, a yummy spread, and the only thing I'd change about that meal is I wish I'd taken pictures of his adorable family.  We seem to get busy with meals and talking and tidying up after, and then they go home and I realize that once again, I haven't taken pictures.  But I keep them in my mind.  And, you know, my heart.

The drummer stopped by for a visit too.  I always anticipated my kids liking each other as adults and now feel privileged to see them together around the dinner table, talking, teasing, joking and enjoying time together.  Getting to see all of them in the same weekend is a tremendous gift that I do not take for granted.  These are good times for this mama.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

if you were really lucky

Twenty-five years ago, I met this guy when he was a tiny little baby:


And in addition to all of the other great things that came with him, he built one of these in our basement:

What a blessing he is.  Happy birthday, Jr.