Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Decorating Decisions

I've actually been in more of the mood for Christmas this year than I was last year. Last year I just put out part of my huge hoard of decorations, but this year I was really in the mood to put them all out. Unfortunately, I've got to think of the cats! As I started to put them up I realized they all have to be out of reach of the new kitten. And that limited me. Somehow, over the years I've amassed a large tote of stuffed animals and we usually sit them under the trees and on some little chairs I have. Jinx would love it--new play things! So they went back into the totes. I feel sad that they have to go back into storage another year. Did you ever see the Christmas special "Noel" about the Christmas ornaments? I guess I always feel like the decorations are glad to get out of their boxes for a while. Now I feel guilty that they didn't all get that chance this year! Hopefully, next year he will be a year older (and calmer!!) and I can put them out!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Christmas Kick-off

I hope everyone had a good Thanksgiving. My daughter came home for a couple of days--first time she's been home since Labor Day. The folks and a step-brother came for dinner. I actually timed everything right for once--all of the food got done on schedule! We usually have Thanksgiving at Mom's but the kids like my turkey better, so I figured I might as well do it this year. (Mom bakes it the traditional way, I brine mine and stuff it with fruit and vegetables--it makes for a much juicier bird!) I had to be at work at 7 a.m. on Black Friday, so no crazy shopping for me! Usually customers start trickling in after 9 o'clock as they return to town from hitting the sales in the neighboring town and it's fun to listen to their stories. This was my husband's first Black Friday since he started working at Walmart. He works in one of the smaller stores and people are usually fairly civil. They didn't have any problems this year, but I guess last year they had a couple of women get into a fight in the toy aisle. Next year I may have to take the day off and give it a try! My daughter wanted to put up a Christmas tree while she was home, so we did the big one Friday night. Today I'm trying to put up some of the other decorations. I figure I'll take my time and try and do a box or two each evening. That way the cats can gradually acclimate to the new "toys". The new kitten is doing pretty good so far--he's knocked a couple of ornaments off, but he hasn't actually tried to climb the tree. I think that's a good sign!!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Financial Aid (Pain!)

My daughter attends the Art Institute of Indianapolis. That's 150 miles away. She is now in her 2nd year and her loans are already more than she is going to be able to pay right out of school. I think that it is sad that education has to cost so much, and sadder still that the interest rate on student loans is higher than house and car loans! Unfortunately, we are not in a position to help her much financially. We provided a car for her and pay the insurance on it and I try to throw a few dollars her way on occasion, but for the most part she is living off the trust fund her Grandmother set up for her 10 years ago. Of course, with the stock market fiasco of the past year, that money isn't as much as it should be. Because her school runs on a quarter system instead of semesters, we have to refinance every 9 months. Oh, such a pain! And it seems she always has a different finance adviser. And...it seems like they don't really know what they are doing! We had a letter a month ago that said payment started this month. Whoa! I wasn't expecting that! So I sent her the letter and told her to take it into the school and get a deferment form. She calls me and said they said we had to get on Sallie Mae's site and download it from there. (Why does everything have to be so complicated!?) I tried. No joy. The username and password I had written down didn't work. So I tried to call. And got a machine with different options... none being one I needed. I think we have all been in that situation. Needless to say, I got frustrated. Started banging on the phone. My husband looked at me like I was nuts. (at that point, maybe I was!) But, hey, I got switched over to a live person!!! Who would have thunk it! Very nice man and he told me what to do. To conclude this rather long narrative, I took off work to day, drove to Indy and talked to a financial aid officer who actually seemed to know what she was talking about and got things squared away (at least for the moment!)

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Gone Catty

It's been a mad, crazy summer!  Since the husband wasn't working last year, I didn't get a chance to do any traveling.  I guess I've made up for it this summer--I've logged over 6000 miles, going here and there!  In between all of my traveling, my husband decided Roscoe needed a friend--that he was going to get fat and lazy since he turned a year old and didn't romp like a kitten anymore.  He kept saying that we needed to get another kitten.  I was very undecided about it.  I saw the reasoning behind it, but we already have two 13 year old cats plus Roscoe, did I really want the mess another pet brings with it?  But he convinced me.  A girl I work with had a new litter and I told her I would take one when they were weaned.  She brought me updates and pictures, we picked out a name.  And then a week before we were going to bring her home, the kitten died.  The whole litter, actually.  They think maybe the mother got into poison and passed it on to the kittens.  The local vet mentioned she had some strays so we decided to take one.  Meet Jinx.  He's 4 months old.  He was almost dead when the vet got him, but she nursed him and he survived.  He's lively, cuddley and he and Roscoe bonded immediately, which, of course, was the whole point of the thing!  Now we are a 4-cat family--it's going to make me crazy!  I think the Christmas tree is in trouble! 

Saturday, September 12, 2009


Me: Schuetzenfest isn't what it used to be.
Daughter: Isn't it just a big drinking party.
Me: There used to be so much more to it.  They've taken out the "schuetzen".
Daughter: "Schuetzen"?
Me: Well, yah, they used to have a trap shoot, that was a big part of it when it first started.
Daughter: Oh, it was like our family get togethers!
Friend:  Do you know where I can get a pair of lederhousen for my son--he's going to be in the parade.
Me:  Honey, it's just sad that we know what lederhousen are!

         Schuetzenfest is a German heritage festival started in our small town in 1966.  By 1976 the crowd had grown to 50,000 people.  College kids would come in by bus loads.  For my 12 year-old self it was great, for the organizers it was a disaster.  That year was like Woodstock--complete with bad Acid!  Lots of arrests, big mess left to clean up afterwards.  The next year it was held in a secret location and only members were allowed to go.  It returned to the fairgrounds but it has never been the same.  Those of us that weren't of drinking age in '76 talk about it with nostalgia, wishing it had been like that in our late teens and 20's.  I used to have a good time, but I think it's dying a slow death.  I didn't even go this year--the bratwurst just isn't calling loud enough!

Monday, August 24, 2009

State of the Union

My husband had yesterday off and the weather was beautiful, so we decided to go to the St. Louis Zoo. Altho I've already been there twice this year with the kids, the husband hasn't. The boy started school this week and is in a less than happy mood and wanted to stay home and have some alone time. Off we went! I mentioned on the way there that we haven't gone to the zoo by ourselves since our honeymoon! That was 21 years ago. We had a dandy good time and it's nice to know we still can. We had some rocky times when I wasn't sure we would make it--times when I wasn't sure I cared if we made it. But I'm so glad we held on. I know people who have nothing in common once the kids move on, but I think if we make the effort to not get into a rut, we can have a really good life--just the two of us!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Fragrance in the Air

We planted this Mamosa tree when we moved here 10 years ago and it is huge now. This year it has stayed bloomed all summer. I don't know if it is because of the weather, or because there didn't seem to be many Japanese Beetles. For whatever reason, it has been beautiful and I noticed one night when I had stepped out after dark how good it smelled. A few days ago while I was outside I noticed several hummingbirds buzzing around it. I do so love that tree!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Follow Up

My son and I made it to Indianapolis as planned, but the trip got cut short. The boy is a worrier and he decided he was getting sick (I think it was lack of sleep) so the whole stay was only about 24 hours. But we did alot in those 24 hours (and spent alot of money in the process)! We went shopping and out to eat on Sunday evening. Then headed to the theatre to see the new Harry Potter movie (our whole reason for picking that particular weekend) and then we headed down town in the middle of the night to see the fountain. Way past my bed time, but it was worth it! If you are ever in Indianapolis, go downtown after dark! Then a couple of hours of (bad) sleep and up and out for breakfast. Afterwords we went to the Zoo. We are so used to the St. Louis Zoo that the Indianapolis Zoo seemed rather small. But it is really beautiful and the exhibits impressed me. The animals were all out and moving around. We really enjoyed it. But after we left there the boy decided he wanted to head home instead of travel around Indiana. I even offered to get us a hotel room instead of spending another night with the girls but he was adamant. He just didn't want to be away from home if he was getting sick. I don't blame him, except I don't believe he was sick--just tired. But it saved me from spending more money, so that's okay!
Oh, and Lucky showed up for a bit Saturday afternoon. Then she disappeared again. I don't know where she is going!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Lost Luck

My Dad was allergic to cats, so we always had dogs and I considered myself a dog person. Then I met my husband, who was (and still is) an avowed cat person. He converted me. I understand people's attraction to dogs because of their companionship. But I think I prefer cats because they don't need the constant attention. It's the same reason I enjoy my children now--they can take care of themselves! I'm apparently not a very "motherly" sort of person! Our oldest cat is Lucky. We found her when she was only around 10 or 11 weeks old. The prevailing theory is that she came in on a farm truck. I found her uptown stuck behind a planter. I think she probably got scared and tried to hide. She was half wild--I don't believe she had been handled much. She never wanted to be a house cat so she spends most of her time outside. When she was young she liked to get into fights! One fight resulted in an infection that almost killed her and she has had skin troubles ever since that has resulted in her looking a bit mangy. She is very affectionate with us, but never let other people pet her. And we haven't seen her since Monday. She has disappeared on us before, but never for this long. I'm hoping she just shows up again, but with each passing day I'm starting to worry.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Road Trip

My 17 year old wants to go on a "road trip" so I promised him one this summer. Problem is I've already spent so much money lately and this could get pricey. I worry about what my husband will have to say about it (and no, I haven't told him yet.) I think it's just going to be from Sunday to Wednesday, if I can get someone to cover my shifts at work. We plan on going to Indianapolis first. We can stay at my daughter's apartment, altho she has 3 roommates-- it may be a bit crowded. But it's cheaper! We plan on going to the Imax theatre to see the Harry Potter movie Sunday evening, and then maybe the zoo on Monday. I'm hoping to spend the night again in Indy and then take off early Tuesday morning for wherever. I just haven't figured out where wherever is! A motel that night, some sight seeing Wednesday morning, and back home by evening. It seems so simple, but I'm one of those people who likes everything planned and organized and scheduled. I'm just not very flexible. I so wish I was! I think the boy needs this break so I'm doing it for him. And, in a way, I guess I'm doing it for myself to see if I can! I'm trying so hard to break out of the routine. It's not easy.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Hot and Muggy

A couple of weeks ago--the last day of a 2 week heat wave--our air conditioner quit. It was kind of nice because the days following were nice and the nights were down-right chilly at times, and I love having the windows open, but this week it got a bit warm. My son does not like hot weather and has let me know on a fairly regular basis, but getting an answer from the husband on what he thought we should do about it was not forthcoming. Today he tells me he thinks he knows what is wrong and he thinks he can order the part and fix it. Yeah for him! I just hope he's right because with this rain we've gotten in the last 24 hours, everything in the house is damp. I really had planned on cleaning this weekend, but it's kinda difficult when everything is sticking together!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Bloody Dried Boogers

A couple of weeks ago Mom and I headed to Cheyenne Wyoming to attend my niece's graduation. My brother is based there with the Air Force. He wasn't too sure about it when he first moved there, but he loves it now and plans to retire there. I like the town--it's easy to get around and the people have always seemed nice. My brother has told me several times that I should move there because they have gorgeous summers, but I tell him they may be gorgeous, but they are too short! Now, if you have ever been there, I think you will agree that it isn't the prettiest area. But you get just a little ways away and the landscape improves dramatically. On this particular trip we took an afternoon and headed south to Estes Park, Colorado. We drove by The Stanley Motel, and then went to eat at a restaurant/micro-brewery. I wish we had had more time, I would have loved to explore some of the little shops uptown. Maybe next time! I think this may be my second favorite trip to visit (the number 1 time being when we went to see Brother dear in a karaoke contest!). Mom and I got along splendidly, which isn't always the case since we are too much alike, and we got to spend time with my brother without spouses and kids and in-laws. I wish it wasn't a 15 hour drive so I could go more often. The only problem is the dry air--it definitely gives me trouble!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

I Swear, I'm Not Whining!

During High School and College I was a very social creature. I was always doing and going. Then I met my husband. He seemed rather sociable himself at the time. That was my "drunk weekend" summer--in otherwords, I didn't sober up from the beginning of April until about the end of August! I tell people I was drunk when I met him (at the bar) and when I sobered up, we were living together, so I just stayed and married him! It's really not so far from the truth, actually. And it turns out his social side had more to do with alcohol than I realized. Our "drinking buddies" faded away when we quit drinking. He would do well as a hermit. Once we had kids he hardly ever wanted to go to other people's houses, and he got mad at me when I invited people to our house. Plus, when you get married and have kids, it seems your single friends fade away. I still bowled, and had a bit of a social life there, but then I broke my ankle and that was the end of that. Before it healed enough the local Bowling Alley closed and it was just too expensive at the next town. Quite a few of my friends and cousins drifted off to other parts of the world. So now here I am at a point when my kids don't need me to be home and I've gotten past the point where I feel like I can't go out if my husband doesn't, and I have no friends! It really didn't happen overnight, it's been gradual and I only really noticed it had happened the last few years. I do still have one friend. But she still has young children and her social life is mainly limited to driving them around! She's been wanting to get together and go see a movie, but we have very different interests genre-wise! She likes horror flicks and I just don't. There is one club in town, the Garden Club, but that takes money to join. There used to be the Jr. Women's club, but it faded away for lack of interest. There is lots of church groups, but I don't do church. And the VFW does alot, and I think I could join now since my brother is eligible, but it's mainly a bar and I don't drink much anymore. I'm sure this is just a "dry spell" and I'll get out again. Anyway, that's what I keep telling myself!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The Zoo and the Roommates

My daughter and her roommates came home for the weekend for the sole purpose of going to the St. Louis Zoo. She goes to school in Indianapolis and her three roommates are all from Indiana, so this was new for them. I think I have mentioned that the Zoo is one of our favorite places to go. My husband and I went there on our honeymoon and we started going regularly when the kids were still babies. When my daughter decided to go to school in the opposite direction I didn't renew our Zoo membership because I didn't think we would be going again for a few years. But we all immediately missed it--or maybe just missed the thought of not going since it hadn't been that long since we last went! I renewed! I decided even if we don't get to go very often, I would still like to give the Zoo our support. I think good times were had by all, even though it was extremely crowded and extremely hot on Saturday! It's been so cool this Spring, but it got up to nearly 90 degrees that day! My husband and son both tend to be a bit antisocial, and don't like other people in their "territory" so I wasn't sure how they would do with 3 extra girls in the house for two nights, but they did well. I know I really enjoyed the girls' company! It brings back alot of my own memories from my late teens, my own college years.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Disfunctional Families 3

The funeral went better than I expected, especially after the obituary came out all wrong! Corrections were made, but one has to wonder who made the mistakes, since they were all on our names, but "their" names were all correct! I personally was a bit insulted when the lady-friend's children were listed before my husband and sister-in-law. I have seen a bitter side to myself through this whole ordeal that I didn't even realize I had. I was afraid I would get mouthy if something negative was said about any of us, but everyone was cordial, and we didn't actually talk to them as much as I was afraid we would have to. I went by my father-in-laws house yesterday and things were being removed. I thought about saying something, but I've tried to talk to my niece several times this week and have gotten no response. I think at this point I'm keeping my mouth shut. I know my husband wants nothing to do with any of it (possibly including his sister) , so unless someone contacts us with something that needs taken care of, I'm done with it. Quite honestly, my sister-in-law hasn't liked me for a long time. Why should I care if that changes now? We don't have Sunday dinners together and haven't even spent holidays together for over 10 years. This isn't going to change anything, although I thought it might. I've gotten so used to taking care of things for my husband, it's hard for me to turn it off and say "This is your deal, take care of it yourself. Or don't. Whatever. I'm out." We'll see. Maybe.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Disfunctional Families 2

Well, the old man died yesterday. It's been a tense few days. We never did get over to see him--my husband watched his mom die, he didn't really want to sit in the lady-friend's house and watch his dad die. I fully understand, especially since they weren't close. Funeral is tomorrow. Let the fun begin!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter!

I quit going to church several years ago. The church I grew up in closed over ten years ago and I started going to another church here in town. I tried. I taught children's Sunday school for several years, I chaired Bible School one summer, and I attended Adult Sunday school. But they couldn't keep a minister. The last one gave me the creeps. Plus, money seemed to be a part of the service too often. I quit going. I went a few times to the church my Mom had joined, but again, money was brought up during the service. I'm not talking about passing the plate here, I'm talking about money being a topic of discussion. The church I grew up in never talked about money. They might announce that the new envelopes were in, but money was discussed in a separate meeting once or twice a year following the regular service. I guess I'm too sensitive about it, but it really bothered me. My extended family is very religious--several preachers in the mix, even. And I just never had their faith. I told my Aunt once that I was probably Agnostic. The look on her face! Now, I just keep my mouth shut. Told my kids to keep theirs shut, too! But on Holidays, I do actually miss it.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Disfunctional Families

My father-in-law is dying. That is, if he hasn't already died. The man has another family. In this case, he never remarried, but he has been with the same woman for over 40 years. In all of those years they never actually lived together until the last year when his furnace quit working and he stayed at her house until he could get it fixed. Only, he never got it fixed! She was a widow with three young children, he was divorced with three (adopted) children. For whatever reason, he had custody of his children, and they spent every other weekend with their Mother. I think it was probably a very unusual situation during the late 60's. My husband rarely talks about his childhood, and when he does it isn't the fun type of stories I have to tell. I think it must have been very difficult. When we first were married I tried to have a relationship with him, especially after my own Dad died. The kids were still just babies and I believed they needed a Grandfather. My efforts didn't go very far. My husband basically said "I told you so". So, altho I have tried to stay in contact, I haven't put much effort into it; my husband none at all. His lady-friend's children have taken care of him. They have run him to his doctors appointments, they have spent holidays with him. I might say here, I was willing. I was never taken up on my offers. So now he is dying. We weren't even contacted until he had been in the hospital for 5 days, and then through an e-mail. I offered to take my niece to see him--the hospital is almost 100 miles away--but she decided to call before we got very far just to see if we could even get in to see the man. One of the daughters suggested she just talk to her grandfather on the phone, that maybe she wouldn't want to see him like that--that she keep her memories of him as she had seen him last, which has been over 5 years ago. I want to believe that she really believed that, but I have to wonder if they just don't want us there. They consider him as a father, and we are a reminder that he isn't really. My feeling is, they are the family he wishes he had had, while we are the family that he was responsible for. He had a heart attach 10 years ago and was only given 3 to 5 years at the time. We've always wondered if they would call us right away when he died, or if they would wait until they had some things arranged. My niece and I went and visited with the lady-friend yesterday since we didn't go to the hospital (her health is also bad and she isn't able to make the trip) and we spoke with her other daughter. We very plainly said we wanted to be kept up-dated, but we haven't heard a word all day. And I'm not sure why, but I feel such a need for this woman's children to understand that we did not stay away all these years because we chose too, but because we felt pushed away, both by my father-in-law, and by their mother. I have a large extended family, and we stay in close touch during trying times. It's hard for me to understand my husband's family. I really don't want to have to do the next few days, but I'm going to be so relieved when this is over with. I'm just praying that he has a will--we don't even care if he leaves everything to the other family. Hey, they took care of him! They should get it! (if there is even anything to get.)

Sunday, April 5, 2009


I'm so ready for Spring. Except the pollen is already making me sick. I try not to take very much medicine because I've gotten too dependent on it in the past, but I think I'm going to have to if the last couple of days have been any indication. I was so looking forward to this summer--our money situation is much better and I had planned on taking several trips. But I'm getting a bad feeling about things. Too many people in my extended family are sick, meaning cancer. It's like my body knows what is coming and already doesn't want to fight it. I'm not the best at handling things. I fell apart just before Dad died and ended up on medication for the last month. Maybe things are different now--I don't have a toddler and a new baby plus a new job to also deal with. On the upside, I have a job where I can take off whenever I need to so I can help the ones that need help. Maybe I won't get pulled to the breaking point this time. Maybe it just won't be as bad as I'm afraid it's going to be. Maybe.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Down Wind

Spring is here! The forsythia and crocus have done their things and already are starting to fade. The daffodils and tulips are making their appearance. And the ornamental pear trees are blooming out. They are beautiful in the early spring covered with their bundles of petite white flowers. They are popular in our town--the streets are lined with gorgeous white trees right now. The ornamental pear is well shaped and grows quickly, which I thought was a good choice when we moved into this house 10 years ago and realized the only tree in the yard was a blue spruce by the garage. Something I didn't know about them, tho, was the smell. While they are blooming they put off a horrible smell that reminded me of something, but I couldn't quite put my finger on what. Then it came to me Thursday at the park. My husband and I had gone to Subway and gotten sandwiches and stopped at the park to eat. As I took my first bite I got a whiff of rotten tomato. Only I could tell by the taste that the tomato on my sandwich wasn't bad. Looking over my shoulder, I realized we were downwind of a pear tree! And it hit me--they smell like rotten tomatoes! Thank goodness they only bloom for a couple of weeks!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Listening From the Edge

My daughter is home from college for the week. It's nice, but I realize how easy it was for me to adjust to her leaving. I'm not saying it didn't effect me-- I think I was on the verge of crying the first whole week, and just a bit less the next week. I miss her, but I also realize this is what I worked the last 18 years for! I try to go to bed a bit early each night so that she and her younger brother can have some time together. I can hear them talking and laughing and think how lucky I am that they get along so well. And they don't even know what a gift their friendship is. My brother and I didn't have that kind of a relationship. I love him to death and really enjoy the time I spend with him, but that didn't come until later in our life. To be honest, I don't think I even liked him until I was in college! So, for the next three nights before she goes back, I am going to lay in bed and listen to them laugh. It's probably one of the best gifts they can give me!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Birthday Blahs

I turned 45 this week. I wasn't sure how I would do. Turning 30 and 40 didn't bother me, but 35 about killed me! So far, 45 hasn't bothered me a bit. I know the reason 35 bothered me was because I was in the middle of raising two young children, taking care of the house and working evenings and I believe there is something that goes on with alot of women when they are going through the day to day stress of being constantly "on". I mean, when your kids are little, you watch their every move. You want to keep them safe, and you are teaching them and preparing them to maneuver in the world. Plus, housework is the same repetition day after day. It's mentally exhausting! And most men don't get it. I'm not trying to take away from the stress I've seen the men in my life go through working full time--quite often being the familie's main financial supporter, often at jobs they don't like. But, at least in my case, I did most of the parenting. Even though I worked evenings and my husband took care of the kids, he still left the discipline to me. I would come home and he would say "You need to tell your daughter...." It got old, and when my 35th birthday came around I got rather depressed. One day I realized I couldn't remember what I had planned for my life when I was 17/18 years old. We have such lofty ideas when we are teenagers, then suddenly one day we wake up and realize that life happened. It took me a while to reconcile myself to being a wife and a mother. I think it was made harder by the fact that I never really planned on getting married and doing the whole house-wife thing. I just wasn't where I wanted to be. And chances were I never would be. So now it's 10 years later and the only difference is I'm working full time, my kids don't need Mom quite so much and I did go back to school and get my Bachelors degree. Not that it got me a job--everything I got offered was part-time and we just couldn't afford a smaller paycheck. So I'm a bit down about our financial situation, but at least my age isn't bothering me!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Winter Blahs

Things have been dreary. It's that "end of winter" that everyone seems to feel. A few of us at work decided our bodies want to hibernate, and we just keep trying to push ourselves forward by sheer force of will. The result is we are barely there--we are like puppets going through the motions. The last few days have been Spring Preview days--today got up to 71! Makes me want to be 22 again, no responsibilities. Just get off work and meet my friends at the bar and party all night! My Glory days! But that's not my life now. And like I said, it's just a preview. It's supposed to be back down in the 40s again by the middle of next week! It's just not fair!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy V-Day!

Valentine's Day has never been a big deal around here, not because I didn't want to but because my husband isn't particularly romantic and finds it all a bit silly. I guess after 20 years I know not to expect anything. So I was a bit surprised when he actually suggested we go out to eat today! I think it's just because this is the first Saturday he hasn't had to work since he started his new job in December! I'm not picky--I'll take him up on it!
I got told at work they expected cookies, so they got cookies!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Winter Wonderland

We seemed to get some good snows when I was a kid. In fact, my High School Graduation was held two weeks later then normal because we had so much snow that year that we missed about 3 weeks of school. My kids have never seen a winter like we saw in the 70's and early 80's. In fact, I just realized recently that they have never been sledding. How sad! Well, last week they got a little taste of it. I believe this is the most snow we've had since we moved to this house, and that will be 10 years come September. It's true that 10 years ago during the first of January we got a good amount, but that was also with freezing rain on top of it. Not good to play in. Unfortunately, both kids are old enough now it was more of an inconvenience (trying to dig the car out!) than it was fun. But the school called two snow days, so my son thought it was a wonderful thing!

Saturday, January 24, 2009


When I was in High School and College, music was my It. I'm not musically inclined--I played clarinet in Band and took Piano lessons, but I was never a natural. And I've never been able to carry a tune well. But music was always playing in my head, even if there wasn't any actual music playing. My brother has a huge amount of natural talent. He had a garage band all through High School that was pretty popular among the teenyboppers in the area. I had this idea that they were going to make it big and I was going to be a roadie. Future planned. Life was good! Of course, they graduated and went their separate ways, and I was floundering in college. Somehow, I ended up married and had children and got too busy to keep up. But now that the kids are about grown up I find I have more time on my hands. I think I would like to find that artsy side of myself again, just not sure how. I've been listening to my Playlist all afternoon. I've been adding a song here and there for the last 6 months, but hadn't actually ever listened to it for more than a hand full of songs. It makes me feel young again!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Cold Fish

For the last several years we have had a water disaster at Christmas. Two years ago, even as the Tsunami hit Asia, the water pipe in the mud room burst. Last year, even though it was turned off, it burst again. This year, the roof leaked (and we have a fairly new roof!). We laughed--"ha, ha, we've had our water disaster for Christmas". Ha, ha. We didn't know that was only a preview. Christmas at Mom's didn't turn out quite as expected. My stepbrother from the Chicago area was sick so he and his wife didn't make it. Therefore, the party was small. And when we headed home, we found that the forecast for "flash floods" was spot on. I drive a Dodge Neon. Great car. No trouble with it and the gas mileage is great. But it is fairly low to the ground. I was driving through water that was up to the door and it was making me nervous. It didn't help that it was dark. I decided to take a shortcut across some gravel that turned out not to be gravel. The more I tried to get out of the mud, the deeper I got! I called my Stepdad and he came with his four-wheel drive and he was able to pull us out. And it was raining the whole time. By the time we got home, we were covered head to toe in mud! I don't imagine I have to even explain how my car looked--inside and out! (But, hey, it's a funny story I can tell my Grandkids some day!) So we laughed, "ha, ha, I guess that was the water disaster of 2008!" Only, today the cat spilled the aquarium water that I was using to water my plants, then the hose at the sink popped apart and squirted all over me. I'm a Pisces, so I'm taking this all as a good sign for 2009!