Sunday, August 24, 2014

I. Am. Exhausted.

We lead somewhat normal lives.  Only two people live in our house.  Our days fly by, and I feel like I am going to miss out if we don't travel here and yonder before we can't.

Here are my reasons, excuses, whatever you want to call them, why I have been unable to blog for several days in a row.

1)     I am busy.
2)     I try to relax in the evenings, but if anyone of us needs clothes, as in the clean variety, things have to be done.
3)     I've been working on a Fantasy Football league for rookies.  OMGoodness.  I know a little something about football, but this is a whole new animal.
4)     Personal upkeep.  A girl needs to have her hair done from time to time.  She might need a pedicure.  She might have a doctor's appointment.  Just regular stuff.
5)     School.  You'll never believe it.  I can barely believe it.  I am taking Legal Assistant classes at one of the finest LA programs in the country.  It will take a lot of Saturdays.
This includes homework, not a minimal amount.  No need for a lot of details here.  I'm totally buying in...
 Lots of fun things going on here.  I'll clue you in as things develop.
Looking forward to a mountain retreat soon.  
Hope it's not 102 in Denver, as it has been lately.

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Saturday, August 9, 2014

She is Perfect

I get asked a lot about my relatively new role as "Lily," the grandparent.  I am still having a hard time putting strong and accurate enough words with my answers to all the questions.  Writing this blog, I find myself trying to make sure that I am relatable.  I am fully aware that I am not the first grandmother EVER.  Just like I wasn't the first mother EVER.  Conversely, do I love my kids more than anything?  Sure do.  Do I believe that this precious Baby O is the most darling baby girl ever born?  Dang right!  
Can I get the perfect picture of her?  Not on my life.  One of those regrets I was telling you about, that I never have my camera, requires me to use my phone.  And the fact is, I am not all that great using the camera on it.  She is not a wild or busy child.  You really don't realize she moves much until you try to take a picture.  Every picture I have is somewhat blurry.  
Or I didn't remove the slobber.  Or she blinks.  
Surely it isn't me moving while I take the picture...
She is far from a cranky baby.  But she makes funny expressions, and we would love to know what she is thinking...  This punkin is a great sleeper at the moment.  I would love to tell you how many hours she sleeps in a row at night.  Would it be polite to say that there are two digits in the number of hours she sleeps?  Or is that bragging?
Gosh, she is such a little dumplin.  I can honestly tell you that I had no idea what fun this new role would be.  We haven't been able to spend as many hours as we would like with her due to "life" -- but we are so fortunate that she lives within 20 or so minutes from our house. 

Back to being relatable.  I want to talk about how I understand how others feel about their grandchildren.  I never want to make anyone think we love ours more than they love theirs.  It's just that "we get it."  As our kids were growing up, I always tried to not brag.  Not to say I didn't, but I tried to be aware, and the goal was to be polite.  This is where I just want to quit writing, because I know I can't express what I really want to say.  I think all human beings are equal.  We are no better than the people that will never read this because they don't have access to a computer.  I never, ever want to hurt anyone's feelings.  But I do love my family, just like I hope you love yours.  
We are blessed.


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Thursday, August 7, 2014

My Disneyland....

I teased so many people into the blog yesterday by pretending that I was going to reveal my life's biggest regrets...  Sorry.  I won't very often go deep here on the blog.  Kinda depends...

Looking through pictures today, I found my happy place.  Happiest place on earth.  
My Disneyland.
Maui, Hawaii.  Why we can relax there like nowhere else, I can't explain.  But I am not headed there any time soon, and I kind of regret that.  Well, maybe I am not too unhappy we didn't have plans to go in the next month or so...  we hope the hurricanes headed that direction are not as serious as expected.  You know, I've been in the weather business long enough to see more wrong forecasts than right ones.  

One day I was on the phone with a person at American Airlines, and I told them that.  This was when I was trying to tell them that my flight was cancelled, and they said it wasn't.  I had this super cool weather app that also gives flight information.  It told me the flight was cancelled 3 hours before the airline admitted it.  By them stalling, I was unable to make my next connection, and the travel tumbling began.  Lucky for me, I like to travel so much, hiccups like that are nothing new.  It never fails that you see someone yelling at the gate agent about how they "are never going to fly XYZ Airlines again!"  The same thing always comes to mind, and someday I am actually going to say it to the screamer.  "Hey, when you find the perfect airline with perfect people, perfect planes, and that can control the weather, please let me know."  *sarcasm*  I can't help it.  
Calmly, I want to say, "People, people...... Flexibility....... Thank you."
The landscape kind of reminds me of home.  Well, not the green part.  
Nor the mountainous part.

Okay... the next picture is me being silly.  I hope it is perceived as such.  I am wearing a swimsuit.  I am on the beach.  Listening to my iPod, sometimes I break into song.  Other times, I even move like I am dancing.  This photo is untouched.  It shows that I truly do not have abs of steel.  Clearly, this is not a selfie.  
Pretty sure I was showing my "moves like Jagger."
Thank you, Lord, that my knees are together.  Otherwise, there would have been no picture posted at all.  I fully expect some boy from high school to comment on my most famous body parts -- my thumbs and my toes.  I was an anomaly.
Time to let the sun set on this mini vacay.  I hope the Hawaiians stay safe, and I hope that the weathermen are wrong -- again.

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Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Regrets.....

After getting a call from a travel magazine in Indianapolis a few weeks ago, I thought I would just take my camera (my good one) and hit the open road.  They are publishing one of my pics from the European Christmas markets we visited last year.  It's really amazing the comments, responses and funny things that happen to you when you blog about random things.  I didn't make it very far.  Life got in the way, and I found myself back in my house with not many photography subjects.

When I have quiet moments in my day, or when I am driving down the road, I tend to let my mind wander.  Today I got to thinking about some regrets I have.  Nothing big and serious, in fact, several funny things crossed my thoughts.  I wish I had continued playing the piano.  That's probably on a lot of people's lists.  I wish I hadn't been so afraid when I was younger.  Afraid of failure, afraid of grouchy adults, afraid of the unknown... I remember being fearful about things that don't even cross my mind now.  I always regret not having my camera with me.  When I do grab one of them, the battery is dead.  My phone is not the best camera.  But it sounds like approximately September 19th, that could all change.  Let's see what Apple says on September 9th.    :)

And I am craving Mexican food.  Really delicious, authentic Mexican food.  Specific things that are not available here.  I keep begging Chief to take me to New Mexico and feed me.  That's all.  Here's what I want. 
That's right.  Here's where you get it.  And I think I am available next week.
I just don't want to miss anything.  For nearly 10 years now, I have been in this "life is short" mode -- and I think we need to go and do everything before it is too late.  Right now, we are healthy enough to travel easily.  We can sit in airplane seats for long periods of time.  We can drive anywhere.  We can walk long distances.  We like to golf, but we rarely make time for it.  We don't have to worry about getting too far away from our doctors.  We have energy.  I don't limp, and I don't have any back problems.  We should roll.  Soon.

Other than the fact that next week is "Shark Week" on the Discovery Channel, there's not much to look forward to on television.
I did pass on both Sharknado and Sharknado 2, but I have to admit, I am a little curious.

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Saturday, August 2, 2014

My favorites...

I enjoy taking pictures.  Not that I always have my camera with me, sometimes my phone has to do.  But I wanted to share some of my favorite things today.  
Or at least photographs of them...
Quite possibly the cutest puppy ever, I love my Clare.  She is so sweet natured.
Santa Fe.  I love everything about it.  It's not far from home.  I can eat Mexican food 3 times a day if I want.  It is beautiful and has pleasant weather almost any time of year.  
I don't mind going by myself because I feel so safe.
Thunder Basketball.  Watching in person or on television, I'm really not that picky.  
I love this team and what they represent.
Well, here's a view I can't get enough of seeing.  Every part of this kind of travel has become exciting to me.  I still like to drive, but I love the speed that flying offers.
One of the teams I follow.  You know I can watch anything.  Yes, even golf.
Under no circumstances do I consider myself a foodie, but when I order this dessert, most people ask me what it is.  Oh my, I love me a good profiterole.  LOVE.  THEM.

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Sunday, July 27, 2014

4th of July continues...

So the 4th of July pictures continue to roll in...  Our oldest son put himself in charge of recreation and entertainment.  Therefore, we had remote control airplanes to throw water balloons at, and cars for the dogs to chase until they had to jump in the baby pool to cool off.  He even ordered big, new slingshots to fire the water balloons at the plane that he was willing to crash.  
Apparently, he needed some assistance decorating the plain white plane, after naming her 'Merica.  I am always kept in check by my kids who constantly teach me about pop culture things, and 'Merica was the word of the month.  May have had something to do with the World Cup?  Anyway, being the hip mom and Lily that I am, I bought in to the idea that 'Merica was in no way a desecration of the word, America.  
It was just the word of the moment.
Yes, it took three men to effectively shoot the small water balloons at the flying target.
Yes, clearly, someone could have been hurt.  Raising boys, the concept of someone being hurt is fairly familiar to me.  It happens.
Usually, it is the biggest boy, Chief, that comes home with the injuries.  It's nothing for him to walk in the door of an evening, dripping blood dried up on his head, and say, "what?"  Me, being Wife of the Year -- I typically look at the floor and try not to laugh where he can hear me.  He seriously has no idea that 6 hours ago when he was under that tractor and bumped his head, it drew blood, ran down his face, dried up, and he never even knew.  He's not complaining, so why should I?
Girls can play.  Even ones that are dressed cute and not laying on the pavement.
Here is oldest son, showing the neighbors about the cool device that fills and blows up water balloons, even tying them.  But that is before he pulls out the dangerous gases, and big pieces of PVC pipe to shoot his best potato gun.  Yes, he has more than one, but this one shoots the farthest.  Being that we live where there is no danger of a potato hitting anyone as long as it is fired somewhat north, I turn the other way and hope for the best.  It's one of those deals where I let Chief shut it down if need be, because I want no part of it.
It's not long before younger brother finds a sack full of "old" fireworks that my brother obviously smuggled into town.  He's never seen such a treasure trove of explosives.  These pop bottle rockets have been illegal since the 80's, but my bro said he just bought them a year or two ago.  (Doubtful.)  And these are giant ones!  No, of course we didn't shoot them off.  That would be against the law.  I'm pretty sure he took them back to his home.  Far, far away from here.  Because I assure you, they were not lit.  
Here.  That I know of... on the 4th of July.

Chief turned on the Mac Davis, Charlie Rich, and Johnny Cash playlist that I prepared, but the crowd got so rowdy, that we never got the chance to sing along.  I think it was because there was too much food.  And ice cream.
I sure do love these guys.  When did they grow up and everything?  We are blessed.

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Saturday, July 26, 2014

Very Belated J4 Celebration Report

Oh my.  Here we are at almost the end of July, and I just found all these pictures that reminded me what we did on Independence Day.

The ideas started swirling about a year ago.  My siblings and I grew up around a group of friends that we have tried to stay close to since adolescence.  They were neighbors and friends of our parents, so we spent lots of time together back in the day.  I may have been the oldest, okay, so I was, and everyone else fell into about a 9-10 year span.  We spent hours, no kidding, hours, on the trampoline, in the swimming pools, and on skateboards.  The braver, that word doesn't seem right, maybe more reckless of the group (boys) have had stitches and scars to prove it.  You could start about 3 houses up the street, and get some real speed up, while skateboarding down the sidewalk, making a pretty sharp curve and down my folks' driveway, ending in deep green grass that made whatever stop you chose, a soft one.  My brother always tried to be the wildest.  He would end with a flip in the air, never landing on his feet, or a tuck and roll to see if he could make it a triple.  But we girls would do it, too.  We just tried to be somewhat graceful -- landing in a round-off, high toe touch jump, or maybe the splits.

Anyway, we haven't seen each other, all in one place, in forever, so we thought the Fourth of July would be a perfect opportunity.  We have some memories of previous July 4th's so long ago, mostly including explosions and near-trips to the emergency room, and last year we started planning it for this year.  We discussed songs we sang in the motor home while traveling to a camping and fishing site.  They all revolved around Mac Davis, Freddie Fender, Charlie Rich, Helen Reddy, Roger Miller, Tony Orlando and Dawn, and of course, Johnny Cash.  It was karaoke before there was karaoke.  We harmonized and everything.  J & R were the real performers.  Back in the day, they sang on stage at public events with a microphone and everything.  Oddly enough, they are not in these pictures.  But they were here.

Of course, when an event is at your house, you never get all the pictures taken that you wish you did...  so I don't have pics of everyone, but I am sharing the ones I have... 
First, that beautiful punkin, O.  Little sugar.  My sweet DIL got this picture of her in front of a flag in memory of her maternal great grandfather.  
This would be kinda cool to do every year.  :)
But she was here and looking all darling and firecracker-ish.
I just love having Baby O's mom and dad around.  They are so much fun!
And then we have Baby O's aunt and uncle, we love having them around, too!  
They just got back from grad school abroad.  Yay!
Of course, my cute and busy folks were here.  They are always in for some fun, too!  I had to crop this picture in as much as I could because there is stuff all around them that would require too much explanation.  Even then I wasn't able to crop them closer and eliminate the unusual PVC pipe behind Dad and the can of deodorant on the window sill behind them both.  It's a long story.  More later.
Unnamed person in my kitchen -- mission unknown.
My brother, playing it cool.
My precious sister-in-love and sweet niece, and my brother -- 
playing it how he really is.
Here's Charlie, one of my loving grand-puppies, celebrating like the good sport he is.
All I ask, when I have all the kids together, is for one nice picture.
It seems an impossible task.
 But I just keep the camera going, because it is always so much fun.
Eventually, I give up.  We'll try again at Christmas.

This was such a fun day, we have pictures too many to count.  I'll have to tell you more about it tomorrow.  I didn't even get to the PVC pipe and deodorant contraption.

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