Sunday, August 30, 2009

30 Days of Happiness: Day 4

These are supposed to be little things, but sometimes a mama's gotta brag:

My Monkeybutt pitched his first perfect game today! Oh yeah, that's my kid.
(you may be noticing the picture is from June. I was the bad mom who didn't happen to have her camera on her for her kid's first perfect game. Yikes, bad mama. But this particular day had to be documented somehow.)

30 Days of Happiness: Day 3

Being silly with the kiddles. Good times.

Days of Happiness: Day 2

Lalalala...running free and wild through an office supply store. Aisles of pens, binders, and joy of joys, office organizing paraphenalia galore! Ecstasy, I tell you.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

30 Days of Happiness: Day 1

In an effort to appreciate the everyday, I have decided to participate in Bluebirdbaby's "30 Days of Happiness" challenge. Each day we are supposed to post a photo and description of something that makes us happy. So here we go:
I know, Mom, you hate that I'm posting this, but I'll only say nice things, I promise (kisses):

I had lunch with my mom today. I talk about her often, but I don't believe I've ever dedicated an entire post to her, and I should, because she is fabulous. She is a sweet and caring soul, fun-loving, silly, and a superb grandma. She will laugh at all your jokes, and cry with you when you are sad, even if she has no idea why. She will always help in a pinch, whether she can or not. She always put us first when we were growing up, and that is the most important thing a mother can do. And now that I am grown, I am thrilled to count her among my closest friends.
Are you tearing up yet, Mom? You are certainly a reason to be happy.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

An introspective moment.

I'm feeling the need to write, but I have little to say. You know what that means - time for another rambling, really going nowhere kind of post.

My friend A, my darling nephew and I went to Archivers (where good little scrapbookers go when they die) today. I spent $24, but then I put back all the pretty paper I bought, because I've promised myself I would not buy any more paper, no matter how pretty, until I use what I have. It made me want to cry, especially to put away the embossed green apple paper.

We also went to Trader Joe's, and they had dark chocolate covered raisins, which they are always out of, and I bought some, with great pleasure. I also love their triple ginger snaps - they are so delicious with hot tea. Before that, we had lunch at the Cheesecake Factory and I picked the nephew up, and kind of jostled him to get him higher on my hip, and I slammed his poor little head on the pillar behind me. He ended up with a bruise and a lump, and I almost started crying harder than he did. I put ice on his head, and kissed it and kissed it and said 100 times, I'm so sorry, sweet boy and he said, "I'm ok, Missy. It's ok." He's such a pumpkin.

I just entered a drawing on Jenica's blog to win something beautiful from Liz's Etsy shop. The question to answer was "how do you honor your own talents during moments of doubt?" This was a good question for me to ponder; I have a habit of considering myself a "creative soul with no talent." I hate that. I hate the feeling of being a hack in a world of amazingly talented women. And, in thinking of an answer, I realized; I don't do creative things to demonstrate my talent to myself or others. I draw, photograph, scrapbook, sew, knit, and especially, write, because those things make me happy. The picture above demonstrates that fact perfectly - I'm sure a more talented photographer could have taken a better picture. But I took this picture, and the 15 other pictures of the same cloud, because I was sitting outside, talking to my brother, and the light was hitting this cloud so beautifully, and I really just wanted to capture the moment with my camera. I enjoyed taking the pictures. Just like I enjoy writing this blog - I take a great deal of pleasure in sharing words with other people, and there are some people who are just kind enough to sit and read what I have to share. I thank you all for that, but even if nobody ever read this, I probably would still write it. It makes me happy.

Wow, serious rambling. I'm going upstairs to enjoy this last 1/2 hour alone on my chaise lounge, on the porch, with a book and a bottle of water. Have a great day.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

This Year's Garden - Here's what I've learned

First and foremost I've learned gardening is not something that is just "in the blood." If that was the case, I would be swimming in homegrown produce by now. My paternal grandparents and my father were avid gardeners, with bountiful harvests each year. I remember picking sugar snap peas with my dad in late summer, loving the smell of fresh dill in my grandpa's garden, eating jar upon jar of my grandmother's sweet pickles, made from cucumbers they grew. My grandma grew beautiful flowers, surrounding her house. This year I have managed to:

1. Grow 1 carrot from seed. I'm not necessarily blaming myself, though, the rabbits ate most of them.
2. I've gotten 7 ripe tomatoes from my 5 plants so far. I may get more, but they are not wonderful tomatoes. And, apparently, rabbits will eat tomato plants, too. I planted 9 plants, and two were eaten. And they were very obviously eaten.
3. Grow 2 radishes from seed. I think I needed to thin them out more.
4. I have tons of jalopenos. The two plants I planted are going nuts.

5. My basil and parsley are doing great, too. I'm going to have to freeze some before they die off.

6. I grew some huge poppies from seed. And one sunflower. The rabbits ate the rest.

7. I killed a knock-out rose bush. I'm not sure how it happened, either - one day it was blooming furiously and the next day it was brown and dry. Crazy.
8. Strangled my hostas. I really should weed over there.

9. I grew a huge pumpkin patch, by mistake. I threw my pumpkin innards in the back bed last fall, and ended up with pumpkin vines growing into the lawn. I let them go, thinking I would end up with a bunch of pumpkins. Apparently I need to read up on growing pumpkins - they ripened really fast, and I ended up with 5 small nice pumpkins and 7 rotton ones I had to scrape out of my garden. I thought they wouldn't ripen until October - I was wrong.

10. I have a lot more to learn about gardening, but I am enjoying the lessons.

Friday, August 21, 2009

The summer list - update

I spent so much time without words this past month - now I am overflowing with them, but I must hold back the flood and let it trickle a post at a time.

To update the summer list - appropriate since school started this week. We did not complete the whole list as of yet, but here in our beloved Kentucky the summer weather lasts awhile, so we can, hopefully, grab a free moment here and there (between practices and games - so much soccer and baseball this fall.)

1. Make popscicles DONE - I made a tasty blueberry, grape juice and vanilla yogurt concoction
2. Go camping - we were supposed to, and then we didn't. Maybe some weekend in September or October we'll go over to General Butler. Even just for the night.
3. Ride our bikes to the library - we didn't do this either, and I planned to all summer. In fact, my bike has been hanging from its hooks for a few months now.
4. Pick our fresh tomatoes - I've picked some, and I will pick some more today
5. Make something summery and delicious from one of our kid's cookbooks
6. Paint outside
7. Hike a few new trails in the area
8. Read all together on the back porch
9. Go on a picnic
10. Have a bbq with friends - next week
11. Make GORP
12. Visit the local farmer's market - try something new
13. Run a lemonade stand
14. Watch the meteor shower - DONE and this was lovely, laying out with my kiddles on the chaise lounge, watching the sky. We were up way too late, but it was worth it.
15. Make ice cream sandwiches
16. Try a new salad
17. Visit the zoo - DONE, several times
18. Pick blackberries
19. Make jam
20. Make smoothies - DONE
21. Play a lot of games (especially Scrabble - have I mentioned how much I love Scrabble?)DONE
22. Go to a Reds game DONE
23. Go somewhere in a boat - any boat - we took the water taxis in Chicago
24. Go to an outdoor concert
25. Enjoy these last few weeks with my young'uns before they go back to the grind. DONE

I'm a little ashamed how little we did. That said, we spent hours at the pool, playing and swimming. We wandered the zoo, played games, and relaxed together. Number 25 was the most important one, after all, and we did enjoy our last few weeks.

School school school, lalalala

Wednesday was the first day of school, oh most glorious of days. The girl was quite thrilled to be off to 1st grade:

The boy, maybe, not so psyched about starting 7th grade, which is, as you know, the hardest of all grades (he says):

What is sad, and perhaps a little scary, is...although I love school being in session. I adore the routine of it, the joy of learning, the consistency of the days, the smell of school supplies, the peace of not having my two little villains at each other's throats all day...I kind of found myself missing them today. We had such a joyful end of summer...I wanted to pick them up from school and take them to the pool and out for ice cream (I will post a little more about our summer list later this week.)

Then I got over it and enjoyed the peace a little more.

So, what am I thankful for this thankful Thursday?

1. A brand new pencil sharpener that neatly and cleanly sharpened 48 - yes, I said 48 - pencils on Tuesday.

2. The fine physique of Jeffrey Donovan, the star of Burn Notice, which I was able to watch while I ate my sandwich for lunch today - without any whiny kids trying to turn on yet another episode of iCarly.

3. A day with structure - we're up at the same time, eating breakfast at the same time, on the bus at the same time.

4. An intriguing new teacher for the girl. A teacher with a well-organized classroom and lesson plan, and a very cool, violent-sounding name.

5. A whole big chunk of alone time for me. This will not last long - I do have to find a job - but darn, I am enjoying it while it lasts.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Tidbits and snippets of the past week

I'm having some empty brain issues this week, but I've received a complaint or two about the lack of posts. I figured, start typing, something always comes out.

1. My sister B had a little girl on July 9. We drove up to Chicago to see her and the rest of the fam that lives in the area last weekend. My sister L also flew in to visit, so it was a very cool time to reconnect. My new little niece is such a darling petunia, I wanted to nibble her toes all weekend. We also took our kiddles on the train down to the city - The Girl Child hasn't been since she was 8 months old, and really , she doesn't remember much. Our favorite parts were entirely transportation-based - the train ride and rides on the water taxi (Hey Donna - there's my boat ride off the summer list). I'll post pics as sooon as I get them off my camera.

2. I checked out a buttload of books from the library last week, and I have spent the days since we returned alternating between knitting a scarf and gobbling these books. New publications by Sarah Strohmeyer, Dean Koontz and Jane Green, some of my favorites. All I need is a cool breeze and some good chocolate, and my ultimate reading fantasy would be complete. I'm done with the first two, I'm about to start the Jane Green. Yay for yummy reading!

3. My Studmuffin has been on vacay all week, so he got to do the Chicago visit, and has been hanging with us the rest of the week. It's a little pathetic, but I have trouble relaxing when he's here all day. Anyway, my Monkeybutt started soccer and baseball practice this past week. This should prove to be a very full autumn.

4. I need a job. Anybody got one for me?

Time to be off. Sleep well.