Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Goodbye, September

So, how did I do on that September bucket list that I came up with at the beginning of the month? Well, let's see:

-Make the perfect risotto. Done, and done! The butternut squash risotto that I made was killer; the entire family liked it.

-Say something nice about someone, everyday. Let's go ahead and combine this with the next goal, which was to say something nice TO someone, everyday. I really feel like I accomplished both of these goals. I don't even think it was hard, mostly because I try to be a fairly nice person, anyway.

-Help The Teenager make a safe and comfortable new home. This was a no-brainer. Although we don't officially close on the new house until Monday, The Teenager, Katie, and their third roommate are safely ensconced in their new digs. They've made it pretty darn cute, too.

-Help with a football team dinner. Fruit kabobs, anyone?

-Take pictures that make me happy. Another no-brainer, the kids being my favorite subjects more often than not. Examples include:

-Take pictures that make other people happy. I enjoyed this goal, because photography has tended to be my go-to method of sharing with my friends. I don't think I'm bragging when I say that a lot of my pictures make people happy, but here are a couple of my favorites from this month:

 This one made a friend of ours very happy.

This is the moment that our very special friend was announced as this year's Homecoming King

And this was the moment that he crowned his Queen.

-Send summer off in style. We accomplished this goal on the lake. Because, of course we did.

-Embrace fall by decorating the house and porch. Yeah...I never actually got around to doing this. The weather was just so unseasonably warm, and the flowers on the porch just continued to bloom and bloom...I have, however, decorated for Halloween, so, I'm not a total loser.

-Cook a big pot of butternut squash soup. This has also not happened, yet. See above: Unseasonably warm and not soup-making weather.

-Go to the gynecologist to make sure I am a normal hormonal mess and not an abnormal mess of some type. One painfully thorough pelvic exam and an endometrial biopsy later and I can honestly say that I am a normal hormonal mess. Yay?

And, that's it for the September goals. Tune in later as I set some fantastic new ones for October, look for them to include marathon horror-movie-watching and epic bouts of chocolate bingeing!

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

This Pretty Much Sums It Up


On the bright side, I am on day three of no new funkiness down in Ladyville. So, would I rather have the bi-polar mood swings, or, the unpredictable panty bombs...hmmm...dilemma.

Monday, September 28, 2015

How About That Blood Moon?

It seems apropos that I decorated for Halloween on the weekend of the lunar eclipse; the eerie red moon provided the perfect atmosphere for the gathering of skeletons on the porch.

The human gathering in the back yard was slightly less creepy. Hugh, The Teenager, the Man-Cub and I viewed the eclipse from the comfort of lawn chairs. The weather was unseasonably warm, so we watched it from the start all the way through the blood moon stage before calling it a night.

I didn't get any pictures of the eclipse, but it's not something that I will forget anytime, soon; I love the night sky and all of it's mysteries.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Done, and Done!

I finished everything on my weekend to-do list! Well, other than clearing out the garden, but, that's ok, I'll get to it next weekend.

On a sad note, Hugh broke the frame on my antique iron bed while attempting to put it back together following it's relocation to the new guest room. He is confident that the guys in our shop can weld it back together and I hope he is right; I love that old bed.

The now empty guest bedroom will remain empty for the foreseeable future, as I am at the mercy of Hugh's wiles when it comes to ordering the cabinets and countertop that will form the main workspace for my scrapbooking haven.

Last night, I did bid on a storage unit that fastens to the wall; unfortunately, I didn't win, but! I found the exact unit on clearance at Target an hour later, so, boo-ya! Drove up the bid, which meant more money for the recipients of the fundraiser AND I got what I wanted for less than a quarter of what I was prepared to pay at the auction. It's going to look fabulous in that room, once Hugh gets on the ball.

Right now, I am helping The Teenager with her homework before she has to head back to Neighboring City. She came in late last night and, today, I took her shopping for a black skirt and sensible pumps for a presentation that she is due to give on Tuesday. I also allowed her to "shop" my pantry and freezer, and am confident that she will not starve when she returns to school.

I am amazed by just how much I accomplished this weekend, considering how crummy I felt last week. I hope I can keep up the momentum at work this week.

Although, I would never pass up an opportunity to nap.

Just sayin'.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Things I Acomplished Today

In no particular order:

  • Hauled seven large totes full of Halloween decorations out of the attic.
  • Decorated the house for Halloween.
  • Decorated the porch for Halloween.
  • Organized the attic.
  • Planted three mum bushes.
  • Stored away the porch planters for next year.
  • Washed, dried, and folded approximately eighty loads of laundry.
  • Hung new curtains in our bedroom and in The Teenager's old room.
  • Cleaned out the hummingbird feeders and stored them away for next year.
  • Filled the bird feeders with birdseed for my other feathered friends.
  • Cleaned the house.
  • Organized the garage, making room for the empty Halloween totes and sparing myself another fourteen trips up and down the attic ladder.
  • Took an hour-long nap.
  • Attended a fundraising dinner for some friends who were in a horrible motorcycle accident earlier this summer (they are doing GREAT! Thank God).
Despite my afternoon nap, I am exhausted. Unfortunately, there were a number of things that I did not get around to doing, including:

  • Payroll at the hardware store.
  • Bill paying and general bookkeeping duties at the store.
  • Re-locating the furniture from the guest room into The Teenager's old room.
  • Organizing the old guest room in preparation for my new scrapbooking space.
  • Tearing out the dead vegetable plants from the garden.
  • Washing, drying, and folding the three last loads of laundry.
  • Grocery shopping.
I'm planning to get around to all of that tomorrow. I also have to help The Teenager put together an outfit for a class presentation that she has coming up; I really hope I can find time to do everything.

A nap would also be nice.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Friday Favorites: What's Blooming Now

When I was in college, my roommates and I used to sneak into the city rose gardens to steal flowers for our apartment. Located in front of an old library, the garden was lovely and fragrant from June until October, but the best month of all was September; the roses bloomed in colorful masses in a last-ditch effort to shine before the first frost heralded their ultimate demise.

September is a good month for roses here in Petticoat Junction, too. The bushes that I planted early this spring have almost all doubled in size and three out of the nine are currently blooming.

Chicago Peace

Fragrant Plum

Marilyn Monroe 

Five bushes are budding and should bloom soon, and, one lone bush is without either bloom or bud; I am hoping it catches up, soon.

If the bushes winter well, I might expand into the back yard; there are several varieties that I would like to have, including a deeper yellow and some more double-blooming varieties. In the meantime, I will enjoy the blooms that I do have; they remind me of my besties, of late-night rose raids, and of Big Gulp cups, overfilled with colorful bouquets.

Hey, we were poor college students, who could afford a vase?

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Throwback Thursday: The Fearsome Foursome

Back in the day...



...and, today...

...still diggin' football and each other. It doesn't get much better than that.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015


Dear Man-Cub

Today we are celebrating your seventeenth year on this planet. The celebration doesn't look quite like it used to; there is a lot less cake and a lot more homework, but, we are just as joyful about your existence today as we have ever been (I do long for the days of more cake, however).

In the past, I have written about your joy for life and about how your laugh can start a chain-reaction of hilarity; neither of those things have changed. I've written about your sensitivity and your ability to charm animals and old people, which, as you may have guessed, also remain intact. I've written about your kindness and your intelligence and your humility. I've written volumes about how loved you are and about how loving you are. I have used thousands of words to express my pride in you, son, and, still, I could find tens of thousands more, because, you are just that special.

However, I also know that reading doesn't thrill you in quite the way that it thrills your mother, so, I will make this brief: I hope your birthday is magical and that you have a hundred reasons to laugh, today. I love you with my whole heart, Cub. And I am so very blessed to be your mother. 

Happy birthday, handsome!

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Walk Away, Gentlemen

Ok, so it's just us, now, ladies. I am about to enter into TMI Territory and I have reason to believe that the gentler sex would not be able to handle what I am about to divulge.

The past three days, my uterus has been engaging a counter-attack in what I am guessing is retaliation for the unjust treatment that it experienced at the hands (ha, literally!) of my gyno. It's been a bloody war; so bloody that tampons have actually ejected themselves from my body without an assist, if you know what I mean (see? TMI. Hey, you were warned).

I am chalking it up as my new normal, but, I can see now why Scared Straight Programs aren't considered to be Evidence Based Practice; my uterus was only momentarily rehabilitated by that biopsy.

On the bright side, I am home from Denver now, so my tampons can at least safely on home turf like the renegade paratroopers they are.

You are welcome for the mental image.

Monday, September 21, 2015

In the Ghetto

The conference that I am currently attending is being held in what I can only loosely call a conference center. Very loosely.

Located in a strip mall, the center is sandwiched between a hair salon and the local DMV, and appears to have been remodeled from an old Furr's Cafeteria. In addition, the strip mall is located in a rather sketchy part of town; I actually drove by it three times before I believed that my GPS was correct and not in need of an update; in my defense, I was not looking for a strip mall, I was looking for a conference center, or, at the very least, something resembling one.

I'm sure you can understand my confusion.

Because I know that the organizers of this conference put a lot of time and effort into planning it, I did not complain about the location, nor did I complain about the lunch that was served today, despite it being a bit, um, light.

We all got to eat.

And, really, the point of the conference isn't to be in a comfortable location, eating gourmet food, it is to learn more about my craft and to take the opportunity to network with my peers from across the state.

Ok, maybe not that one; I bet she worked late last night.

Tomorrow is the final day of the conference and I am actually looking forward to hearing the guest speaker and to attending the scheduled workshops. Then, I get to make the long drive back over the mountain to put into practice the things that I am learning.

And you can bet that, in my head, I will hear the delicate crooning of Elvis Pressley.

As the snow flies
On a cold and gray Chicago mornin'
A poor little baby child is born
In the ghetto

And his mama cries
Cause if there's one thing that she don't need
It's another hungry mouth to feed
In the ghetto

People, don't you understand
The child needs a helping hand
Or he'll grow to be an angry young man some day
Take a look at you and me,
Are we too blind to see,
Do we simply turn our heads

And look the other way
Well the world turns
And a hungry little boy with a runny nose
Plays in the street as the cold wind blows
In the ghetto

And his hunger burns
So he starts to roam the streets at night
And he learns how to steal
And he learns how to fight
In the ghetto

Then one night in desperation
A young man breaks away
He buys a gun, he steals a car,
He tries to run, but he don't get far
And his mama cries
As a crowd gathers 'round an angry young man
Face down on the street with a gun in his hand
In the ghetto

As her young man dies,
On a cold and gray Chicago mornin',
Another little baby child is born
In the ghetto

And his mama cries

Because that's the sad reality for a lot of the families we work with; they may not live in a ghetto, they may not end up quite as tragically, but, the hunger is real, the desperation is real, and the need for support is real. Today, I know a bit more about how to help them.

And that's a start.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Ugggg. That Is All

Today, while headed to Denver for a conference, I sat in bumper-to-bumper traffic for over an hour; my stance on ever living on the Front Range has been confirmed: Never, Ever, Ever.

In fact, I would rather live on the Alaskan tundra, cold and without internet, than ever spend a day of my life stuck in traffic.

On the bright side, I did have a lot of time to think, and, my invention of a mobile porta-potty service, tasked with providing restroom services to those stuck in gridlock should easily earn me enough money to retire.


Saturday, September 19, 2015

Homecoming 2015, The End

Remember how, last year, the Man-Cub hemmed and hawed and didn't get a Homecoming date until the morning of the dance? Well, this year, he thought he had better plan ahead, so; he asked someone a whole five days before the dance.

Of course, the girl goes to a different school, which meant filing some paperwork with our school, clearing her to attend; paperwork that had to be completed and to our school no less than three days before the dance. Thank goodness for fax machines.

Anyway, the paperwork was filed, new dress pants, shirt, and tie were purchased, flowers were ordered, and a dinner for eight was planned, all within four days time. Thank goodness for the mothers of the Man-Cub's friends, who pitched in with beef and chicken shish-kabobs and wine (No, the wine wasn't for the children; after the week I've had, I would be crazy to share), and, we managed to pull off a really nice dinner.

As usual, the kids were polite, well-mannered and utterly adorable, and, I got some great pictures. The Cub's friend is sweet and fit in perfectly with all the other girls, and they were all laughing like old friends when they left the house for the dance.

Once they were gone, Hugh and I joined several of the other parents at the home of the Booster Club president for an adult bonfire, prior to the kid's bonfire, planned for after the dance. I managed to stay on my feet for almost two hours before my meds finally started to wear off, and then I came home to collapse on the couch, where, I will remain until the Man-Cub makes it back home, officially bringing the Homecoming festivities to an end.

It's been a great week.

The Big Game

So, the Man-Cub scored his first touchdown at last night's Homecoming game. He dodged his blocker, raced into the end-zone, and caught a picture-perfect pass from the quarterback. I was standing literally ten feet away; do you think I got a picture of the catch? I did not. I did, however, get a picture of him right after he made the catch, tucking the football into his side and looking completely suave and like "Yeah, touchdown;. ain't no big thang".

Today, he told me that all he remembered was how absolutely silent it was in that moment; he didn't hear the crowd going wild, he didn't hear his name over the loudspeaker, he didn't hear his father, sister, and grandparents screaming from the bleachers, just...silence.

I think that must have been a very peaceful moment for him.

We had scored a safety early in the first quarter, but the Cub's touchdown was the first of the game. Happily, it wasn't the last, and we won 24-0, which, is a fantastic way to win a Homecoming game.There was a lot of celebrating, in case you were wondering.

The boys are due here in a couple of hours for dinner, followed by the dance, and then a bonfire. Once those events have taken place, we can stick a fork in Homecoming 2015. It's been a really, really good week, even if I did feel like walking death for the majority of it (I am feeling much better, today).

Friday, September 18, 2015

Everyone Loves a Parade

Right after I took the following pictures, I made a visit to the urgent care; those two things are in no way related, but, I feel like shit and I need some sympathy.

I've been fighting a head and chest cold for the past couple of days and, today, it must have hit crisis mode because I truly felt like I might actually suffocate to death. Even my mom was concerned, so, off to the doctor we went.

The good news is, I don't have pneumonia. The bad news is, I have a virus and will just have to ride it out, complete with the two-ton elephant currently squeezing all of the air out of my chest.

Thank God for drugs.

Anyway, the parade was blessedly short. The kids seemed to enjoy it, too.