Sunday, April 29, 2012

i have learned

to run back into the house for a camera when the moment presents itself.
I don't know if the same view will be here later today or tomorrow.
It may be gone by then.

I have learned to simply appreciate.


Just in case you're wondering ... it has been quite a weekend.

Wednesday evening Jari rolled into Prescott so I drove up to pick him up and bring him home.
I really can't remember Thursday anymore. I do know that I actually cooked dinner that evening.
Friday evening we rolled out of the house and visited.
Saturday we spent a good part of the day at a technical school with Brock and then we went visiting again.
Today (Sunday) it was a very early bike ride, followed by early morning church, breakfast out with my hubby (we were kidless again) and then a nap. Next off to visit again. This evening Home Services with more visiting.

Do you see a pattern going on here?

I love it.

Friday, April 27, 2012

woe is exercise

A little about me today.
I am a homebody.
My world is full of hobbies and interests.
Exercise just isn't one of them.
Or, should I say, it isn't one of them if it involves jumping in the car to drive somewhere.
No, I probably shouldn't go that far.
It just isn't one of them. Plain. And. Simple.
In Alaska, if there was enough (preferably fresh) snow in the yard, I skiied.
I put my duds on ... opened the door ... carried the skiis out ... and put them on.
Not once did I drive somewhere to ski.
I am talking cross country skiing. The only kind I dare to do.
The last winter we were there, I barely skiied at all.
There just wasn't enough snow in my yard.

I have left the house several times to take a hike. 
Mind you, that hasn't happened this year at all!
You see what I mean?
It isn't looking too good right now either!

I do have this little wonder sitting in my garage tho'.
And I have to say, it is getting some use.
Please. Please. Please.
Let me keep it up.

I still don't have a helmet and need to really get one.
This biking thing is so easy!
Throw some clothes on, have a cup of coffee, grab the phone which has my current audio book loaded, the garage door opener
 .... and off I go.
This morning is absolutely beautiful.
Cool enough to actually add a long sleeved shirt at one point.

Today is Friday.
So far this week I've worked 3 1/2 days,
and I've managed to pedal the 3 mornings I've been home.
8 miles this morning during which I looked at house paint colors.
I saw blooming rose bushes and wished I could grow them.
I dared to cross the street at a stop light.
I found a gray house with a red front door that I really liked.
For anyone who is an avid biker, my 8 miles may seem like nothing.
For me .... it is one more mile than Wednesday morning and two more than Sunday.

I just want to know why I gained 2.5 pounds while biking this morning ....
in ONE hour!!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Shade screens

It is getting downright warm in these parts and the sun is a bit toasty.
We like to live out on our patio and the beating sun is making it a bit impossible.
We had hung a rolling sun shade screen at the end of the patio and the weekend before last it was ripped to shreds by a wicked wind/rain session.
I started looking for ideas and ways to shade our living.
Excuse my patio furniture. Someday I'll find something other than camp chairs.
I have always loved shade sails and wanted to try putting up some myself.
Last week, in reading Country Living magazine,
I saw an idea to use paint drop cloths for chair coverings.
Why not for shade sails?
I started working on them.
Then found I had a bit of a problem.
I can't erect poles in this yard or on the top of the house.
I have to work with what I have as far as house structure.
It might have worked if the temp wasn't hitting triple digits and I was in need of shade.
And I mean fast!
I changed the plan.
I've been wanting to try using grommets for a long time.
I finally figured it out!
Too bad the packages Home Depot sells are missing half the pieces.

The photos below clockwise from top left:
1) The top is secured with grommets and hooks. The bottom left side is secured with a bungie cord (temporary) from grommet to the pole. The right side is free flying but won't be for long. This shade will hopefully cut the beating afternoon sun shining into a living room and bedroom.
2) This one might look a bit interesting. It started with triangle shapes for the shade sails and then became patchwork. Once again hung on hooks, one side fastened securely.
3) I might add hooks and whatnot to make it a shade that rolls up for convenience. 
Otherwise, when the breeze is blowing we'll just spray it down with a hose and get some outdoor evaporative cooling.
I still have another one to do on the other end of the patio to cut the morning sun.
It isn't the sun.
Although I'm not one to lay out there and soak up rays, I do love the sun.
It is the heat that is a bit much.
If I can keep some of it from hitting the house and warming up the inside ...
I'll have accomplished my mission.

No .... it is definately not the sun.
30 degrees cooler wouldn't be bad tho'.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012


Recently I have spent some time pondering circles.
Plain old circles.
What then is a circle?
Or rather what is the circle I have been thinking about?
The circle of life.
The circle that seems to be our lives somedays.
The circles that are complete and the ones that feel broken.
As though they are a wheel missing spokes.
In the recent past we have been able to share in the joys of birth and the sorrow of loss.
In the middle of it all I must admit that I had some very maudlin moments.
I contemplated my own small world.
I marveled that in my life I've been given the gift of beautiful and healthy children.
At this moment in time I feel like the circle is complete with some of them.
Yet there is a longing for a completion of the circle with others.
I contemplated that in some ways the circle seems to also be life.
Perhaps life is made of many circles.
Pieces of it may look like twisted hoopla hoops, making relationships that seem to have trouble staying on a straight path.
Others are the perfect ring, flowing smoothly.
Circles that interconnect yet are separate.
We are so blessed to have many different circles of friends.
Some we see so seldom it is as if they are stars in a faraway galaxy.
The circles are seen but don't seem to be able to connect with each other.
As if they are on different planes at this moment in time and space.
Others may be like the cylindrical drinking glasses in the kitchen cupboard.
Easily accessible and always at the ready.
Somedays it feels as if life is a runaway unicycle.
It takes on a momentum of its own and I am powerless to stop its increasing speed.
It races into the unknown that is the future.
Somedays I want to shriek at the top of my lungs for it to stop.
I want to throw a lasso and stop its headlong race.
Just for a moment.
Long enough to find the glue and fix the broken circles.
Long enough to complete the circles so we can all join in the same race.
Just long enough to know that we are all going in the same direction.
Then I have to realize that some of the circles are mine.
Mine to work at and make whole.
And still others are in what seems to be that other galaxy.
The one I can only gaze at and appreciate.
They are in a different world.
A world that is far away from mine.
They aren't my circles after all.

Friday, April 20, 2012

pork chops, vincas and english

The other day I posted this photo on FB. The status read like this. This is what happens when you don't follow Pioneer Woman's recipe to the letter. You haul out a pizza from the freezer and pop in into the oven!
The problem was nothing to do with the recipe itself. It is labled as easy which makes this almost more humiliating than anything. To salvage the easy Pan Fried Porch Chops because I was in a hurry and needed to get out of the house lickety split like, they hit the crock pot and the fridge. Tia put them cooking in the crockpot in the afternoon. Last night for dinner I had what might just qualify for the best and most tender pork chop I've ever eaten in my life. The problem was that my chops were rather thick and wouldn't cook fast enough. So, the point of all this? I'll do this again. Next time I'll season the dickens out of the chops, pan fry them until nearly done and then into the crock pot for 4 to 5 hours the next day. Delish!!

One of my favorite summer flowers in Arizona has always been the Vinca. They grow like crazy. I found 6 pack flats at Home Depot the other day for $1.99. Our family Easter baskets this year came from the dollar bins at Target. (Now that I think of it, I might have found cheaper ones at the dollar store.) They were rather small, but so are plants that come in 6 packs. Recycle or upcycle everything. I do love dirt. Almost more than I love flowers.
We have some extra time during the end of this week to get caught up on school work. Maybe even get ahead? I'm quite sure that would be a stretch. It also means that in about 15 minutes I lose this computer to the girls. It would be so easy to let them keep on sleeping and head for Pinterest or something equally idea filled. I'll try be responsible. Today.
In the rest of our immediate world:
     * Jari went to Minnesota on Wednesday morning to spend time with and help out family for a bit.
        Not sure when he will be home.
     * The bike and I had a date this morning. 6 miles down.
     * The temp is suppose to hit triple digits the end of the week.
        Biking will have to start rather early or wait until after the sun goes down.
     * Country Living magazine came in the mail this week.
        Incidentally, it is my all time favorite ever magazine to page through over and over again.
     * I found an idea.
        I have a need.
        I think the two will work very well together.
     * I just need a trip to Home Depot.
        And Michaels.
        And JoAnns.
        Maybe even Hobby Lobby.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Of all the nerve!

There was a time when I loved Mondays.
The fresh beginning of the week.
I don't quite remember when that was though.
Weekends are suppose to be the time when you relax from the work week, right?
Not around here.
Here we go gangbusters and then are cross eyed on Mondays.
Hence, no laundry done around here on Mondays.
Today I came home from work to find that my dear hubby had done the laundry.
He is so very good.
He hangs everything that he figures I don't want going through the dryer.
Sorts them by color and hangs them.
Then he brings them in ... folded.
He gets highly annoyed when clothes aren't folded straight out of the dryer.
He detests wrinkles as much as I do.

So I walked out into the backyard upon coming home to see this.
And I smiled.

Then I took a closer look.

Those birds flying around have a lot of nerve.
Can they please find somewhere other than my clean scrubs to poop on?!

Monday, April 16, 2012


I pushed the Send button at Turbo Tax.
I paid my obligations to the US Treasury.
Somehow on this day of Emancipation, which just happens to be yet another federal holiday,
I'm not feeling the emancipation myself.

Hold on!
I was wrong.

Jari did the dishes this evening.

For this day I have been emancipated.
From the kitchen sink.

Long enough to file my tax returns.

There is something seriously wrong with this whole picture.

Sunday, April 15, 2012


I feel like I've lived an entire lifetime (well, maybe not quite that long) in the past 4 days.
It has been busy.
It has been fun.
Tomorrow morning is Monday already and I sure hope my body remembers what Monday morning means.

After work Thursday, I did a bit of food preparation for a big event on Friday.
Then Jari and I went for a bike ride.
I was sort of having an attitude about the idea to begin with.
I had things to do!
Found out that he had gotten me a head and tail lights for my bike, as well as the little toy to tell how far and fast I've gone!
I do have to admit that the ride was wonderful ... just what I needed.
This city has so many beautiful places to enjoy.

After a floor mopping and linen change, it was off to the airport to pick up my youngest sister, Jen.
She was coming to town for the weekend for a birthday party surprise.
Friday we food shopped, cooked, made cheesecakes and yummy chocolate desserts.
The kitchen was something else.
So was the living room for that matter!

Duds on and ready to go!

Off to a surprise birthday party at which I didn't take one picture!
It was fun. We were able to pull off a surprise which was well worth it.
Happy 40th Birthday Frans!

Saturday was filled with shopping.
Jen has achieved a major accomplishment!
She has lost a significant amount of weight doing it slowly and in a healthy way.
It needed a celebration that involved new clothes.
Jenny, Jen and I went out to find yard sales on Saturday and then shopping.
We done good! So did this young man, Dustyn, who was our companion.

From Goodwill to the Cheesecake Factory, Settlers game and hilarity to serious discussions, it has been a wonderful weekend. Today we relaxed, went and visited Jeff & Mona and Aunt Ruth for a while. Introduced Jen to Halibut Fajitas for dinner ...

Tomorrow we have a run to the airport on my way to work.
Then I get to look forward to July and hanging out with Jen again.
Next time I'll be in Minnesota!

Have a safe and happy week!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Bike first. Nap last.

The weather is absolutely BEAUTIFUL today!
A Wednesday morning at home with nothing but laundry on the list until noon.
No excuses within reaching distance.
I hit the pavement for a while this morning.
I downloaded an app on my phone that was suppose to give me mph, distance and time.
It wasn't working so I wasn't able to watch distance.
Jari has a think he puts on his bike, but he was off dipping a line in the lake.
I'm going to get one and then start tracking a route somewhere fun.
One mini ride at a time.
Anna was complaining about her ears bothering her, so on my way home from working this afternoon, I stopped at Hi Health to pick up some ear candles. If you're an ear candler (is there such a thing?), supplies are on sale at Hi Health right now. I didn't expect to have these two over for a session, but it's kind of fun to have your grown boys stuck where they really can't do anything about it!
These two take after their dad. We might make this a family nite thing once in a while! I started out using tin foil for safety between the lit candle and the lovely noggin. I then switched to the plate. The plate works great! I have to say that I even sang Happy Birthday to them. Like, what could they do about it anyway?!
 And finally .... Anna got her turn.
Before you say anything, I did read plenty on the internet (that place where everything has to be truth, right?) before I ever did this the first time. Plenty of both positive thoughts and just as many bah humbug thoughts. However, if you know me, I'm a big believer in the mix of many different kinds of treatment to keep us healthy. Have to have some things that counteract my bad habits, right?

Lasagne for dinner and then a nap. Just a quick one.
I run like I'm 18, or maybe 28, and then it sort of catches up with me.
Shucks. I could be trying to pretend I'm even 38!
Much as I hate to admit it, I think this problem may be genetic. The run 'til you drop problem.
A 30 minute nap after a 21 hour day yesterday and up at 7 again this morning didn't happen.
90 minutes seemed much more appropriate.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Wishes for a Blessed Easter

The day is done.
I've had enough sugar in the form of my favorite Cadbury Mini Eggs to have a whompin' headache by morning. Why do I do that?!
The Easter Bunny left some mighty tiny tins this morning.
He sort of liked the size for planting herbs in after they were emptied of sugar treats.
I like his way of thinking.
The kids didn't find Easter baskets/tins until after lunch today.
That seems to be the way it happens when they all grow up a wee bit.
I have it on good authority that there is still one in hiding.
It needs to be found, then packed in a box and shipped to Alaska.
It may be a little over the top but I don't care.

The boys were both home today for a ham dinner.
Made my heart smile.
I wonder if they know how easy it is to make me smile.
You just simply have to show up.
You can even raid the fridge and freezer of leftovers/been there too long food.
I'll still smile while I pack you a bag.

To be perfectly honest, Easter meals have never been my favorite to cook.
Christmas with all the trimmings. Yes.
Thanksgiving with all the fixins. Yes.
Easter is a problem.
Maybe because our house isn't filled with people and I really don't know what to do without that.
We did have a relaxing day with our kids.
It was really nice.

As vital as candy is to Easter baskets,
A1 Sauce is to leftovers over here.
Actually, it gets put on everything.
Jari puts it on his eggs.
The girls put it on their mashed potatoes.
Today it even went on ham.
Not on my plate.
That would be a dad and his girls thing.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Pillow #4

was a bit of a challenge.
There will certainly be no progressive tutorial photos on this one.
I don't even remember what I did other than making strips at the very beginning.
Three of the fabrics on this pillow front are backing for the other pillows.

The sewing machine is packed away back up on the shelf in the closet.
The likelihood of finding another 50 cent pillow form is probably slim to none
so I ought to be good for a while!

I propped this pillow near my sliding door to the backyard hoping for some natural lighting.
There use to be a day when Oreo, our cat, helped me quilt everything.
This was a first one for me.
As I was taking photos, Duke came to help.
I really think I was too close to the back door and he was making sure I didn't head outside without him nearby to do guard duty.
He wasn't leaving.

one way conversation with duke

  what are you doing laying there on the floor?
my place is the floor.

oh, so you're going to ignore me.
well, i'll just show you.

you're still there?
i'll give you the sad eye treatment.
maybe that will get me a treat.

i think i might have allergies.
my nose is dripping and this house is out of kleenex.
i know my nose is dry.
kinda matches your feet.

 are you ever going to stop clicking that thing?
i'm having a hard time taking a nap here.

you aren't moving.
it's safe.
i can sleep.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Anonymous Posting Enabled

Sorry about the Anonymous Posting inability.
I fixed it and will be waiting to hear from you!

Made granolas bars this morning.
If they taste good I'll share the recipe later.
Drank my smoothie with spinach.
Hopped around the internet for a bit and found what I was looking for.

Now the shower and maybe some don some out of the house clothes.

The bike shop opens in about 25 minutes.
Purple and black .... here I come!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Unofficially it might just be official.

Good morning world!
This particular morning, I'm feeling incredibly at ease.
I'm sitting in the recliner with the feet up, coffee cup at my side.
We won't even begin to discuss how many times I've filled it.

Yesterday was a busy day.
Officially, I am an aunt again.
This time to a little Sawyer Shane Lindula. A little boy to add to the family of Lindula girls.
He is going to be a fine addition to the farm.
The wee one has already done plenty of farming before birth, he'll probably be slinging hay bales before the summer is over.
Or more likely, his big sisters will be giving him rides in their wee girl Jeep vehicles.
Dodging cow patties and the like.
Congratulations to his immediate family who have a new little one to snuggle and love.
I can't wait to meet him myself.

Yesterday I unofficially got a promotion at work.
Unofficial means that the coworkers were informed, management has blessed it, human resources needed an application filled out.
That would explain my first couple cups of coffee this morning.
Somedays resumes and online applications just cannot take a second seat to the land of blog.
That is done.
It involves a few more hours. Full time position with what will be less than 40 hours a week. Full time benefit prices. Full time jesting and ribbing at work. Hopefully a few more dollars to go with all that ribbing so I can fill a chocolate jar on my desk.
And .... still no holidays or nights. Still 3 day weekends with Wednesday mornings to play in the Land of Blog.

Officially, my pea garden is deceased.

I'll leave the gardening of vegetables be until I have my own plot of dirt to put them in.
While I have no idea when that might be, it's okay.
I've officially made the decision to stick with flowers ...

rooting hormone to start desert plants, and coffee. Lots of it.

Last night we had visitors for dinner!
Doing good so far in the New Years Resolution Department at least under #1.
Curt & Dory Savela are in town. Last time we had them over was 20 years ago. In between their visits to our home, we have been at theirs in Minnesota several times. Spent nights, meals and great visits. I didn't get a photo last night, but Dory and I go way back. I mean Way Back! I'm sure I have a picture that includes both of us on our baptism day, but this is the only one I can find (of myself with parents and grandmothers) without moving about 3,716 totes out of the way. We shared a double baptism in May of 1965.

Officially, we've been buds for a long time.


Sunday, April 1, 2012

Pretty Pillows

A while back I found 4 couch pillows at a yard sale for 50 cents a piece. 50 cents?! Yes. If you've priced even a small miniature pillow form at any craft store, you know that 50 cents was just something I couldn't pass up. I really didn't know what I was going to do with them, but it didn't take long to figure it out. Getting the project done took a wee bit longer. In fact, I have only done 3 of them so far, but the last one will just be a quilt looking combination of the fabrics I bought (gulp!) for the backs of the 3 I now have propped on my couch.

Last week one evening, while I had a good long conversation with my sister Jen, I sat and did some seam and zipper ripping. Took out the zippers to reuse them and took apart the pillow coverings to use as patterns for the new pillows.

A quick trip to the local Goodwill on what happened to be 50% off day yielded me 2 white curtain panels perfect for the pillow tops.

Then on to the work part!
Clockwise starting upper left: I cut circles of two different sizes out of red felt for poppies. I used the door to my back yard as a copying tool. After printing words in fonts that were the size and look I wanted, I taped them to the window. Then I taped the fabric over the words, aligning them on the pillow as I wanted. Using a disappearing pen (although a pencil would work just as well) I traced the words on to the pillow squares. I sewed a dozen "poppies" onto one of the tops. A larger round topped with a smaller round and then atteched with a black button in the middle. I wanted just straight lines for stems so used the same pen to make lines which I then stitched with embroidery floss. Lastly, after the words were on the square I didn't like them. They weren't close enough together and sort of looked lost. I do have one more square of white fabric left, but wasn't the least bit interested in redoing it. So I drew more lines to make the words look as if they were in boxes. At this point, I'm getting a wee bit anxious to get these things done. Hand stitching all those lines was not an option. To the sewing machine it went.
The above photo of the fabric is really off in the color department. I'm really enjoying the Instagram application on my phone and wreak all kinds of havoc in the photo department with it!

The pillow below. Aaah. If you're hopping around on Pinterest, you may have seen this idea framed. The only thing I've left off is The dates our lives were forever changed part. For those of you who haven't seen this idea before, these dates reflect just that in our lives. Again, the dates went on using the same door window using disappearing pen. Then a black fabric marker for the writing. The red I winged. None of the other writing is my own on any of these, I figured I'd add a bit of mom's penning to this one. I have a thing about flowers so added a few of those as well.  

A few closer up shots of the pillows which I'm not sure we'll dare lay a head on!

After the fronts of the pillows were done (the fabric was glaring white) I tee stained them to give them a little elderly personality and non white color. I did have a problem. The tea water was warm and parts of the ink kind of smudged on one of the pillow. I don't know if the water was too hot for the type of fabric pen I used, but if you do this ... be careful. It didn't take away from the pillow, actually I sort of liked a smudge here and there once I got use to it.

I'm hoping to have the last of the pillows done this week and then I'll show you the backs of them and the front of the last one. The backs are all different, but have plenty of red in them.

Credit for the ideas for these pillows:
Poppies Pillow
Word Pillow
Dates Pillow