Monday, November 30, 2015

thankful ...

We are so thankful for the faith that God has given us, the health we enjoy, the family that surrounds us and the food that is still digesting.

Was able to spend part of my weekend working with wood ... one of my favorite activities. This little guy came with us looking for treasures in trash pickup piles along the streets. I think he has it figured out! 

"Nana ... You want this one?"

The boys lost access to a few places on Saturday. My wood piles may have to become their new stomping ground!

This evening the gas tank of my car is filled, my scrubs are clean and hanging ... and it is going to be a doozy of a week!

Happy Cyber Monday!

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

it is a woman thing

Laina and I went to some yard sales on Saturday. At one-yard she found the necklace she is wearing. We came back to our house and went outside on the back patio to join everyone else. 

She was wondering how long it would take Pappa to realize that she was sporting some new bling. 

Now, to be fair, he is losing his eyesight and certainly wouldn't have seen her jewels where she was sitting. Not only is the eyesight failing, but there was a pole in the way.  

After a while she went and stood in front of him, going closer and closer and closer. She finally ended in this position where he guessed that she was wearing new jewelry!

Now this lovely couple celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary in September and she still wonders if he will notice something new. 

For those of you who have been married or year or two ... it might be completely normal for him not to notice that you got a haircut. 

Just sayin'. 

Monday, November 23, 2015

thankful for a full plate

I look at people whose lives are empty and wonder how they live without people.
My heart aches for those who have lost their families and then there are the others who have chosen that life. 
I can't understand it. 

In the last several weeks I have half heartedly threatened to get a hotel room for the weekend. I'll haul my crafty junk with me and just create for days straight. Leave the phone at home and just play. 

I won't do it ... the thought just sounds incredilbly inviting.  More so as the schedule fills leading into the busy holiday season and the equally busy spring. 

So I've taken to picking and choosing which events I can attend. Maybe it is getting older that does it. I have so many irons in the fire that I ought to just switch careers and become a blacksmith!

A few photos from the past weekend:

Pinterest ... Pinterest ... Pinterest
It is overload in the crafting senses. And I have these beautiful daughters who know just what I'm after and send me pin after pin. Makes me want to run to that hotel room. Right. Now. 
Not sure they would appreciate my power tools tho.

'Cause I do love tools! Amazon delivered a few boxes this week. In several of them were pieces and parts to make a Kreg Jig do some wonders. Had a few minutes on Friday to try it out. 
I'm thinking the week after Christmas might be filled with power tools at my house.

I haven't a clue what we are talking about. I do know that the weather has been very kind to us. I really would live outside if I could. And so would ....

these little guys. I really don't know what to do with this pool. I should fill it with sand for them. Maybe flip it the right direction first. Their moms had a yard sale on Saturday at my house ... means we were able to share in their company as well!

After the girls closed up shop on Saturday, Mummu and I went to find some treasures at other sales! She is a champion at this business!

A birthday party on Sunday afternoon. So happy to welcome Carol to the 50 club!! (She has grandkids as well ... can you tell?!)

And here I sit. Took the party hat off and found a parking lot.  As much as the electronic and connected world may be frustrating at times ... I'm connected to the big bad world on my cell phone ... waiting for the next event in my calendar to start this evening.

Then home to see the hubby who apparently is safe, thank goodness, in the colonoscopy (oh my lands. it just tried auto correcting to colposcopy!) department!

That's enough to keep you on your toes!

Saturday, November 21, 2015

sand dunes weekend

Sand dunes season is here again.
Not for me.
Then again, maybe it is for me.
Typically, when he is gone, the girls come over and enjoy Tortilla Soup with me.
This weekend they're having a yard sale.
I'm not.
They are.
I'm hoping to do some playing with my new wood working toy.
I am already in love and I've only spent an hour learning!

Back to the sand dunes.
It was exactly this weekend a year ago that dear hubby went to the dunes and had an accident.
It wasn't his fault.
Nature has a way of using wind to move sand around and he sort of met with an unexpected hole.
Anyway, it was not pleasant.
Put him out of commission for well over a month.
It also was a little pricey in the medical bills department.

So this time, as the season starts again, I made him a deal.
I will admit that this is a one sided, nagging wife sort of deal that he has not agreed to.

For this year or any other year to come ...

In the year that he is injured (I certainly hope this doesn't happen!) to the point where he meets the health insurance deductible, he will have to get a colonoscopy.

I think it's a fair trade. He flat refuses to have that highly invasive procedure done.

Maybe he'll ride more cautiously!

Friday, November 20, 2015

fifty: font size

I was trying to change the font on my slower than molasses computer for Pappa last week.
The goal was to get icons on the desktop for Finnish news and then make the font readable.

The computer decided to do this automatic update thing and took too long.
I was off to work before it was finished.

Days later I'm finally on the computer again and guess what?

My icons are larger.
My text is larger.

And so I admit it.

I'm liking it!

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

the boys

Bridget was in town last week. She's still carrying the next little boy who will enter our world.
I can't wait to watch him grow as well. Just wish he was going to be a wee bit closer to us.
Aren't these two getting big?!
They both have big boy hair cuts and have become two peas in a pod.
My kitchen cabinets are way too much fun when they are here.
Together or alone ... it doesn't matter.
Together ... they just empty everything twice as fast.
It is amazing how fast the short age gap between them ceases to matter.
One follows the other around, investigating nonstop.

This photo was actually taken in October when the weather was still warm and the rain felt good.
Sunday they were both here running straight to the water as fast as they could. It didn't matter that the weather has cooled off and the rain was even chillier. Boys just love the water!

Garsh but I love these little munchkins!

Monday, November 16, 2015

Monday again??!!

Mummu says I write something every Monday.
She's right.
I told her it's because I have to rest on Sunday.
If Sunday wasn't the Sabbath Day ... I'd be working on projects of some kind or another.

So, it's Sunday evening again.
Tomorrow dawns another work week and a calendar filled to the brim with events and things to do.

This past week we had some very special people staying with us for a bit.
They've come back "home" to warm up for a bit and get those joints oiled with sunshine.
It has been especially special because I don't think they, or we, thought they would be here again.
The joints have loosened up and they've enjoyed seeing old friends.

And this particular evening we were treated to stories we had never heard before. Like this one.
Pappa walked into the house to find Riitta sitting on the stairs holding and petting a beaver. He, obviously, had to go about convincing her very calmly that the beaver would be better off in it's own environment outside. I really want to know how she managed to catch herself a beaver from the nearby pond!!! My heart stopped just imagining walking in on that!

Old friends are the best. Even phone photos manage to capture joy.

Thursday evening we took them to Black Canyon City and the Rock Springs Café to meet up with Heini. From there they headed up to Prescott. I hope they'll be back with us again sometime real soon!

As for me. This is the second piece of rhubarb pie a la mode that I've had in one week at that restaurant. My goal is to fit into a certain dress before the Christmas party.

At the rate I'm going ...
it's not looking likely!

Monday, November 9, 2015

memory bank

I don't know what you call this.
I'm sure there is a name for it.
Sentimentality perhaps?
Memory bank more likely.

This is where I stored most of my children's milestones.
I have nearly every calendar since we got married ... and that will be 30 years next month.
This is a smattering of them.
Seriously, they really don't take up that much space.
Much less space than my collection of white glass!

At different times the calendars have been color coded. More color indicated more chaos and the need to differentiate between classes of chaos.

The photo below gave me a great hint as to when Brock started wearing underwear.
Now, mind you, this was before cell phones.
And for sure before life's events were stored on those cell phones.
I also kept small purse calendars and have saved those as well.
But the kitchen wall was the most handy place to jot down something real quicklike.
Life was lived by the calendar on the kitchen wall.

Sometimes life just goes from day to day without capturing what really goes on at home. The phases of picky eating children, for example, come and go ... and are quickly forgotten. Occasionally I would fill in spaces on the calendar with what kidlets were up to. That was a bit more difficult to remember. In my humble opinion ... some is better than none.

For goodness sake, if you have a phone that allows you to keep notes, talk to your phone once in a while. If your world involves solo trips to the grocer or Target, talk to that phone on the way. Spend a moment before going to sleep (if your brain still functions at that time of the nite) and jot a note. If there is a "melt your heart" moment ... write it down. We all have good intentions of remembering everything, but it doesn't happen.

Before you know it, the space you had stored those precious moments in your brain is compacted and zipped into a file so that new data can be input. Like the next doctors appointment, school event, shoe size, birthday party, etc.

Seriously, take a minute and write it down!
Find a spot (the same spot every year is helpful to remembering where that elusive spot is!) to store those calendars and voila!
Easiest memory bank ever.

I went through that Ansel Adams calendar multiple times looking for what I thought I had taped in there. Maybe I missed it. I'm still certain I put it in there. A. Long. Time. Ago.

The first silver hair I pulled out of my head.

These calendars aren't just for kids' milestones!

Friday, November 6, 2015

from facebook to joy

This post has been skirting the edges of my brain for a while now. I see something and am reminded that I am bugged. It is like negative energy that shocks my brain waves every once in a while and reminds me that I wanted to write about it. Then the next thing comes along and it gets pushed to the back burner. In the meantime, my positive outlook and energy has been whittled away by someone else's negativity. None of which needs to be in my world.  None of which is going to stay in my world.

There is this miraculous unfollow button on Facebook.

I pushed it several times last week on different pages.

It was that easy.

And my world is that much brighter without being assailed by someone's anger at their childhood. Another's anger at certain segments of society that seem to be directed at themselves. (After which I went on a rampage myself, but I'm sure I'm allowed one. It probably won't happen again.)


Get. Over. It.

And if you can't get over it under your own power, go get some help.

It has gotten quite nauseating. It's kind of like rubber necking on the freeway. That horrible car accident that has everyone slowing so they can see the horror? The negative posts do the same thing. I seriously wonder if the authors of them know that and are doing it intentionally. Like a very good advertising campaign.

The very bright side is that now I have to go look for you to find that negativity.
It won't flash in my face as I scroll through pieces of other people's joy.

There is much in this life to be joyful about.
It doesn't matter where we've been.
It doesn't matter what we've been through.
Really it doesn't.

If joy isn't attainable ... then work to find a way to make it so.
We sort of like it over here.
That joy thing.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

school art projects

I'll get to the recording and keeping track of incisors, but it's dark outside.
Now isn't that the lamest of excuses.
It will be worth the wait. You won't believe what I saved!

Fast forward a blink or two to the saving of school projects.
These pages are all 8.5x11, so you can sort of imagine how small I cut some of these projects down to. If you've ever had a child in school, you also know that the size of a school project sometimes takes up the entire dining room table. Precious treasures. Beyond precious. Just a wee bit overwhelming when you multiply those things by 5 or 10.

Out came the camera ... projects that size just don't fit on my scanner bed. 
Projects were photographed and then printed on, what looks to be (I am getting forgetful!), photo paper. Some parts of the original projects were saved, such as the name Bock in the bright in bright primary colors.

The piece of art on the bottom right hand corner of this page just begs to be made into large wall art.
Huge wall art.

In hindsight, some of these stories could have taken up entire pages and would probably have been more easily read. But they are readable and if someday I need a magnifying glass or 250+ reading glasses, I'm sure the kids can fill my Christmas stocking with whatever I need.

Isn't she just the cutest ever?! Isn't it amazing that at 5 years old she wanted to be the woman she is today on her 21st birthday?

Happy Birthday Anna!

Imagine making a book out of these pages with a story to go along. Imagine making it for the child of the one who wrote the story.

And that, folks, is how I preserved the artwork of the young 'uns in this family. The kids still have envelopes of school work and artwork that I didn't toss. But these big pieces got squashed down to little ones ... and I seriously love them!

You're thinking, "that's a lot of work!" Yes, it is. So is feeding and doing dishes for a family. So is keeping up on their laundry. The homework. The school conferences. On and on. All of that is worth every moment of energy you expend. So was this.

I really am thankful that I saved pieces of their childhoods and thankful that the orange box folks are going to help me preserve it.