Friday, August 29, 2014

You'll never know

How much all that you did meant to me.  From the moment Hubby and I started dating in college, you welcomed me into your family with open arms.
 You spent the afternoon of my wedding ironing all of the fancy tablecloths - with a smile on your face.
 And still managed to be a beautiful bridesmaid who just beamed with happiness on our special day.
 You were never camera shy, even if my wee ones were - they loved being around bubbly and fun Aunt Sharon.  Always up for a tickle and a cuddle!
You were a second mother to Hubby and always thought he was fabulous - you made him feel loved, helping and encouraging him to stay on the right path.
You shared in our joys as we expanded our family, even if it caused you to ponder if we'd lost our minds by the fourth always wanted to live closer saying that the miles were too many.  You were right.  I learned so much from you about keeping a home and raising kids.  You were such a great role model.
You were so much fun to be around, so lively, so alive.  Your home was always warm and welcoming and we all felt happy to be with you and your family.  You waited on us hand and foot - the most gracious, loving hostess who was so happy to see us!
Being with you around the holidays was especially nice - you were up for games and wine drinking and more camera silliness.
And you shed real tears of joy whenever you saw us after an extended time - you were completely and totally in love with all things family.  
I will miss you more than I could ever tell you, but I could never express all that you meant to me.  And I, like everyone else, will find it so hard to say goodbye.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Back to school lists

First on the list: Get mom a new laptop.  Nothing fancy - I'm not all about flash and advertising.  Just something with more storage space and a faster processor, thanks.  Red?  OK.  Whatever.
We don't need to keep up with the Joneses.
 Hubby will help me transfer over all of my files and Bubbie can have my old one for school.
Next, Bubbie's list.  One kid in school to buy crap for.  Glorious!  I could tell you horror stories of years past... like the year Firstborn was in 6th grade and had to have a certain color binder for each class, with a pencil pocket for each class, and a complete set of scissors, markers, pencils, highlighters, etc etc etc FOR EACH CLASS.  Plus certain paperbacks, and a certain calculator.  And I had two more peeps to buy for.  Add to that the clothes shopping and it was not a fun time.  Plus, don't get me started on the mountain of paperwork that came home to be signed, the checks to be was a nightmare.  I am soooo glad we are past all that!
Important item:  new car for mom!  We will designate the Escape as the new "kid car" so that Scout can get himself to school and work and help me pick up and drop off Bubbie when I cannot be there or when Dad is out of town.  
And how great is it to leave the back to school shopping up to a certain high school grad who can pick out what he needs and work within a budget?  I tell you truly - there are some awesome things about the kids getting older and the BTS list getting shorter.  It's been hot, still stressful at times, and we're all getting into a new routine...but it's been a productive week so far!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Mealplan Monday #125 and the promise that is Fall

It was such a blah last few days of summer break.  The boys and I accomplished much, but it was mostly related to getting ready for the school year.  We pretty much gave up on going to the pool and spending afternoons visiting pretty places for photography.  The last month or so the weather went from pleasing to horrid and everything around us parched and dry. But fear not!
I am looking forward to all that Fall brings!  Football games, holidays, whole days off with the house to myself, getting some crafty things done...
Monday - Country Chicken with Herb Dumplings
Tuesday - Cowboy Casserole, salad
Wednesday - Red Wine Pot Roast, mashed, peas and carrots
Thursday - Football game - Burger out
Friday - Pulled BBQ Chicken on Texas toast, coleslaw
Saturday - Dad grill
Sunday - Baked Italian Shells (freezer), salad
Lots of salad this week!
Just can't get here fast enough for me!

Friday, August 22, 2014

5 thing Friday - a desk, The Girl, suffering fig, letters, guilt

It's been a rather hot and tiring end of the summer.  My knee is still bothering me and I have so much on my To Do list that needs attending to.  I did manage to get my laptop ordered.  Next on the list is a car, as Scout will need transportation to school and work so he's inheriting my old one.
Several weeks ago I built an IKEA desk for Bubbie.  With school starting Monday, I expect him to make good use of it.  I took my time putting it together and did a good job.  It's good to reflect on that - some things I will miss the mark on, but with others I can proudly say "I DID THAT".
Go, me.
 The Girl went back to Waco yesterday.  It was her first morning of the summer to sleep in.  She layed on the floor and petted the cat, then promptly got up to go get her car inspected and cleaned.  Today is orientation for her intramural job on campus.  That girl is more on the ball than I ever was at that age.  No way would I have worked two jobs all summer and given up my social life at 22.
 My landscape is suffering.
 The fig has all but given up and I water it several times a week.  We need a good soaking rain or two or three.
 Dead leaves everywhere.  
I am plowing through the Saudi letters a few per day.  It's a slow process.  My mother wrote in small script so she could use most of the paper.  Looong letters.  And sometimes she repeats things.  And  there are things I need to ask her about now, as so much time has passed that she's more likely to elaborate.  It is interesting to me that by the first month there, she had gone from signing "Love, Mama" to "I love and miss you terribly".  It makes me feel a little guilty.
When I visited her recently, I picked up fallen needles in her sewing room with a magnetic pick-up tool that was broken.  So, I sent Hubby to Harbor Freight and mailed her a new one.  She also mentioned that she really likes sardines, but they are too expensive, and enjoys making beans in her crock pot.  I thought, why not get her some of both?  I am going to see her next week to take these and a few other things and spend time with her.  Amazing how guilt sometimes gets you back on track...

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

End of the summer for The Girl

When the girl heads back to Waco, it feel like the official end to summer.  That always makes me feel down in the dumps, even though there's a lot to look forward to in the fall.  Time to get this room packed up and back to being a sewing room.  I will miss knowing she will be at home every night, even if it was pretty late when she got in.
 I feel like I barely saw her  - she would come home briefly to plop down on the air mattress for a snooze before showering and heading off to another shift.  We only saw her for a couple of meals here and there.  (tho occasionally she took her brothers out to eat lunch and get a slushie at 7-Eleven)  I so hope she can drastically scale back her work hours and enjoy her last year at Baylor.  I'm not promising I won't stand here in the doorway of the empty room and shed a tear next week... 

Monday, August 18, 2014

Mealplan Monday #124 and a sore knee

I had the best of intentions on getting the mealplan posted this morning...but things just didn't go my way...
My knee has decided to wage war on the rest of me.  After a weekend spent taking Aleve, using Icy Hot, and limping around like an assault victim, I made an appointment with my regular doc.  Result - possible osteoarthritis.  Still more testing to come, though.  And for dinner tonight Ill be having tramadol.  Everyone else will have:
Monday - Mediterranean Pork Chops, rice, green beans
Tuesday - Order pizza out (we're going to start doing this every Tuesday for a while)
Wednesday - Chicken tacos, beans, pico de gallo
Thursday - Bacon Cheeseburger Skillet, carrots
Friday - Turkey Lazy Daisy Meatballs, masheds, limas
Saturday - Dad grill
Sunday - Ham and Cheese party sammies, chips, coleslaw
My doc actually asked me if I had started a new exercise program.  Um, no. But probably I should.

Friday, August 15, 2014

The stuff you do for your favorite band kid...

I volunteered to clean the ice rags for marching band practice last night.  The ice rags help the sweaty kids cool off so they don't pass out at practice - it's a good thing.  It involves picking up the rags, washing them, then returning them to school.  Not rocket science, but time consuming.  My washer got a real workout yesterday with the regular laundry during the day, and rags at night.
The lady that coordinates it all calls herself the Ice Rag Nazi and offered to give a demo the first day of band camp.  I'm not even kidding.  Here's the info from the sign-up page:

- if you signed up to do the ice rags on a Tuesday you need to come on Monday to get the rags (if you come @ lunch the rags are in the parking lot where the band is playing / if you come later in the day they get moved to the band hall).  Take them home and wash them all - there should be 3 igloo coolers of them).  Then return on Tuesday and do the following:
- take the rags to the band hall to the room where the ice machine is located (if you don't know where this room is ask or snoop around)
- get a pitcher of water and fill it up  (you will need to do this multiple times)
- spread about 10 rags on the bottom of the ice chest 
- pour water and ice on these rags
- throw another 10 rags (spread evenly) on top of the first ice rags and repeat the water and ice and rags (which is why I grouped them in tens)
Do this until you fill up all 3 coolers with ice cold rags.
The most important thing, I have been told, is to make sure all of the ice rags get good and wet.
(so...why would you dry them the night before?  Just curious.)
Consequently, if you are signed up for Monday you must come pick up the rags on Friday.

 So....I washed all of the rags with a little bleach ('cause YUCK), then spun them well, then grouped them in tens in the coolers.  It makes no sense to dry them in the dryer to turn around and wet them down tomorrow, but when I called the lady to make sure we were still doing ice rags tomorrow, that was her suggestion...
I also cleaned out the inside of the coolers, because, again, YUCK.  
I'm no genius, but I can read and have enough common sense to be able to figure this one out.  Does it ever seem to you that there are those certain moms who try to make the rest of us look like we don't know what's up and they are the only ones on the ball?  Because in the 24 plus years I've been a mom and been involved in various volunteer opportunities, it's always these "gate keepers" that seem to scare away  moms who just want to help out.  That's a shame.  
'Cause ice rags are a nifty thing on your neck when it's blazing hot at practice...

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Faithful correspondents

 Years ago my mother mentioned that she wanted the letters she wrote me while she was working overseas typed into a sort of journal of her time there.  Then life got busy, and it never happened.  But I had been thinking about it recently and decided it was time to reclaim the box from her and get started on it.  Re-reading some of the letters really put some things in perspective.
There must around 200 letters here, all in my mother's neat, small cursive.  Plus a few photos and postcards and newspaper clippings... I plan on transcribing the letters I wrote to her as well - she saved every one.  I'm not sure everyone else will find them as interesting and entertaining as I do.  Some of the letters express her frustration at being halfway around the world and feeling let down by those closest to her.  And a lot of the past is just plain not fun to re-live.  It seems a daunting task to me, but I will just take it one step at a time...

Monday, August 11, 2014

Mealplan Monday #123 and lunch in Brenham

Friday was a super hot day and I had a nice visit with my mother and Carol (a friend from college days!) in Brenham.  Mother and I spent the morning talking and looking at quilts and learning how to do fancy stitches on her new Bernina and feeding the chickens bread and petting Gus.  Time seemed to go by fast.
 At about 12:30 I met Carol for lunch at the Funky Art Cafe just a couple blocks away.
 It was a fun place full of ladies who lunch.
 We feasted on mahi mahi tacos and chicken salad and caught up and what our peeps are doing.
Monday - Baked Mexican Tilapia, squash, rice
Tuesday - Spagetti and Meatballs, salad
Wednesday - Chicken Lazone, masheds, fresh veggie
Thursday - Taco Salads
Friday - One Pot Tortellini in tomato cream sauce, broccoli
Saturday - Dad grill
Sunday - Sloppy Joes, chips, carrot and celery sticks
Dessert will be ice cream - it's so hot I barely feel like cooking, but ice cream makes all of us feel better!
Next to the cafe there was a cute gift shop we wandered through.
(There were a couple of men lunching here, too...)
 Full of stuff that ladies who lunch like to look at.  Then we strolled up the downtown streets, ducking into cute gift and antique shops, pausing to admire a town garden and a cistern with historical plaques.

 Brenham is a cute little town and the downtown area is being revitalized.
 Which led us to Must Be Heaven, another place to try for lunch on another visit:
In all of time my mother has lived here, I have never been to the creamery.  
I've got to get better at taking photos (Not one decent pic of either Mother or Carol!) I even got a new point and shoot that takes better pics, I just need to play with it more.  And I want to visit Brenham again soon and take my mother out to lunch.
Can you believe how quickly summer has slipped by?

Friday, August 8, 2014

5 thing Friday - frugal cooking, twins?, dates, band camp, patches

Groceries are starting to become a luxury item - so expensive!  I'd rather not throw food away, and sometimes I just want to work with what we already have.  So, I find things in the freezer and pantry that challenge me to be frugal and creative.  Like these cupcakes:
(See the Halloween cupcake liners?)  Key Lime cake plus blue raspberry vanilla frosting = Sharkbite Cupcakes.  Dessert recycled from here.
And leftover grilled chicken plus a couple of grilled corn on the cobs with everything you have from the crisper drawer and some grated cheese = BBQ Chicken Salad.  Oooh, that was good.
These two are looking more and more alike every day.  Some lady in Walgreen's asked them if they were twins, then asked who was older, then asked Scout if he was 12.  I almost pee'd myself laughing.  Scout was not amused.
Hubby and I are going to start going out for date nights where we don't discuss the kids.  We discovered that Whole Foods is a dandy place to drink beer, people watch, then spend too much on baked goods.  There are tables and leather couches to kick back in, or you can sit out on a deck watching the sun set.  Next time we plan on eating dinner there, and playing cards afterwards.too.
Band camp started.  Yay and Boo, all at the same time.  Summer is winding down, marching season is ramping up, life is going to get more hectic until Winter Break. And meanwhile, I've got one hot, tired, hungry, grouchy teen on my hands who meanmugs me in the afternoon if I ask how his day went.  Fun times.
Said teen outgrew his scout sash.  Guess who gets to re-sew all the patches on?  


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