Saturday, April 2, 2016

Easter Greetings

K and I both had Good Friday off so we hit the road for our "we-go-once-every-three-years" trip to IKEA.

It was worth the wait. But I forgot how quickly all those little can't-live-without-them items add up. And I forgot how easy it is to discover all those things you didn't even know you needed until you saw them.

Like the sweet little white hanging baskets in these photos.

I can't stop looking at them - they are so darling. The lacy edges, the rounded bottoms, and those pretty pink button daisies. Simply darling.
We had a fun day, K and I. Swiss chocolate. Shopping and lunch. 

And some excitement. Oh boy, did we have some excitement.


After leaving IKEA, we were pretty hungry and decided we wanted Mexican food for lunch. K immediately went to yelp and found a restaurant with a high rating just ten minutes away. It sounded great so off we went.

As we drove, the roads got more and more rundown. Potholes. Frost heaves. Worn paint. The housing got more and more rundown. Broken windows, faded paint, missing shingles. And the cars got more and more rundown. Parts missing. Bald tires. Mirrors hanging off the side doors.

And graffiti. Lots of graffiti. Not good.

"Are you sure this got a high rating?" I asked skeptically, looking around the neighborhoods we were driving through.

"It did, MOTHER," she said, not sounding confident at all. We kept driving along, following the GPS directions. "We've got three minutes to our destination. It's got to start cleaning up soon," said K.

It didn't clean up. We got closer and closer to our destination and realized it wasn't going to get any better.    

"We'll just do a drive-by and see what it looks like, " said K. I quickly agreed.

So we drove by and the restaurant looked sketchy. Really sketchy. We decided we weren't going to stop so I kept going. 

Except now we didn't know where we were going. So I pulled over to give us a chance to regroup and come up with plan B. We parked on the side of the road at a four way stop intersection. While K was looking at yelp again, I was looking out the window, watching someone walking along the road. 

"Mother! Stop staring!" said K. 

"I'm not staring. I'm people watching," I replied, indignantly. 

"Well, don't. You don't know what you might see," she informed me curtly. And she was absolutely right. We weren't in the best neighborhood and it was probably wiser to keep my eyes down. I started the car and we decided to head out of the city and stop for lunch somewhere else.

As I was driving away, I realized the student has become the teacher and my daughter is a wise young woman indeed.
We had some laughs about our adventure all the way home. She told me I was like Mr. Magoo, walking around the world with a rather naive view of the danger around me.

I was surprised to hear this.

I didn't even know she knew who Mr. Magoo was.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Colored Focus

Winter sunsets are beautiful.
End of winter sunsets are even more beautiful, don't you think?

The sky is still crisp and the colors still vibrant. 


I love silhouettes. They help me see the forest for the trees. I can focus on something that I might have passed over - shapes, contours, framing. 

The details.

Silhouettes are all about details.
So K and I have been hooked on watching old episodes of the X-Files. Good golly, there's a lot of episodes. Most of them are manageable, i.e. we don't get too scared. But recently we've run into a couple episodes that are super scary. And freaky.

We watched one of those last night. We kept looking at each other, staring in disbelief at how naive some of the characters are. 

Don't they know NOT to go into 600 acres of woods when the sun is going down?!

Don't they know not to attempt to break into a house when they know there are three crazy people living in the house?!

Don't they know not to go down a deserted alley in the middle of the night, having chased something into it?!

Don't they know that normal people don't have glowing red eyes?!

We got so freaked out we started getting jumpy at every little sound the house made. We got so jumpy that we decided we had watched enough and needed to go to bed.


That means we have to turn the lights out. We kept a close eye on each other and ran around the house together, locking doors and shutting off lights. 


We can't watch these scary ones unless the Man is awake with us. We are not tough stuff. We are fluff stuff.

Saturday, February 27, 2016

A Candle in the Window, or finding our way home

I was coming around the main desk at the library one day last week and discovered a young man-child about the age of four heading out the front door, crying inconsolably. Just as he was heading out the door, he looked up at me and made eye contact. He stopped and just stood there, looking at me and crying.

"Hey, now, what's this, young mister?" I stooped down and asked him.

"I can't find my mommy," he wailed and cried even harder.

"Well, you come with me and we'll go find her," I reassured him, and held out my hand to see if he wanted to hold it. Nope. He wasn't having any of that.

I started walking down the hallway and he followed me. I kept talking to him and asking him simple questions to try and find out where he was when he last saw his mom. He cried the entire way down the hallway and up the short set of stairs leading to the Internet computers, which is where most adults end up while their children play in the children's department.

I looked around and saw two people - an old man and a young lady of a different nationality than the man-child. But I didn't want to make any assumptions so I said, "I don't see mommy here. Can you look and see if you can find her?"

The man-child glanced around, saw the same two people I did and looked at me like, you idiot, those two aren't my mother. So we turned around, walked back down the hallway and headed upstairs to the  children's area with him crying and wailing the entire way.

As we started up the stairs, his momma heard him crying and met us at the top of the staircase.

"I'm right here, sweetheart!" she said. As soon as he caught sight of her, he raced up the rest of the stairs and threw himself into her arms. He hugged his momma tightly and then reared back, wound up an arm, and hauled off and hit her across the legs.

"WHERE WERE YOU??" he cried, flailing at her and crying even harder. She talked to him softly, hugging him as best she could while he spent himself out. She mouthed her gratitude to me and I left them to their reconciliation.


The entire drive home I thought about this incident. And I thought this is the way we treat God when we wander away from Him. We look for Him in all the wrong places and flail about, frustrated and angry and scared. When we finally do find Him, we discover it wasn't Him that moved but us. And then we get mad at Him for it. Oh, how wrong we are. He's been right there, waiting for us to come back to Him.

Thank you, man-child, for opening my eyes.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

It's All About Me, Not!

Today was my day to get beautified. 

And taxified. But that's not a fun story so I'm not telling that one.
My colorist, who happens to be my good friend T, works at a shop on a main road leading into town. The shop has gorgeous windows looking out to the road and while she works on my hair we look out at the weather, or traffic, or emergency vehicles and feel like Mrs. Kravitz spying on the neighbors.
T was about half way through applying my color and a big, long 18-wheeler pulled up outside the shop and stopped, completely blocking the driveway.

Two men got out and went to the front of the truck, lifted the hood, and started looking around. 


They've blocked us all in. I can't be blocked in. I have to leave soon. I have an appointment with our accountant to give him our tax papers.

I fretted about it for a little bit, wondering how long they were going to be stuck there. The other women in the shop kept speculating that I might be trapped for a long while, since the hood was still up and the men were deeply embedded into the engine looking around and tapping things.

After thinking about it for a few more minutes, I jumped out of the chair and told T I was going out to find out how long they were going to be there.

She laughed as I flew out the door.
I walked down to the road and over to the {very} big engine area. The two men looked up. Their eyes got wide.

"Are you going to be here long?" I asked. 

"Just a few minutes, ma'am," they said, just staring at me.

"Okay, then," I said, as I turned around and walked back toward the shop.
T was still laughing when I got back inside. And then I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror.

Oh, boy.

Color half applied means my hair was sticking up ALL OVER THE PLACE. Foamy goo applied liberally. T had just waxed my eyebrows so my forehead was red and irritated, tiny pieces of wax still stuck to my eyebrow area. And I'm wearing a vinyl black poncho.

Good golly.

No wonder the two men left so quickly.


I made it to my tax appointment on time.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Snow Day Musings

A few scenes from the storm last week. 

Heavy, wet snow. J, K, and I cleared the driveway before the Man got home from work. He was a happy fellow. We were a tired family.


The snow fell all day long, slowing down about two in the afternoon. 

"Let's go clear the driveway, guys!" I said, looking out the window and seeing only a few flakes fall helter skelter to the ground. "This is going to take a while since it's going to be heavy."

"No, it's not," said J and K in unison. "It's light and fluffy. It won't take long to shovel. We'll go out later," they said, not even looking up from their electronic devices.

"No. It's going to be heavy. Look at the temperature. It's fairly warm so there's a lot of moisture in the air which means heavy, wet snow. Out, now!" I may have said a bit firmly.

Grumbling, they got ready to go outside. I got out there first and started shoveling. Heavy, wet snow. Just as I had suspected. J got the snowblower going. But not before he broke the pull cord. Gulp. Don't let that snowblower stop running or we're shoveling the whole driveway by hand, J.

I know, he said. And he kept it going.

K finally came out and took her first shovelful. 

This is really heavy, she said, grimacing at me. I might have said, I told you so

When are they going to listen to their momma?

Monday, February 15, 2016

Winter Blues

Normally this time of winter the doldrums have set in. 

But not this year.

Milder than usual temperatures, coupled with very little snow, has made for a doldrum-free winter. And since we're halfway through February, I'm feeling kind of perky. 


K and Sissy and I took a trip north this weekend to a {rather} large knitting shop. We wandered around with our project sheets for a couple hours, matching yarns and patterns and needle sizes and feels. It has to feel right or it won't get worn.

I came out with yarn for two projects, K gathered enough for three projects and Sissy found some yarn to start an outrageously colorful afghan. A very successful trip.

Right now, K is sitting on the couch working on a knitted skirt for herself and I'm working on a cabled and ribbed poncho for me. The guys are in bed and we're watching the "X-Files". We knit happily along until the scary parts and then we jump and lose some stitches. 

Gah. It's hard to multi-task.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

A little Thanksgiving sharing

That is my idea of a perfect plate of Thanksgiving food. Stuffing, turkey, turnip, olives, cranberry relish, mashed potatoes, and squash. Cover it all with gravy. Eat.

Lip smacking delicious.


There's a plate of pumpkin bread in the background. The Man's momma always made this for holidays and I am more than delighted to carry on the tradition.

Moist and packed with pumpkin flavor. I could eat a whole loaf in one sitting if I sat there with it all sliced up like that. Everyone knows that pre-sliced quick bread has half the calories as a loaf that's uncut.

K and I were baking Thanksgiving eve, preparing for the big meal the following day. I made a double batch of pumpkin bread this year so I would have extra loaves for the freezer. It's always nice to have extras in the freezer, don't you think? I glanced out the kitchen window and saw that my neighbors were home so I quickly wrapped up a loaf of warm bread and ran it over to them. It's nice to share, too.

Nothing says Thanksgiving to me like Nana's stuffing and Mom's pumpkin bread.


As I'm writing this post, I'm baking my breakfast for tomorrow - Heavenly Carrot Cake Baked Oatmeal. J gave me a cookbook last Christmas from the food blogger over at Oh She Glows. I have loved every single recipe that I've made out of that cookbook. Super healthy and full of flavor, the recipes make me want to cook again.

The house is filled with the most delicious smells right now and I can't wait for breakfast. I'll let you know how it tasted.