Friday, August 28, 2009

Making the Bed

Personal Fact: I hate mornings.

Now that we've clarified my position of the AM hours, let me assure you that I do, in fact, make the effort to make my bed (nearly) every morning. And let's be clear that it isn't always an easy task. If I slept alone, it would be a breeze. I'd get up, smooth the wrinkles, call it a day. But no, The Mister can't sleep with the bedding tucked in at the bottom of the bed. He rips the whole bed apart even before he puts on his pajamas. He untucks everything and flings any unnecessary blankets or quilts onto the bench or onto my side of the bed. If The Mister is home, I have to literally make the bed from scratch (and I find it rather annoying...). I really wish I could train The Mister to either make the bed correctly, or sleep with everything still assembled. I wonder if my chore of making the bed has anything to do with my dislike for that time of day...?

Yesterday I was fed up with the morning sneezing and wheezing, and I decided to strip my bed to the mattress and wash everything. My theory was that maybe there was pollen and dust trapped in the bedding which was making me so miserable. I washed the mattress pad (a whole load on its own), the sheets, the blankets, the hypo-allergenic pillow covers... I washed it all.

After washing all these bedding items, it was my great pleasure to reassemble the bed. I tucked everything in smooth and tight (knowing that The Mister was out of town on business). I was looking forward to waking up this morning with an only moderately rumpled bed and a break from the daily chore of total bed reconstruction.

At some point in the middle of the night I heard a cry. One of The Buddies (I'll protect his identity to mitigate the teasing) was coughing and crying and climbed into bed with me. I soothed him and got him back to sleep... It wasn't until this morning that I realized what I should have done. What I should have done was tell him to use the potty and then tucked him back in his own bed! UGH! He wet my clean, freshly-washed, tightly-made, fully-tucked, nearly wrinkle-free bed!

Today I decided I needed to strip my bed to the mattress and wash everything...

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

A Rainy Day

It was a little drizzly yesterday with intermittent bursts of sunshine. Lots of heavy clouds passing through, but just a little moisture. Isn't it amazing to see what a little rain can do in a high desert? Just look at these flowers flourishing in my yard!

I'm not even sure what these flowers are... A week ago I was growing straggly looking bushy things...

These pretty blooms just seemed to burst from the leggy stems of my mystery plants over night...

The blossoms were an unexpected surprise... A pleasant surprise... I will be waiting (expectantly) for them to return next summer.

And btw--these shot are all SOOC. I'm getting better! lol

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Change is in the air.

This is the view from my deck this evening. Is that smoke, roiling up from the hillside? That might be your first conclusion. It certainly looks like smoke, the kind that could chase hikers out of the foothills... But this is actually a storm cloud building up over the hill. I like to think it's the prelude to fall.

My friend Olivia refuses to accept the fact that summer is coming to an end. I'm excited about the impending change--fall just happens to be my favorite season. Olivia and I have discussed the merits of my favorite season, but all she sees is the end of another beautiful summer. But I have to wonder, after seeing these thick clouds march down the valleys, how can she continue to refuse the obvious and unstoppable change that is coming?

We argued just yesterday about whether or not summer was truly ending. I pointed out the changing colors--the oranges of the oak trees are already becoming visible on the hillside. But she doesn't want to acknowledge the truth that I can see.

The weather is cooler than it's been. In fact, we've had rain and increasing clouds throughout the day. The temperatures are falling, the winds are kicking up, the clouds no longer look light and fluffy... And the most telling sign that fall is upon us? The kids are back in school. Fall is just around the corner... Yay!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Cleaning Lady vs. Soap Dish

I have a cleaning lady. Actually, it's more of a cleaning team of 5, but I hate to say that because it makes it seem like my house is too dirty for one poor woman to handle alone... Which, now that I think of it, is actually the case... Because I'm that one poor woman who can't handle it alone.

Anyway! I have this cleaning lady who comes twice a month. The main reason I have her (them) come is to wax my floors. I have about 6000 square feet of polished concrete flooring in my house. I hate to wax it, so I have hired out the waxing chore. But, once she is (they are) here, it just makes sense for her (them) to just give the whole house a quick once-over.

I love it that twice a month my house is clean from top to bottom. It smells clean, it looks polished, the carpets are all fluffy and nice... For the most part, it's really great! The only consequence I've discovered is the ongoing destruction of my soap dish.

My soap dish wasn't particularly expensive, nor is it especially attractive... But it does perform a useful function, and I did actually purchase it for that functional reason.

For some unfathomable reason, the cleaning lady has taken issue with my soap dish. After the first cleaning, I noticed a little chip on the base of the soap dish... After I discovered the chip, I thought,

Oh, well... If that's the worst of it, I guess I can live with that...

After the second cleaning, I noticed another chip in the soap dish.

And then there were the third and fourth cleanings...

Seriously? What's the deal!? Does the cleaning lady have something against soap dishes in general? Is it just my soap dish? Is she expressing her passive-aggressive tendencies toward me through the soap dish? Does she really hate all the waxing that my house requires--is this her manifestation of her desire to be fired? I can't quite figure it out... What do you think?

Thursday, August 20, 2009

The First Day of School

The big day finally arrived, and The Buddies certainly felt the importance of the day. There was no joviality at our house. We understand the importance of a good education. We take schooling very seriously.

We were up, and dressed, and the backpacks were ready. The school supplies were purchased and packed, and The Buddies left the house in an atmosphere of readiness. Look at these eager, and solemn faces...

Oh, who am I kidding?! They were so excited to get to school to see their friends. They couldn't have cared less about what they might actually learn. And for the record: they each reported that the day was "awesome."

Looks like a great start. Let's just hope the smiles continue for the rest of the school year!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

An Unexpected Reunion

She disappeared without a trace in mid-July. We aren't exactly sure of the date, we were busy with life... We thought she might have been in an accident--a car possibly? Or, perhaps, she had encountered a coyote while out on a nature walk... Regardless, after six weeks, we assumed we would never see her again.

Last night I was grilling kabobs when I heard a familiar cry. I looked down from the deck to see Shade bounding across the lawn. We ran out to greet her and she seemed unabashedly happy to see us. She snuggled, and purred, and looked at us expectantly. She was happy to be home.

While happy to be home, she was not happy to be reunited with her babies. Trane and Nekko have grown a lot in six weeks. She left a pair of adoring kittens, but was reunited with two strangers, full-grown cats who remembered her, but whom she didn't recognize. And her former friend (Chubby) has become nothing but a nuisance to her.

Shade seems unnaturally comfortable in our house--odd for the outdoor cat she used to be. My theory is that someone adopted her as a house cat. I think she escaped through an open door or window at first chance to return home. Shade has remained in the garage all day... Never wandering beyond the driveway. I think she is fearful that she may be taken from her home again.

We're glad to have her back. And the mice better beware!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Strange Sights

Today was a beautiful day. The sun was shining, but it wasn't too hot. White clouds were skating across the blue sky. I was enjoying the touches of yellow and orange that are starting to dot the hillside. And suddenly I was distracted by this sight:

At first, I thought it was caused by the polarized lenses in my sunglasses... But it was still visible when I took them off. In reality, it was even more brightly colored than this photo shows. The lavender was much more vivid, and the bright blue that streaks from left to right was more obvious. The cloud on the right looked like flames rising as the colors morphed from one to another. It reminds me of the aurora borealis. Anyone know what would cause this beautiful sight?

Monday, August 17, 2009

Something in the air...

Something was different today.

I feel like life is winding back up in preparation for Fall. There seems to be so much to do, and I just hope I get it all done in time. Schedules are getting busier, bedtime is coming earlier, life is getting hectic. And while I'm not sure I've got myself going at the right speed to merge into the fray, I'm not sure I have a choice. I'll just grit my teeth, put it in gear, and join the masses.

And while I'm feeling the pressures of back-to-school and back-to-scheduled-life, I am looking forward to some of it. I am looking forward to meals at home instead of at the nearest drive-thru. I can't wait to have a kitchen filled with the sweet aromas of baking bread or simmering soups. I long for quiet evenings with a fire in the grate.

Yep, something was different today. And I think it's gonna be good.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Channel 120

Cartoon Network has lost it's place in our rankings for Favorite TV Channel.

The Buddies have just recently discovered Channel 120. What is showing on 120? Well, your guess is as good as mine. The entertainment featured is ever changing, and of unreliable quality. And yet, it holds the interest of The Buddies for indeterminate amounts of time.

So, what might we expect to see on a given day? It might be one of the kittens, a neighbor, or a friend. It could be grandpa, the FedEx man, or a UPS delivery. What is Channel 120? It's our security camera feed.

For some reason The Buddies love to watch the ever-changing activity outside our front door. Why? I wish I knew. They could go outside and play, and see things happen in "real life." But for some reason it's much more enjoyable from the comfort of our couch... With a bag of popcorn. Go figure!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Wakesurfing on the ENZO

The Mister is in love with his new toy. The custom Enzo sacks have been installed for a total of 3000 pounds of ballast. The wake is about waist high. The GPS- assisted Perfect Pass is working perfectly. The Switch Blade is engaged.

Sit back and watch him ride!
(I especially enjoyed the dismount!)

The water's fine, come on in!
If you want to try wakesurfing, check out

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

I hate chenopods

Chenopods--I can't help but pronounce that with disdain! I hate those sneeze-inducing perpetrators. And really, what's to like about them? Do they have any redeeming qualities? With names like pig weed, scale, and Russian thistle, what do you expect! As far as I'm concerned, these weeds deserve their bad reputation. As for being utterly despised, they asked for it with their annoying, allergic-reaction causing pollen.

Chenopods--I curse you! You deserve a hard freeze. And I don't even feel guilty for condemning you to that fate. I just hope it happens before I lose too many brain cells from all the sneezing. (Because I'm sure that sneezing this hard and this often can't possibly be good for my brain cells...)

The End.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Revenge of the 80s

Have we discussed my issues? Because even if we started down that slippery slope, I'm sure we didn't get to the hair issues... Am I right?

My hair issues started in junior high, which I assume is par for the course. I had one of those very popular bad perms?* Remember how we (please admit you were one of us) blew out our bangs but then left the back of our heads all crunchy from an inordinate amount of mousse? Well, along with all the other nostalgic styles, I'm afraid that bad 80s hair is making a comeback.

Today I looked around my church congregation and noticed something that I haven't really seen since high school. There sat an attractive girl. Her outfit was well put together, including tasteful accessories and cute shoes. One of those accessories was a trendy headband. It was a look that she really pulled off, at least until she turned around... It was the classic "totally did the front but forgot about the back" hairdo. From the front her hair was full of volume and smooth waves. From the back, it was crisscrossed with a large collection of bobby pins and barrettes. Really? People! You have to understand that unless you are standing against a wall, other people can actually see your entire head! Please, comb all your hair!

* Just admit it, they were all bad perms...

Saturday, August 8, 2009

A change is in the air...

So, yesterday I was lamenting my issues regarding dealing with change. But today I'm all about the change! (NO, not the change! geez!). I'm talking about the weather. I think I missed the memo about this premature, little taste of Fall. But who do I thank for ordering this brief teaser?

I woke up this morning to a chilly bedroom. Not chilly in the sense that The Mister wasn't speaking to me... I mean actually a little cooler in temperature. I enjoyed a leisurely morning of lounging in my jammies (complete with fuzzy socks). I even considered hot oatmeal and a steaming mug of hot chocolate... I haven't taken so much pleasure in a morning in a very long time...

The only thing to bring disappointment to my reverie is the forecast--back to the high nineties within days. Oh well. I'll just have to enjoy it while it lasts!

Thursday, August 6, 2009


My life has been full of changes. I never really thought I had issues with change, but now I'm not so convinced... I've been married, divorced, married again. I've been a single mom. I've moved around (a lot!). Sometimes I think we've moved more times than I can count! We've moved from Utah to Nevada to Arizona and back to Utah (with a few other states unaccounted for)...

I used to be a young mom who was mistaken for the babysitter of my only child... Now my babies are growing up and leaving the nest. I'm no longer the young mom with one or two babies at home all day. I'm now the proud mommy to five amazing, young people (notice I didn't say "little" --the oldest is 6 feet tall!).

My life has been seriously full of change... I've changed jobs, responsibilities, and dress sizes, diapers, paint colors, and carpet, friends, favorites, and habits... In fact, I think the only thing I haven't changed is the color of my hair...

Why is it that I'm just now realizing that I've never really found a way to successfully incorporate lifestyle changes without disrupting my whole existence? Really, why is that?

The school year is fast approaching, and for the first time, I will have all my children in school full-time. Although I've enjoyed my little boys, I'm so excited for them to be off to school for the day. But I'm still not quite sure how that reduction in daily responsibility with affect me. What am I going to do with all that new-found "me" time? I do have fantastic daydreams about how I'll spend my days. I fantasize about working out with a personal trainer in the mornings. I visualize meditative morning walks. I consider getting a new job. I have even secretly relished the idea of taking up a hobby. Or, I could act like a real lunatic and fire the cleaning ladies and spend my mornings waxing the floors (no, very bad idea!).

Sure, there are lots of things I could do. But what are the chances that I really will do anything more than the usual? What does it take to push you into doing something new? How do you get the ball rolling? Really, I'm asking! My greatest fear is that I'll spend my new-found free time folding laundry and shopping the produce aisle at Harmon's...

While contemplating my changing life, I came across an anonymous quote:

Change is good; change is inevitable. But change scares people to death.

Yep, that pretty much sums it up.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Everybody say, "Jump!"

Monday, August 3, 2009

It was good 'til it wasn't...

I went took my visiting guest out to lunch the other day. I wanted to share one of my favorite luncheon spots with her. After a lazy morning at home, we set out for a little shopping and some food.

I think my guest was pleased with my choice, and we enjoyed a little gossip and some laughs, along with some good food... At least it was good, until we found this...

My guest found this at the end of our meal... I hope it didn't have any friends taking up residence in her salad. If so, they were never recovered (ew!). For the next few days, we joked about going out for another Fly Salad.

For the record, the price of her meal was fully refunded. But I have to wonder, would you rather have the free meal or pay full price for a Fly-Free Salad?

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Not So Original After All

While in Rome, my husband and I found a beautiful painting. The artist was displaying his wares at Piazza Navona, where we discovered him while waiting for our dinner. He was an interesting fellow, with a unique sales technique. We wanted to inquire about the painting, but first we had to wake him from his late afternoon nap. Once roused from sleep, he seemed disinterested in giving us any information about his work. After a little persuasion, and some persistent questions, he livened up a bit. Although he was very likely high (in fact he readily admitted to smoking pot), he was at least coherent enough to know that we were quite interested in making a purchase... His sales pitch hit full steam...

First, he explained to us that he was a much better artist than the other artists on the Piazza. He claimed that none of their work was original. He claimed they all painted the same scenes over and over and only sold them to tourists. While that may have been true, it really wasn't relevant as nobody else had a piece I was interested in purchasing. His next tactic was to explain that not only did the others paint the same scenes repeatedly, they also copied other artists' works... Again, interesting info, but for me, irrelevant. His next strategy was to show us the finer details of his work... The unique elements that he had imaginatively incorporated into the painting... While interesting, we already admired the piece and were merely curious about the price. He ignored our request for a price, and indignantly continued on with his rant about the lack of talent and ingenuity of his fellow artists... He was quite persistent in his attempt to persuade us that he was indeed a gifted and creative artist.

We declined to purchase the painting the first night because we couldn't agree on a price. But the next evening, we returned to his exhibition to buy our painting. The original painting is beautiful, its subject was created by fluid strokes that flow freely across the canvas. The lines of the object are full of energy, movement, and strength. The colors are warm and rich, and perfect for our home.

We bought the painting that second night. In his pot-induced haze, the artist argued with us about price, then he (surprisingly) quickly and adeptly wrapped the canvas for travel.

Yes, I fell in love with a beautiful piece of art... And now I have a new painting hanging on my wall, which will always remind me of our evenings at Piazza Navona.

The day after our purchase, we were browsing a little shop looking for postcards. I smirked when I discovered a postcard that looked curiously similar to one of our art prodigy's paintings... I told The Mister, I bet I can find our painting online in about 10 minutes... Upon our return, I searched and did indeed find our original painting.

Yep, the original is a beautiful work of art... Unfortunately, it isn't hanging on our wall. But I'm not sorry we bought it. I've framed it and hung it on a prominent wall in our living room. It's not only pleasant to admire, but I enjoy the private joke that is the story behind it's acquisition... And (thankfully) we didn't spend a fortune! Oh, and as an aside, the actual (original) artist credited with this piece isn't even a man... The artist who painted the original is actually Marta Gottfried Wiley.

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