Saturday, September 26, 2009

Hike to Timp Caves

What happened to my tranquil morning?

The last thing I remember is the perfect luxury of a steamy shower.  I was enjoying the fact that I had been able to sleep in (at least a little) later than usual on a Saturday morning.  I was contemplating the many tempting options available for whiling away my weekend...  I'm sure I did nothing to prompt The Mister's suggestion for our Saturday activities.  I'm still trying to ascertain the inspiration for The Mister's Grand Plan for the day.  The unfortunate reality is that the Grand Plan crashed in upon my relaxing ritual without invitation.

The Mister revealed his desire to take The Buddies on a hike to the Timpanogos Caves.  Really?  Yes, really.  According to the weather man, this could possibly be the last weekend to enjoy our beautifully rugged mountains emblazoned with autumns colors.  And with the potential of a snow storm on the horizon, he didn't want us to miss this opportunity.

A quick call disclosed that American Fork Canyon and the caves were fee-free for the day.  That pretty much obliterated any real argument I had regarding nixing the idea...

So, off we went on our (all day long!) adventure where we were met by Forest Ranger McGrumpy at the bottom of the trail.  After being granted passage by the gate-keeper, we were on our way.  And these were the sights we saw...


These sights were overshadowed somewhat by this disconcerting warning.

Not that any of us are under the care of a physician...  But still, it did give me pause.  We were, after all, hiking with three six-year-old boys!

My reservations about this adventure were realized as we became human tow-ropes for the steep sections.  We were, however, able to find moments of pleasure along the way.  Moments like these:

All in all--a most enjoyable day!  Upon first hearing The Mister's Grand Plan, I flately declined to participate.  I'm so glad I changed my mind!  What a perfect way to spend a beautiful fall afternoon.

Friday, September 25, 2009

It's not gonna be good...

Sometimes you just know it isn't going to go well.  You plan for it.  You prepare for it.  But when it actually comes down to it...  well, you just never know.

Today is Friday, and I've had all I can take!  I'm burned out, stressed out, tired out, and I'm very grateful to be at the end of a very stressful week.  Why is it that the more you already have to do, the more gets heaped on you last minute?  Ugh.  I just want to climb in bed and pull the sheets over my head.

On a brighter note:  The Weekend has Arrived!  And I don't have to drive the Saturday morning 7:00am carpool...  Yippee!  Now I think I actually will climb into bed and hide!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


I've received my official diagnosis.  Apparently, my method of forgetful parenting cannot be attributed to Alzheimers Disease.  I am, in fact suffering from Momzheimers.

You might ask (in an angsty tone), "So, what does that mean...!?"

Well, let me explain.  People with Momzheimers are a misunderstood lot.  And likely as not, they are not exctly sympathetic figures.  It is unfortunate that it is the children who suffer when a  mom succombs to this tragic malady.

Are you afraid that you might be suffering from Momzheimers?  Here is a quick quiz to see if you should persue an official diagnosis.

Do you forget where you left your car keys (with alarming frequency)?

Do you remember to buy Diet Coke but forget to buy the milk, bread, eggs, etc.?

Have you ever sent your child to school in pajamas because you forgot to put the laundry into the dryer?

Have you ever forgotten (or been inexcusably late) to pick up your kids from school because you were distracted by Oprah?

Do you have a tendency to forget dentist appointments but retain the ability to remember a hair appointment?

If you can answer in the affirmative to any of the above scenarios, you may be in the early stages of Momzheimers.  Luckily there is treatment available. 

It has been my experience that chocolate helps.  Diet Coke is requisite.  A hug and/or a juicy kiss from a child is soothing.  A monthly pedicure is essential.  Take it from me, someone who is dealing with Momzheimers on a daily basis, you can survive this affliction.  Get treatment today and your family will thank you.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Perfectly Preserved

To some, summer never achieves a proper finale.  There is always one more picnic to plan.  One more BBQ to arrange.  One more day at the lake to anticipate.  But it seems like that one more is often aborted due to the failing of the weather. 

As much as those golden days of summer are relished, I always look with anticipation toward the waning days of the season.  I find contentment in the cooler evenings, the return to a schedule, the peace of knowing that I've done enough.  For me, the true culmination of summer is all about the segue into fall.  I love that shoulder season--cool enough to enjoy the evenings, warm enough to walk bare-foot through the cool grass. 

I love the gardens, once full of purple pansies and cheerful impatiens, now golden with chrysanthemums and the hint of the returning fall's rich hues.  I love the rose hips, the burning bush, the pyracantha with it's orange-berried clusters. 

Along with the return of the rich colors is the return of the harvest.  There isn't much that can be compared to fresh produce from your own garden.  My dad always has had an impressive garden filled with more than we could ever eat.  His garden provided peas and potatoes, corn and cucumbers, squash and carrots and zucchini.  But my favorite indulgence has always been the fruit. 

I love peaches, and apricots, and apples, and pears.  I love them fresh from the tree, still warm from the sunshine.  I could eat one handful after another of raspberries, strawberries, or blackberries.  And I always enjoy them most when they've come straight from my dad's berry patch.  I love a ripe watermelon, chilled and salted.   The truth is, if my dad can grow it--it's gonna be good.  Of course, those who know me know that I make that statement with two exceptions...  I don't eat cantaloupe (or camel-lope if you're a buddy) and I honestly do detest tomatoes--they're too darn squishy!

Along with my dislike for cantaloupe and tomatoes, I do have to confess to one other (very) small quirk.  When it comes to the consumption of fruit, I don't just like it fresh...  I insist upon it.  I really mean it when I say I want my fruit fresh from the tree and warm from the sunshine.  I don't want it bottled, baked, sugared, or pureed.  I want it to look like what it is.  I want the texture and color and flavor to be entirely unaltered, unadulterated...

When I was growing up, my mom was known for her fresh raspberry jam.  In fact, it's still a requested commodity.  But jam equals not only squished fruit, but sugared and cooked fruit.  I just can't get past that.  I don't eat apple pie or apple sauce, and I can't drink apple juice.  I'll skip the blueberry buckle, the fruit cocktail, and the baked pears.  Raisins?  Don't get me started...  And please, don't put fruit in my jello.

The funny thing is this...  I swoon at the smell of a cinnamon-dusted, apple pie baking in the oven.  I drool over photos of berry-jumbled crumbles.  I dream of cranberry speckled sweet breads...  And I oft admire the rows of pretty jars, filled with homemade preserves.  I appreciate the tidy bundles of beans, suspended in clear liquid.  The juicy slivers of peach, the floating berries.  I can't really explain it, but I'm drawn to those things.

Despite my flawed taste buds, I agreed to bottle peaches with my mom this week.   My mom thought I needed to learn how to preserve fruit.  I agreed, mostly because I wanted the opportunity to create my own bottles of home-grown sunshine to pretty my pantry shelves.  The Princess joined us, and we quickly filled all the jars.  It's unlikely that I'll ever taste the pretty fruit in the glossy jars, but I did find a unique sense of accomplishment in knowing that my family will enjoy those peachy chunks of summer when the snow starts to fly.


Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Where in the world...?

Where in the world is The Mister? People ususally look at me incredulously when I tell them I don't know. I'm The Mister's wife. I am the keeper of his house, and the mother of his children. My disinterest in where he is has nothing to do with my feelings about him. I love The Mister, but The Mister is a traveler.  Being on the road has become a somewhat undesirable component of The Mister's work.  He's gone at least a few days of each week.  When The Mister approaches the Hertz Car Rental counter, they see him coming and grab his keys.  When he hops a flight on Delta, they upgrade him to first class.  The flight attendants give him extra Biscoff cookies to bring home to me.  He gets the best rooms, free meals, he's leaned how to travel well.

Most people think I'm uncaring because I don't keep better track of The Mister.  But the truth is, if he's not here, I know he's working somewhere else.  No matter where that somewhere else is, he's not here...  And that's all I really need to know.  I like to have The Mister home to help with homework.  I need  The Mister home to take out the garbage.  I miss The Mister when I have nobody to warm my cold feet in bed.  And that's what it comes down to...  If he isn't here, he's somewhere else...  And if he's somewhere else, I'm on my own...  That's all I need to know.

I was going to meet The Mister in Las Vegas today.  We had grand plans to go to dinner, see a show, snuggle without interruption...  But apparently I'm not destined to be a traveler.  Life got in the way, and I'm home taking care of my own responsibilities.  I wish I could go...  I miss you, Mister!  Come on home and stay for a while, will you?

Monday, September 14, 2009

Undeniably Fall

I happened to have my camera with me as I drove home today. 
This photo was taken just down the street from my house at 3:30.  
The colors were vibrant and rich. 
I don't think additional words are necessary, this photo speaks for itself.
And it screams, Autumn has arrived!

The next photo, however, may need some explanation.

I looked out the window this evening and saw this view.  Has the rain turned to snow?  No, it's just fog.  But if there weren't so many leaves on the tree it would certainly look more like winter than it should...  I want to have a little more time to enjoy orange and yellow before we return to shades of gray.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

1st Anniversary

One year ago today I sat down at my computer to post to this blog for the very first time.  I was a reluctant participant in the blogging universe...  Unsure as to whether or not I had anything relevant to share.  Truth is, I still wonder if my ramblings are relevant to anyone.   I've posted my share of rants, indignant opinions, light-hearted thoughts, disappointments, exuberant exclamations, and random pondering.

Today's random pondering brings me to unexpected outcomes.  I've come to realize that sometimes it's best if you don't really have a destination in mind.  Just when you think you've figured out where you want to be, a detour presents itself.  I'm discovering that those detours often provide opportunities that I would never have gone seeking.

This blog is one of those unanticipated detours...  I think I'm going to continue to enjoy the journey.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Stupid Things

I am a master at doing stupid things that make me want to kick myself.  Often, those regrettable actions come in the form of dumb comments.  Or the misplacing of some rather important item.  Losing my temper and failing to keep my cool under pressure.  Volunteering for assignments that I honestly have no time or energy to accomplish.  But the thing that rankles me more than almost anything else is when I throw out the garbage, including some vitally important (or expensive) item that really can't be classified as refuse.

I did that last week...  Again...

Remember how handsome The Boy looked on his Graduation Day?  I remember it.  In fact, I hope I will long remember it.  Because the memory of how grown up he looked in his newly tailored pants, crisp dress shirt, and silk tie are all that I have left.  The unfortunate truth of what I'm confessing is that I threw away his new dress pants...  The pants that I bought at Nordstrom...  The pants that he wore twice...  Those custom-tailored pants, in charcoal grey, with the subtle pin striping...  Those pants...

You might be wondering how I could do something so stupid.  The truth is, I have lots of practice doing stupid things.  This one just happens to be a little more painful than others.  And the reason that it's a little more painful is twofold.  First, I hate paying good money only to dispose of such items so uncerimoniously.  But the more important reason is that I don't know that I'll ever convince The Boy to get another pair of dress pants.  And without him there to try them on, I'll never be able to buy him another pair that fit him as well as these did.

So, how did it happen?  Well, soon after graduation The Boy went on a Pioneer Trek.  On Trek the girls are required to wear pioneer dresses and the boys are asked to wear non-denim pants (preferably with suspenders)--it's supposed to add to the experience.  The Boy took it upon himself to purchase some wool dress pants at DI (our local Goodwill-type store).  After Trek The Boy threw his Trek clothing in the laundry along with his new dress pants.  I told him that we would need to take his dress pants to the dry cleaners if they really needed cleaning.  I asked him to put them in his room rather than leaving them in the laundry basket.  Unfortunately, I assumed he had actually done as I asked...  Why would I assume that?  Really, why?

Anyway, I decided that I was not going to pay for his wool Trek trousers to be dry cleaned.  And since all DI donations are supposed to be clean, I just decided to chuck them in the garbage.  You see where this is going, right?  I gathered up all the trousers in the basket and hauled them to the garbage.  The garbage went to the curb...  The garbage truck picked them up...  It makes me a little sick just thinking about it.

Anyhow...  While packing The Boy's belongings for his move to college, we discovered that the dress pants were missing...  Through deductive reasoning we have determined their whereabouts...  It isn't happy...

Monday, September 7, 2009

The Boy

The Boy moved out. I knew the day would come when it would be time to push him from the nest... But I can't deny that I may not have been entirely ready. In some ways it really isn't that strange to have him out of the house. After all, he has spent summers and holidays away with my ex-husband for years. But there is something more permanent about his absence this time.

I worry about whether or not he is taking care of himself. I wonder if he's eating. I hope he isn't living on mac-and-cheese alone. I feel distress over the fact that I can't log into Power School to make sure he's staying on top of his assignments. I hope he's making friends. I hope I would approve of his new friends. I pray that he's making wise choices...

I'm not sure if having a child become an adult is harder for the child or the parent. The Boy certainly seems to be taking it in stride. I, however, worry. I worry a lot. Does the worrying become bearable or do you just get over it at some point?

Although The Boy has a bed in an apartment full of strangers, we do still spend time together. I meet him at the grocery store to help him restock (yes, mostly with mac-and-cheese). And he's been known to stop in at dinner time if I've mentioned a favorite dish. But there will never again be a time when he is completely dependent upon me. I know it's a good thing, but I'm still feeling the growing pains.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Day Trip

I've been chastised. I've been reprimanded. I've been made to feel like I have let you down... I will repent and blog from this day forward... :)

And lucky you (my lonely reader) I had quite an adventure today. My day started with the usual two trips to the bus stop. Once for the middle school bus, and again for the elementary school bus. Some days I wonder if I'd ever leave the house if I wasn't expected to make these daily walks... But today was not one of those days. Today I had an appointment. I had stuff to do. I had an agenda...

I left from the bus stop and drove directly to my mom's house (not even stopping for Pumpkin Bread at Kneaders!). Once there, we both climbed into her minivan and commenced our scheduled adventure.

We drove for hours to reach our destination, and along the way I was urged to hurry so we wouldn't be late. After several impatient comments about my speed (or in her opinion, lack of speed) I suggested that maybe she should drive. After all, she hadn't recently had a suspended license like someone had... Maybe she could better afford the ticket. Knowing that she is not particularly fond of driving, I knew that comment would stop the abuse. I was right.

Anyway, we arrived at our destination (only 6 minutes late and having negotiated two separate road construction sites). And I waited in the hall for my scheduled appointment. During my wait, I was lucky enough to run into a good friend (whom I hardly ever see anymore) and we had a fun chat. She asked what I was doing with all my free time now that The Buddies are in school full-time. My response was,

Well, apparently I drive to small, rural communities to get mammograms...

Oh, did I forget to mention that? Today's adventure was all about this:

And what exactly is this? Well, my friends, this is the Planmed Sophie Classic mammography machine... Exciting, isn't it? Yes, my breasts thought so too... They highly recommend it...

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Three 1st Grade Buddies

I'm looking forward to having The Buddies in First Grade for the year. Our school had a Back-to-School night last week, and I had the opportunity to meet all three teachers. Three teachers? Yep, that's how we do it around here.

When my oldest was in elementary school, he had good friends who were twins. One of the boys was a little bit of a trouble maker. He was outgoing and well-liked, but not the best student. His brother was a little on the quiet side. Contemplative, responsible, a good student.

I asked the twins if they had always been in the same class. Apparently their parents had insisted that they be kept together. The reason? The quiet boy was charged with the responsibility of keeping his brother on task. I felt bad that this little boy had to be the heavy to his brother's flighty tendencies. And I'm not sure his brother ever learned to be responsible for himself. He never worried about making sure he had his books at homework time because he knew his brother would have them.

The flip side of that is that I'm not sure the quiet boy ever learned to make friends. His gregarious brother made friends easily and the shy twin seemed to tag along. I think it's possible that his social development was stinted.

Years later, when I found out I was having triplets, I thought about that scenario. I knew that I didn't want my little boys to have the same experience.

And that is how we arrived at Back-to-School night with three First Grade teachers to visit.

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