Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Snippets from our Day!

Sharing with you some Snippets and Bits
from our day!

The sun was setting when we drove to get Darian from debate practice

Decorated the mantle for Fall
And see I moved the aquarium!

So true!

Looking Back to August and Planning September

I suddenly remembered I have not done a review and goal-post since May. It was good to take the summer off. Now that school is back in session I am getting back to my goals. Way back in January of this year I set goals to work on these things:
Monthly Review - August 2015
The three things I’m most proud of from August are:
1. I am happy to have spent time with the kids before school started.

2. I am glad to have gotten my Happy Planner and started planning and organizing.

3.  I am proud to have gotten the kids ready, enrolled, and back in school!!!!

The three things I’m most grateful for from August are:
1. Our August picnic

2. Good weather

3. Healthy family

The lesson I learned and am carrying forward with me from August is: No matter how old the kids get they still like to have fun with grandma. I will plan more activities for us to enjoy together. Today Harley and I worked on our Fall Bucket List.  I'm sharing it here with you!



My intention for September is:

Decorate for fall. Get some colorful mums for the front porch!!

Because I am brave, here are two things I have been avoiding that I will do in

1. Begin cleaning the garage! (Now that is brave)

2. Go through all of Darian's clothes.

Just for fun, I will: _Mark off three items on the Fall Bucket List!!! (I might let the girls pick)

As an act of intentional kindness, I will:  take a bag of canned foods to the food bank !!!

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Monday, August 31, 2015

My Simple Woman's Daybook-August 31th Edition

For Today...

Today is August 31, 2015. The end of summer. Fall is upon us. Every single week I pause to ask myself where the time is going. End of August already. Doesn't it feel like we just put away the Christmas decorations. And we are soon heading back into the busy holiday season. Nooooooooooooooooooo!

Outside my window...

The sun is shining. It is 86* but not a hot 86*. There is a feeling of fall in the air. Plus the leaves are falling off the lotus tree out back.

Add caption

I am thinking...

I have been thinking about a friend who died on Saturday. He was the father-in-law to our 'adopted daughter'. The grandfather to our other 4 grandkids. He was a farmer in northern Kansas. 76 years old. He was checking on his cattle on a four-wheeler. His son found him dead under the four-wheeler. Very sad. They had just had their 13th grandchild a month ago. We are very close to their son. Richard and Jim were great friends. It makes my heart sad for the family. But I have a picture of these two "old angels sitting in rocking chairs on the porch of Heaven telling tall tales to each other." That warms my heart.  

I am thankful...

I am, as always, thankful for my family. Justin and Paige were here this weekend. Although she is a wild child I miss her and I am happy when she is here. There are so many good memories of her when she was little. She was the light in her Papa Richard's eye. She is growing into such a fine young lady.


I am creating...

I am creating my post today and my weekly menu. This is what I do on Monday's. Also, still looking at the mantle and deciding how to decorate for fall. When it is September I will be more in the mood.

I am going...

I am going to go put clothes in the dryer. Load up the laundry basket. And load the dishwasher. After I finish talking to you, my friends! What are you doing today?

I am praying...

I am praying for Justin. He is going to be moving from his apartment and I am praying he will find the "perfect place" to live. He has been the apartment complex's courtesy officer in exchange for free rent. They are doing away with his position so he is moving. They offered him a reduced rent rate but he doesn't want to pay that amount for the area he is living in. Everyone keep him in your prayers.

I am reading...

I am reading Small Mercies by Eddie Joyce. Just started it last night so I don't have a feel for the book yet.


I am memorizing....

Starting September 14, the Do Not Depart group is starting on Isaiah 12. Click on the picture if you would like to register and memorize along with us. This will be a short one. Only 6 verses this time.



In my garden...

In my garden (cough, cough) there are a few new blooms on the geraniums. Also, my lovely peacock, Alice, is watching over the falling leaves. Isn't she pretty?



In my kitchen...

Monday....leftover night

Tuesday...Goulash with garlic bread

Wednesday...Plans open. We will see if kids go to their youth group tonight

Thursday...(Darian is going to his Marine Babies) Tomato Soup, Grilled cheese sandwiches

Friday...Chili and crackers (Football game)

Saturday...(Paige's favorite) Green Bean Soup

Sunday...Broccoli and Cheese Stuffed Chicken


A favorite quote for today...



Why is this so hard to do? Do you ever stop to realize how much you have? Why are we sometimes so busy worrying that we forget to be happy? Take a moment right now to just be happy....right now! That is what I'm doing

A peek into one of my days...

This will be a pretty easy week. Debate practice today for Darian. Wednesday is up in the air yet. Can't decide how we feel about the changed youth group hours. Thursday Darian is going to "play with his Marine baby friends". Friday is the high school's first home football game and they are both going. Then the weekend again!! Wow that went fast, didn't it?

One of my favorite things...

I love these cups. They are actually cappuccino cups. I purchased them at Pier One several years ago. They are our soup bowls. I keep them on my kitchen counter all the time. They are so colorful and always bring a smile to my face. They will soon be getting a workout. (Note menu). I love fall and winter for soups and stews.


Post Script...

I found this beauty growing in my yard, on Friday while mowing the grass. The top was huge. The size of a dinner plate. I read here why mushrooms grow in your yard. But I like the story I created better. You see, under this giant mushroom lives Ella, a fairy, with her gnome husband, Fudwick. They are getting ready to increase the size of their little family because Ella is expecting her first baby. Soon tiny little fairies and gnomes will find their way into my backyard to celebrate this momentous occasion. I am hoping I can find them a cute little house to live in before the baby comes. And I cannot imagine having them outdoors once the winds turn cool and the snow starts to fly. What should I do?

They are really quite shy but I quietly snuck on them and found them fishing is a little dip filled with water.
So precious, don't you think?

I will be joining the others at The Simple Woman's Blog. She is now posting one link-up for a month. And today begins the month of September for our Daybook entries. Won't you join us?




Saturday, August 29, 2015

The Girls From Ames, A book Review and Memories

Overview From Barnes and Nobel:

They formed a special bond growing up in the small town of Ames, Iowa. As young women, they moved to eight different states yet managed to maintain an extraordinary friendship that would carry them through college and careers, marriage and motherhood, dating and divorce, the death of a child, and the mysterious death of the eleventh member of the group. Their remarkable story, which captures what it was like to go from girlhood in the sixties to middle age in the millennium, is a testament to the deep, enduring bonds of women.

I finally finished this book. I am not really sure why it took me so long to read it. It was interesting enough. Not what I would call a great book. Probably won't become one of my favorite books. But it did give me many things to think about while I read it. And there were portions where I laughed out loud. And portions where I read with the tears streaming down my face.

The reason I liked this book is it made me think of my own friendships from over the years. I did NOT remain close to any of my childhood friends, like the girls in this book did. I thought about girls I hadn't thought about in forever.

Like Linda Sue. She was a friend I had when we lived in the housing projects called Victory Heights. We played dolls together. I remember her ripping the pants off my cloth doll 'Helen'. I don't remember why she did it. But I remember the day she did it I lost a bit of my feelings for her. Then we moved away. I see Linda Sue's mom now and then. She always catches me up with is going on in Linda Sue's life. But I haven't talked with Linda Sue since we were kids.

I had several friends who later became girlfriends or wives of my brothers. I can remember Janice, Cris, Susan, Patty and Patty. All became either a girlfriend or a wife of one brother or another. And that tends to ruin friendships.  Except for Crazy Patty. She is still a very good friend.( I named by baby daughter after her) However I don't see or talk to her that often.

Jean and Palmer
last time she was at my house
Before I went to nursing school my best friend was Jean. We lived on the same street when my oldest son was born. She lived in a house half-way between my apartment and my mom's house. When Danny and I went to see grandma (him seated in the little red wagon and me pulling) Jean and her kids would be on their porch. We smiled and waved and that was about it. It wasn't until my ex returned from the Navy and we moved into our first home that Jean and I became close friends. She was there for me as I went through a divorce. She was there when Richard and I became a couple. And then she moved to Florida. I felt like my world had come to an end. She was my go-to. My sounding board. My strength. My best friend. After she left is when I decided I needed to fill my days with something. So I went to nursing school. We stayed in contact over the years. But the letters and phone calls slowly petered out. As often in the case of long distance friendships. After I graduated from nursing school we went to Florida for a visit. Jean had three kids and I had two. We would talk at Christmas. And see each other when she came home for visits. But we, sadly, didn't remain close.

Gary, Nanne, me in New Mexico
I had several other good friends during my nursing years. There was Marsha, Susan, Karla, and others. But I also met Nanne at this time of my life. She was a traveling nurse who worked a short time at the same hospital where I worked. Nanne and I didn't hit it off right from the start. But one night, while talking with her, I learned of her struggles with prescription pain medications and how it had affected her life. This was after we had learned our oldest son was a drug addict. Nanne helped me understand drug  
addiction in ways no one else had been able to. After Nanne left Hutchinson and moved on in her career we stayed in close contact through telephone calls and visits. Richard and I visited almost every town she had an assignment in. In fact, it was during one of these visits, in Kalispell, Montana, I broke my leg! We were planning another trip to see Nanne and Gary. They were living in Gallup, New Mexico. Richard had always wanted to take a train trip. We were going in February, 2008 to see them. Nanne called me on New Year's Eve. They were in Mississipi seeing her dad. We talked about our pending visit. Both of us were excited. On the evening of January 7, I was at work and received a call from Nanne's son, Josh. Nanne had suffered a massive heart attack and had been taken to the hospital. She was in serious condition on a ventilator. Before I could make the arrangments to go to her, she died. A piece of my heart died with her that night. I felt I had lost more than a best friend.

Then in May, 2008, I received word that Jean had gone into the hospital for gallbladder surgery and had died! Talk about a double whammy in 2008. Devastating losses of two of the best friends I have ever had. I miss them both. I talk to them on occasion. I know they are both my guardian angels.

I still have good friends. One of the best is Rozann. I hold her close to my heart. I know how friendships can slip away in the blink of an eye. That is what this book reminded me of. My past good friends. My present good friends. And how sometimes friendships slip away for reason that are not always in our control. People come and people go through out lives for a variety of reasons.

How about your good friends? What kinds of memories do you have? Are you still in touch with those from your childhood?

Friday, August 28, 2015

Friday Letters

The last Friday Letters of August. August was a busy month! Now I am hoping things will quiet down and I will fall into a good schedule. I will need to monitor myself to make sure I get things done and not just become a couch potato! So here we go:
Dear Next Door Neighbors:
I'm sad to see you starting to pack things up. I know you told me this summer you would be putting your house on the market in the fall and moving. But, seeing you load up a trailer with all of your outdoor things today made me feel a bit sad. We have seen several families in that house since we have lived here. But you were the best of all of them!! I will miss you guys. I wish you well! I won't say good-bye Crooks just yet! (we loved having Crooks live next to us. Their name always gave us a smile when we said it).
Dear High School:

First Day of School

Darian's last first day!!!
see below


Hope your day was good with all 675 students as it was for my two high school kids. They are excited. Harley loved her classes and was happy to find out that some of her friends were in each class. She was so worried she wouldn't know anyone in her classes. (DUH!) She came home happy and exhausted. She said she
didn't sleep well Wednesday night because she was so nervous about the first day. Darian, too, enjoyed his first day and it was a long one. After school they had a 3 1/2 hour debate practice. (I'll talk more about that in upcoming posts). Then he came home and hooked up on Skype, with another debate partner, and studied until 10 p.m. He has a fun Senior year ahead of him. Shouldn't be too hard. If he stays on task in his classes. (go ahead and laugh at the old lady who decided to photo bomb their back to school selfie. She didn't have time to comb her hair or put on some make-up for the photo! So she just snuck into the background. Ha! Ha! And it was 6:30 in the morning for goodness sake) 
Dear Car:
Okay I finally caught you! Yes, you are leaking coolant. I filled it and after driving to the grocery store I came home, parked in the driveway, and watched for the drip. There it was. Coming right from the cracks in the plastic ends of the aluminum radiator. I checked out O'Reilly's and the part is around $98.00. The repair shop shows that it takes about 2 hours and they charge around $80.00 at hour so I am guessing it will be around $400+ to get it all fixed up.(have to figure in hoses and coolant). Damn, damn, and double damn! Always something isn't it? 
Dear Lawn Mower:
I'm going to grab my sun glasses, my water bottle, my music and earphones. Then you and I are going to rumble around the yard later. Is it a date? I'll leave the weed eating to the kids when they get out of school later. That things kills my back when I use it!! Besides they are younger. And I'm the boss. See you later my little green tractor.
Dear God:
Thank you for protecting us. Keeping us safe from harm. I know I don't talk to you as often as I should but you are always there watching over us. I have a special friend I want you to be kind to this week. Ellie is struggling and she needs your arms around her to get her through this difficult time! In this house you are KING! Amen.
Hope everyone is getting ready for another wonderful weekend. And I will see you again on Monday! Rock on!!!! 

Thursday, August 27, 2015

First Day of School

I make no apologies. I jumped for joy when they got on the bus this morning!

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Wednesday Hodgepodge

Today is the last Wednesday of August. Tomorrow will be the kids first day of school. Today I am joining Joyce at From This Side of the Pond for the Wednesday Hodgepodge. Care to join us?
She provides the prompts; we give our answers!!

Ready, set, Go!

 1. It's hard to believe, but next week's Hodgepodge will find us in the month of September. What's one thing you want, need, or hope to do still before summer officially ends?

At our house, summer officially ends tomorrow. The first day of school is the beginning of fall. I know that is not what the calendar says. But it is what I say. And at my house what I say goes! I don't have anything I want to do before summer is over. All the plans I have will still work next week. What about you? Anything you are wanting to do yet this summer?

 2. When were you last at 'your wit's end'?

Oh my! This is hard. I am at my wit's end all the time. I am going to say Saturday night. I was trying to talk to Darian about why it is not a great idea to leave his 'cords' (lap top charger, phone charger, etc.) stretched across his bedroom floor and then walk on them. He wants to 'argue' with me. (Damn that debate class). The more I tried to rationalize the outcome of doing this, the more he argued that he wasn't walking on the cords. After the battle was over (if battles like this are ever really over) I wondered why I was arguing with him. Let him learn the lesson the hard way. If the cords become unable to work then HE buys new cords. Save the arguments for things that really matter. Why is that so hard for parents (grand or otherwise) to learn. I come from a generation of 'do as I say because I said so!

 3. Describe a time you were figuratively thrown into 'the deep end'?

I don't know if I would call this 'figuratively'....when 2 little kids, ages 8 and 10, showed up on my doorstep, needing a home, I felt as if I was being thrown in the deep end. Thrown to the wolves. Asked to do something I'd already done. Taking on a task I really didn't want to do. And to make it work for all of us. For several months after that day I walked through a fog. I did what I had to do! Would I do it again? Absolutely. But I would be better prepared. Wouldn't I?

 4. Does the end always, ever, or never justify the means? Explain.

Well....I think this depends! I know, I know! That wasn't one of the possibilities. But it should have been. Because there just isn't any one answer to this question. I think it depends on the end. And what it takes you to get there. Is it legal? Is it honest? Is it good? If one is trying out for a certain position in a company and you lie about other candidates to make yourself look best then the end is NOT justified by the means. To me! Others may think that all is fair in love and war. I don't happen to be one those people. All is not fair if it hurts someone else. Right? I fall into the belief that it is never justified to do something bad in order to gain something good. So I guess I am going to stick with that. If it is illegal, immoral, dishonest, or bad then the end never justifies the means. Are you thoroughly confused yet????

 5. What makes your hair stand on end?

This expression means, to me, what scares me so badly that my hair would 'figuratively' stand on it's end. Only one thing comes to mind. And that is mice. Mice scare me to death. (just an expression, friends). But I do feel as if I am going to die when I see, hear, or think about mice. I am terrified! Hope I don't see any mice anytime soon. 

 6. I read an article on the website 
Eat This! Health, that listed 11 foods we can eat to help end bad moods. Basically it's a feed your brain so you're less anxious, grouchy and lethargic. The foods are-mussels, swiss chard, blue potatoes, grass fed beef, dark chocolate, greek yogurt, asparagus, honey, cherry tomatoes, eggs, and coconut. Which of those do you think would most help end your own bad mood? Which do you fear, if forced to eat, would put you into a bad mood?

Some grass-fed beef, along with steamed asparagus, would end my bad mood right now. I also love honey, cherry tomatoes, eggs, Greek yogurt,  and coconut. Not a fan, at all, of dark chocolate. Don't know why anyone would chose to eat that when milk chocolate is available. I do not like mussels at all!! Not a fan of Swiss chard! And I have never heard of blue potatoes. So I am pretty sure, if someone is forcing me to eat any of those things, I would be in a bad mood.

 7. What project around your home, office, or life in general feels like there is 'no end in sight'?

This one is easy for me. It has to be Darian's bedroom. Before Richard died last year I was making Darian's bedroom more his! It had been Richard's office. The walls were painted and wallpapered in a golf theme. Darian is not into golf. So I stripped the wallpaper and spackled the blemishes. And then Richard took a turn for the worse and I never got the paint on the walls. That was a year ago. I don't know why I am having such a hard time finishing this project. But I am. I have to buy the paint, open it, give it a stir, and dip in a brush. How hard can that be???

 8.  Insert your own random thought here.

Speaking of my beloved Richard. It has now been 13 months since he left us. I still miss him everyday. Just the other day I saw someone at the store that I hadn't seen in quite awhile and my first thought was "wait until I tell Richard." Whoa! That took me by surprise. I miss him. But the grief is not as horrifying as it once was. I am making it through full days without crying once. I am healing. I am moving forward. (Maybe there is hope yet to get that room painted.)