...random thoughts, opinions and secrets on children... aging... cooking... crafts... nature...divorce...second chances...
and whatever else I deem curious...
~Copyright 2017. Hootie~

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Six days and counting...

Not until 2010.  Only 35 3/4 hours until that.  

Six more days until my teens go back to school and I can play on the computer again.  :)  I have been having a few withdrawal symptoms, but I realize I need to share while they are home.  Also, I have been chauffeuring a bit too.  Ah, motherhood.  

Hope everyone is having a great holiday!  I have, even if I haven't been able to be on my computer to blog about it much.  :)  Catch you all soon- 


Wednesday, December 23, 2009

B.O. & Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner!

Today I splurged and bought this tall tree candle for myself!  Quite sometime ago I commented about a friend who makes candles from palm oil.  I've been buying his taper candles all year.  Not too long ago my friend's candles were featured in Oprah's Buying Guide.  But I've been buying them B.O!  Before Oprah!  :)

The jar candle in this photo is a Yankee Candle, but the square tapers are my friends too!  The little red tree was a gift to me from my friend so my tall tree wouldn't be lonely.  Aren't they cute together?
Back on December 2, Sew, Mama, Sew was hosting their annual give away day.  I really did mean to comment about it before it was over so others could go and get in on the fun, but life got a bit hectic.  Well, long story short...I did have a little bit of good fortune.  From Made by the Mama Monster, I won these adorable fabric pieces, a raw edge headband, a Utah Truffle and some other homemade chocolate bon-bons...which I ate all at once!  Did I share the truffle?  No way!  Honestly, I'm not very good at sharing chocolates.   I did let my daughter wear the headband though!  :) 

Monday, December 14, 2009

HOLY COW! She's havin' one...

The she is my 15 year old daughter.  The cow is the fit she's pitching over my choice of Christmas card photos...specifically HER photo on the card this year.  

My cards haven't arrived yet, but I expect them any day.  Until they arrive I am practicing patience and my ignoring skills.  Let me backtrack to share the full story...

Every year I send out a photo card.  I am one of those people who like to be in the picture, mostly because it's my family card and I am half of the reason we are a family.  Also, just because I had kids that didn't mean I disappeared from being in photos.  And truthfully, I love any reason to be in a photo with my kids and DH.  Each month after Christmas, all year long, no matter what we are celebrating or doing, I try to capture a decent photo of us as a family always thinking, "Christmas card potential."  When November rolls around I look back at that collection of the best photos that could be Christmas card worthy.  This year my first choices had more individualized photos of each of us.  I had a great photo of my DH high up on a rock formation in the middle of Montana, a photo of me at the beach from Thanksgiving, my son from his Montana trip and my daughter (with my DH) at her school promotion ceremony.  The person who complained the most was that girl child.  "Eeew!  I look HORRID in THAT photo!!!!  Can you change it!?  (really more of a demand than an question)  

Well, lucky for the girl child, I too, wasn't completely satisfied with my choices.  I felt the card was missing that certain something I was looking for this year.  The next day I started over with my card design.  Since it was last Friday, and I was feeling like I am certainly dragging my feet in getting done what I need to get done this year, I wanted to order the cards that day.  I wouldn't have time to let everyone in the family see my new choice.  I sent an example off to my DH via e-mail and asked what he thought.  I even commented, "Do you think the kids will kill me? Or should I just not worry about it because someday they will grow up and say, 'What fun!'?"  He responded that he loved it and I shouldn't worry.  So I placed my order.  

On Saturday, I asked my daughter if she wanted to see my new design.  Well, let's just say that she is not very happy with my choice.  Could you hear her down in LA?  How about in IL or up in MI?  I KNOW my neighbors could hear her, and hear her, and hear her.  And they could still hear her on Sunday.  She hasn't said anything today, but I haven't mentioned it either.  

So, my original choice for her photo was of her and her dad.  My new choice has her in her Halloween costume.  She was Marilyn Monroe.  Are you visualizing white, low cut, flowing skirt, dress?  White wig, black mole, red lip stick?  Her picture is one of those "surprised" looks that would make anyone instantly think, Marilyn.  My son is in his costume too; he looks like Sonny Crockett from the 80's cop drama, Miami Vice and my DH & myself have on 3-D glasses.  Inside is a picture of the four of us at Disney World and I wrote, "May your 2010 be filled with fun memories!"  

When my cards do arrive, I think I will have to address them on the sly next door.  If you are lucky enough to receive one this year it will mean that I got them out BEFORE my daughter knew they had arrived.  She has threatened to cut them up, burn them, paste over them, etc.  

Teenage girls can be SO melodramatic!  Wish me luck in continuing with patience and ignoring her rants.  :)  

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Focus, Breathe, Relax...

When I was in labor with each of my two babies, I had a picture with me of my happy place.  I could look at that photo, focus and relax.  
Over Thanksgiving break, my DH sacrificed himself and drove straight through the night so we could get to the east coast and celebrate the day with his family.  Fourteen hours in the van, two kids, a wife and a new dog!  
Did I mention he worked all day too before that? 

The weekend before had been a hard one for me to get through.  I know it takes a long time to accept the loss of someone close.  I think three years is a long time, but not really when that loss effects ones soul so deeply.  
My husband got me safely to my happy place...not in a photo, but in person.  

I spent most of my time with Winston walking the beach.  Hours and hours with the cool breeze caressing my cheeks.  Shell searching, bird chasing (Winston, not me!), shark tooth finding, dolphin watching, pelican counting, sunrise watching and star gazing...breathing...and relaxing.  
The first person I saw on the beach that morning wished me Thanksgiving greetings and he said something like, 'makes you realize how much you have to be thankful for, doesn't it?' "I do," I replied.  

Friday, December 04, 2009

Christmas Freebie! R U Ready?

Tonight is the night to get into the Christmas spirit!  
You don't even have to leave home!!!  
At 8 pm tonight and Saturday night, or 2 pm on Saturday and Sunday, Indiana University will present Tchaikovsky's The Nutcracker Ballet.  

You can sit at home in your PJ's and watch it!  For Free!  Just before show time, Build a fire in your fireplace, warm up your computer, grab a cup of cocoa and click on this link:  Nutcracker Live Stream!

I'll be watching on-line tonight too!  Then, I'm helping out tomorrow afternoon and will be attending the show on Sunday with my family.  If you watch on Sunday, I'll be way down front and just off center.   I'll stand up and I'll wave to the camera just a few minutes before show time!  And as a bragging mom...this is my baby in the tutu being laced up above.  She's in the first act as a Lead Officer (blue jacket, not red; but impossible to pick out in the crowd if you aren't her mom).  In the second act she's a Trepak (What we all think of as the Russian dancers).  When the Trepak girls follow the boys in a line, she's first.  

I love IU's production of The Nutcracker, especially when it snows on stage!  

I hope you enjoy this little gift.  
~Hootie  :)

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Holiday Travels and Food!

We spent 14 hours driving in our van, from Wednesday afternoon until 6 am on Thanksgiving.  We traveled from Indiana to the coast of South Carolina.  

Dinner was not a home cooked meal.  It was nice to share the time with family, but GOSH I MISSED THE FOOD!  It wasn't until a few days later that I realized how much I missed all that home made stuff.  

We returned home late on Sunday night.  On Monday I needed to do a little grocery shopping.  Turkey legs were on sale!  For dinner on Monday I made smaller portions of some of the meal we had missed:  Turkey, mashed potatoes (not from a box!), gravy (from the turkey drippings), stuffing (okay, this was from a box...I only had legs, not a whole turkey to work with), cranberry sauce (real cranberries cooked on the stove top with water and sugar, etc) and green beans.  Mmmm.  The week before we traveled I did make sweet potato casserole to go with a ham we had, so I didn't make that again.  

I made myself a pumpkin pie on Tuesday night!  Now I am ready for the Christmas season.  :)  

Hope you all had your favorites to eat last week!  Next in my kitchen...Christmas Baking!!!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


...a time to pause and remember all for which we can offer thanks.  

On Sunday my DH and I celebrated 23 years of marriage.  Three years ago on Sunday my mom passed away...my sister and I at her side, my brother was on his way home.  I am traveling over the next several days so I decided to set my tree up early and did that too on Sunday.  

Putting the tree up and adding the lights to it was an easy task.  Even putting up with my 17 year-olds' insistence that I was dissing Thanksgiving was easy.  Not so easy was opening my boxes of ornaments and seeing 23 years of memories along side the many  handmade knick-knacks crafted by my mom.  I tried to hide my tears all day long.  
Yesterday I attended a celebration of life for another friends' mom who passed away last week.  Her mom was a special woman too and this loss was felt by many in my community.  As I hugged my friend I whispered in her ear, "I'm dying on the inside for you right now." And the tears finally escaped me.  

I needed that release.  

I will not be posting here for the next week.  I am heading to my "happy place" and expect to come home refreshed and renewed.  I just wanted to say how thankful I am for all my friends and family.  

Over the past year I have made new friends in GA, LA, MI, MT, & IL.  I have also re-connected with several old buddies.  It's amazing to see that none of us have aged!  Such wonderful blessings the Internet can be.  I have also been working on making new friends closer to home.  I can't wait for my lunch out once a week!  If my friend could go to lunch daily with me, I'd be there.  But then, not a single other thing in my life would get done.  She's a person I can chat the day away with!  I am blessed and truly thankful for all who have wandered into my life.  

Happy Thanksgiving my friends!  I hope you'll share the details of how you have spent this holiday...next week!  

Safe travels to all- 


Sunday, November 22, 2009

Playing Rumpelstiltskin

On Monday, this


Monday night I had our paper folded and setting on the kitchen counter with the picture facing up.  When my DH walked in the door I said, "Don't look at the paper!"  He glanced that way and commented that 'he saw it in the morning and didn't I think he needed to come live with us?'  I quickly agreed and said I was off to meet Winston on Tuesday afternoon.  

My husband and I were convinced that someone else would had all ready adopted Winston by the time I could get there.  I didn't call ahead, because I didn't want that news over the phone.  
I am hesitant to say it was love at first sight, only because that sounds odd considering he's an animal, but I certainly felt this dog was special and would indeed be a perfect match for my family.  As the zookeeper, I do have the executive powers to make such decisions.  Realistically, I was not going to stress out an animal who may not want to be with us, until everyone in my family could come and meet him.  I sent a cell phone picture off to my DH.  He had just left town for 3 1/2 days.  So the first thing I had to do was get the teenagers over to the shelter.  With school, extracurricular activities, and the shelters hours this was a harder task than I expected.  Late on Thursday afternoon, after a Science Olympiad meeting and between ballet Nutcracker rehearsals, I was able to take my kids to the shelter to meet Winston. 
Unknown to my kids, their dad was on his way home early.  He showed up at the shelter about 30 minutes after we did.  All three humans were smitten by this pooch!  Just as I had been.  :)  As we were all talking about having Winston at home, one of the shelter workers came in and said, "You do realize his adoption is paid for, right?"  A little panic mixed with confusion went through my brain.  "What does that mean?" one of us asked.  "He's free," the worker continued.  "An Anonymous donor has all ready paid his fees so someone can take him home."  

This dog is truly something special and meant to be in our life.  

Based on the info gathered at the shelter and my vet, Winston appears to be a 6 year old English Pointer.  He probably was a hunting dog.  The shelter reported he came in with a hunting collar on and points when he sees birds.  He wasn't neutered until just after he came to the shelter.  Nor was his micro-chipped or tagged.  
My ballerina and I took Winston for a long walk in the woods yesterday and he was certainly in his element.  
He seems particularly fond of squirrel and small birds.  The other "hunters" in my house were feeling left out.  When I came home from the walk I found my DH out with the cats.  They like Winston, but are still keeping there distance.  He could care less about them!  
Winston is under weight.  He may have been on the run for some time.  My vet tells me he could use about 8-10 pounds on his frame.  As a now retired hunting dog in a household of four loving humans...I don't think that should be a probably.  Plus, have you looked at my FAT CATS?  
I have found myself playing Rumpelstiltskin.  Since Winston was obviously someone else's dog, surely he had a different name.  Hunting dogs are named too, aren't they?  My son keeps rolling his eyes at me as I say random names out loud, looking for perky ears..."Gus, Buck, Riley, Max, Jasper (drats! It's not that!  I've always wanted a dog named Jasper!!!), Tom, Jerry, Harry, Ron, Fred, George...Spot, Snoopy (little ear perk on this one), Apollo, Orion, Tristan...All four of us have our opinions about what we should call him.  Since we can't agree, his name will now be Winston.  
What name do you think he looks like?  My FIL calls him Sir Winston.  I kind of like owning royalty!  

IU Basketball Coach, Tom Crean
on one of our city buses 

If you can't adopt, give a donation to your local shelter. 

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Just need to say...

...that I am a little bothered that my BLOGS I READ list isn't updating completely!  It's driving me a bit crazy!  I like seeing everyone's new titles and little pictures enticing me to come check out what's on their mind.

I noticed this problem about a month ago.  I heard Blogger is aware and working on this.  Still, it's annoying.  
One thing that is working...my oven.  In February, I ran the self-clean and it fried the wiring.  I was without an oven for about 6 weeks.  It was the third problem I'd had with this brand-new-since-early-December oven.  In the first 100 days I owned it, it worked for 50 days.  True!  The company and I had spoken several times and my oven had it's own case file when I was done chatting.  If one more thing happened within my first year of owning it they would be bringing me a brand new replacement.  

Now, that's all well and fine, but I REALLY like what I have.  It's mostly a computerized wonder.  All the wiring and mother board had been replaced.  I don't think replacing the whole unit would be the best solution.  That noted, I still have about 6 weeks left on the original warranty.  I've been needing to run the self-clean again just to make sure all is fine.  Sunday was that lucky day.  I was set to be without an oven...I'm not cooking a turkey in it next week...so I pressed the self-clean button.  

A few hours later the whole cleaning process had been run.  The door unlocked, I was able to wipe out the powdery crud and then test to see if it would heat back up again.  

Ahh, a happy cook!  

Monday, November 16, 2009

Hello Monday...

I'm just feeling like it's one of THOSE days. 

Cold(er than it has been).  

I'm having trouble wanting to get into the swing of the week.  

Therefore, I am taking time to have a cup of tea and ponder.  My thoughts have me thinking Christmas shopping.  It's not working for me though.  I have two sisters-in-law, one on each side, that get their shopping done so fast.  I really, really enjoy the crowds and spirit of the Christmas season.  Plus, about now I'm thinking 'why didn't I start planning sooner, I could MAKE all my Christmas gifts!'  That really is a goal I have.  I do enjoy homemade things and would truly like to start doing more of that for my gift giving.  Maybe if I can finish my sweater I'm crocheting I can make one or two gifties.  

Oh well, time for another sip of tea and then some sweater crocheting.  Happy Monday!  And Leslie, don't be fooled by how much honey is in this little bear in the picture.  It's an old picture from two months ago.  :)  My little bears tummy is pretty empty!  

Friday, November 13, 2009

Neighborhood Traditions

In October, we hosted our annual neigh-borhood pitch-in potluck picnic. 

This was the 51st one!  

In attendance were five of the "original" neighbors.  Four made it into this photo, one could not traverse the grass with her walker very well.  

I am of the opinion that neighbors SHOULD get to know one another.  At least, we should know who shares the world around us.  Since my in-laws are two of that "been-here-forever-group", I am not really new to my neighborhood.  I have "crashed" this picnic for most of the last 23 years!  In fact, this is only my second time to attend as an "official" resident of the road.  I have known most of these people since they moved on to the street...even though I've lived across town, and before that in a different city.  
How does one go about alerting, inviting and communicating with 35 households on a street?  A note in the mailbox...if you're me.  

In my former neighborhood, I had the best mailman in the whole world.  His name was Artie D'Antonio.  Back in January of 2008 I wrote about Artie on my blog.  To read that click here:  The Lady and the Mailman.  My thoughts on him are still the same.  I miss him.  He was a rare and special bird.   

My current mail person is NOT cut from the same cloth as Artie!  Such a shame if you ask me.  She is not very friendly.  She's a strict rule follower and I don't think she likes her job.  

A month before the picnic I did put a flyer in each of my neighbors mailboxes.  It did have my name, phone number and e-mail address on it.  I did request my neighbors to RSVP.  I rented tables and chairs and a head count was most helpful for that.  

A few days before the picnic, my MIL took it upon herself to re-print my flyer and put it again in everyone's mailbox.  That was the straw that broke the camel's back for my rule following mail carrier.  She made it a point to stop the next day and scold me.  I do know that you cannot put things into mailboxes, but this was a harmless neighborhood get together.  I had no plans to profit from this.  I was just trying to be neighborly.  THEN, our mail carrier scolded my MIL, AND my household received a phone call from the post office saying IF I DID THIS AGAIN I WOULD BE PROSECUTED.  Seriously?  Seriously.  

Boy, was I hurt and angry.  I was certainly spoiled from my 8 years with Artie.  I have needed to put some time between that event and this posting.  Am I wrong in hoping for mail carrier turnover?  I have been plotting to have postcards made with the above picture on them and mailing them to all my neighbors.  Would my carrier get my point?  Had she been Artie, she would have received her own invitation to our picnic.  

When we moved into this house, the former owners left a plastic mail box in a closet in the basement.  It's out of sight so it's out of mind.  Trust me, after my this incident with my mail carrier, that box is going to stay tucked out of sight in my house.  I don't want to be prosecuted over a box left here by previous owners!  

The moral of this story:  Do NOT put notes in mailboxes.  

At the picnic, everyone heard the story and hopefully I won't see any of my neighbors in the Police Beat section of our paper due to illegal mailbox stuffing.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Two More Giveaways to Check Out...

We just passed Halloween, but the treats just keep coming!  

Tea and Talk is hosting a giveaway too!  She just reached 100 posts and is sharing the love.  Go read her posts and leave a comment.  You'll find a ton of fun information about tea ware, companies, tea books/magazines, recipes, life, etc.  I don't know why my Blogroll won't update her postings...but check her out!  You won't be sorry.  

From Tea and Talk, if you read the comments on her giveaway posting, you can head to other one of her friends blogs for yet ANOTHER giveaway!  

Tis the season I suppose.  

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Advent Calendar Giveaway!

Hurry!  Hurry!  Hurry!  

Get you comments in soon to be entered for this giveaway:  

You can thank me later.  :)

Thursday, November 05, 2009

The Ring

Every day I put on a ring that holds the diamond my father gave my mother when they were married 47 years ago.  This ring adorns my right hand since my own wedding ring is on my left hand.  My parents engagement diamond is surrounded by several diamond chips; stones that were gathered by my mom from other jewelry and re-shaped into the current ring I own.  It is beautiful.  As I slide this ring on my finger each morning, I feel that special love that my parents shared seep into my soul.  It's comforting to be able to carry my parents spirit with me.  

But today, I decided to wear a different ring.  It is another precious gem I inherited.  It looks like a pink flower.  It's stones cascade up and down looking like petals.  The petals surround three tiny diamonds in the center.  I'm not sure why I made my decision today to wear this other ring, but I did.  

At school, one of the groups of children I was working with noticed my ring.  Here's how our conversation went:  

Girl 1:  I like your ring.
Me:  Thanks.
Girl 2:  Where did you get it?
Me:  From my mom.
Gabe:  Is she dead?
Me:  Yes.
Girl 1:  It looks like a flower.
Girl 2:  It does.
Girl 1:  I really like it, can I look at it? Does your mom work in an office?
Me: No, my mom is not alive anymore. 
Gabe and I look at one another.  It seems only he is really hearing me.
Gabe: Does she know what heaven looks like? 
Me:  I hope so. 
Gabe:  Do you know what it looks like? 
Me:  No.  Do you? 
Gabe:  No.  Someone told me it is just like here only you don't have to pay for anything.  
Me:  Sound good, don't you think?  Your mom is dead too, isn't she? 
Gabe:  Yeah.  
Me:  Maybe our mom's are together.  Maybe they know each other.  Wouldn't that be cool? 
Gabe:  Yeah, it would.  

I teach first graders how to read.  It is not my place to teach thoughts on heaven or have conversations about death.  As a human being, I think it is my place to help someone else know they aren't alone.  

Today I wondered if Gabe is short for Gabriel and I was grateful for my pink flower ring.  

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Better than chocolate?

I must be doing something right in life.  

My DH and I were invited by a friend to fly over to a small airport in Illinois for breakfast this morning.  I don't mean to brag, because it's not like we went to Paris or anything, but it's not every day someone says, "Hey, do you want to fly in my plane off to breakfast?"  At least, this was a first for me...maybe things are different for you.  And quite frankly, I don't think a trip to Paris could top this morning!  I've no idea how I could ever truly say thank you to our friend.  Not only for this, but for just being our friend and sharing so much of life, adventures, families, etc.  

Music: Seasons, played by Steven C. from Nature's Romantic Piano
View same thing, but on YouTube so you can watch it on a full screen:  Breakfast on the Fly!

I warned my DH that I'm not coming down from Cloud 9 for a long time!  

And to top off my day, I get to go to a concert tonight.  Compliments of another neighbor and friend who just happens to have two spare tickets.  Joshua Bell is playing in a tribute concert to his former teacher and mentor, Josef  Gingold.  I'm thinking icing on the cake for me!  :)

Maybe tomorrow I can add my thoughts about Halloween.  I'll admit, I really don't want this weekend to end!  

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

In the Nick of Time...

Inspired by my cyber-friend Kimara at Wee Folk Art...
...my thumbprint pumpkin cards!  I took a break from life yesterday to play and make these cards.  They are heading out in the mail with Halloween greetings today.  I forgot how much fun thumbprint art can be!  :)

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Glass Houses

A downfall to so many windows on the backside of the Burrow is that the birds sometimes see the reflection of the woods.  Usually they gently bump into my windows.  Occasionally, when the hawk is out hunting, the gentle bump is a very loud THUD and a mark can be seen.  Look at the upper left window below.
Here's a close up of that window pane.  

It's usually the Mourning Doves the hawk hunts.  Such a sweet bird.  I am sorry to see their loss when it happens, but I respect the circle of life and am in awe at the hawk and the role they play in our world.  
This lucky dove just stunned himself.  He sat by our backdoor for a few hours and then flew to the safety of a nearby tree.  His foe had been scared off by the teenage girl in our household who cannot accept the circle of life when she's around.  I also think my teen was hoping she'd have a new "pet" to nurse back to health.  She is a compassionate soul.  

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Is this April 1st?

A store I frequent has sent me an e-mail "reward".  I can choose between these two items:  

A four pack of disposable tooth brushes or a candy bar.  

Seriously, is this really a choice?  

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Jeepers, Creepers....Look at those Peepers?

Hello?  Is anybody home?  
These two were very curious this morning out back of my house. 
 Such beautiful brown eyes!  
It even looked like they were smooching.  

But, what does it take to scare them away you ask?  

Just a little BOO!...  

 ...from Jack!  
The deer didn't go far and then they were stomping their feet trying to scare Jack.  :)  

Celebrating a Friendship!

I've had many friends in my life.  

But, I've had one girl friend in my life for almost 21 years now.  

We have shared everything.  Marriage, death, college life, work life, births, children raising, problems (that's a pretty broad category!), relatives, moves, vacations, fires - house/apartment and camping.  If I didn't mentions something, I'm still pretty sure we've visited that event in life together.  :)  Although we aren't blood, I would turn to my friend as quickly as I would to my own siblings.  Her friendship means everything to me.  

My favorite story about our relationship has to do with when I found out I was pregnant with my first child.  My DH and I had been trying to get pg for a few years.  At that stage in our lives we lived three hours away from our friends.  So we kept in touch mostly by phone and weekend visits.  It was so easy to travel without kids!  

On a Friday morning in October I took a home pregnancy test.  It was positive!  I was so excited!  I was worried about calling my friend though because I know they had been trying to get pg for a long time too.  That night after work I called her with my news.  "Guess what.  I took a home pregnancy test today and it was positive."  I told her and then I waited to hear the touch of disappointment in her voice.  "Well," she said with a hint of her own excitement, "I was going to call you tomorrow because I am taking a home pregnancy test then!"  This was back in the day when for the best results one took a home pg test first thing in the morning.  

As luck would have it, my mom was coming to visit us on that Saturday.   A cousin was getting married near where I lived.  I would be able to tell my mom my great news in person.  I'm not sure I slept much that night.  I couldn't wait to tell my mom and I couldn't wait to hear my friends news.  

It was later in the day on Saturday that my friend called me.  Her test did show positive.  Some how I knew it would!  My mom had just arrived in town and my DH and I went to her hotel.  I was poised to tell her the news.  

"Mom, I just got the best news," I started.  "Remember Joann? Well, she took a home pg test this morning and it came back positive!  Isn't that great!"  I can still see my mom.  She was sitting in a chair in her hotel room, shoes off, legs crossed, stretched out propped up on her bed, arms folded behind her head. "Well, yeah.  That's good news," my mom responded.  I could see that puzzled and then distracted look on her face.  "Mom, that means her parents are going to be grandparents! Isn't that great!?" "Sure," she said.  "But mom, even better than that...I'm pregnant too!"  

That was one of the best moments in my life.  The shock, realization and then joy that spread across my mom's face still brings tears to my eyes.  Life was good.  

My friend and I shared that pregnancy.  We have photos of our big bellies and then photos of our bathing boys together.  The boys are only separated by 12 days.  

Today my friend and I are fortunate enough to live just 18 miles apart.  Our lives do not allow us to talk daily, but twice a year we do get together to celebrate each other's birthday even months after our true birthday date.  Her B-day was in August, a few nights ago I made dinner for her.  Here is a look into the food of the night, she allowed me to make a bunch of my favorites for her:  
I forgot to take a picture of our salad!  But it was an apples, spinach, bleu cheese walnut dish.  Here's the recipe anyway!  Inn at Cedar Crossing Spinach Apple Bleus Salad recipe.
Stuffed mushroom caps started the night, red raspberries were our snack and homemade almond joy bars our dessert.  
We drank too much wine and were as giddy as teenage girls, so my teen told me later!  She should know...I've heard the same giggles and seen the same happy faces on her and her girl friends!   

I am convinced we should all have one person we are not married to or related to in our lives to keep us grounded.  

Thank you Joann for being my one person!  

Friday, October 16, 2009

For the Birds and Teasing a Cat!

This Friday morning finds me with a surprise day home.  No children or husband... just me and the Burrow.  I am trying to do some much needed cleaning but I keep getting side-tracked!  I noticed my dome-feeder is empty outside my kitchen window, so I made up some "Bluebird Food".  All the birds like it.  I stopped adding the raisins but continue with the unsalted nuts.  
I know you can't see the label I have added to the nuts but it says "For the Birds!"  
My family likes eating the unsalted nuts too!  
This recipe is seriously easy.  
With a pastry blender in hand it only takes a few minutes to blend the food together.  

Within minutes the birds are flitting about the feeder.  
While I was taking the above pictures, Lily (one of the cats in my household) was having a spasm under me.  When I looked down I realized she was totally being teased by the birds!  Poor Indoor Baby!  :)
Every time I look out back something else catches my attention.  I re-filled my hummingbird feeders today with the last of the syrup I had in the 'fridge.  I was thinking all the hummers here have gone, but just a few minutes ago a solo bird was sipping from my feeder.  I will keep my feeders up and fresh through the end of this month.  

And can you tell these babies are getting their winter coat?  This little girl and four or five of her family members keep popping out of the woods behind my house.  
Really, how am I ever going to finish cleaning my house today?  

Thursday, October 15, 2009

A Day Off!

Monday was Columbus Day.  I had to work, but my husband had the day off.  

Our kids went to school at 7...high school starts too early in my opinion.  I don't need to be at school until 9.  My DH drove me to school.  I felt like one of the first graders I work with as I was dropped off at the door.  The ulterior motives of my DH were if he drove me to school he could go into the office for only a few hours and have an excuse to NOT stay all day.  

At noon he picked me up and we went to lunch.  I told him I had his afternoon planned out and he happily accommodated me.  We went to our favorite winery after lunch so we could restock our wine rack.  When we returned home we went for a nice long walk in the woods. 
Although these flowers are in my yard, they just started blooming about three weeks ago.  I can't recall what they are, but I did plant them from seeds.  I am happy to see their little blue blossoms.  
The hues in the woods are looking more yellow.  Under foot the noisy crunch, crunch, crunch of each step alerted the wildlife we are visiting them.  We did see a few white tails jumping away as we walked.  

The lake view is starting to turn yellow and red too!  

It was so still on the lake.  We could hear one other couple talking  on the other bank, across the water.  I think it was just the four of us walking in the woods Monday afternoon.  
Yellow mushrooms... 
A box turtle...  
...and a few bugs, shared our afternoon.  

We made it back home just as our kids got off the bus.