"These happy golden years are passing by, these happy golden years." Laura Ingalls Wilder

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Clean Air

Clean, crisp, fresh air ... aahh! I've been on a quest today ... but before I spent all my energy looking for a rental home, I just had to pop over to our property in Idaho. The air was filled with a scent of pine and moist earth ... it was very refreshing. The headache of a job trying to find rental property could wait just an hour or so. I needed my little "fix" by walking the boundaries of my land. I may have found a rental this afternoon. It's a cute little, brand new home that should suit us just fine while we build. I may sleep well tonight!

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Batten Down the Hatches ... Parenting 103

Having been a mom for nearly 24 years, I've seen just about every type of behavior a child can dish out. The latest adventures involve the (mis)use of my cell phone ... and an adult child tweaking her curfew to suit her social life. Let's start with the phone ... I have a plan that has 400 peak time minutes that are shared with my dh, unlimited night time use, and 500 on the weekends. This has always been more than enough time for the two of us. Enter my sixteen year old daughter that has been sneaking my phone or abusing the times I have allowed her to use it. My normally $39 bill was $172 when it arrived in the mail this week. I have always had a policy that my children could only have their own cell phones when they held down a paying job and paid their own bill. Occassionally, I would let them use mine when they went out. Daughter #2 has made friends in our soon to be new town via the internet (with my permission) and even gone to a high school basketball game in February when we visited. They communicate via the computer ... and more recently my cell phone. After checking on line with Verizon, I found over 1700 minutes of outgoing/incoming calls up to Idaho for a one month period. Mind you, once my 400 peak minutes are used up, it's $0.45 per minute unless it's an after hours call. To her surprise, I made her fork over $130 from her savings account to cover the extra expense. ...Boy, did she argue with me and point fingers ... as this chaos was transpiring, I got a call from daughter #1 asking to stay out to 1:00 AM ... then go spend the night at a friends. She too argued with me and I fianlly hung up the phone. She called several more times to try to convince me that she should be allowed to stay out late. Her curfew is midnight ... she's 21 (employed) and as long as she lives at home rent free, she's obligated (in my opinion) to live by my rules. Otherwise, why leave the nest and good home cooked meals? I have on occassion, said she could stay out late ... and she will spend the night with one of her girl friends once in a while ... but with the upcoming move, we need her to be home and not in some zomby state of mind from staying up so late. We've got lots to get packed and moved in the next few days. I held my ground and did not give in to either girls poor behavior. After raising three "normal" children, my youngest with Down syndrome has become the model child of the family.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

A Stirring Memory

Sounds, tastes, scents and sights can evoke long ago memories. My morning cup up coffee transported me back in time to my grandmother's kitchen. Just from the little clink, clink sound I made when stirring my coffee. A sound I don't hear often as I usually put the creamer in first, then pour in coffee, thus eliminating the use of a spoon. Ahhh, but that sound ... brought back a flood of wonderful thoughts. For a moment I could see Grandma Donna sitting in her little kitchen nook wearing her turquoise bathrobe with pink and white flowers ... pink house slippers and a little white hanky sticking out of her sleeve. Grandpa's standing at the oversized stove frying bacon in a black skillet talking about his plans for the day. He just "perked" some great coffee in the clear glass Pyrex percolator. She's waiting for him to pour the coffee. For some reason, they both made the same little clink, clink sound (probably from stirring in sugar). I spent so much time at their home when I was a little gal that they seemed more like second parents to me. So as I sip the last few drops from my cup this morning, I'll have fond memories to get me through the day. You can bet my next cup of coffee will include the use of a spoon.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Modern Slang ... Wuzup?

The teens and young adults of today have lowered the standard in their writing skills to that of a "gansta" mentality level. Have you observed the "new" spelling rulz? ur gr8, l8r babes, wuzup, skool, yah, like um ... This probably started when Al Gore invented the internet and people wanted a "short hand" type of language for IMing their friends. I feel sorry for the future employees that have to retrain their vocabulary in order to function in an office setting. Spell check is not always available and you still have to use capitalization and punctuation when typing letters. All those years I spent in Mr. Carter's high school shorthand class learning dictation and secretarial skills have become of no use for today's utes. Does anyone even use shorthand anymore?

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

A Quick Trip

Next week I have a mini trip scheduled to Idaho ... a trip by myself ... no kids ... no dishes ... no laundry ... just a mission to find a temporary rental home to live in for about six months while our home is being built. The last time I went away by myself was for a mini "girl" trip on an overnight spa destination ... this included a visit to Solvang, California. That has to have been a couple of years ago ... Oh, then there was the quick trip to Northern California to visit my folks ... I remember visiting Napa Valley and "wine tasting" one afternoon. My sixteen year old daughter asked if I'd be lonely (hee, hee ... lol, lol, quietly). She can't imagine going anywhere all by herself as she's very social. I don't even get to use the "potty" by myself ... imagine my great delight in my little adventure :)

photo: Lake Coeur d 'Alene, 9/05 , by Mrs. Mac

Monday, March 20, 2006

My Birthday Boy

Ten years ago today our family life changed drastically. You see I gave birth to a little boy with Down syndrome and a myriad of other complications. For past birthdays I used to always remember the day before his birth ... doing so reminded me of a "normal" life without all the issues associated with caring for someone with so many medical/mental/physical problems. Today, I've changed and try to look forward ... not back. Life is "normal" now ... in a different, better way. My idea of "normal" has been upgraded to include a whole new set of thoughts. I can't imagine life without my little "angel" ... he adds a new dimension to life. His given name means "strength from God" ...Happy birthday little man!

Friday, March 17, 2006

Beef Stew

OK ... I'm on a diet and I end up watching the Food Channel most of the time! Well sometime this week the Barefoot Contessa, Ina Garten, was making Burgandy Beef Stew that looked so delicious! At this very moment it's cooking in my oven making my mouth and eyes water ... it contains a whole bottle of red wine ... and it smells so wonderful!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Have you ever inhaled a whole bottle of wine while it's cooking in your oven? You must try it. Let me know if you want the recipe. I have lost over five pounds!

Sunday, March 12, 2006

OK, I'll admit it ... I'm a "grease monkey"

MECHANICALLY INCLINED ... I've always tended to possess the ability to take something apart and figure out what's wrong ... buy the part ... or decide it's not worth fixing ... and/or put the whole thing back together. Today, I undertook the second most difficult "project" of my life. (The first was dismanteling the heating unit on my Hot Springs Spa and putting it all back together after fixing it.) I dismanteled my Lift Master garage door operating unit. Trying to get this home ready to sell has been a daunting task ... and wouldn't you know it but the day the buyer's home inspector looked at our home ... the (blasted) one and only time he pushed the button to open the (blasted) door ... it didn't work ....! Mind you it worked just fine for the five years we have lived here ... it even worked just fine for us that morning ...! But at the exact time the inspector inspected the thing ... capoot ... crash ... biz ... bum .... bam ... it broke down! I, being the handy person of the home, decided to order the parts from the internet and attempt to fix it myself. Today I installed all new gears, greased, and reinstalled the operating unit. This side of the garage stores our "up for sale" 65 GTO and doesn't see a lot of action. Everything is working with the unit itself ... Now I just have to reset the trolly and correct the drive pattern before reengaging the unit. That will be for Wednesday or Thursday as we had to get the GTO in the garage due to rain/snow (it doesn't fair well left out in the rain ... being a classic car and all). I so pray I can get the trolly properly alligned ... later this week as I'd hate to have a repair man come out just for that!

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Snow Day

Once every five years or so we get a little dust of snow ... and yesterday and today it happened again. People were all over the road off to the side ... or driving 10 miles per hour. So much for our planned moving/garage sale ... next weekend is not supposed to be any better. The chaos and mess from packing are making me "nurrney" ... plus my son in the Army stopped by with overnight company ... Yikes!

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Stacks of Packs

How can one family accumulate so much stuff? I guess it's good to move every so often just to get rid of half the stuff crammed into the corners of closets, rafters, and under beds. I've read, "store up your treasures in heaven" ... somewhere in my Bible ... but my concordance is packed away, and I can't locate exact verse!!! ...something also about, "moth and rust destroy" ... Boy, looking at these garage and packing photos, we probably have some rust & moths hanging on! I hope someone else will be blessed by our bargain sale next weekend.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Move Date

We have a moving date of April 8th. This Friday and Saturday we are supposed to have a moving/garage sale ... you know it has been nice out for a long time ... and now this weekend is predicted to have heavy rain ... go figure ... hope the newspaper will let me postpone my ad for a week.