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

Friday, June 30, 2006

Finger "lickin" Good

Nathan's pic after 5 bbq chicken drumsticks!

Thursday, June 29, 2006

New Appliances

This past sunday we purchased/ordered our new kitchen appliances at a major big box store (HD). They offered 10% off everything on my list, and another 10% off that for opening a charge account (I actually have the money to pay outright ... but it was another huge discount ! :) There were also gift cards totalling over $150 with the fridge and dishwasher. Rebates on delivery. No tax on items installed by them such as the dishwasher and the already on sale microwave ($100 sale discount). Rebates for the energy star items, yadda, yadda, yadda. They practically gave the stuff away (just kidding), but it seemed that way as the sales rep kept handing out discounts and gift cards. They will even hold on to them until we can have them installed. And to think dh wanted to drag our old fridge all the way from California ... to put in the new kitchen ... silly man! BTW ... after much consideration, we opted for the white with titanium handles ... remember, this is going to be my retirement home and I'm trying to make it simple to clean! Boy .... it was a toss up and the stainless was sooooo tempting!!! The kitchen, as it stands now, will be loosly based on a kitchen makeover in Country Living magazine, only swapping white for the stainless steel. Hey, I couldn't come up with any inspiration (except Mrs. Darling's (Dishpan Dribble) beauty of a kitchen) on my own, so had to borrow here and there. The actual magazine layout was published in the March, 2006 edition. Let me know what you think please. Oh, the joy (headache) of filling out all those rebate forms!

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Panicky, Pooped, and Picking up Son at Airport

I have to pull myself together here today. Yesterday I met with the banker (new construction loan officer), called the builder, and ranted a bit with the engineer. What was to take 1 - 2 weeks for engineering (way back 5/10) is still not complete. I'm going to go over his head if this is not resolved today ... or a good explanation is given. Everything from here on out depends on the engineer to sign off on the plans ... bank loan, building permit, bid, etc, etc. My panic button has been pushed too many times, and it's only midweek.

On to the nicer side of life. My oldest son, Patrick, is coming home on leave today. He's stationed at Ft. Irwin, CA, so I haven't seen him for some time. I do want his visit to be nice and not filled with memories of a panicky old witchy lady for his mom.

Gotta run ... his plane lands in about one hour.

P.S. Dh called this morning to see how everyone was doing ... I try to hold back all the picky details ... but wasn't happy when he said, "well, gotta go, we just pulled up to the mocha shop for our ice blendeds ... referring to his police partner." That man!!! I so need a mocha right about now.

photo taken 6/28: Patrick and Elizabeth ... my oldest two at lunch after son's arrival today

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Clone Home Please

Right about now, I could use a clone. My "hat switching" gig is too fast paced to keep up with. Too many fires to put out ... and too many cooks in the kitchen, so to speak. After reading gramma_s blog today about a Bible verse saying, "Be still and know that I am God", I think I will take God's advice and be still. Right now my "noodle" is not working too good! Catch you later.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Black Out Shades!

"For the love of God, Nathan, just go to bed!" Another morning dawns ... just barely six hours since the previous evening's sky has turned dark ... and here we go again, a pattern of sleep deprivation that is starting to take a toll on my 40 something body. Nathan wears little bloodshot eyes most days from trying to squeeze out more living than his little body is able. By 4:15 AM, it's daylight ... not just twilight, but daylight! Twilight begins about 3:45 AM and the birds, for heaven's sake, start chirping around 3:30! At our old home, in the southwest, we had a round window facing east that made a sun shaped ball of light on the stairway wall each summer morning. Nathan would stretch out his arms across the light and to him, this meant it was time to get up. Today he made the little "out stretching" gesture at 4:15 AM indicating he was getting up! "Not on my watch" I told him and scooted him back to bed ... this little redirection lasted maybe until 5:30 AM until it was just of no use ... up for good ... eating a bagel ... watching a dvd in his room ... squacking in his loudest tone as usual! For PETE'S SAKE, my new home must come equipped with black out shades!!!

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Much To Do About Everything

Now that things are rolling along on the "home" front, hardly a day goes by that dosn't just evaporate as quickly as it started. And building a home with dh 1400 miles away, makes me wonder about my (in)sanity. I have to wear many hats throughout the day, including: mother, father, cook, maid, chauffeur, buying agent, general manager, banker, teacher, gardener, and referee. Whew! I get paid in slurrrpy kisses from the dog and little Nathan. No real paycheck has come my way for 23 years. I have two young ladies (daughters) both in love that I must supervise 24/7, and a son in the military that gives me worrywarts. On top of all my motherly duties, I must make decisions about 95% of the features in the new home. I left 5% for dh to choose just so he won't hold anything against me (lol). Let's see, today I must file an application for a septic tank, call the loan officer, check on a building permit, fire my first builder officially, and entertain guests ... all while wearing a smile. I wonder what surprises will get thrown in the mix!

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

The Nerve of Some People

Can you just imagine returning a broken lawn mower and Walmart reboxing and selling it again? Well, that's just what happened to us yesterday. We, too, had to return it (due to a bum wheel) and realized it was a reject/return when we bought the same model for a second time. This one had a quart of oil and a few more parts! My "virgin" grass just got mowed for the first time today!

New Builder On Board

I'm one happy mama today. After fretting the past few days about engineering plans for the new house, and not happy that there have been some delays, today I hired a new home builder and am most pleased with the choice. My previous builder built mostly "no frill" spec homes and was not accustomed to having a "live wire" (that's me) for a client. When I mentioned that I was "a fearin" the up coming hunting season ... and him not being around to finish my home, he agreed that he would be off hunting (with pack horses mind you) for months at a time. YIKES

But God is good and was gracious enough to supply me with a bonified home builder that is also an engineer. In fact, he built the home I'm renting ... which I must say is a very sturdy home with lots of detail. The walls are all straight, and he added nice touches with trim moldings. He's building a home for the couple two doors down and they are pleased as punch with him.

Please make note that I must find dh's little "must have in my new home list" and share it with the builder. Can you just imagine with him being gone for stretches at a time if I forgot his LIST! Boy, I'd be in a heap of trouble!

Monday, June 19, 2006

The Bon Fire

A nice little North Woods habit we've grown in to is visiting with friends and relaxing in the evening time around a bon fire. Now, those of you that live in the north may say, "what's the big deal", but little 'ol me from one of the dryest regions of the southwest couldn't imagine people being allowed to enjoy a fire outdoors. Time to go grab the bag of marshmellows.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

"Kickin N Screamin"

Yesterday, I psyced myself up to have Nathan's blood drawn in order to complete his yearly physical. Having Down syndrome, he needs to have his thyroid checked once in a while. The doctor's exam was weeks ago ... and last week I even took him to our local lab only to find out that kids are usually sent to the larger office that has more than one staff member. When we pulled up to the building, he thought we were at a hotel and that he could go to his room to watch a movie. He knew something was up when I slipped out my insurance card and handed it to the receptionist. Off he took, out the door and down the hallway, myself running a fast pace just to catch him ... only to have him turn into a puddle of Jello on the floor and become impossible to pick up! There was just no reasoning with him ... I had to use brute strength to manage him back into the lab. Of course, we had to wait a few minutes until our turn ... he crawled under the chair I was sitting on as I held him by the collar. When his name was called, we proceeded back to the lab without much problem ... until he saw the chair with the fold-out arms ... they gave us the "supersized" chair. Sitting him on my lap, I used all my strength to wrap my legs around his and both of my arms holding this flailing octopus. Three people in all helped control the little nymph. When all was done ... he wailed for a period of time something about wanting to "cut" off his arm. Not sure what he meant ... he uses that expression whenever he has a boo-boo. Everyone in the waiting room heard the whole procedure and applauded him when he came out. Proudly he showed them his sparkly bandaid and babbled, "Cut ... ccccut ... ccccut ... ccccut." I'm putting in for a combat pay raise with dh.
Photo: Nathan, age 10

Friday, June 16, 2006

Hurry Up And Wait

I'm very frustrated right about now ... it's late (actually early) and I just wrote a frustrating letter to my home builder about all of the delays ... I have been here for two months now and still we have not begun to build our home. The plans were finalized in March with the designer ... I was told engineering would only take two weeks ... It's been over a month since they were dropped off and I'm not sure if the builder is dragging his feet or what! FRUSTRATION with a capital F. Time is money ... and as I sit here staring at the four walls of my rental home, I read daily how the interest rates keep going up, up, and up. This means less, less, and less of my money to cover the cost of the home if we have to borrow less because of interest rates climbing (I do have to make this affordable to live in). I'm not sure if that makes sense ... but you get the drift. The lease on the rental home is up in September ... and there's no way my home will be done by then ... also, I have to consider what school district to enroll the kids in ... not an easy task when one has an IEP for special education and I have two districts involved. Boy, I'm not making much sense ... shouldn't write when upset. Poor Dh, I really whinned in his ear today when he called. But he, and his Pollyanna spirit, kindly reminded me that we are so much better off than other people ... even went on to share some of the garbage happening in LA and that made me feel very small (just for a moment or two.) Anyway ... here's hoping for some progress this next week ... As I'd hate to be in sin for too long being so angry!! Just PMS'ing in Idaho.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Hot Cocoa In June?

Hot coffee, tea and cocoa were on the menu for breakfast today. Brrrr..rrr ... the wind dost blow from the south and images of summer fun are on the back burner. One good thing about the recent rain ... it's easy to pull weeds from our newly planted yard ... and I don't have to run the a/c, which by the way, I just noticed this rental home does not have! But according to the locals, you don't need it much (except when you need it!).

With the extended daylight hours ... it doesn't really get dark until about 9:45 PM ... hardly a day goes by that my youngest gets to bed before 10 PM. It's so easy to forget about the hour and extend one's day into the night! BAD HABIT ... MUST BREAK!

...And so the parade of company begins ... I was warned that once we moved, we'd get lots of visitors ... This seems to be the case! Last week the folks (a welcomed visit), today a friend from California that has a best friend about a mile from here, next week ... some friends of dh's and the last week of June my oldest son will take some leave from the Army. Except for immediate family ... the rest of the visitors must get a room at a hotel!

Well, I'd better get in gear for the day ... here it's already 1:00 PM and I'm still not put together ... typical!

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

One "Hail"of a Storm

And the heavens opened with a flash of lightening, a peal of thunder, and torrents of rain and hail. Thus began the day yesterday! Of course, all our cars were parked outside when the pelting began. It did not sound good ... but no real damage resulted ... just a few leafless trees stood nextdoor that moments earlier had on their finery of new growth. Last night a gentle rain soothed the household into lulaby land ... the rythmic rain against the windowpanes and lack of morning sunshine have kept most of the youngins asleep way beyond their normal time to wake up. Guess I best be getting out my pots and pans to fix some vittles for breakfast ... that will surely git them thare kids up! Have a good day.

(click on photo to see large bouncing hailstones)

The Passing of a Blogger Friend

Last year I started reading a blog called
"WhatsupwithJan" about this special education teacher that had a reoccurance of cancer. I would visit her site every day to check in on her condition ... leave a few words of encouragement, and silently pray for her. She was a very upbeat person, and was surrounded by a wonderful loving family and support system. When she posted that the doctors had suggested Hospice step in, my heart sank ... and sadly this past April, Jan's Journey came to an end ... at the gates of heaven. She being a Christian ... I'm sure was allowed to enter in. Have you every "lost" a cyber friend? Just knowing she's not here on earth has left me a bit empty. But I'm looking forward to meeting her one day in heaven.
Photo by "Me" June '06 Wild Rose - upclose

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Ye Old Ice Cream Maker

Growing up with a dad raised on a farm, he was always altering and rigging up devices to suit his needs. One such alteration was to our "White Mountain" hand churn ice cream maker. His rendition included a jimmy-rigged washing machine motor and a bunch of pully belts and wheels. The largest wheel (hand made) was wooden, painted white and had a red pinwheel stripe running on the flat surface. My brothers and I would marvel at the contraption Dad made, especially during the hot summer months when he would occassionally make homemade ice cream. We would watch that pin wheel spin until we were so dizzy. Last September I ordered my own hand crank, White Mountain ice cream maker. And, yes, my dad made me a similar contraption to use. He and Mom were up for a visit last week and brought the device to me. We made the best ice cream and had fun making it. Thanks Dad!!

Photo of my "new" and "improved" White Mountain ice cream maker ... No pin stripe ... but just as fancy ... June '06

Monday, June 12, 2006

This New House

I'm gearing up to start a "This New House" blog sometime this month. Hope to have a weekly or bi-weekly update on the building progress of our new home. Stay tuned for details. In the meantime, here's a photo taken on our lot pretty near where the house will be built.


Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Moody Sunset

I love sunsets! Quite often, near the end of the day, I take a break to study the western sky trying to predict the sunset. This "moody sunset" was snapped in May near a wetland area of Hauser Lake where the road splits off to Newman Lake. Now the area is a marsh ... and is the same spot we saw a moose a few weeks ago.

Photo by "Me", May'06 (click on image to inlarge)

Front Porch Gossip

The front porch has made a resurgence with newer built homes. They had become a thing of the past for many years as people gravitated to their backyards. Now days, they come stocked with liveable outdoor furniture and garden adornments. Here's a snapshot of mine taken by my visiting mom today. I've mixed kitchen herbs such as thyme, rosemary, and variegated peppermint amongst the potted flowers. The bistro set was a bargain at Walmart.

Pull up a chair
Order a tall glass of iced tea
Relax and sit a spell
Conversations abound
Home is where I want to be

Tuesday, June 06, 2006


Tomorrow DH heads back to work for another month. This temporary arrangement is hardest when he has to leave. Once I'm back in my little routine, I'll be OK. Partings are hard ... but I'll try not to pine away. That would be a sin of some sort anyway ... each day we have on earth must be treasured and not taken for granted ... even those days we are miles apart.

Our home builder is a step or two closer to building our home. The plans can be picked up on Monday from the engineering department, then off for a site plan and a building permit.

This week finds me meeting with Nathan's current and post move schools to set up an Individual Education Plan (IEP) for the coming school year. And I must finish up Ann's home school reports to send in to our school. I am thinking this is my last week of home schooling ... she will be attending public school in the fall.

Today we drove up north to Sandpoint. My mom and I visited the new Coldwater Creek store and found some nice clothing ... but it was a bit pricy for our budget. Ann had another class tonight for driver's training; she gets to drive with the instructor on Friday.

Well, it's getting late ... sleep tight.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Two of My Favorite Guys

Dh and little Nathan taking a spin on an ATV ... Photo by "Me" taken 6/3/06

Saturday, June 03, 2006

My Beloved and Me

He's home and I'm happy! Had a nice romantic dinner out in the woods. The wild roses are in bloom and scent the air. What more could a girl ask for?