Fun in the chaos

Oh my,my! Well, it’s definitely past time for an update. I love coming back to this space and being able to think about and remember what has gone on in our lives. And to think about new things as well. So, on to the update.

Ditty got her driver’s license April 2nd. Yeah, I’m sorry you weren’t warned sooner too, but you survived up to this point so I think you’ll be okay. 🙂

We have marching band and soccer in our lives again this summer and it has been a blast. I’ve actually been to 2 of the parades this year (as opposed to none of them last summer). BooBoo’s soccer team is actually in first place, so far, in their standings (as opposed to 3rd or dead last in the 4 team age bracket in years past).

Ditty has been nominated for the Ambassadors of Music program in our state. She will have the opportunity to practice with other band students from around the state in the coming year and then will be heading off for a European tour in July 2016. If you’re reading this Shoe, she’ll be playing (with the rest of the band) in or near London early in the tour but location is still “To Be Determined”.

This has been a great honor because students are nominated not just for musicianship but also for character. Gosh, it’s nice that someone else thinks she’s a character too! Oh, not that kind of character? You’re right. It’s because she is a fine, respectable and respectful person. As I have said before, she is becoming a true role model, a wonderful young woman.

The past year at work has been wonderful. I am now enjoying part of our summer break before my co-worker and I delve into a computer program to organize the lunch menus and basically will make all the paperwork (state reporting, etc.) that goes with being a “lunch lady” go much smoother and more quickly. I say more quickly, but really at the present time it doesn’t go quickly at all and my co-worker is the one dealing with all of it. So I will do my best to help her out as much as I am allowed to or can.

Our family trip this summer will be to the Boston area. We’re shadowing the marching band (Ditty calls us “the stalker families”) but we will have our own sights (and sites) to see and our own things to do. DH, BooBoo and I will be going to a Blue Man Group concert. This will be BooBoo’s first actual concert. I think he will enjoy it. We’re also doing the Boston Harbor boat ride over to the USS Constitution, Plimoth Plantation and a whale watching cruise. I’m hoping that since both DH & BooBoo enjoy fish, that we will be able to hit mainly seafood restaurants while we’re there. The “Friday Catholic” in me is SO excited!!! After all, it’s almost a full week of seafood! Laugh if you will, I’ll enjoy it tremendously.

I’ve updated the praises, prayers, calendar & blog links. Enjoy your summer!

Advertisements

She lives! The electric edition

Well, I’m no better at getting back to this blog now than I have been at any time in the past year. I’m sorry.

It’s been a year of change and upheaval for me. With the job search in August/September, I had heard about a postion in a nearby town from a friend. That didn’t pan out. Then we went to Mass in another nearby town and the priest mentioned a job opening at their parish school. That lead to a 1st & 2nd interview and a “shadow day”. And while that situation progressed, I learned about an opening with my son’s school. That was the lead that finally lead to the actual job. So as of October 1st, I am the assistant cook at my son’s Catholic school. It has been a hectic, wonderful learning experience for me. I love being there and helping our head cook create the delicious, healthy meals for these children. I have learned so much and when we get back from Christmas break, I’ll be learning even more. We are a good team and have great help from a number of volunteers who come in to help serve the food, assist the kids with condiments and wipe down tables. It has been an incredible blessing to be able to do the work I enjoy with people I enjoy spending time alongside.

Ditty went as far a sections with her swim team this year. She was hoping that she wouldn’t need to go as her shoulder has been bothering her. We have been working with our chiropractor and that brought some relief. Now that swim season is over, that has brought even more relief, so I just need to encourage her to keep doing the exercises so that she doesn’t re-injure it next year. She is also preparing for the sacrament of Confirmation. It’s hard to believe that she’s old enough to do this. And trying to get her behind the wheel time finished so that she can get her driver’s license. My little girl is becoming a very poised and practical young woman. We also purchased a new step-up flute for her. She has needed one for a long time (about the last 2 years), but we didn’t just snap one up. We took our time and had her play several different flutes to see which one she liked best. I’m pleased that she decided on an Azumi. Some people might get down on me for that since the Azumis are a Japanese flute, but seriously if you haven’t heard one-don’t judge me. The American school of flutes are very light and bright sounding. The Japanese school of flutes are darker and deeper in tone. Frankly, they just sound so amazingly full and rich. These aren’t words I can use with the American school of flutes, although they are pretty. While we were flute shopping, the flute specialist who was helping us also let Ditty try out a $13,000 model. If you think there is no difference except for the price tag, you would be very wrong. That flute sounded so amazingly rich and, dare I say it, delicious that if money was not an object, I would have entertained serious thoughts about getting that one. Maybe she’ll consider becoming a concert flautist so we can get that one.

BooBoo is still taking guitar. Why, I’m not sure since he hates to practice. Apparently, he just likes playing – but not an electric guitar. He chose a new accoustic guitar, made by Fender and shaped like their Stratocaster model with the cutaway body and the inline head. I seriously wanted to ask ” So, who is this girl that you’re trying to impress?”, but I didn’t. I know you’re probably amazed, so am I. He also wants to try out for track and field this spring. He had a lot of fun at the Track & Field day that the High School boys’ track team held through community ed last spring. Hopefully, he will find his sport. I’m sure there will be something out there for him to enjoy. BooBoo will also be participating in our school musical this year, but not backstage as he usually does. This year, he has chosen to be one of the actors and will be an Apostle in our school production of Godspell Jr. It should be an interesting show. I remember singing some of the music when I was in grade school at my Catholic school. Of course, we also sang some of the music from Jesus Christ Superstar. Very 1970’s indeed! 🙂

So, you may be wondering why this is “the electric edition”. Well, early this past Saturday morning, I experienced chest pains and DH brought me in to our local hospital emergency room. While I didn’t need defibrilation, they did hook up quite a few electrodes to me to monitor my heart. And because the enzyme that gets released if there is a problem with the heart takes 4-6 hours to occur in the bloodstream, they had me admitted to a hospital room for observation. In that room, they attached even more electrodes because their heart monitor uses different ones from the monitor in the E.R. I think I seriously had about a dozen of the little stickers on my chest & abdomen. If they had needed to defribrilate, I possibly would have lit up like a Christmas tree. Electro-Woman. Hmm, glad that didn’t happen. I’m 50, I don’t look good in spandex.

Another long update

Life has been very busy in this house. Also, I’m not of the generation who grew up with blogs and social media as an everyday part of life so updating this space seems difficult to me when I’m in the thick of life. So, I’m sorry for the long absence again. Here is all the news that’s fit to print:

April & May were busy with the usual end of the school year stuff. June brought Marching Band Madness to our usually laid back & tranquil summer plans. Ditty participated in the flute section for the first time (she could have participated last summer but I’m glad she didn’t). They had a week long sweat camp and then it was 2-3 parades per week for the rest of June. One parade got rescheduled because of rain, so that week had 4 parades, the rescheduled one on Tues, another on Thurs & Fri & Sat. So glad that’s done, none in July & just one more exhibition parade on Aug 2nd. They did earn some good marks and even received one Grand Champion recognition. I didn’t get to watch them perform at any of the parades, so I’m looking forward to watching on the 2nd. June also brought Driver’s Ed classes back to our schedule. Ditty now has her learner’s permit and needs to get 30 hours of behind the wheel in the next 6 months in order to take her test for a conditional driver’s license. Teens don’t get full driving privileges straight off anymore.

DH learned the importance of teaching your teen driver exactly what your “driving slang” means before you use it on them. Ditty’s first behind the wheel attempt with us was driving his truck over to Clearwater/Pleasant regional park. She was backing out of the driveway and he wanted her to turn more sharply onto the road so he said “crank it”. She applied the gas and we bagan to shoot across the road. I yelled “Stop!” and she applied the brakes, thankfully before we wound up in the neighbor’s ditch. DH asked her why she stepped on the gas and she replied “well, I thought that’s what you wanted me to do.” Teach them the meaning of your slang so you will live longer-just saying. Also, saying Crank It when you don’t give them a direction to turn in isn’t very helpful. Hard right or hard left would help a beginner more. Maybe this was why the eldest always wanted me in the vehicle with her. If that happens again, I really need to get some valium.

We brought BooBoo in to the doctor in June and we have finally received some answers to his issues. We now know that he has ADD, the inattentive type and he has now begun taking medication to help with his attention issues. This has also greatly improved his anxiety & depression. It really feels like we have our old Buddy Sunshine back again. He comes up the stairs with a spring in his step and no longer balks when we interrupt what he wants to do with a request to complete a chore.

July has been, well, interesting-let’s just leave it at interesting. The 4th brought the usual parade & 2 potlucks. A neighbor invited us over for fireworks and that was nice. I am getting a little tired now of picking up the debris from my yard. Apparently fireworks are for the whole month of July. Oh well, they are good neighbors the rest of the year. Speaking of neighbors, I think we finally have some new neighbors kitty corner across the street. There was a trailer there yesterday along with 2 large vehicles so one can hope that house is finally going to be someone’s home.

I finished writing the new Nature program for our Girl Scout day camp. 2nd grade learns about mammals, 3rd grade learns about bugs & butterflies, 4th grade learns about birds, 5th learns about trees (and has the coolest craft), 6th learns about reptiles & amphibians & fish, and 7th learns about wildflowers. 2nd & 3rd don’t do a nature craft, they have games instead. 4th & up do a craft that relates to what they are learning about: Bird feeders, Pine cone boxes, Toad homes & Wildflower presses. The girls seemed to enjoy their time in Nature this year, especially their nature hike/exploration day. I think it was the fact that they had permission to look & touch & observe their surroundings that captivated them. The 6th grade girls loved going out to catch frogs & toads. We learned that we have a lot of Leopard frogs in our day camp area. We also found a baby Great Plains toad. Maybe next year we’ll have to catch some insects too and see how the frogs and toads catch their meal. (This thought is due to the Cope’s Gray treefrog that was clinging to our deck door last night. I watched it crawl, looked like an Army crawl, up the side of the door and then leap at a bug that it ate.)

July also brought 2 more visitations/funerals. My last uncle on my dad’s side passed away in June, then the father of a friend’s husband passed away in early July and another friend’s husband was tragically killed in a motorcycle crash this past weekend. It has been a mournful month. May their souls and all the souls of the faithful departed, by the mercy of God, rest in peace.

I am looking forward to enjoying our final 5 weeks of summer vacation. BooBoo wants to have the guys over for a fire and hot dogs soon. Ditty has swim team practices starting up again in August. We still need to update her flute and she wants to start learning the saxophone as well.

Time to get BooBoo started on his guitar practice. Hope your summer is going well.

OAM cooking and the occasional pity party

Or maybe it’s Once A Month posting, I’m not sure.

This year seems to be really strange in that I can’t seem to get my schedule together. I’ve double booked us for two weekends this summer and by virtue of a wedding in August, we may be double booked for a third time. I can’t remember ever being this disorganized, not for a very long time-like since before kids! It bugs me. I don’t have our calendar straight. I don’t have a list of what’s in my freezer. And the de-crapification of the extra room has ground to a complete halt. Add in that I can’t seem to get a blog post done but once a month, and this is really excessive disorganization. For me. What you do or do not organize is strictly up to you. It really doesn’t bother me at all if others post sporadically on their blogs because that is their space and their life.

Okay, I’ll quit moaning and get on with the news.

Ditty has been enjoying competetive swimming. We signed her up for a local swim club last season and near the middle of that season she said, “I’ve finally found my sport!”. This from the girl who said “Soccer is my life!”. Okay, yes she is a middle schooler and they do change emotions like most people change underwear, but she is generally very consistent. This is my child who would get visibly upset when the preschool teacher rearranged the classroom. So consistent is probably an understatement. I’m glad she enjoys swimming and I enjoy watching her at meets.

This week, we had Court of Awards/Honor for both Ditty & BooBoo. On the same night! DH went with BooBoo to his Boy Scout Court of Honor and (after taking her to her soccer game) I went with Ditty to the tail end of her Court of Awards for Girl Scouts.

This Monday, both Ditty & BooBoo will be participating in the annual Memorial Day parade and ceremony to honor our fallen veterans. This is something we do each year because, as a fb friend posted, it’s Memorial Day not National Barbeque Day! We are trying to raise our kids to have respect for those people who gave their lives for their country and also for those who served their country whether they are still living or have died. It’s important to us to recognize that others have sacrificed so that we can enjoy our freedoms. This is especially important now that we have a government seeking to abolish those freedoms.

On Wednesday, we will have a bridging ceremony for our Girl Scout Service Unit. So far, about 8 or 9 of the troops have rsvp’d but it will still be a beautiful ceremony. Next Thursday, we will enjoy a supper and awards ceremony honoring our graduating 8th grade class of which Ditty is a student. Then on Friday, BooBoo will participate in his final Track & Field day at school. This is a day of outdoor fun for the K-5th grade students at our school. They are placed in teams and compete in fun events in the morning session, then after a picnic lunch, they have organized games by grade level in the afternoon. On Saturday, Ditty will welcome K-3rd grade Girl Scouts for a Math & Science day in the park. This is her Silver Award project and I pray for good weather because she really needs to complete this project before September. After the field day, she has her 8th grade Graduation Mass at church followed by a reception in the Parish Hall and a party at the home of one of her classmates. Saturday is also DH & my 17th wedding anniversary. Unfortunately, because it is one of the weekends we are double booked, he will be camping with BooBoo and a group of our friends. I guess when I told my MIL that it didn’t matter what weekend they celebrated our anniversary all those years ago, I never really expected that he and I would be apart on the actual anniversary. Well, guess I’d better buck up and make the best of it.

Ditty is done with school this coming Friday, May 31st (a bonus for making it through the middle school years, I think). BooBoo will be done the following Wednesday and the next day, we head to DesMoines to watch our nephew & godson play in a baseball tournament. I really feel for him & his parents. Apparently the tournament organizers don’t look too carefully into what hotel(s) they book the teams and chaperones. I checked out the one my SIL said they would be in and it didn’t rate too highly with travelers on TripAdivsor. I realize those reviews are subjective and reviewers could just have a chip on their shoulder, but even allowing for this, that hotel wasn’t up to moderate standards. We’ll be camping about 10-15 minutes away from the playing fields. And one of the days that weekend, we will be heading back to Cindy’s. It’s a local mom & pop restaurant that we stumbled across on our way back from Atchison KS last spring. I am so looking forward to stopping for lunch, or even breakfast there! And since I’m not a morning person, this is high praise indeed.

I’ll try to get some more pictures posted soon. Our hummingbirds are back and I purchase a forsythia bush this spring that DH put in the ground yesterday before the school choir concert. I’ve wanted one of these for years and finally purchased it. He also planted the shrub rose I received as a thank you gift this spring for being one of the first 60 Virtus facilitators trained in our Archdiocese eight years ago and staying with the program all that time. I do believe that many of us in that group are still going strong and I feel that we have made a positive impact in the ongoing fight to protect children.

We have also begun a straw bale garden. Yeah, I know, who would want to grow bales of straw? But that’s not what it is, it is gardening using a bale of straw as your raised bed. Oh, so now you’re curious 🙂 Here’s a link to the author’s website so you can check it out and see if you’d like to garden practically weed-free too: Straw Bale Gardens.

It’s time to get back to what I need to get done today. Have a safe and blessed Memorial Day weekend.

Life is crazy

So, I have been absent again from this space.  Sometimes I wonder if I’ll ever slow down enough to continue this blog as it should be.

Our life has been busy here with the play and my efforts to help with costuming the 114 little people in the cast.  This year, I think we (Sara & I) have about 6 people, including ourselves, working on costumes.  It seems like it should be more and maybe there are more that I don’t know about.  This year just seems harder.  Harder to get the information we need to make the right costume choices in the first place and harder to get into the right mind set to get the job done at all.  Part of the problem seems to be a lack of people who still know how to sew and are willing to do that on a volunteer basis.

I think it may boil down to me needing to say no to some of the extra stuff that I do.  I think it’s time to slow down the busy-ness of my life and just enjoy being in the moment.

It’s time to say no to being the service unit treasurer for our Girl Scout service unit.  I haven’t had time to do this job properly for some time now and I’m sure that there is someone in our service unit who can do this job.  i’m not sure what other volunteer stuff I can cut right now, but this one has to go.

It’s time to say no to busy work.  Those projects that I come up with to fill time that doesn’t need filling.  Like cutting out an apron pattern to sew for the play when we don’t need one.  The pieces are staring me in the face, but I’m not sewing this up until other things get done.  And maybe I’ll just sew it up for myself  then instead.

It’s time to declutter our living space.  We have too much stuff.  Our house is the right size for us and I don’t see us moving into anything else, either bigger or smaller, any time soon so it’s time to rid ourselves of what we no longer need, want or use.  I’m sure that there are charities who can use these things to make money for themselves via resale and that is where they need to go.

It’s time to get serious about getting rid of my excess weight.  It isn’t helping me by keeping it on and it is hurting other aspects of my life and my life expectancy.  It has got to go.  Today I have made a start-again.  Kind of like when I quit smoking almost 21 years ago, I just had to keep quitting until the quitting stuck; I will have to keep beginning the 17 Day diet until the formula sticks.  Today I had 6 oz of Greek yogurt with 1 Truvia packet and a cup of coffee with creamer for breakfast.  Not exactly the perfect 17 Day Diet breakfast, but closer than I was yesterday.

It’s time to put our house first on the to do list.  That means making sure that I have finished what needs to be finished here before going to another project outside of the home.  Pretty soon I will get called back to work for the spring and I need to have this space clean and in proper order before that happens or things might continue to slip.

It’s time to stop putting my family second to other people’s wants, or what they think are their needs, because I’ve accomodated their wants in the past and they just seem to want more and more.  Enough!  My family deserves my best effort and that is where my efforts will go.

It’s time to enjoy life without the craziness of busy-ness.

Enjoy life.

2012 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The new Boeing 787 Dreamliner can carry about 250 passengers. This blog was viewed about 950 times in 2012. If it were a Dreamliner, it would take about 4 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

The above was provided by those Stats monkeys.  My comments:  950 hits from 62 countries around the world?  Wow, a Big thank you to my loyal followers (all 6 of you).   And thank you to all the spammers who helped my little blog reach that very large number.  I promise to do my best and post more frequently in 2013.  There are so many things going on that I haven’t had time to put them in the blog yet.  And I have pictures that I need to get off my camera and into a post too.

Happy New Year to one & all.

A week without spam

. . . is refreshing!

Guess I haven’t posted enough this summer to keep the spambots entertained. The blog still gets hits but no spam for about a week now. Yay!

Back in the world of the living

“Drama is life with the dull bits cut out.”  Alfred Hitchcock

This blog is about life.  My life in particular.  Is it dull?  Sometimes, but then so is everyone’s life.  None of us are a running soap opera, but just in case you are, I’ll excuse you to go read someone else’s blog.  Thanks for stopping by.

******************************************************************

The cold I had last week is finally gone and the pms along with it.  This is good because I don’t think I could have eaten any more food without bursting.

I was fine with the idea of doing the PMS diet plan from the 17 Day Diet last week, then the cold hit me and I couldn’t seem to get enough to eat.  So I decided that for the duration of the cold, I would just make sure that I fed myself well and tried to keep what I ate healthy.  I did not want to step on the scale, but I did it anyway.

Good news!  I didn’t gain any of the weight back-in spite of the indulging.  I’m thinking that the extra nutrition may have been needed to fight off the virus.  Granted, I didn’t lose any weight last week, but not gaining it back was good.  I’m back on the diet plan, in the Activate cycle, for the rest of the week.  I’m not sure if I should move on to the 3rd cycle after that or go back into an Accelerate cycle because of last week.

Well, I’ve got the rest of the week to figure it out.

The Maker of Opportune Miracles (aka Mom)

Sorry for the silence.  I’ve been battling a cold and pms this past week.  I think the pms plans to hang around until the cold is gone and then really unleash its fury.  Or perhaps the cold has me so knocked down that I am able to ignore the pms.

Either way, I’m miserable.  It would be nice to be able to just lie on the couch with a cold cloth over my watering eyes and rest.  At least to rest as much as one can while clutching a box of kleenex and praying the wastebasket doesn’t overflow before I feel well enough to empty it myself.

But that won’t happen.  Because I’m a mom.  We don’t get the luxury of days off like that.  Instead we keep plugging away at our tasks.  Like driving to school to deliver the guitar, music book & guitar picks to the son who always seems to forget what part of the week Tuesday falls on.  Or explaining patiently, when the husband asks in all seriousness, why I can’t fit 100 pounds of beef roast in my 5 quart crockpot and get it started for the Blue & Gold ceremony that happens to be on the same day the Girl Scout troop needs to run a station for Thinking Day (an all day event in our service unit).

“Well, could I do it if he got me a roaster?”  Yes, seriously he asked.  And no, I could not fit 100 pounds of beef in an 18 quart roaster either.  The man has no concept of quantity and the space needed to store it.  Or for that matter, the time needed to cook it.  In fact, I doubt that we could fit 100 pounds of beef roast in our home refrigerator even if it was completely empty and it is currently full of produce (for my diet) and leftovers (because I can’t always eat what I make for them).  So no, no and N-O.  Sign me up for bars or something I can make the day before.

However, this is why I have come to believe that my family thinks that the word Mom stands for:

Maker of

Opportune

Miracles

Their supporting evidence:

1.  Their clothing is miraculously clean when they need it.  And mended when required.  All with little to no effort on their part.

2.  Good food always appears when they are hungry.  The only effort they make in this area is to occasionally cook if the mood strikes them.  And if they aren’t “too busy”.

3.  They can drop their junk anywhere and never clean it up, yet they can ask one question and be told exactly where to find said item.  And the items in question even occasionally arrive in their rooms waiting to be found and put away.

4.  Needed items always make their way to them without anything worse than a phone call to the Maker of Opportune Miracles (guitar, flute, change of clothes because they can’t be seen in their school uniform after school hours).

5.  The house is always clean (or at least clean enough for them not to care) with little or no effort on their part.

6.  When they are sick, they receive comfort, care and as many of their favorite foods or things as their illness can tolerate without worsening.

Quite the convincing argument for belief in the Maker of Opportune Miracles. 

I think it’s time they start pulling their weight.  This M.O.M. needs a break.

Another Ramble

It may be winter outside, but the garden of my mind is certainly growing.

The latest item I’m mulling over is this:  Why is it so hard for people to believe that God is all-powerful?

The ones I’m asking about will tell you that God is all-powerful and then they will say something like: the legends associated with this saint are too fantastical to be true, or if we saw God in all his glory we would die.

Hmm.  Why can’t the legends about a saint be true?  Just because the accounts of what that saint was purported to do defy our limited imaginations, does that automatically make them false?  Just what, precisely, is too fantastical to believe that God could help a person actually do I wonder.

And, if we ever did see God in all his glory, wouldn’t that mean we were in heaven?  So why, if God allowed us to attain heaven, would he then kill (or banish) us from heaven?  They just don’t ask those questions of their theories do they?  So was this information proclaimed to them in a vision or did they just decide it based on Moses being the only man to go up Mt Sinai and live?

I’m no theologian.  Just someone who wonders how some things got decided.  One would think reading more religious material would answer questions, not create them.  Or maybe it just creates deeper questions. 

I guess I’m just curious as to why they seem to have so little faith in the God they claim to believe in.  I believe God can do all things, even things we can’t understand or that seem unreal to us.

Sorry if I’ve confused you.  That wasn’t my intent.  Sometimes just putting our thoughts into words helps us: grow, bend, flourish. . . whatever we need to do at the time.  Keep the faith.

Previous Older Entries

Perfectly Preserved In Perpetuity

Friends, Romans, Countrymen

  • 8,280 interested parties

Quotes:

"If you are what you should be you will set the whole world on fire."
St. Catherine of Sienna

I finally understand

"Among those around you, apostolic soul, you are the stone fallen into the lake. With your word and your example, you produce a first circle, and it another, and another, and another, wider each time. Now do you understand the greatness of your mission?" St. Josemarie Escriva: The Way