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2 kids. Memories of Wolf and Boo. Many dear friends. Three siblings. Two parents. Samarra the crazy dog. The Player and Pi the Cat. I love you all!

Monday, February 28, 2011

It's Hard to Blog

It's hard to blog when your ex is yelling at you on the phone and in public, calling you obscene names while you stand on his front porch to drop off kids and their security blankets.  It's hard to blog when you drop your keys and he kicks them away from you.  It's hard to blog when your daughter has been throwing up and running a fever after spending a day with your ex and you find out later that he has been yelling at her, too.  It's hard to blog when you have to ask people for help every day.

It's great when your friends are there for you, though.  This weekend I had so much support from Nikki, Willemina, Kathy, Ron, Shamelle, Ben, Connie, and Michelle. You guys are my rock and you all rock, too.

I am sitting with my girl while she plays with my new phone (you can doodle over photos!) and we watch Sesame Street and I blog.  She's home from school, of course, having run a fever yesterday.  We are just hanging out peacefully.  I love her so much my heart is breaking.  I love my son, too.  It's hard to blog when you are worried about your kids. 

If my blogging gets more sporadic, you know why. 

Friday, February 25, 2011

Annie Get Your Pistol

It's Pistol Patent Day.  Whatever that means.  I think the next pistol design should shoot common sense rather than bullets.  Here are some people I would shoot with The Common Sense Pistol.

1.  All Members of the US Congress
2.  All Illinois elected representatives
3.  Khaddafy
4.  Anyone with the following last names:  Palin, Lohan, Limbaugh.   This list could be lengthened with just a little bit of work.
5.  Most doctors.
6.  All lawyers.
7.  My ex. 

I don't really know how to design this type of tool.  I may ask Sierra to work on this.  Any design suggestions are welcome.  Thank you!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Early Morning Date with Miss C

I had coffee with Miss C today...that would be my monthly date with Miss Clairol.  I had my usual 112A serving along with my coffee.  We linger for 45 minutes and then I hop in the shower and watch her wash down the drain.  I say "Thanks again!"  I say "See you next month!" 

She doesn't answer.  She's already too far gone.  Poor baby.  At least I own up to being her friend.  Some of her friends hide her in the closet, don't admit that they even know her.  Imagine how she feels.  No wonder she's so quiet.

I was working the other day with a patient who is 79-going-on-80, still running his own business that involves very heavy physical work and big equipment.  Not exactly farming but just as demanding.  He had a friend visiting him who called me a redhead.  I told him that anyone could have this color, but it works better if you are Irish.  My patient perked up!  Irish?  Yes.  He then invited me to a bar in Wapella called The Irish-something-other where on Sundays they have karaoke night.  He likes to go there with friends and he plays the harmonica.  Harmonica during karaoke?  Hmmmm.  Might need to see this.   I told him I'd go if his wife was going.  He said that would work.  So....road trip!  Kathy?  Mom and Dad?  Anyone else?  Bring your harmonicas and possibly your kazoos. And maybe some bail money. 

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Going to the Dogs

Today, according to the Bizarre and Wacky Holiday website, is International Dog Biscuit Appreciation Day.  Not just Dog Biscuit Day.  Not just International Dog Biscuit Day.  No, it is International.  Dog.  Biscuit.  Appreciation.  Day.

I'm confused.  Am I supposed to appreciate only international dog biscuits?  Or is it an international holiday?  Do I have to appreciate the biscuits?  Maybe only international dogs should be appreciating biscuits.  French poodles, Scottish terriors, German shepherds.  If you are just a beagle or collie, you can just forget about appreciating a dog biscuit.

It seems the holiday name has gone to the dogs. 

My dog Wolf, part shepherd of some kind though possibly not German shepherd, possibly Australian shepherd according to our vet, Dr Matt (who is about 7 feet tall and still manages to look like he is 12 years old).  I didn't know there was such a thing.  But because Wolf is not very big, about 40 pounds, he is a candidate to be some other kind of shepherd.  Who appreciates his biscuits, for sure.  But he did not appreciate being asked to work for them the other day.

Don't get me wrong, he is willing to go through his "tricks" for a treat.  The kids have him trained to do a sequence of tricks including sit, down, crawl, up, and around to get one.  What he didn't like was being asked to get his treat out of a Kong.

Poor Wolf, I thought he would enjoy having to work to get his biscuit out of the ball.  The kids thought he would chase a ball, finally!  But alas, he sniffed it and managed to lick out a little of the cheese I put inside with the biscuit, but then ignored the kong and did what Wolf generally does best:



Sweet dreams Wolf!





Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Smoke and Fog

The Social Studies project is done, except for typing up the list of references.  Jeremiah chose, as his project on the southeastern region of the country, to create a brochure for Great Smoky Mountain National Park.  He worked very hard at it, and as I'm sure his teacher wanted to happen, he got interested in reading about the park even beyond what he needed to do the project. 

He's been to the park.  He's hiked almost to the highest point, Mt LeConte.  He's spent the night in LeConte Lodge.  He remembered some of the places along Alum Cave Bluffs trail.  What he couldn't remember is what we didn't see:  any of the views more than about 10 feet in front of our noses.  The two days we spent hiking there were rainy, foggy, cold, and windy.  We were soaking wet and cold.  The kids were miserable.  The trail was steep and difficult.   They swore they would never hike again after that.  Unless it was sunny and the trail was short and flat.  I think they had in mind walking around the block at home.

The photos we looked at while researching his project gave us both an idea what we missed by hiking in that weather.  The views, of course.  Also much of the wildlife.  We didn't see a single bear!  They were too smart to be out in that crappy weather, I guess.



Here are the troopers at the end of the second day of that trip.  I can't believe it was only 2 years ago.  They look so much younger.  Ack!  Where does the time go?

Yesterday after the project was done Jeremiah said he enjoyed doing the project because he did it with me.  I was glad to hear that.  Maybe someday he and his sister will feel that way when they look back on the trip we took in the rain, cold, and fog.  But I wouldn't bet the bank on it!

Monday, February 21, 2011

A Nice Day, Plain and Simple

Church services yesterday involved the kids presenting some of the Sunday School curriculum called "A Joyful Path."  Sierra and her buddy Will announced a song that to be honest, they said they would not sing in public.  But they wrote a little introduction and read it.


The program was a big hit, of course, and well attended.  That was a nice feeling for the kids and their parents, too.

In the afternoon Jeremiah worked on his social studies project.  He is making a brochure for the Great Smoky Mountain National Park. 



This is one of the three views of Jeremiah we saw yesterday.  The other two views involved a basketball and a baseball glove.  It was 50 degrees out, so we took study breaks to play some hoops and take some fielding practice!    I also folded laundry



and kept Sierra busy with a bead stringing project which we will use to transition the Christmas-Valentine's Tree to it's new incarnation as a St. Patrick's Tree!

In the evening Sierra and I had a "girls night in" as Jeremiah went to his dad's to watch the NBA All Star Game on a channel I don't get at my house.  Sierra and I had a big juicy steak for dinner.   She found a mystery box left by her grandma in the downstairs closet and set it up:


and of course added a little green tree of her own to the scene.

We skyped with the Player to Be Named Later:



Sierra went crazy with the camera and took lots of pictures of the same things:  her mom, her dog, and her new little house.   We stayed up later than usual since there is no school today as we honor dead presidents by sleeping in and being lazy.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Boogers

The word "booger" seems to be something the kids like to laugh about a lot lately.  That's better than one of them screaming "weiner" over and over from the back seat of the car.   That's because I can actually steer the car safely when there are Booger Jokes coming from the back seat, as opposed to nearly causing a 7-car pileup when Sisi made her weiner routine debut. 

The booger thing started after we watched Despicable Me.  At one point Dr Nefario has created a bunch of Boogie Robots...he thinks that's what Gru wanted, when actually Gru asked him for Cookie Robots.  But the Boogie Robots are adorable and they dance to the song Boogie Fever.  Somehow, in the warped minds of my children (ok, mine too) we morphed that into Booger Fingers. 

The rest is backseat history.

Jeremiah's program at school the other night featured a song about Booker T. Washington.  Sierra promptly started called him Booger T. 

The possibilities seem endless.  Thank goodness for that.  Laughing about snot and farts with the kids is just fine as the highlight of any day for me. 

Saturday, February 19, 2011

The New Phone

One of the Logistical Matters that had to be attended to this week was dividing custody of the Family Phone Contract at US Cellular.  I got custody of the old plan, then promptly switched to a Single-Girl's-Line-with-Unlimited-Texting, because that's how I roll now.  Ok, it's not called the Single Girl's Line, and I'm not even a Girl officially, I suppose.  Though you would not wanna argue with Tawanna over that, now, would you?  (I'm sure she would tell me I could call my phone plan whatever I want!) 

The phone is a touch screen, which should not be that difficult for me to use.  However so far I have accidentally called Willemina while trying to plug in the phone to the charger, sworn into the speaker when I thought I had not been able to answer it but lo-and-behold!  I had answered it, so the person in question heard me say "poop" or some synonym thereof.

Is thereof a preposition?  I sure hope not.  If it is, then double-poop!

Jeremiah is obsessed with my new phone.  He has figured out just about every feature.  He has not called anyone by accident or needed to swear into the speaker, at least as far as I know.  At this very moment, when he is supposed to be getting dressed so he can play basketball this morning after we have breakfast (blueberry muffins are in the oven), he is instead taking pictures and figuring out how to assign them to my contacts. 

That's how he rolls.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Heroes All

Heroes All was the name of the winter concert that Oakdale's 3rd and 4th grade classes performed last night.  This is the little hero in our family on his way home, courtesy of his sister.  I don't know what was in that bag but I'm guessing it had a lot more sugar in it than I might have allowed under normal circumstances. 



Here are the 3rd and 4th grade classes performing songs about Booker T Washington, Charles Lindbergh, Helen Keller, Albert Einstein, and other heroes. I'm not sure if you can tell how diverse this group is, but I can tell you it is a little United Nations here in Normal, Illinois.  I love that about Oakdale.  It's not your grandmother's grade school, that's for sure. 


Ok now let's review:
BEFORE TOO MUCH SUGAR:

AFTER TOO MUCH SUGAR:


BEFORE:

AFTER:


I think everyone has got it, now.  There will be a test soon.  I think the test will be mine, however, when I remind Jeremiah that he needs to write me a letter of apology this mornning for calling me a name when he got mad later in the evening.  I think it might be test time now.  It will be a test of patience.  I'm pretty sure I will get at least a C.




Thursday, February 17, 2011

Feelin' Groovy

I met the world's most amusing clerk yesterday, at Target of all places.  Tawanna said to me, as I stepped up to the register with a pack of gum and a bottle of wine to take to Kathy's house:  "Young lady, I am going to have to see some ID for you to buy that."  I giggled like a school girl and opened my wallet.  I said "Oh honey, I am old enough to have kids old enough to buy this."  Tawanna then said, "no, I don't think you are even old enough to have kids.  Let's see the driver's license."   Then I said she was my new favorite person in the whole world and I wanted to tell her boss she deserved a raise.  She was all over that!  We joked around some more, and then she said, "Anytime you are having a bad day you just come and see me."  And I think she probably meant that.  I could get a 3-minute counseling session for the price of a pack of gum, plus tax of course.

Perhaps I will steal her away from Target and we will start a "drive-through" counseling business. You could pull up to the window in your car.  Hand over $2.03 or however much you normally spend on your overpriced morning java.  Tawanna would come to the window and talk to you for 3 minutes.  You drive away feeling a whole lot better about yourself.  We could have punch-cards, so after 10 sessions you get a free chat with her. 

Speaking of drive-through feel good moments, someone in the minivan ahead of me prepaid my Starbucks yesterday!  So I did the same for the person behind me in line.

I also had many feel-good moments before and after the Logistical Discussion with Oscar the Grouch, when loved ones near and far talked with me, cared for me, made me laugh.  Thanks loved ones! 

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Three Oscars

Oscar Number One

Today is Do A Grouch a Favor Day.

I am thinking of the fact that I have to meet with the kids' dad about various logistical issues this afternoon.  I think that I will try to see him as Oscar in the garbage can if (no, when) he makes me mad, and I will laugh (inside) like an amused 4 year old at his grumpy antics.  While attempting to keep my face in a neutral position externally.  No grouch likes to be laughed at. 


No writer likes to end a sentence in a preposition, either.




I think after the meeting is over I will find a way to release my own grouchiness about whatever transpires in the meeting without dumping it all over someone else or keeping it inside to raise my blood pressure.  I think I may run a marathon tonight.

See how happy I would be if I ran a marathon...oh wait that's not me running a marathon.  That's just during a 5k. 


Oscar Number Two

This one is for you, Collagemama

Keep humming, girl!

Oscar Number Three

Dad wants to know why I only took one picture this weekend.  I was busy for gosh sakes!  One of the things I did was to work a Sunday New York Times crossword puzzle with The Player and The Player's Oldest Son.  (My dad approves of this activity, I am sure.) We also watched a fabulous film that is not nominated for any academy awards this year.  I think it must be because Temple Grandin, which won several Golden Globe awards, was made for TV by HBO.  Claire Danes is wonderful portraying the real Temple Grandin, a woman with autism who is now a college professor in Colorado.  If you have not seen this film you should rent it and watch it.  It will make you feel completely ungrouchy! 

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

A Short Blog Entry

Just to let everyone who doesn't know that I am home again safe and sound, I am.  I had a wonderful visit to Akron, Ohio where I spent a great weekend with the Player to Be Named Later.   For some reason I took only one photograph.  Here it is:


That's Dill, trying to become an article of my clothing.  But instead scaring the bejesus out of me when I was looking for a pair of socks and instead found a moving living breathing creature. 

So now I am home, with the kids and Wolf and work to do, hummus to buy and eat, and a book group book to begin:  Then We Came to the End.  As always, life is grand.


Thursday, February 10, 2011

The Meeting

Here is one of the things we consumed at the Planning-Gone-Wild meeting last night.


The llama was the only being small enough to dance on the coffee table.  Susan would not let anyone who weighed more than 3 pounds stand on the table.  That ruled out the rest of us.  I eyed it longingly but did as I was told.

Nikki called to see if I had brought hummus to the meeting.  When she found out I had not, she went out and got this:


It was really good!  (Suprised?)  Especially with the olives and pita chips she brought.  She also brought the theme idea we selected and picked out the Friday night movie we will watch.  Nikki was All That and More last night. 

There was some seriously therapeutic laughter.  In fact Nikki and I were laughing so hard at one point that we declared we might wet our pants and Bob (who joined us after the real "work" was done and we were just having fun...) told Susan they might need to get the couch cleaned.   Kathy went into the kitchen to talk to The Player To Be Named Later.   I think I might have dialed the phone and handed it to her.  I'm not sure what they talked about but now I will be making a trip to Akron to continue the negotiations.  Eventually we may have to throw in some rhubarb pie into the deal.  I will give you an update when I get back from the trip!






Wednesday, February 9, 2011

I Survive My First Official "Treasurer's Report"

As the new NCC Treasurer (I am suddenly reminded of the scene in Despicable Me when the little minion laughs HAHAHA SUCKERS! then gets his head smashed into the ceiling as he attempts to escape with the shrink ray...) I have successfully produced my first report for the Steering Committee.  It was unanimously approved by the committee last night, and they didn't even notice the little embezzling line item...oh, hi Susan!

Just kidding about the life of crime, there.   Though I have often thought I would be good at getting away with things if I were to embark on a life of crime.  What kind of crimes would I commit?  Hmmm, good question.  Dad once asked me if I were running guns to Nicaragua.  No, no I've never done that.  Nor did I ever try to bring any illegal substances in the country as the border dudes in Tijuana suspected when they searched our truck from top to bottom.  That was mostly annoying, waiting and waiting while after a month living out of the truck I was mostly dreaming of a really good hot shower just down the road.  When dude number one found my prescription motrin (before it was available over the counter and not many people had heard of it) he asked me what it was for and I said "dude, don't end a question with a preposition!"  No, really I said in a very sweet voice, Oh It's for Menstrual Cramps.  That sped the whole truck search up quite a bit as far as I could tell. 

Other crimes...well I have been caught running a stop sign I did not see, and once I got stopped in Chicago for an illegal left hand turn, but no ticket because the police person was called away to a real crime before she could finish writing it. 

Tonight I will be meeting with Susan to learn about a few more bills that have to get paid for NCC.  I think there is one called "Susan and Bob's 25th Anniversary Party Fund" and I'm pretty sure there is a "NCC College Scholarship for the Children of the Treasurer" fund, too.   After she and I figure out all this business, we will meet with Nikki, Kathy, and Caroline about the Women's Retreat coming up in April.  The planning meetings for the retreat are as much fun as the retreat itself, just shorter and so far we have never danced on the tables at the planning meeting.  But you never know what might happen.  And if it isn't illegal or immoral you may hear about it tomorrow, same time, same station.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

A Low-Key Monday

Yesterday was a typical Monday for me in many ways.  I taught a class at the Community Cancer Center, which I do once a month.  I went to the mall.  I volunteered in the library at the kids' school.

Wait, what?  I went to the mall? 

Yes, I went to the mall which is not a typical activity for me.  But I went to the mall and I bought myself some nice new PJs!  The mall was not crowded on a Monday morning, not full of pre-teenage kids or families with babies in strollers.  There were a few mall-walkers wearing tennis shoes and pumping their arms to get their heart rates up.  There were a few other shoppers buying PJs at Bergners. It was too early for the food court to be busy. 

PJs and many other items are on sale right now.  70% off of 50% already marked off, etc.  I got these PJs at a good price.  They have polar bears on them and are warm and fleecy.  I am wearing them now!

Valentine's Day is coming up and the kids and I also went to Walmart after school to pick out their valentines for their classmates.  Sierra picked out some 3D pet valentines.   Jeremiah chose Tron valentines that come with a Tron pencil for each card.  We bought some other stuff, too, including a giant box of microwave popcorn that would not fit in my kitchen cupboard until I rearranged the entire cupboard to make room for it to go in the middle shelf sideways.  Yikes.  My home is not ready for super-sized grocery purchases.
 
I remembered to buy microwave popcorn and ranch dressing and valentines but I forgot to buy kleenex.  I have had a cold for several days and now that I am out of kleenex there are rolls of toilet paper stashed conveniently around the house for nose-blowing.   I think I will make an extra effort to buy some kleenex today, the kind with lotion and aloe in the tissue so my nose doesn't get mad at me.   Because my nose is very particular about not just using kleenex vs toilet paper but it is really picky (ha!) about having the kinder gentler type of kleenex.

A few minutes ago Jeremiah peered over my shoulder to see what I'm blogging about.  He gave me that I'm sorry you don't have anything more interesting to write about than shopping for popcorn look, then went upstairs to finish his valentines. 

Trust me Jeremiah, a few days with nothing exciting happening is fine.  Restful, even.  Peaceful.  Ahhhh. 

Monday, February 7, 2011

The llama life cycle (a silly tribute to my blogging friends and family)

Once upon a time there was a howling llama who was kicked out of llama school on the vague charge of "obscenity and also tip-toeing down the hall very fast as if running."   He felt very badly about that, not realizing that calling someone a Poopy Vicuna was such a bad insult.  He figured the running was just part of his Llama-Nature and didn't worry about that.   Later he read a story called "No Naughty Llamas" which inspired him to overcome his worry about the bad mark on his permanent record.  He began to help other little llamas at the homeless llama shelter.  He became a physical therapist, a bookseller, a poet, a librarian, an artist and also moonlighted doing computer work at State Farm. 

One day he found a great recipe for hummus.  He wanted to share it with all the other llamas of the world.  But he couldn't use a food processor because his hooves were too big to push the buttons.

He asked his daughter Mountain to create a device that would let him use a food processor.  She created the first Llama Hoof-Finger Adapter made out of toilet paper rolls and glitter glue.  He found it also worked to use the blender.   He made hummus, he made smoothies, he made homemade mayonaise.  He saw a recipe for cinnamon muffins and decided to learn to make those, too, even though it did not requre a blender.  The world was his oyster!  Oops, he forgot, llamas do not like oysters.

Eventually he grew old, became a llama grandfather.  He wrote more beautiful poems.  He created more beautiful artwork.  He invited his grandchildren over for dinner and they had wonderful conversations. 

When he died he donated his wool and was transformed into Prayer Shawls and warm socks.  His life cycle was completed and in llama heaven he would look down and think, "man, I really wish we had more of those cinnamon muffins here in llama heaven!"

Sunday, February 6, 2011

DYB

Basketball games yesterday had better outcomes than in the previous weeks.  Sierra had her team "picture day" and she made a great offensive rebound and a basket.  She played better in general, and Coach even said "she played good today!"  And her team won their first game.  Good work Dream Team!



Jeremiah's team also won their game.  The Grizzlies are now 2 and 2, and playing like "the team to beat" instead of "the team you can steal the ball from easily."  They really rocked it yesterday, winning 48 to 30!  He asked the coach to let him play under the basket instead of playing point guard, and that seemed to work really well for him.

My blood pressure was much better yesterday during these games.  It helps to see your kids "do their best."  In fact that is what I always say to them when they get out of the car to go to school in the morning:  "DYB buddies!"  Do Your Best.  That is all a mom can ask.  Winning the game is secondary, getting a certain grade in school isn't the point, either.  It's just loving what you do so much that you put it all out there and give it all you've got and then some. 

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Marcel Marceau Learns to Ski

A couple nights ago Sierra decided to become a mime.  So she did.  She just magically transformed herself in the bathroom while I was reading a book.  The next thing I knew there was a performance in the guest room. 






Last night, Sierra asked if she could use my cross country skis for a spin around the back yard.  When I said yes, she disappeared upstairs and put her whiteface back on...when I asked why she said "because that will help keep my face dry when I fall into the snow."

Ok, then.



She made it around the yard 3 times before falling into a deep drift and requiring rescue.  Then the Boy got into the act.



He, on the other hand, fell three times going around the yard once but did not require any rescue.  He figured out how to get up on his own, how to go up a small incline to get on the deck from the yard, and that once was enough when it's that durned cold and getting dark. 




Wolf waited patiently for the show to be moved indoors.  He fell asleep and did some miming of his own, imitating a dog dreaming of chasing rabbits through the neighborhood on a summer day. 

Friday, February 4, 2011

A Super Super Bowl

I just read in the Pantagraph that one of my NCHS high school classmates is going be a field judge for the Super Bowl!  Wow, congratulations Doug Rosenbaum.  That is amazing!  Here's the article where you can see a picture of Doug getting yelled at by an NFL coach during the regular season.

Speaking of the SuperBowl, I have not been very excited about it this year, but I have developed a fantasy about who will win the game this year, and how.

1.  Green Bay will not win, just on general principle because they are the arch-nemeses of the Bears.

2.  Big Ben Roethlisberger will not play for the Steelers (this is the guy who has been accused more than once of assaulting women and he was suspended four games during the regular season.  His suspension was supposed to be six games but he got to come back after four, for "good behavior.")    He won't play because he will be paralyzed with guilt about what he has done and realize he should sit out at least one more game, so he will tell the coach to put in the second string quarterback.  That guy will turn out to be a really nice fella with no record of bad behavior since he said the word "poop" in the second grade and had to go to the principal's office.  That guy will win the game with a Hail Mary pass in the last few seconds of the game.

The fantasy is crazy I know.  But a girl can dream, can't she?

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Why I am Tired Today

I overslept this morning, turning off the alarm at 530, then losing all sense of awakeness until about 715 when the phone rang.  Here is why I am tired today:


I did that all by myself yesterday with a shovel.  In between bouts of shovelling I took a nap, ate a lot more than I normally do, and generally walked around feeling proud of myself.  Ok, wait I didn't do it all by myself.  At the very bottom of the driveway, during the neighborhood shovelling block party, my neighbor across the street came across and helped me for the last 10 minutes.  Otherwise I'd probably still be in bed!

I was so happy when it was done that I walked Wolf around the block, then got out my cross country skis and headed around the block again!  I fell down once and got snow inside my gloves which was just too much even for a winter-lover like me, so I came home and made dinner and did not venture out again.  The snow plow finally cleared our street during the night so now I have another pile at the bottom of the driveway to clear before I head out to work.  The sun is shining and it is -10 (before windchill!) and I think Wolf will just have to wait until it gets up above zero before I head around the block with him again. 

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Blizzard-a-go-go

I was actually expected to work yesterday during the "Blizzard of '11" and I actually did work until about 2 p.m.  I even drove out in the country yesterday in the late morning.  I can tell you that I will not be working today, though, even though I have not yet received "the call." 

In order to keep myself cheerful during the storm, I had stocked up on good quality produce that normally costs an arm and a leg this time of year in Central Illinois.  I found blueberries on sale (at Walmart...shhhh!), organic greens, grape tomatoes, a beautiful red pepper, and organic celery on Monday when I was shopping.  So yesterday I had a delicious salad that would have been respectable even in July!  I added carrots, walnuts, croutons, and some dressing.  I closed the blinds so I couldn't see the snow, turned up the heat a bit, and wore my Chicago Cubs t-shirt.  Blizzard?  What blizzard?

Later I heard the howling winds and saw my salad bowl was empty.  Oh, that blizzard.

During the blizzard the kids are at their dad's house.  He miraculously returned from South America on time Monday night, after being gone a little over one month.  The kids were thrilled to see him and they left to go to his house yesterday with their most prized new possessions:  Sierra's sled and Jeremiah's new basketball pump. 

It seems that basketballs that sit out in cold garages get pretty flat.  Our old ball pump broke a few days ago and Jeremiah and I had taken to some pretty unorthodox methods to warm them up so he could shoot hoops in the driveway.  (Yes, in the middle of winter he still shoots baskets.  I think he is working on a shot he can take while going down the driveway standing on a sled.)  We even put a basketball in the dryer a couple times.  Yes, it was my idea.  Yes, it worked.   Yes, it was hideously loud.

So Monday while stocking up on delicious produce I also ran by Dick's Sporting Goods and bought him a new pump.  He was overjoyed and pumped up every basketball in the garage and left them in my kitchen.  Now it looks like a basketball nursery.  They are everywhere.  I promised him not to put them out in the cold again.  What was I thinking?

He took the pump to do the same thing with the basketballs in his dad's garage.  Where did we get all these basketballs?  Why do we have 7 basketballs at my house alone?  Inquiring minds are thinking that we need to thin out this collection.

I am grateful that I have electricity, and thus light and heat during this storm, at least so far.  My plan for today, in addition to putting basketballs and other clutter away around the house, is to read and nap and relax and make another delicious salad.  And I might shovel the driveway so I can work on my layup.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Wishes Do Come True

If you have been a reader of this blog since August you will know that Sierra has had a hankering for a wooden sled with red metal runners since she saw one for sale while we were in Holland Michigan on vacation.  Yesterday I was visiting Joe and Judy B who had a sled like that on their porch.  I mentioned that Sierra has wanted one for a while and asked if they would consider selling that one to me.  Joe said no.  What he actually said was:

No, I won't sell that one to you.  But I will give you the one like it that is up in our attic. 

Yippee!  I told Sierra I had a surprise for her but she had to wait until I got my camera ready to take her picture when I gave it to her.  She tried to guess what it was, and then seconds before I opened the trunk she started chanting wooden sled!  wooden sled!  Wooden Sled!!!!

Here is what happened next:




Repeat steps 3, 4, and 5 over and over and over for one happy girl! 

Thank you thank you Joe and Judy!!!!