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Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Was I Ever That Young?

My cousin sent this picture to me today. She had run across it and thought I'd like to have it. She's right. According to the information written on the back, this was taken at my parents' home in May 1983. I would have just turned 25 and Darrell was 28. Shana would have been 5 1/2, Holly 3 1/2, Clayton 23 months, and Lauren 7 months. WOW! No wonder I was so tired all the time. And stayed so skinny. Who would have had time to eat! And look at all that hair! It was actually dark brown, though it looks black. What a cute little family we were!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

My Ugly Kitchen

I found some pictures that had the kitchen in the background, so thought I'd share them to give you an idea of what I was dealing with. You can see the green striped wallpaper in the background. There was also a border that matched. The picture with the cake on it is of the snack bar which sticks out into the middle of the floor. There's an odd space of about 5 feet between it and the wall. Not big enough for a table. And there's no light other than the window. Strange. We had the desk there for a while. You might be able to see a corner of the desk in one picture.If you can see the small corner built-in, that's what Darrell took out and we moved the desk to that wall.
In the picture looking at the kitchen, you are standing beside the snack bar (like where Melody is in her picture). I hate that snack bar jutting out in the way. I feel like it cuts off everything--flow, light, etc. The kitchen is very dark, not enough lighting, dark stained cabinets, yellowish/brown flooring. I've already picked out a stick on vinyl tile for the floor. I'm planning on antiquing the cabinets and painting the walls. Check out the post below for a link to Frottage.
That's it for now. Let me know what you think or any ideas you might have.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

What I"m Doing Now

Apparently, I just can't be satisfied. We've lived in our house for a little over two years and, regardless of what the real estate experts say, the kitchen is NOT what sold us on this house. It is oddly shaped, poorly laid out and hasn't really been changed since built in the 70s. I finally took the bull by the horns and spent the majority of several days scraping wallpaper. For those of you who have never had this wonderful experience, count yourself blessed. Removing wallpaper is not the most fun job in the world. Just one time of taking it off will break you of ever wanting wallpaper again. But I digress.

I now have all the wallpaper and border off. My sweet husband tore out a stupid cabinet that served no purpose other than to take up space and we have moved the desk. Now you don't sit with your back to the door--which is bad
feng shui.

By the end of this weekend, I want to have the walls painted in Tuscan colors. Haven't really decided what those will be yet, but I am planning to use a method called
Frottage. You paint a base coat, then put a glaze on small areas at a time. You then take a sheet of newspaper, craft paper, or plastic and smooth it out over the glaze and slowly peel it off. The effect that's left resembles a colorwash or aged look. One thing I can't decide is whether to use the effect on the whole wall--both above and below the chair rail--or just above with a solid color below. Any opinions??

I should have taken a picture of the ugly kitchen "before" I started so you all could appreciate the "after". Oh, well, next time. Once I get the painting done, I'll fill you in on my other plans for the kitchen.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Having a FIT

It's official--I have an addictive personality. Once I get interested in something, I'm like a dog with a soup bone. Now that I have a blog of my very own (thanks, Lauren!), I spend way too much time on the computer. I love reading what other people are doing and seeing pictures. My other new love is our Wii Fit. I've had one for a couple of weeks now and am hopelessly addicted. Doing the Body Test is just about the first thing I do every morning.

I warm up with the Balance exercises and what I've feared for a while has been authenticated: I am unbalanced (physically, if not mentally). Clayton would be so ashamed at my soccer ball-head butting scores. And th
e slaloms are no better. I mow down more flags than anything. It's too bad you don't get points for that. Feeding the penguins and tilting the table are easier. I'm a little better at those.

Then I move on to Strength Training. I'm pretty good at most of those, if I do say so myself. Maybe it's because the trainer is there and my competitive nature comes out. Then it's on to Aerobics. I love the Hula Hoop and Step. And the Boxing. And the Basic Run. It's always fun when Cassidy passes me by with her big grin.

I finish up with Yoga, especially the Sun Salutation. That's always been my favorite thing in yoga.

If you don't already have a Wii or the Fit, get one. The technology is amazing and it is so much fun. Finding out my "age" is always interesting--Monday I was 24! Of course, today I was a little stiff from working out for 45 minutes yesterday, so my age was 44. (If nothing else, the Fit will keep you humble.) I guess you could say my life is feast or famine right now. I'm either working out way too hard and too much. Or I'm sitting on my duff writing about it.

P.S. Unfortunately, this is an UNPAID endorsement.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

A Beautiful Gift

This year I turned (gulp!) 50 and my dear daughter Lauren gave me a most precious gift. She had wanted to do a scrapbook of memories for me, but having a premature baby sort of distracted her. Instead she wrote me this wonderful list of memories of her childhood. It's funny the things we remember. They don't seem very significant at the time, but stick in our minds to be brought out later, savored, laughed and cried over. So many of these things she's remembered were brief moments and I had no idea they meant anything to her. Can I remind you young mothers that your children will be grown up before you know it? You'll turn around and they'll be taller than you with babies of their own. Enjoy this journey--even the potty training, midnight feedings, spit up, and yes, even the tantrums. Love is a verb--make memories together. There are days I'd give just about anything if one of mine was small enough to sit on my lap again.

Hope you enjoy this beautiful gift from a daughter to a very grateful mother.

To My Mother

(I am sitting here waiting for inspiration to strike.

I want this to be perfect, poignant, emotion-provoking.

Everything I can think of to say never seems to be enough.)

I am reminded of you when I was younger.

I used to love to watch you get ready:

To curl your hair, your eyelashes.

I thought you must be the most beautiful mother in the world.

I remember laughing with you

When we sang a song in the car

Making fun of the singer with our mouths open as wide as they could go.

Then we had to make fun of ourselves, noticing that we were watched by the

School bus of children staring out their windows at us.

It is because of you that I loved to read, to write, to learn.

It is because of you that I know how to keep a clean house.

It is not because of you that I can cook

But you did teach me to take care of myself and my family.

I remember trying to put together a desk

Cracking up for hours as we made many mistakes.

How hard it must have been to send your daughter so far away.

How hard it was for me to leave my best friend for a new place and new people.

You took me to piano lessons, to karate.

You proofread my papers and helped me to learn from my mistakes.

You impressed me with the trivia you spouted

As you watched your daily dose of Jeopardy.

You always had a ready lap

When my head grew too heavy to hold up.

You always supported me,

Even when I asked you to buy dozens of Girl Scout cookies

So I could go to the Ice-capades with everyone else.

You kissed my scraped knees,

Brought me cold wash cloths and wet paper towels,

Cleaned me up when I was sick

And surprised me with new gerbils when my pets passed away.

You let me experience new things,

To try things you knew would never work.

You encouraged me to be better and kinder and smarter.

You are my shopping partner, my advice giver.

My fountain of ideas about how to raise my own children.

You are my sounding board and often my shoulder to cry on.

(And though this is not awe-inspiring or elegant

It is real and true.

You have been a wonderful mother and now you are my greatest friend.)

Thank you.

Monday, July 7, 2008

A Giant Leap Outside My Comfort Zone

We had a wonderful Fourth--made even better because our daughter Lauren and her family came up from Baton Rouge. It's been a whole three months since we got to see Cassidy and Grant! Needless to say, Darrell and I were excited about them being here. Cassidy has been wanting to ride on "Pa's boat" since she saw it back in the winter. So, of course, the plans included a trip to the river. I hadn't planned on going. I am NOT a water person in any sense of the word--well, unless you count drinking it or sitting in the hot tub. However, I got to thinking about all the things my husband goes out of his way to do for me and I decided it was time for me to do something special for him. I had told him earlier this week that I would try to try the tube before the summer was over. (I also asked him not to hold my feet to the fire about it.) This weekend seemed a perfect opportunity.

I have to admit I was a bit nervous a few times, but all in all I had a great time. And watching
Cassidy's excitement was the best part. I want to thank Darrell for holding back and not going as fast as he would have liked and for not weaving and trying to throw us off. I also want to thank Lauren for her instructions on the tube. She helped me know what to expect and what to do. I could never have done it alone!

I'm not saying I've turned into a water baby--but I'll be more willing to get out there now.
I think.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Idios, Anyone?

I have a few idiosyncrasies and got to wondering just how strange I might be. So I thought I'd share a few with all of you. Maybe you'll agree with the way I look at things and I'll find out I'm not that weird after all. Or maybe just the opposite will happen. Maybe you'll feel free to share some idios of your own to be sure you're not the strange one. Here goes:

When loading the dishwasher, I will not put 3 forks in the same compartment as one spoon. I have to have an even number of utensils. For example, I'll put 2 spoons and 3 knives, but never just one of anything. Also, if 2 glasses have been next to each other in the dishwasher, I have to put them beside each other in the cabinet.

If something has stripes on it, they have to be straight. Once I made the mistake of buying a striped comforter for our bed. If the stripes weren't straight, I couldn't go to sleep. I'd lay there awake until I was able to get the comforter straightened out, then I'd go to sleep immediately. I guess I was worried about having enough covers or something.

Okay, that's enough for now. I'm eager to see what you all have to say!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008


There was some confusion regarding my 100 things list, so I thought I'd try to make some of the items a little clearer.

#41 - There are basically two versions of sign language. One is Exact Signed English where you sign every word in a sentence. American Sign Language signs only the necessary words and, in my opinion, is easier to sign and to understand. ASL is what I've studied and need to use more often than I do.

#47 & #81 - Yes, I hate to cook. However, a pregnant woman will do just about anything to satisfy a craving. And when you live a mile down a gravel road and about 5 miles from civilization and don't have a car, you do what you have to.

#33 - I also will not turn down a Mounds.

#44 - I used to walk for exercise--almost power walk--and could accomplish 5 miles in the hour Clayton was practicing baseball.

#55 - I was not a member of the church at this time.

#80 - My office had adopted a 5th-grade class for the school year and would make them goodies on holidays. We had fixed up bags for Valentine's Day and upon delivering them, I made sure to tell the teacher they were bisexual. When she looked confused, I repeated it. My co-worker was no help as she was on the floor laughing. I didn't realize what I'd said until I was back in the car. I never went back to the class.
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