Friday, July 30, 2010

What a Sweet Boy!

My son really is the sweetest.  We joke that he's Eyeore--even temperment and never does anything in a hurry.  Because of these traits, I sometimes underestimate him and his feelings.  This past week was another example.
Daddy was on a business trip . . . AGAIN, so we decided to visit family in Illinois.  About an hour before arriving to our destination, the children and I stopped for a calm dinner at Cracker Barrel.  While waiting for our table, we naturally browsed through the store.  Eyeore asked, "Do you think there is anything dad likes here?"  I assumed he meant to eat, and I gave some half-hearted answer.  "No, mom," he corrected, "does he like anything here?"  He wanted to buy my husband a souvenier like daddy did when he went to Hawaii on business.  Like I said, he really is sweet.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Murphy's Law #1,274

Murphy's Law #1,274 states that if your house is clean, no one will visit.  If your house is a total disaster, you will have company.  Typically, this visitor will be someone who has never been to your home before.

Disclaimer:  This is not really a photo of my house.
Good search "Messy House" images--it will make you feel a whole lot better about your own messy home.

Last night, the kids and I returned home from visiting the in-laws for several days.  (Daddy is out of town on a business trip).  I was completely wiped out; thus, we did zero to unpack.  In fact, the suitcases are at the bottom of the stairs--just inside the front door.  While in IL, we acquired three lawn-sized garbage bags of hand-me-down clothes (which are laid out on the dinning room table), a super-duper extra-large jewelry box for one of the girls (it's about four feet tall, weighs a ton, and eight drawers are scattered in the dining room), an area rug with five matching throws (all in the middle of my once-clean office--drying from being shampooed), and I recieved our weekly shipment of organic veggies.  They are all over the kitchen counter along with the veggies we harvested after being gone four days and the veggies the neighbor handed me last night.  That's when a co-worker called and was going to stop by for some veggies I promised her.  I tried convincing her I'd drop them off at her house. 

What I wouldn't give to learn what she's thinking when she got back in her car!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Chivalry Is Not Dead . . . Well . . .

My husband and I both went for a run the other night.  He refuses to run with me.  I suspect that even though he knows he is faster, I think he's afraid I might actually keep up.  He took off first to run a short three.  I took off a few minutes later to do my second two-miler that day.  It was scorching hot--even at 7:00 at night.  Since we finished at about the same time, we decided to go for a short walk together.
We hadn't done this in a while; I enjoy spending time alone with him.  When we were walking home, there is this small stretch where we were walking in the street.  He told me to go to the inside, he'd take the outside.  I thought, "See--chivalry is not dead."  As if reading my mind he proceeded to say, "My life insurance policy is worth more than yours."  OK--we both have a twisted, dry sense of humor; however, I didn't dare ask if that was the real reason.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

New Quilts

As if I don't have enough UFO's, I thought I'd start not one, but TWO more.  These two are for my daughters.  They picked out the colors.  I didn't think they would want me to make them anything, but I think they felt a little left out when I made my son a small quilt late spring.  To be honest, it makes me feel good that they still want something from mom.
I got this pattern idea from a blog--though I cannot remember which one specifically.  Here is a link to the site:  The "quilt along" gives step by step directions along with photo help.  It is just as well organized as the log cabin quilt-along I did earlier this summer.  (Thanks, Pat at  I am so thinakful to others for taking the time to share their talents and expertise with novices like myself.

This is very much the girls' style.  The top color scheme is my older daughter--it's more browns and blues.  My younger chose the greens and browns with hints of pink and blue.  These colors will match her room we just painted.  It has taken FOREVER to cut this quilt out.  I've still got six more fabrics to finish up.  Soon as I am off this computer, I'm heading to the sewing machine. 

Goal:  To finish them before school starts.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

As Good As It Will Get

I mentioned that the UVerse installation process took eight hours versus the three or four it was supposed to take.  I used this time to clean out our office.  Below is the "BEFORE" picture.

I spent about three hours.  The stack to the left of the book case needed to be filed in my upstairs "stuff."  I'm hoping to move all my teaching materials to school this year--never to return to my home again!  The items to the right of the computer desk is my husband's "stuff."  Though I did throw away those eyeglasses receipt from 2004, I didn't want to delve into his territory . . . too much. 

I did manage to purge a brown grocery bag for paper recycling and a FULL garbage bag for other things.  Though not perfect, the office looks as good as this high-traffic area will ever get.  It makes me happy looking at before and after pictures--though much of the work is inside that ugly unit.

Mystery Spot

Yesterday's goal:  tackle our home office.  We were having my husband's long-awaited U-Verse installed, so I was confined to this area of the house.  The three to four hour installation started at 9:30 and ended at 5:30.  More time to clean--without the distraction of television or internet (the latter is my big time-waster).
Before I began to tackle the files and other accumulated paperwork, I noticed a mystery spot in the top pane of our indoor french doors.  We've all have encountered these "spots" at some time.  That strange spot that suddenly appears on a shirt, in the middle of the carpet, on the couch, all over our children, etc.  It is best not to over-analyze of what these stains are comprised--most of the time we REALLY do not want to know.  This one appears to be bird "poo"; however, it is indoors and we don't own a bird.  It came off with little work--so the spot's origin shall remain a mystery.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Running & Pilates?

Yesterday I ran five miles solo--and it felt really great.  The weather was cooler, though it was very foggy.  I then completed one hour and fifteen minutes of a pilates video with two of my children.  It was truly a sight to behold!  I don't know if my stomach is sore from the workout or from laughing at myself and kids trying some of the moves.  Either way--it was great for me.

The comic caption says,
"Who's the clown responsible for ordering this exercise equipment?"

I need to do more than run.  I dislike lifting weights.  I don't belong to a gym.  I've done some do-it-yourself pilates before, but I need to be more committed (pilates would help my terrible posture).  My husband bought a REAL bike last summer, and I have toyed with the idea of riding.  Today, I am leaning toward investing in a good stationary bike.  I've started investigating good exercise bikes--maybe Santa will bring me one for Christmas.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Speaking of Exercise . . .

Speaking of exercise, you can log your workouts at Running Ahead  I've used it for two or three years.  The site is free and sincs with all those techy devices.  I don't own, understand, or desire any of those devices.  I also use Daily Mile to keep up with some Facebook friends.
My problem with both sites:  where do I log in the five hours I spent painting yesterday?!?!?!  It was obviously a workout because my arms weight 40 pounds each this morning, my back is stiff, and the back of my legs have some tightness.  Should I just log this in as a five-hour run?  Do my daughter's walls count as a track?  Does the paint brushes and paint rollers count as weights?  How should I log the 5,000 trips up and down the ladder (a stairmaster, perhaps?).  Maybe I should email the companies with my suggestions.

Out of My Running Slump?

Ever since I can remember, I always wanted to run a marathon.  I had run a couple half-marathons.  I either needed to go faster or farther--farther is MUCH easier.  At the age of 36, I got the brilliant idea of running "four before forty."  I completed my fourth marathon last fall--at the age of 39 (and a half).  I really struggled to fit the four weekly workouts in--I've very slow (if I ever break 10 minute pace on any distance, I'm thrilled). 
After the marathon , I basically didn't run for six months.  I started almost feeling sorry for myself:  no desire, no motivation, no mileage.  A year ago I was running 2+ hour runs; now I'm struggling to do three?!?!?!  This week I FINALLY felt I completed my first decent week since restarting running.  I didn't dread the beginning of every run.  Making myself attend a running group helped.  I am no where near where I was (which still isn't saying much), but I'm happy with how I feel. 

Running a marathon skews your perseption of running distances.  You forget how walking a 5K can be a very admirable goal.  You forget how exciting it was when you ran five miles for the first time; that distance is a "short" run during marathon training.  You forget the pride you feel running your first "double-digit" run.  I never was a super exercisor--I only ran four days a week (I am a self-proclaimed "under-achiever exerciser"). 
This week I came to terms that a "good week" doesn't necessarily require a PR or high mileage.  After this week's epiphany, I am content with where I am.  Now, what excuse can I use to get out of running group tonight . . . ha! ha!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Funny Comment

I heard a humorous comment the other night on television--and it has stuck with me:

A mother is only as happy as her most unhappy child.

Think about our moods when a child is throwing a fit or giving us attitude.  How true this statement rings!
(Of course there is a deeper, philosophical explanation--I just meant the shallow, twisted humor reaction).

Thursday, July 8, 2010


My oldest came down to leave for our first mother/daughter trip to a salon in ratty "gym clothes." I told her she could AT LEAST put on a nice t-shirt since this was a nice place we were getting our hair cut at. She was mad and mumbled while stomping up the stairs "I don't know why couldn't just go to Super Cuts--it's cheaper anyway." I was angry she made this comment but said nothing.
BEFOREKeep in mind her naturally curly hair is semi-damp in the picure & relatively under control)
Note the teeth-grit smile.

On our drive to the salon (a brand new place a friend of mine has invested tons of sweat equity) I told her that I was taking her to a nicer place as a treat for both of us; I thought she would like it. She asked what was the difference besides price. Forgive me--but I used a Taco Bell/Chipotle analogy (we're all about food at our house--ha! ha!). "Honey--you love Taco Bell. It meets your needs and is bargain priced, right?" She agreed. I proceeded, "But . . . Chipotle is reasonably priced, but soooooo much better. It has better ingredients. It's more fun to eat there. And the people who work there are happy."

When we left my friend's salon, she informed me she now "got it." In fact, she loved how her hair looked, felt, AND smelled. She informed me that it was the best haircut of her life. Given that she's a ripe old age of thirteen--what a compliment!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Butterfly House

Yesterday I took my youngest to the butterfly house at the nearby Dayton metro park:

There were ten times the butterflies than last year.  Many of them flitted about our heads.  I always learn something every time we go; I hope my children do, too.  I learned that when the park is nearly empty, you can actually hear the caterpillars munching on the leaves.  I'll file this fact with the other useless trivia cluttering my brain.
The above caterpillar fascinates me.  They are so colorful, vibrant, and unusually shaped, they don't seem real.  My youngest likes them, too.  He, however, was more interested in the fruit gushers in the car that his friend had brought for them to eat when we were done.