Apr 12, 2014

Random Spring Rambling and The Magic Man......

Well.  It's that time of year again.  Time to Hit It.  Again.

One thing about putting things off, is you can get a lot done in a hurry.  Or at least make it look like you did. 

I have always wished that you could just move out your furniture and use a fire hose for your house once every year, much like farmers burn off their fields.  My dream house has concrete floors with big drains in the middle, plastic walls at least half-way up, and a removable roof for those days when you are mad enough to actually kill bats with your bare hands.  Also really, really nice furniture and soft warm rugs.  But that's just a dream.  Some young architect should get on this idea and make it happen.  Like with a 3-D printer or something.  Just a thought.  

Maybe The Beautiful Redhead's smashing boyfriend, The Magic Man, could make that happen.  He seems to be good at all kinds of cool stuff!  He makes me so happy, for one thing.  And if you think he makes me happy, well, just look.  Happiness seems to kind of pour out of people around him, if you ask me.

Just my opinion, of course, but that looks happy to me.
He requested his own nick-name for the blog, I was so touched.  Then 5 minutes later he showed me a video of him rolling smoke filled bubbles up his arms and blowing them around, and viola, there is was.  In addition to being an unself-conscious showman, he knows all kinds of the coolest stuff, and well, suddenly he was The Magic Man!  I hope he likes it.  

If you think it's easy for me to drift away and ramble on in print, you should be sitting on my porch right now.  I've already decided that the wind is blowing too hard to start burning leaves any time soon, so no hurry with the leaves.  Also, I have my first dandelions blooming, along with jonquils and crocus' and hyacinths and some cute little purple flower that I never known what to call, but visits every year and I think of as a dear friend.  They are all either bright yellow or bright purple, and the grass turned green Thursday, so it is just beautiful.  Thus, easy to put off things, which is just how I like it, God help me.

To Do List:
1.  Store.  We have to eat.  I could do this in my sleep, and sometimes do, I'm pretty sure.  I do not even actually consider this a chore anymore, except for the house that I have to take a shower and leave the house.  Into every life, a little rain must fall.

2.  Flooring trip: I've reached the point where I am so sick of the carpet in my house that I am ready to tear it up and haul it out of the house.  In fact, my Youngest Baby dropped an entire gallon of milk on the living room carpet 2 weeks ago.  Then he just stood there calmly and watched it soak slowly in, as Jack and Shadow paid close attention and I was stuck in the doorway behind him, also loaded down with grocery bags.  No one got the least bit excited. I pondered on whether this was good or bad and decided that it didn't really matter right now.  Then my beloved Bissell, who I had placed my trust in, would not squirt out water, the traitorous rotten scoundrel.  And I don't know, maybe 13 years with the same crappy carpet is just my magic number, but something snapped inside me.  It was like a switch had just flipped and I said SO BE IT.  I was going to get this crap out of my house and my life and it was all I could do not to just set the whole floor on fire right then.  The voice in my head said, "Easy, now, it has taken 13 years to get to the point.  Let us not mess it up at this point." And I just calmly knew that it would happen. I wasn't mad, or sad, or even dreading the physical work of it.  It was going down, I had that certainty that has never in my life failed me, and I calmly went on making my plans for it's demise and disappearance from my life with no regrets whatsoever.  I love it when that happens!!  SOOO MUCH!!! So today I am going down there and picking something out and paying for it that is going to be that.  It will not be carpet.  Other than that, I don't even care.  In fact, the Angel just last night almost begged me to "decorate a little".  (Actually, that happened right after the chalkboard idea that I plan to do a whole half-wall of in the kitchen/living room area.  High enough for me to write copious notes to myself and low enough for Abigail, Rose, and our Charli-girl, not to mention all the kids that come along for years and years, to draw anything they want and never get in trouble.  Yes, never.  I can take anything they can dish out.  I am highly trained in this area!! :D)  Do not worry, Angel, I got this.  We are going to have new flooring, paint, ceiling, and I have 30 years of stuff to "decorate" with and I need to get it all down and group it.  Clean it.  Sell some of it.  Hang some of it back up and have it look fabulous.  
It feels right, now.  It feels like it's time.  I have put this off for 13 years, not caring about it one whit, and now that time is over.  SO BE IT.  I do not even pretend to understand it, I don't think that understanding things matters much.  You know it when it happens, that is all.  And that is enough.  I am pretty sure this feeling is peace.  And I am going to do my best to keep it.  Wow.  That turned into a beautiful rant.  :D  I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did.  This is one of the best things about getting older for me.  I have always flown by my own lights, so to speak, but as you get older, you don't pressure yourself so much.  You don't second guess yourself either, and you are now without that horrible dread of not knowing what will happen next.  You know what's probably going to happen next. You've seen the same things happen over and over again until you know the patterns.  You know that unless you die, the world is just going to keep going on and you will deal with it as it comes.  Best of all, you no longer care what other people think, if you ever did.  There are so many things you simply do not care about anymore, and that makes me very happy.  I cannot speak for anyone else, but look at women around 50 years old.  If they seem relaxed, comfortable in their own skin, to have some secret peace about them, it's probably because they are, and they do.  They have earned it after years of working hard for it.  That is just life, and it is something to look forward to.  You don't have to understand how or why.  Just trust that someday, you will not feel those pressures and you will no longer wonder where you fit or what you are supposed to do.  You will know.  It will happen to you.  Let it.

3.  Rake leaves, possibly burn some, but probably not until later, especially if it's going to rain tonight.  Jack and Shadow love this more than just about anything, and race from pile to pile.  If you make the pile big enough, Shadow will jump into it and hide, with only her eye exposed, waiting for good old clueless Jack to come by so she can attack him.  Either Jack loves her so much that he lets her do this to him every year because it makes her so very happy, or Jack is just never going to catch on to some things in life.  I'll let you decide which one of those things is true.  Jack is not the smartest dog I have ever known, but he is the sweetest, which is really good during the times you want to kill him.  Like right after he eats about 15 of the peanut butter balls that your kids like best and you have just spent 45 minutes rolling into balls and freezing and dipping in peanut butter and white chocolate.  Jack also has a sophisticated palate, for a dog, and very good taste.  If you found yourself suddenly homeless and hungry, you would be well advised to follow Jack, because he would not steer you wrong.  Shadow, on the other hand, would keep you well supplied with squirrels and rabbits and I don't like to go further than that because it makes me sad, but you get the picture.  You would not starve, at any rate.  (The voice in my head started saying STOP as soon as we passed the peanut butter balls, for the record.  I think it is taking on the same kind of personality as Jonah Goldberg's couch.  And for that I thank you, Jonah.  You all help keep me laughing and on my toes).

4.  Grab paint samples for inside AND outside, although I already know what color I'm doing outside.  Steel Blue.  Paired with white it is just perfect, and I don't know why I always want to live in a blue house but I think it might vaguely have something to do with the South, and blue doors to scare away haints.  It's just right for me, and that is all.

5.  Tear up carpet.  If you have ever done this, you already know the dual feelings this inspired.  The dread at how disgustingly gross and creepy crawly you are going to feel until you get it out, that is equally balanced with the joy of knowing how much frustration will then be absent from your life and the beckoning siren's call of clean, possibly shiny, brand new space that can be cleaned with the swipe of a dust mop.  Dust mop's are what we had before Swiffer Sweepers for you young folk.  In case you didn't know that word.  I can never be sure anymore, and sometimes find myself speaking a foreign language.  If you don't know what I mean, try explaining the game where you drop the clothespin into the milk bottle to anyone under the age of 25.  

Anyway, that is my weekend, and it is high time I got it started.  I have wasted the entire morning, or added another chapter to the story of our lives, which ever way you want to look at it.  I think you know, by now, where I stand on that, aye?   

I've had all the coffee I get for the day and I've wasted enough time on the porch, enjoying the sunshine and breeze and colors.  Thanks for sharing my rambles.  Stop in again any time.

Apr 5, 2014

Top 'O The Hill To Ye, Matey.........

Today I am 49 years old.  I have been christened a Warrior Princess and I will become a real grandmother for the first time this year.
Grandma's got a whole new "hair look".  Let us hope it's a good one.
If it's not, I'm just going to focus on the fact that I don't have to spend any more of what life I have left fixing it, worrying about it, or perhaps most importantly, buying product for it.
If you are a woman, and still in the throes of worrying about how you look, take a moment right now and do me a favor:  add up all the hours that you spend fixing and/or worrying about your hair.
Your hair, for God's sake.
It's kind of a lot of time, is it not?
Now, for added clarity, add the time you spend looking through your purse.
My bet is that these two things will add up to enough time to do a whole lot of things that matter a whole lot more.
Am I right?
Well, I'm done.  I've paid my dues.  I chopped that crap off and bought a little purse that only holds a few things, which turn out to be only what I need.  I've drug around a heavy old purse most of my life and those days are over.
The days of worrying about my hair?  Behind me now.
I have made peace with a lot of things, my hair being just one of them, and it has been time well spent.
Lately I've been feeling terrible about my house falling down around my ears and my not caring.....
And I realized that I have been working on things inside for about 10 years.  And I have done a pretty good job of getting everything in order there.  It has not been easy, but what worth having ever is?
Now, it is time once again to turn my attention to outside.  I have a lot to do.  This house has to be "grandma's house" by June, man, and I have got stuff to do.  Ripping up carpet and painting and...well, lots of stuff that does not include worrying about my hair, my purse, or anything else that used to matter so much to me.
I kind of hate to tell you this, but I grew up.  Yes, it happened to me, and it will probably happen to you.  It doesn't hurt except for mentally, and don't spend more time kicking yourself for stupid things you did, of which there will be many.  That is just a waste.  When you know better, you just do better.  You have to make yourself, no one is going to follow you around and make you.  (Well, this could actually be debated, but if I have my way, no one will ever do this.  We'll see, but I just choose to have faith.)
Should someone show up and start ordering you around, I suggest you resist strongly, immediately and permanently, because I can promise you, not only will you not like it, but it will not be good for you in the end.
You have to take responsibility for yourself and be willing to pay the price for whatever happens from there.
Yes. It's true.  Otherwise, there are no adults in the world and things get..............realllllly stupid.  Look around!  We are there.
I look out from the top of this hill I've been climbing for so many years, and I am just ready for whatever happens next.
I don't even really care what that is, because it's going to happen anyway.  All I can do is be ready.
I no longer try to imagine what that will be, partly because it makes me almost suicidally depressed, but mostly because I use the trick of remembering that my imagination is tainted by this world, and my mind cannot even imagine what God has in store.
I find a lot of comfort in this.  
I hope you do, too.
It's a good trick and if you live long enough you will master it also.
Practice, practice, practice.  Life provides nothing but, really, once you catch on.
Whatever comes next, here's to you.
I'm ready.
Here's to growing old gracefully, fully aware of all that you are and are not, and knowing what's really important.
No one will tell you, and I'm not going to either.
Some things you just have to know yourself, and you will.
I promise you, you will know when it happens to you.

Mar 30, 2014

Charli's Magical Talisman.......Updated

Sorry this took so long but I had to figure out how to transfer pictures from my camera to my laptop and man, did it ever take me forever!!  Och!  But I did it.  Once again I have triumphed over technology that seems to be designed to destroy every shred of self confidence I have left.  But I've blogged before about how you should not expect anything to make sense........
Let's get to the good stuff.

Charli's Magical Talisman
Last weekend I loaded the twins in the car and headed to KC to meet The Rock Star, Rockette, The Beautiful Redhead and her smashing boyfriend, and my beloved Bonus Daughter.

The Rock Star and Rockette, Charli's parents.  This child is going to be beautiful!

We only got lost and turned around once, prompting the twins to throw caution to the wind and let their smart phones track our activity down a major interstate against our better judgement.  Good times.  It worked.  Not only did the technology work, but it prompted the twins to work together in tandem, with one watching the blue line and trying to figure out where we were going and the other one announcing where we were going from the googled directions.
Technology succeeded where I have failed many times.
This whole episode disturbed me on so many levels I promptly decided to block the whole thing out.

The Beautiful Redhead and her smashing boyfriend, who I hope she keeps.  I wuv him.

Luckily my bonus daughter, who keeps me on track (on the off chance that I am ever ON track) called to check on me.  Her wonderful husband talked me through yet another panic attack wherein I back-tracked for 15 miles and then let him convince me I was right the first time.

This man has the patience of Job, and knowledge of all major thoroughfares of the greater Metro area, for which I am grateful.

We had a wonderful lunch, with only one little, our own Rosie- Pose, who looked at us suspiciously.  I promised her that her mother wasn't leaving and she seemed to relax.  :D

Practicing for the very very near future.
The Rock Star and Rosie charmed each other in equal measure.

I have to say she is very well behaved and did not even make very much noise.  I held out till we had eaten before I had to hold her.  That is very good for me.  Usually I cave right off and we all wear some food home.  I'm getting better.

This face has only been in my life for 17 months but I can't remember life without her.  Kids perform that neat trick all. the. time.

Then it was back to the house for the fun stuff!!  I told you I would figure out how to do this, and I did.  First simply go to and search for "crystal window hangings".  This will lead to maybe several hours sifting through great bargains and there is simply no telling where you might end up.  Have fun.  It's one of those things where you go into the zone, which we never, ever, feel until we start coming out of the zone and realize several hours of our lives have passed.
It happens.
No judgement here. 

Don't feel bad if you get lost in the possibilities.  What else are you supposed to do when there are still 3 long months until you get to hold your baby?

Pick the cheapest, fakest ones you can find, because weight will be an issue unless you want to hang a rod holder for these babies, which we did not.  The sun shines through them all just the same and I wanted good coverage, as this was a western facing window.
I used 25 for a 32 inch window plus one biggie for the middle.  I couldn't resist.  I'm glad I didn't, too.

That is the middle stone, with purple and teal blue stones stacked on top.  The picture doesn't do it justice, but it is well worth the 19.00 I paid for it. I highly recommend these for Christmas presents for the person who has everything.  Give the rainbows, says Melinda.  Rainbows every day!
How could that be bad?

We chose to simply put a tension rod (under $5) across the middle of the upper half of the window.  There are no frames around their windows, the windows are just set into the wall.  We did not want to drill extra holes in the plaster around, so we did went with this arrangement.  You could also lower the blinds if you wanted to so that the crystal hanging would always be exposed.

What a good looking man, if I do say so myself, and handy with tools, which is invaluable.

All the beaded strands came with little circles at the top, so it was simply a matter of choosing ribbons to hang them on and tying knots.  Even I could not mess that up!

It was as easy as anything I have ever done.  I'm avoiding hot glue since Christmas.......:D

The ribbons at the top really added a pop of color.

The Rockette picked three ribbons, a sheer light blue, a satin coral, and a trim in white with small flowers embroidered in pale colors. I just bought the whole little rolls of the ribbons for around $15.00. As the walls are a pretty purple already, the other colors really popped.

Isn't it great?

It didn't even take that long, but it was a good time with just "us girls" whispering and giggling while the boys watched basketball....or something.

I readied the window she will look out of.  The window where she will only see beautiful prisms of light emanating from, every afternoon and evening of her life.  She will think that is normal, that the world is a beautiful, light-filled place.  It is!  Oh Charlotte Marie, you are already so loved.

It's every bit as gorgeous as I thought it would be.
It was so good to see my children as grown-ups, with houses and significant others, forming new alliances.  It had been a long time since I had been in a group of people where the sexes separated and bonded.  For so long it's been me just being the mom and then just being the kids.  Finally I felt like just another member of the family instead of the head of it.  It was a great relief, and a lot of fun, to see my kids and their partners finding their footing with each other.  Secrets were shared, bets were placed on brackets, *some* teams were ridiculed.  I watched my Mizzou daughter's eyes light on Charli's embroidered PURPLE AND YELLOW (I cannot same the name, I'm sure if you are a sports fan you understand this) minky blanket and determinedly keep the smile on her face.
I couldn't help but smile.
Change is good.  And inevitable in life.  So she was going to have a niece from Kansas.  She had not yet thought of that, I could tell.

Watching her brother, and probably marveling at how they ever got this old......This is it!!  The Beautiful Redhead is about to be an Aunt!  And who knows what will happen next?

It didn't even take very long.  We should probably all have at least one of these.  I think it could only add to our lives, no?

And so another project found on Pinterest has led me to figure out how to do it myself.  Am I the only one who saves a bunch of pictures, only to find out they lead nowhere when I try to go to the site?  Ah well, not to worry.  We are Americans, and we are nothing if not determined and self sufficient.
Always leave a place better than you found it.

And so we settle down to wait, just a little longer.  Almost everything they really need is assembled and ready.  There are showers to look forward to, storage areas to be organized and miracles to look forward to.  I can almost guarantee there will *possibly* heated arguments about what need there is to keep every box of every accessory they get.  Compromises will be reached.  Adjustments will be made.  
I used to think the Rock Star's father was unique in this aspect of keeping empty boxes, but I have lived long enough to find that it seems to be a man thing.  At any rate, it's a Rock Star thing, and he will be ready, apparently, to box any item right back up and take it back, even if it's a baby bed.  Seriously, I do not think they can help it and it is actually just exactly like us saving empty jars and toilet paper rolls for crap that looked like a good idea at the time on Pinterest!!  It's just the way it is.
  Rockette, I give you this advice if you will accept it now:  just accept the empty box thing until he forgets about it.  Then hopefully you can tear them down and dispose of them without his noticing, at some date far in the future, when it won't matter anymore.  I should not tell you this on the internet but I know for a fact that this is the method used by numerous generations of women before us.  Honestly.  Because we know that those items will break right after the warranty is up, right?  And even if he was moved to box it back in it's original packaging, said packaging would be gross and covered with mouse or bat poop or something by then, right?  I know, I know.....ssssshhhhhhhhhhh.  Just bide your time and always keep a box cutter in the kitchen junk drawer, man, I have it on good authority this is right and proper.

The next three months will be a bit more pleasant with the prisms floating and spinning around this room, I hope, as her mother dreams of her.  I hope she will lay in that room, watching the rainbows, and talk to her baby girl, and not be anxious about the unknown, or scared of pain.  I hope she feels peace and has faith that her body will perform perfectly, the way it was made to, and look forward with joy to that day.  Those prisms will light the way for Charlotte to find her way home.  I hope this always hangs in her window, where ever she may be, filling her life with light and beauty from her earliest memories.
Another family tradition.
This one's for Charli, with all our love, from her grandmother and her great-grandparents.

UPDATED:  The Rockette sent me these pictures.  It's working just as I hope it would.  Who would ever want to leave this room?
This is the wall right above her bed.

Even the ceiling gets the effects!!
Talk about being in your own little world......Just goes to show, all Pinterest projects do not end in tears and burned fingers.  :D