Sunday, November 30, 2008

Putting it all together

Warning: a little bit of seriousness ahead.

In 1984 my sister gave me this handpainted statue of Santa kneeling over baby Jesus. Over the years it has become one of my most treasured possessions and when the boxes are unpacked it always gets a special place of honor on the coffee table.

The holiday season used to be difficult for me as I was searching for meaning as to what it really meant. My religious transition took many years and it wasn't until two or three years ago that I found comfort and peace. Sometimes the road has been tough, more so for those close to me that cannot comprehend my reasoning. Rifts have occurred but I believe that they will heal with time and patience on all sides.

I love this statue and smile each time I see it.

Oh, and one more thing... I feel it coming on... it's almost here.... oh, yeah.... bring it on....

$1.51 1/2

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Holiday Bells

What day is it, anyway? And where did my week go? Each day was something different. Monday I spent the day with Athena. Tuesday Zeus and I spent a nice day in the big SLC where we went to see Body Worlds, the amazing display of plasticized human bodies. Wow, that was incredible learning adventure. Wednesday I joined Eris and Littlest Ms. to see her get her cast taken off. Now that was another adventure! During these busy days I also found the time to dust the basement and get ready for Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving turned out well and it was nice to have Muriel and her family join us for a few days. Cameron finally let me hold him last night, at least while his mom wasn't in the room. Between Guitar Hero, the extra computer and some art projects the kids stayed busy and I think had a good time. At least I think Addi did, she cried this morning when they had to leave. Everyone obeyed the House Rules and was very good about not crossing the line.

For the last twelve years a tradition has been that Bubba spends the night of Thanksgiving with us. The next day he helps me get all of the holiday decorations out of storage and put up where they are enjoyed for the season. This afternoon he came over intending to stay the night. After all these years he is so efficient at it that we were finished in four hours. All the lights are working and hopefully the timers are programed correctly (I'll find out in an hour). Zeus mentioned today that maybe we should start training Mr. Eris, Jr. to help because Bubba is now 15 1/2, a very sobering thought. Bubba assured us that he would always be here, no matter what.

One other tradition that occurs when putting up the decorations is a tough one. On our tree are some sets of nesting glass bells. These bells make the prettiest little tinkles whenever they are rustled the tiniest bit. The sound of those bells also make me suck in my breath every year when I pull them out of the box and hang them tenderly on the tree.

Here's why. My little dog Sadie who shared my life for eleven years would ring these bells often during the holidays. Before we moved our tree was in a corner by the door that she used to go outside. It was cold out there so I always left the door ajar so she could push it open and get back into the warm house quickly. When she pushed the door open it would swing into the tree and all kinds of bells would start ringing. The first year after she passed away I was putting up the tree and found myself sitting in a chair sobbing when I hung the bells up. After eight years I no longer cry but there is still a lump in my throat when I hear that tinkle.

Another tradition that I have is to call Athena and share these difficult emotions with her. She wasn't very nice when I rang them for her today.

Now I think I will get to bed. Tomorrow morning I need to get back on the streets and run off some of the jelly ring calories that I've consumed in the last three days.

P.S. Thanks again for joining us Muriel! Not only was it fun but your rolls were delicious!!!

Monday, November 24, 2008

House Rules

We are looking forward to having guests for the holidays this week. In order to create a more relaxed and stress-free atmosphere I will post my House Rules. These rules are familiar to those who frequent our little abode but newcomers might want to memorize them.

1. Please don't disturb the dust. It has taken months for it to accumulate. I will be doing my best to remove the most visible collection places in the next few days. If you find a place that I have missed just grab a cloth and swipe over it. Don't write your name in it for the next guest to find.

2. Sleep in the bed. Yes, in the past I have had a guest who slept on top of the quilt because he didn't want to get the sheets dirty. Puhleeze, pull the quilt back and get inside the sheets. I promise they are clean. And washable. Same with towels. Use them.

3. I am not tall. If you see cobwebs hanging from light fixtures please take care of them. This is something I have tried for years to teach my tall family members but they just don't listen. The same with dust on top of the refrigerator. Come on, Mr. Eris, tell me when it is disgusting up there!

4. Speaking of the fridge, check it out when you get here. Also, check out the pantry. If there is something there that you want to eat, please help yourself. I'm trying to get back into my smaller jeans and the last thing I need is lots of leftovers to tempt me.

5. While you are here please fix the downstairs DVD player, the TV and the TV remote. They are not playing together well. Also, it would be nice if you left a detailed user's guide on how to work them when you leave.

6. Last and most important, for all those under 16, don't step over the line.

Can't wait to see you all! The jelly rings await!


Saturday, November 22, 2008

Turkey Triathlon

Eris ran, biked and swam this morning in the WSU Turkey Triathlon along with two friends. You can see more photos at the Shooting Blog. Congratulations on a good finish!


Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The morning after

"If you want to make an enemy of a teenage girl (and perhaps, her mother) say something bad about Stephanie Meyer's Twilight saga ......"

That was a quote from an article I read this morning about the movie that kept me out until 3:15 a.m. this morning. Keeping that in mind, here are my thoughts about last night's entertainment.

I adored Charlie Swan and his friend Billy. Jacob wasn't at all what I was hoping for but that is for the next movie.

It took fifteen minutes before I could figure out what real-life person Bella reminded me of. I enjoyed her character far better in the movie than the book.

The Hoh Rainforest is beautiful and some of the footage looked like it was shot there.

I did get a kick out of the total silence in the theater. You could have heard a pin drop for for most of the two hours except for the collective heavy breathing when the first kiss took place.

It was fun evening. Thanks ladies! I am tired.


Mom always liked you best..

It's Wednesday. That means I get to play with little kids all day. Nothing else gets done and by the time they go home all I can do is sit in a chair and sigh, long and loud. Today actually went quite well, in spite of the fact that the Princess was running a darn good fever and just wanted to be held for a couple of hours. No complaint about that because she never sits still long enough to cuddle with her.

The major problem that cropped up today was with my adult children. You see, niece Muriel and family are coming here next week for Thanksgiving and that has caused a little email sniping. Here are some snippets from emails between Athena, Eris, Muriel and me:

Numi (to Muriel): It will be nice to have you here. We can get in some camera time and family photos if you are interested.

Athena: Eris, are you seeing a pattern here? It seems that if you are from her loins there is NO WAY you can be her favorite! She never offers us to spend the night! In fact, I've seen her offer money for us to leave! This is all a bunch of crap!

Muriel: Oh, I'm not so sure she will ever offer again after she has us all at once. :)

Athena: Once you are her favorite it is hard NOT to be invited again and again. Too bad her other favorite won't be able to join us. Actually, I'm surprised that she didn't send out a notification that Thanksgiving was postponed until they could make it. Damn New Yorkers.

Oh, for heavens sake, go to your room and don't come out! And Muriel, you can stay as long as you want. We can sit and visit for hours eating jelly rings while I tell you all about The Duchess.


(I've posted that photo of Athena and Eris before but it seemed so appropriate to do it again.)

Monday, November 17, 2008

There's a HAIR in my Dirt!

Warning: Ewww factor ahead!

Since Eris didn't do it, I guess I will have to. See that cute little girl in the previous post sitting in front of that pretty little chocolate birthday cake? Well, ewwwww!

After blowing out the candle Eris started to cut the cake. Gags. Then more gags. Soon a chorus of gags rose up out of my kitchen! A big long black hair just keeps coming and coming out of that cake. Ten long inches of black hair to be exact. Gagging here just thinking about it. Poor Little Ms. just sat there. No cake fit to be eaten.

After Mr. Eris rushed over to our little neighborhood grocery store and brought back a new cake we sang Happy Birthday all over again and then cautiously ate the tasty white fruit-filled cake and ice cream.

A number of years ago Athena and Eris gave me this book "There's a Hair in My Dirt". They added a page on the inside so I could keep track of all the restaurants that I would no longer frequent due to "bonus" items found in my food. I will now include the grocery story that baked this cake on that list.

Just to add insult to injury, I am adding a photo of the ugliest birthday cake ever made. This one was a special order for the October birthdays that were celebrated last month. It came from the same store as the hairy one. Money has been refunded for both cakes.

To really appreciate the ugliness of the bottom cake click on it to embiggen.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Little turns six

Little Ms. is celebrating her 6th birthday today. Yeah, I know that the candle is a 5, but hey, that's all I had in the cupboard. And technically, last night when we had cake and ice cream she was still five. (She bought that explanation, anyway.)

It's been a big year for Little Ms. She started school and has really grown up. Whenever I pick her up after school I always ask her what she learned that day. The answer is always "nothing". Well, that's because in the first month of kindergarten she is already reading anything that is available, constantly amazing me with her ability to sound out letters and figure out the words. Definitely her mother's child.

To see some past posts about Little you can look here and here.

A few months ago she got her ears pierced. For her birthday Athena gave her some dangling earrings, pink of course, and some hoops. Here she is showing them off.

It was a fun party with a few interesting (and gross) happenings. If you all shout at Eris she might post a couple of photos about birthday cakes.

Happy birthday to Little Ms.! We love you.


Thursday, November 13, 2008

Bedroom chat

Zeus and I have been married for sixteen wonderful years. Last night he informed me that I hog the covers. I guess I do. Sorry.


Monday, November 10, 2008

Stick and stones

One year and four days ago I, with great fear, clicked on the PUBLISH POST button for the first time. That was 185 posts ago. Over the course of the year it has become easier to write my thoughts down, sometimes even getting through an entire post without having to use my Websters Dictionary more than once.

An important principle that we have learned in our family is to never write things down that could some day come back to bite you in the ass, or that potentially could hurt another person's feelings. In my storage room I have a folder of papers that are proof of the power of unkind and untruthful words. These papers are safely kept under lock and key and are rarely looked at. We all know what is in them and have tried to put them behind us, a heartbreaking task that has been easier for some than for others. Oftentimes we can even laugh about the absurdity of the contents. Nevertheless, those words that were written still pack a mighty hard punch in the gut.

Last night I learned of another piece of paper that was written. I have not seen it, nor do I want to see it. It is unfortunate that the person who wrote this poem didn't stop to think that it would be viewed by others whose feelings would be hurt. Totally innocent people. It will be passed down through generations. I have known the author of the poem for most of my life and those words were totally unnecessary. I'm not claiming the writer doesn't have a right to her feelings, just that it was cruel.

In that same storage room with the folder is a plaque that I was given a few years ago. The person who designed the plaque in honor of years of service I had given had no idea that the words on it would cause offense. She innocently believed that it was humorous. The piece of wood to this day has not been hung on a wall or displayed where anyone else could see it.

Hopefully over the last year I have been able to temper my words and not cause hurt feelings. Yes, there was one post that was up for a day before Zeus questioned me about it. He was right and I immediately took it down.

Holding my tongue has never been my strength but I am working on it. I'll file the knowledge of the poem in with the folder, locked away. I don't need to do anything. The best revenge is a life well-lived.

Hey Muriel, hope that you made it home safely!


Sunday, November 9, 2008


Eider. Feathers. Down. Ummm. Lightweight yet toasty. I love down.

In the wintertime a down comforter is added to our bed to keep us cozy. It goes on around the first of November and stays until spring.

A white down vest is my usual attire when venturing outside in winter cold. When I throw it on over a sweatshirt or sweater I know I'll be warm, whether skiing or just running to the grocery story.

Ten years ago Jan gave me a feather pillow for my birthday. At the time I thought it was an odd gift until she reminded me that I had threatened to take one of her old pillows home with me after spending the night at her house. She even embroidered my name on a pillowcase, which was quite an accomplishment for her!

That pillow turned out to be very important. For a number of years while I battled problems with my arm it traveled with me everywhere, by car or plane. Even now when packing my bags I put on the "traveling pillowcase" and it gets carried along. It has mainly been used as an armrest but occasionally does double duty as a headrest. Two months ago while waiting for a delayed flight in Seattle a lady said she would pay me if I would let her use it so she could get some sleep. She slept soundly for an hour with it tucked under her weary head, no charge.

The embroidery is now wearing off the pillowcase and occasionally I find a stray feather that has escaped. It still has a place on my bed, ready to be hugged or for comfort when my arm acts stupid. It is the one the grandkids ask for when they sleep over.

Thanks Jan, and by the way, good luck with your new knee on Wednesday!

$ .78

(My totals have been pretty embarrassing lately. Do you suppose that with the crappy economy people are actually bending over to pick up pennies? If so, STOP IT!)

Friday, November 7, 2008

I went.

I went. Just one of the thousands. Still sad. Sad for everyone.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Lunch with Chuck

More Grandma Wednesday fun. Today I took the "broken" girls to have lunch with Chuck E. Cheese's. Jodi and Keegan added to the fun by joining us there. Hey, the more the merrier!

This Chuck's is new and a little different. No big stage filled with characters, instead replaced with big screen video displays. Still lots of games to play, which Littlest Ms. enjoyed. The Princess loved to climb on the cars but didn't like it when they started to move. Keegan loved it all and had that cute grin the entire two hours we were there. While we were eating pizza, which
was surprisingly good, Chuck came out and visited with the kids and tried to "high 5" the casted ones.

Jodi and I were worn out before the kids but it didn't take long for them to fall asleep on the drive home. It was a fun afternoon.

The photo of the girls in the car seat was the only time I could catch them still enough to get a photo. True blue BFFs!

Both girls are adapting fairly well to the inconvenience of casts. The Princess seems to take hers in stride but still managed to throw a curve at the Duchess last night. Littlest is having a tougher time. She needs help to eat and go potty, which is a huge insult to an independent three year old. She has displayed a bit of frustration but hopefully will adapt soon.

More photos at the Shooting Blog.

$. Two Chuck E Cheese's Tokens

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

UFO report!

Finally some stashbusting progress has been made. This quilt top is finished. The back is seamed and ready to go as well. As a bonus there were six blocks and some extra border fabric left so a baby quilt is also ready to be finished.

These tops will go into the UFO cabinet waiting for the holidays to be over and a snowy day to hit. In the meantime I will wander over to the closet and pick out something else to get working on.


Saturday, November 1, 2008

Laugh or Cry?

I hadn't even been able to post the last blog post when Eris and family dropped by the house. After you read it link over to her blog to see why I don't know whether to laugh or cry.

It will be interesting when Grandma Wednesday comes this week. Both girls with casts on their hands! Maybe I can stand them out on a corner in raggy clothes holding a tin cups.

The Trials of Parenting

Trauma. Urgent Care. Emergency Room. ICU. One of the hardest parts of being a parent is watching your child in pain. It's something we all have to go through. With some children you just have to grit your teeth and wait for the next crisis to happen. (See yesterday's post for full photo.)
The Princess broke her little finger a week ago after pulling over a piece of furniture on top of her She cried for a few minutes and that was it. Not a whimper was heard from her in the 8 hours we spent together on Grandma Wednesday. Yes, the hand was swollen and bruised, but otherwise no outward symptoms. She grasped toys, ate, played, all of the normal things. So we were all very surprised when she ended up with an orthopedist and a pretty pink cast yesterday. She took it all in stride but Mom and Dad had a much tougher time.
Seeing that tiny little arm in a cast made me think back to the times that I've spent in the ER or an orthopedist's office with kids or grandchildren. Athena really didn't have any injuries serious enough for treatment. Her tricks were high fevers. The photo above was taken in 1976 when she wanted an eye patch like mine after I required one for a few days.

Mr. Eris, Jr. split his lip open at age two. Within two days after the surgery he had picked out all of the stitches requiring another trip into the OR. This time his arms were both splinted for two weeks. Athena thought it was lots of fun to hand him a sucker and watch his expression as he tried to figure out how to get it to his mouth.

Littlest Ms. Eris enjoyed physical therapy by the time she was three months old for a twisted neck due to other health problems. For months the mantra was "Twist right, tilt left". Or was it "Twist left, tilt right"? She also had a cat scan at one year after bumping her head pretty hard. Bubba has had a few visits to the OR, the most exciting one when he broke his arm in two places in 2005. The best thing about this one was that it was all caught on video. You could even hear the bones break and see him as he stood up and held his broken arm up with the other hand. That video is creepy and will draw instant tears (and nausea) when viewed. And we mustn't forget Christmas 2006 when he decided to get his appendix out before he even had a chance to open his presents!

Eris, well, she has provided many opportunities for ER copays starting at age three with a broken leg while skiing. Other knee injuries and broken bones were a common occurrence. With her new found love of running and biking I am expecting more.

Jubee and Little Ms. have been relatively boring in the trauma department. That's nice. Keep it up girls!