Saturday, June 23, 2007

2 Weeks and Counting!

Our energy levels are slowly returning to normal.

L got most of the lawn mowed yesterday. The back is still too wet to mow...maybe tomorrow. He would have completed the front, but the starter rope fell out of its holder somehow, and L mowed over it. I got a new rope and handle at Menards. I've re-roped a snowmobile engine. Hopefully the lawnmower won't be much different.

I have the hand trimmer charged up so I can trim around the hostas and the snow-on-the-mountain today. I sorta got tangled up with a stray tomato cage a couple weeks ago, while mowing the rough edge of the lawn with the wheeled line-mower. L will need to put new line on it today.

I don't think we'll be working on the garage ceiling this weekend. It's supposed to hit 90F. and we don't feel like baking our brains beneath the bare metal garage roof! We have the rest of the summer and fall to finish the'll wait.

SME's family arrives 2 weeks from tomorrow!! We can't wait! SME and Doug want to sleep in the camper. This means we'd better get it uncovered and fix the tire that flattened over the winter. Z has been busily clearing the clutter in his room. Now, we need to sort the bins of his stuff that are littering the living room floor. We also need to clear the boxes of sorted stuff out of the den, so one of the kids can sleep in there...probably Demi. I have a feeling that Z and Aaron will crash in the living room, within reach of the PS2 and Gamecube.

My Mom and I figured out the menu yesterday. NOW, I just need to see if I can find soy cheese and veggie burgers in our grocery stores. I'll bake SME some eggless, soy milk bread, and buy her some "gross" organic peanut butter. Good thing I always have plenty of "regular" peanut butter, as the kids won't touch the organic stuff! We'll buy some tofu when she gets here. We'll also need to stock up on Demi's staple foods: Little Debbie Swiss Cake Rolls and Ramen noodles. HEY, I'm the GRANDMA! I don't have to worry about the grandkid's nutritional needs. I just feed them what they want. ;)

Vacuuming, I'm not worried about. We'll have our beloved "floor Nazi" (Doug) here. The man LOVES to vacuum!! We wouldn't want him to go into vacuuming withdrawal while he's here; would we?

We were going to move our freezer from the shed to the garage, while the whole family was here. We changed our minds. Our freezer is 40 yrs old. We decided to not tempt fate by jostling it in a move. We'll let it live the remainder of its life in the shed, where it's been happy for the last 19 yrs. Doug was looking forward to moving the freezer, so we'll have to find something else for him to do. Maybe some yard work....or we could dismantle and burn SME's old playhouse....

In the meantime, daily life goes on. I'd better get cracking. There's clothes to wash, checks to write, dishes to wash, clutter to sort.....

Wednesday, June 20, 2007


I came down with something last Wednesday. I'm just starting to function a bit better.
Z and my Dad got it Saturday.
L got it Sunday.

This illness progressed the same way in all of us:
Day 1-Sore throat
Day 2-Monstrous headache!
Day 3-Snot uncontrollably flows from nose.
Day 4-Chest congestion and coughing.
All of these days are accompanied by a fever and total lack of energy. Each day, I would come home after work and collapse into bed.

Day 5 our energy starts returning....slowly. Each day we get a little stronger. This has been extremely frustrating. We don't have time to be sick NOW! Last night, I was up half the night coughing. UGHHHH!

Last weekend would have been the perfect time to finish our garage ceiling. It was a cool 60F. The yard dried up enough to mow, but we didn't have the energy. We got 2 more inches of rain on Sunday, and another inch last night. The yard is flooded once again. Maybe we should get a goat?

We only have 2 weeks to get our household in order before SME's family arrives. Good thing I have this weekend off!

Sunday, June 17, 2007

It Takes Someone Special...



"Any man can be a father, but it takes someone special to be a DADDY!"

This quote has always struck a chord with me. I've known way too many fathers who will NEVER be a Daddy. I've also known several non-biological Daddies, who are the best parents I've ever seen.

There's something incredibly sexy, to me, about a man who changes diapers, patiently walks the floor with a screaming baby, cuddles with his children, falls asleep with a sleeping child in his lap, crawls on the floor to play, and physically hurts when his children are hurting. This type of man would NEVER say that he is babysitting his own children!

HAPPY FATHER'S DAY to all you "Daddies" out there!

To all you "Fathers"; I hope you get a clue before it's too late.

Monday, June 11, 2007


In my Interview Meme post of May 14th, Sonja asked what I missed about living in a big city. I replied that I used to miss the shopping until I discovered internet shopping. I'd like to revise that answer. I miss BOOKSTORES!

We haven't been in a bookstore since our last trip to Edmonton, 3 years ago. We've bought a LOT of books online since then, but we haven't physically entered a bookstore. Our little town has an AMAZING public library, but no bookstores.

I didn't realize how much I missed bookstore shopping until our trip to the Twin Cities on Memorial Day weekend. There is a huge Barnes and Noble near my in-laws house......we couldn't resist the temptation.

The first thing that struck me, upon entering the store, was the new book smell. That's the main thing I miss with online book shopping.... the smell and feel of the books. Ahhhhh, I was in heaven!

I found this book displayed right inside the front door. We have needed a new bird book for a long time! We inherited my parents' bird book(pictured below) when we bought them a hardcover edition of the same book. This book has been in our family since I was 13. The $2.95 price tag will tell you how long it's been since I was 13! It's still a good reference guide, IF you can keep the pages from falling out.

Our NEW bird book has EXCELLENT photographs, rather than drawings, of the birds of North America. As a lifelong "birder", I highly recommend both of these field guides!

The next stop in my bookstore adventure was my favorite area....the BARGAIN TABLES!! I found 2 books that I've wanted to read for $4/each....hardcover! My next stop was the classics bargain table. Here, I found 7 of Robert Lewis Stevenson's novels, in one hardcover volume, for $12. I CAN'T WAIT to re-read The Black Arrow and Kidnapped!

Right around the corner was the reference bargain table. That was where I found my most impressive acquisition of the day....

This book is THE most impressive overview of World History I've EVER seen!!

L and Z were equally impressed with the information in this volume. As homeschoolers, it will be invaluable in ANY study of World History! Z and I found several maps that concisely showed what we had painstakingly mapped out for ourselves. The book's maps were a lot more legible than ours too.

The publishers list this book at $148.99. Amazon sells it for $86. I purchased it for......$19.97!! Oh, how I LOVE a good bargain!

Z is studying psychology right now, and was THRILLED to find a comprehensive book on Freud. He also found a book(Prank the Monkey) by his "web hero", John Hargrave.

Untrue to form, L only found 1 book that he wanted. However, he has been thoroughly enjoying Z's and my finds.

After spending $120 at Barnes and Noble, I guess it might be a good thing we don't have a bookstore in our town.

Friday, June 08, 2007

What Drought?

This picture was taken in our back yard this afternoon. It's been raining, off and on, all week. Yesterday, we got DUMPED ON!! We're lucky that we didn't get any of the hail, strong winds, or tornadoes that much of the upper midwest received.

The fire danger here is finally down, but we're still 7 inches below normal precipitation levels. We need to get an extra inch of precip, every month for the rest of the year, to get back to normal.

I guess we won't be doing any yard work this weekend. That's OK, we'll work in the garage instead. Z and I just returned from Menards, where we bought 12 more sheets of OSB for the garage ceiling. I don't think we'll be able to complete the whole ceiling this weekend, but we'll give it a try!

Saturday, June 02, 2007

In the Blink of an Eye!

When K died on April 13th, I was reminded how quickly our loved ones can be snatched from us. Today, that lesson was driven home again.

This morning, while Z and I were at work, a couple in their fifties seated themselves at a table. I grabbed 2 menus as I took an order of food to another table. As I was heading to the new table, the husband started screaming: "Call 911!! Call 911!!" I grabbed the cordless phone, dialed 911, and headed back to their table. I've called for an ambulance several times in the past and I know that 911 dispatchers LOVE to play 20 questions. I wanted to be able to hand the phone to the husband, so he could answer their questions.

The wife was growling for breath and sliding off her chair when I reached the table. Two of our male customers leaped to help the husband get his wife to the floor. It took me 3 tries to reach the 911 dispatcher. The first 2 times I dialed, I got the: "The number you dialed cannot be reached. Please try again." recording. Damned phone company and their unreliable phone lines!! I quickly told the dispatcher that we needed an ambulance for a woman who had, by this time, STOPPED BREATHING!! Mercifully, the dispatcher only asked one question:"Does anybody there know CPR?" One of the men knew CPR, but we couldn't get the limp woman rolled onto her back. She weighed at least 300 lbs.

The dispatcher said: "The ambulance is on its way!", and I hung up. I threw the phone to the boss, telling her to call the railroad depot so no trains would be blocking the ambulance's path. Then I ran outside to make sure there wasn't a train getting ready to leave.

When I returned, the men had gotten her breathing started again, but she quit breathing twice more before the Sheriff's deputy arrived, ahead of the ambulance. The deputy was carrying oxygen and a portable defibrillator. The deputy was defibrillating the women when the ambulance arrived.

The husband, 2 men, deputy, and 2 EMTs had a helluva time getting the woman onto a stretcher and onto the gurney! The EMTs quickly had her hooked up to a breathing machine and a heart monitor, before they wheeled her out.

The heart monitor was making an ominous "eeeeeeee" sound, with no little heartbeat blips. We all prayed that she made it, but it didn't look good. In less than 30 minutes, a woman had gone from talking and smiling with her husband, to a limp form on a gurney.

I found Z outside, grinning nervously. "Mom, I've been feeling depressed lately. I'd been thinking that maybe I needed some kind of off the wall, near-death experience to shake me back to myself. It's weird, but God just did that for me, didn't he? This tragedy could've happened anytime, but God made sure it happened when I was here to witness it. My problems are small compared to what this family is going through. Life is precious....and fragile....appreciate it!"