Archive for ‘ten random things’

May 8, 2012

a series of truly random thoughts and confessions

1. in the past ten days i have learned all i ever wanted to know about trailer hitches, trailers, and the like.  we now own one, purchased for the purpose of hauling a lawn tractor back and forth to our farmette-to-be that now has grass growing knee-high.  post about said lawn tractor complete with a photo forthcoming.

2. if the weather holds, we should break ground on our farmette by the end of this month.  for this reason i have started packing up the scary upstairs: the place that started out as a cool sitting room we never used so it now houses anything we don’t know what to do with but do not want to pitch.  anything from mason jars to a tapestry wall hanging.  in order not to overwhelm myself, i pack two boxes a day.  well, i am supposed to.  i started this project a month ago and i have a total of…..thrrreee…boxes packed.  post about said boxes complete with a photo forthcoming.

3. i am now the proud owner of a kindle named emily.  i have gone from watching drivel on netflix to reading, a much more wholesome past time.  i even gave christian amish romance fiction a try…..and promptly gave it up.  it reads about as well as it sounds.   i have discovered the blogs/websites/fb pages that offer free kindle books by the virtual boatload.  i anxiously await their posts on a daily basis and have been known to download something stupid, something i know i will never read, simply for the thrill of getting something for free and watching its title magically appear on emily’s home page.   post about said kindle named emily complete with a photo forthcoming.

4. last weekend my husband and i taught ourselves to play canasta.  i won every hand.  i won playing with my deck of pink playing cards.  it was a blast.  i…don’t really plan to publish a post about canasta with photos.  sorry.

5. yesterday i went shopping for a spare tire for our new trailer.  i ended up at a ranch supply store and discovered a series of 3′ high metal troughs containing…………baby chicks!!! and baby turkeys, and baby geese, and baby ducks, and baby something elses i don’t at the moment recall.  i guess i should flaunt my limited knowledge of poultry and say that these were pullets being offered for sale (did i get that right?) but i’m still confused as to what it means when the sign says that they are “sexed”.  still need to read the how-to book but we need to read it pretty durn quick because i want me some chickens.  post about said chickens complete with numerous photos when we get them.

6. speaking of living things: our pond has turtles.  i discovered one in the grass last week when i was mowing, and in order to avoid a terrible accident, i picked him up and moved him to the edge of the pond to see what he would do.  he happily dove right on in.  we need a log, or a rock of some sort so the turtles can sun themselves and all be named appropriately.  would publish a post about said turtle complete with photo if only i could find him again…

random illustration for random post:

October 31, 2011

ten random things…

about halloween

1. i’m dating myself here but when i was a wee trick or treater, costumes were bought at the drugstore and consisted of a polyester suit and a plastic mask with an elastic band.  i remember going as the easter bunny, casper, and cinderella.

2. in later years, my costumes became more elaborate and were usually difficult to travel in, on foot, and from house to house.  i was a stickler for authenticity though and refused to wear sneakers with a fairy costume insisting instead on a pair of high heels borrowed from my mother.

3. my mom has always made a chili  pre trick-or-treat dinner for as long as i can remember.  i have carried on that tradition and as soon as this post is published i will set the ground beef to brown on the stove.

4. in kindergarten i dressed as dorothy and made my sister go as a munchkin. my friend was the wicked witch.  we assembled our family members on the back patio while i stood on the picnic table and sang “somewhere over the rainbow”.  then i allowed my witch friend to chase me around the yard while i screamed periodically.

5. that same year i attended a school carnival and wanted to do a cake walk.  the number was called and we all waited. clutching a stuffed “toto” in a basket,   i wondered why #37 would not claim their cake.  then the boy next to me gave me a shove “it’s you stupid.”  i was allowed to choose from a table of cakes.  i picked one decorated as a jack-o-lantern.

6.  the only time i remember being afraid was when i had to collect my treat from a dracula in a coffin.  as soon as he jumped out i dropped my candy and ran for my life.

7. when my sister and i would come home from trick or treating we would sort our candy into piles: all the mini snickers over here, bit ‘o honey over here, sunbursts over here.

8. i cannot grasp the concept of “trunk or treat”.  it doesn’t sound like much of anything to me.  as a kid, much of the fun was in going from house to house; most of them decorated.

9. a group of college kids came to our house once when i was little.  it was way too late to be out – i was partially changed from my costume into my pjs but wanted to take care of the trick or treators.  i could not however reach the basket of candy on top of the clock in the hall.  after contemplating whether or not they should play a trick, one of them came in and lowered the basket for me.  i then distributed the tootsie pops.

10. tonight we plan to watch the great pumpkin as we do every year while eating our chili.

have a safe and happy halloween!

September 20, 2011

ten random things…

about my old house

1. it’s “awkward” location tells a story.  once upon a time, there was a nice neighborhood; then along came 1-244.  confession: i love the location.  i love to listen to the traffic at night.  i love to stand at the kitchen window, washing the dishes, watch the highway traffic headed west and wonder where everyone is going.  traffic is cozy.  and this from a major introvert.  it also makes for easy airport runs when my husband travels frequently.

2. it has pokey rooms that make for very interesting living areas.

3. the garage is not attached and can comfortably house only one car.  however, it hosts a treasure trove of old things: vintage screen door, old storm windows, and the like.

4. the dormer windows are real.  each window creates its own special nook on the second floor.  i’ve spent the entire three years we’ve lived here trying to decide what to do with those nooks, but once i decide, it will be spectacular.

5. it has a few special challenges, like the drain from the washer backing up every so often.  however, we find these challenges to be very endearing.

6. we live within blocks of a university.  this gives a small college town feel to our neighborhood.  in the fall, we can hear the football games from our back porch.  we don’t really follow football, but the sound of the game means to us, that fall is here.

7. the kitchen floor has a special creaky spot in front of the fridge and a drawer that opens randomly on its own accord.  i refer to the opening of the drawer as the kitchen ghost, and often berate it for choosing to fix itself a snack when i am in the middle of dinner preparation.

8. we have a magnolia tree in the front yard.  i hate picking the leaves out of my flower beds, but i appreciate the fact that whoever planted it years ago, respected the colonial theme of the house and tried to carry it on in the landscaping.

9. our home has no hallways.  the front and back hall are actually square “rooms” connecting living areas, bathrooms, and bedrooms.  in my opinion this is a brilliantly efficient use of small space.  someday i am going to paint these special “rooms” a deep cherry red.

10. the guest bath hosts the original cast iron tub, especially long, and especially deep.  one can fill this up with luxurious warm water and foamy bubbles and soak for hours before the water starts to turn cold.

August 6, 2011

ten random things about my kid sister…

1. twenty-six years and approximately ten and a half hours ago today my little sister amy was born.

2. there are thirteen years between us and nine years between she and my sister, marisa.  my  mother gave birth to her when she was thirty-six.  this doesn’t seem like much now, but amy was born in the era before it was common for women to give birth after the age of 35.  this was also before the gender determining ultra sounds were popular so none of us knew whether the baby was a boy or girl.

3. my mother’s labor started when i was playing at a friend’s house.  i was taken from there to mrs. wilkin’s  home (my “adopted” grandmother)  to spend the night while my parents were at the hospital.

4. i woke up sometime in the middle of the night and wondered if the baby had yet been born.  not much later, the phone rang.  within a few minutes, mrs. wilkin came into the guest  room where marisa and i were sharing the hide-a-bed sofa.  she tiptoed to my side, crouched down and whispered “it’s a girl!”

5. several hours later,  my dad came to the house for breakfast.  he was so happy he was walking about six inches off the ground and carried with him a photo.  i kept telling myself that the pink and white, chubby cheeked bundle in the bassinet was my sister but it took quite a while to register.   several hours later i got to hold her for the first time.  i noticed she had a tiny dimple above her right ear.  as far as i know, it is still there.

6. amy has always been very creative.  she loved to draw, she loved to write.  she was later joined by two younger brothers for whom she would stage very elaborate play times.  the three of them were either pirates, cowboys, or a chinese emperor and his servants.

7. amy loves dogs.   she took in my dog scruffy when she was a toddler.  with a new little sister to play with, i didn’t have much time for my dog.  she loved scruffy and cared for her until she died on the morning of amy’s tenth birthday.  amy was so brokenhearted she could hardly eat her birthday breakfast.   a few years later, amy decided she wanted a shih-tzu.  we couldn’t afford a puppy so amy decided to pray for one.  a family heard of amy’s desire and decided to give her their shih-tzu, lexi.  he became her faithful side kick and is still living although very old now in dog years.  it was through amy and lexi that i discovered my own love of shih-tzus.

8. amy has a very tender heart but she also has a soul of iron.  she has been through much in her 26 years; much more than most people experience in a lifetime.  she has  literally looked her fears directly in the face, managed to stare them down, and gone on to use that experience as a focal point of her creativity; using her creative genius to reach out to others who are hurting.

9. amy began writing songs when she was in jr. high and taught herself to play the guitar from a chord chart purchased at wal-mart.  she jerry-rigged a few mattresses together to build a sound booth, recorded her music, then sent it to a producer in hopes that  he would listen.  she didn’t stop asking until he agreed to give her an audience. a few years later i received a package in the  mail.  it was amy’s first album made with this producer.  i cried when i saw she had dedicated it to me.  and others of course.  but as far as i was concerned it may as well have just been me, i was so proud.

10.  the homemade sound booth recording was the launch of her music career.  since then she has recorded an album, made appearances on television,  appeared in concert with damien rice, and given numerous concerts for charity.  she recently released a  new song “gasoline rainbows” to help fund clean-up efforts for the oil spill.  the song was also made into a video.

happy birthday amy!  we love you lots and are so proud of whom you’ve become.

July 25, 2011

ten random things about a very hot summer

1. i no longer run.  even in the mornings.  as early as 7am  the heat is already oppressive.  i have however, become a very great walker.

2. my morning walk ends with a watering ritual: the hanging petunias, the coleus and pentas on the back porch, and then set the sprinkler.

3.  i used to never want to own a pool.  now i covet one.

4.  as a general rule i don’t like to use public pools.  it is like taking a bath with a bunch of people i have never met.  last week i caught myself  googling public pools for my area.

5. i have forgotten what i look like with my hair down long.  for the past six weeks it has either been in a ponytail or a butterfly clip.

6. last spring i set out some new perennials.  they didn’t survive the heat.  there is nothing left to even show where they were.  they have simply evaporated.  very sad.

7. for the first summer in my life as a gardener i have managed to battle the squash borer to the point that i have a beautiful zucchini vine. but….no zucchini.  they whither up before they reach maturity.

8. the grass is so dead that we decided yesterday if you squinch up your eyes and ignore the still-green trees one might think it is winter.

9. my favorite drink: club soda with just enough pomegranate juice to color the water, and a slice of lemon.  if it wasn’t so hot i’d dash out to the back porch for a sprig of mint.  as it is i just enjoy it with the lemon.

10. i spend a great deal of time deliberating over menu plans that do not involve an oven or a stove.  although last weekend i did indulge in a baked potato thereby heating the kitchen up to 82 degrees.  it was worth it.

June 20, 2011

because yesterday was father’s day and today is his birthday….

ten random things about  my dad….

  1. favorite memory: when i was little we used to shop at a grocery store named sipes.  one day while shopping with my dad,  i noticed in their bakery display a cookie monster cupcake with a real chocolate chip cookie in his frosting mouth.   i coveted this cupcake – my love for cupcakes started very early.  for some reason, too close to dinner maybe?  we couldn’t get it at the time and i was crushed.  however, a few weeks later it was thanksgiving.  my dad has an annual tradition of cooking thanksgiving breakfast.  when i came out that morning to watch macy’s parade and have my breakfast, the cookie monster cupcake was on my plate.
  2. my dad always had time for us.  he came to every single school presentation and every single recital.  he tucked me in every  night with a bedtime story, sometimes read from the same book of 365 bedtime stories he had as a child. being the vintage freak that i am now, and the avid collector of children’s books i would give my right arm to know where that book is.*
  3. my dad was the one who introduced me to running.  for a few years in a row, he arranged for our family (of four at that time) to together run the 1 mi fun run; staged before the prestigious tulsa run.  we still have the official photos, t-shirts, and somewhere the numbers.
  4. i was not to really enjoy running until i became an adult; so during the hills of our practice runs my dad would come along beside me and literally pull me up the hill until the terrain was flat again.
  5. dad taught me how to ride a bike.  i don’t remember  a whole lot about it but i do know that dad was incredibly patient as it was a very very looooooong time before i was ready to rid myself of training wheels.  so long, that even the neighborhood kids were making comments.
  6. dad grew up in the michigan farm country where any temperature over 83 degrees is considered very hot.  he talked about getting up early in the morning to go pick peaches and how the peach fuzz would get on his arms and make him itch.  if i recall correctly, he still to this day doesn’t care for peach skin for that reason.  he doesn’t like sweetened ice tea either.  not that that has anything to do with peaches….
  7. when my dad was in jr. high his parents moved from the country to the “city”, a small resort town on lake michigan.  his birthday was always a beach party and it signaled the start of the summer.  as a child, we would vacation on this beach, sometimes watching the fourth of july fireworks laying  on a beach blanket.
  8. growing up, we always had a dog or a cat or both.  from time to time and for whatever the reason, they would die, as pets are often wont to do.  this is a very hard concept for a child to grasp.  my dad would always take the time to very gently explain to us what happened, often tearing up himself.  he would then shoulder the unpleasant task of burying the poor creature in the back  yard.
  9. when i was little, my nickname was “skipper”.  my dad didn’t travel for his job very often but when he did, he always brought a little something back.  after one trip, he brought back a pair of navy blue sneakers made by a brand called “skipper”.  i used these as my gym shoes.  sneakers were not the rage at the time, but i didn’t want to hurt his feelings so i wore them anyway.  in true sneaker fashion, they had long toes.  when i ran on the linoleum gym floor the toes would often hit last, making loud slapping noises as i trotted along.  later, when dad learned the truth, he cackled and we joked about it often.  as a preteen when colored sneakers *were* all the rage, i wished to heaven for those navy skippers.
  10. when i was 16 (or thereabouts) i was invited to my very first co-ed birthday party.  i was a shy kid, and very nervous about this party for two twin boys in my youth group.  i agonized about what i should wear, what gift i should take and who would be there.  my dad sensed my apprehension and took his lunch break to take me shopping for a gift.  banana republic had just come into town.  this was back in the day when they sold safari gear;  very different from the store they are now.  i wanted to buy those guys each a banana republic t-shirt.  dad drove me to the store, waited patiently while i picked out the shirts, and then paid for the gifts.   i took them home, wrapped them up in brown paper, and tied them with twine and a banana.  the gifts were a hit and the party was a blast.

happy birthday dad!  we love and appreciate you.

*edited to add: my husband and i did a google search last night and found an exact copy on etsy for $16.  we snatched it right up.