Monday, August 31, 2009
The Last Hurrah
Today is our last hurrah of summer. I will be taking the kids to the Science Center (they saved up their extra coins all summer long to go) . From there we will go to the local pottery painting shop - Glazed and Amused. Plus, as an extra special treat (for my kids at least) I will take them out to lunch in between each place.
From there we have a few school supplies to pick up and groceries - always groceries. If only we didn't have to eat... what a time saver that would be! Come on, you've thought it.
Anyway. I can't believe that it is already the end of summer, a summer that wasn't. Cold weather, over cast skies and endless drizzle made it miserable. I hope Fall makes up for the last several months.
I really don't have much to say- so I will stop. Just an update really. Plus, a chance to say I am happy for school to start - I need the schedule, and the kids are ready. But, I always have a twinge of sadness.
Sunday, August 30, 2009
Create in me a pure heart, O God,
and renew a steadfast spirit
pic taken here
Saturday, August 29, 2009
Who Were You In High School?
Who was I in High School?
I had bad hair and worse skin.
I was skinny, too skinny.
I wasn't a geek, but I wasn't "the coolest" kid either.
I tried hard to be nice to everyone. I felt that no one deserved poor treatment.
I danced, I loved to dance.
I played an instrument, but only well enough to stay in the band - I could have been better, I didn't want to practice.
I was in drama - but behind the scenes, never good enough to be on stage.
I learned quickly not to talk behind other's backs and to just smile and nod when others did. I was smart, I could have been smarter. I tried, but only hard enough. I finished my credits early, but didn't do anything about it, just wasted the last semester of High School on art classes- although I had fun in those.
Things came easy to me - but not boys. I couldn't get a boy to look my way. Well, a couple from out of town I guess, but he moved to our town and then dumped me for someone more 'popular'. Luckily, that changed in college. I am glad now actually, I got to be 'me' not 'me and him'.... I went to prom, but didn't have that great of time. I was trying to make it something instead of letting it be what it was. I took the yearbook candid photos, and I was the head of S.A.D.D. I was runner up for Outstanding Young Adult 1991, I was told the winner lied on her stats.... whatever! I was someone inside- just not everyone knew it.
I knew it, I liked myself, who I was on the inside. I can't say that about everyone I went to school with. I knew I was meant for more then just that High School, that town, those classmates. I knew the world was bigger. I enjoyed myself, but, I longed for more. I cried on graduation, because I was glad to be done/out of there.
I got out of high school and my looks changed. I was a late bloomer - way way late bloomer. I started turning heads, people wanted to be my friend. The personality that was always there started to be backed up with a few curves and long hair. I was a bartender and a waitress- honing my people skills. I became who I wanted to be.
Oh, sure, I got stomped on, even crushed by a few 'dumb' boys (ok, more than a few) and a few friends. But, I picked myself up and kept going, it is what I do. I have had many many major medical issues and countless surgeries, yet I pick myself up and keep going, it is what I do.
I took a bet - stayed single for 6 months and learned to love myself again. I met a boy who was really a man, he didn't let me hurt 'us', he "outstubborned" me. We married.... we had kids 4 impossible miracles. We mourned the loss of one child, our twin girl... we didn't fall into the divorce statistics even though they were/are stacked against us.
I still fall - emotionally and physically, but I pick myself up and I keep going, it is what I do.
Who were you in High School?
I am only a fragment of the girl I was. She was the seed, and everyone and everything good and bad has contributed to that seed's growth into me, into who I am today.
Who am I now?
Me, I am just me
- Just Jules-
and sometimes just being yourself is good enough!
side note: post inspired by some old pics on Facebook
Friday, August 28, 2009
Don't Piss Me Off!!!!
When I arrived home I was greeted with a huge stack of mail. My eyes quickly scanned and dismissed all of it - except one little package different from the others. One that was obviously not a bill, or another annoying piece of mail. One that was sure to hold something wonderful. Something from a foreign land
It was from Spudaloo!!!!!!!
It is my very own grudge book.
Yep, I can now officially hold grudges. It says so in the book.
So, beware, don't piss me off.
Thursday, August 27, 2009
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
You Know You Are In The Midwest When......
Midwesterners have a reputation for being nice. Movies make us look ridiculous with this. But, I do have to say there is something to it.
We are standing in the parking lot of the mall in Sioux Falls, SD at 9 pm tonight scanning the visitor guide and haggling for a better hotel rate over the phone (thank goodness our cell reception returned... Verizon we couldn't here you in Colorado...sigh- sorry Adam, but it is true!) Ok, so making phone calls. The back of the van is open with the suitcases showing, the kids are running around burning some pent up energy, the dog is going from window to window in the van and we have out of state plates, and a trailer - obviously we are not from this town... you get it.
So. We get asked not once, not twice, but three or four times if we needed help or directions. How nice are you guys :) It is so good to be home.
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
When we built our house we didn't have money saved for a down payment. The banker had a brilliant idea - sweat equity. We did a lot of the work ourselves, saving money over what it would have cost to hire the work out, earning us equity - sweat equity. We ended up doing enough of our own work to not need a down payment.
I have decided on this trip that it is the same with camping. You are saving money by doing most of the work yourself. Setting up the tent, cooking out of a cooler on a camp stove, sleeping on the ground, unloading and loading all the stuff out of and into the vehicle....sweat equity. Especially when it is 91 degrees with 90% humidity in the middle of say Nebraska.
However, I must say that somewhere around 1 am when the tent was acting more like a parachute in the extreme wind gusts coming off the mountain that $140 was looking pretty good :) However we now know what it is like to sleep in a decending parachute.
Sweat equity be damned, we opt for a hotel room last night. I am sitting in the Best Western in Kearney, Nebraska. We pulled in at midnight after driving about 4-5 hours longer then we had originally planned. But, I did use a traveling tip given to me by my chiropractor: pull in late (like midnight or after) and go to the counter. Step 2 is to look very tired, while stating the time "it is 1 am, we are only staying for the night, we will be out of here right away in the morning....what is the best rate you can give me?" The first night it got us a $70 room for $45. Last night it didn't work at the first two hotels... but what we did do was get the rate of the 2 star hotels ($59) and we then went to a 3 star hotel and asked the rate ($85). In my most weary voice and tired face I stated that I could get a room across the street at said rate and would they match it? YES!!!! They did!!!!! Lesson learned- never be afraid to haggle, they are getting your money!
Although we could have camped for $18 last night, the $41 we didn't pay in sweat equity was welllllll worth it.
Saturday, August 22, 2009
Real People Exist Online
What happens when the online world crosses over and becomes part of the real world? What happens when someone who up to this point only existed online becomes someone who is standing face to face with you? What happens? What happens when this person who had no voice and has only shown glimpses of their face online is now very very real?
I can now tell you what happens......
You have a great day! We can all breath a sigh of relief to know that online people do exist outside of our computers and are indeed very real (well, duh, huh?) and that they can be every bit as wonderful (if not more so) in person as online.
Ok, so... the story....
The family and I met a blogger friend today (along with her children and charming husband) for a family fun day in Estes Park. It was a great great time. The kids did great together, her hubby and mine didn't run out of things to talk about, and in between herding children up mountain trails around Bear Lakes and in a waterfall we were able to talk too.
It was all so very easy. No stress, no pressure. Just nice.
Although at first I had my worries about crossing the line between online and real life, I am thrilled that I did, and I am even happier that "real people" exist online.
Photo is not from today
Cascade waterfall is from
the day in Ouray.
Friday, August 21, 2009
We left Naturita a day early. This worked best for all parties. Deb was able to bring her daughter back to college the day she wanted to go, and we were able to get across the mountain a day early.
I am sitting in the shadows of the mountains watching the last remaining light glow behind the peak. We are in a campground in Estes Park. The expensive firewood is crackling (not worthy of it's money - should be crackling a lot more for the price). I am however listening to my children argue, wrestle, and not enjoying the fire.
Oh, look to the left there go a doe and her three fawns not making a sound, 20 yrds away........ good eye sprout #1
We are here for another night (after tonight). Looking to spend a whole day in the Rocky Mountain National park tomorrow. Possibly hook up with a blog friend and her family to boot! Yippy!!
The kids have been annoying in the van, but when one remembers that they are kids. AND when we take the time to remember that they are flatlanders who have been thrown up to 11,000 ft. and that there schedule is thrown to wack along with the fact that they haven't seen their house or beds for a week now, they are doing excellent.
More later as the campground has wi fi! No cell reception, but wi fi!!!!!
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
It is 10:00(ish) Mountain Time and my entire family is sleeping. They have been sleeping for at least a half hour. There is something so exhausting about a lack of oxygen :) We have become flatlanders in the last decade. This thin mountain air, and steep grades have been tiring. I am doing surprisingly well - but I can tell the difference in the kids especially.
Yesterday we were up quite high in the town of Ouray. We made a hike to the bottom of Cascade Falls and then had a great picnic in the park (thanks Shari) We then spent the rest of the day swimming in bath tub temperature hot springs. It was glorious. Absolutely what dreams are made of. We made a group of 18! Our friend and her kids, her sister and her children and then various friends and family of both met us there for the day. That made for a loooooootttt of kids. But, it went fabulously!
We spent the day in Telluride today. It was lovely. I love that town and am thrilled to see that they have kept the commercialization in check and tried to keep the authenticity of the town in tact. We were able to eat at the bakery "Baked in Telluride" and ride the gondola up to the top of the ski mountain. We then hiked up a ways toward Bridal Veil Falls but had to stop due to lack of time and the sure amount of energy is was taking. It may have fallen under child abuse to keep going.
We returned just in time for our supper date with an old friend and associate. It was nice to sit back and have a relaxing supper and talk. (I am from Minnesota, we call it supper. I suppose since we were in Colorado we had Dinner!) The kids were instantly at ease and all was well. From there we drove down a few blocks and chatted with another old friend while the kids played with her children for an hour or so.
It was a fabulous day and makes me long to be here. However, I know the grass is always greener...... I love and miss the family feel of the town and how loving, caring, and kind everyone is. We always feel at ease and at home. The strangest thing is I missed the accent. It is subtle but it is there - the SW Colorada accent.
As for tomorrows plans. They have drastically changed. We are no longer heading to Mesa Verde. Too much work, heat, time, effort, and money to reap the benefits. We are instead going to try to hook up with a few more old friends and maybe drive to the Utah border. Alright. That is all for now. I need to get my own sleep. I am whipped. Whipped but content. A good kind of tired if you will.
Miss reading y'all's blogs.
p.s. If you haven't checked them out yet - there is a page of photos on the post below.
Sunday, August 16, 2009
Being Stubborn In The Rain In The Red Rock Canyons
We made it to Colorado in record time. When you have two people who are trying to out-stubborn one another you can go great distances....
"I think we could go further. We don't need to stop yet. I am not tired, are you?"
"Who me, pfffffffttt, NO! I'm not tired I think we could go further."
"Well, I think we could make it to Pierre."
"At least to Pierre... maybe further"
So, with that, we made it to Pierre at 1 am the first night. I talked our way into a Super 8 for $45 and we slept 4. 5 hrs. Breakfast and back on the road by 7 am and onto Idaho Spring, CO where we camped at the Indian Hot Spring in what they called a campground.
I would call it a parking lot. If you look behind us in the pic you can see the gravel that we slept on. But, hey! it was only $26 and the showers were free (rare in Colorado due to the backpackers) and there was wi-fi in the lobby ;)
Sigh.... so it goes. But, the burgers were good.
fancy new trailer he had made for such travels
Being ahead of schedule we were able to take our time down the scenic bi-way from Grand Junction to Naturita. This is my favorite drive. I am still transfixed with the red rocks against the blue skies. The sage brush and pinion pines keep it from looking like a total desert
The bi-way goes through the Unaweep and Tabaguche canyons. Both are equally impressive and awe inspiring. I will leave you with a few photos and fewer words. More later.... we are planning on going to Ouray, Telluride, and Mesa Verde in that order the next three days (I'm not linking.....to tired... Google it)
Stopping to fill water bottles at the spring
Doloros River, Hanging Flume
Near Hanging Flume
Today's hike (I'll take any chance to climb)
Humming bird circus
The Secret Box
So, again I am borrow something from another blog. I think Shelle had it but she may have taken it from someone else? Then I saw it on the Hot Dad's site where Sage posted it... and now... now I am stealing it and putting it here. But, really it isn't stealing it is the sharing of their brilliant idea and passing the fun on to you
(ok,yeah, it's stealing)
*(to my G rated readers - Sage's blog is not always G or PG...)
The Secret Box-
Here is how the secret box works.
You spill your secrets into it. (Put it them in the comment section)
Make them anonymous or put your name on them.
Go on, no one is looking, no one is judging.
I should be able to check in tonight on Deb's computer at her cabin.
I can't wait to see what secrets you have and to add my own.
In the spirit of all the secrets going around the internet right now-
Spud and Julochka and Deb
have all been participating in the
30 secrets and 30 days and are there for excused from this exercise!
Hopefully tomorrow I can post a bit about the peaceful love filled family trip to Colorado. That alone should be worth coming back for - picture me with no shower and my head spinning- This is what good blogging is all about.
Saturday, August 15, 2009
"Hey, are you mad at me?"
"What?" Confused, "why would I be?"
"I don't know, but I just saw you in Target and you cruised right past me"
"Oh, yeah, well, I shop with blinders on....."
As you know (or some new found friends may not know) I have four kids. Dearest is for the most part working. There for it is to be understood that when I am going anywhere I have four kids with me. Now, as they are growing it is getting better, but I have fallen into the habit of shopping with blinders on. I am focused on the task at hand and where my children are at all times.
I am not a casual, stroll along and listen to the muzac whilst looking at the products around me - no I am the need 6 cans of cream soup and 6 cans of diced tomatoes in this aisle kind of shopping fury . I also expect my children to show the utmost respect and decent behavior in public. That means keeping a close eye on everything they say or do while they are still in the "training" process (don't email me about my choice of words- words are eluding me this week- if you have a better one to insert there then do so!)
My intention when I enter a store is to get what I need and (usually) a little more. Avoid as many impulse buys as possible and get out of there without ripping the heads off any stupid muzac listening shoppers along the way, as I make sure my kids don't embarrass me or break anything (like a jar of tomato juice -ugg!).
So if you see me breeze past you in Target or the grocery store and I don't stop to chat or even wave 'hi' it is not because I am mad at you. I just don't see you (or I may see you and be avoiding you because that would keep me in the store that much longer... shhhh don't tell anyone that part)
Friday, August 14, 2009
Random Thought Friday
First - Random Thought Friday--->
We have played this game before. It is quite simple just put a random thought into the comment section and hit publish. You can do it.
Here is some examples to get you going:
Why is it as I get older I like less and less types of music.
My new fabulous dishwasher is so sound proof and so sealed that when you open it in between washes it reeeeeeks! man, let it breathe!
Bread should mold a lot faster then it does - that should really scare us. What do they put in that stuff and why don't they put that in face cream?
If you had to buy white out by the gallon gasoline would look cheap.
High heels are meant to be worn for about .2 seconds and then sat in pretty like.
How can I pack for a two week trip a week ahead of time - what would we wear this week, how many clothes do you think we own?
I have more calluses on my hands then most men.
Why did I plant so much lettuce? How many salads and things with lettuce did I think I would eat! Where is Peter Rabbit when you need him?
My girly has an amazing singing voice -where did that come from?
I can't dance anymore. I swear I dance like a mom now. wth?
Mopping the floors is overrated. I only do it once a quarter! I'll wipe up the spills, but, really I have better things to do with my time.
Why do other people do things so much slower then me and why won't they just get out of my way?
Why is it that we know genetics are going to take over but are surprised when they do.
Why do I still have text books from college that I never intend to look at again.
You ever noticed that God has a sense of humor.
We have had a horrible summer of weather and now as we head to Colorado where it has been in the hundreds a cold front is moving in? Is it cold around here or is it just me?
Do Sage have a thought that isn't random?
Is Shelle's mom the original Snow White cuz she sure looks like a 21st century Snow White beauty.
Why do you have to squeeze the toothpaste from the bottom, it still works.
Why do you have to have cereal for breakfast and steak for supper. I would rather have it the other way around.
If you have a mid life crisis in your 30's are you going to die before you turn 80?
Why do companies put such crap in food and bathroom and cleaning products and why do we as Americans continue to buy it?
How did #2 lead get the number 2?
Why when I am about to start packing for this trip am I not stressed? Yet feel like crying?
As I age I continue to think men my age are attractive - thank God for that, cuz looking at 20 year olds would be creepy!
If someone didn't know me well they would think I had multiple personalities because you can't box this girl in.
Need any more ideas hit Shelle's place she has somewhere around 101 comments of random thoughts. Of course most are from Sage. Don't worry, they are making sure he is sober now - cuz you have to be some kind of messed up to make that many comments or have that many random thoughts :) (remember Sage is a friend - just laugh at him and don't get offended - he is just funny, go on laugh!)
Thursday, August 13, 2009
What about the lasts?
We are able to mark and date the firsts, but it is the lasts that are unknown.
As we journey out on our trip I do not mean to be morbid. Not in the least. But, we were picking up the last minute items this morning and as I walked into the store I realized I was holding the smallest boys' hands. Both of them. They had initiated it, and it gave me a little sentimental stir. For as I turned to see my two oldest a step behind and slightly sulky I know that this too shall pass, far too quickly.
Well, we are off. I will be trying to check in when I can using Deb @ Sojourner 's computer. I won't be around to read and comment... I miss you guys already. Don't forget me while I'm gone.
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Dear Gods of Google
It has been declared here that you control the weather.
However, what has not been stated, is that if indeed you do control the weather - then you have one heck of a sick sense of humor dear gods (and goddesses) of Google! Sick I tell you! For I have waited all Summer, I have prayed daily to you and the other weather gods to bring us warm weather. Something over 80 degrees is all I wanted.
To be able to take my children to the beach - so they could enjoy the water that you put in our great state. Now, you funny funny guys (and gals) send me a 90 degree day. Today on the day that I have to finish packing for our family trip.Oh, that is like sending a tropical storm to a destination wedding. That is like a snowstorm on the night your baby is born, that is just wrong!
If you doubt our claims that indeed Google is god -
Please let me refer you here.
After all, everything you read online is real- you all know that!
Pfffft... and you doubted me!
*shrugging shoulders, and giving you a
dismissive wave of the hand*
Monday, August 10, 2009
The Looming Question
Do NOT tell anyone where I am hiding.
I have washed and folded and put away laundry for two days.
I spent the last 3 hours gathering clothes for our trip.
They are all stacked into neat piles on my son's twin bed...
(It takes up the whole bed, and that is just for the kids)
Now, do I put these clothes in
suitcases, laundry baskets, storage tubs?
Uggg the looming questions of packing.
Although I haven't said how long we are going it is more then a few days.
Trying to get my work done while avoiding my family whose job it is to serve as a human obstacle course. Picture it - oldest darting at me with a lost toy concern, youngest is hungry (man that boy is always hungry) hubby sneaks up behind wondering if I really need three pairs of sunglasses in the van (what? I do!) Girly is coming in from the left to tell on someone, whoa - almost got tackled by child #3 who is crying about ... who knows what. He always cries!
Alright off to locate 5 more suitcases (my bag is packed - wooo hooo!) and then to negotiate stacks and stacks of clothes into them only to most likely find I will need storage totes or something like a camel with side packs to carry all of the stuff a family of 6 requires to travel cross country and camp along the way.
Actually... now that I think about it - leave mommy alone, she is going to find a drink first!
What does your underwear say about you?
Find out what your underwear says about you at QuizTank.com
Quick - go take the quiz and then come back ... tell me what it says about you.
According to the quiz
Mine say that -
I Am A Carer
I always like to try new things, I like to look for the next big thing. I like to keep things simple but elegant and neat. I like to think back on times I used to feel more sexy. I could do with some pampering.
Did you take the quiz? What did it say about you?
Let me know the results - if you dare ;)
(What kind of underwear do I wear? Wouldn't you like to know. Maybe I already gave you a hint ;)
Sunday, August 9, 2009
How To Time: Raspberry Jam
Freezer jam is easy and takes under
1/2 hour if you know what you are doing.
See instructions below:
What You Need
RINSE clean plastic containers and lids with boiling water. Dry thoroughly.
CRUSH raspberries thoroughly, one layer at a time. (Press half of pulp through a sieve to remove some of the seeds, if desired.) Measure exactly 2 cups prepared fruit into large bowl. Stir in sugar. Let stand 10 min., stirring occasionally.
MIX pectin and lemon juice. Add to raspberry mixture; stir 3 min. or until sugar is dissolved and no longer grainy. (A few sugar crystals may remain.)
FILL all containers immediately to within 1/2 inch of tops. Wipe off top edges of containers; immediately cover with lids. Let stand at room temperature 24 hours. Jam is now ready to use. Store in refrigerator up to 3 weeks or freeze extra containers up to 1 year. Thaw in refrigerator before using.
Saturday, August 8, 2009
Just Walk Away Moms
"MOM, HE'S ANNOYING ME AND WON'T STOP!" (child 3)
"Mom, he' s annoying ME and won't stop"
"No, you know what stinks - you! P.U. you stink, you haven't taken a shower since 1988!"
"MOM" "MOM" Whhhhaaaaaa haaaaahhhh hahhhhhhh
Oh please please please help me! I am stuck in kid hell! Seriously!!! Why do siblings have to fight SO much, why do they have to grate on each others nerves SO much. I am sure I did it as a kid, after all I am the youngest. But, as a mom it is the most tiring part of my day.
As this scene was going on this morning I recalled something that transpired years ago:
My oldest and second child were fighting - they were the only two able to talk at that time (now there are 4 chiming in and adding to the noise! oh the noise!) anyway, they were fighting - right. So, in the middle of their fight I stopped them and asked - why they had to do that, and didn't they know how sad it made mommy. My oldest stopped and looked at me with his innocent 4 year old eyes and said- "....because it's kinda fun"
This is a game to them?
I am about to pull my hair out, getting totally involved
in what is going on, and this is "kinda fun".
So, as all 4 of my darlings (insert sarcastic tone) are fighting and I am trying to keep them quiet so Dearest can conduct some dock business... I have to step back and remember that a couple of things are happening as they fight. 1) As I learned in all of my child development classes (way back in the day here people!) is that kids need to fight, negotiate, and work their way through relationships with their siblings. This is teaching them lessons for living in the real world and living in the business world. (2) I am more emotionally invested in the fight than they are most of the time (3) If I just stay out of it and let them work it out it ends better and usually sooner- no audience- no one to entertain (4) sometimes walking away makes you the better person - and I mean myself here!
So, I am grabbing the keys and one of the children and I am off. I am walking out in the middle of a fight about - hot wheels and kitchen floor space (which is apparently more valuable then lake shore around here) and I am going to the store to buy car snacks for our road trip out to Colorado!
*The pics in this post have nothing to do with kids, fighting, child development or anything else related to this post. They are of places I plan on taking my family in Colorado- because right now that is where my mind is while toys and voices fly behind my head in a slow motion movie like action.