Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Florida - Stuff

Sorry no pictures today:( Just some comments and observations about our day....you'll have to use your imagination!
Saw a hummingbird fly by and a large blackbird - maybe a magpie - swooped down and snatched that hummingbird up in his beak! Just like that! Yikes, I didn't know that birds ate each other! Gross.
Don't you just love old people? I do and believe me...Florida is the old people mothership! So here are two old people stories....
There is this lady we see every day walking on the beach pushing a pink stroller. She has this unnaturally red hair. I mean RED. She wears a visor that makes her hair stand straight up as if it didn't already command enough attention on its own. She is about 70 and wears these tight black capris with a big t-shirt with sparkles on it. Can you picture it?? Here's the thing......she has a DOG in that stroller! Yep, poor pup. Can you imagine the humiliation?!
Tonight we went out to dinner and there was this old guy with long white hair dressed head to toe in pink. Pink cardigan, pink shirt, pink pants......it was adorable!! I guess by the time you are in your 70's you've earned the right to do as you please and by the time you're in your 80's you can blame almost anything on senility.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Florida 2010 - Shuttle Launch

Well it's spring break and we are in Florida. We are alone - no kids this trip. I think the trip down here last year didn't feel as long as it did this year. Don't know why??? Maybe because last year with Luke and Caleb we were making stops every few minutes for either food or bathroom breaks. This year I think we only stopped when the car needed gas and it felt like a really long trip:(
Anyways, we arrived here late Saturday afternoon and have been enjoying the warm weather, sun and beach. Each morning we flip a coin to see if we walk left or right on the beach and each evening we take turns choosing where to eat. A person could get used to this!!!
One big bonus this trip was the space shuttle launch this morning. We were up and on the beach with the rest of the world before dawn. I was wondering if we'd be looking in the right place to see the launch but when it was time there was really no question!! I have never seen such a brilliant light and then a minute or so later we heard and felt it. Pretty cool stuff, even for a non space person like me!
Here we are fooling around while waiting for the launch.
This photo is not mine but it looks exactly like what we saw.
We hung out on the beach for a while to watch the sunrise and as it began to get light we saw these contrails leftover from the shuttle launch. Pretty sweet yes???
It was definitely worth getting up to see but as soon as we saw the sunrise it was back to sleep for me!! Hey, it's vacation!!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Tragedy Averted!

Yikes! It's been a while since I've updated......I get ideas for blogs all the time but then I either start one and put it in drafts or forget about it all together. But this morning I don't have to go to work so I'm going to take a minute and tell you about the tragedy that was narrowly averted yesterday.

I came home from work a little later than usual and Tom was already here, shoveling the driveway from yet another little (~3 inches) snowfall. I went inside and put my stuff away and began the daily task of searching for the mail and newspaper and checking email and of course my Farm (on Facebook.......my virtual farm......my little addiction......see an earlier post for more...)

After a little while Tom came in and asked if I'd let the dogs in. Let the dogs in??? What??? I didn't let them out!!! It's not unusual for Murphy (45# black lab mix) to leave the yard. In fact we have an invisible fence here and Murph will often decide it is worth the pain of the shock to chase deer or explore. Cadi (100+# yellow lab), on the other hand, stays in the yard. So when Tom told me they weren't in the yard I was concerned and began calling for them and asking neighbors. After about 30 minutes Murph came running home.....dripping wet. She was soaked! By now I was really worried for Cadi. I knew she was in the water somewhere and since her knee surgery a few weeks ago, I knew she wouldn't be able to swim for long. Naturally Tom accused me of over reacting and calmly tried to follow tracks through the snow. COME ON!!! IT'S ALMOST DARK AND MY DOG IS IN THE WATER SOME WHERE!!!!

We all got in our cars and scoured the area. Thankfully we had a regular family posse out looking for her. Just then one of our daughters came over and when she'd been updated on the situation, ran down to the lake looking and spotted Cadi barely hanging on to the ice, completely submerged except for her head. She ran to a nearby house, hysterical and called Tom's cell and he drove/ran down and met her, grabbed a boat and went out on the ice after her. (I'm glad I didn't know this until after!) They were somehow able to drag her out of the water and off the ice. We figure that she was in the water about 45-60 minutes, so she was really weak and cold. They had to carry/drag her to the truck as she was too exhausted to walk. Tom gave her a warm bath and we fed her and she and Murph curled up together on their dog bed in the family room and slept all evening even though there were 6 grandkids here climbing all over them!!!

First thing on today's to-do list??? Put fresh batteries in their collars and maybe have Murph's turned up a little higher!!

Sunday, January 31, 2010

The (Dead?) Horse

Have you ever been unable to stop laughing about something? Sometimes it is something that is not actually funny in a hahaha funny sense. It happens to me frequently and usually at the most inappropriate time. Like in church. Once when Nathan was a baby we were sitting in church and he was gnawing on his teether - you know, those water-filled ring things? - and it sprung a leak and there was absolutely nothing that could be done to minimize the water fountain that sprung forth from that little teether! We about fell off the pew as I recall. Who knew that it was filled with about a gallon of water?? Anyways it happened again today and again in church........

But let me set the stage. This morning while driving to church we saw a very unusal sight - it was about 10 degrees outside and we passed a woman walking along the side of the highway and across the road the was something large under a tarp. As we zipped past, we noticed two feet sticking out from under the tarp. I thought it was a cow but Tom said it was definitely horse feet complete with horse shoes. Weird, huh? So we commented that it was going to be quite a feat just moving that animal off the shouder of the road and wondered how it came to be there in the first place, and what they were going to do with the body since the ground is too frozen to dig, etc.... It felt to me like we were in an episode of Northern Exposure.

So we got to church and sat down and when it was time for the sermon the pastor was giving examples of how some creatures are just programmed or wired to do certain things. And believe it or not the first example was a horse and how horses are just wired to run (and there was a photo of a race horse on the screen) and I guess that was the beginning of it for me - I could already feel the laughter welling up inside of me and the pastor went on to say that a horse who couldn't run might as well just fall down and die. At this moment I knew it was going to be one of those laughing moments......not because of a dead horse......but just the sheer absurdity of it! I didn't dare look at Tom but when I heard a little stifled whinny from him, I did look at him and from then on it was all downhill!! It was just the kind of thing that would have garned the *stink eye* and a sharp elbow to the ribs from my mom to one of us or better yet from me to one of my kids at a moment like that. And it was exactly and completely uncontrollable at the moment.

Fortunately we recovered from out fit of laughter quickly and later, on the way home we discovered that the (dead?) horse had been removed from the shoulder of the road.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Happy New Year!

You would think that now that the holidays are over I would have more time for stuff like updating this blog. I even thought I would have more time. Silly silly me. Perhaps I'm just lacking motivation?? But now that I've un-decorated and re-packed all my Christmas stuff it does finally feel like the new year. Phew! Well except for the tree. The tree will probably still be up for a while. Valentine's Day is the goal.

And what a new year it has been so far! Here are the highlights:

Our yellow Lab, Cadi, slipped on the icy driveway right before Christmas as she charged out the door pell mell. We noticed her limping and dragged her to the vet who discovered that she'd torn her anterior cruciate ligament which would have to be surgically repaired. Apparently Santa didn't get our memo and so we started off the new year with doggy orthopedic surgery. Yippee. Fortunately, even though it has only been 4 days since surgery, she is already using her leg more than before! Doesn't she look pitiful? And how about that knee....ouch!

Something else I learned was to never share any passwords with anyone! It is major creepy to be chatting online with someone who is standing right next to you! It was like a horror movie - a really bad horror movie! Thank goodness she was standing there with me because I'd have been chatting with someone that I never associate with and luckily she was able to identify that her account had been hacked into and rectify the situation before major damage had been done! Beware people, beware!

One thing I've discovered is that it is sooo much quicker to check pockets of clothes before you wash them than it is to scrub chapstick out of your clothes and re-wash them later. AUGH. It is worse than kleenex.....trust me!

And here's another dilemma. Let's say you find a restaurant or store that you really like. Do you tell everyone about it or keep it to yourself?? I ask because this is not the first time that we've *discovered* a sweet little restaurant and then we told everyone how yummy it was and now when we go there we have to wait in line for a table. It's just wrong! And so, no, I am not going to tell you where it is. But I will say that if you love bbq this place is the bomb!
Oh yeah...have a Happy New Year too!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Christmas 2009

It's been soo long since I've updated that I don't even know where to start......
Here is Selah at the Nutcracker-her sister Linnea was a Drosselmeier mouse this year and so when she had her makeup done, Selah also got a mouse face.
And this is Maggie making *snow* with a piece of styrofoam. She made lots and lots of *snow* but when the foam was all gone......
She wasn't very happy!!!
She kinda wasn't loving Santa this year either! Isn't that an awesome looking Santa? But imagine being a little kid and being expected to sit in this strange stranger's lap!?!

And here we have the whole family on Christmas Eve opening gifts!

Caleb and Alec (im)patiently waiting for their turn to open a gift. Luke was Santa this year and I had all the gift tags coded to make it more fun. I used initials or birth dates instead of names on most of the gifts. I'm such a clever, tricky grandma,,,heh heh!

This picture actually looks like it should come before the last two...oh well!

Here is Selah opening something.....

Here are Caleb, Selah and Olivia playing with some of their new toys.....Playdoh and a paint set (which is why Selah has her dress off!)

This is my mom & dad - they wanted to have a picture in front of the tree to use on their Christmas card for next year! Notice all the red tinsel on the tree??? Some one thought it would be fun to use that instead of tissue in her gifts and so the three little girls had it spread pretty much all over the house and I do mean ALL OVER! I'm not exactly sure whose idea it was to have them put it on the tree after they'd picked it all up?!? It came off the tree real easy with the shop vac just in case you wondered!

And that pretty much sums up the last few weeks at our house! I am always happy once Christmas is over and we can get back to a more normal routine here......well, normal for us!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Swedish Breakfast

Okay so if you've known me for more than five minutes, you most likely know that my family is Swedish. Came through Ellis Island. Right off the boat. My parents are first generation Americans. They were fairly fluent in the language.....enough that they and the grandparents could communicate without any of us kids having a clue!

All the grandparents are gone now and also the rest of their generation and so, unfortunately, have a lot (alright, most) of the cultural / family traditions. There is, however, one tradition that remains and that is the Swedish Lucia breakfast.
My mom & I attended it again last weekend. I really don't know what the history is for the event other than food and a girl - supposedly the oldest daughter - wearing a wreath of lit (yikes!) candles on her head and the littlest kids in costume dancing and singing and stuff. So at this particular breakfast there is all of that and a modest assortment of foods and other Swedish things for sale.
This is a photo of a Lucia celebration - not the one we went to though.

Attending any event with your 80 year old mother can be an *exciting* thing and this was no exception! She talks a little too loud. She comments on everything and everyone.....whether appropriate or not. She tells everyone at the table (all strangers) that the food is not as good as her grandmother's recipe but can't tell you what it was that made grandma's food so much better. She tells everyone, including the servers "god dog" which she thinks is Swedish for good day. I don't know...maybe it is but if someone kept saying "god dog" to you.........hey, I'm just saying......
So I got my annual cultural experience and spent a pleasant morning doing so!
"God dog", to all! Heh heh!