Five on Friday: Texts from the road (in no particular order)

DSCN5708 Thunderbird, Ho-made pies, 4x6 pic

  1. A pair of incoming texts in response to the above information being shared:
    “I swear I didn’t make any of those pies!”
    “Wouldn’t that more accurately be called a tart?”
    –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –
    I mentioned earlier this week that my youngest son, driving with his learner’s permit, was traveling quite legally at 75mph in a strong headwind. The road was not straight so with each rounded curve of the mountain highway we were buffeted from a different angle. Add to that a rather inexperienced driver, and the following texts to friends is how I attempted to keep quiet in the backseat:
  2. “Eeek!  [Youngest son] at the wheel here on I-17 which has winding mountain roads. I’m getting an ulcer in the backseat and I’m not the one instructing him.”
  3. “My tummy hurts… [SnakeMaster] is an inexperienced driver. Rumble strips, varying speed, truckers entering the highway. I’m feeling nauseous from the weaving and especially the stress. The guard rail has been too close for comfort more than twice. Luckily, [SuperDad] is calm.”   I was just trying to keep clam! 
  4. “My deodorant isn’t strong enough for this experience!!! I’ve got a stress headache on top of the nausea. Oy!”My now-15-year-old son may not appreciate those feelings… until he teaches his own children to drive.
    –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –
    While the guys were hiking Angel’s Landing in Zion, I took myself on several smaller hikes. Then I limped back out the way I came in, wondering if I could somehow not walk again for the rest of the day. At 3pm, I sent the following texts to my friend:
  5. “Decided I was done hiking. As in, stick a fork in me, I’m done! Just ordered a stout and an applewood-smoked BLT at the brew pub outside the park. My feet are screaming at me.”
    “PS: Conviction Stout is delicious.”By the time my menfolk found me, I had enough sustenance and relief that I was able to share my fries and applewood-smoked bacon like a good mama should. 

Ten on Tuesday — the viral edition

  1. I am woefully behind in my scrapbooking ventures.
  2. On Friday morning, I was slammed by sinus pain and congestion that arrived on the heels of a night marked by little sleep. My husband is still recovering from his own bout with what appears to be a virus, yet he managed to share his germs with me, inconsiderate of my plans to go away for the weekend. He strongly suggested that I stay home instead.
  3. On Friday afternoon, the friends who had driven down from Canada to meet me halfway between their homes and mine at our mutual destination discovered my plight and offered to drive further to pick me up if I was unable to drive. At such generosity I could only think that If they were foolish enough to care not for their own health, why should I be miserable at home when I could be surrounded by friends and sleep in the Canuck Party Trailer?
  4. So I packed my supplies — cold medicine and Kleenex included — and drove north to the scrapbooking retreat, minus my actual scrapbooking materials. This was not an oversight.
  5. Scrapbooking retreats are not just for scrapbooking. While my friends cropped, I finished up 2 fleece blankets and made earrings (I don’t know how many — I stopped counting.)  Some of the earrings were set aside for the upcoming farmer’s market season, some were given as gifts, and some were sold then and there.
  6. Made-to-order earrings created on-site is a good way to save on time, packaging and shipping.
  7. I managed 8 hours of sleep each night of the retreat — a first among all such ventures.
  8. Taking “shots” of Guaifenesin every 4 hours helps chase down the Sudafed and Tylenol but did not entirely solve all ills. My hoarse voice did not gain relief from such common assistance. Prophylactic Fireball may have helped save the weekend thusly.
  9. This is an ingenious invention:
  10. Composing a blog post while watching the Laurence Olivier version of “Hamlet” can be credited for the strange writing here.

A St. Patrick’s Day Prayer


I got home from a meeting last night to find that KCINNOTX had been thinking of me. This card was in my mailbox. Thanks, BB! 🙂

No beer was turned green in the making of this card or the celebrating of this holiday by either of us.  We prefer our Guinness unadulterated. Please pass the corned beef and cabbage!

Do you sense a theme here?

DSCN1309  Themed birthday, resized for web

Thank you, KCINNOTX 🙂


Add a cup of coffee brought to my bedside this morning, the chance to relax — read, clean out my purse, go to the library — and a shopping trip for more beads (what else!?) before choir rehearsal, with a late supper afterward with a few friends and a pair of Coronas. No cake needed.

Syringa, Part Three: Canadian Camping Adventures

I’ve met some really fun friends while scrapbooking.

4 Js and a K

4 Js and a K

Twice a year, we get together and stay in what I’ve dubbed “the Cannuck Party Trailer” at a weekend scrapbooking event that takes place approximately halfway between my town and theirs.  At the last crop, we discussed the possibility of me getting my family to join all of their families at a campground for a long weekend.  I started working on my family with this plan right away, and within a few months it was “all systems go!”


The other gals all have RVs, but this was home-sweet-home for the weekend for my family.  (Not pictured: SnakeMaster’s backpacking hammock where he slept.)

I really enjoy having older kids who no longer need nor want to share a tent with their parents. That big tent was designed to sleep 6 people, which is exactly how we used it for many years; now it is the master bedroom.  I am, however, beginning the chant of “glamping” because I really don’t enjoy having to fully wake up, crawl out of bed AND out of a tent just to walk a quarter-mile to use a bathroom!  Sure, on a starry night it is a lovely walk… but it can be difficult to go back to sleep upon return to bed.

DSCN0914 Thumbs up for Syringa!

Thumbs up for Syringa!

Camping with other people has additional benefits beyond me , the lone female amongst males, having other women around for conversation.  We share “camping hacks” (ideas that make camping easier, such as hanging your roll of paper towels from a bungee cord “rod” on the canopy over the picnic table — truly brilliant and I can’t believe we never thought of something so simple before), beverages, activities for the kid in all of us, and games.

DSCN3770  Black rock with cobalt designsDSCN3769  Turquoise ladybug rock









The kids and moms painted rocks with acrylic paint. These two beauties above were crafted by Humorous-Juniorous, my 18yo son. He’s got some artistic talent.   (What you do not see here is my attempt at sprigs of lilacs. Someone commented on it later on being a really nice purple tree… so at least there’s that amount of recognition.)  One of my friends there is also a blogger, so I expect at some point she will post pictures of other rocks on her blog. She is also the one who made a jaunt into town for this box of supplies…


Now can you think of a project to do with a box of these edibles?

These ladies have a plan

These ladies have a plan


Ready… set…



It's better to bite than lick if you want to win

It’s better to bite than lick if you want to win

DSCN0937  donut boys

DSCN0939 donut girls

 This is one game where everyone who plays is a winner. 

I recommend the sour cream old fashioneds.  I had one bite and it was worth every calorie. 🙂

Rock painted by SnakeMaster

Rock painted by SnakeMaster


If you haven’t seen them yet, click  over to Part One and Part Two.


Bloomin’ Busy!

Iris are my favorite flower.  I love their heady scent as long as it is outside. When my husband has kindly cut some and brought them in, I have to keep them at a distance because their scent is so cloyingly sweet.  I’ve always been partial to the blues and purples, but the root beer (bottom left) is growing on me.

2014 May iris

When we bought our house 3 years ago, the only flowers in the yard (front and back combined) were the red petunias lining the front garden beds.  My friend ~A~ came to the rescue with iris bulbs from her own garden and many more flowers as well, thanks to her newly-built (and quite lovely) fire pit that took up former flower bed space.

living room view in late May

living room view in late May


The pink tulips bulbs came from the garden of a dear old friend of Rapunzel (our DIL)  plus a few from my mother’s stash in her garage (we were lucky that any came up at all). The columbine also came from my friend’s garden.

Total aside: Did you know that a columbine petal looks like a heart? 

Columbine petal heartIt’s been such a crazy couple of weeks in my schedule that there is only one yellow iris bloom left today, and here I am finally posting the photos.

I worked this afternoon, including a meeting tonight, and I have two more days in a row at the office before heading “to the coast” to celebrate the accomplishments of a nephew who is both graduating from high school and having his Eagle Scout Court of Honor.
Then it’s back home to usher for a theatre production on Friday evening.  (That is how frugal folks attend professional theatre. Yo!)

Yesterday I posted a graduation pic of H-J and his girlfriend. An honest catch-up would also include a family photo from graduation weekend…

DSCN0804  Best Grad Family Pic, resized for web

and point out that I’ve been working on my little side business/hobby as well by making a commitment to be at some of the local farmer’s market days this summer, selling earrings and photo note cards.  I made enough sales at my first day last Friday to do it a few more times.

Farmer's Market


So that’s life in a nutshell here: family, work, family, hobbies, and some fun with friends in-between all of that activity.

The “unsaid” from above includes time spent/wasted on the timesuck known as facebook. I’m probably ready for a respite from that place thanks to a few people (and one in particular) who think my page is a place to argue — and I do mean argue, in a condescending manner — opposing views about guns/school shootings. I happen to believe that you can respectfully say you hold other views but you keep your own PARAGRAPHS of thought on your own timeline. Apparently, I am wrong about this — or so I’ve been told.  I’m worn out.  And sad.

I’ll try to drop by and finish visiting all of you before the end of the month.

Caturday: highlights from Mrs. G’s collection

A few weeks ago, I was privileged to spend time with Mrs. G. of Derfwad Manor.

kitty gigantica

This is her infamous cat painting, which has caused a great internet stirring on both sides of the opinion fence.

If you have never read about the Siamese Cat, you really ought to do so now. It is a classic post.

This painting of a Siamese Cat is not a small picture.

This is the lovely Mrs. G. and the infamous kitty picture.

This is the lovely Mrs. G. and Kitty Gigantica.

It's almost like sleeping in a cat art museum!

It’s almost like sleeping in a cat art museum!

Da Kitty now hangs on the wall in Mrs. G.’s guest room (because Mr. G. could not abide having it watching him sleep) along with a collection of other cat art.

DSCN2747 web-sized

DSCN2743 cropped

click on pic to embiggen

click on pic to embiggen

DSCN2742 classy cat

DSCN2748 cropped

I had no trouble sleeping under the watchful eyes of these cats.

kitty gigantica

Kitty Gigantica behaved very nicely.

Mrs. G. with Gus and Chewie

Mrs. G. with Gus and Chewie

Mrs. G loves her dogs, too.

Unseen Benefits of Blogging

I’ve been blogging for nearly 6 years, which sort of boggles my mind if I stop to think about it.  Just think of all the house-cleaning that could have been accomplished! Instead, I was attached by my fingertips to a computer keyboard.  Now, I’m semi-attached to a computer keyboard at work several days each week and it has taken away from my blogging time — so much so that I have been remiss in blogging on a regular basis.  Housework continues to suffer, and so does holiday decorating. I may or may not be ready for Jen’s 6th Annual Holiday Homes Tour.

But enough about the remaining fall decorations, Mt. Washmore and the kitchen floor — this is about the benefits of blogging!

Over the past five or six years, I have hosted a giveaway or two of my own; I’ve also been the lucky recipient of a handful armful of prizes and giveaways via the blogs of other folks. I’ve been blessed with several books (Jenn and Jen), a box full of pink goodies, a Tassimo coffee maker! (perfect timing for a college student), and among other things I’m sure that I have failed to name, my most recent blessings of a lovely Mollytogs bag via Jen on the Edge and a delicious (I’m trying so very hard to savor it slowly) chocolate bar from Green Girl in Wisconsin.  My intent had been to share photos of some of these things… but between the whole BUSY! BUSY! BUSY! gig I’ve got going on and the theme of this post (“unseen”), you’ll just have to take my word for it.

Of course, the best unseen benefits of blogging come from the friendships that have developed over time. You have sustained me through the aftermath of 2 moves across the country and the settling into a new home/neighborhood/town.  You’ve pulled me out of the winter doldrums, celebrated with me as kids have graduated from high school, gone to college, and gotten married; you’ve sympathized when one kid totaled the car and when another one was brought home by the Sheriff’s Deputy (there was also the time when I called the Sheriff because he hadn’t come home). You’ve cried with me when my mother passed away, and you’ve laughed with me — and made me laugh and smile — more times than I could ever count.  I don’t think it’s too much of a stretch to say that you’ve helped to keep me sane.

I’ve only met with and seen a few of you, but please know that you are a blessings in my life, each one of you. Your friendship is the best benefit of blogging.