Friday, September 27, 2013

High Five for Friday!

Happy Friday, everyone!

I just got back from our high school's homecoming coronation (I was disappointed when I realized it didn't have anything to do with a Corona Nation... but that's another story.)

Anyway, here are the five highlights of my week:

1. I get to spend my Friday morning with the middle of The Grand Boys again.
Last week we watched trucks, skid loaders, and conveyor belts
at the Birdseye corn plant for an hour and a half!
2. The Angsty Teen is finally back to doing her eye exercises to help w/her concussion headaches.

3. I was able to make it to the monthly cooking class... I love going there.
I made Stuffed Pepper Soup... so good!
4. It's homecoming in our town! Today's the parade, a BBQ, and the football game.
Every year farm boys drive their big tractors to school... but this really made me laugh...

5. The Stern German is going out of town for the weekend.
It will be a little quieter around here... except I still have to take care of his dog. Dang.
Yes, I might miss his cheerful countenance.... but then again...
Hope you have some fun things planned for the weekend. I have another marching band competition on Saturday... so I think the weekend will be over before I know it... and then the Stern German will be home... yay.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Throwback Thursday: Payback

That drive I made last weekend to take my dad up to his 65th high school reunion? Well, the town they had the reunion in is the town my paternal grandparents lived in throughout my growing up years.

We visited them about once a month... I loved that town. 

It always seemed like a long drive up there... probably because it was... it was about a five hour drive.

Here are a few things I remember about the drive:

1. My brother coming over on to No Man's Land (the middle of the back seat) and bugging me.

2. Getting car sick and throwing up... should've aimed it towards him.

3. Telling my dad I had to go to the bathroom... but not getting to stop forever!

4. Never, ever, ever getting to stop to see Paul Bunyan's Sweetheart.

That's Paul Bunyan's Sweetheart in the picture above. When I was growing up I LOVED that statue. I always wanted to stop and see her... and at that point we were just an hour from grandma's house... so my dad would never stop.

Or maybe it wouldn't have mattered where we were in our trip. He didn't want to stop... so we never stopped.

And I mean... never.

Sometimes we'd be driving through her hometown of Hackensack and my dad would distract me by calling my attention to something on the other side of the road.

Sometimes he'd act like he was going to stop... and then keep going.

Sometimes he just acted like he never heard me ask if we could stop.

So now as an adult I stop there every time we go through that town. My children beg me not to stop... but I stop anyway. I love that statue...

So... yes... we stopped there on the way up to the reunion... because I was driving... because I wanted a picture with my friend...
Bonding with my friend...
And because maybe it felt good just to even the score a little, tiny bit...
Probably the only picture EVER of my dad with that statue!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Reality... or Something

Yesterday I wrote "Oh, and all the stories my dad tells about his school days? Apparently there's very little truth in any of those tales... No one else remembers stuff the way my dad does."

I mean I know my dad's stories aren't 100% true... otherwise they probably wouldn't be very entertaining... but the other people at the reunion didn't really seem to remember any of the events he talks about... constantly.

There's one story he tells and tells and tells... I've heard it for years... and as this reunion kept getting closer and closer... he kept telling the story more frequently.

His story goes like this:

"My classmate, Geraldine, had a "teddy bear coat".  (He described it as a fuzzy winter coat with long furry sleeves and a big fuzzy hood... maybe like the one above.)

One night when we were in junior high the two of us skipped out of the PTA meeting and found an unlocked car in the parking lot.

Really? You hussy, Geraldine... and, actually, all the cars were probably unlocked back in the '40s...

After being in the car for a while... Geraldine said to me, "Quintin, if we are going to make a go of this relationship... we are really going to have to work at it."

At this point, I (in all his junior high wisdom) panicked and ran."

Well, guess what? In his sharing of the story at the reunion... I learned a few things:

Geraldine... always hated being called Geraldine... She went by "Gerri"... My dad claims he never knew that.

Gerri said she never owned a "teddy bear coat"... she said that was her cousin, Phyllis. Oops, wrong girl.

Gerri said this never happened.

So what is true? Well, my father is adamant that he remembers the story correctly. His memory is fine. She's a liar.

In fact, yesterday, after I said Gerri claimed she never owned a "teddy bear coat"... he said to me in a loud, angry, indignant voice:

"I remembered that story just the way it happened. Geraldine had a coat like that. She's a liar. I remember that story perfectly, Bevy."

Yeah, your memory's great, dad. By the way, I'm Sally.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013


Yes, I am a survivor... of the 65th Laporte High School Reunion!

It was a long, long, long, long (long, long, long, long, long, long) day... We left here around 10:00 am...

We stopped for a nice lunch at Chammps... around 12:30 pm...
We only stopped twice for the diabetic, geriatric, bariatric blind guy to go to the bathroom... thankful he didn't take his diuretic that morning... Thought we'd be stopping a lot more than that.

My theory was that if I drank a lot of water on the drive... that whenever I would need to go to the bathroom, so would he... my theory was a little faulty. I had to stop more than he did!

We met up with his classmates...
The classmates consisted of (front row left to right) his on-again, off-again junior high/high school girlfriend and his second cousin.. (back row) his first cousin and the guy he went to school with from 1st grade all through college.

It was a good day. The traveling went better than I even had hoped. But... I'm still a little tired!

Oh, and all the stories my dad tells about his school days? Apparently there's very little truth in any of those tales... No one else remembers stuff the way my dad does. Hmmmm....

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Say a Little Prayer

I don't usually blog on Saturdays... but this is the day I'm taking the diabetic, geriatric, bariatric, blind guy to his 65th high school reunion dinner.

He's all gussied up and ready...
And, I'm nearly ready... well, as ready as I'll ever be.

 I'm hoping that some of you will see this and keep me in your prayers... You could pray for:

  • headaches to stay at bay for the Angsty Teen... and me
  • marching band to go well here in town for the Angsty Teen
  • my sadness at missing this fun band day
  • large bladder capacities
  • frequent restroom sightings
  • tires that stay full of air (one was nearly flat yesterday... so it could be a bit tricky)
  • tanks that stay full of gass
  • pants that stay dry
  • blood sugars that stay normal
  • wheelchairs and walkers that don't malfunction
  • wardrobes that don't malfunction
  • good conversation
  • that a fine time will be had by all

Friday, September 20, 2013

High Five for Friday!

How was your week? Mine was pretty good. I started being intentional about working out... and these old muscles are a bit sore!

Here are some other highlights of my week:

1. I made some good food:
a. Zucchini cake with cream cheese frosting (no picture)
b. Homemade spaghetti sauce with meatballs and vermicelli (so good... especially with some red wine!)
c. Sesame chicken (I might've been a little heavy handed with the sesame seeds...)

2. The Stern German made the Angsty Teen finish her last half of a meatball last night...
but then he left the room...
3. I made a mess:
I dropped a nearly-full container of cocoa on the floor... and in the baking drawer. What a mess.

4. The Angsty Teen made some fun with her nephews... aka The Grand Boys.

5. I made it past level 65 on Candy Crush.
Off and on I had been trying to beat this level for over a week... kind of frustrating when it has to do more with luck than skill.

So that is my week in summation. Hope you had a good week! Enjoy your weekend.

Tomorrow I will be driving my dad to his 65th class reunion... it is going to be a looonnnggg day.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

A Little Squirrely

Everyone in my family loves squirrels...

Well, sort of.

Kati loves to hate them.... because they are wild beasts. She's not a fan of those things.

I love to see them from afar... because I dislike rodents of all shapes and sizes.

The Stern German would love to be out in the woods shooting them. I guess they taste like chicken.

The dog would love to be chasing, catching, and dismembering them.

The Angsty Teen? Well, that picture of the white ceramic squirrel was a Christmas gift to her from Kati. That child, the Angsty Teen... not Kati, loves squirrels.

She would love to romp with them in the woods... or in our yard...
Yes, both the Angsty Teen and the dog were watching the same squirrel...

Maybe the Stern German should've put a hand on the Angsty Teen's shoulder to calm her down and hold her back...

Down, girl. Stay.

Have you seen the movie Rat Race? This clip makes me laugh out loud.

Maybe someday the Angsty Teen will be a Squirrel Lady... Dang, I hope not... someone's gotta take care of me in my old age... and I'm not living with squirrels.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Top Two Non-highlights

Here are the two non-highlights of my week:

1. My Neighbor Who Watches Us is home from her trip. 

She's been gone over two weeks. It has been heavenly to sit out in the yard and to keep our curtains wide open in the dining room! A person could get used to this...

We enjoyed time on the Stern German's new patio without anyone watching and/or listening to us...
 I guess the time on the patio wasn't always enjoyed by all...
 FYI: That's the Stern German's happy face... I think...

2. I'm driving the diabetic, geriatric, bariatric blind guy to his 85th high school reunion. 

Saturday is going to be a long day. It is 4 1/2 hour drive... each way. We are driving there... eating supper with his classmates that are still alive (obvs)... and driving back home again.

Spending the night away from home is just asking for trouble since he can't see his way around a hotel room very well. And this way, my mom doesn't have to go... she gets a whole day alone. She is soooo excited!

And... my dad is excited to see his old girlfriend... I told him she might look a little older... He said, "It doesn't matter... I can't see her anyway!"

True dat.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Dance Party Do Over

Well, apparently no one could view the Angsty Teen's dance video from yesterday.
Such an attractive face look...
Yes, You Tube people, I understand that I don't own the rights to the song, but you said it had been cleared for viewing. Dirty, rotten liars.

Technology isn't my best friend. In fact, I'm not even sure we are on speaking terms usually... I know just enough stuff to get by...  and be slightly dangerous.

Hmmm... maybe I can upload the video right to my blog? There is a button up there at the top that I've never used...

Hey, this might actually work... or I might just think it works... it's hard for me to tell the difference. I could go onto my blog yesterday and play the video... but no one else could... so, who knows?

Let me know if this one works... If it doesn't? I apologize. If it does? I still might owe you an apology.

I was going to write about my non-highlights of the week... but I think I'll save that for tomorrow.

Watching this video might be more than enough fun for one day...

Monday, September 16, 2013

Sweet Dance Moves

I wish I could say it was a relaxing weekend... but it was a busy... way too busy.
After dinner on Sunday night the Angsty Teen was supposed to help me with dishes... but, as is the cae about 80% of the time, that is when the urge to "go" hits her.

When she finally came down to help me... she had to wipe off the dining room table. I always let her put on the music of her choice and crank up the volume so that she works with a better attitude...

This time she started dancing... so I tried to take a video of the Angsty Teen's dance moves.

She wasn't biting in the beginning... but go ahead and watch this girl bust a move.

It's less than a minute long.

And it's kind of funny.

Also.. it doesn't seem to be working... but I have embedded it a second time... because the codes look different.

Technology is not my friend. I don't know what I am doing... but the first video is the new code... Good luck.
I don't have any sweet dance moves... well, I can do a pretty mean Chicken Dance... and I don't totally suck at the Electric Slide... and... oh, yeah, I can totally rock the Hokey Pokey.

That's all I got.

Friday, September 13, 2013

High Five for Friday

It's just past 1:00 am on Friday morning... I just got home from going to a funeral visitation for a friend's sister that was 4 1/2 hours away from my town. It's been a long day.

I should've written this post earlier in the day, but there really wasn't time. So, here are my five highlight from the week:

1. This guy is coming over to my house this morning to play for a few hours again. Yay!
Last Friday we played with water... I'd forgotten about that.
2. People have been giving me delicious tomatoes...  I've been making lots of fresh salsa... which of course needs delicious margaritas!
My margarita recipe isn't fantastic... yet... I'll keep trying.
 3. It was finally cool enough to cook risotto! Pheasant risotto with mushrooms and peas... so good.

4. I survived taking both of my parents to Walmart at the same time.
Yes, it was a little tricky. I'll share more another time!
5. Everyone is healthy enough in our family. Sometimes I take that for granted... but after hearing story after story yesterday about people with major health issues... the problems we have seem minor.

Hope you have a great weekend. We will be spending a lot of it with marching band. Should be fun!
The arrow is pointing toward The Concussed One... she isn't able to march...

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Friday with G-ma

Last Friday I spent most of the morning with The Grand Boy who just turned two years old.

I didn't think he would want to get out of the car and leave his brothers, his cousin, and his mom to come be with me...  BUT I WAS WRONG! He was so excited to come be with me! Yay! He likes me!

And the baby? Well, he's only one, but when he figured out that his brother was coming to play with me and he wasn't getting to come along... he started to cry...
No, I didn't take a picture of him on Friday... but he did look just like this!
They think I'm fun!

How did the two year old and I spend our morning?

We sorted rigatoni that I had dyed the night before:
I was surprised at his level of concentration... He pulled out all the red and orange ones.
We read lots and lots of books. We did the same truck puzzle over and over again.

We found a digger at work to watch, and we walked by the firetrucks at the station:

We ran to Walmart for Reese's PB cups and brownie mixes...
We made one brownie mix, laid down a row of the Reese's PB cups... minus the two he bit into... covered all that with another recipe of brownie batter and baked. Delicious.

Too bad there's not a future for this boy in turning pro in the area of unwrapping Reese's PB cups...  He is totally gifted in that area... and look at the great stacking job he did in the bottom left picture!

I taught that boy how to crack eggs... I showed him how to tap an egg on the counter and use his hands to open it up.

He got the cracking on the counter part... but then he held the cracked egg over the bowl and crushed it in his cute, chubby, little hand... And there weren't any eggshells in there... go figure. I'm sure I wouldn't have the same luck if I tried it that way!

I don't think I impressed his mom though... She said that he cracked an egg for her yesterday... at the grocery store. Oops.

Obviously MARvelous

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Tuesday with the Angsty Teen

This week is shaping up to be kind of ugly... well, just too dang busy...too much to do...  too many people to take care of... too many hours without sleep...

So the Angsty Teen has volunteered to share some of her wisdom with you... Who wouldn't want to take advice from this:

Here are her fifteen year old thoughts on having (or, more accurately, not having) a boyfriend:

I don't feel the need to have a boyfriend. 

I have food.

I have a laptop.

I can watch TV and eat in literally every room of the house. 

I keep snacks in my bathroom.

My life is great.

I have a dog.

I don't need a guy to be happy.

I have Netflix, Beaches.

Friday, September 6, 2013

HIgh Five for Friday!

Once again, it's Friday... seems to come around every so often, doesn't it?

Here are the five highlights of my week:

1. The Angsty Teen had her first day of school!
I really love public education.

Those aren't her real school clothes... she has band...
We leave the house at 6:15 am for marching band... dang.
This is what it looks like outside at 6;15 am!
2. I made lots of delicious food...
Clockwise from top left:
1. Cheese/hummus Happy Hour tray
2. Fresh salsa and a fresh-squeezed lime margarita
3. Pork fried rice with lots of veggies!
4. Mostaccioli with roasted cherry tomatoes
(and freshly grated Parmesan... and delicious, crusty bread... and a bottle of red wine... yum.
3. The Angsty Teen decided how she is going to wear her hair for picture day today...
She's sexy and she knows it...
Just kidding.. I think she was curling her hair and had it clipped up to curl the bottom layer. Such a good look.

4. I get to spend my Friday morning with this guy! 
He might be coming to G-ma's to play every Friday morning!!!
He's the middle of The Grand Boys. His older brother goes to preschool... (He's four years old)... his younger brother (who is one) usurped this boy's position as baby of the family when this guy was one... So I'm thinking he needs some special time where he is top dog.

5. I brought this chair home! 
It's a pretty great chair.
The Stern German bought himself a new toy a few weeks ago... so I decided that fair is fair... and this needed to be mine! The Stern German concurred... He hated the wicker chair that was falling apart... Works for me.

Those are the high points of my week.

Tomorrow we spend the entire day at two different marching band competitions in the Twin Cities.

It will be a long day... but the good news? We will get to eat at a great Thai restaurant that we discovered last year.


Thursday, September 5, 2013

Picture Day

Tomorrow is Picture Day for the Angsty Teen.
Around these parts it seems like Lifetouch has a monopoly on that business. Maybe they do everywhere.

The Angsty Teen is concerned about this:
Really? She's never cared about the actual lump... but now she's concerned about the incision? (It looks a lot better than that now anyway!)

I told her to turn the other cheek... and not worry... There are always retakes in a few weeks.

Over the years I've learned a few valuable lessons when it comes to picture day. I'll share them with you:

1. Let your child wear whatever (within reason) he/she wants to wear.

It's their picture. You want them to like it. When they are younger you can steer them toward the shirt/top you think would look best on them. As they get a little older you have to choose your battles... and I learned a long time ago to let this one go.

2. Don't try any new hairstyles on picture day.

This is an important rule for girls. If you have the urge to curl, braid, etc. give it up. It won't turn out the way she wants... just keep it simple.

3. Have your child practice smiling... just a couple of times.

This was an important one for the Angsty Teen when she was little. She used to smile for any and all pictures by sticking her front teeth behind her bottom teeth. Not a good look.

4. Don't stress out.

It'll all be fine.

5. Don't give an opinion on the pictures when your kid brings them home.

I've learned that it really doesn't matter one bit what I think of the pictures when they come back. What matters is that my kid likes the pictures. So when she walks in the door and shows me the pictures I never, ever, ever say that I like them or that there's something wrong with them.

I just ask her what she thinks...

And the good news here? The Angsty Teen is overflowing with self-confidence. She always likes her pictures and thinks they are great. So... then I like them too.

Who am I to argue?

The sticky-out hair, the goofy grins, the Justin Bieber shirt all make for unique, memorable pictures...

Besides... there are always retakes.
Obviously MARvelous

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

First Day of School

Today is the first day of school for the Angsty Teen. Yesterday just the 7th graders went for their orientation... today the 7-12 building will be inundated with the big kids.

It has been a good summer... the Angsty Teen's concussion headaches have improved a bit.

She had the lump taken off her eyebrow...

She went to New Orleans on a mission trip.

She came to camp with me... and Kati joined us!
Yes, it was hot...
She ate lunch with her grandparents a few times...  kind of stressful at times...

My usual thing to do on the first day of school... ever since the Angsty Teen was in first grade... was to pop open a bottle of something sparkly and have mimosas while reading the latest Janet Evanovich book.

It was always an enjoyable day.

I haven't done that since my parents moved to town... so that's rather sad...

Also? There isn't a new Janet Evanovich book out right now... and I'm not loving them as much anyway...

So I'm not sure what I'll do today. I will have to go get my dad by mid morning... so that pretty much limits my options.... I will take him to work out... then to Walmart... so that's pretty exciting.

Maybe, just for old time's sake I'll have to whip up a special concoction with a little orange juice...