Whoa Fall!

It’s been a super weird couple of months, hasn’t it?

I look at people’s lives on Instagram or Facebook and sometimes it just seems so normal. Gathering materials for Christmas decor and making gifts, hosting an elaborate Thanksgiving meal with custom-made centerpieces, or planning & taking trips … it’s just so normal!

In meantime, I can’t find my iron. I’m troubleshooting getting local channels with the digital antenna LIKE I KNOW WHAT I’M DOING, and I still don’t know where to store excess linens in this house.

So let’s just look at these gorgeous flowers instead (because flowers can start the healing process for all sorts of wounds):

Did I mention that I started renovations on my kitchen too? Because one can never have too much going on. It’s fun living in a house with no cabinets & all the utensils are spilled across the dining room table for 7 days all at the same time your 15 year old son is starting driver’s ed & training and needs to be picked up and taken to school at odd times 3 days a week. That’s fun. Let’s do it again.

But, my goodness, look at those cabinets. Worth every stinkin’ penny.

We WILL do the chaos again as soon as I’m ready to replace the countertop. Soon. Ish.

But, hey, I decorated my living room!

And Nigel the Australian handyman is the bomb dot com. (My son tells me I’m aging myself when I say that. I told him to make like a tree and get out of here). Nigel calls me “mate.”

But, hey, I got new lipstick so WINNING. I got a new book too. Thank goodness for books. And lipstick that makes a woman feel like a million bucks. Or at least half that.

But there’s this. Both above & below. Being realistic means never finding the love again I thought I had. Being a romantic means never losing that hope.

So, also, see below, there’s a couple things in one of my boobs being watched. Every 6 months for 2 years, I think. Have I mentioned my sister died of cancer a little over two years ago and that cancer originated as breast cancer??? But she’s not blood so I wouldn’t share that through family blood with her, but I don’t want to share it through experience either. So far, so good. Knock on wood.

The pic below was just following a boob ultrasound. (Plus new lipstick. A MUST when dealing with this adult shit).

The above pic is of a new little enclave of friends that I’ve been sucked into, willingly, and surprisingly! The dude on the right is a chef. He’s also become an incredible friend. The woman between us is his life partner. The bottle is an awesome brainchild! A new flavored whiskey. I helped bottle the first batch! I touched every single bottle that day and it was an incredible experience.

See above? Fancy hair. That’s really the only remarkable thing about that night.

I spoke recently for law enforcement in the LA area. They gave me this. Experiences like this are fantastic and I think, sometimes, how is this my life?

My boys are … unusually & exceedingly peculiar and quite impossible to describe! And beautiful, loving, sweet, and they keep growing. I never sanctioned that.

But, honestly, how did I get this lucky?

This last one, this little meme, is not for me but for you. You, my friend, my estranged (and sometimes strange) friend, plus all of you who I don’t know, I am praying for your happiness. Your peace. I want nothing more than for you to have peace in your heart, and I want that for myself too.

I pray for your happiness, for your peace, and for your joy, like I pray for my own.



Recent inspirations, part one

As with most people of my generation, I spend a good portion of my day online. Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter, Instagram – they are my daily companions. Not my only companions, of course, but my early morning, late night, midday break companions.

As I cruise around these sites I often find bits if inspiration. Lovely pictures, amazing words, things that I want to remember & feel for a long time to come. I generally save these to my phone to look at & weed through later, and I thought I’d share some of these with you:



















My mom & stepdad are visiting.

I took the week off of work.

These are two things that instantly make my life exponentially better.

Nothing but fun this week!

We started the week off with this one’s 10th birthday:


That kid’s face kills me. I just love being his mother.

And, of course, we had a 10th birthday bash, complete with a bounce house:


Fun was had by all.

Then it was time for some mom & daughter bonding time over mani/pedis:


And I noticed my peonies are getting ready to bloom:


I made the most scrumptious lemon bars ever:


And I may have drank a little red wine:


And watched a little soccer (or a lot of soccer):


Unfortunately only from the car on Thursday because I developed an awful cold & cough mid-week and couldn’t be out there on the field like I normally am at my little guy’s practices.

My folks are going to head home in a day or two and I will reluctantly resume my chaotic life as usual. Sad they are gone but thankful they came at all.

Oh, and they introduced us to a fun dice game called LCR, Left Center Right. I think this would make an awesome drinking game:


That’s my week so far in Instagram. Part 2 may be following shortly!

Have a great weekend all,


Not quite wordless Wednesday

So, I mentioned in my previous post that I was having all kinds of fun with my new iPhone and the Instagram app. I’ve taken a few good pictures, a few scary pictures, and a few awww moment pictures. Now I’m going to share them with you.

Lucky, lucky you.

First, a mommy and bubba moment. Me, in my orange Life is Good slippers and my little guy,”Mom, take a picture of our feet!” Okay, buddy:
There are those little feet again, at the river this time. The water level was raised over the weekend and we went to check it out:
Climbing on fallen trees is important business, yo.
So is skipping rocks.
I went to a Tastefully Simple party in a small town called Star. Rest assured, it’s not as shiny as it sounds. The Merc in town (short for mercantile, you see) sells food, automative and hunting supplies. What more could you need?
That’s an awww husband & wife moment, isn’t it?
After the party I enjoyed the scenery on the way back to my town, the “big city” in these here parts:
Back at home I set about re-purposing a room to accommodate some growing-up boys and their computer gaming homework needs:
Half way through. Tortoise Bob is happy to be in the sun.
I went on a date with my husband to a winery where we had good food and listened to a great singer. I had a hard time seeing the singer through this glass though:
(I love this picture so much I want to marry it. Or something.)
I watched my husband put together his new fancy-dancy turntable (thanks in-laws!):
I made cookies. Yum:
Dark chocolate and butterscotch. Swoon.
I lamented about my 80’s style bathroom. I love my house, but I don’t think hate is too heavy of a word for this rose pink & teal dysfunctional cold pit of hell that has missed any refurbishing the rest of the house has received:
Bathtub. Fits 24 1/2 people and takes 5,000 gallons to fill.
(Someone please tell me how to win a bathroom makeover. I’m begging you. There are roses on the tiles for pete’s sake.)
Then, to recover from my bathroom mourning, I got my hair did:
So did my husband but he won’t let me post the picture of his foil-wrapped, ahem, naturally blond (not gray, oh no) roots. In fact, this isn’t a picture of him under the dryer. Nope, not at all:
I hope you enjoyed this journey through Instagram with me. I’ll try not to make it too much of a habit but I make no promises. I’m in luuuuurrrvveee with my iPhone. You’ll just have to bear with me in this heady, swoony beginning of a relationship infatuation stage.
Yours in iPhone bliss,

The week in photos: a recap

Warning: lots o’ pictures in this post. Some of food. Some of people. Some of other stuff. Some of teeth (or missing teeth). It was a busy week.

Unfortunately all the photos are from my phone because I have misplaced the cord to charge my camera. (I hope I didn’t leave it in the last hotel room I stayed in. I hope, I hope. I did that last year with my phone charger and have been kicking myself ever since.) Anyway, apologies for the quality of the pics. I really, really want a good camera but until I can afford that it would be nice if I could at least find the cord to my little Fujifilm point & shoot digital.

The boys (all three of them) were on Spring Break so they were all very, very happy about that. I had to work, a lot (end of the financial quarter and I was covering for my boss) but the fun stuff off-set the work stuff nicely.

We started the week by all going out to lunch.

We rented Just Dance 2. The boys thought it was going to be L.A.M.E. and that they couldn’t possibly get up and DANCE, like, in front of PEOPLE. But after watching me & the hubby do it, they were more than ready to try it. And, no surprise, they freakin’ loved it. (Note: if you are well-endowed, like me, then when your 7 year old begs you to play Just Dance before bed and you have already taken your bra off do NOT dance to “Jump.”)

We also had a wide range of weather (a friend of mine remarked that Mother Nature must be menopausal). Snow, rain, and later in the week sunny & 70 degrees. I never get tired of looking up and seeing the snow on the mountains just 20 miles away from us.

I went to the chiropractor 3 times (where, one day, an adorable 2 yo fell asleep on the table waiting for his adjustment and then SLEPT THROUGH THE ADJUSTMENT). Wow.

And I made flautas for the first time. They were oh so yum. (Fattening though. Warning: You may gain a pound just looking at the pic). I also made the Pioneer Woman’s Brother’s Chicken Tacos – but didn’t snap a pic of those. I make Mexican food at least once a week.

The sad news of the week was the untimely demise of my favorite pizza stone. I had it even before I had my children. Even before I was married. So sad. It was left on a hot burner and cracked down the middle. You can’t see the crack but it’s there. (The odd white round mark was left by a pan lid that was on top of the pizza stone.) Can you see how perfectly seasoned it was? Oh, the tragedy.

But then my little one wanted a pic with his mom & dad and the world was okay again.

I received this picture texted to me while I was at work so I’m not sure what happened, but the Tooth Fairy visited us again that night – just a week after her last visit. I really need to make this guy some Jello so he can learn how to shoot it out through the holes. Hee hee. (Oh, I WAS disappointed to find they didn’t buy any chocolate chips. Duh, they were right.there.)

On Saturday the hubby’s acting group premiered a new train show. It’s a Wild West idea, and the hubby is a bit of a bumbling but dedicated Confederate General. This is him the night before trying his costume and crazy face on.

We went to our nephew’s birthday party on Saturday. My little one insisted he wouldn’t go outside because of the dog – and then proceeded to follow the dog around and eventually try to ride him like a horse. Also my twin nieces are in the picture. So stinkin’ adorable I want to eat them up.

Then we marked World Autism Awareness Day, on April 2. You can read my post about it here. We put a blue light bulb in our front porch light and we all dressed in blue to show our support for the event. When we went outside to take this pic we noticed our neighbors next door had also put blue light bulbs in their outside lights. I WAS STOKED.

I hope your week was as fun as mine.

Hasta mañana, peeps.

Family Flashback Friday

In conjunction with my sisters post last night, here’s a family themed Flashback Friday:
From left to right, that’s my brother, my mom & dad, me holding my nephew, my sister holding my niece and my brother-in-law. I think this was when I was in 8th grade. I loved those white pants! They had zipper pockets just above the pleated front. Eeek. Go 80’s fashion.
This was back when our family was fairly normal. Or so I thought. My brother & sister were from my dad’s first marriage and I was from my mom’s first marriage – but then dad adopted me as a baby so he’s the only dad I know. Because I was a baby when this family “merged” it was a long time before I realized that we actually were a combined family. 

I was only 7 when my sister got married so my brother-in-law has almost always been my brother-in-law, you know? (Except now they are divorced, after 27 years of marriage, and he’s set up housekeeping (antiquated terminology – love it) with my cousin on my mom’s side. That’s another story for another day. At least he’s still in the family.)

Happy Friday, my friends.

Flashback Friday & stuff

I’m on the right, and my long, long-time friend, Sham, is on the left. Winter Formal 1992. I cropped out the boys. They don’t matter so much. 
We had FUNNNNNN that night. More fun than we should have legally had at that age. (Literally).
I loved that dress. L.O.V.E.D. I miss it. There’s a dispute over what happened to it. I think I left it in my mom’s care, while she’s sure I had it. Hmmm. Whatev – letting it go. (See? No Negative Nelly here).

Can I just point out how prominently my collar bone is standing out? I mean, I thought I was fat then. For reals. (Which is my phrase of the day. For reals.)

In other news: I have a PROJECT. I have officially decided to strip my bedroom to bare bones, paint, and re-flippin’-do the whole room. Which has never officially been “done” because we always intended to “do” it and, guess what, it’s been 5 years. I will be shopping for inspiration this weekend. I need to choose some bedding to get a color scheme going. Stay tuned. 

Wordless Wednesday? Not quite.

Today started out rainy. Rain, rain, rain. 
At 1:30ish I ran out – in the rain – to get a quick bite for lunch before a meeting. I noticed then that the rain was what the weather people like to call a “wintry mix”. There was substance to the rain drops.
Back at my desk I scarfed down my lunch and got on my conference call. A little while later I looked out the window in my office and saw this:
This was taken through a window with my cell phone. Adjust expectations accordingly.
See that? That’s snow. On the ground. Coming down. It’s March, people. 
So then I had to talk on my call and I was distracted for a bit. When I turned around and looked out the window again there were big, white, fluffy flakes coming down! As soon as I hung up I went outside and took this pic:
You can see from the sidewalk that it’s *mostly* too warm to stick.

Holy snow in March, Batman!

Anatomy of a snap-happy Sunday

Bless him, the hubby let me sleep in. Then, when he was so hungry he couldn’t wait anymore, he crawled into bed with me and said he had already cooked the potatoes and could I please get my lazy arse out of bed and make him a scramble? Fine, fine! 
I got up and staggered my bones to the kitchen and began cooking. In the same pan as the cut up and sauteed potatoes, I added diced ham, aromatics (onion & garlic), and let it all combine on medium low heat. Then whisked 5 eggs, a diced scallion, and salt & pepper in a separate bowl. I added the egg mixture in and stirred a few times to scramble all together. Then turned the burner off, put some cheese on top and put the lid on to let the cheese melt. It was YUM. Plus I had enough leftover to make 6 breakfast burritos for us next week. Total score.
We sat down to eat breakfast and decided to flip on the Netflix and watch the 1st episode of Doctor Who (since it was restarted in 2005). It’s been highly recommended from our friend, Britt. But I think the jury is still out with me and the hubs. We’ll have to watch a few more before we decide. 
Then we started our day in earnest. I sent the kids to take out the recycling and play. Lo and behold they decided to do work:
Took out the recycling
Swept out the laundry room . . .
. . . and continued in the garage
The hubby continued working on my oldest’s invention for his Invention Convention – due this week at school:
the Pull & Dress – more on this later
Bob was doing his thing:
Russian Tortoise. Bob.
So I lit some candles:
A gift for Valentine’s Day from the hubby
and began snapping some pics of a few of my favorite things:
My fancy Jane Austen books – a gift many, many years ago
Willow Tree people – gifts from my family
My grandmother-in-law gave this egg cup to me from her collection. I love it dearly!
I’m thinking of making something now. Something a little sweet and possibly a little savory as well. Hmmm . . .

Photo Editing

I love to edit photos now. I take pics every chance I get and I play around with editing them through a tool I found online. I’m not really skilled but it’s fun and I like it. It’s a hobby, I guess. Here’s some pics I’ve edited:

What’s more fun than raking?

Beautiful boy

Fall in Boise

Leaf angels!

The fountain at sunset
Our house after (and during) a big snow

At the Madonna Inn

Up the Capitol steps