Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Dangerous knowledge...

Okay...I have to admit that some of my floors did not get cleaned before our Christmas celebration. Yep, dirty floors on Christmas...{tsk,tsk...head shaking} Amazingly, we had a good time anyway!

Who knew??

But now I do...and this could be dangerous knowledge. Happy times in the presence of dirt? A world of new opportunities has opened up for me...

The kids spent Christmas Eve Day here. We had breakfast, presents, snacks, stockings, lunch...coma-like naps...Dillon & Tiffany headed north to produce the Christmas Eve performance for their church. Randy, Caitlin, Jess & I got blizzards (just the ice cream kind) and watched "A Christmas Story"...amidst contented sighing.

Christmas Day was turkey dinner time and my parents joined us. Christmas night was ham dinner and we joined Randy's parents...Monday was another day of sweet sluggishness as we recuperated from all that good food...

Last night was the Likkel Christmas Party. We celebrated the larger Honcoop Christmas earlier on December 17th...Both parties are such fun, with much laughter...We older ones marvel at the carmeraderie of the cousins, and thrill over the antics of the wee ones of the newest generation...

We are feeling very blessed!

Our one-shot wonder family photo...even the dogs were looking the right direction!

The girls had...

...a large pile of boxes...

...but the boys each had only one...

They were not amused...
Until they opened them to find a bunch of smaller boxes...heh, heh, heh.

Daisie felt she needed more attention...

We kept Olive busy with this...

...so she wouldn't always be doing this.

Stockings are still part of the fun...

...and even though they're big kids,
they still fall asleep clutching their toys.

Yes -- God blessed us every one!
It was a wonderful Christmas!

Friday, December 23, 2011

I'm ready...


Last week, I used Facebook to gloat that I would be home for the whole day...the WHOLE blessed day!

Don't do that -- trust me.

Within an hour, I had to schedule an appointment for the dog to go to the vet due to a bleeding split toenail. Just after I got off the phone, Caitlin called to say that an RV had backed into her car in the grocery store parking lot, puncturing a hole in the door, and making large scrapes down the side. I went to help her. I came home to a phone message that my friend Sharice was back in the hospital with an emergency surgery, could I come back in to work the next day? (OF COURSE!) The day ended with a call from my niece wondering if they could come spend the weekend with us because their previously planned accomodations now housed barfing children...(OF COURSE!)

And so went my quiet day...

But it all turned out just fine. Daisie got her toe fixed. Caitlin's car is still drivable, and the guy who hit her did not have to be convinced that it was his fault. Sharice's surgery finally fixed her terrible leg pain, and we had a great weekend with our niece & nephew and their two little boys.

And despite all the busy-ness I have had this Christmas season, I am ready for the holiday!


I did a lot of shopping online and in Lynden, so there are presents under the tree!

I got my decorations up, with a few exceptions -- and those exceptions might stay that way. I don't miss the garlands that I have to fiddle with all season, or the lights on the staircase...It's still festive, and a LOT easier...


Even Daisie got decorated...


The only thing that hasn't been done is baking...as in ANY baking. Bless her heart, Caitlin made cut-out cookies, and for the small price of helping her frost them, I got to keep a bunch. I will still bake next week, but now no need to overdo...{smile}

Don't worry -- I"ll get over the baking thing.

The stockings are stuffed and ready...

...All that's left to do is Christmas Eve breakfast -- Yes, we're celebrating already tomorrow morning.

Then, turkey dinner for Christmas Day...

And all the time: remembering what it's all about...

"I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year."
--Charles Dickens

May Christmas be in your heart, and merry for all the right reasons!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Disparate Activities That Make Me Feel All Christmas-y

This weekend I participated in two very different holiday events. The first was the Jingle Bell Run -- a 5k fun run that raises money for arthritis research.

And no -- I did not run.

It was the Dickson Medical Clinic's final run of their race-a-month commitment for a year. It all began a year ago with the Jingle Bell Run, and 12 races later, it ended there.

But they don't just run in anonymity...They make sure they look festive -- and they do get noticed! They made the newspaper this year.

I was proud to know them.

They dressed as Jovi from the movie Elf...
Don't they look cute? And Caitlin even has Hermie hair!


Of course, they needed an Elf...
Buckley, goldendoodle and official Dickson Medical Clinic mascot, obliged. Doesn't he look excited about wearing the costume that Caitlin made for him?





In fact, he was so excited that he could hardly hold still.
And he was pretty popular too...

These are just a few of the folks who stopped to take his picture.


Buck -- you're a sport, and we love ya for it!



Miss Olive was also in attendance, The Farmer's charge, and Buckley's distraction from his confining costume...It was thrilling for The Little, and The Big Un.



While the dogs were entertaining the crowd, the DMC girls were finishing the race...
Mission accomplished! One t-shirt race per month means they each have enough now to make a quilt memorializing their accomplishment.

Because right now, they have no plans of doing it again...
We were proud to witness the completion of their year of races, and the Jingle Bell Run is such fun. Everyone is full of good cheer and laughter. People make sure they look festive as they run, and their dogs, and ponies (yes there were ponies!) too. Being with thousands of people being happy, and of good cheer is a great way to enjoy the season.

As the Jingle Bell Run is raucous and jolly, by contrast my next activity was solemn, and beautiful, and introspective...I so enjoyed the beautiful music of a choir of 80 voices accompanied by an orchestra of 25...It was so lovely! At times the music, melancholy and haunting, and then rejoicing, triumphant!

I so appreciate the members of the various CRC churches that sang and played with all their hearts to focus OUR hearts on the Infant King...

This weekend held a wonderful contrast of fun, and joy!

Both are God's good gifts...

Monday, December 5, 2011

Did I read that label right? Fisher Price for puppies?

BEFORE...


...AFTER.

Olive does not have jaws of life.

Even Fisher Price doggie toys cannot withstand the punishment...

...Nor can large pieces of furniture.

But you've heard those stories before.

And isn't it funny that Fisher Price sell puppy toys...just like the infant toys we bought our kids back in the day?

I couldn't resist getting this for Olive, and I'm pleased to say Chatter Pup Telephone gave it all to save anothe piece of furniture for me.

Thank you, Fisher Price.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

I still love Rudolph...



Tuesday evening, Caitlin and I sat down to watch our favorite show, NCIS, and were surprised to find out that it was replaced by a Special Presentation of Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer.


We were not too excited about this development.

But I decided to do something I rarely do anymore…I sat and watched the whole kiddie movie from start to finish! I have Rudolph on every year during Christmas season, but it’s just playing in the background while I do other things, important things, things that need to get done.

Tuesday night, I just sat there and watched…and loved it!

Remember back in the day, when nothing on TV was available on demand, or on dvd? The Christmas Specials were anticipated and put on our schedule for an evening of family fun…IT WAS SPECIAL! And not to be missed!

Charlie Brown’s Christmas, Frosty the Snowman, Rudolph, and Santa Claus is Coming to Town – sometimes even Drummer Boy…And don’t forget the celebrity variety shows with music and dancing, and skating sometimes…

I miss the rarity, and therefore, the special anticipation of seeing something so pretty, and cheerful.

It’s so different now! Today the availability of Christmas shows, not to mention the huge selection, has left us all sated, and oblivious to special things.

And so I enjoyed sitting the other night, and taking in all the winsomeness of Rudolph and Hermie, Yukon Cornelius and the Abominable Snowman, the elves, the deer, the Burl Ives snowman. The technology of yester-year was so primitive by today’s standards, but I still find myself wishing there was somewhere you could go and see those little creatures as living beings. They are just SO CUTE!! The story is simple and sweet…

And I just like to hear Santa say: “Rudolph! FULL POWER!”

NCIS, with its mystery and death, just didn’t seem so interesting after that. But I watched it too…well, until I fell asleep…I just can’t do a full hour of TV after 9pm…

Thanks to Rudolph and his friends, I was all fired up to go Christmas shopping on Wednesday. The Farmer was out of town, Caitlin graciously exercised Daisie in the afternoon, so I could head right out after work and spend some hours power-shopping.

Though dinner time is a pretty good time to go shopping as far as crowds go, I succeeded only in finding out where the things I wanted were not…Pretty much a bust for Christmas gifts.

Amazon.com, I love thee…

And now I’m going to have to watch Santa Claus is Coming to Town to get in the mood again…

Monday, November 28, 2011

We did it!

Despite the Preparation Paralysis, The Lists and I, with some help from Caitlin, The Farmer, and all the family members that contributed food items, pulled off a Happy Thanksgiving Day!

Whew!

And I've been relaxing ever since...The Farmer took care of dissembling the tables and chairs, and even vacuumed the messy floors for me! (And the way he vacuums, it should be good for some time now...don't tell him I said that, or that I don't plan to vacuum for a while...)

Caitlin took over camera duties for me, but since I forgot to turn the flash off "auto", we all have porcelain complexions, and so do some of the walls...but at least we have a record of a very good day with family!

More to be thankful for...

Crock Pot Cadre...

For your entertainment: Guess the Jelly Belly flavor...

...or play with Olive!
She didn't stop playing all day, and left our place exhausted.

More than just pumpkin pie for dessert...

The youngest men created their own game, some complex competition mostly likely based on a video game of some sort...I didn't ask them to explain it, and they didn't offer.

Meg's completely natural reaction to pumpkin pie...

Visit, visit, visit...

Games, and brain teasers ala Jim.

Traditional musings on what we are thankful for...
even large corporations!

"Thank you for the food before us,
the family beside us,
the love between us..."

AMEN!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Preparation Paralysis...

Thanksgiving is almost here!

Almost, but not quite...

I'm anticipating all there is to do with hosting the dinner for 26 family members this year, (and yes, I am bragging about how many I am feeding because back when I started this home-making gig, I could barely feed 2... I'm still kinda amazed about it myself!)

Anyway, I'm prepared, but paralyzed.

I've made lists, and lists of lists and organized and re-organized my thoughts and plans...It's just too soon to DO any of it!

Oh! I am so ready to take on this big task and accomplish it -- but if I start now, Thanksgiving will be a long line of people, waiting at the microwave to re-heat their dinner.

That just won't cut it.

So I wait -- and in the waiting I fear that my over-active mind will soon join the paralysis, and on the Day of Action, my anticipatory energy and clear thinking will have dribbled away into paralytic paranoia and incoherence...

Only my Lists will save me...

Excuse me, while I go make some more...

Oh -- and watch NCIS...It IS Tuesday.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Imaginary friends?

The other day I caught myself relating a story to Caitlin – and it gave her pause.


“Oh, Cait – Linda’s granddaughter, Nora, said the cutest thing the other day!” I proceeded to explain how Nora had arranged all the magnets on the fridge, then stepped back and pronounced her work ‘BOOTIFOH!’ “She is so adorable!”

Cait asked, “Who is Linda?”

“My blogger friend,” I replied.

“So where did you meet her?”

“Oh – I’ve never MET her! I know her from her blog…”

Cait looked at me with wonder – and not the awesome kind.

It’s like I told her I had an imaginary friend, or something!

But Linda is REAL, very real! We’ve never met, but I’ve commented on her blog a couple of times, so – she…well, probably…knows who I am. She’s a friend. I wonder what she and Nora have been up to, and how her husband does such great barbecue (well, it LOOKS great), and I’m waiting to hear when the newest grandbaby arrives – any time now.

I need to check in to see how Liz is feeling today…She’s had a rough time with vertigo and migraines since her darling baby girl Jane was born…I’m so relieved to hear that she is doing better. And I’m happy for her as her first book just came out…way to go, Liz!

My friend Melanie just braved the wilds of the Amazon on a trip with Compassion International. I wonder how Caroline and P survived her absence, and she survived being in the presence of reptiles and monkeys, of which she has a deathly fear…

I should check in with Kristen and get some more of her great frugal girl ideas…She is very disciplined! I am put to shame when I read her “Food Waste Friday” posts…

Amanda has a fond affection for decadently rich desserts…some of her recipes are scary rich! Like the one where you put chocolate chip cookie dough in a pan, top it with oreo’s, and then brownie batter on top of that…Sin on a plate! I love Miley & Howie too – her pair of adorable Boston Terriers. I know they would love playing with Olive…

And then there’s Edie, who just moved into her new home – the new home that replaced the one that burned down just one year ago…I so admire the way she’s handled the loss, and the disruption of their lives…And I love her new house!

I so enjoy these gals, every one of them! I’ve learned from them, and laughed with them, and got teary a few times over their troubles, admiring their strength and perspective.

So what if they don’t know I exist?

I talk about them to my family --- which has made The Fam worried about me. They think I’m losing it… relating stories about imaginary friends…

I don’t know why they doubt me. I’ve proven before that my internet friendships are with REAL people. After all, I’ve MET the Pioneer Woman…SHE knows I exist, and that has not made one iota of difference. Our friendship is as strong as the day it began…


I know it would be the same if I met ANY of my “blog friends”!

Frankly, I think The Fam should be grateful. If I didn’t have my blog friends to satisfy my need for human interest, just think how much interaction they would have to endure from me! Yes – think about all the emails and phone calls and questions you’d be fielding every day, dear family!

I"ll give you this: some aspects of blog friendships are similar to imaginary ones...All interactions can be kept on the positive side...There is no conflict, neither is there any obligation...If you choose well, bloggers and imaginary friends are very lovable...none of those pesky sensitivities or expectations to bother with!

I maintain that all friends – even imaginary ones – serve a useful purpose in our lives.

So, Family, stop worrying about me! I'm fine...I'm probably healthier for having a plethora of friends who don't know I exist than if I didn't. I'd appreciate it if you would treat my friends with the same kind of respect as I treated your imaginary friends. I always took an interest in them, didn't I?


And not one of them even had a blog, as I recall...


Thursday, November 10, 2011

Olive doesn't live here anymore...


As soon as Caitlin moved into her own home, she began to wean Olive away from her daily trips to the farm. Within a week, Olive was staying at home on her own.


We do miss her…Well, more accurately, The Farmer really misses her. Daisie and I feel her absence – and sometimes that is just fine. Don’t get me wrong…we love the little fiend, but we, uh, don’t mind having a break from her constant…uh, constant…interest in activities destructive and energetic. Despite Daisie’s relief at being the only dog in line for a biscuit, she still spends part of the morning waiting and looking out the window for Olive to arrive. I miss the morning naps Olive liked to take on my shoulder, and The Farmer is missing the tussles that interrupted his time in the office.

But it’s all good…Cait walks Olive morning, noon and night, so her confinement at home alone is working out very well.

When Olive is home alone, she is confined to the dining room behind the pet gate. In this area, Caitlin has floor length curtains, and floor length chair covers; her boot mat with her FatBaby Ariat boots(leather!), and her running shoes.

I thought she was asking for it…

But Olive has not wrecked a thing…she spends hours alone, unsupervised, and she has not wrecked A THING!

This is, in my experience, nothing short of miraculous.

But apparently, her miracles are site-specific…or something! During her visit here on Saturday, my coffee table was stripped of its leather-look trim in the brief moments in which we did not respond to her distress at a toy (the most precious ever!!!) being stuck under said coffee table. She also made her regular stop at the bathroom garbage can to lift some used Kleenex to shred and spread over the bathroom floor…and again there was a snowstorm of polyfill from the latest disemboweled toy.

I don’t know why she hates me. I don’t know why MY house is just a big box full of stuff to shred and chew…

As I said goodbye to her that day, I said to her: “ Why do you wreck my stuff? Haven’t I always been nice to you???”

Cait’s reply: “Mom – I think that’s the problem…”

What Caitlin doesn’t know is that I try to mete out justice – but I can’t catch the little bugger! I’ve even given a few swings to try to swat that little hiney of hers, but I always miss, and usually strain my shoulder trying…and chasing her around the coffee table seems more like a reward than a precursor to punishment.

Not to mention, it’s fairly humiliating…and amusing to other residents of this home who will remain unnamed…

My last ditch effort to protect my possessions will be to go to the country store, buy a bag of large animal parts that have been dried, or puffed, or cooked, or something, and keep them on hand to give out liberally when a certain little Frenchton comes for a visit…

It’s cheaper than buying a new coffee table…

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

So how did it get to be November?



I've noticed that the trees are starting to give up their leaves. We're almost to the point where the beauty of fall disappears into monochromatic winter gray. How did that happen?

It seems like it's been a leap from late summer to holiday time...and I'm feeling regretful because Fall is my favorite time of year. But I wasted a lot of it this year, spending all of September in some kind of a blue funk...A blue funk for which I kept trying to find a cause, and never really could. I finally decided to just act like I wasn't in a blue funk, and voila'! it helped! I think I shall deem that hormones were the cause -- because they are the cause of all things inexplicable...

Anyway, then October was a whirlwind of cleaning and painting, and new home excitement with Caitlin's move...and now it's November...A November in which I am a working girl! How strange for me!

My friend Sharice, who is the office manager of her husband's truck repair business, had a major heart surgery just 2 weeks ago, and will spend the next month recovering. In the meantime, I am trying to fill her shoes in the office. I go to work EVERY DAY (I don't know how you people do it!), and her husband Jon is getting to exercise patience as I try to learn truck terminology...It's weird stuff, people! Gladhands, and drag links, and stepped flywheels, and what all! And to make it even more challenging, they abbreviate the terms on the invoices. I tell you, I was relieved to find out that "assy" meant "assembly". I was beginning to wonder what kind of stuff is on these trucks! At least I don't have to know how the stuff works...most times, well -- sometimes, I can remember the terms, and that's all I need to know...get it on the bill, then send it out!

But I have to say that working EVERY DAY is really cutting into my Facebook time, and my coffee shop time, and TV watching, crafting, and just generally sitting around...Oh, yeah, and I still have to do housework! As I said, I don't know how you people do it -- and I admire you greatly, but I'm not interested in a career...

I'm spoiled...I know it, I know it well. And I will not complain about having to work EVERY DAY, because I am happy to do it, knowing that Sharice can rest every day, and get strong again...and not worry that her heart is going to do something drastic and dangerous. This makes me smile...

AND I should admit that going to work has made me more productive at home, and it's a bit of variety in my life, and I am enjoying the challenge of learning something new...I just hope when Sharice gets back she finds that I learned correctly, and that I didn't bill someone for a part that doesn't even exist...

(Last rose of the year...)

About Me

Needing an outlet for various thoughts rattling in my head, I've created two blogs -- One about my real life (leslieisverbose.blogspot.com) and one where I can vent. (leslievents.blogspot.com)