Thursday, September 29, 2011

I worked in the yard...

...for 5 hours on our gorgeous Wednesday this week. And now I am tired and sore. My body feels old, which is a great disappointment to my brain which still believes that we are somewhere in, say, our thirties. Of course, this is the same brain that can't find files containing familiar people's names, or reasons I am standing in the garage, so I don't take its disappointment too seriously.

I just took it easy today, read my book, and gazed fondly on my carpet-like lawn as leaves tumbled across it...Probably the same leaves that tumbled across it last weekend when the wind was coming from the south. Today it is coming from the northeast. Nonetheless, I am enjoying seeing them again.

We had a couple of special activities over the weekend, the first of which was a baby shower for our newest great neice, Miss Bethany Clare. We got to hold this sweet little bundle and give her ruffly clothing of all colors, half of which were some shade of pink. Such fun! And of course, there were goodies, and we got to question, Becca, Miss Bethany's mom, about the wee one's habits, routines, and general cuteness...It was great!

Classic Aunt Cindy..."ohhhhhhh, sweet babyyyyyy"

Great Grandma Bev, who was not unhappy as this picture suggests. She was just looking down to make sure little Bethany was still comfortably snoozing...

Cait and Auntie Deb check out Little Miss Perfect.

Baby shoes!! We love 'em...

...and fancy pants! This momma's going to have some fun changing baby girl's clothes!

The rest of the greats were present, and played their shower games in the sandbox.

Later that evening, the menfolk joined us for dinner, and then Great Uncle Randy got his turn to hold the baby...

Oh, she is a punkin!! We are so happy for Brandon and Becca to have such a wonderful blessing...and they will be great parents for sweet Bethany Clare. It was a wonderful family day...We are blessed!

On Sunday, we had an entirely different activity as Caitlin engaged in the modern form of torture known as The Half Marathon.  She has been torturing herself training for many weeks, and though I admire her tenacity and determination, I can't help wondering why this is fun to her.  Of course, if you saw me run (which I would NEVER allow, though if you drive by when Olive is out it may happen) you would understand why I can not relate to her pleasure in this activity.

Anyway, Randy and I brought her to the race, and promptly lost track of her in the throngs that were massed in line for the bathroom...And we needed to get her sweatshirt from her before she began to run! Between the Bellingham Bay Marathon, Half Marathon, and 5K about 3000 people participated...and 2000 of them were trying to get to the porta-potties. I tried to park myself where Caitlin was sure to pass by, but to no avail. Fortunately, I finally found Randy, who had parked the car, and he, being taller, could see further, and eventually found her...This was about 3 minutes before the race was to start.This little drama was enough to get my heart rate up...We wished Cait well, and then tried to get where we could see her start -- and were fortunate to see her among the masses.

She's in the background, straight behind the little guy in the green jacket in the foreground. (White hat, white shirt, why didn't I go to Picnik and put an arrow on this pic?!)

We managed to catch her on the loooooonnnnnggggg hill...

...And her finish!
For Cait, it was just one of those running days where she never got her rhythm, and never felt good while running...kinda disappointing after all those weeks of training...

...but she finished, and respectably...and she was tired, but not incapacitated by any means...

...and she had done it!!! BIG smile...

...She got her medal!

While Cait suffered through her run, Randy and I enjoyed coffee and a scone, and the beautiful fall weather -- warm and breezy. We had a great time, and as we headed home, the rain began to fall.

Just in time for bowls of chili, football, and naps, an extra long one for Cait!...A great start to Fall!

Monday, September 19, 2011

A particularly productive day...

I've surprised myself. I accomplished a couple of sizable tasks -- and on a day which began with an outing! I got to have breakfast with a dear friend of mine from high school days...such fun! And usually after I've been out of the house, and had a bit of fun, I am useless for the rest of the day.

Perhaps my friend Karen's ambition and productivity rubbed off on me a little -- because I came home and...

...canned 18 quarts of peaches.

And I really don't like canning...but The Farmer loves canned peaches, and store-bought jars just don't cut it...So, after last year's peach debacle, I am trying it again.

I could have stopped right there and called it a good day, but something got into me and I decided that I wouldn't wait for The Farmer to have time to help me put together my new shelves for the garage... I did it myself.

It was obviously necessary. The jumble was growing out of control.

It looks a little better now...a major re-organization is needed...and I love to re-organize!

But that's a project for another day.

After all this productivity, I was too tired to make dinner. Fortunately, Cait brought Chinese home...blessed girl! And now the jacuzzi is calling me, and I will answer -- because my back is feeling a hurty sort of way.

Don't expect much tomorrow.

Or the next day.

I can't seem to work hard more than one day in a row lately...Is this what happens after 50?

Friday, September 16, 2011

I would like to thank... interior destroyer  designer, Olive O. Honcoop, for convincing me that it was time to update the living room furniture.

AND I would like to thank my stylist, Tami, The Lady in the Stone House, for the marvelous idea for getting it done!

It only took a couple of hours of removing the many staples that attached the skirt, $7.50 worth of navy ribbon, and a bit of hot glue. And just so you know, no animal was harmed in the reclamation of this furniture...though at times it was considered.

Lucky for you, Olive, I think I like the couch and love seat even better than before...

But just remember: you weren't hired to be my designer.

Friday, September 9, 2011

I'm not ready for pumpkin spice lattes...

School has started for all the chillun of the county over the past two weeks, and of course, summer has finally come in full force. I feel sorry for all those girls who bought new sweaters and cords and now cannot wear them...or if they do, they look really dumb...and sweaty.

I think I did that a few times because I never felt that my summer clothes were acceptable...I remember getting the Fall edition of the Sears catalog, probably in late June, and then poring over the pages and the styles and picking out my favorites. Oh, the joy of getting your berry paycheck and placing the order!

I remember picking out shoes that were sporty, puffy tan leather with red laces and a nice crepe rubber sole. I thought they were great...until I got to school and saw that anybody who was somebody was wearing navy blue leather wedges that they got at JCPenneys...That happened to me a lot -- a year behind on the style curve was the norm for me. And no more money to correct my problems, and besides I was kind of scared to return things to the stern Mr. Helgath at the Sears Catalog Store. Better keep it and live with the semi-humiliation.

I did finally get my navy blue wedges...when they went on clearance. Too late...

Anyway, with the weather so summer like, I'm sure the kids have put all their sweaters in a pile for later...and are wearing shorts to school. We couldn't do that, you know...We were lucky when the powers-that-be finally allowed us to wear pants to school...and then jeans! Radical changes!! I would not have worn shorts to school anyway. I worked on a farm all summer, and there it is problematic to wear shorts. Those hay bales don't feel too great being kneed up by bare legs. And there were other substances that were better absorbed by fabric, not bare skin. So my legs were always white, not tan that is, and I would never wear shorts to expose that. I never really did get to the point where I realized that these two states were mutually exclusive...not wearing shorts/getting tan legs. The rest of me was a nice golden brown...which made it all worse.

And so I started school wearing long sleeves and corduroy pants in fall colors...and I was glad when October came.

{Hmmm...I do believe this entire post is a record!}

Anyway, I am glad that I am not in school right now because, as I said, I am not ready for pumpkin spice lattes, or sweaters, or corduroy pants. I am thoroughly enjoying our late summer weather, and an blissfully pretending that it is not September yet.

Though I must admit there is that scent of Fall in the air, and foggy mornings, and heavy dew, and overnight temps in the 40's...And football is really messing with my denial as well.

Soon I will have to let go of summer, and dive into what is actually my favorite season, Fall. I just haven't had enough sunlight yet...I'm going to wait for the first rainy day, and then I'll think about that latte.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Blazin' Berries!!

Well, we tried something new. That's big for us...we generally just stick in the mud. But this time, we stepped outside of the norm and took on the Lynde 500.

It helped that I was personally asked to sponsor a cart -- and that I knew very little about the actual event. It was advantageous to Mr. Troy Luginbill, the requestor, that I love the Lynden Pioneer Museum and want to support that treasure in our community as much as I can. I actually agreed because I didn't have to find a cart -- they had one for us -- and I only had to try to find a team -- Troy said he could find some people if I couldn't.

Things started off well when Nephew Derek responded with great enthusiasm to my query of his interest. He assured me that he would find a team, and it would be great! And fun! And I told him there were PRIZES of MONEY!!!

I was just tickled that I didn't have to tell him about the prize money until AFTER he had said yes. Things were looking up.

So I picked up our borrowed cart -- which was painted in gray/black camo, but had some awesome cutout flames. The guys came to try it out and were enthused. No one but me had time to re-design the color scheme so I got out the rattle cans, and hoped the result wouldn't be too girly...that the boys would not be embarrassed to push that baby around the track.

The result? Our own Blazin' Berry on wheels...

It had to be a raspberry -- and everyone was good with that.

I had the barest of information about the race, and procedures...most of which came from reading the rules in the entry packet, and which I broadly misinterpreted. As the day went on, I kept saying, "Oh! I get it now..." But I was never quite right until the end of the day...mostly right anyway.

So my team, my Blazin' Berries, brave gentlemen that they are {Derek, Tom, Noah, Brennan}, came into the event blind as to what was ahead. We came with high hopes -- 8 teams, 4 money prizes! Young strong fellers, 3 of whom had actually practiced pushing the cart...How hard could it be?

Then, we saw the track...
and were confused.

And then the boys saw the Marines,
and they were intimidated.

And then, they had the teams meeting,
and we still didn't understand.

And then, the emcee, Hot Rod Serling,
began to wax eloquent about things we knew not what...

Right about then, there were 5 of us wondering why we thought it would be fun to do this on Labor Day...But there was no going back now! Marines or no, we were in it.

The boys rallied and readied for their first heat.

Nerves, nerves! How to steer? How to push?
(Hey, it's a LOT harder than it me!)

And, first time out, WE ARE WINNERS!! Way to go Blazin' Berries!!

Second time out...
we lose a wheel. The hub cracks and binds it up against the frame. We can't even finish...
But that's okay -- many heats yet to come. The guys have a consult with the pit mechanic...

...and go on to the next heat...which is close, really close...but after that heat, we are a man down due to heat -- I mean hot heat, and lack of fluids or food or somethin', and too many races too close together...
and another one coming up soon!

Brennan's dad, Jim, jumps in to keep the team going...God bless him! He's just been observing that if he had to push those things he might just pop a hamstring...and now he get's to see if it happens.
Go Jim, go!! But don't get hurt!!

He does great! But then, we lose our steering. The rinky dink running gear gets so sloppy that our front wheels are pointing out in opposite directions by the last curve of the race...The race in which we were LEADING, thank you very much you rinky dink (mumble, mumble) running gear design.

The mechanic is frustrated, the pushers are exhausted from fighting the wayward wheels, and in spite of that, it is the Blazin' Berries that give those Marines a run for their money in the next heat!

Take that you, you big intimidators!!

We ALMOST win...and we ALMOST win a lot more times as the day goes on...

But this isn't horseshoes...and the money prizes slip out of reach.

Our last hope is to win the design contest, which is determined by the cheers of the crowd. Our Blazin' Berries unit gets long and loud cheers, and ends up tied with the...Marines...

Take a moment to look at the above carts...I ask you: which has more style, more fluid lines, more beauty in its function??? I quote Jaden, Brennan's 5 year old brother, who said: "I like yours the best." Thank you, Jaden! I believe you are right, so very right!

I don't know how it happened (and I will say nothing here about the fact that the Marines passed out free lanyards to the crowd just prior to the voting because that would seem petty and bitter and sour grapes-ish) but in the cheer off, the Marines won. Yep, the crowd went all patriotic on us, and gave it to the Marines. And I don't want to hear anything either about how they gave the prize money to Toys for Tots when we just would have all gone out for dinner on it...That's immaterial as we did not win and no one could prove that we would be so selfish...

Still all was not lost...Our team won the Spirit Award for "trying to take a slice out of every opponent". I'm not exactly sure what Hot Rod Serling meant by that, but I'm sure it was sincere, and we will all enjoy the pizza, thank you very much!

And we did have fun, and we laughed A LOT, and we had fun with the boys' families, and we helped raise money for the museum, and Derek has forgiven me for getting him into this.

In fact, I thought I overheard the boys talking about how they would do it better next year...

Heh, heh, didn't think I heard that, did you...

Now we'll just have to see if I remember that you did...

A note of thanks to the fellers: Derek, Tom, Noah, Brennan, and his dad, Jim! You were great sports, and you've got game! Thanks for runnin' in the Lynde 500!

About Me

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