Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Spring...

We spent last weekend at the mountains. It's spring, but there's still a touch of snow up there. A beautiful sight. But at home, in the desert, spring means the cactus are in bloom. Like this one below.
Excuse all the garbage around the cactus. This one is tucked in the back of the yard near our fence. LM found it today. The blooms will stay open for just a couple of days so you need to make an effort this time of year to find them. Quite beautiful.

We are actually expecting what is being called a 'winter storm'. How is it a winter storm on April 1st? It was 90 yesterday and tomorrow we are expecting to be in the 60's. Maybe even some rain.

Speaking of April 1st... that means April fool's day. Let's just say I could live without 'celebrating' this day. I don't find most of the jokes funny at all. That's just me - some say I am boring. Maybe so, but please don't play any jokes on me.

It's a busy, busy week. Lots of church activities leading up to Easter. We could move in this week there is so much going on but with school, other activities, and just plain life we need to pick and choose. So we'll be up there Friday and Sunday for sure. I love the sunrise service we have. It's indoors but as the sunlight starts to stream in the stained glass it's just beautiful.

LM has an art show at school tomorrow. The kids make special pictures during art class and they are framed for us to purchase (it's a fundraiser, of course). Her picture last year was cute so I am sure this one will be too. Luckily, it starts right after school so we can swing by then and not have to make the (5 minute) trek back later.

On top of all that is going on, my husband's secretary is out for a week (doctor's orders but I am not sure why) which means I have been helping out. And the computer died yesterday. Since they had to replace the computer today I did have the day off! But things pile up and there will be lots to do tomorrow. Although there already would have been since it is the beginning of a new month. Glad they are busy though.

My husband is a snorer. BIG TIME. You can probably hear him at your house. It's gotten really bad in the past few months. Scary bad. We think it's sleep apnea. But he is doing a sleep study - where he stays over night and is monitored. Hopefully it will yield big results and the doctor can give him something to help him. Although insurance 'covers' it we have a huge deductible so most of it will be out of pocket (goodbye summer vacation!) We've never had our deductible covered this early in the year before (thankfully). I told the hubby if he could wait a while Obamacare would cover the test. HA But he really can't wait much longer. Like I said, it's bad.

And I am still waiting for my new housekeeper to arrive. In the meantime, it's my job.

With all this going on (and more, but I'll spare you) one thing keeps going through my head: 'thank goodness Wal-mart has cheap wine'...

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Letting Go...

Today I took my taxes to my accountant for the first time EVER. I have always done my own taxes. Even before Turbo Tax. Even when I graduated from the 1040A to the 1040, with itemizing. Why pay someone to do what I can do? What I like to do? I love doing my taxes. I find it very challenging. I don't always like the results but I like getting there. I do taxes for my family (all that will change with new laws). I would do them for you if you asked. I love it. (I am sure there is therapy for that.)

So why did I take them to be done this year? Well, like so many other people (especially moms), I try to do too much. There's only 24 hours in a day but sometimes I think there is more (or should be.) So, I am letting go. Of a lot hopefully. The first of those things is my taxes (and yours). Take me off your mailing list, Turbo Tax. I am done. Maybe not forever but at least for this season of my life.

We all talk about saying 'no' more. But how often do we really do it? For me, it's more like all talk and no action. But I am starting to choose the things I want to do, not what I feel obligated to do. Selfish? Maybe. Maybe not. The thing I struggle the most with is the school activities. I volunteer in LM's class once a week - it's only for about an hour though. And I like doing it. And I know the time will come when she won't want me to be in her class. I have volunteered to be the PTA secretary next year (which I am sure I will regret, if I don't make people mad and get fired).

Like everything else, it all starts with one baby step. First the taxes, then who knows what else. Maybe I will un-volunteer for the PTA gig.

Now there's an idea...

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Robin Hood...

Disclaimer: I mean no offense to anyone.
This weekend LM asked me what a Democrat was.
Hmm, I knew I needed to explain this in a way an 8 year old would understand and not in a cynical, 40 yr old way.
So I said: "A Democrat is someone who believes that the government should help out people who need it, like the poor, and use taxpayer money (I explained what this was) to do it. They believe that everyone is entitled to have certain things (I didn't elaborate on what those things were).
And she said, "Oh, like Robin Hood."
YES, indeedy, just like Robin Hood.
(I am sure this isn't the definition according to Webster, but I thought it explained it in a VERY broad sense).

Monday, March 22, 2010

'His patience was unlimited'..

Today is the third anniversary of my uncle's death. He was only 55 and had a heart attack so it was not at all expected. He was my dad's youngest brother. 'Lamby', my grandma used to call him.

My cousin (his daughter) posted on her facebook page the fun things she remembered about her dad today. There were lots of fun things to remember. He was just 'one of those people', who was raised by 'one of those people'. My dad is also 'one of those people'. My grandma did a good job with her boys. Everyone likes them, they are caring, find the good in everyone, always there to lend a helping hand with no strings attached and never asking for anything in return. Luckily, my husband is also 'one of those people'. My husband and uncle were close and that always made me happy.

One of my relatives commented on my cousin's post by saying that 'his patience was unlimited'. I have never heard anyone say that about anyone but it describes my uncle to a 'T'.

Although his life ended too soon he left an impression on all of us. Not a day goes by that I don't see something, hear something, or do something that reminds me of him. Heaven is a better place with him. We are all better people having had him on our lives.

And indeed, his patience was unlimited...

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Help Wanted...

Alice, if you're reading this I could really use your help for a week or so. Or longer. Spring cleaning is coming up you know. Salary dependent on experience (we know you have a lot and there's only one child here so it would be like a vacation).

Call me!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

What took you so long?

When we moved to AZ ten years ago I figured we wouldn't have a fireplace. I mean, who needs a fireplace in Arizona? So I was thrilled when we found a house with not one but two fireplaces. We use the one in the living room quite a bit in the winter. The one in the master bedroom, not so much. For some reason, someone thought the mantle in the bedroom looked good just stained a dark stain. I have never liked it and have always wanted to change it. For ten years. I finally did it over the weekend. Here's the before with just a bunch of junk scattered about.
And here's the after. Painted mantle and more thoughtful placement of some accessories. I painted the mantle, the mirror and the frame hanging in the middle (hard to see in the photo, not so hard to see in real life) the same color as the wall. I have no idea what color the wall is but I kind of like it. It's an off white but it has a bit of a pink tint to it. It took me several attempts to have the color mixed properly but finally the paint guy at Lowes did it (yay, Lowes!)
Here's a close up of the frame in the center. It used to be a dark walnut and it used to be a mirror. And it used to be my sister's. Before that it was my grandmothers. Not sure what happened to the mirror part but I found the frame sitting the the trash pile at my sister's condo so I took it home. Not sure if I'll do anything else with it. For now I like it as it is. The photo is of the Roche Harbor Chapel on San Juan Island, Washington. If you look at it just right it looks like an old man's face.

This little ceramic bowl of shells was made by my Grandma at her pottery class @ her assisted living home. Pretty neat.




Here's a glimpse of the mirror I painted. Kind of a crude job but let's just call it Shabby Chic.

I think it's a pretty dramatic change but my husband has yet to comment on it. I did the painting on Sunday while he was taking a nap. He'll notice it eventually I am sure. Let's just give him a week or so...

I'm linking up to DIY Day at a Soft Place to Land. Go check it out!
And Frugal Friday @ the Shabby Nest

Monday, March 15, 2010

Ask...

And you shall receive.


Yes, it was 80 degrees here today. Just what I was looking for. It's going to cool down a bit this weekend which is okay since we have our hockey tournament here this weekend. I am the committee head of the tournament (my husband volunteered me for it) so the rest of the week will be busy getting ready. We should have about 500 or so people attend over 2 days.
I started a new book today while LM and her friend were in the pool (yes, you heard that right - the water was only 60 degrees so they didn't stay in long) and playing out side. So far it is good. I am ready for some light reading.

I have also been busy with a little redecorating and hope to post the before and after this week. Hope you'll come back to check it out...

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

I said it out loud...


It has been cold here. Not Canada cold, but Arizona cold. And cloudy and windy. This weather is not the reason we moved here. When it gets cold here it feels way colder than the temperature would indicate. It goes right through your bones. I don't love it.


So yesterday I said 'I am ready for summer'. I said it out loud.


Summer here means 105 plus degrees for 2 months straight. It means swimming all day, every day. I means wearing flip flops. It mean lots and lots of sunscreen. It means fun summer hats. I means super cute sundresses. It means drinks with little umbrellas. It means hours in the library with LM to cool off a bit when swimming gets old (and it does). It means cooking on the grill every night. It means popsicles that you have to eat fast before they become juice.


Yes, I am ready. And I said it out loud...

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Thank you note...

My husband got a new bag for his hockey gear this weekend. This afternoon he and LM were moving his stuff from the old bag to the new one. She was putting all the paper trash (old schedules, etc) in a trash bag for him. He handed her an envelope which she opened. Guess what is was? A thank you note. One I gave him to give to his friend Jim. Thanking his family for the baby book. For LM. In 2002. Yep, it had been sitting in that stinky bag for 8 years. I am sure they have forgotten by now that they didn't receive a thank you for their gift. But I won't forget.

I have heard the stories about the guys who forget to mail the thank you notes after the wedding. I guess I am married to that guy...

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Bunny love.....




I am in total LOVE with this little rabbit from Pottery Barn. Isn't he just so sweet? I still have my St. Patrick's Day decorations up so I have time to order this cutie before I decorate for Easter on the 18th.

Guess I should get the chick too, don't you think???

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Thursday...

Even though it's only Wednesday, it feels like a Thursday to me. Don't ask me why. I don't know. I usually only feel 'off' like this when Monday is a holiday (ie. President's day). For whatever reason I feel 'off' this week. Maybe I am still reeling from February (frankly, March has not started off a whole lot better but I'll spare you the details.)

Little Miss and a few of her girl friends had to stay after class today to talk to her teacher. Well, really the teacher talked to them. Apparently, the girls are being girls and being one's best friend one day and then not the next. You know, drama. The whole talk was instigated by one of the moms. Her daughter has been coming home crying because the girls are being mean. This is the same mom who called me up to tell me she didn't want LM playing with her daughter because she and her husband thought the girls needed a 'break'. Now she seems to be upset because the other girls don't want to play with her all the time. She accused LM of starting some of the 'stuff' (not all of it, there is a new girl who, to my understanding, has been a bit of a bully).

The teacher (who has been teaching 36 yrs and probably knows way more about 7 & 8 yr old girls than I do) seemed to handle it well. Although I don't know that it really needed 'handling'. But I guess it can't hurt.

The mom, Sue, told me while the girls were with the teacher that she told the teacher she thought all the girls should go see the school psychologist. WHAT?? I think I know who needs to see the psychologist, and it's not the girls!

I wish LM would just keep playing with the boys. So much less drama!

On to something really fun: Head over to Wendi's and see her super cute giveaway. It's her first one so I know she'd like you to visit.

Well, I am off to a hockey board meeting since I haven't had enough drama today...