Thursday, May 29, 2014

what the hell happened to a slow-down friday

Well, first of all...a five year old. I must have had a delusion in the morning that made me think the weekend would be slow. We had a wonderful time but a five-year old's idea of slow is quite different than mine.

Elliot lost a tooth while he was here! One day, he said his mouth hurt and the next afternoon, the tooth was gone! The tooth fairy was very generous.

Here is the album of photos from our most wonderful afternoon at Sibley Park. We have such great kids and grand-kids. We had a picnic, played on the toys, toured the zoo, and visited the ice cream truck. Such a great way to start summer. I think if you click on the photo of Zoey it will take you to the album. We really did have a splendid time.

sibley park

Monday, we made our annual excursion with Tom and Betty. A good time was had by all, as they used to say in the Canby News. We toured a lot of countryside, ate a lot of deep-fried food, and made friends with a few bar tenders. There is a place in Elysian that has a television in the bathroom. Wouldn't want to miss a minute of a sporting event.

In the technology department, last week I learned how to speak to google. I asked it (Is google an it?) a question and it led me right to the answer. Holy shit. Who could have envisioned this when I was in high school and boys (only boys) were in the technology club. They would come into classrooms and thread video into a machine. Or filmstrip. It's a wonder we managed to stay awake for some of our high school careers.

I have been working, working, working in my garden. Today, between Livestrong (holding hands to heart) and gardening, I have walked more than 10,000 steps. I love these people in this Livestrong group. They are like magic for my soul. The other day, a young woman who described herself as seriously insecure, burst into a lap of running on the track. It looked like euphoria. Today, everyone talked of improvements they have made in four weeks...and how sad they are that we are at four weeks. Wait until the twelve weeks are over. Tears will be shed.

Back to gardening. I have been through it twice now with a hoe. I am a slow learner and finally, I realized that the weeds are much easier to dig up and dispose of when they are an inch high than when they are waist high. I have moved things here and there, sat back and looked at it, made a list of what to change, made of wish list...and I have enjoyed every minute immensely.

Well, Regis made his A+ ribs on the grill today and I have romaine hearts to grill when he comes home from the dog park. Adios for now!

Friday, May 23, 2014

it's slow down friday

I decided yesterday that I would go to bed by 10 every night and wake up by 6. So far, so good. I need a little structure in my life.

We went to work out with our trainer this morning...something he called negative tens that were harder than hell. Lift the weights then lower slowly for ten counts.

I planned to come home, go to the grocery store quickly, come home and garden, go to Mankato to pick up a RX and Elliot...but I have decided it is Slow Down Friday and I am not moving fast. Regis was called to drive the transit and I'll poke around here until 10:30 when he'll drive by for his coffee, then I will go to the store. I may garden today...and I may not. Depends.

The birds have been plentiful in the garden this week. The orioles are very active and I saw the first baby robin of the spring yesterday.

What a suave and debonair pair these two make as they cruise to the dog park in the new truck. They also like to visit the compost site.

My most recent yard project was making a spot in the garden for the kids to sit. They love to go in there but with no path, it was sort of a disaster. Now there is a path in and out, several places to sit, there will be a strawberry plant in a pot, and some flowers for them to pick.

Looking forward to this beautiful day!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

sunny wednesday

The peppers on the grill were...

And because they were the first of the season, we had a special appreciation for them. There are a few left which are delicious in an omelet, or my personal favorite...cold.

We're going to Morgan Creek Vineyards today to bottle and label wine. It's a gorgeous setting, the work is fun, and the people are great. A guy could do worse than driving through the verdant countryside in May to a day as pleasant as this one will be.

Tomorrow I have a busy morning at the YMCA but the afternoon will be devoted to garden work. I shouldn't call that work either because I enjoy it. Pictures to come!

I have another pile of boxes for the thrift store tomorrow. Then on to the basement.

Have a grand day!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

oncology update

I had my 18-month check-up today. I think that means 18 months since the start of my treatment. It also must mean I am bad at math. All things were good...BP, weight, pulse...all the usual suspects. No sign of disease is how they say it.

My doc and I had a long talk about my osteoporotic condition. God, I love that word, osteoporotic. He shrugged when he talked about the numbers and he described the side effects quite effectively. I said all things considered, I would take my chances with a fracture rather than take a chance on a bisphosphonate. He thought that was wise and I said I would do all the things I should to take care of my bones but I don't want any part of this drug.

I feel like I am starting my life over after cancer. It's a liberating feeling. I don't have to go back for six months. Not that I don't like those people...I do. I have just seen them enough for a while.

We're cooking peppers on the grill tonight and all the prep work is done. Regis took Gus to the park and I am going to the patio to relax.

morning on the moops

It's chilly and damp here, dense fog earlier, but I couldn't resist stepping out the door in my pajamas and slippers to take some photos of the garden. I love this time of year. My garden is always a work in progress. Every time I look, I see something to move or something to do. I've cleaned out so much in the last few years that I am afraid of having open spaces.

This little bench has been in this spot under the red bud tree for years. Ella asked to sit on it last weekend and I said better not unless you want splinters! Regis assembled a new bench the other days so we are clearing a spot for it.

The cairn is growing and changing. Each time I attend to it, I move something. I let the rocks speak to me, Bob, and they do.

Two projects in process: our patio vegetable and herb garden and the little space for the kids. I'm thinking of putting it toward the front so I can plant some sun-loving flowers they can pick...or some giant sunflowers.

Saint Francis looks out over the garden. He is the patron saint to animals and the environment. He is my dad's presence in the garden.

Good morning to my friend, Karen, in New Jersey and to my mom. Mom has been sick with the dang influenza B virus. Send happy thoughts, light, and love their way.

Monday, May 19, 2014


I am grateful for the beautiful day we had yesterday. I worked in the house in the morning, but by early afternoon, we were on the patio enjoying the warm sunshine.

Regis assembled the little bench for the wee ones' section of the garden. I have all the materials now, just have to get in there and do it.

We went to a couple of garden centers to buy plants. Our patio garden is mostly herbs and vegetables this year. As always, I have more soil than pots so I need to get a couple more pots. The coop has beautiful, locally grown plants.

Later, we cooked mahi mahi, bacon-wrapped scallops, and a steak on the grill. I made a salad with the first fresh greens from Living Land Farm here in St. Peter. Oh, so delicious.

The apple tree burst into bloom the last few days. The orioles and cardinals and grosbeaks are plentiful and so pretty among the white blossoms.

Life is so good.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

sunday in pictures and a few words

Yesterday, Regis and I took Gus and ran in the Run Strong Race for Livestrong. Here I am with my BC friend Michele and her son, Josh. It was a Superhero theme...hence, the crazy outfits.

I had some crazy ass leggings on and I'm sorry they don't appear here. I wore them downtown later and had several people tell me that they needed sunglasses to look at me.

We hae had amazing birds this year. The orioles are gorgeous and plentiful...and the only bird that will take on the grackles.

I have been spending lots of time in my hammock chair. It's like being hugged and rocked. I love it.

We have tried to make the back porch a more pleasant place to be. It tends to collect junk so my current decluttering project involves this room.

Woody likes the hammock chairs, too!

Monday, May 12, 2014

monday monday

I worked very hard the past two days to prepare for our family gathering to honor mothers and all who nurture. It meant a lot of organizing, moving, planning, cooking, and arranging. Our house is tiny so it isn't easy to accommodate this many people comfortably. We got lucky, though, and the afternoon was beautiful.

The kids were great and got along so well. They loved the hammock swings that were in the porch, they pulled each other in the wagon, they ran around the yard, and they walked on the stepping stones in the garden. They always wanted to go in the garden and it didn't occur to me until now to make a place for them there. I'm going to extend the path to the other side, get a small bench and a couple kid-sized chair, and plant some flowers they can pick.

This is our usual group photo. It's always a surprise to see what kind of goofy stunt the boys in the back row are going to pull. Regis discourages it but I don't care. It's part of the tradition now.

Zoey and Elliot had a little tea party in the garden.

I got three bunches of, red, and white. They are beautiful. I took this picture and of course, had the camera settings wrong so it's blurry. But I looked at it for a while and decided it's a perfect metaphor. A beautiful rose, a little blurry, and it's a process.

This is my first cairn. I tried to get the kids interested in balancing rocks but they didn't go for it. 

I'm going to take pictures of the garden today. I can't remember when it's looked so nice. You can almost see things grow...every time I look out the window, the hostas seem bigger. I told Regis that I will do some things today but I am not doing any of them fast. I'm tired of rushing. Slow and mindful...the theme of my day.

Make today blissful and peaceful. Breathe.

Wednesday, May 07, 2014

retail therapy

I had some time between things in Mankato today so I wandered down to my favorite consignment store. I made several impulse just because I was cold...but the purchase of the day was what I thought was a skirt and top that still had the tags on it ($199.00) that was marked ten bucks. Well, who can resist a deal like that? As I carried it around, it came undone and I couldn't get it arranged correctly. The lady helping me said it was a one-shouldered dress. I laughed and said I would take it anyway. Really. I could not resist.

When I showed it to Tiffany, she said it was Gwen Stefani's LAMB label. I had to put her in the google to see who she was.

Two interesting things happened when I came home. Well, three. First Regis laughed like crazy that I would buy a dress because it was a good deal even if I couldn't figure out how to wear it. Then I tried to put it on and it took about 45 minutes and three tries to get it right. I was turning it inside out in the bathroom, a sterling silver ring dropped out of it. Turns out, it is neither skirt nor one-shouldered but it is a dress of sorts.

First oriole of the season!

I had a busy day. I went to the Livestrong class this morning as a volunteer. Then a trip to see Mary, lunch with Tiffany, and the afternoon raking out the garden and a trip to the compost pile. I am tired but can't sleep.

Cleaned up garden! 

This is turning out to be pretty boring but it's what I write about on these nights of insomniac rambling. It's hard to be witty at 2 a.m. I finished a book, played a game of Scrabble, wrote this drivel, and now I think I'll have a piece of toast and try to get some sleep.

Tuesday, May 06, 2014

magnolia blossom...simple

I was awake most of the night Sunday. Mary says my unconscious was at work. I took two short naps during the day yesterday then sat on the patio and called friends, enjoyed the sunshine, and ruminated on this magnolia blossom. It was so beautiful and smelled wonderful. Amazing that something like this comes off a tree so soon after winter. It's a glorious day when you catch a glimpse of the first oriole of the summer and enjoy some time with a magnolia blossom.

I talked to these friends: one with a new pacemaker, one who is a lung cancer survivor, one with a sister who suffers from a serious mental illness, and one who lost a son to suicide two years ago. I didn't get a chance to talk to another friend who was remembering her husband on the first anniversary of his death. Life is hard sometimes. Bad shit happens...but there are always magnolia blossoms.

Sunday, May 04, 2014

plans and why they suck

I made a list of things I was looking forward to in May. Several of them have already gone awry and it's only the 4th. Ah, well. I'm reading a book called How to Wake Up and I am learning that most of the distress from messed up plans comes from my expectations that things will work out according to my vision. Not necessarily so, my friends. Ed Norton said it pretty well:
When the tides of life turn against you
And the current upsets your boat,
Don't waste those tears on what might have been,
Just lay on your back and float.
I am easily distracted. I read Jill's blog, saw they were doing a kitchen remodeling project, and suddenly I am on checking out kitchen cabinets. Regis is nervous but he doesn't need to be. I have had paint for the bathroom for so long I can't remember where it is. It seems like we did all this work in our house recently but it was after the tornado...that was 16 years ago. 

I have gone paperless in the recipe department. I have tossed away my giant recipe piles and have most of my favorites loaded into I love that app. It makes a grocery list for me...wish it would buy the stuff and cart it into the house.

Well, so far today, I have done...squat. 

Saturday, May 03, 2014

that was about as cold and windblown as I have ever been

This is a gorilla run. The point is to get as many people as possible in gorilla costumes and have a 5K. I volunteered at one in Mankato but I left before it started. It was so cold and so windy. I went to the car and dug an old sweater of Regis's out of the trunk. Then I wrapped myself in Gus's blanket. This is how I wanted to look...not exactly as it turned out.

I kept asking for something to do. I stood around in the wind and cold for 90 minutes. The last thing I did was stand on a thing that was keeping the tent from blowing away. I thought shit, somebody is going to get hurt. I got a man to take a look at the spot where I was and I got the bleep out of there. Not doing that again.

I crawled into bed when I got home just to warm myself. I played a few games of Scrabble and now I have recovered. Maybe.

Friday, May 02, 2014

life is too short to wear boring clothes

I did some fast shopping the other day. I bought these leggings and another pair, equally gaudy. I bought a pair of harem pants. I bought some leopard sunglasses for my Captain Livestrong costume. And did I mention that I bought red cowboy boots this week?

I have always lusted after red cowboy boots and when my friend, Kristi, won a pair through the Red Boot Revolution on Facebook, I had to do it. I had to indulge myself.

I want to recreate this scene from How I Met Your Mother which I have never seen. Deb sent me the clip.

Buying crazy clothes is not all I have been up to. I worked 13 days in a row (not weekend). That is a long stretch for me and I can say, I am glad to be done. I came home yesterday and made appointments for things I have been procrastinating about: haircut, Mayo, massage, training at the gym, lunches and coffees with friends. I have gardening to do in May and can't be working all the time!

It's grilling season and I can't find my square grill pan. I know when I was organizing this winter, I took it off the rack and put it somewhere thinking that it is a summer thing and doesn't have to live in plain sight all the time. Now I can't find it. It's a big old heavy thing so it's not like I could tuck it into a tiny space. It also kind of greasy from the grill. Today, it's my mission to find it. Nothing cooks peppers and onions like that baby did.

I was going to bake scones this morning but I opted to sit in front of my computer doing this. Life is too short to be busy all the time.

I've spent an hour looking for a picture I saw on Facebook but can't find. I think I see a pattern.