Thursday, July 31, 2008

A "Thank You" Quote

"At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us." - Albert Schweitzer

Today I just want to thank those who have been there for me all through this long and sometimes painful year. You know who you are and I can't thank you enough!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Hailstorm from a 6-year-old's point of view

Matt, age 6, had quite an adventure at grandma's tonight.

They live up on a hill and tonight a violent storm went through.

We always call to check up on them after a storm like that, so we got to hear all about Matt's experience.

"Mom, there were ice cubes falling from sky!

And they were as big as banana slices!"

Evidently, they had QUITE a hailstorm! :)

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Today's Quote

"Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see the shadows. "

— Helen Keller

Smoothie Lesson

Mental Note:

If it becomes obvious that there is an air pocket near the blade when making a blueberry smoothie, be sure to replace the LID of the blender before hitting liquify.

On a plus note, the curtains needed washed anyway.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

The Amazing Self-Walking Dog!

Peaches loves to walk herself down the street. Just give her a leash and watch her go! She makes everyone smile that sees her.

I hope she makes you smile too! :)

Monday, July 7, 2008

To the Vet, to the Vet, to the Vet Vet Vet

My sable collie, Harley, goes to the vet every three days for a new bandage on his leg. He's been just great all through the long ordeal of fixing his crooked leg (broken before we were his family by an Amish buggy).

Dr. Radcliffe took a wedge of bone out of the weight-bearing bone in his leg and straightened it out. He then attached a steel rod to the outside and bolted it to the bone in 2 places. It was an amazing process.

Harley was doing really well and then he developed an infection in the bone of his leg (this often happens when you have a steel rod attached). We were so worried! But, after 2 rounds of antibiotics, he is back on the road to recovery. The leg is almost normal-sized instead of horribly swollen. I am so relieved.

Harley is feeling really good now for the first time in weeks. He should be getting the steel rod out within the next 2 weeks. You should have seen him showing off today at the vet's office. He is the kind of dog that just loves everyone. It was pretty funny because even though I was attached to the other end of his leash, Harley looked like he belonged to a dad and his 2 daughters that were fawning all over him. I am just watching in amusement and trying to keep Harley from climbing on their laps (he's 85 pounds), when a new guy walks in and comments on what "babe magnet" Harley seems to be. I think of him more as a "kid magnet" because of Lassie and all, but I still found the comment quite amusing!

Here he is getting his bandage changed today. He's a real angel for the whole process. You can barely see the steel rod on the underside of his leg. It's quite an intimidating looking apparatus.

Tennis, Anyone?

We have started playing tennis at our neighborhood tennis court. It's really fun even though we are all quite TERRIBLE at it! :) Tom seems to think I am part GIRAFFE when he serves. Sarah thinks I am part GAZELLE. HA! I think not! MORE LIKE PART HIPPO!!! :) I am sure we make the people sitting on porches around the court laugh. We certainly carry on ourselves. Anyway, it has been a good time.

Today it's supposed to be 86', so we got to the court early. We are all improving at a snail's pace, but still, improving. At one point I ran madly toward the ball, gave a wild swing...and LOST THE BALL? Where did it go? I was looking every which way when I noticed the supposedly supportive family members on the other side of the court doubled over in laughter. Seriously, they could barely speak. So, I go into my very best MOM pose of hand on hip and the foot a-tappin' and I happen to swing my racket into my line of vision.

You guessed it. The BALL is STUCK in the racket. Not in the strings, but in the V at the top of the handle.

Oh, I did glare at those hysterical boys, but then I burst into laughter too. How could I not? I felt like the person who looks all over for a pair of glasses only to find them on top of her head! But I'll admit it, I was rather proud of that swing! :)

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Sinking in the Gravel

Sarah is off to camp for a week. It is her first time being away from home this long. 5 nights. I am already suffering withdrawal!

On the way back down the hill from her cabin, I commented on how much easier the trek was for me this year. I wasn't sliding around in the gravel and I wasn't huffing and puffing even though I had carried a lot of luggage. SOMEONE dared to comment that it was easier for me to walk on the gravel this year because I DON'T SINK IN AS FAR. I have lost weight and it is nice to see the difference, but quite frankly, I didn't know whether to say thank you or kick him. I was definitely leaning toward the kicking...

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Fountain of Youth

I was just sitting at the computer reading an email, when the phone rang.

"Hello," I said in a perfectly normal tone of voice.

"Is this Matt's sister?" said a small voice on the other end.

I practically had tears dripping down my face as I struggled to hold back a rather HUGE snicker! OH MY!

I am suddenly feeling SPRINGY! :) I just lost nearly THIRTY-SEVEN years!!! Wow!

I think I'll go jog around the block. :) Well, maybe halfway around the block. On the other hand, walking a few steps over to the neighbors might be better. What the heck, I'll just have a cookie. 37 years ago I could actually EAT cookies and not see them hanging around for a decade! :)

Friday, July 4, 2008

Sparkler Night

What a great night! 100 fireworks and 144 sparklers was had by all! The rain finally stopped and we got together with two neighbor families. What a display of fireworks! :) I was so glad the day wasn't a complete fizzle (due to the drizzle).

We bought fireworks but the neighbors went to one of those firework tent places and got GOOD ones. Wow! What a nice surprise.

I didn't realize how creatively some of the better fireworks are named. We all liked the "Icy Black Hand of Death" for scare factor. But, the "Naughty Crocodile" turned out to be the most shocking noise and light show! It was great. (Although, it is possible the person lighting that "Death" firework had read too much Calvin & Hobbes and was pulling one over on us with the name.)

Men seem to turn into BOYS when it comes to fireworks. It's really rather cute, in an eyeball rolling sort of a way. :) One dad bought not one but TWO of those eternal smoke fireworks. The really really smelly kind. Let me assure you that they really do seem ETERNAL... especially if you are downwind of the odor! At one point a certain wannabe comedian dad was yelling, "GET TO THE CHOPPER" in an Arnold S. voice. You know, like in the movie "Predator." The kids just thought the voice was funny and running through the smoke was hilarious. What a night.

And as if we weren't already up late enough and having enough fun, the kids decided they just had to play flashlight tag before bed. I just love all the memories we create on nights like tonight!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

The Day After

The day after a trip to Idlewild Amusement Park...

I woke up feeling REALLY old. I hobbled down the hall wondering why my FOOT, of all things, hurt. Then I remembered the way I used my feet to brace myself on "The Whip" ride, and it became obvious. We'll go with that. I'm not old or anything. :) That could not possibly be the reason. :)

We had a ball. Taking 5 kids to an amusement park is a wild ride in itself, especially when two of them are SIX.

We rode nearly every ride and enjoyed a quick dip in the ARCTIC pool. I have ice cubes in my freezer that are warmer than the water in that pool! Sarah is used to those kinds of water temps from swim team, but the rest of us were turning blue. Brrr!

The highlights of the day included riding the "Wild Mouse" roller coaster (absolutely adorable mouse cars + lots of screaming = terrific time). Really, how can you not have fun on a ride called the "Wild Mouse?" Then the kids begged and whined and begged and whined some more TRYING to get me to ride the "Spider." The very THOUGHT of that ride gives me heart palpitations. Really. Sarah and Thomas and I went on it a few years back and we went into a WILD spin as soon as the ride started that DID NOT STOP until they finally let us off (which took at least one lifetime). So, I was understandably reluctant to try it again. I surprised them all by taking all five kids on it as our very last ride. OH, THE HAPPINESS! :) This time it was a normal ride and I even got it spinning on purpose just so I could yell, "STOP THE SPINNING" and make Thomas laugh as I threatened to squish him. I owed him for telling me that I was weighing down my side of the spider. Ahem.

The trip home was interesting. We hit a traffic jam. I even asked AAA before we went if they knew of any traffic issues on I-70. Oh well. It provided some entertainment. After going only 5 miles in 90 minutes, we actually passed a construction worker with a big sign that said, "SLOW." I laughed so hard that I woke up all the kids. OOOPS! They thought it was funny too. But, not as funny as the NEXT worker (one mile and 15 minutes later) holding the OTHER sign saying, "SLOW" case we missed it the first time. Oh my! There was no sleeping after that! We pulled in at 11:30 PM with a van load of energized kids.

So, our day ended in much hilarity and high spirits. I can't wait for our trip to Kennywood in August!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Everyone Needs a Hazmat Suit

Today Sarah went to science camp with her best friend, Meg. They couldn't wait to go on the hike along the Ohio River to capture various bits of wildlife, namely frogs.

Well, Meg arrives home this evening to regale her mom with stories of the excursion. Evidently, she neglected to mention the exact day's activity when she told her mom that she needed shoes that could get wet. So, the river trek was news to her mom.

Meg's mom just happens to be my dear friend too. So, she calls immediately upon discovery of the "Ohio River Trek." Heather grew up far from the Ohio valley and its perils.

Me: Hi Heather.

Heather: Did you know about the visit to the Ohio River?

Me: Yes.

Heather: Did you know they were IN the river? IN THE RIVER?

Me: Well, I don't think they were swimming in it or anything. They just searched for frogs on the edge.

Heather: I had Meg change her clothes and disinfect as soon as she got home. Do you think I should take her to the doctor?

Me: Ummm...Why would you do that?

Heather: Well, you know there are mutated fish with 5 eyes in that river! I hear people talking about it!

Me: Heather, I don't think the river is still in that condition. You just talk to elderly people at the museum where you work and they remember the river of 50 years ago with all the factory waste.

Heather: Well, maybe I should just get her a Hazmat suit.

Me: (practically howling with laughter) Your husband would like that since Meg could re-use it for Halloween.

The conversation degenerated from there. Imagine that! :)