Monday, July 30, 2012

Sweet Potatoes and Snot

Somebody has a cold. Some two-bodies have a cold.

And Nana says thank you.

First, the loving wipe of the face(s) across my dark purple shirt, snuggles and loves. And translucent strings of snot. Repeat.

Add sweet potato covered chubby hands grabbing my booger-ed dark purple shirt. Orange hand prints mixed cleverly with smears of dried goo.

That's ok. Nana loves her babies. The shirt will wash. The babies will wash. Nana will wash.

Still, Nana says, "Die, germs, die!"

Sunday, July 29, 2012

The Monkey

I remember the book as plain as day.

My Little Monkey. I think I still have it hiding around the house or at school. It's the one I read to my daughter when she was a toddler. BECAUSE she was my little monkey. She climbed everything and got into everything and terrorized her brother over everything.

Haha. Paybacks. She now has her own little monkey.

For instance, just two days ago, our newest member of the monkey family took advantage of an empty high chair. Papa was standing less than 1 foot away. And suddenly there she was, standing ON TOP of the high chair seat. After scaling up the outside bars and crawling over the top arm rest!

(Notice the monkeys' chair on the table, a place where we can safely lock her in for a meal!)

What are we to do? We can't take our eyes off of this little monkey, not even for a second.

What goes around, comes around, mommy - daughter of mine.

Sometimes you just have to smile. And then move really fast to rescue the monkey.


I'm sure I've posted a similar recipe last summer. But I can't help it.

I found a hidden, unnoticed, overgrown zucchini this afternoon. Yay! Time for zucchini boat lunch. This time, with a south of the border twist.

Mexican Zucchini Boats

1 overlarge fat zucchini, cut in half lengthwise, center scooped out
1 c. cooked instant brown rice
olive oil
1/2 onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 lime, juiced
1 15-oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 15-oz. can diced stewed tomatoes
1 tsp. fresh ground black pepper
1 T. cumin
1 tsp. no-salt seasoning mix
1/2 tsp. crushed red peppers
1 tsp. oregano
1 c. shredded cheese (pepper jack and cheddar)
Salsa (optional)

Heat oven to 400. Cover cookie sheet with foil and place prepped boats on top.

In sauce pan, saute onion and garlic in olive oil until soft. Add lime juice, black beans, tomatoes, and spices. Cook together until hot and bubbling.

Spread a layer of cooked rice inside each boat. Mound a layer of bean/tomato mixture on top of rice. Cover with shredded cheese.

Bake 30 minutes, or until zucchini is soft and cheese is crispy brown.

Serve with salsa.

Zesty yumminess!

(Serves two or four - depends on how hungry you are and how large the zucchini boats are at the end.)
(prepped zucchini boats)

(ready to bake)

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Bee Hotel

I don't know why.

Can you see them, all huddled along the edge?

A close up, but I was standing on the rocker swing...a bit blurry!

There is a certain type of bee who loves my sunflowers. Not too unusual in itself.

What is odd is how several of them bunch up around the edges and spend the night...

Why? They are not the common everyday honey bee, nor the bumble bee, nor any type of wasp. That's it as far as how much I can identify bees.

I'm glad they are pollinating and gathering nectar. Just curious about why they like the little sunflower slumber parties.

Still, I'll admire from a distance. Stingers are intact.

The Aye's Have It

I guess actually the eye had it is more like it.

Woke up this morning with a scratchy eye. After rubbing them both, it felt like perhaps I had an eyelash or something. Couldn't get it to go away.

So off to the mirror I went. After rinsing my eyes (usually in preparation for plopping in my contacts) I could still feel the pain. Nose flat to the mirror, I rolled my eye, looking for anything unusual.

There, right in the center of my eye. A little cream colored speck. It did not move. Kind of rolled around with my eyeball.

Great. I've had a sticker in my eye before which required a trip to the eye doctor (no ER assistance for my eyes, thank you), who then used tweezers to pull out a miniscule sliver which stuck straight out. Many days later after wearing an eye ball bandaid (resembles a clear but blurry visioned contact lens), I was back to wearing my regular contacts.

Sheesh. Here I go again, just in time to travel to the UK with poor vision and my glasses. I rushed around making plans to head to the eye doctor office, perhaps whining a little.

And then, voila, I did something weird in how I held my eyelid, and poof, it was gone!

Let me hear a little hallelujah!

Those prayers for our ministry team members are already hard at work. Thank you, Jesus.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

London, Here I Come

(Not the real Stonehenge...but I'll soon be in the same country as the real one.)

Oh, I can't wait. Well, I can wait for the two verrrryyyyy llooonnnnnggggg airplane flights (one way). Sore buns academy at your service. But after arrival and the first 24 hours of trying to stay awake and sleeping during their night, then I can't wait!

After a two hour conference call giving details and directions, all I have to do now is pack. And copy paperwork. And plan. And find stuff. And figure out how to get my camera in my backpack without the huge camera bag (and without breaking it).

I can't wait to meet all of my new friends. I can't wait to ride the Underground. I can't wait to see the sights. And experience the crowds.

Just kidding on that last one. I can wait for the Olympic crowds.

I'm excited to learn about the prayer coverage our team has received and will receive. I'm excited about the opportunity to go and see and do. I'm excited about sharing God's love - loving the people. I'm just excited!

London. Friends. Here I come.

PS - Just in case. I have an international cell call/text plan. It is very limited. Very limited. Just in case you need to call or text. Make it count.

PPS - The man will be holding down the fort. What a guy.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

The Help

Not to be confused with the book or movie. I've had a little help of my own the last few days.

It's great to be adored. But I may just not survive the extra help and adoration! Meals are a challenge, as they would love to share. Their meals are scary! DO NOT touch their food. At risk of life and limb.

Going to bed was an adventure. I was not the first one there. Sleep was great night one, when we all snuggled, or rather, they slept on and around me all night, and I tried to stay cool and/or comfortable. Night two we had a game of catch the big moth on the ceiling. The game lasted most of the night. It also required the knocking down of stuff on top of dressers and walls. Some redecorating was in order this morning from a very tired bed warmer (me).

Working at the computer and table is an invitation for furry assistants. Loose papers, ribbons, or rubber bands must be attacked without a moments' notice (they might get away).

Using the facilities...well...let's just say there was most of the time an audience and foot warmers if I forgot to completely close the door.

Guard kitties are pretty funny to watch. The squirrel in the tree was the enemy. Great, daring leaps from deck to tree trunk showed tree-mendous acrobatic skills. Attacking the other sistah in mid-stride showed vertical lift prowess. The infamous attack and roll demonstrated excellent close physical combat talents.

I will miss them, the Sistah's, Sistah Orange and Sistah Sage.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

House Sitting

I love house sitting. Especially in Seattle. Get to spend the time in someone else's home, away from my never ending personal 'home-to-do' list. Plus I get to help out a friend who would like the assurance of a body hanging about, daily stuff taken care of, pets fed...

Take for instance, my current short but lovely house sitting situation. Seattle, U District, cool (65 degrees), mid-July, windows and doors open, Wednesday night summer concert series, kitties, rain-ish, lack of other disturbances, and time to work on writing deadlines. Perfect.

I'm also the new favorite. The kitties (Orange Sistah and Sage Sistah) love me. Last visit, I was not too cool. This visit, I am the ONE and ONLY person around. That changes a fickle kitty's affection to warm and cuddly in a nano second! Well, first of all, I'm the food giver.

But I am also the pet-ter, door opener, talker, and bed warmer. I had fuzzy, warm electric blankies on and around me all night. Which was fine, since it was in the 50's.

Nearby donut shop, coffee shop, U Village, beautiful homes, wildlife (crunchy snails, spiders, squirrels, noisy crows, slugs, flies), and internet. What more could one want?

Lunch with the honey. Oh, did that. He had to make a Seattle run, so we met for lunch.

Thanks for the break, God.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Flight of the Honey Bee

As we were getting ready to leave for church this morning, I was waiting outside for my man to get ready. (Yes, I was ready first.) I stood, looking at the way-over-my-head sunflowers. Bees were buzzing and having a field day, zooming and zipping and pollinating.

In particular, I was watching this one little bee. It was a bee, but of some sort I didn't really recognize. Stripes, smaller than usual honey bee, wings folded differently. It was SO into it's work.

I scooched a little closer, looking up into the flower and into the sun. The little bee's head was totally covered in pollen, giving it a yellow head. It's legs and back were also covered, but not as solid as the head. (I was wondering what would happen if a bee was allergic to pollen? If they could watch the news and hear what the pollen count was,...That couldn't bee good!).

Suddenly, it shot up over the top of the sunflower and off over the roof. As I was staring into the sky and sun, a trail of sparkling pollen floated off of the bee and drifted gently down on the plants below. It was magical. A little like bee-fairy dust. Except for the allergy part.

What an amazing world our God made! Tiny buzzing insects work (without being told or threatened or paid) hard, long hours to gather and pollinate thousands of flowers. As a result, we get to eat. We also get to enjoy honey, fruits of the labor of many, many striped wonders.

As we ate our plant based dinner (all pollinated by bees at some time prior to our meal), we relished the yellow pear tomatoes, tomatoes, chilies, zucchini, yellow squash, and onions. None of those would be possible without bees.

I'm glad bees are not allergic to pollen.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Les Bleuets

Come to me, sweet round perfectly colored blue balls of divine flavor!

Oh, the blueberry muse is on my lips. Shall I recant all the delicious, sublime tastes that pass my tongue when I greedily pop plump orbs into my mouth?

Let's just say that, correct French or not, "J'aime les bleuets! C'est tres magnifique!"

Kiss, kiss.

A song we made up, about three years ago, when my grandbaby was a wee infant with blueberry colored eyes...

There's a boy,
who has blueberry eyes.
There's my boy,
He has blueberry eyes.
He's my boy,
with those blueberry eyes.
I love my boy,
With his blueberry eyes.

(This nursery song was sung continuously as Baby Blue-Eyes was rocked to sleep. Additional verses crept in to the song, such as "He loves his nana, the boy with blueberry eyes; He loves his papa, the boy with blueberry eyes"; Sometimes I substituted momma and daddy). Mostly I just tried to brainwash his young brain with how much I love him and he loves me.

FYI: Blueberries on sale this week, Freddy's, 2# for $4.00. Oh, yeah.

P.S. The song DOES not work on sister.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Organizing...Baby Steps

So proud of myself. After each chunk of writing (deadline is coming, yes it is), I've been taking a small bit of stretch time to work on the disaster that is my office.

It's bad. Add the end of the school year, the entire school year, grandbaby assistance, stamping trip to Seattle, writing assignments, and several courses through an online university...not to mention daily is needed. I'd say a professional could be called and be concerned.

Started small. During my recent trip to Seattle, IKEA was in order. I purchased two sets of magazine storage boxes. Can't beat $1.99 each set. Cleared the bottom shelf of one bookcase of clutter. Now my Mailbox and stamping magazines are all neatly labeled and stacked on a dusted shelf!

Enter the husband.

"Look honey," I point with pride. "I've been organizing!"

To appreciate this, you need to know that my husband has OCD. He practically clears his email inbox before he reads them. Makes dinner and loads the dishwasher at the same time so the dishes are done before we are. His real desk (as opposed to virtual) is strategically neat and planned. The closet, dresser, garage, (HIS spaces) are tidy and clutter free.

This is opposite of me. I work best under generalized chaos (he just came in and tripped over my sorting system, a shoebox of maps on the floor in the center of the room). That way I can refer to anything I need for my writing/planning/thinking/creating...

Referring back to my comment. I was proudly showing my progress.

Kevster regarded my measely organized shelf. Then slowly, ever so slowly, his eyes traveled around the rest of the tornado inspired decorating theme of an office. As if to ask, "Why??? Is it really making a difference in the big scheme of things?"

I get it. Not done yet. Just wait. It will happen. AFTER my writing assignments are done. AFTER I go to London for the Olympics. AFTER school starts. Maybe AFTER I retire.

Maybe not. AFTER I retire I will be creating MORE of a mess.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Going to the Zoo, Zoo, Zoo, How about You???

Day 4 of NO FACEBOOK. We went to the zoo! Apparently, I wasn't as clever as I thought, nor as inventive and creative with my idea. There were MANY, MANY people - families, wheelchairs, strollers, runners, jumpers, cry-ers, sweat-ers...a bit crowded.

Still, the day was bee-uuoo-ti-ful! Nothing is more gorgeous than being anywhere on the Sound when it it clear skies and in the 70's. Ahhhh. Plus, a free Thunderbird practicing for the air show. Cover your ears!

Papa and Bubba sitting in a nest.

The first zoo greeter - escapee outside the gates looking for treats.

Checking out the aquariums!

Mama showing the seahorses.

Papa sitting with little Chevy.

Nana and Bubba having a great time.

Our only picture choice for Christmas cards - I'm the only one not in it. Of course, no one is looking at the camera...just the seals.

Feeding the budgies! Hayden had 3 fighting over his stick of seeds.

Aunt Jamie feeding budgies.

Daddy and Bubba at the zoo, after looking at elephants.

Aunt Jamie and Uncle Taylor with Bubba.

Now Bubba is singing, "The zoo, zoo, zoo. The zoo, zoo, zoo."

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Day 1 - Facebook Fasting

And so goes day 1 of Facebook Fasting. I immediately received multiple high interest notifications in my email inbox - a friend request from a person in another country (yes, I know her), comments on a previous blog which I would like to respond to, and conversation about family reunions (occurring in July). But I did not fold. I can see how challenging it will be to not rely on FB to communicate with others for specific purposes, especially with those people for whom I do not have email addresses.

I shall persevere. My contact info is available on my profile page. If you are reading this and need to get in touch, check my profile page (of course, due to security settings, only available if you are already my friend). If you want to be my friend, respond here - or send a request. I'll check FB in August.

What did I do with my newly reclaimed free time from FB?

~ coffee with my parents, son and daughter-in-law, friend, and husband
~ church
~ socializing with sistah and her hubby (haircut!)
~ hanging with son and daughter-in-law
~ chatted on phone with daughter
~ called my cousin - a real voice to voice conversation!
~ went for a walk with hubby, intending to eat and then walk home
~ restaurant was closed, so went to another restaurant
~ watched a movie with hubby
~ worked in the garden until it was too hot
~ emailed my aunt
~ washed new curtains in preparation for hemming
~ hemmed Bubba's cut off shorts

Not too bad, as far as what I did. Slightly low on the intentional face to face time.

Goal: Make better strides in old-fashioned meet and greets of my friends and family.

Here's to day 1 of Facebook Fasting.

(our mama jama cat, checking out the spring garden last year)