Saturday, May 30, 2009

Memories of activities past

I read a blog post earlier this week from Suburban Matron on the jelly wars at her house. The entry hit home, as we've serious PB&J requirements at our house.

For years, as in the first 14 years Mike and I were married, there was NEVER a jar of store-bought jelly in this house. The only exceptions might have been gift jellies, or a special flavor jelly that I picked up to curb a craving.

Years ago, I had exclusive picking rights to a friend's Concord grape vines. He didn't have much, but it was enough to make 24-36 pints of homemade jelly, depending on how well the vines set each season.

For years, I'd set aside three days for the picking, juicing, and jelly making. And by Sunday night, I'd have dozens of jars cooling. When the boys were little, that would last an entire year.

We also used to rent a house where we had plentiful plum trees on the property. Plum jelly is absolutely marvelous!

In addition, my mom would usually try to bring me fresh picked chokecherries from the family farm in North Dakota. If she couldn't get me the berries, they'd get them juiced and canned, and bring that so I could make the jelly later. Chokecherry jelly is such a favorite here, running low could easily spark a riot.

When I started school four years ago, my jelly making came to an abrupt halt. Ever since, my guys have had to live with the indignity of store jelly. And let me tell you, they weren't happy about it! The horror! I was even told by my eldest, that lack of homemade jelly could be considered child abuse. Like I said, PB&J is serious business around here.

Now that my schooling is complete, I think there's jelly in our future. I have gallons of chokecherries in the freezer from step-mom's tree (she transplanted a tree from MN and it's thriving). I have raspberries in the freezer, also from step-mom's garden. And I still have canned juice from a variety of sources, including the grapes. The juice actually works really well. If it sits for a year (or more), the solids settle which makes for a clearer final product.

I'm thinking, before the weather gets too hot, it's time to dig out the jars, the stockpots, and the water-bath canner and set aside a weekend for my own jelly wars.

My guys will fall in love with me all over again.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Today's cloud ceiling: 4 Feet

Cloud Ceilings

(photo credit)

Occasionally, kind (and often misinformed) weatherpeople are nice enough to share the height of the weather ceiling. Useless information, unless you're a pilot, I guess.

Inside the house, however, the weather ceiling is important news.

Our bathroom lacks an exhaust vent. This time of year, at least we can open the window to help vent out some of the steam. Today, the steam line was clearly visible, right at the window sill level. Forget looking in the mirror until everyone is done and the bathroom has vented for 15 minutes.

Today's eyebrow plucking exercise was accomplished by sitting on the toilet holding the hand mirror. Plucking is difficult, at best, while suffering from the effects of a tad too much coffee.

When my bathroom grows up, it's going to have a vent. Something the size of a jet engine should do nicely.

Friday, May 22, 2009

It's not just for meals

The kitchen table that is. In fact, our kitchen table rarely sees us sitting for a meal. It's more likely to see homework, internet surfing, papers for filing or tossing, and this morning, I sat to put on my makeup. Just one of the side effects of having only one bathroom and a tight morning schedule.

Lord, in my next life, could I please have a house with more than one bathroom? I just don't think a vanity would go with the kitchen decor.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

I seem to have a theme for the week

This must be cat week here at Blondmondays. A friend found this video today and I laughed til I cried. This is Roach in a different fur coat:

Monday, May 18, 2009

And I thought my cats were cool...

Years ago, I had a cat who willingly rode in the car to get ice cream from the Dairy Queen. And I thought she was all that because of it. As it turns out, that was kids stuff compared to this cool cat...

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Quiet...Blessed Quiet

I absolutely LOVE Sunday mornings. They are my mornings. Everyone tends to sleep in, which for the guys means I won't hear from them until at least 10 AM. Even I sleep in, which means if I manage to stay in bed until 8, I've succeeded.

This morning, not only did I succeed, I set a record. I didn't crawl out my cozy cave until 9:05 AM.

And here I sit, nearly 90 minutes later, still basking in solitude. Mike is still sleeping, Devan is still sleeping, Dean spent the night at a friend's house, the dog is sleeping, Roach is sleeping, and Leroy is outside doing kitty chores.

It's just me, my coffee, my cigarettes, and the internet. Oh, and the birds singing up a storm.

Does life get any more perfect than this??

I think not.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

There's no one here for you to look sexy for.

Love is in the air. The moon and stars are in proper alignment. It's not too hot; it's not too cold.

She sashays through the room, hips swinging seductively, her eyes clearly displaying her best come-hither look. Invitingly, she leans against you, hoping beyond hope for just one caress, one long lazy stroke intended to invoke intimacy. When she speaks, the tone is unquestionably low and sexy, designed to ignite the fires of passion.

She is wanton. She is welcoming. She is every man's dream.

She is not me. She is my cat, and she is undeniably in heat. And she is ceremoniously driving everyone in the house crazy! The title of my post is a statement made by Mike as she writhed and showed off while stretching on a kitchen chair the other morning, trying to attract attention. I couldn't help but laugh.

I innocently suggested letting her "meet" my brother's cat, a handsome white, gray, and orange specimen of a man-cat. Just think of the beautiful babies they'd make together. You see, Roach (yes, that is really her name) is a gorgeous torty. Can't you just see the adorable offspring they could create?

But Mike says no. Hell no. We absolutely, positively DO NOT need anymore cats roaming the premises, beautiful or otherwise.


Rather than design a nursery, I called the vet. Roach will be going in June 2 to be spayed. I'm afraid to admit, if she went through another heat cycle, she'd probably end up dead at the hands of someone in this house. Very likely me.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day!!

Saddle up the couch ladies, today is our day!

I went in search of a suitable picture to honor the day. You know, something heartfelt and special that would convey the deep and abiding love we have for our mother. I did find lots of those. I also found this book jacket. In my world, this is the picture of truth.

When I was a teen, that was the state of my room, much to my mother's displeasure. Now that I'm a mom, this is often the state of my house, and their bedrooms would be considered clean if they looked like that. Ahhh motherhood.

But honestly, think hard about the title of the book. I can't imagine life without my mom. She's awesome. I don't think I realized just how hard she worked at it sometimes until I became an adult and moved on. And now that I'm a mom, I couldn't imagine life without the boys that give me that honor.

See, I'm honored to be both a daughter of a great mom, and the mother of two spectacular boys.

I just have one question, why is no one awake making me breakfast?

(Book available here.)

Thursday, May 7, 2009

I should know myself better than this...

Is it a bad thing to have to ask your husband if that time of the month is near? Probably so.

I've had a headache off and on all week. I'm not sleeping well. The quantity is good, but the quality leaves a lot to be desired. Today, I went from exhausted, to mildly moody, to highly irritated. In between, mood tears threatened. And my boobs hurt. To the point that clothing is my enemy. But running around the office, the grocery store, and home topless is not an option. And did I mention my abdomen feels like a swimming pool still under cover for the winter? UGH!

But do I know if Aunt Flo is imminent? No, sadly I don't.

I'll be checking with Mike as soon as he gets home and cleans up. I won't be getting too close until he showers off the cow shit.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Brain Purge

Nearly a month since my last entry...good grief. I've thought about it, even logged in a few times with many things to write about, but always managed to get sidetracked with something else seemingly more important.

Thinking really hard on what all those blog-worthy events were...

I did have a 'I know I'm your Mom, and I know you're 16, and I know you have a girlfriend, but I don't need to see this' moment. I came in after work just in time to see said girlfriend jump up on Devan and wrap her arms and legs around him requiring him to grab hold via a certain backside body part to prevent her from falling. What commenced was the shortest session of sizzled lip-lock that 16-yr olds can muster when they know they've been busted. And yeah, it caused a hitch in my step and the door slammed just a bit harder than intended. And yeah, it took them just a bit to collect themselves and walk out into the kitchen.

We also played host to a rabbit for an evening. The dog was banished to the kennel, but the cats were delighted to have company. I don't think the rabbit shared their enthusiasm. The girlfriend came over to borrow a computer to write a presentation for English class. The presentation was how to show a rabbit in 4-H. Because she wanted to practice the presentation, the rabbit had to come along. And Devan had the pleasure of cleaning up the piddle piles and stray rabbit turds throughout the evening. Fun times.

I've probably never admitted publicly or otherwise that I'm a chapstick whore. I have it in my purse, in my coat pocket, in my desk at work, on my nightstand, in the bathroom, in the kitchen, in my vehicle, and anywhere else it might be necessary. I'm also known to keep monthly supplies in many of the same areas. Well, except for the kitchen. And what's the connection? Well, I'll tell you. A Tampax Compak Pearl that has come out of its wrapper in your pocket feels remarkably like a tube of chapstick when you're searching by feel. Thankfully I was alone when I whipped it out of my pocket. Just a note, I've never found a chapstick that has a string attached. And yeah, I did eventually clean out my coat pocket to stash the monthlies in a more suitable purse pocket.

I now have less than a month to prepare for my Mom's first visit of the year. I desperately need to clean up the office/guest room or Mike is going to do it for me. I was sorting files, papers, computer crap, etc and didn't finish the job. There is crap everywhere! And the cats, in their quest to always assist me in whatever I'm doing, have disrupted the carefully categorized piles, requiring me to start sorting anew. I promised to do it this weekend. And don't you know the weather is cooperating nicely? It's supposed to rain all weekend ensuring that I'll spend little time outside planting flowers. So thoughtful of Mother Nature to help me out. I also promised to tackle the computer corner in the kitchen. It's scary to look at. Too scary to even talk about.