Thursday, April 30, 2009

Coming full circle

Let's start with some shout outs:

Jacey -- thanks for the suggestions about and about birds in the backyard and pedicures for diabetics. Interestingly, I'd picked up a copy of that very magazine you suggested on the same day you suggested it! And wonder of wonders -- I found a podiatrist who makes house calls!!!

Ron -- It's so good to hear from you. Thanks for the encouragement!

Matt -- Your words brought tears to my eyes -- merci beaucoup! (More about French in a minute...)

In many ways, my life is coming full circle these days. No I'm not talking about my parents struggles. Rather, it seems like things I was interested in decades (literally!) ago have come to the forefront in ways I'm really enjoying.

I took French in high school. Why French? Because at that time, my choices were Spanish (which was thought of as the "easy" language, and I wanted no part of that), German (which sounded harsh to my ears) and French (the natural default). But after the requisite two years of instruction, I never touched it again until now. Austin's taking French in high school, and if he's lucky, he'll be one of the students selected to take a trip to France next summer. Yeah, guess who's chaperoning that trip -- MOI! So I got a copy of Rosetta Stone French, and have been stumbling my way through a little bit at a time.

This is what my kid does when he's not conjugating French verbs. :) (Yes, that's actually MY kid!!!)

One of my favorite books growing up was "Farmer Boy" by Laura Ingalls Wilder. The descriptions of both the vegetable garden and the kitchen were so vivid and wonderful and they made me want to be good at gardening and cooking. I did learn to cook years ago, and I'm fairly good in the kitchen (although somewhat unmotivated at times!) but I'm starting to enjoy the actual process of cooking. Well, that is, when the stars align and we're actually home for dinner. Tonight we're having Parmesan Chicken with Lemon Viniagrette, Roasted Asparagus with Parmesan, and a simple salad. It's the least I can do when I'm leaving for the weekend, right?

This weekend Tucker and I will be in Southern California, and tomorrow we'll be at Disneyland with my mother. I can't wait!!!

Finally, I took myself on a field trip to several garden places I hadn't seen before. At one place, I found the very best garden decoration in the world (at least to my way of thinking). It's ceramic on metal and stands about 5 feet tall. Alas, it costs more than $1000, so it will have to remain at its current residence (sigh).

Isn't it wonderful?!?! Doesn't it look just like me?

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Simple pleasures

The comments made me feel hugged. THANK YOU!!!

I bought and hung a bird feeder last week. And it's been a source of frustration because no birds were finding it. That hurt my feelings. (I know, sounds crazy but it's true!) I was feeling like someone who dogs and kids don't like and one day I nearly threw out the feeder and all the bird seed. But over the weekend some tiny birds found our feeder! I was ridiculously happy to see them.

My dad is having a good day today. I went for a visit, intending to take him to the grocery store (where EVERYONE knows him and loves him) but he was tired after taking a shower and asked if we can do it tomorrow, which is fine with me. Mostly I'm getting things in order for my parents, but one thing has me stumped. I'm trying to find someone who can give in-home pedicures to diabetics. I've tried searching the internet and looked through the yellow pages but no luck. Any ideas?

Went to visit my in-laws today. On the way there, I saw a happy surprise -- the goats are back! Our county uses goats to control wild grasses that can become a fire danger in the late summer with our 100+ degree days. I stopped to shoot this (admittedly bad) picture just to prove that they are really here.

Here are the two guardians of the goats who tried to chase me off as I stood way too close to "their" goats.

I managed to run 4 miles yesterday evening. When I say I feel old and slow, I mean it, as my pace is slower by a full minute per mile than it used to be, and that's when I'm feeling like I'm really pushing it. But I can tell things are looking up, as today I saw someone running and thought, "Lucky!!!" That's definitely a good sign.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Coming up for air

I've heard the term "sandwich generation" but never fully appreciated what it meant till it happened to me. With two teenage sons, and all that comes with parents teens, and two ailing parents, and all that comes with that, I'm feeling like not enough butter on toast. Well, I was feeling that way. But I'm starting to come up for air. Here in no particular order, are some thoughts.
  • I'm uncomfortable writing when I feel as undone as I do right now.
  • Everyone should have their kids EARLY! That way the kids will be out of the house when you're needing to help your parents. Ok, so maybe this won't work for everyone, and certainly it didn't work for me, as I didn't get married till I was 28, and had my kids at ages 32 and 34. But I can make helpful suggestions, can't I???
  • Not exercising is not a good thing when you're stressed. I'm starting back to running after taking some significant time off, and boy oh boy am I feeling old and slow! It really feels like forever ago that I ran a marathon. (Did I actually do that???) But progress has been made, as last week I was feeling so low that I would see people running and think, "Why do they even bother?"
  • I've wanted to do a cleanse of some sort but can never find the right time to do it. Decided that today I'd kind of do the "Urban Detox" from the book Super Cleanse. So I did the hot water with lemon and cayenne. Then I juiced the celery, cucumber, ginger, and other stuff and had that. Later I had a Diet Pepsi. And a couple of fun-size candy bars. Then some carrot-apple juice. Then an Amy's frozen Indian dinner (YUM!). And I'm actually honestly ok with all of this. Because as contradictory as it might sound, I had some good nutrition today, mixed in with the other choices. (That's not all I ate, but those are the highlights!)
  • The doctors think my dad's had a small stroke. His memory is affected, although he's getting better each day. He takes care of my mom, who never leaves the house, and would never leave her bed if someone didn't wake her. So this time feels really scary. I grieve for my dad who has a doctorate degree and retired as a Captain in the Naval Reserve, who now can't get his brain to work right. I continue to feel so sad for my mom, who I'm sure never wanted her world to be so small. My conclusion from all of this? Growing old is NOT for sissies!

Monday, April 20, 2009

I'll be back...

My parents are having some issues :( and I need to take some time to get them back on track. I'll miss reading what you have to say, comment on it, and (occasionally) writing something myself, but rest assured, I WILL be back!

In the meantime, as Abe says, whatever you are, be a good one!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

All's well that ends well

This is Daisy. Well, her real name is Bonnie, but for the 12 hours we had her, she was Daisy. We saw her running out of our neighborhood last night, and Tucker insisted we turn the car around and get her. As she had no collar or ID, he then made signs and at 10:00 pm we drove around and posted them on the mailboxes. This morning we received a call from her owner who had seen the signs (after driving around for 2 hours looking for his dog!). Bye Daisy. You will be missed!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Thoughts for today

God knows.
God cares (more than we can possibly know).
God is in control.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter

Hope it's been a wonderful day for everyone. Tim, Tucker, and I volunteered at church this morning, then joined the fam for Easter brunch and finished the afternoon with some gardening and some time at the high school where Tucker had found a tractor tire yesterday. So Tim and Tucker played with the tire, ran hurdles, and played HARD. Tell you what -- I have some coordinated people in my family, as BOTH of them can run while standing on top of the tire as it's rolling!

I'm not quite sure how it happened, but I took an entire week off from 3 things:

eating healthy

I think I'm ready to come back to my normal life now. Don't know if it was hitting 500 miles, or not doing the AR50, or what, but I just needed a break.

When you don't run 35 to 40 miles per week, you have a LOT of free time and energy on your hands. I've been channeling that energy into gardening and having a lot of fun with it. Tim officially turned over the yard to me last week and it's been a very enjoyable challenge. In my typical "all or nothing" fashion, I spent 6 hours doing yard work yesterday, with nearly 3 of those hours spent pick axing rocks from the hill in the back. Boy oh boy my hands are bruised and my forearms fried, but the hill looks better. (Our house is on lava cap with river rocks -- they don't call our town "Rocklin" for nothing!)

Ok, so that's it for now. I tried not exercising, not eating good and not writing and I just don't feel like me without those elements. First thing tomorrow morning, I'm gonna be out running and it's gonna feel GOOD!

Friday, April 03, 2009

Inappropriate and hilarious

My older son showed me this on April 1st. I know it's wrong, but it's just so funny!

April Fools - barats and bereta

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Best email

Tim sent this today:

Subject: Miss you
I love you!

This after almost 20 years of marriage? Yeah, he's a keeper!