Sunday, August 31, 2014

final bash of summer

Angel #4 is having the final summer bash before the dreaded school starts.  There are about 8 teens in my yard having a fire and for some reason, they also have badminton rackets, hula hoops and a frisbee.  I don't know and am not going to ask.  She pulled a real coup by getting the cute new boy in school over here, so that'll give her a few extra points.  The fact that he's a junior and drives just has added cachet.  All the girls are spending the night here, which means that somewhere, 4 girls are going to have to find a place to sleep.  They usually all just crash in the living room, but since that is still under repair, I'm not exactly what they're going to do.  Oh well, not my problem.  That's one of the nice things about your kids getting older, you don't have to be all responsible for feeding and taking care of their friends when they come over.  I just go to bed and the next day find out they were making waffles at 3am.  Whatever.

Friday night was the first home football game of the season.  And what a game it was!  Probably the most stressful game I've ever been to.  Our team was one touchdown behind during most of the 2nd half, only to make a touchdown in the last 45 seconds of the game.  The crowd went wild.  But we weren't done yet.  The opposing team then managed to get a touch down with only 16 seconds left on the clock.  Talk about a bunch of dejected Panther's fans.  But our dejection turned out to be premature.  With 4.3 seconds left on the clock,  there was one last chance to make a touchdown, and wouldn't you know it - they did.  A 1 handed catch with 0 seconds left on the clock.  The bleachers were shaking and I still had a sore throat an hour afterwards from all the cheering I did.  It was a good night.

Angel #1 found a place to live in Miami and will be moving in on Tuesday.  I'm sure that's a big load off his well as his friend Jesse's mom's mind.  That admirable woman has hosted 3 Marines in her house for the last 2 weeks while the boys were trying to find a place to live.  She deserves a medal.

Friday, August 29, 2014

our days of freedom are numbered

We're counting down to the end of summer and school beginning.  Tuesday, sept 2 is the big day.  Angel #4 isn't particularly excited, though they got a "hot new business teacher" so she's looking forward to computer class.  She decided that freshman and senior years are the ones you look forward to and sophomore and junior years are just fillers, so she's got 2 years of filler to look forward to.

I haven't seen much of #4 since I picked her up at the airport Sunday night.  We went to McDonalds on the way home and I don't think I've had a chance to talk to her since, she's been out with friends and doing overnighters trying to get the last precious drops of summer.  I thought we'd at least be in the car at the same time on the way to the football game tonight, but now it looks like she's babysitting instead, so I'm on my own there too.  I'm hoping my friend Kim will be at the game, she usually doesn't miss any because her son's on the team, but he dislocated his shoulder and did some real damage during practice, so he's out for the season.  It's his senior year, so it especially sucks.  We've only got about 5 seniors on the entire football team, so missing even one creates a pretty big hole.  Kim might be too bummed to watch the game.  Rumor has it that her son's shoulder might sideline him not only for football, but for wrestling as well, which is an even bigger blow.  He took 1st place in state last year in  his weight class and was really looking to take over this year as well.  Since this is a  pretty big wrestling town, a long-term injury would devastate the whole town-at least the wrestling portion, which is a pretty big segment.  I've been to more than one wrestling tournament where our bleacher crowd was double the size of the home town crowd.  We take our wrestling pretty seriously around here.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

All's Fair

Yesterday I went to the county fair.  I met my friend Sarah there and we watched her daughter compete with her horse, then we wandered through the animal barns, walked the midway and watched the animal auction.  We both did admirably and avoided the worst of the fair food and had gyros instead of a deep fried anything on a stick.  I feel I deserve extra points for not buying deep-fried cookie dough, my main disgusting fair food downfall.  Sarah had to leave early so I ended up by myself at the fair that evening and considered going home, but then I heard the roar of the stock car races and knew I had to let my inner redneck shine through.  Man, those babies are so fun to watch.   You can eat a deep fried snickers bar on a stick while watching cars smash into each other at high speeds with the additional option of puking your guts out on the Zipper, all for only about $10.  Only in America, people.  God Bless the USA

I saw a few of my lunch room kids there and they all said hi to me.  I even had one excitedly show me his entries in the small animal barn.  He shared his knowledge of bunnies while also giving me the controversial low-down on his big brother's upcoming wedding as only an eight year old can.

My kids are so used to my hermit lifestyle that it seems my going to the fair by myself, of my own free will freaked them out a bit.  When I told Angel #1 what I had done, he couldn't have been more amazed if I had told him I'd jumped a plane to Baghdad to go conquer the Taliban.  I guess I need to force myself to go out more.

Today I spent the morning mowing the lawn.  It took about twice as long as it took WE to mow, but then again, I don't set the mower on rabbit speed and race over the grass so fast that I miss half of it either, so the yard looks pretty darn good.  I am missing my little WE though.  It's cucumber season and I made a batch of refrigerator pickles, one of his faves.  Previous summers, I would make a huge batch in an ice cream bucket and keep replenishing it, which I needed to do often because WE would just take the whole bucket up to his room and chow down.  Last week, I made a small batch with a single cuke and though I've been slowly eating them, the level isn't going down nearly as quickly as it has previous years.  The last letter I got from him, he said he misses pizza and jam, his girlfriend said in her last letter he said he was missing Twix candy bars.  I think he's missing familiar food from home and would be thrilled to dig into a big batch of refrigerator pickles right about now.  Poor little guy.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

How ridiculous is this?

First off, I've noticed that people can't seem to be able to spell ridiculous.  It's like this:  R-I-D-I-C-U-L-O-U-S  Got it?  It's not like it's hard to spell like restaraunt...restaruant...the place where you eat out.  But, what's ridiculous is that I made zucchini bread (2-C's 1-N) today just so I had an excuse to run the oven and warm the house up.  It's August 17th and I'm wearing a flannel shirt over my tee shirt because I'm COLD.  What.  The.  Heck.

I've gotten a lot done these last few days home by myself.  I mucked out the chicken coop, froze up batches of peas and broccoli and did a lot of cleaning.  With all the remodeling going on, drywall dust has infiltrated the entire house and I"m trying to get it under control.  Last night I organized my food shelves and once I had things under control, I realized that I don't have nearly as much stuff as I thought I did.  I live in the land of overkill when it comes to food and the fact that I've only got 1 pound of salt on hand freaked me out.  Guess who's going shopping tomorrow?  On the flip side, I've got enough elbow macaroni to feed a small, third world nation's army...provided they don't like a lot of salt on their noodles.

I've also been using my time to catch up on season 7 of Dr. Who.  I've already seen it, but have kind of forgotten the gist of the season, like who Clara actually is and what the steps are to leading up to the death of Dr #11 (I'll miss you, Matt Smith).  So, I'm getting a little bit of a refresher course.  Frankly, if you need a refresher course on something, isn't it better to have to brush up on your Dr Who rather than something like algebra or chemistry?

Thursday, August 14, 2014

It's so quiet here

Angel #4 flew off to Texas yesterday and I dropped hubs off at the airport this morning.  I spent the day with a couple friends going through a HUGE antique store looking for something to fill a spot in a dining room (not my dining room, my dining room is still full of my living room.  Someday this remodel project will be done).  Once I got home though, the house was all mine...and the dogs and the cats.  It's pretty quiet in here right now.  I spent some time cleaning house, doing a few chores, then tonight, I watched How To Marry A Millionaire as a memorial to the late great Lauren Bacall, one of the most beautiful actresses Hollywood has ever encountered.  There isn't an actress out there today who can hold a candle to her.

I kind of took the day off today, I had one of those 'carried away' days yesterday and kind of needed a break.  I started weeding the garden and couldn't stop.  Four hours later, my garden looked awesome and my arms were ready to fall off.  Then last night, hubs and I butchered 6 more chickens.  The chickens we were raising this summer are Cornish-Cross, and they sometimes get so big so fast that either their hearts and lungs can't keep up or their legs can't support them.  Either way, they die from being big fat overeaters.  The trick is to butcher them up before they croak on you.  We wanted to get as many butchered up before hubs left for Hawaii, because I'm just not chopping heads off chickens, that's hub's job.  There are still 6 chickens left waiting for the chopping block, but hubs chose the smallest, active looking ones to wait on, we'll take care of them next month, then the great chicken massacre of 2014 will be over.  Which is a good thing, I'm totally running out of freezer space.

I got a call from Angel #1 telling me that they arrived safe and sound in Miami.  They made pretty good time with their trip, going across country in only 6 days.  He said he'll be glad to drop off the big moving truck tomorrow, he's a bit sick of driving it.  He did a good job though, they took two big moving trucks and each was towing a trailer with a car on it.  The other guys were having a bit of a struggle sometimes getting in and out of gas stations and such, but, as I told #1, the men in my family have truck driving in their blood - I think they're issued a CDL at the same time they get their birth certificates, so driving big vehicles is kind of in his DNA.  His next step is getting his college stuff squared away and finding a place to live.  Schools starts in 10 days, so he's got some busy days ahead of him.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014


I opened a library book the other day and found someones grocery list.  I occasionally find interesting things in library books and this was no exception.  Therefore, I will share this list with the world:
X aluminum foil
50lb sugar
5 bag chicken
ribs, pig feet, neckbones

Kind of makes you wonder what they were having for supper that night, doesn't it?  The only thing that had an "X" in front of it was the aluminum foil, so I don't know if they abandoned their cooking plans in favor of reading a book or what.

Angel #4 is getting all excited about leaving tomorrow to fly down to Houston to hang with her big sister for awhile.  It sounds like her big sis is getting excited about it also.  #2 had a good time getting a big meal ready for her brother and his friends yesterday - she called it Project Feed The Marines.  The boys were on a tight schedule though and could only stay about a half hour or so, which was a little disappointing, but at least they got a chance to see each other.

WE finally got all his backlogged mail this week.  I'm glad he's finally getting his mail so he can get a little taste of home while he's out there working so hard.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Another milestone

Yesterday, Angel #1 was officially discharged from active duty in the United States Marines.  After 4 years, my little boy is a civilian again and, as he says, he's now homeless and unemployed.  That's just a temporary state of events though (hopefully).  He and 2 buddies who were also discharged yesterday are on a cross-country road trip to start their new civilian lives in Miami, Florida.  On their way across the country, they're going to stop in Phoenix and visit one of the guy's grandma, from there they're going on to Houston to catch up with some friends and also visit Angel #2.  She's going to  make them a big pot roast with all the trimmings so they can have a good homecooked meals while they're on the road.  She's also going to make them cupcakes with pink glitter frosting.  She said they'll just chow them down because they're cupcakes, but she'll get a good laugh to herself for feeding 3 big tough Marines pink glitter frosting.  After Houston, they're going through New Orleans to see a Marine buddy who got out a few months ago.  Eventually, they'll make it to Miami where #1 will start college.  I have no idea what the rest of the guys are going to do, but they're all going to be looking for a place to live together.  Apparently, they didn't get enough of each other living in the barracks.

Poor little WE is on the opposite end of that journey and is slogging his way through basic training.  We got a letter from him yesterday dated Aug 1st and he said he hasn't received any letters yet.  We've all been writing him for over 3 weeks now, so I think some mean old drill sergeant has a big stack of WE's letters sitting on his desk somewhere.  His girlfriends mom called me today to tell me that the roses WE ordered for his girlfriend for their 2 year anniversary arrived today, so that should make her happy.  I'm sure she's especially missing him today.  Last year he sort of dropped the ball on the whole anniversary thing, so he made sure his butt was covered and ordered the flower delivery before he left for basic.

We had a good day at camp on Friday.  We felt bad that we could only be there for 2 days this year, but at least Angel #4 made it for the whole week.  It was such a nice feeling when we got there Friday morning and the first thing I saw #4 doing was standing at the door of a bus helping the disabled campers get down the steps, then giving them big hugs before sending them off to sing camp songs.  I'm so proud of my kids.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

A busy day, but so much got done

It's about 10:15pm and I"m finally sitting down chilling.  It was one thing after another today.  I spent a ridiculous amount of time trying to get our printer to work, it still doesn't.  I did 3 loads of laundry and hung them out on the line (it's against my rules to use the dryer between the months of May and September), I got out in the garden for the first time since Friday.  Wow, what happened out there?  I've got about 5 baseball bat zucchinis, my first tomato of the year, my first decent picking of peas, we ate the entire picking for lunch, and I picked, snipped and froze 11 quarts of green beans, which I just finished.  Our friend Dan is over today and tomorrow to help us finish the drywall in our living room and I had to go on a 40 mile round trip Menards run to pick up a bunch more joint compound and I had a second run into our town to do banking and get some stuff at the Amish store, we were out of popcorn, which is almost as serious as running out of drinking water at our house.  I got WE's room ready for Dan to sleep in for the next two night.  Hubs, Dan and I also did a comparison of memories from the time the three of us snuck (is that  a word?  Spell check says it's not) onto a military base full of nuclear submarines (this was pre 9/11, I'm guessing we wouldn't get away with it now days) and drove around checking things out.  I think that about wraps up my day.  Oh yeah, we also butchered 4 chickens.  When I was at the Amish store, I ordered a lug of peaches.  It was only after I ordered them that I found out that they're probably coming in tomorrow, so guess who's canning up peach pie filling tomorrow?

Yesterday we were at camp.  You may remember that every year we volunteer at a camp for special needs adults and children.  This year, because of the whole remodel project, we can only make it on Monday and Friday,  Angel #4 found someone willing to put up with her for the week, so she's spending the whole week there and we'll bring her back home on Friday.  It kind of stinks that we have to miss most of the week, but there's so much to do around here and not enough time to do it.  Hubs just got back from a Hawaii work trip on Friday and he's got to leave again next week for more work down there.  He's planning on sneaking in between hurricanes from the looks of things.  Angel #4 is leaving next week Wednesday to spend 11 days with Angel #2 in Houston.  Angel #1 will be getting out of the Marines on the 18th of August (or possibly earlier) and will be road tripping across the country from San Diego to Miami so he can start school in the fall.  He's hoping to possibly do a detour through Houston and may be able to spend time with both his sisters, which would be really cool.  In the meantime, poor old WE is doing pushups and marching his time away in Basic Training.

It was also Angel #1's 22nd birthday last Thursday.  I can't believe my kids are all so grown up and independent.  The don't even need their mommy anymore, though I'm glad that they still call me regularly just to talk.  Makes me feel like I must have done something right.  :)