A little joy to share with you!

A little joy to share with you!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

On yogurt and haircuts...

I'm thinking that yogurt might not have been the best choice for bribery while giving our 12-year-old-extra-special-girl a haircut. A wiggly child, a pile of hair and ickity, stickity dairy goo... Always a challenge to cut this little goober's locks! But, look! We're still friends :o)

Ummm... yes, she is much taller than me...

Have a happy day!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Naughty puppy...

Wiggles is not a fan of substitute teaching. Each day, I shudder walking through the door. How much furniture has she devoured in seven hours? This was day #3 of mom abandoning the woebegone puppy to go off galavanting with a bunch of seven-year-olds. Wiggles is a bit perturbed with me. She would gladly spend the day chasing after a bunch of wee ones! And me? I'm trying to figure out who wins the commotion award... one puppy or 16 kids! Just in case I have any doubts as to the leader of daily ruckus, Wiggles ate most of Tuesday's work on the book proposal...

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Band was cancelled tonight. Drat. Poor, neglected trombone. I haven't even practiced this week. Ah! But with band cancelled, I actually went grocery shopping at a reasonable time of night! And got to take one of the kiddos with me! Silver lining, yada yada. Still would rather be at band than the grocery store :o)

Ok... I admit, it was nice to eat with Don and the girls without leaping up halfway through the meal to toss my plate in the sink, blow kisses and leave :o) And the teen who accompanied me to the grocery store is a hoot! I *almost* didn't quite-all-the-way dread grocery shopping. Almost. And we took the long way home so that I could hear about... what else??? Boys :o) Then, with groceries safely stashed in the 'frige by 9:30, I went for a ride with our other teen. Night driving. Oh boy! But I love the time together. And we have our funny rituals like trying to go *exactly* 30 mph past the blinking speed sign. She laughs as I stick my head out the window and shout her speed... "29, 29, 29, 28, 29... just a little faster... 30... whoooohooooo!!!... hold it steady... 30, 30, 29... no! no! no!...29, 28, 29, 29, 29,30! YEAH!!!" I'm sure the people living in the house nestled behind the speed sign are eager for the sign to find a new home...

Ah! All things considered, today has been relaxing and productive. I actually carved out a day for mostly-uninterupted sewing. Sewing that is even related to the book proposal I'm writing. Or should I say re-writing? It felt good to take a few of my scribbles and work them into a fabric "rough draft".

Lets hope all that relaxation lasts through three days of substitute teaching wee ones at nearly the end of the school year :o)

Have a happy day!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Gotta love spring paperwork!

Ugh! The end of the school year is SO BUSY!!!! I sat down and wrote out bills the other day. Today is the-rest-of-the-paperwork day. Surveys, rebates, renewing stuff, planning, summer school & work forms. Yuck. Blicky. Ugh. But the happy thought! (You knew it was coming!) This stack of paperwork means that SUMMER IS ALMOST HERE!!!!!

Have a happy day!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

life with five women...

Sooooo... here he is! The guy who lives with all the women at the Brown house! Can you guess how much chatting he does during a typical Brown-family dinner? I managed to sneak the camera under the table the other night and catch this moment... four kiddos talking at once. And the look that lets me know that there is no question in his mind about the source of that chatty gene!

Have a happy day!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Just happy :o)

I finally slept last night! For eight consecutive hours. Ahhhhh! After a week-and-a-half of barely sleeping, feeling tired was a luxury! Just to lie still for so many hours felt wonderful. Refreshing to my body, yes. But calming to my mind. THAT is the beauty of a full night's sleep. I can sit still again. Focus on the world around me. I'm no longer a bundle of aimless energy.

Ahhhh! I can reflect on joy again! It really has been a mostly wonderful week in spite of my crazy whirl of boundless and unfocused enthusiasm. I generally have plenty of energy, so the excess liveliness was perhaps not terribly startling to the people in my life. Like the awesome kids in our youth group. I'm still just the slightly-nutty-leader-type-person. With pink hair. Maybe green next week. Chatting with a bunch of teens, I was just me. With more energy than usual. But, hey! Energy fits right in with that crowd :o)

And music. Three of our kiddos were in a concert Tuesday night. It was beautiful! A little bragging.... One daughter sang a solo/duet with a friend. She has a terrific voice and the nerve to stand up in front of a hundred or so people to share it! Another daughter "sang" with her one-on-one aide with the junior high chorus. She loves the music and rocked back and forth happily with her peers. And our youngest is a very serious budding flute player. She's been playing less than a year, yet I am amazed when I listen to her practicing. She is very good. And very dedicated. Ahhhh! Music brings so much joy to our lives! (Did I mention that the concert was short enough that I managed to sit mostly still?)

Another musical joy is the goofy crew that I play trombone with on most Tuesday nights! As much as I love the music, the between-pieces chatting is really my favorite part of band rehearsals :o) Well... I missed our first spring-season concert on Tuesday night. Darn. I don't like it when commitments overlap. But, joy! I spent Wednesday morning chatting over a cup of chai with my comrade in 2nd trombone mischief! Ninety minutes of visiting uninterupted by our conductor raising his hands to shut us up again :o) It felt like five minutes. What a wonderful morning!

And, one more bit of joy. Large appliances. Last week, our refrigerator died. This week, our washing machine joined the frige in appliance nirvana. How can replacing two large appliances in one week bring any joy? Easy! 1.) Our very sweet neighbors. They cleared off two shelves of their refrigerator for us so that we wouldn't lose a frige full of food in addition to the refrigerator. Then, a week later, we were invited to run as many loads of wash as we needed to while waiting for the new washer. With four kiddos and several days to wait, those loads were much appreciated! It is such a blessing to have neighbors who are also some of our best friends! 2.) The serenading duo that delivered our new machines. Yes, really. I was serenaded by an exceedingly awful rendition of something far off Broadway. They sang, they joked, they laughed. A couple of guys who were easy and comfortable with each other. Who could finish each other's sentences. Who work together every day and still like each other. Oh! They were fun! 3.) Hey! We've had to replace appliances before when we *didn't* have money in the bank! Sure, it's a blow. But at least the machines are paid for :o) Sooooo... added to the list of joys, I'm thanking God for new appliances. (But, really, we DON'T need any more large appliance blessings right now....)

And today. Not only can I keep my bottom in the chair without wiggling, but I actually feel like writing again. One of my kiddos is home with a still-runny nose. But she is happy! And it is a gloomy, wet day outside. What a perfect day to be inside with a happy kiddo, a pot of yummy soup and a book to write!

Have a happy day!


A few weeks ago, I had an amazing "hearty kale soup" while vacationing in Cape Cod. I promised myself that I would google kale soups when we got home. And I did. But there was nothing even remotely similar. Dang! I have not an ounce of culinary creativity in me, but this was really wonderful soup. So I rolled up my sleeves and tried throwing similar ingredients into a pot. It actually worked! First try, even!

Actually managing to replicate the soup was fairly astounding to me. But the truly amazing bit of this experiment was that I remembered to *write down* the ingredients :o) Fifteen years ago, I threw together a bunch of stuff and made a batch of beans that my husband *still* raves about. Something involving molasses and red kidney beans. And a bunch of OTHER ingredients. Yup. Forgot to write it down. Poor guy. He's still waiting for me to get that recipe right again. Same thing for ginger scones. The girls and I love ginger scones. We made batch after batch until we were finally happy with the way they turned out. We had a perfect batch of scones. Once.

Well... I will happily be eating kale soup this week! Too bad my husband thinks that kale is a very poor substitute for baked kidney beans....

Have a happy day!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

We love this puppy! One of my kiddos came home from school with a drippy, sneezy, grumpy head cold today. This particular kiddo is mostly non-verbal, so I spent lunch time mopping up the nose and trying to comfort her as she fussed. To no avail. She just didn't feel good. So, up the stairs for a nap we went! Snuggled her into her blankets, hugged her, smooched her, cuddled her favorite toy into her arms... and still she sobbed. Until P-Wiggles hopped into bed and plopped her head across my little one's feet. Then the sobbing became a soft hiccup and she drifted to sleep.

Hmmmm... perhaps this makes up for the half-a-meatloaf our puppy filched off the counter last night?

Have a happy day!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Ahhhhh... sleep! That's what I've been missing!

I have been afflicted with an excess of energy lately. I know, I know... how can I complain about extra energy? Actually, it's not the energy I mind. It is the restlessness. I can't sit still. Can't focus. I'm not hungry. Or tired at bedtime (or three hours after bedtime!) My mind and emotions are restless. I'm walking six or seven miles a day. And if I had more time for walking, I would be going much further. I have to choke down food when my stomach starts to complain bitterly. But only a few bites before I just can't pay attention to the darned food anymore.

The up side? My *body* feels great! But, really! C'mon now! My brain is ready for a rest. I hiked four or five miles with one of my best friends today. Three dogs, through the woods, a beautiful waterfall, lots of major hills. The dogs are worn out. Even the puppy! Here she is, napping again. It seems like I should feel like that. Happily exhausted. But, nope. I've been pacing. Squirming in my seat. Seeing how long I can stay put before bolting back out of the house for another walk. Maybe this will be the walk that finally tires me out?

Have a happy day!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

I love these little flowers! Bright, cheery... and so easy to grow! These quirky plants are like a sprinkle of smiles across our lawn. I truly believe that God is good. And that He has a sense of humour. Have you ever picked a dandilion and set it in a vase? Ok... Ok... I guess most people don't pick dandilions. Most people try to obliterate them. But, guess what? If you pluck one of these sunny little flowers and try to capture its beauty, it droops and fades quickly into a sad remnant of what it was outdoors. Here is this beautiful gift which God leaves in abundance on my doorstep to be enjoyed where it is, as it is. Much like life.

And God's sense of humour... So often I think I've figured out my path in life. What a smartypants I think I am! I forget to talk to God. Then, wham! Like a big, gooey spitball straight to the side of the head. Three or four at a time. "Whada ya think of THAT? Bet I'll be hearing from you soon!" Yup. That's where I've been lately. Wearin' out my knees. Figuratively speaking since I do so darned much praying in the car and the oncoming traffic would not appreciate me praying on my knees.... It is a strange mix of confusion and comfort. But God leaves my favorite flower waiting for me. Sunshine spilling across the lawn of my life.

Have a happy day!

Saturday, May 1, 2010


Or should I say "litterpup"? Our puppy has been busy this morning. She carefully carried her puppy toys out to her play yard, then focused her attention on contraband household items. A pencil, a polly pocket doll, two American Girl doll shoes (not a pair), a tub toy, a pen and a beach ball.... Hmmmm... perhaps a shovel is in order before the vaccuum?

Have a happy day!