Friday, July 17, 2009

A Sign of the Times

Some years ago when my children were of a tender age, one of the house rules was, if they wanted to see a new movie, it had to be previewed by me before they had permission to watch it.  I learned to LOVE that rule because it afforded me with lots of opportunities to catch "Dollar Night" on Tuesdays at the theater alone, while Mike took care of business at home.  It was, of course, a hard job, but something I was willing to bear up under for the sake and safety of my little ones.

Recently, a couple girlfriends and I have been enjoying frequent movie nights in my home. After watching Ryan Gosling in "Lars and the Real Girl" and "The Notebook" for the umpteenth time, I researched additional movies he starred in and found several, but none of them appeared to be the type of movie I would prefer.  I told Jen that I'm tempted to see them anyway but was concerned that if they were a disappointment, it could possibly mar the affection I feel for Lars and Noah  (characters in his movies).  "Don't worry," Jen said to me, "I'll watch them and let you know if they are appropriate for you."  

Ah, the comforts of my newly- acquired role reversal!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Drowning in Tomatoes

What is it about me that makes me forget I am not a 25 year old pioneer woman??

We had the opportunity to order fresh and reasonably priced produce from a local farmer through the church, so I did.  I know my limitations physically so I paced myself, but the more I ordered, the more I decided I'd just share with my family and friends.  I gave away corn on the cob, squash, cucumbers, watermelons, and cantaloupes, but kept all the tomatoes. 

A friend of mine had ordered tomatoes and bell peppers, but when the produce arrived, she realized they were going to be moving and she would be unable to work with it, so I bought her portion.  What was I thinking!?!  I was already swimming in lycopene!

As usual, one of my kids had to bail me out.  Chelle came down and we made 3 different recipes of salsa retrieved from Google and finally determined which was our favorite.  The first day we turned out 36 quarts, not pints, but quarts of yummy salsa.  We scheduled a second canning day before the vegetables went bad and produced yet another 18 quarts for a grand total of 54!! It worked out okay because some time ago, Chelle had expressed a desire to learn how to can something.  Talk about baptism by fire!  See, you have to be so careful about what you ask for.

I am so like my dad in this respect.  He thinks he is still 30 years old, 12 ft tall and bullet-proof! His frustration peaks when he gets into a project that he is unable to complete because it is usually a job for Superman.  Daddy is only 87, but becomes short of breath when he tries to do too much.  So, like me, he calls in reinforcements . . . usually my brother, Dan.  I guess neither of us are ready to throw in the towel on life.  We always imagine we can handle it ourselves. I'm just grateful we still have others around that are there for us when we get in a bind.  "It's not that I'm old, it's just my age."  

Monday, July 13, 2009


(If the title puts Gomer Pyle in your head, mission accomplished.)  

A week ago last Thursday afternoon (July 2nd), Chelle came down from Pearland to "help" me clean and organize.  (Remember the old adage, "Me and Daddy killed a bear, Daddy shot it"?) That's Chelle doing all the work.  Anyway, in a frenzy, she made the house presentable for guests and just as she sat down for a well-deserved break, there was a knock at the door.  

My Aaron, Lisa and their 22 month old daughter, Amelia (aka Millie) from Utah were on my doorstep.  I had no idea they were coming.  Aaron is really big on surprises.  Chelle and Jen knew about the visit, but no one else.  We were all surprised.  That's the way he likes it.

It's been a whirlwind nine days of plenteous laughter and loving, not to be outdone by eating. We even managed to have some family photos taken by a sweet friend of ours.  Aaron did several much-needed honey-do jobs for me and demonstrated his cooking prowess a couple of times.  Lisa treated us to some beautiful piano music and kept my kitchen clean, in spite of our constant efforts to leave it in a mess.  We were all entertained by Amelia's antics.  Her mother is good to share Millie with us on her blog, but sadly, it is not the same as being able to love on her in person.  What a precious little thing!

When any one of my kids is out of pocket, I go to sleep with a nagging feeling that something is slightly amiss.  I know that all is well enough with them, but somehow, my world seems incomplete.  For nine days, my life was whole again.  I will admit that in an era when most families are scattered in order to go where the work is, I am fortunate to have the majority of my family nearby.

So they left last Saturday (July 11th) and I tried to be brave but alas, I am not very proficient at it.  When I was a child and we left from a visit to my grandmother's house, I remember thinking it was foolish that she would always cry.  After all, we had stayed a whole two weeks, and we'd be coming back again the next summer!  Not only have I become my mother, I've apparently become my grandmother.