Thursday, February 21, 2013

Snow Day!

They were calling for a storm with low snow Tuesday afternoon, but being a snow-living veteran of 20+ years, that didn't discourage me from taking off and heading towards college in the rain--which quickly turned to slushy rain, which more quickly turned to flakes and then turned into "Holy crap, it's seriously DUMPING!"

Luckily I had the wherewithall to turn around and head for home. Funny, on Sunday, we had two lessons in church about listening to the Holy know, that still, small voice that tries desperately to warn you (or comfort you, or confirm, etc.)? Well, historically I've had a very hard time listening to that still, small voice because basically I'm super stubborn.

Tuesday was no exception. I was convinced that a little snow wasn't gonna slow me down! However, as I contemplated having to chain up my car to drive a steep, windy road back home after class, I finally listened and turned around. Not a minute too soon either. This storm was dumping snow at a rate I've rarely seen and I've been a snow-dwellin' girl for some time.

I was glad to reach the safety of home and watched in amazement as the snow piled up at my 2100' elevation. It wasn't a huge amount compared to the snow I used to get living up the hill, but with low snow comes snow plows not able to keep the roads clear because they are stretched thin, and drivers not used to driving in it.

Here's my "snow ball" indicating the snow fall in just over an hour's time:

And a look out my bedroom window:

There were a lot of spin-outs, and kids stranded at the schools until 9 and 10 that night. I'm thankful my family was safe and sound. And I was thankful that school was cancelled the next day.

Of course there is nothing prettier than waking up the next day to blue sky and snow on the trees:

And this is what my snow ball looked like in the morning:

And then just 24 hours after that first picture above:

I had a wonderful snow day, spent in my pj's checking out Pinterest activities for my preschoolers and watching reruns of Frasier on Netflix. A nice day, after a rather exciting little storm!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Egg Salad Soldiers

I happened this week to have a couple instances where egg salad sandwiches were served. I know...kinda weird.

Anyway, egg salad always reminds me of a story my mom would tell me--probably almost every time she made egg salad--about egg salad sandwiches and soldiers.

My mom was a young girl between the age of 7-10 when World War II was going on. She lived in a tiny railroad town. Oftentimes the troop trains would come through town carrying hundreds of hungry soldiers. Mom told me that she and her mom and brothers would make a bunch of egg salad sandwiches and run downtown as the trains would come through town.
The soldiers would hang out the windows of their cars and my mom and her family (and others in town) would pass out sandwiches to the soldiers. (Now, I don't remember if she said the soldiers paid for them or not. I think they did.)
Oh goodness, my mom always made the best egg salad sandwiches so I know these troops were grateful and happy to be eating them!

I know times were tough in those days and food was rationed and it was hard to get by. I'm so lucky not to have known that kind of hardship, let alone the hardships of the soldiers and their families.

At any rate, I think I'll have to make some egg salad sandwiches soon.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Randomness That Involves Cement Balls and Dog Yoga

Remember this teaser picture?
Those turned into these:
And one of those I covered in pennies:
Haven't decided what I'm doing with the other two yet.
And this is going on in my "front yard" too because the sun has been teasing us with springtime temperatures:
I have no idea what those things will be. I hope they're something pretty.
I'm plugging through my Tuesdays...only 13 more classes to go:
Both my classses this semester are very enjoyable, so it's making it easier to hang in there. And I figured out how to call the shuttle to get me to and from class so I don't feel like I might get mugged walking across campus at 10 at night. Go me!
Here's what I did at work on Friday:
I made Gak, hung it in a strawberry basket and gave the kids scissors to cut it with.
They loved it!
Then on Saturday the two youngest rode a stage coach:
Oh, and in the last couple weeks this one has moved home:
She likes to take pictures of herself "scratching" people's heads. But it's nice to have her around. She makes a mean salad and is good company.
And my dog has taken up yoga.
I'm glad she's putting those hours she spends on the couch to good use.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

The Long and Windy school

Tuesday was D-day for me. I was on the wait list for a class I need that's been holding me up in moving on with the rest of my classes to get my degree. This is the first time they've offered it at night, so I finally had a chance to take it.
I was kind of on the fence to even drive there. A two-hour drive to MAYBE get into a class? AND get home at midnight to boot? Did I really want to do this? The night before I was up half the night with a migraine. I took my medicine, but the medicine is full of caffeine, so I couldn't sleep even though my headache was finally gone, so it gave me plenty of time to contemplate and stress over the decision to even try.
But, try I did. After work I drove to my local college and attended my class there, then jumped in my car and drove to the other college. I got there about 45 minutes early, and good thing. There was NO parking. Well...there were a few spots left...way on the other side of campus.
Anyway, I finally made it to the class, the instructor was very dynamic and fun from the get-go, but said we wouldn't know the outcome of the wait list until half-way through the 3 hours because he likes to give the no-shows plenty of time to show up.
Well, at 8:15 he went through his list...hmmm, 4 spots open. I was #5. There were 13 of us total. He was so torn, and said his dean was going to be really pissed at him, but he took all of us! He's officially my favorite instructor now, no matter what!
So yes, I'm happy I got into the class, but Tuesdays are going to kick my butt. I'll be up and off to work by 7:15am and arrive back home at shortly past midnight, and get up for work the next day. I'm going to remember it's only for 16 weeks. I can do this!
As I finally parked on Tuesday, this is what my odometer read:
And yes, that is a plastic, glow-in-the-dark bat from the dollar store on my dash.
Here is what my passenger seat looks like on Tuesdays:
Crunchy snacks to keep me alert, my Ipod with podcasts of Armstrong and Getty, my books...and there's some chocolate there somewhere...
And what is up with this?
I will show you next time!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Content--not as in something contained, but as in contentment

Yep, that's me. I'm feeling very CONTENT. Maybe it's all the sunshine I'm soaking up, I don't know, but I feel very content in life right now. It's a good feeling.
The first thing I do each morning is open my blinds and let the sunshine stream in. In the last week, since the weather warmed, my house has been warmer than what the thermostat was set at by the time I get home from work. Contentment.
My Sue-dog makes me content too, even though she's a bit of a bed hog. She's just always there for me, quietly following my movements around the house, greeting me when I get home and taking walks with me. She's the best.
My guy decided it was high time to complete my little rock garden and delivered a load of pea gravel on Saturday. (Shelby called them "pea rocks" today, hee hee!) So if you compare this picture with the one 2 posts back you'll see the improvement. It's nothing special but it makes me shall I put it...content.
I unpacked ALL my boxes this week and found a couple treasures, like this handpainted toad that Carley did years ago...doesn't he look proud and um, content?
And I found this cute little smiling snail that Cam painted around the same time. That's a smile of contentment if I ever saw one!
Yes, Saturday was so warm and nice that Shelby and I washed a car, and I actually got down to one layer of clothing and was barefoot for a while!
And finally, on the next episode of either Hoarders or My Strange Addiction, I present to you my stash of veggie baskets that I have in a closet at work:
I just know I can find something really cool to do with them! But truthfully I'm a bit obsessed, and it's getting a little embarrassing, but everytime the cafeteria lady asks if I want some more I take them. I can't help myself!
So there you have my content post. I know my title says that I'm not talking about content, as in something contained, but maybe I really am, because my heart contains happiness.

Monday, January 14, 2013

She LUBs Muffins, I LUB Public Speaking!

Well it's been a long time since I've made something like this, and I'll tell ya why:
These are banana-oatmeal-chocolate chip muffins, and I haven't been able to make anything with banana in it for years. Natalie used to freak out because she hated the smell of banana-anything baking. I know, she's so weird! But she has an uber-sensitive sense of smell. It's getting less uber, I think, which is good.
When she was younger, she used to cry if we passed a dead skunk, it would acost her senses so much. Another time, she said, "I smell french fries!" while we were driving, and about a 4 blocks later we went by In-n-Out. She can smell smoke like noone else.
Anyway, we had these nasty, over ripe bananas laying around and I was in the mood for muffins, so I gave it a shot. And not only did I NOT offend Natalie, she ate them like crazy and asked for more! Yay for being able to bake with banana again!
This is what I did at work the other day:
Don't worry, I DO appreciate how awesome my job is! The teacher was impressed with my track-laying skills and I told her it was because I come from a long line of railroaders: my dad, both my grandpas and at least 3 of my uncles. So it must be in my blood, right?
I also made this at work:
I should have set the arrows better before taking the picture, but you get the idea! The kids love it. At circle the other day we had this freak snow flurry happen and our little girl looked outside and said, "Look it's wintertime!" and she got up and changed the arrow from cloudy to snowy.
Speaking of weather, it's been ridiculously cold. 21 degrees this morning. That's flippin' cold for around here and it's been like that for weeks now. Sheesh! I'm a spoiled California girl. I like my mild winters!
So the other day I come home and there is this awesome mushroom cloud-looking cloud. It's right in the sun, so I tried to take a picture of it while blocking the sun with the post on my porch.
Then the sky got all black and angry...
And then there was this freak corn-snow storm. It wasn't hail. Just big balls of snow. Weird. And it's not supposed to snow where I live now, so I did not approve.
And finally, I had to get up and give a talk in church on Sunday. I was assigned to do 15 minutes on chapters 8,9, and 10 in Matthew. That's where Jesus performs all the miracles, so it was pretty easy to get into it.
But it is never easy to get into public speaking. I can handle it now at least, but would prefer to never have to do it. Ever.
I thought of a little girl that was in our class a couple years ago who had the best attitude about everything. She always had a smile and even if she was eating something she didn't like, or doing something she didn't like, she would say, "I lub it!" And you could tell she didn't love it at all!
Well, I did my best to channel her and her attitude and apply it to getting up in front of everyone...I may not have liked it, but I LUBBED it!
Oh, and I wore my survival bracelet that Cam made for me, just as an extra precaution to make sure I would come through the experience ok. What I was going to do with 15 feet of military-grade paracord during a talk, I don't know, but at least I felt comforted knowing it was there if I needed it!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Spiffy New Year

2013 has been all about spiffing up my place. I love my little home. My guy-friend (man-friend? boy-friend? Do people in their 40's and 50's have boyfriends and girlfriends? Sounds goofy.), anyway my really good friend who has been a good friend for 20 some-odd years and now is my "guy" helped me with my little plot of gravel in front of my house the other day.
He trimmed the roses and little bushes while I weeded and moved rocks around. Too bad I didn't take a before picture. Sheesh! but this will kind of be the in-between picture because we are going to add more pea gravel and rocks and such. Maybe a succulent garden. This little spot gets lots of sun, so I need to figure out what to plant. (I love how Suey is sniffing something on the air.)
Look what I found in the gravel while weeding! This cute little monkey! (I also found 18 cents worth of change, and a spare key to my house!)
My guy is a real fan of rusty junk, and it's kind of rubbing off on me. I found this cat and hummingbird at the thrift store for 99 cents each. The middle rusty thing was a house warming gift from the rusty junk-loving guy.
Today I spent organizing my garage. I actually park my car in here! I've lived in a lot of places with garages, but have never been able to use them for my car. Now I can!
Then while trying to come up with a solution of lack of counter space in my small upstairs bath, I searched Pinterest and found this idea:
 A magazine rack to hold my curling iron and blow dryer and get them off the counter.
And finally, I learned this week that you have to let people help you. I can be very stubbornly independent. I have had to do almost everything myself for so long, that I've kind of got into the habit of not relying on anyone else.
To be honest, my guy and I had kind of been on the outs because of my stubbornness. He wants to do things for me, and I often don't let him, or do it myself.
Well, sometimes when you don't let other people help you, you unitentionally shut them out and hurt their feelings. That's what I learned.
My guy wanted to take me shopping and fill my freezer and I swallowed my pride and let him. It made him feel good to do something for me. I've got to realize that others want the satisfaction and the blessing of being able to serve or provide for me. I don't always have to be so independent. It's ok to rely on others. It blesses us both.