Sunday, June 21, 2009

Fifteen Minutes and Counting. . . . .

I feel a need to post (um, maybe because it's been over a week??) but I don't have any particular topic in mind. So I'm going to ramble for 15 minutes and see what comes out.

We had a nice Father's Day here today, even if Roger did somehow wind up doing most of the cooking. Of course, Sunday breakfast has been his territory since back when we only had two kids, and even he wanted what we actually had this morning -- strawberry/blueberry shortcakes with real whipped cream. Why save it for dessert when it makes a terrific breakfast? And Roger's the only one who knows which recipe he uses for the shortcake.

Dinner was another one of his specialties -- beer can chicken. There are lots of recipes on the internet, but he has a spice rub that's all his own which is beyond wonderful. We also had rolls, roasted asparagus, and s'mores. I think all of us were disappointed that it really was just a little too cool to eat out on the deck. Global warming ptui! I can't remember a Fathers' Day where we hadn't been able to eat outside YET!

The "we" who were disappointed was only about a third of the family. George is in Duluth, Maggie is at her summer job on the east coast, and Katie is in Italy. Rosie and Anthony and the boys managed to come up for the weekend, but Arwen and Bryan stayed home because Bryan will be traveling for the next few weeks, and they wanted some normal family time. But everybody except Katie did manage to call and/or send gifts and cards. So I think Roger had a good Fathers' Day.

And now that I've added my links above, my 15 minutes is more than up. I'm thinking about what I might like to write about next time. See you then!!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Seven Quick Takes -- Empty House Edition

1. For the first time in a long while I have spent almost all day alone, since Roger normally works from home. He and Katie left this morning to make a business stop and then go to Arwen's house. They will leave there early tomorrow to take Katie to O'Hare for her flight to England, and thence to Italy, where she will be the nanny/English teacher for a couple of very cute kids for the summer. Tommy spent last night at a friend's house, came home long enough to shower and change and then went out to lunch. The "occasion" was the last day of school, but Tommy and his friend were exempt from finals today. (English paper turned in on Tuesday, AP Calculus exam taken last month.) He came home again long enough to change for work; I dropped him off and will pick him up again at eight.

2. To all of you who live where school has been out for weeks -- Michigan law mandates that classes not begin until after Labor Day. So the school-year lasts well into June. This also makes for crazy situations involving sports. There are actually two football games before school begins next fall.

3. I have begun practicing the flute again. (Actually, I don't think I ever practiced much before, but I was better at it when I played regularly.) Our choir at church is doing a special piece with a flute part for our pastor's last mass at the end of the month. (He will be returning home to Nigeria. Our new pastor is Polish.) None of the various young flautists who have played with us in the past are around any more, and none of the band kids I asked were available. It's coming along pretty well,and I am excited to be doing something musical on an almost-daily basis.

4. My friend Tracy mentioned in her Quick Takes that she is a fan of Chain Rxn on Facebook. So am I! She likes the sound, and I am discovering that this is one of the few games where I don't mind the sound effects. I hadn't been playing with the sound on because usually I am playing near where someone is trying to work or sleep. But the house is empty. Bring on the little chime noises!

5. I am going to also take advantage of the nobody-in-the-house phenomenon to cook dinner just for me. I do this periodically when Roger is gone, and let the kids fend for themselves. What's on the menu, you ask? Liver and onions with bacon, grits, and sliced tomato. Except for the bacon and tomato nobody likes any of those things but me. My favorite meal growing up was liver and spinach. Maybe that's why I didn't have a whole lot of friends??

6. I went to the library on Monday and returned ALL my books, and promptly checked out 8 more, including three new books that have a two-week rather than a four-week check-out period. I'm done with one, partway into both of the others. (One is a mystery, one an "Asian family comes to America" story.) Nothing spectacular enough to tell y'all about, unless the Asian one sudenly gets better. I do want to recommend a non-fiction I checked out, though --Your Best Birth by Ricki Lake and Abby Epstein. As a home-birthing mama I'm a bit of a "birth junkie" -- for a couple of years I thought about training as a midwife -- and though I never thought I'd be saying this about anything by Ricki Lake, the book is excellent. It is NOT an "everybody should do home birth" spiel, but a "know all your options and make informed choices" admonition. Read it!

7. It is a beautiful sunny day here, and still cool enough that I wore a sweater when I walked the dog. I've heard reports that this summer is going to be cool-ish, without extreme high temperature or humidity. Since I'm in the "hot flashes" stage of my life, that sounds ideal! I like living where there are four distinct seasons, but if I had to eliminate one, "hot" would be first out!

More Quick Takes can be found here.

Monday, June 08, 2009

15 Minute Follies

It has been suggested by several people that I try the fifteen minute method of blogging -- set a timer for fifteen minutes, start typing, and don't stop until the timer goes off. I have no idea how well this will work for me, since I am a six-fingered (at best) typist, and I rather suspect the rule was invented for the ten-fingered, but I'm going to give it a try......

Today was a typical Monday around here, which is to say busy with many things, few of them routine. All of the other week days have their regularly scheduled chores: Tuesday is laundry, Wednesday is bathroom cleaning, and so on. Theoretically Monday is my "day off" -- which is sort of silly if Sunday has been calm -- but today was filled to the brim.

First up was dinner prep. Sometimes I do something simple on Mondays, but since Katie is leaving for the summer on Friday, I am doing her favorites this week. Today was Pork Fried Rice and egg rolls. The egg rolls I buy from Sam's Club, but the fried rice is from scratch. As I often do -- I think it comes from having worked in a restaurant -- I did all the chopping and pre-cooking first thing this morning. Then I shoved it in the fridge and didn't have to think about it again until 25 minutes before dinner time. I like having a "prep cook", even if she's me.

Next I prepared to lead Noon Prayer on Wednesday. I regularly go to a 12:15 PM Eucharist, but the pastor is going to be out of town this week, so I will be leading Noon Prayer, which consists of a number of Scripture readings plus our regular list of intercessions. I could just wing it and it would probably be OK, but I like to feel like I put some effort into it.

After lunch I finished altering a dress which Katie bought at a bargain price from Target's website. If she'd had to pay a dressmaker it would have at least tripled the cost, but Mom works for free! After that I picked up Tommy from drumline tryouts, dropped him at work, and went to the library. All by myself! I also took a fitness walk by the river, then came home and made dinner. Most recently I wrote a couple of thank you notes, and then I blogged. Time's up!

It took me another five minutes to get this fit to publish, but I think the 15 minute thing may work out if I don't have any better ideas.

Friday, June 05, 2009

Bad Blogger Blues

OK, I admit it. I'm a lousy blogger. I don't really like to write. What I do like is the connectedness of the internet. And I figure if I like reading your blogs, it's only fair for me to give you something in return. But then I get halfway through a long post -- like Maggie's graduation, or Lindsay's interview of me -- and I just don't want to do it anymore. And first I plan to get back to it, and then I feel guilty for not getting back to it, and then I hope it will just go away, and the end result is that I don't post anything.

So this is what I'm going to do; I'm going to stop promising to post anything specific. I'll came here and ramble, probably more often, and none of us will know what it's going to be about until it happens. Deal??