Sunday, December 30, 2012

Christmas Memories

We put Christmas back into storage today.  Well not Christmas itself, but rather our Christmas decor.  To quote my daughter "Christmas decorating is a lot more fun than Christmas undecorating." 

We ended up with a white Christmas.  Not much snow, but enough that we are still sitting in a white wonderland because baby it's cold out there! 

In spite of my recent bad history with ladders, I bravely climbed a ladder to take down our giant outdoor ornaments.  I was delighted to see the snow had dusted them. 
Tonight J-Bear and I took a trip down memory lane looking at past Christmas photos on the computer.  I decided to share.  Hope you enjoy our trip down memory lane. 

Here's hoping for a great 2013! 

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Love Notes

I received two makes-your-heart-melt kind of notes from my darling daughter this week. 

It would probably be splittin' hairs to point out I am the only mom she has ever had. . .so I didn't.  :)

What a cheerful little ego booster!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

The Damn Eraser

Poodaloo, J-Bear and I were up in the scrapbooking room working on crafty things last night.  Pooda was helping me sort seed beads by color. 

J-Bear was writing out the words to "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer" on a page in her scrapbook.  Wisely, she decided to use a pencil lest she make an error that needed correction. I hear banging around on her table which is behind me.  Things hitting the table top in frustration, drawers opening and slamming shut. 

Then I hear "Arrrrrr!  I cannot find the damn eraser!" 

I sat there in shock because J-Bear doesn't really talk that way.  Perhaps she may have heard her mother or father utter such words, but. . . .

I asked her what she said.  She repeated "I cannot find the damn eraser", then her face fell.  I guess she could tell from my face that damn was not an acceptable, everyday term.  She apologized profusely. 

And I swear I could see the wheels in her brain turning as she mentally moved 'damn' over to the naughty word list.  

Choosing to Ignore

Saturday night, my niece Poodaloo spent the night with us.  Pooda and J-Bear are truly the best of friends.  They totally entertain each other, get along very well, and are very entertaining to listen to as they discuss the happenings in their world.  Almost without exception, they never want their sleep-overs to end. 

This morning, I was leaving to go to my "Breakfast Club" - a group of girlfriends that meet once a month to catch up on each others lives. Poodaloo and J-Bear were playing on the Wii.  I hugged and mooched on both girls. 

I stopped in the door way as I departed and said "Poodaloo, your mother is probably going to come home with me after breakfast.  Just want you to be prepared that you may be leaving when Breakfast Club is done."

No response.  So I tried again. 

"Pooda, you will be leaving after I get back from breakfast." 

Again, no response. 

So I placed myself between the Wii and the child.  "Pooda, did you hear what I said?" 

"I heard it.  I am just choosing to ignore that horrid information!" 

Guess she didn't want to leave yet.  :)

Sunday, December 9, 2012

A Not-So-Proud Moment

After several delays due to weather, the Hubster crawled up on the roof to hang Christmas lights on Saturday after the Winter Carnival at school. 

Since I purchased the new kind of Christmas lights at Costco in November, we can now chain together enough strings to go clear around the front of our house!!! 

In the past, we have always had to stop over our front porch because of the limits stated on the box for how many strings you can put together.  It is a fact that was very disappointing to me, so I was thrilled to find out the new kind of lights (what are they - LED bulbs?  Or some such word...) allow enough length to get clear around the front of our house.  The new kind of lights actually allow enough length to hook our house together with Jeff and Chelsea's house next door, but I digress.....

It thrilled the Hubster, too, NOT!  This meant climbing up on a new section of the roof and installing light-holding devices in a new area.  That is covered by a tree with inconvenient branches poking at your head.  And no perfect ladder placement spot.  

He did not ask for my assistance.  Generally speaking it is best to stay away unless my assistance is specifically requested.  I was upstairs in my craft room and I hear the Hubster bellowing for help.  It was the kind of yelling that makes your heart race. 

By the time I cleared the stairs and flew out the front door, he had solved the problem of his foot being stuck in the extension ladder after the ladder shifted on him.  I decided I better stay out there for moral support because he was less than pleasant at this point. 

He got up on the roof and got the hangers installed.  Got the lights strung on them.  When realized he should have brought the gutter clips with him because the string of lights was long enough it was going to go around the corner and need to be hung on the gutter.

"No problem!"  I said cheerfully in my new able-assistant role.  

I went in the garage and found the clips.  Not being one for ladders, I attached the little plastic bag of clips to the end of a mop.  I returned to the extension ladder and stepped up on the first rung. 

I extended the mop handle, but we could not quite reach each other.  So I hiked up on step two.  Perfect!  The Hubster had the clips! 

I stepped down off the ladder forgetting I had gone up two steps.  I thought the ground would be forthcoming way before it was there.  I don't really know what happened, but I found ground in a flat-on-my-back position looking up at the sky.  The Hubster watched from the top of the house in horror and I bounced in the grass with my head literally inches from the concrete curbing. 

It could have been very bad.  I feel very lucky that I was not seriously hurt.  I am very stiff and sore today, but over-all the situation ended well.   Since I was not much of a ladder person before, I can only imagine it will take every ounce of fortitude I have to get me up on a ladder again.  Good grief - it was only step two! 

Somehow the one thought that keeps going through my mind is a quote from Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer.....  "Bumbles don't bounce!"

A Very Proud Moment

To properly tell the story, I must begin at the beginning.

J-Bear's teacher, Mrs. A, has a daughter that is in kindergarten at the school.  As we were driving home on Friday, J-Bear told me something very sad happened at school today.  Mrs. A's daughter broke her nose during recess.  And a 'Leaner Teacher' (a.k.a. Student Teacher) from Mrs. L's class taught them the rest of the day.  J-Bear is a very sensitive girl and she actually choked up telling me the details. 

Saturday I had volunteered to work at Mrs. A's Tinsel Hair Extension booth at the Winter Carnival at the school.  I didn't really know if I should expect Mrs. A to be there or not, since she obviously had a stressful Friday.  When I arrived, Mrs. A was working at the booth.  There were a couple of other women there as well. 

I learned that her daughter did, in fact, break her nose during recess.  She and another little girl collided on the playground.  The other little girl just bounced back.  Mrs. A's daughter hit the ground with her face without the benefit of arms breaking the fall.  She had a big black eye and her teeth went into her lip.  A dentist appointment would be forthcoming.  The side of her nose was so swollen they would not be able to assess the damage until Thursday's appointment with an ENT.  At that time, they will determine if her nose will heel itself or require surgery.  Poor kid!

As Mrs. A is telling this, comments were made by the other lady in the booth that lead me to concluded she must be the Student Teacher from Mrs. L's classroom.  Apparently they were scheduled to have a fire drill Friday afternoon.  The Student Teacher said Mrs. L came over and warned her about the drill.

"Mrs. L told me to figure out who J-Bear was.  J-Bear would know where the class was supposed to go, she would know the rules, and she would follow them.  Have J-Bear be the line leader and you will do fine."  said the Student Teacher.

She did not know that I was J-Bear's mother.  Mrs. A introduced us and she gave me a glowing report on how J-Bear helped her Friday.

It was a very proud moment, indeed! 

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Preparations Begin

It's been a busy weekend of Christmas preparations.  Friday night, J-Bear enjoyed a sleep-over birthday party for one of her little buddies.  The Hubster and I took advantage and did our Christmas shopping.  Actually we did our Christmas shopping research, then came home and ordered on-line. 

Saturday was groceries and chores.  Then we commenced to decorate the house for Christmas.  The Hubster went outside to hang our roof lights, but it started to rain before he even got started.  And it has rained and rained.  Maybe next weekend. 

But we have the tree up.  We went back to our artificial tree mostly because of Dixie, our youngest cat.  She was not with us at Christmas time last year and we feared a Christmas tree full of water and Dixie-Doo-Da would be a bad combination.  Knock on wood - so far she has shown zero interest in the tree. 

I have always wanted to decorate our stairwell hand railing with lights and green garland-like-decor.  But there is not a plug in anywhere near, so I have not ever done it.  But this year, I found some very reasonably prices little sets of battery operated lights.  They even have a timer!  Sadly, I could not find the kind of green garland-like-decor I really wanted.  Maybe by next year I will get it all together.  For now, the white garland we found will have to do. See the picture below.

The good news is December 1 FINALLY got here.  J-Bear is having a ball opening her Snowmen calendar! 

Painting for Decor Only

Painting something for decoration only is not a concept the Hubster can really fathom.  He painted the main living areas inside our house about a year and half ago.  I have been meaning to paint a couple walls a bright color to enhance decor.  Can't really say I have rushed into it....but over Thanksgiving weekend it was mission accomplished!!

The deal almost didn't come down though.  One of the target walls is above a plant shelf above our front door.  I am not a fan of heights or ladders.  I got up on the plant shelf area on my hands and knees and sort of freaked out.  I said to the Hubster "I don't think I can do this.  I am terrified to stand up." 

I thought he would take sympathy on me and volunteer, but since painting for decor only is not a concept he can eagerly volunteer voice was forthcoming.  I became determined this fear would not stop me. 

There was one family member that was very interested in my escapade.  Unfortunately, Dixie was not actually any help....rather quite the opposite! 

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Thanksgiving Recap

Thanksgiving has come and gone.  We had a lovely day.  Decent weather, good food and great company.  We were joined by my sister and her two girls.  Sadly, my brother-in-law L was under the weather and stayed home.  The report is that the following day he enjoyed his Thanksgiving Day meal.  Our friends Lorraine and Mark also joined us.  Gave the Hubster a football watching partner!

The festivities started Wednesday night when Panda and Poodaloo spent that night, which is by now a Thanksgiving tradition.  They need to be here bright and early for cake decorating, so spending the night before just makes sense.  Especially since they moved way the heck across town . . . . 

 After the cakes were complete, the JV Team and the Hubster went to the park to blow off steam.  Panda and I stayed home to get stuff ready.  After dinner, the Birthday Girl and Boy enjoyed their masterpiece cakes:
The JV Team had 'prepared' a "Thanksgiving Birthday Show".  They warmed up the audience by Poodaloo singing Happy Birthday in Chinese.  Then they rolled out their Taylor Swift songs.  

Hope your holiday was just swell.  That you enjoyed the day doing what you love with whom you love.  LOOK OUT!  December is coming right at you!  :-)

Friday, November 23, 2012


Last weekend as we dashed around buying supplies for the snowman advent calendar, J-Bear also scored a few things.  Cat pajamas, socks, some hair bobs, and one other thing though I cannot recall what it was at the moment. 

As we were approaching home, J-Bear announced "Mom, you were generous today.  Most of the time when we go shopping, I really cannot say that about you.  But today, I'd say you were fairly generous." 

Kind of a left-handed compliment?  An unusual way of saying thank you?  Not really sure.....

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

Will take a moment out of the busy day to give a Thanksgiving Shout Out!  At the moment, I am thankful that the hubster took the JV Team to Cypress Park so I can have a few minutes of quiet.  :-)

We are gathering at our house with my sister's family and a couple of friends.  Since tomorrow is my sister's birthday and Monday is the Hubster's birthday, our Thanksgiving is always a birthday party, too.  So, let's see:

Mini birthday cakes made and assembled?  Check!
Mini birthday cakes decorated by the girls?  Check!
Jello Pretzel Salad made?  Check!
Turkey in the roaster?  Check!
Showered and fairly presentable?  Check!

Guess I am mostly ready to go!

Things I am thankful for, in no particular order:

  • My health and the health of my family.  I have a couple of friends fighting the cancer beast a the moment.  Makes me appreciate my health all the more.  Cancer Sucks!
  • The Hubster and J-Bear.  Friends and family.  Nuf said.
  • A day care my daughter loves going to.  I know day care can be a challenge and we are so thankful for Mama Jo!
  • Poop.  Or rather just the right level of poop.  Too much; too little - both are a problem.  (Just testing to see if you are still reading.)  
  • Good jobs. 
  • Nice house.  Enough food to eat.  And that we can pay for it all.
  • That the Hubster can now live out his dream of flying an airplane.  Grateful the good jobs provide him that.  
  • Our pesty cats.  They are both so unique and provide us with a lot of entertainment and love.  And 3 AM wake up calls because Tippy thinks it is a wonderful time to begin an outdoor adventure!  

Hope you have a fabulous holiday.  Remember you don't have to look very far to find someone worse off than yourself.  At least your eyeballs are not rejecting!

And as I always say - GOBBLE TIL YOU WOBBLE!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Craftsy Girls

Last weekend, J-Bear and I set about creating a fun way to count down the days until Christmas.  I actually saw the idea on the web last year....between Christmas and New Year.  I made a mental note to self:  Next Year!

Of course, that mental note to self didn't surface in the old brain in time to plan ahead and properly order supplies.  So Saturday morning we went shopping.  We hit a variety of stores finding craft supplies and affordable vending machines.  We were not in the market for the junk inside - we needed the acorn capsules. 

We started out by spray paining the insides of the capsules white so there would be no peeking!  While the paint dried, I used the power drill to drill two small holes in the top of each 'dude'. 

Next came painting on the faces.  And more waiting for paint to dry.  (Neither of us girls possess a lot of patience so the waiting part was difficult!) 
Next came the sewing of the lids.  J-Bear has not ever used a needle but she did great.  Break out the hot glue gun (only one burned finger and luckily it was mine) and we applied noses and puff balls to the top of the lids. 
Ta-da!  We have a creative advent calendar!  They are filled with surprises, hanging on the computer room wall, and driving J-Bear n-u-t-s!  She can't believe that December is still several days away!

Saturday, November 10, 2012


I have always made it my policy not to discuss politics.  It is right up there with my policy against doing any kind of 'chain letter'.  And very rarely do I discuss my political views with friends. 

I do not like the nastiness about the elections that was on Facebook, in TV advertisements, and on the news.  I am not going to get political on you now.  I am going to share a funny story about the elections.  At least I think it was funny. 

On Monday night, J-Bear and I discussed what the elections were.  How you vote.  Why I think voting is important.  We discussed national vs. local elections. 

On Tuesday morning, I voted before I went to work.  That means I was actually home when J-Bear got up.  A rare treat for us.

As I was kissing everyone good-bye, I thought I would see if any of my civics lesson took hold.  I asked J-Bear "Who should I vote for to be President?" 

Her immediate response was "I don't know."  Then she thought about it for a few seconds. 

And added "I guess you should vote for Barack because I have never even met that other guy." 

The statement is probably telling on some level as to why Mitt Romney didn't win.  But my gut reaction was

"And when did you meet 'Barack'?"

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween

How do you fix a broken Jack-O-Lantern? 
With a pumpkin patch!

The wonnerful thing about Tiggers.....
A pretty stinking cute kid with a more-evil-than-I-meant-to-make-it-look pumpkin.
Striking a pose with the pumpkins.  Don't you think the black cat in the background is a perfect touch?
Our clearly above average pumpkin carving skill!
Trick-O-Treating at Michelle's house.  Michelle's mom handing out candy.
With Dan at the really decorated house.  (a.k.a. Danta Claus in December)
Braving up to take candy from a pretty scary dude!

Thursday, October 25, 2012


I am sure you are on the edge of your seat wondering if the Tooth Fairy came through with enough bucks to purchase the 'maniken'.  She did!  Alison is her name (the manikin, not the Tooth Fairy) and she arrived yesterday. 

J-Bear and I sat down to order.  THEN I read the reviews for Lexy - the manikin we had picked out.  Apparently Lexy stunk.  Terrible reviews.  When I told J-Bear that she instantly broke into tears.  She was so disappointed that 'they don't like the one I like'. 

So we read reviews on Alison.  Her reviews were considerably better, but no where close to a 5 star rating.  It seemed that most of the reviewers were actually cosmetology students and their purpose was to practice hair cutting.  Since J-Bear has no intention of ever cutting a hair on Alison's head, we decided to take a chance.  As a hidden bonus - Alison was $3.77 less than Lexy! 

J-Bear has already spent gobs of time styling Alison's hair.  She L-O-V-E-S her!  I have done a couple styles on Alison's hair, too, and I have to say she is perfect for our intended purpose.  And I don't have to sit through brutal hair combing sessions anymore!  Win-Win!!

The very first do!

The Invention of Crabby

Last night, when we went upstairs to brush teeth and read, J-Bear became sassy and uncooperative.  After a while I asked why are you so crabby all of a sudden?  

She whips around and said “What you don’t understand is that *I* invented crabby!”  

Really?  Where does she come up with this stuff?  I cracked up, which defused her crabby.  

Then she admitted that maybe she didn’t invent crabby.  Probably the entire world invented crabby.  

She tried to get her 'crabby back on' but it didn't work.  Then she told me “The nice J-Bear is in taking a nap.  Do you want me to go get her?”  

I said sure.  

She left the room and returned skipping and singing.  She brushed her teeth without delay.  I guess it is her job to keep me on my toes.  She excels at it. 

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Peregrine Fund

On Sunday, my "Breakfast Club" ladies and their spousal units/families met up at Kit and Carlton's house for a brunch salad bar potluck.  Then we headed over to The Peregrine Fund World Center for Birds of Prey.  During the month of October, they have an outdoor flight demonstration.  The show featured five birds that swooped and played, sometimes flying just inches above the heads of their audience. If you are in the Boise area, I highly recommend the show.  Check out details at:

This weekend is the last weekend for the flight demonstrations, so don't delay!

J-Bear was the only kid in our group.  I was very proud of her.  She didn't complain about being bored.  She participated well and with enthusiasm. I was very proud of me, too.  I am not a huge bird fan.  They are unpredictable, move too fast, and rather flighty.  (Pun intended.)  But I did a great job of sitting still and not freaking out when those #^%$ birds flew right over my head! 
1.  Checking out her wingspan!
2.  Molly, J-Bear and the Hubster
3.  The owl from the flight show.  He has the most amazing orange eyes.  Double click on the picture to enlarge it on your browser.  Maybe you can see them.
4.  The fam
5.  My friend Diane
6.  The owl during the flight demo
7.  The Peregrine Falcon after his number in the show
8.  J-Bear at Condor Cliffs  (IMHO:  Condors are rather unattractive creatures)
9.  My little falcon

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Pumpkin Huntin'

We went to one of the local farms with a group of friends.  The place was packed with people, but the kids had a ball.  This place has something for everyone.  Petting zoo, pony rides, miniature carnival rides, bounce houses, zip line, food, hay ride, pick your own pumpkin from a field, and a corn maze. 

J-Bear talked and talked about how this would be her first corn maze.  I opted out.  Mazes do not delight me.  But the Hubster reports the JV Team had a ball.  I think he just worked on keeping up. 


Saturday, October 20, 2012

Fall Surprise

When I arrived home one night this week, I noticed a wonderful surprise in our yard.  This summer we had a huge tree removed from the front yard.  It completely covered the fence and everything around it.  We have lived here 8+ years and I have never noticed the tree/bush directly behind the fence turns bright red in the fall.  But there it was, peeking over fence, waving at me as the breeze blew it ever so slightly. 

Have I ever mentioned I love fall?  What?  You say I have mentioned it 3-4 times in the last 5-6 blog posts?  Silly me.  But I just l-o-v-e fall.  Can't help myself!

Do You See What I See?

Do you see what I see up under the fern?

Look closely.  Maybe even double click on the picture to enlarge it. 

It has glowing eyeballs and a calico fur coat. Yup - that would be Dixie.  Also called Sassy Pants because of her 'Catitude' about life.  Actually I am the only one that calls her Sassy Pants.  But she deserves it.  Perhaps my attitude about her Catitude is the reason she can't stand me. 

I have had that fern plant since the early 1980's.  No kidding.  About 30 years.  It has learned to survive in spite of neglect.  When J-Bear came along, it was perched up on the plant shelf so that the kid could not get a hold of it.  But I am fearful the fern will not survive the introduction of Dixie into its little world!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Busy, Busy, Busy

It's been a busy week!  It started with my birthday celebration on Wednesday.  We dined at Red Lobster.  I had my heart set on a shrimp meal.  I actually reviewed their menu before we went to make sure they had good kids selections and a shrimp deal for me.  I think J-Bear's goal is to eat Mac & Cheese at every restaurant in Boise! 

When we got there, I got sucked in by their table top advertising.  I ordered a shrimp sampler appetizer for my meal.  Unfortunately, I didn't really understand the items on the sampler and let's just say I was a little disappointed in myself for having been lead astray.  But the company was good and we had a good time. 

Saturday morning, J-Bear and I set off for the Boise City Library! to research for her animal report she needed to write for school.  I had no idea that when you arrive in the library parking lot at 9:58 AM and they open at 10:00 AM, that there would be 30-40 people in the lot awaiting the opening.  Who knew the library was such a hoppin' place?  Luckily, only a few were headed to the cat section of the Children's Library. 

Saturday afternoon was my real birthday celebration.  In August, I emailed the Hubster to say I knew what I wanted for my birthday.  Cirque du Soleil was coming to Boise the week of my birthday.  And I wanted all three of us to go.  I have always wanted to see one of their shows, but never could justify the cost.  But a 50th birthday seems like justification enough to me! 

Our seats were great, the show was fabulous, and J-Bear was totally enthralled for at least 1 hour and 50 minutes of the 2 hours show.  I thought she did great!  The only drawback was that the show was in Taco Bell Arena, literally in the same parking lot with Bronco Stadium.  And the Bronco's had a football game.  Let's just say the campus was hopping and the parking garage assigned to the Cirque show was clear across campus.  They had shuttles to transport folks, but the day had fabulous fall weather and we enjoyed our walk.

Then we headed over to my sister's house for pizza and ice cream birthday cake to celebrate my birthday.  I happen to really enjoy ice cream and an ice cream cake is 'THE BOMB' in my opinion.  I love my sister! 

Sunday morning the Hubster and J-Bear headed off to the airport again.  An absolutely picture perfect flying day and they flew all over the valley.  Again, she loved flying.  I think he has found his flying buddy.  And this time, the thought of my family in that plane didn't make me queasy.  I am making progress. 

Sunday morning found me having breakfast with Bebe Dodds who was in Boise to pick up daughter, Katy, at the airport.  I have not seen either Dodds girl for a while, so it was fun to catch up.  We hit Costco after breakfast and Katy retrieval.  Funny how the two of us could fill up an entire mini van with Costco goods! 

Sunday afternoon, J-Bear worked feverishly on her Cat Report.  The kid has a razor sharp focus when working on something she really enjoys.  Let's just say the report is not due until October 26, but will be turned into the teacher tomorrow.  Complete with original artwork!

Today, J-Bear had oral surgery. . . . again . . . . to remove some baby teeth.  J-Bear has always been teeth challenged.  I think her teeth are going to provide us 'excitement' all her life.  For several years, our regular dentist has told us to be prepared for braces.  She did not have a tooth in her head until she was 18 months old.  And now they are dragging their little roots before making their exit.  But she has nice, large permanent teeth all set and ready to take their place. 

This surgery was to remove 3 top teeth to the left and right of the front teeth.  The orthodontist and oral surgeon agreed if we didn't get them out now, the permanent teeth would erupt where they are . . . which would be sideways and up under her nose.  That wouldn't be good at all.

Last night, she left this note on the counter for her dad, lest he forget the activities taking place this morning.

In recent months, J-Bear has become quite adept at hair styling.  Braiding and pigtails that used to provide too much challenge are 'easy-peasy' for her now.  A couple weeks ago, I got my hair cut and had a few inches taken off.  Now my hair has been declared 'useless' for hair styling.  (It was a secret ploy.  I do not enjoy being her model.  Especially when the squirt bottle comes out.) 

She was complaining about my useless hair over the weekend, so I told her she needed a beautician's hair mannequin.  She had no idea what it was, so I showed her one on Amazon.  I had no idea what an obsession I was starting!  She has counted her "Spend" money.   Requested special permission to use her "Save" money.  She has $41.00 when she combines all her resources.  So she wrote it on her chore chart to remind herself what she is working towards. 

 As you can see, she is $6 short.  Today, on the drive home from the dentist a thought came to her.

"If I had three teeth pulled and the Tooth Fairy usually gives me $2 for a tooth, I CAN GET THE MANIKEN TOMORROW!!!!" 

I will keep you posted on if the Tooth Fairy comes through!

Sunday, October 14, 2012


The first weekend of October, we headed north to visit Moscow/Troy folks and catch a Vandal Football game.  The weather was perfect, the visiting wonderful, and the Vandals won!  (Perhaps the only W the boys may collect this season.....but that's not the point here.)

1.  We dropped some bucks at the bookstore when we hit town Friday.  J-Bear and Panda modeling their new Vandal Gear.  In light of fairness, we brought home the same gear for Poodaloo (Panda's sister who had to say home this trip).  Reportedly she wore it to bed that night and to school the next day. 
2.  Birthday celebration.  Mary and I both have October birthdays so it's always a party during our fall Vandal Football Game weekend. 
3.  We ran into Sandy (Olson) Johnson and her grandson at the Homecoming Parade. 
4.  We arrived at the Kibbie Dome.  J-Bear has not been to a Vandal Game since she was 6 months old.  We usually find a friend to entertain the kids while we attend the game.  But this time, we took J-Bear and Panda with us.  They had a great time!
5.  Us at the parade. 
6.  My 50th Birthday celebration.
7.  Since it was Homecoming, several high school band performed with the Vandal Marching Band.  It was a pretty awesome show.... on their first game. 
8.  Panda hamming it up.
9.  Bootie from the parade.
10.  The Vandal Marching Band at the parade. 


We had our house painted the first week of October.  It has been a subject we have discussed for at least two years.  More serious discussions ensued this summer.  The trim on the house was in rather sad shape and the reality is it just had to be done. 

I did some research looking for a local painter.  If you are from the area and looking for a painter, I will give a shout out to Caldwell Brother's Painting (208-343-3886).  John and Tenli were fabulous to work with, the cost was reasonable, the work timely, and the communication great. And after meeting them while they worked on our house three days...they are just darned nice folks.  I highly recommend them. 

Here are the before shots (of course I have pictures....surely you know be better than that by now???)  
Some during pictures: 
And finally, the after pictures:
Both the Hubster and I thought there would be a lot more contrast between the paint and the trim.  On those little miniature cards, there appeared to be a lot more contrast. 

Funny J-Bear Story:  We drove in about two days after the painting was done.  I commented "The paint colors are growing on me."  From the back of the van "Ewwww!  Gross!  Where is it growing on you, mom?" 

Kids can be SO literal!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

A Favorite Birthday Card

I received a birthday card from Viki, my former Healthwise boss, that really made my chuckle.  I thought I would share it.  Some of them apply . . . . perhaps too much!! 

Happy Birthday, and welcome to the WONDER YEARS!

As in,
I wonder where I put my glasses?   (Editorial Note:  Happens several times a day!)
I wonder where I parked my car?
I wonder why boys call me "ma'am?"
I wonder if I paid that bill?
I wonder when that appointment is?
I wonder why I bought bok choy?  (Editorial Note:  Even with a challenged memory bank, I would never buy bok choy!  Not a real cabbage fan....) 
I wonder why everything hurts?
I wonder why it's so hot in here?
I wonder why it's so cold in here?  (Editorial Note:  These two can happen within two minutes of each other!)
I wonder why I said that?
I wonder if I locked the door?
I wonder what the speed limit is?
I wonder what the policeman wants?

Happy Birthday, Wonder Girl! 

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Be Careful Who You Celebrate With!

If you have a moment of bad judgment and choose to celebrate with Kelly Johnson and Mary Yenney, you could end up looking like this on your birthday.  (Well, actually the weekend before your birthday.....)

Happy Birthday To Me......on Wednesday!

I Love Fall!

Fall is here.  It has been officially for a few weeks.  But you can tell when one day you wake up and BOOM!  There is fall.  Right in your face. 

I love the cooler temperatures.  I love being outside and not worried about sunburn or heat stroke.  I love the colors.  I love the crunch of leaves under my feet.  I love football games and trips to the pumpkin patch. I love making a pot of soup. 

You heat lovers can have summer.  You snow lovers can have winter.  Give me fall!  I will take spring, too.  It's a pretty darned nice season as well. 

Sunday, September 30, 2012

It Was All Cool

"There were not any scary parts; it was all cool, mom!"

That's the report I received in a very excited phone call from J-Bear after they landed.  She seems to have loved flying, is planning her next flight with daddy-o, and plans to use pictures from today in her turn to "Share" at school.  Luckily, her assigned share day is Monday. 

All the in-flight pictures were taken by J-Bear, including the close up self-portrait with the headphones. 


J-Bear and the Hubster just headed to Boise's airport to take J-Bear on her first 'little airplane' flight.  He recently started flying again.  When he flew before, she was too young to go.  She has been excited and talking about it for a couple weeks.  The day is finally here. 

  • I hope she loves it.
  • I hope he has found his flying buddy.
  • I hope it opens her eyes to things that are possible in this world.
  • More realistically, I hope they actually get off the ground.  There is some concern the noise may be an issue.  

Lord, please keep them safe and bring them back home to me.  

Saturday, September 29, 2012


Are you familiar with a Squinky?  They are miniature toys that come in miniature plastic containers.  The kind of container that you would expect to drop from a gumball-like machine in the entrance way of stores.  Squinkies can be purchased in a jumbo pack in any toy isle. 

Here is a pitch line I found on a Squinky webpage.
"What is a Squinky? The world of Squinkies fits in the palm of your hand. These soft and squishy figures are so cute you’ll want to collect them all."

J-Bear received some Squinkies on her last birthday.  She opened all the containers, got the Squinkies out, and left them on the floor.  They are, in fact, soft and squishy, so they don't hurt (much) when you step on them. 

Quite mysteriously, they became spread all over the house even though I have never seen J-Bear play with a Squinky again.  Turns out Dixie, our newest cat, has a Squinky obsession.  Even though she has turned 1 year old and is now officially not a kitten.....she can play with Squinkies for hours.  I think their rubbery texture adds to their value because they bounce well but unpredictably. 

She frequently gets her Squinky fix early in the morning when I am puttering around the house before the others awaken.  It is very entertaining to watch. And you are just about guaranteed to find a Pile-O-Squinky just inside our coat closet when you open it because those suckers can get away from ya!

You sharp?

I am teaching J-Bear how to properly use a sharp knife.  It goes totally against my over-protective instincts, but I dream for the day when my 7 year old is a little more independent getting her own snacks.  She is actually getting to be pretty helpful in the kitchen and she enjoys helping cook. 

As she has grown older and more coordinated, I am enjoying this time, too, because we get to chit-chat. 

Today when we were slicing apples for lunch, my job was cutting and coring them.  J-Bear's job was slicing the apple quarters in half.  I demonstrated the direction in which to slice with my index finger. 

"But I think I will use the knife because it is sharp.  But you, mom, are just not too sharp." 

I disagree.

Thursday, September 27, 2012


I took a just-for-fun-just-for-me continuing education class on Tuesday night. 

In years past while I am surfing the web looking for birthday cake ideas I can steal, I have always avoided cakes decorated with fondant because the ingredients of the recipes I saw were unknown to me.  And the entire process seemed a little scary!  So when I saw the very reasonably priced class to learn how to use fondant - I signed up! 

The fondant recipe she used is made of melted marshmallows and powder sugar.  Easy-peasy!  Fondant is basically play dough for grown-ups.  We used rolling pins and cookie cutters.  It was fun!  Here is my little mini cake. 

However, I am sad to report that we cut my little cake and ate it last night.  Both J-Bear and I thought the fondant was not really edible.  We threw our cake away.  The Hubster did eat his, but I heard no raving about it...not that he would rave about it.  He is a man of few words. 

I will probably decorate another cake in fondant because it is so fun....just not J-Bear's Birthday Cake because of the big thumbs down she gave the taste!

Monday, September 24, 2012

What is your specialty?

Everyone one has one.  That one certain thing that you get the opportunity to do seemingly more than others in life.

The Hubster's specialty is stopping at red lights.  He is provided the opportunity to exercise this patience more often than most.  Our family teases him about this skill.

My specialty is changing the toilet paper roll.  No kidding.  I think I am provided this opportunity at least daily.  It could be that my standards are too high.  Others that live in the same space as I live think that if there is one square left, then there is toilet paper left.

On a 'good day' I will change two rolls around here AND at a retail store to boot!  I am that friend that visits and ends up pawing through your bathroom cupboards trying to find your spare roll supply.  Because sure enough if I stop to use your facilities, your toilet paper will have next to nothing left on the tube!

So, what is your specialty?

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Bruneau Sand Dunes

During Labor Day Weekend, we decided to check out Bruneau Sand Dunes which is located near Mountain Home, Idaho. 

The last time I was at Bruneau Sand Dunes was in 8th Grade.  That would be about 1975 ish.  In 8th Grade, my teacher Mr. Harold Walker, held a contest.  We had two-person teams and you had to come up with an educational tour of Idaho trip.  Unbeknownst to the kids, the top three teams actually got to GO on the educational tour of Idaho trip.  We stopped at Bruneau Sand Dunes.  At the time, I thought it was just a really hot, burns-your-feet pile of sand.  Not much has changed since 1975. 

But the kids got a kick out of hiking up that really hot, burns-your-feet pile of sand.  We were joined by our friends MA and JJ and their dog Jett.  We really had fun hanging out with them for a day. 

I don't think Jett loved that really hot, burns-your-feet pile of sand.  Puppy paws are tender!  So are mine.  That really hot, burns-your-feet pile of sand sucked my berks right off my feet and I burned the bottoms of my paws.  O-u-c-h!

MA wore black knee-high boots.  While outwardly that appears to be a little crazy on a hot September day, I think the kid was onto something.  I am thinking she is probably the only one in the group that didn't do the hot-sand-in-my-shoes dance at some point in the day!

After the sand pile hiking, we enjoyed a picnic lunch, then headed to the swimming hole.  It sort of muddy and the water was a not-all-that-appealing shade of green.  But that didn't stop Poodaloo, J-Bear or Jett.  MA was a little more selective and watched from the shore.

Photo Comments/Observations:
  • The large picture is of JJ and MA.  
  • Top-right is Poodaloo, Jett and the Hubster.   I don't know what Jett is doing to Pooda but I thought the angle of the picture was cool so I included it.
  • Right second picture down:  J-Bear, MA, and Poodaloo in the sled.  Turns out you really can't sled down a sand hill.  Rats! 
  • Bottom Right:  Hiking the sand hill caused a nap to attack Poodaloo on the drive home.

Monday, September 10, 2012

On Being Spayed

J-Bear explaining the basis of her knowledge that cats generally do not like riding in cars:

Remember the time Daddy and I took Dixie to the vet to get that thing taken out of her?  You know, that thing that had all her eggs inside it?

Monday, September 3, 2012

Our Bike Rider

J-Bear could not ride a bike.  With the recent purchase of my own bike, I really wanted her to be able to ride.  While standing in the bike accessory isle getting my bike a headlight, I even offered to 'trick out her bike' as soon as she learned how to ride. 

When talking about bike riding, she really wanted to.  In practice, I could tell she was very scared.  On Friday night while shopping at Winco, we had a serious conversation about why she was so scared of bike riding.  It seems she fell over once while riding with training wheels.  We talked about overcoming the fear. 

On Saturday, I was running errands and when I came home, the Hubster said J-Bear had a bit of a breakthrough on her bike riding.  She had actually pedaled the wheels completely around twice before putting her feet down.  This was a HUGE development. 

I had brought Poodaloo home with me.  So we threw bikes in the van and headed to the park.  And by george, she's got it!  She really and truly got it.  Now, 48 hours later, she is a bike riding fiend! 

We rode at the park.  We rode around the 'hood.  The girls rode up and down our street, like 1000 times.  It got dark outside and we had to call off bike riding for the day. 

And after the sunset, I delivered on my 'trick out your bike' promise.  We hit the FM bike accessory isle! 

Today we rode over to the park to play.  But J-Bear opted not to play.  She rode her bike around the path that encircles the park.  And rode around it again.  And again. 

I am so excited for her!  As I rode behind her (I am always the caboose!) going to the park today, I teared up a little bit.  I am just so proud of her overcoming her fears.  I knew she had it in her!  I knew she could do it!  Now she knows too! 

Several of my readers have asked me questions and/or requested pictures of my new bike.  I do truly enjoy riding it.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Back to School

It has been a busy week at our house!  It started last Thursday when my friend Danette brought her daughter Caitlyn to Boise to start college at BSU.  As hard as it is for us Vandals to accept Caitlyn goes to BSU....we are happy to have her in Boise.  And hoping it means we get to see her family sometimes during the school year! 

On Friday night, we hosted a dinner party for Danette, Caitlyn, my sister's family and J-Bear had a friend that was having a sleep-over with us.  It was a packed house, but my sister made the dinner so I was easy-peasey for me! 

My nieces showing Danette how to play some game on her phone.
J-Bear and CJ
Danette with an armload of girls!

On Saturday, the Hubster took J-Bear and Poodaloo to the fair.  To my shock - they were there over 7 hours!  They were hot, stinky, grubby and tired when they got home.  But by all reports they had a ball!

Monday was the first day of school.  The school district does something that in my opinion is weird, not to mention inconvenient for most parents....they go 1/2 a day on the first day of school. Mama Jo, our daycare provider, was in Seattle that day attending a memorial service for her mother.  Aunt Kiss to the rescue!  She picked J-Bear up after school.  Whew! 

As I write, the Hubster and J-Bear at at "Back to School Night".  I opted out of attendance because last night my chin had a collision with J-Bears shoulder.  She was jumping up on me to give me a hug.  I was not prepared and she chopped my chin pretty good.  After my fear that several of my teeth were broken, the neck pain set in.  It is feeling better tonight, but I left work at noon to come home and sleep.  Hopefully tomorrow will bring much relief! 

The PTA advertised a "Dunk the Dads" booth for tonight's event.  J-Bear thought it meant "Dunk YOUR Dad".  I assured her that her dad would not be on the dunking menu.  What a bummer!

Saturday, August 25, 2012


Last weekend, J-Bear, Poodaloo and I went to yard sales.  One advertised yard sale was located just up on Federal Way in an apartment complex.  I was not familiar with the complex, but had noticed in the past that they are on the high-end of the apartment scale. 

I should have turned left, but turned right as we entered the complex.  This error provided us with a tour of the alley between a series of garages.  Apparently most of their renters either could not fit a vehicle in their garage or had more than one vehicle because a notable number of rigs were parked outside the garage doors.  A notable number of rather large pick up trucks. 

I commented to the girls "Boy, there sure are a lot of trucks in this parking lot!" 

Poodaloo was taking in my comment, gazing around the lot. 

"There sure are!  There's a green hiccup.  There's a red hiccup.  There's a blue hiccup." she replied. 

"Poodaloo, are you calling them hiccups?"  I asked.


"The correct word is pick up."

With the true astonishment on her face she said "Are you kidding me?" 

Guess you learn something everyday.  The kid has lived 7 years thinking a hiccup is one of those words that means two different things! 

Selling Pictures

Last weekend when J-Bear hurt her ankle, I asked permission to take a picture of her.  They are the ones I posted on my blog.  Her reply: 

"That would be fine as long as you don't sell the picture to anyone we don't actually know."

If my memory serves me, I have never sold a picture to anyone.  Known or unknown.  Where does she come up with this stuff?

Sunday, August 19, 2012

What a Weekend

What a weekend . . . . not in a good way. 

On Friday night, Poodaloo had a sleep-over.  Saturday morning, the Hubster was scheduled to fly.  He recently joined a flying club and is getting re-certified.  If you have not seen the national news this week, you might not know that 1/2 of Idaho is on fire.  The smoke in the Treasure Valley was so thick on Saturday the flight had to be scrubbed. But the flying club was having an airplane washing BBQ for members and their families.  The Hubster came home and got the girls and off to the airport to wash planes they went.  It was a nice recovery from a disappointing morning. 

The second big plan for the weekend was going to the Western Idaho Fair.  The Hubster, J-Bear, and Poodaloo would hit the fair shortly after noon today. 

Flashback to Saturday night.  There was a wild game of Wii Bowling taking place in our living room.  J-Bear decided to get a Sprite out of the garage fridge.  (Guess you work up a thirst Wii Bowling?)  She stepped on a stuffed animal that was laying on the floor.  She sprained her ankle. 

I could tell from the shrieking that came out of that child that it was not a 'sort of stubbed my toe' kind of injury.  She was a hurting unit.  Within a few minutes, her ankle looked like it had a bouncy ball inside it poking out.  We iced, we rested, we elevated.

This morning the ankle was not much better.  She is not in excruciating pain so we are sure nothing is broken.  But she cannot (will not?) step on it.  We called Poodaloo and rescheduled the fair for next weekend. 

The Hubster was bumming because everything he planned for the weekend did not work out.  I say "think about me!  I thought I was going to have several hours at home ALL BY MYSELF!"  I cannot deny my disappointment!  

Happy Birthday Dear Dixie

Our cat Dixie turned one on August 10th.  This would be the same day we returned from Lake Tahoe, so I want you all to be doubly impressed that I pulled off a Kitty Birthday Party for Dixie. 

What?  Are you telling me that you do not have a birthday party for your animals?  I didn't either B.J.  (Before J-Bear)  Dixie has never been offered tuna before and she was a little uncertain at first.  But her brother Tippy knew exactly what to do with tuna.  She quickly caught on. 

Should you be considering a visit to our household, let me be clear that the cats are not served on the dinner table on a regular basis.  It was a special occasion after all! 

Note:  No, Dixie is not wearing a birthday hat. (She does not have the kind of personality that would allow her to even consider such craziness!)  That is a 'free for now' feature on  I thought it was kind of cute.  

Monday, August 13, 2012

Lake Tahoe 2012

The family gathering at Lake Tahoe is in the history books now.  J-Bear and I had a wonderful vacation.  Sadly, Daddy stayed home and worked.  Perhaps there will be vacation time in the time off bank next year for him to come along.  It is more fun with Daddy-O in tow. 

We left Friday late afternoon and drove to Winnemucca.  The four Bergs and the two of us.  In one van.  Luckily, I recognized that cargo would be a challenge several weeks before our departure.  So we ordered a low-end cargo bag that attached to the luggage racks on the roof of the van.  It was a life saver! 
Brother-in-Law L installing the cargo holder.
After a night in Reno visiting Grandma (L's mom), we headed to the lake on Sunday.  Four days of fun ensued and I think the pictures tell the story better than I could. 

The lake was exceptionally warm this year.  Warm enough that I even ventured into it farther than to just dip a toe!
J-Bear had a ball - but did cry every day at least once because "I miss Daddy so much!"
The Pool.  J-Bear spent 7-8 hours a day in this pool.  Not kidding.  The kid is part fish.
Even fellow motel guests started checking her daily for gills and fins.  (A very nice
lady named Sandy that visits the Crown at the same time we do every year!)

When we arrived back in town the following Friday afternoon, we had a little surprise up our sleeves. 
Daddy's Office