It's time to lose your mind and let the crazy out.
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Everything Looks Better in Black and White
This is a picture of my mom in 1957, graduating from high school at Bishop DuBourg. I love this picture, it's so dated but timeless. I love how Grandma Gen is looking at my mom, so proud; her oldest child graduated. I love the way Grandpa Bill looks so debonair, and tall. And the hats, don't get me started telling you how in love I am with those hats, all three of them. November 6th, 2010 marked the 10th anniversary of my mom's passing from this life to the next. I spent it in Chicago with my daughters, my sister, and my aunt Linda, my mom's sister. Mom would have wanted us all to be together.
It's a dull pain, a pain I carry around on my shoulders. It used to be a boulder, and now it's about the size of a grapefruit. I doubt it will get any smaller.
"I miss the sound of your voice
The loudest thing in my head And I ache to remember All the violent, sweet, perfect words that you said." -Matt Nathanson, Come On Get Higher
Natalie was in town for Thanksgiving, and we went out last night, along with her friend, Maura. We started at Pi and ended at Blueberry Hill, where I left my debit card. =( It took some energy and a wardrobe search to go hang, but I was glad that I did. It's always fun to catch up with Natalie, she's got a million guys, and a million things going for her. Working with practically all guys, plus my Dad, it's so nice to find time to have some girl time and girl talk. I'm somehow refreshed and exhausted all at the same time today. Thanks, to John, my amazing husband who stayed at home so I could go hang with the girls twice this weekend, once with Natalie and Maura and once with Cori and her radioactivism.
Becky and her fam were there for a day at the beach, what a treat! She's heard me talk about Myrtle Beach for years, and I guess I peaked her interest. I had to share with her our secret that we don't really stay on Myrtle Beach, we stay at the Garden City Beach, or this year at the Surfside Beach. It's a little bit more family oriented and quiet and picturesque. They came and saw the massive house, hung out on the sand, did some laundry, and we took them to our favorite spot for lunch, Sam's Corner for corn dogs. It was really great to be able to share that part of our world with them. They were only there for one day, though, they were off to more camping in the Smokey Mountains and Jamie Oliver's place somewhere in Ohio.
Two very different vacations met in the middle and made some nice memories. Love ya girl!
We took a family vacation this year to Myrtle Beach again. I just realized I never shared any of my photos of that trip with you. Nablopomo back in full strength!
One of the highlights of the trip was our Girls Day. The boys go deep sea fishing every year, and this year the girls went horse back riding on the beach. We went to the Inlet Point Plantation. We rode on their own private island, it was magical and memorable. I rode a thoroughbred named Roxy. She was beautiful.
Although I am happy to share with you our ride on the beach, I have been avoiding telling you about my own steed, Shadow. I got him for my birthday when I was 15 or 16, when most kids were thinking about cars, I was in my hayday of horse riding. We just rode around the farm, but I could spend hours with friends riding through fields, up and down hills, through creeks, back to the pond. He was an excellent horse, not too much attitude, although he would pick up his step when you turned him around towards the barn. On the Saturday evening of Labor Day weekend this year he fell down in a creek, and couldn't get back up, he had hurt his left hip. By Sunday morning he was up and out of the creek on his own accord, and then by Sunday afternoon he was back down on the ground. Dad, Lesa and I spent most of Monday trying to get him back up, and you could tell he wanted to, but he was just too old, and too hurt. He died on that Tuesday, September 7th, 2010. I do miss him, I did love him. Now there are no horses at the farm, first time in my lifetime. There is no livestock on the farm at all, just dogs and a slew of cats. I don't picture the rest of my life without a horse, and although it won't be soon, I am looking forward to the days I'm back on top of a horse and I can feel 15 again and remember my old friend.
I didn't talk about Shadow much on this blog. As he got older, we rode him less and less. I did have some links on the winery blog, here, here, and here.
Listening to Christmas music yet? I am. It fills my heart with warmth. Sometimes this holiday season can bog me down, but one of my favorite parts of this season is the music. This song; this group is amazing. Reminds me how happy I am to be in Missouri, where it gets cold, where the moon shines bright, where my family is.
Last year after Christmas, I made a personal list of Ways to Make Christmas 2010 better. I love this time of year, but somehow it stresses me out too, and sometimes makes me downright mad. Last year Christmas came and went and I felt like I had survived a tsunami. Losing Brant left me with a pit in my stomach. I juggled so much, and walked around with such a heavy heart, and when Christmas was over, I felt exhausted and unhappy that I missed the holiday spirit completely. I haven't accomplished everything on my list, but I have made a conscious effort to make this Christmas better, to stress Jesus and the Season of Giving more, and Santa and his materialistic ways less.
#1 Save money so shopping is more fun.
#2 Try to exchange names and get kids lists in early November so I have time to buy presents.
#3 Give different lists to my family/John's family.
#4 Try to do some sort of volunteer/ adopt a family thing, maybe Ronald McDonald House
#5 Buy good stuff for stocking in PB- Global Foods
#6 Celebrate St. Nick's Day- get stockings at home.
#7 Do our Christmas cards at Costco.
#8 Make a present, maybe with the girls, maybe for John or Helen, maybe hot rice bags, coffee mug with photo
#9 Do online shopping before John's December paycheck.
#10 Buy something light to ship to Susanne. (in Germany) Last year I spent $50 shipping a pumpkin pie plate and a can of pumpkin to her.
#11 Buy something for Doug.
#12 Make a picture calendar for myself. (thanks, Cori.)
#13 Make old favorite recipes like spinach balls.
#14 Try to find a way to honor Brant's anniversary.
Wish me luck, and I wish you a holiday season of all that is calm and bright.
Trying to sell our house is the hardest thing I've done in a long time, and that includes having two babies. It's not fun. It's exhausting, and in this market, it breaks my heart. I love this house, and it's hard for me to picture leaving this house, but I know it makes sense for my family. If you would have told me 15 years ago that I would willingly move to Ste. Gen, I would have laughed in your face. Behold the power of love.
We had the sign in the front yard from May 17th to September 17th. We had at least 4 open houses, plus a handful of people make appointments to see it. We had zero offers. We lowered the price $13,000.00 =( We landscaped, spiffed, sweated, organized, and stressed ourselves out to the max. The hardest part was keeping the house clean. We are clean people, but keeping our house clean enough to show at a moments notice is entirely different. It sucks. We are up every weekday morning at 5 a.m., and our family of 4 is out of the house every morning by 6 a.m. Then, if that's isn't impressive enough, picture trying to have the house spotless on top of all that. If they call at 1:30 p.m. at work, and ask if they can show the house at 3:30 p.m., I can't get home and clean it before they get there, and we never wanted to, or did turn down a showing. The weekends were their own disaster. We didn't want to be home, because the girls can destroy a clean house in about 8 minutes flat, and we didn't want to leave the house because that meant we had to we all of us in the car and a clean house. Don't even ask about the cats and the kitty litter. My brother reminded me that Phyllis Diller once said, "Cleaning your house while your kids are still growing is like shoveling the sidewalk before it stops snowing."So, our contract with our real estate agent was up, and we decided not to renew. Wasn't anything she did wrong, just October is the busiest month for John and I, he with marching band and me with grape harvest. Now, here we are, wondering what to do next. Should we call and interview new agents, and try to decorate the house cute for the holidays and put it back on the market pronto, or should we wait, the holidays are busy enough and get it back out there in January?
I don't know what all these people are looking for anyway, our house is as cute as a button. We loved it the first time we saw it. After looking at dozens of city houses, I can guarantee this house is in tip top shape. While we were in Chicago, my cousins' wife Lisa had just been to a live taping of Oprah, and in true Oprah fashion, suggested I should write down all the things I love about my house and send it to the universe. Instead, I'm going to send it to you. I love my house because:
It is brick. It has unique arched doorways. It has beautiful stained glass windows. It has a two car garage. It has hardwood floors that we refinished. It has tile on the walls in the bathroom and kitchen. It has a brand new kitchen that we redid ourselves. It has the most darling nursery. I'm in love with those slanted walls. It has 4 bedrooms. It has a functional mud room. It has daffodils that I planted. It has a laundry shoot. Our mailbox is built into the wall. It has a rose, a mum, a crepe myrtle, and bleeding hearts that all bloom. The walls of the basement are in excellent condition- not something a lot of city houses can say. It has a brand new electric box. It has matching, original, art deco looking chandeliers in the foyer and dining room. It is within walking distance or Tower Grove park, an amazing coffee shop, the Library, 3 playgrounds, the grocery store, dry cleaners, restaurants, and all sorts of other fun city stuff.
I might be the only person around who actually likes to rake leaves. It's a city thing. No one rakes leaves in the country, or not on the farm anyway. Norah and Louis spent the night and we played in the leaves the next morning. Good times. More leaf pictures to come.
We had an excellent time in Chicago visiting my Aunt Linda and cousins. Abbey couldn't come which was a huge bummer, and the camera wasn't working great, so I don't have many pics, but I do have great memories. We talked so much I'm parched, or maybe that's the cotton mouth.
Snap back to reality, Oh there goes gravity- Eminem
Couldn't get too far into this nablopomo thing without showing you some matching shirts now could I?
In other news, Charlotte had her first time out yesterday. She pulled Cecilia's hair and when I firmly told her "No!" she laughed at me. She gave me no choice. She cried, and tried to get off the chair. I'm pretty sure she didn't know what was going on, but she didn't pull Cecilia's hair tonight so I'll call that a success. I can guarantee I never gave Cecilia time out at 18 months. I also don't remember Cecilia laughing at me when I scolded her either. That Charlotte, she's a firecracker.
Can't believe I'm doing nablopomo (national blog posting month) since my blogging has been so infrequent, but maybe this will put me in the mood, or force me to find time for it. I have tons of blog posts in my head, still thinking like I have a blog, just not much time to share it all. Pictures from Halloween is as good a place to start as ever. This year Cecilia was Nemo and Charlotte was a cat. We had an outstanding time at my brother, Matt's, house. Their whole neighborhood really goes all out for Halloween. Made the night very special, minus the shrub that scared Cecilia half to death that she is still talking about. Charlotte didn't seem to mind the outfit near as much as I imagined, so it was a success all the way around. Oh, yeah, and the candy, tons of candy. What a great holiday.