Sunday, February 21, 2010

Weekends are Wonderful

The last two weekends have been so much fun. Dinosaurs and cars with a little Dan Brown mixed in on the side as my grandson and I made french toast for breakfast ... it was a Valentine adventure.

This weekend I am Delta-watching as Jennie and Kyle celebrate their first year anniversary in San Diego!!! We've gone exploring the neighborhood, chased our cats and cuddled during rainstorms. She's a great reading buddy!!

I finally finished Dan Brown's The Lost Symbol. That was no easy task when you have to drive cars with your grandson and protect the world from dinosaurs that like to go "shopping." No really, I just had trouble becoming invested in the book. It must have taken me almost 100 pages before I really cared about what was happening. I kept reading as everybody told me to keep with it. Good ol' husband had read it non-stop and was quite frankly amazed that I was not racing through it - but dinosaurs and cars were more important!! I love having my grandson around. We visit the library, sing songs, sort laundry and play in the backyard. That's when I can read because my eyes are very sneaky...he thinks I'm watching!!! But finally finish, I did!!

The 12 hour timespan of The Lost Symbol reminded me of the TV show 24. I don't know that it really hit me until I was finished, but that was one action packed day! (I think I'll stick with saving the world from "shopping" dinosaurs!!) Set in Washington DC, Robert Langdon, has to find his friend who has been kidnapped by a zealot named Mal'akh all while being pursued by the CIA. I loved the location of the book as we had visited Washington DC three summers ago. I just wish I could return and see all the 'out of the way' locations and uncover the symbolism for myself. When I finally finished the story, Rich had the perfect show to watch on the DVR - Hunting the Lost Symbol from the Discovery channel.

Currently reading -

Devil's Cub by Georgette Heyer - insipid Regency romance that I can hardly understand or have the patience for. It's a book group read and I've made a commitment to read them all this year or else I would have thrown it aside from page 5!! Oh well, I can hope it gets better, I'll have a lot of negative things to say, or maybe, just maybe, book group night will get here before I'm done and then I can just count it as a DNF!

The Dead and the Gone by Susan Beth Pfeffer - now this is one I really want to finish. Falling into it is easy. It's a companion book to Life as We Knew It and I loved that one!!

It's been a wonderful rainy weekend. Calm, peaceful and relaxing. I can't believe that one year ago we were doing this.....

It's gone so fast....

Life's Blessings - Mom!

My mom is my hero.

Simply put, she makes me smile, makes me laugh and makes me very proud to be her daughter. I hope I am half the woman she is as I sail through this life.

Mom got her RD (Registered Dietician) in the Army before I was born and then took off 14 years to raise kids. Later she earned her MA and then her PhD while supporting three kids as a single mom. She took care of aging parents at the same time as she was their only child. How did she ever do it all? She was certainly a Super Woman in my book.

Mom went on to be a professor of Food Science and Nutrition for the University of Arizona for 20 years and still proudly roots for her Wildcats from the 40 yard line at football games and from her living room for her basketball boys! I always thought she spoke a foreign language while growing up, just to find out she was speaking "nutrition"! I still remember funny food experiments, helping with blind taste studies, and helping her grade papers. She is a published cookbook author and still gets residuals. I love finding her cookbook in stores and standing next to it!!

Mom loved to paint and create when we were young. I remember "painting" alongside her during summer visits to her parents home, creating baker's clay projects on rainy days in the Pacific Northwest, and trying ceramics. I imagine three little ones were enough of a handful but she always made me feel that there was plenty of time for me. She was my Girl Scout leader, the cookie mom, and great at list making. Summer mornings always had a to-do list by our breakfast plate. No playing until the list was done! It worked for her!

I always remember mom with a book. She faithfully took us to the library and gave me confidence when she allowed me to have an "adult card" when I was 10!! I felt so grown-up! When I was in high school and mom was a single parent I remember coming home to see her studying across her bed - textbooks on one side and her "getaway" books on the other. She'd study for a while and then read for her relaxation to rest her eyes (and mind!)

Mom carefully thought out every decision and included us in many of them. No wonder I always wanted to go to her and talk things out when I was first married. I had so much more faith in her and her decision making skills than in my own. She was terrific at managing money and careful with keeping secrets and confidences.

Mom is not perfect...she does not tell jokes well at all and can hardly understand a Gary Larson cartoon to save her life, she has a tender heart for birds yet cannot abide the ground squirrels that attack her flowers, and she saves everything in her office. Darn it, that's where we get that clutter gene!!

This last weekend mom and her husband, Bob, renewed their wedding vows on Valentine's Day. It was a last minute celebration and we surprised them both by jetting down and attending. I was so glad that we did when I saw her face - utter surprise. It was worth the trip. She's worth every bit of it!!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Life's Blessings - Jenn!

Jenn is daughter in law #1. Not only is she #1 in order, she's #1 in creativity, organization, and reliability!! These are all traits I admire, crave, and ones we need in our family!! Jenn is terrific in supporting family traditions, sharing her skills, and helping to keep our family together.

Things I love about Jenn...
  • her love of her kiddos!! No matter how taxed she feels, they are her first priority. That makes my heart soar.
  • she shares her talents so willingly!
  • she makes the best party food. (Reminder, have her be in charge of all family parties and events!! Just kidding...)
  • she shares her books! :) and just about anything else you need!
  • her teaching creativity and wisdom
  • organization, organization, organization. No one can pack a closet or car like she can!
  • vision - she knows what she wants and how to put it together. From a classroom, to designing her home, to planning a vacation - she has a vision of what she wants it to be like and she makes it happen!
  • she has a memory for all details - great and small
  • follow through. She says she'll do it, she does it, and that's that! Wow! I forget what I'm doing half way through...she's amazing!
  • her loyalty
  • her love of my son! (yep, she has great taste!)
Just a few of the things to love about Jenn.

Because of Jenn and her influence I am now addicted to chips and dip, a member of the Godiva chocolate of the Month club, and I'm a teacher!! Who knew our lives would change so much when Ben brought her home to meet us. One of my life's blessings!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Magnetic Attraction

Magnetic Attraction - the force by which one object attracts another.

Chocolate - It pulls me from almost any corner of the house! (Curse you, See's Candy!)
Bookstores/ Library - my car has been known to weave across four lanes of traffic when that magnetic attraction kicks in. I got out of class early tonight and was happily skipping home (well okay, driving!) when my car practically drove itself to the library before I even realized it! Sometimes it's a little embarrassing.
Gem Show - If it's February there must be sparkly things somewhere. Diamonds, rubies, gold and silver, oh my! The Gem Show in Tucson this weekend is the biggest in the world and it takes all of my willpower to stick to my budget when there are sparklies around. Can you feel the magnetic pull? Is it happening to your wallet too?
Oreo Cookies - I have to hide them. Their pull is powerful. And don't even get me started on No Bake Cookies!! How come carrots don't have this same magnetic pull?
My Bed - After some sleepless nights it has the strongest pull of all and tonight I won't even resist it. After all, Magnetic Attraction is a basic force in nature!!! Resistance is futile!