Saturday, August 30, 2008

Harvest Helper

Hubby has been incredibly stressed trying to get lots of harvesting done this week. Beginning on Sunday we have a big chance of rain, and dropping temps, weather that isn't conducive to getting the durum in undamaged.

My Dad has generously agreed to come up and help for a few days. Hubby has had a friend come out after work for the last two days as well. But essentially he has been on his own this week since Mr 18 traveled across the state for college. Labor Day at our house is always celebrated by actually doing labor. It's the middle of harvest and there are no last chance camping trips or cookouts here. We have called some friends looking for someone who can help this weekend, but either they have work of their own or other commitments to take care of.

I got Miss 10 to bed tonight, emptied the dishwasher, put away laundry and did all the usual night time preparation that needs to be done, then, because it's Friday, I poured half a glass of Shiraz, grabbed my book and I actually sat down to do nothing. Miss 15 got home from her evening of work and play at the football game. (the pep band had to play, but then after halftime she was free) I began hearing loud noises outside, I thought someones motorcycle had a serious problem and apparently they were trying to fix it under my front window. I was too lazy to get up and see what it was, then I began hearing voices and wondered if some of Miss 15's friends had decided to stop by. Moments later I heard footsteps on the porch, the front door slamming open and someone grunting and falling through the doorway. It was Mr 18, home with loads of laundry a few changes of clothes, his pillow, phone and a smile! He said, "I hear you could use some harvest help." Surprise! Hubby is very, very excited for the help and I was very excited to see him myself. It's my Fabulous Friday moment!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Energy To Spare

She has an exuberance that I can't match and an energy that goes beyond my weekly dose, let alone my daily dose. Miss 10 loves my attention. If I will watch her do something, she does it with 100 times more vigor than she would if I wasn't watching.

The last few days before school started we had the pool set up in the backyard. Miss 10 had one last hurrah in the pool before I took it down. I brought out the camera and told her to just go for it. The lighting was spectacular and I got some amazing shots of her face and all the little freckles she has. I got some of water dripping down her hair and her eyes sparkling in the last sunlight of summer vacation.

This picture just looks like her energy with all the water drops flying through the air and the splash she's making as she twirls around for me. I took about thirty or forty shots of her playing. She had a blast posing and I heard, "Look Mom! Look! What if I do this... or this? How did that turn out?" repeatedly.

I can't keep up with this child, some days I don't even really try. How I wish I had her energy, but I think when I was pregnant with her, all my energy was transferred to her and she has a double dose of it. So instead of the labels she has been given, let's just say she is "overly energetic" and leave it at that.

Keep it up Miss 10, in the future your energy will serve you well!

Happy Love Thursday everyone!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008


homework helper chef
chauffeur personal shopper
secretary mom

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Moving On....

So sorry about the tear inducing post from the other day. I guess in some part of me I figured if I was busy crying everyone else should be too. So today, no tears, that's my vow, for me and for you.

Miss 15 and Miss 10 are both already back in full school schedule mode. It's early nights again for them at our house. Fortunately they don't fight me too much about this. In fact Miss 15 is often on her way to bed quite early without even a second glance back. She has started early morning swim practice. This morning I had to drive her there by 5:45 a.m. I know many people in the world are up this early most days, but we aren't known for being early risers at our house.

Last night after Miss 15 was home from swim practice we made a delicious supper. We all three sat down together. For whatever reason the girls both decided they needed my attention at the same time and they started talking, loudly, the noise got louder and louder as each of the refused to yield to the other. My ears started to bleed as I tried to listen to both of them at the same time. Finally I calmly requested that they "KNOCK IT OFF! ONE AT A TIME!" and it was quiet, for 15 seconds, and then Miss 15 decided to egg on Miss 10 with some sort of nonsense about her being weak, needing to work out, etc. Miss 10 stood up and punched Miss 15 in the arm. As I stared open mouthed and wondered what in the world these two crazy girls were doing, Miss 10 sat down, and Miss 15 kicked her in the shin! Have we gone back in time? Are these girls only 2 and7? Aaah, single parents, how do you manage?

It happens every year during seeding and harvest. The kids, sensing perhaps that there is only me to deal with, test every limit possible. I can predict it, but I can't stop it. They push all their limits until I have to scream and yell, then settle into the routine they are used to and all is well. I wonder why the testing has to happen at all though.

Supper last night, delicious and easy sandwich. Want the recipe? My apologies if I've posted this before, but here it is again:

Apple Bacon and Peanut Butter Panini's

1/4 cup peach preserves
dash cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons peanut butter
8 slices applewood smoked bacon
8 slices whole wheat bread
slices of thinly sliced Granny Smith or similar apple (I use what's on hand, it's all good)
2 tablespoons melted butter

Mix preserves and cayenne pepper. Spread on one slice of bread, top with 2 slices bacon and slices of apple. Spread peanut butter on 1 slice of bread, place on top of bacon and apples. Brush butter on outside of sandwich and place in panini press or indoor grill (such as a George Foreman) Grill until crispy. Enjoy!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Left Behind

I thought I was ready. After the summer we had, I thought my emotions would be in check, and my heart wouldn't break, but they weren't and it has.

Mr 18 left for college yesterday at 9:45 a.m. By 11 a.m. I was still in tears. Over the course of the summer people would ask if we were ready for him to leave. Our response was always, "oh yes, more than ready!" But we lied, all summer, we lied. We weren't ready.

Friday was spent finishing packing, doing the necessary banking, paperwork and preplanning so that Mr 18 could get out the door on Saturday morning without us. Unfortunately our schedules don't allow for time for us to drive him 7.5 hours across the state to his college of choice. Fortunately he has two friends also going to the same school. They will have to all help each other as only 1 of the parents can manage the trip.

Saturday morning came all too fast, and Mr 18 was showered and ready to go. I'd been in tears before this, but promised myself that I wasn't going to put him through his mother crying right before he left. Apparently I'm not good at keeping promises, because with his hug the floodgates opened up, and I sobbed. As he said goodbye to the girls and to a sobbing Hubby, I sat on the couch and cried into my hands. Mr 18 returned for another hug before walking out the door. We all stood to wave goodbye at the window. (of course Mr 18 forgot something and had to come back in the house, noticeable was his heaving chest and red eyes)

As he drove away we all waved, the girls retreated into their bedrooms and shut their doors. Hubby and I spent some time crying in each others arms before we each went to one of the girls, with boxes of Kleenex in hand. After calming the girls, (Miss 15 didn't need all that much calming, she headed outside to clean the car that she will now inherit as her own when she gets her license) I went out to the back deck with a cup of coffee and cried some more. Any emotion that I thought I had control of was out the window at this point.

When I dropped Mr 18 at daycare for the first time at a young 10 months of age, I cried, when I took him to kindergarten on the first day of school, I cried, when I made him switch schools in second grade, I cried. But those were tears of 6 to 7 hours of not having him with me. These were tears dedicated to 18 years of giving up my heart and soul to everything he ever needed. They were tears of a broken heart because he was doing exactly what he was supposed to do and what I spent all these years leading up to, he is supposed to leave. He is supposed to grow up and live his own life. I had 18 years to prepare for this day. I wasn't ready.

Left behind on his bed, when I could finally walk into his not-so-empty room, was his blankets that he has slept with since he was a baby, and the Elmo that he has slept with since he was 2. They were laying on his now stripped bed. Again with the tears and the emotions that apparently aren't controlled at all. I wonder how hard it was for him to leave them behind, and I wonder how hard it was for him to leave us behind.

Thursday, August 21, 2008


The girls and I spent yesterday at home, trying to relax when we weren't called into action for one thing or another. It's been a rather stressful and busy week, so yesterday we wanted to just "be" if it was possible. Sure, I still had to drive Miss 15 to two swim practices, work at the school for a little while and go to the Open House at Miss 10's school, water and deadhead plants in 95 degree weather, but other than that we tried to relax.

We spent some time just sitting together, going over the details that we would need to know for the school year. Like the fact that Miss 15 can't fit her swim practice bag AND her backpack in her locker with her books all at the same time. Yet she isn't done with school until 3:20 and practice starts at 3:30. So how does she get the swim bag? Plus I am picking up Miss 10 at that same time, and if I'm not there when she gets out there are serious problems. So we debated that for a while, we still don't have a magic solution, so for now I will have to drop the bag off in the lobby of the pool, on my way to pick up Miss 10, and let it sit there until Miss 15 can retrieve it. Anyone else have a brilliant solution? We're all ears.

The Open House at the school went fine. Miss 10 isn't a fan of so many people milling about, so we did not eat the picnic supper, but we did go to the room/teacher visitation. We were able to drop off her backpack full of supplies and unload it before we left. Miss 10's teacher, Mrs. J., was Miss 15's favorite teacher of all time, so we are hoping for a good year. When Miss 10 entered the room Miss J. gave her a nice hug. Naturally Miss 10 responded lukewarm with a look at the floor and a shy smile. She doesn't mind the hugs, she likes the attention, she just doesn't know what to do with herself in situations like that. We are working on eye contact and speaking clearly so she can be understood. I hope this is just a phase.

Mr 18 has managed to lose his medication, his wallet and misplace very necessary getting to work keys in the last 3 days. It's been interesting to say the least.

Hubby and Mr 18 are putting in long, long days harvesting. Tonight brings a big chance of rain, if we get it now it will take LOTS of money out of our paycheck due to loss of quality in the crop. If you're so inclined say a prayer that this time of year the rain skips us. At least send us good thoughts.

Last night I helped Miss 15 polish her nails so she would be bee-yoo-t-ful on the first day of school. She's a sophomore this year, I can't fathom where that time went, and she was bee-yoo-t-ful by the way, and part of me hates that. Darn boys!

When I tucked Miss 10 in last night, after shaving her legs for the very first time. (Yes, I know it's early, but the poor child has the hairiest legs in our household, even more than Hubby and Mr 18, it was just time) As we said good night and I leaned down to hug her, she wrapped her arms around me and wouldn't let go. I told her I loved her hugs, but this position wasn't the best for my back. So she knelt up on the bed, wrapped her arms around me again, and held on. "If I don't let go Mom, summer stays, and this is the best part of summer, hugging you whenever I want to." ...

Happy Love Thursday everyone! May your hugs last all summer long!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

School Starts Tomorrow

a little sadness
end of summer vacation
maybe a small smile

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Here We Go!!

The first of the many series of parent meetings that I will need to attend started today. I had a swimming parent meeting with Miss 15. Official practice starts tomorrow; captains practices were all this week. (There you go La Reveuse, a semi colon... just for you.. heh!) Miss 10 had to go along because there was no one home to stay with her and I didn't know how long the meeting would last. She was not happy with that plan, and let me know in many ways during the meeting. Not that I blame her at all, we were in a small room with no air conditioning and it was 94 degrees outside, there were at least 70 people in the room and not seating for everyone. What fun!

Over the course of a school year I attend many different parent meetings: for band, for CCD, for Miss 10's parochial school, for high school swimming, for USA swimming, etc. The list is endless. However at each meeting I am always astonished at how few parents actually bother to attend. Not that I make every meeting I am supposed to be at, but I make every effort possible. Hubby and I have even split up events when the scheduling is to close for me to make both, or when I've had it with meetings and just send Hubby to one, but I try not to do that very often. There's a reason I'm a stay at home mom, so I can do the meetings and volunteerings that are necessary with three children.

As I was saying, it's shocking to me how few parents attend the meetings, and it's always the same parents at each meeting. Then when something isn't to their liking, it's the parents who weren't at the meetings that are the first to complain. Logic, it's baffling isn't it?

So today was the unofficial start to the school year for us. Now that swim season has officially gotten under way, along with 3 day a week 5:45 a.m. practices on top of regular practices, for the ENTIRE season (sigh!) we have jumped on the wheel and started spinning once again. It's always an exciting time, and in some ways I love the scheduling and routine of it all. I know what day is what and when to get everyone into bed and when to get them up. It's more relaxing in some ways to have that routine established. But oh how I am going to miss the spontaneity of summer vacation, and the less stressed out Miss 10 without homework. Welcome to the school year family!

Friday, August 15, 2008


The countdown is showing fewer and fewer days for Mr 18 to be living full time in our house. We have spent a lot of time going over the things he needs to head off to dorm room living and college life.

Yesterday Hubby and I went out and bought things we figure are necessities: sheets, mattress pad, lock box, toiletries, containers for storing it all, towels, etc.

I have lived a sheltered life because in all honesty I have never lived on my own. I either lived with my parents or with Hubby all my life. I never lived in a dorm with room-mates or in an apartment alone. Sometimes I wonder how I would have handled those situations, I do relish my privacy, but then I realize I haven't had any privacy my entire life so I probably would have done just fine.

We have been going over banking situations: credit card? debit card? checkbook? etc. There is so much to think about. Any ideas?

Mr 18 has ordered himself a new laptop to take with him. He used the money he received for graduation, so Thank you to anyone who contributed.

Baby Brother has handed down the black light and girlie posters, along with some beer shirts. These apparently are necessities in a boys dorm room. Who knew? Mr 18 has a good friend for a room-mate, who knows if they will still be friends after this year, but it's a good start. He also will be living in a suite with 2 other guys that they don't know.

I have a question for all you readers? What essentials could I be missing to send with him? What were some things you either had in your dorm/apartment that were necessities, or what do you wish you would have had that would have made life easier? Leave me a clue, because I am all out!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

I've Been Discovered!

The other day as Miss 15 and I were checking the radar, repeatedly, for storms, and she was checking her emails, myspace and whatever else she does, I caught a glimpse of a familiar web page, this one! (HI MISS 15!!!) I have been found out. No longer is this a blog of hidden messages that I write about my children. Now, it is a blog read by my children, GASP! The dastardly-ness of her scheming to uncover my secrets, I can't stand it. So in that regard, sometimes I may need to be more vigilant about what I write here. No more whining and complaining about the kids, no more moaning and groaning about the sorry state of my life. Oh wait, I'll still do all that, now Miss 15 just have to endure it. Sorry about that Miss 15, your life is out there now for the world to see. Mwah ha ha! *That was my evil laugh, could you tell?

Harvest is full out busy right now. So if posting is light, you'll know I have been called to do something busy that keeps me off of the computer. Whatever it is must be important, because me being on the computer is pretty much a necessity.

School starts here in less than 2 weeks, August 21st to be exact. Mr 18 leaves for college on August 23rd. And in a secret known only to whoever knows me a little bit, I am turning 40 next month. With all those things staring me in the face, I have been trying to determine how I feel about them all. Most of them are a mixed bag, I feel good, I feel bad and I feel
ambivalent about every one of them.

As far as the girls starting school, it's just way too soon for that business. The classrooms will be too hot, the sun still sets too late for an early bedtime and I haven't got to spend near enough time with them doing fun things. But, on the other hand, when they are fighting with each other, or arguing with me, or when I would like just 5 minutes of peace, school can't start soon enough. Overall though, I'd rather wait at least one more week for them to go back.

Mr 18 leaving for college: This is another one of those instances where I am not sure how I feel. I'm excited for him to hit the world on his own, but I am really nervous as well, he hasn't always been the most responsible kid. At times I am sad that he is leaving and at times, after we have argued about the same thing for the thirtieth time or I am waiting to hear him come in the door late, late at night, then I am more than ready for him to head out into the big, wide world. At least then I won't have to know what time he gets home at night, or I can worry more about it during the day and still sleep at night.

Turning 40: Quite honestly I rarely think about this. Unless someone says, "Oh, you have a big birthday coming up this year," or something similar it doesn't really cross my mind. Oh sure, looking in the mirror I see those telltale lines, and the draping skin that wasn't there last week, but I never consider 40 a big deal.

Now when I add all those things together and then throw in the stress of harvest and being a single parent for a while, I can see where this mood has settled in from. Why moving is too much work, why I would rather grab a book, sit on the deck in the sun, and not think about it. But, life doesn't afford much luxury for sitting around these days. Although I do sneak in a moment now and then, my sanity is at stake! There are boxes to pack for Mr 18, school bags to pack for the girls, harvest meals to make, and plastic surgery or a brown paper bag to consider for myself. Life is full of tough decisions, isn't it?

Friday, August 8, 2008


Here is a great picture of my cousin's boys. I know you can't see their faces, but aren't they just adorable anyway? They had just finished playing in the sprinkler, so they were warming up. This was taken last weekend, a week ago tomorrow, when I got to go see my cousins for the first time in a very, very long time. I had so much fun visiting with them. Their little boys, all boys no girls, were so cute, I wanted to scoop them up and bring them home with me. Well, ok, not really, I'm glad to be past that stage with my kids, but I really did wish to spend more time with them. Miss 15 and Miss 10 took over as the entertainment committee after a while and had the boys playing Duck, Duck, Goose and tag, ball of some kind, hide and seek, etc. It was fun to watch them all run around. I did feel like my cousins and I could barely get a sentence of a story out to tell each other before one of us Mom's got interrupted by our kids needing us for this, that or the other. No wonder our parents sent us to bed and stayed up late visiting, you can't visit with kids still out of bed!
The girls and I also got to spend some time with my parents, which hasn't happened in a while. We did some shopping for school clothes, shoes and supplies. We endured thunderstorms that woke us in the middle of the night both nights, and we had hail 3 times during one of the nights. That was fun... oh wait, no it, wasn't fun at all!
Hubby started harvest while I was away and Mr 18 had his last day of work at Pizza Hut. Now Mr 18 is putting in long, long hours at the farm in the few weeks that he has left here at home before leaving for college.
Hubby's sister and her family are here this week. We have spent time visiting with them, here at our place and at the farm. It makes life a bit chaotic with them around and the attempts to placate everyone's desires and wishes, but it's fun for a little while.

So Cousins, this is my invitation to invite you to come and visit me. Bring your kids, we'll play with them, and hang out, then we'll put them to bed early, make margaritas, or mojitos, or Long Island tea's and we'll visit! Miss you all!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Here but Not Here

I have not disappeared, but I am feeling that "eek, I can't do one more thing, think one more thought, go one more place, plan one more moment" panic that sets in when I haven't pre-planned enough. Our relatives are here from "The Big City" and harvest is in full swing. My plate is too full and my brain is about to explode. I will post soon, I promise, but for now, just be patient, pretty please!

Monday, August 4, 2008

You Otter Play With Me!

Miss 10, Miss 15 and I went to the zoo one morning while we were gone. Miss 10 somehow always manages to befriend animals and younger kids. This time she made friends with the otters. This was the start of her playtime. Watch the smallest one as he follows her from window, to window. Later all three of them would follow her from one window, to the other, back and again and then out of the water when she would run to the other viewing area at the end of their stream. I think it was her bright shirt that attracted them. It sure was hard to drag her away from this playdate. As we walked away the otters stood at the end of the stream and waited for her to come back.
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Darn Weather

While we were away for the weekend we encountered not one, not two, but at least 4 big storms in 2 days! Was that fun? No, not so much. There was hail, not too much wind, a little rain, and lots of thunder and lightning, which meant had 2 extra bodies in my bed at times. Yawn! Still, I love this pic, so thought I would share it. More on the weekend when I got caught up on laundry.
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