Monday, March 23, 2009

St. Patrick's Parade 2009

What's that guy doing you may ask...well, his hat has a bottle opener on the bill. Enough said?Seems like only a couple of years ago that Thomas was too little to come to the parade. And now he's driving! Okay - it really has only been two years since he was just a tiny peanut and missed the parade. And the car isn't running and there are no keys and there is plenty of adult supervision. Robyn joined us for post-parade festivities. Todd's probably not going to like this picture. Sorry Todd. I seem to have only taken about 6 pictures this year. There wasn't much to choose from. Not our best work, but here's my favorite Groom and I enjoying the day.

Driver's Ed

Outside my office window, I have a nice view of the parking lots. They're empty today as it is Spring Break, but I noticed one lone van circling the lot. Over and over. I began to get concerned that a slow moving psycho was on the loose and that it wasn't safe to walk to my car. But then I noticed that the van was following the same pattern, over and over. Drive slowly. Stop at the line that says "Staff Parking." Park in a spot. Back out. Circle. Signal. Stop. Ah....someone learning to drive.

I was almost 18 when I got around to taking my driver's test. I took Driver's Ed during the summer, just before I turned 17. It was okay. No disasters (other than the teacher's off-key country singing as we drove), but I didn't really enjoy driving. So, my future car sat. It was old and red. And smelled like vinyl. I wasn't a fan of that old red car so it didn't really motivate me. I wasn't embarrassed enough at having my parents take me too and from school for that to be an incentive. My friend Dawn drove me to all the places I wanted to go, and the people that I baby-sat for always picked me up and brought me home. My dad, aka driving coach, and I butted heads when I was in the driver's seat and usually one of us cried. Okay, the crier was always me. At some point between the time I turned 16 and the time I got my license, the old red car disappeared. It was replaced by a 1986 Buick Century - white with soft burgundy interior. Probably not a real improvement, but by my standards it was. Once I graduated, it began to occur to me that I might need wheels in my new college town. No time left to mess around. I practiced - I guess, I don't really remember - and took my test. I think I bombed parallel parking, but I passed the test. And I stood in the un-airconditioned license office waiting on my picture. By the time it was my turn, my hair was frizzed into a halo around my head and my face was bright red. But, I had my license. I was mobile. Once I started driving, I didn't hate it as much as I thought. That Buick got me through most of college. My senior year it was replaced with a shiny new 1997 Mazda Protege that had 6 miles on it the first time I sat in the driver's seat. When my dad and I picked up my navy blue friend, he'd had them install a 6 disc CD changer as a surprise. I was in business! The Mazda and I spent 9 blissful years together. About a year ago, I was parked next to it in a parking lot. It was mine - I am sure because of the faded Margaritaville sticker in the window. It looked happy.

The van is still out there in the parking lot. Stop. Drive slowly. Signal. Turn. Park.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

No More Space Rating for Me

I took all of my pictures off Rate My Space this morning. I don't like those people. Yes, my refrigerator is cluttered. With pictures of family and my friends and their kids. And with interesting articles, concert tickets. Whatever. Good stuff on there. My bedroom lamps do not need to grow up. They are fine. And the fan that someone said looked old? It is old. It is also not a functional fan. It is called an antique.

Clearly, I do not suffer criticism gladly. So my pictures are gone. No more Rate My Space for me. I rated it myself - it is perfect for the people and pets who reside there and that's all that matters.

And thank you Indiana Keetha for your kind comment! :) You're much nicer than the people who peruse Rate My Space in the middle of the night.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Rate My Space

Yesterday, I signed up on HGTV's Rate My Space. I just uploaded a couple of pictures of our living room. After looking around at a few other people's rooms, I moved on and forgot about it. I was surprised this morning to look at my e-mail and see several comments. I think that a lot of people use the Rate My Space to get ideas for improving their rooms, so I should not have been surprised to see that some comments offered suggestions. I'll admit, I like it the room the way it is, so I had to work hard not to want to defend it. Once I adjusted, I found it is kind of fun. It's also fun to look at the other spaces and comment. And maybe, just maybe, someone will offer a comment that I will actually use! Feel free to check it out and inflate my ratings and leave glowing comments. Just click here and then search for fremont_kitchen (you'll need the underscore). If you add your own spaces, let me know so I can leave you warm fuzzy comments. :)

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Happy Birthday Mom!

Today is my mom's birthday. As an only child, I thought she was the best playmate. As an adult, she is my best girlfriend. In between, I was a teenager. We'll just leave it at that. :)

Occasionally I will do or say something and think "mirror mirror on the wall, I am my mother after all." Instead of being alarmed or annoyed at that thought, I am glad. My mother is someone I am happy to be like, even if that means that I now cry at movies. :)

My mom is my biggest fan and best audience. I am pretty sure she thinks I am funnier and smarter than anyone else on the planet. She still takes good care of me when I am sick. She always has time to talk when I call. She makes the best mashed potatoes ever. She is supportive, but never pushy. She did not strangle me when I spilled pink nail polish on my blue carpet. Or when I cut bagels directly on the kitchen counter with a really sharp knife. Or when I was a mouthy, know-it-all 17 year old. She must have considered it though. :) She is always ready for a laugh. She has the answers when I ask the questions (I thawed this hamburger, but now I'm not going to use it. Can I put it back in the freezer?), but doesn't give unsolicited advice. I wonder how many times she has bit her tongue in my 32 years on the planet! :) I don't know what book she read on being a mother, but it must have been a good one!

I thought about all the things that I love about my mom while I baked her cake tonight. I thought of more while I baked her second cake. You see, I burned the first one. And you just don't serve burnt birthday cake to your one and only mom. That wouldn't be a nice thing to do to the woman who took a cake decorating class so that she could decorate cute birthday cakes for her little girl!

Happy Birthday Mom!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Sunday Project

I love spring. Love it. I love the colors of all the flowers as they pop up through the mulch and leaves. Yellows, pinks, and purples. I like them all. In nature. However, walking through the fake flower section of Michael's in search for something spring-y for a wreath makes me a little light headed. I don't like all those wonderful spring colors in fake form. But, I found some greeny garland with things that look more berry-like than flower-like. I didn't mind the forsythia in small doses, so here you have it. My best attempt at a spring wreath. Disclaimer: The bird's nest was made by a person not a bird. I did not do that very bad thing and steal a bird's nest. I haven't seen any out yet anyway. ;)

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Signs of Spring

The first sign of spring is that the Chicks and Rabbits appear at Hobby Lobby. I know - it's a strange place to buy food. I was there for something else and these were an impulse buy. I ate at least a third of them on my way home from Hobby Lobby. It's a good thing I don't live further away!
Next, the leaves of these tiny daffodils come up. Yesterday morning, the daffodils were still hiding, but by yesterday afternoon they'd opened up. They're so cute - just about 5 inches tall and always the first to bloom.

We love sleeping with the windows open. At first, I wake up with a stuffy nose, but it's well worth it. The cats are big fans of open windows too. I don't think they sleep as much when the windows are open - they're too busy hunting the birds outside.

The fourth sign of spring is that pansies appear around our mailbox. I thought that last fall's crop might come back, but I got tired of waiting. So, a few packs of pansies later, it's beginning to look a little more colorful!
My apologies for the lack of posting. I could lie and say I've been too busy, but the truth is I've just been too boring to post. Just watching the world transform from gray winter to green spring!