Wednesday, October 28, 2009

A Trip up North

A few weeks ago I got on a plane with my mom and sister and went to visit my brother in Seattle. It was a great family reunion. I had never seen Seattle in the fall. I had no idea the color was so spectacular. It was gorgeous even though it rained nearly the entire five days we were there. Here are a few highlights. Credit for photos goes to Judy (Mom) who not only remembered to bring a camera but took most of the pictures.

Here is my little brother Mark, standing in front of some amazing fall color. Apparently people in Seattle don't use umbrellas, they wear hats!

Mark, me and Lisa at Snoqualmie Falls.

Lisa, Mom and Mark at Snoqualmie Falls.

Something you don't see every day of the week!

Mouthwatering produce at the Pike Place Market in Seattle.

Don't stand too close or a flying fish my slap you in the face!

Mom has found some amazing color as well. It wasn't hard.

My new concoction for a dessert. Vanilla ice cream (the real stuff, not reduced fat) and gingersnap cookies smothered in caramel sauce!

Mom, Lisa and me at lunch at a fish and chips place near the Pike Place Market.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

A Moment of Silence

Yesterday we observed a moment of silence in our home. We paused to observe a rarity that my children have never seen in their lifetimes, and may not see again. We reached a milestone that I never thought we'd reach.

We accomplished something that I had pushed so far on the back burner that it was not even near the burner anymore.

For a fleeting few minutes and for what seemed like a blink of an eye our entire home was clean AT ONCE! That means that all the rooms were dusted and vacuumed, the floors were mopped, the bathrooms clean, the laundry done and the beds made. OK, all the sheets on the bed were not clean, but only I knew that small fact. The surfaces were free of clutter, stuff was put away, there was a HUGE bag in the garage waiting to go to the DI.

This has not happened for 18 years, folks, since Adrienne made her way into the world in July 1991. Even then we had a 500 square foot apartment and we couldn't get it all clean at once. IT HAS BEEN 18 YEARS!

I wanted to do it just to see that it could be done. Never mind that I worked for hours on it Friday and Saturday, and put off other things I should have been doing. Never mind I didn't sit down all day Friday, and I was cleaning a bathroom at 10:45 on Friday night. Darren was a little disappointed that I ditched him for the bathroom, but hey, I had my goal, and I wasn't letting it slip through my fingers. He got over it. He likes clean, maybe even more than me.

When are you coming to bed, he asked me, while I was still feverishly scrubbing the tub. "Enough is enough," he said. "It's not that important."

"EXCUSE ME," I said sternly, "I AM THIS CLOSE TO A GOAL THAT I RELEGATED UNATTAINABLE IN MY LIFETIME. I WILL NOT BE DISTRACTED!" Hell hath no fury like a woman on her knees with Comet and rubber gloves. Rubber gloves means it's a serious operation.

The next day he vacuumed the stairs for me and did some other odd jobs to help me reach my goal. I thanked him by raking leaves and picking beans. But it blew so hard yesterday it doesn't even looked like we raked leaves at all.

"We have too many trees," I told him, when I saw the array of color on the lawn.

"You don't think that in the summer," he replied.

"I know, I love them then."

My house is not large. It is small compared to many McMansions in this valley. I have no idea how those people clean their homes. I would not want that job. I am just grateful I could clean my modest house, all of it at once, maybe just once.

I am not a goal-oriented person. But I was a maniac for those few days, for some odd reason.

Probably just once, I am thinking since, today while looking around, I am seeing a few out of place things.

Two loads of laundry that produced themselves while we were sleeping.

Some crushed leaves on the newly vacuumed carpet.

Bed sheets that won't be washed for a while yet.

Unmade beds.

Sunday newspapers all over the living room floor.

My shoes from last night in the middle of the floor. So even I can't keep it up let alone the rest of the family.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Autumn Musings

Happy Birthday to my Mom today! I won't say how old she is, except to say that it starts with a seven!

I love fall. I think it's the best time of the year. It's my birthday time and it's beautiful and sunny but cool outside and the colors make me feel warm and toasty and content. Out my front window there is a dust of snow on the tips of Mount Timpanogos, and then red bursts of color mixed with green dot the rest of the mountainside. Just like this picture to the left taken by some amazing photographer. It is a postcard-perfect scene, one that should be caught in the act of violating the beauty code.

There is the thinnest slice of time before the color's all blown away and the trees and bare and the reality of winter barges in like an alarm clock after a bad night of sleep. The feeling is that it's over too soon, just like that night's sleep, and isn't there anything at all we can do to hold on to the best of seasons or turn the clock back another hour?

That's how I feel every year at this time. I try to enjoy it while I can and hope that winter doesn't blow away my positive energy like the leaves.

Nathan is through with the fall soccer season. I feel kind of wistful about it. I love to watch him play soccer and have since he was five years old. When he does some amazing footwork that would put me into traction and then scores a goal, I feel like shouting to the crowd, "Hey! I birthed that kid! He actually came out of MY body!" But I refrain. But I'm proud as a peacock that that kid is my own flesh and blood. Amazed really.

What a FANTASTIC soccer season they've had. The Raptors finished fifth in their AA division. The boys are all so nice and such good sports and their parents are all so nice and such good sports (no easy feat), and our coaches, Ryan and Doug, are classy, kind, mellow and not obnoxious. We are blessed to be playing with the Raptors for the third year in a row. Best of all is what great friends the boys are. Friendship among players is one of the main benefits of being on a team like the Raptors. It's right up there with other things like learning sportsmanship, improving skills and getting into shape.

I love working with the resource kids for two hours a day. I don't have time to get burned out, and I have time to do other things, although I still can't seem to manage to get everything done that I want to. I think this will be my problem for life, and in talking to other women, it seems that it will be their problem for life as well. One of the great mysteries of life is how to get it all done before you're too old to get it done. I ponder this as the calendar moves stridently toward my forty somethingish birthday.

Any ideas on how to get everything done that you want to without losing sanity and sleep? A woman who I was talking to a couple of weeks ago said, "Just don't." OK then. Maybe she has a point.

So, the kids I work with at school are so entertaining, to say the least. When a math problem asks them to describe which method they used to solve the problem, they write pencil and paper, instead of multiplication, division, etc. Amen. They are exactly right. It cracks me up.

Watching general conference in my pajamas last Sunday and eating aebelskivers(Danish pancakes) with the family was another fall highlight. How cool not to shower until 4 pm, and even then just to put on sweats and no makeup. I was happy as a lark.

Other happy news is that there are no more peaches or pears on my trees anymore to yell at me to do something with them. I am not hearing, "Hey you! Lady! Pick me! Crush me! Make jam with me! Freeze me!" when I walk by. I am like Barry Manilow singing, "Looks like we made it, through another bumper crop. . ."

My counter tops are no longer covered with fruit that is ripening and losing their vitamins by the minute. Oh, but I do think the most divine thing in the world is homemade pear jam with powdered sugar on aebelskivers. And so I am grateful I listened to the pears and did something with them, even though it would have been easier to let them just look pretty on the tree.

And I think all the tomatoes have frozen! Oh, poor tomatoes! So sorry I didn't do anything more with you when I had the chance. Ahem.

I am going to Seattle next week with my mom and sister to see my brother and sister in law. No kids, just us. I can't wait. I love Seattle, even though it will be cool and rainy. Seattle is just a great city. Darren is taking the kids camping down south, so he will be happy as well.

For all these reasons, I love fall.