Happy Independence Day

Happy Independence Day, everyone.

However you spent your day I pray it included at least a moment of gratitude for what our Founding Fathers put in place for us.

Think and say whatever you want of it and then be grateful you have the freedom to do so.

I, for one, am so thankful I was born in this country . . .

And am working on passing that gratitude on to my children . . .

One of whom did a little decorating this morning . . . she decorated the outside of the house  . . .



And the mailbox . . .

And the hamster crate . . . (more about that later).

What she lacks in artistic ability she more than makes up for in enthusiasm.

Giving thanks,
Dianne

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We Done Gone and Did It

We did it.

We bought one-way tickets to California last night . . .

Reservations for 2 adults, 2 children, 2 large dogs and 1 tiny hamster.

Add a rifle case, car seats and the four suitcases we will have lived out of for a month and check-in should be an extraordinary amount of fun.

For those of us who have yet to fully absorb the reality of our pending change of address this is yet further proof that this whole move thing is actually happening.

The next reality check will be in 14 days when the movers extract the 2000 pound pile of “stuff” from our dining room.

Did I really just write “14 days?”

If I may quote Heather L. Sanders, “Oh, My Stinkin’ Heck!”

Hello, Stranger

It’s been awhile.

There is a reason for that.

Actually there are, if my estimation is correct, 128 reasons . . . each of those reasons being approximately 43 minutes long.

Shortly after my last post I sat through an entire episode of the Fox™ series Bones.

The addiction was instant.

I had to watch all six seasons.

Streaming the first five seasons maxed our allocated bandwidth for the month of May.

Of course, engrossing myself in the Booth-Brennan dynamic might also have had something to do with the fact that the sheer volume of work required to get organized for this move had me swimming in overwhelm. So I pretended we weren’t moving and went on my very first (and last) TV vacation instead.

The complete lack of self-discipline I exhibited is standard for me when I become absorbed in a story. It is precisely the reason I rarely read non-fiction books . . . our world comes to a screeching halt until I’m ready to return the book to the library.

But I’m back.

Life is returning to normal – as normal as it can be considering we are in the middle of a temporary move out-of-state. Clothes and dishes are now being washed daily and not necessarily by my husband. Line items are rapidly getting checked off the pre-move to do list and the children are no longer allowed to slip and slide through their chores. There is a giant pile of stuff under our carport ready for a garage sale and a giant pile of stuff in our dining room waiting for the movers.

Back to normal.

It was a lovely hiatus.

Cheers,
D

P.S.  Note from G – the boy who refers to this ! as an “excitin’ pointamation” . . . these ” ” are called “talkin’ marks.” Just in case you were wondering.

We’re Moving

Really.

Truly.

Honestly.

No, really.

I swear it.

This time it is really happening.

We are really moving.

I know . . . many of you have politely followed along as we’ve bounced back and forth 7,538 times between, “I think we’re moving,.” and “No, now we’re staying,” over the past three years so why should you believe me now?

Because it’s true.

And I have an email to prove it . . . an email to my husband’s employer’s HR Department . . . an email containing a start date.

A May start date to be exact.

Except only my husband is moving in May.

The children and I aren’t planning on exchanging an Alaskan summer for a Californian one this year.

Plus I have an Airstream in my driveway that isn’t due to head south with its owners until August.

Thank G-d.

That gives me time to get organized . . . and spend an appropriate amount of time panicking . . . and find someone to live in our house . . . and figure out what to do with the hamster . . . and decide what we will actually take with us . . . and move everything else to storage . . . and get the dogs crate trained . . . and manage the other 3,425 things that will need to be done in order to go live somewhere else for “1-2 years” as the email so nicely stated.

Wow.

We are really moving.

Unless something changes . . .

D

P.S. Who says paragraphs have to contain more than one sentence . . . or one word for that matter?

Birthday Moments

I turned 41 recently. Very recently.

No longer can I say “Oh, I’m forty,” and act like it is no big deal because now I am in my forties, tucked in nicely with margins on both sides.

That’s ok. I’ll take turning 41 to not.

And my children brought me gifts . . . which is one of my favorite parts of the whole deal.

My darling daughter made me a necklace. She calls it a “personality necklace.” The project involved ribbon, paper, silk flowers, markers and a glue gun . . . any excuse to use a glue gun . . .

Isn’t it lovely?

I’m “nice.”

Several times during the project she asked me, “What is your personality, Mamma?”

After spending a bit of time trying to figure out exactly what she was looking for I told her I was extroverted. She didn’t like that answer. She kept asking the same question.

Finally she asked, “Is there a shorter word for your personality?”

“Extroverted” didn’t fit on the paper.

So I’m “nice” . . . which isn’t exactly how she describes me when she gets crabby and I make her go to bed early . . . but that is another story.

My sweet son, being the romantic, charming little boy he is, gave me a rose.

Isn’t it beautiful?

Being a romantic, charming, Alaskan boy it is a duct tape rose.

I wouldn’t have it any other way.

My dear husband made me dinner. It was wonderful.

It was even wonderful when G (who generally behaves exactly as one would expect a healthy six-year-old boy to behave – sometimes beautifully, sometimes not so much) suddenly leapt out of his chair, dashed around the table and smeared mayonaise on his sister’s right eyebrow.

What?!?

Who does that?

Better yet, who even comes up with the idea to do it?

My son, that’s who, laughing maniacally the entire time.

After successfully completing his lightning fast impromptu finger/face-painting session G promptly dove into the dog crate and smashed himself into a back corner so his father couldn’t reach him. I had to cover my face to suppress outright laughter. G was absolutely delighted with himself. R and Daddy didn’t think it was so funny.

Dinner came complete with dessert and candles.

A “4” candle and a “1”  candle to be exact . . . which is a good thing because 41 candles never would have fit. See?

As my husband was putting the candles on the dessert I asked him if I could be 14 instead of 41.

“Yea,” he said in his usual understated zero-inflection delivery method, “but I would probably get in trouble.”

Happy Birthday to all the other fish out there swimming around in the pond.

Cheers,
D

P.S.  This morning when putting the dishes away I found a “2” candle in the cupboard. I’m pretty sure my husband wasn’t planning ahead for next year. I’m thinking he wasn’t exactly how sure about my age.

Chuy

Our home has a new resident.

Meet Chuy.

R named him. I picked the spelling . . . in honor of my husband’s favorite Austin restaurant.

Chuy was born on June 21st of last year. His mama was a Black Lab / German Shepherd mix. His daddy was not a purse dog.

He belongs to her.

And he plays with her.

(We love him extra for that.)

He is huge. He is gorgeous. He is sweet and cuddly. He fetches and plays tug of war.

Chuy has the makings of an amazing dog.

He is even helpful.

He helped R put together her floor puzzle.

Except maybe that had something to do with the fact that putting the puzzle together involved snacks.

Mmmm . . . best of all . . . like all good dogs . . . Chuy’s feet smell awesome.

D

Kool-Aid

I did it.

I drank the Kool-Aid.

I did it almost two weeks ago but couldn’t bring myself to admit it publicly until now.

I am now an iPhone® carrying member of society.

I succumbed to the pressure of my husband who when we were on vacation announced to me rather emphatically,  “When we get home we’re getting you a real* phone. I’m tired of not being able to find you when we’re in a store.”

Those of you who are acquainted with my husband know that he rarely speaks with passion or emphasis so when this announcement was made it was clear that he was serious.

A bit of cell phone history . . .

My cell phone philosophy for years revolved around the idea that it was purely a tool for my use and convenience. It was all about me being able to call people when I desired. It had nothing to do with those same people being able to reach me at their whim.

I did modify this philosophy slightly when I started shipping my children out the door to a local government-run educational institution. I mean really, what if one of them falls off the monkey bars and breaks an arm or something? I’d like to know about it sooner rather than later. (This is entirely possible with my son being who he is.)

So I started keeping my 5-year-old, non-picture taking, barely texting, hand-me-down, only works in Anchorage cell phone charged (most of the time) and actually taking it with me when I ran errands (most of the time). It was a huge step.

Clearly I am a slave to the latest and greatest technology.

Which is why I so eagerly agreed to start carrying an iPhone®.

Ha!

Truth:  It is the old model and was on sale for $49.

But now my husband can happily text me or call me when he so desires.

And he’ll get right through on the days I actually turn on the phone.

Thanks for listening,
D

*By real he ment one that would text and work outside of the state of Alaska.

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