Thursday, July 29, 2010

I really, Really, REALLY love cupcakes. Moreso even than cake - I know, it's weird. I have always loved cupcakes, ever since I can remember. And a truly great cupcake can make my heart leap with joy - again, I know, weird.

These are my Pioneer Day cupcakes. Nothing fancy, though, no time and no fancy ingredients. I did make the cake part into a funfetti and threw some more sprinkles on top so it looks more "gourmet" than it actually was.

Taylor had her birthday on Monday. 15. Holy crap - how did that happen? She is reading the Utah State Driver's Manual so she can go get her permit hopefully next week. HOLY CRAP!!! My baby?!? DRIVING!?!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Wisdom Teeth and Bubbles

Taylor had her wisdom teeth out on Monday. She was all worked up into a dither that it was the end of the world, only to find out that it wasn't so bad after all. She has gotten along so far very well, no swelling or bruising, minimal pain. The thing that seems to pain her the most is that she can't have any popcorn! I'm glad that the teeth pulling won't interfere with her highly anticipated birthday on Monday. She's been counting days since about March.

Look what I get to do! My favorite days are days when there is decent fabric in Walmart's $1 bin. Now I can sew and sew . . . Addie has informed me that she only wants dresses for 2nd grade. I don't know about ONLY, but I can make her several dresses for about $3 each.

I got these cute lanters from Avon. They looked cute in the brochure, but they are even cuter than I thought. They don't give off much light, but they are fun when Lane and I sit out on the back porch in the evening with our coctails. There was 3 in the package and I have 6 hooks, so I need to order 3 more.

Addie ran out of bubbles, so she mixed dish soap in water in her bubbles container, and it makes the best bubbles! They are huge and don't pop very quickly. This one sat on the grass long enough for me to take 4 pictures, including me moving around between shots. I don't know what her portions are of soap to water, but I guess she's just a bubble genius. Jack is a paper genius, and I guess we are still waiting to see what genius Taylor is. She makes really good microwave popcorn . . . Does that count?

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Farewell, Jake

He lived a good life. At least that's what I keep telling myself. He lived a good life.
We got Jake 12 years ago in May. He was a little black ball of fur, cuter than just about any puppy ever. We were homeowners, we needed a dog. Taylor was almost 3, I was expecting Jack. The little ball of fur grew quickly into a larger ball of fur and turned into a wonderful family dog. I remember when I had a job where I would type at night, I would let Jake in the house and he would just sit at my feet while I did my job. I'll never forget how he reacted when Lane took him to get fixed. He was so mad at Lane and wouldn't have anything to do with him for about 2 weeks. He was such a great family dog, and would let the kids maul him, climb on him, tug his ears and his stump of a tail with tremendous patience. And this dog was either to dumb, or too well behaved, to ever leave our non-fenced yard. We didn't keep him chained or kenneled - I guess he just didn't have anywhere else to go.
But of late he was getting up very slowly; his hips seemed to be arthritic. He had unexplained lumps under his skin. He could no longer hear. Sometimes he wouldn't get up at all when we were in the yard. He just stayed in the on the grass in the shade, or in the former flower bed where the dirt has, over the course of the years, become hollowed out in the shape of his body. We knew the end was coming, and had agreed that it would be cruel to make him go through another winter.
But yesterday evening the plan changed. We were in the backyard doing a little yard work, and I went to the front yard for the aforementioned herb trimming. As ususal, Jake followed me to the front yard, and then he just kept going. Jake never, NEVER, wanders off. He has been well-trained to stay close by, and he always has. He wandered down to the end of the driveway, and I called to him to come back, which of course he couldn't hear. I sent Addie after him, figuring he would see her and follow her back. He saw her, but kept walking away. I told Addie to go get Lane and I went after the dog myself. I wasn't wearing any shoes, and the dog had a pretty good lead on me. I finally caught up with him, and (foolishly) grabbed his collar from behind. This startled Jake, and he turned toward me, intending to bite. He didn't bite, but he startled me and I let go of his collar. I don't know how I would have dragged him back - I'm not strong enough. Lane came quickly and Jake had walked ahead again. Lane caught up to him, and he also statled him, causing Jake to show his teeth and growl at Lane. Lane, too, was quite shocked by this reaction, as well as the fact that Jake had wandered off in the first place. But Lane got Jake home, and safely in the backyard, and we realized that this was not a good omen.
I have frequently heard of dogs wandering off to die, and that's the first thing I thought of when Jake took off. We can't bear to tie him up after all these years of being free to roam, and we certainly can't have him wandering off again to bite someone or get hit by a car. We had to do the difficult thing. Knowing it has to be done someday, and knowing it has to be done NOW are two different things, and my heart was broken. Lane told me he would make the arrangements in the morning and he would get his friend to go with him, in case Lane couldn't do it alone.
I secretly hoped that Jake would die peacefully in the night, but I checked this morning and he was still alive. He was curled up in a ball, and didn't stir when I went outside, and so I had to look close. I went off to work with a sad heart.
Later in the morning I got a text telling me it was all taken care of, and then I broke down. I'm so glad to have a job where I don't have to talk to people, because it took me almost a half hour to pull myself together. The kids right now are doing ok, I'm not sure if they fully realize what happened. Taylor is at Trek and doesn't even know. I'm so sad. My head knows it was the right thing to do although my heart is aching.
He lived a good life.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Thanks Tonya!

Lane is the gardener in the family. I have great plans every April. I imagine myself dressed in overalls, holding a hoe, farming the backyard. No one is more enthusiastic than me when we go to the nursery to buy the plant starts. I am ready! Nothing can diminish my excitement. I oversee all the planting, frequently telling Lane what he is doing wrong (he ignores me) and shouting out orders of what we have forgotten to do, declaring that he better get his rear and gear so we won't forget next season. I diligently go and check on the plants as they grow, watch as Lane carefully waters everything and makes adjustments as needed. I am involved and helping . . . .

And then June turns into July. July is hot. Gardening is no longer fun - it becomes a chore, and I DON'T LIKE CHORES! Luckily, I had the good sense to marry a man who will do the chore, with a smile on his face. He enjoys the yard work, for the most part, and puts up with me telling him how he's done it all wrong.

There are 2 things that I do (sort of) take care of myself in the yard. One is the roses. I dead-head/prune the roses with some degree of regularity, although not often enough. And even then I don't clean up after myself. I leave all the cut stuff in a neat little pile on the grass for someone else, meaning my kids, to come pick up. The other is my herbs. I stay on top of them pretty well. That's what the THANKS TONYA! is for. I took Tonya's herb class a lot of years ago and have been hooked on fresh herbs ever since. There is nothing like just walking out in the yard and cutting fresh stuff.

But today, since Lane was home, he was kind enough to cut my dill and my cilantro for me. I bundled them up to dry so I can have them during the winter. (Have you checked the price of spices lately?!?)

I even found 1 cucumber in the garden.
After I took the photos I remembered the ones in the front yard needed to be cut, too, so I also have rosemary and oregano drying.
Taylor is gone off to Trek, and it never ceases to amaze me how the absense of just one person can be so noticeable in our house. I miss her. We went to the pool for a while tonight without her, which also felt strange. She'll be home on Saturday, and then Jack leave on Monday for a week at Clear Creek.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Catching Up

So it appears I have somewhat fallen behind in my blogging duties. I'm not altogether sure how that happened, but it did and I guess that means I have been busy. With what, I'm not sure, but somehow I have managed to stay busy.

At my new job, we have a team meeting every other Friday. It is with great pleasure and pride that I annouce that for the first time I finally understood ALL of what was discussed at the meeting. It was a terribly proud moment. The first meeting may as well have all been spoken in another language because I didn't have a clue what they were talking about. It's a good feeling to start to feel "clued in."

It's hard to believe that June is gone and July is slipping away so quickly. Kassie and Jesse's little baby is still the cutest little thing ever, and I'm sure I'm still his favorite. I'm trying to convince Kassie that they need to go on a date so I can have the baby all to myself. He's so cute!

I downloaded what few pictures I had on my camera tonight so here's what I have:

This is the Pleasant Grove High School band approaching on beautiful Main Street, Pleasant Grove during the Strawberry Days parade. Then, as my luck always goes, the batteries in my camera died.

We went to Lane's family reunion out near Duchesne. I CAMPED!! I was in a nice trailer with hookups, but still. . . . It was really a nice place. I would go back there. There was a really large group, about 120 people I'm told. The picture above is Lane playing a game, in which he beat his little brother. That's always a sweet victory. That's his little brother Greg next to Lane in the tan shorts and blue sweatshirt.

This part of a log, with leaves in it for "sails," kept Jack amused the whole time we were there. No kidding. I hardly ever saw him. He and his cousins just kept floating these "boats" down the stream over and over and over . . . Hey - whatever it takes to keep him amused, and at least he wasn't bugging me!
So far this summer we have made a lot of trips to the pool where the kids play and I read my book. Yes, still reading. I finished my George Washington book which has been returned to the library and replaced with another book by somebody Shaara who wrote the book I read at work during my lunch break. The one at book is about the pre-Revolutionary time period, and the one I read at work is pre-Civil War.
Taylor and I also managed to get all her sewing done for Trek. She leaves on Wednesday morning. She did 2 of the skirts and her apron and I think has discovered that sewing can be kind of fun. At least I hope so. She didn't complain at all, except when she had to unpick, and that didn't happen too often.
Tomorrow is Lane's BIG 40th birthday. He's not fun to tease about it because he doesn't seem to care all that much. But if you should run into him, be sure to remind him that he's over the hill now.