Saturday, September 29, 2012

Around Here....

I stayed in bed for 3 days recuperating - read, sleep, repeat.

I enjoyed chocolate cake post surgery

Did not enjoy fasting and having a liquid diet before surgery

A friend took care of me and brought me flowers

She even hung up the curtains in my daughter's room

I had a sweet belated birthday party on Sunday night - still smiling from that
The kids got a dirt bike, sans helmet.  Such is ranch life

I thanked God for the little things and for strength to deal with the big things

This week Ali Edwards had a 52 lifts prompt on her blog.  What a week to solicit 'what is happening around here' eh?  A LOT happened.  Kid stuff, lawyer stuff, doctor stuff.  Heavy on the doctor stuff.  Three procedures, (happened on Tuesday) and of all three, the only 'visual' evidence is that I now have a scar on my left breast.  I did take a picture. But, I am not sharing it. It hurt for the first few days.  It is jagged.  I guess it is hard to cut a straight line on a blob that wiggles around.  Even a 36B blob! Perhaps down the road I can have it turned into something pretty.. I envision an 'x marks the spot' type of thing.  Like hidden treasure.
Kids:  Jake is now playing football.  Well, practicing.  Hasn't had a game yet (he is late to the party, with any luck we will make it to the end of the season unscathed).  I would share a photo, but I can't find where I loaded them!  Sami got to play on the varsity soccer team today instead of JV. Big stuff.
Home: I love fall.  The light.  The leaves. The Harvest.  We live in a beautiful area.  Busted a squirrel burying his stash in my yard yesterday.  Stinker.  And tonight is the Harvest Moon.  Yippee!
People: Felt a lot of love this week.  An unexpected 'let's celebrate your birthday' party thrown by a gentleman friend who had no idea of what I was up against this week.  Sweet treats left by another good friend, and who texted me daily during my ordeal (drugged up texts are funny to reread later). My sisters, who have my back.  And, an angel that took me back and forth and stayed with me while I slept off the drugs.  And, again, my kids.  All I wanted was to have them near me.  Just to hear them.
Noting a Milestone: It's been a year.  This weekend.  A year I have been 'on my own'.

Feeling Peaceful: I am loving where I am.  Who I am.  And those that are in my life right now. 

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Arrrrrr! Recap of 9/19 Talk Like A Pirate Day

My Pirate Flag - Hung outside my office cubicle (my pirate name is to the left, you might be able to click on the photo and read about Captain Anne Vane!)

Rico, Me, Natalie and Julie - Office Pirates in front of Rico's Flag!

Too bad this one is blurry! (Thank goodness for a stash of pirate gear left over from a certain lad's bday party many years ago)
OK.. So, earlier this week was International Talk Like a Pirate Day.  As you can see, four of us dressed up for the occasion.  One of my teammates, Rico, is a self-proclaimed pirate, so we do this to honor his favorite day.  He is also a Parrot Head, and is very excited that he and his bride are going to see Jimmy Buffet in Boise next month.  Arrrrrr!  He is not your typical accountant.

I have to mark this day as another 'Day of Humility in the Life of Andi'.  I brought some 'street clothes' for my other duties that day, and had planned on changing out of my garb.  But, some of my coworkers persuaded me to 'stay dressed' for the day's duties. I trusted their opinion, after all  they are 'high management' types (aka, 'we look so much better when you, our newest teammate, do things like this' types).  So, not only did I 'just' dress up (like a complete idiot), I also went out in public in my garb and shopped, solo, at a local big box store.  None of the other pirates would go with me, and I HAD TO get new ink for my home printer.  Yeah, I did it.  Yeah, I felt like a dork.  The team dork.

But, that was not all!  I also had to facilitate a meeting that evening.  Which I did.  In full pirate gear, again, at the nudging of my teammates. They love me, right? Thank goodness another pirate was in attendance, Natalie.  And, the meeting was off-site, and some of the attendees have never met me.  Ha ha ha.  My real job? Community Relations (and Emergency Preparedness, and other duties like meeting facilitation and grant writing) for my 'agency'.  Lordy. 

The meeting went very well.  But then?

Evening festivities.  Met my team for a celebratory drink - outdoors, in public.  Ha ha ha.  At least 2 other pirates came along!

And that is a recap of one of my days of humility.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Sweaty Mess and The Humble Teachings of Defeat (HS Soccer)

Sami (in purple) had to 'stay on' this girl

Then there was this other girl and Sami ran up to deal with her too

She was a sweaty mess

As in REAL sweaty, on a Hot, Summer Saturday, game at 2pm

Her coach, giving her some tips (Sami is one of 2 or 3 top players on her team)

This tells a lot.  She was ready for it to be OVER at halftime.

More tips

Yep.  The coach's girl

Sami has entered the world of High School Soccer.  A world apart from our lovely 'Y' soccer that she has played since 1st grade.

She is a bit upset that she did not make the Varsity Team with her BFF.  Nope.  She is on JV.  However, she is one of the star players.  And boy, does she work hard, having to make up for those that don't know the game.

Saturday was rough on our girls.  They played a kick-ass soccer team that danced around them.  Our girls were beat.  AND we only have 9 girls, with no extras to sub.  And all freshmen!  Horror.  Heck, our Varsity team only has 1 senior and a smattering of other grades - and heavy on freshmen.  The other team kept putting in 'fresh' players every 15 minutes, and about 5 or 6 at a time.  They killed them.  Ditto for the Varsity team as well.  STOMPED

But, it was a good teachable moment - about what another team looks like and does when it truly works together. 

Last night the coach had a party for all the girls.  I am glad.  I think she did the right thing in just celebrating them for their hard work and effort. 

Love that coach.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

We Survived: The First Week of School

Jake - First Day of 8th Grade

The Three of us in the bathroom - Waiting on Sami (can you find me?)

Sami, the first day of High School!  9th Grade

Yep!  There they go!  Caught them before they did the big split because of my camera
Hello long lost blogging friends,
These photos are from Sept. 4th, the first day of school.
I always forget how crazy our school schedule is.
The weekends are heaven compared to the weekday of getting these two out of bed and out the door in time for 'getting' them to school and me to work.

Since Sept. 4th we have added to our plates:
  •  Sami playing High School Soccer.  She has a game in La Grande today that I will drive over the hill to go see.
  •  Jake has decided he would like to play Middle School Football.  He is in 8th Grade and has NEVER played before.  Should be interesting, considering he is the smallest guy in his class!
  • Me? Surgery.  Yep.  Scheduled for September 25th.  Three things to be done to me.  Boobs, girly parts, and that 50 thing. JOY.
There you have it!  I'll be back again with other photos, and need to get some addresses for my book plate giveaway!

Monday, September 3, 2012

There's a Chill in the Air. Labor Day Weekend

I'm still getting over the shock of having four of my big ol' Willows 'chopped' (the one on the right was left alone since it is not in the way of the power lines).  I came home one day and was so upset to see these!  My shade!  My privacy! The home to 1,000 happy birds!  Gone. Couldn't they have waited one more month?

I planted mums over the weekend.  Shocked my kids! 

First frost was Saturday morning.  My 'secret garden' (all volunteers) got hit

Down in Baker today.  We honored a fallen soldier.  This sweet man cozied up to me after an hour and we chatted about his service in Korea, and families, and somehow he asked If I am a single mom.  I think he felt sorry for me.  He invited me to his church and he wanted to make sure I was taking care of my soul.   I assured him I am!  He was very sweet and nice.  I enjoyed talking with him.  He had a big ol' gouge and stitches in his cheek from falling yesterday while picking apples.  He only got 2 for all his pain! He talked about how everyone he ever new is now dead - we agreed that God has a plan for him at 80. His little doggy is sure darn cute!  So, why is it that older men will come up and talk to me but not boys my age (50 to 60)! Chickens.

My kids waiting patiently and wishing they ate before we left this morning!

Earlier this evening I could hear this guy flying back and forth out in front of my house.  So, I shot him (with the camera)!
Ah, September.

I love summer, and have such a hard time when it's time to say goodbye to the lovely heat! It takes me a couple of days to 'embrace' the cooler nights and brisk mornings.  Instead of having the front and back doors open to catch a breeze and cool the house down, I am wearing my slippers, fuzzy pants and a sweatshirt, and finding that any open window leaves a cold spot on the floor below it.  It has been in the 30's the last couple of mornings.  Yep.  Cold.

This was our last 'summer weekend'.  Sami starts High School tomorrow (did you HEAR THAT?).  She will be in 9th grade, and Jake will be in 8th.  Aand because my kids go to a very small rural school, Sami has to commute to the big town of Baker to be on a different school's Soccer Team (our school, North Powder, does not have soccer teams).  Get that?  She is attending one school, and playing on another's team.

 OK, see if you can follow this:  I live in Haines.   I work in La Grande, which is 37 miles to the north. The kids go to school 7 miles to the north, in North Powder.  And the soccer team school is at Baker High, which is about 10 miles south of Haines, yet, 50 or so miles from my work, and about 25 miles from where Sami goes to school.  This.Is.A.Logistic.Nightmare. 

I am relying on one of her friends families to get her back and forth (from North Powder to Baker then Back to North Powder) so that I or her dad can pick her up after practice. 

This too shall pass!  She has practice every single week day, from 4pm until 6pm. 

But, yesterday, on Sunday, I welcomed Fall.

I bought some mums on Saturday, and planted them early on Sunday, before church! The kids were shocked!  And, after church, I bought more mums, and this morning they again, made it into the ground.  My kids don't know who I am (she who has great intentions but continuously waters containers).

My trees that were so rudely butchered earlier in the week are still 'home' to a bazillion chickadees.  Thank God for small acts of love. 

Sunday night I made lamb stew for dinner and the three of us watched a sweet movie.

And, today, Labor Day,  was bitter sweet.  I hauled my kids to Baker (after my speed mum planting) so we could stand and hold flags for a 21 year old  fallen soldier who was killed last week in Afghanistan by 'green' fire.  Our little town of Baker is only 10,000 people, and it is the largest city in our entire county.  We left here at 9am and returned at 1pm.  We left without eating breakfast so we could be there on time - the precession was over an hour late, but we stuck it out.  No words can be said about this event other than I feel for his poor mother (he was her only child) and am so very grateful for his sacrifice as well as hers.  Heartbreaking.

When we got home we all just did our own thing.  I even made a card (see previous post)!
And, now, it looks like it is time to get ready for tomorrow!

So long summer.... it was beautiful while it lasted.

Read all About It! Simon Says Stamp and Show Challenge and Blog Candy

Today, on this beautiful and action packed Labor Day, I was able to sneak in a card for this week's Simon Says Stamp And Show Challenge which is 'Read all About it'. And, in honor of Stamptember, their month long celebration, I used a couple of stamps from the Hero Arts/Studio Calico set 'I Love Books'.

But, before you look at my entry, you HAVE TO go to the challenge and read about the Blog Hop and GREAT giveaways to be had, as well as the GRAND PRIZE for entering the challenge!!!!   SWOON!  So many great things happening this month with Stamptember.  Lots of artists, new stamps, techniques.  I was sure regretting having to say goodbye to summer, but now?  Bliss!

OK, here is my card:
Card Recipe:
Layers:  Cardstock (Kraft card base from Archivers), altered text patterned paper (Simple Stories 'Summer Fresh' line),  Yellow dotted patterned paper (MME - Lost & Found Two), and.. a bookplate that I have been hoarding for many years (Antioch Publishing).
What I did to the text pp:  1. Stamped with the 'every book is an adventure stamp' in Ranger embossing ink, and embossed with clear embossing powder.  Applied Heat. 2. Applied Ranger Distress Vintage Photo ink with an applicator across the surface, then rubbed ink off embossed text with baby wipe.  Applied Distress Black Soot to the edges. 
What I added to the bookplate:  Stamped 'I Love Books' on the panel with Stazon Jet Black ink. 
Embellishments: Orange twine, black button, and yellow thread.  All from my stash of goods.

I love this theme!  I am an avid reader and snatched the Hero Arts/Studio Calico 'I Love Books' set the moment it came out.  The bookplates also tugged at my heart with the promise of adventure, the sweet boy escaping in a tree and the moon in the background (I have a thing for the full moon)! 

Speaking of which:  Would you like to have one of these bookplates sent to you for your own project?  Just leave me a comment on this post, and five lucky people will get one (along with some other goodies) in their mail!   I will do a drawing a week from today, on September 10th.

Thanks for visiting!