Sunday, September 16, 2007

Dad's Last Dollar Bill


I wish I could come here and report all those artsy fartsy thing I've done, all the wonderful things my kids have accomplished and how close I have come to meeting my life goals.


Sadly, all I have done is watch this darn 4 legged furry bladder grow and tinkle (with a few turds along the way). Hopefully, all this will pass.


Until then, please join me and enjoy Dad's Last Dollar Bill, or Bill for short:





Until I learn another trick,

Peace!

Jan

PS: Guess I'd better explain the name change, right? Found out the family HATED the name and when we found out about a cat named...ASKIM...and since he didn't seem to notice WHAT we were calling him...and since he had to have a name, his official name is: Dad's Last Dollar Bill or Bill for short.

It really does seem to fit him and it certainly goes with Linda and Arnie!

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

He has a name!

Finally, after many false starts, our new little guy has a name: Askim.

Tony wins the prize and we've had a great time all weekend with it.

"What's his name?"

"Askim"

"What's your name, little guy?"

"Askim."

Duhhhhhhh.

He also has a friend:

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Happy Birthday, Baby Andrew!

Just time for a quick post to wish my middle son, "Baby"Andrew a happy 21st birthday! Mark and I drove to Wheeling to spend the day with him at a jeep event.


Of course, he got to wear 'the hat' that I got for my birthday:
Oh, and someone else wore a party hat too:
Happy Birthday, sweets...you make me proud and I love you!

Friday, August 31, 2007

Don't mess with Vic!

I have a teeny tiny daughter who is one of those women we all hate: She can walk for miles in 4" heels. She can walk into a store and ask if something comes in a size 4 and they know she wants it for her self. Her hair is long and naturally curly! Her teeth are the exact shade of white that my dentist assured me never happens in real teeth (but she is proof that it does!). She is so girly that she asked the bank where she works to give her the title LOAN PRINCESS.

She loves clothes! She loves shoes! She loves fashion accessories. Here is a picture of her latest accessory:

Yes! Last night she sparred with tons of black belted people, broke a bunch of boards and reached one of her dreams: Her second degree black belt. I didn't realize that she was testing last night because she did not tell me at my request. I cannot handle the huge amount of stress or seeing people kicking at my only daughter. I only knew after she came running into house at 10 PM, in tears.

I did what any mother would do. I cried too, and then I reached for my camera, of course. This is what she looks like after fighting off scores of black belted people, sobbing with joy and breaking her mother's camera:
Well, I'm not sure she broke it, but my flash refused to go off. Still...no flash, horrible over head lights, tears and all, doesn't she look pretty?

I'm so proud, but I certainly won't mess with her...



Tuesday, August 28, 2007

We have a new baby in the family!

Meet____________, the dog with no name! He's an English Mastiff (yes,another one) and almost 9 weeks old and weighs in at about 30 pounds. Although he looks black, he has light strawberry blonde stripes. Interesting combination. Right now he's asleep, but it wasn't always that way


Yes, he has a wrinkle on his nose! Isn't he adorable?


Yes, he's on the dash of my van, waiting for his daddy to bring coffee.
Yes, they do get big (just look at Linda!) but they are called Gentle Giants and the term is well deserved. I tried to hold out, but just because when two of the three dogs in our family will reach a total weight of about 300 pounds or more isn't a reason not to adopt...is it?

He has no name. So far, the family has suggested: U-Joint, Wood Chipper (or Woody or Chipper for short), Walter, Tiny, Snowball and Puff.

What do YOU think?

Shhhhh...



Meet

Monday, August 27, 2007

Happy Birthday, Baby Boy!

This morning, I looked out in the driveway and saw my son cleaning his golf clubs before leaving for his first ever college golf team match. I got all sniffly and ran for my camera.

And then, I looked in the trunk of his car. Doesn't this look like a single golf nerd's car?
And the I remembered it was his birthday! His 19th! One great thing about him being 19 is that he has a girlfriend who took over my kitchen all day to make a birthday dinner for Tony and two other friends. It was late when they got back from the match, so they ate by candle light.
She even baked a cake with lovely Happy Birthday Candles!
Mark said it was the best lasagna he ever tasted. Sorry about the bad photo...I was sniffling again...I get very emotional!
Oh...Tony is wearing my Happy Birthday hat that the kids bought me on vacation this year. I think we'll be seeing this often! My photos of Morgan and Tony are so terrible and they are such a handsome couple. Here's proof:
Taken on August 14,their 6 month anniversary!

Oh, and if your van windows have vertical slobber tracks like this:

It probably means that there is a mutt and a mastiff inside, getting to take your car (probably without permission).

Sweet Dreams, all!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007




Your Blogging Type Is Thoughtful and Considerate



You're a well liked, though underrated, blogger.

You have a heart of gold, and are likely to blog for a cause.

You're a peaceful blogger - no drama for you!

A good listener and friend, you tend to leave thoughtful comments for others.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

I want red socks!
I know, you weren't expecting me to speak again this soon, but I still want RED socks.

Not corally socks,not orangy socks, not maroony socks, not pinky socks. RED socks. No slubs, no streaks...just RED socks in some sumptuous, sproingy, superwash sock yarn.

I have found sock yarn that has the name, but apparently they can't play the game.

Opal, you broke my heart. Your RED is ORANGE. (I know, my RED isn't really RED, but you get the picture, I'm sure.)

Anyone have any suggestions?

Monday, August 06, 2007

So...this is where I've been:

I'm trying to remember just when I last spoke with any of you...I know it was long, long ago and much has happened. Like most of the things in my life, I think I have to keep working something until it's perfect before I let you see. I realize now it just ain't going to happen. There will be no perfection here in this blog anytime soon.

Just to catch you up, I'll tell you what has been going on here, in this dusty house on the hill. Photos are always available, but you have to ask...

Since my last REAL post:


  • Mark took my mother and me on a luncheon cruise on the gateway clipper for mother's day. The weather was perfect, the lunch was wonderful and we did not tussle, spar or throw each other overboard.


  • Andy and Kailyn got engaged. I am not looking for my mother-of-the-groom dress because they are looking at a long engagement and everyone knows I'll be skinny by time she graduates from college.

  • Tony graduated from high school. I was certain that I was going to be a basket case, after all, this is my baby, but I got to thinking...my mother-of-the-student stint was 33 years long and I was READY to retire my PTA badge. By time they announced his name, I was feeling rather smug and very victorious!!!

  • Although I was feeling smug and victorious, I was heartbroken. I love his name...his first name was my father's name, his middle name is Mark's grandmother's maiden name. These names were carefully chosen and a source of pride. I couldn't believe it when they announced him as TONY-middle name-last name. TONY???? When I asked, he said they were given the choice and since they would not announce him as Conquistador, he chose Tony.

  • We finally had our driveway paved. We probably would have been better off to invest the money in medical school for all four children. It was expensive. It took forever. I hate it. The paver is coming next week to make me happy. Tune in for another chapter...

  • We had our annual July 4th picnic on July 7th this year. Two days before the picnic, when Mark mentioned he had invited yet another person, I forced him to sit down and take a count on just how many people he expected since we supply the meat, buns and beer. He said not many, that means he had invited about 65 people. We were blessed: only 53 were here to eat.

  • Last year's party was memorable because one of Andy's friends is a licensed pyrotechnician and we had fireworks. This year Mark's brother and his wife brought their Moon Walk (yes, one of those inflatable rooms that you jump in). I think the adults had more fun than the kids.

  • We took our third annual 'last family vacation' this year. Every year we say that the boys are growing up, finding new thing to do, working, going to school...surely next year they won't want to go with us. This year we not only took them, but we took the girlfriends/fiances as well! I was thrilled since the girls could not understand the boys until they had seen Thousand Islands...it's just a part of who we are.


  • Patricia and Sandro, the owners of the houseboat that we rented for our island vacation since Tony was 12, finally retired. We had to find another way to see the islands.


  • We did...a wonderful, small, family run motel that was quiet, attractive, immaculate, reasonable, and right on the shipping channel. I think we rented half of their rooms. Imagine sitting on the lawn, eating breakfast, and seeing a freighter slipping past!


  • This was the first time in 4 years that Mark and I were in the same state on my birthday. Not only were we in the same state, but we were on vacation. I had gotten used to celebrating alone, but this time all 6 of us plus Patricia and Sandro celebrated...makes getting older much easier!


  • On the first day of my vacation, I got the message that my dear and brave friend, Dave, in Washington state, had died. Dave was a parapelegic who was confined to his bed for the past 4 years. RIP, Dave!


  • Both boys enrolled in college. Andy's company reimburses his tuition so he's a part time student and works full time. Tony's job slows down in late October and will come to a temporary halt in January, so he's going full time and working part time.


  • Andy took us for a tour of his company and to see some of the work he's doing. I don't have permission to talk too much or to show photos, but let me tell you, they are engineering marvels...he has much to be proud of!


  • Mark is finally scheduled to have foot surgery in two weeks. Although we are not looking forward to his recuperation (if men had the babies, we would have remained childless, he would not have made it through morning sickness), we are hoping it helps. He has a bone spur on the tip of his toe and his baby toe needs to be pointed in a more appropriate direction.


  • Two weeks ago, early on a Saturday morning, my 75 year old mother called to tell me that she had fallen off a ladder while cleaning gutters. I asked if she was okay, she said yes. I asked if she needed me to come, she said yes. When I got there, I found that she was sitting (the neighbors had carried her into the house) and couldn't get up. We called the ambulance. Final tally was a broken pelvis in 2 places, a broken rib and a broken elbow. She is now in an assisted living facility until she can get around better. They are saying another 2 to 3 weeks.


  • We are selling her ladder. She is grounded.

  • On August 1, I lost another old friend to complications of life with diabetes. I think it was a wake up call. My fasting blood sugar this morning was 146. I need to slap myself around.


  • I am knitting every chance I get. I have given out a few pair of socks that were supposed to be Christmas gifts. Not sure that I'll hit the 20 pair target, but I'll be close!

And that, my dear friends, is my life up to now, in a nutshell.

What? You need photos? Here's just a few:



The Happy Couple




The Ring! The Graduate!
The Chow Line, 7/07/07The view from our room
Thousand Islands


The guys on 'the rock.' I take a photo of the three of them, on this rock, every time we go there since Tony was two!
The kids at Boldt Castle

Sunset from our room!

Till next time!


Wednesday, June 06, 2007

I'm 'fixin'' to post...hang on a sec!

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Linda on the Road


Mark had a business trip and Linda and I decided to tag along. The first part of the journey was great fun for her: She filled up most of the back seat of a Honda Civic and barked at people when they dared to stop next to us at red lights!


We visited my daughter at the bank (there were no 'no dogs' signs on there, so we took a chance). Linda wasn't too happy to have to go in there, but she was fine once everyone made a fuss over her.


Lunch at McDonalds was okay, as long as no one got too close to her, but once we got to the hotel, she wanted nothing to do with the elevator!


She and I snoozed and surfed the 'net while Mark went to a meeting and then we hit the road again.


We found a great restaurant in Colombia, MD, THE CRABBY PIG that had a wonderful deck where dogs were allowed. The waitress even brought Linda a bowl of water. Mark and I had seafood soup (mine was crabby vegetable and he had cream of crab) that was to die for. We'll certainly go back there again, maybe even without Linda. I'm sorry we didn't have the camera with us then...she was soooo good!
Linda said to say good night...it's past our bedtime...
Oh, one more thing...is anyone on the 'friends' list for "OLD LADY KAY's" blog? I thought I was a friend, but maybe not? If you have her email address, drop her a note and tell her that I'm looking for her!
'till next time!

Saturday, April 28, 2007

So, this is my life...

Somewhere, in between kids with new (to them) cars, motorcycle licenses, trying to figure out which kid to sell to help raise $4200 for the plumber, Mark's new position which has entailed much success and a great deal of traveling...knitting half socks and falling in hate with the yarn, I feel content...happy...but then there is LINDA...

Who not only ate a paperback, a new BAREFOOT CONTESSA cookbook, a newspaper, a roll of toilet paper and the box in which bicycle parts were stored, but she stuck out her tongue when I tried to photograph her.


I get no respect...

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Life with Linda

How would you like to wake up to see this looking at you in the middle of the night?

Trust me...it makes you want to turn out your night light and sleep in the dark.

Life with Linda isn't all bad. She's very handy. When she tears up the latest edition of Golf Digest, she helps pick it up...

And I'm still waiting for the estimate from the plumber.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Great News!

Almost three years ago to the day, we met Steve, the plumber. We moved into this house in February and one dark and dreary morning in April, the plumbing acted up. That's when we found out about tree roots.

Yesterday Steve came back to visit again (At Mark's request) and brought his roto-rooting machine. There is a door in my pantry that leads to the back patio that is perfect for bringing the roto-rooting machine to the sewer clean out thingy.

Mark loves to watch his money go down the drain, literally, so he stands and watches Steve cleaning out the sewer. Luckily for Mark, all he brings up for show-n-tell are tree roots...huge tree roots (we have huge trees).

We did this last time and at the end of an hour ($150), Steve told us we were okay but if it happened again within 6 months, we might want to take drastic measures.

This time, at the end of the hour, Steve recommended the water jet. I was all ready to take a trip, but he explained that jet doesn't always mean trip. He went on to tell us that for an additional $385, he would bring in the boss and a high pressured hose that would blast the roots out of there. They would, for no additional charge, run the camera down the sewer to see what else was going on down there.

I decided to watch Oprah instead of watch the plumbers. I was knitting when Mark came in with good news.

I immediately started smiling, feeling thankful.

Sadly, the good news is that we are putting the plumber's children through college. Yale, Princeton and Notre Dame.

The took me into the pantry where the plumber (the boss, the owner of the company, not Steve) had set up a TV like apparatus on which we could take a tour of the 117 feet of sewer line that leads to the street. It reminded me of watching Katie Couric's colonoscopy. I got dizzy.

The best news is that he gave us no price. The estimate will come in the mail in a day or two. The very best news is that if at any time between the acceptance of his estimate and the day it is done, our sewer gets stopped up again, he will come and open it (albeit temporarily) at no charge.

Or, as he said, he will fix it so we are 'good to go.'

Isn't that about the best news you've heard all day?

Saturday, April 07, 2007


Thursday, April 05, 2007

It's personal, predictable and punctual...

How's that for a title? Sorry, it's the best I can do. I've been on pins and needles, just waiting for that other shoe to drop. You know, when you remember, after two bad things, that bad things come in threes...and you wait...and wait...and then you start remembering other things that might be bad, but you aren't sure. You hope they were bad so you can say that you have your quota, that three bad things have happened, but you really aren't so sure...

Like this: My grandson, JR, broke his hand. Okay, that's one. Then Kailyn broke her ankle. Clearly that's two. So there i am, waiting for three.

Then yesterday I was carrying the trash out to the can and the bottom broke in the bag and trash spilled all over the driveway. Is that three? I was hoping so, but not sure, so I waited a bit.

Mark calls to tell me that he had to stop by his old office (he is still technically on-call and has to help train his replacement) for a minute and then he'll be on his way home. I am still wary, so I warn him to be careful. He says he will.

Twenty minutes later he calls to tell me that even though he's stuck in traffic half way home, he has to turn around and go back. He grabbed the wrong laptop. Is that three? Nah, can't be.

Dinner was delicious. There is no way I can consider it a disaster. After dinner, we clear the table and Mark, who is feeling guilty because he is going out of town tonight for business, says he'll load the dish washer and finish the kitchen. I hear him turn on the dish washer as I open the bathroom door to brush my teeth.

The toilet is making a gurgling sound. I turn and lift the lid just in time to see Mt. Vesuvius erupting out of the toilet. Water everywhere, I scream. That frightens Mark who runs to the hall, frightening the dog who scared the cat who in turn ran though the living room, delaying Mark who is armed with rags, a plunger and paper towels.

As we clean up the mess, we discuss Jeff, the plumber, how the roots of trees must be holding this entire acre in place, about dinner and suddenly I stop...now, clearly, this is a catastrophe...but is it #3 period, or is it 3, 4 and 5? That would make it 3, 1 and 2, wouldn't it?

I slept well, so I must not have worried too much. I woke this morning to find a note on my desk from my husband. It said:

Hi! Holiday Inn tonite, can't remember town. Call Holly or Sue at office if you
need to know, or call my cell.

I'll call you tonight,

I love you, princess puking
Now I'll admit, I was sleep befuddled and did not think that we have a cat named Princess who occasionally throws up. That possibly could be described as Princess puking, but no, I thought he had fumbled on yet another unflattering pet name for me.

I immediately fired off a text message to his cell phone:

I love you too, King Caca.

I think him not understanding that I did not understand could easily be described as our third catastrophe.

I give up! Going to bed. goodnightiloveyouseeyoutomorrow!!!!






Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Before and After
Kailyn and Andy before:

Kailyn and Andy after:Nothing that six weeks and a lot of fiberglass won't fix.


Monday, April 02, 2007

goodnightiloveyouseeyoutomorrow

Motherhood is all about repitition. I've been a mother for 38 years and every night for the past 35 of those years, I said the above phrase, as fast as I can, to each child. GoodnightIloveyouseeyoutomorrow. And again GoodnightIloveyouseeyoutomorrow. Maybe one more time: GoodnightIloveyouseeyoutomorrow. There were times when all 4 of them were home: GoodnightIloveyouseeyoutomorrow. Sometimes they had friends for sleep overs: GoodnightIloveyouseeyoutomorrow. GoodnightIloveyouseeyoutomorrow.


You say it often enough and they learn to say it back. They understand it. They know what you are saying. Sooner or later, even the most bone headed of them learns this lesson.


Now that Andy is 20 and Tony is 18, I have added to my repertoire: When they leave the house, they never go without me telling them that I love them, to be careful, remember the curfew and to use common sense. IloveyoubecarefulwatchthetimeandTHINK!!! Andy leaves for work: IloveyoubecarefulwatchthetimeandTHINK!!! Tony leaves for school: IloveyoubecarefulwatchthetimeandTHINK!!!


Now that Andy and Kailyn have been dating for a year, she has become part of the family. She is like one of the kids. She gets the Goodnight speech and the Think one as well.


Tonight Tony drove himself to the dentist for the first time ever. He took his golf clubs to stop at the country club afterwards to play 9 holes. As he walked out the door, I called after him: IloveyoubecarefulwatchthetimeandTHINK!!! Thirty minutes later, Andy and Kailyn pulled in to gather their ropes and stuff to go rappelling. I know that they are safety conscious. They understand the risks. They know I understand that they understand and we all understand that some things are just not in our control.


As they left, I called after the red jeep going down the drive: IloveyoubecarefulwatchthetimeandTHINK!!!


And now, four hours later, I am sitting here waiting for Andy to call and tell me if Kailyn's ankle is broken or not. I wanted to shout at them. I wanted to ask them if it was the becareful or the THINK that they forgot, but I know that the answer wouldn't be important, but that they might shout at me as I leave the house the same thing Michael told me about 35 years ago: You're not the boss of EVERYTHING!


I'm not...I know that...I'm the queen.

Lots of things going on!


Seems as if it was only a day or two since my last real post (the last one doesn't count), but the truth is, it's been forever! I know, I broke my promise to myself, and am I ever catching heck from myself. I promise to try to do better!

Now...to get us caught up:

On the knitting front:


I finally finished this pair, in my favorite colorway from knitpicks (discontinued)
This pair is my back up pair.

My first pair of Opal! I don't remember the colorway, but since they are shorties, of course they are for me too.

I wish I could remember what kind of yarn I used for this pair. Lanna Grosso? I'll look if anyone has to know. Otherwise, I'm not moving from my chair.

On the homefront:

Tony has been saving money for the past few years to purchase one of his two dream vehicles. He finally brought it home:

And took it for a ride:

Yes, I am nervous, but as he pointed out, he's been driving a bicycle in traffic for two years and I can't keep him home forever...

I woke up one morning last weekend to find my husband out in the front yard doing this. He told me that it had something to do with being married for 22 years. Yikes!

Was I relieved to see that this was what he had in mind. I've been asking for a flag pole for years. This one is just want I wanted!

Since we are talking about digging in the yard, I was poking around in a flower bed and found this: Could it be St. Joseph? Whoever he is, he didn't work. This house was on the market for quite a while.

And a visit from my grandson sporting a lime green cast. He broke a bone in his hand. This is his fourth broken bone in three mishaps and he's only 14! Today is Mark's first day in his new position. I didn't even hear him leave. So far, he's called and emailed twice. Can't be working too hard.

He spent most of yesterday setting up his home office. This may become interesting...

I'm sure there is more to tell, but the sun is out and I want to be out there too, so more next time!


Saturday, March 31, 2007


What would you do to get these:



Would you stay married to the same buffoon for 22 years? I did, but then, I was always a sucker for yellow roses!

Yesterday was our 22nd wedding anniversary as well as Andy and Kailyn's first anniversary as sweeties. It was also Mark's last day in his current position. He's moving over to a sister company in a new, more exciting (for him) position with tons of perks (for him) and lots of new things (like a home office). After twenty years, he needed a change!



Andy bought these for Kailyn:



The answering service sent these to Mark:


It's starting to look like a funeral home in here!