Thursday Thoughts: Wednesday Edition

Wednesday Edition
I’m doing my Thoughts on Wednesday instead of Thursday, because on Thursday we’ll be on the road and I will be featuring a guest blog.

Rassling a Bear
Jll is traveling with her mother and sister, and will be gone for something in the neighborhood of two weeks. As a result, Dave is playing both Mr. Mom and Mr. Dad, and they have enlisted the help of the grandparents. Since we left this morning to head to AZ for a few weeks, I have helped out on the early end of the trip, at least for a couple of days. As such, I have gotten a sense of just how busy their schedules are. Girl scouts for Maggie Faith, Lego Robotics for Dagny. Don’t forget to make sure they have packed necessary lunches and snacks. Don’t forget Dagny’s saxophone for band practice. Addie and Alastair have their share of activities as well (volleyball, play practice, soccer games), but they are independent enough to mostly take care of themselves. Yesterday morning after Alastair and Addie had left for school, I sent Dagny and Maggie upstairs to get dressed, comb their hair, and brush their teeth. It all happened, but at one point it sounded like they were wrestling a bear. Thumps and screams, laughter and whines. But I got them in my yellow bug and safely to school on time.

Not on My Watch
One thing I’m always afraid of is that one of the grands will get injured under my care. So when I answered my telephone yesterday afternoon and it was from the Dagny and Maggie’s school, my heart sank. What now? Thankfully, it was not anything too serious. Dagny (and of course it would be Dagny) was walking home from a field trip she took with her class to the nearby high school. A group of her friends stopped at our neighborhood park to unearth a wrist watch that one of the girls had buried a month earlier. You can’t make this stuff up when it comes to 10-year-olds. Anyway, Dagny was pitching in, and forgetting that she was under playground equipment, stood up and jammed her head into something sharp. It apparently bled a bit (hence, the telephone call), but by time I got there, it had stopped bleeding and it was easy to see that it wasn’t a serious cut. Still, it warranted getting out of school 45 minutes early and being the first to sample Nana’s homemade chocolate chip cookies.

The Clampetts
When we got to AZ at this point, we drive Bill’s car. We leave it there, and fly home for the holidays. Since we leave the car there, this is the time for us to pack the car up with all of the oversized things that we deem necessary for the winter. It also requires us to plan ahead in the way of clothes. We are pretty much done with summer clothes here in Colorado, so we both pack our lightweight clothes and take them with us, leaving them there when we return home in November. The whole process requires us to think ahead. For example, Bill needs to remember things like tax information and anything he might need for legal work that comes up while we are there. As I always remind myself, as long as we have our necessities like medications, there’s nothing we can’t buy there. Now I’ve jinxed myself and we’ll forget our meds.

Nobody But Me
I just purchased the newest release from crooner Michael Buble – Nobody But Me. Man oh man, do I ever love every single song on that album (can you still call them albums?). I think his voice is amazing, and I really like when he sings some of the old “Rat Pack” type songs. In fact, I like his version of On an Evening in Roma even more than Dean Martin’s, and that’s saying a lot. He performs one song with one of my favorite newer artists – Meghan Trainor – and it’s also exceptionally good. I’m getting no kickback from ol’ Michael for this pitch, but I can’t recommend the album strongly enough. Great music. You’re welcome, Mr. Buble.



Thursday Thoughts

Gift Giving Follow Up
I began writing this blog in August of 2013. Since that time, except for a few exceptions (mostly hospital visits, a few vacations), I have posted every day but Sundays. That’s well over 700 posts. My hits (the number of people who read my blog each day) have ever so slooooooowly increased, but even now they are only about 60 on a good day. That’s okay because I write for the enjoyment of it, though I would love my numbers to increase. Up until this past Monday, the most hits I’d ever gotten in one day was 129, and that was the blog post about our whale watching adventure while visiting Vermont. Monday’s post about Jo Lynn and her gift to her friend of a kidney has received – at the time of this writing – 462 hits. And that doesn’t count the ones that came in through my home page. Not only did the numbers flabbergast me, but the number of countries from which people accessed my blog was astounding. Again, at the time of this writing, that post got hits from Canada, Norway, Germany, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, Hungary, Thailand, Denmark, the Netherlands, Brazil, Malaysia, Ireland, Indonesia, and of course the United States.  Oh, and one last thing. I was contacted by the public relations department of the National Kidney Foundation asking for Jo Lynn’s contact information to do a follow up story. Jo Lynn said she has been overwhelmed with the good will she has received, and hopes that the result will be more people being willing to donate.

Ahoy Matey!
Rain Ditch 2
The past few days have been sunny, but we haven’t had great weather since we arrived in Arizona. I’m not complaining, as there is snow and very cold weather back in Denver. But the temperature has mostly been in the 50s during the day and down in the 30s at night. The past few days have been warmer, in the neighborhood of 62 or 63. During the chillier days, there was also quite a bit of rain. We have never been here during the monsoon season and this rain was apparently nothing like that. Still, it rained pretty steadily for a couple of days. Because the ground is made mostly of clay and so is very hard, the water doesn’t drain easily. That’s why in low-lying areas, there are signs saying not Rain ditchto venture forth if there is water on the road. Because water doesn’t drain, there are designed low-lying ditches all over the city for water to sit while it slowly seeps into the soil. We have a couple of them in our neighborhood, as do most neighborhoods. Kids will play in the short-lived ponds, though I’m certain they’re not supposed to. But kids are kids.

It’s Not Rocket Science
One of my go-to treats to make for my grandkids is rice krispie treats. I must admit, I love them myself. Even my mother, who didn’t bake a lot because she was was married to a baker, would make rice krispie treats. I think every mother made them in the 1950s. My grandson Alastair has told me mine were the best, and that always made me laugh. Because, let’s face it, there really isn’t much to the recipe. I always figured it’s because I use extra butter and a bit of vanilla. But I recently came across a recipe on Pinterest for what was purported to be the best EVER Rice Krispie Treats. The recipe came from a blog called South Your Mouth. I pinned the recipe, and subsequently made them. They were the best EVER Rice Krispie Treats for sure. The trick? Two bags of mini marshmallows instead of one, a stick of butter instead of half a stick, vanilla, and a pinch of salt. What’s more, you hold back two cups of the marshmallows until the rest are all melted, and then add them just before mixing with the rice krispies, resulting in pockets of melty marshmallowy goodness. Here’s a link to her recipe.

rice krispie treats

Top 40
When I work in the kitchen, I like to play music. I have finally put away my Christmas music, so while I was preparing the rice krispie treats yesterday, I turned on my iPod and selected one of my playlists. Every song that came up was one I LOVED. I could sing along and, in fact, did. It finally occurred to me that the reason I was enjoying each and every song was that the playlist I chose was called My Favorite Songs. Duh. One of the first songs to play was Louie Armstrong’s Mack the Knife. That song gets me singing and dancing like no other. A bit later, Mack the Knife again began playing, but this time it was Michael Buble’s version. I love Michael Buble, but really, I couldn’t listen to it at the same sitting as listening to Louie Armstrong’s version. There’s simply no comparison. I can’t listen to Louie Armstrong without remembering that I accidentally broke my dad’s Louie Armstrong album featuring Mack the Knife when I was a small girl. I dropped it and it broke in half. Isn’t it funny that I remember that? I also remember that I was afraid I’d get in trouble, but didn’t. I’m sure that was one of Dad’s grit-you-teeth-and-smile moments that all parents have.