Category Archives: family life

An October List

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Keelyody and I didn’t walk today because it was raining cats and dogs, so I have a little extra time to tell you all of these unnecessary things.

I got my hairs cut a few weeks ago.

Mrs. Schmenkman cut it when I was in Virginia in May, and it grew out beautifully! She will be in town at the end of the month, but we have a wedding next weekend and I was unfortunately becoming unsightly. I am glad she is coming for many reasons, but one reason is because it could use a little “tweaking”. I don’t know how all of you nonprofessionals do it, Schmenky and I always have to TWEAK! But all in all, I can make it work.

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Honey and The Boy enjoy these Bear Paw slippers. They are actually rather particular about them. I first found them for a bargain price at a TJ Maxx or a Marshalls and bought 2 pair. Honey immediately loved them but The Boy said he didn’t need them, so I returned his. He then realized the error of his ways and wore Honey’s when he could. They are evidently very comfy.

When The Boy went away to college, Honey gave him his old ones, as he was on his second pair. Which, by the way, I never could find again at TJ Maxx or Marshalls for a bargain price, and had to resort to paying bigger dollars for them at Famous Footwear.

When The Boy came home for visits, he brought the Bear Paws, which by then were being held together by duct tape. I think he even said he was wearing them outside the home. So for Christmas several years ago they both received a new pair of the Paws. I don’t know The Boy’s slipper situation at the moment, but I have made the decision for Honey that it’s time to break down and use the newbies. Mainly because he is unknowingly leaving pieces of cracked sole all over the house. I call it an executive decision, because he keeps saying his old ones are FINE. They will be relegated to outside use only, where he can litter sole pieces without judgment.

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Well worn, well loved. What the heck is coming out of the back end of those puppies??? RIP beloved Paws.

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Honey was laid off the week before last! I KNOW!!!! WE couldn’t believe it either! We were so excited! Unfortunately his back was also laid off and he didn’t get to 3/4 of what he would have liked to accomplish. But towards the end of the week, after some loving attention from massage therapist Mousey, he arose and went outside to help put the outside stuff away in preparation for winter. Goodbye summer friends. The pool has been closed over a month, so the watering had been sporadic, it was time.

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Even though it has been flat out HOT up here in The Mitten for a sweet FOREVER, I am hopeful that fall is coming. Sometime. So I swapped the spring wreath off the front door for the autumn and hauled up some decorations in a show of good faith that it would actually happen this month. Seymour loves a little redecorating, he was all over it.

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I should git, we are having a small group kick off dinner tonight and every single thing needs to be done in preparation. Have a fine fall weekend. Even if you are sweating.

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Rescued Treasure

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I believe I have mentioned that the neighborhood I walk in with Keelody and Jip the Farm Dog are some of the the most wasteful streets I have ever experienced! Those people apparently just cannot be bothered to take anything to the Salvation Army, so they throw out perfectly good stuff that would be sorely appreciated by others less fortunate. And before you say “oh, they probably put it out so others can take it”, well, bless your heart for being so kind, that is not the case. I have taken 7-10 bikes, unused baby crib bumper pads, a vast amount of cardboard building blocks, multiple strollers, book shelves, and Keelyody found some great bar stools, all rescued hours-minutes before the garbage truck claimed them. These things are in NO WAY garbage, but barely used. I take the majority of the findings to the Community Closet at the church where I attend BSF, they have a wonderful ministry that provides clothing and other needs to their surrounding neighborhoods. I have kept a few things and pressed them back into useful service.

When I first started noticing all the bikes, I called the church secretary and asked if they would be interested in that sort of thing, she said YES, and they even had a church member who could fix them up if they needed a little attention. The last few weeks have yielded 2 bed rails, the slide under the mattress kind that keep your toddler from rolling out of their new big kid bed, a trail bike that Honey said was a GREAT bike, and a toddler tricycle. All hopefully living to see another chapter of usefullness.

I found this stash last month in a box that said FREE BOOKS. I put them in these bags that I had in the car for groceries because I could not even lift the heavy box!!! Let me tell you, the children in that house were NOT readers! Barely any looked like the pages had even been turned! There were quite a few duplicates of Magic Tree House books and all things dinosaur, a whole bag of board books for toddlers, hard covers, soft covers, many were popular when our kids were young and some were classics. Who would throw out a perfectly good, unused Good Night Moon???!!! There was even a children’s picture dictionary in French. I am going to pass that one along to my Aunt Phyllis because she is French in her heart and she can teach her grandbaby to share her passion.

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Since I already have a library of all sorts of books that I kept from our kids, I encouraged Mousey to go through them to see if she wanted any for her someday beebee’s. I will let The Boy and The Dane go through them for Moonpie when they come to visit next month. The remaining can either go to elementary school with The Ab-Cat, all the classrooms have their own little libraries and she knew quite a few of the titles from there, or the rest can find new homes with the Community Closet at Crosspointe Church.

I considered it a major SCORE and I am thankful the books did not end up in a one way trip to the landfill. Books are FUNdamental!!! Some of my fondest memories are of reading to our children.

Way Back When-sday Hodgepodge

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Hi Guys, thanks for stopping by! If you would like to link up, click on the button below and head over to Joyce’s, she’ll tell you what to do! Here we go!

From this Side of the Pond

1. What pets did you have while growing up? Tell us a little something about them.

I pretty much had one pet growing up, a kitty named Muff. Muffietta King Kong George Elizabeth Grenada Halstead Hoover to be precise! My brother Beeve found her outside one day, brought her home, and she lived with our family for the next 19 years! She was very beloved.

Beeve brought her home when he was about 5 or 6. The story he told my folks was that he just “found” her. They said he should go ask around and see if anyone had lost her. He walked down to the corner, looked both ways, and came back and said, “Nope, no one lost a kitty”! My Mom said she was pretty young so it’s possible she had been born outside.

I think I was about 11 or 12 here.

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She may have slept with Beeve some but I think she slept with me the most. My recollection of this picture was that I was sick and my faithful feline was by my side. I also love that my favorite heart pillowcases are captured here <3<3

When I think about it, she was a very patient cat. We dressed her up in baby clothes and pushed her in the stroller!! She had a great bushy tail and fulfilled one of my earliest longings; to own a kitty-witty! There have not been too many months without a cat since 🙂

2. What is one thing you absolutely must accomplish today?
I have to set up a giant circle of 57 chairs for our BSF Bible study, in a room that does not really have the space for it! We are going to make as big a circle as we can, and put the rest of the chairs in a semi circle behind, like parenthesis, or dimples! It may not work, but we are giving it a shot! We have been meeting in the sanctuary where there is enough room, but it is swallowing up the voices. Wish us luck!

3. Where were you ten years ago? What were you doing there?

Hmmm, I was 45, our kids were 18, 16, and 13. Honey was 50. We were in the trenches with teens and all the angst that comes with it! I have been blogging for almost 9 years and have often wished I had started sooner so I could remember what I did back in the day!!!

Ten years ago there were school struggles, academic and friends, summer school for The Boy,  Mousey would have had swim team scheduling, Abby had just graduated from high school and had a major back surgery to remove and replace her first spinal fusion, and then a second surgery in the fall to reduce the contractures on her hips. Honey went to Japan three weeks for work, my Grandma Hoover passed away at 97 years old, and our nephew Little Goomba was born!!!!

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And now he’s going to be a big old palooka of 10!!!

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I guess there was a lot going on!

4. September 26th is National Dumpling Day. Did you celebrate? Apple dumpling, xiao long bao (steamed Chinese dumpling), chicken and dumplings, pirogi, matzoh balls, or gnocchi…which dumpling on this list would be your dumpling of choice? Have you ever made homemade dumplings of any kind?

None of these sound appealing to me, probably why I have never ventured into dumpling making territory.
5. ‘There are two kinds of adventurers: those who go truly hoping to find an adventure and those who go secretly hoping they don’t.’ William Trogdon
So which kind are you?

I don’t consider myself a super adventurous person, so probably the latter. I am open to trying new things, but they would have to be fairly low risk! There will be no jumping out of airplanes or scaling great heights for this gal. No desire to get lost in a big city or foreign country or eat grosse things. I guess I am a creature of comfort.
6. Insert your own random thought here.

Speaking of 10 years ago, lets go Way Back When! This is what I was driving then, and Honey sold the ABCAB last week.

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Can I tell you that I was SAD?! It was an end of an era for us, the family van. It had sat in our garage for the last several years because it seemed silly for me to be the lone traveler in that big old van, yet it seemed like we might need it again if we ever took a long trip and needed to travel in style and comfort. I told Honey that it was by far our comfiest vehicle! Cushy seats, lots of space, great radio and cd capabilities, TV, VCR and DVD player that kept the kids entertained during many a trip.

As I helped Honey clean it out, I was awash in sentimental memories. Little things in the pockets of the seats, hair ties, a Sunday School colored picture,  some movies left in the cupboard (The Kid and a lost Harry Potter movie!), about $7 dollars in state quarters from when we were saving them for the kid’s collections. Driving directions to fun places we had been and even an obituary from the viewing of a dear friend’s father, which reminded me he gave me the recipe for the best chocolate fondue, and I still have it on a scrap piece of paper, written in his own hand.

There were a lot of sweet memories of our Yorkie, Katie, who loved to be included in a car ride of any length! We kept opened water bottles in the console that we fondly called “dog water”, in case we needed to give her an unexpected drink. She accompanied me every day as I drove the kids to and from school, standing on my hip with her paws just under the window, because she was never happier than when she was traveling with her pack.

Honey had wanted to sell it a couple years ago, but I wasn’t ready to part with it. I kept thinking we would need it again and would be glad to have it, but nothing came up that seemed worth putting new plates and insurance back on.

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Honey sold her on Craigslist and we left her in a church parking lot with her new owner Ed, who planned on using her to take his grandkids on vacations up north. Our garage seems SO empty. I know I will be fine, just needed to take the time to fondly remember a passing era in the life of our family. Goodbye ABCAB.

Thanks for stopping by.

Labor Day at Gun Lake 2017

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Hi Y’All! We had a fun time up at Uncle Bob and Aunt Phyllis’ cottage over Labor Day weekend! Gun Lake is one of our favorite summer destinations and this year was full of all of the things we love best; laughing, visiting, eating, relaxing and cards!

Mousey had to work this year and we were all sad 😦 Aunt Phyllis even wrote her a note lamenting her absence.

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We arrived on Friday night and the visiting began.

A couple of weeks ago The Grandpa got himself a new FANCY phone!! He asked for a little help in setting up some things like texting, adding phone numbers, choosing notification sounds. Unfortunately he asked these yahoos! They had the best time “customizing” Grandpa’s phone!!!! Adding a photo so he could see who was calling, sparkling beauties I’m sure.

This actually is a video, but here it is just a picture, so you can get a small smackeral of the pretty faces they were saving.

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It kept them entertained for some time.

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They were laughing so hard there were wheezes and tears.

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These three are cut from the same cloth.

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Stacey thought Beeve might need a time out!

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They got into the cake the very first night. The evening up began in earnest. That baby was G.O.N.E. by Sunday morning.

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Goomba had the time of his life playing with the neighbor boys next door, but was around to play monkey in the middle with Honey and the monkey, Ummel Bob!

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He’s a good sport. And spry!

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There was GOOD eating ALL weekend!!! Marinated flank steal with yummy Pinterest potatoes (so you know they were cute!) and green and fruit salad, Beeve smoked a pork butt and there was pulled pork on a pretzel roll or on a loaded baked potato, Asian cabbage salad, corn on the cob. And the cake, coconut cookies and an entire pan of frosted brownies!

The guys had an adventure and went on a rescue mission!!! Goomba had been having a high time with the boys next door and Beeve and Stacey had been exchanging pictures with the other parents. They had invited Goomba to go with them to get ice cream across the lake on the boat. He was game for that!!! We were playing cards when Beeve got a call from an unknown number, but he recognized it from earlier in the day when exchanging the pictures. He answered and heard that the other family was having engine trouble and needed a tow home! So all the men folk loaded into Bob’s boat with rope, flashlights and blankets and headed out across the lake. Man, it was DARK! And COLD! They finally made it back just before it began to rain in earnest! A little adventure!

The card games of the weekend were Seven and 31. I had never played Seven before, it’s good to learn new things and keep the dendrites in the brain fluffed!!!!!

These two.

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They speak a similar language  ❤

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The gentleman’s club on the back porch.

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Tough hombres.

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Honey, Beeve and Goomba drowned some worms.

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A chilly boat ride.

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Goomba and his Mama.

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No one enjoys each others company more than these two.

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Stacey’s pretty sunset.

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I forgot the selfie stick so we had nothing to help take a picture until a neighbor gal happened to walk outside and we roped her into the job! She was very gracious!

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She quit just in time, it was getting dicey!

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The next day sent Goomba and The Ab-Cat back to school, and BSF workshops for Honey and I. And so it begins.

But it was a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday Hodgepodge

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Hi Guys, Happy September! If you would like to join in, click on the button below to head over to Joyce’s.

From this Side of the Pond

1. When you think about your future what do you fear most? Hope for the most?

Well, since I don’t know what my future will be it’s hard to predict what I will fear the most! I would definitely fear calamity in my family, losing my mind or ability to communicate, constant pain. That’s a short list, but I try and not focus on that too much because the Lord tells us not to fear. Ultimately He has overcome this world and it is only our temporary home.

Hope is a much nicer thing to focus on! Of course I would hope for a healthy, productive life, loving relationships with family and friends, the privilege of serving the Lord for all of my days, and the assurance that all of our family and loved ones have a personal relationship with Jesus. It is my greatest hope that I would finish this life strong in my faith, no matter what my physical circumstances are.

2. September is National Chicken Month. How often is chicken on the menu at your house? What’s a favorite dish made with chicken? What’s something you’re a ‘chicken’ about doing or trying?

We have quite a bit of chicken over here, at least once a week or more. We make something the kids called “flat chicken”, its just chicken breasts sliced thin, dredged in Drake’s and fried in peanut oil. Pretty tasty! Honey can whip up all sorts of yummy things with a little bit of chicken, garlic and a few spices!

I am probably chicken about a lot of things that I have no intention of doing or trying!!! I’m never going to willingly touch any kind of reptile, swim in shark infested waters, jump out of any airplane or skateboard down a half pipe!
3. What are three things you don’t own but wish you did?

A vacation home, my old, reliable, THIN body, and 10 wishes more- LOL!!!! Honey had a lot of things on his wish list! A new truck, a boat, a house on the lake and that 600 million lottery ticket someone recently won!!!
4. Would you rather be a jack of all trades or a master of one? Elaborate.  If you answered one, which one?

I think jack of all trades is probably the best option for me. I used to want to be excellent in a skill/talent, but being adequate in many things has been very helpful practically.
5. Ketchup or mustard? On what?

Mustard. On a sandwich, in the honey form on a salad or dipping sauce.
6.  Insert your own random thought here.

Sorry, I have two thoughts this week.

Walking yesterday with my buddy Keelyody, we saw quite a few families in the front yard taking those sweet first day of school pictures! It reminded me that this is the first year that Honey and I do not have ANY students!!!! And we are OK with that!!!!!

In other news, our sweet little grandgirl was two months old last week!!! Her Mama says she is 11pounds 7 ounces of smiling deliciousness!

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Hi Moonpie!

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You grow Girl!!!

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Thanks for stopping by!

Around Bellevue

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With the exception of our day trip to Seattle, we did not do much sightseeing. We did however eat at several places in and around Bellevue, all were pretty good and I had an especially yummy pear and cheese salad at Gilbert’s that I would like to duplicate!

One of the nice things we experienced was meeting the young men who live in the home where The Boy and The Dane are house parents. There were three when we arrived, but one had graduated in June and he moved out the week we were there. Honey wanted to make them dinner one night and he and The Boy decided on Coney dogs, homemade french fries and a fattoosh salad with banana splits for dessert. We also taught the guys and a friend how to play Peanuts and Golf, because eating and cards are a family thing. It was really nice to put names with faces and glean a little of their personalities, it makes it easier to pray for them!

Another fun thing we did was go to one of The Boy’s favorite bookstores! They were having a super duper deal of whatever you could pack into a bag for $20!!! You know, the kind of bag you buy at a grocery store for .99, with handles??!! He was in his glory and I enjoyed it very much! We kept saying that The Ab-Cat would have LOVED it there! The Boy filled up his bag and I set my books on top of his and that puppy was full up to the handles!!!! All for $20 American bucks!!!!! I realize now that I should have taken pictures of this event. And also documented that this was in the steepest neighborhood that I have EVER seen/walked!!!!!

We went for ice cream. As we do.

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Honey found this place online, saw the sandwiches, and sent the link on to The Boy saying we HAD to try this place! They loved it and The Boy said they would definitely be going back there! It was Goldman’s, or Goldfine’s, or Gottleib’s or something. It was in the mall where they had a Nordstrom Rack and T.J. Maxx, where I found a cute pair of shoes for fall. Good find!

Look at those sandwiches and massive onion rings!!!

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Last year I reconnected with a friend from 10th grade on the Facebook!!!! She somehow saw that the kids lived in Washington and said if we were ever out to look her up. It turns out she is very close and she picked me up and took me to lunch!!! We sat there so long that the place closed after lunch and were preparing for their dinner crowd!! So nice to get caught up on families, lives and old friends that we used to know!

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The Boy and The Dane introduced us to a funny tv show that was on Netflix called Life In Pieces. It was pretty funny and we finished the season after we arrived home. Tom Hanks son Colin was in it and OH MY WORD does he remind us of his Pop!!!!!

The week passed quickly and soon it was time for The Boy to take us back to the airport. We loved visiting with them, meeting our sweet little Moonpie, and seeing them at work, building into the lives of young men

For some reason I can’t recall, we flew home on Alaska Airlines in first class, Honey was overjoyed!!! We arrived early, went to the lounge and had breakfast, boarded the plane and marveled how comfy the seats were!!! They served hot cloths to wash your hands, breakfast again, cookies, warm nuts, beverages, an ipad with games and movies and probably other things I have already forgotten! It was fun!. And best of all it only took under 4 hours to get home, instead of what seemed like a whole day! Sent this on Snapchat to The Girls.

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It was all a nice distraction since we were leaving a little muggins behind.

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They are coming home this fall for a visit. so we will just be here, waiting patiently for another chance to smooch her up!

Moon 2

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Back to Bellevue! We toted that baby everywhere we went, restaurants, shopping, church, as you do. She was mostly an angel baby!

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She is filling out, as are her cheeks.

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There is not much sweeter than holding a sleeping baby.

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Her Mama likes her pretty well ❤

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And her Grammie. ❤

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And her Grandpa/Papa, he hasn’t said definitively named himself yet. We know for certain it will not be his rap name!!!

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The Dane takes such nice pictures on her Instagram, treasures for sure!

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And The Boy is supplying us as well!

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It’s hard to believe it has been over a week since we smooched that little punkin’!