Nervous Pickles

me: Why are there spots of juice or something on the table?

Cody: It was the pickle jar. It sweats ever time I open itit gets nervous.

Cody is a voracious pickle eater who has been known to eat many, many pickle slices in a sitting.

A nervous pickle jar makes total sense.

If you look closely, you can see the sweat forming on his upper brow.




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Simple Sunday – Into Pieces and Back Again

Husband did some research and then a seven dollar part and a couple hours later my computer was back.

This was my laptop on Thursday.

It had been acting up – randomly making chargers unusable (yes, more than one), slowing to a crawl, refusing to acknowledge that it was plugged in until the removal of it’s battery – making me very upset.

Nicely done, Husband!

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Back in the Summer of ’95

A couple weeks ago during one of our dinner conversations, the question of whether cats have bellybuttons came up. I started telling a story of the momma cat who had her litter of kittens in the closet of a housemate of mine, casually mentioning that happened to be the summer I lived with a rock band in Portland, OR.

Kitten bellybuttons were immediately forgotten. What rock band? Would they have heard of the band? Was the band famous? I couldn’t remember, no, and I doubted it but I liked their music – were my answers. I texted my friend who also lived in the rock band house (it wasn’t the entire band, mind you, just a couple of the members) and who happened to be the reason I was in Portland that summer. It was an impromptu summer adventure before I started college at ASU. We had very little money and so the more people in the house, the less our share of the rent.

She texted me back quickly – New Bad Things. Right, how could I forget?

I cranked up FreeWheel! on Spotify and danced like a fool while loading the dishwasher. Husband and the boys backed quietly out of the kitchen.

After the dishwasher was loaded, the text thread continued

She found it for me in a matter of minutes. Yellow Pages – a 1 hour 29 minute comedy that was released in 1999. Husband surprised me by buying a copy off eBay. I think he was excited to find out he was married to a movie star. Both my friend and I made the cut and are visible in the longer restaurant scene, but I am not recommending you watch it. It is rather horrible.

You would think that living with an indie rock band and spending a day on the set of a movie as an extra would have been highlights to my summer adventure all those years ago, but they were not. Not even close. What I do remember is this:

  • iced coffee at Powell’s. I could not afford fancy iced coffee so I ordered ice and coffee and put it together. I spent many a morning there.
  • visiting Hal at the Greyhound station almost everyday to check on my lost bag (I packed for an entire month of adventure in that bag that was stolen off the bus. It was never found, but the monies they compensated me with paid for my first semester of college books.
  • braving public transit by myself all around Portland (my friend worked a summer job, while I bummed around living on little, but living a lot.)
  • Kinko’s – for some reason we spent some memorable times there, copying resumes perhaps?
  • learning that the green leafy flecks in the cheap burritos sold from the hole in the wall restaurant walking distance from our house, was cilantro. I hate cilantro but did not know what it was that sometimes made me hate my burrito or taco until that moment. From that point on, I could order Mexican food free of fear that it would have that awful herb in it. Exhilarating!
  • antique shopping on the way to or from a natural nude hot springs and finding a great vintage, tattered, black cardboard suitcase with metal clasps and a leather handle. I used it for a suitcase then, but now it is where I put items that have significance to me.

And yes, kittens do have bellybuttons, but I forgot to tell Cody and Carter that after the slight derailing of our original conversation.

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Simple Sunday – So much can be conveyed in a look

You know when your cat comes over and lays down next to you wanting to nap, but he is so cute that you can’t stop petting him?

That happened to James today. Poor baby James.

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Spreading Cheer One Cookie at a Time

Carter ran from door to door around our cul-de-sac, bags of freshly baked cookies clutched in his fist. He respected social distancing, knocking, putting the cookies down, and stepping away to wait and see if someone answered. If they did not, he picked them up and went along his way.

This morning after way too much time staring at a computer screen in the name of remote learning, I suggested he go find something to cook or bake for us. I really did not think he would take me up on it, but he did, for when I wandered into the kitchen to put my dirty coffee cup in the sink, containers of flour and sugars were stacked tall, pyramid style on our counter. He had looked through one of my recipe boxes and had selected a chocolate chip cookie recipe I had gotten from his Farmor’s neighbor (Farmor, being Swedish for father’s mother) a long time ago and had only made once. The recipe is good, great even, but it is one of those that gets shuffled to the back and forgotten.

Carter is not one for coddling. He is independent and for the most part, competent, so I went back to work in my bedroom/office. I did ask him if I could take a picture of him baking so I could share it with his Farmor, to which he agreed.

He made the cookies small, pleased with himself that his cookie yield was higher than what was recorded on the recipe. He also happens to be rather competitive, if I have not mentioned it before.

The sharing of the cookies with our neighbors was completely his idea and it made me so proud as I watched him flit from house to house proud to share his chocolate chipped treats.

During this time of limited movement, I have been baking and cooking more. I have shared all sorts of various treats with our neighbors, even providing some meals here and there to one older gentleman who lives alone across the cul-de-sac.

Modeling kindness, showing empathy, and sharing. It is a beautiful, beautiful thing to see this circle round and passed along. Especially if it is your own child doing it.

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Simple Sunday – Celebrations Big and Small

Celebrations, big and small.

We awoke to unexpected rain. Here in the desert, bonus rain is always something to celebrate.

Husband and I walked the dogs while the boys road their bikes ahead of us. The cloudy weather made the walk seem softer and quieter than usual (even with the addition of the two boys).

Carter turns twelve today. He was very insistent that for his birthday this year, we would make his favorite cake. Can you guess what kind it is?

He had a few small gifts, his favorite by far was Clue book #8, the only one of the set he did not yet have. He was also allowed to slowly rot his brain away with mostly unlimited screen time. This is highly irregular, as we limit screen time to two 20 minutes blocks of screen time a day, two 40 minutes blocks on the weekends.

I had to scrounge around for a candle for his cake, as I had neglected to plan far enough ahead and get birthday candles on our last grocery order. We made due, however.

Our washer started acting up last night. How is this a celebration, you ask? Well we checked the paperwork and we have about two and a half weeks left on our five year warranty.

This video was a text message to Husband – it’s up to it’s old tricks again! We will call tomorrow about getting it fixed.

And, of course it is Mother’s Day. I called my mom and we had a nice chat. Now more than ever, these talks mean a lot and should not be taken for granted.

Celebrations, both big and small. It was a good day.

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Simple Sunday – Just a Bunch of Characters

Carter created these, one for each member of our family (pets included, of course).

Circus Zoom meeting, anyone?

Top row: Husband, Haley, yours truly

Middle row: Chloe, Sasha, James

Bottom row: Carter*, Leia, Cody**

*And no, we don’t let Carter smoke in real life. 😉
**Also, I would not condone a Trump hair swoop for any of my children. Or my husband. Or, for that matter, any of my pets.
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Simple Sunday – Sigh

It has been thirty-seven days since we left the house as a family to go somewhere, actually getting out of the car. (I’m not counting going for a sanity drive, as going somewhere, nor am I counting walks.)

I’m feeling more that a bit like this guy.

And I know I should not be complaining. We are fine. We have more than enough oatmeal-chocolate-chip cookies to eat, but sometimes I just want more.

And please don’t get me wrong and think that I am making light of the situation; I am not. But I have never felt quite like a deflated looking, upside down Sock Monkey before.


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Am I Married to He Who Must Not Be Named?

Last weekend as I was focused on cleaning the garage, Husband shaved his facial hair.

Without warning.

The last time this happened was about ten years ago. Basically, Cody and Carter do not know of a time when he did not have facial hair.

Carter, nose in a book, did not seem to notice, but Cody did and immediately proclaimed that he looked like Lord Voldemort. He tried to say it in the nicest way possible, pointing out it was really just the eyes and chin. Husband was a good sport and even posed for a picture.

Oh, by the way, Husband is the one on the right, although I imagine the lack of a black robe gave it away.



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The 90’s had a Smell and I Found it in my Garage

Our garage. It is a turmoil of stuff – stuff we need, stuff we don’t need, stuff we don’t even know we have and don’t need (or do we?).  Plainly, just too much stuff if you ask me. If you ask Husband, however, you will get a different answer. So the garage has become our blind spot, or rather the elephant in the room wearing a festive party hat and sipping on pink lemonade in an effort to look pleasant and fit in. I don’t like the elephant.

My main task was twofold: reorganize our holiday/seasonal boxes and eliminate/combine boxes of like items to make more room.

I unearthed a box of antiques. The box had a big footprint and would make for some nice open space if only I could incorporate what was in that box into our lives.

An old box found at my parents house. Apparently it was in one of the barns on the property when they bought the house in 1967.

I put an old picture of my dad, a hawk feather, and a pair of his old work gloves in the box that so reminds me of my dad.

Undated Coke bottles, each from a different state.

The four larger bottles had printed on them a city and state. I put them up on our slightly crowded mantle.

I had to text my mom a picture of this to find out what it was.

The potato ricer fits right in with the old butter churns that sit on either side of our fireplace, churns my grandmother used to make butter on the farm. You never know when you’ll find yourself in a position where you suddenly need to rice a potato or churn some butter.

Heavy duty meat grinder – this sucker is heavy!

I thought the meat grinder would look nice clamped to the side of the mantle, but I fear the mantle would crumble under the grip of the clamp and weight of the grinder. Plus Husband worried that I might get all Carole Baskin on him the next time the topic of our garage came up. This gem is still in said garage.

Oh, how does one even go about writing a caption for this?

While navigating my way around and through boxes, I tripped and my foot came down on something plastic. There was a crunch and immediately the garage filled with the smell of the early 90’s. Not an antique nor a relic, but somehow this item deserved a mention in this commentary of mine.

The holiday/seasonal boxes have been tidied and there is a bit more wiggle room in our garage. The aroma of a bygone era still lingering in the air.

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