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Friday Favorites: For which there are none

I have been a little out of sorts these past couple of weeks.  Too many things going on.  And I know this, but still forget to do it – when life gets busy, I NEED to double down on my planner and other organization tricks.  But I don’t and then the wheels fall off the bus.  But the good news is that I am beginning to feel the fog lift, and have no doubt that I will be back to near-normal by next week.  So, no list of favorites this week, but I do have the capacity for a bullet list of updates.

  • Megan is now at Iowa State.  Move in went great, she chose not to pledge to a sorority, and she is excited to start classes on Monday.  She has made several new friends and is settling in really well.
  • Scout can not be “kept quiet”, and is smart enough to figure out how to chew up his protective collar (cone of shame) and pull out his stitches.  So he had to spend a second day at the vet, have staples put in, get fitted for a second collar (which he has also chewed up – while wearing it), and gets a mild sedative twice a day.  I’m throwing in the towel tonight and letting him off his leash to run around the yard.  And I may take his evening sedatives myself.  Dude is crazy out of his mind and has reverted back to every bad habit he has ever had except accidents in the house.  The staples come out Monday, and then I think we can get him out in the fields again.
  • I have corn!!!  Nine out of 10 stalks came up, and six of them have little cobs of corn on them.  They will probably only get to the size of those little baby cobs that come in a jar (do you remember that scene from Big where Tom Hanks is eating the baby corn off the cob?  Hahaha!)  And even if the corn itself isn’t any good, I will have corn stalks for my fall decorating!
  • Amy is back at Winona, and all settled into her house.  And she found a job working on campus in the central receiving office.  She will be sorting and delivering mail and packages around campus.  This is perfect for her because the schedule is flexible and it will be constant movement.  I really cannot see her in any type of desk job, so she may need to get creative with that degree in Business Management – Human Resources.  But I have faith!
  • Our first two nights as “empty nesters” have been great.  The biggest perks?  The house stays exactly as we leave it, and we get to sleep with our bedroom door open!

I have big plans to do some serious cleaning and organizing in the girl’s bedrooms this weekend.  I think that once I get those rooms done I will be able to move all of the random mess they left all over the rest of the house put away.  Gary has started painting Megan’s dresser, so it would be nice if he could get that done this weekend too.  Heppner’s is hosting a car show at their Hudson shop (which is where Gary is working now) on Saturday, so we plan to check that out but that’s all we really have planned.  Hope you have a great weekend!

Guilty Pleasures

I totally missed Show and Tell Tuesday yesterday, and it was a topic I was looking forward to – guilty pleasures.  So I’m just going to go ahead and write my post on Wednesday and call it good.

I read through several bloggers that had linked up with Andrea, and Bravo television shows seem to be top of the list for guilty pleasures.  I’m not into the Housewives or Bachelor shows, but I do secretly love Chrisley Knows Best.  I appreciate that there are family members that they have left out of the story because they respect their privacy.  And it doesn’t make me uncomfortable, it just makes me laugh.  My other t.v. related guilty pleasure used to be The Girls Next Door – the show about the three Playboy bunnies living in the mansion with Hef.  I am fascinated by people whose lives are so completely different from mine, but in a fun and entertaining way.

As far as food and beverages go, my number one is Mt Dew.  And here’s the thing.  I consider a guilty pleasure to be something that you feel you need to kind of hide.  Everyone knows I drink Mt Dew, but I know I shouldn’t because of the harmful chemicals and the SUGAR. So I try to drink it in moderation – one bottle on Saturday and one on Sunday.  It becomes a guilty pleasure when I drink a can during the week.  In fact, just last week I grabbed a can on my way out of work, and I actually hid it in the door of my car so Gary wouldn’t see it.  Am I five or 52?

I also used to sneak snacks and hide them from the kids.  It was usually Twinkies or Zebra Cakes.  I would hide them in my closet and then sneak in there and eat one with the door closed so no one would see me.

The other big one I can think of is having the house all to myself.  This rarely happens, so it is such a treat.  I used to take vacation days during the school year when I knew no one would be home with me.  This is one of the reasons I was so happy that Gary wanted to join the hunt club.  I will actually have a few hours on the weekend completely to myself.  And I will probably just sit on the couch and watch t.v. with zero interruptions.

So there they are, as scandalous as you probably expected from me!  I would love to hear yours too so share in the comments.  And I’ll see you on Friday for some favorites from the week.

Weekend Edition:

It has been a crazy week and weekend.  Megan is all moved in and we are enjoying our final few days with Amy here.  I will try to recap the past week without making this a novel.

I did my best making Megan’s favorite foods before she left, including our family favorite – cherry coffee cake.

On Tuesday, we took a drive down our road to check out the progress.  In addition to the new curbs and asphalt, we found this guy.

This was my view as I left for work Thursday morning.  I took it as a sign to take a deep breath and stay calm as I approached our big moving day on Friday.

Our journey to Iowa started out with a bang.  Literally.  Gary backed his loaded car right into the side of my car in the driveway.  All I can say is both Megan and I were thanking our lucky stars that we weren’t the one who did it.  Good thing we have connections.

We grabbed some breakfast…

…and hit some pretty dense fog just south of Burnsville.

Gary made really good time and we pulled in right at 10:00.  It’s crazy from the moment you park, so here is a collection of pictures of Megan’s dorm and roommate.  The building is full of character, but I didn’t really capture much of that.

We hauled everything in, set her up, ran to Chick Fil A for lunch, picked up a few things at Target, stopped into the student union to check on paperwork for her job, and tried to find the Human Resources office which was closing right as we walked in.  A woman stopped to help us and she turned out to be the head of campus security.  She is now my favorite person at the college.

We brought Megan back to her dorm and said our goodbye’s.  I wasn’t nearly as sad as I thought I would be.  I was more excited, like when I dropped Amanda off.  I’m sure it will hit me at some point, but right now, we are all stable 😉

We had just gotten on Interstate 35 when we were forced to exit because of a multi car accident.  There wasn’t a posted detour, and half of the cars were going each direction, so I followed my instinct and found a county road that took us a few miles north to where we could get back on the freeway.  We made good time coming home and pulled into the driveway right at 8:00 p.m.

We picked Scout up from the vet Saturday morning, I ran to get paint, and Gary and I spent most of the day painting the garage and side of the house.

Scout has to wear a cone so we are trying to keep him quiet.  Ha!

He can’t be off leash at all, so we are taking lots of walks.  Saturday night Amy and I met several of my friends to go watch the Perseid meteor shower.  This is an annual event where we drive out to some open land near Stillwater and throw some blankets on the ground and hope for the best.  This year it was fantastic!  We saw so many shooting stars, there were no bugs, and the moon rose big and orange.  I tried to capture it below.

I know, I’m expecting National Geographic to call me tomorrow to offer me a job.

Sunday was typical with grocery shopping, laundry, and food prep.  We have lots of goodies for the week!

So now I’m going to share the state of my home, just to keep things real.  Megan is gone, and Amy leaves Wednesday morning.  We have started painting the exterior of the house and updating the spa room and downstairs bedroom.  We are also planning updates to both girl’s bedrooms and their bathroom before we start demoing our bathroom.  This is how everything looks now.

Basement hall and bedroom…

… living room and family room…

… and Megan’s bedroom.  Just imagine Amy’s bedroom and the bathroom in a similar state.

Yikes!  So I don’t think we will be sitting around twiddling our thumbs.  Our plan is to work on the exterior painting on dry days, and start painting the new fitness room on wet days.  We will start cleaning out Amy’s room in the evenings after she leaves, then move on to Megan’s room.  Gary is also painting that dresser you see half taken apart in Megan’s room.  And I know, it’s an antique, but it’s one I purchased not one that was in the family so I’m taking a chance on it.

Megan is doing well, but seems tired.  It’s Rush Week so they are busy from early morning into the evening.  She has her top 5 or 6 sororities, and claims that if she isn’t offered an invitation to one of them, she will just skip it.  She and her roommate are getting along well, and she has made friends with two girls from California who are also in the Interior Design program and her Learning Community.

So now we start to figure out our new normal.  Hope you have a great week!

Weekend Edition: Savoring every last minute

I knew this was going to happen.  This part where I realize I only have a few more days before Megan leaves and I start to feel some extra feelings.  And with her, those feelings tend to swing from one extreme to the other.

Friday night was our big shopping night, and I just about lost my ever-loving mind.  No list because “oh, I’m not sure where it is”, resulting in walking back and forth and back again throughout Target for an hour which may have been tolerable on a Saturday morning after a good night’s sleep, but not on a Friday evening after a crazy week at work.  We did manage to get most of what she needed, and a German chocolate cake that none of us needed but felt we deserved.  Feelings = yay, just 6 more days!!

I met Amanda at the Farmer’s Market Saturday morning and ran into this little cutie.

Her name is Stella and she is just 13 weeks old.  I can hardly stand that chubby belly.

We scored some awesome veggies and fruit, and I tasted some really amazing jelly. I will definitely be getting some on my next visit.

I cooked up hamburgers and some of those  veggies for lunch, then plopped myself down on the front sidewalk to finish weeding it.  I feel like I have been weeding that same spot all summer but we never quite finish so by the time I’m done with one section the others have grown back.  Well, it’s done now.  And sprayed with weed killer so I’m hoping they don’t come back.  While I was doing that, Gary finished busting up the hot tub and we got it hauled out to the garage.

And here is where I feel the need to point out that hauling heavy things up and down stairs when you’re 30 is a very different experience than when you’re 52.  I distinctly remember picking this house because all of the main living was on one floor.  Yet in the last two months I have had to haul a washing machine and a hot tub up a full flight of stairs from the basement.  And when I think of the other things that are still down there (I’m looking at you, antique pump organ and treadmill), it makes me want to find some movers and empty the whole thing out right now!

Megan was in and out throughout the day, and I found myself sitting down with her whenever she was around.  There were also lots of puppy cuddles.  Feelings = oh no, only 5 days left!

But then Saturday night both girls were gone and Gary and I sat and watched some tv and then went out on the back porch for awhile.  Cold beer, cozy couch, no interruptions.  Feelings = yay, only 5 more days!

Gary went up to the hunt club Sunday morning, so I did the grocery shopping and worked on laundry.  Megan came home from sleeping over at a friend’s house and the girls and I hung out and chatted.  I took a little nap with Scout during a thunderstorm, and then I cut up fruit and vegetables, baked a peach cobbler and made lasagna for dinner.  Amy went to work and Megan went to the Saint’s game with some friends, but when they both came home we hung out on the couch together and visited.  Megan grabbed my phone and snuck some pictures.

Little twirp!  And then she asked me who I was going to cuddle with when she’s gone, because the fact is, she has always been my biggest cuddler, even now.  Feelings = OMG, she’s going to be gone in 4 days!

So my point is, I am on an emotional roller coaster right now, as is probably every other mom getting ready to send her kid off to college.  As I have been several times before.  But I feel like we had a really productive weekend, with some quality alone time, quality family time, and also some quality nap time.

Hope you have a great week!

Friday Favorites: A sampler platter of random

We’ll go ahead and call this Friday Favorites, but it’s really just a collection of events and thoughts from the week, and to be honest, they aren’t all favorites.  So here we go First Week of August.

New banner photo!  It’s a cropped section of this photo taken at LEPR.

I finally got around to updating my blog banner to something a little more summer-y and a little less mood-y.  I don’t love the white text, but I can’t figure out how to place it in a different spot where the black will show up.

I’m going to sound like a broken record here, but COLORADO PEACHES FOR PRESIDENT!  This week I bought six, put four in brown paper bags right away (two per bag so they don’t bruise), and put the remaining two in the fridge.  It turns out that two days on the counter in a bag is about as long as they will last, but putting them in the fridge delays the ripening so we had perfect peaches on two days.

So, Tuesday evening I was weeding my circle garden and Scout appeared to get stung by a bee.  He freaked the freak out.  It was one of those weird waspy looking things with the long tail things.  He was a mess the rest of the night, never leaving my side – or my lap if I sat down.  He never yelped, but he kept sniffing/licking his back leg so I assume it was a sting.  I have never seen him so pathetic.  If one of us wasn’t sitting on the floor with him he hid under the computer desk.  It was all very strange.

I’m not a big follower of horoscopes, but every once in awhile I get drawn in and check them out just for the fun of it.  Loft (yes, the clothing store) blasted an email on Wednesday with the subject line August is going to be interesting…read your horoscope now.

So of course I did.  Well.  My weekly horoscope started out “Sit tight this week, Virgo, as it’s the weird and eery calm before the eclipse storm”.  And my monthly horoscope started out “This month is not even kidding, Virgo”.  Apparently my ruling planet Mercury is moving backwards and the two eclipses this month are spewing some cosmic energy that could hit my psyche hard.  I’m going to be “cranky as all get-out” around the 12th and my best course of action is to “take some time off during the last few weeks of August and get myself to the beach, lake, or even just a backyard pool party”.  Good to know.

I have noticed this week that it’s no longer light out at 5:15 when my alarm goes off.  This makes me sad.

Daily gardening.  I did really well spending time in my gardens for 20 – 30 minutes Monday through Wednesday.  Thursday was rainy and cold so that’s my excuse.  And here’s my conclusion on that little experiment.  While I did make progress in cleaning out the gardens, it did not allow time for walks at the park.  By the time we get home and eat dinner, it’s almost 7:00.  So, we really have to choose to go for a walk OR do work around the house.  Gary started tearing apart the hot tub, so it worked for me to do some weeding.  And yes, I can see how spending 30 minutes EVERY day would keep me on top of my gardening, but I prefer to vary my activities and live with some weeds.

I’m expecting the next week to be very busy.  Megan and I are going to START her school shopping tonight.

Amanda and I are meeting at the Farmer’s Market Saturday morning, and then I’m hoping to spend some time out in the yard and some time working with Megan on school stuff.  We will be shopping, sorting and packing all week, and plan to load the car up Thursday evening.  Gary and I also have to run to the vet clinic Thursday evening because Amy will be taking Scout in for his neutering Friday morning.  We scheduled it for our moving day so that we don’t have to rush back to him – he will stay overnight at the clinic.  All that to say I may not post much until we get back from Iowa.  So have a great weekend and get yourself some peaches!