Dono, Pat & Matt skiing (2)

Sunday, February 07, 2016

Today I am grateful for surprises.  I was hanging out at home yesterday crocheting until my hand cramped and my eyeballs fell out, thinking (not always a good thing), feeling a little lonely and not quite blue. . . maybe aqua. . .heading to blue. . . when the doorbell rang.


Oh boy.  Girl Scout cookies?  Again?  By the time I got untangled from the yarn project the banging on the door started.  “Geeze!  I’m coming, already!  Hold your horses!”  The door opened and in ran our grandson, Donovan, followed by his dad and uncle Matt.  What?  They NEVER just drop by.  How can you when you live an hour away?


Dono rushed up to give me a hug and rattled that they had all been skiing, he had a great birthday with more celebrations to come and can he have candy and play Wii?


I had been missing our kids a lot and was so thrilled that I nearly “hugged them down”. . .a term they coined when they were little and I got carried away and hugged them to the ground, a chair, or their beds.


The snack mix I got in a Christmas basket was opened, half devoured and deemed not great by one son, so I garbage disposed the rest after they left.  The candy dish is less full and the Wii must have gotten a pretty good workout because when Dono showed up again he was half naked and sweating.  He takes Wii very seriously!


They couldn’t stay long and that’s okay.  Not only am I happy they got off the highway  and made the effort at all, I’m grateful they had been out for a Boy’s Day of skiing.  Wonderful surprise!


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Saturday, February 6, 2016

Today I am grateful for clementines.  I am not a natural fruit eater.  I hated fruit when I was growing up and I don’t even know why.  But as I get older and wiser, I recognize the value of it on a lot of levels.


Sometimes the acid in fruit and I do not get along well.  It hurts my teeth and burns my tummy.  Four small pieces of fresh pineapple and I’ll have sores in my mouth.  Gee, that sounds like a real selling point, doesn’t it?


In my golden years I now eat fruit.  Raspberries are my favorites, but they are expensive so I only buy them when they are buy-one, get-one.  Then I lay them on a cookie sheet in the freezer and when they are frozen, bag them up.  That way I can add them to my morning yogurt and they don’t go moldy.


I’m always looking for something to add to the yogurt because that has good health benefits, too, and I’m not a big fan.  One day I didn’t have anything except a couple of clementines, crinkling like my face in a mirror, in the bottom of the vegetable drawer in the fridge.  They peel so easily that they don’t annoy me.  I annoy easily.  And they are juicy, but not messy.  I hauled those mouldering orbs out, peeled them, then cut them in half to render some juice before dumping the vanilla yogurt on top.  Eureka!  Loved it!  I even eat one or two occasionally by themselves. . .just because.  Wow!


So now I like fruit. . .sometimes. . .if it’s easy. . .and doesn’t hurt my teeth, or give me indigestion.  Today clementines win. . .but only if they’re seedless!  If they’re not they just piss me off.

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Donovan Patrick Braun

Friday, February 05, 2016

Today I am grateful for our grandson, Donovan, who is nine today.  I have probably been grateful for him in the past, but it’s my blog and I can never say it enough, so there.


What a character.  Is he cute.  Yup.  He comes from good stock so of course he’s cute.  Is he funny?  Yup.  See the above comment about good stock.  Is he empathetic?  Kind?  Emotional?  Mouthy?  Cunning?  Smart?  Yup. . .plus tax to all.  He comes by all of it honestly.


I guess you probably shouldn’t project stuff on kids. . . the shrink books say that. . .but I burned mine so I’m allowed.  When I look at Dono I see my dad.  And that makes me very, very happy.  He’s like a Little Willie.  I only wish my dad were alive to know him.


My dad was an uncomplicated person and so is Dono.  You don’t have to wonder how he’s feeling because he wears his emotions like a pair of comfy pajamas.  Is he always happy?  No.  Who among us is?  No one I know.  But Dono has a way of knowing exactly what he needs and when he needs it.  Tired?  He falls asleep.  And if there is no bed around he’ll cram two chairs together at a restaurant, wedding, or ball game.  Good enough for him.


If he feels he’s being wronged, he will lobby his case like a politician until you not only feel you should give in to him, but you should carry a picket sign saying everyone else should, too.  Donovan Braun for President!  Obviously we could do a lot worse!


But my favorite thing about him. . .above all. . .is his laugh.  It starts at his toes and travels through his entire body until it spurts out with so much force. . .like whatever you said or did to make him laugh was the most wonderful thing in the entire world.  EVER!


That’s what happened today when we called him to sing Happy Birthday.  When we were done, Grandpa called him an old fart!  Nothing thrills a nine-year-old boy like body functions and/or talking about them.  And nothing thrills this old grandma like hearing him laugh!  Happy Birthday, Dono…you poopy face!  I can hear him laughing, now.

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Thursday, February 04, 2016

Today I am grateful for commercials.  No, I’m not touting the Super Bowl. . .I’m promoting Magic John, Himself.


He will be performing at the YMCA again so check out the attached flyer, call them to say you’re coming next Thursday, 9:30 a.m. and then let me know how it went.  I will be schlepping his magic and helping him, but then I’m going to teach the little urchins to swim, so I won’t be at the show.


Tell him I sent you.  End of commercial.

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Learned Skills

purple yarn - crochet

Wednesday, February 03, 2016

Today I am grateful for learned skills.  I’m not sure who taught me how to crochet, but I know it was over 45 years ago when I worked as a hairdresser at H. C. Pranges department store, in Sheboygan, Wisconsin.  I suspect it was a co-worker, Barbara Warburton, because she was always working on something and was very patient.  Forty-five years?  Wow.  And I still remember!  That’s the amazing part.


I know that my mom taught me how to sew. . .and it wasn’t easy.  Like most things necessary to learn, I resisted.  Not because I didn’t want to do it, but because I couldn’t do it perfectly the very first time I tried.  When I see kids frustrated at learning something new I can totally relate.  It’s a curse being impatient because you want to see something finished.


I distinctly remember my grandma’s knobby, arthritic fingers threading a needle and helping me with my embroidery.  “Nah-ya, this used to be a lot easier before my rumatiz and Arthur-itiz started acting up.”


I was a regular visitor to my dad’s basement workshop.  He’d putter around making whirly-gigs and musical notes for my mom and any number of planters and gee-gaws to sell or give away.  Usually I got relegated to sanding, but sometimes he’d stand me in front of the table saw and say, “Don’t cut yer finger off cuz yer mudder will kill me.”  Never mind years later he lost part of his finger to the lathe while making vases.  “Ya, my eyes aren’t what they once were.”  Mudder almost killed him.


Lately crocheting is taking center stage.  And it’s not as easy as it once was, either.  Though not gnarly like my grandma’s, my fingers must have a little bit of “Arthur” visiting because I have to stop periodically.  And I can no longer work on something for more than three hours without quitting for the day and resting the hands. . . until the next day.


Although I have 200 pairs of glasses scattered all over the house, sometimes I need to wear two pairs to see correctly when I’m crocheting.  It’s a very sexy look.  Even with them balanced precariously, my eyes tire much more quickly than they did back in that hair salon break room, when I was knocking out my first effort. . .a pink, blue and white baby blanket for my first baby. . .that I gave to my son and his bride for Christmas this year.


Who knew that the skills I learned so long ago would still serve me well today, even if they take longer and require more effort?  Surely not me.

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scrabble scores

Tuesday, February 02, 2016

Today I am grateful for competition.  Except when I continue to lose. . .which is often.  Then it gets old.  I am moderately competitive, but not the nut-case-win-or-die-competitive-demon Mr. Himself is.  Geeze.  Give it a rest.


Here’s us playing scrabble:

Himself:  Good word, babe.  That’s 32 points, right?

Me: Yup.  Yup.  Thanks.  You’re turn.

Himself:  Oh wow, I can connect this word with 4 other words and two of them are on double word score and one of them is a triple word and I used the “Q” and the “Z” and the “X” and all of my letters so that’s 496 points plus 50 for using all of the letters.  Your turn.

Me: (Head slammed down on the table.  Hard!)


When he’s winning, he says, “Do you want to know the score?”  Hah!  NO!  I do not want to know the score!  I don’t care about the score!  I know you’re winning anyway because otherwise you wouldn’t even be offering up the score!


Sometimes I win.  Some very rare times.  But usually when I’m brilliant (and I have my moments), he rises to the challenge and is more brilliant.  I hate when that happens because I just want to mush his competitive face to the ground and feed him little Scrabble squares like they were chocolates!  Alright, Mr. Competition, let’s see what brilliant word you can flush!

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Facebook Recipes

Breakfast-biscuit recipe from on line.

Monday, February 01, 2016

Today I am grateful for Facebook recipes.  During the 200-inch blizzard I decided to try a recipe that I saw on Facebook.  We shopped among the bread-milk-egg folks to get the correct ingredients, days before the main event and I admit I was pretty pumped about it.


On the dastardly day I was up early, pans at the ready and whipped together the little delight.  Gorgeous picture, right?  It smelled fantastic.  Looked fantastic.  Taste?  Eh!  Pfeh!  Not bad, but not the great ooey goodness I expected.  It was a bit heavy on bread and dough for my taste and the eggy part all dropped to the bottom.  It was kind of like eating a sponge with an attitude.


I make breakfast pies almost every week.  I purchase a crust that just has to be put in a pie pan because I’m lazy, throw some cheese in the bottom and a ton of veggies, (whatever I need to get rid of) a little more cheese, four eggs beaten with about a cup and a quarter of milk and maybe a little sour cream if I have it and a gazillion spices to kick it up a notch.  Dump it over the veggie cheese stuff and 375 for 45 minutes. BINGO – a yummy, veggie-filled breakfast.  Delicious.  Moist.  Not a sponge in sight.


I had a couple of pieces, thinking it would get better the second day, but no, so I froze it individually in baggies for when I’m in a rush. . .and desperate.  This Facebook recipe was much more fun to smell and look at than it was to eat.  Kind of like a picture you take to the hairdresser and then. . .oops!  No way do you look like Dorothy Hamel, but more like a flying camel!

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