Thursday, December 23, 2010

forty is fine

blue skies on my December birthday

Our house guests have all went their merry ways, and now we are packing up for our own travels, leaving me worn to a nub. A happy, satisfied nub, but a nub nonetheless, and most certainly a nub that won't have time to write here or visit my favorite bloggers until a New Year comes and makes all things quiet (heh) again.

Be blessed, my dear readers & friends. See around the bend.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

at home

The newness wears off.

Even the using the word wears me down.

'New'. Meh.

Move and it doesn't take long for one to become possessive: My Borders, my favorite place for coffee, the place we get tacos on Friday nights.

New drifts away and soon you are driving on autopilot to school (four times a day will do that to you), waving at the Crossing Guards, getting hugs from kids in the morning and ducking out of the parking lot before being hit up to take up more volunteer work.

You will be surprised just how quickly the novel morphs into the familiar, and you are at home.


The box for Goodwill was perched precariously in the garage on one of a dozen empty banker boxes, ones used to transport the oh-too-many books here over the summer.

Miscellaneous stragglers that survived the Move of 2010.

One of the kids made a sad little sound at the sight of my weathered red snowflake flannel pjs, faded and too short, and worn out after five winters.

(Yes, we women of some height still outgrow our clothes, or rather, it seems that way after our cotton pants have become acquainted with the dryer.)

Now both kids stood by the box, equally hurt and angry that I would discard the jammies they've grown accustomed to me wearing when darkness falls with dinnertime.

The ones I wore while we have snuggled, and opened presents, and sat quietly after a busy December day by a lit tree; the ones I've worn while making Christmas breakfast. The ones I've read countless books in, on our bed.

The ones from before.

So the pajamas were granted clemency.

I will wear them until they fall apart.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Thankful: Day Thirty

When the month began, I meandered out to the what was a glorious garden when we moved here in August.
Autumn had taken it's toll.

I won't lie: I find the decay strangely alluring.
And then I came across these strawberries, out of place and out of season. A delight.

{thankful for the unexpected}

Monday, November 29, 2010

Thankful: Day twenty-nine

I have a great many things I could go into tonight for which I am thankful, but I am also plain tuckered out for the Mighty Parenting that I have doled out for the betterment of my wayward children.

So I am retiring for the night with a movie, a husband - not any ol' one, I like mine quite a bit - and a class of wine and re-posting something I wrote a year ago.

I Guess that Makes me the Angry Elf

{thankful for a reservoir of posts to draw from when I'm lazy need a break}

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Thankful: Day Twenty-eight

I lounged around in my pjs until lunchtime today, something I never do. I read half of Stephen King's Full Dark, No Stars (excellent, by the way), addressed Christmas cards and played helper elf to Greg while he strung our outdoor Christmas lights.

I'd hoped to *accomplish* more today, after a fun weekend of playing, but it wasn't to be.

{thankful for luxury of leisure}

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Thankful: Day Twenty-seven

Zack's best friend came down this weekend, for the last home game at Autzen Stadium. (His dad, Chris, scored tickets for the menfolk; thanks Chris!)

I'm too tired right now to give this weekend it's proper due here, but the Miltons' hearts are happy and content after being blessed with so much good company the past three days.

{thankful for the love of good friends & family}

Friday, November 26, 2010

Thankful: Day Twenty-six

I don't do Black Fridays; years spent in retail has left me extremely disinterested in that sort of chaos.

I do snails. Or at least the kids do, gathering 'families' of 'Garys', making homes for them in the backyard on Thanksgiving. Well, until Caden accidentally stepped on the mama.

(She spent the rest of the afternoon looking through the ads for a replacement shell.)

Greg finds these things repulsive, though more dignified than the common slug - at least they have the sense to cover themselves - but then again, who likes a slug?

{thankful for the small things & big imaginations}

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thankful: Day twenty-four

My sister, Lori, and I last Thanksgiving

{thankful my family is coming to the new homestead today}

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Thankful: Day twenty-three

We came from a city that really likes to hype up Storm Tracker Snowstorm coverage, commandeering all regular programming when ice or hail or sleet or threat of such weather is in the forecast, so I didn't pay much mind to the mention of possible snow in Eugene.

I mean, we do live at 430 feet. Snow seems unlikely.
So we were all a little surprised to wake to a blanket of snow...
and an official SNOW DAY. Woohoo.
Pretty, huh? But the boys weren't the only ones having fun...
I think Prissy Pants sorta hates me when I put her little coat on her.
Even 7th graders can't resist a day of snowball fights.
And Mama Milton?
I snapped the pictures, and
prepared for Thanksgiving while the kids had a fabulous time playing with the neighbors.

{thankful for snow days}

Monday, November 22, 2010

Thankful: Day twenty-two

It's hard when you're first married and getting acquainted with your new family. Not that I'm newly married, hardly so, but I remember how much I wanted to impress Greg's Mom early on. To fit in.

I have always been thankful to have a mother-in-law that has always let me be who I am, and do things my own way. I imagine, now that I have a son, how hard it must be to let go of your boy and watch as they ease into a life without you.

So, happy birthday to the woman that raised my husband up to be the man he is today: Kind and smart and hard-working.

Thank you.

My mother-in-law, Marilyn, my sister-in-law, Nikki, & my niece, Adri
Christmas 2006

{thankful for Marilyn}

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Thankful: Day twenty-one

*a brisk wouldberunifIwasn'tbecomingasthmatic walk by the river with Molly*

*magical Chipotle guacamole lunch with Lori O*

*delicious seafood for dinner*

*pictures of falling snow back home north of us*

*teeny, tiny nap, this afternoon*

{thankful for spontaneous joys}

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Thankful: Day twenty

“Let us be grateful to people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.” — Marcel Proust

{thankful my boy had fun at a birthday party today, surrounded by new friends}

Friday, November 19, 2010

Thankful: Day nineteen

Nineteen days into my quest, and I'm becoming incoherent. I tried googling something cute for Friday, but I came up empty-handed so here's a hodgepodge of things I liked about today:

  • Serving at the Harvest Family Feast today at Zack's school, donning gloves and a little apron while skads of folks came to eat lunch with their littles.
  • Eating lunch with Zack after I served, although he was in a bitterly sour mood, and wasn't the best company. I made up for it by visiting with my neighbor friend.
  • Remembering that I began working for Borders 9 years ago today, at a time when my family really needed the extra income. I met amazing people during my time at the Gresham & Vancouver stores; it was a great 5 year run.
  • Early morning walk with the dogs before the rain rolled back into town.
  • Sake and crispy tofu at PF Chang's with my family, followed by what else, but a stroll through our Borders.
  • Friday Friday Friday in all its glory.
{thankful to be home with my family on a chilly November night}

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Thankful: Day seventeen

The day finally came, as days are wont to do. I had my first acupuncturist appointment in Eugene this morning. *sigh*

A little tune-up + a plan does a lot to ease my aches & pains & my mind.

{thankful for little needles, as funny as that might sound}

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Thankful: Day sixteen

Monday bled into Tuesday and enough with the drama already. Surely today was better, but marginally so and because my complaints are primarily of the petty nature, I feel guilty about being grumpy. Which doesn't help.

The fact is: Schools need funding, and kids fuss and don't always love being at new schools that still need $$ and teachers need help, and I need a new esophagus, and I have missed my old community more after my last visit.

Still doesn't change the fact that: Dinner needs to be made, and kids need hugs, and husbands need attention.

So we move forward.


My friend Jen had some glad news today, and boy howdy does that girl deserve it.

Chit-chatting with her while she was picking up groceries picked me a bit as well.

{thankful for seemingly simple phone calls at just the right time}

Monday, November 15, 2010

Thankful: Day fifteen

Monday was especially Monday-ish, leaving me feeling a little ungrateful. Blech.

So, I figured there is no better time to look at some gratuitous cute dog footage. It always cheers me up.

These two love to rip around the yard together. (Courtney looks rather possessed here. It's a look we're used to, I'm afraid.)
The rain has driven their play inside these days...
But it's hard to be in a bad mood when these two are around.

{thankful for our canine companions & their hi-jinks}

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Thankful: Day fourteen

I made breakfast Thursday morning, and stood back to see if the kids would eat up or decline said breakfast favorites. I've seen enough horror shows to know the key to survival is sussing out when your pal is infected and Zombie-bound, and I've had the stomach flu enough times to know that I wasn't about to begin a 2 hour drive with would be Zombies/Vomiteers if I could help it.

They ate up, and I packed up the car and away we went for the long weekend, seeing friends, and family.

(I came back home to Christmas shop with Greg while the kids visited my parents. Ahead who? Unheard of.)

{thankful for the good kind of tired that comes from a weekend well-spent}

Friday, November 12, 2010

Thankful: Day twelve

I was sick earlier this week, down-for-the-count, pull-the-covers-over-my-head, sick.

And what did my sweet girl do? She made her own lunch, shepherded her brother through the morning, fed the dogs to their bowls runneth-over and plopped a kiss on Zack's head when she walked him into the gym, wishing him a good day at school.

She is a gem, this one.

{thankful for my sweet, capable & lovely daughter}

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Thankful: Day ten

Acupuncture has changed my life.

You're shaking your head, just now, and saying: How very West Coast of you.

I'll take your jabs and raised eyebrows because acupuncture, Chinese herbs and moxabustion gave me the pain relief that I couldn't get from Neurontin, Imuran, Prednisone & narcotics.

If that wasn't enough, I was doubly blessed, having Andrea Fisk as my first practioner. Not only is she brilliant and very skilled at what she does, but seeing her every week was like having coffee with a dear friend, an amazing advisor.

I miss her terribly*.

{thankful for Andrea, her friendship & her expertise}

*I get to see her tomorrow - woot - and I begin with my new acupuncturist next week, here in town. Double woot.
*I didn't snap this lovely picture, but I know who did. (I snagged it off Andrea's site.)

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Thankful: Day nine

Dastardly stomach virus-y thing has me grounded, and sad. I'm missing Zack's classroom field trip to a nearby forest to learn all about salmon and spawning and etc etc - all the things I have learned on these sort of trips before. In the rain.

Just disappointed to be missing the fun, spending time with my kid.

So I guess I'll just rest with my sweet, squishy dogs and get cracking on the stack of books by my bed.

{thankful for the written word}

Monday, November 08, 2010

Thankful: Day eight

I drink a lot of non-specific, non-fussy cheap, day-old coffee to motor through my schedule, but not today.
This morning I brewed up a cup of illy, with a side of longing for Italy and France.

{thankful for the little things, like the perfect cup of coffee on a rainy November day}

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Thankful: Day seven

Two football posts in one weekend, further proof that an alien life force has abducted the real Lisa, but who's to say. Pod-Lisa loves rooting for the underdog, watching a group of rather inexperienced boys come up out of nowhere and win the city championship.

Other-Worldly Lisa cheered and teared up at today's game at a high school field. She even heard real Lisa's son's name announced at the Kidbowl.
The only good thing about being replaced by an impostor alien-self is you don't have to stand in the rain.

The rest is golden.

{thankful for such an amazing season, with a gifted coach and great kids; even more thankful my hubby got to be there for it all}

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Thankful: Day six

I never was much for football.

And then I moved to Eugene, home of the Oregon Ducks.
Now we are living in a university town, during a very exciting time, and I find myself - ME! - screaming GO GO GO for my ducks every week. How did that happen?

If you think I'm excited, you should see these two.

(First home game at Autzen Stadium in September, weeks after we moved here.)

{thankful for relaxing Saturdays, watching football with my family in Eugene}


Friday, November 05, 2010

Thankful: Day five

I wanted a fancy-schmancy picture of my Smart Girls before I left for my new adventure in Eugene, but alas, just getting us to all sit down in one place can be challenging.

I resisted the whole photo booth thing at the Ace Hotel in Portland, because there was simply no way we would all fit that itty-bitty space, but somehow we managed. It's what we do.


And I'm glad Stu was saddled with my camera while we worked out the logistics.

{thankful for friends that remind me to have fun & be silly sometimes}

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Thankful: Day four

I have been under the weather lately, having a miserable flare-up of EE. I had a great appointment today with an allergist, and after being skin-prick tested for 60 foods, we have concluded that I'd give dairy, along with eggs, a break for the next month.

It's manageable, but it will take better menu planning on my part. Something I don't feel ready to tackle just yet, just now.

Good thing I have some trash TV dvr-ing tonight.

The Vampire Diaries
(CW teenage vampire/witch/werewolf show? They had me at Bad Boone.)

Grey's Anatomy
(I dropped GA a few years ago, when Grey's long-lost sister introduced herself during an emergency because who does that? Yes, it's melodramatic, but it's the one show that moves me to tears. Truly. Also, in defense of my Grey's: I love the way last season's finale is still playing out on the show. I like my story lines untidy & messy, like real life.)

{thankful for distractions, and good doctors, and good outcomes*}

*my sister had foot surgery yesterday & all went well :)

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Thankful: Day three

There was tremendous grousing and complaining about being too tired (hungry/thirsty/oppressed) to take a 2 mile walk with their dear old Mom, but walk we did, along the Willamette, on a nearly 70 degree November day.

There was lagging, and fake falls and enough drama for this mama, but I didn't mind.

Leaves were falling and college students were riding their bikes; babies (unable to voice their displeasure) rode along merrily in strollers while I walked my rambunctious Springer, the one that wants to eat all the geese.

(Hurry. Fly far, far away not-so-little birdies.)

And by the time I snapped this picture on my phone, everyone was in a better mood. Against their will.


{thankful for an opportunity to do what's good for us, even if some of us were unwilling.}

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Thankful: Day two

Stomping. Roaming. Strolling. Running.

Men dressed in green (it is Eugene after all) wave to me before returning to tidying up their yards for the winter.

Sleek runners, mounted on powerful legs, nod as I clunk by them.

There's a whiff of smoke in the air, as folks fire up their stoves again.

Nothing beats getting outside on a fall day.

{thankful for legs that carry me where I want to go}

Monday, November 01, 2010

Thankful: Day one

The baby-faced meteorologist was wrong.

No rain on Halloween.

We begged for candy without a coat.

Now that's just crazy talk. Sweet, happy crazy talk.

{thankful for a warm evening, traipsing around the neighborhood with new friends & my kids, while Greg handed out the goods.}