Sunday, November 21, 2010

The more things change. . . . well, you know. . .

Remember that old saying, "The more things change. . . the more things stay the same."???

Well these two pictures of my cute little grandsons definitely illustrate that in spades.

Here is a picture of Halloween past:

And now here is one from Halloween present:  (which would be just last month)

Which just goes to show you--that although the 'cutesy let's dress just alike as giraffe' costumes disappear, the 'brothers gotta hug  even if we are now super heroes' never changes.

Ahhhh. . . don't you just love the innocence of little kiddlies?

I keep telling my dear daughter to just wait for middle school.  Somehow I get the feeling that she wants to wait a good long time. . . .

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Emptying the nest. . .

Ahhhhh. . . you either dread this moment or you look forward to this moment. . . but just like death and taxes the 'empty nest' phase of your life will certainly happen.

The 'old man' and I cleared out the roost, so to speak, this past August--when we dropped our youngest birdling off at the Missionary Training Center in  Utah--where he would be embarking on a 2 year stint of service in the Philippines.

We were of mixed minds about this next phase of our lives. . .We would miss our youngest son terribly. . . and we would come back to an empty house.  Hmmmmmm. . . missing youngest son was bad. . . . but having an entire house to ourselves was. . . GOOD!  No responsibilities!  No worries!  This wasn't going to be so bad after all. . . (shhhhh!  Don't want our kids to think we don't like them or something)

Getting together with middle son and his wife who lived in Utah was great fun:

As well as oldest son who lived there too:

Middle son's wife even made a cake to mark the occasion for the departure of youngest son:

Visiting Bridal Veil Falls and other scenic places was on our to do list:

We took a hike at one point (of course I don't remember where--but there was a flat rock place where folks built all kinds of 'talismans' to mark their territory.  You know, like 'Elroy was here'  However--since our family is quite competitive--we had to build the tallest one.  (as well as the coolest):

And when in Rome. . . . well, the next stop off speaks for itself:

Since youngest son was going to be giving selfless service for the next two years--we figured we best get all the 'debauchery' in while we could.

It was early August--so it was HOT as all get out--but the flora and fauna were AMAZING:

Getting youngest son ready for the 'drop-off' was quite the event.  And last photo ops with our son were a MUST HAVE.  After all--we will not see this great young man for two years!  Oh my!

The ole' man and I were quite sad to see our youngest child go:

While middle son and his wife look pretty pleased with themselves:

This is it! We are at the Missionary training center and actually dropping our son off:

And this is the final picture I got of my youngest baby waving goodbye as he took off into the sunset.  (Or maybe into a big honking campus building)

That's right before I threw down the camera and embraced him and plastered him with hugs and kisses and embarrassed the crap out of him.  

Then I picked up the camera. . . and made the trip back to home and hearth with my hubby (sans son)

We do miss that funny guy around the place.  It is a lot quieter. . . but we're leaving a light on for him, raiding his room, and eating everything in the fridge ourselves.  Don't worry about us J-Man. . . we'll scrape by until you return and regale us with all your adventures.  And I AM enjoying your laptop!  As well as all the 'toys' you left behind. . .

For now. . . we are justing going to have to figure out how to play in our empty nest. . . 

Friday, November 5, 2010

Stuck on the roof. . .

I could just have easily have entitled this post:  'Why I am like a cat'. . . but I'm not really a big cat fan and I really don't feel I have much in common with cats--with this one exception.

I totally get how a cat can get stuck up in a tree.  And after my latest episode--my husband finally gets it too.

Here's the story.  Hubby decides it's time to clean out the rain gutters and overhangs up on our two-story home roof--before the winter storms start coming and dumping more rain, leaves, and snow up there.

And since none of our little kiddlets live at home any more (we've recently become 'empty nesters' but more on that later) he calls upon ME to go up on the roof with him to hold the ladder.  (This is for the roof top UP ON TOP of the roof top)

Now everyone in my family knows that I am a bit 'phobic' about heights.  Especially when I am out in the open  and dealing with vertical challenges.  Flying in an airborne contraption is fine, looking out of tall building widows, or standing on mountain tops where my feel are on solid ground is fine--going it alone up a rock face, tree top, or roof is a bit more than I can handle---something about EDGES and falling off makes me a bit FREAKED OUT. . . .

And as both my husband and I learned--it's not the going UP that's the problem. . . it's the coming DOWN!

Soooooo I asked this man who has known me for over 32 years---Why in the world would I want to go up on the roof?

He makes this ridiculous statement:  'Because you've done it before.'

Me: What are you talking about?  In what life did I ever go up on the roof with you?

Him:  Oh--just a few years back, we did the same thing.  You went up on the roof with me and held the ladder while I cleaned out the rain gutters.

Me:  No dear, you are wrong.  You've always had one of the kids go up there with you.

Him:  Nope!  Not one of the kids.  It was a woman--it was you.

So now I'm thinking what a clever man.  Who the heck was he having a tryst with up on the roof?  (after all, it's the one place in the house I would never go)  This bozo has got some explaining to do.

He is absolutely reassuring me that I will be just fine--that I've done this before.  And I guess in my bewildered state--and the fact that there was no one else to go up with him--I climb up on to the roof with him and hold the ladder while he goes up on the second roof.

I think it only took 15 minutes or so for him to do whatever the heck he was doing--but by the time he came back down all smiles and pronounced: 'All done'  I was thoroughly panicked.  I think I may have started hissing and spitting like a cat.

In any case, I was NOT about to come down the extension ladder that I came up on.  It was not going to happen.  I figured armed with a sleeping bag, a tarp, and the phone number to Domino's Pizza, I could live out the rest of my days up here.

That's when it dawned on my husband that quite possibly his wife had in reality NEVER BEEN UP ON THE ROOF BEFORE and by all that is holy, how the snot was he supposed to get her down?

He was apologizing profusely and coaxing me with all kinds of things like opened cans of tuna and fresh caught fish (which had worked on the neighborhood cats) to get me down from the roof.  But it wasn't working.  In fact even access to every one of his investments and IRA accounts (which I already had) was also a 'no go.'

I calmly asked him to just go ahead and call the fire department and get one of those well built men to come in one of their big honkin' trucks with the little 'bucket thingys' and I would consider coming down by that route.

In retrospect my husband was using every trick known to man on how to get a 'mad-as-all-get-out cat down from the tree' ploy.  Here are the guidelines in detail:

· 1
 Avoid mass panic. Given time and privacy, the cat will likely find a way down on her own. (Exceptions are if the cat is injured or if she has a leash wrapped around her neck; go to step 4 in those instances.)  

Hubby did manage to avoid mass panic--but had I HAD a leash--it would have been wrapped around HIS neck upon coming down and he darn well knew it.

·  2
If several hours have passed, try to lure the cat down by opening a can of her favorite food underneath the tree. Call out her name in a calm, reassuring voice.

Fortunately it didn't take hours and the food piling up on the back porch was getting ridiculous.  Besides I was getting quite embarrassed of neighbors possibly learning every pet name this man could think  to call me.

·  3
Lean a wooden ladder up against the tree near the cat so she can climb down. Leave her alone with the ladder for at least 15 minutes so she can climb down on her own.

Well, folks the ladder was already leaning up against the roof.  That's how I got up there in the first place.  And truth be told, I think my husband was afraid of leaving me alone in my sorry state.  I don't know what he thought would be worse.  Leaving me up on the roof--or getting me down from the roof with access to his neck and other soft tissue.

·  4
If the cat is too freaked out to use the ladder, put on work gloves and a thick coat to protect yourself and climb up the ladder to retrieve her. Make sure the ladder is stable before you climb it.

This had already been done, since we were working in cold, windy weather conditions.  But my husband managed to don a pair of work goggles --just so I couldn't spit in his eyes.

·  5
Grab the cat by the nape of the neck to reduce your chances of getting scratched and to induce calmness in the cat.

When my husband came back up the ladder to grab my hands (or the nape of my neck) and try and use gentle coaxing to get me to come back down--he knew this trick would not work either.  One look at my face told him that he might want to keep his hands to himself unless he was willing to lose body parts.

·  6
If your efforts only send the cat farther up the tree, call an animal shelter. A professional animal handler can rescue the cat quite quickly.

This was actually considered--but then I somewhat came back to my senses and realized that I did NOT want my 15 minutes of fame to be splayed on the local 6 o'clock news as 'Weird Women Rescued Off Own Roof'.  I also realized that the chances of the 'animal shelter rescue man' resembling Antonio Banderas or any hunky, good looking stud-muffin were slim to none. . . so I needed to get down from the roof and fantasize indoors where it was warmer.

After what seemed like an eternity--I ever so slowly and shakily came down the ladder--OF MY OWN FREE WILL and  made it back to solid ground.  And yes, my husband is still alive as well--if that's what you were wondering.

But I don't think he will be inviting me up on the roof with him anytime soon. . .

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Wedding of the Century!

Well. . . OK. . . maybe not to everyone. . . but since I took such a long time to post about it--I figured I could at least make up for it in the title.

This past May (the 29th to be exact) my middle son hitched his wagon to a star, tied the proverbial knot, and. . . .GOT MARRIED!

Beautiful bride, handsome groom--and the pictures will speak for themselves.

Here's the REAL story of how middle son looked when he told us the happy news of his impending marriage:

Here's how older brother looked when HE heard the news:

And here's how youngest brother took the glad tidings:

Older sister and her hubby were more pragmatic about it:

And even the 'happy couple' themselves weren't quite sure what to think:

However everyone seemed to take the news and enjoy the event JUST FINE!

And I got to dance with my handsome son:

And the 'old man' and I managed to clean up and behave ourselves:

We even manged to capture some 'special sibling' moments. . . like the brothers doing some male bonding:

And may I just point out here--that even if your kids are GROWN UP--they STILL won't behave themselves in front of  camera to capture that 'family shot':

Thank goodness we now have photoshop--so I could clean that mess up:

Note to my dear daughter:  The occasion was FORMAL, hon.  So dress appropriately next time, please!

Congratulations Middle Son!  And a HUGE welcome to my new daughter. . . I mean, it's exciting to get some more WOMEN around this place.  We seem to be infested by a plethora of men.  (not that I mind or anything. . . I'm just sayin')

And truth be told. . . . I think they are going to be quite happy. . . .