Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Fly Hunter Harassment

Two little knuckleheads wishing they had a fly to entertain them. (They're my sister's Havatons.)

Don't they have expressive faces?
I hope they made you smile :)

Monday, September 12, 2016

Oil Pulling and Pushing

So I made this entertaining oil pulling video for you guys, complete with miming, humming, talking with my eyes and hand signals, etc. Here's what happened.

Skinny and Company makes a great product for oil pulling, which apparently has many benefits for your oral health. Have you ever tried it? Do you think it's hokey, are you curious, might you try it? To get 15% off an order from Skinny and Company, you can use the code SKINNYCO15.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Adventures with Skinny and Company

Interested in Skinny and Company's 100% virgin coconut oil? 
Use the code: SKINNYCO15 for a 15% discount on all of their products!

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

So Bummed

If you know me or have read Half-Past Kissin' Time for a while, you know that this is my favorite, favorite tree.

Right at the edge of an ever changing farm field, she has held court for years, 
catching my eye, standing proudly, showing off her quirky shape and healthy glow.

I have trouble articulating why I've loved her so much, 
but I think it's something about her asymmetry, her beauty.
She just has character, and every time I've driven past her over these past 16 years, 
she's made my heart swell a little.
If you've ever been with me in the car as we passed this beauty, you'll remember me pointing her out.
If you and I are Facebook friends, she needs no introduction.

As you probably know, I've often been compelled to pull over and take photos of "my" tree. 

Maybe I just appreciated her predicability, her dependability, 
her regular reminder to stop and admire nature amidst this busy world,
her spirit of openness, of reaching for the sky with arms outstretched, come rain or shine.

I've used the photos for my blog header a number of times, 
and my sister knew I loved the tree when she included them 
in a thoughtful photo book she once gave to me as a gift. 
I can't find the digital originals now, but here are a few snaps....

Last spring, I actually pulled onto the little lane next to my tree and studied her; 
I wanted to know why her trunk was misshapen, and I gained a whole new perspective.

I assumed she'd been struck by lightening back in the day,

and I marveled at her resilience.

I know it's crazy, but I thanked her for being awesome, and I drove home.

Today, when I passed my favorite tree, this is what I saw:

I assume she got struck by lightening, 
as I could see some raw, white flesh from a distance.
Like a rubbernecker at the scene of a car wreck, 
I was afraid of seeing too much, I guess; 
I stopped only for this quick snap and moved on. 
I didn't want to think about my beautiful tree being gone forever, not yet.

I don't know the owner of the property, 
but I hope he/she is as sad as I am; I'll bet it hurt to have to finish the job.

I loved that tree. 

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Feeling Grateful

I have to start with a wedding photo, of course!

IMG_6020 2.JPG

Need I say more?

Okay, I’ll say more. That’s our son Kyle, my mom Elsie, and our beautiful new daughter-in-law Alayna, one week ago yesterday, following their nuptials in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. This is one of only a few photos I managed to snap with my phone that day; the rest were taken by a pro and will be shared down the road.

The bride and groom chose their sisters as their only attendants. Aren't they stunning? Kendall is thrilled to have not just one but two sisters out of the deal!

Monica and Kendall

(Stay tuned for more wedding details and pics.)

For the past couple of weeks, the state of our household involved a whirlwind of activity that would make working at Walmart on Black Friday look like a relaxing vacation. It started with the beginning of my school year (always chaotic, of course), followed by the arrival of Kendall’s Canadian boyfriend Nick, then the wedding, a wonderful group of houseguests including my niece Nicki and her family (plus her lovely sister Steph), followed by the arrival of new groom Kyle (who came home to drive all of his and Alayna’s belongings to California) and finally, the move of Kendall back to college with an entire apartment's worth of her belongings. Yesterday was a tough day, saying goodbye to both kids, plus driving four hours to Minneapolis and four more back in one day (Mr.4444 is an excellent and selfless driver).  Needless to say, (or "seedless to nay," as Mom likes to say), it is quiet here this morning. I’m enjoying a cup of coffee and feeling a sense of peace and gratitude for a number of blessings:

*I’ve never seen Kyle more happy than at his wedding to Alayna; he was positively giddy with joy, and as I write this, he is safely halfway to their new home in sunny San Diego. Alayna moved there in June, when she landed a great nursing job, and Kyle (a job recruiter) was able to talk his boss into letting him work from home for a while and continue in California, so they are off to a great start! We are so happy for them. I’ll share more photos when other people share them, as I only took a few cell phone shots that day, just enjoyed the day and let others snap away. Speaking of which, here’s a great shot that my sister Michelle shared.


*My sister Mary took this next photo, which she entitled “Smokin’ in the Bathroom.” I share it because I worked very hard to fit into that dress and am happy I finally made it. I’m grateful for the continued health that’s allowed me to work out, feeling strong and healthy.

*I’m grateful for the many family members and friends who traveled to Milwaukee (two hours away) to help celebrate Kyle’s and Alayna’s marriage and for the fact that they all made it home safely.

*I’m grateful that Kendall, too, is in love and feeling inspired and excited about her studies about to commence (Did I tell you she’s going to be a special ed teacher?!). Parting from her sweet Nick in the next few days will be tough on them both, but her classes will be a nice distraction and will bring her joy, certainly.

*I’m grateful that we were able to break up our Minneapolis day trip up with a visit with Ed, my 96-year-old cousin who is such a dear. His daughter Mary, too, is such a gem, and they both made us laugh with their quick wits.

*I’m not gonna lie; I shed a tear or two when we said goodbye to Kyle yesterday, but I also harken back to the day that Mr.4444 and I drove away from Green Bay and our families, and that obviously turned out beautifully. I’m excited for Kyle and Alayna, embarking on their new adventure together, I’m grateful for their opportunities, and I look forward to one day being a grandma, of course.

*I’m gonna go out on a limb and say that I’m grateful that neither Mr.4444 nor I is sick, although everyone around us (Kendall, Nick, my mom, Mr.4444’s mom) have been very sick this week with one thing or another. My poor mom is now suffering with shingles, and Grandma 4444 is fighting a wicked chest cold; please keep them in your prayers. I’m also grateful that neither one got sick before the wedding!

*I’m grateful for the eight and a half hours of sleep that I enjoyed last night and the extra day (Labor Day) to rest before heading into another shortened week of school; it’s so nice to start the year gently. I’m part of a new team this year, and I’m feeling great about our professional chemistry together; it’s going to be a great year!

Finally, I'm not gonna lie about this, either; it's great to have our house back to ourselves; we can park both vehicles in the garage again, the only stuff laying around is our own, and I need only cook for two again. Of course, there's bedding to wash and plenty to clean up, but there's also a nap in my future and and one more day to sleep in. Life is good.