Tuesday, June 30, 2009

spending money

Do you ever just want to go spend money? But you're out of spending money? I don't even want anything in particular, I just want to go buy something. Anything!

Well, not anything. Because I've already spent lots of money in the last week buying things for High Adventure and for T's Swedish adventure. And all that shopping took a lot of time and money but it didn't quench my thirst for spending or acquiring.

The stars or the planets must be lined up all wonky or something because if you know me at all you know that I hate hate hate going shopping. I also hate finding places in the house to put more stuff.

Something weird is happening here...what do I want anyway? Maybe I'm really, finally, and inexplicably losing my marbles.

Marbles? Maybe I want marbles?

Monday, June 29, 2009

cutie patootie

This Little Friend is having a fun week. His older, problem-causing brother is out of town on High Adventure for a week. All the good attention, all the good times, all the good everything is all for this Little Friend here.

Oh yes, it's a very good week for my Little Friend.

Sunday, June 28, 2009


Old Woman Praying, by Nicholaes Maes

This month's Visiting Teaching lesson about prayer has really made an impact on me. The scripture and one of the quotes have stayed with me and I've pondered them and felt gratitude for this beautiful principle.

Doctrine & Covenants 112:10 - Be thou humble; and the Lord thy God shall lead thee by the hand, and give thee answer to thy prayers.

Elder Bruce R. McConkie - "Prayer changes lives. Through it we draw near to the Lord, and he reaches out his finger and touches us, so we never again are the same. Prayer is a great tower of strength, a pillar of unending righteousness, a mighty force that moves mountains and saves souls" ("Patterns of Prayer," Ensign, May 1984, 32).

Like most of my thoughts, my prayers are pretty simple. I try to make them sincere and like a lot of mothers, I'm sure, my most fervent prayers are about my children and what to do.

It blows my mind a little bit to think that a person like me, as insignificant to the whole world as I am, could communicate with the Creator of the universe. And not just that I can and am permitted to pray, but that He has commanded that I pray. And not just me, but every person.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

A word to the wise

from the stupid: Don't feed asparagus to an 83 year-old man. Because it makes him...well...because it...

Let's just say it doesn't agree with him and leave it at that.

(Note to stupid self: Buy some deodorizer, some disinfectant, and some disposable scrubby wipe cleaning thingies at Walmart because lemon-scented pine sol and paper towels didn't cut it. Also, ask Grampy if he can take kaopectate or imodium or something.)

Friday, June 26, 2009

good buddies

My Little Friend had a bunch of goofy, silly, funny guys over this week for a belated birthday party. We had pizza here at the Dub house and then went to play laser tag. It was just a super fun day and we all had a blast.
For some reason Grampy didn't want to go do laser tag with this bunch of hooligans. He wanted to stay at home in the cool and quiet instead. I don't understand it at all.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

beautiful day

Last September we brought everything that normally lives outside into the garage because of the approaching hurricane. Things like flower pots, the kids' bikes, hoses, sprinklers, window screens, basically anything and everything that could become airborne in high winds.

Then I got sick, then I had a few broken ribs, and lots of time passed and the things in the garage stayed there. Then because it was kind of chaotic in there anyway, the garage became a sort of dumping ground for other items.

Last week the time finally came to clear it all out. I did a lot of sorting, tossing, donating, and cleaning. There were dead june bugs and live daddy long leg spiders with all their webs everywhere.

Now it's all swept clean and tidy. As soon as I finish painting the bathroom and I'm able to put all my painting gear away, I'll be able to park the van in the garage.

That makes me very happy!

The day I spent cleaning the garage was a beautiful one. Blue, blue sky with lots of cottony white clouds. This was the view from my driveway.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

gettin' along

Grampy's funny. He approves of this picture because his eyes aren't showing. He says he doesn't like his picture taken.

We've talked. Oh, my, goodness, how we've talked. He mostly talks, I mostly listen. We've just about got the whole world figured out.

We've discussed the following (please remember that HE talks and I listen!): cholesterol, Dr. Lilly, the VA hospital, getting bad service at the VA, skin that grows over his scabs, dry skin, ice cream, blood sugar, the price of a drink refill, sex, the high price of a drink refill, sex again, the death of his dear wife, Bob, Melvin, Linda, Jeff, Cheli, the death of his parents, the death of Gram's parents, phone problems, weird and unexplained phenomena, sightings of Gram's spirit, his siblings, drink refills, Zenna, more sex, fat people, needles, Central AZ, Dallas, slim people, Zenna, people he's known who couldn't manage their lives, Gram, Ray, sex, drink refills, getting gypped at the drink refill place, nice managers who'll give him a free drink refill without making him wait in line, sex, and all his kids.

I think Grampy needs a male friend to talk about sex with. I'd send Mr. Dub in to cover for me because it makes me a little twitchy to have my grand-dad talk about sex so openly with me but I'm pretty sure Mr. Dub would get twitchy too. I know things now about Grampy that I never wanted to know and that I wish I could just forget.

What I don't know is what to say to him when he starts talking about geriatric hanky-panky!

I wonder what he says about me when I'm not around? Probably that all I ever talk about is sex. : )

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

sleeping beauty

My Pretty Girl came to visit. And then she conked out.

It's hard work, growing a human being.

Monday, June 22, 2009

my seniors

We have had a very busy day here today but you'll have to wait until tomorrow to hear about it since I am prohibited at this very moment from transferring pictures to my computer.

Therefore I will post a photo that's already in my computer files.

These three guys were in my seminary class this past year and graduated from high school and seminary last month. They are fun, smart, and interesting people. They each have very different plans for the near future and I wish them all the best of luck!

Cry, cry, weep, wail, and sob. I'll miss these young men!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

a broken heart

How do you heal it? How do you find the right words to bind up such a deep and festering wound? My instinct is to jolly him along and try to lighten things up but that's not working.

My own heart is breaking too for my dear old and lonely grand-dad. He's surrounded by people who love him and cherish him but he can't feel it through the pain.

All I can do is keep holding his hand and listen and offer words of love and encouragement.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

and cheap cheese

I noticed after I hit "publish post" yesterday that my title read "cheep cheezzz". And it reminded me that the last time I went to the store I noticed that the shredded cheddar and shredded mozzarella that I usually buy in giant, two-teenaged-boys-in-the-house sized bags had gone down significantly in price.

Because we really like cheese at our house, that made me happy.

This morning I drove to Waco, Texas to pick up my grand-dad. He's here for a couple weeks to visit and tell me stories that I've heard before.

Because we really like my grand-dad at our house, this makes me happy.

I didn't get all my projects done before he got here.

Oh well. Tomorrow is another day, undoubtedly to be filled with work and stories that I've heard before.

Friday, June 19, 2009

cheep chee...zzz

Yesterday started slowly and ended slowly. I was tired and sore and a little beat up from all the stuff we've been doing this week. My Pretty Girl said I should relax, and I did just that.
  • Get info together for Pretty Girl's paperwork - check
  • Get paperwork notarized and faxed - check
  • Work on texturing the walls in the downstairs bath - check
  • Take a nap - check
  • Go to bed at a decent hour - check

Thursday, June 18, 2009

punk a doodle doo

I'm up with the chickens today - lots of things still to do.
  • finish cleaning out the garage - check
  • finish hand-stitching on quilt binding - check
  • drive to the other side of Katy to sign for a registered letter (this is actually a long story but I'll spare you) - check

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

chirp chirp

To do list is moving along nicely:
  • make significant progress in clearing out the garage - check
  • work on re-texturing the downstairs bathroom - check
  • get the summer flowers into the front flower bed - check
  • mulch the front flower bed - check
  • nail down final plans and begin prep for birthday party - check
  • mail party invitations - check

Side note: Birds + boots = funny. Obviously it doesn't take much to amuse me.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

tweet tweet

I don't know how the whole twitter thing works, and I'm not positive on my lingo. Is it called "twitter" when you have people following your every move by internet, and "tweet" when you send out a new item? I don't know. I don't really care, honestly - I'm not that interested in what celebrities do moment by moment.

I have a lot of projects going on this week. I thought I had several weeks to accomplish them and then my plans changed. Instead I am having a beloved house guest for two weeks and I don't want to spend the time I have with him working on my summer projects. So I have put myself in turbo and I'm getting things done.

All that to say I'm not going to spend too much time this week goofing off on the internet.

I'm not. Really, I'm not. I will not. My entries on Amydubdub this week will be short and sweet. Like the little blurbs on twitter. Tweet!

Some things on the to-do list:
  • Quilt a twin size blanket - check
  • Machine-stitch binding on to quilt - check

  • Go visiting teaching - check

  • Remove dead/dying spring flowers from flower beds - check

And I'm off to get more done! Stay tuned...

Monday, June 15, 2009

Here's Johnny!

After sitting here for a good 15 minutes wondering what to write I've come to the conclusion that I have nothing I wish to say this morning. Rather than let the day go by without anything at all, and risk you all wondering what is so wrong with me that I'd skip a day blogging, I thought I'd share a little eye candy.

Nothing is so wrong. I didn't get enough sleep last night and have already hit the ground running this morning. My feet are racing but my mind still longs for my pillow.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

An acquaintance becomes a stranger

I've known this one particular person for several years. I've seen her about once a month for that period of time and always in a meeting-type setting. But we've chatted a bit here and there after the meetings and I've heard her comment and contribute many times to those monthly meetings. I thought I had a pretty good handle on what kind of person she is and I liked her just fine.

Yesterday I met her again in a different kind of situation. I went to a baby shower and she was there - it turns out that she is the mom of the young woman having the baby. I saw her in a completely different light.

I don't like her as much anymore. I feel like everything I thought I kind of knew about her is wrong. And it's bothering me. A lot.

I hope that she was just having a bad day and that her words and actions at the shower were atypical of her true nature. It wasn't anything outrageously horrible and there were no awful scenes and maybe I am overly sensitive at the current moment to other women who are in a grandmother role. But this woman wasn't interested enough or kind enough or loving enough to her daughter who is about to give birth to her first child. She was indifferent. I couldn't understand it and it made me sad for both of them. I hope so much that whatever was going on yesterday between that mother and daughter and soon-to-be granddaughter is temporary and easily repaired.

What I witnessed yesterday with those two ladies may have been nothing or it may have been everything between them. Either way there is a lesson in it for me about being kind and gentle with other people. I'm still trying to become the person I've always wanted to be. Just like this woman and her daughter are also undoubtedly doing as well.

Lessons to learn and relationships and people can be so complicated! I need to remember more often that we are all in the process of becoming, and we are all in it together. A little bit of sweetness and light can go a long way.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Universally understood words (and experiences)

To cap off our crazy week, my Little Friend had an incident at Los Cucos Mexican Cantina last night. See if you can guess what happened:

Here it is in Italian - Per per vomitare in pubblico
And German - Zu sich öffentlich erbrechen
How about Dutch? - Om in publiek te braken
Or Portuguese? - Para vomit no público
Or maybe French? - Pour vomir l'en public
And finally, Spanish - Para vomitar en público

It's not that hard, is it?

(Remember this guy, who happened to "vomitar in publico" at a nice dinner? I wonder if his mother was mortified?)

A really nice and unfortunate man who had a front-row view of the up-chucking followed us into the bathroom and helped me comfort and clean up my Little Friend. I kept apologizing and checking his shoes for chunks, and he kept saying, "It's okay. It happens to everybody. We've all been there."

Whoever you are, Mister, I thank you for not getting angry or freaking out when a little kid threw up at your feet. In public. While you were eating what I'm sure was supposed to be a nice dinner. I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your kindness. And your patience. And your good will to your fellow man. Er, boy.

Friday, June 12, 2009

From here to there

I feel like I am ALL over the place lately. My thoughts, my feelings, my physical body. I go from elated to frustrated to contented to frazzled. And then Hello! we're out of milk and bread (back to Wal-Mart) again and the house is a gigantic mess (go upstairs, downstairs, out to the garage, upstairs) again. Pick up or deliver the kids here, there, everywhere. Again.

Still waiting for my summer to slow down to a more restful pace.

Thursday, June 11, 2009


June in Houston is lovely. It's so hot in the afternoons that it makes the cooler mornings and evenings even more appreciated. Not all the grass is dead yet, from heat and drought, so everything is still green, gardeners are still hopeful, and people still think it might rain today. Whenever today is.

June, by Elaine Goodale

For stately trees in rich array,
For sunlight all the happy day,
For blossoms radiant and rare,
For skies when daylight closes,
For joyous, clear, outpouring song
From birds that all the green wood throng,
For all things young, and bright, and fair,
We praise thee, Month of Roses!

For blue, blue skies of summer calm,
For fragrant odors breathing balm,
For quiet, cooling shades where oft
The weary head reposes,
For brooklets babbling thro' the fields
Where Earth her choicest treasures yields,
For all things tender, sweet and soft,
We love thee, Month of Roses!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Our Beautiful Buttercup

Yesterday I had the singular privilege of seeing my unexpected but very much anticipated grandchild on ultrasound. I think this experience has changed my life.

Oh, what a sweet and tender thing it is. Utterly indescribable. I'm truly savoring these moments.

I hope you all have a beautiful and blessed day.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Cookie rests

Cookie got up a little too early one morning last week after school let out. He fell asleep in the chair with the TV on while waiting for morning.

Mr. Dub would be proud. Falling asleep in the chair with the TV on is one of his signature moves.

My Cookie goes to _____ series is over for now. I've had a lot of fun this last week, taking pictures of my Little Friend everywhere we went. I got a lot of practice taking my camera along with me. I got better about remembering to pull it out and simply take pictures of things without worrying about getting the perfect shot or posing anyone or looking dumb in public. I've never seen anybody take pics of their kids eating breakfast at McDonald's or looking at the video games at Wal-mart. But now other people have seen me do it. I got some funny looks - check out the faces of the two girls in the background of my Cookie goes to McDonald's photo. They're a little disturbed. They're thinking, "Why is she doing that?!?!?!".

I'm okay with that.

People disapproving and me feeling okay with it - that right there is something I learned about myself this last week or two. Go ahead and disapprove, world. I'm okay with it, and I still love you anyway.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Cookie has a birthday

My Little Friend is 10 years old today! I can't believe it's been ten years already, which sounds so cliche' and ridiculous but it is true.

I remember when I went to the hospital to give birth to him, and the labor & delivery nurse came in to get me all set up for everything. She was introduced to Mr. Dub and said to him, "Didn't I see you in here a couple weeks ago?"

Uh, I don't think so, lady. Talk about your awkward moments.

Anyway, this boy is the child of my heart and the apple of my eye. His health was poor in infancy and I've spent countless frantic and worried hours hovering over his little body. He's a sweet, handsome, funny, spoiled, and somewhat rotten kid.

I wouldn't want him any other way. Happy birthday to you, Cookie! You are loved.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Cookie goes to McDonald's

Every Saturday Cookie and I have a date to eat breakfast together at McDonald's before we do our weekly grocery shopping. It's a tradition in our house. He gets some one-on-one attention from Mama and he revels in it.

Cookie orders the same thing every week - Cinnamon Melts and chocolate milk. He's a creature of habit. He likes what he likes and he has no reason to ever change. Why would he? He knows what he likes - and it's not a sausage or egg and cheese biscuit. I have to agree that frosted cinnamon roll bits and chocolate milk make a pleasant change from his usual breakfast of oatmeal and orange juice.

A few months ago I wasn't that hungry one Saturday morning so I offered to him the hash browns that came with my breakfast and he discovered that he liked them. After that I offered them to him for a few weeks in a row, and then he started asking for them. It's been months now that he's eaten my hash brown potato patty every single Saturday.

This Saturday he just reached over and took the hash browns off the tray. No asking if he could have them, no waiting to be offered them. In his mind, they have become his.

This is how it is. I wonder if I just started eating the hash browns one Saturday morning before he had a chance to take it if he would object to my eating "his" stuff?

Of course he would.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Cookie goes to a friend's house

Cookie hung out all day with some of his very best buddies. There were lots of fun times had by all, but the highlight was the Water-Balloon Capture the Flag game at the end of the afternoon. Cookie and his pal Ricky were the victors. It was quite a triumph after a long and difficult battle.

See Ricky's distaste for the display of poor sportsmanship from the losing team? See how Jake thinks it's funny? That right there is one of the differences between a kid who's been raised as an only child, and one who is constantly striving to work his way up from the bottom of the totem pole.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Cookie gets up really early

And why not? It's the first day of summer vacation and there are lots of good cartoons on TV.
( He got out of whack with the matching pajama tops and bottoms a couple of weeks ago and has yet to get back...I don't know...in to whack? They are both Transformers pj's so I guess that's what matters.)

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Cookie goes to field day

Yesterday, being the last day of school, was field day at our elementary school. Field day isn't like it used to be. Field day now consists of multiple moon bouncy things and water games. It's more like a carnival. They even had a dunking booth contest that looked super fun. I think the principal was in there at one point.

Cookie went head-to-head with a bite of some sort of peanut butter cookie during field day.

It was Cookie vs. cookie.

It was Cookie Smackdown.

My Cookie came out victorious but only after being checked out of school early (YES!) so I could keep a close eye on him, and a mega-dose of benadryl, and some puffs on his inhaler. He's still got some lingering rash/eczema spots/hive-y looking stuff all over him today but I think he'll be okay.

Cookie and Mrs. Gonzales (reading/writing and social studies) were good buddies this year.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Cookie goes to Wal-Mart

Cookie and I and the Little Prince went to Wal-Mart last night. We needed milk and yarn and books. We also picked up some squirt guns, splash bombs, and a new sprinkler.

Whenever Cookie goes to Wal-Mart, no matter what we are there for, he has to look at the Nintendo games. When I say he has to, I mean that we cannot leave the store without disappointment and maybe even a pout if he doesn't get a minute or two to stare at the games. It's a yearning, an ache, and a hunger. It's kind of funny - every time we go it seems like they feel that they have just the teensiest of outside chances to talk me into buying a video game for no special reason other than they want it. Poor kids. Hope springs eternal, I guess.

One of the best things for my boys about summertime is that they are allowed to play video games on weekdays (a big no-no during the school year). In summertime we go out and about in the morning, spend the evenings at the pool, and the longed for and blessed couple of hours during the hottest part of the afternoon are for movies and video games.

Summer. It'll be here tomorrow!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Cookie goes to the library

The library is awesome. I remember when I was a kid walking a long, long way in the summertime to go to the Provo library. The library will let you take home just about any book you like - amazing. I'm doing my best to teach my kids to love books and reading. Only one of them has caught on to that, and it's not my Little Friend. This summer I hope to help him see that there are good books outside of the Magic Treehouse series.

I still like to go and browse through the shelves and look forward to all the quiet, peaceful hours I will spend inside another world. I bring my own frame of reference to every book I read, naturally, but the story belongs to someone else. A library is about people, although sometimes librarians act like it's all about the books.

I think that is essentially what Walt Whitman is trying to say in his poem, but who knows. What do you think? Personally, I think Walt spent a lot of time smoking leaves of grass. I wonder if he talked like that in person. Can you imagine trying to have a friendly conversation with somebody who talked like that? I wonder also if Walt had a lot of overdue book fines, and the librarians wouldn't let him check out anything else until he paid up.

Shut Not Your Doors to Me, Proud Libraries - by Walt Whitman (from Leaves of Grass)

Shut not your doors to me, proud libraries,
For that which was lacking on all your well-fill’d shelves, yet needed most, I bring;
Forth from the army, the war emerging – a book I have made,
The words of my book nothing – the drift of it everything;
A book separate, not link’d with the rest, nor felt by the intellect,
But you, ye untold latencies, will thrill to every page;
Through Space and Time fused in a chant, and the flowing, eternal Identity,
To Nature, encompassing these, encompassing God – to the joyous, electric All,
To the sense of Death – and accepting, exulting in Death, in its turn, the same as life,
The entrance of Man I sing.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Cookie goes to school

The kids are in school this week. While the weather outside is as beautiful as it's going to get and the mornings are still cool and calm, the kids are sitting in school. This is because they are required to make up some of the days when they missed school because of Hurricane Ike last September. It's hard to take, I'm telling you.

I was permitted to get one picture and one picture only of my Little Friend getting on the bus this morning. And this is it. Did I mention that I'm taking a photography class this fall? This fall and its photography class can't get here soon enough.

But in the meantime, summer. Ah, summer.

After three more days of school.