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Monday, June 29, 2009

Perfect Day...Perfect Moment

I'm sitting outside right now, watching my son climb up the basketball hoop pole, with a big toothy he's hanging from the top and he jumps. And my heart flip flops in anticipation of his injury. But no harm done. He was merely trying to get away from his sister in an intense game of hide and seek. Now he wants me to give him a boost. No way. I will not be an accomplice to a premeditated accident.

Doesn't matter. Alex decided to boost him up. Apparently it's not hide and seek anymore. It's just a game of climbing the pole. They are giggling uncontrollably. Yes, this is one of those oh-so-perfect moments.

Have I mentioned that this is my first day of a two-week vaca?

Today, I vacuumed (actually moving the furniture and finding a SIPPY CUP! Yes, my youngest is 7. We took those things away a long time ago.)...mopped the floor...finished two loads of laundry (I'm almost caught up!)... watered flowers and moved some pots for aesthetic purposes...and you know what else I did?

I rested. I'm pretty much resting right now as I look over our lush, green panoramic vista and feel the balmy breeze gently roll through our...Hold that thought...Alex and Cole came over to join me and the dog. (How's that for a scene?) Alex decided to pop Cole over the head, for no apparent reason. The oh-so-perfect moment evaporates.

For just a little while. I'm back to listening to the breeze. I wonder why I don't make myself do this every night.I never do this. Just relish in the moment. It's quite delightful, really.

Even with a dog drooling all over my Mac.

Friday, June 26, 2009

My Monkey Man!

The other night we researched our Chinese Zodiac signs. I’m a rooster...apparently I’m confident, motivated and (I really hate to say this) pompous, I guess. Doug is a monkey...curious, mischievous and clever. I knew this, of course. But guess which animals are compatible with monkeys? Rats and dragons. Not roosters. At least it explains why Doug was attacked by a rooster when he was a toddler. No kidding -- he even has the scar.

Who wants to be a perfect match anyway?

I make him read. He makes me relax.
He makes me watch baseball. I make him watch What Not to Wear.
I make him eat vegetables. He makes me eat meat.
He disciplines the kids. I give them hugs.
I discipline the kids. He disciplines the kids even more. (Just kidding...he’s a hugger too.)
I like to spend money. He likes to that's wrong. He likes to spend money too.
He farts. I never fart, ever.

While we don’t exactly match up in terms of Chinese signs, at least we are both of the “earth” element. I’m sure it’s what keeps us together. Besides who would have known that a rooster and a monkey could create an ox (Alex) and a snake (Cole).

I’ll end with this quote that has nothing to do with the blog, really.

“You don’t have to be anti-man to be pro-woman.” Jane Galvin Lewis

Monday, June 22, 2009

In Honor of Father's Day!

In honor of Father’s Day yesterday, I devote this week to the men in my life. Since Cole tends to get the spotlight, I’ll begin with someone who only makes an occasional appearance on this blog. I feel just a tinge of guilt. He really IS an important part of my life, and he often provides great fodder for blogs. But it’s just so hard to beat the words that come out of my kids' mouths.

Anyway, here’s to my dad. He has many formidable traits, and I listed them below in the order I think he would prefer:

1. Good looking, not appearing a day over 60. (He’s actually 62!)
2. Modest, really.
3. His ingenious mechanical mind, of which I inherited absolutely none of it. I can’t even rebuild a 1960 Panhead.
4. His financial acumen. (Only he and my mom will get this joke).
5. Obtains the best Cole confessions ever. (“Grandpa, you know when your daughter (my mom) was a baby and she was a lot of work? Well, I’m not gonna get married because I don’t want that stress.”)
6. How he remembers every detail of a 1928 JD Harley, but he can’t remember how to spell my name...Steffffenie, Daphne, etc.
7. The joy he brings our kids. No kidding on that one..he never tells them no.
8. Finally, and most importantly, his plan to take us to Hawaii next year. You just can’t beat that.

But seriously, as is with most daughters (including my own), I believe my father to be the funniest man on earth. I can always count on him to make me laugh, no matter how crummy I feel. Thanks Dad, you’re #1 in my book.

Pictures this week will have nothing to do with the men I feature, but I thought I’d share a bit of the wildlife at our farm...have you ever seen a more stupid-looking cat? He's actually quite pretty when he's not posing.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Acts of Kindness

Okay, I'm totally being lazy by plugging into the rubi j blog, but it is so worth reading. Please take the time.

On another note...I discovered that my ironing board swivels!! So, I really didn't need to learn left-handed pressing. But now I prefer it...

Saturday, June 13, 2009

If I had an Iron, I'd Iron in the Morning...

I got a new iron the other day. What a difference an iron makes! Holy Cow. I can’t seem to get enough ironing in these days. I used to forego any shirt or pants that gave me any indication of a wrinkle. Now, I choose to make my morning routine even more hectic by finding those oh-so-cottony fabrics to plug in my new toy.

Have I ever mentioned my history with an iron?

Let me wind back the clock a few years to my days at the University of Iowa. My first real lesson with an iron actually came from my college roommate, Jean Welter, (nka Jean Kehoe, or Mrs. Kehoe to her students). No, my mother never let me touch her iron. (Either she feared my unhandy mannerism would result in injury or she remembered too clearly an incident with a sewing maching that left it broken.) Back to Jean. One Saturday in Iowa City, I find Jean standing before the ironing board with a pile of sheets, t-shirts and jeans to iron. Sheets, t-shirts and jeans. What the?

“Mom, have you ever heard of this?”

“Oh, yes. Some people do that. It’s not that abnormal.”

Fast forward fifteen years, shortly after Doug and I built our house. I was giving a tour to a few ladies from the Bank. When it came to the laundry room, I was somewhat proud to show them my pull-down ironing board, strategically placed in front of our dryer.

“Stefanie, are you left-handed?” Bev asked.

“No, why?”

“Well, you must iron left-handed since you have your ironing board placed that way.”

“Hmm. I guess I do then.”

There you have it. With my new iron and strategically placed ironing board, not only am I ambidextrous, but my sheets, t-shirts and jeans are wrinkle-free as well.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Guest Blogger: Alexandria Kramer

As some of you may know, I have just turned 12 (finally!). For my birthday I had an “Audrey Hepburn” theme. Why may you ask? I have become fascinated with Audrey and how she was such a great actress (I even wrote a speech on her). So anyway, for my birthday, all the girls and I dressed up in dresses and I made hats for everyone, which was very fun! We also rented a ’72 Black Cadillac and picked everyone up in it. Fun, right? Did I mention that my Dad was the chauffeur? Before anyone asks, no he did not where a suit no matter how much I asked. After we had picked up everyone and took like a mil-lion pictures (not really! More like 15…), we went over to the Country Club and had a “formal dinner”. Wink, wink. It included sparkling grape juice and Virgin Daiquiris! We were so noticed, that some people came in and we modeled for them! And guess who was there? Dr. Scott Markham, the doctor who delivered me (a little bit embarrassing but I got through it). After that little affair, we drove home in the Caddy, and played Catch Phrase while my Mom and Dad returned the Caddy. It took them like a gazillion years to get back so we could eat cake! Ugh! But they FINALLY got back and we ate cake and opened presents! Which I got some awesome gifts, I think… (We were all still a little woozy from the Virg… I mean Daiquiris). Anyway we had a great time! Maybe next year will be even better! NOT!

Note from Editor: The daiquiries were most certainly virgin and the reason it took Mom and Dad so long to get back is because we were visiting with Roger and Jane, whom we rented the 72 Caddy. And please note that Alex made all of the hats herself!