Monday, February 23, 2009

Umbrella Tassels

I worked at Merced College today. It was rainy and deary. Most certainly because it was raining I found myself traipsing across campus from one building to the next. Had it been a beautiful, sunshiny day, I am positive all of the people I needed to see would be clumped in one building. But, as it was, I was on the move. I was sloshing through puddles and sinking my heels in grass. It was on these cross-campus journeys I noticed the fascinating world of umbrella tassels.

Yes, umbrella tassels.

As I ventured through the rain I noticed the navy blue strip hanging in my view. It is that thin piece of fabric with Velcro or a snap that you wrap around a closed umbrella. Well, I likely wouldn't have been so mesmerized by this thingamabob, but the one on my umbrella is really long. I began sizing up other umbrellas and noticed a sheer assortment of tassels...all of them shorter than mine. Then I got this tassel complex. Why was mine so long? Were people judging me by my tassel length? Why must it flop around so, seemingly seeking unwanted attention? Yes, sadly, I think about these things. I have mentioned I am self-conscious right?

So with my tassel, that now seemed larger than a loaf of bread, I observed the tassels of the world. Every umbrella no matter how new or old; faded or shocking in color had a tassel. Even one particularly horrid umbrella that was like a clear, plastic dome had a tassel. Actually, seeing that umbrella made me feel a bit better. I was glad I wasn't under a dome looking through plastic as I slopped around campus. Though, I must admit that it had a desirable, nondescript tassel.

I wondered what other things I miss purely because I don't take the time to notice? Umbrella tassels are a silly little thing. What big things do I not see because I am in an all-important hurry to nowhere? I think I am going to keep my eyes open a bit wider (they are pretty wide already!) in the future to see other small things I tend to overlook. In the meantime, I plan on swapping out my umbrella for the one in my hub's truck. He is a big guy. He can pull off a big tassel!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Our County Tax Dollars at Work!

Um...OK. But, isn't this a sign?

Friday, February 20, 2009

Jen Needs...

My dear friend Lisa tagged me. She gave me a challenge and I am happy to oblige because it sounds really funny. Here is the should try it too!

Go to Google, in Search type your name and needs (example: Jen needs ) and paste the first ten things that come up.

1. Jen have a session or two with a therapist. (Oh my!)
2. Jen Needs...a break.
3. Jen find a self righteous, conspicuous "I'm better than you" charitable position so she can keep charming the sheep into thinking she matters . (What the???)
4. Jen Needs...a muzzle. (LOL!!!!)
5. Jen Needs...Human Anatomy Lessons. (Hmmmmm...)
6. Jen Needs...Cheering up! (Not! I am a happy camper!)
7. Jen
8. Jen take some time and be by herself.
9. Jen Needs...advice.
10. Jen go!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Lost Generation

This is a really cool video I wanted to share. It makes a person think.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Did Someone Say Snow?

My dear hubs and I are not big fans of Valentine's Day. So, with the thought of a free Saturday not committed to a romantic meal or outing we decided to again head for the hills in seek of snow. Boy, did we find snow! The recent storms blanketed the mountains with many feet of the fluffy stuff.

My mom took Miss Ellie to a Red Hat adventure and shopping for new clothes. Ellie was relieved to not be a part of the snow outing having proclaimed that "Ellie no likes the snow!" By the same token, Mitchell was beside himself that the snow was our destination. He dressed at break-neck speed and was hopping up and down in anticipation as we tried to get out the door with all of our gear.

Grandpa joined us for our adventure (again bringing the tastiest KFC imaginable) and Auntie Shib joined us too (bringing a loaf of Friendship Bread or Friendly Cake that was scrumptious). Food in the mountains just tastes better!

The temperature gauge read 25 degrees as we hopped out of the truck. We went to the same place as last time, but it looked completely different with four feet of snow covering the mountain. Grandpa made quick work with his shovel and dug out a trail to the nearest hill so the sledding could begin.
I wasted no time in making a full-on face plant that left me wallowing on the hillside as I tried to right myself. My dear Sistah Shib offered me a hand but retracted when the dear, sweet hubs hollered to let him take a picture first. Gotta love family!

Mitchell had the most fun. He was not at all bothered by the chill in the air. He set off making his own trails and adventures...

Mitch did break for a photo op with Daddy and Auntie Shib...

We had a day of laughter and joy! There is no better way to spend time that with the people you love the most. Hopefully, Miss Ellie will enjoy the snow someday, but, if not, she is in good company with her Mimi who she loves to spend time with.

We left the hill marked with tracks in the snow and deep furrows marked our wild sledding crashes. But, we also left a happy fellow to cheer those who passed by...

Friday, February 13, 2009

Shhh! It's a surprise Mommy!

Yesterday evening, Mitchell and Ellie diligently worked on their Valentines for their classmates. They signed their names...Ellie actually drew a squiggle...and then we attached little chocolate bars to each one with double-sided tape. Both kids got that part down and were slapping on chocolate bars faster that I could put the tape on the cards!

After their Valentine's were tucked away Mitchell came up as asked if tomorrow was Valentine's Day. I said no, that Saturday was but his class was celebrating early so all the kids could share their treats.

Then Mitchell looked very serious and said, "We made you a surprise in class this week Mommy."

"You did! I love Mitchell surprises!"

Then he said, "I can't tell you what it is but it is a brownie shaped like a heart!"

I processed his words and thought how best to answer. "So, you have a surprise that you made in class but can't tell me?"

"Yes! It is a brownie heart but it is going to be a big surprise for you!"

I smiled and reminded myself to practice my look of surprise for tomorrow! Mitchell is so my son!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Lessons from Girl Scouts

Back in my early years as a Brownie in the Girl Scouts we learned a song that we sang in sing-songy Brownie fashion...

"Make new friends, but keep the old. For one is silver and the other gold."

Those Girl Scouts are smart! How lucky we are to have people come into our lives and remain as friends. And, to add more people to our circle of friends as we age is a true blessing.

I am so blessed to have an eclectic circle of friends. I can't think of the exact moment with any of them that cemented our relationship to true friendship. I think they just evolved over time. I have friends I have know since my days as a single college kid. And, I have friends I have met through the common thread of marriage and children. I treasure my friendships that have withstood the test of time. Those amazing friendships that change as we as individuals change.

I love that my friendships are so varied. My girlfriends are a treasure. They accept me for me...good, bad, and ugly! They brighten my life and help me see the sunny side of the darkest clouds. They help me laugh at myself...which, being a bit on the clumsy side, is a regular occurrence. And, my truest friends will honestly tell me when my outfit is a disaster and when I have a boog in my nose. I don't think I could survive without my friends and the laughter that comes with them.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Football is no match for family fun!

Not being big fans of professional sports, we spent yesterday tending to some chores and having some fun around Smokey Acres. With two acres there is never a shortage of things to do!

Mitchell and I I pulled a few weeds that have gone crazy with the unusual January sunshine. Then I climbed up the ladder and cleaned out the rain gutters. Fascinating! I have never cleaned rain gutters before and never would have thought too had I not noticed that we had little crops sprouting up in them. Next, under Mitchell's strict supervision, I used our hula hoe (The Weeder With a Wiggle!) to knock down hornet nests that we had sprayed in the summer. Mitchell and I oooh'd and aaah'd over them amazed at the hornets' handiwork.

After that, the whole family took a break for a bike ride. Miss Ellie rode her tricycle and I delighted in seeing her pedal her little heart out so proud to be going solo. The hubs and I traded off riding ahead with Mitchell and then going a bit slower with Ellie. When the bikes and trike were tucked away we spent our last drops of energy kicking the soccer ball around the front yard. Ellie ran after the ball deliriously stumbling along. She was so tired she couldn't even kick the ball. She would line it up and run toward it full tilt. Then she would swing her leg and completely miss the ball resulting in her losing her balance and tumbling over. After a few such attempts I declared soccer was over and we headed inside and ordered pizza.

So we missed the SuperBowl and I honestly don't know yet who won. It gets worse... I am not even sure who was playing. I know it was the Steelers and then either the Chargers or the Cardinals? One of those may even be a baseball team! I am not up on my sports but I am up on life at Smokey Acres.