Monday, September 28, 2009

Happy Birthday, Mom!

My mother lives in the Netherlands, which means that we have to do most of our communication via phone and email. Even although I have moved very far away, we still are very close and we speak on the phone several times a week. She has visited me in the past, but it hasn't happened the last two years, so we really do miss her. I do tell the kids stories about her, but it is always better to see her in real life.

 


It is at times of birthdays and special days that I miss her even more than usual. She turned EIGHTY years old and I wasn't there. I wanted to do something special for her to celebrate though, so I sent her a big bouquet of roses with a card from the eight of us. That is a good thing about the internet, one can now go online today and have roses delivered in a different country tomorrow.

 


When I told the kids about oma's birthday and I told them I sent roses, Kate asked me in a puzzled voice 'Through the mail???! Wouldn't they get crushed??!' 'Um no... that is not quite how it works.' ^^

Anyway, happy birthday mom! and I hope you can come to visit some time soon. Although I know you don't like snow, so I expect it will be after the winter. In my new house :D
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Sunday, September 20, 2009

Fall Flowers

I am not ready for fall yet, but nature doesn't seem to care. And I have to admit that I love the colours of those asters and the bees which were very busy collecting their fall honey.

 


These pictures were made during a walk with my sister, walking, talking, enjoying nature and having a great time. It is moments like these which remind me of how much I enjoy my life and the universe around me, even if nature sometimes moves a bit faster than I would be willing to move if it were up to me.

 


Cold nights, but sunny and beautiful days are upon us and I will treasure every single one of them.

 
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Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Sunflower!

We really tried this year, started a garden, Dawn planted a lot of things like vegetables and sunflowers, but then life happened.

 


And the garden got taken over by weeds, but some sunflowers still grew. This one is taller than Dawn and Jane and anyone in our family and I am happy we have at least this ray of sunshine in our less than optimal garden.

 


At least the front yard is improving, I'll figure out what to do with the garden or lack of it once the front yard looks better. Maybe by then it will be snowing!

 


Yikes, I don't even want to think about that at all!
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Thursday, September 10, 2009

First Day of Kindergarten

The whole morning I got many variations of 'Is it noon yet? Can we go yet?' about Sylvia's first day of kindergarten. Her kindergarten is only half a day, so I drop her off and she takes the school bus on the way home.

 


She was very excited about finally starting school. I think she felt slightly left out that everyone else had been going, but she hadn't.

 


Running to the van for new adventures.

 


When we got to the kindergarten class, she got quieter and quieter and attached herself to me. 'I just want you mama!' Luckily she was not the only one who was a bit clingy. When it was time to part, she was clearly a bit anxious but was holding herself together. Barely so, but she did it.

 


She came home and I asked 'How was your first day of kindergarten?'
She very annoyedly told me 'You are the FIFTH person to ask me that!' and refused to tell any stories. During dinner she did tell that they had a fire drill and she missed recess! That was clearly the big annoyance of the day.

I am just hoping that the lack of any other negative stories means she had a good first day. Can I admit that I came out of the school, stretched my arms up to the sky and mouthed 'Freedom!' while all the other moms and dads around me were tearing up about their babies starting kindergarten. We had a sisters lunch to celebrate Sylvia's first school day and my first day of three hours all to myself!
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My New 'Office'

Since we moved around some rooms, we have an 'office' now with our computers which has an unexpected added benefit.

 


Turns out I can see birds right out of my window while I sit at my computer. I love it! Here is a not so good pic of a nuthatch, but wanted to share. Will be a great selling point: 'Watch birds right from your office window!'
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Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Girls

May 2009.

 


Some fun pictures I discovered when looking for other pictures.

 


When you see something shiny, you always should be distracted right away and not bother with posting what you actually wanted to post.

 


If you remember what you were going to post that is, maybe I should sleep.

 
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Monday, September 07, 2009

Splash!

 

 

 
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Liberating Plum Trees

A few years ago, I planted some plum trees. Four different varieties and they gave me quite a lot of plums last year, not so many this year. Of course, that might have something to do with the fact that the weeds had been attacking and taking over the yard and I had not been in weed fighting mood. If you ignore them, they will go away all by themselves, right? Well, they didn't!

 


Yesterday I decided that finding those plum trees and showcasing them would most likely increase the curb appeal of this house. People seem to enjoy seeing trees a lot more than they enjoy seeing weeds. Funny at that. And will want to pay lots more money for a yard with plum trees, right?

 


Erik and I started the tedious process of liberating the darned trees. Erik even found a few plums which I happily ate, since Erik thought they were not looking perfect. Whatever, they tasted REALLY good fresh from the tree! While we were in the process of liberating them, a weird creature came to watch us. See the scary eyes???? I might not share this particular picture with the new owners, or should we disclose the 'weird creatures in yard' problem to them?

 


Anyway, no perfection yet, but yet another baby step close to listing this darned house. If I can't get the house looking just right, at least there will be apple and plum trees in the yard to convince people they should buy it! I have to admit that I am having fun doing all the outdoors work on nice days like today.

 
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Sunday, September 06, 2009

Tales from The Living Room

Giant, in happy anticipation 'Hmmmm, I wonder who is under that chair?'

 


Giant excitedly 'It is my favorite cat brother! My very favorite brother EVER! I want to love him! I want to play with him! He is the BEST! Play! Play! Play!'

 


Tiger, in a very annoyed tone of voice 'I HATE that stupid dog! Make him go away! He STINKS! He is DISGUSTING! Get rid of him already! He has bad breath! He is UGLY! His mom dresses him funny! I HATE him!'

 


A few minutes later while Giant is bouncing around the room in excitement and happiness, Tiger, carefully peeking from underneath, making sure he should not be visible to that darned dog 'Is he gone?'

 


He wasn't gone ^^
Tiger annoyed 'Argh!'
Giant panting 'I LOVE you, I want to play with you! You are my favorite cat EVER. Don't hide! We'll have fun! Let's play play play! What about now? And now? Play! Play! I LOVE you so much!'
Tiger grumbling 'Argh!'

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Saturday, September 05, 2009

The Power of Friends

As y'all know, I went through this stupid divorce and things were not perfect for a while and even although things are much better now, I am still untangling many messes leftover from my former life. One of the messes being this house. Somehow I'll have to sell it, and I found myself totally unable to get going on a bunch of bigger projects for it, and there was much wailing and gnashing of teeth and don't forget the whining.

I was very hesitant to ask for help, because we all know I am supposed to be supermom and needing help is just showing weakness and people would think I am a bad person for even contemplating the possibility of asking for help. For a while I wallowed in my self pity and found out that that wasn't the place I wanted to be. I decided to take a deep breath, and ask for help, opening myself up for ridicule, because people wouldn't want to me to sit at their lunch table anymore for sure!

 


I asked for help and friends came over and helped me and now life is good! This morning, I got up and I was in total despair, having NO idea how to get on top of this mess of trying to sell the house. I wanted to crawl back in bed with a good book and hope the house would go away by itself. Which would have made it kind of hard to stay in bed with a book now that I think about it, but maybe, just maybe, my thinking was just a tad disorganized.

People started showing up and we got started and I was amazed how much everyone accomplished. Some friends switched the furniture of two rooms so that we now have a living room where there should be a living room and a study where there should be a study. This morning I had NO idea we would even get started on that particular project. We moved out a desk for the ex which he picked up today so that is yet another task DONE.

Flyingfisher found our brick walkway under the raspberry bushes and we pruned evergreens and the front of the house looks so much better already, even if not perfect yet. I sent my sister out for pizza and chrysanthemums and even although the house still is in crappy condition, it has TONS more curb appeal now.

 


I baked cinnamon raisin bread and we ate pizza to reward ourselves for our hard work and later I spent some lovely time with my sister, drinking tea, discussing all the universe's problems and agreeing that this universe is a pretty darned good universe.

And strangely enough, the task of selling the house has been transformed from an insurmountable mountain to an accomplishable project. Gotta love how one day with friends can change one's perspective.

 


The power of friends!

 
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Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Early in The Morning

Last one here to make it to the school bus.

 

 

 


While his sister happily slept and slept and slept.

 


Everyone came home with happy stories and handbooks and 34 forms for me to fill out. What is up with that? I really thought the KIDS would get homework, not me. We'll see how easy it will be to get them out of bed tomorrow.
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School, YIKES

First day of school. This is ... different. Exciting, scary, interesting. For the kids too

 


I am happy six made it to school today, since Sylvia's kindergarten doesn't start till a week later. She will have her teacher visit her first. Does that mean I have to clean up the house? Wait, I have to do that anyway to sell it.

 


I felt that this year public school would fit us better, even if I am sad about not homeschooling. I have been a homeschooling parent for so long.

 


On the other hand, having time every day to finish a thought beyond the first two milliseconds will be nice. This week is only three days of school. Next week is four days of school, and we won't have to deal with a full week of school till the week after.

 


Interesting times.
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