Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Christmas at the Lollar's

I was lax in getting a lot of pics this year. Too busy hosting, I guess. We were glad that mom, dad and Uncle Jim could come over, along with Stacey and Gus. Brian made an excellent prime rib, along with champ potatoes, a salad, green beans and rolls. We were even lucky enough to have leftovers!
We then opened gifts. It was a lovely day!

Tessa at her happiest, when someone is giving her full attention...

We're so glad Uncle Jim is in town!

The boys, looking so happy that I was taking pictures.

I wanted to show everyone how great mom looks!

Stacey looking just beautiful!

The recently engaged couple!  Gus and Stacey

Riordan being attacked by bows...

Finally!  A decent pic of Corrin!  Yeah, he's huge.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009


The last couple of nights I have been dreaming of spiders. In both dreams, I see the huge spider, but can't seem to move. In both dreams, the spider follows my movements.

I can't remember all of my first dream, but I remember last nights. I lifted up my piano key protector, and underneath there was what I thought were just dirty cobwebs. As I started to play the piano, I realized the cobwebs were following my movement as I played. At closer inspection, I noticed it was a HUGE spiderweb with a even bigger spider within. I kept playing, with a certain fascination that the spider would follow my movements. I was scared to death, but I couldn't remove the spider, and I couldn't do much but keep playing. In both dreams, I never killed the spider. In the first dream, I remember the spider jumping, but I don't remember much more than that.

I went to a dream interpretation site and found this:

Arachnophobia, the fear of spiders, is the most common phobia among American people. Many of us find these hairy, eight-legged creatures very creepy. There is no doubt that a dream about spiders may simply be your subconscious expressing that prevalent fear.

However, the image of a spider goes much deeper than just a creepy-crawly to fear. Spiders have many associations that may be symbolically represented in your dream by the appearance of a spider.

SPIDERS AS TRICKSTERS: If you have ever read any African fables, you may have noticed that the spider is a devious, tricky creature. Even in modern western society we associate spiders with trickery (come into my parlor, said the spider to the fly). This is most likely because spiders lure and ensnare their prey. If you are dreaming about spiders, there is a possibility that your dream is warning you that you may be tangled up in a web of deceit. Take a good look at those around you, especially those in whom you have put your trust.

SPIDERS AS WEAVERS: Another association of spiders comes from their ability to weave beautiful and intricate webs. There is an old Greek myth about a woman named Arachne who was an incredibly gifted artist and weaver. She was also insolent and rude, claiming that her abilities were greater than those of Athena, the patron Goddess of weaving. After challenging Athena to a contest, Arachne felt so bad for her disrespect to the Goddess that she hanged herself. Athena took pity on Arachne and brought her back to life as a spider, so that she could hang forever weaving her beautiful creations, as well as all of her ancestors. If you are dreaming of a spider web, it may indicate that you are ignoring your creative impulses. If you dream of a spider weaving a web, it could mean that inspiration is right in front of you. Either way, the dream is urging you not to resist or ignore your artistic impulses. Even if you do not consider yourself an artistic person, your psyche is encouraging you to explore and unleash your creativity in some way.

SPIDERS AS FEMALE ENERGY: When considering the symbolic meanings of spiders, one cannot overlook the image of the black widow, luring in the male to mate, and then viciously killing and cannibalizing him in order to nourish herself when her eggs have been fertilized. In this way, spiders represent the feminine energies within us. These energies are both the destructive and constructive, as seen in the cycle of death and birth. If dreaming about a black widow spider, or of a spider that kills its mate, your dreams may be telling you that you are experiencing a major transformation in your life.

SPIDERS AS CREATURES OF BALANCE: Spiders hang from slender threads, and walk delicately upon their webs. But, being delicate creatures, if they fall, they can die. A dream of a spider walking a web may indicate that you must take care, for you are walking a fine line in life, or that you are in need of finding a balance. Spiders also have eight legs, which are symbolic of the ancient wheel of the year, which is divided up into the solstices and equinoxes, and the mid-points between them. A dream in which a spider’s legs are the focus may indicate that you are currently experiencing a rut or an in-between stage in life.

SPIDERS AS CREATURES OF FATE: The weaving symbolism of a spider can be extended to the Fates, the demigods in Greek mythology which weave the fate of our lives. This can indicate a connection between the past and the future. It may also be telling you that you are the master of your own destiny, and should take charge in weaving the future you desire.

I'm not really sure which part my dream falls under, but I find it fascinating. I could guess, with some things going on my life, which one it is.

Happy Birthday, Riordan!

I can't believe it's been seven years. I love you, honey!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Just another day?

Every year I have the countdown to listen to. It's glorious in it's own way. "20 days 'til my birthday, mom! 25 days 'til Christmas!" Wait...what? Riordan's birthday is the 22nd, not the 20th...

Poor kid has it in his head that we're celebrating his birthday this weekend rather on his birthday. I try so hard to celebrate it separate from Christmas so it feels like an actual birthday. Every year we have either my parents or my in-laws come over the weekend before Christmas to celebrate Christmas with them. It matters which year it is. This year it's my parents, and since they live 45 minutes away, I didn't want them to come over on both Saturday AND Sunday, so we've decided to celebrate Riordan's birthday on his actual BirthDAY. Dinner out with the family, opening gifts and then dessert. It's hard because his birthday falls within the winter break, and so without any thought beforehand, there are usually no invites that go to his friends. During the break, we have nothing to get in touch with people (have YOU tried getting phone numbers or addresses from 6-year-old's?) and so again, he's hanging with the fam. You can't make a big deal about it IN school for the fear of hurting some kid's feelings by not inviting him. (I can't invite all 24 kids to my house for a birthday party!) It's quite the issue. So, every day, the countdown until his birthday is worded with "we're celebrating my birthday on the 20th!" and me telling him that no, we're waiting until your actual birthday, dude.

We're hoping that his birthday gift, Bronco tickets, will help him get over the disappointment.

Thursday, December 17, 2009


My eldest is reading The God Delusion. It caught me off guard seeing it laying there by his bed. I realized then that I've got to get over whatever I'm dealing with and start going back to church. I'm not one to push my beliefs on others, but Corrin is at the age where he's thinking...a LOT...and I'd like him to hear both sides before coming to a conclusion. It makes me feel as if I've failed that his friends are doing a better job at sharing what they believe than I am.

Through this whole...ordeal (for lack of a better word), I've talked about being unsatisfied with the church rather than God. Organized religion and such. I've even made the comment that I don't think Jesus expected what has happened through the church...and not sure He'd like it. Darn people just screw it up. His message isn't that hard...why do churches make it hard?

I am praying fervently that God shows me a church that doesn't allow the members to fuck it all up.

Monday, December 7, 2009


I had a wonderful weekend! I went to the cookie exchange and made a gingerbread house (which is now missing most of its candy, due to the boys) and met some new people. Thanks to Jennifer and Donna for throwing a fun party! I then went to a choir and orchestra concert yesterday and enjoyed hanging out with my family and friend as we listened to it. I love watching my mother-in-law's so very obvious she loves singing because she smiles the entire time. Loved the got me in the Christmas spirit. Riordan loved watching the woman hit the big drum!

The boys and I put up the Christmas tree yesterday, too, so it was a busy day. I am so glad that last year I bought a container that keeps all of the decorations in an easy to pull out way with partitions because in years past I always had to unwrap each decoration before giving it to the boys and it took twice and long and had always ticked the boys off. This time, I just opened the container and the decorations were there to put up! Niiiiiice! No arguing, and the boys love seeing their Christmas oranaments! I've realized that I now need two trees in my house because I have so many decorations that we have gathered throughout the years. I have a fake tree that I can set up...I just have to figure out where it's going to go. It's the "pretty" tree that everything matches. ;)

Daegan has informed Brian and I that he no longer believes in Santa Claus. I asked him why, and he said that Santa's handwriting looks like ours (we've always printed out tags, so I'm not sure where that came from). I just told him that if he believes, his stockings will fill up on Christmas Eve. He told me that years past when he asked Corrin if HE believed in Santa, and Corrin said "not really" that HIS stocking was still filled. I told him that Corrin obviously didn't really mean it and that Santa knew it. It's hard to lie about things like this...but I have one more child in the house that still believes and God forbid his older brother is going to give it away! When Santa is gone, the magic of Christmas morning is gone. :( Christmas Eve and Christmas day is when we talk about Jesus...Christmas morning is all about Santa! I am bummed that Daegan knows the secret, but it lasted longer for him than for Corrin, which I am happy about.

Thursday, December 3, 2009


This past week and a half has been quite the blur. I've been Christmas shopping like no other, trying to get deals to save a bit of money. I even got up at the crack of dawn (oh, who am I kidding, it was even earlier) on the day after Thanksgiving which I've never done before. As my kids get older, the prices of their wish lists get more expensive...and Brian and I try to get at least one big item for them from Santa.

I also have been hanging out with my friend Stacey who is getting married to my best friend, Gus in May. Wedding dress shopping to be precise. It's been a lot of fun, and I'm happy that she has finally found her dress that she's going to wear on the big day. I'm making 14 dozen cookies for a cookie exchange this weekend, plus getting ready for two parties NEXT weekend, along with Riordan's birthday and Christmas.

I had picked up a volunteer form for the library, but haven't had enough time to fill it out...which means I haven't had enough time to I guess I'll put that off for a bit.

This Christmas season has been unusual, and I believe I talked about this last year, but nothing I've been busy with has had anything to do with church or religious activities. I've missed the joyous sounds of Christian Christmas music, so I'll be attending a Brighton Choir musical on Sunday...hoping to fill me with all that is good. I don't WANT my Christmas to be all about shopping. I miss the constant reminders of why my family celebrates this Holiday in the first place. I'll do whatever I can to include that in the festivities...looking for a church to go to on Christmas Eve.

It's been incredibly cold outside here, which means you go from place to place in a hurry. I'd like to sit down and rest for a bit, but still have so much to do! Maybe if I can get it all done now, the time for rest will come later!!!

Here's wishing you all a nice, relaxing Holiday season.

Monday, November 23, 2009

I can't go back

She's gone. The question of the day today was, "Are you coming back?" When asked this, I feel my body go rigid. My thoughts go to the final weeks of attending where everything is crystal clear. The putdowns, the thoughtless remarks, the absolute power that this church gave to one woman, who was said to be Godly. As people sat by, listening...literally eating up her words without a remark. That was the end for me. Yes, one problem with this church is gone. Yes, it makes me feel like I could visit this church. But come back? No. It's lost to me. When people sit by and let a preacher say things without standing up and saying that it's wrong...I can't trust these people anymore.

I am not laying guilt on just the members. I, too, sat there, feeling myself wanting to regurgitate, but not standing up. Holding the anger in as she said words that were hurtful. So it's not just anger, but my own self hating that I said nothing, too. How can I attend a church that, when I drive by, those feelings come back...every time? How could I possibly help it's healing? I can't.

I don't believe I can return to a church that is known for being "hard on it's ministers". I can't attend a church that is known for the conference to send preachers it's way as a stepping stone to something bigger and better. I cannot attend a church that is part of a conference that doesn't seem to have sane and well preachers. How can I attend a church where there are no children, no music ministry, nothing for my family? It just can't happen. So, I sit here, and try to swallow the anger and hurt again.

I know I have to do something. My mother-in-law suggested I write a letter to the district about what I think the church needs. I feel as if this was a good suggestion, but have to prayerfully consider what I would want to say. I do wish this church would get healthy. It is God's house, and it is there to serve the Lord.

I wish there was something out there...

Sunday, November 22, 2009

New Moon Review...I tell it like I see it.

I should preface this entire review with the thought that I wasn't a huge fan of the first movie Twilight after I saw it the first time, but thought it was better the second time around. Not sure why, maybe it was Rob's face that did it for me...but I've watched it several times since then and have enjoyed it. However, I am NOT a Twilighter in the fact that I get so dopey eyed over the looks of the characters that I don't expect more from a movie...especially with fans that dole out a shit load of money to see something good.

Several weeks before the movie, I had watched the previews and had a hopeful attitude. Werewolves looked decent, seemed to follow the storyline, etc. I told myself I was NOT going to reread New Moon because I was so disappointed with Twilight and how they left a lot of important aspects out of the movie (read...meadow scene and how it REALLY went down) so I stayed away from anything remotely having to do with New Moon. Also, my sis-in-law and I decided that we would wait until the general hype wore down a bit so we could actually watch the movie without hearing squeals of sextasy in the movie theater.

Today (finally) came and we're waiting in line, and happen to be standing by an outlandishly gay man (young boy) who was waiting to see the movie for the third time. I thought he might ejaculate in his pants just talking about the movie. Nice guy, but I could tell it might be a long night as he sits down with us as we wait and decides to give us his opinion on whether or not we should watch movies as we see the previews. I decided at this point to not be "friendly Heather" and ignore him from then on. He actually shut his mouth during the actual movie, which was good because I was ready to go Edward on his ass.

Actual movie review:

All in all (from what I can remember) the movie did a decent job in following the book. There were some things they changed, but it didn't bother me that they added in some fight scenes and took out some others scenes from the book. I've seen enough books turned into movies to expect this. The movie flowed well enough. I loved how they showed passage of time during this movie using good camera usage. The werewolves were decent. After seeing Twilight, I was wary about what the CGI was going to look like. Wasn't the best I've seen, but wasn't the worst, also. Taylor. Taylor, Taylor, Taylor. I'd say out of all of the actors, he was the best in cast. Never heard of this kid before, but I thought he did a darn good job playing the role of Jacob. Move over Edward, I'm Team Jacob now.

Now onto the bad. Could Kristen and Rob please take ALLLLL of the money that they have received from these two movies and invest it in acting classes? Please? I mean, I'm going to say the director must have had blinders on. REALLY? That's the best they could do? No retakes? Kristen looked like she always does. She's got the mopey face down...and sometimes she tries to put some anger in her face. I felt NOTHING between the two characters. I don't know about you guys, but when I read New Moon when Edward left, it really, really, really hurt ME when he left because she was so hurt. I just felt...nothing while watching the movie. Edward. Hello? Constipated is all I felt from him. I don't know what I expected...but it wasn't what they showed. No tears? Nothing? Just screaming once in awhile from some bad nightmares.

So, Bella starts hanging out with Jacob, and the smiles come back...along with...chemistry! Aren't Kristen and Rob dating in real life? God, what a nightmare. If I were Rob, I'd be checking out Kristen's phone to see if Taylor is calling...

Also, makeup? Jasper? My God, people...did you not READ what fans were complaining about after the last movie? I can't wait until Jasper quits looking like he wants to upchuck. Bella, please change into a vampire so we can see the Jasper we want to see...

As I read other reviews, all I can see is OMG, Jacob took off his shirt and I was like, OMG!!!! Am I wrong to expect more from this entire saga? I know the writing wasn't the best in the entire world, but I do believe in the story. I liked how the books brought me into another world for awhile, and it was a cool world to be in. I liked how I felt young again while reading it. It's not just about seeing good looking characters, it's rooting for them, and falling in love all over again. I appreciate the fact they wanted good looking actors in these movies, but they should have searched longer. For people that could ACT.

I think I'll wait until Eclipse comes out on video. Sometime around this time next year.

Oh...the boy we sat by? He pulled an Edward move and literally hopped out of his seat and jumped over the bars and ran out of the movie theater. Most dramatic thing that happened during the entire night.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Conveying the bigger picture

Yesterday was a tough one. I knew Corrin had done something and was waiting to talk to him when he got home. He admitted it (which, I have to give him credit for) but didn't see why what he did was wrong. After discussing it in length (read screaming at each other) I think he finally understood the point I was making.

Parenthood. Where you swallow your anger and try to get through the point you are trying to teach them. It's not all about us vs. them, it's about teaching them right from wrong. Teenagers have the us vs. them mentality, and I try so hard to work around that obstacle before laying down the laws of the world. Parents know nothing. They know everything. Conversations include, "Well you're thinking" or "You were going to say" or "You never listen" when really, we're just in a rush to say our point of view before listening to the other. I had to step back, take a breath, and apologize for interrupting, because he was right. I interrupted because I saw where he THOUGHT I was coming from, and I felt he was wrong. However, it's not about ME...but what he perceives, and the lesson I'm trying to teach.

One thing about Corrin and I, we scream, we yell and then it's over. There's no hard feelings (I think!!!) and we move on. He did accuse me of just wanting to get in an argument because I told him he could yell at me as long as he would TELL ME WHAT WAS ON HIS MIND!!! I told him I'm not much for yelling, but if we got to the truth of the matter, than that's what had to happen. I know a lot of people don't agree with the scream and yell method, but the outcome is what I strive for. Understanding. Agreement. Solidarity. Forgiveness. Love.

It's interesting to me, because I think everyone needs to learn how to speak their mind. You can do it plainly, and lovingly, without destroying relationships in the long run. You can tell people, "you pissed me off the other day, and I'd like to talk about it" without the world falling apart. You also can be the first to say, "I know I hurt you, and I am deeply sorry". As long as we do this for the relationship, rather than our own pride or agenda, the end result should be forgiveness.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


Card shopping has become an extremely hard thing to do when I'm buying one for my mom. I feel as if I should go shop for them around midnight so no one is around to see me bawl my eyes out. Every card I looked at made my eyes tear up, and I looked like a ninny. I picked out a card for my mom that essentially said, "what would I do without you" because it's STILL on my mind. What would my life be like without her in it?? She cried while reading it, because she wondered, as I did, if she'd make it to her next birthday. I cried while buying it, because the words rang so true.

No card ever says it all. There are no words to say how thankful I am that I have another year with her. There is no card that says everything that I feel needs to be said. I don't have the words to be able to express how deep my love is for her.

I try not to hear a clock slowly ticking time down, reminding us that our time together could be short. Instead, I try to appreciate each and every moment that we have together. Not as it would be our last, but enjoy it like it's a first. We don't know what God's plan is for mom. She has a 50% chance to survive this cancer five years. If she passes that five year mark, we're in the clear. It's amazing how struggle and pain makes you appreciate life so much more. We have an appointment for a pedicure on Tuesday (mom's first...I'm going all out) and it brings a smile to my face to think about being there as she experiences it. How could she NOT love it?

Today, it was a good day. Happy Birthday, mom.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Wet pillow

Woke up crying this morning. Not sure what is up with that. I mean, I'm aware of what is going on in my life, but since I usually deal with things with anger, I was surprised to find tears. It made me think about why I'm reacting the way I am.

Am I hurt about it all? Maybe a bit. I thought I was more relieved than anything else, but I think not knowing what the outcome is is starting to get to me. I fear a lack of closeness and I've got to get over that. It's interesting that I've always blamed one person for this entire fiasco but now see the blame also lies with someone else. I realize we weren't as close as I thought we were, and that realization is what hurts. I rethink what I've said, what I've done and try to find ways to blame myself because it just DOESN'T MAKE SENSE.

It's funny how hurt brings out the worst in all of us.

I get tired of faking it. I really do. I sometimes just want to unplug the phone so I don't have to act.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Not my cup of tea

Lately, as Brian has had to work longer hours, I have tried to help out by cooking meals at least two times a week. I know this doesn't seem much to most women out there, but it's a lot to me. I cannot stand cooking. I can't stand feeling like I'm strapped in one room with no way out for a couple of hours. I don't like the heat. I don't like the not knowing what I'm doing, and I especially don't like the idea of the lack of flavor, or something burnt having to go down my family's throat. I'm just not a cook. Thankfully my husband doesn't mind or we'd starve to death. I DO enjoy letting him rest when he comes home, however. That makes me feel accomplished.

The other day I had to cook something. It was last minute, and it actually turned out half way decent, but I was ENRAGED in the kitchen. I wasn't angry at any particular thing, just enraged that I was cooking. I beat the ever lasting shit out of everything I was preparing. Ha!

I'm going to try it again today. I'm starting early, hoping to cook in a crock pot so the feeling of being strapped in the kitchen isn't as strong. I'm hoping it turns out so there's a feeling of accomplishment rather than a strong feeling of failure. Wish me luck. (wish the meat luck, too)


Sometimes, I would like to scream at the world, "YOU DON'T KNOW ME!!!" and then realize, I don't know myself.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Changing of the seasons

After enduring very cold temperatures ENTIRELY too early last week, we received a blessing of 80's yesterday and 70's today. I STILL haven't finished planting my bulbs, but am now blaming it on this cold that won't quite make up it's mind if it's going to be a full blown cold, or just make me tired and cough a lot. I'm running on empty.

I should be napping, because that's what you do when you're sick, but instead I'm sitting in the shade, listening to the light breeze move my Aspen trees. They are almost completely gold right now. The weather has been just perfect for the trees to change this year.

For some reason, I've been reflecting a lot on the past year. My mother's cancer, my best friend being in Iraq for a year, friends, Brian's job loss, other family members...a LOT has happened since this time last year. I hold my head up high with no regrets on either my actions nor my feelings. I look back and know that I have gained more appreciation for the little things, and smiles come easier to my face. I have unconsiously (or maybe consiously) removed little things out of my life that caused me greater stress than I was able to take, and have vowed to be sweeter with my words and my thoughts.

I miss my boys since they've started school. I see how separation between mother and sons is bound to happen, and nod knowingly. I think it's natural, even necessary, for the man to fall in love with a woman and leave his mother behind, but they are a part of me and never can be fully severed. I rejoice in them finding their new love, however, and will continuously praise God for whenever that should happen. I know this is early to think about, but as my young son becomes a teenager, I can feel the separation starting already. Wanting to share things with his friends rather than his parents. Again, I know this is completely normal (I wanted nothing to do with my mother and father as a teenager) but it's forshadowing what soon will come.

My husband is working a lot lately. I appreciate his job, appreciate it so much more before the Holidays. It allows us to breathe easier with health insurance and maybe a little bit of a bonus sometime next year. I appreciate how this company has made a change in my husband. He walks taller, with a broader step. He continuously is reminded how much he is needed at work and has more self confidence...something that I never was able to give him...but am so happy he is attaining it. I miss him, too.

With fall coming to an end too soon, I reflect. I administer. I love. I hope to find more of myself this upcoming year.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Using tomatoes both ripe and green

A couple of nights ago we heard that we would have frost, so that night, I picked every large tomato off of my four vines. About 100 tomatoes later, I felt quite overwhelmed with what to do with them.

A little background...I grow tomatoes for my family. I, for one, can't stand them. I'm okay when they're pureed, and more into paste, or for some reason I like them in salsa (as long as they are very, very tiny). I put out a HELP!!! onto facebook on what to do with all of them. After reading several recipes and dicing up what seemed a million tomatoes, I tried making my own salsa. It was a lot of fun, and I'm pretty happy with how it all turned out. I still have the ingredients to make about 8 cups more, but will refrain for a couple of days so we can actually eat what I've already made.

Most people told me that I can ripen the tomatoes using the box method (which I haven't tried yet) or I could make Fried Green Tomatoes. I haven't decided, but am starting to worry about fruit flies and gnats invading my house as they sit there, looking so pretty and ready to eat!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Winter already?

Today is the second day of fall, and it's been around 50 degrees the past few days. I feel as if we didn't even have much of a summer, and now I'm contemplating getting the long sleeve shirts out. I'm actually wearing a sweater today to stay warm. This weekend should be warmer (in the 70's) and who knows after that. All I do know is...the winter doldrums have hit me to the fullest degree. With the boys gone, I've been leaving the house more, but not getting much done. I know that the end of the month will leave me with excitement because I have all of my Halloween decor to set up.

I haven't been motivated to write. This might be the mild depression hitting with the boys gone, me working less and not knowing what will be happening next?

Monday, August 17, 2009

End of Summer Blues

As I eagerly await my Solidago 'Fireworks' to bloom, it hits me that it's one of the last perennials to bloom and a quiet break hits me. Summer is almost over. Except for the asters and mums, a sunflower, too, I've got nothing to look forward to see bloom! I love fall and what it brings (Halloween, cooler weather) but my passion for gardening stills. Yes, there are bulbs to plant, things to cut down, but nothing to look forward to in my gardens. *sigh*

Emily Dickinson must have felt the same way at the end of summer:

Indian Summer

These are the days when birds come back,
A very few, a bird or two,
To take a backward look.

These are the days when skies put on
The old, old sophistries of June, -
A blue and gold mistake.

Oh, fraud that cannot cheat the bee,
Almost thy plausibility
Induces my belief,

Till ranks of seeds their witness bear,
And softly through the altered air
Hurries a timid leaf!

Oh, sacrament of summer days,
Oh, last communion in the haze,
Permit a child to join,

Thy sacred emblems to partake,
Thy consecrated bread to break,
Taste thine immortal wine!

Friday, August 14, 2009


I received a couple of phone calls from mom this past week but have been waiting to tell the results of her tests until we heard everything.

Mom had her CT Scan and it was clear! She had her CA125 counts come back and they had gone down to 5! This news makes us all breathe a little easier, and allows the cancer to go a little further back into our minds. Remission is such a two-edge sword. You are so happy that she's in remission, but it's not "cured" for 5 whole years. We are so grateful for the news and are trying to train ourselves to be happy with what we've got!

Mom's energy is coming back strong as she does physical therapy. Her leg pain is less, she has feeling in all of her limbs. She's hoping the "chemo brain" gets better in time because she gets very frustrated at the loss of her short term memory. All in all, an EXCELLENT report and we are very happy!

Monday, August 10, 2009


It's been a very busy summer (read...AUGUST)! I haven't had much time to do anything except work, prepare for my boys going back to school and preparing and attending two baby showers for my sis-in-law. I've enjoyed every minute of it, but am welcoming some time to catch up on things around the house.

The boys start school on Thursday, and it hits me that I will have all days to myself. Someone asked me to tell her how that works out...what that FEELS like. Right now, it feels like a huge piece of what I do has been taken out of the picture. I've been a stay-at-home mom for 9 years. How do you prepare yourself for all of that extra TIME? I know I have tons of projects to do at the house. It's 30 years old and constantly needs new things, new paint, just plain updating. With the boys asthma, I've always had to put off the painting for fear it will cause their asthma to act up. With them gone, I can do some painting in the morning and then air out the house so it's clear by the time they get home. I always have my landscaping to work on. I have work to go to. It just STOPS in October...and then there's nothing...

Corrin starts at the high school this year. I'm sure he's so tired of us telling him that "this is it. It now MEANS something" but he does want to attend CU and that is all we have left to inspire him to stay active and school and get good grades. We can't hold his hand forever, and I refuse to push him when it comes to something like doing homework. The stress if huge, and he needs to learn to do it on his own.

With two nieces coming sometime in September or early October, and one other niece or nephew due the end of January, I'm sure a lot of my time with be spent with my sis-in-law's because I HAVE the time and they won't. It's so weird that my timing has always been way ahead of everyone else, and people are finally catching up. It's weird because I'm not that much older than everyone else, but I feel as if I am sometimes. I have such a feeling of disconnect when I'm talking of plans.

I'm at a different stage, and I don't know what to do with myself.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Bloomin' Tuesday!

Today is Bloomin' Tuesday and I have a two part blog that I will share half this week and then half next week. I had the pleasure of visiting the Betty Ford Alpine Gardens in Vail, CO last week and I was in HEAVEN. If you haven't had a chance to go visit the mountains in the summer, please do so! The wildflowers were in abundance, the weather perfect and the gardens were divine! Here are just a few shots that I took of the Alpine Gardens. Thanks to Jean for providing a chance to share some amazing flower pics! Go to Jean's site to check out what's blooming across the world.

Next week are some shots that I took at 10,500 ft up on Vail Pass!

Monday, July 27, 2009

The return

Brian and I returned from vacation on Friday, and yesterday I had major clean-up in my gardens. It looked like a jungle due to the heavy winds and rain we received the previous week! My hollyhocks were sideways, my russian sage had split down the middle and were lying flat. Time to get the twine and pray! This is the year where I had to see how everything grew together, and next spring is the year to fix everything. I know there are a lot of people that do dividing in the fall, but I've never had a lot of luck with that here in Colorado. I'm not sure if it's because I wait too long and then the roots don't have enough time to establish or what, but a lot of things die over the winter time. Color combinations and size of plants are the main obstacles right now. I planted some crazy daisies and some daylillies right by my sidewalk walkway and everything was too huge to walk through. I had no idea the crazy daisies would flop as much as they have and have to move them pronto. They flopped so much I just cut them down and didn't even get to enjoy the flowers!

Moving on to my veggie garden...I have little grape tomatoes EVERWHERE, and I have to restake all of my tomatoes because they have outgrown what I previously had. I have peppers that are very close to harvesting, and saw our first cukes and beans coming along strong. FINALLY the heat has come through and things are growing with gusto.

My backyard is missing summer color so I will be dividing like crazy and bringing new color to it next spring. It's hard to know for sure what will bloom because when you buy things new, they don't necessarily bloom the same time the first year. I have two types of hibiscus that should be blooming now but haven't yet...and my Limelight Hydrangea is about to pop. Other than some daisies, foxglove and columbine blooming, that's the only color besides green that I really have in the back.

All of my trees are doing very well. I was surprised they don't have any signs of stress from the heat. This week should be a bit cooler to give them a much needed break.

All in all, it's been a pretty successful summer in my gardens. I have one side trained to only need water once a week, which is great. If I could stop planting on the other side, I could get that down to twice a week waterings, I think. Saving water is the plan...

Monday, July 20, 2009

Vacation Part 1

So far we've visited all around Vail. The first day we went to the Betty Ford Alpine Gardens which I really enjoyed. Unfortunately, the lighting was very bright so my pictures weren't as good as I hoped.

We then walked around town and went to a place called the Red Lion Inn and watched a performer named Phil Long.

I ate fish tacos and drank a lot of margaritas. The next day both Brian and I were very tired because we stayed up too late the night before and took it easy by visiting the Vail Market and bought some peaches from Palisade (oh my gosh scrumptious!!) and also a smoked turkey leg. We then headed back to the condo, took a long nap. Later in the evening the clouds started to roll in, so we went to the City Market and bought the makings for a salad. Came back, ate the salad and watched a movie together. Today we are well rested and hope to enjoy the scenery that the mountains bring. It is so beautiful here. I could see us buying a place to enjoy during the warmer months. I love the weather up here...have yet to have to use air conditioning.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Gone for a week

Brian and I are taking our first ever vacation...all by ourselves. I might be checking in from time to time, but won't be posting. Expect a lot of pics when we get back...we're going to go visit the Betty Ford Alpine Gardens!!

For those sick and twisted people, don't get any ideas. We have a housesitter and a rabid dog...


Tuesday, July 14, 2009

My mom has HAIR!

Saw it with my own eyes. It's beautiful.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Regis University

Last Friday I had the pleasure of strolling around the Regis University Arboretum. Two coworkers and I walked around and saw over 600 varieties of trees planted. While there, I found a new respect for a lot of trees. Anything green catches my eye, but these were old trees that had developed into art. There were quite a few that made my "if I had 5 acres I'd plant this tree". Regis has several Champion Trees planted that I took pictures of. The lighting was not great for picture taking, but I did the best I could.

We get to enjoy this! I'm so very excited! | Colorado's Online News Leader | Colors bursting in Colorado high country

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Sunday, July 12, 2009

Corrin's 14th Birthday

We kind of had a "birthday weekend" for Corrin. We first went to Joe's Crab Shack on Friday night and had an awesome dinner. I told the waiter it was Corrin's birthday, so they make a big deal about embarassing the heck out of them in front of everyone. Here are some pics to enjoy:

We then went to Baskin Robbins for ice cream afterwards.

On Saturday, we went over to my in-laws to see some friends that have been out of town for a long time, and we brought a cake over for Corrin to share.

Then today we went to the Boondock's Fun Center and had Corrin bring a friend. It was a great time had by all. It's hard to believe he is 14. People keep asking if I feel older when they get older...and that's not really how I feel. It's mostly that I can literally remember like yesterday being pregnant with him and all of the feelings that happened. I remember getting the pregnancy test...telling Brian...telling the parentals. Everything is all so clear. The idea that 14 years have past since then is remarkable to me. He is still such a loving, sweet young man (although the loathe teenager shows up more and more lately). I love him so very much! Happy Birthday, Corrin!

The Golden Maple

Dum dum DUUUUUM. Today I'll be talking about the beautiful yellow maple. You know the one. It's across your street in the neighbors yard, shining brightly. It might even be in YOUR yard and you're scratching your head trying to remember if you had bought a yellow maple. You could have SWORN it was green last year!! Let's take a closer look at this beautiful tree....

Wait. There's something odd about these leaves. They have GREEN veins, but the rest of the leaf is yellow...

What you're seeing is not a yellow maple, but a maple suffering from iron chlorosis. Chlorosis means lack of chlorophyll. Iron chlorosis is a condition caused by lack of iron. No one is absolutely sure what causes iron deficiency in the soils. Chlorosis is typically associated with one of three site conditions--a soil with a pH above 7 (an alkaline soil), a heavy soil containing a high percentage of clay, or a site where there has been extensive soil fill or removal, compaction, or construction injury that has damaged the root system. We live in Colorado, and most of us have the two site conditions in our backyard. With all of the rain, a lot of the iron has been washed away, and chlorosis is happening all around town. Some maples are more susceptible. Amur maples, silver maples and Autumn Blaze maples seem to be the top three. Oak trees also can suffer...especially the Pin Oak. I'm seeing chlorosis happening in Aspens, Ash trees and even my own Mock Orange is suffering a bit.

What to do? There are a lot of products that have pure iron in them. Dr. Iron is a granular type that you can put around your tree's drip line and water it in. Quite a few web sites say to punch holes in the ground and then put the iron in the holes. You can also use foliar spray that has iron for smaller trees and bushes, but good luck spraying the entire tree. It might take a few doses to bring your tree around.

Although those "yellow maples" are pretty to look at, don't hope for one. Chlorosis is a killer to your plants. Treat them as soon as you see it happen.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

My hubby suggested this blog...thank him

We've been getting a lot of phone calls lately about trees and shrubs that are looking sickly. Some seem to be normal transplant shock, and some, I believe, are drowning from too much water. With all of the rain that we have been receiving, this isn't something that we can fix, but we can keep it from happening when we plant. This advice is, of course, for people living in Colorado. I am not sure if this works in all parts of the USA.

When you are planting a plant that eventually doesn't take much water usage, plant UP. Usually 1-2 inches higher than the ground level is sufficient. What you're allowing is water run off to go to the roots, but also allowing the roots to breathe. With all of this water, your plants are oxygen starved!! Especially with the clay soil that is most prevelant in Colorado. If you have a plant that does need more water to survive, plant at ground level. When planting, make sure you are adding water as you plant to see if the plants stay at ground level, or starts sinking to below ground level. If this is the case, build up the plant. Although too much water is a slow death, it does end up the same way: sticks planted in your gardens.

You also might be noticing your grass is looking a bit iffy, too. Again, the constant rain has made your grass just sit there looking beautiful and green, but none of the roots have needed a reason to spread and look for more water. So...with the 90 degree days, your grass is going through some shock, too. As MUCH as you want to water, water, water. DON'T!!! Follow the water guidelines for your city and stick with them. You will eventually have a healthier lawn if you do this. I also remind all to fertilize, fertilize, fertilize (organically, of course!) during the major Holidays. Think Memorial Day, 4th of July, Labor Day.

Our plants can handle this unusual wet spring and summer we have been receiving if you plant correctly, and don't add more water to an already oxygen starved plant. If you are asking yourself, "how do I know if my plants are getting too much water or not enough?" use your hands as a guide. Dig by the plant (not too close to upset the roots!) about 4-6 inches down. If the soil is dry that far down, time to water. If your soil is wet where if you squeeze it and water comes out...take a few days to let it dry out. If the ground is just moist enough where it can clump together, it's perfect...wait another day before watering. Just because the soil is dry on top does NOT mean the soil is dry lower down. Our Colorado winds and high altitude dry out the top layer pretty fast. Let your hands be the judge.

Happy non-watering! :)

Monday, July 6, 2009

Bloomin Tuesday!

Yay! I haven't been able to post some pictures because I work on Tuesday's...but have planned ahead this week and am posting a tad bit early. Lots of things are blooming around here! Make sure you check out Jean's site to enjoy everyone's flowers that are blooming! Thanks, Jean!!

Here is my first arrangement made from flowers from my garden. It brings me great peace!

Asiatic lillies that were SUPPOSED to be Stargazer. Um, they didn't turn out that way, but they are lovely anyways.

'Cambridge Scarlet' absolute favorite flower. The first bloom was July 4th, and it reminds me so much of fireworks. How fitting!

One of the tall Daylillies given to me by a coworker.

Prairie Mallow

'Crazy Daisy' Shasta Daisy

Echinacea purpurea 'Magnus'

Campanula garganica 'Dickson's Gold'

Giant delphinium...first year

'Furman's Red' Sage and more echinacea

Purple fountain grass. Unfortunately, it's only an annual out here in CO.

This, I believe, is 'Paprika' Yarrow, but I'm not absolutely sure that's correct.

Purple larkspur

A shot of some of my garden! :)