good things this week


It’s been a pretty good week, you know. It has been. As long as I ignore the pain in my left foot, which I believe is never going to go away and will keep me from wearing pretty shoes forever unless I WANT to walk like a hobbled, old woman.

I don’t want to.

But yeah, ignoring my left foot, it has been a pretty good week here under the Big Top.

There’s the delivery of next month’s Norditropin. What can I say? Having dealt with not so great service from durable medical supply companies in the past so far I am very happy with the pharmaceutical company that delivers Daniel’s meds and other supplies.

Picking up Hazel from kindergarten and sharing lunch with her is REALLY good. So are the fried egg sandwiches she insists I make for her. I don’t know what they do to her in that kindergarten class but she will eat said fried egg sandwich, a bag of chips, a cup of yogurt,sliced fresh veggies and fruit, two glasses of pink lemonade and she is STILL hungry.

Discovering just how delicious beer steamed potatoes arewith freshly ground Himalayan pink salt…my new obsession.

Having fun at Jodie’s last Back to School night. I warned y’all that this is going to be a year of lasts for her. Here’s one. More to come. I promise. You might have to hold me from time to time. Thanks.

Learning that a picture I took is now part of an awesome display at the Philip S. Raine roadside rest area on Highway 99 south of Tulare that depicts life in the Central Valley of California. Yes, I gave permission and receive photo credit. I just didn’t know that the project was completed. Hmmm…perhaps a road trip? If any of you just happen to be on CA 99 near Tipton feel free to stop and get a picture of you and my picture…please.

I cleaned my desk…sort of. It still is cluttered because I have too much stuff going on all around my desk but at least it is somewhat organized and on display. Yes my people, this is where the brilliance slightly-better-than-mediocrity happens. If only my blogging area looked like Jenny, The Bloggess’ does…just imagine the kick-ass writing I would accomplish! It could happen…okay, maybe not. Still I want to go to there and try to write and cuddle with Hunter S. Tomcat and Ferris Mewler. Remember that one time where I cornered Jenny in a bathroom and told her how her stories of Ferris made me smile and miss my then recently deceased bitch-kitty, Ginger? I’m thinking I will never, ever get anywhere near Hunter, Ferris or Jenny’s blogging space. I don’t blame her at all either.

Oh and three years ago today, these two gorgeous people promised to love, honor and cherish to infinity and beyond. Happy Anniversary Hollie and Ben! It really was a great wedding.

So yeah, the last week of August has been a good week with good things.

What left foot?

Oh yeah, that left foot.

her mother’s daughter


Early on in their relationship, I told Ben if he ever wondered what Hollie was like when she was a little girl he should look to Hazel. Of course Hazel was just a toddler back then…a truly adorable, very strong-willed, confident, look-at-me kind of toddler…just like her mother was back when she was two. And as she has grown, Hazel has pretty much mirrored her mother…at age three…age four…and now age five.

OMG! Just thinking about some of her latest adventures, this kid is so much her mama at this age when she was the bossy, Miss-Know-It-All “leader” that she was!

She even has her mother’s smirk down pat.

That smirk! The smirk that drove me CRAZY! The smirk that truly made me wonder if I was doing anything right. The smirk that I grew to love so much because it belonged to probably the most confident, self-assured person I have ever known…or perhaps the kid with the BEST poker face ever! I had to admire it because I possess perhaps the worst poker face.

Don’t worry too much Hollie and Ben. After all, Hazel is her mother’s daughter. That confident, know-it-all swagger will get her pretty far…as long as you continue to nurture her the way that you both do. That swagger, that’s hiding a helluva lot of self-doubt and fear. Of course I’m speaking from experience, you know,  raising a child just like her.

Just try to keep up kids. Your daughter will be fine. After all, she is her mother’s daughter.

it’s all fun and games until someone farts and throws up


Oh photo shoots with families…large families! They can always be fun.

Right?

I try to imagine that. I mean if I close my eyes real tight and think on it real hard it will be so.

Right?

Yeah, but no.

But they can be fun.

They can definitely be fun when your friend is taking the pictures…and what is this with the shot of my ass? My friend has a wicked sense of humor.

We agreed to help my friend, Marie, out with a special project she is doing for the March of Dimes WalkAmerica and NICU Reunion featuring NICU graduates. Actually I agreed. You know how it is. Mom says so and so it is. But this project of Marie’s is a good thing and we manage to get some pictures of most of the family circus. I gave her some pictures that I have of Zoë with her favorite little brother, Daniel which will be included in the poster. We would much rather have Zoë here but life, job, school and bills happen when you are a grown up living on your own more than 330 miles away from home.

We miss you like crazy Zo-zo!!!

Act natural she said.

Relax she said.

Just be yourself she said.

And so we did. Perhaps we did just a little bit too much because yes, someone farted and we all reacted as expected…which Marie documented in several frames. Of course she would because she is the kind of friend who will take a picture of her taking a picture of my ass.

Love that girl!

Thankfully she didn’t document the throwing up.

Oh family photo shoots!

I can’t wait to see what she does with all of this.

living in a greenhouse


That is what we have been living in for a little less than two years. With the front of the house facing east and the back facing west and five large sky windows offering southern exposure, the Big Top was basically a greenhouse. It has always been, depending on the season, 10-30 degrees warmer inside. Perhaps a good thing in the winter but it has been absolutely, positively unbearable in the spring, the summer and the fall. Think about it. When it is say 110° outside, which it is often anytime June through September (and October last year!) it is overwhelming inside…if we didn’t have air conditioning…which we do but the ac pretty much would have to be on from 9 AM through 9 and even 10 PM just to maintain the indoor temperature in the 80s.

Yes, our PG & E bill during the late spring, summer and fall is insane.

Yes, many people are desperate for the light and the bright, especially during the winter months. But these people have not spent any length of time here under the Big Top greenhouse.

Truth be told, I hated it. I have hated it even more than the rental white walls that are poorly painted and the mis-matched painted baseboards and doors throughout the house. It is just too damn bright. Rarely does anyone ever curl up in one of our cozy leather chairs to read or just relax in our sitting room. It is just too bright and too hot. I could not and still have not hung any of my precious photos (there are a lot of photos) or any of the art that we have (mostly thanks to our talented niece). Are you kidding me? The constant sunshine streaming in through all those freaking windows from sunrise until sunset would destroy our precious, valuable-to-us treasures. So all those treasures, photos and objects d’art have remained packed away in the little cupboard under the stairs…the long-promised playhouse for Hazel, and now, Fallon.

A couple weeks ago I got to the point that I just could not go through another spring, summer or fall living in this greenhouse. Something had to be done, I told Bill and our landlord. So Bill and our landlord together decided that yes, I was right. Of course I was right. It was decided the least expensive, easiest and best option for us and our landlord was an energy saving tinted window film.

Bill and Ben together worked on this last weekend. I told them this was the best birthday gift! The difference is so dramatic.

And so very much appreciated these last couple of March days, before the official start of spring, with bright, sunshine-y highs in the 80s. The Big Top has remained a comfortable 70°!

I KNOW!!!

Buh-bye greenhouse effect!

As for me, I have spent the last two afternoons curled up in one of my cozy, comfortable sitting room chairs reading…at four-freakin-o’clock in the afternoon!

Best.

Birthday.

Gift.

holiday runs


I got me some new kicks. Kind of pretty, aren’t they? They feel pretty good on the runs that I have taken them out on too.

I’m hard on my shoes…really hard. Well, except for those Loubies because I can’t walk very well in those because I am clumsy and awkward. But I do look amazing wearing them and sitting or standing in one place. Actually, I look hot! But yes, I am hard on my shoes. These Mizunos are my 3rd pair of running shoes that I have bought this past year. One pair was trashed and never the same again after that mud run my son in law challenged me to. As for the others, well there are a number of opinions swirling around as to when a runner should replace their shoes. Me, I am a listen to your body while running kind of girl. My shins and knees don’t lie and when I choose to ignore them, or other body parts, I pay for it. So I listen…and I get myself some new, pumped up kicks.

Just in time for the Runner’s World Holiday Run Streak.

Yup!

I’m running that again.

It really is not such a big feat and it really doesn’t take that much time…one mile…less than 11 or 12 minutes. But after last year, I came to discover just how important it proved to be for me. The stress is different this year coupled with anxieties and just the struggle of getting up some days so, again, I need to be running in order to juggle this life under the Big Top. Thank goodness I have something cute (and more than functional) on my feet!

Meanwhile, because it is Christmas time under the Big Top, it is time to deck some halls, which I confess, is kind of hard to get all excited about and motivated to do…except for the fact that Daniel is all over it and so is Hazel…and Fallon, Fallon is just loving the lights and STUFF that she is determined to get at because they are shiny and look fragile and not meant for a one year old. Oh, and Zoë is coming home for a holiday visit. Yes, the Big Top must be decked…no matter how long it takes. So I hauled out the Christmas boxes, set up the trees, hung some stockings and garland after a 4 mile run earlier this week. I figured that I was already hot and sweaty, I may as well get sweatier.. And I did. While stepping back, basking in my sweaty glow of an awesome run and even more awesome sense of accomplishing at least the start of hall decking, I saw in my blog feed what my friend Linda was doing to with her holiday decorating.

I have to admit I have always wanted to do more with all the medals I earned than hanging them on my scarf rack in the closet. Sure, I haven’t ran any races like I did before. I just can’t afford the fees. But I still run, and wear out running shoes. And I remain very proud of every single medal because I earned them all.

And so I hung them all up on the little tree in our family room.

The one that started it all.

The one that fractured my hip.

And the first time after the hip stress fracture.

Another run with Mickey and Friends, which earned not one but two medals.

It felt so good to wear TWO medals after that race!

Soon enough, I was rocking another half marathon.

Then I PR’d…I give some credit to Linda for cheering me on.

And finally, my birthday gift from my son in law where my blinding, white legs really weren’t an issue because they were covered in mud…as was every other part of me.

And here it is, the holiday running tree. It’s a tree decorated with so many memories. It might not be the Christmas-iest of trees here under the Big Top, but it has just as much heart, soul, love, tears and hugs covering it. That is what makes a Christmas tee special here in my circus tent.

This one is done and it sparkles and glows. Tomorrow the rest of my circus will join me in covering the other ones with even more memories and love and heart and soul and hugs.

But first, I will need to run.