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    Entries in Mindee (120)


    I Am In A Bowling League

    No, that is not a euphemism.  I really am in a bowling league.


    Stop laughing!

    It’s true.  Every other Friday I join the other secretaries/friends/peoplewholiketolaughatme at a bowling alley and we bowl in a league.

    We even have a team name:  The Pinheads.  Which I was not there to vote on, but it’s fine.

    I even have pictures to prove it.

    Here are my feet in rental shoes that a hundred strangers have worn before me:

    And since I have big feet, probably most of those strangers were men which is completely gross, but I’ve done it.

    Even more risky?

    Here is my hand with my fingers stuck into the dark holes of a bowling ball that even more strangers have had their hands in.

    And I do not know where their hands have been.

    Which is horrifying, but I’ve done it.

    So bowling has been a very stretching experience.  Even more so when you consider that I have only bowled twice before in my entire life

    1. My college boyfriend took me bowling with some friends of his and I was really terrible at it and got embarrassed and worried that he thought I was a dork.  So I cried.  Which pretty much proved that I was a dork.
    2. One winter in Ogallala, we were all at my parent’s lake house and got bored so we loaded the kids up and took them into town to go bowling.  We used the bumpers and I am a much better bowler when there are bumpers.

    Given that history, I’m not really sure how I ended up in a bowling league.  Let’s just say that the other secretaries/friends/peoplewholiketolaughatme are quite compelling.  And persistent.  And literally would not take no for an answer.

    Their punishment is that they have me on their team and I am a very, very bad bowler.  I have the highest handicap on the team and last Friday I bowled three gutter balls in a row.  Thankfully I haven’t cried yet, but I have caught the super good bowlers on the other lanes (the kind who have their own shoes and balls) looking at me out of the sides of their eyes and nudging each other.

    I’m so glad I can provide entertainment.

    I have two bowling nights left in this round which doesn’t really merit getting bowling lessons so I’ll just fumble along. 

    But if any of you have any bowling tips, feel free to pass them along!


    I Still Have The Heebie-Jeebies Thinking About It

    Guess what?

    I’m still painting!  Which means we’re still living in a mess, but since Rich got the window in last night, we no longer look like we live in a meth lab.

    So that’s good, right?

    And now - a horror story.

    I took Faith to Sam’s Club the other night because she had babysitting money and wanted to buy a four-pack of eos lip gloss which is apparently the most exciting thing in the world.  She was so excited that as we walked through the parking lot and into the store, she was singing songs from the “Frozen” soundtrack.  Loudly.

    I pointed out a couple of times that we were in public, but that did not phase her a bit.  She was a regular little songbird.  She finally piped down as we were  walking through the store, and an overly friendly man stepped out from behind a table and bounded over, stopping just a little too far into my personal space.

    “Hey!” he bellowed, “Your hands look cold! You should try this!”

    And then he shoved a blobby, flesh colored thing at me.  I took a step back and smiled stiffly, “no thank you!”

    “No really! It’s a hand warmer!” he continued to bellow as he tossed the pouch from one hand to another.  “It’s great!  Try it!

    In .8 seconds, the following flashed through my mind:

    1. Ew.
    2. Gross.
    3. I don’t want to touch that thing.  I don’t know where his hands have been.
    4. Come to think of it, I don’t know how many other people have handled it or where any of their hands have been.
    5. Icky.
    6. Blech.
    7. Help.

    I managed to verbally supress all of these thoughts as I took another step back.  “No.  No thank you.”

    The man lost a little of his sparkle and got a tad bit insistent.”Come on!” he insisted, “You don’t have to buy it, just hold it.”

    And then he held it up between two fingers and jiggled it in my face.  At that point, my edit button got lost and I blurted, “No!  I’m a germaphobe.”  Handwarmer Guy promptly took two large steps back from me as if I were somehow contagious, mumbled something under his breath and took refuge back behind his table.

    Faith just about left me right then and there.

    Because singing Disney songs at full volume in the middle of Sam’s Club is not embarrassing, but rebuffing a creepy hand warmer pusher is.


    The Root of Discontent

    I was grumpy last week.

    Shocking but true.

    Okay, maybe not really shocking.  Grumpy happens.  This was a period of extended grumpiness though and I could not nail down the reason for it.  I wasn’t sick or any more tired than usual.  Everything is fine at work and at home.  So why the crabby pants?

    About this time every year, we start to anticipate Rich’s annual bonus and whatever tax return we may be getting by making a list of things we need.  Last year the big ticket item was the new deck.  The year before, Rich got Lasik and the year before that we bought a car for the kids to use.

    This year we have to buy yet another car.  Not necessarily because I want to own four automobiles, but Reagan will be living off campus next year and will need something to commute in.  So new car is at the top of the “needs” list with a few other boring items like painting the trim on the house and such.

    I am thankful for the lump sum extra income each year that allows us to buy items like this, but here’s the rub:  I really, really, really want a kitchen makeover.

    But I don’t need a kitchen makeover.

    The original cabinets are solid oak and in good shape, they’re just in an outdated golden oak stain.  The counters are not avocado green or falling apart, they just aren’t granite or pretty.  My sink isn’t rusted or leaky, it’s just … ok, honestly the sink is ugly and matches nothing but still functioning fine.  The table and chairs are in good shape, and hold the whole family, I’m just tired of them.

    Somebody call the Waaaaambulance to pick me up from my pity party.  That is where I spent the last week.  Over and over I found myself thinking about the things I want that I don’t have and feeling like it was unfair.  Mulling over those “injustices” affected my whole mood and I ended up being pouty and growly.

    Finally I sat myself down for a good talking to.  I reminded myself that my grandma had the same exact kitchen my entire life.  A kitchen without a center island or even a dishwasher and yet she managed to pack out her house at every holiday and feed everyone.  Her kitchen wasn’t attractive, but it was the favorite gathering spot for all of us.  Granite counters and refinished floors would not have changed the mood one iota.

    (As a designated post-holiday meal dish washer though, I think a dishwasher in there would have done us some good.)

    Next I sternly told myself that focusing on what I don’t have is just plain ungrateful.  I have a big house.  The kids never had to share bedrooms or fight over bathrooms.  It’s warm in the winter and comfortable in the summer.  We have a big yard packed full of memories.  

    Most importantly:  we’re all still here.  I don’t take that for granted any more.

    I must be pretty good at chewing myself out, because I feel better.  It got me to thinking though about how the root of discontent is so very often the wanting of things we don’t need but want, instead of being grateful for what we do have.

    Whether that be a pretty kitchen or a fancier car or kids as smart as your brother’s or a dog as well behaved as your friend’s or a figure like that lady at work.

    What if instead, you focused on being grateful you have a kitchen or a car at all?  What if you appreciated that your child who struggles at math has a killer smile and a kind heart?  And your dog may slobber all over visitors, but he’s loyal as can be and your son’s best friend.  You may never have the figure of that lady you work with, but appreciate the health you have and your beautiful eyes and the fact that you can enjoy a couple of cookies without feeling like you need to run five miles afterwards.

    So the kitchen will wait and the next time we all gather around the 15 year old kitchen table and eat the meal I prepared on my laminate counter tops, I will be grateful for the people who are there and the food we have to eat and the love we have to share.

    That will be much more fun than a pity party.


    My Sister Is Mean

    I was casually flipping through my Instagram account yesterday when I came across a picture that stopped my thumb dead in its tracks.

    This picture was posted by my sister and captioned, “Cause this will drive my sister crazy ;)”  and then my very own first born “liked” it.  

    Understand that Nicki and I run our households in completely different ways.  Examples:


    • Her kitchen floors are always immaculate.  I think of mine as a secondary food bowl for the pets.
    • Her entire family takes off their shoes at the door and lines them up neatly.  My entire family takes off their shoes wherever and leaves them there.
    • You can walk into Nicki’s house on any day and open any cupboard and it will be neat as a pin.  You can walk into my house with advance warning and open the one cupboard I allow you to and it will still be messy.


    And apparently there is one other glaring difference:  I understand that a balanced egg carton brings peace and untiy to the world, and Nicki is trying to upset the entire cosmos with her egg carton.  How can she be so neat and yet have an egg carton where the eggs are just scattered willy-nilly?  It’s incomprehensible.

    The following text conversation ensued:

    Then my darling, precious, adorable and KIND niece Ryan sent me this:

    She was so sweet to do this for me that I didn’t have the heart to tell her she did it wrong. Obviously the egg on the bottom right needs to be taken out and placed next to the egg on the top left.  

    It’s ok,  she did her best.  Poor little thing - she has no role model to follow.



    I Can't Title A Post This Incohesive

    Reagan is over today with a friend.  They are baking a birthday cake for someone and I’m kind of hanging out in the next room, restraining myself from hanging over their shoulders and offering advice.

    It’s not easy.

    I have good baking tips!  I do.  But I learned them all by baking myself; by making mistakes and figuring things out.  Sitting in the other room and letting Reagan bake her own darned cakes is the best thing I can do as a mother.  If it turns out a bit lopsided or has cake crumbs in the frosting or … 

    Well the world won’t end, will it?

    And we are all learning something today.

    One of the things I am learning is that on a day when I choose to wear my hair curly, I should NOT take a nap, because the damage to the back of my head will be irreparable.  Actually, I already knew that but I have a head cold and took Ny-Quil last night.  The result was that by noon today I wanted a nap so badly I was willing to deny most any truth to get it.

    Sleep: my drug of choice.

    I keep waiting for my phone to ring and my sister to yell at me for taking so long between blog posts again.  I like it when she does that - it means she cares.  Right?  I’ll choose to view it that way.  Blogging is evolving for me right now.  I’ve done it for almost six years for a variety of reasons.  Reasons that have shifted and changed over the years.

    Right now it feels like the primary reason is obligation.  Obligation to myself because blogging is good for me for so many reasons.  I’ve never been a girl who keeps a journal.  I need an audience.  I don’t really like to examine why that is, but it’s a fact.  If I want a record of our lives, blogging is the best format for me.  Goodness knows there’s no way I’m going to scrapbook.  I tried that once.  I have a book that covers Reagan’s life to age three and another that documents Hayden’s until his first birthday.  There’s a third book for Faith but it hasn’t even been out of the box.

    Poor, neglected, third child.

    Obviously, scrapbooking is not my thing.

    Neither was knitting, or piano, or rock collecting, or latch-hook rugs (Remember those? Why was that a thing? Who wants rugs on their walls?), or theater, or exercising, or canning, or gardening, or … shoot.  The list of things I have tried and abandoned is too long to think about.  Blogging is pretty much the only thing I’ve stuck with for any measurable length of time.

    So I will stick with it a while longer.  Thanks to anyone still reading.  All the lists of tips for a successful blog recommend posting several times a week and that must be valid, because my readership has definitely dropped as my writing has slowed.  That’s ok.  I don’t necessarily need a big audience.  Those who continue to stick around are the ones worth keeping.

    Okay, the girls are talking about frosting the cake now and I know it’s not cool enough so I am going to go intervene.  I realize that goes against what I said at the opening of this post but I am notorious for being consistently inconsistent.

    Have a good weekend.  Thank you for enduring my rambling.