Monday, May 30, 2011

Summer's Here!

Today is the first day of summer .... unofficially. The official first day of summer is June 21st, otherwise known as the Summer Solstice. If you're into being a know-it-all the following will help you out:
Sol + stice derives from a combination of Latin words meaning "sun" + "to stand still." As the days lengthen, the sun rises higher and higher until it seems to stand still in the sky.
As a major celestial event, the Summer Solstice results in the longest day and the shortest night of the year. The Northern Hemisphere celebrates in June, but the people on the Southern half of the earth have their longest summer day in December.
Around here though everyone knows that Memorial Day really marks the beginning of summer. School is done for the year, pools are open, and people celebrate the holiday with parades, memorial services, family get-togethers, cookouts, baseball, and fireworks.

The Frazier clan rang in our newest season by doing what we do best. Eating! Yesterday after church our family and some friends gathered at the Ghengis Grill where we feasted on Mongolian stir fry dishes.  It was soooo good. I highly recommend you try it out but do your homework first and checkout their website so you'll have an idea how it works and what to use to build your bowl.

This afternoon we lunched at Taco Bell/KFC  where our food selections were split, two ate chicken, two ate tacos and nachos. It's a cheap lunch where we all find something we like and we ignore all the naysayers who claim it's not "real" food.

Tonight we dined at home, eating cheese ravioli covered in a garlic/onion marinara sauce, garlic bread, and salad  (oops, I never made it back to the grocery store so the salad was missing). We made up for the missing salad by having Dairy Queen blizzards for dessert. Yum, I love a heath bar blizzard.

There are some people who would claim in order to be really "American" our holiday menu should be comprised of grilled dogs and burgers, served with corn-on-the-cob, potato salad, and watermelon. All this, topped off with apple pie and homemade ice-cream, screams Americana. However I will argue that our diverse range of food selections is indicative of our country as a whole. America is made up of many ethnic backgrounds, each of which comes with it's own array of traditional food favorites. We, as a family, strive to include as many of those different cuisines as possible into our diet and I'd say for the most part we've been successful!

All this talk about food ... I guess it might appear that we're obsessed with or at the very least focused a little too much on it. Sadly I'll admit it's probably true seeing how most of our holiday family get-togethers are centered around eating. What can I say other than we really like to eat! Nothing yells fun more than an extended family seated around a dinner table enjoying each other's company and good eats.

Back in the days when the kids were younger, when Dale's brother's family lived in Georgia, when Grandpa and Uncle John were still alive, we spent most of the "summer holidays"  (Memorial Day, 4th of July, Labor Day) together, usually in Rome.  It was all about family, food, and fireworks.

Andrew and I were going through the scrapbooks today and I found a few pages from 1998, 2000, and 2001.  at our house for Memorial Day, and
    in Rome for the 4th of July  and again in Rome 2001 

Things are different now. Time, distance, and life circumstances has made it difficult to continue the extended family holidays. For now we'll have to live with the memories of holidays past, and focus on creating new traditions. More importantly we need to remember to focus on the real reason for the holidays.

Today is Memorial Day and as our four immediate family members gathered together we took time today to remember past family gatherings. We also reflected on the brave men and women who serve our country and the memory of those who gave their lives so we could continue to live in freedom. We gave thanks to our Heavenly Father for the many blessings of life.

And then,

as irreverent as it sounds .... we chowed down.

And finally,  if you're not convinced that summer is really here, take a look at the coming week's forecast.   See all those 90's? Yowsa, I'm melting already!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Love at first sight?

I was working in the kitchen this afternoon. I can't remember exactly what I was doing but I'm positive it was something quite constructive. For the most part it had been a quiet day. Andrew was at work, Ian was on the road to Chattanooga to meet up with Sarah, and Eddie was enjoying an early release day by alternately watching educational TV (Wizards of Waverly Place is about science isn't it?) and riding his bicycle.

Suddenly I heard the screen door slam and the excited voice of a nine year old loudly exclaim "Guess what, I made a girlfriend!"

I didn't immediately respond as I was trying to figure out exactly what he meant by making a girlfriend. To understand this confusion you have to know Eddie. He's always making something, whether it be from Legos, Kleenex boxes, or paper and tape.

Lot's of tape.

Believe me when I say this kid can go through a roll of tape faster than I can down a bag of Cheetos!

I was even wondering if maybe he had gotten down into the dirt, added a little water, and formed a companion, calling her girlfriend. Or maybe he was just using his imagination like my boys did once-upon-a- time. Ian's friend was named Bobby and he was invisible. Andrew's friend was named Plank and he was a board with a face drawn on it. So who knows what kind of friend Eddie had bagged?

Before I could question him he cleared up the mystery by telling me the girlfriend was in fact human, a girl on a school bus, stopping at the stop sign at the corner. He was sitting on his bike in the driveway watching cars go by when the bus pulled up and he could hear the kids inside yelling and waving.

And then he saw her.

A girl with her face up to the window, madly waving at him. He didn't say but I am assuming he waved back ...  unless he was trying to play it cool. Somehow I don't think so!

And then it happened.

She took her two hands, put them together, and formed the shape of a heart.

And then, as quickly as it started - it ended. The bus moved on, driving off into the sunset, leaving behind one excited young boy. He raced inside to update me on his relationship status and proudly showed me how she gave him the signal by forming the hand-heart.

And then he turned around, heading back outside. He stopped briefly and exclaimed "WooHoo, she must think I'm HOT!"

Kid's really do say the darnedest things, don't they? All of which later becomes blog material for mom (or in this case the babysitter) or at the very least blackmail material for when they really do get a girlfriend. If your're a parent reading this you know exactly what I'm talking about.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Say It Ain't So

It appears I won't be wowing you with my latest project. Apparently my children, yes I am calling them CHILDREN today, think it's a dumb idea and are not cooperating with their part. HMPF! Obviously they have forgotten who went through torturous labor to bring them into this world. They don't seem to remember who SACRIFICED a career in order to save them from public school and give them the best darn education a mother's love could buy. Nor is number two remembering who's putting food on his plate this summer as well as sharing her ride. And surely number one will be crying for his mama later this summer while he's two thousand miles from home, dealing with whiny, homesick kids, eating camp food, and missing out on internet and cable tv.

I'm thinking that maybe the husband got wind of said project and is secretly singing hallelujah to it's demise. In fact I wouldn't put it past him to have spearheaded the whole "let's torpedo Mom's project" plan.  So, for now my project is on hold and will not be mentioned again until those two brats remember their place and the hubs begs for forgiveness.

But that's ok, because like an elephant, I never forget. I will keep it on the back burner and bring it back up when they least expect it, when they are at their most vulnerable, and in need of a favor. At that point, once again, I will reign and the boys will be at my mercy. As for the husband, even if he ends up being guiltless in this treachery, he did after all spawn these kids. Consequently he's guilty just by association and genes so it's only right that he will have to suffer right along with them.

Now that I got all that out of my system (Ifeelbetternowthankyouverymuch) I have to admit, upon waking this morning, I really wasn't all that excited about working in the 500-degree garage. The thought of going through all the junk just to pull out a piece of furniture suddenly didn't seem as appealing as it did yesterday. And while I still want to execute my decor change, it's not like it's a matter of life and death.

But, you know what? We really don't have to mention that fact to the males in this family. It never hurts to have a little leverage on hand for the next hair-brained idea I get.

So for now,

We'll just keep that little secret to ourselves. OK?

Monday, May 23, 2011

Here I go again!

My timing is not always what it should be. I've decided to embark on a new home project. It's going to be one of those things that makes my husband shake his head and retreat to back of the house. My boys will also try to hide but because it requires some muscles they will be obliged to give me a hand. We will all be grumbling about the heat, the forecast is for above ninety degree temps all week. While we won't be working outside, we will be in the garage which is just as bad. Sorry guys, but it has to happen now before Ian heads to Seattle. We're just going to have to buck up and carry on.

I'm not going into details about my project other than to show you what has to be tackled prior to working on the project.

It starts here.  

Scary isn't it?! This is one wall of my garage. Believer or not, there's a window behind that mountain of crap stuff. If my husband is reading this he is cringing, embarrassed that I've posted this mess for all of internet-dom to see.

With that said, I feel compelled at this point to place a disclaimer here. This mess is not all mine! Believe me, the hubbs is just as responsible for it as I am.

 My mother thinks we should go on the Hoarders Show. Believe me if they'd come take away all this stuff I'd gladly let them as long as I didn't have to appear on TV. Somehow I think that defeats the whole purpose of the show though,  ... to publicly humiliate document  the poor slobs who live in such a mess.

I won't even go into how or why the garage got into this mess considering we did a major cleanup out here just about five years ago. It's amazing how quickly things like this can get out of hand.

I also have to admit that I am not tackling this job out of embarrassment or a need to make things right. The truth is, there is piece of furniture somewhere in all that mess that I want to get my hands on. That's why I'm tackling this mountain of junk!

Look close and see if you can find the piece of furniture covered and smothered in totes, boxes, fans, ice chests, etc. 

Keep your fingers crossed that I accomplish my goal, that no one disappears into the abyss, and that I will soon be updating you on a brand new look.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Rapture Time?

According to this guy  the world as we know it will change tomorrow, May 21, 2011 at 6:00 p.m. His claim is the Rapture will occur Saturday and then six months later on October 21st God will destroy the Earth and the Universe it is in. Ironically this is not his first prediction of the End Times. Initially he claimed the Rapture would occur in September 1994 ... obviously that prediction was incorrect.

To be honest I think he's coo coo for Cocoa Puffs. As a Believer in Christ and the Bible as the inherent Word of God. I do believe in the second coming of Christ. However I don't believe Harold Camping or anyone else knows what he's talking about when he starts making predictions. I base this on Scripture - Matthew 24:36 “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Basically Jesus is telling us "yep, gonna happen, you just don't know when. It's gonna be a suuuuurprise!"

There have been plenty of people throughout time that have made predictions about when the end will come. I found this interesting website End Time Predictions which lists over 200 predictions starting way back in the year 44. Obviously each one has been wrong. Because I believe the above Scripture I feel confident that Mr Coo-Coo Camping is just another name for the list (again).

From what I've seen and heard the majority of the world shares my opinion. Some agree because they are Christian and they believe The Word. Others agree because they simply view him as a crazy-pants-crackpot-religious-zealot that makes the rest of us look bad. If you want to know more about Camping himself, check out his link Harold_Camping on Wikipedia

There's been a lot of air time on TV and the Internet discussing Camping and his prediction. News stories, talk shows, and late night comedians are having a heyday talking about it. Even the CDC got in on the action by  releasing this statement that Americans should make efforts to be prepared (whether it be for the Rapture or a Zombie Apocalypse).  The world's going crazy I'm tellin' ya!

Anyway, I'm finally getting to the real point of this blog. Considering that the END might be near I thought it would be fun to make a top-ten list of things that I should have gotten around to but didn't:

  1. I really should have de-cluttered my house, thrown out all the junk, and cleaned like a fiend. I hate the idea of strangers coming in and seeing my mess! 
  2. I wish I had finished all those scrapbooks I started so all the left-behinders could remember me, at least for the five months they have left.
  3. Instead of wasting all last week without my laptop, I should have gone out and splurged on that which I covet - an iPad. Just think I could have one whole week of technology bliss. 
  4. And with said iPad, I would have downloaded all seven seasons of West Wing and re-watched the best TV series ever created. 
  5. I should have skipped paying my May mortgage payment and probably all the monthly bills and spent it all on a week at the beach.
  6. That haircut that I desperately need .... totally should have gotten around to it
  7. I should have feasted on all my favorite foods one last time: Cheeseburger Bobbies' mushroom and swiss burger, prime rib from that steak house in Knoxville, Hunan Spicy Chicken from Golden Palace Express, deep dish pizza from the Mansion in Carrollton (do they even make it any more?), Benihana Japanese Steakhouse downtown ATL, Chick-fil-a Dwarf House breakfast buffet, and last but not least, clam chowder and fried shrimp from whatever that seafood restaurant was in Hilton Head. Oh my, I shouldn't have listed all this right here at dinner time! I'm so not going to be content with my dinner tonight. 
  8. I should have gone out and adopted a momma cat with four kittens, played with them and loved on them, taken their pictures and posted them all over Facebook. And then I would have made arrangements for their care after I'm gone because according to my preacher - pets that die don't go to heaven, so I reckon they don't get raptured either. 
  9. I would have finished all those half-done craft projects that I have sitting around. We won't talk about how old some of them are but I will admit that one is older than my children and my marriage.
  10. and last but not least - I should have written one last blog, addressing it to all my family and friends telling them how much they mean to me. 
So, what do you think? Is tomorrow the big day? Do you have a list of shoulda, coulda, woulda's? If you're like me and believe this whole thing is a bunch of hooey think of it as an opportunity to look over your list and just maybe go for it, knock a few out. And while you're at it, start getting the most out of every minute of every day because truly .... no one knows when, we just know it will happen in the twinkling of an eye. 

Thursday, May 19, 2011

@#$% Blogspot!

Apparently while I was experiencing my laptop demise Blogspot had a major meltdown. I kept seeing posts from fellow bloggers that they were unable to post their blogs. From what I gather now everything is back up but I wouldn't say back to normal. I just went to edit and post a blog I had sitting out there and was unable to add any photos to it. Now I've got to figure out what the heck is going on.

Boo hiss, ignore me while I have a tempter tantrum!

The blog post that almost wasn't

I originally wrote this blog on 5/10. It never got published because the power source to my laptop died. Yes, I was without my beloved laptop for over a week. Oh, the horrors of it all. I was able to post that one blog whining about my situation but wasn't able to publish this one until now. Even though it's old news I thought I'd go ahead and post it .... just because!

Busy, whirlwind weekend. Friday we drove to Knoxville for Sarah's graduation. Saturday we toured downtown K'ville with Ian and then returned home. Sunday we played hooky and recuperated from our trip. I guess we are getting old when it requires a day of rest after a two day road trip.

Speaking of age, Friday was another milestone. I had a birthday. We won't talk about the number, let's just say that it's one more than it was the year before. I received lots of birthday wishes from family and friends on Facebook and that's about it for celebrating. Don't feel bad for me because it's the way we roll around here, no big celebrations. I know that's alien to a lot of folks but for us it's normal.

When the boys were younger we did have parties for them, with cake and decorations, presents, and family and friends in attendance. But as they got older the celebrations took on a more sedate mode.Nowadays we usually go out to eat as a family, with the birthday boy or girl picking the location. It's pretty much the same for all the Hallmark holidays like Valentines Day, and Mother and Father's day.

Speaking of Mother's Day, that was this weekend too. I didn't get to see my boys on M'day as we had returned home and they were still at school preparing for finals week. I did get a sweet Facebook post from one and text message from the other. A lot of mom's might have been put out by not having their kids around for their day but for me the best part of being a mother is that I KNOW that my two boys love and appreciate me. They've both grown into fine young men and nothing is sweeter for a mama than knowing that her kids turned out ALL RIGHT! Besides, the best present they could have given me .... pass all those finals with flying colors!

Hubby and I did go out for lunch and then on to Home Depot to purchase a new weed-whacker-eater-thingy. I guess if I want to get technical I could say I got a gift this year. Albeit a practical one that my honey-bunny will use more than I will, it is definitely something I wanted/needed. Remember all that yard work I did a month or so ago? Well, guess what .... it all grew back! Apparently just cutting it back didn't kill it and barring chemical treatments, it will continue to grow back. Evidently if I am going to get the weed free yard I want there will have to be regular weed whacking.

Yay! for the new weed-eater but bummer on the ever-growing weeds. Have I mentioned lately that I despise yard work? Oh well, maybe I can bribe Andrew into doing some of it while he is home for the summer. Ian won't be here, he's going to Seattle, Washington for the summer to work at a camp....the things some guys will do to get away from doing chores!

Back to the weekend, the big event was not my birthday, nor was it Mother's Day. Nope, the BIG EVENT was Sarah's graduation. What an honor it was to watch her walk the procession, and then walk across the stage to get her diploma. She graduated with honors, Summa Cum Laude. Ian was so proud of her. Her parents were here, all the way from Japan, and her Grandma flew in from Florida. We were excited to be a part of the celebration and also to know that next year we will be back for Ian's graduation and then the following year for Andrew's. So proud of all the kids for their hard work and dedication, and most importantly for their commitment to careers that God has called them to.

All in all, it was a wonderful weekend.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

It's a disaster!

My laptop isn't working and the only way to blog is on my phone. Do you have any idea how hard it is to write a blog on an iPhone????
I can't use our old desktop because it is 9000 years old and runs on windows ME and isn't supported or whatever by blogspot. (I can't even type in comments on Facebook on that silly computer, oh the horror) It makes me sad (picture me crying here) because I can't tell you all about my birthday/mothers day/graduation/trip to Knoxville that I had last weekend.
I can't tell you about my precious cat's escape from Alcatraz and her misadventure with ninja cat that resulted in a $200 vet bill. I can't post disgusting photos of her gnawed on neck or show you how sad and pitiful she looks now. I can't blog about my sons return from their year long year of school torture or tell how proud I am of their academic achievements.
I can't continue much longer because I'm running out of allowed characters. I'm dying here without my computer and I know you all are dying trying to read this without paragraphs and photo illustrations. Please pray that my new power source shows up soon. For all our sakes! And I'm not about to try and edit this thing so I hope it wasn't too painful to read.