Tuesday, July 30, 2013


Someday way in the future I can picture Tony and I sitting side by side on the couch, reminiscing about the good old days. Retelling the stories we've told hundreds of times. And we'll inevitably come to this one...

"Remember that time that you got a flat tire on the way home from work?"

"Yeah, I had to put on the spare tire right there on the side of the interstate during rush hour."

"How far did that tire last again?"

"About 50 feet. Then it blew out worse than the first one. But you did bring me dinner while we waited for the tow truck."

"The tow truck from a town 90 minutes away. So I stuck the tire in the back of my van and drove it to the only Wal-mart without a tire center."

"I told you it was the other Wal-mart."

"I didn't hear you say that. But when I arrived at the other Wal-mart they sure were nice to get me the new tire even though they were closing up for the night."

"They sure were. And so was the tow truck driver who drove me to meet you."

"Yep. What a day."

Tuesday, July 23, 2013


Wednesday, July 17

-going to the Botanical Gardens with good friends. Expect a great day. Don't forget to pack chair that I sold on craigslist.
-get to the gardens to discover that child in charge of packing chair packed wrong chair.
-the gardens are beautiful but it is sure hot.
-get home, notice that Peter seems hot to the touch. Give him cool bath.
-Peter is still hot. Take temperature. It is 103.
-Google heat stroke in infants. Freak out. Head to ER.
-Doc thinks it is only a virus. Big sigh of relief, still feeling guilty about taking him out on hot day.
-get home. make pizza. watch movie. Peter still has fever.

Thursday, July 18

-long, long night. Peter's fever is so high. Over 104 most of night. Many cool baths.
-start packing for trip that may not happen if he is not better.
-this fever just won't break. Keep giving meds and cool baths.
-decide to postpone trip for one day. maybe we can still make it to the reunion.
-Oh, my. Sophie's birthday! She is 21. Will have to postpone going out for birthday lunch. Baby too sick.
-mushroom burgers for the birthday girl. turkey variety for the other kids.
-black bean brownies for dessert. Taste too good to be made with beans.

Friday, July 19

-marathon laundry day as we prepare to leave early tomorrow for WV.
-Peter still has fever.
-make dinner and stay up till 1 am packing.

Saturday, July 20
-decide to travel even though Peter still has fever. Not as high.
-realize we are in WV when we get behind truck on highway with shirtless men sitting on truck tailgate.
-go through big storm. Tree downed a power line. Fire dept. directing traffic around wires in road.
-finally make it to the family reunion! So glad we decided to come.
-kids in creek. time slowing down. nerves of past 2 days calming.

Sunday, July 21

-breakfast in hotel. Feed Peter some yogurt.
-go to Mass at pretty Church. Good sermon about Martha and Mary.
-finally! I think Peter's fever is gone.
-go visit with family.
-explore Nana's attic, find really cool old electric stove
-wonder how to make stove fit in my kitchen.
-kids in pool, I am chatting with family.
-pizza on grill, head back to hotel.

Monday, July 22

-get ready to head home
-notice Peter has little rash on face, chest, and back.
-regret feeding him yogurt.
-say our good-bye's. get emotional.
-Peter is looking worse. Start freaking out about the yogurt.
-call doctor. suggests heading to ER.
-stop and buy some Benadryl.
-call sister and have her look up rashes. now thinking it is related to fever.
-pull into Ft. Eustis to discover there is no ER. Head home.
-look up roseola and feel confident that is what is going on.
-send Tony for take out.

Tuesday, July 23

-realize I have been typing August throughout post. go back and edit.

Team "Reostison's" at the botanical gardens

He doesn't look like he is about to have a 5 day fever fest.

Reunion time! My 98 year old grandmother in the middle, her 2 sons, 4 of her granddaughters, and 10 of her great-grandchildren.

The old barn and chicken coop.

The gravel drive is gone and the tracks are barely visible anymore.

This is how it is in WV!

Thursday, July 18, 2013


At the ripe old age of six and a half, Jack lost his first tooth this week. Following tradition, we promptly lost the tooth! Thinking I was being smart, I had him put it in an envelope and address it to the Tooth Fairy. He didn't lick and seal it, which I really didn't think I needed to tell him, since he seals empty, very usable envelopes all the time. Well, it fell out of that envelope and onto the floor of his room. Which is carpeted. With Berber. With white flecks. Ack! While searching for that tooth, which we did find (praise God!), we also found Therese's missing juice cup. Just how long had it been MIA, you ask? Let's just say that the phrase of the day around here is: 'Chuck the cup'. If we have survived this long without the cup, I have no desire to investigate the contents remaining in it.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Happiness is...

dinner in the crockpot, fresh bread cooling, and zucchini relish being processed. It does not get much better than that. I love feeling a little like Ma Ingalls. In my modern, air-conditioned kitchen, of course!

Monday, July 15, 2013


We spent the last five days with my mom and dad and my grandmother too! She is closing in on 102! Her memory may not be quite as good, but then again, neither is mine! But she still comes over to my mom's house every night for dinner and helps cook and do the dishes. I believe that staying active is the key to her longevity. I am looking to her as my role model for healthy living.

The trip did have a purpose. Olivia visited her college for orientation. It was a whole day of standing in lines and filling out forms, which is a task I usually hand over to Tony. He could not take off that many days though, so I had to suck it up and do it myself.

After completing the required part of our trip, the rest of the time was ours. I always forget just how beautiful my hometown really is. The lakes, the mountains, my parents picturesque yard and garden. One cannot help slowing down and relaxing. On the lake on my dad's boat, the kids loved tubing. Olivia and I water-skied. The blue of the sky, the cottony white clouds, the green of the lake were a balm for my soul.

We took the kids to Bays Mountain one day, which is a local state park. I can't tell you how many times I have been there as a kid, and now I am taking my own children. One thing happened on this trip though that I know I never experienced in all my time there. All the animals are rescue animals from the wild. They have six wolves. The list of activities let us know that the wolves would be fed at 3:00. The kids thought it would be fun to see this so we headed over there just before feeding time. There was already quite a crowd gathered and the wolves obviously knew what time it was as well, since they were circling and growling at one another. The next thing I know, I hear this sickening thud and look over toward the wolves. The park rangers had just dropped a deer carcass into the wolf enclosure! A deer carcass! The wolves were quite happily tearing it apart and we quickly moved on to enjoy the rock and gem display!

We are back home and trying to settle in, only to get ready for our next adventure, which I am sure will get here before I am ready.

The kids with Grams and Buster the dog

I often feel like this turtle, struggling mightily to make it over the hurdles of the day.

I'd rather be like this turtle and take it all in stride!

My future photographer.

At the wolf enclosure. Little did we know what we were about to witness.

This is my grandmother's mixer that I meant to bring home at Christmas, but forgot in the hub-bub of packing. I remembered this time. Isn't it so cool? I looked up the model number and this is from the 1930's! The motor still works, I just don't know how much it can handle.  I love having something of my grandmothers that she used to prepare food for her family.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Sunday Randomness

 After receiving some very sad news from a friend, my mood and my heart have been heavy all week. I thought I'd try to lighten things up a little with some fun pictures.

setting up for the magic show

The magician and her assistant. Their performance may not have left anyone amazed but I sure did laugh more than I have in a long time. It felt good to laugh like that.

Jack has been working at a house of cards. Not too bad, eh?

I made a hooded towel for Peter.

I find him pushing chairs to get places these days. Abandoned chairs are found all over.

Notice the chair in the background. I think it matches my chair cushions and the kids love sitting on those yard sale finds. It is even better than I imagined.

The mouse thief. I find him right here, doing just that, all. day. long.

The big girls and I have been painting. We started with my bedroom since it would be the most difficult with the high ceilings. It is such a subtle color, I thought I'd show a mid-project view.

The finished walls, with a glimpse of the hallway and the bathroom colors too.

Monday, July 1, 2013

July Goals

Before I put up my list of July goals, let's look at how June went.

1. Shannon's baby blanket: finished and sent off to the beautiful little baby girl!

2. have a yard sale:  Well, we had a yard sale. But it was a dismal turnout. The only person who did well was Anna, who set up a lemonade stand. We made only slightly more than she did. Jack tried to sell his own artwork. Thankfully, there were grandmotherly types who stopped by and paid him 25 cents for his masterpieces. The rest of them? Yes, I bought them and put them on the fridge. Subtract that from what we made and Anna probably did make more of a profit.

3. make bread at least once a week: done! The whole point was to get back in the routine of making bread and I believe that was successful. See? I made bread today and it is July!

4. finish Mother Angelica's book: nope. Not even close. I just can't read it fast. There is so much to absorb in there. I may just have to buy the book and return this one to the library.

5. do '3 good things every night'. Check!

For a first attempt, I would say this is overall a successful idea to get and keep motivated. Therefore I shall try again this month. So far, here is what is on the list:

July Goal List

1. fill out Peter's baby book. That's right, it is still blank. Bad, bad mama!

2. take a sewing class where I learn to sew stretchy fabrics. In particular, the stretchy fabric I bought and is just sitting there, unused and taunting me every time I see it.

3. finish painting the bedrooms. The girls and I finished my room in two days. Olivia is halfway done with hers. I need to paint Jack and Therese's room yet.

4. finish Anna's school year. (or be OK with where we are at the end of July.) It is hard for me to call it when we haven't actually finished.

I will add more as they come to me!