Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Winter Wonderland

Wow.  OK, why was I whining a few days ago about the sudden arrival of winter?  I'm wondering, because it got SO much worse! 

Just so you know, over the last 20-30 years, winter snow fall here in the Idaho valley in which I live has decreased year by year.  This year, we may be reaching record snow fall - all in about 24 hours. 

I'm home today from work, because the driving conditions are so treacherous from my house into town, that I decided not to risk life & limb this morning.  Luckily for me, my job and my boss are flexible enough to allow a Snow Day every now & then.  Yay! 

Gir & Snoopy have enjoyed playing in the deep snow, but they keep losing their tennis ball toys!  See the pictures of the dog houses?  Notice that there are very few doggie footprints leading into the houses?  That's because these lovely spoiled ladies have been outside today only long enough to relieve their bladders, and then back into the house they go.  They have been stretched out in front of the wood stove all morning.  What a life, huh? 

10 inches overnight!

*singing*  Walkin' in a Winter Wonderland!  *ahem*  Sorry about that, folks.  Couldn't help myself from breaking out in song.  I hope I didn't sting any of your ears.  


Sunday, November 28, 2010

B-r-r-r-r.... It's COLD out there!

Although the calendar doesn’t agree, winter has arrived in Spud Land.  Blizzard conditions.  Snow.  Ice.  Freezing rain. Freezing fog.  Treacherous driving conditions.  Blasts of arctic air.  More snow.  Skiers and snowboarders are thrilled, because this early arrival of winter means that the local ski resorts are opening for business earlier than usual.  Those of us who do not habitually play in the cold white stuff are less than thrilled.  You might hear griping and complaining from us.  Bitching and groaning.  It is COLD out there! 

I was standing outside watching Gir & Snoopy play in the snow.  More snow was floating to the frozen ground.  I was shivering and quivering and trying to keep my fingers from freezing.  And I noticed… the quiet.  The stillness.  The hush that surrounded me.  The whisper of the wind gently moving the nearly bare limbs of the trees.  The silent hiss of the snow landing on the super-heated chimney on the roof.  The occasional rustle of a chilly varmint searching for food.  

What I really didn’t notice right away was my shivering and quivering slowing to a stop, my staccato breathing becoming more steady and quiet, and my teeth no longer chattering.  The silent night had begun to sink into my soul.  The peace on this earth became MY peace.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Ode to Thanksgiving

As the Thanksgiving holiday approaches, I thought I would honor one of my family’s traditions and express my thankfulness.  I am thankful.  Not in a “thank the Almighty” sort of way.  Rather in an “I appreciate and am grateful” sort of way.  Don’t get me wrong, I completely support a person’s right to thank a higher power for something in their lives, I just choose be appreciative of the good things in my life without feeling that these good things were “bestowed upon me” by an all-knowing supreme being.  All that being said…  I am grateful.

I am grateful for my children.  I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again.  My three offspring are the very best things in my life.  I can’t imagine my life without them.  Yes, there have been some conflicts, some struggles, and some differences of opinions.  However, even with all of those, the good far outweighs any bad.  The beautiful far outshines the rough spots.

I am grateful for my freedom.  I live in a country where I have the freedom to type out anything my heart desires in this little blog.  I have freedom of speech, even if no one agrees with my words.  I have the freedom to choose where and when I will work.  I can attain any goal I set for myself, with no constraints other than those I inflict on myself.  I have the freedom to believe, or not believe, in any supreme being I choose.  I. Am. Free.

I am grateful for the men and women who have sacrificed so that I can have the above stated freedom.  To the mothers and fathers who have lost their precious children, the wives and husbands who have lost their spouse, the brothers and sisters who have lost their sibling, the children who will never know their parent, to the aunts, uncles, cousins, friends, lovers…  And of course to the soldiers who have sacrificed a part of themselves, or even the whole of themselves….  To those, I say “Thank You!”

I am grateful for my family.  My children, my husband, my sisters, my mother, my brother, all of my in-laws and out-laws, my nieces, nephews, etc.  They have all touched my heart in one way or another, and they have enriched my world.  I am so lucky to have all of them in my life.

Happy Thanksgiving! 

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Only in Idaho...

So there I was…  The Man and I were toodling along a state highway this weekend, driving approximately the posted speed limit of 55 mph.  In the distance, we could see emergency lights flashing and stopped traffic. 

We began to fear the worst.  Would this be a terrible vehicle accident?  Would we be exposed to the horrors that one might see when high speeds don’t mix well with hardened steel and asphalt?  Would there be gore and blood?  Would we have to sit for who-knows-how-long while the emergency responders clean up the highway enough for other vehicles to squeeze past?

As we approached the commotion, we realized what awaited us. 


Two cows had escaped from their respective pastures and were taking a stroll along the highway.  The sheriff’s deputies were out of their vehicles directing traffic around these two errant bovine, and were also attempting to herd the Bessies back into their pens. 

Were the drivers on the highway angry?  Were they impatient to go on about their day?  Surprisingly, and dare I say pleasantly, they were not.  Everyone was patient and understanding. 

Only in Idaho will you see traffic come to a complete halt while two cows take a stroll down the highway.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Newborn Baby Blog

So...  My very first post on my very first blog.  First question I would like to ask myself is, "What the heck are you doing, and what makes you think that anyone, anyone, would care what you have to say."  Hmm.  Well, I suppose I don't know what I'm doing, and I suppose I don't think that it really matters if anyone will care what I have to say.  Of all the blogs, of all the talented, funny, creative writers out there, there is a very good chance that the only person who will read what I have to say is me.  And that is OK.  It truly is.

I thought maybe I would give life to this newborn baby blog with a simple writer's prompt: "Ten Things About Me."  Mind you, that doesn't say "Ten Interesting Things About Me," just ten simple little facts, some well-known by those who know me, some maybe not-so-well-known.

OK, (brace yourself), here we go...

(1)  I am a mother.  I have 3 awesome children.  They are not so much 'children' anymore, they are all adults.  One son and two daughters.  My son, the eldest, is a soldier in the Army.  To protect his privacy, I will call him The Boy.  The middle child, my eldest daughter, is a college student, an Art/Photography major.  She will be called ArtsyFartsy, (don't anybody tell her I call her that!).  My youngest child is also a college student, but dropped out of the local university to enroll in a medical institute certification program to be a Massage Therapist.  She will be called Young'un.  For the record, and to counter-balance any future motherly venting in up-coming blogs, I am super-duper proud of these three people.  They are the light of my eye, the bounce in my step, the reason that my life is what it is.

(2)  I am a wife.  I am married for the third time, (yes, the third time).  I divorced the kid's father when Young'un was an 18 month old baby, Artsy was 3, and The Boy was 5.  They were so little.  Maybe in future blogs I'll give some of my reasons for divorcing their father, Husband #1, but not today.  8 years later, I jumped into marriage with Husband #2 without getting to know him well enough, (lesson learned), and was divorced from him within a year and a half.  9 years later, when all three kids were grown and out of the house, I thought maybe I would try again.  It might be pleasant to have someone in my life to spend my golden, (read "child-free") years.  I've been married to Husband #3 for one year.  So far... I guess so good.  I love him, I do.  However, joining two middle-aged people who have emotional baggage, who have been single and independent the majority of their adult lives, who have adult children.... Well, it has been, (gross understatement warning), a challenge. Let's call Husband #3 The Man.

(3)  I love my dogs.  I have two female dogs, Gir and Snoopy.  Gir, (pronounced G-r-r), has been in our family for about 6 years now.  She was originally Young'un's dog, but when Young'un moved 6 months ago into an apartment which did not allow dogs, Gir was gifted to me.  I was more than happy to accept Gir into my open arms, because in all honesty I was Gir's primary caregiver all of the years that Young'un lived at home.  Not to speak ill of Young'un, but as almost every parent can attest, the kid who begs, pleads, and promises to care for the dog, (Ple-e-e-ease?  Can we get a dog?  I'll take care of it, I promise.  I'll feed it, I'll clean up after it, I'll play with it every day!  Please!), soon loses enthusiasm and the dog becomes the parent's responsibility.  It is OK.  I love Gir.  Snoopy came into my life one year ago this month.  She is a little more than two years old, and is full of energy every minute of every day, except for those rare occasions when she is sprawled out asleep.  I hesitate to say that Snoopy was a 'replacement dog,' but that may be the only way to describe it.  You see, November 4, 2009, my very best dog, my beloved Peanut, suddenly died.  I was heart broken.  At the time, Gir was still living with Young'un, so when Peanut passed away, my home was painfully empty of dogs.  There came a time that I was so lost without my best dog, so lonely for her, those who loved me thought it might be helpful to fill my life with a dog again.  So I adopted Snoopy.  Little Snoopy can never 'replace' Peanut in my heart, but I do truly love her.  Now, both Gir and Snoopy live with me, they sleep next to my side of the bed, they enthusiastically greet me when I come home from work, they can transform a miserable day into joy just by being there. I love my dogs.

(4)  I live in Idaho.  Hence the blog name, "SpudChick."  Eh?  Get it?  Spud... potatoes...?   The play on words.  Yuk yuk yuk!  OK, enough of that.  Anyway, I was born in Idaho, moved away when I was 6 years old, moved back for my high school years, moved away after graduation, and then moved back when I was a young mother.  I've been happily living here since 1992.  No, I do not live on a potato farm.  I do, however, live out in the 'sticks' where we are surrounded by farms and fields - some of those fields are, in fact, potato fields.  Idaho is a good place to be.  We have four glorious seasons, mountain skiing, desert sand dunes, lakes, farms, small towns, big cities, (ok, I admit the 'big cities' are more like small towns compared to other big cities, but for me they are plenty big enough), and lots of room to breathe.  I am an Idaho spud.

(5)  I have an office job.  This is a boring one.  Yes, I work in an office.  Woo-eee.  OK, maybe that's not fair.  I am thankful that I have a job. Very thankful.  It is not a glamorous job, but it pays the bills, puts the vittles on the table, and allows me to help my kids every now and then.  My job is primarily Accountant, but I also work in Operations and General Business Management.  It's all good.

(6)  I love to read.  I'm a fiction novel junkie.  I always have a novel in my bag. I read during my lunch hour, I read when I am watching television, I read when I am waiting for appointments.  Today, I am reading a Lee Child novel, "Nothing To Lose." Novels are like a movie that you can take anywhere you go.  Reading is fun.

**This is harder than I thought it would be.  How many more?  4?  Whew!  OK, let me think...**

(7)  I drink coffee.  Every day.  Not all day, but every day.  Gotta have my cup o' java in the morning.  No, I do not buy those froo-froo coffee-type beverages from the corner java shack, just a plain cup of black coffee.  No sugar.  No cream.  Strong, black, & hot.  No jokes here.  That really is how I like my coffee.

(8)  I lived in Greece.  For two years, while Husband #1 was in the military, I lived on the island of Crete.  I was 18 years old, newly married, had no children, and lived within walking distance from one of the most beautiful beaches in the world.  It was great, but all I wanted was to go home.  I was a child.  I didn't fully appreciate the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that had been given to me.  Someday I want to go back to that island and truly enjoy it. 

**Almost there.**

(9)  I am a sister.  I have two sisters who are two & three years older than I am, and one brother who is quite a bit younger.  My sisters are my two best friends.  We are lucky enough to live within 20 miles of each other, and we meet together for breakfast at least once a month.  No children, nor spouses, are invited.  It is not that we are trying to exclude anyone, we think of this as three best friends getting together for some "us time."  There have been many times that these monthly breakfasts have been our saving moments.  Defining moments as we raised our children, clarifying moments when marriages failed or succeeded, strengthening moments when we were worried we might fall apart.  For me, these breakfasts with my sisters have been a crucial component of making me who I am.

** Finally!**

(10)  I am a strong, stubborn, independent woman.  I know my mind, and I am not afraid to speak it.  I do my very best to use good, sound judgment and speak with wisdom and insight, but every once in a while my mouth gets away from me. 

So there we go.  My brand new blog.  All squeaky fresh and glowing with life.