Absolutely Unique. Just Like Everyone Else.

We like the new neighborhood a lot. We were surprised to feel so comfortable here in such a short few weeks. Then I opened the blinds this morning to let in the sunshine and laughed out loud:
This is looking directly across the street from our house. In our driveway there is a silver Prius and a red truck. Mr. Last says the demographic should be named "Progressive Redneck." Oy.



That is not the sound of the piggies. They are resting.
That is the sound I made when I saw this photo.

Random Weirdness

This week the following items came into the household:
  • a microplane zester for microplaning zest
  • sprigs of fresh thyme (note to self: work "sprig" or "sprigs" into writing or conversation more. "Sprig" is good word.)
  • artichoke buds and asparagus stalks
  • a used book entitled "Stalking the Wild Asparagus"
  • a used book printed entirely in Japanese (no one here reads Japanese characters, but I sometimes fake-speak Japanese [no disrespect to Japanese-speakers or Japanese-readers or those of Japanese heritage or ancestry intended. On the contrary, I feel love and concern for Japan now more than ever])
  • David Cook's debut CD cleverly entitled "David Cook"                Historical footnote: I predicted early in the season that David Cook would be the American Idol winner that season (2008!?). I have been a faithful fan of David's since he proved me right, and I have never watched a complete season of American Idol again.
  • a cute pocket-sized law dictionary published in 1935
  • duplicate certified Birth Certificates for family records
  • 111 snapshots from Snapfish for $1.11 (plus $7.99 shipping)
  • his 'n' hers snowshoes (end-of-season clearance prices, but I'm not convinced the Spring Thaw is upon us...perhaps we'll break them in this season after all...)
Thank you Amazon.com, Abundant Harvest Organics, AAUW (Sequoia Chapter) Annual Book Sale, County Clerk Recorder's Office, Snapfish, and REI dividends for delivering a boatload of random happiness into my otherwise very ordinary life.

Oh, and there are two bicycles in my living room tonight -- for reasons I won't bore you with right now -- but I'll wheel them into the garage tomorrow. Also, there are two Brandywine variety tomato plants just outside the back door to be planted tomorrow.

Yes. I follow the Scarlett O'Hara plan for success. Fiddle-dee-dee. Enjoy today and worry about the rest tomorrow...


Cheerios for Dinner

Guilty as charged. I fed them cereal for dinner.


They were hungry NOW!!
You can't fire me. I'm Oma.

I love when the bigger one calls everyone to "Droop Hudge"
(group hug) before bedtime.

And the littler one likes to read about truck ducks & chimp blimps.
Ask him to tell you about it. It's so cute the way he says, "Blmip."
See. They charmed YOU with their cuteness, too, didn't they?

Cheerios for dinner?

Sure, kids. Whatever you want.



Can you remember your life 10 years ago? I can.
I boldly proclaimed back then that Life Begins at 40. A world of possibility seemed laid out in front of me and I had lots of hope but no clue what actually would come barreling toward me as I traveled down the Road of Life.

Since that time I have witnessed half a dozen high school musicals, and innumerable choir concerts, and track meets, and a few European adventures. All four kids obtained drivers licenses, graduated GWHS, left home. All of us attended college and some of us graduated (others are still working on it). There have been some weddings and some divorces, a few broken hearts, some auto accidents, and lots of address changes. Crappy jobs and better ones. Seeing the beauty of the West via interstate travel and National Park wilderness. Lots of birthday candles and chocolate cake. And a new generation is rising.

Some people say 50 is fabulous. Some say 50 is nifty.

I say my 50th Birthday marks the start of something Quintastic!

This year the wish of my heart was to celebrate with my beloveds. So I got myself to a place where I could find 50% of my children and 100% of my GrandBoys, and we picnicked at the Castle Park.

Yep. It was everything I wished for and more. Spring is still trying to come to Logan and it made a brief appearance this day. There was actually a cold wind a-blowin' even though it looks sunny and warm. Silly Stina was sporting flipflops. Prematurely in my opinion, but I can appreciate the restlessness of the natives after a long winter. 

This may look like just another day in the park with the kids, but for me it was the Best Birthday Ever. Thanks, everyone, for making it Quintastic!


Eggstra-Special Day

Thursday is always a good day, but some Thursdays are more special than others. Like this Thursday just past for instance. Early afternoon Mr. Last and I spent with a bevy of beauties on the Third Floor, enjoying Cafe Rio goodness and casual conversation. The moment was so filled with joy that I failed to photograph it, which is a crying shame because inspiring views abounded. 

But I did break out the camera when the Hursts took these:
And added a splash of color to create Easter eggs, like so:
Hippity Hoppity Happy Easter!
May your basket be full of sweet treats & beautiful colors.
Today and always.


See Ya on the Downhill Side

I really have no plans to live to 100, but I have been pushing this rock up the hill for nigh 50 years and I figure that upon celebration of the half-century mark in a day or two I am on the downhill slide.

Lots of living going on between now and then.
 Spring breaking and all. I'll catch up with you on the down hill side.


Who are YOU?

Here comes Peter Cottontail, hoppin' down the bunny trail.
Hippity, Hoppity, Easter's on its way!

It's super quick and easy to make one of these bunnies for yourself. Carla taught me how, and she'll teach you, too. I did not have the Tombow marker. I just used a cheap black marker (not permanent ink) that I had on hand. But you really need water color paper to make the magic happen.

If kindergarteners can do it so can you. Look what the kinders did:

Start with just a couple of bunnies. You know how they multiply...

Have Fun!


Eat the Rainbow

A trick for healthier eating is to have many different colored fruits and vegetables in a day. Breakfast is always an easy place to start with a YELLOW banana. Or you can have quinoa and berries and eat your YELLOW banana later for a snack with some RED grapes. GREEN salad for lunch is always a good choice, or a medley of steamed GREEN broccoli, WHITE cauliflower, and ORANGE CARROTS are warm and filling.

A favorite of mine is a little GREEN cilantro, with shredded ORANGE carrots, and shredded PURPLE cabbage...
...add toasted sesame seeds and dress with two tablespoons of honey mixed into a splash of sesame oil and about a quarter-cup rice vinegar. Sweet and sour heavenly rainbow of vegetables!


Just Do It!

I love the design and colors of this gorgeous Sun Salutations poster Bethany Jane Hissong created. Click here to get your own.

Sometimes I'm busy living, and I forget to blog about it.

I have several different projects underway that I am not ready to specifically reveal, so I'll just tease instead:
  • a quote book project
  • an freezer-paper stencil project
  • a watercolor painting project
  • a photo/home decor project
  • a visual journal project
  • a knitted creature project
  • a postcard-a-day project
And several others that are just in the planning stage:
  • an A to Z project
  • a crocheted flowers project
  • a Top Fifty recipes project
  • a container garden idea
And just this afternoon I purchased his 'n' hers yoga mats so that Mr. Last and I have no more excuses to put off our yoga project. Every time I walk past Bethany's poster (click here if you didn't up there) in our room I am inspired to stop and do a Sun Salutation. A couple times I actually just stopped and did it. It felt so good! 

Add a yoga project to the first list. Just do it!



12 Steps in the Right Direction

Many moons ago I engaged in the exercise of formulating a "personal mission statement". It was extremely difficult for me to get to the bones of what my life was about, but I persisted and came up with something of a statement of my values or my purpose in life.

Part of the exercise was to imagine what others might say about me after my death. I discovered that I wanted compassion to be recognized as a hallmark of my life. And in the same way that you notice red cars after you determine a red car is what you would like to have, I began to notice compassion in the world and in myself.

Now, let's be clear. I have not always demonstrated compassion, even when I have felt it powerfully. I have failed to exercise compassion probably as often as I have succeeded. But I am continuing on this path that I started walking down all those years ago with that "personal mission statement" exercise.

Today I took another step and I affirmed the Charter of Compassion spearheaded by Karen Armstrong because every word of it resonates with who I am and why I am here and what I hope most fervently for all of us.

I am currently listening to the first disc of five of Twelve Steps to a Compassionate Life. I believe it will be helpful to me. I may write more about it later. Or not. Depends on which seems the more compassionate course of action...


Old Folks at the Photo Booth

Someone let the Empty Nesters out
on a Friday night and look what happened:


We were too loud and rowdy, so the
authorities chased us back to The Home.

But, mark my words, 
the Adventures of the Empty Nesters
have just begun.