Sunday, February 20, 2011

::nacho mama's chore chart::

ha ha.
get it?
nacho...."not 'cho?" "not your" mama's chore chart.

okay, seriously if I have to explain it to you then it's just not that funny.
except it is.

i should put laughing at mom's jokes on the chore chart,
except then it wouldn't be so much fun either.
so i won't.

here's a step by step tutorial on how to have an awesome chore chart too.
can you imagine?
the possibility of no more yelling sweetly reminding what to do?
the amount of paper saved on honey do lists?
the freedom to delegate?
the exhilaration of moving a magnet to the corner to signify completion?
the joy of a clean house for more than 5 minutes?
the answer to world peace?

okay, i know.
wishful thinking.
but i'm willing to give just about anything a try at getting more help around the house
and keeping everyone accountable.

1. collect A LOT of soda/beer/wine cooler TWIST off caps (no bent backs)
2. Make a template of 1" circles. Pick a font that you like and type out as many chores you can think of that you do on a daily, weekly, monthly basis that are consistently recurring. 
(no once a year things...where's the excitement in that?) Print out on regular printer paper.

3.  Cut them out. Ugh. This takes forever. If I have the patience to do it, then so do you.
4. Mod*Podge (decoupage) the paper to inside of the cap and brush a layer over the top too.
5. Let them dry.
6. Get sticky-sided magnet "tape."  Cut into little squares and affix to the FLAT side of the cap.
7. Find a reclaimed, used, vintage whatever (not spankin' clean unless you want to paint and distress it or something, but I like the used, rugged look) cookie sheet.
8.  Write "Today", "Tomorrow", "This Week", and "This Month" as creatively as the moment allows.

9. Put your new magnets in the appropriate place.
10. Gather the troops.
11. Point.
12. Nod your head and offer a pat on the back to signify that you believe they "get it" and that will be the end to all of your clean-house problems.
13.  Open a bottle of wine and congratulate yourself on being so damn smart.
14. Promise not to be too hard on yourself tomorrow when none of the magnets have moved.

i am joni lane, and man...this wine is the BOMB.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

carpe diem.

cliche right?
seize the day.

what does that mean?
i think it sounds cool.

do you do it?

i had to think about that today.
do i seize the day?

am i teaching my children to live in the now
or am i modeling a love for the pursuit of tomorrow?

what is more important to me?
do i have to choose?

i hope that i'm teaching them to enjoy life's little moments,
find contentment in what is offered and experiential now.
but i'm such a planner and i know that they must see that i'm
eagerly pursuing tomorrow.
i think pursuing tomorrow breathes out hope.
but pursuing the now inhales joy.

clearly, inhaling and exhaling makes us alive.
so maybe i don't have to choose.
only choose to breathe.

today we seized our little bit of snow and family time.
it wasn't all grins and giggles.
but it made memories.
it was timely because the snow was gone an hour later.
and we planned to make bigger and better snowmen, next time.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

smooth batter.

My batter is getting smooth.

I know you have no idea what that means.
Let me 'splain it to you in the words of my five-year-old.

The death of our pets has been really hard.
I've done my fair share of crying and achy-missing.

One night, while snuggling Macy for bedtime,
she analogized my weepy feelings this way:

Macy: "Mom, you're just not smooth yet, that's okay."
Me: "Whaaaaaat?" (I'm thinking she's telling me I'm not cool or something along those lines.)
Macy: "You know, it's like making banana muffins.  You already have your ingredients in the bowl and you are mushing up the batter now.  You're lumpy and getting all bumpy right now.  Pretty soon, you'll be ready to have smooth batter to pour muffins."
Me: {tears} "You are absolutely right, Macy, absolutely right."

Daily she asks me if my batter is smooth enough to pour yet.
Every day gets a little better.
A little less sad, a little less bumpy.

Here are some tools that have started to smooth my batter.

* At their graveside, we each went around and shared our favorite memories of the pups.
Some were really funny, some were sad, some were blessed moments that are so unique to each of them that I KNOW we will never forget.

* My mom bought us some remembrance trees.  A Champagne Peach that I can see as soon as I drive into the driveway.  A reminder of my beautiful Blitz who was always delighted to greet me there.  A dwarf double peach/nectarine tree for our speckled mutt mix, Diego.  And, a cherry tree as a reminder to our family that life is sweet.

*Friends and family have covered us in well wishes, understanding, and love.  It's a testament to the connection that people have with their pets.  At first I was being really hard on myself and felt silly for hurting so badly.  I've been reminded that it's okay.  We lost our friends.  Our very loyal, loving, devoted friends.

*Friends and family have committed to going home and checking where their poisons are stored.  For the safety of their children, their pets, and their neighbors pets.  It has raised awareness.  I am grateful for that.

*And the biggest tool thus far:  is not a replacement.  We like to call it an extension.  An extension of our love and the feelings we still feel for Blitz and Diego.  What better way to honor our pets, than to continue that love full circle and care for new ones.  Yesterday we made a big decision.  Honestly, for Steve and I it was a really hard decision.  A total no-brainer for our kids, as I'm sure you can imagine.  As a family, we welcomed two new loves into our home.  Brothers. Beautiful, smart, and sweet.  Labs.  A golden and a white.  Koufax and Kershaw. (Yes, we are Dodger fans.  We bleed Dodger blue.)  Our kids are smitten.  Murphy, our little inside pup is frantic with excitement.  We are falling in love with them.

So here's to smooth batter.  And maybe someday, muffins.

Welcome Koufax and Kershaw.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

hard goodbyes.

today is tough.
today hurts.

today we said thank you, and goodbye.
To Blitz.
To Diego.
our dogs.

the details are sad.
i don't want to go there.

you're probably wondering why i'm blogging about it.
honestly, it's for my memories.
it's also therapeutic for me.
i print my blog as a book at the end of the year.
it's a family journal.
they were part of our family.

i show the good and the bad of our life.
this is a reminder that life just isn't always fair.
i don't always understand why bad things happen.
but also, a reminder that our dogs were a very real part of our family.

Blitz was our first "non-pound" dog.
We papered him as "Lloyd's Quarterback Blitz"
He didn't know he was a big dog.
He would sit on your lap if you let him.
He had a split down the middle of his tongue.
An imperfection that was endearing.
He barked to remind you it was dinner time.
He was huge. Like horse, huge.
His tail could knock over Zach in one swoosh.
He made me crazy.
I sure loved him.
Blitz was 7 years old.

Diego was our newest addition.
A "CVS" dog I liked to call him.
My brother and his fiancee found him in a parking lot.
I didn't want him.
I said no.
And then I said, no he can't leave.
I made my case to keep him, and we did.
Blitz loved him.
They were buds.
He had some man part problems.
Our pocket book took care of that, and he was officially our most expensive dog.
He was mischievous.
He was snuggly.
He had beautiful markings.
He adored Blitz.
He was about 6 months old.

I'm going to miss them.
Miss looking out my kitchen window seeing them laying by the chicken coop.
Miss throwing a stick for Blitz to chase while Diego snuggled against my leg.
Miss the reminder bark for dinner.
Miss hearing them roughhouse on the porch.
Miss seeing my beautiful lab greet me as I pull in the driveway.
Miss having them walk Macy to the bus stop.

Thank you Blitz for loving us for 7 years.
For protecting us.
Thank you for being such a smutz that we could love.
And Diego, thank you for being a friend to Blitz.
Thank you for choosing us.

If you own a pet, or you have young children,
do yourself, your neighbors, and your conscience a favor.
Safely store any poisons, bait, and chemicals.
Do not take for granted that they aren't accessible.
Check. Make sure. Be certain.

Gonna miss you boys.