Ten Thankful Tummies

I am excited to post my first holiday blog ever...editing the photos for this post has been a blast. The thought of having this entry to look back on makes me smile entirely. This year there were 10 of us! Thanks to the Do-Ahead Diva I was able to get most of the heavy cooking done on Wed. I spent 14 hours preparing the mashed potatoes, roasted brussel sprouts, roasted yams, stuffing, rolls, setting the tables, and lets not forget prepping the Tom Tom who was a 29 pounder.
Tuesday I was given the great idea by bff to make my own napkins--no, she is not a work pusher, but when one whines to her about not having beautiful napkins her practicalness does instruct..."Rhonda you do have fabric in your stash--just make some!" It was so much fun I ended up making table runners as well.

These babies were my first attempt at making my Ya Ya Melissa's grandmother's five-o-clock rolls. They were well worth the kneading once an hour for five hours in addition to the timing of getting up early to bake them. Thank you Melis for sharing your family tradition with me, everyone raved about them

Baylee prepared the Quayle-Off Spring favorite...they love them so much she made two dishes worth!

Napkins and table runner

Goofy pre- company photo

Swell my heart
Sons are fun to force into photo shots

Scarves Rawk! Mine is a pre-birthday gift purchased in Italy!
Great-Grandmother with her Great-Granddaughter
Why do men sit on tables that are decorated with care?
Nephew and his Auntie 6 months age difference
The best ever "step in" mother and I (PS she wears glasses too)

The best "step in" Grandparents ever!
Daddy doing his appointed job of jobs
I think I look pregnant here
Gravy for an army---Thank you Grandpa!

We are so blessed


I Have No Words

There is joy
in all:
in the hair I brush each morning,
in the Cannon towel, newly washed,
that I rub my body with each morning,
in the chapel of eggs I cook
each morning,
in the outcry from the kettle
that heats my coffee
each morning,
in the spoon and the chair
that cry “hello there, [Rhonda]”
each morning,
in the godhead of the table
that I set my silver, plate, cup upon
each morning.

All this is God,
right here in my pea-green house
each morning
and I mean
though often forget,
to give thanks,
to faint down by the kitchen table
in a prayer of rejoicing
as the holy birds at the kitchen window
peck into their marriage of seeds.

So while I think of it,
let me paint a thank-you on my palm
for this God, this laughter of the morning,
lest it go unspoken.

The Joy that isn’t shared, I’ve heard,
dies young.

~Welcome Morning by Anne Sexton~


Make Me Laugh Monday

"Hey Mom, thanks for that art appreciation course way back when I was in homeschool high school...it is coming in 'handy'...you always taught us that quality education would carry over into life application!"


Who is that?

My last post brought back a "look alike" memory from the year my Fairborn Guy turned 40, 1995 to be exact.
I like surprises...doesn't everyone? So in trying to come up with the perfect gift idea I decided to do something that even today makes me laugh at myself...I am entirely too weird for help.

At the time I had an Oregon bff, who btw, does really deserve some of the blame for the outcome of this story...she should have insisted that I at least enlist an artist in this surprise escapade who had a reputation of success. Julie if you ever find yourself reading this blog I need you to know that I hold no grudges but, why the heck did you not make me go to Jean Juarez?

My masterminded plan was as follows:
Drive south to Oregon for a "visit" with friends and family. Stay with bff and her family the first night. Arrive early in the afternoon. Let the hubbys know (Julie's husband Gary was informed of the real plan and played along, bless his heart) they were in charge of dinner and the kids for the evening so we girls could go and take care of an "errand" that involved an early birthday surprise for Fairborn Guy when we returned.
I have always wondered if he silently hoped we were headed to Victoria Secret...okay worse...for a super-duper shopping spree after a drive-thru lypo-suction session....like he would ever admit it right?

The next part of the plan is where it begins to fall apart. The good ole Dex should not have been my go-to-guy for the surprise acquisition spot. I have no recollection how I decided which numbers to phone. I probably went with a solid criteria like, "oooh that name sounds cute, lets try that one!". I think that the final decision was on only try number two...yes you heard it correctly...the second phone call won!

"Hello I am planning a surprise for my husband, I am looking for someone willing to make me look like Meg Ryan....not so much her hair style but her hair color is what I would like."

"Who Meg Whyan?"

"She is an actress....a blond actress."

"What cala you hawr?"


"Oh we can do dat...we good at dat...we give you very good bltich job here...we make you berry beau-twiful...we give very good bltich job here. You come now...we have time...fit you in...you be very happy."

Why Meg Ryan, you ask? Ahhh...she just happens to be Fairborn Guy's favorite actress that's why! Because of her, he actually has a favorite romantic comedy movie named French Kiss! I thought it a great idea to give him, me blond for his 40th...not a common gift women give their men especially women raised on, and living in, the traditions of the women's lib movement. We dye our hair to make "us" happy right?
Meanwhile back at the suspenseful unfolding--
Time was of the essence, it must have been the word "now" that drove me over the cliff in haste. What I remember is we hopped into the car stat and drove directly to the darlingly named hair salon with the cute little female Asian "artist" with very little english speaking skills. Oh how I wish I had photos of the process. I am thinking that should have been assigned to Julie...bffs take pictures of these things don't they? She certainly had time to take several rolls as we were there for over 4 freaking hours!

I do not have a photo of the end result....but in one word I can give you a very clear picture to describe it. Orange!

I cried in the salon...I cried after leaving the salon...I kept crying. And no!... it is not VAIN to cry when one's hair is ORANGE, they were tears of compassion for all who had to look at me. I could avoid the mirror....but my husband, my children, the grocery checker...they could not avoid looking at me. My children were afraid to get their hug before bed that night. Peanut was not even 4, she was so scared of me she would not come near me.

The upcoming image is of my de-oranged, salvageable Meg Ryan look that cost me over 100 bucks to purchase after the original over 100 bucks to aquire.

When my friend and I got back to the house to present my, soon to turn middle aged, husband his surprise birthday present; I fully expected him to laugh out loud and say something very sensitive like, "How much did that cost me?...it looks horrible!" To my astonishment when he opened the door as instructed by my girlfriend's husband, he was silent for a moment, followed by "That is the sweetest thing anyone has ever tried to do for me."


I wonder who invented facebook...

I am almost afraid to research the inception of the Internet community forum known as facebook. It would ruin my good time...I am very much enjoy imagining the thought and idea stages of whomever he/she/they are who came up it! As soon as I find out the true story the imaginations in my head will have to be discarded for the truth.

As some of you may already know, I recently found myself interested in joining the facebook world. It seemed like it would be a simple enough way to keep in touch with distant family members as well as immerse myself in the post-modern youth culture online while avoiding myspace. Oh how wrong the word simple is when facebook is involved. As an aside, for me avoiding myspace is about how it makes my computer cough and sputter as well as the disdain it gives me when clicking onto a site where I am forcefully greeted by loud obnoxious noises that someone defines as listenable music.

My new venture in facebook cooperates with my computer and alleviates the music confusion issue but it too has it's disappointments. Mostly the disappointments come from it's capability to roadblock my brain. I actually do not think I have enough braincells left after raising children to master the nuances of facebook mastery. I will choose to persevere... but I hold out little hope of actually figuring out how all those bloody applications really work. Facebook did afford me a great deal of laughter today though...I suppose that is worth its weight in how retarded it makes me feel.

While on a shopping adventure with bff today, I could not believe what I was hearing our 40something year old mouths discussing!

Bff: "Okay, this Flair thing, I think I finally figured out how to get it onto my profile page like yours is"

Tink: "Good cuz I really need to know what you did---mine appeared there and I have no idea what I did to get it there...btw how much flair did you send me because I had 3 pages of it once I finally found it the other day?"

Bff: "I only gave you a few pieces, all your other friends must have given them to you"

Tink: "Impossible there was too much of it and thanks to you anyway because I was very happy ignoring the entire applications leg of facebook!"

Bff: "I like flair it is fun...it should tell you who gave them to you in your notifications." (I love her instruction voice)

Tink: "yeah, I know it should but the thing is... it does not seem to, do you think it is because I was ignoring them for so long because I did not know what to do with them if I were to accept them...I just kept hitting ignore...I don't know if I like flair."

Bff: "Maybe, but your notifications area should tell you who sent them to you."
(Bff is for sure thinking I have just overlooked them in my notifications area, granted, I am spacey sometimes so she has cause to suspect so)

Tink: "I have no recollection of said notifications and my notifications area is empty."

Bff changing the subject a bit: "I sent you one that was so funny... about.... can't really... remember... what it... was but it was so funny...oh and the Ya Ya one is from me...I wish I could remember them all, there are some pretty funny ones out there ."

Tink: "Are you listening to us, we are actually talking about fake buttons in cyberspace that are 'collectible' yet indiscernibly able to be 'placed' for viewing where we want them." (I bust out laughing at us, bff joins in)

Bff: "oh, it gets better...I was invited to join a cause that allows me to collect plants, but I don't know where to plant my plants!" (more laughter)

Tink: "I know, I saw that you joined that cause. I was invited to join too but declined because it torks my brain to even try to think about how an invitation to give a fake plant in a fake community garden can actually help that cause...did you get the invitation to stamp out abortion--- I got that one!" (now tears are streaming down my face while I am laughing out loud and trying to drive) "Dang if facebook would only have been around long ago maybe our 30 year fight against abortion would have been won by now." (both still laughing out loud, tears still streaming down my face while driving) "I am thinking that facebook was invented by a group of former United States Postal workers who got fired for being too happy to work there, because only happy people like buttons and bumperstickers. They were happy but could just not shake the dysfunction from working for the government." "Or maybe they were just happy drug users." "Oh hey it just occurred to me...I think if I tell the cork board to post to my wall rather than my profile I can right click it there, save it to my pictures, and wallah--- use it in my blog!!!"


Doodleness For Obama!

I had quite the cozy post election morning yesterday. I did a bit of computer “work”---ya know, that all important task of updating the “Rhonda is…..” feature on the ole Facebook page.

Despite the fact that most of my voting choices were on the loosing side of the ballot results, I was in a very happy place; peaceful and content knowing that I had done my civil duty for my country and thankful that I am not composed of venomous tendencies that produce president hating/personal attack mindsets so prevalent in our “lack of civility” culture today. I can embrace the winning opponent, and in fact even seek goodwill and success for his term with the many challenges it will deal him. I love my country and believe in the representative process of checks and balances our founding fathers designed.

Ok, so I had been pondering my favorite part of Elect Obama’s victory speech, the part where he so proudly acknowledged his daughter’s hard work in the campaign---the part where he announced to the world that their reward was to be a puppy in the White House! So in honor of that glorious part of my newly elected President’s speech, I updated my Facebook page to read: “Rhonda is holding her puppy on her lap...she is so happy that President Elect Obama is buying his daughters a new puppy for the white house.”

I was serious! As some of you know, the past few years of my life have included loads of Doodleness. I researched and dreamed for months on how I could acquire a Doodle dog; the breed had stolen my heart. It took me nearly a year but my goal was eventually reached.

So you can understand the delight President Elect Obama’s doggie statement was to my Doodle-owning ears (I must admit my daddy- daughter ears were excited as well). Never mind that my ears are basically as naive as could be…for I could have never imagined the onslaught of political pressures that his precious fatherly remarks could actually unleash. Why? ---Well it seems the Obama girls have decided their breed of choice is a Goldendoodle---gasp...are you kidding...they are not going to rescue a Mutt from the pound animal shelter? This compels me to compose a letter.

“Dearest President Elect Obama,

This letter is a hopeful effort to support you. I encourage you to stand tall against the tidal waves of political pressure the special interest animal rights organizations have begun against you, which purpose to only destroy your household individual freedom to choose what kind of animal to purchase for your daughters.

Sir, I am a stunningly joyous (weird adjective combo I know) owner of a Labradoodle (sister breed to Goldendoodle) named Sami. Sami is a breeding bitch who, aside from contributing to more “unneeded” Labradoodles in the world, delights my heart and life with companionship as well as many other simple pleasures offered by a mans best friend. She also provides a bit of taxable income for our family.

Folks can be passionately curt towards Doodle owners. I personally have had to resist the sneers and comments from these judgmental minded. Every vet visit, I am “reminded” (in that ever sweet academic tone that implies they are the smart educated and I are only the ignorant, greedy and heartless pet propagator) that the world is chucked full of homeless animals “needing” to be adopted.

Next comes the great question of questions---How many litters will you "make" her have?---to which I answer--- only 3 more, she had her first litter last April, would you like to see my photos?--Invitation politely declined as they lift their jaw from the floor.

I have come to understand that such smart and educated may “approve” of one small litter of earth defiling pups--- but three—E-Gads no way!

I imagine the pooch you plan to purchase for your daughters will most likely be de-sexed. Goodness knows your future approval ratings will be significantly reduced if you were to actually purchase a bitch or a stud. Be that as it may, I implore you to reconsider? Owning breeding stock has many advantages…just think of the business lessons that could be instilled in your daughters by owning a small doggie breeding business! The spirited riots and demonstrations on the perimeters of the White House would be astounding fodder for our media outlets, I wonder if they would demonize you---Nah. Lastly it would show great support to all your Doodle owning constituents, like me. Your valiant efforts to stand for our common principles of individual doggie owner freedoms would be longstanding…we could unite together and end the prejudices against animal husbandry forever!!

Tink the Doodle populator
Contactable at http://www.doodledogsbeforemutts.com/ "


My Country Tis of Thee

"Let each citizen remember at the moment he is offering his vote that he is not making a present or a compliment to please an individual -- or at least that he ought not so to do; but that he is executing one of the most solemn trusts in human society for which he is accountable to God and his country." --Samuel Adams

What better way to spend voting morning than with two first time voters, one of which is a newly retired United States Marine? Robin, Mr. Marine Andrew, and I hit our polling spot bright and early. They were very patient with my photo taking antics....thanks guys!

How cool is it that Starbucks was giving out free drip coffee today? What is wrong with these pictures?...A tattooed ex-Marine orders a Strawberries and Cream Fu-fu drink...Andrew you are still as weird as ever! Thank you for your service, preserving my freedom to vote and speak my mind...I am ever grateful for the sacrifices you have made!


Two days in a row, what are the chances?

Lesson learned: Digital cameras rawk as medical emergency assistants. When she was dropped of by her loving parent, Baby Scarlet was asleep in her car seat---that’s easy enough---let sleeping babies lie happily snug as a bug in a rug until they wake up. Peanut, like every good Nanny, did the normal and reasonable thing when Baby Scarlet awoke…she got her out of her car seat to rock and coo and play with. I interrupted her though. I just have to get a few hugs and cuddles in---in other words I was a baby thief.
I noticed some odd redness in her neck area as I was kissing and cooing over her. Oh my…that is not a little redness…that is quite a bit of redness. When Scarlet’s daddy dropped her off he made no mention of any redness…yikes. Mmmmmm, lets strip her down and see how extensive this redness is….to which we found more redness in various and random places and the redness aforementioned was getting deeper red and growing in size.

I immediately thought…Rhonda get photos of this, even if it passes in a few minutes her mother will want to see this, she is a nurse for crying out loud. We took several photos of her….still no sign of said redness fading---time to call Mommy and ask if she can receive email at work. Mommy calls back promptly, emails with photos get sent, Mommy pronto phones Daddy whose work place is closer to Nanny’s house, and baby gets picked up and rushed to the doctor.

Lesson Learned: If your husband goes to answer the door bell just as you are serving dinner and does not come back promptly, don’t assume he got distracted with typical garage or computer things. He could actually be protecting you from a doorbell ringing man convinced that your residence is his safe house solution from, the revolver toting, finger puppet playing on the stop sign across the street, chasing and wanting to kill him, invisible gang---otherwise known as the doorbell ringing Meth user high as a kite?

Don’t tell Fairborn Guy this but it totally tripped my trigger to have him tell me, when I finally (thanks to the teens who wanted to know what was up with the weird guy my husband was talking to outside) went down to investigate what the heck was detaining him from the dinner that was now cold; “don’t come out here, shut the door and stay inside”. It was like in the movies---Knight in shinning armor protects dumb clueless woman…hawt, hawt, hawt!!! Thanks to the cell phone in his pocket, my man was able to keep Mr. Meth calm while calling 911 from the stoop. Surprise, surprise, the police were actually in the neighborhood already looking for Mr. Meth---seems our “safe house” has a competitor close by.

I am happy to report that both emergencies have good endings. Baby Scarlet is now without mystery redness and Mr. Meth was taken to the hospital before harming himself or anyone else that we know of. I am thinking these two incidents are terrific life lessons for a just turned 17 year old: Just say no to dead camera batteries and drug use!