Lavender Blue

My  English Lavender has finally established itself after two years and is taking over from the day lilies next to my deck and patio. Instead of cutting it back last year I left it completely alone, and this spring it ran amok!  Amok! Amok! Amok! 😉  IMG_8923 watermarked IMG_8937 watermarked IMG_8953 watermarked IMG_8974 watermarked I actually was able to smell it the other afternoon when my allergies were giving me a break. It was divine! And the bees love it.  They go about their business busily while I snap pictures. Unfortunately, they are too quick for me to get a good picture of them, but I’ll figure it out someday….. laughing!

And Just for Fun:  Both of my grandmothers used to sing this to me and my sister when we were little – its derived from a very old English Nursery Rhyme – that has MUCH bawdier origins. This version won Burl Ives an Academy Award in 1948, and was his first major chart topper.  Here’s the song reference:


Formal Florals

I decided to get crafty yesterday and this morning and try some flower arranging. Then, I tried to see if I could capture my efforts for posterity. The Roses and the Lavender are direct from my garden; and the conch shell was brought back from the Caribbean by my father after he took a Windjammer cruise – back in the 80’s. Originally he had planned to make a nightlight out of it. Somehow it ended up at my house. The Viking learned how to sound a conch in Hawaii back in his younger days – and occasionally he greets the sunset with a blast or three. It really does work,and we’ve gotten calls wondering what the noise was! 😉 Here’s how the photos turned out.  Please let me know what you think, and what your favorites are if you have any!IMG_9200 watermarked IMG_9203 watermarked IMG_9212 WATERMARKED IMG_9215 watermarked IMG_9242 watermarked IMG_9245 watermarked IMG_9257 watermarked IMG_9255 watermarked IMG_9251 watermarked IMG_9252 watermarked IMG_9311 watermarked IMG_9313 watermarked IMG_9321 watermarked IMG_9327 watermarked IMG_9326 watermarkedI’m including this youtube video because it came up on my playlist while I was editing this. I’m feeling a bit nostalgic today so it fits! Enjoy the Kingston Trio!  The answer to the question is apparently  “My House!”  Hahahaha!!!

Workin for the Weekend….and Vacation!

It’s kind of funny what one falls into – career wise, as one gets older. I started out 30 years ago providing direct care to folks over 22 with mental health issues and developmental disabilities. For those that don’t know – that’s kind of like nurses aide work without the blood pressure checks.  I worked in residential when I started out – awake overnight shifts and relief shifts while I was in college. The stories….. and I can attest that the full moon “theory” is a fact – just so you know.  Those full moon weekend shifts were off the hook!

I steadily moved my way onward and forward moving into day programs and working with the elderly; becoming an activities director at a local nursing home part time for a short time.  I moved back to residential programs and became a House Manager for another short period of time.  I can honestly say that those folks are paid nowhere NEAR enough for everything they have to do – and on salary.  I averaged 70 to 80 hours a week but got paid for 40 and was on call one weekend a month.  My longest week was 115 hours.  I passed out from exhaustion at the end of it. OK yeah, I was only 27 years old at the time – but a girls got her limits.  After several months of me unplugging my phone when I was not on call (in order to avoid the late night  ” there’s no milk in the fridge – what should I do?” calls)  and yes, I got those regularly – as well as the sick calls where I ended up having to cover the shift myself – hence the long work weeks – sigh.   I realized this was not my cup of tea. I moved into working in Day Programs at another agency in 1991 and haven’t looked back. I discovered how nice it is to work M-F and not dread the sound of the telephone ringing when I was home. I started in direct support again and moved up to case and program management, then into QA case management and administrative – where I  currently “reside.”  Years of lugging and tugging clients and the occasional aggressive episode left me with a bad hip and shoulder so I don’t do direct support with the clients anymore – can’t.  I prefer that term to the current “consumer” as “client” infers that I provided a service -which I did. “Consumer” infers no reciprocity, and I gained so much from working with my folks – they didn’t just take from me.  Anyway, that’s my meandering career path to now.  What a long strange trip its been.

The last three months of my life at work have literally been taken up by a massive annual project – recontracting with the state for Fiscal 14.  My background is not accounting, business, or finance, as I’m sure you noted when you read the beginning of this post -. so this was a real challenge to me to fly “solo” this year. The process was self taught and I am so thankful for the great mentors I have who were available to answer my questions and “point me in the direction of Albuquerque” when I got stuck. But I have to admit I’m fried and in dire need of this time off.  So today, I’m not dreading the inevitable return to the Monday grind. In fact, I’m planning a little road trip with my youngest daughter for a couple of days.

And, this coming Friday is our 28th wedding anniversary.  June 21, 1985 – which was also a Friday. I will have to do a “Tales from the Northland” post to commemorate the event. So you all  can look forward to my  wedding recollections when we get back from our road trip. (heehee)  So now, I must take us all back to yesteryear…. Glam Rock and Girl Power!

…And Whiskers on Kittens….

IMG_8391 watermarkedIMG_8383 watermarkedIMG_8403 watermarkedThese are a few of my Favorite Things….

I got absolutely drenched getting these shots, but what FUN!  I hope you all like the photographs as much as I liked the process of taking them.

What’s in a Name? And, A Drive By Vomit

I woke this morning to the sound of giggles and murmuring in my living room.  Mayhem (the youngest) has been sleeping on the couch because of a spider-fright in her room. Chaos (the oldest) had to get up early to register online for next semester’s college courses.  So of course Chaos had to make sure that Mayhem was awake – because in her world if she ain’t sleepin, ain’t nobody sleepin. They didn’t bother me (today 😉 ) and so I snuggled back into my cocoon of warmth for a few extra ZZZZ’s. When I finally emerged into the living room – Chaos was registering for her classes and Mayhem was doing her usual morning zombie shuffle. At some point, Chaos decided to help herself to some post-Easter Jelly Beans.

Didja ever start eating something that you thought you knew what it was; but it turned out to be something different? Well…  (Gagging, goat-like noise) “Mom? Black jelly beans, what flavor are they?” Me:  “Liquorice.” Chaos: “What’s anise, then?”   Me: “It tastes like liquorice…. Its a plant.” She had been expecting grape flavor -mistaking black for purple in the dim light. Well, since things usually taste pretty crappy when you were expecting one taste and get another  – much merriment ensued when the word “anise” was phonetically compared to the word for the body orifice that produces said crap.  Which I was unaware of, quite apparently –  since I continued to blather on about the anise plant.  The girls were still chortling over “anus” and thought I was commenting about anuses….how you can boil and reduce them to make the liquorice flavor. Yes, I have lost my mind – but not quite on that grand a scale – yet….Mayhem  was holding her sides. To paraphrase JRR Tolkein: Its a dangerous business – getting out of bed in the morning.

Fast Forward to this afternoon:  The Tale of the Drive-by Puking.  To set the stage: the usual state of affairs is that Chaos brings Mayhem home after work, since the younger one is a member and the older one works there.  They arrived home at abut 6:20 pm today – par for the course.  Chaos had to relate what happened on the way home –  literally just up the street. They had turned down our street and were approaching the neighbor’s house.  Both girls noticed a girl sitting on the curb. The car in front of them slowed, stopped and picked the girl up.  Mayhem: “Whats going on?” Chaos: “Getting a ride, or getting kidnapped.”  Door of car opens, girl leans out – Kidnapping Escape Attempt? Nope.  She proceeds to hurl on the street.  The driver waves Chaos around and gives her a wide-eyed  “IDKWTF is going on” look as they pass the car.  Said car then proceeds to speed off down the street in some haste – leaving the lovely deposit behind…..

I am not surprised. In this town literally anything is possible.  But I think I have had enough strange hilarity for one day.

Come Emmanuel

This is one of my favorite Advent Carols, and the fact that my oldest daughter is part of the choir performing it makes it extra special. She’s tall, so she’s in the back row, third from the left (wearing glasses) I took the original video in 2008, and one of the choir members edited it and reposted in 2010. She did a great job!