I Shoulda Looked for a Watering Hole

I Shoulda Looked for a Watering Hole

In case you missed it last year (or the year before that) this is when I start to complain about the heat.  You would think that I have an affection for it after living in Texas my whole life, but no.  I despise it with a passion.  Them’s strong words but it’s how I feel.

Last Thursday James whisked me away for a romantic getaway.  And when I say romantic I mean 2 days with 5,000 other homeschoolers and a guest bed at my aunt’s house.  It was more about keeping up with a full schedule and less about roses with candlelight dinners.  But we do have the 4 hour car ride to look back on with fondness, if you like long, intense discussions about how we can be better parents and what to do about making a budget for next year.

One thing I struggle with when I travel in the summer is getting dehydrated.  I try to be careful, but there’s something about it that throws me off and by the time we were back home on Saturday night I was in pain.  My old-lady bladder was irritated and a headache was looming.

Getting dehydrated is no laughing matter (even though this blog post is funny!)

This is not my first experience with dehydration.  It happens to me several times every summer.  I know what you’re thinking, “Why doesn’t she just drink enough water?!”  I really wish I knew the answer to this question.

I expected my usual few days of recovery, so I flipped through my essential oils reference book to see if I there was an oil I might try.  Turned out that I had several of the oils suggested….just one of the many advantages of having a good stock.  I put one drop each of lemongrass, Thieves, spearmint and chamomile into a carrier oil and rubbed it over my bladder. Then I rubbed EndoFlex over my kidneys and drank 1/2 cup of NingXia Red followed by 8 oz. of water.  I felt better in about 5 minutes….no kidding!  In the past when this happens I feel awful all night and have trouble sleeping because of it.  I did the whole protocol again before I went to bed.  I didn’t want to risk it flaring up in the middle of the night and missing my much needed beauty sleep.

It really is a blessing to have remedies for these kinds of issues.  When small things come up I always see if I have an oil that can help me get through it more quickly.  In this case it knocked it right out and I was extra careful all day Sunday to be sure I drank enough water.  Maybe someday I will think about it BEFORE I leave for my trip and avoid it altogether.

Today is the fifth morning in a row that I have to get up and go out early.  It’s been a challenge to find time for exercise.  On Thursday I went for an evening walk instead of morning and on Friday I dropped James off at the convention we were attending and I went for a jog around the mall next door.  This morning I did a quick TTapp DVD and I will try to go for a bike ride later.  I have learned that there is always something I can do, even if it’s just jogging in place for 10 minutes or crunches on the floor.

If I, the laziest person in Texas, can do it then so can you!  I am rooting you on from my air-conditioned bedroom with a tall glass of Sonic ice in my hand.

Have a great week & stay cool!

This Mamma Doesn’t Do Midnight

This Mamma Doesn’t Do Midnight

On Friday night we went to dinner at a friend’s house and stayed way too late.  This mamma doesn’t do midnight anymore.  My system starts to shut down around 9…..starting with my eyelids.  But we lost track of time.  I should have realized when Levi got sleepy and laid on the couch.  He never goes to sleep before I do.

About an hour before he fell asleep I gave him my phone to play with.  I normally don’t do that, but he was really bored since all of the other kids were significantly older than he is.  After the evening was over and I looked at my phone I was shocked that he had moved all of my apps around.

If you think sleepy mamma is bad you should see sleepy mamma that can’t find her Instagram.  The next morning it took me almost an hour to figure out how to put it all back.  When I asked him why he did that he told me I was too unorganized so he made it better.  OK, he’s 7.  I almost told him he has no business telling me how to organize anything since he hasn’t been able to find his new shoes for 2 weeks.  But I refrained, being so mature and all.

On Saturday I was in Austin to visit my parents then teach an essential oils class with a friend of mine.  It was fun to meet new people and share my love for the oils.  Then I drove home and went almost straight to bed.  My eyelids were still suffering from the night before.

On Sunday after church I was really hoping for a long, hard nap.  God heard my cry because my son Jacob asked if he could take the other kids to see “God’s Not Dead” that was playing at the local Baptist church in the afternoon.  All but 2 of the kids went and those 2 decided to play together and I actually closed my bedroom door and took the best nap ever.  It had all the necessary elements….quiet, cool and nothing to do.  #perfection

Today I am taking my three little boys to a cavern to explore.  I promised them a few weeks ago that we would do it as soon as we could and they have been patiently waiting for Mom to stop her life and go.  Honestly, I don’t have time.  But then, I didn’t have time to go into labor and breastfeed on demand either.  Sometimes you just have to make it happen.

However, they don’t know it yet but we will also be stopping by Costco for a few things.  No trip with Mom is complete without a Costco run.  It’s a boy’s dream day.  But before you feel sorry for them you should know that what I lack in exciting shopping I make up for with frozen yogurt.

Oh….one thing I keep forgetting to tell you about….every Tuesday morning I am a guest on a web show called Mentor Moms with my friend at Hip Homeschool Moms.  It’s at 10CST and I’d love for you to join us!  Here’s their YouTube channel with past shows.

Have a great week!

If You Can’t Find Me I’ll Be at a Riverwalk Hotel

If You Can’t Find Me I’ll Be at a Riverwalk Hotel

The past week has been Texas history week here at the Point. We visited museums and landmarks and walked trails and, of course, ate Mexican food.  It’s Texas law that you have to eat Mexican food a minimum of once a week.  I follow this religiously.  I don’t want to lose my Texas ID card.

On Wednesday, while my girls took a friend to see the Alamo and Riverwalk I parked myself in a fancy hotel lobby and mooched off their internet.  I needed to spend some quality time with my new computer.  Buying a computer always seems like such a good idea at the time, but then you come face to face with the realization that you have no idea how to use the new operating system and somewhere along the road of life you’ve lost the capacity to learn.

I was considering returning it, but thought I needed to give it a fair shot at having the honor of belonging to me.  It must be such a joy to be right in my face every day as I whine about how hard it is to learn new technology at my age.  Excuse me while I stop for a moment and think about how lucky my computer is…..

It turned out to be a good decision to sit for a while in a luxury chair where no one was trying to tell me about their ideas for how to make a sword out of the curtain rod they found in my garbage and just read the computer’s instructions.  After an hour of reading one tip at a time the light started to turn on and guess what!  I can learn new things!  Who knew an expensive hotel was the key?!

I am considering making it a weekly appointment.  Throw in some fajitas and I might even stop complaining about technology.  OK, probably not.

I have decided to keep the computer since I have mostly figured out how to use it.  Although I am still considering paying one of my kids to install the programs I need and set up my email.  No reason to put my brain under too much stress.

This weekend I am heading to Austin for an essential oils class.  I’m looking forward to sharing how much they have blessed our family!  Plus I will get some drive time to finish an audio book that I started over a month ago.

Have a good one.  Eat some Mexican food!

 

Tires and Ants are My Nemeses

Tires and Ants are My Nemeses

Ok friends. It’s official.  I am tired.

It started to hit me last week as I drove to the city for the third time in three days.  Normally I go every couple of weeks, so my car and I were not used to the extra activity.  I heard it cry in protest one day as I slipped behind the wheel.  It sounded something like a groan when I turned the key.

Then I saw my front tire was flat and I knew that my car was not happy about all of this use.  We took it to the tire store and had to get two new tires.  Why is it that one flat tire means you need two news ones?  This sounds like a scam to me.  But please don’t tell the tire store people I said that.  I need them to like me.

One of the fun parts of my week has been having our friend here from Virginia.  She and I met at a blog conference and just liked each other right away.  She is the same age as my daughters, so even though I thought she was coming to see me, it turns out she has much more in common with my girls, so they have been chatting it up and doing all kinds of girly things.

We decided, since this is her first trip to Texas, that we would do the touristy stuff.  We’ve been to LBJ Ranch (It’s really cool….you must go there if you can!), a few local spots and today we are taking her to Austin to see the sights.  There’s nothing like our gorgeous Texas capitol to make a person fall in love with this great state.  That and a great plate of TexMex followed by some Blue Bell ice cream and people want to stay forever.

My latest craze is the battle of the ants that we have been dealing with for the past 2 weeks.  Every morning we wake up to a line of ants all through our pantry and kitchen.  Yesterday after church they were in the laundry basket.  We have lifted all food off of the floor and sealed it.  We scour and spray the countertop every night.  It hasn’t helped.

I spent Sunday afternoon Googling ways to kill them once and for all without using harsh chemicals.  I ordered an arsenal of ant killing supplies on Amazon that should be here by Tuesday, when I plan to turn into a mad scientist/exterminator.

And don’t tell my car, but I am going to Austin again on Friday to visit my parents and host an essential oils class on Saturday with a friend of mine.  I can’t help it, I love my oils too much so my car will just have to deal with it (but please don’t tell it I said that).

Have a great week!

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Sweating is Not My Thing

Sweating is Not My Thing

We have been working in the yard for the past few days getting ready for a big party tomorrow.  Two of the girls are graduating so we are having a small ceremony with family and close friends.

I don’t like yard work.  I am not one of those people who enjoys sweating and getting my hands in the dirt.  I hear people talk about how satisfying it is to get their hands dirty and all I think is, “Yuck.  Haven’t they heard that cleanliness is next to godliness?!”

I also don’t like tomatoes.  Just a random bit of info that I thought you might need to understand that I don’t care for yardwork.  It seems like people who love that also really like to grow tomatoes.  That’s just my assessment from the other side of the glass.  By that I mean inside the house where the air-conditioning is.

What DOES interest me is having a beautiful yard.  So sometimes I do actually have to sweat and get dirty for that to happen.  Thankfully I have a full crew so our family rallies together like a little machine and gets the job done.  Then we jump in the pool.  Because lounging in the cool water does interest me.

An as an update on our green swamp, it is crystal clear and staying that way.  I used the advice from a website called Trouble Free Pools. It took me a while to get the hang of it, but now it’s going fine.  It has been freeing to be able to do this myself without the help of the expensive pool store chemicals.

Back to the graduation prep, there’s also plenty of inside work to be done.  Bathrooms have to be cleaned and stocked, tablecloths have to be ironed and someone has to cut a watermelon half into a Pinterest worthy fruit bowl.

Being a true Texas gal, I am ordering bar-b-que from a local place that slow cooks it all night into a melt-in-your-mouth slice of heaven.  The whole meal is going to be gluten-free in honor of the 2 graduates who both are GF.  It’s been a challenge, but I’m up for it.

I decided on an ice cream bar instead of cake.  This morning I’m having one of the kids scoop ice cream into small mason jars so it will be ready to just pull out and serve.  No bowls and scoops and drippy messes.  Seriously y’all.  I am making it as easy on myself as possible short of hiring servers and landscapers.  Which I tried to talk James into but he insisted it wasn’t in the budget.

He and I don’t see things the same way.  I see a whole week’s worth of exhausting work ahead and he sees coming out of his office on Friday night to a beautiful yard and prepared food.  But then, I see the money in the bank account as just magically appearing, and I don’t think he sees it like that at all.

I am looking forward to hanging out with my people and laughing about the old days.  There’s nothing like an evening with the people who knew you when you were 12 to keep a girl humble.  It will come as no surprise to any of them that I don’t like to sweat.  When I was in the second grade I insisted on signing up for girl’s softball then cried through the entire first game because it was hot.

It’s gonna be fun.

Have a happy fourth!

Am I Sleep Walking Now?

Am I Sleep Walking Now?

It’s the age old question asked since the cavemen chiseled wheels out of enormous rocks and attached them to sticks: WHY does driving all day make you SO tired?!

I spent all day Saturday and half of Sunday driving home from Kansas City.  My children, so precious, slept in the car so they felt just fine when we got home.  I listened to an audiobook for a few hours, but that started numbing my mind and making me feel drowsy.  Thankfully I had my Sonic ice and Mandisa albums or I might have fallen asleep at the wheel.

When we finally got home I announced that we would take 30 minutes to “speed unpack.”  It was a whirlwind of half eaten packages of food, blankets, dirty laundry and cords.

Oh the cords!  I miss the days of cordless travel.  Now we’ve got phone cords, car chargers, earbuds, computer cords…..plus I travel with an extension cord because apparently hotels haven’t figured out that we need to be able to plug 14 things in at once.  Why on earth do they still just have one lamp base outlet for the whole room?!

Within half an hour we had literally put away every single thing from the trip and, as much as I wanted to hang out with my kids that I hadn’t seen all week, I fell into a nap that even Sleeping Beauty would not have believed was possible.  And I slept for the next 24 hours, breaking only to go for a walk at 6:30 the next morning.

I don’t actually remember it.  I only know that I went for a walk because I found selfies on my phone from 2 miles down the road.  I’m pretty sure I slept walked the whole thing.  I hope I didn’t do anything embarrassing.  Like take my shirt off in the middle of the street.

But the rest time is over because this Saturday we are having a graduation for two of my girls and I have lots of planning and preparing ahead.  We’ll be having 45 people over for dinner on Saturday night plus have a bit of a ceremony.  This is our fourth graduation.  This one will be much smaller than what we did for our son a few years ago.  We try to do whatever fits the personality of that child and the 2 girls that we are graduating this weekend wanted a smaller affair.

After that I.AM.SITTING.DOWN.FOR.A.WEEK.

I may spend all of Monday and Tuesday in the pool.  I have a lounger that has been begging for me to spend some quality time with it.

Have a great week y’all!

The Long and Winding Road

The Long and Winding Road

I didn’t write my regular, fascinating Monday update yesterday because I was driving.

In fact, have been driving for the past 2 days and sadly I am the only driver in this bunch.  Our belief in not letting our kids learn to drive until they are mature and enough to carry that responsibility comes back to bite me when I’m on one of these road trips.  I find myself thinking, “I wonder if I could just plop one of the girls in front of the wheel on a long stretch of nothing and tell her to hit the gas.”

That’s how I learned to drive.  I was 14 and my grandfather was taking me home after spending the week with him. It was a three hour drive and about 20 minutes in he pulled over and said, “You drive.”  I had never even sat behind a steering wheel before.  Coincidentally, that is also when I learned several new curse words, since I spent the entire time going about 40 miles an hour and hugging the side of the road.  I skimmed at least 2 mailboxes with the side of his truck.

When we hit my neighborhood he had me pull over and let him slide across so my parents wouldn’t see me behind the wheel.  A few days later I let the cat out of the bag and told them I had driven all the way home.  It was too exciting not to tell everyone.  I don’t remember if they were angry or grateful, of maybe a little of both.  There had to be some relief at not having to do the dreaded deed of teaching me.

Of course, that was the days of the horse and buggy and the highest speed limit was 55mph.  You couldn’t do that today.  We have speed limits up to 80mph in Texas plus the modern day police don’t take it as lightly when they pull over a teen with no license.

I kind of miss those days.

Especially when my legs start cramping up after 8 hours behind the wheel.

I kept humming the Beatles song, “The Long and Winding Road”.  My kids always suspect I am making up these old songs when I get to the parts about pools of tears or “yeah, yeah, yeah.”  They can not imagine that actually being a hit song and they will say, “Mom!  If you didn’t make it up then it must be one of your awful 80s songs?!”

No….smarty pants!  The 80s songs go like this, “867530-ni-eeen-yeeen…..” over and over and over.  So there.

We will be here in Olathe, Kansas all week for the OYAN writer’s workshop.  In fact, if you’re in the area, my friend Connie at Smockity Frocks and I are hosting a meetup on Thursday night.  Leave a comment or message me on Facebook if you want to come and I’ll send you the info!

Have a great week!

 

The Annual Wet Swimsuit Battle Has Begun

The Annual Wet Swimsuit Battle Has Begun

The summer is heating up around here.  We got the pool clear enough to swim and the boys have turned into fish.  Swimming, swimming day and night.  I can only get them out for food.

That means it’s also time for the annual, “Don’t leave your wet swimsuit on the floor,” battle.  Every. Single. Year.  I have a whole setup for the wet suits, but for some reason the boys act like it’s the first time they have ever heard that a wet pile of clothes behind the bathroom door is a bad idea.

We built a clothesline in the side of the yard where I ask them to hang the wet swim suits and towels.  But for some reason it takes them a month every summer to figure that out.  I look out my kitchen window to see the deck railings lined with wadded up shorts and t-shirts.  I know I should appreciate the signs of children living here, but I would rather embrace it with a view of clothes neatly on the line blowing in the wind.

Last Friday my daughter and I spent the day recovering all of our outdoor pillows.  We also made an easy dust ruffle for the bench by the pool.  It is looking great thanks to the gorgeous outdoor fabrics I got at Online Fabric Store.  It’s a breath of fresh air after how bad it looked last year.  I also made a spot in our storage building to keep the pillows after the summer swim season is over.  I’m getting wise in my old age.  Ruining a set of cushions that took you a solid week to make will teach you to put them away.

pool bench

On Saturday another large family came and spent the day with us.  We all had a blast playing games and, what else, swimming.  I think the boys were in the water most of the afternoon.  The other mom and I lounged on the newly covered bench and talked and watched the kids play.  I can’t think of a better way to spend a Saturday afternoon.

Sunday was filled with Father’s day, church and our 28th anniversary.  We decided to put off the anniversary celebrating for another day.  We may do something overnight later in the summer.  I wanted to focus on Father’s Day and give the kids a chance to do stuff with Dad.

That man is so hard to buy for.  To show you how difficult it is….the kids gave him a Star Trek Barbie set.   I have no idea what he will do with it.  Probably put it up in his closet next to the duct tape wallet they gave him last year.

This week we have family visiting all week, so we’ll be playing a lot and of course, swimming.  Which brings me full circle to the wet suits on the floor battle.

There are definitely worse problems to have.  Like what to do with a Star Trek Barbie set.

My Brain Hurts

My Brain Hurts

Sooooo…..I have this pool problem.

I know I shouldn’t complain because having a pool is a blessing.  I think I spend as much time in the summer floating around in the water as the kids do splashing and diving for toys.

But it has been a battle.  Lisa vs. Algae.  And for the past 2 years I am the big loser in this war.

brain

We made the decision this year to invest in our own pool testing kit.  This kit tests for a bunch more things than just basic chlorine and PH.  It sounded like a great idea until the kit arrived in the mail and I opened it to discover that I would need to go back to school for a degree in chemistry to understand how to use it.  My mad skills in watching TV and sewing pillows don’t come in handy when you are trying to calculate how much bleach you need per 10,000 gallons of water depending on your PH and TA levels.

This is what I was doing yesterday, “Reference the CYA/Chlorine chart to know what your FC shock level should be.  Adjust the PH to fall between 7.2 and 7.5.  Slam your pool no more than once an hour using the PoolMath calculator and run the pump 24/7 until you pass the OCLT.”

I am not kidding.  And that’s the easy part.

My 15 year old son and I decided to make this “swamp to oasis” a mother-son bonding project, so crying was out of the question.  I started to well up once when the kit told me to decide if I wanted to measure my CC by .2 or .5ppm.  But I pulled myself together and confidently said to him, “This is your time to shine, son….you choose.”  And we forged ahead.

For next summer I am considering hiring a pool man.

Except for the brain exhaustion of doing complicated pool math, I have been enjoying my week at home.  I have done a lot of resting, replying to emails and talking with the kids.  I took a three hour nap on Monday, which you would think would keep me from sleeping that night.  But nope.  I rubbed on some lavender and slept like a baby.

Even though I was planning to go light on the extra projects, I did pick up some paint at Target to try.  Did you know they sell paint there?!  I had no idea!  It’s a bit expensive, but the colors are nice and that guesswork being done for me has value.  Plus they have wallpapers that coordinate with the paint which makes me so happy.  I’m not generally a wallpaper person, but I kind of got in the mood when I was looking at their options.  My bedroom desperately needs painting and this might be just my solution.  I bought a sample container and put some on the wall where I can look at it for a few days to see if I like it.

SO much easier than the pool test kit.

I may send Target a thank you note.

Unless I have to figure out how much paint I need using a complicated online chart.  In which case, I will be having my son do that part.

Be sure to follow me on Instagram for more pool pictures!

Let Me ‘Splain.  No, There is too Much.  Let Me Sum Up.

Let Me ‘Splain. No, There is too Much. Let Me Sum Up.

I am not going to make any attempt to tell you all about the past week of my life.  It’s frankly too much activity for one person and I am now considering applying to be on The Amazing Race, having proved to myself that I can get lost in several cities and survive.

In San Francisco last weekend I had the taxi driver from ‘H-E-double-hockey-sticks’, weaving in and out of oncoming traffic as I cried out in terror, and I lived to tell about it.  Having looked into the face of death and won, I am feeling much less intimidated by the 9 children and 450 emails that await my attention this morning.

Not to mention last Sunday being followed around Seattle at 5:30AM by a homeless man who decided I needed to hear all about how much he hates it when people stare at him.  That, for this country girl, was a bit too much.  I did think he was generally harmless, but it unnerved me enough that I got turned around and couldn’t find my way back to my hotel.  I had to kind of just keep jogging instead of trying to stop and figure it out.  Nothing says “come attack me” like standing alone in a deserted downtown staring at a tourist map.  I did eventually find it, thankfully!

Yesterday on a drive home from Houston I started feeling my body settle into travel weariness and I had to munch on Sonic ice to keep from falling asleep.  When we pulled into the driveway I asked my daughter who was with me if she minded propping me on her back and dragging me into the house.  I wasn’t sure if I could make the last 100 ft.

I am glad to report I have a couple of weeks off from traveling and plan to spend every second with my kids that didn’t get to go with me and just stare at them.  This morning I sat at the table to talk with my boys and I told Elijah, “Bring your chair over here and sit right next to me.”  He did and I kept patting his back and rubbing his shoulder when finally I just proclaimed that even though he is 11 years old, I would need him to sit in my lap for a few minutes because I missed him too much to be satisfied with just being next to him.  He begrudgingly did it.  I hugged it out then released him to go be his own person who will undoubtedly need therapy someday.

Speaking of needing therapy, my daughter Hope will likely have a lot to say to her future counselor after having seen me in my underwear yesterday.  In the middle of the mall.  We were shopping and as I reached toward a rack of clothes it happened….my skirt fell right to the floor.  It was all so quick!  I heard her gasp, felt a chill on my backside and something plopped at my feet all in the same second.  I looked down and tried to process what the gray pile of fabric was around my ankles.  Could that be my skirt?!  Yep.  I scooped it up as fast as I could then turned to my daughter to see her laughing so hard she had to walk away.  I tried to just nonchalantly move onward through the mall like nothing happened, but it kept flashing through our minds and we’d start to giggle uncontrollably.  Nothing like a little mother-daughter bonding to end the weekend.

Have a good one!