Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Creep, Inc.

Okay, fine. If you must know, I googled him today. Honestly, I hadn't done it for months. MONTHS. Plural. Probably not since last year. Nothing ever turned up, he has a sort of John Doe-ish name. That he shares with a professional musician as well as a pro golfer living in the same city.* I have confessed to occasionally having him on my brain, but I have not googled. But this afternoon, while I was attempting patience, I googled him. The only reason I bring this up at all is that today I found him. Complete with photo. Nice smile. Dark twinkly eyes. Damn. I had nearly reduced him to an imaginary figment. The question is, what do I do with this information. One thing's for sure. I'm officially a creep. I'm certain my union card will show up in the mail tomorrow.

*The most frequent reference that pops up is a locally (for him) produced play which happens to contain his name.


Patience. I lecture myself on the importance of increasing my stock of this most virtuous commodity. And I fail. So I distract myself with leftover birthday cake and Facebook. And a really interesting book that doesn't presently hold my attention. I have set a strict limit of once per hour for checking my email. I carry my phone around the house despite the fact that leaving it at the other end of the house or in the car seems to be the thing that makes it ring. In the past few days I have through deliberate actions set in motion what I can only describe as possible life-altering events. So I wait. And hope that I have been wise rather than reckless, rational rather than emotional, and attentive to all the details. Patience, my ass, said one vulture to another. I'm gonna go kill something. Fortunately, I have cake. And more patience, at least, than vultures.

Friday, May 27, 2011


Highlights of day four of GraduWeduation Weekend

*Sleeping in was luscious, though we were slug-a-beds only til nine or so. It was overcast and trying to rain while we enjoyed orange scones and coffee for breakfast.

*We didn't discuss that this should be a stay in our jammies all day day, but as the day progressed and we didn't get dressed, it became one.

*Time with my sisters is so precious! We found ourselves moving en masse from one room to another. If Pam wanted to check her email, we moved the sister party to my office. If Martine followed Newt into the next room to rub his belly, we followed.

*We thought the sangria was all gone. To our delight, bottle number twelve was discovered loitering in the basement fridge. I made pasta to accompany it and we ate at mid afternoon out in the garage/party room where the tropical lights were still on.

*Lunchtime entertainment was provided by a black and white mouse who ventured out from under the back steps to nibble holes in a choice garbage bag containing party food leavings. We learned that mice like whipped cream when I lured him out by squirting a blob on the garage floor. While the mouse had been skittish and ran for cover at any distraction
earlier, once his nose was in the whipped cream he remained until he finished it despite our boisterous behavior.

*Moving on to white wine, next we popped open a bottle of Candoni pinot grigio.

*We promised Mom a Viking Funeral. Her wish was fulfilled on a smaller, but no less grand scale. At dusk we memorialized her in song and poetry while a bonfire burned in her honor. I truly hope that her spirit, which always seemed so restless, has found some peace.

*The evening was rounded out with a viewing of Star Trek 2009. I would suggest a sturdy red wine as an accompaniment to this film full of sturdy men. We chose Layer Cake Malbec.

*Winos, you're thinking. Puh-leez! Over the course of an entire day, our wine consumption averaged out to one bottle per woman. Which is perfectly respectable. Yes, I have fully rationalized this.

*Tomorrow my son is getting married!

Listening to NPR...

Tim Pawlenty is a self absorbed, self-aggrandizing, milquetoastvanilla, hollow shirt of a man. He does have nice hair. He's a dork with good hair. He must believe that old adage about how anyone can become president...

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

As For You, Dr. Cottage Cheese...

I was told that you are the preeminent man in your specialty in the region. That may very well be. It did take two months to get an appointment with you. I was also, shall I say, apprised in advance as to your methods and personality as far as dealing with patients is concerned. Now that I have had the privilege of meeting you, I would say that abrupt is one thing. Straightforward is one thing. Lack of charm, for lack of a better word, in the bedside manner is one thing. All business is one thing. Rude, bullying, cold, seeming lack of knowledge or interest in my case history, an unecessarily rough examination, and a dismissive attitude toward my feelings, my pain, and my efforts to heal are quite another. I have felt less violated with my feet up in the stirrups. You, sir, may be a brilliant surgeon, but you are a miserable human being.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Spring! At Last!

This is Vladimir, all cozy in the corner of his deck pot. He looks as though he's about to say something. Doesn't he?

I swear these ferns pop up overnight!

I'm a big proponent of recycling! But let's talk about my virtue, not my weight. My local Lowe's store accepts all manner of previous planting paraphernalia for recycling! I pulled all of this out of my garden shed and hauled it in. Check out your local retailers and see if they do, too. Then patronize the businesses with greener policies!

And, yes, lilac season is upon us. These intoxicatingly fragrant blossoms are so short lived, so colorful, so lovely. I'm sleeping with my bedroom windows open in hopes that their sweet scent will bring me sweet dreams.

Monday, May 23, 2011


In local news regarding the Rapture...we are still here but the yogurt has expired.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Rummage Treasure

Other peoples' stuff is so very compelling. I'm convinced that's why rummage sales are interesting. I must confess that I don't attend many, but I do hostess a few. And between the waves of customers we covet each others' things. Like these lovely napkins and rings that Colleen brought. Too gaudy for her, just right for me!

Gothic, Halloweeny art. With the exception of the frame, which is easily remedied, I love this painting!

This sweater, which used to be Karen's, is sure to win a dubious holiday sweater contest. It speaks to me. Which is mildly disturbing. But in a good way.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Reid's Graduation Party Pics

Reid needed a job during the graduation party. So he would be forced to be sociable and not disappear into his mancave, only surfacing due to hunger or thirst. So I assigned him the task of Official Event Photographer. Here he caught late night board game enthusiasts hard at work. I don't know who won. Or what the objective was. At any rate, Michael seems to be putting his college education to the test as he appears to be deep in thought.

Grandma of Grad

Grads with beverages and fancy tasselly things about their necks

Grad with smiling Dad

Grandparents of Grad

Aunt of Grad with faux grad and beverage

Happy Mom and Aunt of Grad

Wednesday, May 18, 2011


Liz, Michael & Reid

Highlights from day three of GraduWeduation Weekend.

*I was up at six to finish up turning the garage into a tropical paradise and to decorate that lovely three layer square cake. Martine and Pam were up soon after to help, but also because they smelled coffee brewing. Or heard the coffee grinder. Subtle is my middle name.

*Martine and I scurried across town to South Dakota State University's Spring 2011 Commencement. So it seems, did half the population of the state. Whoop-whooped appropriately when Michael and Liz crossed the stage for diploma conferment. To my amazement, I actually knew about a dozen graduates!

*Miss Pam stayed behind and put fabulous finishing touches on the decorations. She also managed to decorate herself quite nicely.

*After a quick stop at Hy-Vee for ice and whipped cream, we arrived home to find guests had beaten us to the draw!

*After ushering Liz's parents, grandparents, and other family members out to the deck and plying them with beverages, food preparation commenced with a fervor. Forever after my large stainless steel bowl shall be known as that goddamn bowl. I thank my sisters for making salad assembly so very entertaining. Although this could simply be due to copious sangria consumption.

*People arrived, people left. It was an absolutely gorgeous day. Much delicious food and delectable desserts were consumed. The party was declared a success.

*Late into the evening, board games were played and the last few hearty partiers gathered about the firepit in the back yard. The party lights stayed on for days.

*The best part about slipping into bed on this night was turning off the alarm! For Sunday was to be a day of sleeping in. Sigh. I am the mother of a college graduate. It is, I must admit, a pretty good feeling.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Cyber Sex in my Head

Either the aliens abducted me last night and microchipped my brain, or it's just that damn full moon interfering in my sleep cycle. It seems that lately when I dream, there is some computerish aspect to my rem sleep. Last night I had several tabs open, and two of them were devoted to various variations on a sex theme with an overly buff Norse god. Which was all and well and good and everything until I woke up. And found myself in my Queen Suite with one cat warming my feet and another across the room on guard duty. This is a cruel yet well designed practical joke. Tonight I expect the shadows will be sharp in my garden as the moon swells to her instantaneous fullness only to immediately begin her waning phase. And I will do my best to not take it personally when the girl behind the counter at the consignment shop rejects some of my more choice clothing items. I cried all the way to the bank with my check for thirty-three dollars and twenty-five cents. And took my festival schmestival dress home. Think I'll sleep with it under my pillow tonight.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Ten Things I Love About Thor

1. Chris Hemsworth is gorgeous.

2. 3D is pretty cool,

3. although its effects left me feeling slightly nauseated and disoriented.

4. But it was all worth it, because Chris Hemsworth is gorgeous.

5. Our local theater charges an extra $2.75 for attending a 3D movie, due to some agreement or something with distributors. This explanation is publicly displayed on a quite small placard near where you pay. Meaning, that for me personally, it cost extra to feel like I'm about to lose my cookies.

6. Going to the 4 pm matinee on a Monday afternoon has its perks, there were only three people in the theater! I bet you thought I was was going to gush about how gorgeous Chris Hemsworth is. Again. Fooled you!

7. Even the credits were rendered in 3D, making them appear slightly out of focus. This can be remedied by closing one eye if you're sick and tired of wearing those Clark Kent glasses.

8. Chris Hemsworth is Australian and stands about six foot five. Making him more than a foot taller than yours truly. Making him statuesque as well as gorgeous.

9. I actually liked the movie! Having a nerdy interest in Norse mythology I enjoyed seeing it translated to the big screen.

10. Instead of blathering on about what a hottie Chris Hemsworth is, I'd like to close by saying if all the men in Australia look like him, I'm moving there!

Sunday, May 15, 2011


Highlights of day two of GraduWeduation Weekend.

*Gorgeous morning! Potted those lovely geraniums after coffee and breakfast with Martine.

*Baked up a storm! The square triple layer cake has one layer of devil's food between two layers of fudge marble. Between the layers are chocolate chips nestled in cream cheese frosting, chocolate buttercream frosting on the outside, and mini chocolate chips scattered on the platter. Also prepared were a lemon tart and a fresh berry tart. Mmmmm.

*Martine has a glorious future as an underpaid sous chef. Give this girl a cutting board and a selection of knives and she can chop veggies like nobody's business! She accomplished preparation of all the veggies for the kabobs, layered taco dip and spinach salad. Couldn't have done it without her!

*Reid mowed the lawn! Without being asked. The season of miracles is upon us.

*Sped to Sioux Falls for the second time in two days to fetch sister Pam at the airport. As long as we were in the big city we ventured downtown and enjoyed a beverage and outstanding apps at Paramount. Our waitperson did not find us amusing. We were. As well as easy to look at. He warmed up a little before we left, but not much. The last half hour was atmosphere enhanced with a jazz trio playing. Nice.

*Upon returning to Brookings we found ourselves still thirsty, so stopped off at Bravo's for a house specialty, the Patron margarita. The waitstaff at Bravo's is always engaging, always prompt, and finds margarita quaffing ladies most entertaining. I'm certain they were tipped at a much higher rate than the grumpy young man at Paramount.

*Had a quick logistics/planning session with the graduates/bride and groom-to-be. We achieved samepagedness.

*Once home, us girls stayed up much too late, put finishing touches on food and decorating, and laughed and hugged and enjoyed every minute together.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Cullen Carroll Broome

February 17, 1964 - May 14, 2009

I don't know how long I will feel that it's necessary to publicly acknowledge the death of my dear brother Cullen. Eventually May 14th will become a day of private reflection, I'm just not sure when. I remain grateful to have known him, honored to have loved and been loved by him, and sad that he is no longer with us.

Who Would Have Known...

...that there could be so much pink fireman related paraphernalia! This is becoming just mildly obsessive. So I will stop now. Probably. Unless I find one that's unusual or too interesting to pass up. Bear with me.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Note to Martine

They exist! Just looky here! It's a pink fireman! Please don't send me this one. Thank you.


Not yesterday Thursday, last week Thursday. The fifth of May. To recap all of the momentous events over GraduWeduation Weekend, thought I'd share the highlights of each day.

*After difficulty finding bell peppers to meet my culinary standards, I was surprised to find all the produce I needed at of all places, Target. Who'da thunk it.

*In honor of Cinco de Mayo, I met up with sis Martine and her friend Mickey at Chevy's for mucho yummy margaritas and food.

*On the way back to Brookings, we stopped at Home Depot where I found lovely geraniums in three shades of pink. There was also a somewhat bewildered Mallard wandering about the parking lot. I expect he needed Duck Tape or wing nuts or some such thing. I was relieved that the quacking wasn't some auditory hallucination brought on by the effects of tequila drinking.

*Once home it was discovered that dear friend James was in town! He stopped by for a couple of hours and we popped open a bottle of 7 Deadly Zins. Then proceeded to chat until much too late, making this the first of many short nights.

*Miracles occurred! Reid vacuumed the basement steps without being reminded. He did something else I requested but I can't remember what it was at the moment. I was pleased.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Pithy Phrases

When Miss Martine and Pamela Jean and I are together, we talk a little. Okay, a lot. Together the three of us can suck the oxygen out of any room in no time flat. Yes, I do realize that these pithy phrases would be much pithier and more amusing if I explained the context. But that would take much too long, may possibly incriminate the mostly innocent, and then, after all that, you still might not get it. It's one of those had to be there things.

* I don't have enough counter space.

* Have. You. Lost. Your mind.

* Am I wrong, or is he hot?

* I can fix that!!

* No, that goddamn bowl.

* Well. S/he just isn't appreciating our humor/beauty/intelligence.

* If you must open another bottle of wine, please do, but not just for me.

* That's nice.

* SPF!! Which, of course is George Carlin shorthand for three of those seven naughty words. Which comes in handy when you don't have time to swear. The only reason I explain this one is because just last evening I realized it also stands for sweet potato fries.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Minions & Me

Have I really been absent from here for a week? Michael and Liz are all college graduated and married. Couldn't have done it without my sisters. And I can't think of two better people to share the experience with. More later.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Cats & Dogs

It's raining! Which means Mother Nature is washing the crud off of the chairs and table I set out in the back yard! Wintering over in the garden shed means cobwebs and dead bugs and dust, oh my, had settled in a neat layer all over these items. I thought Reid might enjoy cleaning them off with the hose tomorrow, but he just may have to be disappointed. Character building, I'm sure.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Are We There Yet?

The deck is repaired. Deck furniture is painted. Chairs and tables have been rounded up. Fancy wine bottle lights completed. Decorations about half done, final touches on Friday. Final count of guests is not yet known. Two more grocery trips and one liquor store trip still to come. Two sisters to fetch from airports. Four desserts to prepare. Get that spare tank for the grill filled!! The weather forecast looks good. I've decided what to wear, but may change my mind, my dress, my jewelry at the last minute. Deploy deck umbrella, pink flamingo lights, pillows and hammock. Still need to find a dozen or so geraniums for the deck, preferably priced at around a buck apiece. I'm about to become the mother of a college graduate and a mother-in-law. Am I a grown-up now?

Monday, May 2, 2011

My Son is a Blockhead


In addition to being a blockhead, he is also a musical, artistic, subgenius underachiever who spends too much time at his computer.

He's also quite a talker. Caught here in a rare, quiet moment of contemplation and repose.

Singing a sea shanty requires arm movements.

The occasional adjustment is necessary, or maybe he has a headache. So proud to be the mother of a blockhead.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Party Lights!!

I just knew I'd figure out something to do with all those Blue Moon Oregon Riesling bottles! I regularly buy this wine and just couldn't throw out the pretty bottles it was packaged in. I love cobalt glass and I started collecting it several years ago. The collection started out with, surprise, a very tall interesting looking wine bottle. It contained pinot grigio, which I wasn't familiar with, but for ten bucks I didn't care what was inside! Yes, the bottle was that cool. And the pinot grigio turned out to be quite tasty. Win, win. I know, I said party lights. Plural. This is the only one completed so far. I intend to make eight all together unless I happen to shatter any of them during the hole drilling process! Four remain to be drilled which is more laborious than I anticipated. I'm using a half inch diamond tipped hole saw in my drill and it takes about ten minutes for me to accomplish. The curved surface of the bottle is tricky to get the hole started, then gentle pressure at high speed to get through. I discovered after stuffing the light string in this first one that it's necessary to thoroughly rinse the bottle afterwards to clean out the dust from drilling it. Then I taped off the edges of the hole with tiny strips of blue duct tape, I had used a sanding sponge to take any sharp edges off the opening but felt that wasn't enough. Onward to stuffing a 20 light string into the bottle, then poking some frou-frou in the top. Plug in and say oooooh and ahhhhhh. This girl knows how to have fun on a Sunday afternoon!