Friday, August 31, 2007

Big Girls Don't Cry

Family Du Godmother's Great Wedding Caper Notes to Date:
  • The remnants of Hurricane Dean made interesting driving weather yesterday. Because of Dean we were treated to a fabulous sunrise. Dean also had us moving through various types of fog banks and low lying clouds like nothing we'd ever seen. Tropical storms really aren't so scary once they've worn themselves down into 'Monsoonal Flows.'
  • The stretch of Highway 59 between Douglas and Gillette should be renamed 'Bunny Memorial Highway' judging by all the remains. Apologies to those with tender stomachs, but I have never in my life seen as much roadkill as I did yesterday.
  • Our motel gets classier and classier, water stained ceilings and black mold in the shower are just a few of the delights so far. Please don't believe the advertising: they do NOT have free breakfast for guests but are fairly adept at giving directions to their restaurant, less so to the grocery store.
  • We won't be moving to Gillette, Wyoming. I respect Alex and Deena (not to mention her wonderful, wonderful family) too much to trash the town here on my blog. However, if the city fathers should somehow stumble onto this site: your town has potential, I hope someday you'll manage to find it again.
  • Amanda's dog, Dora (who may get a new name from her new owner) is completely darling. My mother's efforts at 'dog matching' have definitely paid off; Dora and Amanda both appear to be smitten.

Speaking of smitten, it was a genuine privilege to meet Deena and her family yesterday. The rehearsal dinner was everything such an event should be: a meeting and gentle blending of two families at the happiest of times. The highlights:

  • Represented in that room were four generations of two different families. Long marriages and deep ties, children lovingly raised and in turn raising their own.
  • Deena's family are friendly and forthright. They love her very much (of course!) and obviously love Alex too.
  • Alex's boss oh so considerately consented to let him off work in time to shower and attend his own rehearsal dinner. (I am not kidding) We can only hope he'll do the same today for the ceremony (again, I am not kidding).
  • The atmosphere and food were just right. My father and grandfather planned and the restaurant executed an event as close to perfect as anyone could ask. If you have the chance to eat at The Chophouse, may I suggest the Chicken Marsala?
  • My speech went off very nicely. I had given up writing it down and spoke off the cuff, having thought and roughly planned it for two months. I managed to incorporate every one's ideas without taking too long. Best of all: I got through it without crying.
  • Alex and Deena are great together and I WILL get a good picture of him if it kills me (Deena has never taken a bad photo in her life).

I need to wrap this up in order to hop in the shower. We're heading down to the ranch early, to be available for set up. Cheryl's dress is perfect, Cowboy will be smokin' in his tux.

Weddings are not without their challenges at the best of times; I just hope Alex and Deena have gone through all they'll have to face already.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

My Wishes for Deena

We've never met face to face Deena, but I trust Alex's judgement implicitly. As you prepare to join your life with his, I wish you all these things:
  • May you feel welcome as a member of our family; loved and accepted just as much as he loves you and accepts you.
  • May you have a marriage that is more than even what you wildest dreams imagine.
  • May Alex find you attractive always, especially when you feel unattractive. May he always see you as the girl he first loved(even if this means he never notices when you change hairstyles or gain/lose weight).
  • May you have a houseful of love, between you both, your familes and all who know you.
  • May you have the man who is strong when you need him to be, yet understands and supports that often it is we, the women, who must be the strong ones.
  • May you worry only when you need to.
  • May Alex be your helium and your string: giving you flight, yet holding you steady.
  • May you be blessed with a peaceful home and the talent for keeping it so.
  • May your ends always meet.
  • May you find a man who trusts you enough to cry with you. There are few higher honors than a man's tears entrusted to one who won't disrespect them.
  • May it be forever.

I can't wait to meet you. Congratulations!

Friday, August 24, 2007

My Wishes for Alex

Little brother, I'm so happy for you and so proud of you! I finally understand why mom always cried during beautiful pieces of music and happy parts of movies (I am sooo my mother's daughter).

Alex, I wishes for you:
  • May your bond be like the strong bonds you've been surrounded with all your life. May you take the steadfast, stubborn, longlasting love we saw in our grandparents and parents into your own marraige.
  • May you find in Deena a real partner, a woman you know you can share your whole self, even the grumpy in the morning, unshaved and messy haired self with.
  • May you be both a leader and a follower in your relationship, learning and becoming the teacher by turns.
  • May you be comforted and offer comfort as it's needed, that you can become to her what she has been to you.
  • May you have what you need, yet know the pride of self-reliance.
  • May you work together to accomplish your goals; nothing is so satisfying as sharing these experiences.
  • May you suffer crises, that you can know miracles and recovery.
  • May you argue, that you can make up.
  • May you have met someone who compliments your attention to detail with flexibility, your devotion with respect and honor.
  • May you have found a partner who makes you want to work and to grow.
  • May you find tenderness and intimacy in quiet times, a sense of humor and steady temper in loud ones.
  • May you have found someone who gets your jokes, even the really dry ones.
  • May she mean as much to you as Bill means to me, that to lose her would be losing a part of yourself.
  • May it be forever.

I love you.

Inspiration from the iPod

At the end of my Featured Space week on MSN last year, I posted about 'Inspiration from the Radio.' It may have been one of my best posts to date. Music stirs us all deeply. In addition, times of intense emotions tend to inspire me to write. When my grandmother was dying, three years ago, I wrote the tribute that drove my grandfather to ask me to speak at Alex and Deena's rehearsal dinner.

Knowing both these things, I guess it's not surprising that with a week to go before my little brother marries the love of his life, I am suddenly bursting with inspiration. One tiny whiney note: where the HECK was all this inspriration over the course of the last two months, huh? It's gotta all arrive in one night? Yeah, that's reasonable!

*cleansing breath*

Annnnnnnd we're back.

Tonight, I heard Rascal Flatt's sing 'My Wish' and all my wishes for my brother and his fiance began crowding into my brain. It might take me more than one post. I hope you bear with me, I may have wishes for more people than simply Alex and Deena. As I sit I can think of wishes I have for both my grandmothers, my parents, my kids, my grandfather and the rest of my family.

It's a darn good thing I'm practicing to be a Godmother. No other creature has the capacity to handle the vastness of well-wishes bursting out of me right now.

Without further ado...

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

What's Up Buttercup?

What's new? Where've you been? What's going on in your life?

The answers!

  • Cara was here for a visit. We got to spend a couple hours together, rebonding. Aynde even called while she was here (weird? nope. We're connected like that!) so all three of us were sort of in one space for a brief time. Cara took the girls and I out for hibachi at Hanabi's (home of THE BEST TEMPURA ON THE PLANET!!). She put up with me playing 'my best friend is a (soon to be) doctor.. so what do you think this bump on my leg is' and didn't even sigh once. I admired her new Palm and she admired my Treo. Oh and yes, I remembered to get a picture: Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

(Cara's the tall one, I'm the short one, duh!) Oh and she passed her boards! Go CARA!!!

  • My hairdo is new.. but not terribly. Pat and I made me spiky! (she calls it a 'sprout' but whatever, it's SPIKE!!) It's basically my same cut but I can spike the top and back if I feel attituderific. Right now it's causing me to use about double the product I would normally, though. Gotta get that under control.
  • Posting pictures of my 'What Not to Wear' purse. (Yes, still buzzing about the new purse. At least little things that make me happy make me happy a LONG TIME). 'What Not To Wear purse', you're asking? The purse is NOT an example of what not to wear. Instead it's an example of how much the TLC show has taught me. Not too big or too small; has some detail but not too much, some pattern, but not too much and the wallet I found matches perfectly and isn't too busy. Observe: Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Happy sigh... Yep. Still love it.

  • We have finished repainting the main living areas of our house. By we, I mean Cowboy and the Kids painted the walls a gorgeous sort of.. latte color and the trim is high gloss enamel white. I assisted with chocolate chip cookies home baked and lasagna reward as rewards. I do not paint.
  • We have finished washing the carpets and saddle soaping the couch. By we I mean myself and the Kids. Cowboy does not wash carpets or saddle soap anything but his boots.
  • Cowboy has finished rebuilding the fence on both sides of the house.
  • He also added a three foot by twenty foot stretch of brick next to the driveway where the grass had been turned to mud/dirt when we (and the previous tenants) ran over it in order to get into the driveway from our very narrow street
  • We found lovely things for the girls to wear at the wedding. Amanda has a skirt and blouse from Ann Taylor and Shelley has the same from Fashion Bug (she felt Ann Taylor was too grown up).
  • The boys have been out to Washington and back. They flew out all and back all by themselves and even managed a 2 1/2 hour stop over in Salt Lake without incident. They've seen the ocean, gone to a county fair (where Will says there were many 'hot girls') and a farmer's market. Mostly, they spent hours playing with the dogs and horses at my parent's house. Mom and Dad also got them their outfits for the wedding, taking some of the burden off us (Thank you!!).
  • Everybody starts school in the next two days. That's right. Everybody. My baby starts Kindergarten today. We were lucky enough to get her into their all day program. So long daycare bill!!

Coming up:

  • My last day of work is Friday, after which I'm not back until September 5th.
  • My parents arrive Sunday. Hence the painting, cleaning, fence rebuilding and brick-laying and time off work. The new fence/gate is needed for Retro and the new dog, Dora (coming with my parents), who will be Amanda's.
  • We leave for Gillette, Wyoming and the wedding in a few days. We'll arrive the afternoon of the rehearsal, then dinner and the wedding the next day. I cannot WAIT to meet Deena and her family and pretty much have my 'speech' all wrapped up (except for the 'please don't let me cry' part).
  • After the wedding, we're going to join my parents, grandfather and uncle on a mini-tour of South Dakota. We'll swing through New Castle, Wyoming (major metropolis) on our way to Custer and then Mt Rushmore. We'll spend the night in Rapid City and then start back West. We'll pass through Sturgis and actually end up back in Gillette before we turn South for home.
  • My brother in law has given me my next writing assignment: something light from the perspective of the 'civilian' for his Trooper newsletter/magazine. He said something about my being a good writer, which is like someone saying to you "Oh yeah, you're the funny one. Say something funny!". You appreciate the compliment but aren't sure you can live up to the pressure.

All this excitement is already causing me loss of sleep and panic attacks. Have I ever mentioned that I happen to be wound tighter than a spring? oooooooooooh yeah. By the end of next week, I'll make Shelley-Sue's Drama Queen tendencies look like a Zen Meditation.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

I Want To Know

I want to blog but my brain has serious "hamster on a wheel" syndrome (it won't shut up long enough for me to concentrate on one thing). I give up. Instead, here's a list of things I want to know. Feel free to answer any you like or add your own questions -- in other words, lurkers, I know you are there, please speak up, especially the one of you living in Alaska!

I want to know:
  • When did I learn how to figure the Lowest Common Multiplier to a string of numbers in my head? I know there was a point when I could not do this at all, I know approximately when I learned to do it on paper. When, exactly did I transfer this knowledge to my head?
  • Why can't I explain how I get the Lowest Common Multiplier in a way that makes any sort of sense to another rational adult?
  • Why is it that 12 people working in Las Vegas can't take as many calls per hour as nine people working in Temple, Texas?(this question, believe it or not is completely unrelated to the previous two)
  • Whatever happened to a 'free education system? I got the list of school fees for the kids today. Sheesh!
  • Speaking of fees: what exactly does the fee for Honor's English cover, considering that MadManda has to purchase separately each of the books she'll be reading in the class?
  • Where the heck is the Weight Loss Bandwagon? I swear I only got off it for a second; now it feels like it's MILES ahead of me.
  • Which artificial sweetener is Starbucks using in it's Sugar Free Cinnamon Dolce syrup?
  • Where are the executable CD's for my two Heroes of Might and Magic games have wandered off to?
  • Can I download songs sung by the King Kamehameha Children's Choir on iTunes?
  • (MadManda wants to know): Why is 'Superman' a butt head?
  • (Retro wants to know): Are you going to finish eating that?
  • (Will wants to know): Is riding on an airplane scary?
  • Is it Friday yet?