Monthly Archives: May 2014

Graduation Panic

Graduation is two days away.

Two. Days.

I’m not in a panic. Much.

Let’s just say that things have not gone exactly as planned.

There was the whole birthday trip and unexpected overnight for the kids while I was home baking a ka-jillian cookies.

Then I pulled a muscle in my shoulder whacking out dandelions and moving cement blocks.

But I still finished baking the ba-jillian buns and smoking the turkeys.

Then Sunday night we had a torrential downpour which created in a river through the basement – the basement that was cleaned and organized and ready for the Open House.

Now – it is not.

Meanwhile my allergies are the worst I’ve had in years with one eye swollen shut every morning.

On Monday we drove to Des Moines for my niece’s graduation party – and the brakes froze up on the mini van.

I am not kidding.

Now we have a wet basement, a mom with both a hurt shoulder and horrific allergies, a vehicle broken down 120 miles from home, and graduation Open House a few days away.

And did I mention that Angel Girl starts Driver’s Ed this week? We get to make two trips to town. Every. Day.

With a broken van.

I might be a little stressed. Just a little.

The other night I dreamed that as I walked on the stage at graduation my pretty new dress turned into my mom’s prom dress from the 1950’s – complete with a tulle skirt, pearls and pumps.  The entire crowd gasped with horror when they saw it and my children were mortified.

Obviously I haven’t eaten enough chocolate before bed.

But all is not lost.

Monday night we turned the AC on – which helped dry out the basement and got my allergies in check.

Tuesday Jan and I took the Suburban and rescued the broken van.

Wednesday amazing friends showed up to help- literally digging me out of the hole.  Bless them. Bless them. Bless them.

Chex Mix is made.

Windows are washed.

Flower gardens are planted.

Curtains are washed, ironed, and hung.

My shoulder is not quite as painful.

And I’m finally marking things off my list!

We have another big work day tomorrow – but we’re gaining on it.

And at some point in the next few days I need to process the fact that my son has reached a milestone and change is coming.

Or maybe not.

The “Morel” of the Story

morel mushroomsI love morel mushrooms.

Dipped in egg and crushed saltines then fried in butter – they are the epitome of spring cuisine.

But they are elusive.

The weather has to be just right.

The soil has to be just right.

And you have to be at the right place at the right time.

For several years now my love of mushrooms has been thwarted by my extreme allergy to poison ivy.  There was no way I could go tramping through the forests hunting for mushrooms like I did when I was younger.

The only morels we’ve had were the few accidentally discovered by a neighbor out checking cows.

But not this year!

This year the weather was just right.

The soil was just right.

And we happened to be in the right place at the right time. Well – at least Buddy was. He was out helping Jan move pigs and walked right into a patch.

Boom! More mushrooms then we had seen in years!

He carried them in like gold. My hero.

Each one was fried with extreme care. I wish I could say that we ate them slowly and savored each bite, but the truth is – we inhaled them as if we hadn’t eaten a morel in years.

Which in fact – we hadn’t.

What a feast!

What a Week!

It was quite a week here.

We’re in full-on graduation mode now.

Monday the girls and I went shopping. We found a new dress for me, bought the paper goods for the party and enough Hawaiian punch to sink a small ship.

Tuesday I bought all the butter on the shelf at the store and started baking.

Wednesday all of the kids took off on a one day road trip in Dagmar’s new truck to surprise my niece on her birthday.

birthday misadventure

I stayed home and baked more cookies, plus I started roasting the first of many mock smoked turkeys.

But as the kids were ready to head home – Dagmar’s wonder truck wouldn’t start, leaving them stranded at my sister’s house.

As the phone calls and texts were flying back and forth between our stranded children and their parents,  my amazing husband tried to diagnose the problem from listening to the vehicle over the phone.

And he was right.

We decided it was best if they spent the night there and we’d figure out something in the morning before Pedro and Dagmar had to be back here for work.

Thus their quick one day jaunt became into an impromptu sleep-over.

They didn’t seem to mind and their party continued.

But in the confusion of the evening – we kind of forgot the poor plants that had been outside hardening off.

You know – those tomatoes and peppers that I had started months ago as wee little seeds and had been nurturing ever since.

Yep. Those plants.

We had a frost during the night.


Meanwhile – my sister was feeding a house full of unexpected guests who didn’t even bring their toothbrushes while finding a mechanic who could could replace a starter cheap and fast.

Then she figured out how to use their family van to tow the wonder truck into town to the super hero mechanic.

And me? I baked more cookies and roasted another turkey – this time with my shoes on and my purse ready in case a rescue party should be needed.

But it was not. The mechanic preformed a miracle. The kids made it home and Pedro to work with 2 minutes to spare.


Friday I baked my first batch of yeast rolls and roasted another turkey.

And today we fought the crowds at the Amish green house to replace our frozen peppers and tomatoes. Obviously we weren’t the only ones to miss the memo on the frost.

Yep. It’s been quite a week.

And Even More Extreme Planting…

Since we are into extreme planting these days (remember the 500 trees) – why not extend that to the garden planting?!

I guess if one buys hundreds of packets of seeds during winter snow storms, and then starts hundreds of tiny seeds in the grey days of early March, one should expect to plant many, many seedlings.

And so I did.

The 2 kinds of cauliflower, 2 kinds of broccoli, and 3 kinds of cabbage are in the ground.

Over 140 plants.

That is no joke. Jan counted them.

I’m either an overachiever or certifiably insane.

Or…maybe we just love cauliflower and broccoli.

At any rate, I should have enough cabbage to make sauerkraut for an entire German hamlet.

That is – if they actually grow.

And the bunnies don’t find them.

And the pigs don’t get out.

And the cabbage moths don’t infest them.

And the rains come.

And the creek don’t rise.

Okay – I’m certifiable.

Pedro’s Quilt

DSC_0089It’s done.

I finished it.

Pedro’s quilt is on his bed.

It’s not perfect.

Actually – it’s full of mistakes.

But it’s also full of love.

And dreams.

And prayers for his future.

Pedro graduates in less than three weeks and my role as his teacher will end.

But I will always be his mom.

No matter where he journeys in life –  he will take a part of my heart with him.

And this quilt.

I hope.