Monthly Archives: June 2014

Dagmar’s Adventure

How to take an adventure – Dagmar style.

First you realize that you have a lot of vacation days to use up quickly or you will lose them.

Then you buy a train ticket to visit your Aunt Julie in Chicago because she’s a lot of fun.paintball You turn in your vacation days at work – and your boss gives you extra shifts the week before so you end up only using a little of your accumulated vacation and are exhausted .

You wash your clothes and pack so you are all ready to get on the train at 7:40 AM the next morning when you get an email that your train will be 12 hours late.

You go into full panic mode, call AMTRAC,  sit on hold for so long that when you finally hear a voice you yell, “Are you a real person?!”

Then you go to bed expecting to spend the day at home, only to have your mom wake you up at with the news that the train will now leave at noon.

You get up, shower, eat breakfast and get three more emails each one giving an earlier departure time.

Finally – realizing that you have an hour long drive to get to the train station – you leave in hurry.

Only to get to the station and wait.

And wait.

And wait some more.

When you finally get on the train you end up sitting beside an older lady who likes to sing to herself.

In a foreign language.

With spontaneous clapping.

Even while she is sleeping.

But all nightmare journeys eventually come to an end.

And Aunt Julie was waiting on the other side with a week of fun planned.

rock climbingRock climbing.


Paint ball.10401918_10204165633040363_1651684442358206282_n


The sand dunes.


And life was so good – you didn’t want to come home.

Except that you missed your truck.

And fishing.

And your cowboy boots.

And maybe your family – just a little.

So eventually, you climb back onto the train and head home.

The end.

Fringe Benefits

Pedro has another job.

Now that’s he’s graduated and has all the time in the world and is in need of cash – he took another part time job making pizza at our local pizza place.

So not only can he carry out your groceries – he can now make them into a pretty amazing pizza.

Between the grocery store and the pizza place – he’s putting in a lot of hours and learning many important life skills – like how to cut onions and peppers. (Two ingredients he still won’t eat.)

We’ve learned that there are definitely some fringe benefits to having a son work at a pizza place.

Especially when he works the buffet.


It’s called left-overs.

I haven’t made the boys’ breakfast all week!

Lunch either.

I even saw buddy eat one for snack yesterday.

Do you think it’s possible for teenage boys to get tired of pizza?

I sure hope not.

This pizza making job has really helped the grocery budget!

A Garden Search and Rescue

My garden – as our Amish neighbor’s would say – had “gotten away from us.”

T’was a mess.

I guess that’s no surprise considering a late frost – then lots of rain – and graduation – and then more rain and even some hail.

At least it’s planted – well most of it – thanks to my husband who added “help my frazzled wife plant the garden” to his endless list of projects this spring.

This week’s goal was to perform a garden search and rescue. Our mission – to find the vegetables and rescue them from the weeds.

The tomatoes and peppers were easy. They were well mulched and somewhat protected, so they are still looking good. We even have a blossom or two!


We discovered the first planting of corn and green beans – except for the last third of a row of beans that went AWOL.  Must have washed away. We replanted.

The peas were pretty entrenched in grass and weeds. When we finally freed them, they rewarded us with several blossoms.

The onions and radishes looked pretty good, when we finally found them. And we were able to salvage some of the lettuce, but the spinach was pretty beaten up by the hail.


(Note – it doesn’t seem fair that the weeds right next to the spinach escaped hail damage – while the spinach plants were ripped to shreds. Just saying.)

But in all the hills of summer squash, spaghetti squash and zucchini that we planted just before graduation – there are only 4 plants.  The rest of the seeds must of washed away. They’re probably in Missouri by now.

And then there’s the 140 cabbage, broccoli, and cauliflower plants.

neglected cabbage

The poor things were mired in mud, beaten by hail, and over taken by weeds. They were in definite need of rescue.

It was a massive job.

A week full of muddy “character-building” hard work that our children should someday thank us for.

But we did it.

This mission is complete.

Graduation Times Three

Eighteen years ago my oldest sister had a baby girl.

A few months later my youngest sister had a baby girl.

Then a few months later I had Pedro.

three cousinsThree cousins in 6 months.

They grew up together. Playing. Laughing. Pretending. Sharing toys and adventures.

Somebody joked that it would be a crazy spring when they all graduated!

It was.

Three different graduations.

Three different parties.

Three different towns.

Three different weekends.

cousinsThree close cousins who suddenly grew up.

Three unique and amazing kids who share so many zany memories.

Three very good reasons to celebrate!

Now go forth and conquer cousins!

We’re so proud of you!

When It Rains It Pours

monsoon rainThe weather lady warned us.

She called it a “derecho” or inland hurricane on national TV.

She was right.

The first wave arrived about 4:30 in the afternoon with ominous clouds and heavy rain.

And it never stopped. The weather radio went off all night!

Wave after wave of strong wind, heavy rain and hail.

Even tornadoes.

But thankfully we didn’t get the brunt of it.

We missed the 100 mph wind gusts and  tennis ball size hail.

And the tornadoes were all twenty miles north.

Our winds were a measly 60 mph and our hail was only pea sized.

But – oh my the rain! Lots and lots of rain. Five and a half inches of rain.

Walls of rain.

Blinding sheets of rain.

So much rain that we developed a river in the basement.

That river became an ocean.

We quickly moved everything up and away from the water. The wet/dry vac became our best friend.

The guys took two hour shifts all night to stem the tide of water. All night.

And Buddy took the day shift the next day. All day.

But thankfully we didn’t lose anything.

And there was no major damage outside – just a few branches down and some minor hail damage in the garden.

We’re counting our blessings here!

Even the flooded basement has a plus side – my floor has never been so clean!