Thankful For Weekends

A lot of people are doing the “Thankful Thirty” this month, and I contemplated doing it, but frankly I don’t blog, tweet or facebook enough to manage. I suppose I could do it online in my paper journal. As I type this out, I realize I probably should simply for discipline’s sake. It is good to be thankful, to pick out the positive, and to massage the optimist within. It’s healthy.

Last weekend Frank had off. We went and watched Dante wrestle (his first ever college matches). It was an exciting, nerve-wracking experience. My heart swelled with pride, but also of longing. I miss my college-aged son. In the same breath that I “miss” each child, moments, segments of life that hang in time– I enjoy the dynamic that new life phases bring. It is exciting to watch my older two young adults take on life, figuring out who they are. A bleeding, swelling heart. Again, I am pushing and pulling each and every day of my life.

Saturday was spent in the car, driving hours away to watch the matches; Sunday we took to the outdoors and explored a local spot that we’ve visited before, but always in winter.

There is a small chapel on the land that was once a farm, now a public park. The owner agreed to donate the land as long as the chapel stayed. We’ve been there many times (almost always after dark), but have never seen the chapel. The hike up brought muscles to warm on a steady incline. On a peaceful day the chapel at the top and the view surrounding would have been the first slice of fresh air on a nice trek through some very manageable paths. But on that day it was laden with Boy Scouts who were on a treasure hunt, and weekenders on the same mission as we were. Inside the chapel, a Scout poked at one of the statue’s heart (a saint) saying, “Ewww. Ugggggggggly. Look at that heart.” He checked off something on his list and they ran screaming to the overlook. Kind of killed the moment.

The chapel is small.

The boys felt our hike should have ended there. They were wrong.

Franny created his own path down the hill while the rest of us took the same route to return to the fork in the path. Sal was overly concerned that we would have search parties to find his twin brother.

We did not.

We found a spider that was definitely not indigenous to the land.

When we came to the bottom of the hill, we took another trail that we figured would take about a half hour and bring us back to the beginning. Half-way through, we came to the warming hut where we have our winter picnics. The boys were spent and wanted to head back using the familiar route. I asked them a few questions to determine that they knew where they were going, and told them to go that way and we would meet them back there. Frank and I wanted to explore new territory.

We didn’t hurry.

After walking to the lake, we were faced with going back to the car through the prairie, or to retrace our steps back through the woods. We chose the woods. I’m not much of a prairie person; I like the hills hidden in the trees.

I posted the picture below on Facebook, too. As we trotted down the hill, I heard a noise that I thought was a branch falling. But it was this man, coming up behind us with his poles. He breathed a chipper greeting when he passed, and continued on his healthy clip right past us, generating more steam as he pushed up the hill. Inspired, I challenged Frank to run up that last hill with me. He shook his head. I started, and the dog (who Frank was leading), took off behind me, forcing him to join in.

We made it.

The kids were waiting, taking in the view, some more patient than others.

I sat with Sal on the bench, and we ate our cheese sticks. I didn’t want it to end. Time is short. Every age and stage in life is different. A Sunday hike with a 13 year old is different than one with a 15 year old, as it is different with one that is over 18, or under 8. I can’t say that any is better or preferred. They are all good. They are all something to cherish.

December Dailies 8-9-10

I should have just named this month “December Wrestling Blog” because that is what it is turning out to be. Yesterday was high-school wrestling, today is a high-school wrestling tournament, and tomorrow is youth wrestling.

Tonight, though, is also Bookclub Dinner Out night, which I am very much looking forward to. Every time we meet, we put dues of $2.32 in our “can” and we are finally breaking into that puppy and putting it to good use. Though I will be at the tournament all day, I will meet up with the ladies for drinks and dinner and hopefully some karaoke after. Hooray.

I’ll just have to keep it on my mind that I need to get up early the next morning and drive 45 minutes to a tournament.

This morning I woke up at 6am and took Bowzer for a walk, anticipating a long day and the need to immediately perk up my brain. It was cold, but once I trudged up the hill I warmed up immensely. My thighs, though, were feeling the numb/fire of the wind whipping against them in my pajama bottoms (yes, I went there with myself). In fact, an hour later and they are still thawing out.

Verbose Derailment

This weekend I’m supposed to be going on a little “getaway” with some girls from my bookclub. Oh goodness. I called them girls. We are definitely not girls, so I suppose my age is showing. When I start calling them gals (like my mom) we’ll all know that I’ve passed the summit and rounding down the other side of the hill. At any rate, me and the ladies from book club, about half of the club, are traveling off a couple hours away to stay over a night. We’re all pretty cheap, so we’re staying at a father’s house of one of the members. He’s gone, so it’s not creepy or anything. It’s a small town, and there’s really no reason we’d be traveling there besides simply wanting to GET AWAY and have some girl time.

I don’t even know what it will all entail, to be honest. I know there will be wine, and I know a karaoke machine is coming along. I know I will be sleeping on my air-mattress (which I love).

I also know that, as Murphy’s Law would have it, yesterday I started to feel like crap.

It came on at work, really, and thank goodness my boss is out of town for a couple of days or she would have drug-tested me for sure. But I was sitting at my desk, head on my hand and my eyes started rolling back in my head. At least I felt like they were. And then I my nose kind of made that scuffy, lazy snort sound that it makes when you’re just about to fall asleep, your breath is getting deep and you’re, like, mentally tucking yourself into bed.

I swear I hibernated for ten seconds without knowing it.

My lids closed, and I’m thinking, If I let myself go, I could SO totally fall asleep right now, right here, baby. It was a battle of the wills to decide which was worse, staying awake and feeling like I was nodding off, or giving in to the sick curiosity. Because I was curious. Could I really, seriously fall asleep? Right there on my hand? At my desk? At work? My head faced away from the door, so maybe nobody would notice. But then, what if I really went hard and started snoring, drooling, and grinding my teeth like I do at home? And what if someone came to the door and I didn’t realize it? Worse yet, what if I realized it and thought I was acting all normal, but my eyes were red, my face blotchy where my hand had been, and they secretly held in their heart witness that I snore so loudly you can hear it down the hall with the door closed?

So, no. I shook my head and said “no” out loud to make sure I knew that I was going to tough it out. Popped a few candies from my jar, got up and walked around a little. And felt some gurgling in my tummy.


Last night wasn’t much better. I made dinner, and ate with the family (I find it best to act normal when sick), but then I made the couch my own and didn’t move from it. Our friends stopped by and asked if we wanted to walk down to the bowling alley for some munchies and beer– something I’d normally all over like monkeys picking back-bugs, but I surrendered to my physical suffering. Frank went on ahead with the twins and Lootie, and I brushed my teeth, put in my mouth guard (I wasn’t kidding about the teeth grinding thing), grabbed my latest Netflix and headed off to my bed with the dog.

I’ma tell you right now, if you are already suffering a physical ailment, the movie Cop Out will not make it any better. Although it works almost as good as Nyquil in putting you to sleep, if you can get over the anger in realizing that you actually paid to rent the DVD (and to think, I wanted to see it in the theatre!). I had high hopes, but it was all formula. Bruce Willis doesn’t even try to act, since he’s done just about every scene already once if not thrice in other cop movies. Cop argues with goofy sidekick partner. Cop botches bust. Cops have to give up badge. Cop has bad home life situation. Cop is a victim of wrong-doing. Cop takes vengeance into his own hands. Bla-bla-bla.

Verbose derailment. Story of my life!

My point is, I felt icky. I awoke feeling icky, and late for work. Showering didn’t help, save for the steamy seclusion notifying me to the condition my sinuses (full) and they were going to erupt. I had all but surrendered to the fact that I probably wasn’t going on the girls getaway. I emailed the hostess to give her a heads up. I whined to my husband. I began to hand out invitations to my pity party. I went to work, stopping to get a FREE FRIDAY COFFEE from Burger King (free small coffee, no purchase required, through the month of November). I threw in a sausage, egg and cheese biscuit since I had forgotten to eat breakfast.

I went to work. I slowly started to feel a bit better. No runs to the ladies room, no curling under my desk to catnap. A little spacey, a little dizzy, but nothing a couple glasses of wine and some mean karaoke can’t cure I hope! We’ll see. Pictures forthcoming. Maybe.

Weekend Wrap Up

Friday –

Frank’s cousin’s house for some homemade wine and card game of spades. Nice time, home by midnight. Happy but tired.

Saturday –

3v3 soccer tournament, up too early in the morning. Four games sitting in the hot sun. Not complaining, just the facts.


Frank went to his brother’s for a bit (yearly party), I stayed home and made soccer boy some food.

It was decided we’d pay-per-view UFC 100 and Frank’s cousin and her husband would split the cost with us and come watch.

Quick run to the grocery store for snacks, hurricane-like cleaning to the house. Candles lit, snacks set out.

Bed after midnight.

Sunday –

Early rise and back on the field for final 2 games.

Back the road by noon; home. Drop off 2 soccer players.

Lunch/dinner at the Chinese Buffet.


Out to meet a couple guys from Frank’s work (and their wives) to celebrate Frank’s promotion/transfer to new job. So tired, but still enjoyable.

Home. Nachos with cheese. Can’t fight the fatigue. Bed.

Nice weekend. Busy, always. But nice.

Weekend Wrap-Up

I found my camera. We left it in the pocket of our red camping chair, which we were using when we were at the host’s house of the soccer party last weekend. Thank goodness. As poopy as my camera is, I love it. Though the house is rather far out and not on the way of any of our normal errands, Frank ran out to pick it up so that we could take pictures at the wedding, baptism and graduation party we were attending this weekend. SO glad we did.

Friday is a blur — Saturday we had an out-of-town wedding to attend, about 1.5 hours away, an old friend of Frank’s. Frank was one of the groomsmen, so I got to see him all dressed up in a tuxedo. I liked that. We didn’t get home until late Saturday night, but managed to have enough downtime to watch a movie before bed. Sunday was the baptism of Frank’s cousin’s first child. Frank was the godparent. After the service the group went to a nice Father’s Day buffet. It was a real treat to have all the cousins and family together. After the baptism, we stopped at one of Sophia’s friend’s graduation party.

Many pictures were taken, but here is one of my favorite:

Sal, tangled up with popping streamers from the wedding.

How was YOUR weekend?

Weekend Wrap-Up

Weekend Wrap-up

The first and foremost remnant of my weekend escapades: my camera is nowhere to be found.

We’ve traced back to the last spotting of the camera, which was at my brother’s stepdaughter’s wedding Friday night. I took oodles of pictures, left to change for the reception, came back and somewhere in between misplaced my camera. It has my phone number scratched into the side, so it would be easy enough to return, if the finder was so inclined. And if they weren’t so inclined — easy enough to keep as well.

Very BIG bummer. We don’t quite have the funds at this moment for a new camera. There’s no “good” time to lose a camera, obviously. With weddings, baseball games, summer fun, and of coarse, new cast changes, I will have to find an alternative (my phone camera will suffice, but it is a sad choice for a replacement).

So… yeah, Nikon? If you’re looking for someone to review your Nikon D60 Camera? I’ll be your Huckleberry.

Friday was the wedding, which was very nice. The kids stayed home, since the wedding was geared more towards adults. The ceremony was simple and quick. Like, not even 5 minutes quick. Between the wedding and the reception, Frank and I went home to change (as reported earlier). We stopped off for a bite to eat at Red Robin (split a Whiskey River Burger and some onion rings), since my brother said they’d be serving finger foods, but not a whole meal and advised us to eat. Don’t have to tell us twice!!

We stayed at the reception for a few hours and came home, picking the kids up some dollar burgers at McDonalds.

Dante’s team had their last soccer game on Saturday (over by Milwaukee), and Sal had his last soccer game (here in Madison) at the same time. Both won their games. Carlito had his final soccer game later in the day. I believe they won, too. Lootie played goalie for half and then on the field for half, just as Sal did during his game. Both Sal and Lootie’s teams were splitting up after this season. Dante’s a central “attacking” midfielder, in case you’re burning in the head to know this fact. At his age, the’re a little more technical in where they play and what they are called.

We went to Dante’s team’s soccer party that night, which was a blast. Great group of parents, and nice team of boys. The hosting parents have a house complete with a pool and a humongous backyard. We ate walking tacos and I got in on a parent -vs- kids game of dodge ball, which involved much smack-talking and stretching of the rules to ensure us parents had a fighting chance at winning (and yes, we lost). The team gave me a gift certificate to Maharaja Restaurant (Frank’s pick — parent called him on the sly to ask where I would like to go) as thanks for being the team manager. Super duper sweet of them, and totally unexpected.

Sunday was mostly a rest day, church in the evening. After church I made some chorizo tacos and we had a fire outside with some neighbor friends. Nice, relaxing night where the kids played and us parents sat out, sipping margaritas, wrapped up in enjoyable conversation. A period of time was spent mimicking the Lovahs, which is essential to lively conversation, if you ask me.

Another busy but very enjoyable weekend.
How was YOUR weekend? Link it or leave it.

Weekend Wrap-up

Weekend Wrap-up

Busy weekend at the Groovy-Mom household. Friday night was a social night, hanging out with friends. Saturday Sal had a soccer game. They won; don’t remember the score. Sal, the self-proclaimed World Class Goalie, played in goal for the first half, and then on the field the second. The team ran over to Franny before the start, at half-time and after the game to rub his head for good luck. It was very cute. (Franny tells me I need to get a new word because I say everything is cute. Cutecutecute!!! — Happy now?)

Carlito had a game to referee at the same time as Sal’s, but my dad took him to it since Frank was working and I can’t be in two places at the same time. Dante had a game later that day, too. They won 8-0. Dante plays on a team with a crew of very talented players that are a lot of fun to watch. Some games are very intense, but the Saturday’s was not (see the score), so the boys had some fun. At one point Dante, a mid-fielder, went for the ball over-zelously (not needing to) and he slid out of bounds, into the spectator section. His friend called from the other side of the field, “Dante, don’t you hurt my mom!!”

Saturday night we ordered pizza and watched the Fifa Qualifier between USA and Honduras. Go USA.

Sunday we went to Dante’s game, another 7-0 win. After the game we hit McDonalds, just me and the boys. I had a $20 limit, so we ordered cheap and split fries. Carlito treated us to brownie melts for dessert with some of his referee earnings. Dante and Franny split a brownie, and Sal and I split one. Carlito took a bite of ours, but didn’t buy one for himself. They were pretty well behaved, save for Dante distracting Carlito so that he could quickly fly in and pull his shorts down. He pantsed Lootie coming in, and he got him at the door before we left. Franny exploded in giggles both times.

We met Frank at home and decided to take advantage of a beautiful day by heading to the park for a while. Dante was reluctant, concerned that he’d miss the Uriah Faber/Mike Brown UFC fight. Boys. Frank assured him we would not. Frank brought his poles along and the boys brought a soccer ball. Can’t leave home without a soccer ball. Things have changed a bit, with Franny’s injury. He was the one who would usually instigate a game or activity, since he was always a bundle of energy. I’m thankful for his recovery, even though it is slow, but sometimes am caught off guard and get a bit choked up.

Sal, making some casts. OK, tecnically Frank did the casting, the boys reeled in.


On our walk over to the park, we encountered some geese. As we approached I heard what sounded like a cat hissing. It took me a bit before I realized the hissing noise was coming from the goose in our path. What the..? I’ve never encountered a hissing goose before. My eyes and brain needed to make a visual connection to believe it. Mouth open, heeee-heeeesss — yup, it’s the crazy goose!! Freaked me out. As I attempted to snap a picture of the hissing goose, a mother and her children hurredly passed by. “Watch out, kids, they are MEAN. They’ll nip you.” Killer geese.

They boys started messing around with the soccer ball and Franny stood off in the distance, leaning on his crutches watching. I thought we could go to the park nearby to keep his mind off of the things he couldn’t do (like soccer). “Franny, wanna go try the swing?” We made the journey over and sat on the bench for a while, resting his leg and waiting our turn. Franny removed his shoes, and watched as a father pushed his daughter on the tire swing. When they left, we hurried over.

I pushed him cautiously at first, fearful that his cast would hit the ground or that the tire itself would fly off with him riding right on it. Crazy, I know. But as much as Franny is still recovering from being hit (crossing roads are cheap therapy right now), I’m recovering from the blow as well. I am an anxious, freakazoid worrier by nature — the broken leg isn’t helping. I checked my visions of disaster and focused on the cheek-cracking grin splayed across his face.

After the festival of swinging, we parked it at a table and watched the big boys spout testosterone. Franny took the camera and tried to get a shot of me “not noticing” him with the camera. I was forced to feign ignorance of the camera in his hands. My… look at that pretty grass… is that a camera?

Yeah, me and my sexy Fitovers. They aren’t the most attractive sunglasses, but they are convenient and they do the job.

Time to make the trek back. Sal cools off at the water fountain.


My menfolk.

(Don’t ask me why Lootie is saluting.)

On the way home, Frank just had to make a couple casts. No, he’s not drunk. Looks are decieving.


We made it home in time to make chicken tacos and watch hours of cage fighting. I need to get another girl in this house.

(What did YOU do this weekend? Leave me a link!!)