While growing up, milk accompanied my breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  Our family drank a lot of milk.  My dad (who did most of the grocery shopping) would go to the grocery store and buy six gallons of the stuff, filling the top shelf of the refrigerator to capacity. It would take us a a bit more than a week to finish that off.  Did I mention I grew up in a large family?

We usually always had milk (see volume purchased on a regular basis above), but when we ran out, it was a food emergency.  We didn't have food emergencies much at our house.  There was always something to eat.  But if the milk ran out, what were we to do?  "Can you go to the store and buy more milk?" my mother would request a special trip be made.  My dad enjoyed his time in the evenings home from work and rarely interrupted that relaxation time with things to do (except fix cars, repair appliances, mow the lawn - see large family comment above), but he always hurried to the store when we were out of milk.  Hardly a second went by without the stuff.  And if I were hungry right before bedtime my mom would reply, "You can always have some milk."

I am who I am today partially due to milk.  And now my own little family drinks milk like no tomorrow.  Oliver and Ansel both down the stuff.  I drown my cereal in it.  Jess likes it too on cereal; and he eats a lot of cereal.  So whenever we run out of milk, we have a similar emergency.  But I don't like running to the store all that much, and I'm a bit more selfish, so I make my kids drink water with their breakfast.  Jess has toast.  I make frosting with water (not good), and if the kids are hungry before bed, it's water.  However, if more than a day goes by without the stuff it's rough.  So I get to the store and buy two gallons, which we will finish within a bit more than a week.


Dino land

This weekend we ventured southeast to Vernal and Dinosaurland. The kids were in heaven (having cousins around helped). I was taken back to my childhood days of visiting these places. Jess remembers doing it too. It's crazy to think that this activity has come full circle. Me with my kids going to a place I so closely relate to as myself being a kid. How's that for eloquence?

There is amazement and wonder to seeing fossils lodged in the earth as opposed to put together and on display in a museum. Wow!


What about instagram?

I've done it.  I have joined instagram.  It's not facebook, but it is instagram.  Some of my friends would say this is progress.  I would say that's probably true.

Here are the reasons why:
1) To keep in touch with people who want to keep in touch
2) To keep a photo journal and make a book of photos with captions
3) instagram is like unto the "picture a day" idea I undertook in 2000 and it plays towards my interests (May I just say that back in 2000 when I was taking a photo a day, people were kind of annoyed at times.  I would say that attitude toward picture taking has changed for the most part.  Interesting.)
4) the app DAYS is not really supported anymore, seeing as the creators are on to bigger and better things

And so it begins.  ASH_DORE is the name, instagram is about to be my game.  Yeah, that was pretty lame.  Wow.


Homemade apple butter

Ever since I was a kid I've loved apple butter. While I think it's a ten, others in my little family rate it a seven or much below. But I can't get enough. I tried my hand at making my own this year. Six apples and two pears later, I had one jar full of the stuff. Very easy and so delicious. 


To watch the rain

Ansel pulled this chair up the window to watch the rain.

The sun did not shine. 
It was too wet to play. 
So we sat in the house
all that cold, cold, wet day. 
- from The Cat in the Hat


Smart phone, is it time?

Last night I dreamt that Jess got me the iPhone6, set it out on the downstairs counter, and I found it much to my surprise.

I woke up immediately following the dream but kind of forgot it (you know how that is when you wake up), but felt this very real excitement in my woken up state.  Then I remembered that in the dream I was living with a smart phone.

What is my subconscious trying to tell me?


This boy loves to "swhing"

We spend lots of minutes, nearly hours on the swing each day.  He loves to close his eyes, smile, and say "happy."


on maintenance

This past month, I've spent a lot of time on home maintenance.  I've unclogged roof gutters, plastered window frames, cleaned the old hot tub, painted touch-ups, fertilized the lawn (and have I mentioned weeding?).  I admit that I (sometimes) get a kick out of these projects and feel a sense of accomplishment.  However, yesterday evening, Jess and I spent two hours replacing the the inner workings of a toilet.  After we finished I said, "If this thing leaks after we've done this, I'm going to swear."  We laughed, it was not possible.  We had followed the directions meticulously and replaced the whole thing, except the porcelain.  Turns out, it was possible and it started leaking again. However, I did not swear, but I was ticked.  I went to bed and dreamed of leaking toilets and failing at fixing them.  I woke up to thinking about the toilet.  It must be fixed!  I have got one last thing to try, and if that doesn't work, we are getting a new toilet!

A lot of life seems like maintenance.  You've got to maintain your material possessions  You've got to maintain your physical health.  You've got to maintain your relationships.  You've got to maintain your spiritual health.  You've got to maintain your mental acuity.  I've found it really is a balancing act and at times you've got to make sure you've got your priorities straight.  Sometimes I may have a leaky toilet scenario in any number of these areas, and the best I can do is try to improve.  Complacency can have damaging effects (including a high water bill!), so even a small move in the right direction is progress.

And now, back to thinking about how I am going to try to finish fixing that toilet.  Arghh!