The View From My Window

The world as seen from my window and through my eyes

Mulching, Munching and Musing May 18, 2008

Filed under: Random Musings,Uncategorized — auntlelo @ 7:33 am

This has been a busy weekend where yard work is concerned. My husband and son, Allen, exerted great effort and beautified three lawns. I helped a little by cleaning up and detailing the flower beds. All in all, the yards are just gorgeous. They did a terrific job and it shows.

We also pulled out one of our favorite grilled burger recipes as a treat for dinner last night. Maybe it was because we were hungry, maybe they were really that great, but, everyone seemed to think they were some of the best we’d had and a nice change from the regular BBQ burgers.

I also found myself thinking more amusing, disjointed thoughts throughout the day. I’ll be happy to share:

  • I noticed a sign at the feed store that said “bulk mulch.” Have you ever tried to say “bulk mulch” fast three times? I don’t think it’s possible!
  • I think when Allen is trying to aim for something with his shovel that he misses it altogether. He is much more accurate when he doesn’t try.
  • It isn’t a good idea to put your hummingbird feeder too near your own chair on the deck. Hummingbirds tend to “buzz you” if they think you’re a threat. Last night I think a kamikaze hummingbird was after me!
  • Don’t you love it when you have a good drying day and can hang your clothes outside to dry? You get lots more loads done and save energy to boot! And they smell so good…
  • I’ve noticed that there is no possible way to go to Wal-Mart and spend less than $150 per week on our grocery items and essentials. I’m making lists, using coupons and trying to be much more focused on buying things we need and not filling the cart with other junk, but, the magic number at check-out seems to remain at about $150-160. I remember when I used to feed a family of 6 every week for less than $100!
  • Isn’t it nice to end a long, busy day by sitting on the deck with your sweetie and just watch the world go by?
  • Have you noticed that when you look up into the sky there don’t seem to be as many jet trails as there used to be? Where have all the jets gone?

Have a wonderful restful Sunday with your family. I plan to!


Random musings on a Friday May 16, 2008

Filed under: Random Musings,Uncategorized — auntlelo @ 10:54 am

More random thoughts to entertain and inspire you as you prepare for the weekend:

  • I wonder how long you can pretend not to notice a cobweb in a corner before people call you a bad housekeeper?
  • Why do you think hospital temperatures are so cold? No wonder patients complain!
  • I really need to find a way to fit more dishes in my dishwasher. I mean, really, why should I wash anything by hand when I have a perfectly nice appliance in my kitchen that says “dishwasher” on it? If I’m really creative I can stuff one more thing in, just there…
  • Should I sing a bluegrass song at church on Sunday or should I do something more standard? I’m feeling in a bit of a bluegrassy mood today. Maybe something by the Isaacs would be good.
  • My printer is out of ink again. I swear, this thing drinks more ink than my son Mark drinks Pepsi.
  • How long do you think it takes to fold 100 church bulletins by hand (properly of course)?
  • Daisies are a great buy. When I get roses from the florist, they die in 2-3 days. I got daisies last Friday and they’re just as pretty today as they were when they were delivered. Daisies are completely underrated flowers. I think they’re perfect in every possible way.
  • Have you ever noticed how many strange noises there are in the house when the TV and radios are off, all the people except you are gone and you really focus on it? I’ve suddenly become aware of how loud our dog Lucy is when she scratches her ear. Totally disruptive! πŸ™‚
  • Writing about nothing is so much more fun than writing about something. In fact, I think I’ve just discovered that you can, in fact, make something out of nothing. In fact, people make “much ado about nothing” as is evidenced by the constantly increasing numbers of people reading the random musings blog entries. This is a great rule for PR. You see, people really DO read and enjoy fluff!

Tis the speaking season… May 15, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — auntlelo @ 7:41 am

I realized that I’d better get cracking on preparing some of the presentations I have coming up. After all, conference season seems to be upon us!

I’ll be visiting with the summer welcome leaders during their training session in a couple of weeks. It’s always my honor to do a presentation about the history of Mizzou. Isn’t it funny how something as simple as a personal interest in history has a way of making you a “go-to” person on the subject. Although I can’t seem to recall what’s on my calendar for today, I have the ability to remember trivial bits of interesting information about our University. Let’s hope I can make it interesting for the students because they get me at 8 o’clock in the morning!

In August I’ll be a faculty member at the CASE (Council for the Advancement and Support of Education) Summer Institute on Marketing and Communications. I’m the Web person on the team. I really love the Institute because you get so much more time to dig into subject details and get to know your audience. The other faculty are great people and this year we’re at the University of Vermont in Burlington. I hear it’s about 80 degrees there in August. That sounds WONDERFUL to me! I have about 5 presentations to put together and part of those are in a Web Workshop. Sounds like I’d better get busy!

I’ll also be chairing the CASE Online Strategies Conference for Alumni and Development in October. That one will be in Seattle. I have most of my faculty members chosen, but, I’m still on the look-out for one more…

There are usually a few other “speaking” events that sort of crop up during the summer and fall. It’s sort of a fun break from the routine. At least, once it is once I get prepared!


This whole random musing thing turned out pretty well! May 14, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — auntlelo @ 4:53 pm

So far, I’ve had over 50 visitors today. Wow, that Jerry Seinfeld is a genius!

At the end of the day, I’ve accomplished several very important things through these rather random and disjointed thoughts:

  • The rest of the world now knows Jason owns Speedos and we’re all planning an outing to watch him swim. πŸ™‚
  • I decided that while I am out of lettuce, they had plenty of that particular item at Chipotle so I just went there for lunch.
  • Spent part of the day listening to more music from the 70’s. Remember Mac Davis?
  • Stopped looking at CNN because it’s simply too depressing.
  • Stopped wondering why the state of California continues to allow Britney Spears to drive.
  • Was thankful that there were more nice freebies handed out in today’s Marketing Committee meeting. I can now open my mail with a Tiger Paw. Wow!
  • Made it through another day without going postal on anyone. It’s nice to know that I’m doing my part to make the world a safer place by not having anything sharper than a Tiger Paw letter opener in my possession at work.

I wonder what random thoughts will strike me in the morning? Jerry Seinfeld must be amazed at the inspiration he had for his shows by the activities of a simple day!


Random musings about nothing at all

Filed under: Random Musings,Uncategorized — auntlelo @ 7:11 am

I figure if Jerry Seinfeld could make a fortune from a sitcom based on nothing, than certainly I have an opportunity to increase the readership of my blog by following the same formula. Therefore, today’s blog entry is about: nothing.

  • Have you noticed how many serious natural disasters we’ve been experiencing in the past few years? Has the number increased or am I just paying more attention now than I used to?
  • Have you ever noticed that when Josh N. enters a room he has a “signature doorway appearance” not unlike that of esteemed character Kramer from the aforementioned sitcom?
  • Have you heard that Jason has gotten serious about his new swimming regimen, to the point of investing in Speedos, a swimming cap and Nike goggles?
  • Is it just me or are the allergies this year particularly bad? I feel like a walking, sneezing sinus headache most days.
  • Have you listened to any old, classic rock lately? Last night I listened to B.J. Thomas. Wow, that was weird.
  • Can you remember the last time you were cold in the middle of May? Do you think it will ever warm up?
  • I wonder how many people buy trombones on eBay? I posted a trombone for sale and am keeping my fingers crossed that someone wants to spend their recent tax incentive check on their band student.
  • How many students are counting the days, hours, minutes and seconds until semester ends? Do you think they’re as excited about it as I am?
  • Have you ever wondered why photography and technology conferences seem to be named for strange creatures, like Platypus and Thunder Lizard? Is this a strange tradition or just a bad choice?
  • Have you ever noticed that Lisa seems to have an affinity for purple? Yesterday I noticed at least 3-4 purple items on her desk. Coincidence or strategically planned? And, what subconscious message does purple send?
  • Have you noticed that Christine seems much more tired since George learned how to walk? She mentions he’s now starting to run. Poor Christine!
  • I think it’s cool that Chris has people fighting over him because he’s such a good writer/editor. Wish people would fight over me. It must be a powerful feeling! One of these days I’ll be able to see his name in a famous publication and say, “I knew him way back in the day when he was still a struggling writer…”
  • Do you think Annika had a good night and Paul will be able to get here by 7:45 for our meeting? Will I have to stop by Starbuck’s and pump him full of coffee so he’s lucid by 8:00? Does Starbuck’s even sell coffee in a cup as big as the one Paul keeps on his desk? If they do it would probably cost $20 to fill it up!
  • Yesterday I cheated and had a donut at Starbuck’s. It was good. I have a craving. I should never have opened Pandora’s Box and taken that first bite!!!!!!! Ahhhhh, the agony of getting back on the wagon.
  • That reminds me, we’re out of lettuce.
  • Have you ever wondered what I think about when I arrive at work at the insane hour of 6:30 a.m. each morning? Well, now you know. πŸ™‚

A natural blonde May 13, 2008

Filed under: Short stories from my far — auntlelo @ 10:33 am

I just love old photos. They make me feel warm and nostalgic. They’re like old friends. Take a look at this one that just cropped up!

Yes, at one point in my life I was a blonde. A natural blonde. In fact, my Mom used to say when I was very little I was a “cotton-top.” I love this picture of my Mom, Dad and me. It was taken in front of the house where I grew up, out on a farm in rural Callaway County. It was a comfy white house with a red shutters and red shingles on the roof.

Wow, it wasn’t just my hair that looked different back in 1965. I would have been 3 years old in this photo. That meant my Mom would have been 24. That’s just one year older than my daughter Annie is right now. Amazing! Sometimes I look at these photos and it seems like it was just yesterday. Then I look in the mirror and realize that there are 40+ extra years staring back at me. That little kid sure did have a great time growing up on the farm with her Mom and Dad, 3 sisters and a brother. Well, I’m not quite sure about that brother… πŸ™‚


Planting trees and making memories May 12, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — auntlelo @ 7:55 am

This weekend we not only celebrated Mother’s Day, but, also my husband’s birthday. Although it seems like a strange sort of gift, I gave him two maple trees for his birthday. He and our youngest son Allen spent all Saturday morning planting the trees and I popped outside frequently to take pictures of the activities. (I would have posted one of them, but, my computer seems to be on the fritz and doesn’t want to upload the photos from my camera.)

We also gave my Mom a maple tree for Mother’s Day which Mark and Allen planted. For years to come, we’ll be able to look outside in the backyard and remember this day and the people for whom those trees were meant to honor. It was a good and lasting gift, I think.

This was the year of giving things that grow and last. My husband gave me beautiful hanging baskets for Mother’s Day. Allen gave me piano music and made sure there was some classic rock mixed in with my typical country and pop fare. I spent part of my weekend trying to master Free Bird, Living on a Prayer and LaGrange. Not an easy task. As I tried to explain to Allen, the bass lines of these songs are sometimes pretty complex because the bass player in the rock band has only to play one instrument. When trying to play these songs on the piano, I play the bass line with my left hand, but, I am the “rest of the band” with my right. The things we try to accomplish for our children! Oh well, he thinks it’s cool that his Mom is playing some heavier classic rock on the piano and I guess that’s all that matters (although I’m really not a big fan of ZZ Top).

Aunt Pat fixed a lovely lunch to honor the Mother’s in the group and we all gathered at her house after church to visit, enjoy and make merry. All in all, a very nice day.

Thanks, kids, for the beautiful gifts (depression glass cake plate, movies, piano music, flowers and balloons) and cards. Love you all lots and lots!


A memorable Mother’s Day gift May 6, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — auntlelo @ 7:01 am

I’m sure all of you who have been Mothers can recall some of the more memorable gifts you received over the years. Some of them were truly amazing, some were truly creative and some, well, were just from the heart.

There are a few gifts that I received that sort of fit those descriptions. I remember when my daughter Annie was a very little girl, around 4 or 5, her Grandma used to help her with Mother’s Day gifts. My Mom is usually a pretty tasteful person, however, she is a real pushover where grandchildren are concerned. I remember opening the gift as Annie waited excitedly, watching for my reaction. In the box was a string of chunky, purple plastic beads.

You see, that was Annie’s “purple” stage. It was her favorite color at the time and she thought if something was purple it was the most BEAUTIFUL thing in the whole world. Hmmm, I don’t think a person could quite match that particular shade of purple with most normal clothing. However, I remember putting them on and wearing them to church on Mother’s Day. Although I didn’t wear them very often (sorry Annie), I do still have them. They’re tucked away in a box in my dresser drawer among other little treasures from my children’s childhood. I kept things like Cub Scout badges and newspaper clippings and, yes, strings of purple beads. Those are the things memories are made of.

Another memorable gift came from my sons, Bobby and Mark, when they were probably in high school. They bought me a set of new dishes and silverware. Wow, you say. What a wonderful gift! Yes, it was and it was sorely needed at the time. Most of my other dishes had somehow disappeared, carried out in the trash piece by piece because some teenage boys thought it was easier to dispose of the evidence than to carry their dirty dishes from their room in the basement to the kitchen to wash them. Sound familiar to anyone? πŸ™‚

I also have a really neat handmade card our youngest son Allen made for me when he was just a tiny little guy in daycare. It’s hard to believe he’s 15 now and the proud owner of a drivers permit. Time sure flies when you’re raising kids.

Thanks, kids, for the gifts and for the memories. I love all of you.

What were some of your most memorable Mother’s Day gifts?


Introducing another new office friend May 5, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — auntlelo @ 1:51 pm

He arrived on FridayΒ  by way of a plain brown gift bag. An unassuming fellow with big eyes and a lovely baritone voice. When he was just a tadpole, he misunderstood the word fly. He thought he’d be able to soar like the beautiful birds over his pond. Instead, he was told he was supposed to “eat flies” because toads don’t have wings.

He’s been reading the blog, you see, and thought he’d feel right at home with the other birds in the office. Fat Chick, Henrietta and the only recently arrived Gregory Pecked. He’s been a toad who wanted to be a bird his whole life. He’d love to trade his warts for feathers and his croak for chirps. However, it looks like he’ll just have to be satisfied pretending to be a bird.

His given name is Phineas Toad, but, early in his life picked up the nickname “Pigeon.” So, our new friend will join the rest of the strangely named office flock and go by the name “Pigeon Toad.”

I hope warts aren’t really contagious. Maybe someone has a suggestion for how a toad can learn to crow and grow feathers? Pigeon is certainly anxious to fit in. Right now he’s making himself at home on my bookshelf and getting up the courage to make the acquaintance of the feathered friends. While on the shelf he’s started to read the most recent copy of the Missouri Review. After all, you know, most toads are poets at heart.


More Mom stories on a soggy Missouri morning May 2, 2008

Filed under: Short stories from my far — auntlelo @ 8:10 am

Continuing my Mom story theme this week, I have a couple of really good ones for this morning. The common thread is: mice.

My Mom hates mice. She also hates cats (ooooh that makes me think of another good Mom story), but, she hates mice more. Growing up, there were a few times that I saw my Mom almost completely out of her wits because of a poor little mouse.

The first story isn’t one that I saw, but, one that I heard about. When I was just a little one, my Uncle Bo and my Dad were away for the weekend. I think it was National Guard stuff or something like that. That meant my Aunt Rosie, Mom’s older sister, was staying at the house with her. They apparently saw a small mouse in the bedroom and jumped up on furniture to get away from it while the mouse ran around on the floor below. The funny part of the story is that my Mom and Aunt Rosie stayed up on that furniture for a long time, afraid of that little mouse. I think the mouse must have been more afraid of them, though. Apparently, that poor little mouse ran around and around the room and finally keeled over dead in the middle of the bedroom floor. Hmmmm, now how are we going to get down? There’s a dead mouse in the middle of the floor! πŸ™‚

The other occasion I remembered very well. The blood curdling scream that woke us from a peaceful slumber one morning. My Mom had gone to the kitchen to fix breakfast, opened the top kitchen drawer to get a spatula and out jumps a mouse! We lived on a farm, so, these things happened. I don’t think my Mom ever got used to the mice, though.

Tomorrow, I’ll tell you about the cat that got her goat! Love ya Ma!