Friday, August 20, 2010

All in the Family

Hello there from the mountain house.  We are loving the 58 degree weather in the higher altitude.  The entire Arnold clan has converged in Angel Fire.  Half of our crew has spent the last 3 days golfing and the rest of us have spent our days napping, hammick swinging and shopping.  I am sure you can guess to which group I belong.  Yesterday was our first Taos trip of the week.  If you ever find yourself in the area let me just highly recommend you pit stop with the kiddos at Twirl Toystore.  They boast the best toys around and I agree!  In addition, they have outdoor instruments the kids can play, a treehouse, outdoor climbing gym, art studio and plenty of organized activities.  Currently we are debating if we are going back for Sunday's Ice Cream Social and visit to The Harwood for a free art class or Saturday for the parade. 

Then on another note, we are thrilled to find out Larry Joe Taylor is hosting the Hot Chili Days, Cool Mountain Nights with Jason Boland, LJT himself, Josh Abbott, Roger Creager and so many many more.   

As you can tell we have plenty to do and so little time to do it!  For now I am headed to town for Yoga all by myself!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Sisterly Love

Seriously, I have a pretty amazing husband. He can fix practically anything. Even if he doesn't know how he will try. He repaired the sprayer at the top of the dishwasher last year. He has replaced both top and bottom burners in the oven. After much tinkering on the 11 year old lawn mower he did give in and buy a new one. Now he is wondering why he didn't do that 3 years ago! Sometimes you do not realize something has ended its useful life until you get a new one.

That same dishwasher he worked on last year is at it again. Mind you this thing is not even 4 years old. We bought as part of our kitchen remodel before Bradford's 1st birthday party. Remember that insanity I embarked on 2 weeks prior to the party? This would also be the dishwasher that Brandon picked. I wanted the Bosch and he was pushing for the Kitchen Aid. When we debated the two he won just like the washer/dryer where he was gunning for the Maytag. He tends to argue "performance/durability" better than I argue "eye appeal/brand loyalty"!

Back to the dishwasher that has given us more problems in 4 years than the old one gave us in 7+, it went out Friday night. Completely. After googling possible culprits, we quickly determined this was beyond our pay scale. Come Monday we are calling a repair guy or going to Lowes for that Bosch.

Meanwhile, the whole point of this blog is talk about my weekend full of hand washing the dishes. I did not grow up with an automatic dishwasher. Neither of my parents did either nor did my grandparents have one at their homes. When you get a handful of competitive sisters together to wash dishes EVERY night you can always bet on some kitchen drama. I mean there are rules to dish washing! First of all it's a given it has to be done every night. So the person that gets in there first to run the dish water gets to be the "Washer". While on the surface this may like look the lesser of the jobs, believe me it's the better. The "Rinser" has to rinse and dry and put away! How do you like them apples? Although there is one trump card Rinser has. That is you can send anything back to the wash sink claiming it is not clean enough. (Careful to not abuse this or Mom does get called) As a Washer who takes much pride it this job nothing will infuriate you more. To which the competiveness may lead to some cattiness which then could cause a little too much soap to be left on the dishes as they are passed to the rinse sink. In case you are unaware of dishwashing protocol please note: there is also a proper order in which dishes must be washed. Glasses, plastic ware, bowls, plates, silverware, knives, cooking utensils and THEN pans.

Poor Brandon. Even after 14 years around my family he still has more to learn. The one thing he did instinctively know was to claim himself "Washer" and a little too fast for my taste. After the first few items hit my rinse water with way too much soap I got my own dishcloth and politely took the dishes from him and squeezed clean water over them into his sink before I allowed them into my near perfect, clean and clear water. I think I almost tasted blood inside my mouth as I pushed my big sister voice deep down and refrained from enlightening him on his erroneous washing ways. I mean really, silverware first?

I can say it was about 3/4 of the way thru the whole experience before I passed my first dish back because there was still something on it. I turned around as I actually did laugh to myself. I know it was an evil big sister smile on my face!
Later in day he asked, "Did ya'll hand wash dishes all the time when you were growing up?"
Uhh yes!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

May I VS Gimme!!

I am starting to think my zest for manners is backfiring on my kids. While I am teaching them to use their manners, use their words, hold the door or introduce themselves to new people, it's my kids that end up more often than not being the socially awkward ones. I go back to a day when Bradford, not quite 3 invited a guest at our house to watch TV with him. She refused to acknowledge him and turned her head away. He walked around the chair so he could see her face and repeated himself. Again she turned away and again he walked around to the other side repeating himself. After the 3rd or 4th time he told her she needed to look at him and listen to his words. Where had he heard that? During the whole exchange the mother never prompted the girl to respond. Hearing the situation from another room, I came to assist him. Here we are 2 years later and he introduces himself tonight to a boy his age, who just stares at him and does not say anything in return. Bradford does not get why others his age, even several years older "Don't use their manners!" I wonder the same thing. But I guess the more I ponder this dilemma it is impossible to teach what you do not know. Who would have thought that etiquette would truly go out of style or become a lost art form? Have no fear! At age 6 both my boys will be registered for The Fort Worth Club's Etiquette Class! Awkward as they may be perceived by some this mama is not throwing in the towel that easily.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Dead Dad's Club

I made my way to The Mama Mary Show by way of Ooph! Well on Friday, but my weekend was pretty busy, so Mama Mary has remained at the bottom of my computer since then. (Yes I am one of those that NEVER shuts down my computer) Today when I had some surfing time I opened her blog and the words flashed in NEON at me. For those of you not in THE CLUB she is referring to you may not have noticed the words. And if you had you probably wouldn't click on them for fear something bad would happen!

I, of course clicked. What did I have to loose? At this exact moment in time I am saddened to say I would need to use both hands and a foot to count how many friends I have who would do the same. Without hesitation. I love that Mama Mary uses the infamous Grey's line as her opening header:

“There’s a Dead Dad’s Club and you’re not in it ‘til you’re in it…..I’m sorry you had to join the club.”
Dr. Christina Yang – “Grey’s Anatomy”

More so I love that Mama Mary has written a compilation book of stories from other Club Members. Crazy thing is this is something that I have been thinking about doing myself. I have talked at length with my sweet friend Victoria, also 20 veteran in this Club about this book idea. Mary is still shopping for a publisher so once this book hits the press; I will have a couple on hand. Not that I want any more members in our Club, but truth is Life is Inevitable!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Past, Present and Pictures

Last week was a whirlwind. Helped my sweet friend Kelli with her fundraiser for China, greatness at the office, and walked down memory lane with about 35-40 of my closest friends from high school and their significant others! I have been photographed on the "Red Carpet", photographed in the Stockyards, photographed while sweating, laughing and pouting. I even cropped myself out of some pictures. It is no coincidence this post will contain NO photos!
I can say personally last week was a success. There are some things in life I over-commit to and I still need to polish the art of saying "No Thanks." Although ALL event of last week were top priorities and I would do them again and again! Speaking of: We will be doing The Ultimate Girls Night Out again in the future. You are going to LOVE the next movie. I promise.
Our reunion event on Saturday made me kind of nostalgic for old friendships. In the last 4 days I have traded emails with two of my favorite Jr High and High School friends. Some things in life are just too good to leave in the past. As we usually realize too late or on a sad note: Life is short! Live it, Love it and Enjoy it!