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Archive for September, 2014

Sep 29 2014

It’s My Room Now

Posted by Mugs @ 10:25 am in Family

When Josiah went off to college last year, I asked Gabe and Zeke if either wanted Josiah’s room. (Josiah has the smallest bedroom, but the biggest closet in the house.) Zeke wasn’t interested in downsizing, and Gabe replied, “No. I’m waiting for Abby’s room.” Of the kids bedrooms, Abby’s room was the largest.

Gabe is the collector in the family and collects all manner of oddities. His collection had long ago outgrown his room, and all family members considered Gabe’s room an “enter at your own risk” area of the house.

Abby had a year to accept the reality that when she went off to college, she would not return from college to her room. She had an entire summer after graduation to get her room boxed up and in order for relocation.

(When Abby does not want to do something, she can drag out a process so very very very slowly.)

My children have learned that excessive procrastination does not mean the task does not get accomplished. It simply means their mother will help them accomplish the task in an unpleasant manner.

(Abby was willing to put up with the unpleasantness as part of her “It’s my room!” protest.)

Various friends of mine considered my “don’t let the screen door hit you in the butt” attitude towards my children going off to college a bit harsh. They felt great sympathy for Abby losing her room and questioned my callous nature.

Abby’s room was pink. Gabe wanted to paint it black, but I wouldn’t let him. We compromised on a really dark blue/gray color. Now Gabe has plenty of room for his decorative displays and four years to fill the room up to his “enter at your own risk” standard.

At 18 years old, I graduated from high school. A few days later my parents moved from Minnesota to Chicago. A few weeks later, I joined the Army and flew on a plane to New Jersey. Afterwards, I only returned home during leave for a few weeks at a time. Years later, my parents moved back from Chicago to Minnesota. Josiah, Abby, Gabe, and I lived with them for the year Dale was in Korea. Other than that, I visited for a week here and there.

I will not maintain any shrines to childhood. The girl is off living her life and loving her independence. Of course, there is one household member who is very miffed about this room change. Patches has been letting me know her unhappiness with the situation on a daily basis. She even wrote Abby a letter demanding Abby return from college to right this injustice.

Sep 24 2014

Mr. Lincoln

Posted by Mugs @ 2:50 pm in Family,Nature

I made bright red, yellow, orange bouquets for the fiesta tables from the flowers in my garden. Upon seeing the bouquets, Zeke said, “Mom, those bouquets are you. Your favorite colors are red and yellow.”

It’s true. My garden beds may be various color schemes – pastels, all shades of pink, purples and blues – but it is the bright reds and yellows that catch my eye. I see them in the distance and imagine them shouting, “Look at me! Hey! Over Here! I’m blooming! Pay attention! Here I am!”

A bit like myself, I suppose. I suspect subtle words – demure, quiet, peaceful, unobtrusive – are never used to describe me.

This morning, my Mr. Lincoln rose called out to grab my attention. He had finally bloomed the perfect color I had waited for.

When I first began touring rose gardens, I would often see a rose of perfect red coloring and shape and ask the owner, “What rose is that?”

“Mr. Lincoln,” was always the reply.

I loved him at first sight and second sight and third sight, but did not buy him, because I was trying to buy roses known for health and vigor. I’m a survival of the fittest gardener and am too lazy to coddle plants.

Mr. Lincoln is a hybrid tea. Hybrid teas can be fussy roses, so I bought other roses instead. Fussiness is not a deterrent to Dale, however. (He married me after all.) He bought me a Mr. Lincoln last year after listening to me repeatedly wax poetic about Mr. Lincoln’s beauty and fragrance.

Mr. Lincoln bloomed today, and I have been carrying the blossom around with me from room to room admiring both its splendid color and its lovely scent.

Dale got it right again.

Sep 23 2014

GET OUT! Night

Posted by Mugs @ 4:35 pm in Church,Family

On Saturday, I hosted the annual kickoff event for our church’s ladies ministry. Last year, we learned to hula. This year, we hit a pinata for our fiesta.

Prior to the event, Zeke asked Dale, “Dad, what are we going to do for father/son get out night?”

I can’t quite recall yelling “Get Out!” at Dale and the boys, but Zeke must have grasped the totality of the idea. He has learned to make himself scarce when ladies only events roll around.

The fearless leader made some delicious enchiladas, Kristen provided the slushies and the decor, The Robyn baked yummy cakes, and I forgot to make the salad.

The best swing at the pinata was from Kelly, who is 8 months pregnant. (She must have been a ballplayer in her youth.)

The fearless leader entertained us all with her Snuba Diving story to end our yearlong focus of “Fear Not!” She has now launched us into “Six Months of Service.”

We will now “GET OUT!” and help others.

Sep 16 2014


Posted by Mugs @ 10:00 am in Nature

There are a few plants still blooming in the garden, but the majority are slowly falling asleep. Throughout the summer, I made bouquets with my garden flowers.

The photos are for my mom and other gardeners who have already felt the first frost.

Sep 13 2014

If Einstein Had a Brother

Posted by Mugs @ 7:56 am in Family,school

Throughout life, I meet many people who are smarter than me. But, it’s the truly brilliant ones who disguise their intelligence behind a wall of affability that are the most enjoyable to talk to.

Bill Wiita, the brother of my brother-in-law Rich, was such a guy. Bill and I were high school classmates. All who knew Bill would say he was their friend and describe him as the nicest guy – always willing to help, always willing to chat, always enjoying life.

Bill was so full of life that when my sister, Marie, called to tell me he died this week of a suspected heart attack, all I could think was, “No, not Bill. It can’t be Bill. Bill’s happy, healthy, and enjoying life. Those Wiitas live forever. He’s not even 50 yet.”

He had so much life yet to live. He had always defied the odds.

The Iron Range, where we grew up, is a place of poverty and struggle, but that didn’t stop Bill. He was so successful, working in robotics for Ford Motor Company that he retired by the age of 40 to hunt and fish. In his retirement, he volunteered as an EMT and was always helping someone out, building  garages and hunting shacks.

I’d see him throughout the years at various Wiita family events, always finishing the joke and providing the fun.

He will be greatly missed by his family who dearly love him and by all those whose lives he’s touched with his humor and his kindness.