Honey do this list…


Spring is almost here…which is freaking fantastic. I’m ready to turn that seasonal corner right about now. The onset of nicer weather has set off my DIY disorder. A few weeks back my husband tentatively asked if new kitchen cabinets were on my renovation wish list (we keep a mental list of what we would like to change if the budget opens up). Our house was built in the 1980’s so the cabinets aren’t exactly brand spanking new. Normally I’d start browsing the internet in search of potential upgrades but this time my pulse didn’t race with excitement. Instead I told my husband I wanted to touch up our cabinets…sand and stain them because some spots were pretty worn from excessive use. Since I’ve never done this in a prior house my husband was a little cautious and a little less enthusiastic about turning me loose in the kitchen. I did it anyway. And it was fun.



To be honest I was a little anxious when my husband came home last Thursday night. I can always tell by his facial expression what he really thinks (kind words can never mask his internal horror). But he was happy….so I was happy. So yay me on my inexpensive DIY project.

Oh, I should also mention the happy mood might have been due to the upgrades last week to his cave. Recently he was gifted with an oversized 3D television (blu-ray, dvr, surround sound, stereo system, hundreds of disks, etc). A high tech gadget hoarding relative was downsizing and needed to offload a tremendous amount of equipment. My husband and our two boys spent most of the weekend sprawled out in their ‘boy cave’. This gave us all a reason to smile.

IMG-20130311-00121Now I’m trying to pick the next thing I can attack around the house. ‘Tis the season, after all.



On my mind…


images-1Some days my brain gets stuck on autopilot. Little deviation from life’s routine. I’m not complaining. This is the reality for many of us. A few days back something pushed me out of my neutral setting. In the midst of a serious discussion about death, specifically what will ultimately take us from this world, the person I was speaking with suddenly stopped. Stopped everything – listening, speaking, moving. Mind you this is an elderly gentleman with  mild health problems. For several moments I was in a state of semi-shock, wondering if I was being punk’d or if a higher being had tapped into our conversation and was providing us with an immediate answer.

After squirming in my chair (leaning forward to see if my friend’e eyelids or mouth showed any signs of movement) I finally approached his bed. A faint sound brought immediate relief – he was breathing. Still feeling spooked because this had never happened before, I grabbed the TV remote control and lowered the volume. Stop reading now if riding on the crazy train makes you feel woozy. 

The setting. The conversation (which I didn’t initiate). The sudden narcoleptic crash of my elderly friend (which had never happened before). It was strange. It was comforting. I believe that there are many things we don’t understand or we dismiss because they don’t fit what we are conditioned to believe is normal. That moment in the room felt like a warm hug. A gentle answer that my friend would have peace when that day arrived.

A short time passed before my friend woke up. His first words to me: “I’ve been thinking about your question – whether I’m anxious about what will eventually cause my death.” His answer after much thought (apparently when he was sleeping) was ‘no’.  We continued our discussion. It was uplifting for both of us. No anxiety. No reluctance.

As I’ve mentioned before on this blog there is something special about being in the company of people like my elderly friend. Lessons about dying fascinate me as much as lessons on how to live. I haven’t slipped back into autopilot since that afternoon. I’m grateful for that day. For that conversation.

This probably sounds odd and mildly presumptuous, but I hope everyone has that kind of experience at least once in his/her life. It lifts you. Changes you in small ways.

The crazy train is coming to a stop. Next time I’ll serve appetizers:-)

Spring is in the air…


Unknown-1I’m kidding, of course. Today despite the cold temperatures (27 degrees) I cracked open some windows in my living room. My kids are now on February break…and germs have taken hold of casa de Oberlies. I have a bottle of Lysol in one hand and spray bleach in the other. Whatever stomach bug my husband picked up…it’s kicking his butt. If it spreads to the kids I’m going to cry some serious tears.

Speaking of tears, we cried a few this week over the loss of Kermit (our trusty tree frog). His sudden passing on Wednesday took us by complete surprise. We held a brief prayer service, signed notes in Sharpie pen on his plastic coffin, and thanked him for the smiles he brought into our home. Since the ground is frozen we haven’t decided what to do with his remains. My youngest son  hasn’t been pleased with the options we’ve presented to him. Hence, Kermit is now enjoying the view from our back deck until permanent action can be taken.

On Thursday we celebrated my husband’s birthday, as well as my niece Katie’s birthday. VALENTINE babies!  It was definitely the highlight of the week – and I’m not saying that because of the cake and ice cream. Although that certainly might have been a small factor.

I squeezed a small amount of writing in on Friday…not what I had hoped to accomplish. Family obligations have been pulling me in many directions. I’d feel guilty if it was something I had control over but really it’s been unavoidable. If things don’t slow down I’ll probably start writing late at night again. It’s imperative that I up my productivity.

This evening we’re celebrating my husband’s birthday with his family (including his sister and nephew who live out of state). One important guest will be missing – my husband. The event is not being canceled or rescheduled so I’ll be taking the kids solo 😦 Don’t ask how I feel about this….

Time to spray some Lysol around. Be good, my friends.

Back from vacation…

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UnknownOne week each year I put everything on hold. My daily routine (which I stick to religiously) is tossed aside completely. It’s almost like a vacation…without the ocean and tropical drinks. Since last Saturday I’ve probably been on my computer twice, helping my kids research school projects. No Twitter. No Amazon. No blogging.

It was fabulous. The Scholastic Book Fair is like an elongated party. It began last Saturday with setup and decoration. Then from Sunday to Thursday it was sell, sell, sell.  And boy did we sell a lot this year. The book choices were amazing and the kids gobbled them up. This is our major library fundraiser, so we go all out to make sure it’s a success.

This year I split my time between working the register and helping kids/parents select books. I actually picked up a few middle school books that were new to me. (I like to be familiar with titles from all age groups so I can recommend them at the school library throughout the year). My favorite acquisition so far – Out of my Mind by Sharon Draper.

Today I’m back to the real world. Cleaning. Shopping. Floor hockey. Next week I hope to spend quality time with my laptop, which has been woefully neglected. I Need to Write. And I Want to Read. 


I shouldn’t make excuses but…

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images-2My computer hasn’t been crackalicious the past few weeks. Blogging and web hopping have become a hardcore headache. The problem isn’t my iMac (how could it be when Apple products rock). No, it’s been the wireless router. Casa de Oberlies has been suffering from a severe case of device overload. Too many laptops, desktops, iTouches running at the same time. Just when it was becoming unbearable Señor Spouse sprung into action and upgraded the router to Time Warner’s Speedy Gonzales package. Unfortunately the results haven’t been stellar. I’m actually locking up and hour glassing constantly. I’m not a patient woman so this has been a nerve buster. The kids and I are trying not to complain…we’re really good at giving unwanted feedback. Right now we’re in a holding pattern, hoping everything explodes so we can start over from scratch 🙂

In the meantime a quick update:

My writing has been awful. Seriously awful. Gag.

My reading has been promising. I’m drowning in books that I’ve picked up on Amazon.

The weather is getting really cold again. Brrr. Snow is coming, too.

A new car might be on my horizon. Again. I put a ton of miles on my hybrid in the past two years (about 60,000). If I don’t ditch it soon I won’t get anything on a trade-in. I test drove a half dozen cars/SUV’s yesterday. Guess what? I hated most of them. Now I’m seriously considering getting another Fusion Hybrid. The 2013 model drives like a dream and will give me about 47 miles to the gallon. It makes driving an old lady car almost worth it.

The casa de Oberlies zoo has been wild. My beagle/walker Bailey suffered a seizure Saturday night. If you’ve followed my blog for a while you know that this is an ongoing health concern for him (which we monitor and medicate). The good news is he bounced back after about an hour, acting like nothing happened. Woot!  Zeus, our pampered bearded dragon, got an HGTV style makeover this week. His house is now rocking some new greenery and a sporty hammock. He asked if we could throw in a blender so he could mix up some margaritas on the weekends. That request is now pending…

Enough about me. Share some love and tell me what’s going on in your world.