Our Retro Bungalow

Our Retro Bungalow
The journal of the making of an old house into a lovely new home.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Redneck Birthday (sans beer and whiskey, of course)

One week ago, on the 19th, I turned 53.
I remember thinking how old 53 seemed when I was young(er).
Now that I'm there (or here, or whichever) and my husband
of nearly 34 years who is 4.25 years older than me
 still works as hard as he did in his prime,
it doesn't really seem all that old.
And it really seems odd that 
we're already talking about his retirement in a few years.
That, right there, blows my mind just a little.

Dean called for a gatherin' of our offspring and their younguns 
on Sunday evening for a little birthday shin-dig in my honor.
There was cake...

white cake with lemon filling and buttercream frosting, to be precise.
EXACTLY what I like best!

And there were gifts -
which I don't have pictures of.
I know you're devastated.

there were games.
 And a little entertainment.
But not your typical party games and entertainment.
No "Pin the tail on Obama"
pinata in the likeness of Hillary.
How 'bout some good ol' fashioned

Mr fired up the Kubota, placed large stones out in front of it
and everyone took timed (2 minute) turns trying to pick up those stones
with the scoop.
It's harder than you'd think.
It takes some experience and finesse to
make that machine do what you want it to.
It was great fun!

Even the expectant Mrs Mossi-the-youngest,
 and the expectant Mrs Brunty gave it a shot.

There was cheering and clapping and even a little heckling.
Any bets on who won?
I'll give ya a hint.
It's the same winner that always wins when they're a player in any of the games
we play as a family.
Mr Brunty.
It's usually him or Abigail.
To be fair, though,
he'd actually spent time operating the Kubota before,
so he definitely had an advantage.
You can come over and practice anytime, Abigail.
Well, anytime that your father-in-law is home.

After over an hour was logged onto the toy tractor,
we moseyed across the road to see if Ally could root out the
baby raccoon that lives in the culvert at the bottom of the bank.
That was the entertainment part of the evening, in case you were wondering.

The little rascal was a no-show.
We'd seen him just a few hours earlier when Mr and Me and Allymo
had taken a walk over across the pastures and
she'd coaxed him out for a friendly tussle.
He's a cute, young critter and we think he's been orphaned or abandoned,
but it makes no never-mind how cute he is because b'fore long and
sure-as-shootin' he'll grow up to be a chicken mauler
and cat food thief that we'll be runnin' off the back porch
or outta the chicken coop in the middle of the night.
But there ya have it.
Our Red-Neck Birthday Birthday Party.
(sans beer and whiskey, of course)

Thought I'd throw in a photo of the birthday girl -
that's me.
Truth is, I've been known to look a tad more fresh now and then,
but after goin' to church, comin' home and cookin' and doin' up the dishes,
having the usual Sunday afternoon nap, traipsin' through pastures,
gorgin' on birthday cake, chasin' and playin' with grandbabies
for a couple of hours and rootin' and cheerin' for the tractor games...
well, this is whatchagit.
Did I also happen to mention how I come undone and went hollerin' when I
discovered two rouge hens in my just planted garden and how I
chased after 'em, tryin' to catch 'em while also tryin' not to
step on my rows of potato and green bean seedlings
in order to extricate those naughty girls?
That too.
Our children got a good laugh outta watchin' that go down.
I think my husband may have been snickerin' right along with 'em,
but he'll never fess up to it.
He knows what's good for him.
As my momma always says,
"It is what it is."

Oh, and that foundation wall we're sittin' on?
I'll get to that next post.

Thank you kindly for stoppin' by again.

And now,
if you happen to be hopelessly bored
you may continue reading the very last
part of this post,
which is nothing more than a list
I compiled in my journal
for our grandchildren
and their future children
and their children's future children
and their children's children's future children
and so on.
Because, in all seriousness, I wish all of my grandmothers
would have left lists like this behind so that I
knew more about them.
Golly, that'd be sweet.

53 About Me
by Sheri Lynn Mossi

May 19, 2016

1) Pet peeves- the phrase "been there, done that", being referred to as Ms., blarney, "That's what she said" jokes, political correctness.

2)  I'm the oldest child and daughter of the oldest child and daughter of the oldest child and daughter.

3) A few of the top foods on my "Yuck List": curry, capers, caviar, calamari, Brussel sprouts, lobster, seaweed, clams, oysters.

4) Taco love.

5) been to 38 of the 50 states, including 4 of the 8 Hawaiian Islands

6) been to England, Germany, Austria, Italy, Switzerland, Mexico, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands, Bahamas

7) I'd rather be in the mountains, forests, meadows and lakes than the beach and ocean.

8) I've had over 300 sutures

9) Regrets, I've had a few: a "steady" in high school (shoulda dated all those other handsome boys too!), wish I'd been a better sister, wish we'd have bought a farm when our children were little.

10) I'm a homebody

11) I do NOT like crowds.
12) I once flew an airplane - a small airplane.
13) I've had several conversations w/ Robert Redford and a few of his celebrity friends - phone conversations, to be exact. I worked for his answering service back in the mid 80's.
14) Always have been and probably always will be a daydreamer.
15) Country music and blue grass. Gimme a fine fiddle band any day.
16) All time favorite movie: Sound of Music
17) Do NOT like big cities
18) I'd rather take the back roads
19) I'll always have a crush on John Wayne
20) Old house junkie.
21) Mr says I have a pretty darned good "b.s. detector".
22) I really, really, really do not like to vacuum and dust
23) One of my top "Bucket List" items: vacation in the far NE US and Canada in Autumn
24) Hopelessly, pathetically sentimental
25) 5'6" and although I am by no means short, I'm the shortest of all my siblings by a minimum of 3".
26) Flats, sandals or boots
27) Green eyes with a smidgin of gold
28) A few gray hairs
29) No whiskers. Yet.
30) Favorite color: green
31) Best thing I ever did: say "Yes" to Mr Incredible's marriage proposal.
32) I can forgive, but regaining my trust will take time. A long time.
33) Favorite desserts - apple crisp, southern banana pudding, lemon cream pie (seriously, who has just one favorite dessert?)
34) Pie or cake? PIE
35) Education: Graduated from Ukiah High School in 1981, did best in English. Struggled in math and science. One term at Cabrillo College and one term at BYU night school. Certified in Medical Office Administration. 
36) I have a testimony of Jesus Christ. That He lives. That His gospel was restored through the prophet Joseph Smith. The Book of Mormon is true - I've read it many times, but do not know exactly how many. The Holy Spirit has born witness to me more than once of its divinity.
37) I've served in the church on homemaking committees, as Relief Society teacher, in Young Women presidencies as counselor and as secretary (currently), in Primary presidencies, as a Primary teacher. Teaching the children is my favorite.
38) I wasn't named after anyone. My mother thought "Sheri" was thee most feminine name there was and that is why she chose it. The spelling, however, was drawn out of a hat due to there being multiple ways to spell it.
39) I've been blessed with good health most of my life.
40) I've had six surgeries to date including a cesarian.
41) Only one broken bone, my left metacarpal (ring finger). It snapped in a "tickle fight" with Mr.
42)  I highly recommend a first kiss, but not when you're 14. Wait at least a couple more years.
43) Daisies are my favorite flower.
44) I'd like to learn to play guitar.
45) I enjoy gardening very much.
46) Love to read.
47) Favorite drink. Lemonade. REAL lemonade and not too sweet.
48) Autumn, summer, spring, winter in that order. But if I could, I'd do away with winter altogether.
49) LOVE a good road trip.
50) LOVE the smell and feel of a fully stocked greenhouse.
51) I am acrophobic, claustrophobic and a bit pyrophobic.
52) I do not enjoy shopping of any kind.
53) Best memories: Childhood - time spent at my great-grandparents farm in Waldo, Arkansas during the summer. Teen years - disco dancing. Grownup  years - the sweet, beautiful simplicity of our newlywed era.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Strawberry Waffles, Stepping Stones and a Sleepover

We sat in Sunday School on Mother's Day listening to Sister Shaw 
present a fabulous lesson covering 
King Benjamin's Speech in Mosiah, chapters 2 through 5.
She'd asked her good husband, Brother Shaw, to take some time during the hour
to help out and cover part of the lesson for her.
As he addressed us he mentioned something about hardly being able to say
"No" to his wife's request because it was Mother's Day.
He also mentioned that he'd been up EXTRA early that morning to  
prepare a Mother's Day breakfast of Strawberry Waffles for Sister Shaw.
My husband doesn't do strawberry waffles.
Or breakfast making of any kind, for that matter.
And he's not the only husband that doesn't.
And I'm completely okay with that.
But Brother Shaw's boast apparently got to at least one other brother in attendance,
because when Brother Sorensen gave the closing prayer 
he asked for forgiveness for all the other 
brethren who did not get up extra early 
to prepare a strawberry waffle Mother's Day breakfast for their wives.
With closed eyes and bowed head, I grinned at that.
I'm absolutely certain I wasn't the only one grinning.
And I'm grateful to know that Heavenly Father has a sense of humor
and that good men like Brother Sorensen also know He has a sense of humor.

My husband may not be much use culinarily speaking, 
but when it comes to giving me just the right gifts,
Wait! Did I just say "rocks"?!
Brother Mossi was up EXTRA early on Saturday morning
the day before Mother's Day,
preparing a special Mother's Day gift for me
that wasn't anything as fleeting as breakfast.
He gathered together some scrap lumber and built forms
to make stepping stones for my garden
and then headed out for a sack of concrete from the Home Depot
with Ally happily riding in the bed of the old pick up truck.

These stepping stones were not to be just any ol' steeping stones.
These stepping stones were going to be something special -
something meaningful.
When he and Ally returned, my good husband mixed up that concrete, added some 
earth-toned colorant, filled the forms, smoothed the concrete and then waited.

A while later our children began showing up with our grandchildren in tow
and those sweet grandchildren pressed their precious little paws into the wet concrete
and then took artistic liberties with various bits and baubles.

I'm so pleased with the results.

What a HAPPY Mother's Day Gift.
Beats the heck outta Strawberry Waffles!
Jus' sayin'.

In other recent news:

We had a sleepover on Friday Night with Cowboy, Cupcake, and G-man.
Poppo gave rides on the tractor.
Cowboy actually got to drive some!

We baked pizzas.

Ellie's "Poppo Pizza" featured peppers and onions hair,
olive eyes and smile, mushroom nose and a sausage beard.
kinda of looks like young Santa to me.

Cupcake put little brother to bed with bedtime songs,
which is the usual bedtime ritual at their house, along with helping him say his prayers.
She's a very nurturing big sister.

I Instagrammed this photo of that bedtime scene.
Cowboy watched me create the post, reading along as I entered the text.
He did not approve of my choice of words, so I altered them to please him.
What I really wanted to say was,
"Cupcake sings bedtime songs with little brother. Peter Pan supervises from the window sill."
Because seriously...
look at this boy's expression.
he's perched in the window.
He IS Peter Pan!
I've GOT to introduce this Cowboy to
James Matthew Barrie's classic masterpiece.
Maybe THEN he'll appreciate the caption I intended for this photo.

When it got dark we went to the top of the property with my iPad and
used the Sky Map app to see the various stars and constellations.
We looked at the moon with my binoculars because our telescope needs
batteries and a new lens,
but it was fun looking at its bright glow and craters regardless.
And it was comical too because Aunt Larissa had Cupcake convinced
that the pilots in the passing jetliners were waving
to her from their cockpit windows.
She's a gullible one, that sweet girl.

Poppo and I didn't get to bed till after 1 a.m.
That's when Netflix informed us that our movie
"Mouse Hunt"
was having technical difficulties.
Cowboy and Cupcake snuggled into their respective twin beds in the
Tom Sawyer guest room and were snoozing in no time.
At just after 4 a.m. Ally nudged my arm from the side of our bed doing her best
 to let me know something needed my attention.
I tried to ignore her, but she persisted.
I drug myself from bed to tend to her alert
and no sooner had I approached the end of our bed,
G-man appeared at our bedroom door.
When I scooped him up in my arms
I immediately felt the fire of his skin.
He was cookin' a fever!
It's cooler downstairs, so I took him back to his guest bed and crawled in with him.
He moaned until 6 a.m. when he finally was able to get back to sleep.
I had big plans for making chocolate chip waffles with strawberries and cream
 for breakfast for our darling guests,
(hey, Bro Shaw...did your waffles have chocolate chips and cream?)
but Cowboy settled for two packages of instant oatmeal
and Cupcake had what she called "adult cereal" (All-Bran Flakes) with strawberries.
while I sat held our poor sick G-man.

Let me tell you somethin'...
holdin' an ailing child who refuses to let you put him down
gives a person a feeling of purpose and importance in a way that nothing else can.
G-man's momma took him to the doctor.
Turns out he's got himself a case of pneumonia.
He's a strong boy and'll be better soon.
We look forward to a sleepover 'do-over' in the near future
sans the fever and sickness and definitely including a belated
strawberry waffles with chocolate chips and cream breakfast.

G'night and God Bless

Thursday, May 12, 2016

This and That and Whatever

It seems we've been through the proverbial wringer
the last couple of months.
But we're strong.
Or stubborn.
Whichever it is,
 we're feeling like we're making our way out of the woods.
So it's onward and upward and ahead we go.

There's almost always a handful or more of things I think 
I'd like to cover here on our blog, but getting around to blogging 
has been waaaaay down on my list of priorities. 
Truthfully, it hasn't even been on my mental list of things I want to do.
Here I am, though.
And why not 
while I wait for the whites to finish in the washing machine 
and the eggs in the pot on the stove to boil and then cool.

Here are a few of those things,
each mentioned with considered brevity.

I have a penchant for terracotta pots and pony packs.
For a gal that has an aversion to clutter,
this is a bit of a surprise.
But, MY GOODNESS, they make me HAPPY.
And happy is medicine, it is.
These darlings are on our front porch.

Okay, so YEAH, maybe we DON'T have front yard landscaping yet.
Even MORE reason to adorn our porch with pots of beautiful blossoms.
I'll be sad when the days grow too hot for these lovely Spring faces,
but you can bet I'll see to it that when their show is over
they'll be replaced with some lovely Summer faces.
Dean came home from work Monday evening, kissed me (as usual)
and asked me what I'd been up to (as usual).
"I got lost in a nursery."
I know my way around most nurseries in Northern Utah, 
so when I say "lost" I mean "lost" as in keeping track of time.
Don't tell my friends at See's Candy, but a good greenhouse stocked to the gills
trumps their glass case full of chocolates every time.

and this...
A couple of Saturdays ago he and I spent the morning 
planting five fruit trees up top -
two peach, two pear, and a new generation apricot.

Our already existing apricot trees are doing very well.
In fact, we'll probably be thinning the fruit this Saturday morning.
We figure those old trees have been around for about six decades.
We'll have our own orchard before long and
I won't be frequenting Pettingill's in Willard for 
fresh, locally grown produce every Summer.

Not long after we moved upstairs I stopped in at 
to pick up a step stool for our grandchildren to use
at the pedestal sink in our little guest privy.
I purchased this guy 'naked' and it stayed "naked'
until I just plain got tired of lookin' at "naked".

So, I turned to Pinterest and found this technique
to dress him up a bit.

I'm NOT a crafter.
I DO NOT enjoy crafting.
But I'm pleased enough with how this project turned out.

I like to change things up with the seasons.
I don't go crazy with decorating, but it's nice to 
have something fresh and new to lay your eyes on 
every few months. 
Dontcha think?
I put this succulent "garden" together for the sitting room.
Or front room.
Or living room.
Or parlor.
Or whatever.
I knew the look I wanted, so again I turned to Pinterest for guidance.
The hardest part of the whole effort was paint.

Because I'm not a crafter.
Crafters use things like paint and glue and I don't know what else.
And here I was using paint.
No glue, thank goodness!
I think I pulled it off alright.
Again, I'm pleased enough with the results.

Oh, and 
one more thing...

my last post was about the gallery of our grandchildren
I put up in the back hallway.
Well, I confess we already knew about "#7 Still in Heaven"
when I published that post, but we were
sworn to keep Mr and Mrs Mossi-the-youngest's 
very happy secret for a while.

 When you feel like your goin' 'through the wringer',
there's always, ALWAYS somethin' wonderful to balance
things out and make up for the challenges life throws at ya -
like another grandbaby.
I'll take him!
Or her!

Thanks for stoppin' by.

But the good news is there's angels everwhere out on the street
Holdin' out a hand to pull you back up on your feet
The one's that you've been draggin for so long
You're on your knees might as well be prayin'
Guess what I'm sayin'...
If you're goin' through hell keep on going
Don't slow down if you're scared don't show it
You might get out before the devil even knows you're there
When you're goin' through hell keep on movin'
Face that fire walk right through it
You might get out before the devil even knows you're there