Universal Ups & Downs


Day 4  and we were up bright and early, headed to

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This is where we learned that if our family played quidditch, one out of four of us might then spew our every flavoured beans in the closest Hogwartian, magical trash can.

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So Terrible!


We might have also shut down the Simpsons Ride… it was a little more Krusty after we left.


… and after

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but we did get to see the Magnum PI car, the set where JB Fletcher rode her bike and the Water World Show.  

Overall we gave Universal Hollywood a big thumbs up

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… more road trip soon to come:)







Preparing a Place

Sunday I slept through church… attended Bedside Baptist….

That’s a little joke I picked up from college friends,

Hhmmm…Image result for thinking starting to wonder if I wasn’t in the cool crowd…

Image result for you're so square baby i don't care memeIt’s hip, right?!
Usually, I make it.  I just remember the mind body connection:  If your mind can move your feet, just have faith that your bedraggled heart may yet wake up, literally smelling the coffee with any luck.

… I’ll save the rest of my profound thoughts on that for a different post, today I’m more wrapped up in,
Why I love cleaning, and how I balance that with choosing what is best.

I’m Martha, fo sho… as in Mary sat at Jesus’ feet, but her sister Martha glared at them while she finished melodramatically unloading the dishwasher.
Sometimes it’s just not easy to choose what is best. I try to be mindful of this as I embrace my gifting for service .

Part of the joy of cleaning for me is in the idea of preparing a place.
In fact , I almost think that Summer is finally catching it’s train, because I prepared a place for Fall.

After the Screened Porch Fall Clean out.  It's not exactly Better Homes and Gardens, but I'll take it.
After the Screened Porch Fall Clean out. It’s not exactly Better Homes and Gardens, but I’ll take it.

With girls heading here to s’more it up at the Van Meters, I kissed the Indian summer goodbye by dragging small plastic pools, squirt guns and the water wiggle hose back to their waiting spot in the storage room.

No more water wiggle hose b-ball or trampoline… no more kids hiding in the bushes with squirt guns and running barefoot to plastic pools to fill them amid shrieks and flying beach balls and no more flavor ice in the freezer, because even the freezer gets to make room… bags of pumpkin chocolate chip cookies and lunch ice packs are already moving in.

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I don’t know how many of these Halcyon summers we have left, and I should let that wash over… I guess… as I bustle by inhaling the coming season and letting go of each failed goal of summer.

Even though S’more night was still 90 degrees, I’m glad I did some clearing around the screened porch and patio.  I opened up a place to peck away with Windows 7, a place for Bedside Baptist to meet, for painting and reading… and counting spiders:)

Also, The s’more fire needed a bit of help and the girls needed a place on the dining room wall for post its with their ideas for service projects.


Retiring our summer reading solved both problems.

Seasons change and we get to make room or let it pile on, but we don’t get to stop it.

The Trash Man Cometh

This day has an official highlight.

Not since my children were much younger, has the coming of the trash truck brought such excitement!

The kids spotted a truck in the neighborhood just after noon and their hopes soared.  With no pickup for over a week, trash has officially become a situation.

Thank you, overflowing trashcan…

L & K Services, the secret wizards behind making our gross trash magically gone, recently got bought out by Waste Management, who probably would like to do the same, but lack a crucial element,

 the garbage guys.

Now, we’re living in the prequel to Wall-E!

Strolling down the tree lined streets of our beloved neighborhood has taken on a whole new dimension.  To start with, there’s the special aroma which emanates from the piling trash.  If it was a perfume, it might be called Meat Diaper and I’m not sure that it could, or should, ever be replicated.

I think the combination of allowing the bags to marinate in the summer heat for an extended time frame, followed by raccoons ripping so many of the bags open, so that the bouquet can be enjoyed by all, at the very peak of ripeness, is the special secret.

Yep, trash folks, we are ready for you!IMG_0300.JPG


The kids had bubbles and party horns, but lost faith in the final hours of waiting, so in the end our trash men were only greeted by the colorful sidewalk chalk that we left behind.

IMG_0302no more triple dip

6x03 Standee

no more snowman (okay, that one was on Malcolm in the Middle… Hal vs. The Trash Man… no???)

Goodbye independently moving trash bags, cluster flies, trash strewn streets and sticky mystery ooze.

Hello … sanitizing the trash/recycle bins before they go back in the garage, yowza!

Thank You Homes Association Board, for the hard work that happens behind the scenes and Thank You Wonderful Garbage People everywhere!  We’ll see if we can’t produce a little less refuse in the future to help lighten the load.