The way we were

Okay, first up today:  New Word Wednesday.  Over the last several posts, some of you may have noticed a recurring theme.  Just now, I’ve discovered a word that sums up the way I’ve been feeling (stick with me here).


ver·juice [ vúr jss ]


1. liquid from sour fruit: an acid liquid made from crab apples or other sour or unripe fruit. Use: formerly, in cooking or as a condiment instead of vinegar.
2. unpleasantness: sourness of temper, attitude, or expression
[14th century. < Old Frenchvertjus <verd “green” +jus “juice”]

Verjuice explains my mood exactly; a prevailing pall of sourness, with moments of holiday mirth and good cheer punctuating the unpleasantness.  I’ve been able to chalk it up to uncertainty over my job situation (more on that later), the impending departure of Alex and Tony (this morning), and the busyness of my overeducated spousal unit (which I will also report on later).  If you toss in hormones and holiday preparation, well, can I get a witness??   I’m endeavoring to maintain a cheerful outlook, take deep breaths and to not be too hard on myself in the process, but I swear, the slightest thing will send me into tears of frustration, and frankly, verjuice it is.

Okay, enough of that.

Last Friday was indeed a banner day, the culmination of over 4 years of effort and endurance.  Brad presented his research/dissertation to his panel of advisers and got a resounding “Well Done!”  As I understand it, he only has a few finishing touches to put on the document, and he will be officially finished and able to add PhD to his signature.  He had a pretty large cheering section, both parents (plus spouses), a former student, myself and Brett’s girlfriend Cora, who, when we were asked if there were any questions, whispered to me “I didn’t understand a word of what he said.  Should I ask him to go over it all again?”  We had a fabulous celebratory dinner, and a great time visiting with Brett and Cora at their cute new place.


I know some of you are wondering about now (if you’re not, play along, okay??) about Baker, the grand puppy.  He is, by far, the most mellow puppy I have ever seen.  A big, huge mass of creamy white fluff, sweet and mild mannered and altogether fabulous.  He is up to 58 pounds at around 6 months old, and isn’t showing any sign of tapering off.  It was so fun to see him.  We have more pictures of him, than of anything else on our trip (sad, huh?).

Other highlights of the trip included a wonderful lunch on the waterfront with my Mom and Cora, a little shopping and giftwrapping and a trip to the family “compound” affectionately known as Harveyville, for a nice dinner with Brad’s family.  It is always hard to squeeze everything you want to do into a finite amount of time, and this trip was a really quick one—-3 days and 15 hours according to our car rental information.  I kept telling myself I could sleep when I got home—but then things come up, once you’re home.

Like the job, for instance.  Let us first recap:  About one year ago I sent in a resume to the Clinic at the Air Force Base closest to my home.  About 6 months ago I got a call asking me if I still wanted a job.  2 and a half months ago I got called to interview for an open position and 9 weeks ago they offered me that position.  About 7 weeks ago we negotiated my salary, and since that time I’ve been checking in at regular intervals to see what might be going on, what I should be doing.  When we got home Sunday night, I had two voice mail messages and two email messages saying something like, “we need this and this and this before we can give you a start date,”which gave the impression that all of a sudden I was falling down on the job, that I was being the sluggard and darn it, where was I and why couldn’t they get a hold of me.  So Monday, I delivered the requested license and documentation, and scheduled a physical—for this afternoon, oh joy.  It remains to be seen if this flurry of activity will lead to me marching off to work any time soon, but it is progress none the less.


The boys left just a few minutes ago, planning to make it as far as Twin Falls, Idaho tonight.  Then on to Ellensburg, Washington tomorrow and Over the pass and home in a quick, easy (God willing) day on Friday.  Both of them have jobs waiting for them upon their return.  First glance tells me that I don’t have too much to do to get my extra rooms back in shape, but I haven’t stepped into the bathroom yet (and all of you who have young men are shuddering just now).  I told the guys the other day that I was going to hide their car keys until the space was clean—-but didn’t have to make good on my threat. 

I have very mixed emotions about their leaving; on the one hand, it was so fun to have them around, to have at least one son within hugging range.  I was so looking forward to Alex and his friends being here in town, getting together for coffee and such.  On the other hand, they can make much more money in Washington, and they have their network of friends and family there (as well).  While I think they should have given Colorado more time, it would have been counterproductive to try to talk them into staying.  And, I have to say, it will be nice to have our house back. 

It’s amazing how quickly one gets used to having a whole house to oneself.  You know your little lie down won’t be interupted, you know your knitting will be precisely where you left it, that you’ll have access to the computer and TV when it suits you, and one can go to bed with the door open. 

I will miss them.

And now, I either need more coffee or a nap. 



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5 responses to “The way we were

  1. What a whirl of a time you’ve had! That puppy – I think fiber, lots and lots of fiber when he blows coat. Be sure B&C save it – you will love spinning his fur.

  2. Wow, you’ve had a lot going on! I hope you can take some time just to relax and regroup…

  3. MJ

    Great to have you back Lisa 🙂

  4. You’ve had a whirlwind couple of months. Maybe roller-coaster would be more like it. Sounds like you should do something special for yourself and relax until the holidays are over.

  5. I’m so glad you finally had some forward motion on the job front. Hopefully the ball will keep rolling for you!

    I’m with Margene, be sure to do something special for you! It has been a crazy few months for you.

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