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Top 10 Reasons to Visit The Dusty Parachute in 2015

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New Year’s Day is the perfect time to reflect back on the past year (while lying hungover on the couch eating stale Christmas cookies.) Many of the bloggers I follow are doing fun ‘Top 20 Posts of 2014’ lists. I thought of doing something similar but seeing as how I have only done around 30 posts since starting The Dusty Parachute a few months ago, that would be like saying “Come to the site & read everything!”

So, instead I’ve categorized some of my 2014 posts to help give you an idea of which ones you will enjoy most based on your interests.  Assuming that many of my 2015 posts will fall into these same categories, it also doubles as a “Top 10 Reasons to Visit The Dusty Parachute in 2015”.
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9 Tips For Living A Happy Life, From My Dog


Our beloved dog, Jackson, passed away this week. He was 12 years old and had been diagnosed with cancer six months ago. Although we knew it was coming, nothing can prepare you for the heartbreak of losing a pet.

The kids have never known life without him and we have a hard time remembering what life was like before bringing him home and totally pissing off the cats exactly 12 years ago.

We’re doing our best to focus on the happy times instead of dwelling on the sadness of missing him. In that spirit, I would like to share with you some of the valuable life lessons I have learned from Jackson.
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Help Me Remodel (Two) Bathrooms

Our bathroom saga continues.

If you need to get up to speed, there are two previous posts:

Part 1:  A tale of how I’m so effective at denial, I can convince myself that a giant wet spot in the closet, accompanied by a mysterious musty odor is not a problem (probably just the cats, or the house settling…) And how my husband can break into a locked bathroom with just a slap bracelette. You can read all about it here.

Part 2: How a month after we finally accepted that the giant puddle in our closet was due to a shower pan leak, we still hadn’t even found a contractor to repair it.  It’s all here.

Part 3: How home repairs snowball quickly.

Here’s a breakdown of what has happened since Part 2: Read More

My Love / Hate Relationship With Christmas Cards

It’s that time of year again: Time to start thinking about Christmas cards (at least according to Shutterfly, Pinterest and all the other services catering to organized, crafty mothers).

Few things fill me with as much simultaneous excitement and dread as Christmas cards.

The ‘excitement’ part goes back to my childhood. My mom used to make a whole day out of preparing her Christmas cards. She would bring out her address book (an actual, padded address book with alphabetical index tabs), flipping through the pages, making edits to entries of those who had moved during the year. She would write a little personal note in each card and address each envelope in her perfect, ‘deserves-her-own-font’, script.
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The Silent Victims of Our Loud Book Club

Today marks the two year anniversary of our book club.

For the past two years, I have had the pleasure of meeting up every month with a group of seven of my favorite women to discuss a wide variety of books that we select as a group.  To give you an idea of the eclectic tastes of our members, here’s the list of the books we have read together:

The Night Circus
Tale of Two Cities
Visit from the Good Squad
Let the Great World Turn
The Husband’s Secret
State of Wonder
Wind up Bird Chronicles
The Book Thief
100 Years of Solitude
Reconstructing Amelia
Me Before You
Story of O
Never Let me Go
Defending Jacob
Where’d You Go Bernadette
And the Mountains Echoed
Forgotten Garden
The Good Dream
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It’s the Mom that Deserves the Birthday Party

Last week for Throwback Thursday, I kind of threw my mom under the bus (only metaphorically) with a post highlighting how she had managed to make one little red dress of mine stretch across half my childhood, two states and multiple holiday celebrations.

This week for Throwback Thursday, I’m cheers’ing to my mom.  Today is my birthday, and as all of us moms know, if anyone deserves a party, it’s the MOTHER of the person who’s having the birthday.

In honor of my birthday, my mom has been posting these cute pictures today on my Facebook page today.
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A Tribute to My Amazing Husband (after 2 glasses of wine)


My husband’s first book was released today.

I had planned on making him a special celebratory dinner before he left to New York, but since I couldn’t go to the store after our daughter came home sick yesterday, we ended up having eggs for dinner instead.

I thought maybe I could squeeze some congratulations in this morning, (not a euphemism), but he got up quietly to take care of our daughter at 5:00 am when she was feeling sick again and had to work some timing miracles to get in to vote in today’s election before his flight left.  Before I could remind the kids to congratulate daddy on his big day, he was already reminding them to be nice to me on my birthday, in a few days.
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Happy Halloween, 70s Style.

Gather around, children, while I tell you a little story about Halloweens back when I was your age, waaaayyyy back in the 1970s.

Ah, those were the days! Children wore costumes their mothers made from scratch and store-bought costumes were much less stripper-like, (and much more flammable.) This period also marked the final years when it was acceptable, nay, encouraged, to raise awareness to the plight of the homeless by dressing up as a Hobo for the night.

Which brings me to Exhibit A, featuring my brother, the Hobo and me as Raggedy Anne. My mom made the hat and the apron and of course there’s the cute little red dress underneath.  Look how sweet we are posing out in front of our house in Idaho.

Happy 70's Halloween -
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My Sh*tty Morning

Our sh*tty morning technically started yesterday when we discovered a weird wet spot in the middle of the carpet in our walk in closet. My brain went straight into denial, trying to convince myself that there’s a perfectly good reason that there would be a 5″ wet circle in the middle of the closet. My automatic assumption was that it was cat related (click here for a detailed account of our cat pee issues.) So I gave it a good spritzing of Nature’s Miracle, toweled it up and went on with my day.
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