December 26, 2007
1. Something you need that you can't afford. (Furniture; new car tires; stainless steel cookware; etc.)
2. Something frivolous you love that you would not likely buy for yourself. ($100 hurricane lamp; rabbit-lined leather gloves; 600-thread count Egyptian cotton sheets)
3. Something fun that suits your personality and interests. (video games; cds; a $15 cinnamon lipgloss; restaurant gift certificates; scrapbooking supplies; et. al.)
This leads me to question the "Dirty Santa" game that we played with my husband's family on Christmas Eve. The girls were to bring a girl gift, the guys were to bring a guy gift. The girl stuff ranged from a Bed, Bath & Beyond gift card to lotion to chocolate to a journal to earrings. No problem. It is the guy stuff that perplexes me. The gifts were as follows: Electrical tape; Duct tape; garden hose roll-up thingy; plastic rain gauge; wrench; box cutter; a dozen pairs of work gloves; and various colors of plastic cable ties. Seriously. And they grappled over these things like toddlers fighting over the last cookie! Now, I gave this some thought. If this was a girl gift, the equivalent would look something like: A travel sewing kit; box of safety pins; nail clippers; twelve pairs of yellow playtex dishwashing gloves; spatula; a curling iron caddy; and an old lady clear-plastic rain bonnet. Am I the only one who sees the humor in this? These are not gifts. I'm convinced these are the purchases of 5 men who do not have a clue how to shop and were equally relieved that none of the other guys knew how to shop either.
Gift cards make sense to me. Big boy toys I can appreciate. Electronic gadgets I understand. Game systems I even like myself. But plastic cable ties remain a mystery to me.
December 12, 2007
*My life is incredibly fascinating, you know, working with Mikey and
Terrell everyday, and I just don't want to make the rest of you envious.
*I've actually been sleeping all night long for the last month, so there
are 3 fewer blogging hours in my day than normal.
*I've been seriously contemplating purchasing a water buffalo. No joke.
*I don't have any cool illness, depression, finals, engaged friends, or pregnancy to blog about.
*I don't want to post pictures of myself from 10-20-30 years ago. That would make me have to admit how old I am then I WOULD be depressed! (Though Sandy looks as beautiful now as she did at 18! I hate her.)
*I'm not obsessing about what I didn't get done yesterday.
*I'm not obsessing about what I'm not going to get done tomorrow.
*I'm not obsessing about what I'm going to do for the rest of my life.
(And neither should my daughter . . . )
*Is anybody out there REALLY interested in what font I decided to use for the church letterhead? I think not. (But, if you are: sylfaen. It looks nice if you emboss it in 18 font, though the embossing tends to blur on the smaller font, especially since I have to set the leading at 14 for 11 font. Fascinating, huh?)
*I'm not lavishly visiting/vacationing Evansville or any variety of exotic Texas cities.
*I feel guilty blogging when I should be Christmas shopping.
*I have writer's block.
*The cat ate my mouse.
I didn't say they were good excuses . . .
November 29, 2007
November 19, 2007
November 16, 2007
I attribute their relationship to the fact that they are nearly 7 years apart in age. Kevin has always been "Kacey's baby". When I was pregnant with him, she would frequently tell me how much she wanted a sister. She was adamant about NOT wanting a "stinky little boy". When he was born, she was the first one to hold him after we cut the cord. She was sitting there in the bedroom floor at 4 a.m. on that COLD January morning, long hair all tangled, wearing her "Little Mermaid" nightgown, holding this tiny little baby, and I looked over at her and said, "Kacey, I'm sorry we got a stinky little boy". She immediately looked up at me with darts shooting from her eyes and said, very sternly, "Don't ever say that about my baby." That was it. She was in love, and my heart melted.
November 08, 2007
November 02, 2007
Things I enjoy now that I hated when I was a kid . . .
Onions . . . Hated them as a kid, but developed a SERIOUS craving for them with my second pregnancy that never when away! I could eat them raw like an apple now, except that nobody would ever want to carry on a conversation with me!
Watching the news . . . as a kid – BORING. Now I could be a news junkie if I let myself.
Going for drives . . . my parents use to haul us around on Sunday afternoon drives a couple of times a month. It was sheer torture. Back seats. Sunshine. Getting carsick. Nothing to do but think about all the cool stuff you COULD be doing if you were at home. Now I look forward to it as a great time to pray, or catch up on new music, or have a great conversation with somebody I enjoy one-on-one time with!
Getting up early . . . you gotta be kidding!? Really, up until just a couple of years ago I could give a wintering grizzly a run for his hibernating money. Sleep was a valuable commodity. Now, well, I just don’t seem to sleep much and don’t seem to need it. (You know, a person can only use so much beauty sleep - once you look as good as I do, it's really just a waste!)That makes getting up early kinda cool. Watching the sunrise, writing notes to friends, reading a good book – there’s got to be something wrong with me.
Things I liked as a child that I don’t like now . . .
Sleeping until noon . . . reference “getting up early” in the previous category
Gilligan’s Island . . . apparently my I.Q. went up 70 points once I stopped watching it.
Skipping church . . . RARELY happened, but I always enjoyed when it did! If I missed now, I would feel like I was being taken off of life-support!
Childlike things that I liked as a child and STILL like . . .
Snow . . . Looking at it more than being out in it, but still, I’m a sucker for a Winter Wonderland.
Chocolate milk . . . 2% + 4 spoons full of Quik – stirred, not shaken. And not with Chinese food.
Reading . . . A habit I am happy to still have and happy to have passed on to my kids.
Playing Games . . . Any kind, any time, anywhere – I LOVE to play games. Silly games, serious games, card games, word games, doesn’t matter as long as it’s not Monopoly or Risk! I'm a good loser, but a "gloating" winner!
October 30, 2007
First: I had stopped taking the pill. I had to or I was going to kill someone . . . and it wasn’t going to be me. The hormonal state that Ortho-novum kept me in played “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” with my emotions. For example, my husband would walk in the door after 12 hours of playing soldier. I would say, in my sweetest Donna Reed voice, “How was your day?” only to follow it up four minutes later with a Linda-Blair-exorcist-like, “Get Outta My Face!”
We figured even unplanned parenthood had to be better than that.
Second: the husband was an Army Lieutenant stationed at Fort Richardson, Alaska. He was away doing field training. A lot. For long stretches of time. He was gone from Oct. 18 until Nov. 8, left again on Nov. 10 and didn’t return home until the first of December. Hmmm . . . doesn’t take quantum physics to figure out that one.
So, I found myself pregnant. Entirely too young. 4,000 miles away from my mommy. The first of all of our friends to fail the “E.P.T.” test. And more than a little terrified. I felt like Prissy from Gone with the Wind: “Why, I don’t know nothin’ bout birthin’ no babies!” My preference: Schedule a C-section, take some heavy drugs, and hope for the best. Oh, but it’s not that easy for a do-it-yourself junkie. You see, I read. And read. And read. And Alaska is not exactly the kind of place where you are encouraged to follow the crowd. Unless, of course, the crowd is a bunch of earth-mother, hippie-wanna-be, save-the-earth do-gooders. (And I mean that in a good way!) So I found myself reading Mothering Magazine and Ina May Gaskin's “Spiritual Midwifery” and Rahima Baldwin’s “Special Delivery” and all manner of natural, wholistic childbirth propaganda. By the time August 13 rolled around, I was enduring a 32-hour labor at home with a couple of midwives.
Now, the birth itself did not turn out exactly picture-perfect. But I did end up with a beautiful daughter, and a passion for pregnancy and childbirth that can only be described as a part-time obsession. More about that at a later date.
The worst part of my first pregnancy: Not having caffeine
The weirdest craving during my first pregnancy: McDonald’s cheeseburgers (ewww.)
The strangest side-effect of my first pregnancy: Sporadic, but uncontrollable giggling (Again, another story for another time . . . )
October 29, 2007
October 19, 2007
the corner, but our "Turkey Day"
First, my son IS a turkey. Enough said.
Second, while on the way to work yesterday, he and I saw three turkeys
in the big field on Hwy. 62.
We frequently see deer in that field, but turkeys not so much.
Third, my son has never been bowling. Never ever. Unless you count video games, which I don't. So, since Kevin is on fall break this week, the wonderful Mike D. (in blog world, that's "For His Glory", but don't bother, 'cause he hasn't posted since January!) took my son bowling.
First game: 67. Okay, that's to be expected the first time out.
Second game: 79. Not a bad little improvement.
Third game: 145. 145!!! Apparently, after Mike gave him some helpful coaching on when to release the ball, Kevin got a TURKEY - three strikes IN A ROW! He was pretty jazzed about it. (Thanks, Mikey!)
October 03, 2007
My kids love to pick on each other. I don't know where they get it from, but regardless . . . the last weekend Kacey was home, Kevin had her convinced he was left-handed. (Kacey is 21, Kevin is 14) She was so befuddled that she got out of bed, marched into the den with her hands on her hips and said, "He is NOT left-handed . . . . . . . . . . . . . . IS HE?????" Of course, he is not, and she KNEW that, he just made it so convincing that she began to doubt herself.
So, Kevin was talking to Kacey, this time on the phone the night before our road trip to Texas. He was moaning about all the school work he was going to have to do in the car. She was telling him to suck it up and do the work like a man, and he said something like,
"That's easy for you to say . . . you don't have to dissect a frog in the car!"
"You don't either, you goofball."
"YES I DO!"
"Kevin, you can't dissect a frog in the car. Why don't you just do it when you come back on Monday?"
"Because I have to label all the parts and make a diagram and email it to ReighAnne (biology teacher) by Friday night!"
"Kevin, you are such a liar!"
"Kacey, I'm serious. I've got to dissect this stupid frog in the car on the way to Texas!"
"Yes, Kacey. Oh, and by the way, I'm left-handed."
At this point, I can hear Kacey giving him "what for" for making her feel gullible yet again. I thought it was a riot! Is it okay to be proud of a kid for being a good liar? Probably not, huh?
To preface this next story, I almost never wear sunglasses. They make me feel claustrophobic. But I bought a new pair for this 12-hour car trip, and I put them in my purse which was in the floor at Kevin's feet. After a few hours in the car he wanted to stretch a bit, so he put my purse in the back seat. I said, "Before you get too comfortable, we're about to turn west so I'm going to need my glasses out of my purse."
"Huh?" was his response.
So I repeat myself, speaking slowly this time, "We're . . . about . . . to . . . turn . . . west . . . so . . . I'm . . . going . . . to . . . need . . . my . . . glasses . . . out . . . of . . . my . . . purse."
"WHY do you need your glasses when we turn west????" he asks with a quizzical look."Well, Kevin, a SMART person would KNOW the answer to that question. Why DO YOU think?"
"I don't know. Do the letters on the signs get smaller in the west?"
At this point I start laughing hysterically, as I realize the whole conversation he thought I was talking about my EYEglasses and I assumed he knew I needed my SUNglasses!
Communication is a wonderful thing, ain't it?
September 30, 2007
I like my bedroom.
It's dark and cool.
The mattress is firm.
The pillows are fluffly.
Getting into bed is a wonderful end
to most days -
not an olympic event.
This past weekend, however, while we were in Fort Worth for the cowboy's "Sadde Boy" competition, we bunked in the horse trailer. (No, not WITH the horse! The back 3/4 is the horse part, the front 1/4 is "living quarters") I use the term "living quarters" very VERY loosely. It was more like sleeping in an aluminum shoebox on wheels. The floor section, which is shaped like the state of Nevada, only had enough room for Kevin's military-style cot, the step stool, and one standing human. As you can see from the picture below, the interior has been gutted, so the walls are bare except for the lovely remnants of brown wood glue. Everytime we turned the light on it threw a breaker. Our "camping spot" was on the gravel parking lot wedged between dozens of $100,000 motor homes - we looked like the embarrassing Arkansas cousins.
One aspect of the weekend I particularly enjoyed was the 2 block hike to the bathroom which was located upstairs inside the dormitory of the Swine Building of the Will Rogers Equestrian Center across the street from the National Cowgirl Museum. Yee Haw. When I first stepped into the seemingly abandoned and unlit concrete shower, I was startled by one of the hogs from the prior weekend's judging that had been left behind - no wait, that was just a prize-winning cockroach. He and I did NOT get along. It was a quick shower.
The most entertaining part of the weekend, for those lucky enough to witness it (Kevin), was my trying to get into the sleeping bunk of the trailer. Even with the step-stool, I was only waist-high to the metal platform. After numerous and wildly unsuccessful attempts to fling my leg up onto the platform, I finally had Kevin stand on his cot, and lift the air mattress up to the ceiling. This allowed me to bend over at a 90-degree angle and roll my entire body onto the platform under the air mattress, much like an injured manatee rolling himself onto the beach. I then rolled the opposite direction until I was against the wall so Kevin could drop the mattress. At this point I got onto my hands and knees and crawled onto the mattress. Lying down, there was a good 7 inches between my face and the ceiling. Now to get undressed. What???? I couldn't lift my legs - no room. Tried lying in a fetal position and wiggling. No luck with that either. No matter what I did, I couldn't seem to manage the removal of my clothing. Why didn't I get my pj's on BEFORE I clamored up there? I DON'T KNOW. But I sure as heck wasn't getting back down and then up again! So I called down to Kevin,
"Kevin, help me pull my pants off."
"Yeah, right, mom."
"Please, Kevin, I can't do it."
"Like that's gonna happen. I don't think so."
"But Kevin, I need help!"
"Suck it up and sleep in your clothes, mom!"
"Kevin, please please." (Imagine a whiny, cartoony voice at this point.)
Kevin begins to giggle hysterically at the thought of my not having enough room to perform this function for myself, and at the thought that I would even dare ask his help with undressing. Then, of course, there was the mental image of him actually helping me with this, which, I have to confess, was really really funny to both of us.
More giggling. This time from both of us.
This went on for about 20 minutes until the giggling turned into full-out laughter.
After we fell into a good sleep, we were awakened by an 8.3 earthquake. No, wait, that was just the cowboy backing his truck INTO the trailer. Luckily, the only thing he broke was his passenger side mirror.
Extreme Mustang Makeover 2008 - reservations are already secured at the Hyatt Regency downtown Fort Wort.
August 24, 2007
August 22, 2007
Spades, hearts, rummy. Occasionally a game of Trivial Pursuit or Pictionary, but mostly cards. Every Friday night. We'd get together, usually at their house because they had a "real table" (we only had a card table, and a flimsy one at that). And we'd play. And play. And play. Often into the wee wee hours of the morning. Of course, this entailed supper and stories and snacks and long conversations about who we were, are and were going to be. Occasionally we were together so long by the time we got ready to leave at 2:30 or 3:00 in the morning, snow had blanketed the city so deeply we'd end up spending the night, cooking breakfast together the next morning, and playing cards again on Saturday.
As we got to know others, our group grew, sometimes to as many as 12 - Reynolds, Collins, Turneys, Trevithicks, Geratys, Kettners. Every Friday night, come rain, sleet or snow (usually the latter, as we were in Alaska), now usually meeting at our house, since we had the most room. Then somebody had the bright idea of "why don't we have a Bible study before we play games"? So we did. Voila - a small group was born, complete with lesson, food and fellowship, long before we ever heard of them in a church setting. As the evenings wound down and couples dispersed to their own homes, Neal & Sherri would stay with us until the very small hours of the morning. Undoubtedly this was one of the best times in our lives - for all of us. We still all feel very connected, though we don't see each other much anymore. Many of our kids, all of whom were nonexistent when we first became friends, have now gone off to college and stay acquainted via Facebook. Most of us have changed careers and locations several times. We are scattered from Illinois and Kentucky to Colorado and Washington. Only Neal & Sherri still reside in Alaska. I miss them often.
Last Friday night we played cards with some good Kentucky friends. Hearts to be exact. We got home at 2:30 a.m. Made me feel really young again. (Of course, I had to wear my glasses to distinguish hearts from diamonds, we had to pause between every hand so one of us could go to the bathroom, and we spent an hour "oohing and aahing" over vacation photos and trying to remember the names of people we used to know. Still . . . )
August 16, 2007
That brings me to Elvis. Yesterday, August 16, marks a 20-year anniversary for Kacey & me, and a 30-year anniversary for Elvis. According to history, Elvis died on August 16, 1977. (Now, like all good conspiracy theorists, I have my doubts. I believe him to be inhabiting Hitler's old getaway in Argentina. Anyway . . . ) Twenty years ago yesterday, she and I flew from Anchorage, Alaska to Seattle, Washington, to Memphis, Tennessee, and then, ideally, to Nashville, where my grandparents were to pick us up and drive us "home home" to my parents. Well, there was a delay in Seattle, and by the time we got to Memphis, we had missed our connecting flight to Nashville. (No biggie, right?) Let me list the complications:
1) This was in the pre-cell-phone days. Heck, this was pre-answering-machine days.
2) My parents were out of town and didn't know I was "surprising them."
3) My grandparents only lived an hour away from the Nashville airport, so by the time I landed in Memphis, they were already on their way to pick me up, and I had absolutely no way of letting them know I wouldn't be there.
4) I didn't have a credit card, so I couldn't rent a car.
5) I had a 12-month-old daughter with me, along with large carry on bag and diaper bag the size of a canoe. (This was also pre-9/11 days.)
6) and this is the big one . . . I was in Memphis. On August 16, 1987. The 10th anniversary of the death of Elvis Presley. Graceland is Mecca for the King and his followers, the result being "there were no rooms in the inn." Not a single empty hotel room in the city. Seriously.
In the meantime, I am using payphones to call my husband (who is 4,000 miles away). He is on the phone trying to track down my grandparents, my parents, and any Delta airline official who can somehow be held responsible for us being stranded without proper escort in the Memphis International Airport. To no avail. A strange man offered to take us home. I politely turned him down. As the hours got later and later, and the airport became more and more desolate, I stole a spoon from the cafeteria (so I could feed Kacey the organic homemade baby food I brought in my carry-on), and barricaded us into a large women's bathroom by pushing an old couch in front of the door. (Having, at this point, given up all hope, and now just biding time until my death, or tomorrow morning's 8 a.m. flight, whichever came first.)
I fed Kacey and got her to sleep, read "Anna Karenina" for awhile, realized there was NO WAY I was going to sleep in there, washed my hair in a public sink and "blow dried" it with one of those wall-mounted hand dryers - this would have been easier had I been a gymnast. After these eventful few hours, I hear a faint "s...t...e...p...h...a...n...i...e..." from somewhere in distance. I listen. Again, I hear it, but this time louder. It's my mommy!!!! Now, I don't care if you are a 23-year-old parent who lives 4,000 miles from home, when you need your mommy, you need your mommy! She and dad eventually got the news and drove straight from wherever-they-were to Memphis to rescue me. Yeah!
On the return flight a couple of weeks later, I almost got stranded in Minneapolis. Again, as the result of a flight delay, I was late for my connecting flight to Seattle. When I got to the gate, they were rolling back the walkway. I met the exiting airline worker as she was walking back into the terminal. She told me I was too late. To this point in my life, I don't believe I had ever stood up for myself. My usual, a-bit-shy self, afraid of spending another sleepless night in an airport, looked her dead in the face, stuck out my pointer finger and demanded, "Either you roll that walkway back out and let me on that plane, or you, personally, will be paying for my hotel room tonight." Kacey and I made it back to Anchorage as scheduled.
Twenty years full circle. 1987: Kacey and I were stranded together in the home of "the King" trying to get to Nashville. 2007: Kacey and I part ways as she moves into her first real "home" and I leave her in care of "THE KING" in Nashville.
(Thank you God, that my Graceland is wherever You are.)
July 19, 2007
1) Nerds. (I use this term lovingly, as I know some of these.) Wildly overprotected; “tucked in” tee-shirts; have actual desks and maps and bulletin boards in a schoolroom in their home; willingly, and sometimes annoyingly, initiate lengthy conversations with adults about their recent science experiment involving hydroponically-grown melons.
2) “Twinkle-ding-dongs.” These are the offspring of the leftover hippies. They draw unicorns for biology, play non-competitive games, build all-wooden, multicultural toys, eat a lot of tofu, and write music for wind flutes. (The “Twinkle-ding-dongs” were much more common in Alaska than they are here in the good ol’ South.)
3) Classics. These children are well-behaved; well-versed in home economics and American history; involved in scouts and 4-H clubs; competitive; and for some reason, they are almost always “morning people”.
4) Egg-heads. You know the type: Articulate in three languages; fluent in oboe and violin; can do advanced math on an abacus; can not only spell “flocculent”, but also define the word and give its etymology.
We never did seem to fit into any of these categories. We rarely "tucked in", the car was our school room, my kids thought 4-H was punishment, we never baked anything we could buy at Kirchoff's Bakery, and neither of my kids could spell “flocculent” - though they could easily come up with three creative, off-color uses for the word!
When people asked me why we homeschooled, my answer would vary from year-to-year. Partly because I'm a notorious "do-it-yourselfer". Largely because we just didn’t have time for regular school - we were too busy learning stuff. But primarily because I LOVE hanging out with my kids.
We had a “loose schedule” and followed it loosely as well. Our curriculum was always a hodge-podge of books we found fascinating. Our classroom was wherever we were that day – the den couch, the car, the church building, the park. Our activities ranged from the high-brow Symphony Children’s Choir to very loud guitar and drum lessons, from gymnastics to baseball and volleyball, from community theater to lots of community volunteer work. We had days we just couldn’t face the idea of “school”, so watching “Jeopardy” and and going to Kroger and mowing the yard became current events, economics and P.E. I think we even managed to go swimming and find a way to call it “marine biology”.
We never missed an opportunity to have a meaningful conversation. We talked. A lot. We read. A lot. We played games. A lot. We laughed. A lot. We slept in. Yeah, a lot. And I guess we did okay. Kacey managed to receive several academic scholarships and a 27 on her A.C.T. (not an egghead score, but quite respectable!) She will be a college senior this year and has maintained a 3-point-something GPA while serving as an R.A., small-group leader, Student Government senator, etc. (Kevin exhibits all the signs of being even more intelligent than his sister, but until we can decipher his handwriting, we cannot be certain of this.) My kids are well-rounded, responsible, funny, and far-from-perfect. I am so glad we chose to homeschool. I wouldn’t change a thing.
June 29, 2007
Except, when used in this sentence, the metaphor becomes a simile.
So, if the metaphor IS now a simile, that, in turn, makes the simile a metaphor. Yeah, I know I'm weird, but this makes me laugh.
June 27, 2007
I feel so blessed to be a 24/7 mom - a SAHM for 17 years and a "take him to work with me" mom for the last 3. Everybody told me what a difficult time I would have when Kacey left for college - especially hard since I was so used to having her around - and I was somewhat worried they might be right. As it turned out, they weren't. Sure, I miss her. Sure, I wish she was 4-years-old again. Sure, I fantasized about moving into her dorm room with her. But the reality is, I have no regrets about not spending enough time with either of my kids. I haven't missed a thing. I was there for the first steps, the first words, the first crush. I taught them to read, to be responsible, to love each other. We have talked into the wee hours of the morning on hundreds of occasions and now share long, quirky emails (even with Kevin, though he is sitting at the desk next to me. It seems to be so much easier to say things in print than in person, especially with boys.)
Do I miss baby clothes and read-aloud books and snuggling? You betcha. Do I miss diapers and crying and not sleeping? Not even a little bit. Granted, they will never be as cute as they were when they were toddlers, but the time together just gets better and better. Thank you, God.
June 17, 2007
homework help, for carrying me to bed from the car when I was
little and was pretending to be asleep, for always being patient,
for working logic problems with me, for loving to sing, for building
a balsa-wood raft (complete with orange crates) for 7th grade social
studies, for being tender enough to cry, for making emergency
pantyhose runs to the convenience store on Sunday mornings, for
leaving $20 in my Bible when I would come home from college, for
9 days on a bus to Florida as a band chaperone, for canoeing, for
being the best Papa to the kids I could possibly want, for teaching
me to drive, for taking us to dinner a thousand times, for making
church a priority, for giving good advice even when I didn't listen,
for loving me. I love you very much, Dad. Happy Father's Day!
June 06, 2007
June 02, 2007
8:10 Scrounge around feeling for a working flashlight.
8:14 Give up hope of ever finding a working flashlight, scrounge around for matches and a candle that still has a wick.
8:19 Light said candle.
8:22 Put ice on finger-burn from lighting too-short jar candle.
8:26 Look up phone number for electric company.
8:31 Go on "blind man's bluff" scavenger hunt for glasses so I can see telephone number to electric company.
8:33 Call electric company and report power outage.
8:34 Press "1", say "yes". Press "2" , punch in phone number. Repeat.
8:42 Attempt to read by candlelight.
8:45 Realize "It was the pest of fines, it was the worms of fines" is probably not the first line of "A Tale of Two Cities" so scrounge around Kevin's bedside looking for booklight, since candlelight is not cutting it with my 40-something eyesight.
8:57 Get distracted and beat on drumset in the dark for five minutes. Hit rims more than heads.
9:03 Call back electric company to check on status of my service - they are aware of problem.
9:11 Remember Kacey left her laptop here!
9:18 Pop "Runaway Bride" into laptop. Watch until Richard Gere gets hair tye-dyed like a clown before screen goes blank and battery dies.
9:34 Wash black tank top in sink and hang in shower to dry.
9:41 Set candle in fridge looking for something to eat.
9:44 Decide to make tea from hot sink water.
9:47 Decide to dump out tea made from hot sink water.
9:48 Call electric company a third time. They report electricity is back on.
9:49 I report it is not.
9:53 Look out windows to see distant neighbors sitting in air-conditioned, brightly-lit rooms watching end of "Minority Report" on ABC.
10:00 Call mom so somebody will know I'm sitting alone in the dark and feel sorry for me.
10:15 Clean out purse
10:23 Carry candle outside to light way to car.
10:24 Drive to office, noting the rest of my neighborhood is lit up like a holiday movie starring Chevy Chase.
10:35 Review middle school Bible lesson for tomorrow.
10: 50 Call electric company a fourth time. They report "a crew is currently on site attempting to restore power." Sure.
10:58 Blog and whine.
11:15 Check email and eBay auctions.
11: 30 Edit whiny blog.
11:37 Go back home and hope power is on so I can go to bed.
May 29, 2007
My husband, on the other hand, spends almost every waking not-at-work minute outside. He comes in the house after dark to eat and sleep. If he's not working with his horses, he is cutting down trees, or disking up fields, or hauling hay, or chopping firewood, or . . . you name it.
So, he comes in from the mailbox the other day, the latest edition of "Saddle Boy" magazine in hand, proclaiming, "I have found a place for us to go on vacation!"
I glance at him skeptically over the top rim of my reading glasses. One, because we never go on vacation, and two, because we never agree on anything, much less recreation.
"No, I'm serious," he assures me.
I'm in a good mood, so I bite.
He proceeds to describe what, to me, has the vacation appeal of Yemen and ranks right above Chinese Water Torture on the fun-o-meter: a working dude ranch. Now, I've seen "City Slickers", thank you very much, and there ends the extent of my interest in Big Sky Country and, for that matter, Jack Palance's acting career.
So, once again I glance at him over the top rim of my glasses. This time with less skepticism and more sarcasm, "Are you kidding?"
He then conveys all the perks: You get to work with horses, cut down trees, disk up fields, haul hay, chop firewood, and, if you're lucky enough to have double-X chromosomes, you also get to help fix the chow! And, let us not forget - YOU get to pay THEM for the experience! The cowboy cannot seem to grasp the concept that THIS IS NOT A VACATION. Not for a sane person. But to him it sounds like heaven. To me it sounds distinctly like something I plan to do right after I go ice-skating with satan . . .
May 14, 2007
Probably the last one ever, as she graduates college next spring.
The bad news: I have completely lost control of the one and only bathroom in our house. I would like to say that, just because she's prettier, this should not entitle her to more mirror time. Quite the contrary, I should think. I have to work much longer just to achieve the basic goal of not looking like Shrek, while she rolls out of bed, throws on jeans and mascara and looks adorable.
I really do miss my bathroom. Even more, I miss my 20's . . .
May 11, 2007
I remember toast for breakfast – the cinnamon or cheese variety, of course.
I remember Bible stories she read every night before scratching my back, tucking me into bed, and reminding me to say my prayers.
I remember, regardless of weather or time restraints, posing for annual Easter pictures. (Weren't the 80's just the greatest decade for hair?)
I remember hot chocolate on snow days - the kind you cook on the stove with real milk.
I remember mom always pretending to be fooled when I faked sick so I could stay home from school.
I remember her reading the “Little House on the Prairie” books aloud so many times I could quote them.
In my head I can still vividly hear the words she yelled each and every morning as I left for school, “Have a good day and DON’T KISS ANY BOYS!!!!!”
I remember playing games together in the afternoons – but ONLY after homework was finished.
I remember mom’s groans through countless reruns of Gilligan’s Island. (In retrospect, the groans were warranted.)
I remember her being my Girl Scout troop leader, room mother, band booster, Sunday School teacher.
I sing "Rise & Shine" to my children in the mornings. I have read the "Little House" books aloud to my kids at least 4 times. I make my kids pose for Easter pictures. And, although I opt for the Swiss Miss microwavable hot chocolate, I have, for all practical purposes, become my mother. She shaped who I am. When I hear myself speak or see my reflection, there is no doubt I belong to her.
I love you, MOM! Happy Mother's Day!
May 05, 2007
We are very much alike, this handbag and I: practical, oversized, generally organized, and a bit whimsical (reference the lime-green lining). We have, for all practical purposes, been inseparable.
Regrettably, my $30 pleather partner had a lifespan rivaling the career of an American Idol winner or the shelf-life of an incandescent lightbulb. “Until death do us part” turned out to be about 32 months, thus I found myself in mourning.
After her untimely demise, I must admit to a brief rebound relationship with a cute little buckle-bag, but at only 5” tall, it turned out to be much too shallow for any kind of meaningful relationship. I’m ashamed to also admit to a lust-based one-night-stand with a metallic copper number. However, it proved to be nothing more than a vacuous tote, a hollow single-compartment chasm in which I could find nothing.
My grieving phase has ended, I’m happy to announce. I am once again in LOVE. My new purse is practical – large enough to hold my slimline NIV, but small enough to fit in the console between the front seats of my car. It is designed for organization – 3 compartments (with magnetic snaps!) eyeglass pouch, and small interior zippered pocket. Mostly, my new bag is a bit whimsical – black and white polka dots and stripes. It’s nearly perfect . . .
I'm sure I could draw some sort of spiritual analogy here about how we were all created for a specific purpose, or about the wisdom of choosing good friends, or about the how our physical bodies are just transient, but, after all . . . it’s just a purse.
April 28, 2007
2. God has blessed me with two children, Kacey & Kevin, who are my world.
3. Naming my children was merely a formality. I only call them things like, “Sweet Cheeks; Honey Buns; Love Britches; Sugar Toot; Daughter-Face; Boy Junior; Little Man; etc.”
4. My parents are wonderful. . . I have my dad's brain and my mom's mouth. :o)
5. My younger sister, Stacey Leigh, was my best girlfriend and only sibling. She died in a car crash when she was 28. I cannot think of her without crying. I cannot wait to see her again. My daughter, Kacey Leigh, is named after her and sometimes looks very much like her.
6. I give my kids points for using big words or answering trivia questions. When they can prove they've earned 1,000,000 points, I will by them a car.
7. I tend to call people by their full names, or, if that doesn’t work, their first & middle names.
8. I don’t collect anything. In fact, I don’t keep anything. If it hasn’t been used in the last few weeks, it’s outta here! (Except for leftovers, which usually grow green fuzz before getting tossed.)
9. I have moved 24 times – Memphis; Tulsa; Longview TX; Mobile AL; Nashville; & Anchorage are among the list – though I was born in Kentucky, moved away, came back to graduate High School, moved away again, & now live back here. Full circle.
10. If I could live anywhere, it would be somewhere on the coast. Oregon, maybe.
11. I HATE to read instructions. I am totally dependent on my 14-year-old son to program the dvd recorder, replace the ink cartridge in my printer, and un-jam the copy machine.
12. I have “a thing” for guys in glasses.
13. I have "a thing" for Scottish accents.
14. I am oblivious to vehicles. If my life depended on it, I couldn’t tell you what anybody around me drives.
15. I have read through the entire series of “Little House on the Prairie” books 7 or 8 times.
16. I love to analyze people and try to figure out why they are all so much more difficult than I am.
17. I love email and texting!
18. I HATE talking on the phone. HATE.
19. I am terrible about keeping up with old friends (reference #18) But I really, really, really miss my best Anchorage friends, Neal & Sherri, who still live in Alaska.
20. We do not have cable or internet (at home). Upon discovering this, one of Kacey’s boyfriends asked her if we were Amish. True story.
21. No matter where I am, my husband will always track me down. I’ve decided to think of it as endearing rather than controlling.
22. My long-term memory is amazing. My short-term memory is . . . what was I talking about? 23. I was blessed to be a stay-at-home, homeschool mom for most of 17 years - it was the best.
24. My birthday is October 24th. So every day, (yeah, pretty much every day) when we notice 10:24 on the clock I yell, “It’s ten-twenty-four!” My children sing this goofy little birthday song to me. It’s required.
25. Now that I'm "over 40", I am reluctantly codependent on my reading glasses.
26. I am completely and happily committed to my purse.
27. I never remember to shop for baby showers. Inevitably, I will shop ½ hour before the shower, buying wrapping paper, tape and bows and doing the gift-wrapping in the parking lot. I will ALWAYS forget to buy a tag or card, so during the shower I’m yelling, “That’s from me!” Why do I do this?
28. I love thunderstorms and snow and autumn.
29. If you know who Lynne Truss, Amy Sherman-Palladino, and Nora Ephron are, we are probably already good friends.
30. One can never have too many cool, clicky ink pens.
31. I am the least sympathetic mother I know. Even if it’s a fairly serious illness/injury I take the “oh, suck it up and stop your whining” approach. That’s my way of coping when I’m not able to “fix it”, but that doesn’t comfort my children when they are bleeding or tossing their cookies. However, I am immensely sympathetic to those outside my family. ???
32. I have book A.D.D. - I can have as many as 7 books going at one time and rarely finish any of them.
33. I have worn the same pair of black leather, rabbit-lined gloves for the last 21 winters. My mom sent them to me when I first moved to Alaska. I love them.
34. The concept of the 18-hour bra baffles me. What happens if you wear it 19 hours?
35. I love road trips, but I prefer to be the driver. I think it’s a control thing.
36. In High School, I was the yearbook editor, newspaper editor, speech club vice president, and student director of the band.
37. Disney World really is the happiest place on earth.
38. I could be very happy living in an apartment permanently – I like the small spaces, the sense of community, and the wonderful lack of yard work.
39. I want an iPod really badly.
40. Drawing house plans is my preferred multi-tasking project while I watch tv.
41. My favorite food is pasta.
42. I have a passion for literature, and I’m especially fond of children’s literature. I have read “Goodnight Moon” and “Where the Wild Things Are” a minimum of 1500 times each. (2 kids X every night for 2 years = well, you do the math.)
43. Jane Eyre is my favorite novel, I've read it four times.
44. I frequently break into song for no apparent reason.
45. Yes, I have had my heart broken. Wouldn't wish that pain on my worst enemy. If I had one. Which I don't.
46. I had straight A’s in high school except for the "A" subjects: Algebra & Art. Go figure.
47. On Sunday afternoons, I used to always nap. Now it seems all we have are what I call "Marathon Sundays". Whatever happened to the concept of sabbath?
48. I am a consummate pest and thoroughly enjoy embarrassing my kids.
49. Every night, after Kevin goes to bed, I flip the light on in his room (well, actually it’s his sister’s room ‘cause that’s where he’s sleeping since she left for college). Anyway. . . I flip the light on just long enough for the glow-in-the-dark ceiling stars to shine. Then I flip the light back off and say “PWETTY Stars”. Every night.
50. I’m convinced that Ephesians 6:4a does NOT apply to mothers. Look it up.
51. I bite my cuticles. A lot.
52. I started dating my husband after he broke into my dorm room, trashed it, and blamed it on someone else. What was I thinking???
53. My son said I’m the nicest person he knows. And he said it with a straight face. I think that must mean he doesn’t know very many people.
54. I spend a lot of time in the car.
55. I would like to learn sign language.
56. I love dark chocolate, hot tea, popcorn, cranberry-walnut bread, seafood anything, & almond biscotti.
57. I love trying new restaurants and new food - especially Asian food.
58. I have been a certified childbirth educator and doula. I have been blessed to be part of several births. I missed my calling as a midwife/obstetrician.
59. My second child was born at home. Yes, on purpose.
60. I really like toddlers and teens, but I am not a fan of other people’s babies. Go figure.
61. I did the whole “Earth Mother” thing for about a decade – complete breastfeeding, organic foods, recyclable products, homeschooling, etc. In fact, I nursed Kevin until he could unbutton things on his own, and began homeschooling Kacey back when people asked, “Is that LEGAL?” My family used to ask me when I "got weird".
62. I used to play the piano and was 1st chair clarinet in band for 6 out of 8 years.
63. When I was a Brownie Girl Scout in Nashville, I had to kiss the governor of Tennessee for a newspaper photo op. I was mortified.
64. I never get tired of listening to Carole King, Simon & Garfunkel, Eric Clapton, James Taylor, Elton John, and Carly Simon. I am such a child of the 70’s.
65. I’m a compulsive multi-tasker.
66. Kevin is teaching me to play chess. It’s really hard to multi-task while playing chess.
67. I was voted “Outstanding Citizen” by my senior class. All that means is I wasn’t “Most Talented”, “Most Likely to Succeed”, or “Best Looking”.
68. I always clean the kitchen and start a load of laundry before I go to bed.
69. I rarely make my bed. Seems like such an exercise in futility.
70. I love to play games (except Monopoly!), and I especially like to play cards with friends.
71. I especially-especially like to play “Scene It, Shout About the Movies, and Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon” with Kacey.
72. I work logic problems for fun.
73. Sometimes I feel an overwhelming urge to bite someone. Anyone. I don’t know why.
74. I’m irresistibly drawn to organizers and storage containers of all shapes and sizes. To quote Jerry McGuire, they "complete me".
75. I don't enjoy being at home nearly as much as I used to.
76. I LOVE my jobs.
77. When I grow up, I hope to find something productive to do with myself.
78. I’m love my traditional Church of Christ background, and, even more, I loved breaking out of it.
79. The treadmill in my bedroom makes a great clothes rack.
80. When I was in junior high, I kept scrapbooks on Shaun Cassidy, Barry Manilow and the Bay City Rollers.
81. Clearly, I don’t embarrass easily.
82. Sarcasm rules, and I am the reigning queen.
83. I get really excited when I watch a film with good editing.
84. I am a complete videophile, but I only like watching a movie with someone else who enjoys it, or someone who has never seen it but I think will enjoy it. Watching movies alone doesn’t work for me. I’d rather read or browse the internet.
85. I wish I’d had more children.
86. I dream that one day the bathroom project that began in 1995 will actually be completed. Mind you, it’s only a dream.
87. I explained the “birds and the bees” to my daughter when she was 5 - at her request.
88. Tomatoes are vegetables not fruit, I don’t care what they say. Fruit tastes GOOD.
89. My husband and I have absolutely NOTHING in common. We’re like Eddie Albert & Eva Gabor. But with WAY less jewelry. Welcome to Green Acres.
90. My favorite shoes are: NONE. I like my bare feet.
91. Scrapbooking is my creative outlet. Plus, cropping is very therapeutic. Especially if you crop off the heads of people you don’t like.
92. I love jazz bands, Broadway musicals, Drum Corps competitions, and symphonies.
93. I graduated from the University of Alaska, with a journalism major and photography minor. 94. I can’t tell (or remember) a joke to save my life.
95. If there is a contest drawing or a door prize, my name will usually be the one drawn. I’m just lucky that way.
96. I could live in a Borders or Barnes & Noble bookstore. Though, after a couple of days, I might miss showering.
97. I do not understand the concept of indoor pets. They smell, shed, cost money, chew, pass gas, and bark. But, come to think of it, so do boys.
98. Tulips, all colors, are my favorite flowers.
99. According to Stanford-Binet, my IQ is 152. But, then, they don’t know that sometimes I’ll wear my shirt inside-out all day and never notice.
100. My favorite scripture is Philippians 2:5-15. After writing 100 things, I still know: It’s not about me.