December 28, 2009

duh

SocialInterview is one of Facebook's applications. It asks you random questions about people on your friend list. Today, Emily, one of my very gifted former literature/writing students was asked, "Would Stephanie make a good perfume salesperson?"

She answered "DUH."

So I responded: Font size


"1. Being the best-smelling person you know, is not a viable reason for assuming I would be a good salesperson, because sales is definitely NOT my calling.
and
2. "DUH." You answered "DUH?" You're a writer! Write!"

Emily apologized, "I had a moment of weakness. Forgive me. What I meant to say was, "Yes, I'm sure she would be splendid as a perfume salesperson." But, since you deny my claim, I revoke it."

I then told her THAT answer is why she made an "A" in my class!

Emily then added that she also made an 'A' in my class, "because I'm your favorite. Don't forget I'm your favorite."

To which I responded . . . "DUH"

The final response from Emily simply stated, "You ma'am, win at life."

Just one of several bright spots in my day.

December 23, 2009

reasons I am too scroogey to put up a tree this year

1. The kids and I put up three Christmas trees each holiday season from 2000 until 2006. This year I decided to put up: None. Not one. My mother's house, on the other hand, is decked out like the Christmas edition of Southern Living. It's beautiful. It's amazing. Every nook and cranny (is that even how you spell "cranny"? and just exactly what IS a "cranny"?) is decorated with trees and garland (the real green stuff, not the cheesy tin-foil looking stuff) and ribbon and swirly twigs and oversized ornaments that spin and white lights and . . . well, so as to not throw the space/time continuum out of whack, it is important for universal harmony that I do absolutely nothing.

2. I don't have room this year. Seriously. The cool desk that is supposed to be in the living room is still in the den where the "tree spot" is because the living room, where the cool desk is supposed to be, is still "under construction" and I am stuck with a ginormous roll-top desk sitting in the middle of the room that hasn't yet found its way to Goodwill, plus there are no curtains in the living room, and because there are no curtains in the living room, this room gets really cold, and since the rolltop desk with the computer is right next to this cold, curtainless window, a space heater is plugged into the outlet where the tree would be plugged in, you know, were there room for it, which, of course, there is not. (inhaling)

3. The kids want to go to Nana's house to spend Christmas Eve/Day, so . . . what's the point in decorating if we aren't going to be HERE on Christmas to enjoy it? Of course, maybe the reason they want to go to Nana's is BECAUSE it is decorated. Oh, the vicious cycle.

4. Most of my loved ones are not Christmassing with me this year. How can you expect me to be in a festive mood when my favorite people are eslewhere? Besides, I doubt any of them put up Christmas trees. And they're the best people I know. So, clearly I'm in good company.

5. It seems that "Santa Baby" is the most overplayed Christmas song now. Good grief. That's enough to make anybody scroogey.

6. The utility room, where the Christmas tree and subsequent boxes of decorations are stored, is blocked by a plethora of surplus wedding pretties that I have procrastinated dealing with since last August. And by "last August" I mean "last year in August". I'm just sayin'.

7. My sweet little friend, Ashley offered to wrap herself in tinsel and lights and come stand in my living room. That seemed to be a fun and non-traditional solution to my treeless dilemma, however, she has not followed through with her offer. Ash, when you were, you know, squeezing seven pounds of newborn out of your body a few months ago, who was THERE FOR YOU? Not to give you a guilt trip or anything, I just think it would be great bonding time for us if you were here right now, looming over me as I type, tastefully decked out in twinkle lights. Of course, you'd have to share an extension cord with the space heater.

8. Not putting up a tree leaves me much more time for holiday baking.

Commence laughter now.

9. I'm walking around in a perpetual state of distraction this year wondering where I misplaced my time machine. Maybe Someday I'll find it. Anyway, Kacey texted this afternoon to ask me what time we're supposed to be at my grandmother's for Christmas Eve tomorrow night, and the only thing I could think to respond was "THAT'S TOMORROW NIGHT???" Seriously, didn't we celebrate Easter just a few weeks ago?

10. I couldn't come up with a #10 reason for being too scroogey to put up a tree this year, so I just called Kevin into the room and asked, "Why didn't we put up a tree this year? Go!" And he said it was because HE didn't want to, HE didn't want to crawl into the death trap we call a utility room to retrieve the boxes, HE didn't want to untangle tree lights, HE didn't want to fluff the tree branches, yada yada. So, apparently, the REAL reason I didn't put up a tree this year was not scroogey at all. I, unlike Scrooge, am giving my slave-boy a break.

God bless us, everyone.

Merry Christmas to all of you. May you spend the day with people you love.

December 21, 2009

unmet expectations

Okay, you people know I like to make you laugh. I like to find the humor in life, at least to the best of my ability, because there is not much sense in wallowing in the "what if" and "poor me" stuff. Today, however, I just want to remind you that, while I hope and pray you are all having a wonderful holiday season, Christmas is not always "Merry" to those around you.

To this day it remains the worst Christmas of my life. My sophomore year of college, my sister's junior year of high school. The H.S. band went to Pasadena to march in the Rose Bowl parade. Mom & Dad, being the amazing and supportive parents they are, chaperoned this 300+ person, 6 charter bus trip . . . this trip which began on Christmas morning and continued until after the New Year. Meaning they LEFT at 4 a.m. on CHRSTMAS MORNING. They were gone for 9 days. Leaving me home alone. All alone. And that's not the bad part. This took place after a devastating break-up with the guy I was going to marry. I was still struggling to get out of bed in the mornings. Still struggling to breathe. So, basically, I spent 200 hours sleeping, crying and hoping for more. I mark that week as the loneliest time in my life.

A few years later, we experienced a very sad, very awkward Christmas as well. It was after my sister died, and we tried to "change things up", start new traditions, do things a bit differently . . . but the hole remained. Not that any loss is not tragic, it's just especially evident in small families. We mostly stared and sighed and felt sorry for ourselves and wondered if we would ever feel like celebrating anything ever again.

Okay, so this is NOT the blog you wanted to read today. They were not times in my life I cherish either. I just want to say that there are a lot of unmet expectations in the lives of the people you encounter day to day. Be alert. Be sensitive. And may you all be blessed with a very Merry Christmas.


12-16-09

December 20, 2009

big head deflation

I have had 16,195 hits on my blog since I put the counter on it back in May.

Kacey says I have a 3/10 rating with Google, which, apparently is pretty good.

I've even been approached a few times lately about doing reviews and linking ads to my blog.

I'm starting to get a big head. (Which is good, actually, 'cause then the rest of me won't look so out of proportion.)

Then I realized I have 2 really, really really good friends who don't use Google Reader, (thanks Sara M. & Jessica) who apparently click on my blog a couple of dozen times a day just to see if I have posted anything. (2 friends x 24 times a day x 7 months = 10,000 hits).

Add to that the number of times I go back and read my own blog because I think I'm hysterical and we've pretty much covered the hits on the counter.

So . . . never mind.

December 18, 2009

my thoughts, your thoughts

Kacey said I have to blog today because she is tired of the "downer" blog. However, I have nothing in particular about which to blog, so you just get random thoughts.

At the recommendation of someone who said my humor reminds him of Alton Brown, I have started watching "Good Eats" at 1 a.m. on the Food Network. Love him. Last Wednesday night I learned popover-making. A useful skill that will serve me well when Kellogg's stops making Pop-Tarts. Which I'm sure will happen right after Satan ice-skates. Or I mow the lawn.

Speaking of good eats, one of the best things about the combination of ministry and Christmas is that people bring you goodies. Lots and lots of goodies. So far this week alone I have been blessed with a Christmas mocha mix, banana bread, homemade peach jam, puppy chow (the powdered-sugared cereal, not the dog food), a loaf of homemade bread, ginger snaps, and two, yes two bags of Lisa Young's Amazing Super Spicy Chex Mix That is The Best Snack Food on the Planet. Lisa always makes an extra bag just for me. I love her.

Despite the bestowal of all things yummy, I am in the least Christmassy-mood I have been in for years. Don't get me wrong, I'm not scroogy or bah-humbuggy . . . I'm my usual "chipper" self. I'm just not really feeling the whole "holiday music" calling. Haven't done any baking. Not been to a concert or a Christmas play. Haven't put up a tree. (Get over it. My baby is almost 17, he will not be scarred for life.) And the only things I really want are not things that can be bought, so . . .

Does it make me a terrible person that I really want to see the Meryl Streep movie where she has an affair with her ex . . . ?

Kacey did, however, find a fun accent chair for the living room. It's polka-dotty. I love it.

Janice asked for the official living room final color. I ended up combining a bit of all the gallons and pints I had accumulated of Cavern Clay, Cinnamon Clove, LaFonda Copper, and Roasted Squash. Add to those names the obvious Longhorn Rust I whined about for several weeks and Kacey's Pumpkin Spice Latte. I toyed with naming the color something unifying like "LaFonda's Cinnamon Squash Longhorn Latte in a Clay Cup" but that seems a bit wordy and more than just a little confusing. I thought about giving it something symbolic like "West Texas Sunset", but I'm not a big fan of the state in general, much less the west half, so that idea got tossed. I like the presidential idea of referring to the living room simply as "The Tangerine Room". Maybe I should have a "paint naming" contest? Maybe I should just call it "Bob"? Your thoughts?

December 11, 2009

who, me?

I'm complicated, and not so much. I love people, I hate being in groups of new people. I have the best friends in the world, almost all of them in their 20's and 30's. They teach me to look at life through very different lenses. I am not at all artistic, but I am creative. I'm right-handed, but very middle-brained. I'm great with words, but stink at puzzles. I'm a control freak, I talk too much, and I have to be careful not to interrupt. I like to strike up conversations with people I don't know while waiting in line. I like being challenged. I like to read books I don't think I will agree with. I almost never get angry. I never yell - okay, once in 1998. I love mothering. I have the BEST relationship with my kids, and though they are practically grown, I don't feel that my job as a mom is finished. I love hanging out with teenagers. I love that they text and facebook and talk to me about important things and stupid things. I really wish I'd had more children. My heart breaks for kids who aren't loved. I have great parents and I'm a very even balance of both of them. I married my polar opposite. I love my job and the team I am blessed to be part of. I love our weird and broken church. I hate dealing with money. If I never had to pay a bill or balance an account or plan a budget, it would be alrighty, okie dokie with me. I don't like to spend money on myself. Okay, on clothes maybe. I like to give money away. It seems like the right thing to do with money I get paid from a job I love so much I would do it for free anyway. I don't care about vehicles even a little bit. I bite my cuticles when I'm nervous or bored. I love all weather except HOT. I actually enjoy cooking, it's the planning ahead part I dislke. I have no patience for people who play the "poor pitiful me" role over stupid things. I panic, I'm talking cold sweats and dying a little inside, everytime I get put on the spot . . . I need time to prepare. I like to drive. I love to learn new music. I love to crank up the stereo as high as I can stand it and sing at the top of my lungs when no one else is around. I love to quiz Kevin on music trivia. I love when he quizzes me right back or sticks his headphones on my ears and says, "Hey, I think you'll like this". I've wanted an iPod for 3 years but still don't have one. I love to communicate in most every way - except by phone. I'm a notorious multi-tasker. I love to plan and organize, but I'm not always good at the follow-through. I'm punctual. I'm not a collector of things, but I highly value friendships and memories. I procrastinate jobs that can't be done in one sitting. I can't make a decision to save my life for fear that it will be the wrong one and I will have to live with it - for a long time. I love movies. I hate watching movies by myself. Wearing glasses makes me feel claustrophobic, but I am progressively needing them more and more. The thought that in 9 months I could (potentially) be a grandmother is completely terrifying. I'd rather pay for something I don't want or didn't get than deal with customer service. I overtip bad waiters/ waitresses because I figure they must be having a lousy day and need the encouragement. I neglect taking care of myself because I just haven't thought it was that important. I hate to cry. I cry at everything. Except when I was on progesterone which made me not feel emotion at all. Ever. About anything. Decided crying wasn't nearly so bad as not feeling. I'm always the last person to leave, as I don't want to be left out of anything. I HATE surprises. I'm not nearly as good a person on the inside as I want to be. I'm grateful for the friends in my life who make that "inner me" want to be more authentic. I love color. I love the smell of hazelnut coffee. I love sushi. I like basketball. I hate going to bed with a dirty kitchen. I enjoy folding laundry. I dislike yardwork of all kind. I like baths, not showers - including baby and wedding showers. I like history and literature - especially children's books. Childbirth, when done right, is fascinating and empowering. I love to write. I hate not knowing what to write about. When I have to shop, I prefer to do it online. I want to pinch the heads off of disrespectful kids and the parents who allow them to be disrespectful. I hate judgmental attitudes. Although in saying that, it kind of makes me judgmental. I'm a klutz and a bit of a nerd. I used to avoid issues, not so much now. I'm a night owl who also happens to wake up early. I intentionally try every day to make somebody's life a little better. I'm very affectionate. I'm funny. I use sarcasm like salt. I'm trying to use it more like, say, paprika: occasionally, and only when appropriate. I'm also quick to compliment. I am not happy with myself at all, but I do like myself. I like to think I'm a realistic optimist. Or maybe an optimistic realist. I used to believe everything was black and white. Now, I see everything in shades of gray. Which, for someone who likes color, is very disorienting. I used to think life was about getting through it successfully by doing as few bad things as possible. How ridiculously STUPID is that? Now I understand life is my opportunity to love those around me, not because I have to, but because I want to. Because God loves me and I love Him right back. Because He knows every detail, every thought, every flaw, every single fall - accidental and intentional. He sees me for who I am and, though it doesn't make a bit of sense to me, He is crazy in love with me and thinks I'm something special. I believe that with all my heart, even when I don't always act like it. That's who I am.

December 08, 2009

uber tuesday

Family Night.

The son is sprawled out on MY bed, watching tv and getting Cheese-Nips crumbs on the sheets.

The husband is sprawled out on the den couch, watching 30 second snip-its of every channel between 2 and 423, because he suffers from remote-control A.D.D.

I reorganized 4 kitchen cabinets, folded laundry, read 5 chapters in my latest book, and am now hoping for somebody interesting to show up on my Facebook chat box.

I'm sorry the rest of you are not experiencing the same uber-excitement that is Tuesday Night.

Then again, maybe you are.

December 05, 2009

in the market

After completing a 3 hour road trip where an antifreeze leak not only kept us smoking a good deal of the time (I should clarify: the car was smoking, Kevin and I were not), but also left us driving in 31 degree weather with no heat, I am reminded that I am in the market for a vehicle.

Now, when I say I am 'in the market' for something, this merely means I am beginning to think about a purchase. I tend to think and plan and shop for an item for so long that by the time I decide to pull the trigger, I've lived with it long enough mentally that I'm tired of it and want something different. I've been 'in the market' for new living room chairs since this time last year and still have yet to purchase any appropriate seating for said room.

That being said, I am in the market for a perfect vehicle.

It should:

*Have seating for 8. Or better yet, 10.
*Have a relatively short wheel-base so it's easy to park.
*Have cup holders wide enough and deep enough to adequately contain a Sonic Route 44 whatever-I'm-in-the-mood-for-that-day Happy Hour drink.
*Have voice activated heat/air and stereo controls. You know, Distracted Driving is Deadly Driving.
*Get 30+ miles to the gallon.
*Be self-cleaning, like my oven. Although, in all fairness, I actually USE my vehicle, so that gives the oven an unfair advantage.
*Have a nifty little compartment specifically for my diva sunglasses.
*Have a center console large enough for my purse so Kevin doesn't inadvertantly buckle my purse straps into his seatbelt, leaving me frustratedly fumbling trying to find a lipgloss while driving.
*Be a pretty color. Not like "SWEET, there goes Stephanie!" pretty color, but more like "That vehicle is nicely understated and is unobtrusive in the driveway and doesn't at all clash with the shutters."

There. Like I told Sara earlier this week, "I am not that picky".

To which she replied, "MmmmHmmm."

November 28, 2009

my first cell phone. a love story.

I have a new cell phone. It's a bit newer than my first one, I didn't invest much in it, and it's pretty basically a good functional cell phone.

Problem is, I don't love it. Not that there's anything wrong with it, in all fairness. It's just that I didn't really want a new phone. I really LOVED my first phone. We had the perfect relationship, this little Nokia and I. But it broke. I scratched up the screen, I wore out the battery, and there was a red half-heart-shaped piece broken off the body leaving exposed wires and I'm still not sure how that happened. Apparently it just couldn't take the pressure of living with me on a day to day basis.

And though we were only together for a couple of years, the first phone holds so many memories that I found I couldn't transfer to the second one. And trust me, I tried. I even read the manual. There were special ringtones like the "Peanut Butter Jelly" one that let me know when one of my doula clients was in labor, there were text messages from Sara encouraging me to "breathe in and breathe out" on days when it just seemed too hard to remember to do it on my own, photos of Emily M. on our "Countdown Calendar" weekend, video clips of Kevin blowing pizza bubbles (trust me on this, you don't want to know), audio files of Mike singing silly songs, and thousands of other clips of my life that are irreplacable and very special to me.

So though I committed to a long-term contract with this second phone, I'm still carrying the broken one around in my purse. What can I say? My heart will always belong to the first one.

November 24, 2009

traditionally untraditional . . . or why Kevin probably shouldn't be allowed to eat the Rum Cake. A holiday story by Stephanie Reynolds

My side of the family loves to be traditionally untraditional. Especially when it comes to food. For years Mom would get up in the wee hours of the night to baste a turkey, only for us all to admit afterwards that none of us really like turkey. A few years back Dad ordered a Tofurkey or Turducken or somesuch critter combination (just don't say it incorrectly and shock your grandmother . . . ), but it tasted pretty much like it sounds. For the last few years we have thrown caution to the wind and dad has grilled. This year he did ribs with a brown sugar/black peppercorn marinade and a Jack Daniels pork tenderloin. Add double-stuffed potatoes, 9th Street tea, and rum cake and, well, it was nothing short of A. Mazing.

Adding to the traditionally untraditional feel is Mom's flair for drama in decorating. The mantle, the kitchen table, the dining room are completely harvest-festive, down to the little touches like individually moulded butter pats in the shape of fall leaves, that sort of thing. Then we all come to the table in our best (cough, cough) clothes - dad was in his paint-stained pants, Kevin in his black Beatles t-shirt . . . you get the idea.

Here is where I will verbally reprimand my mother for callously engaging in the tacky practice of irreverent holiday jumping. When I said the mantle, kitchen table & dining room were harvest-festive, I should also say the Thanksgiving holiday was confined to those spaces, and those spaces only. Mom and Dad had already completely Decked the Halls for Christmas . . . and the front porch and the den and the garden room and the foyer and all three bedrooms AND THE BATHROOMS. I am so not kidding. Mom's house looks like an issue of Southern Living Christmas . . . she begins decorating in August and finishes getting it put away in June.

I, on the other hand, am contemplating whether or not I want to go to the effort of putting a wreath on my door.

The most bizarre of the traditionally untraditional had to be our dinner conversation. Did we share all the things we are thankful for? No. Did we discuss politics? Barak Obama, the health care system, Nancy Pelosi, Global Warming, Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck's Christmas Sweater, or the economy? Thankfully, no. Was there mention of Michael Jackson's death or Oprah ending her show? A discussion of the best books and movies we have read this year, like Crazy Love or The Blind Side or Where the Wild Things Are or anything Twilight-related by Stephenie Meyer (in book form, not on the big screen). No. No. No. Instead, Kevin nearly stabbed his dad in the face (accidentally . . . at least, I think) with a steak knife, and Mom was displaying a burn on her hand from a decorating mishap. The 10-person, full-table discussion went something like this:

"There are 3 things you should never grab:
a pan right out of the oven, a sharp knife, and a hot glue gun."
"AND OH, THE ARK OF THE COVENANT!" the cowboy instantly interjected.
"Yeah, that would be a bad way to die."
"So that would be 4 things then, not 3."
"So . . . would you rather die by getting chomped in half by a shark
or swallowed whole by a whale?"
"Shark."
"No, whale"
"Seriously?!?!"
"I'm afraid that if the lower half of me was bitten off by a shark,
the upper half would still be alert and know what was happening."
"True, but if you were swallowed whole by a whale,
you might get in there and find out you aren't alone."
At this point, Kevin waves and, pretending to be inside a whale,
says, "Hi Elvis!"
Kevin then goes back to the kitchen to refill his
previously overflowing plate.
"Speaking of dying, how many squirrels have you killed at the bookstore,
Paul?" (Paul is my dad, the bookstore is his business).
"342 glorified rats, all with a single shot 22!"
These potatoes are so creamy.
"Wow, of course none of those squirrels were shot when
Nancy (mom) was around!"
"Of course not, Nana sets them free, then cuts down an oak tree
so the squirrels can find food without having to climb so high."
(At this point mom asks if anyone wants cake.
The answer is a resounding, and unanimous "no").
The conversation continues with my sweet 90-year-old grandmother:
"I used to catch mice and put them in the garbage disposal."
WHAT???????!!!!!!!
She repeats with her quiet soprano voice,
"I used to catch mice and put them in the garbage disposal."
Shock and Awe. Oh, and Disgust.
Kacey turns three shades of green and begins to look
like she is going to lose her recently-eaten holiday meal.
(Again, mom asks if anyone wants cake.
It has been approximately 6 minutes since the last time she asked.
Again, the answer is a resounding, and again unanimous "no!")

Since Kacey is now in a pukey mood, she shares the memories of a "Fear Factor" competition from college when she had just finished drinking a pureed hamburger, peanut butter and DIRT milkshake and was the only remaining female competitor. (Yes, yes. A proud moment indeed in her $80,000 college career.) Kacey tells her end of the table (mostly men):
"After that I quit. The final contest involved eating bull balls."
The mostly female end of the table didn't quite hear her,
so she repeated louder,
"After that I quit. The final contest involved eating bull testicles."
The cowboy then wanted to know why she felt comfortable using the term
"balls" with him, but chose to say "testicles" to the matriarchs.
These potatoes are so creamy.
"I used to eat brains and eggs. I liked brains and eggs."
"Gross. I can't imagine eating brains, though I do like the eggs."
"Hyena eggs?"
"WHAT?"
"You said 'hyena eggs'"
"No I didn't. I said 'I do like the eggs'."
"Oh. Nevermind."
"Speaking of balls, when is Nana going to pass on her
Christmas ornaments to Kacey?"
"HEY! Some of those are MINE!" Kevin objected.
"Yes," Kacey said, "But the Frosty Friends are all mine."
"Fine. But I get all the Star Wars ornaments!"
Yes, because nothing says "Christmas" quite like Darth Vader.
Kevin went back to the kitchen for thirds.
I widened my eyes at him and he shrugged his shoulders and said,
"I can't help it. I'm 16 and this is yummy!"
"Speaking of yummy, anybody want cake?"
"No! But what does everybody want for Christmas?"
"I don't know. I haven't even started thinking about Christmas yet."
"How can you not be thinking about Christmas
when the entire house is decorated for it!?!?"
"I had to start decorating early, we have a church party
here next weekend. Can't relax till it's done!"
"Speaking of relaxing, did I tell you I had a facial last Monday?
It lasted for a full 90 minutes."
"I got a pedicure for Christmas one year. It lasted for 9 months."
"9 months? The pedicure lasted for 9 months?"
"No, the polish on my toenails lasted for 9 months."
Dad interjected,
"Apparently they painted her toes with automotive enamel."
"Really, ya'll, does anybody want cake?"

At this point we imbibed in a rum cake so strong it was illegal for Kevin to eat in most states. Then we cleared the table, put away the cornucopia of autumn decor, and mom began decorating the dining room with a trio of silver glittered Christmas trees.



November 20, 2009

faster than a speeding bullet-point

Sunday:
*Daily visit to Lowe's for my 7th attempt to ascertain the perfect shade of . . . well, I don't know, but somewhere between rust and tangerine. I'll know when I get there. Sara just shakes her head at me and tells me I'm hopeless. She, of course, is right.
*Evening spent getting to know new friends better, and trying to work on a couple of brain teasers from NPR, one being: Name an auto manufacturer and telecommunications company whose names are exact opposites. (The best I came up with is Dodge and Sprint. Not exactly opposites.) It's been 5 days . . . still working on this one.

Monday:
*Paint girl at Lowe's greeted me by name. Well, not by MY name, but rather by my original paint name, "Hey! It's the LaFonda Copper Lady".
*Called mom to go to lunch, but she turned me down. Sad day. Okay, so she already had other commitments, but still . . .
*Went to the movies to see 2012 at the STRONG insistence of daughter-face, who thought it so nice she saw it twice. Now, I like a good action flick as much as the next easily-entertained American, but COME. ON. I rolled my eyes so much I think I may have snapped my optic nerve. And since I dragged a couple of people to the theater with me for this disaster of a disaster movie, I'm sending Kacey a bill for $17.25.
*Belated Birthday Sushi and only 24 days after my actual birthday! Two additional friends, who have never experienced the bliss that is sushi, were supposed to join us, but every time we have made plans to go she has found an excuse to back out. This time she was "sick". Jessica, I think you are suffering from ichthyophobia. Or omophagiaphobia. No! I know, it's consecotaleophobia! (When it's time for Christmas Sushi, we will let you use a fork!)

Wednesday:
*For Kevin, last day of co-op this semester, then guitar lessons.
*For me, an office filled with people all day, making it very difficult to work, work, work.
*I also had to "break up" with a doula client today . . . the most important aspect of childbirth is for everybody to be comfortable with everybody else involved. After our third phone call, I could tell that was not going to be the case, so I did my best to amicably part ways.

Thursday:
*Was planning to go to our Women's brunch . . . when I thought it started at 9. Turns out it started at 10:30. Apparently they hid that tidbit of information in the invitation they gave me. If only someone had told me I actually needed to READ the invitation.
*So, instead, it was just work, work, work, then . . .
*Administration meeting from 5 until . . . whenever it was we finished. This time of year it's all about the budget. Blah. Necessary, but blah.

Friday:
*More work, work, work. (Be it known, when I say "work, work, work" there is NO negative connotation to this. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE my work, work, work!)
*Grocery to stock up on pre-Thanksgiving necessities.
*Friday Night High School Hangout crowd arrived for French Toast and games! No, Erin, there will NOT be cow-chasing tonight, or ever again!
Tonight's Highlights:
**5 females to 1 Kevin. They made him watch Runaway Bride. I love these girls!
**Erin arrived, stood in the living room and observed the multi-paint-layered walls that look like that piece of paper you test color all your nailpolish on when you are trying to find that ONE shade that is NOT orange but blends with your autumn sweaters, then came into the den and said, "Stephanie, your living room is going to be a foot smaller by the time you decide on a paint color!"

Tomorrow:
*Kevin has a Recording Technology workshop to attend; the cowboy, I'm certain, will head to the barn for the morning; and I, well, I will be shrinking the square footage of my living room by adding a coat of pumpkin spice latte to the walls. Wish me luck.

November 17, 2009

a beautiful system of communication

Last weekend at the Youth Conference (Celebration), my co-chaperone and five of our high school girls had a couple of really great late-night girl talks in our cabin. Laughing, crying, sharing . . . the usual heavy, deep and real estrogen-laden conversations. My favorite form of "bonding".

On the last day of Celebration, Aymee mentioned to my son just how much fun we had with our girl talks, then she asked him if the high school boys had experienced similar bonding times.

Kevin replied, "Uh, that'd be a no. We stayed up late watching 'Snakehead Terror." (Which, based on the title, sounded pretty cheesy but I recanted when I discovered the plot: Bruce Boxleitner and Carol Alt battle against mutating fish.)

Aymee was clearly dismayed by the startling revelation that boys don't really do "boy talk" in the same way girls do "girl talk", and she struggled to understand why boys prefer to live like ostriches with their heads in the sand.

Kevin explained, "Men don't share their feelings, we watch tv. It's a beautiful system of communication."

November 12, 2009

bound for independence

He did his chores, plus the dusting and vaccuming.

He practiced his guitar.

He turned in the money he collected from the Youth Group for their Compassion child.

He offered to go to the bank and get lunch for me.

He got all his schoolwork done, including AP biology, without complaint.

He visited with his grandparents.

He went to the gym and worked out for an hour.

He packed his bag for a weekend camp retreat. Knowing he has NEVER successfully packed for a trip without forgetting something vital, like say, his pants, I run down the usual checklist:

"Did you remember to pack your bedding? Pillow? Sleeping bag?"
"Yep."
"Did you remember clean underwear? Pajamas?"
"Yep. Yep."
"Got your toothbrush?"
"Yep."
"Razor?"
"Yep."
"Deoderant? Toothpaste? Shampoo?"
"Yep. Yep. Yep."
"Q-TIPS??? Did you remember to pack Q-tips?"
"Yep!"
"Oh, you did NOT!"
Smiling and nodding his head as he bounded away down the sidewalk he confirmed,
"Oh, YES I did!"


A proud moment, indeed. When he is on his own, he will have clean ears. Clearly, my work as a mother is complete.

November 06, 2009

bait and switch

If you haven't read Mike Cope's blog today. Read it. He's always insightful, but this one is especially wonderful: http://preachermike.com/2009/11/06/the-bait-and-switch-of-contemporary-christianity

discourse with daughter-face

The beginning of Wednesday . . .

Kacey texted: "What is the word for when you attribute human characteristics to something that isn't human, or possibly even inanimate? Nathan and I tried to think of it for an hour last night and we couldn't come up with anything."

And because I'm a good mommy, which you know by now, because I tell you all the time, I answered: "Personification"

She replied: "Are you sure?" (Am I sure? Does she KNOW to whom she is speaking? Of course I'm sure! Even when I'm wrong, I'm sure!)

"Yes," I stated, "Personification is a figure of speech in which inanimate objects or abstractions are endowed with human qualities or are represented as possessing human form, as in 'Hunger sat shivering on the road.' "

She retorted, "No, I just googled it, and the term for which I was searching is ANTHROPOMORPHISM: The attribution of human motivation, characteristics, or behavior to inanimate objects, animals, or natural phenomena . . . BooYah!"

"NOT the same thing," I argued, "as anthropomorphism is a basic cognitive process in which some entity comes to stand for or represent something else. It is more sociological in nature, whereas personification is more literary."

Her reply: "Is TOO the same thing. But Nathan says he was thinking of your word anyway, so it doesn't matter." :o)

Then we discussed her brother dressing up like a log.

November 04, 2009

diaLOG with my son

ME: "So, what's your costume gonna be for the Halloween party?"
KEV: "I dunno. Maybe I'll go as a telephone pole."
ME: "You COULD go as a tree."
KEV: "No, that's boring . . .(long pause) I think I'll go as a log."

He did.

So, six pieces of poster board, a roll of woodgrain contact paper, and some black mesh garnered him a prize for "scariest costume" . . . not because the costume itself was creepy, but because the brain that produced the idea to dress up as a LOG is, apparently, pretty darn frightening.

I told him he should put a nametag on his log costume that read, "Hello, my name is Lincoln." Then I laughed my silly head off.

He didn't think that was funny.

November 03, 2009

overflow

Spiritual
"If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. Whoever
believes in me . . . streams of living water will flow from within him."
"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him,
so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit."

Yes, more water analogies. When you are spiritually dehydrated, there is nothing to "overflow". Hence: burnout. He alone quenches our thirst. He fills us when we let Him.

There are two selfish problems with this: 1) It has to be proactive on my part. Being filled with Him doesn't happen by osmosis just because I'm in the right places with the right people, and 2) Note the language that occurs AFTER you have been filled, "streams will flow" and "you may overflow". Overflow requires a time commitment. Time to be filled and time to be spilled into the lives of others.

Silly
I've always sort of prided myself that I wasn't one of those "girly girls" who has to pee every 53 minutes. You know, the one everybody hates on road trips because you have to stop at every truck stop, rest stop, and 7-11.

Turns out, another by-product of being physically dehydrated is that there is no excess fluid in your body to get rid of. So, imagine my disappointment when I began drinking 72+ ounces of water every day and discovered it didn't matter if I thought I was Wonder Woman or not, "streams of water" still have to flow every 53 minutes.

Water in, water out, so to speak.

And while the "blue restroom" and I share a wall thin enough to hear my male co-workers', uh, cell phone conversations, the "pink restroom" is on the other side of the building, exactly 96 round-trip steps from my desk, resulting in several necessary 3-minute/14-second "potty breaks" throughout the workday. By 5 p.m. this results in a half-hour of time to just "overflow", so to speak.

There is not enough time in my day to run to the girl's room that much. Seriously.

I just thought you needed to be aware.

November 02, 2009

for today, November 2

Outside my window.....
the full moon rising through the trees

in the back yard. One of the joys in life

I never take for granted.





I am thankful....
for my bed. I was just thinking about it last

night when I crawled in. Soooo comfy and warm.

Then I thought about all those sleeping on the

ground and on park benches and on dirty floors.

It's amazing how spoiled I am with the things I consider basics.
From our studies....

Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card. Shawn Baldwin loaned this

book to Kevin last night, so today after Kev went to the gym and

finished up his regular schoolwork, he cloistered himself in his

room and knocked out six chapters. He is reading even still.
I am wearing....

the most comfortable pair of shoes I have owned in a long time.
I am thinking....

about taking off those shoes, now that I am home

and my toes are longing to breathe free.
Around the house....

Waiting for the paint fairy to show up

and finish repainting the living room.

She's had a month and still the walls remain mostly

Longhorn rust. I don't know what her problem is.

The cowboy is just hoping the paint fairy knows how to use a drop cloth.
I am going....
to start dinner. Soon. Really I am.
I am reading....

I am finishing

"The Blind Side", which I have thoroughly enjoyed.




I am hoping....
for Mike to get well and beautiful weather for Celebration this weekend!




I am hearing....
"The Magnificat" in my head. Kelly W. called me earlier and asked

me to sing it to her on the phone. I did. AND I was in the chiropractor's

office at the time. There were some strange looks. Of course,

I was the one making most of them, but still.
From the kitchen....
Chicken Noodle Soup with mushrooms and rosemary and . . . basil.

Made especially for the sick and infirmed. You know who you are.


Now, get well. Seriously.







One of my favorite things....

fall. fall leaves. fall colors. fall weather.
A few plans for the rest of the week.....

getting my house cleaned, getting the bills paid, getting ready for Celebration, getting over myself.




At least, that's the plan. :o)


October 29, 2009

the presents of God

My birthday this year happened to fall during the 2009 Saddle Boy Competition, which though it took place in Murfreesboro this year instead of Fort Worth, was still not the place I would have chosen to spend my birthday had hubbyman not been competing.

But the cowboy WAS competing (and took home a 4th place ribbon in the "In Hand" division), so instead of sushi with Mike & Sara and my kids, I found myself eating bbq and reading a good book in the back of a horse arena. :o)

But even in the midst of Mustangs, Manure and Belt Buckles the size of Rhode Island, I was reminded how blessed I am in the friendship department. Aside from the innumerable obligatory Facebook birthday wishes and dozens of texts and phone calls from friends, family and youth group kiddos:
* The High School girls all left fun little ego-boosting sticky notes on my desk, utilizing the words "best, amazing, favorite, beautiful and fantasticle", and who am I to argue with those adjectives?! :o)
* Lindsay and Parker met me for lunch at Wolfgang's while Kevin was taking his ACT at Lipscomb. Pumpkin Ravioli. Yum.
* Mike & Sara called and sang to me, and you can't not smile when people sing to you. Unless it's strange people singing to you in front of other strange people, like at restaurants, which I hate, but Mike and Sara aren't strange people . . . well, they aren't STRANGERS, and I was quite entertained by the serenade.
* Many of my lovely friends bestowed sweet and very appropriate gifts upon me - everything from organic dark chocolate and cute clicky pens to books and earrings and homemade Cranberry-Walnut Bread (accompanied with a "God story" from Sara M. that made me cry and feel, oh, so special.)
* Boy Jr. gave me a nifty little iPod amplifier and other musical goodies.
* My parents took us out for AMAZING crab legs, (after the weekend) and are gifting me with curtains for the very large, very bare living room windows. (That is, once I find curtains that work with the Texas Longhorn wallcolor. . . like maybe Dallas Cowboy blue.)
* Daughter-face drove down from Indy so she wouldn't miss my birthday. She also brought a big bag filled with jewelry and some strange fabric things she called "PA JA MAS" (I've heard of them, just not quite sure I've figured out how to properly use them!)
* Preceeding the Cranberry-Walnut Bread, was this photo, which Philip brought with him when he also drove to Murfreesboro so he wouldn't miss my birthday! (Or maybe it was because he actually came to see the mustang competition!) Anyway, when he handed me this picture, my reaction was 3-fold:
1) "OOOOHHHH, pictures of the kids!"
2) "OH! They are holding birthday wishes for me!"
3) "Oh my goodness! They got all dressed up for the pictures!"

Let me tell ya, kids just don't get any cuter than these two. They just don't. Seriously.

The birthday is ongoing and will not be considered official until there is sushi. And there will be sushi.

Thanks to all of you for going out of your way to bless me and make my Birthday Week special. Having you as friends is the best present of all.

October 24, 2009

H2Overrated

I hate water.

Well, not entirely. I love rain; long, hot baths; the ocean; and watching the dust rinse off the windshield from an interior view at the carwash.

But I hate to drink water, even though I know I need it. It makes me feel queasy. Oh, I make feeble attempts from time to time to increase my H2O intake, but never with any lasting results. Last year, my darling Sara even stuck a post-it on my lovely BPA-free pink Camelback water bottle reminding me to "refill 3x a day for best health". I tried. Sort of. At least I looked at the note every day and felt semi-guilty about NOT refilling. And guilt is good. I mean, KNOWING you are supposed to do something is ALMOST as good as actually doing it, right?

But you see, I'm never thirsty. Ever. Sometimes I do well to refill the water bottle once a week. No joke. If I do drink, it's usually something loaded with caffeine from Happy Hour at Sonic. At restaurants my glass is frequently untouched, and rarely refilled, regardless of the contents.

So, a few weeks back, I was having the Most Amazing Late-Night Chicken Nachos at Sunset Grill in Nashville with 5 of my Favorite People in the Entire World, when Mike starts nagging at me to drink some water. "But I'm not thirsty!" I protest. "In fact, I'm never thirsty!"

That's when God used a weird little moment to teach me a really big lesson.

Sara said, "You're never thirsty because you are dehydrated. You are always dehydrated."

I'm never thirsty because I'm chronically dehydrated. (This prompted quite a bit of research to verify that she was, in fact, completely correct. When you don't get enough water for a long enough time, your body stops triggering the thirst mechanism.) Instead, it lets dehydration take its toll and manifests itself in dozens of subtle ways like dry skin, backaches, swollen ankles, forgetfulness (because apparently my brain, and yours, is 75% water), lowered metabolism, liver toxicity, headaches . . . and EMOTIONAL INSTABILITY.

WHAT? Not drinking water has made me an emotional basket case.

Lightbulb on.

I am now refilling 3x a day for best health. And sanity.


Leave it to God to use this 18-month-long physical analogy to also teach me a spiritual lesson. But that's next blog.

Oh, and Happy Birthday to Me. I'm writing this from the Hyatt Place's computer/business center before I head down to Cool Springs to have lunch with my neice, nephew and DAUGHTER-FACE who surprised me by driving down to celebrate with me! (Poor Kevie-poo is taking his A.C.T. this morning. You can say a prayer for him!)

October 19, 2009

. . . and it was still hot.

One of my favorite things in all of life is children's literature. Especially great children's literature. Maurice Sendak's "Where the Wild Things Are" earned the number one spot on my picture book list back when Kacey was a toddler. Having read it to both my children every single night of their young lives, even now, some 10 years past any regular reading of it, I can still quote each page.

"The night Max wore his wolf suit,
and made mischief of one kind, and then another,
his mother called him 'Wild Thing!'
And Max said, "I'll eat you up!'"

I have been anticipating the movie for quite some time now, and it did not disappoint. Wild Things was not at all what I expected, and it is most definitely not a children's movie. It is deep and dark, heavy with troubled relationships and characters who portray each and every one of us at some point in our lives: angry, neglected, negative, hurt, quiet, needy. But it is also thought-provoking and hopeful and emotional.

This movie didn't play down to its audience, didn't feel the need to explain itself or make excuses. It portrayed, through the eyes of a hurting and confused Max, a way to deal with the reality in his life by running away into fantasy.

"That very night in Max's room
a forest grew, and grew, and grew
until his ceiling hung with vines
and the walls became the world all around.
And an ocean tumbled by with a private boat for Max.
And he sailed off through night and day
and in and out of weeks
and almost over a year
to where the wild things are."

I loved the imagery of home in this movie . . . the igloo, the fort in his bedroom, the "sleeping pile", the Wild Things fortress. Places of comfort and happiness that came crashing in with a word, an action, a threat. Places of security that, in a mere moments, became places of suffocation.

'And Max, the king of all wild things,
was lonely and wanted to be where someone
loved him best of all.'

And while the movie took great liberties with the story, taking it from whimsical to near melancholy, it stayed wonderfully true to the illustrations and the eccentric feel of Sendak's story. When the "wild rumpus starts", the sounds the movie creatures made were some of the sounds I made up myself when they
"roared their terrible roars and
gnashed their terrible teeth and
rolled their terrible eyes and
showed their terrible claws."

Max's theatrical journey left me in tears, and I completely loved everything about it.

"And he sailed back over a year
and in and out of weeks
and through a day
and into the night of his very own room,
where he found his supper waiting for him
. . . and it was still hot."

October 18, 2009

dental anguish

brief wave of panic
Experienced a brief wave of panic this afternoon as I was brushing my teeth with my Sonicare toothbrush and the battery died midway through the process. So I'm standing at the bathroom sink thinking to myself, "Great. Now what am I gonna do???"

Once it dawned on me that I could still rinse and spit manually, the brief wave of panic subsided.

I am so not kidding.

I guess even crooks care about hygiene
While I'm on the subject of toothbrushes, I keep a small makeup bag in the top drawer of my office file cabinet. Nothing special, just a small black bag with one each of all the basics: toothbrush & paste, foundation, blush, powder, mascara, deoderant, hairspray, and, uh, other assorted female stuff. This morning I went to my now-always-unlocked office (you know, since the punks kicked in my door and broke it) to retrieve one of those assorted female items from my makeup bag.
They stole my makeup bag.

I am so not kidding.

I guess after eating all of Mike's cookies, they felt the need to brush the crumbs out of their guilty teeth.

Sheesh.

October 16, 2009

yeah, a big baby

I am used to having a husband who works midnights. We've had this schedule for so many years, I don't even think twice about staying alone in an empty house. It's just never been a big deal for me. Then again, I've never been given a reason to feel insecure about it.

Yesterday I was laughing off the church break-in a bit. My computer was not taken and neither was Kevin's laptop (which, he points out "has a floppy drive, Mom. Not even thugs want it.").
This morning when I came in to work, I knew I would be alone. I couldn't bring myself to come in the door I use normally, because it enters to a dark hallway, so I pulled up under the canopy and came in the front doors, flipping on lights as I went through, you know, 'cause if there are any thugs in the building I want them to get a good view of me falling on my face as I attempt to run away.

About 4 feet from my office door I heard a man sneeze. Seriously. Sounded like it came from my office. So I'm now totally freaked out.

I went right back outside and sat in my car. The cowboy was at work, so I was out of luck there. I debated about calling the Sheriff's dept. to see if they would come do a "walk through", but I really didn't want to look like a baby. So I tried calling Ian, 'cause
1) he lives close by,
2) I don't care if he thinks I'm a baby, and
3) I figured he would bring some macho GI Joe grenade launcher and check things out . . but he didn't answer his phone.
So, instead, I texted Mike, thinking at least he would be empathetic, he would give me some sense of "it'll be okay." He responded with "Hmmm". I think he believed me to be a drama queen. So I drove around the building to see whose car might be there, so I could ascertain the identity of the sneezer. There were no other cars but mine. Now I'm feeling a bit paranoid and second-guessing what I heard. Or thought I heard. Did I REALLY hear a man sneeze? Yes I did. I definitely heard a man sneeze.

I drove back around under the canopy and stared into the building, trying to decide exactly how I could hook up my computer and work from the car, when somebody knocked on my passenger window.

This is when I experienced a rather large myocardial infarction, complete with the bright light and the sound of St. Peter's voice.

Turns out it was the church's next door neighbor coming to borrow tables. He happened to be walking outside my office (and, apparently, sneezing) at precisely the moment I was arriving. Lousy timing. Funny. But lousy.

So, I have decided to pray myself through this ridiculous feeling of insecurity and get to work.
Right after I blog, of course.

October 15, 2009

they shattered my security

Some time back I blogged about Kevin & Mike shattering my happiness.

But this is different. This was . . . a violation of security.

As we were finishing up a late night meeting last night around 10, I settled myself at my desk to stay a few minutes longer than the guys so I could send out some emails. Before he and Terrell left, Mike said, "Just so you know, the [church down the road] was broken into a couple of nights ago." Well, that prompted me to NOT want to stay alone in the building after dark, so I went ahead and left when the guys did.

I had a dream then that Sandy asked me to drive her home from church because her husband was going to stay at the building and secure all the doors and "stakeout" the building in case of prowlers.

This morning early, Terrell called to say our church had been broken into. They kicked in our office doors, rummaged through our things, stole cameras and computers and cash, and generally made a mess out of things.

We spent the morning talking to deputies, trying to remember what went where, calling insurance agents and banks and security companies and carpenters and ISPs. Not to mention cleaning up doggie doo from a stray that had wandered in and "done his job" in several locations after the doors were left open. After the Sheriff's Dept. dusted my office for fingerprints, (I discovered, unfortunately, that "dusting" my office does NOT leave it cleaner than they found it!) I spent the rest of the morning cleaning up my office - to include antibacterially de-crookifying my water bottle and Brita water filter in a Monk-like fashion, 'cause I don't know who these guys were, but you better believe I don't want any of their nasty germs to go along with their nasty behavior. And, I know they weren't likely to drink out of my water bottle, but, hey, they ate cookies in Mike's office, so who's to say?

Anyway, the place where I generally feel incredibly safe, even when alone, now feels, well . . . strange.

I don't think insurance can replace that.

October 12, 2009

longhorns and lattes

Paint Stalking
Okay, so I've been stalking the idea of painting my living room for two years now, but I never could decide on a color. Finally, back in the spring, I kept running into this not-quite-persimmon, but lovely shade of orange. But not. So hard to describe. Finally bought the paint (officially called "Cinnamon Clove"), and my niece painted the room when she was here a couple of weeks ago. She did a GREAT job painting, HOWEVER, it then became the proverbial picking-the-petals-off-the-daisy for me - "she loves it, she loves it not, she loves it" . . . Yeah, she really loves it NOT. Kacey texted to ask if it was the color of her yummy pumpkin spice latte. No, no it's not. It's the color of the Texas Longhorns, and it is not working in what I hope will soon be a very contemporary multi-functional dining space.

SOOOO, I went to Sherwin-Williams, picked a new color, Cavern Clay, which was VASTLY different than the Longhorns Rust color, paired it with my Bamboo Shoot & Blackberry accent colors. Loved it, bought a gallon of it, came home and painted a square on the wall, and let it dry.

Turns out, Cavern Clay is also the same color as the Texas Longhorns. Back to square one. Or paint three. Whatever.

A Bit Sad, but the Right Decision (part 1)
Listed my rolltop desk and antique upright piano for sale this morning. A bit sad, but the right decision.

A Bit Sad, but the Right Decision (part 2)
I am NOT a shoe person. I buy one comfy pair of black loafers and wear them every day for 8 months. The heels on last year's black shoes collapsed, so when I tried them on this winter, they forced me to walk like a peg-legged pirate. And since there is frost on the ground and I have still been wearing sandals, I had no choice but to break down and go shoe shopping. I finally found a pair in the mall. Loved them, bought them, came home and wore them. Turns out, they really hurt my feet. So, I plan to spend some time this afternoon re-shoe shopping. A bit sad, but the right decision.

A Bit Sad, but the Right Decision (part 3)
I also plan to spend some time this afternoon phone shopping. I need a new one. My lovely little red Nokia flip phone that I have blogged about on numerous occasions is nearly impossible to read in daylight. A seriously scratched up screen. When Christina texted to ask how many "desserts we were needing" and I read "buzzards we were feeling", I knew it was time. I want an iPhone. I really want an iPhone. I have decided NOT to get an iPhone. A bit sad, but the right decision.

That's my update. Have a GREAT Monday!

September 30, 2009

Mommy Cake
Went to eat sushi with Ashley last Friday. When the sushi arrived, beautifully arranged and brightly colored, her 2 year old daughter pointed and said, enthusiastically, "CAKE!" Ashley gave her a piece while trying to explain to her that it wasn't really "yummy cake" but more a "fish cake". Don't think she really grasped the concept until she took a bite. She turned up her nose, handed the piece of sushi back to Ashley and said, "Mommy cake."

Let the Sunshine In

The other day I went into Mom's house. It was really dark. I mean REALLY dark. And it was the middle of the day. For a minute I thought the power was out. I even asked, "WHY IS IT SO DARK IN HERE?" Then I took off my sunglasses . . .

Yeah. Not my, uh, "brightest" moment.


Just Say No
(The following story is not intended, in any way, to make light of drug abuse and addiction. We take it very seriously and feel for those who struggle with it.)

We don't do drugs in our house. And when I say we "don't do drugs", I mean if you come to visit and get a headache, you will not find anything in our cabinets to alleviate your pain, unless chocolate works for you.

It became a running joke in our family, years ago, when the "Just Say No" public service ads came on tv, for me to say, "Hey Kacey, Hey Kevin, Don't Do Drugs!" Then it evolved. Anytime anyone on television would say, "Talk to your kids about drugs", I would say, "Hey Kacey," or "Hey Kevin, Don't Do Drugs!" And, since we're fans of repeptitive humor, this has happened pretty much weekly in our household for some 10 or 12 years. So much so, that when I say, "Hey Kacey" or "Hey Kevin" they will conclude the statement, "Yeah, yeah, don't do drugs."

So this morning Kevin and I are going through our usual routine of emptying the dishwasher, eating breakfast, folding laundry, putting on makeup (this one would be limited to me), all while watching the Today Show. They did a segment on the rise of marijuana use among professional women in their 30's & 40's, when my son says,

"Hey Mom, Don't Become a Casual Recreational Pot Smoker."

September 25, 2009

only if you enjoy the holy grail

The cowboy is in Georgia for another horse thing this weekend. (He will be riding a real horse, not just clopping together two empty halves of a coconut.)



Lindsay came to visit AND cooked dinner. (Pasta Alfredo, not lambs and sloths, and carp and anchovies, and orangutans and breakfast cereals, and fruit-bats)



Kacey is jealous that Lindsay came to visit, and is texting to say my mother was a hamster and my father smelt of elderberries.



The usual high school bunch is here to hang out, plus a couple of newbies this week!



Tonight became "Double Feature Movie Night". Can I just say, there is nothing - NOTHING - more hysterical than watching Monty Python's Holy Grail with a room full of teens. An hour later and I'm still giggling at the Holy Hand Grenade: "First shalt thou take out the Holy Pin. Then shalt thou count to three, no more, no less. Three shall be the number thou shalt count, and the number of the counting shall be three. Four shalt thou not count, neither count thou two, excepting that thou then proceed to three. Once the number three, being the third number, be reached, then lobbest thou thy Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch towards thy foe, who, being naughty in my sight, shall snuff it."



The kiddos are having a good time.

*There are four squashed into a loveseat that is only designed to accomodate two.

*There is one naysayer who didn't want to watch this movie, and who continues to say, every 30 seconds or so, how "dumb" this movie is. I didn't really think he meant it until he said it for the 82nd time, so I'm really, really glad he was persistent in voicing his dislike.

*There is an empty plate on the coffee table, that an hour ago, held dozens of brownies. Pretty sure Becca ate 32 of them.

*There are two kids who feel a bit more connected tonight than they ever have before.

*There is one who is well-acquainted with all the jump scenes in this movie and who is enjoying making Samantha jump at all the appropriate times.




I find it also imperative to say it is completely futile trying to watch a good M. Night Shyamalan movie (Good = one with great dialoge, Horrid = "The Happening" with that awful B-movie script) with a room full of teens who chatter incessantly. How can you possibly appreciate Bob Balaban's brilliantly ironic death speech in "Lady in the Water" if you aren't listening, people!?


You can't. Which is why I am now blogging. :o)


September 22, 2009

updating the outdated

My first blog post, some 2 1/2 years ago was "100 Things About Me". I didn't know at the time that topic is generally reserved for your 100th blog, but . . . whatever. Anyway, it dawned on me a few days ago that many of the original "100 Things" from April '07 are already woefully outdated. So, because you are fascinated with my life, or because you have an iPod and happen to be stuck somewhere with wi-fi access and nothing better to read, I have updated the outdated.


3. The numerous nicknames I have had for my kids over the years have morphed into just two: Daugher-Face and Kevie-Poo. In fact, at one of the FOG softball games this summer, Kevin's "groupies" were all cheering for him and they did: "Gimme a K, gimme an E, gimme a V, gimme an I, gimme an E, gimme a POO, whatd'ya got? KEVIE-POO!"

8. I am still not a collector of things, (the exception being the previously blogged-about collection of gross family treasures: baby teeth, gallstones in a little jar, titanium pins from a broken hip, and a shriveled umbilical cord with the shoestring still attached.) I'm seeking therapy.

17. I still love email and texting! (It's like getting letters in the mail, only without a 3 day delivery wait and a liberty bell stamp.) I have added to that a love of Facebook and all things blog-related. I hardly knew what a blog was 5 years ago, and now I have a running list of dozens I keep up with - some I enjoy, some are convicting, some are like bad car crashes - I don't necessarily want to look, but I just can't help myself.

18. I still HATE talking on the phone, but now I know why . . . A) people only call when they want something or when they want to talk ABOUT somebody else. Either option doesn't work for me. B) All the really horrible life-changing news in my life has come to me via the phone.

19. I am terrible about keeping up with old friends, though Facebook has brought many of them out of the woodwork and made my life infinitely richer . . . For example, I can know when a guy I sat 2 rows behind in my Senior English class some billion years ago, feels the need to mow his grass today. :o) Seriously though, I am adding "friends" on a regular basis, some close, some not, plus a very special one I haven't heard from in a lifetime (and which, between you and me, has me totally freaked out.)

20. In April '07, we were still Amish (no cable, internet, or cell phones). Now we have all three, making the original number 21 on the "100 things" list even easier.

25. Even more codependent on my reading glasses, which have gone from 1.25 to 1.75. At last count, there were 8 pairs floating around the house and the office.

26. I have a pretty new purple purse.

35. Still love road trips, still prefer to be in control, but I am completely relaxed when my newly-licensed son is at the wheel. He is a GREAT driver. Clearly he had a good instructor.

41. Well, #41 is probably the most significantly changed of the 100. Pasta has been demoted as my favorite food. If you don't know what replaced it, you haven't been reading my blog very long.

49. Every night, after Kevin went to bed, I would flip the light on in his room so the glow-in-the-dark ceiling stars would shine and then flip the light back off and say “PWETTY Stars”. Every night. It annoyed him. A lot. Which is, of course, why I did it. So one night, after he had spent the evening home alone and I was feeling that I had neglected him that day, I went to tell him goodnight, flipped on the light, and just as the words "PWETTY Stars" began to escape my mouth . . . NOTHING. No stars. Just darkness. He had utilized his precious few hours alone to "de-astronomize" his ceiling. Sad day. Sad night, rather.

54. My musical range has expanded considerably, thanks to my iPod-addict son and the minister-who-shall-remain-nameless in the office next door. They share their musical tastes with me, and I am happy to have my horizons broadened.

56. Coffee has been added to the list of things I love.

58. I have been blessed to be part of 3 more births since my blog was born, (Titus, Aurora, and Garrett the amazing enter-the-world-at-record-speed homebirth baby), with another doula "job" on the horizon.

68. I still always clean the kitchen before I go to bed, but I no longer start a load of laundry until morning thanks to a germophobic friend who pointed out that my clothes are sitting wet for 7 hours just waiting to sour.

79. The treadmill got demoted from my bedroom to Kacey's room, where it no longer gets used as a clothes rack, and where it no longer stares at me like the creepy Geico Cash, making me feel guilty for not using it.

91. Blogging replaced scrapbooking as my creative outlet. I no longer have the time to crop off the heads of people I don’t like.

100. My favorite scripture is still, and will likely always be, Philippians 2:3-15. I never get tired of reading it, and it serves as a much-needed reminder that it's all about Him and NOT about me.