Saturday, December 29, 2007


This was a fun meme to do with a brand new year coming up pretty soon. I found it at MotherPie and adapted it slightly. It gave me the chance to reflect on and evaluate my choices and my life activities.

I think there are some obvious areas from which I could come up with some (gasp) New Year's Resolutions. I hate those things, though, because I feel like I'm just inviting myself to fail by saying them. But I think it's just a mindset. If I rephrase it to something like, "Here are some habits I would like to develop. Let's work on one at a time," I'm much more likely to be successful.

Take Flylady's suggestions, for example. She starts you off with one simple thing: Shine your sink. Clean your sink every night. Well, built into that, of course, is the idea that the dishes will all be done. But if the concept is short and sweet, like "Shine Your Sink", then the rest will follow. I can do that.

As far as food goes, I started reading Potatoes, Not Prozac, and that is a step-by-step food management program that you can do the same way (do you like my code words for diet?). You start with one step, and when you get that, you move on to the next one. Big complicated lists turn me off. Too many steps, too much conformity, and too much structure. None of which appeal to me.

With all of that said, on to my meme. Tag yourself if you want to play and leave me a comment so I can come read!

Still Loving: my PC and high speed internet at home

Still Not: reading my Bible often enough

Still Glad: I said Yes to Jesus

Still Enjoying: sleeping in late whenever I can

Still Doing: things for other people before I do what I want to do

Still Proud: of all our children--they are amazing!

Still Amazed: at how much fun grandchildren are

Still Hoping: to refinish the house to look more like how I envision it

Still Enjoying: watching Friends DVDs

Still Grateful: my family is healthy

Still Wanting: a yellow Volkswagon bug with 70's flowers on the taillights

Still Trying: to blog every day

Still Failing: To go to bed at a reasonable hour

Still Passionate About: social justice

Still Taking up new things: Flylady's advice, bit by bit

Still Dating: my honey

Still Have Not: finished my online classes that are due by Dec 31. I know! Why am I blogging??

Still Working: on throwing away clutter

Still Reading: my email

Still Thinking: about writing that book

Still Wondering: when I'm going to feel grown up

Still Dressing: in jeans

Still To Do: house projects

Still Cherishing: my comfy bed every night when I go to sleep

Still Trying to Never: take what I have for granted

Still Will Aways: practice gratitude

Still, Still: finding something to smile about in every day

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

just READ the directions!

Santa was verrry good to me this Christmas. I've been trying to save up for a Cricut for my scrapbooking pleasure. If you don't know what a Cricut is, a Cricut is a computerized machine that will cut out cool letters and shapes for your scrapbook pages. If you do know, you'll know that there are two of them, a smaller one and a larger one.

The smaller one is the one I had my eye on because I didn't want to wait long enough to save up for the big one. It was almost twice the price. Anyway, to make a long story short, I got the big one for Christmas! My honey spoils me sooo much.

Well, last night after everyone went to bed was the first chance I had to play with it. I step-by-stepped my way through the directions for getting started, but I was so anxious to start cutting something cute out that I just started skimming through to get to the cutting out part.

I found this gorgeous piece of blue paper I wanted to use to cut out the title for a page I wanted to do. Actually, I wanted to scrap my blog post from a couple of days ago. I wanted to add pictures to the text. I could make a two page spread out of it.

There is this "slightly tacky" cutting sheet that you lay your paper on top of. The tackiness holds your paper in place so that when the machine cuts your paper, it doesn't slide around. Cool. I used one of these when I went on the Awesome Girlie Getaway weekend, and I did okay with it.

The directions said to line up your paper with the corner marking. You're supposed to carefully lay the paper in place, press down in the center of the page, and then work your fingers out to the edges and press out all the air bubbles.

So I took this pretty piece of paper, put the corner of it on the corner of the plastic tacky cutting sheet, and I kid you not. The plastic tacky cutting sheet sprang up and attached itself to my beautiful paper, and it WAS CROOKED!

What?! No! The directions didn't say anything about what to do if this happened. I tried to lift the paper up to reposition it, but Tacky Sheet had a death grip on my paper. Pulling it off was like trying to detach a terrified kitten from your sweater when the dog is barking and dancing up and down trying to get too close. Not. Happening.

Okay, fine. I was committed, so I wasn't giving up yet. I sloooowly peeled some paper along the edge. It started coming up, but I just didn't have enough hands. As soon as I let go of one part to get a grip on the next part of the paper, the first part would magically reattach itself to Tacky Sheet! And I couldn't get someone to help me because they were all SLEEPING!

After about twenty minutes, I got it off in one piece, except for one corner that tore off. I ever so carefully repositioned it and smoothed it down in place. I figured out how to type in the titles I wanted. I pressed CUT! The Cricut buzzed and tzzt'd its way around the paper. Okay. Enough. I wanted to see how it turned out, so I stopped after about three lines of words.

Now think about this. Even though it took me twenty minutes to peel that beautiful, thin paper off the incredibly sticky Tacky Sheet, I willingly and knowingly stuck my paper right back on there, thinking that somehow it would miraculously be different the second time around!

In fact this time, I had actually pressed my sheet of paper firmly down onto Tacky Sheet, you know, just in case it wouldn't stay in place. Ha! You could use one of those stinkin' Tacky Sheets for a mousetrap in a pinch. Just drop a few cookie crumbs, and there you go.

It took me another forty-five minutes to get everything off Tacky Sheet, and some of my letters tore apart as I was removing them. There was still some paper residue left on Tacky Sheet when I finally gave up.

I read back through the directions a little more carefully today and I came across this tip: "We suggest you practice on less expensive materials while becoming familiar with the features described in this User Manual." Oh really! Could we have a hint that is a little more vague, please?

And here's the best part. At the end of the English directions, THE VERY END, there is a FAQ that says:

Problem: The cutting mat is too sticky. It's ripping my paper when I try to remove it. **Yes! Do ya think???**

And here is their "solution": Use a craft knife or the Cricut Tools (sold separately) to successfully lift the material from the cutting mat.

Oh, heavenly days! This should have been a WARNING in big red letters at the beginning of the directions.

So THIS is what I was left with. Can you read the title I laid out on the white paper? Yeah, that's right. Somewhere in this there's an object lesson in irony, I think.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

unto us a Savior is born...

We went to a Christmas Eve service last night, and the music was beautiful. As we sat on the long, padded pew singing along to the Christmas carols, I was overcome with a wave of nostalgia. The music, particularly when we sang together in church, was my favorite part of Christmas when I was little.

The choir sang "Lo, How a Rose E'er Blooming" a capella in a gorgeous harmony, and I remembered that my mom used to have a recording of that song. It was as if suddenly I was a child again, sitting on the couch listening to music with her. Tears welled up in my eyes, and a yearning for her swept over me. I think I barely breathed through the entire song.

The service continued with more songs and stories, and once it was over, we made our way out to the car though the crowd of well-wishers and drove home.

There were a lot of gifts, cooking items, and leftovers from our family Christmas Eve dinner get-together that we needed to bring in in the house. It took several trips in and out of the house to get it all inside. Each time I walked out to the car for another trip, the beauty of the silent night sky took my breath away.

The moon and the stars glinted off the light snow that was falling, adding a mystical frost to the very air I was breathing. The sky was simply glorious. I felt such a strong sense of peace outside in the night. I imagined that if I were in Bethlehem, I could just go to that stable, and there He would be, this baby Saviour.

The Lincoln Brewster song, Another Hallelujah, started playing on the little jukebox in my head. Time stood still for a moment, and I stood there singing. As each tiny snowflake drifted quietly to the ground, I just lifted my hands in awe and wonder, worshiping the God who created this beauty. It was a perfect ending of a lovely day.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Recipe For Joy:

  • Take one family

  • Add a conglomeration of opinions, tastes, and attitudes

  • Stir in tolerance and humility

  • Fold in occasional obstacles to develop appreciation

  • Work in substantial amounts of honesty and loyalty

  • Season with a pinch of spice for zing

  • Throw in liberal handfuls of laughter

  • Pour lavish amounts of gratitude and affection over the entire mixture

  • Add grandchildren generously, shake together gently, and enjoy!

Friday, December 21, 2007

my tricky little daughter

My honey and I broke down and bought prepaid cell phones so we could have them in case of emergency. I haven't had a cell phone since they were about the size of a shoebox, so I've been learning the functions on this new phone little by little.

Gee thinks she is so tricky. She's had a cell phone for a couple of years, now, so she just zips through the menu lickety split. She LOCKED MY PHONE! She activated the password. And she just sat there smirking at me when I tried to use it.

She finally told me the password, but I still had to enter it every time I tried to access anything on my phone. I was fuming, but I didn't want her to know. I pasted my fake smile on and glared at her through it. After she laughed at me long enough, she tried to snatch it back so she could fix it. I didn't give her the satisfaction of fixing it for me. If I could figure out that I could text her from my email, I could figure this out, I told her.

"Mom! That's a computer. THIS is a phone. Give it to me!"

I figured it out myself. After she left, I looked it up in the manual for my phone. Online. The computer is my friend.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

news? I don't like news

I think our local paper has spent an awful lot of money on their marketing plan. I have been bombarded with phone calls from telemarketers for at least the last year and a half, trying to sell me on getting the paper delivered. I answered a couple of times, but I got tired of it real fast.

My next strategy was to ignore the calls, because they always came from the same number. Where the heck do 505 area-code phone numbers come from anyway? They certainly are not local for here. Did they hire a bunch of farm kids from South Dakota to make these calls? Anyway, ignoring the calls really hasn't helped because they just keep on calling, and they always call at the oddest times of the day, hoping, I suppose, to catch someone at home. They even call me at my work number. I've always ignored it there once I figured out how to tell who it was.

Tonight, though, I couldn't resist it. I had to answer. I was trying to finish listening to my online class lecture, but I was getting TWITCHY! And for those of you who know me well enough, that is not a good state for me to be in. All that twitchiness is usually followed by too much crabbiness.

I answered the phone. And yes, it was one of he faithful newspaper marketers. I listened to his short shpiel, and then said (most unoriginally), "Oh, I'm not really interested.

He was good, though. He didn't give up. He asked, "Well, ma'am, how do you get your news, then?"

"I don't," I said flatly. Dead silence.

It took him a minute, but then he asked hesitantly, "Well, how do you find out about what's going on in your community, ma'am?"

I said, "I don't."

Silence, then, "I beg your pardon?" He sounded a little nervous.

"I don't want to know what's going on. It's too depressing. It makes me want to jump off a bridge."

There was another long pause. "Well, ma'am," he said valiantly, "the paper has other things besides bad news. There are ways to save money with coupons and things."

I should have said, "I don't like to save money," but I couldn't do it anymore without cracking up. I just said, "Oh, no. I don't think so."

Dead silence. I could almost see him going through his list of objections and his prepared responses. He gave up. "Okay, thank you, ma'am. Well, if you ever want to contact us, the number is... ...and have a merry Christmas." He clicked off without waiting for a response.

That was so much more fun than ignoring the phone!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

big dinners are overrated

I have come to one conclusion: big dinners are overrated. Anything that takes more than an hour to make is rapidly making its way off my favorites list. We had turkey, potatoes and gravy, and stuffing last Sunday, and the food took four hours on and off in the kitchen. And I didn't even make most of it. But I got to help, so it kind of took over the second half of the day.

I can think of at least forty things I would rather have done than COOK. Or even be a cook's helper. I'd be just fine eating soup and sandwiches. Not that I don't appreciate a lovely meal when someone else cooks it...I'm just tired of cooking! And I don't want to feel guilty when someone else spends four hours in the kitchen cooking. By that time, I've probably given up and had a bowl of cereal or something instead. Double guilt.

There is something to be said for simple cooking, don't you think? This being said, we're getting ready for our annual Christmas Eve dinner with as many of the family as can come. That is a major production, on the scale of Thanksgiving dinner. I vote for a simpler dinner and more time enjoying family, but I just might get outvoted.

The tradition of making a big family meal brings back the feelings of connectedness that we experienced during the holidays when we were younger. The whole process might be very symbolic for some people. So I have to ask, has the tradition has taken over the meaning, or is the meaning behind the tradition still the reason for keeping it?

It's kind of like Christmas itself. We rush around from store to store, buying gifts for people, and we forget why! The memory of the birth of Jesus is lost in the mad shopping rush. It becomes a holiday centered around gifts, a tradition divested of its intrinsic value by the frantic pursuit of the "perfect" gift.

Dearest God, help me to just slooooow down. Remind me to save time and space in my days to reflect on Your love and Your Son. I want to remember that He came here to share His heart with me, and to give up everything He had, including His life, for me. And as far as that dinner, Lord, please help me get through it with my patience intact!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

why blog about it?

An anonymous visitor posted a comment with a question that really made me think: Why do I blog about my life?

I wanted to address this with a reply here, and maybe see what you other bloggers have to say about why you blog! This was posted on an earlier post, however, the content seems to be directed at a conglomeration of my posts.

By reading your blogs, I maybe reading them wrong. But I feel you have a lot of resentment towards the church or certain people. Why do you blog about it? I am not familiar with the group at all. It sounds like you have a lot of guilt over your divorce. You blame it on the church. Isn't life based on what decisions you make in life. I don't think the church has a rule that says you have to marry at that age. Maybe you weren't mature enough? You couldn't provide for your children are going to remember happy times and memories, and love in the family. Did you and your spouse have a good relationship and did it show to the kids? Did you work on that relationship? I think there is more to your blog than you are letting on.

So this is my response...

This is great! Thank you for your comments.

Why do I blog about it? Because I can. And because it helps me process things that have happened to me so I can look at my past objectively and gain a bigger perspective.

And thankfully, I think I can say today that I do not hold resentment towards the church or certain people. I know that I did at one time, but time plus distance has allowed that to subside. Literally through the grace of God, I have let go of my anger and resentment. I've learned that I can be compassionate and concerned for them, instead. It's much more productive, and way easier on me.

What do you feel I am blaming on the church? I don't understand your comment about that. I don't think I said that. I think you may be, indeed, misreading.

I also don't think I said the church has a rule about marriage. In fact, I don't think they will say they have rules about anything. Their rules are implied and encouraged, but unwritten. I am speaking in general about what I experienced and what I observed.

I do know that I'm not the only one who has experienced similar feelings...maybe you could visit
the extoots blog to read more from other ex-members if you're interested.

Actually the only regret I have about getting divorced is the effects it had on my children. But if I were in the same situation, I would do the same thing again. In a heartbeat.

And yes, there is lots more to my blog, so c'mon back and have a little more conversation! Don't be shy!

For me, blogging is a way to express my thoughts, connect with others, and learn about new perspectives. It's interactive to a point, and yet we can take the time to consider what we want to say before we blurt it out in an indiscriminate brain burp. Although that happens sometimes, too! Heh!

Writing is therapeutic for me. I've been blogging for almost a year now, and it's been so much fun! Why do YOU blog? Any regrets about blogging?

Saturday, December 15, 2007

the rest of the story...

Well, the rest of the songs, anyway. Most of the Christmas songs that I like are ones that bring back memories of Christmas when I was young. I loved music. I still do.

But in my growing up years, there just wasn't much of it because I wasn't allowed to listen to popular music on the radio. The only music we had at home was when we sang hymns on Sundays at church, or sometimes during the week. My mother would even turn the radio off if they played a commercial with music in the background. She didn't want me influenced by worldly music. I led a sheltered life. True story.

So other than being in choir at school (and learning Three Dog Night's "Jeremiah Was a Bullfrog" and Helen Reddy's "I am Woman"--I think she would have been appalled), the most I got to listen to music was at Christmas time. When I hear Christmas carols on the radio, I don't need to see the words for most of them. I know them because I sang/heard/played them over and over.

So without further ado, here's the rest of the list of my top twelve favorites in no particular order--because this post would then take me the rest of the whole day! Decision-making is not my forté.

1. See yesterday's post.

2. We Greet Thee, Christmas
Don't be surprised if you don't know this one. I couldn't find it online anywhere. I think someone in the LLC may have written it because that's the only place I've heard it. But it's beautiful.

3. Breath of Heaven
An Amy Grant classic.

4. Lullaby, Little Manger Boy
Again, not well known. It was on an obscure Christmas cassette I had. I've been trying to figure out who sang it.

5. Little Drummer Boy
I could always identify with the little drummer boy who had no gifts, so he gave back out of the gifts he had been given. I can harmonize on this one...I always got the alto parts. And the rum pa pa pum was perfect for a rhythm-deprived girl like me. I'm not a big Josh Groban fan, but I do like his version of this song.

6. Silver Bells
We learned this in choir, and I sang the alto part. So every time I hear this, I can harmonize and it brings back happy memories.

7. Oh, Holy Night
The sweeping melody and the wonderful imagery the lyrics create...'nuff said.

8. The Holy City
I like it for the same reason as number 7, but this one was one of my mom's favorites, too. I always think of her when I hear it.

9. Sleigh Ride
This is such a fun song! Even though I never went for a winter sleigh ride, when I sing this song, I can almost believe that I have.

10. Jolly Old St. Nicholas
This was one of my favorites as a kid, although now when I hear it, I cringe when the little kid sings, "as for me, my little brain, isn't very bright..." WHAT??

11. Ave Maria
Another traditional carol. Listen to this one by Lara Fabian. The sound quality isn't perfect, but her voice is still...mmmm mmmh!

12. Silent Night
I can't leave this one out. I remember my mom singing it in German, although she was 100% Finnish. Go figure. But I learned the alto part on this song too, so I love to harmonize when it's on the radio and I'm driving in the car by myself.

Are there any favorites you would put on your top twelve?

Friday, December 14, 2007

the twelve songs of Christmas

Well, the results of the poll are overwhelmingly in Kalan's favor.
Here is how it shook out:

Kalan: 45
Mark Lowry: 6
Other: 1
(that vote was for Donny Osmond's version. Which is also pretty good.)

Kalan's got some pretty passionate fans up in Canada. Lucky for him. Otherwise Mark Lowry woulda STOMPED him in my poll.

I love Christmas songs! I saw this post on An Ordinary Mom's blog, and thought it would be fun to tell you about my favorites.

This song, "Mary, Did You Know?" is one of the best Christmas songs ever. The only version I've heard that I like is the original by Mark Lowry, until I heard this one by Kalan Porter. Wouldn't you know it, he is the winner of the Canadian Idol. (Yes, there is a Canadian Idol show. Who knew?) You can tell he isn't totally polished, but he sings it with the reverence that this song needs. Beautiful.

You can click here to hear Mark's version if you's well worth it!

If you make it all the way through both of these, you can vote in my sidebar and tell me which one you prefer. I'm such a sap. I sit and listen to these over and over.

Okay, I know I said the twelve songs, but I only have enough of an attention span to post about one right now. I'll tell you more of them tomorrow.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

good intentions

I had such great intentions of getting my stuff done. I had a list, checked it twice, and somehow at the end of the evening, none of it was done.

I have classwork to do for the four classes I have to complete by the end of the month. That was on my list to get done tonight. I did not. Get done, that is. Pretty soon, I'm not going to have enough hours left in the month to do them.

Then I was supposed to bake cookies and bars tonight for the school Fine Arts evening tomorrow. How was I to know I would run out of time? That was what was on my agenda for tonight. I think maybe I was going to do the baking simultaneously while studying and taking notes. I don't know what I was thinking. Maybe someone could tell me who took all the hours out of the night!

So I had to go buy some cookies and bars. I used to bake up cookies and bars without breaking a sweat. Now? It's an event the kids mark on the calendar if I actually bake. Actually they check the calendar to see if it's someone's birthday or something.

Then I read the note again and it says they want volunteers to bake cookies and bars. So now what do I do with these E.L. Fudge dudes in the package? It's not like you can heat those up in the microwave and pretend you just made them. It'd be a little too obvious. Perhaps if I talk sweetly to Gee, she will bail me out. I think I should call her Wonder Girl from now on.

I didn't used to understand why people would buy instead of bake, but that was BWFT. (Before Working Full Time). **Gee just said I can't make up my own acronyms. Somebody had to make up the ones we have now, didn't they? How long does she think "LOL" has been around?** Anyway, I was a SAHM and baked when I was bored, I baked to relax, and I baked because it was much cheaper than buying something already made.

But now? Baking is just another layer in my schedule that sits on top of six other layers of things to do. And layers don't work in schedules. They only work in cakes. Do you think you can de-junk a schedule? I'd sure like to try.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

overheard from the other room

Some things never change. I don't think siblings are ever done bickering. This is what I heard the other night.

Dee: Lew, leave that toy alone. Stop playing with it! Put it down.

Lew: Why?

Dee: Because! You're going to break it.

Lew: How?

Dee: Because I'm going to break it over your head if you don't stop!

Ee: (small voice of wisdom from the other room) Uh, Dee? Doesn't that mean'd be the one breaking it?

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...

♪Ev'rywhere you go;
Take a look in the five-and-ten, glistening once again
With candy canes and silver lanes aglow.♪

♪It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas,
Toys in ev'ry store,
But the prettiest sight to see is the holly that will be
On your own front door.♪

It's that time of year...I feel like there should be a soundtrack playing in the background all month long. Last weekend we brought in the box from the garage with the artificial tree, so it could defrost before we put it up. God decorated the whole outside here in glacial Minnesota with a covering of crisp, sparkly snow, and now it's my turn to decorate the inside of the house.

We picked up and swept, we gathered junk and tossed it out, and we made space for the Christmas tree. I know that it's time-consuming to put the tree up and decorate it, but it's a tradition I treasure.

Decorating the Christmas tree is like stepping into a time warp. Every ornament I unwrap releases a swirl of holiday memories. I think I managed to buy a Baby's First Christmas ornament for each one of the kids. We didn't have a lot of money when the kids were little, though, and I usually needed the money I had before Christmas to buy presents. So I almost always waited until after Christmas to rush over to Hallmark and Kemper Drug to see if their fancy ornaments had gone on sale. They were usually marked down anywhere from 50% to 75% off.

I could only afford to buy the ones that had gotten marked down. The kids didn't know that, and frankly, I don't think they would have cared. Those special ornaments let them know that each one of them had been a welcome gift to our family. All they needed to know was that their birth, their arrival, had been something to celebrate, and these decorations signified that they were special and loved.

Every Christmas, I carefully uncovered each precious ornament from the myriad of boxes, bags and totes in which they had been stored for the past year. The kids would wait for me to open the bag that held their special ornaments, and as soon as they were unearthed, they'd dive in, each looking for their own. I can still see them, standing on tiptoe, competing for the best spot to hang them. We'd end up with a cluster of ornaments, right in front in the middle of the tree. As I sat in my chair dreaming, I saw again their mischievious smiles, their laughter echoing in my ears.

Now the decorated silk balls that started this tradition, which my two oldest boys got from their grandparents, are as well-loved as the Velveteen Rabbit. The fine fibers that were wrapped about them have been pulled loose into tangled disarray, and the cherubic faces which once graced the simple ornaments are distorted beyond recognition. Their narrow golden hooks, which those small fingers so painstakingly attached to the branches, have long since fallen out, lost in the nether land of the past.

Some of them are holding up better than others, but no matter what condition they are in, once again these ornaments will be perched proudly in the branches of our Christmas "memory" tree. Only now, I will be the one looking for just the perfect spot for each one. And I've passed this tradition on, giving a "Baby's First Christmas" ornament for each new grandbaby that arrives in our family. Nearly thirty years of celebrating as a family have gone by, and yet this tradition still stands.

It reminds me of why we celebrate this season. We do the same thing with our hearts at Christmas time. We are reminded to clean and shovel out the debris that clogs us up. We sweep out the dust of the past, and we can resolve to discard the behaviors that have caused problems. We take the time to remember and reflect. We make space in our lives to commemorate the birth of our Savior. What a sweet reminder of the great love our God has for us.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

my de-lovely house needs to be de-junked

I don't think I realized this until I started blogging. I obsess about all my junk ALL THE TIME! And I never finish de-junking completely. There is always stuff left out that makes my house look like a forgotten storage room in somebody's basement.

I think the key is to simplify, simplify, simplify. If I don't have all that stuff piled up, I don't have to sort it out or move it from place to place. Or pick it up after a tall, precarious stack of miscellaneous "important" things tips over onto the floor.

All I do is talk about it. Complain about it, actually. Well, I take a few stabs at it periodically. I really need to change that, and set goals about it. My goal is to de-junk my house and throw away all the stuff I don't need that has been piled up in my bedroom (and other places) for the last four nineteen years. Obviously if I haven't used it in that time, I probably won't have a need for it in the next nineteen years.

I've gotten it down to just one Cub Foods tote in my room--several times! But the junk is like a little piece of a root from a yellow loosestrife plant. If you've ever made the mistake of planting that in your garden, you know EXACTLY what I mean! It takes forever to get rid of it, and it will take over and dominate your garden!

It's like the Veggie Tales "Gossipweed" episode. Have you seen it? It's hilarious!! One little snippet of gossip grows like wildfire, and it takes on a life of its own. Well, my house is the same way. All I need to leave out is one loose piece of junk. It sprouts into several dozen more pieces within minutes, I swear, and before I know it, it's infiltrating, taking over the entire house!

Saturday, December 8, 2007

my "to do" list is too long

When did my life turn into one big To Do list? I used to create things, and sew things, and bake things for fun. I used to write in my journal more often, and I wrote poetry. Now? Total opposite. Every hour at home seems like a waste unless I squeeze at least three more tasks into it than seems logistically possible into it. Weekends are just no-win situations. If I work all weekend to get my list of things done, I'm tired and resentful when I go back to work on Monday. If I sleep in and relax, I'm beating myself up Sunday night because I didn't finish any of the things that I wanted to accomplish.

I think it changed when I started working full-time. What ever happened to having time to paint, and scrapbook, and sew, and create? And how about being able to watch Friends without being so tired that I just fall asleep? I see about the first five minutes, and zingo! I'm asleep. Who needs Tylenol PM? I've got a new drug. I've been watching the second disk in Season Three for about two weeks now. Eek finally told me today that she wishes I would just pause it if I'm not going to watch it all the way through, probably because I think she has the entire disk memorized from hearing it so many times.

It just seems like there are so many things that I need to do that I don't seem to be able to keep up with them. Now I have Christmas presents that need to be wrapped starting to stack up at the end of my bed, and in the mornings, when I'm groggy and panicked because I slept through my alarm, I forget they're there. I've stubbed my toes and nearly punctured the bottoms of my feet on the dumb stuff. Then I'm hopping in the dark, I can't see, I can't keep my balance because I'm so tired, and I almost fall into the closet. Out of the darkness, I hear my honey ask, "Are you all right?" I can't even answer him because it's taking all I have just to stay upright.

Why, oh why don't I put the stuff away when it's daylight? Because I can see to get around it just fine, of course! Putting it away is a perfect project for another day! I can see that I'll have to try a different tactic. Tomorrow!

Friday, December 7, 2007

fringe benefit of winter

It's cooooold outside. Winter's here!

The only good thing I can be happy about as far as the cold goes is that Augie doggie goes outside, does his thing and gets back in the house lickety split. No more waiting and waiting, and waiting some more for him to do his morning or late night business outside. It's out, zip across the little yard, pause, and whip right back around to the door again. It takes him maybe thirty seconds, tops. I love it!

I can't blame him for my being late to work. Now what excuse am I going to use?


Wednesday, December 5, 2007

there's no such thing as too much Novocaine

I made it through another dentist appointment! I was NOT looking forward to it at all. In fact, I even tried to give my time away. A friend of ours came into the dentist office with her little girl who had fallen on the playground and smashed her mouth up. I offered to let her use my time, but they had an open spot for her. Doggone it!

Well, the dentist put lots of Novocaine in for me, and I think he stood there for literally three or four minutes, easing the numb stuff in so I wouldn't feel a thing when he was working on me. Then about ten minutes later he came back to do some more. Infiltration, he calls it.

Sounds like a covert operation. "Yes, we're going to infiltrate now." How do you like that for "nicespeak"? I know there's another word for it but I can't think of it right now. What is that word? Not oxymoron, not political correctness, but kind of like that.

It's one word. I think it starts with a "C". It's calling something ordinary a nicer, fancier name so it sounds better. Kind of like renaming garbage collectors and calling them sanitation engineers. I have nothing at all against garbage collectors, or sanitation engineers, for that matter. That's just an example of the word I'm trying desperately to think of. Arrggghh! What is that word??!! Okay, I'm breathing into my lunch sack. Calming down now.

But back to my story, so they filled this tooth where I couldn't even tell there was a cavity, right in front. And they used a metal filling instead of a white one. Don't those have mercury in them? I'm ranting today. It's just the aftermath of going to the dentist. I have to let off steam.

My hair looked I had bedhead, for lack of a better word. I tighten up my shoulders so much when I'm in the chair that my neck scrunches down, and my head tips back. So my hair gets all ratted in the back from when I tense, and then I try to relax. Gradually I tense up again, and then I tell myself to release and breathe. Oh, it's awful.

So I'm madly smoothing down my hair when I'm done, and wiping my face where it's numb so that I don't walk out with half a pound of tooth shavings and splatter on me. My mouth was so stretched out and dry that my lips felt like Goldie Hawn's lips must feel right after she has her collagen injections. I think if the wind had been blowing when I walked out, my lips could have been mistaken for small flags.

Then I had to head for class, and I was starving. I bought a scone and a coffee at Caribou Coffee. I am so glad that no one had a camera when I was trying to eat that scone, and thankfully it was dark out so other drivers couldn't see me! Half of my lips wouldn't purse together at all, so while the right half of my lips were making all the right moves, the left half of my lips were randomly flapping open and shut.

So as I was eating this scone, pieces of it were falling willy-nilly on the front of my sweater! What a waste. I paid $1.95 for a scone, and I only got to eat 80 cents worth of it. The rest of it landed on the floor as I shook out my sweater. I tried not to bite down very hard so I wouldn't find myself chewing up my lip along with my scone. I didn't even try to drink my coffee for about a half hour. Crumbs can get brushed off, but huge coffee stains that would cover half my shirt? No thank you!

The very best part of the whole thing is that I'm home dentist-free for another six months. Whew!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

can I just clone myself? and my car?

I hate when I do this to myself. About three months ago, I signed up for a class that ends tomorrow. Didn't write it down...I figured they'd send me a reminder, plus tomorrow is the last night of class, so I'd for sure be there. It starts at 5:30.

About a month ago, I scheduled a dentist appointment. For tomorrow afternoon. At 3:30. That means I have to leave work by 2:30 to make sure I'm not late. Gee rides with me, but she isn't done until 3:15. That is no surprise--it's been her schedule all semester. Yet, the appointment at 3:30...

Then, Gee usually uses the car on Wednesday evenings at 5:30. And my faithful honey, who usually bails me out of these jams I get myself into, has another engagement at that time. I just want to throw my hands up in the air, run screaming into my bedroom, and stay in bed tomorrow! Why, oh why, don't I use a calendar? Keeping my options open so loses its appeal at times like this.

Monday, December 3, 2007

the upper hand

On our way in to town this morning, we saw a fancy schmancy sports car up in someone's yard, and judging from the tracks in the snow, they had just recently slid in there from the icy road.

I said to Gee, "Oooh, he musta been hot doggin' it."

She looked at me with one eyebrow raised.

I asked, "Didja see that car in the ditch?" She nodded. "I said he must've been hot doggin' it." There was another long pause. "Do you know what hot doggin' it means?"

"Nope," she said.

"He was driving too fast," I said smugly. "But you didn't know what hot doggin' it was because you're not old enough." That, I thought, would regain a little ground for me, since I catch so much flak for being old these days. I thought too soon.

She stared at me. "We just call it driving too fast."

I can't win. I snickered, then burst out into laughter. The best part of the whole thing is that she had no idea why I was laughing. Finally, I had the upper hand...I knew something she didn't. Only now, I've forgotten what it was! So I'm laughing all over again.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

the first real snow

We had our first real snow of the season. It was snowing when I got up this morning. Well, it wasn't quite morning. I think it was just after noon. I can't even describe how good it felt to sleep in! I stretched, and I smiled, and then when I looked out the window and saw the snowflakes flittering their way to the ground, it was like a Christmas card morning.

Do you know how many times I thought that I would never get to sleep in again? When I was a teenager and didn't have school or other things I had to do, I always slept in like that. Some parents used to make their kids get up early even on vacation days or weekends, but my mom used to let me sleep in. I'm so glad! But then after I had kids, I resigned myself to the fact that I'd be tired the rest of my life because I would have to be up early every day. I am a born night owl. In fact as I'm typing right now, it's almost 1 a.m. and I'm barely sleepy. However, I am going to bed soon because I'm planning on being up by eight tomorrow.

But the snow today was so beautiful. The squirrels were hanging upside down from the bird feeder and racing around the yard in a frenzy. The rabbits were hippety hopping all over the yard, checking it out like they thought they had a brand new playground. They were all going crazy in the fresh snow. And my beautiful coneflower seedheads were all wearing matching puffballs of white powder. The day was absolutely gorgeous.

Sometimes it's just necessary to slow down and enjoy the snow--especially when your good friend/neighbor comes over with his bobcat and cleans out your driveway, lickety split. AND won't even let you pay him! And then when kids go out and clean up the rest of it with a shovel? It's easy to enjoy the snow! Thanks everyone! Thank you, God, for a beautiful day.