Friday, August 31, 2007

where have all the honeybees gone?

This article I read reminds me of the song, "Where Have All the Flowers Gone?" It reports that over 50% of the honeybee population has just flat-out disappeared in the United States. According to an article from The Denver Channel in April 2007, Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD), where honeybees simply disappear from their hives and never return, is to blame for the decrease in number of honeybees in the United States. CCD has affected beehives in 24 states, including Colorado.

The article reports that the loss rate is 40 percent in some Colorado's 30,000 colonies. One beekeeper from the San Luis Valley in Colorado reported he started the winter with 6,000 beehives and emerged with only 1,000.

A German study shows that radiation from cell phones disorients the bees and destroys their ability to communicate because the signals disrupt the electromagnetic frequencies with which bees communicate and navigate.

(If you like geeky science articles, there is a fascinating one here about how electrical charges affect bee behavior.)

This is sad and scary. Every third bite of food we eat is pollinated by honeybees. Think about that. The disappearing honeybees are the equivalent of the canaries in the mine shafts. When they die, we're in trouble.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

sleepless at daisy's place

Staying home because you couldn't sleep? I would have said it was a lame excuse, until it happened to me! True story (said in a cute small voice).

How can a person only get three hours of sleep one night, and not be able to fall asleep the next night? Sunday night, against everything that was saying, "Go to bed!", I was up till about 2:30, getting things ready for work and cleaning up my black hole. It's looking much better! I can see all of the drawers in my closet that used to be covered up by the ever-growing pile of miscellany on the floor. Very exciting.

Well, the satisfaction of whipping that black hole into shape wore pretty thin Monday night. I was ready for bed by 10:30 (since I knew I had to get a good amount of sleep that night), and I laid there. And laid there. And tossed. And turned. And griped. And fumed.

About 11:30, when my honey wandered in and wanted to finish watching Frasier before he went to bed, I was up to HERE with frustration. I stormed out to the other room to get two pillows to put on TOP of my ear. I flipped over one way. Back the other. I wiggled. I fumed some more. He finally gave up, shut the TV off, and left the room.

I have this thing, now, that I can fall asleep better if the TV is on, quietly. And it has to be on HGTV or the Food Network because I can depend on the fact that no one will be screaming or flashing scary things that would startle me. I set the timer, I fall asleep, the TV shuts off. No problem. If you disrupt that, though, look out, right? So now, in addition to PMS and not being able to fall asleep, I have to get up and reset the TV thing. Grrrrr! Boy am I a cranky broad, huh?

It was about 1 in the morning when my honey came back to bed, and I was sleeping. Finally! Yay! Except, he woke me moving one of the pillows that I had on his side of the bed. Then he settled in to sleep, and TURNED THE TV OFF AGAIN! Now I was flipping and flopping in double time, kicking my covers off, and throwing them back on again, trying to get situated and comfortable. I finally got up and turned the TV on again. It didn't help.

I got up and had a piece of raisin bread toast. Aren't carbs supposed to make you sleepy? I got on the computer. I went back to bed. It was 3:30 in the morning the last time I remember looking at the clock, and I had to be up at 5:30 again! There was no. way. I'm thinking, NOT going to stay awake all day. Going to get sick if I don't get my sleep. "How lame is this?" I thought. Calling in tired.

Then all day Tuesday, my honey kept telling the story about how I hit him in the back with my heavy memory foam pillow, kneed him in the butt, and kicked him in the leg about four times. He thought he had the rough night!

Needless to say, I got my little self to bed at 10 pm, along with a couple of those Tylenol PMs to make sure I stayed there. Yesterday was a MUCH better day. Sleep is a wonderful thing.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

one word for fun

I borrowed this meme from daisymarie over at Corner Chair. I had so much fun reading hers that I wanted to do one myself.

One word. No explanations.

1. Yourself: fragmented
2. Your spouse: honest
3. Your hair: unexciting
4. Your mother: loving
5. Your father: humble
6. Your favorite item: computer
7. Your dream last night: confusing
8. Your favorite drink: dietpepsi
9. Your dream car: yellowVWbugwithdaisies
10. The room you are in: dining
11. Your ex: complex
11.5. (Honey's ex: friendly)
12. Your fear: drowning
13. What you want to be in 10 years: thinner
14. Who you hung out with last night: myself
15. What you're not: arrogant
16. Muffins: lemonpoppyseed
17: One of your wish list items: laptop
18: Time: fleeting
19. The last thing you did: dinner
20. What you are wearing: comfortable
21. Your favorite weather: fall
22. Your favorite book: other than the Bible, myunwrittenone
23. The last thing you ate: peachcobblermmmmmmm
24. Your life: amazing
25. Your mood: exuberant
26. Your best friend: Jesus
27. What you're thinking about right now: bed
28. Your car: Hyundai
29. What you are doing at the moment: yawning
30. Your summer: fast
31. Your relationship status: growing
32. What is on your TV: crazymusicintheotherroom
33. What is the weather like: cloudy
34. When was the last time you laughed: tonight

I can't do one word answers!! So I cheated!

Monday, August 27, 2007

soapy laughter, or something like that

I lifted this from The Foil Hat just because it made me laugh, and laughter is never a waste of time!

Plus I like good smellies, and she has some great soap! Good homemade soap is such a luxury. Blue Heron Soaps are local for me, so I've usually gotten mine there, but she has some scents that sound quite delectable! I might have to break down and order some.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

weekend thoughts

Why is it that every Friday I'm filled with anticipation, thinking about the things I am going to accomplish that weekend? Working full time doesn't give me much time to get things done after work, so I always think I'll get them done Saturday or Sunday. And every Sunday evening, I look back and think, "What in the heck did I do?!"

Well, I can say that I cleaned the kitchen and did all the dishes. (Which, by the way, was no small feat this time!) I got the grocery shopping done. We went to a fun barbecue at our friend Sue's house on Saturday. I made Black Bottom Cupcakes with a new and improved recipe that really turned out well, I thought. I miss baking. I don't particularly enjoy cooking, or miss it when I don't do it, though.

Oh! Oh! Speaking of cooking, I read most of Paula Deen's book, It Ain't All About the Cookin'! I could so be friends with her. Except she spends most of her waking moments working, which wouldn't leave much time for socializing. She is one sassy lady, and she's very down-to-earth. She has some recipes in there, and I wanted to write some of them down. But I just couldn't put the book down long enough to get pen and paper.

In fact, this might be TMI, but I was sitting in the ... powder room ... and my legs went to sleep because I couldn't put the book down! LOL. That hasn't happened for a loooooong time. And you know when you stand up, your feet are so tingly that you can't feel them. In fact you can't tell if they are actually touching the floor or not. It's such an odd feeling. But that's how interested I was.

That is actually a good thing to accomplish, at least in my book, because I can do dishes and clean the kitchen any old time. Reading, now that's a tough accomplishment for me these days, because I have so many things sidetracking me.

Oh, and, AND, I watched a movie, Premonition. Well, at least part of it. But I stepped out for a while because it was so strange I had a hard time understanding it. There were these flashbacks, and you couldn't tell which ones were real and which ones were a dream. Not very satisfying.

What a random post. But maybe I could share the recipe for the cupcakes. They are even better if you refrigerate them and eat them when they are chilled. Even the next day!

Black Bottom Cupcakes

Filling:

16 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
½ cup sugar
¼ tsp salt
2 large egg whites, at room temperature
1/3 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips
2 Tbsp sour cream

Beat cream cheese, sugar and salt till smooth, about 30 seconds. Beat in egg whites and 2 T sour cream until combined, about a minute. Stir in chocolate chips and set aside.

Cake:

1 ½ cups flour
½ cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder
1 ¼ tsp baking soda
1 ¼ cup sugar
½ tsp salt

1 1/3 cups water
8 Tbsp (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
¾ cup sour cream
1 tsp vanilla extract

Whisk sugar, flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt together in large bowl till well blended. Make well in center, add sour cream, water, butter, and vanilla and whisk just until dry ingredients are all incorporated and batter begins to thicken and smooth out.

Divide batter evenly between 24 cupcake liners, and top each batter with 1 rounded tablespoon of cream cheese mixture. Bake until tops of cupcakes just begin to crack, 23 to 25 minutes. Cool about ten minutes before transferring to wire rack to cool completely. Tops will sink as cupcakes cool.

Refrigerate uneaten cupcakes for up to three days--if they last that long!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

ten things I love about staying up late

1. The house is totally quiet. I can think!

2. I putter around and let my brain catch up with the rest of my body for the day.

3. I have time to email friends to catch up on what I forgot to say before.

4. Blogging! Need I say more??

5. I can drink straight out of the milk carton.

6. The animals are asleep so none of them are bugging me for anything.

7. I can do laundry without forgetting to take it out of the washer.

8. I'm not tired late at night. (I'm only tired in the morning--after I have a late night!)

9. It's a great time to fill out job applications and update my resume.

10. I can watch YouTube, laugh hysterically, and not have to explain the video.

And tomorrow is going to be one of those tired days, cuz it's late, late, late tonight. But I needed to wind down from a long hectic evening at work. So be it.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

a day to recover


I had the day off work today to bring E-girl to the dentist and to recover from Hurricane D-boy and Hurricane T-boy. Oh, I mean the grandsons. We had them for two days again, just for fun, and Grampa had the worst of it. I got to go to work, and he was home with them.

I got home the first day, and he says to me all serious-like, "I really need to go take a nap!" He looked pretty ragged. How in the world did we used to do this? Every day. All day, all night. And get other things done.

They get so excited about every little thing. The cat, the dog, the birds in the lilacs in front of the window. It's "Lookit, Gramma!! LOOKIT!"

But how can a gramma resist it when a sleepy-eyed little curly-haired boy comes straight over to her when he wakes up, and he snuggles up to her with his arms around her neck, "I love yew, Gramma. I just love yew!"



I swear they want to go potty everywhere we go, just to get out of the car. When they picked me up from work, it was like a refrain.

"I gotta go boo-boo. I really gotta go." So I bring him in, and he doesn't even attempt to go.

I ask him, "Aren't you going to go boo-boo? I thought you really had to go."

He shrugs his shoulders and turns his hands out innocently. "Well, I guess I could try." He did NOT have to boo-boo. He was so busted!



Overheard in the van on the way home:

Grampa: I'm gonna get you, T-boy.

T-boy: Well, go ahead then. Get me. I'm waitin' for you.

Grampa: Boy, are you runnin' your lips at me?

T-boy: No, you're runnin' your lips. And somebody's gonna beat you up.

Grampa: Are you gonna let someone beat your grampa up now?

T-boy: Well, you're runnin' your lips, aren't you?

Grampa: What?? You'd really let someone beat up your grampa?

T-boy: Well, you shouldn't be runnin' your lips then.

Grampa: (sadly) I can't believe you'd let someone beat up your grampa.

T-boy: (shaking his head) It was just a joke, Grampa. I was just playin'!

Those boys put the "No" in No Fear. Wild and crazy, but loving and sweet. Look out, girls! The heartbreakers are in training.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

you're meeting people off the INTERNET??

So I got this email from Norah, who I met through blogging. She was in town, she said, and did we want to meet for coffee! Having chatted online back and forth, I felt like I already knew her, so we had the pleasure of making a coffee date with Norah and her husband.

My children were not impressed. "You're meeting who?? How do you know she isn't some crazy psycho woman?" LOL

I was a little nervous on the way there! My honey says to me, "Is it just me, or does this feel a little awkward?" Then, "Do we even know what they look like?"

I just laughed. "We'll figure it out when we get there. We'll just look for someone our age who looks Finnish."

"Well, what if everyone in the place is our age?"

But we found them right away. It was like recognizing a sister. What a sweet couple! We had a lovely visit, and the time flew. It seemed like we no sooner got there than it was time to go again. I hope we'll do it again soon! Who knew that starting a simple blog would be the start of meeting such nice people?

A huge thank you to you, Norah, for taking the initiative, and here's to safe travels, you two.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

i have been to the mountain

Oh, wait. It was just Cabela's. We went there today so my honey could try on some new boots that he ordered for hunting. That is such a unique store. There is more macho under one roof there than you can even find at Home Depot on a Saturday morning.

However, a thought struck me, and I was dumbfounded. Can you believe how many men I saw in there shopping?? Shopping. With enthusiasm. And waiting patiently in line for customer service. Bunches of them. It was an amazing sight. And many of them had their sons with them for some important male bonding time. It was quite something.

I had to laugh, though. I was waiting in the super slow, almost dead-stop lane (aka customer service) to pick up the boots that had come in, and every so often I could hear the "wonk wonk, wak wak wak wak" of a duck call that someone was trying out. Without fail, at least half of the men in line would turn their heads in unison, looking in vain for the rushing of ducks coming overhead, perhaps? They just qwacked me up! (I'm so sorry. I had to do it.)

I needed to use the ladies room, and while I was sitting in my little cube there, I overheard a mom. "You kids are not listening to me. I am getting very crabby. Your dad has been here for TWO hours already. I can't take this anymore!!" Talk about role reversal.

But I'm a little spoiled, you know. Here's why. Not only did we go to the awesome Welcome Furniture store in Albertville today and buy this gramma a new rocker in which to rock her grandbabies, but when we went to Cabela's, the ultimate store for testerone toys, my sweet honey didn't end up buying the boots. Instead, he bought me a new, shiny pair of Crocs Endeavors! I got them in brown because they looked so cute. He even stood in line to buy them while I scooted out to the powder room to take care of business. Oh, my! Be still, my heart!

Friday, August 17, 2007

an augie doggie by any other name


Doesn't he look like the demanding sort? (Notice he is lounging on the bed. He is slightly spoiled, I must admit.)

The other morning Mr. Augie Doggie insisted on going out the front door, which meant that I had to put him on the leash and walk him. He was simply beside himself with delight, and he did both sides of his bizz in under five minutes. Lucky for him, because I was running late for work and all he was going to get was a perfunctory fling around the perimeter of the front yard. Usually he is the straw that breaks the schedule camel's back.

So I'm excited to report that I have retrained the Augmeister to go out the side door again, where there is a smallish fenced area for him to do his business. He is not crazy about this, probably because there are few options for places to potty, and even fewer possibilities for smelling the trails of any dogs that passed in the night.

When I let him out at night however, he wants to just hang out and stubbornly not come in. Humiliatingly, I have to bribe him with the word "Treat" several times in order to get him to come running in the door. I always envision people walking down the street and hearing me, saying pityingly to each other, "Boy. She lets that dog get away with almost anything. No wonder he thinks he runs that house!"

So I have come up with a new plan: I'll change his name to Pete when he is outside. I'll call, "Here Pete!" and everyone in earshot will think his name is Pete, but Augie will only hear, "Here! Treat!" And he'll come running in like a wonderful obedient doggie. I'll look like an animal owner in complete control.

It's brilliant! And my wonderful children will shake their heads, telling each other that I'm one step closer to losing it completely.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

nice makes Bloggityville a better place


It has taken me a while, but I'm ready to post my Nice Matters nominations!

This award is for those bloggers who are nice people, good blog friends and those who inspire good feelings and inspiration. Also, for those who are a positive influence on our blogging world. Once you've been awarded please pass it on to seven others who you feel are deserving of this award.

I notice that not everyone picked as many as seven, but nonetheless, here goes:

In random order, I'll start with Miss Paula at Gathering of Friends. She has a sweet blog, and I love all of her glittery graphics and unashamedly cute characters. Miss Paula is quick to post an encouraging word and always has something fun to say. We have many parallels in our lives, and she makes me laugh.

Next I'll nominate Barb at A Chelsea Morning. She is so gracious, and in her world, nice rules. She has a beautiful spirit and a gentle faith that just warms me up every time I visit her.

Another choice is Dee-girl, X-man's mama. I will link to her blog if she lets me. :) She is spunky, passionate about her bebe, happy to be a mom, and generous to a fault. She has such a good heart. I could only wish to be so nice. I sound nice on the outside most of the time, but in my head, oh, the conversations that go on! I have to take those thoughts captive!!!

Next is Trish at An Ordinary Life Artist. Trish is an unselfish, gentle homeschooling mom, a military wife, and rarely does a complaining word fall from her fingertips onto her blog. She has her plate full, and yet she was kind enough to respond to me quickly when I asked about her scrapbooking "stuff". How nice is that?!

My next choice is Overwhelmed with Joy. I love visiting her blog, because I feel like I'm out in the country on vacation. Her photos are beautiful and welcoming, and her blog is interesting and helpful. She goes out of her way to post things that might be of interest to her readers, and generous? She regularly does a "Pay it Forward" book giveaway and encourages others to do the same. Why not share? How many times are you going to read the same book anyway? Thanks for encouraging a spirit of sharing in Bloggityville, there!

Katie the Scrapbook Lady is a super-nice scrapbooking genius of a gal. I just lurk there, and she doesn't know me, but I feel like I know her at least a little bit. She is very nice! Hello, Katie! If you click on her silly stuff link, you will laugh out loud as you read. (At least I did.)

Finally I nominate Maggie at Magnanimity. She has a wonderful gift for graphic design. Check out her link for blog design and blog headers. (Yes, she is the "Maggie" who designed my blog header! Do ya love it?! She had it done in no time, and it fit me to an eerie level! I don't know how to explain that.) She also has a heart for others that doesn't quit. She is the first one to say a kind word and to pray for those going through tough circumstances. Now she is sharing her home with a delightful dog named . . . Daisy!! Read all about her new doggy adventures.

Whew! That took longer than I thought. There were many bloggers to choose from, and in no way should this reflect negatively on anyone else whose blog I read or frequent. It's kind of like the fun giveaways we did back in July. I was wishing I had a gift to give everyone because I don't like anyone to be left out. Same goes here. Thank you to everyone who makes my piece of the Blog pie a little richer!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Monday, August 13, 2007

what was I thinking?

I don't know why I brought Sunrise, a Karen Kingsbury book to work to read on my lunch. I don't know what I was thinking!

If you read KK, you know what I mean. I had to stop. I would've gone back to work looking like my best friend died or something, and having to field questions of, "Is everything okay? What's wrong?"

I get involved in the story, and I have to carry it everywhere with me. I can't wait till I have another minute where I can pick it up to see what is happening with my "friends." I know it sounds lame..."hee hee, most of your friends are in a book," but if you've read any of her books, you'll know what I mean!

Karen creates such realistic characters that you start to think about them as if you know them. I can't wait to find out if John and Elaine are going to be more than friends, and if Katy and Dayne will keep their event a secret. And what about CKT? What will happen there? (I'm trying not to leave any spoilers, friends.)

So I'm waiting till I get home ... I'll be burning the midnight oil tonight again. I can see that already.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

musical magic

I ran across this YouTube video on Molly-Coddled and I agree with her. This is pure pleasure. I love this...a capella is one of my favorites!

Amazing Impromptu Beatbox on Subway (Paris)




Enjoy the magic as people allow the music to lift the shackles of anonymity, privacy, and self-consciousness that normally keep them each in their own world. Transient moments like this make me marvel and rejoice at the sense of community that can pop up spontaneously. Music is a gift. God created us with the capacity to create AND delight in it. He is a GENIUS!

Saturday, August 11, 2007

nice matters


Rosemarie nominated me for the Nice Matters Award! My first award! Yippee!! Rosemarie is Julia's mom, and Julia is blessed to have her for a mom! I love reading about her parenting adventures. She's delightfully honest and writes beautifully. Visit her...you'll love her too. Nice header, Rosemarie!!

I was lucky enough to find her blog through a link from someone who visited me during the Dog Days of Summer Bloggityville giveaways. Thank you, Rosemarie. That was very sweet.

This award is for those bloggers who are nice people; good blog friends and those who inspire good feelings and inspiration. Also, for those who are a positive influence on our blogging world. Once you've been awarded please pass it on to 7 others who you feel are deserving of this award.

To be perfectly honest, I have not "met" anyone out here in Blogland who I don't think is nice, so it's hard to pick just a few! I'll post them in a day or two, but I wanted to post my appreciation!

Friday, August 10, 2007

another giveaway

This one is for PicaJet - photo organizing and optimizing software. Click here to read all about it over at An Island Review. How fun. Just throw that O word (organizing!) in there and I'm all ears!

Wowza! I just went to their website and reviewed the features and benefits. I like it! They have a free version, but for the difference in features, the price is definitely worth it.

Check it out.

this is justice???

I'm completely dismayed to say that I just today heard about the situation happening in Jena, Louisiana, where racism is rearing its hideous head again (or still, I should say). I'm dumbfounded, astounded, and outraged.

I felt like I was in a time warp going back to the 60's when I was reading about it this morning. You can read Bill Quigley's article, "Black Nooses Hanging From the White Tree" here.

How could this be allowed to happen?
Let's see. Black students at a mostly white high school ask if they can sit under the "white tree," a tree on campus where white students congregate. The principal says they can sit wherever they want to, so they do. The next day, three black nooses are hanging from the "white tree." Nooses. In 2007. Can we flashback a mere forty years to 1967? The principal suspends the students involved, but the superintendent overrides the suspension, minimizing the impact of their actions.

Then a black youth shows up at an all-white party off campus, and he is beaten up. The next day, a white guy pulls out a sawed-off shotgun in a confrontation with young black men at the nearby Gotta Go convenience store outside Jena before the men wrestled it away from him. The black men who took the shotgun away were later arrested; no charges were filed against the white man.

Two days later, a white student -- who allegedly had been making racial taunts, including calling African-American students "n*****s," while supporting the students who hung the nooses and who beat up the black student at the off-campus party -- was knocked down, punched and kicked by black students. The white victim was taken to the hospital treated and released. He attended a social function that evening.

Six black Jena students were arrested and charged with attempted second-degree murder. All six were expelled from school.

Tell me how that works. How could six black teenagers be charged with attempted murder, one kept in prison on $90,000 bail, when the victim was treated and released the same day, and went to a "social event" later that day. Attempted murder???

The charges were later dropped to aggravated battery, which demands that a dangerous weapon was used in the attack. The "dangerous weapon" here? A pair of tennis shoes that one of the boys was wearing. Hello? Are they on a completely different cosmic plane? Do you see any white kids sitting in jail for months on end for beating up the black student? Where are the students who hung the nooses? Right back in school.

Do not think I am saying that people should not have consequences for their actions. As a parent, I am all about consequences, but they should be distributed equitably!

The situation that started all of this insanity? Black students wanting to know if they could sit under the "white tree" at the school where all the white kids always gathered. I'm sorry? Why would they need permission in the first place? That battle has already been fought.

And yet the three black nooses that showed up on the tree the next day were "just a prank," according to the school superintendent. "There was no harm in what they did," he said. "Just schoolboy pranks." Mmmm-hm. I'm sure that the not-so-subtle reminder of the lynchings that happened to so many blacks who stepped "out of place" in the past was completely unintentional. If you buy into that, I've got a nice bridge to sell you.

And the librarian in Jena was quoted saying, "We don't have a race problem in our town. Jena is a nice town." If she is a white woman, I'm sure she doesn't run into race problems in that town. If it doesn't affect you, it's easy to say it doesn't exist.

But, if you like, here is a link to a petition you can sign in support of the Jena 6, as the students are being called. As Edmund Burke once said, ‘The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good people to do nothing.’

You can just leave your name, or you can add comments. I was reading through a few, and I liked the way Tonya Shiflet put it: "This was wrong. How can anyone in this day and time think that it is okay and fair for an all white jury to sentence a black child to 22 years in prison and all this started because of a tree that no one owns." Is there something I'm missing here? Seriously. Does anyone know more about this story?

Here are a few more links to related stories. This one links to a Gray Panthers blog. This one is from Blogher, posted back in May. (See how out of touch I've been?) This blog about unequal justice actually has nothing to do with Jena, but I came across it when I was reading today. You'll find it interesting.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

four years ago...

♪ Happy Anniversary ♪♪
♪ Happy Anniversary ♪
♪ Happy Anniversareeeeeeee ♪♪
♪ Haaaaapyaniversary! ♪

Here's to celebrating four years of marriage to the man who loves me like crazy, who makes me feel alive, who knows in a second when he sees me if something is wrong, and who has a heart BIGGER than Texas. (Yes, I know that some of y'all believe Texas is bigger than anything, but trust me on this one.)

**Is it okay to say y'all if you're not from the South, by the way? I just love the way that sounds.**

Two days ago he looked at me and said, "Two days. Two. Days. What are we going to do to celebrate?"

I looked at him, thought, smiled, and said, "We've already committed to a meeting on Thursday."

The look on his face was priceless. He rolled his eyes. "You've GOT to be kidding me!" We both planned it, and neither one of us caught it. So funny.

Well, it's better to catch it two days early than do what we did two years ago. I was at work, and I was talking to him on the phone when I realized, we realized, that it was our anniversary THAT DAY! Neither one of us could be mad--we both forgot! We laughed then, too!

I think our marriage is just meant for sharing. Our first weekend after our wedding was spent at Family Camp, with our kids. We had an awesome time, but not much time alone. *sigh*

Well, what do you expect when you have two cats, a dog, a rabbit, eleven kids, nine grandkids, good friends . . . need I continue? And I wouldn't want to do without any of them! We just need to sneak away to the DQ perhaps, and spend an hour by the river catching up.

But laughter is good. I think sharing laughter is one of the best glues that can keep a relationship held together. If you can laugh at yourself, and laugh together, you're off to a great start!

So, we went to our meeting, and it was good. We'll go out to dinner tomorrow or Saturday instead, and snicker about our latest "oops". I'm sure it won't be the last one.

making my list

Checking it twice...oh, phooey. Now the song, "Santa Claus is Coming to Town" is playing on the little jukebox in my head. Do y'all have one of those? Probably not. *smile*

Anyway, I went to make my list of Things To Do and Things To Find in my clutter sink, and my brain went blank. I went to bed instead. Late at night is not the time to ask me to think.

Great random thing I heard about brain function this morning...I was blogging and surfing, and on the TV in the other room, they said it is particularly good for women to have more than one cup of coffee a day! It helps their memory and thinking processes. Hooray! One of my vices that is good for me! I'm feeling like I need another cup right now.

Okay, back to the de-junking process. I started by taking pictures of how bad it is. I haven't looked at them yet. It's a little scary. Somehow you see things differently when you look at them in a picture. It's like when you see yourself on video: it's almost like watching someone you don't know. You only know what it feels like to be you, not what it looks like.

Well anyway, I have a couple of totes that I can sort stuff into...clean clothes, dirty clothes, other people's clothes...how in the world can there be so many pieces of clothing in there and I never have anything to wear??! One of life's mysteries, I guess.

I have a terrible time throwing clothes away. Even clothes that don't fit, clothes that I don't like, and clothes that aren't even mine...even other people's sock widows that I don't know the owners of. It's like, "Wait! Maybe they're holding onto the other one till they find this one! I can't throw it away!" I am a sad case, indeed.

All the recovery groups say that character traits that cause problems for us also have a positive side. I wonder what the positive side of not wanting to throw socks away is. You can stuff pillows with them?

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

dentist nightmares

Today - the dentist! My most unfavorite health care provider ever. Sorry, all you tooth care professionals. Traumatic childhood experiences have engraved their memories on my brain pathways, never to be rerouted. Seriously. The dentist I had when I was little used to hit me with his towel when I cried and call me a baby. And I cried every time I sat in his chair even before he did anything. I used to have butterflies in my stomach for a MONTH before my checkups. I think it's a huge plus that I'm even going in for checkups now.

I did find a good dentist that I took the kids to for a while, but we got "fired " because we missed some appointments due to my forgetfulness. I know that's pretty lame...I don't know very many people who get "Dear John" letters from their dentist! But I guess you can't blame the guy. He just wants to make a living. I'm doing much better this time.

Well, I'm just not going to think about it. I'll go on autopilot and just show up. Lots of novocain. I hope they give extra shots of it. Oh, wait. It's a looksee, not major construction. I think I'll survive it. E-girl is going with me. I can be brave. Deep breaths. Yeah, I guess maybe I am kind of a baby.

Oh, boy. I've got a long ways to go, don't I?

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

nice giveaways

No, they're not mine this time, but Blue Thistle Books is giving away a nice ice cream maker in defiance of the upcoming end of summer. What a nice way to rebel! Mmmmm.

Overwhelmed With Joy is doing another book giveaway, too--her monthly Pay it Forward giveaway. Check them out. And there are a BIG bunch of other book giveaways listed on Overwhelmed's blog.



I haven't finished my decluttering, but I am starting a book recycle box for book giveaways. So stay tuned...

Monday, August 6, 2007

emptiness is...

Emptiness seems to be such a constant topic for me lately.

I've been musing about it off and on to myself. I haven't had much of it in any arena of my life, but think of the possibilities...emptiness in my schedule allows me to have time to spend with my Papa. I love to sit outside on our (bargain!) chaise lounges next to the garden and just soak in His creation. I tell Him my thoughts, and let the beauty of His work feed my soul.

Emptiness leaves space for adding the things I really want to fill my house, my life, my thoughts, and my time. Emptiness can seem like such a negative thing, but just like everything else, it has a flip side. Emptiness is a gift!

I've been thinking about empty nests, as D-girl has moved out again, the younger boys are saving to move out on their own for the first time, and knowing that in just four short years, all of our kids will have graduated from high school. I used to think I would not be sad because I would have so many things to catch up on that I would not miss the hustle and bustle of all the kids. Wrong! Melancholy sets in every time it crosses my mind. I owe a huge "Sorry!" to everyone whom I secretly thought was just a bit "off" because of their empty nest woes.

Emptying out the living room when D-girl moved was therapeutic, in a way, though, because it inspired me to clean my junk out of the room. All except my scrapbooking stuff, which I have stored in two totes and a stack in the corner, waiting for my desk area to be finished. G-girl got up in the morning after I finished cleaning and thought she woke up in a different house. I rather like the emptiness. It's peaceful, roomy, almost expectant. At least compared to what it used to look like.

I'm shooting for getting that empty feeling in our room next. Looking at Kerflop's closet makeover really got me inspired. If you fight the clutter battle too, you'll love reading her post. I think I am an all-or-nothing cleaner, too! Perfectionist! If I can't spend enough time to do it all, all of it perfectly, I just give up.

I didn't dare take any "before" shots of the living room and dining room, but I really should have! It cleaned up pretty nicely. I'm going into the bedroom after I finish posting here to do some "before" shots, and I'll take "after" shots when I'm done. (No, really, camera shots. I don't drink. But if I did, it sure would be tempting with the way my room looks!) If I get brave, I'll post them.

I can't say how much I'll get done today...I stayed home from work with a horrendous headache that just wouldn't go away, and I can still feel it lurking on the fringes of my brain, waiting to pounce again.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

and breathe...

Exhale again. Who knew it could feel so sad to have D-girl and X-man go again, when I knew it was temporary from the beginning?

They moved into their place yesterday. It's a nice house, older, but nice. What a challenge. Every time one of the kids moves, it reinforces my belief that I will just stay put here forever. Or until they drag me, kicking and screaming, to the old folks home.

I am going to do some serious weeding and tossing this next week. I can already see myself, dragging all these packed boxes around from place to place. "Oh, but I know I'll use that someday!" I've been that way since I was a kid, never wanting to throw anything out. I think I have boxes in the garage that were put there when we moved in years ago, and I haven't used them yet. It's a pretty safe bet I'm not going to use the stuff here, and I'm not going to use it in any next place I live.

It's time to go on a junk-free diet.

Day 1. Take inventory and identify problem areas. Hmmm...everything? Okay, I guess I have to be more specific. I used to be a crazy list-making fanatic, and I've even let that go. Maybe if I start gently, with just a list of what I see and what I know can go out, it will be a start. No sense in going too overboard. I'll just get discouraged. :)

Decluttering Your Life says to take it in small bites. Or at least if it didn't say that, it's still good advice. I have to dig out the book from underneath the other fifteen books and various papers that have been stacked on top of it.

Hey! That's a library book! I better make sure it's not overdue. Well, I can do that online. While I'm online, I can check my email. I can go through the pictures I just took of baby X-man and the Four Musketeers (the grandbabies that I don't see as often). I can check my bloglines and browse the new postings. Find new blogs to read. Make a few comments. Be inspired and write a new post. Be reminded of things I need to do this week. Update my resume. Wow, do I get sidetracked fast! No wonder the clutter piles up so fast.

Okay, I'm really going to go make a list. Truly. If I can find paper.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

overheard in the hallway...

I was getting ready for work the other morning, and I was wearing my cream flowered pants and my blue shirt again, when my fashionista daughter came out of her room. She just looked me up and down, and looked again, and she said, "You just think those pink shoes go with everything, don't you?!"

I just smiled at her. "Yes, I sure do." It was a precious mother-daughter moment.