Saturday, September 29, 2007

almost ready...

Well, it's winding down...deadline's coming. We're leaving in the morning, and I'm not ready. So why am I on the computer blogging?? Because I'm crazy about it. I'm preparing for withdrawal and getting my fix of writing and reading now.

The laundry is done, the grocery shopping is done (there is a kitchenette so we can cook), the dishes are being worked on (thank you, my honey and Mugs), my dear SIL is here, ready and rarin' to go, so...the only things left to do are pack, load up the van, clean the paint off G-girl's pants, go through my scrapbook supplies to decide what to take (maybe everything?), and go to church in the morning before we leave!

Hurray! Most times I'm stressed out to the max the day before we leave. I don't know why I'm not right now. Probably because my honey isn't packed either, and he's been busy with things all day. So it's felt like a normal day.

Have a bloggity good time while I'm gone, and I have to stop now because I have people waiting on me to get things done. I thought I could sneak in one last post, but alas, it's over. Till we meet again!

Oh, and be on the watch for a blog post here this next week or few about a crafty giveaway. If you want a sneak peek, go on over to Miss Paula's blog and do a little treasure hunt for a clue. That's all I'm gonna say.

Friday, September 28, 2007

more on X-man...

He is home, now, but was still crying most of last night. His poor mom got barely any sleep. Good thing she got a nap Thursday night. He still holds his leg up like it hurts. It makes me tired just remembering how it was when the kids were sick. Your whole world shrinks down and revolves around them. You're lucky to get a minute to eat, for crying out loud.

Please, please keep praying for him to heal, and to SLEEP AT NIGHT! Pray for peace in the family as sick kids can easily cause more stress. Thank you, thank you!

it's pathetic, that's what it is

I am so going to go crazy while we're gone.

We're running most of the day Saturday to get ready to go away, and then Sunday morning we're leaving. We won't be back until Tuesday. I'm thinking that it's going to be pretty tough to be without my computer for that long.

Aaaauuuggghhh! (That was my withdrawal cry! Pretty primitive, hey? Did it send chills up your spine? LOL)

I don't know if I remember what it is like to not have access to a computer. What have I become?

Answer:
a.) a nerd
b.) a geek
c.) a nerdy geek
d.) a computer hog (my family would vote for this one)
e.) all of the above

I have to admit I'm just a tad bit envious of my friend Miss Paula, who is receiving a nice, new PINK Dell laptop that is ALL hers! I should not complain, as our computer is more than adequate, and I know that there are lots of those who don't have computers at home...it's just that, (whine...) I'd love to have things that are just mine, and not "mom's", because mom's things belong to everyone. I guess that's how I make it, because I get uncomfortable when I don't share things.

Oh, I know! If I shared by getting everyone their own...whatever, then I'd be fine with having my own...whatever. I just don't like having my own and not sharing with anyone who doesn't have one. It makes me uncomfortable.

Okay, maybe that's a little too much sharing right there. Ha! Time to go. Toodles!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

oh, the colors!

I'm simply beside myself here! I just read in the paper that the fall colors should be at their peak up north this weekend, which just happens to be the time that we will be there! The weather should be fair, in the 60's with a less than 50% chance of rain. Pray for good weather!

My honey and I, and his sister, will be spending a couple of nights "up north," the significance of which only Minnesotans would immediately know. Up north can actually mean anywhere north of where you are, but typically ends up being somewhere in the northern half of the state. This is different from the "North Shore," which indicates along the shore of Lake Superior near Duluth.

Well, we're going for both of those! Up north on the North Shore. The place we're staying is on the lake, actually. It was a spur of the moment thing, and I'm so looking forward to it. I'm going to have a scrappin' good time! Scrappin' as in scrapbooking, not fighting, thank you.

I'm bringing my camera, and so is my honey. He has the technical, SLR, F-stop, exposure, meter-y kind of camera, and I, thankfully, just have a nice understandable digital camera. LOL. I'm learning more about cameras as I go, but I like the zoom in, zoom out, point and shoot digital camera. You want close? Zoom in. You want landscape? Zoom out. Keep it simple for me.

So we will have beautiful scenery to take pictures of, space and time to journal and scrap, and we will come back refreshed and ready for another onslaught of life.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

please pray for little X-man

***
An update on little X-man. They tested his blood again today and --praise God! His numbers are dropping! Thank you for all of your wonderful prayers. His leg is improving, and they figured out that the virus he has had taken up residence in his hip joint and caused some swelling and pain there. Well, he's doing so well that he gets to go home today. Thank you, God, and all of you prayer warriors!! We appreciate you all!
***

Well, the saga continues. There is something going on with little man. We spent the day at the ER on Sunday, and they wanted him checked again in a few days. So his Momma took him to the doctor today and after running some more tests, they said they wanted him admitted to the hospital.

I'm fuzzy on the details, but something in his blood that they checked was too high on Sunday, and when they checked it today, it has almost doubled. He's lost a pound and a half since Sunday because he hasn't been eating.

They're going to check him out thoroughly, and hopefully they'll figure it out. He has a fever still (a week now), his gums are bleeding spontaneously, this marker is too high in his blood, which indicates some type of an inflammation, and I don't even know what all else.

Please pray! Pray for peace for his mom and dad, and for us, too! Pray that they will figure it out and be able to take care of it. Pray that everything will go smoothly, and that the doctors will be given wisdom and guidance. We remember, though, that in all things, He works for the good of those who love Him.

Father God, even right now, when we are uncertain and worried, we just lift little X-man up to your capable arms. We trust you. We know that you will never forget or forsake us. Thank you, Lord, for your loving presence. We rest in your embrace. We ask this in the strong name of Jesus! Amen.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

welcome, welcome!

So my daughter started at a new school this year. Lucky for her she knows people there, because starting to go someplace new can be kind of scary. I remember my first week of high school...I had butterflies in my stomach every morning. My second year of high school--I was at a new school again. More butterflies. I think I've been programmed to get nervous every time I get near a high school.

When we went to her open house, there was no one standing anywhere to direct newcomers and latecomers. We were running about ten minutes late (oh, big surprise) and I wasn't sure where we needed to go. Great. I hazarded a guess and aimed for the building that now had a long line of students streaming out of the open door. We found a place to check in, and I sent her on her way trailing after the line going into the other building.

I wasn't sure what to do next or where to go, but since there were people sitting down on the chairs that were set out in rows, I found a row about halfway back and stepped past people to go all the way to the end of the row. I just wanted to blend in and sit down quickly. I wasn't terribly excited about being there.

Seriously, when you've sat through twenty-three previous "beginning of school" speeches, there isn't a great deal of new material to learn. And yet, if I neglected to stay for this fine presentation, I felt like I would be pinning a label on my kid that said, "PARENT DOES NOT CARE. FLUNK HER." So I sat.

I realized that I was seated on the most uncomfortable folding chair EVER. The seat was too skinny for my big butt, and I didn't dare wiggle because it felt as if it were ready to collapse at any second. I was tired. The speeches almost put me to sleep, except for the fact that my legs were so itchy and twitchy. I was ready to leap up and run screaming out of the building. It was excruciating. I just let my legs move slowly, as if I were running through stiff molasses in mid-December. I didn't look around at anyone, but it felt like everyone was staring at me. "Oh, look. She's one of the special moms. Do you think her kid is special, too?"

Finally, when my reprieve had come and the speeches buzzing through the microphone had ceased, I eased myself carefully off that chair. I wanted to do a jig right there because I could finally stand up and move, but instead I tried to discreetly just get a good stretch. As I did that, I realized I had no feeling in my legs. I couldn't tell if both feet were actually on the floor, so I stood there, nonchalantly looking through the handouts they had given me. I had to wait for the circulation to come back so I could walk without falling down.

I wandered into the other building. The staff people were just kind of standing around waiting to be talked to, and since I had given the class schedule to my daughter after we checked in, I didn't know which teachers she had. So I moseyed through, trying to be inconspicuous, hoping none of them would ask me questions I didn't know how to answer.

I'd walk into a classroom to look around, and after "Hello," I would just look at the teacher with a pleasant smile pasted on my face. Let's see, do I ask her what subject she teaches? Nah, there are Spanish words plastered all over the walls. It's pretty obvious she's not teaching math or social studies. How about, what's your name? No, don't think so. She has it on the board. Wait. I could introduce myself, but what if she's not my daughter's teacher this year? Is she taking Spanish? I think she is, but suddenly every class that is on her schedule has gone completely out of my head. I'll just make a swift exit and stand in the hallway, checking out the tenth grade lockers. They have names on them. I could see if I recognize any of them.

I'm just not that great at making small talk in those situations. I always feel like I'm going to say the wrong thing and look like a complete idiot.

"Emergency information card? Why, no, I don't have that. In her packet? She doesn't have her packet yet. Oh. They got sent in the mail two weeks ago?" .

Uh, yeah, well the mail at my house gets put in a pile by the computer. I haven't looked at it this month yet. Wearing my sign, now. It says LOSER in big letters.

I was so pleased when I found my dear child and I could tell her I was going to go and wait in the car. Finally, liberation!

Monday, September 24, 2007

running on batteries

I spent my Sunday afternoon/evening at the emergency room, waiting, and waiting, and waiting...poor ChiChi boy (that's our nickname for my grandbaby X-man) wasn't feeling good, and I brought his mom and him to get him checked out.

He wasn't bleeding, he didn't have any bones sticking out of his body, and he wasn't having trouble breathing, so I think they just tended to him in between their more serious emergencies. I think we were there almost eight hours. It was crazy.

I know his mom barely got any sleep Friday or Saturday night because he was up crying half the night. I still have vivid memories of being up with sick kids, and I can even remember thinking that I was never ever going to get to sleep all the way through the night again. Ever.

I wanted her to be able to take a nap on Sunday, and I was going to watch X-man while she did. However, we didn't get home until after nine, so she had to eat and go right home.

You stay up half the night, and then you still have to drag yourself through the next day, trying to stay alert.

I hope you got some sleep last night, but if you didn't, I just wanna offer some hope...it does get better, D-momma. It just takes a while.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

a postilla is...

My inquiring mind has finally learned what a "postilla" is! Postilla is a Finnish word used for a collection of sermons. I've been reading about these postillas on various websites that talk about different Laestadian churches. You might know them as Finnish Apostolic Lutheran or First Apostolic Lutheran. I used to belong to the LLC branch of these churches (connected to the SRK in Finland) and I don't EVER remember hearing a postilla from Laestadius read.

By the way, if you want to possess one of these infamous postillas by Laestadius, I've seen them on Amazon.com recently. Only thirty or forty bucks. It could be an interesting conversation piece.

But I have been finding sites where people said one of these postillas by Laestadius were read every Sunday morning at their churches before the sermon was preached. I've been reading this master's thesis, The Roots and Development of the Laestadian Movement in Finland by Pekka Raittila. He has researched the history of this church with its many schisms and heresies, and it is quite complex. I'm still puzzling out which speakers and leaders belonged to which groups, but in the process, I have learned a little bit about these postillas.

Well, literacy was not very widespread at the time Laestadius wrote them, and many people could not read the Bible for themselves. So LLL wrote these postillas so that the few people who were literate could read them at their services. I believe it was in the 1700's when these postillas were written. I read this last night, but I was half asleep so I still don't remember the exact details. Well I guess that's okay, too. I'm reading a master's thesis, not writing one.

Okay, I'm going to take a little side trip here and tell you a story. Bear with me, now. There was a woman who always cut the ends off her baked potatoes before she baked them. Her daughter asked her why, and she said she did it because her mother had always done it that way. (Don't stop me if you've heard this before...just skim to the next part.) So she went back to her mom to ask her why she did it, and her mom said HER mom had always done it that way, cutting off the ends of the potatoes. When this lady asked her grandma why she did it, her grandma said because she baked them in a pan that was skinny, and they didn't fit if she didn't cut off the ends.

So the tradition had a purpose in the beginning, and at the end, it was just done because it had been done that way for years.

I think this postilla thing is the same way. Some of the Apostolic Lutheran members (or former members) say that the ministers still read these postillas from Lars Laestadius at each service, and it doesn't seem to make sense why they do that.

I think it is a tradition that is still practiced, but not for the same reasons it used to be. At the beginning of the tradition, it was done for a good reason. The tradition was carried on and brought to the United States when the Finnish people emigrated here. Now, the postillas are read (at least I think they are still read) and the tradition is carried on although the original need is no longer there.

There's my brilliant conclusion for the day. Whaddya think?

Friday, September 21, 2007

Jena 6 protest march

Yesterday was a perfect day to have the protest march in Jena, LA. It was International Peace Day! How appropriate.

I've been reading different reports on the march. Estimates on the size of the crowd range from 10,000 all the way up to 50,000. The residents of Jena pretty much closed up shop for the day. Businesses and government entities were closed. Some people were worried enough to board up their windows against possible vandalism. From what I read, though, they didn't have to worry. The marchers remained peaceful. I wish I would have been there!

I've always had a passion for social justice, and this whole case has just caught my attention in a way that I can't even explain. I don't understand how some people can think there's nothing wrong here. What attitudes of ours contribute to this? I don't have answers. I just have questions.

I keep reading comments from (white) people who live in Jena who don't see any problem or admit that anything is wrong with what has happened. Okay, the whole entire country can see the scales of justice are out of balance. No one is saying (or at least I'm not) that the Jena 6 should not face consequences. It's just that their consequences are so severe, and the white students who did similar things face no consequences whatsoever. What part do you think we're missing, people?

Here are a few news stories from which I wanted to share excerpts. This is from the Edmonton Journal:

They gathered in lawn chairs at the outer edges of the Jena Six rally, a half-dozen white residents of this tiny Louisiana town, surrounded by thousands of demonstrators pointing the finger of racism in their direction.

It was all too much for Ricky Coleman.

"We are not a racist people," said Coleman, the owner of a local pizza joint. "The whole thing has been blown out of proportion."

...Even if the charges against the black students were excessive, Jena residents like Coleman say it is unfair to cast the entire white population in town as anti-black. "We all get along," he said. "The blacks around here, some of the blacks, are some of my best friends."

But the mother of one of the Jena Six defendants said she believes the town has been forever changed.

"Nobody has taken our side. The only white people who have are from out of town," said Tina Jones, the mother of 18-year-old Bryant Purvis, the only defendant still facing attempted murder charges. "I don't know if it's racism. But blacks and whites are not treated equal. That's what I call it."


One of my favorite quotes was this one from the New York Times:

[One person who came for the march]...said she could not understand why the students who hung the nooses were not punished severely. The students were only briefly suspended. District Attorney J. Reed Walters said Wednesday that the action did not appear to violate any state laws.

...A marcher, Latese Brown, 40, of Alexandria, said, “If you can figure out how to make a school yard fight into an attempted murder charge, I’m sure you can figure out how to make stringing nooses into a hate crime.”


Well put.

One more quote, if you would indulge me, is from the Toronto Star:

Jena finds itself divided sharply over precisely what the case says about their town and themselves.

"Every year at Jena High School there's a black-and-white fight," said Casa Compton, 26, a Jena native, who is African-American. "It's always been tense. There's always been prejudice and bigotry here. Every day they're throwing away a black man's life down here."

Tina Norris, 45, said she was amazed at the kind of publicity her town is receiving. "They make it sound like the whole town of Jena is just one big KKK rally," said Norris, who is white. "It isn't. We don't have a lot of problems here. This is just a small town."


You never see a quote from a white person from Jena who admits that anything is wrong with the situation, specifically, or even in general. One white woman commented that if people would just come to the town, and even go to a football game, they would see that things are fine and that people get along. What does that have to do with unequal justice? And why aren't we hearing that from people of color in that community? A white person in that town (or any other town), is not going to experience the injustice, the racism, from the same perspective. Of course things seem fine. But underneath that deceptively smooth surface there are turbulent waters roiling.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

oh, those rebellious grandmothers

You would think that the law enforcement authorities had absolutely nothing to do in Orem, Utah. (Maybe they don't.) You know how fire departments will burn down a perfectly good house just so they can have practice putting a fire out? I think the police in Orem, UT have the same philosophy.

A 70-year-old woman was handcuffed and taken to jail over NOT WATERING HER LAWN. A CNN story reports that the police arrested Betty Perry after a dispute over not maintaining her landscaping. Apparently she wouldn't give her name to the officer. I guess that was considered resisting arrest. There was a scuffle while the peace officer tried to arrest her, and in the process, she was injured and started bleeding.

Wouldn't the use of the title "peace officer" in this case be an oxymoron? Some kind of a moron, anyway.

Then they just hauled her away to jail in handcuffs! She sat in jail bleeding with an injured nose for over an hour before she was released. Wow, 70 years old? Handcuffs? She must be a regular firecracker or something. Unbelievable.

Everything I've read about Orem says that it is a nice, safe place to live. People leave their doors unlocked there, and crime is low. It sounds like a mix of small town and country. People have horses, and they move here to live because they like it quiet. It's just a nice small town, so they say. I guess the people are only nice until you stop watering your grass. Then, LOOK OUT!

Although the mayor and the city council have apologized, the city attorney is still pursuing the charges. (Maybe the city needs money, as well as something for the police force to do.)

These people need to get a grip. Since when do we knock Great-Granny to the ground, bust up her face, handcuff her and haul her in to jail because her grass is too brown? I think the peace and quiet has gone to their brains. Perhaps they could shoe some horses or something in their downtime instead.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

who called 9-1-1 here?

X-man's mom and dad's evening was interrupted by someone ringing their doorbell. The parents looked at each other and said, "I wonder who's at the door." They weren't expecting anyone, so they weren't sure if they wanted to answer the door.

The bell rang again. Dinga dinga ding ding DING DING!

"Who's at the door? One of the boys?" They still hesitated.

Then there was a loud knocking.

They finally answered the door to find a police officer at the door. "Did someone call 9-1-1?"

The parents looked at each other, looked back at him and shrugged their shoulders. "No we didn't call."

"Are you sure? We received a call from this address. Is this apartment one?"

"Yes, but we didn't call."

"Would anyone else in the apartment have called?"

In unison, they turned to look at X-man, all fourteen months of him, and his little innocent face with the solemn eyes looked back at them. Well, he had been playing with the phone, but 9-1-1? Surely not little X-man.

He's got a ways to go before he passes his uncle up, though. His Uncle Will drove our van through the garage door. When he was twelve. With all the kids in the van. However, they were all buckled in.

Oh, it's on, now! Let the grinding of parental teeth games begin!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Jena 6 update

**see update from Wednesday 9/19 here **

How do you run a court like this?

There was a bail hearing scheduled for Mychal Bell with the intent to free him or significantly reduce his bail. Even though charges against him were thrown out Friday, he is still in jail because the judge and prosecutor didn't come to a bail hearing yesterday (Monday), his lawyer said. (Link to story here)

"We showed up. There was nobody there," said Bob Noel, lawyer for 17-year-old Mychal Bell of Jena, La. "No DA, no judge."

A woman who answered the phone at District Attorney Reed Walters' office said he had no bail procedure on his calendar.

If I just plain didn't show up for scheduled meetings, I wouldn't have a job very long. Tell me how this works. Really.

For email updates on this story, you can sign up by going here and clicking under Get Action Updates in the right hand sidebar.

Keep your eye on the news because there is a rally planned for September 20--that's this Thursday--and organizers have no idea how big it can get. Estimates on attendance range from 4,000 to 40,000 supporters. Wish I had me a ticket to Louisiana...

best fish joint in Minnesota

For all of you fish lovers up here in Minnesota, I want to suggest JJ Fish and Chicken. The closest store to me is the one in Brooklyn Park, but there is another one in St. Paul as well. It's better than any BK fishburger you EVER had! They have great wings, too, but I just crave the fish. The BBQ sauce is pleasantly tangy, and is even better for dunking French fries than ketchup. My mouth is watering just thinking about it today.

They have perch. They have catfish. They have cod, tilapia, halibut, shrimp, and of course, the traditional "fish and chips". Their fish fillets are not the flaked fish product you get so many other places--they are the real deal! And the breading is perfect. It's a cornmeal breading so you can actually taste the fish. De-lish!!

And if you're local, and you're looking, the Brooklyn Park store phone number is 763-425-0011. I couldn't find it in directory assistance. But you can call them, place an order, and stop in to pick it up. Faster than fast food!

They are near the corner of Brooklyn Blvd and Co Rd 81, two stores down from the Cub Foods there. Just watch out for the health club recruiters. Give 'em a wide berth.

I think I'll have some fish for lunch today! Fish de-lish! I wonder if they'll want that for a slogan. Hmmm...probably too cutesy for serious fish eaters.

Monday, September 17, 2007

the twenty-first time...



The new Monk & Neagle CD is coming out tomorrow, so everyone who's been listening to them on the blogger preview site can get their own CD to play in their car, or house, or wherever! That also means that I'm going to get to hear my favorite songs a lot more often on the radio. I'm still stuck on Hallelujah Jesus and The Twenty-First Time, but Beautiful You is close behind them.

I looked at the top songs on our local Christian station and didn't even see any of those three! Oh, my goodness...I had to email them and let them know what they are missing.

Thanks again, BooMama, for spreading the good word about this CD. I've truly enjoyed listening to it, and now all of you can, too.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

an unexpected (lovely) morning

I slept in today. I got up to let the dog out, and I got halfway down the hall when my honey stopped me. "You can't come out here right now." I looked at him like he was a little bit this side of loony. "Okay...I was just...letting Augie outside."

"I'll let him out. You can come out in a minute."

That was okay. I had a headache anyway. So I went back in the bedroom, took some ibuprofen, and laid back down for a minute.

He came to the door shortly after that and invited me to come back out.

When I got to the doorway of the living room, I swear my eyes bulged out of my head. There, on the little table we have out there, was a beautiful little breakfast for two all laid out. I think I started crying right there.

I could smell the freshly-ground coffee he had just poured into my cup. There were bright orange and yellow zinnias, black-eyed susans, and marigolds in a glass in the center of the table, and a pair of covered bowls sitting across from each other. When I lifted the cover, I found oatmeal made just the way I like it: thick, but not gluey, with golden raisins in it. The brown sugar and butter were on the table, along with a small pitcher of milk. One of my favorite breakfasts in the world! What a sweet, sweet man.

I sat down to eat, we prayed, and I opened the butter cover so I could put a little on my cereal, and there, carved into the top of the butter were the words, "LOVE YOU!" I couldn't see my oatmeal for the tears. He just sat and smiled at me. "I just wanted you to know how important you are to me."

Can I hear a collective "Aaaawwwwww" now? That man may be a little rough around the edges sometimes, but I'm tellin' you, he's got a heart of gold.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

my 'me button' is too large

The latest drama around our house is that I gave away G-girl's winter clothes by accident. A whole big black garbage bag full of them. Ai yi yi.

Well, she's not angry about it; she just wants them back. Now we know these people who we I gave them to. We just can't get a hold of them. They are never home or they never answer their phone. I have visions of them going through the clothes and bringing the rest of the bag to the Goodwill because that's exactly what I told them to do!

So the weather's getting colder, and I'm feeling guilty because she only has a couple of things to wear that are warm. She bought all those clothes with her own money, and I gave them away. I thought that was the bag she was talking about when she said "those" were the clothes she didn't want. I get more and more worked up about it every time I think about it. I said so again today, and her response was, "Mom, your Me Button is too big. It's not about you."

What?! Are you kidding me? She's derailing a perfectly good self-guilt trip and puncturing the "good mom takes responsibility" balloon I have going. "Yes it is," I say. "I gave them away. And what in the world are you talking about?"

"Well, we're learning in my class that if you take responsibility when you don't need to, your Me Button is just way too big. You think everything is about you." And she's holding her hands way out away from her. "A healthy Me Button?" She brings her hands back almost together. "More like this. It's not your fault." And she gives me that 'being patient with her aging mother' look.

I can't believe my ears. I'm the one who is supposed to be the calm, cool, and collected mature adult here. And I'm falling apart while she teaches me about grace and humility. Ah, God has such a sense of humor.

By the way, we got them back tonight. And, I might add, she left half of them there anyway. God just had something to teach me first, and I know He's just a-smilin' away at me.

Friday, September 14, 2007

a most exciting thing in a woman's life cycle

So, apparently I have entered one of the most exciting cycles of my life -- perimenopause. I think a man wrote that phrase. Maybe a man who likes walking on the edge of death on a daily basis.

I guess it can be exciting, but probably not in a good way. It could be exciting to see how many times a day I will get on everyone's nerves around me when I go from bubbly to ugly and back in point oh three seconds. It's exciting to see if I will remember everything I need for work when I leave in the morning (keys to get in my office, my lunch, milk for my coffee, shoes on my feet, etc.) It's exciting to see if I will remember how many times I tell my children the same things over and over, and to watch them shake their heads when I'm on about the third or fourth time telling them. It shakes me up, but I DON'T LIKE IT!

I have not yet gone to the doctor to be tested for this, but apparently one can do that. To me it's almost like going to the doctor for a pregnancy test when you've missed your period and you've been throwing up every morning for the past two weeks.

I came across this link to a list of possible symptoms, and this list strikes fear into me like never before. It's like being in one of those dreams where you see the train headed right for you as you stand on the tracks, and your feet are like lead. You can't move. And you just have to watch it coming at you. And you just hope that it's a loooonnng ways off!

I match so many of the symptoms that I could be the poster woman for it. Of course, some of them I don't know if I have because I haven't looked. (And don't want to.) Is there life after menopause? There must be. Grandma Moses started painting at what, 80 something years old? I'm just waiting for someone to reassure me that I will survive perimenopause.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

thankful Thursday

I'm thankful that I get to see my angelboy X-man this weekend! In fact, I get to have him all to myself Saturday morning while his mom is working. I haven't seen him for such a long time. My tootsies just want to dance up and down with anticipation.

His mom says it's fun to watch him when she reads a book to him, so I'm definitely putting that on my list to do with him.

And I know we'll take more pictures, and have some snacks, and play with the kitties, and rock and snuggle in the rocking chair...oh, yes! It will be a grand day at Grandma's house.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

dentalphobia rides again

What is it about the dentist's office that gets to me? I never hear about anyone else like this.

Ever since I can remember, I have always been the biggest chicken when it comes to going to the dentist. Well, I might have figured it out today. With my last dentist, and now with this one, I've learned that I always need to ask for an extra shot of Novocaine if they are going to be filling a tooth.

Today was the first visit in forever with this dentist. He fixed one thing for me many moons ago, and now today, he put a filling in for me. He started out with Novocaine in three different areas because there are three different nerves going to your molars, he said. But partway through, he ended up giving me extra Novocaine, just as I had asked in the beginning. Why, oh why, don't they believe you? I always can feel what they're doing when they don't give that extra oomph to it.

Well, anyway, it dawned on me today that I've probably always been that way. And the first dentist I had probably never gave me an extra shot of it when I complained. He probably just kept working on my teeth, and no wonder I cried when I had to go see him. And he just thought I was a big baby. That would totally explain it! It doesn't explain him whapping me with a towel or actually calling me a baby out loud, however. That explanation is one I won't say cause I'm on a "nice or nothing" diet when it comes to talking about other people.

(Yeah, I told my girls they were on a "nice or nothing" diet one day when they were bickering. If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all. So of course, E-girl tells G-girl, "Mom thinks I need to go on a diet!" As if.)

The next dentist I had when I was a kid was more patient, but he never gave me that extra shot of Novocaine either. I cried there, too. It's crazy.

So the knots in my stomach make sense, even though I'm all grown up now. I swear every muscle in my body tightens up when I'm getting fillings. I have to keep consciously relaxing each one. It's like my neck, back, legs and arms are tightly wound rubber bands, twisting, twisting...and pretty soon only my heels and the back of my head are touching the chair.

I have to bark silent orders at myself. "Neck, relax. Knuckles, unclench. Back, soften up. Shoulders, loosen and stretch. Do not panic. You are not drowning in your own saliva. You can breathe through your nose." I had to do that about a dozen times today. Once the dentist noticed, and he wiggled my knuckle a little. "Relax," he says. Ha!

I've always tried to be consistent and matter of fact with my kids in bringing them to the dentist. I didn't want them to pick up my attitude. And they seem to be fine with it. I watch them carefully for signs of distress, but they always seem so cheerful when we go. It's so amazing.

G-girl said I should try "happy gas". "You'll just zone out, Mom. You won't even want to move." I don't like new things. I don't think so. Too far out of my comfort zone. Although I can't use comfort and dentist in the same sentence unless I lie.

Ugghh. I'm so glad that's over. Till October when I go back for a checkup.

Monday, September 10, 2007

how lucky can a girl get?

I love mini-vacations. They're even better than big, long vacations because a.) they don't cost as much, b.) they don't take as long to get ready for, and c.) they don't take as long to recover from.

I was lucky enough to have one mini-vacation already this summer, when I went off on a scrapbooking weekend complete with hot tub and a little bit of shopping! Now in a few weeks, we're going up to the North Shore for another mini-vacation--a couple three days of JUST relaxation!

AND, we get to spend time with my honey's sister who we don't get to see nearly enough. I think I'll sneak some scrappin' stuff into my bag, to be taken out in the evening when we're watching a movie, or in the morning over coffee, or in the afternoon when he's napping...oh, heck. I might as well bring it all! What have I got to lose but a little time? I might get another album done. I'm so excited I could skip!

Remember skipping? You skipped when you got enough money from your mom to go to Baskin Robbins to get a double cone. You skipped when you were off to spend the day with your best friend and her new baby kittens. You skipped on a clear, cool summer morning when it was time for a hike into the mountains with a picnic lunch in your backpack.

And you skipped when you got to go swimming at the outdoor pool with your big brother and he didn't run away from you the entire time. He actually played Frisbee catch WITH you instead of Frisbee throw AT you! And when the candy machine at the pool stole your money, he banged on the coin return until the money started splattering out of it all over the ground, and he held all the crazy money-snatching kids back until "his sister got her money first!" Those were skippety days, I'm tellin' you!

Sunday, September 9, 2007

whappity whap...upside my head

Seen on another blog...



I think I need to go far away from everyone, because they are getting so good at pushing MY buttons.

I was in such a crabby mood the other day. I tried talking to my honey when he was on the computer, and I said something that would normally trigger another question from him. It was a sure sign that he wasn't even listening to me because he just mmm-hmmmmed me without another word. Grrr! I stormed off into the bedroom and closed the door with just a little more emphasis than usual. Ignored. Of all the nerve. LOL.

Augie Doggie took one look and scooted under the bed so he could nap undisturbed. Sorry, doggie. I coaxed him out and fed him a treat. (It was actually food from his dish, but I called it a treat and he took it anyway.)

Well, I got over that, and it was all water under the bridge until today. Then guess who was on the computer. Yes, yours truly. I was trying to bloghop and watch a movie on the computer at the same time, and I was totally engrossed.

Well, Honey Dearest picked up on the fact that I wasn't listening with complete attention.

The next words out of the kitchen were something like, "I fell off the stool and broke my head." Pause. No reaction. Then, "And Rumpelstiltskin beat me up, then Augie bit him in the butt," or something close to that. Guess who was doing the tuning out now! You know how "mom hearing" works...there's a filter that tunes into broken bones and hurt feelings, but completely tunes out mild bickering and casual conversation. All I remembered was that there was this noise in the kitchen, but it wasn't anything urgent, so I paid no attention whatsoever.

Here, let me wipe that egg off my face now.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

the flies, flies, flies of summer

I feel like I'm in an Alfred Hitchcock movie like The Birds, except it would be called The Flies. We have a sudden batch (hatch?) of these big, fat, slow-moving flies, and they are EVERYWHERE. Yukkkkkk and blggghhhh! You can't set your glass down without them ba-zoom-zooming over to try and land on it.

I was making Almond-Crusted Chicken, and I had just chopped the almonds on my cutting board. (It sounds better than it tasted, so I'm not sharing that recipe.) I put them in the bowl, turned around, and picked up the package of chicken to open it so I could skin and salt & pepper the chicken on the cutting board. By the time I turned around again, there were three flies already there trying to suck up almond crumbs or something. I had to wash the cutting board before I could use it for the chicken. Icky!

This fly situation has happened every August/early September for as long as I can remember! I don't understand. Flies can't read the calendar.

That does explain, however, why each summer in August or early September, my neighbors can see me at night through the front window, looking for all the world like I've lost my mind as I vacuum the ceiling.

There's a simple explanation for that. The flies land on the ceiling at night and just sit there till morning. I wait until eleven or twelve at night and slink through the house sucking up flies with the end of the vacuum tube. You have to move the vacuum up to them slowly, but if they start to move, you have to quickly move the tube towards them and it's like you meet them halfway in their takeoff. Zup! They disappear.

Sometimes I can feel them hit the inside of the tube against my hand and I feel like Pac-Man swallowing up the little dots and bonus thingies. Yeah! Got another one! Unhh! Take that! Bonus points--got two at once! Well, after about a week of this, they are usually all gone.

If I try to do it earlier in the evening, though, they simply fly squares around the end of the vacuum tube and completely avoid it. A complete exercise in frustration. Yes, they fly in squares, not circles. Watch them sometime. I kid you not!

Now you probably are realizing that I actually must have a bit too much spare time on my hands if I can spend it watching flies fly--in squares. That kind of thing actually only happens when I am procrastinating and trying to avoid something else I should be doing, like vacuuming the cat hair off the carpeting. It's much more satisfying to suck the flies off the ceiling instead. I feel like I'm doing my part to defend my family, you know? Girls can be warriors, too.

Friday, September 7, 2007

a fabulous Friday

The weather is quite lovely today...the temperature has been in the spectactacular 70's. Hooray! (It may be 80 by evening.) And when I went out to check up on my morning glories this morning, there were about twelve blossoms that were just beginning to unfurl their sleepy faces. Twelve!! And each stem had four or five more buds -- just think of all those flowers that will be blooming sometime next week! I can hardly stand to wait!

I think that the treasures we have that are limited seem more valuable to us. Why don't I get that excited about a simple dandelion, for example, or a marigold? Because there are so many of them, and they bloom profusely.

My pink and white lily, similar to a stargazer lily, had three buds on it, and only one of them actually made it to become a full fledged flower. You can bet I was enjoying that one. In fact, it's the one on the left in my sidebar. Yet the zinnias and dahlias I have are amazing and intricate, each in their own way. The colors are brilliant and intense.

I need to remember that each being and creation that was made by God has intrinsic value, regardless of their achievements, rarity or unique qualities. God put His genius and His finishing touch into each one. I need to remember to see them through His eyes. Finished, complete, and precious.

On that note, I'm headed into the weekend to spend it with my family. *no implied message intended!*

Thursday, September 6, 2007

update on the Jena 6



The latest in the Jena 6 situation? Jena High School bans 'Free the Jena 6' T-shirts! Students have been forbidden to wear T-shirts like this one (in support of the six students in Jena, LA) because it is too disruptive. Imagine that. Wearing a T-shirt is disruptive? What a concept.

There are also new legal developments in the case. The judge threw out the conspiracy charge and acknowledged that Mychal Bell should have been tried in juvenile court instead of in adult court. However, the battery charges still stand. Sentencing is September 20. This info is from Howard Witt's article in the Chicago Tribune, Part of 'Jena 6' conviction dropped; charges reduced. Click to read more.

It may happen piece by piece, but justice needs to happen in Jena.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

opinions welcome here!

We watched a great movie this weekend...Tyler Perry's movie Daddy's Little Girls.

It had the flavor of the Batman and Robin shows I watched when I was a kid. (Yes, I know I grew up in a TV-free home because we didn't believe in watching TV, but I watched it at my friend's house anyway. My mom and dad would have been appalled if they had known.) Can any of you relate? *smile*

Anyway, in this movie, there are the stereotypical extremely bad characters who you just love to hate, and they are not terribly complex. They're just bad. Then you have the good guy and his helper. I'm trying not to spoil it for anyone who hasn't watched it yet. And even though I know it's a tried and true formula, I was still itching for the good guys to just pop the bad guys a good one! LOL. Yeah, there were some rough spots where the movie kind of jumped into fast forward, but the assumptions we had to make were not brain stretchers.

There were some scenes that referred to drugs, but drug use wasn't obvious or glamorized. It was definitely a bad thing. I'm a sucker for a happy ending, and this one was good. I thoroughly enjoyed watching it.

Well, what I'm asking you for is your opinions on good family-friendly movies that are out on DVD right now. I sometimes look at the reviews, but I find that very often the ones I like are nay-sayed by the critics. This one, for example, was only rated a 24 out of 100 on one site. Some of the movies that get rave reviews from the critics don't even hold my attention through the first fifteen minutes. *yawn*

I don't like creepy-anything, scary-anything, nasty-anything, explicit-anything, fighting-anything, stupid-anything, Westerns or sci-fi. Dance, gymnastics, singing, romance, humor, drama (within the above) -- two thumbs up. How's that for criteria?

So let's have it...what are your faves?

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

weekend in review

Labor Day weekend was quite peaceful, but it ended with a hustle-bustle BBQ that brought back memories of how weekends used to be. Most of the kids were home, and other family members came over and hung out with us, too! I think we had about sixteen people crammed in our little house. The noise level was at an all-time high, but it was just so fun to have them all there.

I love that they come back and just hang out. I don't have the energy that I used to have, but it's okay to let other people pitch in and help, too. I need to get over thinking that I'm the only one who can do things.

T-boy and D-boy burned off some energy shooting hoops in the back yard because Grampa lowered the B-ball hoop for them so they at least have a little hope of hitting it. :) I remember when he first did that, and he was out there shooting with the boys, they had a grand time. Grampa shot and missed one, and T-boy says, "Grampa, you ain't got no skills!" We laughed ourselves silly.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Labor Day - a day not to labor

The irony of it.

Since it is a holiday, and I am getting paid to do nothing on a day named Labor Day, I am going to do exactly that.

Okay, I'm kidding. Really I'm just cutting my blogging short today so I can...what else? Labor at home! Dishes, dinner (for whichever kids make their way to our house for a BBQ) and yard things will be done. I don't know if I could literally do no labor and just do relaxing things. It makes me nervous!

Sunday, September 2, 2007

to sleep or not to sleep

I was just thinking about the upcoming hunting season, and knowing that I may be sleeping alone for a few nights, I came up with this proposal. I told my honey that he could not die first, because I wasn't going to get used to sleeping alone. In fact, if he was gone and the kids were moved out, I don't think I'd ever sleep at night again!

I'd have to get a night job so I wouldn't be at home at night. I'd sleep during the day. I just don't think I could do it. Either that or I'd have to find a nice widow who wants a roommate.

It's so funny. If there are people at home, I go outside at night and don't think anything of it. If I'm the only one home, I don't go out after dark. It's totally a mind thing, and I know that. But it doesn't change the fact of how I feel.

I've never lived alone in my life. I think that would be the hardest thing for me to get used to. What a morbid topic, huh? But seriously. I moved from high school to getting married, and when I got divorced, I had a houseful of kids. Now I'm married again, but the kids are getting older. It won't be more than a handful of years before they find places of their own.

I've got it...I'll move in with one of them! Hurray! I have the answer. (Yeah, right! Until I tell them, and they'll move with no forwarding address!)

Saturday, September 1, 2007

awwwww...

I've been waiting so long for this baby to bloom...all summer, in fact! Isn't it bee-a-yew-tiful?? And that little green bee--absolutely precious.

I just love these big morning glories, the great big blue ones. I've been so patient, waiting to see blossoms, and this plant has just grown into a veritable tower of greenery with no blooms. My honey told me that he has seen a few flowers on there, but I'm not sure if he was just trying to make me feel better.



Then God, in His wisdom, made the back side of this flower just as beautiful as the face of it. It is absolutely stunning. He is a genius. He created us as lovers of beauty, and he created an earthful of beautiful things for us to enjoy. Thank You, God, for the beautiful sights today!