Tuesday, January 31, 2006
The bell rings and they're out of their corners. The Stove is glowing in a deceptively cheery way. The Champ goes in, She gets in a good, solid knock to the teeth! Was that-? Yes, there are coals falling! The Stove practically let her have that one! This is going to be an interesting round!
Monday, January 30, 2006
Friday, January 27, 2006
This is my new toy. And before you think, "Wow, she must be rich!" let me point out that someone had returned that television to Sam's Club because it didn't work properly. Apparently, said person never heard of warranties. We bought it for $250, then promptly called Samsung and had it repaired, in home, for free. It has so many features I haven't even explored them all yet. As hubby said, we watch enough tv, it's about time we got a decent set.
This is my secret. And since it's a secret, I'll let you figure out what it is. Any guesses?
These are my eyes. I've always thought my eyes were my best feature. I'm still working on the plucking thing, but it's better than it used to be. And yes, it's out of focus. You know that blurry thing they used to do any time there was a close-up on a woman on Star Trek? To make her look better? Okay, actually it's just really hard to focus when you're looking at your camera's little LCD screen in a mirror.
So that's my entry. Did you play?
Thursday, January 26, 2006
Now, as I mentioned, my hubby has been out of town since Sunday. You might imagine that my biggest challenge would be getting the kids to church by myself, or getting them to quiet down at night, or cooking dinner with a 13-month-old baby hanging on my legs. But no, the biggest challenge has been the coal stove.
You see, we have a coal stove in the basement which does probably 80% of our heating. The only electric heaters we use are in the upstairs bedrooms. But the stove takes a lot of tending. Six or eight times a day, we have to shake the ashes out of the bottom so the fire can breathe, and then add more coal. When the ash tray fills up, it needs to be emptied. And all of this must be done correctly or the fire will go out. And may heaven help you if the fire goes out, because it takes a couple of hours to get it going again.
So I have been keeping the stove going since Sunday. The problem I'm having is that when hubby shakes the ashes down, it usually takes him about twenty seconds. It's been taking me five minutes. Five. Minutes. My arm is sore from banging the handle up and down, and I'm getting blisters on my hand. You have to shake the thing until you see hot coals fall through the grate, and it takes me that long to see any coals.
I tell you what, I have gained an extreme appreciation for hubby's role in heating our house every winter. I hope the next time he goes out of town is after it's warmed up outside, because frankly, I might just let the thing go out next time and make everyone wear sweaters and gloves around the house until he gets home. Yeah, it's that hard.
Now if you'll excuse me, I've gotta go shake my grate thing.
Wednesday, January 25, 2006
Future cheerleader? Or future football player carrying his girlfriends poms? You decide.
Did you play?
Tuesday, January 24, 2006
For example, school lunches, where kids can buy chips, candy and pizza. My kids are not in public school, but I guarantee if I gave them money for lunch and they had a choice between that stuff and meat and vegetables, they'd pick the junk. Maybe one in ten kids would actually choose the healthy food. And while I don't agree with all of his points (for example, he asserts that if only we paid more school taxes, the school lunches could be improved), he makes a great many excellent observations and suggestions.
One thing I like about the book is that he doesn't point to the fast food industry and say it's all their fault. Oh, sure, they do everything they can to hook kids when they're little into becoming life-long "users" of their food, but he puts equal weight on the fact that we must make the proper choices in what we eat. Because, in the end, nobody is forcing you to go into that fast food place and order a triple burger with cheese.
If you're at all interested in the subject of nutrition, I highly recommend this book. I read it in two days. It was hard to put down, which is high praise for a non-fiction book! Go check out the website, where he has links to nutrition information and other projects of his.
I was not paid or compensated in any way for this review. I just really liked this book!
Monday, January 23, 2006
Meanwhile, I have to go to a dinner and meeting at church tonight. The pastor asked me yesterday if I could come sing the same song I sang yesterday morning. He found someone to watch the kids for me so I could come. And the dinner is free, so I can't complain. Oh, did I mention hubby is out of town all week? While you're praying, you might want to throw in a good word for me and my sanity. Thanks!
4 Jobs You Have Had In Your Life:
McDonald's fish & chicken frier
Assistant to the conductor of the Shreveport Symphony
4 Movies You Could Watch Over And Over:
Lord of the Rings
Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl
West Side Story
4 Places You Have Lived:
Fallston, MD (where I grew up)
Roanoke, VA (college)
Longview, TX (hubby's college)
4 TV Shows You Love To Watch:
The Dead Zone
Dancing With the Stars
4 Places You Have Been On Vacation:
4 Websites You Visit Daily:
K12.com (Joshua's school)
Mail.com (my email - well, one of them)
4 Of Your Favorite Foods:
Maryland crab cakes
Baked pineapple (recipe available - just ask!)
4 Places You Would Rather Be Right Now:
4 Bloggers You Are Tagging:
This (and wants to!)
Friday, January 20, 2006
I used to be a sore loser. I mean really sore. I would scream, I would cry, I would storm out of the room. If you're thinking I mean when I was a small child, yes, but it continued into adulthood. Hubby eventually calmed me down a bit. Now the most important part of playing a game to me is having fun. Of course, my definition of having fun is that there has to be some chance, however small, that I could win.
So on occasion, I have been known to leave a game in the middle, proclaiming proudly that I know I can't win, so there's no point in playing, I don't get upset anymore, I just leave. And since Hubby is very good at certain games, for which he's developed a practically unbeatable strategy, I usually won't even start those games against him, let alone finish them. These include Monopoly and Othello, in which he will win 95% of the time.
Well, last night we all sat down to play Cashflow for Kids. It's a fun game that teaches kids how to make and invest money. Isaac (3) wanted his own board and gamepiece, so he got one, with me helping. Then, partway through the game (at a point when he was actually doing quite well), he gets up and announces, "If I can't win, I don't want to play!" I guess he figures that's what you're supposed to do when you play a board game.
(Back later with SPF - I have to take Joshua to the dentist.)
These are my towels. Well, these are some of my towels. I have roses and vines painted all around the tops of the walls and over the switches and towel racks, so these towels all happen to match the decor. It is strictly coincidental. Trust me on this.
This is my toothbrush. Nothing special. I just switched it out on the first. Remember, always change your toothbrush every three months.
And this is my lotion. My favorite lotion. Like most women, I have received numerous bottles of lotion as gifts, or in a package with shower gel or something like that. But this is the one I actually use. It's Artistry Moisture Souffle, and it's grapefruit scented. I adore this stuff. And did you know grapefruit scent makes you appear younger to men?So there you have it. Did you play?
Thursday, January 19, 2006
My favorite part of the article was this:
Can you imagine saying, "No, $15,000 is not enough!" Well, yes, I can imagine Shatner saying that. I wonder what he'll be selling next. His earwax? Belly button lint? Oh, I know - toe cheese! It'll be the town that Shatner built, one bodily excretion at a time.
GoldenPalace.com originally offered $15,000 for the stone but Shatner
turned it down, noting that his "Star Trek" tunics have commanded more than
$100,000. His counteroffer was accepted.
"What a nice house!"
"Well, this half was built from William Shatner's nail clippings, and this half from his nose pickin's."
Okay, I'm done now.
Wednesday, January 18, 2006
There are so many "what-was-I-thinking" things in this picture it's hard to know where to start. Okay, let's start with the obvious. I had some friends over and we were doing goofy things for the camera. The horn I'm pretending to play used to hang on my parents' living room wall along with a baritone, both of them spray-painted gold (that might be a what-was-I-thinking for my parents). Anyway, it was a real horn, but had no mouthpiece. So though I do play French horn, I was not playing this one. Also, notice the way my cheeks are all puffed out - definitely not the proper technique, unless you're Dizzy Gillespie, and he didn't play French horn.
Next we have the shirt. I picked up that little beauty in Ocean City, MD. What you can't see in this picture is that the entire back is the same mesh material as that triangle on the front bottom. I suspect this might have been a beach cover-up but I wore it as a shirt, with a black t-shirt underneath. Clearly, I was not on the cutting edge of fashion.
Finally, let's look at my hair. See how short it is? Well, it used to be down past my waist. Then, I met Beth. She was cute and popular and I thought she was being nice to me. She told me how great I would look with short hair. It wasn't until I saw the movie Mean Girls that I realized what she was really doing. And I cut it all off. It was short, like boy short. Needless to say, it didn't get me in with the in crowd. Here, it has grown out a bit, but I still cringe when I see pics of me with short hair.
So, did you play?
Tuesday, January 17, 2006
Someday, I'm going to take all those old phone bills and add them up. I know it's way up in the hundreds, if not a thousand or more. To pay for all this talk, I typed papers for people all four years I was there.
The hardest time was the semester I spent in London. For three and a half months, I could only talk to him for ten minutes every two weeks. Not a day went by that I didn't wish he were there to share in all the fun things my roommate and I did.
Summers, we spent as much time together as possible, when we weren't working. Then, my senior year, he showed up at my college with a ring. He didn't give it to me right away - he took me ring shopping first. Sneaky, huh? I didn't suspect a thing. Then he did the whole down-on-one-knee proposal thing in my dorm room while we were waiting for a pizza delivery.
One important thing I've left out is that he wanted me to date other guys while at college, if I had the opportunity. Why? Simple. He wanted me to be sure that he was the one. He didn't want me to turn down other guys just because he and I had this long-distance relationship. That's nuts, you're saying. He could have lost me. True, but I think it was very wise on his part. By going out with a couple of other guys, I realized how much I loved him and missed him. All I could do was wish it was him instead. And that's how I knew he was the one for me.
So, we were married that June, six and a half years after we met. And just in case you're wondering (I know you are - admit it), we were both virgins when we tied the knot. We're coming up on 14 years this June, and I love him more every day. He is a truly amazing man and I am blessed to be his wife. And it all started with a teenage crush twenty years ago this month! Happy anniversary, my love!
Monday, January 16, 2006
We saw each other over the holidays, and he was my date for the Junior Ring Dance as well. My friends all thought I was nuts to be so into a guy who wasn't around most of the time. I would always point out to them that it wasn't as if anyone nearby was interested. You might not believe this, but not one guy in my high school ever asked me out on a date. Not one. Ever. And I least I wasn't salivating over some local DJ like one of my friends, as though she would ever actually go out with some 40-year-old guy!
Anyway, things were going really well, except for one major problem - massive amounts of teenage hormones. By the end of the summer, we both realized we were going to do something we'd regret if we didn't take a break from each other. We broke up.
Neither one of us was happy about it. In fact, he and his friends crashed my 17th birthday party that October and it was all I could do not to throw myself into his arms. I thought about him all the time. We stayed "broken up," though, until spring break. I can't remember where we were going, but he was driving and I was in the passenger seat. I looked over at him, he looked at me, we grabbed each other's hands, and that was it. We knew we were meant to be together. He took me to my senior prom, and we spent the summer painting houses. Well, I painted, he was the manager. We went to Denny's after work most nights because it was right around the corner from my house. One of his goofy college roommates also worked with us, and the three of us had a lot of fun hanging out.
So, what happened when I left for college in the fall, and he switched to a school in Texas? Tune in tomorrow!
Friday, January 13, 2006
So, to continue the story, future-hubby and I had planned to go on a double date with a friend of mine and her boyfriend, but I got sick at the last minute. So we ended up going to Pizza Hut one night with a different friend of mine, just the three of us. Really romantic, right? See, my parents wouldn't let me go on a solo date until I was 16. We went back to my house, and he stayed for almost two hours. For some reason, we watched a PBS show about carnivorous plants.
When he was ready to leave, I walked him upstairs to the front door. My brother followed us, trying to spy. So, we stood there on the front step. I was waiting for something - a hug, a peck on the cheek - something. Instead, I got a handshake. I actually laughed because I knew what everyone downstairs was thinking we were doing, and it wasn't shaking hands! Anyway, we started doing more and more things together - concerts, going out to eat, and lots of talking on the phone. It's a riot to go back and read my diary. There were days I was nuts about him and days I was mad at him, but all through the summer, I kept saying I couldn't imagine being without him. By mid-August, he finally kissed me. And yet he still wouldn't call himself my boyfriend!
He went away to college that year, and I was stuck at home in eleventh grade. That was only the first year of many years of long distance bills and only seeing each other during the summer. How did our relationship survive? You'll have to come back again another day to find out!
Something you're afraid of:
Dead people. I know, I know, dead people don't come out of their graves and walk around. I know this in my head. But I'm still afraid of them, irrationally terrified actually. And yet I can't stop watching Ghost Whisperer.
Something I consider lucky:
The number 7 has always been lucky for me. Don't ask me why. But if given the order to pick a number between 1 and 10, you know which one I'll be choosing.
Something Friday the 13th-ish:
A black cat. I found him online. Apparently his name is Colin Powell. No comment.
Did you play?
Thursday, January 12, 2006
By the end of January, we had already been together at several church events (roller skating, a concert, a volleyball tournament). We had also both been at a "lock-in," which is where all the teens spend the night in the church building, after playing games until midnight. Why we were so anxious to spend the night on the floor in a building where you could see roaches scatter when the lights went on, I'll never know. But anyway, the night of the lock-in, I swiped his coat from the pile of coats by the door. You know wearing a guy's high school jacket means you're dating, right? Everyone assumed, and I wasn't telling them any different. I found out later he was cold all night. Poor baby! And yet I still didn't scare him away!
I remember getting his phone number and calling him several times. I called for (are you ready for this - I was so sneaky) advice - I had a crush on a senior and I wanted to know, since he was a senior, what his advice would be on how I should proceed. Should I tell the guy? Or should I wait for him to make the first move? Well, that first call turned into another, and then another. We talked for hours at a time, every night. Finally, on February 3, I revealed that he was the senior I'd been talking about!
At this point, he told me that our mutual friend had ordered him to stay away from me (though I guess he forgot to order him not to talk on the phone - oops). I was a little surprised, but I could certainly understand. So naturally, we decided to sneak around behind his back. It's funny to go back and read my diary now. By March 13, I thought I might be falling in love. And we'd still never been on a date or alone together for even a minute!
Tune in next time for exciting continuation!
Wednesday, January 11, 2006
Here I am on television. I was nine at the time, and some people from my school had been chosen to be on this local game show called "Heads Up." I'm the one on the end, in the striped shirt. Strangely enough, one of my friends wore the exact same shirt that day. Anyway, I played a memory game. I didn't win, but I was the last one eliminated, so I guess that's not too bad. And I've always remembered what that last picture was: a campfire.
Here I am singing a solo in a church production called "Down by the Creekbank," hence the cute overalls and bare feet. I was ten. I sang a song called "Senses" all about the five senses. Don't you think they could have disguised that stool in front of me as a hollow log or something? It kind of destroys the illusion.
And here I am in costume for a play I did my senior year of college. I played the wife of a political prisoner who had been repeatedly raped and beaten by the guards in a cheery little piece called "One for the Road." Gotta love stage makeup. I have to say I had great fun walking around campus like that, though. I think I scared one of my professors half to death.
So there you have it - me, me and me! Tune in tomorrow for more about me (and hubby - I promised you some courtship stories)!
Did you play?
Tuesday, January 10, 2006
I say officially because we had been going to the same church for years. I had never really noticed him. And he had noticed me, but only because his friend told him to stay away from me. And he tried, he really did. But once I did notice him, I made sure he noticed me, too! His friend, who was also a friend of mine, reluctantly introduced us, and the rest, as they say, is history.
So, why am I pointing it out this year, this little anniversary of ours? Well, this year marks twenty years since we first spoke to each other. Twenty. Years. I can't believe it. I was just a girl of 15, and hubby had just turned 17. Neither of us can remember if it was at the roller rink, or after a concert at church, but after that first meeting, I wouldn't leave him alone. We always say that I chased him until he caught me.
In honor of this anniversary, throughout this month I will share stories from our courtship, which was by turns unique, frustrating, painful, and wonderful. It lasted six and a half years, so there's a lot of blog fodder here! I hope you enjoy my celebration of me and hubby and twenty years together!
Monday, January 09, 2006
I was not surprised. My children think the boxes which games and toys come in are part of the entertainment, provided for their stomping pleasure. If I have any thought of putting a game back into its original box, I have to remove said box from their sight immediately. If I don't, that box will invariably end up on the floor, ripped, flattened, and devoid of all function.
Unfortunately, it is not just boxes which receive the two-footed treatment. Anything on the floor is subject to stomping. Isaac (3) especially delights in crushing every object in sight. If the entire floor is clean except for one piece of cereal, he will go out of his way to grind it to powder before I can bend over to pick it up. If I have left the vacuum sitting out, all four boys will at some point treat it as though it is a bridge from one part of the room to the other.
I'm not sure what causes this behavior. I don't think it's Y-chromosome related, since I have never noticed my husband grinding food into the carpet or stomping on the cereal boxes after he empties them. Perhaps I have a bunch of budding clog dancers? Maybe they just want to see if Daddy's right and the floor really will cave in? I don't know.
But what really confuses me is why, despite their stomping prowess, none of them can step on a bug. They always come running to me for that. Running, and screaming. It's a mystery.
Friday, January 06, 2006
This is the coffee maker BEFORE adding the coffee and water this morning.
This is AFTER the coffee has finished brewing.
And in case you hadn't guessed, my coffee maker is my new favorite thing. My grandmother got it for me for Christmas. It has a timer, it beeps so I know the coffee's ready, it shuts off after two hours (see the little green circle? That's counting out the two hours), and then it beeps again to tell me it's turning off. You can set it to strong or regular brew. It also has its own water filter and a cleaning cycle, plus you can adjust the temperature of the warming plate if you don't like your coffee too hot. And my favorite thing is that the pot doesn't drip when you pour. My old one used to run all over the floor when it was full and I tried to pour it.
So there you have it! Did you play? If not, what is your new favorite thing?
Thursday, January 05, 2006
So if you've never visited their blog, do so now and say hi from me! They are one of my favorites, and always a lot of fun. And if you're here visiting from their recommendation, welcome! Stick around a while - you never know what's going to happen around here. Feel free to browse through my archives and get to know me. I'm looking forward to "meeting" all of you!
Thanks, Sheri & SuZan! You made my day (and month)!
Wednesday, January 04, 2006
Boy, I have so many to choose from! I decided to go with the first one that sprang to mind. Sometime during my freshman year of college, a few of us decided to go to the mall. We went in a toy store just for fun and I came out with a pack of Play-Doh. Whenever I got stressed, I'd get out the Play-Doh and start pounding on it, make little animals, and goof around. One day, I decided I needed some Play-Doh glasses. I chose the fashionable white. Maybe I should have gone with green? Anyway, my roommate was kind enough to snap a picture.
I betcha no one else has a picture of Play-Doh glasses. Oh, I love that t-shirt, too. Bloom County and Star Trek - too cool!
Did you play?
Tuesday, January 03, 2006
You know, I've been doing this homeschooling thing for four years now, and it hasn't gotten any easier. Four years ago, people kept telling me, "It'll get better." Or "You'll get into a routine." And even "You won't be able to imagine anything else." Okay. Well, it's gotten worse. I have no routine. I have no semblance of a routine. I spend half the day trying to convince the kids to get their little butts in the schoolroom so we can learn something. Lunchtime comes and I've covered maybe one subject with one child.
I'll tell you something, though. I can't imagine anything else. Sending my kids away to someone else all day long, and not knowing what they're being taught, or what kinds of things the other kids are telling them? No thanks! Missing that moment when they finally understand a concept and their faces light up? Forget it! Not giving them the freedom to be kids and play all day, except for the couple of hours we take to do school? Tragic!
I don't even know why I'm rambling on about this today. Well, really I do. I just don't want to start school yet. Okay, I better go...
Monday, January 02, 2006
So, if that old bit of wisdom holds true which say that whatever you are doing at midnight on New Year's Eve is representative of what the year will hold, then this is what my new year will hold:
- struggles to reach deadlines
- lots of hard work
- lots of time with hubby, alone (yes!)
- time to read (because there were times he didn't need my immediate help and I read a whole 300 page novel in one day!)
Happy New Year, everybody!