Friday, December 31, 2010

Wailing in the New Year

Here's to hoping the wailing that is coming from my youngest's bedroom is not indicative of the year to come.

Hoping the noise makers at your new year's party a less organic than mine.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Agatha Explained

In more than one post I've referenced Agatha the Gift-bearing Beagle and if you've spent much time around my children it's likely that they've asked you if you've ever heard of her.  So here it is, Agatha explained.

When LK and I moved to Memphis for his graduate work we bought a house.  Sure we calculated that 5 years in a house given the down payment we could make would make more financial sense than renting. And sure, we determined we'd be able to house overnight guests better in a house.  But really, I mean really really, we got a house so we could get a dog.

So, less than a week after moving in LK and I were at the pound- believing that we would show our heroic side by rescuing one of their caged pets.  We chose Keebler- a German Shepherd mix who was on death row.  We paid our money and went home with happy expectation that following a routine examine and spaying Keebler would be ours.  We went an even bought toys and a bandana for her to wear. We were excited.

Two days passed and back to the pound we went.

But at the pound the worker, who himself looked like the human version of the unwanted pets he watched over, told us that that dog had parvo and distemper and they'd dun put her down.

You could physically see my heartbreak.

Okay, Okay- we said, so what can we do now?  And we were told we could choose another dog.  So we did.  This time we chose a puppy- sure that a puppy would be healthy enough to survive the two day physical.

Two days had pass, and many phone calls to the pound to make sure the do was okay, and back to the pound we went.  But when we arrived, heartbreak again as we were told that dog had heartworms and they put him down.

No- no! LK told them- you killed our last dog.  This dog you just told us not more than an hour ago was ready to take home.

We couldn't bare the heartbreak of choosing another dog only to have the Memphis pound kill it, so the worker directed us to a "pet store."

We were not only first time home buyers, we were first time pet buyers so we didn't know about the whole puppy mill situation, we just knew that here was a place that would have a dog we could take home that day, and that was good enough for us.

LK told the work about his dream of having a dog that would catch a frisbee off leash at the park the way the dogs did at the beginning of The Flight of the Navigator.

The workers eyes lit up.  If you want a dog you can let off leash, a good dog that doesn't bark or dig and is so easy to train, a dog you can let off leash while you play at the park, a dog that hardly sheds ... you need a beagle.

Clearly "stupid" was tattooed across our forehead.

We paid more than one month's house payment and took the beagle home, naming her Agatha, Greek for a "good thing."

Within one week, after the dog had dug up and eaten flowers out of the backyard, after the dog spent all night barking and baying, after the dog had eaten part of the mask I'd bought in Venice, after the dog defiantly peed on our bed while looking at us, and after the dog had shed balls of hair in every corner of the house and scaled the fence to run away- I looked at LK and told him to take this hellion dog back to that woman and tell her that she LIED!!!!

Overtime Agatha and I would grow to love each other and in December, when LK and I celebrated our first Christmas away from family- I decided Agatha should buy us a gift.  She was well aware of the massive leaf situation we had with all the old trees in our yard and thoughtfully bought us a leaf blower.

Since that year Agatha has brought us presents each year and well before the boys knew that there was a man name Santa, they knew Agatha the Gift Bearing Beagle would bring them presents.

They've even asked if she'll be able to find us at the new house.  And LK assured them that just like when she would run away back in our Memphis days and find her way home, she would find the new house. And she did.

So here is to hoping Agatha brought you all your heart desired.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas

From our house to yours

Friday, December 24, 2010

The Eve Of

Two presents left to wrap, but given that I had not wrapped a thing before 8:45pm tonight, I'm feeling pretty good about only having two items left. And since technically I don't need those items until lunch time, I'm calling it a grande success (despite the fact that I ran out of tape and could not remember which moving box the spare rolls were in and thus I wrapped 80% of the gifts with duct tape).

Here's to a very Merry Christmas.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010


As I'm replacing this and adding trying to make it gluten free for our first new house dinner guests, and I'm realizing I don't have this so I'll just add that .... I suddenly realize that ISH's Mayo Pickle Sandwich must be genetic.

Rewind to two weeks ago:
ISH: Can we make ZaFrank's tea sandwiches?
Me: What do you need to make it
ISH: Cucumbers
Me: I don't have cucumbers.
ISH: ... thinking.... thinking... But we have pickles.
Me: Hmmmm
ISH: And we need cream cheese.
Me: I don't have cream cheese.
ISH:  ... thinking.... thinking... But we have mayonnaise
Me: Ummmmmmm
ISH: And we need crustless white bread
Me: I don't have crustless white bread.
ISH: ... thinking.... thinking... But we have wheat rolls, right?

And so we made ZaFrank's cucumber, cream cheese, white bread tea sandwiches without the cucumbers, cream cheese or white bread.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

RTT: Busted.

What time is it: 925P

Where am I: Old House kitchen table, coming to terms that unlike I had thought, this will likely not be my last RTT from Old House

Listening to: My computer fan spin.

Last ate: Chex Mix (store bought) which I found to be lacking in taste and thus only has me craving for some good homemade stuff.

Thoughts: I have a post I started on Monday that is 1/2 finished. Started it before the drama. Started it before our buyer walked away and our contract. Started it before I had to fight for at least a little justice in the whole mess. A little justice came- but then left behind it the whole now what question.

I told LK a week ago that I didn't think this would go through- that something with the buyer didn't feel right. I hate it when my intuition is right. And I hate it when I discount intuition only to have it proven after all.

But, I am so thankful for the friends who have stepped up to give a refrigerator to us, or loan us couches, or offer to help move on short notice some- but not all- of our things (got to keep Old House looking her best). This is not going like I thought it would by any means but I'm still able to see so many of the blessing in this and maybe that's what it's about.

And strangely, I have peace. That doesn't mean I'm not frustrated by what happened and it doesn't mean I didn't state what was right and what was not in no uncertain terms, but even still- I do have peace. And I'm thankful for that. Thankful that His left arm is still supporting my head and that even now, His right arm embraces me- and perhaps embracing me more than if we were sailing through to closing day. And that really brings amazing peace.

We put our tree up this week and while all things won't be moved to New House, the boys will ... and I will ... We all will be together on Christmas with a tree in one house even if it is not as I had planned it.

I spent 2 weeks and 2 days killing myself to have a house ready for move in day. So tonight I will reward myself with sleep. And tomorrow night, when we sleep in New House for the first time- two months after having signed on the line- I will reward myself with a nice bath.... that is once I get the cabinet doors out of the tub.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Prayer Walk

We're less than 12 hours from the new carpet coming to New House and the over-the-carpet-painting-areas are all done (huge relief!!!).  So tonight I combined the prayer walk idea from Brazil with the draw on the floor idea my mom let us do back when their house was under construction.

We went around to the carpeted rooms with the boys and our Bible, read verses that were related to the activities we anticipate for the rooms, wrote the scripture reference on the floor, and then prayed over the room.

In the pantry area we read:
Taste and see that the Lord is good. Blessed is the man who goes to him for safety.
and talked about how blessed we are for the food God gives us.

In my office we read:
Sometimes God gives a man wealth and possessions. He makes it possible for him to enjoy them. He helps him accept the life he has given him. He helps him to be happy in his work. All of those things are gifts from God.
and prayed for my work, my clients, and thanking God that I have a job I enjoy doing.

In the living room we read:
Don't forget to welcome strangers. By doing that, some people have welcomed angels without knowing it.
and talked about how we look forward to having Qgroups, friends, family, neighbors, and more over to our new home.

In the master bed we read:
Here is what Israel should say, suppose the Lord had not been on our side. Suppose the Lord had not been on our side when our enemies attacked us. Suppose he had not been on our side when their anger blazed out against us. Then they would have swallowed us alive. They would have been like a flood that drowned us. They would have swept over us like a rushing river. They would have washed us away like a swollen stream. Give praise to the Lord. He has not let our enemies chew us up. We have escaped like a bird from a hunter's trap. The trap has been broken, and we have escaped. Our help comes from the Lord. He is the Maker of heaven and earth.

which has been a deeply personal selection for our marriage and prayed that like Old House, this place can be a sanctuary and a strengthening place for our relationship.

In the boys room we read:
The integrity of the upright guides them

and talked about integrity and prayed our prayer over the boys- that they would will grow to be men of integrity who know and honor God's word.

In the middle bedroom we read:
Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.

and talked about the foster babies we look forward to having in our family and prayed for them and for us as we minister to them.

And in the hallway- we read:
He will be the firm foundation for their entire lives. He will give them all of the wisdom, knowledge and saving power they will ever need. Respect for the Lord is the key to that treasure

and talked about how just like this concrete is the foundation for our house, God is our foundation for our lives and then we signed and dated the concrete.

The cutest part in signing our names as that I went first and wrote "Mommy" and then my real name under it.  Geo went next and wrote his name in quotes as well "Geo" and then tried to write a description below- he was trying for brother I'm sure but ended up writing bother of ISH.  Priceless for sure.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

RTT: The Goodest Word

What time is it: 841A

Where am I: Old House preparing to head to New House for crunch time work

Listening to: the washing machine churn, ISH play Lego Star Wars, and my stomach growl

Last ate: Per statement above- haven't gotten around to eating breakfast yet, so I guess... coffee.

Thoughts: ISH likes to know the rules not so much in the want-to-know-so-can-break-em sort of way but want-to-know-so-I-don't-do-it-wrong sort of a way (I've said it before and will say it again- I have very compliant children. Blessing!). When we give him a new rule, for roughly the next week we will have discussion with ISH as he comes to make sure his foot is not over the perverible line or more to the point to make sure the foot is not even near the line when he does _______ instead of doing what he knows he should not. Yes, I struggle to not be annoyed by the constant questioning of what is in bounds and is it in bounds enough.  I know he does it with a pure heart.  He's a good puritan child.

Our most recent "we don't do that in this family" conversation was when the 5 year old neighbor dropped the F-bomb. Yes, you saw that right FIVE-YEAR-OLD!!!! Since then ISH has been concerned about the word being in his mind and the possibility of accidentally saying it. It's been a good discussion of the junk-in-junk-out rule.

 Through it all I've been trying to help him by saying that God wants us to focus on whatever is good, noble and pure so if he can focus there, the bad will not be as strong in his mind.  Let's focus on the good words I've told him.

Today he came to me and wanted to know if that is a very bad word, what is the "goodest word."

After a moment of thinking I replied, "Well, I guess it's love.  After all, isn't that all we need."

The great Beatles reference was lost on him. But he's young yet and that means we still have time to install the importance of good music.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Tunnel Vision

We got a contract on Old House just after Thanksgiving (nice reason for giving thanks) and we're working to close in December 23 (merry Christmas to me!!)

This means New House needs to be ready asap.

I'm coming to terms that it won't all be done by closing date, but trying to knock out what I can- and it's much better to have not everything done and a sold Old House than all projects complete and two houses.

But carpet comes in Monday which means I feel like I'm living in a tunnel vision- project minded state. ... Wait I think that's not just a feeling. 

Sorry if I seem a bit MIA for a while.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Random Thought Thursday: The Santa Question

What time is it: 345P

Where am I: on campus waiting for Geo during piano practice

Listening to: Geo play the piano- auto correcting the line he keeps missing in Ode to Joy.

Last ate: Ramen- the dietary staple of my life as I work at New House which does not yet have a refrigerator.

I was asked point blank yesterday about Santa by my youngest. Strangely we don't talk about Santa around here, or didn't really until Geo came home from first grade educating us all on the wonders that is.

But strangely, I found myself caught. I don't want to tell my child that there is a kind and loving man watching everything that goes on and if we are good this man will reward us... to only later tell him said man isn't really real but oh by the way let me tell you about God...

So I didn't want to say the truth but didn't want to burst his little happy Santa-loving heart.

Instead, I played the "what do you mean by is Santa real" question to see exactly what he was wanting to know. It boiled down to the question of can Santa go back up the chimney, and he seemed satisfied with the idea he came to that Santa must go out the door.

In my defense I never did say he's real- and in fact once said he wasn't- but then the talent of ISH's selective hearing tuned that out (he, of course, gets that talent from his father).

So I'm curious- do you do Santa? Do you tell your kids he's real? Do you go the route of a past friend of mine whose mom put footprints near the fireplace in the name of childhood magic? Do you squelch any Santa talk in the name of full on honesty? Or do you find yourself somewhere in between?

And in my own defense- at least Agatha the Gift Bearing Beagle did actually exist.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Scenic Black and White

This week's iheartfaces contest is black and whites that are a scenic in their composition with the person.  I took this pic when LK and I were traveling in the San Fran area.  We were driving back from Napa on our way to the airport and stopped to stretch our legs at Cesar Chavez Park and have tapas in some small hole when I saw her sitting in the grass-

To see more scenic black and whites, check out other entries at iheartfaces.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

I think Jason Mraz is stalking me

Or maybe it's just the 14 hour painting spree I've just come off of. (It's very possible that this blog post will go unfinished because my hands will leave in protest of still being used now that I'm back at Old House).

Why might I think he stalking me? Because no matter what Pandora station I listened to today he kept showing up- Hip Hop (yes, I listen to Hip Hop), The Killers station, Folk- doesn't seem to matter he is always there. So clearly he is either the common denominator of all music genres or ... a Pandora restraining order against him might be necessary.

Other thoughts that I have from spending 14 hours with my Pandora account and paint

1. After prolonged exposure to Counting Crows from various live recordings, I think it is quiet possible that Adam Duritz may one day start lowly committing suicide on stage mid-concert and no one will really be shocked given the tone of his live concerts.

2. Does anyone think Justin Timberlake sounds Michael Jackson-esque in Rock Your Body?  Maybe that was what he was going for but close your eyes and think about it.

3. I plugged in Human to Pandora (Because I hadn't heard it awhile and so I put it on, that's why) and everything that came back sounded like it belonged on some sort of movie sound track or at least a Scrubs episode.

And now I'm off to talk LK into massaging my right thumb a bit more.  If by chance this post makes no sense to you, let's blame it paint.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

The Crazy Target Lady

I won't be getting up to fight off crowds at 3, 4, or 5am. I won't be camping out in front of stores to be the first through the doors. Why? Because unlike this women, I have not lost my mind.

Seriously lady, seek medical attention.

Gobble Gobble

What time is it: 838P

Where am I: at back home after an afternoon with family

Listening to: Football game in one room, ELF on in here - love the way Zooey sings

Last ate: Oh good heavens! It's Thanksgiving, I don't know if I want to (or could) even answer that.

Thoughts:  Thanksgiving.

I am thankful for my family- those immediate, and those extended.  Those here now, those gone already, those yet to come.

I'm thankful for my friends- the new ones I've been blessed to meet this year and those who are my steady constants.

I'm thankful for my job.

I'm thankful for the trips I've been able to take this year.

I'm thankful for my boys and for their wonderfully curly hair.

I'm thankful for LK and the marriage that, as we were both discussing late one night, we can't imagine being without.

I'm thankful for the life that I have no idea why I have been blessed to live- but the life I hope I am living to the fullest- giving back and enjoying the ride.

My cup overflows,

Monday, November 22, 2010

TSA a follow up thought

I know, I know, I just published something on the TSA all but moments ago.  But then Yahoo News had to go and post and article with the statement:
A year ago, [authorities] prevented a Christmas Day attempt to blow up a flight to Detroit with a bomb hidden in a passenger's clothes.
For the record- the authorities let the one-way-ticket-buying, pay-in-cash, on-a-watch-list, no-luggage-carrying, would-be bomber on board.  The would-be attack could have been prevented not by backscatters and shouldn't-you-buy-me-dinner-first pat downs but by the authorities actually paying attention to the flags raised by the systems already in place. 

And for the record it was not the authorities who stopped the would-be attack.
Abdulmutallab spent about 20 minutes in the bathroom as it approached Detroit, and then covered himself with a blanket after returning to his seat. Other passengers then heard popping noises, smelled a foul odor, and some saw Abdulmutallab’s trouser leg and the wall of the plane on fire. Fellow passenger Jasper Schuringa, a Dutch film director, jumped on Abdulmutallab and subdued him as flight attendants used fire extinguishers to douse the flames.[118]
Stepping down off my soap box for a little while now,

Thoughts on the TSA

I'll admit, typing that header alone has me wonder if I'll now be flagged for searching when I travel next.  But I, like others, have concerns that I want to process through on the new TSA screenings. And honestly, it's one of those jumbled-thoughts-where-to-start sort of processing so stick with me here.

When LK first told me about these scanners and pat downs I told him the article was wrong.  I live in America, I told him- they won't let those things happen.  There's no way that's legal.  No way that is really happening. But it is.  And that alone has me a bit turned around.

I'm all for profiling those who need to be profiled.  When I worked inside the a brick and mortar agency, I once called the FBI because a family came in wanting to buy their daughter a one-way ticket from Memphis to Tehran on a specific day, specific flights, routing specifically through Amsterdam and wanted to pay cash.  When I gave them an extremely high rate for that day, they didn't want me to look into other options and they didn't want to give me any contact information.  To me, that was enough to raise a flag or two and I reported it.

And I'm all for airport security.  I enjoy traveling and would prefer to not die mid flight, so checking for weapons is okay by me.

What I'm not okay with, like many travelers (though surprisingly not as many as I thought), is the backscatter machines and the amazingly up-close and personal body checks.  So bare with me as I try to explain why.

Where do these pictures go?  I googled TSA images and was able to find several pics online- though most of them appeared to be given to the media from the TSA.  What I found wasn't as graphic as this website suggested back in January that they would be, but on the two sites I found I was able to copy the picture like the January website said, Crtl + i and was able to, how shall I put this, see more of these people than I wanted to.  With today's information age, how can be sure these pictures will never get out?

Honestly, if you want to backscatter me, fine.  If you want to put my picture up online, fine (after all, it would provide interesting results the next time I google my name), but stick my child in one of those machines and have the possibility that his picture could be out on some website and watch this mama bear roar.

Plus, tell me how you can be so sure some closet pedophile isn't on the other side of that machine.  How can I be sure my child isn't the victim of someone's sick obsession simply because we wanted to board a plane.

Pat Downs-
For the last three years I've worked with women who are the survivors of abuse.  In our group we don't even hug the other person without asking first because you can never know what will set off the other. People of past abuse don't normally like close physical contact and unwanted physical contact can be a trigger for very bad things. Tell me how these experiences aren't asking for a survivor to go into a panic attack just because they wanted to travel.

Tell me how in the name of security things like this are necessary. Tell me how in the name of security I either get to give you an all but naked picture of myself or I have to let you grope me in order to go through security.  And that really?!?!?!?  once I've started the process my only 3rd option is the threat of a huge fine?  How does that work?!  Especially when the TSA website isn't even all updated on which airports have these systems and which don't on the off chance that I wanted to pick the option of driving further to fly from an airport that currently won't subject me to this mess.

So basically what I'm wondering is this- and, if someone can help me understand this I'd be more than happy to oblige with these security measures when needed- how is that in the last nine years security has gotten more and more out of hand and yet their measures have all been a matter a whiplash reaction to what they didn't catch the first go round.  As one report today noted:
Since 9/11, the only two terrorist threats to U.S. airlines were the shoe bomber (December 2001) and the underwear bomber (December 2009). Both of these individuals rang every bell there was to say, “Look, I am a terrorist!” Both of came from foreign airports and passed through security checks that should have stopped them long before they walked onto airliners.
Isn't it worth thinking about for just a minute- just to stop and think before sending out some new and invasive rule- that these people got through security and that
It should be noted that the new full-body scanners would not have singled out either of these two individuals, who checked in for international flights with one-way tickets purchased with cash and no luggage. Furthermore, it was the passengers and flight attendants who stopped these would-be bombers, not the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).
This people all but wore a shirt that said I'M A TERRORIST! And yet the TSA thinks all these new measures is what is going to keep us safer?  Ignoring all the one-way tickets, paid in cash, no luggage, flags and rely on groping them as the fail-proof measure?

This same report pointed out that:
Wouldn’t our skies be safer if we used the security procedures employed by some foreign countries and had layers of well-trained experts, who by asking simple questions can recognize those who appear suspicious? Israel's El Al Airlines, for example, has developed one of the most successful security programs in the world. Its security starts before anyone approaches the airport screening lines and incorporates layers of verification using well-trained security professionals.
And in Israel people don't get felt up just for wanting to get Grandma.

And another thought.  As of November 1 the TSA now requires me, as a travel agent, or you if you book a flight online for yourself, to enter in vast amounts of information.  What is the purpose of that whole mess if they're just going to backscatter me anyway?

To me, there are too many "unanswereds" out there for me to be okay with this.

That's why I agree with what National Opt Out Day is doing.  They're not asking for you to stage a sit in and protest the whole messy thing, or asking you to make a scene.  They're very clear that
There is no intent or desire to delay passengers en route to friends and family over Thanksgiving.  People also need to remember to stay within the confines of the law and the regulations of TSA when exercising their right to a pat down.
But that the reason they want everyone to opt out so that people will be able to
sit around the dinner table, eating turkey, [and talk] about their experience - what constitutes an unreasonable search, how forceful of a pat down will we allow on certain areas of our body, and that of our children, and how much privacy are we will to give up for flying?
But don't let it stop there.  The next step, as they say, is to tell the government about your experience.  On their website they list several places to submit your TSA experience.  But one that don't have listed is the US Travel Association.  Who wants to know people's experiences because they believe by hearing about them, they can address Congress and ask can we do better.

And as I end these can-this-really-be-processing-thoughts the travel agent in me feels the need to tell anyone who will be traveling on Wednesday, opting out or not, please please please arrive earlier than you normally would.  My guess is places with backscatters will be more of a zoo than normal holiday traffic would cause and places without them will still have TSA agents on pretty high alert.

This will, above all, not be a good day to tell them you have a live chicken in your bag- believe you me. But then, that would be another story for another day.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Pardon Me While I Zip Back Up

Thanks for indulging me in my little electronic transparency last night.  I don't often let it all hang out like that- but I suppose that means I'm trusting you more :)

Frankly, I'm going to blame it all on the leaves.

We have a showing today (pray for a sale!) and with the way the wind has been sweeping down the plains, the black jack oaks in the front yard had dumped a load of leaves.  (I never thought I would long for the tree-less days of MWC).  I knew by the time LK (who is normally captain of raking around these parts) got home it would be too dark for any real productive work on the leaves and I wanted the house to look great for this afternoon.

I know that leaves make me sick, I know that an hour and half with my face in them and I my brain would no longer be getting adequate oxygen.  But with the desire for a leaf-less lawn and the captain out of pocket- what else was I to do?

I guess my impromptu leaf-mold shield was not as effective as planned.  Basically all it did was have the neighbors wondering if I've converted.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Random Thought Thursday: When

I. Am. Tired.

I am ready to be done painting.

I am ready for the house to sell.

I am, however, not ready to have to pack and move.

It seems at these times in life I understand the deist stance. That or the pagan thought of what sacrifice do I need to offer to make this harvest plentiful.

Is 9pm too early for bed?

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Discussing Pets and Christmas

While taking the vacuum from one house to the other ISH notices the special tools for pet-hair-removal.

ISH: Oh this vacuum has a tool to clean doggies.

Me: No, it's not to clean pets, it's for picking up pet hair when they shed.

ISH: Oh good thing we don't have cat ... they shed ... silence ... thinking ... silence .... But maybe we could get a parrot.  Or a monkey.

Me (in a slightly sarcastic mutter): Yeah, because those are so much alike.

ISH: They're not alike.  Parrots fly and monkeys are crazy.  They're not similar because there's no such thing as flying monkeys*

*said the child who to my knowledge has never seen the Wizard of Oz


Last Saturday night while LK went to the OU home game, I roamed the aisles of Target with the boys.  I went in for bread and a baby gift and while in there decided to let the boys play in the toy aisles and get some ideas for Christmas.

Geo: So then we find things we would like, make a list, and leave it for Santa ... and then Santa comes down the chimney and sees the list and say "Hmm, I guess I need to go to Target."

And yes, Target, you're welcome to my children for your commercials, they're pretty dang photogenic.

I suppose this is what I get for all those years of telling them Agatha the Gift Bearing Beagle is responsible for all those Christmas presents.

Monday, November 15, 2010


This week's iheartfaces photo contest is "Silhouettes."  My entry is a picture from my recent trip to Brazil.  I not only love this picture because of how dear to me the two women photographed are, but also because in this small captured moment I can see the years of friendship they have had.   I am truly blessed by these women and blessed to observe their sweet care of each other.

Check out more silhouetted pictures at iheartfaces.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Define: Acapella

I got a call this week from Acapella. They needed help getting to Jamaica for a concert in December and Uber Agent to the rescue.

So I call an airline to get some prices

Uber Agent: Yes, I need rates for a group of 12 going to Jamaica ... (details of trip, blah, blah, blah).

Airline Reservationist: Is the group for business or tourism?

UA: Well, it's an acapella singing group going to Jamaica for a concert. Would whether or not they're getting paid open up a special rate?

AR: No, we just try to keep track for our records. ... So a band ... will they need to purchase extra seats for all their instruments?

UA: Um... no... Their instruments will fit fine in the seats with them.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Dear Rainstorm

Dear rainstorm,

While I appreciate your watering the earth and all, we have a showing at 12:30pm today. So, if you could kindly get this out of your system before then and let some sunshine come and make our house for sale look all happy and homey, that would be greatly appreciated.


Thursday, November 11, 2010

Random Thought Thursday: Rocks

What time is it: 1102P

Where am I: at the old house (oh the life of a land baroness)

Listening to: Frasier rerun

Last ate: I don't know if it counts as "eaten" but I did finally get around to trying an Earl Gray Latte from Starbucks, pretty good. Not a regular choice in the making, but not bad.

I think next year they'll add "2 bags of playground rocks" to Geo's school supply list. Judging by the amount of rocks the kid brings home in his shoes each day that's the minimum I will owe them by August of next year.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Simple Way to Learn a Foreign Language

The boys like to listen to a CD before going to bed.  On Monday, Wednesday and Friday Geo chooses the CD and Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday ISH does (Sunday night, everyone's favorite Parent's Choice Night).

For a few nights of Geo's choosing he selected the Learn to Speak Russian CD that he got awhile back in his Chick-Fil-A kids meal.  I didn't really think much of it- after all I had tried in 8th grade to memorize a scene from Romeo and Juliet I had put off learning until the night before by listening to a recorded section of the play over and over again while I slept and that didn't really seem to work- but today as Geo walked by and randomly muttered Russian to me, I started thinking that there might be something to subliminal learning.

So here's how you do it-
Step 1: Get a CD
Step 2: Play it while you're asleep.

I mean, it seemed to work for Geo.  Now, anyone else have any foreign language CDs we can add to the rotation?  Maybe something a bit more useful than Russian?

Monday, November 8, 2010

More Accessories From Scrap Fabric

Mondo I am not, but I have been having fun with scrap fabric and turning it into different clothing accessories.  I call this one Ode to Japan, the fabric is left over outdoor fabric from when I recovered my outdoor furniture.

I held it together in the back with a rubber band and then wrapped some twine around me and around the rubber band.

I also wrapped some twine around a bobby pin and put it in my hair.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

A Champion for Thanksgiving

As I walked into Lowes two weeks before Halloween and saw their Christmas tree display already up, I felt sorry for Thanksgiving.

As my blog reader went from how to decorate for Halloween to to how to decorate for Christmas, I felt sorry for Thanksgiving.

As I drove past a local university and saw the fence around the student housing decorated with "Merry Christmas," I felt sorry for Thanksgiving.

Since when did we go straight for give me candy to give me presents without stopping even for one small month to at least give thanks?

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Random Thought Thursday: The Other

What time is it: 257P

Where am I: in line at Geo's school waiting for pick up time

Listening to: ISH in the backseat count to 100 over and over then randomly break into some previously unknown song.

Last ate: Fuji Apple salad from Panera. About to go to Starbucks and get some afternoon coffee with Mom (thankful to have them in town for a bit)

Yes, I'm one of those people. I'm one of those people who googles my name every now and then to see what's out there. But what I have found from this exercise has become very helpful over the last few weeks. Apparently there is another with my exact name, another who creates some pretty interesting things. Another whose friends inadvertently send emails to me which are originally intended for the other. Such as emails from her love interest inviting her to New York for the weekend. Or emails from the place she use to work asking her to come to this year's Christmas party. Or emails from other roommates with new roommate applications attached. You have no idea the temptation I've had to fight from the reality of the fun I could have screwing with her life.

Word to the wise - check the "to" field when sending emails.  You never know what kind of a weapon that information in the hands of the other could become.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


I was a bit skeptical when Geo asked to join boy scouts.  I mean- this is my kid that hates being outside.  So does he realize that outside is what the boy scouts are?

But this past weekend that same hate-the-outside-kid opted to go camping over trick or treating around the neighborhood.

I can only remember in-tent camping two other times in my life.  Once when I was sometime around 8 when we were visiting my grandparents at their lake lot.  We caught a turtle and named it Sara.  Dad explained that Sara could not be kept (why I can't now remember) and that he would buy us a turtle when we got home.  Little did he know turtles were, at that time, against the law to sell in our home state.

The second in-tent-camping experience I can remember is when Geo was 11 months old and me, LK, a baby Geo and four other friends drove all night from Memphis to Biloxi in hopes of camping on the beach.  Did you know camping on the beach is verboten in Biloxi?  We didn't either.  So instead we camped at a KOA with the fire ants and attempted to make s'mores with heat from the car heater.  That one was really a special adventure.

So given those experiences, I didn't really know what to expect. But- he loved it!  And me- I loved spending two nights in a 2 man tent with my 4 favorite people.  I loved ISH sharing his blakenty with me during the night and him singing children songs in my ear when he woke up.  I loved watching Geo be all boy - running through the creek and throwing things in the fire - with the other boys and looking up with him at the clearest, starriest sky I have ever seen.

So, dare we say it- we may just find ourselves camping again sooner than 2016.

A few pics from the weekend:

A beautiful sunset on our way to Camp George Thomas

A late night tent set up

Outside our tent on a lovely 42 degree morning

The Scouts and doing a disability awareness activity (the kid with his bandana up was practicing his hearing disability I suppose)

Nature time and the world's most patient Scout leader.

One happy cub scout