Dec 30, 2007

Lessons Learned from This Year's Holiday Travel...

(I'm supposed to be cleaning the fridge. Ssshhhhh--don't tell the Cat Daddy!)
  1. The Extra Large Space Bag is not wide enough for a convertible carseat. The Jumbo has yet to be tested.
  2. Delta will provide a semi-protective plastic bag when you check a carseat. US Airways will provide a thin, clear garbage bag, and then a second one when the seat splits the first one straight away. And plenty of packing tape.
  3. The US Airways reps here in the States will say that a checked carseat does not count as one of your two bags, but US Airways rep Glen in the Philippines will say that it does.
  4. When traveling with a one-year-old, curbside check-in is totally worth the $2 per bag, plus tip.
  5. When traveling with a one-year-old, most conveniences are totally worth the extra cost.
  6. A backpack that snaps to the stroller is convenient in the airport, but a total pain all other times if it doesn't have any other straps or handles. Better to take the big, hideous, pink camouflage bag next time.
  7. A Boeing 757 is a larger aircraft than the 737, but the under-the-seat clearance in the 737 better accommodates a Sherpa Bag containing a 16-lb cockapoo.
  8. When a one-year-old spends the morning out with the grandmas, assuming he comes back in one piece, it's better not to ask about the details.
  9. Burlington Mall remains the home of the undisputed Santa champion of the world.
  10. Golden, Colorado is home to the largest Eddie Bauer Outlet store in history, which has crazy-good deals.
  11. Having milk delievered from a local 'boutique' dairy is totally worth an extra $.35 per gallon.
  12. Surprisingly, the drop-down changing tables in airplane lavatories are quite convenient.
  13. When the seatbelt sign is on and the flight attendants implore passengers to stay seated for their own safety unless it's an absolute emergency, a one-year-old peeing thru his diaper not only qualifies as an absolute emergency, but will also earn sympathetic looks from all the passengers (and crew) on the way to the lav.
  14. Older planes have the 'no-smoking' and 'fasten-seatbelt' lighted signs. Newer planes have the 'fasten-seatbelt' and 'turn-off-all-electronic-devices' signs.
  15. Nursing on the plane keeps baby happy. Happy babies on the plane keep everyone else happy. Nursing = good.
  16. The TSA website specifies only that a 'reasonable' amount of baby-liquids may be brought on the plane, so the grumpy agents in Phoenix should lay off already.
  17. Given plane tickets and put in a situation of travel, ordinary people who are normally giant three-year-olds become giant three-year-old savages.

Dec 18, 2007

Trauma for Santa...

Poor Santa can't catch a break this year...

DANBURY -- A 33-year-old woman was charged with fourth-degree sexual assault Saturday after allegedly groping a man playing Santa Claus at the Danbury Fair mall.

Sandrama Lamy, 33, of Danbury, is charged with fourth-degree sexual assault, according to Danbury Detective Lt. Thomas Michael.

Two messages seeking comment were left on Lamy's answering machine.

Details leading up to the alleged fondling are sketchy.

"I don't know what the deal was. It was just bizarre," the mall Santa told a reporter, referring all other questions about the incident to Cherry Hill Photo, the company that runs the Danbury Fair mall Santa photo setup.

Cherry Hill Photo did not respond to an e-mail seeking comment.

According to information provided by the Danbury Police Department, officers were dispatched to the mall Saturday at 8:45 p.m.

The mall Santa told police that Lamy touched him inappropriately while sitting on his lap.

"The security officer at the mall said Santa Claus has been sexually assaulted," Michael said.

Lamy was also charged with breach of peace.

"She must have caused a commotion over there," Michael said.

Lamy was released on a promise to appear Jan. 3 in Danbury Superior Court.

Danbury Fair mall spokeswoman Melissa Eigen called the alleged groping "an isolated incident."

"The safety of our guests and employees is a top priority, and we strive to create a safe and enjoyable shopping environment at all our facilities and Danbury Fair specifically," Eigen said.

2007 has not been a great year for mall Santas.

Earlier this month in Missoula, Mont., a mall Santa was assaulted with a pumpkin pie.

Meanwhile, a department store Santa in Australia claims he lost his job earlier this month because he said "Ho, ho, ho." His bosses had asked him to say "Hi, hi, hi."

"Santa Tim" Connaghan is the president of RealSantas.com and teaches hundreds of people a year how to be Santas. He said the Danbury Fair mall incident, if true, is one of kind.

Santas usually have to worry about kids tugging beards and teens throwing pennies from the mall rafters.

"I have been doing this 40 years, and I've never heard of charges being lodged either way -- by a guest against a Santa or a Santa against a guest," Connaghan said.

It isn't unusual for an adult to sit and pose with a picture with a mall Santa.

"I've had some very nice ladies sit on my lap," Connaghan said.

A harmless flirtation isn't out of the norm.

"Once in a while they'll say 'I hope Mrs. Claus isn't going to be upset.' You have to be discreet and kind and say 'Oh no, she'll be OK. You can sit here, but only for one photo.'"

Dec 11, 2007

After A Long Day...

I know what the 'rules' are. I know that I can try and try, and think I have covered all the bases, and still come up short...and that it's just the way it is sometimes because I am an imperfect person in an imperfect world. I know that when I come upon a problem, the better way to deal with it is to attack it together instead of fighting against the other person. I know that everyone makes mistakes, that sooner or later everyone drops the ball on their responsibilities, and even that sometimes things happen beyond our control that leave us with a mess to clean up to make things right again.

And yet...every so often I feel so tired of fighting against the tide of life's difficult parts, and keeping my 'chin up' amid conflicts, and asserting my boundaries, and making the day-in-and-day-out-effort that it takes to be healthy. I have my moments where I hang my head in defeat because there's nothing more I can say or do. Right or wrong, there's no fight left in me. In those moments there is a hovering futility and I know that it is not my moment to be heard, to be understood...and that I need to let it go because that's how it goes sometimes.

I hate those moments.

Do You Know the Way...

That’s right, I’m in San Jose—how cool is that! Last Friday (Friday) my boss asked if I could be in California by Monday morning (Monday) to witness some testing for one of the programs my department supports. I said, “I need to be back before next Friday; the Cat Daddy leaves town that day and someone has to attend to His Highness.” And they said, “No problem.” And darn it, I couldn’t think of a single reason not to go. So I made some reservations in a hurry, and spent a hectic weekend running around like a headless chicken doing laundry and making other preparations, and Sunday afternoon I caught a plane, and here I am.

Some of you will know San Jose as the heart of the silicon valley…lots of technological stuff going on here. I can now die knowing that I’ve driven by the eBay and Yahoo headquarters. I didn’t go in (I’m sure I’d have been promptly escorted out), but I saw them up close with my own eyes. And then it dawned on me that they were office buildings just like all the other office buildings around them, probably filled with cubicles like the one I’m temporarily occupying, and people doing various types of work and complaining about having to work just like the rest of us. Maybe.

Still, those of us who live in New England always appreciate the opportunity to escape during the winter (much like my Phoenecian friends going north in the summer). Last week I was wearing a face mask, jogging into the icy winds and wondering whose stupid idea it was for me to be outdoors in such weather; last night I sauntered out in a t-shirt and shorts for a quick jaunt down the road before stopping at Chipotle for a fajita burrito "bol." And it was 4 pm and still light out! You just can’t beat that for a December evening.

And further, those of us who are mommies always appreciate the opportunity to leave the kiddo(s) with daddy for a few days. The Cat Daddy has gone out of town a few times since His Highness was born, so of course I had to take a turn too, since I'm ridiculously particular about fairness and taking turns. Plus it gives them a chance to do manly things together, and that’s gotta be a good thing.

Oh, and there’s a craft fair going on this week at the facility I’m visiting. Craft fair! My eyes are glazing over and my mind is saying “must have that, and that, and that…” Thus far I’ve limited it to sampling the fudge in one booth but seriously, I had to remove myself before I lost all rational thought. The beaded necklaces might be calling me back though—must…have…pretties…

Dec 7, 2007

Things I Do...

...As I get tired, I talk. A lot. Suddenly everything is quite an interesting story. Actually it's more like babbling. And the more tired I get, the more I find it necessary to talk. And then the next day I think "Why on earth did I tell that story? It made no sense. Why did I think that would be even remotely interesting?" Apparently fatigue, to my body, is like alcohol. If someone wanted to get info out of me, all they would have to do is wait until I got tired...

...Ask questions at inopportune times. Nothing catastrophic, mind you. Just not the best timing. Case in point: as a friend was signing his daughter out of daycare--"Hey, what is your wife going to do about daycare while you're deployed?" An honest question, probably no big deal. But standing in the daycare lobby in front of the staff--not as discreet as I could be. Oh and THEN when it dawns on me, like 3 sentences later, I end up overcompensating by affirming again & again what the person is saying. I'm usually fine with my occasional foot-in-mouth syndrome; it's just happening a little more often than normal lately. I really, really think it's a result of going off the SSRI. SSRI's tend to mellow a person, which in my case might also mean that it amps up my internal censor. No SSRI = internal censor goes from automatic to manual. With no warning.

So if I say something dumb around you, just say "Dude, not here," and bear with me. I'm re-orienting my internal censor...

Dec 4, 2007

Smiling Polar Bear Cubs...

Coke vs. Pepsi: As a kid I didn't really care but if I had to choose I'd pick Coke. In college and the early years of our marital bliss, the Cat Daddy and I preferred Pepsi. In recent years, however, I've slipped back toward Coke. Everyone says Pepsi is 'sweeter,' which I sort of agree with, except I don't think 'sweeter' is the precise term. The flavor is just different, which most know is attributed to Pepsi's citrus flavor-base versus Coke's vanilla one. And I swear Coke helps with nausea. Pepsi--not so much.

As for the Cat Daddy, he's completely crossed over to the dark side of diet sodas. That's one place I'll never go. Never, I say! Artificial sweeteners and I don't get along very well. Even Splenda...no dice with me. The lone exception is sugarless gum; everything else I'll just do without before consuming the sugarless version.

A few years ago, when the Cat Daddy deployed to the desert, I was taking him to the airport. It was a cold, November night at some ungodly hour, like 2am. I had gone to bed early to get some rest, and then as we began the ride to the airport I brought along a Hot Pocket and a Coke as a pick-me-up. I figured, since I was saying goodbye to him for 4 months and all, that I'd earned them. I remember very little of what we talked about that night, but I distinctly remember saying "This is the best Coke I've ever had." And the Cat Daddy said something like "It's because it's nighttime. Everything tastes better after midnight." I think I remember him saying there was some sort of scientific basis, but it was 2am, so I might've dreamed it; who knows.

WELL, this weekend I was grocery shopping and had a wicked headache. The kind of headache that needs ibuprofen to feel better, but that caffeine tends to help as well. And even though it was about 4pm, way after my normal lunchtime cutoff for caffeine consumption, I marched over to the cooler and grabbed a bottle of Coke for the ride home. Hit the self checkout, then walked out into the crisp night air (because night comes around 4pm here these days), twisting off the cap and taking my first swig.

Now normally when I get a 20 oz bottle, I try to drink half and save the rest for later, but this time I downed the whole thing within the 15-minute drive home. I didn't even bother trying to stop myself. The taste rivaled that of the Coke of November 2003, on the way to the airport when the Cat Daddy deployed. It was that good.

And then I realized the common denominator. Grandma likes a cold beer on a hot day...and I like an icy-cold Coke on an icy-cold night. I like to think it's something about the air pressure, or the smell of snow or something, but who knows. I do remember that in neither instance was I drinking directly out of a can. The 2003 Coke came from a can, but I drank it from a cup (and on the rocks). Cans are fine, but for a fuller Coke experience you can't go wrong with glasses and/or bottles. Or--even better--glass bottles.


I always thought the Coke ads with the polar bears were a little unrealistic, but now I know otherwise--Coke and winter nights go together just fine!

So see what you think...cold Coke on a cold night (below freezing if possible, but definitely sub-40 degrees. Make sure you're bundled up and enjoy!

Nov 29, 2007

Christmas Post II--Best Lights EVER...

This one's been making the rounds for a few years now. You can get the full story here.



And just for fun, here's another:

Christmas Post I--YES!!

Your Christmas is Most Like: National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation

Christmas is a big, boisterous event at your place.
And no matter what, something hilarious usually happens.

Nov 27, 2007

A Bone to Pick...

Had an interesting conversation with Well-Meaning Person the other day. And ironically enough, the only reason I'm posting here is that I know WMP doesn't read my blog (so see, it's not you--by reading this post you're automatically disqualified from being WMP). Does anyone else do that, or am I the only wuss not brave enough to say what I'm really thinking and risk hurting someone's feelings? I know WMP desperately just wants everything to be OK, so the basis really is good intentions. But a nerve has been struck and I must address it.

Wait, wait, wait...background info...word on the street is that we'll be moving in the April timeframe. Heading to California for the Cat Daddy to do some training, and then off to the frozen tundra for the next 3-4 years to implement said training. I knew we'd be moving in 2008, but I wasn't expecting so soon. And while we are STOKED to spend the summer in California (couple hours north of L.A.), first we have to do the painful business of leaving here. Lots of things about the military have grown on me, but the leaving is ALWAYS the pits.

But California!! Aaah! So fun!

SO, back to my conversation...WMP said something to the effect of hoping that the military life is always "easy" on me. And proceeded to point out several good things about each of our duty stations thus far. And let me be clear--these are all very, very good things and I have enjoyed them immensely. But I need to make a distinction that I'm pretty sure most people will relate to, regardless of their plight in life, and that is this [you may enter your own specifics in the bracketed areas]:

I may deliberately avoid the standard "look at the bright side" approaches in my public ruminations, but I'm just as likely as the next guy to look for the silver lining. And I can look at my life and see a lot of good. A lot. The [military] life has lots of good things, and I've been blessed beyond all get-out in my adventures as a [military spouse]. In many areas I'm quite comfortable, and as far as creature comforts go I have no complaints. My general reaction to my life is pure gratitude. Honest.

But let's get something clear. The good things about the [military] life make some things easy, and other things difficult, and other things nearly unbearable. My life is abundant, and full, and a spectacular
adventure...but it is NOT "easy."

And I'm really quite content with that, as long as I'm allowed to live in that reality without trying to make it something it's not. Let me remain in the emotional tension and more-than-occasional ambivalence. Let me choose to be excited on my own terms. Let me experience pain and the occasional rant without trying to resolve it or make it "better." Wanna make sure I'm happy and OK all the time? Sorry, that's just not me.

There, I feel better. Hopefully soon I'll post a bit I'm working on about defensiveness. Probably a good thing...

Today's Corporate Happenings...

So, today I had a short training course on a remote-access capability my company provides. Happily, it was not excruciating; in fact, I found the info quite useful, especially taking into account our pending move and such (more about that later).

The gentleman seated across from me had, um, artificially enhanced his hairline. Yes folks, he had used the Ronco spray-product that fills in the gaps and attaches itself to existing hair to create a filling-out effect for those with less-than-full heads of hair. I have to say, this was the first time I'd seen it in real life. That I know of. In this instance it was clear--a nice, clean, vivid black region defining a theoretical hairline, the existing hair parted and combed according to the theoretical hairline, and the natural "salt & sand" color (which I thought would be quite distinguished if left to its own devices) peeking out at the sideburn areas.

Now I'm all for personal freedom in grooming. And I know there are myriad men (and women) out there who choose to enhance their sparsely-populated locks instead of embracing the thinning and/or receding (in which case less is better--think Patrick Stewart as Jean-Luc Picard. Very nice). To each his own, honest. It's just when the goal is to look as if you've done nothing special, it seems reasonable to ditch anything that obviously points to what you're trying to cover up. That's all I'm sayin'...

Nov 26, 2007

Yep, I Really Said It...

To His Highness: "NO sir...you already ate those vegetables once, you do not need to eat them again."

(you can probably guess the scenario here)

Nov 25, 2007

Nov 23, 2007

Mid-Book Review...


So lately I’m reading a book called “12 ‘Christian’ Beliefs That Can Drive You Crazy,” by Cloud & Townsend. Have I ever mentioned that I love Cloud & Townsend? I might even have a (platonic) crush on the both of them. They really know their stuff. The bulk of their work is from a psychology/counseling bent, but oh-so-much of their stuff applies to pretty much anyone.

The whole point of this one is exploring common (but wrong) ideas most of us have probably heard or been told in our quest for spiritual growth. Check out these assumptions—

  1. It’s selfish to have my needs met
  2. If I’m spiritual enough, I will have no pain or sinfulness
  3. If I change my behavior, I will grow spiritually and emotionally
  4. I just need to give it to the Lord
  5. One day, I’ll be finished with recovery
  6. Leave the past behind
  7. If I have God, I don’t need people
  8. “Shoulds” are good
  9. Guilt and shame are good for me
  10. If I make right choices, I will grow spiritually
  11. Just doing the right thing is more important than why I do it
  12. If I know the truth I will grow

Good stuff, yes? The tricky part to all of the ideas is that they sound good, and most people can spew scriptures that they think support all 12 of them. And each does have a bit of truth to it, so it takes some thinking and processing and discernment to sort out the good parts from the harmful.

I'm only on number 7, but based on the first half alone, I totally recommend it to pretty much anyone. Don’t get freaked out by the feely-words like “recovery” and "emotional"…I’m telling you, it’s a really good read.

Nov 21, 2007

A Quick Breath...

Well how about that...some downtime and nothing to do. Strike that--there's always something to do. Nothing pressing to do. Thanksgiving is tomorrow, so the only things I'm concerned with right now are my dinner tonight and meal preparations for tomorrow. Mostly I need to calculate backwards from our projected 4pm dinnertime to determine when to begin the brining, but that shouldn't take more than a couple minutes.

We are doing a simple, casual Thanksgiving this year. We're cooking and having a couple friends over; that's it. One is bringing his Wii, so we expect visual hilarity to ensue. Should be a good time.

The Cat Daddy and I did a quick run to the store this evening, to pick up some last-minute hors d'oeuvres and snackies. While browsing the aisles I heard him murmur "Did you see the mustache on that guy? It was obviously fake! Why is he walking around with a fake mustache?" I had not seen it, so I ignored the thought until the next aisle over, when lo & behold a young man was perusing the canned veggies in a small, very neat, and very-obviously-fake handlebar mustache. Oddly enough, the handlebars were fully contained upon his upper lip. I walked on by before casting a grin at the Cat Daddy.

I've begun a new list, to be entitled "Things Christians Say That Sound Dirty, but Aren't." I have also decided that an appropriate subtitle would be something to the effect of "Well Intentioned Mutterings by Those Whose Minds Are Not In the Gutter." It begins with these--

"Those aren't prostitutes; they're the worship team." (Thanks to Pastor T for this one)

"Let's put the love on Jesus tonight." (Apparently a Southern expression; conjures Barry White's voice in my head)

"Can't Nobody Do Me Like Jesus" (Worship song. Oh yes, it really is. And sadly, I've sung it)

I need to find a protein chaser for the molasses cookies I broke into. Maybe some beefy log...

I'm Here! I'm Here...

Brain bursting with bloggy topics, but alas, no time to get them down properly. You know how it goes, real life and all...and having to actually work at work is really cramping my style...maybe over the holiday weekend I'll steal some time (if I'm not knitting). Gobble Gobble!

Nov 15, 2007

Quote of the Day...


"Sometimes there are no bad people, Sal. Just bad situations."

...from today's Sally Forth.

Nov 14, 2007

Before I Head Out the Door...

I'm feeling very random today. Had to get some thoughts out before I pick up His Highness and go home & pump iron...

I took up knitting last night. I bought a learn-to-knit kit over a year ago because I thought I'd need something to do over last winter. You know, while His Highness was sleeping all the time and it was too cold & dark to go outdoors and burn off all my excess energy. Then last night I found myself ready for bed early for once, so I finally broke open the package and went thru the basic instructions. I got the first row of 30 stitches or so onto my needle, and then knit(ted?) two more rows for a grand total of 3. An hour later (yes, an hour...for 3 little rows), I dropped into bed, exhausted.

After nearly 13 years, I have replaced my reversible, green, canvas coat. It is one of my most beloved articles of clothing ever, despite the fact that I haven't actually reversed it since about 1995. I could if I wanted to; that's the important thing. It is my most-worn coat due to its mid-weight versatility and casual functionality. I'd been considering replacing it for about 3 years, ever since I saw the first signs of fraying on the sleeves. Thus far I couldn't bring myself to do it, but then I found a corduroy barn jacket on clearance at LL Bean. I considered the ramifications extensively, but in the end I decided that $30 was too good a deal to pass up. I was a little sad to let it go, but within 20 minutes of putting on the new jacket I was hooked. It's thin but deceptively warm, incredibly comfortable yet appropriate for work or play. And being on the camel-end of khaki, it goes with most anything. No hood, but otherwise perfect.

As a sidenote, I've been embracing my preppiness as of late. Why fight it.

It's one of many tiny steps of subtle refinement I'm taking lately. It goes in cycles with me...every so often I feel more 'adult' for one reason or another, either producing or resulting from subtle changes of some sort. Corduroy barn jacket last week; new makeup and girly-time with Mrs. Roots next week. I chalk it up to equal parts rebellion and growing maturity. The growing maturity I'm sure has at least a little bit to do with motherhood (it was inevitable, I suppose), and maybe also a bit to do with the drugs and therapy, which is a story for another time. The rebellion is due to the Cat Daddy's job duties shifting to a more formal capacity, resulting in a perceived 'social pressure' and a resistance on my part to said perceived social pressure. Simply put, I'm still not going to dress up all the time and host teas. Even though no one's asking me to.

Which really has nothing to do with corduroy barn jackets, but it does give me a shot of confidence when I assert myself, and I tend to make good fashion decisions when I'm feeling confident. There are supposed rumors of purple hair in my future, as well; we'll see if they materialize.

Read. This. Now.





(thank you, EmmaSometimes)

Nov 10, 2007

Behold, the Oracle of Starbucks...

High praise to EmmaSometimes for this one...

I drink a tall vanilla steamed milk...
Personality type: Lame
You're a simple person with modest tastes and a reasonable lifestyle. In other words, you're boring. Going to Starbucks makes you feel sophisticated; you'd like to be snooty and order an espresso but aren't sure if you're ready for that level of excitement. People laugh at you because you use fake curse words like "friggin'" and "oh, crumb!" Everyone who thinks America's Funniest Home Videos is a great show drinks tall vanilla steamed milk.


Also drinks: V8
Can also be found: On the couch at home

Mom drinks a tall caramel macchiato...
Personality type: Clueless

You don't go to Starbucks much; when you do you just tag along with other people since you have nothing better to do. You would like to order a Tazo Chai Crème but don't know how to pronounce it. Most people who drink tall caramel macchiato are strippers.

Also drinks: Wine coolers
Can also be found at: The mall

The Cat Daddy drinks venti passion tea...
Personality type: A$$-clown
You tell people that you're an executive at your company. You think that your repeated references to being "addicted" to caffeine make you seem intriguing and dangerous. People think you're a sucker because you spend 60% of your annual income at Starbucks. Everyone who drinks venti passion tea ends up addicted to crack.


Also drinks: Zima
Can also be found at: Karaoke bars

...With valencia syrup when they're not out...
Personality type: High Maintenance
You pride yourself on being assertive and direct; everyone else thinks you're bossy and arrogant. You're constantly running your mouth about topics that only you would find interesting. Your capacity for wasting other people's time is limitless. Your friends find you intolerable, that's why they're plotting to kill you.


Also drinks: Water. Bottled, chilled, with four ice cubes, a twist of lemon, in a crystal glass.
Can also be found at: Trendy martini bars

Enter your Starbucks drink of choice here

Nov 5, 2007

Monday Morning Snippets...

This Sunday marked one of my favorite days of the year--the clocks fell back to mark this year's end of Daylight Saving Time (DST), also known as "The Biggest Crock Ever" (BCE). Don't even get me started.

What troubled me this year was suddenly realizing that, since His Highness was born, DST (or the lack thereof) doesn't matter nearly as much as usual. For the time being, I now do my exercising in the afternoon, so the extra morning daylight as of yesterday doesn't benefit me anymore. In fact, now the 'earlier' sunset (which we all know is not really 'earlier,' just like we weren't really 'saving' daylight) only leaves less leeway in my schedule.

So first I found myself (almost) sad about DST ending, and then I became even MORE sad about actually benefitting from DST and being sad that it was ending. I'm almost certain I've admitted this before: while DST was completely useless in Ohio (where we were on the western edge of the time zone), it actually makes some sense here on the East Coast. I only say that, however, because DST makes the summertime sunrise/set times similar to what I was accustomed to while growing up. I still maintain that we would all be happier and healthier if we stopped messing with the clocks...

...That said, I did take advantage of the fact that my body hasn't yet adjusted to the new time. This morning we all rose that much easier and I got in some early-morning mowing after sending the guys off for the day. Hopefully it's the last mow of the season, or darn near close. Our trees are dropping leaves, creating a big ol' raking bonanza (for another day). And we finally got some rain over the past several weeks so our healthy patches of grass were getting way long. This creates a spiraling problem with the raking (in my opinion)--raking the leaves would make mowing much easier; however, the long grass makes raking more difficult and hence mowing would then make the raking easier. And before too long we (OK, I) get caught in the circular thinking and before we know it the first blizzard has arrived, covering everything, making mowing AND raking impossible until about March, which puts the problem out of our minds until the springtime thaw, when we have to play catch-up and clean-up in the yard before we can seed and fertilize and all that..

Which is a way of life for some; and I won't begrudge anyone their way of life (usually), but for a nervous-type like myself it's really better to take care of things ahead of time as much as possible. So today I mowed. Not the whole yard, only the patches that haven't died yet and were visible above the leaves. I skipped the side yard entirely, and got by with half-a$$ing it through the front and the back. Should be more conducive to the raking we need to do over the next several weeks.

The other reason I HAD to mow...mushrooms. For some reason this year we've got them all over the place. There's no way I'd try to eat them, most notably because I know next to nothing about which mushrooms are nutritious and which are fatal, but also because they tend to grow best in the areas where Zoe does her business, and that knowledge is too much of a burden.

Also, I find them disgusting. Cartoony mushrooms in Mario video games--cool and fun. Smurf houses--cute. Small, regular mushrooms going directly from the produce section of the grocery store into my dinner--potentially delicious. Several years back though, I had some dreams about myself and some friends having wild mushrooms growing out of our heads, and seeing them in my yard only reminded me of those disturbing times. I actually felt a little nauseated, in fact. See, aren't you cringing now?? This is why I can't abide mushrooms that are still connected to the ground. So I mowed them, and my relief will be quite complete when the ground freezes and they can no longer grow for the season...

...So lately I've been dreaming more vividly and my brain is awash in activity. Things to do, work to get done before the first snow (RAKING), blurbs to blog about, and such. This online devotional/discussion I joined is only making things worse (well, not 'worse,' per se; just...more intense, perhaps). The topic for the month is Intentional Living. How it relates to Christ in us, our daily lives, etc. Crazy-cool. I sat down last night to type up some thoughts and I couldn't even capture them in words without thinking that I needed, like, several hours to jot everything down. So I forced myself to just post snippets of what I'm thinking in a nutshell (much like I'm doing here) with the hope and intent to return and expand on those thoughts...

...and finally I would like to share my epiphany of the weekend. The Cat Daddy and I were discussing the things of life, and we came to things we do that drive each other nuts. In an unexpected moment of clarity, I gave him the chance to share what I do that drives him nuts. The really hard part was listening without becoming defensive. This is one of the basic tenets of communication and fair fighting, and in my opinion the single hardest one to stick to. Fight or flight is instinctive, so to listen without defending is pretty much the opposite of our natural inclinations.

He went thru the things I know about--turning off lights when I'm not using them, keeping the heat just below comfortable, blah blah blah (and in my defense, I think I do a better job at these than he thinks I do. And I feel OK defending myself here because it's my blog and I can say what I want. Dangit.)...but one thing really did get my attention. My parking in the garage in a way that leaves my car doors susceptible to dings. Which I knew irked him; I just didn't understand why. It turns out this drives him nuts because in his mind I'm not respecting my (kick-a$$) car enough to take care of it.

I can honestly say I had never thought of it that way. I mean, I think I take pretty good care of my car. I try to keep it cleaned out (by not throwing McDonalds cups in the back--ahem!), washed somewhat regularly, get things serviced/repaired when needed, etc. In my mind, the minor dings and such are a healthy reminder not to hang onto our stuff too tightly in an imperfect world. I could try to protect my car to the fullest extent possible, but that would just make me neurotic to an unhealthy point. The better balance for me is to do my best to take care of my car, but to accept some minor blemishes as a part of long-term car ownership. Battle scars, war wounds...character, if you will.

So it was an eye-opener. A relational epiphany. I was reminded that, regardless of whether or not I agree with the Cat Daddy, it is a good thing for me to set aside my defenses and hear him out in order to understand where he's coming from and why he thinks the way he does. This, in turn, reminds me that the Cat Daddy might not always be trying to be bossy & controlling. Maybe almost never, in fact. Maybe...

Nov 2, 2007

Ready, Set...

I've been intending to go sign in to the online devotional/discussion group I joined for the month, but these are pressing matters.

ProudMommy told me about the following videos. Watch them in order. I'm 88% cetain that the DVD will be on my Christmas list (Mom & Dad, take note)...

1--




2--




3--




Discussion about the recalls is not permitted here. 'Cuz it's irrelevant in this instance.

And now I can concentrate on my group. Later...

Oct 31, 2007

The Wonderful Thing...


The wonderful thing about Tiggers
Is Tiggers are wonderful things
Their tops are made out of rubber
Their bottoms are made out of springs
They're bouncy, trouncy, flouncy, pouncy
Fun, fun, fun, fun, FUN!
But the most wonderful thing about Tiggers
Is I'm the only one


The wonderful thing about Tiggers
Is Tiggers are wonderful chaps
They're loaded with vim and with vigor
They love to leap in your laps
They're bouncy, trouncy, flouncy pouncy
Fun, fun, fun, fun, FUN
But the most wonderful thing about Tiggers
Is I'm the only one.

Tiggers are wonderful fellahs.
Tiggers are awfully sweet.
Everyone elses is jealous,
And that's why I repeat...





The wonderful thing about Tiggers
Is Tiggers are wonderful things
Their tops are made out of rubber
Their bottoms are made out of springs
They're bouncy, trouncy, flouncy, pouncy
Fun, fun, fun, fun, FUN!
But the most wonderful thing about Tiggers
Is I'm the only one.

Iiii'mmmm the only one!

Trick or Treat!

Tim over at the Blurred Brain has offered up an excellent post on Christianity and zombie movies. Personally, I'm not into them, but I'm all for finding snippets of God and his redemption in the everyday things.

Tonite we venture out with Tigger to beg for candy. And since he's too young to eat it, the Cat Daddy and I shall sacrifice ourselves to help him out. Rough life, but it's all part of a mother's pain, right?

Pics to follow...

(Kudos to Bowden for the zombie link)

I Don't Care...

...how old or young you are, the color of your skin or hair, your religion, disability, culture of origin, sexual preferences...your position on the color wheel, seasonal persuasions, socioeconomic status, intelligence quotient, parenting philosophies...your gender, degree of style, personality, sense of humor, or lack thereof...your disposition, height, weight, bone structure, body mass index, percent body fat, fitness level, sexy curves, or lack thereof...your political convictions, position on social, state, and federal issues, taste in TV, movies, books, and music...your likes, dislikes, holdups, hangups, issues, and quirks...or your location, niche, and function on God's green earth.

Regardless of any of these--

Gaucho pants are never--never--a good thing. Ever.

Oct 28, 2007

Back Off, I'm Edgy...

I believe I have made progress in my continuing quest for edginess. Check out my new journal--



I got it at JoAnn Fabric for a mere dollar--I believe Linda would be proud. :D

I've often been described as "cute" over the years. It doesn't bother me all that much, really, but there's a part of me that wants to be edgy. Not all-out punk or anything, but just a touch of roughness. Usually I fail miserably...I'll say or wear something that I'm just sure will make people think "Wow, that Skerrib sure is edgy. If she weren't so kind to my kids I'd be a little nervous," and then someone says "Oh Skerrib you look adorable!" Nice. The closest I've come is "sassy," which is better than nothing, but still...

There are a couple of especially nice touches about this journal. First, of course, are the skulls & crossbones. Nothing says "edgy" like skulls & crossbones. Just looking at them makes me want to talk like a pirate. What really did it for me, though, was the pink & brown coloring. This color combo is very trendy lately. Far be it from me to go whole-hog on trendy, but hey, why not a little bit, right? Especially in this case, where I really like how it looks. Brown and light blue would have been equally acceptable, but I think the pink adds a femininity which provides an outstanding contrast to those super-edgy skulls & crossbones.

So anyway, at first I couldn't think of a use for it, but then I thought about carrying it in my backpack/diaper bag. I like to keep a pen & paper with me to record lists and other random thoughts, and with its durable plastic cover, this journal will be perfect for just such a function. It says "I may keep lists, but they're dangerous." And then I click my teeth like Iceman in Top Gun.

Oh yes, that's edgy...

Oct 27, 2007

An Inside Joke?

The Scareys were in town from OH this week with their daughter, who is 3 months older than His Highness. We had a grand old time, taking in the Boston Children's Museum, a couple of geocaches, and other random fun. Mostly we just enjoyed each other and hung out with the kiddos, sharing funny stories and stories of baby poop.

This morning the kids were playing with the popper-car while the Scareys were packing up to head home. Little Scarey was sitting in the driver's seat, while His Highness was pushing her from behind. Yesterday they both had a blast doing this, but today Little Scarey just wasn't into it. She wanted to drive the car with her own feet. His Highness didn't notice, however, and just kept pushing with a big, goofy grin on his face while Little Scarey became increasingly vocal about her distress.

The Cat Daddy noticed this and commented, "Look, His Highness is going along all happy-go-lucky, completely oblivious to the fact that she is on the verge of a breakdown."

Then we caught each other's eye and burst out laughing...

Oct 20, 2007

Transferring...

Well I've done the research and it appears I have no way of transferring my archives from Yahoo to Blogger except to manually copy and paste. So you will gradually see my archives here shrink as I get stuff moved over (until I lose interest and abandon the effort, anyway). As far as I can tell there is no way to move the comments over, so I'll have to think about what to do with those posts.

His Highness is getting grumpy; I'd better sequester myself in the bathroom before the Cat Daddy tries to rope me into putting him to sleep...

10/21/07--UPDATE: Um, yah, it's obvious I typed this one in a rushed stupor. If I'm transferring stuff over here, you should see my archives grow instead of shrink. Duh...

Oct 19, 2007

Logos...

You know those tiny little problems you get stuck in your head? The ones that aren't truly of any consequence, but that drive you crazy in the quiet moments between putting out life's daily fires? I get those all the time. Trying to remember who sang "Love the One You're With," the capital of North Carolina, that sort of thing.

Well, most recently I'd been troubled by a certain car logo I hadn't seen in a while. It was sort of a funky circle-looking thing, almost, but not really, like the small "g" you see in certain fonts but could never write by hand (I've tried. I have no idea how anyone came up with that thing). I spent months trying to remember which company it belonged to...a cursory mental inventory revealed that it probably wasn't an American company symbol, since those are pretty easily-recognized and haven't changed much over the years. Then I started clicking through the foreign companies. Originally I could've sworn it was Mazda, but everywhere I look their logo is a stylized "M." Definitely not a funky circular almost-but-not-really "g". And nothing turned up with the common companies either. I remembered Daewoo put out some cars about 10 years ago, and scanned the highways endlessly until I came upon one (they're not at all common here on the East Coast)...and came up with nothing. Theirs looks almost like a creepy snake head.

Finally, I concluded that either I was imagining things, or the logo had been retired. I told myself to let it go, but still in those quiet moments it whispered to me in the back of my mind. This went on for months...I would re-inventory the logos, come up with nothing, and scold myself for beating a dead horse. It gradually became less and less of a concern as I moved on to other pointless quandaries, such as "Carly Simon or Carole King?"

And isn't it appropriate that as soon as we stop trying, the answer comes to us. I have solved countless math problems in the shower. I have recited the Hamlet soliloquy while falling asleep and dreamed useless trivia. And last weekend while we were out & about, the logo suddenly appeared on the car in front of me...a MAZDA! Hah! Immense relief flooded me as I was finally able to put the mystery to rest. And as I looked, I observed that it really looks nothing like a "g" at all, so my mind had altered the image over time I guess. All that remained was mild curiosity as to how the funky-g turned into a flying "M", and this was quickly satisfied by Wikipedia. Where you can find any answer, as long as you take it with a grain of salt.

So, the funky-g logo was in use from 1992-1997, when the present-day logo took over.

Isn't that nice?

PS--Steven Stills. Raleigh. You're So Vain--Carly Simon. It's Too Late--Carole King. Once married to James Taylor--Carly Simon.

Oct 14, 2007

Geocaching With the Fam...

My Dad came into town this weekend for a quick trip...got in Friday evening and left early-early this morning. Yesterday we took a drive up Rt 2 to see some leaves. Well, they were so-so, but we got an excellent geocache in.

Geocaching 101--sort of like hiking and treasure hunting rolled into one. You download coordinates from a geocaching site (eg
http://www.geocaching.com/), put them into your GPS unit, and go hunting. When you get to the right spot you'll find the cache--usually some sort of container (ammo box, tupperware, etc) with a logbook and doo-dads in it. You sign your name and the date in the logbook and switch out some doo-dads, if you so desire. The rule with the trinkets is "take one leave one." So I left a new pack of Mint-A-Burst and took a tiny geocache medallion.

This particular one included a fairly difficult hike up a hill near a college, and a nifty cave!

Gotta run; His Highness needs his mommy. Enjoy the pic...

Oct 6, 2007

Worth the Read...

Many of you have heard me refer to myself as a "recovering church kid." Genuineness is a high priority in my life...but as much as I resist it, I do find myself getting all churchy every so often. Then I repent and get off my high horse.

Needless to say, this essay by the iMonk resonated with me.

Dungaree Buttons...


There's hope for my Calvin Bootcuts after all. If I've said it once I've said it a thousand times: you can find anything on the internet.

Oct 4, 2007

My Best Idea EVER...

Dear Pez,

My cubemate and I were discussing the virtues of Pez, and we agreed that while Pez dispensers are SO fun to collect, we really don't like the candy all that much, and it makes us sad. Obviously there are those who like the original Pez candies, so we're not suggesting doing away with them entirely. However, we were thinking that perhaps some flavor variants in the candy might increase your following and persuade some who wouldn't normally get into the Pez, to do so. Therefore, may we present our ideas (which I'm sure you've heard a million times before, but still)--

Sweet-Tart Pez--This is my number one suggestion. I love SweetTarts, so to combine their luscious goodness with the fun and joy of the dispenser would be a little slice of heaven, right here on earth. If you really want to knock people's socks off, offer both classic SweetTarts and a chewy variety, but nix the hard candy shell on the chewies. My mouth waters even now.

Spree Pez--Similar to the SweetTarts, just another flavor variant, plus a hard candy shell. Personally I prefer only the Chewy Sprees, but I'm told the originals are loved by millions.

Smarties Pez--Um, actually I don't like Smarties much anymore, but I know there are others out there who do. And I think I remember that there used to be a candy along this line that would get fizzy/foamy when chewed, for an added pull with consumers.

Necco Pez--High nostalgia factor here, and almost like eating Valentine hearts year-round. Baby boomers everywhere would clamor for them. I like yellow the best.

There's also the realm of adult candies containing, shall we say, mood-enhancing ingredients, but the legal and liability ramifications likely render this option infeasible outside of the black market.

Those are just a few of the possibilities for your consideration. I believe that most of the above companies will gladly manufacture their candy in Pez dimensions exclusively for the Pez company in exchange for the ridiculous popularity it would bring them, along with a small fee. Now I would imagine it's just a matter of simple licensing and legal somesuch, right?

Sincerely,

Skerrib
Concord, MA

Oct 1, 2007

Maggot Eradication...

**High Eww Factor on this one. You may not want to read this while eating. Or at all.**

According to the Cat Daddy, this is the new goal in our household.

You may remember that Zoe eats a raw, frou-frou doggie diet. We mail-order a grain mixture, throw in some raw meat, water, and veggies, blah blah blah. Healthy and not-recalled pet food. Yummy.


The grain mixture comes in bulk...most recently, we've been working our way through a 25-lb bag. I store it in the closet just off the kitchen. Usually rolling down the top of the bag works to keep the critters out, but unfortunately this summer we ended up with a bit of a moth problem. Apparently the moths enjoy a raw, frou-frou doggie diet, and summer conditions are quite hospitable to moths and moth-lovin'. For the most part I can chalk bugs up to a summer reality and ignore them til everything dies out for the winter. Well, not this year. Those moths have been rather brazen, sending their young out & about from the closet to do their bidding.

The Cat Daddy, God bless him, discovered this disturbing trend and took to them with the vacuum, while I went online to order a fresh bag of food, along with an airtight doggie food storage bin. To get free shipping I added in some rawhide chews and a doggie-devil halloween costume. It was late.

Both of us were appropriately grossed out by the whole thing; the Cat Daddy, however, was more vocal in this instance. He declared war on the critters and vowed that henceforth and heretofore our mission in life is to kill ALL of the maggots (though I prefer the term "larvae." "Maggots" is unnecessarily icky.), as well as the moths while we're at it. Or at least suck them up with the vaccuum, from which he assures me they are not escaping and returning to the closet.

As for the food, the Cat Daddy tossed it outside immediately, which I wholeheartedly applauded, although I don't agree that the middle of the yard was a good place for it. No good can possibly come from Zoe trying to eat an entire mountain of dry grain mixture.

So hopefully by the end of this week the fresh food will be safely stowed away in its new, airtight, plastic bin.

And I will have returned the doggie-devil costume to the store.

In exchange for the scarecrow.

Or the pirate. Arrrrr....

Sep 30, 2007

Fitting...

Jeans are a way of life for me. If I could, I would dress in jeans or workout attire all the time. Some ladies are into their shoes; for me it's jeans. Despite the fact that I find it agonizing to find some that actually fit right (who doesn't?) I have way more than I need, yet I will still find reasons to buy "just one more pair."

Consequently, I was ALL kinds of excited this weekend to find that I fit into several pairs of my pre-pregnancy jeans. After His Highness was born I tried on my biggest pair of jeans weekly; I stopped doing that after about 3 weeks. So 9 months later, I was going through my clothes, which I've been needing to do for a while. It was a very cleansing experience. I methodically tried on all my pants, dividing them up into piles named "keep," "pack away," "give away," and "throw away."

By and large I was able to choose easily which pairs went into which pile. Keeps I kept (duh). Pack aways were those that are now too big (yay!) and I'll use after the next kiddo (which is still quite hypothetical). Give aways were those pairs that still don't fit, and that I wouldn't be particularly excited about wearing, even if I did drop the last few pounds. The most traumatic thing, however, was letting go of my first-ever pair of bootcut jeans, purchased in 2002 from Old Navy, shortly after I started grad school and noticed just how much tapered legs did NOT flatter me. They've been on their last legs for a while now; I was just in denial of how nearly-dead they actually were. But as I inspected the holes and frayed edges I knew the time had come. I tossed them into the "throw away" pile with the green khakis whose buttons had broken off for the last time (and which I remember fastening with a tiny binder clip for ages. And then one day I was at the doctor with them on, and he needed to see my belly for some reason, and behold he found the clip. It might have been an interesting conversation...but it wasn't).

So then this morning I pulled on my Calvin bootcuts with glee. Didn't fit exactly the same as before, but not bad at all. I felt lean, mean, and not at all like a schoolmarm, to use one of the Cat Daddy's favorite loaded terms. Perfect for playing some kick-a$$ rock 'n roll for Jesus. Playing faster for the Master.

So I headed off to church. And in the middle of the music, while I was trying to hit a sweet fill, I felt my waistband loosen. The button had popped off. Not open, but off. Entirely. And all I could think was, "Of course it did."

Fitting...

Hope for Haiti...

So, we had a guest speaker at church today. Danita Estrella is a missionary in Haiti, where she started an orphanage and school. Hearing her stories tends to make one want to chuck a few things into a backpack and go help needy children.

Her story is amazing, really. She showed up in Haiti nearly 9 years ago with not much of anything...no money and no idea really what she was going to do, other than a sense that she was there to help out and minister in some way. Now she is mom to something like 75 kids and her school has around 500 students. Very moving.

Check out her site here.

Sep 28, 2007

Friday Night Tidbits...

Happy autumn everyone! I thought this would be an opportune time to beta-test my new blog, what with the warm colors and fall feel. After all this time I'm finding it strangely difficult to let go of the Yahoo blog, but I have good feelings about this here Blogger one. I think if I can find an easy way to import my archives I will be completely at peace (blog-wise, anyway). So if anyone knows how to do that, please email me at skerri_bATyahooDOTcom. In the meantime, leave me some comments, eat something apple-y, and go spend some time outside in the glorious cool air...

...Fall used to be my least favorite season, but it is becoming my favorite in recent years. The least-favorite bit had more to do with the trauma of moving away from AZ several years ago, when the Cat Daddy joined the Air Force. I didn't really like anything not having to do with summer for a while. Which sounds melodramatic, but it really was quite an ordeal. A story for another time, perhaps. Anyway, now I'm better able to appreciate the crisp air and bright colors, and to look forward to fleece and mittens and such. This year I must find a hand-knitted hat. I actually have the materials and a book detailing how to knit one myself, but at the rate I'm going I don't think I'll get to it until I'm, like, 42...

...Took the day off of work today; made good headway on some chores and did some jogging with Mrs. Roots this afternoon before I went grocery shopping. Cardio always makes me high on life, so later on, in the produce section, I was babbling away to His Highness--who was strapped to my back taking in the sights--about the different bell peppers (we went with an orange and a yellow), and the stone fruits (the peaches looked better than the nectarines this week), and the jalapenos (which looked horrendous, but we managed to salvage 3 that were nearly passable). I've never been so openly nutty in my life, but no one bats an eye when they see I have a baby. Babies ROCK. If you need to look normal while doing something completely crazy, you may borrow His Highness for a small fee...

...Attended a Parents' Advsory Board meeting at His Highness's daycare center this week. It was almost enjoyable. I signed up to help out with a silent auction fundraiser they're having this fall to raise money for open house night. Any of those is usually the sort of thing I run from, but our experience with the daycare has been so good, I thought I should contribute in some way to show my support for all they do there, because they do it so well. Before signing up for the fundraiser I pulled the director aside and asked her what was involved. I said, "Here's the thing; put a bunch of women together in the room and usually they get all catty [and I made hand motions to demonstrate], and I hate catty, so if it won't be like that I'll help out." She assured me I could do something as simple as make flyers or something. Then Mrs. Bee signed up to help out too and I thought "Hey, if she's doing it I can totally do this" and I felt very relieved.

I told Mrs. Roots my story and she laughed & said I was once step away from the PTA. But then she signed up to sell Tupperware, so I laughed at her and said I draw the line at selling Tupperware. But I did buy some, and I told her I'd stick some catalogues in the restroom at work for her. Don't ask...

...Made another observation about blog comments. I was reading one of John Shore's posts the other day, where he was extolling the virtues of his wife. It was very charming because he's obviously smitten with her and I thought that was sweet. Then I read thru the comments. One of them was someone who didn't really like his post at all because what he said didn't parallel the Proverbs 31 description of a good wife, and they wouldn't be returning because they didn't like his writing. OK, fair enough that they didn't like the writing, but what is it about people who think that just because a blogger (or singer, or writer, or pastor, etc.) is a Christian, every word that proceedeth forth must verily be a Bible verse or something? I'm pretty sure even God sometimes says things that aren't direct quotes from the Bible. I mean, there's not one reference in the New Testament about Jesus needing to use the restroom, but being fully human and all, I'm pretty sure that he did that very thing countless times while he was here. He didn't need to reference the Torah to get every point across. I thought about posting something snarky, pointing out that I didn't think marital theology was the purpose of that particular post, but then I thought that my own blog would be a more appropriate venue for my snarkiness...

...Learned a new term this week over at the QC Report. Looks like I need to find a Tweezer friend. What's that you say? "Not you, Skerrib, you can't possibly have unwanted hairs on that flawless complexion of yours!" Well, fear not, I don't. I just want a friend who is close enough that they would do something like that for me in a hypothetical sense. Right. Truth is, I was reading the entry going "Oh crap, I didn't even think to put that in my living will!" And I do love the Cat Daddy, almost as much as God and life, but he gets squeamish at the thought of giving a pill to a cat. I cannot burden him to take the tweezers to my eyebrows weekly...

...Well, I'm totally supposed to be washing dishes, doing laundry, and/or pumping iron tonight, so I must be off for now. Tomorrow we get to hunt bargains with the Roots at a HUGE tag sale up in Chelmsford! Later...

Sep 18, 2007

Holy Humor Batman!

Today's fantastic news: After a 2-year hiatus, The Holy Observer has returned. I'm trying to think of how to describe it. It's in the same vein as LarkNews. Both are snarky satirical sites which poke fun at Christians; and specifically, Evangelicals.

The first descriptor that pops into my head is "Christian satire," but that sounds like I'm describing a satire knock-off that is somehow more OK with Jesus than "Secular satire," ala "The Onion." Come to think of it, that's a bit of clever irony, considering that such practices as slapping Bible verses and/or Jesus on knock-offs and calling them Christian-whatevers is some of the very stuff these sites make fun of.

So "Christian satire" isn't quite right. Neither is "Religious satire," since the teasing is pretty much limited to Evangelicals, like I mentioned before.

You know what? Don't take my word for it. Just assume that both sites are fabulous beyond any description I could muster, and go take a look.

LarkNews

The Holy Observer

If you are not a snarky type, these will probably not be your cup of tea, and you have my pity...

The Grossest Thus Far...

It's my birthday today. I'm 30--yay me!

People keep asking me how I feel about hitting 30. I don't think I'm freaking out or anything. I did a bit of mental dealing-with-it a few months back, knowing the inevitable was approaching. Another rollover in the tens spot. Not to be a fatalist or anything, but in many ways it was just another day. Woke up, went to work, attended to His Highness's needs and whims. The Cat Daddy did take me out for lunch...Asian buffet and sushi. YUM. And he told me to skip the grocery shopping for today, since no one should have to grocery shop on their birthday. And then he picked up dinner so I didn't have to cook. Yum again.

I'm tellin' ya, he's a keeper.

So of course that's not the gross part. That came later, while His Highness and I were playing after dinner. He was crawling and climbing and laughing and, corny mom I am, I was playing baby paparazzi, chasing him around and trying to capture the ultimate in cute pics.

Lemme back up just a bit. This morning was bathtime, and while we were waiting for the water to warm up His Highness was crawling around the bathroom in, shall we say, the buff. One of his favorite things to do is pull to standing next to the toilet and bang on the lid with his hands. What could be more fun than that. I of course thought it was the cutest thing ever, and I wanted to go grab the camera for a few quick shots, but I have this terrible habit of getting sidetracked (Hey, a Reader's Digest! I'll just read a quick few pages. Oh, wait! I need to smush up those sweet potatoes...oh, man, I'll never finish sorting this pile of mail. I need to reorganize my files one of these days. We never have gotten a desk chair, come to think of it. Sooner or later we'll need to keep the dining chairs at the dining table. Holy crap, where'd the baby go...), so I thought it was in everyone's best interest to just stay put.

So THEN, tonight while we were playing, His Highness crawled his way into the bathroom wearing nothing but a diaper. So standing there holding the camera, I was struck with inspiration and took off his diaper. Just as I thought, he crawled right over to the toilet, stood up, and started banging away. Someday his girlfriend will just love the cute little bottom-shots. Awww.

And before too long of course, he peed on the floor. But that's not the gross part. He had the good sense to avoid the rugs, so it was a matter of some quick spot-mopping. What a good boy. He kept crawling and I kept snapping away. By this time he'd moved over to the cabinet and was using all the knobs for chewing and standing support. Boy was he in the moment. Concentrating, climbing, grunting...wait a sec. I smelled a familiar smell just as he moved to the side.

You guessed it, he pooped on the rug. And to make matters worse, he thought it was some very interesting stuff, so he was playing with it. Gross! Being in the bathroom and all, it was quite easy to turn on the water and pop him in the tub for today's Bath #2. To clean off the Number 2. While I found myself saying things like "Give me the poop. No, you may not taste the poop. Let go of the poop." But that's not the grossest part.

The grossest part is that Zoe, who'd been watching the whole scene, waited until I was quite occupied with making sure His Highness didn't eat any poop, then lunged for the quick-snag of a bit of poop off the rug. And with a hasty retreat and a satisfied grin, she gulped it down. I was disgusted.

While I know it's just the beginning of a lifelong game of "Grosser Than Gross," THAT is the grossest thing I've dealt with thus far.

Sep 7, 2007

For Posterity...

I registered on this particular website, then promptly signed in to look up some info. They don't mess around with their tracking times, do they...

Aug 2, 2007

Maybe Soon...

Tweaking, tweaking, tweaking...WordPress looks impressive, but for simplicity's sake I'm leaning toward Blogger. I mean, I do already have it up & running and all. Way too late, must sleep, more later...

May 31, 2007

Entry for May 31, 2007...

The Cat Daddy said I should lay off the quizzes and do some real writing, so here I am...

...trying to gain some perspective & keep my wits about me. Everything feels just a little out of whack lately--real life tends to do that to me every so often. Nothing catastrophic, just a buncha little realities put together. Life is busy, as usual, but I've learned that nothing sends me into a tailspin faster than having to deal with my back issues, which I've been doing a lot of. The whole sacral shear-thing is truly a pain in my butt. And since everything is connected, consequently it's a pain in my whole left side. The good news is that I have people who can help me to get better and stronger, and realigned and all that. The annoying part is waiting for appointments, referrals, and all. So in the meantime I have to be very aware of the effect on my mood. Anyone who deals with chronic pain knows how much it can affect your life. It doesn't even have to hurt all that bad...the prolonged effect is the kicker. But believe me, I'm way better off now than I was several years ago. My initial injury happened in, like, 1994 and I spent nine years treating symptoms and searching for a doc who could help me get better and stay better. So now, to know exactly what's wrong and to have a plan for dealing with it is a wonderful thing, and makes the pain fairly bearable...

...His Highness's latest tricks include rolling from his back to his tummy and sitting in the bouncy-chair (Johnny Jump-Up type thing) hung from our kitchen doorway. I found one of the nicer ones, with a tray, at a yard sale for FIVE BUCKS...one of my best finds so far this year! He also enjoys telling elaborate, yet unintelligible, stories and chewing on toys. He likes rubbery things and crinkly things, but his favorite toy? A terrycloth washcloth. This month has included visits from both grandmas, as well as one of his great-grandmas, so he has been in baby heaven with all the cuddling and oogling. As if we never do that anyway. His next big milestone will be transitioning from the Pack N Play bassinet-insert to his crib, as he gained 4 LBS this last month and is fast approaching the weight limit of the bassinet-thing...

...lots more to say, but I'd better sign off for now.

May 28, 2007

I Am Awesome!

You know the Bible 100%!

Wow! You are awesome! You are a true Biblical scholar, not just a hearer but a personal reader! The books, the characters, the events, the verses - you know it all! You are fantastic!

Ultimate Bible Quiz
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It's good to know that eight years of Christian school were not in vain...

May 24, 2007

OK, Now My Feet Are Tingling...

CAIRO, Egypt - Customs officers at Cairo's airport on Thursday
detained a man bound for Saudi Arabia who was trying to smuggle 700 live snakes
on a plane, airport authorities said.

The officers were stunned when a passenger, identified as
Yahia Rahim Tulba, told them his carryon bag contained live snakes after he was
asked to open it.

Tulba opened his bag to show the snakes to the police and
asked the officers, who held a safe distance, not to come close. Among the
various snakes, hidden in small cloth sacks, were two poisonous cobras,
authorities said.

The Egyptian said he had hoped to sell the snakes in Saudi
Arabia. Police confiscated the snakes and turned Tulba over to the prosecutor's
office, accusing him of violating export laws and endangering the lives of other
passengers.

According to the customs officials, Tulba claimed the snakes
are wanted by Saudis who display them in glass jars in shops, keep them as pets
or sell them to research centers.

The value of the snakes was not immediately
known.


"Looks like you can't check exotic animals on a plane, so I guess I'll have to pile y'all into a bag and carry you on. Promise me you won't wriggle loose and bite anyone, OK?"

May 23, 2007

You May or May Not Know...

  1. That I have issues when it comes to using the phone. When I was about 8, I wanted to call my grandma and ended up talking to someone else's grandma, who thought I was "Jane," and we were all really confused until my mom got on the phone and determined I'd dialed the wrong number. I was so mortified--I shudder to think of it even now! It took me years (YEARS) after that to get up the courage to use the phone to even order pizza. I like to think I'm a lot better about it now, but I'm still not all that big on the telephone. Thanks, but I'll take email any day, with its emoticons and snarky remarks, over the phone, trying to interpret conversations on verbal cues alone.
  2. That I was the school spelling bee champ in 8th grade. I beat out Alison S., who was a brilliant sixth-grader, but misspoke a letter and that was that. I went to the district spelling bee and missed regionals by one spot ("inoculate"). Then I went to the ACSI spelling bee and missed state by one spot. Alison also went to the ACSI bee and made state. Lucky Alison.
  3. That I secretly like Neil Diamond. It was only recently that I came to terms with this and was able to admit it, largely due to the inspiring movie "Saving Silverman." Several years ago I chauffered Mom, Mom-In-Law, and Grandma to a Neil Diamond concert and had to feign disgust, both to them and myself. But I think even then, on some level, I knew I was enjoying myself.
  4. That I can write backwards. Every so often I go through a phase where I'll write backwards letters to friends, and the only way they can read them is to hold them up to a mirror (I glue them to construction paper so they can't just hold them up to the light. I'm slick like that). It was a skill I discovered one day while trying to write left-handed. I can't write left-handed worth beans.
  5. That I am good at hiding it when I get nervous.
  6. That I'm not that easily embarrassed, but when I do something truly embarrassing, like dialing the wrong number and talking to Jane's grandparents, I have a hard time letting myself off the hook.
  7. That I dabble in many hobbies--sewing, cycling, and geocaching, to name a few--and I have materials on hand for knitting and crocheting, but I draw the line at scrapbooking. It's just not meant to be.

Thanks to Linda for the idea...in Jesus name, Amen!