Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Let us drink wine!

Let the monks have their beer.

They're celibate and they live with their co-workers--at least let them keep some beer!

http://www.sacbee.com/content/lifestyle/24hour_food/story/2919994p-11586083c.html

Monday, November 28, 2005

I know we live in Kansas, but...


...what if these do not actually take you to Oz?

The tornado sirens were enough to scare my children into the basement immediately. We had all been playing Monopoly near a window. They were quite concerned that the parents were not in as much of a hurry.

The hubbie even went TO the window to check the weather.

The kids were getting desperate so while I calmly explained that we'd be fine, I did go downstairs with them. The hubbie made sure we had shoes and coats downstairs "just in case" then came back up to watch the weather on the news and through the window.

While I understand the fascination, as I explained just before the sirens stopped, if a twister does pay us a visit, he may not have time to get downstairs. So we'll just wait and see if clicking his heels will bring him back from wherever he may end up.

As for the rest of us, we'll keep our sneakers on in the basement. After all, what would we do if we received a pair of ruby slippers that did not fit?

I've lived outside the Emerald City and while I'm sure I could continue bloghopping from there, I'll take a slower route if and when we go back, thanks.
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Some weather we're having!

It was a nice fall weekend. I mean summer weekend, no winter...well, at least I'm sure the weekend is over!

After telling my in-laws to expect cooler weather for Thanksgiving, there were days that we did not even need jackets. Then, yesterday, the western part of the state had blizzards while our part had "summer" weather (thunderstorms and tornadoes).

Ft. Riley (where hubbie works) did get hit but the twister did not make it this way.

Today we have a light dusting of snow on the grass and more snow is expected this afternoon. My daughter can't wait for school to be over today! She's anticipating fantastic snowballs.

In the meantime, I am trying to recover from yet another cold. (With all of the weather changes, I'm baffled as to why I keep getting sick!) ; (

Tomorrow should be sunny and warmer.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Happy Thanksgiving!
I have been very blessed and have much to be thankful for. I hope you all can find many things to be grateful for as well!
(THANK YOU for visiting and have a very happy and safe Thanksgiving!)

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

The Wisdom of Dory


Marlin : I promised I'd never let anything happen to him.
Dory : Hmm. That's a funny thing to promise.
Marlin : What?
Dory : Well you can't never let anything happen to him. Then nothing would ever happen to him. Not much fun for little Harpo.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
My daughter returns home from a playdate at one of her best friend's homes. She tells me about the day and is quite excited that she, her friend and friend's younger sister were allowed to walk to the park by themselves!

She is proud. She is happy.

That is, until she has to help me gather my eyeballs, which have popped from my skull and are rolling on the hard wood floor. I do not say anything against the best friend's parents but my daughter senses I am not quite as proud as she was just a moment ago. I tell her that I was just surprised, as that mother can't see the park from her window.

Weeks have passed and I've had time to relax. Everyone got to the little park and back just fine. My daughter and this friend are inseparable most of the time; the only variation is when my daughter sticks to the friend's little sister instead. Mostly, when they all get together, they are The Three Female Musketeers! They get into trouble together at times but they stick together.

I know it was not wrong to let the girls venture forth on their own. My worry is always that "the stranger" will say the one thing we have not discussed and my girl will get in his car. Yet those crafty strangers are usually singling out solitary children, not a band of three. If someone tried to con that group, as long as one of them was smart enough not to go, the other two would stick with her.

I've talked with the friend's father--though we came to this subject in a roundabout way--he mentioned that while he "probably ought to be concerned about kidnappings," he is "much more concerned about traffic." He's right. The odds are much better that a distracted driver will get to her before a predator.

When the girls are over here, I still don't let them leave our street without me. (As worried as I get about losing my own children, I don't want to run the risk of losing someone else's)! I considered not letting her go over to that friend's home anymore and just letting them play here.

My daughter is smart though and perhaps I should trust her a bit more. (The next time she went to that friend's house, she diplomatically told her friend she just did not want to go to the park that day and asked to play in her backyard). The last time she went, the girls did go to the park (with one more friend, so there was a pack of four). She quickly told me that the friend's mother let them walk but she got in the car and met them there.

In any case, everyone is home safe and sound. So I'll try to remember to just keep swimming...
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An adventure is an adventure, even if it is in your own backyard

When I was seven years old, I lived on the edge of a forest. It was enormous and daunting and I was sure there were bugs, snakes and more dangerous creatures, so I never entered the forest.

By the time I was eight years old, half of the forest had become a housing subdivision. I had a friend who lived in one of the new houses. (Now, my parents had strongly opposed the new subdivision, citing heavier traffic on our quiet road, so I was quite certain that my friend’s parents were partly evil. Luckily, they were never home during the day so I’d go home with her after school with no worries of running into them.)

The other half of the area was still undeveloped or becoming developed. My friend and I would stray from her house in the afternoons to the area that was still “the woods” and find all sorts of treasures left behind by the contractors.

Those were glorious days! We could imagine we were Indians or pilgrims or even the Ingalls family. We built forts, with spare boards, roofing shingles and rusty nails. There were no adults, no siblings and no snakes (that I saw). My biggest fear at the time (because it was my friend’s biggest fear) was poison ivy. If it rained or got cold, we could go to her house. It was empty and quiet. How I envied her!
I don’t know how my mother continued to let me play with her. I came home to my mother every time asking if she could please get a job so I could have my own key and come home alone too! (Of course, I had three younger siblings waiting at home too so there were a few flaws in my simple plan).

I wonder sometimes what adventures my kids will have to tell about their childhood as much more of their childhood play is supervised.
When I was eight, no stranger ever penetrated our forest sanctuary; we never played with matches at my friends house; despite the rusty nails, I did not need a new tetanus shot and I did not actually come into contact with poison ivy. We were just being kids and we survived.

I am now thirty-five and I have two children. I do not let my daughter (7 yrs) go anywhere alone or with another child, not to mention someplace where there might be snakes or rusty nails! While we live on a fairly quiet cul-de-sac, it’s adjacent to a busy street. So she is allowed to go outdoors alone but she can’t leave our street. (I try to give her some illusion of autonomy but only if I can still see her from one of the windows of my house!)

Am I depriving my children of adventures?

Maybe not. As I started this post the other day, the children came running in from the backyard where they had been planting acorns. (They go and look each morning for signs of a tree. Despite my comments about waiting for spring, they’re quite optimistic).
They came running in to tell me that they had spotted a “giant, poisonous worm!”

By the time they pulled me outdoors to look at it, the monster had disappeared. While I doubt that there are any poisonous worms in Kansas, I was good enough to be quiet and look frightened. Maybe they can find just a little danger and adventure in their sheltered lives after all.

(I can clearly see both of my children involved in this adventure!)

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Rearranging the nightstand

For any of you keeping up with my lists over there to the left, I have removed a few books from the nightstand and added a few more.

The Price of Motherhood, Ann Crittenden
Insightful and inciteful. (The latter not being a real word, of course, but it should be). Ms. Crittenden got right to the point, a real problem in our society. You hear rumblings, murmurings, unrest…she has stumbled onto what even she believes should be a revolution that, for whatever reason has not come about. Yet.
I want to join the movement! I have not, however, finished the book. While Ms. Crittenden has touched a very important nerve, I (like many of the women who really want to push for change but don’t have time right now) didn’t even have time to finish the book. The library let me have it for three weeks and I did not finish it. I could have renewed it. I didn’t. I will check it out again or just buy it this time.


Finding Balance, Becca Stevens
I had to finish this book, as this was the text we were discussing in my women’s bible study group. Luckily, I was able to vote for this one before we chose it so I should not say that I had to finish it!
This book focused on what we can learn from the women of the Bible. I learned a great deal, though of course I learned more from the women in my group and their interpretations than from the book itself but this one was a great beginning for discussion!
I loved having a chapter devoted to Mary, the mother of Jesus. Someone will judge me for broadcasting this over the internet, but she’s been a tough one to deal with. I could never explain it right until the author found a nun who could: she was a virgin mother. Who can live up to that???
No matter what you’ve learned about Mary Magdalene from the media and The Da Vinci Code, you’ll find something new about her here!
I could go on. If it sounds intriguing, check it out. We did it as a group study so we ordered a video that went along with it. I enjoyed getting to see the author and hear her talk further about topics brought up in the book.
Of course, as a Catholic, I’m still intrigued to see a female priest. (The author is an Episcopal priest at Saint Augustine's Chapel on the Vanderbilt University campus. I find that amazing.)
I’ve only read this in preparation for group discussion but I highly recommend it whether for yourself or for a group. I might go back through it again when I have more time. (Whenever that may be...)

So, there are “updates” for two of the four books that have been sitting on my nightstand forever.

While I should use this time to get through the remaining two on the list, you should know by now that I am not that logical. I have started to re-read the Grapes of Wrath and am astounded at how much I have forgotten! I found this copy on the bookshelf and it still has my maiden name and a college dorm I lived in inscribed in the front cover. Therefore, I’m quite certain I read it in college and I even remember all of Tom Joad’s relatives’ names. I also remember that they could not afford to eat meat for a while. (The vegetarian remembers the important parts of novels).
I am about a third of the way through and thoroughly enjoying it but I honestly don’t remember any of this from the first time through. (I’m sure the fact that I read it in COLLEGE in NEW ORLEANS where there was no real, defined DRINKING AGE has absolutely nothing to do with my lack of recollection!)

In addition, I made a stop at the mall bookstore on Friday. (For anyone who does not know much about me: I hate malls. I will look for ANY excuse to avoid them. However, as I had agreed to an errand or two in the mall on Friday, I thought I deserved a trip to Waldenbooks as long as I was in there!) I picked up Walking the Bible: A Journey by Land Through the Five Books of Moses (I cannot put this one down!!!) and Four Souls. I have not had a chance to open the latter yet, but I loved Ms. Erdich’s The Master Butchers Singing Club, and can’t wait to delve into this one!

So, there. Now you know exactly what books are lying on my nightstand when I go to sleep each night.
What's on yours?

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Sometimes it feels like...somebody's watching me


Whoever writes this has some sort of camera hidden in my home. I KNOW it's in the kitchen somewhere... Posted by Picasa

You can't fool kids!

As my kids note the progress on a construction site on the way to school, they want to know what it will be. I mention that it could be a couple of stores, or doctors’ offices, or any number of things.

This prompted my daughter to suggest that perhaps my husband (a physician) could move into that building. As I explained again that he’d have to wait until his commitment to the Army was fulfilled, she wanted to know:

"Does Daddy still have to be a doctor when he gets out of the Army?"

“No, I guess Daddy can do something else.”

“What if you get a job when Daddy gets out of the Army?” (Does this sound familiar?)

“I could do that. Maybe by then I’ll have my book done.”

“What is your book about again?”

“Good question! Well, it’s long and it’s changed and well, I’ll get it done and show you.”

“Is that a job?”
“Can be. I write the book and send it to people who publish books. If someone likes it, they’ll buy it and that’s how writers make money.”

My son, bored with this, asks “Do I have school today?”
(He goes to preschool Monday, Wednesday and Friday but isn’t always sure what day "today" is.)

“Yeessss!” My daughter sighs with exasperation. “I already told you. We both have school today.”
“Mommy?” she looks at me now. “Do we have school next Friday?”
“No, Sweetie. You both have next Friday off as it’s the day after Thanksgiving. Gran and Grandad will be here and even Daddy has the day off. Everyone has next Friday off!”

“Except you.”

“Well, that’s true. I still have to get dinner ready, wash dishes and clothes over the Thanksgiving holiday but we’ll all be home together.”

“No, Mommy. You don’t have the day off because you have to write that book!”

She's right. So I will. If all goes according to plan, you may not be hearing from me as much as I have GOT TO WRITE THAT BOOK!
*************
The timing this morning was perfect as I'd just read AGK's entry last night. Writers need to write, of course, and remember that we cannot fool our children!!!

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Well, the kids don't agree with "frightful"


Oh, the weather outside is frightful...
Well, it's very windy, anway! It's hard to hold onto children and your hat at the same time!

But the fire is so delightful...
OK, gas fireplace is on the fritz.

And since we've no place to go...
I wish!

Let It Snow!Let It Snow!Let It Snow!
Seasonal tunes made an early appearance in my home this morning!

Yes, I was wearing short sleeves last week, telling everyone that while it didn't seem like November, I was thrilled! The hubbie told the kids last night he'd heard the word snow in the forecast for the evening and I couldn't believe it. I knew they'd wake disappointed as I could hear the rain pounding all night. My son decided to get up exceptionally early this morning and pointed out the rain. I could not get my daughter out of bed this morning, nor convince her to wear long pants until Nature intervened. Fifteen minutes before I had to start the We are going to be very late this time, get up NOW, I MEAN IT litany, the rain turned to snow.
It's amazing how compliant a 2nd grader will become if she thinks it means she'll get some time out in the white stuff!!!

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Friday, November 11, 2005

Mea Culpa III

I apologize for being in a bitter mood yesterday, hence the *!^*%#!## post below. I really have to remember to give myself a waiting period to rethink some ideas before posting them.

I've had a shower today and in the morning, no less! We're off to a good start!

As far as yesterday, it really wasn't all that horrible. It just went like this, all day.

TGIF!

Thursday, November 10, 2005

You didn’t hear this from me, but…

So you want the scoop? Or are you the one with the juicy information and you just have to tell someone? No? You don’t gossip, you say? Spreading rumors is not nice.

Spreading rumors online isn’t any nicer. It just fills up our inboxes with more junk mail. I know so many people who emphatically state that they’d never gossip. These same people have lightning fast fingers when it comes to spreading lies with a computer and a mouse. They did not write the email. They are not trying to cause any trouble. They are thinking of me and they are trying to help me or someone else. These well-meaning, caring people assume the information is true. We all know what happens when we assume.

A well meaning friend, who has kids in the same school as my children, passed along an email recently which urged me to add my name to a list of concerned citizens so we could stop a horrible woman from getting a bill passed in Congress that would take religious programming off of the radio.
The woman who was blamed for this passed away a decade ago.

I get an email from someone at least once a week urging me to boycott either Pepsi or Coke because they omitted the words “under God” from the pledge of Allegiance on their cans.
This was originally the fault of Dr. Pepper and they did not print the whole pledge nor mean to omit any of it. In response to 9/11, they were trying to say that we were “One Nation…Indivisible.”

I am not receiving any monetary compensation to promote Snopes.com. I just think going to the site, typing in a search of the email you’re about to forward and checking on it takes much less time than it does to type all of your friends addresses into the inbox. There are many gifted writers out in cyberspace who spend their time writing hoaxes that they send out into the wwworld. Concerned citizens, worried about the dangers of drinking soda, freedoms being removed from the airwaves and a million political ideas send these things on and on and on.

A note to my loyal friends, relatives and other readers: this post was not directed at YOU. You did not send me the email that sent me here. To those of you who have gotten responses back from me with a snopes link, it is not personal. It’s just my own friendly advice or helpful hint.

Pass it on.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Sunday, November 06, 2005

I could tell you why ...the ocean's near the shore...

If found, are ruby slippers good for a return trip? Maybe the scarecrow, with his new brain installed, could weigh in with his opinion.

I can't complain. I am not a science teacher and our oldest is in second grade so we have a few years to worry about what she'll be taught in biology class.

Think your job stinks?

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Me is code for chocolate

Just a side note: as I previewed my last entry before posting it, the codes made me smile. The html code for italics is “em” so on either side of the word “me” it not only looked cute (em-me-em) but spelled out the way my son pronounces “M & Ms”. (He calls them “M…E…Ms!”)

It was actually a perfect ending to the last post. After taking time out to ponder one’s own mortality, one really needs a bit of chocolate!

Degrees of Separation

I did not know the pregnant woman who died, leaving behind a young son and a husband. I barely knew her husband when he was a young teenager. I doubt he would remember my name, even if I sent a card. I was just a slightly older teenager who spent summers kissing his older brother. I do feel for the family though and have been praying for them.

I did not know the woman who lived in this house before me. I do know that she had interesting tastes in wallpaper. There are so many various types throughout the house yet if given the choice, I would not have picked out one of them on my own. Not one. However, they seem to fit each room so well. She did a beautiful job with window treatments, too.
She moved out last summer before we moved in and left the curtains and window treatments for us. We still get mail and catalogs bearing her name.
I read in the paper that she died in her new home on Sunday, after an ongoing illness. I wonder if that played a part in their moving from this house. She also left behind a young child and husband.

I am not afraid of dying. I am afraid of leaving my children. (It takes me twenty minutes to leave them with a sitter who is a grown woman and stays with them often. I am always afraid there is something important that I did not take care of or did not tell her.) I had better get organized soon or I don’t know how many people I will have to haunt to make sure my kids are OK.

This is coming from a woman who, during her own childhood, took great pains to explain to her parents that she was quite independent and most certainly did not need them. (My birthday IS on Independence Day, after all!) As it turns out, regardless of how self-sufficient I believe myself to be, I still need to know others are depending on me.

Then again, my husband is depending on my to clear out my “junk.” I guess I had better get that organized before I step out in front of that proverbial bus or he may spend eternity haunting me!

Wednesday, November 02, 2005


Might have to give this a try! ; ) Posted by Picasa