Thursday, December 28, 2006

My Christmas Rose

Well Christmas is over and we were blessed with many more gifts than we could ever wish for. Jared bought a beautiful cherry-wood desk for me that I am sitting at now as I type. I already filled the drawers and shelves with all of my crafting things. It is my little corner of the living room to do with as I please! The laptop moved out of its temporary residence on our kitchen table, and into its perminant new home atop my new desk!
Though the desk was by far the most expensive gift I received this year, and I love it, it was not my favorite gift. I am going to share a story that goes to show that a woman is not always won over by the big expensive gifts. Thoughtfulness and attentiveness go a LOOOONG way. My most favorite gift this year was a stocking stuffer that cost $15.00
Let me explain...
Last Thursday my sister Shinae called me up and asked if I would like to meet her for lunch. I joyfully accepted and arrived an hour later. After lunch, we had about an hour to spend together before Shinae had to leave for work. So we casually walked down Main St. and popped into some of the shops. We came to an antique shop and were both excited to go look around. Our search started by looking for hand-painted teacups from England (for Shinae). After scouring the shelves without success, we opted to look at the huge trays full of beautiful antique rings. Since I had recently spent every last penny on Christmas gifts, we were mainly looking for a ring for Shinae. We stood at that counter pouring over the rings for a good twenty minutes, trying on anything that would fit our fingers! (Just because I didn't have any money does not mean I could not try them on!) I found an exquisite ring made of a thin band of sterling silver. Several delicate pieces of silver were bent into the form of a rose, with a leaf on each side. The center of the rose clutched a tiny red ruby. Shinae finally chose a beautiful green and gold ring and then we left.

After returning home on Thursday, I had briefly mentioned the ring to Jared, and how beautiful I thought it was. Jared gathered the limited information I had given him and snuck to the antique store the following day. After describing the ring as best he could, the store attendant helped him find the beautiful little ring.

On Christmas morning I reached into my stocking and opened up the most beautiful antique rose ring. What a guy! This tiny little token was by far my favorite present. Not only because I think the ring is beautiful, but also because of Jared's thoughtfulness and attentiveness. The huge surprise factor also contributed to my delight. Anyways, kudos to Jared! I love you! Thank you for the person you are and the way you cherish me!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Stocking Stuffers

I finally got all the presents bought for my dear husband (which always sounds easier than it proves to be). I want to get him gifts that he will not only like, but will be excited about. Well, yay to me! All that is behind me now. I found the greatest gifts that I am confident he will love. Today, I bought the rest of the stocking stuffers, which is always a bit of a puzzle to me. How much do you spend on stocking stuffers? In my mind, they are always an afterthought, but then once I get going, I never know where to stop. I started small with traditional "stuffer" gifts, but then my excitement grew and the gifts got bigger and more expensive until I realized I just needed to cut myself off. Tonight I wrapped them all and started packing them into his fuzzy red stocking... yeah, they don't all fit. I got too carried away. So three of his stuffers are now under the Christmas tree. Then after carefully (and very strategically) packing the gifts into his stocking I went to hang it up again. Let me explain how we jimmy-rigged our stockings. We are using tiny 3M wall hooks stuck to the side of our entertainment center, with a paper clip carefully bent into a hook. As you guessed, the strength of a paper clip is no match for the overstuffed stocking. After attempting to hang it three times, and the stocking crashing to the floor three times, I was able to bend the paper clip in a way that supported the weight. I don't know how, but I am not touching it again until Christmas!
Oh the joys of the holiday season! I love Christmas! Happy Day to all!!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

World's Best Spritz Cookie Recipe

This is the recipe I forgot to bring with me to the cookie party last week. This recipe is delicious and the cookies turn out buttery and delicious!

Jan's Spritz Cookies
Yield: 6 dozen
Temp: 350

1 C. shortening
3/4 C. sugar
1 egg
2 1/4 C. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp.vanilla

Cream shortening in a mixing bowl. Add sugar and cream well. Beat in egg and vanilla. Stir in all dry ingrediants. Mix well. Fill cookie press and bake on ungreased cookie sheets for 8-10 minutes. (Check after 6-7 minutes. Baking time will vary depending on your oven.)

Monday, December 11, 2006

Christmas Cookie Bonanza

On Friday afternoon, I packed up my spatulas and cookie sheets, my measuring cups and colored sprinkles and headed for the home of all homes... my parents' house. It was the big Christmas cookie bake-off day! I arrived around 3 pm and was greeted by the warm, cozy glow of the twinkly lights dancing on the Christmas tree. Soft, cheerful carols drifted through the house. But best of all, I was welcomed with huge smiles and big hugs! I was the first to arrive, and it was just Mom, Anna and me. We went right to work. I melted chocolate and sweetened condensed milk and made four flavors of fabulous truffles, including almond, peppermint, coconut and orange! My mom made tray-fulls of delicious turtles! And Anna ran back and forth helping us both when needed. At about 5 pm, my sister-in-law, Ariel, arrived and began baking her amazing sugar cookies. Nearing 6 o'clock, we were all getting hungry, so we sat down to enjoy the hot Hawaiian chicken and rice that mom had simmering in a crock pot all afternoon. By 7pm, Abby and Shinae had arrived and the kitchen was a bustle of activity. Sweet smells drifted through the air and tickled our noses. Abby and I decided to make a mega batch of Spritz cookies, so we quadrupled the recipe! I am sure most of you know that spritz cookies are basically butter cookies...

That is how much butter you need to quadrupel a spritz recipe! The recipe also called for 10 cups of flour! After finally stirring the last cup of flour in, (it took 3 of us taking turns to get it all mixed together!) we packed the dough into the presses and took off. We had about 7 cookie sheets filled with cute little shapes and colors. When the cookies came out of the oven and were ready for sampling, I tried one. To my utter dismay, they tasted like cute, colorful FLOUR. Poop.
I finally got the hang of the spritz press at least. Good practice.
Around 10pm, we took the last tray out of the oven, washed all the dishes, cleaned off the counters and sat down to devour some of our handiwork! It was a successful, fun, joyous night!

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Christmas Wishes

Christmas shopping.... ahhh! The joy... and the PAIN. I love Christmas shopping and the sheer pleasure that comes when you find the perfect gift for someone on your list. And then at the next store, you find the perfect gift for...oops! that same someone on your list. This cycle repeats itself endlessly. These people are referred to as the "easy people" to shop for. Now in every family, there is at least one "hard person." In some cases, there are several "hard people."
Needless to say, I have found boundless treasures for all of my easy people, but for those hard peeps, nada, zippo, zilch, NOTHING.
This is how the institution of the Christmas Wish List came about. Which, for the agigtated shopper, is a brilliant miracle. However, when getting back to the reason for gift giving,-- mainly celebrating the birth of Jesus, the idea of telling eachother what we want for Christmas suddenly seems out of place and mildly selfish. Am I correct in this pondering? Or have I missed the mark completely? Am I accurate in the meaning behind our gift-giving? Or is there some portion of history that I have neglected and which completely justifies the institution of the Wish List?

Now, true, I know my ponderings have pierced your hearts and convinced you to do away with your Wish List forever. But before you do that, just ask your family and friends this simple question: "Am I easy...? Or am I hard?" All you hard people out there... let's not be too hasty. These ponderings are not for your need-nothing selves. Bring on the Wish Lists! These thoughts of mine are for the easy crowd. Merry Christmas.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Our Picture Perfect Tree

Here is Jared and I tying the tree to the car....

At home after unbinding our beautiful tree....

All decked out in its Christmas gear....

...and shining in all its brilliance!!!

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

O Christmas Tree! O Christmas Tree!

Last night I drove home expecting a quiet evening with my husband. When I arrived, he had prepared a gourmet meal of hamburger helper for dinner. We grabbed our food and went to sit in the living room to eat as we always do, since our kitchen table is in a constant state of disarray. After watching the 5 o'clock news, I turned and asked Jared what he wanted to do that evening. He casually relpied that he didn't know. We cleared all the dishes and just as I was about to start folding the 3 baskets of laundry that had piled up, Jared bounded up the stairs announcing that he had to go change into long pants and said we were going to have a little shopping adventure! I clapped my hands in sheer pleasure and ran to get my coat on.

We drove to Forest Lake, and headed for Menards. I had no clue what he needed to get, but I followed him in. He led me to the Christmas village section and let me pick out some little pine trees to add to my village! I was really excited! Then, we walked through the Christmas lights section and we picked out some lights to hang in our bay window... even more excited! With treasures in hand, and in the midst of a conversation, Jared spotted a row of tree skirts which he knew I had been pining after. He casually stopped and let me look at them. After gently caressing the one I loved the most, I turned to keep walking. But Jared stood there and smiled and told me to pick one out! I could hardly believe it! Before, he told me that we would have to wait until after Christmas and buy one on sale. Together we chose a beautiful crimson velvet tree skirt with tiny gold sequins. Hugging my new treasure tight to my chest, I headed to the front of the store and turned to the checkouts. But Jared guided me the other way, through the sliding doors, to the outside section. He stopped in front of the Christmas trees! Beaming, he told me to pick one! This is when I lost it and just buried my face in his chest, crying. We both grew up with real trees and missed having them, but the past few years we simply couldn't afford a real tree and bought a cheap 5 foot fake one. I simply couldn't believe we were getting a real tree this year! I love the smell of pine! After about 20 minutes of carefully inspecting several trees, which was diffilcult since all of them were already tied up and bound so tight we couldnt tell what they would look like anyways, we picked one and proudly brought it back through the store and into a checkout lane. (Funny sight, really!)
We got home, untied the tree and shook it out, and it looks beautiful! It is really full and perfectly shaped! We picked a good one!
Tonight we get to put it up...

Monday, November 20, 2006

My Fast Morning Commute

This morning I am feeling refreshed and happy. I am no longer feeling like a single mom. The 11-year-old, and the puppy(equivalent to a baby) are safe at home with their real parents... (Now I know why my mom is tired so often)

The other reason that I feel so refreshed this morning is because I got an extra hour of sleep-- just not on purpose. I am supposed to be to work at 7:30. I woke up this morning, warm and comfortable, and the first thought that popped into my head was "Wow! I feel rested! I am surprised my alarm hasn't gone off yet! This is wonderful!" Then, just as I rolled over to snuggle back to sleep, I decided I wanted to know how much longer I had. So I leaned over the edge of my bed to look at the clock (on the floor). My brain did not comprehend what it saw at first... then it clicked-- it was 7:20!!! My heart started beating wildly as I literally FLEW out of bed. I hastily grabbed a bra, and the first pair of jeans I found. I ran downstairs with items in hand, while dialing Cara frantically to tell her of my peril. She was, of course, cool and collected and told me to just slow down and not worry about it. I hung up, threw the phone on the table, and ripped off my shirt in the middle of the kitchen. (Let me remind you that I was not thinking clearly at this point, since there are windows surrounding me on every side. The huge sliding glass door in front of me, the kitchen sink window to my left, and the large bay window directly to my rear. Let's just hope all the neighbors were not late for work this morning and had already left!)
After throwing on the remainder of my clothes, I ran back up to my closet, realizing I had not grabbed socks or a sweatshirt. Standing in my closet, I had a short brain lapse at to what time is was, and stood there trying to decided which sweatshirt would look best with my outfit... going back and forth, perusing each choice... Then it hit me: "You idiot! Just grab a sweatshirt and GET GOING!!!!" So I did.

So let me tell you how I look: No make-up. Hair unbrushed hanging limply behind my ears. Bright pink T-shirt. Navy "Mesaba Airlines" zip-up sweatshirt. Blue jeans. Gray socks with sky-blue fowers on them. White tennis shoes.

Not a pretty sight.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Single Mom Syndrome

I think I am going to come back to the "glimpse" thing later. I am not feeling all that thoughtful today.

I would like to make a big shout out to Erin...

Erin, I am very sorry that you have to go to prison on your special day, but at least it is a Friday, and we are going to party hearty tonight!!!!
So, my little sister, Anna, and her hyper Beagle puppy have been staying with Jared and I this week while my parents take a much needed vacation to Florida. The only reason I am still sane is because I know how much my parents deserve this time away. I have sort of felt like a single mom this week (because Jared has been working and we haven't seen eachother for more than a few minutes all week). I have been taking care of an eleven-year-old (including helping her with her schoolwork) , 2 cats, a dog, a puppy (equivalent to a baby), nannying an actual baby, and making it to nightly commitments every evening this week. Let me tell you... I know that single moms have it MUCH harder than I do, but I know why they are always exhausted!
So in conclusion:
(oh wait... Anna will be there too...)

Thursday, November 16, 2006

The "More" Glimpse

I have been feeling lately that there is so much more to life than what I have been experiencing; more than what I have allowed myself to notice and live out. Every once in awhile I get a glimpse of the "more" that eludes me. One instance of this was the night before I left for the quilting retreat. I was laying in bed trying to fall asleep, at about 11:00pm. Suddenly I remembered that my sewing machine was still in Jared's car. So I got out of my warm haven and trudged downstairs slightly agitated. I walked out the front door in my sweats and tank top and was immediatly greeted by the vast, overwhelming, astounding night sky. It stretched before me like a deep, black sea with a million brilliantly shining twinkly lights. It was beautiful and stopped me in my tracks. I stood there for a moment and just let it engulf me. My thoughts wandered to the realization that I never stop just to look at the sky. I never stop to notice much of God's creation. I keep myself busy and distracted, because when you actually stop to notice, it's humbling. And that is hard. I have a lot of pride. And I like to avoid "heart work" whenever I can, because vulnerability is scary. But it also opened my eyes and I caught that "glimpse" of a world that I live in, but know so little about. How sad it would be to die and never learn of all the wonders God has created for my pleasure. Seeing amazing sights like that always strikes my heart with a holy fear too. Just the sky alone is so enormous. Think how much bigger God is! That terrifies me and makes me feel incredibly safe at the same time. I treat my relationship with the Lord so casually, like He is my buddy. Well, true, He calls me "friend," but He is so much bigger than a "buddy." He loves me and takes better care of me than anyone, no matter how many times I push Him away, ignore Him, or just plain forget about Him. That is an amazing gift to have a Friend that consistantly loves you no matter what. And takes care of you better than you ever could.
And that is only the beginning of these glimpses.
To be continued...

Tuesday, November 14, 2006


I am sure that everyone is posting about the quilting retreat, but I suppose I need to as well, since I am so proud of my beautiful creation. I had a fabulous time at my very first quilting retreat, but I also found out that it is HARD WORK to make a quilt. You know how when our husbands are out in the garage working on the car, and you go down to get an estimate of how much longer it will take, and they say "About 1/2 hour." And then 5 hours later they start cleaning up... Well, that is kinda how I feel about quilting. I thought it would go so fast and that I would run out of projects to do, since I was going to be there for 3 days and I was doing and "easy" pattern! Well, short version: it took a lot longer than I thought it would. But in my defense, I did do everything the "correct" way as measured by the quilting world, which means more time. So anyways, I had a great time and am extremely proud of the outcome of my quilt! Here it is for all of you to admire...

Friday, November 03, 2006

Brother Andrew

My brother, Andy, got engaged!! Here is his beautiful new fiance, Shannon. This engagement has put me through the entire gambet of emotions. I am overwhelmingly happy and excited for them, because I love them both SO MUCH. But I am also heartbroken, because they will more than likely settle on the east coast, in New York or somewhere fancy like that. You see, Andy is an artist, (Masters in Sculpture) and Shannon has a dream to incorporate dance as a form of therapy, dubbed "Dance Therapy." Both of their passions in life will not lead them to the boring, unartistic mid-west. The sort of jobs they seek are found on the juicy, exciting, artistic, east coast. In addition to their jobs leading them in that direction, Shannon also grew up in New Jersey and her whole family is firmly planted there.

The wedding is scheduled for mid-May somewhere in New York, or New Jersey. I have been given the honor of being a bridesmaid in the wedding, which I am very excited about! And, cool tidbit, since Andy and Shannon are such an artsy couple, she presented me with this idea last night: each of the bridesmaids get to choose their own dress, as long as it is black. That is the only parameter. She explained the common frustration that she has been in so many weddings where the bridesmaid dress didn't look good on her, and she would never be able to use it again. So she wants us each to buy our own black dresses, as long as we feel beautiful in them, and they are re-usable! She is excited about the idea of each person representing their own unique style, and each dress varying according to that style. She thinks it will be visually aesthetic as well. We will see how it turns out. It will either look really cool, unique and beautiful, or it will totally look chaotic and sloppy. Let's all hope for the former!

Well, here is to my brother and his beautiful bride!!

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Holiday Festiveness

Erin graciously pointed out that I have not posted in a week. It's not like I have any great excuse, other than I simply forget I have such a loyal reading audience. :)
Since today IS Halloween, I suppose I can relate a few thoughts on the event...

Jared and I have been getting very festive in our new home, as the holiday season draws near. We are both "holiday lovers" and have started to "get festive" in any way we can. The only thing is, that we have not confined our "festiveness" to one holiday at a time...Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas...what's the difference really? I am afraid that if someone walked into our house they may be confused on which holiday we are trying to celebrate.

We started all the festivities by getting pumpkins in September. (That should set the tone for the whole post...) Jared picked out a HUGE daddy pumpkin for himself and a slightly smaller mama pumkpin for me. And now, after a big night of carving last night, our big mama and daddy pumpkins are joined by an adorable little kitten pumpkin! We have planned several new recipes to try this year for our annual tradition of making flavored pumpkin seeds. We also have been very excited to get lots of little trick-or-treaters, and yesterday went and bought a HUGE bag of candy that contains 102 pieces! (I am pretty sure there are only about 90 at this point...)

Then, only a week later (now the first week of October) we moved right along to Thanksgiving. I bought some very harvest-y salt and pepper shakers that are in the shape of multi-colored corn cobs. They have been brightening up our kitchen table ever since! Also, in the spirit of fall, I constantly have three candles burning: Harvest, Autmumn Wreath, and Mulled Apple Cider. My house always smells DELICIOUS!

And finally, of course, we couldn't forget Christmas! We have just begun our preparations to celebrate this holiday by purchasing a 2-gallon jug of apple cidar, that we have already mulled (with lots of delicious spices) on many occasions! And, to our pure delight, Egg Nog hit the local Wal-Mart a few days ago, and there was no way we could pass that one up! We have been planning all the details of our Christmas letter, and trying to decide on the perfect picture to include. Maybe next week we will put up the tree...

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

The Food We Eat

You know how if you think too long or hard about almost anything, it starts to seem really weird? Well, this week I have been thinking a lot about the food I eat. Jared and I had a discussion that went something like this:

N: "Isn't it strange the combinations people have come up with? Think about something as simple as mashed potatos even... taking a vegitable out of the ground, putting it in water and then mashing it until its smooth, then adding some cow milk fat that has been stirred for hours until it hardened, then taking some mineral build-up from the ocean, and presto! You have mashed potatos with butter and salt."
J: "Actually, they get salt from mines."
N: "They do? I thought it all came from oceans... Do they really get it from mines? Are the mines in places that there used to be water?"
J: "Well, yeah."
N: "Oh, so it does all come from water."
J: "Well, yeah, all minerals that build up come from water."
N: "Well, that's what I thought. But anyways, aren't the food combinations weird?"
J: "Yeah, they are!"

Just think about your favorite dish and the origins of each of the ingredients. The combinations start to seem really strange, and you realize that would never have thought of putting those things together but you are very thankful that someone did!

Monday, October 23, 2006


I know that almost everyone that actually reads my blog (sorry Kristi), was at my birthday party last night. I just want to take a moment to tell you all how amazed and blown away I am at everyone's generosity. I had the best birthday party this year that I have ever had. You all made my day more special than I could ever have imagined!

Last night when we got to Sawatdees I was a little pooped out from being around the extended family all day, so I wasn't feeling extremely energetic and social. But the moment everyone walked in the door, you all calmed my nerves and made me feel so loved and special.

As everyones knows, I don't do too well in the spotlight... I can't handle everyone's attention all at once, but I just love each and every one of you so much and you all made me feel so at ease and comfortable. Thank you for all the love you have showered on me, for driving to Mpls to celebrate with me, and for all the BEAUTIFUL gifts! I honestly love every single present I got last night. You guys have MUCH better taste than my extended relatives!

So THANK YOU to everyone who showed so much care for me, and made my birthday the best GOLDEN birthday I could have wished for!

Sunday, October 22, 2006

How Many Are There???

Have you ever wondered how many people in the world have the same name you do? Here is your chance to find out!
I thought this was interesting, but I am somewhat skeptical about the accuracy of these statistics. But in any case, it is just a fun little thing to do!

Sunday, October 15, 2006

The "Golden" Year

October is such a wonderful month...mainly because I was born in it! I made my debut on earth on October 23, 1983 in Glennallen, Alaska. For those math wizards out there, you have probably already figured out that this year is my golden brithday. Which, actually, could be somewhat of a disapointment to me. Funny as it is, my golden birthday is something I have looked forward to since I was a little girl. I have thought about it and how wonderful and magical it would be, just as I drempt of my wedding. But now that the year is actually here, and the event only days away, somehow that magic is lost on me. I am not a princess with storehouses of gold to swim thru (Like in DuckTales, my childhood inspiration of what a "golden" birthday should be!)

But, really, as I look at my life, I couldn't be happier. I have an amazing husband, a beautiful home, wonderful friends, a fabulous job, health, 2 cars, 3 pets, the laptop I am writing this on.... the list goes on. So, no, I am not at all disapointed. I wouldn't change a thing.

This birthday truly will be "golden." I am going to spend it with family and friends, all gathering to honor me and celebrate the fact that I am alive. That is something so dear and special to me that I can hardly describe it. That is worth far more than any amount of gold.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Thriftiness at the Thrift Store

You come to realize that you have reached a certain level of "stingy" when you plan your trips to the thrift store only on the days when they are having a 50% off special. I have arrived. And I am just fine with that. I love thrift store shopping. I love finding the treasures among the rubble. It is sort of like a treasure hunt-- an adventure. And I have never once come out without finding some sort of treasure. So, it is all worth it... especially at 50% off!

At our thrift store, everything is 50% off on all holidays. So, I always plan my trips accordingly. Yesterday, being Columbus Day, was my first trip to the thrift store this entire summer. I was very excited and ready to start digging. After 2 hours of wandering the aisles I was very pleased with my findings:

2 new Old Navy shirts for Jared $1.50 each
1 NWA uniform shirt for Jared $1.25
1 long-sleeved stylish flannel shirt for Jared $1.75
1 pair of perfectly fitting Express jeans for me $3.00
1 pair Banana Republic black pin-striped slacks for me $5.00
1 pair gray (with blue pin-stripes) slacks for me $1.75
1 vintage Coach brown leather purse (in very good condition) $30.00



Friday, October 06, 2006

Russia's Best

Did you guys see this? It was featured on Yahoo a few days ago...WOW! I have listened to this guy twice since then. It is a guy singing in a Russian (American Idol type) compitition, and he hits an incredibly high note-- amazingly high. I am afraid he has his nuts in a rubber band or something!
So anyways, immediatly after finding this video, I had to call Jared to the computer and we watched it in amazement together (Well, I watched in amazement. Jared got that "weirded-out" look on his face, the same one that would appear if a gay guy was trying to hit on him-- you know that look?) But then after the song was done, we both looked at eachother and then burst into song, each trying to hit the note this Russian just hit. We stood in our kitchen taking turns screeching at the top of our lungs trying to hit that note in any way possible. We didn't care if it sounded good or bad, we just wanted to find the note. Well Jared couldn't make it even close, but it was really hilarious to listen to him try. He tried and tried to hit the highest note possible and I stood in front of him laughing and laughing. Then I would try, and he would laugh. It was a really fun, strangely bonding experience for us!
But finally in all of my femininity, I made my way up the musical scale and hit the note! It was at the very tippy top of my limit and was much more of a scream-type sound the beautiful music, but that is beside the point girls! It is definately in the range of sound that, if forced for more than about 2 seconds, your voice immediatly goes hoarse and your throat hurts.
Anyways, watch the video, if nothing else, it is amusing.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

What's in a Name...

I thought this was amusing and wanted to share the joy with you. I included my answers for your entertainment!

1. NASCAR NAME: (father's middle name, mother's middle name)
Darell Gene

2. YOUR RADIO STATION- (W last letter in first, middle and last name)

3. YOUR ROCK STAR NAME: (first pet and first street name)
Smokey Victory

4. YOUR MOVIE STAR NAME: (g-father/g-mother on your mothers side, your favorite candy)
Betty Dove

5. YOUR "FLY GIRL" NAME: (first initial of first name, first 2 or 3 letters of your middle name) Nros

6. YOUR DETECTIVE NAME: (favorite month, favorite animal)
October Kitten

7. YOUR SOAP OPERA NAME: (middle name, city where you were born)
Rose Glennallen

8. YOUR STAR WARS NAME: (the first 3 letters of your last name, first 2 letters of your first name, first 2 letters of mom's maiden name.)

Try it for yourself! The results can be really funny!

I love the FALL

I love the fall... when the air is cool and crisp and it bites at your nose. I love it when the leaves change colors and show off to all creation their astounding beauty. I love going on walks on fall evenings and wearing my favorite pair of jeans and my comfiest sweatshirt. I love coming home after your walk, with pink cheeks from the cool autumn air. I love the late fall when the leaves fall to the ground and crunch underfoot-- that sound brings back so many memories. I love picking out a best pumpkin to carve and set on the step. I love trying new recipes for baked pumpkin seeds. I love getting fall scented candles, and smelling the sweet fragrance of spiced pumpkin and apple cider. I love searching for the most beautiful leaves, in perfect shape with no worm holes or tears and vibrant in color, to press in a book and preserve. (When I was young, my mom would take us outside during the fall and help us collect several beautifully colored leaves. Then we would go home and press them in the series of encyclopedias she had and eventually, when they were dry enough, we would iron them between two pieces of wax paper and make bookmarks for my grandparents. That is a memory I love and want to share with my children some day.)


Thursday, September 28, 2006

New Postage Stamp

I just received this in an email:

"MUSLIM CHRISTMAS STAMP How ironic is this??!! They don't even believe in Christ and they're getting their own Christmas stamp-- but don't dream of posting the Ten Commandments on federal property?!!

REMEMBER the MUSLIM bombing of PanAm Flight 103!
REMEMBER the MUSLIM bombing of the World Trade Center in 1993!
REMEMBER the MUSLIM bombing of the Marine barracks in Lebanon!
REMEMBER the MUSLIM bombing of the military barracks in Saudi Arabia!
REMEMBER the MUSLIM bombing of the American Embassies in Africa!
REMEMBER the MUSLIM bombing of the USS COLE!
REMEMBER the MUSLIM attack on 9/11/2001!
REMEMBER all the AMERICAN lives that were lost in those vicious MUSLIM attacks!

Now the United States Postal Service REMEMBERS and HONORS the EID MUSLIM holiday season with a commemorative first class holiday postage stamp. REMEMBER to adamantly and vocally BOYCOTT this stamp when purchasing your stamps at the post office. To use this stamp would be a slap in the face to all those AMERICANS who died at the hands of those whom this stamp honors."

You could choose to look at this a few different ways...
1) America is just plain dumb enough to celebrate and honor their attackers (who hate us by the way)
2) The American people are so ignorant that no one will know what the stamp represents ("Oh! That's a pretty design! Let's get that for our Christmas cards this year!")
3) America has suddenly transformed into a radically Christianized country and we are merely "loving our enemies as ourselves."

What do you think? Any other ways to look at this?

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

What the hell???

There are times in life that are just too overwhelming and you are not completely sure you can get through it. But at the same time, you ponder "What if I can't get through it? How does that play out? If I can't get through it, what exactly does that mean?" After searching the options of "not getting through it" most of the time people just flea to their bedroom and fall into as deep a sleep as possible, for as long as possible. You live in a whole new world when you are asleep. All the unsolvable problems following you around go away for awhile. When you are asleep, you are free to laugh, free to love, free to kiss, free to eat as much junk food as you want. You can attain the beauty you can never attain in the waking world (or sometimes your're just naked-- those are scary dreams!). Sometimes you are a hero. Sometimes you are pregnant. Whatever your desires, you can acheive them while asleep.
But sleep is temporary. When you awake, you are met by the unsolvable, overwhelming world you left only moments before. So this option of sleep is not a healer, merely some temporary pain relief-- like tylenol.
In times such as these, I always find myself asking, not in an accusing way, but merely curiously, "Why would God let this happen to us today?" Then I go through all the reasons why we did not deserve such troubles. Today these same thought poured through my head as I sat by the side of 694 in my newly repaired, but now dead, car. My diligent husband, and his friend, spent hours and weeks fixing this car for me. We lived like paupers for weeks and weeks, unable to even buy bread, milk or butter because the car repairs were so costly. And now, only my second day driving my brand new car, it died along the highway. My amazing husband came to rescue me. As for the car... I'd like to drive it off a cliff and laugh as I watch is fall.
But today as I sat in my dead car, a new thought came to me.
"When is the last time you actually RELIED on God?" I tend, as most people, to get things done myself. When I hit a titanium wall (screw bricks, I can push my way through those, I am stubborn) it is only then that I realize I have a Friend willing to help me even in the small stuff and usually I only "use" him to get me through the big stuff. I am such a loser. If I treated any of you that way, would you want to be my friend? Well, I wouldn't be yours if you did that to me.

I know that God did not make my car die. He knew it would happen, but he also knew it would be a great chance for me to turn to Him for help, rather then just get mad, overwhelmed and go to bed. (Which is where I am now.)
So I will work on it. I cannot say that I am so good that I had this revelation and then took action. I am still human, and it is extremely difficult to submit and to let go. I am trying to trust God with all my heart, but I know I am a work in progress. So if any of you have a moment today, say a little prayer for me.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Saga of my DMV Visit

In recent news...
Yesterday I went to obtain my new driver's license. I remembered that it was the big day yesterday (because the DMV testing area is only open on Wednesdays during very limited hours) on my way to work. The thought suddenly struck me that I would be getting a new picture taken-- one that I would be stuck with for the next several years. I quickly checked my outfit to make sure it was worthy of being on my license. Not so much. I was wearing a hot pink t-shirt, which I am positive I would look back on and realize how much fashion sense I lacked "in my younger years." So I decided I would wear my fashionable jean-jacket, with a faux white fleece collar, which I just happened to have with me.

After getting to work, I spent several minutes in front of the mirror pulling at my hair trying to decide up? or down? up? or down? (I literally put it up, studied it, then put it down, studied it, and so on.) Finally I achieved a satisfactory look, though it was not what I would have chosen if I had been thinking ahead. But nonetheless, satisfactory.

I waited all morning, and through lunchtime, until finally the big moment arrived when I could pack up the babe in the car, and head to the DMV (as they are only open from 12:30-3:45). The drive was a pleasant one, characterized by several quick glances into the mirror to make sure my face had not developed a scar or uncontrollable acne in the past fifteen minutes.
But I arrived in the same condition I left in, much to my relief. I happily walked into the building and got in line to take my knowledge test. After waiting a few minutes, I noticed a sign outside the door that proclaimed I needed another "primary source of identification in addition to my out-of-state license." Oh no! I paniced. Wait! I have my social security card. No problem. I will just wait in line, and surely she will take that. Calm down.

My turn came, and I presented her with my old license, and said in a challenging tone,
"I just saw that sign that says I need another form of ID. Will you take a social security card?" There was a message in my voice that just dared her to defy me. But she just chewed casually on her gum, and without skipping a beat, she said "Birth certificate or marriage license."
My eyes grew big and I quickly shot back "Can't I use my social security card?"
"Nope. Birth certificate or marriage license."

Well, since I don't normally carry these documents with me everywhere I go, I gave her one of those "dagger-in-my-eye" looks and turned around to storm out the door. I prepared myself so carefully for this moment. I drove all the way here for this. And most of all, I WAS EXCITED, and now she ruined it!
As I was turning to leave, she explained in a very calm voice that I could still take my knowledge test, but that I would have to bring back the correct documents before they would release my license to me.

This is the point where I felt like a fool. I was making such a big deal and being so mean (even more so in my mind) toward this lady, and the whole time she was not, in fact, planning to ruin my fun. I sheepishly took the test she handed to me and sat down.

Don't worry. I passed. But now I have to wait until next Wednesday, between 12:30-3:45 to go back and get my new license. This time I will be prepared for my picture.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Park Rangers

So we went camping this weekend in my sweet home town. We got all the gear packed up in the back of our tiny Ford and headed off for a weekend of campfires and s'mores! We met some good friends of ours, Abby and Ben, and set up our temporary homestead.

If any of you have even been camping, you know that the rangers, well, don't have anything to do but sneak up on people and scare the living daylights out of as many as possible. I really wouldn't be surprised if they make a game out of it and go back to their post, pick up their dry-erase marker, and tally how many "scares" they just acheived.
Here is our story...

We got to the campsite at about 8pm, and quickly got everything in place. While I was blowing up our air mattress, we realized that Ben had grabbed the wrong mattress for Abby and him. As we unfolded it, we found a twin size air mattress that had holes in it. (Not too useful, folks.) We stoked up a blazing fire and had a delicious meal of potatoes and steak. Abby and I settled down into our camp chairs to enjoy the warmth of the fire, while Ben and Jared drove home to retrieve a bigger air mattress. Well obviously Abby and I got to talking and laughing and catching up. After we had covered all the basics, like who is dating who, and who dumped who, and who likes who, and who looks good in that outfit or this haircut, we moved on to more insightful topics. It went like this...(edited for length purpose, the conversation lasted at least 5 minutes)

Naomi: "I think it is so weird when women refer to their period as being 'on the rags.'"
Abby: "I know! Some of the women at my church say that all the time, but that is because they actually use rags. All I can think of is a big white diaper with clothespins!
Naomi: "Ugh! Can you imagine wearing a diaper? That would be so awful and bulky!"
Abby: "No wonder they all wear jumpers! A diaper wouldn't fit under normal clothing!"
Naomi: "[laughter] I can't believe they wear a whole diaper!"
[Enter fat, bearded park Ranger.]
After throwing out that last comment in an excited voice, I turned my head slightly and saw, mid-laugh, that a park ranger was standing about 5 feet away, with a junior ranger cowering behind him. Now I will tell you the laughter died pretty fast. It was at this point that he decided to click on his flashlight to "warn" us of his approach. Good plan there Stan. We have absolutely now clue how long he and his cowering junior ranger (who actually looked like he belonged on a California beach with his spiky brown hair and dark tan skin-- very out of place) had been standing there. In any case, I am pretty sure they learned a little more about how women use rags.
After they left, Abby and I tried to figure out how they were so stealthy in their approach and how long, in fact, they had been standing there listening to our less then kosher conversation!

I think they just wanted to learn about the technique of rag wearing, because they really didn't have much to say once we noticed their presence. They informed us that is was now quiet hours. I can honestly say that we were being so quiet that you would have to be standing 5 feet away to hear what we were saying. Maybe they just wanted to take the opportunity to check out some cute girls, because as they turned to leave, the fat ranger turned and asked,
"Is it just you two girls here tonight?"
Abby quickly and emphatically replied "No! Our husbands are coming back any minute!"
At that ranger mumbled "Oh" and they turned and walked away into the darkness.

Blasted park rangers. Go eat a doughnut.

Thursday, September 14, 2006


Well no birds this morning-- I think I was awake before even the early birds. I will have to put away my harmonica for now, the only instrument I have with which to frighten away my feathered enemies.
(Just so you all don't mistake me for a loser, like Taylor Hicks, I don't really have a harmonica.)

On to new things...
I have recently regained my interest in jewelry-making. This is a hobby I started last spring, and really enjoyed it. But once we started getting serious about moving, the jewelry hobby had to be put on hold, because it is a semi-expensive hobby. But yesterday I pulled out the paper-bag full of beads and string, and got to work. It is a really fun hobby that lets all of your creative juices run wild, and you can really turn out a beautiful piece of work with very little effort. Hopefully I will be able to expand upon my collection as time goes on, and money becomes more abundant!

As long as I am talking about hobbies, I will take a moment to express how excited I am to be going on a quilting retreat this fall! I already have a pattern for my quilt, thanks to Erin! I find myself perusing the fabric section every time we stop at Wal-Mart. I am afraid I haven't got an eye yet for what king of fabric will look good in the grand scheme of a quilt. I have always had trouble picturing anything with my "mind's eye." Speaking of which, do you believe that is a male/female thing? I have heard that men think better in pictures, and women think better in words. Is that true? Could that possibly explain my lack of ability to picture how something will look before actually seeing it that way?

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

In the Morning Light

Today, I had a fabulous chance to soak up the morning hours... in bed... asleep. In other words, this morning I had the chance to SLEEP IN. However, at the time of the morning when the sun just starts to peek up over the distant horizon and flood the sky with the radiant morning light; when all the world is peaceful and hushed; when everything just seems so blissful...
a frickin' PLATOON OF PSYCHOTIC BIRDS LANDED DIRECTLY OUTSIDE MY WINDOW. It sounded like I had been transported to an aviary full of demented, deranged, crack-brained birds. These birds were so loud and so hysterical in their chirping, that I am fairly sure that if I had poked my little finger out the window at them, it would never come back in again! Thoughts rushed intstantly into my head of strangulation and BB guns. (I seem to be a little irrational in the morning, before my brain wakes up fully.) Those ideas dismissed (not because of their absurdity, but rather because I could not find an EASY way of making either work), I stormed out of bed like a grumpy little 6-year-old, complete with a pout on my face, and slammed the window shut.

There! I showed those birds who is boss around here! Way to go, Naomi!

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

The Power of Worship

I am feeling a little on the down side today... a little thoughtful, a little weary, a little discouraged. There is nothing in particular that I can pinpoint these feelings on, it is just one of those times where everything seems to come at you a little askew.

It is in these times that I begin to grasp the power of worship. I was cleaning today at a friend's house and I flipped on the radio. Finding nothing interesting to listen to, I perused the CDs laying nearby. I found one that contained many of the worship songs I knew from church. I put it in and turned it up LOUD, as no one was in the house but me. As the song took off, I found myself singing along at the top of my lungs, and tears sprang to my eyes. I stopped cleaning and just let the music surround me. I wept and sang and drowned myself in the moment (and glanced out the window to make sure my weeping fit would not be discovered by the family coming home.) But in that moment, with my eyes all smeary and wet, I realized how much one little worship song can feed you spiritually, and how desperately I need to be fed.

We recently changed churches and I have begun to realize that this new church is not giving me as much spiritual food as I need. The worship time in a service is vital to me. When the songs are so simplistic and do not express what is in your heart, it is hard to feel like you were engaged. I have often times come away feeling that we just barely scratched the surface-- a surface that I have already barely scratched before. I am ready to move forward, to dive in deeper, to LEARN knew and wonderful things, and to be completely infatuated with God.

I am really excited about what God has waiting for me. I think the near future holds a lot of growing and learning and stretching. That is my prayer. That is my desire.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Do You Understand my Blog Name Now?

You see I am not much of a big talker. I am really a great listener though. I have been told numerous times that I am a difficult person to talk to. Let me tell you right now, I am sorry! I am a work in progress, and if you don't want to wait around to assisst in this change, check back in about 6 months or so and check out my progression. Otherwise, thanks to all my loyal friends who are willing to stick around and cure me from this ailment.
So I have concluded that either I must have extremely low brain activity, or I am just wired in such a way that when I want to talk the most (i.e. when I am with friends), I have nothing to say.

But I can't believe that my brain activity is that low, because thoughts are constantly racing through my head. I guess I just don't think most of them are important enough to say out loud. They consist of thoughts like "that dog is smelly" or "wow, it's bright out." You know, stupid unimportant thoughts that if allowed to constantly leak out of my mouth, would make me into a "blabber" rather than a "listener." Honestly, which one is better, people? A person who talks too much, or too little? I'll tell you what's better-- a happy medium. (i'm screwed)

I think I am getting better at this though. I have to a certain extent ignored my own rule and simply stated whatever is on my mind. To my surprise, most of the time this does not end in disaster. Half the time people don't closely listen to what you say anyways, so you can really get away with saying a lot of meaningless crap and they love you all the more for it. The other half of the time, the thoughts that escape my mouth are so stupid that the're funny.

Just want ya'll to know that if you ever catch me in a "quiet mood" (ya'll are probably laughing right now saying "don't you mean if we ever catch you in a talking mood?"), give me a break, I'm trying.

Interview with Rick Warren

Here is an interview I came across by Paul Bradshaw with Rick Warren, author of "A Purpose Driven Life." He tackles the question "What is the purpose of life?" I thought his answers were very insightful and right-on! Check it out.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Lethargy, meet your match

Do ya'll have any days where you just feel like crap? There are a million things to do, some of which you really wouldn't mind doing. But on a day like this, you just don't have the energy or motivation to do anything. This is one of those days for me. I feel lethargic and sluggish. I really hate this mood, but I am not sure I have the motivation to pull myself out of it. I know there is a way to overcome the cloud of inactivity, but it usually involves gritting your teeth and throwing yourself into some form of activity, whether it be going on a walk, doing laundry or getting out of the house. Well here is my current line of thought... "I am far too tired to go on a walk, besides which the sun is scorching right now. I vaccuumed the floor first thing after I got up this morning. And finally, I am stuck at home with no means of transportation. Even if there was another option, I am pretty sure I would find another excuse to get out if it."

All of this is floating through my head while at the same time I hate being lethargic and I would love to get out and do something with my time. It is a beautiful day and I know I am wasting it away walking aimlessly around the house. I have become an official time-waster. A name I am not too proud of earning, but I have nontheless earned it in full.

Tomorrow is a new day, and more importantly,Wednesday, which is the day I start working again. I hope to leave this new name in a cloud of dust behind me. No more wasting time when you've got a baby to look after. She will keep me busy for sure. Never a dull moment. :)

Monday, September 04, 2006

O Little Town of Hugo

So obviously everyone already knows they are beautiful and this is an issue that only I struggle with.

Tonight I am off to a Labor Day picnic with family and friends. I am pretty excited. Life can get lonley up here in Hugo. But this little town is really making the push to become a grown-up, big town. We already have 2 signs of progress leading the way into the future: A brand new Festival Foods (with an entire section of the store devoted to gourmet and international cheeses), and a Dunn Brothers Coffee Shop (attatched, of course, to the Festival Foods-- these progress-pushers need to stick together). Of course, Hugo also has all the new town-home development (in which we live), but in order to get the the Festival (which is only about 2 miles down the road) you drive through the booming neighborhood, past the brand new middle school and hit a T in the road. At this point, your car is sitting across from the horse farm and apple orchard and miles of rolling hills. You are now officially in the country. As you drive along this country road, you will pass the typical country farms with their broken-down tractors rusting over and barns with collapsed roofs. Then, just as quickly as you got lost in the rolling hills, you immerge into the most developed part of our little town, and into the parking lot of Festival Foods.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Excerpts from a beautiful book

For those who are interested, here are some excerpts from John Eldredge's book Captivating, as previously discussed in my post Beautiful.

"Beauty is the essence of a woman. We want to be perfectly clear that we mean both a physical beauty and a soulful/spiritual beauty. The one depends upon and flows out of the other. Yes, the world cheapens and prostitutes beauty, making it all about a perfect figure few women can attain. But Christians minimize it too, or overspiritualize it, making it all about 'character.' We must recover the prize of Beauty. The church must take it back. Beauty is too vital to lose." (p. 36)

"Every woman has a beauty to unveil.
Every women.
Because she bears the image of God. She doesn't have to conjure it, go get it from a salon, have plastic surgery or breat implants. No, beauty is an essence that is given to every woman at her creation." (p. 42)

" is God who longs for Romance; it is God who longs to be our ezer [treasure]; it is God who reveals beauty essential to life. You are the image bearer of this God. That is why you long for those things too. There is a radiance hidden in your heart that the world desperatly needs." (p. 42)

"Finally, most women doubt very much that they have any genuine beauty to unveil. It is, in fact, our deepest doubt. When it comes to the issues surrounding beauty, we vacillate between striving and resignation. New diets, new outfits, new hair color. Work out; work on your life; try this new discipline or that new program for self-improvement. Oh, forget it. Who cares anyway? Put up a shield and get on with life. Hide. Hide in busyness; hide in church activities; hide in depression. There is nothing captivating about me. Certainly not inside me. I'll be lucky to pull it off on the outside." (p. 45)

"Controlling women are 'the sortof women' C.S. Lewis said, 'who live for others. You can tell the others by their hunted expression.'
Controlling women tend to be very well rewarded in this fallen world of ours. We are the ones to receive corporate promotions. We are the ones put in charge of our women's ministries. Can-Do, Bottom-Line, Get-It-Done kinds of women. Women who have never even considered that our Martha Stewart perfectionism might not be a virtue. We have never considered that by living a controlling and domineering life, we are really refusing to trust our God. And it had also never dawned on us that something precious in us is lost. Something the world needs very much from us." (p. 53)

"We need not be ashamed that our hearts ache; that we need and thirst and hungar for much more. All of our hearts ache. All of our hearts are at some level unsatisfied and longing. It is our insatiable need for more that drives us to our God. What we need to see is that all our controlling and our hiding, all our indulging, actually serves to separate us from our hearts. We lose touch with those longings that make us women. And the substitutes never, ever resolve the deeper issue of our souls." (p. 58)

Now reading back over these excerpts, I want to make clear that I DO NOT believe there is anything wrong with being an active woman in the church. I do, however, caution you not to hide, or push aside, or coverup, or ignore your beauty by staying busy. There are certain qualities that God graced women with-- qualities of nurturing and compassion for example-- that are needed in the church. This concept of beauty is important to get ahold of to bring out the genuine qualities God has gifted you with.

Thursday, August 31, 2006


One of my dear friends, Shannon, sent me a note recently that spoke of women and beauty in the church. This is a subject that she is very passionate about and I have enjoyed the conversations we've had about this in the past. As she was saying, there is a certain image that woman often times try to display of what a good "church woman" should be. These women are productive, modest, giving, kind, hard-working...and busy, stressed out, and tired. But as church ladies, it shouldn't be about what we do-- it's not about fitting into an image and wearing ourselves out doing it. It's about who we are reflecting. God is a beautiful God, and women shine so much of that beauty, but we don't even know it.

Women grow up with numerous confirmations, verbal and non-verbal alike, that we are not beautiful. When a little girl dances for her dad, she needs to hear that she is beautiful. When a teenager is going through puberty, she needs to hear that she is beautiful. When a grown woman scrubs the toilet, she needs to hear that she is beautiful. Now, all you readers who are women know deep within yourselves that you have been told in some shape or form repeatedly that you just don't measure up. That you are not enough. This subject of beauty and women (I think) is oftentimes a neglected subject in the church. (Not necessarily by the leaders of the church-- we have heard the sermons on Mother's Day.) The people of the church don't take time to cherish the amazing beauty God has given to every woman on earth. The women don't take time to notice or embrace the beauty within themselves. The men don't take time to honor that beauty.

But here's the thing...God gave women a mysterious beauty that is intrinsic to every woman in creation. When God made Adam, he said it was not right for man to be alone. So he fashioned a beautiful partner for Adam. After Eve was created, everything was good and right. She was the last thing God created. John Eldredge puts it well in his book "Captivating" when he says that Eve is the "crowning glory" of creation. (I HIGHLY recommend this book by the way, for men and women alike. He co-wrote it with wife Staci and they really tackle this subject on a deep level. It has made me see women in a whole in a new light, as well as value myself and see the beauty I display.)

In the book, Eldredge points out that women display the beauty of God. They reflect his soft, gentle, tender, merciful, loving, nurturing and mysterious characteristics. God did not only make Eve as a partner for Adam, but also as a mirror unto himself. God shines through women in every gentle touch and soft word spoken. Every woman shines this beauty, no matter what the culture dictates. When a woman believes wholeheartedly that she is not beautiful, she fogs that mirror and God's image is not allowed to shine freely.

This subject has become increasingly intriguing to me. As I dig deeper, I realize more and more the importance of this issue. Although some may think this sounds semi-feminist, it doesn't have anything to do with a power-trip for women. It's simply that there is a lot to be learned about God, through women. Women are BEAUTIFUL. That's something they do not hear enough. Period.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

My life in the ZOO

This morning was going to be a good morning until I walked downstairs to find a nasty surprise. So I have been having some animal trouble lately (we have 3 by the way, 2 cats and a dog).

The story goes like this... I got to sleep in a bit, until 8:30 or so. I lay in bed and stretched a good stretch. I felt very relaxed and comfortable, but it was time to get up. So I arose and flung open the curtains. Warm, golden sunshine streamed in, bathing the room in light... it was going to be a good day. I looked down at the floor beside my bed where I keep all my books, magazines and misc. odds and ends that accumulate there. One thing that was laying in the pile that shouldn't have been was a new thermometer I bought. I knew I had not carelessly put that on the floor. I bent down to pick it up, and immediatly saw teeth marks and scratches all over it. Dang cat! I knew the younger cat had found it on a counter or something and played its way to the floor, many scratches and bashes later. I was very annoyed. At this opportune moment, the guilty cat, Ruby, came up to me, purring her sweetest purr, and rubbed on my leg. (It seems like she always knows when she is in trouble and tries to be cute to get out of it. I'm serious, it's the same almost every time. It's weird.) But I would have none of it. I was too annoyed about the thermometer. So I got up, pushing her aside, and headed for the kitchen, determined to still have a good day. I would make myself a good breakfast to turn things around. I lazily thumped down the stairs, a little hope returning to me with each new step. I walked into the kitchen and was just about ready to decide on my breakfast of choice, when I caught a wiff of a not-so-pleasant smell. I crinkled my nose and with disgust looked around for the source of this nasty smell. As my eyes wandered the room, they soon fell on the source. There behind the kitchen table was a monsterous pile of poop. Wait...there's more, oh glee. This pile must have been laying there much of the night and my darling cats had tried with all their might to cover it up. Let me explain the problem with that idea-- the kitchen floor is linoleum and there isn't much litter laying around on the floor to cover a huge mound of shit! So instead these precious cats simple smeared the pile all over the place (including on their own water dish), and IT DRIED THAT WAY.

Shoot me now. Anybody want some free animals? The're adorable. I promise.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Daytime TV

This morning I woke up and had that feeling in the pit of my stomach that I would need to clean, (or at least get SOMEthing done) before I could be calmed. It was that nagging feeling of unrest that can only be apeased by the accomplishment of a task, large or small. So, since I had an equal desire to actually enjoy my day, I jumped right in to the (rather large) task of cleaning up the house. There was things to be put away, dishes to be done, carpet to be vaccuumed, and an accumulation of 3 loads of white laundry to be folded and put away (the worst kind, where you have to match all the socks...eeww!).
So after all my toilsome labor (haha, the hard work of an unemployed woman without kids!), I threw a pan of Nestle Toll House cookies in the oven, and sat down on the couch to enjoy a good hour or so of good old TV. Well, I flipped randomly through the stations. Then I flipped through them again. I quickly realized that the only entertainment a stay-home person like myself is offered is well, DUMB. I had my choice of soaps, weather, or of course the spanish channel. Yipee! So much for that hour of rest in front of the "good old TV." I guess all of you in the working world truly are rewarded for going to further the economy everyday, cuz all the good shows come on when you get home.
These were the woes I faced today. I need to get a life.

Friday, August 25, 2006

The brown spot...

Last night Erin and Richard came over for dinner. We were all sitting around the table enjoying a nice conversation when Richard asked, "Is Bumper (dog) licking your cat?" We all turned around to see what, in fact, Bumper was licking. There was a very large dark brown spot on the carpet (that did resemble our cat). I got up and went over to the carpet to identify this mystery spot only to find a monsterous pile of partially processed dog food that Bumper's stomach decided it really did not want after all. Turns out he snuck down to the garage where he made a meal of the clutch dust that was covering the floor. I will not go into any further detail on this particular subject as it seems to cause a certain gagging reaction when things of this matter are discussed.

Here is a haiku poem dedicated to Erin:

Yucky Bumper, Gross
You ralphed on our white carpet
I don't like you much

Thursday, August 24, 2006

A Whole New World

So here I am, creating my own blog. I have heard mention of this being a "geekish" thing to get involved with. But I have pushed all those accusing comments aside and now plunge into a world I know little about.
I would like to share my conversion story of how I came to enter this new world...Last night a friend of mine recommended that I read her blog. So this afternoon, I spent the last 3 hours reading every single blog she has ever posted. That was enough...I was hooked.

I have made a few discoveries already in this world of blogging (not necessarily all from this friend's blog, but also from the comments other people made, as well as the few other blogs I visited.)

1. People are very clever
2. Blogging gives you a chance to share your deep (as well as petty) insights that don't fit normally into everyday conversations.
3. Reading people's thoughts and reactions to life is very amusing. I am pretty sure it feeds the inate relational needs within us. We enjoy getting in on someone else's life and stories. In some cases, it is mere entertainment. In other cases, it makes our own boring lives a little more interesting.

Well, how was that for my first blog? Am I going to make it here? Will I survive in this new unexplored world?