Monday, December 25, 2006

Christmas 2006

Dear Everyone,

A Merry Christmas to you all...even if it is a little late in the day. I meant to post earlier; in fact, I did post, but somehow the internet rejected my Yuletide offering, complete with multiple pictures. The pictures are on Flickr now anyway.

This is Claire posting, by the way. I'm using Brad's account as I'm waiting for Blogger/Google to let me into the new exclusive club/registration/whatever.

We have been enjoying having K & L's family here this weekend; it's been LOADS of fun!

Well, we had an interesting Christmas experience. Last night we had a bonfire after dinner and roasted marshmallows, until it started which time, we came inside and decorated gingerbread houses in honor of Andrew, and a great time was had by all. This morning we had waffles and opened some presents, including a toy hand grenade which provided many opportunities for fake disaster. After a lull in the festivities - to absorb our new gifts and give Drew a chance to nap- we headed over to Daddy and Mama's to continue the binge of gifts and merriment...and Christmas dinner!

After dinner Ethan and some of his older male relatives went out to play with his new toys; he had a bit of a disaster with a couple of rusty nails. Blood! Tears! ( There was probably some sweat involved too...) But all was well, eventually. In the above picture, if you look closely, you can see a hint of a bandage on Ethan's hand. Christmas wouldn't be Christmas without some drama...

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Perching, as is His Wont

originally uploaded by bradleypass.

Monday, December 18, 2006

My Nefarious Husband

We have a new phone/answering machine system now, so you can call, if you need to. But don't call if you don't need to- I'd rather hear from you by email or blog comment. When the phone rings, I just automatically think that something bad has happened and someone is calling to tell me.

Brad succumbed to getting an early Christmas present for himself. Yay- saved me the trouble of a lot of frantic thinking and shopping. ( Actually, I did get him another present...but don't tell him.) He got one of those little Nintendo game things - not the kind you plug into the TV, but the kind you can stick in your pocket that kind of looks like some sort of blackberry. He's been fairly obsessed with playing games on it, like Mario Brothers and bowling etc.

One evening, he introduced me to a game that I'd never seen before. You had to move a balloon up the side of a blowing at the little screen. " See? Like this!" ( Blast of breathing onto the gaming device. To be precise, into the microphone. AH!) So, your boss rides miniature horses, Nate is renting his car out, your petite female co-worker was a wrestler in highschool ( another tale he told me recently, which actually turned out to be true...but can you blame me for being skeptical?), and now you want me to believe that your breath controls the altitude of a little digital balloon? Nice one. I did not fall off the turnip truck yesterday, my friend. Well, it turns out that it actually WAS true... The wonders of technology floor me, I tell you.

But the principle of the boy who cried wolf is at work here. I am seeing lies behind every blade of grass these days. Even now, as I am typing this, I am starting to question whether it is actually still not true. I can't remember if I tried it myself. I just asked Brad to go get the game so I could test it out. He is not acquiescing to my demands. He laughs at me. I can't trust my own husband! Sad to say, I am such a technological baby that if I hoisted myself up off my chair and found the thing, I wouldn't know how to find the stupid game on it. Further bulletins as the truth comes to light.

Ahh...the holidays. Peace, love, and...deception.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Christmas is a'Comin...

The other night, I unwittingly built up a gargantuan amount of static electricity; when I picked up the phone in the kitchen, I got a HUGE shock and the phone fried itself. Truly. It was crispy and everything. The messages erased, and the phone does not work anymore. That was our main phone -with a built in answering machine- so if you are trying to call us and can't get a live person OR an answering machine, that's why. We should have gone out today and got a new one but we were too busy being productive in other ways. Of course, we still have other phones in the house but none of them have answering machines hooked up. So if you need to leave a message, try the cell phones.

Judging from their decorations and lights, our neighbors are endowed with a fanatical amount of holiday spirit. I dare not elaborate on my opinions of certain decorations because I am my mother's daughter and I worry that someday one of my neighbors might stumble upon the blog, find this post and - GASP- be offended. BUT. The other night we had a visitor who commented that our neighbors might think from our lack of decorations that we're Jewish. I thought that was pretty funny. We do look conspicuously bare and somewhat bah-humbuggish compared to all our twinkly, colorful neighbors. I guess I've just been slow to get in the holiday spirit - that and I'm just not one for elaborate outdoor decorations. Or much of any elaborate decorations, for that matter. To be honest, it's the kind of thing I'd ask Brad to do, but I don't want to ask him to do anything extra these days because he has an inSANE amount on his plate. Maybe I should put a massive inflatable menorah, or a huge plastic dreidel, or gigantic, glowing star of David on the lawn. Just to give the neighborhood something to talk about. Another reason for them to think we are "different." I did buy some of those window candles this afternoon - although I need more extension cords to make it all work- and hopefully passersby will see our Christmas tree...Not that there's anything wrong with being Jewish, but I kinda like Jesus.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Stanne the Sinner

 Posted by Picasa

I promise to never take good health for granted again...

Life has ground down to a sort of time warped, slow motion, suspended animation existence. Nothing exciting is happening, and each day is eerily similar to the last. I feel like I'm not accomplishing anything...which isn't exactly true because I did actually paint the bathroom last week. ( Pictures to follow when all the cleanup and touch ups and re-installations are accomplished.)

But I think this feeling of deadening inertia is mostly due to the fact that I've been sick for the last couple of weeks. There's nothing like sickness to reduce one's motivations and ambitions. Actually, I think it's more like I just never fully recovered from being sick when I got back from England. I thought I was getting better but then I had a relapse. This is not just a cold- this is a cold on steroids. This is a cold that reduces you to a lower life form. This is a cold that wound up in Brad's system, and Grandpa's. This is a cold that turned into a cough that has shaken me to the core. I don't think I have ever had a cough this bad before in my life. I have had coughing fits so severe that I end up doubled over, gasping for breath, with tears streaming from my eyes. It was pretty pathetic; we both coughed at night waking the other one up and I don't think either one of us has had a normal night's sleep in many a day. I have drunk enough cough syrup- the normal buzzy kind AND a strange homeopathic kind- and ingested enough lozenges and cough drops to fill a small warehouse. Not to mention all the normal things like Vitamin C and echinacea... When I laughed I sounded like Marilla sometimes.

But, thanks be to God, we are all on the mend at last.

I set up the Christmas tree yesterday. I waited a little longer than normal because I wasn't sure what Stanne's reaction would be, and sure enough, he is completely and unhealthily enthralled with it. The squirt bottle is being used a lot to keep him from eating too much of the tree. ( We have the fake kind.) I made sure to fasten the ornaments as securely as I could and left them off the lower branches. I found him half way up the tree this afternoon, lounging in the branches like some sort of wild cougar. I didn't know whether to shoo him off or take pictures. So, I did both- well, first I took a couple pictures, and then he caught sight of the camera strap and came down to attack that.

I guess we won't be putting our Christmas presents under the tree anytime soon.

Monday, December 04, 2006

The squeaky wheel...

...gets presents!!

Remember my post about eggnog recently? And how I said I wanted a nutmeg grater? Well, someone with the love language of gift-giving - my friend Soj, in fact- read that and clicked on over to Amazon and BOUGHT ME ONE! It just came in the mail today! I can't believe it! How cool is that?! Thanks, Soj! An excuse to buy more eggnog! ( As if I needed one...) Mmmmm....

I should post about things I want more often! And now to get a nutmeg nut...

Thursday, November 30, 2006

You know...

You know the neighbor kids have been over visiting when all the M&Ms are gone from the bowl of communal trailmix. ( I make it sound like they broke in like hoodlums and stole my chocolate- not so. They came and played with Stanne.)

You know you have something to blog about when you play a game of air hockey with your 83 year old grandfather-in-law at a demo table at Sam's Club. And he beats you. 2-1.

You know your husband has a very bad chest cough because when he laughs, he sounds like a heavy smoker. Eeegh.

You know your bathroom painting project has gotten out of control when you find yourself looking like a sweaty hobo/terrorist/walking fashion faux pas ( wearing 80's safety glasses and a pillowcase tied around the lower half of your face as a mask --because you can't find your do-rag that your step-uncle Scott gave you as a wedding gift) scraping the popcorn off the ceiling. Messy.

And I don't make up pointless lies. So the part about the do-rag from Scott N. is the truth. One of my favorite wedding gifts of them all!

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

What's the deal with John Wayne?

I hate it when neighbors come to your door and your teeth are feeling thick and fruzzly with sugar after eating several pieces of candy. You feel like you can't really smile at them because you don't want them to be shocked and repulsed at your grody, coated teeth and you can't exactly be like, "Come back in five minutes after I've brushed my teeth!" And we only see or talk to these people for five minutes like once a month or once every two months, so it's like we're still on the "getting to know you" footing...where impressions are still being formed, even after a year of living nearby. And it seem like every time I encounter them, I get nervous, and so things don't flow...and then I get even more self-conscious. ARGH. Every time, it's SOMETHING - whether my hair is sticking out all funny or I'm wearing ratty clothes because I'm painting, or something. I know it shouldn't matter what they think of me, but for some reason, it does matter to least a little bit. I feel like they will always think I am weird and inferior. And there is nothing I can do about it. It's not like I want to claim I'm NORMAL...because I KNOW I'm not and I'm okay with that. I just want everyone ELSE to be okay with that too. But whatever. "The fear of man is a snare" and all that. Man- all that because I didn't brush my teeth. I think too much, I think. "Neurotic" is the word I'm looking for here.

I watched a John Wayne movie the other night with Grandpa. John Wayne was playing a man who fights out of control oil well fires. I just have to say, perhaps he does a good job in other movies, but in this one he was The Cheesiest Actor EVER. In short, this was not a shining example of why he was so popular. As Brad would say, " He was phoning it in." It was entertainingly awful. He's like this squinting, grinning, wooden, giant, caricature of himself that can hardly get his lines out in a believable fashion. Bogus. Odd how big stars can get away with being mediocre more than regular people.

Liar, liar...

Brad is the king of falsehoods. Let me 'splain.

This morning, he told me that his boss has a miniature horse at home ( a real, live creature) and that this mini-horse has been bred to be strong " like a burro", and in fact his boss has brought in pictures of himself riding said creature. I thought it was a bit odd- but why should I not believe that? I mean, he sounded totally casual. But a moment later, he laughingly confessed that his boss doesn't really ride the mini-horse, but he DOES have one. Whatever.

Later, as we were out doing errands, I saw a car that looked like Nate's and I commented b/c I thought it might be him. But it wasn't. Brad said that Nate has been renting out his car, for $20 a day to his neighbors, whose vehicle had been impounded "or something." I totally believed him AGAIN. Why?! I don't know. The thing is- it's not like he says things TOO casually, because that would be a dead giveaway. He says it like he's just remembered to tell me some really unusual, interesting news. I'm not getting why he loves to make up total lies that have no purpose. He says that it's like shooting fish in a barrel. "It's not like I mean to lie; it just sort of flows out of me..." But the thing is, he can't stand it for more than five minutes and he feels compelled to tell me that he's lying.

Another example of his bizarrity - not his lying bizarrity- but his obsession for truth telling...We saw this commercial the other day for IHOP; they were promoting some new special thing and the commercial showed this waitress bringing out a plate of comestibles, surrounded by a frenzied crowd of reporters - mostly a bevy of photographers, bristling with all kinds of lenses. Brad immediately pointed out that some of the lenses couldn't realistically be used for that kind of thing because " those lenses don't focus on anything closer than five feet." It just struck my funny bone. To be precise, it struck my roll-your-eyes-and-marvel-at-the-weird/needless -attention- to- detail bone. It's kind of like when we're watching a movie that is supposed to take place a hundred years ago, and a train comes along in some scene, and he says something like," That's totally wrong. That train wasn't made for another forty years..." So now, whenever I see a train in a movie, I automatically shout, " That's not real! Anachronism!"


Monday, November 27, 2006


Not to create a glut on the market of our blog or anything, but I thought I'd mention another notable bit o' news, as I take a break from painting. ( I'm on the second coat of primer and the fumes are getting to me a little bit. I wish there was some way I could encode this so Mama couldn't read it because I KNOW she's going to worry about me. The next time she talks to me, I KNOW she will say, " You need to wear a mask or put a fan in there or something..." Duly noted, Mama. I have the exhaust fan on...)

I comPLETEly failed to mention that we had my cousin KJ staying with us last week for a few days as she was on her break from college. She got here on Tuesday night around 11:00 and promptly made her presence known in the neighborhood by sounding off her car alarm. Okay- it was an accident. I thought it was hilariously funny. But then I wasn't in bed trying to sleep. And I wasn't out there trying to figure out how to make it stop! Ah well. Poor dear. She told about it on her own blog, so I will not repeat the account here. Suffice it to say, it stopped. Woe betide any gangster who tries to abscond with her vehicle. Mmmm - abscond. What a good word.

We had a really nice, relaxed visit: pie making and shopping on Wednesday, family festivities on Thursday and general slothfulness on Friday. Well, actually, she went over to my parents' place on Friday afternoon and spent the rest of her weekend blessing their socks off.

It was great fun to have her around. I really enjoyed hearing about her college and all the associated adventures and experiences. (I think in some ways, I would like to spend the rest of my life going to school. Taking classes is just so much fun. Of course, I am selectively forgetting all the pressure and papers and exams.) It was also fun to go thrift store shopping with her! And tossing the ol' pigskin around in the backyard on Thanksgiving Day would have been woefully inferior without her. One of my most favorite times was when I roped her into singing with me for church. Heh heh. It was so nice because I sang my song to her on Friday morning and she rustled up a harmony in no time (out of thin air b/c I didn't have any sheet music, as usual) and away we went. Easy as pie. Mmmmm- pie...what a good food.

Thanks for gracing us with your presence, KJ!

Fending Off an Attack

Fending Off an Attack
Originally uploaded by bradleypass.

Here I am attempting fruitlessly to fend off an attack by Stan. He's going through some sort of stage where his love language seems to be the inflicting of pain. He will clamp down with his mouth and front claws and proceed to pummel with his hind claws. And he purrs all the while.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

'Tis the Season... have eggnog! Mmmm...I love this stuff. I was thrilled to glimpse a bottle of said beverage in the grocery store a couple weeks ago. Since it's only around for a limited part of the year, I POUNCED. It reminds me of living with Mrs. B. during my college days. Around the holidays, we would each have a frosty, glass mug full of the stuff as we prepared dinner in the evening...complete with freshly grated nutmeg on top. Ahhhh...nothing like that cold, thick, creamy, eggy, completely unhealthy drink.

I wish I had a nutmeg grater. And a nutmeg...nut...thing.

Today I had a great game of badminton with D.T. at youth group. What a blast! Badminton RULES! Also- had some really fun games of frisbee and fewtboll.

Thursday, November 23, 2006


As I made my Thanksgiving list this morning in my churchy notebook, it was interesting to compare it with the one I made last year at this time in the same notebook. Some of the things were the same- and not just the good old standbys like friends and family and God. For instance, last year AND this year, I have listed that I am thankful for avocados and the local Christian radio station. Weird. Last year, I listed that I was thankful for a new nephew born in 2005: Arthur. And this year, I have another new nephew on my list since last Thanksgiving: Drew.

One of the first things on my list this time was my summer job. I have spent much of my time down here looking for a job, and learning lessons of trusting, waiting and contentment, but there was actually a period of about three months when I was gainfully employed full time! One happy side effect of so much unemployed time was that I got to take many trips this year; I didn't even realize how much traveling I have done recently until I sat down this morning to make my list.

First, in January I went to Michigan to visit L. In April, Brad, Dad, Grandpa and I went to Louisiana for a couple of days to visit the U.S.S. Kidd. In May, we went down to Florida for Jeff and Fritter's wedding. In August, I went up to New England for Sarah's wedding. In September, we went to Fairwood to celebrate the Feast of Harvest and were hugely encouraged during that time. And then in October/November, I went to England to visit K and fam. I am thankful for all those opportunities and the protection that God provided as I traveled.

I'm thankful for Brad's job, being married to Brad, having Nate and Penny living nearby, that there IS a heaven, yardsaling with Penny, eggnog, no terrorist attacks, financial blessings, a neighborhood pool, Sam's Club, my bathroom, artichokes, God's lessons in stripping even good things away so that I can't lean on anything but Him, and the powerful times of prayer we've had as a group at ODC which have strengthened me, given me vision and provided an anchor in storms.

God has blessed me - and us- so much this year and I really want Him to know that I appreciate his blessings.

I wish you all a very happy and THANKFUL Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

We hardly knew ye, Denny Schaffer...

I have had painting the downstairs half bath on my mental list of things to do for a very long time now. And I wanted to get it done by Thanksgiving - kind of an arbitrary deadline. So yeah- I started stripping flowery wallpaper on Monday and of course, everything took insanely longer than I planned and so here I am on Thanksgiving eve, with the sink still in the garage, the toilet disconnected and floating around the bathroom and the mirror and cabinet in the dining room...and the walls covered with one measly coat of primer. Ah. That's all well and good because my REAL deadline is when my sister L and her husband K and nephews E and D come for Christmas. Ha!

Before and after pictures will most likely be posted. If there IS an after.

I was listening to a lot of talk radio while I slaved away in the bathroom. I mostly listened to WGST- a local radio station here in Atlanta. They carry Rush Limbaugh but also have a couple of locally produced shows. One host that Brad and I have come to know and love is named Denny Schaffer. He's a Christian conservative and has a great personality. Perhaps he isn't the most articulate of talk show hosts, and sometimes a bit crass, but what he lacks in those areas is more than made up for by his passion and heart. He gets worked up into a frenzy over things. You guys think DJ is bad...Denny is like DJ on...on...SOMETHING. He's a bit irreverent and completely transparent. And, of course, he's hilariously funny. People would start their calls by saying, " How are you?" like everyone does when starting a conversation ( it's just part of breathing " How are you?" and no one really cares how you are, you just have to say it...) and he would cue up this little song clip of this ultra cheerful, silly little ditty, from a cartoon, I think:
" I'm super!!! Thanks for asking!" It just cracked me up every time. Listening to "Denny Radio" is part of our morning routine.

Or, "was" I should say.

Because his stupid station PULLED THE PLUG ON HIM! I was listening to him yesterday and the program ended at the usual time, and later in the day, the station announced a new line-up of programming. I guess they sprung the news on him that morning after the show that he wasn't going to work there anymore. I was stunned. I felt like someone I knew had died. It's so sad! It's just like he's dropped off the face of the earth. I immediately emailed the station manager and "gave him what for." In a nice way. But a disappointed and "I'm- not- going -to- listen-to-your-station-anymore-....except...maybe...for Rush" way. Man- that is just heartless- right before the holidays! What were they thinking!?

I remembered earlier in the show, he was commenting on a colleague at the radio station who was retiring that same day and said something about "that must be nice. The news anchor guy was there in the studio and said something weird like, "Be careful what you wish for..." and Denny was like, " No- not that I wish I wasn't working here. I just mean that it must be nice to have your career behind you and now you have more time..." or something like that. And it came back to haunt me later. I wonder if that news anchor knew what was going to happen. Traitors. Backstabbers. ( Claire goes into her best Captain Haddock rant...) Landlubbers! Ostrogoths! Pirates! Ectoplasms! Vandals! Vultures! Okay- so his ratings weren't the best. Good grief- he's only been in this town for a year! Give him a chance, people! I mean- come on! I liked him!

He even had a vlog!

No one can replace Denny. Least of all some silly syndicated show. Blaerrgh.

DENNY! WE MISS YOU! Where aaare you??? Maybe I should do a new song, " I've never met you, Little Denny Schaeffer...."

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Mr. Charli-Doll Goes to Washington

I was talking with Grandpa the other day and the subject of Charli-dolls came up, as it often does. He mentioned the fact that through the years, he has sent Charli-dolls to various presidents. It just made me smile to think of the White House Gift Opener as they encountered the present from Grandpa. I wonder if somewhere in the bowels of some archive building, those Charli-dolls still exist, or if they have been thrown away long ago or devoured by some hungry staffer. Hmmm. President Reagan liked jelly beans, so maybe he ate the jelly bellies. And it made me wonder- what other unusual things show up in the White House mail?

Grandpa hasn't made Charli-dolls for several years now and I'm sure the current President Bush hasn't received one. I suppose it's time for us to continue the tradition and send the White House a doll. After all, Christmas is coming!

Saturday, November 18, 2006

It's been an interesting week, folks

Wednesday marked a first for me: I met someone in real life that I have only met through blogs.

I won't use her real name and I don't know if I can use her whole blog name, so I'll just call her Soj and those of you who know her will be all, "Ah!" and those of you who don't, it doesn't make a smidge o' difference. I met her through the blogosphere perhaps a year and a half ago, and we have visited each other's blogs and commented back and forth.

She was coming through our area on business and so we emailed each other and set up a time to meet. To tell the truth, I was a little nervous. I've never met anyone that I've only had contact with online. I just didn't know how it would be. Honestly, I felt a little shy. Yes, me, shy. I got up and vacuumed my house that morning, Soj, just for you. Okay not the whole house. And I have to say, I think our vacuum cleaner is on its last legs. Or wheels. Or whatever. Or maybe I just need to change the bag. ANYWAY...

Poor Brad has come down with a nasty cold. I feel guilty b/c I think it might be from me- I came home from England with an all consuming head-cold and he was fine for a week and a half, so I'm not sure if it's really from me or from a co-worker of his...but anyway...He was sort of in a fog that morning and did not feel his best. But he met Soj and was able to be here for about half an hour or so before he had to leave for work.

She brought me a gift- a bouquet of lollipops! It was all so charming...I was going to take a picture of it, and then I absentmindedly let Stan play with the ribbon that tied it all together, and that was a mistake. Stretched out and shredded. Wah.

She brought a friend with her, Becca, and we all had a marvelous time talking and getting to know one another. We went out for lunch and coffee, and came back home, to be mauled by an extremely hyper Stan. That cat actually DREW BLOOD from me. I think he was super excited by the visitors.

Anyway, it was so interesting and fun to meet her. She was taller than I thought she'd be! I was taller than she thought I'd be! It was strange because I don't do terribly well making new friends - because I have known most of my friends most of my life and so my skills in that department aren't super strong. But it wasn't exactly like making a new friend...because I sort of already knew her a little bit. Very cool.

We took some pictures but at this point, I won't be posting any as there were some problems with them...I think Brad would be apalled if I posted a picture with red-eye... I know he can correct some of the problems, but he is terribly busy and awfully sickly right now, and I don't want to wait until he fiddles with the pictures to blog about this...because if I put off posting any longer, this week will fade into the murky past. SO perhaps at some future point, a picture may appear - either on the blog or on Flickr.

And then the next day, Thursday, Grendpeppy moved in. Okay- Grandpa. That is: Pass. As in: Charlie. Of Charli-doll fame. ( I just like saying "Grendpeppy" because it's an Andrew-Deep Thoughts thing and it makes me smile.) Grendpep is now inhabiting our downstairs apartment. ( I would say "basement" but that would give the impression that he's living amongst gray cement walls lit by a naked lightbulb with spiders and cobwebs. But it's actually a finished basement and quite nice and aside from the fact that it doesn't have a kitchen, I might not mind living down there myself.) So far so good. It's been a while since I've lived with an octegenarian.

The adventure has begun.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

The Happy Hollisters and Nasty Ol' Punkin

Just wanted to show you my Happy Hollister's "smuggler edition" book...

Also, while I'm posting pictures, I figured I'd pass along this photo of autumn beauty. I think my pumpkin looks a lot scarier now than he did on Halloween. I guess next year I'm going to carve my pumpkin two weeks ahead of time so he'll look extra horrific for the day itself. Originally, he was supposed to be the face of Fluffy Puff Marshmallows ( see Homestar Runner) but now I think he looks kinda like a toothless, malevolent old man. Posted by Picasa

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Judging a book...

Yesterday, I participated in a great yardsaling adventure with Penny, Katie and my mother. Spirits were high, as well as temperatures. Not that we were feverish, but the outdoor temperature was up in the low 80's, I think, at one point. In November! The whole Southern balminess thing still surprises me, even after a year. I got a chair and matching ottoman for a mere fifteen bucks at the first yardsale. It's a tad oldish and there are a few spots and such, but on the whole it is a very sound, comfortable chair and pretty good-looking. I got it for our basement apartment, which is soon to be inhabited by Grandpa/Uncle Charlie/Mr. Pass.

At the next yardsale, I found some Happy Hollister books. As a child, I read this charming, archaic, corny, wholesome series about a family of sleuthing children- kind of junior Hardy Boys, except there are three girls in the family. They seem to run into adventures and mysteries everywhere, and the bad guys are always brought to justice, mumbling about how everything in their nefarious schemes was going well until "these prying kids showed up and ruined everything." Anyway, I bought four of these books, including the pilot episode, which introduces the Hollister family, as they move to the town of Shoreham. ( What is it with books of this ilk and the way they name towns? Bayport? Shoreham? River Heights? They all sound like cheesy subdivisions. But then, if I'm getting into criticism of this genre, town names merely scratch the surface of the campy iceberg.)

The books were a little tattered, but I thought it would be nice to have them, for sentimental value, and perhaps someday, our future children might like to read them.

I was leafing through the first book today, and found a few pages that looked as though they had been stabbed. Whatever. I kept going and suddenly found that someone had carved out a rectangular space through several pages, from page 17 - 44 to be exact, as if someone had been intending to smuggle something within the book. I was annoyed - I wish I had seen that before I bought it- but I was also a bit intrigued. What is the story behind this tale of tome mutilation? Was it the act of some child, just being mischevious? Or is there a darker story involved? Should I have the book exorcised, to cleanse it from a shady past? If this was the instrument of sketchiness, I have to admire the genius of whoever used the book- who would think of suspecting a Happy Hollisters book of containing anything untoward? It's a deliciously ironic little scheme.

I asked Brad if he had ever read the Happy Hollisters. He said, "No, it's against my religion." Okaaaaaaay. Clearly, three years of marriage isn't enough to plumb the depths of all our differences.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Tales of a Traveler

I'm home again, safe and sound. Here are a few pictures from my trip to Cambridge. I didn't actually get a lot of good ones, sadly. I struggled with the camera quite a bit, but I'm afraid I'm just not a natural photographer. If I had photographed everything I wanted to, I probably wouldn't have had much time to do anything else.

The day after I posted last, I came down with a strange sickness that reduced me to heaving up into the trash, and left me utterly useless. Great! It is just the WORST to be sick away from home and I felt bad to be endangering the household and inconveniencing everyone, although Karena was super nice and took care of me... I got over it by the afternoon but I was pretty miserable and desirous of death for a few hours. And then I was afraid to eat for a day- and subsisted on dry toast and gingerale. Poor Lexie came down with it a couple days later...You can just pray that it ends there and that nobody else in the house catches it!

It was fun to get to know Lexie and Arthur a little bit. Lexie is super creative; she will occupy herself by the hour drawing, cutting up paper, taping bits of paper together, and making things. I was the recipient of a gorgeous piece of paper jewelry- a bracelet of priceless green and white construction paper with an exquisite little clasp of string. Sadly, I think I left it in England, along with my sunglasses.

Arthur is extremely musical. He can really carry a tune perfectly; his repertoire consists mostly of "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" and variations on this tune. It is so rewarding to have him charge up to you and happily attack your leg like a little bear.

Karena and I spent some good, quality time together over the week and we went to all sorts of great places, including shopping at the outdoor marketplace, lunch at a tea room, visiting the Fitwilliam Musuem...etc. I loved the Fitzwilliam and ended up going twice- hurray for free admission. I skipped the Egypt stuff and the armor and ancient things and instead, spent most of my time on the European art: fabuloso. The incredible things I saw - in the museum and also around Cambridge- just fed a great, big beauty hunger in me.

We ate out at a couple interesting places - one was a Japanese noodle place- excellent,yummy food- and also at a vegetarian place, with great cuisine as well. The thing about the British is- their customer service leaves something to be desired. I almost fell out of my chair at one point when someone at the next table asked the waitress something about their bill as she was walking by, and she didn't even LOOK at them. She didn't even pause. She just kept walking and said, "It's on the table." The person had to get up and follow her to have their question answered. If that was in the U.S., her tip would have been mud! I was apalled! But Karena tells me that is pretty standard.

It seems to me that 95% of British people are above-average in ugliness. It kind of made me feel relaxed though. I didn't worry so much that I was having a bad hair day and that my teeth are crooked and my socks clashed with my shoes. I felt in a strange way that I belonged. I think I fit in well, on the whole. Although wearing the Red Sox hat may have made me stand out in a way. I felt like I was wearing an American flag on my head and it made me feel proud but it also felt as though I was wearing a sign: "Foreigner! Tourist! Alien!" The subject came up on my return trip to the airport, and I asked my taxi driver ( I had the same one from before) if he knew what my hat meant, and he said no. When I told him, he was puzzled as to why there was a B...I explained, and it made me smile, because I suddenly remembered being a small child and asking someone the same thing. I saw a man at Gatwick that had a Yankees shirt; there was a small second of recognition between us as he saw my hat and I saw his shirt and I smiled. It felt as though I had spent a week on a distant planet, surrounded by a different species of creatures and that suddenly, I saw a human again- maybe a pygmy or an albino, but a human nonetheless! Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

A postcard from England ( minus the picture, sorry)

I figure I better document the fact that right now I am fulfilling a life-long dream: I have finally made it to England. There is so much going on right now, so much to see and experience that it's practically a sensory overload...between the fantastic architecture of Cambridge, the sights and smells of the outdoor market ( which I have been to three times so far), the gorgeous countryside, the adorable little bookshops
( some of which seem like glorified closets), and of course the fascinating sound of English accents all around me. ( I just wrote a few postcards last night- and that line is almost straight from the backs of those postcards- sorry, recipients, for the redundancies...)

The jetlag stuck with me longer than I anticipated. I took off on Friday evening and got into Gatwick Saturday morning 2:00 a.m. according to my body- but 7:00 a.m. local time. Unfortunately, there were a number of small children on the plane so sleep was hard in coming. And I've never had anyone wake me up at such an ungodly hour for a boxed breakfast of airplane food- which was actually quite good as airplane food goes.

My taxi driver said that he had driven Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg in his car. "She sat right where you are sitting now!" Yep, me 'n Justice Ginsberg- birds of a feather. "Not"- as we used to say in the 90's.

It's been good to spend some quality time with my neice and nephew. I've taken pictures, but it's hard to get them to sit still long enough to get a good picture. And being a little more comfortable with the video camera, I find myself spending too much time figuring out how to get the still camera to do what I want it to...and then the moment is lost. Or rather, the nanosecond is lost. Lexie wants to see the picture immediately, and sometimes gets up to come see it before I've even taken it!

Last night I took Lexie around to do some trick or treating- as Sleeping Beauty or some such princess ( she is obsessed with "princessesses") - until a gaggle of hooligans in ghoulish masks overtook us and frightened her senseless. ( Another postcard line stolen...)So we went home. I was secretly a little glad to go home early; it was cold. Poor Lexie- I think she hasn't quite grasped the concept of trick-or-treating. She kept trying to GIVE candy to the people in the houses...I had to encourage her to TAKE the candy, not give it. I felt like such a bad aunt: what kind of message am I giving here: GET- not GIVE!

And today was Lexie's birthday: HUGE excitement! Presents! Cake! Balloons! Joy! Silliness!

This morning, I spent a few hours by myself walking around Cambridge, visiting churches, shops, and the Fitzwilliam Museum. Man- every INCH of this city is CRAMMED with beauty and history and charm. I just want to EAT it.

The whole driving on the wrong side of the road thing is much less of a weirding-out factor than I imagined. The fact that the roads are so narrow and that bikes are whizzing everywhere freaks me out a little more. I'm a little surprised I haven't been mowed down yet. And I would never survive driving here.

Well, there is lots more to say and many pictures to download, of course, but I will wait til I get home to post pictures, and who knows when you may hear from me again...

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Biting is Bad

Sometimes I feel like an evil god.

Let me explain.

You know how some misguided people have this warped view of God as an old meanie who is sitting up in heaven, waiting until you do something wrong so he can zap you with lightning? Well, if I was God, I think that's what I'd be like. Except instead of bolts of lightning, it would be water. Case in point: Stan. He goes into biting mode or scratching mode and I reach for the spray bottle. He hasn't actually bitten me yet ( at least not today), but I know he wants to- he's GOING TO- so I sit poised, the bottle in my hand, my finger on the spray trigger...just waiting...and in fact, HOPING, that he will try to bite me, so I can teach him a lesson. Those of you who are seasoned cat owners are probably rolling your eyes, thinking I'm way too uptight, and scarily vengeful, and what a lot I have to learn. Well, he has to be trained sometime!

It's a good thing I'm NOT God, eh?

The problem is, what I think of as "biting," is merely harmless, jolly gnawing to Brad. Last night, he was sitting at the computer, holding Stan ( a feat in and of itself as he is wont to climb on the keyboard- Stan, not Brad) and his fingers were in Stan's mouth! I grabbed the spray bottle and gave a hearty blast, but at the last second, Brad's arm moved in the way and the next thing I know he's looking at me with a bewildered face, saying, "Why did you just spray me?" We NEED to be a united front! What is not acceptable to one parent must be unacceptable to the other! I guess we need to talk about the definition of "biting." I guess that's the difference between the seasoned pet owner and the first time pet owner.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Peter Marshall

Here's a quote I like from Peter Marshall:

" It is a far, far better thing in the realms of morals to be old fashioned than to be ultramodern. The world has enough women who know how to be brilliant. It needs some who will be brave. The world has enough women who are popular. It needs more who are pure. We need women, and men too, who would rather be morally right than socially correct."

In the first line, he said " in the realms of morals," but I think you could substitute the word "standards" or "worldview" there as well. The world has enough people who are going with the flow. It needs some who are willing to stand out and be different. And I'm not necessarily talking about a "cool" kind of different - but perhaps a kind of "different" that people may not understand or appreciate at all. Not different for the sake of being different- there's quite enough of that and there is little or no virtue in arbitrary strangeness- but because it's what God has asked of you - it's what you were meant to be.


Monday, October 16, 2006

Stan of Green Gables

Life with a kitten is interesting. Never having had a pet of my own before, this is all new ground for me.

Stan seems to think that we are his personal climbing walls. And he sees my feet as independent creatures that he needs to attack. He sees his reflection in the exterior of the dishwasher and the oven door, and just about goes crazy trying to get at the kitten he sees. I'm afraid that I can see an Anne of Green Gables complex developing within him. ( ANNE: The only real friend I ever had was Katie Morris, and she was only my window friend. MARILLA: Window friend? ANNE: I discovered her in the window of Mrs. Thomas' bookcase, which was the only window which hadn't been smashed by her intoxicated husband. I lived with them before the Hammonds. I used to wish I knew the spell to step through the glass into Katie's world, which was so beautiful.)

( Just to clarify: my husband is not in the habit of being intoxicated.)

Stan can be VERY loud. We shut him in the laundry room at night or when we go out, so he doesn't have accidents in the rest of the house, or scratch things to ribbons. ( This is just a temporary thing, until we know that he is house-trained...) And if we had gotten a parrot, he could not be a louder screamer than this kitten. We can hear him crying all the way upstairs at the opposite end of the house. Not that our house is mansion sized by any means, but I was quite impressed with the way his voice can carry. He certainly knows how to tug at the old heart strings.

Brad had forgotten how much he is allergic to cats. We are still not sure what we are going to do...I'm afraid that Stanley is like Anne Shirley in more ways than one; right now, he is here "on trial." I am so amazed at how strongly I want to keep him. I never thought my heart could be captured so quickly by an animal; when he settles down in my lap and starts purring, I pretty much melt. Let's just hope he can last the week without any major catastrophes, like dying his hair green, insulting visitors, or losing any of my keepsakes from past tragic romances.

Maybe we should spell his name with an 'e' at the end. "Stanne." Hmmmm....

Friday, October 13, 2006

Stan the Man

Brad had the day off today and decided to accompany Penny and me on our weekly yardsale outing. The first yardsale we went to was in our subdivision and shortly after we arrived, the proprietess casually mentioned that they had free kittens. All our heads sort of swiveled around in unison and our eyes lit up. KITTENS?

I can't remember if I reported on this but for Brad's birthday, I sent him on a treasure hunt...and he ended up opening a bunch of presents that all had a common theme: cat stuff. For three years I have resisted the acquisition of a household feline; but I always knew that sooner or later, I would give in because Brad really wanted one. This summer, I knew the time had finally come to cave to his wishes. After his birthday, we visited Petsmart, kept our eyes on the paper and generally were aware of all things kitty. But nothing happened.

So this morning at the yardsale, we swooped into the garage and looked at several kittens, about 8 weeks old, running around. The little girl of the house was holding a male, gray tiger kitten and he was the one who captured our hearts. His name is Stan. ( Brad calls him Stan; I call him Stanley.) He's already revolutionizing the household. Ahem- next thing to do: gotta wash the living room chair slipcover. I guess he had a panic attack and couldn't make it to the litterbox.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

In the Ghettooooooooooo!!!

In case you're curious to know how my interview went, it was fine. Unlike my last interview, I swung the other way and laid awake late worrying about it. I rehearsed my weaknesses and strengths this time; no more winging it and showing up unprepared. But she didn't even ASK me about my weaknesses or strengths! Man!

Well, she wants me to come back on Monday for a second interview with her boss, but I'm thinking, ehh....I don't think so. I have no doubt that I could do this job but it's a shall I say this...I think "ghetto" is the word I want.

They have an inmate as a janitor. Problem #1. I saw him when I first drove up; he was collecting trash outside or something. I almost kept on driving. Not too confidence inspiring to see someone in front of the library in a white jumpsuit advertising the fact that he's from a correctional facility. I don't know HOW that works. There was no one watching him either. Whaat? I mean, I'm not anti-criminal or anything. Wait - what am I saying!? Yes, I am! I know I probably shouldn't be but it kinda makes me a little nervous. I mean, I know it's wrong to be judgmental...but what about being wise? Isn't there a balance there? The lady who interviewed me asked in passing if it bothered me...What was I supposed to say? At the moment, it didn't. I was just like, Whatever. But later on, I started thinking, " What was THAT all about?" I don't know. Part of me says, there but for the grace of God go I ... but the other part of me says, if I want to work with convicts, I'll work in a jail, thankyouverymuch.

And then there were a few other things that came up in the interview that kind of raised some red flags and made me gulp a little. Nothing too horrendous. Nobody has been murdered in the library or anything. The interviewer said, go home and talk to your husband and make sure he's on board with this. I knew Brad would be like, "Um, NO." And sure enough...he was. That's fine. That's what husbands are for- to keep you from making unwise decisions. I think if I was single, I might have said yes. I was so gung-ho ( desperate) and thinking, " I'll do AN-Y-THING! I don't want to turn anything down that might remotely fit my skills and personality." But, I'm glad to have the confirmation from my husband that I can "just say no"; it helped to tip me off the fence into the "No" pasture.

There's another library position in a library closer to home, in a better neighborhood and I submitted an application today. The lady said she would be calling people next week. Hmm. Okay. Keep the ol' fingers crossed. But I'd advise against holding your breath.

Just a suggestion: If you want to get rid of the temptation to go downstairs late at night and eat, get someone to tell you that they just saw a cockroach down in the kitchen. And that it got away. Maaan. I can never go into the kitchen again.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Hold the Phone....Stop the Presses...

...Ladies and Gentlemen, I am in a good mood. And I thought I should let you know because it's a good thing to share the happy moments as well as the grumpy ones. I think too often I give inordinate time and attention to the grumpy moments. So, here's the balance.

Today, Brad had half a day and when he got home, we went outside and did some yardwork, so now the place looks pretty spiffy. Perhaps it was the endorphins from the extra exercise that contributed to my good mood.

We went off to Sam's Club to pick up a few items and renew our membership and decided to have a little supper while we were there. ( No - it did not consist entirely of eating samples.) If you are ever in a Sam's Club, you MUST go to the little snack-bar place in the front and get a premium ice-cream bar. Even if you don't want one. You have to get it anyway. You'll be glad you did. It's worth all 200 something calories. Skip the one with milk chocolate coating over dark chocolate icecream and go straight for the milk chocolate coating over raspberry swirl icecream. We each got one and it was absolutely superlative bliss on a stick. They were Godiva. Need I say more?

In the middle of eating this fabulous creation, my phone rang and it was a woman calling about a job application I had mailed a couple of weeks ago. Since I hadn't heard back from anyone, I had pretty much given up on it...But tomorrow morning I have an interview for a library job at 10:00 a.m. That just put me ON TOP OF THE WORLD. Okay- so I haven't even had the interview yet. Okay- so I have no idea if I will get this job. Okay, so the pay isn't super-wonderful and it'll probably take me half an hour to get there. I don't care! I have an interview! Just the possibility of a job is enough to launch me out of my mental rut and make me feel a little more alive.

And...more good news. When I got home from the trip the other day, I found something waiting for me in the mail: my passport. I have never been to a country where I needed one...until now. Last week, I procured a roundtrip ticket for myself to England for a visit with my sister's family. I'm leaving in three weeks! I have wanted to go to England ever since I can remember...and everyone else in my family has been, at least once. Actually, I think they've all been twice. But something always conspired to keep me here.

I am really excited and happy! I just wish Brad could come but I realize that it was miracle enough that we went up to NH last week.

I can't believe this is actually happening. Hurray!

Friday, October 06, 2006

Left Behind

Last night as I opened my suitcase to take some things out, I was a little creeped out to find something I'd never seen before. Something I know isn't mine. I found a little blue and gold earring in among my sweaters. I was a little boggled until I realized that it probably belongs to some poor TSA woman who was searching my suitcase yesterday. There was no piece of paper that announced that my suitcase had been opened; I guess they leave their calling cards in a different way these days.

SO! If you are a TSA baggage checker from either Boston or Detroit who just happened to stumble upon this blog, and you are missing a little gold earring with a tiny blue stone in it, leave me a comment, eh? And I KNOW my suitcase wasn't really packed neatly, but...I refuse to be embarrassed. Come on, it was the return trip, okay?

Then, in the middle of the night, I had a fierce itch between two of my toes. A little later, I itched in several other places. In the fogginess of my sleepy logic, I was seriously convinced that the TSA woman who left her earring behind must have also had fleas and that some of them must have jumped off into my suitcase and now had taken up residence upon me. Fortunately, I was merely delusional.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

One year ago today...

...we drove by our house for the first time. Very strange to contemplate.

And today...we got home from our convention/vacation. We really couldn't have asked for a more wonderful time; perhaps I'll take the time to report a few of the highlights at some point. As great as it was to get away for a change of pace, visit family and friends, enjoy the New England foliage, and gain some spiritual encouragement, it is GOOD to be home again.

Monday, October 02, 2006

October 3

I went in to our local PRC recently to do some volunteering and one of the other volunteers said, " I saw a picture of your brother today." My mother, who also volunteers there, had been telling some of them about Andrew and showed them his picture. "He was so handsome," she said. "Yes," I said." He is." She noticed my use of the present tense, and seemed to be only slightly weirded out; but she is a Christian, and replied in a way that made me know she sort of understood. But I didn't really take the time to explain the whole reason behind why I said 'is' instead of 'was.'

I consciously chose to use the present tense. I know that it's kind of nit-picky, but sometimes it bothers me a little when people use the past tense in that context. It's one thing when people say, " He liked this" or "Remember when he did that" or "He had a funny way of doing this..." because the past is the past. But there's just this little tiny part of me that rises up to correct people when the past tense is used in a sentence like, " He was my friend..." which limits him to just the past. ( Not that anyone has said that to me, but I'm just giving a hypothetical example.) I know what they mean, but it's important to remember that Andrew still is. He may have finished earthly life two years ago, but he still exists. And somehow that is a deep comfort to me. It is a crystal clear reality that I am going to see him and be with him again sometime in the future. If we saw him before and we know we will see him again, then he must be somewhere now - he's just gone away for now. It's a good thing it's not a permanent absence because it would just be wrong for the world to be deprived of such a wonderful person.

I was thinking recently about how for me ( and many of us), October is a scar on the year; time and grieving does have a way of bringing relief and healing but this time of year will always be difficult, or at least sad to some degree. I was also thinking about how, sooner or later, everyone has these little windows of darkness in their calendars; everyone has a scar or two - or more- in their year. Perhaps some scars are older, further along in their healing than others. I'm not trying to seem morbid, but that's just fairly obvious. Death is inevitable- so far- and pretty much every death brings sadness to someone. It can be a tad depressing until one remembers that at some point in the future, hopefully not too distant from now, time will cease to exist as we know it. October and all the other months of the year will become obsolete. There will be no sad anniversaries. No more dread. Ways of reckoning time will be irrelevant. There will be no separations to mark because there will be no separations. And all tears will be wiped away. No more scars on anyone's calendar.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

We're off... the lands of the north, for one whole week. Hurrah! Hopefully, we'll see many of you there...

To paraphrase the Psalm: I was glad when Brad said unto me, "Let us go up to the House of the Lord." ( Well, he didn't say it exactly like that...) I'm almost afraid of how happy I am to be going.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

"The PreSchooler and The Holy Bible: The Stuff of Nightmares" or " The Bible: Not just another Spongebob-Squarepants type story"

Back in February, I took over the teaching of the Pre-school Sunday School, to give the teacher a break for a month....and I've been the teacher ever since. So beware of volunteering, folks. Just kidding. ANYWAY...

Heretofore, my only teaching experience at this sort of level was a month or two of substituting for Toria when she went to Thailand. ( Different church...) It was a roomful of Reeds ( plus a Post once in a great while - and most of them were older than preschool ); I never failed to have fun with them. I always left laughing, with a great story to tell about some funny thing they had said or done.

Pre-school Sunday School is not really that bad because they don't have much of an attention span so you don't have to plan anything really intense or challenging or deep. Plus, this may be the first time some of them have heard some of these stories. Pretty cool. They're not all like,"Yeah, yeah, been there. Done that last year."

Recently, I've had three or four students in class on most Sundays and I'm learning more every time about what works and what doesn't. Here are some things I've learned:

When there is silence, pounce on it with all your might and talk really fast because you might be interrupted at any second and then the flow is lost. Come to think of it, forget about flow. Flow in preschool Sunday School is like a tea party in a state penitentiary. It doesn't happen. But still: pounce on the silence because it's good to be the only one talking... for three point five seconds.

When you bring in your guitar, they are all going cluster around you and want to play it with you at the same time. You should tell them to pretend it's a kitty-cat and just stroke the strings very gently...otherwise you'll probably have to buy new strings shortly.

C is for continuity. Talk about what you learned last week and connect it to today's lesson. Sounds like a no brainer, but I'm just figuring this out. ( It's been a while since I've taken a class on the methods of teaching... three years, in fact. And the last class I had on teaching Sunday School was like, um, maybe ten years ago. ) We've been talking about Moses and Aaron and Pharaoh lately and I cannot tell you how happy it made me that they remembered their names this week! Wahoooo! I point to a picture and ask, " Who's this?" and they say, "Pharaoh!" And it's high fives all around. ( Same for Mmmmmm....0ses! and his brother....Aaaaaaaa...ron!)

So today we were talking about Passover. I know, I know. It's Rosh Hashanah right now but I'm not correctly oriented to the Jewish calendar at this point. ANYWAY... I realized as I was talking about the angel of death, that this is a pretty scary story. I mean, here are a couple of four year olds and a three year old...and most of the angels they've heard about are friendly guys ( or girls?) who have wings and trumpets and sing Christmas songs. So...we're talking about an angel who goes around killing people...Ah. Bad people. ( But I'm thinking, were they really bad? Or were they just unfortunate b/c they were living under a bad ruler who kept hardening his heart...) And on top of that, two of the students are first born sons...and I'm talking about an angel that...GULP...kills firstborns! I tried to sanitize it a little bit...but how do you sanitize a PLAGUE of DEATH? I tried not to laugh when Joshua was saying with four year old fierceness that he would hit the angel of death with his sword. ( Imaginary sword.) I hastily tried to explain to him that he wouldn't have to- because the angel wouldn't come in his house because of the blood on the door. Blood on the door? Oh Maaaan! This is too hard! Let's skip this part of the book! I shudder to think of the rendition that he is going to give his parents of today's lesson. It'll probably sound like a horror movie.

I'm thinking that aside from stories like Noah's Ark, and Jesus blessing the children, the Bible is NOT a great preschool kids' book. Jonah gets eaten by a whale! How terrifying is THAT? Okay, he gets thrown up, but...STILL! Daniel gets thrown in a lion's den?! Okay- so he gets out without a scrape, but STILL! Pretty traumatic experience through the eyes of a four year old. Abraham comes within inches of killing his son? Moses' mom left him in a basket in the river? Samson had a building crush him to death. Bottom line. No cheerful ending THERE. A lion eats up a foolish prophet? Talk about your nightmares! The three worthies get pushed into an incinerator? Lot's wife gets crystalized? Herod kills all the babies? Saul throws a spear at David to try and kill, why? Oh yeah, he's kinda insane sometimes. John the Baptists' head gets cut off? David kills a giant? "YAY! Phew! Something good!" you say. " David kills Goliath!!!" Um...yeah. He kills a giant with a rock and then cuts off his head with a sword...When you have little boys in your class, you better hope they don't get any ideas about re-enacting their Sunday School lesson in the parking lot afterwards.

Not to mention a bunch of mean guys killing the Son of God. Okay- YES- there's a happy ending, but man! It's a tough thing to tell a four year old about the crucifixion. You avoid the graphic details, but still...Jesus was killed.

The Bible is a tough book. It's got some things that are pretty hard to explain to kids. Pretty hard to explain to ANYONE, for that matter. But, I guess the flip side is that it's EXCITING! And REAL! I mean, truth is stranger than fiction! The Red Sea PARTS? People get raised from the DEAD? The sun goes BACK in the sky? God's people RETURN HOME after captivity in exile for decades? How could anybody just make this stuff up? And so maybe the Bible is a GOOD book for kids. Welcome to the world, little people: it's dangerous, it's scary, it's violent, it's sad, it's gory, it doesn't seem to make sense sometimes, BUT! Guess what? There IS a God. And He's a good guy. So- this life isn't necessarily an ALL FUN- ALL THE TIME kinda place? You should see what He's got planned for us next....

Saturday, September 23, 2006

This Crazy World

After listening to the news this week, I felt a sort of dazed disbelief at all the insane events going on around the world. If my Grandmother S. were here, she would shake her head, wave her hands around and say, " Oh, this craaaazy world!" and then go on to mention something about how the Lord must be coming back soon...Well, I guess I've sort of caught her mantle. Yes, this IS a crazy world. And Yes, here's hoping for Jesus.

( Boy, reminiscences of the Grandparents S. are coming thick and fast these days! It's funny... the little things that stick out in our memories about our older, departed relatives...little sayings or habitual actions that sort of encapsulate who they are... )

( We just found a green lizard in our house. Brad grabbed the property tax bill and shooed him out the door, which I was holding open. How did he get IN here?)

But I digress. I was talking about this crazy world.

So....Hugo Chavez says our President is the Devil and that the rest of his days will be a nightmare ( a threat perhaps?), Iran's president prays to Allah in the UN, while he is developing nuclear technology because the 12th imam is supposed to appear within the next two years and eradicate the planet of humans ( thus the motivation to develop an A-bomb), Muslims are foaming at the mouth, murdering an innocent nun because the Pope quoted a fourteenth century text which said that Islam was spread through violence...

...and more...

...It's the end of the woooooooorld! Hurraaaaaaay! Everybody take to the bomb shelters and good luck! Break out the old Y2K rations! Anybody got any Spam? See you in the afterlife! Take care now.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Pahking the Cah in Havahd Yahd

Yesterday I heard a couple of men speaking in Boston accents. And I mean, accents of the deepest dye. It wasn't just a gentle inflection. It was like the guys on This Old House times TEN. I know it's kind of a low-brow sound, but for some reason, it warmed my heart in a peculiar way. I enjoy listening to a deep Southern accent; MidWestern and Canadian accents crack me up. I love accents from New Zealand or Ireland or Scotland. But there's something about that Boston sound that makes me smile like nothing else. And it's all the weirder because I don't talk like that. Nobody could guess that's where I spent my formative years. As evil and expensive and liberal and depraved as Taxachusetts may be, it will always be my home.

In these days of homogenization and frantic, random migrational movement, when the world has shrunk because travel is so convenient and affordable, it's really quite something to still have a distinguishing mark in the form of ones' tongue. Just by the way you say simple words like "car", "doll", "about", "father" or "shibboleth", many times people can generally guess - often with some degree of accuracy but with a few exceptions of course- where you were born and raised.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006


Here I am, procrastinating yet again. I should be filling out a job application that I just printed out...but no...instead I am satiating the urge to blog.

It's rather a depressing thing to think that I am still unemployed. Yes, I did temp work this August gave way to September, and my little interview with Mr Torquemada, the Grand Inquisitor himself, was fruitless ( thank God) ... I have a renewed sense that the time gaps in my resume are growing. Rarrgh. Don't get me wrong, I'm enjoying the time off and basking in the freedom to do unusual things. For instance, yesterday I spent a second day volunteering at the setup of a traveling exhibit called, " From Abraham to Jesus." Lisa A. alerted a bunch of us to this opportunity and last Tuesday a carload of us traveled up to the heart of Atlanta and did some serious, heavy work helping to set up the maze of pillars and panels through which people will walk to view the art and artifacts. Muscles were sore afterward. We didn't actually do the construction itself ( it was a horribly huge task...the kind of thing that is like a Christmas Eve assembly nightmare: " Insert flange B into slot A, using Object C..." except with objects that are hundreds of pounds); we just assisted in moving materials to the appropriate places...

ANYWAY- yesterday Lisa and I went back to help again. My main job for the day was helping to set up the gift shop in the form of a bazaar. There are some interesting folks there, and I overheard a lot of Hebrew being spoken. One Israeli man asked how I had gotten there: "By bus?" I said that I had driven myself and he said he thought I didn't look old enough to drive. "I thought you were fifteen!" He almost reeled in disbelief when I told him I was twenty eight.

And my friend Sarah C ( used to be Sarah L...), flew in on Sunday night for a conference and was staying at a hotel just a couple of blocks down the street from where I was volunteering yesterday. SO! I met her for lunch AND dinner! We had such a great time catching up. Her room is on the 63rd floor in the tallest building in Atlanta; one entire wall of her room was a giant window and her view was breathtaking. I could have sat there all night just watching all the lights. We even rode the glass elevator up to the revolving restaurant at the top of the building where there was a little inside observation deck; you could walk around and look out at the whole city spread out below you. Coooooool!

Anyway- it's times like that when I am grateful for the fact that I am not working. Then I look forward to the future and it's a total blank; I get a little freaked out. But after a year of looking for a job, it gets harder and harder to psyche yourself up to keep looking. It's like the opposite of a perpetual motion machine. You have to fight a downward spiral of inertia and pessimism. You go to the same web-sites and papers and job-recruitment things and it's like having a nasty recurring dream. And you can't find the will to fill out another application because you're sure it's going to be a waste of time, ink, and energy. And so you blog.

It helps me to remember a little talk that my friend Lindsay and I had recently. She reminded me that everyone has times of waiting in their lives. Waiting for different things to happen- waiting to find your soul-mate, waiting for God to answer your prayers, waiting for a child, waiting for the right job opportunity, waiting for healing, waiting for your dreams to come true... Sometimes it seems that half our lives are spent waiting. But that's okay. Because as another friend, Alison, often says, " That's the way it's supposed to be."

Friday, September 08, 2006

"One Clear Call"

For any and all that are interested, I just thought I would make a little announcement that Daddy's book about Andrew's life has been published. You can find more information and order it here.

Congratulations, Daddy, on the completion of this labor of love.

Monday, September 04, 2006

The dictionary is on Brad's side

Happy Labor Day all, and Happy Birthday to Amy B., my blogosphere friend in Kansas! It's so interesting to have friends that you have never met- and that you only know through the internet. Ooo- I rhymed there! ( Sort of.) Anyway- Happy 26th, Amy!

The other day Brad and I saw a person wearing an interesting T-shirt. ( I say "person" because, sadly, neither of us could figure out whether it was a man or a woman. Sigh. Don't get me started on THAT topic...) Anyway- the T-shirt said, "If you can't laugh at yourself, laugh at others." I thought that was super hilarious. I guess we should have taken his/her advice and started laughing right then and there at him/her. But, no. We didn't. We restrained ourselves until we were safely away.

Yesterday afternoon, we were sitting around Nate and Penny's living room with a witty little crowd: Mr. and Mrs. B---- ( of the Joe and Helen variety), Daniel A., and of course, Nate and Pen. We were playing Ghost ( the word game), looking at Pampered Chef catalogs ( some of us), talking about cameras ( some others of us), and trying out Nate's chair shiatsu massage thing. SOMEHOW the subject of "brooming" came up...( See the post from 8/24 entitled "The Thing Witches Fly on"- or something like that.) And we actually looked it up, and lo, it IS a verb. At least, according to a couple dictionaries. So if you actually trust those kinds of things, I guess they prove that Brad is right. And he insisted that I post something to vindicate him. So here it is. Broom is a verb.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Death to all bugs! ( in four difficult steps)

I still haven't heard back from the place where I interviewed on Monday. No news is good news, right? But what is good news? That I got the job? Or that I didn't? I still can't decide. I probably should email or call someone today...but ignorance, in this case, really is bliss. I'm terrible, I know. Everything is worse on the other side of Labor Day. I'll postpone the knowledge of good or evil until then.

Brad called me from work the other day and told me a most disgusting story which I now feel compelled to share with you. He was walking into the store when he noticed that something felt strange in his shoe. He thought perhaps there was a quarter in his shoe. He forgot about it as he started opening the store, but later, he took off his shoe, and there, smeared all over the bottom of his sock and the inside of his shoe, was the mangled, smashed corpse of a giant cockroach. Oh my word. Limbs, fluids and all. AAUGH!!!

As I talked to him on the phone, I checked the inside of the shoes I was about to put on. You can never be too careful.

We've had quite a few bug sightings recently and I have been mastering the art of How to Get Your Husband to Kill Something For You, each time learning a bit more about the valuable skill of manipulation.

First, don't scream. Use all your willpower to clamp down on this feminine instinct. It will simply scare him within an inch of his life because he does not know what horrible evil has caused you to let out such a bloodcurdling noise. Then he will get really annoyed because it was "just a bug" and he will be mad at you for scaring him. Instead, speak in a slow, calm tone. You should force yourself to sound almost bored with the fact that there is a hideous, frightening creature threatening you. And "threatening you" can mean anything from crawling in your general direction to just existing in your bathroom.

Second, don't walk away from the bug to go find your husband who may be in another room because when you come back with your husband, the bug will most certainly be gone. And your husband will be annoyed that he made the trip down the hall for nothing. Then you will stay up half the night searching the bedroom, stripping the sheets off the bed, and crawling around on hands and knees, to try and find the bug and make sure that it's not going to come back and hop on you whilst you sleep ( a fate worse than the worst fate) ...and your husband will get annoyed at you because you won't turn out the light to go to sleep.

Third, as soon as your husband is in the room, and you have calmly implored him to rescue you from this horrible menace, and he has actually agreed to do so ( instead of saying something like, " You can do this yourself. What would you do if I wasn't here?" which is a silly question, because hypotheticals do not apply right now: You ARE here! And therefore, by all the rules of nature, I should be spared this trauma...), LEAVE. Don't walk- run. Don't stay around and listen to the crunch of death, and the yells of, "Die, Commie bug! Die!" This will only distress you further.

Fourth, after he has emerged victorious from his encounter with the beast, thank him profusely, turning on the grateful tears if necessary, to let him know how much you appreciate him taking the time to squish your foe. This is the time to dust off all the helpless/damsel in distress/"Fascinating Womanhood" charm and employ it with as much power as you can muster. Bat the eyelashes and all that, if you feel it is needed.

Bugs, and other household pests, can pose major problems in relationships. There are just so many pitfalls to negotiate. So many opportunities for your husband to get annoyed. It's tricky and dangerous, but if you follow these steps closely, you should be successful. If your husband is away when you find vermin, or you don't have a husband, or you ARE a husband, well...good luck to you. You can be brave and then go write your own blog post about your experience.

And, P.S., if your husband refuses to kill a bug for you, and the bug is on the ceiling, don't get on top of a stool and jump up at the ceiling brandishing a weapon while screaming ...and miss the bug...because the bug will just fall down into your bureau drawer, which you stupidly left open, and it will be amongst all your clothes and then you're REALLY in trouble.

Black AND White

I decided to take liberty with today's color and post a black and white image. I took it the other day in color for the red/pink day, but it was too orange.

Thursday, August 31, 2006


Taken yesterday just outside my store.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Tuesday, August 29, 2006


Today was my day off so Claire and I went to PJ's and had fried green tomatoes. At left is Claire's "boyfriend." At least that's what she called him when she was little. We brought him along because he was green.

Monday, August 28, 2006


For Color Week. Charli-Doll heads pre-assembly.

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Last week? A cake-walk.

This afternoon I went in for a second interview at the same place I interviewed last week. I thought about this one a little bit more ahead of time but nothing could have prepared me for the Spanish Inquisition I encountered. ( "No one expects the Spanish Inquistion...!")( Okay- so I wasn't interrogated in was almost as stressful as if I had been.) If last week I was a bug under the microscope, this week I was the paramecium being jabbed in order to observe its response to painful stimulus.

I don't feel like re-living it a second time so I will spare you the exhaustive ( and exhaustING) detailed account .... but it was a little surreal at times. The man - who is the company's co-founder/owner/or something important- who did most of the talking reminded me of Martin Sheen and he asked me many multi-part questions that I would have liked to have had in writing about three or four days ago, so I could have prepared an essay response at my leisure in the comfort of my own home. What a wicked on the spot/ fly by the seat of your skirt feeling. And we delved more deeply than I liked into my weaknesses/failures/insecurities. Man! You would think I was applying for some high powered executive position- not a receptionist job. I felt like saying," What is this- a shrink's office? A Chinese Communist self-criticsm session?" Good grief! I felt completely pulverized and gnawed and like my very pores were being scrutinized.

Near the end, the Martin Sheen big shot- who was, to be fair, pretty nice over all- said something like, "How do you think this interview is going?" Is this a standard question in an interview, my readers? Has anyone been asked this in a similar situation? Perhaps it was an understandable question based on the context of what we were talking about but I felt like saying something along the lines of, " Would you ask a frog you were dissecting how the dissection was going?"

Miraculously, only by the sheer grace of God, I think I was able to pretty much stay poised and at least appear semi-comfortable and keep up a pretense of being somewhat confident through the time. I did feel like crying at one point but hopefully they didn't notice. And Martin Sheen did say he had been a little hard on me. What was I supposed to say to that? "Oh good- so it wasn't all just in my head? You really WERE aware that you were putting me through the meat grinder? You ADMIT that you're a sadist? Well. How nice for you!"

I went grocery shopping at an unfamiliar store after that and wandered the aisles in a distracted daze, talking to Brad on my phone.

And then I got a Cookies and Cream milkshake at Chik-fil-A on my way home, to console myself. Yay! Your prize for surviving a horrific interview is....more calories!!!

The problem is, I think they're going to offer me the job. My gut tells me so. A normal, sane person would probably be excited about this. Maybe a little nervous, but excited. I'm not. This job would pay me better than any job I have ever had. And right now I want to go fall down a well or something. It's not that I don't think I could do this job. I'm sure that after the initial yucky first couple of months where you're learning stuff and asking questions all day and making mistakes and feeling stupid, it will be fine. So I don't know what my problem is.

I think I have issues. I am abnormal. I think I want to become a nun. Okay- a married nun. One of those Eeyore-ish, hermit-ish, married nuns. And if there isn't a career in that, I will be the first one.

Okay. It's time to stop the sarcastic negativity. *pulls self up by the proverbial boot straps*

Que sera sera, and all that.

Saturday, August 26, 2006


I recently recited the nursery rhyme of toes in the hearing of my friend Pari. You know...the one that goes: "This little piggy went to market, this little piggy stayed home..."

Well, Pari was born and raised in India and apparently, there is no correlating rhyme like this in her culture. Of course, she had heard it since moving here several years ago, but she said something very thought provoking, something I had never considered before. After I ended with the piggy that went "weeee weee weeeee! all the way home," she said very seriously, " But wasn't he already home? I thought only one went to market."

This raises some very good questions. Where was that last little piggy coming from? And why did he say " Wee wee wee" all the way home?

Did the roast beef have anything to do with this? I know this messes with the whole toes thing but are there really only two piggies in this story? Is the piggy who went to market the same one who had roast beef and the one who went weeee weeee weeee! all the way home? And then there is the second piggy who stayed home and didn't have any roast beef?

Who can enlighten me here? Isaac?

Thursday, August 24, 2006

The thing that Witches fly on

Every married couple disagrees on things.

Brad and I have always differed on the pronunciation of the word "Broom." He says it as if it were spelled "brum." I say it, " brewm" - the correct way, of course. We have ridiculed each other for years in this matter. ( Brad disagrees with me on this matter, too. I quote: " I have not ridiculed you!" Okay. I guess it was just me then. . . doing the whole ridiculing thing. Huh. And it wasn't really...ridicule. How is it that I'M writing this and it's ending up putting me in a bad light?! It was more like gentle ribbing. ) But what is even funnier: he uses it as a verb. As in, " I need to brum off the driveway." Is this not altogether hilarious, worthy of derision and yet the very essence of cuteness, all in one?

Today he told me that all the people at work rag on him for this strange pronunciation of his. I feel so validated.

I'm off to go brewm the kitchen.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Hello. I'm the bug under the microscope.

When one is napping on a Sunday afternoon, and an icecream truck drives by with its whiny, jingling music, it does strange things to one's dreams.

Well, not much real news yet on the job front. I had an interview this morning and it just confirmed the fact that I HATE interviews. You sit there under a microscope- figuratively, of course- and try to appear relaxed and comfortable, and talk about yourself- your strengths and weaknesses. ACK. I HATE that part. And I was so insistent on NOT stressing out about this interview and not trying to overthink it and worry ahead of time, that I didn't really think about that inevitable question beforehand and so I sort of "winged it" ( wung it?)- and I didn't think of some things that I should have mentioned about my strengths. And even worse than strengths: who wants to talk about their weaknesses? Oh- it's soooo ICKY. I just feel like yelling, " I'm a good person! Trust me! Just hire me!" and running out. Yeah- THAT would make me seem credible. Oh well. The whole thing is in God's hands anyway, so I'm doing the whole post-interview, " There's nothing more I can do right now so DON'T Worry! Que sera sera. Thy will be done..." thing.

After the interview, I did some errands, including taking my car into a place for a muffler estimate. They put my car up on a lift and then the guy called me out of the office to explain the options to me. He was standing very nonchalantly under the car, pointing to stuff, and so I hesitantly joined him and it just kind of weirded me out, standing under my car. I've never done that before. I didn't like it. I knew that if it wasn't safe, he wouldn't be standing there...but I just kept thinking- what if the car falls on us? I mean- there could have been an earthquake and then where would we be? I got out from under it as fast as I could.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

The Vacation continues...

I've been meaning to blog for days but stuff just kept cropping up and preventing me.

I was supposed to go back to work on Thursday, and I did, but an unexpected drama unfolded and I was back in my car, heading home before noon. I don't feel free to divulge the details online right now so if you are TOTALLY curious to know, you can email me and I will copy and paste a little explanation and send it back to you...( This is not a desperate plea for emails or a nefarious scheme to find out who really cares about me...!) The long and short of it is, ( I didn't get fired) I don't know where I stand right now, jobwise. Everything is up in the air, but I hope to know more in the next couple days. It's kind of a weird situation.

ANYWAY- the timing couldn't have been better because my dear cousin Drewey Fern was down here visiting and so I got to do more stuff with her and Pen that I otherwise would not have been able to do. Huzzah! And I've been able to work on some projects around the house so I feel good about that.

On Thursday night, I had Penny, Andrea, and Grandpa over for dinner and Penny's cell phone rang. She answered and then a moment later it became clear that it was a wrong number because she said something like, "No...and I don't even know any cheerleaders!" It was pretty funny. Apparently, her name had gotten on some list of parents of cheerleaders...

And then Friday morning I got to go YardSaling with Penny and we had an AWESOME time. Penny is an amazing, organized, map guru- the perfect Yardsaling partner. I bought a bunch of great stuff, and even got some free stuff! My favorite finds were a small, round, glass topped table for our back porch, and a new, brushed nickel, chandelier-ish light fixture for either our kitchen or our dining room. And some books. And some neat vegetable coasters that go oh so well with my kitchen vegetable theme. Now I just have to learn to be a coaster person. Or perhaps I will frame some of them and put them up on the wall.

Guess what? The other day, I ate some FRIED GREEN TOMATOES. YUMMMM. They were so deee-lish. I felt so Southern.

That's all for now, folks.

Monday, August 14, 2006

My trip to New England...

I've just returned from the most refreshing mini-vacation ever. The only blot upon the landscape was the fact that Brad wasn't with me. But, as the old saying goes, absence makes the heart grow fonder.

I flew up on Friday amidst the wake of the whole foiled terrorist plot. As if I wasn't already loathing the whole flying thing enough. But the Atlanta airport wasn't too backed up so that was nice. Practically the most nerve wracking thing about it was sitting at the gate, killing time, trying not to listen to the TV which was blaring CNN's frenzied take on the whole terrorist thing. It was like the elephant in the room that everyone wanted to ignore. I didn't really want to have all that hype thrust in my face as I waited to get on the plane. And of course, everybody's like, "Be aware of suspicious behavior" and stuff like that and it's like, "DON'T TELL ME THAT! Now I'm spotting terrorists behind every pillar and post! Everyone looks suspicious to me now!" But miraculously, I made it to N.H. where I was greeted by amazing, balmy weather, and Bria!
( My chauffeur, bless her.)

I had a simply marvelous stay at the S------- household where I was given celebrity-like treatment and felt almost more at home there than in my own home! It was truly a blessing to connect with this dear family again, as they feel like an extension of my own family. And they are all so different and grown- it's amazing! We had so much fun; we played Cranium, had lunch at Panera bread ( which was WONDERFUL- I miss that place so much!), looked at pictures, just talked, I went swimming ( they all said it was too cold!), and Cheech himself gave me a cello lesson! He was a good and patient teacher but he fell on the floor with laughter at one point due to the terrible sounds I was producing out of the cello.

I feel so strengthened from the time I was able to spend with them all. I've been stuck in such a rut for so long and I didn't even know it; it was a great reality check to realize that there is a wider world out there.

My friend, Sarah L's wedding- ( now Sarah C. but I'm afraid it's going to take me awhile to remember to refer to her by her new last name) - was a beautiful and moving event and I had a great time connecting with various ones that I hadn't seen in a while. Sarah was the most beautiful, radiant bride I have ever seen and I immediately dissolved into tears as she came down the aisle. Oh my WORD. Emotions overwhelmed me and words failed me so much that I broke into complete gabbling nonsense in the receiving line and probably convinced her new husband, Josh, that I am a complete idiot...Hmmm. No further comment on that point. Anyway...I had never met him before but he seems to be a quality fellow from all that I hear and I am happy beyond words for both of them.

I have always been impressed with Sarah's focus. She did not fritter her singlehood away with shallow relationships, playing the dating game. She waited for the one that God had for her... and let Him work in her life in the meantime, in the midst of particularly painful difficulties and disappointments, to make her ready, whole, all that He wanted her to be...So you can see why my joy overflowed. When you know some of the long history behind the event, and you see a little bit of how the long, twisted, puzzling road has finally opened up into a wide and beautiful place, it compels you to give God all the glory.

It was bizarrely wonderful to see Sarah so completely swept off her feet. I have never seen a couple more obviously in love and off in their own little world. After "The Kiss" they turned and smiled at the clapping audience as if they were just awakening to the fact that there were other people with them in the room!

And then afterwards, I had a huge amount of fun with Amy and Lindsay, meandering around Rockport, sampling fudge, looking in quaint shops, people watching, and eating icecream etc. You know all about it, I'm sure- having read it on Lindsay's blog we followed the Pied Piper of Bearskin Neck...Very bizarre. At one point, when I made some suggestion about following him further- to witness the weirded out crowds that he walked through- I was SO amused because at the same time, Lindsay said, "YES!" and Amy said, "NO!" Those two showed me a great time.

This a.m., Bria again took me to the airport, all hail to her kindness, at 4:blooming 30 this morning! My flight left at six and I figured that getting to the Manchester airport at 5:00 would be plenty of time. Um...No. Bria, we should have gotten there like half an hour earlier. The lines were incredibly long and I almost panicked and descended into frantic tears. But fortunately, as I snaked my slow way along, and the clock ticked towards my boarding time, they called all the people in our flight to the front of the line! Praises be! I swooped upstairs...only to encounter a line twice as long through security. Fortunately I still made my flight. As I hobbled out of security, scuffling hurriedly along in my sandals that weren't totally on my feet, I saw that my plane was boarding! Phew! I maaaaaaade it!

So, I'm home again, home again, jiggety jog. What a wonderful weekend. Thank God!

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Video: Calloway Gardens

Click Here
14.8 MB (4:01)

We went to Calloway Gardens last month for Penny's birthday. It was nice. We had fun. I got sick on the way home. I edited that out (yes, Claire taped it).

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Surprise Vacation

Here's the latest from my life:

On Tuesday morning, my supervisors sent me home as they had reached a point where they didn't have anything for me to do. Only this time, they said, " We'll call you when we have something for you. And it probably won't be until next week." Huh!




So far, I've done errands, some cleaning, weeding, visiting, and sleeping in. I am LOVING this free time thing. But give me a couple weeks and I'll start craving some structure again, I'm sure. Hopefully at that point I'll be back at work again. We shall see. I'm a little wary of these "We'll call you" type situations, but I'm pretty sure that in this case, they actually mean it. For one thing, I have worked there for three months and my supervisor said she wanted me back because I know how things work with this project. It makes no sense to bring someone in who doesn' t know the history of the project. I am thankful now for the good track record I've established with them. But, again, we shall see.

I had already asked for Friday and Monday off since I am fleeing up northwards this weekend for the wedding of my dear, old friend Sarah L. ( She's not elderly-old, she's just been my friend since the day she was born...which happens to be the day after I was born.) I'm so looking forward to going back to New England and visiting with people. It will be my first time back since last October.

You will all have to pray for Bradley because the poor fellow is already at sixes and sevens at the thought of being left at home alone. Wah. I hate leaving him behind, but it seemed the only thing to do, under the circs. Besides, we are hoping and planning on traveling up to N.H. together at the end of next month anyway...But in the meantime, send him good thoughts, nice emails, cards, money, whatever, to cheer him up while I'm gone. Okay?