Friday, October 31, 2008

Vote for me!

We had a mock election with our homeschool group yesterday. It was neat, and the kids had fun. After the results were in, I found out my son had voted liberal.
What am I raising around here?
The update went out, and Jenny suggested making a limerick out of the sentence that a boy voted for Obama, and his Momma wasn't pleased.
I took the challenge. Here are the latest results. Anyone else want to give it a try?

The children held an election,
Which would have been close to perfection,
If one boy hadn't frozen,
The wrong candidate chosen,
He wouldn't be facing rejection.

There voted a boy for Obama.
This greatly displeased his poor mamma.
In dismay she asked, "Why,
Would you make your Mom cry?
I think I'll just have to disown ya!"

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Are Christians being treated to a trick?

Every year we do this thing. And every year I protest. Why, oh, why must Christians have to have some sort of alternative to Halloween?
Anyone with a computer and fingers can research the origins of the day and find out that it is a pagan holiday, steeped in witchcraft, and the occult.
I grew up trick-or-treating. My mom, who was a clever seamstress, and even wrote clever verse, made my sister and me matching ladybug costumes. The beetle part was a big sack with a zipper at the top. You were supposed to stuff it with pillows to plump it up, but she got the crazy idea that we should use it to actually carry our loot. We had to ring the bell, wait for the answer, and recite in unison, "Trick or treat, I have no sack. Please put the candy in my back." Then we turned around for a candy deposit. This was usually greeted with smiles, and 'oh, how cute.'
Being five years older than my cute little self, my sister found this quite humiliating. I didn't even know, until recently, that she hated our little routine. I can see why, now that I'm all grown up. But I thought it was fun at the time.
Somehow, after becoming Christians, and getting into church, we realized that Halloween wasn't all the fun it was cracked up to being. And in reality, it was a dangerous time, very significant to the occult.
It wasn't until I became a mother that I decided to do my own research about the history and significance of the holiday, and what it should, or shouldn't mean to my children.
I watched a video called Trick or Treat? that featured several people who had converted from Satanism to Christianity, and were giving candid testimony about what Halloween means to the church of Satan. It was enlightening, to say the least.
So I told Shawn about it, and we decided not to participate in any events on that evening.
Our church has a family fall festival every year on Halloween. It is open to the public; there are games, rides, inflatables, animals, food, and of course, candy. Most people wear costumes, and although no scary costumes are supposed to be allowed, no one is turned away. This has become a huge outreach tool for our church. We have somewhere around 3000 people every year. Everyone has to register, and every person is followed up on. So you could say that it really is a great way to reach out to our community.
Two years ago, I relented, and since my husband didn't really have the same convictions about the event, we took the kids to the FFF. They had a blast. But I still couldn't shake the feeling that something wasn't right.
I understand that we celebrate Christmas and Easter like the world, but then we are at least celebrating something wonderful for Christians.
But why must we provide an alternative for a pagan holiday that has absolutely nothing to do with Christianity? And it is, in fact, a holiday to celebrate the occult.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Wordless Wednesday (deck; before and after)

(The hole in the deck is where the hot tub goes. :-D )


Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Business is business

Today I spent the day cleaning the room that will soon be my bathroom. It took me most of the day because I stopped frequently to breathe some less toxic air, among other things.
I pretty much bleached the tub to oblivion.
I figured that anyplace I might park my naked business where someone else's naked business had previously been, should be subjected to some sort of disinfecting agent like bleach or napalm first.
Anyhoo, I waxed a thin layer of soft scrub with bleach onto the white tile walls, and after I regained consciousness thirty minutes later, I scrubbed her down.
Then I proceded to spray a generous amount of Scrub Free with bleach around the actual tub. The trip from that stuff was a little more colorful. I'm still a little dizzy.
I said I cleaned the bathroom today, but the truth is that I cleaned the tub, toilet, mirror, and light fixture.
Tomorrow I will finish the sink and floor.
And I was having a hard time washing the dust from the light fixture, because I know what dust is made of. Google it. I promise it will gross you out.
So, to those of you who have come behind me, I sincerely apologize.
Meanwhile, I am cleaning up the previous owners' biological leftovers.
Can you say,

Friday, October 24, 2008

Grilling Goodness #4

1. The World Series has you watch it? (and do you care who wins?)

I do not watch football.

2. Is the inside of your car clean or 'garbage dump filthy'?

I have two kids, and I'm pretty messy, so I'll go with dump.

3. Who is the next person in your family to have a birthday?

My Dad will be 61 at the end of the month.

4. Do you wear glasses or contacts? (how old were you when it became necessary?)

Sometimes I wear reading glasses, but not often. But since the case fell into a potpourri simmer pot full of cinnamon apple simmer, and will never wash out, they smell nice when I wear them.

5. What is your major form of exercise?

I enjoy riding my bike, but currently, I am working out by dismantling a deck.

6. What is something you could do to make your spouse's day easier today?

Well, I can't really talk about that in a blog, now can I?

7. How much is gas where you are?

$2.38 at Kroger today, but I got a .10 discount. $2.28, BABY!

8. What the furthest away from home that you've ever traveled?

I took a college trip in 1993. Three countries in ten days - England, Scotland, and France. I would recommend it to anyone.


Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Somebody had to do it

Okay, so after a couple of weeks of the run-around, we are finally making headway.
Today we got the permission to begin construction, tomorrow we will have utilities, and Monday the contractor will commence with contracting.
Or whatever it is contractors do.
I have to be at the house before 8:00 in the morning tomorrow, so I can be there when the utilities are turned on. (don't want water running everywhere if there's a problem.)
The funny thing is, getting to this point should never have been this hard. I should not have had to do both of the realtors' jobs. But I did, because that's what it took.
Now we have two weeks from today to do everything from dismantling and rebuilding the deck, to insulating under the addition.
And tomorrow it is supposed to rain.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Rant for the day

When you are paying someone to do a job, even when they are not getting paid until the job is done, you should be able to be reasonably sure they are doing that job.
I am tired of calling people after noon, just to find out they have not done anything that they were supposed to do that day.
If I weren't under contract, I'd fire her in an instant.
I'll be glad when this whole thing is over.
The sound of her voice makes me want to run screaming the other direction.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Grilling Goodness #3

1. What is your least favorite aspect of Election Year?
Having to vote for someone I don't really like, just so the other guy, who I can't imagine anyone being stupid enough to pick, won't win.

2. What is something your spouse could do to make you feel special?
Send me away on a 'girls only weekend' to be pampered. Oh, wait, he did that once. Maybe he'll do it again.

3. Do you complain at restaurants or do you just tip less?
If the problem is the food, I let my server know, and don't hold it against them. They don't cook the food. I still tip them generously. But if the service stinks, I reflect it in the tip. I have only left without tipping once or twice in my life. Shawn used to be a really bad tipper, and it was so embarrassing. But I educated him on the art, and now he does a good job of it.

4. If you had it to do over again, would you choose the same wedding date you had?
Yes, the only holiday around my anniversary is Valentine's Day, and I kind of boycott it anyway. I do encourage my husband to do something for his daughter, however. He always buys her a rose.

5. What kind of car do you drive?
I drive a Dodge Grand Caravan, and I love it. It is not without its problems, and it costs a lot to fill the gas tank, but I love the room, the stereo, the DVD player, the little computer that tells me how many miles I can go before I run out of gas, and how it tells me what the temperature is outside.

6. If you have siblings, are you close to them?
I am very close with my older sister, but not with my half-brother, my twin half-sisters, my two step brothers, and my two step sisters.

7. Do you spend the same amount of money on each child at Christmas or just buy a certain number of gifts?
I try to keep it pretty close on both accounts. We don't spend much on gifts at all, because they get so many presents from their grandparents, that I don't want them to lose focus on what's really important about Christmas.

8. What phrase do you find yourself saying all the time?


Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The joke's on him

This post is for you, Joanna!


'Cash, check or charge?' I asked, after folding items the woman wished to purchase. As she fumbled for her wallet, I noticed a remote control for a television set in her purse. 'So, do you always carry your TV remote?' I asked. 'No,' she replied, 'but my husband refused to come shopping with me, and I figured this was the most evil thing I could do to him legally.'


I know I'm not going to understand women. I'll never understand how you can take boiling hot wax, pour it onto your upper thigh, rip the hair out by the root, and still be afraid of a spider.


A man walks into a pharmacy and wanders up & down the aisles. The sales girl notices him and asks him if she can help him. He answers that he is looking for a box of tampons for his wife. She directs him down the correct aisle. A few minutes later, he deposits a huge bag of cotton balls and a ball of string on the counter. She says, confused, 'Sir, I thought you were looking for some tampons for your wife? He answers, 'You see, it's like this, yesterday, I sent my wife to the store to get me a carton of cigarettes, an d she came back with a tin of tobacco and some rolling papers; cause it's sooo-ooo--oo-ooo much cheaper. So, I figure if I have to roll my own ........ so does she.


A couple drove down a country road for several miles, not saying a word. An earlier discussion had led to an argument and neither of them wanted to concede their position. As they passed a barnyard of mules, goats, and pigs, the husband asked sarcastically, 'Relatives of yours?' 'Yep,' the wife replied, 'in-laws.'


A husband read an article to his wife about how many words women use a day. 30,000 to a man's 15,000. The wife replied, 'The reason has to be because we have to repeat everything to men... The husband then turned to his wife and asked, 'What?'


A man said to his wife one day, 'I don't know how you can be so stupid and so beautiful all at the same time. 'The wife responded, 'Allow me to explain. God made me beautiful so you would be attracted to me; God made me stupid so I would be attracted to you!


A man and his wife were having an argument about who should brew the coffee each morning. The wife said, 'You should do it because you get up first, and then we don't have to wait as long to get our coffee. The husband said, 'You are in charge of cooking around here and you should do it, because that is your job, and I can just wait for my coffee.' Wife replies, 'No, you should do it, and besides, it is in the Bible that the man should do the coffee.' Husband replies, 'I can't believe that, show me.' So she fetched the Bible, and opened the New Testament and showed him at the top of several pages, that it indeed says .. 'HEBREWS'


A man and his wife were having some problems at home and were giving each other the silent treatment. Suddenly, the man realized that the next day, he would need his wife to wake him at 5:0 0 AM for an early morning business flight. Not wanting to be the first to break the silence (and LOSE), he wrote on a piece of paper, 'Please wake me at 5:00 AM.' He left it where he knew she would find it. The next morning, the man woke up, only to discover it was 9:00 AM and he had missed his flight. Furious, he was about to go and see why his wife hadn't wakened him, when he noticed a piece of paper by the bed. The paper said, 'It is 5:00 AM. Wake up.'


Sunday, October 12, 2008

Caca trees

We have a tree in between the end of our driveway and the neighbor's. It is absolutely beautiful, has great form, and makes a lovely climbing tree. In the fall, it turns a brilliant yellow and the leaves carpet the ground in a golden array.

But before the leaves drop, the fruit does, and then the crap really hits the fan. Lord help us if you step on any of it, and when I drive over some of the plum-like fruits, the stench clings to the tires like so much dog doo.

We have a ginkgo tree. And while some places actually ban planting them because the stench of the fruit is foul enough to send people packing, it is actually a sacred tree in the far east. Apparently, the fruit can be harvested for the seeds inside. After the nuts are cleaned and roasted, they are a delicacy.

These trees have a specific gender, and only the female trees bear fruit. (duh) Males are specifically propogated for nurseries, because who wants to plant a tree in the yard that eventually poops on the lawn?

It takes about twenty to thirty years for a tree to bear fruit. Can you imagine planting a tree that you thought was male and thirty years later finding out it is really female?

If you do purchase one from a nursery, be sure to put the receipt somewhere it will be safe for thirty years, so if it crosses gender, which this tree has been known to do, you can return it for a refund.


Friday, October 10, 2008

Challenge Accepted

I love a good challenge, and when I imposed one on myself the other day, I took myself very seriously.

Allow me to explain.

My homeschooling group has a club for double digits kids (10-16), and they get together once a month or so to hang out and do fun stuff. (they have to get their socialization from somewhere, don'tchaknow)

So this month they are having a bon-fire thing-y and we all sign up to bring some kind of snack. My dear sister emails the group to ask if Rotel would be appropriate.

For those of you who don't live in the south, that would be melted Velveeta and canned diced tomatoes and chiles. This recipe is somewhat varied and is generally prepared and taken (or carried, or toted) to any number of functions such as bon-fires, church socials, picnics, weddings, baby showers, and the occasional funeral. It is served with tortilla chips.

Of course everyone replied with the expected answers that it would be great if she brought Rotel, and our darling friend Jenny smarted back that she couldn't think of many occasions in which Rotel would not be appropriate.

I thought that sounded like a challenge.

I hopped right on it.

So after a few days to consider, I came up with a few situations where Rotel and chips would NOT be appropriate.

It would not be appropriate for a guy to hide an engagement ring in the melted cheese and wait for his girl to eat enough to find it.

It would not be appropriate to be crunching away on some tortilla chips and Rotel during a symphony, and especially if you were playing in one.

I don't think one should partake of this particular fare while sitting in the court room serving on the jury.

It would not be appropriate to eat Rotel while doing any of the following activities:


Scuba diving

Barrel racing

Nascar driving


Giving or receiving a massage

Giving or receiving a manicure

Brushing your teeth

Giving birth to a baby

Delivering someone else's baby

Performing a wedding

Singing an opera

Reciting a poem

Jumping on a trampoline

Getting a haircut

Having a root canal or

Shearing sheep

Can you think of any more situations in which Rotel would not be appropriate?


Grilling Goodness #2

1. What can cheer you up when you're feeling grumpy?
It depends entirely on what is making me grumpy.
If my kids' attitude problems are making me grumpy, my hubby coming home from work and telling me that I look like I could use a little time alone on my motorcycle cheers me up.
Most of the time, telling me that we are going to Casa Mexicana or El Chico cheers me up.
And chocolate works every time.

2. Give one feature that could make or break the deal if you were shopping for a new home.
I shall answer this question in two parts to give justice to each section.
One feature that could make the deal is if it carried a lifetime warranty against roof leaks, structure failure, tornadoes, hurricanes, fire, flood, the occasional dog pile, kids marking on the walls with crayons, sharpies, and any other kind of indelible ink.
What would break the deal would be a two and a half hour commute to the nearest Wal-Fart.

3. What's the craziest thing you've ever let your children eat for breakfast?
I am one of those weird moms who thinks that breakfast shoud be breakfast type foods. Unless there is pie in the house, and then we eat that. (what's the difference between that and a pop tart?)

4. If you are a 'watch what you eat' kind of person, share a meal or dish that makes it easier to diet.
I wouldn't call myself a 'watch what I eat' kind of person, but I learned that we like our meatloaf and tacos to have ground turkey instead of beef.

5. Is there something you used to do as a child that you would never let your children do now?
We used to ride our bikes all the way across town and go to the local pool all day. As far as I know, Mom never checked on us. I would never let my kids go anywhere all day, unsupervised, and then not check on them. But we live in a very different world now.
6. If you have a daughter, are her ears pierced? When did you allow it?
I have a daughter, and her ears are pierced. I asked Shawn if I could do it when she was a baby, and he wouldn't let me. But after much pleading, he told me that if I was going to do it, he didn't want to know when. So I took her the next day. She was six months old. I have never regretted doing it.

7. Are you the only person in your house who changes the TP roll??
I'm sensing a little hostility in this question. I am the only one in our house who changes the roll. I don't know why it's such a difficult task for the children. Their holder is just a slide on hook.

8. How old were you when you no longer lived with a parent(s) for the first time?
I moved out of my parents house the night I got married.
I was 23 years old.


Thursday, October 9, 2008

Camping, God style

I have done everything I have been asked to do.
I have prepared finance statements.
I have gathered tax returns, pay check stubs, bank statements, and letters of release.
I have submitted quotes and estimates for repairs and materials.
I have called faithfully to check statuses.
I have set appointments to switch all our services.
I have rescheduled appointments to switch all our services.
I have rejoiced in the upcoming events.
I have whined about the upcoming events.
I have fretted and worried about the upcoming events.
I have talked about it ad nauseum to all of my friends.

But in spite of all the things I have done, God keeps telling me to wait.
I am NOT good at waiting.
Patience is NOT one of my strong suits.
By last night, when I went to church, I was working up to crying because I am getting very frustrated.
My very good friend, L, asked me what was wrong, and I told her that I was having a hard time waiting on the Lord.
I know in my head that His timing is perfect.
I know in my head that in spite of my unfaithfulness, He is always faithful.
I know in my head that although we don't deserve blessings, He still blesses.
But getting my heart on board with my head is another matter.

L reminded me of the Israelites when they we traveling through the wilderness guided by a pillar of cloud or fire, God told them to rest in their tents until He told them it was time to move on. If they had spent the whole time fretting over when God was going to tell them it was time to go, they would not have been rested for the journey.


Okay, shutting up now.

Here I am getting more antsy by the day, and not resting in His timing.
Why do I do this to myself?

So today I am trying something new. It's called resting in my tent until God says it's time to go.

I LOVE camping!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Countdown to Freedom part II

Looking forward to the upcoming event of purchasing a new house took on a new dimention this past weekend.
I suddenly realized that I will be losing something that has come to be very dear to me in the past two years.
It took a while to get used to having people around that were looking out for my family. The first time Mr. M came to my door, knocked briefly and entered without waiting for me to say 'Come in' took me by surprise. But I have come to understand that that's how it goes around here. If the front door is open, you are welcome to come in. The knock is just a warning sound, so I don't turn around from the kitchen sink and find someone standing right there.
And over time, I realized that I have the same freedom. So I do. Walk two doors down, knock briefly, and enter the house that has become so familiar with a gentle call of 'Hello!'
Any time I need an egg or two, a cup of flour or whatever, I go shopping at the 'M' general store, as I have come to call it. I never take advantage. I always replace whatever I've borrowed. But these people have come to be like grandparents for my kids, in a world where grandparents are scarce.
The first time she came down here to cry and tell me that he was so sick that she was afraid, I held her while she cried, and prayed with her.
And the other day, as I was leaving, she said the words I already knew.
"Love you!"
There are few people in life who accept you for who you are.
I'm sorry to be leaving these particular neighbors.
And I'm glad we are not moving too far for visiting.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Jon, the pie lover

I have recently discovered a wonderful blog written by the intelligent son of a very good friend. This is not to say that her other son is not intelligent, mind you.
Jonathan is about as deep as they come. In fact, I don't know any real people who are as deep as he is. I'll have to pinch his cute little cheek the next time I see him, and check his real-ness. And yes, he's a full grown man, I'm just getting old, and he'll always be a kid to me.
If you go read his Vowell Movements blog, take your dictionary along. I've had to pull mine out and dust it off to keep up. (if you can really dust off the website I look everything up on;) I have been reading little bits at a time, lest my eyeballs explode. I told him today that I have to read it from my peripheral vision like Horatio Caine, because the power of his writing is so intense it almost hurts.
Have fun!
And prepare to have him talk circles around you.
Maybe if I bake him a pie, he'll explain it to me...

Grilling Goodness #1

1. Do you snort when you laugh?
I do not snort when I laugh. I laugh at people who snort when they laugh, but I do not snort when I laugh at people who snort when they laugh.

2. Do you have any idea why we don't sneeze in our sleep? Wild guess?
We do not sneeze when we sleep because our bodies do not have complete muscle control while we sleep. Subconsciously, we know we would poop our pants if we sneezed when we had less control over our muscles. So subconsciously speaking, it's a conscious decision.

3. Do you give much thought to astrology?
I prefer astronomy to astrology. I have no idea what my sign is, and I figure that whatever is in my future is for God to know and me to find out.

4. What is the most expensive thing you've purchased this year?
Well, we bought a really cool camera that takes video and still pictures, but I can't figure out how to use the computer program that came with it, because I'm a stupid head.

5. What kind of shampoo do you use? Loyally?
I like to use a variety of shampoos, although not at the same time. Currently I am using Suave coconut scented products. Makes me want to sing the fruit of the Spirit song every time.
The fruit of the Spirit's not a coconut, (snap snap)
The fruit of the Spirit"s not a coconut, (snap snap)
If you wanna have the Spirit,
You might as well hear it,
The fruit of the Spirit's not a coconut...

But the fruits are love, joy, peace....

6. Whose music are you really diggin' right now?
Recently downloaded Natalie Grant's I Will Not Be Moved. I also like Casting Crowns, Barry Manilow, Bing Crosby, Rosemary Clooney, and a few other oldie but goodies.

7. What is your favorite thing about the Fall?
The smells in the air, the crispness in the mornings, colorful leaves and wearing sweaters.

8. Do you have a GPS?
All the better to geocache with, my dear! Actually, it belongs to Shawn, but I borrow it now and again to go geocaching.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

just wondering...

Why do I have to do facebook when I already do myspace? Is it better, somehow, or more grown up? And the whole twitter thing? That's just dumb. I tried, but how often does someone have to say what they're doing RIGHT NOW?

Countdown to Freedom

Funny thing about countdowns. In order to get to 3...2...1...BLASTOFF, you must know what number to start on.
How can you make a Christmas countdown chain if you don't know how many days there are until Christmas?
This Monday I started the countdown to Friday. I wanted to close on our house then, so I started counting. I called all of my service providers and set up appointments for our phone, high-speed internet, and Dish Network to switch us over to the new house. I was even assigned a new telephone number.
Turns out that just because you 'called it,' doesn't mean they will do what you say.
Calling 'shotgun' does not guarantee a ride in the front seat.
And calling the closing day does not mean you will be moving this weekend, either.
So we wait, and try to stop feeling anxious.
And when we say 'we', we mean 'I'.

Meanwhile, I will look forward to what freedom will afford...
Freedom from the constant yapping from the neighbors' dogs,
Freedom from looking out my window and seeing the neighbors' kid ride by on MY kid's bike,
Freedom from lying in bed and being serenaded by the neighbors' country/gospel concert they are putting on right outside my paper-thin bedroom wall,
Freedom from the hammering the neighbors are doing at 2:34 in the morning, while they build an addition right outside my paper-thin bedroom wall,
Freedom from wondering if the neighbors heard me last night through my paper-thin bedroom wall,
Freedom from.....pretty much....
The Neighbors.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Wordless Wednesday (Loch Ness Monster)

(A.K.A. Eastern spiny soft-shelled turtle, but we ALL know what it really is.)