Wednesday, December 31, 2008
And then I lived for a week with some of my readers.
One should not blog about ones blog fodder when the blog fodder reads the blog. Unless one had very complementary things to say at which time said fodder still sometimes misinterprets good things as bad things. So.....
I'm trying to come up with something new besides:
A person just doesn't realize the degree of filth that s/he is living in until s/he lives in immaculate conditions for a week.
Which gives nice goal setting opportunities.
But also creates overwhelming panic (especially by husbands).
Because it is impossible to sanitize an entire house in a day.
Especially when children are home from school.
And all of the blog fodder hasn't yet checked out.
(And very nice blog fodder it is.)
Got dishes to do....
Happy New Year's Eve to ya!
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Every woman longs for change in some area of her life. Unfortunately, fear, fatigue, adversity, heartbreak, past failures, and even the choices of other people get in the way and make lasting change seem out of reach. Having been there herself, Karen Linamen knows exactly how to take readers from where they are to where they want to be.
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Blending laugh-out-loud humor and sage advice, Linamen shows readers the link between dissatisfaction and transformation, how to remodel habits, the little-known truth about procrastination, how to generate the energy they need to pursue the life they desire, how to benefit from options and resources they never dreamed they had, and much, much more!
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1. eat oatmeal every morning before 9. (I've fallen out of the breakfast habit)
2. only two Pepsis a day. (hey, that's huge for me)
3. exercise three times a week (does playing tennis on the Wii count if it makes me sore?)
4. organize one room (hopefully if I do one, I'll do four)
that's it. that's all. press go.
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Here's back cover copy:
It's the summer of 1975, and sensible seventeen-year-old Amy Monteiro longs for the freedom of college life in California. But when her mom's beloved 1958 Pontiac Bonneville Sports Coupe surrenders to a mortally wounded transmission in Colorado, it doesn't take long for Amy to realize that her insufferable, tiara-toting mom, Francie--former queen of the Sleepy Eye Corn Festival--is out of money and in no hurry to let go of her daughter.
In a time of great change, and in this small Colorado town, Amy will find herself caught up in the struggle between the past and present, young and old, geeks and jocks, hippies and the establshment, even life and death. And during this one unforgettable summer, both mother and daughter will grow up.
I know, I know, the 70s, but trust me, it is soooooo good.
Thursday, December 18, 2008
Frodo, who for months has wanted the American Girl Coconut dog (and accessories) for Christmas for SIX MONTHS no matter what else mom suggested..........
wants BOLT. Only BOLT. Nothing but BOLT will do. Coconut who?
Hubs and I counted presents and dollars spent and decided we could spring for one more gift for Frodo expecting a $10 stuffed animal. Yes, I had to go to the mall AGAIN. The WEEK BEFORE Christmas. But I could do it for my child's brilliant smile on Christmas day. Disney Store here I come.
There were exactly three BOLTs in the Disney store. All HUGE and $40.
One, I'm categorically opposed to large stuffed animals. Two, forty bucks? For a stuffed animal? A huge one at that? Is it inlaid with gold? You can get diamonds for that. (Champagne ones, even.)
OK, call me crazy, but if you are going to put out a movie a month before Christmas, will you not stock your store with all the applicable action figures so as to make a pant load of money? Is every child that sees the movie NOT going to want something?
And if that isn't bad enough, they are a monopoly until the gravy train runs out. So it isnt like you can stop off at Wal-Mart and grab a mini-bolt. Oh, no. You gotta shell out the $40 for the ginormous stuffed BOLT.
I did walk away. Even though he told his entire kindergarten he was getting BOLT.
(Still haven't decided if we take back three or four of his presents and let him have BOLT. Only BOLT. How much do you think he really cares? Of course it will probably be sold out by tomorrow, anyway.)
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Ellie knows what it’s like to be financially-strapped or struggling, wanting to be the Joneses but feeling as poor in spirit as in pocketbook. She went, within two and a half years, from being a new wife and mom with $40,000 in consumer debt and seven children (and college educations) to support, to being completely debt-free and within fifteen years able to pay cash for eleven different cars, give away three of those cars, buy two five-bedroom houses (moving from one to the other) and nicely furnish each, take wonderful vacations, dress her family in fine fashion; and support more than thirty non-profit organizations in more than a dozen different countries, giving away more than $100,000.
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Why keep up with the Joneses when you can be them
"Married & Available" Discreet services for online dating for married people.
My apologies, friends. I would never advocate that. I'll lose the ads, asap.
Lyrics to New, Original Songs on "All I Really Want for Christmas" Well, I don't know if you remember me or not
by Steven Curtis Chapman (2005 Sparrow Records, EMI CMG)
I'm one of the kids they brought in from the home
I was the red-haired boy in an old, green flannel shirt
You may not have seen me, I was standing off alone
I didn't come and talk to you 'cause that's never worked before
And you'll probably never see this letter, anyway
But just in case there's something you can do to help me out
I'll ask you one more time
All I really want for Christmas is someone to tuck me in
A shoulder to cry on if I lose, shoulders to ride on if I win
There's so much I could ask for, but there's just one thing I need
All I really want for Christmas is a family
Well, I guess I should go ahead and tell you now
If it's really true about that list you have
Somehow I always seem to end up in a fight
But I'm really trying hard not to be bad
But maybe if I had a brother or a dad to wrestle with
Maybe they could teach me how to get along
And from everything I've heard, it sounds like the greatest gift on earth
Would be a mom
All I want for Christmas is someone who'll be here
To sing me happy birthday for the next 100 years
And It's okay if they're not perfect or even if they're a little broken
That's alright, 'Cause so am I
Well, I guess I should go, it's almost time for bed
Maybe next time I write you I'll be at home
`Cause all I really want for Christmas is someone to tuck me in
Tell me I'll never be alone, someone whose love will never end
Of all that I could ask for, well, there's just one thing I need
All I really want for Christmas is a family
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
And they are all eight and under.
I keep looking at the clock thinking dang, they aren't home yet?
Nope, neither would I be.
Time suck, I tell ya.
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
The buses are conspicuously absent from running, I noticed. Probably because they wouldn't make it up our hill.
The postman will walk his route past my house today. His powerful little truck can't make it up the hill in snow either.
I hope we can get back to the school to get the kids home later.
Hub's won't go in to the office.
Maybe we can get some "Christmas Gift Decisions" done.
Which is why he doesn't work from home much.
I'm glad I don't live any farther north.
Sunday, December 14, 2008
Thursday, December 11, 2008
AN INTERVIEW WITH SHARON K. SOUZA
Author of Lying on Sunday
1. In your previous novel, Every Good & Perfect Gift, you address the tough issues of infertility and catastrophic illness. Again, in Lying on Sunday, you've tackled a tough subject, that being infidelity. Why do you choose such tough topics?
I like to write stories that speak to women on deep and personal levels. None of us gets through this life without being affected in some form by sadness, loss, a sense of failure over one issue or another, and having been failed. I think when we know we're not the only one going through these types of situation--and it's so easy to feel that you are alone--it gives us hope that we really can come through, not necessarily unscathed, but certainly stronger and more equipped to help others.
2. Do heavy topics equal a heavy reading experience?
Definitely not. I firmly believe that pleasure reading should first and foremost be entertaining. Time is a precious commodity. I hope that readers who choose to spend some of their precious hours in the pages of my books will thoroughly enjoy the experience.
So even though I tackle tough subjects, I infuse enough humor to keep those subjects from becoming an albatross around the reader's neck. Conversely, I love to read for pleasure, but I want to take something away from the experience.
3. What would you have readers take away from Lying on Sunday?
In one day, Abbie Torrington has the underpinnings of her world knocked out from under her. Everything she thinks she knows about her marriage turns out to be false. It leaves her reeling in the aftermath. Years ago, while dealing with health issues in my own life, a close friend gave me a Precious Moments figurine entitled "Light at the End of the Tunnel." In Lying on Sunday I want to show that even with issues as devastating as betrayal there is always a light at the end of the tunnel, and for me that Light, of course, is Jesus.
4. Lying on Sunday deals with the betrayal of infidelity, but are there other forms of betrayal that the book might speak to?
Types of betrayal obviously vary, but the end results can be equally devastating. Any time a trust is broken between people in relationship, someone is going to be hurt. We can either allow those hurts to hinder us, or we can allow the Lord to use them as lessons to make us better and stronger. That brings to mind the old adage "What doesn't kill me makes me stronger." Well, through her own devastating experience Abbie becomes a stronger, more independent person than she knew she could be.
5. Once again you've written a story with a strong and vital friendship that's central to the story. Was that coincidence or by design?
Absolutely by design. I'm all about relationships and so are my characters. Having gone through a period in my early adulthood without a close friend, I know how important friends are in our lives. In fact, I've recently reconnected with two friends from high school, one I hadn't seen in 25 years, and the other in over 30 years. But relationships between women, while vital, can be very complex. That's certainly true for Abbie. Besides her close friendship with Shawlie Bryson, she has a close relationship with one daughter and a challenging relationship with the other, mostly because of the very different emotional place these girls are in while dealing with the death of their father. Not only that, but Abbie has a strained relationship with her own mother for reasons she eventually discovers. I'm certain that women of each one of these generations will relate to one or the other of these characters, especially the woman caught in the middle, where she's both the daughter and the mother.
6. Truth is a theme you deal with extensively in Lying on Sunday. In a book that deals with betrayal, wouldn't forgiveness be a more fitting theme?
I believe forgiveness is the key to getting beyond the kind of hurt Abbie experiences - which doesn't necessarily equate to restored relationship. (In Abbie's case, of course, that's impossible anyway.) But the discovery of truth is a huge first step in the process. In any difficult situation we can choose to ignore the facts and try to keep life on an even keel. But there inevitably comes a day of reckoning. For Abbie to arrive at the desired destination, there are some unpleasant truths she must acknowledge and deal with. She's dogged by a scripture from John 8:32 that says the truth will set you free. Only she can decide whether or not she'll let it.
7. What is the most satisfying thing that comes out of your writing?
I love hearing from readers, especially those I don't know, who say my stories have touched them in one way or another, and most importantly, have helped them see more clearly how good and loving our Lord is.
8. What are you working on now, and does it continue in the style of Lying on Sunday and Every Good & Perfect Gift?
My work in progress, Unraveled, is another contemporary novel about a young woman who gives a year of her life to help teach children in Moldova, a small country in eastern Europe. While there she experiences a crisis of fath (the story ultimately deals with human trafficking). And yes, it continues in the style of my previous novels.
9. Is there anything you'd like to add?
Naturally I love to hear from readers. You can email me through my website: http://www.sharonksouza.com. If you're in a book club and choose to read any of my books I'll send a complimentary book to the person who contacts me on behalf of their group. Then, after you read the book I'd love to participate in your group discussion, either by phone or in person if you're close enough for me to drive to.
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Eldest woke with a headache. I called in sick to CBS where I was supposed to "volunteer" to help with kids. When Eldest found out he couldn't watch TV all day, he was miraculously healed. I called back and went in to "volunteer." The school called soon to send Eldest home with a headache and "fever" (of 99.5). He spent the day in bed. And then watched TV. Complained of his head all day. As a person that has migraines, I want them to be able to have headaches without a fever and stay home from school, but don't know how to screen out the fakeouts. Except to not let them out of bed when they stay home sick. But my point here is that it's a good thing that Hubs worked from home today because I wasn't home today to pick up the apparently sick child.
I have finished writing and editing my article and it is now in the hands of my crit parnters. I must send it in this week. I can't sleep until it is in. I don't know why I get so excited to be assigned these things. They make me cranky.
I quit teaching science at my kids' school two weeks ago. Well, I quit two weeks before Thanksgiving, but I've not taught for the last two weeks. I can't tell you how much I enjoy Wednesdays now. I even did some crazy cleaning. Clothes sorting. Now if I could just convince myself to dust.
I think I will go have some Cherry Vanilla Blue Bell to celebrate being nearly done with my article.
Just in time for the next round of assignments.
Monday, December 08, 2008
It's been a long time coming (August 2006 via November 2007) but Hannah has her resolution!
Ah, Cindy Woodsmall is some kind of author.
After receiving a desperate and confusing call from her sister, Hannah Lapp reluctantly returns to the Old Order Amish community of her
Having fled in disgrace two years earlier, she finally has found a satisfying role in the Englischer world, as well as love with Martin Palmer, a man with whom she can safely entrust her heart. But almost immediately after her arrival in Owl’s Perch, the disapproval of those who ostracized her reopens old wounds.
As Hannah is thrown together with former fiancé Paul Waddell to work for her sister Sarah’s mental health, unexpected truths surface about the events during Hannah’s absence, and she faces an agonizing decision. Will she choose the Englischer world and the man who restored her hope, or will she heed the call to return to the Plain Life—and perhaps to her first love?
This intriguing final novel in the Sisters of the Quilt series is richly textured with authentic details drawn from the author’s real-life connections with Amish Mennonite and Old Order Amish families.
Cindy Woodsmall is a best-selling author, who has garnered strong praise for the first two novels in the Sisters of the Quilt series. When the Heart Cries was a finalist for the ECPA Novel of the Year in 2007 and received the Reviewer’s Choice Award from the Road to Romance website. When the Morning Comes was named among the Best Books of 2007 for Crossings Book Club. Cindy lives in
Sunday, December 07, 2008
Dinner banquet where all available babysitters are working the banquet?
They have radar, I tell ya.
I couldn't help but crack up tonight when, after a dinner banquet and during our entertainment portion of the night, our grouping had no idea what to do.
Let me set the stage.
A decidedly un-white group of young adults came in to sing for us slash lead us in worship. First we all sit and watch, then the leader type guy says "sing with me" and we all stand (because that's what we do when we sing) and then he goes on to another song that no one knows and no one knows if they can sit or stand. And a couple songs later I sit, together with a few other people.
This is when I admit to my MIL that cantatas can't be all bad. At least the program and leader tells you when to sit and stand and when to sing along and when to just listen.
I'm good with "worship" and I'm good with "performance." When I can't figure out what I'm supposed to do? Not so much. I'm so busy trying to figure out what I'm supposed to do with my feet, mouth, and hands that the holy portion of the evening is lost on me.
Tell me I'm not the only one.
But let me say that there was some harmony on Breathe that set my spine a-tingling. Like eight part harmony. Don't hear that often.
Not even in the Mennonite church.
Saturday, December 06, 2008
No, really, pulling out the food and the shelves and scrubbing the shelves down.
I couldn't decide whether to be hurt and offended or just thankful. I chose thankful and guilt ridden. With the "Gee, hon, I know it is bad. I'm sorry."
I just keep putting crap like that off. Particularly when I am busy scraping the yogurt off the table with a putty knife and pulling Charming off six foot ladders and pianos. And cooking for Eldest who has a hollow leg. And promising Princess that we will, indeed, do a craft together, SOON. And peeling apples for Frodo. And the dishes and the laundry and even sneaking a shower in every three or four days, selfish woman that I am.
I know fridges need to be cleaned. As do showers, which I noticed last evening while actually participating in the cleansing activity that takes place for others there, but rarely me unless it is my arm washing some child's hair.
I always feel guilty when it comes to Saturday and Hubs discovers that homes that are clean (read: picked up, not scrubbed) when he walks in the door on Friday night are COMPLETELY TRASHED by Saturday at 8:30 AM. AND he has to STAY HOME in it instead of heading off to work while the house miraculously cleans itself.
Me, I've gotten rather used to living in squalor. I enjoy it.
Oh, right. This isn't the parallel universe.
So, on Saturdays by noon, he's usually using phrases like "I can't live like this" "we have to get rid of stuff" and "I can't take this mess!" And instead of picking up the crap all over the floor he grabs a rag and starts deep cleaning.
And the guilt monster eats me alive.
See, I don't deep clean unless things are picked up.
And things are never picked up. Not completely. Well, not when I don't have a meal to prepare or clean up after.
He skips the pick up (smart guy) and CLEANS. And as I know that is my job, I get guilty. And say so.
So what he told me today when I referenced the guilt?
"I was thinking about those Helzberg Diamonds commercials and how I'm not THAT GUY. But since I can't afford to go to Helzberg's I should try to be THAT GUY instead." (He stayed home from a KU basketball game to go to the Christmas thing with me and the kids and cleaned my fridge.)
Come on, say it with me....
A very wise woman told me today (after I told this story) that a very wise woman once told her: don't be offended when he does something around the house. Just be thankful he did it and try to let the why rest.
(That's for those of us who assume he only cleans something because he doesn't think you do a good enough job yourself and not just because he loves you and it trying to help. That isn't for those of you who keep an immaculate house. You can just skip this paragraph and go re-read my failures in the first few paragraphs and feel better about yourself.)
Incidentally, it isn't that he can't afford ANYTHING at Helzberg's, it's that what he can't afford is what he wants to buy. Which is currently working for me. Don't pop my bubble.
My kids don't do Santa. Though Frodo did ask if he got to sit "on Fake Santa's lap."
So there the kids were, probably wondering what is wrong with their mother that she wants to take their pictures sitting on Fake Santa's lap, trying to tell if Fake Santa knew there wasn't really a Santa Claus still living (they know all about St. Nicholas), and trying to come up with something they wanted for Christmas.
Santa finally told Frodo that there would be legos under the tree with Santa's name on it.
Thoughtful of him.
Frodo, thinks he's getting legos now. From Fake Santa. Whom he presumes knows where we live. Kinda like that cashier last year that asked if he could come to Frodo's birthday party (he was joking around) and Frodo really thought he'd be there and that I needed to buy pistachio ice cream for the guy who specifically asked for it.
Maybe I should have named this post "Frodo and Santa."
Anyway, all the kids talked to Santa, because they wanted the candy sticks he was handing out, ending with Princess. When he asked what she wanted, she answered, "I don't know." He guessed for a while and she solemnly shook her head no each time. Santa's helper got into the game. She volunteered "Barbie." Princess shook her head. "Do you like Hannah Montanna?" Violent head shake. The helper looked at me quizically.
What can I say? We aren't the norm at our house.
Makes it kinda hard to shop considering everything for girls (toothbrushes and panties and such) have either Dora, Disney Princesses, and Hanna Montanna on them. Or Bratz. Which she calls, "those foolish girls." Growing too old for Dora. Tolerates the princesses though the toothbrushes look posessed. Would wonder WHAT on EARTH I was thinking if I bought her the others.
I think I finally just bought her the green crayola toothbrush for her stocking.
She's a hard nut to crack, that one. She doesn't like what other little girls like. She likes "olden days" and reading books about other cultures. I like that about her, but it makes giving difficult.
Especially for Santa.
Tuesday, December 02, 2008
They call her the P.I. Princess.
It's 1947 and Allie Fortune is the only female (and perhaps the best) private investigator in New York City.
But she's kept awake at night by a mystery of her own--her finace disappeared in the war and Allie is haunted more by the unknown than by finding out the worst.
Her work is a welcome distraction, and she's just been hired by a client who isn't telling the whole truth. Mary Gordon's claims of innocence don't fit with her ransacked apartment, being shot at, and the two Soviet agents hot on her trail.
Meanwhile the FBI is working the case because a legendary and mysterious treasure has gone missing...again. The only catch for Allie is her new "partner" Jack, an attractive, single agent who knows how to make her smile.
As Allie and Jack chase after the gold, they must contend with the Soviets who also want the priceless treasure back--after all they stole it fair and square. (From back cover copy.)
This book was delicious. I stepped out of mysteries for a long time(I don't like to dream suspense), but I'm a returned fan. This book had it all. A past to deal with, bad guys that are really bad, the hint of romance...good stuff. But to tell you much more would be full of spoilers.
I will tell you this: I will never understand women who seem to have no need for personal safety. And Allie is one of those women. But I suppose women who cower at home don't make good P.I. heroines, do they? They make pretty good readers, though.
Write on, Sara. I can't wait for Miss Match.
Marker lids prove no match for someone 20 months old.
That is my Lindt Dark Chocolate Toffee Interlude bar he snagged off my kitchen counter.
No comment necessary.
There's Charming standing on the windowsill and yes, that is a plate of muffins he's eaten all the tops off of.
Yes, that's Charming on top of the piano. No, I didn't help him up there.
He was standing on the keys, looking at the fish, next thing I know, he's on top.
He dumped a while bottle of fish food in the bowl, too, if you care. He was considerate enough to screw the lid back on after he emptied the bottle.
Oh, my, how I l-o-o-o-o-o-v-e toddlers.
It's a good thing he's so cute.
Monday, December 01, 2008
So I get this email today, with this ring on it.
It's my style. Kinda antique-y. More than Hubs and I usually spend, but I gave it a long think. Should I, or shouldn't I, forward the email on to the man of the year?
I decided to go check out this ring for myself. See if you can buy it in my size. See if I like it from another angle.
I link through. It isn't there. I search around for a while. It isn't there. I call Hubs for another reason. Mention it. He looks. It's on the front page of their web site. HE can't find it, cyber genius that he is.
Half an hour later, I find it: no longer available.
I'm sure they had one. Maybe even ten for sale. And I know that all the stores do it. Offer something up that people can't resist in the hopes that they'll stay and find something else once the three they have in stock are gone.
But on top of the phantom red dress?
I'm getting a little peeved.
Frodo pipes up from the back, "Huh uh, no it's not. The most wonderful time of the year is summer!"
Hear, hear, little boy. Hear hear.
Sunday, November 30, 2008
Give the gift of life this Christmas
Hands of Hope, a charity of Women Helping Women A World Away, is
income and water for impoverished women and children in
www.handsofhopeonline.org for $15.00, $30.00 and $50.00. Purchasing these cards will provide
goats, chickens or wells to help change lives. What could be a more meaningful gift for holiday
giving for family, friends, and customer appreciation?
Hands of Hope helps mobilize communities to respond to the needs of women and children
around the world. With an ever-expanding support base in the
works to raise community awareness regarding poverty and HIV/AIDS in
globally. We are confident in the integrity of the channels we have established so that
contributions provide the highest possible impact for the most critical needs.
A Chicken Card will purchase a gift of twelve chicks and be given to an impoverished family in
help those in need for generations to come.
A Goat Card represents an actual goat being purchased for a needy family. Beyond providing
much needed milk, a few goats can quickly become a herd, providing sustenance and additional
income that can make the difference between whether a child goes to school or not.
A Well Card will go toward funding a well in the Western Province of Zambia. Statistics show that
nearly half of all people in developing countries suffer from health related problems caused by
unsafe water. In addition, African women and children spend several hours every day collecting water.
Thursday, November 27, 2008
Two days ago I was commiserating with a friend on facebook about crap bathrooms. Ugly. Outdated. Embarassing. Gross. These are the words we used. Poor us. We don't have beautiful bathrooms to which we can escape (on, oh, so many levels).
I have a word for her and myself.
Crap bathrooms with crap lighting are the bomb.
You know what you get when you have lovely bathrooms with lovely lighting and big, lovely mirrirs?
A girl can't climb into or out of the shower without determining in her heart to fast the Thanksgiving meal and any meal that should forthwith follow for however long it should take to remove the saggy, baggy elephant that has taken over her stomach or the hail damage that affects her thighs and butt.
My bathroom may have mildew that won't die. It may have cabinetry from the 70s or no cabinetry at all (save the wire over-the-toilet-shelve), but the mirrors are all either too little, too high, or simply absent.
Father God in Heaven, my psyche thanks you for choosing for me a home that keeps it in the dark about what is really going on south of the noggin.
The place was vacant. Like my Wal-Mart at seven AM on a Tuesday in July.
ON THE WEDNESDAY BEFORE THANKSGIVING!
Maybe it isn't Wal-Mart I hate so much as it is the Wal-Mart in my city.
I'm still in awe. The Wednesday before Thanksgiving. The day I avoid all retail at all costs. (Unless, for example, I'm on an emergency Pepsi and Creme Brulee CoffeeMate run. A girl has her caffeinated needs, crowds be-durned.)
Monday, November 24, 2008
Sure, you could be selling the CAR (the other item in that section of the commercial) with CHAPS on the windshield, but I don't really think so. I think you are selling the fabulous red dress.
It takes a LOT for me to give myself permission to buy a fabulous red dress. Especially by CHAPS, seeing as how they aren't known for being economical. So when I give myself permission to buy a fabulous red dress that you supposedly sell, it is highly disconcerting to find that you don't sell it. It isn't in the Chaps section. It isn't in Apt, 9. It isn't Simply Vera Wang (shocker, I know). It isn't Sonoma. It ISN'T in the store. It isn't on the web. It DOES NOT EXIST.
You know where I found that fabulous red dress?
Guess who's getting my fabulous red dress money this year? (I certainly hope it is still there in my size now that I've said that.)
Come on, Kohl's! I love you, but you gotta carry what you offer or I get disillusioned and spend elsewhere because I have already convinced myself that I MUST HAVE THAT FABULOUS RED DRESS!
You have exactly one day to produce evidence that you carry said dress, or I'm heading to the mall. The other mall.
Edited to add: I am willing to consent that ON THE WEB there is a red dress that could be considered fabulous. However, said dress is cap sleeved. While cap sleeves are lovely in their own right, I live where it is cold at Christmas. The dress on the Ad has at least 3/4 length sleeves. There is also a red dress with longer sleeves, but I don't consider it fabulous on the web. It looks more clingy and not at all flowy like the ad. I will be watching tv tonight and will watch closely. I still think my first reaction is accurate but I MAY be wrong. (They still should carry dresses in the stores!)
Friday, November 21, 2008
After dinner at the Rainforest Cafe we trolled the mall for a bit. She wanted to go over to Libby Lu for "wish sprinkles."
Libby Lu is having an "everything must go!" "Blowout sale!" (Apparently they will be closing, though nothing actually said "store closing.")
Princess and I walked around for a bit while the sprinkle lady pierced a baby's ears. We checked prices, looked, checked prices, looked, checked prices when princess finally pipes up and says:
"For a Blowout Sale, they sure do cost a lot."
Dry. Totally dry. Just like her mama. Cracked. Me. Up.
We went over to Disney store.
Then rode the double decker carousel.
Then got a soft pretzel.
Then came home and watched "Cars."
While she ate two ice cream cones.
She is so much fun when she isn't competing for attention. She ate calamari because her daddy and I wanted to. She ate Brave New World Pizza (it don't taste much like pizza, folks) because her daddy and I wanted to. She was amazed by the gigantic soft pretzel. She's a trier, that one. And she knows a pitiful deal when she sees one.
That apple doesn't fall too far from the tree.
I told the assistant that when she told all her friends about me, to please not use my name.
There I am, staring into the machine (which is what made him freak out, I'm sure), waiting for the puff of air to blast me in the eye and he's climbed onto my lap, hiked my sweater to my neck and is yanking at my bra. I finally gave up, yanked the sweater over the top of the whole package and let him nurse away. He clung on like a leech.
It was humiliating.
My problem is that I have no clue how to wean a baby that doesn't want to wean. All my others weaned by their own choosing...well before this. At this age, my ears can't take the protest.
Here's hoping that Thanksgiving will produce the necessary distraction.
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
No, not people, products. I had five minutes to decide whether or not I liked a product and why.
What keeps coming to mind is the term "fair" in regard to price. I'm sure the price is fair. But whether or not I'd buy it when the price is fair is disconcerting for me. It is a cool product? Yes. Would the kids love the product? Yes. Would I lay money down for it? Yes. Would I lay down as much money for it as you would consider fair? Ah, there's the rub.
The truth is, I'm a cheapskate. What I consider a fair price is a durn lot lower than the average Joe. Think garage sale. And even then sometimes I think people are a little insane. "But it's cashmere" isn't an excuse. Do you want it, or don't you? This is a garage sale. That is a used sweater. If you want $100 take it to a consignment store. Garage salers, though we sometimes carry that kind of cash, usually intend to spend their $100 on more than one item. Unless we are looking for a sofa. And sometimes even then.
I buy my clothes off the 75% off rack. The last party supplies I bought were from a garage sale for a quarter a theme. The last washable markers I bought were a quarter a pack in the after school started clearance section. (I bought five dollars worth.) That's what I consider a fair price. Actually, I suppose that's what I consider an exceptional price. But I don't often buy at a fair price.
So, in hindsight, I'm thinking I might have answered some questions dishonestly.
Regretting that a little.
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Women came in the day after Christmas to exchange the diamond earrings that their boyfriend bought for some without "all those spots." (yeah.......um, that will take a few more hundreds.....)
Couples came in, took one look at a yellow diamond, and declared it unworthy.
Fast forward. 2004. People are paying more for yellow diamonds. The celebs are buying them for great amounts of money.
Fast forward again. 2008. They are selling brown diamonds. Marketing them. I'd like to have sat in that board room:
How do we get rid of these brown diamonds? Hey, I know! Call it chocolate! No woman can refuse chocolate! And we can charge MORE! Or how about champagne! Chocolate and Champagne! Genius!
Are we living in the twilight zone, or what?
Is it just me?
Monday, November 17, 2008
Preston Barclay is a self-made recluse (and he likes it that way). Teaching college history allows him time to grieve the loss of his pianist wife and find relief from the musical hallucinations that have been playing in his head since her death. But when he and a headstrong colleague, Mara Thorn, discover the body of another instructor on campus, Press's monotonous solitude is destroyed.
When the preliminary evidence singles out Press and Mara, they must take some chances (including trusting each other) to build their own defense--by bending the rules just a little bit.
They choose to form an unlikely alliance to stay ahead of the police, the college's wary and incompetent administration, and whoever is trying to get away with murder. Otherwise, they both might end up unemployed, behind bars, or worse... (from back cover copy)
OK, HILARIOUS book. It shouldn't be. It is a murder mystery/suspense/boogyman-around-every-corner-can't-figure-out-who-dunnit...but this book cracked me up. Press has a sense of humor like you wouldn't believe.
I love that he constantly has an ongoing musical score that clashes with his mood. (Except for the bassoon, snort.) Maybe it is because I often seem to have the same problem.
I'm not so much into reading people breaking the law to save the law because I just KNOW that they will get caught and pay even if it is fiction and they won't because the book is about them and you just don't end books where the end stinks because the wrong guy got it and publish two. Not in the real world (unless you are named Piccout and have an uncanny ability to make the unhappy ending work).
Any-hoo, if you like the cozy mystery/light suspense type books, and like to laugh to boot, I suggest you grab this one up. Maybe a little Christmas shopping for yourself?
And, hey, if you are in to this type of thing, you can read an interview of Donn Taylor here. They do regular reviews of Christian Suspense and often give away books so you might even want to sign up for their newsletter.
This was one of those books that makes you wonder how the hey they will pull THIS one out. I was not, however, cringing the whole time wondering why they don't just TALK instead of digging these huge holes, which is a very good thing. All in all I think it was a very well rounded plot line with far more involved than just a whacko mom. I really enjoyed the many layers of this book and the absolute necessity of Suzanne's trip "home."
But can I tell you what I liked most about this book? It felt like going home for me. A little mini-vacation without spending money on gas. I knew those crazy people. I've lived the small town, everyone's up in your business, someone is always a witness, life. (Sometimes I still long for it.) I think Leanna Ellis wrote small town true to life--at least the small town that I know and love.
Methinks I shall check out more of her titles. I'm thinking Elvis Takes a Back Seat.
Sunday, November 16, 2008
What I'm gonna do is take a long hot shower in a moldy shower stall.
You can't have everything.
But I'm going to attempt to be grateful for what I've got.
My legs ache like a 33 year old mother that spent the afternoon playing powder puff football on AstroTurf against girls half her age.
Here's hoping I can walk tomorrow.
Friday, November 14, 2008
I honestly don't know. The calendar doesn't suggest any imminent excuse. But I woke Wednesday morning in a state of panic and haven't quite been able to rid myself of it since. Hubs asks why and I can't come up with anything.
Check that. I can come up with any number of things that in and of themselves I can point to and say, "yeah, that's it." Except those 17 issues were there Tuesday also and not causing me to kick my legs in frustration (I've noticed that I have symptoms of restless leg syndrome....but only when I'm totally freaking out about something).
Mercy, mercy, mercy.
Sometimes I just want to pack my bags and start all over. Not from my immediate family, I'd take them with me, but from this life that I've made for myself. I confessed as much to Hubs who agreed with me. He's going through something similar.
Life is hard. And instead of muscling through it, I seem to prefer to whine. On top of that, I know that I should be grateful, but all I can see are the issues. And I should be loving, but I'd rather lick my own wounds than tend to some one else's.
To quote, I think, Rex: Great, now I have guilt.
Sometimes I wonder why I've been hardwired this way and whether I can overcome it. Surely, SURELY, the world isn't conspiring to make me miserable, lonely, guilty, and a crappy housekeeper and mom.
I'm just so overwhelmed with it all, ya know? And instead of staying thoughtful and organized I'm half a step ahead, if that, and more often than not, late and behind.
O, Happy Day.
So, now I'm going to go try to do something in this rare moment of peace. Peace as in quiet. Not peace as in peaceful inner life. But who knows? Charming has radar for "mom accomplishing something."
Let's see....spiritual application...
Meaningless, meaningless. Everything is meaningless. (Ecclesiastes)
That was full of hope, not?
Thursday, November 13, 2008
One might not quite realize how addicted one is to one's internet unless this tragedy befall them.
Hopefully I will be up and running again soon.
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
I feel found.
I don't know how to describe it. And even typing it makes me rethink it. It doesn't make sense. Not exactly.
Maybe I'm coming into myself. Or I know that even though I get disgusted with my self, I am comfortable with myself. Which is a joke because I'm so not. And I'm still a bit discouraged and I have bad days. Today being one of them. But I can't help but feel as if I'm struggling FOR something.
I was so lukewarm for so long that I forgot what hot felt like. There were times when I prayed to just be cold so as to feel SOMETHING. And it was a long, dark time.
And now I feel found.
Tomorrow I may be lukewarm and lost again, but tonight I'm going to consider myself that one sheep out of a hundred.
Sunday, November 09, 2008
A girl could start to take something like that personally.
I'm not going to go into that tonight. Not so much anyway. But I was in a funk so dang low I'm not sure a cockroach could have scraped me off the floor with chewing gum and one of those pampered chef scrapers.
I just wanted to report that today I walked into church not hoping for much and was just overwhelmed with love for the people around me.
Just diagonal to the right was LT where she always is. Faithful and shining. And in front of her is the couple I almost never talk to and their teenagers and mother. Just like always. To my direct right is the couple with their adult daughters who always have a smile and encouraging word for me. Behind me is the drummer's wife and her son. And behind her is the usher ready to hold the door when I get tired of wrestling Charming through the announcements.
These people are constants. They aren't necessarily those that I've chosen to spend much time with outside the church's walls for one reason or another. I don't really know why. Not in the same life stage probably. But they are always there. In their places. We know when there is someone there that isn't usually. And we know when someone is gone.
I love these people. This is home. THEY are there.
I've been acting as if the whole church emptied when my friends left. A gaping void. A black hole. I wondered who was planning to fall into it next. Would I be the last one standing? If I stepped into the hole myself, would I stop the bleed?
But today I saw a glimmer of hope. And I spent a bit more time greeting those faithful ones that sit around me. These people are my family.
It turns out the pew isn't quite as empty as I imagined it to be.
Thursday, November 06, 2008
A new experience of God comes one question at a time in this fun and provocative journal. Made up entirely of insightful, profound, and occasionally ridiculous questions, Me, Myself, and I AM invites you to open to any page, open yourself to God, and be the author of your own story.
Questions range from spiritually intriguing—
You overhear God talking about you. What do hear him saying?
You are on a long car trip with a close friend who is not a Christian and the conversation turns to faith. What is your biggest fear about what your friend will ask or say?
Do you believe that all of Jesus’ followers have a responsibility to tell others about him?
to just plain fun—
If your life before you became a Christian were a movie, its title would be:
As Good as It Gets
The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
It’s a Wonderful Life
Me, Myself, and I AM will entertain, inspire, and get you thinking about your spiritual life from brand new angles. Whether you use Me, Myself, and I AM as a reflective tool, a way to start conversations with friends and family, or as a spiritual time capsule to look back on years later, their own words will create a powerful journey of self-discovery.
Wednesday, November 05, 2008
Maybe I'll find that I like socialism.
I'm not holding out much hope.
Though I consider myself a "have not" as far as the "middle class" goes, I'm not delusional enough to believe that my taxes really won't go up just because I don't make $250K...because HELLO it's gotta come from somewhere and the people that do have the money are smart enough to hide it before January.
Having said that (and that was more than I intended to say--I apologize to all three Obama supporters that read this blog for talking politics yet again), I offer you this little ditty:
(bomp, bomp, bomp) God is bigger than the president
He's bigger than Obama and the anchors on TV
Oh, God is bigger than the president
And he's watching out for you and me!
Are you frightened?
No not really
Are you worried?
no, not a bit
I know what ever's gonna happen
that God can handle it
(I'm sorry that I scared you when you saw me on TV)
Oh, that's ok, cause now I know, that God is takin; care of meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!
(bomp, bomp, bomp) God is bigger than the president
He's bigger than Obama and the anchors on TV
Oh, God is bigger than the president
And he's watching out for you and me!
He's watchin, watchin, watchiiiiiinnnnnnnnn
out for you and meeeeeeeeeee
(Complements Junior, additions mine.)
Monday, November 03, 2008
So buy some, he said.
Problem there dear is that you can't get a great pair of red shoes. Not like I want. And not for less than $50. (Yeah, I know, some of you out there wouldn't consider a pair of shoes under $100, but I'm a cheapo, clearance rack shopping lover of shoes and I don't often pay for them what you are "supposed" to pay for great shoes. More than $10 and they better be darned fantastic AND have a name on there that you would read about in a Kristin Billerbeck novel.) I suppose I'll just have to wear the other dress to church instead. (Poor me. And I got loads of complements on it, too.)
Ah, but while coat shopping for Princess, we detoured to the shoes. And there they were. My ruby slippers. Hummina-hummina. Come to mama, baby girls.
And I'd show you a picture, except I'm too darned lazy to first find the camera, then take the picture, then upload the picture. So you'll have to take my word for it.
Entre New Book Tuesday: Ruby Slippers: How the Soul of a Woman Brings Her Home by Jonalyn Grace Fincher. (Nice segue, eh? And yet TOTALLY and ABSOLUTELY TRUE!)
Oh, man. I started this book and thought, "My, my it's my long lost twin. Her heart is (or was) just as dark as mine is!" (She uses the word "eyes" but I think we mean the same thing.) The whole judgy woman admitting that we are always comparing ourselves to every other woman in the room. (Did I just type that?) Not just physically, but mentally, emotionally. And after we've sized the other woman up, turn the criticism upon ourselves.
This is why I hate to pool. If I'm not envying someone else's abs, I'm envying their parenting skills.
ANY-way I found myself thinking I needed to buy this book for every woman I know. If there are two of us willing to admit to these problems and a publisher willing to print the problems right out there in black and white, it can't just be ME.
As an aside: There were a couple sections in the middle where she almost lost me with the gender equality stuff, but by the end I could see where she was going. Should you pick up the book, hear her out. You might not agree with every word, but the premise is sound. I'm not even sure I don't agree with her, but I've been shoving my self and my thoughts into a certain box (or corset) for so long it might take a while for my thoughts to settle enough to say whether I am fully in her boat.
HOWEVER, there are also gorgeous chapters about finding and feeding our feminine soul, whether or not that soul is quiet and gentle--(once you get past the psycho-babble of why our feminine soul needs finding and feeding...and I use the term psycho-babble in its most loving sense. It's like Bringing Up Boys. I know I need to let my boys be boys...quit telling me why and tell me how! Many, many people need to know why before they can understand how. I know I have a problem. FIX ME!)--and as most of you know, quiet and gentle are words that decidedly do NOT fit me.
And oh, does she end it well.
So I'm back to believing that I need to give a copy to every woman I know. Maybe you don't have dark eyes. And maybe you do. Maybe you love soft dresses and high heels and maybe you are more comfortable on the sofa in sweats watching football. And maybe you like to do both. And maybe you are a powerful working woman and maybe you are a wimpy mom that can't stand up to her raving 20 month old when he decides he NEEDS YOUR SHIRT ALL THE WAY OFF SO THAT HE CAN STAND AND WATCH TV WHILE NURSING (not that I know anyone with that particular problem). But I'll muster a guess that something in this book will call out to you and cause you to crave redeemed femininity like you've never understood it before.
By the way, Jonalyn, I so love and envy your hair as only a chick with fine, limp, do-nothing hair can. I'm so sure you wanted to hear that.
Seriously, go check out her blog and hair. She hated it growing up. It plays a big role in her book. And the very first thing I thought when I saw her photo was, "wow, that is some great hair" long before I read the book. And now I feel petty mentioning it. But, darn it, it is fabulous and someone needs to say it.
Friday, October 31, 2008
I've been thwarted by the lines for a week now. I thought, sure, there are lines today, it's the first (second, Friday, getting close to the election) day of voting. I've run out of excuses. People are just ready and willing to vote. And willing to stand in lines that stretch down the block to do it.
I was floored.
Seriously. Election day isn't until next Tuesday and people are standing in two hour lines to vote TODAY.
I can't even imagine what the lines will be like Tuesday.
I do have to admit that at the station at which I voted, the lines moved swiftly. (I didn't mistype. Lines.) There was a line to fill out the advance voting form. There was a line to check in to the computer system. There was a line to get the card for the machine. A line for the machine. A line to get the sticker (and turn in the card) after you vote. But There were something like 30 machines. As opposed to the 8 machines they will have at each station next week.
The lines flat moved. I was in out and on my way in 15-20 minutes. They were very efficient.
I know there are people that don't approve of advance voting because something could happen that would change the vote in these last days. I've thought about that. But since I have not been on the fence about ONE SINGLE PERSON since the beginning of this election season (and have only sort of been on the fence about various taxes/electing judges) I can't imagine that anything anyone says will change my vote.
Well, I suppose of someone came out and said they plan to sacrifice a child this Halloween, I would regret that vote, but who wants to commit that kind of election suicide? (I can think of a few yahoos that might be that stupid, but I didn't vote for them anyway.)
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
This morning Charming woke "warm." I was sure he was "warm."
Wednesday isn't a good day for him to be "warm."
He popped out of bed and started to play. I assumed him well because of this, but grabbed a thermometer anyway.
Readied children and self for school. Dropped kids at school, dropped Charming in the nursery, dropped self at CBS.
Fast forward two hours. Pick hysterical Charming up from nursery. Charming is "warm." As Charming is having fit, wonder if heat is fit related. Charming falls asleep instantly in van. Arrive home. Deep sleeping Charming is awake. And 100.3 degrees.
Yes, after he shared a nursery with 15 kids.
I KNEW he was "warm." Even though the thermometer didn't agree.
That's what we call "mother's intuition."
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Mine begin and end with Jesus. And the dudes that get the closest to what the Bible says He said. Though some days I wonder about them all. How Would Jesus Vote?
The 2008 election is shaping up to be one of the most important political contests in American history. In fact, Dr. D. James Kennedy believes it will be a watershed moment that could impact our very survival as a nation under God.
Values voters—people whose political views and votes are based on their faith in God—are being targeted as never before. As the campaign season moves forward, the significant players will debate terrorism, radical Islam, nuclear threats, global warming, social issues, gay marriage, immigration, education, health care, and many other essential issues that can create sharp ideological divisions.
Into this overwhelmingly complex political situation, Dr. Kennedy and Jerry Newcombe bring a clear, compelling, and nonpartisan exploration of what God’s Word has to say on these critical matters. How Would Jesus Vote? isn’t intended to tell readers which candidates to support; rather it offers a Christ-centered understanding of the world to help readers draw their own political conclusions.
Jerry Newcombe is senior producer for Coral Ridge Ministries television and has produced or coproduced more than fifty documentaries. The host of two weekly radio shows, he has also been a guest on numerous television and radio talk shows. He is the author or coauthor of more than fifteen books.
Monday, October 27, 2008
And in a funk.
I don't feel well and I don't know why.
I'm having migraines again for the first time (consistently) since college.
I'm angry. Wait, I said that.
I can't be all things to all people and I hate myself for it.
We lost people I care about from the church in what looks like it could be another mass exodus and I feel like the failure is mine alone.
I don't even know if it has anything to do with me AT ALL.
But I'm going to take on the guilt whether it is or isn't.
Charming has been very needy and I have so much to do that I can only do during naps and night (which is when I blog, coincidentally).
Guess who just woke up?
So, that's my excuse. I don't want to come on and complain, so I'm not really coming on at all. And that's if I can find the time to come on.
So, I hope you will forgive me. And keep coming back.
I hope I also come back with my silly, slightly snarky posts again really soon.
Meanwhile, you could be praying.
Thursday, October 23, 2008
With plenty of yummy recipes and and even yummier plot, you won't miss with this one...if you like girlie books. :)
Gimme more Lexi!
In this second book in the French Twist series, readers join Lexi Stuart in a crème de la crème adventure!
Deciding to leave her familiar home in Seattle and her could-be boyfriend Dan, Lexi moves to a quaint village in France to pursue her dream of becoming a pastry chef. Life among the French initially proves to be less than easy as Lexi is challenged by her coworkers, missing her friends, and failing to master the perfect baguette.
Determined to find her place, Lexi settles into the culture and life becomes la perfection. She finds a church, meets a new friend, and makes the acquaintance of a child named Celine—as well as Celine’s attractive, widowed father, Philippe. Even Patricia, the gruff pastry cook, shows a softer side as she mentors Lexi in the art of baking.
Fast, fun, and packed with French culture, foodie appeal, and unique recipes readers will love accompanying Lexi on her journey in Bon Appetit as she tries to choose between two countries, two men and the faith to lean on God while savoring the surprises life brings!