Monday, June 29, 2009

UnChristian Thoughts

I long to embrace the fact that my calling is to keep the home fires burning.

I don't.

I try.

I cry.

And the days go screaming by.

Obedience can be so difficult when I can see no clear "why."


My husband got called for jury duty today (when we were supposed to be in Africa) and (shocker!) got sent home. I can't imagine why considering we have an eight year old daughter and all and the case was about the icky mistreatment of a nine year old girl.

Fry him.

That was unChristian of me.

Stone him.

Yes, that's better.

(Innocent until proven guilty. Innocent until proven guilty. Deep Breath.)

Saturday, June 27, 2009

The Irony of It

I was sifting through a clothes rack this afternoon (looking for a gorgeous dress to wear to a party where I would know exactly six people--but that's another story) thinking to myself, oh, for pete's sake, do they sell anything smaller than a 16 anymore? when a woman (who was probably, oh, a 16) walked past, talking on her cell phone, telling the person on the other end, "There's nothing in the store unless you're a zero, two, or four..."

Friday, June 26, 2009

La, la, la, la, la, la, LAAAAAAA!

It is a grand and glorious day, indeed.

After creeping up on this moment for a year, insisting it has already happened, and being proved wrong time and again, it has really and truly occurred.

I pay more in principal than interest on my mortgage.

No, that doesn't include escrow, which did go up (no thank you very much--and I find it ridiculous considering house prices fell in 2oo9, but I won't let it dampen my spirits, no I won't).

Assuming a perfect selling season and that property taxes are correct, I own--drumroll please--44.64 % of my house.

And I crossed below a major incremental dollar amount on the amount owned.

It is an exciting day.



(the things we get excited about...)

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Overheard at House Chaos

Mom: Charming you peed your pants!

Charming: (gasp) yeah, gross! (yah-dross) Go dee! (run towards potty)

Do you think he has the routine down yet?

Yes friends, I have the distinct privilege to potty train Charming not once, but twice. That's what three weeks of pull-ups (Grandma's, Vacation, Grandma's) will do for a person. (Grandma, by the way, would say he didn't wet his pull-ups on her watch. Intriguing. The little poop.)

The Vanishing Sculptor by Donita K Paul

My kids love fantasy. I think it's because their Daddy loves fantasy and he reads to them. I'm actually glad of this on two counts: 1)he reads to them and 2)they learn to love something I never learned to love because my mother never read fantasy to me.

I confess I have trouble reading it. I can picture a brunette in a house, I have more trouble picturing an emerlindian with a hollow.

I'm a literary writer's nightmare, by the way. My crit partners love descriptive phrases. They'll go on and on about a stream converging upon a river for three pages and how the leaves look reflecting upon the water with the dun hooded sky over it all...(I've come to appreciate them, but me, I'm a "give me some dialog, gimme some action" girl).

But this is why I've come to love Donita K. Paul. She's action and dialog and her world is almost earth-y, almost familiar, and she has a glossary at the back for when I can't put it together. Meanwhile, my kids are in hog heaven.

Donita K. Paul’s 250,000-plus-selling DragonKeeper Chronicles series has attracted a wide spectrum of dedicated fans–and they’re sure to fall in love with the new characters and adventures in her latest superbly-crafted novel for all ages. It’s a mind-boggling fantasy that inhabits the same world as the DragonKeeper Chronicles, but in a different country and an earlier time, where the people know little of Wulder and nothing of Paladin.

In The Vanishing Sculptor, readers will meet Tipper, a young emerlindian who’s responsible for the upkeep of her family’s estate during her sculptor father’s absence. Tipper soon discovers that her actions have unbalanced the whole foundation of her world, and she must act quickly to undo the calamitous threat. But how can she save her father and her world on her own? The task is too huge for one person, so she gathers the help of some unlikely companions–including the nearly five-foot tall parrot Beccaroon–and eventually witnesses the loving care and miraculous resources of Wulder. Through Tipper’s breathtaking story, readers will discover the beauty of knowing and serving God.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


I had a moment today in which I thought, Blissfully Happy. A short while later I was more annoyed that a bumblebee being swatted away from some perfectly good honeysuckle.

I have a wall sticker thing that says we do not remember days, we remember moments. I hope that I remember today as blissfully happy. Even more so, I hope that the kids remember me in the blissfully happy moment.

I don't even want to know what my face looked like later.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Deep Thoughts at 6AM

No, I do NOT want to play trains. I want to sleep. That is why I hung dark towels over your windows.

Thursday, June 18, 2009


It requires less character to discover the faults of others than is does to tolerate them. by J. Petit Senn

Kinda Addicted

I've worn dresses for four days running. I like dresses. I'd wear them all the time if I wasn't chasing children through parks and picking their crap off the floor and any of a thousand other things that make dresses an impracticality. I'm kinda addicted to dresses. I should be a Mennonite. Oh, that's right....

Quick Trip has a 69 cent 32 oz frozen Cappuccino all summer. Kinda addicted.

I drove home from the furniture store last night thinking, "I'm so glad I'm not in labor." I went to bed last night thinking, "I'm so glad I'm not in labor." I woke up this morning thinking, "I'm so glad I'm not in labor." I'm still thinking, "I'm so glad I'm not in labor." I'll be thinking it for eleven more hours, and fifty more minutes. Nine of those hours thinking, "I'm so glad I'm not in freaking transition." She was tough to bring into the world, but now, eight years later, I'm kinda addicted.

I saw a card that said, "Happy Birthday to our Little Princess." On the inside it says, "We like to say that because it makes us the King and Queen."

I resisted. Barely.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Never the Bride

Sometimes I read a book and it touches me in such a way that I will probably never be the same. It may be fiction or non-fiction. It may be short or long. It may take weeks to get through it, or it may only take hours.

Let me tell you about a medium length, read-it-in-less-than-twelve-hours-while-also-painting-a-dining-room-and-dining-out-with-my-husband-stay-up-past-midnight (can't put it down even when it should be put down), fiction kind of book.

Jessie Stone has spent thirty-five years fantasizing about marriage proposals, wedding dresses, and falling in love. She’s been a bridesmaid eleven times, waved dozens of couples off to sunny honeymoons, and shopped in more department stores for half-price fondue pots than she cares to remember.

But shopping in the love-of-her-life department hasn't been quite as productive. The man she thought she would marry cheated on her. The crush she has on her best friend Blake is at very best…well, crushing. And speed dating has only churned out memorable horror stories.

So when God shows up one day, in the flesh, and becomes a walking, talking part of her life, Jessie is skeptical. What will it take to convince her that God has a better love story than one of the thousands she’s cooked up in her journals? Will she trust Him with her pen when it appears her dreams of being the bride are forever lost?

A romantic comedy with a spiritual twist, Never the Bride is what it means to lose control—and getting more than any woman could ever imagine.

Now as most of you know, I've been (mostly) happily married for better than 13 years, so it isn't as if you need to be a single chick to enjoy this book. (You do, probably, have to be a chick, however.) And I don't really have much of a tough time surrendering my "love story" to God, considering I have no other hope of making it though this life if I don't. But surrendering in other areas? Hoo-boy.

So God, dressed as an everyday Joe sitting in the car next to me, or holding the paint can while watching me paint my dining room and listening to the 80s sappy music on KUDL, or listening with a smirk while I'm complaining to a friend on the phone about a frustrating has popped into my mind a time or twelve.

If you just like a good story, you'll find it. If you have just a tad bit of a problem surrendering control? You might be changed.

I've never heard of Cheryl McKay, but the novelization of her screenplay that Rene Gutteridge did is absolutely stunning and Gutteridge funny to boot.

Check it out!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Neither Here Nor There

An old friend of Hub's posted up on Facebook today that he's back in the 'boro for a few days where it feels like putting on a favorite pair of your old jeans.

Yeah, but maybe I put on a few pounds since I last wore them.

I just thought it was ironic, because I meant to post last night about how I just really don't fit in anywhere anymore. I'm a country girl at heart, but when I'm home I feel like I'm suffocating. I go to Alco and people know me, but I don't know them. It's disconcerting.

Everything I've experienced, everything I've felt, the broken hearted moments, the happy ones--most are unknown to the people back home. They expect me to be the same person I was when I left in '94. That comes with both good and bad connotations. When the last time I person saw you, you were being an idiot and riding on top of a bus or cruising with a guy who is not your current spouse...ugh. It makes my stomach turn.

I lived in the 'boro for four years. I've been in the city for 10. Six in this very house. You tell me where my home is. But if you ask me? The 'boro.

And then I come back to the city where I don't only feel like I'm suffocating, I know I am. The air isn't clean. The noise is unending. The neighbors don't even know your last name, nor do they care. You can't remember the last time you've seen the dude two doors down, nor are you sure that if you did see him, you'd know he was the dude two doors down. You can go to the store and buy milk everyday because no one there knows you and even if they do, they don't know you were there just this morning buying bread and they are too busy to care. The people around you that you've come to care about have moved on because it's a mobile society and you just want to give up on people altogether because you are tired of being left behind....

Of course when you live where you've lived your whole life, the people know too much about you and they will never let you foget it. No matter how much you've read about being a new creation.

I crave late night walks with my husband and lazy afternoons by the lake. Spontaneous relaxation. That's what I think of when I think of living in the 'boro. I don't know. I haven't lived there, basically, for 15 years. Maybe if I was there, every moment of every day would be scheduled out and the only relaxation I'd get is the relaxation I'd have if I put it on the calendar. But I KNOW that here in the city, if I want to take an afternoon off with a girlfriend, it will take a month's worth of prep and won't be a lazy day. It may be a spa day (and there is something to be said for those...don't get me wrong), but it won't be a day on a lakeside dock with a radio and a pepsi and the smell of sunscreen (or tan oil).

The thing is, I've come to the conclusion that I've become too citified to be country and I'm too country to ever be city.

So where does one go?

(A vinyard in Argentina.)

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Speed Limits

Last time I checked, it wasn't criminal to go the speed limit. You'd think it must be with the look the guy shot me when he flew past and nearly caused a three car pile up. (I was shooting my own look which is why I know. I imagine he was shooting me the "stupid woman driver" look, but since he was the idiot, I think he should be looking in the mirror.) To top it off? The guy had a firefighter tag on his SUV. You'd think a first responder would have a clue about driving fast and carelessly. Maybe that's just me.

And on that note:

My kids are in what we call "Nature Camp" this again this week. The speed limit to the camp (besides the 70 mph highway where the idiot firefighter (NOT in a firetruck) nearly killed us) is 20 mph. It is crazy insane. There are a couple curves where the 20 would probably be advisable and goslings flitting by the road that don't want to die by car, but I can't help but think they could set the limit at at least 25 which is where my car wants to go on those curves and hills. And while I was pondering that it occurred to me that if it was 25, my car would probably want to go 30.

Ya think?

Sunday, June 07, 2009


We're home now after a week-long family vacation.

I am overwhelmed by all the crap I've pretended wasn't present in my life before I left.

Sometimes I think I should sell everything and move to Venezuela. Charming gets his dozen cars. Frodo gets his sketch book. Princess gets her best bunny. Eldest gets his fishing net. Hubs and I bring our books. A couple changes of clothes each and a two bedroom apartment and hopefully enough money to eat. Just start over. Simple living. Each other. None of the political mumbo jumbo that dictates our lives here and now.

I'm so over it.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Stealing Home

Hubs and I have an agreement of sorts. I watch chick-flicks with his mother and he watches shoot 'em ups with his dad. When we watch movies together, they must be about sports or horses (and occasional dog movie sneaks it's way in as well as a Hallmark Hall of Famer, but if you watch closely, it probably still has sports or horses in it). I don't like blood and gore, he doesn't like cliche, neither of us like to watch people make really stupid mistakes--even if they are fiction.

All of that to say, that if Allison Pittman's Stealing Home were made into a movie, it would be one we'd both really enjoy. Nothing like a good, turn-of-the-century baseball flick, or in this instance, book.

It’s 1905 and the Chicago Cubs are banking on superstar Donald “Duke” Dennison’s golden arm to help them win the pennant. Only one thing stands between Duke and an unprecedented ten thousand dollar contract: alcohol.

That’s when sportswriter David Voyant whisks Duke to the one-horse town of Picksville, Missouri, so he can sober up in anonymity. He bides his time flirting with Ellie Jane Voyant, his unofficial chaperone, who would rather hide herself in the railway station ticket booth than face the echoes of childhood taunts.

Ned Clovis, the feed store clerk, has secretly loved Ellie Jane since childhood, but he loves baseball and the Duke almost as much–until he notices Ellie Jane may be succumbing to the star’s charm.

Then there’s Morris, a twelve-year-old Negro boy, whose only dream is to break away from Picksville. When Duke discovers his innate talent for throwing a baseball, Morris might just have found his way out.

Four individuals, each living in haunted isolation, each harboring a secret passion. Providence brings them together. Tragedy threatens to tear them apart. Will love be enough to bring them home?

Allison Pittman spent seventeen years as a high school English teacher, and then shunned the advice of “experts,” quit her day job and set out to write novels that bring glory to God. She relishes inspiring other writers and leading the theater arts group at her church. She and her husband and three sons live in Universal City, Texas.

OK, OK, you caught me. And sci-fi, but it just didn't fit into this post, now did it?

Monday, June 01, 2009

Saints in Limbo

If you like to read those mystical, not sure where the dream starts and reality ends, Frank Paretti without the inability to sleep type books (as I do--though frankly (HA!) I like myself a little Paretti every now and then also), here's a great read for ya.

Ever since her husband Joe died, Velma True’s world has been limited to what she can see while clinging to one of the multicolored threads tied to the porch railing of her home outside Echo, Florida.

When a mysterious stranger appears at her door on her birthday and presents Velma with a special gift, she is rattled by the object’s ability to take her into her memories–a place where Joe still lives, her son Rudy is still young, unaffected by the world’s hardness, and the beginning is closer than the end. As secrets old and new come to light, Velma wonders if it’s possible to be unmoored from the past’s deep roots and find a reason to hope again.

River Jordan (don't ya just love that name??) is a critically acclaimed novelist and playwright whose unique mixture of southern and mystic writing has drawn comparisons to Sarah Addison Allen, Leif Enger, and Flannery O’Connor. Her previous works include The Messenger of Magnolia Street, lauded by Kirkus Reviews as “a beautifully written, atmospheric tale.” She speaks around the country and makes her home in Nashville.