Thursday, December 31, 2009

Welcome To The Party

So, it's New Year's Eve once again. I've celebrated thirty-er... something New Year's Eves and most of them turn out the same.

I stay up really late, eat junk food, then sleep in the next day. It's all very exciting.

Hubs keeps saying we're going to play a game one of these years. It's called Hiding Gum. The rules per Hubs are 1) One person hides sticks of gum all over the house 2) Everyone else tries to find it.

You can see why we've never played it.

If you're new to this blog, you don't realize that the Hiding Gum game is a sort of a joke and perfectly normal for Hubs all at the same time.

We will be home tonight, eating chili and watching TV. No parties this year (or any year, one doesn't receive many invitations when all they bring to the party is Juicy Fruit.)

This leads me to one question: Has anyone seen the Wally World commercial with the product demonstrator?

The lady doing the demonstration looks nothing like the ones I see at Wally World. She is about fifty years younger, much more perky and pleasant. She demonstrates every small appliance in the store.


The part that sends me over the edge is when she follows a customer home and helps her with her party. Who invites a Wally World employee to their house to help them make meatballs? Isn't that a little creepy?

I suppose they'd be really good at greeting guests at the door (tee hee.)

It really is pathetic when a Wally World employee receives more party invitations than I do. I'll bet she never plays Hiding Gum.

Happy New Year.

Beware of party guests in blue vests. (sound of wolf howling in the distance)

You're welcome.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Sightings in Smalltown

This year Hubs gave me a new cell phone for Christmas. I have always been a bit behind-the-times when it comes to technology. I usually don't go for the newest gadget just because it's new, and I always have to be convinced I need it.

Okay, so I'm still not convinced that I need it.

But my new phone is pretty cool.

Plus, Nancy will be happy to know that now when she texts me, I can text her back. Once I figure that out. And no, I am not ninety.

My old phone was fairly simple. I could dial (even my verbs are dated) and receive a text. I could send one as well, but I didn't have the little keypad like all the cool middle schoolers. Now I have a keypad and the ability to access the NET and take pictures.


It will all be quite nice once I've read the little instruction booklet.

Today I could have kicked myself for not reading it yet because, you will not believe what I saw in SmallTown today.

Daughter and I pulled into Hobby Lobby and there at the end of the parking lot, near the intersection was the strangest sight.

A camel.

Yes, a camel. There with the camel was a man I assume was his (or her?) owner, along with a pick-up truck and a trailer. People were lining up to put their small offspring on said camel for who knows what amount of money.

It was then that I wished I could use my new fancy phone and take a picture for y'all.


Or should I say, "Dromedary?"

Friday, December 25, 2009

As I stagger from all the carbs

Now that I'm awake from my turkey and Reese's cup-induced coma, I'd like to wish all of you a very, merry Christmas.

Hope it was grand!

Just FYI- baked mashed potatoes with mozzarella cheese is de-lish. Just sayin.'

Pardon me while I reach for another Reese's...

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

I never claimed to be Bill Gates or Thomas Edison.

There's one little bit of information I left out of last week's posts, the few that I wrote anyway.

Hubs was out of town.

You can understand why I almost always wait to tell you about Hubs' out-of-town events because, as my Mama and Granny would say, "there is meanness in this world."

Really, I don't believe that there are people out there who wait for Hubs to leave and then track my home down with the ISP address, but there's another thing I inherited from Granny (other than her tendency towards bunions) and that is paranoia.

In a completely healthy form.

My people lock their doors. They lock their windows. They pull the curtains to block out peeping toms. If my grandmother could have experienced the Internet, she would tell me to protect myself from the people who could possibly wait for Hubs to leave and then track my home with my ISP address. If she knew what an ISP address actually was.

So, Hubs came home on Saturday. He was here for only a few hours before we had to head out for a Christmas party. Before he even whined a little at the Christmas tie I picked out for him, he assessed my computer problems.

While he was gone, I emailed him about my potential computer tragedy.

I had been printing pictures for Christmas cards and decided to download some new pics from our camera. I plugged in the camera, pushed a few buttons, then the computer screen went dark. Every time I tried to turn on the computer, I could hear a hum, but nothing really happened.


When Hubs came home from his trip, he went into our computer room to assess the problem.

"What does it do?"

"Watch. Try to turn it on. Nothing happens. It's like it's trying to come on and never does."

After pushing the button and fiddling with the mouse to read the screen, Hubs immediately figured out the problem.

"It's not getting any power. Is it plugged in?"

He reached around the hard drive and saw that a cord had come loose.

"That's why it was going into power save. It was trying to save power because it didn't have any."

He plugged everything back in, and wouldn't you know it? The computer works just fine.

Electricity is amazing.

Tomorrow I am going to put in a cement pond.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Linky Love

If this post by Carpoolqueen doesn't motivate you to organize your bathroom cabinets, I don't know what will.

I haven't laughed so hard in a very long time.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Linda's Random Dozen: MERRY CHRISTMAS and all that.

1. Gingerbread: For or against? Discuss.

I can take it or leave it. I can't say that I've had a lot of homemade gingerbread. When I have, it has been good. I often enjoy the smell more than the taste. I love ginger in other things, especially Chinese food.

2. Is it important to you to always stay (live) close to family?

It's a good thing it's not, or I'd be a miserable wreck! My family lives on the other side of the country. It would be nice to live closer, at least a few hours driving distance. I wish my daughter could see our family more often. I saw my grandparents at least once a month and grew up knowing them well. I hope she can have that some day.

3. Which holiday pretend character do you wish really existed?

I could say Santa, but then a real guy who lets kids sit on his lap at the mall and then breaks into houses at night, eating all your cookies, is pretty creepy.

So, I'll go with Frosty.

4. Which holiday movie best represents how you feel about Christmas or life?

I love A Christmas Story. Apart from the "tapestry of obscenites that as far as we know is still hanging in space over Lake Michigan," I love how the family is just keepin' it real. They love each other and try to make things nice for each other at Christmas. I love the mom.

Other movies are just too sappy for me. I have a heart, but I survive through humor.

5. Is there a particular Christmas song that you're enjoying now? Any that you're tired of?

I can't think of any particular one for this year. My favorite is The Little Drummer Boy. I am so glad we have passed the Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer era.

6. What is your favorite way to remember those less fortunate at Christmastime?

I think the best way to help is to ask God to show you a way. Sometimes it's putting money in the red kettle or giving to an angel tree. Sometimes it's a kind word of encouragement or a hot meal.

It's never a fruit cake.

7. Does it upset you to see "Xmas" instead of Christmas? How about "Happy Holidays" etc., instead of "Merry Christmas?"

Oh, man, Linda. You lit the fuse. Where do I begin?

First of all, does it hurt to use all the letters of "merry?" Do we really need to abbreviate? (No, it's an excuse.)
Second, when it's the 4th of July or Flag Day, do you say "Happy Holidays?" No? So, exactly which holiday are you celebrating on December 25?

Third, it's a FEDERAL HOLIDAY.
Not that I have an opinion or anything.
And, yes I acknowledge that there are other holidays in December that are equally important to people in this country. I'd be glad to wish you a happy one of those as well. Let's just not lump them all together and look silly doing it.
Whew. I feel better now.

8. How many Christmas programs are you attending this month?

Probably two.

I really wish I could have seen The Nutcracker this year. I miss that.

9. Are you dreaming of a white Christmas? Any chance of that dream becoming a reality?

It would be nice. I suppose it's possible.

10. Tell me about a Christmas present you received as a child. Pics are always nice.

I got a doll that I had requested from my parents. I spoiled the whole thing by peeking in my mom's closet and finding it weeks ahead of time. When I opened the doll, I burst into tears and confessed.
Lesson- Don't peek in other people's closets. Your Christmas will be rurnt (that's ruined.)

11. How many Christmas parties are you attending this month?

Too many to count. I'm party pooped.

12. How do you keep yourself centered on the significance of Christmas?

Being part of a weekly Bible study has helped a lot. I also try to take one day at a time (as I cross off the days left on the calendar to get things done!) Seriously, it is hard. I think you have to purposely focus on Christ to not be distracted by everything else. That goes for anything in life.

It's kind of like the hymn-

Turn your eyes upon Jesus.
Look full in His wonderful face.
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim
In the light of His glory and grace.

See Linda for more links and posts.

Reality Check

First, thank you for your comments on yesterday's post. Many of you are like me, a stressed mess.

I also want to mention that I am not naive to believe that all women have a Godly husband. Many are married to non-believers or to men who are struggling with something. To those of you without support, please know that God cares for you. He honors those who continue to walk in His ways, especially when they have no support from their spouse.

Do not be discouraged. God is in control.

On a much sillier and less important note, the pitiful wreath I spoke of is still on my front door. The wreath itself is not too bad, but the bow is sad.

Now, in addition to card mailing and gift shopping, I have to make a bow.

Fortunately, I am of the bow making group. I take a bit of pride in that fact, especially since I am not a member of the cookie making group. (Unless slice and bake counts.)

Hey, not everyone is a Martha. In the biblical and Stewart sense.

Happy Tuesday.

Let me know- are you a bow maker or a cookie maker? Both? Okay, go ahead and brag.

Monday, December 14, 2009

He was the husband of Mary.

Christmas is less than two weeks away. Our tree is just now decorated. There is a pitiful little wreath on our door which needs serious help, and I am not finished with my Christmas shopping.

Picture blogger pulling her hair out here.

I have finished most of the shopping for our out-of-town family and friends. I've even done most of the shopping for Daughter. I am not finished shopping for Hubs and I'm pretty sure he isn't finished (or started?) shopping for me.

Which reminds me, if you want to be thoroughly entertained on Christmas Eve, find a spot in a department store near the fragrance and jewelry section, and observe. Watch as frantic husbands search for the perfect gift.

When I worked in a department store, those poor clerks in fragrance and fine jewelry never got to go home early on Christmas Eve. They were bombarded with husbands who strolled in after work, within an hour before closing, to find a gift for their wives.

I worked in the children's department. By 4:00, our department was empty of customers. Every mom and grandma purchased their gifts from us weeks in advance, on sale, knowing all the correct sizes. A husband's' idea of correct sizing is holding up a cashmere sweater set and eyeballing it.

God love 'em. They try.

These last few days I've been rushing to get things done. I've been a stressed out wreck. At Christmas time, I always feel like I'm caught up in a tornado of commitments and duties, whirling around in a mess. And what is Hubs doing?

He's the one keeping me grounded. (Believe me, it takes a lot of patience.)

I've been thinking lately about another husband who doesn't get a lot of press this time of year. We hear about him briefly in Sunday School a few weeks before Christmas. Then, for the most part, his wife gets all the attention.

I'm talking, of course, about Joseph.

Joseph was a Godly and honorable man. When he first learned of Mary's condition, he considered dealing with it quietly. This wasn't because he didn't love her. He wanted to protect her from being put to death.

Instead, he trusted God and was obedient. Joseph took Mary as his wife and became the soon-to-be earthly father of Jesus.

When it came time to go to Bethlehem for the census, the birth of Jesus was drawing near. Joseph must have been afraid or, at best, concerned traveling with an expectant wife across rough terrain.

Still, trust and obedience. Jesus was born in a stable.

When Herod ordered the infant sons to be killed, God sent a warning to Joseph to flee. He took Mary and Jesus to Egypt, protecting them all from death.

Are you noticing a pattern?

Yes, we love to think about Mary, her faith and her love for Jesus. The thought of a young woman bringing the Savior into the world makes for a great story (and thank God, a true one.) But what about Joseph?

He doesn't get a lot of credit because he never asked for it. Instead, his trust and obedience to God point us straight to Jesus.

I wonder what Joseph would be like if he could have been a husband of our times.

He may be the kind who works hard, reads his Bible, says the blessing at the table each night, and tucks the kids into bed. The quiet, strong one, the one you can depend on, who never complains.

He may be the kind who supports his wife while she spins like a top with commitments and Christmas stress.

If you have a Godly husband in your life, go right now and hug him. Tell him you love him and that you're glad he loves the Lord. Tell him you appreciate him, even when he thinks it goes unnoticed.

While you're at it, you may as well tell him your sweater size, too.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Christmas in Februrary and Lid's Random Dozen

As usual, Linda does not disappoint.

1. Which physical trait do you now accept--maybe not love, but accept--and no longer feel extremely self-conscious about?

Oh, boy. I'm tougher on myself than I used to be, so this one is difficult. I guess I'll go with my feet. My big toe looks like it should be on a size 9 foot. The rest of my toes fit their size 6 1/2 surroundings. It's very circus-like.

It used to bother me a lot. Now I just throw on some flip flops and try not to trip over it.

2. This week Meredith Baxter Birney, best known as the mom on the favorite 80s sitcom "Family Ties" came out of the closet, which led me to formulate this question: Who do you think is/was the best TV mom?

I'd say the best TV mom was Mrs. Huxtable. She wasn't too soft (like Mrs. Brady) nor too hardened (Mrs. Bundy.)

3. Do you speak any foreign languages? Are there any you'd like to learn?

Some people consider Southern a foreign language, so I could technically say "yes" to this question. I'd love to learn Spanish. Two years in high school only helps me order at the Mexican restaurant.

4. Who is your personal hero?

I'm one of those odd people who does not really have a personal hero. I guess it is the cynic in me. I acknowledge a person's accomplishments and find them inspiring, but not quite to the hero level. Plus, people disappoint.

As a Christian, my real hero is Jesus. I know that's the Sunday School answer, but it's true. And He never disappoints.

5. What is one holiday food that you find extremely difficult to resist over- indulging in?

That bag of Reese's cups Hubs puts in my stocking each year. Yes, the BAG.

6. Tell me about a Christmas decoration that has special meaning or sentimental value.

We have a star tree topper made of cardboard and a paper towel paper tube, covered with glitter. My daughter made it when she was about 4 years old. I remember making it with her on our back porch, glitter everywhere (which is why we were on the porch.) It has lasted, amazingly, with the glitter still intact. Here's to spray adhesive!

7. How do you feel about snow?

I love to look at it. I like to sled in it. I don't like to get cold in it. I don't want to get stuck in it.

8. On average, how many hours of sleep do you get each night? Not that I'm jealous of any number over three or anything.

Seven. I'd prefer nine.

9. Tell me about your first crush.

Elementary school. His name was Paul and he gave me a Valentine. I nearly died.

He offered to give me a ride home on the handlebars of his bike. (You can't resist a man with wheels.) But then he realized where I lived and that he would be late getting home and didn't want his mom to yell at him (mama's boy.)

So I walked home as usual with the Valentine in my pocket. sighhh...

10. You're stuck in a room for 2 hours with only a chalkboard and chalk. What will you write/draw?

Some kind of tree. Then I'd erase it and practice my name. I'd erase that and doodle, wondering why someone had locked me in a room for 2 hours.

11. Do you dress for the current temp or for the day's forecast?

I dress for the current temp and prepare for the forecast. I bring a jacket or dress in layers. Here in New Mexico, you can have all 4 seasons in the same day. It's tough to decide.

12. Favorite Christmas movie is?

I think I've mentioned my deep fondness for A Christmas Story. Mama gave me the lamp Christmas ornament this year for my birthday.

Must be Italian.

Head over to Linda's blog for more good stuff.

Be sure to meet me at the Internet Cafe as I share a very special Christmas letter.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

It's kickin' up the sand.

Thanks to all of you for your birthday wishes! I love my blog peeps.

Last night I remembered that I had not gotten the mail. It was after 9:00. I put on my puffy coat and ventured down the street to the mailboxes. I really miss having a mailbox right in front of my house. Not just for the location, but there's something homey and welcoming about a cute mailbox out front.

I walked outside and was overcome with fog. It was dark and dreary, and I could barely see down our street. Plus, it was freezing. By the time I got back to the house, the fog had frozen to my face. Weird.

Then, this morning we woke up to an ice storm. It looked like a winter wonderland outside, all purty and splendid but with the potential for deadly car crashes and annoying power outages. Fortunately, I made it to Bible Study without a car crash and our power stayed on. (My hair appreciates that.)

The sun is shining now, but there is a serious wind which could get up to 50 knots. I'm not good at equivalents, but I know that 50 knots is more than 50 mph, and hello, 50 mph! (I totally understood "more than" and "less than" in math. That little alligator mouth analogy just made it so clear.)

So, in honor of our treacherous weather and the little alligator, I give the following link to a clip from Mighty Wind (shout out to Linda) which has nothing to do with wind but everything to do with all things funny.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go do my work.

Click here to watch The New Main Street Singers, Mitch and Mickey and The Folksmen.

Monday, December 07, 2009

Next year they'll surround me with black balloons.

Well, now. The weekend is over and it was a full one.

Saturday was my birthday. I turned exactly 39 years old. Really.

I'm kind of glad I reached that milestone because I can officially hold on to it for years to come. Seriously, I told my mother-in-law that it's just a number. I do think about where I'm going, where I've been (channeling Forrest Gump), but I don't want to get all hung up on numbers and years and how that wrinkle between my eyebrows just won't go away.

Mama always said not to squint or I'd get wrinkles. A word of advice for all you whipper snappers out there- Listen to your Mama. Not just about squinting.

I woke up Saturday, greeted by gifts from Hubs and Daughter. Normally we open gifts during birthday dinner, but they decided they couldn't wait. (I, however, was perfectly patient. Ahem.)

Daughter and I worked on a craft that I can't really go into here because some of my extended family reads this, and HELLO, it's Christmas. I'll have to tell you all about it Dec. 26.

Then I was off to get my hair done because one thing I've learned about turning 39 is that the gray just pops up in places it didn't the year before. I also had nearly 2 inches of roots to cover. Lovely.

After a little shopping and one stop for a faux Starbucks (specifically a faux Peppermint Mocha, it just ain't the same) I came home with my new do.

Hubs told me to spin around so he could get a good look at me, which is his way of telling me I looked nice. (After 13 years of marriage, I've learned his love language.) Daughter honestly said she liked it.

Later, Daughter and I discussed my hair privately while looking in the mirror.

"It's not too much blonde, is it? It's not as blonde as a few times ago, but a little more blonde than last time," I asked.

"No, it looks good," she said.



"Good, 'cause I know if I ask you, you'll be honest about it. Daddy can't be honest. It would hurt my feelings. It's a husband kind of thing. But I know you'll tell me the truth and that's good."

"It looks good."

"Thanks. It doesn't look good when it's too blonde."

"Especially when you're not really a blonde."

"Um, yeah. Again, thanks for the honesty."

I'd better not asking her about that little wrinkle between my eyebrows.

Seriously, with all her daughterly honesty, she made me one of the best birthday gifts I've ever received. Dinner.

Daughter decided she wanted to make my birthday dinner. With Hubs' help, she made oven-fried chicken, tangy mixed veggies and french bread. She also got out the cloth napkins and china (her mama's doing a little dance) with pretty tablecloth. Strawberry punch was served in our glass stemware and Hubs' cookies were dessert. (Yes, Hubs makes cookies. They made me swoon over him in college. That's a post of itself.)

It was one of the nicest birthdays I've had. Family from far away called. Friends emailed and one even called me to sing. (Yes, sing!)

Thirty-nine was a good year. And I'm still holding.

Friday, December 04, 2009

Excuse the typos. It's frostbite.

Last night I was up late watching Boomerang (Tom and Jerry. It's a secret, silly indulgence)and I decided to check online for the current weather in SmallTown.

This is what I found.

Party Cloudy
Current Temperature: 15
Feels Like: 5

If it were not for the cows, I'd think I had moved to the Great White North with Susanne.

FIVE DEGREES. That's just cold. Why even bother counting.

Five. Degrees.

That's as high as you can count at that temperature because your fingers are all frozen. Not that I count on my fingers. I'm just sayin.'

I think today may be a good day to bake, if I baked. Since I don't bake, we may do some crafts after school.

Maybe some hot glue will thaw out my fingers.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Let it snow.

Snow has fallen all day, resembling powdered sugar from heaven.

One can dream.

Daughter played in it for a while after our lessons were complete. (The benefit of being a homeschool kid.)

It's the end of a splendid day.

School work is done.

Chili is simmering on the stove.

Pardon me while I peer out the window; twilight falls on the white blanket covering our lawn.

Powdered sugar from heaven...

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Random Dozen: We're off to see the Wizard in our comfortable shoes.

1. Which Wizard of Oz character are you most like?

I'm not a huge Oz fan, but if I have to choose one character for this question, it would be Dorothy.

Some days I want to click my heels and fly "home."

2. When you're deciding what you're going to wear each morning, which item do you select first? Why?

The bottoms. I go for comfort.

Then I decide which color I want to wear and pick a top that matches. I don't think about jewelry until I put on my watch and think, "Man, I need some new earrings or something."

I find this method to be very fashion forward.

3. What kind of animal do you think the world could live without?

Snakes. It's Biblical.

4. How many Christmas trees are in your home?

Two. One is the regular tree. The other is a small tree in a basket with berries and pine cones. It goes on the porch or in the guest room. I got it at Target at 90% off. (Score)

5. Would you prefer to be emotionless if it mean you didn't have to feel a heartbreak?

No way. That's how sociopaths are made.

6. Do you ever experience holiday let-down or depression?

Yes. January and February give me the blues. I look forward to Christmas, enjoy it, then it's done. The void is often hard to adjust to. The cold, dreary weather doesn't help either. Now, I've learned to prepare for it and try to come up with new ways to decorate, add color or light to the house. It helps.

7. Do you like Michael Jackson's music?

Yes. He and Madonna were icons in my jr. high and high school days.

Whenever the Thriller video came on, my friends and I would call each other to watch it.

"Thriller's coming on! Turn on the TV."


"Call me back when it's over."

8. Why is it that we never judge people who have their teeth fixed for cosmetic reasons, but every other cosmetic procedure has a stigma?

Everyone needs a good smile. It can be embarrassing for a person who is uncomfortable with their teeth. Most other cosmetic procedures are not done to prevent embarrassment. Although, they can help a person feel better about herself.

Just a thought. I really have no idea.

9. Enjoy horseback riding?

I enjoy doing things that my daughter loves. She loves horseback riding. I wasn't really around them as a child, so I guess I never got the fever. I am also a very cautious person. No adventure in my blood. I'm glad my daughter enjoys it, though.

10. Shoes--practical or stylish?

Both, though I lean toward practical. They have to be affordable and somewhat comfortable.

11. What was the name of your first pet? Feel free to post a pic.

I had a poodle named Marcus. He was my friend and confidant. My parents thought it would help me get over my fear of dogs. It just helped me get over my fear of poodles.

12. What percentage of your Christmas shopping is done?

About 70%. I'm finished shopping for most of my extended family and friends. Living in SmallTown makes me plan ahead.

'Cause, Toto, we're not in Kansas any more.

See Linda for more great posts.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Old Lady. Cat.

We've had a little bit of snow here in SmallTown. Not enough to make a snowman, but just enough to make you wish you could make a snowman.

Maggie is resting at my feet in the warmth of blissdom. She has no idea how lucky she is. I almost brought home another cat yesterday.


When I picked up Maggie from the kennel, the vet told me about another old cat that a woman brought in to be put to sleep because she (the cat) was mean to her kids.

First of all, no cat is that mean. Second of all, no cat is that mean.

Of course, the vet is not going to put the poor old lady to sleep (the cat) and really would like to find her a home. He asked me if I would like to have her. I, in my rational mind, say "no, thank you."


The vet just wouldn't let up (i.e. he read "sucker for kitties" on my forehead.)

"Would you like to scratch her head before you leave?" he pursued.


So they brought her out and my heart sank. She was purr-ty.

"Those kids must have been really mean," he added.

The entire staff chimed in about how sweet this old lady cat was and how they could not imagine anyone wanting to put her down.

I agreed.

Then I looked at my daughter whom I've promised a puppy for our next pet and knew in my heart that I was not the one to take Old Lady Cat home.

Then I scratched her head (the cat) again and made sure that the vet was not going to put her down ever. He promised.

My rational self left the building with a big soft spot in her heart and drove home, with Maggie snoring in the backseat.

Yep. She doesn't know how lucky she is.

Monday, November 30, 2009

City Slickers

We just returned from getting Maggie from the kennel. The kennel people again bragged about how sweet and good she is when she visits them.

Pausing now in disbelief.

The Vet came out to say, "hello" and I expressed my heartfelt appreciation for his rare facility.

"We like cats," he stated.

"You just don't know," I continued, "I drive here for miles because Maggie is happy with y'all."

"We're glad you like us."

So now Maggie is sprawled at my feet while I attempt to blog and ignore that pile of laundry waiting for me in the other room.


The trip to Santa Fe was great. Daughter would say the highlight was the horseback riding, but I'll be honest and tell you that the highlight for me was the food.

Our Thanksgiving buffet included the usual items like traditional stuffing and turkey, but also had some pretty unique (at least for me) dishes as well. My favorites were the New Mexican style stuffing with pine nuts and chorizo and the maple butter sweet potatoes with praline topping. I have no idea how to make the stuffing, but my new goal is to replicate those sweet potatoes.

We also tried Native American traditionally baked bread with green chili butter.


Now, to the horses.

Hubs and I were not sure if it was going to be, well, lame. We imagined the trail ride as a yuppy inspired, amusement park level tour with city lights and high wires in the background. We were pleasantly surprised. We rode for nearly 1 1/2 hours. Ouch.

When I signed us up, I was honest and told them we were all beginners. Daughter has taken some lessons, but she is not nearly experienced enough to surpass beginner status. I haven't been on a horse since I was about nine years old. Hubs rode horses as a child, back before the Internet was invented.

I've learned that when you label yourself a "beginner" you end up with the oldest horse in the barn. The guide told us that between the three horses we were riding, he had about 100 years of horse.

If I didn't already feel pitiful, knowing that I was literally being carried by a senior citizen really sealed it for me.

Hubs' horse was named "Goose." He said,"Talk to me, Goose" as he held the reins in his hands. Then Kenny Loggins began to sing in the background.

Daughter rode "Magic" and was in heaven the entire time. I rode alongside her once and heard her tell Magic all about the horses she has ridden during her lessons and their personalities. It was precious.

My horse was "Ray." As soon as we learned his name, Hubs said,"You can call me Ray or you can call me Jay or you can call me..." For the entire ride I had that commercial in my head.

Thanks, Maverick.

At one point, our AARP member horses were lagging behind. Hubs decided to catch up with the group and gave Goose the go-ahead to trot. Well, Ray apparently likes to do everything Goose does and decided to trot, too. You know, those horses are so prone to peer pressure.

Ray began to trot and I was not prepared. I gave him a quick "whoa" and he slowed. Then I yelled ahead at Hubs to give me warning next time.

The guide just laughed. Some sort of cowboy humor.

After that, the ride was uneventful, which was my goal. My other aim was that my horse and I would both live through the experience. I'm sure Ray has much grander dreams for his last ride into the sunset.

An almost forty gringo gal with a beer commercial stuck in her head is probably not it.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Leftovers are so over-rated.

We're home from a great Thanksgiving getaway. I'd love to go to the frig. and pull the Saran Wrap from leftovers, but I am totally thankful for our trip.

Tomorrow I'll tell you about the New Mexican style buffet we enjoyed and how I learned that a saddle is not as cushion-y as it looks.

I must go now and scrounge up some vittles. (That's cowgirl talk, ya know.)

See ya then! Hope you had a great holiday.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Happy Trails

I'm supposed to be packing suitcases and cleaning bathrooms, but I've never been good at prioritizing.

So here I am in the blogosphere dodging spam emails about Black Friday.

We're off to Santa Fe where I hope to do some really good shopping, and even better eating.

I'll leave you with one thought- me on a horse. We're going trail riding. This is out of my element, but I am going to Cowgirl Up and go for it.

I'll do anything for blog material.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Random Dozen: Turkey Lurkey Style

Linda, Love the dog.

1. Are you sticking to traditional Thanksgiving foods this year, or are you being culinary adventurous?

Culinary adventurous.

We are headed to the Santa Fe/Albuquerque area for the holiday. I'm hoping to enjoy a nice buffet with interesting New Mexican traditions. The only downside is no leftovers!

No turkey hash.

No turkey sandwiches.

No pie for breakfast.

The upside?

No dirty dishes.

2. Tell me something concrete that you're thankful for. (Something you can literally touch, see, etc., not a concept like "hope.")

Could I say concrete? Really, where would we be without it?

Seriously, I am thankful for my grandmother's cut glass dish that I put cranberry sauce in every year. It rests in the china cabinet next to other family dishes. Lots of memorable meals represented in there.

3. You knew the flip side was coming: Share about something intangible that you're thankful for.

Memories of family meals. We Southerners eat for every occasion- holidays, weddings, new babies, an illness, a death in the family. (Unwritten law- No funeral is complete without a bucket of chicken and a layered cake.)

Most family memories involve good food.

4. Share one vivid Thanksgiving memory. It doesn't have to be deep or meaningful, just something that remains etched in your memory.

When we first married I made a big Thanksgiving dinner. I even had Vidalia onions shipped from Georgia to Arizona so that I could make creamed onions for Hubs. I later learned that, although creamed onions were a tradition he grew up with, they were one he could live without. He'll eat them, but he doesn't have to have them.

Sweet potatoes and cranberry sauce are another story.


I read that you could cook the turkey upside down to keep it moist. I pulled it out of the oven and asked Hubs to slice it. He didn't know it was upside down. He started to slice it, wondering why it was all boney. I finally told him to flip it over.

The dinner turned out great and we had enough leftovers to last us until Christmas.

5. What is one thing that you know beyond a shadow of a doubt is going to happen this Thanksgiving because it always does, year after year?

I am going to eat too much.

It's tradition. Why mess with it?

6. Do your pets get any left-overs?

And she laughs hysterically.

Maggie is on a special diet. Before she was on a special diet, she did not eat leftovers. She doesn't even eat leftover cat food. It's fresh or it's nothing.

7. Does your family pray before the big meal? If so, do you join hands while seated, stand, repeat a formal prayer or offer a spontaneous prayer? Who does the praying?

If we are home, Hubs prays. If we are with family, the "man of the house" prays. We don't usually join hands at home because we are avid hand washers (i.e. germ freaks) and holding hands would mean having to get up from the table and washing them all over again.

Feel free to comment on that one.

8. Will you be watching football in the afternoon? If not, what will you be doing?

No way. I don't watch football. If we were at home, we would probably play a board game, eat some pie, then take a nap.

Then get up and eat more pie.

See # 5.

9. There are two distinct camps of people on this issue: How do you feel about oysters in the dressing/stuffing?

I've never had it, but I'd be willing to try it. I prefer no meat in my dressing, but I love it smothered in gravy.

10. Do you consider yourself informed about the first Thanksgiving?

I think so. We just studied it for homeschool, so I just went through a refresher course.

11. Which variety of pie will you be enjoying?

I hope to try something new while we are away. When I get home, I'm making pumpkin and pecan. Pecan and chocolate pecan are my favorites.

12. Do you feel for the turkey?? (This is a humorous throw back question related to the 12th question in another Random Dozen!)

No. I make it a rule not to sympathize with my food. It makes it much more enjoyable.

See Lid for more great, concrete answers. ;>)

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Randomness at the dinner table

(Insert random movie clip here) from Hubs.

Turning to daughter, I said, "You know, Daddy loves any movie with British accents."

"In fact, he would have liked the English Patient if the English Patient had been English and not Hungarian," I continued.

Eye roll from Hubs.

"Daddy, what's the English Patient?" asked Daughter.

"It's a movie, an awful movie, where the English Patient gets sick and then he waits, but he is very patient."

Puzzled look from Daughter.

Eye roll from me.

"Then the patient gets lost in a cave and someone crashes a plane and finds him."

"Uh-uh!" I argued, laughing, "he wasn't the one in the cave."

Continued puzzled look from Daughter.

Eye rolls abound.

Dishes clang. Laughter trails off.

Come to think of it, he was very patient...

Friday, November 20, 2009

What God Has Done

Just over a year ago, my family moved clear across the country to a small town out west, very different from any place I'd ever lived.

Let's just say this Southern girl wasn't exactly thrilled...

Join me today at the Internet Cafe for an update on What God Has Done in my life.

Y'all have a great weekend!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Random Dozen: Banana, Tree, Register Three

1. If you could master one sport, what would it be?

This is going to sound completely lame, but I've always been interested in archery.

Yes, as in bow and arrow.

I have no idea why. I've never even tried it.

I'm sure Hubs would be the first to volunteer to put an apple on his head.

2. When you make a major purchase, do you go with your gut instinct, or do you do research to make an informed decision?

I research to be able to make an informed decision, but I always trust my gut in the end.

I read and read about the item (especially cars.) We tend to keep major purchases for a long time, so I want to be happy with them.

3. There is an old kids' game that says you can find out what your movie star name would be by using your middle name as your first name and the name of the street you grew up on as your last. What is your movie star name?

I have to pass on this. This taps into so many possible password leaks. I'm not even sure they are out there, but it's possible.

4. Would you rather give up your favorite music or your favorite food?

I'd say music. I wouldn't be able to listen to my favorite song, but I could still sing. However, I can't really hum to myself to enjoy Starbucks coffee or Reese's cups.

5. There are two types of banana preferences. One is pristine yellow, almost to the point of being green; the other is spotty and more ripe. Which is your preference?

I'll pick the pristine yellow one because I have no idea when it will be eaten. It could sit on the counter for days or be eaten when it is unloaded from the car. Here in New Mexico, the dry air is not kind to produce. It goes bad very quickly, something I am still not used to.

6. Your favorite tree is?

The Live Oak. They are grand and gorgeous. They live through storms and fires. There are so many throughout the South which have witnessed years of history.

And they are great for climbing. Picture Jenny and Forrest.

7. On a scale of 1-10, how tech savvy are you?

Maybe a 4. I can turn on the computer, navigate the Internet, blog and shop. Once a virus or worm or bug or other critter gets in the way, I'm in big trouble.

8. Has H1N1 touched your family?


And I would really like access to the vaccine, hello government people out there...

9. Are you an analytical person, or do you just accept things the way they are without questioning or scrutinizing?

I analyze everything to death. I'm a psych major who loves words. I pick apart movies and books and sitcoms.

I find meaning where there is no meaning. It's fun. I'm a nerd.

10. Is your personality more like that of a dog, cat, or Koala?

I've never really gotten to know a Koala, so I can't answer to that. Oh, except for that little guy in the zoo, but he was in a cage so we couldn't really chat over lattes...

I'd say cat. I try to be cool and collected, but most of the time I end up with my ear turned inside out.

11. Do you keep in touch with friends you made years ago?

A few. We have a long Christmas card list, but there are only a few that I really keep in touch with on a regular basis via email or phone calls.

Unlike a lot of my friends growing up, I've moved away.

12. You are checking out at a grocery store. In the express lane, there are more people than the regular lanes, but of course, their load is less than those in the regular lanes. Which lane do you choose (assuming you qualify for the express lane) and why?

I have a mental check system for this.

For one, I always choose a female cashier over a male one. Sorry, guys. Women are more efficient at running a cash register. I think it has something to do with multi-tasking.

Next, I look at who is in line. That husband who is by himself will unload his cart slowly and wait until he is given the total to get out his debit card. Same with the little old lady (she can't help it.)

That being said, no matter how long the lines are, I usually end up with the veteran cashier who scans like lightning, right behind the young mom with the screaming baby and cart full of diapers (she's ready to get home.)

Reference Question #9. :>)

Thanks again, Linda!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Cat Years

Maggie is up in years. She's almost 13.

In dog years, that's old.

In people years, she should be getting some kind of social security check that I could dip into. The only thing is, with her being a cat, it would be kind of hard to forge her signature and cash it at Wal-mart.

"Um, yes, Customer Service Person, that paw print is totally mine."

In addition to her usual drama, Maggie has pretty much given up on effective grooming. I say effective because she still tries, bless her heart. She licks and licks and rubs her face with her paw. Now, in her old age, she just licks her long fur coat into a matted mess.

She has become that little old lady who sits in front of you in church. The one who always makes the coconut cake every year at homecoming. The one who still wears lipstick and blush, Avon circa 1982. The one who carefully styles her hair but doesn't realize that the back of it still looks like she slept on it.

God love her.

That's my cat.

So now I'm having to comb or clip out the knots in Maggie's coat. You could say I'm her weekly beauty shop appointment.

I draw the line at driving her to the bank.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

The post I wish I could have linked to yesterday.

Most of you read Big Mama, but if you haven't read this post, please run right over there and read it now.

As Lee Greenwood says (over and over,) I'm proud to be an American where at least I know I'm free.

Thanks, Melanie for an awesome post.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Random Dozen: Grouper and Little Debbies

1. What was the last song you listened to?

Last night I listened to Wild Horses by Susan Boyle online. I'm asking for her CD for Christmas.

2. Have you ever had “buyer’s remorse” over anything?

In the literal sense, those MC Hammer pants I bought freshman year in college.

It is never Hammer time.

3. What is something in your life that you are thankful for now that you didn’t think you would be at the time of the event? (Something that seemed ill-timed, inconvenient or hurtful which turned out to be a good thing)

We moved somewhere and I kicked and screamed the whole way. I ended up having one of the best doctors to take care of me during my pregnancy.

4. Do you watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade every year? If so, do you have a favorite float or balloon?


I love the Rockettes. I wanted to be a Rockette as a child.

Alas, I am too short. Plus I can't dance.

5. Share a quote, scripture, poem or lyric which has been an inspiration to you lately.

The quote on my Mary Engelbreit calendar for this month-

"Must. Change. Attitude."

That is totally me.

6. This is meant to be a fun question, and this is a G-rated blog, but please share a “guilty pleasure,” something that you enjoy that’s probably not the most edifying, time-worthy or healthy thing you could be indulging in. Did I mention--G rating?

I watch Roseanne. Hubs doesn't get it. He is so shocked that the show makes me laugh.

That family puts the fun in dysfunction. I'm just glad they don't live next door.

7. What Thanksgiving food are you looking forward to?

Homemade dressing.

Not stuffing.


Made with homemade cornbread and homemade chicken stock and homemade celery... okay. You get the picture.

8. What is your favorite book to read to children, or what was your favorite childhood book?

The Little Red Hen. My poor daddy probably memorized it. I loved it.

It makes me chuckle that the Hen totally told everyone what she thought about their attempt at freeloading. The funny part is that I got that as a little kid. I was a weird kid who understood adult concepts.

9. Do you collect anything? (Feel free to post a photo.)

I collect porcelain dolls. On top of them, is my collection of dust.

It is not really hip to collect dolls. People think that if you collect dolls that you also put out fresh doilies when company comes over.

My doilies are all packed away with the Precious Moments figurines, thank you.

10. Gift bags or wrapping paper?

It depends. If it is a kid's birthday party, gift bag! Gift bags have become the answer to shorter kids' birthday parties.

Sometimes I like to wrap some really special gifts in wrapping paper with a nice ribbon or bow.

11. Share an after-school memory from when you were younger. What was your routine like on an average day?

I walked home with my red book bag in one hand and my blue Peanuts lunch box in the other. Sometimes Mama gave me a Little Debbie cake when I got home. Swiss Rolls were my favorite. I always unrolled them as I ate them. After my snack, I watched The Flintstones and I Love Lucy re-runs.

What can I say? Life was hard.

12. True story: Once, in a job interview, I was asked this question and told there would be no clarifying; I simply had to answer the question: “When you’re fishing, do you feel for the fish?” So what about you? When you're fishing, do you feel for the fish??

Okay, Lid. You've got me stumped. All I can say is that I enjoy fishing and catching them, but not touching them. In the literal or figurative sense.

I also love eating them. Preferably grilled amberjack or fried grouper with some really good hushpuppies.

Thanks for the fun and fishy questions, Linda!

Monday, November 09, 2009

Expert In A Cheap Poncho

Somebody tell Mama.

I'm sitting here watching The Weather Channel. If my dear Granny were still with us, she'd be watching it with me, too and we'd switch back and forth between TWC and CMT for some kind of tribute to Dolly or Merle.

Even though we live in New Mexico now, we still own a home in Florida. That nice little pond behind our house drains into a sound which drains right into the Gulf of Mexico.


The thing about tropical storms and hurricanes is that they tend to blow water in the opposite direction of where you'd like it to go. Rain blows sideways and the water that normally drains out of a pond tends to rise into your backyard.

As of now, it looks like our house will withstand Ida. But it's times like these that I become friends with the weatherman.

I kinda feel sorry for the guy. At any other time I tend to ignore him or scoff at his forecast. Give me a good hurricane or some winds kickin' at 70 knots, and I'm adding him to my Christmas card list.

The weatherman, poor guy, is a lot like the dentist. We don't like them, even poke fun at them a little bit.

Until we have a toothache.

Or a house on a pond which drains into a sound that ultimately drains into the Gulf of Mexico.

Right down the road from where Jim Cantore is standing.

Live. Via satellite.

Friday, November 06, 2009

In Sympathy

Just a quick post to express my heartfelt sympathy to the friends and family of those injured and killed at Ft. Hood.

May God bless you and comfort you in your loss.

We salute your loved ones for their incredible service to our country.

God bless our troops.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Y'all give new meaning to Southern Comfort.


If I weren't southern and wordy and long-winded, writing run-on sentences and such, I'd say that your comments about alcoholic sore throat remedies left me speechless. Instead, they had me laughing so hard that I wound up in a coughing fit.

It was very attractive.

I went to dinner last night where I met a few new friends and spent time with old ones. Just before I left, Hubs asked, "How are you going to talk?"

I told him,"I'll figure it out."

Challenging a woman to find a new way to talk is like asking MacGyver to build something out of used toilet paper rolls and crazy glue. One minute everything is quiet and the next, the A-Bomb is going off.

When we arrived at the restaurant I explained that I had lost my voice because of my allergies and that I was not contagious. That last phrase should really be made into a button because I've repeated it at least 100 times in the last few days.


Maybe I should edit it a bit. That's a lot for a button, even for those really big ones we wore on our acid-washed denim jackets in the '80's.

Seriously. The Swine Flu is the new plague.

"People treat me like I have the plague" has been replaced with "people run away screaming like I have the swine flu."

The Swine Flu is really freaking us out. Rightly so. People are becoming very ill.

We're scared to sit too close to someone in church. We're scared to shake hands. We're scared to go to Wal-mart. (Okay, we were always scared to go to Wal-mart.)

The up side (???) is that it gives some folks an excuse to drink whiskey.


Monday, November 02, 2009

Typing in a low whisper

Somewhere along the course of events of the weekend, I lost my voice. It started out as a squeak, then a raspy bark, and now it is a sad little whisper.

I attribute my condition to all the yelling.


Really, it is a result of a Fall allergy of somethingorother. I sound really pathetic but feel perfectly fine. (Let's keep that between us.)

Now I'm sipping herbal tea (blech) and hoping to recover quickly. I'm going to a girls' night out for dinner. I would love to be able to actually order instead of relying on pointing and hand motions.

Fortunately for you (or unfortunately) I can still type.

So, I'll be back. Right after I stop gagging on the herbal tea remedy.

Isn't there some sort of latte' for laryngitis?

Friday, October 30, 2009

What would you do for a Klondike bar?

Ward brought home everything on the shopping list. In addition to the super nacho ingredients, he also got Diet Coke.

I love that man.

Today was the day I planned to go for a big grocery shop. I had some things to do around the house this morning before hunting and gathering. Around lunch, I went to the frig. and noticed the bulb was out.

Humph. How 'bout that?

A few moments later I reached in the freezer. The bulb was out in there, too.

What are the odds? I listened closely and heard nothing but the drip, drip of the thawing chicken nuggets and Hub's last two Klondike bars. No humming, no buzzing of a compressor. Nada.

So I called our property manager to report that our refrigerator had just died. They said they "hoped" to have someone out to check it this afternoon.

It's Friday. Even if the man showed up on time, there was no way the food was going to make it. If a part or new appliance were needed, it would most likely be Monday before they arrived.

Boy, was I glad I hadn't gone to the store.

We still have a little college dorm size frig. that we used during another move. I went to the garage and plugged it in. There was just enough room to stash a half gallon of milk, some hot dogs, and a stick of butter.

Hours passed. No one came.

I returned to the kitchen for something and noticed that now my coffee maker clock wasn't on.

Guess which two items in the kitchen share the same outlet.

I slid the coffee maker over and noticed that the GFCI outlet had tripped. A quick press of the reset button and all was right with the world. The humming returned, the ice maker clanged and the frost on the milk jug began to fade.

I called the property manager to give her the good news.

Thank Heaven for modern conveniences like safe electricity and refrigeration.

Because Heaven knows how much Ward loves his Klondike bars.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

And I meet him at the door with a cocktail and take his hat.

Hubs has always said he doesn't like sitting at a desk. He would love to work in a way that keeps him constantly moving, not at a desk.

Except for the people on The Office, I think most of us are like that. Whether we really want to sit at a desk for work or not, sometimes we just end up there, at least for part of the work day.

It's not the best situation, but we take what we get.

Kind of like being the person who gets the last little bit of fries before they make a fresh batch, but without the little ketchup packets.

The funny thing (not in the comical kind of funny) is that his job through the years usually involves a desk. (And he's not a furniture maker.) When his job position changes, he always gives me his new phone number.

I always ask, "Is this at your desk?"

To which he answers, "No. I don't have a desk. I just sit there sometimes and do my work."

Whatever. All I need to know is if Hubs is going to answer when I call the number.

A few years ago he shared an office area with other people, not a cubicle, not an office. So, he said he technically did not have his own desk.

And I thought I was the word person in the family.

The other day he moved into his new office. In his office there is a desk. He doesn't share the office with anyone, so he doesn't share the desk with anyone. HELLO, HUBS. There's no way to avoid it now. YOU HAVE A DESK.

(Insert great segue here.)

It turned cold today. We needed milk. Dinner time was within a few hours. The leftovers were gone. All I had was ground beef , a block of cheese, and a few taco shells. We'll have tacos!

Really boring tacos.

Oh. I know! We'll have super nachos!

I could not bring myself to go out. It was windy. It was miserable. So, I had an idea.

Call Hubs at his desk.

"Hey, can you go to the store? If not, it's okay."

"No, I can."

I hear laughing at the other end.

"What's so funny?"

"I'm that guy (the guy WITH A DESK!) whose wife calls him at work and gives him a list to go to the store."

"I could make you that guy who doesn't have a wife to call him at work and gives him a list to go to the store.... giggle...or do you want me to be the wife who yells at the husband when he comes home from the store because he didn't get the right thing?" (more giggles)

"Dang... okay. What do you need?"


"And bread?"

"No, but you can get bread if you want."

"No, I was just thinking that people always need milk and bread..."

"Okay. We actually do need bread. Get some."

"Got it. What else?"

"We're having super nachos. I need lettuce, tomato, black olives and um, the nachos. So far, all I have is meat and cheese."

More laughing at the other end.

"Now you have to read it back to me."

"Milk, bread, lettuce, tomato, black olives, and nachos."

"See you when you get home."

"Love you."

"Love you, too."

Now I'm the wife who calls her husband at work with a list for the store.

And then blogs about it.


Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Random Dozen 9

Thanks again, Linda!

1. Tell me something about your favorite teacher.

I have three favorite teachers for different reasons, but since Linda told me to pick ONE, I GUESS I'll follow the rules...sigh...

My favorite teacher was in second grade. Her name was Mrs. Hayes. I was a good student, finished my work on time and many times ahead of the other kids. (Nerd, right?)

Every. single. one. of my other teachers in elementary school would expect me to sit quietly when I was finished with my work. Bwa-ha-ha-ha! Mrs. Hayes actually gave me extra work, fun work.

Her husband built a little hut in her room for all of the over achievers like me. She had carpet squares and books in the hut. I also remember that there were weird things in jars on a tiny shelf and I thought they were so cool.

I loved the hut. That was the only year I probably never had a "Needs Improvement" in Talking on my report card, because I was actually learning something and not bored.

Oh, and I still love weird things in jars.

2. Tell me about one pivotal moment in your life.

Besides the day I accepted Christ, I'd have to say the day I knew that I was going to be a mother. From that day on I've really tried to keep my priorities in order.

3. About favorite colors--a lot of people will ask you what it is, but I want to know why it is. What feeling or memory does it evoke?

Pink- Reminds me of all things girly and feminine, of Spring, roses, and bubble gum. It just makes me happy.

4. What's a sure sign that you're getting older?

You can remember a time when something we have now was not invented. Like the Internet.

5. Please don't sermonize, but Halloween--is it a yes or no for you?

I wish we could get away from it. I wish churches would choose to do fall festivals on a separate day. I wish. I wish.
I am against the evil of it, but I recognize the child-like whimsy and fun. I also realize that God made October 31, just as He made every other day of the year. I claim that day as His.

6. What's your favorite musical?

I don't really enjoy musicals so asking me is like asking me, "Which is your favorite flu shot?"

7. Are you more of a city mouse or country mouse?

I used to think I was a country mouse, but I was so wrong.
I am a city mouse. I think I am more of a commuter mouse who would like a house with a big yard, but with a sports car (I wish) to cruise to town for a nice dinner and over-priced coffee.

8. Did you know that it is possible, for a small fee, to name a real star after someone? (It's true! Google it!) If someone were to name a star for you, would you appreciate it for its whimsy and romance, or would you say, "Are you kidding me? For $19.95 we could have gone to the movie and actually bought popcorn."

I would say, "Are you kidding me?" If the person wanted to do something along those lines, they could plant a tree in my name or adopt an endangered animal. Or we could just cruise to town for an over-priced coffee.

This question comes from Paula at His Ways Are Not Our Ways.
9. What's the craziest thing you've ever been doing and texted during it? I only thought of this b/c I was about to try to text during my walking video but I didn't. Paula, you do know that this blog is rated G, right?

I have never texted. Never. I love computers, but I hate cell phones except for emergency situations.

10. "It's not a party unless _______."

there is food

11. When you're stuck in traffic or a waiting room, what do you do to pass the time? PS: There are no magazines available.

Traffic- Listen to talk radio

Waiting room- Make a grocery list or jot down blog ideas. I also have a few notes with dialogue for the book I will write one day.

12. If you weren't yourself, would you be friends with you?

That's tough. I want to say "yes, of course, because I'm wonderful." But I actually know me. I like weird things in jars. I'm a commuter mouse. I don't text.
I'm starting to see how Maggie (the cat) and I found each other.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

I am quite certain this is not what Ben Franklin had in mind.

I just thought y'all would like to know that the postal service did actually post information on my package.

According to the website, my package is/was being sorted.

That's a relief.

I have to also add that the wonderful (cough, cough) tracking system is cleverly named "Click and Ship," which I keep wanting to call "Chicken Strip."

What would Freud say about that one?

In addition to the Internet Post Office Excitement, I had to go to the post office MYSELF, IN PERSON yesterday to ship something.

And I'm all out of nerve pills.

I heard a person behind me yell to the worker at the counter, "WILL YOU HURRY UP?!"

We all turned around in disbelief. I wasn't sure if I should dive under something.

Then the counter worker person looked up and laughed. Apparently he was friends with the customer and the customer was just kidding.

Oh, those postal workers are such characters. One of these days they'll start rolling people's mailboxes and wearing lampshades on their heads.

As you can see, the excitement at my house is overwhelming.

Check back tomorrow for my informative demonstration on how to apply self-adhesive stamps.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Adventures in Mailing

I have really adjusted a lot since moving to SmallTown.

No water within, I don't know, maybe two time zones. (Kidding. Sort of.)

No Starbucks. No Target.

And I have to mail packages via the US Postal Service.


For some reason, the Postal Service is able to get packages to my family and friends in the South much quicker than UPS, and vice versa.

I know. It's remarkable.

If I am not under a time crunch, I use UPS. If the package contents are valuable, I always use UPS. (Did I just imply that I am sometimes cheap?)

However, I am usually late getting things in the mail, especially for holidays, so I end up going to the Post Office. (Right after I pop a nerve pill.)

My family sends packages via the Postal Service as well. In fact, my sister-in-law mailed a package the other day and the post office automatically sent me an email.

At first I was impressed. Maybe Newman has turned over a new leaf, or bag of chips, or whatever.

I highlighted the tracking number, went to the website and tracked my package. The following message popped up:

The U.S. Postal Service was electronically notified by the shipper on October 23, 2009 to expect your package for mailing. This does not indicate receipt by the USPS or the actual mailing date. Delivery status information will be provided if / when available. Information, if available, is updated periodically throughout the day. Please check again later.

Literal Translation:

On October 23, someone told the post office that they may mail your package. This does not necessarily mean that the post office received the package or that the person who knows you actually mailed anything to you. Information will be provided if or when we have any information at all. (Which is stretching a bit because we aren't even sure we have a package for you.) If we ever know anything, we may post it here some time during the day between our breaks. Check back later.

When I do receive something, assuming that I should expect anything, I plan to send the following message to the post office.

Dear Post Office Person,

This is to inform you that I received the package that you are not sure you shipped or delivered. It got here on time, even though you don't know when it left or where it went.

Please do not work for the new Universal Health Care System.


Friday, October 23, 2009

Friday's Fave Five #59: Hosted by Susanne

Susanne hosts the Faves each week. Here are my faves.

1. The Geico pothole commercial- Even Hubs likes it and he usually hates commercials, especially Geico. We grew tired of the gecko and cavemen a long time ago. This new commercial with the talking pothole sporting the Southern accent is hilarious.

Oh know. Your tire's all flat and junk.

The only thing it's missing is a "Bless Your Heart."

2. Bloggers with memes- They keep me inspired.

3. Fall scented candles- I just purchased a Wood Wick candle and love it. It sounds like the fireplace crackling.

We have an electric fireplace which looks lovely, but provides no warmth, smell, or sounds of a fire. It is cold enough to have at least gas fireplace, so go figure.

4. Online shopping- Here in SmallTown, Christmas shopping is a challenge. (Yes, I am already Christmas shopping in October.) The Net is your friend. I don't know how Ma Ingalls ever got her shopping done without a laptop.

5. Fun surprise packages on the doorstep- We received some homemade muffins and goodies from one friend and a bag of treats and candy from another. YUM. Now I plan to pass the love along.

See Susanne for more faves and please leave her some words of encouragement. She has been sick this week.

Sending some virtual chicken soup your way, Susanne!

Thursday, October 22, 2009


I'm up this morning, sipping Diet Coke and catching up on news and blogs.

That's when I read Carpool Queen's post here.

I tell you that woman can write.

If she doesn't stop with the Chick-Fil-A stories I don't know what I'll do.

Seriously, her post today is a reminder of Love.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Random Dozen 8

I look forward to these each week. Thanks, Linda!

1. Candy corn: Your thoughts?

I love candy corn. I don't care for the little candy pumpkins. I have no idea why.

I was watching O'Reilly last night and saw an email from a viewer which said that if you eat candy corn and peanuts together it tastes just like a Snickers bar. Bill said he would just buy a Snickers bar, but I had to try it out. We just happen to have candy corn and peanuts, so I went to the pantry.

Guess what. The viewer was right. And if you really want to make it taste like a Snickers, add a few semi-sweet chocolate chips. Pop a handful of the mix in your mouth, close your eyes, and pretend.

Leave a comment if you ran to your pantry to try it.

You can thank me later.

2. Briefly, what was the first conversation you ever had with your spouse? (or best friend, if you're not married.) (Or someone significant, like your librarian.)

Hubs and I were in a class together in college. He had caught my eye for some time, but I was too shy to talk to him.

I was on the drill team/dance line in our college marching band. I saw Hubs in the stands as we were also seated in the stands before and after halftime. Week after week, Saturday after Saturday, I saw Hubs in the stands. Week after week in class I said nothing.

Finally, the week after our Halloween halftime show, I decided I'd use the football game connection to strike up a conversation after class. I got up the nerve and the conversation went something like this.

Me- I saw you at the football game last Saturday. I'm in the band, on the dance line.

Hubs- Oh, yeah? I think I remember you. You were in purple, right?

Me- No, I was in red and white.

Hubs- Oh, I don't remember you.

Me- sound of heart breaking

It still landed me an invitation to his Halloween party and the rest is history.

3. Could you ever become a vegetarian?

No. I have too much Southern running through my veins. We even put meat on our salad. Who do you think invented bacon bits?

4. Have you ever dressed up your pet in a costume?

Miss Congeniality does not do costumes.

5. Name something about childhood that you miss (like Clark Bars, Teaberry Gum, Malibu Barbie, cracking fake eggs on people's heads with your fist and "It's the Great Pumpkin" airing only once a year).

Footy pajamas, being goofy and no one cares, the Nestea Plunge commercials, Marco Polo at the community pool

Community pools that aren't scary

6. Have you ever won a trophy? If not, what do you deserve a trophy for?

I won a trophy in the school talent show after performing a very amateur ballet routine in the second grade.

The year before I told Mama that I wanted to be in the talent show, but she encouraged me to wait another year. She thought I "wasn't really ready." The truth is that she was sparing me from embarrassment.

Maybe it was because of my talent idea. I wanted to snap my fingers to Yankee Doodle.

That's a good mama.

Other than that, I have won ribbons for nerdy things like science projects and homemade scarecrows.

Our drill team won trophies in high school but the trophy went into a case next to the cafeteria for the principal to show off to his principal friends.

I never understood why the school trophies were near the cafeteria. To inspire the lunch lady to improve her sloppy joes, I guess.

7. When do you think is the appropriate time to begin playing Christmas music each year?

After the turkey is out of the oven. Not a moment sooner.

8. What's your favorite board game?

Right now we are loving Sorry. I mostly love it because we ring a bell and say Sorrrryy like Ed and Eunice.

9. How do you feel about surprises (receiving, not giving)?

I like surprise gifts, but not events. I love trying to surprise other people.

Although, surprising Hubs is impossible. If I ever want to give him a surprise party, I'd have to hire a SWAT team to help me.

10. Is it easy for you to say, "I'm sorry?"

I am truly sorry but I have a hard time expressing it. I am also overwhelmed with guilt when I have wronged a person.

Maybe I should start ringing a bell.

11. What is your favorite candle scent?

Anything that involves apples and spices. I also like vanilla combos.

We're talking about candles, right?

12. October is traditionally "open house" time in public schools. If you had a literal open house in your home (like a reception) what light snacks would you serve visitors and what would you show them (as in art projects, graded papers) that would uniquely represent you?

Since it's in October, I would serve cider and coffee.

The rest of the menu-

spinach artichoke dip

my new Snickers bar snack mix

meatballs or lil' smokies for my daughter

cheeses, fruits

What I would show-

Now that I've written this post, I'd have to dig out my old, plastic talent show trophy and a photo of me on the college dance line in the red and white outfit (not purple.) Don't you love how Linda always ties these together?

For added entertainment, the first ten guests who arrive also get to enjoy my snapping performance of Yankee Doodle.

It goes nicely with the Faux Snickers Snack Mix.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Funny, they never ride the bus.

I'm starting to think I should rename this blog "The Blog Which Posts Once A Week" or "That Blog Of Lists."

Or maybe the folks in Washington could refer to it as "Not Really A Blog, But A Perspective."

We've had some schedule changes over the last few months and a lot of my time is filled up with other stuff. Good stuff. I can't seem to get into a good blogging routine or figure out how to manage it all.

One thing I discovered is that it would help if I'd actually sit down and write something.

Go figure.

Our days are busy. Most evenings Hubs and I turn on Fox News, catch up on all the happenings, and then pop in a Seinfeld DVD. After about two episodes, Hubs falls asleep on the couch and I watch the rest of the DVD while reading blogs and surfing the Net. (*They made a movie about it with that girl from The Bus.)

Sometimes we'll mix it up and watch a recorded episode of The Amazing Race. It comes on at an odd time here, so we usually watch it later on Sunday nights. This past Sunday night, I planned ahead and set the DVR. I was all ready to watch someone eat strange food and yell at a taxi driver when horror struck me.

I had recorded 60 Minutes instead. Hubs and I are dull, but we're not that dull. (Yet.)

The TV schedule was askew because of a FOOTBALL GAME. A FOOTBALL GAME. I missed the Amazing Race because of FOOTBALL.

I felt like my sister-in-law who, in her childhood missed Happy Days because of a lame Presidential Address by Jimmy Carter. She called the television station and complained, "If you think you're gonna make me watch Mr. Peanuts instead of Happy Days, you're crazy."

Oddly enough, she later began a career in television.

Lucky for Hubs and me, the latest episode of The Amazing Race is available on their website. So we curled up together with the laptop last night and caught up.

The Dubai visit was pretty interesting. I would have totally freaked from the tallest building. We decided we would have made the snowman instead of searching for the Happy Meal toy.

What about you?

Is anyone else out there watching the show this season? Who are your favorites?

(* reference to a genius line by Frank Costanza who would never watch Mr. Peanuts.)

Thursday, October 15, 2009

I really should have majored in philosophy.

Linda's Dozens have inspired me to think.

And it's giving me a headache.

Not that I'm thinking of anything earth-shattering or inspiring. No, that would be normal.

Here are a few things that have come to my warped mind.

1. At what point does a person decide he wants to become a mime? Is it the first time you sneak into your mom's make-up when you are five or does it come to you in the middle of a high school career day?

2. Do you think the guy who came up with "In God We Trust" on money realizes that he actually coined a phrase?

3. Why do we need steak buffets? How many steaks can one person eat?

4. Where does a dentist go when he has a cavity? Does he feel like a hypocrite?

When they ask him if he flossed, does he lie like the rest of us?

5. Are all of the months used up? We have a month for everything. If there is one left, I'd like to nominate "National Unsupportive Month."

No one wears a ribbon and you don't have to do anything.

6. What does the mailman do if I put the stamp in the lower left corner of the envelope?

7. Why is it only okay to take a nap when you are either really young or really old. Isn't now the time when I actually need the nap?

That is all for today.

My brain is tired.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Random Dozen: Seven

Thanks again, Linda for the random dozen. Good stuff.

I am especially lovin' this list. The title alone reminded me of a Seinfeld episode.

*Anyone remember George Costanza's favorite name?

1. I've always wondered why we were taught both printing and cursive. Do you prefer to print or write cursive? (Keyboard is not a choice.)

Cursive. It is smoother and faster.

2. Are you a dreamer or a realist?

I am a painful realist. This is why I'd rather watch a "love story" with a tragic ending rather than a "romance" with a sappy one. I like to cry. Weird. Staying steeped in reality helps you to truly appreciate the good that comes in life.

Okay, 'nough deep stuff. Let's move on...

3. Billy Joel or Elton John?

Elton John

He is one of the fewest artists I would pay to see.

Billy looks like he's trying too hard.

Some Fav Elton tunes-
Rocket Man
The One (See link below)
Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word
I'm Still Standin'

Candle In The Wind
(overplayed after Princess Di)

4. What is the scariest movie you've ever seen? Not limited to horror flicks but also includes ones where the tension or suspense is killer, for example, Flightplan (2005): A bereaved woman and her daughter are flying home from Berlin to America. At 30,000 feet the child vanishes and nobody admits she was ever on that plan.

I think the scariest movie has suspense and not yucky stuff. It takes a lot more creativity to write suspense. Any middle school kid can write a script with blood and guts.

So, what movie...

Parts of Sleeping With The Enemy made me jump. It wasn't really scary, but I couldn't tell when the jerk was going to show up and organize the pantry.

Rear Window- Even though I know how it ends, I still love to squeal a little. Classic. You have to watch it in the dark.

5. Now what is the scariest real-life moment you've had?

A semi truck side-swiped my little Toyota Paseo on the driver's side. (I was the driver.) It scared me to death, but I managed to safely pull over to the side of the road before I totally freaked out.

Hubs and I were okay. No injuries. They never found the driver. Grrrrrr...

After that, I had panic attacks on the highway if a semi pulled alongside us. Now I'm over it.

6. What word do you misspell without fail?

I mistype/transpose "ie" words a lot.

I ALWAYS have to look up broccoli. (Just did.)

7. Name something you like to do but are not really talented or good at.

Oddly, if I am not good at something I lose interest quickly. So this was a tough one for me.

I wish I was a lot better at photography.

8. Do you get your emotional/mental batteries recharged by being around people or by having alone time?

Being around other people. It depends on the people, though. Some people make me wish I'd just stayed home. Nice, huh?

I'm a realist.

9. Have you ever been on TV?

Why? What did you see?!



10. Apple or pumpkin pie? (Don't be greedy.)

Do I have ice cream? Apple.

But I'd rather have pecan.

11. How many magazine subscriptions do you have?

One- Paula Deen

12. What lesson do you have to keep re-learning?

Time management. Thus, the reason I have not been blogging as much lately.

*Seven. Mickey Mantle's number. I liked Soda better. If you're lost, then you must not have watched as much Seinfeld as I have. You are probably also a great time manager.

** Edited to add-
This video is for Hubs.

The Elton John question made me a little sappy.
Thanks for being All I Ever Needed.
No shadows block the sun.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The suspense must be killing you.

I came home from the store and found that Hubs had uncovered the peppers. Wal-mart bags were removed (who says I don't recycle!?) and the blankets were gone.

The peppers' fate had been confirmed.

They lived.

Never say miracles do not happen.

You're probably thinking,"It ain't the parting of the Red Sea," but you've never witnessed my gardening skills.

And all the people said, "Amen."

Monday, October 12, 2009

Not-So-Hot Peppers

It has been freezing here. Not in the proverbial sense but in the "Look, there's ice on Hubs' garden" sense.

Hubs grows peppers and tomatoes every year. He is a real green thumb.

Let me tell y'all something about me. I'm a brown thumb.

As Ouiser said in Steel Magnolias, it is a Southern woman's duty to have a garden. I am an embarrassment to Ouisers everywhere.

Hubs knows this. This is why he asks our daughter to water his plants whenever he has to go out of town. He gave up on me when I killed his cactus plant.

The only hope my bedding plants have is the sprinkler system, which is on a timer.

Let me tell y'all something else. Whenever Hubs has a garden of any kind and the plants are nearly at their peek performance, he has to go on a business trip. And whenever he goes on a business trip something freaky happens with nature and I have to suddenly problem solve about why there are holes in the tomato plant leaves or how on earth I'm going to keep the birds away.


Hubs was on a very short business trip last week and, as my unluck would have it, we had a freeze warning. An unseasonable freeze warning.

Hello, Al Gore, Mr. Nobel Peace Prize winner!

So, after I made a nice bed for Milky The Stray Cat, I grabbed all of my Wal-mart bags and began to cover up Hubs' pepper plants. Some of the plants were too big, so I did the next best thing. I covered them up with blankets. Right now there are jalapeno peppers lovingly draped in a hot pink woven blanket in my backyard.

It really adds to the wicker furniture on the porch.

Hubs came home from his trip and we greeted him at the airport with a hooded sweatshirt. He was surprised to hear that it was cold. On our way home, I told him all about my Wal-mart Bag/Woven Blanket Solution.

As of now, nearly 12 hours later, he still hasn't checked on his plants. I think he's scared to look.

Or maybe he has decided the hot pink blanket makes a nice addition to his garden.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

To Belong

It was dark in the kitchen. I stepped onto the cold tile floor.

Someone is looking at me.

I stopped there on the tile with the crack, turning slowly toward the door. His little eyes were looking in. All I could see was his head peering above the edge of the back door's window.

I bet he's cold.

He found us just after we arrived in SmallTown over a year ago. They always find me- cats. For the longest time I didn't know who he belonged to. Then one day at the mailbox two neighbors walked by with a sandwich bag full of food, calling his name, "kitty, kitty, kitty."

I learned who he belongs to (no one) and what his real name is (there isn't one.) These neighbors shared that they, along with other caring ladies, work together to care for this neighborhood stray. There are a lot of them in SmallTown.

Daughter named him. Everyone deserves a name. He is white with a few spots of brown and black, and could pass for the brother or at least the cousin of our last visitor. She named him "Milky" and it stuck.

He stuck, too. He shows up on our steps to say "hello" or "meow" as it were. Sometimes he lets you pet him for a short time. Sometimes he just runs away.

He always appears well fed. One early morning I saw the neighbor's garage door go up and watched as Milky darted out, ready for his daily adventure.

So when I caught this Tom peeping into my window, I knew he needed something. He mewed and mewed. I stood there and looked back at him from my warm kitchen. Then I committed the cardinal sin of stray cat caring. I fed him.

He lapped it up there on the porch.

Where will he sleep tonight?

I grabbed an old towel and warmed it in the dryer, then placed it on the wicker furniture. He sniffed, then scurried into the night.

At least he knows he is welcome here. I hope he'll be okay.

The next day I saw him in the field behind our houses. I called to him and he darted into the tall grasses.

Last night we waited for him to come back. I put food out again and found an old box for him to sleep in. It isn't the foot of my warm bed, but it can protect him from the wind. We said a prayer for him and for others like him.

He never showed. I can only hope that he found his way to a neighbor's garage or onto another cat lady's porch.

We'll watch for him on cold nights and rainy days. I'll offer food when he peeps into my backdoor. Other neighbors will raise their garage doors and let him in for the night. Some will put out fresh bowls of water.

His name is Milky.

He belongs to us all.