Friday, May 29, 2009

Friday's Fave Five: American flags and lovey dovey stuff

Susanne is so gracious to host Friday's Fave Five each week. I love her blog and I love that little bird in her banner. It makes me smile, Susanne, every time the page loads.

So, on to my favorites of this week.

1. Memorial Day- I love all things patriotic. I like to wear red, white and blue with a flag lapel pin and all things Uncle Sam. I love to celebrate everything that is good about this country like freedom and courage and hot dogs. It's an honor to remember the people who have literally paid the price for it all- something I never want to take for granted.

2. Sleeping in- My old physics teacher never had it this good. Ahhhh... summer.

3. A sense of humor in the midst of people who literally crack me up- Daughter and I were at the grocery store the other day where we saw not one, but TWO men with plumber's pants. One was bending over trying to fix the freezer and the other was walking out of the store. Let's just say his red suspenders were not effective. I may add that this is the first time I have seen someone with plumber's pants who was walking UPRIGHT.

And notice that I said plumber's "pants" and not the other word which rhymes with mutt because I try my best to make my mama proud.

4. Anniversaries- It's just nice to take an entire day to love someone. Not that you don't love them the other 364 days.

5. The Glenn Beck segment on Friday's O'Reilly Factor. Glenn Beck is funny. I think we sat near each other in psych 101. If we didn't, we should have.

I would like to add that it took me all day to write this pitiful list. Every time I turned on the computer I was interrupted by something like people needing nourishment, the phone, a rude cat or just life in general.

This could be a good thing. Without all of that, I'd have no material.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Love is patient and kind, especially with crackers and grits.

Fifteen years ago I woke up nervous, excited, and scared. Nervous that I'd say the wrong thing, excited about what was about to happen, and scared that my hair would go flat.

It was the day I got married.

Planning a wedding is a lot of work.

You work for months planning the wedding, thumbing through magazines. What will the bridesmaids wear? Who will be your maid of honor? Where will you have the reception? How are you going to fix your hair?

Here's the thing. Whether you are rolling your hair or using the straightening iron, the work has just begun.

There are bills and jobs, adjustments and disagreements, misunderstandings and forgiveness, and woven through it all is love and, if you're lucky, a lot of laughter.

Marriage is work, but it's the kind of work that makes you want to get up early the next day and put in extra hours. This is the kind of work that requires all of you and sometimes more than all of you.

Fifteen years ago I had a lot to learn. Still do.

My husband has taught me more than he knows. He has taught me how to dream, how to see the world differently, and how to make some of the best cookies in the world. (He's still trying to teach me how to properly open a box of crackers; I always open the wrong end.)

I've taught him more Southern sayings and words than he ever wanted to know. I've taught him that it's useless to make a biscuit without good flour and that it always takes longer to cook grits than the instructions read on the box.

Fifteen years from now, I'll remember (scratching my head) all the things I did the morning of our wedding. Rolling my hair. Knowing where to stand. Talking about the flowers and the dress.

I pray, with the grace of God, that I can remember another fifteen years of love and commitment. I hope I can still quote lines from Seinfeld and that we will both always remember to laugh.

But I'll still worry about my hair.

Happy Anniversary, Hubs.
Here's to fifteen more years of eating Triscuits from the wrong end of the box.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Why my cat could inspire the Republican Party

Spring brings me all sorts of things. The need to cut the grass, a stuffy nose, and the daunting task of teaching Maggie manners.

Really, it's pointless. The grass grows again anyway and Maggie is a cat. Cats are the far-left liberals of the animal world. It's all about them and it's all about RIGHT NOW.

Oh, how that could segue into a whole 'nother topic of cats and dogs and red states and blue states.

Back to my little liberal.

Maggie likes to go outside. Not on the grass or the dirt. Just outside on the concrete patio (the covered concrete patio) where she can feel the wind in her fur but not the earth on her paws. It is a lot like those cheesy hiking tours where people like Paris Hilton can wear their new hiking boots and feel like they're roughing it while staying on the trail and eating a granola bar.

So, Maggie cries at the back door, peeking out the door's window, until we let her out. If the temperature is between 70 and 71 degrees, she stays outside. If not, she cries to come back in.

If the temperature drops too low, she doesn't even bother to stick her head out, but looks at me like,"Hello? Are you kidding me? The arctic temps are bad for my epidermis."

I'm not even sure cats have an epidermis.

Now that the temps have maintained within her comfort zone, Maggie wants to go out all the time. This is when she met her nemesis.

A frightening, furry, big-eyed bunny.

Makes me shudder to think of it.

I noticed the cute little creature a few months ago. He sneaks in the yard under an opening in the fence, hops across, then squeezes under another opening at the opposite end of the yard.

We have no flowers or carrots or Mr. MacGregor's garden-type vegetation for him to eat, so I wasn't sure why he stops (or hops!) in.

Now, I think I know.

Take a look at this.

That's Maggie and the bunny in a stare down through a window in desperate need of some Windex. Cue the Western music.

The two of them sat like this, in their animal stare contest. The bunny won. Maggie got bored, slowly walked over to the tile, and plopped into an instant nap. The bunny hopped away to his exit and high-fived his friends on the other side of our fence.

A lone crusader with new ideas, bold tactics and secret supporters behind the scenes. I'm thinking he may be a libertarian.

Monday, May 25, 2009

In Memory

To those brave men and women
who rest in that sacred place
and to their families
whose tears have kept its grasses green,
thank you.

Take a moment to watch this from Trace Adkins.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Of Levers and Lazy Days

School was officially over yesterday which means I don't have to get up early anymore. Yes, I'm nine.

Whenever you ask a kid what is the best part of summer, they start with, "I get to sleep in."

I believe this says something about the school day schedule because at nine, "sleeping in" should not rank above things like "no homework" or "looking at Mrs. Higginbottom's mole during math class."

Not that I ever had a teacher named Mrs. Higginbottom, but if I did, I wouldn't want to look at her mole all day.

I did, however, have Mr. S.

Mr. S, bless his heart, was my high school physics teacher. Those students on the college track took either physics or chemistry. Like all good students, we chose wisely.

The chemistry teacher is tough.

The physics teacher is not.

Take physics.

Critical thinking is a strong point of high schoolers.

I already had Mr. S for Algebra 2 and did not learn a thing. (Except to get my best friend to share her homework with me.) Clearly, my high school years were the pinnacle of my education.

Besides the fact that Mr. S wasn't tough, there was something odd about him. He sat at his desk and read from the physics teacher's edition and fell asleep. In the middle of the sentence. Of course, we'd all giggle and talk, then drop something and watch him wake up.

Guess who would do the dropping.

In addition to my fine education, my high school years were the pinnacle of my growth as a compassionate human being.

Mr. S would wake up from the noise, look around through squinted eyes, slurp in the drool, and continue to read something about a lever or a fulcrum or a pulley. This would go on for the entire hour until the bell rang and we'd all run off to AP English.

I later realized that Mr. S. could have suffered from narcolepsy, which is both sad and shocking. I mean, didn't the principal notice the math and science teacher nodding off? Wow. Those are tax dollars well spent.

Or it could be that Mr. S. was just like the rest of us, waiting for summer so that he could sleep in.

Dreaming of levers and fulcrums and pulleys, the three things I learned in high school physics.

Monday, May 18, 2009

The Weekend. In list form. It's the best I can do.

So, it's Monday morning and time for the weekend recap. We're an exciting bunch here at our house, so no need to get a snack while reading this post.

1. Saturday morning Hubs and daughter ran in a "run" which is different from a "race." This is good because my daughter would have beaten Hubs in race. Since it was a "run" they ran together, side by side. I could segue into an analogy of family bonding, but it's Monday morning.

Notice who did NOT run? The only time I run is when something is chasing me.

2. The rest of Saturday was spent working in the yard, planting bedding plants, edging. Thank goodness we have sprinklers or the poor little petunias may die. I am terrible with plants. If something doesn't cry, whine, or meow, I forget to feed it. Sad, but true.

3. Horseback riding. Not me. Daughter. She is learning with a friend and loves it. I am learning with her and love it. I'm not riding, but I have to know all there is to know about saddles and bridles and these really heavy things called hooves that can hit you in the leg or the head or whatever is in the way because you didn't listen to the teacher.

I want to listen to the teacher. I like my cranium.

4. Which leads me to a quote I've been saying lately. I've managed to work it into several conversations and it is starting to become my Seinfeld "Hellooooo."

Know where this quote is from?

"He'll be crying himself to sleep tonight on his huge pillow."

Leave the answer in the comments.

Sorry, no prize. This is a low budget blog.

I do have a friend who kind of knows Amy Grant. Oh, Linda. Will you make me cool?

Edited to add: Kudos to TexasRed for being the first correct commenter on my quirky quote. The quote is from "So I Married An Axe Murderer."

Here's the clip, also known as the
Heid Speech, which is better than Hate Speech.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

The Amazing Race

Today I am over at the cafe writing about one of my favorite shows on television, The Amazing Race.

Did you realize that you are part of an amazing race?

Put on your running shoes and join me at the cafe!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Interpretation of Dreams

This morning at breakfast the three of us discovered that we all had nightmares the night before.

My daughter dreamt that we had mean turkeys in our house. One was "guarding the fireplace."

When I asked her why she dreamed about turkeys, she said,"I don't know. It's not even November."

I had a dream that there were bears running loose in the field behind our fence. I called the authorities and they told me that the construction crew had to handle it. Well, I knew that wasn't going to happen. So, in my dream I drove around trying to find the bears while calling the park service on my cell phone.

I managed to find a huge grizzly. He got away. Drat.

Hubs had a dream that he was deep in the thick bamboo of an unknown location when suddenly a friend yelled, "ATTACK!" A helicopter flew over and nearly killed them all.

I'm guessing I shouldn't serve spaghetti for dinner anymore. What do you think?

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Plagiarism makes me a bit cranky.

As you may have noticed, I've posted a Copyscape warning on my blog. Unfortunately, I have been forced to do so.

There are serious legal and ethical ramifications for those who plagiarize. Plagiarism is different from linking to a post you like or to referencing another blogger. When a blogger links to something I've written, I am flattered. When a blogger copies everything I've written and claims it as their own material, I'm not so flattered.

Plagiarism in the blogosphere involves cutting and pasting all or part of another blogger's material, posting it on your blog with no reference to the original author, thereby claiming the material as your own.

It is illegal. It is serious.

If you're a blogger, beware of those who plagiarize. Several bloggers are talking about this issue right now.

If you are a reader and/or blogger who finds a post you would like to share, please link to the original author.

Blogging is fun. Most of us blog to share our lives and maybe even share some thought-provoking ideas. The blog community is almost always friendly, but when plagiarism is involved, well, that's no fun at all.

More on this topic in a later post.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

A day at the Post Office

Yesterday I came to a fork in the proverbial road. I had a box to ship in time for Mother's Day and I had two choices.

The road less traveled (The Post Office) or UPS.

I chose the road less traveled.

Since moving to New Mexico, I have learned that Newman, ironically, gets packages to my family on the east coast much faster than the man in brown. Plus, the local UPS store guy gives me the heebie jeebies. I am sure he is perfectly nice and that his mama loves him, but there is something about him that I just can't figure out.

Most of the time Hubs makes the trips to the post office. Yesterday was different. He was busy and I was forced to go or else my mama may not get her cute little gift bag on time.

As I stood in line in the post office, a little old man in Wrangler jeans approached the counter.

"I want to talk to the Postmaster."

"What do you need, sir?" the postal worker asked.

"I need to talk to someone about the person who is delivering my mail."

I could tell from the man's tone that he was not about to offer any commendations or recommendations of a promotion for his mail carrier. I couldn't help but snicker to myself. I love this guy.

"You need the supervisor," the lady behind the counter replied.

She quickly darted into a secret passage which leads to bins of mail and postal workers on break, the place in the back where insufficient postage stamped mail goes to die.

"I'll wait. It'll be at least thirty minutes," the disgruntled man said.

Again, a snicker from me.

In less than thirty minutes, a man in a uniform emerged from the secret passage and approached the upset customer.

I stood there paying for my mama's package to be mailed and minding my own business, ahem, when I overheard the upset, old cowboy loudly share his grievances.

"I want to know who delivers mail to this address," he said, pointing to his own mail.

He continued, "Is it a woman or a man? If it's a woman I don't want to say anything but if it's a man, I am going to chew him out!"

He hates the postal service and he's a gentleman. Double love this guy.

"It's a man, " said Official Grievance Taker Worker.

"Well, he refuses to pick up my mail and I had to drive all over town to pay my bills..." the man went on.

I paid my postage and the lady at the counter wished me a nice day. We both grinned and gave each other a wink. The old cowboy continued his complaints.

I walked out and found a dog sitting outside the post office. Thinking that the dog belonged to a postal customer, I waited. People filed out of the building, pet the dog, and walked away.

Within a few minutes, the old cowboy emerged. We stood there together with the dog, looking at the tag and committed to finding its owner before leaving.

"I got a kick out of your story in there," I told him, "the post office is one of my least favorite places on earth."

He chuckled and explained his postal problems in grim detail. We stood there chatting and petting a stray dog.

The owner finally came out of the post office, scolded the dog and informed us that the dog was supposed to stay in her truck. (Tip to owner: next time, don't roll the window down so far.)

The cowboy and I said goodbye to each other and I couldn't help but snicker again. If I had known how entertaining the post office could be, I just may visit more often. (Okay, maybe not.)

And that's the day that I bonded with an old cowboy in Wrangler jeans in desperate need of a shave and a better mail carrier (or man, as it were.)

Monday, May 04, 2009

It's the little things. And sometimes the big things.

It is amazing what an evening away from the mundane can do for you.

We decided to take an overnight trip this weekend to a town that has stores with merchandise and stuff.

I KNOW. I'm living on the edge.

Our first stop after checking in the hotel was Barnes and Noble, my favorite bookstore. If anyone from the Library Powers That Be is reading this, please take note. I spent a long time in B & N because it is inviting, it has shelves clearly labeled and employees who smile and make eye contact. Plus, no mildew smell.

You know, this has nothing to do with anything, but wouldn't it be the creepiest movie ever if someone merged the public library with the post office in a sick and twisted plot about dusty books and unclaimed mail?

No? You mean it's just me?

Drat. I thought I had a bestseller there.

So, anyway.

After our trip to the bookstore, we went to Old Navy and found some cute clothes for my daughter. She also found some jellies that she has been asking for. I had flashbacks of 6th grade right there next to the Old Navy mannequins. I warned her about the whole sweating phenom, so she has been officially informed.

It was about time for some dinner, so we browsed the GPS and took a chance on a Thai place we had never heard of nor seen. We pulled up to the place and I got out to take a peek inside. As soon as I smelled the aroma of basil fried rice and saw the crowd inside, I turned to Hubs and gave the thumbs up.

In a word. Yum.

Then we were off to Target, the new Target, where I got a Starbucks and took my time browsing the aisles. It was like heaven without all the singing.

(The Target Deprivation is Palpable.)

After a restful night, we were soon headed back home, but not until I decided to go the other Target in town, the old Target. Yes, two Targets. There is a difference. At least that's the story I'm sticking to.

We loaded the car and headed home for real this time. After a quick run through a Krispy Kreme drive thru, we were set.

A quick trip away with Starbucks coffee, good Thai food, two Target trips, good books and a taste of the South in a fried pastry.

I'd say "Priceless" if it were not over done.

Instead, I'll say "Thanks, I needed that."

Friday, May 01, 2009

Compassion India

Instead of listing a Fave Five today, I want to direct you to the Compassion Bloggers who have been in India all week.

I've been following the Compassion Bloggers since the Uganda trip. Each time I have learned something new about the poor, the lost and about myself. If you are sponsoring a child or not, I encourage you to read their posts from this week.

Yes, it can be a difficult read but I promise, you'll be blessed.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have some reading to do...