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.