It's not my blogmates who freak me out with this kind of scenario, but my peeps IRL who love to make me second guess who each and everyone of you "are". In real life. When you aren't sitting here reading or writing or both.
Guess what, y'all?
Today I met Susie of the cyber-famous Bluebird Blogs, template designer extraordinaire, and creator of my oh-so-fashionable tiny corner of the blogoverse, PENSIEVE sweet PENSIEVE! Over lunch. Guess where? (note: I did not suggest the venue, she did...not that I minded ;) )
Truly, really, we didn't just meet so I'd have yet another excuse for changchangchangalicous eats; we discovered close to the end of our (ahem) "professional relationship" that we lived about half an hour from each other--HOW COOL IS THAT?? Ever since then, we've been working on our date, but first I went out of town, then she went out of town...you know the drill. Life, coming atcha, full steam.
So, today was THE day, and it was bloggerific :). She was exactly "who" I expected, NOTHING to do with body bags or covert "plans". Just a lovely lady with quite a talent. It was such a nice lunch date, we're already talking about the next one.
To add a bit of neato-torpedo to our meeting (and coincidence...at least to me, anyway) I was the 25,000 visitor to her personal blog. Seems I have quite the penchant for being a milestone-kind-of-gal.
Off to power clean...people (in real life) are coming over and I'll get to taste test the THIRD and final pound of my Folgers Gourmet, if I'm not mistaken, a Lively Columbian ;).
Durn. It stops mid-sentence. Now I'm on pins & needles wondering what in the world the "point" was going to be. Remember that scene in Apollo 13 when
Here's a few shots of the Tennessee Valley, when I happened to have a camera nearby. Now, looking out my window, I just see a bunch of naked trees. I think a few of them are shivering in their roots.
Humorous, yeah, but it breaks my heart....
Last month we hosted a meeting in our home, and I thought, "Ah, ha! A captive audience for a coffee tasting..." so I made a pound cake and brewed a pot of Vanilla Biscotti. Well, it would've been a GREAT idea, except the meeting was for our kids' school, and one of the items on the agenda was a new "fundraiser", which was...you guessed it...selling coffee. That translates into me NOT being the only one present brewing on a mission. "They" brought about FOUR flavors for us to try. I had NO idea this "meeting" was little more than a ruse for
So, out of common courtesy, I tasted their stash. It was okay, but remember, I'm Dunkin Donuts loyal no matter what, so it's hard to impress me. PLUS, because this is a school fundraiser, I think the cost was $12/pound? Maybe ten? Eight?? I don't remember now, but it was more than Folgers gourmet, AND more than our shop-by-mail Dunkin Donuts AND I'd much rather give a donation where the school would receive the entire gift, not $2-4 per pound.
Anyway, the GREAT part, seeing how I was "selling" coffee, too, or at the minimum soliciting opinion for blog fodder, is even the coffee neophytes (there are actually non coffee drinkers??) preferred the Folger's Vanilla Biscotti! Cool, huh? Personally, I don't prefer flavored coffees (ahem, unless you consider Splenda, sugar AND half & half "flavoring"), but this was GOOD! You should try it!
And the best part, ladies and gentlemen: You can try it for FREE! The down side is the freebie isn't three pounds' worth, but the upside is you don't need to worry about writing a review. Go ahead, click the link! Let me know what you think when you receive and try yours.
1) I will not drink coffee with dessert. I might drink coffee FOR dessert, but NEVER accompanying it (I also never drink coffee with doughnuts, which for some, I suppose, is a version of morning dessert, especially if sprinkles are included).
2) Before I was old enough to gamble legally, I lost all the money
3) I don't recycle and have horrible guilt because of it.
4) I will buy something I don't need if it's 75% off. Although I HATE TO SHOP (which you DO know), I could easily be a bargain-shopaholic (I guess I am a recovering one of those :/).
5) Ugh...this one I despise...I finish only about 1/2 of the books I begin reading (hmmm, maybe this will become a 2007 Resolution....).
I'm tagging Karmyn since she could use an easy post while she's writing her novel (and before her mom tags her), Claudia because she could use a break in between all her class projects, and LCO, because she recently became a Blogging Chick.
Apparently, even in fall and approaching winter, designers and retailers believe that young teens want to dress like MTV video hoes...I cannot BELIEVE the plethora of lace and satin camis for girls her age. They wouldn't be so doggone pretty if they weren't intended to be SEEN. The other aggrevation is skin-tight sweaters. I'm thinking body paint would be much more comfortable and would provide about as much warmth. One of the things I am MOST thankful for this season is that my daughter has a brain in her head and exercises good judgment 99% of the time. She'll have no part of any of it. Sometimes I w i s h she was a bit more diverse and engaged when it came to fashion, but her modesty will keep her out of trouble and serve her well.
Today ended up being fun--we actually found some cute clothes, enjoyed each other's company, and treated ourselves to Clumpies ice cream (a big YUM in these parts!) :). The funny thing is we didn't exactly plan our six hours of shopping......after going to a morning matinee to see a friend acting in a community theater production, we simply kept going....and going....and going! We managed to avoid the post-Thanksgiving insanity, I guess the venues we chose weren't the "hot spots" (certainly no electronics were involved).
Maybe one of these days I'll actually BUY one of the hats we try on...:).
Here's all you need to get started:
If you can read AND follow instructions, it's idiot proof.
The only brand that matters is the Mazola CORN oil. My friend who shared this recipe swears it makes a difference. Because her pies were inhaled, not chewed, I have never deviated from this detail. Do so at your own risk.
Now, pre-heat your oven to 350 and gather these ingredients:
1 cup + 2 Tblsp ALL PURPOSE flour
2 Tblsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/3 cup Mazola Corn oil
2-3 Tblsp. ICE water (cold is supposed to matter, too)
In a small bowl, mix together all the dry ingredients. Make a "well" in the center and add the oil.
Next, with a spoon or pastry knife cut in the flour with the liquid.
This is when I begin adding the ICE water; I usually start with 2 tablespoons, and then if it seems too dry, I had a third. Once it is mixed well by spoon, I fold it in with my hands (from the outside to the center). If it sticks to your hands, it is too wet, so add a bit of flour. Don't over-handle the dough. It should be smooth enough to shape it into a disc like this:
Tear two sheets of waxed paper about 18" long. Put the dough-disc on top of one sheet and cover it with the other. Now the fun part.......start your rollin' :). Roll in opposing directions, with the obvious goal of shaping a circle (because you're limited by the width of your waxed paper, your circle will be more oblong...). I'm not sure about the thickness of your piecrust, but it's THIN...maybe 1/8". No worries, though.
Once your circle/oblong is larger than your pie plate, you'll be ready to pick it up and drape it over your dish. Here's where the secret technique comes in. Slowly lift the top layer of wax paper completely off the crust. If it sticks, go slower. If it STILL sticks, start over. Lightly replace the top sheet of wax paper.
Pick up BOTH sheets of wax paper with the crust between them and flip it over to the other side.
Now, lift what WAS the bottom layer of paper completely off. Ball it up and see if you can score two points by tossing it into the nearest trashcan. This step is not part of the secret technique but it conjures up all kinds of fun school-year memories of trashcan basketball:).
Carefully lift the crust by the wax paper underneath and drape it, centered, over your pie plate.
Now, slowly remove the wax paper; it should lift easily since you've already lifted it once before.
For this demonstration pie, I've made an All-American Apple Pie. It also required a top crust, so I made two recipes. I have never doubled the recipe and divided the dough in half; instead, I've made two separate recipes in separate bowls. With the extra dough, I used some tiny cookie cutters to make apple designs (to hide the flaws :/). Be sure to "vent" the pie by cutting about 6-8 1" slits in the top...it might explode if you don't (I doubt that would actually happen, but do you really wanna find out?)
The top crust was a bit dry, I should've used a bit more ice water (hence, the flaws). A neat gizmo my mother-in-law gave me is this "pie crust saver". It really does its job--in the past, I'd cover the edges with tin foil for half the cooking time to keep the edges from getting darker than the center of the pie; that was a pain and usually resulted in me getting burned when I pulled it off. Here's the end result...and......yum! It's just as good as I remembered!
Lemme know if you try it or if it sounds like I've left something out. This is a recipe in the "oral tradition", that's why I provided the visuals :). In other words, I know what to do and I hope I'm remembering to tell you everything. Really. Truly. I wouldn't intentionally leave anything out, would I? Shame on YOU for even thinkin' it! ;)
Said to me today when my brother-in-law saw me after several weeks (months?):
"Hey Robin, you look great! Have you gained wait? You look like you've gained weight."
Smack, smack! Please note, I did NOT ask the question, "Do I look fat in these pants?" This was simply his backhanded-compliment-kind-of greeting.
Like THIS is what you wanna hear when you're getting ready to chow down on some of your favorite calorie-riddled eats. Geezaree, the truth h u r t s. >:( Five pounds...more?? Evidently enough to notice within a nanosecond of seeing me.
I suppose I should thank him........now I'll have all the motivation necessary to exercise a
(Don't tell him, but I'm lacing his dessert with Ex-lax (wicked, maniacle laugh)...and hiding all the toilet paper....I don't get mad, I get even ;) ).
First, the good stuff: THIS is my 300th post. What I really wanted for such a milestone (said rather wryly) was some pithy piece of prose that would move heart, soul, mind and body--short, direct, and memorable, the way all good blogging should start...and finish. Instead what you'll get is an invitation to toast the occasion avec moi, teetotalers or imbibers, an offering for you both.
Alas (you KNOW you're in trouble when someone uses THAT word!), I am frustrated and not at all in a celebratory mood. In fact, I feel like a child and would like to, with hands on hips, stomp my feet, poke out my bottom lip....and WHINE!
Sadly, regrettably, tearfully, I have had to revert to my
Willowtree noticed my blog feed was no longer being read in Bloglines; new posts don't show up. After taking a look at it, Dr. Pete determined there's something screwy with my template. I probably did something to mess it up--I've been TRYING (but to NO STINKIN' AVAIL! >:( ) to export my archives to a few other blog hosts. I don't wanna jump ship on Blogger til that's done. So far, I haven't been able to successfully export anything and I have the techies at Squarespace and Typepad working on it
(r i g h t).
As y'all know, making blog changes takes time...and energy. By the time I have
And then there's this: remember that home improvement project I mentioned right after we got back from Florida??? It is becoming the NEVER-ENDING bathroom renovation, and although once excited, especially when it began taking shape, I'm sitting on the edge of nothin'. Really, truly, I cannot wait to show you before and after pictures, the circa 1980 wallpaper is enough to put a smile on your face. The shower is now large enough for me to shave my legs without my backside touching the back wall, which is a good thing, for some reason that just grosses me out (I'm thinking invisible mold, mildew or soap scum osmosing into my pores or something...are there pores on your backside??) .
But........there are problems. THANK GOD Thomas was watching cartoons Saturday morning. He noticed water dripping from a light (our bathroom is directly above our den). He told Tad, and Tad discovered a leak in the walls of the shower :/. He cut off the water, but then we left to go out of town overnight. When we got home, the grout line was cracked at the shower's threshold and around the top row of tile. :( Did you just hear the pin prick popping my largely inflated balloon? You should have. The upside is the water could have continued to run for another 24 hours, and I can only imagine the damage done then. No, I take that back, I CAN'T/WON'T imagine that, all I can see if I do is a pile of tile-turned-rubble, and there's no sense in going there.
Today while I was once again fooling around with transferring PENSIEVE, I got this error from Blogger:
It thinks my blog is spam :(!
As with many powerful tools, blogging services can be both used and abused. The ease of creating and updating webpages with Blogger has made it particularly prone to a form of behavior known as link spamming. Blogs engaged in this behavior are called spam blogs, and can be recognized by their irrelevant,repetitive, or nonsensical text, along with a large number of links, usually all pointing to a single site.
S P A M! (which rhymes with dam! or bam! enough said...) My blog is no longer blog-worthy, read-worthy, feed-worthy. Noooooooo, it's little more than tripe...pork shoulder and ham. I have to WORD VERIFY even to write a post while it investigates my "status". Sheesh! That'll do a number on ya if you're in a very fragile state. My psyche might be permanently damaged.
I would love to rant some more, but I've got to go power clean...company's coming. Yep, gotta cook that 12-lb dead bird (at least wringing its neck and plucking feathers has already been done for me), I've already made a SPECTACULAR sour cream pound cake, my (IMveryHO) BEST APPLE PIE IN THE WORLD will be made--and photographed--tomorrow, and I've got to figure out how to make a dozen side dishes with one oven.
Gee, does this post NOT sound like me or what? I think I need a little
:D Happy Thanksgiving, y'all. Who knows if and when I'll be back! (This isn't a cryptic farewell post, I ain't going without a fight...but I really will be tied up the next couple of days, so if I can sneak away, you might see me again...if not, much peace and life to YOU!).
Last night I had one of those laughs, and given my Pulitzer prize-winning investigative reporting, it was nothing short of chocolate icing on the proverbial chocolate cake.
During Thomas' basketball practice, we decided to grab a quick bite at Chick-Fil-A and run a few errands (including the Target run). Rachel and Stephen found a table, loaded up on straws, napkins and a gazillion ketchup packets (we really should tip somebody). While Tad was paying, I took our drinks to the table, then returned to the counter to pick up the rest of our order. The customer behind us had apparently already placed his order, and at the exact moment I walked up, I heard him say, "Can I have some Pomeranian sauce with that?"
(I'm giggling right now just thinking about it.)
OF COURSE I had to ask, "Excuse me...but did I just hear you ask for POMERANIAN SAUCE??!" And he said, "Yes, I guess my mind's on my dogs. They're in the car." I politely inquired as to whether they were Pomeranians.
"No, they're Pekinese." (snort silently, RESTRAIN YOURSELF WOMAN, NOW!!!)
I quickly replied that I needed to know where his car was so I could warn his poor animals as to what he had in mind. I had Hannibal Lechter thoughts but with dogs, which is just about as gross. Unless you live somewhere very far from here in a country where dogs and horses aren't exactly pets.
The cashier kept a straight face as she handed over the Polynesian sauce. She almost seemed like she didn't notice, but my
As I came back and recounted the story to Tad and the kids, they joined in the gigglefest--I could barely re-tell the conversation between snorts & snot & tears (oh, my!). Except, this time, I'm afraid they were laughing AT me, not WITH me.
Honestly, I don't care which...and even though I'm not a smoker, I almost needed a cigarette;).
...loggerheads to the sea
...a moth to light
...flies to honey
...lint to ANYTHING black
...Britney or Paris to the tabloids
...chocolate to my hips
I was inexplicably but undeniably drawn.
They have faces....they have names...they have their reasons...and they even have LIVES.
Without realizing it, I had acted as judge and jury to convict them of a crime of my own construction. They were doing something I'd never do, and because of that, I was somehow superior, better, without "sin" of my own. With a swift finger of accusation, damning and full of ridicule, I had failed to see the three curled back, pointing at ME. All it took to discover this ugly sneer on my own face was to see their faces, learn their names, hear their reasons.
And have a whale of a time in the process :).
Guess what I did last night? I met the "campers" at Targét. If you've happened to read comments from my last two posts, you might've realized it already.
I didn't actually make a special trip for this purpose; Tad needed some things. But when the door of opportunity presented itself, well, I just charged through....MUCH to the mortification of my family.
With Rachel's trusty journal in hand (she's evidently more Nancy-Drew-ready than me), as my family
Of the ten people waiting in line, eight were guys. All but one planned on re-selling, that guy was a serious gamer. I didn't get his name but referred to him as "Camo Boy"--his face was covered in a hunting mask. One younger guy, David, planned on playing for a while, then selling it before Christmas (guess that's his version of the "best of both worlds"). Another David, also known as "Wedding Boy", was buying his unit to resell in order to make money to pay for his wedding. Gosh, he was so excited. When he told me they had a March wedding date, I asked when (my birthday is in March and I thought it'd be cool if they were getting married then). It's planned for mid-month, and when I told them why I was asking, one of the girls, Amy Grant (not THE Amy Grant-Chapman-Gill) said, "No way! That's MY birthday!" How cool is that? Ten people in line, 365 (or 366, Willowtree) possible birthdates, and one is on MY birthday.
These campers who I had dissed so easily before, were decent people. Why did I assume they were jerks? I didn't even realize my assumption until my pleasant surprise in finding all of them warm and open and inviting and eager to talk. LOL, they wondered if I was a reporter, and I just said no, I was writing about this for personal reasons, that this "story" (which really isn't much of a story) was intriguing in a trainwreck-watchin'-kind-of-way to me.
I gave a few of them my blog name and told them to Google me, not really expecting any of them to remember. How cool was it this morning when I checked emails to find Joe's mom, Loree, had posted a comment...and then later, Joe himself?
For some reason, this slice of an insane Americana was telling to me. Telling of self...and others. It was a nice lesson in not marginalizing people, seeking and seeing good in others, giving people the time of day. Contrary to what I've taught my children all their lives, TALK to strangers! We are ALL desperate for community, whether we know it, acknowledge it or not. For 2-3 days these campers were part of something much bigger than themselves...a phenom that can only exist in a country as indulged as ours...but for them the experience will be like Joe said, "time well spent [perhaps earning $2,400 for three days "work"] , and a fun story to tell friends."
Get this: I'm STILL doing "it"! While I sit here and write, in my mind, I'm thinking, "This is more telling about the people who will fork out $3,000 for these things then the guys reselling them". Geez, I'm STILL a judge!
B) What's the most outrageous item you've ever purchased for OVER the retail price of that item? Did you have buyer's remorse?
If you read my rather
I asked an employee why they were there. They're in line for Sony's new Playstation 3, and although I've seen the press, I haven't read it. Until I saw the crazy people.
The Target peeps told me people have been camped out at Best Buy since Monday even though the
I'm guessing there are three categories of "campers": 1) Serious gamers in line for themselves, desperately validated by being the "first on the block with..." 2) Mercenaries hoping to flip a quick profit on eBay and stick it to the third category: 3) parents who have obviously lost their ever-lovin' minds!!! (and didn't know they had to stand in line for a week in order to buy their over-indulged children a $600.OO TOY FOR CHRISTMAS!!!).
This morning after school drop off (I'm finishing this post the day after I started it), I drove through the Best Buy parking lot to poll the campers, in order to bring their story to you. Nine tents in a row. On cement. In a parking lot. They were still sleeping.
I THOUGHT about honking my horn, but I figured they're already grumpy enough (lol). I am oddly drawn to their insanity the same way I rubberneck a trainwreck. This tells me I am just as nuts as they are.
Today it is a deliciously dreary day. Gray skies, fallish temps, and my favorite part--a relentless, rhythmic rainfall beating an uneven liquid cadence on rooftop and ground, drumrolling music not just to my ears but to my soul. I absolutely LOVE weather like this, especially when I have the luxury of appreciating it from the coziness of home. Perhaps a blazing fire in our fireplace would be the "chocolate shavings" on top of a mile-high mound of whipped cream, topping a venti-sized mug of hot chocolate....sigh...but at least I have the hot chocolate and whipped cream.
Because days like this are the exception, not the rule, I can appreciate them. If I lived in Seattle I'd probably smack someone like me who's pollyanna-ing what could be viewed as a miserable, wet, traffic-nightmare-causing rainfall. Our drive time to school this morning took three times as long as normal; good thing I left early, we barely made it by the ring of the first bell. If too many days of sunshine and blue skies elude, this tune of mine begins to falter, but for now, my spirit sings.
Perhaps part of my demeanor is tied to some of my favorite "friends" who get to visit between now and Spring--sweaters and jeans and thick socks, oh my! My preferred "uniform" when it's cool enough is a vee-neck long-sleeved white tee and my favorite pair of blue jeans, worn well from having been worn often..."soft" in all the right places that make them unique to my DNA. I don't care WHAT happened in "The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants", nobody else's jeans glove you the way your favorite pair of jeans hugs your southern half. Do I hear an "Amen!"? Why, yes, I think I hear a few.
But my primo-most favoritest outfit from last year is what I am wearing today. Mmmmmm, I'm in textile texture heaven! I wish you could touch me (now THAT'LL bring out the freaks, YIKES! rephrase, rephrase QUICKLY), let's make that my arm and kneecap. A pair of velveteen pants and a cozy sweater, and at least while I'm home, a pair of outrageous chenille socks of my daughter's (she has quite the sock collection--while no slave to fashion, she LURVES her comfort, cozylicious, chenille sock collection....shhhh, so do I; they're "her precious"). When I'm out and about later on today, I will most likely be the receiver of many a sideways glance, as observers notice me unconsciously hugging myself. This sweater still feels as good as I remember.
Ooooo, and one of the sursies my husband gave me for our anniversary is a NEW sweater made of the same plush yarn!! I would have that on today, but since I've worn it three times since Saturday, it's in the wash. In case you're wondering (and by now, I know you aren't), this picture is not me, although it wouldn't surprise me if the face recognition gurus at myheritage.com said I look 87% like an Asian model. It could be worse...they could say I look like Little Richard or something;).
...Billy Joel, ballading mid-song, was just at that line when Tad cranked up his 1986 burgandy Honda Accord. It's at that precise moment he asked me to get something for him out of the glove compartment, I swear, almost on cue. I popped it open and saw an open ring box and thought, hesitantly, "Oops! He doesn't want me to see that..." And my head at mock speed boomeranged a shocked glance at him, then back at The Box and I wasn't sure what the proper social graces were for accidentally discovering an engagement ring. I couldn't exactly pretend I didn't see it since it was on top of everything else. All this hesitation in a matter of seconds, felt much more like an eternity.
And then The Question--
"Well...are you going to keep it?"
Not exactly the one
As you can see, his question was certainly understandable. I still remember what I was wearing, in fact, I just got rid of it in the past few years. I become emotionally attached to old clothes and have been known to keep a garment well beyond its natural life because of undue affection. I tried to find a picture from that night, but my pictures are discombobulated, I have GOT to organize them before I die.
By the time Billy got to "I love you and that's forever And this I promise from the heart I could not love you any better I love you just the way you are" I had said yes! Three and a half months later, we were married (dated five years, when you've got your dress (my sister's), it really doesn't take that long to pull off a wedding).
Fast forward...Nineteen years. 228 months. 6,935 days. 166,440 hours.
A long damn time. And if there's ANY question, I am most assuredly smiling when I write that.
I cannot remember what life was like before Tad. We've been together over half our lives. He is strong where I am weak, and our personalities complete each other's; a good thing, although not without working through some differences at times. We've had emotional highs and learned that sometimes "love" is spelled "c-o-m-m-i-t-m-e-n-t" when feelings eluded.
And if I knew "then" what I know now, my answer would still be the same, the second time he asked, not the first.
I love you, baby...happy anniversary :).
To explain my absence from the blogosphere, both "here" (where PENSIEVE lives) and "there" (where [insert your blogname here] lives), I direct you to #2 below.
 Tomorrow is my 19th wedding anniversary. Friday morning, after dropping off our kids as early as we could get them to school, Tad and I
n i c e pinot noir :).
Okay, photos aren't posting (not that there were that many), and my kids are hovering, so I'm hopping off for now. I mainly wanted y'all to know I'm NOT DEAD..........yet ;).
** Our cottage had a ladybug infestation. OF COURSE, I took pictures (insane, I admit, but it was to show y'all, big sigh), the vertigo assaulted me in return (when I laid on my back to photograph the ceiling), Blogger's not uploading, so I'll fool with it tomorrow. It could've been very scary bugs, at least ladybugs are well dressed happy bugs:).
** WICKED windstorm Saturday night, I thought we might end up in Kansas. No, wait, anywhere BUT Kansas.
** The music crashed so our
** the only picture taken of us features me with my stupid eyes closed :(.
See? barely worth mentioning, huh?
After an early morning appointment, I was meeting a friend for lunch before picking Thomas up from school for an ortho appointment. I was very early for lunch, it was too far to drive home, and frankly, I was thrilled to have AN HOUR to read some of my cyberpals. There was angel-devil-shoulder debate about reading instead, but when free wi-fi is in the house, I take advantage.
Please refer to sentence two of paragraph one now. My wireless connection was on the blitz [Insert your favorite profane statement here.]. I clicked everything I could think of to determine and repair the problem (it had worked fine earlier this week). Then.......after about half an hour, I sucked it up and called Tad. One of the error messages was to make sure my wireless switch was enabled--thing is, I don't exactly have a switch, it's a function of the function keys. He told me the toggle, and I toggled...nada. So, I kept clickin' and even asked the very smart-looking student next to me if she had any ideas. Suffice it to say, her smart looks had nothing to do with computers.
Now it became a challenge--man vs. beast. Yes, BEAST. My laposaur was NOT going to win. I would not give it consent to make me feel inferior. So......I called 4-1-1 and got a connection to the Geek Squad at Best Buy. Yep, the Geek Squad. They told me the same thing Tad did, and without going in to the store, that was the best they could offer.
But guess what? I kept a' clickin' and finally......FINALLY, due diligence paid off. I figured it out--but can't tell you because it's a double-naught secret (aka I have no idea how to recreate it...something about enabling something that had been disabled. If I find out "how" it became disabled I will hurt someone). My student neighbor was proud of me. The staff at Panera was hopeful I would now give up my table or order more than a Pepsi (which I HAD to buy because of the companion nausea experienced during my ride on Vertigo) . Me? I could finally check in on a few of you. It only took an hour to show Mr. Lappy who's the boss.
Except then my lunch date showed up and that was the end of that. Talk about timing :/.
After checking off the past 153 days of construction, she's heeeeerrre!
And, yes, we were there opening night with bells on. At least I was sportin' some ring-a-ding-ding-dongs.
My precious springrolls were just as I had remembered them, as was Tad's favorite, Chang's spicy chicken. When appetizers, then entree arrived, there might have been a few tears shed.
The best part was sharing the night with Stephanie and Charles. "Why would that matter?" you ask. Because when I say "sharing the night", I mean
a l l n i g h t.
We waited 2 1/2 hours just TO BE SEATED. Service was attentive but slow, but time was irrelevant. (Mainly because Steph and I, before the guys met us, had wandered over to a nearby Mexican place for chips & salsa & beverages, so we weren't exactly famished. We had no idea at the time how wise that decision would prove to be.)
You judge if the night was good...just listen to our good fortunes:
Today will be lucky and memorable for you.
Important associates will be there for you, if needed.
A great day lies ahead in the not too distant future.
Your dream will come true when you least expect it.
Of course, we read all of those as we do every fortune cookie we come across--by adding the words "in bed" at the end of what it says. Yep, laughs were in plentiful supply :).
Top Most Repeated Phrases:
1) "Are you feelin' the Magic?" (Sometimes asked when there was a "lovefest" going on with a great ride or show, asked other times when one of us was going postal, because siblings/children/parents know when and how to press each others' "buttons" like no other. Sometimes we laugh WITH each other, and sometimes we laugh AT each other. All in love....maybe;) ).
2) "What time is it?" (I have no idea why it mattered.......time was irrelevant to me, but apparently important to my kids).
3) “I’m hungry” (Said within 30 minutes of breakfast, lunch or dinner, which was probably not eaten anyway.)
4) “It was worth the wait” (Test Track, Expedition Everest and Soaring, yes!) or “It wasn’t worth the wait” (Peter Pan's Flight). Live and learn :/.
Just Plain Funny
“This gets my vote for scariest ride.” (Thomas on “It’s a Small World After All”)
“Does this thing
N E V E R end?!” (Thomas, 12 minutes into “It’s a Small World After All”)
On the way home, I tried to write a bit (it's why I can "remember" this stuff now). Picture Stephen "singing"...loudly... behind my head. I ask him what he’s singing, this is the following exchange:
Me: "Stephen, are you just making noise?"
Stephen: “I’m singing to the Lord.”
Me (sheepishly, with some conviction): “Y o u a r e ??” (cartoon hearts floating out of my eyes)
Thomas: "Mo-ohm (rolling his eyes at my ignorance)... he’s singing High School Musical."
Everyone laughs as the boys say, “Mom, listen to this…3-2-1” and they break into song in unison... They'd kill me if they knew I was publically posting about them singing HSM (bwwaaahhhaha!)
Wise Beyond Her Years
Spoken incredulously, expression of disbelief: “They go to Disney EVERY year? But then the "magic" would just fade away” (Rachel, when I was telling her about friends who make an annual pilgrimmage to Disney).
More soon, I'm on the run:).
Take this ABSOLUTELY LAME picture to our left. In case you're wondering (which I highly suspect you are NOT), it's a Baobab tree. These are also known as monkey bread trees or colloquially as "upside-down trees" (from the Arabic legend which claims that the devil pulled out the tree and planted it upside down). Yes, I've already told you more than you'd care to know, but it's important for you to hear the
There are hundreds of numbers I could throw at you relative to our trip to Florida's coast and "all things Mouse", here are just a few:
24 Approximate hours spent in the car from Sunday morning-Thursday night.
24 Exact hours spend in the parks
1,500 Approximate miles traveled
82 How many times Stephen asked some variation of "Are we almost there?"
5 Hours on the beach. About a thousand too few
45 Minutes. About how long I boogie boarded. Big waves, one of the roughest surfs I’ve ever experienced. Probably not safe, but absolutely, positively wonderful!
4 Number of Disney theme parks visited, 3 each day
19 Miles walked each day. Okay, who really knows this number? Wearing Birkenstocks definitely worked on the old calf muscles, I wish they looked as good as how sore they were. Amazed our kids DID NOT complain, they were troopers.
46 Seconds. How fast the kids fell asleep in the car after getting up at 6:30 a.m. the first day, and going HARD until the fireworks were extinguished that night. We let ‘em sleep in Day Two. Somehow we still managed 12 hours of Magic.
$$$ Tickets. You could feed a third world country for a year for what it costs a family of five to spend a day at Disney. Yeah, I’m conflicted on this one.
17 How many times Tad or I said “Don’t y’all wanna watch a movie?” to the kids on the drive down and back. I don’t get it. When I was a kid, THIS was the kind of thing I never dreamed would be a possibility in my lifetime. Go figure….
3 Number of movies they actually watched
3,000 The number of junk-food calories consumed per family member, per day.
30 The number of nutritious calories consumed per family member, per day.
In between, Thomas had a noon "pick-up" football game (The "official season" was over). In spite of it being more a scrimmage than a game, he was FIRED UP because it was the only one they got to play on our school's campus since sixth grade is still played through the Y (none of his games were "home" games). Thomas had to leave his first basketball practice early in order to make his game--he's still in the "I can play everything" age of adolescence.
So, yeah, if you noticed game times, we were on the road all day long, Rachel in tow, dutifully playing the cheerleading big sis.
Thomas' football game started late, so it ran late, and Tad left early with Rach and Stephen to get to the second soccer match of the day. I was left behind to watch the ending of Thomas' game.
I cannot tell you just how important that proved to be.
He scored a touchdown in their only win of the season. His first ever.
Starting with a wobbly pitchout, he ran his heart out for 60 yards, his eyes never leaving the prize--the coveted endzone which had managed to elude his grasp all season. When I realized that was
My heart exploded, but not from "mother pride", nothing like that. I knew what this meant to Thomas. It meant everything to him. It mattered too much. He's a classic middle child if there is such a thing. To say he loves/adores/relishes being the center of attention, is an understatement. For a moment, he measured up to the Legend that Lives in His Mind. Perhaps the most precious thing about it, was his friends' reaction. THEY were just as happy for him as I was, as he was himself. They know. Kids "know" whether they realize it or not.
It was a fantastic game for all the guys. For some reason, everyone had "a moment". The "stars" of their team stepped aside to share the glory. They had nothing to lose so they played with unbridled spirit--after all, their season was officially over, why not try something "new" for fun?
But when the Fat Lady finally sang, it was one heckuva winning number :).
Bigtime Postscript: Glad he had this glorious moment on Saturday, today is the day he bade farewell to four MORE babies. Let's just say I waited as long as I could because, although I feel his elation when he's on a "high", I feel his pain when he's on a low (he's sure we ALL feel his passion, good, bad or ugly!). He's hurtin' right now :(, but I'm sure in a few hours, all will be good :/.
It's also time to fess up that my perfectly painted tootsies are discombobulated, too. Ewwwww! Look at that pic to the right:(. It brings both mental and physical duress for me just to look at it! I'm not sure WHAT happened to start the break in my nail, but Stephen finished it off when Birkenstock-clad foot met soccer cleat. I actually went to a nail salon and requested an acrylic tip, but they
Perhaps the saving grace is there's over six months for it to grow before baring my feet full time again. In the meantime, they're hiding, often in colorful socks, which is kind of like a spoonful of sugar :).
For those of you who might remember my
BTW, I'm getting v e r y close to my 300th post...what happens then? In Blogger's "Posting" mode, it only shows the most recent 300 entries, and gee.....I don't wanna lose any stellar writing from prior to that. Any thoughts?
(Thanks to leftcoastonlooker for head's up on Malissa's birthday :) ).
I left this post 'cause it didn't have my picture, not by any intention of my own. I'm blog-impaired at times, what can I say?
Photo #1, My lookalikes, (the only one I'm leaving since I'm incognito): Little Richard, Gabrielle Union, YOUNG Jackie Kennedy Onassis, Rita Hayworth, Hugh Jackman
Photo #2: Lacey Chabert, Rusiana, Julianna Margulies, Julia Stiles, Sheryn Regis, Katherine Heigle
Photo #3: Yamila Diaz, Cybil Shepherd, Sarah Jessica Parker, THE ROCK (HA! Still cracking me up, more than Little Richard), Zhang Ziyi, Elizabeth Shue.
I can't write anything of substance at the moment. Kevin-the-tile guy has his whiz-bang saw going every two minutes and to say I'm distracted is a vast understatement.... But every whirrrr I hear is one more tile up, that much closer to being undiscombobulated. Off to speed clean.......silly girl that I am :).
REST OF THIS POST REMOVED TO PROTECT...the not-so-innocent :). Me likey the comments, so I didn't delete it altogether, funny peeps, you are!
When I got to the dealership, there were three cars in front of me, but they still checked me in quickly. I reminded them what I was there for, and in addition to the brake job, I asked them to check the thingamajig that squirts water on the windshield...you know, the fluid that's supposed to hose off bug guts and bird mess. Ours has never worked that I can recall, a bubbling dribble does little more than dampen the hood of the car and frustrate me.
They have a nice waiting room so off I went to blog on my lappy, coffee in hand. No sooner had I powered up, did Chris-the-service-concierge come and find me to tell me the "news".
Chris: "Ma'am, your brakes are just fine...they don't need to be replaced."
Me, oh so intelligently: "Huh?"
Chris: "That's right, they're only about half-worn, so if you replace 'em now, you're just throwing money away."
Me, dumbfounded: "Oookaaaaaaayyyyyyyy. Then what's that racket we're hearing."
Chris: "I don't really know, ma'am (I'm feeling a thousand years old). We'll check 'em and clean 'em, but when they need to be replaced, you won't wonder about it. You'll KNOW."
Ten minutes later I'm on my way with my not-so-squeaky-but-clean brakes and a windshield-squirter-thingy spraying at the speed of sneeze. Best of all, no charge :).
It hit me driving home that there was no "real" reason to go to the dealership yesterday, our brakes were fine.
And I would've missed an amazing show.
Matt commented to my blog recently, so I paid him a little visit. Among other things, I thought this was v e r y nifty. I figured at least one of the above girlie-Qs would be included in this face recognition thingy, but it came up with a whole new batch. Go figure.
I think I just look like myself.
Take this morning. The first half of my day was pretty well ordered--based on the high-pitched squeal of my brakes, it was time to have them replaced. Following an early-morning appointment at the dealership immediately after school drop-off (coupon special, otherwise we NEVER go to the dealer for service), I was headed to my Wednesday morning study on Daniel (Bible prophecy blows my mind.....and honestly, I struggle with
For some reason, traffic was MISERABLE, somehow personifying the gray, drizzly, nondescript kind of day that attempts to smother the fire of Fall. It took us 20 minutes to go less than two miles, on a good day it should've taken us maybe five. The kids were on time for school, but I was about 15 late for my 8:00 a.m. appointment.
OF COURSE, I was frustrated. In my mind, 15 minutes late for a service appointment meant I'd be behind others who had later appointments, and my wait would go from one hours to two.
Instead, it turned out to be wonderfully providential. Had I been on time, I would've missed a moment of beauty...creation speaking...in a way that always, always stops me in my tracks.
A rainbow. Alpha to its omega, spectacularly complete. Were there a pot of gold at its end, I could've found it. In sections, there was a double bow, though this a quiet echo of the first. As I was rushing to my appointment, desperation looked right and left for a place to stop, to be still, to savor. Finally exiting the interstate, I was able to click a few shots with my cell, but it was already beginning to fade.
I didn't care about being late anymore. It didn't matter. Maybe it sounds silly, but when I see a rainbow, I see a signature of God, a seven-color brushstroke of His hand across a canvas of sky, and I'm amazed. I am always amazed. Sometimes I'm amazed that I'm still amazed when I've been seeing these for a lifetime. There have been multiple times I am convinced these are intentional gifts for ME--an assurance--like a father saying "Chile, I'm HERE! It's okay...it's gonna be O.K." and I believe it, 'cause it's my daddy, and he knows me and loves me and always tells me the truth, ya know? Today I'm not overly concerned about anything really, and still I'm reassured....
Ok......Blogger's not cooperating with photo uploads, so here it is w/tinypic...wish the quality was better, but at least you can see the entire arc if you squint your eyes and use lots of imagination :).