Wednesday, May 31
Community over coffee

Meet Shelly. She's one of my two "regular" commentors (and by regular I mean she's posted more than once). She's offline right now, *(^&%$ computer problems. This pic is from one of our early morning coffee times (mmmmm, make that CARAMEL MACHIATO!!!). Funny thing is, when we meet for coffee after school drop off, we usually chat it up til lunchtime. On this particular day they were giving out free bananas. Starbucks/bananas, Starbucks/bananas...doesn't quite go together but then I learned it was to hype their new summer drink. I'm sticking to my favorites.

Good stuff, just hanging out. That "being" thing.

People may have a bone to pick with Starbucks, but personally I'm GLAD for whatever part they had in the coffeehouse revolution. Evidently I'm not the only person who thinks so based on the insane number of people willing to stand in line to cough up four bucks for a hot cuppa joe. Maybe Starbucks (and other local like places) is the "Cheers" of our generation.

I googled God & Starbucks, you'd be amazed at the number of related posts. Here's one I found interesting; here's another. Hope you enjoy reading them with a steaming mug of something good in hand :).

  Into the pensieve on Wednesday, May 31, 2006
  Your thoughts, please (10)

Thursday, May 25
Isn't that a great word? I just made it up. Which, in and of itself is very random.

Today's ironies made me lol, and if you've read my profile, then you'll know that's a good thing.

1) To thank Tad for working a second "shift" after he got home from work yesterday, today I took the car to be washed. Personally, I never notice that it needs to be cleaned, but he likes to travel with it in good shape, so I figured it was the least I could do. Stephen and I went through the drive through deal, then set up shop by their high-powered vacuums. We worked on that sucker for almost an hour! When we were done, it looked good (well, as good as a van is gonna look).

I shoulda known...when we headed back out this afternoon, it rained! Then, again, it rained only on the OUTSIDE, so the inside still looks storm free...for now. And the inside is the part I think will make my husband smile :).

2) We just changed banks. That is a whole 'nother story, a rant I never got into here. Suffice it to say it took THREE STINKIN' WEEKS to get Tad's checking account completely up and running (the main problem was accessing it online), something that historically has taken three minutes. We didn't have a big gripe with our old bank, but the locations weren't very convenient and they were gonna start charging us fees we didn't wanna pay, precipitating the change.

Today I got an email from our new bank. They were very excited to inform us that they were going to merge.......WITH OUR FORMER financial institution.

Yeah, it's these little ironies that crack me up. Obviously, just about anything at the right time can amuse me.

  Into the pensieve on Thursday, May 25, 2006
  Your thoughts, please (4)

That husband of mine...
...I tell ya, sometimes I think he's the smartest man on the planet. Maybe that should be the most resourceful. Or most diverse handyman.

There is NOTHING he won't attempt "fix-it" wise. Sometimes this is a good thing...and sometimes it's not so good a thing. Right now, it's a very good thing.

We got a new gas stove to replace the 20-year-old electric one that came with the house we bought almost three years ago. It was supposed to be delivered AND installed; I have it in writing. Lot of good that did us, 'cause when the guys brought it yesterday, they hiked it up our very steep driveway and set it in the middle of the kitchen floor. And left it there. "Umm, ma'am, sorry about that--we install everything BUT slide-ins 'cause that might mean cutting your countertops and we can't be responsible for that...".

"But IT'S IN WRITING...!" At this point, I'm kinda begging, because I've been ovenless all week and I'm ready to play with my new toy. I've missed a gas cooktop since we left SC. The delivery guys obliged me with the phone number of their boss. Perhaps this was a kind of punishment for them not being able to drive the delivery truck up our hill. I called my "boss" instead (lol, now THAT sounds like something I'd say.................).

Tad's response? "Well, good, I wanted to try that anyway." Ai yi yi, gaslines and my husband under our house, and, well, I can see the bad kind of fireworks going off. OF COURSE, I didn't say that, his track record would prove me wrong. All I'm saying is this is one of the many areas I did NOT "marry my father" (I'm not sure daddy knew there were tools beyond a screwdriver and hammer).

Anyway, my women's group met last night, so Tad wasn't home when I left. When I walked in the door afterwards, Idol was blaring on two televisions (although the wrong two people were competing for the title) and Tad had every tool we owned scattered throughout the kitchen. The GREAT thing was he wasn't losing his religion over this stuff...he looked like he was having fun (???). AND, to add insult to injury, the stupid thing DIDN'T fit the space of the previous oven, he DID have to cut the countertops (the very thing the delivery guys didn't want to get into). He talked to the folks at Home Depot and they said it was a piece of cake...and he looked on-line for further instruction.

Again, I'm thinking "But we have solid surface countertops...!" and I cringed at the thought of having to buy new ones. Then again, Tad's an engineer and he usually finds a way to work it out. I did cringe again when he began dismanteling the back of our cabinets with a crowbar, in addition to sawing through and ripping out the baseboard behind where the oven would sit. My job is to vacuum the mess he makes and watch him while he works. I'm not kidding, he likes an audience.

But guess what? Ladies and gentlemen, we have ignition. He checked the gaslines, connected the power and I'm back in bidness. COOKIN' WITH GAS--WAHOOOOO! Of course, Thomas has elementary graduation tonight, so once again, I won't get to cook on it...and we're headed to the beach for the Memorial Day weekend, but next week, buddy, I'll be having tons o' fun. I'm looking forward to the long drive, because then I can read the manual (don't think I've ever actually READ an appliance manual, but this one has "features" so it would probably serve me well to learn how to use 'em).

So, hat's off to my yardboy-ceiling fan wiring-tile laying-bookshelf building-plumber-painter-moulding putter upper-GAS STOVE INSTALLING husband. He has saved us thousands of dollars through the years, but oh, my, he is paid well ;).

  Into the pensieve on Thursday, May 25, 2006
  Your thoughts, please (6)

Tuesday, May 23
Soapboxes, Shopping and Camera Phones
Sometimes I wonder if I'm a girl because I do not have the shopping gene. My daughter has inherited this deficiency from me. I think I used to have it, but now shopping is just a CHORE I do NOT enjoy! The one exception is stumbling across an amazing that case, stockpiling items I am certain we will have use for at some date in the future, although Tad and everyone else in the family questions the logic (I need only site my purchase of tennis racquets to justify myself, we used ALL 8 of them).

It's almost summer. Rachel NEEDS a new bathing suit. This was our challenge over the weekend. I'm trying to come up with a stronger word for challenge....daunting challenge? insurmountable?? The ONLY thing worse than shopping in general is BATHING SUIT SHOPPING. Tad is convinced there isn't a female alive who doesn't hate it, although their reasons will vary (I agree). It is the one thing I will NOT look at size and automatically disqualify if it's larger than I'd like.

Rachel is 13, still in between a girl and a woman. We actually started looking in women's suits, just because that's usually what we found first. Most look like "old ladies" suits (even too "old" for me, lol). But then we tried juniors, and ay yi yi........GIVE ME A FREAKIN' BREAK! They were all a geometry lesson--two triangles (three, if you count the bottoms) and a not-so-straight line! No tankini's, and really, no boy shorts either.... Sooooo, it was back to women's.

Maybe it's where we live, I guess at least six or seven hours from a beach. Yeah, we did find ONE that was a keeper, out of maybe 30? This makes me want to be a clothing designer, which is pretty funny in and of itself, I have absolutely NO flair for fashion. But I DO know how to cover basic body parts! Reminds me of a GREAT Barlow Girls song (click the link AND be sure both to read ALL the lyrics and listen to the clip).

Anyway, the saving grace at the end of the day was the fun we had as we were leaving. We walked past the millinery department and HAD to try on a few......I saw more than a few smiling faces walking by as they witnessed a mom and her daughter enjoying each other's company. The FUNNIEST thing was a lady asked US to help her decide on a hat for real!! As if we knew what we were talking about.....................:)

  Into the pensieve on Tuesday, May 23, 2006
  Your thoughts, please (5)

Monday, May 22
You know how you get email forwards and sometimes they have really cute pictures but you don't know the peeps in 'em? Well, MOST of you don't know this little guy, but he's the son of Tad's college roomie & childhood best friend, Frank. Frank's wife, Beth, came downstairs this morning to find him desperately trying to "lose" his first tooth (with a little help).

I hope today's the day, and I think the tooth fairy should pay DOUBLE for his ingenuity.

The funniest thing I can remember walking in on with my kids was the time I found Thomas in the pantry (door closed), kicked back in his booster chair with a bag of Oreos, nearly empty, crumbs everywhere, smile--and a smug look of accomplishment--on his face :).

  Into the pensieve on Monday, May 22, 2006
  Your thoughts, please (3)

Sunday, May 21
I figured it out!
Well, kind of. And it's hilarious to me what was messing up my page--

My Da Vinci Code post, lololol! It was jinxed!! Maybe the irony is funny only to me, but I've had a few eyebrows raised at me for enjoying the read. So this is the way the "gods" punish me. Personally, I think it's great that the book has stimulated interest in the formation of the early church, Bible, denominations, what-evah, and that questions are being asked that were never before considered. People are talking about things they've blindly accepted, and perhaps learning more about God in the process (I'm speaking more to how people blindly accept what OTHERS say in the church, not the call of radical faith that Jesus modeled for us). Just goes to show ya, God can take anything and use it for our good, His glory and the advancement of the Gospel ;).

I went back in my archives and found old posts looked "normal"; at the Da Vinci post, that's when my sidebar slipped to the bottom of the page. I thought it might have something to do w/the picture, but even when I took it out, it was still messed up....the margins looks screwy, but that's about as far as I can figure out.

It still bugs me the counter on my profile page is if anyone can tell me how to fix that, I'd be much obliged.

  Into the pensieve on Sunday, May 21, 2006
  Your thoughts, please (3)

Friday, May 19
PENSIEVE explained...for the newbies
Read this and you'll find out why EVERYONE could use a pensieve. This blog, in a very small way, serves as mine (especially those posts that never make it "here";) ).

  Into the pensieve on Friday, May 19, 2006
  Your thoughts, please (4)

Girls just wanna have fun.........

Today I became the 100th blogger added to Blogging Chicks blogroll. That's why I have the new listing over there to the right.

I was just minding my own business, bouncin' around the blogosphere, and I found one of Michele's blogs, and she sounded kinda like me, and I saw this cute little icon and I clicked on it and ended up at BCs. So, I figured, why not join a blogroll, and I liked the idea of it being a "girls' thang", so there.... I emailed Michele and she added me, and lo and behold, I helped her reach a milestone in the process! WHEW!! N I C E run-on sentence to tell the girls over there THANKS!

It made my day to be the "100th Customer" at Blogging Chicks. Funny how those little things can make you feel special.

Get, this, though. I did a Technorati search for my blog and found out I'm ranked 1,201,356, lol, LESS than one in a million! And with that, my friends, the bubble burst.

Who am I kidding? I LOVE to win, no matter what...and today I "won". That's good enough for me!

Click on some of these blogs as you have time--you might just get hooked ;). Oh, yeah, and don't be afraid to post comments...bloggers likey the comments.

  Into the pensieve on Friday, May 19, 2006
  Your thoughts, please (9)

Eleventyseven ... again :)
What can I say? I'm trying to get a job promoting the band (or at least by the looks of it that's what I'm doing...). Nah, Erin's husband is their manager and we're on his team ;).

See their new video here or here. If you check it out (make that WHEN you check it out) Erin & Chip's son, Zac, is in the video. He's the kid who's wide-eyed-and-speechless, then stuffed in a trash can, then resurfacing with a banana peel on his head.

Fun, good stuff. A Christian punk rock band...go figure. Who ever thought I'd be a fan? Then, again, for those of you who know my daughter, who'd have ever thought she'd be a ROCKER??? But she is, although she couldn't "look" less like one if she tried. She actually refuses to watch Idol now because Chris was voted off. Definitely a girl of her convictions, and that will serve her well as she grows up!

  Into the pensieve on Friday, May 19, 2006
  Your thoughts, please (2)

Just BE
Last weekend while Tad was enjoying his golf mecca, my homegirlbestfriend, Erin, came for a visit with her children. Not exactly a "girls" weekend, but close enough. Her older two are in the same grades as my older two (although the genders are swapped), and her baby is now old enough to "keep up" with my baby...I guess with having an older sister and brother, you just learn to keep up.

You know how it is when you have company--the host thinks they have to entertain. ESPECIALLY when there are six children involved. Also, gotta get the house in perfect order. Which, on a normal week for me, is hard, but during a week when I've been gone three days, and then the remaining two I'm at my kids' school, makes it REALLY difficult.

PLUS, I decided this week, I'm ADD. Yeah, at 40-something I've decided that's why I clean my house like I do (bouncing from one room to the next, never quite completing a task, and usually getting bogged down by looking at pictures, reading WHATEVER is in that room to be read, or deciding for some strange reason to begin an organization project--closet, drawers, you name it! ANYTHING to avoid finishing any one thing).

The GREAT thing about Erin--the reason I know her friendship is a gift!--is she really doesn't care about the above. House doesn't have to be "perfect" and an itinerary doesn't have to be planned. So, although I wanted to "honor" her by some level of preparation, I wasn't stressing. What got done, got done, and that was enough. No white glove treatment from her.

Here's the funny thing, though. I STILL felt a need to plan something FUN for the kids. As it was, I felt bad 'cause there were family things we HAD to do--a school program Friday night and a soccer game Saturday. So, to "make up" for those "obligations", I wanted something "fun" in the mix for her kids....they did endure 6 hours in the car to see us. Oh, yeah, since Erin works full time, my first thought was SHE needed something fun, too, by way of area entertainment not available to her in SC. My initial thought was coming up with something touristy in our area to see or do.

As I threw out possibilities, Erin didn't readily jump on any of 'em. We talked til the wee hours of the morning Friday into Saturday, and as I went to sleep, I thought "Tomorrow we'll do something fun...............". Saturday we slept as late as we could, went to soccer and then came home for lunch; my thought was that we'd head out early afternoon.

But guess what? We never did. Lunch came and went...and we just talked... It was a BEAUTIFUL day, and somewhere in there, we decided to play tennis (our 'hood has courts). I was THANKFUL that on one of my insane-bargain-shopping-binges I had bought enough tennis racquets at 75% off for ALL of us to play (and by "play" I mean we went to the tennis courts with racquets and balls, but I'm not sure what we did would qualify as tennis, lol. There was a version of ZacTennis going on, but that's a whole 'nother story). The big boys stayed at the courts and walked home, but the rest of us went back and began cooking dinner. I don't think I had cooked in over a week, that being gone and scheduling thing going on, so home-cooked was more attractive than going out.

After dinner, we just kicked back on the sofa and continued the conversation. Later that night, Tad returned (a day early) from golf, visited with us a while before crashing from his 7-hour drive home, but Erin and I kept going til maybe midnight.

At some point, I guess because I'm s l o w, I realized THIS was what she wanted. The kids WERE having FUN just hanging and being kids! No agenda, no itinerary, no entertainment venue....basketballs & soccer balls & tennis balls & a wonderful creek & snacks & sleepin' late & music & DVDs & games & (for the girls) stampin'...all right here.

And Erin and I...this beloved in my life who I rarely get to SEE...had EVERYTHING we needed...each other. It wasn't just two girls talking non-stop, some of the time it was just "being". Flippin' through magazines, cleaning (with six kids, there WILL be stuff to clean, ADD or not), being in the presence of each other.

As I've savored the memory of Erin's visit this week, I couldn't help but think THAT is what God so desires of ME! Just to BE with Him. I don't totally get what that means, but I think I saw a glimpse of it during my visit with Erin. At least a parallel of it.

Our culture doesn't begin to understand the art of "being"; there is so much ... NOISE ... competing for our attention, I think it's easy to lose your ability to HEAR anything! We're over-stimulated, period. You know this, I don't even have to explain further. And, yeah, I think many would agree that it's not just "culture" that doesn't understand "being"'s prevelant in the church as well. There's just as much "noise" there--DO your Bible study, PLAN your quiet time, SERVE in ministry, ATTEND weekly worship services & choir & children's programs...all that stuff. By while we're doing all that...well..."doing", have we missed intimacy with the Almighty? I have at times. It's like I'm treading water while the stability of dry land is right in front of me... but I'd rather tread water because then I'm DOING something.

It reminded me of when the Lord spoke to Elijah:

" "Go out and stand before me on the mountain," the LORD told him. And as Elijah stood there, the LORD passed by, and a mighty windstorm hit the mountain. It was such a terrible blast that the rocks were torn loose, but the LORD was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. And after the earthquake there was a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire there was the sound of a gentle whisper. When Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his cloak and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. "

The winds and earthquakes and fires of life can consume me with their noise, at a minimum distract me from the better choices. But, oh, how I want to be still enough to hear the gentle whisper instead. I think King Solomon had a few things to say about spinning our wheels, too, but I'm tired of writing and I'm sure you're tired of reading by now.

Oh, yeah, one of the COOLEST things was when I was talking to Erin about the thoughts I'm talking about with you...she had the same ones :). Kindred jinxes are the greatest!

p.s. A blog I came across (who knows how, but it's where I got my Word Cloud from) had some interesting thoughts on how you can be still....great ideas, but sometimes it's much easier for me to see why I can't do something, than how I can.

p.p. s. Doesn't Eugene Peterson in The Message crack you up with some of his translations?? "Step out of the traffic" for "be still"--you've just GOTTA love it! :)

  Into the pensieve on Friday, May 19, 2006
  Your thoughts, please (4)

Wednesday, May 17
What a GREAT start for eleventyseven!
Read this!

That's a nice nod for some guys who are paying their dues. It's not easy getting started in the music business, we saw that first hand recently.

Hope they get more press like this....and congratulations, too, to their fantastic management team!

  Into the pensieve on Wednesday, May 17, 2006
  Your thoughts, please (2)

Tuesday, May 16
11t7 Family Groupies
After our whirlwind romantic getaway, Tad and I parted company. He headed south to God's Country (a.k.a. Daufuskie Island) to enjoy his guys' annual golf thing. I headed home to the real world.

Ahhh, but a treat was waiting. I took my kids to see eleventyseven, an up and coming Christian punk rock band (don't cha just LOVE that??? Gotta tell you, it's cracking me up to think this is the first time several of my friends will hit a myspace page ;) all I ask is that you give 'em a chance!). Thanks to friend Mr. Potato Chip for hookin' us up with tickets and backstage passes (I use the words "tickets" and "backstage passes" very loosely here, and if he reads this he will quite possibly LAUGH OUT LOUD!!!)

Ok, so some funny stuff here. First, this wasn't Rachel's & Thomas' first concert, but it was for Stephen (he's 9). They absolutely didn't seem to know "what" to do with themselves. I wasn't even sure if they were having a good time, but I know they LOVE the band because we've listened to the CD about 4,372 times. Me? Dang, I felt OLD! I WANTED TO JAM W/THE BAND. I mean, in my head, I'm age relevant. In my body? Well, let's just say it would've looked rather sad and pathetic.

Second, at one point I stood behind Stephen and kinda leaned my forearms on his shoulders. In my mind, I'm "reassuring" him 'cause he kinda had that "deer in the headlights" thing going on. He said something and I said "What?" and he repeated loudly, "Mom, don't hang on me in public........!" (I was crushed, lol...he IS my baby, after all).

Third, band member Caleb saw us back on the bleachers (the venue was one of those multi-use Youth spaces, kind of gym-like) and said "Hey, you, little girl in the red shirt, come up and talk to me...and bring the rest of your group with you." Of course, I jumped down and headed for him (the rest of the crowd was pretty much jammin' in front of the stage), and my puppies dutifully followed. Caleb said, "Cool...someone actually doing what I tell 'em to," as I started to move; halfway up, I thought better of it, and went back to the floor. Thankfully, the band never saw me.

Fourth, after the concert, Chip called us to meet the guys "backstage". OMW, Caleb I think was MORTIFIED when he realized I was the one he called from the bleachers...A MOTHER??? A MOTHER???! But, it was cool. My kids once again didn't know quite what to do or say and the guys graciously posed for some pretty cheesy pictures. But, all three bandmembers were n i c e to my kids...I guess they aren't that far removed from their ages.

We all came home with eleventyseven tee shirts--my part in getting their name out there and supporting the band (since we got in free). And I learned two things: next time I take my kids to a concert, I'll hide in the back and let them bring some friends (so they can loosen up and have FUN without their mommy), and two, according to Mr. Chip, Thomas needs to learn how to play the guitar 'cause that's definitely how you get the girls (T would argue it's not necessary).

  Into the pensieve on Tuesday, May 16, 2006
  Your thoughts, please (7)

Monday, May 15
God "blessed" me for biting me tongue
So, once again, it's been a while since I've written. Ten days? Geez...time is FLYING 'cause I've been having FUN :).

Last week Tad and I got away for a few days. Much...needed...time away. He's had a couple of months of l o n g days, so he was especially looking forward to DECOMPRESSION.

Our original plan called for a couple of nights at a WONDERFUL destination where we happened to share the pool with Barry freakin' Manilow during a previous visit (of course, we didn't realize that's who it actually was til later, I just referred to him as the "aging rockstar wannabe", not realizing he wasn't exactly a rockstar or a wannabe!). Since the weather decided to revert to fall and we couldn't capitalize on one of our favorite aspects of the resort, we went to Plan B. A night in Buckhead on our way to the resort.

Have y'all ever tried We are new converts! We got a 5-Star hotel in Buckhead at a THIRD of the price it listed as it's "lowest guaranteed price". For a bargain shopper who hates paying retail, I will ALWAYS try when we travel in the future. Can't believe we haven't tried it before.

Anyway, day two we headed to Reynolds Plantation. This is where the title of this blog comes into play. We drive up to the portico where typically a swarm of bellmen would descend on your car to greet you and help you with your bags (I have never been totally comfortable with this kind of treatment, but it's part of staying somewhere like this, so I grin and bear it). For some reason, the usual swarm wasn't present, must've been a slow time for check in.

We park, get out, open the back of our MINI VAN when another car pulls up BEHIND us. A black BMW with a single man who looks very golf-ish. The single bellman on duty goes to HIM! Ouch!! I felt the sting of being stereotyped and snubbed! I didn't say anything, but then Tad quietly said to me, "I can't believe he got that guy first." so then I knew I wasn't crazy--Tad NEVER says anything like that! We finally decided to go inside and begin checking in; there was a person ahead of us, so I waited and Tad went back out to the car (I mean van).

I was still irritated at being overlooked when we arrived....I'm a "justice" girl and I was feeling the need to tell on him :), but I kept my thoughts to myself. The woman at the front desk greeted me with the most amazing smile...her countenance was radiant. I couldn't help but tell her "You have a BEAUTIFUL smile!" and she responded with an even bigger smile. She checked us in, noticing we had been there before, and finished by asking "Is there anything else I can help you with." I VERY jokingly said, "You can't upgrade us to the Concierge level at the same rate, can you?" fully knowing that was not doable. This wasn't one of those times I was "fishing" or expecting she could do a thing about it.

Ummm, guess what? I was wrong. She upgraded us at the same rate (normally there's a $100 upcharge).... If you're wondering what's the benefit of the upgrade, guests enjoy five "food presentations" a day, plus all the liquid refreshments one can enjoy ;)....all in the comfort of a beautifully-appointed private living room.

I did mental cartwheels 'cause I was pretty excited. Actually, I was touched by the gesture and told Renalda so, but I think she could tell by MY smile.

I told Tad God blessed me for biting my tongue and not dissin' the bellmen. Yeah, he was in total agreement with THAT one (wish I could show you him rolling his eyes at me). We changed clothes, went out to the pool, and lo and behold, the sun came out for the first time that day. I told Tad God blessed me again for keeping my mouth shut.

So, class, what have we learned today?

1. really is legit and saves you money when you're planning on going somewhere really nice anyway.
2. Bellmen like Beamers better than minivans.
3. You can catch more flies with honey than vinegar & nothing ventured, nothing gained (to coin just a few cliches that fit).
4. God cares about the details of my life, so much so, that He gives me the really, REALLY nice hotel room at the fancy resort instead of just the really nice room, in order to bless the self control with my tongue.

I think some people really believe that last line :/

  Into the pensieve on Monday, May 15, 2006
  Your thoughts, please (7)

Friday, May 5
Little things DO matter, and sometimes I think it's the "smallest" of gestures that offer the largest impact.

Recently I wrote about the invitations my mother-in-love :) asked me to make for a family reunion. It took a long time, they "had" to be in the mail quickly, and I was juggling several other "projects" at the time (and it was when EVERYTHING was taking longer than it should've). My friend Paige helped design & get the base card done, she's the idea girl if ever there was one for Stampin' Up! Let's just say that night we got closer........REAL close ;).

Well, my first "paycheck" came when my m-i-l received her invite (I sent her one so she'd know what everyone else was getting...but also to let me know if I--oops!--forgot anything (which thankfully, I didn't) ). She gushed :) :) :). Thought it was adorable. Blew all kinds of air up my skirt, telling me that's why she asked me to do 'em in the first place, yada yada. Her response was predictable in the sense she's a very gracious woman, quick to express her affections & gratitude.

But, then I got two more "paychecks"! Two of Tad's aunts WROTE me to tell me how much they LOVED them. They literally took time to buy a card, and write very specifically why they appreciated receiving them--"...I thought I would write this morning to personally thank you....and tell you how special it is...precious! I loved the poem you wrote, the way you put the invitation together...the scripture on the outside envelope. It is a fantastic work of art!!...thank you so much for making such a memorable invitation. It has certainly set the stage for a wonderful reunion." And from the other, "...I showed it to my art-ish friend and he said, "your niece made that???" is a piece of art, I am keeping it with my treasures."

Seven hours to produce a special, precious, memorable, stage-setting, piece of art, treasure?! Wow! I wanted to write a thank you note for my thank you notes, lol. Seriously, I was touched by these women taking their time to express their appreciation to me. It didn't take a tremendous amount of their time to to do this, but it was intentional and heartfelt. What a challenge to me to "pay it forward" do the same type of thing when I'm touched by someone else. How many times have I had good intentions...the THOUGHT to do something like that, but not followed through. More often than not, I'm afraid, but hopefully these "little" not-so-random acts will effect change in my life.

Here's a picture of the "bones" of the invite...didn't photograph the guts--poem, response card, mini-maps, return envelopes, but you definitely get the idea. The white bbq card pulls out and has all the info on can't tell it, but the hamburger is 3-dimensional... cute, cute, cute (I can say that because it was all Paige, I just did the grunt work).

  Into the pensieve on Friday, May 05, 2006
  Your thoughts, please (2)

Thursday, May 4
Bloggers are just obnoxious

They do stuff like take pictures of their own feet and then post them on the worldwideweb.

These are my new Chacos. Me likey the new footwear. Know why I chose the color? In part, because of its name--Spicy! I was trying to decide between this color and Sassy, but when I learned the actual names (instead of orange and rose/red), there was no question.

My toenails are blue and I'm wearing toe rings. I'm "younger" now than I was 10 years ago. Gotta thank Tad for that. He likes his woman to be stylish (crackin' up on THAT one, the "woman" part), and doesn't mind paying retail (which goes against EVERY fiber in my being!!!). I have been surprised by the number of people who have noticed and commented on the shoes...strangers and friends alike. It softens the sting of stinkin' retail.........

Of course, many of you would argue the style of blue toenails and toe rings ;).

  Into the pensieve on Thursday, May 04, 2006
  Your thoughts, please (7)

Monday, May 1
Made me smile, so it's blog-worthy

Sometimes, this is how I feel, all washed up and pretty ticked off. Thankfully, not at the moment :). Today, all is good...........

  Into the pensieve on Monday, May 01, 2006
  Your thoughts, please (2)

Please click the red's my current blogging spot!

My Photo Name:


Married to my college sweet-heart :)...three GREAT kids I'm not selling to the circus today...I LOVE to laugh (& smile often) to read & cook, hate to shop (unless the store is very small and doesn't leave me dazed and confused). I'm scared of flying so although I'd like to travel more, I don't.

I've been pleasantly surprised to find life in my 40s to be an amazing time of transformation & discovery--of self, others, creation and the Creator.

Here's a partial explanation for my Blog title. I think it'd be cool if they really existed.

A Pensieve is a stone basin.... [One] can extract his or her own memories and place them in the Pensieve, especially to relieve the mind when it becomes too flooded with information. Anyone can examine the memories in the Pensieve, which also allows viewers to fully immerse themselves in the memories stored within...

A Pensieve first appears in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire...

For the complete explanation, see
my 2/17/06 post.

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