Tuesday, October 31
Do you want someone to tell you if...
a) your pants are unzipped
b) you have a "bat in the cave" (#1 & #2, but omw, NOT #3!)

I ask because Thursday I ran errands for hours...with my pants unzipped. I'm "ughing" again just remembering. Even my children didn't tell me, I realized it for myself when I went to the bathroom after school pick up (they swear they didn't notice, "Mom, no one saw..."). My mind is racing, trying to remember when I "went" the last time, knowing they had been undone half the day, trying to recall everyone I had talked to. The biggest embarrassment was knowing I had just had a lengthy discussion with our tile guy, I'm pretty certain we maintained eye contact the entire time. Let me believe this even if it's not true.

So, I ask again, is ignorance bliss or do ya wanna know?

One of my more embarrassing moments was at Bath & Body last year, shopping at Christmas time. The rather hip college-age cutie working the register, in not-so-hip terms, told me I needed a tissue. Her equally dollish co-worker felt every bit of my pain and said incredulously, "I cannot believe you just told her that!" to which CAC says, "Well, she didn't need to go around all day looking like t h a t--THAT would be embarrassing!" Me, thinking but not speaking: Ummm, hello girls, I'm standing right here! And yeah, I'm TOTALLY mortified, but in my cheek-reddened state, in a way that you can only appreciate because you've been spared even further embarrassment, I was grateful.

Rachel and I are tactful about this, we have a hand-motion-signal-thing going. If that doesn't work, we usually just say "You might wanna take care of 'things'" and by "things", we know exactly what the other is saying.

But, noooooo, not my boys. Let this serve as a warning. Do not read further if you are grossed out by really disgusting little boy conversations this means you, Susan;) Ooooo, and Ree, I just remembered Grandma Iny (see May 2006) :). I'm gagging just mentally recalling their conversation from Friday. Trust me, the faint-hearted will follow suit.

Rachel and I are in the front seat, Stephen & Thomas behind us. Rachel and I are having a nice convo, recapping her school day. The radio is providing nice car ambiance when we hear a disturbance behind our heads followed by Stephen LOUDLY protesting--

"Ewwwwwwwww. Grooooosssssssssss!!!"

He has our immediate attention. In stupidity, we ask "What?" jinx-style, but he would've told us anyway.

"Thomas just showed me a bloody booger...and then he ATE it."

Roadside regurgitation by the driver followed that pronouncement. Immediately following is me thinking "HAVE I NOT TAUGHT HIM BETTER THAN THAT???!!" (gagwretchgag) My next thought was "At least it's not smeared on the seat (more gagging ensues). Keep your eyes glued to the road...DO NOT LOOK BACK!

In spite of Stephen's disgust, he finds this hilarious. Thomas is peacock proud and receives his audience's reaction as ample reward for his gross out prowess . Rachel is just pleading "DO SOMETHING about them!" No wonder Calgon's "Take me away" campaign was a raging success...every mom in America needed wanted to escape at times like these :/.

Anyhow, back to where I began, the saving grace of my XYZ dilemma...

...at least I wasn't going "commando" ;).

  Into the pensieve on Tuesday, October 31, 2006
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Monday, October 30
White and Nerdy
Thanks to Rebecca for giving me a link to what will become my boys' favorite post EVAH!

Weird Al, still going strong after all these years....so stinkin' funny!

  Into the pensieve on Monday, October 30, 2006
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He Ain't Heavy...
The road is long / With many a winding turn
That leads us to who knows where / Who knows when
But I'm strong / Strong enough to carry him
He ain't heavy, he's my brother

You know how sometimes you hear something, and it registers somewhere on a subconscious level...then you hear it again, this time from another source, and it rings a bit louder...and then, yet again, you read or see or hear it a third time, and you figure it's time to pay attention?

I've been thinking through what it means to "bear one another's burdens" because of this very thing. I've seen this theme multiple times in the blogosphere through unrelated sources, I've heard it from our pastor, I've listened to it in song, and I'm living it with family and friends.

At first thought, it seems obvious what it means. From a biblical perspective, my immediate thoughts go straight to Galatians 6:2, "Carry each other's burdens...". Michele over at My Life Under the Sun wrote an encouraging post on this very thing. Using the truth of Scripture, she reminds us of the blessings received as a result of sharing our lives--and concerns--with one another. She goes deeper to expose the purpose and intent of our own struggles in light of 2 Corinthians 1:3-4. As God comforts and heals us from our own battles we are taught by example, and through experience, gain understanding, enabling us to "know" how to comfort others. Thankfully, our struggles are not random or pointless; they reveal our desperate need for God, who in turn uses them for our good and His glory, eventually sharing what we've learned to bring hope and healing to others.

Another post that had me thinking was a two-parter from Senselight. She initially shared her conviction of self-absorption, and the tendency many of us have to (half) listen to others without doing anything else to bear their burdens with them. Sure, saying "we'll pray for them", but that often being a perfunctory response rather than a real call to intercession on their behalf. As she sought the counsel of Scripture, she discovered something "new"--she looked specifically for verses that used the language of "bearing burdens", and what she found, I think, surprised her. Using Matthew 11:28-30 as her basis, she saw that Christ alone is to bear our burdens. Our responsibility as believers in bearing with one another is to point them to Him. God alone is the one who brings freedom and grace and peace and forgiveness and healing and redemption and liberty...and perfect love.

(Read both of their original posts to have a clearer understanding of what they actually said, my brief summaries don't do their posts justice, and I'd hate to think I in any way misrepresented what they intended to say.)

Keep in mind I'm sharing my thoughts on this because of several situations close to me, and the timeliness of reading these posts when I was already contemplating a right response to these friends who are struggling through Real. Life. Issues. Their stuff is much "bigger" than me and my limited knowledge, biblical or worldly, yet I'm in their lives, they've invited me "in", and I don't want to be passive in my response (the "yeah, I'll pray for you" route without really, truly doing a thing, 'cause isn't my life full enough of my own stuff....).

This post was actually begun M O N T H S ago, and although some of my friends' circumstances are resolved, some are on-going, and for others, new struggles have begun (or maybe they've been in existence a while, but I just learned about them). I continue to seek the counsel of scripture and cogitate my response to beloved people who are hurting, struggling, desperate for answers, marinating in the pain of sometimes self-inflicted wounds or drowning in a sea they never saw coming. Some who have a shared faith, others who don't, but all looking for relief. I'm not interested in co-dependency or simply "meeting" their closeted skeletons (those "bones" can be quite juicy, exactly the grist the rumor mill craves and devours); but if I'm in their lives and they've trusted me with their battered or broken hearts, is it possible for me to play a part in their healing? Not as "the" healer, but as a vessel that brings relief, even if only in part?

Well, this is getting l o n g and I'm just getting started, but still, it seems to be a good stopping place for now. More soon as I try to get my thoughts on "paper".

  Into the pensieve on Monday, October 30, 2006
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Sunday, October 29
With the stroke of a pen, he rocked the world....and the Church has been reeling (and dealing) ever since. In contemplation of Reformation Day...to call it a "holiday" just sounds ridiculous (for the record, I don't understand more than I do, but I sure wish it was the other way around).

1. When our Lord and Master, Jesus Christ, said "Repent", He called for the entire life of believers to be one of repentance

62. The true treasure of the church is the Holy gospel of the glory and the grace of God.

The remainder of Luther's 95 Theses.

  Into the pensieve on Sunday, October 29, 2006
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Discombobulated, Reason #2
I am living out of a suitcase. In my home. I can't find things. In my home. I had to use my kids' strawberry all-in-one shampoo/conditioner, and that made my skin crawl, not so much the "strawberry" part, but for some reason, those shampoo/conditioners are an anathema to me. Kind of like peanut butter and jelly swirled in a jar or cheese that squirts out of a can--some things just shouldn't ought to be, regardless of convenience.

We're having our circa-1980 bathroom remodeled and it has me in a tizz. (oooo, that word was FUN to write! Although I've said it for a lifetime, that was the first time I ever wrote it :) ). When we bought this house three years ago, we were thrilled to have a h u g e master bathroom; in our previous house, the bathroom was slightly larger than the size of a telephone booth. I'm not kidding, when you were sittin' on the throne, your knees were crammed against the wall (I'm not sure Tad used our bathroom for serious "business"). The shower was proportionally bigger, but again, in our new house the bathroom is generous. Interestingly, the shower was tiny, you could barely turn around in it, which has always been odd to me because 1) the people who lived here previously were, ummm, bigger than me and 2) have I mentioned the bathroom itself is B I G?? Tiny shower + wide open spaces, has NEVER added up to me.

Anyway, since we've decided we're staying in Tennessee a bit longer (wink, wink), we're doing what we've wanted to do since taking our first shower--we Tad ripped that sucker out (it's in pieces on my front porch, under our house somewhere, at the dump....) and hard work (his) never felt better. Why stop there? he also tore out our existing cabinets, and they, too, are in pieces in our garage, on the side porch, in the neighbor's yard...I'm not sure where all the bones are buried.

We do have new cabinets that arrived with only a few flaws (holes for the shelves were missing in one :/), and the shower is about halfway through the process. I keep standing in the frame and pretending to shave my legs (if you saw Willowtree's post/picture, you know I NEED to), and my backside isn't touching the glass (if there was any) of the opposite wall--waahoo! Exciting times are a'coming.

BUT...until then...I'm using my kids' bathroom and toting my "necessities" in an overnight bag. That's fine for a weekend, or even a week, but I guess I'm just missing everything having a spot. Take it out, put it away, take it out put it away. I haven't tweezed my eyebrows in a few weeks now and I think Helga's unibrow is beginning to find its way to my place :/.

Oh, yeah, and there's that "using someone else's shower" thing. Just a change of venue gives you a new perspective and opens your eyes in ways they had been previously (mercifully) veiled. Stepping out of their shower, you HAVE to see yourself in a large mirror. Ugh..... I could've kept the tiny shower to have avoided that :/. It is not wise at my age to give up exercise, no matter how minimally I was doing it. Now, I can see the difference although my jeans have been trying to squeeze this information into my mind for weeks. I ignored them, I cannot ignore the mirror.

So there ya go, Reason #2 I ain't quite right these days, I'm sure I could write about a dozen more, but I really don't wanna scare you away. Even if Halloween is just around the corner :).

  Into the pensieve on Sunday, October 29, 2006
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Blogging Chicks Carnival--A Fall Feast of the Imagination
While Michele is taking a break from hosting the Blogging Chicks Carnival, the show must go on. Without further adieu, please check out a few of the 400+ chickadees on the BC blogroll :). They're talking about all things "fall".

"Raindrops on Roses" and "Whiskers on Kittens" may be sweet favorites to some, but Karmyn R has a slightly more Halloweenish list of favorites at Dreaming What Ifs....

Fall in Love is the title of a picture post done one week ago at a park close to Pamela's house at The Dust Will Wait.

Kelly at Pass the Torch shares a photo of on e of her kids' favorite autumn leaf activities, in her post, Love is Hide and Seek.

E-mom shares some timely thoughts about Honoring Christ During the Holidays, some traditional ideas and then some.

You want SCARY? I'll give you TERRIFYING! Check out Of Making Many Books.

Fall makes Laurel Wreath find where she hid her spatula all summer long.

In her post, I'll give you a hint -- it starts with a "D", Janice from 5 Minutes for Mom creates halloween memories with her 4 year old son.

Malissa at Malissa's Merry Go Round shares about their trip to a prairieschool house in "A fabulous fall field trip".

CyberCelt has several ghostly posts on Texas RV Travel blog. Read the story of the Lady of White Rock Lake.

Growing up, football was synonymous with fall, but Robin looks at it very differently when her son played for the first time this year--a nostalgic glance at the past contrasted to a very realistic look at the present.

Anna shares an "interesting" conversation she had with a man while on a fall outing to the Renaissance Faire with her family.

Biker Betty shares a hike taken with family and friends in the mountains of Pikes Peak National Forest. It's spectacular during the autumn season. Hiking this route is one way she keeps in shape for motorcycling.

Gattina explains how Halloween celebrations are slowing coming to Europe, especially to Belgium.

Suzy tells us her favourite things about Autumn (Fall!) in her carnival post this week.

Domestic Goddess offers up a Halloween meme of scary Halloween thingies from her life.

  Into the pensieve on Sunday, October 29, 2006
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Saturday, October 28
Is that even a word? If it's not, it should be. OF COURSE, I can't just wonder, I HAD to look it up, and yeah, if you're wondering, it IS a word. It means upset, confused, and that's what I am. Can't seem to get my feet totally under me since getting back from Florida. Actually, it began there, now that I think about it.

When I woke up the first morning at my aunt's house, when I sat up, the room started spinning. I thought, "Whooooooaaaa", and wanted to put a foot on the floor to stop the spinning. Reminded me of some of those mornings back in "the day"...but on this particular morning, there was no reason to be spinnin'....in college, well, plenty of reason.

I didn't think too much about it until later that day on the beach. Aunt P lives about 45 minutes from the coast, and I couldn't wait to get there! It was a BEAUTIFUL October day, and when my body's that close to sand and surf, well, I'll knock down old women and children to bury my toes in the sand. This is not something I'm proud of, but it's the truth. Forget my aunt, forget my kids, forget Tad, in less time than it'll take for me to finish typing this sentence, I had my suit on, a drink in hand, and cross-my-arms-blink-blink I was out the door. They know this about me, so thank goodness, they're a rather forgiving lot.

It was high tide, so there wasn't much beach to set up a chair, which was fine, because really, how much room do you need? In spite of the salt-rusted hinges, down went the head of my chair in full recline, out-in-a-pop unfurled my hot pink beach towel covering fine woven plastic, and down I plopped, fat, dumb and happy (actually, only one of those three, and if you choose wrongly, I shall hunt you down and hurt you. Choose wisely, I'm discombobulated. And postal.) About this time, the kids had found their way to the beach, too, that's important in this part of "the telling".

As soon as I tilted back my head to lie down, the room started spinning. Except this time, there was no room...instead, it was blue sky and white clouds and a loud ocean and glittering sand and high-rise condos.... aggggggghhhhhh! It was wicked and nauseating and totally disorienting; my first thought was "Oh, no! I've got a brain tumor!" (Yeah, you may laugh out loud, it was funny to me then and it's funny to me now.) Thomas or Stephen asked me something right about then not knowing I was about to hurl the cinnamon toast I had had for breakfast. All I could respond was "Shut up! Don't talk to me!!" which will win me no "Mother of the Year" awards but will earn you a mouthful of vinegar at home (if I follow through with remember the punishment). That is how bad I felt in that instant and my next thought was "I've gotta ride rides tomorrow???!".

When Tad came out, I told him, and he immediately diagnosed my condition: vertigo. Verti-freaking-go... He added matter-of-factly that 90% of people will experience it as some point in their lives, this info from a guy he works with who has debilitating bouts of it.

So, there ya go, I totally believe that's what's wrong with me. This diagnosis was confirmed many times based on internet research of my symptoms (I'm sure real doctors HATE that!), I have yet to see a REAL doctor or be treated for it, and yeah, I'm still dizzy (but mainly when lying down or getting up). If I
r e s p e c t the vertigo (aka move very slowly), I can minimize the spin.

But to prove how much I love the beach and how quickly I've had to "get there" all my life, lookie here: me as a four-year-old bathing beauty, the only time in life chunky legs and a bulging tummy are CUTE. Couldn't be bothered with the time it took to put on a swim cap...Nooooo, I don't need no stinkin' swimming cap...swimmer's ear be darned**!

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(** I gotta tell ya...Stephen just came and sat down by me while I was checking this post...and he said pitifully, incredulously in a high-pitched little boy voice, "You CUSSED on your blog??" **sigh** don't think I'll ever garner any Mother of the Year votes...I changed it for him.)

  Into the pensieve on Saturday, October 28, 2006
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Friday, October 27
Weighing in at 10.5 pounds....
...meet my newest addition. A Le Creuset 5.5 quart round french oven. It will provide a workout just lifting it from the cabinet to the stove.

I have needed had an unnatural affection for coveted really, really wanted one of these since attending a cooking class for soups back in the spring. I've been pretty much like Gollum and the ring..."my precious..." (not so pretty, but true :/). They're on sale for Halloween, so I seized opportunity to snag one.

The color is soooooo "me"...Flame. Yep, that's its official color (which makes me like it all the more). Anyone who likes Caliente for a nail polish color is gonna like this shade for cookware.

I am rather certain anything I cook in this pot is gonna taste 10% better just because. Then again, the 19-year-old wedding Revereware is on it's last leg (literally falling apart), so I think it was okay to rationalize getting a new one.

Soup's on.....y'all come over, ya hear?

  Into the pensieve on Friday, October 27, 2006
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...no, I'm not blog-hopping....(s i g h)

...and no, I'm not writing....('nother sigh)

The above non-activities are giving a blog addict slight withdrawels, but the busyness that is precluding all my online activities is keeping mind and body occupied.

But I'm gonna have to take a note outta Swampy's book and make a list of all the things I wanna write about before I forget 'em... Til later, I'll be working on Blogging Chicks stuff, I guess....:/

  Into the pensieve on Friday, October 27, 2006
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The Hostest with the Mostest
Guess what? This week I get to host the Blogging Chicks Carnival---the theme is all things related to Fall--past or present. Michele, BC mastermind, has begged pleaded wisely asked some girlie-Qs to take over the task of hosting--I can't imagine the demands of her school schedule, managing a family, and finding time for blogging (she has three sites! Blogging Chicks, the one linked to her name and Reformed Chicks Blabbing-go read her, she's a thoughtful writer. AND, if you aren't already a Blogging Chick and you can wear a skirt without getting funny looks, join the blogroll).

Michele is a great friend to new bloggers, she encouraged me when I had no idea what I was doing :). Oh, my, word! I just searched and searched my blog to find out when I joined the Blogging Chicks--it wasn't until May!! And, since NONE of you could have possibly known I existed then, I was the 100th Chick to join the blogroll, and to say the least, I like to win;). I'm very grateful to have a nice little spot in the Blogging Chicks sidebar.

Gosh, it's funny going back, I thought I joined in March. That's when I let Tad and the kids start reading. Can you believe it? I blogged from September thru May with virtually NO ONE reading (now there are tens and tens of you!). And I really LIKED some of those posts, so geeeeeeeeeeeeeeee. Maybe I'll repost 'em and pretend they're new.

Don't forget Carnival submission--email 'em as soon as possible!
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  Into the pensieve on Friday, October 27, 2006
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Wednesday, October 25
Must See TV
The Colbert Report slays me. Everytime I watch. Oh, man, what a sharp, dry sense of humor. I bow to his prowess.

Here, a sparky discussion on the "existence of God with Richard Dawkins, author of the book 'The God Delusion.' No matter where you stand in the issue, two things are undeniably true: Stephen is a satirical genius and Dawkins makes a compelling case...".

HT to an old friend;).

  Into the pensieve on Wednesday, October 25, 2006
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Tuesday, October 24
Sometimes I write for "you"...
...and sometimes I write for me.

This one's for me. Because I want to remember.

It's not a side often shown "here", so many distractions...and well, it just takes longer (maybe only for me, I dunno). There's so much more to "us" than our next post, huh? It's only when I slow down that I remember that about you. We're not one-dimensional characters on a page, we're complicated people living complicated lives, with a thousand questions that demand answers, most of which are rather simple yet rarely easy. Then there are the questions that desperately scratch and claw, hopefully beg and plead for an answer, and you have to choose a "best" option when none really exists.

Introspective today...the following is a result of that. If you've read me a while, you know this is related to my dad's circumstances; if not, I'm including a few posts which explain further. Don't worry, I'm fine...just thinkin'.


Flesh and bone
Heart still beating
Only motion
Breathing, eating.
Prison cruel
A living dead
Mocking laughter
Fill my head.

Revolving faces
Known or not.
Doesn’t matter:
Cold or hot.
Day or week or month or year
Time suspended.
Left, much fear.

Coherent thought
Now eluding.
Takes its place
Thought deluding
Monsters lurk at every door.
Mind held captive, wanting more.

Always looping, endless reel
Flashbacks true? Are they real?
Footing, sure or steady—Either!
Mind or body, I have neither
Sons and daughters
Are they mine?
Once familiar, now benign.

Time for bed or time for tea
DOES NOT MATTER, can’t you see?
Broken bones one day will mend
Broken minds do not end.
Paranoia. Panic. Dreams.
Nothing ever as it seems.

Holding pattern. Purgatory.
Agonizing end of story.
Regret and sin, confession weeps.
Forgiveness…please? My soul to keep.
Child-like prayers, can You hear?
Silent screams in Spirit’s ear.

Tender Peace
Invade his soul.
Loving God, make him whole.
Glory’s touch. Eternal light.
Radiance, diffuse this night
Balm the heart. Salve the pain.
Lose this world and You he'll gain.
Forever healed, end of strife
Truth, a person, kiss of life.

Moments of Beauty
A Different Kind of Father's Day
One for the Daddy's Out There

If you're visiting from a Jenny's "Naked & Free" post, I'd love to hear your thoughts, too. And thanks for letting me "get naked" with you....

  Into the pensieve on Tuesday, October 24, 2006
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Monday, October 23
(Rachel speaking, dramatically, emphatically).

"I am particular about how I drink my hot chocolate. There are rules to follow.

First, it must be in a cute mug, NOT styrofoam (this is an actual, unretouched photo above, of her favorite mug. It was a picture I found on Ebay because I was too lazy to stop writing to go and take my own picture of HER mug. The internet is amazing.).

Second, it cannot be drunk out of a straw!

Third, it must be sipped s l o w l y, not chugged.

Fourth, it HAS to have marshmellows.

Preferably (fifth) it's best with International Delight French Vanilla added."

Nothing wrong with a kid who knows what she likes :).

  Into the pensieve on Monday, October 23, 2006
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So, all that talk about ice cream earlier, and after dinner, I accidently had a bowl of Breyers Oreo (I cleaned my plate). Oh-my-oh so good! The kids were still at the table and I was standing behind our counter eating it (calories don't count if you're standing). I kind of thought out loud, "I really like this ice cream..." and immediately Thomas said, "Did you hear me say that last night?" and Rachel said, "Stephen does, too," and right then and there, my family experienced something we NEVER do.

Unity. Related to food. Tad likes it, although he's "better" than me because he usually opts for Edy's Light Strawberry (ahem, he eats twice as much since it's low cal, so the "better than me" is a gimme).

What better food group than ice cream? Dairy is healthy, right??

Click here and here for an exercise in the obvious. Everyone has a website, huh?

  Into the pensieve on Monday, October 23, 2006
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Mmmm, Mmmm, Good!
Although I haven't talked about it much, I love to cook. Love...to!

This is wasted on my children (but, thankfully, not on Tad). They're happy with PB&Js or pasta. I keep waiting for them to transition to the "eating me out of house and home" phase, but so far that consists of expensive sugar-cereals and ice cream. They have their favorites in all brands and it requires a tracking system just to keep up. Breyers, Oreo; Mayfield, Yellow Brick Road and Snow Cream; Edy's, Toll House Cookie Dough; Ben & Jerry's, Chocolate Fudge Brownie (wait, that's MY favorite!). The problem is, I only buy ice cream when it's on sale...soooo, sometimes they have to wait for their favorites. I've learned not to make substitutions...they'll just sit in the freezer and morph into ice crystals and rubbery goo, so just no point in venturing into the unknown. Might as well flush the cash.

Yeah, I used to try to cultivate decision making; for some reason the areas I chose to do so were related to food choices and what to wear. That was stupid parenting. Do you hear me??? S-T-U-P-I-D. Now, if we're headed out to eat dinner, they can NEVER agree if we offer them the choice. Never. Even if we agree on hamburgers, someone will want Burger King, someone will want Steak and Shake, and I'm sure one of my cherubs will say Chick-Fil-A, just because of the cow ads. That's beef, right?

But, gee, this wasn't a post about kids. It's about what I cooked for dinner Saturday night. GOUR-MET! And easier than pie!! You MUSTMUSTMUST try it! And then write and tell me thank you and how impressed your family and friends were and that you are now leaving me in your will because you owe me a culinary debt. Ummm, guess I shouldn't take credit for it for any more than passing it along to you. I picked it up from a Fresh Market FREE cooking demonstration, and it was love at first bite! If they have a store in your area, you have GOT to check into these cooking demos--they are MORE than worth your time, the price is right, and everything they've demo-ed, I've replicated easily at home.

Pan Seared Halibut with Scallion & White Wine Sauce


4 (7-ounce 1" thick) halibut fillets
coarse salt and freshly ground white pepper to taste
2 tbsp canola oil (I used EVOO)

Preparation: Season halibut on both sides with salt & pepper. In a 12-inch saute pan, heat oil over medium-high heat. Cook one side of fish for about 3 minutes (until lightly browned). Turn fish, reduce heat to medium. Cook approximately 4 minutes longer, until fish is opaque in center and browned on both sides. Set aside and cover to keep warm.

Sauce Ingredients:

1/4 cup dry white wine (I sampled it with sauvignon blanc, it was good; I tried it at home w/a Riesling, not good, and a chardonnay, very good!)
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice or to taste
1/2 cup unsalted butter, cut into 1/2" slices (I used salted, it's all I had)
5 scallions, white part only, finely sliced on the bias
1 tbsp capers, drained and rinsed
1 large ripe tomato, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1/4" dice

Preparation: Pour off any oil in pan and add wine and lemon juice. Raise heat to high and deglaze pan by scraping the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Cook until sauce reduces by half, about 2 minutes. Reduce heat and stir in butter, one slice at a time (I don't know why, but I did it). Add scallions, capers and tomato. Season with salt & pepper and pur over fish on platter. Serve immediately.

A few notes:

Cookware makes a difference. I have some serious affection going for my Swiss Diamond saute/frying pan. IT alone has made a world of difference in presentation...it browns meats beautifully and nothing sticks! Ever! This line is expensive, but seeing as how I've been married almost 19 years and still have my original Revere Ware, and as I mentioned, I love to cook, this piece seems justified. Not that I deserve it or anything. I loathe that word.

I paired this with sweet and sour green beans and an orzo seasoned with fresh garlic, chardonnay, chicken stock and fresh parmesan. Did I mention delicious? Man, I'm hungry. Stomach's growling loud enough to scare Pumba and Timon (must still be in Disney World).

  Into the pensieve on Monday, October 23, 2006
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Sunday, October 22
Good...no, GREAT news!
Sit back, grab a LARGE cuppa joe and read this (apparently after Tuesday for some reason).

Y'all KNOW I'm smiling from ear to ear. Yeah, I'm just a health food nut.

Well, a nut, anyway ;).

  Into the pensieve on Sunday, October 22, 2006
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Because our camera was schizing out in Florida...
...these are some of the stellar shots we got (why it worked on these and not the "good" ones is beyond me...)

lame, lame, lame. Lots of bad words (at least in my mind).

Guess those shots of the "sweet hot mom" in a bikini broke the camera...!

  Into the pensieve on Sunday, October 22, 2006
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Thursday, October 19
Sick.......Twisted........SCARY PEOPLE
So, I'm minding my own business, checking what y'all had to say before I went to bed (following Grey's Anatomy and a lovely date night with my hubby...) and I saw that someone had done a Blogger search of "SWEET HOT MOMS" and found my post from earlier today...here's what was picked up and I've highlighted the words that were highlighted:

"They beg for hot chocolate, with equal amounts of cocoa and whipped cream in ... and I wanted to hold her daughter to give that mom a break (she was ... I bit my tongue before saying something smart about him taking his own sweet time"

I mean, I ASKED for it when I naively entitled one of my posts "oot-Fay etishes-Fay and a Dream Job (which I later changed to "Foot Fascination..." but I did NOT ask for it with a post titled "8 Seconds" . Which makes me wonder, what in the ha-el are people thinking?! F r e a k s ....>:(

And it also makes me wonder, what are the oddest/freakiest/scariest/funniest things people haved googled/searched to find your blogs?

  Into the pensieve on Thursday, October 19, 2006
  Your thoughts, please (24)

8 Seconds
Monday afternoon was a gray and dreary day in the Tennessee Valley. The rain began after lunch and never stopped. I love those kind of days most of the time, especially when I'm able to stay home. They beg for hot chocolate, with equal amounts of cocoa and whipped cream in my oversized mug. You KNOW how much I like my whipped cream;).

In spite of the weather, "the game must go on", so Thomas had football practice. It's nice to be a kid and actually have "permission" to play in the mud (although, as it turned out, most of their practice was indoors). Why is it his practice pants get dirty no matter what kind of practice they have? But I digress, and this isn't about that, so I'll move on.

He was one of the last teammates to be picked up, I had made a stop by the grocery store on my way. It was one of those "quick trips" that turned out to be ANYTHING but quick; it honestly looked like the weather savants had predicted "snow". In the south, just the thought of snow sends people scurrying en masse to the supermarket, frantically picking up the requisite bread and milk (evidently when it snows, man CAN live by bread alone). Check-out lines were streaming into the grocery aisles--even the self-scan lines--and it required aeronautical skills to maneuver your own cart through the human-connected-to-buggy obstacle course. OF COURSE, their was a young mother with one of those oversized, negative-turning-radius race car carts, two daughters riding, one son walking, middle daughter crying, loudly and inconsolably. While that's enough to send many over the edge (including me), I pitied her, and by "her" I mean mother AND child, they were both equally miserable....the mom, sheepishly muttering both frustrated excuses for her children's behavior and menacingly ordering them to settle down. No threats or bribes work at times like that, and I wanted to hold her daughter to give that mom a break (she was getting enough evil glares) and pre-empt the hide-tanning her daughter was probably gonna get in the car.

Finally, I was released from supermarket hell prison, goods intact (yes, bread and milk were among them), and headed over to get Thom. He called me when I was a block away, and we discussed exactly where the pick up point would be. I figured he'd be standing outside waiting on me, but he wasn't; I was slightly irritated because 1) the afore-mentioned grocery fiasco, 2) I needed to get home with groceries so we could inhale a quick dinner before the 3) meeting that was to begin at my house less than an hour from now.

The way only a kid who has nowhere to be can amble along, he managed to collect his bookbag and equipment and find his way to the car. I bit my tongue before saying something smart about him taking his own sweet time; he's always so eager to tell me the latest and greatest of his day, and I knew that my sarcastic remark would've been more about what preceeded getting there than him being on "kid time".

He immediately began enthusiastically recounting his day as we turned out of the parking lot into steady traffic. And then t i m e s l o w e d d o w n.

Ahead of us was a car, not going over 30 mph due to the traffic and road itself. We watched a lady pull out of a cross road and ram the front of the car and passenger door, pushing the car across the road (in the face of steady, on-coming traffic) and into a ditch. The lady has been at a complete stop, and yet still, her airbags inflated, her front bumper was ripped totally off, the man's door and front right engine were smashed in...his car immediately began smoking and you could smell a toxic smell, I imagined it was freon or something. He jumped out of his car rubbing his head, she opened her door, and walked slowly in shock towards him. Two other drivers, one apparently a nurse, were out of their cars quicker than those in the accident, one calling 9-1-1 and the other waving me to move ahead and get out of the way (he wasn't so nice).

I debated stopping anyway, despite the man flagging me on, but there were so many by this point scurrying around, I reluctantly accelerated past....I wasn't even sure about what I had just seen. It wasn't a "spectacular" accident but it was surreal watching it unfold. Thomas was immediately recounting his version about what he had taken place...and all I could think was...

It was HIS side...8 seconds sooner, and she would have hit us...HIM. Would the impact have hurt him? Broken bones? Worse?? What if he IS too small for the front and side airbags, would they have helped or hurt? Would the timing have been that those in the on-coming lanes would have front-ended us, too? I reached over and touched Thomas and said, "That would've been you...it could have been YOU!" and he said, "Mom...it wasn't. I'm fine...don't worry." And I prayerfully said and meant, "Thank. God." I was thankful for his delay in getting his stuff together and not being at the curb waiting. "Thomas time" kept us safe.

In an instant I was reminded that life is short, but oh, so sweet...and it's intended to be LIVED...and I can never tell the people in my life "I love you" too often.

And then we got home and told our little tale and ate our sandwich dinner and had our meeting. Business as usual. Nothing extraordinary (well, until the lights went out, but that's another story....).

Carpe diem little or carpe diem big, but whatever you do.......Carpe! Diem!

  Into the pensieve on Thursday, October 19, 2006
  Your thoughts, please (15)

Laughing! Out! Loud!
Ok, so this might be funny only to me, but if you wanna see an "extremely revealing photograph" of me, you have GOT to visit Willow Tree today. Somehow, someway, his paparazzi hounds were able to sneak outside my window and snap of picture of what I look like "without all the primping...that she does to make herself look good". This puts Marnie's nekkid pics to shame.

Excuse me while I get some cleaner to wipe the coffee from my monitor.

(Thanks, Pete, I needed that ;) ).

Can anyone tell me why my profile pic moved to the bottom of that page? And more so, how to fix it??

  Into the pensieve on Thursday, October 19, 2006
  Your thoughts, please (13)

Wednesday, October 18
It's about time.......!
Before I announce "My Favorite Comment of the Week", I thought I'd share a few others that tickled my fancy. I will do this, so as not to bore you with the minutia of my life that has prevented me from posting the results before now. Suffice it to say, "postal" doesn't come close to where I've "been" the past 48 hours....

Favorite Comments Regarding My Contest Idea

This ladies and gentlemen is creative (albeit a little narcissistic) genius at work!!! I am impressed. Sheerly overwhelmed by your level of commitment to "pimpin'" out your site. Way to go! This is definately one of those: oooh, I wish i'd-a thought of that! ~ Stacy (First-time visitor, not sure how she found me :) ).

Holy Crapoli! This is a brilliant, truly inspired piece of blog pimping! "I doffs me hat to yer." I think I might have a go at a couple of these. ~ Willowtree (although he didn't really play along, I woulda loved to have given the Joy perfume to HDW)

Okay you shameless link-getter, I'm in. It may take me a WEEK to read all the instructions, though;) ~ Kelly (This chick is a fave of mine, she's done her share of "pimpin' my blog" when there wasn't a contest at stake. Looks like her week kept her too busy to finish those instructions ;)...and for the record, Kelly, even I had to go back and read what I said 'cause I didn't remember what the contest categories were.)

I am all about shameless attempts at drawing Blog traffic! Anyone reading this... If you would like to see Naked Pictures of Me please head on over to my blog. Check the archives.. they are there somewhere. Tell your friends to look too! ~ MJ (Kudos to Marnie for figuring out a way to pimp HER blog while I was pimping MINE! Quite scarily, it looks like Willowtree was quite literal about naked pictures, one of the few things I've seen since returning home...)

Sad Lame Laughable Attempts(?) at Guessing Where I Was and What I Was Doing

You are taking some "Ice-skating, Flamenco Dancing, and Archery lessons at some New-Age Coffee Barista Camp for Grown-Ups"???? ~ Karmyn

You're on a photo shoot in Malta. Your job isn't to photograph uber-thin models but to provide them with iced bottles of Evian. With straw. Ever time a model trembles as if she's going to faint from starvation, you're to grab a bottle of Evian, squeeze precisely one quarter of a lemon into it, insert straw and hold bottle and straw to model's artificially plumped lips. ~ Sally (sent by MJ and I can't wait to read her based on this comment alone :) ).

You're at Target and said you were hungry and a Target lady brought you a hot dog. ~ Kelly again

My guess is you went to Sea World in San Diego..Is there a Sea World in San Diego? ~ C (do you have a blog???)

Traveling with a belly-dancing troupe ~ LCO

Your family went to a church-wide family camp somewhere in the mountains where you got to learn archery, the Bunny Hop, and roller skate. The snack bar served RC Cola and Moon Pies or Peanut Clusters, whichever you prefer. (Mah Grammy's frum Memphis, yeah) Hmmmm..."small world after all"? Did you meet up with some old friends at the late night sock hop? ~ Erin

Just Plain Random

My easily distracted mind was a littled scared to read that "Joy Eau de Toilette" probably smells divine. My juvenile self read it "Joy Eww de Toilet" - and wondered just how divine does that ewwy toilet joy smell? :-p ~ Piper

Little known fact...Carmen SanDiego is actually Carmen Mirandas cousin..she hit the road and travelled through Cuba, then to Panama...she bought a hat there that became the rage wherever she went. She soon had to start disguising herself with rather large sunglasses as she continued through Venezuela and Columbia. Eventually, she ended up in a little bar near Tijuana and started swimming with the dolphins (not wearing the hat mind you.) This too became a hit. Before long she was mobbed and had to run for the border! ~ C

Marnie told me to come here. Then she mentioned something about wanting to cut off some of my hair to smell it. At this point I'm really afraid not to do what she says. ~ Jenny

I'm like a cyber stalker I guess. Hope you know you asked for this ;) ~ Malissa


...Compassion answers when a need is announced, but Love looks for a need & meets it with no fanfare. ~ LCO

"Transparency" is not only important I believe it is sometimes the way God stretches you. Let me explain, when you are learning a new skill or a new way of doing things a person has several steps before they fully “learn”. First they are shaken up and told the old way is wrong, then they learn to accept the new way but struggle with the changes, and then finally after they have learned this new way of doing things they share it with others. In doing so, this new skill is made more concrete. Many times while sharing my testimony God speaks to me in news ways, I see things in a new light. I am being transparent when I share my testimony, it is vulnerable for me. I don’t want people to know how much I messed up, let alone stand in front of a room and broadcast it to everyone. Many times while you are hearing yourself speak (through your transparency) you are not only affecting the people you are speaking to but the Lord ministers to you. By doing this, being transparent you are settling any question or doubt you have in your mind about you new life. It is made more concrete, you are telling Satan get behind thee because “with this” you can not win. ~ lrlwreath


1st Runner-up:
Actually, I didn't plan on a first runner up...I gotta come up with a prize for this. These last two comments...hit me as "the ones"..and the winner edged out Catez because of her long-time, consistent readership.
I really enjoy reading Catez, though, a deep, thoughtful read,
so check her out if you haven't before.

Catez at AllThings2All posted to
"Sometimes There Are No Answers", September '05

Well I'm glad I came back into your archives to read this. It has made me think of different situations where I have felt lost for words (a rare thing some would say). I remember when I was going through a very difficult time some years ago and I read Socrates Apology. So here's Socrates, about to be executed by being forced to drink hemlock, and he is still talking, still hoping, still challenging people to look for the better things in life. It wasn't what he said but the fact that he was saying it under those circumstances that inspired and encouraged me. Not what I would have expected to be helpful - but it was. I have a fondness for Socrates now - even though I couldn't quote you a sentence from memory.Sometimes I want to advise and I don't have the advice. But I have learned about being there. I have learned because others did it for me. Just sitting with some-one in silence can be so much better than a thousand words sometimes. Together in his presence. What I have often appreciated too is when I know some-one wants to help. It isn't what they say but the fact that they are thoughtful enough to try. Because knowing what to say in times of grief can be difficult. Great post Robin. Blogging can become so much about the latest post, and yet there is so much in a persons archives that is valuable.

If y'all recall, this award goes to the person who brought me the most "joy", and since I read like 400 comments, do you blame me for one that blows so much air up my skirt? Plus, now I know why I was "prevented" from posting until today...it's Karmyn's her mother Pamela's birthday!:) We found each other right after I went "public" with my blog and have been keeping each other company ever since.

Karmyn at Dreaming What Ifs
posted to "Who's Your Katrina", also a 9/05 post.

This post pretty much sums up what I LOVE about you, Robin! Obviously - you have a generous spirit, you find good messages in the worst situations, your relationship with God humbles you yet gives you strength, AND you aren't afraid to voice your opinion or show us your weaknesses. All of that combined makes you AWESOME!!

Ok, guys, LONG post, imagine what it was like to write the durn thing. Thanks to all who played along, I loved reading every comment :).

To those of you who won, be sure to email me (check out my profile page for the e-dress) with your addresses so I can get your prizes in the mail.

  Into the pensieve on Wednesday, October 18, 2006
  Your thoughts, please (14)

Tuesday, October 17
Just foolin' around....
I've seen this a couple of places and finally checked it out...kinda cool, although I have no idea what it means (if anything).

My blog is worth $229,767.78.
How much is your blog worth?

And, here's another gizmo, but I'm not sure I like the "mythical creature" it tells me I am (cuz I'm not familiar with 'em)....
You Are a Chimera

You are very outgoing and well connected to many people.
Incredibly devoted to your family and friends, you find purpose in nurturing others. You are rarely alone, and you do best in the company of others. You are incredibly expressive, and people are sometimes overwhelmed by your strong emotions.

What Mythological Creature Are You?

And for the hat trick....just as long as they have nuts!

You Are a Chocolate Chip Cookie

Traditional and conservative, most people find you comforting. You're friendly and easy to get to know. This makes you very popular - without even trying!

What Kind of Cookie Are You?

And last but not least, this one, ONLY because of my recent contest....

Your Pimp Name Is...

Sweetness Dynamite

What's Your Pimp Name?

  Into the pensieve on Tuesday, October 17, 2006
  Your thoughts, please (2)

NEVER....Say Never
If Blogger hadn't uploaded that image just now, I swear I would've gone postal.

At this minute, I am doing something I never thought I'd do in a million years.

I am blogging at a Krystal...and with one hand, flashing the "L" loser sign above my forehead...all the while, thanking God for Wi-Fi at fast food restaurants near my home. I am one of those people you've seen--and thought quite pathetic--before, wondering WHY they would have need to surf the net from a burger joint. Noooo, it can't be an ultra cool coffee shop because they're just too far away...it's Krystal. Their square green burgers scare me now, although as a child, they were my favorite, maybe because of their diminutive size or novel shape. I felt obligated to buy something, so I opted for a butter biscuit and Minute Made original. The lard is coating the roof of my mouth, the OJ helps cut the grease.

I wasn't able to connect from home this morning, we've had steady rain since yesterday afternoon and our server is down for some reason (not sure if there's a connection). Tad finds this amusing. I, as you might suspect, do not.

I'm NOT just here to blog; I'm actually working on a newsletter that needs to be started AND finished today, and there's some info I had to pick up from the net. I figured while I was here, I'd sneak in a post or two. And check emails and see if Pensieve was still operational. The beast must be fed, as you well know.

I can hear your haughty laughter. You're better than me, I sense your air of superiority. And I'm sure you'd NEVER be caught dead doing what I'm doing.

But you might just be caught alive ;).

  Into the pensieve on Tuesday, October 17, 2006
  Your thoughts, please (15)

Monday, October 16
Drumroll, please
It took ... a long time, but I'm finally done....reading your comments...WHEW! Note to self: Don't ever...ever...do THAT again! At least not when I'm gone for a week. And then come home to stripping wallpaper. And sports with my kids. And a trip to my dad's. And our furnace going out and having to be replaced with workers in my house hammering and drilling and dropping things and making scary attic noises (and making MORE OF A MESS FOR ME TO CLEAN BEFORE THE MEETING AT OUR HOUSE TONIGHT!!!!). Time for happy thoughts and cleansing breaths............

Some of you have made this VERY difficult for me. Reading your thoughts, I laughed much, and occasionally "thought" much. I love having a blog because I'm thankful to have these memories, thoughts, captured...Some things were VERY familiar to go back and revisit, others, I don't even remember writing.

So........on to the Awards, that's what you're here for, anyway ;).

[A] Reader Referral - Malissa

Although many of her readers are apparent blogger neophytes (5 of her 15 referrals were listed only as "anonymous"), knowing Malissa, I believe they were all different people (one "anon" admitted visiting twice, so I only counted her first time...). The closest to her was Marnie with five referrals (apparently, posting naked pictures was a waste of nudity)(MJ, that's my attempt at routing readers back to ya;) ).

For her efforts, she wins the Mikwright Family Style book and some sidebar lovin' once I figure that out. For now, I'm just trying to get a freakin' awards post up.

[B] Committed Commentor.

Ah.....for this one, not so easy. There were several of you in contention for this. And I was impressed, EVERY comment at least gave the illusion of the post having been read. Since I've only got one Barnes & Noble gift card, I'm adding some runner-up prizes--Mary Englebreit mini books and whatever else I might come up with :). There's a garden-related one for Pamela and a friend one for LCO.

Runner ups: Pamela @ The Dust Will Wait. With 64 comments, you'd think she'd have had it in the bag. Of course, this category was based on content AND quantity, and I had a hard time not "giving" it to her. Pamela has the gift of brevity AND levity. In just a few words, she can brighten my day, she has depth and warmth and humor and wisdom which makes her blog a near daily stop for me (umm, except the past week or two...). Here are a few of my favorites.

Our society is such that we are not encouraged just to give of ourselves... we think we have to give money or goods. Maybe some people just need to have a human touch. Do I have healing in my hands? In my smile? In my ears? Maybe I don't have to say anything at all.

Fitting into his mother's Genes......... he should be very fashionable (re: a post @ Thomas...)

I was apple pie, too. Mine was the one with the lard in the crust. (re: one of those blog quizzes @ what dessert you are)

Traffic jams ... bad. Fruit jams .... good. This post was just plum sweet ! (wit galore)

Beary N'ice. Several times recently I've thought about quitting my blog. Especially when I realize mine is all about nothing. Your have said alot -- which has been thought provoking. (Funny pun; quit your blog? PERISH THAT THOUGHT! and blowing air up my skirt, all in one comment!)

Runner up #2, A NEWBIE! LeftCoastOnlooker, one of the referrals sent by Malissa. LCO does not have a blog but she (?) needs one! By my count, she commented about 60 times. Just reading the comments, I felt like I was blogging. A few of them to get an idea of why she's a runner up:

(from a post about me shopping & learning a new word) lol learning -- now I have 2 reasons to shop. I learned that shopping is biblical. you see, Adam & Eve had a really bad day (ate the fruit, sinned, fell, lost their home, eternal curse, etc), & God gave them new clothes. So, when I have a bad day, I tell my dh I need to go get a new outfit :) Now, I can use the "learning" line, too. Or, research :) But could someone tell me what the heck "DH" is? Darling Husband? Designated Hitter? Dirty Hands??? I see it all the time but I don't really know the translation.

Ooooooo! speaking of education, LCO taught me a new word: facund...that's how she described me/my writing, I guess. It means eloquent (teacher's pet ;) ).

I'm thinking of the transparency of glass, or even a flimsy piece of overhead transparency film. I should be see-through, I should be just the flimsy piece of film, so that Christ can be seen instead of me. Am I still trying to cover it all up, so no one can see how little of Christ really shines through?I think of all of the expectations people heap upon me & wonder if I can be allowed to be transparent --can I do what I do to honor & glorify God, or can I only do what the people want, in order to not offend all of the church people? I haven't found the balance, yet. Serve God or serve the people, seems to be the choice before me. What if your PW got all transparent on you? Would you weird-out, would you gossip, would you judge? Or, would you tell her you have struggled in the same areas & you'll support her and pray for her? I hope you'd do the later, but so far, I've only gotten the former. (It took me a while to figure out what PW meant, and then it hit me..."preacher's wife").

LCO was funny and deep, and didn't agree with everything I had to say. I think she found me a paradox at times (aren't we all??). That stemming from a "multiple personality" comment she made about me....lol.

And for the WINNER of the B&N giftcard....again: Malissa's Merry-go-round. How could I NOT award this to her with 112 comments???! AND they were pertinant. And she's was one of my first readers. And she's sweet. And my original Blogger template was kindred to hers.

Malissa is self-effacing (look how pathetic I am! commenting on a blogging chicks carnival notice.I so must not have a life;) Today I thought at the store--good it's Thursday--maybe I will still be able to comment on the rest of Robin's posts.It's probably a little freaky how committed I am to this project huh?:0)

Funny-- (lol;) Some football players aren't too bad looking either;) My mom (the pastor's wife) says she only watches to see them bending over when they hike the ball (MOM!)

Enterprising-- (I did not see this--but I DID buy a Capt Jack Sparrow new in the box at Goodwill for 3.99 and sell it for $27.00 on Ebay;) long live the pirates;) )

Fashionable;)--(Hey I got toe rings this summer too;) very fun.)

She's a lot more than all that, but I've been working at this post off and on all day, and if I don't get it done, I'll never get to write again or read your stuff again and I really wanna respond to a lot of the comments, and honestly, I'm approaching DTs (I do NOT wanna forget all the stuff I had planned on writing about, and I'm afraid I've already lost much before I had time to download it to my Pensieve:/).

[C] Y'all stunk at guessing where I was. Once I TOLD you, you STILL could barely get it. First stop..............THE BEACH!!!!!!!!!! Then, yeah, M-I-C-K-E-Y M-O-U-S-E....DisneyWORLD.

BTW, the clues were the post titles! The first one was "Where in the WORLD is Carmen Sandiego" with the word "world" in all caps; the second clue was "hop til you drop" and that was a nod to us Park Hopping; we hit three parks/day for two days (Magic Kingdom/Epcot/Animal Kingdom and MGM).

Guess what? I don't MEAN for this to be a "cliffhanger" post, but I cannot spend another minute here. And I don't want to rush writing about the grand prize winner. I told ya it'd be Tuesday possibly before results were posted (and that was before the stuff w/our heater), this is as far as I can get today....hope I still have some readers when all is said and done...not so sure about that :/.

  Into the pensieve on Monday, October 16, 2006
  Your thoughts, please (10)

Friday, October 13
I'm kinda embarrassed to tell you this, but...
I still haven't read emails (comments) yet...I've skimmed a few (and read current ones), but for those of you who went "back"...it looks like I'll WANT to respond, but it might not be til Tuesday :).

Came home to a home improvement "project"...and we're still above-neck-deep into it...

Plus, soccer tonight...

Plus, looks like I'll be making a trip to my dad's tomorrow, returning on Sunday....

Meeting at my house Monday night, so that means (aaggggggghhhhhh!!) I'll be cleaning when I get home.

Not that y'all are waiting on pins and needles for the Prize Announcements...but just in case you're curious, I figured I'd give ya a head's up.

Anyways...........I look forward to seeing what lots of you have been up to the past week; looks like I gotta go on a hunt for naked Marnie pictures ;).

And again......thanks for keeping Pensieve company while I was "gone"...she's smiling :).

  Into the pensieve on Friday, October 13, 2006
  Your thoughts, please (8)

Poocha-rina, Sweet, Sweet Home, Mars & Venus...and the Feline
So we entered our neighborhood well after dark last night, and as we make the right-hand turn that will eventually dead-end to my OWN bed, I see this familiar movement out of my peripheral vision--rabbit-like, squirrely even, vaguely doggish.

My fourth babeee :D! The only one I didn't actually give birth to....poocharella, poocha-neska, Aussalina....AUSSIE! WAHOOO!! Car slams into park, rocking front to back from the abrupt reverse in momentum, side door begins its slide but before fully open, in she bounds into eight greedy arms, all selfishly wanting her first slurp hello. She was in full body wag, and bless her heart, didn't know where to turn herself. Nice to be loved...and missed...that much, on both ends. (A neighbor takes care of our pets while we're away, and we're fortunate to live in a place that allows her the freedom of wanderin'.)

. . . . .

Then, there's the part of the drive home that eventually led to me laughing so hard I cried. It began when I stepped into the driver's seat to give Tad a break. It was then he "started", innocently enough: looking for a receipt in my wallet. To his surprise, he actually found it immediately (right where I said it was).

But then, he kept going. The man kept.going. He decided to take it upon his self to "clean out" my wallet. The hair on the back of my neck began to prickle. I was feeling slightly violated. This was entertaining him. He found a receipt for a pair of jeans bought in May (later returned); a receipt from Great Clips for the WORST haircut Thomas has ever had (couldn't get an appointment with Sherrie); a card for a free cut after six paid visits from Great Clips (although there are NO intentions of ever returning); one (sad, lonely) dollar; and his personal favorite, a receipt for $1.99 for shoelaces from Dick's Sporting Goods (who knows when you might need to return THOSE?!).

But, no, he didn't stop there!

Knowing I was handcuffed to the steering wheel, he began cleaning out my pocketbook! Now YOUR hair should be standing on the back of your neck!! I have the shivers just thinking about this again (lol). This is a LARGE purse, airlines would require me to have it checked as baggage. Section by section, pocket by pocket, he learned more about me than I'd want him to know, just when he thought (after 24 years) he knew everything. For the record, I wanted to hurt him cuss him out smack him upside the head, but at 75 mph, wasn't much I could do...but sit there and defend myself while he laughed AT me (now, he was entertaining the kids, too). There was nothing to hide (I've told y'all some of the more random things found in my purse AND car before), and yet, somehow everything to hide. I felt NAKED. Am I wrong, or don't most women have enough junk in their purses to win LOTS of prizes from Monty Hall on "Let's Make a Deal"??!

He didn't stop there! Now I'm just shakin' my head.

From my purse he continued his cleaning......our van has both a glove compartment and another storage area, and methodically he cleaned out both of those; he even tore out all the coupons we'll never use in the booklet local schools sell (retail area discounts or freebies). I think he cleaned out the two pockets on the door, but stopped short of the hidden drawer beneath the seat (he must've forgotten about it, I didn't remind him).

He kept a running commentary on everything he found, he was just a little too amused to suit me. At some point I decided to ignore him...he was like a kid on an Easter egg hunt. Let him have his fun.

About three miles from home, and after over nine hours in the car, I re-thought the whole above scenario and started laughing. Out loud. Uncontrollably. Through the snorts, I told the family it just hit me--the difference between me and Tad. I relieve him for two hours behind the wheel and he's morphs into a one-man cleaning frenzy, could not sit still and RELAX (until well into the second hour). Me? I'm perfectly satisfied to do one of five things, none of which require physical exertion or qualify as cleaning ANYTHING: deep, heady, stimulating conversation (ok, sometimes it's just light banter), READ, snack, write or SLEEP. That's it.

And THAT, my little bloganistas, about sums me and Tad up in a nutshell. It made him lol, too. Ain't nothin' better than a laugh-induced endorphin high. And writing about it is my little payback to him;).

Oh........and the feline.... When we got home, Callie was nowhere to be found. She hid for maybe an hour. When she finally decided to bless us with her presence, she ignored us and beelined straight to her food dish. But even she couldn't ignore my fingernails and Rachel's lovin' for long...her purrs were loud and involuntary. So take that, kitty beast, we know you missed us, too, even if you don't know how to full body wag or slurp us hello.

Oh........the last clue...

It's a small world after all ;).

  Into the pensieve on Friday, October 13, 2006
  Your thoughts, please (12)

Note to Anonymous
Ok...here's your Blogger lesson for the day:).

1) :) is a smiley face. Turn your head to the left and you'll see it. :D is a BIG grin. This is a wink ;).

2) No, you don't have to comment as "anonymous". Click "Other" when the comment window asks for your identity, type in your name (and skip your web page if you don't have a blog OR include your page's URL) and be sure to type in the word verification. Even long-time Blogger users are frustrated by this at times...sometime I have to type in 3 sets of letters when it's misbehaving.

Note to whoever is still checkin' in.........contest is still going til midnight tonight.

  Into the pensieve on Friday, October 13, 2006
  Your thoughts, please (3)

Thursday, October 12
Hop 'til you drop
We did.

Clue #2. Am I being cryptic or completely obvious (I have no idea).

I think I'll sweeten the "Reader Referral" prize.... I believe in "paybacks". The good kind, not the bad kind ("revenge" is not in my vocabulary). In addition to whatever I listed as the prize the other day (I'm still not linking to old posts, go back and read Sunday's), whoever sends the most new peeps to Pensieve will get some kind of sidebar lovin'. Ooooooooo, and chocolate. Yeah, chocolate! I think we'll go with a pounder of M&Ms (representing all the colorful readers you send) or maybe Little Debbies or Moon Pies, since those are "grown" in the South. Winner can choose.

You have a day and a half left to go :). Rock on....!

  Into the pensieve on Thursday, October 12, 2006
  Your thoughts, please (6)

Wednesday, October 11
Where in the WORLD is Carmen Sandiego?
Clue #1.

Because IF I'm not mistaken, no one's hit a bullseye yet.

Think I might be learning "be careful what you ask for"...can't wait to read and respond :).

Clue #2 coming tomorrow ;).

  Into the pensieve on Wednesday, October 11, 2006
  Your thoughts, please (6)

Monday, October 9
Skated through the archives myself...
...and, to be honest, there were more than a few "back then" that I remember thinking would've been nice to have others' thoughts on (listed below by month/title). Gosh, I was melodramatic at times :/.

Haven't read emails (yet) to see where y'all have been with this, but if you're playing along, thanks.

Contest ends on THIS Friday at midnight (EST). I'll read through any comments over the weekend and letcha know the results sometime Monday.

September '05 (Sometimes there are no answers, Who's your Katrina?)
October '05 (My DC Top Ten, only because I loved remembering it again :) )
November '05, had to lol, there's only one post!
December '05 (I Never Thought I'd "Get" Jack Kevorkian, This is what I feel like)
January '06 (All American Rejects...and Bonhoeffer???, Second 1/25 post, evidently stemming from stuff with my dad; What in the Ha-el is in THAT jar? A Partial View)
February '06 (A GREAT Valentine's Day, What 12 Would You Choose)
March '06 (Sometimes it takes very little, BFF, Jesus is NOT my Best Friend!)

That's enough of my opinion...back off to do that thang I'm doing :).

  Into the pensieve on Monday, October 09, 2006
  Your thoughts, please (7)

Saturday, October 7
Pimpin' My Blog (aka CONTEST TIME!)
This will be a shameless post...gratuitous...self-serving. You should stop reading right now if those things disgust you (don't say you weren't warned).

If they don't, keep going.

I'm headed out for a few days, and it looks like I won't be able to post anything new. How ironic is that, given my new toy? I won't get to play with it until I get back:/. Bum-mer!

It's publish or perish in the blogosphere......it's not exactly "absence makes the heart grow fonder". More likely, it's "Thank God that's one less Blogline I'll be hearing from...! "

A while back, Willowtree thought a post of mine was nothing more than a shameless attempt to increase blog traffic. It wasn't, not in that case, anyway. Then, WT has an epiphany about why one of his favorite bloggers had such a high readership. HIS readers responded (including this one), it even required a follow-up post (which I ain't linking to 'cause there's already enough of that in one paragraph for heaven's sake), all in all, great fun.

BUT, he DID give me an idea for a couple of posts. It's about time, since he's told me on multiple occasions I've inspired him...which is NOT always a compliment ;) ). This is the second idea (the first one will be written later).

Because it's early, and I have lots to do before heading out, I'm cutting to the chase--

1) I'm having a contest.
2) There will be prizes.
3) I don't want to return home to find out y'all have forgotten Pensieve.
4) I blogged for six months in obscurity...it's a lot more fun now (although, believe it or not, I enjoyed it then.). This is a way to give those old thoughts a little life.
5) Contest categories...you may select a) none b) all

[A] Reader Referral

Tell your readers that you're competing for a prize by directing traffic here. They must leave a comment telling me you sent them. The person who sends the most new peeps wins.

Prize: Mikwright Family Style book (retail value $9.95). This stuff is hilarious but definitely PG-13 rated. There's a greeting card line from the same people. They always make me laugh.

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[B] Committed commentor.

For those of you who are curious what the heck I was saying before anyone was listening (besides the voices in my head), the reader who goes waaaaaay back into the archives (September '05~around March '06) and makes thoughtful comments wins. This is about both content (demonstrating you actually read the post) AND volume--both objective & subjective). Heck, they're new to YOU, so pretend I just wrote 'em.

Prize: $10 Barnes & Noble giftcard

[C] Where is Robin and What is She Doing? ** Ok, guys...those who know me in real life may not answer this one **

If anyone guesses rightly, you win something, but I don't know what....I'll try to match it to the winner :).

[D] My Favorite Comment of the Week, aka GRAND PRIZE

This is for the reader who brings me the most "joy" when I'm reading through your comments. It can be serious or kind or funny or whatever. I'll know "it" when I see it. It can be for any post I've written, even if you commented on it before.

Prize: A bottle of Joy Eau de Toilette, 1.5 ounces, a $45 value. This was a gift to me several years ago, but it's still in its original packaging--boxed & shrinkwrapped. I assume it still smells divine...I just gave up perfume for my favorite Bath & Body flavors about the same time I received this (NOT from Tad :) ).

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Willowtree, THIS is what a "shameless attempt at increasing traffic" looks like. I should be ashamed of myself, but I'm not ;).

Oh, and Danno...you wondered where I'd "go" after MM then Jesus & elephants...bet you never thought I'd end up "here" ;).

Now, some fun & games as I head out......enjoy:).

Click here to see Kramer in action.

Kramer photo credit

  Into the pensieve on Saturday, October 07, 2006
  Your thoughts, please (30)

Mama's Gotta Brand New Bag
See Robin. See Robin smile. See Robin smile very big.

From ear to ear. From here to there. She is smilin'
e v e r y w h e r e :)!

"Why?" you ask.

Have new laptop. Will travel. Blog and go.

Endless possibilities. Wi-freakin'-Fi. Vistas ready (I didn't even know a new? upgraded? operating system was just months away).

The Geek Squad at Best Buy was trying to razzle dazzle the ol' pensieve and confuse all those swirling thoughts of mine, but all I know is, they know more than me, they are MORE than happy to answer my gazillion questions, and if they fail, there's always Willowtree;).

I like geeks.

Can't wait to pick up my favorite toy. You'll have to tell me how it looks:).

  Into the pensieve on Saturday, October 07, 2006
  Your thoughts, please (14)

Friday, October 6
Blind Men, Elephants and Jesus
It was six men of Indostan
To learning much inclined,
Who went to see the Elephant
(Though all of them were blind),
That each by observation
Might satisfy his mind

The First approached the Elephant,
And happening to fall
Against his broad and sturdy side,
At once began to bawl:
“God bless me! but the Elephant
Is very like a wall!”

The Second, feeling of the tusk,
Cried, “Ho! what have we here
So very round and smooth and sharp?
To me ’tis mighty clear
This wonder of an Elephant
Is very like a spear!”

The Third approached the animal,
And happening to take
The squirming trunk within his hands,
Thus boldly up and spake:
“I see,” quoth he, “the Elephant
Is very like a snake!”

The Fourth reached out an eager hand,
And felt about the knee.
“What most this wondrous beast is like
Is mighty plain,” quoth he;
“ ‘Tis clear enough the Elephant
Is very like a tree!”

The Fifth, who chanced to touch the ear,
Said: “E’en the blindest man
Can tell what this resembles most;
Deny the fact who can
This marvel of an Elephant
Is very like a fan!”

The Sixth no sooner had begun
About the beast to grope,
Than, seizing on the swinging tail
That fell within his scope,
“I see,” quoth he, “the Elephant
Is very like a rope!”

And so these men of Indostan
Disputed loud and long,
Each in his own opinion
Exceeding stiff and strong,
Though each was partly in the right,
And all were in the wrong!

Moral: So oft in theologic wars,
The disputants, I ween,
Rail on in utter ignorance
Of what each other mean,
And prate about an Elephant
Not one of them has seen!

~John Godfrey Saxe (Photo credit, link here)

This summer I began reading through the gospels back to back. I've never done that before. Not in the order they appear in the Bible, but John, Mark, Luke, Matthew, I don't even remember why I chose that order. I think going from John to Mark is about as extreme as you can get.

What struck me not far into the second book, was how differently the gospel writers portrayed Jesus. It almost sounded like they were talking about a different person. Sure, there are accounts, parables and teachings that appear multiple times in two or more of the books, but the personality of Jesus seemingly changes between accounts. Don't take my word for it, go read it yourself. In John he's all about love, in Mark, he's extremely passionate, emotional, in Luke more precise and his regard for women evident, in Matthew, maybe here he's the most subversive in his "kingdom" thoughts.

[Why this was a surprise is beyond me. It shouldn't have been, but it was. In an instant I was almost mad at the disservice we render Scripture when we chop it into pieces and microscopically examine the words and their origin, and in the process, rip the life out of it. No cohesiveness...instead extracting a verse or two and studying it to see how "it" applies to our lives, rather than considering it contextually (relative to time, culture and the Scripture in its entirety). ]

And then I remembered the old story of the blind men and an elephant and it made perfect sense. When I put myself in the place of one of the blind men, I could see why God preserved an account from many people to brushstroke a picture of who He is through the life of His son. One perspective wouldn't convey a complete picture. I thought about Tad, how I would describe him as my husband; how our children would describe him as their father; how his parents would describe him as a son; how his brothers would describe him as a brother; how his friends, co-workers, etc. would describe him...it's obvious what I mean. Same person, different perspectives, all telling a part of his story, all absolutely accurate relative to our own experience. But all, very different accounts.

The kids and I are starting all over again, doing the same thing for a morning kind of devotion before school this year. We're reading longer passages of scripture, beginning in Mark. I wonder if they'll see it, if they'll notice (the "differences" in Jesus' personality). I kind of doubt it. There's not a lot of time to think through any of it out loud, I'm not even sure what my "goal" is other than starting the day Godward. I also wonder what it says to them we don't do this on the weekends or over the summer (I'm not sure I want an answer :/). I guess the bottom line is I hope God will kill any agenda of my own, and have His way through the words.

Time will tell....

  Into the pensieve on Friday, October 06, 2006
  Your thoughts, please (14)

Please click the red pensieve...it'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)...love 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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