Tuesday, February 28, 2006
I also find that one of my absolute favorites is the SlimFast Cappuccino. I am usually embarrassed to buy it at the store because I don't really need to lose weight. But it's soooo good! It gives me energy and it is like a Frappuccino! Not to mention the fact that I can drink it while driving. Eggos are so hard to eat while making turns.
**I have just updated this poll. Since there was a revolt against the lack of eggs, pancakes and meat products, I have added said options in. I cannot put your votes back in. So you will have to vote again. I hope you are all happy now. Blame Andy. It's all his fault.
Monday, February 27, 2006
Yes, the dentist was horrible. He was kind enough to dab my leaky eyes and to work as quickly as possible so as to not cause any more jaw pain. But it was still painful.
So I went shoe shopping. And yes, I felt better.
I got these adorable sandals for summer. It's right around the corner, you know.
I also got a great pair of brown lace up shoes. Rationalized as a purchase for Italy. I need good walking shoes, right? That's what I thought.
I have also decided I am thoroughly a fan of Steve Madden. We should be friends. Lucky for me, I get all his shoes on clearance. I am also a fan of DSW. No black and white bag thrills my heart more.
The school I went to didn't allow dances, so every year we had what they called a "Spectacular." Yes, they noun-ed an adjective.
Anyway, we got all dressed up like a prom with limos and tuxes, etc. And we had an extravagant dinner and afterwards went to random places like putt-putt or bowling or whatever and always had a blast.
My very first year I went, I was a Freshman. So I wasn't even technically supposed to be allowed to go. But the guy who asked me was a senior, so they let it go. And it was kind of a "mercy date" really. I know, it's rather mean to do in a way, but I really wanted to go. And I believe I had just gotten rid of my horrible junior high glasses and had switched to contacts. What a relief. You don't even know!
He passed me the note in the hall one day..."Do you want to go with me to the Spectacular? Yes or No"
And I was sort of dating a different senior that year. Which made it even weirder.
I had to borrow a dress from a lady in my church that she had worn as a bridesmaid. Luckily for me, it was a pretty cute dress and fit perfectly. Granted, I couldn't breathe for most of the night, but that was ok.
The picture is not of my date. We were standing so far apart from each other in that picture it wasn't worth taking and I'm not sure if I still even have it anymore!
This is of me and my youth pastor. And so this brings back memories of his teaching and leadership and mentoring of my life. He was my surrogate father, my friend and my counselor. His wife showed the greatest example of what a wife should be and was always encouraging of her husband. I don't think I would be the person I am today without his continual support and guidance.
He also taught me that when I have a huge life crisis that no one on earth can actually help me. I have to entrust my life and concerns to my God and let the burden fall on Him alone. It seemed as I went through high school that every time I felt as though my life were going to completely fall to pieces neither him nor my other trusted adult counselor were available. Once I had given it to God, they were back in town and able to guide and help me work through any advice I needed to be given.
Now that you know the whole background of the picture, you may commence making fun of it. I can take it.
I have a very nice dentist. He's friendly, he's quick and he doesn't really cause all that much pain. But I still dread it. And I don't think I've ever really seen his face. But at least he has a nice voice.
Anyway, I remembered last night that I have an appointment today and I practically broke out sobbing. Not entirely just because of the dentist, but also because I have had a migraine for the past three days and the thought of holding my mouth open for an hour while they drill in my head literally brought tears to my eyes. If I think about it too much right now, I might just cry.
Can I borrow someone's codeine? I took some Motrin already, but I wish I had some Excedrin migraine or something a little more meaningful.
I had a really hard time dragging myself into work this morning. But I don't want to use up all of my sick days on headaches. I really need to get into a doctor and get a real prescription for this thing.
All day yesterday I got to spend lots of time with good friends and fun times, but I felt like I really couldn't focus on anyone or give them much of myself. So I apologize to any of you who felt like I wasn't a very attentive friend. I promise to do better when I have my whole head back to normal.
Does anyone have any good advice for migraines other than drugs? I often find a cold, wet washcloth on my head helps some. Especially when I have just a little bit of heavy pressure on my forehead too. And then not moving at all...
Saturday, February 25, 2006
It's a sprout! A sprout, I tell you!
In fact I think I counted about 26 little wildflower sprouts!! And it's snowing outside...
There is nothing more beautiful to me this time of year than tiny green heads poking their way up through the moist dirt. And nothing more miraculous. I understand the science of seeds, but I still believe they are mini miracles on my garden window.
Today is a recording day at my house. My husband is working on a demo for a bunch of his friends who are in a band. They're amazing and play out quite a bit in town. But they don't currently have an album to give out and want to get one put together. So, since hubby is a rather talented producer, he has been working on this project for some time. (read: every night before he goes to bed)
They did a lot of the recording live and are adding in more tracks individually as time allows. This isn't necessarily a top priority right now so it gets weekend scheduling for whenever a particular bandmember or two can make it over to our studio.
It's funny because hubby calls himself a hobbiest when it comes to recording, and he doesn't get paid so he's not officially professional, but I put him in a much higher category than just hobbiest. Everyone in our circle of friends (and beyond) knows his reputation and abilities and put their full trust in his work, knowing it to be high quality. Granted, we don't have a soundproof room or every single piece of equipment he wishes he had, but he has put out many an album from our studio (or living room or dining room) and no one is any the wiser. He is an excellent tech.
Anyway...today the studio has also exploded out into the dining room. And Iggy the musical cat has placed himself on top of the guitar bag directly in front of the huge amp cab. It's not quiet, mind you. The point of the amp is to obtain the perfect, loud sound. But Igor loves it. I believe he thinks he's helping too.
It's rather entertaining, because you are only hearing the one guitar rather than the whole band. They've all got headphones on and are listening to the rest of the parts while the guitarist plays along to get his part down. And all I hear is the random strumming with no connection to any whole. My imagination trys to fill in the remainder, but at the same time I like the distinct singularity to only one part. In a way, it is its own art.
For anyone who has never done any recording, it is a laborious, tedious, repetitive process. Meticulous and perfectionistic in every way. They can hear minute things that most of us would never notice a difference in. And most of us don't care. You hear a finished project and think, "Yep, I like that," without realizing many of the intricate details. While hubby would listen to the same song and have to redo it fourty-five times until it is up to his standard.
I'm just thankful we don't currently have a live drum kit in the dining room.
Friday, February 24, 2006
My Name is Asher Lev. Such a great read. It tears you up inside with so many emotions the entire way through. Lots of tension and excellent character development. I felt such a connection with the main character and kept talking to him in my head.
It took me longer than most novels do, but I haven't had all that much time lately either. It was very engrossing and readable but not dumbed down at all. Intelligent writing that was so meaningful and worthwhile.
Makes me want to learn to paint. And again, learn more about history.
Gary has a new friend! Well, he doesn't know it yet...and hopefully he won't be upset that this fellow has moved in while he's been gone, but someone had to keep the garden up!! Gary has been heedlessly gallivanting around the country. I did hear a rumor that he visited us for a short bit, but he didn't bother to stop and say hello.
Grant arrived this past Monday via UPS. Great big box, itty bitty gnome. He has his very own pair of gardening shears which will be very handy for cutting back wily branches and out of control weeds. There are two sweet little birds who hang around him...assumedly because he himself is such a sweet little gnome. And of course, he has a wonderful pot on his head. A gnome can't have a cold head, now can he?
Of course, since it's still winter, Grant has to content himself with pruning indoor plants. There are three amaryllis plants which need coaxing to flower and he will have to watch over all of the newly seeded vegetables and flowers. Very important jobs. He showed up just in time.
He was handcrafted just for our garden with love and care. Isn't he just the cutest!?
Thursday, February 23, 2006
I am going to keep this updated with growing pictures. Not necessarily weekly, but at least at significant, noticable intervals. I'm not going to bore you with pictures that all look exactly the same. At least I'll try not too.
So far we have some dirt. In which seeds have been placed. And over which there are lids to keep the moisture in. (And to keep the kitties out.) That is essential.
There are currently three different types of peppers, onions, basil, cilantro, camomile, poppies, wildflowers and daisies. In a month or so I will seed the squash, cucumbers and melon.
I also have a few packets of cactus seeds that need their own separate planter. But for this I need special sand and all kinds of extra things that I don't have yet. Including the growing light. I need one of those. And a pot warmer to go under the pots.
Of course, there are a ton of other wonderful green things in my plant window! I seem to be doing quite well with aloe for some reason. I started with one little sprout from my grandmother and that one sprouted lots of babies and then I added an aloe donated from a friend. I feel like I should get burned more often so I can use it. It has been awhile since I've had a good burn.
I've also got my violets set so that they flower almost all the time.
All this from a window that gets little to no direct sunlight! Who knew!?
I have had very little work to do so I have been reading. Blogs, random websites, short stories,(EAP), etc.
I stumble upon a new blog every day or so that I feel I must read from beginning to end. Most recently Ramblings of a Green Yogurt, Zach Braff's blog and then his brother Josh Braff.
Whenever I get going on a new site, I feel like I completely tune out of reality. I have a new best friend. I know everything they have ever thought. I am sunk entirely into their life.
And then I look up from my computer screen and look around at my little florescently-lit cubicle and wonder where I am and why I'm there. I like the little world inside my moniter. I want to stay there and roll around in the green, warm grass. It's perfect. It's not my life and it's not necessarily even real. But it feels more real than the documents in front of me on my desk.
I can buy things and window shop. I can keep up on the news and learn about history.
I think I need a dose of reality. I'd better go get a cup of coffee.
Saturday, February 18, 2006
Yesterday I was. But that was before I did my taxes. And the Man has stuck it to us this year. Last year wasn't so bad, but one of the places I worked this year computed my taxes incorrectly and took none out of my paycheck for the whole year. NONE! How did I not notice this?!
I checked my most recent stub and some was taken out but it still doesn't seem right. I am really good at budgeting and getting our accounting done well. But apparently I have not been very attentive.
Granted, it's a matter of the government not having as much of my money to invest throughout the year and all that. And at least I don't have to pay any in this year. But I still always get so excited at tax time to see how much money I get back.
It doesn't help that we have changed our tax bracket due to my holding two jobs. So I am trying to have a good attitude about it. I wish I was one of those people who refused to pay their taxes. But I'm definitely not brave enough for that kind of sillines.
But it's done and taken care of for this year. I still have to get my city taxes filed, but that's not a big deal. The hard stuff is done and over with.
Friday, February 17, 2006
Don't get me wrong. I'm very girly. But I am also quite smart and very literary.
I just wanted to get that out in the open and make sure it was clear. I didn't want anyone to have any misconceptions after the revealing of my pink room.
I am sure there are people with more books than me. But I have a lot of books. We have five tall full bookcases and also a couple shelves in our library. Most of these volumes I have read, however there are still a few on my list that I have not gotten to yet. I look at them longingly...
I even have the wingback chair next to the lamp and table to sit and read to my heart's delight. The cats all tend to like to sit and read with me. Or at least to sit on the book I am reading.
My main problem is that I also love accumulating books. There is something in me that gets so excited at having a new book. Even if it's used. I don't know if it's materialistic or what exactly in me that enjoys this so much. I need to pay better attention this year to when the local library sales are. If any of you hear about any, let me know so I can put it on my calendar! One of my fondest memories as a kid was packing up brown bags with my mom at the library. It was like a dollar a bag for as much as you could cram inside. And boy could I cram!
When I was little, it took my parents a while to figure out that punishing me by sending me to my room just didn't work. That's where all the books were. The only punishment that ever worked (aside from spanking and soap-in-the mouth) was taking away my books. That really made me cry. I would read every where I went. When I was little enough I would sit on the very bottom of the grocery cart and read while my mother shopped. I could read while I did dishes or cleaned. Though I think I probably got in trouble for that too. When I really didn't want to do something, I'd take my book with me into the bathroom so I'd have a good excuse. "But Mom! I'm going!" I'd be in there for a half hour and they'd start to worry.
I don't think books will ever go out of style. I know people read the internet more than the newspaper now and that since the growth of tv, video games and other random diversions, that the hobby of reading has probably decreased. But there is always going to be something wonderful about holding a book. Creasing back a page, finishing a chapter, getting to the end. (And those of you who skip to the end--shame on you)
I hope I teach my kids --someday-- to love and read mountains of books. Mountains, I tell you!
I'll admit it. I'm ok with this. I love pink. I love flowers and bows and ribbons. I love kitties and teddy bears and chocolates. I love to be pampered and protected and be playful.
And I have my very own dressing room. And it's pink. This is where I do my make up and get dressed. This is where I have tea parties and girl heart-to-hearts. This is where I have manicures and pedicures and try different things with my hair. This is where all of my clothes and my shoes and my purses are. This is where I get to snuggle on my own couch with my own afghan and read my own book with a kitty on my feet.
The walls are two different shades of pale pink. Not too much, just enough. It is my favorite room in my house.
Andy doesn't even mind it in there. Sometimes he comes in and hangs out with me. Don't tell his friends...
I am wearing new socks today. They are so cute. Knee-high with hot pink argyle. I wish I could show them off. But the argyle is only at the top not all the way up the side. So only I get to appreciate the cuteness. It's worse than wearing really cute underwear. I don't expect to get to show off my underwear. That would just be weird. But my socks. Everyone should get to appreciate how cute my socks are.
Look! Look how cute they are!!
I really don't want to resort to this. I think this is very tacky and will not improve my "curb appeal" at all.
However, the dog crap in my front yard doesn't add to curb appeal either.
Have I mentioned this before? That portion of the grass between the street and the sidewalk...covered in dog poo. The neighbors have a boxer. Big ol' dog that they never walk. Never walk. They just let him out the door and he goes, and he comes back in. Fine. They want his crap all over their front yard that's ok by me.
But my yard!? That's just crossing a line, isn't it? What is the neighborly thing to do? They aren't being neighborly by allowing this to go on.
I don't notice it when there's snow on the ground. But every time it melts, I see the many, many piles. I cannot handle this any more. I went over one day to talk to them about it, but no one came to the door. Just the dog. He stared at me through the glass so very sadly.
Any advice for me? I really don't want to resort to the sign. At one point we took a couple minutes and threw the piles back onto their lawn, not caring if we missed and it landed on their sidewalk or front steps. Was that bad? Is it bad if I don't care?
I mean really, I can't handle this. But I don't want to be a jerk either. Do I :
1. Tell them to make their dog stop doing this regardless of what it takes to make that happen
2. Tell them that I want them to clean up my yard
3. Print out a picture of this sign and stick it to their door, thus threatening to report them to nopoopyneighbors.com
I hate it, but what am I gonna do? Other than go crazy about it. Because I'm getting there.
Wednesday, February 15, 2006
I think I always tried to break up in person. I say I think because I honestly don't remember at all. I do remember being told not to do it in a note or through a friend or over the phone. Too impersonal and mean. But breaking up is rough regardless.
We now have a new, improved, easier, completely non-confrontational method. E-mail. Or for that matter, someone could post on their blog that they wanted to break up and hope the person read it.
A website just launched to give hints on the best way to write the break up e-mail. http://www.ibreakup.net/
I'm not sure how I feel about it. Have we commercialized breaking up now? How much further into our comfortable little individual bubbles can we get? Or is this just a new option that's no different than passing a note in class? All I know is that I'm glad I'm out of the dating scene. It was fun, but now is way better!
I bought about 20 packets of seeds last night! And a seed starter. This will make me feel like it is almost time to plant. Which it is for some flowers. But I really need to wait about a month before starting most of my veggies. But now I can basically start at any time I so desire. Regardless of the weather.
Should I get a florescent plant light? Hmmm. I wonder how much those are and if that would be valuable to my seed starting health.
I have a plant window in my kitchen. It's one of my favorite things in my house. Two big shelves of glass, surrounded by glass and looking out onto my backyard garden. But whoever installed this lovely window did not consider the fact that this side of the house gets very little direct sunlight. In fact, I probably get about 3 hours of direct sunlight on only one small side of my window a day. There is a lot of general light and my plants do get more light than if they were elsewhere in my house, but I often wonder if they get enough.
Maybe I'll looking into getting one of those artificial lights.
Anyway, I'll be planting these tomorrow. I can't wait. I love planting.
Would you wear socks specifically designed to be worn with sandals? Is this all the rage and I'm somehow missing out? I guess it's practical if you have cold ankles. I personally usually have cold toes. So this would be impractical for me.
Is this cute? Have these been around for a while and I just didn't know?
For the guy who already wears socks with his sandals, I think he should switch to these. Or just take off his socks. However, it is also winter in Michigan and no one should be wearing sandals anyway. It's almost March which means it's almost spring. Which means it's almost time to wear my flip flops again.
Tuesday, February 14, 2006
Yep. I'm a believer. I believe that couples should take a few times every year to appreciate each other to unlimited ends. Spoil each other rotten. I don't believe it is the only day of the year to show affection and adoration and emotion. Good heavens, no. But there are a couple days a year that are a good excuse to go over the top. Today is one of those days. All I requested was flowers and chocolates. (last year I was a bit of a brat that I didn't get anything so I tried to mend my ways just a little)
And I don't feel that my flowers and chocolates were diminished in any way due to the fact that I asked for them. Not in the least. I was still surprised to find the big bouquet in my bedroom making the whole room smell wonderfully like roses. And I was also surprised to find the happy little heart-shaped box of chocolates on my chair in my dressing room this morning. It still made me tear up. And I had lots of warm fuzzies in my heart. So much so that I went in to give my hubby a big ol' wet kiss while he was showering and covered with green shampoo.
Oh, and I know no one has asked this (C'mon people, the Ask Anne section is getting a little cold and lonely!) but I discovered the perfect way to display a dozen roses in a vase. Bri would be proud of me.
Courtesy of a 2002 Taste of Home book:
1. Don't use too small of a vase, make sure it's big enough to comfortably put it all the flowers and greens with no squishing.
2. Take green florist's tape and make a criss-cross grid over the mouth of your vase. (Note the very technical diagram)
3. Fill your vase with water.
4. Cut your stems at an angle and under running water.
5. Trim off any leaves that are lower than the water line.
6. Carefully arrange your flowers and any greens
7. If your tape shows at the mouth too much, either arrange more greens around it to cover or wrap a ribbon around the mouth.
Perfect! It's beautiful!
Friday, February 10, 2006
Tonight is the opening ceremony for this year's Olympic Winter Games. I'm going to a party to celebrate the opening and to participate in many silly games of our own! I watched practically every event for the Summer Games two years ago and am looking forward to watching tons of Olympics this year.
My mother and I used to be able to watch figure skating for hours together. And I would 'skate' my way around the house for the rest of the day. As much out of sight as possible. We wouldn't want to look silly, now would we?
I'll have to work on getting the hubby to help with the 'lifts' this year. I'm sure he'll be game for it. We'll take pictures, don't worry.
Which is your favorite event? Do you have any memories of watching the Olympics with friends or family?
I don't think I was a mooch before. But now that I'm trying to be on a tight budget and refusing to allow myself to continually take the $5 out of the ATM so easily within reach, I find that for trivial things like and afternoon cup of joe or candy bar, I just wander through the cube aisles looking sad and hoping someone will bestow .89 cents to my cause. Or .65 cents, whichever the case may be. I even owe .50 cents to the church snack box. Shameful.
I don't forget though. One day when I have a spare few dollars I will share my wealth. I will repay my debts. You who have given so freely will be repaid. Your willingness will be rewarded in kind. I might even share my Reese's.
Thursday, February 09, 2006
After that first session, hubby & I spoke for two of the teaching breakouts. Our topic was "Elementary Worship." Which isn't exactly what we spoke on, but that's because we are pretty technical and really it's all a matter of semantics. If we were to choose the title (since we didn't get that option) it would be more like, "Stuff we do when we lead music with elementary kids and why we do what we do and the best ways that we recommend doing all of that stuff as well as a few places to find the good stuff." Or something really profound like that.
We had colored pencils for our stellar bubble-letter handout and gave out prizes for the best note-taking. We also made our participants sing along with us and a do little bit of jumping around. It's good for the soul. Besides they're used to it--they work with kids!
We also made a plug (or two) of shameless self-promotion and sold a few of the CDs we brought with us. Not that we make any money off of them, but we are proud of the stuff we've done and want to be able to make it available to other churches and kids' workers.
I have to give huge props to my husband. I consider myself a good speaker. I took classes and competed for years and even won a few awards. But he is a natural. He usually hates speaking in front of people, but this was something he has a passion for, knows what he is talking about and he was amazing. He actually did way more of the presentation than I did and I just let him take it away! I kept just watching him in awe at his knowledge and ability to let truth and solid advice flow right off his lips. He never ceases to amaze me. And my heart is so full of him.
In the afternoon, hubby had to take off to play at a wedding and I stayed and rehearsed with a different set of folks for our afternoon singing. I don't usually get to sing "adult" worship music, so I really had a good time and was able to focus more on my harmonies than on the motions or trying to keep my headset mic attached to my head like I have to do with the kids' songs! (I bought a whole roll of bandaging tape for that thing...and it was stuck to my head like glue, until I sweated it off anyway...but I only had to use this for the morning with the kids. Very hard to do motions with a regular mic. Trust me.)
Here is a picture of me apparently prayerfully singing. Not that I wasn't prayerful...but it's just such a weird thing to be photographed like that. The guy was just wandering around taking pictures and took way more than I thought was really necessary. Especially the 20 he took during rehearsal. (Um, excuse me, we're busy rehearsing.) It was disappointing to see there are no pictures of the kids in the morning. I'll get those soon. I'm sure someone somewhere had a camera on those kids! I'll get on that. (Parents? Anyone?)
Thursdays are usually my nights to sit at home by myself all quiet and cozy and watch tv or read a book. But tonight I am actually going out with a girlfriend. The crazy part is that I actually got another invitation to hang out with some other friends tonight too but had already committed to the first friend. Again, usually I just say no on Thursday nights altogether. I think the key is to get me to commit to going out before I am actually sitting on the couch. Once I'm there, 'aint no gettin' me off.
So tonight we're going out for Indian food, coffee and then a dress rehearsal for a sweet musical. Strangely, I don't believe I have ever seen West Side Story before at all. Just clips and pieces here and there. Plus we got free tickets so that is sweet also!
Saturday I get to go on a shopping date. My hubby is a decent shopper, but just doesn't cut it compared to any of the girls. He's better with the groceries than the fun shopping. I will have to set myself a budget...I can tend to go overboard just a smidge. But I have an allowance for this month and I can do whatever I want with it! And it will probably be gone by Saturday afternoon! What am I saying, probably!? It will definitely be gone! Though that's not that bad, Andy's used up all of his allowance on the first of the month!
Wednesday, February 08, 2006
Especially when I buy the perfect-smelling expensive salon shampoo & conditioner. I only buy this once (or twice) a year when I get color done. Usually I use the "whatever is on sale" brand.
Anyway, my hair smells great today. That is all.
Oh, and my stylist called the color "Cherry Cola." Andy just calls it "hot."
Tuesday, February 07, 2006
Pirates of the Caribbean. -- did you know they are already filming the third movie!!??! A girl just can't get enough of Mr. Depp.
Spring. I can almost smell it.
Getting my hair done at the salon tonight.
The 20th of this month. Day off. Have I mentioned how much I love bank holidays?
Valentine's. No big plans, just a romantic dinner and probably a lot of watching Scrubs.
Which is on tonight! Scrubs, that is.
Lost. Tomorrow night. Of course, I don't get to watch it until Saturday afternoon because I have small group tomorrow night. But I'll still be excited tomorrow night.
Spring. I can almost feel it. But it's 28* today. So not quite.
Ok. That's my excitment for today. What are you excited for!?
Friday, February 03, 2006
Iggy likes to style hair. I believe I have referenced before how he licks hair. When he was a kitten, he would do it all night long and you couldn't get him to stop. Now he only does it when you are comfortably sitting on the couch minding your own business.
I usually don't allow it as my hair is long enough for him to practically eat it and it breaks off my ends. Not my favorite. Plus I don't prefer tuna-scented hair. Ick.
Andy doesn't seem to mind though. He thinks it's funny. (It also makes him look quite funny afterwards...mohawk ends up being the most common style)
Iggy also gives very good kitty kisses. They're usually of the Eskimo variety.
I have an amazing husband, home, jobs, friends, health etc. More "stuff" than I know what to do with.
And then I watch movies like "Hotel Rwanda" and "The Constant Gardener" and wonder how I can be so shallow in my life with all my things and my safety and my comfort and my food and my health and my opportunities.
How can I be so unaware of the rest of the world? How can I be so content with my own selfish existence?
How can I know so little of world affairs that I don't even remember vaguely hearing about any of these things happening?
It makes me so sick of myself.
Dear Lord, please forgive my selfishness and materialism. Forgive my apathy. Open my eyes to this world and those around me. May Your grace be upon those so much less fortunate than myself. May I continue to acknowledge the blessings you over-abundantly shower me with.