Friday, March 31, 2006
My husband reminded me of this last night. We were happily driving along a scenic road and I commented on a sign I saw. I didn't give him context of what I was looking at and he was thoroughly confused. As he, of course, was paying attention to driving.
I said, "I assume you see exactly the same things that I see and therefore will know exactly what I see."
He replied, "That's true, but I see everything with a blue tint and you see everything with a pink tint."
Ah yes, that's right. I forget.
Anyway, in order to serve the boys, I decided to dedicate my post today to them and write about boy things. You know; frogs and bugs and...boy stuff.
So, here you are, boys. And you'd better appreciate it.
Frogs. That eat bugs. And baby mice. (I know, it's sad... I mean... yeah! Eat those mice!)
Scorpions. Scary creatures only boys like.
Fish and Skulls.
Uh...Napping. Napping is good. Boys like napping, right?
Grumble. Urgh. Grunt. Grrr. (That's manspeak for you girls who aren't aware.)
Last night I held auditions for my Half-Notes kids music group. I was surprised that more didn't show up as it seems like everyone is always asking me when I will be holding them again. Ah well...not everyone pays attention to the bulletin, right?
I have a strange audition process, I suppose. I never actually plan on turning any of the kids down. Not because I believe in never telling a kid 'no', but because I need as many kids as I can get and I'm not really interested in perfect pitch. A couple of the kids last night weren't good singers at all. And I have a couple in the group who are downright awful.
But I believe in energy and a kid who really wants to be there and is willing to give their all and just have fun. As opposed to a parent telling them they have to be there or a kid who is too shy to perform.
Some of them were just so darn cute I could have eaten them right up. I think it takes more guts for an 8 year old to perform a song all by themselves in front of two strangers than it would take to perform with a whole bunch of kids in front of an auditorium full of strangers.
One sang the Star Spangled Banner. Knew every word. (I don't think I would even remember every word)
One girl sang Away in a Manger. Deep breath in between each syllable. I tried not to giggle at how cute she was.
So a fun night had by all. Little happy faces going away with a new CD of songs to practice. Parents so proud of their little kiddo. Myself happy to have new kiddos in my little group.
Clara on Speaker
Iggy on Windowsill
Clara on Rug
Iggy on Chair
Stay tuned for the next episode of: Cats on Things.
Wednesday, March 29, 2006
If you haven't seen the Narnia Rap, you're missing out. But I already have this new tune stuck in my head and I've only watched it once.
Thanks to Virenda for clueing me into this hilarity! You must click the link above to see the video. It is so worthwhile.
Kassi had this interesting information on her blog and I thought I'd throw it on mine too. Yep, I need to travel more. Especially the West, apparently.
This is a map of states I have visited. It seems like I've been to others, but can't think for sure. Any of you who know me, have I missed any?
I wish I could do countries. But I've only visited Israel, Jordan, Egypt & Canada, so that wouldn't be overly exciting of a map.
Which ones can you add to mine that you've visited that I haven't?
create your own visited states map
or check out these Google Hacks.
Monday, March 27, 2006
Say for example, I want to work out and get in shape. I get out of breath after climbing the stairs. So, yes, I want to get in shape. I want to not be sore after working on Sundays.
But I have little to no motivation. At least not when I need to have motivation. Around 2 or 3 in the afternoon, I feel like I want to go work out. I have workout energy. When I get home from work around 6 or 7, I feel like I want to plop on the couch and not get up until I have to go to bed.
This doesn't bode well for my getting in shape.
So do I promise myself a present if I work out? Or do I have someone berate me and take something away if I don't?
I need someone who's butt kicking will get me in gear. I sure can't do it on my own. For a while I had a girlfriend who I told to call me in the morning to get me up early. Then after two days, I told her to stop! Ugh.
What to do...
Saturday I did a good amount of nothing, in fact. We slept in far too late and I woke up with a horrid migraine. I think I slept on my stomach. Or was grinding my teeth. One of the two. Or both. Anyway, I begged hubby to make coffee once we got up. Unfortunately there was no creamer. Neither of us can drink coffee black. And the only time we use just plain cream & sugar is when we go out to eat. Otherwise, we are spoiled. French Vanilla creamer. Chocolate syrup. Whipped cream. This is quality Saturday morning coffee.
He did however, make me an excellent French Toast and eggs breakfast. He is a stellar breakfast maker.
Then we snuggled up on the couch to read books. He took a nap. (Yes, a nap at about noon after sleeping until 10) While he napped, I ate his Snickers bar. It was just sitting there staring at me longingly. What else is a girl to do!? It was quite funny when he woke up and noticed the now empty wrapper. It still makes me snicker. *ahem*
I finally kicked him to the corner grocery store and he returned with the required creamers, chocolate & whipped cream. He's such a good hubby. I brewed the coffee while he was gone. I didn't even screw it up! Usually he brews it, and he makes it perfectly. I make it "ok."
We drank our coffee. And read the Saturday free paper. Looked through ads. Decided Menards was calling us to purchase fun house project products. I put on clothes (ok, I was in my jammies & bathrobe at two in the afternoon), brushed my hair & teeth and off we went!
I love home improvement stores. Sigh. We have a good relationship too. I buy things, they provide things for me to buy. Especially plants. This time of year I just pile seeds and roots and plants and watering cans and pots and anything else I can fit in my cart.
We got a door, some lights, some plants, a few screws and other odds and ends. Found a good deal on a garden shed. Didn't get the shed, but did some figuring and planning. Went back home. The door fit amazingly in our little cavalier with the trunk shut too! Of course, I had to sit in the back seat with the seat down, so that wasn't very comfortable, but at least the door didn't get rained on. Good thing I'm little.
Um...ok, then we ate some delectable bagel sandwiches, a couple friends came over: he to play in the studio with hubby, she for me to help her hem some pants. Lovely evening in spite of the still pounding migraine. Ordered in dinner. Practiced guitar some more. Went to bed.
Sunday was a usual busy day at church. Fun with kids and good learning. Went to lunch with some good friends we hadn't been able to hang out with in a while. One of the couples had just gotten back from a trip to Israel so it was great to be able to chatter with them about what they saw and learned. Makes me so stinking excited to be going next year!
I cleaned my front porch and set up the hammock. I had my very first Sunday afternoon nap in the hammock in the sun for this year! There is nothing better. Unless it's a nap in the hammock in the sun with a kitten on your lap. I don't believe that can be topped.
Went shopping at Target in the evening with a girlfriend and got way too much stuff. I actually have to return a bunch of stuff this evening. I am both an impulse shopper and often have buyer's remorse. Not a good combination. At least not for the customer service desk.
No, it wasn't a very interesting weekend. But it was a good one. And I always wish I had three days rather than the measly two we are granted. Couldn't we all go on strike until we get three day weekends? Somehow find a way?
What did you do this weekend? C'mon, spill it all. I'm listening!
Friday, March 24, 2006
Even though everyone else in my office discussed it on Monday mornings, I wouldn't cave. I was happy in my ignorance as well as with my additional hour of sleep on Sunday evenings.
But now I am obsessive. I didn't mean to. I blame it all on the Super Bowl. The trailer for the episode after the SB was so good, I just HAD to watch it. And then the following week I had to watch it. And I haven't stopped yet. I have even been Netflix-ing last year's season so that I know everything that is going on. I finished the first disk in one night. And hubby just informed me that the second disk of season one arrived today.
I know where I'll be tonight. Me, Meredith, Derek & Addison will be hanging out all night. Andy and the kitties will be around to help me eat all the popcorn. I'm already McExcited.
I feel like every other book I pick up now will be in the light of reading this. Very little will be able to compare. Everything else will feel trite. Pointless and weak. Infantile even.
There are a lot of good books out there, and there is a lot of fluff. And I don't think I can currently stomach anything that isn't excellence. We accept mediocrity all the time for a quick fix, an easy out. And in doing so allow ourselves to continue to be mediocre and not demand higher quality.
It took me about three weeks to finish as it was so long and took actual thinking to read it. And I haven't stopped thinking about it. I don't agree with so much of Ayn Rand's philosophy but there are points that cause me to stop and really analyze what it is that is attractive about it.
She created the philosophy that she called Objectivism.
The short translation is this:
1. "Nature, to be commanded, must be obeyed" or "Wishing won't make it so."
2. "You can't eat your cake and have it, too."
3. "Man is an end in himself."
4. "Give me liberty or give me death."
The slightly longer explanation is this:
My philosophy, Objectivism, holds that:
Reality exists as an objective absolute—facts are facts, independent of man's feelings, wishes, hopes or fears.
Reason (the faculty which identifies and integrates the material provided by
man's senses) is man's only means of perceiving reality, his only source of
knowledge, his only guide to action, and his basic means of survival.
Man—every man—is an end in himself, not the means to the ends of others. He
must exist for his own sake, neither sacrificing himself to others nor
sacrificing others to himself. The pursuit of his own rational self-interest
and of his own happiness is the highest moral purpose of his life.
The ideal political-economic system is laissez-faire capitalism. It is a system
where men deal with one another, not as victims and executioners, nor as masters
and slaves, but as traders, by free, voluntary exchange to mutual benefit.
It is a system where no man may obtain any values from others by resorting
to physical force, and no man may initiate the use of physical force against
others. The government acts only as a policeman that protects man's rights;
it uses physical force only in retaliation and only against those who
initiate its use, such as criminals or foreign invaders. In a system of full capitalism, there should be (but, historically, has not yet been) a complete separation of state and economics, in the same way and for the same reasons as the separation of state and church.
Copyright ã 1962 by Times-Mirror Co.
What does all of this mean to me? I'm honestly not sure yet. It is such a high ideal for man to live up to, but yet leaving out the entire concept of God, faith, beliefs. Which I am not able to do. And the problem with facts being facts is that they so often aren't. There are so many facts that are still intrinsically changed by whomever views them. Especially if man is dependant upon his own reason.
Her main character in this book is what she considers the highest ideal for man. Unfortunately he is practically an inhuman man.
I feel like I need to read something different, but I am also pulled to read more from her. I am also pulled to talk to whoisjohngalt. I think we need to meet.
Thursday, March 23, 2006
This is Simon. Simon is fron Australia. This is Simon at his birthday party. I believe he was 29 here as we just celebrated his 30th this year. Simon is going to be a daddy soon. He and his wife are in our small group and just found out it's going to be a boy. I'm hoping they'll teach him to have an Australian accent.
Here are some very sweet kittens we fostered about a year and a half ago. We named them Tiger, Sweet Pea, Grandpa, and that other black cat. Ok, so I only remember three names. Their new names are Hobbes, Cloe and Colby. Those three got to stay together and love their new home. It has been far too long since we have fostered any kittens.
Here is Andy working last fall on the remodel of our Coolest Bathroom Ever. While removing carpet, linoleum and particle board, we found a secret trap door in the floor. Unfortunately we had to tile over this excellent feature, but it was fun while it lasted. Why was there a trap door under our flooring, you may ask? We assume it was installed to hide the pirate booty. That seems the most logical.
The garden picture is from two summers ago. Our first summer in our current house. My tomatoes growing over the back fence. Peas and beans and broccoli growing in the front of the garden.
I cannot wait to plant again this year!
And here we have Christmas from two years ago. Our very scrawny, spindly Christmas tree. And our three kitties. Who look like they are having oh so much fun being squished together.
Finally, we have a picture I just took of the stained glass window in my dressing room. A friend gave it to me in exchange for a toilet. I know that sounds weird, but she was looking to get rid of this anyway, and we were replacing our toilet, she needed a new toilet, so we were both very happy with our trade!
And that, my friends is my random roll of film. I spared you the crappy doubles and bad shots. Be thankful. And shout praises to the mountaintops for the creation of digital cameras. I know I have.
Wednesday, March 22, 2006
The remnant idea would have worked but we don't have a large truck to haul the thing to the carpet place and back and we just never got around to doing it. So I had been looking around at every store that sells carpets. I loved the shag at Pottery Barn, but it was just so expensive. I started saving anyway as that ended up seeming like it was the best rug for our money.
Then we walked into Home Depot. I forget how much I love this store. They had a shag in the color and texture that we wanted for less than a quarter of the PB one! Plus they would have it delivered for free! I ordered it straight-away and then also proceeded to order a skooshy rug pad from PB.
Amazingly they were both delivered on the same day! I arrived home from yesterday to find that not only had they both been delivered, but the delivery guys had apparently laid both pieces down and arranged our furniture over them!
Ok, so you all really need to get a cleaning lady that lives with you. She is amazing. She laid out our carpet for us and apparently yesterday was cleaning day, so the rest of the house was sparkling also! She even cleaned all of my votive holders and hurricane candle holders and put in new candles!! I wish I could keep her forever. Sigh. I will have to go back to cleaning on my own soon enough.
One of our cats is so insane over the rug. She seems to think it is an object to be chased and pounced upon. I tried to get a short video of it with my camera, but of course she wouldn't cooperate.
I sat on the floor all evening. Ate my dinner at the coffee table, watched tv while on the floor...It was wonderful. The rug we had before was thin and blue with a random flower border that really clashed with everything we had, but I kept it just to keep the floor somewhat protected. The new one is so perfect and just adds the right amount of homey-ness to the living room. I finally feel like that room is finished and I think it's the first one we started decorating!
Tonight we are staying in as we don't have group so I will likely make something healthy...and probably involving chicken.
But yesterday. Yesterday I made the best meal ever. Salmon with honey, bbq, soy sauce & a dash of worcestershire sauce. Broiled for 5 minutes on each side. A side of peas and a pile of wild rice along with a glass of white wine. I will admit to you that I did indeed lick my plate clean. And Andy's. And I will not apologize. I have never had better salmon. Perfectly flakey, not fishy but sweet and juicy. I proclaimed that I could eat that meal forever. Or at least every night. I can hardly look at this picture without my mouth watering. Too late...
One of the best parts is the monologe that V gives at the beginning. It's forever long and every other word starts with a "v."
In different but related news, Hubby is working on a new kids' music album and one of the topics he has been given for one of the songs is "a mouthful of marbles." The album is to corrolate with the stories from the life of Moses and this refers to when Moses informed God that he wasn't good enough for Him.
Hubby decided that this song should be somewhat difficult to sing to reflect the idea of Moses' impediment. I copied in his lyrical ideas for the bridge. You can see how this movie has made its way into his writing this week!
in my lapse and languor loads are lacking yet love labors lengthily to launder lovingly my loathsome life
in my powerless propensity to pollute each possible production pure and perfect you produce your purpose
I'll be sure to make the album available for purchase here once it's finished!
Tuesday, March 21, 2006
Ok, so this was me today. Well, not exactly me as I'm not blonde. But I think I was probably making that face.
I don't usually do this at my job, but this past week or so I have been filling in for another employee in my "spare time."
Collections. It really amazes me every time I have to do this how many people there are out there who wait until someone calls to remind them that they are late on their payments.
Really? You forgot? Oh ok then.
Riiight. When this was my everyday job, my highlight was when there were people whom I had called enough times to know that I didn't have to call them any more. I could just automatically take their payment from their checking account. Instead of being practical and setting up their account in an auto-pay, they just let me do it. And they didn't seem to mind that I would charge them for their late fee every month also.
Really? Do you not pay attention to your books at all? No? Ok then. That makes sense then.
Then there are the churches. I'm calling churches!!! It makes me so sad and so thankful at the same time. Sad that in most business realms, churches have a bad name. They don't usually pay on time. They have bad credit. I have even had pastors lie to me. But I am thankful that my church has excellent financial advisors and that they are exceptionally on top of the financial/business side of the church. It makes for a very good reputation that is so valuable.
I am also thankful that my fellow employee will be back on Thursday to pick up her job again! Whew.
So anyway, I went back through the pictures I did have at my disposal and I saw I had never posted my fun pictures from my Chicago adventure this past summer.
Before my girlfriend Nikki moved away to California, we made sure to get in one good girls-only weekend at a sweet hotel with plenty of shopping and lots of good food.
We stayed at the Hotel Monaco which is my absolute favorite place to stay in Chicago. It isn't like the usual cookie-cutter hotel. It's cozy, and yet formal. They serve fresh homemade cookies every afternoon and also have a wine hour with complimentary wine.
They welcome pets and unfortunately we didn't bring any as we traveled by train, so instead we were graced with the presence of Killer. The amazing fighting goldfish. Ok, he didn't really do anything interesting, but we bonded all the same.
Ah yes...what a lovely weekend in the Windy City.
But it's still cold in spite of the technicality of it being Spring. So he goes out on the porch for about three seconds and then wants to come back in. But soon. Soon he can go out all day if he so desires. And we will leave him there to smell as many smells as he can. I should probably wash off all the tiny little nose-prints from the window. It looks a bit grimy.
But now I have a solution! My kitty is always falling asleep on my lap while I'm sitting on the couch comfortably reading a book. I don't want to disturb her when I need to get up for some reason.
I will be sure to try this method out this evening.
Friday, March 17, 2006
My tea party last night was just lovely. Chicken salad on mini croissants, cucumber sandwhiches, oranges, strawberries, scones and some wonderful tea in my delicate china cups.
Good conversations, good friends and good food.
Watched the new Pride & Prejudice. I am still loyal to the original BBC Colin Firth version, but this one is also excellent for when you just don't have an extra five hours to dedicate to Colin. How this can happen, I just don't know. I mean, look at those eyes! But anyway.
I will post our fun pictures from the party as soon as I: a. finish that roll of film b. take that roll of film into the store to be developed c. pick up the pack of pictures from the store and d. scan in the pictures I want from our party and hope that we didn't have our eyes closed. How did we function on film for so long!?
**Update: Have attached photos. Lucky for me the store provides the option for a disk of pictures so I wouldn't have to scan them all in. Whew.
Wednesday, March 15, 2006
Tuesday, March 14, 2006
Well, the first portion of this answer is that obviously, she must deserve it. Ok. I don't really think I deserve it. I have been overly blessed with my living space in so many places I have lived that I am truly overwhelmed.
I have had my own beautiful dressing room practically since I've been married. In our first apartment, Hubby's sister lived with us for a while and then when she moved out, I redid that spare room into my room. Those are all the pictures you see here. It was my Victoria's Secret room. I loved it. I made new pillows, covers for my wicker furniture and meticulously painted the striped walls. Sadly, when we moved out, our landlady (the one who lives with us now) repainted it a more sellable khaki color. Practical... Sheesh.
Hubby's only requirement as far as rooms go is that he gets a studio and then I can do whatever I wish with the rest of the house.
Our current place is enormous. Or at least I think it is. It was listed with five bedrooms and I would say we now have six since the attic is finished. One room is the studio, one is our bedroom, a spare bedroom, a library, and my dressing room. Someday I am sure I will have to give it up, but I am enjoying every moment of it until then. And again, like I said, I am extremely blessed to have my home.
This week I am even having a girls tea party. And it won't be the first nor the last!
Tonight, one of my projects is turning a shadow box into a jewelry box to hang on the wall in here. I'll be sure to post a picture of how it turns out!
So, my friend, you can absolutely turn one of your five rooms into a "Just for B" room. In fact, you must. You can paint it however you like, hang pictures that are your favorites and have a place that is your own personal retreat. Whenever you feel like you need to get away, this will be where you are renewed and recharged! And be sure to send us pictures when you do!
This last picture is my current room. I went a little bit tamer than the previous room. It's only two shades of pale pink. But I love it just as much!