Thursday, November 30, 2006

I did NaBloPoMo and all I got.....

Was a sense of pride in knowing that with a little discipline I could indeed blog for 30 days in a row!  It is a bit of an accomplishment.  Will I continue with a daily blog?  Hard to say really.  I know that there were days when I was dog tired, and really had little of value to write about and that had I not been involved in this little venture, I would have skipped blogging that night.  Then there is also the Christmas is right around the corner thing, and I have much knitting, shopping, wrapping, baking and candy making to do.  So, the best I can say is "We'll see."

For the final night of NaBloPoMo I thought I'd give a proper introduction to each of my feline friends.  Like people. each one is unique in his or her own special way, but every bit as sweet and entertaining, and I don't know what my life would be like without them.  I also want to say that I don't know how Crazy Aunt Purl does it.  She has  a knack for getting amazing pictures of her cats, so I can only assume  that my cats are totally not photogenic, or that Purl's cats are hams for the camera, or that Purl sits around for hours on end just waiting for that pose assured that the  cat will not move before the camera is focused.  So, as I did not have hours to accomplish this, two of the pictures are old ones because one cat refused to look at me, and Alex decided to avoid the photo shoot altogether.

The matriarch of my feline family is Princess Jasmine (though we just call her Jasmine )

She looks a little drunk here, but that is normally not the case as she is quite regal.  Jazzy was the first kitty the Brit and I got together and she was a tiny little ball of fur when she came to live with us.  Her name was nearly Mrs. Poofball, but thankfully, I vetoed that idea.  Though she was free to a good home, that was where her inexpensiveness ended as two years ago, we nearly lost her due to a uterinary blockage.  Even after surgery it was touch and go for awhile, but she pulled through and made a full recovery.  Jazz is a talker, especially at night once we go to bed.  She wants to chat and make bread on us.  The odd thing about her, is that she loves to make bread on the living room pillows and she used her back feet as well, as she straddles the pillow.  I have my own theories about that, but we won't go there.

The next in line is Alex (short for Alexandra):

I got Alex when my first feline baby, Sam, was having declining health.  I knew Jasmine would miss him terribly (As would I) and I wanted her to have a friend.  Alex was a rescue from a vet's office (and this is a pattern that was bound to be repeated).  She has one of the most even tempered nature's of any cat I've ever met, but I am her human.   She loves attention, but also likes to give it in the way of kisses and head butts.  She is famous for being one of our most agile kitties as well, which says a lot as she is not a little thing.    She has a hiding place somewhere down in the basement that we have not yet been able to identify, other than to know that it is off the beaten path and she only goes there on occasion.  How do we know?  Because her snow white feet are suddenly dark gray.

The next to join the family was Jonah:

Jonah was a rescue from the SPCA and as 5 of our 6 cats, he came to us as a kitten.  Jonah is best known for being a bit of a klutz (the picture of him?  He did that himself.  We woke up to finding him this way and he is not meowing in pain, but because he wanted his breakfast) but he has this endearing personality.  He loves to knock things off the counter or dresser if he is awaiting a meal.  He is the "rub my tummy" kitty in the house as well as one of my two "Look what I caught, mom!" talkers when he is carrying a toy around in his mouth.  He is personality plus and has become a bit of a love bug in the past few months.

Hannah came to us next from the vet's office where I once worked:

She was a tiny little thing when she was dropped off at the office and very sick with vomiting and diarrhea.  She had to be dropper fed and during her stay there, I fell in love with her.  Now an adult, she is my quirkiest feline.  She has a sweet disposition, but when she feels she is not getting enough attention, she will nip you (My mother, who has thin skin hates Hannah because she has broken the skin on her twice).  She has the loudest little purr, and also likes to talk to toys when she is carrying them around.  She hates to hear anyone yell (like when I am calling one of the boys) and she comes running and talking and very upset.  Quirky at its finest. She also answers to "Hannah Banana".

Micah was another vet's office rescue:

Another little wee kitten drop off and again, as I tend to do, I fell in love with him.  We call him "Special K" which is short for "Special Kitty" because he is not so big in the brains department (Shhh..don't tell HIM that).  He has jumping issues and occasionally litter box issues, but he is a sweetheart.  He has never bitten, even in play, has the loudest purr of all the cats, and loves to sleep on my feet at night, which I love in the winter.  He is almost all black other than his bow tie and a couple of his toes (Lisa has always called him Twinkle Toes because of this).

Finally, once we thought we were finished, Grace came to stay.  You can find her complete story here:

She was our stray who decided she was going to live indoors regardless of what it took to get there, and now we wouldn't trade her for anything.  Sweet disposition, loves her family and never tries to get out (she knows when she has a good thing going).  She is the Brit's cat as she loves to stretch out beside of him in his chair when he is watching television. 

So, there you have the six kitties!  NaBloPoMo, it has been fun!  I've met a few amazing bloggers through this event that I will continue to keep up with.  I salute all of you for your success in this venture!

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

I don't get people

People discourage me at times.  This may be old news to some of you but I just found out today that some whacko dumped kittens on a road here in Hagerstown...and every one of them was hit by a car, because of course, the person dumped them along side a fairly busy road. 

It's just one of those things that makes me want to smack myself upside the head because of my inability to understand.  We have a Humane Society...not the best one on the planet, granted, but way better than allowing these innocent little creatures to be killed by a car. 

I really hope the individual responsible has trouble sleeping at night.  I suppose I should be forgiving them, but it's hard for me to do that when abuse to animals or children is involved (I still struggle with my feelings about my boys' biological parents).  KITTENS!  They were wee little baby kittens who did not deserve the hand that life dealt them, all because someone couldn't be bothered to take any time to find a suitable and socially acceptable solution. 

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Today needs to be random

1. I'm too tired tonight for anything but random.  After not being able to fall asleep last night, I woke up with a headache, had a ton to do at work today, left work to go get JJ at school for a doctor's appointment that took TWO FREAKIN' HOURS because the doctor was running behind.  After that, met up with my mother and Aaron because I had promised the kids I would take them out shopping to spend their gift cards from last Christmas awhile ago, which entailed three different stores.  If you've never taken a kid toy shopping...don't.  It can take forever to pick out one ten dollar toy.  So, after leaving my house at 8:25 this morning, I finally arrived home at 5:40.  Tired, I tell ya!

2. The camera arrived today!  Have not yet installed the software, so no pics to download yet (Tired!) but very cool that it has arrived!

3. The Brit is my favorite person today for offering to order pizza tonight instead of my cooking.  He knew a tired shopper when he saw one.

4. More shopping to come day at Walmart.  The fun never ends around here.

5. Paula called tonight and was actually wrapping Christmas gifts.  I have bought paper and tags but that is as far as it goes.  In fact, her knitted kitty is still not finished and I sat on the couch tonight for three hours, thinking about how I should be knitting, but just didn't have it in me (Tired!).  Four Christmas gifts on needles and not a one of them completed.

6. After sleep, tomorrow will be way better.

Monday, November 27, 2006

My boys

So, my dear friend, Mandy, managed to capture the essence of my two boys in this picture:

Is that adorable or what?  She got several great pics of them, but this is by far, my favorite because it is one of those moments fortunate enough to be caught on camera.  Mandy had just positioned them and then told them not to bang heads, which of course, JJ had to do exactly that and Mandy was able to photograph the result.

Speaking of cameras, the Brit ordered our new digital today!  What is even better is that it has already been shipped from New York! 

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Happy Birthday JJ!

Can someone please tell me how this child can possibly be seven years old?

Here is JJ with little sister, Kaitlyn at Chuck E Cheese just a couple of hours ago.  I remember when this little guy came to us at three years old; big brown eyes, chubby cheeks, full of noises and sounds but no words.  But even without a vocabulary, this little three year old was full of mischief.  If he was able to get the garden hose in his hand, watch out because you were destined to be soaking wet.   He was always a problem solver.  In this picture, you can see what he calls his "little hand", but let me tell you something; this kid can climb trees, ride a two wheeler, ride a scooter...there really isn't anything that he can't do (and he has no prosthesis as of yet either as he is too young for it and really doesn't need it at this time.)

He had a speech teacher at Head Start when he was four who wanted to discuss with me "alternate means of communication" which translated into "I don't think he is ever going to speak other than the sounds he makes, and with one hand, sign language is not an option, so you need to figure out a way to communicate with this child."  I told her it was not necessary.  JJ would talk.  He was as bright as a new penny and though he could not say "cat" he could make the sound "meow".  He would and could talk.

An evaluation at Johns Hopkins speech department and they agreed as well.  We needed to get him into some REAL speech therapy, which we did and lemme tell you, the kid took off.  He struggles with only one or two sounds now, but is completely understandable all the time.  He is excelling in school, and has a wicked sense of humor.  He loves the girls (I am already dreading those teenage years) and is a little free spirit.

And as of tomorrow, he is seven.

JJ requested that Kaitlyn help him to blow out the last candle.  Isn't is amazing how much they look alike?

Paige takes a ride on the mini ferris wheel.

As does Delaney.

The siblings all together.  Aaron actually gave all of his tickets he won playing games to his little sister.

Happy birthday, JJ.  Don't grow up too fast.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

What would you do?

I kind of put this little story to the back of my mind since Thanksgiving Day, but apparently it is festering there as I dreamed about it last night.

On Thanksgiving Day, my brother and the sister in law that I blogged about a while back, came over to my mother's as well.  The first thing out of her mouth was "I'm still upset about watching my mom's neighbor beat the hell out of his dog."  Obviously, this was meant to be a conversation starter.  The story was that her parent's neighbor, who is a twenty-two year old alcoholic (I don't know the guy, this is just what she told us), who had beaten the crap out of his girlfriend awhile back, resulting in her leaving, has a Jack Russell Terrier.  The little dog apparently got out of this guy's yard on Thanksgiving Day, and the guy spent "an hour" trying to catch it.  Once he did catch it, he proceeded to punch it in the face three times, then apologize to everyone who viewed this. 

Being who I am, which is a huge advocate of anything with fur, I asked "Did you report it?"  The reply from my brother was that they were afraid the guy would then take it out on his inlaws.  Does this feel wrong to anyone else?  Upon waking up this morning from dreaming about this poor little dog, the thought struck me of "What if it had been a child he was punching?"  Would that have changed whether or not this incident would have been reported and if so, why is it different for a dog?  Neither animal nor child can defend themselves against someone bigger and stronger than they are, so is it  just that a child holds a greater worth than a dog, or would it not matter to these people regardless because the result could still be that the abuser could potentially take it out on his neighbor? 

I can totally understand being concerned about this guy taking it out on the neighbor though.  Let's face it, we live in a strange world where being involved could possibly, at times, cost us our lives.  Think of the stories of the past of someone being in harm's way, screaming for help, and people ignore it because they "don't want to get involved."  However, with that being said, I think that attitude is exactly one of the reasons why our country is in the shape it is in today.  No one is willing to get involved as there could be repercussions.  I am not trying to be self righteous, but I do know for a fact that if this had been my neighbor, #1, I would have hollared at the moment the dog was being pounded instead of being a quiet bystander and #2 if that didn't stop it or possibly even if it did, I would have reported the incident to police and/or the Humane Society.  I would prefer to be worried about some vandalism to my home then to wake up one morning and find a little dog beaten to death and knowing I had done nothing to help it. 

As a society, we need to stop being so afraid of being involved.  We're so often quick to stick our noses in where they don't belong but painfully slow to speak up on behalf of someone unable to take up for themselves.  If more people spoke up, we would probably have less abused animals and children, but not wanting to "be involved" causes many to say "Well, it's none of my business anyway" and for a reign of terror to continue for someone. 

Some may say, "Well, it's just a dog" but in so many cases, that is only where it starts...abuse with animals can lead to violence with humans.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Why is it.....

....that in order to really deep clean a house, you have to tear it up first?  I spent part of today Christmas decorating, which leads to cleaning (putting away some things until the Christmas season is over so I can put out Christmas stuff, or in other words, dusting etc), which leads to organizing.  Though it is 10:15 at night, I am actually only on a break and plan to do a little more shortly. 

Every Christmas season, we do a holiday open house and this year it is on the 29th of December.  I'm trying to get some of the fussy cleaning (definition=stuff I only do a couple of times a year) out of the way so I don't have to mess with it next month.  Primarily that means cleaning up clutter and my dining room/knitting room is a cluttered mess.  That room is my catch all room and it is sadly showing that fact.  So, I am currently waiting for the Brit to go up to bed, so I can do a little more work and heaven help me, run a vacuum (an obsession of mine).

But I did get my nativity up today and a few other things and once I have done a clean up, I'll snap some pictures for y'all. Also ventured out mildly into Black Friday shopping!  VERY mildly!  We hit up The Abundant Garden which is not in or near a mall, so there were no crowds and I was able to pick up some little gifts for the Sisters where we knit.  Robyn needed to go to a craft store for card stock, so we did AC Moore, which was a bit more insane, but not too bad.  The worst was the woman two ladies ahead of us in line who kept addding items from the counter to her order everytime the poor sales girl had her totalled! 

Okay, that's it for now...back to the Cinderella-ing!

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Stick a fork in me, I'm done

Can I tell y'all how full I am?  Still! Dinner was like at 5:00 and I am still stuffed!  In other news, the kids are away with the grandparents and a few days of peace has settled over the house.  I didn't think they were leaving until tomorrow but when we got home from my mom's place, there was a message asking if they could be picked up tonight.  So, that assures my bit of sleeping in tomorrow!

One Thousand Gifts

91. Family
92. That my cooking ability has improved over the years, though I still don't totally enjoy it, I do enjoy experimenting apparently.
93. For old written words that mean so much to me, even though they make me miss what once was.
94. Chocolate milk
95. Getting to briefly speak with my sister in California today.
96. An apology
97. For jokes about bags in a closet
98. Kitties to watch the Macy's Day Parade with.
99. Slightly warmer weather coming.
100. Looking forward to peaceful Christmas decorating tomorrow.
101. For NOT having to shop on Black Friday
102. Turkey
103. For finding mom's missing cat under the sofa.
104. CSI
105. Knowing what the Christmas season is really about.
106. Plans with Robyn tomorrow.
107. For all the blessings I have been given.
108. For being too full to finish my pumpkin pie.
109. Alpaca knitting
110. For God's grace each and every day.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Giving thanks

I think the season has officially opened as they lit the decorations downtown on Monday night:

It's a little blurry...I was trying to drive at the same time while coming home from the Thanksgiving service at church tonight. 

I had a very happy surprise today!  I was cleaning up the computer at the church (the former secretary never got rid of ANY files and I have been cleaning up that machine for nearly a year now) when I found a file for the employee handbook.  Beings I am a member of my church and we are pretty laid back, I have never had any need to read it, but for some reason today I had a little look-see.  What I found under Paid Holidays was "Thanksgiving and the day after"! Whoo Hoo!  So glad I looked or I would have been there on Friday!  Three days of no alarm clock!  I'm also thinking the boys are going to go visit grandparents on Friday, so I'll have all day to decorate!

Our absolutely delightful interim pastor (I think I will cry when he goes back into retirement after the first of the year) sang to the kids last Sunday for the Chat with the Children while accompanying himself on his guitar, The Turkey Song.  I had never heard it before, but I just loved it:

If God can love TURKEYS,
God can love you... ;
You are a TURKEY,
but I am one too;
So if you're lonely (waaaaaaaooooooooooooo)
or...., if you're blue (wa,aaaa,aaa, oooooooooooo)
just remember friend,
if God can love TURKEYS ... (and surely he can!)
God can Love You!!!

He's such a hoot.  He has taken the time to do many different songs with the kids, but our favorite will always be the sheep song:

I Just Want To Be A Sheep

I just wanna be a sheep (baa, baa, baa, baa, baa)
I just wanna be a sheep (baa, baa, baa, baa, baa)
I pray the Lord my soul to keep.
I just wanna be a sheep (baa, baa, baa, baa, baa)

I don't wanna be a Pharisee.
I don't wanna be a Pharisee.
I don't wanna be a Pharisee.
'Cuz they're not fair, ya' see.

I don't wanna be a Sadducee.
I don't wanna be a Sadducee.
I don't wanna be a Sadducee.
'Cuz they're so sad, you see.

I don't wanna be a hypocrite.
I don't wanna be a hypocrite.
I don't wanna be a hypocrite.
'Cuz they're not hip with it.

I don't wanna be a goat, nope.
I don't wanna be a goat, nope.
I don't wanna be a goat, nope.
'Cuz they've got no hope, nope.

The thing about this interim pastor is that not only is he a wonderful pastor, he's one of the best men I have ever known.  He just knows how to relate to people and he knows how to make people feel good about themselves.  He has this amazing sense of humor and is just so laid back.  One of the first things he told us about himself is that every night before he says his prayers, he makes up a joke to tell God.  He explained that in the same way, parents get a kick out of their children telling them a joke, God must surely feel the same way about us. 

We have been so blessed to have this man in our midst for the last nine months (I can't believe it's been that long!) but for me, he is just tangible proof of God's love for us.  I am very thankful tonight for both this pastor and a God that is good...all the time.

Wishing all of you a safe and happy Thanksgiving tomorrow.  Regardless of what your religious or spiritual beliefs are, take the time to name aloud the things in your life you are thankful for.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Wish I could wipe the grin off my face

I have a secret.  I have a secret.  I wish I could tell ya'll what it was, but I don't want to jinx it in any way.  Look for big news on December 10th!  I actually don't really believe in the power of a "jinx" but I do believe in people who may want to make trouble (none of my regular readers and none of my friends.  Ya'll I will probably tell face to face but this is nothing I am willing to put out in blogland until it is all finalized).

To all my fellow bloggers that I read, my deepest apologies.  I am way behind on reading but am hoping to catch up over the holiday weekend.  This week has been busy and today I was barely on the computer due to kitty knitting and grocery shopping.  Tomorrow, I have to journey to Frederick to Costco as we buy a lot of our meat in bulk to freeze as it is so much cheaper to get it there.  Jarrit's 7th birthday is Monday, so we are having his party at Chuck E Cheese on Sunday.  Yes, lots going on!

It's also about time to break out the Christmas decorations (and take down the Halloween decorations.  heh.) and that will probably take place on Friday as the kids should be away and I in no way go out shopping on Black Friday.  I did that twice in my life and then gave it up for Lent....and for the rest of my life.  The last time I ventured out on Black Friday, I only went to one store....The Walmart!  They had televisions on sale and as the Brit and I were just starting out, he wanted a small television for the bedroom.  I had to get up at 5:00am, which goes against all I believe in, to be there for the doors to open.  It was madness and mayhem beyond my wildest dreams.  It took nearly twenty minutes to get to the back of the store where the televisions were (generally about a minute walk tops) and when I got one, some chick stole my cart!  There was no way I could carry the thing, so I stood in the middle of the crowds guarding my item until I found a sales person who found me a cart.  By the time I finally got out of that store, I was cured from ever shopping on the day after Thanksgiving again!  No sir-ee, I save my shopping for late at night once the mall starts staying open till 11:00, as fewer people are out and about then.

One Thousand Things

71. A secret!
72. God's amazing grace and His constant watch over us.
73. For my mom
74. a relaxing night knitting while watching "House"
75. Friends who make me laugh
76. A good medical report back on Paula's son, Dane
77. For knowing the truth even when other people would lie about us
78. Excitement
79. bedroom slippers with soles that I can wear out if I'm not going any place I have to get out of the car.
80. Clean clothes
81. Anticipation of a new camera
82. Christmas surprises
83. Sugar Snap Peas
84. Scented candles
85. An amazing picture Mandy took of the boys
86. Hair compliments from my hubby and my mom
87. Crazy Aunt Purl's hair story week
88. A warm down comforter
89. Sunshine on crisp mornings
90. Being God's daughter

Gee, only 910 more to go.  I'm in so much trouble.....

Monday, November 20, 2006

A Hair Story

With this being "Hair Story Week" over at Crazy Aunt Purl's place, I have a little story of my own.  Ya'll know what my mood has been like with the pms from hell (Feeling better today thankfully), so last night, I headed out to Shell's so she could color and highlight my hair.  I found my first gray hair on my 25th birthday and have been coloring it ever since, and I was way past due as the gray roots were really showing.  I had decided on the highlighting as well because I felt that I needed a change.

Got to Shell's and we headed out to the drugstore to pick up color.  I go for anything that has auburn in it, so after much price comparing, we finally settled on one.  Highlight stuff was a bit foreign to me as I had never done this to myself, so we picked out one that should put chestnut highlights in my hair.  Everything else they  had was blonde and I didn't want to go that drastic.

My hair is VERY thick and despite the fact that I recently had a bunch of my length cut off, I always need two boxes of color to get the job done.  Shell had done that before, so that was the easy part, but during that process she made the remark of "I think you're going to have to come back another night for the highlights as we are coloring this.  I don't think we should do both on your hair in one night."  Well, me and the pms...not so much agreeing. 

I dug out the highlight instructions while the color sat on my head and insisted I could not find anything stating not to highlight after coloring.  Shell called her mom (who highlights Shell's hair) and her mom consulted with a beautician friend and called us back.  The consensus was not to highlight the same night.  I think at that point Shell was sure I would come to my senses though she boldly stated that she would do whatever I wanted.  I'm not sure she was expecting my answer of "We're doing it."

My hair has always been my hair.  I perm it, color it, cut it short, grow it long, etc.  My feeling is that if I screw it up, it grows back and I'm gonna do what I want to do with it.  Period.  Minimal fear for me, which was a good thing as Shell was more than slightly frightened.  I continued to cajole and assure her that no matter what happened to my locks, it would be all my fault.  I even offered to sign a waver dissolving her of all responsibility.  We highlighted.  She was sparse at first, but I kept checking the mirror and directing her as to where to put more.  It was so funny (we had of course, already rinsed out the color crap, and completely dried my hair before using the highlighting kit) as the highlight stuff goes on blue so you can see where you put it.  I was sure I was gonna resemble one of those little old ladies with blue hair when it was all said and done.

The wait before rinsing is 45 minutes, and during that time we decided that the worse case scenario would be that it wouldn't show up at all on my freshly colored hair.  Shell kept trying to peer through the streaks of blue to see if anything was happening (obviously she was unable to see anything) and about that time, I found some fine print in the instructions that said "Can be applied on freshly colored hair."  HA!  So we rinsed and it showed up and I like it.  There are moments I think the highlights look slightly orange, but I think that is just me getting used to it. 

Please ignore the fact that my makeup is gone for the day and my eyes look like they want to sleep.  What do ya think of the highlights?

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Hair story tomorrow

Since it took me forever to get godaddy to work for me tonight and given the fact that it is 11:25 at night and I need to be heading for bed, the hair story will have to wait until tomorrow.  However, I was not to be out done by NaBloPoMo! 

Hope you all had a wonderful weekend and I'll talk at you tomorrow!

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Short and Sweet

I really have nothing constructive to say today as it has been a zinger of a day.  The pms is so bad, that in one day alone, I have cleaned like a maniac in the morning, became very sensitive by the afternoon, have burst into tears upstairs in my bedroom because no one understands me and have been barely tolerant the rest of the day.  Ugh.  Why does the whole pms thing get worse after 40? 

A couple of years ago, I went on 50mg of Zoloft because the pms was so bad.  I would have crying jags that lasted for hours and would feel so depressed I could barely get out of bed.  The medication helped tremendously, but now at 40, the symptoms seem to be worsening once more.  I'm not sure if I want to see about upping the dosage because some have said that it is harder to lose weight on Zoloft. 

I'll just be glad when my monthly friend arrives so that the tidal waves of emotion will once again calm.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Theater Lights

I will say that the two words in my title really have nothing to do with each other for the purposes of this blog entry.  The "lights" part of it, is because our church got beautiful new lights this week in memory of a member's husband who passed away nearly a year ago:

They change the whole look of the sanctuary and makes it so much warmer.

The "theater" part is because tonight, Robyn and I took the boys to see "Cinderella" with Potomac Playmakers.  Playmakers is the oldest theater group minimally in Hagerstown (not sure on the stats for the rest of the country) as it is in its 81st year.  I have done several shows with them in the past, including "Barnum", "Oliver", and "Where's Charley?".  They've always been a group to be a part of; it's just that since I've had kids, theater has taken a backseat until they are older.  I'm looking forward to returning to it one day.

But, my very good friend, Tod, played the part of Prince Charming tonight:

Sorry for the darkness of the photos but my digital camera hates the dark....big chicken.

The boys seemed to enjoy the show as their first theater experience and it was nice to see something local again (actually, Sight and Sound was my first theater experience in quite awhile for someone who once did back to back shows!  I miss it). 

Thursday, November 16, 2006


Ever have one of those out of control times of your life, when you know you need to reign in control of yourself or else you are going to crash hard, but yet you still can't seem to get a grip?  Welcome to my world.

The last few days weeks I have not been able to get enough sugar or bread into my diet.  It has been particularly bad the last two days, but I think the increase in bad food behavior may be related to PMS.  Whenever I go into one of these binges, I really try to work it out as to why I do this.  I can trace back some history which includes an early childhood trauma, followed by nearly being raped when I was 18.  Ever since that time, I have not been comfortable with anyone noticing my body in a positive way, because I just didn't trust men.  I'm just not sure of how much sense that makes now that I am married and have put most of those issues behind me.  The weight continues to be a constant battle. 

Then I get myself into this quandry about weight loss surgery (wls).  The thought of it terrifies for a couple of reasons, one of them probably qualifying me for long term therapy.  That reason would be that I like food and once you have wls, you can't really eat much of anything (for the record, I am not generally an overeater, but I tend to reach for the wrong things.  I have an incurable sweet tooth or in my case teeth.).  Then I have to try to analyize what my relationship to the food really is.  I know I am a stress eater, but I have trouble realizing that my life indeed is pretty stressful.  I burn the candle at both ends but I don't really think about it until the end of the day when I am wondering why I feel so tired.  (For example, today started off with work, and assembling light fixtures, then leaving there to go to the blasted toy store to accomplish all Christmas shopping for the kids, then to Chuck E Cheese to pay the deposit on JJ's bday, then home to vacuum both up and downstairs, wash dishes, then go to pick up Aaron at school, then help JJ with homework, dinner, then both kids to Kid's Club and then I have to keep them with me at praise band rehearsal while they try to drive me insane.  That is a pretty typical weekday for me.).  But I don't think I realize stress in the midst of stress because when it becomes insane, I go to find my loyal buddy, food.  As I am so often insanely busy, the quickest things to grab to eat are not generally the healthiest.

The other thing I think about with wls is that it scares me.  What if something goes wrong?  Then there is the psychological part of  "This is stupid and a cop can lose the weight yourself if you would just stay motivated!"  But my motivation comes and goes.  When it is coming in full force, all is good.  I'm working out, I'm eating well, and in turn I'm feeling great.  But then the tide turns and when motivation goes, I come crashing down.  Workouts cease right along with any care as to what I'm putting into my mouth.  I eat when I'm not hungry and even eat more than I generally would at a time.  Then any weight I have managed to lose returns and brings along a few of its buddies.

And I've been doing this since I was a kid.  That is what is so discouraging.  I was on diets in 3rd grade.  In high school, I lost nearly all of my weight but was still convinced that I was fat...and eventually, the scale started inching back up again.

Would wls stop this?  Would it make me feel so good that food no longer needed to be my best bud?  Is it a trade off indeed or would I wind up mourning things that I could no longer have? 

I just know that something has to give somewhere.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Sight and Sound

So, today, bus trip!  It was absolutely awesome.  I have seen one other production at Sight and Sound several years ago; "Noah", but I had forgotten the incredible theatrical experience it is.  This was, of course, the story of the first Christmas and you just have to see it to believe the magnitude of it.  The sets are amazing.  Live, on stage, we had: horses, camels, llamas, sheep, dogs, goats, doves and parrots.  We had actors dressed as angels descending from places in the ceiling.  By the end of the production, I had tears in my eyes.

I wish that I could show you pictures of the production itself, but of couse, that is prohibited.  But I did take a few others outside.

This was at the entrance to the theater, as well as this:

and once inside there was also plenty of Christmas eye candy:

The above is an "Advertisement" of their next show. which begins in May and is the story of Adam and Eve.  It looks amazing and we plan to go.

After the show, it was back on the bus, heading to Shady Maple Smorgasesbord for dinner.  I didn't mention that for our trip, we were in the middle of Pennsylvania Dutch County, and it was wonderful to see the horse drawn buggies everywhere we looked.  Dinner was good, way too filling and nearly sent a few of our guys into a coma:

They napped while the girls took in the ginormous gift shop downstairs.

It was a lovely day.  I got to catch up with friend and fellow blogger Stratcat, who was also on the trip as well as with some other church members that I didn't know that well before today.

A wonderful day.  I recommend it to anyone.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Cats and Christmas

I always wager a glance at our little newspaper.  I tend to glance at headlines, but faithfully peruse the Letters to the Editor and the afore mentioned Mail Call.  Today, this little editorial letter caught my eye and made me smile:

One amazing cat

To the editor:

My daughter, Sandra, lives near Clear Spring. She recently gave me a kitten. She offered to have it declawed but I said "No." I named it Nuisance.

One evening I was sitting in my recliner when Nuisance came running, jumped up beside me and accidentally scratched the back of my hand, causing it to bleed.

I said to her "You do that again and you're going back to Sandra." She immediately jumped down, went back out to the next room and came back to me with a small piece of paper in her mouth. The paper read, "Jesus loves me."

I never saw the piece of paper before - I have no idea where she found it. Needless to say, I will surely keep the piece of paper.


I liked it.  Made me smile.

Tomorrow, I am headed to Lancaster, PA to Sight and Sound to see "The Miracle of Christmas 2006".
I had not originally signed up to go, but someone cancelled last minute, so I'm taking that place in order for them to get the rate and all on the bus.  I saw "Noah" there several years ago, again with my church and what they do with a set is incredible.  I'm equally looking forward to spending some time with my mother and sister, as well as knitting on the long bus ride. 

Not much else going on today.  I woke up with a headache that is only now beginning to fade. 

Gotta go charge the camera batteries....

Monday, November 13, 2006

One Thousand Things

51.  Hot coffee on a rainy morning
52. Friends at the church who understood my frustration with yesterday's meeting.
53. Putting out winter clothes for my kids
54. Hot stew for dinner
55. A relatively clean house
56. A fireplace all ready to start a fire tonight after dinner (I love my fireplace.  When we were house hunting it was one of my stipulations)
57. My children's neighborhood friends
58. My Alex kitty in my lap during Dr. Phil
59. For tomorrow being grocery shopping day (though I hate the process of shopping, the fact that I can means that we have money to buy food.)
60. For children who talk too much while I am trying to think of twenty things to blog, because it means I can hear (I'm very glass half full today, can you tell? )
61. For a lovely dinner with my family, mom and sister last night.
62. Open minds
63. Refusal to judge others
64. For secrets (sorry, can't tell ya!)
65. For feeling Jesus walking each step of my day with me.
66. Laughter
67. Rain
68. Busy squirrels
69. A husband who calls to tell me he is getting ready to leave work and how to "finish off" the meal that is cooking, because it at least means he is looking forward to dinner
70. Friends to write with

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Do I hav'ta?

It has been a busy Sunday and I am way not wanting to blog, but with it nearly being mid-month, I can't give in now. 

I found myself getting rather irritated today with two women at my church.  We had a meeting this afternoon to discuss a children's Christmas program as well as to discuss the fate of Kid's Club (KC).  KC is on Thursday nights and it was once every Thursday night, but after the split in the church, many of the kids left with their parents.  Paula and I felt determined that our church fail at nothing (because the folks that left felt we were destined to fail) so we picked up that ministry and have continued to try to keep it afloat.  Well, a year later, enthusiasm has waned and we can average anywhere from one child on a Thursday to five or six max.  Basically, it is simply not worth it at the present time.  The need is no longer there and not to say it won't be one day in the future but for now, it needs to fold by the first of the new year.

One woman in the meeting, who always has "suggestions" for how other people should do things, but never wants to volunteer to do anything herself, addresses Paula and I by saying, "Well, I know you two don't want to give up your Sunday nights, but I just think that KC would do much better at that time and I have someone who would even go and pick kids up that night."

She was right on one account; neither Paula nor myself want to give up our Sunday nights.  With both of us being church employees, (though KC is not something we get paid for) we are there more than anyone else in the congregation.  I, personally, am there Monday through Friday, Thursday nights and Sunday mornings.  I love my church, but giving more is just not an option right now.  And of course, this woman wants to throw it on us as if to say that the reason KC is not doing well  is OUR fault because of the day and time (Though even before the split when Paula and I were not involved with KC, it was still on Thursdays).  The double whammy on this is that this woman, does not want to volunteer her time unless the time suits her. 

Thankfully, our wonderful interim pastor jumped in very diplomatically, commenting on how you can't burn out the handful of people who are carrying a lot of the load.  (Though it was a much longer speech and much more eloquent than that).  

 After the meeting, this woman trapped the pastor in the nursery (Surely to complain about something) but I couldn't be bothered to care all that much.  I'm very relieved that KC will be folding at the end of the year, because it was never really my thing.  I work there, sing on the praise team, attend Sunday School, run the library and am a part of the Prayer Shawl Ministry.  For now, it's enough.  After all, I still have a family at home and kids, and other things and people that I want to be involved with outside of church.  And for this woman to basically say "I'll help if you do it my way" is crap.

   But I'm over it now.  Pastor is going to put something out in the newsletter that if anyone feels led to start up something for the younger kids to come forward.  I truly hope someone does.  I just know it isn't gonna be me.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Knitting Day

So, yes!  Today we knitted!  Part of our crew was unable to be there (Big get well wishes to Micki!) but on a good note, Robyn did indeed join us! 

Robyn and Kelly....Kelly with Annie of course, though you can just make her out.  Robyn's hair is starting to grow back since her rounds of chemotherapy and she looks fabulous!  We were so pleased to have her and I think she enjoyed herself as well.

Sheri ran a 5k marathon prior to coming to our knitting group and placed second in her age group!  A girl of many talents!  Sheri also brought a bunch of yarn for us to use for our January project

I'm very glad it is a January project with all the Christmas knitting that still needs to happen.

Lisa was working on a magic scarf that she got silly with and turned it into a hat:

Knitting group is much fun, a bit of therapy and just a very laid back three hours.  It's just one of those "safe" places to be with people you trust.

We meet again on December 9th and we are going to have a potluck lunch.  Also, Sheri suggested that instead of drawing names to get each other gifts that everyone instead buy a little something for the Sisters (Episcopal Sisters of Charity) for so graciously hosting us every month.  I'm already looking forward to it.

One Thousand Things

31. Robyn's health
32. A beautiful warm, sunny day to drive to our knitting group.
33. Warm greetings from friends
34. Laughter
35. Annie the dog
36. Sisters Martha, Mirium and Nicole, who are always so warm and inviting.
37. For a night I don't have to cook or clean up
38. Family dinner out
39. For Deyse to chat with on a Saturday night
40. The freedom to go to church in the morning and to worship Him who gives me life.
41. Diet Pepsi Jazz (yum!)
42. Chocolate
43. Music
44. Emails from friends
45. NaBloPoMo and keeping it real
46. For quiet sounds because the children are safely in bed
47. The ability to wind down
48. Sushi
49. A still tidy house one day into the weekend.
50. For peace which passes all understanding.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Small miracles

I was on my way to work this morning and as always, I was listening to WGTS.  I missed the very beginning of the story that the morning DJs were telling, so I missed where this happened, but they were saying how this man had called in to tell them that he had borrowed two pocket Bibles from another guy at work.  The man had placed the mini-Bibles in his shirt pocket, so as not to forget to return them and when he was in an alley (not sure if he walked to work, his car was out back or what) he was robbed.  The assailant had a gun and after the robbery he shot at the man.  The man didn't even know he had even been hit until the assailant fled and the man found the first of the pocket Bibles completely split down the the bullet.  Seems as if the word of God saves lives in more ways than one!

So, I did ten things for my list yesterday and realized I'm going to have to do better than that in order to have 1000 things by Christmas. 

11. For coffee in the morning.
12. for a beautiful, warm, unseasonable day today.
13. For the Brit bringing me home a knitting book with many wonderful patterns in it.
14. For catalog Christmas shopping.
15. For the sound of kids outside playing.
16. For my two boys getting along fairly well this evening.
17. Looking forward to my knitting group tomorrow.
18. For long phone calls with Paula on a regular basis to remind me of her friendship.
19. For Robyn feeling strong enough to go to knitting group tomorrow for the first time.
20. For my mother and the gift of still having her in my life.
21.  For the amazing man my father was and how bravely he battled cancer.
22. For Mandy and her kids because she has the daughters I will never have so she shares hers with me.
23. For bloggers who keep me enlightened, entertained and make me think.
24. For the gift of story telling.
25. For books
26. For quiet time tonight to sit and knit.
27. For a husband that works hard and full time so that I can work only part time and be home for the kids.
28. For a tidy house and the privilege of being able to keep it so.
29. For children who come in and chat with me about their day.
30. For hugs at bedtime.

Thirty down.  970 to go!  Progress!  It is nice to sit here and think about the things that just today I've had a reason to be thankful for.  So often they are things that I take for granted, so it feels good to acknowledge them.

I promise pictures tomorrow as it is knitting day!  There is also a delightfully red tree in front of my house I plan on snapping a phot of in the morning!


Thursday, November 9, 2006

One Thousand Things

I've been kind of lacking in the picture department of late, and I really need to get on that.  I think part of the problem is that while at Paige's b-day party last weekend, I got to use Mandy's camera to take some photos and I fell in love with it.  Now, the Brit and I are in discussions of getting one to share as our Christmas gift to each other. 

I love taking pictures and though I have enjoyed my first ever digital camera, my coolpix, this Canon feels much more comfortable as the feel of it so much resembles my 35mm (Which I think we are going to sell, even though it will be hard for me to part with).  The current zoom lens for my 35mm will work with the Canon digital, so that is a plus as well. 

Anyway, moving on.  I've looked a bit more closely at One Thousand Things and I suppose I need to get started.  I'll go obvious for a bit and then it will get a bit more specific as we work our way up the list.  What I am thankful for:

1. For my little house that provides us with shelter, stability and a place to grow a family.
2. For a neighborhood of friendly people who watch out for each other's kids.
3. For my church family.  For the first time in my life, I am as comfortable in my church as I am in my own bed.  I cherish every individual and look forward to seeing their faces on Sunday mornings.
4. For my very closest friends: Shell, Robyn, Lisa, Paula, Kelly and all the rest.  My gal pals rock my world and are a gift from God.
5. For my husband and soulmate, my best friend, the Brit.  I'm sure he sometimes feels under appreciated, but I love him with my entire heart and know that I am the luckiest girl in the world just for having him.
6. For my kids, who have been seriously taking on the task of teaching me patience.
7. For fall trees.  Their beauty steals my breath away.
8. For my six fur babies, who provide me with constant companionship, even when I am home alone.
9. Yarn
10. For a God that loves me unconditionally, even though I am not deserving.

Wednesday, November 8, 2006

Stop the insanity!

Ya know, I really, really love the blog world, but ya'll have got to quit it with the challenges!  NaBloPoMo is challenge enough for me, but now people are posting stuff all over the place and I am a sucker for a challenge with a good cause!

One of my commentors yesterday, MarillaAnne told me about this challenge. Basically, I'm calling it a "blog pay it forward" because the idea is to comment on blogs that are participating in NaBloPoMo.   Now, I cannot begin to imagine posting on ten blogs, besides the blogs I already post to regularly, but tonight, I did hit five and and that may be my max.  I am following the lives of:

5 Cats Shy as this one reminds me of six cats, I'm about five cats shy of divorce

Knitting Bee...for obvious reasons.

Undone...a cancer survivor blog and an amazing young woman.

Knitting 40 Shades of Green...again, for obvious reasons

The Knitting Wannabee...again, keen grasp of the obvious for ya'll.

So, this is giving me an opportunity to read some new blogs, which I love.

The second challenge of my day comes from someone at Christian Women On-line and is called One Thousand Gifts.  Basically, in the season of list making, the idea of making a list of 1000 blessings is a wonderful idea.  This is the season of insanity so often and it is so easy for people to forget the things that are really and truly important.  I love the thought of keeping all my senses open during the day to see the blessings that God is bestowing on me!  However, after all the blog searching I just did, I think I will wait until tomorrow to begin my list.  It's already after nine 'o clock and my knitting is calling!

Tuesday, November 7, 2006


Today would be a day when I would generally not be blogging because Tuesday are for insanity.  They leave me dog tired right down to my bones and all I want to do is to curl up on my reclining sofa and watch "House", which starts in ten minutes incidently. 

Tuesdays are staff meeting days in the church and though I love the church staff, not much else gets accomplished on these days.  I did go in early today (Before 8:00) in order to make up some time from eye dilation Monday, so the bulletin got finished and the powerpoint started.  Then by the time staff meeting was over, it was nearly time to leave in order to meet my mother to go to THE Walmart. 

Walmart is exhausting, doubly so today due to school being out and state workers being off work for election day.  The place was packed; kids pushing carts, people stopped right smack in the middle of the aisles and due to all the commotion, I forgot stuff, which is going to have to wait until next week as there is no way I'm braving it twice in a week.  If they weren't cheaper than anyone else, I'd forgo it all together, but with three men in the house, who tend to eat a lot of food, cheap is good.

Then it was home to unpack all the goods and put them away.  No sooner was this finished then it was time to start a meal for a new mom at our church.  I took them lasagne for dinner tonight.  (Baby is adorable, btw).  Then it was on to cook a meal for the Brit and I (Kids were due back from great grandma's any moment), clean up and then it was time to take Aaron to therapy.   Yes, Tuesday kick my butt.

Beings it is Fall, I find myself worrying a lot about squirrels.  (Yes, I am insane that way).  They are so busy this time of year, storing up food to get them through the winter and the poor little things just don't have the brain power to think "Look both ways before crossing the street.".  I narrowly missed one yesterday and am so thankful I missed it, as hitting it would have resulted in tears on my part.  I cannot bear the thought of killing anything with fur (unless it is a big hairy spider and then I can't envision myself getting close enough to it to actually kill it).  So, please ya'll, I implore you.  Drive a little slower this time of year and keep an eye out for the busy little squirrels.

Saturday is knitting day and I think Robyn is coming with me this time!  YAY!  She has come through a bout with cancer, showing more bravery than I think I could ever summon up for myself.  We've been wanting her to join us for some time, but recovering from chemo and radiation takes time.  But now, if all goes well she will be joining us this weekend!

Happy election day to all!

Monday, November 6, 2006

News and other weirdness

Man gets 245 years for three killings in Indiana

Can someone please tell me what the purpose of this is?  Why not just say "Man sentenced to life without possibility of parole" ?  To the best of my knowledge, people don't generally live to see 245 years anymore and if they are really going to keep this dude in prison for that long, I pity the other prisoners who have to deal with the smell....

Anyway, had to go to an eye specialist today because after doing some kind of test on my optic nerves,  it was discovered that mine are "backwards".  My eye doc told me I could have been born that way, there could be calcium crystals behind my eye or SOMETHING IN MY BRAIN COULD BE PUSHING FORWARD.  Tell me that little bit of information is not unnerving!  The specialist today ran a plethora of tests on me, numbing my eyes, dilating my pupils (dear Lord, how long does that take to wear off completely???) and doing an ultrasound.  The specialist too reiterated that one of the reasons for the optic nerve issue could be a brain tumor.  He told me this prior to the ultrasound, and I'm not sure how I remained so calm.  Though I really, really doubted I had a brain tumor, there is something about being faced with even the remote possibility that has one's heart beating just a tad faster.  I kept repeating a mantra of "I trust you, God.  I trust you, God." during the ultrasound (nothing like cold goo on your eyelids).  The doc decided I had a "psuedo elevation" meaning that it appears there is some crystal formation.  Beings everything he saw coincided with that diagnosis, I thankfully, do not need to see a brain specialist.  Thank you, Jesus.  Now I just need for my PAP to come back all clear and then to schedule the "You're now forty, so have a mammogram" appointment. 

Gotta tell ya, that's all I have for today.  It was a two hour eye appointment and then a parent/teacher conference with JJ's teacher.  He is doing very well, but then I knew that .  I don't think I'll have to do the conference thing with Aaron as so far, none have been scheduled.  So far, this year, he's been doing well, as long as we stay one step ahead of him.  He will gladly throw away a GPA in favor of going outside to play.  In other words, if he can get away with lying about having homework, he does it.  Thankfully, teachers have email.

I'm hating the fact that is is 5:29 and dark outside.  I'm ready for spring and winter is not even here yet.

Sunday, November 5, 2006

The Insanity of NaBloPoMo

With the introduction of the NaBloPoMo Randomizer, you can now just click to view different blogs who are participating in National Blog Posting Month.  Needless to say, I have spent a bit of time surfing through many of the blogger's sites and doing a bit of reading and it got me to thinking about what I look for in a blog.  I have several blogs that I read on a daily basis and some I just check periodically (mainly because the blogger may not update often) and have found one or two more thus far in my random surfing that I have added to my Favorites list.  So, what do I look for in a blog?

1) Pictures.  I don't need pictures everyday, but I'm nosy and I like seeing pictures of people and their homes and anything that they photograph.  It also helps break up the monotony of longer posts.  Mainly though, I just like looking at how other people live and where they live and what they do.

2)  A common thread.  Generally (but not always.  See rule #3) I like to see something I have in common with a blogger.  For me that could be kids, animals, knitting, reading, Christianity etc. This rule is obviously very subjective to the reader and the reader's interests.

3) Humor.  I could have absolutely nothing in common with you but if you amuse me or I find you funny, I'm sold.  A blogger does not have to be out and out hysterical, but just has to appeal to my particular brand of humor.  There is no right or wrong with humor, but if your sense of it matches mine, you have a reader for life.

4) Easy to read.  If the font is too small, or is difficult to read on the background, I'm out of there.  Blog reading is for fun and as soon as it becomes work, I'm no longer interested.   

 5) Grammar, grammar, grammar and spelling too.  I will be the first one to admit to missing typos on my blog at times, or forgetting to run a word through Spellcheck,  but typos and grammar/spelling issues are two different things.  If I go to a blog and find every other word misspelled, I am probably not going to hang around.  Spellchecker is your friend; use it.

6)  Music sends me screaming into the sunset.  I hate music that automatically plays on blogs.  It drives me batty and mostly because I am often listening to music on the computer when I'm surfing.  There is nothing I hate more than some other tune coming on over what I'm playing.  Some people probably love musical blogs.  I'm just not one of them.

7) An overuse of profanity.  I will, at times, use a "damn" or "hell" but when bloggers use profanity incessantly, it bothers me.  Not because I am Miss Clean Mouth all the time, but just because if there is no need for it to make a point and the writer is just using it to use it, for me, it is a turn off.  I'm the same way with movies.  Profanity doesn't offend me, unless it is used just for the hell of using it.

I think that is all for my own personal blog rules and everyone's rules are different.

What do you look for in a blog?  What turns you off?  What makes you return again and again?


Saturday, November 4, 2006

Happy Birthday, Paige!

Today was Paige's 4th birthday party!  Paige is one of the daughters of our very good friends, Shawn and Mandy.  Mandy and I met doing theater at the junior college and we fell in love with her oldest daughter, Delaney.  We started babysitting for her from the time Delaney was six months old and Mandy was even wonderful enough to allow us to take her on a mini-vacation with us once to Deep Creek Lake.  Delaney is now 6 years old, and has a little sister, Paige and a baby brother, Noah:

This is Noah with is hair doo by daddy.  He'll be two in March and is a total cutie!

This is the birthday girl and as you can tell, she had a fairy party today.  Paige is a very quiet and shy little thing (though to my understanding, that all changes as soon as no guests are around).  We watched Paige when she was a baby too and man, she was a rough one.  She was a cranky infant, who, unless she was eating, was not happy.

Mandy made the cake and while the top cake is all chocolate, the bottom part, she only had enough strawberry batter for one cake pan, so the other part of the bottom is chocolate.  She was rolling her eyes about herself, but hey, chocolate and strawberry together rock!

JJ and Delaney are the same age (he's two months older) and already refer to each other as "husband" and "Wife".  (I'm secretly delighted and hope all the time that they will indeed grow up and fall in love and get married! 

Anyway, very fun, very cute and wonderful to get to spend some time with Mandy and the kids!  They live in West Virginia now, and with school in session especially, it is hard to get together as often as we'd like.  But in the next week or so, we'll be getting together so she can take the boy's pictures.  Mandy used to work at the Picture People and is a fabulous photographer.  She is starting up her own business and being a friend, I get a discount plus fabulous pictures.  I hate paying for school pictures because you have to purchse them sight unseen and so many times, when they are in front of a camera, my children become goobers; painful smiles, strange eyes, you get the picture (Get it?  Picture?  Ha!).  So, once she takes them, I'll post one for ya'll to see!

Friday, November 3, 2006

Stitches East

Wow.  Here I was thinking I was going to a little yarn market in Baltimore today!  Little yarn market was HUGE!  Probably very comparible to Maryland Sheep and Wool, but it seemed bigger as far as vendors were concerned because they were all right there in the same building.  I'm wondering if there will ever come a time when I will attend a big yarn event and not feel overwhelmed.

Pardon my dark pictures but my camera apparently has issues when not outside in sunlight.  But at least I think you can get an idea that this was an event of massive proportion.  Yarn everywhere, knitters everywhere, accessories everywhere.  Lisa was unable to attend due to a migraine, but Sheri and I wandered through the whole thing.  I was very restrained in my purchasing (pictures of that tomorrow!) and only bought three things though with unlimited funds, I could have gone quite mad. 

Knitters too tired to do anything but sit and knit for a bit.

I actually saw Chinchilla yarn today for $95 a hank.  Very soft, very pretty, but very expensive.  But I guess when you think about it, chinchilla's are kinda small and they are very hyperactive...shearing must be a pain!

Lots of good bargains (the worst bargain of the day was a $3 bottle of Diet Pepsi...highway robbery really) and just so much to see!  Notes for next year: No purse (a backpack perhaps) and no sweater!  It got really warm in there!

Thursday, November 2, 2006

Day Two NaBloPoMo

Day two and not a clue what to talk about.  Actually, there are things I'd like to speak of but I need a bit more time to figure out how to say them. 

Anyway, tomorrow I am heading to Baltimore with Sheri and Lisa for Stitches East!  I'm not certain of what all that entails but I do know it involves yarn!  I had a few scary moments of not being sure if I'd be able to go as the kids only have a half day tomorrow, but my knight in shining armor volunteered to work from home so that he would be able to collect them when they arrive home from school.  Love my man!  So, I will take the camera and give ya'll a taste of what this yarn event is all about!

Two night ago was Halloween and our neighborhood does the Trick or Treat thing.  I have come to the conclusion that people have lost their minds a little bit.  I don't think I went Trick or Treating much past the age of 12.  However, I had 16 year olds and older on my porch to collect candy.  Many of them don't even bother with a costume, which to me says that they are all about the candy and don't want to have to put forth much effort.  Do you guys see this in your neighborhoods too?  Has the trick or treating age been raised since I was a kid? 

Anyway, JJ came up with his own idea for a costume this year.  He has been a really easy kid in regards to this holiday.  The first year we had him, he want to be Pooh, so we got him the Winnie the Pooh costume.  The second year, he wanted to be Pooh again, and luckily his costume still fit him (though barely).  Last year, he stayed with his theme but decided to be Tigger.  This year I have come to the conclusion that this was probably the last year for my youngest to be cute and cuddly.  This year, he wanted to be "evil Tigger".

And this was his idea for a costume.  Yes, he purposely asked for a Jason mask.  I'm kind of amused by the evil epitome of bouncy, bouncy, bouncy, bouncy, fun, fun, fun, fun, fun is giving us a peace sign.

I tried to get a picture of Aaron, but he literally leaped into his costume and flew out the door to meet up with the neighbor kids and by the time he returned, he was sans mask and head cape thing.  He was a skeleton at any rate.

So with Halloween over and done with, I know it is nearly time for winter to set in and also time for the nightmare Chore responsibility (albeit kicking and screaming) of Christmas shopping to begin.  I also need to get my fingers flying on the knitting.

I thought I'd leave ya'll with a picture of the park across the way.  I should have captured it a few weeks ago when there were more autumn leaves on the trees, but ya know, it's still pretty.

Wednesday, November 1, 2006

Day one

So, today is the first day of this blog for a month thing:

I'm not sure what I'm going to yammer on about, but if I'm going to attempt to blog for thirty days, I don't want to blow it on day one!

I made mention of elaborating on a few of my family dynamics in my last post and let me first state in the event that any of my family reads this, that this is my dairy perse.  I call things as I see them and you may disagree, but don't get all offended.  I may not be right, but I have my own views on things and they are my views and my opinions.  Now, maybe I'm a little nuts for putting it out there where some folks might read it and get offended, but I don't really have any interest in censoring my own blog.

My younger brother, John, and I are only three years apart, so we were very close growing up.  We played together, went places together, hung out together well into our early teens.  John met his future wife when he was 16...and she was either 20 or 21 and married.  Imagine the tailspin that threw my parents into!  But, John got older, she divorced her husband and stayed with John (though they didn't get married until they had lived together like 8 or 10 years).  She makes him happy and I can respect that.  However, from my view, she also controls him to a certain extent.  She doesn't seem to be real family oriented when it comes to my family, unless the family members are the ones she finds "acceptable" for them to hang out with.  Again, fine.  She and John have different values than what I have.  Though to the best of my knowledge, they are Christians, they don't go to church (or they go VERY rarely).  They tend to spend time in bars or drinking socially at home.  I have nothing against drinking, it just isn't my thing but on very rare occasion and a beer or two is enough to make me feel loopy. 

A few of my siblings are very close to John and his wife to the point where they vacation together or travel to see each other, etc.  What surprises me is that I have never thought of myself as a black sheep of the family, but maybe I am.  I don't think John's wife finds me "acceptable" and they have more to do with their friend's son, than with either of our boys.  The Brit and I have an open door policy at our home; if you're in the neighborhood, please feel free to drop by.  Not so with this couple.  It is by invitation only and the invites are pretty rare (please keep in mind that out of all my siblings, John lives the closest at about 15 minutes from my house.  The next closest one is two hours away).  They have an in-ground pool and we have not had an invite in two years, just to give an example. 

I suppose it is safe to say that we don't extend too many invitations their way either, but again, this stems from that feeling like a black sheep thing.  When we are never invited out there for any reason (unless there is family in from out of state or country in the example of the Brit's parents) one cannot help but get the feeling that one is not found acceptable.  I am not the only sibling in my family that they don't seem to find "acceptable" either; there are three of us and we all know who we are.

But I can live with all that.  It hurts at times in that way that hurts in knowing you were once very close to someone and suddenly you aren't anymore with no real explaination.  As a Christian, I worry about them.  John had a health scare last summer and I firmly believe that God was trying to get their attention and HE did for a little bit.  But once the scare was over, things pretty much went back to the way they were.  That scares me a little as I don't think God is finished getting their attention yet.  I also worry that they shut themselves off from too many people and heaven forbid if something happens to one of them. 

I know that the Brit and I are good people; we just aren't their kind of people.  Now whether this stems from what we prefer to do socially or the fact that we have kids and they didn't want any, I don't know.  But I somehow think we missed the boat in my family on celebrating differences and I'll put myself as at fault as everyone else.  When people feel like they aren't completely accepted in their own family, it hurts.  The lack of acceptance may not even feel noticiable to those doing it, but it is there nontheless.  (like when an invitation to your place is overshadowed by an invitation from them or just by little comments being made in the midst of a family reunion).  Ouch.

But I continue to pray for this couple that they at least find a relationship with God, if not with me and in the meantime.....Baaaaaah.