Monthly Archives: June 2008

Making Progress on the Yearbook

The ultimate decision about the bad boy’s info was made by the administrator. She wanted me to leave it out. I put some of the info in, but left out most of it (all the questionable stuff). Based on his answers about how little he loved school this year, I have no fear that he will be buying a yearbook and then complaining about being censored.

I am learning more and more about the program I am using, so the yearbook is going more smoothly all the time. I have already accepted the fact that this yearbook will not be perfect, or anything close to it. I think it is going to be great and I will be quite proud of it when it is finished.

Into Each Life A Little, Er, Tree, Must Fall

or What I Learned About Insurance Today

Did I know that it was going to rain today? Did I know that it was going to rain horizontally today? No, and not only did I not know those two things, I also did not know that my beloved Previa (The Good Egg) was going to get mooshed by a big stupid tree branch from our neighbor’s tree. And, not only THAT, but I didn’t know that events such as the one I have just described — remember, the NEIGHBOR’S tree broke and smooshed the Egg — who gets to pay for it? Yes, WE do!

I was shocked, I tell you. His tree falling onto our property — seems like a clear-cut case of his homeowner’s insurance paying for the damage. But, no-o-o-o-o-o-o. That falls under our responsibility.

Bad news, for sure. But, worse news. We dropped the comprehensive and collision on this car awhile back ’cause it’s really old and I guess we figured it wouldn’t be worth it to fix the car.

First, we saw that the tree branch had fallen. Then, we noticed that the Previa was entwined in the branches. Then, we noticed that the windshield was big-time broken. So far, not too bad. Then, we noticed that the back sunroof was broken. And, after the branch was removed, we discovered the body damage.

I haven’t gotten around to telling all my blog readers about the Previa. It was made the day Valerie was born (1/27/93) and she’s been looking forward to driving in it just about a month. The middle row of seats in the Egg (as we call it) turn around and have seatbelts you can wear while facing backwards. It took us a lot of places with the kids facing each other, playing games, and occasionally kicking each other. There are two sunroofs in the Egg and I always have loved the amount of light that comes into the car.

I don’t know for sure that we have lost the Egg, but it for sure is a Cracked Egg at the moment.

Quick Post about Crazy Dream

I have this recurring dream where I go back to high school and can’t find the classrooms, etc. I am aware that I’m almost 30 years past high school, but the main experience is that I am unable to navigate my schedule, the facility, etc.

Before I work this morning, I had this dream, with a VENGEANCE. Not only was I going back to high school, I was with about five people I did not know, and who were rather androgynous. I tried to peek at their notebooks to see their names, to see if I could figure out whether they were male or female, but to no avail.

My first class was some type of physics class. We went on a train ride through a place with an almost unending amount of information. I did not know what the assignment was. I could not figure out any connection between the things I was seeing, and when we finally got to the bleachers to begin the assignment, I dropped my notebook. Of course I was on the top row. By the time I threaded my way underneath the bleachers, I had apparently forgotten what I went for because I got all the way back to the top without my notebook, which had disappeared anyway. Soon I saw it in the possession of some guys across the way so I had to make my way all the way over there to get it back. Meanwhile, I’m a fill-in for a twin who is married, with her sister, to another set of twins. Problem is, the original twins have fallen in love with the other twin. I’m in the middle because I don’t know either guy very well. On top of that, I can’t tell them apart unless I am with both of them. When I see one of the twins (might even be my husband twin for all I know), I don’t even acknowledge him because I can’t tell which one he is. He doesn’t acknowledge me either.

After a totally unfruitful time in the physics class, we make our way to the next class — I don’t know the title, the professor, the location. I follow the androgynous crowd. We come upon row after row of paperbacks, quite a few of which say “Advantage” on the spine. I choose one of those. The class is total chaos, especially because i cannot even tell who is the professor. Finally I settle on one woman who must be the teacher. As she is talking, one of the guys i am with starts to mock and belittle the teacher, who is absolutely and completely full of herself and her importance. It all kind of falls apart.

Extremely weird. I didn’t really expect anyone to read this, but I needed to write it down for consideration for later.

As I said, the high school bit is recurring, but the degree to which I was totally clueless was amazing.

Eating without Distractions

This lady has the right idea, or you would certainly think so if you came to my house. Every one of us loves to read while we eat — we’ll even read the cereal box if there is nothing else available. (I think reading while eating is “the thinking man’s” version of reading while watching tv.)

Since we have five growing children in the house, we have noticed this phenomenon that happens — I go grocery shopping and bring the groceries home. The kids unload the car, and emit loud exclamations of enthusiasm as they see all the good food. As I unload the bags and put the food away, the mongering hordes swoop in and pick up a bag of this and a carton of that and four or five pieces of fruit (per person). I can’t even get the food put away before a decent amount of it is eaten.

The problem is, sometimes, a lot of times, we don’t eat until we are full. We eat until the bag is empty, or we have finished the page/chapter/book/article. I think I have alluded elsewhere to my love/hate relationship with food and eating, and I would rather not pass that along to our kids, even though I may do it unintentionally.

I recently posted a sign on the fishbowl on our dining room table asking everyone to refrain from reading while eating and I explained my thinking. Each time we eat now, we use bowls, plates, silverware, etc., and even NAPKINS! I asked everyone, as an experiment, to just focus on the eating process, the texture and taste of the food.

Here’s what I have found out. Eating is boring! If I’m reading a book, I can chew crispy foods for a long time. If I am sitting at the table, I can’t chew quite as much food. I just don’t want to take the time.

Do you think this could be a major diet phenomena all over the world? Could I get famous and be on Oprah? Maybe not and maybe not, but if I only eat while I’m doing nothing else, I bet I might even lose some weight.

The Dinette Set – Why do I Love it?

This comic makes me laugh out loud every single day. I’ve put an RSS feed on the right side of my blog in case you would like to see more Dinette Set comics. This lady is brilliant at capturing the lives of her comic characters.

The Dinette Set’s website says: The Dinette Set is an in depth study of banality and entitlement within American Middle Class Culture. From small towns, to sprawling Suburbia to major cities, an inane, repetitive lifestyle persists and is growing. The Dinette Set takes a wryly brutal aim at the world of mindless consumerism and the mentality that fosters it. The Dinette satirizes middle class culture, incorporating thought provoking observations of the human condition that viewers will instantly identify with. The little notes to self that inhabit the backgrounds via t-shirts, kitchen chalk boards and coffee mugs are priceless.

My Group is Changing

Last night was Wednesday and Wednesday is group therapy night. As the clock struck 7, I sped out of the office. I felt sort of embarrassed about that, because I’m sure people noticed that I was quiet and left immediately. Actually, part of the reason I left so quickly is because I’m NOT sure anyone notices me. I have brought up two things that were important to me, and they were not followed up on the next week. I know I can bring them up, but one of the things I would like in this group is for people to remember and ask the next time, especially because the two things I am talking about were going to be ongoing. I even asked for accountability.

So, I’ve been one of the main talkers in the group. And I already mentioned that the other main talker is leaving the group. Next week is his last week. Last night, I was reminded just how important he is to the group. I’m starting to wonder if I want to keep on with the group, because the other members barely ever talk. We might be in for some really quiet meetings, especially if I start talking less than I have been.

I will have to miss our session in two weeks, so both of the main talkers won’t be there. I wonder what that session will be like.

Either we will move into some new, better phase, or we will regress into total silence. I look forward to seeing which it is.

My wishes for Jessica and Caleb

My dear cousin’s eldest daughter is getting married Saturday. I had plans to attend the wedding, but as gas prices have risen, our plans for travel this summer have changed. Plus, I didn’t really think it would work well for me to drive myself and any number of my kids 900 miles to the wedding.

Jessica is their eldest, 23 I think. She has two younger sisters and a younger brother. All the kids are just wonderful, as are their parents. I haven’t gotten to meet Caleb yet, but I have no doubt he is a great guy.

As I think of them getting married, I would like to tell them:

Dear Jessica and Caleb,
My thoughts and prayers are with you as you get married today. May you have a wonderful, special and memorable wedding day. I hope you love being married as much as we do. After 23 years, I think the things that make the biggest difference are these: not saying unkind things when angry; working through disagreements before going to sleep if at ALL possible; remembering every single day that your spouse is a great blessing to you; touching each other regularly; learning what it means to be unselfish; studying and practicing I Corinthians 13 about bearing all things, believing all things, enduring all things, hoping all things. Laughing a lot together. Reciting lines from favorite movies that you enjoy. Reading to each other. Always being open to learning new things, about each other, and about yourself. Allowing the Light of Jesus Christ to come into any dark places and light them up. Knowing that everyone brings baggage into a marriage and committing to doing what it takes to get rid of the baggage. Reading good books on marriage (As For Me and My House by Walter Wangerin, Two-Part Invention by Madeleine L’Engle, and my most recent discovery — The New Rules of Marriage by Terry Real). Buy and listen to Steven Curtis Chapman’s CD All About Love. At least read the lyrics, even if it’s not your type of music. I think he has done a great job capturing what it means to love and so many of the things we face as work on our marriages. Keep your marriage first when you have children. Always treat your spouse with respect. We love you!

Alphabet Siouxsie

Well, we’re all the way to S. I thought about this one a long time when I did the last post and couldn’t think of anything. Let’s hope my creativity quotient is higher today.

S is for Stinker. Probably part of my good-girlydom, I’ve always been afraid of having bad breath or b.o., or worse. So, I used to chew gum ALL the time. For years, I chewed gum. I’m not much of a gummer anymore, but I do always have a box of Altoids along. Perhaps because I’ve always had a sensitive nose, I’m just not into stinking myself, or having any unpleasant smells around me, like a sour towel or washcloth. Now, I’m not so strict with other people being stinky. Kepler has natural ways of becoming a stinker. So, don’t worry — I’m not painting you with the same anti-stink brush I’m painting myself.

T is for Teetotalist, or Teetotaler, if you prefer. I’m trying to think. I think I had my first alcohol sometime around the age of 21, of course, since I wouldn’t break that rule! And I think it was probably about 4 ounces of wine. I’m not telling this so that you will be impressed at my “virtue.” Rather, I just laugh at myself because I’ve always been so careful to follow the rules. Like right now, I actually don’t drink any alcohol because I take a medication that shouldn’t be taken with alcohol. I really don’t get the appeal of getting drunk, and I’m not planning to see if I can figure it out. I’ll leave that to others. But, unlike the teaching I received at my very fundy church as a kid, “We don’t drink and we don’t chew, and we don’t go with boys who do.” I think alcohol can be a part of my life. And anyway, I do go with a boy who drinks.

U is for ulotrichous (thought you’d enjoy learning a new word, as I did) — No, I don’t have woolly or crisp hair.

V is for (ok, I’m running out of steam here) violinist. I did take lessons in 7th grade for four weeks, but I stopped after that. I do play the flute and the piano, and I did have a dream early on that I could have my kids learn stringed instruments and turn into the Taylor String Quartet. Alas. I crashed and burned while trying to simultaneously teach the kids Suzuki piano, take them to Suzuki string lessons, and do all the practicing and listening required in Suzuki music instruction.

I’ll save W,X,Y, and Z for next time.

Extra! Extra! Read All About It!

Woman Finds Missing Item!

Here is the credenza our tv sits on. It has two doors and a panel in the middle. As so often happens, I found the sure steps when I was getting out a toy for Kepler, or doing something else noble and right. I never find missing items when I’m chowing on Lime Tostitos, or when I am taking a nap. Not that naps aren’t noble or right, but they’re not the same KIND of noble and right! There was only one toy in the credenza and I was actually playing WITH Kepler, so I decided to get this pegboard out. When I crawled into the credenza (practically), there they were!

As you can see, Kepler does love these things.

As you may also have discerned, Ansel Adams did not take these photos.

Just call me Our Lady of Perpetual Findings.

Photos for your Edification

Thought you might like to see me and my bff, Stephanie, of the blog No Cleaning Here

This photo was taken, oh, a few years ago at the camp where we met and worked together. The camp was instrumental in both of us marrying our particular guys. She met hers AT the camp. I met mine right after completing an 18-day wilderness trip.

If you haven’t checked out Stephanie’s blog, you’re in for a treat. She has a great sense of humor and is a great friend.

And this photo? Well, this is my sister and me, studly basketball players, posing in totally natural poses for our photo. To give you an idea of how very good we were — we lost one game 81-10. Actually, that was the year before this photo. Photo year, we even won some games, and I at a towering 5′ 2″, was the actual MVP of the season. Just thought you might want to know a little more about me, you know, beyond the alphabet posts and all.