Thursday, February 26, 2009

What's That?

It happened again last night.

I was just settling down to sleep when I heard a noise in my room.

One side of my brain (logical & practical) told the other to just ignore it - it was nothing major so just go to sleep. Sleeeeeep. Warm. Comfy. Relaaaaaax.

The other louder, more persistent & nervous side said, "There it is again!"

Logical said, "Stan is already snoring so DON'T WAKE HIM UP! You know he has to get up in the middle of the night so NO clutching his shoulder asking "Did you hear that?!""

Nervous said, "What could it be?"

Logical: The fan is not on, nor the heat blowing so not that.
The dog is in her kennel.
The kids are in bed.
The sound is not moving around the room.

Nervous recalled the noisy scamper of the flying squirrel who had escaped from the shoebox scurrying around on the floor that one time, the sound of snake slithers a couple of times when we had escapees from the reptile house in Andrew & Caleb's room. I don't think Terry the Tarantula could have walked this far without being noticed.
There was the half-dead moth in the trash can. The trapped cricket. Too many spiders to count-"There it is again!"

Logical did the orienteering. "It's coming from the desk. It sounds like plastic - a plastic bag? Is there one over there? Why don't we just settle down and go to sleep?
Oh, never mind. I'm wide awake now too."

So I (both sides of the brain finally in agreement) roll waaaaay over -nice big bed but whew-wie it's cold on the edge - and grab a flashlight. When I turned it on, there was that rustle-y noise again so I ruled out intelligent wildlife which usually stills at light - see I've done this a time or two.

Rounding the bed and focusing on the desk, I recall that just before bed, Stan closed the bottom drawer which had been left open when someone had been scrounging an envelope. The drawer had slightly pushed over a sack of to-be-processed library books.

Which were, gravity still working, ever so slooooooowly falling over.

So with a rather louder repeat of that noise, I straightened the stack & went back to bed.

"Told ya."

"Oh, go to sleep."

Tuesday, February 24, 2009


Actually, I keep thinking of it as Cross Walk.
So stop looking at me like that!

You may have noticed the Stoplight link on my side bar - but have you visited the site? It features short pro-family videos produced by Focus on the Family that emphasize the irony and ludicrousness going on in the world, addressing issues in political, corporate, judicial, religious, scientific arenas - I'm sure I missed some.

The most recent is described this way:
It took him awhile, but Stoplight® host Stuart Shepard finally found a way to put the Democrats' economic stimulus plan into perspective. The title is "All the Money in the World".

Also enlightening was "Charitable Thoughts" which compares the ways people give: Republican vs. Democrat.

One of my all time favorites was posted Christmas 2007. You might remember "Merry Tossmas!" which Stuart revisited in 2008.

On the citizenlink sidebar (where Stoplight shows up) you will also find Turn Signal & Focus Action Update which contain other informative videos on topics of interest to the pro-family crowd.

Something new to Stoplight (yes, I almost wrote "Crosswalk". grrrr. STOP LAUGHING.) is their Twitter, Facebook & Myspace presence & availability. Check it out!

Monday, February 23, 2009


In yesterday's comics, a query regarding why Earth is named Earth resulted in a rabbit-chasing tale about language development, specifically two languages on earth which were invented on purpose.
Do you know what they are?

My first thought was Pig-Latin which should be enjoyed by all at some point in their life - even if just to share about what some little person is getting for Christmas without them understanding BUT I expect younger brains do the translating easier than isthay olderay indmay - don't get it? Here's a translator! And even a teaching site for those wishing to become master Pig Latin-ers.
Was I right? Was this one?

My second guess was the language made popular by the kid's program Zoom (Come on and zooma-zooma-zooma zoom!) called Ubbi Dubbi which I just learned may predate PBS. Gubo Fubigubure. Try singing this at your next birthday party. Bet you could blow out all your candles at the same time!
But it wasn't one of the one's referenced.

There are the languages created by J.R.R. Tolkien for the Lord of the Rings trilogy. For more info on these languages look here, here, there AND here. Extraordinarily interesting & obviously popular (especially since the movies) but STILL NOT one mentioned.

According to Beakman & Jax: "Most languages grow and change as our cultures change. But two languages on Earth were invented on purpose. The first is Esperanto, which was supposed to be the international language...but was a huge flop and is spoken only by a handful of kooks."
Be a kook extraordinaire - learn to speak it!

"The other on-purpose language is Klingon, spoken by Star Trek enthusiasts. Today more people speak Klingon than Esperanto." (Stan mentioned that they are also kooks - LOL)

I expect the number of folks speaking the languages which first came to my mind may outnumber them both! Whadda you think?

Andrew pointed out that both Pig-Latin & Ubbi Dubbi are English based so shouldn't count. I think all newish languages are based on some older languages so it shouldn't matter.
Your opinion?

I'llway eepkay ouyay ostedpay!
Ubi'll kubeep yubou pubostubed!
Quentasta-nye mando!
Mi teniĝos vin afiŝis

Friday, February 13, 2009

Did One But Know

Sometime during the summer (or spring or maybe even fall) of 1982, a friend named Martin' started bringing his friend named Stan to church. Martin's friends, Kris & Patti, went to visit with him & got to meet Stan.

Patti thought, " I know Stan's brother, Doug, but what's the name of his younger brother who goes to church here too? ?? ... ?? Oh, yeah. Neal."
And that is what she thought pretty much every time she saw Stan. "What's his younger brother's name again?"

Patti had graduated high school & was enjoying the "singles" group, especially the fellowships held regularly at various people's homes. Stan caught her attention by making funny remarks. The night they sang "Happy Birthday" to him at a fellowship, she inquired about his age.

24!? No way! She'd just turned 18 in May & Martin' was just a year older.
She carded him.

One time she didn't have a ride to a fellowship & was offered one by Martin' - he was riding with Stan & said Stan wouldn't mind. He was driving a 69 Mustang fastback with a 351 C & racing gears. It had bucket seats in the front & a folded-down back seat so she sat in the front close to Martin' since she didn't know Stan very well.
The clutch broke on the way to the fellowship.
Stan fixed it fast like a pro. (Yes, proper English would be "quickly" but get with the feeling here folks!)

Patti & Martin' were going to the same college & started visiting with each other a couple of days a week because they had about 30 minutes between classes. Patti waited another hour for her next class. Stan started showing up just before Martin' left for his class to "visit with Martin'" then spent the next hour visiting with Patti instead. Hmmmmm.

One day, Patti's brother, Dennis won a couple of tickets to a Spurs basketball game. He wanted to trade a ticket for a ride to the game. Patti called Martin' but he wasn't interested. He suggested she call Stan & gave her his number. So she did.

He was not home from work but was expected shortly. She called several times until it was too late for Dennis to make it to the game. Too bad for him. :-( Patti had a nice phone visit with Stan's mother though.
And Stan called her back when he FINALLY got home.

November 20 was their first "date": Schlotzskys & A Star Wars movie - The Empire Strikes Back? At the theater.
Really dates us there, don't it? :-)

When Stan picked her up, he got to meet her dad as he was leaving on a hunting trip. Just a quick wave & the dad was gone. The next time they met, Patti was helping package venison sausage just brought back from the hunting trip and Stan pitched in to help. Patti's dad told her YEARS later that that action showed him that Stan had potential.

Stan invited Patti to his brother Doug's wedding at Thanksgiving but she declined since it was small and she didn't really know the family. She did get to meet them at his house as she & Stan were preparing to go to the movies with Martin' & Kris that weekend.

Patti would stare at Stan. He'd say, "Why are you giving me that strange look?"
She'd reply, "Are you saying I look strange?"
Then they'd grin at each other like idiots.
She thought it was funny that his hair was longer than hers.

They saw each other every day. By Christmas, people were asking them when they were getting married. They'd look at each other, shiver & say, "Marriage? Doesn't that involve (gulp) commitment? And responsibility?"
Eventually Stan started to say, "Marriage? Why, we aren't even going steady!"

Their first fight was about that.
Patti started it.
She said, "If this isn't going steady then what is it? You make it sound like you don't want to be going steady! Are you wanting us to see other people?"
He didn't apologise or explain.
He just asked her to go steady. That was in May.

He then started responding to marriage queries with, "We're busy this weekend. Maybe next weekend."

For Valentine's Day he had bought a big beautiful card that could open all the way and leave a large blank space on the back which he filled up with a heartfelt letter...
"I liked this card because... it gives me a lot of room to write my own feelings."

"This is the first Valentine Card I've ever bought for a girl."

"This weekend we will have been together for 3 months. It seems hard to believe. ...I've never known anyone like you."

"I've told you before that I think that you are a blessing to me from the Lord, and I honestly believe that. I just wonder how long the Lord will let us be together."

"If we have been seeing each other for only 3 months, I wonder what it's going to be like in 3 more months."
And much more. Sigh.
Made her little heart go pitter pat.
No, she is not sharing the rest. I. Me. Mine.

They didn't call it courting, but spent so much time with each other's families and just doing life that it was more like that than a dating relationship. Stan got to see Patti in some rough conditions as she had her tonsils out in the spring (Threw-up on him, poor guy. But it was only the first time...) and her wisdom teeth out in the middle of the summer. She did homework and studied at his house - well, his parents house since he still lived with them. He took her driving so she could practice for her driver's license test and helped her find her first car - a 69 Mustang Grande'!

Sometimes he'd pick her up at the college & drop her off at work so she started toting her helmet with her on the bus. He thought it was cool that she bought her own helmet so she could ride his bike with him. And she could start it. Kick start. Motorcycle Mama.
Not really!

On the one year anniversary of their first date, they were in the TV room at his house. His mom stuck her head in the door to say goodnight & that she was headed to bed so keep the noise down. Patti mentioned that she liked Stan's mom.

He asked, "How would you like her for a mother-in-law?"

Next month we celebrate 24 years of marriage.

I memorized this poem while a junior or senior in high school. When I rediscovered it, I was surprised at how applicable it was.

The First Day
By Christina Rossetti

I wish I could remember the first day
First hour, first moment of your meeting me,
If bright or dim the season, it might be
Summer or winter for aught I can say.
So unrecorded did it slip away,
So blind was I to see and to foresee,
So dull to mark the budding of my tree
That would not blossom for many a May.

If only I could recollect it! Such
A day of days! I let it come and go
As traceless as a thaw of bygone snow.
It seemed to mean so little, meant so much!
If only now I could recall that touch,
First touch of hand in hand! - Did one but know!
Yes, I know it's a little mushy at the end, but hey! We're celebrating Valentine's Day here! A little flowery language is to be expected. :-)

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Catchin' up

It's time for the SWAK Carnival at We Are That Family BUT I've gotta get caught up with what's been goin' on in LIFE before harping on that handsome hubby of mine.
Let's start with Andrew - he's the middle boy so doesn't often get to start things. :-)
He needs one more science with a lab to accomplish Bright Futures requirements plus needed a biology class working towards his associates degree. The good news? Watson offers the class! The bad news? Not this semester.
SO, since Caleb is also focusing on Biology this semester, he & Andrew are doing labs together - yeppers, Andrew gets college biology and homeschooled lab. Sounds like a good combo to me.
Here, the boys are focusing in on very small things and attempting to draw what they see. In the above photo, Andrew is working on a yeast experiment assigned by his no-labbing-for-this-class college professor.
BTW, for those of you who asked about how Andrew's ethics professor graded his essay on regulating the trees, he received an A-.
This photo was made last Friday. I asked Jacob to come home from work to de-disasterfy his bedroom since an appraiser was coming the following day > a refinance is in the works. He sprawled on the floor with his feet on the hearth. Maryn gave him a foot massage. I proclaimed that he'd done nothing worthy of a foot massage, lazing around in front of the fire but obviously, a fiance' does not mind foot-massaging even unworthy feet.

I don't know how the wrestling match started. Perhaps Rachel asked for a foot massage too & Jacob objected? Maybe she jumped in to tickle the other foot?
But here's how it ended. And yes, he did clean his room (mostly) as well as the boy's bathroom. Maryn was helping so I've no idea how much foot-massaged-boy actually did.

That night was the first AHG camping experience: a camp-in in the church's fellowship hall. Rachel set up her tent while we "picnicked" then these guys did a nap attack on her & Amanda's sleeping bags - I never actually got a shot of Rachel in her tent since she had it all packed-up, ready to go when I came to get her early Saturday a.m. so we wouldn't be late for the Liberty Riders 4-H business meeting.
Maryn, Caleb, Jacob & I headed from the camp-in to Jason's 40th birthday party. Look at all these yummy goodies prepared for this fiesta themed gathering. Tammy was just cutting the chocolate truffle cake after doing the cheese cake - strawberry topping available on the side. Beans & rice, delicious salad (I got the dressing recipe!), enchilada casserole, chicken, and I'm sure there was more I can't recall. There was yummy punch made with orange/vanilla ice cream & lemon/lime soda. A great time was had by all.
There's that birthday boy! He looks pretty pleased about getting old, huh? LOL!

We sang & ate cake then most of the group went outside & enjoyed the bonfire. It was a nippy night so the fire rotisserie was in full swing - heat one side then rotate to heat the other.

I made this photo earlier today.
As you know, we currently have 3 braces faces. We were told that Rachel's could not progress while a canine remained high above the gumline refusing to come in SO we got a referral for the periodontal clinic at the UF dental school to "expose" the tooth (sounds illegal, dosn't it?). God worked things out very quickly. We got the referral on Wed., got the appointment on Monday - went in that same day for the evaluation and the surgery was completed Tuesday a.m.
Dr. Donovan said that he cut the gum at the ridge line then opened a flap to expose the tooth which was "way up there" - I'm sure that's good dentist speak - then scrapped a bunch of tiny cysts off the tooth, attached a gold chain - actually looks like a piece of a necklace - with special dental glue, flopped the flap back down and sutured it back into place.
Rachel thinks there are 15 stitches - her first!
Thankfully, Rachel has not had a big problem with pain although she says it hurts to laugh and as you can see, there is a bit of swelling. She even went to choir practice Tuesday night. Dr. Donovan told her to take it easy for the rest of the week; not to over exert herself so there was no working at the horse ranch today but she should be back in the saddle by Monday.
I'll keep you posted!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

First Born Survey

Here you go mommies- a different kind of survey for a change - it's all about your your first born! Just copy and paste it!
Another Facebook survey that works here too. :-)



3. WHAT WERE YOUR REACTIONS? surprised/scared/sick/excited

4. HOW OLD WERE YOU? 23/24 (conception/birth - duh)


6. WHO DID YOU TELL FIRST? Stan - although he was there at the beginning so you'd think he'd have known...

7. HOW DID YOU TELL YOUR FAMILY? "Baby 88" T-shirt under the Christmas tree for the TX family. Called the rest.

8. DID YOU WANT TO FIND OUT THE SEX? Definitely not - had a friend who was so disappointed when the doctors were WRONG.

9. DUE DATE? August 10, 1988

10. DID YOU HAVE MORNING SICKNESS? Yeppers. Ate crackers in bed, at work, at church...

11. WHAT DID YOU CRAVE? Food - it never tasted better; I was always hungry.

12. WHO/WHAT IRRITATED YOU THE MOST? Getting fat, the heat (summer pregnancy!) & ugly preggy clothes


14. DID YOU WISH YOU HAD THE OPPOSITE SEX OF WHAT YOU WERE GETTING? Only when shopping for clothes before he was born - not much to choose from for boys & beautiful little girl's stuff.

15. HOW MANY POUNDS DID YOU GAIN? 50+. Do not tell a soul. Promise?



18.DID YOU HAVE ANY COMPLICATIONS DURING YOUR PREGNANCY? No - just got big. Was teased unmercifully about having twins. I asked the doctor if the baby was possibly too big for me to deliver. He said "No". Wrong answer!

19. WHERE DID YOU GIVE BIRTH? Methodist Hospital in San Antonio, TX (all my kids are Texans by birth, and they better not forget it)

20. HOW MANY HOURS WERE YOU IN LABOR? 36, all miserable. That kid was happy & healthy where he was.

21. WHO DROVE YOU TO THE HOSPITAL? Stan in my green 69 Mustang

22. WHO WATCHED YOU GIVE BIRTH? I'm pretty sure Stan was there - dressed quickly in blue for the surgery & commenting on how interesting it was - I had to remind him that I was not a science project. I believe they made him leave when I started yelling at the doctor.

23. WAS IT NATURAL OR C-SECTION? C > Because my temp started going up & the labor was not progressing. At my 1st Dr. visit, I asked if he could just knock me out & let me know when it was over. He said "no" then wound up having to put me under.
He wouldn't put in a zipper either...

24. DID YOU TAKE MEDICINE TO EASE THE PAIN? Of course. Major surgery, hello?




28. HOW OLD IS YOUR FIRST BORN TODAY? 20 years, 5 months, 1 day

Friday, February 6, 2009

One Liner

My boy's current favorite one-liner which Jacob picked up from the Medieval Faire "ratcatcher" & Andrew shared with the family the other night:

"Three baby seals walked into a club."

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Confusing Temperatures

I have been enjoying the cold temperatures. It's hard to face our sweltering summers in the years when winter never seemed to show its face. The past couple of winters have really confused some of my plants though.

Here is my beautiful rosebud of a daughter with our nectarine tree. Most fruit trees benefit from freezing winter temperatures. They do not, however, do well when temps are freezing one week then nearly 80 for a spell the next.

That's when they bloom. In January. In February. In between every major cold snap until by the springtime they have surrendered and produce
NOTHING. No fruit.

My only productive fruit tree this past year was my 8 year old tangerine, and I'm hoping it doesn't bite the dust with all the freezes we're having this year. Stan & the boys religiously tuck it in it's blankie for each freeze. See the green leaves sprinkled on top of the brown?

While Rachel & I walked around photographing, Molly followed us with this heavy log. She could barely pick it up. Persistantly, she persued us, hoping we would toss that beam - not that we could heft it very far. You can see the grass is frozen dead here
and still pretty green here closer to the house = blessed with sprinkler system & overhead trees.

Here's my winter garden, still hanging in there: onions, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, kohl robi (new for us - if it does well, I'll have to find some way to cook/eat it! > suggestions are welcome), & collards. None very close to harvesting. All enjoying the rain and cold and sun.

These little bulb flowers surprised me. Along the house on this side is dead space. Everything I plant here dies. Until now! I rescued these plants from the trash, expecting them to die when planted here - not willing to spend more $ on plants that were doomed. Sure enough, they didn't show their pretty pink faces for a couple of years. I forgot they were there. They started blooming during our last hard freeze and are still at it.
Any idea what they are?

This is my Jacobina, one of a pair. They came back after freezing last year and bloomed their pretty pink-purplish blossom cones.

I'd show you my frozen poinsettia but it looks just like this. It, however will not resurrect. It was one of the gamma rayed dna spiky leaved variety. Beautiful but always made me think of Spiderman...

Our sprinklers ran, providing us with bejeweled Monkey grass and icicle laden bushes.

The sprinklers ran about 10 a.m. today. I agree with a couple of friends who say, "If it's gonna be this cold, we want SNOW!"

Then there's this. Not pretty. Not confused. Very icy.

Makes me glad to have one of these. Time to fix some hot chocolate!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Initial Game

Carol started this in Facebook & I figured I'd give it a shot here.
Who wants to play?

It's harder than it looks! Copy to your own note, erase my answers, enter yours, and tag 10 people (and lots with your same first initial!). Tag me back please! Use the first letter of your name to answer each of the following questions. They have to be real . . . nothing made up! If the person before you had the same first initial, you must use different answers. You cannot use any word twice and you can't use your name for the boy/girl name question.

I thought you might like to see her answers too so left them.

1. What is your name: Carol ...Patti
2. A four letter word: clap... perk
3. A boy's name: Caleb... Paul
4. A girl's name: Catherine... Peggy
5. An occupation: Cop... policeman
6. A color: Chartreuse... PINK
7. Something you wear: Collar... poka-dot socks
8. Something found in your kitchen: Coffee Maker... pizza pan
9. A food: COOKIES!... pancakes
10. Something found in the bathroom: Curling Iron ...powder
11. A place: California... porch in Pennsylvania
12. A reason for being late: Carelessness... partying
13. Something you shout: CowaBunga!... Put that down!
14. A movie title: Cinderella... Princess Bride
15. Something you drink: Cappuccino... punch
16. A musical group: Cranberries (Linger)... Petra
17. An animal: Capybara... pony
18. A street name: Cherry St... Peach St.
19. A type of car: Cadillac baby... pinto
20. The title of a song: Come On Feel the Noise (Quiet Riot)... Pastor Dancing (BOB)

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

A Spoonful of Jewelry

Have you ever heard of spoon jewelry? I recall (waaaay) back in the 70s having silver spoon rings. I wore mine on my big bells belt loops trying to start a fad. I think I just managed to dent my mom's washer & dryer innards.

You may recall that I told you Don't Give Him Crackers is giving away stuff all week. Today's "prize" is a spoon pendant - just beautiful. You should look at it & tell her to give it to me.
(Jedi mind wave: "Patti should win the pendent")

To see even more interesting pendants, head over to the pendant's maker's blog, My Life is Written on an Etch-a-Sketch and notice that she is also having a give-away celebrating her 300th blog.

I'm thinking I'd better get really thrifty like DGHC or really crafty like MLiWoaEaS prior to my 300th blog.

Or not.
Keeping up with the Joneses has never been a priority for me.
But you never know. :-)

Monday, February 2, 2009

Time to Regulate the Trees

Andrew is taking Ethics at the college this semester. His first assignment was to write a one-sided essay entitled "(something)ticks me off" providing two reasons justifying his claim that the "something" was immoral. He has already been mentally wrestling with this professor who claims that all Christians are bigots so kept his paper light.

Trees Tick Me Off

Trees are immoral. They are the most plentiful large life forms on earth, but they are not currently helpful to other life forms. They are, in fact, detrimental to the health of the surrounding people, animals and smaller plant life. The two main reasons trees are immoral are that trees are dangerous and that they litter.

Trees are immoral because they are dangerous, not just to humans but to animals and other plants also. It is wrong to needlessly hurt animals and people but trees will do this. Trees are dangerous in many ways. They drop sticks and branches and any person, animal or plant not watching carefully could be hit, crushed or potentially impaled. Things dropped from trees such as sticks, branches, pine cones, and sweet gum balls are a hazard to barefooted people or animals who tread upon them. Trees have also been known to fall over and crush any unsuspecting person, creature or plant. Falling trees have also hit houses, sometimes injuring the occupants. Trees do not have the decency to move when something is coming. Cars hit them all the time, making the trees accomplices in causing injury and death. These incidents could be avoided if trees would just get out of the way.
Trees are also immoral because they litter. Litter is harmful to other life forms and is unsightly. There are laws against people littering but trees somehow get around them. Trees litter by dropping sticks, branches, leaves, pinecones, bark, and themselves, all over the place. They drop so many leaves that they will cover the grass or smaller plants, keeping them from getting their life light from the sun and leading to starvation and death. Leaves will also conceal other objects such as rocks and logs which animals and people trip over. I understand litter is usually considered anything non decomposable or unnatural, but what causes more trouble than a big branch or tree across the road? There is not time to wait for it to decompose, someone has to go and move it. For being some of the oldest things on earth they should know better than to drop their waste just anywhere.
The solution to this problem is apparent. Regulations must be made pertaining to trees. There needs to be harsh punishment for injuries or deaths caused by trees, as well as for litter. There must be specific areas for trees to deposit their waste out of the way, where it can be used safely for compost. If laws are not implemented, trees will undoubtedly remain as immoral as ever.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Give-a-way Week

But not on my site.

Dayna (with a Y) turned me on to Don't Give Him Crackers who is celebrating her 500th blog & 2 year "bloggy-versary" with a week of give-a-ways. Cool!

Be sure to check it out all week to see what cool things are given away - and don't forget to enter!