February 28, 2005
Music Lesson Of the Week

Ok, so this hymn isn't a Christmas carol. But, I'm the boss and I like singing it so this is the one we'll be learning this week :)

February 25, 2005
Blogging Injury

I'll be off until Tuesday, due to an unexpected blogging injury.

February 24, 2005
Driving Me Crazy, Literally

I used to think that I had experienced "literal" children. Afterall, my boys are gifted with the "literal gene" courtesy of my husband.

But ... Cassie is an adventure unto herself. The latest is potty-training. My husband has promised to buy her a digital camera like he bought the boys (the promise of which potty-trained them almost instantly). His criteria is that poop-n-pee must go in the potty for ten days in a row. Accidents begin the count again at day one.

There have been a few rough days with her. For example, she pooped in her diaper, took the diaper off, tried to dump the messy poop in the potty (there-by completely trashing the hallway and bathroom), because the rule was "poop goes in the potty". We hadn't clarified "poop goes ONLY in the potty"

Cassie gets this odd squinty-eyed look when she's planning. I ought to see it coming, but sometimes I'm just too busy with everything to stop and think "hmmm, interesting look, I should be watching her like a hawk".

I put her in pull-ups last night and tucked her in. We talked about how it was important to pee in the potty, that pull-ups must NOT be wet because they were like panties. (She's looking forward to getting panties).

A few mintues later, I went back into her room to get a book and something was ... not ... quite ... right ...

February 23, 2005
What Were We Thinking

Ever wonder why I haven't caught up on my laundry? Well, some have, so here's todays reason that Laundry Will Not Be Finished ...

February 22, 2005
Just So You Know

Just so you know ... I don't talk about it all the time (because its kinda a given in my day and would bore you to tears) but I still pray. Sometimes for Bruce, who doesn't want to go to service at the Baptist church although it would make his wife giddy (mostly that he gets what he needs from his non-service-attending-relationship-with-God :) Sometimes for Dean, who's baby was in the hospital and who has stress. Sometimes for Arnold Harris of Mt. Horeb Wisconsin, because I'm not "blue in the face yet" and I worry about him. Sometimes for Tammi, who REALLY has stress. Sometimes for practically eveyone I know.

And lots of times for people I don't know at all. I just wanted you to know, when you email me a "prayer request", I do it. And not that useless rote chanting either. Real prayer is conversation with God, telling him about things that are important to you, which he wants to hear because you are important to him.

So, how can people I don't even know be important to me? Thats easy: Jesus died for them. He loves them, I love him, it all flows together. Its not so hard praying for people you don't know, because people are people. We all have worries and stresses, mostly about the same things: money, health, family, friends, jobs (or the lacks there-of) In a way, I kinda know everyone :)

February 20, 2005
The King Has Left The Grocery Store

No, not Elvis. The King-Of-Fools has been to the grocery store, twice. And been successful both times. The King is a clever young fellow, and I'm sure he can learn from other's mistakes. Although, he does seem pleased with his successes at the store. He'll do well to remember that pride goeth before a fall, and true success comes from having the humility to ask for help when you need it ...

The Tomato Fiends

I was going to entitle this entry "My Children Are Bad, Too" but that wasn't really true. Its not their fault.

See, my husband dislikes tomatoes (although he adores ketchup and spaghetti sauce). One of my favorite foods is raw tomatoes. I like them straight, I like them with a little salt, I like them on toast with a little mayonaise. When pregnant, I like them dipped in dark chocolate. I LIKE tomatoes.

I used to rest comfortablely in the knowledge that my tomatoes where safe, right where I left them, because my husband wouldn't touch them. I used to enjoy getting extra tomatoes from his salad at restaurents. It was a good relationship.

Ron and Cassie both LOVE tomatoes. You should have seen Ron's eyes light up when he realized you could make tomato sandwiches! And Lee informed me last week that he now likes tomatoes, because before he didn't know that's where ketchup came from and he REALLY likes ketchup.

What does this mean to me? No tomato is safe! If I want a tomato, I have to buy four. Three to distract the children, and one for me to eat quickly before they get any ideas.

Sure, labeling will work with my husband. If he sees a label on it, he'll never touch it (or even give it another thought). But the children ... ? No, labeling won't work with them. They see that as a challenge ... slipping up beside me, looking at my tomato, and whispering "share? please?". I just sigh and hand over the tomato.

February 19, 2005
My Husband Is Bad

I'm laughing about it, but more in a "I can't believe that ..." incredulous kinda way. Still, WHAT was he thinking!?!

First, I talked to him on the phone while he was at the office. It was late in the day, and we had both had a relatively sleepless night followed by a long day. I was comiserating about how tired we both were since I had a rough day too, and he said "Yeah, but I have to THINK at MY job". Those words actually left his lips.

Note to Husband: Like you THINK you could do MY job!?! And don't fool yourself about those days you watch the kids. Things go smoothly because I do the prep-work and the clean-up.

Note to Readers: He's very supportive and grateful that I'm a stay-at-home-mom. He's also got a head-cold, and little sleep, which combine to make him cranky. I understand that he REALLY meant I'm the master of my own schedule and if I need to let them watch six hours of TV while I stare into space doing dishes, I can (although I don't) He's really a pretty great guy. Now, that said ... consider what he did next ...

February 18, 2005
My Tongue Is Numb

Things that are swirling around my mind tonight:

My tongue is a little numb. I think its from the vapor rub. Hmmm.

I definintely noticed some improved seratonin levels tonight while fixing dinner. My husband did some tiny annoying thing. I don't even remember what. But I find it fascinating that last week I would have had a stroke about it and tonight I noticed it with no emotional investment at all. Seratonin up, blood pressure down, all's good on the Island.

I was looking for some 1960's Pucci reproduction fabric to make a cabinet-skirt in shades of mint green, preferably with swirls. I found some really cute stuff from the 1920's with great scale. I thought my husband would prefer it to florals. He doesn't. We've been married twelve years and tonight is the first time he's stated clearly "I hate geometrics. All of them. In art. In fabric. In ANYTHING visual. No No NO" I previously thought he just disapproved of abstract modern art. Personally, I find it sad that he can't see the genius and difference of fabrics from the 20's to the horrors of the 70's. Its not like I painted the living-room orange! Still, better to find this out now than when I recovered the couch in circles. The goal IS for him to like our home.

I've decided to re-cover the piano keys, and move it into the livingroom where the storage cabinet used to be. I think it'll fit perfectly. How odd I didn't see that until this very moment.

Ya know, next I was going to write a long post about the Black Irish, the importance of inherited personality traits. But its getting a little hard to focus so I think I'll go play at www.pogo.com.

Act Of Love, Part Two

I am going to get some sleep soon, or else! But it won't be tonight. Nope, tonight I'm sitting in front of the computer with vapor-rub, a horehound cough-drop, some robitussin-dm, and the "comfy" computer chair. Wheee, its gonna be a party tonight ...

February 17, 2005
Joyful Joyful We Adore Thee

Why wait until Monday!?! Thanks to the lovely site www.cyberhymnal.org, finding the lyrics was a snap! Here we go ...

Christmas Plan

I have a new plan for Christmas next year. I just don't think my children are learning songs enough. I want them to really be able to enjoy Christmas carols at full tilt and hymns "sung like they mean them".

I have a plan to correct this overlooked area of their developement. I often sing to them as I tuck them in. I've noticed that they now know the words to all the verses of Amazing Grace which was the only slow song I could think of at the time, except for O'Little Town of Bethleham which would have made my husband nuts.

So, I'm going to make up a schedule to learn carols and a few hymns by singing to them each night, rotating songs each week, with review weeks ramping up into the holiday season! This is a good effective plan! Its possible that my husband is a tad alarmed at the thought of forty-odd weeks of Christmas carols, but he hides it well. We're starting Monday with "Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee". (My boys like songs with a little 'bounce", which is good because I sing with lots of heart and little talent!)

I'm going to post the lyrics to the new songs as we add them, so y'al are welcome to come along for the ride. It should be a VERY festive ride!

Bad Ideas

Sometimes, ideas are SO bad that they are simply beyond the pale.

For example, I've been looking at catalogs for overweight people because I'm overweight (for the moment) and living in ShoppingHades. There seem to be two catagories of clothing.

(1) Clothing for ninety year old women who are devoid of all taste, and exhibit a fondness for bad polyester. Senile biddies.

(2) Clothing for hookers, who are devoid of all taste, and are determined to market themselves as such. Tacky hookers.

Consider these self-evident truths that have escaped the average designer:

If it looks bad on a size ten model, it will look hideous on a size twenty woman.

If it has "stretch" in the description it should NOT be sold in size 5X!

If couches were covered with similiar material in the 70's, don't make it into a mumu.

These are not exagerations, I swear these are real issues gathered from several catalogs. No wonder so many of the overweight women I see look like they rolled off a turnip-truck! They don't have a chance. Fortunately, my mother lives in fear that I'll start wearing "comfortable polyester pants for only $11.99". She also lives near ShoppingHeaven, so she mails in lots of stuff.

Yeah, I know I'm only living in the Mid-West, but I feel like I'm living in some foreign country in the middle of the wilderness thousands of miles from civilization! (Note: If you live near Chicago where there is great shopping, do not be sending me hate mail!) Women here don't know how to wear heels with grace. They don't swivel from the hip when they walk. They don't wear perfume, or toe-nail polish. They don't understand that there is "good polyester" and "bad polyester". I suppose its not their fault. They never had a chance really, what with no local shopping and catalogs dominated by women-hating-designers.

I feel a little like I'm raising my children among agreeably pleasant savages, but savages none-the-less. (Note: Yes, there are good things about the Mid-west, and I some of my best friends are locals. Don't send me hate mail!) I don't know how this devolved into an "I miss the South" post, but there it is. I DO miss living in the South. I miss the early Spring flowers, and Easter clothes that don't involve heavy coats. I miss Sunday dinner being an event. I miss "customer service" being about serving the customer. I miss fire-flies and humidity. I miss real picnics and the Fiddlers Convention and the family reunion. I miss parties thrown by people that know how to throw parties well. I miss people volunteering to help, instead of just being willing if asked.

People here think I'm just "sweet natured". They have no conception of the "South" as a culture, no idea of the fundamental differences between us. (Once I asked my husband if he thought people would remember me as "sweet natured" the way they did my grandmother. He snorted so hard he almost swerved into the ditch! I took that as a "no". When he recovered the ability to speak, which took awhile, he assured me that I had many wonderful characteristics but that a "sweet" nature wasn't one of them!) I miss people understanding me, even if they misunderstand me to my credit.

Most of all, I suppose I miss being the Rule instead of the Exception.

Act Of Love

Its the middle of the night, practically. I've been coughing loud enough to wake the dead, and certainly the gentle man trying to sleep next to me. So, as an act of love, here I am ... wide-awake ... in another room ... blogging until I drop. At some point exhaustion will kick in, rendering me unconcious regardless of the desire to cough. Only then will I slip back to my warm comfy bed and sleeping husband.

I read once that guys appreciate love expressed through actions more than through words. Note to Husband: Pay attention! This means "I love you"!

February 16, 2005
Lucy NOT On Speed

Actually, I'm not doing drugs. Well, not in the typical sense of the word. It all started when Tammi over at DarlingsHomeFires started blogging about forgetting and depression and SSRI drugs, which are "specific seratonin reuptake inhibitors".

I've been forgetting a lot of things lately, and feeling REALLY tired a lot of the time. It dawned on me that perhaps I had a low seratonin level. Now, the drugs fix this problem by "tricking" your brain into using less seratonin. I wondered what would happen if instead I tried to naturally boost my seratonin levels.

The result, after two days? I can't blame people that think I'm on Speed. WOW! Its like those commercials where you think the faucet is shiney, and then they "pull away" a film from the whole image and you see something REALLY shiney! I think the best description is that I feel VERY awake. Progress is being made in all areas. Mental tasks that were taking some efforts flow by effortlessly. I'm not tired. Mountains will be noticed in new locations!

My husband certainly noticed. Mostly, I think he noticed that I called him forty million times to report on new and interesting progress around the house, including a list of things he needs to get done so as not to impede my future progress. Although, he said that if this keeps up for a month he'll try what I'm doing.

What am I doing, exactly? Well, some things are known to contribute to higher seratonin levels. Green vegetables, red vegetables, vitamin B-complex, sunlight, exercise (ever heard of "runner's high"?), sufficent water (don't want sludgey seratonin, now do we?). So I made a list of things I HAVE to eat and do, instead of a diet which is all about what NOT to eat. Plus, there are a few things that aren't proven connected to seraontin, but the best guess is that they are. So, I'm also doing an apple and 1/2 teapsoon of cinnamon.

No sugar and no flour, little corn/potato/rice. Other than that, anything goes. And, since there's so much that I have to get into my body, I don't really miss the carbs. And I'm trying to stay away from overly-processed foods.

Frankly, I'm starting to crave spinach and green beans and bell peppers and broccalli. I would choose spicy creamed spinach over chocolate. Not kidding. Bio-feedback rocks! If people can get addicted to smoking, why not veggies? The feedback is kinda the same. Cigarettes get you all happy through nicotene, but veggies get you all happy through seratonin-boosting. I'm going to the gym tonight, and looking forward to it. (Its like I'm in the Twilight Zone!)

Timing is also extremely important. I've noticed I seem to need a booster of some kind about every two hours. Seratonin tends to spiral either up or down. If its going up, you feel more inclined to do things that will keep it up. If its going down, you feel more inclined to do things that will send it even farther down.

In a way, I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop. Like this can't really be happening, like maybe there's something else going on and it will all end as suddenly as it began. Or maybe its all in my head, a wonderful placebo effect. But I don't think so. I think next month my husband is going to wake up one day craving spinach for breakfast!

February 14, 2005
A Truly Great Valentine

"Just think, you're not here by chance, but by God's choosing. His hand formed you and made you the person you are. He compares you to no one else -- you are one of a kind. You lack nothing that His grace can't give you. He has allowed you to be here at this time in history to fulfill His special purpose for this generation.

God's wisom is perfect. He created you at just the right time and place for many special reasons, but the one that means so much to me is that He created you to be my special friend."

I formally declare that my husband is perfect.

Words Have Power

Today I realized words have power when I saw a picture of the King-of-Fools' Queen. She looks NOTHING like Queen Elizabeth!

I'm also reminded of a basic psych class in college. Unfortunately, I can't remember the professors name with any great certainty. The first day of class, she informed us she'd be using the feminine pronoun form instead of the more commonly used "he/his/him". The guys in class closed their books and started looking at the door. I kinda see their point, wondering if it were possible to get a good grade from such an obviously male-hating professor. Which is another case of assumptions about identity based on stereotypes.

February 12, 2005
I Understand Stephen Den Beste

How’s that for arrogance!?! Saying I understand Den Beste is similar to saying I understand Einstein.

February 09, 2005
I Almost Forgot How To Blog

Its been so long, due to complications of wiring and hard-drives, that I've almost forgotten how to blog! I feel like announcing "Rumors of my death have been greatly exagerated".

Random thoughts that have crossed my mind today: I do NOT enjoy volunteering at Awanas and this does not make me a bad person. When you're on a diet, even Little Caesars pizza looks good. I have a cold and forty million errands to run, which is a bad combination. Argh. Argh some more. And a Hrumph. My husband says I'm the only person he's ever known that uses that sound out-loud in real life. Apparently cold-medicine is not condusive to coherent random thoughts. I plan on being coherent by Friday night. Its always good to have a plan.