Friday, December 30, 2005

peace and quiet

Well, Christmas is over and all through the house,
the only creatures stirring are my bird and my cat but no mouse.
The family has left, left me in peace!
The new year will start with the company of me.

It's lovely these days, with the gifts all taken
and the tv is silent, not a noise is it makin'.
I love my dear family, don't get me wrong,
but when we are all together its a dance and a song.
My soul longs for quiet, for stillness and rest,
and thankfully now I'm getting the best!

I hope your New Year comes in with a crash,
I'll likely be sleeping avoiding the bash.
Best wishes to you as you start
your next trip round the sun.
I hope it is full of joy and of fun.

I think I'll end this little poem about now.
Hope you enjoyed it, please tell me how!

Sunday, December 25, 2005

merry christmas

May your day be filled with joy and love.

Merry Christmas to all, and may God bless us, every one.

Friday, December 23, 2005

seven such things

In lieu of a real post, I give you the Seven Meme. And bonus if anyone can tell me what in the world a meme is.

Seven Things I Want to do Before I Die
1. Visit all seven major continents
2. Publish a book
3. Photograph an elephant and a tiger that are not in a zoo
4. Get married
5. Visit the Holy Land
6. See the Aurora Borealis
7. Have children

Seven Things I Can't Do
1. Cross my eyes
2. Wiggle my ears
3. Blow spit bubbles
4. Speak Spanish
5. Kiss my elbow
6. Understand Greek
7. Make everybody happy

Seven Things I Say Most Often
1. Whatever
2. For the love of Peter, Paul and Mary
3. What's his butt
4. Anywho
5. You're fired
6. Hello, thank you for calling Compassion, this is Sara, how may I help you?
7. You are so adorable

Seven Books I Love (I'm going to cheat a bit here, sorry)
1. All Jane Austen books, especially Persuasion
2. The Lord of the Rings, and all other things by Tolkien
3. Anything by C.S. Lewis, especially the Space Trilogy
4. The Time Quartet by Madeline L'Engle (Wrinkle in Time and the other three)
5. The Thursday Next series by Jasper Fforde
6. The Kingdom series by Cynthia Voigt
7. The Pokey Little Puppy, I don't remember the author

Seven Movie I Can Watch Over and Over
1. Thoroughly Modern Millie
2. Lord of the Rings
3. The Green Mile
4. Persuasion
5. 10 Things I Hate About You
6. Serenity
7. The Princess Bride

Seven Places I've Been
1. The top of Pikes Peak , Colorado
2. Macchu Picchu, Peru
3. New York, New York
4. Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming
5. Four Corners (Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona and Utah meeting)
6. The Biosphere, outside Tucson, Arizona
7. Sand Dunes State Park, Colorado

Seven People I Would Have Liked to Met
1. Mother Teresa
2. My Great-Grandmother Gerritzen
3. C.S. Lewis
4. JRR Tolkien
5. Jane Austen
6. Audrey Hepburn
7. Madeline L'Engle (she's not dead but what are my chances of meeting her??)

Saturday, December 17, 2005

beware the germs

Funny the things you notice. As I've thought more and more about joining the Peace Corps, the more I notice the bizarre behavior of my fellow countrymen.

One in particular, a woman I've worked with for years, comes to mind. This woman is one of those people that the vast majority of people would consider slow. She's nice and even sweet but just doesn't catch on or "get it" most of the time. I've never worked closely with her so I don't know her well. Lately, I've seen her in the breakroom a lot.

Every time she comes in, she grabs a napkin from the large stack that sits in a basket next to the sink. She then unfolds it and opens a cupboard, the fridge, turns on the water, etc. She won't touch anything without a napkin.

The funny thing, to me at least, is that the napkin is really no cleaner than anything else in the kitchen. If there are germs on the faucet then they have surly migrated to the stack of napkins only a foot away. People are constantly cooking around those napkins, pawing them to pick up a few, breathing in that general direction.

So what makes those napkins a safe barrier?

I understand OCD and phobias, I know that there are people out there who are seriously afraid of germs. But this woman doesn't quite fit the bill. It's like she heard somewhere about these other people and thought, "Germs are bad, I should take some action," but she didn't grasp the situation fully so her fear is only half-founded. I can't decide if I should point out that the napkins are just as likely to be germ infested as everything else or not. Of course, I'm not going to say anything because her actions are none of my business. If she feels better using a napkin then use the napkin.

Just makes precious little sense to me. Kinda like the other co-worker who insists on using seven paper towels each time she washes her hand. Nevermind that only two of those seven towels absorbs any of the water on her hands, she swears that seven dry better than two.

Ah, America, the land of abundance that has made us stupid. Gotta love it.

****disclaimer: I am in no way wishing to rag on anyone with true OCD or phobias. I know they are real and can be difficult to live with. I'm just noticing all those weird things around us again. So don't take offense, none is meant. Thanks.****

Monday, December 12, 2005

the year of the Grinch

It's December 12th, only 13 days left till Christmas and I'm not in the spirit of things just yet.

It's not for lack of trying. I have bought almost all the presents I'm giving, listened to Christmas carols on the radio, enjoyed the snow and even bought some new lights for the house. But I have no tree, have not hung the lights and the stocking that hangs outside my cube at work makes me want to gag each time I see it. As I pondered my lack of usual Christmas cheer and the cause, I realized that Christmas is no longer Christmas.

You see, there have been Christmas decorations up since before Halloween, Christmas music was playing before Thanksgiving. Stores are bickering over saying Merry Christmas or not and everyone wants me to buy more and more and more.

I think I'm sick of the whole thing.

Christmas is one of my favorite times of year. Not because I get a lot of cool stuff, but because I get to give. And I get to reflect on what has been given to me (and the entire world) in the disguise of a little tiny baby. The whole peace on earth, goodwill towards man resonates deeply with me. That's what I want, truly. More love, more compassion, more grace, and so on.

But what do I get? I get songs about snowmen and reindeer and greedy children who want stuff, about songs saying it's all about spending Christmas with that one hot guy you met last week. I get stores who have Christmas gifts out the wazoo but won't say Merry Christmas. I have neighbors who put up lights a week before Thanksgiving, totally skipping one of the best holiday's this nation has.

So far, I have no presents wrapped (bought, yes, wrapped, no), no tree to decorate, no stocking hung. The spirit of Christmas seems to be missing this year, as if it knew that our nation had deserted it and offered it up on the alter of commerce and profit. So it stayed away.

So, pardon me if I just can't get into the season. Pardon me for wanting something simpler, something truer, something full of joy and love. But don't pardon me for wanting to remember why I celebrate Christmas or for mourning the loss of the meaning of this time. You can call me a grinch if you you want, call me a scrooge, I can take it.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

I'm a winner

Yes, a winner. Cheers, applause, money thrown in my general direction, all is accepted here. It took some creative juice to finish a story I hate and validate my word count but I did and it's over and I never have to see that horrid story again.

And now that I've said all that, did I mention I'm a winner?

What this really means for all of you is that you get me back here at the Slinky, ranting and raving, rather than writing about whinny characters (Rachel) and having others cry all the time (wait, that's Rachel again, and sometimes Leah). Anywho, I'm done with that novel, back to writing lovely witty and funny blog posts.

In store for you this month I have a holiday rant (or two, or maybe more), a theory about stupidity, I'm sure I'll have a review of the new Narnia movie (can't wait, can't wait) and who knows what else. I've been saving up my ideas because I was either too tired after writing on my novel (which is done, by the way) or too tired from painting to type them up. But don't fear, the fun loving writer you know is back.

Now if I could just find some Valium (note this is a trademarked name, thus the capital letter) to give to the cat...

Saturday, November 19, 2005

I wanna go home

My friend, Miss Pottenger, recently wrote a blog post about home. She concluded that home is where your parents are. While I can respect that (and I always respect her opinion, after all, we are friends and I am fiercely loyal to my friends), I can't agree with it. Her thoughts and writings usually inspire me and this one proved no different. So now I am going to enlighten you to what I think home is. Here we go.

As a child of divorced parents and a product of a broken home, home to me is not where my parents are. As much as I love my parents, they are not my world. They brought me into the world, yes, but I sprouted wings and have flown the nest. I was in high school (senior year) when they split so I had two parents for most of my "childhood", but starting with college, I had two "homes", two places where my parents were. One was brand new, with no history but with my loving father who adored me, the other was the place I had grown up but full of mistrust and anger. Neither place was home.

Then, dad and I moved into a new house. Despite having all my stuff there and living there, it wasn't really home. It was dad's house, not mine. And I was at a time in my life where I longed for my own place, my own home. Yet every attempt to move out ended in disappointment and crushed dreams. So I resigned myself to living in someone else's house and not having my a home to call my very own.

In 2002, while still living with dad, I took a trip. A long trip over an ocean to another country, Peru. Neither parent went with me (after all, I was 24) and no family to speak of around for miles. Just a few co-workers and a bunch of other people loosely connected to me through Compassion, most of whom I had never met.

I stepped off that plane into the arms of my Peruvian friends, into their culture and lives and country.

I had come home.

I felt at peace in Peru. I fell in love with the people, the culture and even some of the food (not the purple corn juice, but they have some good stuff, I promise). I felt my heart had come to a place at rest, a place where I could just be. My spirit felt free and alive. The hotel room and lobby felt more like home to me than the house where I had lived for six years. I never wanted to leave. But I had to go, had to return to the states and the house where my father lived and all my stuff resided. But I felt like I was leaving home when I got on that plane that carried me over the ocean back to my country of birth.

Life went on. I eventually moved out of my dad's house into the basement of a couple from church. While I felt comfortable there it never felt like home. I've since moved back into my dad's house and it's not home either. But in February, when I got to go back to Peru, I got to go home. It felt so perfect getting off the plane, this time I knew where I was going, what to do. And again I felt peace and comfort. The sounds of the drivers honking at night, the windows that don't close because it never rains, the faces of the Peuvian's smiling at me, it all filled me up and consumed me. I had come home, again.

So, home for me can't be where my parents are. My mom lives in a town I've never been to, my dad is moving to another state. Home isn't where you live or even where you go for holidays. For me, home is where my heart finds peace, comfort, rest and familiarity. It's a state of being, not a place. I may find in my future that home is a tiny island nation or an African village. Maybe it's a hut on a river in Asia or in a tiny apartment in Eastern Europe. Home is the feeling that I belong, that I am safe and that I can be myself. Home can happen at dinner with friends, driving along the interstate in the dead of night or in the place where you live. Maybe it's with your parents, your siblings, your spouse or with your pets, but it may not be with anyone in particular. It may not be four walls and a roof, it could be in a smile, in the smell of morning breeze, in the way the sun hits your face as you walk along the road.

That's home.

I wanna go there, badly. But I'm not sure there is a country road that can take me there...

Wednesday, November 16, 2005


I was in the breakroom, fixing my lunch, when I was violently whipped back to high school. Two co-workers sat there at a table, and the conversations went something like this (I am not directly quoting here, just a general idea)...

"So, Mary sits next to my boyfriend and tells me I can't sit next to him because she needs to get to know him. And I'm like, no, you don't, he's my boyfriend, he's not here to get to know you."

"Yeah, I heard Sue wants to break up with Jim and Dave is now dating Joan."

"But why does Sue want to break up?"

Me again, now, wasn't that painful? Honestly, I'm glad I'm past all that. If I revert, someone smack me into tomorrow PLEASE.

Okay, I feel better, all happy and grown up and out of high school again.

Monday, November 14, 2005

evil toyotas

So I'm driving to work this morning, moving along at a nice pace, when the road narrows down to two lanes. Usually not a problem as there is less traffic. But this gold Toyota truck pulls in front of me and starts slowing down for no apparent reason. Thinking he might be getting ready to pull into the turn lane, I wait. Then I notice he is not turning and other cars are pulling in ahead of him. He's just going slow.

I pull around him, and continue on. Not two minutes later, I meet up with another gold Toyota, same looking truck except this one has a support our troops sticker on it. And this one is also going slower than molasses. I go to move around him when first truck pulls up and boxes me in.

Neither one would hit the speed limit and they held up me and half the town driving all the way down Powers.

Darn Toyota drivers (with apologizes to my sister, who drives a silver Toyota truck).

Anywho. Crazy weekend of painting and not much writing. I'm not behind on words just yet but I no longer have my five day margin I was trying to keep.

But I have yummy tea to keep me typing away.

Now it's time to cook dinner, then back to the keyboard for more words. Need to hit at least 2500 tonight to make up for the sad 1500 I did this weekend (that's over 3 days!).

May the road angels smile on you and keep the evil drivers away.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

watch the words fly by

Hello my dear friends. It's been a while. Forgive me. I've been frantically writing away on my novel for NaNo. And it's going well. I passed 19000 words tonight. I've averaged over 2000 a day (even without writing last Friday due to a hockey game, but more on that later) and had my highest per hour writing this month with a whopping 2406 in one hour on Saturday.

Last week I hosted our first write-in for Colorado Springs. We have three, me, myself and I. An entertaining group to be sure, but not too moral boosting. Thankfully, tonight we had four, and the other three people were all new NaNo's! Three people who aren't part of our our core group!! It was lovely to meet them. And I got another 2300 words pounded out.

Speaking of pounding, I have to figure out something to give our new pastor, a pound of something non-perishable and good. It's our way of saying "welcome, we like you, please have a ton of food to start you off here." Nice thought but I don't think they realize how many people we have... might actually be a "ton" of stuff!

Anywho, I mentioned hockey, didn't I? I did. Last Friday I took my buddy, Jake, to the CC hockey game. My first hockey game. I knew hockey to be violent sport, and I can handle that. What I didn't realize is how very unsportsman like the crowd at a hockey game would be. I was a cheerleader back in the day and I learned that you can cheer against the other team, but you never EVER boo them. Apparently, the hockey crowd missed the lesson on being nice and do unto others part of kindergarten. I'm ready to send them all back so they can catch this most important lesson.

So, I lived through my first hockey experience, I learned a few things since Jake is a fan and was ready to share his knowledge.

Okay, it's almost time for dinner (yes, a bit late) and maybe write another hundred words. If I can type 500 more tonight I'll break 20000!


Thursday, November 03, 2005

lost bunnies and time-shifting thoughts

Why is it that I spent a month in utter anticipation to start writing and now that November is here I want to write every story BUT the one I picked? I don't get it.

Don't get me wrong, I'm writing my story about Jacob and Rachel and Leah. I just think that the 6000+ words I've written thus far may hit the scrap heap upon the first rewrite. It's a lot backstory that I don't need but I have to write it to know where I'm coming from. Once I get them all married things should pick up. And it's fun to see them developing. Just not as gung ho as I thought I was a month ago.

So, you ask, what on earth is the title of this post about? Well, the other night while driving down Powers, I stopped at the light at Constitution. And what do I see in front of my car? A little rabbit, in the middle of the street, making like the wind for the island where the light pole stands. I could tell the poor animal was scared out of his wits. He wanted to cross the right turn lane but lots of cars kept coming. I so wanted to get out of the car and pick the poor thing up and bring him home. (How many poors is that?) If I thought I could have snagged him before the light changed I would have. Alas, alack, I couldn't.

And the time-shifting... well. Again, driving, this time, downtown. I look down a side street and I see this fountain like structure in the middle of the next intersection. I have NEVER seen this structure before and wonder how on earth I've missed it. So out comes this story idea about a woman who can see structures from the past but she is in the present. Something to do with real time and God's time and how the two overlap and time isn't linear and all that jazz. I want to explore this but alas, alack, I have another story that demands my attention this month.

Well, it's about bed time and I need some major sleep. Tomorrow night I'm taking my buddy Jake to a hockey game. I'm sure he'll teach me all sorts of stuff that I will promptly forget as soon as I get home, but hey, you are only eight once. The kid should be spoiled by me and that is just what I plan to do.

Goodnight, sweet void.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

third time's a charm

Cross your fingers, hold your breath and pray that this works.

I tried updating Sunday night and Monday night to no avail. And both times Blogger lost my post (what happened to autosave?) and I forgot what every wonderful witty report that I created so I have to start from scratch.

Sorry, water is boiling, time to make the tea...

Okay, tea is steeping. So, I went to WY this weekend and painted. We got the master suite done (bath, hallway/sink area and room). Not as much as we hoped for but the paint wasn't as easy as Dad thought it would be (thick and temperamental) and it required two coats. I'll be going back up in two weeks to do more. The sooner we get it painted the sooner he can move!

I'm in love with this new tea company, Adagio Tea. Loose leaf tea is the way to go, and now that I'm there, I can't see going back. Let me know if you want a $5 gift certificate to give them a try.

Panera opened in the last few days so I stopped there for supper (and breakfast, I got a bagel and cream cheese for the morning!). Their soups are pretty good and I love the bagels.

So, I should be writing on my novel. This lovely set of words won't count. So I'll be going now. Have a lovely evening. Wish the muse in my direction!!

Thursday, October 27, 2005

painting dreams

This weekend I get to paint.


Dad has a new house that needs painting and since I'm the resident painter, I get the job. So this weekend I get to drive up to WY to paint all weekend. So much for enjoying my hour that we get back this weekend.

It also means that I get to drive to WY in the middle of the night with Vicky. Joy of all joys.

Painting is not my idea of a way to spend a weekend, but if it gets dad moved into his house, then I'm up for it.

So, who wants to feed my cat this weekend??

Monday, October 24, 2005

hugs around the world

As mentioned in my last post, last week we had about 400 international staff in the Springs for our Global Conference. Every time I am fortunate enough to have cross-cultural experiences with our staff I am reminded that humanity is the same all over the globe. Just some of it is better than the rest.

Take hugging. Hugging is one of those things that you either love or hate. Some cultures are more prone to it than others. American's tend to fall in the middle. We hug but it's not our strongest interpersonal skill.

I've been told I'm a good hugger. Not one that hangs limp arms around your shoulders. I'm a strong hugger that isn't afraid to squeeze, especially if you are a great friend, if you (or I) look like you need a hug and if you ask for one. I thought I knew how to hug well. Then I meet George.

George is from Kenya but currently working in Burkina Faso. He is about my height, maybe an inch or two taller (I'm 5 foot 4 inches for the uninformed), and not skinny but not massive either. He doesn't appear to be of great strength. He sat with me at dinner on Thursday and we chatted. After dinner, as we were all preparing to leave, he went to give me a hug.

He about squeezed all the air out of me, not to mention he somehow lifted me off my feet.

That was a hug!

I saw him again Friday afternoon and wanted to wish him a good trip home. Again, he gave me a hug. I think I know now what it would be to be picked up and hugged by a gorilla. They aren't tall but they are strong, even if they appear gentle and unassuming.

If I forget every other hug I've ever received, I think I'll remember this one. It was amazing, warm, strong, and everything a hug should be.

If you ever need a hug, let me know. I'm taking lessons from George!

Saturday, October 22, 2005

international shopping brooha

They say you haven't shopped until you do so in a country not your own.

Well, I say you haven't shopped until you have escorted someone from another country through your familiar shopping grounds.

This last week I had the chance to take my four Peruvian friends shopping here in the Springs. What a blast! I have a new appreciation on how we act in their markets and shops after watching my friends in our stores.

First, they wanted to go to a thrift store, so we headed to GoodWill. They ran like children into the store, anxious to see what treasures awaited. They sorted through children's clothing to take home, stuffed animals, books and kicknacks (but they did not buy knicknacks).

Then we went to the mall where the first big challenge was explaining salad dressing to my friend Jose. Our visiting staff know English but some things are easier to explain and grasp than others. After dinner, we started in search of a toy store or doll shop. Along the way, I kept losing one or more of my party into various shops. I was a nervous wreck. While I know our malls are very safe (especially the one we were at) and that there were no crowds, I didn't want to lose one of my friends or having something happen to them.

Finally, we went through Borders (large bookstore for the uninformed). It was the release day for Wess Stafford's book (he Compassion's president) and we thought we would see if they had it. So my four Peruvian friends walk in and accost the staff with "We want Too Small to Ignore by Wess."

Not, by Wess Stafford.

Not, by Dr. Wesley K. Stafford.

Not by Dr. Wesley K. Stafford and Dean Merrill.

Just by Wess.

I was laughing so hard it took a few moments before I could help finish the author's name for the very confused staff.

Sadly, they didn't have it yet. But we made a big enough stink that they hopefully have it out now. I'll be going back in a day or so to check.

After that I took them back to the hotel to catch some z's before the next day's meetings and events. I think they enjoyed their shopping trip. I'm glad I was able to help them like they have helped me when I've visited their country.

And next time you see a shopper that seems a bit confused and has an accent, be kind to them, they may be shopping in a country other than their own. We look pretty silly to them when we go visiting and shopping in their homelands as well!

Saturday, October 15, 2005

herding cats

No, this has nothing to do with my previous post (but I still miss 007, and his brother really misses him which is hard to watch). Rather, it has to do with the month of November and National Novel Writing Month.

You see, each region has an appointed leader, the Municipal Liaison. And this year, they opened it up for each region to have two. Guess who was asked to be the second leader... me.

There is a forum just for ML's and it's tag lines says that leading writers is like herding cats. I would say it's more like teaching preschool. For some unknown reason, trouble started cropping up just when I get ML standing. Someone doesn't like the language someone else is using, why do we have to have the kids in our group (NaNo is open to 13 and up and CS has several high schoolers signed up) and so on.

I met with our head ML yesterday to plan our kick-off party and she was shocked and relieved when I said I was fine in laying down some ground rules for our write in meetings. She hasn't felt like she could put her foot down before (she's one of those really nice people who cares a lot). Thankfully she has me this year, the mean, don't care, do what's right and don't feel bad about it person.

So if you don't see much of me for the next month and a half, don't panic. I'm just writing my novel, putting temperamental writers into their corners and getting everyone to play nice.

And thanks to Tara and Emily for commenting on the last post, it meant a lot to me.

Monday, October 10, 2005


Because I'm crying too much to say anything else...

Putting Down the Cat

by Billy Collins

The assistant holds her on the table,
the fur hanging limp from her tiny skeleton,
and the veterinarian raises the needle of fluid
which will put the line through her ninth life.

"Painless," he reassures me, "like counting
backwards from a hundred," but I want to tell him
that our poor cat cannot count at all,
much less to a hundred, much less backwards.

Goodbye to our old friend. I miss you already.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

did you miss me

I've been "out" for a few days. Life has just got a bit busy, work crazy and I've been tired. Sorry if I wasn't here to provide you with fresh with on a regular basis.

As I mentioned in my last post, it's that time of year again when I write a novel. I can't wait. This year I'm a co-ML (Municipal Liaison) which means I have to be very adult and responsible and go to all the activities.

Last night, Miss Pottenger and Dara and I went to see Serenity. It was great, funny and well worth the Friday night ticket price.

Today I've made a half-hearted attempt at cleaning. With dad moving (he bought the house yesterday) I need to clean up just a bit. So when the movers come in they are frightened and we have a place to store the stuff that is being left behind.

I'm planning on going to my first hockey game in November as well. For his birthday I gave Jake (my eight year old, sports fanatic friend) a promise to go to a hockey game. So now he asks me about it every weekend. Cute kid.

Okay, that's my update. Maybe I'll have a wonderful encounter this afternoon that will be worthy of writing about. How's that for leaving you in anticipation?

Monday, October 03, 2005

in the lovely month of

Yes, it's almost time again.

November is almost here. And that means total insanity as I write at least 50,000 on a new novel starting on Nov. 1 and finishing on Nov. 30.

And I am so excited because I have the best idea now for this year's novel.

I'll tell you more about it when I have time (or maybe not, I don't want to kill my creative jucies by saying too much just yet). But I am looking forward to another year of NaNoWriMo (that is National Novel Writing Month for those who are unaware).

And if you want to join, you should give it a try. Visit their site here. You can't sign up for another day or so due to technical troubles, but soon!!!

Thursday, September 29, 2005

near death day

I thought I was joking when I told my supervisor that I would call in dead on Friday.

Then some crazy person tried to run me over this morning. Not once, but twice. The same guy. The first time, he tries to plow into my side coming into my lane. I was at least even with him and he should have seen me, but he didn't. I'm next to the median on my left so I have no place to go. I slam on my horn and when he finally sees me, he just keeps coming. He gives me this look that says "what's your problem?". My problem, sir, is that I'm driving in this lane that you are trying to enter. I'm here first, you are not. You didn't bother to check, you are now less than five inches away from my vehicle and you are about to crash into me.

He finally backs away but then pulls in right behind me (because of course the driver behind me was just as frightened and pulled back as far as he or she could). But we are driving on a new stretch of road (Powers) and it's pretty foggy out. I know a stoplight is coming up but can't see it in the fog, so I start to slow down a bit. Sure enough, when the light pops into view it is red. I come to a nice, peaceful stop. But the guy who already tried to ram me off the road is once again not paying attention. He came within inches of slamming into my rear.

But that's not all.

He gave me ANOTHER look!

Sir, I'm stopped because the light is red. I'm following the law.

At that point I prayed that God would teach him a lesson and please not to involve me and my car in said lesson.

All that plus the bizarre slow traffic flow meant that my leaving five minutes early didn't make a lick of difference. I flew into our parking lot and ran to my desk. But it's moving day for the majority of our department, so there are boxes and people standing around everywhere.

One of my nice co-workers (ie, one I like), says "you've got three minutes" as I rush to my desk and start kicking boxes. I replied with "but my computer takes five minutes to boot up". I made it just barely.

Is there anyway I can arrange a hospital stay for tomorrow? I could use the rest and protection from the crazy people.

Monday, September 26, 2005


Yesterday I went to the hills and I found gold. It's an amazing year to see the aspens.
So while the rest of the town is home watching football, I'll be out appreciating nature.

Just in case you can't get here to see them yourself, here's a sampling. If you are truly homesick and want more, let me know. I took a bunch!

Thursday, September 22, 2005

candy store

Miss Pottenger recently provided us with eye candy.

Now it's my turn.

Meet Richard Hammond.

He's lovely, he's British and he has great taste in cars.

I know this because I watch him on the show Top Gear on Discovery Channel.

He reminds me a bit of Hugh Jackman and for some reason, the spiky hair doesn't bother me.

Go ahead, drool a bit.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005


Tonight, I'm being a slacker.

I should have worked until 7, gone to the Y and then come home to a healthy dinner.

I did none of that.

Instead, I left work at 5:30, came straight home and ate cheese dip and chips for dinner.

Yes, the life of a slacker.

If I can muster up the energy, I'll go work on my book. My dear friend from Peru, Soledad, just sent me some great feedback. Great feedback helps revive my interest in my work. And we have another two hour meeting in a few weeks (at work) so I should be able to polish up the novel and put a good ending on it.

Remind me in a week or two to talk about my feelings on the current trend in literature and endings of books. It's a frightening thing.

Okay, I'm going back to slacking. Feet up, cup of tea, I'm set.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

not enough

Put a hold on the sympathy cards. I'm not dying.

Apparently, they didn't get enough cells to test so I have to go back to the drs and go through that horrid appointment again.

All I can say is I am SO not paying another office visit fee for this!

And yes, someday, I'll write a story about it.

Monday, September 12, 2005


I know, two posts in one day.

It doesn't happen often, and it's only happening because there is something on my mind and there is no other way to get it out.

You see, a week and a half ago I went to the drs for my annual exam. The one I hate but must endure because otherwise, they don't give me my pills. And since my pills make me a much for balanced person (and take away the horrible pain), I go.

The drill is always the same. They take their sample, send it away, and in a week or so you get a card in the mail if the results are normal.

Otherwise, you get a phone call.

So Nathan tells me tonight, after I get home from church, that my drs office called and I need to call them back.

And my mind takes off.

Of course, it's too late to call them tonight, so I have at least twelve hours or so to panic, think of worst case scenarios, write my will and so on.

The worst thing is, half of me is totally calm. Part of me is sure that they simply lost the sample, they erased their address database and can't send me the results, etc.

But the other half, the creative, imaginative, insane half is already halfway to Rome with ideas and doomsday proclamations.

I'm sure it's nothing. Even if it is, I'm sure it's something that can be handled. I just need to get this out so my mind will let it go and I can get some sleep tonight.

So, bye bye to the bad thoughts, so long to the worst case scenarios, adios to panic.

Let's hope it works.

just plain icky

I had some wonderful plans to post this weekend, including putting up photos of my room (now painted, but needing a bit of cleaning before photos can be taken). But all those plans fell to the wayside because I got hit with a Mack truck.

Okay, so I didn't really get hit with a truck, but I sure felt like I did. A weird, 24-hour sinus bug hit me sometime while I was sitting in church Saturday evening. By the time I got home, it was all I could do to keep upright. I lost my voice by 9 pm. Woke up every hour, on the hour (I'm weird that way, my internal clock is obnoxious) trying to empty my head and stomach of all the ickyness. Sunday was spent sleeping and watching Stargate since I couldn't do much else.

Amazing, I woke up today with a clear head and the only lingering effect is being tired and having a sore throat. And I'm really thirsty.

So, the photos will have to wait, as will any witty essays on the state of the world. I'm just going to spend the rest of the day (after I get home from work) recovering from my weekend.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

nowhere to hide

After years of cold dinners, rude awakenings on weekend mornings and people that didn't understand the word "NO", we finally put an end to telemarketers. I was so very happy when I added my name to the Colorado Do Not Call list, even more elated when a national list went into effect.

Finally we had quiet evenings and the phone didn't rule our days.

Then the spam started in earnest. Emails for everything that we never knew we needed.

Talk of a do not spam list make my head swim with glee.

I was starting to think we have put a stop to rude interruptions from total strangers.

Then I read the comment on my last post (which has been removed) that was left with no name and an ad for a home loan.

I thought maybe it was a fluke, until I saw a similar comment on Miss Pottenger's blog.

Now, I don't mind anyone reading my blog, and you all know that I love comments, but I am not interested in using my blog as free advertising space for those who refuse to leave their names (or for that matter, for anyone who just thinks free ad space is there for the taking.

So the offending comment has been removed. Whoever left it is welcome to visit here, read, and leave valid comments. But know that this is my space and if any product championing is going to take place it will be done by me.

I need my hiding space from the evil world of marketing, and this is it. Let's not lose this precious place.

Now, go leave some legitimate comments about what you dislike about telemarketers, spammers and other rude and invasive marketing personnel?

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

the density of

I didn't mean to leave you all hanging like that. The busy weekend got the better of me and I didn't come to post. Sorry.

And a special sorry to Emily for any nasty smells she had to endure on my behalf :)

And on to today's post.

I'm shocked (though you would think I would be used to it by now) by how dense some people can be. And I have just the example to share.

Just now I was in the kitchen, fixing my Easy Mac for lunch. A co-worker that I know, made a comment about my lunch and I responded. No harm there.

But a second co-worker, one neither of us is acquainted with, piped in a comment about Easy Mac. Again, no harm done.

First co-worker leaves and second co-workers launches into a long comment about her daughter's friend in college. I'm trying to listen but I'm not really interested because, as I said, I don't know this person, nor her daughter nor her daughter's friend.

A third co-worker comes in, one I do know and one I have a question for. Since the second woman has now stopped talking, and she is not between me and the third person, I say hello and prepare to ask him a question.

I don't get more than hello out before second co-worker starts talking again. Third co-worker exits without me getting to ask him the question and this woman is still talking. I had tried to avoid her, not respond to her and even engage in another conversation in an attempt to let her know that I wasn't interested, but she didn't get the drift. She just wasn't getting that a) I didn't care and b) that I didn't care.

Honestly, I wish being honest didn't get me in so much trouble. If I could get away with it, I would have smiled, said good-by and walked away from this person. But that gets me in trouble so I didn't. But I'll be sure to avoid this person in the hall, the bathroom and the kitchen from here on out. Yes, this means I need to hide under my desk from now till all eternity, but if I can escape such people it may just be worth it.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005


I am so hungry, please, please send food quickly.

I'm not so picky, not when I'm growing faint and the world is becoming a distant memory.


Cookies, milk, popcorn, a grilled-cheese sandwich.

Anything for this poor, hungry girl??

Monday, August 29, 2005

what i did on my summer vacation

(This post is a bit long but I hope you enjoy it)

Clarksfork Camping Chronicles

The chronicles of the Doyle family camping trip on the Clarksfork river, near Cody Wyoming.

Saturday, August 13

I get up early to have time to go to the bank. I’m back home by 10 but we don’t actually leave until closer to noon. I ended up sleeping from the south of Denver until Cheyenne. After a quick meal (and the discovery that my dad as well as my brother has a fear of drive-thru’s) I took over driving. Of course, this is when the rain started. I drove to Sweetwater Station (mostly just a rest stop and a little station of some sort). By now, the rain had stopped. I always end up driving in rain in Wyoming. Dad took over driving and we pulled into Riverton around 7 pm. Carin, who was driving out from California, didn’t arrive until midnight. She was held up in CA by a burning bus that closed the road. Only in California.

Sunday, August 14

I was awoken from slumber by two small voices saying “what are those bumps down there”. I assumed in my early morning grogginess they were referring to Carin and I. We had slept on the living room floor. The voices belonged to the grandchildren of my dad’s best friend, Emmett and Ella. Sometime after this, once we were all up, dressed, and fed, we took off for the long drive to camp. From Riverton to Cody then up the Chief Joseph Highway. We had to stop at Walmart and buy fishing licenses.

We get to camp around 5 or so and set everything up. By everything I mean three tents, three cots (Nathan sleeps on the ground, the rest of us use cots, smart people we are), four sleeping pads and bags, potty shelter, assorted tables, hooks for lanterns and fishing poles. Anxious to get fishing, Nathan, dad and I grab poles and go out to the river.

The fish were biting and I caught about four (but could only keep one, the others were too big and had to go back). Nathan and I had some fish with dinner. Because we fished so long we ended up cooking fish and chili (not together) in the dark.

Monday, August 15

The night was cold and I woke up several times in the dark wondering why my nose hurt so much (it was pretty frozen). I made it through the night only by placing a Hot Hands warmer over my nose. Once the sun was up, I woke up to ground squirrels playing outside my tent. After breakfast, I’m out on the river fishing. The water was clearer than I ever remember it being before and the fishing is great. More bits, more catches, but most of the fish are too big to keep (anything over 8 inches goes back). By the time I come back to camp, everyone else is up and ready to hit the river. I duck back into my tent and go back to sleep around noon. I sleep for three hours, when everyone else comes back. We whip up dinner of sausage and potatoes and enjoy the wonderful weather.

Tuesday, August 16

Not so cold overnight so I sleep well. We all begin to stir around 9 in the morning (except Carin, who I think got up at 5 every day, I don’t know what’s wrong with that child). I catch one keeper and clean it (Nathan insisted I learn how to clean my own fish). After an hour or so of fishing, I’m ready for my hammock. I lounge, reading a book, for a few hours then head to my tent for another nap. I love naps. When the others return in the afternoon, Dad and Nathan had lots of fish for dinner and Carin whipped out the PBJ (she won’t eat fish, I’m sure she’s from Mars or something). We cooked fish over the fire and had a great meal. S’mores for dessert finished the day. We make plans to hike to the canyon tomorrow.

Wednesday, August 17

We all get up around 9 (except Carin, but we’ve already talked about her) and eat. We drive down to the start of the canyon. Hiking in requires you to shimmy across rock ledges that drop off straight into the river. There are several places that I announce to the rest of my family “You have GOT to be kidding me, I don’t want to die.” But I make it. We spend several hours in the canyon fishing and hanging out. When it’s time to go back, Nathan goes first and decided to push a large rock (you know, the size of a small child) into the river BEFORE the rest of us cross the tightest point. Again, I express my opinion about not wanting to die and how can I cross on wet rocks that slide down into the river. Nathan, always the helpful one, stands there and laughs at me. It takes a while but I finally slink through the tight spot and scamper up the hill to safety. Dad decided to fish the river back to camp and the rest of us drive. We have strict instructions to pull out steaks for dinner and get a good fire going. Carin and I do this.

Then we wait.

And wait.

And wonder where our father has gone.

Nathan goes to find him and by the time they get back, it’s 7:30 or so. Dark clouds are rolling in and we are losing our light.

By the time the steaks are ready we have erected a lean-to with a tarp to shield us from the rain. We eat in the darkness, huddling under the tarp, trying to warm up and dry out. The steaks were wonderful, despite the deteriorating weather.

Thursday, August 18

After a rainy night we wake up to more rain, a muddy river and dark clouds all around. We breakfast under the tarp and discuss options. Fishing is out, as fish cannot see the lures through the mud, but Nathan wants to try. Dad sends Carin and I up the hill to see what we can see. We see dark clouds surrounding the entire basin. Upon returning to camp we decide to pack up a day early and head back to Riverton with a stop in Thermopolis to sit in the hot springs. Nathan is disappointed but he didn’t catch any fish so he decided, wisely, to go with us. We pack up camp, drive out, stop in Cody to buy a bathing suit for me, then drive down to Thermop. Carin, dad and I hang out in the pools for about an hour while Nathan wanders around the state park. After the pool kicks us out at closing time, we drive back to Riverton.

Friday, August 19

We sleep in. This time there are no small children to wake us up and we all got beds of sorts. All the tents are set up in the yard to dry out (since it is a beautiful day in Riverton). I go shopping with Esther (wife of dad’s best friend) because Carin and Nathan went to town without me. I find some beautiful bowls, Christmas cards and candle holders all on clearance. We stop at Dairy Queen to get ice cream and they actually have ice cream (last time we tried this two years ago they were out of ice cream, bizarre but true).

Saturday, August 20

We say goodbye to the lovely state of Wyoming and drive home. As the peak comes into view we notice that it has snowed in our absence. I go to church in a tank top and freeze (because I didn’t have time to change, had to go straight there).
And that concludes our camping adventures. I still haven’t seen a bear (despite reports that the grizzlies in Yellowstone are all over the place) but I did catch a lot of great fish. I got some rest but apparently not enough (I’m already tired again!). And I think we all had a great time. Can’t wait for the next trip.

Friday, August 26, 2005

cause and effect

Goodness, I've been a slacker. Sorry about that. It's been a busy week.

The good news is that as of today, our test team at work is official. Praise God. It was a long time coming and we were pretty sure it wasn't going to be approved, but it was.

I've been working on a fun write up about the camping experience, but it's not ready yet. Look for it in a week or so.

In lieu of that, here is my more recent pondering.

As you all are probably aware (even my international readers), gas prices in the USA continue to take flight in the upward direction. While our prices are not yet as extreme as most of the rest of the civilized world, it's a pretty hard hit to many of us here at home. The drastic increase is impacting some more than others, specifically those who make piddly a non-profit jobs. So here are a few ways the price of gas is impacting me personally.

* there are no more out of town excursions, meaning I don't get to drive to Woodland Park just for the heck of it, no fun zoo trips to Denver and no driving to see out of town relatives.

* running out for lunch is no longer an option, I have to bring lunch daily or buy here in the cafe. Sadly, this is also impacted by our new policy about no forgiveness for missing a minute of work time, but the gas prices have completely shut down lunch time sanity breaks.

* serious cutback in "going out" or just running to Walmart to get an item or two. All trips out must be done in conjunction with others (so I'm not running one place tonight and another tomorrow) and some things are just not bought because it's too far out of the way to get it.

* no more late night taco bell runs. It's not worth it even to get a Mt. Dew Blast.

* a serious cutback in the fun times, like going to the movies or shopping trips for books and such. it costs too much to get to the store and then actually buy something.

Thankfully, there is no drama going on right now, so trips to church are down, and most places I shop are between work and home, so I can stop on the way home in the evenings. And I have a HUGE movie collection, so even if I can't go out, I always have something to watch.

So tell me, what impact is the rising cost of gas having in your life?

Monday, August 22, 2005

back in business

I'm back. I'll post something soon, when I have a minute or two.

Dara and I went to see Red Eye tonight. Very good flick.

Hope you had a good week last week.

Bye now.

Friday, August 12, 2005

out of office

And time to play.

As I will be relaxing in the beautiful wilderness of Wyoming this next week I won't be updating for a while. I did want to leave you with a game to play while I'm gone. It's not hard and I think you will all have fun. Play often, play nice.

Here's the lowdown.

Post a comment and finish this phrase: Happiness is...

Then, go to the blog of the person who answered right above you.

Leave them a comment for them to say hi.

Have fun, and I hope that you enjoy this little game. I look forward to reading what everyone thinks happiness is when I get back.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

did I say that

I made myself laugh last night.

Getting ready for bed, I had a fleeting though about reading a book. And I thought to myself, "What was that book I was reading about the girl and her friends and evil stepmothers?"

Then I remembered.

That would be the book I wrote.

Made me laugh.

Monday, August 08, 2005

more questions, more answers

Here is yet another survey that I found at Mommy Matters. Have fun.

What I was doing 10 years ago: That’s a long time ago. I was in high school, starting my senior year. Working at Chick-Fil-A and involved in leadership for youth group.

5 years ago: Was in college, getting ready to start my final year, studying for the senior comp exam (a nightmare that I took in October of that year, and passed!). Working at Compassion filling orders for artists and volunteers.

1 year ago: Finally out of school and working, still, at Compassion. By this time I was on the phones. I was also getting ready to take over the drama team and hold auditions for my first play (which was canceled since not enough people tried out).

Yesterday: I was hobbling around the house, fixing dinner for the family and wishing I could read my new book.

5 snacks I enjoy: oreos and milk
queso and chips
cottage cheese and pears
eggo waffles

5 songs I know all the words to: This Kiss (Faith Hill)
Rainy Days and Mondays (Carpenters)
Everybody has a Water Buffalo (Veggie Tales)
It’s Not Easy (from Pete’s Dragon)
He Reigns (by the Newsboys)

5 things I would do with $100 million: Design a house around a zoo and build it.
Travel to every continent, spend several months on each.
Make a movie.
Own a library.
Go to space.

5 Locations I want to run away to: Tanzania, Peru, Antarctica, Nepal and Paris.

5 Things I like doing: Reading a favorite book.
Watching a great movie.
Cooking/Baking (especially if I don’t have to clean up).
Relaxing in my hammock.
Hanging out with my buddy, Will.

5 Bad habits I have: Not closing the cupboard doors all the way.
Saying what I think.
Calling people “what’s-her-butt” or “what’s-his-butt”.
Wolfing down Skor bars when I get them.
Yelling at other drives (only when they can’t hear me).

5 Things I would never wear again: Parachute pants, enough said.

5 TV shoes I like: Stargate, Stargate Atlantis, M.A.S.H., The 4400 (I only have 4, sorry!).

5 Biggest joys of the moment: I have fudge for dessert.
I can see birds flying outside.
I’m on my lunch break, so not working.
I got to sleep on my own bed last night.
Did I mention I get to eat fudge??

5 Favorite toys: My new split keyboard (at work).
Cameras (digital and SLR)
Crazy Aaron’s Thinking Putty

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

the interview game

This is a fun little interview game. My friend Jo from Chez la laquet sent me five questions to answer here on my blog. So here are her questions and my answers. After you learn all this amazing stuff about me, you can see how to play!

1. What song(s), taste(s) and smell(s) transport you instantly back to your childhood? Why?

Answer: Okay, songs. The soundtrack to “Paint Your Wagon” and most anything by Anne Murry or the Carpenters because that’s what we listened to in the car. When I was little (before Carin was born) we lived in Wyoming and had long car rides everywhere. Then on family road trips as I got older. Vicky and I would sing “Don’t disturb the ladybug,” and “Gold Fever”. It wasn’t until high school or college I asked dad why one song from PYW ended with the word “deal”. That’s when dad realized I had never seen the show, only heard it! Tastes, peanut butter and jelly sandwich with chips in it and chocolate milk to drink. A favorite childhood meal that couldn’t be had at school. And cherry chips, like chocolate chips but with cherry. I used to sneak handfuls of them when I wasn’t supposed to. Smells, pasta cooking in water. Weird, I know, but my favorite childhood meal was mac & cheese so the smell is in my memory.

2. What are the best & worst things about living in Colorado Springs /Colorado?

Answer: The best has to be living next to such a beautiful mountain and having wonderful wild areas so close. A short drive and I’m in the mountains and far away from “the world”. We are also big enough to have decent shopping and we attract pretty good theater, but aren’t so big that there aren’t opportunities for us amateurs to get involved. The worst has to be that CS is growing and getting really big and it takes forever to get places, especially since we still have a small town mentality and haven’t developed a decent public transport system! That and we are always the target in movies to be blown up since we have NORAD here. I would like to say our lovely zoo is on that SAME mountain so if NORAD is targeted all the wonderful animals would be gone as well… and we have the largest reticulated giraffe herd in the USA!

3. My friend Ruth says “honestly” @ the end of sentences all the time (imagine Billy Connolly in a Glaswegian accent!) I don’t take the mick (tease her) – much! What word or phrase do you use “too much” in every day speech?

Answer: There are more than I like to admit! I’ve recently taken to saying “Good Lord” all the time and I’ve been known to overuse “whatever” and “fab-u-lous”. I also like to say “for the love of everything pure and holy” and “for the love of Peter, Paul and Mary.” If it’s not bad, I’ll just say, “for the love of Peter” or “for the love of Peter and Paul.” When I get to Mary, you know I’m frustrated.

4. What were you doing in Peru? What was the best thing about your visit? Why? *
* Ok, I realize this is technically 2 ½ questions … go on, let me get away with it, just this once!

Answer: I was on a tour with Compassion International, my employer, but as a paying sponsor. It was my second trip. I went the first time in 2002 as my five year anniversary with the organization. At that time, I sponsored one girl, Sandra, there and my dad sponsored one girl, Katherine. I met them both on the first trip. I had such an amazing time that my dad mentioned one day that he wouldn’t mind going if he could see Macchu Picchu. So, the next tour that rolled around we both went on. This time, I had two girls, Sandra (now 16) and Karen (age 4) and dad had Katherine (now 7) and a boy, Miguel (also 7). While there, dad picked another child, Keysi (age 6). So now, between the two of us, we have five sponsored children in Peru. We also got to see Macchu Picchu because we stayed after the tour and struck out on our own.

It’s hard to say what the best thing was. The first trip I had “moments” that really defined the trip for me. This time, it wasn’t as overwhelming because I had already experienced a lot (being in a new country, hearing the language, meeting a sponsored child). But a few highlights were meeting Karen and seeing Macchu Picchu. Karen was a little angel who reminds me of me, she could truly be my daughter. And when I found out her mom is my age, it hit me pretty hard that here was this woman my age, living half way around the world, married with two kids, thanking me for caring for her daughter. It was a lot to take in. Macchu Picchu is just amazing, hiding up in the Andes, tucked away from everything. It’s an amazing place, built by people who have long since vanished. I’m amazed at how the things we leave behind speak so much as to who we were. I should have been a historian.

And having my dear friend Soledad offer to translate my novel (which is dedicated to and inspired by Sandra) into Spanish was a wonderful bonus!

5. If you could teach everyone in the world one thing, what would it be?

Answer: Only one????? Tough question. I’m tempted to say, “how to use a turn signal” but that doesn’t apply to much of the world because not everyone drives vehicles, so scrap that idea. Then there’s the practicle stuff like good nutrition or how to clean water, but again, half the world already knows about that stuff. So one thing to teach EVERYONE in the world… it would be to teach everyone that we are all human, under our skin we are from the same stuff, and that if we want to not screw up our planet and our lives any more than already done, we have to start caring about each other. I would teach them how to see past skin color and to really love each other, to share their last bite of bread with whoever is hungry and how to stand up again evil.

Okay, so that’s more than one thing, but maybe I can sum it up in one word, compassion. I know, sounds like a cop out, but compassion means “to suffer with”, and if we all learned to suffer with one another, we would be more loving and stand up to evil and help each other. Yeah, that’s it, I’d teach compassion. I know I still have a lot to learn in this area, but hey, let’s all learn together!

Now the rules
Leave me a comment saying 'interview me please'.
I will respond by asking you five questions here on my blog (not the same questions you see here!) You will update your blog/site with the answers to the questions
You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post
When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions

Sunday, July 31, 2005

just for practice

This weekend I went to the zoo. But unlike a normal visit where I go alone or take my sister, Vicky, this time I had three kids in tow.

Yes, three.

Age 7 and under.

As we were sitting in the bank drive thru, Jake, the oldest, asked me if I was practicing to be a mom. While that wasn't my intent in offering to take them, it turned out to be good practice. And also a great reminder of why I don't want kids yet (and as Jake pointed out, I first have to get married and THEN I can have kids).

Anyway. So I take Jake, 7, Will, 4 and Kayla, 1, to the zoo. With Kayla along I also needed the stroller, which Will can sit on if he gets tired as well. Now, I'm used to keeping track of Vicky, of dragging her up the hills, telling her to hurry up and all that, but three able-bodied kids are a bit more work.

First stop, the giraffes. We bought crackers and found a nice open spot. Jake loved it, Will fed one cracker then decided he didn't like that and Kayla had a ball. She squealed and giggled. Every time she spotted an animal she would squeal. I have to admit, you see the zoo differently when you take small children.

We also stopped at the petting zoo, where Kayla discovered goats (and petted them with her feet, which delighted her to no end). She was not so pleased when I stuck her now dirty feet into the cool, soapy water. Thankfully, she likes me and it was soon forgotten. Will got to see hippos but is convinced they don't do anything and Jake got to see the white lion, which he kept calling a tiger.

By the time we got through everything we didn't have time for lunch. So, like any parent, I went through the drive thru at Mickey D's and got us all kids meals.

I think a good time was had by all and Shelly got the walls of her bedroom painted while we were gone.

So, I had fun practicing to be a mommy. I figure that practice makes perfect so I'd better practice a lot.

Hope your weekend was fun.

Friday, July 29, 2005

nowhere to run

It's a sad statement that a person's home is no longer their refuge. It's true.

Take last night, for instance.

Nathan and I had just returned from a yummy dinner at Red Robin. I had finally remembered that I needed to fill up the windshield wiper fluid on my car so I was in the driveway, pouring blue liquid into my car when I hear "Happy Thursday, " booming from behind my vehicle.

I know my car can't talk so I peeked around the hood to see a guy not just passing by but sauntering up the driveway.

Advise, run away if someone says "happy Thursday" to you.

This man proceeded to tell Nathan and I about the wonderful organic cleaner he was selling. He sprayed it on Nathan's shoe, my car, the driveway, dad's truck, anywhere he could find. I wanted to run away but that is considered rude in our society and I don't want to be rude (plus I had a strong feeling that he would follow me into the house) so I listened. It took more than it should have to convince him to go away. He wasted at least 20 minutes if not more of my evening. And then Nathan says that another guy selling the same product had stopped by earlier in the week. Poor Nathan is too nice... and he had to listen to it all again!

We have gotten rid of the pesky telemarketers, it's time to focus our attention on door-to-door annoyances. I'm thinking of buying a doormat that says "We've found God, we gave at the office and we don't care about the rest." For those that don't get the subtle message, I'll add a sign on the door that says "those that fail to heed the doormat will be dealt with by our enforcement officers, Smith & Wesson."

Think it will help?

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

a series of shopping events

Last night I went shopping. I had a purpose, to buy shorts for our upcoming camping trip. Oh to be the sort that can shop for one item and leave it at that. I am not that type of shopper.

First, I had to have Nathan meet me at the mall because I left my next book of checks at home and had to pay a bill at work with my last one. So he and dad drove up to the mall to meet me for dinner, which I paid for.

Then, after parting company, I headed to my favorite store, CJ Banks. Between the food court and CJ Banks sits Bath and Body Works. Since I was working on finishing my butterscotch dipped cone and I knew I couldn't enter my favorite clothes store with it, I ducked into B&BW.

There, I found my favorite body wash (Tutti Dulci Lemon Meringue) on sale for half price. Oh joy of joys!

I bought two.

Total, not including dinner, $12.

Ice cream cone finished I head downstairs to CJ Banks. I am sad to say that they did not have shorts. Well, they had one style that was cute but also not on sale. I don't buy anything there that isn't on sale. I can't afford their regular prices. So no shorts.

Disappointed, I walked out and what do I see across the way but Hallmark. I had been going through my stash of cards last week and had noticed it was thin. So into Hallmark I go.

Now, I know what you are thinking. How much trouble can you get into in a card store.

A lot.

I found 14 Fresh Ink cards that I just had to have (and I even put some back, be proud of me!). Some were perfect for hanging in my cube at work, others would just fit a friend or be a good one to keep on hand. 14.

Total at Hallmark, $24. Trip total, not including dinner, $36.

And you can't get out of that part of the mall without seeing and passing Borders. Because it had been a long time since I've been in a bookstore (and even longer since I've bought a book), I decided to stroll through on my way out.

In Borders I found the next Thursday Next novel which I've been waiting for, and a cute little stamp kit that was on sale.

Total at Borders, $16. Trip total, not including dinner, $52

And I didn't even have shorts yet.

Due to the fact that I was still without shorts, and the fact that I wasn't ready to head home, I left the mall and went to Wally World. There are few better places to kill time than at a Walmart. Thankfully, they had shorts. Cute shorts, shorts in many styles, shorts on sale, shorts that fit and came with belts. Even a pair of pink shorts!

I found four pairs that fit my need. I was very good at Walmart and did not buy any movies, stationery, candy, bird food or any of the other items I thought about. Just the shorts.

Total at Walmart, $32. Trip total, not including dinner, $84.

How is it I can intend to shop for one item, spend less that $40 and yet come home with four bags full of stuff is beyond me. Had I skipped dinner and gone to Walmart first, I might have saved myself 50 some bucks.

I think I need Shoppers Anon.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

hot, hot, hot

I'm talking about the weather, what else would I be talking about?

It's hot tonight. I should have known it wouldn't cool down when the bank sign was still reporting 91 degrees at 8:30 PM. That is just not normal. Not for Colorado Springs at least.

I finished training tonight for the tutoring. If all goes well I'll meet with my learner on Friday. If not, I'll give her one more chance and then on to the next one. I don't want to be hasty, but with over 40 people waiting for a tutor it's a game of you snooze you lose. This gal sounds really sweet and motivated so I'm praying it works out.

Speaking of working out, there is more in life that I'm watching to see how it works out. The whole peace corp thing is really stirring in me. If I had $8000 to cover everything in my life, I'd sign up today. I've been blindsided by confirmations yet it's not quite time. Hate that.

Okay, I'm really on the computer to send myself my novel so I can print it tomorrow at work. I'm meeting with Sarah tomorrow and she is one of my first readers and I told her I'd have a copy ready. That means I actually should write the last 1000 words or so but we'll see if that happens. Things have been so busy lately that I'm not always sure if I'm coming or going. Crazy.

Hope you are keeping cool somewhere in the world tonight.

Monday, July 18, 2005

a random sampling

In no particular order, some thoughts and happenings of my day.

* Received the wrong version of a movie I ordered specifically because they said it was WS.
* had a yummy biscuit and some gravy for breakfast, the best meal of the day so far.
* had a sponsor threaten to disregard our rules and show up at his child's house (he got sent to my supervisor and is he going to get it!)
* shared Jelly Belly's with Dara.
* forgot to take my morning break and it was 15 minutes till lunch time when I remembered.
* got an email from Jessica (okay, so it was sent this weekend but I hadn't really read it yet).
NOTE: Jessica is the student in the Philippines that I corresponded with for three years, she recently graduated and we are now corresponding on our own. She's wonderful!
* thought about going to a movie tonight but couldn't find one I really really really had to see.
* let Pippin (my bird) fly around the room, he only hit the mirror once.
* thought about working on finishing the very last bit of my novel, may happen yet.

Nothing exciting there, I know, but welcome to my world!

Sunday, July 17, 2005

my faint heart beats

I have a new love.

This would be number three on the list now.

I haven't given up my first love, but I was disappointed that Jack apparently is leaving the show and the team may not be together! Number two is showing great promise but I did miss all of last season and it's not on dvd yet.

But be still my heart.

When I first saw the previews for The 4400, I was intrigued. But as usual, I was far too busy to actually watch the show and too scattered to remember to record it. So it came and went like most shows that sound interesting.

Then I found the dvd for season one at Walmart. It was only $15! I bought it. Last night, I stuck in the first disk. It didn't take long. They had me hook, line and sinker.

What I think attracts me so much is that the characters are compelling. There are all these people (4400 to be exact) that have been missing. Some for years, some for months. All just disappeared. Then they come back. But they haven't aged a day, don't remember a lick about where or when they have been, and the world has no idea what to do with them.

After the first episode, each episode focuses on one retunee but also keeps up with the story line of a handful of main characters. The story lines are well written, the characters are believable and the acting is great.

I stayed up until almost 4 am watching! I would have watched the whole season but I couldn't keep my eyes open any longer. I finished today. I think I'm going through withdrawal already.

And season two started back in June so now I have to wait until IT comes out on dvd.

Love is a crazy thing indeed.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

taking my time

I'm glad to report that one wall (the biggest one, I might add) and the two small walls by the door in my soon-to-be-room are now a lovely purple. Once I get the rest of the room painted I'll put up some pictures. It all depends on when dad's stuff can be moved. He's a paticular sort of guy so there is not much I can move without his say-so or okay.

Tomorrow night I meet with the gal that I've been matched with for English tutoring. If we decide we can stand each other and work together, I'll start tutoring her next week. Her name is Kyong and she's from Korea. She sounds really nice (we talked last night on the phone) and she was thrilled to hear from me. I am praying she'll be motivated to learn. That makes all the difference. Wish me luck!

The weekend is almost upon us. While I'll be putting in a few hours at work I hope to also visit the zoo, maybe with Vicky. Nothing like a trip to see these
guys to cheer a person up!

Maybe, just maybe, I'll update this weekend.

Happy Friday!

stealing genius

You know I can't pass up a survey, especially one that had some different sorts of questions. I stole this one from my friend at Chez la laquet! . She has a lovely site, go visit (after you read my list, of course!)

There was no 17 so I had to add a question. Enjoy!

1. Nervous Habits : twisting my hair
2. Are you double jointed : no
3. Can you roll your tongue : yes

4. Can you raise one eyebrow at a time : no, I don't think so
5. Can you blow spit bubbles : no
6. Can you cross your eyes : only unintentionally
7. Tattoos : no
8. Piercing : just ears
9. Do you make your bed daily : normally

10. Which shoe goes on first : makes no difference
11. Speaking of shoes, have you ever thrown one at anyone? : at a cat, ys, at a person, maybe

12. On the average, how much money do you carry : about $20
13. What jewelry do you wear 24/7 : a ring on my righthand
14. Favorite piece of clothing : my pink shirt from OldNavy

-- FOOD --
15. Do you twirl your spaghetti or cut it : twirl
16. Have you ever eaten Spam : if I did it was under protest
17. Do you use ketchup on your eggs: no
18. How many cereals in your cabinet : just one,Vanillaa Creme mini wheats, I don't normally do cereal
19. What's your favorite beverage : currently a watermelon limeaid from Red Robin, also love coca tea from Peru and mt. dew.
20. What's your favorite fast food restaurant : Chick-Fil-A

21. Do you cook : yes

22. How often do you brush your teeth : as often as needed
23. Hair drying method : naturally by the air
24. Have you ever coloured/highlighted your hair : yes

25. Do you swear : hell no, I mean, every once in a while
26. Do you ever spit : if needed, but not for just any old reason


27. Animal :elephants, tigers, and my kitty and my bird
28. Food : Kraft Mac & Cheese
29. Month : October
30. Day : Tuesday
31. Cartoon : Veggie Tales
32. Shoe Brand : I love my Teva's
33. Subject in school : English and History
34. Color : purple
35. Sport : I'm not into sports
36. TV show : StarGate: SG1 and StarGate Atlantis
37. Thing to do in the spring : listen to the rain
38. Thing to do in the summer : go to the grocery store and appreciate the air conditioning
39. Thing to do in the autumn : play in the leaves
40. Thing to do in the winter : make snow angels

41. In the CD player : Tribute to Rich Mullins: Awesome God
42. Person you talk most on the phone with : my sister, Carin (for length)
43. Reading : I just finished a book by a friend, Doug Hirt, Flight to Eden
44. Do you regularly check yourself out in store windows/mirrors : Only my hair
45. What color is your bedroom : will be purple with pink and green highlights
46. Do you use an alarm clock : yes
47. Window seat or aisle : window for short trips, aisle on long

-- dumb --
48. What's your sleeping position : on my side (either) with leg on a pillow and a pillow at my back (what will happen if I ever get married I can't guess)
49. Even in hot weather do you use a blanket : yes, a light one

50. Do you snore : only if I'm congested
51. Do you sleepwalk : no
52. Do you talk in your sleep : not that I've been told
53. Do you sleep with stuffed animals : Didn't you read about the pillows?

54. How about with the light on : no, and all other light must be blocked, I've even had to cover my alarm clock for being too bright
55. Do you fall asleep with the TV or radio on : only if I'm really tired
56. Last interesting person you met : I had a wonderful conversation with a man from Columbia on the bus at Macchu Picchu, he spoke only Spanish and mine is limited, but we had a lovely conversation despite the language barrier.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

weekend review

Well, I didn't try to blow myself up this weekend, so I guess it was better than last.

Living back at home is a challenge... I'm praying dad finds a place in WY soon because I just don't think he is ever going to get it. I'm 27, not 17, and I'm paying rent. I love my dad dearly, I just need my own space and my own rules.

Had lunch Friday with Liz, the drama director at church. It was good to see her again and talk. She's working on a new book and I will get to help!! Fun stuff. I also read a book by a family friend, Douglas Hirt, this weekend. It's a new genre for him. Normally, he writes westerns, and they aren't bad. This one is more what I call historical fiction with a Christian twist. It's going to be a series and the first book is about Noah's parents and how they are sent to the Garden of Eden for Noah to be born. Not bad at all!

I also had a short talk with my boss on Friday afternoon. Pray that all goes well and they make my move to her team official. Our test team was extended for a month, but she has openings on her team so we are trying to get me moved there "for real". I've gotten the approval of my "old" boss, the new boss and their boss, so we just need the director. This is the guy that doesn't like me so I'm praying he won't cause trouble. But my dear sweet new boss said she would fight for me, which is nice to know.

I didn't leave the house today at all. I stayed in jammies all day (but for the record, I put on clean jammies after my shower). I needed a day like today, a slow, reading, hanging out sort of day. I hope you all had a good weekend as well!


Friday, July 08, 2005

from the heart

To all those in the United Kingdom who were impacted by the recent bombings, my heart goes out to you along with my prayers. We know how it feels and we hurt with you in these days. May God be your refuge.

sleep tight

After five days of not sleeping, I finally got a good night of sleep.

Granted, by the time I was ready for bed I was tired enough that I should have slept like a log. I've been sleeping on a twin (not my queen, which is in the garage) and I'm not sure what I was thinking when I bought it years ago. Apparently I was into torture. The bed is not just firm (which is a must) but it is also rock hard. I bought a foam mattress pad Sunday, which helped, but not enough.

Before we continue, I want to state for the record that I'm very aware that I'm an overly sensitive sleeper. Things must be perfect for me to get sleep. Thankfully, I'm aware of what needs to happen for perfect sleep.

Let's continue.

I figured that I would run to Target after dinner to pick up a second foam pad which would provide the additional cradling I need. So off I went. I found what I wanted quickly and went home. I opened the bag, pulled the foam out and unrolled it.

Instead of finding a nice perfect, even foam, what I found a pad that was about an inch thick at one end (the end you could see in the bag) but less than 1/4th of an inch thick most everywhere else. I thought I might just use the extra camping pad for the night and return the poorly cut item to the store. I unrolled that only to find two spiders (one dead, one alive, but only for a moment) inside. Since I have a thing against spiders in my bed, or even the idea of spiders having been in my bed, that idea was out.

So, I rolled the Target pad back up, stuffed it half way into the bag (you try to get those things BACK in the bag!) and went back to the store.

Then it was off to Wally World to find a pad like the first one I bought. There, I found one slightly more expensive but better quality so I bought that. Then I found sheets, 300 count, that were very affordable, so I got those as well. Sheets are another one of those things that I'm picky about.

Finally, at 9:45, I got home. After opening, unrolling and remaking the bed with new sheets, I was ready for bed.

And I slept well.

Thank goodness for a good night of sleep.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

and that's the reason why

I try to keep my posts here fun, thoughtful or full of ranting. Today I have a story that may rival Miss Pottenger's menthol story.

There is usually a good reason why I do or don't do things. The hardest one to explain is the "sixth sense" reason, but it is usually the best reason of all.

Case in point.

I have a rule that I don't light the outdoor grill. I don't. Ever since the click starter broke and it has to be lit manually, I don't do it. My father and brother make fun of me. They complain when I make them light the thing. I don't mind cooking on it, but I just don't light it.

But yesterday, I broke my own rule. Dad and Nathan were working on making a screen door for the back bedroom (a whole other story) and neither were in the best of moods, so I decided that if steaks were going to be cooked it would up to me.

So, I went out back, turned the little knob to light and leaned down to fit the lighter into the small whole under the grill and snap.

Next thing I knew I have charcoaled pine needles in my hair and I'm pretty sure I singed a few of the hairs in my eyebrows (nothing serious, but they were a bit rough). The top of my lip stung pretty bad, too.

After making sure I wasn't on fire, I went back in the house, tossed the lighter back to it's place on the stove and went to the bathroom to asses the damage. I had to wash my hair to get the lingering scent of burnt pine needles out.

And I renewed my vow not to light that grill again.

I still haven't figured out why we have burnt pine needles on the charcoal in the grill anyhow, but we do... and they flew.

Yeah, that's what sort of punishment I get when I don't listen to my sixth sense. Any fun stories out there about what happens to you when you ignore that feeling in your gut??

Monday, July 04, 2005

happy birthday USA

It's here again, the best holiday. The day when we get to say happy birthday to our lovely country. I love this holiday, good food, friends and fireworks.

Granted I've spent all weekend moving my junk (which will now live in the garage until dad finds a place to live in WY) and I'm past tired, but hey, that's the American way, right? Working towards the American Dream.

Anyway, happy birthday USA, I'm glad I'm a citizen of a great nation... I know we aren't perfect, but we still have a lot of good.

Be careful with those fireworks :)

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

something brilliant

Have you ever thought of something wonderful to write about, kept the idea in your head all day long only to have it fly away when you sit down to put it on paper?

Yeah, that happened tonight.

Thankfully, as I was typing the title, which would have been in reference to loosing something brilliant, it triggered something and I remembered what I wanted to blog about. So, the title is not a sad reflection on something lost but rather a lovely reflection on the events of last evening.

Last night I went to a baseball game. Those of you who know me well are very aware that I'm not a sports fan and that social events with more than three people are not usually my style. I went anyway. Our group from church was singing the national anthem and someone whose judgment I now question in the slightest said I could sing with them. I had never sang the national anthem as part of a featured group before and thought it would be fun.

Darn that "I want to experience life" part of me.

Ended up that Nathan (my brother) got back in town late Monday night and had nothing better to do. Nathan is a curious sort and he can still surprize me with the activities he picks to participate in, but that is a whole other post. I picked Nathan up, we had some dinner and then headed to the ballpark.

It was a lovely evening. The sun was still out, no jacket needed kind of weather. We sang and the game began. To be honest I spent most of the first five innings standing in line for snacks, playing with Will and Kayla and taking to the others who had come. All the time thinking I would stay until about nine and then head home.

Just before nine half of the Meyers clan decided to leave (Will being four and Kayla one, they don't really have the attention spans yet) and I was left with Jake under guard as they went to load up. Scott told Jake as he was walking out "If if starts to rain remember your jacket." I think he's a prophet because not two minutes later I see raindrops.

And then the flood came.

Not of water but of people. Sure, the rain came down pretty good, but the flood of people running to get out of the stands and under some sort of protection was far more amazing to watch. We all stood around, wet and cold, waiting to find out what would happen. This was the point that the fair weather fans left. Nathan said he wanted to wait and I still had Jake to look out for until his dad returned, so I stayed put. After twenty minutes or so it let up and they pulled the tarp off the field. It was time to play ball... again.

Nathan wanted to stay so we ended up staying. I'm glad we did. After the rain the game got good. At the middle of the sixth (or rain time) the game was tied. Then, the Sox got into gear and went from a 5-5 to score 9 runs in one inning and several more in the next two as well. One player (Chew, that's his first name, spelling may vary) hit two home runs with bases loaded and he accomplished "running the cycle" (or playing the cycle or something). Scott was trying to educate Dara and I on the game by explaining this. Apparently it rarely happens and we saw it!

Anywho, we beat the Fresno butts 25-6. We got to see lots of good ball playing by the home team and a few fireworks to boot. I'm glad Nathan and Dara convinced me to stay.

I know there are a whole lot of lessons that could be pulled out of that, but I'm going to leave it as a nice little story about a great ball game. I'm too tired to do elsewise.

Three cheers for the great American pastime.

Monday, June 27, 2005

will they show up?

I'm sitting here at Panera waiting for the rest of the writing group to arrive. Granted it's only 5:55 and we aren't meeting until 6, and I'm early, but I still get nervous. What if no one shows up? I look pretty funny sitting in the community room all alone!

I haven't been to one of these get togethers since, well, November. Wait, we had a party in December that I went to. I've been busy with other things. But I want to be a part of this group and thankfully, being the bunch of creative people they are, they don't mind if I'm flakey about showing up. I wish the power outlet was closer to the door, then I could see if anyone shows up, but as it is, I'm stuck near the back wall. Poor planning on Panera's part.

Someone had better show up. Not that I couldn't use two hours to work on my writing. Heaven only knows how sadly neglected it has been over the last few months. But I do have a million (sadly, that is almost literal) other things I need to do that are a bit more time sensitive. Like painting dad's house. I couldn't paint over the weekend because dad wanted to sleep in his room. I can't grudge him that but I did lose hours of great painting time. I could have had the bedroom almost done by now. Tomorrow I have a ball game (we are singing, imagine that) and Wed is tutor training at the library. So, really, I don't have two hours to spend here by myself. And for the almost $9 I spent I would have rather had Red Robin (yummy watermelon limeade and poppy seed honey mustard sauce!!).

It's 6:02 and I'm still alone. There is hardly anyone else in the place except employees. Funny, I was feeling rather anti-social today (didn't make a single phone call!) but now that I'm here, I want other people to be here as well. Chalk another one up to my finicky temperament.

I'd like to take a moment to comment on the food. Not realizing how unhungry I was, I should have gone with just the soup. The baked potato isn't as good here as it is a Bear Rock Cafe, but it's good. I got the half sandwich and soup combo with a chicken salad sandwich. I like their chicken salad but it needs pepper, lots of pepper. Maybe I should have done a bagel and soup, that would have been nice as well. Too late.

Okay, it's 6:06 and I'm still alone. Wait, I think I know that person, but she's walking out. Maybe they reserved another part... Guess I'll have to go see.