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 :)