Thursday, March 31, 2005

Life Circumstances

Do you ever look back on life and think of a specific instance, something that may at the time have seemed so trivial, and realize how critical it is to who you are today?

My sister and I are very close, although we haven't always been. When we were kids we would play together. When we were about 8 and 11 (me 8, she 11) I became the little pest sister. The one my mom made her play with. When we were teenagers we pretty much co-existed in the house. We were just very different people by then. We moved to Texas from Pennyslvania when I was 10 and she was 13. I think the fact that she was just that much older when we moved really effected her. I was always the "A" student, the over acheiver, the into everything there was to be into in high school. She was not as good of a student, and lacked the self confidence to initiate herself into any activities. She was also very, very shy. I was shy, too, when we first moved, but was able to overcome it by the time high school rolled around. She got married at 17 and had her daughter at 18 and divorced at 22. I went to college and got married and started a career. We just had different things going. We couldn't relate (no pun intended!)

I look at our family and realize that the lack of self confidence is rampant. My mom is EXTREMELY insecure. My dad is, too, but in a less in-your-face sort of way. It isn't a wonder my sister is/was insecure. I am so proud of her, though. In the last year she has come a long way. She went for, and got, a great job with another company. She is going for a promotion, which is wonderful. And she is talking about going to college!! She is smart enough to go, she just never thought she was. She's no dumb cookie.

I look at the family and did I ever have the self confidence to do anything? I mean, I'm not the most secure person in the world. Believe me. If you read my blog on any regular basis you probably already have realized that. But I had enough confidence to go to college, to marry a wonderful man, to at least try the things I want to do. In both my parents and my sister I've seen them hindered by their lack of self confidence. But I haven't let it hinder me. So, I look back with wonder. Was it the fact that I tried things and was successful and, therefore, gained some confidence? Well, that fueled it, but what actually gave me the initiative to try them in the first place?

I think I have to go back to when I was about 4 years old. My sister was 7 and in second grade. She liked to play "school". She liked to be the teacher and have me be the pupil. She liked to teach me what she learned in school. And she was bossy, so I had to do what she said. :) SHE taught me at 4 to read and to do math on a 2nd grade level. SHE taught me in 1st grade how to multiply. After all, she was in 4th grade...teaching ME everything she knew. People were impressed that I could do these things so early, and pegged me as "smart". Was I smart? Probably not. Definitely not smarter than her. I was just taught. By my SISTER who liked to teach. (Yea, like I said, she's no dumb cookie. She taught a 1st grader her multiplication tables and how to read on a 4th grade level). And because people told me I was smart, I began thinking that I really WAS smart. And I, therefore, gained some self confidence. Amazing how child's play became something that defined me later.

So, thanks, Cyndi. If it weren't for you I think my life would have been very different. And I'm so blessed that we have reconnected in our adult life!

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

It's a GIRL!

We had our mid-pregnancy ultrasound today. We found out we are having a girl! Words can't express how amazing it was. Although, honestly, I would have been equally as excited either way. I didn't care if it was a boy or a girl. I was hoping for a healthy baby. (I know that's a cliche but I couldn't be more sincere about it) Today they said everything looks great, which is such a relief. I think I smiled wider when they said "everything looks normal" than when they said "looks like its a girl!".

I have been so apprehensive to embrace this pregnancy, I'm guessing because of the years of disappointments we've had trying to GET pregnant. In the back of my mind I've been thinking "yea, right, we'll see if this time it is really going to take". But today I realized I can relax. We're having a baby!

On the ultrasound I could see fingers and toes, and legs and arms, and a nose and ears, and a heart beating and her spine. It was the most amazing experience I've ever had. She was wiggling a bunch and moving her arms and legs. She looked at one point that she was even sucking her thumb. It made it so easy to see the little person growing inside. So real and so there. I can't wait to hold her in my arms and see her for the first time.

My husband said "It's amazing that those little fingers we saw on the ultrasound will be the same ones that will wrap around my finger and the same one her husband will slip on her wedding ring". I almost, right then and there, lost it. OK, I did lose it.

Monday, March 28, 2005

My dog has obsessive compulsive disorder.

Our Easter ham was great. My dad seems to go back in his childhood when we have a ham dinner. He almost gets giddy. Apparently some of his fondest childhood memories are going to a cousin's farm. The cousins were poor (and so was my dad's family), but when dad's family would visit they would always have a big ham dinner. So, now when I make a ham it can't be spiral cut ham, oh, nooooo. It has to be a butt shank so he can take a huge hunk off and eat it out of the fridge, just like when he was a kid. So, mostly for him, I served ham.

We were left with a big ham bone after all the meat was eaten. I could have made soup with it, but I have a dog, and from what I've heard dogs really like bones. So, I thought I would give my little mixed breed a happy Easter and give her the bone. Who knew this gentle act of kindness would turn sour.

My dog is a weird one. She is 12, but is as energetic as a 4 year old. She isn't hyper by any means. Just a happy dog. She runs and plays in the back yard, chases squirrels, loves walks. But, she isn't much on food. Oh, she'll gobble up a steak if I put it in front of her, but her dog food I can leave in a bowl and she'll eat when she's hungry and no more. And she'll take an occasional doggie cookie, but she would never steal my dinner, even if I put it within reach. So, I should have known the ham bone wouldn't be as much of a hit as I had hoped.

I handed her the ham bone. She gingerly took it, chewed it for about 5 minutes, then took it outside and buried it. And then every 15 minutes she would go outside to check on it. And bury it some more. She did this until we went to bed, back and forth, back and forth, in and out, checking on the bone, making sure no one had found it, making sure it was covered with leaves and grass. On one of her trips inside I saw a little wrinkle on her brow from worrying about the thing.

I didn't realize my dog had obsessive compulsive disorder. It was like watching someone check the front door to make sure it was locked a zillion times before bed. Or wash their hands obsessively. And here I was trying to be nice, thinking she'd really like the bone. I so hate to see a dog worry. Anyone know the number to a doggie psychiatrist?

Question: Have you ever given a gift to someone thinking they would really love it, and it turned out they didn't?

Friday, March 25, 2005's a strange phenomenon.

Sorry, God, but I think I would change one or two things in your grand plan. I think Men should be able to get pregnant.

Men don't get this experience. It's a shame. One day when I was particularly hormonal and grumpy, and feeling sorry for myself because my butt is getting huge, and my hips are getting huge, and I can even see weight gain in my face (although my husband says the face thing is in my head - no pun intended. But I don't believe him because he knows better than to say "Yea, your face is really looking FAT.". No, men, you can't win. But we do appreciate you trying.) I referred to the baby as a parasite inside my body. My dear husband got very upset.

I agree that wasn't a nice thing to say. I should be embracing every moment of this experience. But sometimes it feels that way. Like when you can't breathe because every organ is pushing your lungs. And when you read that if you don't get enough calcium while pregnant the baby will take it from you and you will get osteoperosis later. And when you have to pee every 12.2 seconds. And then I feel really bad for having the bad attitude, because this baby is such a blessing and someone who is wanted more than anything else on earth. How could I have said the word "parasite"? We agreed it was a symbiotic relationship. Not a parasite/host relationship. We BOTH benefit from the relationship. The baby gets what it needs physically and I get what I need emotionally. OK, now that we got THAT out of the way...

The way the baby feels at 4.5 months in the womb is hard to explain if you've never felt it. Have you ever won a goldfish at a fair? Did you hold the bag and feel the fish bump into your fingers? It's kind of like that (narrative courtesy of my sister). Some people say "bubbles" or others say "butterflies", but I think the goldfish theory is the best. I told my husband about this feeling and he looked excited and said "You feel the baby?!" then he looked very jealous. And then he said "I want to feel it". Now, I think he meant he wanted the baby to kick so he can feel it on ME. But I think he should be able to feel the goldfish in his stomach, too. Maybe I will have him swallow a goldfish and see if he can feel it.

It's the Easter Beagle Charlie Brown!

I love Good Friday. Which I know, you are probably thinking is a gruesome thing because it IS the day Christ died. But I think Good Friday services at church are the most meaningful services of the year.'s all happy. Easter...happy, too. But good Friday is real. You get to realize the whole story on Good Friday. That's probably why hardly anyone around here goes to church on Good Friday. My church does a service of Tenebrae. They read the story of the crucifiction and extinguish candles for each reading of the passion narrative. Then the Christ candle is extinguished. It's very meaningful.

Then I am going to come home and color Easter Eggs. I realize I'm 32 and my child is -5 months. I like to do this every year, though. I love coloring easter eggs. Maybe because I love eating boiled eggs. Or maybe I just like to create crazy colors then eat them. Easter is such a great holiday. So colorful, so festive. My parents are coming (after a lot of prodding and irritating conversations, but I won't let that damper my mood) and we are going to have a ham dinner. And I made little cupcakes in ice cream cones with green colored coconut on top for grass and little peeps and jelly beans. Like this recipe from Betty Crocker:

only with little peep chicks and jelly beans on top instead of the birthday decor. What can I say? I'm a kid at heart. It looks like the little peeps just laid eggs.

And do you know what's the BEST? It's the EASTER BEAGLE Charlie Brown is on TV tonight, too! Woo Hoo!

Question: What function/holiday do you look forward to every year?

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

I smell a skunk

I consider myself quite lucky. Or blessed, however you would like to look at things. I have the most wonderful husband anyone could ask for. And I consider that a BIG blessing, because I got married at 20. And you can make some really stupid decisions on with whom you would like to spend the rest of your life when you get married that young. And I was able to work my way through college to get a degree. And I had a great, profitable career. I have lots of friends, a close family, a baby on the way. What more could a girl want?

BUT, I have never been lucky if I do something I shouldn't. If I cheated on my taxes, I'd be the one to get audited (Attention any IRS agents that read this...I did not cheat on my taxes. I probably pay too much on my taxes. ahem). When I was a kid, if I did something that could get me in trouble I inevitably got caught. Maybe that's why I became a goody-two-shoes. I gave up the "bad" girl thing. I lost the battle. It was either be good or be grounded or feel really guilty, because I was going to be caught. Come to think of it, my guilt was probably what got me caught.

One such time was when I was about 16 years old. I had a friend spending the night. My boyfriend came by at about midnight, knocked on my window, and asked us to come outside. My parents were asleep, so we opened the window, pulled off the screen and crawled through. It was easy enough as the windows were long and skinny, only a foot or two above the ground. We sat in the front yard chatting for an hour or so, and then he suggested we "go somewhere". Who the hell knows where. We were teenagers. It didn't matter.

My curfew was midnight, and I certainly wouldn't have been permitted to go somewhere at 1 a.m. But, we got in the car and got about 2 miles down the road. Then I chickened out. I asked him to go back. I could just see it, coming home in the wee hours of the morning from doing who knows what, my mom in hysterics, my dad pissed. I couldn't do it. So, after a lot of "oh, come ON!"'s and name calling by both my friend and boyfriend, he brought us back. And we started to crawl back into the window. And we realized a skunk was in my room.

We had left the window open with no screen and, lo and behold, while we were out a skunk decided to take residence in my bedroom. We were stuck. We couldn't go into the room and risk getting us and my entire bedroom sprayed by a skunk. The doors were locked, so we couldn't get into the house any other way. Our only option was to knock on my parents bedroom window and get them to let us in. Yea, we had a lot of explaining to do. I had to tell them we climbed out the window. I did omit the part where we went out in the car, but it didn't seem to matter. They were ticked. They were more than ticked.

They had to call Animal Control at 2 in the morning, who had to wake their guy on-call up who came with traps. He put moist cat food in them and set them up on my bedroom floor. My friend and I had to sleep in the living room. And honestly, I'm surprised my parents gave us blankets and a pillow.

Yea, I'm unlucky when it comes to things like that.

Question: Do you consider yourself a lucky or unlucky person?

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Why, oh, why?

Why, blogger, why? Why are the links and other miscellaneous musings on the sidebar suddenly gone? Did I not hold my mouth right when posting today? Did I anger you by complaining too much about the comments? By switching to Haloscan, perhaps?

I'm hoping, being that I'm an HTML idiot, that if I ignore this problem it will suddenly go away. After all, I've heard other people say their blog went nuts then fixed itself. Could I be so lucky?? (I hope, I hope!)

I got a stick gently passed from Elle

Elle over at True Blue 4 Ever passed me a stick for your and my sticking pleasure. Thanks Elle! (Hope you feel better!)

You are stuck inside Fahrenheit 451, which book do you want to be? I haven't read this either, and honestly I haven't heard of it. But it sounds intriguing.

Have you ever had a crush on a fictional character? I'm sure I have, although I can't think of one. I've never been big on "Superman" types or anything, although friends have had a crush on him. My sister was in love with Luke Skywalker as a kid. Barney Rubble is a hottie. ;) (OK, maybe not)

The last book you bought is: Pregnancy Week by Week (sorry so boring, but it WAS the last one I bought)

The last book you read was: East of Eden by John Steinbeck (Nothing like the classics!! I love 'em!)

What are you currently Reading? Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

Five books you would take to a deserted island:
1. How to make a "Wilson" out of a Coconut instead of a Volleyball (OK, I made that up)
2. The Life of Pi (there were some good survival techniques in it!)
3. A Fine Balance (Hey, it was a really good book. I could read it over and over)
4. Boy Scout Handbook
3. The Bible (Maybe then I'll be able to actually read the whole thing)

Thanks Elle! I needed something to blog about today.

I pass this stick on to:
Karen at Karentertainment
dl at Time to Tell
Angie at Rocks and Garbage

Monday, March 21, 2005

Oh, my aching back.

I somehow got roped into being the youth director at our church. It isn't because I have a particular talent with youth. It isn't because I exude energy and enthusiasm. It isn't because I have a passion for it. It is because nobody else would do it. One thing I've learned as a preacher's wife in a small 200 member church, it doesn't matter what you WANT to do, you fill in where they NEED you. That's your job. You could sing like Luciano Pavarotti but if they have enough singers and lack a piano player you will play piano (even if your piano repertoire consists of Mary Had a Little Lamb and Chopsticks).

Ok, fine. It's kind of fun to be jack of all trades. I enjoy working with the youth, but I don't think I'm particularly good at it. I don't have the crazy, enthusiastic, imaginitive personality it takes to effectively do the job. BUT, I figure I'm better than nothing.

So, last night I planned and held a Youth Easter Egg Hunt/Field Day/Hot dog cookout. I planned relay races, hid 300 plastic eggs, and built a bonfire to cook hotdogs. It was fun, but the kids were HYPER and I had to YELL to get them to hear me. I'm not particularly good at yelling, either.

Me, being childless except for the one that is -5 months inside me, learned a few things. First, teenagers cheat. You have to watch them like a hawk. We gave a prize to the person who found the most eggs at the Easter Egg hunt. Two kids thought they'd be smart and put their eggs together, hence getting the most.

Teenagers also bend the truth. One girl didn't want to play so she said she had asthma. I of course let her sit out. Then when her mom came to get her I learned her SISTER has asthma but she is fine.

We had one race called the Egg Race. The kids had teams of four, and they held the handle of a plastic spoon which had a raw egg on the other end. They were to race to the other end and back without breaking the egg. Most of the eggs ended up in their intended place but I believe one or two were deliberately thrown at me. I can't be sure.

All in all, the kids had a blast, so that's what mattered. And I learned that kids come out as defenseless babies for a reason. It gives you time to get used to them before they become teenagers.

Question: Have you ever done anything you are not comfortable doing just because no one else would do it?

Saturday, March 19, 2005

"Touchy" people.

Being pregnant sure has been an experience. Not that I didn't expect it to be, but I'm learning more about myself than I thought I would.

For example...I learned that people can't resist touching pregnant bellies. I'm just now really showing "pregnant" and it's amazing how people just want to TOUCH it. People I don't know that well, people that I don't know at all, family, friends, pretty much any mammal is obsessed with my belly.

The thing is, I am not a 'touchy' person. It's not that I don't want to be. In Texas the thing to do is hug. Depending on how rural the area is (the more rural, the less time it takes), if you haven't seen the person in over 5 minutes, 5 hours, or 5 days, you will get a hug from the person when you see them. However, my timeline is more on the 5 month mark. If you are a close friend and I haven't seen you in 5 months, I'll give you a hug. And I don't think I would survive in Russia or places in Europe where they KISS each cheek, too. Ewww.

When someone hugs me my initial instinct is to pull back. It's not that I'm an unfriendly or unwarm person. In fact, most people when describing me usually say that as one of my top 5 qualities. I'll chat with anyone. But, if you want to get closer than two feet we need to have some sort of relationship. I don't know why. Maybe it is because I lived in the Northeast until I was 10 and they aren't 'huggy' there. Maybe it is because my family wasn't huggy. Maybe I wasn't hugged enough as a child. Maybe I'm just a jerk. Who knows?

In a cruel twist of fate my husband and I moved to the country due to his job. So, I went from a city of a population of 5 million people (if you haven't seen someone in 5 days you hug them) to a town of population 300 (5 minutes until you hug someone). I decided I needed to be more "huggy". After all, it's a warm thing. It isn't a BAD thing. People do it because they are fond of you. And if I am going to fit into this rural life I must try. (Although I draw the line at calling everyone "Honey", "Sugar", "Sweetie", or "Darlin'"). I'll admit I started getting good at it. Almost comfortable and natural with it.

And then, I got pregnant. And now I've reached a new level of 'touchyness'. Not only do they HUG me, they want to RUB MY BELLY. The first person that did it was my sister. Who is probably (besides my husband) the closest person to me. And what's weird is my instinct when she went after the belly was to push her away literally. It almost startled me. Was it the "touchy" issue or the "mother instict" to protect the belly? I don't know. But it was very weird. So, since that happened I have learned to make a consious effort to just stand there while people rub my stomach. I know I look like a deer in headlightes, but I'll work on that later. I have to take baby steps to this therapy.

Question: Do you hug people on a regular basis? Is it a normal thing to do where you live?

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Old Friends

I feel a little silly posting my picture, so I had to post something here to get it off the first thing you see. Yea, I have issues.

Anyway, I would really like your opinion. I posted a month or two ago about my old friend Jerri. I haven't talked to her in about 6 years. I finally got around to looking up her phone number, and I FOUND HER! HA! But, now I'm chicken to call.

My sister, who if you knew her would expect no other reaction, says call her, what can it hurt. And my husband, who generally isn't much of a friend whore like I am, says don't call, because she'll think I'm weird for calling.

I know if it were me, I'd be tickled pink that someone I was good friends with six years ago looked me up. But then again, the only time that has happened to me wasn't a plesant experience.

I got a call over a year ago from a guy I knew in high school. He worked with me at a florist back in our high school years. We were friends and would do stuff with a group of people we both hung out with on occassion. Some people said he had a crush on me then, but I was seriously dating at the time (my husband, actually) and honestly wouldn't have been interested anyway. And I tend to be skeptical when people say those things. Whatever.

Anyway, he called me about a year and a half ago and said he looked me up on the internet and realized we were living in the same town. He was married to an attorney and wanted to get together for lunch. I said that I was going out of town for work this week, but when I got back that sounded good.

When I told my hubby about it he said "Absolutely not". Now, my husband is SO-not-jealous. I wish sometimes he was MORE jealous. I'm always going on work lunches with gentlemen and sometimes even overnight business trips, and it never bothered him. But he said that in high school this guy was totally into me and he thought I shouldn't go. OK, whatever. I thought he was silly, but if he felt that way, fine. It is very rare he has an opinion on such things. It surprised me, actually, but if I felt the way he did about a girl from High School calling I would be upset if he went anyway.

So, the next week the guy called, and I made an excuse about working too much (which wasn't far from the truth) and he said "OK". Then he kept calling. Daily. And then it got weird. (yea, I only attract the great ones.) He told me he was getting a divorce and wanted to see me, and that he had been tracking what I was doing over the years and he told me exactly where I had lived and what I had been doing for the last 10 years. Then he would call 5 times a day. And I asked him not to call anymore. And he started crying on the phone and said he wanted to see me again. Finally I hung up on him and changed my phone number and marked it unlisted. AND I moved back to Houston about that time, so it worked out.

I never felt threatened, but I'm glad my husband talked me out of meeting him.

So, I think about that experience, and think, should I really call Jerri? I don't want her to think I'm one of THOSE.

What do YOU think? Should I call her?

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

I'll probably be able to add this to my "stupid things" list

Testing Flikr....

Here's a picture of me. BEFORE pregnancy. You will get NONE of me while pregnant. OK, maybe ONE when I'm almost 9 months. But that's it. Not that you asked for it or anything.

I'm the one on the LEFT. Wearing brown and tan.

I had to wait a freakin' hour to have my picture taken with this guy, but I think it was worth it. Isn't he a hottie?? And he bounces on his tail, too.

I'm with Stupid.

Just to keep up with the stupid things I've done theme...

When I was about 15, the fad in the neighborhood between the teenagers was to get and talk on a Citizens Band (CB) radio. Remember those? This was in 1988, so the 1970's CB fad was over, but it was before cell phones, and it was quite handy to have a CB in your car. That way, you could keep up with your friends and find out where the fun was on a Saturday night. Or, if you had one in your bedroom, several friends could talk together on a school night when none of us were permitted to go out.

My parents were out of town, and I wanted a CB in my room (I didn't have a car yet). So, I had the brilliant idea that I would set it up, complete with an antenna on the roof of the house, BEFORE my parents got home. I mean, after all, they aren't going to make me take it down once it was up there, are they?

So, a couple of my friends came over to help me with the task. We found an old CB somewhere from the 70's that someone's dad didn't want anymore. We got the coaxial cable, we even went down to the local truck stop and got an antenna. We found my dad's huge ladder, climbed on the roof, screwed the antenna to the peak of the house (after all the highest point is the best spot for reception, right?), strung the cable inconspicuously down the side of the house and through my window.

My parents came home the next day and didn't see it. They did see the CB in my room, but I think they assumed I had an antenna somewhere in there, not the roof of the house. I hid it well.

Not only was this experience a boost to my social life, but it was also a lesson in physics. You see, I learned that if you put an antenna on the peak of your house, the highest point, you are supposed to GROUND it also, so it doesn't get struck by lightning. Oops.

Living in the plains of Central Texas at the time, we got a lot of lightning storms. And it just so happens we got one a day or two after I installed the thing. And, as lightning does, it hit the tallest structure which happened to be the antenna that I carefully bolted to the peak of the house but didn't ground. And the lightning went through the house, and hit my CB radio, the refrigerator, our TV's, several lighting fixtures, and several other minor electrical equipment that we had plugged in. And destroyed them with a HUGE BANG. (We were really lucky that the house didn't catch fire).

And when my dad figured it all out he was mad. And I got another lesson about "grounding". So much for improving my social life.

Question: Were you ever grounded as a kid, or did your parents have more original ways of punishment? Do you ground your kids or do you have a more original way of punishing?

Monday, March 14, 2005

The Dog door.

Stupid things I've done seem to be a topic of conversation at family gatherings, so why not join in on the fun in my blog?

When I got my dog we decided that a dog door was a good idea. She's a little 15 pound mutt, so we only needed a tiny little door. I decided to become Ms. Handywoman and intstall the thing myself. And I did a damn good job, if I do say so.

And Casey, our dog, loved it. It took some coaxing at first. But once she got the hang of it, she would go in and out, and in and out. I think just because she could. And I'm pretty sure I heard her say "Nah, nah, nah, nah, nah!" to the outdoor dog next door once before running inside.

One day my husband was gone somewhere. I can't remember where. It doesn't matter. But, what does matter is he wouldn't be home for another couple of hours. I somehow managed to lock myself out of the house. And this was well before I got pregnant so I don't have that as an excuse for my absentmindedness.

I checked the windows, rattled the doors, and couldn't get in. I was in the back yard and looked down and realized...AHA! The dog door! I can squeeze through! At least enough to reach up and get the knob unlocked!

So, I tried to reach in with one hand and unlock the knob, but it was too far. So, me and my brilliant thinking contorted my body to get myself in to my waist, then I reached up and unlocked the door! Wallah!

But, when I tried to get out, somehow the hole got smaller. I know it did. After all, how could I have gotten in if I can't get out? I twisted, moved, contorted myself in ways that I'm sure would have gotten me a job at the circus if I just remembered how to do them at the audition. All with no avail. The dog was now stuck inside and decided that she would get me back for everything I've ever done to her by taking advantage of this. She licked my face and there was nothing I could do but let her. And I know I heard her laughing.

I was stuck in that door for 45 minutes. It first I was hoping my husband would not come home early and find me in this compromising position. But then after about 30 minutes I was wishing he WOULD come home to help me get out. I finally twisted myself out. I don't know how.

I DO know that I was full of bruises when it was all said and done. That was the problem. When I undressed that night my hubby wanted to know where all those bruises came from. I tried to think of something good, like how I saved a kid from drowning in a well or something. But finally I had to come clean about the dog door. He almost died laughing. And I wouldn't have revived him if he had, I don't think.

Question: Is there something you've done that seemed like a great idea at the time but turned terribly wrong?

Saturday, March 12, 2005


I WAS going to post about the beautiful day today. I went outside this country parsonage and took pictures of the trees, the sunny backyard, the nice birds, all of nature coming to life. The sun was shining, the flowers are in bloom, and the redbud trees, dogwood trees, and bradford pear trees are flowering, too! The temperature was 76 today with a slight breeze. Not a cloud in the sky, either. All captured on photos for your blogging enjoyment.

And then I tried to post it. And for some reason I can't get Hello to say "hello" to blogger. I just get an ugly red "X" when I post pictures here. Is anyone else having that problem? Is there another program I can use? I would hate for my 3.2 megapixel circa 2000 digital camera which weighs 27 pounds to go to waste.

I'm getting philosophical. Don't mind me...Just go about your day.

I heard a quote today by Tony Campolo. He is an evangelist who is well known as a radical and/or a heretic depending on the views you hold, is a leader of "prgressive Christianity" and is invited to many churches to speak/preach. I don't necessarily agree with most of his politics or theology, but he does have a few good thoughts. Apparently he was invited to speak at an Episcopal church. This was a very formal church. He got on the pulpit, and the first thing he said was (and I'm not quoting directly because I'm going by memory, but pretty close):

"Fifty thousand children die every day due to preventable causes, and you don't give a shit. And what's worse, is you're more concerned that I said 'Shit' than you are about the children."

Oh, that is SO true. So true. Not just about Church goers, either. It seems like we as people in general get so wrapped up in our own worlds we lose sight of what really matters. And it's not cars, the latest clothes, the brand new video games, anything of the sort. If it doesn't breathe it isn't important.

I was in sales for 7 years. I was there with them. It was so easy to chase the almighty dollar, to obsess about your next bonus check, a few thousand not being enough. The focus was on the boat or the lake house you were going to buy next. So much so that people sacrificed their whole lives, their whole being just for the money. I would work 60 to 70 hours a week, neglecting my husband and family, because of the ego trip I got. I was focused on the wrong thing. At least I didn't have kids. Many do.

Now, I should probably clarify that there are many rich people that do have the right focus. I'm not talking about the "rich" necessarily. I'm talking about any focus that is misplaced. The focus could be something other than money.

There's so much more to life than these things. I'm so glad I get that now. I'm so much happier, too.

Friday, March 11, 2005

OK. It's done. Finally.

Haloscan commenting and trackback have been added to this blog. I finally bit the bullet and did it. Actually, I got frustrated and started feeling rejected because no one had commented, but I know it was because blogger wouldn't let them. Apparently I upset the blogger Gods, like Elle has mentioned. They wouldn't let anyone post, making me sad and lonely.

But never fear! Haloscan is here!

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Egg faced.

When I was 12 I attended a slumber party. I was there with three or four goody-two-shoes, being one myself. We did the usual listening to music, watching movies, eating doritos and sour cream and pickles. But we were bored. I, being a natural leader, decided this slumber party needed to be spiced up. So, we decided to play truth or dare. What 12 year old girl slumber party is complete without it? We went through the regular truths...are you a virgin? How many boys have you kissed? Who do you like?...Finally someone said "Dare". YAY! Now we're getting somewhere! I dared her to eat a raw egg.

She wouldn't do it. Apparently, we hadn't gone over the rules ahead of time and I failed to realize anything worth daring was exempt. So, I got mad. Not mad as in red faced, but more irritated because this party was BORING and I thought truth or dare would spice it up a bit. I proceeded to call them "pathetic" and "whimps".

Then they turned the tables. They said "Then YOU do it".

OK, fine. It was a challenege. I'm not going to be the boring person here. I'll do it. We went to the kitchen, opened the fridge, and got the egg. We cracked it in a glass and, I drank it. Then proceeded to throw it up, along with the doritos, sour cream, and pickles, into the sink.

That was the nastiest thing on the planet.

Question: Have you ever done anything really stupid just to save face?

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Planning stages

I'm finally getting into the baby thing. I don't know what has taken me so long. My very intrusive mother in law has been begging me to make decisions on the nursery and things since she knew I was pregnant. (She's an entirely different post.) I guess things just didn't seem "real". It has taken a while for me to realize that there actually IS a baby in there! You would think 3 ultrasounds and hearing the heartbeat twice would do it. What can I say, I'm hard headed.

I love to decorate, so I've been looking forward to decorating the nursery since I decided to have children. I wasn't going to start the planning of it quite yet, but I went to Canton this weekend and fell in love with a baby bedding set. It was a freakin' $600! Uh, no. That's rediculous.

So, I thought I'd look for the material. After hunting and hunting I FINALLY found it on the internet! Woo Hoo! Here it is:

Nursery Rhyme Fabric Posted by Hello

What do you think? I think I'm going to accent it with Sage Green and Yellow. It has little nursery rhymes all over it. That's going to be the "theme" of the nursery.

WHY CAN'T I GET BLOGGER OR HELLO TO WORK!!! *&^%*())! Just go here to see the fabric. I give up.

Monday, March 07, 2005

It's Monday. I'm brain dead.

For some reason my brain is blank. I can think of nothing of interest to say. So, here is a stupid Meme for your enjoyment. Courtesy of Deb's blog for the idea.

bold the states you've been to, underline the states you've lived in and italicize the state you're in now...
Alabama / Alaska / Arizona / Arkansas / California / Colorado / Connecticut / Delaware / Florida / Georgia / Hawaii / Idaho / Illinois / Indiana / Iowa / Kansas / Kentucky / Louisiana / Maine / Maryland / Massachusetts / Michigan / Minnesota / Mississippi / Missouri / Montana / Nebraska / Nevada / New Hampshire / New Jersey / New Mexico / New York / North Carolina / North Dakota / Ohio / Oklahoma / Oregon / Pennsylvania / Rhode Island / South Carolina / South Dakota / Tennessee / Texas / Utah / Vermont / Virginia / Washington / West Virginia / Wisconsin / Wyoming / Washington D.C /
Go HERE to have a form generate the HTML for you.

Friday, March 04, 2005

Interview...It's my turn! :)

True Jersey Girl was kind enough to visit and interview little 'ol me. Here is a chance to peek at our conversation...

True Jersey Girl: How in the world do you live with those roaches???

Carol: I'm very lucky, because, being tall, I also have big feet. And so does my husband. With big feet you also have big shoes. And big shoes means more surface area to kill the roaches. I never thought I'd be happy about my big feet. And if you start naming the roaches they sometimes aren't as gross once you get to know them. OK, maybe not.

True Jersey Girl: I’ve only been to Texas twice, to San Antonio and Houston. Tell me what you do for fun in your little corner of the state.

Carol: Ah! Good question. Well, I've lived in about 6 different cities in Texas in the last 22 years. In Waco where I spent my middle school/high school years, there is absolutely nothing to do but get drunk. Oh, an the Dr. Pepper museum. The only thing Dallas is famous for is the TV show and killing a president. Which is rather sad. But you CAN visit Southfork and tour the 6th floor of the book depository there. In Houston, well, we have NASA to tour. That can be fun. Oh, wait, you asked what "I" do for fun? Go out to eat WAY too much, sometimes go out with friends, catch movies, see bands, the typical. I wish I could say something "Texany" like to two-stepping or rope steers, but I avoid cowboy boots, big belt buckles, wranglers, and cowboy hats so I'm shunned from that kind of stuff. They don't want my kind there. San Antonio ROCKS. I love that city.

True Jersey Girl: How did you meet your husband?

Carol: Well, I've known him since I was 12. We grew up in the same neighborhood. I actually had a crush on him when I was 12, but he of course didn't give me the time of day, since he was a few years older than me. So, he went off to college and when he came back, Wallah! I was grown up and irresistable! (OK, maybe not irresistable, but he did take notice). We started dating, got married when I was 20, and the rest is history.

True Jersey Girl: Are you going to find out the sex of your baby? Why or why not?

Carol: I am. My family wants to know. I don't necessarily care about getting all the "boy" or "girl" stuff. I plan on having more, so I actually would rather it be generic so I can use it for the next baby no matter what. But, to me you get TWO surprises if you find out ahead of time. The sex before the baby is born and then on the day he/she is born you get to meet him/ her for the first time. I have a few friends that want me to wait, but generally I think most people I know agree it's great to find out ahead of time.

True Jersey Girl: From your postings I read, the only thing I got about your musical taste is that you like Simon and Garfunkel. What is your favorite song of all time, and why?

Carol: I have to pick ONE? Oh, boy. That may take a while. I like such a variety, and it really depends on my mood. Yes, I love Simon and Garfunkel, Paul Simon, Billy Joel, Bare Naked Ladies, U2, Creed, The Beetles, Peter Gabriel, Cheryl Crow (sp?), Norah Jones, some classical, some bluegrass, some blues, some jazz. I love it all. If I can sing to it, even better. I have the radio on all day and I rarely walk from room to room. I dance from room to room. Yea, my kids are going to think I'm weird. Oh, I forgot barbershop music. My husband used to sing in a barbershop quartet. I listen to that, too. I love harmony.

Thanks, TJG! That was fun! Now, I know most people have already done this, but if you haven't and would like to, then please say so! I would love to pass the buck. And it's a great thing if you can't think of anything good to put in your blog that day. In fact, Happy and Blue2, I don't think you've done it 'bout it? Hmmmm? I bet your public would like it.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Doctors and Vampires and Genetics. All in one post.

I have a new obstetritian. Well, I've seen her for two prenatal appointments. I had one before, but I think I've mentioned he was for high risk/infertility people. And since I don't qualify as infertile anymore (yay!) and have gotten past the 10 week mark I am no longer high risk, either. (Another yay!). So, he referred me to a regular OB in his practice. I went from an older, "Just the facts, ma'am, just the facts" type to a perky, thirtysomething woman. I like her, I'm just not used to the perky. I've always had old men for doctors. Never even a perky man, much less a perky lady. But, in between the smiles and "goo goo" she seems to know her stuff.

Anyway, I went down to Houston and saw her yesterday. She informed me my blood type is O negative. Why did I not know this? I gave blood once before. Only once, because I have a nasty habit of fainting when giving blood, and they don't like that. I'm getting over it, though. You kind of have to when you are having infertility issues and they are taking every body fluid you could think of on a monthly basis from both you and your husband.

So, back to the O negative blood type. That's the universal donor type. The I-have-no-antigens-type. The people at the blood banks like you if you have that type. It's the coveted type. If someone was lying in the middle of the street bleeding, no matter who they are, I can step up and give them my blood and save their life!

I mean, all of these years, I could have been popular. I could have been the Norm Peterson of the blood bank. When I came in, they would be so happy to see me, they would yell "Carol!" and have the needle ready in my very own chair and my special kind of orange juice and cookies. And if the blood bank had a rivalry with Gary's Old Town Plasma Bank I would participate in the pranks. And my best friend would be a mailman who also has O type blood, but his is O positive. So, he's not nearly as popular as me, but they tollerate him.

But, alas, I didn't know. So, here I sit. And the BAD thing is my husband is A positive (the poor sap), so we have that Rh factor incompatability to worry about. Apparently it won't be a problem with THIS child, but could prove to be a problem with the future children and miscarriage, because if this child has HIS genes for blood type and is a positive Rh factor, I will start producing antibodies that sees this as foreign. I won't start producing them until late into this pregnancy, which won't be a problem, but they'll already be there for the next pregnancy. But, I once again thank GOD for modern medicine, because they have fixes for this. AND, like my husband said, we didn't think we'd ever have THIS baby, so rejoice in it, and worry about the next one later.

Oh, and I go on March 30th to have an ultrasound and find out the SEX! I can't wait!

Question: If you have had, or plan to have a child...did you find out the sex before? If you had one and didn't have the opportunity, would you do it if you could?

I'm being punished

I've been a little bratty when people have been complaining about the snow. I kind of sit here and say "ha ha!" as I look out of my big window at the 65-75 degree weather and listen to the birds, both nice and mean, and watch them eat the bird food. I bask in the ray of sunshine that pours in the window at the same time and think "suckers!" as I read blog after blog of "I wish it would stop snowing".

Well, last night I had a reality check. You see, we don't get snow here. Well, once a year we MIGHT see a flake, but it almost never sticks. And when it does it's big news. However, with the good comes the bad. In Texas we may not get snow, but ROACHES are a way of life. I don't care if you spray every day, seal your windows with masking tape, caulk a board over the fireplace openeing, do the anti-roach dance and seal a plastic bubble around your house. You are still, someway, somehow going to get roaches in your home in Texas.

I'm not talking your typical "mini" roach that you get elsewhere. I'm talking the huge, 2" buggers that live here. The winged ones. This website says they seldom fly, but they falied to mention that when they see ME they like to fly into my hair. And notice their legs have little spokes on them?

Roaches Posted by Hello

Those little spokes don't let them release from your hair very easily! Trust me, I know.

Anyway, last night my dog decided she needed to go outside at 2am. Fine. I sleepily crawled out of bed, went into the kitchen and let her out. Once I got my senses about me I realized that I was thirsty. Not a usual kind of thirst. My tounge was sticking to the roof of my mouth. I couldn't feel my fingers, my skin felt like leather, and my eyes were so dry my contacts wouldn't focus and I felt like they had shriveled up right there in my eyeball.

So, since the dog was taking her sweet time I turned on the light and went to pour some of that country water I bragged about. But the only glasses left were huge glasses. And if I drank one of those huge glasses I'll be up every half hour peeing.

Never fear! I had just run the dishwasher earlier that evening! I can get a smaller glass out of there. (You are asking why I just didn't take a big glass and fill it halfway? I was half a asleep and too tired for such complicated things).

I opened the CLEAN dishwasher and thought I saw something run into the little hole that the clamp that holds the door closed comes out of. But I thought, "silly me! I haven't seen a roach in the kitchen in months! It can't be. Besides I can't see well because my contacts are fuzzy because I'm so dehydrated! I must be hallucinating. How could a roach get in a SEALED dishwasher?"

I start to pull the top rack out to get a glass. And ANOTHER roach comes running out. I let out a squeal and ran for a shoe. More of an "AACK!" Oh, by now I'm fully awake and my heart is beating 150 beats per minute. I hit the area of the roach with a shoe, but there are so many crevaces in the dishwasher that he could run into and I missed. So, I blindly hit, and hit, and hit, hoping one of the hits would strike. Bryan comes running out of the bedroom in his underwear with his hair sticking straight up and asks "What the hell are you doing?". I'm sure I was a sight, in the kitchen wearing my nightgown, beating up the dishwasher with a dirty shoe.

I explained to him that a roach was in the dishwasher and he said "could you hit a little quieter? I'm trying to sleep!". Obvioulsy he was too asleep to see the enormity of the situation. I mean a ROACH in the same space as our CLEAN dishes. And it may be a roach INFESTATION, as I swore I saw that other one escape in the latch.

He went back to bed and left ME to deal with this crisis. He must have forgotten that the main reason I married him was to kill bugs. Finally the roach ran to the side wall of the dishwasher and I got him good. I cleaned him and and put soap in the soap thingie thinking I would just run it again to clean the dishes. But then, the one that ran in the latch keeps haunting me.

Now I think I am going to start hand washing my dishes. Including the ones already in the dishwasher.

And I never did get my water.

Anyone want to trade snow for a dishwasher full of 2" long, winged roaches?

Question: Roaches or Snow? You decide.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

My dog deserves better

I am embarrassed. Very embarrassed. I went out walking today. Not even jogging. Just walking. I haven't exercised in a year. I used to exercise all the time, but life got in the way. Stress, long work hours, driving constantly, all the normal excuses. So, I thought I would go back to exercising since I'm a domestic now and have time. Well, that and I thought since I'm pregnant it's a good idea. Really, I should have done it when I was stressed and working long hours. I probably needed it even more. But, still.

Anyway, I went out today and did a brisk walk over the rolling hills of the country for about 40 minutes. I'm embarrassed to say at some of the steeper hills I got winded. I had to slow down! And I wasn't even running! What is happening to me? Is it turning 30 that made me go so out of shape? Is it the pregnancy? (I love using that as an excuse.) I couldn't believe that in one year of no exercise I could have gone that downhill. I was embarrassed. The dog was looking at me like "wimp. I would have to walk with HER". I could tell the cows I passed snickered as I went by. Oh, it may have looked like they were just chewing their cud. But I know, they were snickering. I could see it in their eyes. And the ducks in the pond had that condescending "quack".

I'm never going to sacrifice exercise again. It's very important for physical health as well as mindset!

Question: What thing do you wish you never gave up?

Those little ingrates...

Remember the heartwarming story I told about the birds? Well, little did I know little birds could be so mean and ungrateful. Something that started out so lovely turned into this mean, horrible conspiracy.

The feeder was first visited by a variety of birds. Birds that seemed to appreciate our winter charity. Nice birds. Then the bad crowd moved in. The birds with piercings and tattoos. The ones that wear the baggy pants and play rap music. They came and wanted to fight with the nice birds. The good, studious, clean-cut birds. They would peck at them while they were at the feeder, chase them off, mock them.

Then the mean birds ate all the food. I filled it up on Friday and by Monday morning it was gone. All of it. Birdseed is now costing me about $6 a week because they are going through it so fast. Then they put their graffiti all over it. Oh, they don't use paint. They use bird poop. But do I stop filling it and punish the good birds because of the actions of a few bad ones?

Honestly, even if I wanted to stop filling the feeder, I don't think I could. The mean birds have started sitting on the little fence that is about 5 feet from the sliding glass door. As I sit here I'm trying not to make any sudden moves because they are staring at me through it. I know they are going to figure out a way in here and beat me up with their little bird brass knuckles if I don't fill it again.

Who knew this was such a bad bird neighborhood? The act of kindness gone astray.

Question: Have you ever tried to do something good that went wrong...very wrong? Have you ever done something and have not been appreciated?