Saturday, April 30, 2005

The way to be

I hear people talking about their mental state during pregnancy and they usually mention being extremely moody. I do find my once rock existance easily shaken when I see a lost puppy or a sad movie, as I've mentioned in the past. However, overall I find my pregnancy state as one of extreme happiness. I wake up ready to face the world (well, as long as it isn't TOO early). I admire the birds, nature, people. I reflect more. Of course, this probably has a lot to do with me quitting my very stressful career, too.

I thought to myself the other day that I really should try to be this way no matter what my state is. When I had that stressful career perhaps I should have let things roll off my back a little more, perhaps relaxed a bit. Of course, the career may not have been quite as successful, but life would have been more pleasant.

Anyway, one of my reflection times was while driving in downtown Houston. A young guy, my guess late 20's, was driving a little red beat-up pickup truck. He was driving down the very busy highway between the downtown buildings, and he was really enjoying his music. Or what I assume was music. He was dancing while driving, flailing his arms, bouncing in his seat, singing. He was definitely happy. He didn't care if people saw him singing in the car, making a fool of himself while dancing. He liked his music and he was going to enjoy it.

I thought, THAT is the way to be.

Of course, in the back of my mind I have a difficulty completely burying the negative. I worry about money, about raising this baby right, about post-partem depression. Come to think of it, maybe the guy in the car wasn't singing. Maybe he was on the cell phone having a screaming fight with his girlfriend.

OK, I have a little ways to go before I'm completely in the carefree, positive mode. But I'm trying. And I've come a long way.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

He Never Ceases to Amaze Me.

“Martha” went to our church. I should actually say “was a member” because in the two years I’ve been here I’ve never actually seen her step foot in it. You see, Martha was 71 and grumpy. She never had a kind word, never said “please”. She was estranged from her children and everyone in her family except one sister who lived across the country. I think when Martha was a little girl her mother forgot to mention that if you hold your mouth a certain way for too long then it sticks in that position. Martha had a permanent frown on her face. Nobody liked her. She didn’t like anybody. She kept to herself unless she needed something.

Martha said she didn’t go to church because she was too ill. But yet you could find her driving and going to the grocery store 30 miles away. She was often seen at the local restaurant, eating by herself. Oh, she could get out. Everyone knew she didn’t go to church because she got into an argument with a previous pastor over what version of the bible should be used to teach a bible study. She noted that he was using a version she didn’t like, and told him so. And he disagreed. And she never came back.

That didn’t stop Martha from calling the church for favors. When her sister visited and needed a ride from the airport, she called the church and I answered the phone. She said in a gruff voice “This is Martha. I need to know who will pick up my sister Sunday morning at the airport.” All I could think was “The GALL of that woman! The least she could have done is ASK if there would be any way we could do it. Or say ‘please’ at the very least! And doesn’t she know church is Sunday morning?” I told her I would give the message to my husband. After all, he is the pastor. HE could tell her we’re not her taxi service.

Much to my surprise when he got home and I passed him the message he called Martha back and said he would be conducting services at that time but he would try to find someone who would be available. I asked him “Why are you doing that? She is so mean. We’re not her taxi service”. He just shrugged and said nothing.

Martha fell and broke her hip. She was in the rehab hospital for three weeks. She called the church one week before her release and DEMANDED we build her a wheelchair ramp. For free (she was on a very limited income). She demanded this be done within a week, so she would have it when she got home. I answered the phone on that one, too. I explained that my husband was in class all day and wouldn’t be home until late. Could he call her the next day to discuss this? Martha replied “NO. I need an answer NOW”. I said I was sorry but he could not be reached. She said “OK” and hung up on me. Then she called about 5 other people in the church. Who called me asking what to do. And I explained that I told her it would have to wait until the next day. And they rolled their eyes and said “That’s Martha”.

When Bryan got home that night he called her. He told her he wasn’t sure what could be done in the short timeframe, but he understood her need and would see what he could do. In one week he managed to stress over getting construction volunteers together and donations of supplies from various hardware stores. I asked him repeatedly “Why are you stressing out over it? Her expectations are absolutely atrocious!” He shrugged and said “it would be nice if it was there when she got home”. They didn’t quite make the deadline, but had it in the day after she got home.

Over the last two years Bryan has done many things for Martha. I never understood it. She was mean to him, rude to me and everyone else. Demanding. She insisted he bring her home communion when we had communion on the first Sunday of the month. He did, which irritated me because she COULD come to church to get it if she wanted, and she was the only one he brought it to so it was an inconvenience.

This last Monday Martha called again and I answered the phone again. The conversation went much like many of our others. I said “Hello” and she said “This is Martha. I want to know who will come pick me up from the hospital”. I said “Martha, Bryan is in teaching bible study right now and will be done in about 10 minutes. Can I have him call you?” She said “NO. I need to talk to him RIGHT NOW.” I suggested she call the church because that is where he was.

About 10 minutes later Bryan comes over to the house and tells me he is leaving to go get Martha. She apparently scraped her leg and needed stitches. Nothing serious, only four stitches. An ambulance took her to the hospital, but she needed a ride home. Again, I said “What is with her? She couldn’t ASK NICELY? And doesn’t she realize it’s 45 miles away. And we are using OUR gas and OUR car to do this? The least she could do is be NICE when asking for favors”. He smiled, chuckled, and said “Yea, she is pretty demanding, isn’t she?” I rolled my eyes. Off he went to get her.

Tuesday we went to Houston to deal with more house stuff. We got home yesterday (Wednesday) and there was a message from someone at the church on our machine. Martha had died suddenly in her house. Alone. She had called a woman whom she knew and said she wasn’t feeling well. The woman went to check on her and she was dead.

Bryan got the message and said “Oh, my God!” I mean, after all, he just saw her Monday and she was fine. He went on for a few minutes, doing other things. Then he sat in his chair and looked like he was reflecting. Finally he said to me “It’s amazing how God works. Just Monday when I picked Martha up we had a good talk. She actually thanked me for being nice to her. She said she wanted to come to church on Sunday to hear me preach”.

You see, Bryan is about 2 million steps ahead of me in his Christian walk. He saw an old woman who needed help. Who was difficult, but was a person with needs just like everyone else. Through his kindness he was ministering to her. Not in a lecture sort of way, but by example. How Christians SHOULD minister. And here I was “tisk, tisking” her because of her grumpiness and rudeness. I should know that the Golden rule doesn’t say “Do unto others…if they are nice”.

He is an amazing man. This is why HE is the minister and I am not. I am blessed that my daughter will have him as an example.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Feelings of inadequacy.

I am having my first baby shower in two weeks, and the hosts requested we register at a couple of stores. So, my husband and I went to Toys R Us and Target to register for baby stuff.

I hope they kept their store cameras out of the baby section while we were in there. I can see several security personnell in their little dark rooms laughing uncontrollably at us. Let me give you the sinerio.

Imagine two well educated people. Standing. Staring with their mouthes open. Probably a little drool inconspicuously coming from the corner of their mouthes. With a little scanner thingie in their hands. Staring at a large wall of baby miscellaneous stuff.

I say "Where do we start?". He says "Well, lets tackle the little stuff and then the big stuff". I think his thought was the big stuff would be more difficult, so start small. Yea, right.

I did come armed with a few suggestions from friends and books, so I thought I was more prepared than I was. We headed down the isle to the large wall with thousands of miscellaneous baby stuff. OK, bottles first. I hear the angled neck is best. OK. What's this? Little air thingie at the bottom to prevent bubbles? It says it prevents colic. Mom still talks about me having colic. That can't be good. So, OK, we must go with the vent thingie. But do I need the little liners? If you have the liners then it would make the vent thingie obsolite, wouldn't it? And I plan to breastfeed mostly, but I do know I need bottles. He's gotta feed her every once in a while. Here are "nursing" bottles. What the hell is the difference? Oh, it really doesn't say. OK, lets skip that. Thermometers. Well, here's a temporal thermometer. It only takes a second. That's good. But it's fifty bucks. How about this ear one? Why is this ear one twenty dollars and this one thirty five? They look the same. This one says "especially for newborns". Does that mean I can't use it when she's six months? Why does it work better for newborns? OK. Skip that. On to the linens. This little stuff is too hard.

OK, linen section. Mattress pad. Definitely waterproof. Why would you pick anything else? This one looks nice and fluffy and comfy. Wait. I hear too many blankets and padding can cause SIDS. OK, not the fluffy one. Here's a nice flat one. It doesn't go down the sides of the mattress. Do they need to go down the sides? OK, this is too hard...onto the big stuff.

The big stuff went about the same way. We looked like we were practicing for our slapstick comedy act as we tried to figure out how to fold, put together, and convert car seats, strollers, and playpens. The one thing I was sure of was the Boppy, because Angie just told me emphatically I needed one. Got that on the list!

Oh, Lord, please help this poor child who was given to these very inadequate parents.

The only section we didn't have problems with was the toys. Yea, they were fun. Bryan wanted to register her for a darth vader mask. Sorry dear. I think it's obvious who THAT would be for. lol. He's such a geek. But he's a cute geek.

Question: This is the part I ask for baby advice and then go back to change the registry while I still can.

I'm such a REBEL

I'm skipping CLASS today. I haven't done that in a while! OK, it's a 4-week cake decorating class, and today was supposed to be the last of the four. But because I've been so busy going back and forth to Houston I didn't have time to do my homework. The homework was making and frostening a cake to take to class to decorate, and making up the various frostings used to decorate the cake. Cake decorating is more time consuming than you would expect. I suppose I could have gone and just enjoyed the instruction and told them the dog ate my homework. How far fetched is THAT excuse in a cake decorating class?? What are they going to do, fail me? Hmmm, come to think of it, my mom paid my tuition (a whole $12.50). So, she may ask to see my report card when done. OH, well. I'll risk it.

Here is a picture of my first decorated cake ever:

My life has gotten quite simple of late, hasn't it?

Question: Did you ever ditch class as a kid?

Monday, April 25, 2005

My day with Carol grade 27

As many of you know, I’ve been in Houston with Angela Marie from Rocks and Garbage and her mom the last couple of days. Actually, the trip there turned out quite convenient. I met with the realtor on Wednesday and looked at houses and BOUGHT ONE (more on that later) while Angie was having her procedure, which I was glad to hear turned out less painful than anticipated. Thursday and Friday we painted the town red (well, as much as a pregnant woman, a mom, and a grandma can:

Carol and Angie

Thursday morning I picked them up promptly at 10am. OK, I wasn’t so prompt, because I thought their hotel was a block further than it was. And there was construction, so I couldn’t turn around. So, I was about 15 minutes late. I called to inform them I would be a little late and her mom answered and asked me to please hurry because she was being tortured by yet another episode of Little House on the Prairie. I got there as fast as I could.

We headed out to Old Town Spring (We missed you Milkmaid!). It is a place with a bunch of old houses that were put together and made into girly-type shops. Candles, clothes, pottery, linens, dishes, you know. Girly Stuff. We met my mom, who happened to be in town, there. As we were waiting for mom Angie gave me a package with the cutest/neatest baby gifts! One of the first gifts Rachel had gotten!

We went into the shops and enjoyed seeing all the neat stuff. Angie bought chocolate that looked like pebbles for her children (so her 2 year old is probably going to start eating rocks thinking they are chocolate), and chocolate body paint for her hubby. I bought my hubby chocolate covered sunflower seeds. Please, no one tell him what Angie’s husband got. I hate to see him pout.

We ate at Wunchie Bros. for lunch. It’s a German restaurant in one of the old houses. I had a craving for sausage sauerkraut balls, so it was good we were there. We then went to a few more shops, including a nice pricy baby shop. They had an adorable canopy round crib for $998. Uh, temping, but no.

I then tortured Angie and our moms by taking them by my new house. It is vacant so I got to take them inside for the nickel tour. They did the obligatory oohs and ahhhs and that’s very nice’s so I wouldn’t keep them there any longer. Then we headed up to The Woodlands. We had a nice relaxing boat tour on the river walk.

We were the only ones on the boat and Cap’n Dave entertained us very nicely with corny jokes and small talk.

We had a drink and a cookie at the food court in the mall

said “goodbye” to my mom, and headed back to downtown Houston.

We ate dinner at Papasito’s. The BEST Tex-Mex place IMHO. They said they liked it. I think they were afraid to say otherwise, as we Texans tend to get offended if people don’t like our Tex-Mex. We all got full to the rim, and then I dropped them off at their hotel and went to my apartment for some sleep.

Friday I picked them up at 10:30am (more promptly than the day before) and we ate breakfast at the Kolache Factory.

It’s a Czech pastry if you’ve never had one, and Texas has a Czech population that sure knows how to make them. Then we headed over to the Houston Potter’s Guild shop so they could get pottery souvenirs. We then went to the Houston Natural Science Museum.

We quickly learned it was class trip day. As we wove through what seemed like thousands of second through fourth graders and tried not to step on them, we got tickets for the Museum, the IMAX, and the Butterfly exhibit.

We saw “Thrill Ride” in the IMAX. We felt like we were on roller coasters and learned how they make virtual thrill rides. It was a good one. We went into the museum next and had fun playing with the chemistry section. Angie and I are such Science geeks.

Angie was chased by a prehistoric animal,

and got caught,

but apparently she tastes bad because he spit her out.

After the museum we went to our individual resting places for an hour of relaxation. I used it to call the inspector to inspect my new house next week and the mortgage company. I hope they took naps. Then we went to the Cheesecake Factory at the Galleria for dinner. We once again got stuffed. We did each get cheesecake, but took them home because we couldn’t eat another bite. I brought mine with me and shared it with Bryan when I got home. Oh, and my new favorite cheesecake is Tuxedo. YUM!

I probably gained 50 pounds while Angie and her mom were here, as Houston is made up of pretty much shopping and eating, but we had a blast!

Monday, April 18, 2005

Birds and Bees

This informative link is for Angie. She seemed very intreagued about the whole bird/sex thing I mentioned in my earlier post. And since I have nothing interesting to say these days I thought I would bore you again with some blubbering about birds and sex. Since Angie is so interested.

First, let me say that I think Angie is interested in this because she just had the birds and the bees talk with her son. It seemed to go well, unlike Adrienne, who had the same talk and it didn't quite come out right.

Anyway, why I said that I didn't get how birds have sex and I'm glad I'm not a bird, is birds just press up against eachother (the article says it much more scientifically) and transfer their "seeds" that way. Why would they want to do that? I mean, I accidentally leaned against someone at the grocery store. If I was a bird would that mean that I just had sex with that person? Especially since birds don't wear clothes. That could get very confusing if people did it that way. No one would know who to send their cards to on Father's Day.

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Rumors in a small town.

Oh, I'm going to miss this small East Texas town (Population 322). The chicken fried steak. The longhorn ranches. The 20 year old pickup trucks. The lazy summer days. The ability to leave my doors unlocked. But one thing I will miss the most is the RUMORS.

Rumors to a small east Texas town are like the oil industry to Houston. The town simply could not survive without them. The little restaurant here in town has a sign that says "You don't see much in a small town, but what you hear makes up for it". It is so true.

Now, the sign might be true, but the RUMORS are usually about as true as what's in the National Enquirer. And because my husband is the town minister we generally hear all the rumors. An example, you ask? (See? You want to hear the rumors, too!). Well, a few weeks ago someone called here at 10pm and told my husband that the church in the neighboring small town was on fire. He agreed to go check it out (10 miles away), even though by the time he was called we were sure someone had called the fire department already. Sure enough, he gets over there and it was just a ...RUMOR. The church was fine.

Another time someone called and said there was a rumor that one of our congregates had died. My husband quickly called the family to see what happened...(after all, he is usually the first one that people call when a family member dies). They were fine and had no idea where the rumor came from.

Some of the rumors ARE true, though. For example...we would get a lot of vegetables given to us in the spring and summer. So much so that, being it was just the two of us, we could not eat them before they spoiled. And we would tell people that. And they would still give them to us in bushels. I would freeze what I could, but our freezer only has so much room. So, one day we had to throw some green onions away. Someone FOUND them in our trash (I would like to know why they were snooping through our trash in the first place). And told someone. Who told the person who grows onions. Who came up to me and asked why we threw away their onions. Sigh.

OK, maybe I won’t miss the rumors.

Question: Were you ever the victim of a rumor that wasn’t true?

Saturday, April 16, 2005

Pregnancy ass.

Sorry I've been a bit sparse lately. I've been down in the Houston area looking at houses. I went last week and will be leaving Tuesday to look again this week. I just realized that I need to find a house this week because we need to move into the house in about a month. Yikes! I was sitting around with a ton of time two weeks ago and now I don't know how I'm going to get everything done.

I realized this week as I was looking through my schedule how posh my life is right now. I mean, two months ago when I was working I lost sleep over half a million dollar deals and highly technical research. My schedule consisted of meeting with influential business people and talking about genetic research. I would have 20 things to do and get 19 done. Now I stress when I can't find material to match another material. I'll have 5 things to do and get 2 done. It's rather funny, actually.

So, I thought I would share some random thoughts I've had this week.

1. Pregnancy glow. Everyone says I have it. I think it's just the sweat on the extra skin I have because I am so wide.

2. If you are trying to sell your house it helps if you at least CLEAN the place or VACUUME before showing it. Or at least get the 3 inches of mold off the shower stall. And clean the cat littlerbox so the house doesn't smell like cat pee. Just an idea.

3. Is "original copy" an oxymoron?

4. I'm gaining too much weight! I'm not gaining enough weight! I'm gaining too much weight! I'm not gaining enough! (I admit I'm a little irrational there)

5. Is my stomach bigger? I don't think my stomach is getting's bigger. No, it's not! Maybe the baby isn't growing...yes she is... (this is a daily thought as I analyze my large stomach in a mirror in the morning)

6. I've heard how birds have sex, but I just don't see how that works. It seems complicated. I'm glad I'm not a bird.

7. Why is it developers of new neighborhoods completely tear down beautiful trees and then plant little sticks when the houses are up? I know a lot of trees don't survive the construction, but at least TRY. If they don't survive you can cut them down later. And established trees look so much nicer.

8. Nascar. I don't get it. I don't think anyone will ever be able to explain it to me either. It seems really dumb to me.

9. Maybe its the business background but people who are late really bug me. And people who don't come prepared really bug me, too. I don't care what it's for, important or not. If others are involved be courteous.

That's it. My brain is pretty simple these days.

Question: Feel free to take one or two (or five) of my random thoughts and expand on it. I'm too tired to do it right now.

Monday, April 11, 2005

Telemarketing insanity

This morning the church phone rang. Since the house is right next door and hubby is the only staff person, it rings in our house as well as the church. He was working diligently on something when the phone rang, but he went ahead and answered it. And the person on the other end said “Does your church do fundraising?” My husband answered “Yes, we do”. And the lady on the other end of the phone goes into a long drawn out speech about the company she represents and their fund raising opportunities for churches. Then she says “Let me transfer you to our sales department, please hold,” and she put him on hold. The last thing he wanted to do was talk to the sales department. He never said he was interested. The only words he said was “Yes, we do”. So, while he was on hold he hung up.

The phone rings again, and I answered it (he had just walked out the door for a meeting). The guy asked for him and I said he wasn’t available, could I take a message. He goes OFF and says his employee quit and ran out of the building crying because my husband was so rude and he wanted him to know. I promptly hung up on him. After all, I didn’t need someone screaming at ME on the phone. The guy was WACKED.

I had no idea what he was talking about. I thought maybe someone else had called earlier when I was in the shower or something. I asked hubby when he got home what that was all about. After all, I’ve never seen him be rude to anyone. If anything, I try to field telemarketers because he will actually talk to them (not to insult any telemarketers out there…but it is annoying). He couldn’t believe it, and told me how the conversation went (which I had heard his “yes, we do” but I thought it couldn’t possibly be THAT call).

If I had known I probably would have told the guy that it’s best that the lady quit because she obviously can’t take the rejection that comes with sales and especially telemarketing.

I just couldn’t believe a telemarketer called to gripe us out for hanging up.

Question: What do you do when you get a call from a telemarketer?

Sunday, April 10, 2005


Spring. It is definitely here and getting warmer. However, in Texas Spring mean blooming things, and blooming things mean ALLERGIES.

Oh, you think those beautiful wildflowers are lining the side of the road just to look pretty. They look all innocent and nice there. But they're EVIL, I'm telling you! Evil!!

If you have never had allergies and you think you are immune, come to Texas (especially central texas down to college station) in the spring. It is the allergy capital of the world. Well, according to everyone that live here, anyway. People have actually MOVED from the Dallas area because they couldn't control allergies. And we all know what an inconvenience moving is, so it has to be bad. I am taking a cake decorating class and 6 out of the 8 people were sniffling and sneezing due to allergies. Yes, just what you want to see in a cake decorating class. Luckily, we didn't have to eat eachother's creations. I don't generally get the sniffles, but I get headaches. I don't know which is worse.

My hubby, however, gets the sniffles. And he snores when he has the sniffles. Therefore, I don't sleep when he has allergies. And I get headaches, like I mentioned. Oh, yes. You can imagine what it is like at our house. He is misreable because of itchy, watery eyes, and stuffy nose. I am miserable because I get no sleep because of his buzz sawing at night and the headaches. And I am such a sensitive, light sleeper. I don't do well on the sofa.

What's worse is Spring isn't the only time. Cedar trees pollenate during the winter here, and that's just as bad if not worse. Pine trees go CRAZY in the fall.

If only God consulted ME before he made the world. I think I could have mentioned he should look into other ideas besides pollenation.

Question: Have you ever been bothered by someone who snores?

Thursday, April 07, 2005


We're moving! We're moving back "home". Or what I consider as much "home" as a nomad like me can have. Back to the northern suburbs of Houston. (Yes, Milkmaid! We will be "neighbors" again!). I am so happy about this. My husband is finishing his Masters degree in May, getting probationarily ordained, and placed at a new church, because the one he is in now is a student appointment.

I am excited to move back to the North Houston suburbs. We lived close to there the first 8 years of our marriage. Three of my close girlfriends live there. One is a SAHM (hi Joy!) and I am excited that she and I will be able to call eachother and I can ask her for advice. I would say we can give eachother advice but her kids are already walking, talking, out of diapers, and one is in school. So, I think the advice will be one-sided.

I'm going to miss the country. I love it out here until I need something. And with gas prices at $2.17 it costs $3 in gas just to get a gallon of milk. But other than that, I love watching the bluebirds, the cardinals, the laid-back lifestyle, hearing the coyotes at night, going to the only restaurant for miles and listening to the country folk in their overalls and cowboy hats gossip. You know, "the wild boars uprooted my crops again", "Did you hear Miss Eustes's granddaughter got a job at the market in town?", and "what a mild winter we had!". Except it sounds more like "Them boars et my crops agin.", "Did ya hear? Miss Eustes grandbaby is workin' et the market over yonder!" and "Whooey! That there was one nice winter". One day we swore we were sitting next to the prototype to Boomhauer from King of the Hill at the restaurant. We didn't understand a word he said.


Anyway, as much as that will be missed, it will be nice to go back to the area we love. With friends.

Now I need to get my rear in gear and find a place to live. We will be moving June 1st, so there's no time to waste. Especially if we decide to buy a house.

I need to find moving boxes. The thing I dislike the most is finding moving boxes.

I need to start packing. Oh, the packing!

The fun starts now.

Question: (this question is a self-serving one) Any moving advice?

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Squirrels: Friend or Foe?

Considering the fact that I will no longer be in the country as of June 1st (I think. To make a long story short my husband graduates, gets probationary ordained, and placed in another church in June. We are anxiously waiting to hear where), I am going to miss these animal stories. I love living so close to nature but I must admit it is an adjustment from the typical suburban life I’m used to.

I love squirrels. Many people do not like squirrels. Many people see them for the rodents that they are. I like them. I like watching them. They are cute to me. I do let my dog chase them, but only because there’s no way she would ever catch them. It gives them both something to do.

We have three pecan trees in our back yard. Therefore, we have squirrels. We also have a huge sliding glass door by which I can see the birds we feed and the squirrels. When we first moved here I went to a craft show and found a squirrel feeder. It was a raccoon-proof squirrel feeder. Honestly, I wouldn’t have cared if it was raccoon-proof. Raccoons need to eat, too. I spent $30 on that squirrel feeder. A bit much, but it was nice looking and held a lot of squirrel feed. And that’s the least I could do for the squirrels. They were here first. And I planned on gathering their pecans in the fall so it only seemed fair.

I put up the feeder on a Wednesday. That Thursday we had a meeting at the church. A gentleman that owns an exterminating company was at this meeting. I overheard him talking about squirrels. How they come back to the same nest and multiply until you have an infestation. How they nest in your walls and cause problems. How they will eat through wires. How they ruin sheetrock. How they are pests. How he hated them with a passion and will sit with his shotgun in his back yard killing the things.

Oops. I was hoping he hadn’t seen that I was actually was FEEDING them in the back of the house which is in the same yard as the church. That night I went out after dark and took the feeder down. Darn. $30 down the drain. But certainly he was overreacting.

My hubby is the only staff person at this church. So, he is there alone most of the day. Today he went over there and was quietly tapping away writing a sermon in his office. He suddenly hears a “POP! CRASH!”. He jumps up and goes to the library where there is a closet. People rarely go in this closet; it has things that no one ever wants or needs but are afraid to get rid of. He was thinking someone was in there. He opens the door and three squirrels go scurrying past him. They had chewed through the wall (and who knows what else) and got into the church. And they were telling their friends. I can just envision next Sunday, sitting in the church pew, and having squirrels run passed my feet.

And I hope no one saw that squirrel feeder I had up for a short time a couple of years ago.

Question: Have you ever doubted someone only to find out they were right?

Saturday, April 02, 2005

Our first Home

Bryan and I got married quite young. I was still in College and he just finished. I was a part time lab TA, teaching a few labs at the college, making a whole $50 a week. My hubby was a fresh-out-of-college social worker making $18K a year. Yea. We weren't rich.

We lived in a 2 bedroom apartment in Conroe, TX. It was a nice apartment complex, but they raised the rent to over $500 a month (this was back in 1993). When it went up I thought it was OUTRAGEOUS! We had just gotten a little dog, so I thought maybe I could find a house to rent. Something small, something quaint, with a little back yard for Casey.

I looked in the paper and found a lot of nice homes in nice neighborhoods for nice prices we couldn't afford. Finally, one ad showed something like this: "3/1 brick house, carport, $375 per month. Call 555-1234" Perfect! I called the guy, he met me over there. The house was brick, the walls were standing, it had a roof, only a couple of windows were broken. The landlord said he had a window air conditioning unit, but it kept getting "borrowed", so he would put another in when we moved in. What more could we want? So, I said "I'll take it!"

The house was in a part of town people liked to call "Dougan". We had only lived in Conroe 6 months so that meant nothing to us. We were really just excited to be living in a HOUSE. After the lease was signed we started to tell friends about it. They would ask where it was and we would tell them the street. They would say "Isn't that in Dougan?" We would say "Yea! I think it is!" and their faces would go a little flush. We would invite them over and the response was always "Uh...yea. Maybe" and they would quickly change the subject. I guess they wanted a house, too, and their faces went flush with jealousy.

The day we moved into the house the weather was perfect. We came with our furniture. When I grew up my mom always brought a dish to the new neighbors to welcome them. I guess our new neighbors were shy. We saw them peeking out of their curtains at us but never came out. Or they peeled back the aluminum foil on the window to see us, whichever they had. I would wave and they would quickly close the curtain, or aluminum foil as the case may be. I figured once they saw us for a while they would become less shy.

As I was putting our clothes into the closet a board fell from the back. I went to put it back in and saw a couple of baggies. One was filled with a white powder that I assumed was flour and another filled with little dried leaves that I assumed was oregano. I thought that was a weird place to store your food, but maybe they ran out of pantry space. I went ahead and threw them away because I didn't know how old they were. I wouldn't want my cakes to not rise due to really old flour.

We finally did meet a couple of our neighbors. One night at about 11pm, a neighbor knocked on our door. He asked if we would like to buy the bug zapper and watch that he happened to have. I told him "No Thanks" but invited him to Sunday Dinner so we could get to know his family a little better. For some reason they didn't show up.

Another neighbor knocked on our door one morning. I couldn't understand her well because she was dentally challenged, but I think she asked if my boyfriend could help jump her car. I told her that he was actually my husband, and that he would but he wasn't home. She mumbled something and left.

At night we regularly heard what sounded like fireworks in the street. I guess our neighbors liked to celebrate a lot at night. One of the fireworks got the dog next door. It was sad. He was a rottweiler and always smiled when I went into the back yard. He liked to show his teeth when he smiled.

I think we'll bring the kid(s) back there when they are older. Everyone likes to know where their parents once lived.

Question: Have you ever lived in a place you felt unsafe?

Friday, April 01, 2005


As I embrace this pregnancy, or try to, I ponder the body that I once had that I will never have again.

No, I'm not talking about me whining about my face fat in a previous post. I went for my monthly check up on Wednesday (you know, the one with the ultrasound?) and the Obstetritian told me I had only gained one pound in the last month. She said she isn't worried about it yet, but she will be if I don't start gaining soon. I guess my husband was right, it WAS all in my head. Why do I doubt my very intelligent husband? (In case you were wondering, that was a rhetorical question.)

What I AM talking about, however, is everything else. You know you. You generally know your own bathroom habits, skin texture, hair catastrophes and how to control them. You also know your disposition and how you will react to certain situations. You know that if you wake up and find dog vomit on your nice quilt you will get annoyed but know she didn't mean it so you will just clean it and go on. You know that if you watch that episode of Little House on the Prairie where that woman dies you will appreciate it but not go over board. I mean, geez, you've seen it 50 times. And it IS a TV show. You know all this. After all, you have lived with you for X number of years.

When pregnant, I am learning, it all goes out the window. Everything you knew about yourself is gone. I now have indigestion, acid reflux, and extremely dry skin for the first time in my life. I no longer love pizza with a passion and canned tuna fish has become my food of choice.

The one thing that has me the most perplexed, however, is the whole reaction thing.

I've always been what others considered to be non-emotional. I always partly wished I was a little more emotional, but yet partly proud of my rock existance. If there is an emergency situaltion, everyone pretty much could rely on me to have a level head. If I had to make a decision, it was based on logic, not on emotions.

I have a group of friends that love Little House on the Prairie. They always talked about how weepy they got when watching it. I always secretly rolled my eyes at the idea. It's a TV show, for goodness sakes. Also, I have a mom who cried when I started my period when I was 12. I just wanted her to get out of the bathroom, get the pad on, and go on with life. I cursed my sister for even telling her.

However, About two months ago, almost 3 months into this pregnancy, my husband and I watched "Steel Magnolias". I had never seen it. I got weepy at the end. I tried to hide it. He got up and turned the movie off, turned the overhead light back on, looked at me and said "What's wrong with your eyes?". Yea, that bad. He never had seen me cry over a movie. My response? "I'm hormonal! Shut up!" and smiled while hiding my face.

The other day when we had our ultrasound the very sight of it made me weepy. I was choking back tears right there on the table. Just the fact that I could see her little ear and her little fingers made we want to cry. And then when my husband talked about the little finger thing that I posted about, I lost it completely.

But the one true thing that made me realize I am hormonal, AND that I may never be the same again now that I will be under the title "mom", is that I was watching the Little House on the Prairie Episode "Remember Me" where a mom dies and leaves 3 children orphaned. She has read at her funeral the following:

"Remember me with smiles and laughter,
for that is how I will remember you.
If you can only remember me with tears,
then don't remember me at all."

Yea, I've seen the episode a zillion times. Yes, it is a TV show. Yes, it is where I thought of the name of this blog. But, I knowing all of these facts, I still was choking back the flood of tears that wanted to flow. OK, gals, now I get it.

How do you men put us with us? (Again, rhetorical. I'm afraid to ask that question for real).

Question: Have you ever reacted to a situation in a way that surprised you later when you thought about it?