Tuesday, May 29, 2007


I didn't sit by this Real Man of Genius (Mr. Way Too Much Cologne Wearer) during today's ALL-DAY workshop.

Instead, I sat by Mr. Clip His Nails On and Off for Seven Hours, Collecting Them in a Small Pile.

It was like torture. If he had clipped them all at once, it would have been better. (Socially unforgivable, yes...but without that horrifying element of suspense. It was like someone unwrapping a piece of candy for SEVEN HOURS.)

He kept playing with his clipper. Bandying it about. Tossing it hither and thither. And then clipping a nail. And then saving the nail to add to his growing collection. An hour could go by without another dreaded snip! Bethany would have lost her ever-lovin' mind.

And there was nothing I could do. Nothing. I could not escape, and the workshop was so full that we didn't have enough chairs...I was stuck with the worst Real Man of Genius of all.

I'm getting there early tomorrow to stake my seating claim. On an end. Near decent people. Because there isn't enough Bud Light in Texas to get me through another seven hours with The Yankee Clipper...

Monday, May 28, 2007

Memorial Day Memories

Here's hoping that everyone I love has a happy, safe, and thoughtful Memorial Day/Decoration Day. We are so blessed to live in this wonderful country, and we have all of our veterans to thank...the ones who came home alive and the ones who did not.

Below is a picture of my great-grandmother in 1908 that I scanned up at work this morning. (Our poor custodians did not get Memorial Day off.) Annie (Larkin) Reid is the little one on the right, posing with her sister Elsie Larkin. Isn't she pretty? I just love her tiny waist, fashionable outfit, strong chin, and GLASSES!

Grandmother Reid passed away in 1928, never knowing that the infant son she left behind would die in World War II, strapped in the B-24 bomber "Our Belle." Though he is gone, he has never been forgotten by his two sisters and their families, and he would be so proud that he was mentioned in his nephew's wonderful sermon yesterday!

And here is my Aunt Doris in 1945. Isn't she lovely? It's easy to see why Uncle John fell in love with this spunky Navy WAVE.
And my wonderful uncles, James (Army) and John (Navy)...heroes in our book. And handsome to boot!

May God bless them all!
Happy Memorial Day, everyone!

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Rattus stashicus.

Why am I such a pack rat? Throwing things away is so HARD for me. This couldn't be inherited from Nanny because she kept everything ORGANIZED. If you needed a wheat penny or a maroon button or paperwork that showed her window-tinting was legal because it was done before a certain date, she could instantly produce it.

Her granddaughter, otoh, is just a messy, messy hoarder. The condition of my purse would seriously disappoint her.

In fact, they just arrested a fifty-two year old meth dealer on COPS whose purse was in perfect order. (With the exception of one broken glass meth pipe; apparently, the toilet paper she'd wrapped it in wasn't enough padding.) When the policeman first opened it, I was SO jealous...no gas receipts from last month, gum wrappers, expired coupons, empty Altoids tins, or Haverty's bills. If a policeman opened my purse, he'd just sigh with disapproval.

Karen actually *likes* my purse, though. We have laughed so often about Kristy's Purse being able to supply her with a lozenge or two ibuprofen or fingernail clippers or a tissue (usually during the singing at church), and we've also laughed about the time she liked the *style* of my purse so much, she ran to Penney's and bought the EXACT SAME ONE. (She promises never to do that again, though; we have accidentally switched purses so many times...)

And yet, sometimes being a pack rat has its moments. This morning, while sorting through two boxes of papers (old financial statements, checkbooks, pictures, medical reports and bills from the Great Lump Scare of 2005, etc.), I found copied pages from Bethany's old school journal. I'll try to scan and post some next week, but until then, I'll leave you with her Thanksgiving entry from November 28, 1995:

"Pumpkin pie hate it. I hate pumpkin pie. Corn bread hate it. I hate corn bread. Turkey love it. I love to eat turkey. I love turkey."


Tuesday, May 22, 2007


No explanation except that they struck my fancy...and made me hungry for that vindaloo Karen & I got in Fort Worth!

Friday, May 18, 2007


I'm not grateful for another night of spectacularly bad sleep, but I'm SO GRATEFUL AND THANKFUL TO GOD that my dad is okay after a terrible wreck. He was trapped inside for more than an hour, and they had to break the windshield and remove the top of the minivan to get him out. (The first responders were horrified to look in and see him covered in blood...which turned out to be a giant container of Cattleman's barbecue sauce he'd purchased at Sam's that had exploded on impact.)

This link may not work for very long, but there's video of the wreck at:

You want to talk SOBERING? The last frame of the video showed my dad lying on the roadway, surrounded by EMTs. My stomach twisted into a knot when I saw that!

Who cares about the van, how great it ran, or its four new tires? My Dad is okay.

Who cares that it happened on a busy workday when none of his kids could get to Virginia? If it had happened on a Friday instead of a Thursday, my mom might have been in the passenger seat...and Mom & Dad are both certain that anyone in that seat could not have survived.

Who cares about Dad's ruined new Christmas shirt? I'm so grateful to God that when the doctors cut it away, they discovered that all the stains were from hickory barbecue sauce and NOT Dad's (Texas mesquite) blood.

We love you, Dad! Here's wishing you a speedy recovery. Take it easy and let someone else preach this Sunday...you just put your feet up and start planning your move to Texas where the roads are wide and flat and the only reason to have a wreck is because you're distracted by the breathtaking sunsets...

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

What's buggin' me?

BUGS! That's what.

Today is the day that Kirsten and I take 33 kids to Mr. Gatti's to meet all of the district's other top middle school readers at an awards luncheon. Unless you've been to Mr. Gatti's with a large group of kids (we're expecting more than a hundred), you have no idea how overwhelming this prospect can be...the beeping, the noise, the flashing lights, the blaring music, the screams and laughter of hundreds of students thrilled to be off campus, the spilled soda and general stickiness.

So it was really important I eat a good breakfast to start this day off right, especially since I haven't been sleeping very well lately. Bacon, cereal, coffee, and vitamins...Breakfast of Champions! Well...with only a few bites of cereal left in the bowl, I noticed that one of the flax seeds in my Uncle Sam Cereal was swimming. FLAX SEEDS DON'T SWIM! Ugh...it had legs!

Here's hoping that there wasn't "a nest of bugs in my peanut faddle," as a date once told Karen, and that I didn't eat any of Mr. Bug's cousins. Here's hoping that he was a loner who FLEW into my bowl to meet his milky demise (run through the disposal with the rest of the uneaten milk & cereal after my appetite mysteriously disappeared).

In other insect-related news:

*The mosquitoes are driving May Bee and me nuts, but they don't seem to bother with Mike and Misha. I killed another one on May Bee this morning. With all of the rain Abilene's had lately, the mosquitoes are everywhere! Karen's family and I COVERED ourselves in bug repellent to get through Molly's all-day-Saturday softball tournament without contracting malaria.
*It's been a month since the Spider Web Incident, and I'm *just now* sure that all of the stringy web is out of my hair.

*May Bee is going crazy eating all the bugs in the yard. She's so happy that the rain has brought her a smorgasbord of moths and butterflies and beetles. Pretty soon the May Beetles will be here, and she will eat them until she throws up like she did last year.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Happy Mother's Day, Mom!

Happy Mother's Day, Mom!
Your children "rise up and call you blessed"...
Proverbs 31:28

Friday, May 11, 2007

Good morning, Gelderland!

This is my 100th blog entry!

I can’t believe anyone but family (and REALLY CLOSE friends) would ever want to look at this page. Blogs are ridiculed in the media for being trivial and self-absorbed, and mine seems more boring and blogger-centric than most…

However, a quick glance at Google Analytics (“We put the ‘anal’ in analysis!”) reveals that people from NINETEEN different countries visited this site last month.

Four visitors from China. Two from Korea. (Maybe my old high school pen pal, Lee Jong Hwa, checking in?)

And who do I know in Vestfold, Norway? Kamloops in Canada? Gelderland in The Netherlands? (Seriously? GELDERLAND? Wasn’t that in The Princess Bride?)

Good thing this blog is free, or those poor folks would want their money back; pictures of May Bee are cute to the people who love her, but couldn’t possibly be interesting to the general public.

On the other hand, sometimes it’s fun to hit the “Next Blog” button and take random peeks into the lives of others…the photos of the lady’s foot after her toenail was removed, the pictures of the zoo trip taken by the exchange student in medical school in England, and we can’t forget Sandra’s knitting enthusiast who types “Squeee!” when she’s happy about her yarn. (I LOVE enthusiasm and plan to use the exclamation “Squeee!” whenever possible.)

And once in a while, strangers leave comments (they probably found me with the “Next Blog” feature!), and that’s fun, too…like the lady who also adores the author Haven Kimmel, and “Blue Princess” (whoever she is), and the Indonesian schoolgirl, and “UK Bus Man,” who is from England, but lives and works in Turkey part of the year.

It IS a small world after all…

Happy blogging, everybody!

P.S. The top keyword that was bringing people to this site was apparently a term used in pornography; I changed it last night to keep out the riffraff. ICK! The top LEGITIMATE keywords that bring people to this site are “Cali Gonzales” (an author and friend from South Texas) and “Trey Forkerway” (the son of a friend of mine). People who are searching for Trey spend an average of six and a half minutes on the site (probably because I only mentioned him once and they're having to hunt for the reference); people searching for one of my favorite authors, Haven Kimmel, spend an average of four minutes on the site, probably reading
http://splendafan.blogspot.com/2006/04/i-know-i-bombard-people-with-requests.html . Which reminds me, I need to check out her book Something Rising (Light and Swift), the only book of hers not yet read...

Random photo...Karen & me on a pony in Georgia. (Check out our Keds and the funny Dalmatian!)