Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The incredible shrinking toilet paper


I am not a terribly loyal consumer.

I am all about the price, the sale price, the package size.


Some products just do not have equals.

Some products deserve my loyalty.


I am the official toilet paper changer.

I often sit down and find the last two or three sheets waving in the wind.

I have to yell for reinforcements.



The need for tube changing decreased by 50%.

Life Economics.


New product.



Something looked strange.

I examined it from several angles.

Too much silver holder on the sides of the roll.

My toilet paper has shrunk!

This is wrong!

There are some things that I will not stand (or sit) for.


Look at these pictures.

Northern Bath Tissue:

I noticed.

I am disappointed in you.

I want you to fix it.


Saturday, September 27, 2008

The Intersection

What is it like to become a teenager right now?

Imagine two intersecting circles.

The first circle is Webkinz.

The second circle is facebook.

The intersection is age thirteen.

What were your intersections?

Thanks to El and her friend C. for the inspiration.

Gratefuls of the week

#'s 1 & 2

12. Laughter at the dinner table

13. Time at home

14. Alone time at home

15. Josephine Badiette blend with a splash of blogging while everyone else is asleep. I added the link because someone will ask what I was talking about

16. The privilege of watching my kids work hard at something, take a risk, and get rewarded with success.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Have babysitting questions?

I read Emily's Chatting at the Sky blog regularly. A couple of months ago, she wrote this series based on some conversations she had with babysitters.

Since I am the mom of babysitters and the former hirer of babysitters, I found it quite helpful. I wish I had known some of these things a few years ago.

If you are a babysitter, someone in need of a babysitter, or the parent of a babysitter, hit these links. It will be worth your time. I promise.

Part 2
Part 3
Part 3 follow up
Part 4

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Do you like me? Check one.

Remember when you used to pass notes in school?

Everyone passed one
or was passed one
or was passed by
or at least saw

a note like this:

Do you like me? Check one. (Then there were three boxes beside three words)




When I started blogging I put a bunch of blogs that I read on my blogroll. I didn't know if it was a problem for them or not, so a few weeks ago I took it down. After reading this post by Anne Jackson today, I decided to put it back up. I started with these because they have put me on their blogroll already or I know that it is ok. I'm not sure why I feel like I should be so formal about this, because I am honored when someone puts my blog on their blogroll. I'm just wierd that way.

If you want to be added, tell me that you are marking the box beside Yes.

If you are a lurker, come on out and show yourself. I did. And survived.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Some random thoughts, because my kids love the word random

When I look in the mirror, I see wrinkles, whiskers, and zits. It's my opinion that the wrinkles or the whiskers should have canceled out the zits by now.

How come I noticed during this election season that the word 'believe' contains the word 'lie'?

When El is telling a story, the story gets exponentially longer when Steve asks questions.

Mo can make a lot of money babysitting. She makes more per hour babysitting than I made in my first job after graduating with a degree in economics.

I now know that I have a whopping 7 authority on Technorati. I don't even know what that means, but I do know that ranking 8 hundred something thousandth is probably not too successful in blogland. Good thing I'm not basing my self-worth on that!

Saturday, September 20, 2008


My List of Gratefuls continues...

#1, #2, #5, #6 (found in the comments)

7. Unexpected memories of my mom to share with the girls.

8. Local produce in season.

9. Annual plants that seed themselves and bloom in lean years.

10. How great it feels right after a sneeze.

11. Bargain cups in happy colors. A penny each.

Friday, September 19, 2008


Caspian is our Portuguese Water Dog. He is smart, funny and stubborn. He is always trying to bark his way to the top. We will never sleep unaware if our house catches on fire because he hates the smell of smoke and lets me know whenever I burn dinner. He's had lots of practice.

He's not cuddly, especially to El. He hates little white dogs, or maybe he just really loves them. His favorite foods are apples, cheese, peanut butter, unattended morsels, garbage and poop. He can go for a two mile run with Steve and still has enough energy to raise a huge racket and slobber up the front window when that black cat parades by. He's a really great dog. The best, as you can see. I know you're really jealous that he's not yours. Want him?

PhotoStory Friday
Hosted by Cecily and MamaGeek

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Note to Self

This is an election year.

I have caller id.

I will not answer the phone if caller id displays Unknown 1-000-000-0000.

I will not answer the phone if caller id displays Unavailable UNKNOWN NUMBER.

I will probably add to this list.

I will probably forget that it's an election year.

I will probably answer the phone without looking at the caller id.

I will not take voter surveys.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

My List of Gratefuls

I'm making a List of Gratefuls.

1. Every list starts with the obvious. Like The Typical Sunday School Answer: God, Jesus, love, the Bible. No disrespect or cliche is intended; every cliche was once an exciting revelation. I'm grateful for my continuing discovery of God, Jesus, Love and The Bible.

2. More of the obvious: my family. Steve, El, Mo.

3. The smell of homemade pizza, a hugging daughter, and rain. One smell, three parts.

4. A surprise exchange - she had the deodorant I wanted and I had the one she wanted.

5. Fridays off with Steve.

More Gratefuls to come...

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

baditude or gratitude

I first heard the word from my sister-in-law. She was describing her toddler. It was the perfect word for the moment, and I knew I would get a lot of use out of the word baditude.

In reference to my kids, of course. Or maybe Steve.

The honest truth is, I often suffer from a baditude.

The ironic truth is, I do not enjoy having a baditude.

The humbling truth is, I am in charge of my baditude.

The other night, Steve was hit by a bout of insomnia. He went to the basement to do some work.

I had been hit earlier by a bout of baditude, so I had a good cry after he left.

My baditude had nothing to do with him, but I guess his leaving the room gave me more excuse to throw myself a mighty fine pity party. I didn't have any fun at my party, so I decided to pray instead.

That was was pretty miserable too, until I faced my baditude and asked for some help and forgiveness.

Col 3:15-17

Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God.

And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

Another truth. I am in charge of my gratitude. I choose gratitude.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Day 1 is history

This German phrase of the day has been on our refrigerator all summer. Yesterday, I gazed at it sadly and wondered what to do with it.

Then I got some ice cream.

This morning, the first day of school, I found this protest. She says the German is spelled wrong and may be the wrong usage...but the sentiment needs no translation.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Banana trees in November

The guys on the news say it's really windy. I believe them.

I pray.

In November of 2005, Mo and I went to Gulfport, MS with a group from our church to help clean up in the aftermath of Katrina. Mo (7th grade) was the youngest of the group, there was a high school boy (Sam, his name is important later), and four women counting me. Our group of six got in the church van and drove 23 hours straight through, went to work doing whatever we were told, and drove straight through to return home less than a week later.

I have not yet figured out exactly what my purpose there was supposed to be. When the opportunity presented itself, I felt God calling me to go. I didn't tell anyone. I was thinking about it, wondering if it was God or me. A couple of hours later, out of the blue, Mo said that she felt like God was calling her to go.

A laugh that's also a cry sounds really strange. Mo gave me a confused look. Then I explained why I had made that sound.

I think my going had more to do with obedience and preparation and encouragement than accomplishment. We were five women and a young man with no special skills, but our hands were willing.

Yardwork was our main job. Not planting, mowing, or trimming.

We were minesweepers.

I have never seen so many shingles, parts of shingles, or nails. Mo found a nail embedded in her shoe one day. We discovered a whole intact window in the middle of a yard, but it was not a window from the house in that yard. We stepped over downed electrical wires (I wondered if I should be worried or not) to take it, along with the shingles and nails, the shingles with attached pieces of roof, the tree branches, boards and siding to the piles waiting by the road. Huge piles of trash along the road and in the road. Every road. We added to the piles of trash that waited to be taken away. Piles of trash that had been waiting, growing for months.

People told us their stories.

She watched her walls moving, breathing in the wind. She ran to the back wall and pounded nails into it every time the wind took a break. Her carport collapsed, but her car did not get a scratch. She had a broken foot.

We, the willing women, carried the carport to the road together.

He is in the military. He had just returned to his mother's house the day before. He looked shell shocked. Numb. We pulled smelly carpet and branches to the road. We gathered shingles and shingle bits and tossed them in the pile.

He joined us. He smiled and joked and I like to think he woke up there with us.

There are other people, people who watched, who came and went. They did not tell their stories so I cannot judge their motives. We moved their branches and nails and shingles to the road. We prayed for them too, but not with touch. And then we moved on.


We were told that this home used to be attached to this chimney. The people were hopeful that they would be able to move back in.

This home ended up about a foot from the road.


Another group, all men, was there when we were. Sam had worked with them cutting up trees most of the week. They left the day before we did, but they left this gift for us on the job board.


A beautiful man named Joe showed us his garden. He shared his kumquats with us, and told us that when Katrina blew through, the leaves were stripped from all the plants and trees. While people rebuilt their lives under white FEMA trailers and blue FEMA tarps, the living things under the sky regrew leaves and rebloomed.

Somewhere this year, banana trees will be blooming in November. Minesweepers like me will marvel.