Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thanksgiving Day Gratefuls

Today I'm grateful for:

1. My spiritual journey.

2. My family. Steve, El, Mo.

52. Cranberries. Sauce 'em, juice 'em, bake 'em in a bread. Cranberries are inspired.

53. An oven with three racks.

54. My dog's habit of running to the back door when he starts making the barfing noise, and his perfect record of managing to get outside before he barfs.

55. Collaboration. Today this applies to both barfing logstics and cooking.

56. Dutch Blitz games where the winning is distributed equally among players.

57. Celebrations with my favorite people.

58. The beginning of a long weekend.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Dyslexic Grateful

This week I'm grateful for:

#1, 2, 5.

51. This incredible post written by my husband. I hope that it will help many.

Friday, November 21, 2008

nose to the bowl

Right now I thoroughly understand my dog.

Each and every day, round about 4:30, Caspian takes to the kitchen rug. If we're in the living room, he stares at us. If we're in the kitchen, he stares at his bowl. Occasionally, he gets up and sniffs something, then flumps with a 'hmmff' a couple of inches closer to the bowl. On 'Every Sandwich For Himself' days like today when there is no schedule for dinner, this ritual ends with his nose up against the bowl. His 'hmmff' becomes a throaty 'harrrru' and finally one of The People notices that Caspian is hungry.

I've had one of those stare at the bowl kind of days. Weeks. Couple of weeks. I flump and I 'hmmff'. I keep checking the bowl, licking the edges, testing the bottom. Inching ever closer. Looking for a meal, but I'd settle for an apple core. I'd settle for discarded chicken chunks from the soup. I'd settle for anything, just to take the edge off my hunger.

This is me. Nose to the bowl.


Wednesday, November 19, 2008


You amaze me, you two.
You didn't make call backs and it's ok.
You didn't do well on a test but you stayed for help.
You tell us of your day over applesauce and noodles and spanish rice as requested.
You forgive enjoy that dinner is reduced to sugar and starch in this busy week.

You talk of a friend with OCD.
You wait while she touches corners and
You are safe enough to touch and
You allow her to brush germs off herself onto your sleeves.
I burst with admiration and a beautiful something with wings.

I say tomorrow is report card day.
You say you're a B student.
I say B's are good.
I, by some miracle, don't say I know you could both get all A's. If.
You would hear disrespect or condemnation in encouragement intended, when really, B's are good. Like I said.
You can go wherever you want on B's. Maybe even C's.
You can go wherever you want, because we believe you can.
You ask us what kind of students we were.
You ask if we felt pressure to get A's.
We didn't. We hope you don't.

You each read a whole book in the last 24 hours.
I think you might learn more of value in books than you learn in hallways packed with Hardtails and Uggs.
You have teachers with SMARTBoards but they still get disrespect.
You hate the facebook groups that abuse the socially awkward.
You're comfortable in your jeans and your cheap knock off fuggs from Target and
You seem to be more comfortable in your own skin every day.

We have our heads in books and computers.
You say you need to cuddle.
I push the keyboard away and turn to have you melt in my lap.
Your feet reach mine and they cover and they warm.
I wrap my arms around your waist while you rest your arms on mine.
We lean back in a shared sigh and I bury my face in your hair and nuzzle your neck.
I breathe deep, and memorize this current You.

You head off for a shower, semi-grumbling about who took too long this morning.
You say goodnight with a kiss, a back scratch, two pats.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

one hundred

This is my one hundredth post!

I could write a list of a hundred somethings, but that sounds like too much work.

I could do a giveaway, but that sounds like too much hassle.

I could get introspective, but I just did that.

Since my little blog was named with Google's help (#2 is now #1 by the way), here are my most commonly hit posts and their Google search phrases. Many thanks to Google Analytics for storing the search phrases that have resulted in a hit to my blog. I doubt if any of these Googlers have returned.

blogger reply to comment noreply
can you reply to a noreply-comment
from:( or to:(, how to reply
how to directly reply to comments in blogger
noreply blog
noreply email from blogger
que es
what does mean?

Many more variations on the theme brings bloggers with thwarted email replies here. They would be happier if you would edit your profile to include your email address. Me too.

breaking dawn
breaking dawn blogging rant
breaking dawn cliff notes
breaking dawn facebook status
breaking dawn- summary in chronological order
cliff notes for breaking dawn
dawnbreak theme help
"stupid conversations"

I wrote about the Twilight series three times. Here, then here, then here. Alas, Cliff's Notes, chronologies, and summaries of thousands of pages of vampire love
are not provided in my insightful analysis.

my throat hurts
i throat hurts?
my thorat hurts when i talk
my throat hurt me
my throat hurts what can it be?
not talking hurt the throat
sore throat from not talking
sore throat that hurt when talking
talking hurts
throat hurting after not talking
throat hurts summer

Ow. Sore throats send people here. No cures can be found, just observations about El and a lady who taught me a lot about life.

and my personal favorites...

raw hot dogs worms
"you'll get worms"
are raw potatoes worms
can i get worms from cookie dough
can one get worms by eating oatmeal
can u get worms from eating raw hot dogs?
can you get worms from cookie dough?
can you get worms from eating boogers
can you get worms from eating raw cookie dough
can you get worms from eating raw potatoes
can you get worms from raw hamburger
cookie dough and worms
did i get worms?
do banana trees cause worms in dogs
do eating boogers cause worms
eating boogers causes worms
how did i get worms
if you eat a lot of candy can you get worms?
pics of worms from eating boogers
raw cookie dough and worms
toenails worms
what food causes you to get worms?
what is a tapeworms favorite food
worms and bleach and hotdogs
worms from raw hot dogs
worms in raw hamburger
worms in toenails

These frightening phrases direct Scoleciphobics
here. I hope they get a good laugh, because they aren't getting any useful information. Or pics. Excuse me for a moment, I have a sudden urge to peel off my socks and check my toenails.


It's taken two days to do this.

I should have done one hundred giveaways.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Concise Gratefuls

This week I'm grateful for:

#1, 2, 5.

48. A gift.

49. Employment.

50. Invitations.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Lessons at the "house of cookie tossing"

My friend Laura sent me an email earlier this week. Lessons at the "house of cookie tossing" was the subject. I told her tonight that I was going to steal it for my blog. She didn't object.

Laura and I each have a daughter who plays the oboe. The oboe teacher comes to our house for lessons on a sort of weekly basis, and sometimes Laura and her daughter come over so her daughter can have a lesson after El. Tuesday was supposed to be lesson day, but thanks to Mo we became the "house of cookie tossing" instead. Lessons were canceled by the email with the fabulous subject line that I just can't let fade into cyber oblivion. Apparently, no one wanted to enter the "house of cookie tossing". I wouldn't have entered either, but I live here. I had to.

Having fully explained the title, it's time to move on to the non-oboe related lessons learned this week by those of us (or maybe just me) here at the "house of cookie tossing".

1. If you don't eat breakfast you might get a sugar low after church at, say, 12:19. You might embarrass yourself and your family by your irrational behavior. Just eat something, and avoid that whole scene.

2. If you volunteer to be one of the 'pasta moms' for your daughter's school chorus trip fundraiser, make sure the pasta arrives when no one is "tossing cookies" and rendered unavailable to help sort and repackage 4500 dollars worth of 'fun pasta'. Also make sure that a few more adults than two and a few more teenagers than one will be doing the job.

3. If, while cleaning the back yard poop, you happen to step in poop, and if you leave your shoes on the back step to dry off, take care of them before it rains. The poop will be washed off nicely by the rain, but your favorite clunky Land's End shoes that you have had for like five years, that you paid too much for, that have held up to everything, will get ruined. You will have to replace them, and it takes forever to get shoes broken in on account of that bone that sticks out on the back of your foot. Blisters will be involved. You will have added guilt because some people in this world don't even have shoes, and your ruined ones would be a blessing to them.

4. If you must eat the leftover Halloween candy, do not crunch on the DumDum pops with your 10 year old crown. You know, the one on the left. In the back. That one. You will break your crown. You will have to get a new one. This is not pleasant.

5. If you do break your crown, and the office person comes to tell you after you are all numbed up that it's going to cost $616, ask if they will honor the $100 coupon they sent you a couple of weeks ago, even though you can't find it. Then ask if they can please check on the insurance on more time because you think that you may have some coverage, not none. Then when they tell you you are correct and it will be $308 instead, wipe the drool off your chin, swallow all of your pride and ask in a small sweet voice, would they still honor the coupon you can't find? Then when they say yes, but there is still the $50 deductible to pay and the crown you thought would cost you $616 is really gonna cost $258, write a check and get out of there before someone changes their mind.

6. Never crunch a DumDum with your crown. The DumDum will win.

7. A peppermint chocolate chip shake from Chick-Fil-A is quite nice after hanging your mouth open for a couple of hours at the dentist.

Well, that's all the lessons we have for you today here at the "house of cookie tossing". Here's to no more cookies being tossed, and to lessons not having to be relearned.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Let your fingers do the walking...

Because over 300 million children worldwide have never owned a pair of shoes

Because disaster strikes

Because some have to carry water for miles -- barefoot

Because people are working in landfills without proper protection for their feet

Because there are many, many more reasons

The 50,000 Pairs in 50 Days Challenge

Your $5 donation buys 2 pairs of shoes.

For someone.


Walk on.


I first heard about this at Anne Jackson's blog.


FYI - from the press release for this campaign:

After 50,000 pairs have been donated, one person (with a guest of their choosing) will be selected at random to deliver the shoes they purchased to someone in need on one of Soles4Souls' trips to Mexico!

Nashville-based Soles4Souls™ facilitates the donations of both new and used shoes, which are used to aid the hurting worldwide. Since its inception, Soles4Souls has distributed more than 3.5 million pairs (or one pair every 23 seconds) to people in 61 countries, including Honduras, Romania, Thailand, and the Sudan. The charity has been featured on CNN Headline News, NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams, ABC News, FOX, CBS, and hundreds of regional outlets around North America. Soles4Souls is a 501(c)(3) recognized by the IRS; donating parties are eligible for tax advantages. Visit for more information.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

#96 (I think) In Which I Wrestle with The Blog Beast

I begin with an apology. There are so many sentences that begin with the word "I" here that I can hardly stand it. I can't think of any other way to do this. I gotta get this out. Grammar Police, stand down. Or maybe, just leave before it really gets ugly. This is between me, my little blog, and The Blog Beast.

A couple of weeks ago, I noticed that I was nearing the often celebrated 100th blog post.

I paused, because.

I've been trying to work through what my little blog is, where it's going, and what it's going to be whenever it grows up.

My little blog began as a way to keep a journal (after many starts and quits of hand writing journals over the years), as a memory book (to document our existence and to keep any family and friends who care to venture here up to date, as well as a place to remember things I should have written in my unwritten journals), and to keep myself accountable (my neglected and also unwritten to do list).

For the most part, I feel like I've done that. I've journaled. It's stretched me. I've chronicled and I've remembered. That's stretched me too. I've done a little 'to do-ing'. Not as much as I intended, but some stretching happened there too.

There have been some surprises along the way, though.

Steve has had his blog since 2004. His has been a solitary experience: it's personal, reflective, and challenging. It gets a lot of hits, but he doesn't get feedback.

I expected the same of mine. Not the hits part, the solitary part. I didn't know about the community aspect of blogging until I started looking at blogs to see what others were doing with theirs. In my search, I found an online community, put the button on my sidebar, and joined in on the daily commenting. I learned quickly that I couldn't keep a daily commitment. I tried weekly, but that didn't work either. I took the button off and crept away quietly. I have no problem with the community. I made some great bloggy friends through it; it is fantastic. I subscribed to lots of blogs through the daily featured blogs, and I still read some of them. It just wasn't right for me to try to keep up. That was my first skirmish with The Blog Beast. I won by retreat.

Another surprise has been the discovery of how much I enjoy and feel energized by the creative process. I've learned so much. There's so much more for me to learn. It's fun! (Blog Beast pops her head up about now and grins.) Wow, I can sure lose track of time doing this. (I whack her on the head like I'm playing that game at Chuck E. Cheese) I know that I'd better manage the time I give to my little blog.

So, here is what I've decided. This is where me and my little blog are headed.

My spare time is divided by many things. Reading and writing doesn't get all of it.

If you've subscribed to my blog, but you don't really have time to read, go ahead and unsubscribe. Use your time more wisely. I've been cutting my subscriptions over the last couple of weeks. It feels good. Try it.

If you read my blog, please don't feel obliged to comment. Just do it if you want to. I like it when you comment, but it's ok with me if you only do it once a week or once in a while or even never if that's what's best. If you've ever commented here, chances are I probably read your blog too. I've already started cutting back on how much commenting I do. It feels good. Try it.

Me and my little blog. Together, we pinned and then chased off The Blog Beast. But I know she'll probably be back. Is she after you?

Clean Sheet Gratefuls

This week I'm grateful for:

#1, 2, 5.

43. Her courage - talking about it.

44. Gut jarring, eye watering, gotta run to the bathroom now laughter.

45. Girls washing their own sheets and making their own beds.

46. Sleeping between cool, clean, fresh smelling sheets until my eyes are ready to open.

47. New mercies every morning.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Lilac Season

I took some pictures at THE game on Saturday. These are the best ones. Well, they're the best ones where I could crop identifying faces of anyone besides my child.

El is really physical when she plays. Actually, she's physical all the time. She has no respect for the personal space bubble. It's a good skill to have in soccer.

When we got home, I showed her this picture. I knew what she would see.

Not herself having just won the ball. Not the fall colors.

She noticed the hot guys practicing on the other field.

I see my girl fighting for 'her' ball. The hot guys do make a good counterpoint though. And just look at those trees!

This one is my favorite. She's blocking out. Ready to explode.

Later she scored the tying goal. That's my lilac!

WordFUL Wednesday

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Sugar Abundance Gratefuls

This week I'm grateful for:

#1, 2, 5.

37. Affirmation for daughter who took charge of an aspect of her education.

38. Doctor, medicine, and feeling better.

39. Surprise snow. Big, wet plops of snow on my 'sick day'.

40. Our home getting fuller as the night went on.

41. Giggles and roaring lion signaling the beginning of a movie downstairs.

42. Hot apple cider with whipped cream and caramel drizzle. All senses satisfied.