Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Question of the day

Ok, this is a joke, more than a question, but either way, it's cute.
What did the fish say after he hit a concrete wall?
(keep scrolling if you want to see the answer)

The golden rule

My faith in humanity is somewhat restored.  Not because the bailout was voted out but because of something that happened in the car line yesterday.
I have a pet peeve.  Actually, I have several, but one of them is people cutting in front of me while driving.  I noticed it all the time in the mornings last year dropping Monkey off at school.  Some parent would be late for work, I'm guessing, so they're in such a hurry they feel they have the right to cut in line.  I don't mean just cutting in front of me when I let the person in front of them in, although that bothers me, too, but cutting through the staff parking lot to get towards the front of the line.  I mean, all the rest of us have to wait to meander through the line, what makes you so special that you can bypass all the other parents waiting in line?
Whenever that happened last year, I made a point to NOT let that person in if I happened to be near where they would be trying to get in line.  Unfortunately, at 7:20 am, there are people nicer than me that would let that better-than-thou parent through the line and their shortcut would then be justified because they made it through the line before everyone else.  We're all adults, here, right?  If you're running that late then maybe, just maybe, you should get up earlier.  Take some responsibility for your own actions and don't be late.
But I digress.  Yesterday, I got to Monkey's school a little earlier than usual for pickup.  I was the first to show up, so I park in the car line at a spot where I think the first car usually parks.  There was one car that parked right behind me right after and since that mom didn't give me the "why don't you pull ahead" look that people give at the station when you stop at the first pump instead of pulling right through, I figured I was ok.  I needed to pick up something from the office, so I grab Little Man and walk in.  I was inside for about five minutes and when I went back out, there were about 4 or 5 cars behind me and one in front of me.  Not farther in front, like they were parking to get something then leaving, but you could tell they passed the other cars, pulled in, then backed up to park in front of me.  The driver was still in the car, so I knew they were there for the pick up line.
I really don't care if I'm the first one or not.  I'm usually in the first 10-20 cars because I get there early enough to sit in the car and read for about 20-30 minutes before school lets out.  Yesterday's timing was a fluke.  But it bothered me to no end that someone had the gall to pass other parked cars to position himself as the first car.  However, I try and let it go and enjoy my quiet 30 minutes before dismissal (Little Man often naps in the car while we wait).
After a while, though, just a little before dismissal, he starts his car, drives to the end of the circle, parks and walks up to get his child.  Huh?  After all that work of parking at the head of the line, now you're walking up to get your kid?  I don't get it.  Oh, just so you know, dear reader, I don't leave my car running while waiting in the car line - another pet peeve of mine.  No matter how hot, I'll turn off the motor, roll the windows down and open a door.  So, I notice this dad walking towards my passenger side window.  He comes up to me and apologizes for parking in front of the line!  
Graciously, because I'm a good southern gal and all that, I tell him how nice that is and he really didn't have to and all that.  He says that he didn't know I was waiting in the car line (I wasn't in the car when he arrived, remember?) but when he saw me come out with Little Man and wait, he realized that he had cut the line and so wanted to apologize to me because he doesn't want to do things that would bother him if someone had done the same to him.  You know, that golden rule?
Really.  This truly happened.  A total stranger apologized for cutting me off.  Granted, we were in parked cars so it's not like we were passing through an intersection where there's no opportunity for apologies, but the fact that he took the time to apologize shattered some pre-conceived notions I had built about his character (he was driving a really big fancy SUV and  chatting away on his cell when I walked out of the school.  Yes, I'm guilty of stereotyping.  Who isn't?).
My faith in humanity is somewhat restored.  And it begs the question, when was the last time you took ownership of a wrong you committed, whether perceived or actual?  Is there something for which or someone to whom you need to apologize?  Is there someone or something you need to forgive?  We all do, don't we?  
Restore someone else's faith in humanity today.

Friday, September 26, 2008

the internet, part 2

Ok, you know how yesterday I was critical of the internet?  Well, guess what?  Today, I love it.  Why the sudden change you ask?  It's simple.
And Austin City Limits.  Live.  On my computer.
If it hadn't been for Pandora (I'm an avid user - just another reason to get an iPhone), I would never have known that I could listen to Austin City Limits.  Live.  On my computer.  While I do housework.
And this isn't the watered-down version that's featured on PBS.  This is the actual festival, happening in Austin.  Right now.  Today.
A few years back, Trey called me from ACL.  The Dead were there and he wanted me to hear them play.  I couldn't, really (sucky cell service), but it's the thought that counts, right?  Which leads me to another reason I like the internet (except when it's keeping me from doing housework) is I can look up The Dead's tour schedule for the fall.   I found out from a friend today that they're touring again.  It's not the same, I'm sure, but it'll still be a fun time.
Get out your tie-dye, people.


I want to take a moment to apologize to a commenter.  Not because I didn't like what she said - I still don't - but I feel like I shouldn't have blasted her comment the way that I did.  Now, I don't know if Lydia has been back to my blog or not, but hopefully she'll see this if and when she does.
I need to remember that at 5:30 am, when I can barely see out of both eyes and haven't yet had at least one cup of coffee, my filters are not in place.  Lydia can certainly say that she thinks I'm irresponsible and shouldn't blame my inequities on the internet.  True.  I am an adult and I shouldn't blame others for my actions.
However, I am pretty certain that I intended my post about the evils of the internet to be funny - poking fun at myself and the internet for being what it is and for my own shortcomings.  And I'm pretty certain that, at least for some, it came across that way.  I'm sorry if it didn't for others.  It was not my intention for it to be interpreted as a serious shifting of blame to the internet for all the things that I should be doing and aren't.
Saying all of this leads me to another point that I'm learning about blogging.  Along with the possibility that people will steal pictures, there will be negative comments.  Get over it, Kool Aid.  So, I'm now enacting my "comments regulations" bit.  I've read that blogs should post rules for comments, or some such thing, so here goes.
1.  I welcome all visitors and comments, both good and bad; however, if you (the commenter) resort to simple name-calling or drag my friends/family into the comment, it will not be published.
2.  If you post a negative comment, you should expect a response from me.
3.  If you post a positive comment, you should expect a response from me.
4.  If you have an opinion that you don't want publicized, then I suggest you keep it to yourself.
5.  Lastly, if you post a comment and don't proofread what you post before hitting the "send/submit/whatever" button, expect to hear from me.  Poor proofreading skills are a pet peeve of mine.  (and before anyone accuses me of being in a glass house and throwing stones, I have missed errors in my own typing, too, and it's still a pet peeve)
Now, back to our regularly scheduled blogging.... 

Thursday, September 25, 2008


Did you know that the computer is evil?  Not the hellfire-and-brimstone evil, but that subtle whisper of evil.  That "I'm just not sure if this is right or not" evil.  Or maybe it isn't the computer but the internet.  Yeah, that's it.  The internet is evil.
"Why post such a thing?" you ask.  I know the internet is a great source of information, that it's a global village and all that.  You can google something obscure and get fifty-bazillion hits and learn something that you didn't know you needed to know, like do butterflies fart?  Go ahead, google it.  You know you want to.
No, the internet/computer is evil because procrastinators like me will use it as an excuse to get nothing done.  Here I am, home with no children, and I'm hanging out on the computer just because I want to see if I got any email.  Checking to see if New Age Bitch responded to my comments or not.  Reading other blogs that I have no business reading because I have things I need to do here, like get toys and clothes ready for this really big consignment sale next week, or clean, or figure out what's for dinner.  Or I could be out playing with my new telephoto lens that arrived yesterday (thank you Trey - you're my lobster).
At least I made it to the grocery store.
It's a good thing I don't have an iPhone.  Then I could be worthlessly doing nothing but internet stuff everywhere!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

It arrived!

Yesterday my Photoshop Elements arrived!  YAY!  
Trey kept laughing at me, in a nice way, of course!, because I would be messing around with a picture all quite-like and then...
"COOL!  Check this out!"
or maybe
"SWEET!  Look at this!"
or even
"This is so much fun!"
The only downside so far is that since our computer is now really loaded up with stuff, it runs really slow.  Darn, I guess we'll have to upgrade somehow... 
Thank you Trey, for the really cool anniversary present.  Oh, and my new lens should be arriving today.  YIPPEE!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

pajama day, part 2

It's really hard to get anything done on a pajama day if I can't get myself off the computer.  But there's something that I wanted to share with the internet.  It's something I've already shared with friends and family, but that was before I had this blog, so if this is a repeat for some of you, oh well...
Back in the spring/early summer, a painter came to visit our church.  His name is Mike Lewis and he calls himself the Jesus Painter.  His story (and I hope I get this right - it's been a while) is that he was in school to be a product designer like for toothpaste or something.  He had a friend in college that was in a band and asked him to paint a picture of Jesus while the band played.  He had never painted before, certainly not in front of a crowd, but he did it anyway, and it was amazing.
He took a leap of faith and to hear him tell the story, he has been so blessed since then that he just can't believe it.  We have two of his paintings hanging in our worship hall and they inspire me every time I see them.
I've embedded a couple of his videos and I hope you take the time to watch them and be inspired to take a chance today.  Do something out of your comfort zone and trust that it'll be ok.  You'll be amazed at what can happen for you.
Did you see the Knoxville Tours bus in that last video? Coincidence?  
Happy Accident? You tell me....

pajama day

We're having another pajama day today.  I had one last week and it was fantastic!  Monkey is in school from 7:45-2:45.  In the mornings, we leave for the bus stop at 6:50 or so, pulling Little Man in the wagon.  We're just a few houses away and while I don't like the thought of Monkey walking alone, I certainly am not one of those moms that will drive half a block to drop her off.  It only takes us 5 minutes to get there by foot, so why bother?
On a side note, one morning Monkey was slow to get ready.  I, on the other hand, just change out of my pajama pants to jeans, throw on a baseball hat, and I'm ready to go.  I tell you this because I want you to understand that if we run late in the mornings, it's because Monkey is a slow mover.  Not because I linger on the internet.  But on this particular day, it was all Monkey.  And she almost missed the bus.  About half way down the street or so, I saw it pull up and Monkey starts running.  There are several kids waiting, so it takes a minute to load up.  Just as she is running up (about 25 feet or so away), the bus starts to pull away.  She's very upset she's missing the bus, starts crying and gives up - just as someone (in one of those parked cars that drives to the stop) honks their horn and the bus stops, she turns around and runs up and gets on.  It's all I can do to be the good mom and not laugh about it because all I can think of is my granddaddy saying "you'll know better next time, won't you?"
She hasn't really been late, since.  
So, back to my topic.  Last week, I stayed home all day.  I got a few things done, like the kitchen and four loads of laundry - all folded and put away, no less! - but in a relaxed, I don't have to be anywhere today, kind of way.  I forgot how wonderful pajama days are.
We're having another one today.  Not by choice, though, because normally Little Man would be in school today and I'd be using that time without children to do something amazing, like go to the store all by myself.  But he isn't feeling well, today.  He's quite the pitiful little man when he's sick.  He didn't even want to sit up in the wagon, he wanted to lay down in it.  He's the kind of guy that when he isn't feeling well, all he wants to do is lay down - in a wagon, on the floor, on the bed, on mommy, so I don't generally have to take care of a fussy, crying, grumpy sick child, which is nice.  Of course, now that I've put that out there, I'm sure I'll hear him crying any minute now and he won't stop the whole day.
So, what's on the pajama day to-do list for today?  Clean the kitchen again, more laundry, tag items for a consignment sale, possibly paint some trim, maybe clear some things off the DVR.  I'll leave here to pick up Monkey from school around 2:00, probably still in my "bus stop" clothes and hat and continue to have my pajama day after school. 
That's what I did last week and it was great.
Love a good pajama day!

Monday, September 22, 2008


I'm getting an early anniversary present this week.  My dear husband, Trey (happy 9 years!), ordered a telephoto lens and Photoshop Elements for me.  Yay!  Now I'll be able to take really cool up-close pictures AND watermark them, so I can share them with you all!  
I'm very excited and can't wait to see the brown-suited Santa Claus!

Friday, September 19, 2008


I saw a video today thanks to this is reverb... that I found amazing.  
Looking at YouTube videos is what I do sometimes when I should be doing
other, more important things, like housework.
Use what you have been given.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


Monkey went to the dentist for the first time yesterday.  I was expecting a meltdown from Monkey and I just knew the dentist would tell me that she already had irreversible staining on her teeth, 3 cavities and a horrible mom  that doesn't take care of her daughter's teeth.
Monkey didn't have a meltdown - she did great!  Did you know they have cookie dough flavored polish for children?   She didn't like it.  I guess they don't use real cookie dough.  Then she had the bubble gum flavored.  She didn't like that either, but she toughed it out.  Back in my day (insert grey hair and creaky rocker scene here) we didn't have all those fancy dancy flavors.  It tasted like dirt and we were thankful for it!
And her mouth cleaned up nicely!  She has two loose teeth, a little staining (probably from all the coffee and cigarettes) that polished right off and her 6 year molars coming in.  The dentist said her mouth looked great, an "excellent checkup."  I was very proud of her.
Afterwards, we went out for birthday cake flavored ice cream with chocolate syrup, ate a few pieces of hard candy that adhere to the teeth for weeks and refused to brush for days.
You didn't actually believe that last part, did you?

Monday, September 15, 2008

a new breed

(Photo by  ralphbijker)
There is a new breed of shopper around here now.  I noticed her about 3 weeks or so ago.  I see her a lot during the morning hours, slowly gliding down the isles of Target, picking up things and putting them back.  Not really looking for anything in particular.
Sometimes I see her at Walmart, with a magazine that she grabbed on her way back to the furniture to sit in a papasan chair and read.
Other times she's at Borders, drinking a coffee and browsing books she has no intention of buying.
Once or even twice a week she's at the grocery store, checking off her list and sorting through sales, listening to her ipod.
Wherever she is, she's definitely not chasing children around, scolding them for grabbing things they aren't buying or constantly trying to climb out of the cart.  She's not refereeing siblings that are constantly picking at each other or hurriedly trying to get through the store before the meltdown begins, repeatedly forgetting important things like bread and milk and having to backtrack through the entire store just to get that one thing they must have in order to eat dinner that night. 
There's a new breed of shopper in town and she's loving school/preschool.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

a poem I like

I found a blog, although I don't remember how I got there but I think it was from this is reverb...  Anyway, she wrote this really cool poem that struck me as one that could be about Monkey.  Enjoy, then head over to Becoming Bridge for more.

One for Debo

Did you see her walk down the street?

Striding on long legs in heels

Red toes peeking out under dark jeans

Black tank top skimming feminine shoulders

She held her head up, her blue eyes clear

Her hair bounced slightly in rhythm with her steps

Did you notice her? Most people did.

She has that way about her.

But her real draw is barely visible in her gait

Confidence and compassion

Humor and humility

Her tender heart

Her knowing smile

Kneeling to look a kid in the eye

Her arm around a friend’s shoulder

Concentrating - brow furrowed

Dancing with grace but not quite abandon

Singing occasionally slightly off key

She is coming into her own

Girl becoming woman

Casting off childishness

Holding tightly to the good things

Letting the bad ones go

Watch her walk – do you see it now?

As she goes, I picture pigtails with ringlets

Like a ghost trailing behind her

Or a premonition holding her hand

Who she was and who she will be

Echoed in who she is today

Keep an eye on her.

She's worth watching.

She'll amaze you.

Friday, September 12, 2008

gasoline panic

The panic of not having gas has settled in where we live.  There's a chain of stations that have closed for the day because they are completely out of gas.  I had to wait 10 minutes to fill up my tank because of the line.  Just so you know, my gas light had just come on this morning, so it's not like I was just topping off my tank like everyone else.
I paid $3.79 when I got it this morning.  I had originally driven past that station after seeing the line and headed to another one just a block or so down the road.  Well, they were charging $4.09 plus the waiting time so I went back to the first one.
By the time I left the house to pick up Monkey, $4.09 had become $4.49.  When I drove back by, coming home barely an hour later, it was $4.59.
I'm sure by this evening it'll be $10/gallon assuming there's any left.

I'm irritated

I found out today that someone downloaded/copied one of the pictures I posted to the blog.  Some of you might think "well, you put your life out there for the public to see," so there.
Well, I disagree.  Just because I wear a mini-skirt doesn't make it ok to sexually assault me.  "Oh, that's not the same thing."  Isn't it?  I'm walking down the street and someone snatches my purse.  Well, I was carrying it in public so I deserve that.  No.   I don't think so.  
Just because I put something "out there" for the public to see, doesn't mean that it's ok for you to use it without permission, Austin, TX.  I have no idea why you wanted that picture.  Maybe you thought Monkey's room rules were cute and you wanted to show them to your child as an example.  Maybe you wanted to put it on your own blog and claim that your own child wrote them.  Maybe you just like to read kid's writing and decided to put it on your desktop.  Whatever your reason, you took without asking.  I'm a giving person.  I take pictures, lots of them, for our church to use/not use at their discretion.  I don't want credit and I'm not concerned because I know they will be used carefully.  I share pictures I take of school parties with other parents because I think they may want pictures of their kids that I take.  Had you asked first, I probably would have said "sure, how flattering," but you didn't give me that choice.
Call this a lesson learned, but I will no longer be posting pictures - and I will be removing all the ones I've posted so far - until I have purchased a watermark program and learned a little more about copywriting pictures.  Ignorance isn't an excuse and I won't hide behind it.  I was naive and thought that surely no one will take my pictures, they really aren't all that interesting.  Well, now I know better.
Fool me once, shame on you.  Fool me twice, shame on me.
(just as a side note, yes, I do use pictures from flickr's creative commons area, but you'll always see a "photo by" underneath so credit goes where it is due.  I'm not the pot calling the kettle black)

Thursday, September 11, 2008

my list of seven

I was reading this is reverb.... and he posted several lists of 7 and then challenged his readers to come up with some.  This is harder than I thought - to come up with 7 things of a specific topic.  Let's see....  And they are in no particular order.
How about seven things I like to photograph.
old cemeteries and old buildings
sleeping children 
interesting trees 
Seven things on my to-do list;
1.  Pay bills
2.  Wash puppy
3.  Cook dinner
4.  Organize coupons
5.  Clean up my dresser (I've had issues with this since childhood)
6.  Clean out my car
7.  Wash dishes
Seven things I'd rather do than clean
1.  Play with the kids
2.  Anything
3.  Have a tooth pulled
4.  Anything
5.  Go take pictures
6.  Volunteer at Monkey's school
7.  Anything
Seven things I want to do before I die
1.  Thru-hike the Appalachian Trail
2.  Go on a safari in Africa  
3.  Visit the pyramids of Egypt
4.  See my children grow up
5.  Go on a cruise
6.  Go to Israel
7.  Become a grandparent   

Hero Day

photo by Tanya Ryno
Today is Hero Day at our school.  Our PTA Citizenship committee does a Hero Week every year, with Hero Day being 9/11.  Last year was my first year witnessing this.  It's quite beautiful and funny, actually.  During lunch (which lasts almost 2.5 hours at our school because of the number of children) different heros visited with the children.  The local firemen came, the crossing guard (she's also a member of the Sheriff's office) was there and dads from the Army and Navy were there to hang out with and talk to the children.
This year, Trey was able to make it along with a good friend of his, Todd.  They were the only representation of the Armed Forces that was there this year but we also had about 5 firemen there and the crossing guard.  
What was funny, to me, was seeing the children swarm around our heroes asking for autographs.  I know this isn't really funny but it was so cute I had to laugh.   To see Trey and Todd talking to these wide-eyed children asking questions about what they do was just plain fun.  One of the firemen had warned Trey not to start signing autographs or else he'd never get to stop, but it was too late. 
The other thing the PTA did was send home "hero packets" for the children.  They read about what it takes to be a hero, then were asked to draw a picture of their hero and then tell how they could be a hero, too.  These were posted around the cafeteria for everyone to read.  Some of the heroes included Superman, Mom, Dad, Fireman, Soldier, Jesus, Doctor and so on.  These were just beautiful.  All of the drawings were done by the children and most were written by them although a few were written by their parents for them.
It was a really neat experience for the morning and a special way to remember our heroes.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

looking out for me

The kids are looking out for me again.  Just when I thought I didn't have anything to blog about, they come through for me.  Should I really even doubt that I'll always have something to say?  No, not really.
Monkey decided to post some room rules for herself.  Her original list included "ignore brother" and "don't allow brother to play in room" or something like that.  I mentioned to her that she might want to reconsider those to and she did.  I'm guessing she realized if she had those two rules, she wouldn't have anyone to play with.
After she wrote her rules I asked her what happens if a rule gets broken?  What will be the consequence?  So she wrote her own consequences.  Honestly, she did this all on her own.   
I told her when she was done that it sounded like she had some pretty good rules and reasonable consequences.  I guess we'll see how well it goes. 
Little Man, on the other hand, was creative in another way this afternoon.  Recently, he has been taking the step stool out of the bathroom to get to places he can't otherwise reach elsewhere in the house.  This time, he went into his room and reached a small bottle of baby powder that was on his dresser.
This is what I saw when I walked into his room with him to change his amazingly nasty diaper.  By the way, he said "I have lots of poop" just as I started changing him.  He was right - he went straight into the tub. 
The powder is normally kept in the basket you see on the dresser.  Luckily, it was one of those smaller travel bottles of powder and not the king-size bottle that was right next to it.  
I think I need to straighten up his dresser. 

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Go Pirates!
ECU 24 vs. WV 3


Back during the summer our card-night groups of gals (minus one this night) all went out on our friend's boat.  It was a beautiful summer night and was very relaxing.  Normally, we play cards when we get together, Hand and Foot, but this time, we just hung out and talked.  I didn't have my camera with me so I borrowed my friend's and took a few shots of the sunset.  Ok, I took something like 40 shots, but who's counting?
During that same time, Trey was out of town on a trip.  These are some of the pictures he came back with.  What a contrast!

Joss Wheden...

is my hero.  
Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog
Oh yeah, and he wrote the screenplay for Toy Story.
Need I say more?

Friday, September 5, 2008

global village

This internet stuff is pretty cool.  A few days ago, I signed up with StatCounter to track the visits to my website.  I'm still trying to figure out a lot of it, but one of the cool things that it gives me is the city/area from where people are visiting.
Some I knew already, like family and friends.  That's easy.  But then there are other places, too, like Ontario, LA, Pensacola, West Va, other parts of California and Ohio.  
Hi everyone!  Welcome to my little corner of the internet!  Y'all come back soon, now, ya hear?

Thursday, September 4, 2008

hand signals

I have officially been flipped off by my daughter.  Ok, not really, but here's what happened.  I picked her up from school today and...
"hey mom, I got a paper cut today.  Wanna see?"
Since I was sure there was a cute little bandaid on her cut because all first grade teachers have them in their desk for such emergencies, I turned briefly to look.
She was holding all her fingers down with her thumb but that precious little middle finger.
There's something really disturbing about being flipped off by a 6 year old, even if she didn't really know what she was doing.

Monday, September 1, 2008

something worth blogging about pt 2

Well, it would seem that Monkey didn't get all her nailpolish put away as she was supposed to.  How do I know this?  Little Man painted his toenails on one foot on Sunday morning, to go with his fingers.  
It wasn't quite as neat as his fingers, and I didn't have as good a laugh about it, but I still chuckled a bit.
Trey just rolled his eyes.