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Tuesday, April 27, 2010

it's a sticky situation…

life on a post it note. yep. it's tuesday again, and you know what that means!! supah's post it note tuesday meme. i highly recommend giving it a try. jot down a few notes, post em on your blog, and head over to supah to check out her notes and link on up. 

Monday, April 26, 2010

storm the gates, if you don't mind…

i've mentioned her before, and i'll probably tell you about her again, but for now, i just need you to storm the gates of heaven on little charli's behalf. please see the latest about my little micro-preemie only surviving triplet born at 25 weeks old friend. she's in need of two really risky surgeries and not sure how fast they need to happen… one on her heart to correct PDA (pulmonary ductus arteriosus) and the other for her intestines.
seriously people. need to get the word out. and as they are new bloggers, and wading in super unchartered waters, please leave encouraging comments over there to let them know they are not communicating to a vacuum in vain.
link about her in your blog. tweet about her. but most importantly, PRAY for her. adam and kelly have been through so much in the last three (almost) weeks. they've already lost two little boys and have had precious little time to grieve.
please, and i'm not telling you what to do, but please, storm those gates for charli. and for her mommy and daddy and sisters and brother.
and may God get all the glory!

another flipping cool giveaway

not that i ever have anything super cool to give away (and i am too scared to do one of my own anyways because i'm afraid i won't have anyone enter and would be forever humilated) but i have friends (well, not IRL friends, but you get the picture) who do.
not that you have to head over there or anything and ruin my odds of winning, but if you really want to, sheri at unexpected bliss is giving away an apple itouch 8g along with a $15 itunes gift card. i could seriously use a new ipod since mine got lifted by boywonder forever ago. and it's not even a decent one, but it's compact for running/working out. something i'd rather die than actually do myself.
anywhoo… i digress. hmmm. how unusual. whoops. i gave up sarcasm. dang.

Friday, April 23, 2010

do the right thing

when last we saw the hubster's bike, it was a crumpled mess on the side of a small highway in back woods florida, as it and my bike had just broken off our bike rack and become bicycle origami.
my bike was repaired to the tune of $250, the hub's was declared dead at the scene.
i had an exchange with the folks at SARIS, the bikerack manufacturer that you can revisit if you'd like here, but suffice to say they wanted a photo of the bikes on the rack to make sure we hadn't attached them incorrectly.
i'm sure if you're like us, you capture every moment of your trips so as not to forget a single detail.
yeah, right.
once we had receipts and estimates in hand, i had the hubs contact the company because people don't seem to write off men as easily as a woman. don't mean to sound all sexist here, but it's true. (at least in this case)
and even the hubs had a go-around with them, and he got our bike store to vouch for us. i'm thinkin if your bike rack is so complicated that any normal person couldn't put it on a car (since we've been doing this for years… hauling bikes) without it breaking then perhaps you might have a design flaw.
imagine my surprise when i went outside today to find a box containing a new bike rack from saris on our front steps!! (not that i want to ever use it again, mind you, but NICE!)
then i went to the mailbox and what to my wondering eyes should appear… but a nice juicy check from saris along with a note that says even though we think you still put it on your car incorrectly, we're gonna give you the benefit of the doubt, blah blah blah.
it's not every day that companies step up and do the right thing. too often you have to drag a lawyer into the mix and get kinda ugly about it. they'll settle, but then you've just lost 1/3 of the cash. so we're thrilled that this didn't drag on mercilessly for months. seriously, it's been 4 weeks.
so bravo, saris.
my faith in american businesses has been restored!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

on behalf of a friend…

it's been about fifteen months since i began blogging.
i'm not really sure how or why i got into it, only that i love to write… i have things to say… and the fact that anyone reads is still amazing to me. i don't think i ever had a clue about the online community. no. flippin. clue.
perhaps it was getting sucked into the drama of a little micro-preemie named gwyneth. or her critically ill momma, patricia. or just the gut-wrenching vulnerability displayed by gwyn's daddy. whatever it was, i was hooked.
through them, i think i "met" jennifer mckinney. i mean seriously, who doesn't know mckmama? i think i heard yesterday she has about three million hits a month to her blog. whoa.
i've met so many cool people on various blogs. i've heard some seriously courageous stories. watched dramatic family moments play out. have seen some crazy grieving (and i don't mean that like crazy crazy. i mean that like astounding. or incredible. or intense. not crazy. crazy). and some tear inducing triumphs.
this is real life at its best. and worst.
i have been inspired by so many people that i don't have the space to list them all. and i have laughed harder than i have (like diet coke spewing all over my laptop laughing) ever laughed. so many funny and clever folks. i have been inspired to be more creative. to see life differently. to capture the small moments to savor. to live out my faith more radically.
i'm amazed at this community and how it rallies around people in need. how we cheer on people who are struggling. how we dig deep into our own resources to help the less fortunate. how we raise awareness to great causes.
i love this community. your hearts are huge. your capacity to lend a helping hand is enormous. your compassion is limitless. your ability to pray for others is unmatched.
i have a friend. in real life. (i know, weird, but it's true!) she and her husband, who is a youth pastor at a local church, have three beautiful kiddles and were pregnant with three more. two weeks ago, kelly and adam discovered that lincoln, one of the twins (two of their triplets shared a birth sac) had died. the next day, she underwent a c-section to deliver the other two babies. at 25 weeks, they were super small. tucker, the other twin, was struggling, and charli, their daughter, was a little stronger, even though she was tinier—just over a pound. the next day, they held tucker as he passed away. charli is still fighting, even though she's been battling an infection that has proven to be stubbornly resistant to drugs.
Please pray for the vaughans…they have two girls (seven and five) and a son (three) at home, their daughter charli is all the way across town in the NICU, kelly is working hard to produce the best nutrients for charli, but is finding pumping to be difficult. and they're grieving the loss of their two boys.
This is such a sweet, gentle couple. very private, totally sold out in love with Jesus. i would love for them to know that people all over are praying for them, caring for them, and sharing their hearts.
please pray for charli to fight this infection. for the little hole in her tiny heart to resolve itself without surgery. for this infection to be eradicated. for her tiny lungs to mature so she can breathe on her own. for the rest of the vaughan children who have not yet met their sister. for kelly's milk supply. for adam as he leads his family. for their grieving process. for the enemy to stay the heck away from this family.
thank you, from the bottom of my heart.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

one day

i love how i have this idea about what i'm going to blog about… and then somewhere on the way to work (that would be a short stroll from the breakfast bar to our spare bedroom, now my office) i catch wind of this project and i was all like this is so cool. soooooo coooooool. seriously.
i am a huge fan of pacing the panic room. i began following him while he and his wife were expecting their little girl and he was doing a shot a week of his wife…ryan's this crazy-good photographer, and he was blogging about pregnancy through a dad's eyes. i highly recommend the view of life around him through the lens of his camera, and his brain. he's thoughtful and authentic.
his post today was so intriguing. he knows this guy that is spearheading an effort to make this global documentary. i took a look at the trailer and i was instantly captivated. how about you?

does that just take your breath away and make you start thinking about what you would submit if you were to have a video camera on that day?
for me, i had to think about what a woman, working from a spare bedroom across the hall from the bathroom with the ugly symphony of green would possibly have to share with the global community.
and then i remembered the shot of that little girl doing summersaults.
life is new life. tragedy and death. war. discovery.
and sometimes just being.
think about it…
what would you like the world to see?

if you're intrigued… go check out the official One Day on Earth site and become part of the community by signing up. how fun is this project? and don't stop there… follow them on twitter, too.
and go visit ryan. he's so insightful, and it's refreshing to get a dad's perspective on child-rearing and husbanding.

Monday, April 19, 2010

hope in haiti

i was going to share about my weekend at alabama (and i will) but i saw this today and just had to share. and while you're looking at this (and grab a kleenex while you're at it) please pray for the people in china who are reeling from yet another assault from nature…
here is what a friend has sent:

No doubt you have heard about the huge earthquake that struck a remote area of Qinghai Province, northwest China, last Wednesday.
The damage is centered on the town of Yushu, home to 85,000 people (see picture taken before the quake). More than 90% of the buildings in Yushu have collapsed. The latest reports from China have the death toll at almost 2,000, with many people still missing. The area has experienced more than 1,200 aftershocks in the last five days.
It is hard to imagine a more difficult and remote location for such a disaster to strike. Many of the villages that have been devastated lie at high altitude, and temperatures are below freezing at night. Some of the Chinese soldiers that were sent to help in Yushu have suffered from potentially-fatal altitude sickness. This part of China is home to the Northern Khampa Tibetan people. Most of them lead nomadic lives, herding sheep, yaks and goats on the plateau. In the past we have written about this unreached group in our prayer books. Here is a link to one of our profiles on the Northern Khampa people.
Within hours of the earthquake striking, a team of Chinese and a few foreign Christians travelled to the disaster zone to help. Most of these believers were involved with the earthquake relief efforts in Sichuan Province in 2008. The combination of their loving help and bold witness for Jesus Christ saw thousands of people in Sichuan come to faith in the living God.
In Yushu they have initially provided blankets and warm coats to the people, and now they have put together 500 emergency aid kits to help the worst-affected families. The kits include:
1  Solar panel and battery lighting system and USB charger (pictured below)
1  USB heated blanket
10 pound (5kg) bag of rice
1  liter of cooking oil
1  First aid kit with guaze, medicine, and bandages
1  cooking pan
Each kit costs $100 for the items and delivery into the hands of the most needy families in Yushu Prefecture. 
If you would like to help with the urgent need to provide emergency aid kits your donation would be greatly appreciated. You can do so either by donating by credit card to the Asia Disaster Relief fund on our secure website:, via Paypal (our address is or by sending a gift by post, with a note that it is for the Asia Disaster Relief fund, to the Asia Harvest address listed at the bottom of this message.
If you are familiar with our work you will know that 100% of gifts to the Asia Disaster Relief fund will go directly to the need. Not a cent will be deducted for administration or any other expense. We cover such expenses ourselves as it is the least we can do during such a time of need. All donations in the United States are tax-deductible.
If you have any questions please don't hesitate to contact us (
For the Lord of the Harvest,
Paul Hattaway
Asia Harvest, 1903  60th Place, Suite M1204, Bradenton, FL 34203, USA

Friday, April 16, 2010

i ♥ facebook

i know. what's an old bat like me doing on facebook? beyond ruining fb for the youngsters for which it was created, i actually use it quite a bit to stalk keep up with my college-aged kids, and also to connect with my high school friends since they don't do email (that is so ten years ago). they barely do fb. their main form of communicating is via text message (or as the hubs fondly refers to it: texmexing) and just so you don't think i'm uber-weird, i'm a volunteer youth leader for high school–this year we have sophomores (both the hubs and i) and will continue to journey with them towards graduation, a short two years away!
but i digress (y'all should be used to that by now)…
i heart facebook.
and twitter, but that's another story.
i get all kinds of varied political viewpoints from my friends (ahem, the ones my age even!) i laugh at the hilarious comments that come across my news feed, can go vicariously to various bridal/baby showers, beach trips and hikes in the mountains… all from the comfort of my swivel desk chair. 
but most of all, i get to see some awesome videos. not just links of movie or tv show clips, but amateur films made by friends (like cookie tray ice olympics on the frozen deck), or just crazy stuff that goes viral.
like this: (and sorry about my dumb blog column limitations. you may just have to double click or whatever and just go to youtube because you must see the entire frame to get the full effect, and that goes for all the videos. sorry.)

this video would not be hilarious if it weren't for the subtitles. pure genius.
so not only do i get to spy see what my kids are in to, make new friends (sarah from IL), communicate with all my church girls (widcrib 608), catch up with friends from high school and college… but i get to see how incredibly funny and creative my friends are. 
bama girl's bamaboy made a series of short "films" to while away the unseasonably cold winter. they  posted on youtube and advertised through their facebook group, and now are finalists in the university of alabama's contest to promote their tech library. 

most of their videos are totally guy. you know, senseless violence, death to a play doh figure. but they are kinda funny. and like most stuff college… way funnier at 2 am. but i digress…
if you would like to vote for him, i certainly wouldn't stop you from helping him win! head on over to UA's website and vote!
 laughing is one of my favorite things to do. i hope that your day and upcoming weekend is filled with laughter… and of course, JOY!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

morning solitude

recently, we had the windows replaced along the front and side of our home, leaving the originals in the back as we hope to add on soon. they replaced ten windows in record time. minimal clean up. i was amazed.
while making an investment like this doesn't add much to the casual passerby, i have enjoyed our new windows more than i thought i would. without the hassles of wrangling windows to pry them open only to have them slowly slide down, it's been a breeze (haha) to enjoy the benefits of these new gems.
the weather has been delightful, which one must enjoy while one can, because soon the crisp spring mornings and evenings will give way to the oppressive heat and humidity that is the norm in the southeast.
i love to come into my office in the early morning, before the world goes off to work, and enjoy those who join me in early day routines. with the windows open, i can hear the countless birds in the trees and even the buzzing of the bees. a dog barks, a squirrel skitters by, and the morning rays dance through the leaves into my office.
so peaceful.
and even though the world is now at work (especially the construction workers nearby) and the sounds of man pierce the tranquility of the morning, i can still enjoy a gentle breeze and the call of a bird. i'm enjoying the blessing of open windows.
there will come a day when the heat overpowers and the windows will close. and then i'll deal with the pervasive yellow dust that has invaded our home. i read recently that oaks are the biggest pollen producers. and if you have followed my blog through the fall (aka raking season), i lamented then that they shouldn't have called our neighborhood seven oaks… it should have been named seven thousand oaks. last week there were tire tracks going down our driveway, like tracks through new fallen snow. except the tracks were yellow. and later, when it rained, there was literally, a yellow river coursing down our drive.
yes, there's yellow dust in my house. but i'll worry about that tomorrow. for today, i'll enjoy the birds keeping me company while i work.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

love me some post it note tuesday!

not that anyone ever accused me of being short winded. in fact, my mom used to stop me and tell me to "take a breath!" sigh. this has been going on my whole life. so to be able to sum up my thoughts in anything less than a hundred post its is monumental! are you up for the challenge?  it's simple!  you can create your own here, and then click on the post-it below and head on over to supahmommy who has it all going on… on a post-it, of course!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

be still my bleeding heart!

today is a good day.
the sun is shining.
everything is in bloom.
i don't have allergies (hallelujah!).
there's a cool breeze.
the grass needs cutting (but we have a rider, so i don't mind doing it).
annual flats were on sale at home depot.
my camera lens miraculously began working again (what?).
i took my orchid in bloom out to play. (i really should name her, she's been in the family for over 3 years, and nothing green stands a chance of lasting that long… she's practically a member of the family, but unfortunately, i'm the only one who feels that way.)
and a bunch of mommybloggers raised $30,000 for compassion in just over 24 hours.
i could never give that much to make a huge impact in a third world country. but it is freaking amazing that together, we can move mountains.
how cool is that??

Friday, April 9, 2010

share a little compassion

i think it's so cool when the body pulls together to make awesome things happen. my e-friend, jennifer mckinney (aka mckmama) had this brilliant idea to purchase an ipad, then give the ipad away, but also strongly encouraged people to give to compassion international to help babies and mommas. can you imagine that in less than 24 hours her little brain child has raised over $20,000 for compassion?? i don't know about you, but i was inspired, i donated and i'm encouraging you to do likewise. when i consider the conditions in which i live (where i water my lawn with drinkable water) and thrive, and then compare it to the squaller that babies and children must live in third world countries… it makes my heart break. to know that these children will be cared for and loved and taught about Jesus… well, that makes my heart sing with joy. won't you join me? even a small sacrifice will make a difference.
and who knows? you might just win an ipad!!
what are you waiting for!! go on now!!
head on over to mckmama's mckgiveaway! but you best hurry! this giveaway ends midnight EST, but the giving to compassion can go on… and on… and on…

he's baaaaaack!

just in case you've been hanging out under a rock this week, tiger's back in the spotlight as he returns to golf for the first time since his wife tried out his nine iron on the back window of his car last thanksgiving. i am having a hard time with this one… and i guess i'm having a hard time with it because in the middle of me not really caring about what happens to him, i'm forced to care as it is not only the main story on every sports station, but is splayed on the cover of every newpaper and is the "breaking story" on every news channel.
if i didn't already have enough of tiger before, i've certainly ODed this week.
augusta national chairman, billy payne, issued a critical statement:
"it is simply not the degree of his conduct that is so egregious here… it is the fact that he disappointed all of us, and more importantly, our kids and our grandkids. our hero did not live up to the expectations of the role model we saw for our children."
why all the outrage?
because tiger wasn't who we thought he was?
who is tiger, anyway?
just a guy who has a knack for hitting a little ball accurately and can sink a crazy putt. he's a golfer with some seriously mad skills. and for that we should give him props.
but to elevate him to a god-like status?
why do we do that? give hero status to people? is it deserved? i haven't made it my quest to delve into the history of all things tiger… so i don't pretend to know all the details… but besides golf,  making his sponsors (and himself) a boatload of money and inspiring kids (especially minorities) to play golf… other than playing a game well… what has tiger done?
is he a crazy charitable giver like bill gates? has he built a school for disadvantaged kids in africa?
he may be a great charitable giver. i don't know. and if he is… he's doing it in secret… which is admirable in itself because it's not self-serving. that is to be applauded.
my only point here is that we as a culture tend to elevate people to hero/role model status without any warrant. look at madonna. michael jackson. magic johnson… the list goes on… people with questionable moral practices who happen to be at the top of their game.
tiger's always done a great job of keeping his golf game out there and his private life private. until november, he'd always managed to keep his name associated with golf, and nothing more.
and now we know there was a lot more going on behind the scenes. he has crazy fame, incredible wealth, good looks and a busy travel schedule. couple that (sorry, bad pun, i know) with females throwing themselves at him at every turn… it was a recipe for disaster. not many guys would be able to withstand that type of temptation. some would argue what he did wrong was marry and have kids. it's tough to live in both worlds.
billy payne said he "didn't live up to our expectations…"
he certainly didn't live up to mine… but then is it fair to expect redeemed behavior from someone who is unredeemed? or should we expect him to live up to the moral standards of our culture? if it's the latter… perhaps we should be amazed that his lifestyle didn't come into light a long time ago…
i'm going to leave you with the nike ad that is currently running. (i don't fault nike for standing by tiger. his endorsements made nike billions.) there's a voiceover of tiger's dad asking him about his thought process and what he's learned. what do you think about the ad?

Thursday, April 8, 2010

embrace life

no, this isn't a pro-life video. well, at least not the kind that you're thinking of.
i thought this was one of the most beautiful PSAs out there. share it. saving lives and families and preventing heartache is so important.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

those aren't birds… they're PIGS!

just outside our kitchen window is a birdfeeder that we inherited with the house (in all honesty, we replaced the rotted one with a new one, but the idea of a birdfeeder {and the pole} came with the house). we've gone a while since we've put seed in the feeder (sorry, birds) and a month ago, when i was at sam's, i bought a huge case of seed. i seem to remember not having a problem going through the seed.
so i fill it, and it wasn't long before there was a line forming to the birdfeeder. the little crowd control ropes like they have at the movie theater. little plasma tvs (just like at disneyworld at the popular rides) showing chicken little while they stood in line to eat… let's just say it was a popular feeding ground!
we enjoyed cardinals, chickadees, doves, and a bunch of other birds that i don't know the names… sorry, i'm a bird feeder and a bird enjoyer, but i ain't no ornithologist, and i'm not apologizing for that. we even have winnebagos with feathers. i don't know what they're called, but they are the biggest and the fattest birds and i seriously wonder how they get airborne… they're like the chris farley of birds.

can't help it. i loved chris farley. poor guy ate too much birdseed…
sorry, i digress.
filled up the birdfeeder. lots of birds show up. enjoy the feeding frenzy. the next day, the seed is gone.
wow. those are some hungry birds!
fill the feeder. birds throw a small party. fly in, peck at seeds, fly away. 
later in the afternoon, the feeder is empty.
fill it again. sit down to enjoy the paper and a cup of coffee with the hubs.
what. the. heck?
there is a SQUIRREL practically INSIDE the feeder. there are fifty birds, sitting on the fence, all giving him the middle talon. 
we have this little squirrel prevention rigged up metal thingy that is supposed to…uh… prevent (hence the name: squirrel prevention rigged up metal thingy) the squirrels from being able to sit and dine. 
{it also came with the half rotten birdfeeder}
i'd take a picture of said feeder, but my camera is still broken.
a moment of silence, please.
but i did order a new lens which should be here by the weekend. i'll send my other lens off for a repair. which nikon should do for free since it's still under warranty. but of course, with two moves around here in the last several months, i cannot, for the live of me, find the box and/or receipt. booooooooo.
but i digress {again}
so i have plenty of seed. remember? i bought a case. 
but i'll be ding-danged if i'm going to feed the squirrels.
now i remember why i haven't bought seed in a while. i remember now that at the time i was contemplating sending two kids to college, and how would i afford that if i have to by a case of birdseed every other week?
sorry, birds. 
anyone got any ideas that won't cost me a fortune? it's not like they're going to starve to death in the meantime…i mean after all, it is worm season, right?

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

write on!

while writing stuff on a post it note is pretty fun, i'll have to admit that keeping my thoughts to a few notes is hard, but the challenge to be snarky, funny and brief is oftentimes hard to pass up. i'm bypassing supahmommy's meme today to participate in another blog-hop.

Nicole, over at tattoos and teething rings has begun a new tradition, and i'm playing along. In today's installment of Write On! we have a choice of two writing prompts:

1) Write about a memory involving food. It can be a happy memory that brings you back to your childhood, or something really embarrassing that you'd rather forget. My vote is embarrassing, but that's just how I roll.  2) Write about your worst personality trait or bad habit. Be honest; none of this "My worst habit is that I'm so kind to everyone...blah blah blah."Time to fess up! (And, since you are aware of this bad habit or trait, is there a reason you haven't changed)
hop on over to nicole's and play along. there's a mrlinky thingy so go hook yourself up!
while food is always top of my mind… i think i'll forgo that topic for the second. not like talking about my worst personality trait is my idea of a picnic. i usually try to avoid looking at my faults (please tell me that's normal, mmmkay?)
sadly, i have a long list… i suffer from OPD (obnoxious personality disorder) and it manifests itself in so many ways… 
i don't know if my brain works on overdrive or if that's just a symptom of ADD, but i remember my mouth getting me in trouble as early as second grade. i encountered my brother's sixth grade teacher in the hall and he was asking me what i was doing (it was after school) and my overly quick responses to his questions were seen as disrespectful and insolent. not the content of my answers. just the fact that i was answering him before he had a chance to finish his question. 
i still do that. i'm not trying to be impatient. really. i do want to hear your thoughts. (but i hate the thought of you having to wait around to hear how brilliant my answer to your question is!) i'd gladly listen until the end of your sentence, but i already know where you're going, and unfortunately, i'm anxiously ready with a reply to the thought you haven't even finished yet, so before i forget (i have a.d.d.) what i'm going to say, i'm pretty much blurting it out. much of the time…right on top of what you haven't finished saying yet.
geesh, i'm annoyed at myself just thinking about it!
i am the worst conversationalist. if it's not all about me, then i'm usually trying to connect with you about your story… it just usually works out that i try to empathize by… uh… talking about me. or a situation i had that was similar. for-the-love-of-me-pete, i'm really not trying to one up you or turn the conversation around to me. really. in my quest to make you feel like i'm listening (which i really am doing, it just doesn't come across that way) i end up butting in to interject my idea or story. 
this of course, makes me nervous. and when i'm nervous, i get diarrhea of the mouth. 
the hubster trys the look. you know, the look. the one with his eyes bulging out of his head.
when that doesn't work, he adds the head tilt. 
and an eyebrow raise. 
everything but his head spinning on its axis (which would be a pretty neat touch).
it goes on to the throat clear. and the kick to the shins.
but by now the nerves have taken over and i'm impervious to pain. or the stampede of people away from me.

the gift of reading

i've got a sweet bloggy friend with a heart of gold. she's a fourth grade teacher to a great bunch of kiddles and they're blessed to have a teacher who genuinely cares.
she's got a great giveaway on her blog…and if you've got young'uns who like to read (especially guys) you should give this contest a shot.
can you think of a better way to instill a love for reading than by giving away the goods?? i love a good read. as in i. love. to. read!!
so head over to ellen's blog and check it out. you won't be disappointed!

Monday, April 5, 2010

helping a friend

bloggers stick together, and when someone is in need, we all band together. won't you consider stopping by unexpected bliss and sharing some love and helping? there could be a nice nikon d40 in it for you! she's doing a giveaway/raffle on her blog. but hurry! the contest ends tomorrow!


a few weeks ago, our family began making plans for our easter gathering. 
it usually begins with the location. not always the easiest of the plans as it usually involves some sort of ancient mating dance that involves bobbing and several do-si-dos… it's odd really. as in you know your parents (or in this case, the in-laws) are getting on in years and it takes alot of work to put together a big gathering (usually close to 18 people) and so you want to offer to host the event. but you don't want them to feel like they can't do it. so you offer to come, but you don't want to invite yourself over. because doing that means you'll be inviting the entire entourage. but you don't want to rob them of the joy of showing off their decorations (the in-laws were in the gift business, so there is a plethora {understatement} of springy/bunnyish brick-a-brack on display) and hosting the event. and if you offer to have it at your home, they will feel obligated to come, never insisting on having it at their house. ever. they wouldn't risk hurting someone's feelings like that.
and then there's the problem of hogging events at your home. so you have to consult the calendar of past events and make sure that you aren't over-entertaining or trying to out-marha-stewart the rest of the families.
the process of establishing a venue is exhausting.
and then the menu selection ensues.
all dictated by the host, of course. (or in this case, hostess-matriarch) she assigns… you bake/cook/concoct. and it's always the same stuff. whether it's easter, thanksgiving or christmas, the meal always has the same stuff. the meats switch up: thanksgiving it's turkey (never a deviation there, and that's fine with me. i'm not a big turkey meat fan, but it is the life support system for gravy and stuffing, so it's all good), christmas it's ham and turkey and easter it's ham. but the side dishes remain the same. broccoli casserole. sweet potatoes. mashed potatoes. (stuffing is missing at easter, but that's because there's no turkey, and gravy is also MIA at easter for the same reason)
not to complain, but i would like to see a little bit more creativity at easter. like asparagus. and potato salad. a yummy pasta salad. or a big ole tossed salad. fresh fruit. color!! my plate yesterday looked like an october quilt sampler. ham with orange. orange sweet potatoes. orange broccoli caserole (topped with cheese its), orange mashed potatoes (topped with cheddar cheese).
but to buck tradition is a dicey trick.
what happens if you make something different and everyone hates it? or harrasses you about it for years to come? (like the easter bread that my SIL made years and years ago that was some sort of braided bread thing with dyed hard boiled easter eggs woven into it. i applaud her bravery for attempting such a feat, but the result was suitable for a doorstop, and we haven't let her live it down since.)
am i the only one here who is hankering to switch it up a bit on holidays? i'm not lobbying to eradicate mashed potatoes, stuffing or gravy at thanksgiving or christmas, but is it okay if we try a new vegetable casserole? or if we skip those nasty sweet potatoes JUST ONCE FOR GOODNESS SAKES??
this year, my MIL's idea of switching it up was asking me to make the sweet potatoes.
irony, that's what it is. she knows i'm not a fan. so let's let the sweetpotatohater make them this year!! brillant!!
i made a mean sweet potato casserole. (and it wasn't bad, if i do say so myself). but do you think we could have a holiday gathering without one of the staples and survive it?

Friday, April 2, 2010

love so amazing, so divine

wishing you all a blessed good friday and a wonderful easter holiday.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

oh, eleanor, i'm such a cheater.

i'm not much of a practical joker. i mean, i love to laugh, and i crave the sound of people laughing (and i'm ashamed to admit that i crave that i made them laugh… i'm needy that way), but i'm not really a prankster. and i much more enjoy laughing at someone who gets punked than laughing at myself (i'm vulnerable that way).
that said, i do remember an april fool's day many years ago, way before kids, when i was working at petro's (where else?) on the other side of town at the mall. i took my lunch break, came back, worked and then prepared to leave. okay, see ya bye… i'm out the door. and then out in the parking lot. and looking. and looking. i park in pretty much the same place every day. i'm not so forgetful that i can't remember where i parked my car!! seriously? where's my car?
and as i'm wandering aimlessly through the parking lot, a glimmer of hope begins to kindle in my heart. did my car get stolen?
i mean who would steal a crappy honda civic with a bad paint job? who is that desperate?
turns out nobody.
my staff moved my car to the other side of the mall while i was at lunch.
i come back into the store and prepare to call the police (yes folks, i'm that old. this was before the days of cell phones). i'm actually pretty excited! i tell my staff, resisting the urge to physically jump up and down, that my car has been stolen. whoo hoo!! new car, here i come!
and then they tell me.
april fool!!
DAMN! (and i don't usually swear, but these were my BC {before Christ} days and i probably let a multitude of bombs fly, but won't drop one here)
it's not stolen?
it was funny, but i remember driving home (after the long, long, LONG walk to my car) kinda disappointed that eleanor (my car) and i were still partners. i mean i loved and respected her, but i was guilty of lusting over another. i know, i'm horrible. i'm that girl. and once  i succumbed to lust, it was over between eleanor and i. it wasn't long before i ditched her and started dating someone more worthy of my children. (and no, i did not leave eleanor for a minivan. i would not do that to her.)