Sunday, December 27, 2009
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
Friday, November 27, 2009
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
- FAMILY (goes without saying!)
- kitchen window view of the sunrise over the farmfield
- fuzzy yellow striped cat waiting on the porch
- snuggly 7 year old who doesn't really want to get up yet
- still sorta snuggly but slightly grownup 8 year old who would like to read the sports section of the paper if i've been outside to get it
- not-a-morning person spouse who manages a half smile instead of a frown at o'darkthirty
- the feel of wet grass at the edges of my flip flops as i walk across the yard
- toes that don't mind wet grass and flip flops in november
- blue jays trying to hide acorns from the backyard under the tree in the front yard
- any dark roasted, bold flavored coffee bean that finds its way into my grinder
- favorite coffee cups, be they old or new, big or small
- the luxury of having enough dishes to be able to choose favorites
- the luxury of having the freedom to write about whatever i want
- the luxury of having the freedom to say yes when others say no, to say no when others say yes, and to not have to say why i choose what i choose
- the memory of standing in the Jefferson Memorial at night, craning my neck to take in the glorious quote around the ceiling
- torches that melt glass
- dark ivory glass and gravity
- glass melting friends from around the world
- books, all kinds
- charlotte's web, reading it as a third grader and feeling as if you're sitting in the barn with wilbur and charlotte because the story is so real
- ma and pop sitting on the porch with their coffee
- a bubby who lets me dig through the scraps in his shop
- a soupie who is just too damn funny!
- nieces and nephews, near and far
- milk chocolate
- roasted red peppers and asparagus
- catching a football pass from james while getting ready to return katie's soccer ball kick
- knowing someone, somewhere in the world, will read these and think, "yep, that's something i love, too" and "wow, never thought about that" and "i am thankful for so many things, too"
May your Thanksgiving Day be a joy. . .life is good :)
Saturday, November 21, 2009
So, he wondered why I had to give him a smartass remark to that question. In all fairness, while I'm standing here still half dressed in a crazy hybrid of pajamas and yesterday's jeans, I think to myself, "Well, maybe he was just trying to be nice and actually pay attention to me, and look at how I grouched at him in response." Hmmmmm. So, I help get a blanket for the sidewalk, a piece of cardboard for a painting surface, dig out pieces of craft wood shapes that each kiddo can paint, pick out paintbrushes, pour out paints and talk about the colors, watch the paintings being created, come inside for a few minutes to check my email, go back outside to discover the girls have progressed to splatter painting, explain who Jackson Pollack is, come inside to google Pollack so they can see some pictures, clean paint off hands, pick up paint before cat walks through it, and still I'm thinking about the difference between mom-ability and dad-ability. Another mom wouldn't have asked "What are you going to do today?" She would've asked something along the lines of "What are the girls going to do today?" or said something like "I'm sure they're going to have fun!" Another mom would know that it's fun having a house full of kids doing things, but the to-do lists don't really belong in the day's scenario.
Hmmm, I think again. And that is when I decide for sure. Mars, hell. . . this man has to be from another freaking galaxy. Either that, or some wicked smartass higher power plucked me from a galaxy far away, plopped me down on Venus, and gleefully sat back with the higher power equivalent of a big bowl of popcorn in anticipation of a really funny movie being played out when I got matched up with this being from Mars! Ha. Ha. Hee. Hee. Well, I gotta say I guess it is kinda funny when you think about it!
P.S. You should see some of the splatter paintings drying on the counter right now! They used jewel tone greens, blues, and purples, plus a dash of bright golden orange. . .it's a very pretty peacock feather palette of splatters!
Sunday, November 15, 2009
You know what I remember about hide 'n seek? I remember playing it with Tracy and my brother and sister at the Isgrigg's house. Tracy was an Isgrigg grandchild, but the younger children weren't a whole lot older than us. . .just older enough to not want to play hide 'n seek, but not too old to not want to be bothered with the game. It's been a long time ago, and my memory is not always crystal clear, but it seems like some of the best scares came from the teenagers jumping out of a closet unexpectedly and from hearing the "this hallway is haunted" stories. The details are dim, but I can still close my eyes and "feel" like I am standing in that hallway wondering whether anyone was in the closet in front of me. What fun!
So, howzabout you? Got any good hide 'n seek memories or tricky tips for winning the game?
Friday, November 13, 2009
- Emily Littlefield makes another Garren cousin! Actually, she's the daughter of James and Kate's cousin Amanda. That means Uncle Mike and Aunt Nancy are busy being grandparents (times four)!
- Oh, and yet another Garren cousin is 16! Hope it was a great birthday, Tanner!
- It was another short school week for James and Kate...next week, they have to go all five days! Whew, what a rough school schedule. Good thing Thanksgiving break is coming up :)
- Kate is having fun thinking about what she wants to do at Grandma and Granddaddy's over Thanksgiving.
- James is immersed in football. NFL rules! (Make that the Colts Rule!)
- I have one, two, maybe three unfinished projects. Hmmm, this new house feels more like home every day, LOL.
That's all 4 now! Have yourselves a wonderful weekend!
Monday, November 9, 2009
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
This huge culvert links our side of the ditch to the neighbor's side of the ditch. You can bet it holds a fascination for the kids, and Daddy has let them walk through it while he was standing there with them. They were enthralled with being able to stand up in a pipe and walk under the road. Of course, worrying-Mom had misgivings about letting them near it. Teach-'em-how-to-handle-situations-Dad made sure they kept their footing on dry spots, showed them how to tell how deep the water is with a stick, and explained how all the water running off the fields ends up in the neighbors' ditch and then flows through to our ditch. So, the Mom held her breath, let them learn, made extra noises about never coming to the ditch without a grownup, and then scurried down the rocks and into the tunnel. The giggles exploded at the sight of Mommy straddling the running water and scooting along to the opening to peer out at the water! Then, ohmygosh, Mom swung around the edge of the pipe and climbed up the rocks to our side of the ditch.
You know, I let my kids do lots of things, and I am proudest of them when they think independently. . .and yet, I'm always finding myself telling them to not do something because "it's too dangerous" or "look how you're going to get hurt if you fall from there." The culvert is a case in point. If I only had to worry about myself, then I would've been in that culvert in a flash (without the above mentioned hesitations), checking out the different textures of the worn metal, watching the pattern of the flow of water, dipping a hand over the edge, enjoying the sounds until a car passed over and startled me. I took this picture this morning, long after the swells of rainwater flooding the ditch over the past week have receded. The bricks and old hunks of concrete that have been jammed into a makeshift retaining wall around the pipe are full of intrigue. The colors are subtle rusts and grays, with a smidgeon of barely perceptible purples smattered here and there. The culvert itself begs me to get closer and take some closeups of the myriad textures as the sun lands on them. Is it any wonder that I want to clear out a small spot under the trees lining the ditch, a sitting spot with just enough room for a chair?
When even a lowly piece of infrastructure makes for inspiration, boredom can never be an option!
Saturday, October 31, 2009
Seriously, I think I could write an entire post about mud, but I won't. I won't because my writing muse doesn't do well with this borrowed online time thing. I like to stew a bit, let the words simmer in my noggin. I write, backspace, then rewrite the same thing over again, only to decide on a better sentence hours later. That's a difference between words/paper and glass/flame. Torching is much more immediate, with some room for wiggle but only within a short time frame. Writing is always open for revision. Torching is always open for re-creating-- revising, not so much. Both are good for the soul :)
And there's my segue back into Halloween-- "soul." I do hope you do something good for your soul this Halloween/All Saints Day weekend. I'm sure there's another essay hiding in that dichotomy; I just know there's lots to explore there. Once again, I've been thinking about spirituality, organized religion, and how the two are, or are not, entwined. When I figure that out (and save the world at the same time, LOL), there's sure to be another lengthy, rambling essay from me. In the meantime, have a Happy Halloween! Find joy in life! Have fun!
Sunday, October 25, 2009
Thursday, October 22, 2009
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Now that we've discussed the sad failure of the science community to name an element after my unruly hair, here are a few random Ang thoughts:
- Give someone you love a hug today, if at all possible. That's just all around good advice.
- Send my kids "I do like school" vibes, please. They don't like school, doesn't matter whether it's their old school or their new school. I like school. They think I've lost my mind. I just want them to enjoy their days. I don't think they are right now. Kate is having trouble adjusting to a completely different math book-- and math used to be her "easy" subject. James seems to bounce back and forth from not paying attention to how he does his work to making A's on tests. .. . kind of unsettled still.
- Look for a blog post titled "The Ladybugs Have Won the Battle". Those little orange versions (are they really ladybugs, too?) have swarmed our deck and keep finding all the crevices between the french doors and the door jambs. Ack! I've heard ladybugs are good luck, but really!
- Still doing the MickeyD's wi-fi plan, so my hour is about to expire. Better go! Hugs and kisses and good thoughts to all of ya!
Monday, October 19, 2009
I swear upon a stack of glass supply catalogs that I will not allow the basement to become another Packrat Central outpost. It shall remain uncluttered.
Oh, silly you, I *know* this is a tall order for this family! After all, I have in my stash such "essential" materials as two big boxes of outdated McCalls and Vogue patterns, a withered bouquet of dried flowers with no sentimental value, and long ago retired kids' potty. That's just the top of the pile.
Ahem... anyway. This basement is my one spot of spectacular spaciousness that isn't scheduled to be filled with furniture or random bags of yard sale goodies. Imakeepitdatway2.
Okay, so that's one 300 square foot area I plan to conquer. Sure makes me feel accomplished, as long as I don't think about the pole building looming at the edge of the yard, LOL.
Friday, October 16, 2009
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Sunday, September 27, 2009
Kate, on the other hand, likes to make her tableaux out of "things." Doesn't matter what things, as long as there are many of the things. Pennies work, as do pipe cleaners and anything else she can dig out of Mom's craft stash. We'll call this one The Peace Penny Purring collection :)
Hope you have a terrific Sunday! It's feeling so much like fall here, and that is my favorite time of year. That means you Southern Hemisphere peeps are getting to enjoy spring, too, so I'd venture to say it's a beautiful time of year all around the world!
Saturday, September 26, 2009
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
- Whether you consider yourself Republican or Democrat, you are a human being first and foremost. Human beings treat one another with respect. Even though we cannot force another human to treat us with respect, we should treat others with respect ourselves. This means that we don't retaliate with name calling or disrespect and then justify our actions by saying, "He did it, too!". What words of wisdom would your mother repeat to you? Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
- If you are perfect, then I have my doubts about whether you are human. This means that I realize we all make mistakes. We all have our lapses of judgment. We all have our "moments," if you will. Before you vehemently chastise or demean someone else, consider how you would feel if someone treated your mistakes in this same manner. In other words, remember Mama's admonition that "people in who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones."
- If after considering Mama's advice from #2 you still feel you must speak up, then carefully weigh the size of the stone you plan to hurl against the size of the perceived slight. You know, if you plan on running a steamroller over someone else's enthusiasm for a very small idea, then be prepared for them to ignore the words of wisdom in #1 and to slam even the smallest idea for which you harbor a modicum of enthusiasm. Once you've done that to someone enough times, you really can't be surprised when they attack (rightly or wrongly) every other word that comes out of your mouth, can you? Recollect another Mother's favorite: "If you're going to dish it out, then you'd better make sure you can take it."
- So, let's get up to speed here. If you have difficulty understanding why you should abide by #1 (do unto others as you would have them do unto you) , #2 (people who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones) rubs you the wrong way, and #3 (if you're going to dish it out, then you'd better make sure you can take it) doesn't scare you because you're itching for a fight, then I feel compelled to remind you that "you can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar."
"How can we apply these words to our lives (whether real or virtual)? How can we use our opinions to further a serious discussion, instead of fueling animosity toward those with whom we disagree?" you ask. Hmm, let me see if I can think of a few examples for you.
Vinegar: You #$@#@!# liberal! You don't understand anything!
Vinegar: You @#$#$@# conservative! You don't understand anything!
Honey: Look, I know we don't see eye to eye on every aspect of this issue, but maybe we can take a minute to understand one another's perspective. In the end, we may still have vastly different opinions, but maybe we will have helped one another understand why we think the way we do.
P.S. "Retardicans" and "Dumbocrats"?? You know the answer. You don't really have to ask whether or not this is okay, do you? Well, just in case you're trying to justify the wrong answer, let me help you. . . VINEGAR.
Sunday, September 20, 2009
If I had remembered to bookmark it, then I might have gotten around to reading the FAQ's on this page. The gist of the matter is your presence on the site is valuable to advertisers on the site. Why spend time trying to fill that bowl with rice? I have a few reasons of my own, and they are bouncing around my 1/2 spiritual, 1/2 skeptical smartass mind. Let me tilt my head forward a little bit more-- maybe some of them will jump onto the screen ;-)
Here ya go. Some reasons to remember to play Free Rice:
- Vocabulary isn't the only subject now! Since the last time I had played, they've added grammar, foreign language vocabulary, multiplication facts, basic math, famous painting identification, chemistry, and geography.
- It's fun to challenge yourself! Even if you have your doubts about how this could possibly work to feed people, the other goal of the site is to educate people. Did you learn a new word? Did you get a wee bit faster at spitting out multiplication facts? Did your kids look over your shoulder and learn something, too? Voila! Goal number two being served!
- Donating this way isn't likely to cut into donating on other fronts. You can do this while you're surfing the 'net (which you're probably going to do anyway sometime during the day if you have the opportunity, right?). If your bill for internet service is going to be paid anyway, then playing this game doesn't take away spare change which you could use to buy a few cans of food to donate locally.
- Much as I dislike it when people throw Snopes reports up in other peoples faces, I did break down and search yahoo with this question, "Is Free Rice legitimate?". Snopes says it is. The first page of the search didn't bring up much more than that and a pretty entertaining squabble on this site. In the end, I have to agree with those people who argue that you get something out of playing, whether or not you think the donations are making a difference.
Saturday, September 19, 2009
Thursday, September 17, 2009
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Monday, September 14, 2009
Sunday, September 13, 2009
Oh, sure, you remember Tang, don't you? Of course, you do, especially if you were born any time before 1975 or 1980 or so.
Week before last, I stirred up a glass of Tang for my son, my fellow sugar fiend slash lover of intense flavor. He took one sip and proclaimed it deliciousness epitomized. Okay, he's not that smart yet. What he actually said was either AWESOME or WOW or YUM while simultaneously grinning ear to ear and jumping up and down excitedly. You get the idea, he liked it a whole lot!
A few minutes after slurping down the entire glass of Tang, he came up to me and said,
Friday, September 11, 2009
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
Saturday, September 5, 2009
Friday, September 4, 2009
Thursday, September 3, 2009
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
Saturday, August 29, 2009
Friday, August 28, 2009
- If you've got any good jokes or one-liners searching for a place to light for a minute, slap 'em down in the comments. I'm thinking we can all use all the giggles we can get :) On a related note, the only knock-knock joke I can ever remember is the banana/banana/orange one. How about you?
- My children requested AC/DC songs for their wakeup music this morning. Is it just me, or is there really something funny about listening to Brian Johnson shriek that early in the morning? Seriously, I laughed. Couldn't help it, it was just kind of surreal.
- White pizza for supper tonight. Stack it up like this, and then bake until golden: pizza crust (you know I'm gonna rely on the DoughBoy for that one, but homemade would be even better), garlic powder and black pepper, ricotta cheese in a thick but not too thick to bake quickly layer (anywhere from a thin smear to a quarter or half inch), more garlic and pepper, whatever white "pizza/Italian" cheese you have on hand (mozerella, shredded parmesan, one of those four cheese mixes, etc-- but I wouldn't add swiss or limburger, if I were you, LOL), and a few pepperoni or mushrooms if you're so inclined.
- Nice people are good.
- Mutts, aka Heinz 57 pound puppies, are my favorite "breed" of dog. One of my children wants a golden retriever, the other one wants a collie (or a huskey or a wiener dog or anything instantly recognizable as one particular breed), and my hubby is a cat person. Wonder what we'll end up with when we do add another pet? Oh, and my children say I am not allowed to name any new pets when we do get one "because you always get to pick out names." I've learned to nod my head and silently cross my fingers at that one because I like creative, imaginative pet names that suit the particular animal. . .Mom ain't budging in her stance against "I wanna name him Max because that's the number one popular name"!
- Read. It's good for your brain and your heart :)
- I don't want to wear socks ever again. If we can have winter without me having to put on socks, then I'm on board. If that can't be arranged, then you'll recognize me as the woman traipsing through the snow in Croc-flops and striped fuzzy socks.
- That's all. . . for now. . . you know I never really shut up for long! Have a Happy Friday!
Thursday, August 27, 2009
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
- As soon as you think you know the answer to a problem and act on that answer, a much more reasonable but now unavailable option will clunk you right in the forehead. From this point, you can either expend a whole lot of energy contorting everything in your world to make sure your answer was right or YOU CAN PULL UP YOUR BIG GIRL PANTIES AND SAY "I WAS WRONG. CAN YOU HELP ME FIX IT?" As I sit here trying to think of a humorous example, all I can tell you is that I'm sure this one must apply to me and all the times I've bumbled through a project of some sort instead of stopping and asking for help. As a matter of fact, as I type this, my brain is being bombarded with visions of my brother's triedtotellyou face. Heehee, thank you, Bubby, for all the times you've patiently tried to help me. Helllllllll, thank you to every single member of my family, I'm sure!
- There are always exceptions to a rule but that does not mean you have to point them out every single time the rule is mentioned. Most people realize life is not a simple series of cut and dried decisions with only black or white options. . . most people understand there are shades of gray involved and don't need you to remind them of this. Oooooooooh, this is a tough one for me! I can't tolerate some one who can't tolerate shades of gray. Ooooooooooh, bite my K.I.A. tongue, bite my K.I.A. tongue. After all, not tolerating someone who can't tolerate someone else is doing the same as they are doing, right?
- Here's one thing I have learned and try to remember to use to my advantage when it comes to telling my spouse something. You see, it turns out that we are each fairly stereotypically male/female in our areas of knowledge. When I want to suggest an answer to a typically "male" kind of problem, I now know to frame it as possible advice from another male, instead of musings of a woman who could care less about how an engine makes a car go. For example, the back door of my van once locked and would not open. Now, I know next to squat about vehicles, but I had the idea that something electrical was causing this problem-- probably because the problem showed up on the same day that plugging in my phone charger caused a great big spark. Um, but because I admittedly know next to nothing about cars, my husband pooh-poohed the idea. For a very long time, I waited for the accountant by day to have time to play grease monkey and fix the problem. Each time I asked about fuses/electrical stuff, he dismissed it as a possibility. Then, one day he fixed the van, and this is basically what he said (automotive terms may be wrong, remember I'm not a grease monkey), "Well, I fixed your van. Jim and I were looking at it, and we decided it must be a blown fuse." What the heck?? Didn't I suggest this very solution to him weeks ago?? So, here's the take home point-- now, when I want to suggest an answer to the K.I.A. grease monkey/accountant, I frame it like this, "You know, I'm sure Jim Bob would say blah, blah, blah."
- If no one is going to be physically harmed by another K.I.A.'s mistaken postulations, then let it go. You have not been appointed by anyone to be the Great Deliverer of Corrections. For instance, if someone repeatedly says "physical" when they are talking about "fiscal," let it go unless by some strange chance that someone is the C.F.O. or C.E.O. of a huge corporation. And hey, if someone that far up the ladder has made it to where they are while saying "physical" instead of "fiscal," then do you really think you are going to change things by piping up with the correction? If a cop cuts across the "medium" to write you a ticket for speeding, are you going to be smart and not comment, or are you going to be a stupid K.I.A. and mention that he surprised you by whipping across the median so quickly? If it's not going to hurt someone, bite your tongue-- you don't need the extra drama or responsibility of being the corrector of all things wrong.
- Snopes.com.--- JUST SAY NO TO SNOPES, or at least keep the link to yourself. Nobody really believes those stupid email stories are real. We know they were made up-- but there might be a good lesson or tip for living ensconced in that madeup story, so chill out and let people talk about it if they want to do so.
Bite my tongue, bite my tongue, bite my tongue. I am still sitting here shaking my head over the fact that the person who has irritated me always has to be right, no matter how trivial the information in question. . . I want to just let it slide right on by me, because it really is something trivial, because I'm not around this person enough for it to be worth my time (or theirs) to hash this out, because it's petty of me to care one way or the other. Smack my fingers, bite my tongue, don't let me write Would you please stop feeling the need to contradict almost everything I say to you, because let's face it, sometimes YOU ARE WRONG. Oops. Sorry, the know it all thing is really, really, really hard to change in my personality.