Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Ringing In The New Year

Ringing in the New Year soon.

I think I'll go to bed.

When I was younger we used to stay up as late as possible. My parents would invite alot of family to the house and we'd toast in the New Year with Welch's Sparkling Grape Juice.

The red grape, of course.

Then when I had a place of my own I'd invite a ton of friends and whoever would come, we'd end up having a smashing time playing cards and board games, singing along with my CD's (actually cassettes back then - didn't have a CD player yet), and then toast in the New Year with - of course - Welch's Sparkling Grape Juice.

Some traditions never change.

But the last few years I've not made it until the wee hours of the 1st of January. Sometimes we'd go over to a friend's house. Sometimes we'd have friends over. Generally we haven't stayed late and get home and to bed before the dropping of the ball in Times Square.

This year we find ourselves home and alone. I'm not at all upset by it, as we've had a wonderful time with family and friends already the last several days. Saturday we're going to my boss' house for a special celebration with all my co-workers and their families. It's always so nice and alot of fun.

So spending this evening alone, just the two of us watching movies and eating Christmas candy (my thighs will hate me in the morning), I'm perfectly at ease. It's been a busy season for the last several months, so it's quite comforting to be spending time at home with my son.

So whether you are gathering with family and/or friends, hosting a party of your own, or finding yourself alone tonight, may I wish each of you a wonderful, blessed, and prosperous New Year.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

You Go Girl

I just had the most wonderful phone conversation!

For the last several days I've been emailing with a high school friend who was like a family member when we were all growing up. She's actually the same age as my oldest sister, but there was a whole group of them that hung out at our place. Thence the ability to develop my own friendship with her over the years.

After high school we ran into each other here and there from time to time. But then I got married and moved away and lost track of her.

Well thanks to my sister insisting I get a Facebook page, she found me and we've been emailing off and on of late.

Recently we exchanged phone numbers. Since my life has finally slowed down, I picked up the phone and gave her a call this evening. It was so great hearing her voice after all these years and talking for more than an hour. Did NOT mean to tie up her time that much.

She ended up waiting to get married until her thirties. Now she has three young kids (well, at least younger than mine) and her time is tied up in being a wife and mother.

Oh how I envy her (and my sisters) for being able to stay home with her kids. Yes, there are sacrifices that must be made when you live on one income, but the benefits you reap in your children no price can be affixed to. She and her husband have made a very wise decision.

The time will eventually pass and become a memory. Someday again she'll have a life outside the home if she desires.

In the meantime, you go girl!

Monday, December 29, 2008

The Lines of Life

You know, this Facebook stuff my sister got me started on isn't so bad. No, I don't have alot of time to mess with it. My blog is the most important thing to me.

But it's been fun having a chance to "talk" to people I don't normally have time to shoot the breeze with. It's been an interesting walk down memory lane, touching base with people I haven't seen or talked to in twenty/twenty-five years.

My how time flies!

This evening I pulled out and got to looking at old photo albums, remembering who I once was and who I've now become.

There are some things about myself that I miss - maybe it's just because of the responsibilities I've borne for so many years. But for the most part, I like who I've become. I love being a mom. I really enjoy several of my deep friendships that took alot of pain and time to find.

Just had lunch today with one of my best friends and talked about some things with her I hadn't thought about in years. It was wonderful to be able to reminisce about parts of my life that she knew nothing about and yet she's seen those components in me in other ways I've lived my life around her.

Another of my friends is going through a dark valley experience right now. I can relate, even though the circumstances are completely different. Life has allowed me to take what I've learned and just be there for her and reassure her that she will come through this. Most of the time, that's all we truly need is just that person to reassure us that life is still good out there somewhere even though we're in the bad at the moment.

That's what I like about who I've become. It isn't so much what I've done as much as living life through and beyond the circumstances. It's made me strong, though it is true that sometimes being strong is exhausting. If I hadn't lived my life and become who I am today, I wouldn't BE who I am today.

And I have to admit - even through the pain and trials I don't think I'd change a thing. Otherwise I may have just turned out to be nothing more than a wet blanket or an empty smile.

Whereas now my smile is full and genuine and full of life.

And surrounded by the lines of life. :-)

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Head Shots

Okay, Mom just sent a couple of pictures from the family Christmas. The second is of one of my sister's and myself (see bows on heads). This shows a decent shot of my new haircut if you don't let the black velvet collar fool you into thinking it's part of my hair. The first picture is of most of Mom and Dad's grandkids and great-grandkids.

Family Fun Forever

Like I said - didn't have a chance to commandeer the computer while at the extended family Christmas gathering.

So I'll let you know all about it today!

There were some great shots taken that show my hair, so by popular demand I'll be posting an updated photo with my new updo as soon as my mother emails a few to me or my son gets on our computer and downloads some from his camera.

Speaking of the new digital camera - we apparently got an AWESOME deal! It was something that was available only for the Christmas season and when they sold out they sold out (and they're sold out). It takes incredible pictures and my son has had a great time learning how it works.

By the way, he's actually a pretty good photographer, unbeknownst to me. He was watching scenery on the way down and back and taking some really neat shots with the lengthening shadows and golden sunbeams over the browning landscape. I'm looking forward to having a chance to see them full-size.

There's a couple of me and one of my sisters when we were being silly with our coffee mugs. I'll see if one of those turn out with a good shot of the haircut. Otherwise I'll just grab a few choice shots to share with you of our family fun.

My great-niece, Madison, was in full-walking-swing. She's become quite the little ham for the camera. There'll hopefully be some good photos to show of her too.

It was a busy and full weekend. Wouldn't trade those moments for anything. After all, friends come and go - family stays with us forever.

Wait a minute! Is that a good thing?

Friday, December 26, 2008

Smooth Sailing

In a couple of hours we'll be heading down to Oklahoma to visit the family. I'll probably be out of commission for a few days, unless I'm actually able to commandeer the computer from the kids.


So our Christmas continues with (thankfully) clear skies and clear roads. Just the wind is present today to tickle our ears and noses.

It's Kansas - what can you expect?

So here's once again wishing you continued blessings with your families and friends as the Christmas season winds down and the New Year approaches.

Hopefully we won't have anymore strange roadway episodes with four new tires. Smooth sailing, you here?

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas Evening Observations

The household is winding down this evening from a wonderful and relaxing day. In my finite mind that's the best way to spend it.

When my son was young we used to go down to my parents' home on Christmas Eve and spend Christmas morning opening our gifts with them. Yet somewhere along the way I decided that my son and I needed to establish our own Christmas Day traditions in our home. He needed to see that even just the two of us were a family in our own right.

Those first couple of years were a little difficult. It felt lonely with no one else around. We'd open our gifts, I'd take a million pictures, and then I'd fix this fabulous Christmas dinner that only the two of us ate. Still it was important to me to establish ourselves as a bonafide family.

It was also important to me that we have some time to just relax without running hither and yon and feeling rushed to get this item checked off our list so we could do this and this and that and then leave to go here and there. Feels exhausting even now to think about it.

Over the years we've taken to occasionally inviting any other alone friends to come and eat Christmas dinner with us. Hey, we always have plenty of leftovers, so why not spread it around a little bit? Plus it helped for the day to feel less lonely.

However, now we've come to enjoy the slow and easy pace that has become our Christmas. Yes, we still get up early to open presents (after I fix my coffee). Yes, I still take a million pictures. And yes, I still cook an enormous (and fabulous) Christmas dinner. Sometimes we have friends join us and sometimes not.

This year was once again just the two of us and couldn't have been more wonderfuler (hee, hee). We were a little lighter on the presents but not on the love.

I spent the entire day in my new lavender lounging set (it IS my signature color, after all), cooked and ate Christmas dinner, then settled back for "It's a Wonderful Life" and another Hallmark Channel Christmas show. My son set up his great new stereo, played new games, and enjoyed all of his new stash.

Tomorrow we'll travel and be with others of our extended family. For today we were just our family.

And that was more than enough.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

A Christmas Eve Memory

And so it is Christmas Eve.

I remember last year - our first year in our lovely new home. I was still so exhausted from the move and associated stressors that I didn't do a whole heck of alot of decorating except the tree.

It's kinda funny - this year we got our tree on time but due to rushing right from Thanksgiving to the play, we did not decorate it for two solid weeks. Felt a little bad, but the play took a bit of time (duh!).

So what do I find myself doing this Christmas Eve? Finishing decorating, of course. My boss was so kind since the weather was so bad last night that he told us since it was only going to be a half day to not worry about coming in this morning.

What a Merry Christmas present that was!

So with the extra time around the house today, I'm finally putting up a few more decorations and getting the stockings hung with care (we have no chimney). Then I'm going to bake a pumpkin pie, since it is the only kind my son likes, and then tonight we'll make Christmas cookies for Santa.

Okay, okay - I know my son is sixteen, but there are just some traditions that are still fun. We never did the "Santa" thing much anyway, but it's still neat to bake cookies together and spend that time having conversation or just being silly.

Isn't that one of the reasons for celebrating Christmas? Isn't family time what it's all about?

Makes me think of Mary and Joseph and the baby Jesus. Even before they were married, God started their family and still brought them together to raise His son as their own. Reminds me that God is as much in the little, ordinary, mundane things of life as much as the big things.

So enjoy this Christmas celebrating the gift of family as we remember the Holy Family this season.

Merry Christmas from Kansas!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Tire Tales

All is good in my universe.

My son is home safely from having his Christmas with his dad and that side of his family.

I say that because we had an interesting trip getting him to his dad on Saturday. Ended up that his dad had to come here to pick him up.

We had a blow-out on the highway.

You know what though? God's hand was with us throughout the whole ordeal.

We were only about fifteen or twenty minutes down the highway when the tire blew. Before the tire blew, it started to shimmy, so I'd already started to slow down and pull over to the side of the road.

Shudder to think what might have happened if we'd been going full speed when it blew. There was a huge hole in the side that smoked and smelled of burned rubber. Ew!

It's been a long time, but I've had experience before with changing tires. Since I'd never had to do so in this car, it took me a few minutes to find the donut, jack, etc. Perfect opportunity to teach my son how to change a tire.

Couldn't get the lug nuts loose. Both of us tried for ten minutes to loosen the crazy things (Lefty Loosey/Righty Tighty). Froze our tails off. I even grabbed my son's saline bottle out of his bag and squirted it all over the nuts just to try something - anything at that point.

We ended up hopping back into the car to get warm before trying again. At that moment a policeman drove by and took pity on us.

I'd just prayed that the Lord would send us a kind soul, preferrably a policeman. He loosened the lug nuts, we finished jacking up the car, my son popped off the old tire and put on the donut, tightened the nuts and threw everything back in the trunk.

It's nice having a strong strapping son to help out when necessary.

We were off and running - and the policeman even wished us a Merry Christmas.

Turned around and drove back home. Just did not feel like taking anymore chances. Ended up stuck by the side of the road for no more than twenty minutes. Got home, called his dad, then ordered some new tires from Sears.

Picked up my son tonight in the pea-soup foggy skies and icy roads. I never seem to get a break this time of the year.

Well, I guess that's what guardian angels are for. And sometimes they're dressed as policemen.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Christmas Clip

Well it's two and ahalf months late, but I finally did it.

My hair is cut!

My hair has been long or just below my shoulders since I can remember. I think the last time I had short hair was when I was maybe four or five and my parents ran the city swimming pool. My mom proceeded to take all three of us girls into the salon for super short hair cuts (I think they were called shags).

I was mad at my mom a long time for that one.

Needless to say, I've had my hair long since I've been able to care for it myself. So when I got a wild hair to go with a funky short cut, I didn't want to put it off too long and lose my nerve. After all, it is only hair. It'll always grow back if I don't like it.

My original appointment was the first Saturday in October. However, when I got the part in the play in September, I realized very quickly that I was going to have to cancel that appointment and wait to go with the quirky hairstyle. I don't think that would have fit with the 1940's era. It gave me a few months too in order to grow it out even longer for the stylists to have a little fun with my updo.

Putting off the cut was hard to do. I wasn't sure I could hang onto my nerve that long. But I rescheduled anyway for this past Saturday.

I almost didn't go through with it, but after talking it over with Julie she convinced me that she thought it would look great on me.

That first snip just about made my knees shiver. Then she held up the thick strand of about five inches she'd whacked off the back. My son about had a cow. He's never seen me with my hair short. Have to admit, I didn't stop to think about that until Julie started cutting, so she let him stay back with me and watch the process.

After it's all said and done, I love my new cut. It's short in the back tapering to longer tresses in the front that frame my face quite nicely.

I still surprise myself in the mornings when I go to get in the shower. Not sure how long it will take to get used to. Maybe in a few weeks I won't be shocked everytime I see myself in the mirror.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Thanksgiving Memories

Glory be! Mom just sent me this picture of we girls at Thanksgiving. I love it!

After a busy morning of cooking and afternoon of eating and then cleaning up, we girls crashed on my humongous bed and watched sweet and sappy Christmas movies.

By the way, I really DO need to get my pictures back up on my walls in my bedroom. That wall behind us is completely blank. Did not realize how awful that looked. I need to take advantage of some coming time off to deal with the blank walls all around my house.

Anyway this picture sure does bring back the memories from those wonderful couple of days. Yes, I was tired when it was all over with but it was so absolutely fun while everyone was here that I didn't notice it at that time. I think everyone was happy and comfortable while here and we all had different areas of the house we could hang out in without crawling over each other and getting on each others nerves.

I know I'm quite capable of that, thank you. No comments from the Brian or Gary section in that regard.

Sure hope I have the luxury of hosting my family again. Well I do know I will in a couple more years when my son graduates from high school. Everybody better the heck come back or I'm going to hunt them down and drag them here!

Have a happy evening now, you here?

Friday, December 19, 2008

Movie Night Special

Tonight we watched an old movie for our movie night special.

Pirates of the Caribbean!

Once again I'm reminded of why I liked the franchise when it first came out. The first movie had something the sequels were completely lacking.

That fun-loving orneriness that so endeared me to the original.

The funny word play, the honorableness of Will Turner, the sword sparring, the adventure, the pirate you couldn't help but love in the end when he showed his true colors.

They ruined that with the second and third. They were darker. The "fun" felt contrived. The lighthearted orneriness was completely absent.

Did you ever also notice that Will Turner was virtually absent from the third one? They completely left behind the Will and Elizabeth component and threw it in at the end as an afterthought. Instead of the show being about the unlikely pairing of Will and Jack and Will and Elizabeth it became the Jack and Elizabeth farce.

Maybe I'm being a little harsh, but I really missed the spirit of the first adventure. Plus to me it would have made more sense for Jack to have been the one sailing the afterlife, not Will.

Yes, it's all subjective, but I prefer to watch the first one and remember what could have been instead of what the franchise became.

So I'll go on living the adventure through the first. Capt'n Jack, you were a hero then.

That's how I like to remember them all.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Dark Recesses of the Night

The creative juices are finally flowing again.

Yeah, like I finally have time to THINK again - hello!

The other night I had a really interesting dream that was so enormously engaging and intriguing that when I woke up, it stayed with me most of the day. I knew immediately upon awakening that it would make a great storyline if I could figure out how to make a full-scale novel out of it.

Getting back into writing again has my blood pumping.

Well not that I'm actually writing anything at the moment, just having the time to think about it and let the brain relax and wrap around an idea when it hits.

You know, it's kinda funny now that I think about the dream. There's several of my books that got their start from a dream I had. Sometimes I take just one nugget from that dream and create a whole story from it, while at other times pretty much the entire dream worms its way out onto the page.

The story I finally finished earlier this year actually had its beginnings in the dark recesses of the night. Ended up that I didn't even use that scene in the story, merely the essence of the character. Heck, it was even a year or two after I had the dream and wrote that scene out that I got back to it and created "Running Into The Darkness".

Was very pleased to have actually finished - but the story has a sequel I'll need to get started on someday.

So for now I'll go ahead and pound out the first scene or two that I've got floating around in the grey matter and see where it goes. Perhaps I'll have some submissions for critique group again in a few months.

In the meantime, I'll keep on dreaming and hoping for that best-seller idea to pop into my subconscious. Then it'll be up to me to actually do the typing.

Man - osmosis would really be good here!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Life Imitates Art

I just got through watching another Christmas movie.

Made me mad!

The story basically goes that a woman who is the wife of a wealthy developer suddenly finds herself divorced and out on the streets.

For months her husband had been acting like his business was going down the tube, putting on quite an act that money was hard to come by even for food and gas. So when he fesses up about the affair, she thinks she's getting a halfway decent end of the stick when he offers her $25,000 equity in their home to settle.

Later on she finds out it was all a sham. He ends up with the house, the successful business, the money, and the daughter.

She ends up mugged and homeless on the streets.

And this is a Christmas movie???

It all ended up very nice in the end. However, it was very hard for me to watch to get to that point.

See I watched a dear friend of mine live nearly this nightmare. Throughout her marriage to Attila-the-Hun, he basically made it out that they were always short of money. She borrowed maternity clothes for each of her pregnancies and gave him three beautiful children. She had to make a tight grocery budget stretch. You wouldn't believe what she went through, but she did it because she loved him.

Then he divorced her for another woman. At least in her case the attorney discovered money that he'd only tried to hide. Most likely there was more. Ended up also with a nice alimony and child support payment that was more than she was used to having. She had no idea he made that kind of income while they were married.

But then he ended up screwing up the kids for life and fought her tooth and nail for their allegiance. For the kids' sake, she capitulated to his every whim. She gave up the alimony payments to try to placate him. Then she ended up pretty much giving up her children to avoid the constant court battles. She couldn't afford the attorney every few months like he could.

Why do I tell you this??? Because in the end, she's fought to regain her dignity. She's gainfully employed in her dream profession as a professional musician. There's not alot of money in that, but how many people in this world can actually say they are pursuing their dream???

No she did not end up on the streets, but she's struggled to keep a roof over her head. The key is that she HAS done it. She's even regained custody of one of her daughters and her son. Yes, there's still problems, but she's dealing with them and not letting the past continue to dictate her future.

It's been a long, hard struggle for her, but everyday she makes greater strides toward complete independence. I'm so proud to call her my friend.

Congratulations, L! You are a beacon of hope for us all.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The Bow Brigade

I did something absolutely crazy today. I bought another Christmas present.

No, I don't usually go shopping for presents this late in the game, but events conspired against me to where I was forced to act.

I ran out of bows.

I just had to buy more to finish my wrapping. Guess I didn't plan so well this year.

Anyway, since I was in Wal-mart (planned it too to take a late, late, late lunch about 2:00 so the crowds weren't so big) to buy the bows, figured I'd pick up a little Christmas candy and stocking stuffers. Then got the big idea to go to electronics.

As part of my son's going away present this coming summer when he leaves for Europe (boy, that was a mouthful), I'd planned to buy him a reasonably priced digital camera for the trip. While in Wal-mart today, I decided why not look at any bargains available this time of the year.

Found one - nothing fancy, but it was a special that came with the camera (duh!), a case, and a memory card. Plus it can take short videos of about 20 to 30 minutes at a time. Pictures AND video all in one tiny camera - what more could a Europe-bound body ask for?

Needless to say, he's going to get it for Christmas this year. That way he'll have some time to get adjusted to how it operates so he'll have smooth sailing come summertime. Figure too that by then he'll have enough money to buy himself another memory card.

Hey, I want to see Europe too - even if it is only from behind the lens.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Tinsel and Tree Sap

The tree is decorated!

Well, except for the icicles. It's Toby's first Christmas with us so I don't want to tempt him unnecessarily. We're doing all of this in stages just to get him used to the tree. Paws was well trained his first year.

That's when the water bottle was in full swing. We were back in our little house then and the tree was set up in the living room just off of the couch. I sat in the corner of the couch with the water bottle, waiting for the opportunity.

Everytime Paws even looked at the tree I squirted him with water. I think he eventually thought the tree was peeing on him.

Cats aren't too fond of water, you know.

From that time on, he's never bothered the tree. He'll look at it, get up close and sniff it. Maybe chew on a few low branch ends, but never try to climb the thing.

Since we've had it for a couple of weeks now, Toby will get underneath it and chew a few branches. So far he's not tried to get up inside it, just drink the water out of the base occasionally.

Can't use that tree life stuff with cats around. They must like strange flavors or something because it can't taste good with all that tree sap buildup.


Anyway, the lights are up. The bulbs are pretty. The garland is wrapping it up nicely like a little present. But it's still missing the icing.

That's what icicles are for.

We'll wait until tomorrow to put them up. Don't want him ingesting a bunch of tinsel.

I'd rather he drink the tree sap.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Tree Time Tomorrow

After having it for two weeks now, tomorrow we are finally going to have the time to decorate our Christmas tree.

In all honesty, I've had a little time available to decorate - mainly on this past Sunday afternoon. Didn't execute good time management skills and ended up sleeping and relaxing the afternoon away. Have to admit, though, I really needed that time to recoup.

Better late than never - so tomorrow is Tree Time.

The bins are in the house and ready to go with the decorations and lights. We've gotten a few chores done tonight and then finish up a few tomorrow. Then it's off to decorate!

Christmas is my favorite holiday of all - the lights, the colors, the music, the movies, the family time, the church programs...

...the meaning.

I love it when it's time to get out Mannheim Steamroller and the Trans-Siberian Orchestra. By the way, TSO was in town last weekend. I just had to be in the play! Oh well, it was there I wanted to be anyway. TSO can always visit me on my stereo anytime. It isn't every day that I have a chance to star in a musical.

Truth be told, if I had my druthers I'd do music theatre all my days. Never gets tiring (remind me next year in November that I said that).

But I digress.

The cold wind is blowing tonight. There's another chance for more snow coming. Let it snow - let it snow - let it snow.

It is the Christmas season, don't you know.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

I'm Back!

Tonight I officially rejoined my critique group. It was great to be back, though I'm still dealing with the effects of sleepiness.

Nothing like a group hug to get you in the mood for Christmas. Everyone looked great. Caught up on the family talk, the work discussions, and what all one can do with a camera phone.

Just ask Gary.

Since I still didn't have but one free night this week, I didn't get to do any critiquing. We all decided to shoot the breeze tonight anyway so the New Year will bring time to finish critiquing stories.

Got to hear about another new story idea Brian is cooking up. Not into horror personally myself, but I really like this new concept he's working on. Gave me goosebumps just to hear the skeleton of his ideas. Knowing Mighty Bri, it will be pretty interesting to see how he puts his conceptualizations onto paper.

Christmas is two weeks from tonight, so we won't be meeting at our regularly scheduled time. Gee, I finally show back up and we have to take an extended break. I feel so loved!

Well it will give me something to again look forward to in the New Year.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

A Cozy Evening

Sure is nice having an evening to ourselves.

Hadn't realized how long it's been since I'd made a real home-cooked meal (Thanksgiving aside). My son had sandwiches all last week since I was out at rehearsals. The week before that we ate out a few evenings before the Thanksgiving extravaganza.

So tonight I put together homemade chicken, mashed potatoes, the works! What a great meal to cozy the tummy on a cold winter's night.

We're currently sitting around watching a Hallmark Channel movie. That's one thing I do alot of during the Christmas season is watch the Hallmark Channel Christmas shows. They're always so wonderful! Yes, I know each one practically by heart (except the new ones, of course) but I can't wait to watch them every year. I even own a couple on DVD and still we watch those same shows when they are on the telly.

Guess I'm an old sap that way.

The first big snowstorm of the season hit early this morning. Not sure what the accumulations ended up being but the drifts from the wind are great. Got the lights and decorations out so we could finally start decorating our Christmas tree this week. I'm looking forward to getting the season in full swing.

Then it's onto the presents!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Post Performance Blues

My son had his Christmas choir concert at school tonight. We're done with performances for the Christmas season!!!!!!

It's always a tad bittersweet when finishing a performance project. You work so hard for months on end and then - POOF! - it's over in what seems like a flash. Normally I get the post-performance blues for about a week or two, then all is back to normal.

Actually this time I'm not feeling quite so bad. Since I know it is out there, I was already half expecting the feelings. However, since I now will have a few evenings a week to spend relaxing at home, it doesn't sound quite so bad.

Sure will miss the comaraderie the cast all experienced - at least I hope they felt the same way. We all sort of became a mini-family (even though we were supposed to just be acting like one). I know I'll see them around church, but since I'm not an official member of Impact Players, I won't be attending their Monday night gatherings.

Someday I'll be a part - I've already promised Ruth. She kinda extracted it out of me (though I've wanted to for years).

Must have been those cattle-prods.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Ready To Enjoy The Season

My son and I have spent a well-deserved afternoon resting, playing, and just plain relaxing. We're getting ready to watch a movie I taped last night during the last play performance.

I think we deserve the relaxation time. :-)

It sure was hard to get up for church this morning, but I stayed home last Sunday to try and get some rest and leave the coughing behind once and for all. Didn't quite go away completely, but at least I made it through performances alright.

Ruth and Pastor Clint discussed it after Friday night's performance, and it's now official. We're doing "I'll Be Home For Christmas" again next year. They may even schedule two weekend performances instead of one.

The showtimes were better attended than expected. There weren't enough programs to hand out to each individual so they had to limit it to one per family. I think next year they might be more prepared for attendance. :-)

Who knows - we might even get more people to help out with the sets next year. Many attendees and performers were pleasantly surprised by how it all turned out. We even received some surprising comments.

Several of the ladies who came in to assist our hairdresser with styling (there were so many of us who needed 40's updos that one person couldn't handle it all) thought we were all paid performers after she saw the dress rehearsal. Made me laugh out loud!

But the best compliment of all came from a friend of our director, Ruth. This friend is the owner and director of a small theatrical company in a nearby community. In the twenty years since Ruth's been involved with Christian theatre, schedules have always conflicted and kept Ruth's friend from attending. However, schedules amazingly didn't coincide this year so the friend decided to show up Friday night.

What incredible accolades she placed on us! We were very touched to hear of her comments. All of this has truly been amazing, and it makes all the months of hard work and late nights so completely worth it.

No guarantees about next year, but if schedules work out I may try out for a part again. It's always wonderful to be a part of something that touches so many hearts.

For now, we're ready to just sit back and enjoy the remainder of the Christmas season.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

It's Final

Getting ready to leave to prepare for our final performance tonight. I'll be going against my norm and posting tomorrow to let you know all about it.

If you're bored and have nothing to do tonight (and are in the Wichita area), feel free to stop by Central Community Church before 7:00.

You'll be dazzled!

Friday, December 5, 2008

First Performance Down

The first performance is behind me. Sure going to miss it after tomorrow.

It's been very late nights all week. Last night I didn't get to bed until after midnight. Getting up for work this morning was just peachy.

Can you hear the sarcasm dripping from my voice? It's kinda hard for a girl who has learned to go to bed between 9 and 9:30. Maybe I should have taken vacation time this week too.

Couple of nights I left work and went straight to the church. Didn't see my son until breakfast the next morning. Kinda warned him that this was going to happen this week, but I have a feeling it's not just my kitties missing me.

It's kinda nice being missed, but I'll enjoy having a life with my son again.

Was very nervous early on but after the first scene I really got into it. Got into it so much that I cried more tonight in all the right places than I have any other time. Have to admit, I was afraid I'd be so nervous that I wouldn't be able to relax and get into the scene enough to cry.

No problemo.

Tonight some dear friends and co-workers came to see. Tomorrow there'll be even more friends, co-workers, and a little bit of family coming back to town to see the performance. I sure hope I can forget they're out there.

The pressure's on!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Into The Fire

Life is about to get insane this week. I apologize now if I'm unable to keep up with the blog during this time.

Out of the frying pan and into the fire - finished with Thanksgiving and now the Christmas play production is this week. We're having full runs, tech rehearsals, and dress rehearsals all week. First performance is Friday night.

After church today was set-up. It's always neat getting to see all the pieces come together. Was a little surprised there were so few who showed up, but it made it all the more fun - at least that is what my son thought. However, after four hours we had to step away and drive on home. They were getting the final set pieces into place so that tech can work out the lighting issues during the day tomorrow. Then we'll have our first big run-through tomorrow night.

The days will be long. The nights longer. It will be so nice when it is all said and done. That satisfied feeling is always a tad bittersweet.

What in the world will I do with myself once this is finished?

Sure I'll figure out something - I always do!

Friday, November 28, 2008


Well the family is all gone save Mom. She decided to stay and help us with getting our Christmas tree tomorrow.

It's an annual tradition we like to keep. :-)

Never have I felt so truly blessed with the joy of having most of my immediate family around me in my own home. My beautiful new dining table looked even more exquisite with my loved ones gathered around it. I believe everyone was comfortable with sleeping arrangements. The kids had fun playing video games, running around outside playing a version of hide and seek in the dark with black clothes, and then running out to our special movie theatre last night.

My sisters and our mom puttered around the kitchen with meal preparations and cleanup duties. Chores are so much more fun with family around. While the guys commandeered the television in the family room, Mom, my sisters, and I plopped like dollops of Cool Whip on my bed and watched our movies.

And I'm so glad I went the extra mile with two ovens!!!! We'd also have never survived without the extra fridge. The leftovers are packed in both, but we made a substantial dent in them today before everyone left. Out of seven pies we have just a few more pieces to finish off.

The smoked turkey went over great - was so glad I decided to have two different turkeys. Even got an amazing compliment on the dressing (thank you Stove Top for the base from which to start). Pam's cranberry salad was superb. Angie's chocolate pies were excellent, as usual. Then, of course, Mom's cream cheese mashed potatoes - aaaah! It was all heaven on a plate.

Now for the tree. Next weekend the play. Then we can relax and enjoy the Christmas season.

Tonight the snow is falling in lazy swirls. My hope is that with the holiday season upon us you will find joy and peace.

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

It's been a Happy Thanksgiving.

I'll tell you all about it tomorrow. Right now my mattress is calling.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Product Recommendation

Arrival day has arrived!

That sounded weird.

Oh well - Mom and Dad arrived safely last night while I was at play rehearsal (which is going pretty good, despite my unruly lungs). My sisters and their families will be arriving this afternoon into the early evening hours.

Still trying to get a few last minute things taken care of and have started tonight's dinner of chili with all the fixins. I'll try and get the turkeys in the oven today so they can be filling the air with the smells of Thanksgiving (no, I'm not getting up at 5:00 in the morning to cook the blasted turkeys tomorrow).

I finished up with the decorating yesterday when dusting was completed. Washing the china at the moment. It's times like these that I wonder why I bought so much china!

Nah, I love the stuff and getting it out to use. I'm not one of those who just likes displaying my wares - heck, the stuff was made to use so I grab every opportunity to pull it out and eat off of it. It'd be an awful waste of funds otherwise.

By the way - product recommendation!!!!! For all of you who have animals and are constantly trying to keep the furniture fur free, I have a solution. My niece, Abbie, is terribly allergic to cats and bunnies, and of course we have two cats (though they are indoors all the time and wonder if that makes any difference for her). So I've been trying to clean fur off of everything (and I mean EVERYTHING) for the past week or so.

When I went to Wal-mart on Sunday for my veggie items I came across this thing called a Fur Fighter from Scotch and remembered seeing something about it on TV recently. Snapped it up and figured it was worth giving it a try.

LOVE IT!!!! I used to use one of those roller sticky things that don't work that great, but this thing is AWESOME! It has these teeny tiny pricklies that grab the embedded fur and pulls it out with only a few swipes without damaging any sort of fabric. I used it on all the furniture and pillows and everything around the house and it worked like a charm. The real test will see how Abbie does when she sits down. :-)

Better run and finish my chores before everyone starts to get here in a few hours. Have a Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Off To The Races

The final push is on. I've spent all day today cleaning and preparing for guest arrivals. Mom and Dad come in tonight, while everyone else will be coming tomorrow afternoon/evening.

I can't believe it is finally almost here.

Lost alot of time yesterday running around trying to find my last few costumes for the play, but I cannot complain. DAV had some great period piece tweed suits actually from the 1940's. Found one that fit almost perfect, so my friend Lori is going to do a small amount of tweaking for me.

She should get a byline in the program for costume mistress. I'm a little hard to fit in a particular area so nothing fits quite right off the rack, especially clothes cut from a less generous time in our history, fashionably speaking. So Lori has gone with me on all my costuming expeditions since she's an expert seamstress. Great eye for details and tucks.

It's all beyond me.

Anyway, don't have alot of time to write tonight. The dinner bell is about to ring and the house still has a few areas that require attention.

Off to the races!

Monday, November 24, 2008



The week I've been waiting for has finally arrived. I had this week in mind more than a year ago when I finalized plans for my house. Those months seemed to drag on forever, then lo and behold, we moved into our new house last year the day before Thanksgiving.

Don't remember much from that holiday except how exhausted I was. Somehow I managed a small feast with Mom's help.

But this year all the stops have been pulled out. I've not only filled my regular fridge and freezer but have now stocked up the new one as well. Okay, I went back to Wal-mart last night for a few (just a few) last minute veggies and ended up with over a hundred dollars again. You know, it's like a miraculous event everytime I walk in that store - POOF! - my cart is suddenly full and my bank account lighter.

Can't help it - I'm busting at the seams with excitement and anticipation. Gee, I hope I'm not setting myself up for a let down.

Nah, how can you end up with a let down when you've got all fifty-bazillion of us together in one house???

We manage a good time regardless of where we lay our heads at night, as long as we're together.

You know, I think that's what I love the most. My mom, sisters and I are close after all these years. Yeah we've all had our struggles but all-in-all we really do seem to enjoy each other's company (of course, I can't speak for my sisters but hey, they're coming aren't they?).

Then there's the kids. They too go though their ups and downs and yet are so happy to see each other and spend time together. I can hardly wait for them to get to hang out in Tyler's man cave. We'll probably have to drag them out for dinner!

I hope everyone is comfortable. I hope everyone is satisfied at every meal. But you know what, I'm just honored that they are going to grace my home with their presence.

And I pray blessings for each of them this Thanksgiving.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

My Apologies!

My apologies, oh faithful readers. I failed to make a post last night.

Vacation time officially started after work last night. Only problem was I've had so much work fall in my lap these last two weeks that I knew I'd never get it done.

I just hate leaving on vacation knowing there are ten bazillion things left unfinished that will all be clammoring for my attention upon return. So I stayed late last night to finalize all my loose ends and left contact information for my clients that may call checking on file status in process.

So the clock ticked close to seven before I could wrap it all up. Actually I thought that wasn't quite so bad, considering all Friday entailed. Felt pretty good when I pulled out of the parking lot - tired but satisfied that I'd accomplished everything intended.

I even ordered the pizza before I left, picked it up, and arrived home with piping hot pepperoni and BBQ for supper. Crashed on the sectional with pizza in hand and watched our new DVD acquisition - WALL-E.

It was a good evening.

Now the fun begins!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

The Fridge Is In The Building

We're getting the last few legs on the Thanksgiving celebration next week.

I'm so excited! Wait, I think you probably know that by now.

This evening we went to Lowe's to pick up a cute little fridge for extra goodies and storage space for all the food both before Thanksgiving and after.

My freezer will thank me.

Next week I'm taking off so that I can finish up my preparations for the big party. Need to run to Wal-mart and pick up some last minute veggie items. Didn't want to pick those up last weekend and have them wilt before next week. The house is in desperate need of a good scrubbing since I worked on sets all day last Saturday. My poor house is feeling very neglected.

I'm just looking forward to have a few moments go relax too. Been pushing it pretty hard this week both in work, the play, and final prep mode. The cough is still nagging at me like a bitter old woman. Getting kinda tired of her presence, if you know what I mean.

Anyway, hoping to get some much needed sleeping in Saturday morning and maybe a moment to relax.

Come next week there will be no time for anything but partying!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Gettin' Interesting

Tonight was the final play rehearsal before adding the choir. They'll come in next week.

This might just get interesting.

There's all sorts of music cues and timing issues that have to be spot on. Of course, we haven't had the opportunity to work out any kinks. That's where Monday comes into play. Rehearsal is only supposed to last for two hours. I've a feeling it could go a bit long.

Those of us in the cast know just how important bringing the two components together is going to be. Don't think those in the choir have a CLUE! Plus once the sets go up we won't be able to cheat and watch each other. That's for the tech crew to worry about when they come in the following rehearsals for production week.

It may be dicey. It may not be pretty. But you know what? Every single play or musical I've ever been in, no matter how bad it may have been right up to performance, has always turned out just fine.

There's always a first time for everything though!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Dreaming of a White Christmas

I'm dreaming of a white Christmas!

Well I've got two more Christmas presents to buy for extended family and one more to buy for my son.

Time is running out.

No, I'm not one of those kind of people who relish the idea of getting up at 4:00 in the morning to attend the 5:00 door-buster sales the day after Thanksgiving (though I may have to do it this year if my family wants to since they don't know where all the stores are around here). I usually have all my shopping done by the first of November.

There've been a few distractions the last few months. Maybe?

So now that we're getting close to Thanksgiving and I won't have any time next week for shopping purposes (except as they relate to FOOD!), there's a sense of desperation building up. I've just got to finish up this week.

Those crazy Christmas shoppers scare me - or get on my last nerve. I have a tendency to think it is probably more of the later, in all honesty. I've no patience for idiots.

The Christmas season is something I truly relish. Can't help it. I think my secret middle name must be Claus or Kringle. Anyway Christmas is rarely far from my mind no matter the time of year. Therefore I refuse to let idiot impatient shoppers step all over my season of joy.

Which is why I generally boycott stores after Thanksgiving. Don't care about the sales, bargains, or special early-morning discounts.

It's having the time to appreciate the crisp, nose-tingling air - the cup of hot chocolate with marshmallows - carols (why don't people do more of that?) - the beauty of the lights - the hope of Christ.

And if we get a white Christmas, that's just frosting on the cake!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Set Building Insights

Our second set build for the play was today.

Missed the first one when I was sick.

Since my son was at his dad's, I wasn't overly concerned about the time. Left the house at 9:30 this morning. Didn't return home until almost 4:30.

I'm beat.

But the thing is we had so much fun together. After we finished up with all we could do today, a couple of us decided to go out to a late, late (did I say late?) lunch. Haven't had that much fun in paint splatter for a long time. Ruth told me I really needed to join the Impact Players on a regular basis, but she understood that I couldn't just now. Choir is my commitment, but my plan is to get back into theatre more after my son is done with school.

That's only going to be two and ahalf years now. Can you believe it? I still remember the day the doctor placed him in my arms, I whispered his name, and he turned his head and looked at me with wide eyes. Gave me goosebumps then and the memory gives me goosebumps now. Seems like it was not all that long ago, but sixteen years passes so quickly when you're having fun.

But I digress.

For the last couple of years I've been realizing that my time as a needed mother is rapidly drawing to a close. That leaves me looking forward to the time that I can start pursuing some of my own interests again. When we have kids it is important for them to have as much of us as possible. When our kids are growing up it is their time - time for us to nurture them, guard their hearts and minds, guide them, and just plain enjoy life with them. It's that season of life when our priorities need to shift a little from "us" to "them".

Then once they flap their wings and fly from the nest it's time once again to nurture those interests that were placed upon the shelf for a time. Maybe they change. Maybe they don't seem all that important anymore. But then that gives us the opportunity to explore what we will do with the enormous amount of life still yet to live.

I'm going to look forward to more set builds in a few short years.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Can I Hear A Hallelujah?

Well Thanksgiving is getting closer each day. My preparations are in full swing. I'M ABOUT TO EXPLODE WITH JOY!

For the last couple of paychecks, I've been stocking up on certain items necessary for my big family Thanksgiving extravaganza - you know, stuff that will go in the freezer or in the pantry. I didn't want to have a heart attack at the last minute with an enormous grocery bill that threatened to put me in the hospital.

So for the last two weeks I've been composing my final grocery push. Took up a freaking entire page. I estimated about how much I should spend just so I was mentally prepared.

After taking my son down to see his dad for the weekend, I decided to go ahead and get the grocery shopping done tonight instead of tomorrow to avoid trying to maneuver an overstuffed cart through the maze that is Wal-mart. Saturday shopping is stressful enough without throwing that into the mix.

I was a little concerned about any freezer items. After the last grocery trip there wasn't an inch to spare in my freezer. We've been trying to eat as much chicken and steak as humanly possible the last two weeks in order to free up a little space. Looking into my cart tonight had me a little worried. I need that new extra fridge/freezer yesterday.

The loaves of bread kept falling off the piled up cart in my final run to the registers. Really needed my son around to help pull while I pushed. Somehow I managed. Think there were a few snickers as I lumbered along - the jerks!

Unloading onto the treadmill took about thirty minutes - well, maybe that's a slight exaggeration, but the poor cashier was trying to find floor space to put the full bags before I even had my cart emptied at the other end.

I dreaded the total, but thought I just had to be pretty close to my estimate. When I shop, I have a tendency to keep a mental calculation going in my head of the approximate amount I'm spending. Hey, after all these years I can almost determine based upon how full my cart is and how many above average items I throw in.

To my delight the total came to $9.20 less than I had anticipated. Didn't blow my budget. I'm not skimping on anything either. We're going to be eating GOOD!

Can I hear a hallelujah?

Thursday, November 13, 2008

The Nail Polish Salute

I'm feeling all girlie-girl tonight.

For part of my costume for my character in the play, I decided to buy some red nail polish. Since it's been so many years since I've even worn nail polish, figured I could use a little bit of practice putting it on. So I played dress-up tonight. :-)

It's amazing what pretty nails can do for a girl's outlook on life. Problem is I haven't taken good care of my nails for so long that they look ridiculous and the polish just emphasizes their misshapen characteristics. The thought always seemed like an unnecessary expense before. Now I wonder.

I have nails that are overly long, nails that have broken down to the quick, and just plain nasty nails that curl either over the tip of my finger or one side curls down while the other continues growing straight.

Yes, I have very strange nails. Each nail must have captured separate DNA from my ancestors all the way back to the time of Christ.

Wish all my nails were like the ring finger on my left hand. That's the only truly pretty nail I possess. The audience won't be able to see the oddities that are my fingernails, this I know. Gee, they probably won't even be able to tell I have polish on. For that matter, they won't even know I have nails!

Now I'm beginning to question why I even thought nail polish was going to be an important accessory for my 1940's character.

The fumes must be getting to me.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

One Step Closer

Wow! My son received his passport in the mail already. We just ordered it about two weeks ago (right when I was coming down with the junk).

The site said it could take up to twelve weeks. I was sweating it because he has to have a copy of his passport into the organization by February 1st when the last payment is due.

Nothing like cutting it close and living on the edge.

Guess I shouldn't have worried. Maybe this time of the year is a bit slow and they don't have a backlog. Maybe they just liked his picture and some young lady got his application and decided to rush it through in hopes she might get to meet him some day.

Okay, okay - you never know what a girl will do for a cute guy.

So much for the weird thoughts. Anyway I almost fell out of the car when I realized what it was. Figured it might be the copy of his birth certificate. Nope - out fell his passport booklet.

My son was ecstatic!

I think for the first time since all this started the trip became very real, and the passport meant he was one step closer to getting there. It's hard to believe we'll be celebrating Thanksgiving in two weeks. Christmas will be here and then the New Year. My annual writer's retreat in February, spring break and the Memphis choir trip in March, Easter in April, end of school in May and then he's off to London and beyond come June.

My gosh - I better get busy saving some more. He's going to need some spending money too.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

A Shout Out To Our Veterans

With it being Veteran's Day today, I thought I'd give a shout-out to our brave men and women in uniform wherever they may be stationed.

A couple of years ago, I came across a website called and was immediately hooked. I was looking for a way to make a difference to so many who willingly place themselves in harm's way to keep the rest of us safe. For the life of me, I still can't remember exactly where we found this information, but it came about when I was talking to my boss about sending stuff overseas to our military members.

The boxes quickly piled up and we filled out the customs forms, etc. and mailed out a ton of stuff on behalf of our company/office at that time. I remember standing in line at Wal-mart and reviewing my list (I was the pick up stuff girl) and a lady standing behind me noticed and asked about what I was doing.

Suppose my excitement attracted a bit of attention because the lady ahead of me listened in too and after she paid for her things, she turned around and handed me a twenty dollar bill and asked me to put it toward our packages. I was so shocked and touched that I teared up immediately and could hardly talk. She even said she wished she had more to give. We made sure to mention that particular occurance in our letters included in the boxes.

After that I couldn't get enough of it, so I started doing small packages here and there on my own. When my boss found out about it he handed me a hundred dollar bill and told me to buy some sweat pants with it (we were supplying a small medical unit because they ran out of gowns and there were soldiers with little to wear except their sheets). I had a constant stash going in my spare bedroom, a mini Wal-mart if you will. My dad got involved too and sent money to help purchase items as needed and to help with the shipping costs.

When we were getting ready to move approximately a year ago, we had to wind down our stash. With my son's trip coming up, that has taken a bit of the priority there. However, as soon as I'm finished paying for the trip I've already decided to get the mailing ramped back up. It takes alot of time, but with my son getting a job soon I should have more time on my hands in the evenings (at least after the play).

Just watch out - it's addictive and might make tears well up in your eyes if you choose to participate on your own. After all, aren't they worth in the least a little bit of sacrifice on our part?

Monday, November 10, 2008

Another Interview!

Well the calls have started.

My son has another job interview.

His interview with Braum's went well. They told him the slot would probably be open in about two weeks. Figured someone had just given their two week notice.

Then Pizza Hut called. He's got an interview set up for next Tuesday. I asked him how it felt to get a call from the potential employer instead of making the call himself. Actually he preferred making the call himself because he felt more prepared. The direct call left him feeling a little ill-prepared for the discussion.

Hey, I told him it was still a plus because they scheduled him for an interview. That would be his opportunity to dazzle once again.

He only hopes they don't judge him based upon the phone call.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Thanksgiving Traditions

I'm going to cheat on my blog tonight. My sister Pam is the one responsible for making me sign up on facebook so I could answer her monthly question about what everyone is planning to do for Thanksgiving, traditions, favorite foods, etc. Therefore, for my blog post tonight I'm copying my response to her. I'd love to hear comments from any readers out there on what their plans are for celebrating Thanksgiving!

Okay, Pam, for you I'm taking a break from planning and chores to answer your question (thank you very much, by the way, for guiding me to the proper section here).

So for the first time in my adult life - I GET TO HOST OUR FAMILY THANKSGIVING DINNER!!!!!!

No, I'm not a bit excited.

Last year we moved into our big new house the day before Thanksgiving with the plans that since this year would be the B--- "on" year that I would be the one to host the entire immediate family. Expecting seventeen counting baby Madi. :-)

Of course we have to have turkey - I'm going to have a smoked turkey and a standard version. Hello, cranberry sauce! Mom's pumpkin pie, Pam's apple, Angie's chocolate, and my cherry (yes, the pies are the most important food group on the menu). Then all the trimmings of mashed potatoes, corn, sweet potatoes, broccoli rice, dressing, you name it.

Thanksgiving morning we girls will kick the guys out to go play golf or just walk/drive the course while we get ready to serve up a good turkey coma. The kids can run around the yard or walk down to the park to play some basketball. We'll go around the table and mention what we're thankful for (Angie's got something up her sleeve). After dinner the guys will watch football and talk about how they overate (while running for that second helping of pie) while we girls go pile on my mile high bed and watch a girlie movie (maybe a Boyfriend For Christmas!) while the chicken/turkey and noodles are cooking for supper. That night we'll either go out to see a movie or stay in and watch Silent Night.

Friday is my traditional day to go get my Christmas tree, but I'll probably wait until saying goodbye to everyone (waaaah!). Wait, that doesn't count as a Thanksgiving tradition, does it?

Friday, November 7, 2008

Making Fun of Gary...and Other Fun Pastimes

The last vestiges of illness are finally starting to die out. Just have a little nagging cough, but otherwise I'm definitely on the mend. Been thinking alot this week.

I sure miss my critique group.

Okay, guys, you can all laugh at me now, but I do miss you (hey, Mighty Bri, even you!). I miss teasing Gary about having no other shirt than his light blue El Paso, Texas t-shirt. I miss whispering to Bri-Bob-Rectangular-Pants (porky pig!). Been missing celebrating Julie's publishing accomplishments (hey, girl, I was even thinking this week about your "appearance" on Fox News). And Tonya, I missed seeing your Halloween costume this year in person (loved the pictures though).

Even though we all have different backgrounds, have different likes and dislikes, various views on the world, and completely opposite genres we like to read and write, you've all become so much more to me than a mere critique group.

You're my friends.

Heck, maybe you would rather not claim me. I get that alot. Oh well, I still miss talking to you and having our second and fourth Thursday gatherings. I look forward to the day the play is over (in a way) and I can get back into the swing of things - chew the fat, offer my two cents (if it's even worth that much), make fun of Gary, see a whole new side of the supernatural, etc.

Yup, it's now official. I truly have no life. ;-)

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Blessing in the Midst of Tragedy

There's been a terrible tragedy in our neighborhood.

Our neighbors three houses east of us lost their home in a fire this evening. The firemen think it had something to do with the wiring in their jacuzzi, which was sitting on the deck right next to their house. Happened about 4:30 today.

It was a complete loss.

When I drove in about six o'clock this evening, my street was packed with firetrucks, paramedics, and other vehicles that couldn't get through. The flashing lights scared me half to death when I rounded the corner. By that time the fire was already out, but they were staying put for a few more hours to ensure there were no additional flareups.

Thank God no one was hurt or even home when it happened. They didn't have any pets to worry about either.

Made me wonder about my son. I would always consider myself blessed as long as we escaped safely from tragedy. Around here tornadoes are a serious annual threat, and I've always told my son that our lives were what was important. Even though I'd be sad about my kitties and probably terribly distraught over the circumstances for a time, I learned not so long ago that the important thing was that my son and I would be safe.

Tonight makes me once again realize how quickly things can change in regard to our material circumstances. My neighbors have family they're staying with tonight. They're rightfully upset over the loss of their home and possessions. But they also know that the most important thing is that their lives were spared.

And they realize that is the blessing in the midst of their tragedy.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


For some reason my family has taken Facebook by storm. I created a profile real quick to satisfy.

Doubt if I'll have much time to deal with it until after the play. Heck, I've been hardly able to keep up with my blog, much less another site. Anyway, blogging is my passion because it involves actual writing.

Blogging has served a well-defined purpose for me - to keep up on my writing without being able to write. Did that make sense?

Since I haven't had much time nor brain function lately for writing my stories, the blogging helps to keep writing pumping through my veins, keeps the function fresh. It's also a great way to connect with other people of like interests (and keep connected with my fellow critique'ers while I'm away).

Still not sure exactly what the Facebook thing is all about anyway, but someday I'll find some time to figure it out.

Maybe in the New Year.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Interviewing 101

Since my son has his first job interview this week, I've been trying to prepare him for it with a bit of coaching.

In my life I've interviewed several times but I've probably been the interviewer alot more. So I figure I have a little bit of experience in what to guide him to be prepared for when the questions come.

First - eye contact, very important. My son has a tendency to glance around alot when he's nervous or not comfortable with someone. Talk to the person not the floor, wall or ceiling. So because of that...

Two - it's okay to start the interview with letting the manager know that he's a little nervous, it being his first interview and all. That will be a good ice-breaker and help to clear any tension in the air.

Three - it's also okay to ask the interviewer to please repeat the question if you're not sure what they're asking for. In a previous job, we had a manager at one of our branches who asked the strangest question - "If you could be any sport, what would it be?" Not sure how effective a question that was and exactly what he was looking for but he usually got a few weird looks and blank stares. It's better to ask for clarification to be certain you understand than to stare like a deer in headlights.

Four - think of some of your strongest character traits and a few of your character traits that need a little work. Be ready to back up why you think these are important components of who you are. And above all, be honest (hey, isn't that a character trait too?).

Five - be a little flexible, but stand for your principles. I told my son that if Sundays are a sticking point between getting the job and not, offer himself on Sundays after three. Also, as soon as he's driving on his own, he'll be available a bit earlier in the evenings during the week. However, under no circumstances were Wednesday night or Sunday mornings available. That's our family/church time.

Certainly hope I've properly prepared him for this. He discussed his schedule availability on the phone with the manager and she thought they could work with it. Sounds like this might end up being a good fit.

Now it's a matter of getting through the interview. Suspect he may just do so with flying colors.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Hacking At The Moon - and other nighttime events

We've advanced to the coughing stage. Just when you need sleep to get over the junk, you spend your nights hacking at the moon.

Hey, there are still some things to be thankful for. My son has his first job interview this week!!!

I knew it would happen someday but just didn't think it would take this long. Thursday right after school he runs over to Braum's to interview for several positions they have open. Certainly hope they're willing to work with his schedule. I'm keeping Wednesday nights and Sundays open for church and family time, but the rest is up for grabs.

The last place he talked to on the phone wanted closers. Hello, he's still a student. Ain't no way I'm going to let anyone pressure job before school.

Gotta learn to keep the priorities in life firmly in place. That's why no Wednesday nights. I have told him that if they really need him that he could work after 3:00 on Sundays but Sunday mornings are off limits. That leaves Monday night, Tuesday night, Thursday night, Friday night (hey, that's a real plus in this town!) and Saturday. With school work thrown into the mix, I think that's enough availability.

He'll only be part-time for now anyway. After all, he's still got a life to live now. Then Europe next summer.

I'm thinking my evenings very soon may allow for a tad of free time. I could get used to that.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

HSM 3 - A Brief Review

All my life I've loved musicals. Can't get enough of the oldies (one of my favorites is "White Christmas") with all the music, dancing, and show-stopping numbers. Of course they are all usually story lite, but they never were so much about the stories as they were about the music.

So now I have to admit something - I just love the High School Musical shows! Since I've been stuck at home sick most of the week, decided this afternoon that we'd take HSM 3 in (there was NO WAY I was going to try to see it opening weekend with all the tween girls screaming for a view of Troy and Chad). Once again, the musical numbers were outstanding.

Of the three, however, this one was definitely the lightest one in regard to the storyline. There were more songs and dance numbers galore. Yes, the story was about moving on with life, making choices, and following your dreams, but I gotta admit I missed more of the Sharpay focus on being the bad girl. They had a chance to pull away a bit from the Troy and Gabriella storyline and take in a broader scope, but they didn't take advantage of it. Little bit disappointing.

I do have to admit, I thought they used Ms. Darbus (sp?) very well in this one. There's a very poignant scene (I've noticed alot of those lately) where Troy opens up to her about his doubts about what choice to make and direction to take with his college focus. Some of her remarks were very much right on. She talked to him about this being the time to take the opportunity to explore and pursue those unexpected areas. Ten years down the road may be too late when life grabs ahold and drags one along.

My favorite song (and my son's too) was the scene where Troy and Chad reminisce about playing super heros at the auto junkyard when they were kids - "The Boys Are Back". Great percussian. Carried the beat. There was a cute little "aw" moment when Troy and Chad roll under a truck and come out the other side. I won't spoil it for you, but parents will absolutely love it. Completely adorable.

Just remember to stay into the credits. There are some great bloopers. I hope they have more on the DVD when it comes out.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween

Pretty tired tonight. Still on the mend and getting better every day. I'm getting ready to head off to bed now so I should have better brain power tomorrow to write.

By the way, I sure miss the days when we were overloaded with trick-or-treaters on Halloween. They crowded around by the dozens!

When I was growing up it was a fun time to run around the neighborhood (or the entire town) with friends and get free candy. Now we seem to have fewer and fewer every year. Year before I think we had about nine. Last year we had a handful. This year we had two. What's the deal? Are the kids just going to activities now? Fine with me, but now I have to eat all this candy.

My mouth will thank you. Later on my gut will gripe.

Maybe I can pawn the stuff off on the guys at work. It could happen!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Going To The Doctor

I'm trying to break back in gradually. Been a grueling week.

Don't know about you, but I sure do hate getting sick. Really gets in the way of living life. Plus when I miss work, I know I'm going to go back to a load waiting for me on my desk and less energy available to play catch-up. But I guess it could be worse.

I could be dead!

A good thing has happened in all of this. Went to the doctor yesterday morning. Now I've had the same doctor since my son was an infant. She knew me when I never got sick. She's seen how the last eight years or so I catch everything under the sun.

One thing I've always said - I do things either full-tilt or not at all. That's the way I do illnesses too, I guess.

Anyway, she has followed all the aspects of my health for the last several years. She's the one who originally sent me to see the endocrinologist back in 2000 and supported my decision to go see another one this year. She listens to me. She suggests things to me.

This week she asked if I would like to try a thyroid support hormone. I've told her all the research I've done. She knows I'm not a whiner or hypochondriac. My symptoms earlier this year after I went off the estrogen rang in her head a bit loudly too.

I have that effect on people.

I took the opportunity to tell her about how it affected my voice, how I'd accepted that I'd never have my voice back, but that it came back again for a little while after I went off of the estrogen. Now that I know it is still there but hidden somewhere between hormones, I want it back more than anything.

I thought I was going to jump up and sing (or more likely croak) the Hallelujah Chorus. Just picked up my temporary prescription this evening and will try the first one on for size tomorrow morning.

You'll be some of the first to know the results - but it may take a couple of weeks to show any effects. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Under The Weather

Hello all - just a quick post to apologize for not keeping up with the blog this week. I've been a tad under the weather since Sunday. Still not feeling up to par, but hopefully am heading in the right direction. Got some great news to share when I'm a little more up to it.

Stay tuned!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Shining Through

Well tonight was pizza and a movie. Normally we'd be going to my hometown this weekend for the Neewollah festival in Independence, but with the schedule lately and the fact that my son is trying to get a job, I need all the at home time right now I can get.

So tonight we ordered Pizza Hut pizza and watched "Shining Through". It's the only rated R movie I've ever let my son see (we skip the brief sex scene) because of the content of the movie. With my mind back in the forties and World War II, I thought it was about time to get that one back out again, get a feel for the era and study the clothes.

This is one of my all-time favorite movies. It tells the story of an older woman recalling to a BBC reporter her experiences as an American spy planted in Germany during the war. Funny thing about it - she's a Jew seeking to go into the country that is rounding up and killing Jews or sending them to concentration camps. Due to her ability to speak fluent German, but against the wishes of her superior, she volunteers for the project when their double-agent is discovered and murdered.

They plant her behind enemy lines to act as a domestic cook to a wealthy and influential officer of the Third Reich. She was to dazzle them with her cooking skills. Problem was, she arrived with only two hours to prepare. The dinner was a disaster and she was summarily dismissed.

Walking home, she is picked up by the highest ranking officer in attendance at the dinner party. In desperate need of a nanny for his two children after the death of his wife, he encourages her to accept the post so he doesn't have to go through the endless paperwork to clear someone else (thinking she'd already been through a proper Gestapo check). She sees a briefcase with important papers sticking out and makes a critical decision.

That night she fell off the radar of the American spy network and accepted the position. For two months she watches and searches and waits until the right moment. The secret room in the basement finally shows itself and she secures the pictures of a German production facility developing self-propelled rockets and tracking systems in Peenemunde.

The problem - how does she get out of Germany with the information? The American network doesn't know where she is. Worse, could a friend have betrayed her? Will she be discovered before she can get safely away from the Nazis? Will it be the death of her and those she loves?

Yes, it's an older movie from the 80's (if I remember correctly) but an incredible movie about the sacrifices so many people were willing to make for freedom and the heartbreak and chaos caused when evil is allowed to run unchecked.

And just think - real people actually fought to keep not only America free but to give freedom back to those from whom it had been stripped.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Giving In Return

It sure feels wonderful to have the opportunity to give back to those who give so much of themselves.

My church participates and hosts an annual event every year for Shepherd's Fold Ministries. It's a ministry that ministers to ministers.

Confused yet?

A pastor of one of the churches in our community started an organization ten years ago this year when he retired from his pastorate. The purpose was to provide a safe haven, a retreat for area pastors to get away with their families and spend time with other pastors to strengthen one another and support each other. The life of a pastor is one that makes it hard to make friends - REAL friends who will listen when they have frustrations, hurts, and doubts just like the rest of us do. Sometimes people in the church are best at eating and spitting out their own.

Who better to talk to about and understand what a pastor is going through than another pastor.

The ministry pays to bring in pastors from all over the state who need nourishment for their own souls and time with their own families. Our church provides the space for their conference time and then one evening our choir and orchestra gather members from other choirs and orchestras from other surrounding churches who wish to participate and we sing and play and lift up these pastors in worship.

We get to minister to the ministers.

Started out reaching pastors in Kansas. This year they brought in some pastors from Missouri too. They hope to reach pastors in other surrounding states eventually.

In all my years participating in our choir, I've never been available to be involved in this event. Priorities have to be set and I've made critique group my Thursday night priority since rejoining the choir. But since I took a break from critique for the play, I thought about doing it this year. This would be my one and only opportunity to actually participate in giving back. Only thing is that being away from home Monday night, Tuesday night, and Wednesday night I knew I'd be exhausted come Thursday.

Wasn't planning to participate then. But then our drama director for the play told us she had to be out of town this past Monday night. That left Monday for relaxing at home. That would leave me open to consider Thursday.

The door was open. I walked through it. Sure glad I did. Yes, I'm absolutely spent this evening after arriving home. Can hardly keep my eyes open sitting here writing for my blog. But my heart is full.

And I thought I gave it all away tonight too. Guess that's what is so wonderful about giving - you always get something back in return.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Happy As Clams

It sure is nice to know your kids are happy.

Just walked in the door this evening from play rehearsal. My son was in his bathroom getting ready for bed, singing at the top of his lungs. I love it when he does that. No matter how I may be feeling at any given moment, hearing him belt out a song for all he's worth just warms my heart. It's always been a good indication that all is well in his world.

The beard is coming back in darker and heavier this time. Still isn't happening fast enough for him, but I see a big difference when I stop long enough to notice.

His grades are looking fine! School this year has not been a constant battle and he's much more relaxed with himself (as am I).

Friendships are going very good. I hear new names practically every week. Used to when he'd mention someone new that he'd talked to (or more likely that had come up to him to talk) I'd ask their name and he never could remember. Now it seems the names are spilling from the woodwork, if I may use a cliche.

He'd also like to eventually have a girlfriend, but I'm okay with where he's at presently. No need for someone to play with his head until it's fully on straight. Been praying about that whole thing practically since he was born!

Then the job situation - nothing yet but he's hopeful and actually looking forward to the possibility. A little nervous still, but that's to be expected. I think the excitement is beginning to outweigh the fear factor.

All-in-all he's as happy as a clam right now. Guess that makes me right there with him.

Monday, October 20, 2008

On The Hunt

For the last several weeks, my son has been putting in job applications around town. So far no takers. That's okay - I'm still proud of him anyway.

Initially when we talked about the concept of him getting a job he wasn't all that excited about the prospects. I think it was more fear than anything. But now that he's really considering what a job can do for him (and what the money can eventually buy) he's starting to get anxious to get something soon.

Sunday afternoon we went around and he dropped off four more applications at various fast food joints. Fast food jobs are usually the best kind of opportunities for first employment. There's several with "Now Hiring" out on their signs or in their windows. We thought he had a real chance at the job at Wendy's, but they really need someone who can close.

Sorry, not going to happen on a school night.

I'm also requiring him to keep Wednesday evenings open. We're hoping for Sundays open too, but if it comes right down to it I'll let him work Sundays as long as it is after 3:00. I will not allow a job to come before church and family lunch gathering. Other than that he's available any evening, pretty much all day Saturday - heck I'm even letting him consider closing on a Friday night. Figured Friday availability would be a good opener in this town, since so many are playing sports and unavailable then.

And yet several weeks in he's still searching. I told him that getting that first job was going to require some work, but that once he had something - anything really - on that resume then he had a better chance at getting a job that he'd like to have. He'd really like to work at Border's Bookstore.

I told him he needs to finish getting his hours in for driving before then. I'm not going to spend my evenings running too and fro. That's at least where I put my foot down. At least here in town he can walk or it is a quick jaunt for me in bad weather.

For now though he'll keep at it until he's exhausted all possibilities.

I guess then we'll just start all over. Heck, there's plenty of good jobs out there. Sometimes you've got to dig to find that diamond in the rough.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

A New TV Show - I'm Hooked!

I came across a completely different kind of TV show this week. It definitely engages my mind - literally!

Monday night we finished up our play rehearsal a little early. Made it home just before nine o'clock, said goodnight to my son and proceeded to do my workout on the treadmill.

I usually watch a little TV to make the time pass a bit faster when I work out. Started on Channel 2 and proceeded to flip my way through the channels to see if there was anything interesting. Boy, I'll say there was.

Apparently I happened to catch the very first episode of a new show - "My Own Worst Enemy". Had Christian Slater as the lead character. That immediately grabbed my attention. I used to think he was hot when I was younger. He played in a movie, something about Billie Jean and had Helen Slater in it (no relation).

This sucker is so cool (except for the gratuitous sex scene at the beginning - this is television now days? Where've I been?), and engaged my brain all the way through it. Supposedly this guy, Edward, is a super-spy, speaks 13 different languages, can hold his breath underwater for five minutes, received the Congressional Medal of Honor, you name it. However, when he gets back from a mission they put the normal side of his brain to sleep and awaken his alter ego personality, Henry, a loving husband with two children who know nothing of his "dark" side.

Sort of a take on the Jekyll and Hyde thing I guess.

Anyway, the programming starts to go south and they lose control over when Henry is awake and when Edward is awake. Henry awakens right in the middle of Edward's assassination mission and can't figure out how he ended up in Russia with a sniper rifle in his hands.

Eventually Edward (who volunteered for this project 19 years before) communicates with Henry to try to save his/their life because the bad guy Edward was supposed to assassinate in Russia is coming after him/them. Edward mails a CD recording of himself to Henry with a message. The end of this particular episode is Henry sending Edward a CD recording of himself to thank him for the message that ultimately saved his/their life.

It's a little confusing, but I've got to say that Christian Slater does a masterful job of switching between the two personalities. You can see his facial expressions change before your eyes when he is Henry the docile businessman and then becomes Edward the cutthroat spy.

Needless to say, I'm kinda glad we're not having rehearsal this coming Monday night. I just may have to dust off my old blank VHS tapes and start taping this thing until the play is over with. Don't want to miss a single episode if I can help it.

It's been almost 16 years since I last followed a TV show. Maybe it's okay to start up again.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Life Being Lived

Gotta admit - I'm not sure what I'm writing about tonight.

We've had a busy week, but a good one. That's the best of both worlds (wait a minute - I think I've had too much Disney exposure over the years).

My cats have noticed my absence around the house a little bit lately. Every time I walk around the house my feet are tangled with the rascally things. The moment I take time to just sit down, my lap is filled with fluff.

It's kinda nice to be missed.

They've still got my son around the house, but I'm the one that spoils them rotten. Matter of fact, we just finished our movie night and almost the entire time my lap had Paws filling it. Now that I've sat here at the computer, he's sitting in the office window intermittently looking out the window then staring at me.

Aw - he just meowed all cute-like.

My son's been enjoying some additional time to himself, but I think he's glad to have me home a bit more this week. He's enjoying some last free evenings until he gets a job. I think he'll be making a few follow-up calls tomorrow at some of the places he's applied.

Gotta admit, I'm enjoying doing the play more than I realized I would. Just feels good being back on the stage again. Now if only I can get my voice to cooperate, this will be a great performance to be a part of.

Okay - I didn't know what to write about when I sat down so I just spilled out a little bit of everything at the moment.

Gee, I need to call my friends and play a little catch-up this weekend too.

Life - it never ends. And that's a good thing.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

What's With The Waterworks?

Last night I FINALLY received my practice CD for the play. There are a few songs I have to sing but one is a solo/duet. I think it is important for me to get a little bit of time to rehearse it too.

What's with the waterworks in this play????????

The song starts as my character is listening to the radio. She and her father have just had a discussion about life, loss, love, and moving on. Then her pop goes off to bed and she turns up the radio again to hear Miss Stella Ashton singing "Everytime I Turn Around".

My character is already missing her husband after not seeing him for five months. He was supposed to try and be home for Thanksgiving. Didn't happen. The Christmas season has begun and she's not sure he'll make it home then either. The thought of a Christmas without him is just tearing her apart.

Then the song comes on.

It's one of those old crooning songs. The words speak of seeing reminders of him from the ceiling to the ground, everytime she turns around - a favorite book, his hat, the footfalls on the stairs, his laugh, his smile.

Once again, when I think about my character I can't help but just have tears welling up in my eyes at the hurt she feels. The song is very powerful. What the heck am I going to do if I start crying during the song at performance time?

I mean, we just finished a difficult walk down memory lane that makes me tear up. I'm already going to feel emotional and sniffly (won't that sound great in the microphones) and then I'm supposed to sing a song with an already only halfway there voice?

This is not going to be pretty.

Maybe I've let my head get too deep into this story. Maybe I need to not think about it so much. Okay, I know there's no way I can do a play without immersing myself into it completely. Never was able to do ANYTHING halfway - why start now?

Just remember - if you come I've already warned you.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Enough Said

Well we finished up with the first run-through of the final scene tonight.

Gosh, I tear up easy during this thing - even if it is only rehearsals!

The final scene encompasses some sad goodbyes, letting go of dreams, and accepting the hard spots in life even when we don't understand why God allows them. The sister to my character has to say goodbye to a man she didn't realize she loved until he was gone - off to war. My character gets a telegram from the war department.

Enough said.

But even in the midst of the sadness and fear of the unknown, a ray of sunshine comes strolling in.

I'll leave it at that.

For those of you in the area, you're just going to have to take time out of your busy schedules the first weekend of December to come and see how it all turns out. Yes, Brian, it is in a church but this isn't heavy-handed. It has some very real moments that relate to what we see on the news even today.

And it even bears relavance to the world where it was 2,000 years ago. Humanity - we've changed so little in our years on this earth.

Enough said.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Cattle Prods and Casting Calls

Oh boy - next week we're supposed to be off book for ongoing play rehearsals.

I'm not even near ready.

In years past, I was a very quick memorizer (is that a word?). I'd pick up on lines very quickly and even knew everyone else's lines too. This evening I did okay on my lines but it's the lead-in line that is still getting to me.

My brain just doesn't have the capacity it once had. And no, don't you dare say it is age talking. Seems to me it is being out of practice with learning how to memorize.

Why can't I get this? It's frustrating the living tar out of me that I haven't memorized the entire thing in just two weeks.

Am I expecting too much? Ya think?

Okay, I'm not the living, breathing, walking computer brain I once was, but there's still got to be a better way to get all of this in my head. How did I used to do this? I just cannot remember doing anything other than reading through a script over and over and then reading it out loud to myself.

One of the ladies this evening said she tapes herself reading the entire script with blank places where she's supposed to say her lines. Then she burns it on a CD and takes it with her everywhere she goes to play it over and over and over again. That way she gets away from the book and HAS to get her line in during the silent sections.

Maybe it's going to take doing something new like that. I don't know, but I'm getting a little stressed about being able to handle all of this. Deep breaths - shake it off.

It will come. It's just going to be a little slower than it used to be. It isn't like I'm going to be electrocuted with a cattle prod if I don't get my lines correct.

Hmmm, wouldn't put it past Ruth to try something drastic when you get right down to it.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

R.O.C.K. in the U.S.A.

Tonight was my son's first choir performance of his sophomore year.

If I may use an 80's lingo - it was AWESOME!

One of the numbers his class did just about brought down the house. They sang "Do You Love Me" and at the beginning my son had a speaking solo part. He rocked it out. It was completely obvious that he had fun with that one.

Alot of the music they did was from the 80's era - I loved every minute of it! So up my alley, as well as alot of other parents too, I'm sure. They did "Freeze Frame" a song I'd completely forgotten about. They jazzed it up with these glow in the dark gloves and these big glow-in-the-dark rubber bands that they had attached to their hands and feet and they framed themselves in it. Totally cool (totally!).

Sorry, I just had a Valley Girl moment there.

The newer parents were just in awe of the performance. I told some of them to wait until the end of the year review. That will completely knock their socks off.

Mr. Engels, once again you have completely outdone yourself.

I can hardly wait to see what's next!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Caesar, Take A Holiday

Tonight we received the packet of information on my son's trip to Europe next summer.

It also had the payment notices once again and the balance due. Ouch!

For awhile I was stressing about all the upcoming expenses and the upcoming large payment due for this trip. I've got the next payment due the middle of November, then we're celebrating the big family Thanksgiving. There's Christmas coming and then the unknown of the first half of my property taxes due on my new house. Not sure what to expect there.

About a month ago, I quit worrying about it. It's going to work out even if I have to put a little bit on my credit card when it's all said and done. Now those of you who know me pretty well know that I'm not a big fan of debt, especially credit card debt. But over the years, I've learned to let go of my fears of my credit card getting out of control. Having a credit card can be a good thing as long as the credit is working for you not you merely working for it.

But this trip is far too important. Even if I end up putting a bit on my credit card, it will all be worth it in the end. So I end up making a few months payments on it after the final installment. I've been through worse before. I know I'm capable of managing it and paying it off very quickly. Besides the idea is just an idea at this point. Doesn't mean I'll end up having to put something on my credit card. I just had to get comfortable with the idea and stop worrying.

Now I can enjoy the prospects of the upcoming holidays, the trip installment, and my property taxes (say what???).

Well taxes aren't my idea of something to celebrate and ENJOY - but then we are to render to Caesar what is Caesar's.

Just wish Caesar would take a holiday right about now.