Saturday, August 30, 2008

He's Da Man!

Well my son took his driver's renewal test again yesterday. Passed with flying colors.

Since his previous attempt two weeks ago, he's been relegated to the manual every evening after finishing his school homework. Guess you could say after he finishes his homework, he's got to do his homework. I think we were both ready for him to try again and get it out of the way.

I had to take off work a little early in order for him to try again. The smile immediately stretched wide across his face and his eye glimmered when he was told his score. That said more than words, and I knew he'd accomplished his mission.

He laughed afterward and said that after reading the manual for two weeks straight, he'd better pass since he had most of it memorized. Earlier in the day he'd received a 100% on his first geometry unit test, an A on his art assignment, and now he finally had a picture ID with his cool beard.

It had been a good day.

I'm so glad too because we can finally finish up his night driving hours and get him his genuine license in a few months and he can start driving himself hither and yon instead of me rushing to take him and pick him up.

Plus, having a bona-fide teen driver in the house makes for a great errand-runner.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

The Gang's (Almost) All Here

The gang just left.

My critique group gang met this evening. We usually terrorize Borders Bookstore, but a couple of months ago they decided to start closing at nine during the summer months.

That bites!

See, everyone in our groups basically has no life. Our greatest moments are when we all get together twice a month to shoot the breeze and dish on each other's latest writing excursions. It is an absolute blast and something we tend to look forward to. For the first 45 minutes or so we're all catching up on the latest that has been occuring in each other's lives. Couple of months ago it was pouring over pics of Julie's wedding. We've celebrated birthday moments together. Tonight we discussed some difficult family events from this week with Brian. We all need that time to let it all hang out.

Then we get down to business.

Now that Borders is closing so early, we begin feeling the pressure to get it all done when they start making announcements at 8:30. Then it is get the picture. Being rushed is not a fun way to spend an evening. Then to top it off we get unceremoniously shoved out the door.

Oh the inhumanity!

So we decided until hours went back to normal, we needed a better place to hang. Therefore, I invited everyone over to my humble abode. Plus my sectional makes a great group venue. The music isn't too loud either.

Wasn't sure how I was going to manage it. Can't have people in my home without it being at least somewhat clean and I usually don't do that until the weekend. Kids come in so handy on such occasions. :-) But it seems that things went well. I hope everyone had a nice time.

Maybe in two weeks I'll have cookies to share if I can think of it before the drive home from work.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Gettin' It Covered

As part of my pre-Thanksgiving preparations, I ordered my last set of curtains today for the house.

My son has two rooms - one is his bedroom and the other is his "man cave". The man cave is for hanging out, having a place to chill with friends, and playing air hockey, video games, or drawing. But come Thanksgiving it will become a bedroom for sleeping. Thus the need for a set of curtains.

When we bought the new house, my son got a whole new bedroom group. At fifteen, he was much too old (and too big for that matter) for the set of bunkbeds he'd had since he was two. However, I kept the bunkbeds for such a time as this. We'll set em up in the man cave for a cousin or two. Or maybe they'll just want to hang out on the mattresses. We'll just have to wait and see.

But at least I'll have curtains for the window. That takes care of the last needs for window treatments.

Now all I need to think about are the endless meals. Got it covered!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Mathematics Mad Cow

My son has started school and is quickly settling into a routine. He's already gotten into a kerfuffle with his geometry teacher though.

He tends to have "Open Mouth - Insert Foot" disease. I think it is related to "Mad Cow", however I could be mistaken. Must be a genetic thing.

When something hits his brain it tends to come spewing out of his mouth. Now it isn't necessarily a bad thing. He doesn't mean to come across as a know-it-all or anything. He doesn't intend to offend, but sometimes his teachers don't like having their errors pointed out to them in front of the whole class.

I guess it comes from having a grandpa who is a college mathematics instructor.

The teacher gave an incorrect definition for a theorem in relation to the problem. My son happened to be absolutely certain of that particular definition and questioned the instructor, who proceeded to harrumph (according to my son) it away and ignore him. One thing about my son, when he does actually take the time to speak up, he's usually very confident of his answer. So he went a step further, looked up the definition and proceeded to read it to the instructor, who didn't take kindly to it at all.

My son was fuming when I arrived home from work. Just to make him feel better, we called my father to ensure that there hadn't been a misunderstanding. Nope - no misunderstanding. My son was right.

Just because he was right didn't make what he did completely appropriate. I told my son that he needs to learn to temper himself in those situations, to not be afraid to question those in authority (with respect), but to leave it alone if the teacher doesn't respond to the question or point. Then after class it is 100% appropriate to talk with the teacher about it one on one. Teachers are human too. They can make mistakes, and like the rest of us probably don't appreciate having it pointed out in front of the entire class.

Yes, my son was okay to ask for clarification on the issue. But he should have then left it alone until they could discuss it in private. That way he could save the teacher a bit of his dignity.

He could also demonstrate tact and something else he greatly desires - his maturity.

With great intelligence comes great responsibility.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Change - Spooooky

I'm not sure what direction I'm going to go in.

Previously I posted about my new job just not working out and considering putting out my resume for other employment. It's a little odd for me because when I find a job I usually stay for about ten years or so. I'm not what you'd consider a job hopper. Only thing is now, I love the people I've worked with for so long and hate the idea of leaving them, but it is so obvious this is just not a good fit.

Therefore I've been considering some other possibilities. With all the savings I've spent on buying the new house and purchasing new furniture, I'm not in a position at the moment to start my own business, something I've wanted to try for several years. Since my son doesn't have many years left at home, I decided to pursue the house so he'd have opportunity to enjoy all the new space. But I'd still like an opportunity to stretch outside what I know and do something more in line with my giftedness.

It sure is hard making changes when you have sole responsibility for your family. That weight hangs over me like lead right now. My son's European trip is coming up next summer and isn't cheap. Then there's senior year. Then there's college. Then this. Then that. It never really ends.

Which means that if I want to make a change then I'd better do it now. I've actually had some very interesting ideas that I'm not quite sure how to act on, but would like to at least pursue the possibilities. Some thoughts have come from way out in left field. I'm not dismissing any of them.

Who knows - one of the left field ideas could be the one that leads to my dreams.

Friday, August 22, 2008

A Miracle

For as long as I can remember, my son and I have reserved Friday nights for pizza and a movie. Now that he's getting older, it doesn't happen EVERY Friday, but we still try and make it a priority.

Tonight we watched Miracle, the movie from several years ago that relived the miraculous gold medal winnings of the U.S. hockey team during the 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, NY. We've watched it so many times over the years, but it still gets my motor going and my blood pumping during that game between the U.S. and the Soviet Union. Gosh, I can hardly sit still. I can hardly breathe.

And I already know how it ends!

I think the movie is even more amazing in that they took regular guys, hockey players, and made them into actors instead of the other way around. Kurt Russell as Coach Herb Brooks did an outstanding job, playing the real-life character so effortlessly. He should have in the least been nominated for an Oscar. Personally myself I think he should have been given an Oscar for that performance hands down.

I remember what it was like during that time - the fear of the Soviets, the fear of the Cold War, the economic malaise, the sense of hopelessness in America. This real-life event in our nation's history was the catalyst that turned people's hearts and minds around. Hope once again entered our lives. Dreams were lived out in front of us. We learned to believe in ourselves once again.

And we learned to believe again in miracles.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Long Lost Cousin

I just love finding long lost family.

My cousin, Michelle, called me this evening, asking if she could borrow my vacuum cleaner. Hers is on the blitz, so I had my son throw it in the car and ran it over to her.

She's not really my cousin, by all points and purposes. We've known each other since we were younger. Her aunt is married to my uncle. So that makes my uncle her uncle. Makes her aunt my aunt. It isn't a blood thing, more of a marriage situation.

We still claim each other anyway. We're just a few months apart in ages. There are other commonalities as well.

Many years ago I happened to move to this area. For a brief period of time we actually worked for the same employer. Then she left because she was getting ready to get married and move away.

That was almost twenty years ago. We lost contact with each other. That is until last year.

My son and I (Mom too) flew to Houston last summer for my cousin's wedding. This is the daughter of my aunt and uncle. This is the daughter of Michelle's aunt and uncle. Aw heck, you get the drift. Needless to say, Michelle and I were thrilled to see each other again at the mini family reunion/wedding weekend extravaganda.

Her daughter was a senior and my son was getting ready to start high school. Funny thing was, when those two started talking with each other we discovered something astonishing.

Her daughter and my son were going to the same school. Michelle had never gotten married and had never moved away from the area and was living in my town. My town was her town. Her town was my town. How had we never run into each other?

It made me sick to think that we'd shared the same community for thirteen years without even knowing it. All that lost time. All those missed opportunities.

We decided that God had brought us back into contact at that particular moment for a reason. Here she was a single mother too, just like me. She'd also made the decision to put off dating until her daughter was raised, just like me.

Plus it was so nice to know that I wasn't without "family" up here. We get together as often as feasible, go to lunch, run around or just hang out at the house and watch movies or play card games. She even watched my son for me when I had to go out of town last fall.

Cause families help each other out, don't ya know.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Tuesday Television

Tuesday nights around our house are typically centered around the T.V. We don't watch much of it any other day, but when we do we do it with gusto.

Usually it is non-stop Discovery Channel's "Deadliest Catch" series that keeps our blood pumping and our guts sore from laughing so much at all the greenhorns' antics. But with "Deadliest Catch" on hiatus until next season, we stumbled across something new.

Have you ever heard of a show called "Reba"? It's Reba McEntire, the singer!!! She's absolutely hilarious. It's a 30-minute sitcom about a single mother whose husband left her for his younger assistant (who, by the way, actually becomes Reba's friend), whose 17-year old daughter becomes pregnant and the father is kicked out of his own house (so they end up getting married and living with Reba), and the whole thing is an absolute disastrous and chaotic mess.

I love it!

I can so relate to several things in this sitcom, even those besides the single parent saga. Yes, they deal with some touchy subjects. Yes, it is irreverent, but they approach everything in such a way that is refreshing and yet still somewhat honorable.

The daughter and son-in-law got pregnant, but he did the honorable thing by marrying her and she by keeping the baby. They have their moments of selfishness and teenagerness, trying to walk a line between high school and adulthood. But then he holds her head while she's pucking her guts up (even though he whines about it), and she supports his efforts to try to improve his grades in school (he's a football jock) since he now has responsibilities.

Reba has her moments of anger and bitterness toward her ex-husband and his new wife (who is also pregnant with his child). But then she also shows her ex honor by encouraging the stiff relationship with their younger daughter. She works hard to accept the fact that the new wife is now a part of their lives, though she gets some of the best one-liner put downs before anyone catches it. Kinda like a "who goosed the moose" moment.

This crazy show is so relatable. I've personally seen how a teenaged pregnancy can affect an entire family and how it helps when the family accepts it and gathers around. I've seen how divorce affects people and how bitterness can be hard to overcome but can be done with alot of work. I know how it feels to be a single mother and worry about how it affects your kids and how other people look differently at your children because of it, as if single-parenthood is some kind of catching disease. I know how hard it is to swallow your pride and encourage the children's relationship with the ex because it is good for them and the right thing to do (in most cases). Life isn't always a sweet-smelling, bed of roses.

But at least we can find something to laugh about!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Advice Anyone????

Sometimes I don't know how to read my son.

This summer he's been Mr. Independent, traveling to various places with choir and youth groups. He's had a great time and I think the opportunities have been so good for him in so many ways.

That's why I'm a little stumped right now.

Last year when he got his learner's permit to drive, he aced the test. Didn't miss a single question. I've been telling him for a month to be reading up on the manual because he needed to take his test to get a restricted license. Told me he did. Thought that he did. Guess he really didn't.

Friday I took him to renew since I was off work. He took the written test and missed seven questions, two too many to get his license renewed. I was stunned.

Lately he's been fighting me on his driving. I'd kept my previous car when I bought my new one a couple of years ago just so he'd have a car to drive when ready. Only thing is the old car that is to be my son's is a manual transmission, and he learned on an automatic. I figured no problem, since I eventually learned how to drive a stick and loved it. Ah, the control. Ah, the power.

Wait, was that a cop I just passed?

Anyway, I get the teeniest feeling he failed on purpose. Maybe I'm being paranoid, but it is quite interesting how he went from Mr. Ace to Mr. Failure in the span of one year. Next month when he turns 16 he'll be getting his first job. I guess he'll have to walk to work and home again. Maybe then he'll rethink his attitude. Maybe then he'll actually see the benefit to driving himself. Cause let me tell you - this mother isn't going to be driving him.

Yeah, there's probably some fear there of the unknown. Maybe walking will renew the thirst to learn. One can only hope.

I'm open to advice!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Book Review

Sunday afternoons we typically relax, watch a little TV, play on the computer, or read a book. Sometimes it's even a mix of all. Today (after my nap, of course) I finished reading "The Last Days" by Joel C. Rosenberg. LOVED IT!

Mr. Rosenberg previously wrote the bestseller prequel, "The Last Jihad", however I somehow missed that one, but you really don't have to read it to follow the events. Found this on the $5 table at Wal-mart a couple of months ago. Started it and then got interrupted and just got back to it this past week. I can't believe I ever put it down, but life has an irritating habit of getting in the way of little pleasures. Gee!

Jon Bennett is a high-powered Wall Streeter brought onto President MacPherson's advisory staff to broker the most important deal of his career - peace in the Middle East. The Palestinian/Israeli conflict is escalated when Arafat (yes, a little out-of-date) and much of the U.S. delegation is blown to smithereens by the head of Arafat's security detail, also a high-level operative in a secret terrorist organization.

The organization is bent on chaos and throwing the peace process into the tank, assured that Israel will retaliate when suicide bombers strike in tandem at the heart of Jerusalem. An Israeli strike in the West Bank and Gaza will bring down the hard hand of other Arab nations against Israel, and the U.S. will be forced to come to the aid of Israel once again, inflaming certain Asian and European tensions. The entire world could be thrown into utter destruction as it holds its collective breath, awaiting the ultimate response sure to come.

But will the response be the right one?

Great tension. Dramatic action. The pace is quick, non-stop. The stakes escalate until you feel as if you're about to fall off a cliff.

I actually found myself squirming and holding my breath a couple of times in the last few chapters. It made me laugh at myself. Haven't got that caught up in a book for a long time. Thrillers aren't really my thing, but it sounded like a good premise. Plus I've been looking for some good reading material in other genres that I'm not used to reading. This one fit the bill BIG TIME.

Highly recommended!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

My Girl and Me

My mom sent me more pictures from this past summer. Here's one of my little great-niece and me in my sister's pool over Memorial Day weekend.

That weekend we had my grandma, my mom, my sister, my sister's daughter, and then my sister's granddaughter. Five generations were under one roof at the same time. Pretty amazing to think about.

Little Madison's initial reaction to the water reminded me a bit of when my son was little. When she first got in the water it was probably a little overwhelming (and cold!). She screamed and cried and clung to me, just like my son did at that age. Then I gradually let her get used to the water by splashing around a little bit, letting her splash at the water with her feet, and then finally just inching my way down into the water with her.

By that time, she was having so much fun splashing that she didn't realize she was all the way in the cold, big swimming pool. It was a completely adorable moment, and I was so glad to get to share that with her.

Haven't seen the cutie since Memorial Day weekend. I'm expecting to see my niece and great-niece over Labor Day weekend. She will probably have grown so much by then.

Little children do that, you know.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

First Day of School

I've always taken my son's first day of school off. Tomorrow will be no exception.

It started when he was little. The babysitter always had more of his talkativeness during the day while I was at work, which I absolutely hated. Therefore I decided that when he started school I would at least have one day in which I could be the first responder.

And I loved it so much I decided to continue.

Now it is more of a habit and an opportunity for me to get things done throughout the day that I don't usually have time to do. Work is always busy and getting away for lunch errands almost impossible. That's an added benefit to having a weekday off.

But even though he'll be sixteen soon, I think he still appreciates the fact that I'm home to welcome him after a long first day. Even if they don't do much of anything, it seems to be a stressful time.

So I get to be the happy face at the door to greet him with a plate of cookies.

Uh-oh. I better run an errand tomorrow to buy some.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The Ship Has Sailed

Tonight was "Meet Your Teacher Night" for the start of school later this week.

We decided not to attend.

He's got the same locker with the same combination, alot of the same teachers, and the principal gives pretty much the same pep talk that they gave us every year of middle school. My son is nearly sixteen, for crying out loud. I think the "Meet Your Teacher" moments have sailed.

Does that make me a bad parent? Don't tell my mother and father.

My mother was a grade school teacher most of my growing-up years (until they bought the restaurant) and my father was my high school math instructor. Now he's teaching at the community college back in the area in which I grew up. I have aunts, uncles, cousins, and a brother-in-law that are in the teaching profession. Yes, I've heard all about the parents who don't give a rat's rear-end about their child's education.

Sometimes I think I've tried to be involved too much. I was helicopter mom during grade school after the bullying incidents. I went to all of the teacher's conferences during middle school. This summer I've learned how much my son has truly blossomed...and he's done it without me in tow.

So I'm thinking that now that he's a sophomore in high school that perhaps helicopter mom needs to back off (ya think?). Don't get me wrong. I'm still going to be in the front row at every single choir performance, help with regionals and state contests, and will likely bake a cookie, brownie or maybe both for forensics tournaments he'll be in second semester. He decided on that instead of speech.

But like I said - I think the teacher meeting ship has sailed.

And I'm no longer on board for the ride. That's my son's job now.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Pounding the Pavement

My best friend, Lori, is a professional percussianist. She teaches at two private schools, plays for the church, is in an area musicianship group, and is under contract for the local opera and music theatre companies. Let me tell you, that girl is busy. She can play tympani like nobody's business.

She also knows her drums.

Since I'm planning to get my son into drum lessons this fall, I'll need to buy a drum set. His birthday is next month, so I figure I'll kill two birds with one stone and get him the drums as a birthday present.

Lori's agreed to take me around to the best stores and compare basic sets and prices. If anyone can get me a good set for a good deal, she can.

She's already warned me to stay away from pawn shops. Figured I might be able to get a good deal there, but she said many times they're even more expensive than buying something brand new. It's the sucker punch.

We've tentatively planned for this Saturday or the next. She's even offered to let me store it at her house until his birthday weekend. I want to at least TRY to keep it a surprise if at all possible. Then I can set it up in his man cave and make it off-limits for a day or two. Gee, the things I go through to try and keep secrets from the kid.

All I can say is, he'd better appreciate all I'm going to go through trying to get the crazy thing in the house and set up. My back hurts already.

And Lori lugs around tympani drums all by herself!

Saturday, August 9, 2008

The Manly Essence

My mom sent me some pictures today of when we were down for the Fourth of July. This one of my son is just amazing.

The kid has been shaving facial hair since he was twelve. This summer he decided he wanted to let it grow. The picture was from a month ago, and it's twice as heavy now.

My little baby boy is almost a grown man. At least he looks somewhat like it here. It amazes me when I think of what he's been through and how far he's come. His manly essence is starting to show itself. I think he's proud of the fact that he's one of only a handful of guys in his school who can even grow a beard. Gets it from my dad, I suppose.

Next Friday he starts school and is looking forward to showing off his new look. Things are changing so quickly now that at times I can barely keep up. Can't imagine what it will be like by the time he is a senior.

I'll have to ask my sisters about that one.

Friday, August 8, 2008

A Visit With The Count

Writing about the "Count of Monte Cristo" music soundtrack last night got me in the mood to hear it again. I just finished watching the movie. It never fails to move me.

There are several scenes in the movie that really get to me, but one in particular causes my eyes to well every stinking time I watch the crazy thing. After Edmond is betrayed by his best friend and thrown into prison for a crime he didn't commit, he notices a message carved into the wall of his cell by the previous tenant - "God will give me justice".

For the next four to seven years (it's never quite clear exactly), Edmond carves the message deeper and deeper into the wall with a sharp stone. It's as if he's attempting to carve it into his soul to cling to God and keep from losing his faith. Then one day after his annual whipping, he sits there staring at the message, picks up the stone, then with a clatter drops it to the floor. A powerful statement.

I guess it gets to me because I know what it's like in a way. I've never totally lost my faith in God, but my heart has been so beaten down and punctured by the knives in my back, that I've cried out to God, "WHY?", just as Edmond does. I've asked the questions millions have before me: Why do good people suffer? Why doesn't God do something about the wrongs committed against the innocent?

You know what? I'll never have all the answers. I'll never understand why I've had to walk some of the horrible paths laid before me. But this I DO know. It was not God who did these things to me. It was not God who conspired to commit wrongs against me. It is the effect of the selfish nature of man.

And there is an added benefit that God has opened my eyes to through all of it. There are so many people in this world just like me - beaten down by events or other people in life, doubting God, confused about how a loving God could allow such things, etc., etc., etc. So many times they're told to "get over it" or "where's your faith" and other such hogwash.

God has allowed me a not so unique opportunity to see through people's masks and reach them where they hurt. I can't make things better, but I can be a shoulder to lean on, arms to hold them, a friend to listen, someone to cry with. In a very tiny way, it almost makes what I've been through worthwhile. It at the very least gives reason to my past hurts.

I'm still on my journey, and that's a good thing. With insiders knowledge, I can laugh at the scene in the movie where Edmond tells Priest, "God is no more real than your treasure, Priest." To which Priest responds with a smile and says, "Perhaps."

You'll have to watch the movie to fully appreciate the wealth in that statement.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

My Music Fetish

I just love music - especially soundtracks from movies.

I've garnered a few favorite composers, such as Steve Jablonsky, Trevor Rabin, James Horner, James Newton Howard, etc. etc. etc. Of course, there's always my absolute favorite - Hans Zimmer. Many times I don't even have to go see the movie, just notice a soundtrack at the store by one of these composers and I buy it. There's only one time I can remember where I was slightly disappointed - but only slightly.

However, I didn't capture a soundtrack when I should have. At the time "Count of Monte Cristo" came out at theatres, I was in the midst of paying off a huge debt left me by my former best friend. That was a hard time. Though I fell in love with the music at the theatres (another friend insisted on paying my way), there was not a cent available to even consider what I thought of as a luxury purchase at the time. If only I'd known.

Apparently they didn't make that many copies of the Edward Shearmur's orchestral score when it was released. It's a very rare commodity now. Amazon has sellers that offer a mere handful, but they are extremely pricey. I can't fathom the idea of paying $70 to $100 for a tiny disc, but oh, how that music moves me when I watch the movie at home. I've debated plunking down the cash for many months now. Just can't bring myself to do it.

Though I'll probably kick myself in the fanny when these are all gone. Just need to figure out how to contort enough to do that.

I know - just need a little music is all to accomplish that.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

It's The Cats, Stupid!

My keyboard is barely accessible at the moment.

There's a tail flicking in the way and a couple of paws hanging over the edge. Yes, once again my desk has been invaded by cats.

Sometimes Paws becomes so enamoured by my presence that he writhes himself all over my desk, my keyboard, etc. I can't help but laugh when he forgets where the edges end and plops off onto the floor.

How do cats always seem to end up on their feet?

Oops! He's about to make a rapid descent right about...............well, nevermind. He rolled away from the edge. Now an errant moth has garnered his attention.

There goes the tail again. Some days I can just never win.

Cats and computers - a dangerous mix.

Monday, August 4, 2008

"Bosom" Friends

Friends are so wonderful.

My best friend, Lori, just left. She and I have known each other for years, but it's only been within the last three years or so that we've become close. Friends are to me like the air I breathe. It isn't just a nice thing to have but an absolute necessity.

The fact that we can both share difficulties and joys and truly commiserate one with another or celebrate each other's big moments are such a lifeline. Everyone needs that kind of a friend whether they realize it or not.

Some people never experience such a friendship. I truly feel sorry for them because they have no idea what they are missing in life. When I lost a dear friend to me years before, I wondered if I'd ever find that kind of friendship with anyone else ever again.

It made me think of David and Jonathan from scripture. Jonathan's father, Saul, was king of Israel. Jonathan was next in line for the throne, but he recognized God's anointing of David as the next king. They had an incredibly close friendship that only ended in death. King David provided for Jonathan's surviving son, Mephibosheth. That's how much his friendship with Jonathan meant.

I've always wondered if David ever had such a friend again. Scripture doesn't record anything, but friendships like that don't happen often. It saddened me to think that after I lost my best friend that I might never find such a friend again. Someone who wasn't afraid to let it all hang out and be okay with it. Someone who lived every moment of life with passion and enthusiasm. Someone who could laugh with you one moment and cry the next. Someone who wasn't ashamed of being human.

It is so hard to believe that I've been blessed with such a dear friendship again. It makes me think of Anne of Green Gables when she spoke of "bosom friends". That's what such a friendship is like to me too.

So thanks to my "bosom" friends out there.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Winding Down The Summer

It's hard to believe my son starts back to school in two weeks. Where has the summer gone?

He's been off traveling most of Texas. Last July we attended my cousin's wedding in Houston. In April he was off to Dallas for the choir trip. June he went back to Dallas with his dad for vacation. Then July he was off to San Antonio for IYC.

I'm so glad he's had these opportunities to travel...even if they've all been to one state in the Union.

Next summer he's off to Europe for sixteen days. That's a long time to be gone. These trips have been good to help prepare him for that journey.

For now, sophomore year awaits. He's got the clothes. Today we got some supplies and a backpack. For once, I think he's actually looking forward to the start of school. This could be an incredible year for him. It seems for so long he's been swimming upstream, crashing against the currents of life. My hope is that this year will be a major turning point for him.

He's got his license. He's got the car. Now all he wants is the girl.

I think I can wait awhile for that. Maybe after next summer? Or maybe the summer after that.

Friday, August 1, 2008

A Good Friday

This was another wonderful Friday evening.

I introduced my son to "Top Gun" for our movie night tonight. It was the first VHS tape I ever bought - bought it at Wal-mart - paid $19.99 plus tax. The crazy thing still works great, better than some of my newer DVD's in fact.

It's still a great story - LOVE the flying sequences. Just gets my motor going, especially considering that I was at Miramar just a couple of months ago. I love my boys in blue!

After the movie, I got a call from a dear friend of mine. She was my ornery buddy (I'm such a bad influence) in choir until she moved a little more than a month ago. Now she's three hours away. Sure missed her Wednesday night. She called to chat and then told me she's coming down to stay with her parents for the weekend. It'll be good to see her again.

Then while talking to her, my best friend Lori stopped by. She'd been out catching the tail end of the Dillard's extra 40% off special. Yesterday I picked up some new slacks and a couple of great jackets for my trip to Chicago next month (paid $6 for one of the jackets and the other was just over $10). Today I ran over to JC Penney's to see if I could find a red pair of flats to go with one of the outfits. Found some. Only pair in that style. Happened to be the right color of red. Happened to be exactly my size.

Oh, did I mention they were on the clearance rack and were an additional 50% off? Hallelujah! Hallelujah!

They ended up costing me $5.98. Sale - it's my favorite four-letter word. Well, next to FREE.

Anyway, Lori picked up a pair of shoes that just didn't happen to be on sale. She wears my size. Maybe after her special occasion tomorrow she'll let me borrow them.

Wait - I don't have any special occasions where I could wear them.

Oh well, I can dream can't I? It's still been a good Friday after all.