Friday, December 28, 2007

The EVIL Distraction!

Here's another challenge for you all. Name the thing that recently has started sucking up all your time.

For me, it's easy. It's an insane game called Sudoku, which seems deceptively easy. All you have to do is fit the numbers 1 through 9 into little boxes.

The catch is that each digit appears only once in each row, column or 9-box group. There are 9 nine-box groups in the puzzle.

Oh, sure, they lure you in with the easy ones, where all you have to do, basically, is count the numbers in the boxes and fill in the obvious blanks! That makes you feel like a genius.

And then...

Before you know it ...

You're hooked!

You may find yourself stealing off to the break room with the newspaper and a pen -- it has the same sort of academic thrill that working the New York Times crossword puzzle in ink has.

Starting on Monday, many newspapers suck readers in with the "easy" level puzzles. And many don't realize that it progresses to "intermediate," "advanced" and "F@*@#% HARD!"

Sometimes you'll do a Google search and find the online "Web Sudoku" site. You can select the level of difficulty you'd like. I still maintain, however, that the site has a cookie which remembers which puzzles you've worked and surreptitiously jacks up the difficulty. Kind of like boiling a frog in a pot of water -- just turn up the heat a notch at a time and he'll never notice until it's too late.

Yeah. Just call me Kermit. Well done.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007


It's time for a little post-Christmas game of tag! We haven't done a good meme or tag for a while and things are dull, dull, dull in much of blogdom right now. I know it is here!

So here, in an effort to liven things up a bit:

1. Link to your tagger and post these rules on your blog.
2. Share 5 facts about yourself on your blog, some random, some weird.
3. Tag 5 people at the end of your post by leaving their names as well as links to their blogs.
4. Let them know they are tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

Here are my Five Facts:

1. It seems I can only keep one room in my house clean at one time. Currently it is my bedroom. It is spotless. However, no one could sit in my living room (again) if they dropped by. I feel like a failure.

2. I anticipate another major upheaval in my life in the coming year, probably in an effort to relocate to a larger city. I am giving this a lot of thought (e.g., obsessing). I want to consider all my options carefully.

3. There are several things I have not done since I've been in this town: Knit, cook dinner for friends, watch TV. The absence of these things has been disturbing in subtle ways.

4. I bought a front-loading washing machine and matching dryer when I moved into my house five months ago. It's not all that. I miss the simple Kenmore washer & dryer my mom bought me when I moved to my old house 11 years ago and secretly wish I had moved them.

5. I would love to set up a sewing studio if I could make room for one, somehow. I have three sewing machines that I haven't had a chance to use in a long time -- one is new and I've never used it.

The Five Suspects:

1. Tech at 51313 Harbor Street
2. Junior the Bear at Junior the Bear: At Large in the World
3. Frenzied at Life Happens When You're Planning Something Else
4. Jeannie Diane at Where the Heck is 10Buck2?
5. E.R. at Erudite Redneck

While y'all are at it, throw in a bonus answer and tell me why you named your blogs what you named them!

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas, one and all!

I've got snow (for a little while, until the sun does its work); I have presents to open and lots of food in the fridge, including a ham, several pears from Harry & David, and a dozen or so oranges I bought to support the local high school band.

Last night I attended the 8 p.m. Christmas Eve communion service at my church. There was lots of beautiful music, the story from Luke and a packed house. It is nice to see every pew filled up to the point of people moving up to the balcony. A couple of weeks ago there were more people in the choir than in the congregation because of the weather. Not so last night!

This evening I may (MAY) go over to some new friends' house where a few people will congregate for supper. Until then I am going to enjoy a blessed day at home, reading, napping, opening gifts and perhaps writing out some belated Christmas cards... I'm just no good at that kind of thing, it seems, but I'm sure I have other nice qualities of some sort.

Wherever you are, and however you are spending this holy day, may God keep you firmly in the palm of His hand, today and throughout the coming new year.

Thanks for dropping by! Ho ho ho!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

The snow is back

And it's here with a vengeance! We're in the midst of a blizzard with white-out conditions. Silly me -- yesterday when it was in the 40s I left the office and forgot my coat. I had to run back to get it today during the snowstorm.

While I was out I was foolish enough to decide I was really hungry. So I treated myself to lunch at the Chinese buffet. I was thinking "who would do this in a blizzard?" Apparently I was not alone in my cravings because the place was full. I nearly started giggling inappropriately as I sat there eating next to a Mexican family speaking Spanish. Just seemed so odd that in a snow storm there would be Mexican people eating Chinese food. No, I know that may not be as funny to anyone else as it was to me, so never you mind. Just walk on by.

I'd take photos if I could, but my windows are covered with the windblown snow, so no can do from the warmth of my home. Might make a good macro shot... maybe later. I'm not in the mood.

The only item I'm missing right now is some Diet Coke. Otherwise I'm stocked well enough to stay holed up again this weekend. At this rate I won't be going to church tomorrow, either. Two weeks in a row is too long, but I'm not going back out in this.

Again I am glad to have a floor furnace so I can warm myself with direct heat when I need to thaw.

I have plenty of books to keep me company for as long as this isolation lasts, plus DVDs if I get around to hooking up the DVD player to the TV. Otherwise there will be no TV either since I STILL have not gotten cable.

I have to tell you though, that one of my favorite bloggers, Pioneer Woman, was featured today on CNN Headline News' program "News to Me." I couldn't watch it on TV, obviously, but there is a YouTube clip. Just type in "Pioneer Woman" in the keyword search and it will take you HERE, to the CNN HN clip It will make you laugh. GO WATCH IT!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Things I am liking tonight

1. The choral society concert is over. It started at 7 tonight and I was in my car at 7:55. Half the concert was two Bach pieces in German and several pieces from Handel's "Messiah." The other half was Christmas carols we sang from the audience, with the audience. We've worked on this performance since August, every single week. And it's over.

2. By 8:15 I had been served in my favorite neighborhood restaurant. Others from the group wandered in after I was seated, and I declined invitations to sit with them because I just wanted to eat quickly and get home.

3. I was home by 9 p.m. and already opened the mail.

4. Nothing is stopping me from going to bed early tonight. I should be on my way to Slumberland in about 10 minutes.

5. Snow's in the forecast again this weekend. And I don't have to work on Saturday. Yay!

6. I have been invited to play the piano for Sunday morning's gathering music at church, but there's no pressure if I decide not to do it. So if it snows, and I decide I can't drive the 7 blocks to church, no pressure. I'd like to play, actually, but I'd also like to be rehearsed, and I can't do that to my satisfaction without a piano. I'll let you know how it goes.

7. Tomorrow's Friday! Yay! This week is almost in the can. It has not been in the Top 10 list of great weeks.

8. I like that the library has a drive-up drop-off. I also like that my library system doesn't charge fines for overdue books. I just dropped one off after I had dinner tonight that was due back 11/26/07. I'm a little s-l-o-w.

9. I like that a calendar I ordered on the 17th arrived in today's mail. That's good!

10. I like that I have my bedroom cleaned up and I've kept it tidy for three days now. I even splurged and bought myself new pillows the other day. Yay!

11. I like that I've lost two more pounds this week, almost without effort. And I've dropped another size in pants. I do like that, yes, I do. Even if it's still my little secret.

12. I got flowers at work this week. I really liked that!

13. 2007 is almost over. I'm pretty thrilled about that. I need another chance to sweep the slate clean. I think most of us like that and need to get a clean sweep now and then. Plus I have this new calendar that I can't wait to use.

14. I like that I have friends that I miss so very, very much in my old city. Even though I sometimes come to the point of crying because I miss them, it just shows me how great it is to have people I care about that much. I hope I get to see them all again soon. I wish I could round up everyone I've ever loved and cared about and have a big old party. There would be quite a crowd. I might even dance. You've been warned.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Friday, December 07, 2007

Proof of life in a small town

You know you live in a small town when you go stand on the main street, in the dark, in freezing rain, unable to feel your fingers, unable to get the sleet off your lens, and still manage to get a photo of the city garbage truck in the Christmas parade, decked out with Christmas lights.
And you go out on the street, right along with the kids, to pick up the candy thrown by people on the floats.
That, my friends, is what makes America great!


The weather is fierce here. I had forgotten how much difference 100 miles and a smaller city can make when it comes to weather.
For the past *mumblemumble30yearsmumblemumble* I've lived in the large metropolis in the center of my state. This is my first taste of cold weather since I've moved back "home" up north. The hometown is just a drop in the proverbial bucket in size.
I'm fully convinced that the metropolis absorbs and holds much more heat. It also acts as a wind break, what with all those buildings and cars. Up here we're surrounded on all sides by open prairie with nary a building over four stories tall, I'd guess. And that's pushing it.
Somehow 49 degrees here is much colder than 30 degrees in the big city. I don't understand all the physics involved in the theory of "small town weather anomalies" but I'm sure there is some such scientific study out there.
This blasted cold weather has ruined my plans for the weekend. I was going to head to the big city tonight after work and stay with my best friends and then go to a "new life party" in the Bricktown area tomorrow evening for a newly divorced male friend. Our circle of friends has supported him through a two-year struggle to resolve the issues with his ex and work out details of the child custody arrangement and the like. He NEEDS this party and we needed to cheer him into the next chapter of his life's story.
It's annoying when icy weather puts the brakes on that kind of landmark.
So... it looks like I'll mosey down a couple of blocks after work to the hometown lighted holiday parade, stand in the cold until I cry and watch the nighttime WITH lights version of the other four parades I've seen since I've been back.
Oh! Oh!! The big news is that SANTA will be in this parade! I can't wait!! He'll be all the way at the end of the parade after the mayor, the city commissioners and the city manager go by.
One thing that never changes -- the city is still using the very same Santa house that they had when I was a kid. Right now it is parked at the end of the parade route in front of the public library across the street from City Hall.
I have to go down that way this afternoon. I wonder if he'll take early appointments.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Two Weeks Until Our Concert

Off the top of my head I cannot recall what, if anything, I have told you about the com-
munity choir I belong to. I joined it in August, and since that time (what is that, four months now?) we have been working on Handel'sMessiah and a couple of short Bach pieces. We will perform in two weeks at this theater. There will also be a community Christmas carol sing-along and we will have a six-piece professional orchestra playing with us. Will Rogers performed at this theater. Ethyl Barrymore performed here as well. It was built in 1928 and is on the National Register of Historic Places.

Alas, I have decided to forego my experience of singing at Carnegie Hall in January. Since I was diagnosed with diabetes I have had a series of unexpected expenses which have cut my budget to the thin side, too squeaky close for my comfort. In case I didn't explain that opportunity fully, I was invited to sing at Carnegie Hall as part of a mass choir made up of people from across the country. We were to sing a mass for peace on Martin Luther King's birthday.

I just got the music about a week ago. The full score is about 100 pages. That was a lot of music to learn in a very short time -- just over a month -- on top of what we've already spent months learning for this local concert.

I am sad at passing up this opportunity, but the practical side of me knows I have made the correct decision for now. Other opportunities will present themselves in the future. What makes me saddest is that one of my lifelong friends and her daughter, both from the Austin area in Texas, were going to meet me in New York to come to the performance and we were going to share a room and hang out in our free time. However, we can make plans to do something similar for a lot less money at a time when we won't be sloshing snow in our shoes.

It would have been great, though!

Tuesday, December 04, 2007


What I want to be doing: I want to be knitting -- comforting prayer shawls, little sweaters for children, lacy patterns for the art of it.
What I'm really doing: Looking for: My knitting needles; a project I started in June; a place to store my yarn stash.
What I want to be doing: Cooking dinner for a family, urging my teens to eat their salad and veggies, planning healthy menus to keep their energy up.
What I'm really doing: Eating alone, checking my blood sugar every day, trying to keep a watch on the number of carbs I eat, making sure I take my diabetes medication and trying to get in a walk every day.
What I want to be doing: Running kids around to piano lessons, recitals and choir rehearsals for Christmas plays.
What I'm really doing: Spending the day with a group of 120 high school students, learning about the realities of their lives, the sexual abuse by family members, the torture visited upon classmates, the addictions and neglect in their families, the pressures they feel to use drugs and alcohol, the obsessions with cutting and burning themselves to escape the very real pain of not being noticed or believed.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007


I've been exploring around the innernets for a bit visiting new and old favorites alike.

New-ish to me and HIGHLY recommended is Confessions of a Pioneer Woman She is the real deal Oklahoma rancher's wife and cook (not chef, cook) extraordinaire. She has a personal blog at "Confessions" and a companion cooking blog (linked on the right side of the "Confessions."

From her personal blog I've learned all I want to know about chaps and chinks -- although I think I'll be taking a refresher course and look over the material MANY MANY MANY more times. (Check it out and tell me how much you agree, ladies.) I've learned prolly way more than I wanted to about calf fries. And I've just fallen so very head over heels in love with her love story called "Black Heels to Tractor Wheels." Check out her ongoing series from the beginning and then let me know how many times you've caught yourself fanning yourself! Yum!!

My other favorites (that are public blogs) include Kuky Ideas. It is SO MUCH FUN to go to Kuky's and see her drawings and her pictures and stories about Isabelle, her 2-year-old gorgeous and crazy daughter.

Special treats: Kuky's drawings are da bomb. (How outdated is that expression? Really?) There are occasional videos of Isabelle doing the sweetest little girl things. And Kuky is a crafty lady who loves to sew spectacular things and knit and well, all manner of creative things. Plus they do a monthly family photo that I wait for every. single. month. because they do the same pose and yet it's an amazing way of seeing how time passes and changes everyone. Kuky, I just love your place!

One other daily "can't miss!" read for me is Posie Gets Cozy . Alicia is another beautiful craftswoman. She lives in Portland, Ore., and has a new corgi puppy named Clover. She also is living the life I want to steal. She is married to Andy, who is an R.N. and quite an extraordinary man, besides being cute as cute can be.

Going to visit "Posie" brings me an incredible sense of peace and centering. Alicia appreciates and creates beauty in the middle of everyday life. Her incredible color sense is something I wish could be bottled and sold at pharmacies nationwide because of the "all is right with the world" feeling I get from it. Reminds me of the feelings I got in my days on Pondamin 10 years ago right before the FDA pulled it off the market. Please, Alicia, if the FDA comes looking for you, grab Clover and Andy and HIDE! QUICK!

Go see "Posie" today -- they are at Multnomah Falls, one of the most BEAUTIFUL places on earth. I want to go back with a PASSION. If Clover ever needs a baby-sitter, call me and I'll move to Portland by morning, Alicia!

I hope y'all enjoy today's trip around blogland. Of course I continue to visit my longtime blogging buddies every single day too, but now and then I venture into new worlds. Mostly on those days when my longtime blogging buddies don't post, or they have ignored me too many days in a row. See, this is how I have to cope. It's paid off.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Finally, take a peek

This weekend I was finally able to finish putting just a bit of order to my living room. It has been a thorn in my side since I moved into this house in August. If you remember, the problem was compounded by a heavy downpour one day, when we got 3.5 inches of rain. I had to move a bunch of boxes off of my screened porch in a hurry.

So, in order to earn more reading time, I really have been making an effort the past few weeks.

I'm going to do this backwards, with the "after" photos first. It's still not as nice as I would like, and I've done more polishing up since I took these, but certainly better than the "before" photos which will be last.

And now, the "before" horror photos:
(Please don't judge me. I haven't had any time at home since I've moved here.)

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There. I have bared my soul and revealed the ugly truth. At least now I can walk through the room safely!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Well, that was anticlimactic

I did some good work today. I broke a story about a major illegal dump near our municipal airport today. The owners have been fined $10,000 and are near the end of their 30-day Administrative Compliance Order to clean it up. One of the owners only answered a couple of questions before deciding he didn't want to talk any more. I pulled together information about the family corporation that owns the site, the Department of Environmental Quality's case status, and even had an aerial photograph of the property showing all the waste.

This is a big deal because it's adjacent to a road that will become a city bypass in the next year, as well as the industrial park which is expanding immediately to the south. These owners will never be able to clean up the site; they are in their 80s and can't afford the $10,000 fine, much less the cost of cleanup. We could be looking at a future Superfund site here.

This was a pure "steak" story: meaty and one to sink your teeth into.

The publisher's reaction? (See previous post about "holiday"). Any comment about this story? Nary a one.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Native American Heritage Week

Last week, in addition to being Oklahoma's Centennial, was Native American Heritage Week. Here are some photos of the events that took place at several of our schools.
There were mini-powwows at the schools with explanations of the costumes and dances of the Ponca tribe.

Here is a jingle dancer. The Jingle Dance is a medicine dance. A man was very ill once upon a time, and had a vision of this style of dress and a particular dance. He believed that if his daughter wore such a dress while doing the dance, he would be healed.

This is a grass dancer. The name for this dance comes from his job at the beginning of a powwow to tramp down the tall prairie grass for the other dancers. He's also called this because his costume mimics the movement of the grass. This young man is a middle school student who absolutely made the girls in his school swoon when he danced.

This young man is a fancy dancer -- symbolized by the bustles on his back and on his shoulders. He is a world champion dancer and is still in elementary school. By the end of the day I think he was probably in a euphoria caused by the frenzied dance. His school was the last stop of the day and he really, really poured his heart into it.

Three young women who do Southern Plains dancing taking a break before their last dance. They are all sixth-graders, if you can believe it.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Guess who stirred a controversy?

Yeah, me.
Why? What about?
I took a photo of the city crews putting up wreaths on the light poles downtown.
Simple enough right?
I said, in the cutline, "holiday wreaths".
Man, oh man. There is a bitter woman who will NOT stop calling the office to complain. "They are CHRISTMAS wreaths! Not HOLIDAY wreaths!" she spews.
She's called the mayor. She's called the publisher, at home.
I can't wait until she sees tomorrow's paper where we announce the "Community Tree Lighting." The children will be singing holiday songs.
And one of the story tellers in town will read "Twas the Night Before Christmas."
I bet you not even that makes her happy.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

11-11: Veterans Day

In memory of Derek Alan Calhoun, American Hero.

Today is Veterans Day, the day we honor veterans of all wars.
The history of Veterans Day goes back to World War I -- known at the time as “The Great War.”

World War I officially ended when the Treaty of Versailles was signed on June 28, 1919, in the Palace of Versailles outside the town of Versailles, France. However, fighting ceased seven months earlier when an armistice, or temporary cessation of hostilities, between the Allied nations and Germany went into effect on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month.

For that reason, November 11, 1918, is generally regarded as the end of “the war to end all wars.”

If only it were so. But still we remember veterans of all the wars since Armistice Day.
World War II. Korea. Vietnam. And so many others, including the present unpleasantries.

Boys die.

Men die.

Women die.

Civilians die.

Families grieve.

Many suffer.

And yet we remember the veterans, with honor, for their sacrifices made on our behalf.

Yesterday was our Veterans Day Parade. And we remember.

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Sunday, November 04, 2007

Whadaya Know!

Time Change Cures Cold
I woke up feeling fine this morning with the beautiful sunshine in my eyes. I got a good long sleep, enjoying our extra hour to the fullest.
This morning I was up early enough to enjoy a breakfast run to McDonald's for a eggamuffin. Even though I still count the carbs, Sundays are feast days and I let myself have a treat or two through the day.

I'm looking forward to playing the bells this morning and having communion.

I'm also looking forward to coming back home and having a chill afternoon. And by "chill," I mean cleaning and feathering my nest some more. I will have some horrifying photos for you that shows the "before," "during," and "after" of The Great Clean Up of '07. Even Tech will understand why I have had to delay reading "Murder by Dewey Decimal" in order to tackle the mess.

It's a glorious morning. I can see some good color on the trees across the highway that is behind my house. And this is the perfect moment of the day to see it, with the morning sun bouncing off the golds and greens and settling in to warm up the reds.

Oh that reminds me. I have to trim the branches of the junk trees growing along the alley or the city will fine me. This is life in a small town. We have alleys where we put our trash cans, but for people like me it also means a lot more unintended gardening chores. I wish I could take pride in having the tidiest stretch of alley on the block, but it just doesn't do it for me. However, the fine is motivating, so I'll have to do that anyway. Grumble.

Off to get ready for church now. May your spirits soar today!

Saturday, November 03, 2007


I think I'm sick. I had to work today, even thought it was *supposed* to be my Saturday off. Grumble. I got off about 5 and then made myself dinner and crashed for a while. I woke up shivering and groggy -- that awful "where am I?" feeling, accompanied by sneezing and congestion. It's been more than an hour now and I'm still feeling the same way, so I think I'll just set the clocks back an hour and go on to bed early.

If tomorrow weren't communion Sunday and if the bells weren't playing, I wouldn't even bother to set the alarm. But I have to be there, so I bid all y'all a good night.

Enjoy your extra hour!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

My Friend Dewey

I don't know if any of you will be interested in this little story or not. It's about my friend Dewey, who dropped by to see me yesterday. He was here waiting for me when I got home, reading my mail. A little impertinent, don't you think?
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No! I will not order you a pizza, Dewey!

Dewey said he would like to sit on the front porch for a while and enjoy the late afternoon sun for a minute. Nice view of the street from here, he said.

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It is nice, but I have things to do, Dewey. Let's go inside. C'mon.

I had some housework to take care of before I could pay much attention to Dewey. See how shiny everything is in the bathroom?

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How do you like my shower curtain and pretty yellow towels?
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I told you, everything sparkles. I'm planning to put a shelf here to hold stuff.
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Here's one of my many quilts. It was really nice to sleep under this one last night.
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Sometimes I like to turn on my side and look out the windows.
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Uh-oh! Dewey! Watch out! There's a madwoman and she has a knife! OH NO MR. BILL!

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What's this? Heh. BUBBLE WRAP!

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But the real treasure inside is ....
MURDER BY DEWEY. (decimal -- get it?)

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Monday, October 29, 2007

Progress Report!

This will seem backwards, with this update on top of the original post(below). I have not yet earned the right to open my brown cardboard mailer because I still haven't put clean sheets on the bed. That'll be coming up next.

However, I can report that I am now the owner of the cleanest bathroom in this house. Perhaps even on this block! It gleams. It glistens. It sparkles and shines! The floor? Cleaned by hand with a rag and a sink full of Pinesol water. Clean, clean, clean! No doubt my nails will hate me tomorrow, but hey, floor --> clean! Clean also are the tub, toilet and sink. Scrubbed white as snow, each of them, inside and out. Even the mirror sparkles like sunlight off of ice crystals on a winter snow. That's sparkly!

This is the kind of clean I wish I'd had the time to do when I moved in. It's positively glamorous!

Top it off with a cute shower curtain and new towels and it looks fit for royalty!

The rug is still in the washer or I'd show you pictures... maybe later. On to the sheets now!

(Brief pause here for our sponsors' message...)

OK, clean sheets and quilt are on the bed. A nice, clean, safe place for me to fall asleep after a long Monday. Maybe I'll save the book to open tomorrow. I hope you don't mind, Tech, if I wait to savor it just a few hours longer?

What We'll Do for a Book

I came home today and could see that my mailbox was overflowing before I even turned the corner onto my street. I could see a bright orange card peeking over the box, but I also saw something brown behind it.

A magazine? Maybe a manilla envelope? I couldn't tell until I pulled into the drive ... a smallish brown mailing box. Hmm?

OH! I know! It's a BOOK!!! And not just any book nosiree. This has to be my copy of "Murder by Dewey Decimal" by Tech himself. AKA Stephen B. Bagley.

So I made a bargain with myself. I can open the mailer only when I finish cleaning the bathroom and change the sheets on my bed. All that's left in the bathroom is to mop the floor and hang my pretty new towels. I've scrubbed everything down and even hung a new shower curtain (on semi-permanent loan from my best friend Anne, who may have it back if she asks for it. That was the deal.) Then the changing of the sheets, which may take 5 minutes.

Here's the secondary catch: I can't start reading it until I also do some work on the living room. I can look at the cover, but NO READING until I can walk through the living room without having to turn sideways along the way.

Back later to report on progress!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Shopping: So unlike me

I seem to be on a shopping binge lately. Then again, it has been a long time, and ta-da, I am now a smaller size.

Officially I have dropped 20 pounds from my starting weight when we started at The Great Slim Down in January 2006. I've also lost 6 pounds since my defining moment with my doctor earlier this month.

The weight loss puts me in a whole different category of clothing -- one I haven't seen for a while. It's a nice change, don't get me wrong, but it messes with my head. Usually when I hit this place, the weight loss comes more quickly and I run down through several sizes pretty fast. At least that is my history. And I no sooner get used to saying "I wear a size __" than I have to move down again. Boy, does that make it hard to keep a wardrobe! And I just did a couple of smaller shopping trips over the past couple of months, so changes are happening fast!

Anyway, I did go on a bit of a spree today: Two pairs of smaller jeans NOT from the women's department; a cozy hoody; a couple of tops that are NOT XL; three new corduroy blazers from the PETITES department, a pair of slacks from the PETITES department, a baby blue sweater NOT from the women's department. Oh and a dressier blazer from the PETITES department!

Most of the pieces will transition me through the fall and probably most of the winter. Considering that everything I bought was on sale, plus I got a couple of $$ off coupons at Penney's, I "saved" more on my purchases than I spent. (If that's true, where did all my money go?)

The clothes are kind of a metaphor for this period of my life. It's another transition period -- one where I stay ready to keep moving on and not sit too long and get comfortable. I don't see my current job or location being long-term at this point, but I have to stay in place long enough to make a plan for what may come next.

At least I have the clothes for it now... for a little while!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

It came a'rainin' today

It was a downpour. A gulley-washer. A toad strangler.

It rained cats and dogs.

Yup, it was wet all right. Clear up to my knees while I was crossing the street after a meeting at city hall. Shoes soaked. Pants drenched.

I had a new pair of house slippers in the trunk of the car. I broke those puppies out at the office after stripping off water-logged shoes and socks. Ah, so dry and comfy!
I've decided to leave that pair at the office for such bad-weather days (and will stash a pair of jeans in my desk as well, so I can be less miserable should this happen again!)

Always be prepared. Wish I had a cute pair of galoshes today!

When I got home, I lost power for about an hour. And I had to really dig in to unpacking all the soaked boxes on the screen porch. What a mess. Progress has been made, but that does not mean things have been put up. Just means they are out of the boxes on the porch and mostly stacked up inside the house. Oh woe is me! Will I ever, EVER be settled in this little house? Not by the looks of my garage, where I've tossed all the wet boxes.

All told I think we got 3.15 inches before the lines of storms moved on past us. Pretty good amount for a one-day October storm! I'm definitely throwing another quilt on the bed tonight, because the rain has really washed the warmth out of the air and my feet are still chilled from being so wet today.

So how's the weather out there where you are?

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

At home, sick, today

Yes, that is correct. I am taking a day off. A Tuesday. And yes, I really am sick. I was sick through the night so add exhaustion on top of sick. And as it happens, Tuesday is the day we have to turn in time cards. I had to send my info through e-mail. Even taking today off, I had 44 hours in this week. I think I can afford to miss today, don't you?

I know I'll be back at work tomorrow. And there's delicious evil in spending the day in my new nightgown and robe, which I coincidentally bought last night. Not really in preparation for today, but perhaps for when I go visit my aunt and uncle, either this weekend or next.

There may be a non-strenuous chore or two that I could get done today, but I won't be able to get much done physically. I'm not up to it. I even scared off the Jehovah's Witnesses.

I thought someone was knocking on the front door at 3 a.m. When I woke up enough to realize what it was, I discovered it was my stomach. Yikes!

I also learned it's about time to get someone to light the floor furnace or put another blanket on the bed, because it was just a might cold last night!

Friday, October 12, 2007

Homecoming Parade ... (Or, You Might Live in a Small Town If...)

Last night was the homecoming parade and pep rally at the high school.

You Might Live in a Small Town If...

You can stand in the middle of a major 4-lane street waiting for the parade to come to you...

You get a lump in your throat seeing the high school band kids march in their uniforms...

The drums make your heart beat stronger ...

The Steppers ride on a flatbed truck ...

One of the school mascots is part of the sophomore class float ...

The junior class float includes more kids than actually worked on it...

The Senior Class float includes a guy with a whip, and he's really not all that kinky...

You can smell the testosterone rolling off the star football players standing like gods on a truck churning its way to the school...

The FFA girls wrap their horses' legs in school colors and tie spirit ribbons in their horses' tails ...

Cheerleaders, the band and proud parents worship at the feet of the players ...

Players take their place of glory at the top of the hill ...

And the Four Tubas of the Apocolypse cast a mighty shadow ....

A mascot strikes a pose ...

One of the football players will dance with any old woman with a camera ...

The drummers steal the show with their Coyote Ugly drumstick acrobatics...

And even a spotted pup is welcome!