Saturday, November 19, 2011


I've been reduced to watching kitten clips on You Tube.
I don't really like cats so much, and I don't know why I think this is so cute, but it is so cute it borderlines saccharin.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Send Somebody

I learned this song today, and it made me happy, so I'm sending it on to you.
Thank you for stopping by!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Trying New Things: UPDATE

This is the video of me concentrating, and trying not to say "One-and, Two-and, Three-and, Four-and".  My back up plan for missing my notes has been to sing the note in time, but you can tell that it is not a bell.  What Wondrous Love Is This?  40 seconds of video seems long.

I'm a fledgling musician.  I can accompany my voice with a guitar, mandolin and ukelele (which means I'm a big hack).  I can sing, and my voice is my instrument.  I can count time, read music and I have relative pitch.
This morning I debuted as a bell ringer in a hand bell choir.  I played the E's and F's in the base clef.  I have been to 3 rehearsals, and it is fun, and new.  I joined because I really like the sound of the bell choir, and my mom is in it.  I'm such a newbie, but I'm having patience with myself to learn a new sport instrument (?).  I have traditionally thought that bell choirs were cheesy. Certainly there is that element, the quilted vests, the white gloves, but it is fun.  My husband thought it was so funny that he took video of me, and was laughing so hard.  I think he is just jealous of how much fun I am having.  
So what if I am liking it?  
It is like the video games that you pretend to play an instrument, waiting to strum the guitar at the exact moment, but there is sheet music, and you get weeks of rehearsal.
I think I am the only ringer with a tattoo.   

Friday, November 11, 2011

Veterinarian Day

8 year old-     Mom?  What's a veterinarian?

35 year old-    Oh!  Someone who is a doctor for animals.

8 year old-     Mom, why are we celebrating veterinarians?

I'm grateful for veterinarians and veterans today.

Thursday, November 10, 2011


Murmuration from Sophie Windsor Clive on Vimeo.

I have a terrible case of ornithophobia.  I have had it my whole life.  Even songs about birds as a child scared me (...Seven blackbirds baked in a pie...).  At the same time that I am afraid of birds, I am thrilled by them.  I enjoy seeing them, if I am inside and they are outside.  I am terrified of them if they are near me.  It makes my knees weak, like some folks get if they are up too high.

Starlings (I call them Parking Lot birds) are especially nerve-wracking, which is why watching this as a video is perfect for me.  It is amazing, and terrifying.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Less From the Back Seat

The universe has shifted.  I know I said it may be 5 more years of bickering in the back seat, but it may be a bit less, three minutes less.  Today driving home from school I was the loudest person in the car.  I asked how the kids' day was and halfway through the sentence, I released I was interrupting.  I was interrupting silence, so I stopped talking and enjoyed the three minute car ride.

Those three minutes in the car were full of quiet because my two ruffians were BOTH with their noses in a book.  The smaller one, Little Farm in the Ozarks, and the bigger, one of the last of the Redwall series.  Also, my son is just big enough to sit in the front, so they can not physically fight, and that extra 6 inches helps out with the bickering (who knew?).  Now they both have the reading bug, and it was a perfect storm!

I've gotta say that I'm gloating.  And even now they are quasi-bickering over the fairness of Halloween candy distribution.  For three minutes this afternoon, I felt a successful parenting moment.  

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Thanksgiving is the New Christmas

Everyone is supposed to love Christmas.  I do.

Now I am going to explane why I don't like it as much as I'm supposed to.  I'm admitting it, even though it is close to taboo to admit that Christmas is a bit much for me.  It is my feeling that Thanksgiving is everything that Christmas could be.  Let me explane.

You know all the reasons there is to love Christmas.  The weeks of parties, music, cookies and sweets, gifts, more parties, children, travel, decorations and family.

Every year my children have class parties, my husband has work parties, my church has youth parties, there are family birthdays as well as our anniversary.  This year we have added a Jr. High Bollywood dance recital (really?), our daughter's choir performances, our choir performances, and hand bell performances.  All of these activities are tromping on top of buying gifts and celebrating Advent (counting down the days 'till Christmas).  We also have to be moved out of our house on the 1st of December, but that is just this year.  Most of these festive activities are not unique to this year (Bollywood Jr. High dance recital?).

Last year I watch the Charlie Brown Christmas and cried tears of "good greif".  There is too much to do at Christmas.  I am missing the point of Christmas and there is no way around it.  I have to participate in the menagerie of festivities. On their own, each activity is manageable, but in quick succession, it is a flood of fun.  A serving of ice cream is yummy, but not so much if you have to eat a gallon right now.

I used to think it was that I was putting some imagined expectation on Christmas, because it was magical when I was a kid, thanks to my parents.  I want to love it, like I used to.  Now I don't have the expectations I used to, but a calendar and a schedule to keep.

If I could have what I want for Christmas, it would be that Thanksgiving is the new Christmas.  There aren't piles of music to learn, months of preparation and pre-Thanksgiving parties.

All I have to do is deliver juice boxes to my children's classroom the day before school is out, and a potluck item for the actual day of Thanksgiving.  Then, I get to enjoy the people around me and remember how thankful I am, all weekend.  It is just as spiritual and sacred as Christmas.  I am so thankful for that.  

Bully Dog in the Grocery

I pretty much love my pets, and I love the people in my life more.  This seems reasonable, but I guess not to everyone.   

The other day at the grocery store, I realized that some people love their pets more than I do.  I think some people love their pets as much as they love a human.  They have a strong and satisfying relationship with a dog, or a cat.  This is a feeling/thought that I have never had.  I have felt the unconditional love of a pet for me, and that is nice.

Last week in the paper product isle was a pitt bull.  We call them "Never-let-go" dogs.  That pretty much sums up what I think of them.  They are cute, but if they get ahold of you, they will never let go.  This is bad.  I hear people say that it's an undeserved, bad reputation.  I know why they have a bad reputation.

They are used to fight and kill.  They are used to guard illegal and legal drug cultivation.  If they get you, the owner can get his drugs and money back, and then the dog can continue to eat you for lunch.  People mostly have this breed to be intimidating, or to seem tough because they are not.  Also, some of these kinds of people love their bully dog.  So much so, that it is not okay to leave them in the garage at home, but rather bring them along to get oranges and toilet paper.

The dog at the grocery had an orage vest on, and one of those collars that if you tug on it, it will pinch the dog with pokey spikes. The pokey-spike-thing (and the breed) was what alerted me to the farce the owner thought she was pulling.  She was masquerading her dog as a helping dog, so that it could come shopping with her.  I'm sure no one would ask her to leave.  One, because you would not want to insult someone by questioning their motives, and two, the dog could kill you and your small children if you got close enough to talk to her.  

I know folks who raise helping dogs.  They are labs.  They are not intimidating.  They are endearing, soft and well behaved.  They are smart.  They do not require special spiky collars.  If you see one in the store, you are not afraid.  No one is fooling me (or rather for very long)!!

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Moving Box

I think the cat does not want to be left behind.  The thought has crossed my mind.  I guess I should wait to tape up this box?

Friday, November 04, 2011

A Winner Never....

"The Upside of Quitting"

I initially listened to this podcast because I thought the title was, "The Upside of Quilting".  I was pleasantly surprised that it was about "quitting" not "quilting", though both would be nice to hear about.

Sometimes being dyslexic is exciting, because you never really know what you are going to get, or if you are at the right address, at the right time.  It can be interesting, or embarrassing, but I am choosing interesting.   If you ask my husband, he would pick "annoying", and to his "annoying" I would say, "I make it worth it".
Not quitting got me to the top of Mt. Whitney

Back to the quitting thing.  This episode made me feel better about myself.  It made me remember that my failures are often stepping stones.  What a terribly boring saga, if all I did was win, win, win.  There are times I have quit at winning.

In college I never got a "B".  I only got "A's".  I'll admit that I chose something that was not terribly intellectual, but I still tried hard.  I learned what professors wanted, and I gave it to them 91%-100% of the time.  By the time my senior year came around, I no longer cared about getting good grades, but by then I had a 4.0 and 4 months of school left.

My last semester, a speech professor told our class that she did not give "A's".  That was throwing down the gauntlet, as far as I was concerned.  It was on!!  I was going to have to get "A's" my last semester of university, and I did.  Really?  A speech class that no one gets and "A" in?  She did give me a 89.4%, and I went to her and pointed out that her assessment of our speeches, by nature, was subjective.  It was not a math class, and her margin of subjectiveness would bump me into the "A" range.  I graduated Summa Cum Laude.

A few years later, after one semester of Grad school, I flunked out.  I received a letter from University of Nevada, Reno, stating I was not longer qualified to participate in their university education.  I failed because I quit 2/3 of the way through the semester, knowing what quitting meant.

What a liberating feeling, to be a quitter.  Since then, I have been striving to be a better quitter.  I did not crumble into a million pieces when I quit grad school.  I survived, and well.  Now, if I don't like a book, I quit reading it.  If I don't like my dinner so much, I quit eating it.  If a movie is terrible (which is often) I turn it off.  I realize those don't cost me much, but it is a start.   Even though I am the first born in my family, I am trying not to act like it.  

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Perplexing Story

I love telling the story.

I have seen some fun things that I could tell a story about, and then sad and terrible stories spring up around me.  It makes me reconsider the worth of a story about a dog in a grocery store, or what costumes my kids are wearing for Halloween.  Are those really important stories?

This morning as my kids were eating breakfast with us around the table, talking, energetic and happy, I had to remind myself that this time with them is my story, and it is one that I can't attach any language.  Today is the day I have with them, and it is a beautiful, enchanting saga.

I do want to tell about the dog in the grocery store, but it isn't amazing, or beautiful.  There will be a time for silly stories, but for now it just doesn't seem important to me.