Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Love to All

I sign almost everything "Love, Abby." I wonder if people think that is weird. I think I might have thought something like that was immature or thoughtless at one point. You know, like dotting your i's with a heart or putting smiley faces in your o's. But I like it. I do the "Love" deliberately and with thought every time. I thought you might want to know that since you might get notes or emails from me from time to time. The "Love" is intentional. I know it's not a super intense love that prompts you to send an email to a friend or a romantic or intimate love that triggers you to add someone to your Christmas card mailing list. But it is love. Loving-kindness. I enjoy that word. I enjoy that concept. That's what I'm after. Man, I wrestle so much with anger or discouragement, even depression (not the commercial, clinical type, just the everyday moody type) and anxiety (ditto the previous parentheses). But loving-kindness, that is always available when we ask. I sound like Ellen DeGeneres. I know. Only I'm not a random acts of loving-kindness kind of person. There's a method to my madness. While I have been writing this all I can think of is Jon Byron songs. Did anyone else have Jon Byron come to their church retreats? "Christ has set his children free, free to love His family (Family)." What a sweet man! Anyway, it's not the natural state of my persona as it seems to be for some- though I reckon it's not natural for anyone- but I'm working on it and getting somewhere albeit slowly. I write this after a brief lapse of posts (and other activities) that came out of not really having anything but sad and lonely things to say. I'm on the upswing again, which always comes for me sometime. I'm not sure why it comes for Ellen. Yoga? But for me it comes from the Lord. And now I feel compelled to copy Psalms 121 for you all. (Love, Abby)

Psalm 121

A Song of Ascents.

I lift up my eyes to the hills.
From where does my help come?
My help comes from the LORD,
who made heaven and earth.

He will not let your foot be moved;
he who keeps you will not slumber.
Behold, he who keeps Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.

The LORD is your keeper;
the LORD is your shade on your right hand.
The sun shall not strike you by day,
nor the moon by night.

The LORD will keep you from all evil;
he will keep your life.
The LORD will keep
your going out and your coming in
from this time forth and forevermore.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

A Little Help From My Friends

One thing I wish I had that I don't have is something you may all be shocked (or horrified) to know that I don't have. I have no etiquette guide in my library! No Emily Post; no Miss Manners. This must be remedied in the near future. But until then, I have a couple of questions I could use your help with. You don't have to own an etiquette guide yourself, just tell me what you think is acceptable and perhaps we can pull a general consensus ruling.

1) Tipping Frank, or any stylist for that matter. What is the going rate on tipping your hair dude? Why is there a tip when you are already paying upwards of $40 on less than an hour's worth of work?! I mean, I love Frank, but he doesn't come cheap! What is a good percentage? Or better yet, on my last $42 haircut, what should I have tipped? What would you have tipped? Feel free to give two answers- one for least acceptable, one for generous. I tend to want to be generous. But for all I know I could be the client he dreads for my skimpy tips. Hey, he knows my husband is a student, and that I can only afford to come every three or four (or in this last case, six!) months! But some day I'll be able to afford more, so don't factor the student thing in. Let's just hope he does!

2) This one is tricky to put into words. You know how parents are always telling their children things like not to touch someone else's baby or not to play with someone else's toys etc.? So when it's your baby or your children's toys and you really don't mind, is it gracious and polite to say the knee jerk "Oh, that's okay!" Or is it actually pretty rude because you're getting in the way of the parent instructing their child? A friend of mine has a sweet little boy who loves babies and was playing with Elspeth. She told him to leave her alone and I, trying to be polite, said it was fine for him to play with her. Then he did something that made her cry, which I still didn't mind, but I think it actually upset the little boy that he upset the baby. And if you were that mom wouldn't you be totally annoyed with me for interfering? Oh, that situation, or one like it, comes up almost daily. What is the polite and helpful thing to do? I guess I should just not interfere, but sometimes it seems like the mom probably would love for me to step in so she doesn't have to make her child be on the best behavior when I am indifferent to the situation.

3) Teachers' gifts. So this is sort of along the lines of tipping. But I need help with this pretty quick because the last day of school is on Wednesday. Every year or so at Christmas, a list shows up in various magazines of appropriate gifts for all manner of people in one's community: the "letter carrier" (is that the PC term at this point? I wonder if all the packages and catalogs aren't offended?), the superintendent of your apartment building (or complex- hint hint. Ha ha, I'm totally kidding!), hair stylist (there it is again), babysitters, and teachers, just to name a few. So I am usually kind of surprised by how much people think we should spend on the mailman's Christmas gift (especially seeing as how we usually try to set somewhere around a $15-$20 limit on parents and siblings!)! And the question becomes, "is it tackier to do too little than to do nothing at all?" For example, if you don't leave a tip at Cracker Barrel, maybe you just forgot. But if you leave 3 pennies or something, well, that's just mean! So is it okay that I just bake cookies for the mailman every year? Or is that just a big smack in the face and I shouldn't do anything? And for teachers at the end of the year. What is appropriate? I tend to think a little something is okay. What do y'all do for your kids' teachers? Or if you are/were a teacher, what's going on there?

Anyone can comment. I would love to get some feedback on this. Sorry about all the Lost posts. They're gone now. And last year it was American Idol. So I think transferring my obsession to Lost shows that I've matured. No, it shows nothing (except maybe that I only watch three shows on TV regularly anymore. And how much can you really say about The Office and Scrubs?). Well, we're off TV and back to more general interest topics. So come out from the shadows! Let me hear what you have to say.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

There Was No Snake In My Mailbox And I'm Ticked Off About It

Boo! What a letdown in so many ways. Sorry, but it has to be said. I guessed the "flashback" was the future almost right away. But that's not enough to give you chills or make you feel like someone put a snake in your mailbox. So there are now some more questions. But there aren't any more answers really. And they promised a big reveal. I guess it was a reveal, but it wasn't helpful toward answering any questions. Boo, I say again. And Charlie, if he is really dead I probably won't watch anymore. Of course I have to wait until February to see. But really, everyone's saying it, there were a thousand things he could've done. Shut the door behind him? Maybe he was remembering that the equipment was waterproof and he wanted to still be able to use it, which he didn't do anyway. Swam out the portal and up to the top. Perhaps he did this in the end. Or hello, Desmond had scuba tanks. And George keeps pointing out that there would be an air pocket at the top of that room above the window anyway. That is true. But you don't know if they know that we as an audience know that. George also says maybe he was making sure to die to ensure Claire's rescue. I guess that's a possibility too. But if there is an air pocket like there should be, he might float up and not be able to die. Isn't it really hard to drown yourself? Well, I thought it was horribly disappointing and I have nothing else to say. Except Boo!

Oh, one exciting possibility I just saw on a Lost site is that the tsunami is coming! The island date is December 23, 2004. The tsunami was on December 26th. Beautiful! Not beautiful that the tsunami happened, just that it's coming to the island and shaking things up. Because flash forwards don't do it for me. But tidal waves and earthquakes most certainly do. Alright, no more Lost until February. And I am actually glad about that. However, the more of these Lost blogs I read, the more willing I am to be excited about it. I am so impressionable!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

I May Regret This One...

This is for all you people who don't feel like a little kid on Christmas Eve waiting for the big surprise and excitement of the coming morning.

I never discuss politics on here. Neither US nor PCA politics. Both topics are way too complex. I have gotten just barely mature enough to realize that I have no idea what I'm talking about. I know that's not very mature, but it's a far cry from college Abby who had an unmovable opinion about almost everything. So while I don't have anything emphatic and earth shattering to say, I do have a different type of topic for discussion if you wish.

So I was watching The View today waiting for the interview with Elizabeth Mitchell who plays Juliet on Lost. But before we got there, Joy decided to speak out against the President. She announced that she was going to do it as if it were something new when she already takes every opportunity to disrespect and berate him. And I don't like her anyway but she says such unintelligent and outright mean things when it comes to President Bush that I usually just change the channel. I heard the beginning of her little tirade, something about how wonderful Al Gore is and how he and Jimmy Carter say that President Bush is the worst president America has ever had. One of her reasons was that he finished the story he was reading to the children on September 11th. Not that anyone even knew what was going on at that moment. Anyway, as usual I had heard enough and flipped. When I came back to check on Juliet, Rosie and Elizabeth were having a huge shouting match. At that point Joy had extracted herself from the conflict and was actually trying to make peace between the other two. It was bizarre.

Anyway, the worst president ever? I have some doubts about that. I had a pretty skewed understanding of American history growing up in the Deep South. My high school history teacher thought Andrew Jackson hung the moon. Only later did I realize that this view is generally the complete opposite of that which is held by everyone else outside of Tennessee, or perhaps outside of his classroom. While Tennessee is not so much the Deep South, Macon, Georgia is pretty much smack dab in the middle of the Deep South. And that is where I learned that President Lincoln was nothing to be excited about and that President Grant was someone to be ashamed of. High school was more of the same in that regard. I have later learned that Lincoln was truly and phenomenally important and that I was never instilled with a proper respect for him. I recently heard a friend of mine who I have a lot of respect for talking about what a great Christian man Lincoln was. That was something I still had never heard. I have heard Jackson and Lee praised time and again for their love of the Lord, but never Lincoln. All of this is pretty embarrassing to admit. And all of this accounts for part of the reason I can assure you that I know the South is not without its major flaws. I know that racism comes to mind any time people talk about politicians circa the Civil War and that not liking Lincoln or liking Stonewall Jackson implies a bigger problem than just historical understanding. For those not from the South let me assure you that I think this is something we need to do better on; we need to be more sensitive and more aware. However, I think that most often people are not thinking about the underlying racial problems when they think of the South. Or maybe I am naive. I just had no idea when I was being taught these things that they would be considered horribly racist by the rest of the country. I realize now how that is true. But I'd like to think that the people teaching me were as ignorant in connecting the dots as I was. It has only been since I have moved out of the South that I began to connect those dots at all. And I really regret that. I have a friend who went down South for graduate school and was horrified by some of the celebration of Southern generals and monuments. She said that after a while she realized that it was a pride in heritage and that a lot of Southerners don't mean anything by it. But again, while I appreciate her understanding, now that I understand the other side, I think I owe it to everyone else to be more sensitive and do the work of connecting the dots. All of this has turned into something else, but my point was that I am just waking up to a better understanding of American history.

So I don't have a good grasp on who our worst president could have been. I mean, I suppose it is possible that Bush could be the worst. I don't even know how to get a good perspective while we're still in the middle of his administration. I think hindsight really is 20/20 in some of these situations. And if he finds Osama Bin Laden, I'm sure the record will change. And I guess I don't want to chit chat about George W. Bush because I don't pay enough attention anyway. Just wondering if y'all can think of a better worst president off the top of you heads. Also, I wonder if we can even begin to realize what a hard job it is to have room to criticize anyone who has had the courage to take it on? So maybe my point really is that Joy Behar is mean.

The Snake In The Mailbox

Well, I was already obsessed and George has been really annoyed with it. But then Brit (aka Olive) had to go and ask about my feelings on Lost. And I know it might not be a welcome topic. Just think though, in less than 24 hours there will be nothing more to say. Well, there will probably be some recapping and astonishment to express. But the obsession will be forced to take an eight month hiatus. Until then though, the big lurking question is "who's going to die?" Supposedly there are going to be five big deaths. Also, I think we're supposed to get a pretty big clue as to where the heck they are. And then the obvious "snake in the mailbox" as is the affectionate term for the episode by its creators. Is this because it will be so ironic? Because it will be so unexpected? Because it will raise more questions than it answers? As in "how in the world did a snake get in the mailbox?"

George says reading all this internet stuff is spoiling things for me and making me overly obsessive. But the thing is, there isn't really anything on the internet that is very helpful; it's just a bunch of random people speculating and trying to figure out the unknowable. And the whole reason I am looking is because I am already obsessed. It just came on all of the sudden. This whole Jacob thing and the plane being found with all the bodies and no survivors?! Those were two big bizarre things! You know? I mean I was actually a little bored until then. Also, there are some unanswered questions. Well, obviously. More specifically though, why did the Others just gas Kate and Sayid and Jack and walk away? If they gassed and killed the Dharma people then why didn't Sayid and Jack and everyone without masks die? And didn't they want them dead? Especially if they're just going to kill them tonight? Or maybe the Dharma people didn't die? That makes no sense though. More importantly, what's the deal with Jack's tattoos? "He walks among them but is not one of them?" This needs more explanation as far as I'm concerned. And I believe we have been told that the flashbacks will be Jack's this time. So I'm just worried that he's a traitor or not who we think he is or something like that. I'm pretty sure that's an unfounded and irrational fear. We saw him get on the plane. We have no reason to doubt him. So that leads me to my other related but also irrational fear that he will die. I also have no reason for thinking that. George says he is a Messianic character- his name is "Shepherd"- and that if he does die he'll come back. Who I really don't want to die and sort of think won't die after all is Charlie. He hasn't pressed the yellow button or whatever it is though so I guess he could still do that and die like Desmond said. And he was on The View today. But Kate has also been on all the talk shows. Edie of Desperate Hoes, no I do not watch that show, was on the talk show circuit a lot last week and she just died on her show. So if that's a good indicator, I guess Charlie and Kate will die. And a lot of people seem to be putting their money on Sayid and Ben.

I don't really like talking about this because I know I sound stupid. There is a Lostpedia, people. I know very little about stuff compared to a lot of people. And my questions may have really simple and obvious answers. Nope, they don't, I just looked and Lostpedia has both listed as unanswered questions. Phew! But I guess in a few hours at least a few of them should be answered. And evidently, if you really want to know, it's supposed to be pretty easy to find a play by play out there. Of course, I don't really want to know. Not until I get the full two hour episode tonight!

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

If You're Happy And You Know It, Make A Post

In high school one year my friend Dave gave me a book called 10,000 Things to Be Happy About for Valentine's Day. He gave out lots of valentines that year. He said the book made him think of me. I guess because I was a total spaz. Also I was sort of manic; either really happy or really sad and morbid. Some things never change! Ha ha! Anyway, I've always been sort of a reactor type person. It's not my favorite trait, needing some high energy person or big event all the time to bring out the best in me. But it is so. So I miss being in school where something is always going on, something always exciting happening to bring out that cheer and energy in me. I saw an Arthur episode about this not long ago; the gang was all bummed because there is such a letdown after Christmas but before Valentine's and Easter. January can be so blah. And as I've said, summer can be kind of blah where I come from. The gang on Arthur made up a holiday. And I wish I was better about making a bigger deal of existing holidays. I've always wanted to do a big Derby party. Okay, I know the Derby is not "technically" a holiday. But I will have that party one year. And every year afterward. It just hasn't happened yet. And I've always wanted to do a big May Day celebration too. Memorial Day is coming up. We could memorialize some stuff. Sorry, I think that's sort of tacky. Isn't Memorial Day for people who died for our freedom? Well then, let's memorialize them! I need that catalyst though, that thing that gets me fired up. Christmas and Autumn are so easy. There's pumpkins and lights on all the houses, candy, delicious baking to be done, festivals and parties. Most other holidays get the shaft. And George thinks things are cheesy. Or lame. He says things are lame all the time. I told him this weekend that saying lame is lame and he needs to come up with more thoughtful criticism. He has been making fun of me ever since. That's beside the point. The point is that I need 10,000 things to be happy about. Not that I'm unhappy. I'm just not enthusiastic. Or something. So I bring you all, 10 things (not quite enough time for 10,000) to be happy about or at least get a chuckle over today. More appropriately, 10 things I am happy about. But you can be happy for me!

1) I changed the blog color again. Blue just for Jennie. Perty ain't it?
2) Only one more year until George is done with seminary! I am sure you think this does not effect you so very much. You are wrong. Have you heard the expression "if momma ain't happy; ain't nobody happy?" It effects you all much more than you think. Think of the joy I will bring you when I am back down South, when my husband actually brings home a pay check, when we start having to pay off student loans and send two kids to school and try to buy our first house. Aye yaye yaye! It's not going to be any better is it?!!! Yes, it will be. I assure you. Because we will finally be getting started (eight years and three kids later!). And that will be delightful!
3) The two hour Lost season finale this Wednesday. This is pathetic I know. I look forward to Lost every week though. Also, Jim and Pam. That is good news.
4) George is building me some shelves. Again, this does effect you. If you give me something now, I won't be quite so irritated about it. I might have room for it. Not that I would necessarily put it on shelving in the basement, just that I could put it where something else is and put that on the shelves in my basement. If you were not planning on giving me anything, why not?
5) It took me about eight tries to spell necessarily right. But I got it. In the book, one of the 10,000 things is the spelling of the word banana over and over again. I enjoy that as well. You should try it. Spelling things correctly. That makes me happy. Especially when a correct spelling is funny to say out loud, as in banana.
6) Another one from the book is the nickname "Bunnykins." George and I call each other "Honeybear." Not sure if he would appreciate me sharing that. What do y'all call your husbands? Or what do they call you? I always like "Sugar." I think I will call my grandchildren "sugar." I call my children "darlin' " most of the time. Amabel has also been known to be "Butterbean," "Bumblebee," and "Amabug,"and "Bugaboo." August is "Augger" because that's what Amabel used to call him- that and "Baugus" or "Baug." He is also often called "Aug" or "Aug Dawg." I am guessing all of this embarrasses Jennie (affectionately called Jennie Jennie) who gets embarrassed for other people easily. Everyone else can have a good laugh at my family's weird tendency toward nicknames. Poor Elspeth, she has no nickname yet. Mostly her name just gets butchered: "Elsabeth," "Elspef," "Elspeth." Most names in English have the accent on the first syllable. People seem to struggle with that when it comes to Elspeth's name. I hesitate to nickname her before people can get her real name straight. I guess it didn't stop me with the other two! Anyway, nicknames are fun. Be happy about that. Don't you wonder what we will come up with for you? Or maybe we already have one for you. My friend Marne has had to put up with "Marnificent" and "Marnation instant breakfast" and a good many others. Those are George's creations, not mine. If you know Marne though, then you know she doesn't mind. She handles it like a champ.
7) Besides making up funny nicknames for everyone, we also sing a lot around here. We make up songs pretty regularly. April admitted to this as well on her blog a while back. We often discuss who else among our friends might be the type to make up songs. We are pretty convinced that Bobby and Elizabeth are not the type. We know Stephen and Rebekah are. Stephen sings more than even we do. I have guesses about most of you. Come on now, who's a singer? I think it is a charming thing, spontaneous composition.
8) It is Monday and the mopping and ironing is already done. That should be number one! This isn't in ranking order though. That is truly something to be giddy over!
9) Dinner with friends. While I started this post earlier this afternoon, I am finishing it later now after our dinner guests have gone home. I wish I could pull myself together more often to have people over. I always find I am most myself and at my ease in my kitchen. Well, there or with a glass of wine! I enjoyed our guests so much tonight. It is so refreshing when someone says something you have thought or felt before that until then you weren't quite sure if anyone else ever felt that way as well. More on this later.
10) The "new" hand-me-down TV in our bedroom. I know people say this is a bad idea. We have never had a TV in our bedroom until this weekend. And we have not even watched it yet. But I'm thinking that on Wednesday night when I am having scary dreams about hatches and others and smoke monsters, I will be very glad to be able to click the remote and see Conan O'Brien dancing a jig without having to leave the snuggly blankets and my big strong husband in the other room. I am prone to insomnia even besides Wednesday nights and bad dreams and I am thinking this is going to make it more bearable.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Ch-ch-ch-changes

I made a few changes today and added a couple of links that I haven't had up before. I don't know why all this took me so long. I am not crazy about this pink. It is too purpley. But other pinks are too peachy. Just felt like having the pink back. And I wanted to make sure Amelia's link was up. She is back in chemo this week. It is easy to be less up to date with them as we are sort of "used to" this problem. What a horrible truth. Of course, her parents are not "used to" it at all and are daily struggling as they go with their baby girl through this dark valley. Please keep them in your prayers. The chemo is working and she is in remission, but it is chemo, after all.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Much Easier to Take This Week

So it wasn't so intense as I expected. I was really nervous about Charlie dying, but I sort of thought surely they wouldn't let him die. There was a lot of hullabaloo about five people dying after the episode called "the Brig." And Locke's dad has died and "supposedly" Locke has died or been left for dead, but I'm sure the island or the smoke thing or his hunter's instinct or Jacob or even Dr. Jack will save him. There was more hullabaloo about the Losties being divided. Clearly this is not the case, unless divided means that Desmond and Charlie are off on their own. I think some of the rumors are just rumors and that's it. I just don't want Charlie to die. I don't know who these underwater women are, but as long as Charlie isn't dead, I'm fine for now. Did y'all notice that the girl he saved in the alley way Sayid's girlfriend, Nadia? I knew she was familiar, but I couldn't place her. It didn't take long for 800 other people on message boards to mention it though.

Alright, that's all. I've got to go to school soon and help with lunch and then HURRAY! I get to go see Frank today! It has been too long! My mom is coming between lunch and Frank and then we're all going to Amabel's program at school tonight. So lots going on. What in the world am I doing at the computer?! All that and it's another heavenly day in St. Louis! Y'all have a good one!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Lost in 8 Hours!

I decided I better get a post up for the Lost non-fans because you know after tonight I will have much more to obsess over! Well, I will obsess for a day and then watch how Jim responds to the new information that Pam did call the wedding off because of him and then I will go back to obsessing over Lost. But what do y'all think about that? I'm thinking they're going to give Jim's girlfriend the corporate job and then they'll sort of break up eventually and then maybe Jim and Pam will get together at the end of next year. Or maybe not. But they always drag these things out.

It is a glorious day in St. Louis. I mean, lovely. It is the kind of day that comes maybe twice a year where the rain rained all the awful humid yuck out of the atmosphere and it is cool and crisp and sunny and perfect. And I have been sitting at the computer all morning. I know, that's shameful. Elspeth has been sleeping. I am trying to take advantage of her actually taking more than a forty minute nap. And I have replied to tons of old emails and gotten all my little ducks in a row. But I am missing this beautiful day. I think that means I must be a grown up. Boo! I do have plans to walk over to pick Amabel up from school, but if this nap goes much longer I may just have to get her straight from going to the grocery store. The nap is because she's sick or I'd wake her up. Well, no, I probably wouldn't wake her up. I used to do that but now I just let it ride. She has what I have had for two weeks now which I am pretty sure has turned out to be bronchitis. I've never had allergies. But St. Louis is bad for allergies and I know that pregnancies can change your body in crazy ways. Everyone seemed so sure that it was allergies. I thought "well, I reacted horribly to peanuts from the time I had Amabel until I was pregnant with Elspeth (and now I don't have a problem with them at all), so maybe I developed a new allergy when I was pregnant with Elspeth." So I've been hanging around and acting like it's no big deal that I'm hacking and sniffling all over the place because I didn't have a fever and we thought it was allergies. But now I'm pretty sure it's bronchitis. So, sorry if you have been one of the many in my wake. I feel so bad that I have gotten people sick. We all just thought it was allergies.

What did you think it was, Abby? Ha! How many times did I say "we thought it was allergies" in that last paragraph?

So what else? Just stuff. We're just busy. Nothing huge and exciting, just busy. I remember being so bored when I had just Amabel. I remember wondering what in the world people were doing. I had so much time on my hands. Now I am always stealing time from sleeping, staying up until midnight or one just to get things done. The moms in my neighborhood sit outside while their kids play. This is amazing to me. I think so much has to do with children napping. That is really evident in how much I've accomplished with Elspeth sleeping this morning. The other moms must get work done while their kids are napping and have a chance to visit and relax later. Plus, their kids are younger so they can't really let them play outside without them. I tell myself I'm going to go out and visit with the other moms almost every day. It rarely works out for me though. And I admit that I enjoy the break from the kids even if it means I am stuck in the house mopping or ironing.

Not today though. I think I hear Elspeth stirring. We have a shortened afternoon because of ballet this evening. But I am determined to get a piece of this delicious day before it's back to hot!

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Encore

Okay, here are some random updates and follow-ups on previous topics:

1) We sort of took everyone's advice for Elspeth's sleep troubles. We decided about two weeks ago that I just couldn't take it anymore so George was going to be on nighttime duty. Surely at almost eight months she could make it longer than nursing every three hours! So George started on a Thursday night and it was really tough having her cry for even longer than an hour at a time several times during the night just wanting to nurse. But by Sunday or Monday he had her used to the idea that Mommy wasn't coming. That was hard for all of us. She still wakes up about once a night, and if she sees me she is hysterical and I do have to nurse. But we try to just send George in and he swaddles her (thanks Jennie and Becca B!) and gives her a passy, she usually goes right back to sleep. Hurray!!! So I am getting much better sleep now. Still sick though. Boo! But sleeping more than three hours at a time. Hurray!

2) People tell me that they like the idea of taking their own bags to the grocery but that they use their other bags for diapers and other things. I hear ya. Again, I'm not trying to impose my own ideas on you but I did want to suggest that there are lots of bags around that you may not even have noticed before. I don't get grocery bags anymore because of my canvas bags, but I still get a bag every time I buy shoes or a book or something at Home Depot or whatever. Also, your bread comes in a bag, bagels, english muffins, potatoes, etc. Also, lots of things from Sam's come in large zip top bags (craisins, chocolate chips, pasta, etc.) or in the two for bag (chips, bread, etc). And your wipes and diapers and toilet paper all have bag-ish packaging that works for wrapping diapers too. As far as taking lunches goes, I'd suggest a lunch box or at least re-using the bag instead anyway. I couldn't find just one say it all kind of link, but the long and the short of it is that paper bags use more energy to make and to recycle but they're biodegradable. On the other hand, plastic bags are cheaper and easier to produce and recycle, but they use unreal amounts of oil to produce and they are not biodegradable so they are just around being ugly and choking animals and not decomposing. If you do decide to purchase your own bags like I did, be prepared for the bagger people to be slightly annoyed. But if I can handle it, I'm sure you'd do just fine! The very exciting payoff that I enjoy is that way more fits into a reusable bag than a grocery bag and I can also put them over my shoulder because they have a shoulder strap meaning that three trips to and from the car becomes one!

3) Still not drinking caffeine and I like myself so much better! Some of you have said that you are actually mean without caffeine and if you did what I'm doing you would be a crazy person. I hear that too. But may I suggest that you have an addiction? People who have to have coffee to feel normal or nice are addicted. At least I was. I mean again, it's fine if you drink caffeine, but if you're interested, I think that absolutely having to have coffee could be a fairly good sign that you'd be better off without it. Eventually. It took me more than a week to feel better. At first I felt awful. I had full body aches and felt so fatigued and was just miserable. But I pushed through and hurray for that! I will never go back! Now what I am considering is that some of you have said it could also be that I have a sugar problem. I always drank coffee black so I know that giving it up is a direct connection to caffeine and not to sugar. But I have noticed that now I can tell more a difference in what s going on with my body and moods since I have come off the crazy caffeine trip. I think I do react also to sugar. So maybe that's the next big deprivation. Oh boy, not sure I want to do that. I'll let you know.

4) So I have also decided not to blog grumpy. That's what I do when I get grumpy, I come downstairs and tinker around on the computer and decide to post. And you people just get the worst of me. Because when I'm cheerful and chipper, I'm baking or getting my housework done and running errands or reading to August and playing with Elspeth. So not sure what to do about blogging because I am so busy. It's avoiding the busy-ness because of grumpiness that makes me post. And that is a bad situation! So bear with me while I try to post un-grumpy but may not be able to figure out how to work it in so there might not be as many posts. Part of it is that basements make me grumpy. They are dark. Ours is cluttered and cold and I wish we didn't have it. Well, no because then there'd be no storage. But that's the thing, basements are for storage in my opinion, not for living. And bad for blogging! I'll try to figure something out!

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Just Can't Stop Thinking About This

Thanks to Brit's blog, we now have this link which also links to this link about Lost. It's all so exciting! But for you people who don't want to link all day like me, here's Jacob. There's evidently a theory that he looks like Locke. But I'm thinking that's not the case. But there is much speculation and theorizing over identities because of hints about twins and Jacob and Esau. And there are multiple theories about who both Jacob and Esau could be. Also there are ideas about time travel or time standing still or seeing dead people and pirates and all kinds of things. Some people are not very founded in their thinking, or at least can't articulate it, but some seem to have some good ideas. I do like the Biblical reference ideas to the story of Benjamin and his mother dying in child birth, etc. But Jacob was Benjamin's dad and Ben's dad was named Roger and is dead. So, hmmm. I also thought one person pointing out that maybe Ben kills people on his birthday seemed like an interesting idea. I did think it was weird that Alex gave Locke a gun. I also think it's weird that few people think that's weird. The idea that Alex knows her dad kills people on his birthday seems plausible. Or maybe it's random. Anyway, thank goodness things are finally getting interesting again. But we only get two more episodes until we'll have to wait for February. Boo! Sorry for people who don't watch Lost. I will try to post the other gazillion things unrelated to Lost that are also floating around my brain soon.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Anything But What I Should Be Doing

Why do I even watch Lost? Seriously. It has me up all night every Wednesday either creeped out or trying to solve all the mysteries. And of course, that is just silly. I have been reading message boards and spoiler sites on and off since the show ended last night. I feel like a total nerd. And it's funny who is out there posting. Some people think they are so smart with a whole purgatory theory when the writers have already said that it's not that. Or they forget major characters' names and fairly significant clues and story lines. On the other hand I realized that I am a major amateur viewer and had failed to make fairly obvious connections, or else I forgot them because it takes things so long to come into play, like that it was Libby who gave Desmond his boat for the race around the world (which has nothing to do with last night's episode) or that the guy who kept Desmond down inside the hatch was the same guy who got Sayid to work for the US during the war (also nothing to do with last night's episode). As far as anything helpful for what is currently going on, I got a few hints about the rest of the season, but nothing significant, and I did see the pictures of Jacob that everyone has up. He was on for a split second but you can't really see him beyond a silhouette. I also had failed to notice that anyone had mentioned him before. Why am I even telling y'all about this. I'm guessing there are only like three people who read that also watch Lost. And don't I have better things to do? Sure I do. I just don't want to do them. If you do watch Lost and have interesting theories, observations, etc. feel free to share.

Moving on then, no, I don't guess I really want to move on. I just want to sit and not do anything. See what's happening here is that it's the week of final projects and exams. I'm a widow for about a week and a half every semester and it is really depressing. Fall semester is easier because Christmas is ahead. I barely notice it because I am already so busy and it is a fun, joyous kind of busy. Spring semester stinks though. I am fairly sure I have said before that I am part of that tiny percent of people that gets the summer blues instead of the more popular winter blues. I dread summer. Summer equals loneliness in my mind. I don't know who the people are that have jam packed summers or what their summers are jam packed with, but every summer since I can remember was long and boring. My parents didn't do much family vacationing or traveling. We would go for a week or two every year I guess. But what is a week in twelve long, hot weeks? Now I am the parent. But it's not easy trying to plan a summer. Especially because work is a year round thing so it's not like the whole family is completely flexible. So I have been looking at activities for the kids: swimming lessons, cooking classes, soccer, etc. I am having a hard time finding stuff for a three year old. And poor guy, he's been at home without Amabel for so long, I really want to do something special for August. The other thing is the cost. Whoa! Everything costs so much. So I'm not sure what to do. I know it will be so hot. And I just can't imagine wasting away inside our apartment. So I'm prematurely depressed, I guess. I mean, depressed is sort of a strong word. But I'm just bummed. I want to live in one of those places where there are lots of three week breaks throughout the whole year. Wouldn't that be great? Aren't even the people who love summer ready to get back into a routine by the end of it all? And maybe part of it is that I'd also like to live in a place without extremes in climate- none of this 20 degree, 90 degree stuff- let's just be outside all the time in the nice 50-70 degree sunshine. Surely that's not too much to ask! Well, anyone with ideas about what to do for affordable family occupations in St. Louis this summer, let me know.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Excuses Excuses

Sorry to have been gone for so long. And I'm afraid this post won't be much. I am horribly sick. I mean, it is so gross. I have tried to push through it, but after almost a week I have concluded that that is just making it worse. I stupidly went to two parties on Saturday when I had no voice and then I couldn't even get up on Sunday. George didn't push it and amazingly managed to get all three children to church on time! Now what does that tell you? Is it me that is making us late? Man! Anyway, I slept until eleven on Sunday and took it easy. But it was our anniversary so we felt like we wanted to do something. We canceled our reservation at a swanky restaurant and went over to the Cheesecake Factory and sat out on the patio. They have heavenly strawberry lemonade and I learned from my mistakes at Christmas when I had this same sickness that hot drinks make it worse. Cold drinks seem to help and so I had much lemonade and George had a mint julep which was mighty tasty. (I still haven't ever had a big Derby party like I've always wanted- I was so sick Saturday, George had to wake me up when the jockeys were getting on their horses. I missed everything but "My Old Kentucky Home" and the actual race.) We also split their crab wontons that were really good as well and then we each had a salad. So it was nice even though we were both sick. It was nice to know we weren't spending a ton of money and it was really great sitting outside. We even had a mystery to occupy us besides our conversation: Why were so many people going in and out of the mall at nine o'clock on a Sunday night? Why were they so dressed up? Some of them were carrying garment bags. Some were carrying flowers. Everything we could come up with didn't quite work. We decided to go exploring after our dinner- which was really just to walk out by way of the mall. And we discovered it was the Saint Louis University fashion show done by all their design majors. We didn't get to see any of the show, but there were a few photos up. Several pieces were really cool. Sort of makes me want to sew. Anyway, after that adventure I felt like I was gaining some steam and I really did alright yesterday. But George is swamped at school and didn't get home until after seven. By then I had made a big Target and grocery run, cooked supper and given three baths but my voice was completely gone. And we still made the mistake of watching the Saturday Night Live special we had taped from Sunday night and were up until near eleven. So today poor August has a momma who is practically mute and has mostly just watched TV all day while I've slept on the couch. I guess everyone has days like these. And Elspeth's unprecedented marathon morning nap almost seems like a little gift of mercy so I could get the extra rest. I just do the pendulum swing. I feel guilty for missing things so I push myself which makes it worse which makes me have to miss something later and feel guilty about that.

I have much to say besides just my ramblings on being sick. I can't decide whether to go for it or just save them for another day. I guess I should look at the history I have just related to you and go the not pushing it route. I'll be better soon, surely. But now you know why you haven't seen or heard from me in a while.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

The Tag Comes to an Exciting Conclusion!

Since we started with seven things I've never done, we'll end with seven things you'll probably never catch me doing in the future (besides the obvious: shopping at Walmart, smoking a cigarette, committing a heinous crime, etc.). Seven things and then seven tags. It's a weird tag too, just seven things about you. Anything. Go nuts. (I certainly did).

1) Purchasing or preparing tofu or products made with tofu. To my knowledge I have never consumed tofu at all. And while I don't plan on that either, of course I would try it if it were offered to me in someone's home. I mean it can't be that bad anyway. It's just the idea that meat is bad and we should replace it that bugs me. So that's my first one.

2) Bird watching. I don't get it. My parents like watching birds, my grandparents loved watching birds, and my mother-in-law gets really fired up about spotting birds she hasn't seen in a while or the birds at the zoo. I walk right by the birds at the zoo. Every time. Unless of course, I'm with my mother-in-law.

3) Setting even the tip of my toe on this. Right, that thing over there with all those people with a death wish on it. No way. That's the Grand Canyon, you know. They are on the top. The bottom is 4000 feet below. A mile is what? 5280 feet? Something like that. So if they fall, they're gonna fall almost a mile. Did I ever mention that I got pretty panicky on top of The Arch? It sways, you know. And the Arch is only 630 feet. Imagine being the guy who had to build the railing on that thing. Or the guy who put down the first layer of glass. Not for the weak at heart.

4) Running a marathon. I tell myself that someday I'm going to shed all this baby weight gain and have time to run again and be in races again. 5Ks maybe. That could be realistic. It's time to just put it out there though: I will never run a marathon. I just won't. We have friends that run marathons. They seem like regular people. But I am just setting myself up to fail if that is where my ideas of succeeding lie. I will run again. Or jog at least. But it will not be in marathons. There, I've said it now.

5) Scuba diving. Oh no, you will not see me in the deep ocean at all. Probably not even on a cruise ship. Well, maybe on a cruise ship. The ocean is very scary to me. We do not know what is down there. And there are things down there. A little poem to illustrate:
I do not like things way up high.
I do not belong in the sky.
I do not like things deep in the sea.
Dry ground is where God has put me.
He did not make me with wings.
He did put wings on other things.
He did not make me with gills and fins.
They were given to our fishy friends
and other creepy swimming things,
Things that we have never seen
Giant squids and octopi
Angler fish with teeth like knives.
You can find those things beneath the blue.
But I will not be coming with you.

6) Watching another Woody Allen movie. I have tried. They are all the same. And I didn't even like it that much the first time. I fail to see how he is brilliant. Life is too short.

7) Applying for a job in child care. This typed as my three year old pitches his after nap fit and my seven month old whines and whimpers about like she has been all day every day for the past several days. All that aside, I can say this with confidence because of my many years working Daycare, Bible study childcare, and mother's morning out. It just isn't my gift. If you need a meal, I'm your girl. Someone to do the snacks for VBS? Sure! I've done that before. It was so much fun and a triumph (don't you think Aimee?). Someone to teach VBS? I think I might be sick that week! Just kidding, I do it if it's really needed at church, but it's just not my thang. The part about my kids is a joke too of course. Your own kids are different. Still hard, but different. And children of friends, that's different too, so if you have ever asked me to watch your children or need me in the future, I don't mean you. Just the large quantity of other people's children. They are sweet. It's me that's not! You've heard the saying "too many cooks spoils the broth." Well, I'm coining the similar concept, "too many kids spoils the mom." Or maybe just the Abby.

Alright, TAG, you're it. (I'm guessing none of them will do it)
1) Matt- because the Peg needs some lightening up!
2) Annie
3) Good
4) My sista, if she's still out there.
5) Lauren
6) Ami, would you like to re-enter the blog world?
7) Jandy? Don't you check in every now and then? How's Texas?

I don't know anyone else who reads that also blogs. If you do, please introduce yourself, I am always looking out for new blogs!

I'm adding this- Jandy and Annie were already tagged and I didn't know it. We have a little group of us that all go to the same church so I should've guessed. Anyway, I also remembered that Heather checks in every now and then, so Heather, if you get this, tag! I can't find your blog anymore because Jessie deleted all her links. Why don't I have your link here? I have no idea. I don't have Jandy's either. I will have to update those. Anyone else?

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