Monday, August 31, 2009

tonight, the blog pays the price

so today . . . was my first day of school. as it turns out, i didn't have any kids to teach yet. they come tomorrow. i spent some time today preparing for their arrival--not nearly enough time, but it will have to do.

i am so used to staying up after midnight, that it is now difficult for me to get everything done in the evening and still get into bed at a reasonable time. so tonight, the blog will suffer. i'm sorry about that. but tomorrow, something else will suffer, and i will write a decent blog. i promise.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

seriously. dude.

so today . . . i said dude. in conversation. twice.

eight years ago when it looked like we were going to be relocating to southern california, i was less than thrilled. i think my sentiment basically was, "you have got to be kidding me! los angeles?!?! i don't think so--they have smog, traffic, sales tax, AND you have to pump your own gas!" none of which we had to deal with in beautiful oregon, where we lived.

but we came anyway--eventually.

rollie came first. he drove a huge truck down and settled in with about half of our stuff. diandra and i stayed in oregon for two more months while she finished out the school year. whenever rollie would call, he would tell us how beautiful it was here--i would ask how he could tell, looking through all that smog. he would describe the amazing mall that was just a few blocks from our house--i would remind him that we would have to pay sales tax in that mall. he would tell us about all the cool places we could go--i would ask how many times he had had to pump his own gas.

i was having some trouble adjusting to the idea of moving to such a mega-metropolitan area.

i bought birkenstocks. "if i am going to have to live in california, i am at least going to get some new shoes, and that's what they wear there." i bought a ring with morganite stones. "morganite is a california gemstone." i did NOT buy tofu. "never mind the mall--what kind of fast food places are there?"

i was trying to adjust.

rollie came back to oregon for diandra's 16th birthday, and drove another huge truck down with the rest of our stuff (i told you, we have a lot of stuff!) and then the day came when it was time to pack up my purple honda and get the heck out of dodge . . .

i don't remember much about the trip south. i know diandra was with me, so i'm sure it was fun! i do remember trying to pump my own gas, and having to go inside and ask the guy behind the counter to help me. he gave me instructions, and i went out and tried again, but still no luck. i went back inside, and he repeated his instructions--a little more slowly and a bit louder. i went out and tried again, but i just could not make it work. i finally had to say, "look--i'm from oregon. in oregon trained professionals pump our gas, and clearly it takes a trained professional to do it, so will you please come out and show me how to work this confounded thing!" he relaxed a little then (i think he thought i was part of some complicated scheme to steal money from his cash register--or some skittles) and came out and showed me what to do.

i knew i was going to hate california--if for no other reason than that my car would always have to get it's gas from an amateur.

we got to l.a. and settled in. at first i spent a lot of time home alone, but i eventually ventured out, found the grocery store and the amazing mall with palm trees inside it, and realized that california was not going to kill me with smog.

eight years later, i love it here! the weather is perfect nearly every day. there's hardly any smog--really! i've adjusted to the sales tax and the traffic. and it is beautiful. really! i've learned that they don't wear birkenstocks here--they wear high heels. i've found that it is much easier to find a hamburger place than a tofu burger place (although the very fact that there ARE tofu burger places haunts me.)

and apparently, i've added some new words to my vocabulary. like "dude." i can promise you, dude is not a word that was even in my brain before we moved to socal. but now it is. it has popped up in my thoughts, and i have said it when recounting the words of someone else. i even write it when i am messaging a friend of mine. recently, i have had to stop myself from saying it more than once, because, i am sorry, but it would just be weird for people to hear a woman of my age say, "dude!" seriously weird.

but i guess they are going to have to get used to it, because it slipped from between my lips today, twice. i guess i am turning into a california girl--although, now that i think about it, the girls don't say "dude." so maybe i am turning into a california surfer dude--but i don't surf, or even swim, or even really want to put anything other than my feet in the ocean.

maybe i am just spending too much time talking to teenagers. california teenagers . . .

Saturday, August 29, 2009

warning!! whiny blog today!

so today . . . i'm not feeling so good. i have had a headache for two days. i've tried to get rid of it, but we had plans to go to the gem faire yesterday and the swap meet today--both fun activities that i didn't want to miss. so i just keep popping tylenol and going--the energizer bunny on drugs. but this afternoon, i kind of hit the wall.

school starts for me on monday. i cannot believe my summer is already over. it has been very strange. i only read one book! that should tell you that it has not been my most relaxing summer ever. and now it's over.

maybe i should be glad it's over. it feels like i have worked hard and accomplished very little. maybe i need to get back to work to get myself moving and organized. or maybe it will just bury me. i guess we will see . . .

diandra joined a gym several days ago. and if i join with her, i can get an amazing deal--too good to pass up. i think. no enrollment fee, no contract. i just pay $20 a month and i can use all their equipment, attend classes, and have access to a trainer--although after seeing diandra try to move after working with her trainer, i think i will pass that feature up. so i will pay for a couple of months and see what happens. if nothing else, i'll bet i get some good blogging material . . .

i'm making myself tired. and did i mention i have a headache? and tomorrow is going to be an exceptionally busy day. and then school starts on monday morning.

i think i need sleep . . .

Thursday, August 27, 2009

the blogger tries something new--and lives to regret it.

so today . . . i lost my blog!!! and it was so good!!!

diandra and i went to a photography meeting tonight in orange county. it was only 20 minutes away, but we had to go during night traffic, so we left about an hour and a half before it was scheduled to begin. we knew a lot of people were going to be at the meeting, and we wanted to be sure we were there soon enough to get a good seat. and we were. but the traffic wasn't that bad, so we actually got there an hour early!

shortly after we laid claim to a couple of good seats, diandra was asked to help with the name tags. that left me sitting in a nearly empty room with nothing to do. so i pulled out my phone and started playing around.

i have accessed my blog on my phone before, but i've never tried to actually write it on my phone. while the keyboard on my treo 755 is fine for texting, i didn't think it would be good for writing a whole blog! the keys are tiny, and right now my "w" key does not work well. but i had nothing else to do, so i thought i would give it a try. i didn't really think i would write the whole blog, but i thought i could at least get it started.

i got to the web page with no problems, but it took a while to figure out how to make it work. once i was able to type "so today . . . " i started blogging away. i knew that i would have some editing to do when i got home, because there were no "w"s. i was more than half way done and was very pleased with how it was coming out. and then the announcement came--there was food in the back! well, you know i put my phone down and went to see what goodies were available. there were chocolate chip cookies and red velvet cupcakes! i helped myself, took some to diandra (who was still helping with name tags--250 people came!) and got back to my chair just as it was time to begin.

the meeting was fun, the speaker was good, and now i think i might want to be a photographer when i grow up--that's how amazing the speaker was! it was a wonderful opportunity to meet other photographers, and a lot of them recognized diandra from her blog. i thought that was kind of exciting!

we came home and i settled down with my computer to burn cds of diandra's most recent photo shoots so they could be mailed out. but first, i thought i would finish my blog. it was almost done and i wanted to get it posted before i started anything else. i logged onto blogspot. i went to my list of drafts, and the post i had written earlier was gone! and it was really, really good--you guys would have loved it. i could just try to rewrite it, but i have found that my rewrites are never as good as my first attempt. i couldn't believe it was gone! my computer autosaves what i write every 5 minutes. and that is when it hit me--my computer autosaves what i have written, my phone does not. i vaguely recall seeing a "save" button on the webpage on my phone, and i briefly thought of pushing it. but then cupcakes were mentioned. with cream cheese frosting . . . and i guess i sort of thought my phone would be as smart as my computer and save my work. clearly, i was wrong.

so now i am bummed. and tired. and hot (i think it was over 100 degrees today!) and not a photographer. and almost not a blogger . . . and it is late. and i still have cds to burn.

but tomorrow is the gem show, and i LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the gem show--i am going hunting for peridot and garnet and quartz!!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

petco: is it wal-mart for dogs?

so today . . . i had to go buy dog food. i hate to buy dog food.

you wouldn't think it was such a big deal--just go to petco, grab the biggest bag of food i can carry, pay, and head home. but it is so much more complicated than that . . .

i think our dogs have intestinal issues. they are both prone to passing gas--extremely aromatic gas. it must be connected with what they eat, but it took me a while to catch on. so it was several months before i found a brand of food they could eat that didn't result in a not-so-lovely smell occasionally invading our space. i was so glad to finally solve the problem--until i went to the store after they had finished the first bag and tried to get another one!

there are more brands of dog food than there are kinds of cola! and the packaging on some is very similar. i walked up and down those aisles trying to remember what the right bag looked like . . . but there were just too many choices. i finally picked one that looked like the right color to me, bought the 35 pound bag (because it is cheaper that way, and we have two dogs,) wrestled the thing into my tiny car, and went home.

it wasn't long before i knew i had purchased the wrong kind of food. how did i know, you ask? let me just say that soon our precious pets were adding their own special scent to the air. and we just had to live with it for a while, because i had bought a 35 pound bag of food!! and i was too cheap to just throw it away. and they liked it . . . but you can be sure that i made a beeline for the trash can in the garage to see what the other dog food bag looked like. and then i pulled out my phone and took a picture. because those dastardly dog food companies sometimes change their packaging, and i don't ever want to come home with the wrong food again!

choosing the right bag of food is only the beginning. i always buy the big bag, and for some reason petco puts the big bags on the bottom shelves and the smaller bags on the higher shelves. this makes no sense to me at all--probably because i am a small person. a little bag is easy to lift and carry--a 35 pound bag is not! i always count my blessings that i've never been caught on video trying to get that bag of food into my cart, because i am sure the youtube crowd would get quite a giggle out of it. first i have to drag the bag far enough off the BOTTOM shelf that i can get my arms around it. then i have to fling it into the air toward my shopping cart and hope it lands on the edge so that i can tip in on over into the cart. and THEN after i pay for it and wheel it outside to my car, i have to throw the top half of my body down into the cart, grabbing the bag around the middle before i fall backwards pulling the bag out with me, again aiming it to land near the trunk of my car. if i get anywhere close, i can then push, shove, and roll the bag into the trunk. if i don't get anywhere close . . . ? i don't even want to think about that!

and now you know why i hate to buy dog food.

today after i had successfully trapped the bag of dog food in my cart and was standing there catching my breath, something caught my eye. i just stood there staring at this gruesome dog toy that had been packaged in such a way as to make it look like fun for your dog. i mean, it is a cute pink pig, right? no, it is a cardboard cutout of a cute pink pig with two fur-covered squeaky rubber legs attached. so when you get this item home, you remove the furry legs and let your pet pretend that all that's left of the pig is it's legs--and now they are his to play with. and if that weren't disgusting enough, let's just try another version . . .seriously!!! do you really want furry chicken legs with rubber feet laying around your house?!?! do you want to have to throw that and then listen to it squeak when your dog grabs it in his sharp little teeth?? do you want to have to explain to the children where the rest of the chicken is?!?! who thought this was a good idea?!?!?!?!?!? oh yeah, there were also cute little white bunny legs too . . .

and then, when i turned away, this is what i saw.
thirteen dollars and 49 cents (plus tax) for little blue baggies to pick up doggie poop? i know all about picking up doggie poop, but really, if you pick it up with a tissue and deposit in a regular baggie, you can get the job done practically for free! although, then you don't have a cute little blue bag to swing around to let all the neighbors know that yes, you did clean up after your delightful doggie. i can just imagine telling milo, "no milo, we can't go for a walk today. i am all out of cute little blue bags for your poop. so you will just have to wait until i can get more." sheesh!

i admit i took several more pictures of silly things people buy for their dogs on my way out of the store, but i need to wrap this up, so let me leave you with this.

yes, doggie raincoats. in southern california. i have no words . . .

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

happy anniversary!

so today . . . is our wedding anniversary.

before i write my blog each day, i take a little time to read the blogs i follow. most of those are photography blogs, and most of those feature wedding photos. wedding photography today is very different from what it was 30 years ago. today's photos show a lot more of the personalities of the bride and groom. ours mostly show people posing with smiles on their faces. but that's ok, because it was a happy day for us!
we got married when we were really young--probably too young to be making such an important decision!
we had no idea what we were doing, but we knew we wanted to do it together. and we have . . .we have been lucky enough to have a lot of people in our lives who love us,
but there have still been many times when all we've had is each other (yes, that is rollie singing to me!)
it hasn't always been easy, because life isn't easy. but we are always there for each other.
there is no doubt in my mind that rollie has my back--always. and i have his.
we are each other's best friend, the first one we want to tell stuff to, the one we go to when life gets us down, and always the one who gets the first phone call and text message when we get a new phone!a wedding is just the beginning, and we had a beautiful wedding (thank you mom and dad!!) but our life together has been amazing! we've grown up, we've learned what it takes to get along, we've talked and laughed and cried. we've moved half way across the country, and then back again. we've raised an incredible daughter together. we've watched our hair turn gray and wrinkles start to form (although one of us is pretty good at hiding it!) we've paid bills and kept doctor appointments and sat in hospital rooms, waiting . . .

and still we go on. together. always.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

does anybody know the expiration date for sun tea?

so today . . . i was wondering how long sun tea can stay outside before it isn't good to drink. i am wondering this, because i have a jar of sun tea out on the patio that has been there for over a week . . .

i put it out several days ago. once again, i have resolved to cut back on my diet soda consumption. and since i like iced tea, i thought that might be an acceptable substitute--it's mostly water (which is good for me,) but still with some flavor--and no sugar or sugar substitute. but first i had to make some . . .

i immediately ran into a problem--no jar. i know you can make it in the microwave, but i think it tastes best if it has brewed in the sun. i'm sure it's mental, but then i am discovering that most of my quirks are!

i know i have a gallon glass jar somewhere, because i used to make sun tea all the time. well, not all the time, because in oregon the sun doesn't shine all the time. but i would make it in the summer. and glass gallon jars aren't that easy to come by, so i know i didn't get rid of it, and i am pretty sure i would remember breaking it . . . unless someone else who lives in my house broke it and just hid the pieces and didn't tell me . . . hmmmm . . . .

anyway, i needed a jar so i went to wal-mart. there i found a one made especially for drinks. it has a pouring spout in the lid and spigot near the bottom of the jar. and best of all, it had red flowers painted all around it. perfect.

i came home, filled it with cold water, popped four tea bags in, screwed the lid securely on (as per the included instructions,) and carefully placed it in the sunniest spot on the patio.

and promptly forgot about it.

i would occasionally get a glimpse of it, there behind the table and chairs, but never had time to bring it in. ok, in my defense, when i make sun tea i usually leave it out for two days anyway, because i like it to be really dark so i can put lots of ice in it. but then rollie ended up in the hospital, so i wasn't home much. and then he came home, but i was so tired from all the hospital stuff (because i was not the one taking naps,) that i didn't even care about my poor, abandoned sun tea . . .

and now i am a little afraid to bring it in. it is really, really dark. and it hasn't been refrigerated. but it is just tea, so does that really matter? i don't know . . .

i thought about just bringing it in and quickly dumping it out and starting over. but what if i forget about the next jar too? am i sun tea cursed?? am i doomed to drink carbonated caffeinated sugar substitute filled drinks forever???

maybe not forever, but until i "screw up my courage" to deal with the aging brew, i guess diet pepsi will have to do . . .

Saturday, August 22, 2009

mr. invincible comes home

so today . . . rollie came home from the hospital. modern medicine strikes again, and he is on the mend.

this has been a strange experience for me. i am the one who has health issues and takes medicine--rollie is the one who exercises and takes vitamins. i am the one with a team of doctors who know me--rollie is the one who hasn't even met his current primary care physician. i am the one who knows where the kaiser hospitals and clinics and labs and urgent care centers are--rollie is the one who would have to use his gps to find them.

so when he ended up in the hospital, it was as though everything was turned upside down. suddenly he was the sickee, and i was the one standing helplessly by~

i actually felt pretty calm most of the time. i knew he was getting good care, and that God had a plan in all of it--and i was just kind of along for the ride. even as the drama unfolded, the calmness remained. we just let the doctors do their thing (which they did very well,) and then waited for him to recover enough to come home.

and today he came home. he is not yet back to 100%, but he is much better than he has been--in a long time, apparently. we know this because of his blood test results. and yet, i feel as though he is fragile. i don't want him to walk up and down the stairs. i don't want him to carry anything. i'm not really sure i want him to go to sleep unless i can watch him to be sure he is alright. i know this is not rational--he is much less likely to have a problem now than in the last month or so--and yet, that's how i feel.

i think of my husband as invincible and indestructible. he is strong and competent. he isn't afraid of anything. and so to suddenly be in a situation where he was so vulnerable has been strange. i'm not used to being the one sitting in the visitor's chair in a hospital room, worrying about what the test results will be and what the doctor will say. i felt so helpless, and yet i needed to be strong and calm. so i was. most of the time . . .

but i didn't like it. not one tiny little bit! i am looking forward to the day when life gets back to normal. and by normal, i mean when rollie is back to being the strong, healthy one. because i am definitely NOT up to the role of being mr. invincible . . .

Thursday, August 20, 2009

the power of the internet

so today . . . we have good news! rollie's excellent doctors have found his problem and fixed it! he has to stay in the hospital a couple more days, but when they turn him lose, everything should be back to normal. actually, it should be better than normal, because he will have almost as much blood as a normal person and it shouldn't be leaking out anywhere!

through this experience, i have seen not only the power of prayer (thank you God for keeping him alive until he would finally go to the doctor!) but also, in a different way, the power of the internet.

on wednesday morning, while diandra was waiting alone in urgent care while rollie and i were seeing the doctor, she blogged about how prayer changes things. we had agreed not to call anyone until we had some news to share, so she was purposefully vague. but she was worried about her dad, and she wanted to share her experience, so she blogged. about an hour later, she said, "you need to call grammie. she read my blog, and she is worried that you or dad are sick." well, dad was sick, so i looked up the number and dialed . . .

last night when i got home, i was so tired. but i needed to blog. so much had happened and i was afraid i would forget how fortunate we had been. so although i didn't include a lot of the details of our day, i did want to document it. so i blogged. and then this morning i got a phone call from one of our friends from oregon who read the blog and was worried . . .

as i was talking to my friend from oregon, diandra was sitting in one of the chairs provided for visitors. they are not the most comfortable chairs, and so she tweeted, "hospital chairs=not comfy. at least my dad is awake :)" not long after that i got another phone call from another friend in oregon in response to her update. and so i explained the situation once again.

and then i got a text from my mom who had just answered a phone call from my aunt who was asking about rollie, because her daughter (my cousin) had read diandra's update on her facebook page . . .

this afternoon i had to plug in my phone, because the battery was totally dead! i don't think that has ever happened to me before . . . when i checked the messages later, there was a message from a friend of mine who is on vacation. so i called her. she is visiting someone who used to go to our church and still receives prayer requests by email. they were on their way home from an outing to a museum, when she decided to check her email on her phone. and she saw the news that rollie was in the hospital. so of course, my friend called to see how he was . . .

i guess if we want to get the word out about something, we just need to blog and tweet and post it on facebook, and pretty much everyone who matters to us will find out. good to know.

and as for rollie, we weren't trying to keep you all in the dark--we were just busy taking care of him.

and since every post is better with a photo (which i know i am terrible at doing . . . ) here's one of rollie getting ready to go to the hospital. does he look like he only has 6.4 liters of blood in his body?!?!?!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

a day of thanksgiving

so today . . . i spent the day in health care facilities. rollie is not well.

he has been feeling dizzy off and on for a few days now, but like most men, kept saying, "if i don't feel any better tomorrow, i will call the doctor . . . " yeah, right.

rollie takes better care of himself than anyone else i know. he tries to eat right, and has the self-control to do it (unless the devil donuts fly into his mouth under their own power,) he exercises every day except sunday, he gets plenty of sleep, he takes his vitamins, and he is rarely sick. unlike me, his health care providers would not recognize him if they saw him at the mall.

and when he does get sick, he is an easy patient to take care of. he is not one of these whiny crybaby guys who need constant attention and sympathy. thank goodness, because i am not one of those wives who is good at that. when he is sick, i put him in bed with a glass of juice (to keep him hydrated,) the tv remote (for entertainment,) and his cell phone (so he can call me if he needs me,) and then i close the door. he sleeps, drinks his juice, watches tv, and calls me on his phone if he needs anything. it works for us.

but the problem this time is that he wasn't really sick--i mean, as it turns out, he was very, very sick--but he didn't really feel sick, except for the occasional dizziness. he even preached on sunday! so each day when i would ask how he was feeling, and he would say, "a little better, i think," i believed him. i still told him to call the doctor, but since he seemed to be improving, i didn't push it.

i should have. because this morning he fainted while he was in the shower. and then there was no further discussion--he got dressed and we headed to urgent care.

i am thankful for so many things that happened today--
--that we have excellent health care coverage through kaiser, so there were no worries about "what is this going to cost?" it is going to cost us $5--which i already paid.
--that i heard him yell for help, through two closed doors and the floor (he was upstairs and i was downstairs--asleep, btw.)
--that diandra was home (usually by 9:00 she would be at work) to call 911, and then convince them that we didn't really need them after all.
--that he didn't pass out again on the way to urgent care.
--that the health care providers immediately recognized the severity of his issues and acted accordingly.
--that when i was writing the music set last week, i mysteriously (?) ended up with two. so when i looked at the clock today and realized that i was supposed to be at rehearsal in an hour, i had a set all written and ready to go that i could hand over to the band, and i could stay at the hospital with rollie. (do you think maybe God knew this is where i would be today?!?)
--that he was in good enough shape that his body could continue to function in a state where the rest of us would not have survived.
--that even when his blood pressure was crashing and his pulse was racing and his body was trying to function with half it's blood supply, my husband could still smile and make jokes and thank the people around him repeatedly.

tonight he is in the hospital, under the watchful eye of his night nurse, sarah. he has needles in both of his arms. he is getting 4 units of blood, (which is only half of what he is lacking!) he has had bag after bag of saline. he hasn't eaten since our late lunch at rubio's yesterday. but his vital signs are better--blood pressure is up, pulse is down, volume of blood coursing through his veins is increasing with each bag they drip into him. and while he is tired and hungry, he is still smiling and making vampire jokes and thanking all the people who are helping him. repeatedly.

so today i am thankful for my husband, who is still alive and kicking, and for my daughter, who was there when i needed her, and for doctors who know their stuff. but most of all, i am thankful for a God who has a plan and works it all out and knows what He is doing. even when i don't . . .

Monday, August 17, 2009

i wish i had invented kleenex

so today . . . i am being attacked by allergies! at least i hope it is allergies and not the start of something much more sinister . . .

i have spent most of the day blowing my nose. i wish i had stock in kleenex! i've taken some sort of allergy pill, but it isn't doing a very good job of alleviating my symptoms! so i'm going to bed. i know it is only 10:30, but that is how early i can go to bed if i don't write very much in my blog. you see, all those nights i am up past midnight? it's because i am working hard on my blog. when i just write a little note like this, it only takes me five minutes and then i am off to slumberland . . . usually i am willing to make the sacrifice in order to entertain you, but not today. my summer "vacation" is almost over and i don't want to spend it being sick. so i am going to take care of myself and go get some rest . . .

Sunday, August 16, 2009

i'm late, i'm late . . .

so today . . . my alarm did not go off.

this was a problem, because i go to church on sunday. not only that, but i have to rehearse the band before church, so i need to be there by 9:00. this morning when i turned over and blearily opened my eyes to squint at my clock, it said 8:39! did you see that i am supposed to be at church by 9:00?!?!?!

the good news is that it wasn't really 8:39--it was really 8:19. my clock is always set to the wrong time. on purpose. i am not a morning person. i am one of those people who hits my snooze alarm 4 or 5 times before i am actually able to drag myself into an upright position. i have found that if my clock is set ahead a few minutes, it helps me to be on time. but it has to be set ahead by a prime number of minutes--usually i choose 13. this is because my brain knows that my clock is set ahead, but in the blurriness of my mornings, it cannot calculate the actual time if it is set ahead 7 or 13 or 19 minutes. and that is ok, because i'm trying to fool myself into getting up earlier since i think it is later than it really is. even though i know it really isn't. are you following me here?

this drives my poor husband crazy! it is compounded by the fact that my clock projects it's time onto the ceiling. once i go to sleep, i am pretty much out for the night. he is not. and when he wakes up he sees the time on the ceiling. of course, he knows it is not the real time, but he is never quite sure how far ahead it is. plus, my clock tends to pick up a minute here and a minute there, so usually even i am not sure of the exact discrepancy. so he lays there, doing the math in his head (why is it harder to subtract prime numbers?) which engages his mind, and then he has a harder time going back to sleep. i have suggested he just turn over and look at his own clock, which has the exact right time on it. but he says he can't ignore the gigantic blue numbers from my clock, announcing to anyone who cares to look, the wrong time . . .

he has, however, finally resigned himself to the fact that i have to smack the snooze alarm several times before i get up. he doesn't understand it at all, but he has accepted that the alarm has to go off repeatedly before i can wake up. usually this is not a problem for him, because he is up and out the door before my eyes even begin struggling to focus . . .

i married a morning person. he is always up and finished exercising (yes, he gets up and lifts weights in the morning--at least he SAYS that is what he does. i am always asleep, so who knows if he really does that . . . although he is in pretty good shape, and he doesn't lie, so it is probably true . . . ) and out of the shower and dressed, before i actually stumble out of bed. this is probably one of the reasons we have been married so long--our paths do not cross in the morning until i have showered and dressed and am headed out the door.

but this morning, none of that helped me. and actually, my alarm did go off. it's just that it was the alarm on my phone, and last night i had turned the volume off. i turned the volume off, because rollie was already asleep, and when i plug my phone in it makes a beep beep sound. so my plan was to turn it off, plug it in, and then turn it back on. it was a good plan, but clearly lacking in execution. so it tried to wake me up, but it couldn't make any noise. when i saw the time "8:39" on my clock, i leaped out of bed and raced toward the bathroom and soap and water.

while i was washing my face, i was wondering why diandra hadn't come in to see why i wasn't up. we had discussed riding together this morning. surely she had been aware of the silence from my room--no hair dryer, no music blasting from the ipod, no "good morning" from her mom. and then i noticed she looked like she was just getting up too. diandra also has to be at the church by 9:00. her alarm did not go off either. it was also set on her phone, but it had failed for a different reason than mine. so there we were . . .

i don't think we have ever gotten ready for church faster than we did this morning! i was out the door before my brain was even really in gear. i didn't even look at myself in the mirror before i left the house.

we were late, but only by a few minutes. i started band rehearsal. and can i just say right here that my blog yesterday was proven over and over and over again this morning during rehearsal. i cannot tell you how often those boys said something totally unrelated to what we were doing. and it made me laugh, because it just proved the truth of what i had written yesterday. but i was the only one who could enjoy it, because no one else had read my blog yet. and i kept laughing, and the boys kept saying, "what? what?" it was hysterical . . .

what was not so hysterical was what happened later. we are celebrating our anniversary later this month, so our church decided to acknowlege that today by giving us a gift. this required me to go up and stand on the platform next to rollie for a few minutes to accept it.

nonononononono, my brain said. no. the problem was a--i got up late, b--i had thrown on my skinny jeans and a top and had no idea what i looked like, c--my hair was in a ponytail, and d--i am never in the main service, and this was probably not the best way for people to realize that the person married to their pastor had come to church looking like a teenager today!!! it was not my finest hour.

but thankfully, time does move on--even if you are not really sure what time it is . . .

Saturday, August 15, 2009

a little help here!!!

so today . . . i was afraid there would be no blog. again. but the best way i know to kill a blog is to stop writing. so the pressure was on to find something to write about.

and it was hard! rollie is not feeling good today, and diandra had plans that did not include going anywhere with her mom. and i didn't really want to leave rollie alone anyway, so i spent the day at home. my prospects for blogging material were not good, not good at all . . .

. . . and then i got javvy's text message--"mighty to save and that other fast one. let's do like 6 fast songs!"

javvy is the drummer in my worship band. he is 16 years old.

sixteen year old boys are a mystery to me. i have a brother, but i am three years older than he is. so when he was 16, i was away at college. diandra was 16 once, but she is a girl--which is a whole different thing. since i lead worship in our alternative service at church, and half my band is 16 year old boys, you would think i would have a clue. but i don't . . .

don't misunderstand me--the boys in our youth group are funny and entertaining and endearing, and i like them. but their thought processes can seem so random, especially the boys in the band. they seem to have the attention span of a . . . well, i don't even know what to compare it to. let's just say that i think they have usually stopped thinking about what i am saying to them before i get to the end of my first sentence. i can tell this is happening, because they stop looking at me, and then when i get done talking (or even before i am done talking,) they will say something totally unrelated. it can be confusing at times, or frustrating. but i have to admit, sometimes it can be really funny.

today i needed to get a music set written for church tomorrow, and i just didn't feel like doing it. i do this every week--write a set--and it usually isn't a big deal. but today it just wasn't happening . . . i tried to get diandra to help me. "hey, do you want to pick your favorite songs to sing tomrrow?" i texted her. who wouldn't want to do that?!? apparently diandra--she declined. so javvy was next on my list. he always has an opinion. the problem is, he is a drummer.

drummers apparently don't hear lyrics--they hear beats, rhythms, and tempos--which resulted in his lack of being able to come up with the song title for what he was hearing in his head.

so i texted back to javvy--"that other fast one?!?! i think i need more info than that!"

he replied, "i think it's like 3 words long and one starts with an f. i think."

i had to laugh. come on! our band knows a lot of songs and that description was supposed to point me to the ONE song he was thinking of?!?

this was not helping me. not at all. but it did make me laugh. i don't think he was trying to make me laugh. i think he really thought he was helping--that i would get that message and think, "oh that one . . . " but that is not what happened.

i did try to track down his mystery song. i found songs with three word titles. i found songs with words that started with the letter f. but no songs that fit both criteria, not to mention being fast . . .

so i wrote the set myself and emailed it to the tech people. then i went on with my day. we gave the dogs showers and had panda express for lunch. i did laundry, played on pet society, did some more laundry . . . and then several hours later i got another text from javvy.

"trading my sorrows!!"

do YOU see the letter 'f ' anywhere in that song title?!?!

sixteen year old boys. drummers. God help me . . .

Thursday, August 13, 2009

so today . . . i forgot to blog. and even though this is going to post before midnight (so i can get the right date on it,) it is really 1:30 a.m! i am almost ready to go to bed. i was just doing a few last things on my computer, and i thought, "i forgot to blog!"


Wednesday, August 12, 2009

the battle for the bed . . .

so today . . . i've been dealing with the aftermath in the garage from defrosting the freezer out there--you know, the running water? the pile of wet towels? the toppled boxes? but i had to take a couple of breaks. ok, i actually took a lot of breaks, and every time i sat down, milo was all over me--he is so needy today.

last night the dogs were so funny. i went to bed really late, as i usually do in the summer. i don't know where milo was, but mia immediately jumped up and laid down right next to me--and i mean RIGHT NEXT TO ME. she was scrunched up as close as she could get--on top of the covers, of course.

this particular spot has become the most desired place on the bed if you are furry and four legged. i'm not quite sure why, since both dogs seem to prefer the alpha male in the house. but he is not quite so accommodating when it comes to sharing his sleeping space with two furry bodies. mia very quickly learned that it was much easier to snuggle up next to the girl person, since i am too polite to make the dogs move. but milo clearly prefers rollie's side. if he would quietly sneak over there, i think he could get away with it, but milo is not so good at sneaking. his approach generally starts with jumping up on the bed (with the aid of a cardboard box that makes a pretty loud noise when all 15 pounds of him hits it,) tromping over the top of me (which generally results in some sort of sound, like "OOF" escaping from between my lips,) and then attacking rollie's face and head with his front feet and tongue. actually he tries to lick rollie's face off while holding it down with his front feet. this usually results in rollie waking up abruptly, and turning over out of milo's reach. at which point milo plops his fat little behind down between our pillows and looks around like, "what was that about?" then he walks above my head, and lays down RIGHT NEXT TO MIA, who can't take it, and gets up and goes to the foot of the bed--still on top of the covers. then milo settles down in the preferred spot--on top of the covers--and goes to sleep. this is what happens almost every night . . .

but last night was a little different. rollie was in bed, i was in bed, and mia was settled in her spot next to me. i heard four little feet approach the bed and then scramble up. and stop. milo surveyed the situation from the foot of the bed before making a decision about where to go. (sometimes i think that milo thinks the bed belongs to him--i mean, he sleeps on it most of the day--so maybe he thinks we are all in his space!) rollie must have been sleeping on his stomach, which limits the amount of face exposed for licking. so milo decided to skip that part of the process and came and laid down next to me, but not quite touching mia. they were positioned like ying and yang. and i went to sleep.

well i tried to go to sleep. but i got hot--too many covers for a night that turned out to be warmer than we anticipated. i tried to rid myself of the quilt, but there was 50 pounds of furry flesh anchoring it down. i turned over. i got really close to them and pushed, just a little bit. neither dog would budge.

i tend to be polite, sometimes to a fault. i don't think that is a bad thing, but sometimes it makes it hard to get what i want. and last night i wanted those dogs to move! but i was too polite to wake them up and make them get down. finally i thought, if i could just get the quilt out from under them . . . so i started gently pulling, but i soon realized that gently was not going to do the trick. so i pulled a bit more vigorously. still no good. finally i yanked hard enough that mia got up and looked at me like, "WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!?!?!" i moved the quilt quickly and tried to settle her back down, but she would have none of it. she walked to the foot of the bed, sighed heavily, and flopped down.

as all of this was happening, milo was laying quietly in the next best spot. he didn't budge, but his eyes were open and watching every thing that happened. as soon as mia moved, he sort of s-t-r-e-t-c-h-e-d out toward me. and then he wiggled a little closer. and before i knew it, there he was--laying right next to me, on top of the quilt . . .

milo weighs less than mia when they are awake, but when they are sleeping, i am telling you, he weighs twice as much. that fat little body of his is like a bag of cement! and he doesn't read social cues very well, so i figured my chances of getting him to move were pretty slim.

i decided to go for broke! i lifted up his back end and pulled out both the quilt and the sheet. and then i lifted up his front end and pulled out both the quilt and the sheet. finally! i was free of unwanted covers!!

and it was a good thing, because there was a very warm, furry body snuggled up right next to me, showing no signs of moving any time soon . . .i'm glad somebody was getting a good night's sleep!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

the last straw . . .

so today . . . my car has two new dings--all because i can't get rid of anything . . .

i am in the middle of several projects right now--still working on the old sewing room/new office, still cleaning out closets, still anticipating the garage (and not in a good way.) but yesterday i decided to defrost the defective refrigerator/freezer in the garage so we can get it out of there--my first step in cleaning out the garage. so i unplugged it, emptied out the few things i had forgotten were in there (have you ever seen 3 year old string cheese? i wish i hadn't!) and opened the doors to let the ice melt and the water drain out.

my plan was for the water to drain out across the floor between our two cars, and out the front of the garage. that is not exactly what happened. when i got ready to go to lunch today, i saw that for some reason, the water was draining out sideways and heading dangerously close to my stacks of cardboard storage boxes, holding who knows what, but stuff that i thought was important enough to save. so i swooped in to the rescue, mopped up the encroaching water, and laid down a barrier of towels to protect my boxes and their precious contents (whatever those turned out to be . . . ) i checked on the melting process several times today, bailed water from the storage bin a couple of times, and optimistically thought maybe it would all be gone by tomorrow.

the last time i checked it was at about 8:00 p.m. rollie had left about 10 minutes earlier to go play basketball and the air conditioner repairman was just leaving--through the garage. i looked to see how the stream of water was progressing and saw that it was all but dried up. i made a mental note (usually a worthless exercise) to check again before i went to bed.

and then at 9:30, rollie came home. and did not come in the house.

i was in the middle of something, but when he still hadn't appeared 10 minutes later, i went out to see what had sidetracked him in the garage. and there he was, mopping up water.

"what happened?" i asked. he said when he came in the garage the water was soaking into the bottom of my storage boxes, so he was cleaning it up. i immediately ran to get shoes so i could help. because i needed to rescue whatever was in those boxes!!

as i lifted the lid off the box on the bottom of the stack--which had been exposed when rollie moved the other boxes--i found two bitty babies (both dry,) our first video camera that we can't use anymore because someone apparently did something in the menu and now everything is in japanese and we can't read the directions to change it back to english because all the directions are in japanese! i know chinese people who could help if it was in chinese, but it isn't. and diandra's old game boy, which i am sure still works and maybe she will want one day.

relief flooded through me! the only thing i really cared about in that box were the two dolls, and they were fine.

but we still had water to deal with. so i started moving the other boxes to a better location. i couldn't figure out why rollie hadn't stacked them further away when he moved them, and why some of them were on their sides, and most strangely, why he had put the small, pink, hard plastic suitcase filled with something heavy under his car . . . so i asked him, and he said he didn't put it under there well i knew i didn't put it under there, and so i thought he was joking. then suddenly the pieces fell into place, and i knew what had happened. the water had crept over to my cardboard boxes, soaking the one on the bottom, which was probably the only one not packed tightly. the water had weakened the sides of the box, which eventually buckled under the weight of all the other boxes stacked on top of it, and the whole stack toppled over.

rollie immediately started checking his car for dings. i prayed he wouldn't find any, because that small, pink suitcase was heavy. and hard. after careful inspection, no dings were found. i was so thankful that it had just hit the floor of the garage and slid under the edge of his car . . . i mean, i already totaled the back end of it a couple of years ago--i really, really did not want to be responsible for front end dings!

so we started stacking up the boxes on the other side of the garage. and that's when i saw it. whitish dust on the front of my car where there hadn't been any earlier. my heart sank. i went closer to look and found not one, but two dings in my car.

my car is not pristine. it was a couple of years old when i bought it, and so it had some small paint scratches, but no dings. i try to take good care of it and be careful, because i am not getting another car until my joints can't take the pressure of a manual transmission any more.

and now i have two dings--pretty good sized ones--right over the tire on the driver's side of the car. right where i will see them every time i walk into the garage or approach my car from the front. right where you would see them if we retook the picture at the top of my blog--yes, they are that big. and all because i couldn't get rid of the stuff in those boxes . . .

i'm going to bed. i don't want to think about it any more . . .

Monday, August 10, 2009

the tables are turned . . .

so today . . . i have nothing funny or insightful to blog. i am sorry.

i'm having a rough couple of days. don't worry--it will get better--it always does. but my self-esteem has taken a hit and just wants to crawl under the covers and stay there (if it just wasn't so hot!) today i cannot muster up funny julie or sarcastic julie or off-the-wall julie or out-in-left-field julie. or even blog-about-food julie (diandra says i blog about food way too much anyway!)

almost every time i blog, i think about you guys that i know follow, and i try to write something that will make you laugh. because there are enough people out there who are complaining or whining (ok, i know i whine too, but at least i try to make it funny . . . ) or yelling about something. but today it just wasn't happening. i had finally decided not to post anything at all, and then one of you made me laugh!

my friend sherry is a faithful blog reader. she has recently come through some devastating circumstances, and i have great admiration for her. but since i live so far away there isn't much i can do to help, except to write blogs that make her laugh. so that's what i try to do . . .

well, today, she made me laugh. out loud. and then i laughed out loud again. and even now, an hour later, i am still getting a giggle out of what she wrote to me. and today, i needed a laugh. so thanks, sherry, for telling me about your poor sister's mishap last weekend (which was pretty funny, now that she is safely at home,) but especially for sharing the pet society experience. i would have never thought you were capable of showering in some strange pet's tub!

and don't worry--my self-esteem will eventually recover, and funny, sarcastic, off-the-wall, out-in-left-field julie will be back. i would like to say blog-about-food julie is retired, but i'm pretty sure she is not--sorry diandra . . .

Saturday, August 8, 2009

fun at angels' stadium

So today . . . we went to an angels' game. the good news is, we got the tickets from some friends of ours who have AMAZING seats. the bad news is, it was a day game and it was pretty hot today.

every time we go to angel's stadium i have to take a picture from the parking lot. there is just something about the gigantic red hats that says, "take my picture!" usually i take their picture alone, but today rollie said, "why don't you stand there and be in the picture?" i think he thinks that now i won't ever have to take that particular shot again. boy, is he wrong . . .

since we moved to get a little different angle on the requisite "big red hats outside angels' stadium" shot, i noticed as we walked in that the big red hats were scale replicas of real authentic baseball hats--right down to the size tag . . .the angels have improved dramatically in the last 8 years. coincidentally, that is exactly how long we have lived here. hmmm--could there be a connection?the game started at 1:15. rollie likes to get there early to watch the players warming up. i like to get there early and look for photo ops. this one is rollie shaking hands with gene autry, who is apparently the founder of the angels. of course, he is dead now (gene autry, not rollie)--this is just a statue. usually there are too many people around to get a good picture, but i think because of the heat, people didn't come out to the ballpark quite as early.we got there about noon and sat in our seats for about 10 minutes. we quickly realized it was too hot to sit there for an hour before the game even began, so we found a table in the shade and shared a soda. and that is where our trouble began . . .

the 2010 all star game is going to be held in angels stadium next spring, and so they are apparently trying out the souvenier cups. i think they need to keep trying . . .

the design needs some work. can you see how the top edge is curved? that isn't a camera trick--it really looks like that. this makes it hard to fit the lid on tight. in fact, the concession people wouldn't even try to put it on--they just handed us our soda and the lid and basically said, "good luck." rollie managed to get the lid on, which amazed the concession people, but then they said, "yeah, well, it also crushes the straws!" rollie, not one to be outdone by a cup--even an all stars souvenir cup--just pulled out his trusty pocket knife and cut the little triangle pieces out so that he had an open hole for his straw. which might have been an excellent idea, but the brilliant marketing people who chose this particular cup design with this particular lid design did not take into account that the cup was too tall for their current straws. we tried several different approaches, and finally rollie thought his tongue would work as well as any of our other ideas. so he tried to make that into a straw--with limited success.
still, even with the heat and the "defective" cups, we had a beautiful place in the shade to sit. i am so in love with palm trees . . . at 1:10 we made our way to our amazing seats. and proceeded to sweat and then sweat some more. after three innings i couldn't take it--i had to get out of the sun. my heart was racing, my pulse was 140, and i didn't feel too good. when i stood up, i realized the entire back of my clothes were wet. it was kind of embarrassing! i'm sure i wasn't the only one in this condition, but i appeared to be the only one walking around this way. i headed up the stairs to the shade, found a nice breeze, and sat down on the cool concrete floor with my back against the cool concrete wall--right next the the restrooms, just in case i got really sick. the problem was, now i couldn't see the game. this is what i saw--and then i saw this in the lens of my camera, which was quite shocking until i realized it was just my out of focus knees hunched up in front of me . . .
finally the cool concrete and the breeze did the trick, and i got to feeling better. i looked at the scoreboard--we were ahead 1-0. ok, time to get another drink and try braving the heat again. but there were lines everywhere. well, i say lines--most of the concession stands had 5 or 6 people waiting, which isn't too bad, but i kind of wanted to be in my seat by the time the angels were at bat again.

i decided to try the outer concession stands. i figured the traffic would be lighter there, and it was. i got my drink, made my way back to our seats, looked at the scoreboard, and realized we were now behind 1-2! how could this have happened?! i had only been gone a few minutes . . .

it was the middle of the sixth inning. the shade was moving in our direction. there was a little breeze blowing. and then the angels got a hit. things were looking up . . .

our best pitcher was pitching and had racked up 12 strike-outs before they finally took him out to rest. our batters started doing their job, and the final score was 3-2--the angels won!

this is what i learned today--
1-if we get tickets for a day game, let rollie take a friend and stay home where there is air-conditioning.
2-if i ignore my inner voice and decide to go, wear different clothes--preferably something dark with a pattern that will not look like i had an accident when i sweat in my seat--because i will sweat in my seat.
3-take more water. and a hat.
4-sunscreen is a good idea, but i will still be hot.
5-instead of spending $5 for a tiny little hot dog and $4 for a bottle of water (and how ridiculous is that?!?! but that is a blog for another day,) buy the spray bottle/fan thing.
6-no matter how much sugar is in it, buy the frozen lemonade! it can be held it on my neck to keep me cool and then if i don't want the sugar, i can toss it when it melts. (hey, today it would have been worth the price just for the cooling effect. and it takes those things a long time to melt . . . )

Friday, August 7, 2009

how old do you have to be to get the senior discount anyway?!?

so today . . . i spent a little time getting in touch with my inner little old lady.

it started while we were waiting in line at hometown buffet to pay. i said i wondered how much longer it would be before we would qualify for the senior discount. i am really looking forward to that! did you know that burger king will give you a free coffee or small drink if you are 55 or older? i'm not quite there yet, but i am already thinking that i may have my 55th birthday dinner at burger king--i'm sure rollie will be glad to hear that!

i remember my mom telling me about the first time she realized she could get a free senior drink. she asked for her drink, and they made her show i.d.! they didn't believe she was 55! since i don't drink, i've never been carded, so i am kind of looking forward to that experience. and honestly, if they don't ask me for my i.d. i am going to be really disappointed. and maybe just a little bit depressed!

anyway, we went to lunch at hometown buffet. i say lunch, but we didn't go until about 3:00. we ate breakfast a little late today, so we just weren't hungry earlier. and we thought if we went in the middle of the afternoon, it wouldn't be so busy. but we had to go before 4:00 or we wouldn't technically be eating lunch--we would be eating dinner. see, already i was thinking like someone living on a fixed income . . .

i love hometown, because of their salad bar. first of all, it starts with iceberg lettuce, which has no nutritional value whatsoever, but it is crispy and i can stab it with my fork! i don't know where all those other healthy lettuces hide their vitamins, because they are so flat that they cannot be stabbed--so how are you supposed to eat them?!? the salad bar also has shredded cheese, chopped egg, shredded carrots, and peas, but most importantly, garbonzo beans--just stop right there and say that out loud--garbonzo beans . . . how can you not love something that is so much fun to say! and then i top it all off with ranch dressing and sunflower seeds. yum!

we also get unlimited sodas, which are infinitely better now that i have found that they have lemon wedges at the taco bar. i don't usually eat the taco stuff, but the lemon is good in my cola. although, i have learned to get the lemon before i get my drink, because if i carry my soda over to the taco bar i have found that it tends to get spilled. i don't know why. i just know that my drink should go straight from the dispenser to my table . . .

and then i am good. if i have my drink and my salad, i am happy!

however, in the interest of full disclosure, i should probably mention that my salad is HUGE, and i start with very little lettuce. so you know i am eating lots of egg, cheese, peas, carrots, garbonzo beans (see how i worked that in a second time . . . ) and a big pile of sunflower seeds.

so, we were sitting in our booth. rollie was pretty much done eating and was just waiting for me to finish, because i had decided that in order to get our money's worth, i needed to eat some meat. and i sat there with my meat, listening to the orchestra music playing over the sound system. i looked around me and realized we were probably the youngest ones in the room--and we are 50! but the little old people were so cute! slow, but cute.

and i thought, i wonder if this is what it will be like when we are old. you know, we won't have jobs, so we won't have to get up early (although rollie probably will anyway.) and we can get up and putter around the house in the morning, and maybe read a book or do an errand. then if we go eat in the middle of the afternoon, we won't have to eat both lunch and dinner, plus we can just pay the lunch price and avoid the crowds. then we can go home and take a nap and read or putter a little bit more, and then go to bed. this sounds like heaven to me!

as i am sharing this with my husband, who is part of this picture, he is looking at me like, "what?"

so then i said, "or maybe when you are dead, i will just bring my book here and have lunch and drink sodas and read my book. i could spend all afternoon here, munching and drinking and reading . . . "

he just looked at me and said, "we are not coming here anymore."

i don't think he is quite ready to deal with my inner little old lady . . .

Thursday, August 6, 2009

lunch isn't just a meal--it's an adventure!

so today . . . rollie and diandra and i went to lunch together. we don't get to do that too often anymore, because we all work and it just seems hard for all of us to make it to the same place at the same time--unless it is church on sunday morning where we all have responsibilities, and so we HAVE to be there.

i am on summer "vacation" from school. (i put the word "vacation" in quotation marks, because i don't feel like i have been vacationing much! but since i do not have to get up and go to work every day, technically i guess i am on vacation.) this means that i can be free for lunch almost every day--which works to my advantage!

and today was diandra's day off. usually she is busy on her day off--doing what, i don't know. but usually she sleeps in, gets up and gets dressed, and then disappears . . . she always turns up before the next morning though, so i don't worry about her. too much . . . i am a mom, you know, so i have to worry a little bit!

since it was her day off, and she was still at home, i sent her a text (because i hadn't seen her beautiful face yet) asking if she wanted to go to lunch. yes, i text her even though she is just upstairs! it is much more civilized than yelling up the stairs, i think. plus, she never seems to hear me when i yell up the stairs, so then i have to walk up the stairs and go down the hall and knock on her door and wait for her to answer it, all just to get an answer to the question "do you want to go to lunch today." i would rather sit on the couch and send her a message.

she responded to my text by coming downstairs and talking to me for a little bit before heading back upstairs to get ready to go. i realized that we were not all going to fit in rollie's car, so i sent him a text. this is what it said--"why don't we just meet you there because we can't both fit in your car." at least, that is what i meant to say. the message i actually sent said this--"Hy don't e just meet u there cuz e ont both firt in your car." the W on my phone isn't working right now, and sometimes i hit the wrong key, so it takes some decoding skills to read my texts.

five minutes later, i heard the garage door open. that meant rollie was home. hmmm, i thought, that's odd--he must have already been on his way before he got my text.

about that time, diandra came out of her room with that sad look on her face that she has used since she was four, and said to me, "you mean i can't ride with you to lunch?"

"of course you can," i said. but still she stood there, looking confused, with her phone in her hand. "but you said there wasn't room for me." now i was the one with the confused look on my face, until she said, "you texted me . . . " and then i realized that once again, i had sent a text to the wrong person . . . and diandra had received the message intended for rollie.

i do this all the time. i get in a hurry and i write and send a text off, and it goes to the last person i texted instead of the person i want to text. in fact, i don't keep chat strands on my phone anymore except for rollie, diandra, and my mom. then at least if i send a message off to the wrong person, it will be one of them . . .

by now my message was moot anyway, because we were all at home. but the problem still existed, because both rollie's car and my car will only hold two people, and there are three of us. so it seemed logical to take diandra's car.

diandra's car is a jeep--and not just any jeep--it is a jeep with gigantic tires and no top. well, it has a top, but she never uses it. a discussion ensued about the possibility of making it to jack-in-the-box without stopping for gas, and two out of three of us decided it was worth the risk--you can probably guess which two out of three--so we piled into the jeep. eventually. because someone had to climb into the backseat, and there is no back door and did i mention the enormous tires?!?! right now there is also no top and no windows, so diandra said, "just climb up over the tire into the back seat." uh huh . . . sometimes she forgets i am somewhat older than most of the people who ride in her jeep! rollie saved me by volunteering to ride in the back, and seemed to have no trouble climbing in.

one of the things i love about our family is that we have fun together. even if all we are doing is going to lunch, we will joke and tease and laugh and have a good time. and the fun increases exponentially, depending on how many of us there are. any two of us can have a good time, but the three of us together? it's a riot!

we headed to jack in the box, the vinyl seats searing our skin through our clothes, while diandra said we were whiny crybabies (she didn't actually use that exact term, but i know that is what she meant!) two out of three of us thought the lunch was delicious, and then two out of three of us complained about the hot seats on the way home again.

ok, that is a lie--i just liked the symmetry of it. only one out of three of us complained about the hot seats again. and you can probably guess which one it was . . .

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

i think the moms should get the credit . . .

so today . . . this is my third attempt to write this blog. i don't know why i am having such a hard time finding the words to say what i want to say! i have come to the conclusion that maybe i am trying to say too much, so i am going to attempt to simplify. but you know how i am . . .

diandra has a friend. her name is bianca. diandra and bianca are fairly new friends, but they have some unique things in common. both of them have dads who are pastors. both of them have grown up to work on staff at their dad's churches (which means their dad is their boss!) both of them are women in ministry--not always an easy thing. both of them love teenagers. both of them blog. both of them have amazing, smart, funny moms :) and both of them are incredible speakers.

i get the opportunity to hear diandra speak almost whenever i want to, because she is our youth pastor, and part of that job means that she teaches the teens at our church. she also speaks at teen camp. she has been the chapel speaker at the high school she attended. she even occasionally preaches to our whole congregation. i ALWAYS enjoy hearing her, because she is interesting to listen to, she is funny, and she does an excellent job of challenging her audience--whoever they are. of course i am her mom, so i am also always incredibly proud--not only of what she does, but of who she is!

but tonight was my first opportunity to hear her friend bianca speak.

i have heard that bianca is a good speaker. she teaches different groups at her church, but she also travels around the country speaking, mostly to women and teens. i was anxious to hear her, because i have been reading her blog regularly since she started it a few months ago, and it always inspires me. tonight i was not disappointed. not only was she articulate and confident in her delivery, but her material showed a lot of preparation, knowledge, wisdom, and insight. she was funny and real, and i found myself responding and taking notes.

(of course, i had to take notes on my phone, because i can never find a pen. or paper. so i am sure everyone thought i was playing a game or texting someone--which i would never do, because that would set a bad example for the teens. and it would be incredibly rude! but i didn't want to forget some of the things she said, so i had to use my phone to write things down. even though the light came on. really, i was taking notes. they are right there in my phone if you don't believe me . . . )

i probably won't get to hear bianca speak very often. but it is ok, because i can read her blog. i love to read her blog. it is funny and smart and insightful, just like she is. sometimes it challenges me to think in different ways. sometimes it reminds me of things i know, but have somehow chosen to ignore. sometimes it gives me a picture that helps me remember something important. sometimes it just makes me laugh. but it always makes me think. always.

there are times when i think i am an island. but i'm not. friends are important. as bianca said tonight, the first thing God said was bad, was that man was alone. we need our friends to help us have fun, to encourage us when things get tough, to give us perspective when we have tunnel vision, to help us "hang in there" when we feel like we have had enough, to say, "dude, don't do something stupid"--yeah, that's how we talk here in socal--when we are about to dive over the edge. we all need people in our lives who share our world view and can not only encourage us but can also challenge us and make us think.

diandra is blessed to have found that kind of a friend in bianca. and consequently, i am blessed to have found her blog!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

once again, my plan is thwarted . . .

so today . . . i wasn't going to blog. i have spent the day sitting on the couch with my computer and the tv--really very little human interaction--so i don't have much to blog about.

i tend to spend my time doing the urgent. for the last few weeks, the urgent has been dealing with all this stuff that we have accumulated that we don't have space for anymore. this morning a whole bunch of that stuff made it's way to the curb outside and into a big truck that took it off someplace to where other people can use it (i hope.) so for now, dealing with the "stuff" has been moved from the urgent list to the "i'll deal with the rest of it later" list.

today the urgent was working on the music files on my computer. yes, i know i talked about doing this a while back. you were probably under the mistaken impression that i had finished that project. i did finish a portion of it, but there is still a lot of music hiding on my computer that cannot be accessed by itunes. which is a problem.

it is a problem, because i have new musicians in the band at church, and they need more practice than i can give them during a 1 hour rehearsal on wednesday nights. so it would be really helpful if they had the songs we are learning on their ipods (because, as i am finding out, EVERYONE has an ipod--even if they don't have a cell phone, they have an ipod . . . ) but first, i have to find and retrieve these songs that are hiding from me and then import them into itunes--which, as you know, hates me.

so after lunch, i sat down on the couch with every intention of staying right there until i was done. i really need to have this music ready to distribute by tomorrow night. it could take several hours, but that's ok--it was time to take charge and get it done.

when i sat down, i saw the note diandra had left for me about taking care of some photography business for her. i figured it would take me less than an hour, so i decided to do that first. THEN i would tackle the music, because who knows how long that is going to take . . .

i pulled the photo files up on my computer and got started. of course i had issues with my dvd drive, because when has the dvd drive on any computer i have ever owned worked properly?!?! i kept trying different things until i finally successfully burned a cd. then, all i had to do was remember how i did it so that i could burn the second one. if i had known that what i was doing was going to work, i would have paid more attention to how i did it . . . i finally managed to get the second cd burned and then started on the next project. it turned out to be somewhat more complicated, mostly because i was working with almost 5 gigabytes of photos! that is a lot of pictures to be manipulating.

while i worked, i finished watching season one of meerkat manor. i first saw meerkat manor when i was out of town and staying in a motel that had cable channels. since we don't have cable at home, we love to watch the discovery channel and national geographic and tnt when we have the opportunity. we happened upon meerkat manor, and those little critters were so cute that when i found the shows on netflix, i thought, "yay!"

let me just say, i now know that this is not a show about cute, cuddly, furry little creatures. i mean the meerkats are cute and furry, but their social system is brutal. the matriarch, who someone should have named "attila" instead of "flower" rules the roost and it is not always pretty. they fight, they have forbidden pregnancies, they are ostrasized. they have to deal with predators and rival meerkat families and the elements of living in the african desert. sometimes the babies die. i almost stopped watching. rollie keeps reminding me that it isn't about being nice, it's about survival. i happen to think there has to be a way to survive and still get along with each other. but they are animals not people, and i guess even people have trouble with that one sometimes . . .

i finally finished the photograhy project, but it took several hours. i am happy with the result though, so i guess it was time well spent. i was working on wedding photos today, and they were just beautiful--so many sweet and fun moments!

and now it is past midnight. and the music files i need are still hiding from me on my computer. they did not make it into itunes. again.

oh well, "tomorrow is another day . . . "

Monday, August 3, 2009

the devil (donuts) and rollie . . .

so today . . . i was operating on very little sleep. you see, a charity is coming through our neighborhood tomorrow to pick up donations, and you know what i have been doing for the last couple of weeks! so i have lots of stuff to donate. but if i want it to be tax deductible, i cannot just throw it into bags and estimate it's value--according to our tax preparer, and my sister-in-law (who is pretty smart) each item must be documented. documentation of items i am donating to a charity is proving to be a major pain in the you-know-what!

so i was operating on very little sleep. i stayed up last night until the shopping channel started airing their "good morning" show. although it is based in florida (which is three hours ahead of us) i still decided that perhaps it was time to make my way to my bed. and collapse there. and sleep forever . . .

but i woke up at 9:30--even though rollie had closed the drapes so the sun wouldn't shine on me and closed the door with the dogs on the other side so they wouldn't lick me or walk on me or demand to be let under the covers. all precautions had been taken to ensure that i could sleep until lunch time if necessary, but still i woke up . . .

i tried to go back to sleep. i was sooo tired, but my stupid brain would not shut up!! i tried to think about blank space--my brain made a list on it. i went to my "happy place" (which, btw happens to be cozumel)--my brain started thinking about the heat and how i should really get up and check to see if rollie remembered to close the windows and turn on the air conditioning--which of course he did!! i can't even believe my brain tried to get me with that one, but it almost worked. and then i thought about breakfast--and decided i wasn't going back to sleep, so i might as well get up and eat.

yesterday a couple of my friends brought me a box of chocolate mini donuts. remember last week when i ate a whole box by myself in a day and a half? i thought that would be the end of my chocolate mini donut binge, but apparently that was not going to be the case . . . they brought them to me at church, and when we left i put them in my trunk, because we were going to subway for lunch and the top was down on my car and i didn't want anyone to steal them. but it was pretty hot in the trunk. and yet, when i got home and took the donuts out, they were still covered in chocolate! it was amazing! i don't know what they put in that chocolate coating, but it did not budge from those donuts. i know what happens to hershey kisses, and even crayons, when you leave them in a hot car, but that chocolate was fused to those donuts. they probably add some sort of bonding agent to the coating to make it stick, which will probably kill you if you eat huge amounts of it. which wouldn't be a problem for most people . . . anyway, i took them into the house, put them in the refrigerator, and they were fine. i really didn't plan to eat any of them yesterday, but as i said, i was up really, really late . . .

when i came down for breakfast this morning, i went straight for the donut box. i had left it out on the counter last night so the donuts wouldn't be so cold. i knew it was a risk, because although rollie won't touch those donuts (if he is going to eat a mini donut, he prefers the powdered sugar ones,) diandra might. and she usually goes into the kitchen when she comes home at night--i think just to see if i got any new food and if it is something she likes.

when i opened the box, it looked different. i felt like mama bear. someone had eaten some of my donuts--not all of them, not even half, but i could tell that some were gone. figuring it had to be diandra (because the dogs would have finished them off,) i popped a few in my mouth, swigged some diet soda (sorry mom, but i was up sooo late that i needed the caffeine--and i know that sounds bad too--needed caffeine--but i did . . . ) and went on about my morning. because if diandra wanted some donuts, that was ok with me--as long as she left me some.

fast forward to lunch time. rollie and i were at rubio's. again. you know why. we were sitting at the table waiting for our food, when rollie said, "i ate five chocolate donuts this morning!"


he continued, "i couldn't help myself. i saw them sitting on the counter, and i ate one. and then i ate another one and another one, and i couldn't stop until i had eaten FIVE!"

my husband is the most disciplined person i know. he makes decisions based on what is right and then that is what he does, even if it is hard. he does NOT eat chocolate mini donuts--carbs AND sugar--are you kidding me?!?! he has decided to eat healthy, and so except for the occasional subway chocolate chip cookie (and o'henry bars at christmas) that is what he does.

i was flabbergasted! i was shocked! then i was delighted!! rollie ate five chocolate mini donuts (insert smiley face!) he said he couldn't help himself (insert a HUGE smiley face!!) he said he couldn't stop at one or two or three (ok, even a huge smiley face isn't going to do the job here--i need one that laughs hysterically . . . ) he said they were devil donuts!

the look on his face as he was telling me all this was priceless--i wish i had video. i know that he knew that i would be amused by his topple off the healthy eating pedestal where he usually resides, but there was also a hint of confusion on his face, like he was thinking, "i don't know how this could have happened to me . . . "

i do. it happens to me all the time. it's those blasted devil donuts--they are evil . . . i think it is something in the chocolate coating . . .