Wednesday, November 30, 2011

NaNoWriMo

National Novel Writing Month officially ends tonight at midnight. Yesterday I received an e-mail telling me I need to validate my final word count. Because I've signed up in the past, I still get e-mails from them, even though I'm not participating. For one brief, crazy moment, I wondered if I dropped EVERYTHING and did nothing but write for 24 hours straight, could I complete 50,000 words and still post. Of course, the answer to that is a big, fat, resounding NO!

I seriously considered participating this year. I even mentally tossed around plot ideas for different books. But seeing as I'm downsizing in other areas, I decided that the month of November probably wasn't the most prudent time to tackle such an assignment. And I have no regrets about that decision.

So while I won't have a novel rough draft to in my stash by midnight tonight, I do hope to have all my Christmas decorations up and all props for Sunday's Christmas play near completion. For me, that will be enough success.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

checklists

I'm a checklist kind of girl.
In college, one of my friends complained  that our conversations  felt like I had a list of things in my head to ask, and we simply jumped down the list. Sadly, many times that was the case. I was taking too many classes and working too much, and there simply was never enough time in the day to get everything done. I lost most of my neatness-freak characteristics during those years.
Yesterday was one of my checklists days, where I didn't have things down on paper, but I do have a huge mental list of things that need to be done this week. And last night when I finally crawled into bed, I was very happy because a lot of those things were mentally checked off. Yeah, I'm weird that way.
But day planners and written checklists don't work too well for me. I figured out how to cheat. :)
It's simply, really. You have this list staring at you, and at the end of the day, many of them are STILL staring at you because you simply don't want to do them. But you can't end a day where it looks like you've done nothing. So you quickly write down all the things you DID do, and cross lines through them. After all, no one is superwoman and can accomplish EVERYTHING. And you got a lot done, see? So all the un-finished things simply carry over to the next day, and the next, and the next. Some people call that procrastination. I call it an unfinished checklist.
So if I don't post pictures of my Christmas tree by the end of next week, you'll know it simply came off of my checklist. :)

Monday, November 28, 2011

reminiscing

Today I've been thinking a lot today about my maternal grandmother.
She was married to an abusive alcoholic.
She was a Christian.
She stuck with him to the day he died.
When she met Bobby, I remember her telling him that she was miserable until the last 7 years of marriage. Then her Pug (never did find out how he got that nickname) became a Christian, and those last 7 years were the sweetest years they ever had.
One of her sayings was "Love is not a water faucet that you turn on and off."
We were the same height, and I fear have a lot of the same personality characteristics.
I don't know why God blessed me with wonderful godly examples and the family he has, but I am truly blessed beyond measure. I hope I can leave behind half the legacy that she did.

Friday, November 25, 2011

a day of rest, a day of work

Thursday found us up early (after a very late night!) and headed out to be with family. It was a great day, and I enjoyed playing with my great nephews (the nieces were a tad occupied). When we got home, I got to talk with 2 of my 3 siblings, and then we headed out to "black Friday" shopping...a first for both of us. We were home and in the bed by midnight, with only minor complications. (Some idiot decided to play with Bobby's van; we had to take two parking spaces since there were no handicap spots available; thankfully everything was fixable.)
This morning we were up and at 'em at our normal time, and I was very pleased with the amount of work we accomplished today.
holes dug for property line seedlings coming soon

and the hole size

outdoor nativity set up, minus light

my new nativity window clings




Christmas tree #1 is up...the nativity


More early shopping in the am, then family stuff, and Sunday we head back to the normal routine!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

a note

Dear Squirrel,
I'm sorry I laughed at you yesterday morning when you almost fell out of the tree. Your gymnastic feat was truly quite amazing. When the tip-top outermost branch you were on started to fall downwards and you began stretching and clawing at the air, I thought for sure you would have to grasp at the branch below. When you instead flipped upside down and started climbing the underside of the limb, I was most impressed, even if I did laugh.

I see you've been enjoying the pecans. That's nice. We like them, too. So would you PLEASE stop throwing the remaining 3/4 of the nut you've already nibbled to the ground below? It's not very appetizing to pick up a wet shell that has the top eaten off. Why don't you bury that one in your holes? I'd leave those alone if you did.

There's already been talk of acquiring a dog or a cat by a member of this household. I'm not in favor of the proposition.But if you don't behave a little better, there may not be an option. I really don't care to find your tail on the doorstep. That has happened to some of your relatives in the past, you know.

This world is nutty enough for everyone, but you have to share more than just what you've already chewed.
Just thought you'd like to know.

Friday, November 18, 2011

little stuff

Fisher Price toys....I love them. They were my favorite as a kid, I delight in watching the toddlers in the nursery at church play with them, and I was thrilled to find two almost complete sets at a consignment sale today (for Christmas presents). The Noah's Ark was missing half of its animals, but I was able to find them plus some extras at a store online. :)

Quilting...it's fun, but I'm finding I love it when one of two things happen: 1) it's a crazy quilt and there's no pattern to worry about it, or 2) there is a pattern that tells you EXACTLY what to cut and HOW to sew the cut pieces together. I'm working on a baby quilt for someone, and the "easy" pattern I chose is missing some very vital instructions. Let's just say my bear currently has one arm, one leg, a belly, one ear, and one cheek, though not all connected.

Hammering...I've spent several hours the last few days pounding at the outer shells of black walnuts. While it's messy on the fingers (my thumbnails are stained black), there's something quite satisfying about the smashing the smothereens out of something and finding something worthwhile inside.

Coldness...we've had "mild" winter weather this week (several mornings of heavy frost), but several of our trees still bear leaves. We've still got a LONG way to go before the depths of winter, but somehow I find myself looking for daffodil shoots, as if it's mid-January.  Perhaps I really am mental.


And last, but certainly not least...I am so blessed to be married to my best friend and to walk this life journey with him. I had to wait a long time to find him, but he was clearly worth the wait.


Thursday, November 17, 2011

one of my weird favorites

I don't know what is, but almost anything you're drinking tastes better with this:
Last year Kohl's had a machine on clearance (and I had a coupon) that will crush ice. I was so excited about it, and one of the kids (not sure if it was a relative or a friend's kid) gave me one of those you're-so-old-are-you-crazy-or-just-plain-out-of-touch looks and said, "Why did you buy a machine instead of just getting a new refrigerator?" Why, indeed.

But regardless, if you want to feel better, just add crushed ice to your drink. :)

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

pumpkin rolls

I tried a new recipe this past week. I want to experiment with some spices as it didn't have quite the flavor I was expecting, but the texture was good.

And I was a tad surprised by the powdered sugar. The loaf absorbed it while in the refrigerator instead of accepting its "dusting".  This is one of those recipes I would only use if I have time when I'm working around the house (it took me a little longer than the recipe said).

You can see the recipe here. What do you do with your leftover Halloween pumpkin?

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

a crazy time of year

This year we're not battling beagles for pecans: we're battling crows and squirrels.
We've read every other year the trees are supposed to bear well.
This was supposed to be a good year.
It's not.
I know my father-in-law planted two different types of trees in the yard 12 years ago, but I was amazed at the difference in the nuts:
 and just to emphasize how large and small they truly are, I stuck an average size nut between them:
I guess nuts, like people, come in all sizes.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Thursday, November 10, 2011

while I'm waiting

I will move ahead, bold and confident
Taking every step in obedience
While I'm waiting I will serve You
While I'm waiting I will worship
While I'm waiting I will not faint
I'll be running the race even while I wait.


Several years ago this song came out for the movie Fireproof. For the longest kind of time I only associated the song with the movie's theme (marital problems and selfishness), but yesterday some of the words came to mind while I was waiting to hear a response from a friend. I am so much like a child on Christmas Eve. I think the world is going to end if Christmas morning doesn't come soon, and I can hardly focus on anything else besides what I want. But life doesn't stop. At one point this song went flitting through my mind, and I realized how appropriate it was for EVERYTHING. No matter what I'm waiting on - an e-mail, a phone call, situations, exciting events - my job to praise, serve, worship and persevere continues. It seems such an oxymoron to be waiting for something but be busy at the same time. But I'm finding that's one of the best antidotes to not worrying and becoming anxious. It re-focuses me on what is important and what I CAN do through Christ. And that is freeing, indeed.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

my new jokes

During the slow elections yesterday, one of the polling places I had to inspect shared a "Joke" a voter showed them. I found it VERY funny and shared it at another precinct. The poll workers my age and older really liked it. The college kid Chief Judge stared at us like we had three heads and DIDN'T FIND IT FUNNY NOT ONE LITTLE BIT. Although, I don't think he had quite recovered from the shock that grown-ups were carrying around change when I started telling it. Either way, I'm sure he had a lot of crazy stories to tell his whipper-snapper friends when he got home. (But I was very impressed with the job he did and his seriousness and energy toward the job.)


 Look closely at the penny. Check it out slowly.  Ready?




What is its smell?


(It's just a plain cent). hahahahahahahaha





 
Think carefully.

What fruit is this?




(Oh, come on! It's a pear!) 










Don't give up! You know this!
 
What three animals are here?




(Watch out! Three copperheads!!!) 


 And last but not least...

 What four cars are here?



(Seriously! You don't see four Lincolns?)






If it makes you feel any better, both Bobby and I missed all four questions, too. :)


Monday, November 7, 2011

conversations from yesterday :)

Me: Good morning! How are you today?
Girl: Great! Guess what happens to me this week?
Me: I have NO idea! What?
Girl: I have a birthday. I turn six.
Me: Six. Wow.
Girl: And then guess what happens the next day?
Me: I don't know.
Girl: He has a birthday. (pointing to her friend)
Me: (looking to her friend) And will you turn 10?
At this he laughs hysterically and the girl gets indignant: NO! He turns six, too! Looking to him, But since I turn six the day before, I'll be six and a half when you turn 6.

Me:  Did you tell Mr. Bobby about your big week?
Mr. Bobby: What happens this week?
Br: I'm having a birthday! to BW, Then I'll be six, too! I'll be 6 AND taller than you!
BW: Well, I still be 6 LONGER.
Me: Did you know that my little sister AND my little brother are both shorter than me?
BW: Some people are just born that way. I'm 26 seconds older than my brother, so I should be WAY taller, but I'm not. It's just the way we're born.




Friday, November 4, 2011

the big question

13 years ago last night I came home from work, tired as usual. I started supper, then went to work on grading essays, knowing that report cards would be going out soon. Bobby arrived after work like he normally did. The chicken was VERY dry, and the vegetables weren't all that great, either. After supper I dumped the dishes in the sink and he watched election results while I continued to grade papers. During one of the commercials, he asked me to get my calendar and see when would be a good time to head to South Carolina and see my parents. The closest date was around Thanksgiving. That didn't thrill him. He kept wanting to know why we couldn't shift some things around and go that weekend. I kept looking at that non-shrinking stack of essays and wondering where on earth his head was.
After he realized we weren't arriving at the same destination, and he told me to look in his wheelchair pouch. There I found a ring box, and it was already sized!!!
I promptly made arrangements to visit SC that Saturday, but I wore the ring the rest of the week (even though we weren't telling my parents over the phone!) The next morning at school one of the teachers spotted it between classes, and the news spread like wildfire throughout the school. My tenth graders wanted all the details, and they were more than a tad disappointed. They were totally convinced I was the most unromantic person on the face of the earth when I told them to get out their grammar books. 
"But Miss White, HOW can you teach GRAMMAR when you're so much in love and you just got a ring?"
I don't think my answer of "I'm thrilled, but life still goes on." impressed them too much.  But that night, before Wed night church, we headed to our favorite little hole in the wall, Eldorado's (which was then on 401) to celebrate.
And my romantic husband always remembers this date, and we almost always go there to eat on November 3rd now (even though it was actually the 4th when we ate there) to remember the night he popped the question.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

a snapper

While cleaning out e-mail this morning, I found a picture my sis-in-law sent after one of their summer NC visits. My niece, who wanted to throw away the worms and save them from their tortuous fate of being stuck, live, on a hook, and then swallowed by a fish, was the fortunate/unfortunate one to hook the huge snapping turtle. Everyone was excited by its size, except her. She cried. The poor thing had a hook stuck in its throat. The "poor thing" doesn't actually look that big in the photo, but you have to remember, this was taken with a camera phone with no zoom lens and from up on the pier. I don't think she'd be crying "poor thing" if she knew how dangerous these creatures can be, or had seen them demolish a baby goose. Regardless, with its heavy weight, it snapped the line before we could get it near the shore.

I'm thankful this thing is not my pet.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

My new wonder drug. Took away my sinus headache and helped me breathe better, too! :)