Wednesday, January 30, 2013

new territory

After our robbery last summer, I finally got in gear at the beginning of winter and started finalizing the process of learning more about self-defense. The more I learn, the more I realize there is to learn. But the biggest surprises have been the discovery that many of my pre-conceived ideas are wrong.

Idea #1: Small guns are better.
Whenever I envisioned myself as a gun owner, I always thought I'd have the tiniest gun possible. Boy was I wrong! The day I had some introductory lessons with a friend, I kept eyeing the smallest handgun they had (which in my opinion still wasn't small), and when I finally got to hold it and learn to shoot it, I absolutely hated it. HATED it. It felt awkward in my hand, I was scared of dropping it or shooting myself, my fingers more than swallowed all the safety feature buttons, and I felt myself becoming apprehensive. When my friend handed me her personal handgun later, I thought I'd hate it even more because it was SO big, but the instant it hit my palm, it felt right. As I've researched different brands and styles, I'm finding that the smaller guns are actually the least accurate in shooting. And the two times we've been to stores and looked at things, it was the larger handguns that "felt right".  Yesterday I couldn't help but laugh when a friend said, "You don't choose the gun. It chooses you."  I actually understood what she meant. Had you told me 20 years ago I'd be looking at the top 5 brands on my list, I'd have thought you were absolutely crazy.

Idea #2: It's easy to buy a gun.
I've completed paperwork, paid a fee, stood in line for 30 minutes on 2 different occasions and received paperwork that must be submitted when I purchase - to buy a gun that can only be on my property. If I carry it to a firing range, it has to be stored in a locked case in the trunk of my car until I arrive. To have a gun under the seat of my car, in the glove compartment, or on my person, I have to take an 8 hour class (which is not cheap) that includes a shooting test, pay to be fingerprinted, sign a release to have any mental records checked, fill out a three page form, pay another fee, and stand in lines at least two more times. I really don't mind all these safeguards, but to hear the media talk, I only have to walk into a shop with some money. It really doesn't work that way, at least not in NC.

Idea #3: Gun cabinets are pointless.
I've always wondered why people harped about having guns locked up. Most of the ones I've seen have glass covers so you can see the guns. (Think China cabinet, but for men) For serious collectors, I've seen the safes that are taller than me (and that cost an arm and a leg). But for something you plan to use at a moment's notice, having to get a key before you find the ammo and load seems like a waste of precious seconds. And if you've ever had to shoot at a fox or coyoted in the hen house, you know that every second counts. But as I've started thinking about safety and other issues, I realize the need for gun locks and safes. The coolest thing I've seen?  A biometric safe that only opens when the owner places their hands in the slots. It reads their fingerprints. It's not cheap, but I think if I'm going to waste money on a safe, that's the safest and easiest to use.

I told Bobby the other day that I feel like guns are a lot like fishing: everyone has their own opinion about what is best. But I have found that over and over I keep hearing experienced owners advising to get what you feel most comfortable with, because if you're not comfortable with it, you're not likely to use it, not even for practice.

If anything, I've learned reality often changes ideals. Who knows what I'll think about all this when it's all said and done. But for now, it's an interesting, and a bit intimidating, journey.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

birds

This past Friday when we had sleet and freezing rain, I spent a good chunk of the afternoon bird watching. Bobby was working from home so he had the computer, and instead of tackling the myriad of tasks before me, I found myself continuously stopping at the kitchen window to watch the influx of cardinals. I've never seen so many at one time.

a Papa cardinal on top of the dog pen. Notice the ice on his wings & feathers?

And a Momma cardinal, before she flew in to check out the dog food.

I don't know if this is a boy or girl, but there were quite a few "teenagers". 

It seemed only the Poppa cardinals went to the bird feeder.

And all the rest hung out beneath the feeder. I counted at least 7 at one point.

And I was NOT happy to see the hawk fly in the pine trees down by the pond. My zoom wouldn't go far enough, but you make out it's image a little in the center of the pic. Thankfully we left all the chickens locked up that day.

Monday, January 28, 2013

jobs

Many years ago I stood on the second floor of the English building and watched below as about 100 Chinese men dig up a small section of cement with shovels. It reminded me of an ant hill,  as the men wore navy or black and were scurrying around the work place. The road needed to be repaved, which meant tearing up the existing road. One small section of the road would be closed, dismantled, removed and then swept before they would move on to the next section. Road projects took forever. I asked my students about it one day, pondering why they didn't just bring in machines to do the work and have it done in a week, as opposed to a year and a half project. They looked at me horrified and replied, "And put all those people out of work?"

I've thought about that many times since returning back to my homeland. I've watched ATMs become so commonplace that banks have cut back on the number of bank tellers needed. Cashiers in grocery or department stores become less as self-service lanes open, sack boys no longer bag and deliver groceries to the car, and gas stations are now self-service only, eliminating 2-3 positions at each gas station of young men who gladly pumped gas.

Yesterday the News & Observer talked about how technology is slowly eliminating middle class jobs. The most recent example was Duke Energy putting chips on our meter boxes that automatically send wattage usage to the company, eliminating the need for meter readers. Whereas the company used to have 60 meter readers, they now have 6. And the list went on, from car manufacturing positions to now librarians at NC State (which are now robots evidently).

And that always takes me back to that conversation with my little communist students. They understood what it meant to look after other people. Inconvenience was something everyone simply lived with if it was in the best interest for society, such as keeping people working and contributing. I think about that everytime I pay a bill via the mail and someone asks "why don't you pay that online?" and I think about our almost bankrupt postal system. I squirm a little when I need to get money from the bank, and the teller lines are long but the ATM is almost empty. Do I give Nancy a few more minutes of business, or imply her job is not important by using a machine that does her very job? Am I joining the throng of people saying "We need to do something about this economy?" while my actions are saying convenience and a buck or two is much more important than a person? At what point does "advancement" actually begin the downward assent on the other side of the mountain?

I don't have answers. I enjoy technology, as much as I hated searching for a job in high school for six months when no one, not even fast food places, were hiring. (And I'll save my rant on kids today who say they can't find a job when I drive by 20 fast food places with NOW HIRING signs up for another day.)  And each time I near an ATM or the self-checkout desk at the library, I'll ponder which is more important: a person's job or convenience.



Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Happenings

Whistle Stop Quilt Shop closed this past week. Since it wasy located way out on 1010 (where it intersects with Kildaire Farm) I only went there when I needed a fabric I knew my two favorite stores wouldn't carry. They had the most impressive selection of antique-replica fabrics (which were already gone when I found out they were closing) and a lot of country/antique style decorations throughout the store. It was a calming place to shop, with plenty of room to move around and think. I'm sad they're gone, and it was even sadder watching the store owner struggle to keep back tears as her regular customers came in to say good-bye.

Meanwhile, a new quilt shop is opening in downtown Cary (where ETC crafts used to be). Rumor has it they'll be carrying new, modern fabrics. I may have to pay them a visit. :)

My machine is now back and in working order, and I'm really struggling with what is the wise and practical thing to do as far as machines and money go. My machine works well for the very basics. But after sewing on true quilting machines, I'm afraid I have a little green-eyed growth inside of me. I have decided against one of the more popular models. I just can't justify the cost.  But there's another that is half that price with all the accessories, AND same quilting space that will be on sale this weekend. And then of course today I get an e-mail from another store that has the long-arm machines that any quilter dreams of owning, and they have a 2 year old model someone is wanting to sell. It's twice the price of a sewing machine that quilts, would take up over half of my sewing room and require me to get rid of 95% of my art/design supplies, but just the thought of getting the machine with frame for 25% off, which almost never happens, makes me hesitate and think, hmmm....oh the possibilities!

But then reality kicks in and I start thinking about how often I would use it, how many quilts I would, could make in a year, and it really gives me pause. Especially when I stop and think about the fact we're about to see a drop in income as Bobby retires, at least for the first 6 months, I feel like now is not the time to be spending money on things that are not absolute necessities.

And while I ponder, I have a seam to rip out. Maybe one day I'll have a sewing day where I get everything right the first time. A girl can always dream! :)

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

authority

The ladies in our church have started reading through Jerry Bridges' book Respectable Sins. I'm on chapter four and so far it has been both an easy and difficult ready. It's been easy in the sense that Bridges is not preachy nor theological deep in this book, but difficult in that he's not hesitating to deal with the areas of our lives where we actually live.

Early on, he addresses the fact that disobedience to the commands of God is actually rebellion against the authority of God. We're challenging his laws and decrees, which He has the authority to make.  I've always pondered the verse from King David that said, "Against you and you only (talking to God) have I sinned."  The sins of King David impacted many, many people, but in all honesty, God is the only one we can truly sin against. People may wrong me or hurt me, but their sin is against God's laws, not against me. That's not an easy thing to digest.

And along those same lines, while reading and watching some of the inaugural highlights yesterday, Bobby made the comment that he was bothered by the number of people, specifically Christians, who showed disrespect to our President and his authority. We mentioned Daniel, and how he served a King with a different worldview, and yet Daniel was always respectful in his speech. For that matter, the three Hebrew friends who faced the fiery furnace were respectful, even after being threatened with their lives. Their refusal to obey was even respectfully stated. There was no rudeness nor sassiness in how they responded to his commands.

I normally struggle through reading non-fiction, but this is a book that I'm enjoying, even though it's very convicting. We won't finish our study until March, but if I finish reading early I'll try to give a final review. But so far it's all thumbs up!

Friday, January 18, 2013

so excited :)

Have I ever mentioned that Google is my favorite search engine ever? Cause it really and truly is.

And one of my next favorite websites is www.allrecipes.com   Can't remember that special recipe someone told you and it's NOT in your inbox?  Chances are, they'll have it. And that my friend, is totally awesome. Especially when you're hosting a baby shower the next day at your house and you cannot find the two recipes your friends gave you ANYWHERE. Those cards aren't with my books, in the box, or in the drawer with the kitchen towels nor on the flour canister. But all recipes had both of them (or at least something eerily similar). And at 6:36pm on a Friday night, that is rejoicing material.

My third favorite website (and this list does not include Blogger nor Facebook) is a tie between Pinterest and Twitter. I visit Twitter more, and I like the news snippets (I follow BBC because the British reports more international news than the US media does) as well as the multitude of quilting updates.  But Pinterest, which I visit the least, is VERY useful when trying to plan activities or come up with ideas. I don't use it as much as All recipes, but it's just as practical.

And having said all that, my house is probably the cleanest it's been in a long time. I've cleaned cabinets that haven't been cleaned since I don't know when, as well as closets. Now my sewing room is still in disarray, but that's okay. And in thirty minutes, we're stopping the housework for the evening and are simply going to relax. Yes, I'm old, and boring, and am quite happy being that way. :)

Thursday, January 17, 2013

jehovah-jireh

On Wednesday nights we've been studying the names of God in the Old Testament. Last night was one I knew, Jehovah-jireh (The LORD Will Provide), and yet it couldn't have been a more timely reminder or study.

Bobby and I have two close friends who are both fighting cancer right now, one terminally. I also have a cousin and a blogger friend going through the same battles.  After eating lunch with Wendy yesterday, I knew why she had been SO heavy on my heart last week, and my heart still grieves for all she and so many others are facing.

So it was quite comforting last night to be reminded of God's provisions. As Pastor Mike threw out scenarios at the end of class and we responded with Scripture that supported those claims, it was nice to hear and think of verses that remind us of His presence in the times that aren't the best.

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; ~ the first line of Isaiah 43:2.

A man’s heart plans his way, But the Lord directs his steps. ~ Proverbs 16:9
 
and Psalm 23... and on and on and on.
 
So this morning, my prayers are going up: that God will provide clarity of thought when the pain is so bad that life seems pointless, for medicine to actually work in the CORRECT way and not have the opposite effect intended, for doctors and nurses with compassion instead of heartlessness, for emotional strength for close family and friends as they undergird and build up, for the freedom to cry and that "peace that passes understanding", for wisdom as a friend to know how to best help and pray, and THANKFULNESS that we serve a God who can bring "beauty from ashes" and loves my friends and their families even more than I do.
 
I know God's ways are not mine, and how He provides and answers prayers are not always in agreement with my wants. And I think that's why I can grasp the passage that talks about peace no one can understand. It's hard to explain how your heart can be at peace and yet hurt at the same time. And yet it does happen. He does provide, even if it's not in a Santa claus fashion where a wish is his demand.
 
 

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

When I grow up...

During my childhood, I was blessed to know many women who started new hobbies/careers late in life. So even now, I'll say "When I grow up, I want to..." and people, especially kids, will look at me in the strangest way.

Two years ago I had a very startling reality check that should I live to my eighties (when most healthy people in my family seem to die), then my life was halfway over. While it was shocking, it was also a very good motivator. I've started doing some things I've always wanted to do but just never seemed to have the time for.

I don't know if I will ever do any of these things, and some of them are NOT realistic at all, but here's my future career list:
  • quilt shop owner
  • restaurant owner
  • nurse, working on something like the Mercy ship
  • an author
  • a publisher
  • house supervisor at a children's home
As you can tell, I won't accomplish most of these. And that's okay. But I am VERY thankful to live in a country where educational opportunities, even for frivolous things like quilting and art and writing, do not end with formal education. We are blessed with so many opportunities. When I think of how many countries I would not even be able to read, much less write, because I am a girl, it almost takes my breath away. In college I often wondered why God blessed me so much by having me born as an American when there are so many smarter and more talented people in this world who don't even have one-fourth of the opportunities I have been gifted with. It's startling, and also makes me want to treasure every opportunity that comes my way.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

reading

Nothing is cooler than to watch the face of a kid learning to read. Everything is new and exciting and you can see the comprehension covering their face as they finally grasp what a word is. When my nephew learned to read we could not take him anywhere without him sounding something out.

I was reminded me of that a few weeks ago. Some friends were over, and their daughter who is learning to read stopped as they were heading out the door. Her head was tilted up and she had a puzzled look on her face. Her mother could not figure out why on earth she was dwaddling, but I knew. Above the entrance to our living room we have blocks (printed to look like Scrabble letters) that spell out our last names. She was sounding them out, trying to figure out what it spelled. When you think about it, BRYAN is a very strange word for a beginning reader.

We don't play Scrabble that often because it takes so long, but I loved the decor look. What could be better for two word lovers?

Another reason we don't play Scrabble that much is it really brings out our differences. Bobby examines the board, figures out the point value of a word and how he could best improve the score. I tend to go for the biggest word I can make, which means I have to play it wherever it will feet. So while I end the game with the most creativity, he wins. But who's counting, right?

Saturday, January 12, 2013

weekend highlights

First, and most revolutionary...my sewing machine is "fixed"! The paradigm of my world no longer feels unsettled. I'm cautioning myself not to get too excited, as I've watched the repairman demonstrate, but haven't actually put layers of fabric (as opposed to his one) with batting under the needle to quilt. But he did replace the needle clamp, and told me I must be a very clumsy seamstress to have 4 needles and half a dozen pins inside the bowels of my machine. Little do you know, sir. Little do you know.

Second, this weekend has been another one of those "double-minded" times. Friday night we attended a basketball game at Bobby's alma mater (and they were honoring his brother's class and basketball team...the school's first state champs...1976) and as I watched all the kids running around and playing, I had to struggle to watch other things and keep my focus and not be consumed by the "I wanna kid so bad, Lord" craze. Then Saturday morning we had to be up much earlier than our normal Saturday time as someone was coming to help me move something (and they came earlier than said and I barely had Bobby ready which means I was still in pjs so didn't have to help at all), and as the alarm was going off at 6:15am I kept telling myself that all my friends with kids didn't get to sleep in one day a week as their children woke them up about that time every Saturday. And I could honestly mutter "Thanks Lord for no kids and not having to do this every Saturday."

Third, our dog has started chasing the chickens. He's now in "time out" in his pen for the second time this weekend. I'm thinking we're going to start some serious leash training this next week whether my neck and soul and schedule like it or not.

And last, but certainly not least, I've done a fair amount of sorting through paperwork and such. It's shocking and amazing how much we accumulate so quickly. I'm hoping this is the year we can read through a lot of our books and sort what are keepers and what are tossers/traders. My goal is to have half the mound on my dresser gone, whether in the bookcases or out the door, by the end of this year. The sad things is a good majority of them are non-fiction, which always take me FOREVER to read. I'm trying to make myself read a chapter a week in at least one of the 10 I've started over the last few years. I can honestly say I've read a few that have been good, but I will always be a true fiction aficionado.

And other than a headache and more napping than I care to do, that's been most of our weekends. I guess that I'm strange in that I never really consider Sundays to be part of the weekend because it's totally consumed with church and family. It's not really a day off for us, unlike Friday night and Saturday where we can actually do things.

So that's it...our weekend in review.

Friday, January 11, 2013

UN treaty thoughts

Several weeks ago there was a big hullaballoo about a UN treaty on disability rights that was being voted on by our nation. We vetoed it, even though many Republicans such as John McCain and Bob Dole heavily supported it. I follow Rick Santorum on Facebook, and he adamantly opposed it. I'm not going to repeat some of the things he wrote, but it had me very concerned.

Yesterday Bobby received a copy of the New Mobility magazine, which we've never paid for, never ordered, tried to cancel, and yet we still keep getting it. The editor had some very rude and scathing things to say about Republicans, the south, and the biased hatred among people who opposed this bill.

So I did what I should have done several months ago. I spent forever trying to hunt this treaty down (would you believe NO news media, pro or con,  had a link to it?!) and see what it said for myself. The more we're around politics, the more I find even "good" people distort what documents actually say to bolster their own points of views.

After skimming the 37 page document, and reading some pages very closely, here's what I found:

  • There's no mention of home-schooling in it anywhere. (Opponents claimed it would prevent disabled kids from being home-schooled.) What it DID mention was that children with disabilities should not be locked away in institutions without the same access to activities and educations other children have, and that educational opportunities, including lifeskills training, should be offered to them.
  • Technology should be made both affordable and adaptable to people with disabilities whenever possible. (Found it interesting that this wasn't talked about much here. For those of you who know me, you've heard my rants on how each "upgrade" in computers and cell phones make these items more inaccessible to my husband and how finding a cell phone he can operate is almost impossible now.)
  • There's no national/international list or database required in this treaty. The only information even slightly resembling this was that statistics to collect information, such as statistical and research data, to help formulate policies, and that such data would be confidential and and any information collected must protect individual freedoms and adhere to ethical prinicples. That's not the same thing as a national list or database of disabled people.
  • There was one reference to the Bill of Children's Rights, which always concerns me. While I do think as individual creations of God children have the God-given right to think and make decisions, nowhere does that right supersede the right of the authority, whether it be parental or governmental, that God has placed over them. As children mature, they should be consulted about their thoughts on medical treatments and such, but children alone do not have the capabilities of making the sole decision concerning their well-being.

The one thing that bothered me, and I'm sure bothered many Republicans, is that the signing of such legislation places the country under the governances of the United Nations. Once you sign the treaty, you agree to begin implementing its policies within 6 months, subject yourself to oversight should a citizen or another country complain, and if complaints are not adequately addressed, but subject to a visit by the UN Protocal of that division. Decide you no longer want to be a part of the group or treaty? Write a letter, and a year after its received you can quit adhering to it.  A year. That totally astounds me. When you quit, you quit. A year's notice to stop adhering to something or removing yourself from a boss? That seems a bit overkill to me.

In my personal opinion, if politicians were truly concerned with helping people with disabilities, they would address the problems in our nation that we have instead of worrying about our neighbors. Enforce the ADA and make every apartment complex have a certain percentage of accessible housing. Make accessible house plans more readily available. Require companies to provide at LEAST one cell phone or computer that is designed to be used by people with impaired mobility. Enforce the ADA requirments on sidewalks and curb cuts, on parking, on seating at venues. Put some teeth to our laws. If it's illegal to park in a handicap zone, then provide a policeman or department we can call every week when it happends. If it's illegal in the US to not offer handicap seating at plays and theaters and movies, then have someone to enforce that. Saying something is illegal is worthless if every time we call a theater we are told we can only purchase two seats in handicap seating when there are three or four people in our group. Laws are only as good as their enforcement. Movie theaters that offer one seating option, where your head is titled at a 60 degree angle to see the screen, are not ADA compliant, and yet no one requires them to change. And I could go on and on and on and on.

Do I agree with placing ourselves under the auspices of the UN? No. But the UN Disability treaty was not the horrible document Republicans made it out to be. And if we're really concerned with disabilities and the rights of people, we won't need a UN treaty to make things better here.
 

Thursday, January 10, 2013

3 steps forward, 2 steps back

Yesterday's class:

Successes:                                                    Failures:
Learned a new technique                             Killed my sewing machine
Used a new store model                               Am now REALLY wanting a new one
Have a good beginning on a quilt                Can't sew anything at home until repairs are made

I've spent some time online researching possible fixes to my machine, and have finally decided to take it somewhere to be serviced. Depending on options and cost, I may have it repaired (if that's a possibility), but I'm also researching machines that will actually quilt (and no, not the longarms, we've already ruled that out). There is a big possibility that the problem with my machine is that I'm pushing it to do things it wasn't created to do. I may be able to have it repaired and use it for basic sewing and get something that I used just for quilting. We'll see.

Meanwhile, today is Bobby's birthday. I think I was able to surprise him this morning, and we're going out for supper with his Mom tonight. I had planned a big meal in my mind, but this cold has me somewhat brain-dead and I've not organized our schedule this week very well. He was gracious about it, and told me he'd gladly take a rain check when I was feeling better. I'm hoping this is the last week of this.

So quilt-wise 2013 is off to a very bizarre start. I've finished one quilt-top, started another, and hurt my sewing machine. And now I'm off to google repairmen in the area.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

fabric day

Well, looks like Blogger has removed the option of uploading pictures from your computer or camera, so I may not be able to upload photos of a recently finished quilt top or fabric I'm adding to my stash (or hoard, as Bobby likes to call it).

Today I'm joining two other quilting buddies at a quilt shop in North Raleigh for a quilting class. I've seen these quilts at shows where both the front and the back of the quilt are pieced (as opposed to the front being a design and the back being one large piece of fabric), but could never quite figure out how they did that without a LOT of trouble and painstaking work. This class teaches how to do that, and it's supposed to be a simple process. I'm a little nervouse about the whole thing as I'm not totally sold on the whole "quilt as you go" fad. I have one quilt my Grandmother made me that was quilted in pieces and then sewn together, and of all the quilts I own it's the most fragile one I have. I no longer use it for fear it won't hold up much longer. But I'm hoping with machine quilting and an experienced teacher talking me through (my Grandmother self-taught herself through books), I'm hoping I might have a better result. Regardless, it will be fun.

And if you've ever wondered how the designs on quilt fabric comes to be, one of my favorite fabric producers has an interview with one of their designers. I've actually bought a good bit of her fabric (and one of her Christmas lines was on back order at 2 different stores in our area forever!), and was thrilled to actually read a little bit about her.

Happy sewing!

Monday, January 7, 2013

game night

Tonight's the big game. Bobby's nephew is a fan of Notre Dame and he will be pulling for the Fighting Irish. I challenged him to join me at his Dad's house to watch the game, but he hasn't taken me up on the offer. Nevertheless, my brother-in-law has graciously agreed to let us invade his house for the evening to watch the game. Granted, the game starts late, we're not late night people, and both he and Bobby have to be up early in the morning, but I'm a little excited about getting to watch the game AND getting to watch it on a large screen. :) Time will tell how much of it we actually stay to watch.

Bobby likes to laugh that I'm not a true Alabama fan. The reality is, I'm not a big sports fan period. But when you hear people talk about football 90% of the time, it does become a way of life. Growing up, I always knew the names of most of the players, not because I watched the games, but from listening to the gazillion conversations around me. Pre-church conversation? Football. After-church conversation? Football. Radio small-talk and jokes? Football. Grocery store conversations? Football. News announcements? Football. Majority of the sports page in the newspaper? Football. Wal-mart displays? Football. So it wasn't hard at all to absorb football growing up.

And now? I watch one - three games a season, and I might learn the names of one or two players. Since people here don't eat, breathe, and sleep football, I don't hear the constant barrage of it. And truthfully, I don't miss that. It's nice hearing about world events or news items that don't pertain to pigskin, sweat, coaching and scandal. I can discuss books or quilting or fishing or non-critical health stuff during football season and not appear as if I have two heads. And then, when it matters, I can watch the game. And tomorrow, when it's all over, everyone here will resume their lives as if nothing happened at all. No wringing of hands or gnashing of teeth, no loud posturing or reliving of EVERY.SINGLE.CALL. It will be a small blip on the news radar, and nothing more. And in my heretical frame of mind, that is as it should be.

So while everyone else is going about their normal life tonight, I'll be eating chocolate chip cookies and drinking Dr. Pepper and screaming "What are you doing?" at the television.

You can take the girl out of Alabama, but you can't take the Bama out of the girl. :)

Roll Tide.



Friday, January 4, 2013

Hard to believe

Last night we were counting days, and it shocked me a little to realize in less than 50 days Bobby will be retired. It seems unreal, exciting, and scary all at the same time. I know life will be very different for both of us once that actually happens, but with some of the health issues he's faced the last year, I think it's time.
So this week his office is conducting interviews to find his replacement. I've never sat through a lot of interviews in my life, so I can't say what is a common question or proper response. But I think I can honestly say I would never intentionally criticize or offend people on the interview committee. To me that seems counter-productive. Maybe it's because I've only worked in one office environment so I don't understand the brutal opinions bantered around, but somehow I can't see offering a critical opinion on future co-workers/supervisors as a way to gain favor when seeking employment. I imagine that interviewee would probably think of me as a mouse or a doormat, but it doesn't make a whole lot of sense in my way of thinking.
Meanwhile, sometime in the next 7 weeks, we've got an office to clean out, pack up, and unpack at home. And the ride begins...

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

ipod

Before we headed to Alabama for my birthday, I downloaded a few (okay, a LOT) of Christmas music on itunes, and started to load in on my ipod nano. Only it wouldn't work. It wouldn't even turn on. My computer wouldn't recognize it, and I finally got itunes to acknowledge it was there, only to have it tell me my little nano was "corrupt". 

I think it's fair to say I was not pleased. Even though I've had it for several years now, it wasn't cheap. So when we got home from our trip (of which we had to listen to "I'll Be Home for Christmas" at LEAST every hour on the radio), I tried several fixes apple suggested. Still nothing.

Today, I googled it, and tried the suggestion a bunch of kids made on a forum. It worked. (Holding the off/on button for 20 seconds...who'd a thunk it?)

Yes, that sound you thought was thunder was actually me doing my happy dance. I so love google!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

illuminating moments

Inevitably when two people forge a new life together, they discover things they thought were normal can be perceived as "strange" to others.

We had one of those moments today.

There are many things, whether it be sayings or habits, that make my husband grin and say "Is that a White/Guyton thing or an Alabama thing?"  Sometimes I take to Facebook and find out it's unique to my family. Othertimes friends and family from home respond with "WHAT? You mean people in NC don't say/do that?!?" so we know it's regional.

Since we slept in this morning and had a late breakfast, we had a late lunch, and I decided it needed to be light as well. Turns out my husband has NEVER had a pineapple sandwich. He's never even HEARD of it. Incredible. Absolutely incredible. I guess I've just eaten them when he's been at work.

So after lunch, he googles it, and discovers that it is an Alabama tradition, and not something crazy I made up.

After reading the article, he informed me he didn't get the true deal, because it's not supposed to be on wheat bread. I didn't tell him, but I actually bought him some white bread for his sandwiches this week. Married life is all about compromises, after all. And my parents, when I told them about it, said "You mean you didn't put any cheese on it for him?" 

Maybe one day I'll get it right.

But I'm not going to hold my breath or anything.