Sunday, December 31, 2006

SEASONS -- A YEAR IN REVIEW

SEASONS ... that word sums up my 2006.

I was never more convinced of the significance of that theme in my life as I was this morning, when one of the pastors of my home church, Randy Shafer, stood up in front of the congregation and told us he has been diagnosed with cancer ... a pretty significant, life-altering event for him personally, and for our church collectively. And while I sat there watching this man pour out his heart to us, I realized that I was somewhere in between feeling utter heartache for he and his family and grading him on his reaction to this news.

You see, my life has weathered some pretty significant events as well (nothing quite so major as cancer), and whether I chose to acknowledge it or not, I had an audience that was closely monitoring my reactions to the whole ugly mess. Sadly, I wasn't nearly as strong or as audacious in my faith as Randy was today.

If I know Randy at all, which I can't say I do well, but if I know him just a little, I know that he would want, above all else, to have Jesus shining clearly through the ugliness of this disease. "Cancer doesn't define me," was Randy's resounding statement this morning. I gotta tell you -- that took guts to say. That took audacious faith.

I say a lot of stuff on this blog, most of it is crap ... me just being the big goober that everyone that knows me well, knows I am! And I'm cool with that. However, I don't want the weaknesses that I have define me. I don't want those cracks in my faith to be my lasting impression. I've said it before, and I will say it again, I don't want to be a small drip in a mud puddle. I want this life to stand for something. I want to be a fantastic ripple in the sea of humanity. I want my life to have significance to those around me. Don't we all ...

So, today, this blog entry is one of my few non-crap items.

My life theme this year has been SEASONS. From the sometimes incapacitating depression of not having a job to the over the top high of moving two states away to start a new adventure and everything in between, my life this year has been a cycle of seasons. I resisted the seasons for a long time, willing change to keep it's distance, but what I was really doing was denying the inevitable cycle of this life we've been given and denying myself the adventure that such cyclical movement brings.

On the banner or masthead of my blog, I have the following saying:
"Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, champagne in one hand -- strawberries in the other -- body thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and screaming: 'Woo Hoo! What a ride'!"

I have no idea who wrote it, but God bless them for putting into words what I want my life to be! I want to experience each season to the fullest with the audacity that God intended! I want to live boldly, live fully, live intentionally, live well, and live out loud!

BRING IT ON 2007!

Saturday, December 30, 2006

POST-CHRISTMAS CHRISTMAS SHOPPING

I have the first Christmas present of 2007!!! Got it today! I'm so pleased with myself I don't know what to do right now!

Here's my plan: when I get home to Kentucky, I'm going to put this first Christmas present in a clear tub and label the bag with the recipient's name and holiday. Then I can clearly see it in the tub. I figure that I can use this tub to store all kinds of gifts: birthday gifts, shower gifts, secret pal gifts, just-becasue gifts! As I find things, I can pick them up. I'm soooo excited with this preceived new organized me, and, quite frankly, I'm feeling a bit brilliant.

My only concern with starting so early is that I won't be able to find where I hide the presents. Well, please, blogger community, help me remember that I've already started my Christmas shopping.

Friday, December 29, 2006

KISSABLY EDIBLE

I got my baby fix today! I traveled to Carrie and Tom's house to hang with Carrie and Baby Fish, otherwise known as Jack. The boy is kissably edible!!!! I had my lips all over his face most of the afternoon. Poor Carrie. I'm sure she was ready to boot me out the door, but I had a blast cuddling her boy, what can I say!

I took a few photos that I can't wait todown load on my computer when I get back home to Kentucky. Rest assured, I will be posting them on the blog. What sort of friend would I be if I didn't plaster at least one blog full of that kissably edible face!?

Also, I promised Carrie that I would blog about Gibbyher rather trampish cat after she made the mistake of saying, "you'd better not blog about that." For now, I will leave you all hanging ... but there are pictures needless to say.

I miss you, Carrie. Send LOADS of Baby Fish photos!

Thursday, December 28, 2006

POST-HOLIDAY BLUES

It's happened again. Every year I say that I won't fall victim to the "blues." Then every year the holidays fly by in a flurry, and I'm left feeling a bit down.

I'm not sure why ... other than I tend to have a proclivity toward depression.

So, I'm looking for good, healthy ways to stay up beat. One of them is a trip I will be taking in a few weeks to Gatlinburg, TN. I can't wait!!!! I've always wanted to stay in the Smokey Mountains, and now I get the chance! I CAN'T WAIT!!!!

For Christmas, my parents surprised my sister and I with new digital cameras (and accessories). You can be sure that I will be bringing that baby to the Smokies and sending you all my fabulous photos!

Christmas was wonderful! It always is. I was able to attend Westwinds Community Church and get my fix there! I soooooo miss my church! I've been able to spend a lot of quality time with my family and some friends ... it's really been wonderful.

I guess it's just a bluesy time of year.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

WARNING: BONE-HEADEDNESS CAN BE COSTLY

About two months ago, we had a pretty heavy frost in Frankfort. I went out to start up my truck, scraped as much as I could off all of the "important" areas, and then suddenly got the great idea to roll the window down to get the rest off.

I hit the button, and the motor went. Sadly, the window stayed frozen in it's place. The end result was ... well, let's just say ... BIG MONEY.

The terms window regulator and $215 have been bandied about.

To quote Charlie Brown, "GOOD GRIEF!"

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

CLOSURE

CLOSURE ... the following entry seems fitting in light of another year drawing to a close ...

He seemed nice enough, but was not the typical person I was interested in. In fact, two years ago, I was initially not at all interested in this particular guy -- what he represented to me. However, he made the first steps to get to know me, or so I thought, and what girl doesn't like being pursued if only a little bit?

I should have been suspicious from the get go ... he was younger than me ... he had some pretty significant professional commitments pending ... but it was fun. It was fun to get the emails from him, and it was fun to get the phone calls from him -- and before I knew what was happening, I was getting wrapped up in it all. That really should have been my first red flag because he said all the right things and gave me all the right answers. However, he never really let me in ... you know, the digging deeper part of getting to know someone better.

Then the second red flag ... I'd get lots of emails and phone calls, and then nothing. A dry spell ... and then another flurry of emails and phone calls ... and then nothing. With each flurry came a whole wad of excuses why there had been a lag, and placing myself in the role of martyr, I allowed him to get away with the excuses because he just seemed like a nice guy.

I could go on an on about the ridiculousness of the whole thing. I could start saying I blamed myself for a lot of the issues that ensued, and, maybe, a bit of it was my fault. However, I think it's pretty gutless to be told in an email that I just wasn't his cup of tea. It was hurtful in light of the fact that I should have been told in the phone conversation we'd had a week earlier ... especially when he informed me that he'd met someone else.

It should have stopped there. I should have been hurt, angry, and then left it. However, he said he still wanted to be friends ... [insert eye roll here]. Despite my better judgement, I continued to stay in contact with him, all the while reminding myself this was nothing more than friends. And, honestly, I was cool with that. Then a dozen roses came on Valentines Day, and I was once again flung into a spinning web of mixed messages and conflicting emotions.

Long story made semi-short, two months after the roses, and a long year of trying to figure the whole mess out, he once again emailed me to reiterate the fact that I was never going to be anything more to him than friends. He went on to explain that he was working on relationships with two other women besides me! In the words of a friend, he'd been a dirty, playin' dog!

So, why am I writing all of this ... a complete departure from my normal, every day drivel? Because I had a revelation ... an epiphany of sorts.

I've often wondered why I would be put into the path of a person that would treat me so poorly ... and furthermore, I've wondered why I would allow myself to be treated so poorly. The epiphany I've had is so clear: He is a player ... a selfish individual that really only cares for his own feelings. If he had been more than that, he might have had the decency to be up front with me. I was, as that same friend told me later, his backup plan. Furthermore, there are two other women that he gave no consideration to. I don't know where they are in the whole grand scheme of things today, but I wonder if they know they'd been played too?

Here's the deal, and the second half of my epiphany: I am no one's back up plan. I am not to be played, and I won't be toyed with.

Sometimes, I wished I'd been a bit meaner in my final email to him. I wished I'd told him what I really thought of him when I had the chance. I took the moral high ground, and I backed away with my dignity intact, I'd hoped.

He sometimes enters my mind, and up to this point, it's always been with some degree of resentment that he was running around somewhere playing on the emotions of other females. Now, though, I just feel sorry for him ... and for the others that were caught up in his ... I don't even know what you would call it ... his selfishness?

Why am I writing this? Writing has always been a release for me ... a way to let loose emotions. I suppose, putting into words what bugs me, is a way to put closure on certain items in my life. I've come to realize, as significant or insignificant as this part of my life was, it didn't have closure. It's time now for that closure ... I may have stooped low for this one, but oh well. The high ground isn't always what it's cracked up to be, and we all need to be a bit immature every once in a while anyway!

Saturday, December 23, 2006

SNITS CAN BE DANGEROUS

Every now and again, I get into a snit where razors are concerned.

I go into the aisle where the razors are kept, pick up the brand of blades I need for my particular razor, I check out the price, and then the tirade begins.

"$8 for three razors!? This is ridiculous! This is outrageous! What are these blades made of? GOLD??? They had better be for $8!!!!"

Then I grab at the 20 razors for a $1.50, and I think to myself, "These are all a person needs. For heaven's sake, shaving your legs isn't brain surgery!"

But for a week and a half, your shower looks like there has been brain surgery as the water is literally flowing blood-red! And after you've cut your legs to a fairthy-well, you think to yourself, "Okay, yes. There was a reason I paid $8 for three razor blades. My legs always came out smooth, silky, and scar free."

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

THEY'VE SUCKED THE LIFE RIGHT OUT OF ME

They've sucked every ounce ... every miniscule ounce right out of my beaten and broken body.

Okay, okay, perhaps I'm being a tad over the top ... a teensy bit like a drama queen, but unless you've taught children in the days leading up to Christmas, you have NO IDEA (unless, of course, you are a mom, and then, well, you sooooo know my pain).

It is 11:50 p.m. All the presents are wrapped ... all the laundry is done ... all the bags are semi-packed ... the to-do list is complete ...

LET THE HOLIDAYS BEGIN!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

SUPER STAR HAIR



I just got back from the stylist's, and, I've got to tell you, I've got SUPER STAR HAIR!!! I asked for a bit of an update with a bit more bounce and movement. Boy did I get it!!
The only problem is that Susan, my new stylist, won't be here when I wake up tomorrow and must tackle the whole "hair-drying" issue on my own. Super Star hair comes once every six weeks, I'm afraid.
Perhaps the brand-spanking new hair dryer I just had to lay big $$$ down for tonight will do the trick. My old one still works, but it doesn't really heat up anymore ... minor details.
It's amazing what one must go through just to get this ... this ... plain!

Monday, December 18, 2006

JACK THOMAS IS HERE!!!

This is a shout out to my good friend, Carrie. She and her husband, Tom, just welcomed little Jack Thomas on Sunday, December 17th. I've seen photos, and he's edible, folks!!!! So cute!!!

Carrie, I can't wait to see him when I'm home. Take care, girl, and be ready with all the gory stories ... we single girls just LOVE to hear all the labor and delivery horror stories.

Hugs to you all!

MONDAY RANDOM THOUGHTS

I've been a little silent this weekend ... busy, busy, busy, busy! It's amazing I can put a sentence together and make sense ... seriously. But only three more days, and if I can get through today's Rewards Trip to the Lexington Ice Center, then, I'm well on my way to a relaxing vacation in the "frozen tundra."

Random Thought #1 ... I went shopping Saturday in Georgetown, and I thought it would be nice to stop at a favorite coffee shop for their Southern Pecan Coffee (YUMMY!!) and a quick bite to eat. This is what I've decided: It is NEVER good to sit at the bar next to the food preparation area! NEVER! You will never want to eat out again, when you witness the things they do and say.

RT #2 ... Gift bags are beating out wrapping paper, folks. Personally, I think this is a sad thing., but this is what the Wall Street Journal said the other day. Throwing a gift in a gift bag is especially appealing to men, according to the article. They aren't the fussy types. I don't know ... I just like the anticipation of watching someone slowly (or maybe not so slowly) unwrap a gift you spent a lot of time and effort picking out for them. Seems to take some of the fun out of Christmas if you use gift bags exclusively.

RT #3 ... Were you aware that holiday cards can now be sent to your family and friends in the form of DVDs? Instead of the newsy Christmas letters, you can now view soccer games and holiday concerts. Again, call me old fashioned, but I love opening up the mailbox and seeing what sort of Christmas cards are awaiting me ... especially in light of the fact that I've moved away from many of you! Thanks to all who've sent me cards and letters. I've loved reading them all!!!

RT #4 ... Just because a person is born in Michigan, doesn't mean they come out of the womb knowing how to ice skate. As I mentioned while opening my Random Thoughts, today we are taking the 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th graders on a Rewards Trip to the Lexington Ice Center. Everyone has been asking me if I will skate. When I say I don't have the first clue how, they act like I've just spoken in tongues. They're shocked; I mean, I'm a Michigan girl. I should know how to skate, for heaven's sake. My mom gave me a great come-back. It goes something like this, "If you grew up in Kentucky, why can't you make moonshine!?"

Thursday, December 14, 2006

CAN IT REALLY BE?

Can we really only have 11 days until Christmas?

MAN! I was going to try to enjoy my Christmas season this year, too!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

SOMETHING FUNKY SMELLS

Every morning, I step out of my door and am assaulted by a very funky odor.

Every morning, I step out of my door and think, "Some one is eating some NASTY breakfast."

Every morning, I step out of my door and think, "What the heck is that smell!?"

This morning, I step out of my door, and, suddenly, it hits me!

Jim Beam is just down the road. I'm smelling SOUR MASH!!

It's better than smelling Guardian spewing and puffing down the street, but what I wouldn't give to smell Fruit Loops in the air again!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

HMMMM ... THAT SOUNDS FAMILIAR

I pile into my truck this morning (another ugly hair knot tied percariously at the nape of my neck) and start the engine.

The news guy on the radio begins a news story on stolen guns in Frankfort. My ears perk up ... as perky as ears can get when one is working on just a mere cup of coffee.

"It would seem," says the news guy, "a shotgun was stolen from a Frankfort City Police cruiser while it was parked out in front of the officer's home on Fiddlesticks Way (name has been changed).

Now, beyond the disturbing fact that someone would actually steal a gun OUT OF A POLICE CRUISER, I can't shake the fact that Fiddlesticks Way sounds familiar to me.

"Why does Fiddlesticks Way sound so familiar to me?"

I keep asking myself this all the way to school ... until, like a ton of bricks (or maybe similar to the sinking feeling the officer felt when he walked outside and noticed his SHOTGUN was missing from his POLICE CRUISER), it occurs to me! FIDDLESTICKS WAY!!!! That's the road I turn on to get to my street!!!!!

Not only did one of my neighbors (or someone connected to them) steal a shotgun -- THEY STOLE A POLICE-ISSUE SHOTGUN!

We're either dealing with the really stupid here ... or the really scary ... either way, my doors and windows will continue to stay locked!

Monday, December 11, 2006

DROWNING!!!!!!!!!!

I'm drowning in the pool of "It's All Gotta Be Done Now!"

Why did I go swimming in the pool in the first place? Who really knows! Fatalistic tendencies, I suppose. Yet, I sit here wanting to do nothing but go to bed, all the while, there is a mountain of things on the TO DO list to try to accomplish.

Will it end?

I doubt it highly ...

Saturday, December 09, 2006

CHRISTMAS -- TOWNHOUSE-STYLE

This is baking central. Always messy in baking central!
These are the results of baking central ... about a bazillion dozen chocolate chip cookies!
A portion of my bone nativity scene ...
My festive dining room ...
A festive stocking garland going down my entry way ...

My pitiful tree with a pedestal stand (of sorts) full of four year old gingerbread cookies (they've been schlacked ... if that's how you spell it ...)

CHRISTMAS WITH A CAT

What appears to be wrong with my Christmas tree? Could it be possible that there is a higher concentration of lights on the top than on the bottom? THIS IS WHY I HATE MY CAT DURING THE CHRISTMAS SEASON!!!!!

Thursday, December 07, 2006

PARALLEL LIVES

It would seem my sister and I are living parallel lives.

You must read her blog entry for today entitled STORY TIME. Also, it might be of interest for you to read the on-going commentary by "the one's what gived us our DNA, ya'll" otherwise known as the Peanut Gallery.

http://frogsandflops.blogspot.com/

I SUCK AT FLIRTING

I came to this realization today when a pickup full of men ... real, live, breathing men pulled up beside me, and one started waving at me. Instead of smiling sweetly, I gave them the same "what-planet-did-you-just-fall-off-of- and-what-made-you-think-you-could-land-near-me" death stare.

They sped off quickly ...

I was left wondering why it's so hard to meet nice guys ...

"Could it be something I'm doing????" she wonders absent-mindedly.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

ARTISTIC AND EARTHY


I've decided to run with the whole ARTISTIC and EARTHY thing.

VARIATIONS ON THE UGLY HAIR KNOT

The Ugly Hair Knot ...

Usually, when I'm stressed and tired and really could care less, I gather my hair into a giant wad of uncombed hair and try to wrestle it into a rubber band for the day. Former co-workers and my family are all very familiar with the hair knot.

I was hoping not to make the good citizens of Kentucky as familiar with it, but, alas, it took exactly three days into the school year before I pulled out the Ugly Hair Knot.

I now have a frightening variation on the hair knot, and I've, sadly, worn them with a great deal of regularity! This new hair creation (I use the term creation loosely) is called the Double Ugly Hair Knot. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I put two knots in my uncombed, usually wet hair, and try to pull it off as some sort of artistic, earthy thing.

Apparently, that is not the look that is being put forth based on the very odd look I got from one of the caferteria ladies this morning.

Oh ... and I wonder why I'm still single ...

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

IF I WERE A REMOTE CONTROL, WHERE WOULD I HIDE?

I can't find my DVD/VCR remote control! I've looked everywhere, and nothing! I always put it away in the right-hand drawer of my antique entertainment center/cabinet thingy. It's not there. I've looked twice.

Where does a remote control go when one is at work? Does it have a secret life of which I'm unaware?

Or maybe it's Maddie the Cat! I bet she kicks back in the papason chair once I leave for work, swilling a beer or two (if I had such a beverage here), smoking (that would explain the stale smoke smell that permeates EVERYTHING in this house), and channel surfs. That's it! She's been doing her best to annoy the crap out of me lately. I bet she hid the remote to make me mad. I mean, why not!? She's already started jumping through the Christmas tree, and she tore down no less than three ornaments earlier this evening ... batting them around the living room.

I now understand the meaning behind Disney's old movie, That Darn Cat!

Monday, December 04, 2006

GETTING ALL 'SUSIE HOMEMAKER' ON YOUR BUTTS

The pork chops are baking in their bed of chopped apples and raisins with maple sauce ... the washer is washing ... the dryer is drying ... the tree is lit and the decorations are waiting to be hung ... the vacuum cleaner is standing at the ready ... the table is set ... lunch is made for tomorrow ... the ingredients for some yummy holiday treats are waiting to be mixed ... I plan to drop into bed this evening from the sheer exhaustion of getting all SUSIE HOMEMAKER on your butts.

I'm tired of coming home and plopping in front of the TV and surviving for the rest of the evening. If I'm going to fall asleep in front of the tube, it's because I've been running my big, fat butt and no other reason!

Can I have an AMEN!?

Sunday, December 03, 2006

SANTA CLAUS HAS COME TO TOWN

On Saturday, I went to Versailles to join Ann, my sister, in watching the Versailles Christmas Parade. I was particularly interested in seeing how a southern small-town does Christmas parades after witnessing many, MANY northern small-town Christmas parades.

They had a variety of things that were the same and a few things that were different. Different, for instance, was the lack of an entire fleet of trucking company semis that usually make their way down our hometown streets ... incessantly blaring their horns every five feet, scaring the crap out of every living thing lining those streets! They had a few less monster, mud-bogging trucks (and a few more muscle cars with weird hydraulic whoop-te-do's).

The same, though, were the county snow removal trucks that powered their way slowly down Versailles Main Street, bedecked in Christmas wreaths and lights. Calhoun County Road Commission does the same thing. It's actually rather funny to see grown men get all excited about decorating the heck out of a big dump truck. That's true Christmas spirit.

The Woodford County trucks got all the way to where Ann and I were standing, before the driver in the truck in front, for some unknown reason, hit the button that makes the snow blade crash to the cement ... sending Ann and I shooting two feet straight into the air.

"Well," shouts my sister in startled annoyance. "That's why no one down here is prepared for snow. They scrape their snow blades along raw cement! A snow blade won't shovel anything when you do that!"

And there you have it folks! Never try to shovel cement.

COLD MORNINGS = COLD PATTIES

Trying to warm up the cold patties on a frosty morning.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

BELATED GREETINGS

Did you know that card shops do not sell belated anniversary cards? Someone is missing a HUGE marketing ploy here. Really!

I should have sent an anniversary card out four days ago, but like everything I was supposed to do this week, I forgot about it ... just so preoccupied with work. Anyway, I never got the card out ... obviously, if I was searching for a belated one.

So ...

Happy Anniversary to my parents. They are celebrating 39 years of wedded bliss today! That is a whopper of a long time, especially in this day and age of disposable everything! Is it as cold today as it was 39 years ago in that drafty church in Ripley, New York?

Friday, December 01, 2006

BLOWING AWAY

If you happen to see a little, mini flag in the shape of a snowman that happens to be hugging a Christmas tree with a gold star on top, would you mind grabbing it for me? It blew off my little yard flag thingy sometime in the night when the 50 mile an hour winds started whipping around Frankfort. Near as I can tell, it's got to be somewhere near New Jersey by this point and time.

I honestly don't know why I was blubbering about missing home the other night. It feels like Michigan tonight ... felt like it the WHOLE live-long day! I woke up, not only to straight line winds, but to 68 degrees. My head told me what the weathermen had been yapping about for the past week ... BIG, NASTY FRONT WAS COMING THROUGH ... FAST! Tornado watches were out in full force as were the humid, rainy conditions. By 8 a.m., the temperatures had dropped 20 degrees, and it was nasty, biting cold! When I left school this afternoon, it was in the 20s! Were it not for the murky Kentucky River and the limestone "cliffs," I could have sworn I was in the Great Lakes State!

The big joke in Michigan is that you can go to a football game and see all four seasons in one game! Hey, you laugh, but it's true. I've experienced it first hand.

I did happen to see a few wimpy flakes of snow ... I guess that's what they call snowing down here. I'm still waiting for the snowy squalls that send everyone to the store for five loaves of bread. Yes, it's true folks. I've had this confirmed by many a Kentucky resident. At the first hint of snow, the grocery stores are mobbed with people buying as much milk, bread, and eggs as they can afford.

Now, here's a thought ... I've been through a few blizzards in my time, and at no time was there ever a need for more than one loaf of bread. I do remember that the last blizzard I muddled through, my shovel broke (figures) and I had to call my dad to come in his truck with 4 wheel drive and rescue me so I could go out and buy a new one. I also remember being so bored that driving through town to watch the snow truck plow snow seemed like the excitement of the century, but I don't recall feeling like I needed to run out and stock my refrigerator with 8 gallons of milk. That never entered my mind. If I found the need for thirst-quenching and I ran out of liquid substances in the house, I knew I could always boil snow. Seems a plausible solution to a relatively non-problem, if you ask me.

That is why a threat of dusting has me a bit perplexed. What would people do if there were actually inches of snow on the ground? Would we have the Millenium preparations part two?