Friday, December 31, 2010

2010: A Boring Year in Review

Oh, I was going to start this whole post off with my lofty New Years Resolutions, but let's be honest here. I suck at keeping them ... so, I'm going to think about what I think I can really accomplish, and put some lame, easy to meet resolutions ... possibly tomorrow ... if I feel like it.

In the meantime, the other day, I caught myself thinking about how boring Year 2010 was. After a brief glance at my blog posts, I've realized, 2010 actually was boring, but sprinkled with some pretty life-changing moments as well. And so, without further adieu ...
YEAR 2010 ... IN REVIEW!

January ....
  • Well, I'm considering December 31, 2009, in this because, at 4 p.m. that day, I found out that the nodules formerly known as Ted and Ned were benign! Yay me! Yay God!
  • I made the goal of reading 50 Books in 12 Months again and promptly failed at it. I'm blaming that on ....
  • I started graduate school at Georgetown College ... a Teacher Leader MA in Reading and Writing.
  • One of our SSS own, Miss Monde, was trapped in her homeland, Haiti, after the devastating earthquake there. Great opportunity to teach our kiddos about selflessly giving.
  • Snow in January meant snow days for Miss Murray
February ...
  • Another snow day or two or three ...
  • I threw a birthday party for myself at The Penguin Bar in Lexington ... Yay #38 for me!
  • I ate at Claudia Sanders ... wife of Colonel Sanders. She's knows how to cook!
March ...
  • I began the apartment search in earnest.
  • I did NOTHING on Spring Break!
April ...
  • SPRING came to the Bluegrass!!! I started sneezing again.
  • I cut my hair SUPER short ... well, I didn't cut it, but ... well, you get the point.
May ...
  • End of another school year winding down ...
  • BIG flood of 2010 ... the stench ... the devastation for some. Whew!
June ...
  • Summer break begins as does an all-out HOUSE search -- scrap the apartment search idea.
  • Summer classes begin after I earned my first 4.0 of my master's program.
July ...
  • Family visit with trips to the Cumberland Gap and Pine Mountain, the Louisville Zoo, The Lexington Legends, and just plain hang-out time.
  • The beginning of another school year (the craziest one yet!), the ending of a set of summer classes, many TO DO lists written, and much sweat equity in my classroom after a MAJOR HVAC reno at school.
August ...
  • A new school year
  • House shopping ... OY VEY!!! Stepping out on my own to make the BIGGEST purchase of my life.
  • Grad school started up again ... I was already tired of it before it had even begun ...
  • Continued to hear about the oil spill in the Gulf as well as in my home county back in Michigan.
September ...
  • I began the process of actually making an offer on a house. GULP!
  • I agreed to be a part of a Writing Project fellowship using technology.
  • I went to my very first Honky Tonk.
  • I fell waaaaay behind on my grad school work.
October ...
  • I packed up a townhouse.
  • I moved to the new house.
  • I organized ... and organized ... and organized ...
  • I became a frequent shopper at Lowe's.
  • Watched 33 miners being rescued from a Chilean mine via CNN ... incredible!
November ...
  • Celebrated Thanksgiving my own home.
  • Enjoyed the first snow fall of the season ... two month early.
December ...
  • Celebrated Christmas in my own home ... with my family!!!
  • Enjoyed (begrudgingly) two snow days in December ... a month too early.
I've decided I need to look for more exciting things to do this coming year ... I've lived boringly this past year ... of course, there was that whole Grad School thing ... maybe I'm just in a season of Boring right now.

Which ever way I choose to look at it though, 2010 was a year for stepping out in faith for me! And I must admit, I am looking forward to all that 2011 has in store for me! Out with the old, in with the new!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Fred Astaire - Santa Claus Is Comin' To Town

Currently, Emmy the Cat has no hope of redeeming herself in time for Santa's arrival. Ahh...but do I remember these old Rankin Bass specials ... LOVED them as a child! I used to get so excited when one came on tv!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Pampering ....

I won a day of pampering at my salon. I can't even begin to tell you just how excited I was about this day of complete and total bliss. I know a lot of people that are regularly treated to days of pampering, and while I was always envious of the attention (not to mention the finances available to do such a thing), I couldn't help but feel a bit of superiority. Superiority in that I knew I wasn't frivolously throwing good money away on something that really has no lasting power. But it's been a really rough school year ... they seem to get rougher each year ... and the idea of spending the better part of a day surrendering myself to the capable hands of the girls responsible for facials, massages, pedicures, and manicures, was more than I could begin to articulate.

Only, I couldn't relax!! For the first half of the day, I kept thinking that there was something I needed to do ... somewhere I needed to be ... these people can't all be waiting on me!?!? Why would they want to wait on me? It was just plain ridiculous!

Thankfully, mid-way through the pampering session, I finally settled down and allowed myself to relax and just enjoy it ... BUT ONLY after I realized that for whatever reason, we women ... single and married ... mothers and childless ... can't seem to take the time to really take care of ourselves. Oh sure, we can plunk down in front of the television, but when it comes to true, good, appropriate ways to treat ourselves healthfully and well, for some reason, we can't seem to bring ourselves to do it. It feels unnatural ... unnecessary ... unwarranted.

Therefore, I have resolved to change that thought process in my own mind. I will attempt to figure out a way to make time for healthy pursuits. I need to be willing to pamper myself, and that pampering must be more than spending a day watching HGTV marathons.

Monday, December 20, 2010

A Social Network Christmas

And just like that! My bad mood melted away!!!!

Trying to feel un-blue for Christmas

Today has been a discouraging day for me.

It might be that we've not seen sun for any good length of time.

Or maybe it's because I was really looking forward to a FULL week of vacation before Christmas (to soak up a bit of Christmas cheer), but now we're paying back snow days ... and well ... blah ....

It might be due to the general lack of common decency and respect for each other as professionals.

Perhaps it's because I can't fit into my pants.

All these could be a contributing factor to the general feeling of BLAHs going on today. I'm fighting the urge to just say BAH HUMBUG to it all. I find myself watching WHITE CHRISTMAS and wondering if the life portrayed on that movie was, indeed, a simpler, kinder time. Were people just as rude and nasty then as they are now?

I have to find something to get me out of my funk ...

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Flash Mob of Handel's Messiah at Joseph-Beth in Lexington, KY 12/17/2010

This flash mob was right in my back yard ... sorta! Lexington Green at Joseph Beth Bookseller ... a way cool place to go and shop for books.

Linus Christmas Monologue

After all, isn't THIS really what Christmas is all about? It is for me!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Christmas Food Court Flash Mob, Hallelujah Chorus - Must See!

The Hallelujah Chorus always brings me to tears ... I imagine the joyful noise in Heaven being just so inspiring. Obviously, I wept watching this flash mob performance. I mean, come on! How can you not be moved and inspired by this??!?!!??

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Cleaning out the fridge

I just finished cleaning out my refrigerator. I've owned the thing for a grand total of two months and one day, and I'm both appalled and amazed (in an appalled sort of way) at how disgusting this thing got so very quickly. Not that I had stuff splashed every where in there. No, I'm pretty good about not letting that happen. It's just all the "stuff" I had in various plastic containers were like ... well, like bio-hazardous pools of ick.

Which leads me to the reason I'm even writing about this, because, let's be honest here. No one really wants to read about the moldy culinary creations lurking in the dark corners of my refrigerator. No, the entire reason I am even dwelling on the grossness is because, as I was cleaning it out (and berating myself for being such a pig), it occurred to me that I really should have done this sooner, and wow! Doesn't this seem to be an analogy for life?

Oh yes, I did! Yes, I did just make a analogous connection between cleaning out the refrigerator and cleaning out our lives. I mean, really! Don't we all hang on to a lot of stuff that just plain clutters our lives?

I've been doing my annual reflection of my year, and it occurs to me that, once again, I have let the outside world clutter me .. my being, which, if I allow myself to be honest, is robbing me of joy. And it's not just the over-abundant stresses of my job, which seem to have tripled in number this year alone. No, this clutter is more than that. It's the outside forces that worm their way into my life on a daily basis. Things like media -- computer, Facebook, TV, text messages -- and bills and papers and research projects and .... and, well, before I know it, a full year has passed, and what do I have to show for it?

I'm not sure ... other than a permanent crick in my neck, more extra weight on my body, wrinkles, gray hair, and exhaustion.

So, how do I break the cycle?

Cleaning out the clutter. It's going to be my goal to try to shave the amount of time I spend on fruitless efforts down and begin to spend time on things that have meaning and purpose. I can avoid a lot of moldy, bio-hazardous plastic containers of ick that way.

It's an on-going battle that isn't going away anytime soon, and it will be an uphill battle. But if I don't at least attempt to battle it, I'll have no room in the fridge to store the good stuff ... you know what I mean?

Thursday, December 09, 2010

In my fat pants

Currently, my belly shakes like a bowl full of jelly, while visions of chocolate men are dancing in my head. Of course, they are burly, muscled, handsome chocolate men ... but chocolate men nonetheless.

January will be here much too fast, and I'm not looking forward to it either, because, I am going to have to do something about the jelly belly.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Swirling thoughts like a good wine

Sooooooo ... I've had a lot on my mind lately. Most of it, I've wanted to write down. Some how, though, it just never happened.

Because, maybe, I wimped out and watched a cheesy Christmas movie on Lifetime instead ...

Or I just became apathetic and sullen ...

Or I cleaned a toilet or two ...

Or I ignored the great piles of laundry that I can now shut in a closet and pretend isn't there ...

What ever the reason (read: excuse), I've not written, and my head is fairly close to exploding from all the "bottling up" action going on up there.

We've had snow ... lots of it for our area. Like five inches of it. With the snow has come some pretty frigid temperatures. Of course, I have been complaining about how cold it is, and how much it's going to cost me to heat my house, and then last night, I found out about a man that is, essentially, living in his car. Suddenly, my money spent on the heating of my house seemed insignificant.

In the not so distant past, something was dumped in my lap. Something that I had no ownership of ... that I had absolutely no control of ... something that had nothing to do with me, but for which I was assigned blame. It left me questioning my loyalties, my alliances, my allegiances, and my ability to appropriately judge character. It left me hurt ... annoyed ... saddened ... despondent ... on edge ... distrustful. And then if by magic, I was surrounded by these amazing, wise-beyond-their-years girlfriends that poured on me love and grace and kindness.

I realized something.

I'm blessed.

I'm ridiculously blessed. To be showered with so much and so often, it really does seem like more than I deserve. And yet, here I am so richly blessed, while so many aren't.

I'm not sure how the blessings shake out ... I'm not sure why some get showered with so much and some do not. Perhaps we all get showered with the same amount, and some of us just recognize them as what they are ... and some of us don't.

Whatever the case may be, these blessing swirl in my mind and heart like good wine in a glass. I'm exceedingly full ... intoxicatingly full ... my cup runneth over.

And so I inhale my good fortunes and hope and pray that I share generously and often with those around me ...

Monday, November 29, 2010

On the expiration of green olives


Tonight, I made a culinary coup of a meal, straight from the back of a Bisquick box. It's called IMPOSSIBLE TACO PIE. I'm not entirely sure what's impossible about it as it seems quite easy to both assemble and consume. I mean, come on. You know it's minutes away from gourmet when you use Bisquick!

In my continued effort to kill myself via my own cooking and a bit of botulism, tonight, I prepared the meal with what I can only describe as a jar full of "cloudy" olives. I use the term cloudy because, honestly, I can't remember when I purchased them. I mean, they've been in my refrigerator. And mayonnaise lasts forever in a fridge, right?

Just to be on the safe side, I decided to do the ridiculous and taste-test them prior to dumping them into the mixture. And they didn't taste bad ... at first. It was only after I'd combined all the ingredients into my baking pan that I realized there was a slightly unpleasant after-taste that accompanied the olives.

I'm guessing nothing serious will happen to me in the overnight, but on the off chance that I don't wake up tomorrow, would someone be so kind as to mention to the coroner the possible origin of my demise?

I would be ever so grateful.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

And so it begins ...

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, it's that time of year again. The time of year where Christmas lights twinkle and children and adults alike are giddy with Christmas anticipation ...

And it is the time of year where I once again fight the cat for dominance over the Christmas tree.

Friday, November 26, 2010

A few views from my windows

The view from my living room

We in the Bluegrass were greeted with a fluffy, if not, wet treat this morning. SNOW! Normally, I would be grumbling about this, especially in light of the fact that yesterday morning, it was 67 degrees, but I don't know. Something seems just plain right about the snow on the ground as the Official Holiday Season kicks off.

Enjoy the less than professional looking snowy views out the various windows in my home, and I will snuggle down underneath my quilt and continue to sip my hot chocolate.
This is a view out of my dining room window into my "lovely" neighbors behind me. We didn't get off on the right foot when I moved in ... let's just say they aren't working for the town's Welcome Wagon.

One of the views out one of my bedroom windows. You are looking down on a portion of my side year and the back of my neighbors' yard.

The other view out of my other bedroom window -- that's my deck and some folks that live sorta behind me.

Emmy checking things out from her perch in the guest bedroom. That vantage point is from the front of the house.

The other guest bedroom window. That is my two oaks and a view of my neighbors' front yard.

Looking out the guest bedroom window again.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Guest bedroom

It still looks a little cluttered, but at least you can walk INTO the room and actually travel around in it without tripping over a box and stubbing a toe or worse.

Thanksgiving and Giving Thanks

I sit here, the eve of Thanksgiving, profoundly grateful and full of the blessings in my life. It's been a year of gratitude. I share just a few of the countless blessings in my life with my loyal readers.

  1. My family, who loves and supports me, and for whom I am truly grateful.
  2. This amazing house ... such a God-thing this whole real estate venture was for me. Everyday, I wake up grateful for the privilege to be living here.
  3. My dear, close friends ... my extended family. You are my inspiration and my muse. You know who you are, and so therefore, I want you all to know how much you mean to me.
  4. My church family ... they rock!
  5. My cat, who daily provides me an example of unconditional love and appreciation for the simple things (spoken like a true Crazy Cat Lady!).
  6. My job ... a practice in both frustration and fulfillment.
  7. My health ... I wake up everyday grateful that this time last year, I'd found the nodules and nothing more was needed other than surgery to remove them.
For these and many, many more things, I am truly, humbly, fully grateful.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Under quarantine

It's stomach flu season at school, and I've literally been witnessing them drop like flies. I've also used two containers full of Clorox wipes and almost an entire can of Lysol on my classroom this past week. Plus, as a fun preventative measure on my part, I've consumed 6 glasses of wine in the course of the week -- taking from the Bible, "A little wine for thy stomach's sake."

I went to see Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1 last night with my friend Tabby. I consumed my fair share of greasy popcorn and another goodly portion of Chickfila's greasy chicken nuggets (soooooooo good, but woweee, the grease!). At 11:41 p.m., I woke up with the worst stomach issues, and I remember thinking, "Here we go! I'm a goner ... I'm yet another statistic in my bug-ridden school right now ... all that Lysol for naught."

But then, magically, I went back to sleep, and the only thing I can think of is that I'm not that young whipper snapper anymore that can consume large portions of not-so-good-for-you-food and bounce back, fresh as the new fallen snow. Nope. I'm that middle-aged fart that can barely eat an apple without dealing with some gastric fall-out of said apple.

Either way, I'm quarantining myself in the house until further notice. I've been jonesing a morning in my pjs for a while now ...

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

There's still hope for my Prince Charming

Okay, so I wasn't all that interested in Prince William anyway. I'd much prefer a slighty bad, bad boy. Enter Prince Harry .... soooooo dreamy! So, my hopes and dreams of Cougar-dom are still alive!

Monday, November 15, 2010

The random stream of consciousness in my head

I'm relatively sure my cat spends her days, while I'm gone, running all over the counter tops. In fact, if I had to wager a bet, I'm guessing she does a victory dance, knowing I will never know about it, unless, perhaps, a coupon falls to the floor (as it did today), in the flurry of the jigging. Which makes me think ...

... perhaps I should have wiped down the counters before I started preparing tonight's feast for the eyes and the stomach (Lemon Cod, Baked Potato, and Peas, in case you were wondering). That might reduce the amount of disease considerably, I suppose. Which causes me to think ...

...I'm relatively sure I'm going to get the stomach flu ... like in five minutes. They've been dropping like flies at school, and it doesn't matter how many times I wipe down a desk, it seems the germs multiply and fly into my nose, spinning around inside my brain, and coming out my ear, screaming, "WE'RE GOING TO GET YOU, OUR LITTLE PRETTY! AND YOUR LITTLE DOGGIE, TOO!" Except, I don't have a little doggie ... and then I think ...

... hey! There's Christmas music on the radio right now, and I just heard DO YOU HEAR WHAT I HEAR? And sometimes, I do hear things that no one else seems to hear, and I wonder what that is all about. I mean, I am a big girl, now, and ....

... did you know that the biggest BIG GIRL purchase to date has been my house, but that the second biggest BIG GIRL purchase (and let's face it, it pales in comparison to the house) has been the box springs and mattress set I just finished plunking cash down for? It's an investment piece, that's how the salesperson was marketing it. Listen, I think real leather shoes are investment pieces, so I'm expecting to wake up Saturday morning (delivery should be Friday *fingers crossed*) a brand new woman ... skinnier, lighter hair, butt and boobs back up where they used to be ... before gravity. That's the type of investment piece I'm talking about.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

A strongly worded letter -- another Vintage Megan moment

Tabby and I @ my birthday party

My good friend, Tabby, celebrated a birthday on Friday, and she was kind enough to ask me to join her family celebration today at Cracker Barrel. I had an official role, too. Yes, I was to serve as the Forward Reconnaissance Team -- my mission was to secure a table with five seats. I won't go into the long, sordid story of how horribly busy it was, and how it seemed that I was surrounded by only the elderly, none of which could walk with out the assistance of some sort of walking apparatus that ended up on the Molestation side of the "too close to my rump" spectrum ... or how every woman with too much make-up and no sense of fashion pushed me out of the way to get a better view of the animated, musical, glittery, over-priced Christmas doo-dad that happened to also be hanging too close to my rump. No, I won't go into that kind of detail. Let's just say I was in Holiday Hell being felt-up by every over-80 in Georgetown, Kentucky.

So, it was an absolute relief when the hostess called my name about 30 minutes after my arrival. This was short-lived, however, as I was informed, upon my arrival to the hostess podium, that they do not seat an incomplete party at their table. The party must all be in the restaurant, otherwise, no seating.

Now, for those of you who know me, you can see where this is heading. I maintained my composure, but you can be sure, I was more than a little annoyed, and my "Well, that hardly seems fair," comment to the hostess I think gave a slight hint in that general direction.

As I stood and watched her give away my table and seat a half a dozen more people, I became down-right indignant. So I marched up to the snotty hostess, and I kindly requested to speak to her manager.

Josh, who was all of 12 years old, I am sure, bee-bopped up to me, and I calmly explained my dilemma. Dear Reader, are you sitting down for this? Because it really requires a good firm grasp of something. Josh said to me, "well, it is our policy that if you aren't all here, I must seat someone else. You see, we feel like we can get still get you in, while seating an intact group, ensuring we get more money."

What was on the tip of my tongue was, "I see you are putting the almighty dollar ahead of your customer service," but I stopped just short of that because I wanted to save that beautiful gem for the strongly worded letter I was penning as I stared into Josh's bleary little 12-year old eyes. Instead, I reiterated that I thought their policy was unfair and stupid.

Another 20 minutes of waiting, and they called me to the table at the same time that Tabby called me to say that they were in the parking lot. Snotty Table Seating Nazi said she could allow them to seat me if the rest of the party was in the parking lot, and so I followed another individual into the dining room, where there was a flurry of activity to make a nice table for us.

It is at this point in the story that you must really think deeply about why you love me and call me friend, because I am about to reveal a portion of this story that may cause you to question your loyalties where I am concerned. For as I was sitting down at the table, my cell rang.

"Hey girl," Tabby says. "I'm here. Where are you?"

"I'm in the middle section, across from the fireplace."

"Are you in the back? I'm standing right in front of the fireplace."

"Move a bit to your left."

"Where are you?"

"Tabby, you aren't in front of the fireplace." Long pause, as my eyes lock with Josh's. "Tabby?"


"What Cracker Barrel are you at?"

"The Shelbyville Cracker Barrel. What Cracker Barrel are you at?"

"The Georgetown one."

Somewhere in Georgetown, Kentucky, there is a Cracker Barrel manager holding a voodoo doll with my name on it. He's getting ready to do evil things to it ...

I don't blame him ...

Thursday, November 11, 2010

More text message conversations

It may seem random, but each and every one of the text messages Elly and I send to each other will, in some small way, find a cure to what ails the world.

For instance ....

Me: "Vacuums make AMAZING coat racks."

Elly: "Like as good as a treadmill?"

Me: "Well, there's more surface area on a treadmill. So not as good as a treadmill, but a close second for sure."

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

That's what friends are for

I'm showing my age here, but many, many moons ago, my childhood best friend gave me a record by Dionne Warwick and friends called THAT'S WHAT FRIENDS ARE FOR. Seems to me Stevie Wonder and Michael Jackson sang on the track, but I can't be sure. I mean, we're talking records here. You know? Those flat, vinyl discs with lots of ridges played on a circular do-whacky that spun round and round? It was one step up from two tin cans and a string.

Whatever. Mandy gave that record to me, and I must have worn that thing out playing it over and over again. I just loved the lyrics -- they seemed to ring true to our little friendship back then.

I was reminded of that song last night when Carrie came to my rescue and talked me off my proverbial ledge. Let's face it, the girl could talk butter into melting, but then again, she'd probably say the same thing about me. Ummm ... think she has. Last night, I needed her, and she was there.

I've been working my tail off ... to the point that I am so overwhelmed most of the time that I've ended up spinning my wheels and going no where fast. Of course, this little act of futility gets me no where except pissed off at the world, gloves on, and ready to go down to the bitter end.

I left a desperate albeit rambling message on Carrie's voice mail, and bless her heart, she called me back. And the words " good times, and bad times, I'll be right there by your side, cuz that's what friends are for..." She listened to me whine. She listened to my cry. Shoot! She listened to me whine AND cry all in one, strung together jumble of incoherent hiccups and phrases. Then she stopped me and said ...
  1. You are trying to do too many things at once. What has to be done immediately? Leave the other stuff for later.
  2. Why do you doubt your abilities? Why are you believing the lies you tell about yourself? Shut up and do what you know you CAN do!
  3. Go back to the basics. Stop trying to reinvent the wheel.
  4. Work smarter not harder. This last one sorta annoys me, but I'm giving it to her on account of she talked me off the ledge and stuff.
The girl is brilliant, and I owe her a drink ... or some sour cream and chive fries ... next time I see her!

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Getting my priorities straight

It's been a busy week, and I'm staring at another hectic one in the face.

I have a love-hate relationship with busy-ness. I hate being bored, but I hate feeling like I'm on a hamster wheel ALL. THE. TIME. And I feel like that most of the time these days.

As a result, my life feels out of control, and I feel powerless to stop it all.

I need to reevaluate my priorities. Something has to give somewhere before my sanity goes, and I end up like Crazy Bird Lady.

Not sure what it's going to take to get things calibrated, but I'm definitely feeling the need for some calibration.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

PCG Bowling

I went bowling with my PCG ... my community group at church. These folks are my family away from my family. My Kentucky family. I love them dearly!

A word about the bowling. I am out of shape. Period. End of story. But I had fun.

Monday, November 01, 2010

Having one of those years

If one more person asks me to attend a meeting, I can not be held responsible for my actions. For reals, folks.

Is it just me, or are meetings becoming more bizarre these days?

"Hey, ya'll! I'd like to meet to discuss the color variations of these two manila envelopes here. Think you can pencil me in?"


"Ummm ... I'd like to sit down and discuss the meeting that we're going to be conducting regarding the planning committee's preparation of the conference call about the meeting. Could you meet?"


"So, I need you to complete an agenda regarding the meeting we're going to have on the nuances of the number 2 pencil versus all the other pencils made on this planet. And I'd really like that on my desk 10 minutes ago."

This is why Facebook was invented. I'm relatively sure of it. So all of us bedraggled meeting goers can stumble, bleary-eyed from the stuffy confines of board rooms every where, and waste 5 hours of an otherwise, unproductive, inefficient day, Liking inane places and things on Facebook that normally, we couldn't give a crap about. This is what Meetings have brought us to ... addled brain cells going splat against a computer screen.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Post-Halloween break down

For the first time in many, many, many years, I passed out candy. I mean, I'm finally in an honest-to-goodness neighborhood again ... where it's conducive to have trick or treaters.

I must say, there was a great amount of kids that came by ... probably close to 40. But I still have candy ... candy I'm not sure what to do with. I suppose I can take it to school, but I don't want to deal with the fall-out of that Sugar Atom Bomb. Perhaps I'll toss it all in my Prize Box.

I had some interesting costumes, none more interesting than the mom walking with her kids, dressed as, what I can only assume, was a street walker outfit. Wait! Maybe she was just getting off of work ... not entirely sure. Or the middle schoolers that sauntered by in face paint and street clothes. Their main objective was candy. Nothing more.

But I had some cuties too ... like the little Batman that opened my front door himself and walked right in! Or the little Butterfly that ran to my door and shouted, "I'm a butterfly!" Apparently, there'd been some question at houses previous to mine, so she thought she'd better beat me to what she felt would be the inevitable question.

I had Audrey, Jack and Sam ... all very excited about their candy and costumes and the fact that the cat was sticking her paw out from under the basement door. There was much jumping and shouting and giggling and showing of stuff to be had. I kinda felt badly ... like I should of had a trick or treat goodie bag for Elly and John ... say a bottle of wine, for instance.

I had Princess Maddie and Baby Brian. Actually, Maddie came as Cinderella, her favorite Disney Princess. Decked out in all the jewels and shoes and sparkly what-not, I can't help but admitting that I felt slightly under-dressed in my own home! Princesses have that effect on people, don't you know?

Lest we forget Maggie the Bumblebee ... my friend's teacup chihuahua, that served as the prep team that cleared the path for the late-arriving Powell Children, dressed as characters from Toy Story, all very cute!

Overall, Halloween was a huge success, and I believe I will be doing it again next year!

Emmy the Cat and Maggie the Dog meet for the very first time

My little experiment

This is my friend Tabby's dog, Maggie. Maggie had just walked the runway, showing off her Bumblebee costume for the Pet Costume Contest at the Pumpkin Fest downtown yesterday. I was attempting to conduct an interview with Maggie, but she was not having it. Apparently, she doesn't really like the paparazzi.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

She likes to "help"

The "upstairs" hallway

The hallway "upstairs" is pretty large. So, I've placed two eye-catchers, for lack of a better word, in the hallway to make it seem less vacuous. By the way, I HATE this wallpaper. But I plan to live with it until such time as I have the time and energy to start ripping it off. Oh yeah, and money too. It's going to take money to buy the paint, I suppose.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Officially, it's been a week

This time last week, I was waking up in my very own home. The house that I now own. No one else owns it; just me!

I made coffee. I stood and surveyed the piles of boxes and STUFF, and I smiled to myself, thrilled at and in awe of how God all worked it all out.

Here I am, a week later, and I'm STILL unpacking boxes -- not as many, thank goodness! I'm getting used to the sounds the house makes when I walk across the hardwood floors. I'm getting used to the cars that drive by, and the way their headlights play on my living room wall at night. I'm figuring out the neighborhood dogs' rhythms, and I'm still trying to figure out what car goes with what house. But as I stand looking over the living room, coffee cup in hand, I am again struck by the excitement and awe of how God allowed this all to fall into place.

The house is still mine, and I LOVE it! Nothing has changed in that department. In fact, those feelings have perhaps gotten even stronger. From the very first time I stepped through that door, I felt like I was coming home!

I am home, and it feels good. And as I stand sipping my coffee, a few less boxes in place, I am amazed at how I got to this point ... how I landed in Kentucky, in a town I truly love to live in, with a job I love, and surrounded by people that are absolutely amazing. I love this life!

Friday, October 22, 2010

What's for dinner?

This is a great site that Elly turned me on to. I've printed three recipes so far that I plan to try this coming week. First on the docket? Crockpot Tamale Pie. I bet it freezes well ...

Thursday, October 21, 2010

What's for dinner?

I rocked the culinary world this evening. I don't mind admitting it.

I bought some chicken breast on sale a few months back, and when I was pulling out one or two out of the freezer to do with whatever it was I was going to do to them, I noticed on the packaging it said that these particular cuts were "good for chicken scallopini recipes."

Well, I decided to look for chicken scallopini recipes, and I found one that I ...
a.) had all the ingredients already in my home (and could find them in the moving disaster I currently live in),
b.) thought actually sounded good.

So, when I got home from my professional development this afternoon, I set the chicken out to thaw and began the process of creating CHICKEN SCALLOPINI.

It is here that I must report on the amazing marriage of tastes when you mingle fresh lemon juice with white wine and butter and chicken broth and capers! A.M.A.Z.I.N.G.!! I served it on a bed of rice with baby sugar peas and a little salad.

I made enough for leftovers tomorrow, and I have no doubt that the sauce, marinating overnight, will be even better tomorrow.

Yum ... yum!

Reality bites

I had to go to school today for a professional development, and it occurred to me, as fought my desire to stay under my warm, comfy blankets, that, yes, starting Monday, it is back to a routine and a schedule and the Insanity and the feeling of inadequacy that seems to follow me these days and the overwhelming feeling of being overwhelmed and .... and suddenly, I didn't feel so relaxed.

My mother pointed out something to me the other day that I've spent years fretting about. It's really a good thing she pointed it out, too, because now I can put the money I would have spent on a therapist toward something useful -- like "Re-do Megan's Bathroom Fund" or something along those lines. She pointed out that I've always been the type of person that sees a task as either something I need to be perfect at or as something that requires so much from me that it's too overwhelming to achieve perfection. If I perceive it to be too overwhelming, I just won't do it because I would hate to fail at it and not be perfect.

You know what? She's right. That's right, Mother! I said you were right. Mark it down on a calendar that on Thursday, October 21, 2010, at approximately 5:11 p.m., I said that you were right. And she is. I HATE the thought of failing at something. It makes me crazy to think I might not actually do it absolutely correctly. So, if it's a task with insurmountable odds, I might walk away from it.

I suppose that is why I have busted my tail to get my house in order. I want it looking perfect. I don't want boxes laying around for months and years. I want it perfect.

I just finished sending a friend of mine an email comment about enjoying the small moments and not sweating the small stuff (or the big, ridiculous stuff, for that matter), and here I am, in need of the same words of encouragement. Perhaps, I should go back over to her blog and re-read what I just posted for her.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


Today, I stumbled upon THE COOLEST SITE EVER!
It's a site that allows you to create a to do list with boxes to check off your tasks as you do them. You can keep it on the computer, thus being a bit more "green." Or you can print it off and travel with it. It is DA BOMB!

While we're on the subject of lists, let me just say that home ownership changes the scope of one's shopping list. For instance, I recently found these items on my shopping list:
  1. Rake
  2. Garage door light bulbs
  3. Telescoping light bulb changer
  4. Dryer vent duct
  5. Dryer vent clamps
I've become a full-fledged grown-up dork. Any coolness factor I had, left the day I ...
a.) Thought a TO DO LIST website was cool
b.) Started getting excited about telescoping light bulb changers.

The Kitchen/Dining Room

I present to you my kitchen and dining area. Please note that I HATE the wallpaper border -- a cherry pie in the making still life. It is coming down, eventually. Also, I'm not fond of the chair rail being a different color than the walls. Still, it's the biggest kitchen I have ever had, and tonight, I made some gingerbread -- let me just say, it's an absolute joy to work in a kitchen with LOTSA space!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

I have a teeny, tiny little SHOE issue ... just a small one



It is important to note that in this AFTER shot, the clothes to the left of the photo are covering approximately 10 to 12 pairs of sandals. Yeah ... they had their own box when the moving began ...

The Living Room

Okay, yes, that is Dr. Phil on the tv. I'm on fall break, and I've just spent two and a half weeks packing boxes, moving them, and then unpacking them again. Don't judge!