Wednesday, December 30, 2009

'Twas the Night Before Christmas

...well, Christmas Eve, anyway. Late afternoon. And windy as all get-out. So windy two of our patio chairs blew into the pond. Yes, the pond is a tad green, but that's to make up for how brown the yard is. It'll all even back out in the Spring.

Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

While I was in China for two weeks, Christmas snuck up on us. We had a dinner party at our house the day after I got back home. Fortunately my husband is wonderful and he spruced the house up and did a decent job with the decorations. Dear Cha Cha opened her house and heart to the world, posting a home tour and inviting others to also share. Here are a few scenes from the Hart household.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

"Old Dogs" - Movie Review

Old Dogs is a great movie to see if you're looking for some casual entertainment. I'd recommend it for date night and/or for family night. It's the kind of movie that is best enjoyed if you can suspend disbelief and just go with it. It's better if you don't question things like the short-notice ability of two 50+ year old single businessmen to come up with scouting outfits for themselves and their young charges (who come to visit with only one small suitcase apiece).

John Travolta and Robin Williams seem to enjoy themselves in their roles - business partners who are suddenly responsible for a pair of 7 year old twins. These two belie the adage that you can't teach old dogs new tricks. Both experience significant personal growth during the month of their lives the movie covers.

For the most part the comedy is low brow, with the usual fare of farts and groin-racking incidents. There are plenty of pratfalls, which will make you wince if you're over 40. I believe Robin when he complains that he has bad knees.

John and Robin are repeatedly mistaken for the twin's grandparents and are also repeatedly mistaken as being a couple (such as when Robin introduces John as "his partner" - the natural assumption is personalpartners rather than professional). Fortunately, they're able to take all of this in stride with self-deprecating good humor.

I would have preferred the movie not waste time on offshoot tales, such as spray-tans gone wrong (Robin in a tanning booth getting over-done while John is hitting on the negligent attendant) or other irrelevant side stories (a tattoo that requires the shaving of Robin's chest hair) to allow for more character development. The romance between Robin and the twins' mother "Vicki" might have been more believable if we'd been allowed more opportunity to understand her motives and interests.

Some of the humor might have been a little over-the-top, but many scenes had the entire theater heartily laughing. It was nice to see Robin and John poke a little fun at themselves and each other; that certainly added to my enjoyment of the movie. I'm really glad they didn't try to ignore the very real age gap. Robin and John's chagrin at being mistaken as grandparents may have humored me even more because I'm a grandparent.

If you're looking for a movie that is lighthearted, relatively inoffensive and effectively mindless in its storyline and humor, I recommend Old Dogs. It's not meant to be an intellectual movie; it's simply a fun opportunity to share some laughs.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Where did the time go?

In October I started writing a book on parenting and our relationship with God. It's not a how-to book by any stretch of the imagination. It's just my musings on these topics. It reads a lot like posts I put on my other blog. It's nothing like the posts I put on this blog, which seem to be mostly about the things my cat drags in.

I was plodding along through my life, bemoaning all of the challenges and difficulties and wishing I could write full time. As much as my job motivates me to do something else, the regular pay outweighs quite a lot of the challenges and difficulties. I prayed about the situation regularly.

Then a couple of things happened at once. Guideposts agreed to publish my 2nd story (March issue). And NaNoWriMo crossed my radar. Who wouldn't want to write a novel? I joined over 150,000 other aspiring novelists in the ambitious goal of penning (keyboarding?) 50,000 words beginning November 1st and finishing (and posting the completed work) before midnight on November 30th.

Because I'm an overachiever ... and because I'm leaving for China on November 30th, I set a personal goal to finish by November 20th. Which happens to be my 45th birthday.

Even though I could feel guilty about abandoning my blogs and allowing them to fall to the wayside while I plunge into writing as a part-time job rather than the hobby it's been for the last year or so, I don't. I'm proud of myself for finally getting off my butt (or rather sitting my butt down!) and acting on a dream. God willing, this dream will become my life.

So if you happen by this blog and wonder whatever happened to the woman who used to live here, I ask that you give me a little time because this turn in my life is requiring both hands on the wheel and both eyes on the road.

Monday, October 19, 2009

"The One That Got Away"

Fortunately, by the time I found the feathers spread out across my bedroom floor, I already knew this one had a happy ending... relatively speaking anyway.

Occasionally when we're away the house is locked up but the sunroom door gets left open. This means that Al, the killer cat, can come and go with access to the outside world. Not such a good idea.

When I got home from a Saturday afternoon outing, I could hear Al upstairs meowing away. I followed the sound to my office where I found him hovering over a poor little baby bird. I quickly grabbed a washcloth from the nearest bathroom and used it to carefully envelop the bird and whisk the terrorized little guy to safety. I released it in our front yard in the hedges. Based on its hasty retreat, it didn't appear to be harmed.

Shortly after, I found the feathers all over my bedroom floor. Given my focus, I didn't have time to take a photo of the victim. I was able to snap this image at my leisure. I give you "The One That Got Away".

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Then Sings My Soul: "Motions" by Matthew West

I continue to pull the wheel to the right. I'm not making a right angle turn but a big sweeping curve. No matter what I do in this life, I want to do it filled with God's passion. Blessed by the Spirit. Never let it be said I'm just going through the motions.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Movie Review: "Couples Retreat"

"Couples Retreat" is a romantic comedy written by (and starring) Jon Favreau and Vince Vaughn. Jason Bateman and Faizon Love complete the cast of husbands. We're introduced to four couples in various stages of relationship. Shane (Love) and his girlfriend Trudy (Kali Hawk) have dated for a few weeks as he is on the rebound from his recent divorce from Jennifer (Tasha Smith). Joey (Favreau)and his wife Lucy (Kristin Davis) seem to barely tolerate each other's company and are clearly heading for separation or divorce. Dave (Vaughn) and wife Ronnie (Malin Akerman) will resonate with most couples with young children - life is busy, hectic and often tense as all of life's "little decisions" must be made during every stolen moment. Jason (Bateman) and Cynthia (Kristen Bell) seem like a loving couple, but the tension of unsuccessfully conceiving a child have made them question their ability to be together. They are the catalyst for eventual journey to Eden, a gorgeous island resort for marriage counseling. Although initially billed as optional, it turns out the scheduled activities are anything but. And on the other side of the lagoon? A singles club swings with lights and action.

It was nice to enjoy a comedy that didn't include all of the funny clips in the trailer. This is a great date-night movie: crude enough for him, romantic enough for her.

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Then Sings My Soul: Undo by Rush of Fools

This is a daily prayer for me! It's so easy to stray. So challenging to stay close to You, God, while trying to grow into what You want me to become. Thank you, Lord, for your patience and persistence in bringing me back to the place of forgiveness and grace.

by Rush of Fools

I've been here before
Now, here I am again
Standing at the door
Praying You'll let me back in

To label me
A prodigal would be
Only scratching the surface
Of who Ive been known to be

Turn me around, pick me up
Undo what I've become
Bring me back to the place
Of forgiveness and grace
I need You, I need Your help
I can't do this myself
You're the only one
Who can undo what I've become

I focused on the score
But I could never win
Trying to ignore
A life of hiding my sin

To label me
A hypocrite would be
Only scratching the surface
Of who I've been known to be

Turn me around, pick me up
Undo what I've become
Bring me back to the place
Of forgiveness and grace
I need You, I need Your help
I cant do this myself
You're the only one
Who can undo what Ive become

Make every step lead me back to
The sovereign way that You

Turn me around, pick me up
Undo what Ive become
Bring me back to the place
Of forgiveness and grace
I need You, I need Your help
I can't do this myself
You're the only one who can undo
You are the only one who can undo
You're the only one who can undo
What I've become

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

My first book review: Carter Beats the Devil

Carter beats the rap, the odds, the competition and wins the girl...twice

Although initially daunted by the length of "Carter Beats the Devil," the novel came highly recommended so I committed to include it in my summer reading material. At over 650 pages it was a little bulky for beach fare but perfect for my bedside table.

The characters are well-developed and engaging, which makes the tale easy to read in bursts. We follow Carter's story from childhood, when he is first introduced to magic, to his early days as a magician, through his career in a field that is secretive and competitive. Author Glen David Gold establishes the story in an era filled with historical references, including the presence of such characters as Houdini and President Warren G. Harding.

Woven throughout the tale of Carter's career are tales of courtship, romance, chivalry, danger and intrigue. Carter's first love blooms and grows despite his awkwardness. When disaster strikes, we mourn with Carter. When, later in life, Carter finds himself with the opportunity to love again we're compelled to cheer him on in his efforts at romance.

Carter is a man who consistently strives to do the right thing in every situation. Gold does him justice, developing Carter as a sympathetic character to be admired and supported, even when it appears he may have gone too far in pursuit of his next illusion. This is truly a tale well told.

Posted on Barnes & Noble's site, September 22, 2009, 10:42 AM EST

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Oh Al, you shouldn't have!

What a sweet cat! He knew it was my darling hubby's birthday so he brought him a gift.

"Happy Birthday! Here's the bird I brought you! I did nibble off the head while I was waiting for you to come find this treasure. Hope you don't mind!"

And I, because I love both my husband and the cat, I cleaned up the mess. I bagged the bird and vacuumed the feathers up. Even though I don't do dead animals - that's why I stay married. So HE can do dead animals. But I love him, and it was his birthday.

Monday, August 17, 2009

What the cat dragged in least I hope the cat's to blame. Otherwhise I'm wondering why so many snakes are finding their way inside. Last week, as I made my way through the house in the early light of the rising sun, I was startled to see this snake waiting impatiently by the front door. Hubby was just rising so I let him know of our unwelcome guest. he commented later that this had been one of the nastier house guests to date. Apparently the snake had tried repeatedly to take a bite out of my darling!
This morning, when hubby fished around in the bottom of the pantry for something he discovered yet another snake. This one was smaller, but just as fiesty. In case it wasn't fun enough to watch my darling catch a snake with the kitchen tongs, our priest called during the exercise (exorcism?). As I took this photo, hubby was telling our priest that I was taking a picture to put on the blog. Go figure. He knows me so well.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Then Sings My Soul - Stars, by Switchfoot

I've been very introspective lately, pulled in many directions and exceptionally drawn inside myself. As an extrovert, it's very telling that I am longing for time alone. Every time an opportunity to spend time alone arises, something comes up that kaboshes my plans. This song is a nice reminder of our place in this great big glorious universe that God created. Whether we're alone or just wishing we were alone, we don't need to feel lonely. In the grand scheme of things, we are called to be our best, as God desires us to be.

Switchfoot - Stars (Official Music Video) - The best free videos are right here
Stars, by Switchfoot

Maybe I've been the problem
Maybe I'm the one to blame
But even when I turn it off and blame myself
The outcome feels the same

I've been thinking maybe I've been partly cloudy
Maybe I'm the chance of rain
And maybe I'm overcast
And maybe all my luck's washed down the drain

I've been thinking 'bout everyone,
Everyone you look so lonely
But when I look at the stars
When I look at the stars
When I look at the stars, I see someone else
When I look at the stars
The stars, I feel like myself

Stars looking at a planet
Watching entropy and pain
And maybe start to wonder
How the chaos in our lives could pass as sane
I've been thinking 'bout the meaning of resistance
Of a hope beyond my own
And suddenly the infinite and penitent
Begin to look like home

I've been thinking about everyone
Everyone you look so empty
But when I look at the stars
When I look at the stars
When I look at the stars, I see someone else
When I look at the stars
The stars, I feel like myself.

Everyone, Everyone feels so lonely
Everyone, yeah everyone feels so empty
When I look at the stars
When I look at the stars
When I look at the stars, I feel like myself
When I look at the stars
The stars, I see someone...

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Port Aransas fishing

We arrived at Woody's just as dawn was breaking. Hubby's walking ahead of me, just about to turn around and tell me to hurry up! Actually, he gave me the same look he gives me when we go grocery shoppingn together. No words required. Our guide is one of the men standing on the dock, BS'ing with his compadres about the big fish that were just waiting for the mainlanders.

The excursion was a 6 hour adventure on a boat with no amenities. By "amenities" I mean "place to go potty" so we were very cautious with our water consumption. There was very little fishing if by "fishing" we mean "bringing fish onto the boat and putting them away for safekeeping". We threw back about 4 Red fish because they were too small. Another misnomer about the fishing trip - I never touched a single piece of bait and I never cast once, even though I know how. Apparently the goal of the guide is for you to catch your limit so he can hustle you back to the pier. Unfortunately for him, the fish weren't biting.

At the end of the day we had caught 1 Red fish that was big enough to keep and 3 Mango snappers. We had them for dinner last night with a tortilla chip breading and a mango-tequila dressing. Yum!

That's the man I married 24 years ago. He wasn't much of a chef back then, but he was a worthwhile investment. He, my friends, is a keeper.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

At the beach

I'm sitting in a meeting, listening to folks squawk about things that have no bearing on my immediate desires. I'm reminded of trips to the beach when occasionally, inevitably, someone feels compelled to feed the seagulls.

I'm doing my best to ignore the yammering but I'm feeling the beginnings of a headache just the same. I wish I could wade out into the wake to let the crashing waves drown out the squawking.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Port Aransas, the home of Boggie Boogie Boards and Sandels Sandles Sandals

The beach does not attract our most literate citizens, clearly. Considering the number of places that sell boogie boards and sandals, I was surprised by the number of places selling "boggie boards" and "sandels" and "sandles."

Just in case you're wondering, the patrons and staff at this particular shop had their swimsuits all the way on. Don't get excited.

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Life & Death in the balance

The most memorable tale of the trip to Port A is definitely the day I was dumped in the drink for an unexpected swim in the briny sea.

Hubby and I love to go treasure hunting on St. Joe's island. We've taken our jet ski over there and brought back wonderful finds that I lovingly refer to as "nautical artifacts". Rope, nets, buoys, all sorts of treasures. Hubby can tell great tales of the times he's transported large shrimp nets and 4" diameter ropes back to the harbor. The harbor where it's nice and safe, with calm waters. The gulf, however, is temperamental. We've had excursions that are relatively mild. We had to abort one mission last year when we tried to go out during the build-up to Hurricane Dolly. You'd think we'd have learned by now.

The lure of those treasures calls to us and so we brave the sea. Wednesday was calm. Hubby went skiing outside of the jetty into the gulf and had no trouble. Thursday, we headed out together (picture me hanging on behind my beloved). We should have checked the weather. The winds were high and the sea was choppy. Very choppy. Big waves. As we got close to the island, I lost my grip and was dumped off the jet ski into the gulf. I was already a little scared but it didn't take long to become a lot scared. I lost my glasses when I went into the water. I could see the floaty device (attached to the earpieces, but NOT properly tightened up behind my head) bobbing a short distance away but I could barely make any headway despite my best efforts. I snagged my glasses just as hubby circled back for me. There was no way I was going to be able to climb back on to the jet ski while being tossed about, so he towed me to shore. Not before I removed my swim shorts, which were sliding down my legs. I'm glad my swimsuit bottoms stayed on. Picture me clinging with both hands to the handle (just below the "HA" in "YAMAHA") stretched out behind as hubby made his way to shallow waters. If he went too slowly, he couldn't control the jet ski. If he went too quickly, I wouldn't have been able to hang on.

I should mention, being towed as I was my face was right by the exhaust so breathing challenges included wave and fume avoidance. Needless to say I got my share of both.

We made it shore and I was ready to leave immediately. It's hard to focus on treasure-hunting when you're busy kissing the sandy shore. Hubby puttered with anchoring the jet ski but settled for dragging it to shore. By the nature of the jet ski itself it's not a good idea to lug a huge anchor and our little anchor proved inadequate in the face of the pounding waves.

I'm not sure how long we spent actually treasure-hunting. Maybe 15 minutes. Hubby soon waved me over and said "I'm a little nervous about the jet ski." Have you ever stood on the shore with the waves are washing over your feet and you sink in to the sand? The jet ski was getting "dug in" as the waves were pulling sand out from under it.

Fortunately my heart had settled a bit and I was ready to go because when hubby says "I'm a little nervous" it means it's time for me to be fully alarmed.

Getting back on the jet ski in the rough water was no easy trick. At one point Hubby suggested I drive because we both needed to board instantaneously so he could start/accelerate the jet ski without getting tossed back off. He began giving me instructions on how to crest the waves, navigate the swells, etc. I agreed to get my butt on the jet ski a split-second behind him, no problem.

I won't bore you with the details of the long ride back to harbor. The jet ski had taken on a lot of water and the engine strained to push through wave after wave. I clung to hubby and considered our options if one or both of us were thrown off. I prayed and prayed, thanking God for His endless mercy. He's proven yet again, "God watches over fools and treasure-seekers."

Later that day I realized the jade bracelet I picked up in China, the one I wear so much I forget I have it on, the one I noticed as I was backing the jet ski off of the trailor into the safe, calm harbor waters thinking "it'll be okay, not worth the hassle of trying to get it to Hubby," yeah, it was gone. No doubt claimed by the sea. Its absence is a souvenir. A reminder. A reminder to be grateful for all that I've been given. A reminder to focus on what's important.

Thank you, Lord, for keeping this foolish treasure-seeker safe.

Here's a girl who's grateful to be alive, standing on the jetty with the calm, safe harbor waters behind her:

Here's a hint of the choppy waters (Mustang Island side of the jetty at dusk).

Life interrupted

July was an interesting month, no doubt about it. Work consumed me. My joke has been that I'm working 2 shifts, and one is a split-shift. Conference calls with Taiwan beginning at 6am, 8am, 8pm, 10pm even 11pm at least 4 days per week. Then full days spent in the office in between. Relentless. On top of that, the overseas management team decided to schedule a trip to the US for the week of my planned vacation. A vacation I couldn't reschedule. They did the same thing for Spring Break - the big difference then, I didn't have plans to be anywhere (but I had plans for taking advantage of my teen son's availability). So, here I was again...looking at taking off when my coworkers were coming to town. Incredibly, I almost cancelled our vacation. I've learned that they don't take kindly to the American attitude towards vacations. Conversely, Taipei/China close down completely for national holidays so vacations are different for them.

So...I decided to take the vacation. I needed it. I deserve it. I recognize that I'm not going to do the team any good at all if I burn out. I prayed about it, cried about it, then finally talked to my Taiwanese boss and other Sr. Manager's at my ex-employer-now-customer and they all supported my decision! Hurray! Port A was on!

I'll try to dish out the highlights in doses rather than one monster post.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Something better than dead frogs

Someone I love and respect has implied that I could do better than leave my moanings about dead critters as the top post indefinitely while I muddle through life's challenges. The last few weeks have been nothing but work, work, work. For a while there, it looked like my upcoming vacation would be canceled. That particular drama kept me worried and fretting for days until I worked things out. I needed a correction in my perspective. Along with the realization that I can take a vacation that is ill-timed, I got lots of kudos from people who matter.

In honor of my pending trip to the beach, I give you beach-pix.

Friday, July 03, 2009

Al, Please stop killing frogs

Yet another victim of the killer cat. I walked into my office and found this poor guy spread-eagle on the floor.
I reported the situation to my dear hubby but he was busy preparing dinner. I tried to ignore the corpse while I wrapped up a few work items before the long weekend, but when Al came back to play (and perhaps nibble) I couldn't take it. I disposed of the poor little dead thing on my own. {shudder}
Al, please...PLEASE stop killing frogs!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Al, you're wearing me out!

Yesterday, when I got home from work, I came into my office to put down my stuff and was greeted by Al (the killer cat) acting strange(r) and a mysterious fluttering noise. It didn't take me too long to pin down the source of the fluttering noise. A small bird was flying around my office. Back and forth he went, from his perch on the shelf and another perch on a picture frame. And Al? Complaining all the while. I went and fetched my charming and helpful hubby who clarified that when he looked for the bird, he was looking on the ground. It hadn't occurred to him that the bird had survived Al's attention.

So - he began the game of "catch the bird". The bird exited my office and went into the game room, eventually hiding in a window. He escaped my manly hunter-husband and flew across the room to rest on another picture frame. My studly hubby snuck up on him and caught the little birdy with his bare hands. Birdy was safely released after this brief, but action-packed drama.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Look at what the cat dragged in

Al has been up to his usual mischief. This weekend he brought in his biggest catch yet. This snake is at least 5 feet long! Although he shows a bit of a nip on his skinny neck, he seemed to be holding up okay. Hubby released it into the wild behind our backyard. We wish him (or her) well.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Then Sings My Soul - More Love, More Power by Jeff Deyo

This says it all for me today. I'm extremely tired at the end of a long week (2 weeks?). I had a lot of things I wanted to get done today but I've spent the bulk of the day revamping my other blog. Now that we're hitting the hottest time of day, it doesn't seem reasonable to start the yardwork, does it? If I do nothing else, I will worship You, LORD.

More Love, More Power
by Jeff Deyo

More love, more power
More of You in my life
More love, more power
More of You in my life

I will worship You with all of my heart
And I will worship You with all of my mind
And I will worship You with all of my strength
For you are my Lord
You are my Lord

More faith, more passion
More of You in my life
More faith, more passion
More of You in my life

I will worship You with all of my heart
And I will worship You with all of my mind
And I will worship You with all of my strength
For you are my Lord
You are my Lord

More love, more power
More of You in my life
More love, more power
More of You in my life

I will worship You with all of my heart
And I will worship You with all of my mind
And I will worship You with all of my strength
For you are my Lord
You are my Lord (2x)

Is Al disgusting or is it just me?

Is this possibly part of the frog whose head was left in my closet? I don't think so but I'm not calling CSI to find out.
My crime scene photos are enough of a reflection into my fascination with all things morbid.
Happy Saturday, y'all.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Bluebonnets, a Texas tradition

This image is actually from my archive. I couldn't stand to leave the froghead on "top" since I'm pretty lax in keeping this blog up-to-date.

Back in April, the bluebonnets bloomed. This is an annual event in these parts. The bluebonnet is our state flower and it grows wild in fields and along the Texas highways. On a trip to Houston a few months ago we were amused by all of the cars pulled over to take photos of loved ones amidst the beautiful blue flowers. Here are at least a dozen families in one field trying to snap that keepsake. Funnier were the people pulled onto the shoulder. The resulting image will belie the proximity to 70mph traffic. Ah, the beauty of photography and the magic of perception.

Al, please stop eating frogs.

Yes, that's the head of a frog. And one limb. Laying on the floor in my closet.

Take a closer look. Just the head here. The special-effects required to fake something this gross are beyond my capability. I am capable of taking a close-up of a disembodied froghead, though.

Yes, I knew Al had something he was chasing/playing with/torturing to death. Yes, I knew Al had killed the frog. No, I didn't remove the little corpse. Yes, I did mention to my husband that there was a dead frog in my closet. And then...there was just a head. And one limb. That'll teach me.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Then Sings My Soul - What Could Be Better by 33 Miles

It's been a great week. The AWI conference was "all that and more". Squeezing the sessions into an already busy week was a challenge, but the rewards were well worth the effort. Being able to walk out of my corporate cubicle into the work environment drenched in the Spirit, spreading the Spirit, spreading the joy and wonder of God's love by simply being open - what a blessing! It's what I imagine when I think of living out God's kingdom here on earth.

None of the petty stuff, the office politics, the immediate "crises" of today's emergencies...none of that is what's important. Living in the Spirit, listening to God, walking with Jesus - that's what's important. It carries me when I'm too tired to walk. It lets me dance on the streets of gold in my heart and soul at the end of a week of meetings and conference calls and all of the patience I can muster. What Could be Better?

What Could Be Better
by 33 Miles

I’ve heard it said today
Is all we’re given
Tomorrow may not come
So you better start living
I guess it all depends
On your point of view

Pardon me if I
Just don’t listen
To everything the world
Say’s I’m missing
There’s nothing here and now
I’m gonna hold on to

I’m living in the days ahead
I’m already dancing on the streets of gold
Can’t stop celebrating in my soul
I’m living in the days ahead
Nothing on earth could ever compare
Can’t wait for the day when I get there
When I see Jesus face to face
Tell me what could be better
Tell me what could be better

If home is where the heart is then I’m in Heaven
It’s the promise of tomorrow
That I’ve been given
Who is waiting there I am living for

He’s everything I love
And I believe in
And I can hardly wait
Just to see Him
And hear Him say well done
I couldn’t ask for more


Life is full of ups and downs
Inside outs, round and rounds
Can’t blame me for dreaming about it


Monday, June 08, 2009

Chefmate Popcorn Popper

This is truly an unexpected form of entertainment. I'm pretty sure it shouldn't work this way. I did find online reviews from folks who clearly had a similar experience. Note to self: Read reviews BEFORE purchasing new toys.

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Then Sings My Soul - Every Time I Breathe by Big Daddy Weave

I've been working on "transforming my mind, heart and soul" since a series of sermons our priest gave at the start of Easter season. I've come a long way in my faith journey as a result. Part of the process has been taking intentional time to talk with God. Not "to God" mind you, but "with God". Listening for the Spirit. Obeying. God is always right, so arguments are not very productive - but God is interested in what I have to say. It makes for a fascinating dynamic.

One down side is that the closer I feel to God during my quiet time, the harder it is to go out into the world. The trick is to remember that I'm carrying His light, His love, His warm embrace into the world with me. And may His glory shine from my face! Alleluia!

Every Time I Breathe
Big Daddy Weave

I am sure all of heaven's heard me cry
As I tell You all the reasons why
This life is just too hard

But day by day
Without fail
I'm finding everything I need
And everything that You are
To me

Every time I breathe You seem a little bit closer
I never want to leave
I want to stay in Your warm embrace
Oh basking in the glory shining from Your face
And every time I get another glimpse of Your heart
I realize it's true
That You are so marvelous God
And I am so in love with You

Now how could I after knowing One so great
Respond to You in any way
That's less than all I have to give
But by Your grace I want to love You not with what
I say
But everyday
In a way that my life is lived

Every time I breathe You seem a little bit closer
I never want to leave
I want to stay in Your warm embrace
Oh basking in the glory shining from Your face
And every time I get another glimpse of Your heart
I realize it's true
That You are so marvelous God
And I am so in love with You

Wrapped in Your mercy I want to live and never leave
I am held by how humble
Yet overwhelmed by Your majesty
Captured by grace and now I'm finding
I am free
You are marvelous God
And knowing You is everything

Wednesday, June 03, 2009


I'm sitting in the hall outside of a meeting room in my building. Well, not my building really. Today is a cruel reminder of that. In my new role, I'm a contractor for my old employer, paid for by a supplier. Although the role change is effectively a promotion, I'm a supplier and that means there are certain topics of discussion that I cannot be privy to. Which means that occasionally I'm asked to step out of a meeting and sit in the hall. Today this happens to be in a centrally located hallway.

Naturally everyone who happens to walk by sees me sitting cross-legged on the floor and somehow assumes I was naughty and kicked out of the meeting.


Monday, June 01, 2009

'Til the Cows Come Home

Whether or not throwing our grass clippings over the fence in a big pile on the undeveloped ranch land is the right thing to do or not, is NOT the subject of this post. The eight cows (future steak) that graze regularly on the clippings and produce manure that I use in the compost - they are the subject of this post.

Our youngest mowed and piled up the grass. I spent the afternoon pulling Mexican petunias that were taking over one of the flower beds. Between trips to the grass pile, these guys showed up and hit the buffet. Eight, yes eight, shoving, jostling, pushing cows. The grass was piled so high I was afraid these fellas were going to come over into our yard. Note to self: keep the gate closed!

Friday, May 29, 2009

A Woman Inspired

You can click here to read my thoughts on "A Woman Inspired." I encourage you to consider participating in the June 8-11 event.