Friday, October 31, 2008

Hey! Don't speak for me, lady.

Today I had to take my car in to the dealership for an oil change and tire rotation. It's a new car, so I figure I will take it there for a while. Anyway, the waiting area consists of modern, leather furniture with some tables and magazines and a television. It's not a really quiet area. I could hear an old-fashioned printer for a while in the background and the occasional announcement over the loud speaker.

So, there I am enjoying the peace and reading my book, when a man and his wife enter the waiting area. At this point, there were some other people sitting around and the TV was off. The woman sits and starts to read. Her husband picks up the remote and turns on the TV. He settles on Fox News and Sarah Palin is giving a speech. Immediately, another woman asks in a very loud voice if he would turn it down. She was very rude about it. The man complied and said, "I'm hard of hearing." Now, he was older and the woman asking him to turn it down was probably in her 50s. I will admit I was enjoying the quiet, but I thought it just meant I would concentrate a little more on my book to block out the TV. Well, about two minutes later, the woman got up and went over to the man watching TV and said,"Look, there are four people sitting around and reading, do you need to watch the TV?" I couldn't believe how she was? I could tell he was getting annoyed with her. Something happened and next thing I knew I was saying, "It's not bothering me." The woman stopped what she was saying, looked at me, and sat down. I felt that rush of adrenalin you get when you confront someone. It was so great. I couldn't look at her after that. But, I thought she had no right to treat this man that way. I wonder if he had been watching something other than Sarah Palin would she have been so vocal?

The point is the woman was so arrogant to assume what she wanted is what the rest of us wanted. I think if she had been polite and told the man what she felt, it wouldn't have made me say something to her. How dare her think she knows what I want? After all, the TV was there and it was a waiting room. Get over it and stop trying to control everything, lady. Life is this way. We enter a room and get comfortable. Someone comes along and makes a change. We have to adapt. We can be grumpy and try to throw our weight around and annoy the room, or we can be polite and try to make change in a grown up fashion. In the end she looked like a jerk when she could have been so much nicer about it.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Did anyone catch The Office tonight? I can't decide who my favorite character is! I think Dwight had me cracking up the most tonight.

Tomorrow is Halloween. Kendall is going to be the same character she was last year. She just loves Ariel as a bride. So, I got off easy for her costume. Clayton wants to be Spider man.

There is a black and white picture of me when I was about 4 or 5. It's Halloween and I'm standing by my sister. I'm dressed as a hobo--over alls, corn cob pipe, and big freckles were drawn on my cheeks with my mom's eyebrow pencil. I would do anything to find that picture! I can still see it vividly in my mind. We were living in Harrison, Arkansas on a little street called North Pine. I'm sure it never occurred to me to be a princess or fairy like the little girls dream of nowadays. I guess my parents just thought it would be a cute costume using things we already had around the house. Years later, my mom would sew my costumes.

I'll be sure to take some pictures tomorrow night....

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

It's snowing up here....

Yes, that's snow on the seat there. It's the first day of snow for around here. Of course, the kids are excited. (I'll leave it at that--if you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all.....)

So, here we go. Brrrrrrrrrrrrr--gotta love it!!!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Exciting Times

I have never lived in a state that politicians drool over. But, folks, I got to tell you that they are drooling over us in the state of Pennsylvania. There was an Obama rally last week, Sarah Palin is in town tonight (yes, little ol' State College), and Bill Clinton will be here tomorrow. I won't make it to any of the talks but I am curious if Sarah Palin can do a mean Tina Fey....:)

Now for some fun, click *here.

*Move the mouse around and click on things.

Monday, October 27, 2008

My weekend.

Originally, I had planned to go to NYC last weekend to let my kids visit their cousins and play. It's always fun to go to NYC and, for us, we get to stay in mid-town on the East side so we're close to a lot of things. I decided to save some money and not drive to the city and pay for parking and all the other things that go along with going to New York and decided to stay home. Friday was a really long day since the kids were home because of parent/teacher conferences. I was reminded of how hard it was when I was home during the day, everyday with two kids. While it's good for one's sanity to get out and about, it's also difficult when you are carting two kids around. I don't miss those hard days. So there I was on Friday questioning my decision to not go to NYC. What? Was I crazy for not wanting to drive a mere 4 hours so I could have the city that never sleeps at my fingertips? I say no.

So, Friday morning I called a local church that was to host a women's conference starting that night. The conference was Friday night and Saturday morning. It turned out that they still had room. I decided to go. Since I had waited so late, I didn't go with anyone. I showed up at 6:30 pm, registered, and then ran into a mom from Clayton's preschool. She invited me to sit with her and her friends.

The speaker was Cynthia Heald. It was a real treat to sit and listen to a woman with so much wit and wisdom. She talked about her new book, Uncommon Beauty, 7 qualities of a Beautiful Woman.

Briefly, the seven qualities that she talked about are:
  1. Passion
  2. Wisdom
  3. Integrity
  4. Selflessness
  5. Graciousness
  6. Contentment
  7. Courage
This book used examples of women throughout history and was not limited to examples from the Bible. She shared some wonderful quotes that made me really think, such as:

"You can take no credit for beauty at 16. But if you are beautiful at 60, it will be your soul's own doing." -- Marie Stoops

"You don't get to choose how you're going to die. Or when. You can decide how you're going to live now."-- Joan Baez

"Forgiveness is the fragrance that the flower leaves on
the heel of the one who crushed it."-- Mark Twain

"Contentment is not the fulfillment of what you want but the realization of how much you already have."--Anonymous

While I feel like I can improve regarding all of the qualities, I feel like the ones that really stuck with me were Passion and Graciousness.

I realized that for the last 6 years, I have been just going through the motions. I haven't embraced this season of my life with zeal, in other words, with passion. I am a mother. A mother of small children. I feel I need to be the best mother I can be to my kids with energy and joy!

The other quality was Graciousness. I love to entertain and host people at my house. That part I feel like I'm OK on. But the part of graciousness that deals with forgiveness is another story. Oh sure, I forgive people when I've been wronged, but do I ever truly let it go? Sometimes yes, sometimes no. I feel like that is an area where I could use some improvement. And the other area is regarding our puppy, Lilly, or perhaps better stated, Pete, my husband. I need to quit harboring feelings of resentment regarding the purchase of this puppy at this time in our lives. She's here and I need to move on and love her and forgive him for getting her without my blessing. What good does it do to keep bringing that point up with him. So, I felt really convicted on this part.

So, how was your weekend?

Thursday, October 23, 2008

New book

I've finally picked up a book to read. It's been so long. I was at a neighbor's house Wednesday and she mentioned that she saw the movie The Secret Life of Bees. She said it was good but the book was so much better. "Oh?" I inquired. We went down stairs to her basement and she pulled out that book and another one, Eat Love Pray. I ended up borrowing Eat Love Pray and read 50 pages the first night. I can't seem to put it down once I start reading it. I remember an interview on NPR with the author and thought that sounded like something I could relate to. (After all, who doesn't eat, sometimes pray and wants love?)

It's been a while since I've picked up a book and haven't been able to put it down. I don't know if it's due to laziness, or just busyness. And it's strange, but when I was going through my divorce, I took Italian lessons at night (just like the author). There is something about filling your time in the evenings when you are alone that is very important. And what better way than to learn a beautiful language like Italian. Unlike the author, I left my first husband because I wanted to have children one day. I knew that to have children with him would have been a horrible thing. I found it unbearable to live with him (the walking on egg shells was exhausting) and the thought of little children with his personality scared me to death.

I'm looking forward to seeing where this book takes me.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

What would you do?

About twice a week or so I pass a runner on the long road that leads into town. This road is relatively flat, but only has two lanes. We have a lot of cyclists out our way because of the terrain and the farms probably are nice to see. And usually the only times the road is busy are in the mornings and evenings. The cyclists seem to get it right most of the time.

The dilemma for me is regarding this runner. I've been running off and on for about 22 years. Probably more off than on, but it is a sport that I like and am always wishing I was really addicted to it. But, I know the rules. You run against the traffic so you can see if a car gets too close. So here is the problem for me: this runner is running with the traffic and he is wearing an iPod or Walkman thing so he can't see or hear if a car is swerving over or approaching. One day, the road was empty and this runner was going along and I thought, "here's my chance to pull over and tell him he's on the wrong side of the road." I didn't do it and I hope he doesn't get hit. If he did, I would feel so guilty for not have saying something.

Am I being too nosy? Should I just mind my own business?

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Hunter back. Stinky. Really stinky.

Pete got home last night around 10 pm. His friend, Josh, stayed the night and was out this morning by 8. He still had about 4 hours to DC. Josh's dog ended up needing surgery because she had eaten some socks at their house before the hunting trip. She managed to throw up one but the other was stuck in her gut! Oh, I am such a cat person. Anyhoo.

The guys had a great time with some heated debates regarding the presidential candidates. All but one are going to vote for Obama, but since they are academic types, they found something to argue about.
This is the back of Josh's car. One of the guys at camp wrote this message on his dirty car. In case you are wondering what the word "Bonasa" means, it is the genus for grouse. They drove all the way to our house from the remote parts of northern Maine (redundant, I know). I think some people honked in Connecticut. They were sweating it until they reached Massachusetts! HA!

We are slowly getting back into the routine...

Saturday, October 18, 2008

The Easy Week...

I drove my mom to the airport in Harrisburg today. It's an easy drive now that the construction is all done. The trees were breathtakingly beautiful. This week was perfect. I realize just how much I miss spending time with my family. I wish I lived closer to them.

I will be honest here--- I'm a momma's girl. I always have been. She is so easy to be around. I don't think I have felt this relaxed in a while. I'm sure part of it was that the puppy was gone for the week. That dog has really stressed me out! So, I had my mom and no dogs!

She arrived last Saturday and we didn't do anything that day. On Sunday, we skipped church and had a restful morning. Kendall went to a birthday party and then Sunday afternoon we all went to Clayton's soccer.

Monday I left Clayton at preschool for the extended time so mom and I could shop and just catch up. It's days like that one that I wish I lived near my mom. We both like to window shop and it's so much more fun to do it with somebody!

Clayton is #1 standing with his back to us. I think Kendall took this picture. And I took the one with the two of us in it. Mom is behind us. I think we were getting bored at soccer at this point.

The rest of the week was more of the same with the exception of Wednesday. We went to a place called Belleville. There is a flea market there and lots of Amish and Mennonites who sell their plants, vegetables and baked goods. (and I do mean good!). I'm sorry, but it's too late for me to show you what the pastries looked like. ;)

These mums were only $4 each. What a bargain! I bought them from the guy pictured below. (tsk, tsk, I was a bad girl sneaking a picture of an Amish guy)

Horse and buggy parking. So different from our modern lives just an hour away.

So, it's Saturday, I've spoken with my mom and she made it back to Arkansas. It's just a dream now. I don't know if it's because I am getting older or my mom is getting older, but I feel the need to really cherish the time I spend with her. And I know I should feel this way with everyone that's special to me. But, for some reason, I really get choked up when I think about a time when my mom will no longer be able to come up here. A time when she is no longer here on this earth. I'm so blessed to have had this week with her.

And the livin' was easy...

Monday, October 13, 2008

Indian Summer...perfect timing

We are having the best weather up here in central PA. And the timing couldn't be better since my mom is here for a week. Today after dropping the kids off at their schools, Mom and I got to shop and take it easy. It was so much fun. I wish we could do it more often. The kids are enjoying having her here, too.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Doggone it!

Pete just left with his old room mate (who is married to Pete's ex-girlfriend)* from college for his big fall hunting trip. His friend drove up from DC and they are on their way with their dogs! Yes. You heard me right. Josh has one dog and Pete has two dogs. I would be lying if I said I'm sad to see the dogs go. Just think, no dogs to pee on the floor or wake me up in the early morning wee hours. I'm just hoping the kids will sleep in a bit, too! (One can dream).

*There's another topic there to blog about...

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

A voice of reason...

I really like Frank Deford on public radio. But, today, I elevate him to a higher status. Dare I say love? But, listen to this story and you will know why I think more of him now.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Does your dog bite?

Ever since we got Lilly, this little quote comes to mind. I believe the part I'm talking about is around 1:08. I feel like saying this every time she makes a mess in the kitchen or needs some special attention. not my dog!

The sophistication of kids these days

Yesterday, I managed to get the kids ready for the 9 o'clock service at church. And then in the afternoon, we all went to watch Clayton's soccer. Kendall had to come along since Pete is out of town. Something happened midway in the soccer match and Clayton seemed to "get it." He was going after the ball and kicking it in the right direction. Afterwards, I thought we needed a little treat, so I took the kids to Dairy Queen.

When I was six years old, I had never tasted French cheeses, played on the computer, traveled to Europe or eaten at fancy restaurants. Kendall definitely has a different life than I did. I married into a well traveled family that has experienced different cultures, foods, etc. I love it that Kendall is experiencing these things at such a young age. So, we were eating at DQ yesterday, enjoying our Blizzards, and Kendall asked me, with a straight face, "do they have a chef here?" I guess to a 6 year old, a Blizzard is something that surely took creativity and ranks up there in the "haute cuisine" world.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Kendall in her ballet class

At the end of every class, the girls get to dance by themselves. It's cute to see them all glow.

1 week and counting...

My mom is flying up next Saturday! Yippee! It was so much cheaper to fly into Harrisburg (about 2 hr away), so I will have to drive a ways to get her, but I am so excited none the less!

Today we are going to a wedding (I love going to weddings, getting dressed up, etc.) and then tomorrow Pete has to drive to Pittsburgh to fly to Houston for a quick meeting. He should get back Tuesday and then he's gone Friday for his annual hunting trip with the guys. He will be gone for about 10 days to Maine. Usually, I plow through by myself with the kids, but this year my mom is coming up here (another reason I'm so happy she's coming up for a visit).

It will be fun to drag her around to all the places I trek to during the week---Clayton's soccer and preschool, Kendall's ballet and her school. And I'm hoping to go with her to the Belleville Flea market. It's about an hour away and there are a lot of Amish selling their furniture and stuff. I've always wanted to check it out but didn't want to go by myself. It is every Wednesday. I think she will enjoy seeing a little of the central Pennsylvania country life.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Laughter can soften the edges

I made my dad laugh today. I called my parents on the way home from my bible study. My dad answered and for a second, I held my breath. You see, we have been sending some emails back and forth regarding an email that was sent to me. You probably have seen the email that "quotes" the Book of Revelations about how the Antichrist will be a man in his 40s of Muslim decent, etc. Well, I responded to all and of course, my dad got my reply. I have two problems with this email. First, the last book of the bible is the Book of Revelation--no 's'. There is one revealing, so no plural. The originator of the email lost all credibility from the get go. The second problem is that the word Muslim is not in the bible and the word Antichrist is not in the book of Revelation. My dad said I was nit picking and I replied when someone is misquoting scripture, you need to nit pick. OK, I'm sure I've lost a bunch of you on this minutia. Anyway, my dad and I haven't spoken on the phone since these emails have gone back and forth. So today, when he answered, I was a little nervous. I asked him what he was up to and he asked the same. I told him we were going home after bible study and Clayton doesn't like the child care there. Then Clayton chimed in with, "I like it now." I then told dad that Clayton likes it now. Here's the story about my dad's chuckle.

It seems that lately Clayton argues with me on everything. The sky is blue. No it's not. It's cold outside. No it's not or I like to be cold. You get the picture. So one day I turned to Clayton and implored him, "Stop arguing with me!". With which he replied, "I'm not arguing." And that is what made my dad laugh. It was a good ice breaker.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

I was watching a documentary on PBS (I know, how do I do it?--so darn hip) and it was about a woman who found out she has the BrCa1 gene for breast cancer. She has a 90% chance in her lifetime of developing breast cancer and about a 50% chance of developing ovarian cancer. She is 31. I finally had to stop watching it. It was making me think too deeply for my little brain. Like, what would I do if I found out I had something like that? Would I live my life differently? Would I have prophylactic mastectomies? I don't know, it was just too much for me tonight. I really don't like to cry and, gosh darn it, I was doing just that. So, I decided to see if anyone had emailed me (no, they hadn't) and then started blogging. Yes, avoidance works for me sometimes. So, thanks for being there, computer. I am going to bed now. I know, I will have puffy eyes and my nose will be all congested in the morning.