Monday, January 30, 2012

The Witch

I don't know when my mom came into possession of the Halloween Witch, but I believe it was when my oldest son was a baby.  I came to visit my parents (and it wasn't Halloween), any my mom had a Halloween witch doll.  If you squeezed her belly, she would say, "Halloween is fun!"  If you squeezed her belly again she would say, "Uh oh, what was that?"  Then, if you squeezed her a third time, she would start to vibrate, laugh with a cackle, and yell, "Hee hee hee, run for your lives!  Hee, hee, hee!"  It was very funny.  

Every time I went to visit Mom, that witch was among the toys for the kids to play with.

Over the years, that silly witch started having computer chip issues.  Without anyone touching her or even being near her, once in a while you'd hear the witch say, "Halloween is fun!"  It's much more creepy when the doll talks on it's own and because it's a witch, it's extra spooky.  It gave everyone a good laugh when we're sitting around the table, having dinner and from the other room we hear, "Halloween is fun!"
Well, it became a family joke that during big reunions at Mom and Dad's house, that whoever thought of it first, would get the witch and hide it somewhere in the house.  Usually it was hidden under some one's bed.  You could expect the witchy witch to go off in the middle of the night and scare the begeebers out of whoever slept on that bed.

The witch would then be hidden in a new spot and the fun would start over.

I love reunions at my parent's house.  I love Mom's Halloween witch.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

reconnecting in the time machine

About 6 years ago I met a wonderful friend.  I had never had a close girl friend to go out and do stuff with.  Someone to talk to about girl stuff.  It was a kind of friendship I never really had, except with my own sister.  This was an awesome friend.  When we moved away, I was so incredibly sad.  Before I left, she said to me, you will always be my sister and when we meet next, it will be like we never parted.

Over the next few years, I saw her once and talked to her on the phone a small handful of times.  She's a busy lady and I know that, but I would call and leave messages and never hear from her.  There would be the occasional email or hello on Facebook, but that was about it.  Life was busy for both of us.

We've now moved back to the state we lived in when I had this wonderful friend.  We are several hours away, but she travels this direction a lot because she has a sister who lives about 20 miles away from me.  This past weekend, she came to visit her sister.  She invited me to a women's conference her sister had organized.  I went to the conference.

I was nervous.  I was afraid we could never really talk like we use to.  Three years had passed.  I was certain she would be quite disappointed in seeing me and had only invited me to be polite.  When I arrived at the conference, I quickly found her.  She looks exactly the same and she is such a beautiful person.  All my fears and nervousness flew away as we hugged.  We sat together, not hearing the first speaker at all because we were too busy whispering and catching up.

We helped with the clean up at the conference, still talking and sharing news and stories.  At one point I looked at her and said to her, it's so fun to be here standing next to you.  It's like those three years never passed and we were hanging out like this just last week.  She agreed.  That's when you know you have a good friend.  Time doesn't really pass.

With this move, I left another dear friend behind.  She is my sister and I know that when we see each other next, it will be as if time never passed.  We are planning a get together late this year.  I hope all works out for us both that we can make it.  It will be fun to reconnect, share stories, look at pictures of each other's kids and laugh.  Nothing quite like the feeling of being with great friends.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

My cozy corner

While unpacking a house, you get to know the house quite intimately.  You find it's quirks because you are trying to figure out where personal belongings fit into the home.  It's easy to find the faults and problems with the house while unpacking.  However, once the unpacking is done and you can just enjoy living in the house, those little quirks aren't such a big deal anymore.

So it is with this house.  One thing I LOVE about this house is my loom room.  I have a little room of my very own.  It has my loom, my rocking chair, a little bookshelf, and my Eiffel Tower lamp.  It's a nice place to sit and relax and read. (Not that I have a lot of time to just sit and relax....)

Here is my loom room:
I know, terrible lighting in the picture, but I've never claimed to be a great photographer.  Anyway, you can see my cozy corner with my lamp a-blazing.

In the other corner of the room are my looms.  The big triangle wrapped in towels and blankets is my tri-loom.  It has about a million nails on the front of it (that's how you weave on it).  I didn't trust the movers to take good care of it, so I wrapped it myself.  I'll hand it on the wall soon.  The white decorations are decals.  I never would have put them there myself.  I'm not a huge fan of the dark purple/maroon color, but it's not bad either.  It's my room and I don't care what color it is.

There is also a closet on the wall opposite of the loom.  In the closet I've got a couple of t-shirts hanging, but also my warping board, inkle loom, sewing machine, and several drawers filled with yarn for the looms.

I love my little corner of the house.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Licence Plates

My clever son updated his blog Stonehelm the Wise.  Also, if you didn't see it, check out my blog entry just before this one about my son.  I think the pictures of him and Doctor Who are pretty cool. :)

Moving to a new state involves many tedious things, like changing your address with everyone and every company you've ever known.  It also involves getting new licences plates for vehicles and new drivers licences.  That involves a trip to the DMV and we all just love going to the DMV, right?  The long lines, the unfriendly workers, and the fact that everyone there is mad about having to be there.  I imagine it is the way one might feel about jail, except in jail they feed you.

In our new state, getting a personalized licence plate cost the same as getting just a standard issued one with it's random numbers and letters.  So I've been thinking, what do I want on my new plate.  I've never done a personalized plate, now might be a fun time to do it.

This is one idea I've come up with:


Do you get it? (moved 2 much)

I'm not clever at coming up with other license plate ideas.  I'm looking for suggestions for the van.  I don't want any thing cheesy dealing with mom wagon or family van, five kids, or insane parent.  I think it is pretty obvious that an insane mom is driving a van of kids around.  I don't need to put it in words on the van.  I would love to paint the van like the Partridge Family Bus, though.  That would be awesome.
Come on get HAPPY!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Doctor Who?

Until September, I didn't know anything about Doctor Who except it was an old British TV show.  I didn't know it was modern and popular until my oldest son was introduced to it by his science teacher.  Now the son loves Doctor Who.  He is quite determined that he should be the next Doctor.  Never mind it is a British TV show and he, who is quite American, has no chance at ever becoming Doctor Who.

The newest Doctor is the youngest actor to take on this role. This actor's version apparently likes to wear a bow tie and has been known to wear a fez.  My son thinks this is quite awesome.  For Christmas I got him a bow tie and a fez.  He wears the bow tie to church and the fez around the house.  I have no doubt that if he could find a place to wear his fez in public, he would.  I think his Halloween costume for this coming year is complete and ready.

Matt Smith and one of his famous poses.

My son's version of the Doctor Who pose.
The green thing in the Doctor's hand is called a sonic screwdriver.  My son has one.  There are several other great pictures of the Doctor and my son has done his best to recreate them, but since I don't like to show pictures of my kids online, I won't be sharing those, but let me say, they are quite good.

I have seen very few episodes of the show.  My son really wants me to watch them.  I will some time, or at least see a few more so I'm more familiar with his favorite show.

A few short months ago, I didn't know who Doctor Who was. This is no longer the case.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Two more funny comics

I saw this in the paper yesterday and it made me laugh.  Years ago, before Twitter became what it is today, several friends and I talked about how two moms can't speak a full sentence without getting a interrupted.  If I had only known we had discovered the secret to Twitter, I'd be rich!

Rhymes With Orange  by Hilary B. Price

And this comic strip about teaching anatomy in silly, cutsie ways:

Close to Home

I promise, I did not coordinate my blogs with the comics this week, it just worked out this way, but it seems that the artists are feeling my vibes.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Title: Cutsie Anatomy or What in the World is That?

Organ Wise Guys

This is what they are teaching my children at school and frankly, I find this a little disturbing.  Body organs with personalities and hobbies.  Tennis playing lungs, a dancing muscle (I think), a running bone (with big lashy eyes and pouffy lips), a football playing heart and exercising organs.  However, what I find most odd is the four kids walking with the heart and the, um, what is that?  A pancreas? A section of small intestine?  Perhaps it's the end of the large intestines (If you know what I'm talking about.)

Is this what they are teaching my children?  What ever happened to simply learning anatomy without turning them into cutsie characters with smiling lips?  Disturbing.


I think this comic captures the frustration with the phone guy I was feeling the other day.

Close to Home comic

By the way, the promised service that would come by sending two guys out to inspect the tower didn't happen.  Guess what - no service!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Did you plug it in the wall?

Do you ever just feel insulted? 

OK, not the best start or the right way to ask that question.

You've seen/heard the joke where the guy calls customer service saying, "well, I turned it on and nothing happened."  And the customer service guys says, "is it plugged into the wall?"  And of course for the joke's purpose, the appliance is not plugged in.  Oops.  Ha ha, we all laugh.

Well, that's fine and dandy for a sitcom, but in real life, it's just plain insulting and yet, you've had that kind of question fired at you when you've asked for help, haven't you?

Today, I call our cell phone server because in our new home we don't get service.  Nothing.  First, I go through the automated menus that ask for the phone number and name on the account.  Then, the automated voice tries to help problem solve with me.  It asks me have I turned the phone off and then on again since having this problem.  Duh!

I get transferred to an operator who asks me for the same information.  Name?  Phone number?  What's the problem?  Did you try turning it off and on?   Calmly I answer in the affirmative.  Then I'm asked, did you go outside?  I explain, again, that we don't get any service for 5 miles away from the house.  This is beyond her power.  She transfers me to the tech guys.

Tech guy asks me name?  Phone number?  What's the problem?  Did you try turning it off and on.  (Really, by this point you have to ask?  Do you really think I'm that stupid?)  I explain there is no service until about 5 miles away from the house.  He asks me, "so, what is it you need me to help you with today?"  I tell him that if there is no way to get service here, we need to alter or cancel our plan since it's silly to pay for services not being received.

He asks me to remove the battery.  It's not going to help.  The problem isn't my phone, it's your service, but I comply.  Nope, still not the problem.  He says to me, "well, now we know the problem isn't your phone."  I slap the air.  Too bad the guy isn't there.

Then he asks me, will you go outside and try?  I say, "Sir, we have no service for 5 miles from the house, going outside on the back porch really isn't going to help."  He tells me to go out and try it anyway.  I go out the back door.  Hello winter weather!  No sir, still no service. DUH!

After a while, he tells me he will put in a service request.  A couple of guys will figure out what is going on with the signal.  There is service, he tells me, but something is interfering with the tower's signal. I should see this entire thing corrected in three days time.

Yeah, dude.  We'll see.

This is just one example I've dealt with recently of such idiotic questions.  It's never their fault, it must be something wrong with me.  Oh silly me.  I forgot to plug it in.  Oh silly me.  I forgot my son's correct birthday.  Gosh, where was I when he was born that I wouldn't remember?  No, wait.  I was there - so BELIEVE ME!  I'm not stupid people!  Give me the benefit of a doubt that I have tried the simple things first.

Rant, rant, rave, rave.  Don't mess with me right now.  I'm feeling confrontational.  Does anyone need their insurance company called?  I will call and yell at them.  I need away from the house, some chocolate and a few laughs. 

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

A little tea party

My youngest, who is three, got a little colorful porcelain tea set for Christmas.  She has loved it.  Since Christmas, we have had many tea parties together.  We had another this morning.  I warmed some water for her tea pot.  I cut a pop tart into little bite sized biscuits and we had a lovely little party.  We sipped our water, ate our biscuits, and laughed as we wiped up spills every time we used the tea pot.  Good thing neither of us serve real tea parties, we would be disastrous hostesses spilling the tea while we poured.

It was a fun, sweet time with my youngest child.  I was holding her early this morning.  She fell back asleep while I held her and I looked at her pretty face and smiled.  Love those little moments.

Monday, January 09, 2012

Losing and finding the talent

There is in the Bible, the parable of the talents.  I always felt bad for the one guy.  I tend to take the side of the person in those stories who is wrong or is wronged, but that's not what this blog entry is about.

In the talent story one poor guy is given one talent.  To make this story short, let's cut to the end: his talent is taken from him and he goes home sad.

I was given the talent of singing.  I'm not Barbra Streisand or anything close, but I had a pretty good voice and I just loved to sing, even if no one ever heard. (As a teen, I actually sounded a lot like Karen Carpenter, only not as strong.)  I sang all the time.  I sang when no one was around and I loved to sing before an audience.

When I went to college, I shared a dorm suite with four other girls.  To be courteous, I didn't sing around the dorm like I had done around the house while growing up.  I didn't want to disturb them, so I didn't sing. When I got married, I didn't sing for my husband.  To be honest, I was embarrassed.  I don't know why, but I was and I didn't sing.  (Plus we lived in apartments or the basement to someone else's house and I didn't want to disturb the neighbors with my singing.)

Then I had kids.  I felt silly singing for an infant, but I did sometimes.  As they got older, I tried singing for them, but they didn't like it.  I all but quit singing.  Years later, we moved to Hawaii.  While I lived there, I developed a chronic gunk in my throat.  I couldn't get rid of it and it kept me from sounding good when I sang.  I figured when we left Hawaii, the gunk would go away and I would sing again.

Four years later we did leave Hawaii and the gunk in my throat did not go away.  I tried to sing, but it just didn't sound good and it was hard.  I quietly sang hymns at church, but gave up singing any other time.

Then, in October 2010, I tried singing while driving in the car.  I sounded terrible. I hated the way I sounded and even through my husband said I sounded fine, I knew that I didn't sound like I use to and I couldn't stand to hear my own voice.  The talent had been taken away.  But I missed singing.  I decided to start singing again and try to work through the awful sound.  I put some of my favorite songs in the car and I started to sing while I drove.  I didn't care if my kids heard me or not.  If they didn't like it, too bad!  Slowly, I started to notice my voice was getting clearer and stronger.

In November 2011, one year after I began, I sang for my husband.  It was the first time I could ever remember where I really opened up and sang.  At Christmas, I noticed I was able to sing two notes higher than I could a year ago.  A year ago my highest note was really a struggle and now I can go two beyond that.  Those aren't my greatest sounding notes, I'm an alto and need to stay in that range, but I can do it. 

I don't say this to boast, but I have to admit, I'm rather proud of myself when I sing now.  No one who hears me sing wouldn't know how I've struggled and it really doesn't matter.  I know how far I've come and it makes me happy.  Is that silly?  I know I don't sound as good as I did when I was at my peak in my late teens, and I might never again, but at least I don't hate to hear my own voice any longer.  I worked at it and the talent was given back to me.  Now I just have to continue working to keep it.  I can't loose it again.

Thursday, January 05, 2012


For someone who hates making phone calls and talking on the phone, I'm sure missing having a phone available to me. I think that I could live without a phone again in a few weeks, but having a phone is kind of critical right after moving.  There is just a lot of phone calls that need to be made, whether I want to or not.

The cell phones don't work out here.  To get even service - not just a signal, but service - I have to drive about four miles away.  At that point, there is no where to pull off the road and make a call.  You have to go another mile down the hill for that.

So, two days ago, while sitting in the parking lot of my kid's elementary school, I made about 8 phone calls.  One of them was to the local phone company.  I told them I need a phone.  Certainly, they would be happy to obliged.  The appointment was made for two days later.  Then they asked me, "Is there a number I can reach you?"

Um, I need a phone and that's why I'm calling you.

I told them I had a cell phone, but we don't have service where we live.  They took the cell phone number.

Apparently, they called the cell phone yesterday to confirm today's appointment.  We didn't get the message until that evening when my husband went to take the boys to Scouts.

What happens if they call today, to make sure I'm at home before sending their technician out and I don't answer because I don't have a working phone at home?

I can't get phone calls at the house, that's why I'm asking for phone service! By the end of the day I may or may not have a phone.

I'm amused by the irony, but completely frustrated by it.

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

My mushy memory and the Titanic

When I'm at home, I'll think, "OK, next time I'm at the store I need this and that and a new whats-it."

Then I go to the store, walk in and think, "What am I here for?"

I try to write lists, but sometimes, I think of something and by the time I made it to the kitchen where my pen and paper are, I've forgotten.  My brain is like mush.

It goes the same with my blog.  I think of terribly clever things to talk about, but by the time I sit down at the computer, I've forgotten them.  Mushy, mushy, mushy brain.

Oh well!

Today I unpacked the girls room and I put away all the bathroom stuff.  That was fun, let me tell you.

Something I found amusing while driving across America last week:

The year 2012 is the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic.  A reason to celebrate, right?  I heard about a company that is charging $8000 for people to go on a cruise ship and re-enact the Titanic experience.  How many people are jumping to be first in line for that?  Then, as we were driving through (I think) Tennessee, I saw a large billboard.  Now, I was passing it at 73mph, so I only caught a quick glance, but this is what I saw:

A woman dressed in a maid outfit with a huge smile on her face.  She is holding one arm up in the air as if to say, "Come on in!  Welcome!"  Behind the smiling maid is a large black ocean liner.  The billboard says, "The Titanic, a family experience."

Words failed me.  I laughed.  I had to.  What else are you suppose to do when you see something this ridiculous?  Any thoughts on "The Titanic, a family experience?" 

To top it all off, why is the family Titanic experience in Tennessee?  I don't think they launched the Titanic from there.  I mean, unless they sent it sailing down the Mississippi River first.  So, why Tennessee?

I would be most interested in any insight you might have.

OK, I found a link to the Tennessee Titanic enthusiasits historical family fun website:  You can see the maid with her arm up welcoming you to the Titanic!

Monday, January 02, 2012


My body is tired tonight, but my mind is happy.  I got the entire kitchen unpacked today!  It took all day long (from about 10:30 - 4:30).  I ended up just dumping out most of the boxes into the middle of the floor and just sorting it all out.  I repacked three boxes of kitchen things that I just don't have room for in the kitchen. 

The kitchen looks great. I took pictures, but I haven't found the cord to connect the camera to the computer. When I find that, I'll post some pictures of the house.

Remember when I talked about wanting my own room and my Eiffel Tower lamp that I wanted a cozy corner for?  Guess what - I have that cozy corner in my own room!!!!!  In my room, I've got all of my looms, my rocking chair, and a little book shelf that I'll put my weaving books on (when I find them).  On top of my little book shelf is my lamp, and a scented diffuser.  I'll hang a few pictures in there when I find a hammer and nails.  It's a perfect little slice of heaven for me.  I'm thrilled to have my own place to hide away in.  Again, when I find the camera cord, I'll post pictures.

Today I ran to WalMart and got all those little household items that you need in a new home.  This home is dark.  We are in the country with no street lamps.  I had to get night lights for several kid rooms and the main bathroom.  I needed new furniture polish, light bulbs and Clorox wipes. An exciting trip, right?

Well, I'm excited about the progress.  I feel good about what I accomplished.  Now I just need some Tylenol and some sleep.