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Tuesday, July 29, 2008


So I obviously just needed to get out of Dodge to improve my mood. I got on the plane, and I just felt so... peaceful.

For the flight, I had nothing to do. I'd planned on doing some things on my laptop, but oddly, my battery was dead. I didn't bring a book, since I'm on my way to book heaven and will need every inch of space to bring books home. So I did the only thing I could do in the time and space allotted, I studied my Bible.

God and I had really good time together. I have to admit that lately, I haven't felt like much of a Christian. I've been wondering if I really am one with all the junk in my life right now. Today, though, as I spent the two hour plane ride chatting with God, I realized that nope, I'm just fine as a Christian. Because today, well, I realized that's what a relationship looks like.

Tonight, I'm staying at my friend Camy's. Our friendship reminds me a lot of my relationship with God. We can go a while without talking, and when we do talk, things pick up just as though there'd been no space between us. And sometimes, it's like we just can't get enough of each other. Our cell phone bills reflect more minutes than we can care to count. Even though we aren't always physically close, there's a bond of friendship that binds us.

I realized today that's a lot like my relationship with God. The more time we're together, the better we do. But even when I get too busy or stressed, so I shut down, He's still there. And when we get back together, we're still fine. Today was one of those days when we just couldn't get enough of each other.

I just really enjoyed Him. I spent so much time saying, "thank you God," that I can't help but sit here with a permasmile, even though I'm exhausted from getting up way too early and will probably be up way earlier than I care to think about tomorrow. It'll be worth it though. These beautiful memories will sustain me on the days where I wonder, "do I have any friends," or ask, "Lord, are you there?" I can look back on it all and recount just how beautiful these relationships are.

I'm not always a good friend. I don't often call, don't often write, and intend to do things more than I actually do. God doesn't care about all that. Sure, He'd like you to do it a little more often, but mostly, He's just glad to see you. Tomorrow, I'm going to see some folks that I don't often call, don't often write, but they love me anyway. And I them. I think that's the sign of a true friendship.

I imagine that some of you reading this are thinking of a relationship, whether it be with God or a person, that you haven't talked to in a while. You haven't called. You haven't written. You meant to. Either way, today is the perfect day to take that small step and reach out. They're waiting for you.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

The business of answering prayers

Yesterday, I went to Heaven Fest. It was amazing.

I should point out that I basically went because a couple of bands that had some folks I know and love playing for them and I wanted to give them hugs. Yep. That's why I went. Had a whole number of circumstances that almost prevented me from going, but it all worked out.

Backing up... a couple days before, I was whining at God. I felt like none of my prayers were being answered, and I had to wonder what was going on. I prayed for a lot of silly little things relating to Heaven Fest. Some not so silly. But yesterday, it was like the floodgates opened up and God said, "See? I do listen to you. So chill out already."

First major prayer: Let me get there before Rush of Fools came on. They were one of the bands I really wanted to see. God said okey dokey. Timing was perfect.

Number two: I got there and was worried about our budget being tight because I'm getting ready to go on a trip and some money I was expecting hasn't come yet and would have to pull it out of savings to repay later. Not a big deal, but just irritating. I asked one of the volunteers where to buy tickets, and as I was walking to the ticket booth, a random lady says to me, "I have a ticket you can have. It was supposed to be for my friend, but she couldn't come." I took the ticket and she disappeared before I could give her anything for it. So, I ended up going for free.

Number three: I wanted to see and hug the Rush guys. Check.

Number four: I wanted to see Jonathan play with Skillet (and his schedule didn't say he was, but a friend told me he'd be there) and hug him. Got to see him play, but didn't see him to hug. Oh well. I'll see him next weekend with Todd and crew.

Number five: I felt really conspicuous being alone (hubby was at home working on the shed) and surrounded by crazed teenagers. I hate crowds, and it's worse if I have no one to talk to. There were 17,000 people and no one I knew was going. I'm not one of those people who becomes instant friends with strangers, so I sort of resigned myself to being alone. I walked over to an area where I thought I might see Jonathan, and ran into my old friend, Katrina. What a blessing! We did a Bible study years ago and are intermittently in touch. I also do her taxes. I spent the rest of the time with her and her family, who are such blessings to me. God really came through on that one, don't you think?

Number six: When I finally felt like eating, most of the food places sold out. I stood in a line for 1/2 hour only to get almost to the front and be told they were out of food. All the other lines were really long and also almost out of food. I ended up with an overcooked piece of cardboard cheese pizza, but I got to eat.

Number seven: I had to go to the bathroom really really bad. The portapotties had huge lines. I decided to take my chance on some on the other side of the festival, and hoped that I'd be able to get one in time. They were completely empty and I was just fine. Even though I hate portapotties.

Number eight: We all know I obsess over little, idiotic things. I forgot my water bottle. They fill them for free, but you needed to have something to fill or you had to drink from a dinky paper cup. So brilliant me decided I'd find a place to BUY a bottle of water and then I could refill it. Um, no. No one sold water. Finally, I said, okay, I just need something I can fill with water. Bought a bottle of Gatorade, drank it, and then I had a bottle to refill. I know, that all sounds lame, but in my mind, I made a HUGE deal of it, and God was like, "chill. I've so got you covered."

Number nine: During the main event, they did this thing where you were supposed to pray with the folks around you. I know, you all think I'm such an extrovert. I stood there, next to Katrina and her daughter, and was like, "okay, God, you know this is waaaay beyond my comfort zone. And I know it's beyond Katrina's, so can you help me out here?" Well, this kid, who couldn't have been more than 14 or 15, came up to us and asked if he could pray with us. He totally broke the ice and within seconds, we were all praying together.

Number ten: Remember, I came to see two bands? Well, after them, Jeremy Camp was playing. Not that there's anything wrong with Jeremy Camp, but frankly, if you've heard one of his songs, you've heard them all. Plus, I was just not in the mood to listen to a bunch of hormonal teenagers go on and on about how cute he is. He's married, girls. You know that. What you're thinking is called adultery.

But I digress. The main event thing sounded kind of cool, I mean, who can argue with worship and prayer? But I really didn't feel like sitting through to the very end and then have to fight with 17,000 people to get out of the parking lot and then drive a couple of miles down a dirt road with all the dust that was already making my allergies go nuts. Yeah. I had a bad attitude.

However, I missed the teenage Jeremy Camp frenzy because I was in the food line, and by the time the main event rolled around, I was having so much fun catching up with Katrina's daughters, I thought it might be nice to hang out in worship with them, since we haven't done that together in forever.

The main event was completely awesome. God really spoke to my heart and made me realize that even though I'm going through a grumpy phase, He's still listening. He still cares. There's still a lot of things I'm waiting on. Most of which have a lot more to do with relying on me and wanting my agenda pushed forward than anything remotely resembling what it means to worship and trust Him. Ooops.

God is totally in the business of answering prayers. From the littlest ones to the big ones, where I desperately need Him to show up. He's there. Sometimes it means getting over myself.

And even though I was fully prepared to face the parking lot mess after such a great time of worship, God even met me there and I didn't get caught in a lick of traffic.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Mamma Mia!

My girlfriends and I went to see it last night, and I'm having a hard time deciding if I like it or not. Before you read further, you need to know that there's lots of spoilers.

The good: I loved the friendship storyline of both sets of women. I hope that twenty years from now, I've got some friends like that who know everything about me, love me, and can lighten my load with the laughter we've shared for a lifetime.

The bad: We know I love romance. It was sweet that mom got her man. Not so sweet that the daughter decided to run off with the guy and not get married. With each new movie, I'm getting more frustrated with the lack of respect for marriage. I'm tired of people shacking up. Why do we keep glorifying behavior that utterly lacks glory? That gripe aside, both romances lacked solid motivation. I didn't find myself terribly emotionally invested in either, except that I love romance and demand to see it go through a satisfying process.

The ugly: Most of the singing was atrocious at best. I can't believe the guys from ABBA were in charge of this project and were okay with the slaughtering of their music. As I told my friend Diane (who groaned with me through the movie), my life would have been complete without ever hearing Pierce Brosnan sing. Whatever happened to dubbing over the actors' voices with people who can sing?

Did I like the movie? I dunno. Will I see it again? Not sure. However, it does make me want to see the stage production. I think it would be much better on stage.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Thursday Thirteen #55: My least favorite things

Thirteen Things that are my Least Favorite

I'm stealing this idea from my friend Kay, who did this last week. She wasn't going to get gross, but I am.

1. Least favorite color - white. It's too boring.
2. Least favorite smell - Vomit.
3. Least favorite sound - My kids fighting.
4. Least favorite movie (that I've seen) - The slums of Beverly Hills. I need to do something happy now to get that horrible thought out of my mind.
5. Least favorite TV show (that I've seen)- MASH.
6. Least favorite indoor chore - Cleaning Toilets.
7. Least favorite outdoor chore - Picking up dog poo.
8. Least favorite song - Anything Jonas brothers.
9. Least favorite food - Liver
10. Least favorite drink - Beer
11. Least favorite tactile feeling - water on my face
12. Least favorite emotion - Irritable
13. Least favorite place - I respectfully decline to answer that question. Instead, I'll tell you that my least favorite grammatical error is when people use an apostrophe s to make a plural. It's infuriating to see them in print.

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others' comments. It’s easy, and fun! Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Meme Time!

Since all my buds are doing this... if you haven't done it, you should!

1. What is your occupation? *insert hysterical laughter* writer, hostess with the mostess, curator, tax pro, tax instructor, mommy, wife, sex goddess.
2. What color are your socks right now? Not wearing any
3. What are you listening to right now? Deadliest catch.
4. What was the last thing that you ate? chicken and shrimp carbonara from olive garden.
5. Can you drive a stick shift? Yes
6. If you were a crayon, what color would you be? Black, because it's the fastest to turn into a nub and I feel like a nub right now.
7. Last person you spoke to on the phone? That Man.
8. Do you like the person who sent this to you? Well no one sent it to me, but I love all the gals I copied it from.
9. Favorite drink? Tea.
10. What is your favorite sport to watch? Must I?
11. Have you ever dyed your hair? Never.
12. Pets? A dog and I suppose I should count my daughter's fish that I have absolutely nothing to do with.
13. Favorite food? seafood
14. Last movie you watched? August Rush (GREAT movie!)
15. Favorite Day of the year? The day we change back our clocks to get an extra hour in the day.
16. What do you do to vent anger? Kill people. Fictionally speaking, of course.
17. What was your favorite toy as a child? My doll, Bethany. I still have her, except my kiddos decapitated her. I need to get her fixed.
18. What is your favorite season? Spring.
19. Hugs or kisses? Hugs
20. Cherry or blueberry? Cherry
21. Do you want your friends to email you back? Of course!
22. What are you reading? Nothing at the moment. Trying to decide what's next.
23. What is on the floor of your closet? Shoes. Boxes of hangers.
24. Favorite smells? The air after the rain.
25. Who inspires you? Depends on my mood.
26. What are you afraid of? Just about everything.
27. Plain, cheese, or spicy hamburgers? Cheese
28. Favorite car? One that runs well, doesn't use a lot of gas, and isn't full of kid junk.
29. Favorite cat breed? The hairless ones. I bet they won't make me sneeze.
30. Number of keys on your key ring? 8
31. How many years at your current job? which one? Ranges from 5 years to 2 months.
32. Favorite day of the week? Wednesday.
33. How many states have you lived in? 3
34. Do you think you're funny? Yes, but no one else does.
35. New Year's resolution? I don't remember
36. Favorite vacation? Going into the mountains.
37. Dream Vacation? World tour with enough time to see everything I want.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


The sleepy girl in the corner? That'd be me.

Today, I had a wonderful retreat at the Broadmoor with my Words for the Journey friends. You can see a slideshow of pics here.

We had a faboo time. And yes, I got some work done. Sorta. The plan was to finish edits on book #2, and the truth is, I'm stuck stuck stuck. Believe it or not, I'm short on word count, and I can't think of anything to add. I got a little more done, so I guess I'll send it out to crit and be done with the thing. Which means I can finish writing #3 in good conscience now, right?

The trouble is, to get kiddo to daycare to meet Kay and Robbie to drive down there to be on time, I had to get up at 6 a.m. For those of you unfamiliar with my morning routine, allow me to explain a little quirk of my personality.

I'm generally not even awake until about 9, although during the school year, I move it down to 8, since kiddo has to be at school at 9. Because I'm not a morning person, I need at least an hour to wake up and be human, which translates to: Don't speak to me before 10. That Man, to his credit, tiptoed around me all morning and did not say a word. Which is why he's still alive.

The point of this is... to a sweet gal like me, getting up at 6 a.m. is an absolutely barbaric practice. How do you early birds live with yourselves? More to the point, how do others survive around you with their heads intact?

Some of you are asking... why don't you go to bed now, Miss Grumpy Pants? I'll tell you why. I have a hard time falling asleep before midnight. So the universe is going to have to put up with me being grumpy and tired for another two hours.

I called my bro, aka my web guru, since he was nagging me about working on my website. Huh. Isn't that what I'm not paying him for? We worked through a couple of issues I was having and I finally got the thing he wanted me to do fixed. Rocket scientists make it sound soooo easy. It's not.

But I'm plugging away. And maybe tomorrow, I'll find something I'm satisfied with. Fortunately, boss-man is busy all day, so I can play some more and maybe even get a little writing time in.

Wow. I really do sound grumpy. May you all have pleasant dreams and I'll talk to you soon.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Car shows and the Coolness Factor.

Tonight I needed a little "me time" and took a drive to one of my favorite mountain places. On the way, I stopped off at Sonic for a cherry limeade. YUM! I don't know what the Sonics elsewhere do, but ours always has these car show things. Tonight's was a bit... strange.

I pull into Sonic to find... a row of Mazdas. Not the fancy sports car ones (do they even make sports cars?), but these dinky little putt-putt things. And I'm telling you, these guys had the hoods proudly propped open like they were some sort of souped up engine thingamajig. I know, I'm so technical. I'm a GIRL. And I'm not Danica Patrick, so just stop it already.

The next row of cars, proudly on display by their owners, was a bunch of volkswagon jettas and passats. Um... okay. Then they had rows of beamers, mustangs (new ones only), and Hyundais. Yes. Hyundais. I may know nothing about cars, but I know enough to know they do not pass the coolness factor.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not mocking these guys and their pride in their automobiles. Okay, maybe I am a little, since they were all nerdmobiles with the exception of the mustangs and maybe the BMWs. It's pretty cool that these guys were obviously extremely proud of their cars. I guess it's no longer cool to dig one out of the junkyard, put some hard work and muscle into it, and show it off. Nope. You just drive it off the dealer's lot, and there ya go: instant coolness. Or something like that. And yes, a couple of them still had the dealer tags, so you know that's exactly what happened.

Instant coolness. Huh. I wonder if they have minivan conventions like that? Sure, my paint is um, well, lacking in luster these days, but hey, if they had a contest like, "what's the grossest thing under the seat," I'm sure I'd win, hands-down. The last time I vacuumed out the back, it was so gross I had to sweet talk That Man into doing it for. I still don't know what those kids spilled in there.

I guess it all boils down to the fact that we all think we need something to make us feel cool. Society's so good at putting labels on us that sometimes I wonder if we end up going to an awful lot of trouble making up contests for ourselves so we have a "win" we can boast about. But I have to wonder... are we clinging to something that will mean something in the end?

I've been a little depressed lately because I've been hoping to have a particular label, a certain "coolness" item, and it looks like yet again, I'm going to be denied. A couple of my close friends have been with me on this portion of the journey, and I've been whining to them about it. And they pat me on the head, say it's okay, someday... and I say, yeah I know. But you know I don't.

Then God, in His infinite ability to "get" me, smacked me on the head and said, "So what do you want? To glorify me? Or to get your little "I'm so cool" sticker?" Um, obviously a trick question. Or not. But I'm slow sometimes.

Last night, I spent just over an hour on the phone with one of those friends, and I finally admitted to the truth. The truth is, the work God is doing in me will happen. Maybe not on my timetable. Maybe not in the way I'd like it to. But it WILL happen.

Tonight, when I saw the guys in the geek mobiles, I thought about that need for recognition. How, for a few whiny moments, I lost sight of the fact that I was supposed to be doing this for God. And it makes me wonder, how many other things are in my life that end up being my geek mobile at the car show?

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Thursday Thirteen #54: Insomnia Edition

Thirteen Things about Insomnia

So, as you can tell by the time stamp on the post, I can't sleep. Ugh. So, here's a little about my insomnia.

1. It's a never ending pattern for me. I started Sunday night, stayed up way too late, slept in too late Monday, stayed up too late... thought I kicked it Tuesday by getting up normal, having a normal day, going to bed at a normal time. Slept late today (I honestly couldn't get up, I was so tired) and now up late again tonight. UGH.
2. I think tonight's because I've been caffeine free for a month now, and made the mistake of having a Dr. Pepper at 7... I cannot have caffeine after 4 and have a good night's sleep.
3. It's also because my friend Cheryl has a book due and she needed me to read it before turning it in to her editor. The darn thing was so good, I couldn't put it down. It's unedited, and to be honest, I didn't find a whole lot wrong with it. :) You all are reading Cheryl Wyatt, aren't you?
4. Believe it or not, I'm actually not stressed about anything. Except maybe how messy my house is.
5. The whole milk thing doesn't work for me. I hate milk.
6. Ditto on all the supposed herbal things. They make me gag.
7. On this top ten list, I do most of them. Obviously, I violated the caffeine rule, and I didn't know about the no puzzle-solving or work rule. Other than that, I do all that stuff.
8. I'm allergic to most sleeping pills.
9. Reading sometimes helps me fall asleep, but I have to finish the book before going to sleep, and if it was an exciting book, I'll still lay awake thinking about it.
10. After reading Cheryl's manuscript, I feel so invigorated with creative juices that I really want to write instead of going to sleep.
11. That Man is due to get up at any time now to go to a job that needs him there super early today.
12. I'm also hungry, but I know that if I eat, I really won't be able to sleep, so now I'm torn between two bad decisions. Ugh.
13. To tell the truth, I'm not all that bothered about not being able to sleep right now. I'm sitting here, listening to big band music, drinking some water, and enjoying a nice evening. I just know that tomorrow, when the children start with that whole, "Mooooommmmmmmyyyyy" thing, I'm going to be really upset.

So what about you? How do you sleep?

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others' comments. It’s easy, and fun! Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Work, work, work...

Yep, still working on the website. Mostly, it's just figuring out controls and how to hook up stuff. And learning the difference between a section, category, and article. I, apparently, do it all out of order. *sigh*

On a productive front, I FINALLY finished the revisions on this silly book. I thought I was done, and then I realized, oops, I'm 5K words short because I calculated by the old method, not the current method. So I've been editing, adding, blah blah blah, and then I was 2K over. *sigh* I'm now at a place where I can finally say it's just about perfect and I'm ready.

The funny thing I'm learning with all this work is that the work is never finished. And it's never perfect. A hard lesson for a perfectionist to learn. Fortunately, I'm trying to get rid of a little of that perfectionism, so maybe one of these days, we can call me fixed.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

My Website!!!

As many of you know, I've had a website for a while. To be honest, I've been hating on it... totally DIY, totally unprofessional, and it's just icky. My neighbor, aka my adopted brother, is a computer geek. The company he worked for just lost its funding, so he's on a little unpaid vacay right now. So.... lil' sis is taking advantage...

However, I have very few ideas as to what I want. Well, that's not true. While this is my site, it's really YOUR site. Which means I want what you want. So tell me... what do you want?

Here's the site in its infancy... www.danicafavorite.com. Leave a comment here or one via the site and let me know what you think, what you want, etc. I will probably be changing the header graphic, but I don't have any good ideas. I think I'll probably be changing my blog to match, but that's down the road.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Why do I love him... let me count the ways...

Yesterday, I went shopping. I bought new clothes. Now, most husbands have a bit of a freakout moment when their wives say, "Honey, I went shopping and got a couple of outfits." Mine... he says, "that's great, honey," and proceeds to admire my purchases. Not just the usual guy thing of, "uh huh," but he genuinely looks at them and gives me his opinion. In the case of this shopping trip, I majorly scored.

I finally caved to the fact that I don't have a lot of clothes that fit. I hate shopping, so since I was in the mood, I figured I might as well get it over with. After all, I'll be at a conference in a couple of weeks and they might not like it if I walked around in sweats. So I shopped.

That Man understands that I seldom buy anything new for myself. I generally buy stuff for everyone but me. He gets pretty excited when I buy stuff for myself. He's even more excited because I actually bought colorful things. And... who knew? He thinks I look sexy in skirts. I bought a couple of them. :)

If that wasn't enough to get me in a good mood, today, he did something spectacular. Today, finally, after having to stare at the abomination since we moved in, he finally moved it. I tried taking a picture, but the camera batteries were dead.

Close your eyes and imagine... a big ugly roof sitting in the middle of my backyard. It's our shed roof and it's taken him nearly a year to get it moved. But it's finally in place. Now he can finish the shed, put all of his ugly man junk in it, and I get my yard back. Except... there's now an ugly brown spot where the grass died from having the shed there. Oh well, I'll plant more.

I'm so happy! So tell me... what are the silly little things people do for you that make you happy?

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Thursday Thirteen #53: Better late than never

Thirteen Things about My Trip

It's the better late than never edition... been a funky week. However, I did promise I'd share more about my trip, so here it is...

1. One of the fine activities the family engaged in is what as known as the chicken fly...

2. You climb a ladder, stick a chicken in the mailbox, and then plunge it out to make it fly. The person whose chicken flies the farthest wins. We did not win. But we sure had fun.

3. I had my children arrested for making a mess. They have not, however, learned their lesson. My house is messier than ever.

4. We also ate like pigs.

5. The littlest one also treated us to some of her beautiful singing, courtesy of a stick she found on the grounds, with backup from her favorite princess doll, Aurora, aka Allora.

6. At the end of the evening, we were treated to a flute serenade and a gorgeous sunset.

Huh... well, that's the best of the pictures. So I guess I'll tell you about a few other things until I get to thirteen.

7. We were so far in the mountains, away from any towns, that the nearest place to view fireworks was at least an hour away. This was the first 4th of July I've gone without seeing fireworks. Oh wait, I lied. Didn't get to see any the summer I was in Israel, either. For some reason, they don't celebrate the 4th. ;)

8. Even though it was a family vacation, I did not sleep with my hubby. I slept in the cabin, he and the kiddos slept in a tent. He'd been promising to take them camping, so we figured this was the closest thing. They wouldn't stay in the tent without him.

9. We saw a real live cay-whoa-tee. Sadly, or maybe gladly, the little one afraid of the wild beasts did not see it. She's still bitter about that.

10. I forgot to take pictures of the accommodations and pond. The pond's a little low, but it's still real nice to sit on the bench, drinking tea, and staring at it.

11. We're planning on building a labyrinth there. A few months ago, I was talking about how I wished I had some land to build one, and Gloria said I could put one up at the cabin. I think she's more excited about it than I am.

12. The kids fought less than usual, but are making up for it now.

13. We did not bring the dog, for fear of wild animals. I missed him a lot. We need to figure out a way to bring him so he doesn't get eaten.

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others' comments. It’s easy, and fun! Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Sunday, July 06, 2008

I want to go back...

We spent a glorious two days in the mountains... the family has a cabin in the mountains that we visited for the first time. I can assure you we will be going back. As often as possible. Especially now that I know we have unlimited access.

I can't begin to explain what I loved about being there. Certainly, it was because it's in the mountains. I seriously could never live far from my beloved mountains. How can a person be in the midst of such perfect majesty and not believe in God? Such beauty cannot come from an accident.

The other piece was the peace.

I should tell you that while the cabin has electricity, there is no running water, no phone service, and has two 10 by 12 rooms, one upstairs, one downstairs. For six people, this presents a bit of a space problem. The cabin is affectionately known as "The Shack." For the bathroom, there is a shed several yards away containing a composting toilet. The shower consists of a solar heated bag of water hung on the side of the shed. Primitive, but not unlivable.

For two days, I didn't have to listen to the phone. For two days, I did not hear the blaring of a TV. For two days, we had no computers. For two days, all we had was the glory of God and each other. We had good food, good conversation, good hikes, good times. Not once did my kids say, "Mom, I'm bored."

I enjoyed a book and a cup of tea overlooking a small pond while the birds sang me a song so beautiful, I wonder what I did to deserve such a spectacular symphony. While reading another book, moths attacked me. Apparently, not all of nature appreciates my taste in literature. All in all, I read ten books this weekend.

I'm reminded of Thoreau and I understand the appeal of Walden. Here, in the mountains, I have found my own Walden. And truly, being back in the city, I feel as though a piece is missing from my heart.

This morning, after a comfortable night in my own bed, I woke to such a cacophony that I ran out to the porch, hands over my ears, trying to focus only on the sound the birds in our yard and then the soft whisper of rain. I hated being back in the land of noise. I hated that the children were downstairs on one TV, my husband upstairs on the other. They are in bed now, and the only thing I hear is the soft clack of my fingers on the keyboard and the ticking of the kitchen clock. I miss the hummingbirds. I miss the quiet so dense you can hear the wings of the moths as they float through the darkness.

As I adjust to being back home, I have to figure out how to bring back the feeling of peace we all knew. How about you? Where do you find the most peace? And how do you keep it with you in the midst of all the craziness of life?

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Home again...

Well, I posted my TT Wed night with every intention of getting back to my blog Thursday morning before I left town. You know what they say about the best laid plans of mice and men...

So I mentioned, I think, that my freezer died last week when I got back from Costco, so we had to buy a new one. Well... I shopped around, finally settled on this little beauty from Best Buy.

The salesman told me when I ordered it, I'd get it either Tuesday or Wednesday. AFTER I paid for the thing, he said, oops, no sorry, it's Thursday. I let him know I needed it EARLY Thursday or sooner. (AKA I'm leaving town) Wednesday, I get a phone call saying they'll be delivering it LATE Thursday afternoon/early evening. I tried to explain I was leaving town, and needed it sooner. The woman was VERY uncooperative. I finally told her that we'd have to wait until Monday since I would not be home. I asked if we could get some kind of credit since they messed up my delivery time. Nope. Had to talk to the store. Hubby went to the store, they said they couldn't do anything. Okay, fine. I'm irritated that I have to wait until Monday for my freezer, but since I won't be home, that's fine.

Fast forward to Thursday. AKA the day we're leaving, which according to Murphy's law, is the day everything goes wrong and gets messed up. It does, but so far, not too bad. We are getting ready to walk out the door and the phone rings. It's Best Buy. They're on their way to my house with my freezer. Since they're on the way, we figure, okay, we'll wait around. Of course, this leads to mad dash of moving things around to get freezer in the house since I wasn't planning on it getting here until Monday. And, because you all know I was trying to get out of town, they got to my house later than what they said. I'm slightly bitter that I paid $60 for all of this hassle.

However, I did get out of town. And I do have my brand-new, beautiful freezer. And really, hubby is probably grateful for the Best Buy delay, because it gave him more time to get stuff together without me yelling at him for taking too much time. :) So I'm happy even though I'll probably think hard before buying something else from Best Buy that has to be delivered. My appliances from Home Depot were not this much hassle.

Anyway, now that I'm home again, I can start playing with my new freezer, get a little unpacking done, do some laundry, take a bath, download pictures, and then I'll blog about my many adventures in the mountains. We had a ball. Nearly two days of no TV, no computers, no noise... heaven. Of course, the rest of the family is holed up in the basement glued to the TV. Sigh. Now that I know we have use of this cabin, I think we may do this at least once a month. :)

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Thursday Thirteen #52: Things that make me smile

1. My Cowgirl
2. My Princess
3. My friend Tonya's pictures. It's too late to ask her permission to post one, so go visit her.
4. Jokes about The LiLi. My hubby and I get pretty silly with them all.
5. Babies.
6. Silly text messages from my friends... they know I don't text, but every once and a while, they send me a message that warms my heart.
7. Reading a good book.
8. Mike Myers (He just happens to be on Leno right now. My all time favorite comedy is So I married an ax murderer)
9. Being in the mountains.
10. A good cup of tea.
11. Chatting with friends.
12. Accomplishing things.
13. Making That Man smile.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Mugs, Pictures, and Dilemmas...

Jan tagged me with a challenge to show off my mugs. So I took a few pictures and then realized why I haven't been posting pictures to begin with. I can't find the little doo-dad to get them from my camera to my computer! I finally found it, and so I present to you... my mugs.

The first one is of my two favorite mugs. My best friend bought me the Harrod's mug when she visited London. The black dog reminds me of my own dog, and the white dog, well, I want one of those. So it's a sort of past, present, future mug. But mostly, it makes me think of her, so when I miss her, I make myself a little tea and drink it from that mug. The second mug in the picture is my everyday mug. It's huge, which is why I love it. I hate small mugs I have to keep refilling.

The second picture is three teacups from Randy's grandmother, a woman I never met, but I'm sure I would have loved her. At the old house, I had all of her old funky dishes on top of my cabinets as a display, but you never really could see them. Here, I have no space on top of my cabinets, so I've decided I'm going to put them into service. I watched a show the other day that really inspired me to go ahead and use some of the "nice" things I'm saving for later.

All of this leads to the dilemmas... I unpacked his grandmother's things the other day, because we made a huge effort to get our stuff out of storage. AND, as of yesterday, the storage is empty and we have everything in our house. Well, in the garage anyway. In the midst of all this craziness, our freezer decided to die. As in right when I got home with Costco loaded up with groceries to go in the freezer. The new freezer, a bit smaller and prettier than the old one, will be delivered Thursday. I haven't quite figured out how we'll get the old one out and the new one in yet. There's the matter of the very full garage.

Now that we have everything here, I feel compelled to get things cleaned up and organized. Plus, there's that full garage I have to contend with. My biggest annoyance right now is my mess. Right now, I do all of my work from a little spot on the couch in the family room. It's great because I have a full view of the backyard and any mischief the kiddos are getting into. It's bad because I have a whole slew of stuff I need to do my work and I have no place to put it.

Enter exhibit A:
As you can see, it's a mess. I proposed the solution of getting a small bookcase (one of the little short ones) and putting it right there so I can have all the stuff I need organized and at arm's reach. That Man, who hates the mess (and I might add had MORE areas like this than I do), thinks the bookcase will just end up cluttered and messy. Which I will admit, probably will happen. He wants me to move it all downstairs to my office. The problem with that is a.) my office is packed full of boxes and I can't move in there, let alone get to any of my overstuffed bookcases. b.) I hate my office because it's in the basement, where it is dark and smelly, so I don't ever use it.

The mess mostly consists of boxes of books I have bought within the past few months and either need to read, write the review, or judge for contests. I could stack them on the floor, but the kiddos would take that as an invitation to destroy or move, and even though it looks like a mess, the boxes ARE organized according to task and priority.

Soooo.... tell me what I should do. Suggestions, compromises, ideas are welcome!