Saturday, September 29, 2007

remember the armless, head-butting murderer?

we can all breathe a sigh of relief! there was a follow-up article on msn this morning, and the armless man who head-butted a rival (who then died) for the affections of a mystery woman will only be charged with a misdemeanor ... the coroners report showed that the dead man had serious heart disease & blockage, and died of a heart attack.

on the other hand, it makes the armless head-butt seem less....powerful. in my imagination it was a thing of grandeur, worthy of a moment in "kill bill". *sigh*

i cannot tell you how ferverently i wish there were photos of these people, especially the woman they were fighting over.

Friday, September 28, 2007

serious, debilitating shoe lust

this first pair is actually even on sale... sigh ....
not the season for a peep toe, but ...
i'm not committed to the ankle strap, but the shape of the shoe is fabulous!
not black & white, but looooove the stack!

this is my least fav...not a convincing "giraffe" print...but still...

just imagine these with a great pair of jeans and a blouse...mmm-mm good!

stolen from mark & raj

how does it poop?


tgif, people.


Wednesday, September 26, 2007


this is my 300th post, (holy cow), and i am going to use it announce...

my eyes hurt. they burn a little when they're open looking at things. i do have reading glasses, and i spend hours a day reading or using the computer. i guess i should start using them.

sorry my 300th post is so anticlimactic.

splendor in my backyard

...and me without my camera!!

i looked up from my chair yesterday to see a beautiful young buck stepping out of the woods into our yard! it delicately made it's way until it was standing, fully exposed, smelling around our birdfeeder...breathtakingly beautiful. and after the first click of my camera, the battery d-i-e-d. *sigh* it was like he came and posed in the sun, ready for his close up, and there was me, with a dead camera. i did get one shot, though not the best one.

he was in no hurry to leave, so i watched for a moment...awed at the grace and peacefulness he embodied...when he was joined by 2 more bucks! this is very unusual, to see boys together. we mostly get groups of girls. one of the new bucks was just a "spike" - a little finger of antler sticking out above each ear, but one was huge - the biggest i've seen in nature, with a full rack and broad shoulders...a stunning creature to have wander through my suburban landscape.

those of you who know me well know how i feel about seeing something like that. to quote an old story, "the father of Jesus is very fond of me."

Tuesday, September 25, 2007


sometimes, you just need some down time. mental breathing room. time to do nothing ... on purpose. so last night, with my hubby out of town, i watched the premier of "chuck" on nbc...and it was AWESOME! it somehow avoided so many things that pilots get wrong - it was engaging, the characters were well drawn, the actor who plays Chuck was fantastic - he made Chuck genuine and believeable and cheer-on-able, the story was clear and didn't have a long "porch" (the introduction that goes on and on), it moved at a good pace, it made me laugh, and it made me miss it during the commercials...the only other show that does that is "house" (if you're not watching house, you should be! premier is tonight!) also, it's a nice change of pace from the "ensemble" shows - this story has only a couple of key players, and plenty of room to maneuver. all in all, a home run. i highly recommend it! and nbc is making the full episode available online, incase you missed it...

Monday, September 24, 2007

such a pretty girl!

vincent says: a girl, "Terrapene carolina ssp". we found her in the backyard this morning...and both curtis and i were greatly relieved! we usually have a parade of box turtles through our yard in the summer, but this year we saw not one. until today! we were beginning to worry that the extreme heat combined with the lack of rain had done them in...but we worried in vain. phew!

i hope she lays eggs back there...

let me make one thing clear

i've seen the bumper stickers... "my dog is better than your honor student". and believe me, i know where you're coming from. in fact, it wasn't until we moved south of the border that i even saw one of the "my child is an honor student at..." stickers, and i thought they were rather arrogant and foolish. i mean, really, who cares?

turns out, kids do. you see, the poor parent driving that car doesn't really have a choice about whether or not to stick on that sticker. because they send them home from school in the eager hands of said child, as reward & motivation. and what kind of parent, faced with the glowing eyes of their lovely child, proudly presenting their hard earned bumpersticker with the words, "let's go put in on the car right now!", can say "no"? that is a spirit crusher!

so yes, i drive around with " kid..." bumper stickers. and i am proud of The Girls beyond reason. but i only have the bumper stickers because i have to. i'd rather be a vaguely embarrassed mom than a spirit crushing one.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

those who can't do, criticize...

who do you think is famous but has no talent? this is the subject of an article i read this morning, much to my delight. (perhaps i should be less judgemental, but it's saturday. isn't that a day off from everything...even morality?) to their list i would add a number of names: britney spears, rhianna, kevin costner, jean claude van damme, keanu reeves, pam anderson, chuck norris, and any number of the blond & simpering young "actresses" that clutter the red carpet these days.

boy, i must feeling more bitter than i thought ...

Friday, September 21, 2007

apologies & confessions

i'm sorry. i don't usually do this in the blog forum.

i was just driving home, behind a white minivan that was going a couple of miles over the limit - not too slow, not too fast. normally not a big deal. but i had tears well up in my eyes - i just wanted to get home. i had to get home. my life & calendar have pushed me to the edge of my capacity this week. and if some of you think that makes me weak, you need to know that i don't really care what you think. i am beyond that. i am who i am, and i cannot and will not apologize for that. i have no space for personal recovery for too long. and as for this week, i'm not even through it. i have one more committment tonight and one tomorrow morning, both of which require my 'game face'. people to chat up, cheeriness to fake, polite conversation to make, performances to give. i don't know if i can do that. i mean, i guess i don't have a choice, but i don't know how i am going to do that. i am going to take the next hour, while curtis has the girls at piano lessons, to try to regroup. it isn't much, but it's my only port in this storm.

the news we've all been waiting for!

"Quitters Do Win. Why Persevering Can Be Bad For You."



i did something last night i rarely do, if ever. i indulged my inner girl without worrying about the money. i had a little pocket money, and i splurged it all on myself ... at those most holy places ... Sephora & the MAC counter! oh, but it felt good. so good. my inner girl was loving every minute - not even intimidated by the well groomed women populating the stores. i got foundation, a trial kit of a new & expensive skin care line i am optimistic about, fun bronzer, powder, and to top it off, free mascara for spending over a certain amount! yay! i cannot wait to have a shower today and play with all my new toys!! la la la!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

i wonder if i'll have to wear a sash?

good morning to you all out there in cyber space!

i am eating my wheaties - as recommended by my trainer - and figure i have all day to talk myself into working out tonight. it's pretty bad when your first thought upon waking is "how on earth am i going to work out today?"

so - meg is going to be a girl scout! she is super excited, and her first meeting is monday. i am tickled that she wants to & kyra has no interest. i've been looking for ways to help them differentiate their personal lives without one or the other feeling excluded...up til now it's been every activity together - piano & art lessons, various church activities, etc. but last night at 9:40pm i got a phonecall from the troupe leader (bearing in mind, we haven't even gone to a meeting yet) telling me they needed a money person for the cookie fundraiser. now, it's just someone to collect the money, but... what??!? how does this happen? you all know how i feel about being field trip mom, and this seems a lot like that, only worse, because i have to go to - i kid you not - "COOKIE TRAINING" again, what?!?!? it makes me wonder if there are really moms out there who love this stuff, or if they are like me, and figure it's the price you pay for the joys of being a mom...

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

there's a first time for everything

huh. i was just walking across the burger king parking lot, having picked up lunch for curtis, when a young man generously offered to sell me (what was mostly likely) a stolen diamond ring. (at best, it was a tragic knock off) he was very understanding when i said, "no thank you" and wished me a good day. you never know what's going to happen at burger king!

Monday, September 17, 2007


last night i was awoken from my slumber by clattering in the yard, on the deck right underneath our bedroom window! alarmed, i called down to curtis (who was up watching sports on his dearly loved HDTV), who called up to me that something was in our grill! our grill sports a protective cover, so there was something under the cover, clanking around! i tore out of bed, through on some jeans and scoured the house for my camera while curtis got gloves and screwed his courage to the sticking point. camera in hand, the cover was pulled off to reveal... nothing. how anticlimatic. i put the camera away, and was halfway up the stairs when curtis hollered, "rachel rachel rachel rachel!"...i jogged back to find him pointing, wide eyed, at the corner where the deck meets the house, beside the grill. there, frightened in the bright light, cowered a large, pink nosed possum! how cool! unfortunately, my camera didn't make it back on and focused before it slunk in a panic off the deck and into the forest behind our house. later, i heard it again, and smiled into my pillow. critters welcome here.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

does anyone ever fall for this?

wow! i just won millions of dollars in the new zealand lottery! and i've been offered a job as a representative of a chinese shipping company, which would like me to launder it's money for a 10% cut! this is so exciting! usually my junk mailbox is full of "male enhancements" which are useless to me, but this, well, this is just what i need! i will have to be sure to supply all the detailed personal information they need, so as not to lose my opportunity to capitalize on these things! why shouldn't i trust them? just because they are poorly typed gramatical nightmares from countries i've never been to, offering prizes & jobs i've never shown an interest in, surely they are on the up & up, right? let me just email them my social security number...

Saturday, September 15, 2007

*please note*

for my birthday i want the new alicia keys album, out november 13, "as i am".

thank you.

Friday, September 14, 2007


well, it's been a big week here on the porch. and i, for one, have had a big week off the porch, as well. i'm pooped. i hope you all have a restful weekend.

i leave you with this quote, from british writer Quentin Crisp. "There is no need to do any housework at all. After the first four years the dirt doesn't get any worse. It's simply a question of not losing your nerve."

Thursday, September 13, 2007


there's something else i noticed from the car line at school.

this week my daughter is on "flag duty" - in charge of taking down the flag after school. i watched her do it, and was reminded of all the rules she told me about it. things like never letting it touch the ground, not rolling into a ball but folding it a special way, and always treating it with respect. as i watched her and a friend carefully follow all those rules, it struck me that we treat our flag with a lot more thought and care than we treat the people it represents. what would our neighborhoods & cities, even our country, look like, if we took treating people as seriously as we took raising & lowering our flag?

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

that's me...the creepy lady on the bench

i love to sit and watch the People. give me a latte (or diet pepsi) and a bench at the mall, or any other place people congregate, and i'm a happy camper! today i was parked in the line to get The Girls from school, and was in the best people watching spot...all the people who parked in the lot had to walk directly in front of me to get their kids. it was facscinating.

first, my personal favorite (and where i hope i would fit in, if i were walking past my windshield), were the fierce & fabulous women. put together clothes, heels, great hair, makeup & lipgloss - strutting down the short sidewalk full of confidence. just as a note of honesty, the vast majority of these women were african-american. i actually had to stop one woman to tell her how beautiful she was. and, now that i think of it, all of the dads that fall into this catagory are african-american, too. handsome men in well tailored clothes, though, not in heels or lipgloss! :)

next, one i don't fit into quite so much: the Mom. you can tell these women by their solid color polo shirts, sensible walking shorts & sneakers with not-socks. they are very companionable women, though, who know the names of all the other Moms and their kids, as well as the teachers. they invariably are in conversation with one another. these women are the least likely to wear lipgloss, but the most likely to strike up a conversation with you, and are really very nice. there are Dads in this catagory, too, and they are wearing pretty much the same uniform...but for men. these parents are also most likely to be "field trip chaperone".

then are the sloppy, "i-just-got-up-from-my-nap-and-realized-i-had-to-get-the-kids" parents. i must admit, Kyra's first year of school (or first 2 years) this was me a lot. they get no judgement from me...being a parent is a tough gig. you've got to sleep when you can.

then there are a sprinkling of the rest - some trendy parents, some tragic parents, many that fall in between.

i've never felt like i belonged in the parent section of anywhere...i don't really fit in. or maybe it's just that at any given time, on any given day, i fit into all the groups. somedays, i know i've offended the Mom's with my sweats & "gettin' lucky in kentucky" t-shirt. other days, i've noticed that no one will look at me, because i am dressed fabulously and wearing eye liner. usually i fall somewhere in between tragic & trendy... and that's just fine with me.

how do you eat a mountain?

...or something like that... "one bite at a time".

so, my mom & brother & other brother have all gently (some more gently than others) suggested that i write a book about something that's going on in my life. not a bad idea, really. i love to write, and my mom says if i write a little every day it will be done in a year. she's right, too. but i am so overwhelmed with the actual goings-on, that i can't really bring myself to do the writing. i am being brave about lots of things - maybe i should just buckle down and be brave about this, too. we'll see....

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

the benefits outweigh the risks .... today

sometimes, when the stars align, meg gets an angelic little glow on her face, and starts offering to help out. she just swiffed the kitchen floor - even under the mat! - and then asked if she could windex her bathroom.


soap box

so, last night, as we looked at psalm 23, we read the first 3 verses aloud, as if they weren't true. "the Lord is not my shepherd..." and then discussed what our lives would look like if that were true. it felt ... dangerous; an "up the creek with no canoe" kind of abandoned. as we did that, i realized how much i count on psalm 23 being real & true - how much i believe it to the core of my being. i realized (again) that i don't know i would, or could, live apart from the reality of God in my life. he's not just a nice religious idea, or a fall back plan to me. he is the sustainer of everything, from my very first breath in the morning - he is big & strong & active & crazy generous & he likes me & he loves me & he is my plan "A" only plan. when i am weak, he really is strong. when i am lost, he finds me. when i am full of sorrow, he comforts me. when i am drowing with happiness is dazzling to me. he when i am courageous or generous or loving it's because he helps me to be. if there is any beauty in the garden of my inner life, it's because he planted lovely things there. and i am grateful today to be reminded of that.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

the ugly truth

one of the most fun things about the internet is that it can surprise you. for instance, it has put me back in touch with my very best friend from jr/high school, cynthia. i loved her then, and i love her still... we were inseperable! sunday she sent me a bunch of pictures from our youth that she had meticulously scanned. i am struck by this sentiment:

as a teen, i always wondered why no boys ever asked me out. i no longer wonder that.

thank goodness she swore me to secrecy, and i will not be posting any of the pictures for your "entertainment". thanks, cyn!

what i wish i knew

for better or worse, i read "PostSecret" every sunday. i find it alternatingly heartbreaking, scandalous, hopeful & entertaining. usually i read it and forget it, but there is one i read today that settled deep within me. i think it's someone's truest, deepest heart. and i know that the writer of that postcard is not alone.

"part of me is so beautiful

i don't know how to let that part win."

i wish i knew what to say to all of us who feel that; who fight that battle.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

from the mouth of meg

my 7 year old has persistent issues with her breathing/allergies...always congested & being instructed to blow her nose. just now, at dinner, i told her, "you've got to do something with those boogers meg." implying, i thought, that she should go blow her nose. without skipping a beat she looked up from her plate and said, "i'll sell them on craig's list."

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

good things come ... part II

"This is the true joy of life; the being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one, being a force of Nature rather than a feverish selfish little cloud of ailments complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy.'
- George Bernard Shaw

"The danger is that you will lead a respectable, decent, nonscandalous, busy, tired, human-powered life. That is unspeakably sad."
- John Ortberg

I feel like I'm in the middle of living a 'George Bernard Shaw' life - and he's right - it's full of joy.

idle time....

ok - courtesy of brother Mark, you guys have to try this! it guessed me ... will it guess you?

also, read this. the headline says it all: "Airline Sacrifices Goats to Appease Sky God"

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

in keeping with the spirit...

...of procrastination, i really ought to be doing my fitness "routine" from my trainer right now. but i'm not. i'm sitting in my comfy chair, in my sweats, trying hard to find a justifiable reason to put it off just a little longer....

Monday, September 03, 2007

good things come to those who read

"Within our control are our own opinions, aspirations, desires & things that repel us. These areas are quite rightly our concern because they are directly subject to our influence. We always have a choice about the contents and character of our inner lives." - Epictetus (Greek philosopher)

"My actions are my only true belongings." - unknown

As part of my 'back to school resolution' (akin to a new year's resolution), I began my discipline of reading again this morning. These quotes come from a book I bought at the leadership summit by John Ortberg (whom I love). They are worth building your life around, I think. Especially when taken in conjuction with Jesus' words, "This is my command: Love each other." Not a lot of flourish in those words. Not a lot of qualifiers. Love each other.

They are revolutionary in their simplicity. And far-reaching in their impact - perhaps devastatingly so. Are my actions, the foundation on which I stand, driven by Love? Not just love for lovely people, for my friends, for people I like. But a restless love, driven to express itself in all my choices, to the whole populace of my life, every day? What is the content & character of my inner life? Is it informed and influenced by that kind of love? The truth is, sometimes. A little bit. Some days more than others. But today, I am going to write those words down somewhere I can see them, and I am going to try to learn what it means to live them a little bit more tomorrow than I did today.

One foot in front of the other ... life is a journey, not a destination.

holiday monday

happy labor day!

are you laboring on labor day? i am ... laundry, dog walking, house cleaning...all the thing i procrastinated on all weekend! the really ought to call it "procrastination day" rather than "labor day"...

Saturday, September 01, 2007

what "sunny side of the street"?

i am grouchy. G-R-O-U-C-H-Y. it's not a "fair" grouch ... the world has not done me wrong, nor do i have a litany of personal grievances. *sigh* these are the times, when i was growing up, that my mom would tell me choose my attitude, and i would sort of hate her for it. but she was not wrong. so am going to go choose my attitude. if i have to.