Maybe I'll get a second wind and post a new blog tonight, as I really would like to at least post Christmas stories before St. Valentine's Day. If not, HAPPY NEW YEAR! Here's hoping that 2010 if full of friends, family, and fun!
We were dog-sitting the neighbor's dog, Tootsie, all week. I thought she and Blossom found something rank to roll around in the grass outside, because every time I was sitting near them on the couch, they stunk to high heaven. I thought they had infested everything in the house - the couches, the blankets, the throw pillows, etc. At one point I was even sitting next to Larry and told him that he smelled. I thought maybe he had really bad breath or smelly feet or that he had been sitting on a smelly blanket and it rubbed into his clothes.
Well, I was sitting on the couch indian-style and saw that I had something on my warm pink fuzzy slipper sock. I looked closer and even gave it a little sniff, as it looked like chocolate. Um... not chocolate. It was DOG POOP! I was the source of the stench!
I quickly apologized to Larry for insinuating that he was the source, then threw the socks in the washer and jumped in the shower. The lesson I learned today.... "he who smelt it, dealt it."
Sugar cookies - Stacy style. I call them "Stacy style" because I ate about a dozen of these suckers while staying at their house a few weeks ago. I used sugar cookie mix and then rolled them in red sugar before baking. Mmmmmm.
Red Velvet truffles - Bakerella style (she calls them cake balls but I prefer "truffles")
Pumpkin bread - Libby style. This is what Ed & Rita, the next door neighbors get every year because they say they love it. This is homemade and takes quite a bit of time, so I hope they really do love it and aren't just saying that.
Peanut butter thumbprint mini-muffin cookies - I just kind of made these up as I went along because I wanted to use my new mini muffin pan. Again, peanut butter cookie mix (yes, I taught home ec but am not afraid of mixes.) I just put them in the muffin tin and baked, then pressed my thumb down so that they are kind of like little shells. Then I used fudge frosting to pipe the chocolate insides. (I forgot to buy hershey kisses if you must know the truth.)
I had also intended to do cute decorated cupcakes but I think those may get axed.
If you are our neighbor, you'll get a nice little plate of these delicious treats. Also, if you are homeless and happen to visit the Mobile Loaves and Fishes truck tomorrow, you'll get one that I put in a sandwich baggie and tie a little Christmas ribbon on.
Also.... "Little Drummer Boy" is one of my favorite Christmas carols. I love the line "I am a poor boy too" - like, what do I have to give? But after hearing at least ten different versions of it today, I might have to politely tune out the next time I hear it.
If I don't get the chance or find the motivation to post again before Christmas - many blessings to you and yours.
They hung a stocking for all of the employees.
You know they like you when they also hang a stocking for YOU:
I think I know why they like him. He is a clever fella. For example, you all know what a bluetooth is. You see idiots wearing them all over the place - you think they are saying something to you and you're all, "Excuse me?" And then you realize that they are NOT talking to you, they are talking to the little piece of plastic that is hanging from their ear. They look like this:
Well, MWG called me one day from the car and told me that he was talking on his bluetooth. His phone is the old Nokia "brick" type phone, and I don't know that they are even compatible with a bluetooth. Doesn't matter... just give MWG a Texas Longhorns skullie cap and he'll create his own hands-free device. Look and learn:
My family sends out a Christmas letter. You know what I mean.
The letter that gives you the update of what has happened in the lives of all the family members. To tell the truth, I actually like those letters and read every one that comes in. I always learn something that I didn't know. I'll say things to myself like, "Huh! I didn't know they went to Costa Rica over Spring Break!" or "Oh my gosh, poor little guy broke his arm! At least he got a Spiderman cast." etc. My parents do a really good job on theirs. My dad usually makes it into some sort of a pamphlet or something with just a sentence or two to give a quick snippet on the lives of us all. (of course, maybe I think it is a good letter because I'm mentioned in it... who knows.)
This year, my dad asked us to write our own updates. What?!?! If you know me at all, you should realize that I really don't like to talk about myself. I'm not one for lots of attention or fanfare. Example: My entire family is musical and doesn't mind performing... we've got it all - singers, guitar players, bass players, harmonica players and djimbe players - yet I kind of sing along in the background and pretty much refuse to sing by myself. (unless there is wine involved.) I realize that having a blog could be considered a method of promoting myself or bragging, but since I don't have anyone around me when I'm writing, it's more like I'm just writing an autobiography.
So anyway, we were requested to send in our updates using 150 words or less. This is what I probably should have submitted:
Just to answer your question: Rachel is not married yet, nor is she sporting anything sparkly on her left hand. She has no children but enjoys dressing up her dog in an effort to satisfy her maternal instincts. She does have a really good job that she enjoys, although sitting in a cubicle has contributed to some weight gain. She is halfway done with graduate school, and is hoping it is worth the additional $20,000 of student loans.
Here is what I submitted:
Rachel is still in Austin, loving her job as a teacher educator in a certification program. She is half-way done with her master's degree in Administrative Leadership, focusing on Human Resource Development and Adult Education. She loves being “Aunt Bee” to her nieces and nephews and tries to visit as much as possible. In her spare time, she enjoys dressing her dachshund, Blossom, in ridiculous outfits as her boyfriend Larry hangs his head in shame. Together, they enjoy volunteering with Mobile Loaves and Fishes, hosting parties, and sharing the many blessings of life with family and friends. If you’re the blogging type, you can keep up with her at www.thatcatbythebar.blogspot.com.
(insert vomiting soundtrack here)
See? I'm really not very good at self-promotion. These things are so hard to write, because you want people to be happy for the exciting things that are going on in your life, but there is no way to word them without sounding a little pretentious. For instance:
Our daughter no longer colors, she designs . . .
[The daughter was three and a half, and not quite potty trained.]
Our high school won the State Football Championship this year . . .
[None of the family's children played, but they attended regularly. Go, Bulldogs!]
Our son was invited to send a biography to "Who's Who in American High School Students" . . .
[Main selection criteria: order a copy, for $49.99.]
I'm going to learn ancient Greek next year, so I can see if the Bible was translated properly . . .
Sent to Maryanne in California, as was the next.
Our daughter has mastered French. She isn't interested in Spanish and the school doesn't offer Russian, so she's taking Mandarin Chinese . . .
[Daughter who had mastered French was in the 9th grade.]
So anyway, if you happen to get a Christmas letter from my parents this year, don't laugh at my section. I did my best.
But actually, I do remember exactly when it happened. About a year ago, I was at the gym on the elliptical, and IT happened. My biological clock started ticking.
If you haven't hit 30 yet, just wait. It's not a myth. I saw this pregnant lady and thought - hmmm. I could do that. I could be a mom. You see, up to that point, I really wasn't sure. I kind of like being able to come and go as I please and not really be responsible for anything. (aka: I am/was selfish.) But all of a sudden, something in my head/heart/body was all... "Hey self, I would probably be a good mom. I am good enough, smart enough, and doggone it, people like me." I'm pretty sure I was meant for more than just being a fun girl that throws a good party.
So we'll see what life brings me. I will admit spending time with the nieces and nephews does make me think about it, because they are just so cute and fun. And they say funny things. And they give hugs. And I can color. (And I may or may not like to buy children's clothing.) But really, I think about what my legacy will be. Fortunately I still have a *little* bit of time to see how it all plays out.
Here's hoping that I have no surgeries to post about this year.
And here's hoping that this year is just as blessed. If you're reading this, you're most likely a person that I thank God for every day. (I say "most likely" because I really have no idea who reads this thing.)
Remember to be thankful for your blessings EVERY day, not just Thanksgiving. Cheers!
Mopped a kitchen floor and realized I might need to start doing housework more often, as I got a blister.
Practiced lamaze breathing with my sister. (don't forget the "cleansing" breath!)
Went to see New Moon - much better than the first movie. While there, I saw the best Twilight t-shirt for a woman over the age of 30.... "The wolf in Jacob brings out the cougar in me"
Had a slumber party with 3 girls under five. Dipped marshmallows and strawberries in white chocolate, frosted sugar cookies, painted toe nails, danced and watch Barbie in Swan Lake.
Had a bean (b-e-a-n) burrito from Taco Villa.
Spent several hours in almost every store in town shopping for my mom's birthday present.
Currently, I'm doing homework and needed a break, but will get back to the grind as soon as I click "Publish Post."
7am: Molly wakes up
8am: We are dancing with the bunny that sings
9am: Changing out of pajamas
10am: Reading a book
11am: On the road, headed up to Denton to meet Molly's new little sister, Ellie - and we passed by Texas Motor Speedway on a race weekend
12pm: Meet Elisabeth Rose
1pm: Drive by a big flock of birds
2pm: Larry gets to stop at George's in Waco
3pm: We pass by the Fort Hood exit only an hour after the horrible shooting tragedy occurred (PLEASE PAUSE AND SAY A PRAYER FOR ALL AFFECTED)
4pm: Make it home and see that my flowers survived my absence
5pm: Get started on homework
6pm: Tijuana Thursday at Pluckers with Dale
7pm: (7:55pm to be exact... I almost forgot to take a picture during the 7pm hour.) Shots for Larry's upcoming birthday weekend
8pm: Back to homework for the rest of the night
And that pretty much tells you how exciting my life is on a daily basis.
It is ALWAYS a good deal to get 22 diapers and 20 tampex for $3.50. (So if your child weighs more than 27 pounds, I have diapers for when you visit.)
I have the CUTEST boy in the world, and Red Robin may serve previously frozen, yucky meat, but they offer you a free burger on your birthday and they sure do dress it up nice. We called this the "pac-man" burger.
That will be all. Good day.
She handed it to me and I was all - how cute! A pregnant barbie so that Molly will understand that her mommy is pregnant and that a new baby will be coming home!
Out of curiosity, I wanted to see how Mattel made the big plastic belly...
Upon closer look, I noticed that the pregnant belly is magnetic and REMOVABLE! Complete with the baby inside! (You could even position it to be breech if you wanted to.)
Once the baby is "born," you can just remove the pregnant belly and you have a regular sized barbie.
I'm not sure if I love this barbie or if I'm disturbed by it. Either way, I'm excited for Miss Molly to have her little sister.
Congrats to Joe and Mel!
UPDATED: In the words of Alan Jackson..."I'm not a real political man," but I will address the "victory" in the health care reform bill that happened tonight:
The House version of the health care reform legislation narrowly passed with the vote of 220-215 late Saturday evening, but it was done without provisions for the funding of abortions.
I don't know about y'all, but looking at those two babies posted above is enough to convince me. But just in case you need more to chew on... http://www.usccb.org/comm/archives/2009/09-228.shtml
Health care reform isn't just about abortion, it is also about those families you "sponsor" at Christmas, your Grandma on Medicaid and the guys you pick up at Home Depot to build your fence.
"Universal coverage should be truly universal, not denying health care to those in need because of their condition, age, where they come from or when they arrive here." Just sayin'.
I think I’ve mentioned before that I did NOT want to learn how to drive. Why drive myself when somebody else can drive for me? (To this day, if I could have one perk of the wealthy, I would choose a personal driver. No question. Well, the unlimited shoe budget is a close second, but I’d still go with a driver.)
Needless to say, not only could my parents not afford to get me a car when I was 16, I had no desire for one. I was
happy satisfied to be driven around in the family yellow station wagon or conversion van. When I was a senior in high school, I got my first job. I waited tables at Chelsea Street Pub and Grill in the mall on the weekends. So, I had to take one of the family cars. Well, that got old and it became apparent that I was going to have to have my own vehicle. So, after I graduated, I took my fist full of $2500 and went searching. There aren’t many cars that an 18 year old girl wants that are automatic and cost less than $3000. Nevertheless, I think the car salesman LOST money on me, but I was the proud owner of a 1993 white Eagle Summit.
That car was the best. The speedometer didn’t work, so I never had any idea how fast I was going. (But never got a speeding ticket!) This is the car that I never changed the oil in, so it only lasted me a few years. (Remember - engines break when you don’t change the oil.)
I went back to borrowing cars for a couple months until I graduated college and accepted my first teaching job. At that point, I knew that I needed an actual new car. I had signed on the dotted line that I would be getting a salary, so I felt confident in adding a car note to my plate. Fortunately, I dated the roommate of the Finance Director at the local Ford house, so I got a pretty sweet deal on a 2000 Mustang.
I had the car for about 3 days before I went driving around town, saying goodbye to all my friends before moving to Austin. I was all teary-eyed and sad as I drove down the country road back to my parent’s house. AND HIT A DOG. It was a dalmation and I killed it. So, I was sobbing by the time I got home, because who really wants to kill a dog? Besides that, the front bumper of my brand new car was all broken. (Never got it fixed either)
After getting a dog and transporting her in their crate in the back seat back and forth to Lubbock, I realized I needed a 4-door vehicle. So, as sad as it was, I traded in the Mustang for my 2003 Altima.
I had just gone in “to look” but apparently was a pretty easy target for the salesman. I don’t mind. I love my Altima. Love it so much that I managed to put 100,000 miles on it. It happened last Sunday on the way to church. I took a picture as it happened. The song on the radio was “Does Fort Worth Ever Cross Your Mind” by George Strait.
Now I just have to decide if I want to drive it until the wheels fall off since it is almost paid for, or if it is time to open the next chapter of my car history. (Not like I have any say…. SOMEBODY probably won’t let me get a new one until I pay off my student loans.)
But anyway...it's no secret that I love Hungry Girl. In case you don't subscribe to her emails, I have done my good deed for the Halloween season and posted the calorie count for all your favorite trick-or-treat goodies. (And if you have any leftover Tootsie Roll Midgees, send them my way!)
The entire crowd started cheering when one or two cabs would pull up, like this:
So anyway, we were talking back and forth with the pretty couple in front of us:
For example, a mom asked a security guard to take her little boy to the bathroom. So the security guard and the little boy went off to the bathroom together. We were all... "Are you kidding me? You just sent your 4 year old boy to the restroom with a stranger!?!" Or when a really drunk guy was trying to break out of the chain link fence, we all thought he was cutting in line. (Turns out he just wanted out so he could use the restroom.) But we started yelling for security so that he wouldn't cut in line, and the guy pictured above said, "Yeah, AND he said he hates cops!" Which was pretty funny. So anyway, since the guy was tall, I asked him to take a picture of the line for me, and he kindly obliged. Here it is:
You don't get the full effect, but trust me.... it was a looooooong line. We finally caught our cab and went on our way.
Turns out, he plays for the Spurs. He is probably used to people asking him if they can take a picture WITH him, not if he can take a picture FOR them. Oh well. Next time you're watching basketball, root for Matt Bonner. He's a nice guy.
1. Since the wind might be pulling the umbrella quite strongly, don't try to grab it. It might feel as though your shoulder is dislocating.
2. Wear shoes. And a bra. And bring your cell phone outside. You know, just in case you managed to lock yourself out of the house.
(Crisis averted - we have a lock-box on the back door for situations such as this. In that case, just make sure you remember the code to open it!)
I just realized that's how far away my good friend Amy is going to be, and I got really sad. I'm excited for her and her family to go experience living in Okinawa and all that, but it isn't like I can catch a good deal on Southwest and fly out to see her when she has her twins. (!!!)
I met Amy when I was in college - she was the roommate of my good friend Lana, and we all went out together when I came to visit for a football game. Then, when I moved to Austin, I lived with Amy and Lana for several months. 3 girls sharing one bathroom was pretty impressive! We had many good times in the house (the "grand prize") and I'll never forget the magnolia tree that was in the front yard. Mmmmm....it smelled so good.
We typically make most of our really good friends when we are young and in school. It can be hard to make friends once you get older. But not with Amy. I knew the minute I met her that I loved her and that we'd be friends.
Unfortunately (or fortunately?) I didn't have a digital camera back in the days when we would sing country songs at the top of our lungs in middle of the warehouse district. Nor do I have any evidence of the late nights spent talking, laughing, stalking boys or crying over boys, laying out in Port Aransas or floating the river. However, I do have pictures from one New Year's Eve when we went to a random house party (I think somebody was house-sitting at this sweeeeeet house) and then went downtown:
Of course, I can't leave out the White Trash Birthday Bash.... Amy drove all the way from New Braunsfels in her Nascar tank top and top-of-the head ponytail... thank goodness she didn't get pulled over!
I was lucky enough to be a part of her wedding in North Carolina, as well as the "mini" reception she held here in Texas for those who couldn't attend the big one:
We had a blast in California, and made enough memories there to last for a little while. "Is anything bothering you?" "Yes, my lips hurt."
I'm thankful for the couple times I got to see her this summer...especially now that she has her adorable belly full 'o' twins! (I think the picture below was like the last time I got to drink margaritas with her!)
My prayers will be with Amy, Alan, Adam, Baby A and Baby B as they move across the world. And I know that even though she'll be far away, all I have to do is put some SheDaisy on full blast and it will be like she is in the same room.
Can't wait to meet halfway in Hawaii!
"Many people will walk in and out of your life, but only true friends leave footprints in your heart." - Eleanor Roosevelt