Y2K was 10 years ago

I managed to get an ugly head cold and doubt I'll be much company this NYE. I feel like a bobble head - you know, when your head feels all giant and heavy? I have taken medicine and the Magical White Guy got me a nose spray thingee that is actually helping, so hopefully the cold will be short-lived. I hope so, because we are going to the Alamo Bowl on Saturday and I want to be at my best, as I'm sure there will be all sorts of clever signs about Gerald Myers and the James kid. In a way, I feel sorry for the poor little punk, as I doubt his parents knew they were throwing him under the bus.

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!


what's that smell?

I will tell you all about Christmas later. (Thanks to the best boyfriend in the whole wide world for making it special even though plans changed. xoxo) Right now though, I want to tell you a little story.

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."


merry little cookies

I really intended to give you a new blog today. Instead, I was in the kitchen for about 6 hours, baking. Now my back and my feet hurt and the last thing I want to do is upload, resize and edit pictures. So, until I get my second wind, you can create a mental picture of what I baked today:

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.


hands free

There is a local place called Hoover's by the house that the Magical White Guy (MWG) likes to visit. This is a picture of the entrance to the bathroom area:

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:


I'm studying astrophysics and rescuing baby rattlesnakes in my spare time

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:

Best Brags

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.


tick tock

It can be awkward when a male coworker says.... "Can I ask you a personal question?" The coworker in question is a very nice man and not creepy or anything, so I say, "Sure." (Side note - what are you supposed to say to this question?) He proceeds with "Do you want kids? I was playing with my kids last night, and I don't know what made me think of it, but I was just thinking you would be a really good mom." I said, "Well thanks! I want a family, not just some random kids, so we'll see."

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.


good intentions

I totally intended to post a new blog post tonight, but I spent the last 1.5 hours resizing pictures to upload to Facebook, so it's not going to happen.

That will be all for now.