Saturday, July 31, 2004

To the Corps
Last night we packed up the family and headed down the street to watch a DCI drum corps competition. It was the perfect evening for a night outdoors and a fun new experience for our children. I'm proud to report that I accurately predicted who would win first and second place.

Watching the bands took me back to my marching days at Enid High School and the University of Oklahoma. I joined the Enid band one year after a long-time beloved director had died and the school was looking for a replacement. After one unsuccessful attempt, Bob Costello was hired. Mr. Costello had been a drum corp director and brought a whole new style to Enid, which had a great band that had always marched in the traditional style. Suddenly we were told to "glide" and we made unrecognizable, flowing shapes instead of marching into a big "E" and standing there. Instead of marching to the stadium in a large block, we went two-by-two with 'charisma."

As I watched the corps last night, I wondered about the excitement Mr. Costello must have felt the night he debuted the new Big Blue Band. His future was riding on us, but we were unaware of that. We were just a bunch of kids wondering who would be at Godfather's after the game.

Mr. Costello became the next beloved band director, though, and he served in Enid until his death last spring (2003). I attended his funeral, which was held in the high school auditorium. The auditorium was filled to the max and they had to use the cafeteria for overflow. That is a testament to the impact he had. We should all hope for such a send off!


Squirreled Again
In the ongoing war between the magpies and the squirrels, the squirrels have developed a new weapon.

Thursday, July 29, 2004

Rosemary Fig Jam

3 cups mashed, ripe figs
3 cups sugar
1 small box blackberry Jell-O
Fresh rosemary leaves (don't use dried)

Mix all ingredients well (Do not double recipe) .  Bring to a boil.  Cool 4 minutes at a rolling boil.  Stir frequently.  Skim and pour into sterilized jars.  Seal.  Makes 3-4 pints.  Great on cream scones!

Cream Scones
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 tablespoon sugar
½ teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons chilled butter
2 eggs, beaten
½ cup cream

Mix together flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt.  Work in chilled butter then stir in eggs and cream until blended.  On a floured board, work the dough gently into a ball.  Pat out into a circle and cut into wedges.  Bake at 425( F for about 15 minutes, until lightly browned.  Serve warm with butter, jam and hot tea.
(You may use milk instead of cream, but they won’t be as delicious!)

One of the benefits to living in the "inner city" (as I affectionately call it) is the diversity one sees every day.  We live in an area that changes from block to block.  Here there are million dollar homes, there you'll see a glimpse of the ghetto.  Over around there is the Vietnamese community, around the corner is the hispanic district.  Right in the middle is Oklahoma City University, which hosts a large number of foreign students.  I live somewhere in the middle of it all in a middle-class neighborhood full of romantics who love old homes with gardens in the back.  We walk around and talk to each other in the evenings and have dinners together from time to time.  Its a nice place to be.

This morning we went to the grocery store around the corner.  It is an international market stocked to accomodate the diversity of this neighborhood.  Colin had taken a paper and colored pencils to draw the international flags that are hanging from the ceiling.  While I was stopped to allow him time to draw, I took note of the grocery items I could see while standing in one place.  Here is a short list:

Chocolate Milk
Rebanadas Frosted Toast
Jumbo Kosher Dill Pickles
Sunny D
Pak Chan Soup
Mango Pulp
Crema Salvadorina
Fanta Orange
Mazola Corn Oil
Jalapeno Ketchup
Spiced Pickled Peaches
Ritz Crackers (reduced fat)
Tender Cactus
Corned Beef
Rempah Laksa Lemak
Monkey Dressing
Spider Man Cereal
Pork Chorizo
Angel Soft Toilet Paper

(Before you get too worried about monkey dressing, consider how some cultures might view spider man cereal!)


Decisions, Decisions.
Colin came to me late last night with a serious concern.  "Mommy," he said with a worried look on his face, "I don't know what to do.  Samantha and Lydia both want to marry me and I don't know which one to choose.  I can't marry both of them, and I just don't know what to do.  I think it should be your choice." 

I put my arm around him and said, "Well, do you love both of them?" 

He said, "Yes.  And I just don't know what to do."

I advised, "Well, here's the thing.  You can't get married until you're at least 18, so you don't have to decide until then.  You could tell Lydia and Samantha that you'll decide then."

Still worried, he replied, "No.  I need to decide now.  They want to know.  And I can't decide.  I want it to be your choice.  Who do you choose, Lydia or Samantha?"

"Colin, it must be your choice.  They are both good choices, but you have to decide.  But you have a lot of time to decide."

He decided to ask his daddy.
Nature Drive
We are experiencing the best July weather ever in Oklahoma this week.  It all started Saturday with temperatures in the 70's and we now have soft gentle rains and night-time temperatures in the low 60's.  Tuesday night I went to Edmond and decided to take the long way home on country roads afterward.  I rolled down the windows in my husband's Honda Element and cruised through the rolling forest of northeast Oklahoma City.  It was about 10:00 and about 65 degrees.  I was surprised how loud it was.  There was an undulating cacophony of cicadas, crickets and frogs like I've never heard before.  In fact, it was deafening!  I would not have guessed that my inner-city home is quiet in comparison.

I realized from my drive that I spend too much time with my windows rolled up and air conditioning on.  Of course, it is practically a requirement in the city and in 100+ degree temperatures, but I think I'm going to incorporate more country drives into my routine.  They are good for the soul.


Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Church Spies
You may find this interesting: spies are being sent out to churches to determine whether preachers are making political statements from the pulpit.  What is a political statement?  Apparently it would include any teaching that marriage should be between a man and a woman, or comments against the practice of abortion.   Nevermind that these issues may be addressed in the Bible we seek to study together.  If someone says its a political issue, its a political issue. 

Once these issues become a matter of politics, it smudges the line seperating church and state.  Churches may lose their tax-exempt status if they engage in political activity, so the question of what political speech is becomes important.   If political activity and Biblical teaching become one and the same, we have conflict.  The fact that spies are at work is a hint that the conflict is at hand.
Standing Room Only
Monday night Colin performed his first ever, standing room only concert at our home.  He invited just about everybody, and about 20 showed up.  He had a stage set up with little tape Xs that informed the performers where they should stand.  He made flags all week for decorations(they were under the stage the entire evening).  And he had a routine.  Before the show, Colin made an announcement, "Excuse me.  Excuse me.  I would like all the adults to please put your children down nicely so they will not get hurt."

The show opened with a solo performance by Colin and his flag.  After the opening number, the other performers were called to the stage and they all danced for us.  After about 4 songs, 5-year-old Cole turned around (while still maintaining his dance moves) and shouted, "Colin!  Are we going to have a break?"  We took a break for dinner and enjoyed everyone's company.  Just as people were beginning to head home, Colin informed us the break was over and show would be starting again in a few minutes.  The second half of the show was considerably shorter than the first, and at the end Colin told us we could all go home now!  LOL

Colin had been working on his program for weeks and it was a huge deal for him.  I am so thankful for the friends who accepted his invitation and came to his show.  They have made him a very happy boy!

I Won!
Angi challenged her readers to use a list of words she found in her email subject line.  Not one to back down from a literary challenge, I entered her contest.  I won with the following sentence:
Finding her fisherman husband in drag (wearing a vulgar teddy) playing baccarat with a blackbody sultan in a cavern, the now dyspeptic wife agreed mutatis to a divorce from the statesmanlike man whom she once found monarchic (though presumptive).

My prize was a peach cobler, made from scratch by Angi's talented husband, Dan.  I'm enjoying some right now, all hot and steamy with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top.  Perfect for any occassion, but especially this dark, rainy day. 

Of course, there were only two contestants and the other guy got a peach cobbler, too.  So, the competition wasn't tight, but I'm still glad I entered.

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Techno Ninny
My friend Kyndal just informed me I could find information about links to my blog at  I'm not sure what she was trying to tell me, because when I looked, I found that a fellow blogger had quoted me and then called me a "vacuous ninny."   Hmmmph.  Well, in fairness, he did quote one of my most inane posts.  Of course, it was completely unfair of him to lift one small bit and make me out to be vacuous.  Not to worry, though.  I checked out his site and he seems to be living a life of misery.  I'm not the only person on earth he holds in contempt.  In fact, it seems he holds everyone in contempt.  C'est la vie.

Sunday, July 25, 2004

Who Am I?
At last week's church service, Wyatt told us to forget what we have heard in recent years, in particular, "Its not about me."  He said the Gospels are all about you.  All about how much God loves you and seeks you and what he will do for you.  Its about telling you that you are a child of God.  That is your identity.

Of course the Bible is about God, but Wyatt is right.  The Gospels are a love letter to us, seeking our return.  Whatever you've done, whoever you've been told you are, you are His.  And He wants you back. 

After Wyatt's message, we sang this song from Casting Crowns.  If you haven't heard it,  you can hear it on KLove.   Both the words and music are beautiful.

Who am I, that the Lord of all the earth
Would care to know my name
Would care to feel my hurt?
Who am I, that the Bright and Morning Star
Would choose to light the way
For my ever wandering heart?
Not because of who I am
But because of what You've done
Not because of what I've done
But because of who You are!
I am a flower quickly fading
Here today and gone tomorrow
A wave tossed in the ocean
A vapor in the wind
Still You hear me when I'm calling
Lord, You catch me when I'm falling
And You've told me who I am
I am Yours, I am Yours
Who am I, that the eyes that see my sin
Would look on me with love and watch me rise again?
Who am I, that the voice that calmed the seas
Would call out through the rain
And calm the storm in me?
I am Yours
Whom shall I fear?
Whom shall I fear?
'Cause I am Yours
I am Yours!

Saturday, July 24, 2004

"Old" Etiquette
The following is from my first etiquette book, which I read cover to cover in 1984.   I offer it to you in case any of you dear readers should find yourselves in the presence of a lady or gentlemen.  Of course, it seems even these simple rules may now be out of date thanks to feminazis everywhere.  But as for me, they are still in vogue.

"Today a man rarely offers his arm to a woman in the daytime unless she is old and infirm.  At night, if a woman is going down steps or a slope while wearing high heels, she is wise to accept his arm, not only because it is a courtesy, but because it can be difficult to manage when it is too dark to see clearly where on is walking.

"A man also offers his arm to a woman when he takes her in at a formal dinner or when he is an usher at a wedding.  Otherwise couples walk side by side rather than hand on arm.

"A man does not grab a woman by the arm or the elbow and shove her along.  It is only when he is helping her into a car, a taxi, or a bus, or up steep stairs that he should put his hand under her elbow.  A man may also take a woman's hand and precede her through a crowd to make way for her.

"A man should always stand aside and allow a woman to pass through an open door ahead of him.  When approaching a close, heavy door, however, it is far more practical and simpler if he pushes the door open, goes through, and holds the door while she follows.  If the door opens toward them he pulls it open and allows her to go through first.

"A woman steps into a revolving door ahead of a man if it is already moving, or if there is a partition in such a position that he can push it to start the door turning.  Otherwise he steps in first and gets the door moving slowly so that she may step into the section behind him.

"Any courteous person - man or woman - holds a door open for the person following him, unless that person is some distance behind.  It is extremely rude (but unfortunately very common) to let a door slam shut in someone's face." 
 -Emily Post's Etiquette, 14th Edition, Copyright 1984
I'm Sick to My Stomach!
Planned Parenthood has a new T-Shirt available.  It reads: "I had an abortion."  They have more "great" items, too.  But, what I'd really like to say Dawn Eden has already said, and she says it much better than I could.  You might want to read some of her earlier posts, too.

Thursday, July 22, 2004

Mmmm Mmmmm Good
High-tech rations.  (Or would that be low-tech?)
Terror Update
Seems the Syrians really were a band of musicians! 
Made Me Laugh:

Our dog is an awesome dog.
He comes when his name is called
He sits, he lifts his paw.
Our dog is an awesome dog.
-via Vita Mea

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Soul Survivor
I've had a few soul-searching experiences this week that have led to disappointing discoveries about myself.  These sorts of things always shape me into a better person, so I'm glad for them, but they are hard to endure.

The first was a visit to a Jewish temple for a birthday party.  It was the first time for me to visit a completely different religious institution.  I've visited plenty of different denominations, but I have always known that, whatever our differences, we all believe in God AND Jesus and we have a certain standard of behavior.  As I anticipated our trip to the temple, I imagined the people at the party would be somehow "set apart" from the world.  The Jews have always had a mysterious veil around them in my mind, and I expected something magical, I suppose.  Of course, as it turned out, they were just regular people.  Honestly, that didn't surprise me...but, somehow the fact that they didn't seem set apart was a bit of a disappointment for me. 

Then I got to thinking about what a non-Christian must anticipate before visiting a Christian church or even going to a party with a bunch of Christians.  I'm guessing they are anticipating a big difference from the usual party.  But, sometimes, in our desire to appear "cool" to others, we don't act in a way that is set apart from the world.  Indeed, we want others to think we are hip.  We may be embarrassed if we don't drink.  We may think they will be uncomfortable if we talk about Godly things.  We may want to show that we are just as aware of popular culture as they are.  Why do we do this?  Honestly, it has never occurred to me that they may be hoping we are set apart.  They may want to see a glimpse of what it means to be one of God's people.  So, I have some things to work on.   Got some inhibitions to cast aside.

The second thing that happened is I heard some VERY interesting gossip.  It is gossip of the juiciest kind.  I am usually quite good at not passing around gossip.  I can keep a secret for decades, if not for life.  But this time I am terribly tempted to share what I've heard, even though I know it would be wrong.  So, here are the soul searching questions: (1) Why do I want to share the gossip? and (2) Isn't it true that I enjoy HEARING gossip?  (3)  Why do I enjoy hearing gossip?

I may pride myself on keeping my mouth shut, but keeping my ears open is just as bad.  And the answers to why I'm so tempted to share this particular information can't say anything good about me, so I'd rather not know.   And, if you're wishing you knew what the juicy gossip is all about, we should pray for each other!!

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Christians Are Such a Bummer
At least according to Linda Ronstadt.

Part of the Fast Trak game James has saved since his childhood. The game board has a track with lanes, including pass and no-pass zones. Each person gets a plastic car and rolls dice to see how far he can go. First to cross the finish line wins.
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Our family plays at least one game a day.  We play CandyLand, Go Fish!, Alphabet Animal Bingo, Don't Sink in the Sink, Fast Trak, memory games, tag, hide-and-seek, and puzzle race (who can complete his/her puzzles first), among other games.  James has always enjoyed inventing games, so we play some originals from time to time.  In fact, Colin seems to be following in his father's footsteps by making up games of his own.  Colin, James and I are very competitive.  Spencer not so much, or so I thought.
I've learning some things about my children from game playing.  First of all, Colin is very good at card games.  He remembers what people have and he can keep a straight face.  He will quickly discard the fish you ask for so you will not be able to make a set of four.   He knows how to mislead people about what cards he really needs, and he is always keeping an eye out for someone to accidentally reveal their cards.
Spencer's specialty is hide and seek.  He has amazing patience, waiting in silence for 20 minutes or more.  We played last night and I finally found him laying flat under a blanket under a bed.  He was so still, I really didn't think he was under the blanket, but I pulled it out just in case.  There he was!  Suprise!  Now in our game, once you find the person and tag him, he is it and must find someone.  After I tagged him, I ran from the room thinking he might not understand the urgency of chasing me.  He did.  I snuck into a 2-door bathroom and pulled the door shut behind me.  My thought was that he would go downstairs, and I would slip into a better hiding place.  At best, he would storm into the bathroom and I would exit the other door and get away.  But Spencer is too clever.  He jiggled a door handle as if he was trying to open it.  I started to slip out the other door, and there he was!  He had quickly and silently run to the other door to catch me!  Wow!  I was impressed by his quick thinking and a little frightened that he could be so clever!

Monday, July 19, 2004

Hep Me! Hep Me!
I know I can count on my dear friends to help me with this one little annoying problem.  Everytime I open up my internet explorer, there are some toolbars there I don't want.  They are search engine bars.  I delete them, but they come right back.  I lock the toolbar, they come back.  I search windows explorer, I can't find them to delete.  I've searched all over, but I can't find where the little boogers are hidden!!  Can you help?
And one other thing, I WOULD like to be able to see the time while I'm on the internet.  The little time icon is on  the toolbar at the bottom of my screen, which disappears when internet explorer pops up.  Can I add the time to that bar down there that shows me when its opening a new window (I don't know what it is called).
At one time, I could play around and figure stuff out on a computer.  Ever since Microsoft Word came out, I've started having trouble.  Not that it was Word that did it, it was just the time frame for when I started getting lost.  I really hate that I can't figure this stuff out on my own.  I wonder if the part about my children interrupting me every 3 minutes contributes to this brain fade?  Oh well.  Children are better than computers anyway!
Business Etiquette
The Charleston School of Protocol offers this etiquette quiz.  I'm proud to report I scored 100%!  Unfortunately, I realized I don't always follow the rules, even though I do know them.  Gotta work on that!

Sunday, July 18, 2004

A little paper-cover book that James has owned since childhood. His father was an airplane mechanic in the Air Force, so this was the perfect book for little "Jimmy." It was published in 1964 and Jerry the Jet's brother is Jimmy.
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Saturday, July 17, 2004

Sesame Mayonnaise
I offer this recipe to you in honor of my friend Penny, who made her own mayonnaise last night to avoid a trip to the store.  Bravo, Penny!  Mayonnaise is really quite simple to make and it tastes great when homemade.  The recipe below is from my catering days in Dallas.  It tastes unbelievable with teriyaki chicken sandwiches, and its also a good dressing for a pasta salad with an asian flavor.

One whole egg
Two egg yolks
2 ½ tablespoons rice vinegar
2 ½ tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 Tbsp. garlic chili sauce
Grated fresh orange rind
2 cups corn oil
¼ cup sesame oil

In blender or Cuisinart, blend all but oil together.  While blender is running, slowly drizzle in oils until emulsified. (By the time you get all the oil in, it should only take a few more seconds).  Can be stored for about three days...and makes enough for about 50 sandwiches!!

One of the coolest things in my possession is my great-great-grandfather the Reverend Clarence Hagan's sermon outlines. He was a Presbyterian minister in Indiana.  They are handwritten and fill an entire leather-bound three ring binder. He was born in 1878, so the sermons were probably written somewhere around the turn of the century.  Priceless.
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This is a tintype photo of my great-great-grandfather Hagan, which was tucked inside a pocket in his sermon notes. (circa 1878)
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Note to Self:
Roll down the windows!

Friday, July 16, 2004

Dan has alerted us to this terrifying account of a woman and her family on a recent flight from Detroit to Los Angeles with 14 Syrian men.  I hope Homeland Security is taking notice of this.  It seems to me that the law-abiding public is left defenseless on planes full of lawless men.  
And it that weren't enough, the airlines pay a heavy price for attempting to protect its law-abiding passengers.  They will surely be sued if they take to heart the information that a bomb can be built on-board an airplane.

Thursday, July 15, 2004

Old-League Baseball Takes a Hit
Why do we need tort reform? Without it, you can forget about baseball and hot apple pie! Here is a guy who was injured in an over-35 baseball game and is now suing the other player (who slid into him) and the city! Beats me how the city could be liable, but I'm sure the trial lawyers association has some sort of trick up its sleeve. The other player may have broken a baseball rule, but $2 million in damages? C'mon! You may be shaking your head right now, but you'll be shaking your fist with your next homeowner's insurance rate increase.
First Fruit!
My desk is next to a big window that looks out to my fig tree, which actually grows right up against the window. Just to my left there I see the first ripe fig of the year!! YAY!! If the only figs you've ever tasted have been in a newton or otherwise dried, you absolutely must taste a fresh fig! They are soft and sweet. In fact, it is the fruit with the most sugar. Soon enough I'll be making raspberry-fig jam and proscuitto-fig pizza. I have a huge crop, so come by some day and eat some fresh off the tree!
An Hour at the Hairdresser's
The boys and I have just returned from getting our hairs cut. We all look much, much better, if I do say so myself. We tried out a new hairdresser and I think she's a keeper.

Things I like about going to the hairdresser:
I love having someone wash my hair.
Hairdresser shampoo always smells delicious.
Some hairdressers massage my scalp.
I love having someone comb my hair.
I love having someone "play" with my hair.
I love having someone cut my hair.
I love having someone blow dry my hair.
My hair always feels lighter after a haircut.
I look better (usually).

Things I don't like about going to the hairdresser:
I don't like looking in the big mirror when my hair is wet and parted down the middle. Yuck.
I don't like chit chat with the hairdresser.

My new hairdresser filled up the space left by my refusal to engage in soul-searching interchange (what do you do, where do you live...). Not that I didn't answer, I just don't divulge much. My job is too complicated to describe in 3 easy sentences, and too political to bring up in polite conversation. So, I don't care to discuss it. And where I live, um....well, why do you want to know?

Anyway, here's a breakdown on my hairdresser's life, as revealed in one hour, in between phone calls from customers:
She had her first child at 27.
He is 19.
He was a nightmare.
Leashes were involved.
Her second son is 14.
She cried when she learned she was pregnant.
She cried when she learned he was having a son.
She just couldn't do it.
He turned out to be an angel.
He has blond eyes like her brother.
Her son has dark hair and eyes like her.
They both have the same dad.
She is divorced.
She used to live near Hefner and Rockwell.
Now she has a condominium.
She won't marry poor twice, you know what I mean?
She has been a full-time hairdresser for 10 years.
She'd rather be part-time, but her prince hasn't arrived.
She had a fight with a customer who yelled at her in front of others.
She wrote the lady a letter and dropped her as a client.
She once attended a large church in OKC, but it was too big.

There's more, but I've had enough. How about you?

Oh well. I look fabulous.

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

This is a photo from Betty Crocker's New Picture Cookbook, 1961. It is the sort of stuff James Lileks shares with us (see below). I can't compare to Lileks, but he has inspired me to share some things from the past that reside in my home. Hope he doesn't mind.
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Fluffy Nightmares
James Lileks has made a new addition to his Gallery of Regrettable Food that you won't want to miss. Or....maybe you do. Don't miss "the punchline."

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

Me and my brother circa 1969
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Math for Dummies
Here is a site that will "read your mind!" (The trick is, no matter what number you choose, you'll get the same symbol.) oooooooh! scary!

Monday, July 12, 2004

Weapon of Mass Destruction
Saddam Hussein. (Not suitable for viewing by children).

Sunday, July 11, 2004

This has happened to me more than once. I'm the "knucklehead."
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Saturday, July 10, 2004

Put Your Money Where Your Political Heart Is
Some guys in New York had an idea to steer money away from the Heinz family (Theresa Heinz Kerry, wife of presidential candidate John Kerry) and have some fun, too. If you'd like to be included, check this out: W Ketchup!

Friday, July 09, 2004

Dirty Dissing
For my readers who aren't sure which candidate to vote for this fall, please see this.
Just before heading out to the party, Mr. Kerry was interviewed by Larry King. Here's an enlightening exchange:

KING: News of the day, Tom Ridge warned today about al Qaeda plans of a large-scale attack on the United States...What's your reaction?

KERRY: Well, I haven't been briefed yet, Larry. They have offered to brief me. I just haven't had time.

Also, if you didn't know, Mr. Edwards is a trial lawyer (my favorite kind). He has made millions suing doctors. Ann Coulter's comments are educational.
Scrappy Species v. Mother Nature
Fires are threatening the red squirrels on Mount Graham. I applaud the efforts of the conservationists to save the squirrel population (although there are also red squirrels in England), but I was suprised to see the quote against the conservatory. A man who is taking great measure to save some squirrels stated he doesn't care what happens to the conservatory, because he told them not to build there. The thing is, both the squirrels and the conservatory are in harm's way because of a lightning strike. The squirrel population was thriving despite the conservatory.

It is clear the conservationists are passionate, but they ought to check themselves when they begin to have more compassion for squirrels than men.

Thursday, July 08, 2004

What Was I Thinking?
Spencer (laying in my arms and pointing to the ceiling fan): "Mommy, did you ever see a monkey on that? A pretend monkey that jiggles?"
Me: "No.."
Spencer: "Why did you buy this place?"

Lovin' YOU is Automatic, I love YOU - and that's no STATIC (1948)
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Poppy Doc II
I took my dad (aka Poppy) for surgery yesterday. It was a simple procedure: he had his batteries replaced. When the surgery scheduler called me last week, she suggested we arrive at the hospital by 5:45 a.m. I asked if he would be the first surgery of the day, and she said he would be second. I then informed her that my father, who has Parkinson's disease, could not tolerate long waits, and we would like to arrive later than 5:45. She agreed we would be okay if we were there by 7:00 (hmmmm), but she said they like to have the patients there and ready in case someone doesn't show. That way, the doctor doesn't have to wait.

What I really accomplished with my bargaining process was reduced stress. Taking my father to doctor's appointments always requires a large dose of patience. He gets a little tense, which compounds his Parkinson's symptoms. It can take hours to get from the nursing home to the hospital (which is 10 miles away).

I arrived at the nursing home at 5:45 a.m. The nurses were still trying to get him ready (I never told them we could arrive later than 5:45). At 6:20, he was ready to go. But wait. First he ran down the list of things we needed to take plus a few things we would never need. At 6:30, we left the building. I asked the nurses to accompany us to the car because he wasn't moving very well and I was afraid he would fall. Apparently never trained in the art of transfer, they pushed and pulled my dad into the car, annoying him all the way.

We arrived at the hospital at 6:50. Just in time! So, guess when surgery was? 11:45!! Whew. It's a good time we made it by 7:00!!

The surgery took 45 minutes, and he was ready to go home at 3:00. I got home at 5:30. So, in review, a 45 minute procedure cost me 12 hours and cost my dad's insurer thousands of dollars.

I know I'm ranting, so let me end on a high note. We have health care and we have choices. For that I am grateful. I'm thankful my husband was also willing to miss a day of work to stay with our children and I'm glad I can spend a day helping my dad.

Wednesday, July 07, 2004

dinner mints!

Tuesday, July 06, 2004

Book It!
Dawn has alerted me to a grand opening event for our new downtown Oklahoma City library! On August 13th at 9:30 a.m. book lovers will line the street of downtown to pass books from the old library to the new library. It will last about an hour, so I'm guessing we aren't moving ALL the books. If you'd like to participate, sign up here.
Let's Hope God Is With Us
Nearly everyone else is against us!
Sunshine Day
Sorry kids. You can't go out to play today, the sun is out. I know, I know, we could just require sunscreen, but that won't do, either.

Monday, July 05, 2004

VBS Update
Colin has just completed the first night of his very own version of Son Games 2004. He has been working diligently since Friday making his stage, painting flags, practicing his choreography and decorating.

He had 4 visitors (or wait, maybe they're members), and they had a wonderful time. It all started out with opening ceremonies in the TV room. They sang. They danced. They smiled. Then they went upstairs for a quick Bible lesson, and then outside for play time. The young class stopped for milk and juice. The whole thing lasted but an hour. You should join us tomorrow night. We're having ice cream at 8:00!
Enemy v. Enemy
Yesterday's Sunday Oklahoman contained an opinion against the plaintiff's bar, using a suit against Wal Mart as its example. Doesn't that put me in a pickle! Well, the truth of the matter is I take Wal Mart's side on this issue. Even though I have railed against Wal Mart's employment practices, I have to agree with the Oklahoman's opinion regarding the use of class actions to resolve employment matters. The Oklahoman also makes an interesting point that if the plaintiff's bar and the unions manage to upset Wal Mart's place in the economy, another retailer will simply come in with lower prices than Wal Mart until it, too, is obliterated. Unionization has its place, but I believe even the union's have mutated away from their original purpose: to help the workers gain a voice.

Now that you are all home from your Independence Day vacations, I hope you'll leave some lively discourse in my comment's section!

Sunday, July 04, 2004

President Reagan
Tomorrow marks one month since President Reagan's death. The flags will soon be at full mast. If you would like to send condolences to his family, you may go here.
Battle-Hymn of the Republic
by: Julia Ward Howe. 1819–1911

MINE eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord:
He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored;
He hath loosed the fateful lightning of his terrible swift sword:
His truth is marching on.

I have seen Him in the watch-fires of a hundred circling camps;
They have builded Him an altar in the evening dews and damps;
I can read his righteous sentence by the dim and flaring lamps:
His day is marching on.

I have read a fiery gospel, writ in burnished rows of steel:
"As ye deal with my contemners, so with you my grace shall deal;
Let the Hero, born of woman, crush the serpent with his heel,
Since God is marching on."

He has sounded forth the trumpet that shall never call retreat;
He is sifting out the hearts of men before his judgment-seat:
O, be swift, my soul, to answer Him! be jubilant, my feet!
Our God is marching on.

In the beauty of the lilies Christ was born across the sea,
With a glory in His bosom that transfigures you and me:
As He died to make men holy, let us die to make men free,
While God is marching on.

Glory, Glory, Hallelujah!
Glory, Glory, Hallelujah!
Glory, Glory, Hallelujah!
His Truth is marching on!
Good for a Giggle
Dawn Eden has linked us to this, which made me laugh. Hope you like it.

Saturday, July 03, 2004

Without Farther Doo
Colin is now planning his own VBS, which will take place at our home Monday - Thursday evening. All are welcome to attend free of charge. He has already created the stage. He has a flag routine. He even has "woola hoops." He just handed me my class assignment (Alaska) and said, "Okay, without farther doo, would you like to see where your seat is?"

Friday, July 02, 2004

Ripped Off
Here is another instance where lawsuits have ruined things for the rest of us. As my regular readers are aware, my family recently spent a week in the Florida panhandle. Five of the days we were there, red flags were flying, which indicates dangerous conditions in the water: nobody should enter the water. The reason for the flags that week was dangerous riptides, which are not visible to the untrained eye. Without those flags, we would have entered the water unaware of the life-threatening danger.

But some people consider themselves beyond the grasp of nature's grip and wander into the water despite warnings. A resident couple in Florida went into the water despite a red flag warning and found themselves in trouble. A vacationer hurried in to rescue them and lost his own life. But the vacationer's family sued the state of Florida under the theory that the flags provided inadequate warning. I can't imagine a stronger warning than, "Stay Out of the Water," but they sued nonetheless.

Proponents of the plaintiff's bar often argue that plaintiff's lawyers make the country safer through lawsuits. At one point, I believe that was true. At this point, it is not. Florida is now stuck. It has removed the flags to avoid costly lawsuits. It will now lose vacationers to drownings and, I am guessing, its tourism industry will suffer. Thanks be to the plaintiff's bar.
That's One Hot Chick
Okay, girls. Here's one more reason you should not keep your cell phone in your back if you needed one.

Thursday, July 01, 2004

Take It Away?
Many years ago I learned something about etiquette that I almost wish I had never learned. Why? Because the rule is rarely followed. If I didn't know, I wouldn't be bothered by the constant transgressions. So, if you don't want to know, stop reading right now.

The rule is that you should not clear plates from a dinner table until all the diners at that table are finished eating. The idea behind the rule is that you don't rush the diners who are still eating and you don't interrupt conversation. To that end, wait staff should also refrain from constantly asking, "Is everything okay?" The waiter should keep a quiet eye on the table for drinks that need refreshing and for signs from the diners that they require assistance. It is simply boorish to keep asking to help.

Anyway, I was dining with a gentlemen one evening about 10 years ago. He had clearly finished his meal, but each time the waiter asked to take his plate, he quietly said, "No thank you, I'm not finished." It wasn't until I was finished that he allowed the waiter to take both plates. (The waiter obviously did not catch on.) I learned from this gentleman that it is possible to take quiet control over a manners situation without calling attention to ones self.

I found this poll on Emily Post's website. It seems the nation is split on the topic to take or not to take. Both sides have good arguments, in my opinion. But as for me, don't take. What do you say?
Chucking Cheese
Apparently, this woman finds it very important that her child be the center of attention....or wait....maybe the woman herself wants to be the center of attention.
McDonald's Is Your Kind of Place
Hamburgers in your face.
Salad between your toads.
Dill pickles up your nose.

Catsup running down your back.
I want my money back
Before I have a heart attack!