Monday, January 31, 2005

Speaking of Happy Homemakers...
The official Happy Homemaker Magnet Sets are in!!
Daily Double
Wow. What do you make of this? I'm stunned.

Oh, this and this, this and this, and this and this.

I'm a little scared.
(Charlotte commented on my blog today re. ribbon magnets)

Colin made this for Dan & Angi to use on a card to raise money for adopting a baby from Asia (an international adoption card). Looks like it will be part of a series. He said, "Babies are very important and babies make people happy."
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You sure raise my "temperature" Valentine!
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This is Your Life
From time to time Penny sends me these questionnaires. She and I both enjoy them, though we are aware that many scowl at them. Obliging as always, I completed mine, and here it is:

1. First name: Janice

2. Were you named after anyone: my middle name was the name of dad's old girlfriend

3. Do you wish on stars: No

4. When did you last cry: Friday morning while worshiping with friends

5 Do you like your handwriting: usually

6. What is your favorite lunch meat: ham

7. What is your birth date: 11/11

8. What is your most embarrassing CD: Limpopo

9. If you were another person, would YOU be friends with you: probably, but I'd have to give me a talking to from time to time

10. Are you a daredevil: not so much

11. Have you ever told a secret you swore not to tell: I don't think least not since an adult

12. Do looks matter: no. but sanitation does.

13. How do you release anger: I used to slam stuff, but now I try to pray first.

14. Where is your second home: earth

15. Do you trust others too easily: yes

16. What was your favorite toy as a child: rocks

17. What class in high school do you think was totally useless: honestly, none of them. Penny said physics, but I think she's wrong about that.

18. Do you have a journal: yes, you're reading it.

19. Do you use sarcasm a lot: yes, but I wish it didn't exist

20. Favorite movie(s): A&E's Pride and Prejudice

21. What are your (acceptable) nicknames: Jannie, Mommy, Janpreppie

22. Would you bungee jump: Now that I've passed 40, probably not.

23. Do you untie your shoes when you take them off: only if I have to.

24. Do you think that you are strong: physically, no; emotionally, yes.

25. What is your favorite ice cream flavor: Strawberry cheesecake

26. What are your favorite colors: periwinkle blue, brick red and butter yellow

27. What is your least favorite thing about yourself: I have a body

28. Whom do you miss most: my Indiana family

32. What are you listening to right now: Spencer playing with Ella

33. Last thing you ate: boiled egg, english muffin, orange juice (which was much better than what Penny ate! Flax oil???)

34. If you were a crayon what color would you be: Purple

35. What is the weather like right now: Cloudy and cold

36. Last person you talked to on the phone: James, who was wondering why my cell phone bill is so high. (Hi Annie)

37. The first thing you notice about the opposite sex: carriage

38. Do you like the person who sent this to you: Yes!

40. Favorite Drink: Hot tea with milk and sugar or Coca-Cola

41. Favorite sport: Basketball

42. Hair Color: real: gray with brown highlights; fake: a reddish brownish color

43. Eye Color: blue

44. Do you wear contacts: nope

45. Favorite Food: Lobster

46. Last Movie you saw: The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou

47. Favorite Day of the Year: Thursday (I know, I know...)

48. Scary Movies or Happy Endings: Happy Endings

49. Summer or winter: Summer

50. Hugs or kisses: Hugs

51. What is Your Favorite Dessert: Plain cheesecake or chocolate sheet cake

52. Who is Most Likely to Respond: Dwayne, the canoe Guy

53. Who is Least Likely to Respond: Joy (it's like a dare, isn't it?)

54. Where Would You Want to Go on your Next Vacation: Colorado

55. What Books are you Reading: the Bible, and I just finished Krakatoa, the Day the World Exploded (book review is coming)

56. What's on your mouse pad: Hokusai

57. What did you Watch Last Night on TV: Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, As Time Goes By, and Keeping Up Appearances

58. Favorite Smells: Lilacs

59. Rolling Stones or Beatles? wow, um.....Rolling Stones

60. Do you believe in Evolution or Creation? Creation

61. What's the furthest you've been away from home: United States Military Academy at Westpoint in New York

(There were at least 3 questions missing. Make up your own.)

Sunday, January 30, 2005

Page 123, sentence 5

1. Grab the nearest book.
2. Open the book to page 123.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the text of the sentence in your journal along with these instructions.
5. Don’t search around and look for the “coolest” book you can find. Do what’s actually next to you.

"The cycles of the earth, which King Solomon described so eloquently in the book of Ecclesiastes more than three thousand years ago, are among its most intriguing characteristics. " Actually from page 125 because pages 123 and 124 were photographs, The Art of God, The Heavens & The Earth, by Ric Ergenbright.

Please check your book and leave your sentence in the comments. Please. Did I say, "Please"?

h/t Dan & Angi.

The World According to Colin
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Love. Let's talk turkey - Valentine. Be Mine.
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Saturday, January 29, 2005

Deputy Drunkenpaws
That's squirrelville.
Happy Birthday Dan!!!!

So, I'm driving around town and I see these on a lot of the cars (well, usually minivans and SUVs), and they are all sideways. Is this a political message - akin to flying the flag upside down? What is up with that??? First I thought people just can't stand to have the writing crooked on their cars, but really, its still crooked. Listen up, guys. This is wrong. Go to the website and see how the makers of these ribbons display them. And straighten up!!
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Stop Stall-in'
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Friday, January 28, 2005

It's Karaoke Friday Night!!

( Frankie Avalon )
(click on title for music)

Hey, Venus! Oh, Venus!
Hey, Venus! Oh, Venus!

Venus, if you will
Please send a little girl for me to thrill
A girl who wants my kisses and my arms
A girl with all the charms of you

Venus, make her fair
A lovely girl with sunlight in her hair
And take the brightest stars up in the skies
And place them in her eyes for me

Venus, goddess of love that you are
Surely the things I ask
Can't be too great a task

Venus, if you do
I promise that I always will be true
I'll give her all the love I have to give
As long as we both shall live

Hey, Venus! Oh, Venus!
Make my dreams come true

Hey, Venus! Oh, Venus!
Hey, Venus! Oh, Venus!
Hey, Venus! Oh, Venus!


Good Company
I just got the low down on the company I kept last Saturday. It seems in the blogosphere ecosystem, I am but a crawly amphibian. In other words, I'm ranked about 6207. In contrast, my new friends are ranked thusly: Dawn Eden - 614 (a large mammal); Dustbury - 655 (a slotted spatula, I think); Danz Family - 1991; Batesline - 2143; and AKA Mike Horsehead - 5527. (Others were not ranked - not because they shouldn't be, but because they didn't sign up to be ranked. I am quite certain, however, that they are ranked higher than I). I am humbled and grateful I had the chance to attend!

This is me in Bloomington, Indiana. I'm looking in the kitchen door at my mom, who found me cute enough to take a photo. I have to say this is one my favorite photos of me.
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Well, my waterbug post got some commentary. Not a lot, but enough to get the ball rolling. Annie wants me to discuss the necessity of water baptism. I told her she was plunging me a bit too deep on that one (pun intended). After she wrote, I did do some study on the subject, and I promise to post on that soon. Let's just say it is one of the most controversial subjects she could have suggested....but it is an important one, so I'll get something together.

Dwayne, the canoe guy, suggests I find a passion and/or discuss personal experiences with snow. I do have some passions and snow is one of them. Others include God, Rachmaninoff, tort reform and mashed potatoes. I'm not so sure I could sustain a running commentary on anything but God. Not that there aren't myriad things to be said about each of those topics, but I don't want to be known as the mashed potato know. I'm happy with my diversity, I'll just try to take it deeper.

So, I'll begin with snow stories. The snow was deep, but the story is not.

I spent a good part of my childhood in the north: Ohio, Indiana, Wisconsin and Iowa. We always had some good snow up there, and snow was never a deterrent for outside play as it seems to be here in Oklahoma. We played outside all day in the snow, coming in only for tomato soup and hot chocolate. We kept busy cracking ice on the small streams that ran around our neighborhoods, building snow forts, following animal tracks, making snow soup, ice skating and trying to walk on top of the snow without breaking the crusty top and falling in (my personal favorite). As I recall, many friends had small ice skating rinks in their back yards. Before it froze, the rink bottom and sides were laid out (much like a kiddie pool) and it was filled with water. The whole thing was a couple inches deep. When it froze, we would just lace up our skates and go around all afternoon.

On fine day in Wisconsin I was invited to a friend's house for a real treat. My friend lived on a rolling farm far away from our school. After school I rode the bus home with her and we got to skate on her real frozen pond, which was just down the hill from her house. Her dad had set up cones designating how far out we could go. We skated for hours and then walked back up the hill for tomato soup and grilled cheese. Sadly, I don't remember the girl's name, but I remember that day like it was yesterday. It was fantastic.

I also remember going to the park to skate with my dad. Mom always bundled me up tight, with the stocking hat that went down past my waist and the big mittens. I also had a rabbit fur muff that I absolutely loved (and wish I still had). It was so warm and soft!! Anyway, dad and I would skate for hours outdoor among the trees. For breaks, we sat on wood benches that were set up around the pond and drank hot chocolate.

A few years ago I tried to recreate my ice skating memories by volunteering for a winter business trip to Lansing, Michigan. I had every intention of working until 5:00 each day and then finding a skating pond, but I never found a pond!! I drove around each night looking for one (and yes, I did use the phone book, too). I don't know if they no longer exist, or if they are just secreted away. I still hope to skate outdoors again one day (on a pond).

We have snow in Oklahoma City today. Nostalgia kicked in when I retreived Colin from kindergarten and we invited some classmates over for a snowball fight and a grilled cheese lunch. The boys had a blast and it was a great joy for me to see them out there all covered with snow. I hope their memories are as wonderful as mine.

Say! Honey! I'd like to snuggle up to you and...
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Thursday, January 27, 2005

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I'm growing increasingly dissatisfied with my blog work. Somewhere back in September when my dad become ill I gave myself permission to post lightly. Hello imaging became my best friend. I love to blog (writing and reading) but I just feel I'm like a little waterbug floating on the surface.

I suppose this is my defense mechanism. Stay shallow, avoid...everything.

I really don't have a clue what to do about it. I'm not ready to dive deep yet. I'm not even talking about sharing the mourning with you....I don't even feel like telling you about politics or lawsuits or Bible truths. I suppose I'll just feed you some candy for a little while longer. If you have something you want to discuss, just let me know. I'll do my best. Somebody will have to pull me in or I'll be stuck here posting Valentines for the rest of my life!!

Enjoy the candy.

Colin's latest: Circles
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(Buy the Book!)
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The Snowflake Lady
I was the guest teacher in Colin's kindergarten class this morning. We learned about snow crystals! What else? It was a fun time and I think the children really liked it.

We started out by reviewing the book their teacher had read to them on Tuesday: Snowflake Bentley. I asked them questions like, "How old was Wilson Bentley when he started noticing snowflakes? (around 6) and "What did the people think about his love for snowflakes? (silly). They had remarkable memories! Then we watched the video of the book and talked about Mr. Bentley's perserverance despite years of failure and humiliation.

When I pulled out Mr. Bentley's book of photos, the children were in awe. They didn't even know if it was true. When I assured them it was, they oohed and ahhhed over the photos. (We also looked at this book and this book.) We noticed how some were thick and others were frilly, but all were beautiful. And each one different. Then I told them how amazing it is that God would take such great care to make a snowflake, which will melt away, into a beautiful masterpiece - and how much more valuable we are to him. I told them each one of them is wonderfully and beautifully made - and each one of them is unique. Then I asked them to look around their world and be sure to notice the tiny details all around them and to remember how much care God takes to make us and to make our world beautiful for us.

Finally, we each made our own snow crystal out of pipecleaners and clear beads. They were all beautiful and I was blessed.


I'm shopping for a Sweetheart.
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Wednesday, January 26, 2005

(Thanks to Mike Lambert)
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Rock and Roll Memories
I suppose Charles' and Dawn's vinyl adventures have invaded my memory banks these past few days. I was just rocking Spencer to sleep (he's not feeling well today) and an early childhood memory came rushing in. My mother had a box of 45s she let me keep in my room with the portable turntable. The 45s box was tan with a black handle, and it was just big enough to hold about 30 records in a file-cabinet fashion. I'm not sure about the turntable, but I think it was avocado green.

We were living in Wisconsin, so I was somewhere around 6 years old (give or take). I used to play those records in my room with the doors closed and dance, dance, dance!! My favorites were At The Hop and Sixteen Tons. I'm sure my mom was dying to look in and see me dance, but I don't remember her ever spying on me. Mom?
Its Australia Day!!
All you Aussies are probably too busy celebrating to read this, but if you should happen by, let us know what you love most about Australia and Australia Day!

P is for... (Colin's latest book)
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You cut a log of ice with me...Valentine! Be Mine!
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Tuesday, January 25, 2005

I Promise...
My son attends a private Christian school. The Headmaster sent home a covenant for parents this week and asked that at least one parent sign it. I think it is a wonderful model for all Christians, so I am sharing it here.

I understand, agree and will commit to:

-guide my child through a Biblical worldview, recognizing the school as a supportive partner. (Deut. 6:5-7; Col. 2:8; Matt. 22:37)

-pray earnestly for the school, its families, faculty, staff and administration. (James 5:16)

-serve the school in whatever capacity my time, talents, and gifts will allow, as a result of my growing personal faith in Jesus Christ. (Mark 10-:43-45)

-live my calling to a higher standard of conduct as evidenced in my thoughts, my words, and my behavior both in school and to the outside community, because as a Christian community the school bears witness to the character of the Lord Jesus Christ. (Eph. 4:1) As Christ's follower, I will not engage in a lifestyle of adultery, homosexual activity, alcohol abuse, the illegal use/sale of drugs or any other illegal act.

-preserve unity in the body by seeking to resolve any conflict within the school community by addressing the matter appropriately with the person or persons directly involved. (Matt. 18:15-17)

-look for the good in my child's behavior and to praise him for demonstrating Christ-like character. (1Cor. 13:4-7)

-communicate lovingly to the other parents when I have valid concerns about their child's behavior, so that each of us as parents may guide our children to grow in Christ-like character. (Col. 3:12-17)

-attend school-related meetings designed to foster a community of school parents who are more equipped to work with the school and one another, to educate our children, and to be more unified in our ability to encourage one another in this high calling. (Heb. 10:25)

You keep me on my "toes" Valentine!
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Monday, January 24, 2005

Good Name for a Blog
I'm thinking about changing the name of my blog because of the Google query that got someone here today: Cheap Mismatched Teacups. I like it. Or maybe I'll save the name for my next woodwind quintet or luncheonette.
Academic Standards
A few years back Shintaro came to live with us for 6 weeks on a study-abroad program. Shintaro is from Japan and attended one of the best Japanese Universities in Tokyo. In Japan, the bulk of learning takes place before college and your performance up through highschool determines which college will accept you. Highschool can be a very stressful time for Japanese students, because their academic performance there will affect their entire lives. Shintaro once told me he was a bad student because he only studied 6-8 hours per day. After school. And after baseball. Only 6-8. Well, clearly he was not really a bad student, but he thought he should have studied 10 hours per day. He was just lazy.

So, now to American academics standards. I hear lots of complaints from parents about their children having too much homework (although I rarely hear them complain about too many extra-curricular activities) - but I've never imagined this could happen. Suing the teacher to restrict homework because it assigned during the summer break. For an AP class, no less. Hey, the education is FREE! Why not take advantage and learn as much as you can? Amazing. (h/t Overlawyered).

The latest. Colin drew this for me as guidance for the cupcakes I made for the class party. He was suprised when I said I didn't think I could make the squirrel and the building and the ants on the cupcakes. He did, however, get rainbows.
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My friend Bob and I used to sing this song during the long summer days of college. We'd pop in the Sparks tape and drive around Enid with the windows down singing this song as loud as we could. He sent me the lyrics today. I wish I could play the music for you. The music definitely improves the lyrics.

I like you and you like me a lot
And we do those things that can make us feel hot,
Then we join some friends, all of them are all right,
And we talk a while, then we climb in our cars.

What a night, we all drive into town
Where we'll park our cars, and meet the rest of our friends
At a place that's called, I forget what it's called,
But it's really great, and all our friends will be there.


I like you and you like me a lot,
And it's nice to be all alone with you, too.
But it's also nice being out with our friends,
Cause they're all all right, maybe that's why we're friends.


I feel great, but it's getting real late,
So I'll drive you home and you'll slide up real close.
I'm so glad we met, and I like you so much,
And I'm also glad that I got all those friends.

Go here for Mel's touching memories of Johnny Carson and her father.

Ugh! My chief hope is for a sign that you'll be my Valentine!
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The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington, D.C. ,20016

Dear Concerned Citizen:

Thank you for your recent letter roundly criticizing our treatment of the Taliban and Al Qaeda detainees currently being held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Our administration takes these matters seriously, and your opinion was heard loud and clear in Washington.You'll be pleased to learn that thanks to concerned citizens like you, we are creating a new division of the Terrorist Retraining Program, to be called the "Liberals Accept Responsibility for Killers" program, or LARK for short. In accordance with the guidelines of this new program, we have decided to place one terrorist under your personal care.

Your personal detainee has been selected and scheduled for transportation under heavily armed guard to your residence next Monday. Ali Mohammed Ahmed bin Mahmud (you can just call him Ahmed) is to be cared for pursuant to the standards you personally demanded in your letter of admonishment. It will likely be necessary for you to hire some assistant caretakers. We will conduct weekly inspections to ensure that your standards of care for Ahmed are commensurate with those you so strongly recommended in your letter.

Although Ahmed is sociopathic and extremely violent, we hope that your sensitivity to what you described as his "attitudinal problem" will help him overcome these character flaws.

Perhaps you are correct in describing these problems as mere cultural differences. He will bite you, given the chance. We understand that you plan to offer counseling and home schooling. Your adopted terrorist is extremely proficient in hand-to-hand combat and can extinguish human life with such simple items as a pencil or nail clippers. We do not suggest that you ask him to demonstrate these skills at your next yoga group He is also expert at making a wide variety of explosive devices from common household products, so you may wish to keep those items locked up, unless (in your opinion) this might offend him.

Ahmed will not wish to interact with your wife or daughters (except sexually) since he views females as a subhuman form of property. This is a particularly sensitive subject for him, and he has been known to show violent tendencies around women who fail to comply with the new dress code that Ahmed will recommend as more appropriate attire. I'm sure the women in your household will come to enjoy the anonymity offered by the bhurka - over time. Just remind them that it is all part of "respecting his culture and his religious beliefs" - wasn't that how you put it?

Thanks again for your letter. We truly appreciate it when folks like you, who know so much, keep us informed of the proper way to do our job.

You take good care of Ahmed - and remember...we'll be watching. Good luck!


Your Buddy,
Don Rumsfeld
(from Diplomad)

Sunday, January 23, 2005

My mom has always had a tendency to keep little things. We've always had little boxes and jars full of trinkets. I can remember we would occasionally take them out, look through them and put them away again. Today she gave me one such jar and I looked through it this afternoon. It is mostly buttons, but there is a strange assortment which includes a yellow spider, sharks teeth, confetti, a tiny candy cane, guitar picks, marbles, jewelry parts, a red jingle bell, and coral. Had we thought of the I Spy books, we would have been ready!
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Its All About Me!

(but hows about you copy this, change it up to fit you, then paste it in my comments?)

1. Jan/Janice
2. Janpreppy
3. Mommy

1. I'm trustworthy.
2. I like to laugh.
3. I can usually see both sides of an issue.

1. I'm easily distracted.
2. I'm not as neat as I'd like to be (because I'm easily distracted).
3. I wish I looked a little better.

1. Welsh
2. Scottish
3. German

1. My children getting hurt.
2. Crickets.
3. Spiders.

1. Brushing teeth.
2. Hugs from my children.
3. Bible time.

1. Socks.
2. Pajamas (is there any other way to blog?).
3. Earrings that look like disco balls...kind of.

1. Rachmaninoff
2. Dennis Jernigan
3. Anne Arnold

1. If You Know Him (Denise Childress)
2. Agnus Dei (Michael W. Smith)
3. Racecars (Spencer)

1. Scrapbook stamping
2. Camping
3. International travel

1. Love
2. Trust
3. Humor

1. I was a straight-A student.
2. I was a virgin when I married.
3. I was naked when I met my first drag queen.

1. A warm smile.
2. Gentlemanly behavior.
3. Brains.

1. Memorize.
2. Stand on my head.
3. Build aircraft.

1. Scrapbooking
2. Blogging
3. Baking

1. Eat a chimichanga.
2. Sit by a fire.
3. Sleep.

1. the one I've got
2. the one I've got
3. the one I've got

1. Japan
2. Singapore
3. Yellowstone

1. Bubba
2. Dunkin
3. Presius

1. Play with my grandchildren
2. Finish the scrapbooks history of our family
3. Meet James' family in Japan

1. I am sentimental
2. I love shoes
3. I enjoy "fussing" to make something look good.

1. Colin Firth
2. I guess that's about it. I'm really not into celebs.

(Thanks to Phoebe Gleeson for the idea!)

To Teacher - My 'art is all yours.
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Sad News
Johnny Carson has died today. We already missed him. (Photo from Reuters.)
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Saturday, January 22, 2005

Here I am (lower right) at the blogger bash.
That's the famous Dawn Eden on my right.
I'm not sure if I'm at liberty to reveal the
identities of the others, but let's just say
they are delightful.
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That Was Fantastic!!
I just spent 6 wonderful hours with some fellow Okie bloggers and, I've got to tell you, they are good people!! On the occassion of Dawn's visit, we gathered together at Will's for coffee (well, I had a steamer) and conversation. If you happened to walk by, you would have guessed we were old friends. I suppose, actually, we are. Most of us have been reading each other's blogs for some time now, so we already knew a lot about each other! Michael asked about the leak in my garage, we talked about Sean's job was just really great. At times the talk got technical and I'm sure it would have been very helpful to me if I understood the language. But, I'm happy to announce that, while we may all be geeks, it wasn't just geek talk. We had a genuinely fine time together. Thanks to all who attended! I was honored to be included.
Off To See the Wizards!
I'm off to the first annual Okie Blogger gathering! See you soon!

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To My Valentine
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What's new pussy cat? Whoa whoa whoa oh.
What's new pussy cat? Whoa whoa whoa oh.
Pussy cat, pussy cat, I love you,
Yes I do....
(anyone know the rest?)
(Thanks to Spilsbury and A. Haynex)
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Friday, January 21, 2005

Its Karaoke Friday Night!

You Are The Woman
( Firefall )

You are the woman that I've always dreamed of
I knew it from the start
I saw your face and that's the last I've seen of my heart

It's not so much the things you say to me
It's not the things you do
It's how I feel each time you're close to me
That keeps me close to you, woh oh

You are the woman that I've always dreamed of
I knew it from the start
I saw your face and that's the last I've seen of my heart

It's not so much your pretty face I see
It's not the clothes you wear
It's more that special way you look at me
That always keeps me there, woh oh woh

You are the woman that I've always dreamed of
I knew it from the start
I saw your face and that's the last I've seen of my heart

It's hard to tell you all the love I'm feeling
That's just not my style
You've got a way to send my senses reeling
Every time you smile, woh oh

You are the woman that I've always dreamed of
I knew it from the start
I saw your face and that's the last I've seen of my heart
I saw your face and that's the last I've seen of my heart

Of my heart
Oh oh of my heart


Thursday, January 20, 2005

Even if love is blind, I can 'seize' you my Valentine.
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Boogie Fever
Every day since James and I saw The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (okay, its only been 3 days), I am compelled to tune in to the official website to hear the music and dance with Spencer. I just can't stop my feet.

Just saw this at, and he said it better than I: "saw life aquatic with steve zissou last night. it had a remarkable effect on my brain. it is absurd, fantastical yet somehow feels consistent and convincing."
Where Do They Get Their Lists?
For the past 5 years, my dad's mail has come to my home. All the bills, all the solicitations....everything. But, really, the only mail he got was bills and credit card solicitations. It really didn't add up to much.

My dad died in October, and since then he has recieved junk mail every day! In addition to the credit card applications, we get advertising mailers for cars, attorneys, and everything in between. Yet we never got them before? To me it seems like a poor marketing strategy, but maybe its just me.

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Can I de"pend" on you Valentine?
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Colinisms of the Day

"I have bad news, you guys. Estelle has an ear confection."

"I was a baby then, and it was just me and you and daddy. But, then all of a sudden, another one popped out, right mommy?"


Would one wear Speedo's?
The latest rage, and the next sport to offered during our physical education classes at our school, is Sport Stacking, formerly known as Cup Stacking. Our school has selected it for the great benefits in hand-eye coordination. It looks fun! If you click on the link above, be sure to click on the video link of Emily becoming the world champion. Amazing.

(p.s. I was going to link to Speedo, but my BSafe program blocked access because it is "R-Rated Shopping!" I suppose BSafe may not sell well in Europe).

No matter what the daisies say...(He loves me, He loves me not!)...just say you'll be my Valentine. I love you.
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Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Blue Bayou
The plumber's here, and it ain't looking good. Last night James came home and said he heard water in the (detached) garage. We sleuthed around with our flash lights and discovered our back yard was something of a marsh. And, indeed, there was some sort of deep rushing river under the garage. We called the city and had our water shut off (which lead to us getting ready for the day in the McDonald's bathroom this morning), and now the plumber.

Said plumber dug down and declared he had found the old rusty pipe, which he would saw off and cap. I suggested we might turn on the water to see where the leak was, but he was confident, so he went shopping for supplies and returned with the cap. THEN he turned on the water while I watched the pipe. Diagnosis? The leak was at least 6 inches east of the pipe in question, so it was not repaired after all. Currently he is sawing a hole in the floor to look for the offending pipe.


A Valentine like you would be something to crow about!
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Monday, January 17, 2005

Shoe Maven
I'm a bit of a shoe maven, having sold shoes for Pappagallo for nearly seven years. I've seen how shoes are made, I know my lasts from my shanks, and I even know what kind of lasts (molds) most companies use. I can tell you all about the different kinds of leathers, how they will wear and how to care for them. But I met my match last week at the Athlete's Foot.

I went in on Thursday to find some walking shoes. I've been having trouble finding sport shoes that fit well. The arch seems to be always too far forward or just non-existent, and my feet just fall inward. When I walked in the store, I was greeted by a smiling lady offering help. I told her I needed a professional fitting and she went to work. My foot was mapped by a computer for pressure points and pronation, and the computer printed out a list of shoes that would be good for me. (Style was not even a consideration. Don't even ask for your favorite style, that's not what its about!!)

The lady brought back 4 pair of perfectly ugly shoes and started putting them on me. The third pair was perfect. I could just feel it. (And it was a size and a half larger than I normally wear!!) Now sure that she might know what she was doing, I admitted to her that I was having some heel trouble that makes it difficult for me to walk in the morning. She nodded her head in understanding and said lots of doctors send patients to her for that problem and she knew all about it. She gave the the diagnosis and the cure, part of which was to wear my new shoes at all times while at home since I have hardwood floors.

Duly impressed, I followed her orders. I'm glad to report that I can already tell a remarkable difference. I have no leg pain when I go to bed at night and I can walk the moment I wake up. It was my floors (well, my lack of shoes)! I should have listened to the Fly Lady long ago!
The Life Aquatic
James and I went to see The Life Aquatic with Steve Zizzou today. Wow. Its hard to know what to say about it. We did love it. Can't stop thinking about it. It is the strangest good movie I have ever seen (in contrast to strange but bad movies). Its more than a movie, its an experience in the unusual. Its a comedy, but its a little mysterious, and not always so very funny. Go see it.

We saw the movie at Harkins Theater in Bricktown. I hadn't been there yet and was pleased. There are many new restaurants very close by (Earl's Barbecue, Nothing But Noodles and Sonic, to name a few), so we had dinner before the movie. Frankly, it was easier than going to a movie at the mall. We didn't have far to walk at all and it was a lovely setting overlooking Bricktown and the canal. It will be a wonderful place for a date when the weather is warmer.

All my thoughts are of you! Be my Valentine!
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Sunday, January 16, 2005

I'm putting all my "begs" in one "ask-it"---
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Saturday, January 15, 2005

Valentine, I've got a bad case of you. Be my Valentine.
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Friday, January 14, 2005


Somethin' Stupid
(Frank & Nancy Sinatra)

I know I stand in line until you think you have the time to spend an evening with me.
And if we go some place to dance I know that there's a chance you won't be leaving with me.
Then afterwards we drop into a quiet little place and have a drink or two.
And then I go and spoil it all by saying something stupid like "I love you"

I can see it in your eyes that you despise the same old lies you heard the night before.
And though it's just a line to you, for me it's true and never felt so right before.

I practice every day to find some clever lines to say to make the meaning come true,
But then I think I'll wait until the evening gets late and I'm alone with you.
The time is right, your perfume fills my head, the stars get red and oh the night so blue.
And then I go and spoil it all by saying something stupid like "I love you"

The time is right, your perfume fills my head, the stars get red and oh the night so blue.
And then I go and spoil it all by saying something stupid like "I love you"

"I love you"
"I love you"
"I love you"


"Leave us face it," I want you for my Valentine! (I have no idea what that means).
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Thursday, January 13, 2005

Guppies Unite!
Wal-Mart feels it is being nibbled to death by guppies. In its defense, WalMart says its average wage is double minimum wage. That really isn't so impressive when you consider management-level wages are included in the average. Maybe the guppies are biting for a reason...
We had these for dinner and you should, too. Easy, delicious, fast. What more could you ask?

Pure maple syrup

Clean your carrots and chop them into bite-size pieces (don't scrape them). Put them in boiling water until soft. While they're cooking, put some syrup and butter in a bowl. Drain your carrots, add them to the bowl and stir to coat. They're ready, but if you put your bowl in the oven along with the casserole or bread you're making and let them keep warm for a few minutes, they'll taste even better!


Danger, Danger!
My cousin sent me this email today; thought I'd share. It is a guide for how men should approach their wives during certain parts of the month:

DANGEROUS: What's for dinner?
SAFER: Can I help you with dinner?
SAFEST: Where would you like to go for dinner?
ULTRA SAFE: Have some chocolate!

DANGEROUS: Are you wearing that?
SAFER: Wow, you look good in brown.
SAFEST: WOW! Look at you!
ULTRA SAFE: Have some chocolate!

DANGEROUS: What are you so worked up about?
SAFER: Could we be overreacting?
SAFEST: Here's my paycheck.
ULTRA SAFE: Have some chocolate!

DANGEROUS: Should you be eating that?
SAFER: You know, there are a lot of apples left.
SAFEST: Can I get you a glass of wine with that?
ULTRA SAFE: Have some chocolate!

DANGEROUS: What did you do all day?
SAFER: I hope you didn't over-do it today.
SAFEST: I've always loved you in that robe!
ULTRA SAFE: Have some more chocolate!
Holey Hearts
I've been thinking about Meg today. I call her Meggie, she calls me Monkey. Long story.

When I was young, my family moved a lot. About every 2 years, I'd say. It was no picnic trying to make new friends just in time to move on. It gets harder the older you get because the others have constructed a collective history and you just don't get the jokes, you don't know the stories and you're not one of them. Even when everyone is kind and inclusive, you know you're not quite there, and you know you'll be saying goodbye, anyway.

I moved to Enid in 1974 and it was, by far, my toughest move. The other children made fun of me for every "infraction," not the least of which was my northern accent. Frankly, I couldn't see how someone who thought "y'all" was a pronoun could dare make fun of me, but they did anyway. The taunting usually drove me to tears, which created more fodder for their tortuous ways.

Then there was Meg. Seldom does one find such a friend, with whom time together is completely at ease. One minute you're acting ridiculous, but you can shoot straight into serious issues. With Meg I was myself. We were two peas in a pod. Neither of us was really like the other girls. Meg liked to investigate how things worked by taking them apart and putting them together. We both liked exploring nature, going to church, learning to play the French horn...that sort of thing. We didn't have posters of teen heart throbs and we didn't obsess over the latest fashions. I suppose we were odd ducks. But we were odd together.

Our move to Enid proved to be my last childhood move, but in a sad twist of fate, Meg's first move came just a few years after we met. She was off to Kentucky, leaving me behind to fend for myself. I don't think I've ever gotten over it. I still remember standing in the street watching them drive away in their paneled station wagon, hot tears streaming down my face. They're falling right now, as a matter of fact.

Meg's leaving wasn't the first or last hole torn out of my heart, but it certainly was one of the largest. The scar remains. Happily, the friendship remains, too...but distance steals away the everyday contacts. I suppose if it weren't for moving, I would never have met Meg, but I'm still mad at moving.

Don't give me the "Brush Off" Valentine!
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Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Speaking of Tolerance...

After reading Saint Kansas' comments at The Dawn Patrol about the website, I thought I'd give the tolerance crowd a look to see what's up with them. Hoo Boy.

I consider myself pretty tolerant, really. I married a man who is half Japanese, I have many friends from the left and from alternative lifestyles. I don't agree with any of them on every single issue, but I am certainly a little more than tolerant with them. After all, you can't be tolerant unless you differ, right?

Anyway, one holiday on the bottom of my favorites list is Halloween. Why? Well, it's just a little too wicked for me. My neighborhood is a very popular trick-or-treat spot (children come by the busload!), so I see my fair share of costumes. Frankly, some of them give me nightmares! I really question whether we should expose children to the whole thing, even though I had a lot of fun with it when I was young. If I could, I would change Halloween just a bit to remove the witches and mummies and monsters and blood. There would still be plenty of room for creativity without making it all so scary.

But, has a different reason to remove witch costumes from holiday festivities. Here it is:

"And I cannot count the many variations of the "evil witch" costume I see in stores each year. Those who practice Wicca, an ancient religion with tenets of spirituality and respect for the earth, see these wart-nosed, green caricatures as harmful and offensive representations of themselves and their beliefs. They also are a painful reminder of times when witches, or those thought to be, were persecuted and killed.

As parents, we cannot expect children to take seriously our calls for tolerance, respect and acceptance for others when we grant a one-day exemption from these values each year at Halloween.

Stereotypical costumes send the message that mocking another's culture is acceptable, that insensitivity to those who are different from us is humorous and clever. Such messages linger long after the candy and jack-o-lanterns have disappeared." (more here)

Sponge Worthy?
The Dawn Patrol has alerted us to the newest methods of indoctrinating our children to the views of the left: using popular cartoon figures to sing about tolerance (for everything except Christian beliefs). Check it out. You'll be enlightened.

Rolling Along
I just woke up and the sun has already gone down. Where do the days go, and why so quickly? I am just amazed at how quickly time is passing at 41 years of age. Was it always this fast? Was I ever bored? Why was I bored? For goodness sake, there is SO much to do!!

Fancy me being your Valentine.
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Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Wish I was a cowboy so I could rope you in!
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Teachers' Helper
Today I was the teachers' helper at BSF. I was a little sad beforehand because I would be missing the first lesson after the Christmas break, but as it happens every time, I was truly blessed by my two hours with the children. (This is in stark contrast to me crying after helping out for less than 2 hours at my church!)

As I entered the classroom, the teachers were ready and waiting for children to arrive. They showed me the schedule and told me they would direct me in what to do. We started with playtime, and I just sat on the floor and helped the boys build a marble run. They thought I was a genius because I built it high with lots of twists and turns. I guess they had never been able to put it together before. One boy said, "Wow. I wish this play time would never end." (smile)

When playtime was over, the children, who know the schedule well, helped me put everything away. Each toy was taken outside the door where volunteers would pick them up and put them in storage until next week. The children circled around the teacher, closed their eyes and held their hands out so the teacher could choose a leader. She chose a little boy to lead and gave him a large flag. The children then lined up and each got one small flag. We marched down the hall singing, "We love our flag," and ended up in the room next door where we sat in a circle of chairs, which the teachers had already set up. We did a few exercises, which ended with us sitting up straight in our chairs with our hands folded in our laps. Then one of the teachers told the story of Paul and Silas. When she was finished, the leader chose questions she had prepared and written on construction paper. After she read a question, those who knew the answer raised their hands and the leader chose who could answer. It was awesome.

While they did a few more little exercise games, I went back to our room and set up the table for snack time. Each place was set with 2 graham crackers, a napkin and a cup of water. The leader took a bottle of hand sanitizer around the circle and gave each child a bit. The children came in and ate snacks while the teachers lead them in discussion about their Christmas break. When some girls wanted more crackers and started reaching, I made the comment that ladies never reach. It was so cute to see them quickly put their hands in their lap and try to be the most ladylike they could be to impress me. The pleases and thank yous were flying!

After the children were finished snacking, the leader carried the trash can around the tables for the children to put their napkins and cups. While I wiped off the tables, the children lined up for fun time. They went down the hall and I put out small towels around the floor for quite time. I then joined the children, who were taking turns jumping across a pretend river the teacher had made with two jump ropes. After about 15 minutes of that, we returned to our room for quite prayer time. Each child laid down by a towel and we spent 10 minutes quietly thinking about God and praying, with the lights turned low.

That finished, each child brought me his towel and I put them outside for the other volunteers to collect. We went next door again to sing songs. The children sang a thank you song to me for helping and then the leader brought a sticker to put on my nametag to show I had volunteered with them. The first song we sang was the doxology. It was the song I sang at my dad's funeral and the one my friends sang for me later at the retreat. My eyes welled up with tears and I saw many children looking curiously at me. Then the teacher had us sing in 2 more times!!! Luckily nobody asked me why I was crying because I couldn't think of anything to tell them!

After song time we went back to the regular classroom and the teacher got out handmade musical instruments, which we played loudly with some taped music. It was hilarious and the children loved it. We switched instruments three times, so each child got to play each instrument. All of the sudden, class time was over! I removed the childrens' nametags and the parents came and took them home! Easy as pie. No stress. And the children learned!

I love BSF.

Monday, January 10, 2005

Here we can see the giant boulder that rolled down the hill and landed on the road. (via Drudge)
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Here we can see the giant boulder that rolled down the hill and landed on the train track. (Via Thomas)
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Karaoke MONDAY Night
dedicated to Britty

Mockingbird (click on title for music)
( Carly Simon and James Taylor )

Mock (yeah) ing (yeah) bird (yeah)
Yeah (yeah)
Now, everybody have you heard?
He's gonna buy me a mockingbird
And if that mockingbird don't sing
He's gonna buy me a diamond ring
And if that diamond ring won't shine
He's gonna surely break this heart of mine
And that's why I keep on tellin' everybody
Say yeah, yeah whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, oh

Hear me now and understand
He's gonna find me some piece of mind
And if that piece of mind won't stay
I'm gonna find myself a better way
And if that better way ain't so
I'll ride with the tide and go with the flow
And that's why I keep on shoutin' in your ear
Say yeah, yeah whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, oh

Now, everybody have you heard?
She's gonna buy me a mockingbird
Yeah, if that mockingbird don't sing
She's gonna buy me a diamond ring
And if that diamond ring won't shine
Yes, it'll surely break this heart of mine
And there's a reason why I keep on tellin' everybody
Say yeah, yeah no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no

Listen now and understand
She's gonna find me some piece of mind
Yeah if that piece of mind won't stay
I'm gonna get myself a better way
I might rise above, I might go below
Ride with the tide and go with the flow
And that's the reason why I keep on shoutin' in your ear
No, no, no, no, no, no, no, now, now, baby


What's UP
Well, there has been a request that I post, and I'm not sure what to say. So, here are some random rambloglings:
1) There are two stray cats and an opossum living in my back yard.
2) I went to a Stampin' Up party last week and I can't stop thinking about stamping.
3) My neighbor was burgled today.
4) I'm behind on making the school scrapbook because nobody is donating photographs.
5) I like to sleep.
6) Lately I've been running my dishwasher every night, even if it is not full, and I have found it goes a long way toward keeping the kitchen clean.
7) My desk is very VERY messy.
8) Today I picked up the book Krakatoa, by Simon Winchester. Its about the volcanic explosian of the Krakatoa volcano in 1883 and how it, and the resulting tsunami, affected world politics. I've already read the first chapter (while in the carpool line) and it is fascinating.
9) Tomorrow I'm working in the children's section at BSF. Although I don't usually enjoy working in children's classes, I look forward to it at BSF because it is so well organized.
10) I love the new hit television series Lost (link includes audio, which you may want to mute).

Friday, January 07, 2005

This is a reader participation post. I'd like to get a discussion going on what practical, everyday things parents can do to rear better children. There are a lot of good parents out there and if you ask them what it is they do to have such lovely children, they will usually just shrink back and say they got lucky. But my theory is that the parents are doing some things right and they just think everyone does those things. They don't realize that their own parents were special or that they are special. They just take some things for granted. You've seen these families. They enjoy each other, they touch each other gently, they make each other laugh.

Your mission is to find out what they are doing. "They" may be you. Dig down deep to find out what it is. It is probably something woven into your daily routines. Maybe its the way you talk to your children, maybe its how you teach, maybe its what you expect from them..... But, please be practical in your advice. "Just love them" is not enough. HOW do you put loving them into practice.

Please forward this post to someone you think is a wonderful parent and ask them to share with us. They can post a comment, or email you and you can post the comment. Responses may be anonymous. (To send this post, click on the time stamp at the end of this post and you will get a "permalink" in your address bar. Copy the address and paste it into an email).

To get the ball rolling, I will share a daily checklist I recieved from my Bible Study Fellowship (which we keep posted next to the dinner table as a reminder).

Today I:
_ Hugged my child and told him, "I love you and God loves you." (Luke 15:20)
_Prayed specifically for my child.
_Listened carefully when my child wanted to talk. (Matthew 18:5)
_Read to my child. (Proverbs 4:1-4)
_Discussed God with my child (Deuteronomy 4:9-10)
_Expected obedience from my child. (1 Timothy 3:4)
_Exhibited patience with my child. (1 Corinthians 13:4)
_Sang or listened to music with my child. (Psalm 8:2)
_Spoke about his other parent with loving respect. (Colossians 3:18-19)
_Did not expect behavior beyond his age capabilities. (1 Corinthians 13:11)
_Punished his disobedience with appropriate measures. (Jeremiah 17:10)
_Helped my child learn something new about Jesus. (Luke 2:52)
_Encouraged my child to do something for someone else. (Galatians 6:10)
_Protected my child from evil and harmful influences. (1 Corinthians 13:6,7)
_Challenged and helped my child to do something he thought he could not do. (1 Thessalonians 5:14)
_ Did not punish my child when I was angry. (Psalm 103:8-14)
_Exhibited good manners for my child to model. (Matthew 7:9-12)
_Commended my child for a Christ-like quality. (Galatians 5:22-23)
_Read the Bible to my child. (2 Timothy 3:15)
_Prayed with my child. (Matthew 18:19-20)
_Modeled only the attributes I want my child to emulate. (1Comrinthians 4:16)
_Laughed with, not at, my child. (Romans 12:15)
_Thanked my child for something he did. (1 Thessalonians 5:18)
_Gave my child some responsibility. (Titus 3:14)
_Did not talk negatively about my child in his presence. (Proverbs 12:18)
_Praised and thanked my child more than I criticized him. (Proverbs 16:24)
_Asked my child's forgiveness when I was wrong. (James 4:6)
_Forgave my child immediately (2 Corinthians 2:7-8)
_Encouraged my child to trust God (Proverbs 3:5-6)
_Did not make a promise to my child that I cannot keep (Ecclesiasted 5:5)
You should see these before and after aerial photos I just recieved through email. For each photo you can toggle back and forth between before and after. After all I've seen already, I was still stunned.

Thursday, January 06, 2005

Another happy cat.
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Look how much this little kitty cat enjoys his costume. Oh, yes. You, too, can satisfy your cat's haute couture dreams at Catprin! (Can you imagine reaching in to remove the garment from this angry kitty?) h/t Dave Barry.
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Wednesday, January 05, 2005

You Can Catch Up If You Start Now
Here is a site to help you read the Bible in one year. Just add it to your favorites list and fold it into your daily computer routine. Nice. Very nice. (Thanks to Batesline).

This is what happened to our driveway last time we had this sort of icing.
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Iced, Iced, Baby.
Here we go again: sleet on top of rain. Last time this happened, we lost tons of trees and all the lines to our house were pulled off our house. Our yard lit up electric green, and we had to leave for 9 long days!!!

Here are a few lessons we learned: before the electricity goes out open your garage door and clean your kitchen. Don't forget to run the garbage disposal, because what ever is in there will start to stink in about 2 days. Bring in lots of wood if you have a fire place. Charge up your cell phone and have your flashlights and radios ready. Oh, yes, and save your files on your computer!! I've also got the phone number ready for my favorite hotel. As soon as the electricity goes out, I'm making a reservation!!
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Monday, January 03, 2005

After mentioning our Pontiac, I couldn't resist finding a photo for you. This was our car, except it had a red interior. My dad was super proud of that car. He loved to take us for drives and get my hair whipping all about. Its a 1966 Pontiac Bonneville Convertible. I drove it around a bit when I was in highschool. It was a boat, but I loved it, too.
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The Commodore Motel at 37th and Seawall Blvd in Galveston, Texas. Ain't she a beauty? I think this is from one of our family's vacations. I found it in my parents' papers. I hope my mom will comment: I think this may have been where we were when Elvis died. Wherever we were, it was near a seawall. And you don't get much closer than seawall boulevard! All our family vacations included motels like this, though. Didn't yours? I can taste the ice and see the room decor. Turquoise and orange? You know it! The motels and their pools were so exciting after a day of drawing lines down the middle of the bench back seat of the Pontiac and hoping we were almost there!
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Saturday, January 01, 2005

Just a reminder: I still collect these things!
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