Sunday, May 29, 2005

This is the kind of stuff that can get me in trouble on ebay. Its china, its red and white, its old, its transferware and its floral. Oh, yes, its not expensive either. Trying. Not. To. Bid.
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Saturday, May 28, 2005

Shoe In
Okay, I've told you about this before, but most of you weren't reading this blog back then, so I must tell you again. Somebody loves Famolare shoes. When I say loves, I mean loves.
I went to the Paseo Arts Festival today. The bad news is I never found Britt or his sister. The good news is that it is a great little festival. In fact, I liked the smaller size of it. Most of the art was new and fresh - stuff I hadn't seen before at an art festival, that is. They had belly dancers, musicians and some children performing some kind of strange slow motion dance (kinda creepy, actually). Although I didn't purchase any food, I enjoyed the fairway smells of lemonade, Indian tacos, corn dogs and funnel cakes. Of course, the Paseo district is such a nice little street of shops and it seemed all the better filled up with people. The sidewalk cafe's were full and people were streaming in and out of the small restaurants and shops. The weather was perfect.

The first booth I came to had jewelry and barrettes made with millefiori, one of my favorite mediums. I purchased a turquoise glass barrette with about 20 little colorful flowers inside. I love it. After seeing her booth, I started remembering how much I love millefiori and the little glass millefiori paperweights my grandmother used to have. I am not a collector, but if I were to collect, I could go crazy on glass sphere paperweights!

One summer I went to visit a friend in Chicago for a week and spent an entire day at the art museum. I was delighted to see that they had a large collection of millefiori on display at that time...I believe in the basement. I looked for quite a long time, smiling all the while. Something about it just speaks to me. Of course, I've always loved glass and I like flowers... and color. They just all came together that day in one little room in my favorite city.

So, I came home today and searched for paperweights to share with you. There are more than 2000 available on ebay today! The following are some that I would purchase to begin my collection, if I were to start a collection. Enjoy!


The perfect amber paperweight.
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I like this millefiori even though it doesn't have a lot of colors and it isn't spherical. It is a soothing design.
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This one reminds me of a marble.
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A great millefiori sample: lots of color!
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Cool green swirly design.
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Flower (duh)
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Lotton Trillium.
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The Happy Homemaker's Beauty Secrets
I am told about once a week that I look 10 years younger than I am (41). I don't know if this is true, or if lots of people feel they need to butter me up for something. I suspect, if it is true, it is because my extra pounds have stretched out my wrinkles so that you can't see them. But, just in case I really do look young and there is something I've done to contribute, I give to you The Happy Homemaker's Beauty Secrets (henceforth not so secret):

1) Wait until you're 35 to have children. Then, when others your age are preparing their children for the prom, you will be purchasing crayons for kindergarten. This doesn't affect your actual appearance, but having children hanging from your skirt fools the minds of others into thinking you are young.

2) Pluck, pluck, pluck.

3) Oil of Olay.

4) Have your own blog. If you're 31 and want to appear 10 years younger, have a livejournal.

5) Don't wear your whole collection of jewelry. This gives away the number of years you've had to collect jewelry.

6) Another illusional trick: decorate your house with mismatched and sometimes even broken furniture for that "just starting out" look. (This works wonders for me).

7) If you're a woman, the higher your ponytail, the younger you look. Of course, at some point this turns on you and the higher you wear your ponytail the more ridiculous you look. Its a fine line and you must always be on guard. If you are uncertain, go down an inch. Also, if you are going to try this trick you should use a simple barrette. A big bow on a high ponytail will definitely take you to ridiculous territory.

8) Curl your eyelashes and keep your eyes wide open for that innocent doe look. (For your mid-life crisis, invest in some sparkly eyeshadow. Since no self-respecting 40-year-old woman would wear sparkles on her face, everyone will just KNOW you are 30!)

9) Keep your toenails filed down and polished. Thick toe nails are a sure sign of old(er) age.

10) Smile. (Shimmery lip gloss makes your smile even better!)
Gloom, Despair and Agony on Me
I love my neighborhood Medicine Shoppe. It is but a few blocks away and I know the pharmacist/owner and her assistant by name. They know me, too. When I'm low on my prescriptions, I just give them a call and say, "Hey, this is Jan. I need some more XYZ." They say, "Okay, see you soon." Sometimes I'll ask for 90 instead of 60 and they always accomodate.

Visits to the store are pleasant, too. I never have to say who I am, they just pull my meds for me and ring me up. They always ask about the boys and they notice if I change my hairstyle. They show me pictures of grandchildren and we all walk away happy.

Today after I left work I called for a refill. They didn't answer. Walgreen's automated voice answered. I nearly dropped my phone. Somehow, I thought, the number I dialed entered some strange vortex and was accidentally routed to the dreaded Walgreen!

I drove by this afternoon to see what happened. Nothing but a sign on the door: "Prescriptions have been transferred to Walgreen's."
No phones, no lights, no motor cars, not a single luxury.

My vortex theory was closer to the truth than I realized. The behemoth retailer swirled around the neighborhood and swallowed up the small guys whole.

The trouble is fourfold: (1) Walgreen's does not carry one of my medicines. (2) Walgreen's never has and never will know me by name. (3) Walgreen's has an animatron woman answering the phone and expects me to type in the numbers of my prescriptions. (4) Walgreen's always makes me wait, even if the only thing they have to do for me is add water to the antibiotic powder and shake it up. (One time I had to wait an hour for this service.)

I'm devastated. The only other pharmacist that carries my meds that I have found is 20 miles from here. If you know a smaller pharmacy that would welcome my business and keep my drugs around for me, please tell me. I'm begging you.
Need Some Advice
I started priming my new porch railing today and it is looking great. The old railing had turned spindles that were too far apart. This one has square one-inch spindles spaced one inch apart. Although the railing will look wonderful painted a creamy white, I'm a little nervous about the upkeep. The old fence was terribly stained from all the yard debris that landed on it daily: cedar droppings, pollen and bird droppings. With this new railing, I've been spraying it clean every day when I water the flowers, but I know that will be hard on the paint. I've been thinking about applying a coat of polyurethene on the top rail, which is made of pressure-treated wood. Does anyone foresee any trouble with that?
Down and Out
Here's a Happy Homemaker Word to the Wise: Don't do your grocery shopping on the first day of the month. (Notice, I did not say word from the wise).

Altogether oblivious to the date, Spencer and I headed over to the grocery store to pick up a few supplies. You know, chicken, fruit, bread, oatmeal, milk... the essentials. This particular store is usually known for fast service and short lines. Today, however, all the lines were full. Not only that, all the carts were full. In fact, I saw more than one customer with multiple carts. These are already the biggest carts in town, so these people were doing some serious shopping.

(Just as an aside, isn't it interesting to see what people are buying? Sometimes I think it might be interesting to be a checker and see what people buy. One lady had 30 packages of hotdogs, 30 packages of buns and a lot of ketchup (aka catsup) and mustard. One guy, who had two carts, had about 100 pound of meat in his basket (everything from brisket to chicken). When the woman in front of me ran out of food stamps, she took the juice bags but left the beans and the bacon.)

Anyway, it seems the payment system had stalled at the supermarket. Nothing was going through except cash, which nobody had. Not for $400 in groceries, at least. The manager was running from line to line taking credit card and check information to the service counter to call them in for approval. You can imagine how long that took. I guess I looked trustworthy because the checker just took my check and rang it in as cash so I could be on my way. Or maybe it is because I showed sympathy and joked around with her about her great day that she was especially nice to me. I bet they took a lot of grief today for something out of their control.

Just a few years ago (7? 8?) there was still a grocery store at 63rd and May with the old registers. You remember, the kind with prices on the keys like .50, .25, $2, $5. They pressed down like old typewriter keys. They made carbon imprints of credit cards and took their chances with checks. There wasn't a barcode in the store. It seemed slow compared to the scanners, but on a day like to day it would have been lightning fast. We are now slaves to electronics. If the system shuts down, nobody knows what to do! I doubt they could even open the cash registers! But if they could, they would have to count back change. GASP!

Today's ceremony was very good. It was too cloudy for a fly-over, so they began with the shot of a cannon. The Governor's Own - 145th Army Band played and one of it's members sang The Battle Hymn of the Republic (best I had ever heard). Brigadier General Myles Deering spoke inspiring words of remembrance and quoted Ronald Reagan: "Freedom is never
more than one generation away from extinction." Veda Cook, of the Gold Star Wives, presented a wreath, which was placed at the foot of the flagpole. Afterward we toured the museum and walked the grounds. I hope you'll put it on your calendar for next year (10:00 on Memorial Day).
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Friday, May 27, 2005

When I'm Sixty-Four
(click on title for music)

(The Beatles)

When I get older losing my hair many years from now
Will you still be sending me a valentine,
Birthday greetings, bottle of wine?
If I'd been out til quarter to three would you lock the door?
Will you still need me, will you still feed me, when I'm sixty-four?

Oh, you'll be older too - Ah
And if you say the word, I could stay with you

I could be handy mending a fuse when your lights have gone
You can knit a sweater by the fireside,
Sunday mornings, go for a ride
Doing the garden, digging the weeds, who could ask for more?
Will you still need me, will you still feed me, when I'm sixty-four?

Every summer we could rent a cottage in the Isle of White,
If it's not too dear
We shall skrimp and save, grandchildren at your knees,
Vera, Chuck, and Dave

Send me a postcard, drop me a line stating point of view
Indicate precisely what you mean to say,
Yours sincerely, wasting away
Give me an answer, fill in a form, mine forevermore
Will you still need me, will you still feed me, when I'm sixty-four?


Incredible (and incredibly loud)
Today was the last day of kindergarten for little Colin, so we took him and his best buddy to Incredible Pizza for lunch. It was actually very nice. They had a pizza, pasta, salad, potato, and soup, cookie, cinnamon roll and ice cream buffet and 4 dining rooms from which to choose. We tried one for lunch, one for dessert and another for a cola before we left. My favorite was the Starlight, which is reminiscent of an old drive-in theatre. They were showing The Ghost and Mr. Chicken, which had us all laughing. (In fact, the boys were content to stay there to watch the movie!)

After lunch we played a few games of mini bowling and then watched the go-cart races. Colin and Graham rode the bumper cars while Spencer and I played a race car video game. If we had more time and could take the noise we could have played more video games, miniature golf and basketball (shoot-the-hoops game).

The only gripe I have about the place is the noise, and I am especially sensitive to noise, so take that with a grain of salt. The place was clean, well attended and filled with entertainment. The food, though not gourmet, was certainly good for the price (actually, the oatmeal cookies were great) and it was fairly easy to move about. It was very busy for a Friday lunch, so I imagine the weekends must be really crazy. I would go there once a week for the promise that I would never ever have to set foot in Chucky Cheese again!
Tomorrow begins the Paseo Arts Festival! Britt's sister will be showing her art tomorrow, so I will definitely be there!


Thursday, May 26, 2005

The Manolo, he has suggested we take a look at the new blog of the Beverly Feldman. Like the Manolo, I find most of her shoes a bit too....much, but thought I would share three of her shoes I would wear, if I had the thousand dollars to purchase them, that is.
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Lost in Cyberspace
Confession time: I'm a big Lost fan. Big fan. We don't watch much TV, but Lost is a must around this house. The show is just one big tease, really. It is a giant 5000-piece puzzle and we don't have the box lid to know what to make of it. The frustration of it all is so much fun.

Last night was the season finale. Today the message boards are all abuzz with theories, things people noticed and screen shots with possible clues. I love it. Twin Peaks had me in a similar way - but this is twice as good. (I hope it doesn't end up as weird as Twin Peaks, by the way.)

Do you watch Lost? If so, let's talk!!!

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Colin at the 45th Infantry Museum on Memorial Day, 2000.
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I hope you'll make plans to spend an hour on Memorial Day at the 45th Infantry Museum in Oklahoma City. The ceremony begins at 10:00 (arrive at least 15 minutes early if possible).

We have been every year for the last 5 years and love every minute of it. The ceremony includes a military band, a color guard parade with representatives from many branches of the military (old and current), and, best of all, veterans. At the beginning and ending of the short ceremony, BlackHawk helicopters conduct a fly-over. I cry every year.

The museum is open Monday and the grounds are beautiful. You won't regret it.


We had the privilege of sharing our backyard with this baby bluejay this Spring. He fell out of his nest before he could fly, so he spent several weeks hopping around our backyard. His parents watched him ever so closely from up above, occassionally bringing him a snack. He allowed me to get very close to him and we had a few conversations about gardening and the fine selection of large worms to be found in our dirt. I asked him to come back when he was older to feast on our mosquitos. The last day I saw him he had flown up to a chair on our back porch. I sat down nearby to watch him. He started to take off several times, losing his nerve each time. But, he was determined. He narrowed his eyes and flew all the way to the trash can! His proud mother flew down and gave him a worm. He tried to fly up to the tree, but he didn't make it and landed on the fence instead. The next day we saw three little bluejays and two big blue jays in the fig tree. They were all together again. I hope they are flying around happily this week.
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Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Its a Work-a-day World
I discovered last night that Colin was not the only culprit in the great bathroom caper. It didn't take a lot of detective work. I simply heard Spencer say, "So, you had to work today because we brewk the bathroom?"

"We?" To Colin's credit, he never even attempted to rat out his brother. Spencer did it all on his own. So, now they are both committed to an hour's work per day at a rate of $5.00 per hour. They are each expected to earn a total of $100.

Spencer's job this afternoon was to rake a portion of the yard to clean up the pollen-tassle debris from the pecan tree. I showed him how to start at one side of the yard, drag the rake to the other side and empty the rake. He took off in a Family Circus-esque maneuver and made some squiggly lines around the yard. Then came the attempt to release the tassles from the rake without actually touching them. He finally settled on the hit-the-rake-against-the-fence method, which worked but required a great amount of energy. After completing that first crazy drag around the yard, there was much hoo-ing and a great dramatic piece about the necessity for rest and a cool drink.

With a great deal of coaching from me mixed in with praise for a job well-done, he completed two solid rows of de-tassling including the bagging up of the tassles and the putting away of the rake. He looked at himself and said, "Woo! That made me....PINK!" He repeated "Woo" several times on his way in for his much deserved rest. It was just so much work!

I suppose we've entered a new era with our boys: the training for perserverance and hard work. I'll promise you this, my boys WILL be good workers, even if I have to spend the entire summer on the sidelines coaching them along.
The Great White Wonder
Has my blog taken a trip into the white light? Are the clouds low today?

On my screen there is nothing but white. Can you see the blog?

"Where is the blog
I thought was mine all mine
To the end of time,
Was it just a line?

Where is the blog?"

Monday, May 23, 2005

Today's Hoppenings
Big adventure today. I put Colin to work for me in the garden to earn money to repair the shower curtain and tiles he pulled out of the wall (the little monkey), and out hopped a frog! Well, a toad, actually. I told Colin to pick it up and...well, he tried. Colin is a little too jumpy to catch something so...jumpy. He squealed with delight at every attempt, though. Finally, I picked it up for him and put it in the bucket with water I had made ever so hastely. Actually, they didn't seem duly impressed that their mom was so proficient with frogs.

I thought once that had seen me do it, they would take to frogging and pick the little guy up themselves, but they didn't. I guess they're scared of salmonella or something, but we do have SOAP. Come on, guys!

Colin finally found a cup and has been catching the toad and letting it go for some 30 minutes now, laughing and squealing all the while. Meanwhile, he is earning absolutely nothing toward home repairs.

I just heard Spencer say to Colin, "Well, I'm afraid of frogs and that's why I don't want one in our yard. There's no way I'm going to touch that slimy thing."

How about you? Are you impressed I picked it up?
Going Postal
I went to the neighborhood Post Office today to pick up a package. The line was made up of an unusual assortment of people, all waiting patiently. It is America's Melting Pot at its best. The line-up was as follows:
(1) A black man wearing braids and seventies jogging pants.
(2) A Buddhist monk (orange robe).
(3) A woman in her 30s wearing her black hair with two shades of blue dye in pig tails and sporting skull and crossbone socks with her black Converse shoes.
(4) A Vietnamese woman dressed professionally and talking on her cell phone with the ear piece.
(5) A Japanese student with his hair colored orange and permed to a wacky frizz, two facial piercings and a toe ring.
(6) A cute bohemian woman wearing a black spaghetti strap tank with her pale pink undershirt showing and her red bra showing.
(7) The woman who played the organ at my wedding and didn't even seem to recognize me (so I didn't say anything).
(8) A well-dressed 50-something woman wearing muted linen clothes with nary a wrinkle and brown braided slides. Her handbag, while not matchy-matchy, matched perfectly.
(9) A gay black man with shaved head, gold chain necklace and a tank top that said, "Total Package."
(10) Me, the Happy Homemaker.


There are three lanes. At the light, there is an extra lane for making left turns. Two cars in the left turn lane, one in the next lane, zero in the middle and eight (8!) stacked up in front of me in the right lane. I'm the only one wanting to turn right and have to wait throught the 5-minute light!


Sunday, May 22, 2005

Domestic Drift

The Quinn Report, the best blog you haven't read, has a wonderful post entitled, "Objects at Rest" in which the author tries to remember how the whisk found it's way to the passenger car seat. Here's a glimpse:

Finally, a dim memory from the past worked its way up: while making dinner, I had gone in to the laundry room to check the clothes in the dryer. I had found the whisk sitting on the top of the cat food container. I had picked it up, with every intention of taking it to live in the room Nature intended for it, when I was called to the bathroom.

I hear your next question. Was I preparing a meringue for the cat? I don’t believe so but, sadly, we may never know. My brain refused to give me any more information. I looked down at the whisk, resting innocently in the passenger seat, and said sadly “Oh, if only you could talk”.

Of course, what it would probably say is, “Knowing these people, I’ll be here at least a week”.

The author of The Quinn Report.
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My Grandmother Helen (dad's mom).
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My Grandfather with his two oldest sons. The boy on the right is my dad. circa 1947
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Saturday, May 21, 2005

17th Century Prose
I can't stop myself from all this genealogy research! It is SO addictive! Must. Fill. In. Spaces!

I found this cool fan-style family tree chart today (see below) and started filling it in. Although I have some lines going all the way back to 1642, there are some lines that only go back to about the turn of the century. I mean, the 1900 one. So, the gaps are suddenly glaring and I am compelled to track down every last ancestor!

The truth is, I never will. James' mother was Japanese and, though I know her parent's names I have little chance of doing effective genealogical research in the Japanese language. I suspect there will remain a large gap for a very long time. I have asked James' cousins for the information, but I haven't heard anything which leads me to believe they do not possess my addictive personality and are not driven to fill in the blanks.

It has been fun to see that James' great great great....grandfather came to America on the Pink Plaisance in 1732 and my great greats came on the Patience in 1750. Both came from Rotterdam by way of Cowes and landed in Philadelphia. I wonder if they ever saw each other on the street? Probably not in Philadelphia since they headed for different sections of the country and came 18 years apart, but maybe in Germany? Who knows. I have a friend who discovered his great great great great grandfather came on the same ship as his wife's great great great great grandfather and found out they definitely knew each other! Isn't it romantic?

So, I don't have time for all this research and I certainly don't have time to be writing about doing all the research, so I'm off now to do something that will earn some money. Happy Sunday!

The very cool genealogy chart.
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I love these cards from Leanin' Tree, which you can purchase at Mardel. The art is done by Barbara Mitchell and the cards are decorated inside and out. Beautiful.
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Friday, May 20, 2005



Words and Music By Christopher Beatty and Geron Davis

This is holy ground

We're standing on holy ground

For the Lord is present

And where He is is holy

This is holy ground

We're standing on holy ground

For the Lord is present

And where He is is holy

These are holy hands

We're lifting up holy hands

He works through these hands

And so these hands are holy

These are holy hands

We're lifting up holy hands

He works through these hands

And so these hands are holy

You are holy, God

A perfect and holy God

Let us come before you with hearts made clean by Jesus' blood

You are holy, God

A perfect and holy God

Let us come before you with hearts made clean by Jesus' blood

We are standing on holy ground

And I know that there are angels all around

Let us praise Jesus now

We are standing in His presence

On holy ground


We officially made it to our 10-year anniversary! Ten. In honor of the big day, I thought I'd tell you about our wedding.

I was broke. My parent's, who were both battling health issues, were broke. In other words, the wedding was not extravagant.

I chose a small Methodist church in Edmond because it reminded me of the church my family attended in Indiana. It had wood pews and stained glass windows and a comfortable, intimate feel to it. My dress was ivory and low cut. The dress was totally out of my comfort zone, modest as I am, but I bought it for James, not me. (I still don't like to look at the photographs). The bridesmaids wore ivory dresses of their choice. I wanted their personalities to shine through. They all looked lovely.

The church was decorated simply with some ivory flowers on the communion rail. I carried a bouquet of ivory and pale pink roses and gardenias with ivy trailing down. The bridesmaids each had 3 ivory calla lillies tied with ivory ribbon. The men all wore tuxes, James with a gardenia boutonniere and the other men with ivory roses.

4 of my orchestra friends played as the guests arrived and until I entered. A friend from law school played the organ and piano. Friends from church sang “Holy Ground” from the balcony and Stan sang “How Beautiful” during the ceremony. The preacher had us face the audience during the entire ceremony, which was wonderful. While Stan sang, I fixed my eyes on each guest and I thought how they had meant so much to me. When it was time for our vows, the sun lowered just enough to shine through stained glass windows and land right on James. He started sweating and made a little play to the audience, taking his handkerchief to wipe his brow and then pretending to wring it out.

Lot’s of things went wrong that day, but I didn’t worry about any of them. My friends took care of me. For an example, we took an elevator up from the dressing rooms to the foyer. The church’s wedding coordinator was insistent that we start exactly on time and was rushing us. I asked that she and the bridesmaids ride up and then send the elevator back down so I could spend a few minutes with my dad. She said NO!!! She wouldn’t back down and said we would be late. We spent enough time arguing about it that we could have all arrived upstairs, when a bridesmaid suddenly pushed the ‘close door’ button while the coordinator was still talking! HA!

I will always remember what one close friend from my past said about the ceremony. He said he felt true agape love in that church that day and was impressed by my friends and family. He came with his brother and sister and didn’t know anyone else there except my parents, but he saw what I knew, we are blessed.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

In The Stone
When I was a freshman at OU and played in the band, we played Earth, Wind and Fire's In The Stone. Man, I loved that song. I bought the album and played it on my portable record player in my dorm room over and over and over and over. Sometimes, for a change of pace, I would play the entire album. The whole thing was the best. I Am was my third non-classical album, following Sesame Street (circa 1971) and Barry Manilow (circa 1978). I absolutely drove my suite mates bonkers with that album. (I know this because they finally came to me exasperated and asked me to quit playing it.)

If I recall correctly (and there is always a chance I don't), Earth, Wind and Fire came and played with us when we performed In The Stone at half-time. Yes, I think they did.

A few years back a friend told me about a website where one could download music to play on one's computer. Giving very little thought to it except, "Woo Hoo," I came home and downloaded In The Stone and a few other old favorites and jammed the night away. The next morning I saw a television report about the illegality of such websites and the planned crackdown on the thieves!!! ME! THE HAPPY HOMEMAKER! A THIEF! I was horrified and quickly deleted every remnant I could from my computer. I called my friend and told her and she laughed at me and said, "You didn't THINK it was illegal?" well, no. Then she said, "You at least burned a disk before you deleted it all, right?" NO! Wouldn't that negate the whole redemption plot? I wasn't trying to hide my transgression, but purge it!

There. I've admitted it all publicly. I was a temporary thief.

So, anyway, maybe I should go purchase the DVD and drive my family bonkers.

GOLDEN TEMPLE OF JEHOL BY NIGHT, CHICAGO WORLD'S FAIR Replica of the celebrated Chinese Lama Temple, is the gift to the Exposition of Vincent Bendix. The Golden Pavilion, seat of worship of the Manchu emperors, was copied faithfully by North Chinese architects and artisans, shipped in 28,000 pieces to Chicago and put together like the parts of some huge Chinese puzzle.
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Famed Water Tower, Chicago, Ill. The Famed Water Tower, on whose site the great Chicago fire of 1871 was stopped, has been preserved as a monument to that terrible disaster.
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Musical Effects
Jeanise, a fellow musician, sends this along:

A new report now says that the Mozart effect is a fraud (via Terry Teachout). For you hip urban professionals: no, playing Mozart for your designer baby will not improve his IQ or help him get into that exclusive pre-school. He'll just have to be admitted into Harvard some other way. Of course, we're all better off for listening to Mozart purely for the pleasure of it. However, one wonders that if playing Mozart sonatas for little Hillary or Jason could boost their intelligence, what would happen if other composers were played in their developmental time?

LISZT EFFECT: Child speaks rapidly and extravagantly, but never really says anything important.

RAFF EFFECT: Child becomes a bore.

BRUCKNER EFFECT: Child speaks very slowly and repeats himself frequently. Gains reputation for profundity.

WAGNER EFFECT: Child becomes a megalomaniac. May eventually marry his sister.

MAHLER EFFECT: Child continually screams - at great length and volume - that he's dying.

SCHOENBERG EFFECT: Child never repeats a word until he's used all the other words in his vocabulary. Sometimes talks backwards. Eventually, people stop listening to him. Child blames them for their inability to understand him.

BABBITT EFFECT: Child gibbers nonsense all the time. Eventually, people stop listening to him. Child doesn't care because all his playmates think he's cool.

DEBUSSY EFFECT: Child murmurs and mumbles in a sensuous vocabulary that seems to go nowhere, with occasional spouts of fireworks and jazz puppetry.

BACH EFFECT: Child speaks in structurally perfect multiple voices, forwards, backwards, upside-down, augmented and diminished, solely for the glory of God.

BERLIOZ EFFECT: Child becomes a brilliant colorist, a drug addict, a stalker, and a worthless spouse.

BRAHMS EFFECT: Child develops extraordinary attachment to mother or mother surrogate.

SHAW EFFECT: Child compulsively counts, and cannot pronounce 'th's.

IVES EFFECT: the child develops a remarkable ability to carry on several separate conversations at once.

GLASS EFFECT: the child tends to repeat himself over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over again.

STRAVINSKY EFFECT: the child is prone to savage, guttural and profane outbursts that often lead to fighting and pandemonium in the preschool.

BRAHMS EFFECT: the child is able to speak beautifully as long as his sentences contain a multiple of three words (3, 6, 9, 12, etc). However, his sentences containing 4 or 8 words are strangely uninspired.

ORFF EFFECT: the child delights in saying naughty things that no one notices because they are too busy arguing about the real middle high German Latin pronunciation.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

8:00 a.m.

Spenc: "Mommy, why are you still in bed?"
Me: "I'm not feeling so good today, Spencer."
Spenc: "Why? Have you been taking care of your body?"
Me: "I thought so."
Spence: "Well, then, why are you sick. Is it because you watered the flowers too much?"
Me: "I don't know. I don't think that's why."
Spence: "Are you going to water the flowers today?"
Me: "I doubt it. I hope it rains."

I don't know if it is allergies or germs, but it is taking me out. My long lost relative (who has been helping me with genealogy) said I should see a chiropractor. She said it would help with my "mussels."


Anyway, I'm off to watch Spencer's airplane show, which is truly one of life's great pleasures. I stretch out at the edge of the bed and he turns the bed into a runway featuring all sorts of jet planes and helicopters, all portrayed by Spencer himself. He flies through the air with the greatest of ease and never ceases to entertain.


Tuesday, May 17, 2005

The Wooden Bowl
A frail old man went to live with his son, daughter-in-law, and four-year old grandson. The old man's hands trembled, his eyesight was blurred, and his step faltered. The family ate together at the table. But the elderly grandfather's shaky hands and failing sight made eating difficult. Peas rolled off his spoon and onto the floor. When he grasped the glass milk spilled on the tablecloth. The son and daughter-in-law became irritated with the mess.

"We must do something about Grandfather", said the son. "I've had enough of his spilled milk, noisy eating, and food on the floor." So the husband and wife set a small table in the corner. There, Grandfather ate alone while the rest of the family enjoyed dinner. Since Grandfather had broken a dish or two, his food was served in a wooden bowl. When the family glanced in Grandfather's direction, sometimes he had a tear in his eye as he sat alone. Still, the only words
the couple had for him were sharp admonitions when he had dropped a fork or spilled food. The four-year-old watched it all in silence.

One evening before supper, the father noticed his son playing with wood scraps on the floor. He asked the child curiously, "What are you making?"

Sweetly, the boy responded, "Oh, I am making a little bowl for you and Mama to eat your food in when I grow up." The four-year-old smiled and went back to work. The words so struck the parents that they were speechless.

Then tears started to stream down their cheeks. Though no word was spoken, both knew what must be done. That evening, the husband took Grandfather's hand and gently led him back to the family table. For the remainder of his days he ate every meal with the family.

And for some reason, neither husband nor wife seemed to care any longer when a fork was dropped, when milk was spilled, or when the tablecloth was soiled.

(via one of those emails that gets sent around and around)

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Armoire', Whoa Whoa Whoa Whoa
We took a little walk this morning to see the estate sale down the street and came home with a new armoire!! I love armoires and I particularly like one with clean lines and just a bit of detail...just enough to add interest but not take away from the clean lines. This one fits the bill perfectly! We've been looking for an armoire for our bedroom, but this one is too large. Still, I love it so much, we brought it home and filled it with my scrapbooking supplies. Bonus!

Of course, in order to put the thing in my office, we have to shift other things around. Consequently, my desk is piled two feet high with stuff I must sort. Also, my printer is now displaced. I don't really want it on my desk (there is no room!), but I don't see an alternative as of yet.

In other news, I've been searching through the genealogy file my mom gave me and am inspired to get it all in my spare time. I discovered that my great grandfather's sister married his wife's (my great grandmother's) brother. Seems like I would have heard that one before. Geneaology is so fascinating. I think it will be one of my hobbies if I live to retirement. For now, I encourage all of you to learn what you can about your living relatives and keep it together somewhere for safe-keeping. Save birth announcements, wedding invitations and obituaries. I'm going to scan mine and put them on a disk then put the originals in my safe deposit box. One of James' relatives made an amazing book about his family history complete with photographs and everything. What a wonderful heirloom he created! (Unfortunately, I suspect our Japanese family tree will remain a mystery until one of us learns Japanese!)

Well, did I digress or what?

Friday, May 13, 2005

Quotes From My Day

"But the air still gets in all around the car because it comes in and goes diangular." Colin telling his friend why we only need one window open.

"My train track brewked." Spencer

"Will you wait until I'm finished so you can take a picture of me with my art?" Child at school who witnessed me taking photos for the school scrapbook

"I'm ready to see some major violence." My husband on his way to see Kingdom of Heaven

"Taking appropriate action to prevent futher harassment does not require defendant to place plaintiff in a certain orchestra." Johnson v. University of Michigan Regents, 2004 WL 2873831

The Sparrow Wars
I sat on the back porch tonight and watched two sparrows go to war. I just thought to myself, "The Sparrow Wars. . . that's a good name for a blog."
Addicted To Love
( Robert Palmer )
(click on title for music)

Your lights are on, but you're not home
Your mind is not your own
Your heart sweats, your body shakes
Another kiss is what it takes
You can't sleep, you can't eat
There's no doubt, you're in deep
Your throat is tight, you can't breathe
Another kiss is all you need

Whoa, you like to think that you're immune to the stuff, oh yeah
It's closer to the truth to say you can't get enough
You know you're gonna have to face it, you're addicted to love

You see the signs, but you can't read
You're runnin' at a different speed
Your heart beats in double time
Another kiss and you'll be mine, a one track mind
You can't be saved
Oblivion is all you crave
If there's some left for you
You don't mind if you do

Whoa, you like to think that you're immune to the stuff, oh yeah
It's closer to the truth to say you can't get enough
You know you're gonna have to face it, you're addicted to love

Might as well face it, you're addicted to love
Might as well face it, you're addicted to love
Might as well face it, you're addicted to love
Might as well face it, you're addicted to love
Might as well face it, you're addicted to love

Your lights are on, but you're not home
Your will is not your own
You're heart sweats, your teeth grind
Another kiss and you'll be mine
Whoa, you like to think that you're immune to the stuff, oh yeah
It's closer to the truth to say you can't get enough
You know you're gonna have to face it, you're addicted to love

Might as well face it, you're addicted to love. . .
(over and over and over again until the music fades)


Muley, who is new to the blogosphere, gives us a head's up (so to speak) about what sorts of things could happen to one who happens to be asleep.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

There she is: Skipper. Angi asked us about our favorite toys and this is one of my favorites. I liked Skipper's flat feet and straight body. Barbie was just plain embarrassing to me, but Skipper was a girl's girl. I could imagine picking berries and digging up clay with Skipper. Skipper would catch crickets and explore the woods. Most definitely. Skipper was my girl.
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Skipper with some of her essentials: shoes, boots, hangers, record player and records, telephone and a few outfits. I included Skipper patterns because my mom liked to make my Skipper's clothes.
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Its That VBS Time of Year
I'm making the Garden of Eden for VBS this year! Anyone want to join me? It will be lots-o-fun, I promise. Last year I grew some friendships over the paint and cardboard and have really been blessed by them.

I do need some supplies that you may have around the house, so I'm going to list them here and re-post them from time to time.

Cardboard (at least 1 foot square and up to 12 feet square)
Acrylic paint
White or blue sheets
Realistic plush bunnies (to borrow only)
Realistic silk flowers and plants
400 Altoid mint tins (I'll take fewer if you don't have 400)

The kind of help I need is: (1) base painting the cardboard (2) cutting shapes out of cardboard and/or (3) detail painting flowers, plants, butterflies and trees.

Last year's VBS Flags of the Nations (which WE painted and hung on the paper-towel roll flag poles. Impressive, no?) (We also painted the crowd that you see in the background.)
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Last year's VBS puppet room.
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Last year's VBS stage.
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Last year's Road to Damascus featuring JC and the Sunshine Band singing, "I'm a Believer."
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Last year's VBS information booth!
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My mom brought me the genealogy file she had and we found this card inside. It is a fairly thick card and is beautifully made. You may want to click on the image to enlarge it and see the fine detail. I haven't double checked, but I believe this is my great, great grandfather Joseph C. Hagan.
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The Okie Dokie Pokie
Here in Oklahoma, we are supposed to call Okie before we dig. Okie comes out and marks buried gas, electric, cable and sewer lines so nothing and nobody gets hurt.

That's the plan.

Of course, I've lived in my home for 7 years and have witnessed Okie make some big mistakes at least 3 times. 2 of them were in my back yard. Today, it was two houses away.

Its just another day, I suppose, when police cars and fire trucks surround my home to block traffic. (Indeed, I came home once to find my house surrounded by trucks (fire, city, telephone, gas, and police), my yard full of tents (it was raining and the worker's needed a place to get out of the rain) and my driveway dug up. I had it easy, all my neighbors to the east had no electricity, water or gas!) Today, however, as I was driving carpool, I was suprised to see the main thoroughfare two blocks away was closed down, too! Something big was going down.

I called my neighbor to ask if she knew anything, not realizing I would send her into a panic! Having visions of Columbine, she hung up, threw her youngest children in the car and drove to the school (which was right beside all the firetrucks) to check on her oldest son! I can only imagine the face of panic she might have been wearing when she arrived! Fortunately, it was but a gas line break and they weren't even evacuating, just keeping people away.


So, the moral of the story is: don't trust Okie. Okie Doke?

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Sorry about the cryptic post below. You know, I sat down to blog with so much to say, and. . . nothing. Nothing. Everything I want to say is either (a) boring, (b) personal, (c) trivial or (d) too involved. I want to comment on my incredible friend who ministers to children in our neighborhood who are suffering miserable home lives...but I'm speechless. And humbled. I'd like to tell you about the cool stamping techniques I learned, but my friend was helping a child whose dad is in jail, so stamping seems kinda dumb.

I'll go ahead and tell you that my little one has strep. 2nd time in 6 weeks. Poor little guy.

I've been flying by the seat of my pants these last two weeks because I've completely overbooked myself. Its all stuff I like to do, but I really should slow down and leave time to minister to others.
blah blah blah blah blah

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Sunday, May 08, 2005

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Saturday, May 07, 2005


Friday, May 06, 2005

For those of you who I have been telling about Kate's on 41st in Tulsa, here's a little further enticement. Isn't it lovely? If you look closely you'll see some tall cakes and pies in there. Toward the bottom are casseroles you can take home with you. You'll also find cookies, brownies, Mississippi Mud....and there in the basket on top are loaves of deliciously sweet bread. I guarantee you will love the food. When you're in Tulsa, stop in. (It is just blocks from Highway 44).
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A Love Song ( Loggins and Messina )
(click on title for music)

There's a wren in a willow wood
Flies so high and sings so good
And he brings to you what he sings to you
Like my brother, the wren and I
Well, he told me if I try, I could fly for you
And I wanna try for you 'cause

I wanna sing you a love song
I wanna rock you in my arms all night long
I wanna get to know you
I wanna show you the peaceful feelin' of my home

Summer thunder on moon-bright days
Northern lights and skies ablaze
And I bring to you, lover, when I sing to you
Silver wings in a fiery sky
Show the trail of my love and I
Sing to you, love is what I bring to you
And I wanna sing to you, oh

I wanna sing you a love song
I wanna rock you in my arms all night long
I wanna get to know you
I wanna show you the peaceful feelin' of my home

I wanna sing you a love song
I wanna rock you in my arms all night long
I wanna get to know you
I wanna show you the peaceful feelin' of my home


Yes, that's my husband. Yes, that's our anniversary. No, that's not me. But, I'm okay with that as long as I don't have to ride to work and wear a silly hat.
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Thursday, May 05, 2005

Planetary Distinctions
My husband used to be a professor at Creighton University. He has tales to tell of his lowly status as one of about two conservative professors on campus. In short, he was not popular with the other professors. Never have I seen the experience so cleverly described as here, where a graduate student categorizes the flora and fauna of her campus at Cornell University. Here's a little sample:
Genus: Studentum

The Common Sandal-Footed Warbler (a.k.a. the College Know-It-All Hippie). Thriving on a diet of granola, cannabis and beer, this species tends to migrate to Europe for a semester and come back convinced they're smarter than everyone else. Males often boast an unkempt mane, a flabby physique and incoherent chatter about social paradigms. Some resort to comically futile "direct actions," as if going limp while being hauled off by muscular cops is a shrewd strategy for either attracting a mate or effecting social change. Provocatively weak; point and laugh.
h/t Dustbury

Official Post Card of
152. The Walgreen Building
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Official Post Card of
146. Avenue of Flags
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Today at 5:05:05 am & pm the time will be 05:05:05 05/05/005....

05.05.005 comes only once in 1000 years and coinciding with Thursday (5th Day of the week) comes only once in 7000 yrs... (via Drudge).

Big Band Paradise
Mom just sent me a link to World War II Music. Unfortunately, my speakers aren't working, but this gives me new incentive to fix them! Enjoy!
Note to Self: Aach!
The other day I stopped to get gas for my van. I was wearing a floral t-shirt with a few sequins, a pair of jeans and some thongs. My hair was in need. Not much make-up, no jewelry. All in all, a bit of a frump. Pumping gas next to me was a 20-something woman wearing a tailored brown suit with a cream blouse and sensible shoes. Her long blondish hair was slightly curled at the end - a bit wispy but still very professional. She looked very together. And, of course, I was driving a big honkin' van and she was in a small sporty silver car.

I felt all the sudden that I was looking at me past and me present. I used to be her. Okay, I never had a sports car, but I was fashionable, thin, and had good hair. Now? Ugh. I imagined what the then me would have thought of the now me.

I think she would have been frightened if she saw but a photograph. This is not what she intended. Not even close. I think a photograph of the future would have thrown me into severe depression, to tell you the truth.

On the other hand, the inside me would probably exceed her wildest imaginations. Marriage? No way! Children? Are you serious? Spiritual friends? Wowsa!!

Actually, the then me, although nice to look at, didn't really know what she was talking about. My life today is far better than I could have planned it. Had I gotten everything I had asked for I would be living alone and working 80 hours a week at a stressful job. I would have beautiful suits and a nice, clean home, but I would be lonely and unsure where to find "life."

So to the old me: VIOLA! And to the future me: I'll try to give you a better exterior!

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

I just got this little book: God's Wisdom for Little Boys by Jim & Elizabeth George. Each page demonstrates a character a boy should possess and a verse from Proverbs. This page says:

God's Little Boy is Cheerful.
It's good to "make a joyful noise,"
Even when made on one of your toys.
A song from your heart helps those who are sad;
It brings a smile and makes them feel glad.
A happy heart is like good medicine. Proverbs 17:22
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It is May 4th.

MAY 4TH!!!


I've been driving about town today wearing my cropped pants and cotton shirt with the heat on full blast. It's May. I already put away the winter clothes. I am not pleased.

In other news, my doc told me I need to lower my cholesterol. Bummer. He's going to check on me in 3 months to see if I did it. Double bummer. No red meat. No dairy. sigh. I did have a bright idea, however: Jamba Juice. Wow, are they good! I had a berry blast for lunch today. Berries, apple juice and non-fat yogurt with a booster of fiber. Just what the doctor ordered and way delicious. (Of course, when you're driving around with the heater at full blast it seems kinda odd to drink a smoothie, but since I couldn't get a cheeseburger....)

The Jenkins are leaving to begin their church in Rwanda fairly soon. They'll be gone for several years, so we decided to help them get some things they won't be able to get while there. Some students will be traveling to Rwanda to help them this summer, so each will take a trunk full of "goodies" to help them out. One of the things I am purchasing is hair ornaments for little Ruth. I chose to do that because I rarely get to buy little girl things. I had the best time picking out little headbands with sparkly lavender flowers, barrettes with bows and ponytail holders with rhinestones. She will have the prettiest little head in all of Africa!

A good portion of the items we're buying for the Jenkins is food: spices, popcorn, and other little treats that keep a long time but they can't purchase there. If you are interested in purchasing any items or sending money for us to purchase items, just let me know.

Okay, gotta run.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

This is a photo of my grandparent's suprise 40th Anniversary party. I love this photo because it captures their fun-loving natures. I had a fellowship meeting at my home today and everyone brought their own fast-food lunches. In honor of my grandmother, who said you should use your good things, I brought out her china and we ate burritos, hamburgers and sandwiches on little pink roses. I hope she approves!
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Monday, May 02, 2005

Dear Spencer, If you are reading this note, it means that I jumped in a portal. Put the Cyber site together. I miss you Spencer.
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Translation: To Mommy: Quesadilla, cheese stick, peanut butter sandwich, corn dog, Lay's chips, apple, banana, juice pack. Food I want for my lunch tomorow at the zoo. Colin.
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Sunday, May 01, 2005

Vain Things That Charm
I've been asked, in a private email, to explain the post below. I decided if my friend doesn't get it, there may be others who don't, so I'll just answer publicly.

The hymn, When I Survey the Wondrous Cross, has a phrase, "All the vain things that charm me most, I lay them down before the cross." The hymn, and this phrase in particular, has always stood out to me. I can become so enamored with the things of this world that I forget that I am not of this world. I can forget my true calling and dote on material possessions. I need constant reminder of the cross to turn away from the temptations of the world.

I have never been tempted by the usual suspects: drunkeness, sexual impurity, other gods, or even fame and fortune. I am, however, greatly tempted by home furnishings...especially Pottery Barn home furnishings. I often imagine that if I were to become wealthy, I would completely outfit my home from Pottery Barn. Oh, yes, then life would begin. We would have parties every weekend and the house would always be clean, just like in the pictures. I'm just sure the perfectly appointed Pottery Barn home would include homecooked meals three times a day and compliant children who excel socially and scholastically. Oh, Pottery Barn, you could make life so simple for me, couldn't you.


See what I mean? So, when I saw this week's catalog in the mailbox, the hymn crossed my brain. "All the vain things that charm me most (which are in this book right here), I lay them down before the cross (and rest in you)."