Wednesday, January 31, 2007


Let it snow let it snow let it snow!

We moved from North Dakota to Arkansas when I was 16 years old. I was homesick that first Christmas for my friends from the North, so I went for a lonely little walk that evening. Why I keep talking about God and angels in my posts lately, I'm unsure, yet I prayed that night for snow. And it started snowing.

Meanwhile, I find myself now praying for a snow day so I don't have to drag out of bed at 6:00 a.m. I'm sure there will be a lot of little prayers tonight for snow from the Age 18 and under crowd. My 11-year old said all the teachers are planning for no school tomorrow already. There are going to be a lot of disappointed people if this doesn't pan out.

So who's rushing to the grocery today?

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

New York, Part Two

The remainder of my trip to New York was eventful, but not quite like being surrounded by the gang about to be the victim of rape and possible homicide. (sipping my coffee... yes!) I remember some guy from Southern Illinois University was pretty forward about his intentions, but I wasn't into the one-night convention thing so declined. I think I may have laughed in his face because he was such a troll about it. I also recall a little old man following me and my friends around Times Square offering money for what he wanted. I swear I didn't dress like a hooker. Really. He was also roundly rejected, quite possibly through the use of bad language. O.o

But my guardian angel was also still around. My aunt and I had a dramatic falling out about four years earlier - my parents had moved to Kentucky from Indiana right as my senior year in high school was set to start and I didn't want to go to a brand new school in 12th grade. So they allowed my sister and I to stay behind and live with my aunt. It just didn't work out and ended with my sis and I getting our own little ugly apartment in Ferdinand, Indiana for the remainder of the school year.

Meanwhile, my aunt and her family returned to New Jersey and lived just across the river from NYC. Toward the end of my trip, I picked up the phone and called her. She said, "I knew family was in town!" She had a picture of her father (my grandfather) that sat on her mantle. Anytime family is near, the picture would move off the mantle. She had picked up that photo at least once a day for several days.

I met my aunt and her husband for dinner one night and we reconciled - really had a nice time. Then the funniest thing happened, albeit kind of gross. My uncle had to use the bathroom. And he did. He picked a door stoop, ducked inside, and pee'd. I didn't know whether to laugh or throw up. He said everyone did that, but I sure didn't smell pee in every entry door I walked into. I guess that's why they had so many doormen in the city - to keep people from pee'ing in them. All I know is that at the end of that trip to New York, this sheltered small-town girl was quite happy to get off the plane, walk on grass and see trees, and not have to worry about being propositioned by smelly old men who were following me, or surrounded by a gang of evil.

Sip. I love my coffee. I do want to go back to that amazing, vibrant city again, though. It was unforgettable.

Monday, January 29, 2007

O.o Coffee Pot Broken

Gah. No drip. No perk. No hot caffeine.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

I Believe in Angels

On Friday, my husband ran into a couple moving to Smyrna. He's in the military and got his orders on Monday to report for duty no later than February 17th. The wife was frazzled, so my husband gave the couple my business card and I spent Saturday driving them around showing them places to rent. (See, sometimes realtors aren't all about the commission, but about :::helping::: people). We found several potential homes and I'm hopeful that the landlords of the two they love will pan-out today and they can put ink to paper. The wife kept telling me that my husband was like her guardian angel when he gave them my business card... leading to this discussion of angels.

I deeply believe there are angels among us. When my niece was two years old and unable to swim, she went missing and was found at a neighbor's pool - wet from head to toe. There were no adults around so to this day we aren't sure how she didn't drown except that an angel must have been watching over her.

When I stayed with my Mom who as in the hospital recovering from heart surgery, she kept talking to my deceased, much-loved brother-in-law and her own mother. Spirits or angels?

Before all this, however, I traveled to New York City when I was a senior in college. This was LONG ago - back in 1982 when crime was rampant. Several of my friends and I decided to catch the subway to Chinatown one Friday night for genuine Chinese food, found a restaurant and had a lovely meal. When we left, a train arrived and I said, "This is our train!" I stepped on the train alone because the doors closed before my friends hopped on.

So I was alone on a subway train at midnight in New York City. I was a little nervous, but quickly became scared when a gang of about six men came up to me and began circling me. They said things like, "What are you doing alone girlie?" "You won't be alone with us." "We going to make sure you not lonely!" Along with vicious laughter and other taunts including graphic descriptions of just what they planned to do to me.

I thought, "Oh God. I'm in trouble. I need help." And I knew something very bad was going to happen to me. I was terrified, I'm sure I'd turned pale and I know I was shaking. "Oh God, I need help." I read once that just calling on God using those simple words is indeed a prayer. And my prayer was answered.

From no where, a short little man who was balding walked directly through the gang and up to me. He set his briefcase down at my feet and said, "There you are Kathy! I've looked everywhere for you!"

The gang scattered. I was not wearing anything or carrying anything with my name or where I was staying visible. He said, "Could you watch my case for a moment?" And he went into another train car. The gang had truly disappeared, so the only thing that made me nervous was the briefcase and what was in it (I was totally freaked out at this point). My angel came back in a few moments and sat next to me.

He said, "Kathy, this next stop is yours. Go up the stairs then turn left on the street. Your hotel is one block away on the left."

The train stopped and I walked right into the lobby of my hotel following his directions. I hooked back up with my friends just shocked at what had occurred. I was safe. I was lucky. Blessed, even.

I later read that angels can appear to people differently. When I saw a short elderly man carrying a briefcase who looked harmless to me, the gang may have seen a huge, hulking figure walking a snarling rottweiler. He did put the briefcase at my feet where someone's dog might sit. I may never really know what they saw (unless I get to see a preview of my life like "Defending Your Life"), but I can well imagine. I do know that I'm here today to tell this story. I've tried to be good to other people and help when I can. Pay it forward. And that's why I tried to help the Army man and his wife find a home. Am I an angel? Certainly not to me. Is my husband an angel? Absolutely to them.

Angels come in different shapes and forms. We don't know how our actions and words affect other people, but one spoken word at just the right time or just showing up and greeting someone could drastically alter and improve a life. I try to remember that.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

I Just Had a Flash (not a hot one)

I'm sitting here watching Keith Olbermann and just had a Daphne Moon kind of moment. I predict that Dick Cheney will step down as vice president and John McCain will be appointed the new VP. Then in order to keep the White House in 2008, George Bush will resign approximately six months after the VP appointment thereby making John McCain president.

John McCain can then run as an incumbent, thus giving the R's a better chance to hold on to power. This could work if McCain then appoints Rudy Giuliani as his VP. I really should be a political strategist because that is pure genius.

Now, let's help the D's. I think Hillary and Barack should not oppose one another. I think they should run together and do this QUICKLY. And if I hear one more person cite "Whitewater" as the reason not to trust Hillary, let me just remind everyone that the MILLIONS spent on THAT investigation only outed a happy ending in the Oval Office. I think it's pretty obvious that had Kenneth Starr found something indictable (anything else), even the first lady would have been called to the carpet. Is that the right expression??

In any case, this election will be tedious, interesting, tiresome, and riveting.


Wednesday, January 24, 2007

I'll Be Gentle

I'm thinking I want to get back to my wrinkle series. Anyone feel like sitting down to chat? Ginger? Shauna (more)? Smifferator? Angie M.? Smiley? Brittney? Kerry? Kat-Co? Come on... you know you want to.


Jeremiah Was a Bullfrog

I'm not quite sure how I found this last night, but Three Dog Night is performing at Madisonville Community College in April. I'M ABSOLUTELY IN! When I was 12 or 13 and living in Grand Forks, North Dakota, they were my very first concert. I went with my sister and some friends (can't remember who we went with at all). They opened the performance with "The Show Must Go On," one of their more obscure hits but a phenomenal opening! I had the best time and chronicled the concert in details in one of my diaries that's missing. I may have to search for it later.

That concert may well be the reason for my hearing loss today because we sat probably 10 or 20 feet away from these speakers that were the size of a two-story house. I don't know. What I do know is that on April 27th I will be in Madisonville, Kentucky enjoying my second Three Dog Night concert.

Center Stage Performance
Three Dog Night
Friday, April 27, 2007 - 7:30 PM - Tickets: main floor: $45/balcony: $40
Sponsored by Trover Foundation
Joy to the World, Mama Told Me Not to Come, Black and White, Shambala, Liar, Eli's Coming, Celebrate: From 1969-1974, nobody had more Top 10 hits, moved more records, or sold more concert tickets. During this period Three Dog Night was undoubtedly the most popular band in America. Come relive the magic!

Oh yeah, I'll relive the magic.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

The Painted Ponies Go Up and Down

I had lunch with my faboo friend Mandi today. Mandi is about five months pregnant and brought fantastic 3-D pictures of the baby. One looked like the baby was holding a teddy bear and it was amazing. Our conversation turned to "big sisters" as both of our oldest children are daughters.

When my youngest was born, the oldest was in preschool. I had been on the board of directors at her preschool and had a great relationship with her teacher, the director, etc. So I said I'd bring the baby in to introduce to the class. My then-five-year-old thought it was Show-and-Tell. She stood in the front of her room and said matter-of-factly, "This is my baby sister. Her name is Melissa. She cries a lot. Would anyone like to pet her?"

Every hand in that room save mine and the teacher's shot straight up. It was one of the funniest moments I can remember as a Mom. I told the students they could come up and gently touch her, but asked them to please not "pet" her.

I just wanted to share a story of children in the early spring of their youth since we have two funerals this week. My husband and mother-in-law are on their way home from his aunt's funeral and my colleague's husband lost his battle with cancer yesterday. I suppose their deaths must be a relief to their families, yet I'm sure they're devastated and will miss them terribly. Such is the carousel of life.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Bad Time of Year

Did you know that a British scientist has determined that January 24th is the worst day of the year? It's the day in England, apparently, when people realize their New Year's resolutions have fallen to the wayside, the Christmas credit card bills start coming in, and it's typically gloomy and wet weather-wise. Yeesh.

This isn't the greatest time in the U.S. either. Earlier this weekend, I posted where people have been going to funerals, losing jobs (sorry Ivy and Ginger and Smiffster and Tim C.!), and just experiencing a the blahs in general.

We got the call yesterday that the husband's last aunt on his Dad's side passed away. He and the mother-in-law are going to Kentucky on Tuesday for the funeral. I had planned to go, but I think I'm staying here with the kids instead. This aunt was sweet to me the few times I met her, so I regret that she's gone and I'm very sorry for her children and grandchildren.

And now, the lady who was my mentor when I got into the real estate business is about to lose her husband. When he was first diagnosed with colon cancer six years ago, he was given six months to live. He has defied all the odds the medical field laid on him, and as a result his family at first didn't believe this was it. Reality has now settled in and they met with the funeral home yesterday to make arrangements. The hospice nurse told her today that he likely wouldn't wake up by Monday morning.

I saw him for several minutes on Friday and just didn't know what to say when I left since I knew it would be the last time I saw him alive. My mouth finally spoke, "Well you take care and let me know if there's anything I can do for you." It was so lame.

Although the cycle of life and death touches all of us, it's the ordinary that make it worthwhile and the extraordinary that inspires. Tomorrow I will be inspired. But if I'm not inspired, my day will still be worthwhile.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Just Coffee and Friends

Do you have something to say, but the media elite just won't listen to you? Do you crave to be around smart, funny people? Do you enjoy sometimes being made fun of? If you said yes to any of these questions, then we have a treat for you!

The monthly meeting of the Middle Tennessee Blogger & Podcasters Group is Saturday, January 27th at 2:00 p.m. at Espresso Joe's in Smyrna.

Enjoy a nice cup of joe (Espresso Joe), make some friends, visit with old friends, have some laughs, be intellectually stimulated, hear bad jokes, and study the quirky phenomenon of people clamming up when a microphone is put in front of them.

Directions right here.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Friday! Oh well.

Normally I welcome Fridays with much enthusiasm, but have to work all weekend. Work is good when you know you'll be getting a paycheck, but these are my "volunteer" hours. In real estate, we always have to have an agent at the office in case customers walk-in or call. I'm it. I really don't mind, especially since we have an agent who once sold $3 million from a walk-in while on floor-time. I'd be a happy girl if that happened. But otherwise I don't get paid.

Bad luck comes in threes. This has been a week filled with bad news. My husband's step-mother called and the last surviving aunt from his Dad's family is on the verge. The husband of the woman who mentored me has terminal colon cancer and is on the verge. And my pal Ivy lost her ultra-cool, hip-o-mighty MTV gig. Gah. Here's the thing. I do believe in the law of attraction (aka power of positive thought). So I'm going to think that Ivy's job loss means that something phenomenal will happen for her. Same for Kat Coble's husband. They are such good people that I know in my heart that they will be fine. And let's hope John won't have another funeral to attend for quite awhile.

I took today's photo this morning. I apologize for blotting out the school bus number and the street sign, but you can surely understand why (stop calling me Shirley).

We spent quite some time last night studying for baby girl's math test. It was on figuring the perimeter and the area of various geometric shapes. After what felt like hours of crying because she didn't understand, I got out the scissors and construction paper to make my own shapes. When I showed her that you get the area of the triangle the same way you get the area of a square or rectangle (but divide by two) and I folded the square in half (to demonstrate), I saw her whole face light up. "Ohhhhhhhhhhh!" Oh boy did that make me feel good. Like me, she must be a visual learner.

Okay, I must nap now.

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Thursday, January 18, 2007

Math + Project = Photo of the Day

When you buy art supplies, you'd think this would be a science project or social studies. It's math... my daughter has to draw a geometric shape and decorate it to look like something real.

She's doing a field of flowers. I suggested she re-create her favorite book (rectangle shape) using construction paper. She didn't even want to try it for "Hop on Pop."

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It's the Tox

I checked my mail at work today and pulled out the usual: a conference brochure on how to be an effective manager (be organized, don't be an ass. $340, please); a conference brochure on how to be a terrific secretary (be organized, always make the boss look good. $340, please); and a postcard on a new listing.

But there was another piece of paper in the box that caught my attention before I flipped it in the trash. There was an eye, lips, a naked buttocks, and the word "erase" on a memo-looking piece of paper. It was my own personal invitation:
"Open House/Botox Event" for employees, associates, family and friends. Cocktails and hors d'oeuvres served between 4:00 and 7:00 p.m. If you bring a friend who purchases a package of any sort, you will receive $50 for future procedures.
I'd always heard of these botox parties in California. These rich folks get together, eat, drink, chatter, and line up to have a needle plunged into their lips or eyebrows or cheeks for an instant face lift. I suppose nice, full lips would be great for my American Idol audition, but the whole idea of putting toxins in my body really puts me off.

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Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Hi Ho Hi Ho ... It's to Forced Labor they Go

The most amazing thing happened at home this week. My daughters did the dishes without argument or lip. There was no fighting. No crying. No yelling. No slapping. No “Your face!” or “You’re stupid!” remarks. I just heard the dishes clinking, the hum of them talking, and occasional laughter.

This is rare because like any home with girls, ours usually fight, run and yell loudly, fight, laugh, and then fight more. So when they work together to get a job done, I am so very grateful. I gave them their space, but tried to acknowledge them as they came upstairs:

Me: “Hey my little pretties.”

Youngest Daughter: “Squeal!”

Oldest Daughter: “Hahahaha!”

Me: “Did you girls do the dishes?”

Oldest Daughter: “Yeah!”

Youngest Daughter: “We can’t talk, we’re going to play DDR!”

Aha… that was the reason behind this sudden policy shift. My guess is that the oldest daughter promised the youngest a rockin’ game of DDR (a game in which a dance mat is hooked up to a Playstation and the music video shows where the girls should dance through a series of directional arrows scrolling down the screen point up, down, right, left).

I find there are only three good ways to get my daughters to work well together on any project (barring good manners and my having raised them right, which naturally isn't usually the reason):

  1. Find a common goal. Bribe them with shopping, cake, or money.
  2. Work together against a common enemy. Let’s talk about how mean our Mom is to make us suffer through this heinous task.
  3. Friendship. This one is the most effective and it’s when the magic happens. They will always be sisters and the companionship they enjoy together now will take them to a whole new level as adults. It’s the one that takes my breath away because that’s when I know my daughters will be okay long after I’m gone.

DDR helps kids to "Stay Cool!" Well, it does make them exercise, so I'm all for it!

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Submit to the Decider's Will

My jaw hit the floor as I read this article on
Attorney General Alberto Gonzales says federal judges are unqualified to make rulings affecting national security policy, ramping up his criticism of how they handle terrorism cases.

In remarks prepared for delivery Wednesday, Gonzales says judges generally should defer to the will of the president and Congress when deciding national security cases. He also raps jurists who “apply an activist philosophy that stretches the law to suit policy preferences.”

Wait. Did I actually read that? He believes the federal jurists should defer to the president's will. The attorney general of the United States believes that the well-educated, informed members of the judicial system, set up as one of the checks and balances of our democracy, are too stupid to know or understand what's going on in the war against terror.

The contemptuous view of the democratic process, the utter disregard of the voice of the American people, and the above the law attitudes of this administration beg the question: what will it take to get these jokers out of office and out of power?

I read an eloquent editorial published in a St. Petersburg (FL) Times to a Republican congresswoman from Florida, and believe all our elected leaders should take heed:
"But you cannot blindly follow a president whose war plan has been one bloody disaster after another, whose latest grand design is opposed by more than two-thirds of Americans, who has rejected the key elements of the Iraq Study Group, a distinguished panel whose findings you have applauded as echoing your own sentiments."
I beg the judiciary. I beg the Congress. I beg the American people. Stop this madness. Stop it with your rulings. Stop it with your laws. Stop it with your votes. I want to see people in Washington, D.C. who respect the U.S. Constitution and the democratic process. Is my agenda too liberal?

UPDATE: Okay, I thought about this in the shower and I believe I've identified what that brain niggle is that has been troubling me. This administration does not trust the people of this country. They don't trust the public. They don't trust the judicial branch. They don't trust anyone. So why should we trust them?

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Your Next American Idol

I think I should audition. I'd fit right in.

I can't sing.

I cry easily.

Dogs howl.

And babies cry.

Yep, I got the look. Except my nose is too big. Damn.

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Just One More

If I have to hear "You know if you don't like the weather here in Tennessee, just wait five minutes and it'll change. Haw Haw Haw!" just one more time, I will throw up. I will.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Three Subjects

DIARYESQUE CRAP: Still in my funk, so not a lot to say these days. Sorry. I did have lunch with Ivy and her family. She looks too cute as a blonde! She was so nice to buy dessert for her kids, but being the cheapskate I told me wee one that we'd just go buy a gallon of ice cream and have dessert for several days. She picked neopolitan, which is actually not too bad. The only other excitement in our lives: the teenager actually drove all the way to the grocery store this weekend. She didn't hit anyone, anything, nor did anyone honk at her. AND I got a perm today, thankfully. My hair was disgustingly flat and lifeless. Now I get to stink for a couple of days, but it's worth it.

365 PROJECT: Since it's such a "silver" day as my youngest described what I would've considered "gray," my photo brings some color to the day.

This was sunrise a couple days ago. I'm not a morning person, so when I have to be up at 6:00 a.m., I'm glad to see something this pretty.

MORE CRAP How do you set up an RSS link on your blog? Brittney tried to set me up the the NiT aggregator but I'm not showing up. Does anyone have my feed where it's working? If yes, please look up the "properties" and comment with the link so I can make good use of it. Please?

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Sunday, January 14, 2007

Huh. Boring Me.

$220. Pee'ing in the pool put me over $200. And how is spin the friggin' bottle so bad?

Quiet Sunday

It's been quiet here today, except for a Mom who came to pick up a daughter's friend from a sleepover here last night. The Mom was very very nice and friendly - I quite enjoyed talking with her. She was here with her 3-year old daughter who took great joy in "touching" the horses in the field next door while we fed them carrots. No sign of the heron today, but Velma (mother-in-law) said she heard it calling this morning. When I walked the fence line, I only succeeded in flushing out a rabbit.

Here's my 365 Project photo. It's one of the fence posts in the yard along our driveway.

My youngest daughter thought it was funny that she could see the neighbor's playset in the background.

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Saturday, January 13, 2007

Happy Anniversary, Baby

Here I thought today was an ordinary, boring day. I'm just tra-la-la'ing along watching a Fistful of Datas (Star Trek) on the tube and it occurred to me that this isn't just any other day. It's the ONE YEAR ANNIVERSARY of this blog. So happy anniversary, blog. Does this make it a teenager now?

Pass the Baton

This was Baton day. I'm trying to think of something enthusiastic to say but can only come up with having to rise early this morning to bring my baby girl to her class. There wasn't competition, but they did give trophies for most improved and hardest worker. Baby girl won for most improved and she's excited, yet not ("I must have been pretty bad when I started!"). She really did work hard, though. She learned a double hand roll and some other fancy-schmancy stuff.

Anyway, I did have a new listing nearby that still had some work to be done (flyers for the brochure box, a lead-based paint disclosure form) to drop off, so I was pleased I didn't have to add loads of extra mileage on the car.

After baton, we went to Opry Mills and hit a huge sale at some store...... Aeropostle. I paid $41.00 for what rung up at $152.00 originally. As much as I really dislike shopping, that made me happy. I kept looking for famous people and blogging buddies, but didn't see anyone.

When I got home, the teenager had died her bangs purple. It actually looks pretty cool and they wash out after about eight shampoos. My hair is driving me nuts... getting a perm on Monday. Gag this is a dreadful post. I'm all done except for the 365 Project photo. (You're welcome.)

Baby girl and her friend on the merry-go-round at the mall.

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Friday, January 12, 2007

Here Lives the Heron

UPDATE: I talked with the Fish and Wildlife expert and told him I thought the heron was trapped in the pasture with the horses chasing it. He said if it wasn't flying, he and his gun would come investigate. So I called the husband and he told me he saw the heron next to the roadway a couple of days ago - made me feel better because the heron could indeed fly. So I called Mr. Wildlife back and he'd been speaking to other field agents (is that what they're called?). They thought the heron possibly came over for the horse dung as it may have still held grain and corn (a delicacy). Or it may have a nest nearby. In any case, he sounded very relieved that I said we believed the heron could fly. So yippee. The heron still lives.

Here's my photo of the day (two, actually):

The heron is the blue blur way out of focus in the middle of this drastically zoomed in/edited picture.

And here's the horse that was chasing it.

ORIGINAL POST: There's a heron in my neighbor's field next to our house. It's been there for several days. My husband came home from work earlier this week and it moved or squawked or something and startled him, "There's some giant bird in our neighbor's field" he said.

This morning my mother-in-law said, "Kathy! Come out here!" I threw on my tennies and she and I watched the neighbor's horses chasing the poor thing. How do I know it's a heron? I googled it and found this picture:

That is exactly what the bird looks like. This is NOT my picture of the day for the 365 Project, and in fact credit goes here where I picked it up.

So I called Animal Control and they said they don't deal at all with wildlife. The gal who called back gave me several numbers of the state wildlife office. I called and spoke to another person who said I should leave it alone (ya think?). But she is going to have one of the wildlife officers call back. I think the bird must be in trouble or it would've flown away when the horses started chasing it.

Any experts out there?

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Thursday Night TV Overdose

"Fool me once, strike one. Fool me twice, strike three." Michael

"Hi!" "Hi!" "Hi!" Ryan

"Did you ever have a thing for Pam?" Karen

"He was a total douche. Doopity-Doo." Andy

"He was one of the most honorable and efficient people I know." Angela

Smack in the face from Jim to Dwight.

My name is Joy.

My name is Crabman.

My name is Dottie.

"I can't do this. We have to take her back." Carla.

And we haven't even gotten to ER and Grey's Anatomy. Heaven.

365 Project, Day 11

I brought my screaming monkey to work today. Boy is that fun! Here's my picture of the day:

The husband picked up this piece of coral about a gazillion years ago when he was scuba diving and before coral reefs were endangered. It now sits in our rock garden with weeds trying to take it over.

I think I'm having a blank day here in my brain. I've just completed a mailing and scheduled some showings, so I must be in business mode rather than creative mode. Proof is in the pudding: I'm co-listing a duplex in north Nashville off Gallatin Road, so if anyone's interested let me know! By my figuring, you could live in one side and lease the other, thereby paying for half your mortgage.

If I come up with anything more juicy, I'll post again later.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Where the Stomach Virus Reigns Supreme

We have some stomach funk here. My oldest daughter stayed home today and hubby came home early (something he NEVER does). I thought my problem was due to the absence of a gall bladder, but maybe it wasn't the taco salad after all. In any case, we seem to have a bug that's giving our septic system a workout. Sorry for being gross.

Despite it all, I have managed to take some pictures that I like for the 365 Project. I don't have the equipment or talent for the beautiful close-ups like Squirrel Queen and Heather, but I like them anyway.

Frozen bird bath this morning. I thought it was more interesting than the frozen garden hose, however I did like the green color of the hose on the brown grass. Okay, I'll post it.

See? I like the frost on it. So what if it'll probably split this summer when we try to use it thanks to being left out in freezing weather. Sigh.

Kitty looking at me trying to figure out why in the world I am outside in the cold taking pictures. I love it when she hops in my lap at night and purrs. When she lays down, she sort of falls back in a most ungraceful way. Kind of like when I fell in December, only she doesn't hurt herself. Did I every say that I think my elbow is chipped? It's all healed, yet it still hurts to the touch. Yowsie.

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Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Weather Flag

I've got a lot of nothing today except a weather report - we had some rain/sleet mix earlier. My picture today perfectly demonstrates the windy, overcast winter day. If I could, I'd have dropped 2 inches of snow on the ground overnight so we can experience a real winter here in middle Tennessee. Then after about a week of cold, I'd warm it back up to the mid-60s for the remainder of winter.

I took this photo of my neighbor's flag to talk about a project my girl scout troop is undertaking. We are going to plan for a flag retirement ceremony this spring or summer and will be inviting people to give us their flags for proper disposal. I went to a flag retirement ceremony several years ago and it was one of the most moving experiences of my life. I want the flag ceremony for my troop to be just as memorable.

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Monday, January 08, 2007

No Cookie Website

UPDATE: I went to the Council this afternoon to pick up some booklets for my troop to work on their Silver Awards. While I was there, I naturally took advantage to put the discussion to rest. I'm so considerate! (ha). They were also confused at Council, but finally decided that actual online cookie sales are not permitted ... meaning we are unable to set up an order form, collect money through paypal, sell on eBay, etc. We CAN talk about it in our blogs (again mentioning that they are available and watch for Girl Scouts coming through your neighborhood etc.). We CAN email our family, friends and acquaintances and they CAN email us. So hooray for me, Busy Mom and Malia. We did it right and still have our angel wings.

Now my pictures of the day:

I want to clarify the big cookie question. I've made phone calls to get the official scoop, but SNAFU: the people you need to talk with at the Council roll right into voice mail.

So I talked with another good soul. She said we are not allowed to set up a web page specifically to promote cookie sales (no online order forms). We can mention that it is cookie time and also say that if you know a scout, you can contact them to order. We are not allowed to email strangers that it's cookie time, but if someone emails us, that's okay.

I was wrong when I said the goal is 175 boxes per girl. It's 150 boxes that we need to sell for girls to get a prize and for troops to get a bonus. As it is now, the troops collect .50 (cents) per box and can earn up to another .08 (cents)'ish p/box in bonuses for turning in orders on time and for each girl selling 150 boxes. My troop has never gotten a bonus beyond turning in orders and money on time because we have sisters in the troop whose orders must be divided (in fairness).

So mentioning that it's cookie time on this blog is not against the rules. Saying you can contact me is against the rules unless I generalize that you can also contact any scout. So there it is: you can contact any scout at this time of year to order cookies. I don't want to break rules, even rules that are designed to inhibit girls from meeting the goals randomly set by big corporation in order to maximize their own profit.

Do I sound bitter? I'm sorry... I don't mean to be. I just do not like cookie season. It's my least favorite time of year.

Captain Kirk and Pink Kitty

It's a weird-mood kind of day. Beyond the obvious having a "case of the Mondays" I've been reading Aunt B, Kat Coble and Pink Kitty following the Buddhist Attorney's one-line zing which was a very cruel, misguided attempt to be funny. Besides PK's response being eloquent, she also did something unexpected... she made me cry. I think it wasn't so much her talk about the human body being beautiful, etc. It was because she reminded me that despite how our society judges us on our physical appearance, we are allowed to live a life of dignity and joy. She said:

"People like Wintermute attempt to rob people like me of life through public shame and harassment. Fat people stay in there homes having been hounded for so long, made fun of, made to feel ugly and ashamed for what they look like. 18 months ago, a person like Wintermute might have succeeded with me. For a few minutes, he did.

However, it is today and it didn't work. I will not hide. I will not be ashamed. I will continue to live my life as God and I see fit, and that includes dancing."
I've been guilty of judging people based solely on their appearance - most definitely a case of the pot calling the kettle black. When I've done it, I kind of step back, acknowledge to myself what I've done, feel loads of guilt for doing it, then overcompensate to make up for it. But when I've done it, I'm likely judging someone to make myself feel better about my own problems. That said, I do owe Pink Kitty my gratitude for her amazing character - she is an inspiration on the dance floor and an even greater example of how I want to live my life... with confidence, compassion, and integrity.

Now to change the subject: I took my girls to see Night at the Museum yesterday. I've read a lot of comments about it not being a good movie, but I loved it! It reminded me a lot of Jumanji with Robin Williams and the wild animals, but it had some very funny moments. Except for one bad word ("kiss-as*"), it's very family friendly. We all laughed throughout the movie and I do love me a good, hearty laugh!

At home, the hubs and I have been watching the first season of Boston Legal. Now that's some funny stuff. I've been a Star Trek fan for more years than I care to share, but typically just tolerated Captain Kirk (I liked Mr. Spock and Chekhov). Now that I've watched Boston Legal, I believe William Shatner is a wonderful actor AND singer! :) hee hee! And James Spader. Wow.

The hubs also told me last night that "The Omega Man" (the Charlton Heston) movie is being remade under it's original title "I am Legend" (written by Richard Matheson). I totally freaked out because "I Am Legend" is one of my favorite books and stupidly I never realized it was "The Omega Man." Wow again. I'm very much looking forward to the new movie, and will probably have to read the book again as a result.

That's all I have for now. I'm going out shortly to take some pictures so I can post a photo later. Oh. And I suppose I should go to work for a while. I'm tweaking my database... anyone want on it?

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Sunday, January 07, 2007

Well Hello Puppet Dog

Hello Puppet Dog. We obtained PD oh so long ago - he was in one of those pre-stuffed Christmas stockings know the kind that looks like a potato sack with the red, open-weave. We love Puppet Dog.

It's a rainy, gloomy day and I promised to take my daughters to Night at the Museum with another friend. Showtime is at 1:30 or 4:00... should I procrastinate or get it over with? :) Maybe I'll come back and write a movie review later.

OH, I'm rapidly disappearing off of so show me some love! Ha!

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Saturday, January 06, 2007

For A Few Moments Anyway

I'm on 25 Peeps! You can help support my goofball addiction by going here:

Don't touch my screaming monkey.

Barbeque and Screaming Monkeys

Today's 365 Project gives you a twofer deal... two pictures in one day. But they go together, really. This was dinner last night enjoyed at Jim & Nick's BBQ in Smyrna with Bad Bad Ivy and two of her kiddos.

The dinner was faboo... I was miserable when they rolled me outta there. I went over to Ivy's house after and she gave me a fantastic Christmas gift!!!! ONE SCREAMING MONKEY! Woot! (dot com). Plus she found a beautiful brief case that I adore. Thank you, Ivy. And Merry Christmas back!

I need to go get cleaned up and run some errands. Nothing exciting to report here.

Oh... another pic of Ivy. Her hair on the computer looks blue, but in real life it's purple as purple can be. Ivy is my absolute hero when it comes to "no fear"! And I like the Princess Bride shirt (I think that's what's on it). :)

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Friday, January 05, 2007

Cookies Anyone?

The Girl Scout Council headquarters sets cookie goals for all the girls and this year they want every girl to sell at least 175 boxes each. While that shouldn't be a problem for most girls who (with their parents) get out there and work it, families with more than one daughter in scouting always face dilemmas. That is my case. I have two daughter, two girl scouts. I can make the 175 boxes and might even make it up to 200 but then I have to divide by two and my girls' numbers plunge.

I don't think I'm supposed to sell them online so if you are interested, please shoot me an email at kathy(dot)tyson(at)comcast(dot)net and I'll contact you about what kind and how many. And three since fifty I'm per not box supposed to say how much they are, you can also ask in my email. Here's the bonus.... I purchased the "Dinner for Eight" gift certificate that Jim at the Mothership graciously donated for our Skate for the Children silent auction. If you order cookies from my daughters, I will pick a date to deliver them out of the back of my car at the Mothership (with Jim's permission). The first eight who show up get lunch on me (or Jim, depending how you look at it).

Here's a link to the Little Brownie Bakers for type of cookies and nutritional information.

A New Day has Dawned

It's a good day in our home when both girls made it to the bus stop in time to take the big yellow transport to school. I had to giggle at the teenager who galloped up the yard when she left the house. She made it to her stop with at least four minutes to spare before the bus arrived. I wish I'd taken a picture of that, but we get this instead.

I snapped the photo at the Mexican restaurant on Bell Road next to the Olive Garden while waiting for my salad. I got some weird looks from the workers and a lot of rapid fire Espanol of which I didn't understand a single word. But I still liked the fountain because it looks like a little Mexican Dutch boy.

I've been watching with interest the crying and gnashing of teeth from Republicans as the Democrats take charge of the House and Senate. It amazes me that the Democrats are taking ANY criticism from Republicans and anyone else because they aren't being "bipartisan." The Republicans blindly supported the current resident of the White House to their own peril and squashed all bipartisanship when they were in command. And now they complain about Dems not being bipartisan? Huh. They squandered years of Republican rule by letting politics take the front seat with common sense tied up and locked away in the trunk. They have only themselves to blame.

I think Democrats have every right to run the first 100 hours as they see fit. But I do hope that after that, they will reach out to Republicans and truly make an effort to legislate so that they represent all the people of the United States. All of our politicians need to forget about red states v. blue states and remember that no matter where we live or how we voted, we the PEOPLE deserve to be represented with dignity, respect, intelligence, and fairness.

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Thursday, January 04, 2007

Photo Day 4

No cake today. I did get something else from eating at a Mexican restaurant today that probably only McSmiley would sympathize with. But we won't go into that. Meanwhile here are our dogs. They are not at all neglected as they would have you believe as they pitifully look from the sunroom into the dining room. No, they have that pitiful look because it was dinner time and they weren't invited in.

Poor babies. At least they don't stink now that they bathed this holiday season that I'm trying to stretch out until Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

It's Not Mississippi Mud, But...

Good ol' yellow cake mix with chocolate frosting is the topic of today's 365 Project. I used to think it was my favorite cake, but then I tasted my mother-in-law's Mississippi Mud Cake. That's what I craved my entire pregnancy with my youngest, but couldn't eat it because I had gestational diabetes. She made one right after Melissa was born and only one other in the next 11 years, but it remains my favorite.

By the way, the corner piece is the absolute best. But then again, I like the heel of bread too. BUT, I'm trying to keep with the new year resolution of cutting back on the carbs and sugars, so didn't even have a bowl of cereal last night before bedtime. I feel a pound lighter already.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

The ::REAL:: Elvis

We got Kitty when my daughter and her cousins found her after a pounding rainstorm in West Kentucky about six or seven years ago. After the storm, the kids went outside and found a tiny little kitten about four weeks old with no Momma cat anywhere to be found. We think she must've been washed out of wherever her Mom had her tucked. We gave our daughter the okay to bring her home and have had no regrets.

Her name is Phoebe. She looks like Elvis. We call her Kitty.

The Christmas decorations are down! It was marvelous that our whole family worked together yesterday in putting everything away and cleaning the living room. It makes me think that perhaps we aren't so dysfunctional after all.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Happy 2007

It's heeeere! 2007 arrived with fireworks, hugs, kisses, champagne, and family. We didn't have company for the first time in several years, but did have a nice time (especially watching Melissa's indescribable little dance - Elvis comes to mind). We posed for a family portrait.

We thawed the frozen shrimp I bought a couple of months ago. It smelled bad, so we didn't eat it (yet). Our oldest daughter ate one piece, so we're waiting to see if she gets sick from it before eating more. But we did munch on chips and salsa and snickerdoodle cookies. Have you tried those LIME tostitos? Those are wonderful!

I was so excited that we're at January 1, 2007 because I was going to copy Malia's project last year by going to blogbinders and having my blog published. Unfortunately, they've shut down and are recommending The problem with Lulu is that you have to format it yourself and I didn't want to do that. Lazy indeed.

But I do have some New Year's resolutions:
  1. Eat fewer carbs and sugars and more healthy veggies.
  2. Schedule time to exercise (I really admire M. for taking her kung fu classes).
  3. Keep a cleaner house (don't just wait for company to come before I clean).
  4. Go through boxes, shelves, clothes, etc. and get rid of stuff that's not used.
  5. Think before I speak and consider all ramifications (I know this sounds so high-schoolish, but old habits die hard!).
  6. Say no-thank-you to anyone who offers any dogs or cats. Mean it.
  7. Keep saving money for family vacation.
For family vacation, I'd like to go to Michigan, Connecticut, or Alaska. Those are the only three states I haven't been to, although I think I was in Nebraska only because of a wrong-turn my Dad made when I was a teen.

Oops... the picture was too big and completely messed up my blog format, so I'm taking it off and will just leave this link so you can do it yourself: create your own personalized map of the USA. The map came via Lynnster, via Chez Bez, and I saw John H. also had one.

I do have more resolutions, but they are work-related and I'll save those for my daily affirmations. You are worth it, you are a good person and dog-gone-it people like you! Happy New Year!