Thursday, November 30, 2006

It's Easier to Just Answer the Questions

I got this from Lisa. Thanks, Lisa!

100* things that you may not know about me: (Although by this point, you know a helluva lot)

*100 minus #5,25, 28, 60, 72, 75, and 93. Go figure. If you have a question of your own, I'll answer it.

1) Are you in a complicated relationship?
Marriage is always complicated. You have to share everything. And compromise. And take someone else’s feelings into consideration. It’s exhausting, let me tell ya.

2) Do you hate more than 3 people?:
Hate is such a strong word. I intensely dislike some people but not hate. Peace and love, baby.

3) How many houses have you lived in?
This is an interesting question for a military person. Let’s see *counting on fingers and toes* 12 that I can remember. That’s not counting apartments which is a home but I guess not technically a house.

4) Favorite candy bar?
Candy bar—Snickers; Favorite candy—Godiva Peppermint Truffles (I always get some in my stocking because I’m a very good girl.)

6) Have you ever tripped someone?
Heavens no. I wasn’t in that clique in high school.

7) Least favorite school subject?
PE—I joined choir so I wouldn’t have to humiliate myself by trying to be coordinated and athletic. I figured school itself was humiliating enough.

8) How many pairs of shoes do you own?
Not as many as I’d like to.

9) Do you own a Britney Spears CD?:
No. But I admit to downloading “Toxic” (I’m so embarrassed)

10) Have you ever thrown up in public?:
Considering everyone in this house but me had the stomach flu at Thanksgiving, let’s not talk about throwing up, please.

11) Name one thing that is always on your mind:
You wouldn’t believe how long I had to think about an answer for this question. I’m always thinking about things I need/should/want/have to do. That’s why I don’t sleep well at night.

12) Favorite genre of music?:
I like pretty much everything, but I’m so flighty that I don’t like just one thing for very long.

13) What is your zodiac sign?:
Taurus. I used to know my moon and ascendant signs, too, but I forget. I think they’re Cancer and Libra. I know something is Libra considering that way I’m always listening to every point of view and saying, “You make a good point, too.”

14) What time were you born?:
I think my mother would be better at answering that question. I don’t remember much about that time in my life.

15) Do you like beer?
You haven’t been reading this blog very long have you? Yes, I like beer. I’m actually a beer snob.

16) Have you made a prank phone call?:
I don’t think so. I might have when I was younger, but I’ve blocked out most of my childhood.

17) What is the most embarrassing CD you own?
I guess Robbie Williams. But I can’t help it; I like him. My hubby would say the most embarrassing are the Marilyn Manson songs on my iPod, but those are just songs, not the whole CD. But I have to admit that when I downloaded the Manson songs, I looked down at my iPod and the screen said, “What the f**k is that?”

18) Are you sarcastic?
Oh nooooooooooo. I’m not sarCAStic.

19) What is your favorite color?
This, too, changes with my moods, but usually earth colors—greens, browns, oranges

20) How many watches do you own?
More than I can keep track of, and all of them need a new battery. I have a bit of a watch fetish.

21) Summer or winter?
Winter. Unfortunately, my hubby would answer summer. We have to retire in different parts of the country.

22) Is anyone in love with you?
One that I’m pretty sure of. And who knows? There maybe someone pining away for me that I don’t even know about it. I like to think it’s George Clooney.

23) Favorite color to wear?
Most of things I own are different hues of browns and greens. And a lot of black, but I don’t think there’s a different hue for black. They’re just black.

24) Pepsi or Sprite?
Diet Sierra Mist. Ha! Take that conformists!

26) Where is your second home?
You’d think by my past writings that it would be a bar, but actually it’s the Hy-Vee grocery store because I’m always forgetting something on my list, dammit.

27) Have you ever slapped someone?
No, but I’ve slugged someone. Just kidding. Peace and love, baby.

29) How many lamps are in your bedroom?:
One. That’s a weird question. Why do you care?

30) How many video games do you own?:
None. Those things make me very nervous. There’s always something chasing you and you have to destroy it before it destroys you.

31) What was your first pet?:
Tippy, a border collie who was black except for a tip of white on her tail. Get it? Tippy, tip of her tail. Cute, huh?

32) Ever had braces?
Yes, but only on the top, but it was still horrible. Oh! Quick story. When I went in to get the mold done of my teeth prior to getting the braces, the dentist had a hard time finding a tray small enough for my mouth. So, I went home and told my brother that I did NOT have a big mouth. He said, “Yeah, you just use yours a lot.” He’s always been quick.

33) Do looks matter?:
Well this is a tricky question. If I say yes I’m a shallow, the-wrapping-not-the-package-kind of person, but if I say no, I’m a liar.

34) Do you use chapstick?:
So much so that if you kiss me you get “chapstick kisses”

35) Name 3 teachers from high school:
Mr. Brewer (the liberal rebel) Mrs. Sinor (the clepto) and Mrs. Rife (who always smelled like a rose…bush)

36) American Eagle or Abercrombie?:
I should know what those are, shouldn’t I? I’m more of an LL Bean and Eddie Bauer kind of gal.

37) Are you too forgiving?:
Hell no. Well, ok, I can forgive. I don’t forget very much, but I can forgive.

38) How many children do you want?
Have you been talking to my mother? I’ve never really heard a clock ticking, so I’m not planning on any. I like kids, I just don’t want any of my own. Except around the holidays, and then I want to be an Osmond (except for the Mormon part).

39) Do you own something from Hot Topic?:
Is this something else that I should know and will be showing how totally unhip I am by admitting that I don’t? (Just looked it up on the Internet. God, I’m old.)

40) Favorite breakfast meal?
Granola and vanilla yogurt. At least I start out healthy.

41) Do you own a gun?:
No, not personally, but hubby does. And since they are in the house, I know how to use them. But I don’t like them. And for safety reasons, the ammo is stored separately from the guns. And I don’t know where the ammo is, so I’d have to rely on the fear of the sound of a rifle pump to scare off a burglar.

42) Ever "thought" you were in love?:
“Thought”? What kind of “insinuation” is that? You mean he doesn’t love me?

43) When was the last time you cried?
I’m a pathetically persistent crier. And with Christmas commercials and movies every where, I’m crying all the time.

44) What did you do three nights ago?:
Every night I’m knitting furiously to get that shawl done for my grandmother for Christmas

45) Olive Garden?
No thank you. There are so many better Italian restaurants in town. Actually, I’m not a big fan of any of the “chain” restaurants—Chili’s, Applebee’s, TGIFridays. I think they’re all the same, they just changed the name to protect the innocent.

46) Have you ever called your teacher 'mommy'?
Am I missing something here? I don’t get it. I haven’t, but then I don’t think I even called my mom “mommy.”

47) Have you ever been in a castle?:
Yes, we went to several in Scotland and England. And I’m sure that in a past life I was a queen somewhere, but since I wouldn’t bear children, I was probably locked up in a tower or beheaded.

48) Nicknames?
I’ve never had a nickname, that’s how totally pathetic I am. My hubby used to call me “sweetness” but hasn’t in a long time. Well, now I’m really depressed.

49) Do you know anyone named Bertha?
You’re just desperate now, aren’t cha. Bertha? No. But I had an Aunt Bert. Hey, maybe her name was Bertha?

50) Ever been to Kentucky?:
Yes, I love Kentucky. I would live there. It’s a beautiful state with bourbon distilleries. How great is that?

51) Do you own something from Banana Republic?:
OK, enough with the fashion requirements! This is not subtle. You’re a clothes snob, aren’t you?

52) Are you thinking about somebody right now?
Yes, George Clooney from the question 22. I’m thinking I should change that to Gerard Butler.
53) Ever called somebody 'boo'?
No, but that is cute, isn’t it. I know a lady who called her husband “puddin” and another who called her husband “sugar nugget.” So, by comparison, “boo” is kinda cute.

54) Do you smoke?
No. But I do crave a cigarette when I’m reading James Ellroy or in a jazz bar.

55) Do you drink?
Well, yeah. Ya kinda have to to stay alive. Oh, you mean alcohol. Yes. See, I knew you weren’t reading my blog.

56) Are you happy with your life right now?
Oh please, let’s not get into this. I’m not in the mood for group therapy.

57) Do you like your hair?:
Actually, yes, I do. I have great hair. It’s thick and wavy and curly and even looks great after riding in a convertible. And right now it’s a lovely shade of dark brown with hints of red.

58) Does anyone have a crush on you?
If they do, they’re doing a damn fine job of keeping it a secret. And I could use an ego boost here, so I’d like to know.

59) What were you doing in May of 1994?
I was living in upstate New York, working at Martin Marietta (before it became Lockheed Martin) and probably still shoveling snow.

61) Do you own a Backstreet Boys CD?:
No. But again, I did download one of their songs onto my iPod. I don’t remember which one, but it doesn’t matter because I think they were all the same song, just different titles.

62) McDonalds or Wendys?
Wendy's by far. But if there’s a Sonic close, I’d rather go there.

63) Do you find yourself attractive?:
Again with the tricky questions. If I say yes, I’m an egomaniac. If I say no, I’m a pathetic loser with no self-esteem. Hey, wait a minute. I am a pathetic loser with no self-esteem. Guess that answers that. Besides, how can I "find" myself attractive. Do I just look in a mirror one day and say, "There you are! And aren't you attractive!" Not likely.

64) Are you closer to your mother or father?:
Mother. And again, I’m not in the mood for group therapy, so let’s not get into my relationship with my dad, OK?

65) Favorite physical feature of the preferred sex?:
“The preferred sex”? Well, aren’t you politically correct and non-offensive. I tend to notice the face and shoulder area first. Strong arms with which to hold me. Isn’t that sweet? Unless of course he’s nekked.

66) Are you afraid of the dark?:
No, of course not. Heh. I’m an adult, after all. I don’t have to sleep with a light on. Why do you ask? Who have you been talking to?

67) Have you ever eaten paste?
No but I’ve chewed on some pencils.

68) Do you own a webcam?:
No. I’m thinking of becoming a Luddite as long as I don’t have to give up my iPod.

69) Have you ever stripped?
Not in public, no ;)

70) Ever broken a bone?:
No, I’ve led such a boring life.

71) Are you religious?
Sneaking in the hard questions, are we? Well, I guess I am. But I have so many questions and sometimes think my faith is more out of not knowing anything else than truly knowing and accepting.

73) Pringles or Lays?:
Walker’s Cheese and Onion crisps. I loved those when we were in England. Over here I usually get Kettle Chips if I’m craving potato chips. You had no idea there was so much to choosing chips, did you?

Is that 100 yet? No? Sheesh.

74) Have you ever broken someone’s heart?:
That’s me: Heartbreaker Kell.

76) Full House or The Brady Bunch?:
Brady Bunch. Duh.

77) Did you like your high school guidance counselor?
I had a high school guidance counselor?

78) Has anyone ever called you a tease?
Yes, the owners of all those hearts I broke. And I am not a tease. I’m a flirt, there’s a difference.

79) Do you have a birth mark?
I have several, actually. One on the inside of my right arm and one on the back of my left calf. And the gynecologist said that I have a . . . well, never mind.

80) Do you work?:
Constantly. Life is work. Oh, you mean something I get paid for? No. I’m leeching off my husband at the moment.

81) Can you cook?:
Darlin’, if you don’t come away from my home without a full belly and a smile, you’re taste buds are dead. I don’t admit to being good at much, but I am a good cook.

82) Four things that annoy you:
You’re going to make me limit this to 4? People using wrong pronoun case in a preposition, people who speed up in the lane that’s closing just to push their way in further up, people talking on their cell phones, just people, actually

83) Do you text message often?:
I don’t even know how. But if it’s another way to NOT talk on the phone, I’m all for it. I hate talking on the phone.

84) Money or love?
You wouldn’t believe how long I stared at this question trying to decide on an answer. I’m becoming very jaded as I get older. Can’t I have both?

85) Do you have any scars?
Yes, all emotional.

86) What do you want more than anything right now?:
To be on question 100.

87) Do you enjoy scary movies?
Yes, I love scary movies. But I don’t find excessive violence and gore scary, just disturbing.

88) Relationships or one night stands?:
Will you still respect me in the morning?

89) Big Red or Juicy Fruit?
I’d have to say Juicy Fruit because I’m allergic to hot cinnamon gum like Big Red. I love it, but it turns my tongue white and it itches. Boy, is that a weird feeling.

90) Do you enjoy greasy food?
Way more than I should. That’s why I have a gym membership.

91) Have you seen all the Rocky movies?:
No. How many are there now?

92) Do you own a box of crayons?
Yes. I’m very comfortable with my inner child.

94) Who was the last person you said 'I love you' to?
Well, my hubby of course. Are you trying to get me into trouble?

95) Who was the last person that made you mad?
Probably some conservative pundit. They always make me mad.

96) Who was the last person that made you cry?:
Well, that was probably my hubby, too. But if I’d stop imagining what I think he’s thinking instead of him letting me know what he thinks, then I probably wouldn’t get myself all upset over nothing. Ya think?

97) Who was the last person that made you laugh?:
Billy Connolly. I watched one of his concerts recently.

98) Who was the last person to text you?
Hello! I don’t know how to text. Aren’t you paying attention?

99) Who was the last person that called you?
Whew! I guess this means the government hasn’t tapped my phone. The last person who called me was my friend Rhonda, who has 2 Great Danes and wants me to get one, so she told me about one at the local humane society. She’s a bad influence, she is.

100) Who's your cell phone provider?
This is the last question and you’re asking who my cell phone provider is? How disappointing. You couldn’t ask something philosophical like “What is the meaning of life?” or something really personal like “What’s your favorite sexual position?” or even “What’s the real color of your hair?” *Sigh* OK. I use Verizon. Happy?

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

More Than You Probably Want To Know

For your MS edification. You guys are going to be so knowledgeable.

I had a great checkup at the MS clinic. Diana (the nurse I see) was impressed and proud of my weight loss, and she said I did great on walking, balance, and strength. So, yeah me!

But, and isn’t there always a “but,” I seem to have some nerve damage in my left foot.

For some of the tests she does, she uses this tool:

Not only does she use the tuning fork end to make sure I can feel the vibration, but she uses that flat-sided hammer to feel cold. She starts with the face, putting it against my left cheek then right cheek and asks, “Do you feel the cold?” Yes. “To the same degree?” Yes. And thus it continues to my wrists, top of my hands, fingertips, all the while I’m answering “Yes.”

Then to the calves. Yes
The ankles. Yes
Top of the foot. Yes
Toes. . . . Toes. . . .Um, No.

It didn’t feel cold! How bizarre is that?!? It was weird, I have to tell you. I’ve since decided that my toes were so cold that I couldn’t feel anything as cold as they were. I’m really good at finding excuses to turn things in my favor. But, I also have to admit, that’s the first time that’s happened, and my toes are always cold.

OK, so that was interesting. Then she did the test I absolutely hate. She takes the end of the tuning fork and runs it up the soul of my foot. I cringe and pull away just thinking of this. I’m so ticklish that this is almost painful, and yet, I giggle. It’s very embarrassing.

So, on my right foot when she does this, my toes curl forward as I try to pull away. But on my left foot, I flex my foot almost straight. How bizarre is that?!? She had been suspecting this at my other visits but was never able to do a decent test because I would just pull away. This time I had to look away and hold my breath. The toes didn’t flex back, but they definitely didn’t curl forward.

It’s nothing horrible, it’s just a sign that I do have a little nerve damage in my left foot. I already suspected that since I have this constant tingle in the arch of that foot, but I hadn’t had the other test results before. And it’s not affecting my gait or my balance or my ability to walk. I’m actually very lucky because this could be so much worse.

The best news is that I don’t have to come back for 6 months! Of course, I have to have an MRI then, but hey, that’s 6 months away. In the immortal words of another Southern belle, *in my best lilting southern drawl* “I’ll think about that tomorrow.”

But for now, I’m going to put on my wooly socks to protect those toes.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Wanna Play?

We’re a game-playing family. My hubby’s family puts puzzles together, but my family likes to play board games. So, when we’re together, especially my brother and me, the big decision is not where to eat or who sleeps where, but should we play Scrabble, Trivial Pursuit, or Sequence first?

Jay’s pretty much the only person who will play Scrabble with me any more. Just because I get a wee bit irritated when someone takes my triple word square next to an A and I have an X ready. And he put a T there! A T! Triple word score for AT! When I had AX ready to go!

OK, I’ll calm down. I’m really much better now, truly I am. And actually, I’m not a very good Scrabble player because I’m a horrible speller. And I really don’t have such an extensive vocabulary for an English major. I know, it’s shocking. But it’s true.

But I don’t want to tell you about Scrabble, I want to tell you about a hoot of a game called Imaginiff. The more people the better with this one because the first thing you do is write everyone’s name on a square, then fill in the extra squares with people’s names that you all know. Then whoever goes first, rolls the die and moves the token onto someone’s name. We spent most of the time trying to land on Mom.

So, after you know who the subject is, the person who threw the die reads the card aloud, and it’ll say “Imagine if ________ (name you landed on) were an animal. What type of animal would he/she be?” Then you’d get 6 choices, such as rat, dog, owl, cat, snake, or toad. Everyone takes their numbered cards and chooses a corresponding number to what they think everyone will say, then places it face down. Then everyone turns their numbers over and majority rules. Whoever guessed the most-used answer (say, 3 people chose choice #5 and 2 chose #4), get to move forward (2 places if you were the person who threw the die and guessed the most-used response), while the others stay put. First person to the winner’s circle wins.

Got it? Well, you can see that it can be a lot of fun since you’re using people you’re playing with. And poor Mom. We spent a lot of time trying to land on her name, hoping that it would be something outrageous and funny. And after a beer or two, it gets even funnier. She takes a lot of abuse from her ungrateful brood. But she’s such a good sport about it, she makes an easy target. Such as the question about what World Record she would be, and Jay and I cracked up at the choice, “The World’s most dense substance.” And of course that’s what we all chose, but Mom chose “The World’s largest piggy bank,” so I guess she had the last laugh.

So, wanna play? I’ll volunteer to be “it.” Here’s the question:

Imagine if Kell were a book. Which would she be?
1. How to Win Friends and Influence People
2. Alice in Wonderland
3. A Brief History of Time
4. Lady Chatterley’s Lover
5. The Shining
6. The Bible

What would you choose for me? What would you chose for yourself?

Monday, November 27, 2006

One for the Books?

Just a quick note to say hello and hope that everyone had a good week last week and a happy Thanksgiving if you celebrate it.

Exhausted is an understatement for how I’m feeling right now. This wasn’t exactly a Thanksgiving to remember because everyone caught the stomach flu, except me, so far. Jay had it on Wednesday, but we didn’t know it was a virus until Mom had it on Friday. Al had it on Sunday night into today. If the pattern sticks, I’ll come down with it Tuesday or Wednesday. But, so far, the flu shot I got on Monday last week seems to have kept me safe.

But just in case, I have wiped down every surface in this house with disinfectant wipes, sprayed anti-bacterial disinfectant into every nook and cranny, and washed all the sheets and towels in hot water. So, at least the house is clean for Christmas.

So, send “no flu for Kell” vibes, please!

Thursday, November 23, 2006

I Wanna Thank You

While I wait for the chocolate pecan pie to bake, I thought I’d check in on the blogosphere. It’s been a really hectic few days, but everyone else is in bed now, so I can enjoy the calm and the quite. I need this time. It’s hard for me to just go to bed after a busy day—I need decompression time. And since I’ve spent the last 4 or 5 hours standing in front of the stove or in front of my mixer, this is my chance.

Newt has a wonderful post of everything she is grateful for this Thanksgiving. I admire someone who can be so open and isn’t afraid to honestly express her feelings to the people she cares about. I’ve never been very good at that. I’m not sure why, really. It’s not like I came from an uncaring or emotionally distant family. But I’m more likely to be the one who says, “Me, too” instead of “I love you” or “I’m sorry” or “I’m so glad we’re friends.” I rely on actions instead of words. I knit something or I take them dinner or I send them a book I know they’ve been wanting. But verbal expression is not my strong suit.

It seems a little ironic that on the same day I read Newt’s heartfelt thanks, I saw The Queen at the local megaplex. It was amazing, by the way, and I highly recommend it. Anyway, so here’s a woman who has spent her entire life being private, dignified, and restrained. She’s dumbfounded by the fact that “her subjects” don’t want her to be the stiff-upper-lip monarch but rather the grieving fellow citizen and grandmother. There’s more to it than that, of course, and it is a movie, so I’m addressing her as a character. The Queen and I don’t hang out or anything, so I can’t speak about her personally. But I’m willing to bet she doesn’t bake cookies to counter her lack of verbal expression.

Anyway, I’ll give this thanking thing a shot.

I’m thankful for my family. My mom is feisty, talented, and strong. She taught me to rely on myself and my strengths. My brother is the most brilliant and funny person I know. And despite his “Cynical Bastard” alter ego, he has a big heart that cares for many people. My grandmother and the rest of my dad’s family complete the circle and have shown me that you always have your family to lean on.

I’m thankful for my husband. We’ve been married 17 years now, and we’ve grown up together. It’s obvious to everyone around us and to me how much he loves me. And having lived with me for over 17 years, he obviously has the patience of Job.

I’m thankful for my close friends. I’m lucky that I have a lot of friends, but I’m blessed with some close friends who are always there for me and understand me better than I understand myself.

I’m thankful for the doctors and nurses who take care of me and keep me healthy. The learning curve for Multiple Sclerosis is very long, but luckily, I have a clinic to go to and get the answers I need.

I’m thankful for the doctors who keep my mom and friends healthy. Nothing can make me feel more helpless than when someone I love is hurting or ill. I’m grateful there are people they can go to.

I’m thankful for finding this blogging world. I started it on a whim and as a place I could dump all the extra stuff in my head. Instead, I’ve found a group of people who are supportive, funny, and creative.

And last but not least, I’m thankful that I have so much to be thankful for.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. If you’re in Nebraska, stop by for pie. Do you prefer pecan or apple?

Monday, November 20, 2006

Down Right Perky

After weeks of despair, I turned the corner and found happy days hiding under that dark cloud I had put over myself. I tend to do that. I’ll just be carrying along with life in general, then BAM. Gloom, despair, and agony on me. I don’t like where I am in my life, I don’t like who I am, I don’t like this dull day-to-day existence—all said while dramatically draping the back of my hand across my forehead. Is it any wonder my mother refers to me as Sarah Bernhardt?

But, I’m feeling much better now, thanks.

I’ve had a wonderful few days, and Mom and Jay are on their way here for Thanksgiving, so I have some wonderful days ahead of me. I love Thanksgiving. I love to cook a huge meal (always trying something new with all the traditional favorites) and I love having people around. Our good friends the Zs are joining us this year, and the more the merrier was never truer than at Thanksgiving.

But leading up to this day was a great weekend.

My friend T and I went to see Stranger than Fiction. I loved this movie. I thought it was very clever. So clever, I’m not quite sure how to talk about it. I just know that the idea that a character in a book is real and can hear the narration of his story and goes to a literature professor to figure out what kind of story he is in is just brilliant. It’s romantic, it’s funny, it’s sad and there are wonderful people in it—Will Ferrell, Emma Thompson, Dustin Hoffman, Maggie Gyllenhaal. It’s also the kind of movie my hubby would hate. He would be sitting in the theatre, dreading the movie being over because he’d know that this is a movie I would want to “talk” about. He just hates that. He’s so not a movie guy. So I talked about it with T and got it all out of my system, to his relief.

Saturday was a nice “couple” day and we just enjoyed each other. We did some grocery shopping, getting ready for the big dinner, laid around the house, and watched X-Men III. That movie is more his style, even though it was much more message-driven than he thought it would be. Plus, [Warning: Spoiler coming!] when Jean blew up Xavier, Al said, “I’m pretty sure that didn’t happen in the comic book.” He’s the master of understatement, that one.

Sunday, after church, we decided the day was much too pretty to stay inside, so I packed a picnic and we headed out. We drove out into the country, daydreamed about having a house and land some day, and toured around some of the state parks, before deciding which one to eat our cheese and crackers and drink our tea. He has discovered Lapsang Souchong tea, and we’ve been drinking more of that than coffee. This tea smells very smoky and has a strong flavor that at first I didn’t think I liked. But the more I drink it, the more I like it.

Then we headed to the Dundee Dell, our favorite pub/bar, for a Christmas Beer tasting. Have to say, I wasn’t real impressed. Christmas beers are really full-flavored, hoppy, high-alcohol beers. There wasn’t one that I think I would drink a whole pint of, but I’d come closest to Samuel Smith’s Winter Welcome Ale. But at 6 percent alcohol, someone would have to drive me home after I drank it. Either that, or play a really great song on the jukebox so that I have something to dance to when I climb up on the table. Oh, but the best news was that the Dell now has Smithwick’s on tap! I may never leave this town.

So, now, it’s Monday. I got my teeth cleaned and no cavities (this is only because there are already so many filled cavities and caps that there is no room left for new cavities) and I’m getting a check up at the neurologist this afternoon and a flu shot, then I’ll be done with doctors of any kind until next year. By then, Mom and Jay should be here, Al will be off work, and we can plan out our activities while eating dinner.

Posting will be sporadic this week again. But I’ll still be lurking around other blogs. Or at least, Jay will be and he’ll keep me informed on what’s going on.

Have a great week, everyone!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Do Re Meme

I stole this from Betty, who probably stole it from someone else. that's the way we do things around here.

1. Christmas tree: pine or cedar?
Cedar. But we’re using a 4-foot artificial one that we’ve had for 6 years now. When I have my dream house, I’m going to have a HUGE Christmas Tree and hire one of Martha Stewart’s minions to come decorate it (I dream big).

2. Name two dumb things you did as a kid.
We’ve talked about my memory loss issues. Did you forget already? But I do remember the winter day that I heard wrong on the radio and thought we had school and insisted that I had to go (I put Lisa Simpson to shame), so Dad walked me through mountains of snow, upteen miles uphill, just to find out school was cancelled. I’m sure there are many more things, but I’ve blocked out a lot of my childhood. Either that or I just can’t remember.

3. What foods did your mom used to make that you will never, ever cook.
Liver and onions. Salmon out of a can. Sorry Mom.

4. Describe the place you go to in your head when you need to calm down.
Well, hell. What a good idea to have a happy place. Much better than mumbling to myself, sitting and rocking back and forth in the middle of the living room floor.

5. Have you ever seen a ghost, or something you can't explain?
Yes. I can’t explain the popularity of Jessica Simpson.

6. If money and image didn't matter, what would you do for a living?
If money didn’t matter, would I need to make a living? Oh, OK, but you already know that I’d be a writer—one that actually gets paid would be a nice change of pace. Of course that would mean I’d have to actually send stuff out. Hmmmm. Maybe I’d be a sheep and alpaca farmer in the Highlands of Scotland or New Zealand, spin the wool then label it “artisan” and charge outrageous prices on the web. Oh! I know! Since image doesn't matter, I'd sing in a band--rock band, country band, big band, whatever.

7. Did you ever fall off a horse and get right back on?
I’m afraid of horses. And if I’m not good at something immediately or on the first try, I’m afraid I tend to walk away.

8. What name did you call a sibling that was sure to start a fight?
My sibling reads this! Why would I call him that and suffer the wrath? Actually, I don’t think I’ve ever called him anything, but a friend of Mom’s called us Jelly and Kay. We hated that.

9. Describe the events surrounding your first alcoholic drink.
How do you expect me to remember that far back? I do remember sitting at Sonic and taking a swig of Jack Daniels, though, and liking that “warm all the way down” feeling.

10. Have you ever had a wild animal as a pet?
No. Don’t make me get on my soapbox.

11. Do you have a deep, dark secret?
Yes. And it’s going to stay deep and dark and a secret.

12. Would you ever shoot a deer?
No. But I’ve cooked my share.

13. Do you return money if you get too much change?
Of course I do. I have to stock up on those good deeds.

14. What puzzles you?
I guess “puzzles” would be too obvious, huh?

15. How do/did you act toward a person you have/had a crush on?
I babble and push my hair behind my ears. But not in an endearing way, in a “how can she be this old and still be awkward with the opposite sex” way.

16. What makes you cry?
My deep, dark secret. (I’ve gottcha curious now, don’t I? Well, at least Mom is curious.)

17. What's the best bargain you ever bought at a yard sale?
I don’t think I have a bargain story. I can’t barter, and I wouldn’t know a Chippendale chair from a Chippendale stripper. OK, yes I would, but you get the idea.

18. How much wood can a woodchuck chuck?
Well, if a woodchuck could chuck wood, I’d have to say what the hell is a woodchuck and how does one chuck wood.

19. If nobody is watching, would you run a stop sign?
Probably not. I’m so boringly good.

20. Do you believe in Hell?
There better be one considering how many people I’ve told to go there.

21. What material possession do you value most?
iPod. That’s too easy. Ask me another one.

22. Which day is better...Friday or Sunday?
Friday. Still easy, come on, come on.

23. Do you read a book more than once?
Yes because I always find things I missed the fist time. But I don’t read books again as much as I can watch a movie over and over.

24. What is the greatest problem with today's society?
I can’t choose just one. Politics, obviously, is one. And caring too much about celebrities’ personal lives and not getting a life of their own is another.

25. How old were you when you first touched somebody else's hoohah?
“Hoohah?” If you can’t say it, maybe you haven’t seen one. I have no idea, by the way. I know who I wished it was, though (heh heh).

26. Would you ever skydive?
Why would I jump out of a perfectly good airplane?

27. Name 3 songs significant to your romantic life, and tell why.
“Is this Love” by Whitesnake because that was the big song when Al and I were dating. “You Can Leave Your Hat On” by Tom Jones and I’m not getting into that one. “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” because, well, just because.

28. Would you ever have plastic surgery?
You betcha. Gravity is the enemy. When I have to move the girls to snap my jeans, they’re outta here.

29. Does bigfoot/sasquatch/yehti exist?
You want me to say yes, don’t you. Yet, you insist there is no Santa Claus. *tsk tsk* That's why you get coal in your stocking.

30. Are you a follower or a leader?
Follower, until I see something shiny, then I go follow that.

31. What's the worst thing you did when you were a kid?
When my stepmother said to be careful of the cow because she was mean to her, I said it was because that cow thought my stepmother was competition for the bull. I said this to myself, of course. Must maintain the peace, after all.

32. List three jobs you would never want to do.
Car salesman. Politician. Reality Show Casting Director.

33. Coke or Pepsi?
Coke (with a splash of Maker’s Mark bourbon)

34. Where would you live if you could move your family, friends, and job there?
Scotland. I’d live there even if my family, friends and job weren’t there.

35. Is three really a crowd?
Not in my fantasies. Ha! Just kidding, I don’t share well with others.

36. What kind of interpersonal interaction repulses you?
Being swatted on the fanny by a man I don’t know or even do know for that matter. I like to quote Designing Women’s Julia Sugarbaker, “He shouldn’t have done that. I keep a list of men who touch my fanny without my permission, and they have all died a horrible death.”

37. Who would you rather spend an hour with, a writer or an entertainer?
An entertaining writer.

38. Which calendar appeals to you:
Photos of Scotland. I like lots of gorgeous scenery since I can’t look out my window and see it.

39. What would you do if life gave you lemons?
Squeeze them into cooked pasta and asparagus.

40. Do you believe in love at first sight?
Sure. Stranger things have happened.

41. Did you ever wish on a falling star, and have the wish come true?
No, but I caught a falling star once. I put it in my pocket because I’m saving it for a rainy day.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

More KC

Food is not the only thing great about Kansas City; there’s pretty good shopping, too. My family would describe me as a power shopper, and I guess I can’t disagree with that. Actually, I’m a power window shopper because I don’t buy very much, certainly not compared to how much I look. But, I’d rather shop at local favorites or shops that I can’t find in the local mall. We did a little of both in KC.

Country Club Plaza is a high-end shopping Mecca. Lots of clothes, lots of gift shops, lots of restaurants, lots of famous brand names. Ann Taylor, Betsey Johnson, Athropologie, Coach, Tiffany’s, Enzo Angiolini (I admit to drooling on the windows while looking at the shoes).

One great shop was The Better Cheddar. As you can imagine, there were a lot of different cheeses, and we bought a smoked applewood cheddar. This was a gourmet shop with more Balsamic Vinegars and olive oils than you ever thought existed. Plus amazing choices of chocolates. Ya gotta love a place with that many chocolates to choose from.

We also went to Diebel’s Sportsmen’s Gallery—a man’s shopping experience. You know what I’m talking about: chess sets, pipes, cigars, bar stuff, golf stuff. It was really very nice and it smelled wonderful in there. Al bought a few cigars to give to some of his co-worker and at least one for him to enjoy. There was a time he was really into cigars but not any more. But every now and then, he still likes to have one. He doesn’t have many vices, so what’s a cigar every now and then.

Another popular shopping area is Westport. It’s the Plaza’s artsy, laid-back sister. No high end shops, or at least no big name high-end shops. There are many bars and restaurants, but the best shop in the area is Pryde’s Old Westport store. OMG I was in heaven. It’s a kitchen and housewares store! I could have stayed there all day and still not seen everything. Plus it smells incredible in there because there is a pie shop downstairs. A pie shop! What a great idea. This was by far my favorite store. Have I mentioned my tableware fetish? I would have a different set of dishes for every type of meal. And I especially go all weak-in-the-knees for teapots, cups and saucers. Plus that amazing wall full of toys, I mean tools—tools. My hubby did good. He didn’t start complaining about his back giving out until I had seen most of the store.

Then we went to a store we could both enjoy—a used books store. Bloomsday Books was opened by Tom Shawver who gave up his law career to follow his dreams of owning this bookstore. It’s in the ritzy, old neighborhood of Brookside and next to a French bistro and coffeehouse, Aixois. Ulysses is Shawver’s favorite book, so he named his store after the main character, Leopold Bloom, and on June 16, they hold a continuous reading of the novel. We really liked this store. It was small but well lit and had lots of comfy chairs and nooks to sit and read a good book. The book I bought, The Practice of Reading by Denis Donoghue, was a great entertainment for Al, “You bought a book about reading?” He thought that was hilarious. Well, it is about reading, about close reading and literary criticism, an old-fashioned idea in this age of contemporary, deconstructive criticism. Yes, I am this big of a nerd. Hopefully, my friend R will come see us at Christmas so I’ll have someone on my side and someone who’s as big a geek as I am.

So, that’s pretty much our trip to Kansas City. I’ll leave you with this little scene in The Better Cheddar.

Al held up a tea for me from a new line of The Republic of Tea:

If you can’t read it, it’s called Get A Grip, Herb Tea for PMS/Menopause.

Hubby: Look at this!

Me: And you’re point is?

Hubby: I’m just sayin’ (says while laughing and ducking out of arm’s reach)

Monday, November 13, 2006

Kansas City Here I Come

We had an impromptu trip to Kansas City, MO this weekend, and we had a great time. KC is only about 3 hours from us, and it’s an easy drive down there. My hubby really wanted to tour the Boulevard Brewery, but all the tours are full for the next month. We’ll have to plan a little farther ahead if we want to do that. Yet another reason to go back to KC!

Our trips seem to revolve around alcohol and food, mostly alcohol. The first thing we did was find the 75th Street Brewery and ordered a 6-pack sampler and some lunch. They had an American Pale Ale, an IPA, a brown ale, and a dry stout (they gave us 2 because they only had 5 to sample). They also had a raspberry ale that was just nasty. No fruity beers! Anyway, I really liked the brown and the stout, which was more creamy than dry. Al like the IPA—he’s such a hop-head. I want to like IPAs, I really do. They have such a unique taste, but they are so full of hops that they just taste bitter to me, plus they go to my head very quickly. Guess I’ll stick with the more malty ales.

We did the same thing at McCoy's Public House in the Westport area of KC. We even had the same types of beers, with the addition of a wheat beer, and I like the same ones I liked at 75th Street Brewery. The food was better at 75th, but the salad I had at McCoys was really good. Both places have a pub-feel, American style, meaning that they are big and roomy and the chairs don’t match.

For our last pub/beer event, we went to O’Dowd’s in the Country Club Plaza. We really enjoyed O’Dowd’s. They had Strongbow Cider on tap, so I started with that, but then switched to Smithwicks. Mmmmmmmm. We weren’t very hungry, so we split a boxty—a delectable potato pancake wrapped around Guiness-soaked beef and vegetables. Then we split the bread pudding, which was one of the best I’ve ever had.

Our main reason for going to KC is to go to Lidia’s Restaurant. We watch Lidia on her PBS cooking show and I’ve made several of her recipes. When I found out she had a restaurant in Kansas City, I knew we had to go. This was our second time. I didn’t bother to get reservations because the last time we came, in the summer, we got there at 6:00 and didn’t have to wait for a table. This time, they had reservations up until 9:00. But, they serve a full menu at the bar, so we sat there, in front of the fire place. We had the best seat in the house.

The special Lidia offers is the pasta sampler plate. For $26, you get a delicious Caesar salad, all you can eat of 3 different pastas, and any dessert on the menu. Bargain! These nice people from the kitchen walk around with a skillet of pasta and asks if you’d like more. We had a penne with tomato and vodka sauce, ravioli stuffed with lamb, and fettuccini alfredo. For dessert, I had a frozen chocolate mousse on a chocolate wafer, with fresh whipped cream and chocolate cookies on top. Al had the ice cream sampler, but asked that all 3 of them be the double chocolate ice cream, so that’s what they did. We also each had a fabulous glass of red wine.

We were so full, we were almost miserable. Miserable enough that when we put in our choices for breakfast for the next morning, we both just asked for the continental breakfast.

So, wanna know about the hotel? It was. . . interesting. We stayed at the Hotel Savoy downtown. Not in a great area, but not the worse area, either. I had looked for a hotel near the Country Club Plaza, but they were so expensive, and after driving down there, we were glad we didn’t because the traffic is crazy. And there are people walking everywhere, crossing streets from everywhere but the corners.

Anyway, the Savoy has an interesting history, with famous people such as Teddy Roosevelt and Sandra Bernhardt, and the hotel restaurant, The Savoy Grill, is one of the oldest in the city. It’s also one of the most expensive, so we didn’t eat there. However, the hotel is now a B&B, so we had great choices for breakfast. They serve from 7 to 11, so if we wanted to have lobster bisque and veal chops, we could. But, ick. I just couldn’t think about foods like that for breakfast or brunch.

The perks with this hotel were great—a 10-cup coffee maker in the room with Kona coffee, small bottles of Baily’s Irish Cream, ice in the ice bucket, a newspaper delivered to the room in the morning, free parking (a huge deal when staying downtown), plus that great breakfast. And every bathroom has a claw-foot tub.

But the hotel is a little run down and Hyacinth Bucket must have decorated the rooms, considering the flowery wallpaper. Our first room was a Victorian Suite, with French doors separating the bedroom from the sitting area. But the radiator stopped working and the wind was blowing through the closed windows.

So, they moved us to a King Victorian room. Now, this was bizarre. The theme is Victorian, right? There is flowery wallpaper on every inch of the walls, and the king-size bed is a 4-poster canopy. But there was something odd about it, then I realized—it was a covered wagon. No kidding, they built it to look like a covered wagon. Why? I don’t know, but it did give us a good chuckle.

Well, that seems to be enough for today. Next time, I’ll talk about some of the shops we went to.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Misty, Water-Colored

For some reason, my already-too-short short term memory got even worse this week. I’m becoming more and more a person who has to keep a To Do list. I hate these lists. Although they help, I’m so incredibly overly analytical and want so desperately to be organized that I end up categorizing my To Do list.

It’s as scary as it sounds.

I have a list of what has to be done that day, such as return the library books or mail the mortgage payment, and a list of things that need to be done at some point, such as clean out closets for a trip to Good Will or research hotels in Italy for our trip next May. But when I have to write things like “pour Draino down shower drain,” I know that I’m in trouble.

Unfortunately, once something is out of my line of sight or once I have left the area in which something has to be done, it completely leaves my mind. I finally remembered to buy the Draino, which I put under the counter in the bathroom instead of leaving on the counter where I'd remember to use it because I didn't want my hubby to hold it up and yell, “Where does this go?” I forgot to actually pour it down the drain. So when I took a shower, I splashed around in almost ankle-deep water (this is what happens when you let your hair grow out—it literally grows out of your head and onto the floor and down the drain). But, once out of the shower and proceeding with my routine, I forgot to get out the Draino again. Why do I do that?

Then I stripped the bed and headed down to the washing machine. But when I lifted the lid, there were already washed clothes in there. Huh. I wonder when I washed those? Must have been a couple of days ago because they smelled pretty sour. So, now they are really clean because they've been washed twice.

The day before, I rushed around like a madwoman to get to my quilt group because we were going to tour a couple of serious crafters' rooms, and with my love of all things organizational (did I mention one my favorite toys is my label maker?), I didn’t want to miss it. But I woke up late and decided to double check the email to make sure of the time. They were meeting at 9:00. Damn. It was 9:00 when I checked the message, and it would take me 30 minutes to get there. So, I emailed my friend and apologized for not making it. She emailed me back and said I didn’t miss it—it’s next Tuesday. I looked at the original email again, and sure enough, it said we were meeting on Nov. 14. I didn’t know whether to be relieved or embarrassed, so I was both.

Oh, and I put all our debit card receipts into an envelope so that they would be all safe in one place when I had time to write them in the check register. I can't find them now. I'm afraid that I threw them away. I remember walking around with them, putting them in the envelope, picking up some old mail, and that's it. All I can figure is that I threw them away with the old mail because I sure can't find them anywhere in the house.

So, I’m telling my husband about all this (except the receipt thing--that would have put him over the edge) and about how if it’s not in front of me, I won’t remember it. Always a fount of knowledge, this is how our conversation went:

Hubby: You know that’s how they judge cognitive development in children.

Me: Excuse me?

Hubby: They show a child a toy, then they put a screen up in front of it and see how the child responds.

Me: I don’t think I like where this is going.

Hubby: And a child who easily forgets about the toy is . . . is . . . is (notices the look I’m giving him)

Me: Is what?

Hubby: Well, isn’t developing cognitive abilities as quickly as a child who knows the toy is still there.

Me: And this is pertinent to me, how?

Hubby: I’m just sayin’

Me: That my cognitive abilities haven’t matured?

Hubby: (starts looking for an escape)

So, that’s been my week basically. I did get a lot of things scratched off my list. We’re going to celebrate Veteran’s Day by going down to Kansas City for the weekend.

I better start working on that list of what we need to take with us; otherwise, I will forget something, probably the camera. I usually forget the camera. Actually, I think I’ll get that out right now and put it in my purse.

But I still have to put "pour Draino down the drain" on my list.

Have a great weekend, everyone.

Monday, November 06, 2006


If all responsibility is imposed on you, then you may want to exploit the moment and want to be overwhelmed by the responsibility; yet if you try, you will notice that nothing was imposed on you, but that you are yourself this responsibility.
----Frank Kafka

I’ve been ignoring things around me. I have a house that needs cleaning, quilt blocks that need blocking, knitting projects that need knitting, holiday planning that needs planning, baked goods that need baking, writing projects that need writing, books that need reading, movies that need watching, coffee that needs drinking. . . I’m rambling again, aren’t I?

Well, I think I need to take a few days off from blogging so that I can try to regain some resemblance of control. I need to actually work on some of the things I need to do, rather than just thinking about them and making “To Do” lists. Plus, I’m not feeling all that great, so somewhere in the middle of all this stuff that I think I need to do, I’m going to have to find time to actually rest so that I don’t have to take those damn muscle relaxants that knock me out and make me loopy.

So, posts will be sporadic this week.

BTW, I finally saw the movie A Prairie Home Companion. I’ve been listening to it for years, but I wasn’t sure how they were going to adapt it to the screen. I thought it was wonderful. And Robert Altman was the perfect person to direct because of his ability to have all these different characters and different conversations going on at the same time and still make it cohesive. Plus, there’s a number in the show where Dusty and Lefty sing a song about Bad Jokes, that is broken up with bad jokes, of course. I love bad jokes: What do you call a cross between Holy Water and Castor Oil? A religious movement. *Snort*

Well, I’m gonna sign off now. I’ll still check in on ya. I can’t go cold turkey, after all.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Little Bit of This, Little Bit of That

Quick Note: Sorry guys, but I'm getting too many spam comments, so I've added the word verification. It's so disappointing to think you have a comment and it turns out to be spam. I don't like spam! (singing "Spam" song to myself--spam, spam, spam, spam, spam . . .)

November is National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). It was started by Chris Baty and his friends in San Francisco in 1999. The idea is to write a 175-page book, about 50,000 words by the end of the month. It doesn’t have to be good, you just have written a novel. You have to write about 1,667 words (about 6 pages) a day. That’s a lot. My last post was 1,220 words, but I don’t usually ramble on so. Well, I do, but not 1,600 words worth. Do I? Anyway, you can sign up on the NaNoWriMo website but be patient. There are so many people logging on that it takes forever to load. They had 6,000 sign-ups in 24 hours since the story was on Yahoo.


Dr. Oz on Oprah said that when we are stressed, we crave salty things. When we are depressed, we may crave sweets. When we are angry, we may crave meat. When we are anxious, we may crave ice cream, and when we are lonely or sexually frustrated, we may crave pasta. If we crave all of the above, we may be jealous. I crave salty things all the time, but I don’t really feel stressed. What do I have to be stressed about? Actually, I have quite a bit (all of my own making), but I won’t go into all of that. He also said that you should walk about 10,000 steps a day, you should sweat 1 hour a week (can break it down to 20 minutes 3 times a week), lift weights 30 minutes a week, and stretch 5 minutes every day. So, if I sweat for 20 minutes, does that mean I only have to walk for 10 minutes that day? I’m going to try to walk every day. I go to the gym, and I’ve lost 20 pounds, but I’ve also plateaued and need to kick it up if I want to keep losing. Might help if I’d stop eating all those fatty, salty things, too, huh?


A new show is treading the boards of Broadway: Evil Dead: The Musical. Now that’s just weird. I wanna see it! I love this line in the article: “Sure, the show is idiotic, but that’s the point.” Apparently, one of the best songs in the show is “What the f--- was that?” Hahahahahahaha. I really gotta see this show.


The guys in my hubby’s office are doing their own version of The Biggest Loser. They all weighed in yesterday, will weigh in once a week, and will go like this until February 1. Why they decided to do this during the holidays is a mystery. I said that for the right price I would bake sabotage cookies and pies.


I went to a huge arts and craft show today. It seemed like every aisle had one or two booths filled with signs of sappy sayings. “Live, Love, Laugh” was the most popular. There was also “I Hope You Dance.” I hate that song. Oh, it’s a nice song, but after you hear it a million times, it loses it’s effectiveness. Now it just grates on my nerves. Of course, that might have something to do with the fact that I’ve been in a bad mood for some reason. I have no reason to be in a bad mood. I’m taking a pill for that, ya know. Maybe more shopping therapy? I feel a trip to the bookstore coming on.


Bush is coming to Nebraska to stump for the Republicans. It has always bothered me when a president takes time away from the needs of this country to campaign for his party. Especially this president and his party who have made such a mess of things and are so desperate to stay in control that they are threatening that a vote for Democrats will mean homosexual marriage in your home town and a terrorist on every corner. I will not be going to the rally. Of course, they probably wouldn’t let me attend since I’m a registered Democrat. Probably have some big sensor you have to walk through that sets off an alarm if a non-Republican tries to enter sanctuary.


One more thing about my trip home a couple of weeks ago. I said that A and I were a lot of like. We both like to go to old cemeteries and look around. Eureka Springs has an amazing one. It’s very serene, and there are some beautiful stones. But there was this odd grave that really stood out. It’s the grave of a 19-year-old girl (I’m sorry I don’t remember her name) who died in the late 90s, if I read the stone correctly. It was fascinating, so I took some pictures.

Have a great weekend, y'all.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

A Cup of Tea and a Good Friend

One of the highlights of my trip home was getting to see my bestest bud, A. We were roommates in college, both majoring in journalism, both not sure why, but both too far in our studies to change majors. We went to high school together, but that wasn’t where we became friends. We ran with different crowds then: she in the almost popular crowd, me in the how-fast-can-I-get-out-of-here crowd of one. But high school horror is something my therapist has to listen to, so I won’t delve into it here. Besides, it’s too hard to write from a fetal position.

So, A and I get together any time I’m back home and she comes to visit me when she can. She’s one of those friends that we just pick up where we left off. I can talk about anything with her and she understands completely; she empathizes but still gives an objective opinion. And she has a wicked sense of humor.

Quick story to give you an idea of what A is like. When her daughter, HJ, was about 3 or 4, they got a dog—a Boykin Spaniel, named Ruby. Ruby is a combination hunting/house dog. So, being a hunting spaniel, she retrieves things—shoes, hats, socks. And being a young dog, she was chewing and eating things she shouldn’t. They told HJ repeatedly to pick up her socks because Ruby would take them. Well, HJ being a kid, she kept leaving them around, and Ruby being a dog, she ate one of them. Everyone was in a tizzy, but a call to the vet told them that she would probably pass it. So, they gave her something to help move things along, so to speak, and finally out came the sock, which had been stretched to about a foot long and was just gross. Dad decided this was the perfect opportunity to teach daughter an important lesson, so he began his sermon. When he was done, A said, “Hey HJ. Ya want your sock back?” Not the serious tone Dad was going for.

A and her hubby have built a new house out in the country, so I went out for a tour. As I expected, it’s a gorgeous home. I keep telling her that when I finally have a house that I’m going to live in for more than 3 years, I’m going to hire her as my interior decorator. The house reflects country charm but not too rustic or too girlie, and all pulled together by A herself. She has one of those rare breeds of husbands—one who really doesn’t care how his wife decorates the home and trusts her to do a beautiful job. My experience is that a man will say he doesn’t care but what he really wants is for me to guess what he wants so that he doesn’t have to waste time with decisions. Either that, or he doesn’t care, he just wouldn’t have picked out anything that I did. Of course, it helps that A has exquisite taste. She can mix and match colors and patterns that I would never dream would go together. But then again, I miss Garanimals because it was so much easier to match clothes with a code system.

Anyway, the other thing we did while I was home was go to War Eagle Craft Fair. This craft fair in War Eagle, Ark, has been going on since 1954 and has over 130,000 attendees over a 4-day period. We went on the first day, a cold, damp, windy day. I hadn’t prepared for this properly. Oh, I had layered clothing and I had my raincoat on, which is also my best wind-breaker, but I had no gloves and no hat. The temperatures were supposed to be in the low 50s, but it didn’t reach that until close to 5:00 that evening, after I was back home. But did we let that stop us? Of course not! What kind of self-respecting power-shopper would I be if I let a little thing like blue fingers stop me? Besides, being the experienced craft fair-goer, A had a thermos of hot tea to warm us up.

It had poured down rain all through the night before, but it was surprisingly dry. I guess the cold froze the mud so that it was pretty solid while we were there. We parked out in the field and had a cup of tea to fortify ourselves. We sat in the back of her Chevy Tahoe and watched groups of women, giddy with the excitement of what unique treasures they were going to find. The hunt, after all, is half the fun.

A has been to this craft fair several times and has her favorite booths. But there’s no fun in just going to one or two booths, picking up what we came for, then leaving. That would mean we were shopping like men. We can’t have that. So, we headed for the first of at least 7 tents, before walking over the bridge to all the booths on the other side of the river. As we went through the tents we had that kind of walk-and-sway pattern so that we’d be ready to get around someone who decided to stop in the middle of the aisle, which happened a lot. We looked from side-to-side, quickly scanning what was available, waiting for something to catch our eyes. We like the same kinds of things, so we stopped at the hammered-copper sculptures, the wrought iron, the yarns, the herbal stuff, and the dried flowers. The rest we just did a kind of drive-by. It was easy for me because there was only so much room I had left in my suitcase, so I wasn’t planning on buying much of anything. But A had a Chevy Tahoe should could fill up. She showed great restraint, I thought. Of course she did have to tempt me with, “If you find somethings you really like, we’ll load up the Tahoe and go on a road trip to Omaha.” I should have found some huge piece of furniture to fall in love with so that we could've done that.

The only thing I bought was some wonderful herbal soaps by Ozark Herbals. I bought a Loofa Soap Sponge with “Rain” soap in it. I also got a bar of Patchouli-Rose, which smelled better out in nature than it does in my bathroom. Maybe I should shower outside? And I got a bar of Rosemary Rose Geranium for Mom, but really it was for me to try. And it’s wonderful, so now I have to order some for myself. They also had lotions, shampoo bars, room deodorizers, and lavender. That was definitely my favorite booth. Well, that and the Kettle Corn booth. One can’t live on crafts alone.

When we couldn’t feel our toes and couldn’t make a fist because of the cold, we headed back to the truck. The tea in the thermos was still warm, and soon we were able to wrap our fingers around the mugs. The tea plus the seat warmers thawed us out pretty quickly.

Here are a few photos.