If you are reading this blog, please consider this your official invitation to our first ever blog party. It will be held at our house on Saturday, November 11 (Veteran’s Day) and the guests of honor will be Jackie and her kids and everybody who comes to meet them and spend the day with us (as well as any veterans who happen to show up). This is what Jackie and her kids looked like the last time they were in this part of the world about eight years ago. Jackie has made specific requests for whole milk, Rocky to dress identical to her, time spent staring at my wallpaper (or former wallpaper), saying nice things about U2, ranting in person, letting the kids eat lots of chocolate and for somebody to perform “You’re Never Fully Dressed Without a Smile” from Annie. If I’ve left anything out here, Jack, feel free to add to the list.

Come join us. It should be a fun time. The only things you have to do to be on the “in” list are:

1. You have to have read this blog. If you are one of those readers who reads and never comments, that’s okay. Come anyway. If you want to leave your first ever comment right here on this post to let us know you’re coming, even better.

2. You have to introduce yourself to Jackie by your blog name.

3. You have to bring something for yourself to throw on the grill and something to share with everyone else.

4. You have to know where we live and be able to get yourself here, because I’m not posting that info on the web.

That’s it. We’ll get started around noon on Saturday. Come and go as you like. We’ll bop till we drop. If you live in other places like Illinois, Nebraska, Oregon, Montana, California, Iowa, Hawaii, Tennessee or the Philippines, you have been given ample notice to get yourself a plane ticket. See you soon.

A few more pictures from eight years ago:

Jasmine and Callie, friends since birth (born six weeks apart):

We hope Sadie and Donald will not be doing this on this trip:

Give me a milk break!!!

I was just watching the Today show, where they were telling us about all the foods in our house that could be making us fat. This was following a piece on the rising childhood obesity rates in our country. A nutritionist was in the home of a perfectly healthy-looking family of four, going through their kitchen. Trust me; neither the kids nor the adults in that house were anywhere near obese. She reached into their fridge and pulled out a half-gallon of Horizon (organic) milk and yelled “2% milk? What are you doing with 2% milk in your house? Do you know how much fat is in 2% milk???”

Does anybody who has a brain in their head really think that kids in this country are obese because of 2% milk?

The only reason I was even watching the Today show, was because I got so disgusted with Good Morning America showing women getting eyelash transplants at $3000 an eye to avoid having to wear fake eyelashes anymore.

Good morning America, indeed. Come to my house anytime. I promise to feed you food that tastes good. I have a pretty strong opinion that fat is not the enemy. And I’ve got mascara that I can sell you for $10.

My Poodle Baby

Here are some pictures of Grace in the poodle skirt that goes all the way to her ankles that she was not “afwaid” to wear to school today. For the complete quote on how she felt about it, please see Chris’ blog right here now.

Grrrr (or Aaauuurrrgghhhh)

I hate stripping wallpaper. When we bought this house two years ago, all the rooms except the bedrooms were covered in wallpaper. I have slowly (very slowly) been going through the process of stripping wallpaper, sanding, priming, texturing and painting, trying to get my house to look the way I want it to look.

No more. I’m done. I mean, I’m still going to get my house to look the way I want it to look, but I am not stripping one more wall of its wallpaper. The lady at Lowe’s told me I had to do it that way and so that’s what I’ve been doing. But I’ve been killing myself (and not softly with a song – no, it’s been quite harsh with nothing left at the end of the day to sing about). What the heck is the point of stripping wallpaper that’s been stuck directly to unfinished drywall? You end up with a mess. The wall peels right along with the wallpaper. So I was reading on the can of primer today and it says you can prime wallpaper. Why didn’t the lady at Lowe’s tell me that?

I am done listening to the lady at Lowe’s. Starting tomorrow, I am going to live life on the edge and paint the primer right on top of the wallpaper, then texture, then paint. I am going to skip all the steps that make me want to kill myself. If anyone knows of any reason why I shouldn’t do it this way, now is the time to tell me. But I probably won’t listen to you because I won’t believe that you really know what you’re talking about. Just like the lady at Lowe’s. And I really just want to see if it will work. My friend Jackie is coming to visit me soon and I don’t want the blue and white flowered wallpaper with the matching valances to be here when she is.

Writing, Thinking, Feeling

I have begun to write something for my next post a thousand times. Or maybe more like three. It’s not that I have writer’s block. I have a thousand things I want to write about. Or maybe like twenty-three. It’s just that every time I start to write, a feeling somewhat akin to insecurity comes over me. I think “Is this dumb? Will anyone comment? Will anyone think I’m dumb? Am I being too personal and introspective for the world wide web? Who really reads this thing anyway? What will they all think? Do they love me? Love me! Love me!”

What is that? I don’t remember feeling these feelings since fourth grade…until I started my own blog. Sure, I could tell myself that I am only writing for myself and it doesn’t matter what anyone thinks or if anyone even reads, but that would be a big, fat, roly-poly lie. If that were true, then I could just write my thoughts in something like this really cool journal that my sister-in-law gave me to take on my trip to the Balkans (which I love and did write in while I was in Europe). But I don’t. I write my thoughts on this screen that I’m looking at in my home that anyone, anywhere can look at on their own screen in their own home. And I care, for some reason.

So, I’ve been thinking a lot. And that has got me thinking about who I am and what I think about. And I’ve been thinking about this one personality profile that distinguishes between thinking and feeling people. (The Myers-Briggs – if you’re not familiar with it, you can take it here.) I am a pretty strong introvert (as opposed to extrovert), intuitive (as opposed to sensing), and perceiving (as opposed to judging). The one where I am right on the line is the thinking/feeling part of the profile. I am either an INTP or INFP, depending on the day. I think this is where my whole problem lies. I spend most of my time thinking about what I am feeling. This keeps me from acting quickly or even acting at all, most of the time. I just think about how I would like to act and how that makes me feel and how that makes others feel and how others acting makes others feel and act and think and so on…..

And why do I care?

I'm A Little Bit Country

When I met Chris, all he listened to was U2 and all I listened to was country music. I mean, I liked other types of music, but country really got to me in some inexplicable, fun-loving, heart-breaking, hip-swaying, driving-my-grandpa’s-pick-up-
truck-around-town kind of way. Maybe it’s just in my genes, but I really love it. I’m not really your line-dancing, hyper, bad party girl, hateful or twangy/yelling type of country lover. I really like good country though, and there’s a lot of it out there. It gets back to the basics of life. Maybe that’s why I like it.

I’m going to list some of my favorite songs and I’d really like some participation, but before I get to my list, I’d just like to say that when Chris and I started going to dances at my high school, he used to love to go up to the person playing the music and request a U2 song. Why? Because he liked U2. Can you think of any U2 songs circa 1990 that are good to dance to? Me neither. I mean, I like U2 too, don’t get me wrong. But when the dance floor would slowly clear as “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m looking For” started playing and nobody could figure out how to dance  (I mean do you slow-dance or fast-dance? Who knows?)….Let’s just say it was always a little embarrassing to be the only two people left on the dance floor surrounded by people I went to school with every day (Chris didn’t go to the same school). Don’t worry, I’ve recovered.

All that to say, country music just is what it is. There’s not usually any hidden meaning or confusion on how to dance to it. For the most part, I like songs that make me feel good, make me reflect and make me want to cry all at the same time. Here are some of my favorites, in no particular order:

  • Movin’ On – Rascal Flatts
  • Remember When – Alan Jackson
  • El Cerrito Place – Charlie Robison
  • Tonight I Wanna Cry – Keith Urban
  • A Lot of Things Different – Kenny Chesney
  • Boondocks – Little Big Town
  • Someday Soon – Suzy Boggus
  • Anymore – Travis Tritt
  • Hearts in Armor – Trisha Yearwood
  • The Dance – Garth Brooks
  • When I Call Your Name – Vince Gill
  • Shameless – Garth Brooks
  • Whiskey Lullaby – Brad Paisley & Alison Krauss
  • I’m Already There – Lonestar
  • Making Memories of Us – Keith Urban
  • Ghost in This House – Alison Krauss
  • So, how about it? What are your favorite country songs? Give me your top ten or five or only…

A Texas Homecoming

Last Friday night, we got to go to my cousin, Taylor’s homecoming game. It was great. Complete with Grace practicing hard being a statue before the game (?), beautiful weather, tailgating before the game with fried chicken and barbecue, mums that hang the entire length of kids’ bodies, a full moon rising over the newly crowned homecoming king and queen, my kids waving pom-poms and ringing cowbells, the marching band with 350 some odd members (one of which is my cousin, playing the trumpet)….a very fun night.