Thursday, August 31, 2006


School teachers are regularly coming in my stores buying things for their classrooms. I've marveled at their artistic creations, more specifically the artistic creations they take to their classroom.

Yesterday while a lady was checking out, she was telling me in detail what she was going to do with her students with the purchase she was making.

As she spoke my mind wandered off to many years ago when no one brought my creativity out of hiding. I always got a C in creativity, and have since carried hostility in my heart that they gave me a C without ever trying to tap into what was hiding, or teaching me to be more creative.

Like a basket case, I mentioned this to her and she listened sympathetically. I stared into space and in my mind went one by one through my teachers recognizing afresh how they failed me.

I was snapped back to the present when she kindly said, "Don't you want to take this money?"

Startled, I replied, "I am so sorry. I got caught up in my own pain."

She smiled.



Someone asked if my kids write notes of their own volition or if I ask them to make notes. Well, they are writers, each one of them. They've seen Gordon and me writing all their little lives and I think that is why they do the same. They make lists, write notes, diaries, and occasionally they write prayers.

Sunday in church I read over Deborah's shoulder as she wrote this note. It said, "Dear God i am a sonor will you forgive me. I beleve tha Jesus is youronly son. I ask you to come into my hart. your so powifl." Below this prayer she drew a picture of her facing Jesus and walking toward him.

Labels: ,

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Tea Bags

Up until a few hours ago, I was suffering writer's block. I talked to my Aunt Jill. She is my steady source of encouragement, always understanding my insecurities and abnormalities. She can talk me through my every crisis with great skill and wisdom. Since she poured loads of compliments and encouragement into my depleted reservoir of creativity, I've been staggering under the load of memories. I've been chuckling all evening about one thing or another. Everyone needs an "Aunt Jill" in their life.

Awhile ago I made myself a cup of chamomile tea. Every time I have this grassy-smelling tea, I am taken back to the first time I tasted it. I always get a picture in my mind of all the surrounding events and can't help but smile.

I was in New Braunfels, Texas, staying with my sister Diane and her husband Herbie. Diane and I had never known much of anything but iced Nestea or Lipton tea, made from leaves, not tea bags.

Diane was a young homemaker striving to implement healthy habits in her family. We visited a health food store and the knowledgeable proprietor recommended Chamomile tea. "It's a lightly flavored tea; very refreshing and relaxing. A cup in the evening will help you sleep better," she said.

Diane and I were about as familiar with hot tea as we were with tea bags. After the purchase we anticipated our evening cuppa tea. When supper dishes were finished, Diane boiled our water and placed the tea bags in our mugs of water. The three of us sat on the sofas to bask in the refreshing, relaxing experience of an evening cup of tea.

After the tea had steeped sufficiently, we each brought the tea to our lips. Ever aware of how much it smelt like a hay field, we tried to ignore the thought. We sipped with anticipation.

Silence. No one spoke.

We took another sip. With creased eyebrows, Diane said, "She wasn't kidding, it IS a light taste."

We took another sip, frowning. It was earthy, yet really weak, and we assumed that was what the lady in the store had meant by "light."

Just as I was about to voice my disgust, Herbie leaned up and sat his tea on the coffee table. He spoke slowly, softly, and thoughtfully. "When you make tea," he said as he brought his tea bag out of the water, "it's always a good idea to take the wrapper off."

Yes, our tea bags were still in their wrappers.

Labels: ,

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Labels: ,

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Making Hay While the Sun Shines

This is a busy week for me. My girls are spending the week with Gordon's sister. They've never done this before so we are excited about the opportunity for them. While they are gone, I'm getting tons of stuff done. Yesterday I cleaned Deborah's and Hannah's Bedroom. Deborah has been the untidy one all her life. She wants to save everything. Hannah keeps a tidy room, but woe is he who opens her closet or dresser drawers.

I spent 5 - 6 hours on their bedrooms. I cleaned drawers, closets, mirrors, windows, washed walls and floors. I collected 2 bags of garbage and 1 1/2 bags to take to Goodwill. It was an enormously productive day (albeit disgusting at times).

While cleaning I found notes. They quickly brought smiles to my face.

From Deborah to Hannah, I found:

"I love you I'm glad your my sister and your nise to me. Love Deborah"

After Hannah told Deborah she was ugly, she wrote this note:

"Dear Deborah, I am sorry about the things I told you. I didn't think I would hurt your feelings. I didn't think you would cry. I think you are very very lovely because you are my sister and you are made by God. Love Hannah"

Then I found a note from Hannah and Rachael made for Gordon and me. It is all decorated with camp symbols. It read: "Thank you for paying the money to go to Gull Lake Camp. It was fun. Rachael and I made new friends and loved our cabin leaders. Love, Hannah and Rachael"

Even cleaning bedrooms, I had to smile appreciatively at my little girls and their sweet ways.

Today I'll clean Rachael's room. Her's will be quick and easy, I think.

Labels: , , ,

Thursday, August 17, 2006

A Humpless Giraffe

At work last night, a lady brought a giraffe up to pay for it. She kept calling it a camel. My co-worker said, "This is a giraffe, see, it doesn't have a hump."

The customer said, "Oh, it's humpless."

I chimed in at that point, "Poor thing."

Looking at the giraffe, the customer responded, "Yeah, sucks to be you."

Labels: ,

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Jobs and Bras

I've mentioned before that I wish everyone stayed current on their blogs. So my apologies for being lax with mine. I got a second job. I didn't want to tell just in case it turned into something like my cake-decorating debacle. It too is only a few hours a week, - those are the best jobs as far as I'm concerned. But even working a meager 20 hours a week total, I'm left struggling to stay up-to-date with my blog. Hopefully that difficulty will subside as I get use to this new routine.

Now about my new job: I got a job at a quaint fabric store. It is close to my house and they let me choose my hours. It's much more "me" than my other job. My creative juices are always flowing and I love it. As far as fabric stores go, this is a large one and it's nearly void of all modern technology. (It reminds me of Rephans from my childhood.) As you may have guessed it's disorganized and inefficient and that makes me feel very valuable. I love going to work because I know when I leave, the store will be a bit more organized.

The best part of the job is my 40% discount and a $40 project allowance each month. To capitalize on that allowance, I have to display my project at the store for a month before I bring it home. But hey, I can do that.

Yesterday a lady came in and requested "boning." I'd never heard of boning so I asked what it was for and she replied with an edge, "to hold my tits up." At that point she had my undivided attention. If there was something in that store that would hold my "tits" up, (and that I'd get for 40% off) I wanted to know about it.

With the assistance of another worker, we were led to the boning. I was sorely disappointed to find it was basically the idea of an underwire bra.

I don't "do" underwire bras and here's why:

It was years ago. I was wearing an underwire bra that lifted and separated quite beautifully. I admit, I looked great. :-)

A man came into my office to do some work on the building and as we discussed what he would be doing, we realized I needed to get something from another building on the property. I ran both ways.

When I returned, his and my relationship had changed. He stared awkwardly at my chest and I grew really uncomfortable. I tried to be poised and graceful, but not without emotional duress.

He needed a check so I went to my desk. As I bent over to get the checkbook out of a drawer, my chin rubbed against something. I looked down at my chest and to my horror saw one of the underwires protruding about 5 inches from my red sweater.

What would you have done? What would Ms Vanderbilt, etiquette guru, have done? I wish I knew. I however pulled the wire the rest of the way out and dropped it in the trash can as if it was a piece of lint.

When I handed him the check our eyes met again. He was trying to conceal the fact that he was about to die laughing. I was trying to keep my hot cheeks from bursting into flames right then and there.

That, my friends, is why I don't do underwire bras.

Labels: , ,

Monday, August 07, 2006

An Elderly Woman

In a trial, a Southern small-town prosecuting attorney called his first witness, a grandmotherly, elderly woman to the stand. He approached her and asked, "Mrs. Jones, do you know me? She responded, "Why, yes, I do know you, Mr. Williams. I've known you since you were a young boy, and frankly, you've been a big disappointment to me. You lie, you cheat on your wife, and you manipulate people and talk about them behind their backs. You think you're a big shot when you haven't the brains to realize you never will amount to anything more than a two-bit paper pusher. Yes, I know you."

The lawyer was stunned! Not knowing what else to do, he pointed across the room and asked, "Mrs. Jones, do you know the defense attorney?" She again replied, "Why, yes, I do. I've known Mr. Bradley since he was a youngster, too. He's lazy, bigoted, and he has a drinking problem. He can't build a normal relationship with anyone and his law practice is one of the worst in the entire state. Not to mention he cheated on his wife with three different women. One of them was your wife. Yes, I know him." The defense attorney almost died.

The judge asked both counselors to approach the bench and, in a very quiet voice said, "If either of you idiots asks her if she knows me, I'll send you to the electric chair."

Labels: ,

Sunday, August 06, 2006

The Projects

We have a very expensive neighborhood nearby. It is truly a notch above most every neighborhood one can imagine. In the middle of a circle among the houses there is a large fountain. It is a public fountain, but I imagine it irks the wealthy when we mere mortals go and play there.

Tonight after the girls had played there for awhile, Gordon called them. When they looked up, I said, "Time for us to head home to the projects."

I was amused with myself to be sure.

PS By "projects" I meant government housing. Of course we don't live in government housing, I was making a joke about the differential in our homes.


Another Gordon Quip

We have an oddity in our family. Occasionally when we are in a quiet neighborhood we don't frequent often, the kids are inclined to get out and run on the sidewalks. They make a game of trying to stay ahead of us. I admit it sounds kind of weird.

Tonight as we were doing this, we passed a couple of leisurely pedaling bicyclists. They looked at the girls and looked at us and appeared to be puzzled by the girls running beside our slow-moving van. We had the windows down and were moving very slowly, hardly any faster than the bicyclist. As we were even with them, Gordon quipped, "Just out running the kids."


a quick funny

Tonight as we were driving around, we made a corner and Gordon left the turn signal on. Impatient for him to turn it off, I tersely said, "Blinker."

He quickly retorted, "Mouth."

Did that make you smile?

Labels: ,

Splashin' in the Rain

Deborah's friends spashing in the rain. Can you tell it's raining?

Deborah is my social butterfly and thinks life isn't complete if she doesn't have friends over.

Labels: ,

my little garden spot

It's humble, I know, but I still love it. Bessie is my cow. Once I came to terms with probably never having my own little farm, I got Bessie. As far as cows go, she's low maintenance.

Labels: ,

From where I sit

Isn't the view from my porch lovely? I sure appreciate it.

Labels: ,

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Deborah and Raspberries

"Dear Mom Im sorry I went to pic razbures with out your permichun. Will you forgive me cirle yes or no. Love Deborah"

In the lane behind the house our neighbors have raspberries galore. The girls pick them often, but aren't supposed to go there without telling me their intentions. Deborah went without getting permission and this is the subsequent note. As you can tell, we write notes a lot around here.

Labels: ,