Woe is me, and all that jazz

You know how it is when you have so many things to do that you don’t know where to start? And so you don’t start at all? You just sit at your desk, staring into space and humming a mindless tune?

 

While entering this sweepstakes?

 

And this one?

 

And you wait for some sort of ass-kicking fairy to come along and motivate you into accomplishing your to-do list?

 

But you’re really tired from being up late at your eldest’s house, as she puked her guts out with a virulent stomach flu, and while you thoroughly enjoyed diddling your grandbaby so she could rest, you are desperately afraid that your whole family is preparing to be similarly assaulted?

 

And did I mention we’re about to head out of town, so that would be highly inconvenient?

 

Not that we’re going on vacation, mind you. Vacation would imply a measure of leisure. Vacation would mean only one thing to yours truly, and that is: Beach. Ocean. Waves. Surf. Repeat.

 

No, we’re going to house-sit for two very lovely people whilst they go on vacation. My parents. They are going to Wyoming to a family reunion and we are going to hold the fort, as they say, for a few weeks. My parents live on 160 acres in the Middle of the Middle of the Middle of Nowhere.

 

(the rationale is thus: Oklahoma is the Middle of Nowhere. My small town is the Middle of the Middle of Nowhere. Therefore, their very very small town is the Middle of the Middle of the Middle of Nowhere.) 

 

(With no dishwasher.)

 

(Or internet connection of any reliability.)

 

Not that it will be bereft of enjoyment, by any means. Some things on my to-do list while we are there:

  • Watch the sun rise
  • Breathe deeply
  • Lie in the grass
  • Watch the sun set

 

In between washing dishes by hand, that is.

 

If there ever IS anything between that.

 

I’m not sure there will be.

 

All this to say: I will be gone for a few weeks. Probably not back until after July 4th. So Happy Independence Day! And I will miss you. But hopefully when I return I’ll have lots of tales to share of catching fireflies and fishing and watching sunsets and not so much on the holding puke-bowls and doubling over with stomach cramps.

 

Assuming my fingers are not too wrinkly to type.

Grand Finale Giveaway!

Without further ado, let me hasten to announce the final and fabulous conclusion to my Giveaway Week.

 

I know I have mentioned my dear little Sister-In-Law, Becca, a time or two in the past. She is one of those irritating enviable people who seem to be able to do just about anything crafty.

 

She sewed Rose’s wedding dress.

 

(I cannot believe I don’t have a picture on-hand of the BACK of said dress…it is a beautiful, lace-up job)

 

 

She baked Rose’s wedding cake.

 

 

 

 

And then, ten months later, she made Rose’s adorable baby shower invitations.

 

(click to see full-size)

 

As you might have guessed, if you happen to have the phenomenal good fortune to be related to Becca, you would find there is very little she can’t and won’t do for you, many times going above and beyond all reasonable expectation.

 

For years we have exclaimed over Becca’s prodigious talent and pondered the ramifications of her sharing it with the world. Although we’d like to be selfish and keep all she has to offer for our ownty-own, she went and spoiled all that.

 

She started a business. Complete with website.

 

So now you, too, can enjoy all the wealth of talent that is Becca! Do you need something sewn or knitted or fabricated or imagined or baked or stamped or crafted for you?

 

She’s your gal.

 

IF you have the staggering good fortune to live in her area (Dallas/Ft. Worth), then you could ask her to bake you a cake for a special occasion. Her cakes–take it from me–not only look absolutely lovely, but taste divine as well.

 

If you do not live in the DFW area, despair not! She has much more to offer than just cakes. Check out her website, Pish Posh, and see for yourself. Perhaps you would like some unique Christmas stockings for the family? Or a darling little dolly bed set?

 

One of my absolute favorite items that Becca can craft is the soldered glass charm. She made this one just for me a while back, and I love it beyond all reason.

 

 

 

Right now, due to an unfortunate happenstance with her harddrive, her inventory of pre-made designs has been lost. However, if you have an idea for something you would like, shoot her an email and I KNOW she can accomodate. If you have a favorite photo to incorporate, or a scripture or saying, let her take it and run with it.

 

And that brings us to this giveaway. Becca has agreed to create a lovely beachy charm necklace for the winner! I requested something involving shells, and she has an incredible product that I can’t wait to see.

 

And why am I waiting (and waiting…and waiting…waiting with anxious, bated breath) to see it?

 

The weather.

 

Yes.

 

Becca happens to live in the very area in DFW that has been experiencing a power-outage since last night. Which means she cannot log on. Which means she cannot email me a picture of the charm.

 

Although this is unorthodox, I’m going to go ahead and start the bidding festivities because I KNOW YOU TRUST ME when I tell you the charm necklace is going to be the bomb.  And I promise to post a picture of it just as SOON as I have it in my grubby little computery hands.

 

SO. Head on over to Pish-Posh, come back and tell me one thing that you’d like to clutch to your bosom and cover with kisses, and you’ll be entered to win. AND just for enduring the cloak and dagger routine, we’re going to let the winner have a set of beautiful beachy cards to boot.

 

UPDATED TO ADD LONG-AWAITED PICTURES!

 

Did I tell you it would be worth the wait, friends?

 

Did I PROMISE GREATNESS???

 

Yes. Yes, I did.

 

And can I just say that even though I KNEW it would be great; even though I am ACCUSTOMED to Becca blowing my socks off; even though I was ANTICIPATING nothing less than perfection, I WAS STILL MAD WITH DELIGHT WHEN I SAW WHAT SHE HAD WROUGHT?

 
(the fronts)

 

(the backs)

 

I shrieked, my friends. I shrieked. And then I hugged myself with pleasure and ran around in tight circles, cackling with glee. Are they not sublime? Heavenly? Yes, that is indeed a pinch of actual beach sand contained within the tiny square, by the way. Sand from Gulf Shores, Alabama, I believe.

 

I hope you love them as much as I do. If you don’t I’ll just keep them, yessiree. No problemo what.so.ever.

 

But if you have not yet left a comment after visiting Becca’s site, I would advise you to do so right this minute. This contest will close at midnight tonight, along with the previous three!

 

Winners for ALL the giveaways will be selected Saturday morning via Random.org, and posted without further histrionics!

Because I Know You Want To Know

A fun little meme borrowed from Prairie Chick approximately a million years ago…

 

I am…not as old as I feel.

 

I want…to write a bestseller.

 

I have…issues.

 

I wish… I was brilliant.

 

I know… I am loved.

 

I hate… my fears.

 

I fear… heartache.

 

I hear… Mini chasing her ball.

 

I crave… THE OCEAN.

 

I search… for God.

 

I always… know I shouldn’t take life for granted.

 

I usually… take life for granted.

 

I am not… patient.

 

I miss… THE OCEAN.

 

I love… THE OCEAN. (wait. is there a trend here?)

 

I never… turn down a chocolate chip cookie.

 

I rarely… think a movie is “just okay”.

 

I cry… in private.

 

I lose… perspective.

 

I should… eat more fruit.

 

I worry… about being disliked.

 

I dream… of a crunchy granola life.

 

I was… looking through drafts when I decided to do this. Feel free to borrow (and tell me if you do so I can come and look)!

Some thoughts on taking extended bloggy hiatuses

Hiatuses? Hiati? Hiatia? Hiatial?

 

Anyway.

 

Where did I ever find the time for this blogging business? How was it that my many small offspring were not wandering the streets, naked and tear-stained, begging for scraps, while I blogged my little heart out?

 

And what about now? Now that I have had two months of NON-bloggage? Shouldn’t I have written a couple of novels? Maybe an opera or symphony or something? Engineered a cure for tennis elbow? Solved the problem of the gigantic floating raft of plastic in the Pacific?

 

Sadly, no.

 

I have, however, logged some serious grandson-cuddling hours. And baked a few birthday cakes. And took a few nature walks. And breathed in and out, deeply.

 

It has been really good to quiet the running blog-commentary in my head for a while. That crap is really annoying sometimes. And to take pictures simply because, hey, I wanted to, not because I felt compelled to plaster them on the internet later, with captions.

 

Still haven’t figured out what I want from this little forum, but I have at least decided to continue, albeit in a much more scaled-back form. Frankly, I need a brain-dump site. Sort of like Dumbledore’s penseive; I simply don’t have room in my mind for all the daily flotsam that I’d like to remember.

 

Some of that flotsam is pretty important, I’ve learned.

 

So here I am, and if anybody is left reading, I am humbly grateful. I’ll keep hashing out my soul’s wranglings for my own insight, but talking to someone besides myself is always nice.

 

And now, some pictures. Complete with captions, from the last couple of months.

 

Because old habits die hard.

First, there was this delightful creature, who came along after a verymuch extremely grueling labor and delivery (remind me to tell you about it sometime)…

 

who turned these two lovely people into a family…

 

for which some of us are extremely grateful…

while others are still reserving their opinion…

And then there were birthdays (Jordan, left: 13-mine; Ian, right: 13-my sister’s)

And more birthdays…(Tasha turned 10)…

And more birthdays….(who, me?  Turning One?)…

Awesome!!

Cowboy X cupcakes…

Demolished unceremoniously…

He has the most ridiculous eyelashes ever for a blonde baby of one year…

But anyway, back to the birthdays…(Emma, now quite elderly at 7yrs)…

Girl + 7 years old = horsey birthday party theme…

The Mona Lisa turned 18…

 

But it hasn’t ALL been birthdays…we also did some of this…

 

 

Which is pretty awesome…

And some of this…

 

And this…

And this.

 

Which brings me to the end of this ridiculously long hi, howyadoin, I’m back post.

 

What have you been up to?

Rom-Com Heaven

I’ve been having SO much fun reading the favorite romantic comedies listed in my comments that I just can’t stand it. I have responses to your responses, and it chafes that you’re not here, in the flesh, to converse with me. I have a tendency to get more than a little animated when discussing movies, so if you can imagine me waving my arms about while talking far too loudly, quoting lines by the dozens and laughing maniacally over scenes remembered, then you can just pretend you ARE here, and aren’t we having a wonderful time? Can I get you some milk and cookies?

 

 

 

Or perhaps something along these lines?

 

 

You’re welcome! Gadzooks, I have such a hankering for chips and guacamole now.

 

Where was I? Oh yes, we were discussing movies. I must say, I love romantic comedies, but it doesn’t take much to turn me off. For one thing, I don’t want hot and steamy. I think the most romantic kiss in the history of movie making was the one between Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr on the cruise ship, when all you saw was their legs on the staircase. Who knew that calves could convey so much passion? I knew exactly what they were doing, and it was highly satisfactory.

 

My point is, my imagination is alive and well and it doesn’t need any help, thankyouverymuch. In many cases I am liable to recoil in horror from the super-close-up of lips mashed together, not to mention I have an abhorrence for the slurping noises that usually accompany such a scene. Anticipation is an art that Hollywood seems to have mostly forgotten in their pell-mell race to raise debauchery to new heights.

 

Was I ranting? Oops, I think I was. This is not what this post was supposed to be about! It’s a good thing you guys have refreshments.

 

I was excited to see so many old friends in your lists of favorite rom-coms. I found myself nodding in agreement and cackling with approval. I even made a list of all the movies that were offered, and separated it into categories.

 

Heading the list (thus far) is a tie between My Big Fat Greek Wedding, and You’ve Got Mail. They both had fourteen (14) “votes”. Now, MBFGW is definitely a favorite around here. So many quotable quotes (“It was my twin” comes immediately to mind). Strangely enough, although I saw You’ve Got Mail when it was released, I don’t remember a single thing about it.

 

Ditto number two on the list, Sleepless in Seattle (10 shout-outs). I know I saw it, but I’m drawing a blank except for the fact that I think I found the son annoying in some fashion. I’m sorry. I’m sure this is a deficiency on the part of my emotional makeup in some way. 

 

The rest of the list I broke up into the following categories:

 

Movies That Make Me So Positively Giddy with Joy That I Bought Them Without Hesitation

  • Hope Floats (2 votes)
  • While You Were Sleeping (7 votes…Bill Pullman’s puppy dog eyes were in their prime)
  • Hitch (2 votes)
  • Sabrina (2 votes)
  • Wedding Singer (Julia Gulia?)
  • Notting Hill (4 votes…it’s not yoghurt. It’s mayonnaise)
  • French Kiss (luckily the title of this movie did not prevent me from watching it, as then I would have missed out on the brilliance that is Kevin Kline playing a French man named Luc)
  • Stranger Than Fiction (Aren’t you glad to know you’re not a golum?)
  • Kate and Leopold (2 votes…Fresh, Creamery Butter)
  • Stardust
  • Ten Things I Hate About You (Remove head from sphincter, then drive! Shakespeare would have loved that line)
  • Ever After (4 votes)
  • Always

 

Movies That I Meant to Buy Because They Made Me Giddy With Joy, but Then Forgot To Buy Them and Now Feel A Great Urgency to Buy Them So That I Can Watch Them According to My Whim 

  • Joe Vs. The Volcano (3 votes)
  • 27 Dresses (Katherine Heigl and James Marsden are absolute gold together)
  • So I Married An Axe Murderer (he’ll be crying himself to sleep tonight, on his huge pillow)
  • IQ (It was like death! But in a good way!)

 

Rom-Com Movies That Transcend the Rom-Com Genre and Become Something Entirely Too Sublime To Pigeonhole; Buy Them Now

  • Emma (Starring Jeremy Northam. And a few extras)
  • Pride and Prejudice (BBC version)
  • Sense and Sensibility
  • Much Ado About Nothing
  • An Affair to Remember

 

Movies That I was Afraid To Watch Because of, You Know, The Kissing Thing…But I’m Sure They are Fine Movies In Their Own Right

  • Shakespeare in Love
  • Love, Actually
  • Bridget Jones Diary

 

Movies that Made Me Throw Up A Little (I’m sorry! I’m sorry! It’s that deficiency thing again!)

  • Sweet Home Alabama
  • How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days
  • A Walk In the Clouds
  • The Notebook
  • Jerry McGuire

 

Movies That I Didn’t Like Because I Couldn’t Get Past the Abortion Element

  • Dirty Dancing

 

Movies That I’ve Never Watched Because I Couldn’t Get Past The Prostitution Element

  • Pretty Woman (but okay…I never thought of it as a redemption story…I’m still mulling that over)

 

Movies That Are Musicals and Therefore Not Rom-Coms

  • Seven Brides For Seven Brothers
  • Hello Dolly
  • Holiday Inn
  • Grease

 

Meh

  • Runaway Bride
  • The Wedding Planner
  • An American President
  • Two Weeks Notice
  • Groundhog Day (sorry, Mom. I just never quite got it)
  • Cinderella Story
  • 50 First Dates

 

Movies That I Did Not Watch Because The Poster Art Irritated Me

  • Failure To Launch

 

Movies That Made Me Sad Instead of Giddy and Therefore Failed to Maintain Their Rom-Com Status

  • Benny and Joon

 

Oldies That I’m Sure Are Goodies But I Never Saw Them So I Will Take Your Word For It

  • My Favorite Wife
  • Some Like It Hot
  • Bringing Up Baby
  • How To Steal A Million
  • Creator
  • The Shop Around The Corner
  • It Happened One Night
  • Roman Holiday
  • Annie Hall
  • Send Me No Flowers
  • Lover Come Back
  • Pillow Talk

 

Movies That I Honestly Had No Idea Were Rom-Coms. Are You Sure They Are?

  • Mr. Holland’s Opus
  • Captain Ron
  • Father Of the Bride
  • The Ghost and Mr. Chicken
  • Robin Hood: Men In Tights
  • The Quiet Man

 

Movies That I Have Never, Ever Heard Of On Planet Earth

  • The Legend of 1900
  • But I’m A Cheerleader

 

So there you have it. I am always interested in how a small thing can make a person love a movie, and how much depends upon who you see it with, your mood at the time, and whether the milk duds were stale or not. Case in point: The Pirate Movie. Completely idiotic, but I love it. All because it takes me back to a place in my mind when things were slightly less All My Responsibility.  

 

Are there any Rom-Coms that you’re looking forward to seeing? I’ve been wondering about New In Town. Can anyone tell me if it’s worth the bucks?

I Can Haiku, Can You Haiku?

Shannon is having a haiku contest over at her place, and I swore I wouldn’t enter because haikus just aren’t my thing, but as soon as I knew about the contest, I’ll be buggared if my brain didn’t just start whirring away trying to come up with something. All day long as I went about my business there was a little 5-7-5 drumbeat in my head, trying to stuff my copious verbal wardrobe into the tidy suitcase of brevity that is the haiku.

 

The contest is supposed to be about resolutions, or lack thereof, or something relating to the New Year and our feelings about it (I had no idea there could be so many haikus written regarding one’s weight). It was fun reading through them and I highly recommend it, as well as trying your own hand at the ancient poetic form. Shannon’s got a heck of a prize package, should you tickle her fancy and become a winner.

 

I don’t think I stand a chance, but I still wanted to share here what I wrote. In light of my less-than-transcendent week back at the homeschooling helm, I wanted to remind myself of a few truths, and this is what I came up with:

 

Damn the torpedos!
Full-steam ahead, I careen;
Life is to be lived! 

 

Okay, okay, so it has a naughty word in it. Somehow, “Darn the torpedos” just didn’t have enough oomph.

 

On another note, did you know that it was national de-lurking week? I didn’t, until Heidi enlightened me (thanks, Heidi!). This means that you, the readers of this here bloggola, even if you’re visiting for the first time and have no plans to ever return, have a LEGAL OBLIGATION to come out of lurkdom right now.

 

 

Okay so it’s not a LEGAL obligation, but have I mentioned in the last five minutes or so what a draining week I’ve had? And it’s not even over yet? And how much your comment (yes, you there! the one trying to sneak out the back door! come baaaaack! pretty please?) would work like a shaft of sunshine into my very soul?

 

Fine, if you’d rather not, I understand. I won’t cry.

 

Much.