Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Hey, have a very merry Christmas and remember...
Christmas is not about the presents.
It's about the GIFT!
"Behold a virgin shall conceive....and you shall call his name Jesus and he shall save his people from their sins."
Sunday, December 21, 2008
Friday, December 19, 2008
I am not prone to cussing, but there really is no other way to put it, guys.
You remember my computer is in the shop? Well, the computer at the salon kept telling us there was scary stuff on it and it needed to run this program to get it off... I was scared that the program it was telling me to download was the actual virus, so I didn't do anything; choosing instead to use the scan already on the computer. When we turned the computer on again, a screen said there was an error and a couple of other disquieting bits of information about the chassis fan being too low. (I won't even pretend to know what that means.)
The tech guy is picking it up today to take it to the doctor.
The icing on the cake is, I heard yesterday that our bank said that someone had put malicious software on their online banking site. Guess what? If you do online banking, you got infected too.
Oh joy. (Not quite the type of Christmas joy I was looking for.)
Yesterday I did something drastic. I called the lady who used to clean my house and asked her if she would come over and help me double team the cleaning so maybe I can make a dent in the chaos that has become my house.
We're going in and we're going deep. Somebody send out a search party if you don't hear from me.
Thursday, December 18, 2008
That's the only explanation I can come up with to explain the events that took place that fateful morning.
After my pitiful post, I began the morning routine of getting myself ready for work and trying to encourage our girl to "move it, move it". Because it is unseasonably warm right now, I chose a short sleeved dress for her wearing pleasure.
She didn't want to wear that dress.
Because of the fabulous fit she threw she lost the privilege of making the choice herself. We moved on to socks.
Couldn't find any.
The dryer keeps cutting off and I suspect it has a backlog of lint that needs to be dealt with. Hubby hasn't gotten to that yet. Laundry is piling up. Finally found a pair of socks for her and BONUS! --they matched her outfit.
But alas, the socks were the straw that broke the camel's back and I was on the verge of tears. I was running late and everything seemed to be working against me. My hysterics were escalating as I looked at the clock and hubby's technique to calm me down wasn't working.
I just felt completely overwhelmed.
Worse, in an effort to hurry up my girl a little more, I urged her to run through the house and out the door to the car. In her effort to navigate the hall, dodging dirty clothes piles, she hit her hand on the door frame.
I can honestly tell you that it hurt me more than it hurt her.
I grabbed her up and held her close as I carried her to the car, apologizing profusely and realizing that my effort to control my world and frustration with my failure in doing so was hurting my family.
But wait. There's more. Unbelievable, I know.
I'm still frantic because I'm running late to get my girl to school and meet my first appointment of the day. As I'm driving down the street that parallels my girl's school, I glance across the parking lot and see that the carport area where parents drop off children is blessedly empty. Thank goodness for small favors. However, by the time I round the corner to pull in, there are no less than 4 cars in line.
I was too surprised to cuss, but it would have been so appropriate at this point.
I pull into the parking lot beside the school and think it will be faster to walk her to class myself rather than sit in line (which moves quickly, but...), I look at the line and the teachers efficiently pulling children from cars and decide that the line would be faster after all. But now, I have to wait for someone to let me cut in front of them to get in line myself. So, because my brain has stopped functioning at this point, I changed my mind (again) and decided to park after all. I put the car in reverse looking at my side mirror and seeing nothing, I begin rolling backwards.
Yes I did. I backed into someone.
I got out and beheld one of God's greatest gift to my morning. Hope.
Actually, that's her name.
And--she's one of my clients. Which could have been a terrible thing, considering that I was so embarrassed and at my wit's end that I wanted to crawl under my car and have someone just drive over me at that point and put me out of my misery, but I digress...
Hope and I looked at our bumpers (which were blemish free) and she hugged me laughing about how she was on the phone and her horn wouldn't work. All the time joking with another parent who had witnessed the whole thing. Then she said she needed an appointment for a hair cut.
Finally, (!) I got my girl to school (leaving her escort to her class to the professionals).
I pulled into a parking lot and shed a few tears and prayed thanking God for keeping me safe when I go nuts and asking for the grace it takes to be me.
Later, I found out that the car I thought I would get, fell through when the seller changed his mind about selling it.
Can I just tell you that this was a day I'd just as soon not repeat?
The end. Thank God.
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
On the one hand, I'm super stoked that we have a solid lead on a new(er) vehicle. Because a friend of mine is purchasing it through his dealership at auction, there's the whole "I know what I'm getting, but not the complete specifics". I do love a surprise, so while I know important things like the color and body style and a few other specifics, there is a little mystery left. Makes it feel very Christmasy!
On the other hand, I find myself aggravated at the inconvenience of having one computer. My hubby predominantly uses this computer and while I strive to get up early and do my computer "work", I find him messing up my carefully crafted schedule by arising earlier than expected. This morning the cordless mouse decided it was out of battery juice and many minutes were spent trying to run batteries to earth. Then in the middle of my typing, he wants to open a new window to share with me some music. Bless him.
I have a problem with flexibility. Besides the fact that I can't do a split, my heart chafes at accommodating plans other than the one chiseled on my mind of stone.
I wish I could pull an applicable biblical lesson out of this and tie it up into a pretty package, but I'm to busy wrestling with my thoughts and feelings. I'm fighting to remain gracious and thankful for the fact that (a) we have a spare computer, thus continuing to feed my internet addiction, (b) it was my dear hubby who ultimately unearthed those pesky batteries and as a gesture of love pulled up my email page so I was ready to go. (c) while I've been in here furiously (in the literal sense of the word) typing, he's been in the kitchen loading the dishwasher.
I know, I know.
What do I have to whine about?
Sunday, December 14, 2008
While my hubby was online yesterday, the computer decided to take itself out of this world. Hubby cranked it up again and it's like it remembers nothing we've told it in the past. It has created it's own profile, conveniently forgetting anything we had set up for ourselves.
It's particularly devastating to my photographer hubby and his sentimental wife, because he has most of my girl's life in pictures stored in the memory and now cannot find anything. I do believe he transferred a lot of things off to an external drive (I don't even know what I'm saying--I'm repeating.) but he has to find them and remember if he actually did that. (The computer is not the only one with amnesia...)
Off to the computer hospital it will go on Monday with hopes of a new brain being installed or the old one being accessed. There is talk around here about getting a new computer. Since he does lots of photo editing and it takes up so much memory, we should have one devoted completely to editing and one for internet and personal purposes. I really wish we could have his and her computers. I want one of my own that is free from his idiosyncrasies. (He likes to go in and fiddle with the settings. I've learned a lot through him, but am likely to find things moved around on the computer which causes me to scream: AAAARGH!!! Inside my head of course.)
Thankfully, we do have a spare computer, otherwise I would be in serious withdrawal right about now...
In other news, (is there any?) we are immersing ourselves in Christmas music and decorating the tree today and one particular little girl is lobbying to make sugar cookies.
And that makes life just about perfect.
Thursday, December 11, 2008
I haven't worked out (except once with the trainer) this week because of my coughing fits. It's probably a small loss since I think I cough with my whole body. I woke up this morning and when I coughed I bent double because it awakened every sore muscle in my body. I can't tell if the soreness is prompted from coughing for 3 days solid, or the strength training I did on Tuesday. The trainer had me do lunges with one leg up on the stairs behind me while holding weights. She called it a butt lifter. It's effectiveness is enhanced by the fact that I can't sit down now. Ow. It works.
For those of you closely following the "Coughing Chronicles", (I'm renaming my blog, temporarily) and for those of you who are with me in this coughing gig, I am happy to report that I did not cough at all last night. My secret? Vapor rub. You know, like Vicks. Did you know it is a cough suppressant? Says so right on the label! I shmeared that stuff all over my chest and went to bed. I did not, as a new legend suggests, rub it on my feet. I understand that things are absorbed through the feet, but if you're coughing your head off, why, for the love of Mike, would you put Vicks on your feet?! I figure, let's just go straight to the problem--chest and neck! I'll probably rub some on my chest and go to work. I did that yesterday, but put on a V-neck shirt. Depending on your profession, that might not be a great idea. After cutting a couple of heads of hair, I had a hairy chest...
Maybe I should rub some on my butt....
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
I have thoughts rattling around in my head like that little ball on the brick breaker game on my phone. But I can't seem to lasso any of them into a cohesive sentence of any substance.
I'm enjoying the quiet of the morning but that won't last too much longer. I have to get my girl up and ready for school. I can't seem to type for stopping to warm my hands on my coffee cup. And taking a swig.
I'm trying to immerse myself into the spirit of the season. For me, that means a quiet spirit in the face of frantic activity. I've been enjoying the Christmas music. Especially the standard carols and the Messiah. Can't wait to pull out the album. Yes the round black one that goes on the record player. With all the scratches on it, it sounds like Christmas by the fireside. It's awesome.
We've pulled all the Christmas paraphernalia down from the attic. It seriously needs to be reorganized. I'm trying to refrain. It makes more sense to organize it after I pull it off the tree and put it away again. But I so want to organize it and then put it up. Crazy.
What I want to do is stay home and lay on the couch all day and watch movies or read. All of us are coughing. We sound like a bunch of seals barking. My girl started it, bless her. There's not a whole lot to do for it. Maybe a little cough medicine here and there. Fortunately, we don't seem to feel too badly. Just a little pitiful.
Oh look. It was the reverse.
I had plenty to type and nothing to say.
Sunday, December 7, 2008
I went to see the Vienna Boys Choir on Friday night, kicking off an unheard of two consecutive nights of babysitters and going out with my husband.
Of course, the boy's voices sound like angels. I would like to say that as they began singing, the world as I know it receded and I was transported to another place. In a way that was true. Except that I began wondering about these boys as they stood before me in their sailor style white shirts and impeccable, shiny black shoes.
I'm a mom. It was bound to happen.
I wondered as they sang lyrics in Latin and German, if they actually knew what the lyrics meant or if they had simply learned them as a song. (I certainly didn't know what they were saying but fortunately, their voices are so melodious, I didn't really notice.) I wondered if in their training they had to learn multiple languages. Did their minds wander as they sang these songs?
I wondered how often and long the practices are. I wonder if they fiddle about in their practices whining that they'd rather be playing with their gameboy or other such electronic device?
Most of the boys are from mainly from Austria, but come from many other countries around the world.
How does one get 24 boys to stand still in one spot and do one thing for that long?
Even as focused as they seemed to be on the music, I could still see the impishness of the boys revealed through the occasional rocking of a foot or discreet scratching of the head , a small fidget of the fingers betrayed the fact that although they border on ethereal, they are still, in fact, boys. Not to mention the hair that looked as if they had taken time from their busy schedule of wrestling or napping to sing.
I learned from the program that the Vienna Boys Choir is a modern-day descendant of the boys' choirs of the Viennese Court, dating back to the late Middle Ages. The choir was, for practical purposes, established by a letter written by Maximilian Hapsburg on July 7, 1498.
The role of the choir was to provide musical accompaniment to the church mass. Because of a solid musical education through the choir, many go on to become professional musicians.
The choir is a private, not-for-profit organization composed now of approximately 100 choristers between the ages of ten to fourteen. There are four touring groups which perform about 300 concerts each year in front of almost 500,000 persons.
It really was lovely. I especially loved hearing the older classical Christmas carols. The ones you hear on the radio but never know the name of, like, New Christmas (I find that title hilarious considering it's a 15th century French carol.) and Lo, How a Rose e'er Blooming, again, 15th century. I searched in vain for a youtube clip of the latter, because it was wonderous to hear and I wanted to share it with you.
Friday, December 5, 2008
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
Prepare your oatmeal according to the instructions on the package.
Add about a tablespoon (more or less to your taste) of Smart Balance "butter", a dropper of English Toffee flavored stevia and about half a cup of vanilla soymilk.
I've been looking for a lower calorie version of oatmeal. I tend toward butter, brown sugar and cinnamon.
My new version is definitely a great substitute!
(You can find stevia at your health food store or here's a link to some of the flavored ones I like to use.)
Monday, December 1, 2008
I had a great time visiting my in-laws (brother, sister, mother, nieces and nephew). They are the type people who are very easy to visit. They just absorb you into the family. We ate good food and played some games. Traded recipes. Visited a couple of thrift stores. I gave my sister-in-law a lesson in cutting her guy's hair. She didn't need much help, her hair cuts looked better than some licensed professional's I've seen!
The process of getting up there and back home however...there's just no quick way to do it. On the way up, we made it an hour and a half up the road before we stopped for lunch. Since it was Thanksgiving, Waffle House was the only choice. It's kind of difficult to eat that in the car. (I'm thinking specifically about a 5 year old with a wobbly styrofoam plate balanced on her legs in the back seat) So we opted to sit and eat. After leaving home at about 11 am, we finally arrived at 7 pm. I was pretty proud of my patience about the whole thing.
Coming home was a test of patience,and navigational cunning.
It was a gray, rainy day when we left Sunday. One of those days you wish you didn't have to go anywhere except to bed. With a book. But no. We had to drive umpteen hours home. About thirty minutes from their house traffic slowed to a crawl and stayed that way for a couple of hours. Everyone, it seems, thought it would be a good idea to return home from Thanksgiving holidays on Sunday. Go figure. An hour and a half from home we ran into some construction that made finding our exit a test of observation and reflexes. We missed our turn the first go round, found it the second and by some miracle (certainly not because of well-labeled exits) we landed on the road home.
I "felt" my way home from there as the fog was playing "peek-a-boo" with the car. While there was little traffic, the drive is dark and uninteresting. A great opportunity for road hypnosis and an over active imagination. (Did I just see something on the edge of the darkness?) Finally, we pulled into our driveway, where I attempted to surgically sever the bond between my bottom and the car seat.
But we are safe and I am thankful.
And now I've taken you on a virtual drive of my trip home.
Wore you out didn't it?