Monday, November 28, 2011

First fire fail

Today it was about 45 degrees here and drizzly.  I was sitting on the couch working on a Christmas present that needs to get finished when I decided that today was the day for First Fire.

Usually the first fire of the season in our fireplace includes Daryl, but I made the selfish decision to start one while I was home alone.  I deserved it, after all.  It was cold and wet outside and I had several hours of smocking to get done.

So I wadded up some old newspaper, put the newspaper under my stack of wood, struck a match, lit the paper....

And watched the house fill with smoke.  

There was one major detail that I forgot about -- we haven't taken the top off of the chimney.  It isn't something I can do by myself because it is terribly dangerous and I leave all of those dangerous things to Daryl.  First you get a ladder to get on the roof, then you get a ladder to get on a higher roof, then you take a heavy lid from the top of the chimney.  Obviously not something I could do quick enough to save myself from the smoke.

Oh, well.  

I opened the back door and the kitchen window to air out the house, got the house good and chilly and turned up the heater.

First fire has been postponed!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

A lesson in love

picture taken by Abbie
Happy Birthday, Sweet Bennett!

Bennett has taught me a great love lesson.  

Before he came into my life all of my children and grandchildren  were genetically related to me.   I love them all unconditionally and fully and with all my heart.  When I knew that Bennett would be joining us, I loved him immediately, but wondered how that love would feel.  Would it be a different kind of love?  

Nope.  It is the same.  I love him the same as I love Jonathan, Lily, Daniel and Bella.  I love him unconditionally, fully, and with all my heart.  

I love all of these little people, not because they might possibly have my eye color or bone structure, but because God brought us together to love each other. 

What a blessing!    

Saturday, November 19, 2011

The Barbie wall

When I was in Oklahoma earlier this year we visited an art museum.  After looking through their beautiful exhibit of Bibles, we looked through the gift shop.  Instead of buying some sort of momento of the Bible exhibit, I bought a Barbie calendar.  That probably says something amount my maturity level.

This was no ordinary calendar, though.  It was very large, 14x18, and printed on heavy card stock.  Each month has a different drawing of Barbie in an evening gown.  When I saw the calendar, I knew it had to come home with me and go on the wall in my newly repainted pink guest room.

Thanks to Hobby Lobby having their frames half price this week I got 12 simple black frames and Daryl and I put them on the wall this morning.

It is as beautiful as I thought it would be.  My pictures aren't too great, but the wall itself looks lovely!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Lessons from boot far

1.  Boot camp is hard.  Tough.  Killer.

2.  I really like exercising with my friends.  When I think I can't do one more push up, I look over to Cheryl, or Abbie, or Jenah, and sometimes I see them struggling, too.  That keeps me going.  More often, though, I see them just doing it.  That keeps me going, too.  As hard as it is, and as red as our faces get, and as nauseated as we feel sometimes, we keep laughing.  Sometimes we laugh because that is better than crying.  We laugh because we feel so silly and awkward, but  I think we mostly laugh because we are having fun.

3.  My days have been so much more fulfilling to me since I started the boot camp and it is because first thing in the morning I am doing the thing I want to do least.  When I used to exercise on my own I would find something, anything else to do before I exercised.  Boot camp is over at 6:30am and then my day really begins.  I've done the hardest thing, and feel good about myself all day.  Some days around noon or so I think my old thought, "I really need to get some exercise in today", and then I realize that I have already had a one hour killer workout.  It makes me happy with myself.

4.  Boot camp is only two days a week so on the other days I have committed to myself that I will jog.  Since we live in the country, I can look silly without caring!  When I listen to We Live by Superchick I can lift my hands in the air when they sing, "Life is such a gift, so how does the story end, well this is your story and it all depends.  So don't let it become true, get out and do what we were meant to do!"  When I listen to YMCA by The Village People  I can make the Y, the M, the C, the A with my arms.  And did you know that the lyrics say, "No man does it all by himself.  Young man put your pride on the shelf"? That's me -- exercise with some friends and look stupid without caring!

5.  When it comes to exercise I have been too easy on myself.  I will get winded, or sore, or weak, or tired and I will quit.  I should expect more of my body.  What might have been easy at 25 years old is really tough here at 50, but tough certainly doesn't mean impossible.  Generally, I push myself pretty hard to accomplish the results I want, but when it comes to staying in shape, I have made excuses.  I know that boot camp is a step in the right direction, though.  I am under no delusion that I will keep this up, but now I know that I can do more than I was expecting of myself.

A new session starts on January 2nd.  Anyone else want to join us?

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

A moment in time

I love this picture!

While Daryl and his brother and sisters were putting together a slide show for their parents we realized that it would be great to have a picture of Beau and Joy with their 5 great-grandchildren.  Since we all go to church together, it seemed like the best time to snap the shot would be on a Sunday morning.

Well.... you know how some Sunday mornings just don't go very smoothly?  This was one of those Sundays for the two-year-old people in our family.  First, we tried to get a shot with just the kids, Pappy, and JoJo.  But, no luck.  No amount of silliness and jumping from Minnie could convince them to sit on the couch.  They needed their parents that day.

Then, Abbie had the best idea -- everyone get in the picture.  She handed her camera to me, and before anyone could fall apart, I snapped this picture.

The only thing that might make someone wonder what was going on is Bennett's turned head.  He just wanted to watch the fun!  

This may be one of my favorite pictures ever.  The few minutes before the shot was crazy, hectic, please sit on the couch, why are you sad, everyone smile, "LOOK AT MINNIE"!  Then you have this split second in time.  

I love these people!

Monday, November 14, 2011

The wasp

(Gary Larson cartoon)

Today while I was driving around Montgomery I was stopped behind a Nissan Maxima at a red light.  A wasp was flying around the back window of the car, trying desperately to get out and the driver seemed oblivious.  

As we pulled away from the light I noticed how unconcerned he was about the angry wasp.  He carefully pulled out into the crossroad after looking both ways and drove fairly slowly right in front of me.  When he sped up a little I couldn't see the wasp anymore, but I was certain I was about to see the car start moving erratically around the road.

That didn't happen, though.  We got to another red light, I still saw the wasp in the back window, and was curious about how he couldn't hear the buzzing sound that mad wasps make.  As he pulled away from this light it occurred to me that he might have his music too loud to hear the danger.  When he moved to the right lane and I passed him, I could hear the boom-boom of the bass in his car.  He was clueless.

I tried to think if I knew any sign language that I could have used to let a stranger know that he was about to get stung, but I don't.  At the next light I turned left, he turned right.

The end.

Friday, November 11, 2011

My kind of popcorn

I have heard people from Oklahoma to Pennsylvania say that the colors this fall are some of the prettiest they have ever seen.  It is the same way here in Alabama.  No one travels to our wonderful state to go on a Fall Foliage Tour, but they could!  We are past the peak, but I am awestruck every time I step out my door.  This picture is SOOC - no touch-ups at all - and just look at the brilliant color!  (Just thought I would throw in some camera talk.  SOOC=straight out of the camera.  That is the extent of my camera lingo and I felt the need to use it.)

In our little part of the world there are several types of trees that have pretty colors in the fall, but none any more beautiful than the popcorn trees.  Such a better name than Chinese Tallow, don't you think?

This morning I celebrated 11:11:11, 11/11/11.

Not really.  I wouldn't know how to celebrate a time of day that has no significance to me.  But numbers and time are interesting to me for some reason.  My birthday is on October 3 and almost everyday I see 10:03 on the clock.  Why is that?  And sometimes I almost can't keep myself from noticing people's license plates and saying the numbers to myself.  Okay, that sounds crazy enough that I think I should stop sharing.

Enjoy your weekend!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011


I have a new clothesline!  Something so simple, yet so perfect for me.  I like the smell of sheets fresh from the line, I like their crisp feel.  I like the energy conservation of saving that one dryer-load.  I like that I can see the breeze by watching the clothes sway.

It would be difficult for me to name one inanimate object that gives me as much joy as a clothesline.

Many years ago, when we had children in diapers, we chose not to buy a dryer.  The decision was a financial one:  save money by not purchasing the dryer and save money by not using the electricity to run it.  Almost every day I had a line full of diapers, drying in the sun.  Sometimes being softened by a rain shower.  Sometimes freezing before they dried.  Many days our clothes smelled like we had just returned from a camp fire because of the smoke from our chimney.  Some days, unfortunately, cows would linger along the fence row beside the clothesline and we would smell like cattle ranchers.  Mostly, though, the clothes were just fresh, and crisp, and smelled like sunshine.

My life became a little easier when we gave up our pioneer ways and bought a dryer.  Today when I hang sheets outside, it isn't a financial decision.  It might have a little to do with 'saving the planet' :), but mostly I hang the sheets outside because of one thing:

It makes me happy.

Friday, November 4, 2011

The fall outside my window

Here is our view looking out the window above the kitchen sink.  This was yesterday afternoon when it was a little rainy, a little breezy.

Kind of makes me want to wash dishes.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

I've been a little busy....

I'm sure you have been asking, "What's new, Cindy?"  Well, here I am to fill you in!

Don't get too excited.

I have done a little sewing.  I love the sewing space I have carved out of our dining room.  This room was once two rooms, a dining room and a living room.  Years ago before we lived here, JoJo had the wall taken down and it is such a wonderful space now.  There are windows on each end and this is the brightest room in the house.  Then, a couple of years ago, I decided that it seemed like a shame to only use the room when we needed the dining table.  At the time I wondered if I would mind the sewing clutter, but I don't at all.  I try to keep it as neat as possible and the colors of the yarn and fabric give me a little burst of happy when I glance them.

This room has been red for many years now.  I'm considering a change.  Just wanted to warn anyone out there who thinks that the room should be forever red.  I am still taking input from all sources, though. :)

And speaking of the dining room, I refinished the top of our dining table.  I'll post more about that when I get the buffet finished.

Last Saturday night I was just minding my own business when Abbie asked me if I wanted to do a boot camp with her and one of her friends.  Without even doing much soul-searching, I said that I would.  Crazy, I know!  Over the past year or so I have worked to get my cholesterol number down below 200 and exercise seems to be the best way to do it.  That doesn't really explain why I would jump off into the deep end of the exercise world, though.  The only thing I can  figure out is that when she told me that it would be from 5:30-6:30 in the morning, I thought that sounded good.  Something like, "Get it over early.  Then move on with your day."  I'm pretty sore, but, you know, it feels good.  Until I get up or need to cough.

The strangest thing about this is that I don't think I have any abdominal muscles.  You may be thinking that I couldn't walk if I didn't have some.  So, I'm a freak of nature!  I must use all back muscles to support myself.  If all I do over the next 5 weeks is get some abs, I will feel successful!

I'm still picking up walnuts.  Anyone else want some fun like this?  Come on over!

The thing that has taken more brain power than anything else I have done recently is that I'm helping to put together a slide show for Daryl's parents.

When we first came up with the idea, I volunteered to do it because I have a computer program that we could use.  Then, we started thinking that some music would be nice.  And then, we needed narration.  At that point, I had no idea what I was doing and have had a blast learning some new computer programs.  The questions that I had didn't seem to be addressed in the Help section of the program so Google has become my friend.  David suggested that I type my question into the search bar as if I was asking him.  That worked great.  Just last night I figured out how to really work the sound portion of the program.  At one point I didn't think I would be able to pull it all together, but now I am feeling pretty good about it.  Last night at church I asked our sound guy if he had used Adobe Premiere Elements before and he said that he is very familiar with it.

Next time I will use the phone-a-friend lifeline.

Which is exactly what I did when I decided to do boot camp.  I texted Cheryl.  Thanks, sis, for hurting with me!