Thursday, July 31, 2008

A prayer for our home


We invite you into our house.

We desire for Your presence to be with us always.

Please fill these rooms with Your love, every corner with Your peace and each moment here with Your joy.

May this be a place where we live in Your grace and may all who enter here be blessed by You in a special way.

We commit this house to you and we ask that you truly make it a home as we live, laugh, and love together.


(lovingly borrowed from the folks at Dayspring)

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Mamma Mia!

Handsome and I saw this musical when it was in Denver this past May. It was such a HOOT! The energy of the cast was palpable. The costumes were amazing.

But the singing, oh wow, was terrific! The producers said that the songs were just waiting for the musical to be written, even though they were conceived years apart.

I'm not a die hard ABBA fan, so I didn't know all their songs by heart. But I did totally groove out to the ones I knew (hello? Dancing Queen?)

This past Monday I went with several girlfriends to go see the movie. It was set in Greece so the scenery alone was breathtaking.

The movie did not disappoint. It followed the musical quite closely and the actors were all adorable. I particularly adore Christine Baranski, although in this movie, it seems her nose was approaching Michael Jackson proportions. What is up with that?

There were moments in the movie I thought Meryl Streep looked super great (she turned 59 this summer) but there were some shots that made her look just old. It was sad to see. I mean, she's a knockout, really. I thought she was fantastic in Manchurian Candidate and inspiring in Angels in America. I felt like this movie wasn't her best, but damn, at least they could've made her SHINE!

Oh, and I totally fell in love all over again with Pierce Brosnan. Yum.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Are we ALL having fertility issues?

Handsome and I have been on the "practicing for baby" train for some time now. It's been fun! Of course, he seems to think it's a "quantity" issue, while I'm concerned it's a "quality" issue. We have yet to know the definitive answer to this question. I am not worried in the least about it!

Last night, I showed him the multitude of flowers on the squash and zucchini plants in a container we have in the yard. (I do container gardening because it's easy, controllable and easy.) The container has a couple yellow squash plants and one zucchini plant. We finally have a zucchini that is growing happily amongst the leaves and flowers in the container.

Handsome was awed. He said "Ah, we have a child!"

Then I cracked up.

The squash plants are not so productive. They have big showy flowers but haven't produced any fruit. I dutifully water them, love on them, whisper sweet nothings to them out of earshot of the peppers, but still - nothing but flowers.

Of course, I went to my trusty source for all garden information - the internet. The internet tells me that I may only have male squash flowers. The girls aren't out. (Yet?)

So tomorrow morning, I have to really look at all the flowers to determine if any of them are actually female, or if this is container is strictly boystown. If I find female flowers, I have to pretend I'm a bee.

I will actually have to pollinate the girl flowers with the boy flower parts so that they get their act together and PRODUCE ME SOME BABIES!

Ahem. I mean squash.

::sigh:: I hope the cucumbers learn from this experience.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Alaskan Adventures

Several summers ago, I took a trip to Alaska. My great aunts and uncles used to live in Fairbanks. When my great aunt and uncle were in their 50s, they decided to leave the life they'd known and travel to the greatest state in the north to join their brother and sister-in-law in the wild life of the frontier.

I can't even imagine doing anything so life-changing at 50. I'll get back to you when I'm 50 and tell you how boring my life is then.

I flew up to Fairbanks the day of the summer solstice. I got up at something like 4:00 a.m. Denver time and arrived in Fairbanks, via layovers in Seattle and Anchorage, around 3:45 p.m. Just in time for a midnight golf tournament. Seriously, we had a 9:00 p.m. tee time and in my bleary-eyed state, I drove the golf cart with a box of wine beside me until 3:00 a.m. when our scramble was over.

What? What day is it? What TIME is it?

It never got dark that night, or any of the nights I was visiting. It was weird, because we were staying in a house that was being rennovated and I was the only one sleeping in it. The rest of the folks had their own motorhomes. So the windows of the house were covered in black plastic trash bags to keep the light out in the middle of the night.

There was a beautiful twilight sun-dip every night. There were huge flowers and vegetables which just loved all the sunlight. People started their gardens in greenhouses to take advantage of the growing daylight hours in the springtime. Lots of mosquitoes and other chirruping bugs.

Seeing as how I was used to sleeping, you know, in the dark, I had some troubles adjusting to light nightimes. So I would get up and go carouse the neighborhood. Sometimes the dogs would bark, and I would shush them. I encountered no other animals in my ventures.

In fact, I saw no moose or bear the entire trip. I thought all the advertisements were misleading!

My great uncle and great aunt built a "cabin up the river" which we attempted to visit that summer. For me, the term "cabin" evokes an image of logs and cozy nights around a pot-bellied stove and getting real friendly with your cabin-mates. From the pictures I've seen, this cabin could house a sorority. It looks fantastic and spacious and perfect for the true getaway.

Unfortunately, due to river water levels, we didn't make it to the cabin that summer.

With the health of my great-uncle failing, I doubt I'll ever see the cabin now. That makes me sad.

The entire trip was blissfully relaxing and stunningly beautiful. I loved it so much that when Handsome and I decided to get married, we honeymooned on a cruise around the Inside Passage.

However, that is a post for another day, as cruising the Inside Passage is nothing at all like driving around a Fairbanks golf course at 2:30 a.m. with a box of wine by your side.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

I think it was in the fine print

Sometimes in a marriage, you end up doing things that you never thought you would do before you got married.

Handsome has gotten a bloody nose a time or two and, somehow, our entire bathroom ends up looking like a war zone. If I were to post pictures, it would look like a slasher film. Scary, but I dealt with it, because that's what a spouse does.

Recently, I had, shall we say an "angry pore" in a location that I could not easily reach, or even see for that matter. But that pore surely made itself known to me. I let it be for at least a week when finally, I could not stand the pain and pressure caused by the pore.

I summoned Handsome. Popping his head into the bathroom he asked, "What's up?" I said "I need your help." I proceeded to tell him what he needed to do.

(I'm saving you from all the gory details; I'm sure you are very thankful!)

As he was assisting in the meticulousness that is required when dealing with an angry pore, he muttered under his breath "I did not sign up for this." And I giggled, thinking in a small way, this was exactly one of the reasons I married him!

And oh, the relief! So, thank you Handsome, for taking on a miniscule operative task which saved your wife from tremendous pain and agony a bout of adult acne. You are my hero.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

My neverending quest for knowledge

I do not watch reality tv. I stopped watching reality tv looooong before The Real World came to my very own city. I probably haven't seen a talk show since Sally Jesse Raphael was hosting hers. Seriously!

Actually, I don't watch much tv in general. If I happen to be flipping through the channels without forethought on what I actually want to watch, there is only one program that I would actually watch regardless of whether it is new or a repeat: Alton Brown's Good Eats. Dang if I don't learn something new every single time I watch that show.

If that's not on, I may watch reruns of 90210 but that's only if my husband is out of the house. I saw that they are remaking this show using a new cast but same intro music (it really is unforgettable). I don't know how I feel about that. The kids who may watch the remake are much too young to remember the original and with all the extra drama they've been exposed to in their lives, it simply will not have the same impact it did on mine.

Anyway, I could care less about what's going on in the lives of celebrities. I just don't care who the best singer/dancer/otherwise talented person is in the country. I'll hear them on the (country) music channel if they are that gifted.

I figure I have enough reality in my own life; watching it on tv is redundant. It doesn't even make me feel like "Jeez, I've got a pretty durn good life going on here! Look at these freaks!" It makes me feel like I just wasted a half hour when I could've been sweeping scrapbooking.

So, seeing the celebrity magazines laying on the table in our office copy room kind of, I don't know, insulted me. Who left them there? Why?

Then, for some reason, I started thinking about some articles I've read recently in our local paper. Specifically, the words the journalist uses and the target audience for which the journalist writes. I don't think they're all watching the same shows.

It made me realize that I didn't feel educated enough to read the paper without having a little dictionary nearby. So, I'm feeling dorky but really, we've all had a moment where we want to use a word but aren't sure if it's the right word in the right context. I'm going to throw a few out there.


  1. A structural or behavioral characteristic peculiar to an individual or group.
  2. A physiological or temperamental peculiarity.
  3. An unusual individual reaction to food or a drug.


  1. something or someone that is not in its correct historical or chronological time, esp. a thing or person that belongs to an earlier time: The sword is an anachronism in modern warfare.
  2. an error in chronology in which a person, object, event, etc., is assigned a date or period other than the correct one: To assign Michelangelo to the 14th century is an anachronism.
  1. of or pertaining to a practical point of view or practical considerations.
  2. Relating to or being the study of cause and effect in historical or political events with emphasis on the practical lessons to be learned from them.
Thus ends my tutorial of words for the day. Gosh, I feel smarter already!

Dear God

I pray for the cure of cancer.


Wednesday, July 16, 2008

It's my party and I'll invite who I want to

I don't know how I feel about this story. The kid tried to invite whom he wanted to his birthday party. The school intervened.

Remember Valentine's Day in school? Either you were in a school which promoted every student receiving valentines (equality and fairness) or you were in a school which blatantly showcased the popular kids and those less-popular. If your class had to create boxes in art class to receive valentines, you were probably in the former school.

The less popular kids probably hated Valentine's Day because they didn't get many valentines.

I feel like birthday parties are a different ballgame, though. Why should kids have to invite the whole class when they don't want to? Why should kids have to invite the bullies in the class just so they can be totally inclusive? Why should parents have to put on a birthday party production for a zillion kids instead of the four or five their child really likes?

***Disclaimer: I don't have kids so I'm just spouting off with no personal experience. I trust my bloggy friends to give me their opinions on the subject!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Where I talk about my hair

I have just discovered Naturally Curly. I love this site.

I have naturally curly hair. When I lived in Virginia, I had humid hair = frizz. I would comb/brush it out and I could seriously rival Buckwheat.


If I put the right products in it, I would actually have curls! Then I moved to Colorado. Other issues, like the complete and utter lack of humidity, made my curls practically disappear.

Oh, and I never. ever. ever. use a hairdryer.

One time, in college, I got my hair professionally cut (did you ever spend any kind of money on anything like that in COLLEGE? What was I thinking?) I went to the "salon" and sat in the chair and the lady, seriously as old as my grandma but not as sweet, gave me a fairly cute hair cut. And then, she did the unthinkable. She brought out the blowdryer. And proceeded to turn my hair into a mushroom-shaped afro-looking white girl.

I can't think of any good reason why I did not thrust my hand up when she brought out the hair-gun. But I let her do what she did, possibly because, you know, she was the PROFESSIONAL. And I walked out of her shop looking like I stuck my finger in an electrical outlet.

I had to go to the grocery store after that and I was literally in tears. Mortified, I ran into someone. I. KNEW. Ah, yes, in a town of a couple hundred, I guess I shouldn't have been surprised. I should have just run home and taken a shower and prepped my hair. Except, you know, I had just paid for that lady to do that!

Anyhoo... As I got older, and have relayed that story a million couple times, I got to thinking about that lady who gave me the funky Buckswheat look that day. If I were a hair stylist, I would NOT want someone leaving my shop, looking like I looked, because if anyone asked where I got my hair done, I would have to tell them! I mean, I was some BAAAAD publicity that day!

So, anyway, back to the hair in question. It's like I have two sets of hair on my head. I have a kinda wavy overlay from the crown to the ends on the outermost layer of my hair. Underneath, it's Shirley Temple ringlets all the way.

I really wish all my hair would be like the underside. I like the curls, they are cool. You can pull on a ringlet and let it go, and it will bounce!

So, anyway, the girls at Naturally Curly have a whole new idea of how to take care of your curls. I'm going to try it. I will post before and after photos to see if my hair undergoes the revolution I hope it will!

For more WFMW ideas, please visit Shannon's site!

Monday, July 14, 2008


Denver is gearing up to host a big ol' politcal party in about 6 weeks. The Democratic National Convention is coming to town and it's causing quite a stir.

There is much anticipation to see what the town will turn into during the DNC. Denver is still trying to raise the money to pay for its party, too. In fact, I kinda work for the fella who is the chief fundraiser for the convention.

Yep, it's going to be interesting. The police presence will be noticeable. There will be protesters everywhere. All the hotels in town are sold out and all the restaurants will be booked during lunch hour.

It's a bunch of hoopla, but I heard something that brings it into perspective. Even though there will be lots of people here for the convention, it doesn't amount to the number of people coming to a regular Sunday Broncos game.


As exciting as hosting a {Insert political party here} National Convention is, it's getting to be a headache. I think by September, I'll say give me the Broncos anytime!

Saturday, July 12, 2008


What fun we had at Water World! The boy is 9 1/2 years old (and isn't that "and a half" so important when you're that age? I'm still trying to figure out what the heck happened to thirty!) and Handsome's sister, Shorty, is 12 1/2 years old. The two of them get along like peanut butter and jelly.

As we were driving to Water World, Shorty asked the boy if he was one of the more popular kids in his school. The boy thought to himself for a moment, and answered, "at least one of the top 5."

I giggled to myself and then kept quiet and listened.

Shorty followed with "You know, rich kids are usually more popular than middle-class kids or poor kids. I figured you were probably pretty popular."

I was floored. Did I think of that stuff when I was that age?

I wanted to fight the assumption that rich kids were more popular, but I couldn't. I thought about the schooling I endured in my life and, especially in grade school, it was very apparent that the more affluent kids were considered more popular. I can remember being made fun of because of the outifts I would wear (obviously, I wasn't the most popular, nor the most wealthy).

Finally, in college, I realized that none of it mattered. Sadly, it wasn't until then that I finally got on my own footing and realized everyone else was just as screwed up as I was and it was a pretty level playing field. I didn't go to an ivy league school, I went where I felt comfortable and it was a wonderful experience.

I just hope that I can instill a sense of pride in both of these kids, teach them that money doesn't define who they are any more than whether they write with their right hand or their left. They have immense value regardless of where they buy their clothes or what's in their school lunch.

I want them both to feel popular and proud of the wonderful people they are.
I'll make sure that your children flourish—like stars in the sky! like sand on the beaches! (Gen. 22:15)

Friday, July 11, 2008

Splish Splash

I am taking my son and Handsome's youngest sister to Water World tomorrow. (Please pray for me!)

The two of them are only about 3 years apart. Handsome was 26 when his baby sister was born. Many people are very surprised at this.

It's always fun when the kids get together. People look at me, then at the kids, assuming I'm mom of all. I could wax poetic on the intricacies of each relationship, but I don't.

Once, I went to my sister-in-law's fourth grade play. Afterward, she showed me a mask project the kids in her class had done. As I was ooohing and ahhhing over her mask, one of the fathers came up to me and asked if I was her mother.

I laughed. And said "No, her sister!"

He said "Yeah, right." And walked away. I was a little stunned, but thought it funny that people assume I'm lying about my age, or my relationship with my sister-in-law who is 20 years my junior.

She peppers my son with questions about adoption in ways only kids can. No adults would feel comfortable talking or asking questions in the manner she does. It doesn't have much tact.

But he answers them, although as he gets older, his answers are more thoughtful and reserved. I think kid talk is great, assuming it's in a positive light. They know how to ask questions in ways that adults just stumble over themselves trying. I don't believe that my sister-in-law would ever purposely try to be hurtful to my son with respect to the fact he's adopted. I think she realizes that we are all different, and come from different families, and it's all working out okay.

So, tomorrow I will have another experience which validates my decision to pursue adoption as my own pregnancy alternative.

And I am certain I will have a blast doing it!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Angels at the Post Office

This is from the email archive and it brings tears reading it now. I wish it to be true!

"The day after our dog, Abbey, died, my 4 year old, Meredith, was SO upset. She wanted to write a letter to God so that God would recognize Abbey in heaven. She told me what to write, and I did.

Then she put 2 pictures of Abbey in the envelope. We addressed it to God in Heaven, put two stamps on it (because, as she said, it could be a long way to heaven). We put our return address on it, and I let her put it in the drop box at the post office that afternoon.

She was absolutely sure that letter would get to heaven, and I wasn't about to disillusion her.

On Labor Day, we took the kids to the museum and when we came home, there was a package wrapped in gold paper on our front porch. It was addressed to Meredith.

She took it inside and opened it.

Inside the package was a book, When Your Pet Dies, by Mr. Fred Rogers. Inside the front cover of the book was the letter we had written to God, in its envelope (opened).

On the opposite page was one of the pictures of Abbey taped on the page.

On the back page was the other picture of Abbey, and this handwritten note on pink paper:

"Dear Meredith, I know that you will be happy to find out that Abbey arrived safe and sound in heaven. Having the pictures you sent to me was a big help! I recognized Abbey right away!

You know, Meredith, she isn't sick anymore. Her spirit is here with me (just like it stays in your heart) young and running and playing. Abbey loved being your dog, you know.

Since we don't need our bodies in heaven, I don't have any pockets to keep things in-- so I am sending you your beautiful letter back with the pictures--and you will have this little memory book to keep.

One of my angels is taking care of this for me; I hope this little book will help. Thank you for your beautiful letter. Thank your mother for sending it. What a wonderful mother you have. I picked her especially for you. God blesses you every day and remember, I love you very much.

Signed, God, and one of his special angels (who wrote this letter after God told HER the words)."

How wonderful is that!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Word of the day

Jenna is a blogger I enjoy reading. She has two beautiful children and a loving husband.

Recently, I was reading another blog, What About Mom?, who lists various "Things That Must Go" and offers it up to her readers to contribute.

Jenna's contribution cracked me up!

Tanorexia. Once your skin starts looking like a leather saddle bag, it’s time to get out of the sun.

Amen, sister!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Can you own the rain?

Apparently not. In drought-prone water-starved Colorado, it is illegal to have a big ol' bucket on your property to use to catch rainwater in order to water your lawn, flowers and vegetables.

Handsome wants to hook up a contraption which would use the rainwater collected to run our washing machine. I thought it was a great idea.

Now I found out it is illegal.

This is the ridiculous truth of the day.

Evidently, there are water rights to rivers and streams in place which by withholding the rain, which may or may not EVER make it to those rivers and streams, would be denied.

Dumb. Dumb dumb dumb.

Denver Water has this amazing and creative campaign "Use only what you need." Last week, I was waiting for the bus at the bus stop (imagine that) and a giant toilet came walking down the street, waving to people. The idea was that he was walking, not running, because "running toilets waste water."

Get it?

So, we try to be more green. We try to live sustainably. We even try to do what Denver Water tells us to do, use only what we need.

By reducing, reusing, recycling, we could get fines up to $500 a day. A. DAY.

Wake up Colorado. Your resources depend on it!

Wherein I am given big kudos

Artified has bestowed upon me a bloggy award! I can't believe it! I am so blessed! Artified is a very crafty lady. We have been corresponding for a couple months and I'm quite impressed. Go check her out.

On to the kudos!

From the Arte Y Pico website:

What is the meaning of the expression: Arte y Pico?
What is the meaning of the expression: And basically, ironically, it translates into a wonderful phrase in Mexico, “lo maximo.” LOL! It will never find its counterpart in English, but if it HAD to, it would be something like, Wow. The Best Art. Over the top.

The Arte Y Pico award has 5 rules associated with it:

  1. The recipient has to pick 5 blogs that she considers deserving of this award for their creativity, design, interesting material, and also contribute to the blogging community, no matter what language.
  2. Each nomination has to have the name of the author and a link to his/her blog to be visited by everyone.
  3. Each winner has to show the graphic and put the name and link to the blog that presented her/him with the honor.
  4. The winner and the one who has given the prize has to show the link Arte y Pico blog so everyone will know the origin of this wonderful honor.
  5. Show these rules.

My five recipients:

  1. Heather at OMSH. She is wonderfully creative and honest.
  2. Shannon at Rocks in my Dryer. She's like my favorite-aunt-internet-sounding board.
  3. Amy at Ministry So Fabulous. This girl's enthusiasm is infectious.
  4. Christine at Welcome to my Brain. The pastor's wife who is anything but ordinary.
  5. Sarah at Ordinary Days. She too is creative and honest.

Thank you so much Artified for giving me my very first bloggy bling!

Monday, July 7, 2008

Making time for fun

This weekend Handsome and I had dinner dates outside of the home for each weekend night.

It was so exciting!

And free!

Saturday, we went to friends of Handsome's from high school. I love that he is still friends with people he knew in high school. And they are GOOD people. I laugh with them and have intelligent conversations with them and it is really refreshing!

Well, for her birthday, this couple bought a Wii. Handsome and I have never even seen a Wii.

We didn't know what we were missing.

We played tennis. And bowling. And baseball. We had such fun and laughed so hard. It was like exercise for our insides.

Sunday, we had dinner plans with my mom and her husband and my aunt who was in town for her 40th high school class reunion! Handsome and I had a couple of hours to kill before dinner.

Somehow, I talked him into putting on some comfy clothes and playing real live tennis with me.

It was pretty comical, us out there on the tennis court for the first time this year (and maybe even longer). It had rained and was still spitting lightly which made it cooler but definitely added some liquid weight to that tennis ball.

We had a couple of decent volleys between us. I was impressed.

Man, does my shoulder hurt today! We decided that it was great exercise (tennis, yes; chasing after all the errant balls, most definitely) so we'll do it again. I am excited!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

On being human

Sometimes I have this inner war happening between my earlobes. I think that in order to be a good, pious and faithful person, I have to know bunches of bible verses by heart, volunteer for every volunteer opportunity presented, give lots of money in the collection plate, not ever argue with my husband, never cuss, et cetera ad naseum (insert other Latin verbiage here)

I wonder what makes us human, though, if we're all striving to be like God?

Some of us have tattoos. Some smoke cigarettes. Some women (I've heard) even have wine at their kids' play dates!

In response to some of her readers' questions, OMSH says it best:

Christians have “lives” too. We like good times, good movies, good food, and some of us even like a good margarita.

Amen, sister.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Happy Anniversary!

Handsome and I celebrated two years today. We booked a trip to nearby Indian Springs hot springs in Idaho Springs, CO. It was a wonderful anniversary.

We drove the scenic route to get to the hot springs which took us by way of Echo Lake and Mt. Evans. We picnicked at Echo lake and made friends with some birds and a duck who were very interested in our tortilla chips.

A short while later we pulled into Idaho Springs which is a lovely quaint town just a half hour outside of Denver. The Indian Springs resort is on the east end of town and it's quiet and peaceful there.

There is a covered giant pool fed by underground hot springs so the water was a wonderful 97 degrees. The area around the pool is surrounded by all sorts of tropical plants. It was truly like being in paradise for a couple days.

We participated in a mud bath, too. A 10 foot by 10 foot area was filled with two inches of cold clay mud, which we applied to all exposed skin. (Bathing suits required!) Then, we lay on the beach chairs to dry the mud and pull any toxins out of our bodies. Off to the shower afterward to get all the mud off. Man, does that mud like to hang around! Then, back in the pool. Ahhhh.

We dined at a great little Italian restaurant, Mangia, and sat outside on their back patio. We had excellent dinners (stuffed shells for me and tortelloni for Handsome) and then lounged by the fire pit with an italian soda and tiramisu. I'm glad the restaurant was in walking distance to the hotel so we could walk off some of the calories.

Handsome and I played Scrabble in the room while a light rain fell outside. I whooped him two games to none.

It was a great relaxing anniversary.