Thursday, November 30, 2006


So when I was little my grandmother used to tell us the parables as stories. She used the parable of the pharisee and the tax collector a lot. Her version of Luke 8:9-14 was not historical people though. Her version went something like this...

"One night before bed when I was little I got down on the wooden floors to say my bedtime prayers and I thanked the Lord for all the things that I wasn't. I thanked him that I wasn't mean like my brother. I thanked him that I wasn't vain like my sister. I thanked him that I wasn't judgmental like my father. I thanked him that I wasn't forgetful about thanking him like my mother and then right in front of my Nana (my grandmother's grandmother) I thanked him that I wasn't old like my Nana. Then Nana got down on her knees and prayed. She prayed to the Lord and told him that she was old, tired, and undeserving of his love and she thanked him for his grace in patience in being a better person. Then she listed off the people she loved one by one and asked the Lord to protect over them because they were trying. That night in bed I had a horrible dream. I dreamt that my Nana and I stood at the pearly gates and Peter wouldn't let me in. Peter told me that I was more mean than my brother because I didn't pray for his salvation. I was more vain than my sister because I thought I was too good for her love. I was more judgmental than my father because I thought God didn't love him the way he was. I was more forgetful than my mother because I had forgotten what to pray for. Then Peter looked at my Nana and said you... you are old and tired and the Lord has granted you peace, love and rest. Enter this gate. My grandmother then said in her dream she stood on the side of the river in Tahlequah and watched her Grandmother sink into the water. When she awoke everyone was in the room she shared with Nana. Nana had died in her sleep. My grandmother said Nana had a big smile on her face and she could tell she was SOOOO happy. The next night she knew what she had to do to get to see Nana again in heaven. She got down on her knees and she prayed for everyone else. Because that's the only way that God really hears our prayers...when we do them with the best of intentions."

My grandmother prayed every night that way till she died peacefully in her sleep in her mid 60's with a big smile on her face. When someone talked with her about dying she would tell them that fearing dying is like fearing breathing...if you're thinking about it you're doing it wrong and it will always catch up with you in one way or another. She taught us to pray that way.

Tonight is the eve of December. It's the first night for most people who believe in a "holiday season". Tonight is the night before the lights come on in Christmas tree lane, the carols start in the church services and the nativity scenes start to tell their stories.

Tonight is a good night to remember that the Lord wants us to humble before him and love one another. So tonight when you say your prayers and before that when you talk at the dinner table, tonight I want you to take the time to acknowledge what good is found in others, what humbling you need to find in yourself and to pray for grace not because you think you deserve it (because we all know you don't...and neither do I) but because it's time...


Just call me the Grinch that stole Christmas because I am done. I sat in my office today across the hall from the new girl while she told the boss no one had ever trained her on something she had done with me once and once with the girl at the front desk. I’m pretty sure she wasn’t lying to be deceitful… I think instead that she honestly doesn’t retain information for very long.
After the great advice from a few of my readers and a few of my friends I confronted her yesterday with the actual parameters of work ethics. It’s ok not to know something but it’s not ok to not learn it. It’s ok to need help, it’s not ok not to take notes and ask for the same help repeatedly.

Today I emailed my boss. He told me to have patience. Luckily he and I have the same lack of patience when it comes to this sort of thing so he said if he starts to notice it he’ll start bringing it up too. I’m sure that won’t take long. He pointed out that his mother had 15 book keeping customers but was pretty much computer illiterate except for the program she did her book keeping in. I’m sure that’s fine if you are full time book keeper for a place that knew that when they hired you but I’m trying to picture his mother telling someone she “opps must have not written that down” for the 3rd time in the same day.

I’m pretty sure that’s bad business. On the upside I’ve noticed that her accounting knowledge is pretty high even though her confidence is pretty low about using it. We’ll be working on that. Other than driving me crazy she seems to work well with the rest of the administrative team. So perhaps I need to pray for more patience.
My grandmother used to swear that if you pray for patience the only way that God can give you more compassion and patience is to test you. Repeatedly. I’m not sure I’m up for that. I recently prayed for a reprieve from stagnant Christianity and I faced infertility, financial strapping and family drama all in the same day. The next day I got a totally different job. The day after that my husband’s schedule went all wonky and I got a new hire. I’m terrified to pray for patience… least my testing get twice as hard and my life twice as dramatic.

Oh and for those of you who want to know how the hormonal front is going. I haven’t had a period in 2 months. I’m pretty sure I spent $100 peeing on sticks though. Nothing. I’m officially broken. I have an appointment tomorrow for a feminine lube and filter change. Perhaps I’ll know more then.

Tonight my friend J and I are going to an event at my church (link in the sidebar) to see Judy Howard Peterson the woman who walked the entire length of America doing God’s will. That should be fun and if it’s not afterwards we’ll take a cruise down Christmas tree lane and have cocoa. Nothing beats lights and cocoa when you’re bored in December…what it’s not December?? Then why is my car frosty every morning when I head to work? Oh…one more day… fine we won’t look at the lights till tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

A Closer Look 1 Peter 1:13-16

1 Peter 1: 13-16 “Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed. As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived ignorance. But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.”

Every Christian is on the same basic path. The path to take the circumstances they are in and use them to love people well, to love God with all their hearts, to share his word with all the kingdoms and all the tribes on earth and to strive to be more Christ-like. This passage is a good one for those of us who need a two second reminder every once and awhile that you have to strive to be more like Christ.

Be holy because I am holy. It’s a good line. Not because it tells us how to be. Not because we can actually become holy. We are not holy by nature and although we try we will never be as holy as God. Be holy because I am holy is the biblical equivalent of “because I said so” or “because I’m your mother that’s why”. Be holy because I am holy.

God must have known we’d grow into a world of symantics lovers and grammar gurus. God preceded his “because I said so” passage with the facts. Plan and simple facts. Just a paragraph long, he gives us the advice any good parent would give a child going out into the world.

Prepare your mind for action. The lord put it there for us in a way very similar to our own parents. He wants us to be smart. Stay in school. Learn and grow. Have logic, seek to be wise and be prepared to use those skills.

Be self controlled. Throughout the bible the Lord tells us to be watchful for gluttony, greed and jealousy. Throughout life our parents echo him. One cookie is enough, times up for free play, it’s not nice to hit people. It’s all the same rule.

Set your hope fully on the grace to be given to you when Jesus Christ is revealed. That’s what I like to call the new testament classic. Keep your eye on the prize. Not a prize of earthy measure. Not a trophy or a metal. Keep your eyes on the grace of the Lord. Like a good parent the Lord wants us to focus not on the material but on becoming a better person.

As obedient children, do not confirm to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. That’s my favorite line of this passage. It’s the parental equivalent to “and now that you know don’t let it happen again.” I picture Jesus later in the bible sitting someone down and telling them… “do you remember what daddy said about talking to strangers.”

Be holy because I am holy. Do what I do not what I say. Be good because I AM GOOD. Love because I AM LOVE. Have hope because I AM HOPE. Share grace because I AM GRACE. BE HOLY BECAUSE I AM HOLY.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

False Advertising- The Human Exchange

I have a horrible time loving people well under certain circumstances. I can not find my compassion for instance when someone is using false advertising to make themselves seem needed. I recently hired a new person to work on my team at the office. New girl seemed great in interviews, charming, personable and she said she had all the necessary skills.

It's been a week and already I have a list of red flags as long as my arm. What do you mean you don't know how to use email? Are you serious... everyone knows how to copy a file?! And my personal favorite... why are you still standing there over an hour after I asked you to do something like you have nothing to do!!

Oh sure she's friendly but it's hard to focus on how nice someone is when I'm being blindsighted every two minutes by the thought of "but she said she could do that during the interview". I'm not talking complicated stuff either. Things like open the network drive. Copy these files to a USB. Send that to me in email. Easy stuff- stuff my god daughter probably can do and she's 7.

It scares me. I picked her. I picked her out of 20 people. I picked her based on the information she gave me. It makes me upset. Upset at her false advertisement and even more upset at how gullible I have become with old age. I saw what I needed to see. I saw what I wanted to see.

I need a peacemakers class. I'm snappy and irritable. She doesn't get it. She thinks I'm just being mean I'm sure. I'm hormonal already this week and I'm going through home drama but I had expectations. I expect at the very least for people to be who they tell me they are.

What would you do? Have you been in this situation?

Another Round with Mommy

So last night I call my mom to see if she has a place to live because I'm a good daughter. She calls me back to say "oops nevermind". She's staying with him. She's not even looking for a place to go. They've decided to get counciling and that he needs help because he might be manic. I could have told her that a year ago.

Now here in lies the drama part. Jon took off hours from work to help her move. She didn't even call us. I changed all my plans for the weekend. So now we have no plans and we're losing money because Jon gave away his shifts and she could care less. Drama.

No one likes to feel like they are being used. No one likes feeling like their family doesn't listen to their advice (I was in a similar situation once and staying was the dumbest thing I ever did). No one likes feeling like they don't matter. My mom. She's been making me feel all of those things more and more lately.

There is no nice way to tell someone that the reason you didn't go see your mother after she had surgery is because you think her family now is toxic and that she acts like someone totally different when she is around them. So I guess I'm not a nice person because the next time she asks I'm going to tell her the truth. Hopefully she won't ask.

So I pray. I pray every day that the Lord will stop this pull of evil on my heart. The pull towards doing what makes me feel safe and probably isn't a good way to love my mother. And I wait. I wait to know what he asks of me.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Baby Mama Drama- Just Not Together

So Sunday I slept in. I was tired. It was raining. I missed church. I didn't care. I slept in and I was happy about it. Then we watched the DaVinci Code. We'd plan to watch it Saturday but the boys were playing video games and then we played board games and Sunday seemed like a much better plan. So I'm watching DaVinci and the phone's mom...screen it. Rings again...screen again... Tom Hanks is defiling my religion people... I'll call back. It was mom. Movie ends. Mom sobbing message..."it's urgent". I assume someone died. That's what crying messages mean in my family. Dead people or pets. I call back.
Divorce. Ok. Well. I wasn't expecting that. He's moving out. He gave my mom who just had surgery and can't move or drive 6 days notice. As far as I am concerned this synches my opinion that the Johavah's Witness was crazy. CRAZY.
Now it's calming mom down. Making plans for moving mom. Extending mom's lease till the 2nd so she can move out on the 2nd and getting an explaination about how it could get this bad without telling your daughter.
Hubby is taking Saturday off from work. We'll be lugging my mom's furniture around and lining her up with someplace to stay. Pisser.
Around here if there isn't one type of drama there is another. His mom. My mom. Me trying to be a mom. It's always something.
Pray for me that I don't kill the punk on Saturday. Pray for her... that she doesn't cry herself into a puddle on the floor or do something stupid and that she finds someplace she wants to live in 5 days. Pray for Hubbythat he doesn't go crazy dealing with more drama. And mostly... pray for the jerk... because if he isn't careful... I might have to evanglize by ass whoopin'.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Giving National Lampoons A Run For Their Funny

So this morning I awoke to find the Christmas tree had gone from charmingly crooked to dangerously diagonal. After over an hour of my hubby grunting under a tree we had to take all the decorations off the tree and lug it outside to find out that our tree has a 3.5 inch diameter trunk and our stand doesn't close that small. Sigh. So off the the orchard supply store where we wrangle some cute highschool aged helper into letting us open a stand, assemble it and find out how small it gets (it's gets as large as 8" according the the not so helpful wrapper). Finally through the line and of course we run into someone we know (me in my no bra sweatshirt I slept in look and a hubby looking like he's on the hunt for the man who ran his grandmother over with a reindeer. Back home and it's 15 minutes before we both have a headache and an upright tree.

Hubby takes off with his brother to do some shopping for us girls. They end up at JC Penney who screws my brother in law out of $50.00 by claiming a display sign expired the day before at 9 am. By the time they get home a few hours later I've got the tree redecorated and I've vacuumed three times to make sure the baby won't be eating pine needles.

Brother in law and hubby start decorating the outside of the house. After untangling the icle lights from my last place we discover we don't have enough working lights and that we don't have enough extension cords. So after my pants finally come out of the dryer (I personally thing the phrases "waiting for water to boil" or "like watching grass grow" should be replaced with "waiting for jeans to dry") I take off to slay some extension cords from Walmart (otherwise known as the armpit of society) and to charm some poor sells rep into giving me money back for the jacket they over charged my brother in law for.

The jacket thing I did in about 20 minutes. Thankfully the lord took pity on me and because I was did the sales clerk. $50 refund in hand I went to the Walmart. Walmart shoppers, people who use the toy isles as a babysitter and a bell ringer that used a curse word and 15 minutes later I left thankful that for my holiday part I didn't destroy someone's holidays.

Hark the Herald Angels Sing all the way home blasting from my partially unrolled windows so my wet hair could dry (hey it's CA). I came home to find my porch decorated and the boys playing video games. I'm off now to finish some Chicken Parm. in the oven and then we've got eight people coming over to play video games. Sweet. So sweet a funny simple Saturday.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Oh Christmas Tree Oh Christmas da ta da ta da la

Ok so I don't know the words to the song but I do have my very own 7 foot tall Noble Fir Tree. Thanks to the lovely folks at Home Depot it was less that $40.00 and although it is currently in the stand slightly crooked I think it has plenty of character and all the ornaments necessary to bring the Christmas season in with a smashing start.

This morning was a blast. I got up around 7 and went Christmas shopping with my sister-in-law (SIL) and my friend G. G being the great guy he is spent most of the day trailing us through the mall and he took it like a champ. We also too my nephew also known as the cutest boy on the planet who proceeded to fall asleep in my arms and I ended up carrying him around like a sack of potatos for at least an hour. Needless to say I did not feel guilty about the pot stickers I got with my Panda Express Chinese Food because I had earned it.

I got a few stocking stuffers for the hubby but I have to honestly admit that I'm mostly done with my shopping. I'll still be filing a few shoe boxes with toys for the drive at the church but other than that... I don't forsee myself in the mall again this season.

We're getting decorated nice and early this year for a couple reasons. It's our first christmas together as a married couple and we're sappy and cute and we like it that way. We're having a party here on the 16th and we want to make sure we're not rushing things at the last minute (I'll tell you about that another day). Also the landlord is coming by later this week and we don't want him to come over to find the house a mess with partial christmas decorations.

Having said that... it's been a really long day so I'm going to go eat some pasta from a box and watch Christmas movies on the Hallmark Channel. Deck the halls with boughs of holly Fa la la la la la la la laaaaa

Thursday, November 23, 2006

The Day of Thankfulness Finally

So 4 things a day until Thanksgiving that I am thankful for was not as hard as I thought it would be but these last four are pretty dang important so I want you to read them...carefully...then print them...and remember to be thankful for them.

1. My Life. John 3:16 comes to mind. But I can lower it down to easy terms. I'm a complicated thing. I couldn't make me and I'm pretty crafty. I don't know anyone who can make me just the way I am except God. It's not all rose petals and triumphes of angels over here. There are struggles, sins and things that just don't work the way I think they should. But... it's my life and I'm extremely grateful that it was given to me so that I can make a fool of myself with it.

2. My Husband. I know he was sort of on the list before because he takes out the trash. But, and that's a huge but, he should be on this list for a thousand other things. He loves people well. He laughs with his whole soul. He smiles and a room lights up (ok so I'm bias...get your own husband). He's quite charming when he needs to be, he stern when I need to here it and he'll never let me win a game "just because". I'm grateful that despite all the akward things that my life has walked me through it walked me through a life with him...because he's the bestest.

3. My Family. I know everyone says that but you've never met my family. They are loud, funny, and very intimidating at first so I recommend meeting them twice. But, that second time, you're going to LOVE them. I know I do. I love the fact that grown men will play chutes and ladders one minute and then teach the 5 year old to play black jack and win all their quarters. I love that all the woman can cook so well that we're all lucky we aren't 500 lbs already. I love that my grandfather never says anything but when he does finally say something it's always the last thing in the conversation. I love that my father taught me not to let people mistake my kindness for stupidity and to prove it to them using my love...he loves everyone...even the people that should have been abandoned years ago. I love that my mother has "lorriemoments" where she does things no other rational human being would ever do...and then tries to explain them to other rational human beings. I love them all from the littlest neice to the newest mother in law and everyone in between.

4. Hope. I had a small glimpse once of a life without hope. I was in a bad situation with a bad person who was enabling me to do bad things with other bad people and occassionaly to some good and totally innocent people. I never robbed anyone or killed anyone or anything of that nature but I was just doing things that didn't feel right and I didn't have the hope or the faith to walk away. It almost killed me, it almost snuffed out the parts of me that I love the most. But somewhere in me there was a teeny tiny piece of hope. And I clung to it and others helped me to fan it till it was bright and brilliant and it could be seen from all around. I am grateful to those people but not so grateful as I am for hope. Hope is the most ingenious thing that the heavens ever created... it helps us seach the impossible, it makes us dreamers and fools but every once in awhile it makes see the bigger picture and to know that the impossible is sometimes possible and sometimes the fools are just the people who don't follow the dreamers.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Thankfulness Day 3

Again 4 more things I am thankful for...

1. Hallmark Movies. I'm addicted. I have a secret obsession. The hallmark channel and I spend a ton of quality time together. They are different than the normal every day movies in my DVD collection. They remind me of history, love and faith in a way that so subliminal that it's not even scary. It's comforting to know that some things never change...the beginning will be rocky, the middle with be dramatic and the end will be calm and comforting to the soul.

2. Squishy Pillows and Fuzzy Blankets. I am totally territorial about my bedtime stuff. Don't even touch my "squishy" (otherwise known as a pillow I've had for so long that it has the inner consistency of a well used teddy bear). I've also gotten rather attached to a fuzzy green blanket. Not because I use it (it's hot) but because my cat is rather fond of it and it keeps her from bugging me.

3. Comfort Food. Everybody has one. I could write a whole additional blog about food. I pink fuzzy heart edibles. The top of my list includes chicken tacos from my favorite hangout, my mom's fried potatoes and eggs, grandma's stuffing and my daddy's cream tuna on toast. Just not together.

4. My Hair Straightener. I don't want to sound vain because I'm not. Not Really really. But I'm very thankful that someone invented the ceramic hair straightener. My wavy and curly fro is partial to being clamped down and steamed to a nice smooth flat mane of lovely hair whenever a camera or witness might be available. I can't imagine using an iron, or before that when people just let their hair do whatever nature inspired (GASP).

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Thankfulness Day 2

Again... I choose 4 things I am thankful for...

1. God's grace. Not just for the sinners and the saints but also for God's ability to teach me to love the person sitting behind me who sings off key to every hymn but makes up for it with volumne. God's ability to teach me that someone's friendship has less value than doing what I always new was right but was too scared to do. Forgiveness, Love and Hope...Faith.

2. Movies. Especially the ones I've seen over and over... American Outlaws, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, The Stand, The Godfather Trilogy, The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, My Fair Lady and so many more. The lines we quote from them " A man who doesn't spend time with his family can never be a real man" or "The Lord says we can bury him out back in the orchard and no one will ever find out". The things that become part of who we are, who we love and what we fear. I heart movies.

3. Quicken. Or quickbooks. Whichever one you use. Software that does the math for you. Software that budgets, balances, adds and deducts. Software that can find the 74 cents you spent at Walgreens and that knows you'll need 800 dollars for rent. Software that saves me from doing math with a pencil and the back of a bill envelope. Software that will probably help my marriage keep from crumbling. Software that prevents unnecessary calculators and curse words.

4. Babies. Hey just because I can't have one doesn't mean I'm not thankful they are around. They smell cute (when they are clean), they look adorable, and they love us really well. And we love them...nieces, nephews, godchildrens, friends, nursery charges... they are adorable. Adorable makes the world a better I'm a huge fan.

The One Word Meme

I stole it from someone who stole it from someone who borrowed it from someone. It's like the 7 degrees of Kevin Bacon and I like it.

Yourself: charming
Your partner: loving
Your hair: artificial
Your Mother: whimsical
Your Father: southern
Your Favorite Item: squishy
Your dream last night: danger
Your Favorite Drink: pepsi
Your Dream Car: tahoe
Your Dream Home: newer
The Room You Are In: office
Your Ex: worthless
Your fear: infertility
Where you Want to be in Ten Years? mommy
Who you hung out with last night: hubby
What You're Not: skinny
Muffins: warm
One of Your Wish List Items: glider
Time: early
The Last Thing You Did: type
What You Are Wearing: clothing
Your favorite weather: rainy
Your Favorite Book: bible
Last thing you ate: dinner
Your Life: happy
Your mood: impatient
Your Best Friends: funny
What are you thinking about right now: thankfulness
Your car: dirty
What are you doing at the moment: deleting
Your summer: flirting
Relationship status: taken
What is on your TV: CI
What is the weather like: foggy
When is the last time you laughed: 8:37

Monday, November 20, 2006


I'm going to post once a day for the next 4 days 4 things I am thankful for. How was that for an akward sentence? Good. I know. Ok todays four things are as follows...

1. Husbands who take out the trash. It's a small miracle as far as I am concerned that my husband doesn't want to gag every time he takes out the trash. I think he feels the same way whenever he sees me clean the kitty litter...regardless... I'm thankful I don't have to touch trash... unless I want to... which will never happen. Ever.

2. Hello Pepsi with Ice... goodbye worries. I'm sooo thankful for the nice people at the Pepsi cola company for not changing their recipes. I mean Coke Classic, Coke, Coke with lime. It would be exhausting to try and keep up. But I don't have to because my pepsi people, they know me, they love me and they stay just the way I like them.

3. You. Blog people. No not you. You over there with the blog of your own. You people I read who's blogs are listed in the margins. Oh and Red Pens and Diapers which I just started reading. And people who have hecka cool blog names like a bra that fits & a can opener that works because that's just too cute of a blog name. I've been reading her too. I'll be adding them to my template of links as soon as I get a free moment.

4. Fog. Ya I said fog. I love fog. I love rain more. But fog is like rain only wimpy. I like wimpy rain. It's sort of like my unrelenting ability to love dorks. Dorks and fog. They are the same but different because I didn't marry fog. (I love you honey) This morning I had to wait for the fog to lift from my windshield before I could drive to work. I had to use the heater in my office to take off the chill. I almost jumped up and down with joy.

Mission Monday

So today is all about recipes over at Mom to the Screaming Masses blog. I'm truly thankful for Mission Monday today because I am tired and cranky. It hasn't been a good work day. This of course means that I am more than happy to spend part of my work day typing recipes into my blog. Here are 3 of my favorite recipes for Autumn/Thanksgiving. All of these recipes are extremely kid cook friendly. So enjoy making someone else do the work for a change.

Sweet Potato Soup

Boil 6 cups sweet potatos till fork tender. Drain & Mash. (Set aside)
In the pan you used to boil the sweet potatos melt 3 tablespoons of butter & combine with 3 tablespoons of flour to make a rou. Add 4 cups of cream (or skim milk if you are on a diet or soy milk if you're into soy) and stir till even & simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in 1/2 cup brown sugar (or 1/4 cup maple syrup) & 1/2 teaspoon salt, pepper, nutmeg and cinnamon. Fold sweet potatos into mixture and let simmer 2-4 minutes. If your kids are into things with texture you can add some roasted nuts to the top of this for garnish, I've also used dried fruits (like cranberries) as a colorful garnish for dinner parties.

Crunched Cranberry Classic

In a food processor combine 1 bag cranberries, 1 jar rasberry perserves, 1 tables spoon fresh grated ginger, 1/4 cup of orange juice, 1 tablespoon orange zest, 1 apple cored & chopped. Pulse till the consistancy of relish. Take one can of biscuits. Squish each biscuit into a muffin tin to make a cup. Fill with cranberry relish mixture and bake according to biscuit can (or until biscuit is golden brown). Top with whip cream and some pecans. Yummy.

Stuffed Apples

Core 4 apples. Mix in a bowl- 1/2 cup crumbled pumpkin muffins, 1/4 cup raisins, 1/2 cup brown sugar and 1 cup apple juice. Put mixture into cored apple centers. Bake in oven until apples are fork tender. Serves 4-8 people depending on how much gluttony runs in your family.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Nobodies Home

Ok so this weekend despite not being the most busy weekend I have ever had somehow left me really out of touch with my PC. Which means NaBloPoMo got left behind for playing Monopoly with family, doing some Christmas shopping and seeing my adorable nephew. Church. That was the only real plan we had all week- to try and make it to church. Which we did. 4th row center. That's us. Stop by and say hi.

So something about church made me really excited today. The little old people who sit behind us are becoming our friends. They know our names and I know theirs. We wish each other well and tease each other a little. It's nice. I'm finally starting to feel like moving pews was the right decision. Although I hate to say it I think the pastor was right. I was ready to be part of something bigger and it's starting to feel good.

Friday, November 17, 2006


So it's time for Frankly Friday which is the point in the week where I acknowledge a great thing and a crappy thing from the week before as well as something I learned this week. It's a good way to keep the work week in perspective before moving on to the fun filled weekend.

Friday Fab- I'd have to say that there was one day this week that will stand out for a long time as proof Jon is awesome, that day which involved a lot of dish doing, desk assembly and assorted laundry was fabulous...not just because I didn't have to do it but also because he did it out of love.

Friday Flop- What's up with the header of this blog? I dunno how to fix it. It breaks daily. And why is my right side margin so big. Sigh. Flop. Definitely a flop.

Friday Fact- Sometimes things you expect to be awful are awesome and sometimes things you expect to be fabulous are flops.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Love Thursday

I have a couple favorite pictures of Jon. One of them is him right after a Christmas parade hanging out in a friends living room, one is him holding his nephew for the first time, one from our wedding, and one or two from Disneyland. This picture is one of those disneyland pictures...

For my birthday last year, Jon and I went to the land of mouse for 4 days of rides, mouse shaped snacks and overpriced beverages. But all, and I do mean all of my favorite memories involve the mass amount of time we spent trying on stupid hats. Big magician's hats with ears, aviator hats, princess hats, headbands with bug antenae on them... hats and funny faces, hats and posing for a picture, themed shots and random candids. Somewhere in all those pictures we found out we didn't want to buy a hat we'd never wear again. We also started to figure out just how in love we really were. I loved the way he skipped when he was excited to make me laugh and he loved the way I didn't let him win a game of cards and how I braved splashed mountain even though I hate the ride. And then somewhere around the park we found this pirates of the carribean hat and he smirked at me and I caught it on film and there he was captured in time forever... a little silly, a little cocky, a little smart and a little too attractive for my safety as a single person.

Your Not Lost

I've had several emails about how if you aren't using Explorer 7 then the text is horrible to read on this site. So I went searching for a new template. Here it is... Hope you like it. But I'm not done working with hold out for a few days if you don't like it and try again. Thanks!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Babies Rn't Us

So yesterday was the long awaited fertility specialist appointment. It actually wasn't that bad. Icky. But not bad.

He thinks my ovaries are better off than the normal Dr. did. Not healthy mind you but not about to fall out on the floor either. He recommended switching to Dr. Wilson the first chance I got because he prefers working with him to working with Dr. Hennes.

He also gave Jon and I some advice on preconception stuff (less caffiene, lose some weight, take a ton of folic acid (more than a prenatal vitamin)) and made me promise that the second I took a positive urine pregnancy test I would come in for Progesterone because my one weak ovary lowers my production of it which is probably the primary reason that I miscarried. Prog. is needed for an implanted egg to start to grow and transform the lining of your uterus. I have a lot less than a normal person. That's really bad news if you're an egg.

He also informed us that Blue Shield is evil...well ok so that's not an exact quote...but that they only cover my appointments after I have miscarried or still birthed 3 times. And that at that point I should expect to need around 5K if I want to get all the tests done that he would need to actually make Jon and I able to have a baby. That's not even an option until after the 3 tragic deaths of little babies though... so we're working around that.
He thinks I have closer to two years to try and have a baby. It seemed pretty promising other than the part about how without prog. I would surely miscarry every time.

Also we found out that there are different levels of PCOS (Poly Cystic Ovary Syndrome) and that the version that I had...although a pain (literally) is pretty slow moving and although I produce cysts they wouldn't harm a baby if I happened to have one while I was pregnant which leaves me much better off than the original Dr thought I would be.

So I guess at this point we are praying that God will make it very OBVIOUS when we end up pregnant so we can start getting progesterone shots ASAP when we need them. And that we would be able to get pregnant within the next year so that hopefully we can have one/two babies of our own before we have to look into the adoption route more thoroughly. We get a shot every other month. So that leaves us with 12 chances before my two year mark is up. So someone could pray about that too.

My next appointment is on the 1st of December, it will be an appoint with Dr Hennes and Dr Sanchez at the same time to make sure everything is in working order. Praises to God it only costs two co-pays for the ability of two doctors to work on you at once.

Thanks for your prayers so far...we'll keep you posted.


Mr & Mrs J (officially because I changed my name this week)

Mass Chaos

There are several reasons that I love my husband. Not the least of which is his ability to put up with lots and lots of chaos relating to my job. Today Jon spent part of his day off building a new desk at my office because no one wants to and because no one will do it as well as he did it last time. So...for reasons that don't make up for as big of a pain in the hinny as the task was... Jon is down the hallway decifering blue prints and trying to determine what screw B and screw A have in common.

I got a promotion. Sort of. It's more like a lateral move into a new department while keeping part of my old job because no one else wants to do it. See... the husband isn't the only one who's willing to put up with mass chaos for the people he loves. I moved my desk. Hate it. It's only been 10 minutes but I'm miserable and if you've ever spent 10 minutes with a miserable woman you'd know that at this exact second I'd rather be anywhere but with myself...down the hall from Mr Fix It. In fact I'd rather be home with Mr Fix It making something cuter than a desk with ten little fingers and ten little toes.

Proof...yet again... that we're still newlyweds...even in mass chaos.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Sugar & Spice & Not so Nice?

So how do you nicely tell someone that they've betrayed your trust and that you have no intention of ever letting them that close again without sounding like you are starting drama? I don't know. But I'm probably going to find out before Christmas. Tis the season to love thy neighbor and then mutter about them as you walk away. Sigh. I remember when I was nice and you were nice and there were nice shows on tv and we all liked a nice little lunch mid day. But now? Now will live in a dis-satisfied culture. Every show we watch and every thing we hear tells us to want. To need. Oh for it only to be enough- then and only then would we realize that there is no such thing as reaching enough. Enough is something you already have, you have it a thousand times fold and you're out looking for it. But alas, like the ruby slippers, enough's magic will only bring you home if you realize that's where you need to be.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Monday Monday

So Monday's always leave me wondering the same thing. Always.

I wake up every Monday morning wondering what happened to my weekend. What happened to Sunday the day of rest? What happened to Saturday morning cartoons in my PJs? When did I grow up and who made me responsible for my own calendar?

I need a Mommy. Someone to live in my house, do my laundry, make my dinner and tell me that I don't have the time or energy to go out and play because it's time for my nap. I need someone to remind me to take my vitamins, schedule my after work activities and give me positive reinforcement for being good. Yep. I need to be five again.

Not for a long time. Just long enough that I can turn into a prune in my bath water. Or long enough that I can nap till I have bed head. Perhaps just long enough that I can forget that it's Monday.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Thought I Forgot?

Don't worry I remembered to post today too. It's Sunday. Sunday's are traditionally a madhouse around here. We have church, then lunch with friends and today we had a girls only day at the local pottery painting place where I made a Christmas present for my mother. I know. It's lame...but really she doesn't need anything else I can afford to give her.

I have a presentation tomorrow at work that I am slightly scared...nah... make that scared silly about. So pray for me. I want this new job but I know some of the guys I work with would be perfectly content with keeping me where I am at and not letting me try something new. Not that they are out to get me...mind you... they just don't like change. And in some ways I can relate, I really like the pillows a certain way at night and I don't like it when they change the blend in my tea but I don't want to work the same job forever. That would be boring.

On another note, I keep going through phases of exstatic that Christmas is coming and fear. Fear that I won't be ready, fear that I can't afford it, fear that I'm not worried about celebrating it the right way. Retarded? I suppose. But for every moment of complete humble fear I have a moment of singing "What Child is This?" and looking at the overcast morning and wondering what our first Christmas will really have under the mistletoe so I guess it's pretty normal.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Saturday Morning Sleepin' In

It's been a long long LONG Loooonnnnggg time since I've been able to sleep in on a Saturday. I think the last time was about mid-August. Yep. That's too long. I agree. Last night was work's company appreciation dinner & we got home around 10. Now I'd like to say that at that point the night took an exciting turn but it would be more honest to say that at that point I stripped naked, brushed my teeth and went straight to bed while the hubby played a video game because he said his "brain was mush". We're exciting. You don't have to be jealous it's ok.

This morning I woke up around 9:30 which for me is like sleeping in till noon. I would have made it past that but at some point the cat decided that due to the rain hitting the window sile she'd rather drive me crazy by using me as a source of heat. We got up. The cat and I. We watched bad cable and waited for the hubby to wake up so I could make some eggs and bacon.

That was the most planned part of my day. I've watched some bad cable. Some old favorite movies and managed to do one load of dishes. I don't know why I call them loads...we do them by hand. But anyhow... The hubby did the laundry and we proceeded to do nothing...and a lot of it. We thought we were going to babysit but that didn't pan out. Neither did a board game with the in-laws. Jon fixed someone's car for them. We ate junk food. We played chess. It rained. Soft quiet rain. My favorite kind. We kept the heater on. And our brain was mush.

Friday, November 10, 2006


So it's time for Frankly Friday which is the point in the week where I acknowledge a great thing and a crappy thing from the week before as well as something I learned this week. It's a good way to keep the work week in perspective before moving on to the fun filled weekend.

Frankly Friday Fab- This week I got to see a few people I haven't seen in awhile. Like my father and one of my closest girlfriends. Both meetings were awesome and I'm still raving about them today.

Frankly Friday Flop- Today is my Employee Appreciation Dinner at work. An event that I run, which I am never recognised at, and which eats up a ton of my time and energy so that other people can be rewarded for just showing up. Sigh.

Frankly Friday Fact- Christmas makes me horny. I think it's all the happy thoughts and romantic carols. I don't know.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Love Thursday

Love is knowing that for a neice this cute .... he's willing to make this face in public...

Happy Love Thursday everyone!! For more Love Thursdays please see the Chookooloonks link in the right hand margin of this page.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

MVC Women's Book Club

Last night was the second meeting of our church's women's book club. We talked about the JP Moreland book, Love God with All Your Mind. Most people seemed to find the book rather difficult. Apparently everyone felt obligated to finish the book being as they knew a group of women would be talking about it. So that part was good right? The next book is called Knowing God. It's one of those religious book classics and one or two of us have read it before. But... I'm still looking forward to it. Ok so maybe more of what I look forward to is giving a bunch of housewives and mommies a place to go to have an adult conversation, hot coffee and debate.

We met at my house this last time. I don't know if we are going to meet at my house again or at someone else's but either way you are invited if you'd like to come. The next meeting is December 5th. Just let me know!

Hey There are people out there?!?!

Yea, I'm talking to you. And you. Nice to meet you. For awhile I was blogging for an audience of like 12 people. But suddenly there are people popping up from google searches, Randomizers, Blogher and other people's blogs daily. Multiple times a day even. How do I know? Well the site meter was one indicator. But the primary indicator was today when I got an email from someone to see if I was ok because I hadn't posted yet. Apparently people on the east coast want me to post in the morning. Patience is a virtue so they had to wait till now. It's a whooping 10 am here. They can handle waiting till after I check my email and return my voicemails can't they? I usually blog during one of my breaks. Just so you know. But I'd like to thank the absolute stranger for checking on me. Sometimes that's more than my friends do.

Ok... onto less random subjects....

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

By Request Only- My Testimony

I grew up in a household torn between two Gods. My father was a barely Baptist man who happened to fall in love with my mother who spent most of her time being Pagan (Celtic to be exact). It was a confusing place to start your religious life. Sometimes I was forced to attend Catholic Sunday school because it was the only option offered near where we lived. Sometimes I went to Baptist church with Grandma. Sometimes I went to Pagan Festivals with mom. I didn’t know what to believe really, but as I got older the Pagan’s had less rules so they seemed like the safer choice. I became active in that community but it never felt real enough to be mine.

I’ve always been a “good conflict” person. I like intellectual conversations, books with diagrams in them and anything that involves a strange combination of psychology, sociology and philosophy. I became one of those people who read every book on every religion I could get my hands on. By the time I was in my early twenties I had read the bible through twice and I had more Christian reference books than most Talbot Freshmen. I wasn’t looking for answers though; I was looking for ammunition for my next debate.

God was waiting for me. He waited through a horrible relationship and he waited while I let myself be abused and unused. He waited while I experienced lost and felt alone. He waited till one day he had everything lined up just right.

I had started a new job at a little company in Turlock. My co-worker’s all assumed I was Christian, I talked about volunteering, tithing (yes I tithed- the Church does a good job of getting money back into a community-whether you believe in God or not) and other activities that I took part in. I was the most Christian non-Christian they had ever met. I knew my sources, I could quote the bible…I just didn’t care.

Work put me into an office with another debater and our love of knowledge and healthy conflict lead to a fascination with all the books I owned and the start of swapping of Christian literature between friends. His concern for my lack of Jesus loving grace became the center of most of our personal conversations. Huge text books and little information pamphlets started finding their way home with me.

God’s sense of humor also began making it’s way into my life around the same time.

People started talking to me about God everywhere. Random strangers at the grocery store would start to tell me without provocation how great God was working in their life. I found myself at Walmart on a Wednesday night at about 10:30 to get cat food. Walking down the center aisle there was a book on the floor. I picked it up to put it back on the shelf. It was a bible, it was very colorful so I looked at the cover for a minute before, putting it back. Next to me a small elderly woman started talking to me about how beautiful the inside of the bible was. I talked for a few polite seconds and then left to get my shopping done. I dismissed her and the bible just as quickly as I put it back on the shelf. In the parking lot I was startled by a woman running at my car, the elderly woman brought me from her car a pink and black leather bible with her name and number written in it and a pamphlet on MVC. I made jokes at work the next day to my co-worker that God had sent me a stalker.

This co-worker was putting on a church event and sought my help with promotions (being as I have a degree in Public Relations) so I started helping with fliers and distributing information via web forums and the internet. Soon my Pagan friends were all going to the event to debate the speaker. I felt obligated to attend so I went to all three presentations (including two at church). After the church speaker I felt convicted about not talking to a couple people who had asked me to attend. I found myself the next weekend at MVC just to say thank you.

God launched himself into a second opportunity to let me know he was watching me. After the service a young man with a “walk this way” church sign chased me to the parking lot. He insisted that I had forgotten to take one and “EVERYONE” had one. In an effort to get him to let me leave I shoved the documentation and sign into my car. After parking in my parking lot back at home I found myself face to face with the woman from Walmart. As it turns out her granddaughter lived upstairs from me. Her granddaughter still talks to me every week about God, conveniently placed so close to me that she could talk to me from her balcony while I did my yard work on Saturday mornings.

Anyone who knows me knows I hate having clutter in my car. As soon as I was home I took the sign out of the car and tossed it inside my dining room where it (without my knowledge) slipped into my window behind the dining room table where I couldn’t see it. Within minutes the children across my apartment hallway came knocking on the door. They went to Awana’s earlier in the year but couldn’t find a ride to church on Wednesday nights; they wanted me to take them. For some unknown reason I agreed (again making God Stalker jokes). The next week I started driving them to church. Their mother only had one condition which was that I stay on the church campus while they were in class. I sat myself down at an outside table and started to read a huge textbook my co-worker had given me.
The co-worker who also volunteers at Awana’s made a point of drawing me to the attention of the senior pastor and college pastor. I found most Wednesday nights to include one of them (or sometimes all of them) talking to me about what part of my past made it so hard for me to accept that God loved me.

God began to stalk me with more vigor. My dreams were filled with conversations about him. My days were filled with conversations about him. My nights became filled with books about him but I just couldn’t take the first step. I felt broken but I was scared to feel whole.

Later that month my best friend died, on the exact day of his death my co-worker just happened to bring me a book on dealing with loss. We began to talk more seriously about my wounded heart and my selfish pride. I was terrified of God. God in my life had been a source of conflict and debate. It was eventually part of the end of my parent’s marriage (not equally yoked) and I was very human about not wanting to endanger my own self interests. He had written me letters before he died to be given to me after his death, each letter a beautiful testament that I should keep looking for God until I found him because he was waiting for me.

I went to a Monument meeting and I started talking to people my own age who also struggled with humanity and weakness in their own life. I started to see how Christians knew that they weren’t perfect but that God was. I started to understand that the person judging me was myself.

Then came the day it became clear. I began praying (at the request of the senior pastor) a few days earlier and found myself at a Saturday meeting at a woman’s shelter where I volunteered (at the time) as an abuse survivor speaker once every other month. I was speaking and I wasn’t reaching people. I, for the first time ever, was having trouble remembering what I wanted them to know. I said I needed fresh air. Walking out I started praying under my breath “Lord I need a sign that I need to go back in and do this” SMACK- I walked right into a giant glass wall. My eyes were open. And I began to laugh…and then cry. I picked myself back up and went back to my lecture. I spoke for the first time about doubt. About how much doubt plays a role in our self-conviction. I had convicted myself to be miserable and I didn’t want to do it anymore.

A thousand small things, in addition to, the few big things that God had done to show his presence all seemed so beautiful for some reason. Before that exact moment they felt annoying and forced. I went in seconds from agitated to excited. I found myself at home overwhelmed by a sense of urgency and hope. I called my one and only life long Christian friend and made her stop mid way through feeding a toddler to come help me except Christ as my savior. We giggled and wept on my floor while we prayed around a baby eating gold fish crackers and playing with the zipper on my sweatshirt.

Now months later I can look back and tell you exactly what made me want Grace. Now I can tell you it wasn’t the clear presence of God stalking me, or the intellectual proof of my co-worker, it wasn’t the emotional support of the MVC staff or the constant churning in my own soul. It was simply that I stopped making it complicated. In life I had made a complicated choice that I wasn’t worth being saved, I made it complicated and greedy, I viewed life as a burden and not a gift. I felt broken and the God shaped hole in my heart kept me motivated to do good things. I was scared that if I lost that part of me- the wanting, the desire for more- then I would lose who I was.

But that’s the thing about Grace that no one tells you. Grace is not a joy stealer, grace doesn’t take away your desire to live to your fullest potential. God’s love just changes what you view your fullest potential as. A few days prior to my accepting grace, was the day the senior pastor talked about Grace at church (which I had been attending every Sunday since the event I helped with). No one had explained grace to me in a way that made it sound so beautiful, complicated and compassionate. My wants changed so quickly. I went from wanted to feel motivated by my conviction to wanting to be motivated by his grace.

Monday, November 06, 2006


"You can not protect yourself from sadness with out also protecting yourself from happiness."
-Jonathan Safran Foer-

This is one of the quotes I use often. I use it when I talk to my friends, my family, and sometimes even strangers. I use it mostly when I have those internal conversations with myself at 3:00 am when I think about how my ability to trust people has changed over the years.

When I was young I trusted every one. I loved with the heart of a child that had never been betrayed. I played pretend games of house, school and a day in town. In my games the imaginary people were filled with love and trusted one another. They helped each other. They taught each other. They had no reason to be left out, to be alone or to be sad.

Then I grew older and my imagination was replaced by friends from school. We played together. We loved each other. More than loving each other though we loved the feeling of being one of the group. We loved having laughter together. We loved how it made us feel. We loved these things because we had begun to realize that not everyone is part of a group. Not everyone has someone who cares enough to make them happy. Not everything made us feel good.

Older yet I learned that I didn't have to trust someone to love them. This is a scary concept. I love you because of what you "could" be not because of what you are is a concept that gets lots of women in trouble.

Today I am as old as I have ever been. As I proceed into tomorrow I am making a steady effort to remember to trust people. To remember that I should be loving them. And to look for the good...

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Buzz Saws and Thunder

Buzz Saw? Thunder? Yeti running rampant through the streets? Zombies mating? Nope. It's just snoring. On both sides of the mattress.

My least favorite part of cold season is that no matter how wonderfully graceful and charming you are during the day, the odds are, at night you sound more like Darth Vader. There is nothing funny about snot. Like poo it's one of those topics that makes a person want to take a shower in purell and then walk around in a hazmat suit. There is nothing lady like about hacking up a lung, spitting a luggy or blowing your nose.

There are lots of ways I know my husband loves me. He makes cookies when I'm whiny. He cleaned the carpets for me today because the Church Book Club will be meeting at our house this month. He even takes out the trash and washes my car without being asked. But do you know how I'm so sure he's the one?

Love is being will to risk snot, germs and fevers in order to get a little action. Yep. He's the best.

The Post Blogger Ate

So I usually know that Christmas is right around the corner when I start seeing ads for toys during late night television. I usually know I'm about to loose half the contents of my wallet when I start seeing Christmas decoration aisles in my favorite department stores. But I really know that the world is in for it when I put in a CD of Christmas carols on the first day of November.

Christmas Carols are one of my guilty pleasures. I won't watch a Christmas movie until after Thanksgiving and I would never put up a decorations or send out a card before I had my last Turkey sandwich but I keep my Chritsmas carol CDs close to the top of the stack all year round.

Nothing reminds me that the world is a joyful place full of love, hope and salvation than hearing a good old fashioned jingle about a manger or chris kringle. And of all the things I love the best thing about Christmas carols is the fact that every one knows all the words...almost... and what we don't know we make up as we go and no one judges that. No one judges if you're off key, out of tune or too loud...because what we lose in skill we can make up for with acting out the words, dancing in our seats or making silly sound effects between choruses.

So if you pass a crazy red head in a car playing jingle bells tomorrow. Don't bother honking to tell me I'm #1 just sing along. Because I can't hear you anyhow... O Holy Night is too loud.


Oh bollocks and other bad words. I tried to use the "auto blog" option and it ate my blog. Yesterday I had a brunch with out of town family and then we watched our niece who is barely a month old so I know I wouldn't have time to blog and them blogger trapped my blog in autopost purgitory and now it won't even let me open it to edit it so I could copy it and repost it. For that reason, later today I will post two real blogs. I promise. Sigh. Bad Blogger...go to the Naught Chair!

Friday, November 03, 2006


So it's time for Frankly Friday which is the point in the week where I acknowledge a great thing and a crappy thing from the week before as well as something I learned this week. It's a good way to keep the work week in perspective before moving on to the fun filled weekend.

Frankly Friday Fab- My friend JMH came by to visit last night while I was watching my nephew. Although we haven't hung out in awhile we immediately fell right back to the way things used to be. We laughed, we mourned, and we giggled. I love being able to tell a story and have someone cover their face with glee or remembering something from "back in the day" and having someone do the "no no no" handwaive because they want to cut in with another detail you forgot. Mainly, I love knowing that JMH is back. I missed her.

Frankly Friday Flop- So about two weeks ago my MAC mascara went missing. It was missing for six long makeupless days. Six. Then I found the cat playing with it on the floor in the kitchen. A floor I had just mopped by the way so she brought it there from somewhere else. Well, it's been three days since I lost it again. Sigh. I so miss having on makeup. But we're broke so I'll have to be half done for awhile.

Frankly Friday Fact- Some people will never stop judging you. That doesn' t mean that you can't still love them. It doesn't mean that trusting them was a bad choice. It does mean that occassionally you are going to want to hit them with your car. Don't do that. It's a felony.

How about you do you have a Fab, Flop or Fact?

Thursday, November 02, 2006

I Love a Good Book

I love to read. I grew from a kid who spent the hour before bedtime with a bed lamp and a book to the highschooler who had the heaviest bookbag to the adult that loves to make long lists of books and then read them one by one. This week for Love Thursday I thought I'd share my love of books with you.

The ALA has a list of the 100 Most Frequently Challenged Books of 1990–2000. Those are the books that people request to ban in the Library system so that they aren't available for people to check out.

I made it my mission between 2001 and now to read all the books on that list. Praise the Lord I am done! I finished shortly before I got married. Some books were better than others, some where awful but at least now I can argue if I agree or disagree with them.

So that got me thinking that there are probably a few other top 100 lists that I should read. I found a list online somewhere of the Top 100 books bought (excluding the bible & Shakespeare). I had already read the bible and the complete works of Shakespeare so it was the perfect list for me. As much as I would like to include a link for that site I can't seem to find it in my favorites but I do have a printout so I'm going to list the books below... I put the ones I have read already in bold. I plan on reading them all (although it's not on my 40 before 40 list). Which ones have you read? Are there any books you think should be on the list that aren't?

1. Don Quixote Miguel De Cervantes
2. Pilgrim's Progress John Bunyan
3. Robinson Crusoe Daniel Defoe
4. Gulliver's Travels Jonathan Swift
5. Tom Jones Henry Fielding
6. Clarissa Samuel Richardson
7. Tristram Shandy Laurence Sterne
8. Dangerous Liaisons Pierre Choderlos De Laclos
9. Emma Jane Austen
10. Frankenstein Mary Shelley
11. Nightmare Abbey Thomas Love Peacock
12. The Black Sheep Honore De Balzac
13. The Charterhouse of Parma Stendhal
14. The Count of Monte Cristo Alexandre Dumas
15. Sybil Benjamin Disraeli
16. David Copperfield Charles Dickens
17. Wuthering Heights Emily Bronte
18. Jane Eyre Charlotte Bronte
19. Vanity Fair William Makepeace Thackeray
20. The Scarlet Letter Nathaniel Hawthorne
21. Moby-Dick Herman Melville
22. Madame Bovary Gustave Flaubert
23. The Woman in White Wilkie Collins
24. Alice's Adventures In Wonderland Lewis Carroll
25. Little Women Louisa M. Alcott
26. The Way We Live Now Anthony Trollope
27. Anna Karenina Leo Tolstoy
28. Daniel Deronda George Eliot
29. The Brothers Karamazov Fyodor Dostoevsky
30. The Portrait of a Lady Henry James
31. Huckleberry Finn Mark Twain
32. Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde Robert Louis Stevenson
33. Three Men in a Boat Jerome K. Jerome
34. The Picture of Dorian Gray Oscar Wilde
35. The Diary of a Nobody George Grossmith
36. Jude the Obscure Thomas Hardy
37. The Riddle of the Sands Erskine Childers
38. The Call of the Wild Jack London
39. Nostromo Joseph Conrad
40. The Wind in the Willows Kenneth Grahame
41. In Search of Lost Time Marcel Proust
42. The Rainbow D. H. Lawrence
43. The Good Soldier Ford Madox Ford
44. The Thirty-Nine Steps John Buchan
45. Ulysses James Joyce
46. Mrs Dalloway Virginia Woolf
47. A Passage to India E. M. Forster
48. The Great Gatsby F. Scott Fitzgerald
49. The Trial Franz Kafka
50. Men Without Women Ernest Hemingway
51. Journey to the End of the Night Louis-Ferdinand Celine
52. As I Lay Dying William Faulkner
53. Brave New World Aldous Huxley
54. Scoop Evelyn Waugh
55. USA John Dos Passos
56. The Big Sleep Raymond Chandler
57. The Pursuit Of Love Nancy Mitford
58. The Plague Albert Camus
59. Nineteen Eighty-Four George Orwell
60. Malone Dies Samuel Beckett
61. Catcher in the Rye J.D. Salinger
62. Wise Blood Flannery O'Connor
63. Charlotte's Web E. B. White
64. The Lord Of The Rings J. R. R. Tolkien
65. Lucky Jim Kingsley Amis
66. Lord of the Flies William Golding
67. The Quiet American Graham Greene
68 On the Road Jack Kerouac
69. Lolita Vladimir Nabokov
70. The Tin Drum Gunter Grass
71. Things Fall Apart Chinua Achebe
72. The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie Muriel Spark
73. To Kill A Mockingbird Harper Lee
74. Catch-22 Joseph Heller
75. Herzog Saul Bellow
76. One Hundred Years of Solitude Gabriel Garcia Marquez
77. Mrs Palfrey at the Claremont Elizabeth Taylor
78. Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy John Le Carre
79. Song of Solomon Toni Morrison
80. The Bottle Factory Outing Beryl Bainbridge
81. The Executioner's Song Norman Mailer
82. If on a Winter's Night a Traveller Italo Calvino
83. A Bend in the River V. S. Naipaul
84. Waiting for the Barbarians J.M. Coetzee
85. Housekeeping Marilynne Robinson
86. Lanark Alasdair Gray
87. The New York Trilogy Paul Auster
88. The BFG Roald Dahl
89. The Periodic Table Primo Levi
90. Money Martin Amis
91. An Artist of the Floating World Kazuo Ishiguro
92. Oscar And Lucinda Peter Carey
93. The Book of Laughter and Forgetting Milan Kundera
94. Haroun and the Sea af Stories Salman Rushdie
95. La Confidential James Ellroy
96. Wise Children Angela Carter
97. Atonement Ian McEwan
98. Northern Lights Philip Pullman
99. American Pastoral Philip Roth
100. Austerlitz W. G. Sebald

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Family Game Night Recap

I come from a highly competitive, "take that", "I'll show you how to draw two" sort of childhood. Board games were a product of every single night when I was growing up. First chance I got I married a man who could make me laugh and hold his own at a game of phase 10. That's why it is no suprise to people who grew up with me that I still bring cards to the dinner table, have friends over for board game nights and have family game nights whenever the opportunity arises.

My nephew is itty bitty. Too little to trick or treat and too big to sleep all day and cry all night. So last night we had my brother in law (BIL) and sister in law (SIL) over for dinner and a couple board games. Halloween is a great night for board games. Autumns chill can be safely warded off by your heater and dinner keeps the kitchen nice and toasty. We had spaghetti and home made meatballs. The food was good but wasn't what were came for.

In between door bell ringing, trick or treating fairies and goblins we prepped ourselves for battle. The baby was fed and put down for the night. Pepsi's were cracked, cookies placed with in arms reach and spinner tested for technical difficulties....

In the game of Life there is only one winner. He's usually the guy with the bank (why is that? I don't know but, it has nothing to do with the game). It was a slaughter. You can always tell when a person slaughters everyone else because said person can be spotted with an ear to ear grin, evil laughter and sometimes...if the game was really really bad... that person will dance. Luckily, he didn't dance.

Then the girls picked a game. The game of Encore involves singing songs with specific words in them or in specific categories. It's sort of like a sing off for your brain. In order to win you're going to need that really bad eighties ballad you always wondered why you knew the words to. You are also going to need some good commercial jingles, christmas carols, musicals, theme songs and your occassional modern rock, country or rap lyrics. Then and only then will you realize that this is the BEST. GAME. EVER.

Picture this...grown men surrounded by kit kat wrappers dancing in their seats singing the song Grease Lightening complete with hand motions. Or two women busting out into a christmas carol just after the boys timer ran out and they couldn't think of a song with the word "hear" in it. Laughter. Lots and lots of laughter in your home...and some zombie brain sleep when you are done can both be expected by the end of the night. It takes a lot of energy to make grown white men dance!!