Wednesday, August 30, 2006

What to do? What to do?

Survivor starts in two weeks.

Volleyball starts tomorrow.

Survivor is on Thursdays.

Volleyball is on Thursdays.

I really hate to admit this publicly but Survivor is the only show I'm completely addicted to. I like other shows and happily watch them if we're both available at the same time. But Survivor is the only show I make a point never to miss. It's the only show I'll tape if I'm going to miss it.

But my VCR is broken.

SIL (yeah, that one) offered me one of theirs a couple of months ago. I politely declined as they're always strapped for cash and it seemed wrong to take one from them. But she assured me that they have SIX of them so could easily spare one. (I didn't ask why they have six as I was afraid the answer would make me sick.) But I gratefully accepted the offer of the free VCR.

That was a couple of months ago. SIL still hasn't remembered to bring it.

Survivor starts in two weeks.

Volleyball starts tomorrow.

So, do I go buy a new VCR? I hate to prod her into bringing it since she's doing me a favor to begin with. Seems a bit ungrateful to needle her about it. But if I go buy a new one I have no doubt she'll turn up with one the next week.

What to do? What to do?

On the other hand, I guess my life is pretty good if my biggest dilemma at present is whether or not to buy a VCR to tape Survivor!

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

I usually try to keep my posts here light. Even when I'm bitching, I at least try to be a little humorous about it. But there was no humor to be found in the email I got from my mother-in-law yesterday. Bless her heart. She is a little racist, but she doesn't mean to be and honestly doesn't think she is. She just hasn't quite overcome her small town, never see any race but her own, biased upbringing. Plus, she thinks every word that comes to her via e-mail is true if it comes from someone she knows. I don't think she ever stops to wonder who the original source of the message was. I've sent her the link to Snopes numerous times. I've copied and pasted the actual articles from Snopes into emails and sent them to her numerous times. I finally started just deleting the goofy, urban legend ones. But this message could not be ignored. I did respond to it telling her that I thought it was incredibly sad that people were perpetuating ideas like this. I also posted the email contents on Scrap Share. Purplesocklady sent the message to a Muslim friend of hers who responded to each charge much more articulately, and with much, more more actual knowledge, than I ever could. I decided to post these comments here as I know this message is flying around the internet like these things tend to do. Hopefully, at least one person who has gotten this vile email will see this and have some understanding of the truth. I will post each individual charge, then follow with Matt H's responses. Thank you , Matt. I really hope you don't mind me sharing your comments here.

Can a good Muslim be a good American?

After much study and deliberation.... Perhaps we should be very suspicious of ALL MUSLIMS in this country. They obviously cannot be both "good" Muslims and good Americans. Pass it on Fellow Americans. The religious war is bigger than we know or understand.

Theologically - no. Because his allegiance is to Allah, the moon god of Arabia.

Theologically-yes, because Allah is the Lord of all the Worlds, not just the Moon or Arabia. A Muslim fought for the Americans during the Revolutionary war, and the only book to be saved from a burning University in Georgia during the Civil War, was the Qur'an translated into English. Islam has its roots deeper into America than some would want to believe.

Religiously - no. Because no other religion is accepted by his Allah except Islam (Koran, 2:256)

Religiously-yes, because Muslims live in every country on Earth, and are not isolated in the Middle-East. In fact, the minority of the world Muslim community is Arabic. Arabs make up only 22% of the World's Muslim population, whereas the largest Muslim country in the world is Indonesia. Believing only Islam as a religion accepted by Allah doesn't have anything to do with living in a country where the majority of its people don't believe in it. Historically, Muslims have lived under non-Muslim rule and there were very few rebellions until recently to overthrow the government and create an Islamic state from the ruins. Who told them to keep their peace? The religious scholars. They would rather have Muslims live under non-Muslim rule, than to fight and shed blood simply to create an Islamic State. This is a lengthy subject, and I can't get into it fully, but scholars wrote extensively on the subject of war, and its permissibility and impermissibility, so I would advise that one should try to read all of the books that had the most credentials back in its day before making a sweeping generalization that all Muslims think they can't live under non-Muslim rule. What about the Muslims who lived under the Christian king of Abyssinia, under the direct orders of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon Him) Himself? The Muslims were being persecuted by their own people, and the Christian King took them in as refugees, and sacrificed His economic interests when the Meccans came back to take the Muslims back home where they could "take care of them". The King said no, even though the Meccans were one of his best economic traders. He sacrificed the economic comfort of his nation to protect some Muslims. And the Muslims were grateful. So, don't tell me that you can't be a Muslim and a good American (or whatever country you want to use)

Scripturally - no. Because his allegiance is to the five pillars of Islam and the Quran (Koran).

Scripturally- yes, because the Five Pillars of Islam are "There is no deity except God, and Muhammad is His Messenger", "Annual Charity", "Pilgrimage", "Fasting", and "Praying 5 times a day". What in the American Constitution prevents a Muslim from doing or affirming any of these things? As I said, Muslims have lived under non-Muslim rule for centuries. It is impossible that all Muslims in history have lived under Muslim rule, simply for reasons of numbers. There would not be enough room for all of the Muslims in the world to live in the countries that were ruled by Muslims.

Geographically - no Because his allegiance is to Mecca, to which he turns in prayer five times a day.

Geographically- yes, because only the minority of Muslims live near Mecca, whereas the majority live in Indonesia. The Muslims do not show their allegiance to Mecca. But it is the holiest city of Islam because the Prophet Muhammad took the idols out of the Kaaba, and restored Abrahamic Monotheism among the Arab people, who then shared the message to the whole world. This is a focal point of unity, and it is comforting to know that millions of other people are turning in the same direction as you are, and praying at the same time, even if you don't know them or will never meet them.

Socially - no. Because his allegiance to Islam forbids him to make friends with Christians or Jews.

Socially- yes, because the Muslim is NOT forbidden to make friends with Jews and Christians. There is a verse that is often translated as saying the Muslims should not make friends or patrons with the Jews and the Christians. However, there was a whole science dedicated to Qur'anic historical context, because the Qur'an is not like the Bible and it is assumes the listener knew the allusions and events that it was referring to. Whereas the Bible has history and revelation wrapped together. So, the Muslim scholars and historians fixed this problem by trying to find out the historical context behind each verse, and researched extensively to find the truth. What one scholar found was that this verse that seemily claims Muslims should not make friends with Jews and Christians, has the following as the context. The Muslims were starting to get afraid because of not having enough tribal support, or what not, so some of the Muslims said "I am going to take refuge with the Jews", and others aid "I am going to take refuge with the Christians". Then, this verse was revealed telling the Muslims NOT to do that, but stay together as Muslims and fight the tide together. That interpretation is radically different than a supremacist attitude of not making friends with Non-Muslims because they are "infidels".

Politically - no. Because he must submit to the mullah (spiritual leaders) who teach annihilation of Israel and Destruction of America, the great Satan.

Politically-yes, because only in Shi'i Islam is the Mullah believed to have divine authority from God to make decrees. The over-whelming majority of Muslims believe the Imams are great people who have much knowledge of religion, but they are not infallible and are encouraged to seek different opinions from other well established scholars to make their own decision. So, a Muslim does not have to listen to a Mullah who tells him he must destroy Israel and America. He can go to another Imam and ask him what his opinion is, and make his decision after weighing the pros and cons of the situation. If he has sound mind, he will most likely choose NOT to destroy Israel and America.

Domestically - no. Because he is instructed to marry four women and beat and scourge his wife when she disobeys him (Quran 4:34).

Domestically-yes, The word for "beat" in that verse has many meanings. I don't want to beat around the bush and ignore the controversial question that is being asked, because I don't want to get beat in an argument about this subject. Notice how I used the word "beat" in two sentences, and both have different meanings. The first meaning is to ignore the question and try to move on to a different subject. The second sentence means that I don't want to lose an argument. Why couldn't I simply just say that? Because it is my culture to use words in different manners and contexts. In Arabic, it is exactly the same. Considering the Prophet is the example to follow, let us see if He ever beat His wives? No, He didn't. And His wives not only disobeyed Him often, but would argue with Him over a lot of issues. What did He do? He listened to their complaints like a good husband does. He didn't say "Woman! Keep your mouth shut in my house!". And as for the four wives, the Muslim is actually DISCOURAGED from marrying four women, not INSTRUCTED to. The Qur'an says that if the husband is fair and treats each of his wives equally, he may marry four women. But the Qur'an in a different section says that you will never be able to be fair with more than one wife, so the Qur'an is actually prohibiting polygamy through personal morality, but not through law.

Intellectually - no. Because he cannot accept the American Constitution since it is based on Biblical principles and he believes the Bible to be corrupt.

Intellectually - yes, because many of the most brilliant university students in America are Muslims. Come to my university, and you will find that half of the people hanging around the Student Union are Muslims. I didn't know that not agreeing with every single facet of the American constitution made one a bad American. It's not a divine decree, sent down directly from God Himself.

Philosophically - no. Because Islam, Muhammad, and the Quran do not allow freedom of religion and expression. Democracy and Islam cannot co-exist. Every Muslim government is either dictatorial or autocratic, or theocratic.

Philosophically- yes, because Muslims brought philosophy back onto the scene after the Christian establishment buried and banned it as heretical musings of pagans. The Muslims were obsessed with philosophy. Many of the scholars were reading a philosophy book if they weren't reading the Qur'an, and vice versa. They translated many of the writings of the great philosophers like Socrates, and Plato into Arabic and preserved the texts. If Muhammad did not permit freedom of religion, then why did He allow Christians from the region of Najran, Arabia to pray in His Mosque when it was time for them to pray? Mind you, this is after they decided that He was a False Prophet, because their intention for seeing Him was to question Him and find out if He was a true Prophet or a false Prophet. They chose the latter, yet Muhammad still offered His Mosque to stay in. Keep in mind, that Islam teaches the existence of One God, and all Prayers should be directed to this One God. Not through intercessors, angels, or Prophets. But to the One God Alone. Whereas the Christians believed in a Trinity, and they prayed to God, Jesus, or the Holy Spirit, or all at the same time. Still, Muhammad allowed this type of prayer to be said in his Mosque which was dedicated to true Monotheism. If that is not freedom of religion, then I don't know what is.

Spiritually - no. Because when we declare "one nation under God," the Christian's God is loving and kind, while Allah is NEVER referred to as heavenly father, nor is he ever called love in The Quran's 99 excellent names.

Spiritually-, yes. Here is the list of the 99 beautiful names of Allah, and decide for oneself if this is a loving God.
1. Ar-Rahman: The All-Compassionate
2. Ar-Rahim: The All-Merciful
3. Al-Malik: The Absolute Ruler
4. Al-Quddus: The Pure One
5. As-Salam: The Source of Peace
6. Al-Mu'min: The Inspirer of Faith
7. Al-Muhaymin: The Guardian
8. Al-'Aziz: The Victorious
9. Al-Jabbar: The Compeller
10. Al-Mutakabbir: The Greatest
11. Al-Khaliq: The Creator
12. Al-Bari': The Maker of Order
13. Al-Musawwir: The Shaper of Beauty
14. Al-Ghaffar: The Forgiving
15. Al-Qahhar: The Subduer
16. Al-Wahhab: The Giver of All
17. Ar-Razzaq: The Sustainer
18. Al-Fattah: The Opener
19. Al-'Alim: The Knower of All
20. Al-Qabid: The Constrictor
21. Al-Basit: The Reliever
22. Al-Khafid: The Abaser
23. Ar-Rafi': The Exalter
24. Al-Mu'izz: The Bestower of Honors
25. Al-Mudhill: The Humiliator
26. As-Sami: The Hearer of All
27. Al-Basir: The Seer of All
28. Al-Hakam: The Judge
29. Al-'Adl: The Just
30. Al-Latif: The Subtle One
31. Al-Khabir: The All-Aware
32. Al-Halim: The Forebearing
33. Al-'Azim: The Magnificent
34. Al-Ghafur: The Forgiver and Hider of Faults
35. Ash-Shakur: The Rewarder of Thankfulness
36. Al-'Ali: The Highest
37. Al-Kabir: The Greatest
38. Al-Hafiz: The Preserver
39. Al-Muqit: The Nourisher
40. Al-Hasib: The Accounter
41. Al-Jalil: The Mighty
42. Al-Karim: The Generous
43. Ar-Raqib: The Watchful One
44. Al-Mujib: The Responder to Prayer
45. Al-Wasi': The All-Comprehending
46. Al-Hakim: The Perfectly Wise
47. Al-Wadud: The Loving One
48. Al-Majíd: The Majestic One
49. Al-Ba'ith: The Resurrector
50. Ash-Shahid: The Witness
51. Al-h Haqq: The Truth
52. Al-Wakil: The Trustee
53. Al-Qawi: The Possessor of All Strength
54. Al-Matin: The Forceful One
55. Al-Wáli: The Governor
56. Al-Hamid: The Praised One
57. Al-Muhsi: The Appraiser
58. Al-Mubdi: The Originator
59. Al-Mu'id: The Restorer
60. Al-Muhyi: The Giver of Life
61. Al-Mumit: The Taker of Life
62. Al-Hayy: The Ever Living One
63. Al-Qayyum: The Self-Existing One
64. Al-Wajid: The Finder
65. Al-Májid: The Glorious
66. Al-Wahid: The Only One
67. Al-Ahad: The One
68. As-Samad: The Satisfier of All Needs
69. Al-Qadir: The All Powerful
70. Al-Muqtadir: The Creator of All Power
71. Al-Muqaddim: The Expediter
72. Al-Mu'akhkhir: The Delayer
73. Al-Awwal: The First
74. Al-Akhir: The Last
75. Az-Zahir: The Manifest One
76. Al-Batin: The Hidden One
77. Al-Walí: The Protecting Friend
78. Al-Muta'ali: The Supreme One
79. Al-Barr: The Doer of Good
80. At-Tawwib: The Guide to Repentance
81. Al-Muntaqim: The Avenger
82. Al-Afu: The Forgiver
83. Ar-Ra'uf: The Clement
84. Malik al-Mulk: The Owner of All
85. Dhul-JalaliWal-Ikram: The Lord of Majesty and Bounty
86. Al-Muqsit: The Equitable One
87. Al-Jami: The Gatherer
88. Al-Ghani: The Rich One
89. Al-Mughni: The Enricher
90. Al-Mani': The Preventer of Harm
91. Ad-Darr: The Creator of The Harmful
92. An-Nafi: The Creator of Good
93. An-Nur: The Light
94. Al-Hadi: The Guide
95. Al-Badi: The Originator
96. Al-Baqi: The Everlasting One
97. Al-Warith: The Inheritor of All
98. Ar-Rashid: The Righteous Teacher
99. As-Sabur: The Patient One

Therefore after much study and deliberation.... perhaps we should be very loving of ALL MUSLIMS in this country. They obviously CAN be both good Muslims and Americans.

Pass it on Fellow Americans. The religious propaganda war is more subtle and hidden than we can ever imagine.

Written by Matt H. Aug 29, 2006

Monday, August 28, 2006

[Brought to you by the weekly SS blog challenge.]

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The challenge:
1. Open your purse/wallet/briefcase/diaper bag.
2. Inventory the contents.
3. Pick one item from your inventory list and expand on it. Why do you have it? Where did it come from? What special meaning does it have? Is there a funny/interesting story attached? Choose something that will tell the reader a little about you, whether it's serious, funny or unremarkable. Or if you're writing for yourself, choose something that will remind an older you of who the younger you was.

Go - inventory your contents!
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My purse is probably the least telling item that I own. A stranger, upon finding and shuffling through it, would get a very misleading impression of me. My purse is probably the most organized area of my life. There’s nothing in it I don’t need. Everything has a place and everything is in its place. This is SO not me in the rest of my life. Said stranger, when shuffling, might mistakenly surmise that the owner of the purse was in possession of an organized and orderly mind. *snort* That’s a good one!

What’s the most telling item in my purse? Probably all the punch cards in my wallet. You know those ones where you buy so-many and then get one free? I have seven of them, four of which are to various coffee places. Now THAT probably tells something about me.

See, I’m a bit of a coffee snob. It doesn’t necessarily have to be rare or exorbitantly expensive coffee, but it does have to be good coffee and it has to be real coffee. My coffee of choice at home is Folgers Gourmet Supreme. I usually make 2-cups in the morning. In my pot, one tablespoon of grounds makes one cup. It’s not sissy coffee.

And then there’s the creamer. Now, this is where my claim to be a coffee snob could have a breach in its hull as a true coffee purist might claim that a real cup of coffee would NOT include creamer. But you may recall I claimed to be a snob, not a purist. Creamer should be very rich and flavorful, NOT flavored. Sister-in-law (yeah, that one) was visiting recently and woke up on Sunday morning with a raging hangover from the previous evening spent with her family. And yet she could not drink coffee because she forgot her vanilla-cinnamon-caramel-make-it-not-taste-like-coffee-anymore creamer. Gag.

That said, when visiting the big city, aka: any city that has an actual coffee shop like Starbucks or Java Dave’s, I will get something frilly. Chocolate-covered cherry mocha lattes are a favorite. But I don’t really consider these “coffee” even though they have espresso in them. When I want coffee, I drink coffee. When I want dessert, I get a latte.

So, if you ever find my purse, you’ll discover very little about my true personality, other than the fact that I’m a coffee addict.

Friday, August 25, 2006

What's a little feces?

I was mowing this morning. Mowing is fairly monotonous work leaving the mind free to wander as it will. With little else to think about, I found myself mulling over the recent thread on Scrap Share about t-shirt slogans. Different ones offended different people. Some people thought the one that says "My brother did it" is awful. Personally, I find that one funny. I bought that very one for Levi for his birthday a couple of weeks ago.

Many people said they have one for their little girls that says "Princess". To me, that one is vile.

In thinking on it more, I realized that it's all about intent and perception. If Levi were truly a kid that blamed everything on his brother and tried to get out of taking responsibility for his actions, I wouldn't find that shirt funny either. But he's not. And his brother does torture him at times. So, to me, the shirt is funny.

Some of the SS ladies explained that they let their girls get the "Princess" shirts because they want to be one. I've always viewed those shirts as "Daddy's little princess, I get whatever I want because I'm precious" shirt. It never occurred to me that the girl kids wearing them might actually want to be Cinderella. Intent and perception.

All of this reminds me of the 'do you have pets' thread. Some said they wouldn't have one because they wouldn't be able to stand cleaning up poop. To me, that's a very small price to pay for all benefits of pet ownership ... the love, affection, companionship and entertainment. Hey, what's a little feces in an otherwise ordinary life?

But maybe that's just my perception.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

The blink of an eye

I nearly got broad-sided this morning. I had dropped Lane off at the high school and was taking Levi to the middle school. I was stopped at a red light, then started into the intersection when the light turned green. I caught movement out of the corner of my eye, slammed on my brakes and a car went flying by no more than 1-2' from my front bumper. It was truly a heart-stopping moment.

The thing is, since Lane got his permit in June I have preached and preached and preached at him NOT to trust that other drivers will follow the law! And I usually do check left and right before starting into an intersection in cases like this just in case some dumbass decides to fly through on the last second of yellow and doesn't make it. But Levi and I were chatting and I just had one of those momentary lapses. I could well have been my last lapse.

Note to self: Remember to practice what you preach!

You must excuse me now while I go change my panties.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

The discoveries of a first time kitten owner

We let Levi adopt a 2 month-old kitten from the Humane Society for his birthday. We’ve all fallen in love with him! But I have to say that I’ve made an amazing amount of discoveries about life with a kitten in that brief time. Technically, we’re not truly first time kitten owners. We have a 4 year-old cat. But she came to us as an older kitten. Plus, she was born and raised outdoors so we’ve always allowed her to come in or go out as she chooses. Unless it’s cold, she chooses out most of the time. So she wasn’t an accurate test run of the kitten raising process.

Here are just a few things I’ve learned in the three-and-a-half weeks we’ve had Sunny …

1. Kittens grow extremely rapidly! Sunny nearly doubled his weight - from 2.2 lbs. to 4.0 lbs. - in exactly three weeks.
2. Number 1 is probably due to the fact that a kitten can eat the equivalent of his own body weight in food on a daily basis.
3. Number 2 probably contributes to the fact that a kitten can poop the equivalent of his own body weight on a daily basis.
4. Kitten poop really stinks. I mean REALLY. Worse that grown-up cat poop. (I haven’t figured this one out, unless it’s the rich kitten food as opposed to grown-up cat food.)
5. Kittens have an amazing amount of energy and love to play.
6. A kitten’s favorite play time is 3 a.m.
7. Playing kittens love to use teeth and claws.
8. Kitten claws most closely resemble tiny needles. Kitten teeth most closely resemble slightly larger needles.
9. Kittens are not afraid of anything. Not big, fat 15 pound cats that growl and hiss when they come near. Not 15 pound dogs who think they might be a snack. Not scolding from their owners when they scratch furniture.
10. Kittens will eschew carpet-covered cat houses and specially purchased scratching posts in favor of scratching furniture.
11. Kittens will eschew specially purchased kitten toys in favor of the dog’s toys.
12. Kittens don’t have quite the balance that adult cats do.
13. Kittens, while playing on the back of the sofa, will occasionally fall off.
14. Kittens think they’re very sneaky. If they crouch down behind a peanut, they think you can’t see them.
15. Kittens are every bit as snoopy as cats. They just can’t get into/onto all the places cats can yet.
16. Kittens will occasionally puff up their tails to four times their original size and run sideways for no apparent reason.
17. A sideways-running kitten with a puffed-up tail is a fairly ridiculous looking thing.
18. Kittens will tolerate approximately 4.5 seconds of petting and loving before they decide those stroking fingers look like something fun to play with. (See number 7.)
19. There is nothing sweeter than a sleeping kitten.
20. Sleeping kittens should be avoided at all costs. They are extremely light sleepers and, upon awakening, think it’s play time.

And all of this in just three-and-a-half weeks. Just think what all there is left for us to learn!

Monday, August 21, 2006

Remarkably unremarkable
[Brought to you by the weekly SS blog challenge.]

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The challenge:
"My students were middle-class kids who were ashamed of their background. They felt like unless they grew up in poverty, they had nothing to write about...I felt sorry for these kids, that they thought their whole past was absolutely worthless because it was less than remarkable."-David Sedaris, from an interview in January Magazine

Admit it. You've said, "I have nothing to blog about. My life is boring." Haven't you. Haven't you?

Your challenge is to write about it anyway. Write about your less than remarkable life. Write about your routines, your habits, your schedule. Find the unremarkable things about your life and CELEBRATE them.

Go - be remarkable!
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This one is pretty easy. I’m perfectly unremarkable in every way. Reminds me of the M*A*S*H episode where Hawkeye Pierce was talking about his “incredibly average” classmate. That’s me … incredibly average. Average height, average weight (okay, a bit above average in that arena!), average brown hair, average looks. If it weren’t for my tendency to be a bit of a smart ass, you could meet me and not even remember I existed five minutes later.

But, is this necessarily a bad thing? Do I mind it? Not really. I’m rather glad that I’m not on the end of the spectrum of people who stand out for all of the wrong reasons. I’m also okay with not standing out at the upper end. I’m not really a lime-light kind of girl. I think the world needs a good population of those in the middle. Those of us who pay our bills, who keep our lawns tidily mowed, who volunteer at school, drive minivans, take our kids to soccer, shop at Wal Mart, donate blood, recycle and those thousands of other mundane things we do.

I’ll admit that, in my younger days, I yearned for more. To be prettier, to be more talented, to be a star. But I’ve grown up a lot since then. I’ve found my niche. And my niche is unremarkable. And that’s okay.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Methinks the gentlemen doth protest too much

School started here today. When asked if they were ready, both boys vehemently insisted that they were NOT! No way. No how.

What they said ....

* Heck NO, we're not ready for school to start!

What they did ....

* Pored laboriously over the choices before deciding on school supplies. Who knew it could take 15 minutes just to select mechanical pencils? Choosing pens took only slightly more time. Luckily, spiral notebooks come in only so many varieties.

* Oh so carefully arranged all of the aforementioned supplies in their binders so that they made the most logistical sense.

* Actually went to bed on time last night, sans protest.

* Actually got up this morning on time, sans protest.

* Actually got ready this morning on time, sans protest. In fact, they were all showered, dressed, fed, shod and ready to go a whole half hour before it was time to leave!

The only downside was that I'm no longer allowed to choose their clothing for them. Not even their first-day-of-school clothing. I used to send them in something new. Something cute. This was more for the sake of future scrapbook pages than a creating a good first impression tactic. Still, two birds with one stone and all. Since they no longer let me choose, one went off in an AC/DC tee and the other in his "I didn't do it" tee. Ugh. Then again, the eldest has much worse ones. I guess I should be glad that he restrained himself as much as he did.

We'll see if this eager attitude lasts as long as even day two.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

And then there were two

Teenagers, that is. Levi turned 13 today.

He's a teenager. That's not really much of a system shock as he's had a bit of teen attitude for a few years now. But he sure is growing up. Physically, he's coming awfully close to being as tall as I am. Soon, I'll be the shortest one in the family. Intellectually and emotionally, he's really maturing.

He'll be in 7th grade this year and will be trying new things that haven't been available to him before as a "little" kid. School starts tomorrow and, with it, cross country. Levi's a natural runner and is anxious to try this sport. I think he'll do well. He'll be trying track and field in the spring.

This summer, he decided to try violin. We rented one and he took lessons. By the end of the summer, he decided that the cello really is his instrument so he'll go back to that with school. But now he knows.

He's clever and funny and moody and bright and cranky and sweet. And he's mine.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Color me white
[Brought to you by the SS Blog Challenge]

When asked what my favorite color was, my first reaction was NOT white. But I had to think about it and realized that it must be one of my favorites. It's practically all I wear, shirt-wise. I must have about 25 white shirts. Several of those are old and used for mowing or house cleaning. A few of them are nice. And, by "nice", I mean not stained. I realized that more and more things in my house are going white ... appliances, towel racks, kitchen tools, ceiling fans, even my latest set of sheets. Not to mention the new van. I just like the clean, fresh, uncluttered look of it.

What does that say about me? I didn't know, so I googled it. Let's see how accurate that is:

White: Symbolic of purity, innocence, and naivete, white has strong connotations of youth and purity.
Hee, hee, haw, haw, laugh, chortle, snort. Ummm, methinks not.

If you are an older person, your preference for white could indicate a desire for perfection and impossible ideals, maybe an attempt to recapture lost youth and freshness.
Okay, maybe. Not the last part. Don't care much about recapturing lost youth unless, of course, that means when the kids run off and I have to track them down. But the perfection part could be accurate. Note that it says the "desire for" perfection ... not the "achievement of".

It may also symbolize a desire for simplicity or the simple life.
Hells yeah. Again, the operative word is "desire".

When considering my favorite color my first reaction was green. Let's see what that says:

The color of harmony and balance, Green symbolizes hope, renewal, and peace, and is usually liked by the gentle and sincere.
Sincere, maybe. I definitely don't see me as gentle. I'm more of a bull than a butterfly.

Greens are generally frank, community-minded people, fairly sociable but preferring peace at any price.
Yes, to all of the above.

Green people can he too self-effacing, modest, and patient and so may get exploited by others.
Yep, yep, yep and SO yep!

They are usually refined, civilized, and reputable.
Nope, nope, yep.

Maybe when you mix green an white and get pale green I'm the "lite" versions of each of these colors??

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Please give helpful advice or shut the $*&@ up!

I don't know what it is lately but everyone seems to want to tell me what's wrong with whatever decision I have recently made ....

Mentioned to a friend that I had gotten a new Dodge van.
Oh, no! You should have gotten a Tahoe! The mileage is about the same but they're much nicer!

We let Levi adopt a kitten from the Humane Society for his birthday.
Oh, no! You should have called us. We have a whole litter of kittens that we would have given you free!

We got the boys new school shoes at the Nike outlet in Kansas City.
Oh, no! You should have gotten them at Dick's! They have good sales this time of year!

Levi's new kitten is a male.
Oh, no! Males tend to have a lot of problems peeing all over the house when they're older.

See, none of these are exactly helpful advice. Had these gems been offered before the stated activity, they might have been useful. After the fact? What do people think I'm going to do? Take the cat back to the Humane Society? Take the shoes back 4.5 hours to KC? Have our kitten sexually altered? How is any of this helpful?

Answer? It's not. Lately it just seems like a lot of people are eager to tell me what's wrong with my decisions. And, to tell the truth, much of the post-advice is bad. I've been spending a lot of time lately smiling and nodding while refraining from saying what's on my mind. I guess I need to think of a comeback for these situations since they seem to be so common lately. Would actually saying, rather than just thinking, "Shut the $*&@ up" be too politically incorrect? I wonder. I also wonder if I care.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

School may now begin

1. The boys are enrolled
2. The lunch tickets are purchased
3. School supplies are stocked up
4. School clothes were bought
5. Backpacks, binders and calculators are located
6. They're sick of each other
7. I'm sick of them being sick of each other
8. I'm sick of not being able to get the computer when I want it

Seven days and counting ....

Monday, August 07, 2006

"Fair" ... misnomer? Or aptly named?

Well, we have just finished another county fair. WHEW! The boys are 4-Hers so we're there every day of the fair for something or other. During this ordeal ... I mean adventure ... I started thinking about the word "fair" and wondered if it was really appropriately descriptive for what this event entails.

Merriam-Webster offers these definitions of the word:

1 : pleasing to the eye or mind especially because of fresh, charming, or flawless quality

Ummm, ever been to a county fair? This definition definitely does not fit. They look kind of cool at night with all the lights of the rides. In the raw light of day? Nope. Trashy, dusty, crowded, dirty, smelly. Flawless doesn't even come close. Strike one.

2 : superficially pleasing
Okay, this one probably works.

3: clean, pure
See #1. Strike two.

4 : not stormy or foul
Well, no, it was not stormy. Actually, a few storms would have been a welcome respite to the triple-digit temps. Actually, stormy would have made it much fairer (is that a word?) Not foul? See #1. Strike three.

5 : marked by impartiality and honesty : free from self-interest, prejudice, or favoritism
Ever looked around at the judging of exhibits and wondered how in Hades they came to those conclusions?? I sure have. Strike four (yeah, I know the three-strikes-you're-out analogy doesn't work if you go beyond three strikes but just go with it. I'm tired.)

And, to add one of my own, fair as in temperate weather.
No, no, no, no, no, no, NO! On Sunday evening we had to be at the fairgrounds at 5 p.m. for our 4-H club meeting. It was 106 as of that time. Read back a few posts to see my opinion of temperatures in the one-oh-anything range. They are less than favorable. It was one-oh-plus every day of this year's fair. Strike five.

So, five to one, in my oh so humble opinion, fairs should not be called "fairs". What should they be called. Man, don't ask me. Didn't I say I was tired? Gimme a few days and maybe I'll come up with something.

BUT, on a positive note, the boys had a good "fair". Here are the results of their entries:

Foods –
Lane – Apple Nut Muffins – SUPERIOR BLUE
Levi – Gingerbread Sour Cream Muffins – BLUE

Craft –
Levi – Bird Trap (hard to describe but I'll be taking photos later!)– SUPERIOR BLUE

Plants –

Photography –
Lane – Two BLUES and two REDS
Levi – Two SUPERIOR BLUES, one BLUES and a RED (including two Spotlight Awards)

Rockets –
Lane – BLUE

Photography Judging –
Fair judging contest:
Levi – 1st place
Lane – 2nd place

Overall (averaging the highest scores from 2 out of the 3 county contests for this year)
Levi – 1st place
Lane – 3rd place

So both boys will be going to the state fair to judge and taking one or more of their purple ribbon entries. If you want to see their photos, I’ve uploaded them to my Epson site:
They are the last 8 ones on this page. You can go back to page 1 to see previous years’ photos if you care to.

I can honestly say there's one thing about a fair that can be called "fair". The ending. It's one of those things that I enjoy seeing come, but enjoy seeing it end even more.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

I need a dose of Mumps

David, of The Daily Mumps (link at right), appears to have gone on vacation. Or an extended business trip. Or the asylum from dealing with four personettes. Wherever he is, he needs to get his butt back to work and update his site! Hey, I'm not the one that named it the DAILY Mumps, now am I? Is there no truth in advertising any more? Is there no reliability? Is there no David out there thinking solely of ME and the fact that I might be missing me some mumps?

Sheesh. The things we get addicted to.

David, if you're out there somewhere, you've created a habit in at least one cyber stalker and making me go cold turkey is, well ... cold.

(Seriously, I hope things are fine with you. But I do hope you get back to updating your site some day.)