Friday, December 31, 2004

Home again....New Year's Eve

Home again....thankfully. I love being with my family and at home in the house where I grew up (at least since 5th grade), but it sure is nice to come back to my home now....this lovely apartment that is all mine. To come home to my mess, my routine (or lack thereof), my schedule, etc. And to come home with a few days of vacation remaining before returning to work. My to-do list is long, but is slowly being checked off.

New Year's Eve.....how I really hate this day. Somehow it gives me a feeling of things that I'm missing, rather than the promise of things to come. I've only had one or two years where the party that I attended really was worth attending. For years and years I babysat while other people attended their parties. That too was somewhat of a letdown - although the extra cash was nice.

This year, I was all set and ready to just have a party of one here in my little home. Then while I was driving home to Dallas on Wednesday, I got a call from my friend Kelly. She, too, was feeling rather ambivalent towards the parties that were on her option list. So, she decided to have people over to her house, where she could sorta "set the tone" of the evening. So, rather than staying at home tonight, I will venture out to her place and ring in the new year there. Depending on how early the party breaks up after midnight, I might spend the night at her house, or might head back home.

Don't know if any of you make resolutions or goals for the new year, but I try to a least take a few minutes to reflect on the past year and look forward to the new year. I was introduced to a website (www.futureme.org) that lets you write a letter to your future self and then it is delivered to you in the future at a date you specify. Think I might do that this year....

Whatever you all do this evening, be safe!



Monday, December 27, 2004

Home for Christmas

I've really enjoyed being home for Christmas. Mom & Daddy were in Dallas to just hang out and relax the week before and we caravaned (is that really a word?) home to Abilene on Christmas eve. Heather & Phillip were at his family's house for the holiday, so the three of us just relaxed on Christmas day after we slept in and mom made a yummy breakfast of biscuits and gravy. One of my favorites!!

So, our Christmas really came on Sunday after church. It was different this year having Phillip with us. I am just still adjusting to the changing face of our family as we welcome Phillip. It is a good adjustment, though.

Today we spent just running around, helping Heather track down some wedding things. Plus, I met my friend Lela for lunch. She is living in South Korea as part of a church planting team. I'm hoping to maybe get to visit her and my friend Rebecca in Chiang Mai, Thailand when I take another trip to visit Sarah in the Philippines -- maybe in late 2005 or early 2006.

Tonight is our family dinner with my mom's extended family. We are not eating turkey and all the trimmings this time, and I'm glad about that. Turkey is fine, but not one of my favorites. So, cracker crumb chicken, mac-n-cheese, strawberry-pretzel salad, homemade rolls....yummmm.

Then more relaxing tomorrow, and the drive back to big-D on Wed. Read a blog today about going into "hibernation" and look forward to doing some of it the rest of the week, before returning to work next Tuesday. Gotta love long, holiday vacations.

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Snow!

....well, sort of. Today it is cold and moist here in Dallas. Started off this morning with rain, then it became sleet and then SNOW!! Not that it will stick, of course. As a matter of fact, I think it is pretty much gone already! When I went out for lunch today, I got to enjoy the icy snow and blustery north wind. Almost made it feel like Christmas - as opposed to the 70 degrees we had on Monday.

I love it!! For any of you who have snow that actually sticks to the ground, please make a snow-angel for me!!

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

10 gallons!

Yesterday I reached a milestone.....10 gallons of blood donations! In about 10 years. Pretty amazing, when you think about it. My dad got to come with me for my platelet donation yesterday to see how Carter Blood Care does it as compared with Meek Blood Center in Abilene. It was fun to have him come with.

Work this week is interesting -- only a handful of people are here, but there is still plenty of work to do. So while things are more laid back than normal (jeans days!!), it's not quite like we are on vacation yet. BUT, only 2 more days!!


Monday, December 20, 2004

Back home....

Back home safe and sound from a quick trip over the weekend to Lubbock, TX for my friend Erin's wedding. It was beautiful -- as expected!

4 days and counting until Christmas vacation!!

Friday, December 17, 2004

Another Successful Party!

Well, I've mentioned to you before my Annual Christmas Open House, but I don't think I've fully explained all that goes into this event. Let me start with a little history.

When we moved to Abilene, I was in 5th grade. My dad started working at ACU (still does actually, though his job has evolved throughout the past 18 years). He had quite a few people under his leadership throughout that time, so mom & daddy would host an Open House each year for his employees/spouses. My sister and I were allowed to attend the "no-kids" party only if we helped --- take coats, encourage people to sign the guest book, refill food on the table, etc. Until I moved to Dallas in 1999, I had never missed one of these parties.

Christmas 1999 and 2000 were pretty transitional because I was still really getting settled. Christmas 2001, I was singing on the Worship Team at church, so I decided to have "the party" for the Worship Team. Sad attendance (only 5 people came!), but I do still have 2 people from that group that wait in eager anticipation for the invitation in the mail each year and wouldn't miss it for the world.

Christmas 2002 - attendance was better -- 15
Christmas 2003 - 50% increase -- 29 people came!
Christmas 2004 - I beat any other year -- 30!!

It is a come-and-go party from 6:30-9:00 -- and the time between 7:15 and 8:30 is typically the most popular for people to come. I live in about 900 square feet, but my apartment is arranged fairly well, so it isn't completely overwhelming when all those people are there at the same time!

To me, one of the greatest things, is that it is an intergenerational gathering -- I invite my friends, of course, but also several of my elders at church, and this year was the first that a couple of families with kids came. I just love having friendships across all spectrums and being able to share my home with them all.

Here's a list of what went on the table this year (started with The List from Mom and has evolved each year, but some treats will NEVER change!):
  • Party Weinies
  • Sausage Balls
  • Crab Dip
  • Corn Dip
  • Homemade Salsa
  • Sausage Dip
  • Veggies/Ranch dip
  • Chips/Crackers
  • Banana Bread w/cream cheese
  • Strawberry Bread w/cream cheese
  • Fudge
  • Peppermint Bark
  • Puppy Chow
  • Missouri Cookies
  • Chocolate Caramel Popcorn (this is the only item that wasn't homemade from scratch - it is a Boy Scout fundraiser item that I buy each year)
  • Apple Cider
  • Coffee
  • Almond Tea
Amazingly, there is always food left over! Which is good, because playing hostess keep me busy and I really don't eat that much during the actual party - I just graze from time to time. And this is all food that I love, so having some leftover is nice (makes for easy lunches!).

Anyway, just thought I'd share a little of my holiday experience with you all. Happy Friday!!


p.s. I have to thank my two good friends, Kelly & Jenny. Kelly came a little early to help me do the last minute candle-lighting, etc. Jenny stayed a little late to help me put away leftovers. Without those two great friends it would have been a much more hectic and stressful night. Thanks girls - love you!!

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Crazy

Yes, it has been way too long since I posted. I know. For the few of you out there that look to see what I might say, I'm sorry. What can I say? My life is out of control.

After surviving the Home Tour on Dec 5th, I made a marathon trip this past Saturday to San Antonio down and back in the same day for a wedding. 10 hours in the car for a 3 hour party. Worth it? Yep -- seeing the groom struggle to breathe and not cry like a fool at the sight of his bride....absolutely priceless.

Annual Christmas Open House .... at my house ..... tomorrow night! I love it. Really, I do. It is lots of fun..... but lots of work. Looking forward to the clock striking 6:30 pm and hearing the doorbell chime as the first guests arrive. Then I can breathe and enjoy the night.

Another wedding this weekend -- not quite so quick a trip, but still will only be about 36 hours. Fly to Lubbock Sat morning, wedding Sat evening, church and fly home Sun evening.

My parents are coming in on Sun afternoon to enjoy a week to relax at my casita. Will be very nice -- but it means all the Christmas gifts must be completed and wrapped before I head to Lubbock. Think they are all purchased, just have some wrapping to do.

Also spending lots of time at church -- budget committee, elder selection committee, singles group coordinator, Ladies' Retreat planning committee, bible class leader, frequent PowerPoint clicker......

Oh, yeah, plus work. This week has been Board Meeting week - which somehow has equated to crazy week this month. Maybe it is because we are presenting the 2005 budget, I don't know. Plus, about the last of my good friends at work is quitting. My three other favorites (outside of my department) have left to pursue other options in the past 18 months, now Ovi is leaving too. I'm pretty bummed.

All that to say - I'm going to have a serious, sit down, come-to-Jesus meetin' with myself over the Christmas holiday time away from work and set some clear boundaries and priorities as far as what things I will be committing to next year. This is just way too much. I need to be able to enjoy my life, not just run from one thing to the next. And I'm only doing it for one right now - imagine if I had kids!


Monday, December 06, 2004

Survived!

Well, the Home Tour is officially over and was definitely a success. We sold a lot of tickets (around 900) and processed a ton of transactions through the Holiday Shoppe. Final receipts are still coming in as we continue to receive ticket packages back from the reps that sold tickets for us and as our advertisers from the program send in their checks, but it has proven to be a record-breaking year! Better than any other in the past.

While it was a great success, it was physically exhausting. I spent about 28 hours from Friday evening through Sunday evening on getting the Holiday Shoppe set up and then the actual tour on Sunday. Then spent about 4 hours today working on getting numbers finalized, deposits processed, etc. And that is just a little part of the hundreds of hours that were spent by all the volunteers in preparation of items to sell. All for a great cause.

Now, if I can just catch up on my sleep....

Friday, December 03, 2004

It is time....

This Sunday, December 5 is the Home Tour that I have spoken about previously for New Friends New Life. Finally it is here. I haven't had nearly the overwhelming workload (especially in the last few days) that some have in regards to this event, but I sure will be glad when it is over.

So, from about 4:00 today until probably 8:00 Sunday evening, all I will do is eat, breathe and sleep Holiday Shoppe business!
  • Tonight is pricing some last remaining gift items while hanging out with a couple of my good friends
  • Tomorrow we will receive, repackage and price all of the Incredible Edibles that will be donated for sale and I'll get the check-out area of the Holiday Shoppe all set up
  • Sunday, I will go to early church after taking a friend to the airport at 6:00 am (more on that in a minute), then head over to the Holiday Shoppe about 10:30 for final last minute preparations. Then from 1:00-5:00 it will be complete crazy busyness as we check-out everyone who purchases items from the Shoppe. Then comes my real work: the cash counting, totalling, and the hold-your-breath moment of "how much did we make this year?!?"

Crazy. Nuts. Insanity some would say. But also immensely satisfying to use my talents and abilities to aid this wonderful ministry. So, if you think about it, say a little prayer for low stress levels, high tolerance, and NO RAIN!

So, to the airport run at 6:00 am.....my best friend from college, Sarah, moved to Manila (that is in the Philippines) in July 2003 to teach children of missionaries at Faith Academy. I went to visit her in October 2003 and it was a very unique experience. Here's a picture of us on the beach at Puerto Galera (on another island in the Philippines).



Anyway, Sarah came home spur of the moment last week to attend her grandfather's funeral and she'll be spending the night with me tomorrow night and I'll be off to take her to the airport on Sunday morning - bright and early!

Well, I guess I probably should get back to work now....Happy Friday everyone!!


Sunday, November 28, 2004

Thansgiving

My good friend from college Rebecca's husband Russ posted a Thanksgiving list at their blog and invited others to comment their lists also. Here's what I posted over there:

Thanks for the opportunity to post a thanksgiving list here...all too often I overlook the blessings that I have and focus on what I don't have, rather than what I do have to be thankful for. Here's a quick list (in no particular order):
~a fantastic, loving, wonderfully supportive family

~a soon to be brother-in-law that fits like he was always a part of the family
~a great job that is stable and lets me learn and grow
~more than sufficient paycheck to allow me to help others and still live an above average lifestyle
~a church family that loves me and supports me
~great friends that love me and support me, while still pushing me to be the best that I can be and challenging me in my walk with Christ
~good health for me and my family
~grace -- which I am desperately in need of each and every day

I can say with absolute certainty that I take for granted the blessings that I have and do not take the time to thank God for what I have. Hope that you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday with family and friends and that you took time to state your thankfulness.

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

A friend

I had a chance to reconnect with a friend tonight -- it had been 18 months since we spent any time together -- how is that possible?! -- and a chance encounter at the local Super Target brought our worlds back together again.

There is no reason for the fact that we haven't seen each other in all these months -- just a lack of attention and getting wrapped up in the busyness of work and life. I didn't realize how much I had missed this friendship until we spent the evening talking, laughing and catching up with each other. So Josh, if you are reading this, I promise not to let 18 months pass again!

I guess there is a lesson here for both earthly, physical relationships and my relationship with God. Neither will prosper and flourish without constant work and consistent attention.

Saturday, November 20, 2004

Christmas....

I know, I know -- I will got tons of grief from the folks that believe that Christmas shouldn't begin before Thanksgiving is over. I, too, believe that - well, mostly. What I believe is that you should take time with family and be thankful for all the blessings that God has showered upon you and yours during the Thanksgiving season (well, really all year long).

In my love for Christmas, I do a whole lot of stuff for the holiday and I LOVE IT!! BUT, sometimes it requires getting a little ahead and doing something of which I typically wouldn't even dream.....decorating for Christmas before Thanksgiving. Yes, you read it here....the goal for my day today, November 20 is to decorate my humble little apartment for Christmas. And now, at 1:30 pm, I have decorated my new skinny tree with a few favorite ornaments and opened almost every box of decorations that I have. So now my apartment looks like a Christmas store in disarray. Never fear, I will get it all up and pretty before I head home for quality time of Thanksgiving with my family.

Now why, you ask, am I breaking my own rule? Well, it is like I said, I do love this season so much and create so much chaos and craziness for myself that there just isn't enough time after Thanksgiving to get it all done! The one big factor that is driving this is my annual Christmas party/open house. Basically, I cook a bunch of fun, fextive holiday party food and invite all my friends to come hang out. Lots of fun, yummy once a year foods, and great fellowship with friends who talk about it all year long....but it does translate into some work for me. Believe it, though, if I didn't love it, I wouldn't do it!

Hope that you are enjoying this week of Thanksgiving and anticipating the reason we celebrate Christmas - the birth of our Savior.

Monday, November 15, 2004

High School Football

I wasn't the biggest fan in high school. Probably because, in the early 90s, Abilene High football stunk. I mean they were really, really bad. I'm not sure they ever won a game in my four years there ... well, at least not many.

But now, Abilene High is a football powerhouse! They won district this year with a 10-0 record! This past Saturday, I went to the bi-district game vs. North Crowley. Although it was a chilly (~50 degree) and rainy day, we sat at Birdville Stadium and watched our Eagles pound the Panthers .... final score 45-21 (it was 45-0 at halftime!).

Who knows what the Regional game vs. El Paso Montwood will look like this weekend, but if we prevail, we'll probably be up against Southlake Carroll (#1 team in the nation!) for Quarterfinals.....yikes! Go Eagles!!!

Sunday, November 07, 2004

The weekend - part 2

Well, now I'm staring down at the last few waning hours of my weekend....it has been relatively uneventful, which is nice.

Did venture out to Wal-Mart this afternoon .... yuck. In college, I used to love to go to Wal-Mart. I could wander around for hours finding things I didn't really need but somehow convinced myself to want. Now, Wal-Mart just really isn't convenient for me, plus it is just always so dang crowded. But, I can say the trip was successful - found the Starlight mints I needed to make Peppermint Bark to sell at the Holiday Shoppe of the NFNL Home Tour (see yesterday's post for an explanation of that) - still hunting a good deal on 2 pounds of white chocolate. Found a new purse for significantly less that if I had found it pretty much anywhere else that I shop in Dallas. So, the trip was a success!

Now, I'm home to savor my last hours before the week begins in full force. Probably going to make those cards that I mentioned yesterday - just didn't quite get around to doing them. Probably going to veg in front of a movie for a little while...then that's it for my Sunday.

Saturday, November 06, 2004

The weekend!

I am so glad that the weekend is finally here.....

I worked a little late last night (~6:00, which actually is late for me, especially on a Friday!) then went by my new friend Jan's house to get some info from her. We are members of a board for a non-profit called New Friends New Life -- it is a ministry that was formed out of my church a few years ago to aid women who want to leave sexually oriented businesses and turn their lives around. It is a great ministry and very rewarding to work with as you can actually see results in the life of real people.

Our big fundraiser each year is a Home Tour that is held the first Sunday of December. We have three homes in a pretty swanky part of town that we sell tickets for people to tour. At one of the homes, we host a Holiday Shoppe with great little gifts and wonderful Incredible Edibles available for purchase. Anyway, Jan is the Home Tour chair this year and she is super organized and has everything running so very smoothly. But, I am helping her keep track of money stuff since that is one of my gifts and not one of hers! (Shameless plug and plea for money - even if you don't live in the Dallas area, but are interested in supporting this organization, tickets are only $15 and I'd be happy to sell you one!)

So, then I came home to chill out on a Friday night -- watched a little TV then off to bed. I just love Saturday mornings where I can sleep in! So far today, I've done some cleaning, some laundry, some organizing. Now I'm off to make a couple of cards (birthday for my sister and a wedding card for my friend Erin).

Happy Saturday to all!

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Cool weather....

It felt so great today....cool (maybe mid 50s), rainish....I might just say that this is about my favorite weather. This morning, waking up snuggled under my comforter while my nose was cold in the chill of my room.....I love it!!! Somehow it was just wrong to wear sleeveless and flip flops in late October!!

Sunday, October 31, 2004

Handwriting Analysis

On the suggestion of Mae, I took this Handwriting Analysis…check it out….eerily, pretty accurate. All from one little paragraph…. (My personal response to their analysis in red italics)




Jenni has a healthy imagination and displays a fair amount of trust. She lets new people into her circle of friends. She uses her imagination to understand new ideas, things, and people. (Actually it is quite difficult for someone to "break into" my circle of trust)




Jenni's true self-image is unreasonably low. Someone once told Jenni that she wasn't a great and beautiful person, and she believed them. Jenni also has a fear that she might fail if she takes large risks. Therefore she resists setting her goals too high, risking failure. She doesn't have the internal confidence that frees her to take risks and chance failure. Jenni is capable of accomplishing much more than she is presently achieving. All this relates to her self-esteem. Jenni's self-concept is artificially low. Jenni will stay in a bad situation much too long... why? Because she is afraid that if she makes a change, it might get worse. It is hard for Jenni to plan too far into the future. She kind of takes things on a day to day basis. She may tell you her dreams but she is living in today, with a fear of making a change. No matter how loud she speaks, look at her actions. This is perhaps the biggest single barrier to happiness people not believing in and loving themselves. Jenni is an example of someone living with a low self-image, because their innate self-confidence was broken.




Jenni is sarcastic. This is a defense mechanism designed to protect her ego when she feels hurt. She pokes people harder than she gets poked. These sarcastic remarks can be very funny. They can also be harsh, bitter, and caustic at the same time.




In reference to Jenni's mental abilities, she has a very investigating and creating mind. She investigates projects rapidly because she is curious about many things. She gets involved in many projects that seem good at the beginning, but she soon must slow down and look at all the angles. She probably gets too many things going at once. When Jenni slows down, then she becomes more creative than before. Since it takes time to be creative, she must slow down to do it. She then decides what projects she has time to finish. Thus she finishes at a slower pace than when she started the project. She has the best of two kinds of minds. One is the quick investigating mind. The other is the creative mind. Her mind thinks quick and rapidly in the investigative mode. She can learn quicker, investigate more, and think faster. Jenni can then switch into her low gear. When she is in the slower mode, she can be creative, remember longer and stack facts in a logical manner. She is more logical this way and can climb mental mountains with a much better grip.




Diplomacy is one of Jenni's best attributes. She has the ability to say what others want to hear. She can have tact with others. She has the ability to state things in such a way as to not offend someone else. Jenni can disagree without being disagreeable. (Sadly, this is where I differ from the "analysis" -- I am not quite as diplomatic as I would love to be...)




Jenni is secretive. She has secrets which she does not wish to share with others. She intentionally conceals things about herself. She has a private side that she intends to keep that way, especially concerning certain events in her past.




When Jenni expresses an opinion on a issue she will stick to that opinion, and probably will not change her mind. In other words... Jenni is stubborn. (as my mother would say....AMEN!!) When she is wrong about something that she has decided upon, she will have trouble admitting she is wrong. Changing Jenni's mind can be very difficult. Once Jenni makes up her mind, she doesn't want to be confused with the facts!



Jenni is moderately outgoing. Her emotions are stirred by sympathy and heart rendering stories. In fact, she can be kind, friendly, affectionate and considerate of others. She has the ability to put herself into the other person's shoes. Jenni will be somewhat moody, with highs and lows. Sometimes she will be happy, the next day she might be sad. She has the unique ability to get along equally well with what psychology calls introverts and extroverts. This is because she is in between. Psychology calls Jenni an ambivert. She understands the needs of both types. Although they get along, she will not tolerate anyone that is too "far out." She doesn't sway too far one way or the other. When convincing her to buy a product or an idea, a heart rendering story could mean a great deal to her. She puts herself in the same situation as the person in the story, yet she will not buy anything that seems overly impractical or illogical. Jenni is an expressive person. She outwardly shows her emotions. She may even show traces of tears when hearing a sad story. Jenni is a "middle-of-the-roader," politically as well as logically. She weighs both sides of an issue, sits on the fence, and then will decide when she finally has to. She basically doesn't relate to any far out ideas and usually won't go to the extreme on any issue.


Those of you who know me personally, what do you think????

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Back in glasses

Well folks, after 16 years of wearing contacts I am back in glasses. But only for a short while, thankfully! I am planning to have LASIK surgery shortly after the first of the year! But because I have worn gas permeable contacts since I was 12, I must go for a period without wearing them to ensure that the doctors have all the measurements right to fix my vision. While I am very excited about the prospect of seeing clearly without correction (because I am so very, very blind), I am a little nervous about the actual procedure and possible risks. So, any thoughts and prayers you could say during this process would be greatly appreciated!

Any words of encouragement from anyone who has gone through it?

Monday, October 25, 2004

Breast Cancer Awareness

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness month. The Breast Cancer Site needs your help in funding free mammograms for women in need! Help make early detection possible every day with a simple click, at no cost to you. Visit The Breast Cancer Site today!

Sunday, October 24, 2004

Tired

I'm pooped. Emotionally and physically. This was ACU's Homecoming weekend -- and the first time that I was at home the same time as my younger sister and her fiance.

Homecoming is such a busy weekend -- at least it is for us. Thankfully I wasn't in a social club, so no need to get up before the crack of dawn for breakfast, but making a 9:30 parade is hard enough. (I mean really, anytime you are up before 9:30 or 10:00 on a Saturday is way too early!) Then visiting with folks all over campus....then off to the football game. It is hard to get excited about a football game that is so crowded you can hardly see anyone in the stands, never mind to watch a team that rarely wins. Just not my thing.

After the football game we went to my cousin Lauren's house to visit her week old baby, Lindsey. She was so precious....I think I could have sat and watched her for a long time. Then we ran home to eat and change clothes before the musical (this year it was Kiss Me, Kate) -- good show, but rather long. Made it hard to get up for early church this morning at Highland. Then the lovely drive back to Dallas from Abilene.

Whew....I'm about to fall over. Definitely an early to bed night.....

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

New favorite salad

Ate a new salad prepared by master chef Kimberly Clifton -- well, at least I think she is a master chef. Kimberly and Brent have been hosting our singles group weekly bible study for the past 5+ years. Not only that, but Kimberly cooks for us each week. Sorta difficult to do since you never really know how many folks will show up! And by cooking, I mean real cooking. Some weeks it is a full roast and potatoes meal, some weeks it is enchiladas, salad and divine spinach/sausage queso, some weeks it is make your own english muffin pizzas. All so yummy!

Well, this past week was the enchilada, salad, queso meal....and since I am officially on the weight loss track via Weight Watchers (11 pounds so far!!), the enchiladas and queso were pretty much out (although I admit to eating some of the queso -- you just can't completely deny yourself!). So, on to the salad. I've never been a huge salad fan, although in recent years I'm coming to like them more and more. Which is good, because if you leave off all the high fat toppings (cheese, bacon, eggs, ham, real dressing) and go for veggies (broccoli, carrots, green peppers) and lite dressing, a salad is a very healthy meal!

So, here's the scoop on my new favorite salad.....I'm putting it here in a single serve version (just multiply to make it for a group) -- which, for any WW folks out there, is only 5 points for a pretty filling meal:

2 cups mixed greens
1/2 cup Ranch Style beans (drained and rinsed)
1/4 cup fat free shredded cheddar cheese
Fat Free Catalina dressing, to taste (2 Tbsp is a serving)
Tony Chachere's Creole Seasoning, to taste
Diced tomatoes, optional

Mix greens, beans, and cheese. Toss with dressing. Sprinkle Creole seasoning to taste. Enjoy!

Thursday, October 14, 2004

Interesting blog....

So, if you read Clarissa's blog, you might have already found the link to this interesting blog: God's Blog. If not, check it out.

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Screen Door

I never realized how much I missed having fresh air in my living room ... until last night. After 5 years of living in the same apartment, I finally called maintenance a few weeks ago to find out the procedure to get a screen door installed on the sliding door to my patio. So, they came and measured, I had to go buy the door, then they would come back and install it.

This weekend, I finally made it to Lowe's to get a 30" screen door (pretty difficult to find one that small). Got it home fairly easily because my parents were in town and it fit in the van. Called maintenance on my way to work yesterday morning and, VOILA! came home to a screen door installed!

The weather here has been so nice the past few nights, I've even slept with the window open in my room! Now, I can enjoy that fresh air in the front part of my apartment.....maybe one day, I'll live somewhere that I can even get a cross-breeze!

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Technology

I will admit it. I am a geek at heart. My dad is in the technology field and from a very early age instilled in me and my sister a love of all things technological. And often, a desire to have that new, cool toy. That is all to explain why I am excited about this:

I work for an oil and gas company and all the guys/gals in our geology and engineering groups have TWO of these monitors. Since I am in the lowly accounting group, my computer usage is just as high and constant, but the complexity of the work I do just couldn't justify the need for a 21.3" flat panel LCD monitor like those who juggle maps all day long. BUT, I wanted one. Badly. I drooled over, and came quite close to lusting over, these monitors. I was on the "possibly will get one next year when we might think about putting them in the budget" group.

So, bad news is, one of our engineers quit last week. Good news is, the other CPA and I in the office got to split his monitors! Wahoo!! (Still can't justify needing TWO of them, though!) PLUS, his computer was newer than mine and I got to trade his wireless keyboard and mouse for my traditional wired versions. What this means is that the IT department won't complain anymore that I have the buttons backwards on my mouse (only way that I could type without hitting my elbow repeatedly on my desk was to become a lefty on the mouse) and I get the luxury of another computer accessory that I love.

A bad thing about technology, though, that I was reminded of this afternoon at a meeting, is how utterly we are dependent on it now. If the computer crashes, all our work is lost. If the printer won't print, we can't get anything done. If cell phones, emails, and fax machines aren't working, we can't communicate with anyone. Kinda strange how quickly our culture has evolved into this total reliance on technology. Seems like we really should be relient on something else.....oh, yeah. That's God.

Sunday, October 03, 2004

Book Review, et al

Just a little venting to start off this post....why is it when I highlight the text in my posting editor to change the font/size, does it sometimes (read: often) zap my entire entry??? Argh! Blogger! So, here goes the second typing of this entry:

So, a few days ago I promised further reviews of the
Kristin Billerbeck novel that I bought on Tuesday. I spent the weeknights reading "What a Girl Wants" before I went to sleep. Without giving away any pertinent details, this book is about a single girl as she tries to navigate life, family, relationships, career and her faith. So, I was almost finished with book 1 and on Friday stopped off at Borders (had a 20% off coupon!) to get book 2 "She's Out of Control." Suffice it to say, I spent most of Saturday finishing "What a Girl Wants" and completely devouring "She's Out of Control." Let me tell you this girl, Ashley Wilkes Stockingdale, is totally me -- well, not really totally me -- I don't drive an Audi TT convertible, live in the Silicon Valley or spend lots of money on famous label clothes, but aside from that, she could be my alter ego. So, anyway, I'd highly recommend these books (as I wait in anticipation for book 3 to come in Spring 2005!) to anyone - especially anyone still single. (Note of caution to the guys: this genre is "chick lit" according to Ms. Billerbeck, so you might want to steer clear. :-)

In other news:
  • my grandmommy is home from the hospital now and doing much better. Thanks so much for your prayers.
  • I've mentioned that my sister is getting married next year? Well, in anticipation of me in a bridesmaid dress, I've decided to be proactive in being happy with my body....so two weeks ago I joined Weight Watchers online. And so far (with the official weigh-in on Monday mornings) I am almost 10 pounds down! Yippee!!! I don't know exactly what has made it happend so quickly - but somehow the combination of the right amounts of the right foods and intentional exercise really does work! And it also helps if you are motivated. Which I am.

With all that said, I am off to bed now. Kinda wish that I had been able to attend the Zoe conference this year. But the weekend at home with nothing planned may just have been more refreshing than the rigors of travel to Nashville (aka Nashvegas according to Mae). So, this year I'll live vicariously through the commentary of Matt Elliott and put it on the calendar for next year.

Happy Monday everyone!


Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Prayer Request

Quick prayer request....my grandmommy (mom's mom) is in the hospital and will most likely have a pacemaker inserted tomorrow. She is 89 1/2 and still going strong. Pray for her peace and comfort while in the hospital and for my granddaddy (he's 92) as he cares for her both in the hospital and when she comes back home. Pray also for the doctors as they perform the procedure and that this diagnosis will settle her heart into a regular, healthy rhythm. Thanks, blogfamily!

UPDATE: Thursday am -- Looks like Grandmommy won't need a pacemaker yet, but might in the future. For now, please pray for renewed energy and strength as she recovers from her hospital stay.

A Double!

Today (for the first time ever) I gave a double unit of platelets. Like I talked about a few weeks ago (here), giving blood is a very important part of my life. And today, for whatever reason, the platelet machine let me donate TWO units, rather than the single that I usually can give. Yahoo! It meant that I was on the machine longer (107 minutes today), but it also means that two people who are fighting for their lives will be helped by my platelets. Thank you God for allowing me to help give the gift of life!

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

New Author

Just discovered a new author.....my friend Kelly recommended a book series by Kristin Billerbeck. I was at Lifeway Christian Store at lunch and decided to pick up "What a Girl Wants." Read a couple of chapters over lunch and I'm hooked! More reviews to come, but I'm anticipating great things.

Thursday, September 23, 2004

Breaking 1000!

In slightly less than one month, more than 1,000 hits have been made to this little section of blogland known as "my blog." Wow. Who knew that this could happen? How in the world, through very little effort made on my part, could 1,000 visits be made to this little piece of cyberspace (in fewer than 30 days)?!? I'm just plain flabbergasted! Thanks all for visiting, listening to my rants, commenting and encouraging!

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

It's over

Should I be so relieved? It is finally over.... and I am so glad to be able to rest and not think about my 10 year high school reunion any more! It really was a pretty great weekend -- good to see a few folks that I haven't spoken with since our senior year. And it was good to kindle a few potential friendships with people that I didn't run around with in high school. I spent more time in that one evening talking with our senior class president (and discovering that we really did have stuff in common) than I did in 4 years together at dear old Abilene High. But really, I am just glad that the weekend is finally over! (although there are already talks of a 15....not sure yet how I feel about that!)

Went wedding dress shopping with my little sister last night....it certainly did make things more real to see her in dresses. Out of the 8-10 she tried on, we found 2 that we liked enough to take digital pics of and "remember." Probably will go to at least one more dress shop to try on before the parents come to town in November to buy the dress.

Nothing too much else new to tell, hence the no posting for the past week. I'll get into the groove of just reporting random, mindless happenings one of these days....

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Got God?

Ok, so I copied this title from my friend Ryan's blog. He raised an interesting and thought provoking question about desperately seeking God. The title of the newest Zoe release (that I got yesterday and highly recommend!) is "Desperate." My friend Holly just returned from a visit to our missionaries in Togo, Africa and the thing that I heard over and over in her stories is how we have so many things in this modern, American life that distract us for being sold out and actively (read: desperately) pursuing our relationship with Christ.

I've come to the realization recently that one reason that I have been out-of-sorts, floundering, perhaps even a bit depressed is that I am not desperately seeking God. I take Him for granted. I use all the things He has let me have and forget to see the beauty and wonder in His creation. I forget to read His word and listen to what He wants me to do and be. I think that I can do everything through my strength, rather than settling in to His arms and letting Him take care of everything. I know that my life would be simpler if I just let Him take over. Yet I allow the lies and distractions that Satan plants in my life to cloud and shadow the truths and love of God.

God, I am afraid to ask to be humbled, to be reminded of your power and majesty. At the same time, I know that I must fully rely on YOU for everything in my life. Please allow me to hear your promises of love and acceptance and a guidance of my steps and help me to block out the voice of Satan, so that I will want more than anything in this world to cultivate my relationship with You.

Friday, September 10, 2004

Friday randomness

A little interesting tidbit for your Friday....no, don't adjust your monitor, rub your eyes, or squint. Just open your brain and read:

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I cdnuolt blveiee taht I cluod aulaclty uesdnatnrd waht I was rdgnieg The phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mind. Aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn't mttaer inwaht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoatnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be in the rghit pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit a porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. Amzanig huh? yaeh and I awlyas thought slpeling was ipmorantt!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

So, for all you non-spellers out there, it's really not that important anyway!

Happy Friday!

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

Long Holiday Weekend

Well, it was a long weekend, so I wasn't on the computer nearly as much as usual....plus, my parents came into town and stayed with me which - much as I love to have them come - does disrupt my "normal" routine.

Fun stuff over the weekend - first off, you all need to know that my parents are in the final planning stages of getting ready to build a new house. And my little sister is getting married. Both events are happening at the same time - yikes! If house plans get finished and the construction begins as "planned" all will be complete a couple of months before the big day. Needless to say, there are lots of decisions to be made and no little amount of stress for pretty much everyone involved. Thankfully most of it isn't on my head, but I do get to experience it vicariously! And try to help them make decisions without imposing my opinion too strongly!

So, here's a snippet of our weekend:
  • we watched wedding videos of 3 cousins (where my dad was the videographer) - from 1985, 1988, and 1994. Crazy colors, styles, songs -- wow!
  • we went shopping for kitchen/bath hardware for the new house
  • Phillip (brother-in-law to-be) introduced us to his home and cooked dinner for our family - great Mexican food! homemade salsa - yum!!
  • we introduced Phillip to my aunt & uncle and two of the cousins (w/families)

Also, my 10-year high school reunion is coming up in a few weeks. I volunteered to help and, as is typical for me, ended up doing way more than I ever thought I would. So, yesterday afternoon/evening I spent in my computer chair typing away. See, we decided to have an information book/directory with everyone's contact info (do you know how hard it is to track down people from high school?) and I volunteered to do it. Yikes! It really did come together much faster than I thought it might (you've just gotta love the mail merge!), and it still isn't quite finished, but very nearly. Now, all I have to do is get it to the printer (after we decide how many to print!) and have them with me at our dinner.

Whew - can I have a holiday from my holiday?

Thursday, September 02, 2004

Reading

I just finished The Bourne Ultimatum. I haven't read the first two, The Bourne Identity and The Bourne Supremacy, but I really enjoyed seeing Matt Damon play the role in the two movies. Kinda makes me want to go back and read those two books. Also makes me want to read more like I used to.

Sometimes I forget how easy it is to get lost in a book - to create visualizations of the characters in my head. I am not quite of the generation that only plays video games and watches TV, but almost. And I sure do find myself being sucked into more new TV programs each season. I really need to schedule in time to turn off the TV and read - it will do me much better in the long run, I think.

Any thoughts of good books to read? Something with a strong plot, but not too deep. I read, like I watch TV & movies, to escape....

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

I'm Linked!

Thanks very much to Mae Anne Hale of Lawrenceburg, TN for being the first person (that I know of, anyway) to provide a link to my blog from hers. So, in the spirit of reciprocation, check out Mae's World.

Happy....

half birthday to me! Today is my 28.5 birthday. I know that I might not always want to recognize these half birthdays, but for now I am trying to celebrate every day as a gift. No promises of or expectations for tomorrow. Today is a gift from God and I must live it in enjoyment of that blessing. Hope you are enjoying this beautiful Wednesday as well!

From my daily flip calendar: Be exalted, O God, above the highest heavens! May your glory shine over all the earth. Psalm 57:5 (NLT)

Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Perks

I spent the evening last night in a suite at Texas Stadium. No, I'm not a huge football fan, nor am I insanely wealthy. I just work for a family that shares some of its luxuries with their employees when they aren't using them. So, when the offer came to enjoy an NFL game, in the suite, I jumped at the chance. And believe me, it is the way to go .... to any type of sporting event.

I am fortunate to work for a company that I like, for people that I enjoy working with and who appreciate me and my talents. God has definitely blessed me in my work. Why would I ever question that He won't bless me in other aspects of my life?

God, please forgive me when I try to pin my agenda on you. When I want you to do things MY way. Please open my eyes to recognize that you are at work in every part of my life, even when I can't see it.

Sunday, August 29, 2004

stuff

Went to a Texas Rangers game last night....they won. But it reminded me that I really hate being out in the Texas heat. And it was a relatively cool night -- not quite even 90 degrees. Remind me again why I live in Texas? Besides the majority of my family living here, of course....

On a typical Sunday afternoon, I come home from lunch after church, kick back, read the newspaper, maybe take a nap, then off to our weekly singles group meeting. Today, because we went to the Rangers game last night, I had my entire afternoon and evening to myself. Yippee! After lunch, I walked 2 miles with my good friend Kelly -- she's been swamped with the start of school and learning the names of her ~600 students (elementary music) -- so we haven't talked much this past week. It felt so good to exercise a bit and to catch up with Kelly. I have got to work on getting exercise into my routine on a more regular basis. Then I went to the grocery store, read the newspaper, made this really fabulous corn dip and yummy chocolate chip cookies to take to a work outing at the Cowboys/Titans football game tomorrow night. Should be fun - but it'll make for a long day.

Now, I will enjoy resting for the remainder of my Sunday evening, perhaps watch the closing ceremonies of the Olympics, and try to go to bed early.

Friday, August 27, 2004

Give the Gift of Life

When I was a senior in high school, I was able to donate blood for the first time. Meek Blood Center hosted a blood drive in the auditorium foyer of Abilene High School. One reason I gave blood that day was that it was an excuse to get out of class. But another reason is that I'd seen the example my dad set by giving blood on a regular basis. Did you know that if every eligible donor gave blood just 2 times a year, there would never be a blood shortage? And that every 2 seconds someone needs blood?

Since then, I've discovered another donation form that is just as valuable, if not more so, than whole blood. It is called Platelet Apheresis -- a process where I can give just one specific blood component - platelets - that are used primarily in cancer treatments. It takes a little time, but isn't a donation of a few hours of my time worth saving someone's life?

One of my goals is to become a 2-gallon-per-year donor. My method for reaching this goal is to donate platelets 16 times throughout the year. (You can give whole blood every 8 weeks and platelets up to 24 times per year.) Today marked my 9th donation of the year and brought me to a lifetime donation level of 9.5 gallons. So, I might not make 16 donations this year, but setting a goal forces me to plan ahead and schedule donations on a regular basis.

Please, please become a regular blood donor. Check out this link to Carter Blood Care where I donate in Dallas to find out about all the different donation types. Wherever you live, there is a donation site somewhere nearby. The American Red Cross provides a lot more information on their website - Give Life - about blood donations and can help you find a donor center near you.

Someday you might need a unit of blood to save your life....don't you hope there is someone out there giving life for you?

TGIF

I am really glad that it is Friday....it's been a weird week and I'm ready to get a fresh start.

I get to go shopping with my sister tomorrow morning (not too early, though, still get the benefit of a Saturday morning to sleep in a little!). Then tomorrow night I am going to a Rangers baseball game with some friends from church. Plus, I'll get to see my parents for a bit! They are bringing a special group of international students from ACU to their first baseball game -- check out the press release to read more. It's a pretty cool story.

Happy Friday!

Thursday, August 26, 2004

condecension....

.....according to Webster, definition #2 it is "to deal with or treat others in a patronizing way." Now, I know that I am not perfect. I never claimed to be. Sometimes, I know that I think I am more perfect than, in actuality, I am. However, please spare me the condescending platitudes and "all-knowing" comments....on any and all subjects. It is one of my pet peeves -- and perhaps, sometimes the comments I perceive as condescension are unintentionally stated as such. BUT, just a word from someone who has endured quite a few platitudes (a trite and shallow idea or remark) lately -- think about what you are going to say before you actually say it. Think about how it will be received....and perhaps censor yourself before the comment escapes that will do emotional damage to someone else, rather than whatever positive outcome you can envision. Take it from an expert -- it's not much fun. And I speak from both sides of the coin.

blogs are confusing....

....or maybe it is just that deep-down, I am a geek. I have several friends that I've mentioned this new hobby to. Their response is always "what? a blog? what is that?" One of the blogs I read wondered this week if this is a hobby, disease or addiction. For me, it is a new hobby. But, if I am not careful, I could spend all my time surfing the 'net, clicking from blog to blog to comment to profile to blog. Crazy. It is a whole other world!

It is interesting to me what a community this has become -- and just like the real world, there is lots of wacked stuff out there -- but it provides a venue for people to share thoughts, prayers, rejoicing, questions and to be connected to other people that they may never meet face to face. As I've read through so many different blogs and comments, making comments of my own along the way, I'm connected to people that are connected to people that I am directly connected to. What a small world it really is when you start talking!

Monday, August 23, 2004

voice of truth

There is a relatively new group that I have really come to love listenening to in the past few months.....Casting Crowns. The first song that I heard (on the radio) from their album was "Who Am I" - it is a song that reminds us that it is not because of who we are or what we do that we are loved by God, but because of who He is and what He has done. Powerful.

But the song that has me enthralled of late is called "Voice of Truth" -- it has been speaking to me directly as I have been struggling with hearing and believing the truth of God's love and assurance over the lies that Satan feeds me daily. I am certain that I am not the only one who struggles with this .... so maybe posting these words here will touch someone else too -- and then you'll go and buy the album!
Voice of Truth

Oh what I would do to have
The kind of faith it takes
To climb out of this boat I'm in
Onto the crashing waves

To step out of my comfort zone
Into the realm of the unknown where Jesus is
And He's holding out His hand

But the waves are calling out my name
And they laugh at me
Reminding me of all the times
I've tried before and failed
The waves they keep on telling me
Time and time again. "Boy, you'll never win!"
"You'll never win!"

Chorus:
But the voice of truth tells me a different story
The voice of truth says, "Do not be afraid!"
The voice of truth says, "This is for My glory"
Out of all the voices calling out to me
I will choose to listen and believe the
voice of truth

Oh what I would do to have
The kind of strength it
takes to stand before a giant
With just a sling and a stone
Surrounded by the sound of a thousand warriors
Shaking in their armor
Wishing they'd have had the strength to stand

But the giant's calling out my name
And he laughs at me
Reminding me of all the times
I've tried before and failed
The giant keeps on telling me
Time and time again.
"Boy you'll never win!"
"You'll never win!"

But the stone was just the right size
To put the giant on the ground
And the waves they don't seem so high
From on top of them lookin' down
I will soar with the wings of eagles
When I stop and listen to the sound of Jesus
Singing over me

I will choose to listen and believe the voice of truth

Lyrics by Mark Hall and Steven Curtis Chapman
Music by Mark Hall and Steven Curtis Chapman

Sunday, August 22, 2004

sour cream

As I was just adding 8 ounces of sour cream into one of my favorite cakes (to take to work tomorrow in celebration of our August birthdays), I was again struck by the thought....

.....when sour cream goes bad, does it become sweet?

hee hee...just a funny thought that continues to make me laugh - and a glimpse at my warped sense of humor!

Saturday, August 21, 2004

God-given or Human Desires?

Two blogs I read this week talked about motherhood and the joys/stresses of being a stay-at-home mom. One of the desires that God has placed in my heart is to be the very same - a stay-at-home wife and mother. However, as of yet, I still have not found the man that is to share that desire with me as my husband and the father to my children.

When I share this dream with others, they often deride it, saying that surely I don't want to "waste" my talents and abilities and give up my career to be just a stay-at-home mom. I know that there are many ways in which I use other talents and abilities that God has given me - right now that includes a career in accounting. However, I strongly believe that when His timing is right, I will be granted the desires of my heart. Then I will get to learn how to use more of the talents and abilities that He has given me -- and will learn how to juggle what I am currently spending time on with changed priorities.

I wonder sometimes, why it is that I have to struggle with this desire. Really and truly, the only reason that I am working a full time job right now is because I must work full time in order to support myself as a single adult. But, the over-arching desire in my heart is to be a stay-at-home wife and mother. One of those blogs I mentioned earlier - the mom in question is only a couple of years older than me and has 4 kids! Sometimes, I truly can't imagine what it would be like if my life had gone the way that "I" had planned it to this point.

I am certain that I will look back in time and see God's hand in the path of my life. I hope and pray to see that path leading to a husband, family and children. However, if, in fact, my life's path does not venture that direction, I know that I am doing everything I can to listen to God's gentle whisper and following His leading for my life. By doing that, I know I can't go wrong. And I know that He will guide my life in His timing - His pure and perfect plan for me. And if it never looks like "my" plan, then I have to trust His plan. Because He loves me.

Friday, August 20, 2004

babies....

I really love babies -- and since I am as of yet unmarried, I have to get my "baby fix" whenever I can.

Tonight I was privileged to hold Henry, the son of my friends Heather & Chad. Henry was born at 1:53 pm this afternoon. When I arrived at the hospital after work, I visited with Heather for a bit, then went down to the nursery to see him. I watched the nurse give Henry his first bath and put on his first diaper. By about 6:45, they brought Henry to the room and about 7:20 I got to hold him. Wow! Only 5 1/2 hours old! He is so precious - probably the most beautiful baby I think I've ever seen. Perfect, long fingers, lots of dark hair and definitely his daddy's ears.

I am sure that once I have children of my own, I will think that they, of course, are the most beautiful, perfect, angelic babies in the world. But for now, I count myself privileged to have been able to spend a few minutes with Henry in my arms.

Thursday, August 19, 2004

new stuff

So, I am trying out some of the bells and whistles....check out some new links in the sidebar.

Rain

Today it is cooler than normal (mid-80s for August in Dallas is great!) and rainy. On a rainy day, I'd love to be able to stay snuggled in my bed with a good book or watching a movie. Alas, I must be at work, earning my paychecks.

Speaking of reading, I started a new book today over lunch. "The Bourne Ultimatum" by Robert Ludlum. I haven't read the first two books, but loved the movies, so I thought I'd read this last one before the next movie comes out. So far (pg 37) it is pretty good....if I can just match the faces in my head from the movies with the names I am reading, I should really enjoy it!

I wish I had more time to read like I did in high school and college - I read so fast I completely devoured any book I picked up. Now, it makes me more tired to read than it did before, but I do still love it. I need to start turning the TV off and picking up a book more often.


Tuesday, August 17, 2004

First day of school



Reading all the nostalgic posts about starting school reminds me of my very favorite picture of myself - on my first day of kindergarten in 1981.

Money

You know, being a CPA, I should enjoy dealing with money - counting it, managing it, rearranging it. And I don't mind it at work. But I really hate managing my own money. Balancing my checkbook, paying credit card bills (virtually all my bills are charged automatically to a credit card that I pay off each month - that at least, is some small relief), moving money to savings, even *gasp!* thinking about long-term financial planning.... Why is that? Am I just lazy? Do I just want someone else to take care of the details?

Funny, this trait seems to also spill over into my spiritual walk. I go to church every time the doors are open, participate in more ministries than I can count and have a hard time saying no when asked to do one more, throw up a prayer when I think about it (like driving in my car to work).... but do I sit down, with the TV off and read my Bible or spend quality time in prayer? Not nearly as often as I should. Why is that? Am I just lazy? Do I just want someone else to take care of the details? I want to have a deeper faith, a closer relationship with my Savior -- why do I continue to let Satan woo me with the lie that I don't need to work at it? Just things to ponder. And conviction that I need to keep working on that relationship - it's not magic.

too early

Why is it that it is so hard to get up earlier in the morning? I know that I am a morning person - once I am up, I am up. But it is so easy to snooze just one more time -- then the time anticipated to be gained by getting up earlier is gone and it is just another morning.

Monday, August 16, 2004

Still trying to figure this all out...

....and trying to decide if this is something that I need/want to do! I don't know that I really have anything to say - or anything someone else needs to hear. But, here's to trying it out.

For the first time....

No, I am not a writer. I'm not even a thinker....at least not in the deep, philosophical realm. But, I am a reader - I've read bunches of blogs and made a few comments. This won't be a daily update - at least not at first. But people have told me I should blog, so here I am.