Sunday, October 30, 2011

Acts of Kindness: Planning Stages 1

Already ideas have been pouring in for my birthday celebration. Thank  you to those that have tweeted, facebooked, and simply just bounced ideas around with me.

The feedback has been very positive with only a few raised eyebrows and a reminder that I would only have about 45 minutes per act of kindness IF I worked the 24 hours straight. I plan to sleep a few hours of that day starting somewhere between 6 and 8 am so really I'm looking at 12 hours or roughly 20 minutes per act of kindness. But I still feel this is possible with the help I hope to have. That and some great planning.

Some of the ideas I've got so far are (remember this will be just days before V-Day)
  • Giving away homemade valentine cookies 
  • Giving out valentines or just special notes under some windshield wipers
  • Prepaying for someone's coffee (or several someones)
  • Helping elderly put groceries in their cars
There have been other really really great ideas but I don't want to give everything away already! Some of these things will require more than my allotted 20 minutes but other things will take much much less so I'm confident that this will all work out.  I want to hear from you so please keep your thoughts and ideas coming!


Kindness can become its own motive. We are made kind by being kind. --Eric Hoffer

Saturday, October 29, 2011

I Need Your Help

A Call To Action.

Actually, it's Saturday, nearly 10 am and I'm not exactly pumping on all cylinders here yet. But I do have some ideas percolating along with my coffee. Or at least the coffee in my mind as I'm currently at work and am drinking the hard stuff- Coke.

A thought has been rolling around in my mind for a few weeks now. Now normally, I don't start planning my birthday before Halloween but this year is different. On my next birthday I will turn 33. That's 1/3 of a century and reason enough for me to go all out.

But I'm not going to celebrate in what many would consider a normal way. There will be no big party, no balloons, no cake(there will be cake)  and heaven help us all if there is another blizzard and my husband and kids have the flu this year.

Next February I'm going to celebrate my birthday with 33 Acts of Kindness. There are only 24 hours in the day so this will take some careful planning (probably involving a few lunch meetings) to map out a plan for these 33 Acts of Kindness.

My friend Eric has already signed up. He's always looking for a good reason to have a blogathon and helping me perform acts of kindness sounded like fun. I, of course, am taking additional volunteers and more importantly, I'm taking ideas. I have five or six already and am also checking out the ideas from HelpOthers.org but that's far from my goal of 33.

So the call to action that I mentioned earlier, here's where you come in. Comment here (if blogger will let you) with your ideas or support, comment on Facebook, or tweet your help to @leslee79z.

I'll try to update this blog at least monthly as more information becomes available. I look forward to hearing and reading all your ideas and implementing them as well.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Road Trip

My friend Eric loves any excuse for a blogathon. Today he and his merry troupe of friend a doing a road trip blogathon. They got up early this morning and after breakfast set out on a road trip taking in some of the sites, and coffee and food along the way. You can read about it about here.

Nickel and I have been on a few out of town trips. Some more fun than others. I can recall a road trip I took with three friends about six months after graduating high school that ended with my head next to a tree on the side of a mountain, but that wasn't so much fun as it was scary, at least part of it. But none of which  I really feel are worthy of a blog. So instead I will bore you with vehicles that may or may not be fun to take a road trip in.  Enjoy.

The stiletto. Everyone woman needs at least one pair of these in the closet and one in the garage is what I'm saying. Lipstick to match is must!

 For a short bus, this big yellow is pretty pimping!

 I think the turtle and the duck should go together. For those friends with large groups that have to take more than one car. I call shotgun!

Peanut would love to have a purple and pink shark to cruise around town in.

 The snail and horse and carriage are pretty steampunk! I love them! And bonus with the snail, the kids ride on top!!



 And last but not least, the Oscar Mayer wiener van. "Oh I wish I was an Oscar Mayer wiener..."



Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Be Still

It'll take more than 140 character to express my love for silence so I have to blog instead of Tweet. Darn, right? The three of you that read my blog might appreciate a few extra words now and then.

Today my supervisor took me out for a milkshake on our break today. She was worried that I was overstressed and perhaps unhappy with my job. Overstressed yes, but for the most part I really do love my job. I'm surrounded by books all day long. I get to talk about books all day long. And I get paid! What's not to love there? Now, the people well there lies the problem. I'm teasing. Mostly.

Over the last seven months I've met a lot of people. Several of these people don't have jobs. Several of these people probably don't sleep in a house most nights. But most of these people are still very kind and polite. And after seven months I've even started remembering names and faces. I know there aren't very many people in their lives that care enough to remember who they are. One gentlemen, I know, lives in his car. He stays in the library for most of the 12 hours we are open. I guessed his name when he walked up to the counter the other day and he smiled the broadest smile because I knew his name. We may exchange only three or four sentences every day or two and he never expected me to remember. But it's not just the names of the everyday homeless that I remember. A well to do patron comes in every so often to bring us gifts of books he just couldn't wait to read and went out and bought himself. Several months ago he was telling me about some Michael Connelley stories (author of Lincoln Lawyer and Fifth Witness) and mentioned another series by this author that we didn't have in our collection. I requested them and a volume containing three stories was purchased. When he was in a few weeks back checking out different books I asked if he had seen the one we had just bought. He was surprised I remembered a conversation from back in early spring. Some people, some conversations I do remember. Others I don't. But it's people like these two guys that make me really love my job. That make me look forward to going in to work to help.

The flip to that coin though are the patrons that come in that have had a bad day. Or just a bad life. They're rude. They're never satisfied. They're impossible to please. They are no fun to be around. But they're everywhere, in every job especially jobs that deal with the public. And then there are the children. The children whose parents come to play on the computer for two hours while their children loudly run amok with no supervision. The children whose parents kick them out of the house at 9 am and expect their kids to stay gone all day long so they can sleep or whatever, and no they don't always go home for lunch.  This group of people I don't like, or rather the irresponsible lazy parents of the children and the mean people. This group of people tends to dominate the library in the summertime. With temperatures rising peoples nerves are getting thinner. Luckily, school here starts in just a month and hopefully our days of 100+ degree weather will end soon as well.

But no matter what kind of day I'm having, good or bad I look forward to when I'm off work, the children and Nickel are in bed fast asleep, and when the house is totally quiet except for the hum of the air conditioner. When I close my eyes and take a deep breath and just savor the peace. Savor the quiet.

Psalm 46:10a says “Be still, and know that I am God". Often I shorten that verse even more and remind myself "Be still, and know". And when I'm savoring the quietness I shorten it even more to simply "Be still".

Sunday, July 24, 2011

More Crack!

Baby Butter doesn't talk. Well, he doesn't talk much. He's three years old now, has an 11 year old sister so mostly he points and grunts. His needs are provided for him sometimes even before he needs them. And he communicates very well without words.

Recently he has woken me up at 5 in the morning holding a cup and a the bottle of juice. Two guess as to what he wanted and the first one doesn't count.

One of my closest (and newly married!) friends is a speech patholigist so we've gone to see her a few times. I'm not overly worried about his lack of verbal communication, but a little help never hurts in my opinion. With her we've been working on some baby sign language as well as the actual words. The signs make it clear what "Mo" and "Jew" mean.

Tonight Butter again brought me a cup and the bottle of juice and he said "Mo" and "Jew". We're still getting the hang of two word sentences. After seeing to his thirst he showed me an empty bowl and asked for "Mo". We walked to the kitchen and said "More crackers?"

"Mo Crack!" he replied. I laughed. Close enough.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The Update

I intended to post this a week ago but as life goes, it was busy, hectic, and after my sigh of relief I just moved on.

The Results
The ultrasound results came back on July 5th. Everything that should be there was there. Everything looked like they were suppose to look. And the doctor saw nothing abnormal.

First sigh of relief.

I did have to wait a couple of days for the results from my HE4 blood test. It too came back fine. PTL!

Another Dr. Visit
Baby Butter turns three this month. That of course meant a visit to Dr. Pontious. Since I haven't seen him myself since he removed the child from me for just a general health check up I thought I'd kill two birds with one stone.

Gee, it looks like my blood pressure is up. I don't know how that could've happened. Honestly though, I've been having headaches for several months and I just ignored them, took ibuprofen and called it good. I'm still adjusting to the blood pressure medicine that doc put me on. Hopefully the minor side effects will ease quickly.

So there it is. The update of my life for anyone that's interested in reading this blog.  Next post will probably be about a certain little boy's birthday.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Feeling Nervous

This isn't going to be one of my funny posts. Or at least it's not suppose to be. If there is laughter, it's a nervous laughter.

A week and a half ago I went to my doctor to have my yearly check up. I always request a CA125 blood test when I go. The CA125 is an ovarian cancer pre-screening blood test. You see, I have this particular type of cancer in my family. Up until a year ago it was only on my dad's side of the family, his mother died when I was about 8 years old. Last summer my mom's sister also fell victim to this horrible cancer. I do what I can to watch for this almost silent until it's too late, killer by the blood test.

Last Friday the doctor's office called. My levels were up. The CA125 is not a definitive test. And my levels were not high, just up. "Don't worry," they said. Ha. And and I say Ha-Ha! Don't worry? I roll my eyes, two people in my family have DIED because of this cancer and I'm not suppose to worry?!

So today I found myself entering a hospital for further testing. Another blood test, this time and HE4. Another ovarian cancer screening blood test and an ultra sound. I was alone, but that was by choice. I knew I would be a basket case if I allowed my friends to accompany me as they requested. Nickel of course didn't ask to go and I didn't ask him. That would have been harder. As it was, I managed to keep a brave face the entire time.

I won't have any results for a day or two. All I know is the tech that did the ultrasound took lots of pictures and measurements. She wasn't allowed to tell me anything good or bad. So I wait. I hate waiting. Hopefully by this time tomorrow I'll have good news and I can cry and release all this tension I have built up. But for now I head back to work.

Isaiah 30:18
But God's not finished. He's waiting around to be gracious to you. He's gathering strength to show mercy to you. God takes the time to do everything right—everything. Those who wait around for him are the lucky ones.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Blogathon revisited

I have stolen borrowed, my friend Eric's IPAD. It is pretty awesome. I want one. Eric doesn't seem to mind that I've stolen borrowed his IPAD. Today we are celebrating his birthday in typical Eric fashion with a blogathon. I'm not one to pass up on a blogathon so here I am in the cafe blogging! He's a little distracted. I wonder just how far I can make it out the door. I'll try that later when he's not looking.

Meanwhile in the real world I need to report an addition our family. Her name is Phoebe Kat, and yes she's a cat. Was it obvious? She is fluffy and grey and she loves attention. I'm still undecided on how much I like her. And as a side note, I have sang "Smelly Cat" to her on more than one occasion.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Updates

It's hard to update my blog when nothing noteworthy is going on in my life. I've read several books. I've worked. I've played with the kids who are growing up way too fast. In fact, Baby Butter turns three next month. We are without our big pool this summer so we're thinking about having cousins, aunt, uncles, grandparents and friends meet up with us at the Tulsa Zoo then possibly a dip in my BIL's pool. It's still in the planning stages. But since it's just a few weeks away I better get on the ball!

Peanut recently spent a couple of weeks on the pretty side of the state. The first week she stayed with my parents who doted at her. The second week she went to the church camp I went to from the ages of 9-19. It's pretty cool that she's experiencing some of the same things I experienced at that age.  Peanut jets off for her next church camp adventure next week. She's very excited. I'm excited for her. I always hate to see her leave but I know she needs these experiences and having one less kid underfoot is sometimes a mild relief. The rest of her summer calendar is open if anyone else wants to take her! ;-)

Nickel and I celebrated our 12th anniversary this month. We went out for lunch and yes, we took the kids. That's what happens when grandparents insist on living on the pretty side of the state. Not that we would've done more had we had the sitters. We're just not that couple. We acknowledged it, kissed each other and told each other how much loved them but that's about it. 12 is not so special even if it is rare in today's society. I hear that at 17 years some couples celebrate by going to see Harry Potter. I don't know that we'll ever get that crazy!

So that in a nutshell is what's going on in Fresh-CutVille.

I did warn you it wasn't noteworthy.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Posting Comments

For the last couple weeks I've noticed that blogger has had some difficulty allowing people to post comments. And I've had trouble posting comments on other blogs as well. This does not make for a happy blogger.

But what really upsets me is the fact that the spammers don't seem to be effected by this. At all. I have comment moderation and allow all the comments from people I know but fliter out the spam. I get so excited when I see a comment waiting for me in my inbox and then the anger I feel when it's just another spammer leaves me a little on the Hulking side.

However, I've made a few little tweeks to the commenting portion of the blog and hopefully you will be able to post comments again.

I hope so.

You wouldn't like me when I'm angry...

Friday, June 03, 2011

Who is your most fabulous friend?

The third question today comes from Constance and she asks:

Who is your most fabulous friend? ;)
Well, Constance. I have to tell you, I don't have just one most fabulous friend, but rather a small, elite group of friends. They are my GNO friends (and that G in not silent because there is nothing silent about this group of ladies).

In the beginning there were four of us. We met about once a month to drink coffee and tell stories of the things happening in our lives.

Pictured here from top to left: Abby, Julie, Vickie, and myself

Then we added a couple more.
From left to right: Abby, Constance, Vickie, Julie (in the back) and Melodie

Our lives continually change. Abby moved and Julie will soon move away too. But I know that no matter where I am in my life I can pick up the phone or drop by their house and these girls will make me laugh when I am sad. Feed me when I am hungry. And love me despite all my flaws. They are my besties. Not to be confused with my Beasties, they're obviously Boys. ;)
Beastie Boys

Why do gnats always try to fly into your nose and eyes?

Our second question of the Blogathon comes again from ibmeloudious and she asks:

Why do gnats always try to fly into your nose and eyes?


UGH! I hate gnats. And what's up with the silent G? Is it really necessary? It's as annoying as the little flying bug itself. Without going back to school to ask a college professor I've come up with some reasons why gnats are attracted to your face.
  • Their life purpose is to make your life harder.
  • Eye Gnats (one variation of gnats) are actually attracted to eyes because they feed on mucous or sebaceous secretions, pus, and blood. Yum-O!
  • They like decaying stuff. Like trash. Or bad breath.
If any of you have more information regarding gnats and would like to share with ibmelodious please feel free to comment, refute, or gripe in the comment section!

What would you do if I handed you a squirrel in a sweatshirt?

If you missed the post From the Stacks you might not understand, but then again, you might not care. The gist of things is for my friend Eric's Blogathon I've opened up my blog in a "Ask the Librarian" sorta way.

The first question I received came from the adventurous ibmelodious and she asked

What would you do if I handed you a squirrel in a sweatshirt?
Wow. What a great question because you never really know when you're going to be faced with this type of situation.

For instance, perhaps you bought this cute little squirrel at Sugar Bush Squirrel for 28.99 plus S&H.

If that were the case, I would simply say "Thank you it's adorable! I can't decide where I want to put this little treasure." And a week later you would receive a thank you card in the mail or handed to you in another social occasion.

But if I were handed a live squirrel wrapped up in a sweatshirt I would probably just throw the sweatshirt down and run away as fast as I could like a girl screaming my head off. You know squirrels. They have fangs and stuff.

However, if this squirrel were injured and that is the reason it is wrapped up in a sweatshirt I will ask you "Where was your towel?" then we could contact one of the local wildlife rescue people and after the adventure we would sit in one of the local area coffee bars and retell the story over and over until it grew in epic proportions and Lifetime asked if they could make a tv-movie of the event. We would of course agree and then pick out the actresses we would like to play us. I'm going with Sandra Bullock or Tina Fey.

Monday, May 30, 2011

From the Stacks

I told my friend Eric that I would have this post up the Friday before the great Blogathon of 2011. But with so many things going on it didn't happen. Hopefully this will still work like I hope.

So, here's the thing. Eric and Ben are going to blog, vlog, and drink coffee for 24 hours. Why yes, yes they are a little crazy. But it's going to be fun too. I asked Eric if I could hang out and participate and he told me that he was going to ask me the same thing. I love it when things happen like that!  So my part of this Blogathon will be this:

You ask the questions in the comment section of this post and I'll answer them.

Sounds easy enough, right? I'm even going to change my settings to allow even non-bloggers to post comments. But it'll be more fun if you at least sign your name to your comment. If I deem the question awesome I'll even answer it in its own blog post during the Blogathon. So... what do you want to know.

*P.S. I feel the need to say that ridiculous questions will most likely be answered with ridiculous answers. :)


**Edit** I should mention to any new readers that the reason I'm doing this is because I work in a library. Every day people call or come into the library because they have questions and believe that the people working in the librarys will have the answer. Sometimes we do. Sometimes we just point them into the direction they will most likely find their answers. Sometimes we spell words like "Sapulpa" for them.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

A 24-Hour Blogathon? Sign me up!

My friends Eric and Ben are a little crazy. That's why I love them so much. A few months ago they dreamed up this crazy idea of staying up for 24 hours and blogging about different things to do in this flat town in the middle of nowhere. I believe copious amounts of coffee will be involved (major selling point for me!). The dream grew and grew and there is quite a little following now. Various other blogger friends, Melodie and Abby are just a couple of my girlfriends that are joining up with these guys with me. We're going to have a blast and you should check it out, participate, and support us with tons of comments.

Friday, the 27th will be a preview night and look for a new blog post here at Fresh-Cut Flowers and check out exactly what my contribution to the Blogathon will be! But for more information now check out Ben and Eric.

See ya then!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

A Buttery Good Day

I work every other Friday. Though, I don't particularly like working on Saturday to get these Fridays off I make the most of my Fridays. I try to arrange my schedule to run errands and make appointments to these Fridays off but lately there hasn't been much going on. That means Baby Butter and I get to have a day of  F-U-N!!!


This last Friday we slept in. Late. We're talking 7:30 am! Amazing, I know. After being lazy we finally got dressed and made our way to Winchell's for donuts. Here is my Baby Butter enjoying his chocolate donut with sprinkles.


After we washed our hands we went to the library. You'd think after spending all week there that would be the very last place I'd want to go on my day off. Well, here's the deal. When Peanut and later Butter were smaller I hated going to the library because they never let me look at books. I'd let them play and they'd scream when it was time to go to the other side of the library for mommy to look at books and as you know, screaming is not allowed in the library. After a while I just stopped taking them. Now that I work there I see the books when they're being checked in, shelved, or are unpacked from boxes before processing. I often take books home and am never want of a good, or at least different, book. (Don't get me started on all the bad ones I've started this year that after a hundred pages or so I just couldn't finish.) So now I don't mind taking the kids to the library anymore because I don't need to looks at books and can just let them play and look at books and when we're done, we're done and we go home.


Batman...I mean, Butter-man likes the puzzles. I'm mean and make him put the one he's torn apart together before he can get the next one out. Well, that's what we're working on anyway. More often than not I end up putting 3/4 of the forgotten puzzle back together so he can move on. But it's a learning process that we're working on.

He's also a big fan of the chess board. We're still working on the rules of this game but he tries. He just forgets that he can't move the Queen in his first move. And more often than not the Knights end up kissing somewhere off the board. Or maybe they're just talking about horse power. ;)

So there you go, updated pictures of Baby Butter.




Friday, April 15, 2011

Nazca Lines

Have you heard about the Nazca Lines? There are several geoglyphs (a drawing in the ground) in southern Peru that date back a couple thousand years, best guess. They are really awesome and you should check out the pictures online.

I learned about them a few months ago when it was a slow night at the library and my coworker and I were looking up crop circles. The Nazca Lines are not crop circles but in our exploration I stumbled on these.

Flash forward to today when another coworker said "Have you ever heard of some lines in South America in animal shapes?" and I replied, "Yes, yes I have." I quickly did a Google search and voila! there was all the information for her. I'm sure she was impressed.

I will never again complain about being so bored at work that I'm "forced" to play on the internet. Because I just never know when that information will come in handy.

:)

Thursday, April 07, 2011

The Last Lecture

I did it again. I read a book that made me cry. You'd think after reading The Art of Racing in the Rain I would've learned my lesson. It appears I have not.

I've been eyeballing this book ever since I started working at Hastings. I saw an interview with Randy Pausch on Oprah and was blown away by his story. In case you don't know, Randy Pausch was diagnose with terminal cancer and as a professor he was able to give a final speech, or Last Lecture. Go here to watch the YouTube of it. I dare you not to cry. It's a little over an hour long but worth every minute of your time.

Seeing as I am terrified don't like to cry I purposely avoided the book but still I was drawn to it. I'll never read it, I told myself as an excuse not to buy it. But then I started working at the library and I was no longer tempted to buy the book. Instead, the local library not only had the book but they also had the book on audio. So one day, I took the plunge and checked out the BOCD.

Though I teared up regularly, Randy used humor and inspiration in his book that's not about dying, but about living. Here are some of the things I took with me from this book.

Two quotes from his father, "never make a decision until you have to". And, "just because you're in the driver's seat, doesn't mean you have to run over people." The first I had never really thought about but makes sense. How many times do I make snap decisions when another choice would've been better? Plenty. The second one just makes sense period.

When you see yourself doing something badly and nobody's bothering to tell you anymore, that's a bad place to be. You may not want to hear it, but your critics are often the ones telling you they still love you and care about you, and want to make you better.
I recently had my 6 week review at work. For the most part it was a good review but there were a few things said that stung just a bit. My three month review will take place in the next few weeks but I'm no longer dreading it. They're taking the time to tell me what they see I can improve on. They still care. That's a good thing.

Brick walls are there for a reason. They give us a chance to show how badly we want something.
Ah, isn't this the truth? So many things in life are too easy for us and the generation coming up. We need challenges in our lives to show us just what it is we're willing to fight for. This next quote is closely related.

Brick walls are there for a reason. And once you get over them -even if someone has to practically had to throw you over- it can be helpful to others to tell them how you did it.

I've faced a few brick walls in my life. Some I can tell you about easily. Others are still a little hard to talk about but I will if you ask me. I hope the next time I'm up against a brick wall I look at it like this, with these filters over my eyes.

There were dozens of other things I wrote down in a journal of things I wanted to remember from this book. Simple things that I already know, but need to remind myself of from time to time.  If you have the chance to read or listen to this book I hope you will. At the very least, I hope you'll take the time to watch his last lecture. You won't be disappointed.

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

The Art of Thank You Cards

Growing up my mother, the saint that she is, taught me to send thank you cards for my birthday presents. I wasn't always consistant with it but I did try. As I grew older I realized that not very many people seemed to do it. And now it appears to be a lost art form in many homes.

After Nickel and I got married my mother kindly suggested I send out my thank you cards promptly so I wouldn't forget. I will admit that the first half did infact go out promptly. The other half...well, lets just say I hope they were not terribly offended when they didn't get one.

I was a little better about my cards when Peanut and Butter were born. And when Peanut was old enough to write "THANK YOU" I too taught my daughter the Art of Thank You cards. She, like her mother, is not always consistant, but she tries.

One year when Peanut was very young we went to the farm to visit Nickel's grandmother. I handed over a card to Grandma who asked if it was Mother's Day card, as it was near that season, but I said no, it's a thank you card from me and Peanut. She confided in me that my sister-in-law and I were the only ones who ever sent her thank you cards. This made me sad. My sister-in-law and I were both fairly new to the family, she had married in just a year before I did. Did no one ever bother to tell her thank you before that? I couldn't believe it. But then again, Grandma had all grandsons and we were the first granddaughters to come along, so maybe I do believe it.

Thank you cards take less than five minutes of my time. I often find myself in Hallmark or in the stationary isle in Walmart admiring the different cards. Mostly I just buy the blank ones with pretty front covers because they can be used for so many purposes. They're perfect for a quick note to say thank you for a recent gift, you were on my mind, or I love you. And since I have two or three boxes at any given time I can choose the one that best fits my mood or purpose for the card. A note, in my own writing lets the person I'm sending it to know that I, me myself, took the time to express my gratitude. I know when I do get thank you notes myself it means a lot to me.

So next time someone gives you a gift surprise them with a thank you card.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Tough Choices

I recently bought this book The Highlander's Touch, book 3 in Karen Marie Moning's Highlander series. The first two were wonderful with a perfect blend of paranormal, romance, and highlander historical fiction. I highly recommend this book to my friends that enjoy all of those qualities in books. And for the record I bought books 4 and 5 in the series as well, leaving books 6 and 7 for after the next pay check.

THEN a book I requested at the library came in. Bitter is the New Black : Confessions of a Condescending, Egomaniacal, Self-Centered Smartass,Or, Why You Should Never Carry A Prada Bag to the Unemployment Office by Jen Lancaster is a book I've been eyeing for nearly three years. From what I can tell this book is about a spoiled brat finally growing up. And it's funny. I mean, you can tell that just by the title, can't you? The prologue, the only part I had time to read during my break today was funny and I can only imagine what chapter 1 will entail.
But now I'm torn between really wanting to read two books. Well, in a way it's really 4 books because I have three book from the Karen Marie Moning series ready to read (we won't discuss the fact that Nickel gets paid tomorrow and would mean that I can go buy the last two for that series) and I have three whole weeks to read the Jen Lancaster book before it's due back at the library. Oh! What to do, what to do?!!

So many books, so little time.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Hodgepodge

hodgepodge — n 1. a jumbled mixture 2. what happens when a blogger is too lazy to make three seperate blog posts

Today marks Peanut's 11 year on this earth. I don't remember age 10 having this big of an affect on me. Eleven just seems so much older. So much more mature. In a way, I miss the 5 year old that would tell me wild, often exasperating stories about penguins and sharks. But mostly I'm just excited to see her growing up and having adventures. She recently had an adventure with her grandma in Tulsa for Spring Break. She came home with a new haircut, some clothes and shoes, and high praise from her grandparents who said she was polite, kept her room clean and even made her bed! I was so proud of her!
 
While Peanut was away Nickel and I went on a date. We took Butter with us of course. That's how our dates have been for 11 years now because I'm too cheap to hire someone to watch my kid for a couple of hours. Our big date was dinner and a trip to Walmart. HA HA! At Walmart I finally broke down and bought a Digital Converter for our tv. We turned the cable off last summer because we didn't really use it. Peanut did but since she doesn't have a job to pay for it her vote didn't really count. Besides, we have Netflix and are able to watch tons of stuff there. Anyway, after hooking it up we discovered that we were able to get 4 or 5 channels which is enough for us. Tonight, I put Sesame Street on for Butter while Nickel went to take a shower and I settled down at the computer to catch up on email and blogs. A while later Nickel came and asked if I had changed the channel on the tv in the bedroom. I had not but there Butter was on the bed watching Star Trek, his grandfather's favorite show, with this head propped up by his hands perfectly relaxed. Sometimes it's a little freaky just how much he's like his grandfather, whom he's named after. Personally, I think it's really cool how much he's like him. It's kinda like we still have him around, just in a much smaller version.
 
I'm fasting from Facebook for Lent. My Twitter updates show up on Facebook. I'm not sure that that is really a good thing though. I had set it up that way after a friend told me it wasn't fair that I would be depriving her of my updates. But now that I know that my updates are going to Facebook and I won't go read the responses is starting to make my fingers itch a little bit. Not knowing what was going on in everyone else's lives, not that all that many earth shattering event have been posted on Facebook, but you just never know when it'll show up and I'm missing them! But then I think to myself, most of the people I'm friends with on Facebook I hadn't talked to since 1997 to 99. My truest friends have my phone number and call or text me anything I really should know right away. And of course there's always email which I'm sure is listed in my profile information if someone really truly wanted to talk to me. So the fact that I haven't really heard from that many people in the last 14 days should tell me something, right? LOL, it tells me that people have lives seperate from mine and I'm cool with that. I'll be ok for a few more days I think. ;)
 

So, that's what's going on in the Fresh-Cut world. Please, leave me comments. I could use some communication here.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Treasures

"Don't hoard treasure down here where it gets eaten by moths and corroded by rust or—worse!—stolen by burglars. Stockpile treasure in heaven, where it's safe from moth and rust and burglars. It's obvious, isn't it? The place where your treasure is, is the place you will most want to be, and end up being." Matthew 6:19-21 Message
This verse came from a devotional I read today. It made me think, like a good devotional should. What are my treasures? Where do I place them? Then I switched it from the church-y sounding verse to the Message.
The place where your treasure is, is the place you will most want to be, and end up being.
For all the stalkers out there, I spend a bulk of my time at home when I'm not working. I'm often sitting around reading a book or playing with the kids or just hanging out with Nickel discussing life and family.

One or two times a week I have coffee with friends. I really like my time in the coffee shops because paying $4 for a cup of coffee seems to make people happy. Or maybe it's because people go there with people they like to be around and visit with while enjoying a tasty beverage.

Another place I like to be is in church on Saturday Night when my pastor is speaking. When I have to miss one of his sermons my week just doesn't set right. You can imagine my funk when over the last few months we've had special speakers and he's had to take off for one reason or another. I do get out and do other things but they're not very important to me.

So where I keep my treasures are at home in a book and in an expensive cup of coffee? Uh... is that really where I want to keep my treasures?

But today's passage gave me cause to pause. Sometimes even the obvious isn't obvious without at least taking a moment to think.

My home isn't my treasure. It's my family that fills it.

The coffee shop isn't my treasure. That's where I spend time with my friends through laughter and tears.

My church isn't my treasure. That's where I go to interact with fellow believers, where I worship, where I learn, where I grow spiritually.

My could be destroyed and yes, I would miss my things but as long as I had my family I would survive. I could never have another cup of coffee or chai in my life and I would survive, but without my friends I would be miserable. I could stop going to my church for one reason or another and I would miss it terribly because of the people and the experiences but I'd take God with me because He's in my heart, with my friend and my family, my treasure.

-where it's safe from moth and rust and burglars...

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

A Day Without Facebook

Ah Facebook. A place where you can be "friends" with people you haven't spoken to since you graduated from High School (no matter how long ago that was) or never met in your real life. A place where you can "like" what's going on in your "friend"'s lives. A place where millions of people waste hours of time playing games like Farmville and Frontierville. Frontierville was my game and I know plenty of people that play both and then some others.

My phone has this handy little button that if I press it, takes me straight to my Facebook home page and I can see who likes what, who posted where, and what other people are saying. Since my phone is by my bed at night often when I woke up at 3 and 4 am I would pop online from the comfort of my pillows and see what had happened since I fell asleep. Then I would crawl out of bed and come to my computer and play Frontierville for an hour or two depending on what kind of missions I was trying to accomplish. I would check it again before going to work. At work I would check Facebook on my breaks and comment and like what was going on with my friends. At lunch, if I wasn't reading a book I'd usually be on Facebook. Then again while supper was cooking. When things get real slow at night when I do work I'd find myself wanting to get on Facebook "real quick" and struggling with not actually doing it. Then as soon as I'd get home I'd get on Facebook. Are you seeing a pattern here?

Yeah. Me too.

Obviously, I need a change.

Twenty-four hours ago, more or less, I posted a little farewell. I checked it once about 10 minutes after posting but that was the last time. I removed the little easy button on my phone so that Facebook is no longer just a click away. I removed the Favorites button on my Internet tool bar for the same reason. Sure I can still go to Facebook on my computer and my phone, but not without some thought.

Twenty-four hours without Facebook and I haven't caved yet.

So what did I do today, you might be wondering. Well, this morning when I got out of the shower I found an awake Baby Butter playing with three cars and a piece of his Thomas the Train railroad track so we crashed his cars for a good 10 minutes. Then he brought me his bucket of Little People and we played with them. I started another book later in the day. While on my dinner break I talked to Peanut on the phone while waiting for my food and then in my work's break room I worked on a Sudoku puzzle. Tonight when I got home from work after sure the children were tucked into bed and making some tea Nickel and I talked for an hour about. A whole hour! Just him and me talking. Mostly about our jobs and the kids, married people stuff. It was amazing. Not that we don't ever talk. We just don't get many hour long uninterrupted conversations. How many of those have I missed because I was playing on Facebook?

I didn't miss Facebook. Not like I thought I would. I've gone a day or two without it before, especially when I go to the land of dial-up, aka my parent's, where getting on Facebook take more patience than I usually have so a day without hasn't bothered me. And all that time with my family that I would've probably spent on Facebook...

Joel 2:12-14 Message
12 But there's also this, it's not too late- God's personal Message! "Come back to me and really mean it! Come fasting and weeping, sorry for your sins!"

13-14Change your life, not just your clothes. Come back to God, your God. And here's why: God is kind and merciful. He takes a deep breath, puts up with a lot, this most patient God, extravagant in love, always ready to cancel catastrophe. Who knows? Maybe he'll do it now,  maybe he'll turn around and show pity. Maybe, when all's said and done, there'll be blessings full and robust for your God!








Whiskey Sour (A Jacqueline "Jack" Daniels Mystery)
The book I started today.



Monday, March 07, 2011

The Simple Things

I now work at the Library. I don't know if I've mentioned that here on my blog or not. Most of my readers live in the same flat state that I do, but I know from time to time I have a few visitors from other parts of the world. Anyway, I've been there three months and I can honestly say that I like my job.

Today, I saw this really cute red headed guy, probably about 8 years old, walk across the library with the BIGGEST smile of pure happiness on his face. He was holding a book. I couldn't tell which book it was, but he held it close to his heart in a bear hug. This kid looked like he'd just opened up his birthday presents and got everything he ever wanted AND a pony.

I've seen a similar look on several other people at the library, but not to this extreme. Several people when I call to tell them that books they asked to be held for are in squeal with delight. They're probably jumping up and down, I just can't tell. Obviously. And even with their smiles when they come to pick up their book they're not the pure happiness of this little red headed boy today.

It got me thinking about the simple things in life. I remember when I was growing up and would money for my birthday. It was never a lot of money, but it was to me. And with that money I was able to buy my Barbie a brand new outfit!!! I'm pretty sure my face matched that redheaded boy's today.

Is it just the innocence of age that allows children to have that pure joy over simple things? As we grow older do we just become jaded to this world of disappointments that simple things just can't produce pure joy anymore? Or is it not really and age thing but more an American thing. Here we get stuff all the time and simple things like a borrowed book from a library means so little compared to the latest electronic gizmo.

The Lenten season is upon us again. I hadn't even realized it and hadn't been preparing for it at all. I didn't plan to give anything up as I have in past years. But today I realized that Ash Wednesday is this week. And I began to think. And the more I think about it the more resolved I become in my decision.  I want to find joy in the simple things so that means I need to get away from time wasters, namely, Facebook. I waste a lot of time on Facebook everyday so this will be a challenge of epic proportions for me. I like a challenge, especially one I set for myself.

I hope that boy I saw in the library today never loses his happiness in finding the perfect book. And I hope that I can find such pure joy in the simple things, like a borrowed library book.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Ketchup and Peanuts

Princess Peanut has embarked on a modeling career. Recently she was photographed with a new Chick-fil-A ketchup packet and it made it to this blog. Personally, I think the photographer should've noticed that her hair was a mess and calmed it down just a smidge but the new ketchup packets was the subject at hand. Check out Peanut and my friend Eric.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentine's Day

I don't like Valentine's Day very much. Me and him have history and I learned early on I didn't like him. Not one bit.

My birthday is the 11th of February. Growing up I received many a stuffed dog with red hearts for spots. I didn't like dogs and I didn't like hearts but people always bought me the generic Valentine's gifts instead of something I did like. I know, it should've been the thought that counted but I tried to pick out things I knew my friends liked for their birthdays I just couldn't understand why they couldn't do the same for me.

When I met Nickel and I knew that I'd always have a date for Valentine's Day and flowers that I never received from the boyfriends I never had. But he doesn't celebrate Valentine's Day. He doesn't celebrate my birthday either. Sometimes I get a card. If he remembers in time. And stops at the store for something and sees the cards.  Flowers just die so he refuses to spend money on them. I like to remind him that he'll die someday too but I still shell out the dough on stuff for him. He doesn't get it. I'm lucky to get a "Happy Birthday" and a "Happy Valentine's Day" during the month of February.

Nickel did bring home supper for me the day before my birthday. I, of course, had to pay for it though.

Gosh I sound bitter.

Well, maybe I am a little bit.

One year the temps were bitter cold and our pipes froze while we were at work and it took Nick crawling under the house, a lamp, a plumber and a lot of money the next day to get water back on. That held the "suckiest Valentine's Day" award in my book. Well, until this year.

This year my whole family decided to get sick before Valentine's Day. So for Valentine's day this year Baby Butter and I went to the doctor. He has the flu. I do not. Yet.

So, instead of a nice dinner in a crowded resturant I spent a hundred bucks on flu medicine. Another 30 for misc items like tissues, clorox wipes and meds for Nickel. And then another 10 at sonic on milkshakes because none of us feel like eating.

And just as I was about to put this horrible day to bed my sweet two year old, Baby Butter walked up to me, put his little hands on the sides of my face and pulled me to him and gave me three kisses on the cheek. (blinks back tears)

Yep, this was the best Valentine's Day ever.

Saturday, February 05, 2011

The Art of Racing in the Rain

I read The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein today. All 321 pages in just over 6 hours with a few breaks for meals, coloring my hair, you know, normal weekend stuff. This book was hard to put down.

The narrator of this book is Enzo. Enzo is a dog and on the eve of his death he reflects on his life with Denny. His owner. His best friend. And the life they've shared for ten years. Denny is a race car driver as you might have imagine from the title. There are references made to racing but they are presented as life lessons instead of just driving lessons.

This book was emotional. I normally go out of my way to avoid emotional books. I do not like to cry. I know that crying can release built up tension and blah blah blah. If you don't build up tension then you have none to release is all I'm saying. I'm not a pretty crier and Nickel takes every chance to make fun of me for crying over movies and books so that has helped me to avoid tearful situations.

But after hearing a coworker describe this book I thought I'd like to read it. When she finished the book she gave it to me to check out and I did. Then I read some reviews. Most of the reviews at Amazon tell you how wonderful the book is. But there were a few bad reviews and I made the mistake of reading them.  Suddenly I was no longer sure I could handle reading the book. The review upset me and I told Nickel that if reading a review upset me so much I couldn't imagine what the book would do to me. I tend to carry emotions from books around with me for days (which is why I stick with happily ever afters as much as possible). I asked my coworker about it and explained the review that I read. She assured me that Denny was innocent.  A high school friend had also read the book and said she thought I would enjoy the book.  Reassured I pushed forward with my plan to read the book over the weekend.

I didn't full out cry until the last two chapters. And then I only cried for a couple of moments at how perfect the ending was. I walked into the bedroom to put the book down and Nickel asked me what was wrong. I told him nothing, a favorite answer I'm sure, but seeing the book in my hands he said "Oh. The book." I could tell he wanted to say something sarcastic so I quickly told him, "Don't you dare make fun of me." He shut up and let me grieve for Enzo and Denny and the bond that they shared. Later I told Nickel about the book and he listened. He didn't even make fun of me when I teared up at the end. He's learning I think.

I will carry the emotions from this book with me for the next few days to come. Thinking back on the book I'm still angry at some of the characters. Amazed by others. And totally in love with Enzo. And I'm not even a dog person.

Here are a couple of quotes that really spoke to me today.

"That which we manifest is before us; we are the creators of our own destiny. Be it through intention or ignorance, our successes and our failures have been brought on by none other than ourselves"




"There is no dishonor in losing the race. There is only dishonor in not racing because you are afraid to lose."



Friday, February 04, 2011

Butter the Magician...

I must remember to pick up batteries next time I'm at the store so I can take pictures of Peanut and Butter. They're growing up so fast and I'm missing capturing the best parts of their childhood in photographic memories.

Tonight would've made a funny picture and should the opportunity arise again for a picture such as this I will try my best to capture the moment.

My son, my  baby, Butter he was playing and being cute as a bug full of life and energy. First he brought me Good Night Moon, one of our favorite children's books. But he didn't really want me to read the book. We just skipped around and found the "Old Lady whispering hush" and said "Shh". He likes that part best. Did I mention I was in the bathroom when he brought me this book. Yeah. not taking a picture of THAT moment, so don't worry.

Later as I was laying on the couch reading a book while he played around me. He picked up his foam sword and came to where I was and began to saw me in half. SAW ME IN HALF. He's two years old and my knowledge has never seen a circus act or anyone being sawn (or is it sawed) in two. What's up with this? Are boys just born knowing this stuff?

I've noticed he likes to cover things up with his little white blanket lately too. I might freak out if he said "Abracadabra". But now that I think about that I think I remember Bugs Bunny saying "Abracadabra" and "Hocus Pocus" in one of the cartoons Butter loves to watch so maybe that wouldn't freak me out so much.

But one thing is for sure. It's feels like a two-ring circus around here some days.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Growing Up Too Fast

Everyone knows that kids grow up too fast. Well, except maybe the kids who thinks it takes an eternity. As a parent I've really enjoyed Peanut as she's grown up. Oh, don't get me wrong there were lots of times when I would be stressed out so bad that I wanted her to just be 18 already (she was a very strong willed child) but those memories are fading nicely. Hard to believe that she will be 11 in just under two months. Seems like only yesterday I posted here on this blog about her kindergarten days. Getting proposed to, telling me all about penguins and other animals, and when she sat on my Camaro helping daddy fix it were just an example of my favorite memories. This blog is littered with tons of Peanut stories and I'm thankful for each of them. They help me remember that I wasn't always too stressed out to enjoy the moment.

Having Butter at the ripe old age of 29 I've been able to enjoy him more. Perhaps it's because he's an easier child. But I think it's more likely because I'm finally mature enough to be a parent. He makes me laugh. A lot. Yesterday I was making some bread dough and needed to mix the last of the flour in. This required me to mix it myself by hand. So there I stood at the kitchen counter both hands in the dough and Butter comes along and starts tickling my back! There was nothing I could do besides laugh and play along. Which made him laugh. Which made Nickel laugh when he came to see what all the noise was about and encouraged him to "get momma!". At another time in my life I probably would have yelled because I was busy and didn't have time to be tickled. This time I chose to enjoy the moment.

It is now 5 am and I've been up a good half hour. I hate when I wake up so early and can't get back to sleep. Thank goodness for the Internet and Facebook. As I sat here though, in the quiet house, I heard laughter. Laughter at 4:30 in the morning. Not common. Or maybe it is and I just don't know it. The laughter came from Butter who has insisted for the last several month on sleeping on the couch in the living room. The laugh lasted only a moment and then the house returned to it's quiet state, but for that moment, I was really glad I was awake. I wonder if he's dreaming about tickling his momma while her hands are stuck in the bread dough. Oh they grow up too fast.