Monday, October 31, 2005

A Blog To Blog About

Now here's a good site to read on a rainy day, or a sunny day; cold day or even a hot day. In other words, anytime you want a good book to read, check out this site. It has lots of variety. You never know when the author is being spiritual, controversial, hyperbole, gossipy, friendly, naughty or just plain Britt.

A little history about the author...

she's a second born (that tells you a lot right there)
she likes to wear red socks
she takes long showers
she lives in a different state for half of the year
she was scared of July Fourth as a child
she's blonde but surprisingly isn't a blonde
she won't drive
she ran away from home once when my brother butchered a mean rooster
she's not married (she's not a rotten apple either)
she's not afraid to say no :)
she has a mean dog that attacks people (okay, one person)
she likes it when I clean out my closet
she has tons of money but has never had a job (she carries multiple $20 bills in her pocket at all times and hands them out to whoever asks for one)
she has multiple names (I'll spare you the list for now)
she's nice and has an interesting blog

Just getting her back for the one she did to me. :-P

(Our mother taught us not to fight when we were children so we had to learn how to get back at each other in other ways.)

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Just Like Clockwork

Countless times I've heard people ask me recently, "have you changed your clocks... did you set your clocks back?" Countless times I've lied and said, "Yes," when in reality, not one clock in our house has changed. Thankfully, the computer clocks automatically set themselves back or ahead so at least we have some accurate reference of time. I guess I'm not lying 100%.

Instead of saying 'no' and then having to explain the whole ordeal, I just say 'yes' because I do know that all I have to do is look at the time and subtract one hour from it and then I end up with the right time. So, at least I'm in the same time zone as the rest of my neighbors even though our clocks are set different from theirs.

The story goes like this... twice a year, my husband and I go through the whole authority/submission thing. You see, I'm being submissive by allowing his authority in deciding when, how, who, where and what clocks get changed. The only problem is, he's not exerting his authority. Of course, you can't be submissive to your leader by telling him what to do so it's kind of hard to submit to something that isn't happening.

This happens every time a battery dies in one of our clocks too. Time stands still in certain rooms of our house periodically.

Finally one time, I broke down and explained to Toby that the dad always changes the clocks; the mom just looks at what time it is. That's all she has to do with clocks. I suppose she can dust them off once in awhile or hang them on a different wall but the whole manual side of the clocks, is totally controlled by the dad.

He told me that where he comes from, the mom does the clockwork.

In that same conversation, I wisely explained to him that the dad also locks the doors at night (his way of exerting protection over his family and house) and sets the thermostat just right before bed. (his way of showing his tenderness and care for his family's comfort and wellbeing.)

He just nodded his head, grabbed his book and headed to bed, asking me over his shoulder if I locked the back door.

It gets confusing after awhile though because sometimes I'll just break down and decide to change a clock. Then I'll forget what clock was changed and what clocks are still on the old time and so then I forget if I'm supposed to add, subtract or just accept the time.

When I ask Toby why he doesn't change the clocks, he says that in 6 months, he's just going to have to change them again: what's the use. I say, what's the use washing your laundry today when you're just going to get it dirty tomorrow? I mean, his theory is easy to argue with.

Well, I just noticed the time and realized I need to scramble in order to get my baby down for her nap in time for a nice long snooze before church tonight. Wait... I think I have the wrong time... yeah, I still have an extra hour yet.

Okay, I think I need to have another talk with my husband or else just change the clocks. Just like clockwork, we have the same discussion every time. And we draw the same open ended, unanswered, conclusions too. Sigh.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

On Romantic Trucks And Screaming Kids

Toby had to go to Lincoln tonight to do a job estimate. He asked me if I wanted to go along (after I had asked him all day long if he thought we could go with) and I immediately said yes. Of course, since he was bringing me, he had to also bring the--er, our kids. That was fine with both of us considering we didn't even seem to consider leaving them home anyway.

So, he grabs the boy; I grab the girl and we head out to the truck.

Now, at first thought, I always think it's going to be romantic to ride in the truck versus the minivan together. It's a bench seat in the front and just seems more lovey dovey or something. Before we even drive past our mail box, I remember why it's never been romantic and probably never will be.

After putting Janae in her seat I had to run back in the house. When I got back to the truck, Toby was just opening his cell phone to make a call. I slowed my steps and stalled at the door and finished up some things before getting in, hoping his call would be over by the time we left. I was having visions of my husband, fumbling with the phone, backing out the driveway and down the steep bank into the street, looking for traffic while meanwhile avoiding the retaining walls, putting the truck in gear and not hitting any cars parked on the street.

My distant vision somehow merged into reality as I found myself moving back down the driveway with a husband on the phone while driving a stick shift truck. I also noticed he had a stack of letters to mail and knew that would only add to the confusion/excitement.

It dawned on me right then why the truck never has been a romantic experience.

All romance aside, I just held on to the door while we maneuvered up the street and headed into town. Of course, it wasn't until we were flying down the busy, crowded, fast streets of our state's capital did Toby decide he needed to make another call.

Out of the corner of my eye, I saw him balancing the wheel with his elbow, holding the phone to his ear with one hand and resting the other hand on the stick. And then he reached for a notebook and pen. He handed that to me (whew) and repeated outloud everything the customer was saying so I could write it down. At least he wasn't trying to write on top of everything else he was already doing.

Then, he put the left blinker on and kept driving straight down the four lane highway. I kept looking for traffic that obviously must be in his way; keeping him from changing lanes. There was a blessed minivan several car lengths back that wasn't in his way at all so I continued to wonder why the signal was on and no lane changing was happening. The blinker stayed on and we just stayed in our lane.

After I started pointing, motioning and grunting about the signal being on, he changed lanes only to leave that left blinker on (ultimately giving one the impression he planned to head into the ditch since there were no more lanes to veer to the left into) and then changed back into the original lane several car lengths ahead. By then, we were at some stop lights and not in a turn lane though the right blinker was now on.

There were cars zooming past us on the right heading the direction of Toby's blinker but we were firmly stopped at the lights like the rest of the straight bound traffic was though our signal just kept blinking. I just assumed that he accidentally over corrected when he first shut the blinker off and it turned the right signal on.

After the light turned green, he shut the blinker off and we headed towards the intersection and made a right turn into the right turning traffic. We never entered the right turn lane though. Somehow, we actually turned without being in the turning lane and without our blinker on.

That ordeal was over and he hung up the phone and I was beginning to calm my nerves when suddenly, we did a 3 lane drift into a left turn lane, a blinker went on, the windshield wipers started going and we lunged through the intersection before I even knew it. Whew. At least the correct signal was on. I think anyway... it all happened so fast.

After the roof estimate, we had planned on doing a drive through supper deal but when Toby suggested going in to sit down, I immediately complied because I couldn't imagine him balancing his supper on his knee, his phone to his ear, his elbow on the wheel and his hand on the stick. I knew that was all possible, yes, but not safe.

Following supper, we headed back home and back through all the downtown traffic, yellow lights gallore. On our way, Toby informed me that when a light turns yellow in Lincoln, you don't slow down in order to stop by the time you reach the intersection, you speed up. I told him I learned that right away when I moved here. Actually, I learned that before I moved here: I learned it when we'd drive together in Wisconsin when we were dating.

My dad always taught us to slow down when you see a yellow light; not speed up. Makes me wonder if that has anything to do with why my dad has never been in an accident and Toby's been in more than I can count on one hand. (though not all of them were his fault, I must credit him that!)

When we were about 15 minutes from home, our girl child started screaming and screaming and we both remembered why it had been such a big question about me (ie., the kids, the mom, everyone else besides Dad, etc.) coming with Toby to do the estimate. We wondered outloud why it had ever even been an option for us to bring her along. We both vowed to never be in a vehicle again with our baby until she's old enough to know not to scream so loud. Usually Spanish music seems to calm her nerves but that wasn't working nor was Michael Savage's talk show on the radio.

The screaming accelerated until we scraped up our steep driveway. Then at last we were safely home, the cell phone off, the elbow off the wheel and Toby's hand was grabbing his child while I grabbed mine and we headed into the house.

So much for a romantic evening in town tonight with our darling screaming children and lurch and lunge pick up truck. Though I must say that at least we could be together with not even a book to distract us from talking.:)

Monday, October 17, 2005

Always Wondered What I Was

You are a FLUTE.You, like the flute, are possibly the most
obnoxious creation in existence. You love
everything bright and cheerful and ridiculously
happy. Do the rest of us a favor--go jump off
a cliff with your annoyingly blithe demeanor.

What musical instrument are you?
brought to you by

Unwanted Guest

I shouldn't even call it a guest. It's an invader. An enemy. A vile being. And it's definitely unwanted.

I was doing my motherly duties of getting juice out of the downstairs freezer before bed last night. Landon had been begging for juice all evening but after a bout of unnecessary dirty and odorous diapers, I thought it best to hold off on the juice and encourage more liquids such as water thus reducing the scented and running ingredients that had frequented his diapers through out day. I knew by morning, juice would be okay and was preparing ahead of time.

I was going about my normal routine that I go through every time I go downstairs. All the lights get turned on and each step that I must step on is thoroughly scrutinized. I carefully eye any suspicious spot on the floor and remain on the lookout for any sudden movements. I arrived at the freezer unharmed (and unarmed) when I saw a flash of white.

Yes, white. Out of the corner of my eye, it was dashing wildly on the wall as if someone was flashing a flash light beam from across the room. I froze. Afraid was I to look upon my oppressor because I knew I would be thoroughly oppressed upon seeing the wicked invader.

My eyes turned and looked. My spine tingled. My brain immediately recognized the specie and sent a message to my feet to run fast. All my guards showed up for duty and my adrenaline was fully activated. I knew all 300,000 feet of the invader would soon be heading in my direction but at the time, I couldn't tell it from head to tail. And with the way it was dashing wildly about, I don't think it could tell either.

I slammed the freezer shut and retreated towards the safety of the stairs, forgetting the errand I was sent on that sent me to this dungeon of a basement.

When I got to the steps, it dawned on me that the freezer was not fully shut because in my haste to close it, I had slammed it instead which had only resulted in briefly closing it thus the seal hadn't totally activated. I could do nothing else but move my body back towards the wicked being on the wall and come within close range of it again. All 300,000 feet could conveniently march in my direction. And the defense I had was only my adrenaline. I didn't even have my feet shod.

I lunged 10 feet across the room while keeping my feet planted at the stairway so as to have a quick way of escape should the invader suddenly grow long arms and sharp teeth as we all know these kinds of things do.

The freezer door looked like it was touching the freezer and I deemed it safe enough to leave till morning. I mistakenly neglected to fully determine that it was more than just "touching" and actually closed. My safety was more important to me than all the food in my freezer.

I whipped back to the stairs, dashed up the stairs 6 steps at a time the whole time imagining long, spindly creatures crawling between the stairs and around my toes, up my legs, then following my spine straight into my hair. I knew they would at least snatch a toe or two. I actually arrived to the kitchen in one piece. I counted all my fingers and toes and was amazed to find even my hair in place. I knew the monster would be after me before long because of the vulnerable state I was in: my Provider and Protector was up in bed reading a book. I couldn't be safe until I was with him. Book or no book.

I don't even remember going up the stairs or how I got to our room but before I knew it, I was at his side shaking and jittering while breathlessly gasping out my horrific experience; expecting his condolences and sympathies as only a wife naturally does when she has a loving and caring husband.

(This is the part that gets really scary.)

He rolled his eyes, hardly even looking at me. So much for thinking I'd at least get a reassuring pat on my back that everything would be okay. He was completely unconcerned with the fragile state of mind I was in; my emotions completely reflecting a victim on the brink of a nervous break down.

And then he mumbled something like, "they don't hurt anything..."

DON'T HURT ANYTHING??!! All 300,000 legs would do more damage on my body by just coming within 5 feet of me than the horse's hoof that hit me in the shin when I was a kid. Don't hurt anything??!!

I animated how looooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooong the beast was by holding up two fingers. My dear husband just rolled over and went to sleep.

And then I remembered: I am married to the man who for months has been talking about getting a tarantula spider the size of a dinner plate to keep in his office and whom he can feed innocent lizards to. I've told him instead to buy the lizards and we'll cut up the spider and feed it to the reptiles. We could even keep the lizards in the kitchen for all I care but please, not a "pet" spider that we knowingly allow to live in our home.

"But it would be good for the kids to have a spider," this husband of mine says.

"It's better for the kids to have all their fingers than an exotic spider with big teeth," I wisely retort.

"I'll keep it in the office and clean it's cage," is the response I get. Like I'm worried about a dirty spider cage.

"I'll never ever step foot in your office with an eight legged beast living comfortably on your desk," was my well thought out response. He even offered to build the cage, as if that would make a difference.

After I slid in bed last night, I assured him we would call the exterminator and eliminate the centipede epidemic that was sure to sweep through our house. If there's one bug I can't stand, it's a centipede. The one I saw last night was white, long, hairy and fast. I've always been terrified of them since I was a child but until last night actually haven't seen one for at least fifteen years. I was beginning to think they were just a childhood fantasy fear that was only a figment of my imagination. Now I know they're real.

I decided not to call the exterminator until Toby's spider arrives in the mail and I'll give detailed directions of what areas in our house that need extermination. That way, we'll get the most for our money and we can all live in peace and harmony.

And, I'm NEVER, EVER going to the basement again. At least not until the nice exterminator guy comes. If he never comes, there will be at least two rooms I will be banished from: the office and the basement. I hate spiders and centipedes... all 300,008 legs of them. Of course, that leg total would only be one centipede and one spider but I can't imagine having more legs than that running around my house. I'm sure there's more than just one of each in this civilized house of ours because they say if you see one, it's a sure sign that there's a whole community of them. You'd think we lived in a mud hut with a grass roof.

At least our tarantula would be in a cage and wouldn't have any wives or relatives. The cage would help cut down on his population. Maybe Toby's cage isn't such a bad idea after all. I'd rather eliminate the need for the cage in the first place. But, if I have to have a spider in the house, I'd rather he was in a cage. The centipedes too.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Sound It Out

My six-and-a-half year old nephew, Braxton, was dishwasher shopping with his parents. Being in the midst of learning how to read, he was only trying to help when he noticed his mom intently reading some confusing information on a particular dishwasher. In exasperation, she looked at her husband and said, "Aaron, I don't get this."

Before my BIL could even respond, Braxton came over and put his arm around his mom's waist and encouraged, "Just sound it out, Mom."

Sealed Fate

Betcha didn't know that today is a very important anniversary of a very important part in history. Well, at least my history. Three years ago today, I met the man that would forever change the course of my life. He also met me and I've been changing his life since then as well.

We were at a large youth function when the meeting took place. I had observed the whole lot of the testosterone infected male species that equally swarmed the grounds as did those of my own womanly kind. Most of the other species were annoyingly shy or overly friendly and most seemed strange to me. Only a few that I noticed were in the normal range. Except for the guys I knew from my immediate group, I ruled the whole lot of them out except for two.

During the course of the day, I found myself in a van packed full of kids heading up a mountain. I was quietly minding my own self, thinking, watching and listening to all the chatter around me. I was reflectively looking out the window into deep ravines and up snowcapped peaks. I was just being unusually quiet when the friend sitting next to me attracted my attention with what she was saying to the guy sitting in front of me.

I don't remember what I said or did but whatever it was, suddenly this guy was sitting backwards in his seat and was totally ignoring her and all into talking to me. What they had been talking about was hardly anything I could relate to except for one minute detail. That was all it took for this guy to notice me and forget everything in this world except for me. I didn't even know his name yet.

He literally did turn around in his seat to talk to me. At first I didn't know what to think but I liked the way he looked, the way he talked and the way I could talk to him. He was one of those two guys that seemed normal and nice that I had noticed earlier. Everyone called him "Tobe" but when I questioned further just to make sure I knew his name, I found out it was "Toby."

After reaching our destination, we all got out and took a hike and more than once we passed each other. He always smiled real friendly and would say, "Hi," in a warm and friendly way.

While we sat and waited for all the hikers to return, a bunch of us sat in the van and talked about where we were from, who we were and all those important details.

From the front, I heard someone voice back to me that I had a Canadian accent and was from Canada. It was Toby. The way he said it, I felt like he was extremely irritated by people that talked with my accent. I defended myself saying I wasn't from Canada nor did I have an accent. Truthfully, HE was the one with the accent. He would have none of it.

I was convinced he didn't like the way I talked, not that I talked strange but apparently he thought so.

But, he continued to have a sparkle in his eye and throughout the next week, I caught him often looking at me. He was a head taller than most of the guys there and was easy to spot. More often than not, his head was turned in my direction and I could see the gleam in his eye from across the room.

Now, three years later, he still has that sparkle and he's still looking at me. And, he's still making fun of the way I talk.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005


I have been so forgetful lately. And when it comes to passwords and usernames, I forget them all. I even forgot the ones that get me to my own blog. If I just wanted to visit my page and had to type the address in, I don't remember how to spell Coeur d' and I forget where the "d" goes and on which side the apostrophe goes. Thank goodness for a "Favorites" list.

But, a Favorites list can be a problem too. I had a whole list of favorites in my Favorites and no back up plan. (sticky notes on my computer with all my favorite sites, passwords, shortcuts and usernames.) Recently, Toby had to reinstall Windows XP in my computer and... you guessed it. I lost it all.

I tried going on eBay today to pretend to bid. I always seem to lose the nerve and think that my Paypall account won't work -- actually it won't... I've never updated it and got a credit or bank number in it. So I bid and hope someone out bids me. And they always have.

Today, I couldn't even get on eBay. Then when I finally could, they said "Welcome back 'whatever-my-username-is' " but I couldn't get any password to work when I needed to ask the seller if they would consider setting up a Paypal account for me in exchange for me buying their item. I happened to remember my email address and the nice computers at eBay directed me on how to set up a new password. I don't know how many times I've done that in the past couple months and I've never bought a thing on eBay.

The other day I tried going on a pregnancy/baby site that I'm subscribed to and couldn't get a single of my usernames to work. I finally figured it out but then I can never remember if my password has a "u" in 'juniour' or if it's the other "junior."

Last week, I got an email from (somehow I got subscribed to that site too) and the subject line said, "Are you forgetting things..." (or something like that; I can't remember for sure.) I was like, "This is it! This is what's causing all the problems!"

I felt like I could identify so much with that subject line that I immediately opened the email and began to read about forgetfulness. By the time I was finished reading the short paragraph, I was sitting on the edge of my chair and knew I had something serious and was at a risk for Alzheimers. I felt so relieved to finally be able to put a finger on my memory loss and was in the process of taking their test to see if indeed I was pre-Alzheimers or actually already had the disease.

When I got to the section that listed those at risk, I was twenty-some years too young to qualify for even having a slight reason to take the test. I was disappointed in that finding and surprisingly, I haven't forgotten that important fact.

A few weeks ago, I couldn't remember if Janae's middle name ended in a "e" or just a "k." Is it 'Brooke' or 'Brook'? Good thing we have a legalized birth certificate for her.

Last night, my husband gave me directions for what to do with my computer to eliminate the pop up ads I've been getting. It was something real simple like, "turn off the computer" or something like that but I didn't remember.

Last weekend, my SIL ("sister in law" in internet language) was shopping and called me from the fabric store to ask me a question about fabric for a baby quilt. She told me where she was and I was well aware that she was indeed shopping. Later that day, I called her house to see if she had ended up going to town to shop and get her fabric or not. She just laughed at me.

There are countless other things I've suffered lately because of forgetting some important and major detail but of course, I can't remember them at the moment.

I will just self diagnose my ailment as Somezeimers: a disease my grandma always claims she has. She always says that she doesn't forget "all" off the time just "some" of it. Who knows... it may even be genetic and I actually have a reason for my memory loss.

Or maybe it's similar to "sins of the fathers being passed from generation to generation." Don't even get me going on that one. I do remember what I think about that concept.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Big Toe

Last week I cut my toenails and got them all back in shape again. I finger-nail-polish-removal-ed them and now they're all nice and clean looking again. But I am experiencing so much pain despite the fact that they look so pretty. It must feel similar to having a "toe-job" done to them if there is such a thing. I guess if they can do a job to your nose, they could do one to your toes too.

Well, I had a job done to my toes -- a big one too.

The left side of my right foot's big toe is hosting the painful event. Anything to do with pain is now communing in my toe. It's become swollen, red, inflamed, irritated, infected, inormous, intouchable and intolerable to any pressure or compresses from other objects such as other people's feet, toys that make you trip and young children that like to come up to you and step on your feet.

Every time this toe gets bumped, it sends me through the roof. I think we're going to need a new roof before long. It's getting bumped more often than it's not.

I have a new irritation to having to be walked all over on. And if you don't understand, take about 5 steps in my shoes and you'll know what I mean.

Actually, I can't even wear shoes so don't worry if you thought I was going to make you walk in them because I don't have any on.

This morning when we were leaving for church, I slipped into my black Sunday heels and took a step away from the closet as you do when you've become fully prepared to leave. Suddenly, without realizing what was going on, my thoughtful leg kicked the shoe off as one would if they stepped into a rattlesnake nest and I heard it land some where across the room. The shoe was across the room, that is, not my leg. So much for Sunday shoes to wear on Sunday.

I then decided on a more comfortable brown suede leather pair that would be a bit more stretchy around the toe. That pair was quickly misseled towards the closet in much of the same manner as the dress shoes were. Forget shoes. I hunted for the nicest sandals I could find and carefully aimed my toe through the sandal and out the other end. It worked.

How beautiful are the feet that bring good news, not the shoes or footwear that the feet are in. I went to church with that message on my heart and protectively stood guard over my beautiful feet.

I know what the Bible means when it says that when one member suffers, the whole body suffers with it. I also know what it means when it talks about having a thorn in your flesh. This definitely feels like I have a thorn in my flesh.

Ironically enough, our church was having it's bi-annual foot washing service today. In defense of the fact that my invalid foot skipped out on the water, towel and bucket, I explained that the Bible doesn't say "feet" washing but rather foot washing.

Now I need to put my big toe to bed and hope that my size-12-shoed-husband's feet will stay away from my poor toe. Every where I go, there's people wanting to bump into my foot. And they usually do it with their feet. It's like my poor toe is getting picked on by all the other toes. I think it's a conspiracy among the toes.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

I was reading through different blogs and stumbled on these questions:

Why is it that our children can't read a Bible in school, but they can in prison?

Why do I have to swear on the Bible in court when the Ten Commandments cannot be displayed in a federal building?

Something to think about.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

On Bachelors, Colors And Trips

I have had such an horrible itch to go on a trip. I call it "horrible" because when you want to do something so bad but can't do it, the feeling you have is best described as horrible.

I don't know what it is with this time of year but ever since I got married and moved, I've had this intensity to travel during the fall. I really shouldn't say I don't know what it is because I think I do: there is a very great lack of color in this town I live in when the rest of our country is changing. The bright reds, oranges, yellows, greens and all the lovely colors of fall, this friendly town of ours just doesn't have. The leaves turn brown and fall off, end of story. There's no dramatic entrance into the colder months with a grand finale of summer's goodbye and falls colorful hello.

Fall kinda just sneaks up on us here. The weather stays mostly hot but a few frost nights will tinge the green leaves with brown and suddenly, without knowing what happened, you look outside one morning and notice the trees are no longer green. The next morning, after a particular windy night, you see that all the leaves are on the ground. All the leaves. Fall comes in just one night and leaves by morning.

I can't seem to get it out of my mind that fall needs color because to me, fall is color. Being the Wisconsin gal that I am, it's just in my blood to have a bit more excitement in ones life during this dramatic season. Maybe that's why I tend to paint my house and bring new colors to our walls this time of year since nothing else around here is changing.

So, I want to travel and see some color. Experience some excitement. It seems like instead of sitting in my friendly, bricked roads farmer town, I should be watching the changing scenes that so many areas have. There is no ticket one must purchase to watch the show; the only expense would be gas. And food. And lodging. Yeah, I guess there would be expenses.

No wonder why when I brought the subject up with my husband, he barely glanced over the top of his book at me and said, "Really?"

As if to say, "you REALLY want to spend that kind of money?" when I didn't even say anything about money. But I guess trips are money.

So, instead of just saying "I want to go on a trip," I decided to get a little more specific. A trip could mean a road to anywhere but when you name a destination, that helps to narrow it down a bit.

A few days later, I told my husband I wanted to go to the Grand Canyon. He wasn't reading a book this time but was instead walking through the room. He stopped, looked at me and said, "Oh, really?" as if it really was a possibility this time.

I almost asked if he really wasn't thinking about the cost. Then I remembered that he has already seen it and maybe his really meant that at one time he could really identify with someone who had never seen it and he could see why someone like myself would really want to see it.

I knew what he was probably thinking when I brought up the Grand Canyon... Did I mention yet that he has already seen it? If I did, I should've said that he barely saw it.

It was long before my time when Toby took the trip with his friend Matt. They were both equally bachelored which meant neither one had a prospect at all in the future that would perhaps give them a possibility that they wouldn't actually die a lonely bachelor. In other words, they had time to kill. Lots of time. They used to take trips just for fun. I think it helped them forget how lonely and sad a bachelor life is.

Once the car they were driving was missing a tail light and they decided one weekend to see how many warnings they could get from different states. So they drove through Nebraska, Iowa, South Dakota and Minnesota in one night. I think they got 3 warnings by the time they got home the next day.

Another time they drove to Florida and through the tips of other states, turned around and came back home, just to say they had been to this state and that state. I think Toby slept most of that trip and most of it was done in the dark so the beautiful and unusual scenery was hidden by the dark.

Then one weekend, they decided to drive to the Grand Canyon. They got in the car, drove to the canyon, looked at the hole in the ground, got in the car and went back home. I was surprised that they even got out of the car. I guess they did walk around for like two hours (no exaggeration there -- you can ask my husband) and saw what they wanted to see and went back home. I always thought there was more to see there than just what two hours would give you time for. I guess that's not so for bachelors though.

You have to understand that the Grand Canyon is quite a great distance from where Toby and Matt lived. It wasn't just a quick drive down the road. It took them twenty four hours to just get there. 24 HOURS! It's probably a good thing they didn't "waste" time sitting around the canyon looking at trees, rocks, mountains, rivers and crevices. I guess since neither one had a lover's hand to hold as they watched the sunset, it wasn't worth enjoying the beauty more than a couple hours.

I have to say that it almost seemed like when he said, "Oh, really," to me when I brought up the Grand Canyon again, Toby's "really" seemed to have that hopefulness and anticipation of one who had always wanted to experience something but never had. Maybe he has never really experienced the thrill of seeing the Grand Canyon. Oh yeah, he saw it but he didn't get that thrill go down his spine like one gets when they go there, or so I'm told.

I hope that if Toby takes me serious about the trip and will decide to go, he'll make his plans include sticking around for more than just a couple hours. Now that would really be a bachelor's way to enjoy the fall season: drive to the Grand Canyon, turn around and come home. Talk about real excitement. At least we could see the fall colors on the way that this town of ours is lacking in.

I wouldn't complain.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Everything But The Radio

It has been a long day. Productive though but that's what makes a long day separate from a bad day. I hate it when I have a long day that isn't productive. That's when I have a bad day. Today was not a bad day though. Just long.

Can you tell my brain has had a long day too? Okay, enough about what kind of day I had, let me tell you what I did.

I decided this past week that it's about time I paint our bedroom. I've decided this before but I was always either hugely pregnant or just had a new baby. After I no longer had a new baby, I was newly pregnant. Can't paint when you're first pregnant... gotta wait a bit longer. Then I was hugely pregnant and I knew that balancing on a 8" high step stool was as catastrophic as a cow riding a unicycle so decided to wait until later. Soon I was no longer hugely pregnant but I was in as bad of shape: a new baby in the house was too much work in itself to take on a day's worth of painting.

So, before I'm either newly pregnant, hugely pregnant or have a new baby again, I decided to buckle down and get this project done before it's too late.

It turned out quite well. The colors, that is. The kids also were cooperative but though their father was helpful, he was not cooperative with their mother.

Any woman would know that if you take a whole room apart, paint the walls, dust and polish the wood work, vacuum all the edges and take down the curtains, the only logically thing to do next is put the furniture back in a different way than it was before you started the project.

I was talking on the phone to my husband's mother in law when I broke the news to him by mentioning the room was going to be rearranged. His face totally changed. It reminded me of the way a horse or a cat puts their ears back when they are upset with somebody. His mother in law quickly recognized the change in our atmosphere here and hung up the phone. My husband then retreated. (That means he took a book and went downstairs to the livingroom.)

Meanwhile, I moved what furniture I could without my strongman and Landon knocked a lamp off the bedside table and burnt out the bulb. Janae was sleeping this whole time so I was in a race against time to get everything done before she realized there was a party going on without her and woke up.

In time, I sweetly beckoned downstairs that I needed his help. And then I waited. After enough time had lapsed for him to have come up and then gone back down ten or fifteen times, I beckoned again. (Notice I didn't say 'sweetly beckoned' the second time.)

He came up stairs finally and was in a blessed-are-the-poor-in-spirit-I'm-going-to-make-you-think-I-don't-want-to-help-you-when-really-I-do mood, and began shoving and pushing furniture to all four corners of the room. He had brought his book up with him so once the bed was in place, he plopped down and began peering intently at that.

He'd glance up every once in awhile and would ask if I thought the room was chaotic. I said I thought it was because it was still such a mess.

"No, not the mess," he said. "The way everything is at a weird angle makes it seem chaotic." And then he quickly finished, "Don't you think so?"

Can't say I did. Yeah, the bed and both dressers were all positioned at an angle in three different corners but that was the way I wanted it.

Then he said as long as I didn't think it seemed chaotic then it would be fine.

A second later from the bed I hear, "Are you sure you don't think this is chaotic?"

If I designed a room to look like this, does he think I'd stand back and label it "chaotic?"

And again he said, "You really don't think it's chaotic in here?"

Maybe the kid running around with the screw driver and curtain brackets and who kept begging for the piece of candy he found was a bit chaotic but no, I didn't think the furniture was chaotic. It was all standing perfectly in its place. Angles and all.

Then I decided to put a lamp on the night stand next to Toby's side of the bed. There is nothing unusual about putting a lamp there but, the fact that he has this enormous radio/alarm clock sitting there as well makes it a bit of a challenge. There was a perfect slot between the bed and the stand and so I casually implied the radio could go down there. On the floor.

I lifted the thing up and pushed the long antenna down when suddenly from the bed erupts chaos. This must be the "don't you think it's chaotic in here" Toby has been talking about...

"NO! That radio is NOT going down on the floor!"

"But honey, what do you need it for?" I thoughtfully ask.

"THAT'S my alarm clock and my radio... you can't put it down on the floor!"

"Dear, you can just push that little button right there to turn on the radio and turn off the alarm. What more do you need?" Another wise question.

"I need to see the time and, huh, I CAN'T turn the radio on when its down there like THAT!"

"Sweetie, there is another alarm clock over there..." and I point across the room to where it sits. "Why do you need to SEE the radio in order to turn it on?"

"SWEETHEART, I can't see the alarm clock over there... NO my radio is going right here." And he picked it up and put the gigantic thing on the stand.

"But, darling, this is our bedroom: that radio thing is for a work shop not a fancy room. Let me put the other alarm clock closer."

Suddenly, he says with a tone that sounds as though he's trying to prove to himself more than to me that the radio needs to be in plain view: "I let you change everything in this room... everything! BUT my radio will not change." And he looked at me and grinned.

Now I know how Adam and Eve felt in the garden when God said they could eat everything but the fruit on that one tree.

That settled it. I positioned the dainty little lamp on the other side of the drab, gray mechanical box with all its funny dials and buttons and long, shiny metal antenna. It looks like a walkie talkie on display in a lighted china cabinet. But that's okay. That's what I get for sharing a bedroom with a man.

So, I guess he has his radio and I get a rearranged room. It's really not a bad deal on my part and I hope he's happy too.