Wednesday, March 31, 2010


photo from

Has someone turned up the knob on the gravity meter? I feel like I am walking through molasses. I am tired, and I ache all thumbs, my feet, my knees. I have to make some changes!

Notes From the Frugal Trenches is claiming April as Plan Sparkle month! Last year in April I jumped on her Ten Days Toward Health train, and felt better for it. So I'll be focusing on health this month along with her and others again.

My plan is simple: more sleep and less processed sugar. There will be other changes, but they will evolve from these two basic goals. Sonic Cokes? Out! Luckily I like their unsweetened tea. :)

Sunday, March 28, 2010

What's in a name...

Wordle: kathleens
image created at

I was over at my niece's blog tonight catching up, and I came across a post in which she mentioned her Aunt Kathy (me). I wouldn't have her call me anything else! Unless she wants to revert back to Khaki, like she used to call me when she was little...I was about 12 when she started that, after which my father never called me anything else but Khaki for the rest of his life. :)

But in commenting on her post, I had a very hard time signing my name as Kathy. I wouldn't have the problem if I was signing a personal card or letter to her, but being that a blog comment is kind of public, I had a little struggle. I usually just settle on signing 'k' these days.

I'm a tag along baby of the family. My oldest sister wanted my name to be Kathy. She never knew what it was like to have the teacher call your name and have three or four other girls look up. Thanks a lot, sis. I am eternally grateful to my mother for opting for Kathleen.

According to the Social Security's list of top 1000 most popular names for baby girls from 1950 to 1959 (I came along toward the end of that decade), Mary was the single most popular name. There were 625,328 baby girls named Mary in that decade. That surprised me, because I know a lot more Kathys than Marys. Or at least it seems so. I'm willing to acknowledge that maybe I'm just a little more sensitive to recognizing people with my name, but since I'm a stubborn type, I went through the whole dadgum list, and this is what I found.

Kathleen came in at 15. Then there was Kathy at 22nd. Followed by Catherine at 32nd...Cathy at 52nd...Kathryn at 57th...Katherine at 65th...Cathleen at 282nd...Kathie at 320th...Kathi at 402nd...Katharine at 471st...Cathryn at 507th...Kathrine at 604th...Katheryn at 715th...Cathrine at 798th...Catharine at 806th...Cathey at 906th...and finally Kathaleen at 958th.

You add all those up, and you get 755,170 baby girls that I am willing to wager got called Kathy (or some spelling thereof) at least part of the time, either by choice or because people like to call others by familiar rather than formal names. That's a lot more than the 625,328 Marys. (I knew it!)

I started school at a private school where the girls had to wear a head covering to chapel with their name embroidered across the front. Mine read 'Kathleen,' and that is what I was called by everyone. So I was accustomed to being Kathy at home, and Kathleen in public. It was actually junior high before we could choose to go by a nickname. I actually preferred Kathleen, but there was one person in particular who called me Kath-A-leen. Oh how that drove me crazy! So I told this person to just call me Kathy, and it spread. And it clung until after I married and moved out of the area.

For the last twenty-five years (give or take), I've gone by Kathleen in public (again) by personal preference. I don't ask or even want my family to call me anything but Kathy...that would actually feel weird. But if a new acquaintance does so, I usually make my preference known.

Sorry to bore you with such a self-indulgent post. Anyone else have an identity crises?

Thursday, March 25, 2010

My topsy-turvy week...

I have loved this week! Busy? Yes! Frustrating? Sometimes. Memorable? Absolutely!

For instance, I never knew Caitlyn could stand on her head!

Oh, what talent! One handed, no less!

And little sis hates to be outdone by anybody.

I took them to daycare today so I could deal with yesterday's chaos clean up before Kasey and Beau get home tonight. I am on about my sixth load of laundry, and decided I should probably vacuum the floors. I'm looking for the vacuum, and check in the entryway coat closet.

And I find this...

An over-the-door shoe organizer used for all the family hats, gloves, and a dog leash or two!

And silly as it sounds, I was overcome with a sense of validation. I must have done something right as a mother. :)

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Sibling rivalry abounds...

With a title like this, I'll bet you were expecting another post about the girls, huh?

Well, these are my other two charges for the week. They look full of big bad attitude.


They behave just like little children: arguing, making messes, tracking in mud. One peed on my favorite pair of shoes!

And other unspeakable things. ...shudder...

And just when I think I have them all down for the night, and have a few minutes of peace and quiet to blog about my day...

...they all climb out of bed and converge on me on the sofa.

A pesky pile of peppy pups and pajamaed preschoolers!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Girl time...

Kasey and Beau took the boys skiing for Spring break, so Grandma and Papa get to keep the girls...and the dogs.

The girls had one request for the week, and that was a library visit. They just couldn't wait, so that was day one.

They were SO happy.

Papa had to go back to work, so now it's just me and the girls...

...and craft day!

I love Caitlyn's look of concentration...

...and Chloe's precious little hand holding her paper mosaic pieces.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Technology angst revisited...

internet photo

Guilty confession:

My friend (who shall remain nameless) is a multitasker. We frequently talk while she is on the blue tooth and doing other out her garage. So I am accustomed to waiting to talk to her until she wraps up other conversations.

She recently lost her blue tooth, and I keep forgetting that she's lost her blue tooth.

Not to mention, she also has a few issues with her cell phone. Quite often I have received accidental-dial calls. And I listen as she is in line at the grocery store, or in a meeting, etc. before I figure out that it was not an intentional call, at which point I hang up and scold her later.

Last night was a first, however. I was calling her, and apparently she accidentally answered. She thought she was turning the phone off, but instead, answered it.

And I should probably mention that she has also recently re-entered the dating world after a loooooooong absence, and so I've been hearing a lot of her funny/horror stories, reading forwarded e-mails, and basically just playing life coach.

So last night I call her, and she answers, and I hear her obviously in a public place talking to someone. Yes, you can see where this is going, huh? Well, I thought she was finishing up a conversation with someone, but not wanting to miss my call, so I waited. And waited. In my defense, I DID try to get her attention by calling her name. But then I realized that she was making getting-to-know-you conversation...'where did you go to school'...'I knew someone who went there' type of things. And then I thought maybe she was wanting me to hear first hand some of what she was dealing with out there. So I waited for awhile before hanging up...maybe a little too long.

NO! I did not hear anything embarrassing. Not that the whole things wasn't a little embarrassing. I called her this morning to 'fess up. She took it well, and we had a few laughs. She actually can't wait to tell another friend (that set her up with this guy) that this happened.

All I can say is if she ends up with this one, I can say I was on their first date with them.

Oh, and this one sounded like a nice guy. :)

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Happy St. Patrick's Day everybody!

Oops. I almost forgot to post my green photo! Hope everybody was a little bit Irish today!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

A change of seasons...

I met a woman today. A woman who dressed in the colors of spring, and carefully applied makeup and pearls. A woman of beauty and grace. A woman who was having her portrait made.

She was engaging as she chatted about the books she has read, and the friends she has made. About the life she has created. About the many places she has lived, and the many more places she has visited.

She is preparing for a new journey, and as she does, she takes the time to mark her place in this world one more time. Something for her family to remember her by when she has gone on ahead.

And on that day in the not too distant future, she will be shedding the things of this world that are keeping her tethered here. The oxygen tubing, the pains, the worries and cares. And she will become lighter than the shaft of a sunbeam, and she will rise up at the call of the great I Am. And her story of this life will be fulfilled. And she will start another chapter.

Safe journey, Barbara.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Today's high points...

Do you smell something?

Let's see...I got up early (for me) so I could go to town to have my blood tested...stopped by work to check in...stopped by the grocery store for milk and laundry detergent (actually still doing pretty well just living out of the pantry and freezer)...ran into a friend in the store...ahhhh Sonic...knitted...ran the dishwasher...made a new recipe for dinner (not so hot)...experimented with adding blog pages (see under the blog title photo?) more on those to come...pondering...pondering...guess that's about it.

(Oh, and the photo today has nothing to do with the post. It's just one from last week that struck my fancy.)

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Technology angst...

I spent last Saturday at a college baseball game watching a nephew play. Another aunt and uncle drove over from Houston to cheer him on too. My sis-in-law occasionally texted our player's dad who lives out of state and was (with difficulty) watching the game online.

That sparked a conversation about technology, which she has embraced, and I begrudgingly participate in.

Facebook...pppbbblllltttt. Nuff said.

Cell phones...great in an emergency. Boy have they come in handy when I've had a radiator hose break and a transmission go the dark...far from home. And it was invaluable when I had my car accident, as first responders were able to reach my family while I was still unconscious. While I do use it infrequently for recreational conversing, for the most part, I still keep it solely for emergencies (I am, after all, driving lonely roads every time I leave home).

What drives me a little nuts is getting texts. I find that people with fancy phones like to text. Oh, sure. With a QWERTY keyboard, it's a snap. But I keep my phones for as long as they will last, so I'm still on a crummy numeric keypad. So I do not initiate texts. I will, out of good manners, answer any text I get...when I notice that one has arrived...which can be days after the fact.

It is a HUGE chore! When I get my answer typed and sent, I instantly get another one back from them...which I then spend ten minutes answering...sent...BING...another text. Aaaccckkk!

And I have one friend who loves to text with photos. My phone is actually a dinosaur with no camera, and the screen is about the size of a postage stamp. She can't understand why I can't zoom in to see the photo better. It's very frustrating...because I WANT to see the photos she sends. It leaves me feeling completely frustrated and unsatisfied.

But not enough to get a new phone. So kindly do me a favor.

Don't text me!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Seven random thoughts on the seventh...

1. There is sitting on my kitchen counter a huge jar of pretzels which I bought at a wholesale club a couple of months ago. Last week, when I commented that no one was eating any pretzels, I was advised by my husband that he does not like pretzels. We have been married for over three decades, and I never knew this before. Ya learn something new every day. :)

2. On Friday I bought a 5 pound bag of ice. I forgot about it and left it in the car. I found it yesterday.

3. I can't tell you how many times it has crossed my mind lately that it is almost Spring...almost scorpion season.

4. I am SO terrible at getting gifts to their recipients on time. I finally managed to get a wedding gift to the happy couple yesterday...they celebrated their first anniversary last month...and if the groom's parents hadn't been stopping by on their way to see them, the gift would be sitting here still. And while I was at it, I took a combination graduation and wedding gift to a friend to give to her daughter...that's been needing doing since last summer. I still have several other gifts around the house that never made it to the intended destination. I think I need therapy...or at the very least a plan of action to get these out of my house and off of my conscience.

5. I can't remember where I came across this. It's a little hokey, but I'm dying to try it to see if it works.

6. I heard on the radio the other day that we should be having a stellar year for wildflowers. The drought of the last few years should have killed off some of the weeds that compete for space. And the abundant winter rains we received should be just what's needed to let the wildflowers thrive. Should start seeing them soon!

7. I'm itching to do something creative...but I have so many chores to catch up on. Hmmm. What to do? What to do?

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Saturday 9

We're starting to see some of these about.

Dare I do another Saturday Nine right before it's time for my 7 random thoughts? Well, it's all I got, so here ya go...

1. No matter what's going on in your life, what always makes you smile?
A mirror! I look so much better when I smile! :)

2. What's the biggest lie you've ever told?
I have an overactive conscience, so I don't tell big lies. I lie by omission not saying how much I spend for something...and not telling my weight...ever.

3. Do you hold a grudge?
Is it a grudge to have a long memory if someone hurts my feelings, or takes advantage of me? I think of it as self-preservation.

4. What is the worst job you've ever had?
Call center...the WORST!

5. What would be your dream job?
I love the job I have now.

6. What is the happiest event you've experienced?
Motherhood and grandmotherhood.

7. What is the saddest thing you've experienced?
Losing my best friend to cancer.

8. Do you tend to exagerate or underestimate?
Exagerate probably.

9. List the cars that you have owned. Give us just a few words about each one.
'73 Mustang...first car I bought myself.
Some big brown thing.
Pontiac Parisienne...never liked it, just got tired of car shopping.
Jeep Cherokee...LOVED IT...drove it a quarter million miles!
Mazda 626...okay, but not built for the country.
2002 Chevy Trailblazer...I lived through a rollover accident in it (3 revolutions) unfortunately it wasn't so lucky, so I bought another
2006 Chevy it, and will keep it as long as absolutely possible.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Love letters in the sand...

At the beginning of this week, a co-worker asked what I did last weekend. I told her we went to the beach. "What?! Why would you go to the beach in the winter?!"

My favorite time to go the the beach, say I. You don't get hot and sweaty, and there are no crowds.

Plenty of room to wander around and play.

Like this... e-mail to my husband at work.

I wrote lots of messages, which I will use to make note cards eventually.

You have to try to time the waves. If you write too close to the water line, a wave will wash it away before you get a photo. But if you write too far from the water line, you may have to wait forever for a wave (which makes for better photos in my opinion) to reach it. That's why I got the sunburn...I did a lot of waiting.

When I got to this phrase...which I thought was very cute...old Neptune really started messing with me.

Oooohhh. So close. But no cigar.

Then ooohhh so far away again.

So far that man and beast...who mostly realized what I was doing and stayed out of my way...started wandering between me and my waves.

The woman and the gull are walking in perfect step in this one. :)

I saw this guy coming about a quarter mile away, and I knew it. I just KNEW he was going to ride right through my shot and leave tire tracks.

...and he did.

And for a minute, I actually did feel a little beachy about it. But a minute is about all it took for me to see the humor in it, and now they are possibly my favorite frames of the day.

More fun than a barrel of mongeese.

The end.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

The 'magic' of Mod Podge...

This is what I've been working on lately. A booth for the local business showcase that I had to decorate this morning. This year's showcase theme was 'Magic.'

I've done this several times over the years. My booths are never the award winners, but they're respectable.

I love that mod circle fabric in the foreground. I bought a small remnant of it hoping to use it somewhere, and it fit perfectly on the top of the counter-height table we're using. I wanted to use magic interlocking rings hanging from the backdrop, but that got complicated. So I found these brightly-colored plastic plates and applied circles cut from foam sheets to coordinate them to the fabric. After trying several unsatisfactory methods to affix the foam to the plates, I found that Mod Podge worked great. They're strung together with fishing line.

As usual inspiration struck at the last minute. I had already purchased all the fabrics. And I had some top hats from a previous project. But yesterday the thought popped into my head (it really is like a light bulb going on in a bubble overhead) that a giant Magic 8 Ball would be a fun prop.

This was at about 4:00 yesterday afternoon. So when I got off work, I went out to pick up a few last minute things, and the superstore had it's springtime toys out. Enter a giant bouncy ball...light blue in color.

Give me a few hours, and a few layers of Mod Podge and black tissue paper, a teeny bit of white paint, and a giant '8' printed out on the computer...

...and voila!

It even has interchangeable messages that 'appear' (via double stick tape) on the message window (a furniture slider glued on the bottom of the ball). I think it turned out great. It's my favorite thing in the booth.

I'm happy that decorating is DONE! ...for this year...

Monday, March 1, 2010

Change: Part Deux...

Glad y'all like it. And if you're interested, this is where I found it: The Cutest Blog On The Block. They are free and SO very easy. Just go through the tons of choices, when you find one you like, click on it. It will then show the html code to copy and paste into your customize page of your blog. Very specific and very clear instructions are with each option. And did I mention EASY?

Thanks, Cutest Blog On The Block!


Thought I'd try something new with the look of the blog. It seems to take awhile to load though. Is this bothersome to readers? Please let me know.
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