Friday, February 22, 2008

Time to Eat!

Appetizer Have you ever played a practical joke on anyone? If so, what did you do and who was your victim?

No, I'm not a practical joker.

Soup What do your salt and pepper shakers look like?

The ones in the dining room are red, white, and blue
to match the decor of the room. The ones in the kitchen
are commercial stainless steel with handles
like these.

Salad Where is the next place you plan to visit (on vacation or business)?

Hopefully Maine, Vermont and New Hampshire in the fall. That will mean that I have covered every state on this side of the Mississippi in my quest to see all 50 states before I'm 50.

Main Course What kind of lotion or cream do you use to keep your hands from getting too dry?

Various "flavors" from Bath and Body Works. I prefer the ones that smell like foods rather than flowers.

Dessert Make up a dessert, tell us its ingredients, and give it a name.

Name: End of the Fast

Ingredients: Brownie mix with semi-sweet and white chocolate chips and maraschino cherries baked inside. Cut brownies into squares and top with French vanilla ice cream covered in warm caramel and hot fudge sauce. Top with toasted almonds and broken pretzels.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

13 Random Ruminations

  1. Why can't someone make a car where all the snow doesn't fall on your seat when you open the door?

  2. I love lunar eclipses, especially when the moon is covered and it looks that orangish color and so very three dimensional.

  3. Every story has a setting, conflict, climax, and resolution. Which do you most enjoy writing? Which do you most enjoy reading? I like writing the setting but I like reading the resolution. I'm a sucker for a happy ending.

  4. What would happen if we all tried, at least once each day, to compliment someone on something?

  5. How do you paint over splatter painted walls once your son outgrows them?

  6. What are my dogs dreaming about? Are they chasing each other, a deer through the woods, or do they know there is a beach somewhere that they could be running on?

  7. When Moses was on the mountain and the people decided to build an idol to worship, why was it a cow? (golden calf) Was it their way of asking Moses "where's the beef"?

  8. This is the 52nd day of 2008.

  9. How and when did the color yellow become associated with cowardess, blue with sadness, green with envy, and red with anger?

  10. Do you have a "bucket list"? (previously known as a "things to do before I die" list)

  11. No political statement here as I haven't decided who I'm voting for yet but I do think the NY Times is really reaching in their attack on McCain. I should mention that my degree is in journalism which surely influences my perception of things like this, but it feels like more of a "slow news day", trying to stir up something of interest, kind of story.

  12. When will they bring back "Here Come the Brides" on TVland or some other station that replays old shows? Or season one on DVD (was there more than one season)? I just loved Bobby Sherman, even if he did stutter. And it had the best theme song...."the bluest skies you've every seen are in Seattle".

  13. Sometimes coming up with thirteen things - related or random- is just not easy.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

Grand Wailea Resort - Maui, Hawaii

10 years ago I found out I had earned a trip to this paradise through work.

I'd love to go back someday.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Book Meme

My friend Linda at 2nd Cup of Coffee has tagged me (at my request) with the following meme. (By the way, we are trying to figure out how to pronounce meme. She has asked all her blog buddies for their thoughts. Any ideas?)

Here is how the meme goes-
  1. Pick up the nearest book of at least 123 pages.
  2. Open the book to page 123.
  3. Find the fifth sentence.
  4. Post the next three sentences.
  5. Tag five people. (You'll have to tag yourselves as I could never catch anyone in this game.)

I am currently reading Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller.

I am nowhere near page 123 yet so I'll have to look ahead - here goes....

This is the middle of a conversation so I'm inclined to share three parts (segments?, stanzas?).

"Yeah. We are confessing to you. I mean, I am confessing to you."

"You're serious." His laugh turned to something of a straight face.

I told him I was. He looked at me and told me I didn't have to. I told him I did, and I felt very strongly in that moment that I was supposed to tell Jake that I was sorry about everything.

I'm only on page 19 so you'll have to check back to see if this one gets added to my favorite books list.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Sideways Snow

So, here I am, posting from the land of sideways snow. Yep, I looked out the window and the snow is flying horizontally across the sky! It's kind of weird looking. It doesn't seem to be sticking anywhere except to the side view mirrors of the cars - nowhere else, just the mirrors. From a distance it looks like someone has painted all the mirrors white as some kind of odd prank. If the snow were falling , oh, I don't know, down it would be normal - even pretty. The sideways stuff just makes me feel a little puzzled and out of balance. I want to turn my head so the snow will be going the right direction.

It's kind of how my life feels right now - a little sideways. Not bad, nothing in particular wrong, just somehow a little off. It's like I keep turning my head trying to get a more normal perspective or the comfort of the familiar and it just doesn't work. Even what should be familiar and routine just feels a little sideways.

I wish I had some great wisdom to impart to wrap this up but I just don't. I'm just going to assume that just as the snow may fall straight down on another day, that at some point things will realign themselves and again appear to be in balance.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Sermon in a Sentence

True joy, as it turns out, comes only to those who have devoted their lives to something greater than personal happiness. - John Ortberg

Friday, February 15, 2008

Appetizer Name one thing that is unique about you. My fingerprint, of course. I'm having a tough time answering this one. I know that each person as a whole is completely unique but, other than my fingerprint, I can't think of any one seperate thing that is totally unique to me.

Soup Fill in the blank: My favorite thing to do is travel but I like reading too.

Salad What type of wood do you have for your home’s furnishings? The bedroom is cherry (my favorite) stained to a dark burgundy traditional cherry color. Most of the rest of the house is oak stained to a spice/brierwood color.

Main Course Who do you talk to most often on the phone? My daughters- I talk to one of them almost every day.

Dessert What level of responsibility do you have in your job? On a scale of 1 -10 with ten being total responsibility it's about an eight. I am completely responsible for my own accounts in every area except billing/collection. I do have great backup support from the showroom manager and other designer/salespeople.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Songs for Valentine's Day

Following are the 13 songs I think we'd love for our guy to dedicate or sing to us. Except for the first one, they aren't in any particular order. Some are for relationships that are just beginning, others for any point in a relationship, and still others for those that have stood the test of time.

  1. It's Your Love - Tim McGraw & Faith Hill (see below)
  2. Shameless - Garth Brooks
  3. You Are So Beautiful - Joe Cocker
  4. Ain't No Sunshine When She's Gone - Bill Withers
  5. Sometimes When We Touch - Dan Hill
  6. Wonderful Tonight - Eric Clapton
  7. I Do It For You - Bryan Adams
  8. Time In a Bottle - Jim Croce
  9. You Shouldn't Kiss Me Like This - Toby Keith
  10. Don't Know Much - Aaron Neville
  11. Chances Are - Bob Seger & Martina McBride
  12. Maybe I'm Amazed - Paul McCartney
  13. Your Song - Elton John

For listening pleasure.....

Wednesday, February 13, 2008


Valentine's Day is all about love. Here is my suggestion of just one way you can share the love worldwide.

Go to The materials needed section will help you decide what to and what not to send.

Our life group collected and sent to this a couple years ago. I now have almost enough to send out another box. If your materials are mailed to you I suggest removing the mailing label or marking out your name & address information. What a great way to share love and "be green" at the same time.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Are You Looking for a Bargain?

So, I decided to give up chocolate for Lent. Not an easy thing for me, especially since there is still a ton of chocolate in the house left over from Christmas. Then we have Valentine's Day coming up so half the shows on the Food Network are about chocolate. Oh, and did I mention that I love chocolate.

You may be wondering how it's going so far? I am happy to report that I have not consumed any chocolate. I use the word consumed because I quickly discovered that I need to have a thoroughly specified description of what my fast includes. For example, if I said "I won't eat chocolate for Lent", does that mean I can drink it? If that seems like a technicality to you, you're right, but it gets worse.

Lent began, of course, on Wednesday. By Friday evening the following conversations with myself were going on in my head-

I want something sweet. Hey, I wonder if white chocolate counts. Funny Debbie, of course it counts. Nice try though.

About 20 minutes later:

I'd really like some ice cream. No chocolate, remember! And what's ice cream without hot fudge. Well, there is that diet chocolate flavored glop I bought. It wasn't too bad and it isn't really chocolate. I mean, there are no calories in it - not real food products at all most likely, just some weird combination of chemicals that comes out tasting somewhat like chocolate with a kind of pudding consistency. I think that still counts. It is flavored with chocolate after all. No, no, I don't think so. I think it is "chocolate flavored" not flavored with chocolate - chocolate is not mentioned in the ingredients. Don't you think you're splitting hairs here? Fine! I won't eat any - but I still don't think it really counts.

About an hour later:

I wonder if those carob covered pretzels would count? Are you serious? They aren't chocolate! Do they taste like chocolate? Do they smell like chocolate? Kind of, yes. Then they count. Seriously, it hasn't even been three days. I know, I'm pathetic.

I've been told that giving up something for Lent is so that when we "miss" that thing it will remind us to think of spiritual things. I've also been told it is a sacrifice we make to acknowledge the sacrifice Jesus made for us. Either way, it has been a learning experience for me already. I feel appropriately convicted of my own weakness and shiftiness. In less than 72 hours I was trying to get out of it, or get around it. I was trying to justify what I knew was wrong and rationalize how I wanted to get around doing the right thing. I wasn't really bargaining with myself. I was trying to bargain with God. It is too often how I, and probably you, have started down a slippery slope of sin. "I didn't lie, I just didn't tell the whole truth." "I wasn't coveting that, I was just admiring it." "What can just thinking about it/watching it/listening to it hurt?"

The good news - I'm pretty sure Jesus just laughed - He knows how I am. He also knows I'm getting a tiny bit better than before at doing the right thing. After all, we are all tempted - and temptation isn't sin. I didn't end up eating chocolate - or the carob - or the glop. But, don't be proud of me - I'm not. I know I still have 35+ days left.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Feastless Friday (but not fasting)

The official Friday's Feast site is suffering from some technical difficulties. Therefore, I've decided to create a little feast of my own. My favorite restaurant choices in each category follow. Think in terms of a progressive dinner party.

WARNING! Indulging in the video may make you hungry but it is calorie free here in bloggyland.

  • Stuffed mushrooms from Red Lobster
  • Pasta e fagoli soup from Olive Garden
  • Spinach salad with warm bacon dressing from Sullivan's Steak House
  • Grilled salmon from Oceanaire Seafood Room
  • One of 100 (literally) sundaes from Ivanhoes.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Political Peeves

Thirteen reasons I get frustrated in presidential election years:

  1. The process starts earlier and earlier every year.
  2. At least one debate has an antagonistic or ignorent moderator.
  3. Continual interuptions of "regular programing" to tell us nothing or the same thing over and over.
  4. The phrase "my opponent" repeated 4,872 times.
  5. The competition to see who can have the most patriotic backdrop.
  6. Is it a caucus or an election? Why do we have both?
  7. The above being so spread out that by the time Indiana votes the primary outcome is almost always already decided.
  8. Popular vote vs. delegates?
  9. Super delegates!
  10. Mudslinging (this hasn't been quite as bad this time around - so far)
  11. Misleading and sensational sound bites.
  12. People who choose their candidate based on a single issue.
  13. Trying to decide the lesser of the evils when the primaries are over and all the candidates you had any confidence in are no longer an option.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Two for Tuesday-yadseuT rof owT


I've come to the conclusion that there are two main problems with most people in America today.

First, we, as a people and as individuals, have an extremely arrogant sense of entitlement. We don't want to be the backs on which success or liberty is built, we want to be the guy on top who didn't get stepped on. We no longer want to pull ourselves up by our bootstraps, we want to be able to have what we want in our comfy slippers and prefer that someone give those to us. We demand to be served, politely and well, by our waiters/waitresses, retail clerks, clergy and government, often without giving them even a polite "thank you". There job, afterall, is to serve us. We don't, however, want to have our schedules, plans, or agendas disturbed if we have approached them at an inconvenient time and certainly not to serve someone else. We walk around like we have a right to a certain amount of stuff (whether we've worked for it or not), respect (whether we've earned it or not), and all of our rights ( to be employed and make what we deem is enough for our efforts - to a spouse that remains perfect to all our expectations no matter how ridiculous or shallow - to say and do whatever we want).

Well, guess what - the only thing we are truly entitiled to is the breath God gives us each day. That's it! That's all!
As far as what our government (ie. being an American) entitles us to, it boils down to life (meaning we won't kill you for your beliefs here), liberty (meaning fairness in being goverened and the right to make our own choices about things like where we work and how many children we'll have), and the pursuit of happiness (the key word is pursuit - we can attempt to make choices that will make us happy but not at the expense of someone else's liberty or life - that's why they're listed first). God's word, however, does not promise that happiness. In fact, it states clearly that even if we are trying to live right that "in this world you will have trouble".

We seriously need to get over ourselves. We need to be grateful for everything our God, our government, or anyone else does that impacts our lives or helps us grow (please note, I didn't say that makes us happy!). Trust me, you have no more right to the spouse, the house, the job, or even the parking space you want than another person does. If you want to put in the time, effort, and the cost to get them - fine - more power to you. If not, no one owes it to you!

Second, people need to realize and remember that no one sins in a vacuum. Your self-serving, wrong, bad, or even evil choices effect other people. ALWAYS! No exceptions!

Side note: I had someone tell me once that she didn't "do" sin. She may not have liked the term but, believe me, she did sin.

The smoker often states that he knows it's bad for him but it's his choice and he isn't hurting anyone else. We now know differently. Think secondhand smoke. When we cheat or lie, someone is being cheated - someone is being deceived. I could go on, but I'm sure you get the idea. Every time we sin we grieve God and we hurt others. We should remember, too, that sin always has consequences - to ourselves and/or to others who may be entirely innocent. Also, each time we sin (especially if we are repeating the same sin) it seems a little less "bad" and, therefore, gets a little easier to repeat. Eventually it enslaves us and has long since quit being fun or exciting. The best quote I ever heard on sin follows and then I will step off my soap box until another day. I wish I could attribute the quote but all I know is that I heard it from a friend who had heard it from her pastor.

"Sin is fun. It is often pleasureable. But, it will always take you farther than you want to go and keep you there longer than you want to stay."

Stepping down..........

Friday, February 1, 2008

The Dinner Bell is Ringing

Appetizer What is your favorite kind of cereal?

Cheerios - no question about it.

Soup When was the last time you purchased something for your home, what was it, and in which room did it go?

About ten days ago I purchased a new rug for the foyer.

Salad What is the funniest commercial you’ve ever seen?

I had to really think on this one. I liked the one with the cows playing Marco Polo in the fog. The one where the guy's wife has put silk sheets on the bed and he comes running in, slides clear across the bed and out the window is funny too. I don't see a lot pf commercials since "The King of the Remote" usually flips stations while they're on.

Main Course Make up a name for a company by using a spice and an animal (example: Cinnamon Monkey).

The Oregano Owl - An "open all night" Italian restaurant.

Dessert Fill in the blank: I haven’t ______ since ______.

I haven't danced since my son's wedding. I love to dance. I wish there were more opportunities to do it.