Friday, November 30, 2007

ESL Craziness

They're, their, there; I'll, aisle, isle; two, too, to; due, do, dew; through, thru, threw.

Not to mention read and read, live and live.

Why have we done this to ourselves?

Today was our first ESL (English as a Second Language) class. I have three students. Two of them are women, and the other is an older gentleman. I've been friends for a long time with one of my students, (the one who's about my age) and the others are her friend (about ten years older than us) and her husband's grandpa (in his late seventies). The two ladies know a little bit of English already because they have kids that are in the school system, but el anciano does not know very much at all. Tricky for class time.

We're using the Laubach method, which is apparently a popular one. I don't know if I'm crazy about it, but then it's only been one session, so I probably ought not judge it yet.

I speak a little Spanish, so I tend to talk to my students too much in Spanish. This was my problem with teaching my friend, in the past. She taught me Spanish instead. I'm doing better this time since we have actual curriculum and instructions.

We did have some interesting discussions, though, about the whole issue of learning another language. They were saying that English is frustrating because there are so many words that sound the same, but have completely different meanings, or mean the same, but are completely different words. They also have issues with our spelling. I tried to reassure them that we, too, have issues with our spelling, and that many native English speakers never get comfortable with spelling.

I'm glad we're finally having these classes officially, (under the aegis of the OK Literacy Council) but every now and then I ask myself, "Self, what have you gotten us into?"

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Thursday Thirteen #40

13 Things on my Wish List

1. Best of the Muppet Show : Elton John, Julie Andrews, Gene Kelly
I grew up in a real Muppet-fan family, and who doesn't love Julie Andrews and Gene Kelly? (Elton John, not so much)

2. Viva la Repartee:Clever Comebacks and Witty Retorts from History's Great Wits and Wordsmiths
Actually there are a whole lot of "word" books on my list. This is just one of the many. This particular one always makes me think of Attolia. (I'll share it with you if I get it.)

3. Deluxe Breadmaker
I'd like a breadmaker that actually bakes bread. They're great to use on the dough setting, but I'd like one that makes good bread.

4. Norpro Bread Slicer with Crumb Catcher
To go with the bread machine above. Those huge loaves can be very difficult to slice evenly, and this looks like it would help. Now, where would I put these things?

5. Emergency Crank Radio
We live in tornado alley, and our town's electric lines are notorious for going out at the worst possible times.

6. The Snowflake
This book has beautiful pictures of snowflakes. I think all of us are fascinated by the complexity and beauty of snowflakes on some level. (There's also a calender that would be cool.) (get it?)

7. Auto First Aid Kit
I like to be prepared for things. I always pack too much junk when we go on trips on the off chance that we might need some of it. If I knew this was in the trunk,it would keep me from packing quite a bit of stuff, I think.

8. Robin Hood (Disney)
This is possibly my favorite childhood movie. I would love to own it and let my own kids see it someday. (I forced A to watch this when we were already married because he had never seen it before.)

9. Love and Logic
This is a parenting book that several people have highly recommended, and anyone who reads this blog regularly know I could always use some parenting help.

10. Unicycle - I asked for a unicycle repeatedly as a child, but Mom always said, "NO." I asked her if I could have one this year and she said no again. She thinks I'll get hurt. Where's the faith, I ask you? Am I the child who had to have my own accident policy since toddlerhood? No. Am I the child who had to go to the emergency room all the time? No. Those would both be my brother. I'm the trustworthy eldest. Remember Mom?

11. The Complete Earth
This is a really cool atlas with satellite images of every place on earth and several image maps in all the different seasons.

12. The Second World War
Actually I already have the first three books in this set. (Some poor sap had put them on but I need the final three.

13. Presidential DoodlesTwo Centuries of Scribbles, Scratches, Squiggles & Scrawls from the Oval Office
Doesn't this sound like it'd be interesting to see? I wonder if Roosevelt doodled bombs and Reagan doodled dollar signs and Clinton, err, never mind.

Check here for more Thursday Thirteen.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007


Today Zaya announced to me that I was SuperMom, and he was GeyserZay. We asked Mim what she wanted to be, and she said, "a blalaly" (butterfly) and proceeded to flit around the house saying, "bly, bly, bly." (fly) To each her own. Speaking of which, how 'bout that fashion sense, eh? I can honestly say she gets that from me.

Zaya, or, should I say, GeyserZay, proceeded to discover New York and most of New England. We had been missing them for about an hour. He discovered them at two different places in the couch. (puzzle pieces, just in case you wondered) When Daddy got home Zaya said, "We solved the Mystery of the Missing States!" Which just tells you how much influence we stay-at-home moms have on our hapless young children.

I rearranged my living room today and set up the Christmas tree. I think I like it better this way, actually, and I'll probably leave it rearranged after Christmas. I'll show a picture sometime. You know, when I'm not too lazy to take my camera all the way in to the living room and snap a picture, and then bring it all the way back into my room and upload it onto the computer. Whew. It makes me tired just writing all that. I think it's time for my bath. Good night, y'all.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Sock it to Me

My neighbor friend, Tina, has this thing with sock monkeys. I'm not exactly sure how it got started, but for a while now she's made sock monkeys for the children of her friends and relatives. She uses those big thick hiking socks, which make for some cute, rugged (and well-insulated) monkeys.

Zaya got his Tina-made sock monkey when he turned two, and now Mim has one too. She's having lots of fun with it, and it's now part of the sleepy-time menagerie on her bed. Anyway, all that to say....


or, as Mim would say...


Friday, November 23, 2007

Thanksgiving Food and Song

Two Thanksgiving dinners down and one to go. I am full. Too full. I just drank a glass of egg nog, though, because, well, it was there in the refrigerator and was calling to me in a silky smooth, beguiling kind of way.

Yesterday, on T-day proper, we had a soup lunch with my husband's maternal side. It was all delicious, and a nice change from the turkey and ham, which I knew we'd be having enough of the next day. (today)

A's family is a very interesting mix of personalities, as most all families are, I suppose. It was great to see everyone who could come, and also a bit of a sad year, as A's grandparents are ailing and this is the first Thanksgiving when we picked them up from the nursing home to come join the festivities. One of A's uncles is also battling cancer, and that, too, made it an especially meaningful year as we all thought about the changes in the last year and what the future might hold. The picture above is from that meal. In the foreground my mother-in-law and sister-in-law (C) plan their attack for an early morning shopping expedition while A and my brother-in-law (C's husband) try be a restraining influence.

My mother's family all got together today at the church my father pastors. (The parsonage is right behind the church, so we rented the church kitchen and fellowship hall for the family.) It's always interesting to me how similar my mother's family is to A's mother's family, mentioned above. Both families had six kids, and both of our grandfathers have had similar interests and abilities through their lives.

As we all got ready to leave tonight, we gathered around the piano while Auntie M played "I Know Whom I Have Believed" and "Great is Thy Faithfulness". It was wonderful to hear everyone singing, and two thoughts struck me most as I sang.

The first is that those two songs define very well my Grandparents and the six kids they raised (and their grandchildren and greats too, I hope.) My Grandpa P was a missionary for a long time in Mexico, and has spent the rest of his life in the service of God. I can't express to you how much respect I have for the wisdom and strength of my Grandparents. They have been faithful through so much, and passed down their love of Christ to the rest of their family.

The second was that I missed very much hearing my Grandpa P's voice. He was there, and sang with us, but quietly. He's lost much of his hearing over the last few years and doesn't feel like he can sing with confidence anymore when we're all together. He has a wonderful voice, and he and Grandma passed down their ability to sing beautiful harmonies to almost any song, simply by hearing what ought to be there and putting it in. I will never forget what Grandpa's singing voice sounded like for all these years, but I certainly missed hearing it tonight. Maybe next time I'll make it a point to stand right beside him so I can hear it again.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Thursday Thirteen #39

Yes, we all saw this one coming...

Thirteen Things For Which I'm Thankful

If I were a good blogger I would've taken the time to write something meaningful about each one, but let's face it. It's Thanksgiving morning and, frankly, I have better things to do. Maybe I'll revisit this post later and explicate. All the meaningful things are first, you'll notice. There is a marked inanity line; again, no apologies.

1. My Savior

2. My spouse

3. My children

4. My family

5. My in-laws

6. My friends

7. My freedom

8. Quilts

9. My house

10. The Internet

11. Books

12. Chocolate

13. Dr. Pepper

Check here for more Thursday Thirteens.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

My Quilt

I received my quilt from C'Auntie J last week, and I have to show you a picture. I think I'm going to put it in Mim's room, because she has a lot of purple in there already and it just looked great with her curtains.

Thanks C'J!!

I've come to the realization that the handicrafts are like the arts to me. Eternal mysteries. I greatly admire women (and men) who can create things from yarn, thread, fabric, wood etc. but I will never be able to emulate them. I try periodically with frightening results. This is my official announcement.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Super Soup

These are the faces of men in love. I know, it's easy to mistake this kind of love for brain-dead stupor, but it's different. Those of you with loved ones that are addicted to gaming will recognize the symptoms. My husband bought Super Mario Galaxy last week, and he and Zaya have definitely been enjoying it. A says that it's the first game that he's played in a long time that makes him smile. Zaya is scared by some of the things in it, but then he's three, and is occasionally frightened of things in Veggie Tales episodes, so don't take that as a demerit for the game. I recommend it for any of my relatives out there who are contemplating Wii games. It's a very original layout and has a lot of creative levels and games to play.

Switching gears....

I'm looking forward to seeing family soon. There will still be quite a few people who are too far away, but at least we'll get to see some of you guys. My mother-in-law has decided that our Thanksgiving with her family (she's one of six kids) is going to be soup. We'll have four or five different kinds of soup plus breads and desserts. I think it sounds great, because, well, I like soup. And it's not like we won't be getting lots of turkey and ham from other places. Also, it's going to be COLD on Thanksgiving day. The high today was 80, which, granted, is unseasonably warm for the end of November, but still. The high on Thursday is supposed to be in the 40's with freezing during the nights around then. Ugh. Oh well. I get to break out the sweaters. I love sweaters. Oh, and soup. The soup will definitely be nice.

What are the rest of you planning for your Thanksgiving celebrations? (Look at that desperate plea for comment love. How can you resist?)

Friday, November 16, 2007

Right Brain: Left Brain

It's funny how different my children are. I know, that's not news to all of you out there. (That kids are different, I mean) It's just funny to see how those differences play out.

Zaya has always been more inclined to words and games. He loves video games and has since he was very, very little. He could play all day, I think, if I would let him. He also liked videos (Baby Einstein type) when he was very little. He would sit and watch them, mesmerized, when he was small. He learned his numbers and letters early and enjoyed games with words. He's able to read now too, which is fun to watch.

Mim, on the other hand, is not interested in video games. She says she wants to play, but the concept of what she is supposed to be doing is still absent. She says she wants to watch videos, but she is easily distracted and back at my legs whining for attention before long. She does like to sing the alphabet, but misses quite a few of the letters. She doesn't recognize her letters by sight, yet, or her numbers really, where big brother could do both much earlier. However, she was interested in drawing, play-doh, painting and building much earlier than Zaya. She could draw circles at about the same that Zaya could (They're a year and a half apart) and enjoys the whole process of art in a way that Zaya never has. She loves to build with blocks. If I can talk Zaya into playing with blocks at all he just makes letters out of them, or color patterns. Mim will build symmetrical shapes. She likes her buildings, houses and towers to be absolutely even on every side. She can also make a perfect pyramid (she made the one in the photo). She was also very quick to manipulate things like bottle lids. She could twist them off when she was just a baby, and Zaya still hesitates about trying to open anything that will require twisting.

OK, I know that didn't interest anyone else but me and maybe a few relatives, but since I spend every day, sunrise to sunset, watching my children, it's something that's often in my mind.

It will be interesting to watch their school careers and their life career choices in the future, knowing the aptitudes they did or did not display at this early age.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Fall Fun

When the kids and I were outside "Widing Twikles" (That's riding tricycles, for the uninitiated.) our neighbor boy, Carl, asked the kids if they wanted to come jump in the leaf pile he had raked. They did and made all sorts of fun discoveries, like casings from dead bugs with pincers the exact distance of a small boy's nose . Mmm. Lovely.

Just so you know that he really didn't mind that...thing...being there, here's a picture from the same time. I just like the first one best because of those big ol' baby blues.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Thursday Thirteen #38

13 Things You'll Find in My House

Some of these are small space solutions, but most of them are just weird things I keep around because I like them, and, let's face it, I'm weird.

1. Command Strips - I love these things, and you will find them all over my house They are one of the greatest inventions of modern time. Really. This particular one is stainless steel, so it holds a little less weight but looks better. Most of them are plastic or plastic with a metal hook. They stick onto your walls, cabinets etc, and leave absolutely no mess behind when you're ready to take them off. True love, I'm telling you. Oh, and Downy balls were also a fantastic invention, just btw.

2. Souvenirs - My mother brought back two thimbles for me from a vacation she and Dad took. One of them is from Paducah, Kentucky and the other is from Metropolis, Illinois. (The one from Metropolis is about Superman. Get it?) I received the third thimble from Tina when she went to Tennessee. It's got Elvis on it. There's nothing that says, "I have no life" like keeping mementos of the places that other people have been. Along that same line, but a little different, is the fan in this picture. It's a souvenir my Grandpa C brought back from WWII. The shelf itself was made by my great-grandfather, I think, and has been with me for as long as I can remember.

3. Doubled-Up Bookshelves - I have never understood those pictures in magazines of a bookshelf with a few trinkets and about five books on it. I don't think I have ever, ever had enough bookshelves. (And I have given away, I promise, at least 8 boxes of books since we made the most recent move. Probably more.)

4. Amethyst Geode - This was a graduation present from my Aunt MP. I've dragged it from house to house ever since, and it now resides on the windowsill above my sink. It used to be above my bed, but one of the kids came this close (imagine my fingers pinched together) to knocking their Daddy unconscious with it one morning. (I intervened before contact was made, so no harm done.)

5. Teeny-Tiny Spoons - These were given to me by one of the hostesses (I think) at my wedding shower many moons (7 yrs) ago. They say, "Dash, Pinch and Smidgen" from largest to smallest. I don't know that I'll ever use them, but they're just so cute I can't get rid of them. They hang with my other measuring spoons and a spaetzle maker on command strips.

6. Tassels - What do you do with the tassels after graduation? I use them to open cabinet doors. The blue and white one is from my high school, and the orange and black is from my university. (OSU) I don't know why I haven't thrown these things away years ago, but there they are. I think I'll put them with the Christmas stuff this year, like I used to. They make better ornaments than door knobs, I guess.

7. Over-door Junk Bag - Our bathroom is about the size of a postage stamp. Really. OK, not quite; those special edition commemorative stamps can be pretty big. Anyway, in the absence of a nice, big cabinet I've got this bag hanging over the door. It holds all sorts of odds and ends. Beautiful? No. But do I care? No.

8. Magazine and TP holder - There isn't actually enough room between our toilet and our sink for a roll of toilet paper (Well, not without having to lean out to pull on the roll and then lean back.) This is on the wall opposite. It holds our reading material and our TP in one handy place. I know, Tina, the idea of reading material in a bathroom grosses you out, but we wouldn't get much reading done in this house if we weren't able to seek the peace and solitude of the bathroom. (I have to use the lock to get aforementioned solitude, but a Mom's gotta do what a Mom's gotta do.)

9. Animal Rope - When I was very little my mother made a long rope out of macrame and we tied all my animals to it. When she mentioned it to a parishioner at their church, the lady went home and made this rope for Zaya with the colors of his bedroom and even beads with his name on them. We finally got to hang it up when we moved to this house again this summer. It has ribbon for tying the animals on that goes around their necks. The stars you see painted around the top were done by Grandma Lilibeth before Zaya was even born.

10. Fan Socks - They have the cutest fans at Lowe's. A special kind for any room you might want. However, then you've got this little girly-girly fan or baseball fan or whatever and you'll have to change it out in just a few years when your daughter decides she hates the color pink. So my mom and I discovered these fan socks at Lowe's. You just stretch them over the blades and snap them on top. They're also machine washable. Zaya has blue ones with stars in his room. A and I thought about going with Disney Princess theme in our room, but we left our blades plain wood in the end.

11. Mixer Doily - Yes, there is a doily on my mixer. Why? I don't know. I have to take it off every time I use it. Where do you put a doily, though?

12. Toothpaste Solution - See, here's one of those command strips again. We use it in conjunction with the little squeezy bar and get the toothpaste tubes off the sink area. (Have I mentioned my bathroom is small?)

13. Pom-pom Bucket - Another local mommy gave me this idea. We use the pom-poms as rewards by letting them act as a sort of family currency. For instance, one pom-pom equals 10 minutes of screen time or one piece of candy. They do different things to earn them.

Check here for more Thursday Thirteen.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

So Long and Thanks for all the Fish

My son came out of the bathtub with two imaginary dolphins. He didn't go into the bathtub with them, so all I can figure is they came out of the faucet with the warm water. Anyway, they must be amphibious dolphins because they followed him out of the bathtub and into bed. He informed us that they're both boys, and their names are Laygo and Supervisor. In fact, their full names are Supervisor Laylo Clays and Laygo Peescades. As A reads Zaya and Mim their stories, one or the other of the dolphins will chime in with a comment. Zaya will say, "That was Supervisor saying that." Laygo gave Daddy a goodnight kiss, so it appears that they are polite and lovable dolphins, which is for the best, all things considered.

Speaking of polite and lovable, something Mim learned just now is that you say, "Excuse me" not "My just tooted." I suppose that's a lesson we all need to bear in mind.

Monday, November 12, 2007


I'm discovering the pros and cons of having a child who can read. The pros, of course, are that this opens up a whole world of joy and discovery and yada, yada, yada. More importantly, it means he can read books to his sister, like in the photo above, and Mommy gets a little break.

The cons are that, well, he hasn't quite figured out what he should and should not read aloud in public, and it's more difficult to hide things from him. For instance, when we had our trip to the zoo last month, he knew about it SEVEN DAYS in advance. That was way, way earlier than I had planned to tell him. I repeat, in case you didn't catch the full implication, my son knew we were planning a trip to the zoo for SEVEN. DAYS. BEFORE. WE. LEFT. The conversation went something like this.
"Z-O-O, Z-OO ZOO! ZOO! Mommy, the calender says ZOO!!!!!" Except with more excitement. Then we had seven days full of "Are we going to the zoo today?"
Another downside to the whole reading thing was brought home to me in the grocery store today.
"B-U-D. BUD! Hey, Mom, that big sign says BUD! What is BUD?"
At least I wasn't buying the actual product, but only passing it in the aisle. I think we should switch back to shopping in the store that doesn't carry alcoholic beverages.
I guess I should just be glad it wasn't a big sign that said K-O-T-E-X.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Randomness from a Random Mind

Mim still tends to say words backwards, which just amuses me no end. She's really hilarious sometimes. For instance, nightwear. If I call them "Pjs" Mim says "GPays". If I say, "Pajamas" Mim says, "Jumpamas". It's so cute that I'll have to try to get a video, because I know you're all dying to hear her yourselves. Or you should be, because it really is very cute. Every night when I put them on her she says, "My go show Daddy my Jumpamas! Dey Bewwy Cute!" There's a girl with her priorities straightened out. Oh, also, every Sunday morning and Wednesday evening, when I put on make-up, Mim gets a little lip gloss and runs in to see where Daddy is and makes a "pip pip" noise with her lips so he'll comment on her big girl lips. He learned pretty fast what she was showing him.

Other than that, there's not a lot of thrilling excitement here this week. A is still working on the siding, and it's looking great. I'll take a picture as soon as he's done. I'm still avoiding work by blogging, napping (when I can, you know how that goes) and otherwise entertaining myself and wasting these precious years of my life. I suppose I've done a little housework too, when absolutely necessary. (ie We're out of cups to drink from or my husband yells from the bathroom that he has no clean underwear.) Oh, speaking of which, I have trained that man so well. The other day I was griping to him about my general malaise this week (of the heart, not the body) and he said, "Well, you know..." and then stopped. He told me, "I'm going to just stop right there so that I don't offer you any solutions. I'm just listening." While that's not as good as if he'd never mentioned a solution at all, at least he finally begins to understand that delicate thing that is the woman's soul. It only took seven years, too.

Oh, and a piece of news that really deserves a blog post of its own, and will get one someday, is that my new Aunt H has finally been given permission to come live in the States. She and my uncle have been dating for years, and they got married last year when he made another trip to the Philippines. It took a long time and several run-arounds with their respective governments, but now they will finally be able to live together here, (here in this country, that is, not here in Oklahoma) and we're all so excited for them. I can't wait to meet her and welcome her into our crazy family. It feels a little bit weird to be getting a new aunt when I'm at the ripe old age of almost 28, but I don't really mind.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Thursday Thirteen #37

13 things everyone should know how to do from The Experts' Guide to 100 Things Everyone Should Know How to Do. This book was put together by Samantha Ettus. She basically went out and found 100 people to write a short summary of how to do something. I'll try to give an idea of the variety in my brief list of topics and the people who are writing about them. You'll have to buy the book to get the actual information. (Or borrow it from a loving relative. Yes, I will pay to ship it to you if you're interested.)

How to:

1. Wash Your Hair - Frederic Fekkai- A famous salon owner and hairstylist to the stars.

2. Remember Names - Gary Small- A UCLA professor and author of books about aging and memory

3. Speak in Public - James Wagstaffe- an attorney, a professor of law, and an author of books on public speaking

4. Care for a Houseplant - Jack Kramer- an expert on plants and author of the Easy-Care Guide to Houseplants

5. Make Tea - Mo Siegel- the founder of Celestial Seasonings and author of a book on herbs for you health

6. Change a Tire - Larry McReynolds- a former pit crew chief with many successes to his name and now a broadcaster for Fox Sports

7. Barbecue - Bobby Flay- A very popular chef and author of many cookbooks, including several on grilling.

8. Arrange Flowers - Jim McCann- CEO of 1-800-Flowers and author of several books about flowers.

9. Buy a Diamond - Ronald Winston- CEO and president of Harry Winston (which I guess has something to do with diamonds)

10. Hold a Baby - Bill Sears- father of eight children and the author of more than thirty books about childcare. Also a professor of pediatrics at the University of California, Irvine, School of Medicine.

11. Bake Chocolate Chip Cookies - Debbi Fields- founder of Mrs. Fields Cookies and the author of many cookbooks.

12. Smile for the Camera - Katie Ford- CEO of one of the world's leading modeling agencies, Ford Models.

13. Sew a Button - Susan Khalje- The host of a series called Sew Much More on the DIY network, also the author of several sewing books and the founder of a school on sewing.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007


Ladies and Gentlemen, we introduce you to Vivian-Cat. "But that is undoubtedly a large, bloated plush sheep," you say with confusion in your voice. Ahh, but that is where you would be wrong. This, according to Zaya, (And he ought to know) is Vivian-Cat. She is officially a cat now, for reasons that only the toddler knows. She's been sliding around the house meowing and cuddling and generally being cat-like. It's very confusing for a poor grown-up mind like my own, but not unusual at all for Zaya and Vivian.

Suddenly this morning he decided she was a sheep again. "Zaya's Mommy, did you know that I'm a sheep again?" she asked me. I told her I missed having her around as a sheep and she said, "Yeah, so that's why I'm a sheep again." (Well, Zaya had to translate for her.) We live in a crazy world here in the Babystepper house.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

I tried, really

I think I'm backing out of my NaNoWriMo commitment. It's not that the task is too difficult, I've just lost the will. I don't really like my characters and I don't like anything else about the story so far. It's not interesting. I'm bored just thinking about it, so I can't imagine anyone else being interested in reading it. I know I should just start over, then, but I have no ideas. None. Everything seems boring and nebulous. I'd say this little 4,000 word foray into fiction has been a humiliating experience. Not in the normal sense of the word, maybe, but in the sense that it has caused humility (or self loathing and pity, which is sort of a deformed and ghostly shadow of humility).

They say you're supposed to write what you know, and I've decided I just don't know enough yet. I've experienced very little trouble in my life (which is not a complaint, mind you, just a comment) and I know only a limited set of facts and people. I guess it just boils down to the fact that I have nothing pertinent to say. I feel like a total failure and limpet on the hull of society, but there it is.

I hope that I will still be able to write fiction at some point in the future, but right now I'm just not ready. It's makes me sad, but it would be even worse to limp along and write absolute garbage just to fill my word quota. I don't think I could do that without hating myself. All that to say, I guess I'm not participating anymore. I'm kind of depressed by the decision, but nothing like I would be after writing 50,000 words of drivel.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Magic what?

We got a dryer, in a round-a-bout way, from the local thrift store. You know you're not exactly living among the elite when you up-grade to a Magic Chef dryer. I'm not kidding. That's the brand name. Magic Chef. Above is our old hotpoint, which was becoming more of a warm or burning-rubber-smell point. And here is our new classy Magic Chef dryer, which is drying its first load as we speak. We'll see how it all goes.

More interestingly, here is a picture of my children from the annual costume parade at the nursing home here in town. Mim was a butterfly, and Zaya was a (very flexible) horse. Or, as they called themselves, a blalaly and the horse-boy. Mim is wearing the same wings that the camofly had on in the previous post, and Zaya is wearing the costume we bought at the townwide garage sale.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Am I a writer yet?

Well, I'm now 2,387 words into my first novel; a gripping tale of a young (college age) Oklahoma farmer named Timothy and his efforts in solving a local crime in which he has inadvertently landed himself by discovering the body. I promise not to regale you with his exploits. I'll only tell you that the story will eventually involve illegal immigration, which makes it a bit of a combination of two of my ideas from last week's Thursday Thirteen.

OK, I know that most of you read this blog to see cute pictures of my children, so I'll also include this photo of the rare camofly who flitted into our house the other morning to hug Daddy goodbye before work.

I can't promise to post any long meaningful posts this month, because I have to write 1,667 words a day to meet my NaNoWriMo challenge. (50,000 words by November 30) I'm already behind, but my eyes are killing me, so I'm going to have to quit for tonight. Ugh. Computers.

Trucky Kisses

My mother always wants to get books and other imaginitive/educational toys for my children. This tends to be my style as well. My father, on the other hand, thinks Zaya needs some manly toys, like dump trucks and tractors and train sets. Last time Dad won out and brought Zaya a flashlight shaped like a semi truck. What could be more manly than that?

Zaya has named his light "Trucky" and lets him talk to the rest of us. Whenever Trucky talks, his little light blinks with the words. It's so cute, but not exactly manly. Trucky gives great kisses, too. Here he is kissing "Baby". Sorry Dad.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Thursday Thirteen #36

13 Demotivators from

This site provides posters, mugs, notepads and lots more for the workplace. They all have great pictures, but instead of the usual inspirational drivel, they have slogans for the real life in the office. I've actually had some these up at my workplace before. (Back when I used to work, that is.) If you're already feeling bummed today, you might not want to read any further. If you're in a good mood, go for it. The pictures have a lot to do with the slogans, so follow the links too.

1. Adversity - That which does not kill me postpones the inevitable.

2. Cluelessness - There are no stupid questions, but there are a LOT of inquisitive idiots.

3. Dare to Slack - When birds fly in the right formation, they need only exert half the effort. Even in nature, teamwork results in collective laziness.

4. Despair - It's always darkest just before it goes pitch black.

5. Fear - Until you have to courage to lose sight of the shore, you will not know the terror of being forever lost at sea.

6. Get to Work - You are not being paid to believe in the power of your dreams.

7. Futility - You'll always miss 100% of the shots you don't take, and , statistically speaking, 99% of the shots you do.

8. Give Up - At some point, hanging in there just makes you look like an even bigger loser.

9. Individuality - Always remember that you are unique. Just like everybody else.

10. Laziness - Success is a journey, not a destination. So stop running.

11. Meetings - None of us is as dumb as all of us.

12. Mistakes - It could be that the purpose of your life is only to serve as a warning to others.

13. Stupidity - Quitters never win, and winners never quit, but those who never win AND never quit are idiots.

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