Sunday, April 25, 2010

Inspiring Ideas: Mother's Day Giveaway

My next door dorm neighbor from my freshman year at ORU has a Mother's Day give away at her blog, Inspiring Ideas. I suspect she's as charming now as she was twenty some years ago - the kind of person you'd love to sit and have coffee with and reminisce about special times from another phase of life. Check out her stuff the next time you find yourself in a Hallmark store - isn't it impressive that I know someone so famous? :-)

Friday, April 23, 2010

Quote of the Week

Patrick's been in San Diego at the Christian Leadership Alliance conference. With the time difference, our schedules haven't worked out for us to talk much, but one morning I suspended school to chat. He informed me that he has started Twittering (or is it Tweeting?). When I told the kids their dad was now a Twitter-er, a child who shall remain nameless quipped, "Oh, no...Dad's having a mid-life crisis."

Monday, April 19, 2010

"Spring" is Bustin' Out All Over

I seems there's a song from a musical for every occasion. With a little modification to "June is Bustin' Out All Over" from Carousel , we have the perfect description of south Georgia.

The purple verbena are covering the ground.

I don't even know what this little guy is...anyone?

My knockout roses make me look like a master gardener while, in reality, they seem to thrive on neglect. They are already covered with blooms.

The bottlebrush plant will soon be loaded with hundreds of huge red blooms.

These coreopsis are in full bloom, and I'm looking forward to fresh cut flowers again.'s been a long winter for us southerners

I started to take this picture to complain about the long cold snap claiming the life of my hibiscus. Much to my delight, I discovered this:

I guess I'll cut it back and see what happens.

Coming Soon: Tiger lilies and hydrangeas.

The weather today was perfect for being in the garden, so I decided this was the day to plant. I donned my rain boots (in an effort to avoid coating my shoes with "barn fertilizer") and was still wearing cropped yoga pants and a tee shirt from my early morning pilates workout. Believe me, I was making quite a fashion statement. No problem though...I'm far back in my own yard, right? Yeah, until the pest control guy wanders over from the neighbor's house to tell me he'll be right over to check our termite stations. Busted! Completely busted! Really, there's no redeeming yourself dressed like that.

Despite a few moments of embarrassment over my awful attire, I did get everything planted. I'm even giving an heirloom tomato a try.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Quarterly Progress Report

Last week I was thinking about my goals/resolutions that I had set at the beginning of the year. I was lamenting how badly I'm failing at keeping up this blog and thought I might need to revisit that post to even remember what the other goals were. I'm not in horrible shape, but I probably need to redouble my efforts with the couple of them.

Goal #1 is to learn to use my phone. I'm making progress, but thinking it's a losing battle. I'm the only one in the house who doesn't use an Apple product for music and podcasts so it's just a bother to remember how to convert the files to the mp3 format - consequently I never get around to it. I also don't have a case to hold the phone when I walk and run, so it's just not all I need it to be.

Goal #2 is to learn to use my flip. I'm on my way with this one, and as evidence I have this to offer from the horse show yesterday.

Not only do I know how to load video, Hannah figured out how to make a movie with clips from different recordings and how to add music. I'm well on my way with #2.

Goal #3 is planning menus. Can I just plead the 5th on this one? "Nough said.

Goal #4 is to blog more. This is a work in progress and so far I'm not making much headway. I do have nearly three-fourths of the year left, so there's still hope.

Goal #5 is related to Christmas and therefore not applicable. I can still make good on that one.

In addition to those five, I do have a sixth one I'm working on, but it's not ready for a public unveiling. It's one of those resolutions that I'm tempted to make every year, but know I never follow though and have just about given up completely. So, maybe I'll be able to report success in an area that has been a major source of guilt for quite some time. Maybe...

So, how 'bout you? Are you making headway with any of your resolutions?

Thursday, April 15, 2010

A Breakthough

Yep, it's true...after nearly 13 years of homeschooling, I've had a breakthrough. A friend (and I use that term quite loosing) dropped by unexpectedly. Most of you know what my days consist of: normal housekeeping duties, school, and watching my darling 21 month old niece. Most of you also know I can be a little housekeeping challenged. Believe me, the irony of someone "housekeeping challenged" having four kids at home 24/7 is not lost on me. On more than one occasion it's felt like some sort of cosmic joke. Needless to say, the house can occasionally "get away from me". (How's that for the understatement of the year?) I really CAN get it cleaned up and I'm really never horribly, horribly behind on the laundry; so it's not like my family's constantly wading through dirty laundry and strewn books and papers to get from one room to the other. But neither is my house going to be photographed for "Southern Living" or mistaken for a museum any time soon.

All that to say, yesterday when this rather inquisitive friend walked into my house and announced that she had never seen my "new" home (we've lived here nearly 5 years and she had dropped by for a chat about a year ago and HAD seen the house), she proceeded to snoop though the downstairs. And that's when it happened - a complete breakthrough. I didn't apologize when she walked into the kitchen and found THIS on the gathering table.

Normally I would have made excuses. I would have scrambled to tidy up when she excused herself to the powder room. Nope, not now. I think, at 41 years old, I'm finally comfortable in my own skin. I know the house will get cleaned up, eventually.

A few days ago, I read Thorton Wilder's Our Town for the first time. I THINK I saw the play in college, but didn't really understand it. But reading it now, at 41 years old and with a daughter who's itching to fly the coop, I heard loud and clear what Wilder was saying. I won't remember how many days the stationary for Kevin's Haiti letters and the unprinted graduation announcements lay on the table, but I will remember watching Victoria's grinning face as she practices her tap routine to Judy Garland's song "Get Happy". No telling how many times the Rod's Western Wear catalog will get moved around downstairs before it's finally pitched, but I sure am enjoying watching Hannah devour her new book, Centered Riding. I'm not naive enough to think I can fully appreciate the little things in life (just as Wilder was pointing out in his play). But I DO know how badly I used to beat myself up over the clutter on the table. Now that I'm seeing it as evidence of a full life, I know I'm making progress. Like Thorton's Grover's Corners, my life isn't perfect or idyllic, but it is filled with uneventful, ordinary days that add up to something very special.

So, stop by any time. I'll be happy to move the books off the sofa to make a place for you to sit down. I'll fix your beverage of choice, but you must promise to ignore the untidiness - because I'm not apologizing for it.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Playin' at the barn

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Wednesday, April 7, 2010

So, which is it?

Who knew Frank Stockton's short story could spark such a firestorm of debate, both in my reading club at co-op and here at home; but that's exactly what "The Lady or the Tiger" has done. I'd love to hear your reaction to the story (if you aren't familiar with it or haven't read it for a while, it's online here). Everyone seems to have strong reactions one way or another, and Patrick and I have our opinions about who selects the lady and who selects the tiger. I'd love for you to weigh in with your opinion in an effort to test our hypothesis.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Wall Words - My New Obsession

I've been looking for the perfect addition to the walls in the breakfast room/library/media center. Here's my solution.