Saturday, October 31, 2009

Halloween 2009

Whew. There were no trips to the pumpkin patch for us this year. The weather and scheduling conflicts kept us away - good thing we went twice last year. We did attend our first Halloween party last night. We did not carve a pumpkin, but Lydia decorated no less than 3 of the little ones with stickers. I never found the time to bake any special cookies for the occasion. I barely managed to throw her costume together.
And yet, I have enjoyed this Halloween more than I ever remember having enjoyed one before. The Suzy Homemaker in me would love to go all Martha Stewart and have the perfect Southern Living home during this season, but who really has the time for that?!
Our fall temperatures have felt like fall. Our leaves have been colorful. I had friends and family over last weekend for Southwest white chili and Halloween Oreo cheesecake cupcakes. It was good enough even if it probably wouldn't have been picture perfect by magazine standards.
And I doubt that I even had as much fun trick or treating when I was little as I did tonight with Lydia. Last year we were in Fayetteville for a ball game so we joined about one thousand other kids at the mall for trick or treating. This year, Lydia and I went door to door on a moderately chilly night, and it just gave me such a thrill to watch her ring doorbells and hear her say, "Trick or Treat!" and then, "Mommy! I want some more candy. Can we go to one more house?" Equally thrilling was, "Mommy!!! Look at the moon!" And I had a moment when I was worried that a young man's mask was going to freak her out, but in true Lydia style she stopped, looked him over, and said, "I like your outfit."

Fall has never been my favorite time of year. I like summer and summer vacation. This year, though, fall has been really good, and I think I might learn to love fall if more of them turn out like this one.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Let's play a little game

Something along the lines of 20 questions, but I probably won't ask that many. And there's no pressure, you don't have to fill anything out, forward anything. Just humor me and play along:

1.Have you ever thought you had your child's Halloween costume planned out and that it'd only take 30 minutes or so to do? I have. Monday night I very emphatically stated that Lydia was going to be a cowgirl when I was asked.
2. Have you ever changed your mind? I did. We were invited to a party that was happening tonight on, oh, Tuesday. My friend, Lulu, was singing with her co-worker's band (Hard Corps - cause they work for the Corps of Engineers), and THEY were dressing up as pirates. So, when I went to buy a pattern for a western skirt and vest but found a really COOL pirate pattern I changed my mind. It's a woman's perogative, isn't it?
3.Have you ever assumed that because you make a lovely pillowcase dress that you could surely make a jacket WITH LONG SLEEVES even though you've never done it before, or to make it a little more general: bitten off more than you could chew? That darned pattern, at times, might as well have been written in Chinese characters by a calico cat for all the meaning I was getting out of them.
4. Have you ever SERIOUSLY misjudged how much time something was going to take? I had a plan. It was a decent plan: buy a simple pattern, prepare a simple costume. I deviated from the original plan & formulated a new one: cut the material 1st night, sew 2nd & 3rd night & finish up on Friday while Lydia naps. Ya'll. I was up until 3 am (yeah AM) this morning sewing. And unsewing.
5.Have you ever been so tired you made a really HUGE mistake that nearly erased everything you'd stayed up to accomplish? I was trimming/cleaning up the shoulder/sleeve seam and I cut a hole in the sleeve. I thought about taking the sleeve off & re-doing it.
5.5 Have you ever remembered something someone told you& suddenly, in stressful moment recalled their wonderful advice? Rowena has a blog called Done is Better than Perfect. And a lady I met Wednesday said, "Who can tell it's not perfect on a galloping horse?" I went to bed resolved to find a patch for the hole & not sweat it. It's a Halloween costume to be worn once or twice. I wasn't creating a family heirloom for goodness sake.
6.Have you ever been so tired you couldn't sleep? I don't know if it was because I was so tired or because I was wondering how on earth I'd finish the costume or because my sleep cycle was so disrupted, but I did not just drift off like usual.
7. Have you ever thought your life would be simplified by not having pets? At 4:30 AM! the dogs started barking. It was pouring rain, but someone just had to go out. And Friday-Sunday mornings the dogs are my responsibility. Can't tell you how much I loved my dogs at that particular moment...
8. Have you, at the last moment, had to safety pin things together, buckle your child in, and dash off without fixing her hair? Well. I think that's pretty self explantory. She did have her boots on. I even managed to dust some powder on my face & apply lipstick before I left. Thank God for Gene. He did the actual safety pinning. And I put her hair up in braided pigtails upon our arrival.
9. Have you EVER had a moment of pride when all that paid off? Lydia was the cutest little pirate EVER. And there were several pirates in attendance. Lydia's costume won 1st prize for her age group!!! And she just had a blast at the party. She danced, she played games, she hung out with others. And she looked so darned cute while she did all that. I'll have to share pictures later cause it's late again, and I'm tired. But it's a happy tired ; ) ARRRRRRRRRRRGH!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Something I never thought I'd need to say

"No!!!! Don't put your toothbrush in the toilet!!!" Ewwww, just the thought makes me want to go without brushing for a very long time.

In other news: I am an idiot. I did the most boneheaded thing today, and I've decided that I need to pay a little more attention to detail.

I was driving from point A to point B this afternoon around 3pm. I needed to get onto an access road and there was a stream of cars going on forever. I thought, "How rude. If they'd just get in the other lane, people could easily get onto the access road, but noooooooooooo." Can you imagine? It was as if every student from the school district lived somewhere off the service road and they'd all been turned loose at the exact same time. Then I saw one lone car with its turn indicator flashing, and I made my move.

Thinking that I'd be considerate, I moved into the other lane so others could turn in, too. No one else took advantage of that, though. The other lane of traffic continued on at a slower than the limit pace, and I saw flashing lights ahead. And they all proceeded to turn at the same place. And it finally dawned on me.

It was a funeral procession, and I had cut through it. I'm not sure about the funeral procession etiquette where you're from, but here I'd committed a serious breach. I immediately thought, "WHO has a funeral at 3 pm on Tuesday?" and "I didn't notice their headlights were on because I was looking back into the setting sun." It hardly matters, though. I wish I hadn't been in such a hurry so I could have been more considerate and respectful to those who'd recently lost someone about whom they cared.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Happy Game Day!

I don't think I mentioned how chilly it was. The last few years it has been fairly warm for all of our home games. This year fall came early, and brrrrrrrrrr! Here's Lydia with her new pompoms & Lulu & Uncle K.
And here she is watching Dora. You can see how engrossed she is.
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Saturday, October 10, 2009


It was supposed to be the weekend my community group went camping, but God intervened. It rained. And rained. AND RAINED some more. We'd already given our Razorback tickets away, but we got more (because God and Gene knew how much I really wanted to go to the Auburn game).

Last week I was telling Lydia that we were going to sleep in a tent, and she'd get to take her nap in a tent. She was quite excited about all this, and she mentioned the tent many times over the course of the week. So what did we do?

Gene figured that we might as well go up Friday night if we could get a room in a hotel with an indoor pool. Lydia was delighted at the prospect of swimming, and no mention was made of the tent or cancelled camping trip. In fact, as we were driving up to Fayetteville, I told Lydia she better take her nap in the van so we could go swimming as soon as we got checked in to the hotel. That little minx closed her eyes and fell fast asleep.

She didn't sleep long, and she woke with the words, "Are we at the Hoe Tay Ul yet?" It was so funny to me that I used every method I could think of to get her to say her deep fried version of "hotel". Yep, she's from Southern China.

The people around us at the game were quite amused to see her sitting with her DVD player. I've never loved Dora more than I did today. Oh! And the Hogs did us proud today, too! I'll post pics when I get home - I don't have the cord to do it on my netbook.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Just like Forrest Gump

I was run-ning. Really. I ran two and a quarter miles on the treadmill tonight (I spelled it out so it would look longer). I burned about 98 fat calories and a gazillion calories overall (or maybe a little less, I like to round up on the overalls). Me. Can you even imagine? I can hardly believe it myself. I was convinced that running was a last resort activity done only in life threatening situations or when you might miss your flight.

Oh, sure. Other people are shown doing it on tv, but they show people fighting aliens, vampires, and cartoons, too. And my DH gets up early and slinks off while it's still dark to "run", but how would I know that's what he really did? Those smelly running shoes, shorts, & shirts could have acquired that odor any number of ways, and I'm too lazy to seek any real proof. And ok, there are bursts of speed on a football field and baseball diamond, but those aren't all that long. But really, running? Wouldn't that hurt?

It turned out that even after you are old enough to adopt from China, you can START running for the very first time in your life, and it probably won't hurt too much. I suggest the treadmill where the terrain is remarkably the same unless you are silly enough to press a button to increase the incline or outright crazy and program said treadmill to change the incline and speed at varying intervals. I am not so inclined. I'm from Texas, and I like straight and flat.

Next, I suggest you add some form of entertainment. I have a television with many, many channels. None of them are very interesting or easy to watch while I am running. Ok, the food channels are always appealing to me, but it seems counterproductive to watch people preparing food (unless it's fish which I won't eat unless I am about to starve to death and the dirt tastes worse than I thought dirt would taste) while I exercise. So, I watch/listen to 80's music, 90's music, or 70's music on a music channel. It's quite motivational, and I don't think about being old while I'm running. I'm just so darned proud of myself when I'm running that being overweight or past 29 (don't worry how far past) don't even cross my mind.

I'll admit I was sore after I began running. I was impulsive, and I started without any regard for the fact that I'd be riding in a car for several hours the next day.I was sore that day. And the day after that? Ouch. But I ran again that night, and I felt better. Hair of the dog that bit me, I guess.

As with any new endeavor there is shopping that has to be done. After one week, I was off to VS to buy a sports bra with maximum support. It ain't pretty, but it does do a better job than the one I had been wearing. I'll need new shoes. About a year before I went to China, Gene bought me a lovely pair of Saucony's. They were so comfy. I wore them, but unless I was chasing a toddler I don't think I ever ran in them. If I keep this up, I think I'll buy another pair. Oh, and yesterday at T@rget I bought a sleeveless bright pink top. And that top? It is FAST. And it has extra endurance built in somehow. Because I went a whole extra quarter mile in the same it took me to do two miles wearing a white tshirt with sleeves.

Finally done sweating now. I think I'll rinse off & go to bed. TTFN.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Anything but normal

I wasn't able to celebrate the Moon Festival yesterday. I had a funeral to attend which would be bad enough under "normal" circumstances, but this funeral was more painful than most even though I'd only met the deceased once or twice. He was 15 years old. Fifteen. And he was the only child of a mother who was raising him by herself. Feel free to grab your tissues. I needed a bunch.

How I wish this sort of thing never happened to anyone, let alone people I've met. Daniel was my nephew's best friend, a good Christian who was very involved in his church, a boyscout, a tuba player, and a much loved son. There aren't really any words to make this better, are there? I hope you'll say a prayer for Daniel's mother, Emily. While I know she's not alone (she is a wonderful Christian lady who was instrumental in Daniel's having become such a good young man), she may feel very isolated and lonely.

I've only been to the funeral of one other child, and I really hope I never need to attend another one. It feels like it goes against every natural thing for a child to die before his or her parents. I know there is hope for Daniel because of Jesus but hopeful is not how I would describe my state of mind as I left his funeral yesterday. Today, at least, I have a little more peace.