Friday, January 16, 2009

Identify Yourself!

Is it just me, or is everyone feeling this, this.....overabundance of self? I'm talking about the need to, every time you turn around, come up with a new identity. Its always, "type in your username and password". Of course you cannot, nay, MUST not, use the same one over and over, due to the danger of "identity theft", so most of us have so many usernames and passwords that we have forgotten more of them then we remember. Then we have to do things like put them on a computer document, or even better, write them all down and hide them somewhere. I have now forgotten more hiding places than I remember. I can't visit some of the websites I like anymore, because I don't know who they know me as! It just gets too frustrating to try and print a new coupon or make a new friend because I can't remember who I am in this place, so I just give up. Actually, I feel sorry for identity theives these days, they have to have a brain like a computer to remember who they are, much less all the "usernames and passwords" of anyone whom they wish to become.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Christmas Music

I don't know if everyone is like this, but I have a definite favorite when it comes to Christmas music. Several years ago, Jeff put the old Christmas albums my folks had on cd. He also made his own midi music cd and gave that to many friends and family as an extra gift from him. He took midi files and tweaked them so they had a sound he liked. They are pretty good and my brother Chris admits that he puts that cd on at work from about Halloween on, untill the folks in his office are about ready to rush him, grab the thing and crack it over his head, as it is practically all he listens to all season. Now maybe Jeff is feeling the same toward me and my favorite. I listen to it practically every time I sit down at the computer. It is called Shell Christmas and was put out by the Shell Oil people back in the 60's or 70's. There were two records in the set with a snow scene on the cover. It is the nadir for me in terms of seasonal music. I listen to it so much, I can start humming the next tune as soon as the last one ends and before the next starts. It is the epitome of cozy Christmas feeling that takes me right back to 331 Woodland Drive and the big hifi. Since it was recorded from the LP, it has the record noise that so many people fight against. I really don't want a cleaned up version, it just wouldn't be the same. I like the skips and fuzz. It has no famous singers, the songs are all choral and happy, a good mix of the religious and the secular. I can't see how anyone could object to it. Maybe I'll just have to start listening to it with my headphones?

Thursday, November 13, 2008


We've had a week of unusual activity and none of us seem to like it much. Monday, Steven had his first orchestra concert of the school year. The fourth graders from three different schools in the district performed with the high school orchestra. It was done at the hs auditorium and was fun to watch, but Steven had some difficulty in that the bridge of his violin broke before the concert and he had to perform with a borrowed, larger violin and a borrowed bow. He wasn't happy guy. At least the music store will replace the violin with no charge. On Tuesday, we went to the annual Boy Scout cake auction. The theme was the Olympics. We went a little outside the box and called ours "Chicken Diving" for obvious reasons. It was well received and made $18 for the pack. On Wednesday, Sylvie had her weekly middle school youth church and Steven and I had to go and shop for new boots for him. Apparently, his feet are growing (excuse the pun) by leaps and bounds. He had to have a new pair 2 1/2 sizes larger than the pair I bought just last year!! Consequently, he got new tennies too. Tonight, I have to work from 7-11pm and Jeff has an orientation at church to join the tech team. All of us have commented at least once this week how little home time we've had and that we don't care for evening life to be this busy. I think we'd all better get used to it. I don't see that life with a teen and a preteen will probably be getting slower in the future! People out there with more than two kids, how do you handle it all? I'm happy to take any and all advice. Anne

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Marco's Voice

My sister’s dog died yesterday. It was sudden and very sad. The loss of a loved one is never easy and some may think it strange to mourn an animal, but humans are made to love. I believe God, in His wisdom, gave us animals to share our vast stores of love with. Margaret and her family certainly did that with Marco. One of the best and most interesting things that they shared with Marco was his voice. I don’t know if many dogs do this, but he talked. They heard his voice and gave us his words and his accent. It was something that became very much a part of their family life. Marco spoke, the same as any of the rest of them. He had opinions, complaints, love words and nicknames for them. He even was occasionally included on cards to others, usually with his name and a small drawing of a dog’s head with its tongue hanging out and the words “Lit, lit” next to it. I'll miss that little dog head on my cards. I’ll miss how he said, “Modwod(Margaret), Marster(Master), lit(lick),wid(really) and pint(pink).” His lexicon even contributed to my own family’s vocabulary at times, but not often, as it seemed silly to voice someone who was not there at the time. It’s hard to describe Marco’s voice if you haven’t heard it. It had a certain babyish quality without the highness usually associated with a baby voice. The low voice made sense, he was a big dog. His k’s were all t’s(see pint). The voice fit a large furry lover. I think, of all the things to miss about him, we'll miss his voice the most.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Bike Riding

I have a new bike. I saw these bikes out in Colorado when we were there in June. The brand is Electra and the model is Hawaii. It looks like something out of the 40's or 50's with fenders and big fat whitewall tires. There are flowers on the frame, seat and even the tires! I saw the first one locked to a post outside a shop in Durango. I think it was pink. Sylvie and I both admired it. Then, it seemed, every time we turned around, there it was again, in another color. Sylvie was particularly good at seeing them and the phrase, "Look mom, there's another one!" rang out frequently. We saw them in orange and blue and yellow. This seemed to be the "It" bike of Durango and every woman we saw riding them was cool by association. When we got home, this bike kept calling to me. I looked them up on the internet and kept looking. I finally went to a bike store to see one in person. They had an orange one from last year, but wouldn't you know it, all that hesitation meant that they had sold it...two days before I got there. I went home a bit dejected. I talked about it over dinner thinking talking was as far as it would go. After all, my old bike, even at age 14, was still good. Jeff, after hearing me talk about it all through the meal, said, "Think of it as an anniversary gift from me. Go get it." (Isn't he the sweetest thing?) I sat there for minute in disbelief, finally saying, "Really?" Then, getting the nod, I wasted no time getting back to the bike store to order one of my own! The result is the beautiful green bike you can see in the picture. I lurve it! I feel like a French girl riding to the market. I am on it most every day and biking about four miles. Sylvie and I did do six miles one day to the local library, but four is the norm. I find I have to force myself to rest every few days as my knees aren't up to the exertional challenge yet...bummer. I have found a circle route through a park that I really enjoy. There is a place on the route that goes through the woods and over a short wooden bridge. The path has a spot that reminds me so much of biking in the airport woods as a kid. It is cool and piney and I feel about 10 when I'm there. The sense of nostalgia is poignant. I hope my legs will soon strengthen enough to allow daily rides without pain, but I will still ride even if I have to hurt, just because it is so fun! Take a look at for more cool bikes if you like what you see. Anne

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

You Lookin' at Me???

I am thrilled and a bit taken aback by my weight loss progress. To date, I have lost 53 pounds since last August (35 since March). I am now into size 10! I think they must have changed the sizes since the last time I was this weight (back in 1992), because I wasn't wearing 10's then, unless it was a rare, "big 10", and I was 18 pounds lighter then! I am still thrilled by the idea of 10, though. I bought a new shirt over the weekend (it is a medium), and it makes ME look tiny! TINY??? ME??? That is a word I never thought I would associate with myself. It's kind of weird. Thanks to all of you whom have been so supportive. Anne

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Things that Break

A few weeks ago, I was putting away clean dishes, including my small pyrex casserole dish. Ray and Linda gave us a set of several pyrex dishes when we got married 20 years ago. I loved them and I used them all the time. When I put the smaller dish into the larger, the larger one shattered like a car windshield that had been hit with a brick. It just fell apart into a million pieces on the shelf. It was startling, sudden and a bit sad. A few pieces spit out of the cabinet onto the floor, but most of them just flattened. There was no fixing it. The fixer in me was flummoxed. All I could do was reach into the dark cabinet with a small whisk broom and sweep the bits and pieces into a dust pan and throw it away, then go out and get a new one.
Just a couple of days later, I heard from my brother that he and his wife are getting a divorce. It is amicable and both are in agreement that they just don't love each other anymore. This shattering of a marriage is less sudden, but no less startling or sad. They will hopefully be happier as individuals, but certainly any divorce has ripple effects that no one can predict. There must always be some ambivalence at the breaking of a life lived together, even for a short time. Some things just cannot be put back together, no matter how hard you may want to try. Some things are not your business to even try to fix, no matter how much you may want to. With my brother and his wife, all I can do is pray and help with practical things when asked. The fixer in me is flummoxed again. I can't do it, no one can, and that is the saddest part of all.